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The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor educates, entertains and inspires with brief facts and poetry related to each day's date. It celebrates the birthdays and works of poets, writers, composers, philosophers and historical figures.  It is heard Monday through Friday evenings at 8:01 p.m. on KUT 90.5. On weekends you can find the Writer’s Almanac right here on KUT.org each morning at 8. Find more information and other shows at http://writersalmanac.org/

  

What do you think of when someone is described as "smart?" They know a lot of things. Maybe they got high grades in school. Or maybe they always use correct grammar. But what does it actually mean to be smart? In this week's episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger discuss the deeper meaning of the word "smart."


Kevin Lamarque/REUTERS

Texas could be on the hook for more than $4.5 million as part of its failed legal battle to defend its 2013 abortion restrictions, which the U.S. Supreme struck down as unconstitutional in June.

The Writer's Almanac: October 8, 2016

Oct 8, 2016

The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor educates, entertains and inspires with brief facts and poetry related to each day's date. It celebrates the birthdays and works of poets, writers, composers, philosophers and historical figures.  It is heard Monday through Friday evenings at 8:01 p.m. on KUT 90.5. On weekends you can find the Writer’s Almanac right here on KUT.org each morning at 8. Find more information and other shows at http://writersalmanac.org/

  

  

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

Screenshot from Voyage of Time

From Texas Standard:

Anyone familiar with the work of Austin-based director Terrence Malick knows he’s unafraid to tackle big questions. The example you’re probably most familiar with is “Tree of Life.” The 2011 film is not your typical family drama. It looks at the existence of a higher power and the origins of the world.

Bill Clark/Texas Tribune

A judge has thrown out a federal civil case accusing Attorney General Ken Paxton of securities fraud, giving him his biggest legal victory yet since the allegations surfaced more than a year ago. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

Election officials in Texas are being accused of violating the Voting Rights Act, again.

This time it’s because dozens of county election administrators are not providing bilingual voter information on their websites, according to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF).

Courtesy of Chariot

A year-old partnership between the City of Austin and the Rocky Mountain Institute has yielded its first results: the Austin expansion of a ridesharing app called Chariot. The service works like a shuttle, with passenger-chosen routes. The first shuttle routes from Chariot will run between the downtown MetroRail stop and Whole Foods and ad agency GSD&M with fares of about $4 per person. More routes will be added as they are voted on through the Chariot app. 


Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Four Austin ISD School Board candidates faced questions Thursday from a group that might be their most important constituents: students.


http://www.coinsvalue.info

Humans may take the card we swipe for granted at the grocery store when we buy food. We might look at our bank balance and not even think of how unique it is that we can translate those little numbers into experiences and things. It's merely one of the benefits of having big brains.

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke talk about the psychology of how our brains determine value.

Michael Dawes/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

During the fact-checking and doubting candidates' claims this election season, political writers and Twitterers alike began referring to politicians' denial of facts as gaslighting – a term coined from a 1938 play in which a victim is manipulated into doubting what she otherwise knows to be factual, making her question her sanity.

But when this technique is used for political objectives, there may be a better description: "the big lie." Garth Jowett, professor at the University of Houston, says "the big lie" comes from Adolf Hitler.

 


phickmanfresh/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Sheriff Arvin West is the law in Texas’ Hudspeth County. It certainly seems that way to unsuspecting travelers along his county’s stretch of I-10. He’s known for accusing the Mexican army of invading the border, ragging on the federal government on border security policies and busting more than a few entertainers for carrying pot (Willie Nelson, Nelly, Fiona Apple and Snoop Dogg are on the list).

West, now tied to a three-year-long federal investigation, isn’t talking. But a Washington Post report reveals he may be involved in setting up a rogue Navy training based in West Texas.

 


What It's Like to Vote If You Don't Have an Address

Oct 6, 2016
Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT News

It’s going to be easier for some populations to vote this year because of recent court-ordered changes to the voter ID law.  One group is the state’s homeless population, which typically faces many hurdles casting a ballot.

JON SHAPLEY/KUT

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is seeking to intervene in a lawsuit filed this summer, challenging the City of Austin's regulations for short-term rental properties like those you'd find on HomeAway or AirBnb.

Earlier this year, the Austin City Council passed new regulations for such properties, including a plan to phase out so-called “Type 2” short-term rentals, or STRs, which are not owner-occupied, by the year 2022.

Jamelah E./Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Undecided voters are no myth. So who are they?

Blanca Morales, like 84 million others, tuned in last week to watch the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. But it didn’t help her decide who she’ll pick on Election Day. If anything, it complicated matters.

 


TDCJ via Texas Tribune

Six months after the Texas death chamber held its latest execution, Barney Ronald Fuller Jr. is set to die Wednesday for the 2003 shooting deaths of his neighbors in rural East Texas.

RS12240/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Lewisville, Lubbock, Sherman – just a handful of Texas cities where there will be gun shows this weekend. At any given time, nearly a half dozen cities across the state host weekend gun shows where sellers, buyers, and collectors congregate in what amounts to a firearms bazaar of sorts.

Criticism over these events focuses on a lack of universal background checks for purchasers. But law enforcement agents have been tracking some gun show patrons’ license plates.


Dieu Nalio Chery/AP

"Dirty water everywhere."

That's how Jacqueline Charles of the Miami Herald described the situation in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in an interview with NPR Wednesday morning. "A lot of rain and a lot of wind," she said. "Before [Hurricane] Matthew, the ground was already saturated, so the idea that you could have 25 inches of rain is a very scary thought."

Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT News

Gretchen Nagy needs something – anything.

She's standing in front of two Austin ISD students and a district employee, who are about to go live on television, covering the district’s mock presidential election. The only problem: They have no results.


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