Talk of the Nation on UPR Too

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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
11:14 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Designing A Bridge For Earthquake Country

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 12:56 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. Where is the safest place to be during an earthquake? Yeah. Here, in San Francisco, everybody is shaking their head.

(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)

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NPR Story
12:19 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Crack Addict Aspires To 'Ninety Days' Of Sobriety

Author Bill Clegg works as a literary agent in New York.
Christian Hansen

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 9:35 am

In his 2010 book, Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, Bill Clegg described his addiction to crack cocaine and the dramatic spiral of self-destruction that left him nearly broke, homeless, out of work and suicidal. His latest book, Ninety Days: A Memoir of Recovery, picks up where that story left off.

Clegg talks with NPR's John Donvan about his harrowing journey through recovery, and the friends, family and fellow addicts who gave him second chances.

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

From Kerouac To Rand, 'Harmful' Reads For Writers

Kilian calls Jack Kerouac's On the Road one of the 20th-century novels that has "done more harm than good to apprentice writers."
Alan Levine Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 9:50 am

Columnist Crawford Kilian advises aspiring writers to avoid Jack Kerouac's On the Road, Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and eight other well-known novels.

But Kilian isn't saying they're bad novels — quite the opposite, actually. In a piece for the Canadian online daily The Tyee, Kilian writes, "their readable styles look so easy that they might seduce a young writer into imitating them."

Kilian tells NPR's John Donvan that he composed his list based on personal experience.

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

'Ambassador' Guy Davis Takes Blues Around The Globe

Guy Davis performs in northern Italy at the Piacenza Blues Festival in 2010.
Giulia Ciappa Flickr

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 12:29 pm

The son of Ruby Dee and the late Ossie Davis, Guy Davis initially followed in his famous parents' footsteps. But then he discovered the blues in college, and now travels the world performing in places untouched by the genre, from Greenland to the Galapagos Islands.

Known as "The Ambassador of the Blues," Davis talks with NPR's John Donvan about his new album, The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed With the Blues, and his passion for blues music.


Interview Highlights

On Fishy Waters, The Character He Created For His New Record

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Thu April 19, 2012

Inside The Hidden World Of Immigrant Smuggling

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 12:51 pm

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm John Donvan in Washington. Earlier this month, nine immigrants suspected of being illegally smuggled into the United States were killed in a car crash. That journey came to a violent and sudden end. But there have been, and there will be others bent on crossing the Mexican border north to the U.S. who will make that very same journey and with a similar setup.

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Latin America
12:21 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Columnist Says Invite Cuba To Future Summits

At the sixth Summit of the Americas, tensions flared over Cuba's absence, and continued U.S. efforts to isolate the country. Syndicated Miami Herald columnist Andres Oppenhemier believes the first step to bringing Cuba back into the diplomatic community is to invite them to observe future summits.

Technology
12:00 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Author Vernor Vinge Predicted Google Glasses

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 12:45 pm

In his 2006 thriller, Rainbow's End, author Vernor Vinge imagined a near future when people use high-tech contact lenses to interface with computers in their clothes. Google plans to make at least some of it a reality later in 2012 with the launch of what are known as augmented reality glasses.

Politics
12:00 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

What Their Bases Want From Obama And Romney

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 12:08 pm

Guest Political Junkie Matt Bai of The New York Times and Andy Stern, former president of the Service Employees International Union, talk about the state of the Democratic and Republican bases and what voters on each side are looking for in their candidates in the months ahead.

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

The Byrds' Roger McGuinn Works To Preserve Folk Music

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Each week, Talk of the Nation plays The Byrds' song "I Wanna Grow Up to Be a Politician" during the Political Junkie segment. McGuinn recorded a version just for the show. You can hear it in the last three minutes of this story.
John Chiasson

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 8:30 am

Singer-guitarist Roger McGuinn, best known as leader of The Byrds, is a folk-rock pioneer. The Byrds blended traditional folk songs with a rock beat and scored major hits in the 1960s, including "Turn, Turn, Turn" and "Mr. Tambourine Man." The group disbanded in 1973, and McGuinn pursued a solo career, in which he performed acoustically and returned to his folk roots.

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Europe
12:53 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

How France's Presidential Contest Compares To U.S.

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

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