Arts/Culture

History
2:59 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

Dressing Gowns: Loungewear of Old

Byron and Marianna. This lithograph by Hartford’s Kellogg brothers provides a glimpse of early nineteenth-century leisure wear. Note how Byron (d. 1824) is depicted in a dressing gown rather than a restrictive jacket.
Hand-colored lithograph by E.B. & E.C. Kellogg, 1845-1846. 1994.13.0. Connecticut Historical Society

Today many people cannot wait to arrive home after a long day at work and exchange their work clothes for something more relaxing, comfortable, and cozy. This is not a new phenomenon. Even before the nineteenth century, men and women sometimes wore informal and less confining clothing at home and in informal social settings. These dressing gowns, as they were primarily known, allowed people to appear fashionable while remaining comfortable.

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Adorbs or Cray?
11:27 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Researchers Are Totes Studying How Ppl Shorten Words On Twitter

Some clippings: "Hilar" or "hilars" mean "hilarious." "Alc" is shorthand for "alcohol" in some circles. And "obvi" is pretty straightforward (er, "obvious").
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 1:31 pm

Shortening words, swapping them out, giving them different meanings — that's not new. Remember in Mean Girls when the queen bee character, Regina George, berated one of her underlings for trying to make the word "fetch" catch on?

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Host's Diary
10:44 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Why It Makes Even Less Sense Than Usual to Follow The Oscars This Year

It's not even a matter of "snubs."

This year's Oscar nominations got it so wrong as to make a reasonable debate about what happens, going forward, almost impossible.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:01 am
Fri January 17, 2014

The Nose Falls in Love With Its Operating System

James Hanley is the co-founder of Cinestudio at Trinity College.
Chion Wolf WNPR

The Nose panel went to the movies this week to see the critically-acclaimed Spike Jonze film, "Her," about a future world in which it's not unusual for a man to fall in love with his artificially-intelligent operating system. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Alt-Weeklies: Will the Future of Local News and Culture Be as Fruitful as the Past?

Alt-weeklies have long provided the the latest in local arts, culture, and politics.
Credit Mike Licht / Creative Commons

For 38 years, The New Haven Advocate looked after its city with watchdog eyes. Each week, the alt-weekly’s team of reporters gave voice to local arts, politics, and fringe culture, providing New Haven residents with some of the the country’s most highly-respected pieces of long-form and investigative journalism.

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Bravo Waterbury!
3:21 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Music Program in Waterbury Teaches Children Team-Building Skills

The Asylum Saxophone Quartet featuring Bravo Waterbury! woodwinds.
Credit Bravo Waterbury!

Two years ago, we reported on plans to launch after-school music education programs for low-income children in several Connecticut cities. The programs are inspired by El Sistema, a music phenomenon in Venezuela that’s touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of kids, and captured the attention of the world. WNPR’s Diane Orson now reports on Bravo Waterbury!, an initiative of the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra.

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The Faith Middleton Show
1:25 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Wally Lamb's Latest Novel, We Are Water

Author Wally Lamb
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Today's show originally aired November 18, 2013.  

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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Strange Dining
3:28 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Sometimes A Perfect Stranger Is The Best Dinner Host

A group gathers in a Ballston, Va., home for a supper club organized through the site Feastly. A new food trend gaining popularity in New York and other cities lets diners enjoy a meal prepared by a stranger in that person's home.
Courtesy of Noah Karesh

Originally published on Thu January 16, 2014 3:07 pm

With website names like Eat With, Side Tour, VoulezVousDiner and Feastly, a new food trend that is sweeping New York and other cities allows diners to enjoy fine meals inside someone else's home.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:00 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

The Complications of Comedy

Didi Conn and Burke Moses
Chion Wolf

Dying is easy, comedy is hard. But, why is comedy so hard, especially on the stage, and what makes something funny?

The premise for a famously funny plot could easily sound like a tragedy.  An out of work actor is so desperate for employment that he dresses up like a woman and then falls in love with a beautiful co-star whom he deceives and betrays on several levels. That doesn't sound that hilarious. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Food Schmooze: Easy Dinner: Shrimp and Bacon on Buttermilk Corn Pancakes

Credit will law/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton Cornbread, corn muffins, corn pudding—if it's corn-centric, I'm all in. That's why I love to serve savory corn pancakes for supper.

I like to think of a corn pancake as a raft, a vehicle for anything wonderful that comes to mind. My new favorite topping for these savory buttermilk corn pancakes is shrimp, diced tomatoes, and crumbled bacon, served with a dollop of lime zest sour cream, all of which can be prepared ahead.

