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Neal 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 Neal 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, academicians, and artists from around the world.

For two hours each Monday through Thursday, Talk of the Nation listeners weigh-in, share their thoughts and ask questions by calling, emailing, messaging through social media.

On Fridays the conversation turns to the topics of science, with Talk of the Nation Science Friday with Ira Flatow, focusing on news and issues about the world of science and technology. For show listings and archives, visit here.

 

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Approved Reactors Could Power Up Nuclear Industry

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 4:52 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Some good news for the nuclear industry. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensed the construction, issued licenses for the construction, of two nuclear reactors at a plant in eastern Georgia. Until last week, the NRC hadn't approved the construction of any new reactors in the U.S. since 1978. That was a year before the partial reactor meltdown at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania.

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Concrete's Role As A Building Block In History

In his book Concrete Planet, author Robert Courland discusses why the concrete first used by the Romans is more durable than the concrete used in most present day buildings. Plus, mineralogist Peter Stemmerman tells us about his invention, Celitement and why it is greener than Portland cement.

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Digital Tools Help Document Vanishing Languages

Linguist David Harrison has travelled to remote corners of the world seeking the last speakers of endangered languages. Now, he's using digital tools to to record and revitalize these dying languages. At the AAAS meeting this week, Harrison unveiled 'talking dictionaries' for eight languages.

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Desert Military Bases Could Be Boon To Solar

Originally published on Fri February 17, 2012 4:52 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Last week, the government approved the first new nuclear reactor power plants in over 30 years, but in the meantime, the Department of Defense has been investigating a different energy source for its military bases: solar.

My next guest says the military could install seven gigawatts of solar power on its bases. That's roughly equivalent to the output of seven nuclear power plants, and that's all without interfering with bombing ranges or rocket tests and of course the desert tortoise.

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Should Sugar Be Regulated Like Alcohol?

Writing in the journal Nature, UCSF pediatrician Robert Lustig and colleagues suggest regulating sugar just like alcohol and tobacco--with taxes and age limits, for example--due to what they call the "toxic" effects of too much sweet stuff. Education, they say, is not enough.

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

The Anatomy, Complexity Of The Syrian Opposition

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 1:15 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Almost every day for about a year now, we've heard about the activities of the Syrian opposition: marches and demonstration that in the face of brutal attacks evolve toward armed resistence.

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Is An Economic Recovery Underway?

Originally published on Thu February 16, 2012 1:44 pm

The number of jobless claims for January 2012 was at the lowest point since March 2008. Businesses are reporting profits, buyers are reporting confidence. Diane Swonk, chief economist for Mesirow Financial, discusses whether it's safe to say an economic recovery has begun.

Sports
12:00 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Op-Ed: 'Linsanity' Is Thrilling, Yet Frustrating

New York Knicks point guard Jeremy Lin sprang into the spotlight after he scored 27 points in a game against the Toronto Raptors. Lin, who previous mostly rode the bench, has become a sensation in the U.S., particularly among many Asian Americans. Journalist Chuck Leung feels a bit conflicted about celebrating Lin's success.

Movies
12:00 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

Moore Explains Changes In Oscar Documentary Rules

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has changed the way they nominate documentaries for the Oscars. One of the most controversial changes — proposed by filmmaker Michael Moore — is that films must be reviewed by The New York Times or the Los Angeles Times.

Politics
12:00 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

How Santorum's Surge Is Changing The 2012 Race

GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum swept caucuses in Minnesota and Colorado and the Missouri primary, gaining considerable ground on Mitt Romney's primary lead. NPR's Ken Rudin and Dan Balz, of the Washington Post, recap the week in politics.

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