Commentary

The summer of 1958 was significant in the story of Wichita and the nation. On May 31, young entrepreneurs Dan and Frank Carney opened their first Pizza Hut at Bluff and Kellogg. During the summer of that year, pizza’s popularity in Wichita took off.

Meanwhile, in downtown Wichita, another set of youth were making their mark. On July 19, ten African American students entered the Dockum drug store at Douglas and Broadway, sat down at the soda fountain, and when they refused to leave, caused the store to shut down the lunch counter.

OnWords: Sad

Aug 8, 2017

A well-known Twitter user has gotten a reputation for ending his diatribes with the word “sad.”

This use of “sad” is meant to label something “pathetic” and not to indicate the tweeter’s actual mood.

And this use of “sad” is patronizing. It is meant to pull rank by the person casting it out.

But its use brings up a strange paradox in how we use the word “sad” that parallels some contradictory notions we have about feelings.

SciFiles: Building A Quantum Neural Network

Aug 7, 2017

What is “intelligence”? What is “consciousness”? Is the “mind” separate from the “brain”? Where is the "self" or the "soul"? Some of our deepest questions involve an understanding of the brain.

This book review originally aired on February 20, 2017. 

Not to be confused with Colson Whitehead’s inventive novel, Underground Railroad is Ben H. Winter’s Underground Airlines. Part thriller, part alternative history, and fully engaging, Underground Airlines is set in the present. 

Marginalia: David Baron

Aug 4, 2017
Baron photo by Dana Meyer

David Baron’s new book, American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World, is about the history and the players involved in the total solar eclipse of 1878.

Ken White is primarily known as a guitarist, though he plays mandolin and banjo as well. His regular gig is with The Cherokee Maidens, though he is also a member of Nouveau Quintet.

“I would say that I prepared myself to be a sideman. That meant a lot of things: Being prepared to improvise in any musical style, any musical instrument. I really made a point of trying to serve the song and the singer, so anytime I got a call I never really knew exactly what I was stepping into but I felt like I had something to add. That’s kind of what I worked on.

Four people walked out of the screening I attended of A Ghost Story. I found it to be a profoundly beautiful and sad story of loss and the passage of time, of impermanence and change.

So who’s right? The people who couldn’t stand it, or me, who found the movie’s images and emotions sticking around for days after?

SciFiles: Why Does Local Food Matter?

Aug 2, 2017

The local food system in Wichita is becoming more vibrant and is a community treasure. But why does local food matter? Wendell Berry says, “Eaters must understand that eating takes place inescapably in the world, that it is inescapably an agricultural act, and that how we eat determines, to a considerable extent, how the world is used.”

kansasaviationmuseum.org

Summer means kids' camps, and, in the aviation capital of the world, the Kansas Aviation Museum has several different offerings. In this audio postcard from KMUW's Jonathan Huber, young campers build parachutes and drop them off a balcony to learn about drag, one of the four forces of flight.

At a club the other day I saw a sticker for a band called REO Speedealer. I checked into them; as far as metal records go, they were OK, but the name is hilarious. Every town has them - bands with joke names.

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