Jonathan McNicol


Jonathan started at WNPR as an intern in 2010 and was hired later that year as a producer out of WNPR’s New Haven bureau. In his work, Jonathan is always just trying to figure out a little bit of how the world works, while paying special attention to the absurd and the just plain goofy. He is as likely to produce a show on America’s jury system as he is a story on all the grossest parts of the human body. His work has been heard nationally on Here & Now and locally on WNPR’s talk shows, on Morning Edition, and on All Things Considered.

Jonathan comes to radio from a background in, of all things, graphic design. Some foods he detests with every ounce of his breathing guts include peas, blue cheese, and meat loaf. He lives in greater New Haven.

Ways To Connect

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From Faith Middleton: We think you deserve the very best pumpkin pie recipe to dazzle your family and guests. This is my favorite dazzler, from a 2009 Bon Appétit magazine, because this pie combines the spicy quality of pumpkin with just the right amount of caramelized brown sugar, cinnamon, and toasted walnuts. Think pumpkin pie, coffee-cake style! (And you know we love our streusel-topped morning coffee cake.)

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From Faith Middleton: A neuroscientist has been working on decoding the canine brain, to answer the question of what dogs are thinking and feeling. So, do they love us the way we love them? Does a rescued dog understand you have rescued it, and feel grateful in a specific sense?

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Time for a health checkup on Connecticut's health insurance exchange. What is working? What improvements are still needed? Tell Faith and her panel of health care experts how it worked for you. 

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Today's show originally aired September 12, 2013.

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.

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Fried Deviled Eggs
(From Southern Fried by James Villas) 
Serves 6

These melt in your mouth -- nicely seasoned traditional deviled eggs, dipped in bread crumbs, a little egg and flour, then fried in peanut oil to give them a crispy exterior.

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From Faith Middleton: Neuroscientists are verifying that practicing mindful awareness promotes neuroplasticity in the human brain, activating the “resonance” circuit that leads to a greater sense of well-being.

Renowned mindfulness teacher Dr. Jack Kornfield explains how mindfulness works quickly to transform neural circuits, enhance inner and interpersonal attunement, and deepen the capacity for empathy and lovingkindness.

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From Faith Middleton: How do we "curate" our own personalities—ditching self absorbed childish behaviors, yet maintaining a child-like sense of wonder about the world? Bruce Clements and I explore this human conundrum.

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Looking for weekend entertainment? This time on our Museum Hop series, Faith goes to The Hudson Valley's top museums: Dia:Beacon, showing modern artists from the 1960s to the present, and Olana, the stunning personal home of Hudson Valley School artist Frederick Church.

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Great for Thanksgiving and eight other months of the year—Corn Bread Stuffing Muffins baked in a muffin tin. How about passing that around at your holiday table? I found this recipe in the November issue of Cooking Light magazine, and had to give it a whirl.

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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.

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Barking, fleas, Lyme disease, pet food, biting, housebreaking, shyness, pet insurance, animal rescue. Top flight advice from vet Dr. Todd Friedland. Don't miss his adventures with animals of all kinds.

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From Faith Middleton: Book Clubs call in, and so do individual readers, telling us which books are great reads in all categories—mystery, history, thrillers, romance, art, politics, science, biographies and memoirs.

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This simple, flavorful spice rub is one of my favorites, and will transform your roast turkey as it cooks sitting atop a bed of fresh rosemary sprigs. The best part is that you can make the rub ahead, then freeze it or store it for when you need it.

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by Faith Middleton  

Save money. Avoid long lines. Get better seats.

Check out our best travel tips conversation with Amy Farley, Travel Doctor columnist for Travel + Leisure magazine.

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by Faith Middleton 

Psychologist Dr. Nancy Horn explores how we control one another and try to control ourselves.

Questions: Have you ever been called controlling? Why do couples struggle with who is in charge? When is it smart to give up control? When does a manager become too controlling? When is control a great idea? Is government over-controlling in an age of terrorism?

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The queen of slow cooking gives us Beer-Braised Brown Sugar Brisket with Bacon; Cajun Shrimp Chowder; Artichoke Chicken Lasagna; and Thai Peanut Butter Pork Roast. Throw the ingredients in a slow-cooker in the morning, and return hours later to a house full of comforting aromas. Honestly, it's like having staff! 

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With scientific research, her own chemistry background, and the traditional diets of our not-so-distant ancestors as her guide, Dee McCaffrey casts new light on an age-old wisdom: Eating foods in their closest-to-natural form is the true path to sustained weight loss and, in fact, the remedy for almost any health problem. We are so far removed from foods in their natural state that we now call them “health foods,” a sad admission that we’ve compromised our health for the sake of convenience.

