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Arts and Culture

It's not easy packing your bags and saying goodbye to your family after a Category 5 hurricane has wiped out what you call home, leaving so many places — tied so closely with childhood memories and routine — bare and unusable.

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During halftime of tonight's football game between the University of Connecticut and the University of Central Florida, UConn’s marching band will pay special tribute to a student killed in the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Alex Schachter, 14, had plans to apply to UConn and play trombone in the marching band.

David Siu / Creative Commons

Nobody likes the termite. They get into the wood in our homes that can lead to infuriating and expensive repairs. What's to like.

It turns out, there's a lot to like about the termite; scientists study how termites build their "mounds" for clues to solving some of the world's most pressing problems, like mitigating the effects of drought, building colonies on Mars, and the creation of biofuels. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

One of the things you will learn this hour is how close New Haven came to being a possession of Spain. Even if you think you know the story of the New Haven Regicides, the men who fled to the New World rather than face punishment, by which I mean death, for their complicity in the execution of Charles I, we probably have some surprises for you.  

By we, I mean Lord Charles Spencer, who joins me in studio to talk about his book, Killers of the King. Spencer writes a very brisk and compelling style of history. To put it another way, if you like "Game of Thrones," it's a pretty easy leap from there to this story. 

Warner Bros. Pictures

The Nose is off this week, but we bring you some pop culture topics anyway:

Jon M. Chu's Crazy Rich Asians is the number-one movie in the country, and it's expected to hold onto the top spot on the charts through this weekend. It's on the cover of Time magazine, and it's seen as "a major step forward for representation -- and the industry."

And: Hits are down, and strikeouts are up. Pitching changes and replays are at an all-time high, and take-out slides and home-plate collisions have been banned. As such, baseball greats find the game "very difficult to watch." Is baseball in trouble? (Spoiler alert: Probably not.)

For the first time ever, the influential and iconic Stevie Wonder will play Springfield, Massachusetts.

Ray Hardman / Connecticut Public Radio

Gene Pitney's career as a singer, songwriter and producer took him around the world, but always returned to his hometown, Rockville, now part of Vernon, Connecticut. His nickname, after all, was the "Rockville Rocket."

Treasures from Gene Pitney's personal archives are now on display an exhibit at Arts Center East in the Rockville section of Vernon.

Christel Øverland Preteni / flickr creative commons

humor = tragedy + time

Okay, but then the logical next question is: How much time?

If it's okay, at this point, to joke about, say, The Spanish Inquisition... what about, for instance, the Holocaust? Or AIDS? September 11th? The #MeToo movement?

Kevin Doncaster / flickr

The history of sugar is a complicated one. Once available to only the rich and powerful, sugar now shows up in everything from cereals and soups, to cigarettes and body scrubs. It is known to both have medicinal qualities and to contribute to a variety of health problems.

The Battle For Butter

Aug 20, 2018
Robert S. Donovan/flickr creative commons

We tend not to think much about that pat of butter we put on our morning toast, including how the store-bought sweet cream butter we're eating likely pales in comparison to the rich, nutty flavor of  the cultured butter not found in many stores.

Focus Features

August 16 -- yesterday -- is kind of an oddly busy day in the history of popular culture. In 1954, the first issue of Sports Illustrated was published. In 1962, Pete Best was fired from The Beatles. In 1948, Babe Ruth died. In 1958, Madonna was born (and so she turned 60 yesterday). In 1977, Elvis Presley died. And yesterday, a new August 16th-shaped dot was added to the timeline of pop culture: the death of Aretha Franklin. The Queen of Soul was 76 years old.

And: The new Spike Lee joint, BlacKkKlansman, is set in 1970s Colorado Springs, Colo., and it tells a story that's about race relations in all of America right now, today. It's "a slapstick comedy, a blaxploitation throwback, and an incendiary Molotov cocktail thrown into the foray of the modern multiplex," and it's being called Lee's "hardest-hitting work in decades."

What Does It Mean To Be A Man In 2018?

Aug 16, 2018
Wellcome Images / Wikimedia Commons

What do recent events such as #MeToo, the election of Donald Trump, and an onslaught of mass shootings perpetrated by white men all have in common? They’ve all provoked important cultural conversations about manhood in America.

Aretha Franklin: The 'Fresh Air' Interview

Aug 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin was more than a woman, more than a diva and more than an entertainer. Aretha Franklin was an American institution. Aretha Franklin died Thursday in her home city of Detroit after battling pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. Her death was confirmed by her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn. She was 76.

Chion Wolf / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

Nekita Waller was recently named Connecticut's 17th State Troubadour. This hour, she joins us in our studios. We talk about her background as a performer and learn about the influence she hopes to have over the state’s arts and culture scene.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

If you live, work, or study anywhere near Yale's Old Campus, the sounds of the bells emanating from Harkness Tower are probably a routine part of your day.

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