June 1st: What's On Today's Show

Originally published on June 1, 2011 2:43 pm

The Political Junkie
Lawmakers across the country are battling over the boundaries of voting districts in the wake of the latest census. Redistricting is complex and almost always contentious as each party jockeys for political advantage. In Texas, Governor Rick Perry is keeping the legislature in Austin for a special session. State lawmakers are scrambling to come up with a new Congressional map to accommodate the four new seats the Lone Star state picks up. In this hour host Neal Conan and political junkie Ken Rudin speak with Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News about the politics of redistricting in Texas. The two will also recap the week in politics, from the latest presidential contenders to the vote on the debt ceiling and budget to Sarah Palin's bus tour of the East Coast.

Bring Back My Favorite TV Show
Attorney General Eric Holder pleaded yesterday for the creators of the celebrated HBO series The Wire to make one more season "at a minimum", or at least a movie. He joins the ranks of the pained and bereft viewers who wonder, with all the lousy programs on TV, why can't my favorite show be resurrected? Host Neal Conan takes listener suggestions of the one show they would like to put back on the air.

'The Power of Music'
Science now all but confirms what many suspected for decades — humans are hard-wired, to some degree, to respond to music. In recent years, new technology and research provided scientific evidence that music affects our brains and moods. Studies suggest that someday music may even help patients heal from Parkinson's or stroke. In her new book, Elena Mannes tackles many questions about the science of music: How do different sounds affect different groups of people? What parts of the brain are activated by music? What role can music play in therapy and health care? Host Neal Conan talks with Ani Patel, president of the Society for Music Perception, and with Mannes about the science of song and her new book, The Power of Music.

Arab Spring Reading List
The Arab Spring continues to reverberate throughout North Africa and the Middle East. An uneasy truce came to a violent end this week in Yemen. Government forces battled tribesmen in the streets of the capital in fighting that left dozens dead. In Libya, NATO continues air strikes as Col. Moammar Gadhafi refuses to leave. Brutal government crackdowns persist in Syria and Bahrain, as Tunisia and Egypt navigate complicated post-revolution waters. Each uprising is unique, and each country's history presents challenges and opportunities. To help better understand the uprisings, host Neal Conan takes suggestions on what to read in an Arab Spring reading list.

Fistfight On A Plane
A pair of F-16 fighter jets escorted a United Airlines flight back to Dulles Airport in Washington, DC on Sunday. The reason — a fistfight in the cabin. One passenger reportedly pressed the recline button, which annoyed the guy sitting behind him. That passenger, in turn, slapped him. Punches were thrown, a flight attendant and another passenger jumped in to break it up, and the pilot turned the jet around. It's a scene that's all too familiar to many flight attendants who work every day among people dealing with the stress of air travel on top of the pressures of everyday life. Host Neal Conan talks with Scott McCartney, The Middle Seat columnist for The Wall Street Journal about how to handle stress and etiquette on airplanes.

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