The Colin McEnroe Show

The Colin McEnroe Show, hosted by Colin McEnroe, is looking for your phone calls and comments. Got an idea for a show? Know someone you'd love to hear Colin talk to? You can stream us live. While we are live, call us at (860) 275-7266, or email us at colin@wnpr.org. We're also on Twitter @wnprcolin.

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The executive producer is Catie Talarski. The digital editor is Heather Brandon.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:07 am
Sun February 1, 2015

The M.B. Show: Mike Birbiglia & Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman oversees The Milkmaid
Credit Mike Licht / Creative Commons

I know what you're asking yourself. You're thinking, I know the Colin McEnroe staff is amazing but how do they manage to book two big celebrities with the same initials.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:20 am
Fri January 30, 2015

The Nose Only Watches the Super Bowl for the Commercials

Credit Deb West / Flickr Creative Commons

On the Nose this hour: pre-watching Super Bowl ads.

Super Bowl advertisers have forced us (conned us?) to live in their world, not just for Sunday, but for days spreading in either direction. This piece explains how, in 2011, a VW ad was released on the YouTube's days in advance of the game and went viral, setting the stage for what we have now: a protracted debate about various ads. You probably have to, on YouTube, sometimes watch an ad so you can watch an ad.

Today, that 2011 ad has 61 million views on YT. Those are people volunteering to watch it, as opposed to people waiting for the game to resume.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:32 pm
Thu January 29, 2015

Giving Wings to Flight

Cameron Robertson.
PopTech Creative Commons

Toronto-based engineers Cameron Robertson and Todd Reichert set out to achieve the impossible: to build the ever first human-powered helicopter. Decades of attempts by aeronautical engineers had proved unsuccessful. But for Robertson and Reichert, that was no deterrent. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:15 am
Wed January 28, 2015

Overconfidence Is Overrated

Daylian Cain is an associate professor at Yale School of Management
Chion Wolf WNPR

Here's my favorite one. Eighty-four percent of Frenchmen rate themselves as above average lovers. Ninety-three percent of young drivers in another survey said they were above average. And, 68% of the faculty at the University of Nebraska place themselves in the top 25%.

All of those numbers reflect misplaced confidence. It seems to be genetically wired into us in certain ways.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:11 pm
Tue January 27, 2015

Puzzles: The Joy of Being Perplexed

Lablanco Flickr Creative Commons

People have been puzzled since the beginning. And while that might sound like a problem, it may in fact be our preferred state of being. Since the first fires needed to be lit with tinder too damp to kindle, we've been problem solving. When one problem was solved, another was found. And when seemingly, we could no longer find enough problems to satiate our appetites, we created puzzles: problems in a box; food for our minds.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

This Is How You Survive the Storm

Before you get to this part of the storm, we'll tell you how to actually enjoy the blizzard.
Chion Wolf WNPR

We decided to bow to reality, and make this hour all about getting ready for the storm. You’ve heard about the storm, right? We begin today with NBC Connecticut meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan, and find out why this particular storm has his profession in such a lather.

Then we move on to what most -- ideally all -- of you will be doing from Monday night through Wednesday morning: staying put.

Culture critic Linda Holmes and I will discuss some viewing recommendations. Watch them until the power goes out. If and when that happens, maybe you’ll still be able to read. You’ve still got time to add to your e-reader or physically pick up some of the books our final guest John Warner and I will be discussing. Warner is one of the commentators in a March tournament of literary fiction.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
7:00 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Dancin' in the Moonlight: Connecticut Dance Halls

David Foster is the owner of Shaboo Productions and the leader of the Mohegan Sun Shaboo All-Stars.
Chion Wolf WNPR

This hour, we talk about two Connecticut dance halls, each springing from the vision of two very different men who took their respective dance halls down very different paths. One's dream soared, bringing thousands of concert-goers to over 3,000 acts over an eleven-year history. The other's dream stalled, his elaborate dance hall sitting idle for decades.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:45 am
Thu January 22, 2015

An Ode to Opera

David Shankbone Creative Commons

In 2012, the New York City Opera -- what Mayor LaGuardia called "the People's Opera" -- declared bankruptcy. This is/was the opera that introduced Americans to Placido Domingo and Beverly Sills. Make what you will of the fact that the bankruptcy announcement coincided with the presentation of a new opera about Anna Nicole Smith.

