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8:00 am
Tue October 4, 2011

Musical Space: Mix Tape

Cassettes may have largely gone the way of parachute pants but their spirit lives on.

Mix Tape

It was my brother’s birthday the other day and I had no idea what he would want, until I remembered how much we both like music. So I made him a mix tape.

OK, so I didn’t really use a cassette - I just messaged him a list of YouTube links on Facebook, mostly indie rock things that he might not have heard before - but the concept is the same: it was an ordered list of songs chosen by a person tailored for another person.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Fri September 30, 2011

Richard Crowson: The Annual Struggle Of Fall Yardwork

Every Fall, I pretend to be something that I’m not. Way before the Halloween costume season, I start wearing my mask. I disguise myself as someone who gives a flying whoop-ti-doo about their lawn.

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Commentary
10:19 am
Tue September 27, 2011

Into It: Butter Sculptures

Caroline Brooks, an early butter sculptor, at the 1893 Columbian Exposition.

As you wound your way through the Kansas State Fair this year, perhaps you stumbled upon this surreal scene: standing in front of a refrigerated case, a group of wide-eyed Mennonite girls stare at 700 pounds of salted butter that has been reformed into a wild scene of two monkeys riding the backs of bucking sheep. Butter sculptures like this one, best known their pastoral or quirky representations, have surprisingly privileged origins.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Fri September 23, 2011

Restaurant Review: Kanai

Sushi has been the subject of many a dinner negotiation. I adore sushi and will bargain outrageously with my non-sushi-loving family to get to go eat it. I’ll promise to fold laundry, or dance a little jig, or even listen to Steely Dan to get to eat sushi. They have gamely tried to enjoy it but it’s just too weird for them. Too cold, too many textures, the unforgivable presence of seaweed…not to mention the raw fish part.  That just puts it over the edge.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Fri September 16, 2011

Richard Crowson: Bluegrass Birthdays

“Late in the evening, about sundown
High on the hill, up above the town
Uncle Pen played the fiddle; Lord, how it’d ring
You could hear it talk, you could hear it sing.”

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Restaurant Review
5:00 am
Fri September 9, 2011

Knolla's Pizza

We live in difficult times. Because we are wired the way we are, when we are stressed, we turn to foods that feel comfortable, reassuring and safe. Some people turn to soft, creamy things like macaroni and cheese, or ice cream, or oatmeal. “Mom Food” is what others want: meatloaf and mashed potatoes, or chicken and noodles, or chili. We turn to our country of origin when we need reassurance, as well.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Fri September 2, 2011

Richard Crowson: Crickets

Crickets chirping. That’s a favorite Internet phrase that’s usually meant to point out a pause or a lack of response to something that was said during an internet conversation. Like for instance if a commenter said: “Anyone out there sorry to see this splendid summer coming to an end?” Then no one responds and someone says, “Crickets chirping.”

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Commentary
8:00 am
Tue August 30, 2011

Into It: Submarines

In 1620, the first submarine was built under the direction of King James I. The wooden boat managed to lumber along at fifteen feet below the surface of the Thames, like a whale propelled by twelve rowing oars.

The development of the submarine took hundreds of years of trial and error across the globe.

In 1620, the first submarine was built under the direction of King James I. The wooden boat managed to lumber along at 15 feet below the surface of the Thames, like a whale propelled by 12 rowing oars.

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Food
5:00 am
Fri August 26, 2011

Nifty Nut House

I was one of those kids whose craving for candy was so intense that I would search not only my own couch cushions for loose change to buy it, but the couches of waiting rooms, neighbors’ houses, and church as well.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Fri August 19, 2011

Richard Crowson: The Prophet Samuel

It’s not always easy to figure out exactly what a prophet is telling us. Sometimes, we have to piece together their perplexing words and actions in order to understand their true intent, as the prophet instructs us on how to behave. So it is with the Prophet Samuel.

Samuel Brownback would, on the surface of things, seem to be contradicting himself a bit lately. But I think I’ve figured out his master plan for us Kansans. Perhaps it was revealed to him when he went to pray loudly and publicly, Pharisees-style, with Texas Governor Rick Perry.

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