October 16th Show : Blog Of The Nation On today's show, genetic testing, Al Gore and the Peace Prize debate, Thomas Paine, abstract art prodigies, and your letters.
NPR logo October 16th Show

October 16th Show

In our first hour today we'll ask you a question: How much would you want to know about your predisposition to a particular disease? Researchers at Stanford University have developed a simple blood test that could help doctors identify patients with Alzheimer's disease in its earliest stages. So if you could find out what disease you're likely to develop in your lifetime, would you want to know? Our own science guy Joe Palca is among the guests who will talk about the new blood test, and break down for us the risks and rewards of genetic testing. Following that discussion, we'll talk about Al Gore and his latest honor as Nobel Peace Prize recipient. He, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, was awarded the prize last week for his work to promote awareness of global warming... but a public debate has ensued. Many question, what does the impact of climate change have to do with war? Tell us what you think. Should Al Gore have gotten the Nobel Peace Prize?

We are joined by author Christopher Hitchens in our second hour. He'll discuss his latest book entitled, Thomas Paine's Rights of Man, and Paine's influence on the concept of human rights and the French and American revolution. Thomas Paine's The Rights of Man is the latest in a series from the Atlantic Monthly Press on Books that Changed the World. After that, we'll ask Los Angeles Times columist Meghan Daum if it is in fact possible to be an abstract-painting prodigy at age four? Daum wrote an article called "Art as Child's Play" where she explores whether or not we can and should include our adorable, small-fingered friends in the very adult world of serious art. At the end of the hour we will read from listener emails and blogs about steroids and sports, parents at their wit's end, and your picks for the song that defines America.