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When blogger Jennifer Reese lost her job, she began a series of food-related experiments. Economizing by making her own peanut butter, pita bread, and yogurt, she found that “doing it yourself” doesn’t always cost less or taste better. In fact, she found that the joys of making some foods from scratch—marshmallows, hot dog buns, and hummus—can be augmented by buying certain ready-made foods—butter, ketchup, and hamburger buns. Tired? Buy your mayonnaise. Inspired? Make it.

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by Faith Middleton

We celebrate a book that reminds us of what a great read can do to light up your life. Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club, found a way to write about the books he and his mother read together as her life drew to a close. It makes you want to set aside a year to read what they did, because such wise and caring people have to reflect the stories they read. This is a tribute to the power of reading in our lives, the way it opens conversation, touches the deepest parts of ourselves, entertains and enlightens us. It turns out that The End of Your Life Book Club is very much about living in the best possible way.

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by Faith Middleton

If your schedule is rushed, have we got a cookbook for you! The Good-to-Go collection of about 300 recipes is a winner with adults and children. It's also the perfect cookbook for transitioning kids in a first apartment, or for kids in college.

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by Faith Middleton

Yale University Preventive Medicine expert Dr. David Katz says he has a four-step approach to keep disease away. His technique involves a change in diet, exercise, no smoking, and weight-control. Master the skill-set to bring these areas in line, and we'll have longer and healthier lives. If you believe genes play the leading roll, or that environmental factors mean we're probably going to die younger than we thought, Dr. Katz says he has data to show you otherwise.

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by Faith Middleton  

Here's the mission—to inspire kids to cook and eat real food with their families. And we have the recipes to help you do just that. From French toast to frittatas, chicken soup to classic burgers, banana-peach frozen yogurt to mango lassis. 

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by Faith Middleton

Traditions can be fun and make life feel better. Join our brainstorming session to become inspired to start your own traditions, from apple-picking; the holiday party; the army buddy reunion; the Vermont Mud Race; to maple syrup on the first snow; and sampling away at The Faith Middleton Show's annual Martini Competition. (Do you know how strange it is to refer to yourself in the third person?)

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You know me—I love easy, delicious cocktails, and I have a festive seasonal sparkler this time to get your Thanksgiving rolling. Pair together cranberry juice, vodka and champagne, and your guests will be having too much fun to notice you forgot to defrost the turkey. Serve your drinks in chilled martini glasses; simply run your glasses under water, then pop them in the freezer for an hour or two, pulling each one out as you pour from your cocktail pitcher. Then you top off each glass with a splash of champagne, or an affordable dry sparkler, like a Spanish cava.

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by Faith Middleton

If you want to know how to act, our show is featuring free on-air acting lessons from Long Wharf Theater's award-winning artistic director Gordon Edelstein. Use Gordon's tips to gain acting chops.

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by Faith Middleton

Disturbia, as I call it, is the land where something or someone messes with your comfort zone. What people and things have disturbed your sense of comfort? Arguably, the Republican Tea Party's extreme wing is working hard and fast to make us understand Obamacare as a disruption of a way of life. This is genius as strategy since Obamacare is aimed squarely at those who have no health insurance and want to be made comfortable.

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by Faith Middleton

Gather around book buddies. It's time to join in the hunt for books that will make life interesting. Whether you want escape, pleasure, thrills, wisdom, information, learning, or laughs, you'll hear about all kinds of good reads on our Book Show… Mysteries, Science, History, Comedy, Biographies, Thrillers, Memoirs, Politics, Food, Travel.

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What makes a chili unforgettable? When the meat and the right combo of spices are cooked slowly enough to make them melt into the sauce. This is the recipe that makes that happen, and the unsweetened cocoa powder addition is masterful, adding dark, dusky flavor.

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by Faith Middleton  

I learned to use a valuable tool for self-awareness at an Omega Institute workshop led by psychologist and mindfulness trainer Dr. Tara Brach. Please join us on the show to hear Dr. Brach explain a simple technique, known as RAIN, to recognize what your emotions are in any given moment, especially when thoughts and feelings are racing by. This quick, check-in method prevents us from storing up hurt, anger and frustration, or acting it out in a damaging way. 

Judy Sirota Rosenthal

by Faith Middleton  

Life is a difficult journey, despite its beauty, and that makes us wonder if artists are ahead of the game in using their creative expression to work through challenging times. We talk with nationally recognized artist Joy Wulke, who is now living with cancer, yet continuing to plan for her future.