host's diary

Host's Diary
11:15 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Rush, Conan, Subarus, Lesbians, Restaurant Critics, Martian Colonists: What's Noseworthy?

Chris Kluwe.
Credit MN National Guard / Creative Commons

It's 10:30 on a Friday morning, which is kind of "zero hour" for me to figure out the final order of topics for The Nose, our weekly culture roundtable. Maybe I can straighten out my own thinking and give you a window on our process in the same big gulp. 

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Host's Diary
3:53 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

What the Hell is a Jazz Vocal Anyway?

About a year ago I needed, for reasons not worth delving into, to learn "People Will Say We're In Love." If you're going to study a song -- maybe play it 20 times over a couple of days until the lyrics and changes are second nature -- you better pick a version you like.  So I sampled a few dozen covers on iTunes and wound up picking a jazz singer -- previously unknown to me -- named Rachael Price. Rachael just swung it, and she had a low, throaty edge that I liked.

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Host's Diary
3:51 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

What We Endorsed on The Nose

Big Al

The show, if you missed it, is here. But people often complain they can't write down the endorsements. 

Let me go first because my endorsement was rushed at the end. I endorsed this (older) book as a nice gift for someone who loves jazz standards and the American Songbook. 

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Host's Diary
10:37 am
Wed December 18, 2013

A Long Fracking Conversation With Dan Esty

Dan Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, during a visit to WNPR.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Okay, so it's not Frost/Nixon. But over the last few years, I've been having an ongoing, at times entertaining, occasionally frustrating, and always interesting conversation on air and on stage with Dan Esty about "fracking" and natural gas. 

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Host's Diary
6:02 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Racism, Guide Dogs and Palin: What We Talk About When We Talk About The Nose

By User:Javier Carro (Picture taken at the Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum) via Wikimedia Commons

Last minute update: I'm fascinated by this article from this morning about Jacqueline Kennedy's pink suit -- maybe as a way in to a larger dicussion about this moment, about the way 11/22/63 is back and being re-processed through the lens of 2013. But I'm not sure the panel will go for it. 

It's 5:30 pm on Thursday, and I have so many tabs open on my browser I think Chrome could just implode, taking us all with it. This is not unusual as we get ready for The Nose, a weekly cultural roundtable. We look for a certain kind of "talkable" item, and finding them can be tough.

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Host's Diary
8:43 am
Tue November 5, 2013

William Randolph Herbst

By Bain News Service, publisher [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Hearst had San Simeon. Kane had Xanadu. UConn President Susan Herbst has Scarborough Street (in addition to the expensively refurbished president's mansion in Storrs). 

You can hardly blame her for wanting a pied à terre somewhere. It's nice to be able to get away from a campus which, as far as I can tell, is up in arms against her.

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Host's Diary
3:36 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

UConn's Problems Go From Bad to Herbst

UConn President Susan Herbst.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's never a good thing when civil rights litigator Gloria Allred shows up in your town for the second time in two weeks to file her second legal action against you. It's even worse when Allred says she's using your response to the first legal action as part of the basis of the second one. 

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Host's Diary
5:24 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

What's the Physical Space Like Where You Work?

Depressing Cambridge University cubicles.
Credit cmglee / Creative Commons

We're working on a show about whether work is the best place to do work. So we're nosy interested in how you feel about the physical spaces at your job. 

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Host's Diary
2:42 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

We Just Don't Do This Song Thing Very Well, Do We?

A kazoo must be played with enthusiasm.
Credit Stefan Westhoff / Wikimedia Commons

We're trying to gather up some Connecticut State Troubadours in our studio later this week, so it occurs to me to ask: Which is more ear-splittingly bad?

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Host's Diary
3:00 pm
Mon October 14, 2013

Would You Buy a Used Tennis or Football Event From This State?

