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Weekdays at 2:00 p.m.

 

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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Science
11:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Engineering For Success By Building on Failure

In a new book, To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure, engineer Henry Petroski chronicles disasters from the sinking of the Titanic to the destruction of space shuttles Challenger and Columbia. Petroski discusses why these accidents are often caused by factors other than a design flaw.

Science
11:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Marc Abrahams Makes Science Improbably Funny

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 2:05 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Up next, some improbable humor. If you're a loyal listener, you know my next guest. He's been a SCIENCE FRIDAY regular for, oh, 20 years. Wow. Every year on the Friday after Thanksgiving. You know that. We play the first annual Ig Nobel Awards. They awards given to science that makes you laugh and then makes you think. Marc Abrahams is the co-founder and the emcee of the Ig Nobels. He's also the editor and founder of the Annals of Improbable Research, and he writes a weekly column for The Guardian. Welcome, Marc.

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Science
11:00 am
Fri April 13, 2012

How Humans And Insects Conquered The Earth

Originally published on Fri April 13, 2012 2:05 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Ira Flatow. It's easy to assume that we humans rule the Earth. After all, we can clear-cut forests, we can chop the tops off mountains. We can harvest anything we want from the land or the sea. But before we get too cocky, let's not forget about those other titans of the Earth, the bugs.

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Law
11:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Legal Strategies And 'Stand Your Ground' Cases

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. The man who Florida police first declined to arrest now faces second-degree murder charges for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. George Zimmerman claims he is not guilty under Florida's Stand Your Ground law, which allows for the use of force in self-defense.

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Around the Nation
11:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Cities — But Not Their Citizens — Really Are Meaner

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

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On Aging
11:00 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Couples Can Conflict Over When To Retire

Transcript

JENNIFER LUDDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Baby boomers are the first generation with large numbers of dual-earner couples heading into retirement. That means negotiating the golden years is all the more complicated. Now there are two careers, two hard-earned nest eggs and quite possibly two competing visions of how and when to retire.

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From Our Listeners
11:00 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Letters: Robots, Race And Retail

NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on past Talk of the Nation shows, including the emergence of robots across the country, the racial history of Sanford, Florida, and the new balance of power in retail.

Your Money
11:00 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Tax-Time Procrastination, An American Tradition

People wait in line inside the Farley Post Office building on Tax Day 2009 in New York City.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

The April deadline comes around at about the same time every year. Still, with just a few days left before taxes are due, many people continue to put off filing.

The boxes of receipts, stacks of W-2s and 1099s are daunting enough. Add in row after row of fill-in boxes on the 1040, and it's no wonder so many people procrastinate.

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Food
11:00 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Sometimes, Food Additives Are Pretty Innocuous

The uproar over what critics call "pink slime" in some ground beef refocused attention on what's in the food we eat. Most packaged foods contain at least one item you wouldn't recognize. But many food experts caution that just because you don't know an ingredient doesn't mean you shouldn't eat it.

Politics
11:00 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Momentum Shifts As Santorum Exits Race

Rick Santorum ended his presidential campaign Tuesday. It clears the way for Mitt Romney to capture the nomination, though many conservatives have yet to rally around the former Massachusetts governor. The Romney campaign now shifts into the general campaign, with a focus on President Obama.

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