recreation | Connecticut Public Radio


Hazel Motes / Creative Commons

State environmental officials are setting out their legislative priorities for 2015, and there's at least one unexpected issue that's being addressed: jet packs.

The legislative proposals are wide-ranging, covering everything from stricter labeling requirements on farm products made in Connecticut to a program requiring that tire companies assume more responsibility for disposing of their products after consumer use.

Then there are water jet packs. "It's basically a James Bond-style jet pack that uses the thrust of a personal watercraft to send the rider 20 or 30 feet in the air," said Rob Klee, head of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

PopTech / Creative Commons

This hour: the story of Cameron Robertson and Todd Reichert's incredible journey to make "impossible flight" possible. 

Puzzles: The Joy of Being Perplexed

Jan 27, 2015
Lablanco / Flickr Creative Commons

People have been puzzled since the beginning. And while that might sound like a problem, it may in fact be our preferred state of being. Since the first fires needed to be lit with tinder too damp to kindle, we've been problem solving. When one problem was solved, another was found. And when seemingly, we could no longer find enough problems to satiate our appetites, we created puzzles: problems in a box; food for our minds.


A group of West Hartford residents is working to renovate Jonathan's Dream, a public playground for children of all abilities. Recent funding makes it possible for them to bring a set of unusual basketball hoops to the playground, called Bankshot, aimed at all ages and abilities.

Jin Suk / Creative Commons

From Boston’s new arts czar to Mass MoCA's expansion announcement, we learn about some of Massachusetts' long-term plans to support local arts and culture. We also look at the arts here in our state, and see if there’s anything we can learn from our neighbor to the north. 

FIFA Vice President Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein says he will challenge incumbent Sepp Blatter for the presidency of soccer's governing body.

"I am seeking the presidency of FIFA because I believe it is time to shift the focus away from administrative controversy and back to sport," he said in a statement on the website of the Jordan Football Association, of which he is president.

There's been much criticism of the president lately, even within his own party, that he's too detached and withdrawn, not combative enough anymore. This can be explained completely with a sports analogy: We elected a basketball president, but then we ended up with a golf president.

claumoho / Creative Commons

For 50 years, the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield has provided a hands-on look at the natural diversity of northwestern Connecticut. With workshops, educational programs -- even its own Nature Museum -- the center has been teaching visitors about the various species and habitats found on the surrounding land. 

David Brooks / Creative Commons

Have you been to a state park lately? On July 26 and 27, you'll be able to visit any state park in Connecticut for free.

Marcy Kellar/flickr creative commons

Is it even possible, you might be wondering, to like all parts of a vacation, including re-entry? We think so. Our senior contributor, New Haven psychologist Nancy Horn, explains what goes into making vacation a less stressful experience, and also less about perfection. This is one of those podcasts worth listening to.

Jesslee Cuizon/flickr creative commons

Since the days are speeding by we thought, hey, let's celebrate summer. What is it about this season that is worth noticing, that makes us happier? Breezes, food, gardens, friends, sex, parties, swim, seersucker, the new and tradition. Celebrate summer with us.

JacobRuff/flickr creative commons

Our region has exploded with fun things to see and do, from new happenings to traditional events. Feed your mind and body by checking out the Connecticut Tourism Guide. Your local newspaper will have lots of activities listed. And so will the wall at your local supermarket, library and post office.  Get out and enjoy; it will your vacation state of mind.

Lara Maltz Rozza

Hartford broke ground on a new skate park this week. Skaters have dubbed it "Heaven" and say it will be a space for skaters, bikers, and artists.

The park is located just above the I-84 tunnel a few blocks from the XL Center. For years it's been an informal hangout spot for skaters and artists. And now, Hartford is ready to formalize "Heaven" as the city's first official skate park.

ralphbijker/flickr creative commons

If you've ever read a book on an e-reader, unleashed your inner rock star playing Guitar Hero, built a robot with LEGO Mindstorms, or ridden in a vehicle with child-safe air bags, then you've experienced first hand just a few of the astounding innovations that have come out of the MIT Media Lab over the past 25 years. We'll look at the transformative innovations that these digital magicians have up their sleeves for the coming years with Frank Moss, author of The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices.

jurvetson, Flickr Creative Commons

Chion Wolf

Have you ever wanted to make a big change in your life and go on a big adventure? You know, try something where you could push yourself?

Well Roz Savage did that - but the challenge she took on was bigger than most of us could even imagine. She became the first woman to row - solo - across the world’s major oceans.

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. 

