Holidays

Our staff favorites of the year

Texas Standard producers have made their lists and checked ‘em twice – or more – selecting some of our most memorable conversations with fascinating Texans over the past 12 months.

This hour, we invite you to sit back and enjoy our staff favorites from the past year, including honky tonk heroines, birders in cemeteries, bears making a comeback and a whole lot more.

Thousands of vulnerable Texans stand to lose food and health benefits

A plan to provide aid to Ukraine and Israel is on the ropes due to disagreements over border security. What comes next? Brandon Rottinghaus of the University of Houston has more.


Thousands of vulnerable Texans stand to lose food and health benefits from the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, also known as WIC.


An obscure element of the school financial system is leaving some districts with more money than they need.


And we’ll talk to Tyler Campbell, the son of NFL Hall of Famer and Heisman Trophy winner Earl Campbell, who’s sharing his story in a new book.

Our favorite Texas books of the year, just in time for holiday shopping

For lots of folks in the Lone Star State, the holiday shopping season is underway. In recent years, the latest high-tech toy has become a red-hot commodity on the big shopping day after Thanksgiving. But this hour, we’ve got some alternatives for those willing to go a different direction.

Giving the gift of reading can be one of the best options out there; a great book can turn into a lifelong treasure. This hour, the Texas Standard team’s gathered up some of our favorite reads by Texas authors – and you may want to take notes.

The Psychology of The Holiday Traditions (Rebroadcast)

For many of us, Thanksgiving means spending time with our families and carrying out traditions that we’ve practiced for years.

While it can be very stressful, messy, and challenging to spend time with family members you don’t see very often, it can also be a beautiful time of re-centering.

Traditions serve a psychological function. By repeating the same traditional activity with the same group of people over the years, we construct a chronological record of who we’ve been before – and who we are now. It’s a hidden way of staying in touch with the consistent elements of our identities, and it allows us to track ourselves as we develop and change.

Traditions give us an opportunity to become psychologically close to the person that we used to be in childhood, or adolescence – or even as recently as last year. And that’s something to be thankful for.

As always, Drs. Bob Duke and Art Markman are carving it up.

All the Holidays All at Once

Tis the season for a trip to any retailer to make you feel very confused about the actual date on the calendar. Is it really time to buy egg nog already? What happened to that bag of Halloween candy I saw here last week? Are those — little Santas?? That inspired this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

KUT Morning Newscast for November 17, 2022

Central Texas top stories for November 17, 2022. UT Grad students protest. Austin ISD interim superintendent. HEB beef recall. Austin light-rail system. Texas electric market proposed changes. Austin-Bergstrom holiday crowds. Taylor holiday parade.

Texas Standard: December 27, 2021

As COVID-19 cases soar in Texas, we look at where Texas stands in the pandemic fight and what more we can do in the holiday season. Texas health experts weigh in on what’s happening with the rapid spread of the Omicron COVID-19 variant. Also what 2021 tells us about 2022 when it comes to Texas’ role as the world’s energy capitol. And inflation putting a pinch on many households. How much is this like the crisis of the 70’s? Perhaps less than one might think. Economist Ray Perryman weighs in. Plus the modern-day revival of an underground comics classic, one with a distinctly Texas accent. The freak Brothers backstory and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: December 3, 2021

The Trump era policy for asylum seekers to resume after talks between the Biden administration and officials in Mexico. The so-called remain in Mexico program is coming back, despite promises of change. We’ll hear why. Also the push to preserve the history of a formally segregated school in West Texas. And El Paso’s ban on planting Mulberry trees. Now that the existing ones are dying off, what will take their place? Plus the week in Texas politics with the Texas Tribune, and remembering the Texan getting tons of attention right now for his role in keeping the fab four together. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

What’s In A Day?

When it comes to the holidays, how important is the day, psychologically, that we celebrate?

In this episode of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman, and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the importance rituals in marking time, and the way in which we can alleviate stress in our lives by understanding that things don’t always have to go the way the world, or Hallmark, dictates.

Texas Standard: December 21, 2018

Another high profile resignation shakes the Trump administration, we’ll explore what Jim Mattis’ departure means. Plus, there’s a cost associated with being behind bars, but getting released also comes at a cost. We’ll run the numbers. Also one expert shares his ideas for the perfect children’s gift that won’t cost you a penny. And when it comes to holiday traditions, do you break a piñata? All of that and so much more today on the Texas Standard:

Family During The Holidays

It’s the time of the year when families get together across the miles, across the generations, and across the political spectrum. For better or for worse, that was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.

Texas Standard: December 13, 2017

A democratic victory in ruby red Alabama: was it just Roy Moore, or is it something bigger shaking the southern political landscape? We’ll explore. Also, a new war on drugs? This time it’s the most populous county in Texas suing big pharma over the opioid epidemic. And a new white house directive: another manned mission to the moon and then to mars. Should Houston get ready for relaunch? Plus attention holiday shoppers: commentator WF Strong has been making a list of gifts that made Texas what it is today, and you won’t find em at the mall. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: December 12, 2017

As the Weinstein effect hits Washington, a Texas congressman still standing despite growing allegations, we’ll explore. Also, filing deadline comes for what could be a watershed midterm election season. Bob Gee of the Austin American Statesman boils things down to 5 races to watch in 2018. And the Texas wind power revolution: causing a stir for property owners. Are you sure who owns the wind above your land? And in the dust bowl days it was hailed as a savior for ranchers. Now, they’re branding it a scourge. The zombie grass taking over south Texas and beyond. Those stories and lots more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: December 8, 2017

A group committed to boosting prospects for democratic women calls on the resignations of two prominent state senate democrats. In a season of sexual harassment scandals, new allegations against state senators Boris Miles and Carlos Uresti are the talk of the Texas capitol city. Both men deny the charges. We’ll hear from the person who reported the story, as well as a fellow state senator calling for reform of how sexual harassment cases are handled. And a legal scholar who says the implications go directly to a larger cultural problem at the capitol. All of that and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: December 23, 2016

Twas the weekend of Christmas and all thru the state, the challenge of homelessness would not abate. Pregnant and homeless… how much room for compassion, with resources already stretched thin. Also one year ago a twisters ripped thru North Texas. Today, a return to ground zero to re-explore the ongoing efforts to rebuild a sense of community. And a few years ago, he wrote a song that said a little too much about holiday gatherings…and to his surprise it became a Texas classic. A conversation with Robert Earle Keene about christmas with the fam-o-leee. All that and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

Tradition

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the psychology of tradition.

Celebration (12.20.14)

In this edition of Liner Notes Rabbi and jazz historian Neil Blumofe discusses Jazz and The Art of Celebration.

December is a month of festivities, parties, and traditions, yet for many of us it is a time when the spotlight it pointed at how isolated we may feel without our loved ones, our homes, or our families around us.  In these moments of solitude it is important to remember and celebrate what we do have. The precious lives we are given to live, however sad or difficult they seem in these moments.

The universal sound and momentum of jazz, gives us a soundtrack by which we can follow the rhythms of our heart and our soul. Allowing us to celebrate our lives anew with each note and honor the wonderment of this universe.