NEAL CONAN, host: It's Tuesday and time to read from your comments. Our discussion with author and filmmaker Guillermo del Toro generated a lot of responses about what it really means to be a monster. Mary in Virginia Beach, Virginia, tweeted: It helps if a monster is physically terrifying. That definitely freaks me out. And Lisa Hermenez(ph) wrote: Monsters inspire our instinctual fears. As a result, we love to hate them.
NEAL CONAN, host: This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Last week, a coroner's report provided the details of a verdict that everyone already knew. Singer Amy Winehouse drank herself to death. Her blood alcohol content was five times the legal limit when she was found in her London home in July.
In a recent piece in The New York Times, Jordan Tama argues in defense of a back-room deal for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction. He points to many examples throughout history when secrecy lead to success, and public forums resulted in more partisanship.
An average of 700 Native American children in South Dakota are removed from their homes and placed in foster care each year, often in violation of federal law, an NPR investigation found. Native American children make up less than 15 percent of the state's child population, but represent more than half of kids in foster care.
Total student loan debt in the U.S. will cross the 1 trillion dollar threshold in 2011, an amount that surpasses the nation's combined credit card debt. It affects how many students and graduates decide whether and where to go to school, what job to take, where to live and how to pay their bills.