Drunk Tank Pink

Mar 25, 2013
peapodsquadmom/flickr creative commons

Today: The way the thoughts we have and the decisions we make are influenced by forces that aren't always in our control.

Colleges have known for years that students use prescription stimulants to focus and stay awake while studying. But new research finds that the rate of stimulant use among medical school students is higher.

Jadon Webb says he and a colleague got the idea for their research while in medical school, listening to a professor’s lecture.  

"He was talking with us about life in medical school 50, 60 years ago. And in the course of talking about it, he was joking about how whenever exams came up, everyone had to use speed."

'Marriage In the Movies'

Mar 12, 2013
License All rights reserved by ninethousand

So how might we best portray the realities of marriage? In a novel, perhaps?  A long-running TV drama or sitcom?  What about a movie?

Serious business indeed. It seems hard to translate the ins and outs of a long relationship in a 2-hour capsule.  Hollywood has been trying since the silent film age, but not always with success.  Wesleyan Film Historian Jeanine Basigner calls a story about marriage a “screenwriter’s nightmare” in her book I Do and I Don’t: A History of Marriage in the Movies.

Flickr Creative Commons, Emily Stanchfield

We hear it all the time: America has a gun culture. What does that mean?

The Grinch of dreaming is J. Allan Hobson.

Flickr Creative Commons, annethelibrarian

Glasses get people talking.

Remember Sarah Palin? Last month, Politico ran an item suggesting that CNN's Wolf Blitzer had picked out new eyeglasses that closely resembled those of much younger, hipper New Yorker politics writer Ryan Lizza.  

Introvert Pride!

Sep 18, 2012
Ed Yourdon (Wikimedia Commons)

Maybe you've seen somebody in your life lately reading a book called Quiet by Susan Cain. It seems to be getting passed around a lot and given as a gift to known introverts.

The argument of the book is that our world treats the extrovert as normal and the introvert as diseased and needing treatment. Cain says that attitude ignores the strengths of the introvert.

Flickr Creative Commons, gemsling

We have a two-year running tradition of doing an episode in August gathering our music experts to argue about what song is the "Song of The Summer." (And on which critic Eric Danton suggests there is no such thing.)

Chion Wolf

In the past month or so we've done shows about nuns, quitting as a good thing, procrastination, puns, lawsuits, putting a chip in your head, poetry, design flaws, invasive species and women who fall in love with prisoners.

And the month ahead will include shows about Nudism, First Contact with ETs, why songs get stuck in your head, urban beekeeping and the history and future of the TV remote.

Alex.Shultz, Flickr Creative Commons

One of the many interesting questions about procrastination is whether writers are, as a species, the absolutely worst culprits or whether writers are just better at describing procrastination than other people. Here's Paul Rudnick on the subject:

Click on the audio to hear Bobcat Goldthwait, Seth Godin and a former priest discuss why and how a person could decide that quitting is the right answer.

If you want to know how completely reviled quitting is, just type the word into the search field of Twitter.

Chion Wolf

A quick rundown of this week's Nose topics:

Flickr Creative Commons, Brett Jordan

What is a guilty pleasure?

In seventh grade, I had not quite given up on series books. Specifically, the Rick Brant books which I would say were a lot more satisfying (I guess I can't say they were cooler)  than the Hardy Boy books, all 43 of which I read in fourth grade.

LASZLO ILYES/flickr creative commons

Master any task by developing a love of the practicing mind. New Haven psychologist Nancy Horn on how to acknowledge another person's feelings even when you disagree. And Bruce Clements on why nature transforms us.


Why do we have such terrible political arguments? Are we really so divided?

Topics like abortion, the death penalty, gun control, drug policy, tax policy all make us sound like a deeply divided nation, although I've long believed it's possible to formulate a position on almost anything that 65 percent of Americans will agree with.

 But it's not in our natures to do that. Compromise is boring. Dispute is exciting.

The State of Play

Apr 26, 2012
Lou & Traci plus, creative commons

The Executive Director of the Alliance for Childhood talks about how important play is for young people. She’s part of a two-day creativity conference coming up in Ridgefield, CT.

Flickr Creative Commons, cmcbrown

"All media work us over completely."  So said Marshall McLuhan.

It was clear to McLuhan in the early 1960s and it's even clearer to us that engagement with fast-moving electronic media is producing changes that are hard to keep track of.

What if somebody wanted to produce certain changes in us that we weren't aware of?  What if someone wanted to persuade us without having to have a conversation with our conscious intellects?

