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Ballista, George Edward Lodge, Michael L. Baird / Wikimedia Commons

What would it have been like to see a huge, elephant-like mastodon roaming our state? 

The earth has been home to some spectacularly large animals. A few of them still roam or swim our world today.

This hour, we take a look at the biology of these giants. 

Library of Congress

The Connecticut State Library has been awarded a grant of over $263,000 from the National Digital Newspaper Program, a partnership between the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress. The grant will be used to digitize Connecticut newspapers, and make them available online.

Daniel Case / Wikimedia Commons

Not only is Charles Ives a revered American composer, but he is also Connecticut's native son. This hour, we take an in-depth look at Ives’ life and profound musical output, and we ask: What is his legacy today? 

Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Today we speak with actor and human-rights activist George Takei, not about his role as Lieutenant Sulu on the original Star Trek, but about a far more troubling chapter in his life. In his new graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy, George writes in detail about his childhood spent in an internment camp for Japanese-American citizens.

dom fellowes / flickr creative commons

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. 

Seth Rogen. Er, no. That's not right. Carlos Mejia, I meant. / Connecticut Public Radio

Two things arrived this week that the world probably didn't previously know it needed: The Impossible Whopper and "the definitive Nicolas Cage interview." The Nose taste tests one of them live on the air and discusses both. I'll leave it a mystery which is which.

Plus, a look at two movies: the Charlize Theron-Seth Rogen rom-com Long Shot (now available on iTunes/Amazon/DVD/Blu-ray/etc.) and the Cambridge Analytica documentary The Great Hack (out now on Netflix).

Jesse Steinmetz / Connecticut Public

If you ever drive across the country, you’ll notice there is a surprising amount of World’s Largest attractions.

West Virginia has the world’s largest teapot, California has the world’s largest yo-yo and Arkansas, for whatever reason, has the world’s largest Spinach can. This hour we talk to the man who brought the world’s tallest Uncle Sam to Danbury, Connecticut. 

Sharon Mollerus / Flickr Creative Commons

Hartford native Sol LeWitt was one of the giants of conceptualist and minimalist art.

As an artist, he abandoned the long histories of painting and drawing and sculpture in favor of his Wall Drawings and Structures.

And as an art figure, he abandoned the conventions of celebrity and resisted ever even having his picture taken.

This hour, a look at Connecticut's own Sol LeWitt.

Tim Wolf

A new report paints a picture of the arts in Greater Hartford, a scene that’s both colorful and rocky.

This hour, we learn about the Greater Hartford Arts Landscape Study, and consider efforts to better support the region’s artists.

We also look back on the early years of hip-hop and breaking (a.k.a. breakdancing) in Connecticut, and hear how some young people are learning and performing these styles today. 

Matt Deavenport / Flickr Creative Commons

It's been called a "glorified game of toss" and "World of Warcraft for extroverts." But has Ultimate Frisbee quietly become a real sport?

It is, apparently, a likely Olympic sport. Which would, apparently, maybe be bad for Ultimate.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Saturday, July 20th marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing. Several Connecticut companies played an important role in the historic mission.

82 year-old Donald Rethke was a mechanical engineer at Hamilton Standard in Windsor Locks in 1969. He helped design the life support systems and the heating system on the lunar module used in the moon landing.

NASA

Fifty years ago, man walked on the moon. But before that happened, millions held their breath at each stage of the Apollo 11 mission, starting with the launch.

This hour we talk about the lasting impact of this historic moment--a feat of engineering, science, and political will. 

Imagine a library for voices. A place where you can sit around a table and listen to recordings with friends. That was the Harvard Vocarium. It all started with one man: Frederick Packard. Simply put, Packard loved the spoken word.

Hartford Courant

On July 6, 1944, the circus came to Connecticut's capital city and erupted into flames. Seventy-five years later, the Hartford Circus Fire is recognized as one of the greatest tragedies in American history.

This hour, 88-year-old survivor Harry Lichtenbaum joins us to share his story. We also talk with the author of a book on the fire and learn about efforts to exhume the bodies of its unidentified victims. 

Columbia Pictures

Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, Steve Martin, John Belushi, John Candy, Rick Moranis.

Animal House, The Blues Brothers, Beverly Hills Cop, Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, ¡Three Amigos!, Funny Farm, Spaceballs, Stripes.

