Arts/Culture

The Colin McEnroe Show
11:58 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Holiday Songs to Perk You Up and Settle You Down

Eric Danton writes frequently about music and pop culture for the Wall Street Journal, Rolling Stone, Salon, and Paste, and blogs at listendammit.com.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It's just unthinkable to me that "Why Can't It Be Christmas Time All Year" is not a classic, and a staple of holiday music. But it's not. In fact, you've probably never heard of it or Rosie Thomas, who recorded it. And that helps explain why it has been 20 years since any song became a mainstream hit. "All I Want For Christmas Is You", released by Mariah Carey in 1994, did what is now impossible - it survived its first season, and became a song that is played every year during the holidays, and performed by other people. It got a big boost, of course, from the movie "Love Actually", but that's not the only reason it stuck around. But 20 years is a long time to go without another success in that department.

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Year in Review
11:38 am
Wed December 24, 2014

In A 'Depressing' Year For Films, Edelstein Finds Some Greats

Ellar Coltrane, who plays Mason in Boyhood, was 6 years old when director Richard Linklater picked him for the role. Made over the course of 12 years, the film is David Edelstein's favorite of the year.
Courtesy of Matt Lankes

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 2:06 pm

"This is a very, very depressing year for film," critic David Edelstein tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "because none of the great material came from Hollywood studios."

Studios, he says, direct their financial resources into sequels and comic-book movies, which leaves little room for "creative expression, and for doing something weird and potentially boundary-moving."

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Movies
10:46 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Two Connecticut Theaters to Show "The Interview"

A movie poster for "The Interview."
Sony Pictures

Moviegoers in Connecticut who want to watch "The Interview" have a choice of two theaters screening the film at the center of an international storm involving Hollywood, Washington, D.C., and North Korea. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Comfort Food: Ginger Snap Cookie German Pot Roast

Credit l.hillesheim/flickr creative commons

From the Saveur magazine cookbook, German Pot Roast (Sauerbrauten) has a secret ingredient -- ginger snap cookies... a velvet Palmer red wine from Long Island's North Fork is perfect for beef... spiced pork roast from Alex Province that is inexpensive and lusciously good....

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Jazz Corridor
7:36 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Phil Bowler’s Reunion Band Celebrates New Release After 20-Year Hiatus

Pocket Jungle with William Bausch, Phil Bowler, Paul Carlon, Scott Latzky and Pete Smith.
Facebook

Every now and then, the jazz world needs a reminder that there are master musicians among us whose distinguished careers, elegant artistry, versatility, intelligence, resilience and well-honed craftsmanship are not given the recognition they so richly merit.

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Year in Review
3:20 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

Ten Stories From WNPR Not to Miss in 2014

CintheaFox Creative Commons

We're nearing the end of another news-filled year. Take an entertaining and informative look back at 2014 as we benefit from the wisdom of the WNPR audience: below are ten most-viewed stories you shouldn't miss from our newsroom. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
8:56 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Unraveling the Web of Deception

Author and UConn Professor of Philosophy Michael Lynch
Chion Wolf WNPR

We fool people all the time. Whether with bad intent or not, deception has become a common practice in today's society. While modern tools such as texting, social media and the internet at large have all made the practice easier, deception in its most basic form goes back to Man's beginning.  Some believe it to be an assertion of power while others claim it's in our blood- a practice born out of our species' need to cooperate in order to survive.

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Religion
10:51 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Pope Francis, At Christmas Gathering, Blasts Vatican's Bureaucrats

Pope Francis delivers his message during a meeting with cardinals and bishops of the Curia at the Vatican on Monday. The pope said the Curia suffered from "spiritual Alzheimer's" and careerism.
Andreas Solaro AP

Originally published on Mon December 22, 2014 1:14 pm

Pope Francis blasted the Vatican's top bureaucrats at an annual Christmas gathering, accusing the cardinals, bishops and priests who make up the Curia of "spiritual Alzheimer's" and of lusting for power at all costs.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:10 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Retired Law Enforcement Working with Psychics To Find Missing Persons, Solve Murders

Credit Brandon Anderson/flickr creative commons

When I first heard about the work of Find Me, I wasn't sure what to think. On a social visit, drink in hand, I stared across the living room at my impeccable source, Joni Evans, among the most respected and successful professionals in publishing, now retired as Publisher and President of Simon & Schuster and Random House. (Evans serves on the Find Me board of directors.) 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:04 am
Mon December 22, 2014

