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.

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

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:21 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Bringing Back the Woolly Mammoth

Credit Funk Monk / Wikimedia Commons

Science writer Carl Zimmer names the Dodo and the Great Auk, the Thylacine and the Chinese River Dolphin, the Passenger Pigeon and the Imperial Woodpecker, the Bucardo and Stellar Sea Cow among the species that humankind has driven into extinction. What's notable about that list is that most of us would recognize maybe three or four of those names.

Think about that. We have obliterated entire species whose names we don't even know.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Filling You In On the World of Taxidermy

A taxidermied squirrel at the Institute Library in New Haven.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Taxidermy stops time. Creatures are born, they live they die, they decay into dust. But taxidermy catches the wolf or the woodpecker in the middle of the cycle and keeps it there. That's why there's something unsettling and a little creepy about taxidermy. Never forget, the most memorable taxidermist in cinema history was Norman Bates.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:44 am
Mon May 19, 2014

Bob Garfield is Off the Media and On The Scramble

Bob Garfield.
Credit WNYC

Bob Garfield, host of WNYC's On The Media, kicks off this edition of The Scramble. Something tells us The New York Times' Jill Abramson saga isn't over...

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:46 am
Fri May 16, 2014

The Nose Is Looking to Hire Jill Abramson

James Hanley.
Chion Wolf WNPR

You'd think that the New York Times, after covering so many sackings, would know how to fire its own editor without having it become one of the biggest, ugliest stories of the week. On today's show, we'll explore the presumption that the Great Gray Lady is run by sexist pork faces.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:37 am
Wed May 14, 2014

If You Give a Kid a Book They Want, They'll Read It

Victoria Ford Smith is an assistant professor of English at the University of Connecticut
Chion Wolf

The first children's room in a public library may have been in Hartford, Connecticut. The head librarian here, Caroline Hewins was an early advocate for taking seriously the reading needs of children starting in the late 19th century. Prior to that children's lit wasn't really treated as a genre that could stand on its own two feet.  

Today, of course, it's massive and diverse. Its themes range from light to darkness, its language may be mannered or naturalistic, its art may be glorious or crude.  And, there really seems to be a readership for all those possibilities. But, some would say we need more diversity.

Today on the show, we talk about children's books, first from the perspective of two authors and then with a scholar and a librarian.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:12 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Navigating Our World: Maps to GPS

John Smith's 1616 map of New England is the first printed map devoted specifically to this region.
Credit John Smith of Jamestown / Creative Commons

When friends say they're going to Paris I make them promise to get a Plan de Paris,  which is a pocket-sized book of little maps and one big, huge fold-out map which you never use because it makes you look like a befuddled tourist and it's really hard to fold back into the little book. But the Arrondissement maps and Plan are essential. If you have them, you'll understand where you are and where you're going. If you don't, not so much. My point is this-it's just not true that we don't need or use maps anymore. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:34 am
Mon May 12, 2014

NPR's Eric Deggans on the Changing Face of Television

Credit Rodrigo Carvalho / Flickr Creative Commons

We start today's show with Eric Deggans, NPR's first full-time TV critic. Eric and I have talked before about the issue of diversity in late night comedy programming and lo and behold, the very intriguing Larry Wilmore has been given his own show. So, we talk about that but Eric's main focus right now is a kind of television agrarian ritual, the unveiling of this year's crop of network shows, most of them to be harvested in the fall. A short description if you've been missing Matthew Perry, Patricia Arquette, Scott Bakula, Tea Leone and Katherine McPhee, just watch CBS.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:00 am
Fri May 9, 2014

The Nose Tangos With Monica Lewinsky

Rebecca Castellani is a scholar of modern literature
Chion Wolf WNPR

You may have forgotten Monica Lewinsky, but she has not forgotten you. She's back with a Vanity Fair interview that re-ignites the whole debate about her.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
8:38 am
Thu May 8, 2014

What's The Best Job For Your Personality?

