The Monkees were the first group to exhibit all or most of the qualities we now associate with the term "boy band." They were assembled through auditions. They had a set of visual styles imposed on them. They were incredibly popular with tween-aged girls. They were plagued by the accusation that there was less to them than meets the eye. That last accusation was false, by the way.
Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon, but the first man to urinate there was Buzz Aldrin, just a little ahead of Neil. The two astronauts relieved themselves into bags within their suits, then removed those bags and left them on the lunar surface. When you gotta go, you gotta go. It was time to go.
Long before we knew how the cardiovascular worked, ancient doctors may have recognized what we call hypertension. It seemed like maybe there was too much blood, so they treated it with leeches.
Even today, high blood pressure is a little bit mysterious. The way it's typically measured may be the wrong way. And, it's not caused by one single factor so no single drug treats all the things that cause high blood pressure.
Kurt Weill is a German composer who emigrated to the United States in 1935, at the age of 35, to escape persecution in Nazi-led Germany. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century.
Here in the West, Zen Buddhism is often where you go when you've concluded the religion you grew up with is marred by venality, hypocrisy, misogyny, patriarchal structure, and an insufficient commitment to peace and love.
Buddhism seems to have less hierarchy and more commitment to pure enlightenment and oneness. So, what do Buddhists do when Buddhism falls down on the job?
Why should sex feel bad? It shouldn't, and Bill Gates is offering $100,000 to the inventor of a condom that puts the pleasure back in sex. And, it isn't just about pleasure. Scientists at the University of Manchester's National Graphene Institute say a "redesigned condom that overcomes inconvenience, fumbling, or perceived loss of pleasure would be a powerful weapon in the fight against poverty."
Today, on The Nose, well we can't entirely ignore the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination, but the subject is so vast we can only break off one little part. We're going to focus on an essay by Adam Gopnik and published in The New Yorker a couple of weeks ago. Gopnik probes the question of exactly what changed as a result of the crime and its murky aftermath.
Why do we visit historical sites? Commentator Mike Pesca wants to talk about the value of seeing a place, especially one like Dallas' Dealey Plaza about which arguments have raged for decades. Mike says there's a difference between watching a NOVA special and walking through the place with your own eyes open.
Paul Bass, from the New Haven Independent, will bring us up to speed on three stories, including one from the weekend about a stretch limo that transported women to and from a drug and alcohol treatment center so they could vote on Election Day. You can link to it here.
And, we'll connect with Susan Polgar, the chess Grandmaster who broke the game's gender barrier. She's in Chennai, India, covering the match between Carlsen and Anand, the first chess championship in decades to cross-over and ignite the players.
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Here's the plan for The Nose today. We'll begin with a widely discussed column by Richard Cohen of The Washington Post who took an odd detour from a discussion of Chris Christie's national electoral profile and suggested that conventionally-minded people have to repress a gag reflex when confronted with the sight of an inter-racial couple, specifically the new first family of New York City.
In 1965, the Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram, spread stamped and addressed but un-mailed letters around public locations in New Haven. Most of the letters were picked up and mailed by strangers who could not possibly derive any material reward for doing the right thing. The strangers also lived out their values based on the address.
B.F. Skinner thought pigeons were so smart they could be used to guide missiles during WWII. He proposed a system in which pigeons would essentially pilot the missile. Skinner said pigeons could be trained to peck at a screen to adjust the trajectory of a missile toward its target. Project pigeon was funded but never used. It's one of the many reasons I could talk about pigeons all day.
As my friend Alex Beam said today, 12 Years a Slave has a way of taking things that were abstractions and making them real. It's one thing to talk about abolition, another to see the essential need for it. Even a figure like John Brown, says Alex, looks different when you see the true carnage of slavery.
We're talking about this astonishing new Steve McQueen movie today on The Nose and we'll find it pretty easy I predict.
Most of us have gone through the process of buying an automobile. It can be both exciting and excruciating. And sales are up to almost pre-recession levels. A boom caused by “more widely available credit, an increasingly aged fleet, and a host of new models.”
