Betsy Kaplan | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

Betsy Kaplan

Senior Producer

Betsy started as an intern at WNPR in 2011 after earning a Master's Degree in American and Museum Studies from Trinity College. Prior to that, Betsy worked as an intensive care registered nurse in several Connecticut hospitals.

While taking time off from nursing to have fun with her three young daughters, she was elected to three terms on her town's Board of Education and worked at a local museum. 

She's produced shows for Where We Live and the Colin McEnroe Show, several of which have won local awards.

She is currently the senior producer for the Colin McEnroe Show

The Truth About Lies

Mar 7, 2019
Mike Roberts / Creative Commons

Laszlo Ratesic is a nineteen-year veteran of the Speculative Service. He lives in the Golden State, the only place left in what was once America. Laszlo's job is to bring the worst criminals to justice, those who tell lies. In his new novel, Ben Winters creates a world which might sound Eden-esque in our era of misinformation. 

Catherine Sebastian

Joyce Maynard has been writing for over 45 years about the kind of human experiences we're often taught to keep hidden - stories  about envy, anger, vanity, self-pity, pride.  

We read her stories because they offer a chance to first confront and then forgive ourselves for how those emotions can shape us into people we don't like. 

Alan Light / Creative Commons

It was hard to watch the first part of Leaving Neverland, the documentary which aired on HBO aired on March 3. The poignancy of the mixed emotions expressed by two men and their mothers who fell under the spell of Michael Jackson and later, his predation, left me feeling like a fly on the wall of a particularly difficult visit to a therapist. I was forced to consider my own complicity in how we collectively create and reward a celebrity culture that allows us to suspend reality against our own better judgment.

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. 

Alex Guerrero / Creative Commons

You have pain that wakes you up at night and distracts you during the day. You go to the doctor, who asks you to grade your pain on a scale of 1-10. The doctor can't find anything wrong with you; it may be stress or anxiety or that you need more exercise or sleep. You're confused. You feel pain but nothing seems to be wrong. Does this sound familiar?

Antonio Castagna / Flickr Creative Commons

We were going to produce a show today on loneliness with British writer Olivia Laing. We still want to do that show with Olivia - but not today.

Instead, we decided to switch gears and talk with Olivia and other artists about the themes in Olivia's new novel because they mirror our own concerns: how to live life in this fast-moving world where the present is history in the blink of an eye and world leaders can end our world with one wrong tweet? How can we exist, create art, raise children, commit to a future in a world that could be ending?

Erich Ferdinand / Creative Commons

Religious scholar Elaine Pagels, trusted the Gospel of Thomas to get her through the almost unbearably painful years after the death of her six-year-old son -- born with a congenital heart defect -- followed one year later by the unexpected death of her husband. 

Erich Ferdinand / Creative Commons

Religious scholar Elaine Pagels, trusted the Gospel of Thomas to get her through the almost unbearably painful years after the death of her six-year-old son -- born with a congenital heart defect -- followed one year later by the unexpected death of her husband. 

Dean Hochman / flickr.com/photos/deanhochman/

We're doing a show on supermarkets today - from a supermarket!

Most Americans still buy most of their food from a supermarket. While farmer's markets and specialty stores offer organic and local alternatives, large-scale supermarkets still offer more convenience, the lowest prices and a seemingly endless variety of choices. Their big wide aisles with neatly stacked and eye-catching packaged products are hard to resist. 

Lets Eat Grandma!

Feb 11, 2019
Danielle Blumenthal / Creative Commons

Who would have thought that a book on grammar would be #5 on Amazon's best-seller list? (Should that be "whom" would have thought? Should I write out the number five? Should it be "bestseller?" Ugh. I can't remember if the exclamation goes inside or outside the quotation mark in the sentence I just asked myself.)

Robert Huffstutter / Wikimedia Commons

Wilhelm Reich was a once-promising psychoanalyst and scientist under the guidance of Freud in pre-World War II Europe. He promoted the "sexual revolution" to support his belief that sexual repression was linked to the bodily and societal ills of neurosis and fascism.

Philip Dawe / John Carter Brown Library

Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton has inspired millions to learn more about the founding of America. Some may be moved by a story of scrappy underdogs fighting for freedom against all odds. Others may wonder if America has ever lived up to the ideals assured in our Constitution. 

Noah Stern Weber / LA Opera

Have you ever been to the opera? I know, you think it's stuffy and formal and only for rich, white people of a certain age. You're wrong. 

Giphy.com

It's not a stretch to say the best part of Sunday's Super Bowl LIII was SpongeBob's short, but sweet, appearance during the halftime show. Should it be a surprise that the game was boring, the halftime show was bland, and the ads were forgettable? The long shadow of Colin Kaepernick cast a cloud over this game and the NFL has yet to deal with the fallout.