Paul and Kelly Tieger, co-authors of Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

You probably wonder sometimes if you chose. Growing up, I was pretty sure I'd be a novelist and sometimes even now I wonder why I'm not. Why am I not sitting in a cabin at the McDowell Colony banging out my 24th book. No kidding, I really feel pretty bad about that. 

But the reality is, I'm not wired that way. My mind needs constant stimulation and constant feedback. This is a really good job for me even though my self-image is radically different.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
5:00 am
Wed May 7, 2014

The Murder of Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith Jr., Founder of the Latter Day Saint Movement.
Credit Unknown Painter / Wikimedia Commons

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is the religious version of recession food. Since the end of the Civil War, the Mormon membership numbers have grown every single year, and quite often they've grown at an astonishing pace.  In the late 1970's and 80's, they added members at a rate of 5-6% a year. Today, their worldwide membership is around 15 million. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue May 6, 2014

A Tribute to Black and White

Credit Martin Pettitt / Flickr Creative Commons

We crave color. Think of the Spring trip you make to the park, that has beautiful tulips or multicolored roses in the Summer. Think of the enormous travel industry that springs up around fall foliage every year.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:14 am
Mon May 5, 2014

The Scramble: David Folkenflik, Smart Guns, and Bearden

Rupert Murdoch at the Vanity Fair party celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival
Credit David Shankbone / Wikimedia Commons

This hour on The Scramble our superguest is David Folkenflik. I don't have to tell you who David Folkenflik is, do I? I mean, you're public radio listeners. The superguest always sets the agenda, and David wants to talk about new journalism start-ups like Vox, Five-Thirty Eight, First Look,  and about what middle-aged digital brand names like Slate are doing to survive. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri May 2, 2014

The Nose Leaves Connecticut to Get Over Donald Sterling

Theresa Cramer as the Dramatic Squirrel.
Chion Wolf WNPR

This hour on The Nose, we lead off with a Gallup poll in which Connecticut ranked second, just a tick behind Illinois, as one of the states people are most eager to leave. Half of the Connecticut people polled said they'd like to move out.

Now, it would be a mistake to ascribe this to any one thing. Property taxes, job market, unfriendly people, dormant cities, and cold weather all play a role, but I can't help but wonder whether Connecticut temperament itself also plays a role. People from Wisconsin would be less likely to say a bad word about the place, even if they had all their belongings packed. That's just now how they talk about life.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:26 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Will Connecticut Be the Next Gig City?

Credit moodboard / Thinkstock

Okay, here's a borrowed analogy. My grandmother talked about the light bill to refer to what you call the electricity bill. And, that's because she lived at a time when literally, that's all electricity did-power the lights. And now, all sorts of things run on that same power. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:01 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

The Anatomy of a Villain

Brian Francis Slattery is a writer and editor of public policy and international affairs
Chion Wolf WNPR

A couple of weeks ago, I was sick with the April flu, lying in bed in a New York apartment, and trying to distract myself by watching one of the film adaptations of "Nicholas Nickleby". I found myself repeatedly moved to tears, especially when anything good or kind happened. Okay, part of this was that I felt a little vulnerable, and may have over identified with poor tubercular Smike. But another part, I'm convinced, was the excitement generated by pure moral language, which you don't encounter so much in modern culture.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:28 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

There's More to Bees Than Just a Stinger

Alphonse Avitabile is an Emeritus Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at UCONN's Waterbury Campus, and a past president of Connecticut's Beekeeping Association.
Chion Wolf WNPR

For people with really bad arthritis the idea of intentionally suffering bee stings is an easier sell than it is with the rest of humankind. Sometimes my knees hurt so bad, a bee sting would be a welcomed distraction. I mean, it couldn’t make things any worse and there’s something intuitive about the idea that our body’s natural response to the venom might actually counteract other problems. So, this hour, we talk about apitherapy.

