August 2nd: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, how to budget for the good of the next generation. In the second hour, new ways to watch TV, why we loathe left turns.
NPR logo August 2nd: What's On Today's Show

August 2nd: What's On Today's Show

Ten million motor vehicle accidents happen every year. Many of them while making a left turn. In today's 2nd hour, Tom Vanderbilt proposes a new kind of intersection that eliminates traditional left turns. Ellen Wass Beckerman/ hide caption

toggle caption
Ellen Wass Beckerman/

Debt And The Next Generation
The Senate votes today on the compromise agreement to cut federal spending and raise the debt limit. President Obama plans to sign the measure into law as soon as it reaches his desk. In a recent op-ed in USA Today, President Obama wrote that the debt debate offers the chance to "secure a better future for our children." But there's intense debate over what that means. Some argue we owe it to the next generation to sacrifice and pay down our debts. Others insist we owe them fully funded education, retirement and other programs. Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson and Lisa Mensah, executive director of the Aspen Institute's Initiative on Financial Security, join host Tony Cox to tackle the question of how to budget for the good of the next generation. NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving will also join us with the latest on the debt deal.

How We Watch Television
The days where everyone watched the same program at the same time are gone — primetime is everywhere, all the time. DVR, Blu-ray, game consoles — all have made more and more people decide that maybe this is the year to cut the cable. Internet TV options are boundless — Netflix, Hulu, Amazon — and have even made piracy less of an issue. Guest host Tony Cox talks about how YOU watch TV — and where — with Slate technology correspondent Farhad Manjoo and other guests.

Banish Left Turns
Roughly 10 million motor vehicle accidents are reported on the roads every year. Regular drivers may not be surprised to hear that many of them come while making a left turn. Traffic engineers have come up with alternatives to the standard four-way intersection, but most still involve crossing directly in front of another moving vehicle. In a piece for, transportation columnist Tom Vanderbilt proposes a solution — the diverging diamond interchange. Traffic lanes "criss cross" at a traffic signal and drivers never turn across moving traffic. Guest host Tony Cox talks with Vanderbilt about why left turns are so dangerous, what many people do to avoid them and the proposal for an intersection that eliminates left turns altogether.