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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NPR Story
3:36 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

The Motive Of The Mapmaker

In A History of the World in Twelve Maps, Jerry Brotton examines the maps of ancient history and the way Google Earth allows people to see the world today.
Penguin Books

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 12:56 pm

World maps help us make sense of the world around us, and our place in it.

While mapmakers may portray their world maps as accurate, scientific and neutral, every single one describes the world from a certain worldview and culture. From ancient Babylonia to the Renaissance, cartographers have been driven by politics, religion, emotion and math.

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NPR Story
3:36 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Bill Connolly's 'Funny, But Not Clever' Comedy

Comedian Billy Connolly received that Outstanding Contribution to Television and Film Award at the 2012 BAFTA Awards in Scotland.
Tony Lyon

Originally published on Mon November 26, 2012 1:33 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Scottish comedian and actor Billy Connolly has been performing for over 50 years now. His TV credits include the sitcom "Head of the Class." He co-starred with Judi Dench in the movie "Mrs. Brown." New projects include Dustin Hoffmann's directorial debut, "Quartet," with, among others, Maggie Smith. And he plays a dwarf king in "The Hobbit." But what he does, as he puts it, is standup comedy.

(SOUNDBITE OF STANDUP SHOW)

BILLY CONNOLLY: Algebra was a mystery to me.

Connolly, 1A plus 1B?

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NPR Story
3:36 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

Listening To Service Members, Veterans

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 3:48 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. For the fifth year now, the oral history project StoryCorps has put special attention on the day after Thanksgiving, the day often called Black Friday, StoryCorps transforms into the National Day of Listening.

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Politics
2:06 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Pluses And Pitfalls Of Second-Term Presidencies

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The electoral sun sets for West, the former presidential candidate blames his loss on the president's gifts, but the Tea Party senator-elect from Texas blames that Romney cozied up in that third debate. It's Wednesday and time for a...

SENATOR-ELECT TED CRUZ: French kissed...

CONAN: ...edition of the political junkie.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDINGS)

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: There you go again.

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Middle East
2:02 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Anti-Government Coalition Shifts Dynamics In Syria

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 2:17 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

Much more later today and in the days ahead on the ceasefire announced between Israel and Hamas about winners and losers and what happens next. But what effect of the news will be to refocus attention on the civil war in Syria where there have also been some major developments.

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The Impact of War
2:02 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Moral Injury: The Psychological Wounds Of War

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 11:24 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Whether you call it battle fatigue or shellshock or PTSD, we've come to accept that the trauma of combat can leave profound psychological scars. But how do you describe the damage from actions that violate one's values, but don't involve trauma, injury from horrific scenes that betray core moral beliefs?

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From Our Listeners
3:13 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Letters: Banning High School Football, Shoplifting

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 9:23 am

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Last Wednesday, we discussed the dangers and benefits of high school football. Walt in Bakersfield, California wrote to say: I learned teamwork, perseverance and sacrifice of personal goals for larger good through football. At work, the word coachability is applied to people who will listen with humility and attentiveness. Other sports are more individualistically oriented. Please, consider these losses before you drop football.

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Books
3:03 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

The Key To Zen For Tony Bennett: 'Life Is A Gift'

Legendary singer Tony Bennett has won 17 Grammy Awards. He had his first No. 1 hit in 1951 with the song "Because of You."
Marion Curtis AP

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 2:36 pm

At 86, legendary singer Tony Bennett says he's at the top of his game and more passionate than ever about his art.

"I want to try to prove that at 100, I could sing as well as I was singing when I was 45 or 43," he tells NPR's Neal Conan. "I'd like to prove that if you take care of yourself, you can actually not regret the fact that you've become an old-timer, but you can just still improve and actually get better."

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Iraq
2:13 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

'The Long Walk' To Defuse A Ticking Bomb

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 3:08 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

If you saw the movie "The Hurt Locker," you probably can't forget that scene at the start where a soldier puts on an 80-pound Kevlar suit and takes the long, lonely walk to diffuse an unexploded bomb. True enough, according to Brian Castner, but life as a bomb tech involves a great deal more, rushing in to investigate the scene of a bloody car bomb even as grieving relatives pull out the pieces of their loved ones and also ordering someone else to don the bomb suit and take that lonely walk.

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NPR Story
1:58 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Gamer Explains Appeal Of First-Person Shooter Games

Originally published on Tue November 20, 2012 4:29 pm

First-person shooter games have become more cinematic and aesthetically pleasing over the years and dominate the video game industry. Stephen Totilo, editor in chief of online video game publication Kotaku, explains the appeal of point-and-shoot games.

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