November 14th: What's On Today's Show : Blog Of The Nation In the first hour of Talk of the Nation, what happens to a one-company town when the major employer shutters, and inventor Dean Kamen explains the best way to create jobs. In the second hour, author David Bellos explains the art of translation, and J.J. Abrams on his latest show.
NPR logo November 14th: What's On Today's Show

November 14th: What's On Today's Show

In today's second hour, David Bellos talks about his new book and explains why the way we see the world depends largely on the words we use to describe it. hide caption

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When The Company Leaves A Company Town
Huntsville, Alabama is known to many as "Rocket City." For decades, NASA engineers built rockets and children came for space camp. Nearly half of the city's jobs are connected to space and defense funding. Now, with NASA and the Pentagon facing significant cuts, Huntsville faces an uncertain future. And the city is not alone. In 2007, Newton, Iowa faced its own struggle to redefine itself when Maytag, the town's major employer for more than a century, was bought by Whirlpool and laid off thousands of workers. Guest host John Donvan talks with the mayors of Huntsville and Newton about what happens when a city's major employer cuts way back or disappears, and the difficult choices their cities faced.

Opinion: The Wrong Focus On Creating Jobs
The Obama administration is set to make up to 1 billion dollars available to train and hire health care workers. It's the latest effort to get companies hiring again and help lower the 9 percent unemployment rate. Republicans and democrats alike are focused on one major issue: Jobs. But inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen argues they're missing the bigger picture. To kick-start the economy, he says, requires passion, innovation and risk. Kamen joins guest host John Donvan on the Opinion Page to talk about his argument that the best way to create jobs and spur the economy is to cultivate innovation.

When Did You Get Lost In Translation?
There's a word for light blue and a word for dark or navy blue in the Russian language, but no word for a general shade of blue. When a translator is tasked with translating English "blue" into Russian, he or she must choose which shade to use. It's hard to imagine that this particular choice would have any serious implications, but translators constantly work to translate concepts with words in another language that have no exact match. In his new book, Is That a Fish in Your Ear?" David Bellos explores the history, the future and the complexity of translation — from the tangled web of simultaneous translation at the United Nations, to movie subtitles and the text on ATM screens. Guest host John Donvan talks with Bellos, director of the program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University, about the art of translation and what's lost — and gained — in the process.

'Lost' Creator J.J. Abrams' Latest
The new CBS crime drama Person of Interest tells the story of two men who help stop crimes before they happen, based on information they've gathered from a surveillance database originally created to catch terrorist acts before they occur. The show is produced by J.J. Abrams, the same man who created the hit show Lost. "Person of Interest" has been praised for its premise and for raising questions about the role of surveillance in a society struggling to confront terrorism. Guest host John Donvan speaks with Person of Interest creator Jonathan Nolan and executive producer J.J. Abrams about the series and the effect they hope it will have on viewers.