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Jerks. Jackasses. A-holes. Some people are just... the worst. Aren't they? But so: Why? And what do we do about it?

ABC Studios / Wikimedia Commons

Clive James called Dick Cavett one of the great intellectuals who shaped the 20th century. Cavett combined wit with serious discussion for ninety-minutes each night as host of  The Dick Cavett Show, welcoming a staggering roster of cultural icons that spanned the worlds of art, culture, literature, music, and politics: Groucho Marx, Laurence Olivier, Judy Garland, Bette Davis, Richard Burton, Orson Welles, Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Noel Coward, Salvador Dali, Ingmar Bergman, Mel Brooks, Mort Sahl, Angela Davis, Marlon Brando, Katherine Hepburn, Carol Burnett...the list goes on. Even today, no one comes close - not even Stephen Colbert.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Friends and family gather this week for the holidays. It’s a time when we celebrate with each other and give thanks. But holidays can be an especially difficult time for those who have lost a spouse or another loved one.

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Scientists say that the asteroid that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia four years ago was a rare event, unlikely to happen more than every 100 -200 years. But a research in the scientific journal Nature said the earth should expect and plan to get hit by Chelyabinsk-sized asteroids more often -  maybe every decade or two! 

And we thought the election was rough. 

PBS

For nearly four and a half decades, Sonia Manzano was Maria -- a recurring female lead on the PBS television series "Sesame Street."

Last year, Manzano retired from the show and published a memoir. It’s called Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx.

Lucasfilm Ltd.

Rogue One is the eighth live-action Star Wars movie. It's the first movie in the Star Wars anthology series, and its story happens between Star Wars Episodes III and IV, which is to say that it happens just before the very first Star Wars movie.

Confused yet? That's okay. We'll explain.

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Are you a cat owner -- a self-described “cat mom” or “cat dad”? If you answered “yes” to that question, then here’s another one for you: Do you let your feline slink around outdoors? 

Norman B. Leventhal Map Center / Creative Commons

The Caribbean -- its islands, its history and its people -- has had a profound influence on communities around the globe -- including Connecticut.

This hour, we talk with author Joshua Jelly-Schapiro about his new book, Island People: The Caribbean and the World

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Felix Funicello walks into the historic Garde Arts Center in New London to prepare for his Monday night film class. He takes a moment to appreciate the splendor of the old building and consider the talented performers who have played at the Garde. He then climbs the staircase lined with movie posters from films as far back as 1926 to enter the production room at the top of the landing. That's where Felix finds not one, but two ghosts. 

haru__q / flickr creative commons

There's a theory that ours isn't the only universe. That there are, actually, infinitely many universes.

That there are, then, infinitely many yous.

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Gustave Whitehead became a household name in Connecticut in 2013 when the editor of the highly-respected aviation magazine IHS Jane's All the World's Aircraftdeclared Gustave Whitehead had been treated "shabbily by history." This comment came after Australian historian John Brown found a picture of a plane he alleged Gustave Whitehead flew in Bridgeport two years before the Wright brothers got their 1903 Flyer off the ground. 

Gage Skidmore / Creative Commons

Many Americans were surprised by the results of the presidential election last month. During the early morning hours of November 9, half of America celebrated the ascension of the man (and not the first woman) that championed the needs of Americans who felt betrayed by those in power. The other half feared the election of a man with no experience in government and a stated desire to dismantle much of President Obama’s legacy.

PBS

For nearly four and a half decades, Sonia Manzano was Maria -- a recurring female lead on the PBS television series "Sesame Street."

Last year, Manzano retired from the show and published a memoir. It’s called Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx.

Carrie Fisher was an insecure 19-year-old when she appeared as Princess Leia in the first Star Wars movie, a role that would come to define her career. She tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that despite becoming romantically involved with her older, married co-star, Harrison Ford, she often felt isolated on set.

"I didn't have anyone to confide in," she says. "I had no friends, and I couldn't talk about [the affair with Ford] because he was married."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Friends and family gather this week for the Thanksgiving holiday. It’s a time when we celebrate with each other and give thanks. But holidays can be an especially difficult time for those who have lost a spouse or another loved one.

This hour, we take a look at loss, grief and widowhood. If you are a young widow or widower, how do you begin a new chapter of life?

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What makes a great audiobook? What makes a great audiobook narrator? (And, for that matter, what makes a not-so-great audiobook and audiobook narrator?)

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Patti Smith wasn't seeking fame when she landed in Manhattan in 1969.  She was a fan of the greats of the day - like Dylan, Mapplethorpe, Pollock, Ginsberg - who she followed and emulated, hoping to find her own creative space next to those she most admired. 

To Catch a Burglar

Nov 2, 2016
Robert Martin / Creative Commons

George Leonidas Leslie robbed the Manhattan Savings Institution of $3 million in 1878. At the time, it was considered one of the safest buildings in the world. He made detailed models of the bank and its vault from blueprints he charmed from a bank employee. 

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Al Capone told everyone who asked him what he did for a living that he was a "property owner and taxpayer in Chicago." He was really a powerful multimillionaire in 1920's Chicago who made money from the illegal sale of alcohol during Prohibition and the vices that usually accompanied it: gambling and prostitution.

haru__q / flickr creative commons

Everybody loves a bulldozer. In fact, we all grew up loving bulldozers, didn't we? From Benny the Bulldozer to Katy and her big snow, from all the Tonka toys to all the die cast model Caterpillars, the bulldozer is more of an icon in American popular culture than we maybe realize.

Betsy Kaplan / WNPR

Against Everything is a book about self-improvement. Before you tune out, I ask you to challenge your notion of 'self-improvement.' 

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When was the last time you changed your address? Well, if you're like most Americans, it probably wasn't that long ago. According to the Census Bureau, the average U.S. resident will move 11.7 times in his or her lifetime. This hour, we take a closer look at why we're on the move so much. What does it take to truly feel at home where you live? It's something journalist Melody Warnick writes about in her new book called This Is Where You Belong

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A lot of you reading this are familiar with the Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder because you watched the popular "Little House on the Prairie" television show that ran from 1974-1983.

But the television show came long after Laura Ingalls Wilder began sharing the story of her family's journey through the open frontier. She shared her memories in a series of beloved Little House books that spanned a life of pioneering both before and after the government declared the frontier closed. She speaks in simple and intimate prose of everyday life that fascinated millions of young readers who wanted to live like Laura. Fans today still want to believe in the absolute truth of every word. 

Bob Dylan has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. The prolific musician is the first Nobel winner to have forged a career primarily as a singer-songwriter. What's more, he's also the first American to have won the prize in more than two decades. Not since novelist Toni Morrison won in 1993 has an American claimed the prize.

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Marie Antoinette's breasts were believed to inspire the design of the shallow French champagne coupes we see on the shelves of the local Pottery Barn. Mae West noted in her 1959 memoir, Goodness Had Nothing To Do With It, that she regularly rubbed cocoa butter on her breasts and spritzed them with cold water.

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