August 17th: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, the political junkie, and filmmaker John Sayles talks about his movie, Amigo. In the second hour, Thomas Vander Ven talks about the consequences of binge drinking and his book, Getting Wasted, and an update on the conflict in Libya.
NPR logo August 17th: What's On Today's Show

August 17th: What's On Today's Show

Beer pong, keggers, frat parties — drinking has become almost synonymous with college life in America, says sociologist Thomas Vander Ven. In his new book, Getting Wasted: Why College Students Drink Too Much and Party So Hard, he attempts to find out why. Bill Oxford/ hide caption

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Bill Oxford/

Political Junkie
The GOP field for president lost one candidate and gained one in the same weekend. Former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty called it quits after taking third in the Iowa Straw Poll, while current Texas Governor Rick Perry said he sees a chance. He announced his intent to run from South Carolina. Former speech writer to President George W. Bush Michael Gerson joins host Neal Conan and guest political junkie Ron Elving to talk about electability and "purity tests" in the GOP nominating contest. The two will also recap the week in politics, from President Barack Obama kicking off his campaign tour in the Midwest to the final recalls in the Badger State.

Indie director John Sayles' new movie, Amigo, looks at a largely unknown period in American history — the Philippine-American War. Set at the beginning of the 20th century, it's not a flattering look. We'll talk to him about what he learned making the movie, and parallels to current wars.

Getting Wasted
Binge drinking in college is nothing new. Many students party hard and suffer the consequences, yet repeat their actions despite repercussions. Ohio University professor Thomas Vander Ven wanted to find out why. In a new book, he compiles hundreds drinking stories and argues that the practice of collective intoxication is loaded with emotional payoffs and satisfying interactions. Host Neal Conan talks with Vander Ven about his new book, Getting Wasted: Why College Students Drunk Too Much and Party So Hard.

Libya Update
As Libyan rebels battle Moammar Ghadafi's forces for control of a key oil town near Tripoli, a close aide of the embattled leader has defected to Egypt. Host Neal Conan talks with George Joffe, research fellow at the Center of International Studies at Cambridge University, about whether this is a turning point in the conflict.