October 19th: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, the political junkie, and lessons on urban design from the blind. In the second hour, the happiest places on Earth, and the World Series 2011.
NPR logo October 19th: What's On Today's Show

October 19th: What's On Today's Show

In our second hour, author Dan Buettner talks about the happiest places on Earth and what factors improve the lives of its residents.

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The Political Junkie
After six weeks of debates and fluctuations in the polls, the Republican presidential hopefuls look to dramatically shift focus to their ground game in the coming weeks. Each candidate must organize offices in the early voting states, rack up endorsements, raise money and meet voters face-to-face. Republican strategist Mike Murphy, who was a senior strategist to the presidential campaign of Senator John McCain, will join host Neal Conan and political junkie Ken Rudin to talk about the next phase of the campaign and who's best positioned to pull ahead of the pack. The two will also recap the week in politics, from the president's campaign swing through North Carolina and Virginia, to the jumbled primary calendar.

Blind Urban Design
Many college campuses install emergency telephones marked with flashing blue lights. They won't help students like Claudia Folska. She's blind. Folska is pursuing a dual doctorate in urban design and cognitive studies and is working with the city of Denver to make the area more navigable — adding a sound component to the booths, for example. Folska believes that "when our cities are easily navigable for the blind, we will have created a place that is safe and navigable for everyone." Host Neal Conan talks with Folska about the simple design changes that could benefit us all.

Finding Happiness
Many people believe happiness comes from money, or youth or beauty. Dan Buettner found some of the happiest places on Earth and argues the real key to happiness comes from smaller, permanent changes in the way we live. During a five-year study, the National Geographic Fellow located the world's happiest places — in Denmark, Singapore, Mexico, and California — and researched the characteristics those areas shared that improved the lives of residents. Buettner lays out his findings in his latest book, Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way.

World Series 2011
The St. Louis Cardinals host game one of the World Series tonight against the Texas Rangers. The two teams are well-matched and fans expect a hard-fought series. It's the second World Series appearance in a row for the Rangers, who've never won the title. The Cardinals, under the guidance of manager Tony La Russa, hope to win their 11th World Series title. Host — and die hard Yankees fan — Neal Conan talks with a columnist from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and an editor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about what fans in both cities are looking for from their teams.