President Trump's budget blueprint is all about "hard power" — increasing the country's military might by slashing foreign aid. The proposed cuts are in contrast to the dramatic boost to foreign aid under President George W. Bush.

Lori Mack/WNPR

The Big Read is returning to New Haven. The International Festival of Arts and Ideas, in partnership with the New Haven Free Public Library, announced the citywide literary program at City Hall. 

Christopher / flickr creative commons

This month, the nation turns its eyes to basketball, to college basketball, to its annual March Madness tournament.

But... not quite all of the nation.

Some of the nation is, well, nerdier than that.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

We couldn’t let March come to a close without recognizing that it’s Women’s History Month.

This hour, we honor the occasion with tributes to the inspiring twentieth-century women -- the so-called "motor girls" and "Kalamazoo gals" -- who helped shape American history and American industry. 

wackystuff / flickr creative commons

The Faust myth comes from a German folktale that's centuries old. But does a day of your life go by where you don't hear someone invoking the "I'd sell my soul for x" cliche?

Just look at coffee Twitter every morning.

Vinoth Chandar / Creative Commons

I once took guitar lessons with a small group of people who met two nights a week in the basement of a local elementary school. We spent most of each lesson practicing in little nooks and crannies we each carved out in the old room. I enjoyed picking out tunes in my own little corner at my own pace. It was all going so smoothly until... the instructor mentioned the final "concert."

I lost sleep by night, fretted by day, and practiced a lot before forcing myself to show up on the scheduled night. But a funny thing happened: no one else showed up beside me and the instructor. I'm not sure what made me happier - that I showed up, that I got off the hook, or that I had an otherwise pleasant experience that was calm and not rushed.

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.

Neil Gaiman was 6 years old when he first met the Norse god Thor — although he wasn't the red-bearded hammer-slinger of legend. "Marvel. Marvel's Thor came first," he says. "I was reading the reprints of Marvel's Thor in an English comic called Fantastic. ... Dr. Don Blake found this stick in a cave, banged it down and transformed into Thor, and the stick transformed into the hammer." Gaiman says he spent a lot of his first decade looking for likely sticks, "just on the off chance that they might the Thor stick, and might transform into a mighty hammer.

Anjan Chatterjee

I find great joy in walking in the dead of winter along the river trail near my house. Everything leaves my mind as I watch the Canadian geese take flight, their wings flapping together as they lift and swoop over my head. I'm in awe of their beauty.

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

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Have you ever woken in the middle of the night, looked at the clock, and noticed that it's the same time you woke up the night before - and the night before that? How does your body know what time it is?  You're not sure but the passage of minutes makes you worry that if you don't get back to sleep, you'll be too tired in the morning to get your work done on time. You can't get back to sleep. The minutes are ticking. You feel the pressure of the clock bearing down on you. 

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There has been a surge of interest in the writings of Ayn Rand in the last decade, including from Republican Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, President Donald Trump and several of his cabinet picks.

Derek Σωκράτης Finch / flickr creative commons

So, it turns out the world didn't end last week.

And while it might seem like the events of the last year or so are the disease, maybe they're really just the symptoms; maybe they're really just signs of the dystopia around us.

But, then: Which dystopia?

Mike Burns / Flickr Creative Commons

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.