February 7th Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, what makes revolutions likely to succeed, and violence in football. In our second hour, new guidelines on food allergies, and the mind of the crowd.
NPR logo February 7th Show

February 7th Show

What Makes A Revolution Succeed?
Egypt's government continues to hold on to power after two weeks of sometimes violent protests. History offers a guide to what makes a revolution more likely to succeed — or fail. Iran's popular uprising, for example, succeeded in 1979 but fizzled in 2010. Protesters recently pushed out the government in Tunisia, but China crushed the uprising in Tiananmen Square. Host Neal Conan will speak with Columbia University historian Simon Schama and the Brookings Institution's Shadi Hamid about the protests in Egypt and the lessons of previous revolutions.

The Opinion Page
Last night's Super Bowl officially ended the NFL season, but not the debate over violent hits on the football field. A number of recent reports have focused on the dangers of concussions and other severe injuries. Daily Beast sports columnist Buzz Bissinger once opposed the violent nature of football. But the author of Friday Night Lights has changed his mind. He now argues that cutting violence out of football is not an option and there are only two paths left: acceptance, or abolishment of the game itself. On today's Opinion Page, Bissinger talks about why he believes football needs violence.

New Guidelines On Food Allergies
Some 10 to 12 million people in the United States suffer from a food allergy, according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. And the number is growing. A person's reaction to foods such as peanuts, milk, and eggs can range in severity from a skin breakout, to anaphylaxis, and even result in death. Diagnosis and treatment can be difficult. People sometimes misrepresent their own symptoms and diagnostic tests administered by physicians may be used incorrectly. Neal Conan talks with Matthew Fenton of the NIAID, Dr. Hemant Sharma of the Children's National Medical Center, and Julia Bradsher of the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network about the new guidelines for physicians diagnosing and managing food allergies.

We move through crowds everyday: in subway stations, at sporting events, on city blocks, through grocery stores aisles and retail stores. Occasionally, crowds turn violent, with shoppers rushing a Wal-Mart at Christmas or concert-goers stampeding the ticket booth at a rock show. New Yorker staff writer John Seabrook looked at the dynamics of crowds and joins host Neal Conan to discuss his article, Annals of Disaster: When large crows assemble, is there a way to keep them safe?