Arts/Culture

Where We Live
12:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

What Typography Tells Us About Ourselves

Chion Wolf

Unless you’re a designer, you might not think about fonts very much. You might have to if you’re stuck doing a company newsletter. But if you stop and really look around you, typography of all kinds surrounds us every day. It creates a visual fabric for our lives and language.

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History
1:23 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

The Last Wolf in Connecticut

Putnam’s Cave or Wolf Den. Drawing by John Warner Barber, ca. 1835. The story of Putnam and the wolf was an oft-repeated tale throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. Connecticut Historical Society, 1953.5.313
Connecticut Historical Society

Israel Putnam is a name that stands out in the colonial history of Connecticut as a war hero of the French and Indian War and the American Revolution. Prior to his wartime glory, he earned the nickname “Wolf Putnam” by killing what was believed to be the last wolf in Connecticut when he was a young farmer in the eastern Connecticut town of Pomfret.

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Connecticut Native Plays, Talks
4:35 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

'It's Hard To Stay Patient': A Conversation With John Mayer

John Mayer in Studio 1 at NPR's Washington, D.C. headquarters.
Amy Ta NPR

John Mayer has a lot to be thankful for this year, including his return to the stage. A Grammy winner and a multi-platinum seller, Mayer is one of the most successful musicians of the past decade-plus — but a few events in his life have left him uncharacteristically quiet of late. He took a break from press after a pair of controversial interviews in 2010; not long after, he underwent surgery for damage to his vocal cords and had to stop speaking and singing publicly for more than a year.

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The Faith Middleton Show
1:21 pm
Thu November 28, 2013

Food Schmooze: Faith's Thanksgiving Recipe Round-Up

Credit arrtx1/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: Here's our Thanksgiving recipe kit to help make your holiday feast the best it can be. You'll find here all the delicious dishes, ideas for leftovers, and recommended wines and cocktails we've been giving you for more than a month on The Food Schmooze.

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StoryCorps' National Day Of Listening
3:07 am
Thu November 28, 2013

Reflections On A Bond Forged Through Storytelling

Renee Montagne and Jim Wildman in Bamiyan, Afghanistan, in photos they took of each other. In the background is the space where the giant Buddhas were located before the Taliban blasted them out.
Courtesy of Jim Wildman/NPR

Originally published on Thu November 28, 2013 6:15 am

Friday is the National Day of Listening, a chance to sit down with a loved one, turn on an audio recorder and ask that person about his or her life. You can find tips on how to record your conversation at nationaldayoflistening.org.

When Morning Edition host Renee Montagne thinks of her longtime producer Jim Wildman, she goes back several years to their reporting adventures in Afghanistan.

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Strings For Newtown
11:56 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Newtown Concert Features Some of America's Best-Known Fiddlers

Bruce Molsky, Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, Mark O'Connor, Julie Lyonn Lieberman, Donna Hebert, Laraaji Venus (clockwise from top-left corner) and Norwalk Youth Symphony (center).

Grammy-winning violinist Mark O’Connor, nationally celebrated duo Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, and premier fiddler Bruce Molsky are among the musicians who will be in Connecticut on Sunday December 1 to perform during a concert called Strings For Newtown. The program begins at 3:00 pm at Newtown Congregational Church.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Food Schmooze: Meatza: If Meatloaf and Pizza Had a Baby

Meatza

From Faith Middleton: What happens if you cross meatloaf with pizza? You get Meatza… okay, you get food legend James Beard's "Hamburger Pizza," a dish that always delighted his party guests because his "pizza" had no dough. This dish put us in such a good mood, we decided to make up one of our own for parties. It rocks—because it includes a layer of Parmesan mashed potatoes under the tomato sauce and toppings.

We also have some holiday party wines to recommend (listed below), affordable wines for a crowd, and some bubbly for a dinner party or romantic dinner for two.

