Glitchy Electronics and Dreamy Pop

May 22, 2012

This week on the Needle Drop, we're sampling the latest releases from Beach House and Squarepusher. We'll also be trying new tracks from Girl Unit, Luke Abbott, and Fergus & Geronimo.

Community Courts

May 22, 2012
Eric The Fish 2012

American cities are rethinking their approach to what are often  called “nuisance” crimes...like drinking in public, graffitti, vandalism, prostitution, and shoplifting.

Sending people away for these violations doesn’t exactly improve the  conditions within the communities where they take place.

Then there’s the flip-side - overburdened courts lettin offenders go free, leaving local residents to doubt the fairness of the system.

But Hartford’s Community Court has found another way.

Chion Wolf

Outgoing Speaker of the House Chris Donovan said the jobs bill known as Senate Bill One will be passed during a special session.

Some believe the bill did not get brought up in the House because Donovan's minimum wage bill was not passed in the Senate. The minimum wage bill that could not get enough support in the Senate called for a 25 cent hike each year for the next two years. 

Real Life Survival Guide Episode 47

May 20, 2012
Cindy Papish Gerber

Our guest editors are getting really good at choosing interesting topics, and this week was no exception; we held a lively meeting at Mikro (pronounced micro - as in brewing) in Hamden. Around the table: Tod Harris, Barbara Oliver, Joel Sachs, and Raeleen Mautner.

Todney Harris is a teacher, and throughout his career he has shared his passion for learning by emphasizing the Civil Rights Movement and the risks students took in order to receive an education.

A Tinkerer's Paradise

May 18, 2012
Uma Ramiah

There's a new clubhouse in New Haven, and it's meant for geeks. It's called MakeHaven. It offers space and equipment for people looking to build gadgets of all kinds, and imagination is the only limitation.

Connecticut Valley Style

May 18, 2012


Eliphalet Chapin (1741-1807) opened his East Windsor cabinet shop in 1771 and introduced a new style of furniture to the Connecticut River Valley. Chapin set himself apart from his Connecticut contemporaries by incorporating various elements of Philadelphia inspired design and detail into his work. Although born, raised, and apprenticed as a cabinetmaker in Connecticut, Chapin abruptly departed Connecticut to flee a paternity suit in the late 1760s and spent nearly four years working alongside and learning from craftsman in the urban Philadelphia area.

Closing The Achievement Gap, Online: Part II

May 18, 2012
Neena Satija

Cutting the Cord on Cable TV

May 18, 2012
.reid., creative commons

Back in January we did a show about the cable industry and how it works.  We found a lot of people ready to “cut the cord.”

Elizabeth Esty On Politics, Ethics, and Energy

May 17, 2012
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Despite barely qualifying for the Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional seat, expect to see Elizabeth Esty campaigning at least through August.

Closing The Achievement Gap, Online: Part I

May 17, 2012
Uma Ramiah

Online and so-called “virtual learning” has exploded in popularity in recent years, and Connecticut is just starting to catch up. But without any state oversight, some educators worry that students who are given the online option are being shortchanged. The Connecticut Mirror’s Neena Satija reports on the hodgepodge of virtual learning programs that are used in schools across Connecticut. (Read Part II of the series here.)

Tropical Electronics and Some Neo-Psychedelics

May 16, 2012

This week on the needle drop we've got new tracks from Animal Collective, Four Tet, and TNGHT. We'll also be exploring tracks from the latest albums released by the Flaming Lips, OFF!, and Lone.

Trumbull to Malloy: Still Revolutionary?

May 15, 2012
Uma Ramiah

Not long ago, the state invested only $1 to promote tourism in the state. Yesterday Governor Dannell Malloy announced a new two-year $27 million tourism campaign and a new slogan "Connecticut. Still Revolutionary."

"The primary message is that we're a day trip away," said Gov. Malloy on WNPR's Morning Edition. "We have all of the history, all of the beauty, all of the greatness that can be visited at a much further distance but because we're so close you can do it much more inexpensively and you should be spending your dollars here."

Gibson Guitars and the Kalamazoo Gals

May 15, 2012

Quinnipiac University law professor John Thomas teaches health and intellectual property law during the day. When he's not doing that though, he's a guitar geek. He collects, studies and writes about guitars and his latest venture has him looking at World War II-era Gibson Guitars.

Thomas said that Gibson's advertisements of the time, "promised that Gibson would not build guitars until the boys came back home." Thomas looked through Gibson's shipping ledgers though and counted nearly 25,000 guitars. 

Why We Need Government Transparency

May 14, 2012
mrceder (Flickr Creative Commons)

You can read about government, listen to stories on the radio and watch them on TV...but do you really know how government works?

When a mayor makes a campaign promise...when a candidate takes a campaign donation from a company...when a complex budget is explained in a one-page press release...we’re left wondering, “What’s the real story?”

Real Life Survival Guide Episode 46

May 13, 2012
Cindy Papish Gerber

I don't want to say that serving adult beverages makes for better conversation, but in Episode 46, recorded at Nini's House of Tapas, the conversation flowed - and so did the vino!

Joining the party; guest cohost Gerry McGuire (sitting in for Duo, who's back next week), Barbie Douglas, Katie Gerhard, Mary Elliot and Jon Crane.

America’s Lone Eagle

May 11, 2012

“We personally congratulate you upon your successful completion of one of the greatest missions ever undertaken”. Warm greetings from the Hartford Chamber of Commerce invited Charles A. Lindbergh to not only visit, but “to land at one of the finest airports in the country—our new Brainard Field”, following his historic flight across the Atlantic in 1927.

