Counties and states all over America host seasonal fairs. Originally, they were organized to share the latest technology in agriculture and genes among livestock. But in an age of instant information are state and county fairs still relevant? On Tuesday's Central Standard, we investigate the modern function of fairs, and talk with some professional livestock judges about their criteria for appraising animals and producing the food of tomorrow.
Expecting a new baby can force many parents to make complicated financial decisions. On Monday's Central Standard, we were joined by the Cash Money Crew to discuss how to approach and manage the monetary costs that come with a new child.
It's about his boyhood in the Illinois town of Woodstock, in the middle of the 20th century. Through critical reflection on his early experiences and observations, Tammeus arrives at a handful of truisms about life in the Midwest, offered without sentimentality or rose-colored glasses, but with measured fondness.
The barn is an icon of the American work ethic and rural nostalgia. On Wednesday's Central Standard, we explored the trend of rehabbing and restoring old barns that would otherwise fall into irreversible decay.
We also spoke with people throughout the nation and in our own area about the challenges of preserving these structures.
Do old barns -- the red ones with big huge doors -- still matter, even as larger steel structures replace them in function?
Citizen Koch is a new documentary that investigates the political influence of Kansas-born billionaires David and Charles Koch. The film has a strong point of view, which has drawn mixed reviews. On Tuesday's Central Standard, we talked with the directors about how Citizen Koch was made and their approach to documentary filmmaking.
In honor of Bastille Day, Central Standard explored efforts to preserve Missouri French: a dialect that once flourished in southwestern Missouri, now remembered by only a handful of people in the town of Old Mines. Some say the language is dying, but the dialect has been pronounced dead then rediscovered many times.
At a farm in Kansas City, Kan., a group of young men from are developing their entrepreneurship skills through farming. Boys Grow, a non-profit agency, works with these kids to develop business skills as they sell their agricultural commodities.
On Wednesday's Central Standard, we talked to two of these boys about their experience with Boys Grows and their hopes for the future.
On Tuesday's Central Standard, we invited a variety of artists to discuss how their practice has evolved as they have moved from one stage of life to another.
As a ballet dancer embarked on retirement from the stage and into a teaching and choreographing role at the age of 32, he sat down with a visual artist who has more than forty years of studio experience and a legendary jazz saxophonist. The three compared notes across genres.
The bonds and battles between siblings are unique and long-lasting. For some people, their brother or sister is the most treasured person in their life; others can't spend an hour in the same room together. On Monday's Central Standard, we discuss the psychology of these lifelong relationships.
Ivanhoe is a neighborhood on Kansas City’s east side with a rich history. Though recent decades have brought on hard times, the community, led by spokeswoman Margaret May, has rallied to restore its former glory. Some residents are frustrated by vacant houses on their blocks, while others love the new farmer’s market and point–with a sigh of relief—to reduced crime rates.
July 2nd is the 50th anniversary of The Civil Rights Act of 1964. This historic piece of legislation outlawed race based discrimination, enfranchised voter registration rights, and desegregated businesses, public spaces, and schools.
On Wednesday's Central Standard, Rev. Nelson "Fuzzy" Thompson and Anita Dixon share their unique first hand experiences with the Civil Rights Movement in and around Kansas City, then and now.
This spring marked the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, a Kansas case that went to the Supreme Court and ultimately ended with the ruling that the segregation of schools was unconstitutional. In the first half of Tuesday's Central Standard, we shared some little-known stories of the desegregation process from the months and years that followed.
A young Kansas City journalist named Esther Honig, who contributes to KCUR, had an idea for a project.
She sent a simple, straightforward portrait of herself to Photoshoppers around the globe with a request to make her beautiful. She wanted to see what that would mean to people in different parts of the world, investigating how culturally specific definitions of beauty might play into the results.
Local children's author and illustrator Daniel Miyares visited the Central Standard studio to discuss his recent picture book, Pardon Me!
The book, aimed at 4-7 year-olds, tells the story of a bird on a perch who is visited by several of his supposed swamp friends until the frustrated critter is so crowded he can't take it any more. In the end, the bird is (spoiler alert!) finally left alone, only to be eaten by a crocodile who finishes his meal with a burp. "Pardon me," says the crocodile.
It's one of life's great inevitables, and we don't mean taxes.
Death Cafes, where people get together to hang out and talk about death and dying, have started popping up in cities worldwide. Locally, we have two Death Cafes: one in St. Joseph, Mo. and another in Kansas City, Mo.
When the Shuttlecocks, created by Claes Oldenburg and Coojse van Bruggen, were installed on the lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 20 years ago they drew a lot of attention. Public feelings about the art were at times "vicious," says Marc Wilson, former director of the museum. Some felt the Shuttlecocks made a mockery of the stately building behind them and couldn't be considered art.
If you make your product with a 3-D printer, is it still a craft? On Monday's Central Standard, we sit down with local participants of Kansas City's Maker Faire (coming up June 28 and 29) and a Professor of Art to tinker with our concept of what it means to "craft."
Despite recent storms, parts of Missouri and all of Kansas are still experiencing some level of drought. What creates these extreme conditions, and how much rain does it take to bring us back to normal?
On Wednesday's Central Standard, we talk with Brian Fuchs, who explains the mechanics of a drought.
Brian Fuchs, Climatologist at the National Drought Mitigation Center
On Wednesday's Central Standard, we speak with the person who can explain why you've been sneezing more than usual. Charles Barnes tells us everything we ever wanted to know about pollen, especially how much of it is floating through our air.
Charles Barnes, Director of the Allergy and Immunology Laboratory at Children's Mercy Hospital
The front porch is an American institution. It's an ideal place to wind down with a cool drink on a summer night. But this familiar scene is all-too-easy to take for granted.
On the occasion of Kansas City's inaugural PorchFest, a music festival bringing 70 bands to residential porches, Central Standard takes a look at the history of the American front porch. We also visit with the festival organizer to hear about the bands bringing West Plaza porches to life this weekend.
In anticipation of Father's Day, Central Standard visited with a stay-at-home dad to hear about the unique trials and triumphs of full-time fathers. We also heard about a group of stay-at-home dads who get out and about in the city together, forming a tight-knit community for raising kids and having adventures, including a monthly storytime at the library.
The memories of our childhood playgrounds remain with many of us as adults. A recent study of Kansas City's parkland revealed that low-income areas have fewer playgrounds in their parks than high-income areas.
“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." For Maya Angelou, these words were a way of life. Her poetry and prose, even her off-the-cuff remarks during interviews, made people feel things deeply.
On Tuesday'sCentral Standard, local artist Peregrine Honig and writer Natasha Ria El-Scari join host Gina Kaufmann to share how Maya Angelou impacted their lives.
Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."
But making excellence a habit is easier said than done. For most people, the word habit evokes thoughts of junk food or television, not excellence.
Psychologist Bruce Liese stopped by Central Standard to talk about the ins and outs of habit formation, and help us recognize the difference between a good habit and a bad one. He offered advice on getting to the root causes of our most deeply ingrained patterns and offered insight into the common problem of relapse.
Four years into the overhaul, officials from the Water Services Department visited the Central Standard studios to remind us why we're doing this in the first place, and to let us know how it's going so far.
Professors from the University of Missouri and Duke University have been working to design self-sustaining toilets. While this may not seem like a need in counties with developed sewer system, in places without sewer networks dealing with human waste can be a serious health problem. According to the World Health Organization, 2.4 billion people do not have access to any type of improved sanitation facility and roughly 2 million people die every year due to diarrhoeal diseases, most of them younger than 5 years old.