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

Contact producers Chion Wolf and Betsy Kaplan.

The executive producer is Catie Talarski.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Emojis Make The Nose :)

Rebecca Castellani, a scholar of modern literature.
Chion Wolf WNPR

It's time for our cultural roundtable, The Nose! Insert smiling cat face with heart-shaped eyes. With 250 new emoji coming to a phone near you, we think it's time to give these tiny additions to our written language a face with stuck-out tongue and winking eye. Don't go all Hear No Evil Monkey on us!

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Thu July 10, 2014

70 Years Later, the Hartford Circus Fire Still Burns

Propound Creative Commons

On July 6, 1944, a circus tent in the North End of Hartford caught fire. The tent covered three blocks. It was gone in six minutes. 

Roughly 170 people died. You'll understand my imprecision as we go along. Five employees of the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter, and served minimal prison sentences. One of them, James Haley, was so unscarred by this that he later served for 24 years in Congress.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:03 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Phoniness: From Resume Fraud to Fake Identities

Mark Oppenheimer is an author, and writes the biweekly “Beliefs” column for The New York Times and contributes to many publications including The Atlantic, The Nation, and This American Life.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Maybe Holden Caulfield was onto something when he ranted about "phoniness." This June, Michael Sharpe  resigned as CEO of FUSE, a Hartford-based charter school management company, when it came to light that he was not, in fact, a doctor, as his biography might have you believe.

That got us thinking about faking it: Why do people commit resume fraud? What is with our obsession with titles? What happens when someone adopts a whole new identity?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Philippe Petit's "Perfect Crime"

High Wire artist Philippe Petit.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Philippe Petit made his walk between the towers of the World Trade Center 40 years ago. He stayed up on that wire for 45 minutes, made 8 passes between the towers, got down on his knees, and he even laid down on it! But it's more than that one feat - it was a placeholder for a much broader philosophy of risk and creativity, and evidence of who the man really is.

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The Colin McCenroe Show
11:27 am
Mon July 7, 2014

It's Not Easy to Find a Good Comedy at the Movies These Days

Credit Bernt Rostad / Creative Commons

I'm pretty sure that in the summer of 1992, somebody tried to tell me about Monty Python's Flying Circus. I didn't get it, and there weren't that many chances to  break in as a Python fan. Their actual television show didn't begin airing on public TV in America until October of 1974. Then, in the space of about two years, they changed the face of American comedy. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:35 am
Thu July 3, 2014

The Nose Got Blown Off By an Errant Roman Candle

Elizabeth Keifer is a professor of English at Tunxis Community College
Chion Wolf

This hour, we lead off with a quick discussion of a term floated on Fox News this week. "Beyonce voters," according to one commentator, are single women who depend on the government because they don't have a husband. You know, just like Beyonce.

Is he for real or a democratic plant? He does get one thing right. The New York Times reports that "the decline of marriage in this last generation has created an emerging bloc of unmarried women that  is profoundly reshaping the American electorate."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:45 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

This Trailer Show is Rated G for Great

Kevin O'Toole is a member of the Culture Dogs, a show on WWUH on Sunday Evenings.

This hour, we talk about movie trailers. Maybe you wonder what a movie critic thinks of them. Actually, critics don't see as many as you do because they often go to special screenings.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:56 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Sumptuous Silence Transcription

Marie Coppola is an assistant professor of psychology and linguistics at the University of Connecticut where she directs the Language Creation Lab. She’s also the founder and Executive Director of Manos Unidas
Chion Wolf

Imagine having no capacity for language acquisition. Imagine developing a language with grammars that are completely independent from the spoken language of the surrounding hearing culture. Imagine being unable to engage in any of the thought processes I'm using right now.  Choosing words and bundles of words to convey meaning, pausing to ponder the interesting similarities between deafness and deficit. Grabbing for a phrase like language acquisition and appreciating the neat little package it represents. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:02 am
Tue July 1, 2014

Can Technology Save the World?

Wendell Wallach is the Chair of Technology & Ethics at the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics
Chion Wolf

Let's take the most dire problem facing humankind: Climate change has so many negative implications it would take all day to list them. Meanwhile, there's the possibility of a sudden acceleration of a problem caused by the melting of Arctic ice, which exposes more ocean water to warming, which causes more melting, which causes more...well, you get the picture.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:46 am
Mon June 30, 2014

The Scramble: Court Contradictions and Conservative Consternation

The Roberts' Supreme Court
Credit Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

It's that time of year when nine people who were never elected decide all manner of questions about how we live. Monday marked the last round of Supreme Court decisions. By now, you probably know that in a five-four decision, they sided with Hobby Lobby in affirming the rights of employers to invoke their religious principles to opt out of the requirement to provide certain contraceptives otherwise mandated by Obamacare. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri June 27, 2014

The Nose Bit First

Carolyn Paine is an actor, dancer, and choreographer
Chion Wolf WNPR

This week on The Nose, our culture roundtable, we'll tackle "Columbusing," the act of believing that something never existed before you discovered it. Also, this week's biting episode in the World Cup makes us wonder if vampires are setting a bad example.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:56 am
Thu June 26, 2014