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What to Read
5:35 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Thanksgivukkah Stress Getting You Down? Here's A Literary Escape Plan

Iryna Denysova iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 7:13 pm

Mark your calendars: According to some scholars, the next time it might happen is the year 79,811. I'm talking, of course, about the hybrid holiday of Thanksgivukkah, a melding of Thanksgiving and the Jewish Festival of Lights. The Borsch Belt-style Pilgrim jokes and mishmash recipes (turkey brined in Manischewitz, anyone?) are flying around the Internet; but since Jews are frequently referred to as "the People of the Book" and Pilgrims pretty much lived by the Book, Thanksgivukkah seems to me like the quintessential (stressful) family holiday to celebrate by escaping into a book.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:59 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Will the Real Norman Rockwell Please Stand Up?

Norman Rockwell.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Norman Rockwell. It's the day before Thanksgiving. Who else are we gonna talk about? Deborah Solomon (the same one who invented the "Questions for" format in the New York Times magazine) will spend the whole show talking about her new comprehensive biography of Rockwell.

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Thanksgiving
1:05 pm
Tue November 26, 2013

Don't Stuff The Turkey And Other Tips From 'America's Test Kitchen'

Originally published on Tue November 26, 2013 5:24 pm

If there's one Thanksgiving mistake Jack Bishop sees more than any other, it's people rushing to carve their birds. Bishop is editorial director of the public TV series America's Test Kitchen. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "Turkey needs to rest before you carve it ... and a lot fewer juices will end up on the carving board."

Bishop and Bridget Lancaster, also of America's Test Kitchen, share their tips for buying, seasoning and cooking a turkey, and describe some of their favorite side dishes.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:38 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Ask Yourself: What Do You Want?

Credit Abi Skipp/flickr creative commons

Huge question, but try asking yourself. The answer you give might surprise you.

Retirement planners, good ones anyway, have sometimes asked this kind of question of clients contemplating retirement—what do you want in retirement? The question—what do you want?—has a way of focusing the mind, erasing the blurry chatter in our heads. Suddenly, we're faced with the essential question. Want do we really want? To feel safe and secure? To love and be loved in return? Money? Connection? Friends? Power? Here's a big one—what about control?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:27 am
Tue November 26, 2013

The Dark Side of Zen

Golden Palace Kinkaku-ji, Zen Buddhist Temple, Kyoto, Japan
Credit Carles Tomas Marti on Flickr Creative Commons

Here in the West, Zen Buddhism is often where you go when you've concluded the religion you grew up with is marred by venality, hypocrisy, misogyny, patriarchal structure, and an insufficient commitment to peace and love. 

Buddhism seems to have less hierarchy and more commitment to pure enlightenment and oneness. So, what do Buddhists do when Buddhism falls down on the job?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:18 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Catching Fire, Culture, Condoms, and the Law

Can Bill Gates inspire inventors to make a condom that's stronger, thinner, and more sensitive?
Credit Robert Elyov on Flickr Creative Commons

Why should sex feel bad? It shouldn't, and Bill Gates is offering $100,000 to the inventor of a condom that puts the pleasure back in sex. And, it isn't just about pleasure. Scientists at the University of Manchester's National Graphene Institute say a "redesigned condom that overcomes inconvenience, fumbling, or perceived loss of pleasure would be a powerful weapon in the fight against poverty."

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Television
5:25 am
Sat November 23, 2013

Sarah Silverman, Serving Up Sinfully Divine Comedy

told Terry Gross in 2010, "there's a safety in what I do because I'm always the idiot. ... I'm always the ignoramus no matter what I talk about or what tragic event, off-color, dark scenario is evoked in my material."" href="/post/sarah-silverman-serving-sinfully-divine-comedy" class="noexit lightbox">
Nothing's sacred in We Are Miracles — but then as Sarah Silverman told Terry Gross in 2010, "there's a safety in what I do because I'm always the idiot. ... I'm always the ignoramus no matter what I talk about or what tragic event, off-color, dark scenario is evoked in my material."
Janet Van Ham HBO

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 11:18 am

Sarah Silverman is funny — sweet, bawdy, innocent, outrageous, Emmy-winning, milk-through-your-nose funny. And her new comedy special, We are Miracles, debuts tonight on HBO.

Performing in front of a live audience, the comedian takes on religion, pornography, childhood, politics and stereotypes, and no one's left standing. (No really: One punchline involves Hitler being assigned "Heil Marys" as penance.)

