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
2:33 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Rats!

Chion Wolf

Rats are political. Yes, I know all the jokes. But what I really mean is that the decisions about where there will be rats and where there won't be are all snarled up in politics.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:56 pm
Fri March 9, 2012

The Nose: GCB's & Internet Slactivism

Chris Ptacek (Chenoweth), Getty Images (Kony)

The Joseph Kony internet meme is racing across our hive mind with a speed and force almost unprecedented, at least for something serious. The video about the Ugandan opposition leaders seems to have had about 35 million views in one day. And the videos and its makers now have the support of Justin Bieber, Barack Obama, P. Diddy, Taylor Swift, Ryan Seacrest and Tim Tebow. So Joseph Kony, your days are numbered.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:18 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Domestic Drones

The Colin McEnroe Show
12:17 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Are All Facts Relative?

Flickr Creative Commons, Stewart

What is the truth? It's a question that comes up a lot in the news. Is Barack Obama a Muslim? Were there weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?  Did 9/11 happen as we were told? Was JFK killed by a lone gun man? Were there any real instances in which Vietnam veterans were spat upon? Is there any such thing as post-traumatic stress disorder? Do certain vaccines cause autism? Is evolution a theory or a scientific truth?

I could go on.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
5:30 pm
Tue March 6, 2012

Antonin Scalia and Neely Bruce's 'Bill Of Rights'

Wikimedia Commons

One theory is that Supreme Court justices are supposed to be seen and not heard. Or, put another way, read ... but neither seen nor heard.

They're supposed to be inscrutable. That's just a theory. Antonin Scalia has never had much use for it. He gives speeches. He grants interviews. He even, last year, met with the Tea Party caucus within the United State congress -- one twig on the judicial branch telling some leaves on the legislative branch, what he thinks about the way they do their jobs.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:41 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

Sorting Through 'Seeds Of Doubt'

Wow. When I decided to do a show on genetically engineered foods, I had no understanding of the bitterness and distrust that exists on both sides of the issue. This is one of those debates in which pretty much everything is contested, from the credentials of the person talking against your points to the language employed in the discussions.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:23 pm
Wed February 29, 2012

Arranged Marriages In America & Abroad

Chion Wolf

Maybe choice and autonomy are overrated. We live in a world where the notion of marrying someone picked out by somebody else is damn near terrifying. Autonomy! We have to have it, right? But then, a lot of our marriages don't work out so well. The rate of divorce in the world of arranged marriages is far, far lower, although there are -- of course -- multiple explanations for that. But there really is a chance that happiness can be arrived at by taking a different route than the first one that comes up on our emotional GPS device.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:23 pm
Tue February 28, 2012

Election Double Header: Connecticut's Strange Political Machine

Flickr Creative Commons, Muffet

Connecticut is a strange political state. We’ve been home to (and given comfort to) mavericks and outsiders of all kinds (long before John McCain and Sarah Palin changed the way we think of mavericks). Jerry Brown was our idea of a Democratic presidential candidate in 1992. And Joe Lieberman has somehow gently landed his career on the tarmac after being reviled by both major parties.

Are there rules and mores that apply here that don’t apply elsewhere? Is our reputation for valuing party-jumping mavericks really deserved? And is it evaporating here in 2012?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:23 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Backyard Chickens

Chion Wolf

Today's show is already breaking some kind of record for communications from the outside world received in advance of the actual episode. As soon as the promo started airing, we started getting emails, and what those emails told us was:

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:20 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

The Nose: Lovin' & Hatin' On The 2012 Oscar Nominees

Los Angeles Times, Wikimedia

I'm even grumpier than usual about the Oscars, which I both love and hate. Most years, I have a movie I love that's somewhere in the hunt. Last year, even though I knew "Winter's Bone" wasn't going to win anything, it was fun to root for it.

The year before, I most rooted against "Avatar," and cherished the notion that "District 9" was in many ways the most original and thoughtful movie among the nominees.