How Search Engines Work

May 11, 2012
Dan Foy (Flickr Creative Commons)

Remember when we used to have to do “research?” You know, go into dusty library backrooms? Spool through microfilm of old newspapers? Save important information in overloaded file drawers?

Of course, the internet changed all that, with the advent of the “search engine.” The more that went up on the web, the more there was to search - and the better the search engines got, the more stuff went up on the web.

Chion Wolf

The end of the state legislative session is an emotional time for lawmakers.  After weeks working closely together on legislation, and holding dueling press conferences to unveil bills that ultimately go nowhere, it comes down to a few frantic late nights, where - bleary-eyed and cloudy - they vote to send some bills on to the governor, while others sit on the shelf, waiting for their turn next year.

Chion Wolf

According to U.S. Senate candidate Susan Bysiewicz, you will see her name on the Democratic primary ballot in August, "no matter what."

Former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz appeared on WNPR's Where We Live ahead of this weekend's Democratic state convention. Earlier this month, her opponent State Representative William Tong dropped out of the race. Along with Gov. Dannel Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman, Tong endorsed Democratic frontrunner Rep. Chris Murphy.

Heavy Rock 'n' Roll and Hardcore Hip Hop

May 8, 2012

This week on the Needle Drop, we've got a deep look into two new albums from Torche and Billy Woods. D.C. MC Billy Woods' latest album is a hardcore hip hop mutation that'll grit teeth and chill spines with it's aggressive personality and gritty imagery. Torche's latest effort, Harmonicraft, is about the catchiest album of loudrock tunes you'll hear this month.

Chion Wolf

The “age of exploration” is long past. We’ve charted most every inch of the planet, So what’s left to explore?

It seems we’re no longer sending men and women into space, and even if you make it to the arctic or the top of Mount Everest you’re sure to have cell phone service. Well, at least you can tweet about it.

In Beekeeping, Honey's Worth A Few Stings

May 7, 2012
Chion Wolf

[TRANSCRIPT] Host: Honey bees help produce nearly one-third of the food we consume every day ... and beekeepers dedicate their lives to protecting this unsung hero of American agriculture. WNPR's Patrick Skahill visited with a local beekeeper to learn more about the craft.

Here's the thing about beekeeping. Eventually, you're going to get stung.

*Crackle* Oops! Ow! And there's one in the mouth ... spitting ...

OK. That hurt. Beekeepers call that "earning your stripes."

Weird Weather Saps Syrup Industry

May 7, 2012
courtesy Rob LaMothe

This winter’s unseasonably warm and dry weather has made a lot of folks happy. But not the folks in Connecticut who produce maple syrup. This nice warm weather has made this maple syrup season among the worst ever.  WNPR's Jan Ellen Spiegel reports.

Real Life Survival Guide Episode 45

May 6, 2012
Cindy Papish Gerber

I've known News 8 anchor Ann Nyberg for years now, and always describe her as "the whole package" - kind, generous... and drop dead gorgeous! Needless to say, when Ann offered to host Episode 45 of the Real Life Survival Guide, we couldn't say "YES" fast enough!

Joining Ann and her boutique-mate (and great friend) Francine Piscitelli were Venetucci Home visionary Tony Venetucci, and returning guest editor Eileen Kaplan.

Ann Nyberg is WTNH-TV's longest serving Anchor~Reporter in station history. Ann anchors the 6 and 10 o'clock nightly newscasts.

An Uncommonly Ingenious Mechanic

May 4, 2012

Abel Buell was by all accounts a colorful character, a typical Yankee jack-of-all-trades and entrepreneur.  John Warner Barber, in the 1830s, described him as “an uncommonly ingenious mechanic.”   In the 1950s, Buell’s biographer Lawrence Wroth described him as “a restless, unstable, inventive genius.” 

The Language of Climate Change

May 4, 2012
Stephen Thomas (Flickr Creative Commons)

A big part of the conversation about our earth and our environment is about how we talk about these issues. Despite what is considered “settled science” on climate change - the language around it still includes political landmines.

And, despite what’s widely viewed as one of mankind’s most pressing problems, reports have shown flagging interest in the subject of climate change in recent years.

Mark Kelly on Courage and Hope

May 4, 2012
U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords' office

Chion Wolf

Republican Christopher Shays represented the 4th district for 21 years, until he was unseated by Democrat Jim Himes in 2008.

Now Shays is back as one of a number of candidates running to replace the retiring Joe Lieberman in the U.S. Senate. Among his challengers is former WWE CEO Linda McMahon - who won the nomination in another Senate race in 2010.

Where We Live: Conflicts of Interest in Health Care

May 2, 2012
Chion Wolf

As the business of health care continues to boom, the drumbeat against so-called "conflicts of interest" in medicine has gotten louder.

A national debate’s been cooking about the close relationship between money and medicine. How is that relationship affecting patient care? Can doctors make the right decisions when they’re inundated with sales representatives from pharmaceutical and medical device companies?

Experimental Hip Hop and Battles Remixes

May 1, 2012

This week on the Needle Drop, we're trying out new tracks from R. Stevie Moore, St. Vincent, and Dweller On the Threshold. We'll also be scoping some new remixes of material from Battles' 2011 album Gloss Drop, and a full set of songs from the new Death Grips album, the Money Store.