Up To Date

Weekdays at 11 a.m.

Up to Date focuses on pressing issues, both local and national, including politics, economics, planning and design, history and entertainment — topics that have an impact on the lives of the Greater Kansas City region.

THIS WEEK:

  • Monday: TEDxKC Inventor Mark Shaw / TEDxKC Relationship Therapist Stan Tatkin
  • Tuesday: TEDxKC Data Artist R. Luke DuBois / Technology at the Limits of Comprehension / Statehouse Blend
  • Wednesday: The Status of Women at Work / TEDxKC Scientist Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado / Local Listen
  • Thursday: George R.R. Martin & Wild Cards / Weekend To-Do List
  • Friday: The Art of the Jam Session / TEDxKC Sexual Health Activist Jessica Ladd

The federal government created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce laws aimed at reducing discrimination in the workplace. In its 51-year history, the commission has made real progress but work remains to be done.

Guest:

Eduard Solà / Wikimedia Commons

They may not look like much, but research scientist Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado thinks planaria — tiny freshwater flatworms —might hold the key to cell repair and duplication. The hope is that studying these self-cloning little invertebrates can help scientists figure out the biological mechanism behind their renowned regenerative abilities.

Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend, Missouri Rep. Judy Morgan (D-Kansas City) talks about transportation funding, Right To Work legislation, and this year's gubernatorial election.

Guests:

Composer, artist, software designer ... whatever you want to call him, R. Luke DuBois is a thinker. He's done a portrait of every president using only words from their State of the Union addresses, and employed a real gun and blank bullets to visualize every shooting in New Orleans, all with the aim of helping people better understand the world around them.

If you feel like your smartphone has a mind of it's own, it's not just you. After years of stacking new systems on top of generations of old technology, things have become so complicated no one really understands it. 

Guest:

Why is it the person we were head over heels for just a few months ago now seems a bit ... boring? Clinician and researcher Stan Tatkin says our brains are wired to kick into auto-pilot after a while, but it doesn't have to mean the end of the relationship.

Everyone hates stale potato chips, but that little annoyance was the inspiration  that got Mark Shaw thinking about how to reseal the bag. Since then, Shaw's been a prolific inventor and innovator whose nanotechnology work has revolutionized several industries. He says the key to unlocking the inventor's mindset is constantly looking for ways to create doors where there once were only walls.

Fernando Frazão / Agência Brasil / Source http://agenciabrasil.ebc.com.br/rio-2016/foto/2016-08/natacao-rio-2016

It’s been a week since the Olympic flame was lit in Rio de Janeiro, and so far these Games have gone more or less as expected — for better and for worse. Amid all the storylines and golden moments, "A Fan’s Notes" commentator Victor Wishna muses on a larger, urgent meaning for all of us watching back home.

Advocates for tighter gun laws might feel a little like believers in a lost cause, but researcher Daniel Webster holds out hope. The director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research says some proposals do have support from a majority of gun owners.

Before public officials in Platte County, Missouri, make a plan for spending tax dollars, they know it'll have to pass the muster of Ivan Foley, editor and publisher of The Landmark. That's why he was awarded the 2016 Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, tenacity and integrity in rural journalism.

gleasonmovie.com

Some days are harder than others, but a little help from a loved one — or a stranger — can make all the difference. What better way to repay the favor than treating your friend to a film? This week, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have a selection of movies about vulnerable people in a seemingly callous world. 

Cynthia Haines

The Innocents, PG-13

MoBikeFed / Flickr - CC

Any hopes Gov. Jay Nixon may have about patching things up with Missouri’s top public defender will have to be put on hold for a while longer.

Budget tensions came to a head last week when Michael Barrett, director of the state’s public defender’s office, assigned the governor to defend an assault case in Cole County, Missouri.

The head of Missouri's public defender system appointed Gov. Jay Nixon to handle a case in protest of withheld funding. So, just how dire is the situation for Missouri's public defenders?

Guests:

Are we a society of bullies? We talk to two sociologists who make the case we can’t fix bullying in schools until we take a close look at the bigger institutional factors in America that encourage it.

