recreation

Jameziecakes / Creative Commons

A 2014 Nielsen report yielded some dismaying news for jazz connoisseurs: the once-coveted genre is now one of the least-consumed in the United States.

But why are so many turning away from jazz, and toward other styles of music like rock, pop, and country? 

This hour, a panel of experts and musicians weigh in, and share their thoughts on jazz's future both in America and abroad.

Gilberto Santa Rosa / Flickr Creative Commons

There are many kinds of nudism - or naturism. There are people who just like doing stuff while not wearing clothes. And there are those who believe there are hygiene benefits. And people who link nudism with various utopian movements that break down barriers among people.

And there are people who believe in de-stigmatizing the parts of the human anatomy ordinarily covered by a bathing. The way this plays out in life, therefore, is that some naturists just want the chance to live in the raw in fairly private settings.

Vinoth Chandar/flickr creative commons

Who says New Year's Eve is the only time to make resolutions? As we head into a season of more sun and warmth, we think it might be interesting to see what pops into our heads about what we'd like more of this summer: 

Ski Sundown

Friday marked the first day of spring, but for Connecticut ski areas, winter lives on, at least for a few more weeks.

Alaska's voter initiative making marijuana legal takes effect Tuesday, placing Alaska alongside Colorado and Washington as the three U.S. states where recreational marijuana is legal. The new law means people over age 21 can consume small amounts of pot — if they can find it. It's still illegal to sell marijuana.

"You can still give people marijuana, but you can't buy it — or even barter for it," Alaska Public Media's Alexandra Gutierrez reports. "So, it's a pretty legally awkward spot. That probably won't stop people from acquiring it, though."

Hazel Motes / Creative Commons

State environmental officials are setting out their legislative priorities for 2015, and there's at least one unexpected issue that's being addressed: jet packs.

The legislative proposals are wide-ranging, covering everything from stricter labeling requirements on farm products made in Connecticut to a program requiring that tire companies assume more responsibility for disposing of their products after consumer use.

Then there are water jet packs. "It's basically a James Bond-style jet pack that uses the thrust of a personal watercraft to send the rider 20 or 30 feet in the air," said Rob Klee, head of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

PopTech / Creative Commons

Toronto-based engineers Cameron Robertson and Todd Reichert set out to achieve the impossible: to build the ever first human-powered helicopter. Decades of attempts by aeronautical engineers had proved unsuccessful. But for Robertson and Reichert, that was no deterrent. 

Puzzles: The Joy of Being Perplexed

Jan 27, 2015
Lablanco / Flickr Creative Commons

People have been puzzled since the beginning. And while that might sound like a problem, it may in fact be our preferred state of being. Since the first fires needed to be lit with tinder too damp to kindle, we've been problem solving. When one problem was solved, another was found. And when seemingly, we could no longer find enough problems to satiate our appetites, we created puzzles: problems in a box; food for our minds.

Bankshot

A group of West Hartford residents is working to renovate Jonathan's Dream, a public playground for children of all abilities. Recent funding makes it possible for them to bring a set of unusual basketball hoops to the playground, called Bankshot, aimed at all ages and abilities.

Jin Suk / Creative Commons

From Boston’s new arts czar to Mass MoCA's expansion announcement, we learn about some of Massachusetts' long-term plans to support local arts and culture. We also look at the arts here in our state, and see if there’s anything we can learn from our neighbor to the north. 

FIFA Vice President Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein will challenge incumbent Sepp Blatter for the presidency of soccer's governing body.

"I am seeking the presidency of FIFA because I believe it is time to shift the focus away from administrative controversy and back to sport," he said in a statement on the website of the Jordan Football Association, of which he is president.

There's been much criticism of the president lately, even within his own party, that he's too detached and withdrawn, not combative enough anymore. This can be explained completely with a sports analogy: We elected a basketball president, but then we ended up with a golf president.

claumoho / Creative Commons

For 50 years, the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield has provided a hands-on look at the natural diversity of northwestern Connecticut. With workshops, educational programs -- even its own Nature Museum -- the center has been teaching visitors about the various species and habitats found on the surrounding land. 

David Brooks / Creative Commons

Have you been to a state park lately? On July 26 and 27, you'll be able to visit any state park in Connecticut for free.

Marcy Kellar/flickr creative commons

Is it even possible, you might be wondering, to like all parts of a vacation, including re-entry? We think so. Our senior contributor, New Haven psychologist Nancy Horn, explains what goes into making vacation a less stressful experience, and also less about perfection. This is one of those podcasts worth listening to.

