Life & Arts

LGBT
9:39 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Boy Scouts Delay Decision About Gays; Pentagon May Extend Some Benefits

A statue outside the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 9:48 am

(We updated the top of this post at 10:45 a.m. ET.)

The Boy Scouts of America now intends to vote in May about whether its troops should be allowed to accept gay members and leaders, a spokesman says.

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Arts and Culture
12:39 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

'God Made A Farmer' And The Super Bowl Made Him A Star

A still from the Super Bowl ad, "God Made a Farmer"
Youtube

Originally published on Thu February 7, 2013 5:14 pm

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Arts and Culture
5:30 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Runaway Slaves and a Community's Conscience

A young Englishwoman finds contradictions in 19th-century Ohio.
Credit Penguin

Tracy Chevalier spent years researching her famous novel The Girl with a Pearl Earring, a fictionalized backstory of the woman behind the famous painting by Vermeer. She did the same thing for her latest novel, The Last Runaway, a story that takes an outsider’s look at American slavery during the mid-19th century. A young Quaker named Honor Bright sails from England bound for a new life in Ohio. From the moment she boards the ship, her adventure is nothing like she imagined.

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SXSW
6:09 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

SXSW Film Lineup Announced

The South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival announced its 109 film lineup today. This year will be the film festival's 20th anniversary.
Credit SXSW

In little over a months the city will swell as South by Southwest takes over downtown Austin. And the over 200,000 expected festival attendees have no shortage of events to attend: Today, SXSW released its film lineup, totaling 109 features.  

Film Conference and Festival Producer Janet Pierson writes that this year’s lineup “embraces love and the need/search/desire for connection.”

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Technology
10:18 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Google Street View Takes A Hike. So?

A view of the Grand Canyon captured by the Google Trekker
Google

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 9:45 am

A few months back, Google released a few of its engineers into the wild with a camera called the Google Trekker.

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Arts and Culture
6:17 am
Thu January 31, 2013

National Pet Radio: Make Your Critter's Cuteness Public (And Win A Prize Pack!)

Punkin, who belongs to NPR Senior Publicist Emerson Brown, decides whether to get moving or not based on news from local station WAMU. Good or not, she usually sleeps in.
Emerson Brown

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 8:06 am

Many of us here at NPR have pets or are animal lovers, and recently discovered that National Dress Your Pet Day is in January. We were inspired by this to ask you to show your appreciation for public media by accessorizing your pet.

To have a little fun with it, we want you to snap a picture of your pet listening to your favorite public radio station.

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SXSW
3:35 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

City to Step Up Permit Enforcement Over SXSW

Enhanced permit enforcement could mean more violations for businesses, vendors, and venues over SXSW.
Jeff Heimsath for KUT News

Planning to put an event on this South By Southwest? Well, you'll need a permit for that.

With just over a month until Austin’s South by Southwest festival begins, the city’s special events office has received a flurry of permit applications – everything from noise permits, to food service, to construction permits for big soundstages.

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Arts and Culture
6:47 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Rising Postal Rates Squeeze Small Record Labels

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 9:51 am

Prices on mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service increased this week — the price of a first-class stamp now costs 46 cents, up a penny. But for small businesses that ship products overseas, like many independent record labels, the costs could be much larger.

Brian Lowit, who has worked at Washington, D.C.'s Dischord Records for 10 years, says that while a postage rate hike is a familiar bump in the road, "I've never seen one this drastic."

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Arts and Culture
5:36 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

An Unlikely Supreme Court Justice

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will appear at BookPeople tonight.
Joy Diaz/KUT News

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is in Austin today promoting her new memoir My Beloved World, which gives readers an intimate look into the circumstances that shaped her character.

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SXSW
9:55 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Nick Cave to Kick Off NPR Music's SXSW Showcase

Cat Stevens Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 23, 2013 9:54 am

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Arts and Culture
7:57 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Human Chickens Announce Moontower Comedy Fest Lineup

Chickens took the streets of Downtown Austin to announce this year's lineup.
Tyler Pratt, KUT News

Local comedians dressed as chickens took to the streets of downtown Austin Tuesday afternoon. They reenacted the famous Abbey Road album cover, talked to locals and garnered attention for Austin’s secnd Annual Moontower Comedy and Oddity Fest.

Jim Ritts, Executive Director of the Austin Theatre Alliance, announced the festival lineup at the Paramount Theater. This year’s headlining stand-up comedians are Dana Carvey, Amy Schumer, Bill Burr, Bill Hader & Jim Gaffigan.

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Arts and Culture
4:02 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

George Saunders Visits KUT

George Saunders is a MacArthur "genius grant" recipient and contributor for The New Yorker.
Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

KUT’s Emily Donahue sat down with the author of a book unlike any other you may have read. It’s a short story collection with stories as short as a page and a half – but an impact that lingers for days. The book is "Tenth of December" and the author is George Saunders, who is widely acclaimed as one of the most important writers of our time.

