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Reactions to Nelson Mandela's Death

Dec 5, 2013
South Africa The Good News / Creative Commons

President Barack Obama reflected in a statement Thursday evening on the passing of former South African President Nelson Mandela. "We will not see the likes of Nelson Mandela again," he said. "It falls to us to carry forward the example that he set."

Nelson Mandela, who became an icon of the struggle for racial equality during a decades-long struggle against South Africa's apartheid system, is being remembered across the globe on Thursday following his death at age 95.

Mandela died after a prolonged lung infection, which had been a recurring problem for him since his days as a prisoner of conscience on South Africa's Robben Island. He served 27 years at the notorious jail.

"He is now resting. He is now at peace," South African President Jacob Zuma said in an address to the nation.

Chion Wolf

  

On today's Nose we're stuffed into the facade of the XL Center in Hartford on Trumbull Street. Come on over and join the live audience.

We got interested in funeral Selfies, the practice more common than you might think among young people taking smart phone pictures of themselves at a funeral or memorial service.  You can well imagine our first reaction. Is there any basis on which this practice is defensible.

We're always interested in public relations disasters, and this week they happened to Senator Rand Paul, in an odd case of plagiarism, Jay-Z , caught in a collaboration with Barney's. The upscale clothing store. Another public relations disaster is brewing a few blocks from where we sit as civil rights attorney Gloria Allred sets up yet  another  UConn press conference today. All this and more.

Leave your comments below, email us at colin@wnpr.org, or tweet us @wnprcolin. 

Chion Wolf

About 60 people gathered at the Capitol today to pay respects to an 18th-century Connecticut slave. This morning, a ceremony was held as the remains of the slave known as Mr. Fortune lied in state.

Chion Wolf

Let me tell you, in the bluntest possible manner, why we're doing a show with Ivor Hugh today.

Last year, I had the idea of doing a show that would have been a gathering of some of the voices from the era when radio was king. One of the names in my head was Ivor's. The other one was my friend and former colleague Arnold Dean. Arnold started in radio within a year of  Ivor; and, like almost everybody doing radio in the 1950s, both men then dabbled in the early days of television, because the early TV talent was radio talent.

A champion of the city of Hartford has died.  Trude Mero was a humanist, an activist, and a dedicated African American leader in the city of Hartford for decades.

Wikimedia Commons

Courtesy of Helen Pedersen Keiser

On Thursday, May 23, the photo of U.S Army Captain Andrew Pedersen-Keel will be added to the State of Connecticut's Wall of Honor. It's a tribute to service members who died while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Pedersen-Keel was killed March 11 in what the military calls a green on blue attack. An Afghan policeman shot him and another Special Forces soldier and wounded several others. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil sat down with Pedersen-Keel’s mother, Helen, who tells us in her own words about her son.  Click on the audio link to hear Helen Pedersen-Keiser. 

Chion Wolf photo / Connecticut Public Radio

“There are a few circumstances in life in which most people respond the same way, such as starvation. The emotional and psychological stance, as we'll as mental calculations, one takes to prevent starvation would all basically be the same.

“If your child dies, it's an assault on your life, and because of that there is a universal response — [and there are] some basic common elements to that response.” — Bruce Clements

Today, Bruce joins us for a live call-in show on coping with the death of a child.

Chion Wolf photo

“There are a few circumstances in life in which most people respond the same way, such as starvation. The emotional and psychological stance, as we'll as mental calculations, one takes to prevent starvation would all basically be the same.

“If your child dies, it's an assault on your life, and because of that there is a universal response — (and there are) some basic common elements to that response.” — Bruce Clements

Today, Bruce joins us for a live call-in show on coping with the death of a child.

Connecticut’s Supreme Court hears arguments Tuesday on whether the state’s death penalty repeal violates the constitutional rights of inmates currently on death row.   The law ends capital punishment for all future crimes.

When Connecticut repealed the death penalty last year, the change was “prospective”, not retroactive.  

That means capital punishment is abolished for future cases, but not for inmates already facing execution.

Pool Safety Bill On Table In Wake Of School Drownings

Apr 10, 2013
Flickr Creative Commons

A bill to create pool safety standards in swim classes across Connecticut is moving forward for a vote by the General Assembly following two drowning deaths in East Hartford and Manchester schools. 

Chion Wolf photo

“There are a few circumstances in life in which most people respond the same way, such as starvation. The emotional and psychological stance, as we'll as mental calculations, one takes to prevent starvation would all basically be the same.

“If your child dies, it's an assault on your life, and because of that there is a universal response — [and there are] some basic common elements to that response.” — Bruce Clements

Today, Bruce joins us for a live call-in show on coping with the death of a child.

Flickr Creative Commons, creativecommoners

Last Friday a young man named Aaron Swartz hanged himself.

Most of us had never heard of him but in the upper echelons of the digital community, he was a legend, having helped develop the software for RSS feeds when he was 14 and having helped create the site Reddit a few years later.