Jesslee Cuizon/flickr creative commons

Since the days are speeding by we thought, hey, let's celebrate summer. What is it about this season that is worth noticing, that makes us happier? Breezes, food, gardens, friends, sex, parties, swim, seersucker, the new and tradition. Celebrate summer with us.

JacobRuff/flickr creative commons

Our region has exploded with fun things to see and do, from new happenings to traditional events. Feed your mind and body by checking out the Connecticut Tourism Guide. Your local newspaper will have lots of activities listed. And so will the wall at your local supermarket, library and post office.  Get out and enjoy; it will your vacation state of mind.

Lara Maltz Rozza

Hartford broke ground on a new skate park this week. Skaters have dubbed it "Heaven" and say it will be a space for skaters, bikers, and artists.

The park is located just above the I-84 tunnel a few blocks from the XL Center. For years it's been an informal hangout spot for skaters and artists. And now, Hartford is ready to formalize "Heaven" as the city's first official skate park.

ralphbijker/flickr creative commons

If you've ever read a book on an e-reader, unleashed your inner rock star playing Guitar Hero, built a robot with LEGO Mindstorms, or ridden in a vehicle with child-safe air bags, then you've experienced first hand just a few of the astounding innovations that have come out of the MIT Media Lab over the past 25 years. We'll look at the transformative innovations that these digital magicians have up their sleeves for the coming years with Frank Moss, author of The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices.

jurvetson, Flickr Creative Commons

Chion Wolf

Have you ever wanted to make a big change in your life and go on a big adventure? You know, try something where you could push yourself?

Well Roz Savage did that - but the challenge she took on was bigger than most of us could even imagine. She became the first woman to row - solo - across the world’s major oceans.

Flickr Creative Commons

A bill to create pool safety standards in swim classes across Connecticut is moving forward for a vote by the General Assembly following two drowning deaths in East Hartford and Manchester schools. 

Flickr Creative Commons

On Nov. 21, 2012,  Malvrick Donkor, 14, drowned during a swim class at Manchester High School.

His death was the second drowning at a Connecticut school last year. In the neighboring town of East Hartford, Freshman Marcum Asiamah  drowned Jan. 11 during P.E. class at East Hartford High School.

His family - like Malvrick’s from Ghana - said the boy did not know how to swim. The lessons at school were apparently his first. This year, the town settled a $1.5 million claim with his estate.

Chion Wolf

String Theorie is a Hartford-based band that plays what they call “Instrumental World Fusion.”

Fingerstyle acoustic guitarist Joel Weik, electric bassist Karl Messerschmidt and percsussionist Jordan Critchley have been playing all over Central Connecticut for the last few years - including in our studios.  

SHAKE! SHAKE! SHAKE!

Feb 10, 2012
Chion Wolf

Improv Everywhere

Feb 8, 2012
Stephen Haynes

The songwriter Paul Simon once said: Improvisation is too good to leave to chance.

Improvisation is one of the key parts of musical expression...from fiddling with chord changes until a song emerges, to full-on “free” jazz, created on the spot.  In fact, jazz is probably the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of “improv” - followed by comedy.

A troupe of actors, thrown quickly into haphazard situations - forced to think fast and create characters and dialogue on the spot.

Needle Droppin'

Dec 2, 2011

We get some end-of-the-year music recommendations from Anthony Fantano. He’s the man behind The Needle Drop, which is a blog, YouTube channel and radio show that can be heard on WNPR. He is the “internet’s busiest music nerd.”

We have a bonus song included in the web version of this segment. Here is a list of all the songs Anthony and John discuss for the latest edition of the Where We Live/The Needle Drop mashup.

Moonshine Is Back

Oct 11, 2011
From Onyx Spirits Facebook page

Moonshine. The word evokes images of Hillbillies sipping out of jugs or mason jars, and brass stills nestled deep in the backwoods during prohibition. A Connecticut start-up has brought Moonshine into the 21st century, and as WNPR's Ray Hardman reports, the liquor is getting a lot of attention.

"Basically this is where the product is in its tanks ready to be made into the finished product. So we've got moonshine here in these two 50-gallon drums and we've got the organic..."

NASA

Following up on our conversation with astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, today we check in with cosmologist Priya Natarajan from Yale’s upcoming conference “Why is There Anything”.

NightRStar, Creative Commons

During the week of September 23rd to October 2nd 2011, over 100,000 people in over 250 cities across six continents gather in Cinemas, Galleries, Universities, Museums and Cafes for one purpose - to view and vote on our Finalists' Films in the Annual MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival.

In 2011 the Film Festival recieved 598 Entries from 48 Countries and selected 10 short films which are Finalists in the 2011 MANHATTAN SHORT. 

Pages