This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan broadcasting today from the University of Missouri St. Louis at Grand Center, home of St. Louis Public Radio. T.S. Eliot, who grew up here, wrote a poem about the Mississippi, which flows about three miles from here.
President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney face off in Denver Wednesday for the first of three presidential debates. The president continues to hold a slight lead in many swing states, but Romney's been able to close the gap in the weeks since the conventions.
Over the last few years, singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter's life has been drastically transformed. In 2007, she suffered a life-threatening pulmonary embolism, her marriage ended soon after and, in the fall of 2011, her father died.
After those experiences, she tells NPR's Neal Conan, grief became a companion — but also a guide, a presence that dictated her outlook on life. The Grammy-winning artist channeled those emotions into her latest album, Ashes and Roses.
I have a quibble with the title of David Skinner's new book, The Story of Ain't. In fact, that pariah contraction plays only a supporting role in the story. The book is really an account of one of the oddest episodes in American cultural history, the brouhaha over the appearance of Merriam-Webster's Third International Dictionary in 1961.
Originally published on Wed October 3, 2012 1:19 pm
For a short period, yesterday, the hunt was on in Pinellas County, Florida for a lady photographed riding a manatee.
The sheriff's department called a deadly serious press conference in which they asked the help of the public in identifying the perpetrator. The lady was wearing a white cap, red shorts and a black bikini top. Witnesses in the area, the sheriff said in a statement, took photographs and contacted police.