August 31st: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, the political junkie, and the "therapeutic" effect of class reunions. In the second hour, the potential costs and benefits of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline, and the changing trend in the college roommate.
NPR logo August 31st: What's On Today's Show

August 31st: What's On Today's Show

It's high school reunion season, and around the country people are coming up with all kinds of reasons not to go. Columnist Clarence Page says it's time to get over your fears, and just go already. Commons hide caption

toggle caption Commons

The Political Junkie
Recent polls show Rick Perry overtaking Mitt Romney as the front runner in the GOP field for president in 2012. Despite their leads, Texas Republican Rep. Ron Paul says he's "in it to win" — and took a close second in the Iowa Straw Poll. In his third bid for the White House, Paul's running stronger than ever, in large part because his supporters say he was the tea party candidate before the tea party existed. Political junkie Ken Rudin and host Neal Conan will speak with presidential candidate Ron Paul. The two will also recap the week in politics, from the release of Dick Cheney's memoir to the Phoenix mayoral race.

Class Reunions
For many people, high school is a time they would rather not revisit. In a column for for The Chicago Tribune, columnist Clarence Page admits, "It took some of us 20 years to work up enough nerve to show up at a class reunion." But, he argues, "Reunions have a therapeutic value. They prove how right your parents were when they assured you, back in the throes of teen angst, that time heals all wounds — and wounds all heels." Neal Conan talks with Page about why class reunions matter so much.

Keystone Pipeline
The majority of the oil used in the U.S. already comes from Canada. Now, a Canadian company called TransCanada plans to expand an existing pipeline to transport crude oil from Alberta to Texas through the central United States. The proposal has sparked debate on both sides of the border about energy security, the environment and safety. Host Neal Conan speaks with Shawn McCarthy of the Globe and Mail in Canada, Cindy Child of the American Petroleum Institute, and Danielle Droitsch of the Natural Resource Defense Council about the potential costs and benefits of the proposed Keystone XL Pipeline.

Random Roommates
Until recently, college roomates were assigned. Two students met for the first time in their dorm room and they learned how to live with one another over the course of the year. That was before the days of Facebook. Sociologist and professor, Dalton Conley, says the digital age has altered the "randomness" of roommates choices. In an op-ed in the New York Times Conley writes, "this loss of randomness is particularly unfortunate for college-age students, who should be trying on new hats and getting exposed to new and different ideas." Host Neal Conan talks with Conley about his recent opinion piece, "When Roommates Were Random" and the changing trend in the college roommate.