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Neil Conan and Ira Flatow

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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.

A long-time NPR journalist, Conan has been a reporter, editor, and anchor for NPR live events coverage. Conan played a major role in anchoring continuous live coverage of developments during the terrorist attacks and aftermath of September 11, 2001. His broadcasts are marked by their clarity, accuracy and eloquence.

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NPR Story
10:14 am
Fri April 20, 2012

Untangling The Hairy Physics Of Rapunzel

Originally published on Fri April 20, 2012 11:59 am

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Joining us now is our multimedia editor Flora Lichtman who is - welcome to SCIENCE FRIDAY, of course.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Thanks.

FLATOW: We'll have a backend. We have our Video Pick of the Week today, sort of an oldie goldie, right?

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NPR Story
11:51 am
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 11:29 am

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
11:26 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Inside The Hidden World Of Immigrant Smuggling

Originally published on Thu April 19, 2012 11:51 am

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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NPR Story
11:19 am
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 8:35 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
11:02 am
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 8:50 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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