First, we explore the world of long-haul bee truckers. The nation’s farm depends on these peripatetic pollinators who cross the country and travel up and down the coasts. It’s a lot like other kinds of trucking and then it’s totally different.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Mon April 28, 2014

Salon.com's Editor-in-Chief Scrambles With Colin McEnroe

Credit Daniel Novta / Flickr Creative Commons

We cover a lot of ground on this hour's Scramble. We begin with the editor of Salon.com in a conversation about a story that dominated the headlines this weekend, the racist remarks attributed to Los Angeles Clippers owner, Donald Sterling.

Dave Daley sees Sterling and Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy as part of a pattern. I don't. Not exactly, anyway. Dave also talks about Thomas Piketty, the first rock star economist in, well, a really long time.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:00 am
Fri April 25, 2014

The Nose Has a Master's Degree in Being Caught On Tape

James Hanley is the co-founder of Cinestudio at Trinity College.
Chion Wolf WNPR

This was a week when Connecticut professors got rambunctious, when pine tar was discovered in places it shouldn't have been, and when President Obama played soccer with a robot. I can't guarantee which of these things will make its way onto our weekly pop culture roundtable, The Nose, except definitely the professors.

This one from UConn mocked and challenged the arguments of a creationist, and this one from Eastern was caught railing against Republicans, calling them "racist, misogynistic, money-grubbing people" and saying colleges will close if the GOP takes over the Senate.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

The Eastern Hemlock is Dying

David Foster is the director of Harvard University's Harvard Forest, the author of Thoreau's Country: Journey Through a Transformed Landscape, and editor of Hemlock: A Forest Giant on the Edge
Chion Wolf

You have to trust us. 

Because I realize that a show about the Eastern Hemlock doesn't sound that sexy. In fact, we've done tree shows in the past after which I have said, "Let's not do any more tree shows." But we think we've got something here. 

First of all, this our third show working with Bob Sullivan, a writer who, in the past, has been able to make just about any topic exciting. Second, this is a story with a villain, a cottony, crawling, feeding life form called the wooly adelgid. You want something you can hate without the tiniest tremor of remorse? We're going to give it to you. 

Third, this little villain is striking right at a major player in the natural cycles that can either slow or accelerate climate change. Fourth, we're going to be talking about the souls of trees. Trust us. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:38 am
Wed April 23, 2014

The Scramble: Fact-Checking, the "Rape Scene" and the NYT Op-Ed Page

NYT columnist, Thomas Friedman
Credit Charles Haynes / Wikimedia Commons

The more I read about The Dallas Buyers Club, the less I like it, which is too bad because I really like that movie.

First, I read the that film's portrayal of Ron Woodruff, the hard-bitten homophobe who gradually softens is wrong. Woodruff was, according to friends and family, comfortably bisexual. He never had to go through the transition you see in the film.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:58 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Pondering Modern Love

Credit Javie Delgado, Flickr Creative Commons

It's hard to improve on the poet, Rilke, who wrote, "Love consists of this, that two solitudes meet, protect, and greet each other." But did Rilke have to deal with Angry Birds and Snap Chat?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:00 am
Mon April 21, 2014

How Do We Get Back to the Field of Dreams?

Credit Libby Baker / Wikimedia Commons

Is there a connection between what happens in youth sports and the locker room bullying of Richie Incognito or the steroid-spattered reputations of Alex Rodriguez and Lance Armstrong?

And, we all know that major college sports have become engines of commerce allowing a lot of people, although not the athletes who drive those engines, to get rich.

But, is there any way in which those dollar signs are sliding down into youth and high school sports.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:36 am
Fri April 18, 2014

The Agony and Utility of Ecstasy

C. Michael White is a Professor and Department Head at UConn’s School of Pharmacy.
Chion Wolf WNPR

"Molly" is the nickname for MDMA, or ecstasy. It's short for "molecule," meaning you're getting the "real thing," chemically speaking. Except you almost never do.

