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Commentaries

(Flickr Photo by Jeremy Buckingham)
Burdett Loomis Wednesday, January 27th

The unfolding water crisis in Flint, Michigan, may hold lessons for governments in other states, like Kansas. Guest Commentator Burdett Loomis says states that scale back on essential government services to save money often wind up paying a much higher cost.

Rex Buchanan, Interim Director of the Kansas Geological Survey, measuring ground water levels in western Kansas. (Photo from KGS)
Rex Buchanan Friday, January 22nd

Kansas has a water problem. The supply of water out west has been declining for decades. As the state struggles to address the problem, we hear from one of those keeping track of the data. Commentator Rex Buchanan has more on measuring water wells out west.

George Armstrong Custer is famous for the Battle of the Little Big Horn, but there's a lot you might not know about him. You can read about Custer's adventures in Kansas in a new book called Custer's Trials. This photograph depicts a buffalo hunt along the Big Timber River, south of Hays, Kansas. Some more well-known members of the hunting party include Custer, Hill P. Wilson, Captain Tom Custer and General Samuel D. Sturgis, 1869. (Photo Courtesy of Kansas Historical Society / kansasmemory.org)
Rex Buchanan Tuesday, January 5th

Custer's Last Stand. We all know that story. But did you know Custer once accidentally shot his own horse? That he faced court martial for shirking his patrol duty? Commentator Rex Buchanan reviews a new book about George Armstrong Custer's time in Kansas. It's called Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America.

Monument Rocks in western Kansas (Photo by Adam Sparks, Flickr)
Rex Buchanan Thursday, December 10th

Ever been to the Western Interior Seaway? Well, maybe you have and you just don't know it. Commentator Rex Buchanan takes us out west to visit the ancient inland sea that once covered much of western Kansas.

A graphic from a new biology textbook that some take issue with, including biologist John Richard Schrock (Photo by Professor John Richard Schrock)
John Richard Schrock Friday, November 6th

There's nothing wrong with vegetarianism. But is being meat-free really better for humans and the Earth? Some new textbooks say yes. Our commentator and biology professor says we should take these textbooks with a grain of salt.  Listen to his argument on the merits of meat.

(Photo Courtesy of Flint Hills Discovery Center)
Rex Buchanan Tuesday, November 3rd

Fall is a great time to visit the Flint Hills. Commentator Rex Buchanan tells us two places to check out when planning your own trip.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart... likely listening to #MyKPR!
KMUW Radio Friday, October 23rd

Some studies claim that listening to classical music makes you smarter. It's a theory known as "The Mozart Effect." But as Guest Commentator Mark Foley tells us, the value of music goes well beyond its reputed ability to boost your brain power.

Franklin's Gulls on Hillsdale Lake, Miami County, Kan. (Flickr Photo by Nick Varvel)
Rex Buchanan Wednesday, October 14th

As winter approaches, we look up to the sky and see birds flying south for warmer weather. It's not just geese up there, though. A large number of gulls migrate through the Midwest this time of year. Commentator Rex Buchanan has a few things to say about them.

Locusts in the sky in 1898. (Background photo courtesy of Library of Congress)
John Richard Schrock Thursday, October 1st

You may be "hopping" mad at the oak tree itch mites that have invaded Kansas this summer, but 140 years ago, there was another insect that was a far greater nuisance in the Old West: the grasshopper. Commentator John Richard Schrock tells us how trillions of grasshoppers once darkened the skies over Kansas, blocked out the sun and ate nearly everything in their path.

Along with other Native Americans, Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez helped America win the war in the Pacific during World War II.  After the war, he studied at Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence.  (Flickr_Fronteras-Desk)
Ron Wilson Thursday, September 17th

It was kept secret for more than 20 years after the end of World War II, but Native American soldiers were a key factor in America's victory over the Japanese in the Pacific. Many people now know the story of the Navajo Code Talkers. In this guest commentary, we hear about one of those Native American heroes who had ties to Kansas.  

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