Talk of the Nation

Neil Conan

Each day, Talk of the Nation combines the award-winning resources of NPR News with the vital participation of listeners. The result is a spirited and productive exchange of knowledge and insight that delves deeply into the news and ideas of the day.

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Around the Nation
2:25 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Sandy Hook Massacre Changes Gun Control Conversations

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Last night President Obama broke a long silence and called for a meaningful response to Friday's atrocity in Newtown, where a gunman murdered 27 people, including 20 first grade students, and then shot himself.

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Around the Nation
2:19 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

A Tour Of A Transformed Town, From A Newtown Resident

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 2:54 pm

Journalist Rob Cox grew up in Newtown, Conn. and moved back after many years abroad. Cox, editor for Thompson Reuters global commentary service Breakingviews, talks about how the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School has transformed his hometown.

Around the Nation
2:13 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

The Tragedy In Newtown: The Unanswerable Questions

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 3:39 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. After Newtown and Tucson, Aurora and the Sikh temple, we hear a lot of answers, opinions really. Too many guns or not enough; lack of access to mental health treatment; violence in video games; violence in the movies and TV; bad parenting; lack of community spirit or lack of religion; that there's no law that can keep everyone safe from evil; that we should just enforce the laws that are already on the books.

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Science
1:03 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Alan Alda's Challenge to Scientists: What is Time?

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY, I'm Ira Flatow. Of course we'll be keeping you up to date this hour on the shooting spree that's been going on in Newtown, Connecticut. But first something different. When Alan Alda was 11, he asked one of his teachers: What is a flame? The answer he got back was oxidation. Accurate, yeah, but not very helpful.

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Technology
1:03 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Is It Possible To Create A Mind?

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, what is intelligence? What is thought? What does it really mean to have a mind? And if we can answer those questions, is it possible for people to reverse-engineer the process and build an artificial mind? Sure, there are things like Siri, which can understand enough of your question to pull up directions to the restaurant, and there's IBM's Watson, which took on human contestants in a game of "Jeopardy!" and won. But how to jump the gap from those to something everyone would agree is truly intelligent?

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NPR Story
11:59 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Using Science to Care for Your Christmas Tree

Nothing beats the smell of a live Christmas tree in your home, but how can you keep the needles on your tree and off your carpet? Rick Bates, professor of horticulture at Penn State University, offers tips for how to properly care for your Christmas tree this holiday season.

NPR Story
11:59 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Ask A Quantum Mechanic

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:03 pm

Did you know plants use quantum mechanics every day? That quantum computers can hack the encryption used in online commerce? Or that a 'quantum internet' could someday teleport your emails? MIT's Seth Lloyd discusses those and other quantum mysteries in this episode of "Ask a quantum mechanic."

NPR Story
11:59 am
Fri December 14, 2012

'Instant' Looks At Polaroid's Land

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

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Environment
2:17 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Drought Continues: Farmers, Shippers Feel Pressure

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. We're in the worst drought since the 1950s, according to NOAA, and while we associated extended dry spells with summer, conditions out west have remained unchanged since the warm weather ended.

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Sports
2:15 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

NCAA Shake-Up: The Future Of College Athletics

In 2013 and 2014, there will be a number of substantial realignments in the NCAA conferences. Some believe that the realignment process will ultimately result in the creation of four "super conferences." NPR's Mike Pesca talks about how conference shifts could effect the future of college athletics.

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