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Shakespeare in the Park starts tonight in New Haven. Shakespeare & Company in the Berkshires has a new workshop production of Coriolanus opening next week. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens didn't think Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare's works. The BBC has a multi-camera, filmed-in-front-of-a-live-studio-audience Shakespeare sitcom.

This hour: lots of little looks at this summer's best Shakespeare stuff.

L'Observateur Russe / Wikimedia Commons

The 18th century Parisian cafe was an incubator for the liberal tradition as it was before liberalism became a politically-loaded and dirty word. The cafe brought people together to exchange ideas, talk, connect, argue, debate, and learn about humanity, empathy, and humility outside the control of the state; a place where civil society trumped tribal impulse. 

Is Democracy Dying?

Aug 13, 2019
Fort Meade Public Affairs Office / Flickr Creative Commons

Populism is on the rise from Europe to India to the United States.

Americans elected Donald Trump on his promise to "Drain the swamp" of a political elite no longer responsive to their needs. Populists almost took control of Germany, France, and the Netherlands in 2017. Former prime minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi regained power seven short years after being ousted from office for corruption. 

Updated at 10:05 a.m. ET

When Toni Morrison received her Nobel Prize in Literature in 1993, her remarks began with a reflection on the phrase once upon a time. In her signature, measured cadence, Morrison told the Swedish Academy she believed these were some of the first words we remember from our childhoods.

Bansy / Flickr Creative Commons

Dr. Joseph Cyr, a surgeon with the Royal Canadian Navy, had to think quick when his ship came upon a rickety boat with mangled and bloody bodies at the height of the Korean War in 1951. As the only doctor on board, he quickly moved to operate on 19 men, all of them his enemies in this war. All survived, making the young doctor a hero.

Except he wasn't really a doctor. 

Dan / Flickr

On September 3rd of 2019, Random House will release what is likely the very last Dr. Seuss book there'll ever be: Dr. Seuss's Horse Museum. The work, initially just a manuscript and pile of incomplete sketches, was found buried in a box in the late author's California home in 2013. Since then, artists intimately familiar with Seuss's style of drawing have managed to fill in the gaps and finish the book.

Lily Tyson / Connecticut Public Radio

In 1953 American illustrator Norman Rockwell moved from Arlington, Vermont, to the small town of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, on the Western edge of the Berkshires. While there, Rockwell developed a relationship with a prominent psychotherapist who came to influence the artist’s work. Their relationship is the subject of a new exhibit at the Norman Rockwell Museum: “Inspired: Norman Rockwell and Erik Erikson.” 

Pedro Ribeiro Simões / Creative Commons

Summer is the time we look forward to reading -- or rereading -- our favorite books.  

Tom Hines

Ocean Vuong emigrated to Hartford from Vietnam when he was two-years-old. His family brought with them the trauma of an American-led war that ravaged their people and their culture. How do they retain their culture and assimiliate into one that doesn't want them?  

Wikimedia Commons

Reality TV shows like the Discovery Channel's Doomsday Bunkers and National Geographic Channel's Doomsday Preppers perpetuate a stereotype of "preppers" that omits the wide swath of people who engage in preparedness in a less extreme and more varied way.

Jeffrey Smith / Flickr Creative Commons

This hour, we take a deep dive into the realities of modern-day motherhood. We talk with a sociologist who spent years in the field interviewing working moms. We also get a local perspective, and we want to hear from you. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

From the bestselling author of Lilac Girls comes a new novel. It's called Lost Roses and it centers on Eliza Ferriday, a one-time Connecticut resident and mother of esteemed philanthropist Caroline Ferriday.

This hour, author Martha Hall Kelly returns to our studios to talk about the book, and about her experience researching war and revolution in the early 20th century. 

Surprise Truck / Flickr Creative Commons

Are you one of the millions inspired by Marie Kondo and her KonMari Method to get rid of your clutter? Kondo's books, such as The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and Netflix series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, have sparked an intense and prolonged fervor where other self-help gurus have failed. 

yourgenome / Creative Commons

With the last decade of the twentieth century came the first clinical trials for a biotechnology known as gene therapy. Since then, how far has gene therapy come? And how far has it left to go?