Mike Goren/flickr creative commons

We'll look at whether animals have friendships with one another the way humans do. And discover why some people become full of rage after hearing normal sounds, like clearing your throat. Plus: why laws can sometimes mean The Death of Common Sense.

Flickr Creative Commons, Stewart

What is the truth? It's a question that comes up a lot in the news. Is Barack Obama a Muslim? Were there weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?  Did 9/11 happen as we were told? Was JFK killed by a lone gun man? Were there any real instances in which Vietnam veterans were spat upon? Is there any such thing as post-traumatic stress disorder? Do certain vaccines cause autism? Is evolution a theory or a scientific truth?

I could go on.

Chion Wolf

It may be hard for some of you to remember, but there was a time when the correct answers to the clues to the New York Times crossword puzzle were for all intents and purposes out of reach. I mean, you could take the Sunday magazine with you to the library and look stuff up. Or you could wait a week for the answers. But there was no Google. The crossword doer today lives in a constant state of temptation.

Mark Messier's team for 12 years? You could look it up. That Rimsy Korsakov opera title? It's there to be found.

Clowns All Around

Jan 30, 2012
Chion Wolf

Here's a quote: "A clown is funny in the circus ring. But what would be the normal reaction to opening a door at midnight, and finding the same clown standing there in the moonlight?"

Sounds like a 21st century post-modern take on clowns, but it actually comes from Lon Chaney, the horror movie star who died in 1930.

Almost one hundred years ago, somebody understood that clowns can be scary. To Chaney, it was all a matter of context. What we've almost forgotten in our 21st century post modern mood is the first part of Chaney's statement. Clowns are funny.

Holiday Advertising

Dec 14, 2011
Lucky Strike

It's the holiday season! Christmas, Hanukah, Christmakuh, Kwanza, or as advertisers like to think of it, the season when they separate you from your money.

jeffrey james pacres/flickr creative commons

Amy Bloom talks about how to be a better writer. Psychologist Nancy Horn explains the art of friendship. And, a new way to look at books.

On Deadline

Nov 9, 2011
thomasbonte, creative commons

Today CL&P faces their final deadline to have everyones power back on. Are you still in the 1%?

Long Wharf Theatre

Is "faking it" as a person always a bad thing? Explore the art of hypocrisy with Faith Middleton and Bruce Clements. Plus, a celebration of Aint Misbehavin at Long Wharf Theater in New Haven for those who want a sassy good time.

CarbonNYC, Flickr Creative Commons

One of the many things I love about the Canadian novelist Robertson Davies is the way his otherwise orderly, scholarly, reasonable Canadian characters are forever bumping up against the realms of the obscure which include, to borrow a list from another Davies fan, alchemy, saints' legends, Gypsy wisdom, tarot cards, shamanistic rituals, Anglo-Catholicism, and Jungian psychology. Davies rarely seems to endorse any of the above. He simply notes that they exist and that some people use them in interesting ways.

Teaching About 9/11

Sep 9, 2011
Diane Orson

As the nation prepares to commemorate the tenth anniversary of September 11th,  Connecticut schools are holding special assemblies and classroom discussions. We report on some of the challenges facing educators who teach students about 9/11, and the larger issues that surround the historic event.

MiiiSH, Creative Commons

Steve Jobs’ departure from Apple has people talking about what makes a great business leader.

You’d have thought the pope or the president was stepping down.  Such was the adulation laid on the outgoing leader - and such was the worry.  Can he be replaced?  

Jobs made such an impact at Apple not because he’s good at computers, but because he’s been able to transform a successful business several times through the force of personality, his vision and charisma.

Scared Sick

Aug 19, 2011

All the news about health and medicine we’re exposed to might lead some to healthier lifestyles...but to some people, all this information can cause a problem.

For hypochondriacs, a little knowledge about health and medicine can lead to a fear of everything that can possibly go wrong with their bodies.

What Do You Miss Most?

Aug 11, 2011
Flickr Creative Commons, Cali4beach

What do you miss most? Is it a person? Maybe your grandmother's cooking ... or an ex-lover who you never got over. Maybe you miss a place, an old torn down building or a resturant that served a dish you can't find anywhere else.

Perhaps it's a moment in time that you miss, or the freedom of being a college student. Maybe you miss VHS tapes, vinyl albums or your tacky Christmas sweater.

Today was one of our most-called shows ever. At times, our courageous intern fielded upwards of six calls a minute. Fortunately, we got a lot of your voices on the air.