Arts/Culture

History
10:46 am
Fri August 22, 2014

A 9,000-Pound Alarm: The Hartford Fire Bell

City of Hartford fire alarm bell, made by the Jones & Co. Troy Bell Foundry, 1881.
Connecticut Historical Society collection, gift of the Hartford Board of Fire Commissioners, 1931.14.0

Visitors to the Connecticut Historical Society might notice a massive bronze bell resting quietly outside at the corner of the Asylum Street parking lot. This behemoth weighs more than four tons, and once played a very loud role in the city. From 1881 to 1921, it towered over the headquarters of the Hartford Fire Department at 43 Pearl Street, warning residents of fire and sending firefighters out to save lives.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:09 am
Fri August 22, 2014

The Nose Faked Its Own Wedding to Avoid Death

Theresa Cramer is a writer and the editor of E-Content Magazine, where she covers the world of digital media
Chion Wolf WNPR

Presidents and their vacations are a chronic paradox. The job is way too hard and pressure-laden to do without occasional breaks. The job is also so important, that breaks always seem a little self-indulgent, and they're barely even breaks. The nuclear football is never far from the basketball hoop, and all the other duties of office follow you right onto the sailboat. President Obama taking some heat right now for playing golf while on vacation, right after processing and speaking about the tragic murder of James Foley. This is a little bit about a presidential vacation, and a little bit about this particular president, who frequently stands accused of having a peculiarly icy set of emotional reactions.

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Television
3:30 am
Fri August 22, 2014

TV's New Doctor Who Has An Old Connection To The Series

Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman star as The Doctor and Clara Oswald on the BBC science fiction drama Doctor Who.
Ray Burmiston/Ali BBC America

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 3:02 pm

TV's longest-running science fiction program is about to get a new hero ... sort of.

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New Concert Venue
4:34 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Infinity Hall Opens in Hartford

Inside Infinity Hall Hartford
Jeff Cohen WNPR

Downtown Hartford now has a new music venue, as Thursday was the grand opening of the Infinity Music Hall and Bistro. 

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Remembrance
3:01 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Remembering Jazz Violinist John Blake Jr.

John Blake Jr.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 11:30 am

For decades, John Blake Jr. created a rare role for the violin within the jazz of his eras. A versatile player, he worked memorably with Archie Shepp, Grover Washington Jr., and McCoy Tyner. He released several solo recordings. He taught in conservatories and mentored many outside the classroom.

Blake died Friday, Aug. 15 from complications due to multiple myeloma, according to his family. He was 67.

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Public Office
3:00 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

U.S. Diplomatic Cable Puts Chill On ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro accepted the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge." Soon after, the State Department warned that participation by high-profile diplomats was a violation of internal policy.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 3:30 pm

Don't expect Secretary of State John Kerry to accept the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" anytime soon: Lawyers at the State Department have banned high-profile U.S. diplomats from participating in the fundraising phenomenon that has swept social media in recent weeks.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:39 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

The Compumanities: Technology's Foray into the Arts

Credit Katy Tresseder / Flickr: Creative Commons

Poetry, prose, sculpture, painting and music composition: Humanity's final frontiers beyond which no computer will ever go... right? Perhaps not. As technology advances and the dawn of true A.I. draws near, Machines are usurping creative domains once thought to be solely the province of man. 

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Memorial Concert
1:40 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Outdoor Concert Celebrates the Life and Career of Tenor Sergio Franchi

Sergio and Eva Franchi.
sergiofranchi.com

This weekend marks the 20th annual Sergio Franchi Memorial Concert on the grounds of the late tenor's estate in Stonington.

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The Faith Middleton
10:18 am
Thu August 21, 2014

New Yorker Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff

Credit For Inspiration Only/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: He wrote one of the greatest cartoon lines ever, a sentence that rocketed through the country like a speeding train: How about never—is never good for you?

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Television
2:30 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Prepare For 'The Simpsons' Marathon With Interviews From The 'Fresh Air' Archives

Starting Thursday, FXX will air all 552 episodes of The Simpsons in the longest single-series marathon in TV history.
AP

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 2:10 pm

If you've ever been a fan of The Simpsons, here's your chance to see all 552 episodes of the show in the longest single-series marathon in TV history. They'll be shown back to back, in sequential order, over 12 days and nights on the FXX cable network beginning Thursday.

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Jazz Corridor
1:43 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Adventurous Singer Kavita Shah's Fresh Take on World Music at Side Door Jazz Club

Kavita Shah

An artist of many parts, Kavita Shah, an ascending, young singer/songwriter of Indian descent, applies her keen, empathetic intelligence, ethereally beautiful voice and adventurous spirit by using global music and multi-cultural influences as sources of inspiration for expressing her personal and cultural identity on her adventurous debut album aptly titled Visions.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:13 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Happy 25th, Seinfeld!

