March 24th Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, the secrets of longevity, and the state of black marriage. In the second hour, imagining the U.S. without nuclear power, and escalating protests in Yemen.
NPR logo March 24th Show

March 24th Show

In a new book called The Longevity Project, the authors explain that that women significantly outlive men around the world, though the reasons are comlicated. In our first hour, the authors share surprising secrets of longevity, based on eighty years of research. hide caption

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The Secrets To A Long Life
To live a long life, we've been told to eat well and exercise, don't worry too much and maintain a positive outlook. Now an eight-decade study shows that much of the advice we hear may be wrong. Health scientists Howard Friedman and Leslie Martin compiled the research and explain who lives longer and happier lives, and how factors like social connections, personality, and marriage affect longevity. Guest host Jennifer Ludden talks with Friedman and Martin about their new book, The Longevity Project: Surprising Discoveries for Health and Long Life from the Landmark Eight Decade Study.

The State Of Black Marriage
Sunday marks the ninth annual Black Marriage Day. Marriage activists in hundreds of communities around the country will gather to "strengthen and promote marriage in the black community," which has been on a sharp decline. In November, a Pew Research Center study reported that in 2008, 72 percent of black women giving birth were unmarried, higher than any other ethnic group and up from 38 percent in 1970. Guest host Jennifer Ludden talks with Richard Reddick, co-author of A New Look at Black Families about the practice and perception of marriage in the African American community.

Do We Need Nuclear Power?
As Japan struggles to contain its nuclear crisis, countries around the world are reconsidering their use of nuclear energy. After planning to extend the life of its nuclear power plants last year, Germany's Angela Merkel has now imposed a moratorium on nuclear power in that country, and hopes to phase out nuclear energy for good. Switzerland and Taiwan are also reconsidering their nuclear energy plans. While the Obama administration continues to support nuclear power as a clean energy source, the crisis in Japan has many questioning the safety of U.S. nuclear plants. But could the U.S. live without nuclear power? Michael Levi, senior fellow for energy at and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Frank Zeman, director of the Center for Metropolitan Sustainability at the New York Institute of Technology, examine what it might mean for consumers, renewable energy and climate change if the U.S. were to abandon nuclear power.

Escalating Protests In Yemen
Yemeni protesters are calling for the immediate resignation of long-time ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh, an important U.S. ally in the war on terror. He's agreed to step down by the end of this year, but that isn't appeasing the anti-government activists. After weeks of largely peaceful protests, government forces killed about 50 people this week. On Monday, one of President Saleh's military leaders defected. But protesters remain skeptical of the move, saying it amounts to nothing more than a power play. Gregory Johnsen, a Fulbright Hayes fellow and Yemen scholar, will explain what's driving the protests and where they might lead with guest host Jennifer Ludden.