Archives for April 2017

Daddy King w/ Isaac Newton Farris, Jr., pt. 2 (Ep. 21, 2017)

In Black America producer and host John L. Hanson, Jr. concludes a discussion of the King family history and its role in the Civil Rights Movement as chronicled in Daddy King: An Autobiography by Martin Luther King, Sr., with the author’s grandson, Isaac Newton Farris, Jr.

Higher Ed: Teachers and Teaching

Teachers. We’ve all had some great ones, and we’ve all had some teachers who didn’t rank among the best. What makes a good teacher? How has the profession changed over time? How has technology impacted the way teachers do their jobs? In this week’s episode of KUT’s podcast Higher Ed, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about the evolving role of teachers. Ed has taught Math for about 30 years so he has lots to say about what he thinks teachers can do to reach and inspire their students. He and Jennifer reminisce about some memorable teachers they have had and discuss the ways in which the profession has changed. Listen on to hear some classroom tales and to get the new puzzler which, by the way, happens to involve a mean Math teacher.

This episode was recorded on March 24, 2017.

KUT Weekend – April 28, 2017

A proposal to punish “sanctuary cities” clears a major political hurdle in the Texas legislature. Why people are racing lawn mowers in the Texas Hill country. And that glass of Texas wine might not be as Texas as you think. Those stories and more in this edition of KUT Weekend!

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Texas Standard: April 28, 2017

Berkeley, Auburn—what about Texas colleges and universities? Should unpopular even offensive speech be protected on campus? The proposal today on the Texas Standard

How do you fix a broken political map? Here’s a hint, it’ll take more than tape. What’s at stake as a court takes up minority voting power in Texas.

Are the democrats on Capitol Hill really looking for a government shutdown? a rejoinder to the other side of the aisle from a prominent Texas congressman.

Where’s our flying cars? In two years, Uber promises they’ll be all over Dallas.

And buckle up for what basketball fans are calling the I-10 series.

All that plus the week in politics with the Texas Tribune and a whole lot more.

Texas Spring

Wildflowers are dotting the highways, fireflies are flitting about during dusk and it’s still cool enough to sit outside most days. The telling signs of the spring season — and the anticipation of summer — inspired this week’s poem.

Texas Standard: April 27, 2017

After a long night at the capitol, looks like a statewide ban on so-called sanctuary cities is all but a done deal. What happens next? That’s today on the Texas Standard.

There’s more than a government shutdown to worry about: a prominent Texas lawmaker says what really on the line in the budget impasse: military readiness.

Are people who cross illegally into the US really criminals? In Del Rio, at least, the answer is an overwhelming yes. We’ll hear why the Attorney General wants to make it a model for the rest of the country, and meet the judge at the center of it all.

After streaming a live murder and several acts of criminal violence…can Facebook save face?

Plus, a finding that upends decades of science about how we wound up in North America.

V&B – The Hook

It’s a story of the most influential movie never made, The Hook! KUT’s Rebecca McInroy joins Dr. Charlotte Canning and a cast of players to talk about the relationship between Arthur Miller and Elia Kazan, Blacklisting in Hollywood, and what this colorful past can teach us about our current social and political moment in the arts.

This Song: Sound Opinions

Everybody’s a critic! Well, actually, according to Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot, the two critics who host the talk radio show “Sound Opinions, everybody is and should be and that is a good thing.  On their show they spend a lot of time talking about music they love — and don’t love.  Hear them talk about how “Walking on the Moon” by the Police and Patti Smith’s version of “Gloria”  changed their lives and got them listening (and critiquing) music in a completely new ways.

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Listen to Songs from Episode 81 of This Song


Texas Standard: April 26, 2017

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, what’s the value of a word? How the future for thousands could turn on a single definition: the story today on the Texas Standard.

Texas lawmakers begin what could be a marathon debate over forcing Texas towns and cities to enforce federal immigration laws. We’ll have the latest.

When you wish upon a staar—dreams of fewer standardized tests for Texas school kids may soon come true. We’ll get the backstory.

Victim or a villain? A business owner accused of harboring workers illegally finds himself at the center of growing debate across Texas.

And El Paso–said to be the safest city in the country. Is that a fact?

V&B: Youth, Family & Firearms

KUT’s Rebecca McInroy is joined by Guardian columnist Gary Younge, author of “Another Day in The Death of America,” and journalist Alex Hannaford, to talk about the myths and the realities of gun deaths in the US, the media, and how we’ve come to see gun violence as normal.

The Write Up: George Saunders

In this episode of The Write Up, Owen talks to George Saunders about craft, ecstatic empathy, and the afterlife in his new novel Lincoln in the Bardo.


George Saunders is an award winning and New York Times bestselling author of essays, short stories, novellas, and children’s books. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Guardian, GQ, Harper’s, and McSweeny’s. His vast literary achievements include multiple National Magazine Awards, A McArthur and a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Bram Stoker Award, and a National Book Award.

In this interview during the Texas leg of his book tour, Saunders talks about his ever-present mental editor that drives him to refine his work. When referring to his recent essay on process, he talks about the connection he has to his readers.

In his constant drive to sound “less lame” he builds a faith-based relationship with his imagined readers. He promises them his best work and trusts that they will unfold themselves, tap into their empathy, and join him in his story.

