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KUT Weekend
5:38 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

Listen to Our Weekly News Podcast!

KUT Weekend brings you our favorite stories from the KUT newsroom. Updated Fridays!

Austin
5:16 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Austin's 175-Year History?

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT; logo design by GSD&M

The City of Austin is having a birthday tomorrow.

It's one of the hardest anniversaries to pronounce – it's not a centennial or a bicentennial — or even a sesquicentennial, for that matter. But, outgoing Mayor Lee Leffingwell made it his mission earlier this year to memorize a 28-letter word used for the city’s 175th anniversary: a septaquintaquinquecentennial. 

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Austin
10:09 am
Fri December 26, 2014

How to Sound Like You're From Austin (in 90 Seconds)

Daniel Johnston's famous mural "Jeremiah the Innocent" by Guadalupe Street.
Credit Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

This story has been republished ahead of the new year to highlight KUT's top stories of 2014. 

What do you think of when you think of Austin?

Live music, hot summers, breakfast tacos and the people come to mind for starters. But spend a little time here, and another thing jumps out at you – the "Austin correct" pronunciation of local streets and landmarks.

Take Guadalupe Street across from the UT Campus ­– pronounced Gwad-a-loop by generations of students and residents.

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Arts Eclectic
8:00 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Meet 'One Red Thread' Author Ernie Wood

Austin author Ernie Wood has spent years writing non-fiction books, magazine articles, and documentary film scripts. And now, he's published his first novel, One Red Thread.

It's the story of an architect, Eddy McBride, who discovers that he's able to travel through time. Using this ability, he reexamines his own family history, discovering more than he might have intended.

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Holidays
6:00 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Recycling 'Right' During the Holidays

The items on the left are OK to recycle. The items on the right are not.
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT

You’ve opened all the gifts and enjoyed a nice big meal. Now, you’re surrounded by mountains of wrapping paper and piles of disposable dinnerware.

But don’t grab the trash bags just yet. Here are some tips for getting more of that waste into the recycling bin this holiday season.

"Tissue paper is definitely recyclable," Austin Resource Recovery Director Bob Gedert says.

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Life & Arts
4:00 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

The 2014 Words of the Year

The heart shaped emoji is the 2014 word of the year.

The Central Texas based Global Language Monitor is out with its top words for 2014.

The 15 year-old ranking doesn't just pick the most popular words based on what one segment of the English speaking world is doing. A bunch of hits on YouTube, or a single event won't usually give something "word of the year" status.

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Texas
1:38 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Bugged by Tiny Gnat-Like Insects? What They Are & Where They're Coming From

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pachypsylla#mediaviewer/File:Hackberry_Nipplegall_Maker_1.jpg

Hackberry trees are pretty common in this part of Texas. If you’re not sure whether you have one in your yard – there’s a pretty obvious sign.

Insect experts say hundreds to thousands of the little insects that love hackberry trees are swarming right now.

"I’ve been getting lots of calls on hackberry psyllids," Texas A&M Agrilife Extension program specialist Wizzie Brown says.

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Wayback Wednesday
12:23 pm
Wed December 24, 2014

Wayback Wednesday: John Henry Faulk's 'Christmas Story'

Credit Library of Congress

For today's Christmas Eve edition of Wayback Wednesday, we have a radio-centric Christmas treat in the form of John Henry Faulk's "Christmas Story."

Born in 1913, the native Austinite was a radio personality, satirist and playwright. In 1957, he successfully sued the House Un-American Activities Committee for libel after being blacklisted, helping end the committee's campaign. And, of course, Austin's downtown library bears his name.

In 1974, John Henry Faulk read the story for NPR's Voices in the Wind, and it's since become a holiday classic. Below, you can listen Faulk's yuletide yarn courtesy of NPR. 