This is either a problem very specific to the New York Opera, or part of a virus that has been taking down opera companies all over the U.S. and maybe all over the world. In Italy, where opera receives much more public and government support, one fourth of all major opera companies were in a version of bankruptcy as of 2008.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
5:15 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Live From Watkinson School: Can a Song Change the World?

Credit Jim The Photographer / Flickr Creative Commons

If you want to reach people, sing to them, and make them sing. Experience tells us that singing changes people's relationships to reality, maybe even getting them ready to experience pain in a protest march.

Here's a term that was new to me anyway: "Collective Effervescence". It was coined by the sociologist Emile Durkheim to describe a lot of things, including the state we might achieve if we all got together and sang a song about our political aims. You see this in times of protest, from the streets of Ferguson to the streets around Tahrir Square. When people sing, or hear someone else sing, it activates them.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:08 pm
Tue January 20, 2015

The Scramble: Word of the Year, Football, and "The Nightly Show" Premieres

Dave Worley Creative Commons

The Oxford Dictionary word of the year for 2014 is vape. I can get behind that. It's a word that describes something a lot of people are doing and it really did come of age in the last 12 months. The American Dialect Society, not so much. Their controversial word of the year is #blacklivesmatter, which is not a word or even close to being one word.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:21 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

The Nose is Still Waiting for its Oscar Nomination

Credit Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr Creative Commons

Academy Awards are not intrinsically important; therefore, Academy Award nominations are not intrinsically important, but these things are great moments for starting conversations and taking stock. They work pretty well as mass cultural Rorschach blots, and as is the case with many things, the ways in which they make us unhappy are probably the greatest source of interest.  

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:45 am
Thu January 15, 2015

The History and Influence of Soap Operas

Earlier today, Julianne Moore got an Oscar nomination for "Still Alice." She is by far the betting favorite to win the best actress award. But you may remember her better as Franny Hughes Crawford on "As The World Turns." And four or five years before Ellen said "I'm gay," Bill Douglas came out as a gay teenager on One Life to Live. That character was played by Ryan Philippe. In fact, Leo DiCaprio, Maria Tomei, Tommy Lee Jones, Parker Posey, Kevin Bacon, Meg Ryan, they all worked on soaps before they moved on. 

Now there are only four soap operas left – drawn out, dramatic stories that used to be sponsored by soap manufacturers, and now are struggling to maintain relevance to house wives who have a lot more options in the middle of the day. We'll talk about this slice of Americana with those in the industry, and a professor who co-directs “Project Daytime.”

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:05 am
Wed January 14, 2015

Fire: Sparking Imagination Since Two Million B.C.

BriSaEr Flickr Creative Commons

Things burn: Our environments, resources, and all forms of monument to self. And since the beginning, so too has our imagination. The inspiration humans have drawn from fire throughout the millennia is as impressive as it is immeasurable. Why fire occupies such an elemental place in the creative wellsprings of our consciousness is certainly a debate to had.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:28 am
Tue January 13, 2015

The Spice of Life

Indian spices for sale at the Anjuna flea-market, Anjuna Beach, Goa, India
Credit Sarah Marlowe / Creative Commons

The word spice has a kind of urgency. You don't need spice but historically, it's something people wanted enough to travel long, unfamiliar routes to find and bring back. We're going to talk about the lust for spice that helped open up trade and colonization. It's not just the taste or the smell - it was status and a class marker. One was either the sort of family that had turmeric or one was not.

Today on the show, we talk about the history of spice and about its present. It hasn't stopped, in certain quarters, being a luxury item and a status marker.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Mon January 12, 2015

The Scramble: Cartoonist's Psyche, D'Angelo, and "Transparent"

Two Connecticut cartoonists join us to respond to last week's shootings in Paris.
Aurelien Guichard Creative Commons

Today on the Scramble, we talk to two cartoonists about the road ahead from the Charlie Hebdo massacre. I'm still wrestling with some of my own questions about what this story means to the world of satire, which I consider vitally important to the health of the world.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:44 am
Fri January 9, 2015

The Nose Wraps its Head Around Satire

Jacques Lamarre is the Director of Communication & Special Projects at the Mark Twain House and Museum.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Later in the show, we discuss this essay in praise of the conventional office life, but first, Colin writes: 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
8:07 am
Thu January 8, 2015

The Mystique of "Jeopardy!"