Michael Price Says Goodbye to Goodspeed

Michael Price is the Executive Director of Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Connecticut
Chion Wolf WNPR

It doesn't really even make any sense what has happened at the Goodspeed Opera House every since  Michael Price took over the late 1960s. East Haddam, which is conveniently located near absolutely nothing, has played host to Mike Nichols, Idina Menzel, Jerry Herman, Mark Hamill, Kristin Chenoweth, Sutton Foster, Julie Andrews...I could go on.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon December 22, 2014

The Last Flight Out of "Old" Cuba; Music From The Sarah LeMieux Quintet

Musicians in Cuba play with heavily used and damaged instruments.
Flickr user "yosoynuts"

Many people were surprised by the news of a new relationship between the United States and Cuba. It was especially surprising for WNPR's Morning Edition host Diane Orson. When the news broke, she was returning from Cuba, and landed back in the United States. She shares her story and we hear the music of the Sarah LeMieux Quintet, who will brings us on an imaginary visit to a Paris nightclub.

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Sounds of the Past
2:06 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Modern Technology at UConn Breathes Life Into Antique Instruments

Sina Shahbazmohamadi works with a 3D-printed instrument piece and measurement device at UConn's Center for Clean Energy Engineering in August.
Peter Morenus University of Connecticut

They just don’t make 'em like they used to, unless you put a bunch of Ph.D.s in a room with a 3D printer. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:22 am
Fri December 19, 2014

The Nose Is All Serial All the Time

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

Which are you? The kind of person who can't wait to talk about Serial? Or the kind of person who doesn't do it, doesn't get it, and dreads having other people bring it up? The former sort of person was summed up by a recent New Yorker cartoon that showed a woman on a city sidewalk, flagging down a fellow pedestrian and saying "Excuse me, do you have a minute to talk about the latest episode of 'Serial'?"

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History
8:14 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Hartford Seen: Photographs By Pablo Delano

Elm Street, 2013.
Pablo Delano

Houses, apartments, businesses, schools, places of worship. Like all cities, Hartford’s built environment—its physical structures and shape—has changed over time for many different reasons. As the population grows and changes, different voices influence the city’s identity, and new building materials and resources become available (or disappear). This year, with a series of onsite and offsite exhibits, the Connecticut Historical Society is exploring the history of Hartford’s modern cityscape, as well as the city’s urban spaces today.

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Col. Claus
7:11 am
Fri December 19, 2014

NORAD's Santa Tracker Began With A Typo And A Good Sport

Col. Harry Shoup came to be known as the "Santa Colonel." He died in 2009.
Courtesy of NORAD

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 9:45 pm

This Christmas Eve people all over the world will log on to the official Santa Tracker to follow his progress through U.S. military radar. This all started in 1955, with a misprint in a Colorado Springs newspaper and a call to Col. Harry Shoup's secret hotline at the Continental Air Defense Command, now known as NORAD.

Shoup's children, Terri Van Keuren, 65, Rick Shoup, 59, and Pam Farrell, 70, recently visited StoryCorps to talk about how the tradition began.

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Libraries
3:48 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Book News: The Future Of The Public Library May Lie In The Coffee Shop

Get your sci-fi with a side of cappuccino.
e_rasmus iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 1:27 pm

The daily lowdown on books, publishing and the occasional author behaving badly.

For a public library to expect to survive today, it must begin to take crucial cues from coffee shops. At least, that's the key recommendation offered by a much-anticipated report on British public libraries, which is set to be released Thursday.

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Television
3:24 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

A Tribute To Stephen Colbert, A Self-Proclaimed 'Junkie For Exhaustion'

Stephen Colbert will host his final episode of The Colbert Report Thursday after nine years on air.
Pool Getty Images

After nine years, Stephen Colbert is retiring the character he created for The Colbert Report, the conservative, self-important blowhard who opines about the news and the media. The final episode airs Thursday. Colbert will take over as host for The Late Show, replacing the retiring David Letterman.