Austin
3:48 pm
Tue December 23, 2014

City App Helps Users Report Pot Holes, Graffiti – And May Soon Provide Flood Info

Austin's 3-1-1 app won't replace the call center.
Nathan Bernier, KUT News

For well over a decade, Austinites have been calling 3-1-1 to report graffiti or a pot hole to city officials. While that’s not going away, a new way to report problems and get questions answered could offer more benefits.

For example, say you want to report that there aren’t any doggie clean-up bags at the park down the street or that there’s a pothole down the road. But, uhh, what’s the address exactly where you’re at? Austin’s 3-1-1 mobile app lets users do many of the same things that can be accomplished with a phone call.

But there are also things the app does that a phone call can’t.

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Texas
9:04 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Medicaid Eligibility Changes Have Texas Parents Scrambling to Regain Coverage

When Julio Solis Milam, 12, became ineligible for the Medically Dependent Children’s Program in 2013, his mother Claire Milam appealed the decision. He’s now eligible for a different Medicaid waiver program.
Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Texas has Medicaid programs that help parents or guardians care at home for children who would otherwise be eligible for nursing facility care, but recently the requirements for children to qualify for some programs have changed.

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In Black America Podcast
8:52 am
Tue December 23, 2014

In Black America Podcast: ‘Burning Down The House’ Makes The Case to Eliminate Juvenile Prisons

Nell Bernstein

On this edition of In Black America, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr. speaks with Nell Bernstein, award-winning journalist and author of “Burning Down The House:  The End of Juvenile Prisons.”

Today, youths in juvenile prisons are disproportionately children of color from poor neighborhoods, and Bernstein says they’re more likely to have been victims of violence than to have committed it. And African American teens are locked up at five times the rate of whites.

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Texas
8:28 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Physicians Groups Oppose Treatment of Sleep Disorders by Texas Dentists

The Texas Medical Association has filed a lawsuit in the Travis County District Court challenging a new rule adopted by the Texas State Board of Dental Examiners.
Photo by Keith Burtis/http://www.flickr.com/photos/keithburtis/

Last June, The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners adopted a rule allowing dentists in the state to diagnose and treat certain sleep disorders like snoring and sleep apnea in collaboration with a physician, but a number of physicians groups have spoken out against this new rule, including the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.

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News You Can Use
5:25 am
Tue December 23, 2014

Recycling: Why You're Probably Doing it Wrong and 10 Steps to Do it Right

Can you pick out which of these items can go into the recycle bin and which need to be trashed?
Filipa Rodrigues, KUT

It’s a familiar scenario: you’ve finished a product and are ready to dispose of the packaging. But wait… does it go into the recycling bin? Or the trash can? Recycling is something most of us strive to do. But waste management experts say many of us do it wrong – at least some of the time.

Step 1 to better recycling is NOT putting something in the bin if you're not sure it can be recycled:

"Part of the problem with recycling is if you throw it in with doubt, it could be a contaminate and it can slow down the process in the recycling stream," Austin Resource Recovery Director Bob Gedert says.

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Same-Sex Marriage
7:45 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Texas Plaintiffs Hope Federal Appeals Court Will Rule Against Gay Marriage Ban

Vic Holmes and Mark Phariss are plaintiffs in a lawsuit challenging Texas' same-sex marriage ban. They spoke at a Freedom to Marry event at the LBJ Library on Dec. 15, 2014.
KUT News

In February, a U.S. district judge in San Antonio ruled that Texas’ gay marriage ban is unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia didn’t allow gay couples to marry right away, however. He issued a stay on his ruling pending an appeal from the state.

Next, three judges at the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments from both sides in this case challenging the same-sex marriage ban in Texas.

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Gender Divide
2:44 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Q&A: The Pros and Cons of Single Sex Education

UT Austin Professor Rebecca Bigler studies gender stereotyping and single sex education. She argues single sex education does not improve academic performance.
Credit UT Austin

This story is part of an occasional series from KUT called Gender Divide, which will tell stories about the communities in Austin ISD's new single-sex middle schools, while also exploring the debate over single-sex education.

Are there benefits to single sex education? 