This hour, we consider these and other questions, and we also hear from you. Were you or was someone close to you diagnosed with a genetic disease? What thoughts or questions do you have about gene therapy and its ongoing advancement? 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Graduation season is upon us. Your niece is finishing high school. Your neighbor's son is graduating from Tulane. Your boss just got her second Master's. How did it get to be that the obvious gift for all of these people is... a Dr. Seuss book?

And then: Vulture, this week, published a click-bait listicle ranking all the HBO shows ever. The Nose took the bait and clicked. And... Six Feet Under didn't make the top ten? Girls isn't in the top 25? John from Cincinnati made the top 30? Did anybody even understand that show?

And speaking of shows, George Clooney and Grant Heslov's new Hulu miniseries is a four-and-a-half-hour, six-episode adaption of Joseph Heller's Catch-22. Is that what the world needed right now?

The Truth About Lies

May 29, 2019
Mike Roberts / Flickr 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. 

Netflix

No Country for Old Men. Fargo. The Big Lebowski. Raising Arizona. O Brother, Where Art Thou? Miller's Crossing.

Over the past 35 years, Joel and Ethan Coen have reliably been among the most recognizable voices in moviemaking.

Their latest, the anthology western The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, hit Netflix last fall.

This hour: a Noseish look at the work of the Coen brothers.

Marco Verch / flickr creative commons

Seriously: a show about towels.

There's the history of towels, towels in Christianity, Terrible Towels, Towel Day.

Oh, and there are actual towels too.

Allen Allen / Creative Commons

The American criminal justice system has become less 'just' over recent decades and prosecutors bear much of the responsibility.

L'Observateur Russe / Wikimedia Commons

The 18th century Parisian cafe was an incubator for the liberal tradition as it was before liberalism became a politically-loaded and dirty word. The cafe brought people together to exchange ideas, talk, connect, argue, debate, and learn about humanity, empathy, and humility outside the control of the state; a place where civil society trumped tribal impulse. 

Erich Ferdinand / Flickr 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. 

Wikipedia

Reality TV shows like the Discovery Channel's Doomsday Bunkers and National Geographic Channel's Doomsday Preppers perpetuate a stereotype of "preppers" that omits the wide swath of people who engage in preparedness in a less extreme and more varied way.

Lets Eat Grandma!

May 1, 2019
Danielle Blumenthal / Flickr 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.)

6eo tech / Creative Commons

Sometimes new technology, like the iPhone, comes to us in flashy, attention-grabbing presentations. But other times, it creeps up and changes our world... without us noticing!

One technology that’s made its way into the headlines is artificial intelligence (AI). For some, those two words might stir up images of Ultron or HAL 9000. But AI's role goes well beyond movies or books. In fact, it's been in the real world for decades. And it's becoming more and more prevalent in our daily lives.

Copyright 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.)

Kit Harington / HBO

This week, the long awaited final season of Game of Thrones launched on HBO.

As more than 17 million viewers dig in for one last round, some of the Nose's most dedicated fans gather to discuss what's made this series such a hit, and what they're thinking about as the show marches toward its end.

More than 130 years after Emily Dickinson's death, scholars and devotees continue to scrutinize her poetry and rewrite her life story. 

Bill Smith / Flickr Creative Commons

Literacy. It's something many of us take for granted. The ability to read health forms, headlines, or the latest bestsellers. Yet, across the U.S., there are millions of adults who have difficulty reading.

This hour, we find out why. We talk with literacy experts and advocates, and we also hear from you.

Chion Wolf / WNPR, Connecticut Public Radio

From the bestselling author of Lilac Girls comes a new novel. It's called Lost Roses and it centers on Eliza Ferriday, a one-time Connecticut resident and mother of esteemed philanthropist Caroline Ferriday.

This hour, author Martha Hall Kelly returns to our studios to talk about the book, and about her experience researching war and revolution in the early 20th century. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR/Connecticut Public Radio

What’s it like to build a house, a family, a life… and then have a war take it all away?  

This hour we sit down with West Hartford, Connecticut residents Adeebah Alnemar and her son, Naji Aldabaan. They’re Syrian refugees who fled during the civil war, and came to Connecticut in 2016.

Their family is the subject of a 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoon series in The New York Times. We also talk with one of the people behind the cartoon series—New Haven-based journalist Jake Halpern.

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