Master Steve Rapport / Creative Commons

There's a healthy debate going on about whether to initiate impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

The Atlantic's Yoni Appelbaum and others say now is the time to begin the process. History tells us that the process of impeachment, not the outcome, is a vital protection against the dangers of a president who has not kept his promise to preserve and defend our Constitution. Others say Trump will need to be beaten at the polls in the absence of Mueller-stamped evidence.  

ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

What we each saw in the short video (since deleted) that went viral this weekend of a Covington Catholic High School student staring at a Native American protestor on the National Mall is open to interpretation. Photos and videos carry the authority of truth, yet the 'truth' reflected in a video can vary, depending on what's included, what's left out and how it's framed.

Copper Beech Institute

Recently, I hopped into my car to go home after a long and grinding first day back to work. I had just returned the day before from a two-week vacation exploring the treasures of two foreign countries I had never seen before. 

The abrupt transition from play to work left me feeling quite blue, made worse by my receding memories of those weeks. Something in me needed music. So, I traded out my usual afternoon newscast for a "soul" song that caught my ear and brightened my heart. 

Vinoth Chandar / Creative Commons

I once took guitar lessons with a small group of people who met two nights a week in the basement of a local elementary school. We spent most of each lesson practicing in little nooks and crannies we each carved out in the old room. I enjoyed picking out tunes in my own little corner at my own pace. It was all going so smoothly until... the instructor mentioned the final "concert."

Suzanne Proulx / http://www.suzanneproulx.com/

Dust is a fascinating substance. Our bodies are always shedding dust from our skin, hair, and nails, leaving little bits of DNA wherever we roam. Dust floats unseen through the air around us. It's light. It's hard to see unless it lands on a contrasting surface or crosses the path of a ray of sunshine. It can travel far and wide.  

Copyright Peter Kuper / Peter Kuper

Most of us know what Kafkaesque means even if we've never read a word Kafka wrote. 

For example, it's Kafkaesque when your smart home turns on you. It's not Kafkaesque when you wait in line for two hours at DMV and they close the line when you get to the front. (Well, it's a little Kafkaesque.)

Ben Seese / Creative Commons

The reactions to Representative Rashida Tlaib's profanity and her calls for impeachment against the president have been mixed.

While most Republicans are in sync in their outrage over her comments, Democrats are further apart. 

Zoo Fanatic / Creative Commons

It's been easy to overlook Trump Administration environmental policies that are contributing to the destruction of wildlife and habitats.

Dean Hochman / Creative Commons

We're doing a show on supermarkets today - from a supermarket!

Most Americans still buy most of their food from a supermarket. While farmer's markets and specialty stores offer organic and local alternatives, large-scale supermarkets still offer more convenience, the lowest prices and a seemingly endless variety of choices. Their big wide aisles with neatly stacked and eye-catching packaged products are hard to resist. 

Uptowner / Creative Commons

Donald Trump's election was the culmination of a venom-filled campaign that was nastier than almost any in recent memory. The mean-spirited comments tossed to voters eager to "lock her up" fell just shy of the malicious rhetoric coming from Thomas Jefferson's presidential campaign in 1796. Jefferson's hatchet-man called John Adams a "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman."

Vantage Point Veteran Affairs / Google Images

When was the last time you saw someone with a disability? Do you have a loved one who is part of the community? Did you see a character on TV, or did you just pass someone on the street? For some it may take a while to answer that question. Why is that?

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Jill Sobule is back in town! She joins us after her first of three consecutive evening performances at the Mark Twain House.

Red, White, and Black Eyes Forever / Flickr Creative Commons

Three guests, Peter Sagal of WWDTM, Maria Konnikova of The New Yorker, and Robert Evans of Cracked, take you on a tour of vice. They talk everything from casual sex to marijuana to greed and ostentation to coffee to beer to pornography. Peter and Colin also discuss what the next declared vice will be. Possibly sitting.

Creative Commons

What did he know and when did he know it?

Prosecutors from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team and the Southern District of New York on Friday afternoon came closer to answering these questions as they relate to President Trump and his campaign's interference in the 2016 election.

Deborah McCullough

Our relationship with our toothbrush is complicated. Most of us don't brush our teeth well enough. We don't brush long enough, or we brush too hard, or we keep our toothbrushes so long that tests would show it to be about as clean as our toilets.

Andre Silva / Creative Commons

On the series "NewsRadio," the character played by Phil Hartman once said, "Experience once taught me that behind every toothy grin lies a second row of teeth."

Smiling is a universal way to show happiness. But not all smiles are happy. In reality, we smile less for happiness than for social reasons that have nothing to do with happiness. 

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