Arts and Culture

yardenxanthe / flickr

Slime is not something we often think about. But there are plenty of reasons why that should probably change: From the theory that life on Earth may have have first emerged from a primordial ooze, to the current slime-making craze that's sweeping the internet.

Roman Vanur / flickr creative commons

Consciousness has been an elusive enigma for philosophers and scientists alike for about as long as there've been philosophers and scientists.

And, while it's long been thought that artificial intelligence would bring us the next big breakthroughs in our understanding of consciousness, A.I. authority David Gelernter has a different idea entirely.

He looks for answers to these fundamental questions in, instead... literature.

Library of Congress

This hour: As Black History Month draws to a close, we draw attention to a Connecticut native who was integral in the campaign for civil rights -- Judge Constance Baker Motley.

Coming up, we take an in-depth look at Judge Motley's life and talk about her legacy both inside and outside of the courtroom.

Plus: Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home From the Wars Parts 1, 2 & 3 opens at Yale Repertory Theatre next month.

We learn more about the production and find out how the Theatre’s ongoing WILL POWER! initiative is exposing students to the arts. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Ryan Coogler's Black Panther is the eighteenth feature film entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It is the sixth movie in Phase Three, and it's most directly a sequel to Captain America: Civil War, the first film of the phase.

Before a screening of "Black Panther," artist Martha Walker-Dawkins paints the face of Zaniah Welsh, a fourth-grader at West Hartford's Smith STEM School. Engineer David Johnson sponsored the event to inspire students.
Vanessa de la Torre / WNPR

As a child in the Midwest, David Johnson said he dreamed of becoming an engineer.

Josh Nilaya / WNPR

Take a look at at any early 20th century photograph and you'll see them: Hats! From Beavers and Bowlers to bonnets and baseball caps, for hundreds of years hats were the essential accessory for any fashionable and upstanding citizen.

Eleanor Roosevelt (second from left) and Lorena Hickok (far right)
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library / Wikimedia Commons

Eleanor Roosevelt was a woman with a huge historical footprint—First Lady, first U.S. delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. She was dubbed “The First Lady of the World” by Harry Truman. 

But how much is known about Eleanor’s personal life beyond the politics and activism? This hour, we sit down with Connecticut author Amy Bloom. Her new book, White Houses, is a fictional novel that explores Eleanor’s real-life romantic relationship with female journalist Lorena Hickok.

Christel Øverland Preteni / flickr creative commons

humor = tragedy + time

Okay, but then the logical next question is: How much time?

If it's okay, at this point, to joke about, say, The Spanish Inquisition... what about, for instance, the Holocaust? Or AIDS? September 11th? The #MeToo movement?


UConn Superhero Gabby Williams Loves "Black Panther"

Feb 20, 2018
Daniela Marulanda / Connecticut Public Radio

Black Panther, the new movie directed by Ryan Coogler is breaking box office records with a mostly African American cast, and with women in powerful roles throughout the film. And for Gabby Williams, a forward on the UConn women’s basketball team, it’s something exciting to see as a black woman. 

A bike from Ascari Bicycles in Brooklyn, NY.
NAHBS 2018

Handmade bicycle builders and enthusiasts gather in Hartford this weekend for the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. It's the first time the show has been held in New England.

Yujin =) / flickr

From ancient mixtures of boiled goat fats and ashes to modern artisanal soaps with calendula and coffee grinds, humans have been inventing clever ways of cleaning themselves since the very beginning.


During last week's Super Bowl, Netflix announced the surprise release of the third installment in the already-super-unconvential Cloverfield film franchise... that night. Was it a genius, disruptive publicity stunt? Or was it an unceremonious, direct-to-streaming dumping of a subpar sequel? Or maybe it was both?

And speaking of unconventional: The official presidential portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama were unveiled this week. The likenesses are being heralded as a milestone in black portraiture. But, predictably, not everyone agrees.

Lydia Brown / WNPR

This hour: a lesson in public history. How are towns and cities across Connecticut and the Northeast engaging residents with the past?

We check in with a team of experts and historians. We look at examples of locally driven projects and initiatives, and consider their impact on community building and sense of place.

Do you feel a strong tie to your community’s history? We want to hear from you. 

Delete Flickr

The word bastard hasn't always been meant to offend. Used simply as an indication of illegitimate birth at first, the label bastard didn't bring with it shame or stigmatization until long after it first appeared in the Middle Ages.

Brand new portraits of former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama — wearing matching calm, strong expressions — were revealed on Monday at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Kehinde Wiley painted Barack Obama sitting in a chair, elbows in his knees, leaning forward with an intense expression. The background, typical of a Wiley painting, is a riotous pattern of intense green foliage.

"Pretty sharp," Obama said with a grin.