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Arts and Culture

Anthony Bourdain's Twitter profile just says, "Enthusiast."

The chef, food writer, Parts Unknown host, Top Chef judge — the enthusiast — has died from an apparent suicide. He was 61.

Jeff Wiltse

African American children are more likely to drown in swimming pools than white American children. Jeff Wiltse, Professor of History at the University of Montana and author of Contested Waters: A Social History of Swimming Pools in America, has researched how this shocking statistic in racial disparity is rooted in America’s discriminatory past at public swimming pools.

Wiltse recently spoke with Connecticut Public Radio’s Lucy Nalpathanchil about how this problem still divides across America’s racial lines, how African Americans suffered the most, and how the disparity will separate class lines in the future.

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Who's afraid of the Bix bad Beiderbecke?

Hartford has an amazing jazz history, and Colin has a lot of jazz musician friends. This hour, a little onstage jazz party.

Colin and the panel look to make jazz accessible to mere mortals. They talk about what makes jazz jazz, invite the audience to sing, and teach the audience to scat.

brownpau / Flickr

From the penny press, to yellow journalism, to supermarket tabloids and beyond, sensationalized news has been around for centuries. But while this style of reporting may have its critics, it may also serve as an important reflection of American culture and democracy.

This hour we speak with journalists and historians about the evolution and influence of tabloid journalism. We'll also discuss the alledged connection between President Trump and various tabloid publications, the true nature of which continues to unfold.

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A Nigerian musician, who regularly performs for young prison inmates in his native country, will make his American debut early next month in Connecticut.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Solo is the tenth feature-length, live-action Star Wars film. It is the fifth Star Wars prequel. It is the second Star Wars anthology film (following 2016's Rogue One), and it's the second Star Wars movie to come out in just the last six months (along with The Last Jedi).

It is, though, a number of Star Wars firsts too: It's the first Star Wars picture to have its director(s) fired midway through production. It's the first to star Woody Harrelson. It's the first Star Wars movie that may well lose money.

zenilorac / flickr creative commons

Numbers are so fundamental to our understanding of the world around us that we maybe tend to think of them as an intrinsic part of the world around us. But they aren't. Humans invented numbers just as much as we invented all of language.

Samite playing flute
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Samite Mulondo went from a refugee camp in Kenya to collaborating with Paul Simon. This hour, the musician and Uganda native joins us to share his story and his music.

Miriam Engel / The Hartford Symphony Orchestra

Members of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra ventured outdoors earlier this week to perform a free concert in Hartford's Asylum Hill neighborhood.

On this sunny, spring lunch hour in Hartford, the HSO's Jazz Quartet ripped into a bunch of standards, including "Blues Inn” by Hartford's own Jackie McLean. Almost on cue, people began milling into The Hartford's Liam E. McGee Memorial Park - employees of The Hartford with their Styrofoam box lunches, grade school students in their school uniforms, and people from the neighborhood drawn by the music.

The Noank Historical Society

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day. On May 30th, 1868, a group of veteran Union soldiers known as the Grand Army of the Republic held the first "Decoration Day" as it was known back then as a way to commemorate their fallen comrades.

Noank, Connecticut has been cited by several sources on the internet for having the longest running continuous Memorial Day Parade in the country. Are those sources correct?

Carole Raddato / flickr

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Amazons of ancient Greek mythology is that they were not entirely mythical. While many of the deeds and details ascribed to these women warriors were imagined, the Amazons themselves were inspired by a real-life horse-riding tribe of nomads called the Scythians.

Frontiers Conferences / flickr

Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant, etc. These are just the beginning of what experts believe will be a future filled with verbally interactive, digital and robotic assistants. And as we become more accustomed to interacting with machines, the machines are becoming more life-like.

Dan McKay / flickr creative commons

When I hear the word "diorama," the first thing I think of is Mr. Mack’s fifth grade class and painting hills and grass and clouds and a fence into a shoebox and making little cardboard cut outs of Lassie and the boy she loved. God, I hated that stuff.

The second thing I think of is a place like the Peabody Museum in New Haven and their incredibly, obsessively, over-the-toply detailed dioramas of the plant and wildlife of Connecticut.

The Flap Over Flags

May 22, 2018
Flickr Creative Commons, Sam Howzit

Flags have been in the news a lot lately. South Carolina removed the Confederate flag from its Statehouse and one Missouri county threatened to lower the flags at their courthouse for one full year to mourn the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

I'm in awe of the emotions a simple flag can evoke. On the surface, it's a piece of cloth with pretty colors and designs.

Mary Ellen Mark

It's just a dance, right?

Actually, maybe that's the last thing the prom is. Maybe the photo is even more important, because it freezes you. It's your chance, as high school trickles away, to say "This is who I am. This will be who I was."

We've been looking at prom photos by Mary Ellen Mark, who will be on our show today, and they're striking in the range of emotional states they convey. We see joy, hesitation, confidence, detachment and some flat-out haunted looks.

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