KC Currents
12:26 pm
Mon October 15, 2012

Atheists Shed Stereotypes, Suicide Rates Are Up In Kansas

Atheists Shed Stereotypes
In Kansas and Missouri, it’s now common for a lot of politicians to not just proclaim their faith, but to openly push a pro-religious agenda. But for the past year, a Kansas City-based group has been trying to push back, although in a friendly way. The Kansas City Atheist Coalition tries to shake off the stereotypes of bitter, angry atheism while they talk to the public about the value of a secular society and government.

Ad Watch: Missouri Governor’s Race
As the campaign season kicks into high gear, KCUR brings you “Ad Watch,” a series examining the accuracy of political ads. This week, the Missouri governor’s race includes calls for stations to stop running one ad or face a lawsuit.

Middle Aged White Males Drive Up Suicide Rate In Johnson County
Mention Johnson County, Kansas and locals think wealth, privilege and the pursuit of happiness. But disturbing trends in Johnson County suicide rates challenge us to think beyond this stereotype.  According to the Kansas Bureau of Vital Statistics, there was a 70 percent increase in suicides in Johnson County, from 47 to 80.  In Kansas, suicides outnumbered homicides by nearly a 4-to-1, and Johnson County was no exception. These local findings track with national trends that find suicide rates are down--except for one group—white men ages 40-65. What are the factors driving these trends? And how does the economic downturn play a role?

Area Nerds Unite: Nerd Nite KC Features Melissa Lenos On Vampire Boyfriends
It’s like the Discovery Channel with booze, and where whiskey meets wisdom.  Every third Wednesday of the month area nerds unite at Minibar on Broadway Blvd. to listen to various presentations about nerdy topics; from how to raise silkworms to the healing powers of Jin Shin Jyutsu.  And in the spirit of Halloween we hear a talk given by Melissa Lenos who teaches English at Donnelly College about the vampire boyfriend characters that suck blood and drain souls of their partners.

Artist Don Reitz, Art As Discovery At The Belger Arts Center
The Belger Arts Center often displays works from its own extensive collection, sometimes adding pieces borrowed from other collectors. A current exhibition, a tribute to ceramic artist Don Reitz includes nearly 100 bowls, vessels, and jars, many from Reitz’s own collection. And a few platters reveal a turning point in the artist’s career

Political Theater Gets Loud In ‘Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’
If there's not enough political theater in the run-up to the November elections, the Unicorn Theatre is offering a bit more with its production of “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” the emo rock musical biography of America's seventh President. Now that it's popping up at regional theaters across the country, the composer and show's lead actor and director all hint that the current political climate makes it more relevant than ever.

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