October 12: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, the political junkie, and screening and treating prostate cancer. In the second hour, the life of Mary Boleyn, and the art and science of creating a successful brand name.
NPR logo October 12: What's On Today's Show

October 12: What's On Today's Show

How are brand names created? In our second hour, we'll explain how brand names can make or break the success of a new product.

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The Political Junkie
Last night's GOP debate in New Hampshire focused on the economy, and most analysts declare Mitt Romney the winner. Still months away from the first votes, the former Massachusetts governor appears to be regaining his footing as the front runner. After Texas Governor Rick Perry's stumbles in the previous debate, Romney's closest rival is now Herman Cain, the former pizza executive who proposed his 9-9-9 tax plan. Former New Hampshire Republican Chairman Fergus Cullen joins host Neal Conan and guest political junkie Ron Elving to break down last night's debate in Hanover, NH.

Rethinking Prostate Screening
For years, many men relied on a routine blood test to screen for prostate cancer. Now, a group of medical experts argues that PSA tests cause more harm then good. The U.S. Preventive Service Task Force recommended against screening for most healthy men, concluding that it causes too much anxiety and leads to unnecessarily aggressive treatment including surgery. Many doctors and patients say they will continue the PSA test, arguing that while it may cause some anxiety and risk unneeded treatments, it can also save lives. Host Neal Conan talks with Tara Parker-Pope, the editor of The New York Times's Well blog about what the new recommendation on screening and treating prostate cancer means for patients and their doctors.

Mary Boleyn: The Other Boleyn Girl
The story of Anne Boleyn has been told again and again — the Queen of England, second wife of King Henry VIII, she was ultimately charged with treason, incest and adultery and beheaded. Her older sister, Mary, has been a footnote in history until recently when books, TV shows and movies like The Other Boleyn Girl shed more light on the Tudor dynasty of 16th century England. Author and historian Alison Weir has written the first full biography of Mary Boleyn, using fragmentary source material to construct a "rigorous assessment of what we know — and don't know" about her life. Weir talks with host Neal Conan about the life of a woman known as "the great and infamous whore" and why this 500-year-old tale is still so captivating today.

The Art And Science Of Brand Names
There's a reason that BlackBerry device in your pocket isn't called a StrawBerry — the word "straw" sounded too slow. A product may be useful and appealing in its own right, but the brand name can make or break its success. In a piece for The New Yorker, staff writer John Colapinto profiles a firm, Lexicon, that's dedicated to matching new products with the right brand names. Companies including Coca-Cola and Intel have turned to Lexicon to come up with Dasani and Pentium, both very successful products. Neal Conan talks with John Colapinto about the art and science of creating brand names.