• 'Much Ado' About Wendy Davis' Abortion Filibuster MP3

    Here's my nomination for a neologism: "Amazonopoeia." Definition: the rhetorical use of Amazon shopping and customer reviews.   There have been two very different examples this week.  People who thought Paula Deen had been overpunished started buying her books and pushing them up the sale rankings.   Sample comment:  "I don't normally buy items for a political statement but...

    28.06.2013

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    28.06.2013

  • The Fall Of Aaron Hernandez And Off-Field Violence MP3

    In the modern NFL era, a position called tight end has risen to a new degree of importance. Tight ends are hybrid offensive players. The best ones are big, powerful, fearless and fleet of foot. They're able to a block huge a linebacker on a running play and, one play later, run a sharp, quick pass route.  Aaron Hernandez was one of the best. A young Puerto Rican and Italian player out of Br...

    27.06.2013

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    27.06.2013

  • Do Pageants Exploit Women Or Make Them More Confident? MP3

    Why is the Miss American pageant held in September? The apparent answer lies in its origins in 1921 when Atlantic City businessmen came up with a beauty pageant as part of a "fall frolic" festival that would extend the resort areas season past Labor Day.    The first Miss America was chosen from among twenty beauties attending a symbolic King Neptune who was also depicted as bening atte...

    25.06.2013

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    25.06.2013

  • The Birth, Life, And Death Of Jokes MP3

    Some time in the late 1980s, when my main job was writing allegedly funny newspapers and magazine pieces and books  I was visiting a friend who worked in the offices of "Late Night with David Letterman." I think she was an assistant to Dave's assistant or something. Anyway, she introduced me to the show's head writer Steve O'Donnell and she must have mentioned me before because he said, &quo...

    24.06.2013

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    24.06.2013

  • Shakespeare With Puppets, 81 Hours In An Elevator, & Setting Chekhov To Music MP3

    Last night I went I went to the movies. And it was a nice movie. "What Maisey Knew." But I was kind of "meh." I've seen this before. Think about it. When was the last time a new movie really rocked your world? I've seen some great documentaries, and some interesting foreign films, but I feel like that medium is kind of temporarily static.   Live performances, meanwhile, have been kno...

    18.06.2013

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    18.06.2013

  • So You Think You Can Fake A Vermeer? MP3

    In the world of forgery, the notion that it takes a thief to catch a thief gets a little dicey.   Forgers tend to be incredibly skilled and talented artists. They pretty much have to be, right? Many of them learn their craft in the backrooms of museums as restoration specialists and many of then have attempted to be successful artists in their own right.    Ironically, the p...

    13.06.2013

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    13.06.2013

  • The Nose: The NSA Is Logging Your Outraged Tweets About Game Of Thrones MP3

    Ordinarily on The Nose, we don't dive right into hard news, but it's hard to ignore the disclosures from the last few days about FISA, phones, PRISM and government access to Internet servers. Amusingly (in a dark way), Obama is meeting with the President of China today about cybersecurity, a conversation that is bound to be less one-sided now. It does somehow seem to fit with all the grapes...

    07.06.2013

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    07.06.2013

  • Do You Have A Connecticut Accent? MP3

    One of the ongoing debates in American sociolinguistics concerns the so-called Ocracoke brogue, a dialect from the barrier islands off the cost of North Carolina. You could probably throw in the dialect of Smith Island off the coast of Maryland.  There are people who claim that these dialects represent a closer approximation of Elizabethan English, the accent spoken by Shakespeare's actors, tha...

    04.06.2013

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    04.06.2013

  • Live From The Berkshire International Film Festival MP3

    It began last night with a documentary about some of the greatest backup singers in rock and roll history, including Darlene Love, who is here, and a short film featuring Tony Shalhoub, who was here. It will close with a screening of the much anticipated film "Frances Ha" directed by Noah Baumbach and starring Greta Gerwig, both of whom will be here. And in between, the Berkshire Internatio...

    31.05.2013

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    31.05.2013

  • Connecticut's Political Corruption Abides, But Does Anyone Care? MP3

    One of the lowlights of 2013 was the trial of Robert Braddock, campaign finance director for Chris Donovan.   FBI surveillance equipment gave us a greasy look at what appears to be business as usual at the State Capitol. Lawmakers and their staffs seemed more than a little familiar with the idea of campaign contributions being used as a lever to pass or kill legislation.   In a...