We maybe didn't properly appreciate it at the time, but the 1980s were one of the most fertile periods ever for screen comedies and screen comedians.

This hour, a look at the mavericks who shaped a whole comedy aesthetic and we'll look at some of the most popular movie comedies ever made.

Lauren Smith / Connecticut Public Radio

If you’ve been inspired by recent Fourth of July celebrations, you don’t have to travel outside of Connecticut to encounter some of the original history of Independence Day.

Mystic Seaport Museum

Searching for sunken treasure? The Long Island Sound is hardly the place to look.

But what can be found in its murky waters are ample remains of Connecticut's once prominent shipping industry, and perhaps evidence of early Native American villages from around 20,000 years ago when the Sound was a glacial lake.

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Newly discovered papers from an 18th century Yale alumnus offer a fresh look at campus life during the Revolutionary War.

Bain News Service / Flickr Creative Commons

The concept of the early 20th century sideshow evokes images of bearded ladies, sword swallowers and exotic  'others' exhibited as 'freaks' before audiences both lured and repelled by what they saw.

An NPR investigation has uncovered new evidence in a prominent unsolved murder case from the civil rights era, including the identity of an attacker who admitted his involvement but was never charged.

The murder of Boston minister James Reeb in 1965 drew national attention at the time and spurred passage of the Voting Rights Act, which outlawed the Jim Crow voting practices that had disenfranchised millions of black Americans.

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. 

Wikimedia Commons

Joni Mitchell is a singer-songwriter from Alberta, Canada. In 1968, her debut album, Song to a Seagull, was released and since then, Mitchell has become one of the most influential, and greatest recording artists. Mitchell has won nine Grammys, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, countless musical awards, and her albums are considered as among the best ever made.

We’re big fans. It turns out we’re not alone.

Kerry Lee Smith / Flickr Creative Commons

This episode is really going to be the cat’s pajamas. Or is it pyjamas? Do cats even wear pajamas? Why would they? Why do we? Should any of us wear pajamas at all?

And if we do don a pair, are they only for bed? Or should pajamas have their day in the sun? If our PJs are making a fashion statement just what exactly are they saying?

We’re talking today about what we wear to bed, but who knows? Does not wearing pajamas to bed have health and other benefits once we settle in under the covers? 

JessicaHarper.com

Jessica Harper has starred in movies like Suspiria, Brian De Palma's Phantom of the Paradise, Woody Allen's Stardust Memories, and Steven Spielberg's Minority Report. And now she's publishing a memoir as a podcast.

Winnetka tells the story of growing up in a big family -- six kids, including two sets of twins -- in the 1950s and '60s in the midwest -- in Winnetka, Ill., you see -- and later in Connecticut.

Plus: An update on the podcast industry more generally. The "Netflix of podcasts" is here. A big new study on podcasting has just come out. And... is "podcaster burnout" becoming a thing?

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Rocketman is the sort of movie where (tiny spoiler ahead here, I suppose) "Elton John," at one point, becomes an actual "rocket man"... and blasts off into the sky... with fire shooting out of his feet. I mean, what else do you need to know really, right?

Retired Pvt. Leslie P. Cruise, 95, remembers June 6, 1944, clearly. Standing at the airplane's edge, preparing to jump onto the enemy lines of Normandy on D-Day, fear didn't occur to him.

"It was very moving and exciting," Cruise tells NPR's Noel King. "We fly over the channel; you can look out the window and see the silhouettes of the ships. We know what's going to happen now. We've talked about it, but look at all those ships down there, my gosh."

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?

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Gift of The Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation (2006.05.460) © Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

Though she is perhaps best recognized for her vast and vibrant flower paintings, the contributions of American artist Georgia O’Keeffe extend well beyond these works.

This hour, join us as we tour The Beyond: Georgia O'Keeffe and Contemporary Art, a special exhibition at the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, Connecticut.

Scott Wallace

Journalist and author Scott Wallace has dedicated years to documenting the so-called "unconquered" tribes of South America. This hour, we sit down with Wallace who, in addition to traveling and writing, is a professor of journalism at the University of Connecticut.

We walk along the path that guided Wallace into the thick of the Amazon, and learn about the issues threatening the forest's most isolated people today. 

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