Guests:

National startup activity has been dragging the last few years, but that is starting to change. We’ll learn how the country may finally be breaking free of the effects of the Great Recession. 

Guest:

In researching Topeka's Westboro Baptist Church, Arkansas State University sociologist Rebecca Barrett-Fox got an intimate view of the ministry's operations. Despite what most people think, Barrett-Fox found the congregation and its roots aren't that far off the beaten path.

It's hard to remember a time when voters were more frustrated with the Democratic and Republican options on offer. With the possibility of a banner year for the Greens and Libertarians, we look at the role and influence of third parties.

Guests:

Carlo Pascolini / thecountryduo.com

Kansas City's Kasey Rausch and Marco Pascolini are both veterans of the regional music scene. Combining their love of classic country standards with Rausch's folksy songbook, they've formed The Country Duo. The two were recently invited to Memphis to film an episode of PBS's "Sun Studio Sessions."

imdb.com

From somber to sunny, this week's selections from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics are sure to get you right in the feels. Grab your box of tissues, a sweet treat or two, and get to know a few future classics before they end their run in local theaters.

Cynthia Haines

The Innocents, PG-13

White Christians set the tone for this country, dating back to its founding. But that’s changing in some profound ways. For one thing, white Christians no longer comprise a majority of the nation. As the cultural and religious ground shifts under them we’ll see how their influence is changing.

Guest:

Last night's primary election was an exciting one on both sides of the state line. In Kansas, losses by several conservative Republicans caused a surprising swing to center. In Missouri, a bruising primary campaign for governor ended with Eric Greitens as the Republican nominee.

Guests:

Missouri:

farmprogress.com

Jerry Litton, a congressman from northern Missouri, died in 1976 … on the same night that he won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.  His death was an unspeakable tragedy for a man many thought would one day occupy the White House.

Guests:

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

To say they know a little something about national politics would be an understatement: David Von Drehle, editor-at-large for TIME, and Mike Allen, chief White House correspondent for POLITICO, share their insights on the presidential race so far and what to expect from the rest of the election season.

These days, politicians who change their policy positions are called flip-floppers, but that epithet could easily apply to some of this country's most celebrated leaders. Journalist Larry Tye's book, Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon, illustrates the political evolution of Robert Kennedy.

www.cafesocietymovie.com

From Norway to New Zealand, this week's picks from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics will have your mind stretched in time and place. 

Cynthia Haines

Cafe Society, PG-13

  • Bobby Dorfman, a Bronx native, moves from New York to Hollywood in the 1930s, and falls in love. As he heads back to New York, he finds himself swept up in the glamor of high society nightlife.

Tallulah, Not rated

Projections show a widening gap between the number of primary care doctors the country needs and the number of med students choosing it over other sub-specialties. Programs like Health is Primary, which encourages medical students to select a primary care specialty, are looking to bridge that gap.

Guests:

At the turn of the 20th Century, Kansas City was known for more than just a raucous drinking and gambling scene. The "Paris of the Plains" also served as a center for new, syncopated styles of ragtime, blues and jazz. With the music came an assemblage of composers and music publishers who called KC home.

Guest:

Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

Kansas City Mayor Sly James has been vocal about his call for stricter gun control measures. During a speech Wednesday to the Missouri Delegation at the Democratic National Convention, James gave a blistering critique to Missourians who resist stronger gun control.

“I think it’s time for us to start targeting a few key legislators and supporting their opponents in the way the NRA and other people support them,” James said. 

Those views will make it difficult for the mayor to support his party’s likely nominee for Missouri Governor, Chris Koster.

What does the milestone of having a woman running for president in the U.S. say about our country now? Why did it take so long, and what does it mean for women moving forward?

Guests:

  • Rebecca Richardson is president of the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus.
  • Elizabeth Vonnahme  is Associate Professor of Political Science at UMKC.
  • Jean Peters-Baker is the District Attorney of Jackson County, Missouri.
Matt Hodapp / KCUR 89.3

On this week's episode of Statehouse Blend, Kansas Rep. Stephanie Clayton (R-Overland Park) talks about presidential politics, schools, and tax policy.

Guests:

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