    30.05.2013

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    30.05.2013

  • At 100, Igor Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring' Still Looms Large MP3

    Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" was incredibly controversial when it premiered, 100 years ago today, but chances are your current associations with is are affectionate and involve cartoon dinosaurs.    Today on the show, we're going to discuss -- both seriously and playfully -- the way "Rite of Spring" shocked its 1913 audience and began the often jumpy relationship between mod...

    29.05.2013

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    29.05.2013

  • 'Two Cheers For Anarchy' MP3

    Today, in order to watch a Lenny Bruce monologue on YouTube, I had to sit through a Starbucks commercial. This feels like proof that some kind of fundamental battle has been lost, right? The Internet is free, but not really. Lenny Bruce was an iconoclast whose ideas are now packed in some big company's bubble wrap. Our show today is about anarchism, and I wanted to listen to Bruce's hilario...

    28.05.2013

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    28.05.2013

  • Second-Time Blues: The Difficulties Of Doing It All Over Again MP3

    Once upon a time in a second term, a president used his power to go after journalists in Hartford. I could be talking about President Obama's justice department seizing AP phone records, including some from AP's Hartford office. But I could also be talking Thomas Jefferson in 1806. Sick of Federalists and sick of Connecticut and sick of people trash talking about him, Jefferson arranged for...

    20.05.2013

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    20.05.2013

  • The Nose: Jolie's Medical Choice, Royal Polo, & A Revival Of '24' MP3

    I'm one of those odd people who still gets physical newspapers thrown into his driveway. On Monday, I was paging trough the New York Times and came upon Angelina Jolie's now-famous essay about her decision to have her breasts removed preventively, after learning of her high genetic risk factor for beast cancer. I had the odd sensation of looking at my laptop on a nearby table and knowing th...

    17.05.2013

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    17.05.2013

  • To Serve Man: Cannibalism In History, Pop Culture, And Nature MP3

    Two cannibals are eating, and one of them says, "I don't like my mother in law," and the other one says: "So just eat the noodles." Old joke and one of scores and scores of jokes about cannibalism. It's one of the ultimate taboos, so why is there so much comedy about it?   Maybe the answer is contained in the question. Cannibalism kicks one of our massive anxiety tripwires, and we c...

    15.05.2013

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    15.05.2013

  • Poor Old Shine: Celebrating The Roots Of Americana Music MP3

    It's possible to oversell the idea of a modern revival of so-called American roots music. Maybe that revival is always happening. Nick Spitzer's terrific public radio show "American Routes" has been around since 1998, when it was featuring people like Steve Earle. So, you know ... the Lumineers and Mumford and Sons didn't exactly invent anything. On the other hand, there seems to be som...

    06.05.2013

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    06.05.2013

  • Living With Food Allergies MP3

    No one can escape the issue of extreme food allergies. Maybe it's you who is allergic to peanuts, dairy, shellfish, citrus. Maybe it's your little son or daughter. Or maybe you don't have any allergies, but because you eat food, you find that other people's allergies affect your life. Are you ever asked to keep peanuts out of the snack you're bringing to school? Or to keep dairy out of the cake.....

    06.05.2013

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    06.05.2013

  • Live At Watkinson School: Future So Bright, You Gotta Wear Shades MP3

    Today's New York Times features an article about brain-computer interface which is speeding along faster than you might think. Your long wait for the ability to be able to move things -- well, certain things -- with your thoughts is basically over.  That's the thing about the future. It's already here. One of the participants in the conversation you're about to hear works in the field of ge...

    29.04.2013

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    29.04.2013

  • 'Destination Mars' - Frontier Journeys To The Red Planet MP3

    The good news about Mars? It has sunlight, carbon, water, and nitrogen. On a good day, it's only 35.8 million miles away. True that good day is July 27, 2018, but still, it beats trying to reach the closest other Earth-like planet which is 70 trillion miles away. The bad news about Mars? We've sent forty spacecraft there. Many didn't make it. The ones that did get there didn't find so much...

    23.04.2013

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    23.04.2013

  • Millennials Are Social, Capable, And Confident (Really.) MP3

    Let's define our term. Millennials are the generation currently between the ages of 18 and 30. They are often mocked for being soft, cosseted, narcissistic smart phone addicts. And worse. And part of the issue is that it's just fun to talk about them that way. But it doesn't make any sense. It seems especially conterproductive, just in terms of the continued survival of civilization, to so...

    17.04.2013

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    17.04.2013

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