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Have you ever thought of a friend you haven't seen in a long time only to run into her the same day? Have you ever thought of a historical figure and had that same person be a clue in The New York Times crossword puzzle?

In this edition of Two Guys on Your Head, Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Bob Duke explain the psychology behind coincidence and why looking at the world through a more mathematical lens might help people see things differently.


Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

At the rear of the Terrazas Branch of the Austin Public Library on E. Cesar Chavez Street, roughly 10 people gather in a meeting room. It looks like any classroom. There’s a white board at the back, unflattering lighting above, and rows of chairs stacked to the side.

Alexa Ura

An immigrant rights group and the Texas Attorney General's Office both praised an appellate court’s Thursday ruling on a border security case — but for completely different reasons.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

An increase in immigration enforcement and proposed policies from President Donald Trump may be taking a toll on businesses that rely on an immigrant workforce. Some in Austin's construction community say undocumented workers don’t feel safe reporting to work.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

It’s lunchtime at the Quickie Pickie on East 11th Street. Customers fill the patio tables and several others line up to order food inside. Manager Mohammad Walid describes the business as part restaurant, part convenience store.

The future of a residential facility for adults with autism is in limbo after a vote by a city of Austin commission.

Death of a Salesman is considered by many to be the quintessential America play, so it might not seem like a natural fit for Irish director Peter Sheridan. But Sheridan is excited about the opportunity to direct the play for Austin Playhouse. "They were talking to me about Bloomsday, because obviously the fit between me and Bloomsday seems kind of perfect -- it's a play set in Dublin... but I wasn't available for those dates," Sheridan says. "And they just happened to say to me, 'We're doing Death of a Salesman next,' and I said, 'God, I'd love to do that!'."

And when he learned that Austin Playhouse was planning to do the play with an African-American cast as the Loman family, Sheridan grew even more eager. "I thought... that could be a really, really interesting take on the story," Sheridan says. Directing Death of a Salesman also meant that he'd get to work with Austin actor Marc Pouhé, who's playing Willy Loman in this production. "This is a great, great stage actor," Sheridan says of Pouhé. "He's as good as I've worked with in forty years."

On This week’s program, producer/host John L. Hanson Jr speaks with Margot Lee Shetterly, author of ‘Hidden Figures: The American Dream And The Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Help Win the Space Race.’

Texas Department of Criminal Justice

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Texas death row inmate Wednesday morning, agreeing that Duane Buck’s case was prejudiced by an expert trial witness who claimed Buck was more likely to be a future danger because he is black.

Buck was convicted and sentenced to death after gunning down two people, including his ex-girlfriend, more than 20 years ago.

Qiling Wang for KUT

In 2009, Tea Party protests across the country energized a segment of conservative voters, enabling Republicans to take control of both chambers of Congress.

Inspired by Tea Party tactics, progressive groups today are organizing to put pressure on Republican congressmen in town hall meetings. While the events have been grassroots efforts, many people are organizing under the umbrella of a movement called Indivisible, which, it turns out, has roots in Austin.

Miguel Gutierrez Jr. / KUT

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Texas health officials cannot kick Planned Parenthood out of the state's Medicaid program.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Responding to a sexual assault scandal that has rocked Baylor University over the past two years, Sen. Kirk Watson, D-Austin, has filed legislation to make it easier for college students to report sexual violence.

At Austin's Hideout Theatre, improv is performed several nights a week, and much of the work presented there is theatrical style. "A lot of improv on stage is just... a blank stage, no costumes... but this is kind of the opposite end of the spectrum," says Hideout co-owner Roy Janik. "We're still improvising the content and the characters and the plot and all that stuff, but we'll oftentimes know what genre we're playing in, we'll tell one long story, and we'll have costumes and lights and props."

Emily Albracht/Texas Tribune

A majority of Texans support banning Syrian refugees and blocking individuals from seven countries from entering the United States, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

They balk, but only a bit, at banning Muslims who are not U.S. citizens from entering the country, the poll found.

Courtesy of Amanda Eyre Ward

Austin author Amanda Eyre Ward has written novels about undocumented youth and immigration, AIDS and death row. A review of one of her novels described her as “a leading author of socially conscious fiction.” So, what might readers expect from her newest novel, The Nearness of You?  

Ward tells KUT’s Jennifer Stayton, she shattered her own image of what a novel “should” be about when writing this one.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The Texas Legislature gaveled in just a few short weeks ago. And, while lawmakers typically wait until the waning weeks of the session to get anything done, we're answering some of your questions about what goes on under the granite dome for our TXDecides project.

Emily Albracht/Texas Tribune

In his second month in office, President Donald Trump is getting overwhelmingly good grades on his job performance from the state’s Republicans, according to the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Trump is popular enough to cast positive light on Russian President Vladimir Putin, a world figure who turns out to be markedly more unpopular with Texas Democrats than with Texas Republicans.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Reedy Spigner, 45, straddles a gray carpet strewn with empty glass bottles and pieces of tape – just some of the things left behind in a move. In front of him is an entire wall of windows. From there, he looks out onto East 22nd Street and is transported some 35 years into the past.

A popular topic for discussion on the "Higher Ed" podcast is lifelong learning: taking on educational opportunities at any stage of life, especially well after the formal education years are past. In this episode of KUT's podcast Higher Ed, KUT's Jennifer Stayton and Southwestern University President Dr. Ed Burger talk about what we can all learn from Jennifer's venture back into the classroom - after many decades out - and her own pursuit of lifelong learning.


Andrew Weber / KUT

Resolutions are the participation trophy of Texas legislation.

They’re a way for lawmakers to honor everything from a state championship high school football team, to the indiscriminate eradication of groundhogs, to the merits of the Boston Strangler killings. Pretty much everything under the sun has been recognized by a resolution, but the Texas flag is especially dependable resolution fodder for lawmakers.

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