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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 performers 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 digital editor is Heather Brandon. The technical producer is Chion Wolf.

Aaron Mentele / Flickr

The modern circus has been thrilling audiences for over 250 years, but as times have changed, so has the circus. What began as little more than an equestrian performance has come to include clowns, trapeze artists and even lion tamers.

Shaheen Lakhan / Creative Commons

H.M. is one of the most important and studied human research subjects of all time. He revolutionized what we know about memory today because of the amnesia he developed after a lobotomy in 1953 to treat the severe epilepsy he developed after a head injury sustained earlier in life. 

Seth Capitulo / Flickr Creative Commons

How we make decisions is a thread that runs through today's Scramble.

First, Donald Trump called a press conference in his new Trump International Hotel in D.C. this past Friday to announce, "President Obama was born in the United States. Period.” He was late to the press conference and used it to promote both a new lie about Hillary Clinton and his new hotel - which ‘coincidentally’ opened last week. How did certain media organizations choose to cover this non-news event instead of say, Hillary Clinton addressing the Black Women’s Agenda Symposium, where she was talking about the economic challenges faced by women of color. Will this episode of "sewer dwelling” prompt the media to re-examine the role and privilege of a free press?

Tony Alter / flickr creative commons

Normally by Friday morning we've got the first one or two topics for The Nose ironed out, and we maybe spend some time hashing out what the third and fourth might be.

Not this week.

Liz West / Flickr Creative Commons

Colin has a "pet" raccoon that visits his porch. The raccoon will press her tiny paw up against the outstretched palm of Colin's significant other, which rests on the indoor side of the glass. Eventually, the raccoon gets a bit of food because "she" is too cute to resist. The pleased raccoon now visits on a regular basis. Colin fears this cannot end well.

USA Network

The cyberpunk subgenre of science fiction emerged in the '70s and '80s with books like Neuromancer and movies like Blade Runner set in the early 21st century in a world full of high tech and lowlifes, in a society divided and unequal, dominated by mega corporations, where the lines between actual reality and virtual reality have started to blur.

Sound familiar?

Women Warriors

Sep 13, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

There is still a debate about whether women belong in combat. It's been more than a year since Defense Secretary Ash Carter ordered all branches of the military in 2015 to allow women on to the front lines of combat and generations since women silently fought alongside men in the Civil War.

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have both been criticized in recent weeks for activities related to their respective foundations. Clinton is accused of using her position as a way to give special treatment to foundation donors. Trump used foundation money to support the re-election of Florida Attorny General Pam Biondi to allegedly stop her from investigating Trump University. As it turns out, Trump has been using his foundation for things that have nothing to do with philanthropy. 

FX Networks

Barbra Streisand's new album dropped two weeks ago. It's an album of duets with . . . actors. Babs and her famous friends sing . . . show tunes. To my mind, that's the makings of a pretty huge disaster (or even a completely ignored disaster). Instead, Streisand's Encore: Movie Friends Sing Broadway is the number one album in the country.

JD Hancock / flickr creative commons

At 8:30 pm on Thursday, September 8, 1966, NBC aired the premiere of a new series called "Star Trek". The episode was "The Man Trap." The star date was 1513.1, in case you're interested in that kind of thing.

I am not interested in that kind of thing.

Wleedooh-k-H / Flickr

Horror films have been scaring audiences for over a hundred years. And in all that time, some things have never changed: Year after year, the collective fears of society have been reflected in gruesome detail on the big screen and women -- usually blond women -- scream bloody murder as their knife-wielding killers approach.

John Morgan / Creative Commons

The presidential debates are scheduled to begin this month with the first scheduled for September 26 at Hofstra University in Long Island. Donald Trump announced this weekend that yes, he would participate -now that he approves of the moderators chosen to referee the debates. 

