Archives for June 2017

KUT Weekend – June 30, 2017

The battle over the “sanctuary cities” law heads to court. The city of Austin worries possible budget cuts to the EPA could erode efforts to clean polluted land. What are those blue flaps on the Lamar Boulevard underpass north of Lady Bird Lake? Those stories and more in this edition of KUT Weekend!

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Texas Standard: June 30, 2017

As a judge in San Antonio mulls the legality of a Texas sanctuary law, lawmakers in Washington take action on the federal level, we’ll have the latest. Plus Texas senator Ted Cruz said no to his fellow senate republicans. Now, he’s floating what he calls a compromise on health care. What’s the big idea, we’ll hear about it. Also cuts proposed for Amtrak, coming to a station near you?
And the battle over Keystone XL may not be over yet. This time the roadblocks not protesters but businesses. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Ode To The Perfect Summer Watermelon

The watermelon: for many, it’s the fruit that best symbolizes the long days of summer. And it was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Texas Standard: June 29, 2017

As the president’s travel ban takes effect at airports today who’s in and who’s out, and who’s watching the gatekeepers. We’ll talk to one of em today. Also a dramatic helicopter attack on Venezuela’s supreme court, caught on video. The images so surrealistic some wonder: did this really happen? We’ll explore. And you thought space was the final frontier? Nasa relaunches a program that got stalled in the 60’s: an all american supersonic airplane. And the rockets red glare: the view from the other side of the roadside fireworks stand. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

What The Heck Are Those Blue Panels Along The Lamar Underpass?

When you’re driving down Lamar Boulevard between Lady Bird Lake and Fifth Street, do you ever look at the walls of the underpass beneath the train bridge? Do you look at those blank blue signs on the walls of the underpass and wonder: What the heck are those things?

Texas Standard: June 28, 2017

Is it okay for Texas colleges and universities to use race as a factor in deciding who gets in and who doesn’t? We’ll explore a new legal challenge. Also, the opioid crisis is bigger than an addiction problem. In Houston, city officials warn of the arrival of an opioid variant so toxic, incidental contact could be lethal. We’ll have the latest. Plus Texas and other states offer incentives to boost the space business. Caliornia, meanwhile,is taking quite the reverse approach. We’ll hear what’s up. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Land Rush

The most expensive property currently on the market in Texas is a 2300 acre estate in Lago Vista. It is near Austin, on Lake Travis, going for a mere 68 million. Only 30 thousand an acre. Get out your checkbooks.

That’s quite a contrast compared to the deals the first Texans were getting on real estate. Stephen F. Austin charged 12 and a half cents an acre for a league of land, which was 4428 acres.

He offered two deals, 4428 acres if you were a rancher and 177 acres if you were a farmer. So you can imagine that many farmers became ranchers right quick. And that’s not all. Married men got far more land than single ones. So there was a stampede up the church aisles as single farmers rushed to become married ranchers. Imagine, you walk down the aisle with nothing and come out with almost 4500 acres. Compare that to today where you walk in with thirty thousand dollars and walk out broke.

That was quite a deal Austin offered. 12 and a half cents an acre (and mostly on credit) at a time when land in the rest of the U.S. was ten times more than that. Someone later pointed out, “Land in Texas was what gold was to the gold rush.”

A league of land for $550. Even adjusted for today’s dollars it would be only $12,000. 4428 acres is a lot of land. It would require a long hard day of walking to make your way around it by sunset. But you still wouldn’t have a King Ranch. Even with all those acres you would still own less than half a percent of the King Ranch. By comparison, you wouldn’t even have a ranchito. You would have a ranchititito. Essentially a postage stamp.

In deep South Texas, the original land grants of 4500 acres sold for even less. Sometimes as little as the filing fee of $50 and other times for ten cents an acre, with payments not starting until the fourth year of the seven-year term, to give you the chance to work the land and have it help pay for itself.

And even considering that $30,000 an acre today is shocking – it may well seem like a bargain 20 years from now. How many times have you sat at someone’s kitchen table and heard them say, “See that house over there? 30 years ago I could have bought it for $100,000. Today it’s worth $300,000.” Or more. As the old saying goes, “Buy land, they’re not making anymore of it.” Certainly been a wise adage to live by in Texas for about 200 years now.

What I need is a good time machine. I wish I could go back to see my great grandfather when he lived in East Texas. I could say to him, “Great gramps, here’s $1,000. I want you to go over to Beaumont and find a little hill known round there as Spindletop. Buy that hill and the 4,000 acres that surrounds it. Here’s another thousand for mineral rights. Leave it all in a trust to be shared by your descendants who are 6’ 5” or more, blue-eyed, and work in radio.

If only rebooting your life were that easy.

This Song: Tycho

Scott Hansen, the main producer and songwriter for the ambient electronic project Tycho, is a master of using sound to evoke emotional responses.  But communication, especially verbal communication, didn’t always come easy to him. Listen as he describes how “ROYGBIV” by Boards of Canada helped him understand that his most effective form of expression was instrumental electronic music.