The year before that -- well, at least there was the certainty that Heath Ledger's performance in "The Dark Knight" was the best work anybody did all year.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:40 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

Define Irony ...

Flickr Creative Commons, dullhunk

Mort Sahl was one of the true American -- actually he was from Canada -- ironists, in the sense that his lines -- I can't really call them jokes -- were more likely to make you think than make you laugh.

Of President Bush in 2004, he said, "He's the face on the can. But who canned that soup?" In the same routine he claimed that God watches what liberals do. "If we support someone we don't believe in and say he's electable, then God will make sure he's not elected and hope we do better the next time."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:43 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Downton Abbey - PBS's Water Cooler Phenomenon

Wikimedia Commons

At the outset, Downton Abbey looked like just another PBS costume drama. But it came in from England with a little extra buzz, and then it picked up steam with viewers.

By the end of its first season, it had become appointment television for a lot of people who don't ordinarily watch PBS on Sunday nights. In its second season, which concluded Sunday night, it had reached the stage the programmers crave. It was a water cooler phenomenon, heavily discussed on social media and among real live human beings the next morning at work.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:40 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

For The Love Of Dogs

The Colin McEnroe Show
2:24 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

The Nose: *Insert Bad Jeremy Lin Pun*, Contraception, Diets And Endoresments

Wikimedia Commons

Quick. Who are the speakers in the following quotes?

"My audience is God. ... The right way to play is not for others and not for myself, but for God. I’m still learning to be selfless and submit myself to God and give up my game to Him.”

Quote Two: "I invited God to become the chairman of the board of my life."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:40 pm
Thu February 16, 2012

What Do 'Supertasters' Say About How We Taste Food?

Flickr Creative Commons, missmeng

I cook whenever possible. I experiment a lot with ingredients. But I wouldn't say I had a sharp sense of taste. I'm in the group of "medium tasters" who make up 50 percent of the human eating population.

Lately I've been using pink salt, mainly because a guy at a farmer's market gave me some to try. And I like the look of it. It does seem, even to my unrefined palate, that something a little different happens when I substitute it for more conventional salts.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:11 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Welcome To The Printed World

Flickr Creative Commons, kakissel

What is 3-D printing? One of our guests today, Michael Weinberg explained it better than I could:

"Essentially, a 3D printer is a machine that can turn a blueprint into a physical object. Feed it a design for a wrench, and it produces a physical, working wrench. Scan a coffee mug with a 3-D scanner, send the file to the printer, and produce thousands of identical mugs."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
5:31 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

The Profound Pursuit Of Puzzles

Chion Wolf

It may be hard for some of you to remember, but there was a time when the correct answers to the clues to the New York Times crossword puzzle were for all intents and purposes out of reach. I mean, you could take the Sunday magazine with you to the library and look stuff up. Or you could wait a week for the answers. But there was no Google. The crossword doer today lives in a constant state of temptation.

Mark Messier's team for 12 years? You could look it up. That Rimsy Korsakov opera title? It's there to be found.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:26 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

The Science Of Dust

Gilles San Martin/flickr creative commons

There was a time when nobody studied dust. In fact, two kinds of nobody studied two kinds of dust. Astronomers were annoyed by interstellar dust because it got in the way of what they were looking at. It took a long time for them to realize the dust itself was worth looking at.

Same goes for earthbound particulate dust. Dust might creep into a sample on a slide if somebody got sloppy. And that was a problem. Only recently did scientists start looking at the dust itself and even cataloging it in, off all things, a dust library.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:53 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

The Nose: Live From New Haven With Emily Bazelon, Jack Hitt And Mark Oppenheimer

Chion Wolf

We're in New Haven today, borrowing the Faith Middleton studio to do the Nose with a stellar Elm City lineup of Emily Bazelon from Slate, Jack Hitt, often heard on This American Life, and Mark Oppenheimer, who is pretty much everywhere.

The topics, however, are not all that different. The Republican nomination drama seems to fuel our conversation every week. They are the new Kardashians, and if it seems like it's dragging on a long time, well not really.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:16 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Stolen Moon Rocks? Pure Lunacy!

