Odd Jobs | KCUR

Odd Jobs

For the past few years, UMKC professor and nuclear physicist Anthony Caruso has been working with his students to elevate a local physics experiment into a major project protecting national security. We ask him about his portable neutron-detection device, and how it works in real life applications.


Working For Fun

Jul 5, 2016
Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

We all have to work. But does your job have to be a daily grind, or can it be ... joyful? We check in with Kansas City native Cole Lindbergh, who worked his dream job as a games manager at Worlds of Fun for 12 years, and ask about how his life changed after he was profiled for This American Life in 2011.


He's been a gravedigger, a roadie, a truck unloader and more; now, he runs two popular Lawrence restaurants. We hear the stories behind Matt Hyde's eclectic resume ... and why he sometimes breaks plates on purpose.


There are ways to make a living that sound too good to be true. But they do exist. Consider the guy who makes stuff out of Legos for a living, or the one who plays his favorite records for several thousand friends on Friday and Saturday nights. How do you get those jobs?


Ho Ho Ho

Dec 8, 2015
Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Three Santas. One talk show host. The inside scoop on being Santa. 


  • Santa
  • Kris Kringle
  • St. Nick

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR

Bram Wijnands has made a name for himself as a jazz musician in Kansas City.

After a performance at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1998, he received recognition as Kansas City's Ambassador of Swing from then mayor Emanuel Cleaver, who also designated April 6 "Bram Wijnands Day."

Today, he performs regularly for The Majestic, and has performed at various restaurants and venues around the city, including Kansas City Bier Company and the American Restaurant.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

If music comes as much from an instrument as from a musician, the people who build and repair instruments are invisible collaborators. The poetics of piano-tuning, the heroics of a horn-doctor and the serenade of a violin-maker.

Lobbyists get a bad rap, but before we judge, let's hear from the lobbyists themselves about what they do and how they get it done. Everything you've always wanted to know but were too afraid to ask. Plus, notes on the recent legislative session in Kansas.


  • Kimberly Svatie, lobbyist, Gencur Svatie Public Affairs
  • Bill Sneed, lawyer and lobbyist, Polsinelli

Local Artist’s Drawings Help Solve Crimes

Nov 26, 2012
Suzanne Hogan / KCUR

You’ve probably seen crime shows like CSI and America’s Most Wanted, where artists work with victims to create a drawing that helps identify a criminal.

Live Music For A Living

Sep 12, 2012
Kansas City Star

If you spend any amount of time going to concerts or music shows in Kansas City, you’ve probably seen a tall, thin man with a shock of grey hair usually standing by himself, often near the back of the club.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

New Orleans celebrated Mardi Gras last week with that signature brass band sound. In the seven years since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city, a local man has played a role in bringing that sound back to the streets.

Nude Art Model

Oct 31, 2011
Photo by Jim Barcus.

Kent Van Dusseldorp gets that he's not what many would expect when they hear the description: NUDE MODEL.

As art students open their back packs and get out supplies, Van Dusseldorp sits center stage wearing a robe and flip flops. When it comes to art, diversity is what's most important, he says. When he first started, he says he was just looking for something new.

"I turned 50 and I was trying to challenge myself to not just become an old man," Van Dusseldorp said. "So I wanted to do something to put myself out of my comfort zone."

The long days of summer are here, and at least some kids are splashing in creeks, looking for frogs and snakes. But how many will turn that curiosity about animals into a career? 

Belton, Mo. – Rod Richter has been interested in bees since his childhood. A firefighter by trade, Richter is a part time beekeeper, with emphasis on the word keeper. He is not a bee exterminator but a bee re-locator.