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Art Exhibit
12:37 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Art Installation Imagines Iconic New York Buildings as Rockets

The multimedia film "Plan of the City" presumes that all buildings in New York City are equipped with rocket thrusters.
Joshua Frankel

A new installation at Hartford's Real Art Ways imagines New York City lifting off to Mars, building by building. 

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Metcalf on Music
9:49 am
Thu December 18, 2014

S. Claus Mulls Grants to Music Folk

Scott Parrish Creative Commons

With Christmas just days away, I thought Santa, busy guy that he is just now, might appreciate some last-minute gift suggestions for some of the more deserving music folk on his list. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
9:03 am
Thu December 18, 2014

The Book Show: December 18, 2014

Credit Chris/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 Colin McEnroe Show
8:49 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Cracking the Code of Alan Turing

Priscilla Lydia McKenzie worked in Bletchley Park, recording movements of German ships.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Let me set the stage a little: A movie called "The Imitation Game" will be released nationwide Christmas day, the latest of several attempts to tell the story of Alan Turing. That story is so big, it can only be told in little pieces.

The piece most people focus on is Turing's work as the single most important code breaker in World War 2, the man who built a machine that broke apart the deeply encrypted Nazi code, and then gave the Allies an advantage that they were forced to conceal.

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Television
3:27 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Boundary-Pushing Late Night Hosts Move On — Colbert Up, Ferguson Out

Craig Ferguson hosts The Late Late Show in 2011.
Sonja Flemming AP

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 6:32 pm

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Jazz Corridor
11:19 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Blues Legend Spotlights Young Saxophonist’s Soulful Side at Collinsville’s Bridge Street Live

Grace Kelly

If you’re looking for a house-rocking, soul-drenched, exuberantly emotional concert, the place to be is Collinsville’s Bridge Street Live on Thursday, December 18, as blues master James Montgomery and his super blues band jam with the skyrocketing, young jazz saxophonist Grace Kelly in a funk-filled funfest.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Wed December 17, 2014

Happy Holiday Food and Drink for Christmas and Hanukkah

Credit John Morgan/flickr creative commons

Lemony Veal Piccata from a cooking star... a beautifully balanced healthy noodle kugel... why you might try giant potato pancakes instead of lots of small ones... our favorite holiday cocktail, The Aperol Sour Martini... make roasted chestnuts at home in the oven or fireplace... Martha Stewart's warm apple skillet cake... and a fabulous and festive $15 rosé sparkler, Lamberti... it goes with everything!

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:09 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Thomas Moore on "A Religion of One's Own"

Thomas Moore.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Thomas Moore was, for 13 years, a Servite monk. In 1992, he burst onto the national scene with "Care of the Soul", which combined the psychotherapeutic of Jung and James Hillman with ancient and contemporary religious and spiritual ideas. It was number 1 on the New York Times best seller list, and stayed on the list for a year.

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:26 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

The Science of When We Laugh and Why

Credit Chris Huggins/flickr creative commons

Humor, like pornography, is famously difficult to define. We know it when we see it, but is there a way to figure out what we really find funny—and why?

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Spotlight on the Arts
9:47 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Watch: Inside the Creative Process With Pilobolus

"On The Nature of Things" by Pilobolus Dance Theater.
Robert Whitman

Regarded as one of the most imaginative and athletic dance companies on the planet, Pilobolus thrives on taking audiences where the rest of the dance world dares not.

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Podcasts
8:35 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Next Time, on Serial...One Bad Haircut

Eva. Sadie. Next time, on Serial...
Credit Jeff Cohen

As the inaugural season of Serial comes to an end, speculation about the second season heats up. What will the story be about? Will it be another crime mystery?

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Photography
2:57 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

Watch: Connecticut Photographer Explains 19th-Century Tintypes

A tintype photograph of John Dankosky.
Chion Wolf WNPR

In the age of Snapchat and Instagram, smartphones and tablets, it’s almost impossible to imagine a time when horses carted around darkrooms, and photo portraits took several hours, rather than a few minutes or seconds.

But such a time existed. And one Connecticut photographer is set on bringing it back. 

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The Faith Middelton Show
10:38 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Craft: Why Making Things Matters

Credit Mike Oliveri/flickr creative commons

Carving birds? Knitting sweaters? Paper cutting? Blowing glass? If you're a crafts person, paid or unpaid, please call and tell us what it adds to your life.

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