Tell people you're doing a story about the life spans of Korean eunuchs, the typical reaction is a giggle or a cringe.
But if you can overcome your visceral response to the topic, a study scientists in Korea did is quite interesting, both for what they found, and the way they found it.
Several scientists have shown that there is a link between longevity and reproduction: the greater the fertility, the shorter the life span. This has been fairly well established in nonhuman animal species, but proving it's the case for humans has been tricky.
NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous Talk of the Nation show topics, including underappreciated jobs, what it's like for Americans to live abroad when the U.S. is the target of civil unrest, where we find atonement, and how to pitch a knuckleball.
Earlier today, both of the major party candidates for president spoke on foreign policy in New York. Former Governor Mitt Romney at the Clinton Global Initiative and President Barack Obama before the General Assembly of the United Nations. We're going to play back substantial excerpts from both. Governor Romney spoke first after an introduction by the former president who delivered a well-received speech on behalf of his opponent at the Democratic National Convention.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Anyone with brothers or sisters knows about the teasing, the fights and the betrayals that can come along with solidarity and the love. But all of that changes when one sibling has an intellectual disability like Down's syndrome or autism.
A lot of emphasis is often placed on the child with special needs while their brothers and sisters can feel left out, guilty, resentful, responsible and embarrassed. Of course, the sibling's relationship can last a lifetime.
As the lockout of NFL officials over a labor dispute continues, the replacement refs have been roundly criticized for an increase in bad calls and a general loss of control on the field. NPR's Mike Pesca explains the issues with replacement refs and the ongoing dispute with the regular officials.
The British cleric Abu-Hamza al Masri, seen here in February 2003, is set to be extradited to the United States to face terrorism charges linked to the taking of 16 hostages in Yemen in 1998 and setting up a terrorist training camp in rural Oregon.
In Britain, frustration over why fiery radical Muslim preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri remained a free man for so many years went all the way to the top of society to the queen, the BBC revealed — a revelation the network has subsequently apologized for.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Last week, NATO announced sharp reductions in some joint operations in training with the Afghan army and police. The announcement followed a series of so-called green on blue attacks, where Afghan soldiers and police killed U.S. and NATO troops.
Mindy Kaling says she loves romantic comedies, even though she wrote last year in The New Yorker that saying so "is essentially an admission of mild stupidity."
Her new Fox TV show, The Mindy Project — which she created, stars in, writes and runs as co-executive producer — is essentially a serialized romantic comedy, where each week, viewers can check in with the character to see how her life is going, Kaling says.
Except she hopes her show is "actually funny," she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.
New Orleans is known for being different. The trial of the man accused in the 2010 murder of "social-media celebrity Anthony Barre, better known as Messy Mya," is adding to the city's reputation.
As The Times-Picayune reports, the trial was halted Monday after the district attorney's office "got wind of a YouTube video of the 7th Ward slaying and dropped the murder charge against Jason Baptiste Hamilton in an attempt to track down the footage."
Job seekers fill out applications Aug. 21 at a construction job fair in New York. Polls show voters want the presidential candidates to provide more details on how they would reduce unemployment, change tax policy and alter government spending.
As this presidential election year was kicking off, strategists were saying the focus would be on the economy. But now — even as absentee ballots are being filled in — the candidates are still dodging details about how to improve growth.
"President Obama doesn't have a plan," says Kevin Hassett, an economic adviser to Republican candidate Mitt Romney.
Jeffrey Liebman, an economic adviser to President Obama, says Romney has revealed no plan other than "going back to the failed policies of the past decade."