Thursday, April 17, 2014
What was termed the last Confederate funeral took place exactly 10 years ago — the burial of eight crew members of the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley. The 25-foot underwater craft was raised from the sea floor outside Charleston, South Carolina, a little more than 136 years after becoming the first sub to sink an enemy warship and then mysteriously going down itself.
The Hunley had exacted a heavy toll before that, seeing 13 crew members perish during training exercises and acquiring the nickname the Peripatetic Coffin.
Historian James L. Speicher, formerly a military science professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in Leavenworth, recounts the alternately fascinating and tragic stories of the historic vessel and the lost souls who served her.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Does the 2008 financial collapse lie at least in part at journalists’ feet?
Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter Dean Starkman, formerly of The Wall Street Journal, exposes the critical failure of America’s business press to cover the systemic corruption in the financial industry and other events leading up to the 2008 economic meltdown.
He maintains that deep cultural and structural shifts — some unavoidable, some self-inflicted — eroded journalism’s appetite for its role as watchdog, and the result was a deafening silence about questionable, even dishonest practices. Tragically, that silence grew more profound as the mortgage madness reached its apogee from 2004-06.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Join representatives from Crossroads Academy, the Downtown Council, and the Kansas City Public Library to mark the home stretch of the second full year of successful operations for Crossroads Academy, the academically rigorous, tuition-free, K-8 charter school in downtown Kansas City that uses the Central Library as its school library.
Following a breakfast buffet, the program features the premiere of a student-produced video about the Library, plus a song by students in the school’s new performing arts program, and includes remarks by Dean Johnson and Susan Maynor from Crossroads Academy, Bill Dietrich of the Downtown Council, and Library Director Crosby Kemper III.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
The concept of genius is a bit cheapened today, invoked too easily in assessments of football coaches, rock musicians, and savvy market traders. But history’s true masterminds — the Michelangelos, da Vincis, Shakespeares, and Einsteins — still inspire awe and a hint of mystery, a sense that these men have had almost otherworldly power to divine the secrets of the universe, to create, even to destroy.
Darrin McMahon, the Ben Weider Professor of History at Florida State University, details their stories in a discussion of his book, the first comprehensive history of the elusive concept of genius and how it has evolved over the centuries.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Winner of the 1937 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, You Can’t Take It With You centers on the Sycamore family, whose members initially seem crazy. After spending a bit of time with these loveable eccentrics, however, audiences conclude that it’s the rest of the world that is mad. The plot centers on the Sycamore daughter’s betrothal to the son of respectable, stick-in-the-mud parents. Director Frank Capra turned the play into a hit film in 1938.
The Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre performs its eighth season of Script-in-Hand – a series of classic comedies called Exit Laughing.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
Join University of Kansas instructor and choreographer Anjali Tata-Hudson and members of the Asian-Indian community for an afternoon of Indian poetry, live and recorded music, dance, visual art, and personal narratives. Following the presentations, sample a variety of Indian cuisine.
The program and post-event reception are presented by the Vox Narro project, which pairs writers and immigrant groups in presenting the cultural traditions and stories of immigrant communities. Vox Narro is supported by the Rocket Grants program, which is funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and administered by the Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art in support of innovative, public-oriented work in nontraditional spaces.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Kansas City magician Scott Henderson astounds and amazes in a show packed with audience participation, fun, and laughter – all with a positive message.
Things disappear, change color, and one lucky kid will float before your eyes. It’s as much fun for parents as it is for children.
Appropriate for all ages.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
We’re bombarded with numbers that purport to tell us how our economy is doing and where it is headed. Statistics on unemployment, inflation, and consumer confidence guide our actions, yet few know where they come from or what they mean.
In a discussion of his new book, Zachary Karabell explores these indicators — born of the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War — and the need to tap into a modern data revolution that makes far more useful information available. If you want to buy a home, look for a job, start a company, or run a business, you can formulate your own, more localized and meaningful indicators at the click of a button.
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Remember Barack Obama’s subtle 2008 putdown of Hillary Clinton, when he called her “likable enough?” Maybe the joke is on him.
Not since Ronald Reagan remade the Republican Party in his own image in 1980 has a presidential nomination seemed as inevitable as it does for 2016. The Democratic Party appears settled on Clinton. Her likability rating has climbed in four years, and Democrats are more united than Republicans were in 1980 (or are today). The GOP, meanwhile, lacks a true frontrunner.
Time magazine editor-at-large David Von Drehle and RealClearPolitics’ Washington bureau chief, Carl Cannon, examine the race and likelihood that the U.S. will elect its first female president.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
In a discussion of his book, business management and leadership expert Joel Kurtzman makes the argument that America remains by far the world’s dominant manufacturing power, that most of what we produce is recession-proof, and that we boast a stunning level of talent and creativity in the world’s fastest-growing economic sectors — including biotech, pharmaceuticals, computer hardware and software, and telecommunications. Further, the country has a staggering $4.4 trillion in capital now idle. When the business community fully grasps its opportunities and capabilities, he says, prosperity will return.