WNPR

The Colin McEnroe Show

Weekdays at 1:00 pm and 8:00 pm

We’re asking the people who listen to describe what it sounds like to them. Josh Dobbin, our unofficial ombudsman and possibly most prolific commenter, is taking the first crack.

“The sublime and the ridiculous are often so nearly related, that it is difficult to class them separately.”
Thomas Paine

The Colin McEnroe Show endeavors to prove Paine correct, every weekday. While the topics are unpredictable from one day to the next (previous show topics include whistling, placebos, politics, the nature of divinity, Barbra Streisand, bedbugs, human hydration, dinosaurs, unreliable narrators, ugliness, and raccoons), what is always assured is that a thoughtful, smart, and interesting exploration and conversation with amazing guests will take place about something.

Colin McEnroe is an author, playwright, professor, columnist, and blogger, who is allergic to penicillin and enjoys photographing his dog wearing hats and publishing those photos to the internet. He heads up a team that includes three inquisitive producers (see below) plus the comedy performer Chion Wolf, who doubles as the show's technical producer.

You can stream us live or subscribe on most podcasting platforms. While we are live, call us at (860) 275-7266, or email us anytime at colin@wnpr.org. We're also on Twitter @wnprcolin. To reach us in the newsroom when we're not on air, call (860) 275-7272.

Contact producers:

The executive producer is Catie Talarski. The technical producer is Chion Wolf.

Wikimedia Commons

I started writing humor -- or trying, anyway, -- when my column launched in the Hartford Courant in 1982. 

Flickr Creative Commons, p_a_h

You are surrounded by Artificial Intelligence. It's in your smartphone, in your DVR, probably even in your refrigerator.  

Flickr Creative Commons, Ashley R. Good

In the matter of kisses, I yield the floor to the Roman poet Catullus:

Flickr Creative Commons, Sir Mildred Pierce

As a former religion writer, I struggle with the whole idea of branding any particular religion as a "Cult."

The 2000 election illustrated the weirdness of our presidential voting system in several different dimensions. 

Singularity 101

Feb 8, 2011
Flickr Creative Commons, davedehetre

It could be all the coffee I drank this morning, but I think I have an observation that combines the concept of singularity -- the moment at which artificial intelligence or scientifically modified human intelligence becomes smarter than anything that has ever lived on earth -- with the Green Bay Packers Super Bowl victory.  

Flickr Creative Commons, phrenzee

Today we'll be analyzing the commercials from last night's Super Bowl. Why? Because, as one writer for Salon.com put it, "We all accept the Super Bowl as less of a game than a pop culture nexus point -- a place where the American self-image asserts itself with familiar rituals ... while cautiously acknowledging the present and looking to the future. The Super Bowl's expansive and awkward mix of performers, images, products and messages is a spectacle of its own."

Flickr Creative Commons, Lancashire County Council

Movies are usually beautiful lies. If you want to learn about history, read a history book. The most a movie can do is kind of light you up, in a vague way, about its historical subject. You watch "Gandhi," maybe you get why Gandhi was such a big deal.

Flickr Creative Commons, dickuhne

There's a kind of madness overtaking us.

Flickr Creative Commons, daveynin

I've been a Packer's fan since I was about 14 years old.

Flickr Creative Commons, p_a_H

Until theatrical autobiographical monologue develops a large roster of superstars, everybody will be compared to Spalding Gray, whether or not that makes sense on a case-by-case basis.

The monologue is, I suppose, as old as human speech, but Gray refined it and married it to performance art around 1980.

Flickr Creative Commons, stevendepolo

Twenty or 30 years ago there was a Doonesbury strip featuring the president of Walden College and a rich uncle pennybags donor who wanted to give the college a new gym or fieldhouse. And the president tried, gently and awkwardly, to nudge the rich man toward the idea of a new African American Studies Center which the college actually needed. The last frame was the rich guy in full tantrum mode, fists clenched, screaming "I WANNA DONATE A GYM!"

Flickr Creative Commons, ky_olsen

You could argue that one of the big breaks in the history of knowledge is happening right now, as we move from being storers of knowledge to being adept searchers for what is stored.

There's a basic shift in the notion of what education is. Most of us moved through an education pipeline in which existed some vague notion that you were better off loading a lot of stuff into your head. It would help you think. It would give you points of reference. You should know a lot of things.

Flickr Creative Commons, Sam Howzit

I heard two New York congressmen on NPR this morning talking about last night's co-called Date Night in which Republicans and Democrats had to find people from the opposite party to sit with.

Flickr Creative Commons, psd

Steve Rushin is fearful of robots. First they replaced his father's pin-setting job. Now they're coming for him.

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