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Arts and Culture

The Noank Historical Society

This year marks the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day. On May 30th, 1868, a group of veteran Union soldiers known as the Grand Army of the Republic held the first "Decoration Day" as it was known back then as a way to commemorate their fallen comrades.

Noank, Connecticut has been cited by several sources on the internet for having the longest running continuous Memorial Day Parade in the country. Are those sources correct?

Carole Raddato / flickr

Perhaps the most surprising thing about the Amazons of ancient Greek mythology is that they were not entirely mythical. While many of the deeds and details ascribed to these women warriors were imagined, the Amazons themselves were inspired by a real-life horse-riding tribe of nomads called the Scythians.

Frontiers Conferences / flickr

Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google Assistant, etc. These are just the beginning of what experts believe will be a future filled with verbally interactive, digital and robotic assistants. And as we become more accustomed to interacting with machines, the machines are becoming more life-like.

Dan McKay / flickr creative commons

When I hear the word "diorama," the first thing I think of is Mr. Mack’s fifth grade class and painting hills and grass and clouds and a fence into a shoebox and making little cardboard cut outs of Lassie and the boy she loved. God, I hated that stuff.

The second thing I think of is a place like the Peabody Museum in New Haven and their incredibly, obsessively, over-the-toply detailed dioramas of the plant and wildlife of Connecticut.

The Flap Over Flags

May 22, 2018
Flickr Creative Commons, Sam Howzit

Flags have been in the news a lot lately. South Carolina removed the Confederate flag from its Statehouse and one Missouri county threatened to lower the flags at their courthouse for one full year to mourn the Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

I'm in awe of the emotions a simple flag can evoke. On the surface, it's a piece of cloth with pretty colors and designs.

Mary Ellen Mark

It's just a dance, right?

Actually, maybe that's the last thing the prom is. Maybe the photo is even more important, because it freezes you. It's your chance, as high school trickles away, to say "This is who I am. This will be who I was."

We've been looking at prom photos by Mary Ellen Mark, who will be on our show today, and they're striking in the range of emotional states they convey. We see joy, hesitation, confidence, detachment and some flat-out haunted looks.

YouTube Red Originals

You remember the dress, right? In case you don't: Three years ago, a poorly-lit photograph of a dress pretty much tore the internet to pieces. Some people saw a black-and-blue dress; some people saw a white-and-gold dress. The black-and-blue-dress people couldn't understand how the white-and-gold-dress people were living their lives; the white-and-gold-dress people called the black-and-blue-dress people "fake news" (no they didn't).

Well, this week there's a new the dress. Except it's a the dress for your ears, not your eyes. It's an audio file. Some people hear the word "laurel." Some people hear the non-word "yanny." And the dispute over which word is right and which word is wrong is very important (no it isn't).

Harvey Bravman is the director and producer of "Soul Witness: The Brookline Holocaust Witness Project." The film is playing in New Haven on Thursday, May 17 at 7:00 pm.
Patrick Skahill / Connecticut Public Radio

For years, hours of videotaped interviews with survivors of the Holocaust sat packed away in a closet in Brookline, Massachusetts. Now, a filmmaker has rescued those old tapes, weaving dozens of interviews together into a “living memorial” for survivors.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Singer/songwriter Jill Sobule is back in our Hartford studios to sing and play and talk and who knows what else!

Inside a secret annex above her father's office, Anne Frank edited passages from her first diary, the book that captured a teenager's experience of the Holocaust. What she hid underneath brown gummed paper on two pages was revealed on Tuesday — five crossed-out phrases, four risqué jokes and 33 lines about sex education and prostitution.

In a career that spanned more than half a century, Tom Wolfe wrote fiction and nonfiction best-sellers including The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Bonfire of the Vanities. Along the way, he created a new type of journalism and coined phrases that became part of the American lexicon. Wolfe died Monday in Manhattan. He was 88.

Wolfe didn't start a novel with a character or a plot, but rather, with an idea. In 1987, wearing his signature white suit, Wolfe told me how he began his first novel, a panoramic story of New York Society:

The first two pieces up for auction from the Berkshire Museum's art collection fetched more than $1.4 million at auction Monday night in New York.

Carlos Mejia / Connecticut Public Radio

Donald Glover can do anything. He's an actor and a comedian, he's a singer and a songwriter, he's a rapper and a DJ. Mainstream audiences know him from Community and maybe the FX series he created, Atlanta. Nerdy audiences know him as the voice of Spider-Man, and they're about to know him as a young Lando Calrissian.

But Glover's music -- he sings and raps as Childish Gambino and DJs as mcDJ -- has never quite punched through into the wider popular consciousness, despite some chart success. Until this week, maybe. The new Childish Gambino video, "This Is America," which dropped last Saturday in concert with Glover's hosting Saturday Night Live, has just about 75 million views on YouTube. It is "a milestone" and "a media phenomenon," and it has finally made Glover "a superstar."

The great American patriot and Bostonian Paul Revere died 200 years ago on May 10, 1818. He's often remembered as one of the infamous "midnight riders" who rode into Concord, Massachusetts, to warn residents about a planned British attack.

Adam Tiner / flickr creative commons

Lauren Bacall probably does have the most famous line about smoking in all of cinema. But there are other good ones too. "What are you gonna do? Charge me with smoking?" "Smoke if ya got 'em." And many more.

Cigarettes have been such an integral part of movies for so long that one big concern in the lead up to Disney and Fox's planned merger is -- seriously -- all the smoking in Fox movies.

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