Credit Steve Harris / Creative Commons

Pop culture is ephemeral.

People eventually lose interest in music and television shows once a new fad surfaces and piques their interests. Not so for Seinfeld. It is still relevant after 25 years for a whole new generation of viewers.

But, it wasn't always that way. In the beginning, it didn’t test well with audiences. It had weak ratings, bad scheduling and creative differences. It survived under the wing of a lone NBC executive who believed in the show's emphasis on characters who felt like family.

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The Food Schmooze
10:05 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Foil Packet Velvet Steamed Salmon with Razzle Dazzle Sauce

Credit Credit Renée S. Suen/flickr creative commons

 Your family has a hankering--a yen for chicken tikka masala or queso fundido, for shrimp pad Thai or a Philly cheese steak--and they want it bad. So you decide to eat out at a local ethnic or roadside restaurant, or do a take-out. It's expedient, but is the food really good? Really, really good? Because Lucinda Scala Quinn's versions of all those dishes families crave will knock your socks off and prove beyond a doubt that the foods you love can be made better, faster, tastier, cheaper, and more healthfully at home. We tried her recipe for a velvety salmon using an aluminum foil packet. Fantastic! 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:52 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Cupcakes, Cronuts, and the Future of Food Trends

Chris Prosperi, chef and co-owner of Metro Bis restaurant in Simsbury
Chion Wolff

Here's my theory just in case I don't get a chance to say it during the show: I think food has become more like sports. People kind of root for things. Ted Allen and Anthony Bourdain are more like sport stars than people whom you would seek out for actual cooking information. People go to Chelsea Market just because they know the Food Network is somewhere upstairs. And, because of that, there's a lot more pressure on food to be exciting. When you pick up the sports pages you want news, not just the same old same old. So, driven by that pulse and a group of media engines that flow alongside it, we always have new things to cheer for. Yay bacon salt! Go gastropubs! Today on the show: where food trends come from and why they succeed, or fail. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:45 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Moments That Made the Movies

Credit Dennis Skley/flickr creative commons

Note: The web version of today's show (posted all the way at the bottom here) includes full, unedited, and unexpurgated film clips (which include some adult language) and runs more than four minutes longer than the show we did live on the air in January.

From Faith Middleton: If you saw When Harry Met Sally…, there was a wry, riveting exchange between the two main characters, Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal, sitting at a restaurant table, causing an observing customer to say, "I'll have what she's having."

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Saturday Night Live
1:53 am
Tue August 19, 2014

Iconic TV Announcer Don Pardo Dies At 96

Frazer Harrison Getty Images

Originally published on Tue August 19, 2014 3:59 pm

Fans of Saturday Night Live and the original versions of The Price is Right and Jeopardy! recognize Don Pardo's voice immediately.

They may not be able to identify his face, but his voice was famous.

Pardo died Monday in Tucson, Ariz. He was 96 years old.

An NBC spokesman confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that he died in his sleep.

Pardo began working for NBC in 1944 and stayed with the network for 60 years.

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Television
11:52 am
Mon August 18, 2014

4 More Things NBC Must Do To Save 'Meet The Press'

Chuck Todd (left) and David Gregory appear together on NBC's Meet the Press in 2008.
Alex Wong Getty Images for Meet the Press

Originally published on Mon August 18, 2014 6:45 pm

In keeping with its recent tradition of drawn-out, publicly humiliating anchor switches, NBC has finally admitted it is replacing Meet the Press host David Gregory with the network's political director, Chuck Todd, on Sept. 7.

The switch had been rumored for months, as it became increasingly obvious that the Gregory-led Meet the Press was sinking in the ratings and failing to set the news agenda in ways it did when the late Tim Russert was at the helm. Gregory took over the show in 2008 after Russert's sudden death.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:19 am
Mon August 18, 2014

The Unfolding Evolution of Origami

Robert J. Lang's Yellow Jacket.
Credit Terri D'Arcangelo

How do you make a 100 meter telescope that folds down to 3 meters so you can tuck it inside a space vehicle? How do you make a heart stent that folds out inside the human body? In each case, researchers have turned to masters of origami, the thousand year-old art of paper folding.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Remembering Great Books

Credit David Masters/flickr creative commons

If you're in search of great reads, here's a list to get you started. Gina Barreca joins Faith to talk about the books many of us have forgotten about.  

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WAMC News
9:44 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Big E Fair Set For Annual September Run

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 10:21 am

The state fair season is approaching and details have been announced for the largest fair in the Northeast. 

The Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts will include an exhibit on the 50th anniversary of the New York World’s Fair. Entertainment headliners include ZZ Top, Darius Rucker and Little Big Town. New fun foods and different concessions will be on the fair grounds.   Big E President Gene Cassidy said last year’s record attendance of nearly 1.5 million people made it the fifth largest fair in North America.       