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Jazz Corridor
5:45 am
Wed January 15, 2014

Soul-Soaked Brass Maestro Graces Side Door Jazz This Weekend

Trumpeter Nicholas Payton is from New Orleans.
Credit Michael Wilson

A super talent like trumpeter Nicholas Payton could have easily coasted through a long, successful career by safely resting on his impressive laurels and never once rocking the boat musically or socially, thus remaining securely assured of achieving a prominent niche for himself.

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The Race Card Project
3:03 am
Wed January 15, 2014

A Woman Comes To Terms With Her Family's Slave-Owning Past

"I have this day granted bargained and sold and by these present do grant bargain and sell unto the said Edward Clegg a Certain Mulatto Girl named Harriet aged about eight years. Slave for life, and sound in body and mind, and the title to said Girl I do hereby warrant and will forever defend."
Courtesy of Todd Perry

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 3:38 pm

NPR continues a series of conversations about The Race Card Project, where thousands of people have submitted their thoughts on race and cultural identity in six words. Every so often, NPR Host/Special Correspondent Michele Norris will dip into those six-word stories to explore issues surrounding race and cultural identity for Morning Edition.

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Wesleyan Poetry
3:10 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Young Poet's 'Shrinking Women' Goes Viral

Lily Meyer performs at the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitation in 2013. Her poem, "Shrinking Women" went viral. (Screenshot from CUPSI)

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 5:13 pm

[Youtube]

Lily Myers intended her poem “Shrinking Women” to be a personal one.

But a video of her recital at the 2013 College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational was posted to the poetry website Button Poetry and to The Huffington Post, where it went viral.

With more than 3 million views, it continues to circulate across social media websites.

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:35 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Cheap Flights, Upgrading Hotel Rooms

Credit Matt @ PEK/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: There are last minute winter vacation getaways. You can find great hotel rooms in major cities. And locate cheap ski lift tickets.

Travel + Leisure magazine's Trip Doctor, Amy Farley, is a tipster to follow for cheap flights, seat changes, and the best online sources for all kinds of travel deals.

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Technology
5:36 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Google Buys Nest, May Soon Know How Cool You Like Your Home

The Nest Learning Thermostat. The four-year-old company is now owned by Google.
Courtesy of Nest

Originally published on Mon January 13, 2014 8:14 pm

As further evidence that this is perhaps the year the Internet of everything really becomes a thing, Google paid $3.2 billion in cash for Nest, the home automation company that pioneered smart thermostats and lately,

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Code Switch
1:20 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Who Gets To Be A Superhero? Race And Identity In Comics

Orion Martin reimagined several iconic X-Men covers, recasting the superheroes as people of color. The move sparked a discussion on race in comics, both on the page and in the writers' rooms.
Orion Martin

Originally published on Sun January 12, 2014 7:20 pm

The X-Men comic franchise has proven remarkably sturdy in the half-century since its launch. They've spawned dozens of animated series and four major Hollywood films with a fifth due out this summer. A big part of that is due to its central premise — a minority of superpowered humans called mutants are discriminated against by their government and fellow citizens — which has functioned as a sci-fi allegory for everything from the civil rights movement to the AIDS crisis.

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Television
10:14 am
Mon January 13, 2014

The Golden Globes Share The Wealth, Such As It Is

Hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were the hands-down highlight of the deeply silly Golden Globes.
NBC Universal Getty Images

Let us say this first: The Golden Globes are Hollywood culture at its most purely self-perpetuating. Given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a small group of journalists so gleefully obscure that there is usually a joke about how gleefully obscure they are, the Globes lack the gravitas of the Oscars, which is really saying something, given the fact that the Oscars lack the gravitas of the Tonys and the Tonys lack the gravitas of a halfway decent episode of Law & Order: SVU.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Mon January 13, 2014

How to Become Braver in Your Life

Credit Sheba_Also/flickr creative commons

Afraid to fail? Eager to please? Chances are you'd like to become more brave. Discover why people from all walks of life found some nerve and immediately felt more alive.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:31 am
Mon January 13, 2014

The Scramble Catches Up with Gene Demby and Roger Catlin

The 71st annual Golden Globe Awards
Credit someone 10X

Today is Monday. That's when we do the show on the fly. We call it The Scramble and one of the twists we're trying is the reverse of ordinary public radio guest booking. Usually, we start with a topic and try to find the best possible guests. But, for one segment of The Scramble each week, we pick a guest we want to talk to and then ask him or her what the topic should be. The idea is to pick an interesting person and then find out what's on that person's mind right now. 