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Check out Tycho’s Tour Dates

Listen to Sylvan Esso’s This Song Episode where they talk about Soul Coughing, Boards of Canada and more

Listen to Songs from Episode 88 of This Song


Texas Standard: June 27, 2017

A White House warning on Syria raises hackles in Moscow and eyebrows around the world. What’s behind last night’s announcement? We’ll explore. Also, drowned out by some of the bigger stories from the supreme court this week, a decision not to decide a case involving a high profile shooting at the border. We’ll loop back for a closer look. And a new law in Texas establishes a ‘right to try’ controversial stem cell treatments, but some worry it could be a green light for modern day snake oil salesmen. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

V&B – Jazz & The Art of Family

Join KUT’s Rebecca McInroy along with Rabbi Neil Blumofe and a live jazz quintet, for a night of great conversation and live music as we explore the legacy and influence of the Brothers Jones. Hank, Thad, and Elvin Jones were each supreme musicians – they were also brothers and represent an important legacy in the history of jazz. In our everyday lives, who constitutes our family? How much parental influence do we admit? Beyond blood relationships, who are the people who have our back, who are unconditionally present? How do we collaborate and when do we need our own space to achieve identity? Resisting the atomization of our character, how do we derive meaning and with whom do we gain status as we act?

Featured Musicians: Tom Brechtlein (Drums), Roscoe Beck (Bass), Professor Ben Iram (Piano), Michael Malone (Saxophone), David Young (Trumpet)

Texas Standard: June 26, 2017

The supreme court says it will hear the case of president Trumps travel ban, we’ll explore what this means in the meantime. Also republican holdouts in the senate hold up repeal and replacement of Obamacare. Today we talk with one of the most senior members of the US senate who’s task is turnaround the naysayers: senator John Cornyn joins us. Plus, Texas cities seeking sanctuary from the sanctuary cities bill make their case today before a judge in San Antonio. We’ll have the latest. And is Waco ready for its close up? Hollywood ramps up to revisit the Branch Davidian showdown. Plus how do you move a prairie dog? An expert tells us the secret: cheap dishwashing soap. Those stories and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Moses Shepherd (Ep. 29, 2017)

In Black America producer and host John L. Hanson, Jr. speaks with Moses Shepherd, founder and CEO of Ace Petroleum, a Detroit-based national fuel distributor, and founder of Ace Investment Group, LLC, the largest local housing provider for non-profit agencies in Detroit.

Best of “Higher Ed:” Curiosity, Creativity, and Confidence in Kids

How can educators, parents, and other adults encourage young people to be curious and get creative? In this “Best of” episode of KUT’s podcast Higher Ed, KUT’s Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger respond to a listener’s question about promoting intellectual curiosity and confidence in kids. There’s a lot of interest these days in encouraging younger learners to pursue studying science, the arts, and math. A listener wants to know how young people can be encouraged along those paths by exciting them to ask questions and be confident in their pursuits. Listen on to hear Ed discuss with Jennifer how he has inspired curiosity and creativity among students, and the impact that work has had on him as a teacher.

This episode was recorded on August 10, 2016 and originally posted on October 16, 2016.

Embodied Empathy

You’ve heard the saying, “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.” But does that literally mean you have to put yourself in someone’s position in order to understand where they are coming from? According to a study published in The Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, it just might.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the study, and what it means for how and why when we try to see things from another’s point of view we are more likely to empathize with them on a few different levels.


Summer Beer

As the Texas heat settles in to stay awhile, some people’s thoughts turn to a cool, refreshing beer. And it’s better if the brew is local. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

KUT Weekend – June 23, 2017

An Austin couple incarcerated for 21 years is declared innocent of “Satanic” child sexual abuse. Why soundproofing music venues and the places next to them isn’t as easy as you might think. How Gulf Coast fish could be saved by their spawn songs. Those stories and more in this edition of KUT Weekend!

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Texas Standard: June 23, 2017

California bans official travel to Texas–over a law they say permits discrimination in adoption services. The impact and possible pushback today on the standard.

After cutting off Planned Parenthood, the state launched a healthy Texas women program. One year later, what’s the prognosis?

Also, an old phenomenon gets renewed attention: why do so many women in the workplace seem to get cut off mid-sentence? Why the issue’s bigger than just hurt feelings…

Our homestate addiction to Tex-Mex reconsidered. Fighting back against the grackles, plus the week in politics and much more…it’s the national news show of Texas on this Friday.

Texas Standard: June 22, 2017

The US senate lays out a vision to repeal the affordable care act. The upshot: a major revision to a half-century old safety net. We’ll explore what it means for Texans. Plus, though it was promised as a top to bottom rework of the House plan to repeal and replace Obamacare, the senate version is very similar, we’ll take a closer look. And should north Korea be on the US list of state sponsors of terrorism? We’ll talk with the Texas congressman leading a push to turn up the heat on Pyongyang. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

This Song: JR JR

JR JR  has been making catchy indie pop music for the better part of the decade.  But where did this hook-laden infectious music come from? Listen in as the band members recount how their experiences with live shows by The Grateful Dead, a mysterious glow at a Tonic concert, a case of Led Zeppelin misidentification, the love of Mars Volta noise and playing jazz at a nursing home helped the band find their musical selves. It all wraps up with Josh, Daniel, Bryan and Mike having a moment talking about the real reasons they make music.  Protip — listen all the way to the end. It’s worth it.

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Check out JR JR’s fall tour dates 

Listen to JR JR’s new song “Same Dark Places.”

Listen to Songs from Episode 87 of This Song