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Here and Now
3:03 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Malls On The Decline Find New Ways To Stay Relevant

In addition to traditional shopping mall attractions like shops, restaurants, and movie theaters, the largest U.S. mall -- the Mall of America -- also includes an amusement park, an aquarium, and several museum exhibit spaces. (Jeremy Noble/Flickr)

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 7:14 pm

Shopping malls are a part of American culture — people go to malls to socialize, eat and, of course, buy. But as purchases are increasingly just a click away online, malls have been losing money.

NPR’s Sonari Glinton has been reporting a series on shopping malls across America, and he joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss why some malls are doing better than others, and the creative new ideas that some malls are adopting to attract customers.

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History
1:23 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Curtis Veeder’s Other House

Dedication Plaque located at the entrance to Penwood State Park.
Will Conard-Malley

While Curtis Veeder’s house at One Elizabeth Street in Hartford has been preserved as the home of the Connecticut Historical Society, that structure was not Veeder’s only house. About 1911, he acquired a large tract of land straddling the town line between Bloomfield and Simsbury on Talcott Mountain, just down the ridge from Heublein Tower. There, he built a cottage that he called Penwood. The land that was once his today is Penwood State Park.

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Higher Education
10:50 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Visual and Performing Arts Center to Open Soon at WCSU in Danbury

A new School of Visual and Performing Arts will open at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.
Western Connecticut State University

Western Connecticut State University in Danbury is home to the only School of Visual and Performing Arts in the Connecticut state university system. Its proximity to New York offers a chance to attract an impressive faculty. Later this month, WestConn will open a new Visual and Performing Arts Center.

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Spotlight on the Arts
9:59 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Remembering Tireless Educator and Choreographer Elena Del Vecchio Rusnak

Elena Del Vecchio Rusnak.

Elena Del Vecchio Rusnak could take The Lovely Bones and re-imagine it as a haunting, dream-like work of modern dance.

For her biographic short on Isadora Duncan, Rusnak skillfully mixed dialogue with choreography, shaping them into a soliloquy of sound and movement that brought to life the exotic 19th-century dance icon. 

Rusnak passed away earlier this week at age 68. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri August 15, 2014

From Suburbs to Cities: Design for a Better Future

Orange County Archives Creative Commons

In her first book The End of the Suburbs: Where the American Dream is Moving, author Leigh Gallagher observes a growing trend in America’s housing landscape: fewer people are choosing to live in suburbs. This hour, Leigh joins us to explain some of the forces driving Americans out of suburbia, and give us a glimpse of what the post-cul-de-sac future might look like.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri August 15, 2014

The Nose is Fatigued with Goodbyes, Comments, and Challenges

Carolyn Paine is an actor, dancer, and choreographer.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It has been a busy week in culture. There were the deaths of Lauren Bacall and Robin Williams, and the latter death brought up questions about how people behave on social media when an icon passes. Also, he who is tired of sharks is tired of death. But we might be getting tired of sharks!

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:01 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

The Book Show: August 14, 2014

Credit Moyan Brenn/flickr creative commons

Faith's motto on The Book Show is: Life is short, but it can be ever so wide.

Join Faith and her book buddies for a call-in show recommending terrific books to read in all categories. If you're in a book club, please tell us what you've read and enjoyed.

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Country Music
11:16 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Connecticut Country Singer to Perform at Hartford County 4H Fair in Somers

Katie Perkins.
Laura Ink

When Katie Perkins, 24, a country singer and East Lyme native, started performing with a band, it was sometimes hard to find country-friendly venues in the area. As part of a burgeoning country scene in the state, Perkins will perform Friday night in Somers at the Hartford County 4-H Fair, August 15 to 17.

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Jazz Corridor
10:31 am
Wed August 13, 2014

New Haven Jazz Festival Features Harold Mabern in Free Concert on the Green

Harold Mabern
Alan Nahigian

“With the wind at his back, he can sound like an ocean roar.” Using meteorological and oceanographic allusions fit for portraying a mythic hero, jazz critic Gary Giddins described the powerhouse pianist Harold Mabern, a life force on the jazz scene for more than half a century.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:06 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Ugh! I Can't Remember My Password!

Credit Meme Binge / Creative Commons

Once upon a time you opened your first email account and picked out a password. You probably don't know what it was now but let's assume you weren't the type of person to pick out "password" or "123456." So, maybe it was the name of a dog or a kid or two dog and kid names mushed together. Easy to remember, right?

Today, you probably have passwords tied to multiple email accounts, a few social media platforms, a few credit cards and banks, and an unclassifiable hodgepodge of other stuff from Dropbox to Airbnb.

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