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When Americans want to be a part of the national conversation, they turn to Talk of the Nation, NPR's midday news-talk show.

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Space
12:00 pm
Fri January 20, 2012

Newly Fallen Meteorites Offer Fresh Look At Mars

Scientists have confirmed that rocks collected recently in the Moroccan desert came from the Red Planet. University of Alberta meteorite expert Chris Herd, who has acquired one of the chunks, talks about how scientists analyze space rocks, and whether organic compounds might be found inside.

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

'Justified' Producer Shares Crime Writing Secrets

Crime novelist Elmore Leonard with Justified star Timothy Olyphant.
Courtesy of FX

Elmore Leonard has had the kind of writing career many aspiring writers dream of. Over six decades, he's written scores of successful crime novels, short stories and scripts for the big and small screens.

The acclaimed TV series on FX, Justified, is based on one of Leonard's short stories, "Fire in the Hole." The show has garnered awards for its gritty yet likeable characters.

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

'Vulture Capitalism'? How Private Equity Firms Work

Originally published on Thu January 19, 2012 2:06 pm

Transcript

JOHN DONVAN, HOST:

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NPR Story
12:00 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Perry Leaves Race, Iowa GOP Puts Santorum In Lead

Texas Gov. Rick Perry dropped out of the Republican presidential race Thursday, saying he saw no way forward. The same day, the Iowa Republican party announced that Mitt Romney is no longer the winner of the caucuses there.

NPR Story
12:00 pm
Thu January 19, 2012

Quizmaster Reflects On 50 Years Of 'It's Academic'

Host Mac McGarry (top left) poses with student contestants on the set of It's Academic in 1988.
Courtesy of 'It's Academic'

For 51 seasons, the Washington, D.C.-based TV quiz show It's Academic has pitted three teams of high school students against each other in a sports game atmosphere — complete with chants and cheerleaders.

The show first aired in the Washington area in 1961 and spurred similar programs in several other cities. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, New York Senator Charles Schumer and political commentator George Stephanopoulos have all appeared on versions of the show.

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