Silverman tells NPR's Scott Simon that she thinks good comedy comes from "some kind of childhood humiliation or darkness."

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Technology
5:57 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Hard-Core And Casual Gamers Play In Different Worlds

Kelly Kelley, who goes by the gaming pseudonym MrsViolence, streams her play nightly for her many fans to watch.
Twitch.TV screenshot

Originally published on Fri November 29, 2013 6:49 pm

This holiday season, the video game industry is looking to reignite sales as two game titans, Sony and Microsoft, launch the next generation of game consoles.

Their target demographic is the group of dedicated players known as hard-core gamers. Dive into the wide world of video game culture on YouTube and you'll hear that term being thrown about.

So what exactly is a hard-core gamer?

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History
5:20 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Battle Among the Clouds: the Chattanooga Campaign

Street view of Chattanooga. Photograph by an unknown photographer, ca. 1865. Like other photographs in this sequence, this one was evidently taken shortly after the war. The Connecticut Historical Society, 2013.225.2
Connecticut Historical Society

The words of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, memorializing the Civil War’s largest battle to date, were still echoing when Union and Confederate forces engaged in yet another large scale engagement in late November 1863. This time around the North’s rising military star, Ulysses S. Grant, commanded the Union forces.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:36 am
Fri November 22, 2013

The Nose Pays Tribute to Melodrama

Irene Papoulis teaches in the Allan K. Smith Center for Writing and Rhetoric at Trinity College
Chion Wolf

Today, on The Nose, well we can't entirely ignore the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, but the subject is so vast we can only break off one little part. We're going to focus on an essay by Adam Gopnik and published in The New Yorker a couple of weeks ago. Gopnik probes the question of exactly what changed as a result of the crime and its murky aftermath. 

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Thanksgiving
2:57 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Thanksgivukkah: A Mash Of Two Holidays That's Easy To Relish

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish is delicious over latkes.
Selena N.B.H. Flikr

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 2:35 pm

It's that time of year again. Time for Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish. Every year since 1972, around Thanksgiving, I've shared my mother-in-law's famous cranberry relish recipe on the radio. It's appallingly pink, like Pepto Bismol — but it tastes terrific.

This year, I bring my relish recipe to Thanksgivukkah. Next week, Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah fall on the same day. It's a rare convergence.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
5:27 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

The Agony and Utility of Ecstasy

C. Michael White is a Professor and Department Head at UConn’s School of Pharmacy.
Chion Wolf WNPR

"Molly" is the nickname for MDMA, or Ecstasy, and it's short for "Molecule", meaning you're getting the "real thing", chemically speaking. Except you almost never do. On this show, we'll talk about the dangers of Molly, the medical uses of MDMA, and the curious romance between the drug and the form of music known as EDM, Electronic Dance Music.

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Spotlight on the Arts
3:58 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

A Collage Style Performance on the Meaning of Love

Larry Hunt.
Credit Ann Lee

When Charlie Chaplin and other silent film stars faced the challenge of carrying over their talents into "talkies," these proved to be much-anticipated events. On Friday in Bethlehem, international mask artist Larry Hunt, a local, will actually let his voice do the real talking on stage. Hunt has built a career on non-verbal storytelling, and has performed at venues around the world for over 25 years.

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:16 am
Thu November 21, 2013

The Book Show: November 21, 2013

Credit Jason M Parrish/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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The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Food Schmooze: Italian Butternut Squash and Brown Butter Green Beans with Pecans

Credit Mark H. Anbinder/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: Want to make your holiday dinner or dinner party memorable and delicious? It's all about creating new flavor profiles for old standby dishes.Try our featured calorie-careful recipe for sweet and sour butternut squash, or, if you prefer, green beans with the ultimate treatment -- brown butter and toasted pecans, from an archive recipe in Fine Cooking Magazine.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:45 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Harmonica Heroes Take Over WNPR

Don DeStefano's harmonica case.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Are there countries where harmonica players are BIG stars? Why don't more women play it? How many different musical styles can you squeeze out of one of these things? Guests include a lot of the pros: Howard Levy, Don DeStefano and Chris DePino whose odd career arc has taken him from railroad conductor to chairman of the Connecticut Republican Party to professional harmonica player. Also, Wolfie gets an on-air harmonica lesson from these gods of the harp.