Arts and Culture
6:18 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Photos: Inside the Giant, Architecturally Designed Inflatable Castle Visiting Austin

Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

The Architects of Air are back in Austin. Sound, color and light are all utilized to the fullest in this immersive experience hosted at the Long Center.

The art installation resembles a giant inflatable castle, occupies half a football field and rises to the height of a 3-story house. This visually overwhelming experience is created by sunlight streaming into the castle, bringing with it all kinds of bright colors and shapes.

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Arts and Culture
5:00 am
Tue January 22, 2013

UT Prof Works to Define Elusive Concept of Happiness

People define happiness differently, but a couple of traits are universal.
flickr.com/trufflepig

We all think we know what happy means. But when you get down to it, how would we actually define it? Raj Raghunathan has tried. He teaches marketing at UT’s McCombs School of Business. He studies, among other things, consumer behavior, decision theory, and happiness. Raghunathan says different people define happiness differently, but a couple of traits are universal. It’s a positive emotion, and we want to experience it. But, he says, pursuing society’s most common markers of happiness won’t actually get us there.

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Arts and Culture
3:26 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Antone's Leaving Fifth St. Location

Antone's has been a staple among live music venues for over 30 years
http://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_lowry/

Antone’s will reportedly move out of its West 5th location in favor of a more customer-friendly location.

The club's Frank Hendrix said Antone’s current location has hampered concert-goers due to traffic and lack of parking availability in the warehouse district area. Last year, Hendrix relocated both Emo’s and Beauty Ballroom from the downtown area to East Riverside, in favor of larger spaces.

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Arts and Culture
12:02 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Circuit of the Americas Opening Music Venue in Spring

The Tower Amphitheater will have a capacity for over 15,000 fans
http://toweramphitheater.com/

The Circuit of the Americas announced today that they will debut their shiny new music venue, the Tower Amphitheater, this spring with a concert featuring country music star Kenny Chesney on April 5.

COTA officials say the festival will bring new opportunities to the complex largely known for motorsports, and that they plan on scheduling 15 to 20 shows a year to keep the circuit occupied between race days.

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Arts and Culture
11:50 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Meet the Austin DJ Spinning Obama’s Inaugural Ball

Austin's DJ Mel is playing Obama's inagural ball and at the National Day of Service on the National Mall in D.C.
djmel.com

It’s a long way from the sweaty dance floor of a club called Nasty’s to President Barack Obama’s inaugural ball in Washington D.C. But it’s a trek Austin’s DJ Mel has made.

DJ Mel, aka Mel Sandico, is a fixture of Austin’s club scene. DJing in Austin since 1995, he’s kept a weekly hip hop night going at Nasty’s for nearly as long. And since 2001, every couple of months he drops “Rock the Casbah,” a musical-mashup of the best the ‘80s has to offer. That’s not to mention gigs at Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits and more: “club dates, weddings, in-stores … you name it,” he says.

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Arts and Culture
1:20 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Watch: This Austin Filmmaker Documents 2012 With One Amazing Second a Day

A local filmmaker's short has gone viral on Vimeo.
Jonathan Britnell, vimeo.com

With 295,000 views and counting on video site Vimeo, the popularity of the video “2012. 366 days. 366 seconds.” isn’t slowing down.

Made by Austin filmmaker Jonathan Britnell, the video captures moments around Austin and in Britnell’s life. Each day of the 2012 leap year gets one second, making the video 366 seconds long. 

“The main reason I decided to do it was just to try to be more creative, just to try to do something creative everyday,” Britnell says.

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Arts and Culture
9:58 am
Fri January 18, 2013

'So You Think You Can Dance' Comes to Austin

So You Think You Can Dance, Fox's reality dance competition, is holding auditions in Austin.
flickr.com/44549151@N03/

Fox has a question for you Austin: Do you think you can dance?

So You Think You Can Dance,” that long-running televised dance competition that airs on Fox during the summer, is holding auditions in Austin today and Saturday at the Long Center for the Performing Arts. Doors for the auditions open at 8 a.m.

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Arts and Culture
6:15 am
Thu January 17, 2013

Sundance Festival has Texas Tinge

Elise Gardner in "Spark," playing at Slamdance Film Festival.
Annie Silverstein

The Sundance Film Festival gets under way today in Park City, Utah. The 10-day festival features more than 100 films by directors from around the world. Ten of those are Texas filmmakers, and Austin’s film community helped bring those films to the silver screen.

A group of local filmmakers and critics assembled in a screening room at Austin Studios last week. They were there to watch short films and clips from a full-length feature making its debut at Sundance. But it was a little hard keep track of just who did what.

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