Flickr Creative Commons

On Nov. 21, 2012,  Malvrick Donkor, 14, drowned during a swim class at Manchester High School.

His death was the second drowning at a Connecticut school last year. In the neighboring town of East Hartford, Freshman Marcum Asiamah  drowned Jan. 11 during P.E. class at East Hartford High School.

His family - like Malvrick’s from Ghana - said the boy did not know how to swim. The lessons at school were apparently his first. This year, the town settled a $1.5 million claim with his estate.

Outdoor Enthusiast: Picture Perfect

Aug 24, 2012
CPBN Media Lab: Ross Mortensen

Weir Farm, located in the towns of Wilton and Ridgefield, Connecticut, is the only National Park site in the state and the only site within the National Park Service that is devoted to the history of the American Painting. Three artists called Weir Farm their home, including Julian Alden Weir, Mahonri Young, and Sperry Andrews.

Kayley Sisco

DANBURY – The CPBN Media Lab traveled to Candlewood Lake to spend a day on the water with Mark Chanski, a DEEP officer and tour guide for this segment of Outdoor Enthusiast.  After a quick lesson on lifejackets and water safety, the team headed out to explore Connecticut’s largest lake.

Rusty Clark (Flickr Creative Commons)

Springfield is Hartford's neighbor to the north...we share an airport, a major highway and a river. But what do we really know about Springfield?

Today, for the first time, we broadcast live from Springfield, MA. We're celebrating our new relationship with American International College and its radio station WAIC 91.9 FM.

Doug Wheller (Flickr Creative Commons)

Everyone counts down the days to vacation, right? Well not in seems we’d rather keep working.

Yes, despite all the data that time off makes you happier, healthier and MORE productive, a majority of americans - some 57percent had unused vacation time at the end of 2011, and most of them left an average of 11 days on the table.

Meanwhile, profits per-employee are at a 10 year high. What if we just cut into those corporate profits by taking a day we’ve earned here and there?


Feb 10, 2012
Chion Wolf

Needle Droppin'

Dec 2, 2011

We get some end-of-the-year music recommendations from Anthony Fantano. He’s the man behind The Needle Drop, which is a blog, YouTube channel and radio show that can be heard on WNPR. He is the “internet’s busiest music nerd.”

We have a bonus song included in the web version of this segment. Here is a list of all the songs Anthony and John discuss for the latest edition of the Where We Live/The Needle Drop mashup.

Moonshine Is Back

Oct 11, 2011
From Onyx Spirits Facebook page

Moonshine. The word evokes images of Hillbillies sipping out of jugs or mason jars, and brass stills nestled deep in the backwoods during prohibition. A Connecticut start-up has brought Moonshine into the 21st century, and as WNPR's Ray Hardman reports, the liquor is getting a lot of attention.

"Basically this is where the product is in its tanks ready to be made into the finished product. So we've got moonshine here in these two 50-gallon drums and we've got the organic..."


Following up on our conversation with astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson, today we check in with cosmologist Priya Natarajan from Yale’s upcoming conference “Why is There Anything”.

NightRStar, Creative Commons

During the week of September 23rd to October 2nd 2011, over 100,000 people in over 250 cities across six continents gather in Cinemas, Galleries, Universities, Museums and Cafes for one purpose - to view and vote on our Finalists' Films in the Annual MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival.

In 2011 the Film Festival recieved 598 Entries from 48 Countries and selected 10 short films which are Finalists in the 2011 MANHATTAN SHORT. 

Gone Fly Fishin'

Sep 23, 2011
Tucker Ives

Connecticut attracts people from all over the country for one of its natural resources: the Farmington River.

The reason people come to this river is for fly fishing.

Every day, you see them: The men and increasingly, the women, who stand - silently - in the middle of the river in their waders and vests, constantly casting in hopes of the perfect catch.

But what makes the Farmington River so ideal for anglers?

The U.S. Gun Fight

Sep 20, 2011
Michael Martelli (Creative Commons)

There was a time when both the National Rifle Association and the Ku Klux Klan were advocates for gun control.

The 2nd Amendment debate has always been contentious. One recent example was the scene outside the United States Supreme Court building in March of 2008 where a gun rights case was being heard.

Advocates on both sides carried their signs and chanted slogans at each other, even in freezing cold weather.

creative commons

WNPR has a popular regular show where food and drink flows freely.  This is not that show.

Yes, while Faith Middleton's Food Schmooze gets ready to crown a “Connecticut state cocktail” tonight - we’ll take our “sober” look at the history of the cocktail.