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Language
9:10 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Picture This: Selfie Is 'Word Of The Year'

If old bloggers are doing it when they bike, then you know the word "selfie" has gone mainstream.
Mark Memmott NPR

Originally published on Tue November 19, 2013 1:19 pm

Oxford Dictionaries has decided that 2013's word of the year is selfie — and if you don't know what the word means, you may not be a somewhat self-absorbed type who likes to share photos you take of yourself. (Just kidding, selfie fans!)

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The Faith Middleton Show
1:32 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Wally Lamb's New Novel, We Are Water

Author Wally Lamb
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

From Faith Middleton: Wally Lamb's books beat with a human heart.

Many people, especially Wally Lamb's fans, recall that his first novel, She's Come Undone, was selected by Oprah's book club. But what I remember is the experience of riding in the New York subway, and seeing so many people bumping along, engrossed in his story. On one occasion, these subway readers, strangers to each other, started a discussion about the book—possibly the first underground book club. 

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Live Music
10:24 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Little Ugly: Live Performance Video

Watch videos from Little Ugly's performance on WNPR's <em>Where We Live.</em>
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Little Ugly performed live on WNPR's Where We Live from our pop-up radio storefront. If you couldn't make it to our pop-up radio storefront, relive it here.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:57 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Dealey Plaza, Same-Day Voter Registration, and Chess

Dealey Plaza in Dallas, the site of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
Credit Stu Seeger on Flickr Creative Commons

Why do we visit historical sites? Commentator Mike Pesca wants to talk  about the value of seeing a place, especially one like Dallas' Dealey Plaza about which arguments have raged for decades. Mike says there's a difference between watching a NOVA special and walking through the place with your own eyes open.

Paul Bass, from the New Haven Independent, will bring us up to speed on three stories, including one from the weekend about a stretch limo that transported women to and from a drug and alcohol treatment center so they could vote on Election Day.  You can link to it here.

And, we'll connect with Susan Polgar, the chess Grandmaster who broke the game's gender barrier. She's in Chennai, India, covering the match between Carlsen and Anand, the first chess championship in decades to cross-over and ignite the players. 

You can leave your comments below, email us at colin@wnpr.org, or tweet us @wnprcolin.

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Dave Eggers
3:08 am
Mon November 18, 2013

'McSweeney's': Quirky Quarterly To Publishing Powerhouse

Dave Eggers is the author of What is the What, Zeitoun and, most recently, The Circle.
Tina Fineberg AP

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 2:58 pm

In the late 90s, before Dave Eggers wrote a bestselling memoir (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius), before he penned the screenplay for Where the Wild Things Are, before any of his novels, he was a young guy sitting in his kitchen tearing open envelopes filled with literary submissions.

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Literary Works
11:51 am
Sun November 17, 2013

A Marathon Celebration of Proust

Sketch of the Proust marathon set at the Saybrook Underbrook Theatre.
Edward Morris

The Yale University French Department celebrated the 100th anniversary of French writer Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu, or In Search of Lost Time this weekend in a unique way: a marathon reading of the novel's first volume, known in English as Swann's Way.

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#SFBatKid
6:41 pm
Fri November 15, 2013

Holy Empathy! Batkid Lives Superhero Dream In San Francisco

Miles Scott, dressed as Batkid, talks strategy with Batman before saving a woman from peril in San Francisco on Friday. The Make-A-Wish Foundation turned San Francisco into Gotham City for Miles, creating a daylong event to grant the leukemia survivor's wish to be a superhero.
Jeff Chiu AP

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 6:50 pm

Friday was a busy day in the crime-fighting world. As a superhero might say, you never know when a dastardly plot will emerge. And sometimes you're outnumbered. But not in Gotham, and not today — because an entire city seemed to stand with Batkid, aka a 5-year-old boy named Miles, whose wish to be a superhero has been granted.

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