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Neil Conan

When Americans want to be a part of the national conversation, they turn to Talk of the Nation, NPR's live, midday news-talk program. Host Neil Conan leads a productive exchange of ideas and opinions on the issues that dominate the news landscape.

From breaking news, science, and education to religion and the arts, Talk of the Nation offers listeners the opportunity to join enlightening discussions with decision-makers, authors, academics, and artists from around the world.

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Brain Candy
12:03 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Edward Tufte Wants You to See Better

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman. Up next: the man who wrote the book - well, the books, rather - on data visualization. He was doing infographics before everybody was doing infographics. Back in the '80s, data scientist Edward Tufte remortgaged his house so he could start a company and self-publish his first book, "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information." Sound like a snoozer? Well, that book, along with his others on the same topic, have sold more than a million-and-a-half copies.

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Technology
12:03 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Inventors Design Lamp Powered Entirely By Gravity

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow today. Solar wind, geothermal - now there's a new renewable energy source to add to that list. It's free, completely reliable and totally unlimited: the force of gravity. Two British designers have invented a lamp that runs on gravity alone. Their GravityLight - yes, that's its name, aptly named - uses, you guessed it, the pull of gravity on a weight to generate up to 30 minutes of light.

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Theater
12:03 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Dementia Takes The Stage In 'The Other Place'

In the Broadway play The Other Place actress Laurie Metcalf ("Jackie" on the TV show "Roseanne") plays a scientist suffering from the dementia she studies. Playwright Sharr White discusses the play and the challenge of presenting complicated science on a theater stage.

Books
1:31 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Rereading The Classics: Lessons Learned The Second Time Around

When Kevin Smokler reread books he was assigned in high school, he saw them in a brand new light.
Zitona/Flickr

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 1:24 pm

Writer Kevin Smokler spent a good majority of 2012 rereading the books he was assigned back in his high school English classes. He called up some of his former teachers and put together a list of books to revisit.

He looks back at his 15-year-old self and sees a "pretentious," somewhat "idiotic" teenager who was able to pass his classes, but who really missed the themes at the heart of most of the books.

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Books
1:14 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

The 'Underlying Logic' Behind The Madness Of The Office

In The Org, Tim Sullivan and Ray Fisman share case studies of organizations including McDonald's and Procter and Gamble.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 18, 2013 2:58 pm

Those of us who work in an office know that there is at least some part of the organization that is utterly frustrating.

In The Org: The Underlying Logic of the Office, authors Tim Sullivan and Ray Fisman argue that the back-to-back meetings and unending bureaucracy serve an important purpose.

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World
1:11 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

The Evolving Hostage Crisis In Algeria

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

And another story we've been following the past couple of days: Yesterday, an extremist group in Algeria attacked a remote natural gas production complex in the Sahara Desert and seized hostages, most of them Algerian, but including some Americans and other Westerners. Today, Algeria's military responded. Reports conflict on numbers. It seems clear some hostages have escaped, others have been killed.

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Around the Nation
1:09 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Rape: The Victims, Perpetrators And Law Enforcement

News of a horrific gang rape in India prompted protest and outrage. Similar reactions, followed allegations of gang rape by members of the Steubenville High School football team in Ohio. The extreme cases raise question about what we've learned about rapists and why so many cases go unreported.

World
12:48 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

The Way Forward With Iran

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 7:44 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan.

Two high-profile cabinet nominations go before the Senate soon. Senator John Kerry is expected to face little opposition to become the next secretary of state. Former Senator Chuck Hagel may have more problems. But as mentioned earlier, his nomination as secretary of defense is also expected to win approval.

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Politics
12:48 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

The Secret Keys Of A Second Inaugural Address

Originally published on Thu January 17, 2013 1:15 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Rockefeller won't run again, Treasury kills the trillion-dollar coin, and the president calls on Congress to pony up. It's Wednesday, and time for a ...

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: Deadbeat.

CONAN: ...edition of the Political Junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

RONALD REAGAN: There you go again...

WALTER MONDALE: When I hear your new ideas, I'm reminded of that ad - where's the beef?

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Politics
12:48 pm
Wed January 16, 2013

The President's Plans To Reduce Gun Violence

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 1:29 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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