This hour, we talk about the dangers of Molly, the medical uses of MDMA, and the curious romance between the drug and the form of music known as EDM, Electronic Dance Music.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:36 am
Thu April 17, 2014

Jake Shimabukuro and Friends Show How Uke'n Play Ukulele

Jake Shimabukuro
Chion Wolf WNPR

The ukulele was not always obscure. Two of the biggest stars of the 20th century used them as their principal instruments. One is a name you probably don't know, but George Formby was a enormous sensation in Great Britain on stage and in movies in the 1920s and '30s. He specialized in playing a banjo-shaped ukulele, and he trafficked in comical, mischievous songs full of double entendres. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:22 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Forty Years, in Search of a Zipless F---

Erica Jong's "Fear of Flying" turned 40 this year. Jong spoke with Colin McEnroe about sex, childbearing, and gender in pop culture.
Credit 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:

The zipless f---- was more than a f----. It was a platonic ideal. Zipless, because when you came together, zippers fell away like rose petals. Underwear blew off in one breath like dandelion fluff. Tongues intertwined and turned liquid. Your whole soul flowed out through your tongue and into the mouth of your lover.

So how does the world of 2013 look to the writer who gave us Isadora Wing?

We talk with Jong about feminism and gender in American pop culture and politics.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:52 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

The Boston Marathon Bombing and the Road to Resilience

Credit miz_ginevra / Flickr Creative Commons

Consider America from 1985 to 2000. You wouldn't say nothing happened in those 15 years but America was a fairly calm place to be most of the time.

Now consider the period that came next. It began with a presidential election so riddled with such uncertainties that the effort to confirm the result dragged on for days and went to the Supreme Court.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:32 am
Mon April 14, 2014

The Scramble: Mad Men, Blood Moons, and Racism

Rand Richards Cooper is an author, essayist, and freelance writer.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Our SuperGuest on today's Scramble is Jen Doll, who has three topics that she wants to discuss:

The first is the return of "Mad Men," a show in its final season and perhaps more than any other TV show, a driver of the phenomenon that utilizes the talents of many, many cultural commentators to analyze and debate the underlying themes in each episode. If you visited a site like Slate or Salon on certain Monday mornings, you might make the mistake of thinking this was a publication mainly, or entirely about, "Mad Men."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:00 am
Fri April 11, 2014

The Nose Replaces Colbert, Marries Jesus, and Has No Love For the Gov

Portrait of a Lady: Susan Campbell is the communications and development director for Partnership for Strong Communities, and author of Tempest Tossed: The Spirit of Isabella Beecher Hooker.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Scientists say the papyrus that mentions a wife of Jesus is not a forgery. Stephen Colbert will take over when Letterman leaves. I'm not saying the two things are connected, but maybe our weekly culture roundtable The Nose will find a common thread.

It might seem like a small thing - the departure of Stephen Colbert from his late night role in which he depicts a strutting, preening, right-wing media star. In the last analysis, who cares who takes over the Letterman show?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:00 am
Thu April 10, 2014

We've Only Just Begun: Carpenters Remembered

Randy Schmidt is the author of Little Girl Blue: The Life of Karen Carpenter and a music educator in Denton, Texas
Chion Wolf WNPR

If you are a person of a certain age, you probably remember the moment when you were first seized by Karen Carpenter's voice. For me, it was getting into my mother's Pontiac LeMans after a commencement ceremony at Kingswood School in 1970. I was a sophomore at an all-boys school, and nobody wanted to be "Close To" me.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:00 am
Wed April 9, 2014

Thomas Moore on "A Religion of One's Own"

Thomas Moore.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Thomas Moore was, for 13 years, a Servite monk. In 1992, he burst onto the national scene with "Care of the Soul", which combined the psychotherapeutic of Jung and James Hillman with ancient and contemporary religious and spiritual ideas. It was number 1 on the New York Times best seller list, and stayed on the list for a year.

Moore's central premise is that part of ourselves cannot be fully nourished through purely rational modern thought. We have needs that cannot be met by science and social theory. His new book is kind of a toolkit for people who have that sense - that they need something they're not getting. They may not be comfortable sitting in a pew to get it, so can they make it themselves?

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