This is one of our new Monday shows where right up to show time, I'm not 100% sure what we're talking about. I know for sure we'll discuss the time change you experienced over the weekend and the ever-swelling choir of voices suggesting that its harms outweigh its advantages, assuming there are any real advantages.
I'm also dying to discuss the attempt by Saturday Night Live to address on this weekend's episode another ever-swelling choir, the voices of people who say the show is not diverse enough. It's not, and the show pretty successfully made a joke out of that this weekend without really committing to doing anything about it.
On today's Nose we're stuffed into the facade of the XL Center in Hartford on Trumbull Street. Come on over and join the live audience.
We got interested in funeral Selfies, the practice more common than you might think among young people taking smart phone pictures of themselves at a funeral or memorial service. You can well imagine our first reaction. Is there any basis on which this practice is defensible.
We're always interested in public relations disasters, and this week they happened to Senator Rand Paul, in an odd case of plagiarism, Jay-Z , caught in a collaboration with Barney's. The upscale clothing store. Another public relations disaster is brewing a few blocks from where we sit as civil rights attorney Gloria Allred sets up yet another UConn press conference today. All this and more.
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Ok, Ok, you're a super-rational public radio listener but you live in a place drenched in supernatural legend. In fact, historians like David Hall and David Hackett-Fischer have argued that the new world was imbued with notions of magic and superstition from Jumpstreet. One of the paradoxes of the Puritan migration was that even as they imported a belief system that rejected popish superstition in favor of what they saw as leaner, cleaner Calvinist faith, they somehow also brought all kinds of magical nuttiness. And, you could say it never left.
I've been writing a newspaper column for The Hartford Courant since 1982. For my first 15 years or so, I tended to write the column at The Hartford Courant. In the last ten years, I have written columns in the following places: a sports bar in San Francisco; a boat moving along the Rhine; the famous Brasserie Balzar in Paris; an outdoor clearing in the Yucatan jungle where, bizarrely, there was WiFi; and a living room in Kobe, Japan.
What do Lou Reed, President Taft, and this past weekend's violence in New Haven have in common? They're all part of our first episode of Mystery Surprise Monday Theater on today's Colin McEnroe Show, where we'll bring you up-to-the minute and interesting bits of cultural news, some from Connecticut, some much bigger. The news will be so new that we won't even know what we're going to air until we do it.
Superior Court Judge Julia Auriemma ruled to reinstate Middletown Realistic Balance Party candidates Stephen Devoto and Steven Smith to the ballot on Monday, October 21, two weeks before Election Day. Devoto and Smith, candidates for Middletown's Planning and Zoning Commission, had been removed from the ballot by Middletown Town Clerk Linda Bettencourt in September for failing to comply with an election law unfamiliar to several municipalities around Connecticut.
On The Nose this week, a viral video musical tribute to Chinese food triggers cries of racism, a father welcoming his fourth daughter into the world, and opens up a can of complicated thoughts about that. And we talk about the time we walked in the shoes of the opposite sex. Listen to our weekly culture panel live from New Haven on WNPR.
One out of every three women gives birth by Cesarean-section in the United States today. That's up from one in five women in 1996, and one in 20 women in 1970. In a new book, Cut It Out, Trinity College Professor Theresa Morris calls this an "epidemic."
It's hard to believe that each one of us throws away over seven pounds of trash every day, adding up to about 102 tons over a lifetime. In part, that's because we're used to having our garbage whisked away while we sleep, waking to an empty barrel and a license to buy some more.
Dr. Hank Schwartz is the Psychiatrist-in-chief at Hartford Hospital's Institute of Living. "Guilt gets a bad rap because we tend to think of it in excess," Schwartz said. "Moderate amounts of guilt motivate us.
I really meant to donate to the NPR fund drive. I just forgot. Well, actually I didn't. But still, I should have donated. I feel so guilty! Guilt is a funny thing. It's a pervasive emotion with the power to both motivate--and oppress.
The partial government shutdown has a silver lining for some inmates being housed in Connecticut. The Federal Bureau of Prisons has temporarily suspended its plan to move over 1,100 women from the low-security Danbury Correctional Institute until they an pay the $1.1 million dollar cost for the transfer.