Hillary Huttenhower is a “Jeopardy!” champion and a materials engineer at United Technologies Corporation
Chion Wolf WNPR

What is it we salute when we salute the flag of Jeopardy?

I really don't know the answer nor do I know how to put it in the form of a question.

There are some obvious answers. Jeopardy celebrates competence. It acknowledges the idea there are things worth knowing and that people who know them deserve a slightly different status than people who don't.

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Colin McEnroe Show
9:53 am
Wed January 7, 2015

I'm So Tired -- At Least, That's What My Head Is Telling Me

Shankara Newton has been teaching yoga for over 28 years. He’s also is in private practice as a Marriage and Family Therapist

In 1954, Roger Bannister did the previously unthinkable. He ran a mile in under four minutes. Six weeks later, his chief rival John Landy, did the same thing, and bettered Bannister's performance.

Thirteen months later, three other runners broke four minutes. Bear in mind that this had been considered impossible for as long as there had been time-keeping at track meets.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:13 am
Tue January 6, 2015

Historical Deletion and Censorship

Andrew Turner Creative Commons

There's a mostly forgotten story by the mostly forgotten sci-fi writer, R.A. Lafferty. It's called, "What's The Name of That Town." We meet a team of scientists and an amusing sentiant computer examining clues that suggested something existed once upon a time and has now been erased.

It turns out to be the city of Chicago which has been obliterated in an accident so traumatic that the city's existence has been wiped from all records and from peoples actual memories. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

The Scramble: NYPD vs. deBlasio and Remembering Icons and Institutions

What's next in the relationship between the NYPD and Mayor Bill de Blasio?
Mark Wyman Creative Commons

The year is off to a tumultuous and sad start. Some New York Police Department officers continued their protest of Mayor Bill de Blasio at a funeral for a fallen colleague and reducing arrests for minor offenses. The protest is entering what Matt Taibbi described as "surreal territory." We also remember the iconic ESPN sportscaster Stuart Scott, who died Sunday. Finally, we discuss the news out of New Haven that The Anchor served its last drink this weekend.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:15 am
Fri January 2, 2015

The Agony and Utility of Ecstasy

C. Michael White is a Professor and Department Head at UConn’s School of Pharmacy.
Chion Wolf WNPR

"Molly" is the nickname for MDMA, or Ecstasy, and it's short for "Molecule", meaning you're getting the "real thing", chemically speaking. Except you almost never do. On this show, we'll talk about the dangers of Molly, the medical uses of MDMA, and the curious romance between the drug and the form of music known as EDM, Electronic Dance Music.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:46 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Round Out the New Year with "Big Al" Anderson and Jim Chapdelaine

"Big Al" Anderson.
Chion Wolf WNPR

If you've ever watched "Nashville," you've heard the songwriting of "Big Al" Anderson. If you've ever listened to the band NRBQ (The New Rhythm and Blues Quartet), you've heard him loud and clear. And if you tune into this show, you'll hear this Windsor native and Jim Chapdelaine perform live, talk about the craft of songwriting for himself and for other people, defining an era with "No Good to Cry" with his band, Wildweeds, and more!

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:56 am
Tue December 30, 2014

Best Jazz of 2014

Noah Baerman is a pianist, educator, author, and composer. His latest album is called “Ripples”.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It’s so hard to keep up on jazz, especially for the person with only a casual interest. That’s why, every year, critic Gene Seymour and some musicians get together on our show to talk about what they liked and why. On this show, pianists Noah Baerman and Jen Allen round out the panel.

SONGS (in order of appearance):

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

America's Greatest Living Film Critic Scrambles 2014

David Edelstein is a film critic for New York magazine, NPR's Fresh Air, and CBS Sunday Morning.
Chion Wolf WNPR

One nice thing about the holidays is that David Edelstein, America's Greatest Living Film Critic, comes back to his hometown and joins us for a conversation about movies. Recently on Fresh Air, he told Terry Gross that 2014 was a "very, very depressing year for film because none of the great material came from Hollywood studios."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:00 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Instant Replay! The Nose Is All Serial All the Time

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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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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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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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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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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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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