This week on The Needle Drop, we're tripping through some of the latest tracks from Vampire Weekend, The Knife, Savages, and more. We'll also be visiting with the latest full-length release from the one and only David Bowie.
The heart has consistently captured the human imagination. It has been singled out as a cultural icon, the repository of our deepest religious and artistic impulses, the organ whose steady functioning is understood, both literally and symbolically, as the very life force itself. The Sublime Engine: A Biography of the Human Heart explores the profound sense of awe every person feels when they ponder the miracle encased within their ribs. Author Stephen Amidon and Yale cardiologist Sandip Mukherjee join us to examine this most vital of organs.
What is this story we're unpacking today? In a nutshell, two Torrington high school football players -- both 18 -- and a third boy -- 17 and therefore unidentified -- were arrested and charged with statutory rape arising from sex with two 13 year old girls. When the news came out, a group Torrington students jumped on social media and publicly blamed the victims. They called the girls whores and snitches, and demanded to know why they were not being punished.
As we approach its tenth anniversary, we’ll talk to two veterans of the Iraq war. Brian Castner served three tours of duty in the Middle East, two of them as the commander of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Iraq. His book, The Long Walk, chronicles his ‘story of war and the life that follows.’ When veteran Kevin Powers returned from Iraq, he turned his experiences there into The Yellow Birds, a novel about two young privates trying to stay alive at war. Castner and Powers join us for the full hour.
Needlework samplers provided a place for young girls to practice stitching and create a variety of motifs, from alphabets and numbers to houses and animals. One popular motif for decorating samplers was flowers. Found almost everywhere and in many varieties, flowers offered girls the chance to create from nature, while incorporating their own sense of style.
You can't make this stuff up. The Beecher family was at the forefront of every important reform movement of the late 19th century. Abolition. Education. Temperance. Women's suffrage.
Underlying that was a streak of untameable craziness, especially as incarnated by Henry Ward Beecher. Beecher was a pastor and a rock star orator. He was also, one would have to conclude, a little bit out of control on the sexual front.
Women's rights pioneer Marcia Ann Gillespie was in state for Women’s Day at the capitol. We talked to her about her rise to prominence as the editor-in-chief of Essence magazine, and the fight for gender and racial equality.
But first, Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity started out as a small grassroots organization... And next year will turn 25. It is building in eight different cities and towns in the region and completing its 200th home. Habitat’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
John the Baptist, we are told, subsisted on locusts and honey. I used to think that John the Baptist's would be a great name for a chain of fast food edible insect restaurants, if that trend ever took off.
Come to find out, there's some disagreement, especially online, about whether he really ate locusts or whether that's a reference to the fruit of the locust tree. Maybe people just don't like to think about John the Baptist eating bugs.
Think about your local library. Do you still picture a dusty old building full of dusty old books? Do you imagine little old ladies with their glasses down at the ends of their noses, shushing you every time you speak?
Today we’ll check in with the libraries of the 21st century. Ebooks, the Internet, audiobooks. Music, movies, videogames. Coffee bars, couches, comic books… And no shushing? It’s a whole new world in the world of libraries.
"One girl with courage is a revolution." Girl Rising, a documentary film directed by Academy Award-nominee Richard Robbins, tells the stories of nine extraordinary girls from nine countries, written by nine celebrated writers and narrated by nine renowned actresses. Martha Adams, from The Documentary Group, joins us to discuss the film.
This week, the Food Schmooze gang gets you ready for spring and for St. Patrick's Day. We've got a modern take on corned beef and cabbage—sandwiches. We've got a great tip for organizing your fridge that'll lead you toward healthy foods rather than processed junk. Plus: a shortcut for making steel-cut oatmeal in ten minutes—apple cinnamon or cranberry orange.
Today: Sex! Or. Well. Not sex. But talk about sex. Laurie Santos is back again. She teaches Sex, Evolution and Human Nature at Yale, and she'll take your calls! So call us with your questions, your concerns, your anecdotes. Or maybe not your anecdotes so much. But your questions and your concerns! If nothing else, this promises not to be your standard hour of public radio.
Today, we’re going to delve into a bit of Connecticut History that you may not know, and later, the story of a group of determined women who saved and preserved Hartford’s Mark Twain House.
We’ll also talk about how we talk about ourselves. Charley Monagan, who just left Connecticut Magazine, wrote a piece called “Who We Are” in the latest issue. It’s a look at Connecticut’s longstanding inferiority complex and how we brand ourselves.
Looking at stereo views was a popular form of home entertainment throughout the second half of the nineteenth century and on into the early twentieth century. Stereo views were taken with a special camera with two lenses, resulting in two nearly identical photographs which created a 3-D effect when placed side-by-side on a cardboard mount and seen through an optical device called a stereopticon. Stereo views can be seen as a sort of proto-cinematic experience before the age of film.
Austin, Texas is the epicenter of the music world, at least for the next few days. The South By Southwest Music Festival got underway Tuesday. Every year, well known acts and up-and-comers from all genres of popular music make the trip to Austin. The Needle Drop's Anthony Fantano, the internet's busiest music nerd is in Austin for the festival.
We caught up with Anthony to see what's catching his eye (and ear) and some of the quirks of this festival.
The Book Show gang joins Faith live with recommendations in all categories. And we’ll take your calls! What’re you reading? What’ve you recently read and loved? Are you a librarian? A teacher? Are you part of a book club? Call us!
Let me tell you about my Christmas Day this year. In the morning, I drove my significant other to the airport so she could fly to L.A. and see her grandchildren. Then I drove out to Canton to the home of my ex-wife and her significant other. My son and his girlfriend went there too, and we proceeded to have an absolutely lovely Christmas Day.
Hartford is not the most artistically adventurous place in the world, even though 79 years ago we hosted the debut of "Four Saints in Three Acts," a Virgil Thomson - Gertrude Stein opera that was ground-breaking on about five different levels.
Jill Sobule has visited the Colin McEnroe Show, and what came out of it was one of our favorite shows to date. Now, she's teaming up with comedian Julia Sweeny, best known as a writer and actress for Saturday Night Live, to talk about their upcoming "Jill & Julia Show" at the Mark Twain House.
This conversation includes talk about choosing a new Pope, packing lightly, harmonizing, and self-doubt. And, of course, Jill sings a few requests.
For a long long while, I thought I didn't like the music of my own Irish culture. That's because I had never heard it. What I had heard instead was a very Americanized version of Irish music. It was hokey, overly cheerful, and often from a genre I would call glass-clinking music. It was music to drink beer with.
Through various quirks of the calendar, we haven't done a Politics, Burgers & Beer since January. Holy Moly. So Rich Hanley returns to talk issues, arguments, budgets, controversies, news, Obama, Malloy, Washington, Hartford, and other people and places with names. And as it's only Monday, this is just a guess, but I bet by Thursday the word 'sequestration' still gets mentioned once or twice or 39 times.
So how might we best portray the realities of marriage? In a novel, perhaps? A long-running TV drama or sitcom? What about a movie?
Serious business indeed. It seems hard to translate the ins and outs of a long relationship in a 2-hour capsule. Hollywood has been trying since the silent film age, but not always with success. Wesleyan Film Historian Jeanine Basigner calls a story about marriage a “screenwriter’s nightmare” in her book I Do and I Don’t: A History of Marriage in the Movies.