It's one of the major questions educators and parents are asking as more public schools nationwide create single sex campuses or single sex classrooms on campus. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there are 850 public single sex schools across the country. 

UT Professor Rebecca Bigler is one person who says single sex education doesn't benefit students academically, or in any way. 

Bigler studies gender stereotyping and social cognition in children. She also wrote a paper in 2011 about single sex education at the Ann Richard's School for Young Women Leaders, the first single sex school in the Austin Independent School District. The study argues single sex education doesn't affect academic performance, and increases gender stereotyping.

As part of KUT's series on single sex education called Gender Divide, KUT's Kate McGee spoke with Bigler about the national debate over single sex education:

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Texas
12:14 pm
Mon December 22, 2014

Where Are All of Texas' Christmas Trees Coming From?

Bastrop County produced the most Christmas trees in Texas last year, but the industry in Texas is still dwarfed by states like North Carolina and Oregon.
Via, flickr.com/photos/aquariawintersoul

A Christmas tree strapped to the roof of a car, or shimmering in a cheerfully decorated living room is a common sight this time of year.  The USDA estimates the Christmas tree industry to be a $14.5 billion enterprise. While states like Oregon, North Carolina and Michigan lead in harvests, a new USDA survey shows Central Texas leads the state in production, but where are those trees coming from?

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Two Guys on Your Head
11:56 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Need A Couple Doctors For The Holidays?

Credit www.dogpsychologistoncall.com

As a gift to our listeners, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke bring you a special holiday edition of Two Guys On Your Head. We'll explore questions about the link between freewill and gratitude, why we feel so compelled to recreate traditions exactly as we remember them, and why yawning is contagious. Plus, we'll take a trip to The Thinkery with Dr. Cristine Legare.

It's the holidays so let's celebrate with Two Guys on Your Head!

Energy & Environment
10:32 am
Fri December 19, 2014

After a Lark of a Year, Austin Birders Prepare for Annual Christmas Count

The red-legged honeycreeper was one of three rare species found in the state this year by Texas ornithologists.

The annual Austin Christmas bird count is happening this Saturday, when bird enthusiasts, or birders, take a census of what birds they can spot across the entire Austin area. So far, 2014 has already been an unusual year for bird sightings in Texas.

Three species of birds never seen in the state before were spotted this year in Texas. 

Those were a red-legged honeycreeper, a gray-crowned rosy-finch and a pair of common cranes – which, as the name might suggest, are indeed common, but they’re typically a European species.

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Energy & Environment
10:25 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Copenhagen Turns to Two Wheels and Takes Off

Cyclists commuting in the Copenhagen neighborhood of Norrebro.
DPA /LANDOV

From StateImpact Texas:

Rain or shine, in the light of summer or the early afternoon darkness of winter, under heavy sleet, unrelenting winds or drifts of snow, people in Copenhagen just bike. They bike in fur coats, they bike in suits and ties. They bike old, they bike young. They wheel their kids around on a cargo bike with a wooden box carrying the children up front, taking them to and from school; this is Copenhagen’s take on a minivan. People just bike, and after arriving in the city myself, I soon found out why: it’s usually the fastest way to get around. So I rented a bike, too.

Today, 60 percent of people in the city’s core commute by bike. In the greater Copenhagen area, over 40 percent do. “We see the same numbers [of commuting by bike] all year round,” says Copenhagen Environmental and Technical Affairs Mayor Morten Kabell.

“It’s not something that’s in Copenhagen’s genes, or that we’re weirder or stranger than any other people on earth,” Kabell says. “Every city can do this.”

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Arts Eclectic
8:54 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Celebrate the Holidays at the Hideout

For the past year or so, the talented performers at the Hideout have been staging a weekly Big Bash, and all-star improv show that happens every Friday night at the downtown theater. In each show, a rotating cast of Hideout regulars  present a handful of games and sketches, followed by a longer-form improvised "movie" in the second half of the show.

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