The idea for this novel came some twenty years ago when he heard a story about Lincoln’s grief over losing his son. During his presidency, it was said that Lincoln would frequently venture into the graveyard and into the crypt where his son’s body was to hold him. From this anecdote he could see the outline of a story that would, eventually, become Lincoln in The Bardo.

Saunders was well known as a short story writer for some time before this new novel. When speaking about writing a longer work, he says he was at first unsure. But his skills in crafting short fiction translated into novel writing more easily than he originally imagined. Saunders described it as if he had spent years building small tents and then a large tent arrived. The material was greater and more complex but it was all based on the same principles.

In writing a larger story he found that not only that not only that he could combine several small structures to make a large one, but that there was room for new beauty and complexity in the places where the smaller pieces came together.

Saunders is well known for his essays, often going out of his way to put himself into situations with people he might not run across otherwise. He’s covered Trump rallies and once lived in a homeless encampment, which might have directly affected his most recent novel.

Saunders noticed that all the people living there had a very specific story. Always some variation on the theme of ‘I’m not supposed to be here’. Seeing how circumstance and tragedy could reduce personal narratives to a narrow monologue directly influenced the characters in his novel. The residents of the graveyard are ghosts stuck in an in-between place who tell their stories. Their voices illuminate pockets of experience and lives lived that weave around the main story.  

Saunders speaks simply and elegantly, both in this interview, and in his work. It’s impossible to not be inspired as he talks about topics ranging from ethics and spirituality to one of his characters’ supernaturally persistent erection.

Lincoln in The Bardo is Saunders’ first novel and, according to Owen, is “the best text about ethics and empathy, ever, including all religious texts and all the classics.”

-Felix Morgan



Texas Standard: April 25, 2017

Feeling the sting: Texas officials worry about the return of a major health threat, and why those most at risk aren’t paying attention…The story today on the Texas Standard.

If you build it they will—sue? NPR’s John Burnett tells us how a 40 year old treaty could be a brick wall for the wall…

People used to worry about high school dropout rates–these days it’s more and more middle schoolers. What’s being done to reverse a troubling trend in Texas.

Want a cut in your property taxes? The Dallas Morning News watchdog says don’t wait for politicians, join the protest. We’ll hear about his plan–and the pushback.

Plus, think of it as Formula One with a distinctly Texan accent: later this hour we’re off to the lawnmower races.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines, the Texas Standard is on the air.

Texas Standard: April 24, 2017

A possible government shutdown, the fate of the border wall, what could make the week busier? How about renegotiating NAFTA? The story today on the Texas Standard.

It’s not just Donald Trump who’s ready for a NAFTA redo: we’ll talk with the Mexican Economic Minister who says he think’s it needs a revamp, too…and soon.

Also, when a bill becomes law and you don’t like it, blame it on the author…unless, the author didn’t really write it. Who did? We’ll lift the curtain on the ghost writers lurking near the Texas capitol.

And a Texas Democrat warns of massive voter fraud —this time, he says, warnings need to be taken seriously.

Those stories and a whole lot more.

Daddy King w/ Isaac Newton Farris (Ep. 20, 2017)

In Black America producer and host John L. Hanson, Jr. discusses the influence of Martin Luther King, Sr. (Daddy King), on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with Isaac Newton Farris, Jr. former CEO of the King Center and grandson of Martin Luther King, Sr.

Higher Ed: Studying Abroad

In this episode, a question from a “Higher Ed” listener: her daughter is a sophomore in high school who has started attending college fairs and reading online about schools. The family is interested to know more about the impact of studying abroad on a student’s education. In this episode of KUT’s podcast Higher Ed, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger dig into the topic of studying abroad. Ed and Jennifer talk about the pros and cons of spending part of college (or high school) studying outside the U.S. Ed says students can gain a lot experiencing a new culture and learning a new language. But do they lose anything spending time away from their academic home base? Listen on for their discussion and for the solution to the most recent puzzler about about gas cans, gallons, and some tricky pouring.

This episode was recorded on March 24, 2017.

KUT Weekend – April 21, 2017

The Texas legislature gets closer to overturning Austin’s ride-hailing rules. Sleep experts support an Austin City Council ambition to make council meetings end earlier. Report warns Red River Street’s music venues are “endangered.” Those stories and more in this edition of KUT Weekend!

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Whether you call them fireflies or lightening bugs, these little insects were the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo segment.

Being Late

Have you ever wondered why some people are always punctual, even early, and other are perpetually late? In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about some of the psychology behind synchronizing our cultural and personal “clocks”, and how to put yourself in a less anxious space no matter who you are.


Texas Standard: April 21, 2017

Police shootings caught on smartphones grab the headlines…but what about other deaths in custody? The results of a new investigation today on the Texas Standard.

The State of Texas wants its drugs back. The FDA says: not gonna happen. A looming showdown over a deadly cocktail.

State law that says kids need to ‘click it’ en route to school—so why are the buckles missing on most Texas school buses? We’ve got the backstory, fasten your seatbelts.

An American auto factory seized in oil-rich Venezuela. For Texas companies there: get out now, or does it pay to stay?

Plus the week in politics with the Texas Tribune and much more.