Neil Armstrong was the first man to walk on the moon, but the first man to urinate there was Buzz Aldrin, just a little ahead of Neil. The two astronauts relieved themselves into bags within their suits, then removed the bags and left them on the lunar surface. When you gotta go, you gotta go. It was time to go.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:55 am
Wed February 8, 2012

Gov. Malloy's State Of The State Address - 2012

Chion Wolf

A year ago, Dannel Malloy's job fell into the general categories of triage and emergency medicine. The state's finances were broken. He had to get the patient stabilized so the process of care could begin. This year, to extend the analogy, the patient is out of intensive care but not out of the woods.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:39 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Should Religion Be Politicized?

Flickr Creative Commons, jillian louise

Sooner or later in every American political cycle, religion rears its head. The debate over Barack Obama's former pastor Jeremiah Wright is still fresh in our minds. In the presidency of George W. Bush, there were many questions about the degree to which his faith shaped his policies and his rhetoric.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:01 pm
Mon February 6, 2012

Best & Worst Super Bowl Ads 2012

Gavin St. Ours, Flickr Creative Commons

Do Super Bowl commercials hold up a mirror to, well, anything? Maybe, by the time you've paid three or four or seven million dollars for the time, plus your production costs, you've entered such a realm of insanity that it would be impossible to connect your final product back to anything going on in the real world.

Today, we'll be analyzing a lot of the ads you saw yesterday. Some of them can only be discussed in terms of whether they worked or not. Did they entertain you? Did they make you want to buy a Chevy or a bag of Doritos?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:25 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

The Nose: Komen Vs Planned Parenthood, And Diagnosing Grief

Chion Wolf

The sudden news that the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation has apologized and essentially reversed itself on the issue of defunding Planed Parenthood is yet another example of the incredible power of the internet. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:11 pm
Thu February 2, 2012

Cinematic Titanic Carries On Mystery Science Theater 3000's Legacy

Chion Wolf

Today we have what I think of as the Terry Gross Problem.

I'm always impressed by the way Terry Gross just leads with her own pop culture tastes and doesn't seem to worry too much about whether her audience is on the same page. She'll do a whole show interviewing people from the show "Justified"  and just count on her audience to roll along with her, whether they watch "Justified" or not. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:52 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

The Joys & Perils Of Online Dating

Don Hankins, Flickr Creative Commons

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:17 pm
Mon January 30, 2012

Clowns All Around

Chion Wolf

Here's a quote: "A clown is funny in the circus ring. But what would be the normal reaction to opening a door at midnight, and finding the same clown standing there in the moonlight?"

Sounds like a 21st century post-modern take on clowns, but it actually comes from Lon Chaney, the horror movie star who died in 1930.

Almost one hundred years ago, somebody understood that clowns can be scary. To Chaney, it was all a matter of context. What we've almost forgotten in our 21st century post modern mood is the first part of Chaney's statement. Clowns are funny.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:16 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

The Nose: How To Know When To Stop Talking

Flickr Creative Commons, shawnzrossi

I was appalled by the now famous taco comment by East Haven mayor Joe Maturo. The mayor had two jobs to do when the story broke last Tuesday about the arrests of four policemen. He had to assure the world that he was taking it seriously and that East Haven was not a hotbed of both casual and systematic prejudice against Latinos. He did not merely fail to do either.  He accomplished the polar opposite of each. The impact was worsened by the moment itself. A Latino reporter was asking a serious question about Latino issues.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:35 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Being A Real-Life Superhero

Flickr Creative Commons, Brett Jordan

OK, how many of you have at least thought or daydreamed about putting on a costume and fighting crime. Childhood doesn't count.

As a kid I had my whole superhero life planned down to the smallest details. I had figured out -- this is depressing -- that my secret lair would be inside a certain wooded hillside and I had worked out how my means of transportation, a kind of souped-up go-kart,  would emerge from the hill and roll out onto Braeburn Road as I headed off to do battle with evil.

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