July 22nd Show : Blog Of The Nation In our first hour, jobless benefits, and best pep talk movies.  In our second hour, Alcoholics Anonymous' 75th anniversary, and Hans Zimmer on "Inception."
NPR logo July 22nd Show

July 22nd Show

Alcoholics Anonymous marks 75 years.  In our second hour, guests talk about the history of the 12-step program. JesseMenn/Flickr hide caption

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Alcoholics Anonymous marks 75 years.  In our second hour, guests talk about the history of the 12-step program.


Jobless Benefits: Help Or Handout?
The number of Americans filing unemployment claims jumped higher at the end of last week. The Department of Labor says that new claims rose by thirty seven thousand, and millions of people continue to look for jobs. Today, the House is set to pass an unemployment extension bill that will bring some relief to those whose benefits ran out in June. Some critics say the extension of benefits is too much and it encourages people to game the system. Others believe the money should be spent on a stimulus while the economy is still trying to recover and jobs cannot be found. Guests explain how long is too long for unemployment benefits.

Summer Movies: Best Pep Talk
Backstage before your big debut, in the locker room at half time when the home team's loosing or on your way into battle - outnumbered 10 to one - its the make or break moment.  And just as the music starts to swell someone steps forward to say a few words. It's the pep-talk and it's this week's theme for the Talk of the Nation summer movie series with movie buff Murray Horwitz.

Does AA Really Work?
Seventy-five years ago, Bill Wilson, a failed stockbroker and hard drinker, had a vision of God in a hospital room and created what came to be known as Alcoholics Anonymous. The organization, based on a twelve-step plan, uses ideas from religion and philosophy to support drinkers from all walks of life as they try to kick the habit. No one knows exactly how it works, or how well. Not everyone who tries Alcoholics Anonymous quits drinking... not even a majority. But contemporary medicine has yet to conceive a plan that works better.  Brendan Koerner of Wired Magazine and others talk about the movement, and whether or not Alcoholics Anonymous works for everyone.

Hans Zimmer Scores Inception
Composer Hans Zimmer has scored over 100 Hollywood films in his impressive twenty-six year career. His movies range from Rain Man and Thelma & Louise, to The DaVinci Code and The Dark Knight.  And in 1994, Zimmer won an Academy Award for Best Original Score for the The Lion King. His latest work?  The dream invasion sci-fi thriller Inception, which currently holds the number one spot at the movie box office.  Zimmer talks about creating music for blockbuster films, and the process of integrating electronic sounds with a full orchestra.