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Commentaries

An old-fashioned windmill stands atop the wind-swept winter landscape of northwest Kansas, near St. Francis. (Photo by J. Schafer)
Cheryl Unruh Friday, January 29th, 2016

Kansas winters don't provide much color. The barren countryside can be described as bland and barren. But symbols of hope can still be found in these dark days of late January. Even in the bleak midwinter, Commentator Cheryl Unruh believes there's something hopeful hidden in the landscape... and in the stars above.

(Flickr Photo by Jeremy Buckingham)
Burdett Loomis Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

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, 2016

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, 2016

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, 2015

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, 2015

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, 2015

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, 2015

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, 2015

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, 2015

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.

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