Cali / flickr creative commons

The participants are average citizens: school teachers, waiters, pharmacists, perhaps even your neighbor. By day they work and pay their bills, but when they return home, things change. These elite individuals go to work forecasting the outcomes of global events (sometimes years into the future), all at the direction of a little-known government intelligence agency called IARPA.

Sublime99 / Flickr

Bill Murray has been involved with some of our favorite movies of all time: Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Moonrise Kingdom, and so many more. He doesn't like managers or agents and rumor has it, once agreed to play Garfield because he thought it was a Coen Brothers film.

Uncle Goose / Flickr

A transcript of this show is available here.

It's hard to think about language as being endangered or replaceable. But as our culture and means of communication evolve, certain languages find their utility in decline. Braille and sign language are in just such a predicament.

Yismagazine / Flickr

In an era awash in the rollout of brand new gadgets, gizmos, fashions, and fads, it's easy to think of obsolescence as part of the natural order -- remember popped lapels, pay phones and laserdisc players? But the idea that an object should quickly fall from favor, lose functionality, and find itself in a landfill somewhere is quite new -- and it didn't come about by accident.

Akuppa John Wigham / Creative Commons

We're losing about 22,000 square miles of Arctic ice every week, the Great Barrier Reef - which dates back to the start of civilization - is rapidly dying, fires from heat and dryness are burning in Canada and California, and recent floods in Baton Rouge, Louisiana killed thirteen people and damaged the homes of 40,000 and counting. And let's not forget that our last three summers have been the hottest on record - EVER.  Is it time for America to mobilize our collective force into halting climate change with the same collective force we used to halt Hitler in World War II? 

Anne Hudson / The Ivoryton Playhouse

After a four-year gestation period, and more than a year's worth of delays, Frank Ocean's second studio album dropped last weekend. There are two different versions of the album: a physical version that was only available in pop-up shops in four cities last Saturday and the currently iTunes-exclusive digital version. The album is called Blonde, but the cover says "Blond." And there's a separate, different video album, Endless, that was released last Friday. It's all very complicated. The Nose gets into it.

K Kendall / Creative Commons

For most of time, microbes ruled the planet alone. Microbes have been around for billions of years - long before people ever began to inhabit the earth.  Am I giving you a good picture of how small humans are in this grander view of life? 

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Matt Iannazzo was a baseball star at Norwalk High School, pitching them to an FCIAC title in 2007. At the University of Pittsburgh, he was an All-Conference pitcher. Out of college, Iannazzo signed with the Chicago Cubs and played two seasons near the bottom of their organization. Now he pitches for the Bridgeport Bluefish in the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball.

Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

Donald Trump canceled his big speech on immigration scheduled for Thursday. It could have something to do with the comments he made to his new Hispanic advisory council suggesting he'd like to find a more "humane" approach to dealing with the undocumented immigrants he has - up to now - wanted to deport. Up to now, his supporters have been loyal despite policy pronouncements contrary to their views. Immigration may be the one area they won't tolerate a back-pedal. We talk about this and more news in politics.

Loren Kerns / Creative Commons

There's lots to talk about in the news right now -- including the presidential election that just keeps giving. Giving stress, giving insults, giving the non-stop news cycle a lot to talk about. 

CaseyPenk / Wikimedia Commons

Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" came to its hasty conclusion last night, still more than two months before the election. Gawker will shut down next week. And as of next Tuesday, NPR's website will no longer have comments sections.

Brian Williams, on the other hand, is getting a new show on MSNBC. And Jonah Lehrer's got a new book out.

ABC Television / Wikimedia Commons

Clive James considered Dick Cavett one of the great intellectuals who shaped the 20th century. He did it primarily as the host of The Dick Cavett Show, combining playfulness and serious discussion for ninety-minutes each night with a roster of cultural icons that spanned the worlds of art, culture, literature, music, and politics.

Diane Sobolewski

Petula Clark has been singing since 1942, when as a nine-year-old child, she answered a request from a BBC producer to sing to a British theater audience unnerved by an air raid that delayed the BBC broadcast they came to hear.

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