The Evolution of Game Shows

Credit Clement B. / Creative Commons

What's become of game shows in America? Since their television debut in 1938 we've seen everything from microwave ovens to million dollar payouts awarded to lucky contestants. Now, in a television culture increasingly captivated by reality T.V., we see traditional game shows being crowded out by reality competition shows at an alarming rate. What will become of the time-honored genre? Are we witnessing the end of an era or will a new generation of Trebeks and Sajaks emerge to save the day?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:06 am
Wed June 25, 2014

Sumptuous Silence

Marie Coppola is an assistant professor of psychology and linguistics at the University of Connecticut where she directs the Language Creation Lab. She’s also the founder and Executive Director of Manos Unidas
Chion Wolf

Imagine having no capacity for language acquisition. Imagine developing a language with grammars that are completely independent from the spoken language of the surrounding hearing culture.

Imagine being unable to engage in any of the thought processes I'm using right now: Choosing words, and bundles of words, to convey meaning, and pausing to ponder the interesting similarities between deafness and deficit; or grabbing for a phrase like "language acquisition" and appreciating the neat little package it represents. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:00 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Pickleball, Tai Chi, and World Extreme Pencil Fighting? Exploring Sports on the Rise

World Extreme Pencil Fighting in Seattle, WA.
Sol Neelman - www.SolNeelman.com

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in America, and for one good reason: that 77-million-person wave of boomers headed into their 60s and beyond. Pickleball is what you play when your knees and shoulders start saying "no" to tennis. We talk about the game and its sudden surge.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:26 am
Mon June 23, 2014

The Scramble Is Proud of June Thomas

Credit Kevin Wong / Flickr Creative Commons

On Monday, we do The Scramble. And on the Scramble, we always start with a SuperGuest, which means that in defiance of public radio logic, we pick the person first and then figure out what the topics will be. 

This week we started with June Thomas, one of my favorite Slate.com writers and talkers, and someone I assumed would want to riff at least a little bit about pop culture. Instead, her top two choices are Gay Pride month and dentistry.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:41 am
Fri June 20, 2014

The Nose Is Live From the Yale Writers' Conference

MG Lord.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Jeff VanderMeer is one of the hottest writers in the science fiction and fantasy genre. MG Lord is a humorist and recovering political cartoonist who has written books about Elizabeth Taylor and Barbie. Louis Bayard writes historical fiction who specializes in detective novels, but his new book features Teddy Roosevelt stalking a mysterious beast through the Amazon. That's the river and jungle, not the book dealer.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Thu June 19, 2014

A Salute to Banjos!

Chion Wolf WNPR

Maybe you think of the banjo as primarily a bluegrass instrument, but try not to forget that prior to about 1830, it was played pretty much exclusively by African-Americans, and it seems to have as ancestors several African instruments. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:06 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Pencils: What's the Point?

Chion Wolf WNPR

Why pencils? Here's an answer from PencilRevolution.com, one of the many pencil blogs and websites we uncovered while prepping for this show: "The first and best reason to use pencils is because you like them, and enjoy writing, drawing with them. Because you feel better connected to the paper you're writing on (or the wall, etc.), and the earth, from which the clay, the graphite, and the wood all came. Because they smell good. Because sharpening them can be sort of a meditative process. Because you can chew on them. Or for reasons we can't explain."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:10 am
Tue June 17, 2014

The CMS at the International Festival of (Pancakes) and Arts and Ideas, 2014

Jack Hitt is a contributing writer to the New York Times Magazine and the author of several books including most recently, Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character.
Chion Wolf WNPR

New Haven's International Festival of Arts and Ideas is back! The theme of this year's festival is "Transformation and Tradition," and runs from this past Saturday through June 28. You don't want to miss it.

John Dankosky and Where We Live will brighten your breakfast with a performance of a "comic-rap-scrap metal musical." They're just getting started. You also hear about corsets, bicycles, and hunter-gatherers.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:49 am
Mon June 16, 2014

The Scramble: Henry Alford on Garrison Keillor, Cash Frenzies, and Reworking the Reservation

Credit Steven Depolo / Flickr Creative Commons

Henry Alford is a very funny writer. I've been laughing at his writing since about 1990, when he erupted in Spy Magazine, with hilarious speculative pieces like, "What If The Pope Were A Dog?"

Not long ago, he was asked to review a collection by another funny writer, Garrison Keillor. He did it, keenly aware that many people who find him funny are the kinds of people who find Keillor tiresome. And, maybe a bigger problem, Keillor had written some columns about gays and atheists that riled up not just Alford's fans, but people he knows pretty well. So what's a critic to do? Alford actually admired some things about the book, and said so. There was pushback. We'll talk about that today on The Scramble.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri June 13, 2014

The Nose: Hillary vs. Terry and Opera vs. Robots

Jim Chapdelaine is a musician, producer, composer, and recording engineer
Chion Wolf WNPR

It has been a strange week for mixing gay right, media, and politics. Texas Governor Rick Perry surprised a San Francisco audience when he said, "I may have the genetic coding that I'm inclined to be an alcoholic, but I have the desire not to do that, and I look at homosexual issues the same way." Anderson Cooper had an edgy conversation with a Texas -- what is it about Texas? -- state rep who supports the so-called "conversion therapy."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:55 am
Thu June 12, 2014

The Lure of Letters

Credit Tammy Strobel / Wikimedia Commons

Tab Hunter and Joyce DeWitt, Elizabeth Taylor and James Earl Jones, Sigourney Weaver and Jeff Daniels, Samantha Bee and Jason Jones from "The Daily Show," Timothy Hutton and Elizabeth McGovern: I could go on and on. These are all couples who have acted together in A.R. Gurney's play, "Love Letters."

