Snow covered the ground and the temperature hovered at zero degrees on the morning of January 24, 1925. Businesses were closed—or planned to open late—as crowds gathered on hilltops and rooftops throughout Connecticut. Special trains brought visitors from Boston and elsewhere in Massachusetts and scientists from around the country joined colleagues at Yale, Wesleyan, and Trinity. The sun had come up as normal, but about 8:30 am it began to grow dark again, as the moon passed between the earth and the sun.
On the outskirts of London, in a basement room of the British National Archives, a historian delicately turns pages that have the brittle feel of dead leaves. Each is covered in text — some typewritten, some in spidery handwriting from a pen that scratched across the page 100 years ago.
"Saturday, the 26th of September, 1914," reads one. "The most ghastly day of my life. And yet one of my proudest, because my regiment did its job and held on against heavy odds."
Next Monday marks the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Next week in Woodbridge and Madison, there will be two screenings of the film "Nicky’s Family," a Czech documentary that tells the nearly-forgotten story of Sir Nicholas Winton, a British stockbroker who organized the rescue of 669 children just before start of World War II.
From Faith Middleton: My head snapped around at the idea of blending Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors. That's what Einat Admony does in her cookbook, Balaboosta. And there is nothing like her "Not So Jewish Chicken Soup," as she calls it. (Admony has a mixed Israeli heritage, Persian and Yemenite.)
Drummer/composer Matt Wilson, a great wit, percussive prestidigitator and populist swinger in all known jazz genres, celebrates his new, diverse and delightful album, Gathering Call, on Tuesday, January 28. Wilson performs with his tightly-knit quartet and special guest, pianist John Medeski, at 8:00 pm at The Side Door jazz club in Old Lyme.
Years ago, I needed a book for a long plane ride home from Austin, Texas. My cousin threw me a tattered paperback. It looked mediocre at best: on the cover was an iceberg, a ship, and the word ENDURANCE in bold letters.
A short time and several chapters later, I would start what some would call an obsession with a man named Ernest Shackleton, and one of the most incredible adventure/survival stories ever.
From Faith Middleton: Music and art can make your life bigger. And, under the theory that the world is now “flat,” music and art just might dissolve boundaries, making the world a more manageable place.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A super talent like trumpeterNicholas 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.
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.
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.