December 31st Show : Blog Of The Nation Today's Talk: Big philosophical questions, Iran, Ellen Goodman bids her column adieu, and New Year's superstions.
NPR logo December 31st Show

December 31st Show

Sarah swears by black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Year's Day. nep/Flickr hide caption

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Sarah swears by black-eyed peas and collard greens on New Year's Day.


What Big Questions Challenge You?
There are questions, and then, there are BIG questions: Like, how do I know right from wrong? Why is the Universe here? And why does my computer hate me!? Steven Landsburg's got answers — and prepare yourself — it's all about logic, physics, and math. His book is called The Big Questions, and fortunately, he's got answers.

What's Behind Unrest In Iran
2009 has been a tumultuous year for the Islamic government of Iran. Government forces continue to clash with the opposition over the controversial election this past June, and protests earlier this week ended in bloodshed. But as the chant of the crowds becomes louder, it is still unclear exactly what is dividing the country. NPR's foreign correspondent Mike Shuster gives us an update on what is really going on in Iran.

Exit Interview: Columnist Ellen Goodman
Ellen Goodman started out as a young reporter covering the women's movement. Now, the Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist is retiring, and looking back at the story she's covered most consistently over the last forty years: women. We'll talk to Ellen Goodman about her life and her career, and NPR's Susan Stamberg will join us too.

What Are Your New Year Superstitions?
I'm fortunate to attend, most years, a January 1 black-eyed peas party, wherein the fabulous hostess prepares the legumes in such a wide variety of dishes that even the most devoted legume-hater will pop in a mouthful of luck. All around the world, tonight and tomorrow, quiet folks and revelers will partake in their own year ending/year beginning rituals. Be they religious or superstitious, what are yours?