Living With The Mystery Of Our Death

Dec 10, 2012
Rebecca Dubell

Religious leaders get to oversee some of life’s happiest moments, but they’ve also seen enough death to last a lifetime.

They officiate funerals, bless graves, and provide comfort to those who are suffering loss.  So it makes sense that we expect them to have some kind of wisdom about death.  

But how do their experiences influence their views of their own mortality?

Today we’ll talk with philosopher Shelly Kagan and pastoral care professor Kristen Leslie about the mystery of death.  

The Art of Burying the Dead

Oct 26, 2012

The Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford is the city’s oldest historic site and was its only cemetery from the 1640s to the early 1800s. Located downtown, the burying ground accepted anyone who died in Hartford, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnic background, economic status, or religious faith. Around 6,000 people have been buried in the site, yet only 415 people are represented with gravestones. Hiring stone-cutters to inscribe gravestones was expensive and the majority of people could not afford it.

Courtesy of Institute for Community Research

A woman who worked tirelessly in the community to enact social change has died.

67-year-old Marlene Berg was one of the co-founders of Institute for Community Research in Hartford. 

Berg had just retired from the Institute for Community Research as the Associate Director of Training this past January after working there for more than 25 years. Her colleagues remember her as a passionate activist and researcher.

"Marlene was one of the bravest people I'd ever met. She was never afraid to say anything to anyone regardless of the consequences."

Maurice Sendak: "How Dare We Underestimate Children"

May 8, 2012
John Dugdale/HarperCollins Children's Books via NPR

Children's book author and Connecticut resident Maurice Sendak died this morning at the age of 83 in Danbury. 

We are constantly confronting death. If you watch those CSI shows, you see death. If you watch cable shows, like "Boardwalk Empire", you see gruesome grisly death. If you watch the news or read the paper, you find out about people who died.

But none of them are us.

They're abstractions. They don't tell us about our own deaths any more than Lord of the Rings tells us about our impending trip to Mordor. Death, in television and even in the news, is usually somebody else's problem.

Flickr Creative Commons, ensceptico

The person with the best take on the death of Christopher Hitchens would have to be Christopher Hitchens.

Here he is:

"The only position that leaves me with no cognitive dissonance is atheism. It is not a creed. Death is certain, replacing both the siren-song of Paradise and the dread of Hell. Life on this earth, with all its mystery and beauty and pain, is then to be lived far more intensely: we stumble and get up, we are sad, confident, insecure, feel loneliness and joy and love. There is nothing more; but I want nothing more."

Graphic And Newsworthy Photos

Nov 1, 2011
Chion Wolf

When Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was killed last month, the photos quickly become public and the media had to make a decision.

Many news organizations had slideshows of Gadhafi’s death on their websites. Some published the photos in their newspapers. Even fewer put it on the front page.

Remembering Matthew Chew

Oct 28, 2011

One year ago - a senseless murder shocked New London - a city that’s been undergoing a renaissance as a walkable, artsy, vibrant downtown. The young man who was killed, Matthew Chew, embodied that new vibrancy - and he’s being remembered in a vigil this Sunday, October 30 at 6:30pm at the Bean & Leaf in downtown New London.  Jade Huguenot, organizer of the event joins us.

Anthrax Attacks

Oct 28, 2011

The Anthrax attacks of 2001 terrified a nation already shaken by 9/11.  Five people died, and many others were sickened.  One death hit home - 94 year old Ottellie Lundgren of Oxford Connecticut.

The Long Goodbye

Oct 18, 2011
Chion Wolf

Americans are far less healthy than their European counterparts as they enter old age. But if we make it there, our chance of survival gets better.

So, why is this?  Well, one big reason is the enormous amount of money we’re pumping into end-of-life care.  By 67 - the time many of us are retired - the US is spending two and a half times more than other Western Countries.

And, what’s known as “end of life” care accounted for more than a quarter of Medicare spending last year....sometimes on aggressive care that the patient doesn’t even want.

The Sacred Heart University community has been rocked by the senseless death of former basketball star Chauncey Hardy. Hardy was playing professional ball in Romania where he was killed late Sunday. Joining us by phone is Chris Elsberry, he is a sports columnist for the Connecticut Post. 

Great American Losers

Oct 11, 2011

It’s one of the most famous baseball radio broadcasts ever: Giants broadcaster Russ Hodges yelling, “The Giants win the pennant.”

Those words made Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca want to throw his radio out the window...he was the pitcher that gave up the blast. It’s been 60 years since the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” and Branca still lives with this legacy.

He has written a new book about that game and coming back from what could have been a crushing blow.

The Art Of Last Words

Aug 31, 2011
Joe Shlabotnik, Flickr Creative Commons

Flickr Creative Commons, iluvcocacola

This week the New York Times got interested in political marriages.

Flickr Creative Commons, eviltomthai

I confess I was surprised last night when crowds surged to the White House and to the former site of the World Trade Center to cheer the death of Osama bin Laden.

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