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:

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

Chion Wolf

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. 

Chion Wolf

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.

zigazou76

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. 

Planeta on Flickr Creative Commons

Once again we start the week with a show that we planned on the fly based on stories that grabbed us over the weekend. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

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.

Wikimedia Commons

This show originally aired on July 2nd, 2013. When considering what show we wanted to re-run, we found this recent article from the New York Times, As Interest Fades in the Humanities, Colleges Worry. The debate is still being discussed and on this show, it gets heated!

An Ode to Opera

Nov 6, 2013
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last month, 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.

Chion Wolf

Okay, this is sad. Like a lot of people, I have trouble achieving the deep focus needed to enjoy long fiction. And, like a lot of people, I have trouble finding time to read novels.

Recently, I came up with a solution. I go to the gym, get on a recumbent bike, and I read while I pedal for an hour, so yes,  I kill two birds with one Robert Stone.

epSos.de, Flickr Creative Commons.

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. 

Chion Wolf

  

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.

Leave your comments below, email us at colin@wnpr.org, or tweet us @wnprcolin. 

Chion Wolf

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. 

Chion Wolf

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.

A Scrutinization of Salt

Oct 29, 2013
DaGoaty, Flickr Creative Commons

Salt! It's the only rock we eat!

That gets us into some touchy territory. Some say that salt is a major factor for high blood pressure, and some say that it's more complicated than that. We can't NOT eat salt, but in the grand scheme of things, are we eating more now than ever, or way less?

Man Alive! on Flickr Creative Commons

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.

Dok1 / Creative Commons

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.

Flickr Creative Commons, angeloangelo

The electrical grid has been described as the glass jaw of American industry. According to some reports, we’re just one solar flare or cyber-attack away from massive, cascading power failures. This has happened before. In 2012, a cascading power failure in India plunged around 680 million into darkness. And in 2011, some Connecticut residents found themselves without power for more than a week thanks to a freak October snowstorm. We’ll chat with energy experts about how to strengthen the electrical grid.

Chion Wolf

Today you're going to meet the new State Troubadour, Kristen Graves, and renew your acquaintance with three former troubadours.

Chion Wolf

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.

understandinganimalresearch, Flickr Creative Commons

Almost every cure and treatment of diseases exists thanks to medical research on animals. Through animal research, we can understand the addictive nature of Oreos like in a study from Connecticut College recently, and Macaques are crucial for the development of AIDS vaccine strategies. We’ll find out why certain animals work best for certain studies, some big challenges in finding the healthiest control subjects, and more.

GUESTS:

Chion Wolf

A popular video this week was a highlight reel of Stephen Colbert being unable to stay in character as a pompous, self-pleased right wing blowhard. Instead, Colbert is swept up in the hilarity of the material. One of his adorable tricks is to hide the lower half of his face behind something, allowing us to see only his laughing eyes.

Warner Bros.

Watching the movie "Captain Phillips" -- in which Tom Hanks plays a commercial freighter captain kidnapped by Somali pirates -- I had a sense of deja vu. Movies like this are becoming a type. They're about the interaction between the U.S. and people who don't like us. In "Zero Dark 30" and "Captain Phillips," a crack Seal team shows up, so much better equipped and trained than our adversaries that the whole thing feels like an overmatch.

WJ Morgan & Co. Lith., Wikimedia

It's probably an accident that there are so many ways to experience the story of Macbeth right now.
We seem to be living in a moment where ambition has gone mad.

Library of Congress

It's become a cliché to say everything has a story, but in baseball, you could make the argument that everything really does. Even the baseball itself is a story -- one of geography and symbolism -- an almost holy relic of American culture. Sportswriter Steve Rushin tells the story of these objects in his latest book, The 34-Ton Bat.

Flickr Creative Commons, AndrewBrownNWA

Consumer activism is older than the nation. The colonists’ rejection of British imports started a tradition of voting with your knife, fork, teacup and credit card. But it’s complicated! Whole Foods isn’t perfect. And maybe you should reward Wal-Mart for at least trying to improve.

Vox Efx / Wikimedia Commons

We're in New Haven today, and The Nose, our weekly culture panel, wants to talk about the hazards of 3D movies and the increasingly competitive world of Halloween costumes. And because we're in New Haven, we'll turn our attention to a couple of prominent stories down here. One of them -- not for the squeamish -- is the Poopetrator, a laundry prankster who has created such a national stir that even the official account for Clorox bleach is tweeting about him.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

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.

Flickr Creative Commons, janie.hernandez55

At the heart of a new Frontline documentary is a simple question - does playing football expose you to life-threatening brain damage?

It's a question putting America's most popular sport on notice - raising concerns for moms, players' wives, and all of us who love football. Today we talk with Jim Gilmore, producer for Frontline's new documentary "A League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis."

Chion Wolf

With the November municipal elections approaching there have been some nasty battles involving alternative parties fighting their way onto the ballot. There’s something about local politics that leads to hand to hand combat. We’ll be looking at East Hampton, Middletown, Westport and any other town with a feisty third party.

Leave your comments below, email us at colin@wnpr.org or tweet us @wnprcolin.

Guests:

Michael Childers

Fear of Flying sold 18 million copies worldwide and helped tip feminism into a new focus on fulfilled sexuality. But it also introduced a meme so pervasive that the book's author, Erica Jong, worried the phrase "zipless f--k" would appear on her tombstone.

Jong recenly defined the phrase on NPR's Weekend Edition:

Chion Wolf

As Slate embarks on a quixotic search for the "most beautiful woman in the world," The Nose will examine how feminine beauty plays a role in American politics. Earlier this week, a U.S. Representative from Indiana dissed a CNN anchor saying, "You're beautiful, but you have to be honest."

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