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Entertainment
2:25 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

The Globes Will Be Golden, But Hollywood Remains Mostly White

Sunday's Golden Globes celebrate a diverse group of actors. Even so, very few shows feature minorities in leading roles on screen or off.
Valerie Macon Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 15, 2014 1:57 pm

Sunday night is one of the biggest nights in Hollywood, as stars from film and television gather for the Golden Globe Awards.

This year's awards, which celebrate the best writing, acting and production of the year, are being hailed as the most diverse yet, with a significant number of minority actors up for awards.

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Comedy
6:27 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

As Zamata Joins 'SNL,' A Look At — And Beyond — The Prism Of Race

iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 7:19 pm

This week the long-running comedy show Saturday Night Live hired Sasheer Zamata as a new cast member. The show had come under criticism for its lack of diversity, especially its lack of black women; Zamata will be the show's first female African-American cast member in six years.

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History
4:20 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Tragedy at Tariffville: The Railroad Wreck of 1878

One of the coaches of the CWRR train hangs from the end of the first span over the Farmington River. Detail of stereograph published by N. R. Worden of New Britain.
The Connecticut Historical Society, 2004.27.2

The year 2013 was not a great one for the Metro-North Commuter Railroad, with a collision, a major power outage, and, most recently a fatal derailment making the six o’clock news around the country. What this series of mishaps actually points out, however, is that when one considers the number of freight, passenger and commuter trains running in this country, rail travel is still a pretty safe way to get around. This was not the case a century or more ago, when railroad accidents and disasters were frequent and deadly.

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2014: A Space Odyssey
2:32 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

The World Through a Connecticut Astronaut's Lens

Astronaut Rick Mastracchio tweeted this photo of New Haven on January 10, 2014. He said he uses the Elm City as a landmark to find other cities in Connecticut.
Credit Rick Mastracchio / Twitter

NASA astronaut and Waterbury native Rick Mastracchio has been tweeting some brilliant photos of his home planet while aboard the International Space Station. Today, he tweeted this photo of the Elm City.

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Code Switch
12:39 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Conversation About 'SNL' And Diversity 'Just Getting Started'

Meet Sasheer Zamata, Saturday Night Live's new cast member.
Heidi Gutman ABC via Getty Images

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 1:10 pm

It may seem, now that Saturday Night Live has hired a black female cast member and two black female writers, that the conversation about diversity on TV's most influential comedy show is over.

But it's just getting started.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:19 am
Fri January 10, 2014

The Nose is Stuck in Traffic

Theresa Cramer is editor of The Cut Magazine
Chion Wolf WNPR

Governor Chris Christie's administration is under fire for ordering  lane closures  that blocked access to the George Washington Bridge for four days last September, indulging in an egomaniacal fantasy of vengeance against a political foe who refused to recognize the Christie administration's self-professed superiority.

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Aye, Matey
9:38 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Mystic Seaport Hosts Sea Chanty Blast This Saturday

Sea Chanties were work songs sung by sailors.
Alan Villers

Mystic Seaport hosts its annual Sea Chanty Blast and Pub Sing this Saturday. The event brings together some of the best chanty singers and groups from the northeast.

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Photography
2:34 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

JFK in Photographs: A Yale Art Exhibit

Dealey Plaza, Dallas, 1964. Gelatin silver print. Yale University Art Gallery.
Garry Winogrand The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Fifty years after his assassination, images of President John F. Kennedy continue to resonate as an expression of American culture and self-identity. A photography exhibition called "A Great Crowd Had Gathered: JFK in the 1960s" examines the president by way of his public at the time. It's at the Yale Art Gallery and runs through the end of March. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:23 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

Cinema Scuffle! With David Edelstein and A. O. Scott

Credit ToastyKen, Flickr Creative Commons

My two favorite film critics, A.O. Scott and David Edelstein, appear on the show today, and we've got a longer list of topics than we can possibly get to. I'm interested in the way a lot of the recent hit movies take little bites of our recent past: "Inside Llewyn Davis" tackles 1961. "American Hustle" bestrides the end of the 70s and beginning of the 80s. "The Wolf of Wall Street" started with the Crash of '87 and pans forward into the 1990s. Suddenly, for Baby Boomers, the stretch of our living memory is a series of period pieces and costume dramas.

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Spotlight on the Arts
11:35 am
Thu January 9, 2014

Imaginative Worlds by Ming Cho Lee

A scale model for Boris Godunov (Coronation) 1974 at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
Credit Yale University School of Architecture

Resembling a village of delicate toy theaters, "Stage Designs by Ming Cho Lee" fills the large ground floor gallery at the Yale School of Architecture in New Haven. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:44 am
Thu January 9, 2014

The Book Show: January 9, 2014

Credit Kara Harms/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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