The play is amazingly elastic. Do you want to see Larry Hagman and Linda Gray together one more time post-Dallas? Well, they did "Love Letters." 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:33 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Young Black Men Pay a Hefty Price

David Canton is an associate professor of History at Connecticut College
Chion Wolf

President Obama announced a five-year, $200 million initiative to help young black men succeed. It's called "My Brother's Keeper," and aims to work with non-profits and foundations to search for solutions to the  problems of young black men. Leaders cite school and job readiness, discipline, and parenting as a few of the problems they'll tackle, but it's  mostly the bone-crushing poverty and low expectations that hold them back. 

This well-intended initiative put forth to help young black men succeed will  help a few beat the odds at the expense of the masses. The success feels good but may not change much.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:25 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Oh, Canada! How'd You Get So Funny?

Credit Muhammad Ali / Flickr Creative Commons

David Steinberg, Martin Short, Mort Sahl, Rick Moranis, Lorne Michaels, Jim Carrey, John Candy, Kids in the Hall, Samantha Bee, Jason Jones, Howie Mandel, Rich Little, Norm Macdonald, Katherine O'Hara, Russell Peters, Leslie Nielsen - They are all Canadians.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:20 am
Mon June 9, 2014

The Scramble: Freakonomics, Tony Awards, and Rock Cats in Hartford

What our servers currently look like, via Wikimedia Commons

Freakonomics god Stephen Dubner is our SuperGuest for today's Scramble, and he talks about how to think more rationally and creatively, the upside of quitting, and the latest studies on happiness. Then, we chat with sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, and WNPR's capital region reporter Jeff Cohen, on the value of publicly-funded sports arenas. What's the status on the possible building of a baseball stadium in Hartford? Is it a done deal? What else have we learned and expect to understand about what a business like that may do to the city?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri June 6, 2014

The Nose Talks About... Nevermind, It Takes Too Long

Rebecca Castellani is a scholar of modern literature.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Today on The Nose, we begin with an essay, "Faking Cultural Literacy." Writer Karl Taro Greenfeld said, "It's never been so easy to pretend to know so much, without actually knowing anything." We pick topical, relevant bits from Facebook, Twitter, or emailed news alerts, and then regurgitate them.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Jerry Adler and Richard Kline Let The Sunshine In

Jerry Adler is a theatre director, production supervisor, and a television and film actor, well-known for his role as "Hesh" on The Sopranos.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Richard Klein and Jerry Adler are veteran actors and directors on stage, television, and film. You might know Klein as Dallas on Three's Company, and Adler as "Hesh" on The Sopranos. On this show, they'll visit the WNPR studios to tell their stories, and reminisce with Colin about his years as Ed the Handyman on Charles In Charge.

That's not true, Colin wasn't in Charles In Charge, but we'll explore the nuances of theater acting, the history of their time on television, and get a sneak peek at their latest work together, "The Sunshine Boys" at the Jorgensen Theater at UConn.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:06 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Digging Deep Into Connecticut's Underground History

Researchers dig for remnants from the British raid on Essex during the War of 1812 in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
Credit Courtesy of Jerry Roberts

    

Connecticut's history is well documented throughout Connecticut museums and historic villages, but there's much more  that we have yet to discover, much of it underground. 

Today, we're partnering with Connecticut Explored, Connecticut's history journal, to tell a series of underground stories.                                                                                                                                       

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:16 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Connecticut Is the Land of Plenty, for Some

Lucy Nolan is the Executive Director of EndHungerCT
Chion Wolf

If you're like me, you'll have a lot of thoughts about food today but they won't be about how to get some. It will be about what you want for lunch and what you feel like having for dinner.

You might have an argument with yourself about whether you can afford to eat a snack or dessert, but to you the word "afford" has to do with your weight and your waistline.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:44 am
Mon June 2, 2014

The Scramble: Liberal Arts, Carbon Emissions and Of Course, Jeopardy!

Credit Wesleyan University / Wikimedia Commons

Is college worth it? The news about higher education is mostly bad. Student loan debt is now $1 trillion and climbing. Underpaid, demoralized, and harassed adjunct faculty are taking on more and more of the teaching load. By many measures, college isn't doing its most important job: providing a ladder that young people with fewer advantages can climb.

College right now seems to be reinforcing class structure rather than loosening it up. 

Into all of the above steps an optimist: Wesleyan president Michael Roth, who doesn't deny the problems, but insists that a liberal education is essential, and worth it. Despite the shift towards specialized courses of study, a liberal arts education is more important than ever. 

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