December 13, 2001

Todd talks with linguist Mark Baker about the components and rules of languages, and how each language is merely a variation of a set of rules. He explains that modifying the recipe for a language slightly will produce one that sounds drastically different. His book is "The Atoms of Language: The Mind's Hidden Rules of Grammar".

New research indicates that mothers today feel their daughters are more successful than they were at that age. Conducted by Deborah Carr, a sociologist at the University of Michigan, the study finds that moms think their daughters have achieved better success in their jobs, but not in their personal lives.

The landmarks and buildings Americans have created speak volumes about the culture and people. Historian James Tobin talks with Todd about how American landmarks define the country's progress and achievement. He explains how the US has changed over time, and how we can learn about the past from the buildings and inventions. His book is "Great Projects: The Epic Story of the Building of American, from the Taming of the Mississippi to the Invention of the Internet".