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State of Connecticut

Under the budget passed last week by the General Assembly, six state legislative commissions will consolidate under two umbrellas. 

The pharmaceutical company Pfizer said Friday it will move to prevent its drugs from being used in lethal injections.

826 Paranormal / Creative Commons

When people are found not guilty in a court case by reason of insanity, how often do they end up back in trouble? 

When Luc Ryan Schreiber arrived at Yale University, he was an openly gay man on nearly every part of campus. But there was one place where he wasn't: the rugby team. 

"I had a coach who used a lot of homophobic language...as the motivation to go faster, push harder, whatever," he says.

Ugly Dolls / Flickr Creative Commons

What does it mean to say that someone, or something, is ugly? For a label that gets tossed around so often, its meaning is hard to pin down. Perhaps that's because, throughout history and around the world, our notions of ugliness have shifted considerably.

Tom / Creative Commons

Governor Dannel Malloy joined state officials in Hartford on Friday to discuss the Zika virus.

Andrew Love / Creative Commons

Are you feeling overburdened by student loan payments or the growing stack of credit card bills on your kitchen table? If you answered "yes" to either of those questions, you're not alone (especially if you're a young American).

For the Greatest Show on Earth, there is no longer an elephant in the room. The 145-year-old Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus held its last show featuring elephants Sunday night, in a move that's being applauded by animal rights activists.

Ringling announced its plan last spring, saying it is sending all its Asian elephants to live on the company's Florida nature reserve. The original plan called for phasing out elephants' role in the circus by 2018. But in January, Ringling's parent company, Feld Entertainment, said it was moving up the timetable.

Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, the drummer and leader of The Tonight Show's house band The Roots, says he's obsessed with the creative process. His new book, somethingtofoodabout, is a collection of his interviews with chefs about how art and creativity apply to their preparation and presentation of food.

The latest results of the test known as the Nation's Report Card are in. They cover high school seniors, who took the test in math and reading last year. The numbers are unlikely to give fodder either to educational cheerleaders or alarmists: The average score in both subjects was just one point lower in 2015 compared with the last time the test was given, in 2013. This tiny downtick was statistically significant in mathematics, but not for the reading test.

But even though the changes are small, chances are you're going to be hearing about them in a lot of places.

The types of conversations I saw online about Harriet Tubman, Prince and Beyonce over this past week have yet to be duplicated in our nation's discussion of politics. I think that's a bad thing. And I will tell you why.

But first, let's try to put the week in some sort of perspective.

It is possible that the week was the Internet's Blackest Week. Ever.

In the '80s and '90s, America's suicide trend was headed in the right direction: down.

"It had been decreasing almost steadily since 1986, and then what happened is there was a turnaround," says Sally Curtin, a statistician with the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Patrick Doheny / Creative Commons

The world is getting older. According to the National Institutes of Health, the number of people aged 65 and up will grow to 1.6 billion by mid-century. 

neetalparekh via flickr.com / Creative Commons

Connecticut employers added just 300 positions in March, a big dip from the 4,100 jobs created in February. 

There is a pistol-packing revolution going on in America. Nearly 13 million Americans have permits to carry concealed handguns — triple the number just nine years ago — and that figure is low because not every state reports.

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