Dorothea Douglass, via Wikimedia
Credit Genghis Smith / Wikimedia Commons

By the looks of things, you, the Connecticut Taxpayer, will soon own a failing tennis tournament. You already own a really bad college football program, and you recently agreed to pay a man $750,000 to stop coaching it

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Host's Diary
4:50 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

The Unbearable Whiteness of Being (on SNL)

Kyle Mooney in one of his roles.
Credit Wikipedia

"Saturday Night Live" returned for a new season on last weekend. There are six new "featured players," the biggest cast turnover in recent memory. Five white men and one white woman. 

I brought up SNL with Eric Deggans on a recent show, and before the question was all the way out of my mouth he was planting his palm on his face and moaning, "I know what you're going to say."

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Host's Diary
3:59 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Can you stand a little more Dada?

Just as we were getting ready for our Dada show, this story batwinged through my brain.

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Host's Diary
5:01 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Twilight of the Pervs? Or Just a Setback?

Weiner, via WikiMedia Commons

Maybe it’s unfair to tar them all with the same brush, but much is being made of the way New York City Democrats turned their backs on a quartet of politicians who had sex scandals sticking to them like toiler paper to a shoe. We’re talking about this right now, as we get ready for this week’s Nose, a Friday cultural roundtable.

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Host's Diary
2:55 pm
Mon September 9, 2013

Asexuality Is Not Funny (Or Is It?)

The flag of the Asexual Awareness movement/

On The Colin McEnroe Show we have a (possibly misguided) notion that we can find at least a little bit of humor in subjects that most public radio shows would treat with utter seriousness. Not everyone agrees, and a certain percent of my negative email is from people who cannot believe that we have injected levity into something deserving only sober contemplation. 

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Host's Diary
4:57 pm
Tue August 27, 2013

Dude Looks Like a Lady: My Manning and Womanning Pronoun Question

US soldier Chelsea Manning graffiti in the "Abode of Chaos" museum of contemporary art, in Saint-Romain-au-Mont-d'Or, Rhône-Alpes region, France
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Last week our culture panel, The Nose, tackled Bradley Manning's declaration that he is a woman named Chelsea. Many interesting points were made, but all three of my panelists favored the notion of everybody -- press included -- honoring Manning's request to refer to him from now on as said woman and as "she." In situations like that, I'll often lean the other way, just to make sure the issue really gets discussed. And in this case, I had substantive questions anyway.

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MPAA
2:13 pm
Tue March 1, 2011

Dodd Takes the Red Carpet Job

Xurble photo via Flickr Creative Commons

Ending months of speculation, the Motion Picture Association of America announced Tuesday that retired U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd would be the movie industry's man in Washington D.C., effective St. Patrick's Day (March 17). 

The job comes with an estimated $1.2 million salary and the "duty" of handing out much-sought-after inivtations to movie screenings in the MPAA's 70-seat D.C. theater. 

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host's diary
3:00 pm
Wed February 9, 2011

Blumenthal's Staff Magnifies His Slip With Threat to Mirror

Abeeeer photo via Flickr Creative Commons

It started with a flub by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal.  It wasn't a big deal. As one of his spokespeple suggested, even the substitution of the word "era" for "days" would have helped his cause quite a bit. Most other politicians would not have been called on this, but, for Blumenthal, it fits kind of a narrative some people have about him.

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Host's Diary
8:19 am
Tue February 8, 2011

Pensions, Plates and Beyond: a Gazetteer of State Foolishness

Foxtongue photo via Flickr Creative Commons

What's the impact on the state pension fund when a low-paid legislator moves to a high-paid administration job? We like this piece on "pension spikes" from a policy blog

But maybe it doesn't matter, because we're not really making any serious attempt to fund that whole system.

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Host's diary
2:15 pm
Wed January 26, 2011

Does Anyone Want a Cat Named Bill Curry?

Animal rights activists have named this cat William Curry, after Connecticut's beloved former comptroller and gubernatorial candidate.

Here is what we know about it, via Julie Lewin of the National Institute For Animal Advocacy:

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