November 29th Show

Steve Martin i i

Actor Steve Martin attends the American Museum of Natural History's 2010 Museum Gala at the American Museum of Natural History on November 18, 2010 in New York City.  In our second hour, Martin talks about his new novel, An Object of Beauty. Michael Loccisano/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Loccisano/Getty Images
Steve Martin

Actor Steve Martin attends the American Museum of Natural History's 2010 Museum Gala at the American Museum of Natural History on November 18, 2010 in New York City.  In our second hour, Martin talks about his new novel, An Object of Beauty.

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Wikileaks
The State Department continues to work to repair the damage after Wikileaks, an organization dedicated to releasing secret documents, and a number of news organizations made public a quarter of a million diplomatic cables, many of them confidential. Among the details in the documents: Saudi Arabia and a number of other Arab states have pushed vigorously, though quietly, for more aggressive U.S. action against a nuclear Iran.  The cables also reveal sensitive discussions between the U.S. and Pakistani and Afghan leaders and report that the government of Yemen has taken credit for bombing its own country — even though it's the United States carrying out the attacks. Scott Shane of the New York Times joins guest host Tony Cox to explain what's in the documents and the possible fallout. He'll also be joined by Ronald Neumann, a career diplomat and former ambassador to Afghanistan, to explain the significance of the leaked cables.

Fighting Climate Change
Scientists and climate activists gather this week in Cancun, Mexico for the United Nations Climate Change Summit. After last year's conference in Copenhagen ended without a global agreement on carbon emissions, the goals for this year appear more limited. Participants hope to reach some consensus on climate change and how to address it.  Activist Bjorn Lomborg argues that most government spending on climate change is wasted money and we still have a long way to go to find sensible solutions. Lomborg joins guest host Tony Cox on the Opinion Page to talk about some of the simple solutions that he argues could be done now, and his new film, Cool It.

Steve Martin: An Object of Beauty
Steve Martin is best known for his comedy: from his early days doing guest appearances on Saturday Night Live to starring roles in The Jerk, LA Story, Roxanne, Parenthood, Father of the Bride, and many others. He's also a screenwriter, a Grammy-winning bluegrass artist, a playwright, a novelist, and an accomplished art collector. That's the backdrop for his new novel, An Object of Beauty. Martin channels an ambitious young woman navigating her way up — and out of — the shiny New York City art world. Steve Martin joins host Tony Cox to talk about his new novel, his own role in the world of art collecting, and the process of pursuing one's creative passions.

Information Overload
It is a constant complaint — in the digital age, we're practically choking on information.  The amount of data we come across on the Web has reached mind boggling proportions, and the flood shows no signs of stopping.  But wait, says Ann Blair, history professor at Harvard — this is not a new condition.  Information overload has been part of the human experience for centuries.  We'll talk to her about the long history of managing information, and what we can learn from our past to catalog our future.

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