Winter | KCUR

Winter

Ray Swi-hymn / Flickr - CC

Record lows in Kansas City this past weekend were Greenland's fault, according to one University of Kansas professor. Greenland, as in the massive, ice-covered island in the North Atlantic Ocean.

"Spring is always pretty variable, and there can be this whiplash of cold and warm and cold again. That's, in some sense, just life on the Plains," says David Mechem, professor of geography and atmospheric science at KU.

Andrey Shkvarchuk / Flickr - CC

"There are a lot of dangers during the winter, especially when we're hitting temperatures around zero," says veterinarian Wayne Hunthausen. Today, the pet behavior expert answers our burning questions about cold weather pet safety and how to avoid dangers like antifreeze, frostbite and melting salt. Then, we learn about "gaslighting," particularly as it relates to politics and the current #MeToo movement.

Foodista / Google Images -- CC

It's definitely soup and stew season. And there are plenty of both on local menus.

Whether you're in the mood for a hearty bowl of burnt end chili or a brothy pho, you can find something lovely and warm to ward off the frigid temps.

Of course, don't forget the bread (or savory doughnut) for soppin' and dippin'.

On Friday's Central Standard, KCUR's Food Critics searched out the best soups and stews in and around Kansas City.

Here are their recommendations:

Ivette Degollado / Flickr -- CC

A chef tells us about the "secret" off-menu cornbread at his restaurant, and we visit a local Ethiopian/Caribbean place to find out more about its braised oxtail dish. Then, the Food Critics search out the best soups and stews in and around Kansas City.

Guests:

InAweofGod'sCreation / Flickr -- CC

Coco, the latest movie from Disney's Pixar Studios, has been praised for its portrayal of Mexican folklore. Meet the local children's book author who has been tapped to turn the screenplay into a book.

Plus: From the frigid temps over the holidays to today's sleet, you're probably tempted to stay in and hunker down until spring. But some people are choosing to go and do things outside. We find out why.

Guests:

Pixabay - CC

If you're native to, say, the deserts of  North Africa, a winter in Kansas City can be a shock to your system. You can combat the cold with layers of warm clothing, by turning up the thermostat or having a hot drink, but what if you're not human and your home is the Kansas City Zoo? We learn what it takes to keep the nesh occupants happy and healthy in the coldest weather.  Then, in the wake of Gov.

file photo / Kansas News Service

A storm moved across the Kansas City area late Wednesday and early Thursday bringing light to moderate snowfall.

Due to the weather, many schools have canceled or delayed classes. Including, Academie Lafayette, Benjamin Banneker Elementary, Hickman Mills Schools, Independence Public Schools, Kansas City Public Schools and Center School District.

Check kmbc.com for a full list of closings.

Kcphotoblog / Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons

Salt gets all the credit for de-icing our roads during wintry weather, but it turns out it’s not a solo operation. The Kansas City office of the Missouri Department of Transportation says beet juice also plays an important part in melting that troublesome ice.

We’ll get to what the beet juice actually does — but first let’s find out where it comes from.

Courtesy of the artist and Gallery AMA, Helsinki © Sirpa Särkijärvi, Courtesy Gallery AMA, Helsinki

In honor of the winter solstice, a conversation about an exhibit of contemporary Finnish paintings called Dark Days, Bright Nights. What we can learn about human nature from a place where all the inhabitants live in extremes of light.

Guest:

Frank Morris / KCUR

Kansas City's Public Works Department plans to tap into city employees to nearly double its residential snow plowing routes this winter.

Public Works officials encourage all public employees to sign up for 8 - 12 hour shifts driving pickup truck plows this winter. They'll focus exclusively on helping clear off residential roads and helping residents who might be stuck on roads.

Daniel Wildi / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Emergency room doctors at the University of Kansas Hospital say there are a few practical ways NOT to be one of the weather-related patients they’ve been seeing during this cold snap.

But doctors advise those who go outside to remember:

Trailnet / Flickr-CC

Brrr! Can you dig it?

Either way, there’s wintry stuff to do this weekend, whether laughing in the face of freezing is your thing or doing whatever you possibly can to escape the chill is more your style.

One thing’s for sure: It’s nippy. And it’s important to keep moving. Here’s a mitten-full of ideas to embrace or deny the cold reality.

1. Winter Storm – The Pipes and Drums Concert

black sleigh
Ben Nuelle

Long before all-wheel drive and snow tires, sleighs were essential winter transportation.

Those that survive are now antiques.

Fifteen years ago, cattle farmer Bill Engel went to auction in northeast Iowa when he bought his first wooden sleigh. He noticed people purchased these historic vehicles to tear them apart.

“They were taking the runner parts and making them into coffee tables,” says Engel.

KCUR

Dear Kansas City, we want to know what your Olympic dreams are.

As the world’s finest athletes compete at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia,  we’re wondering which gold you’ve been eyeing — from your living room.

Tell KCUR: If you could be in the Olympics, what would be your sport? Why?

Are you a would-be figure skater? A snowboarding hopeful?

katiebread / Flickr

When it hits 67 degrees in January, one must wonder what effect such odd winter weather is having on our plants, trees, and flowers.