Rainy Day Books | KCUR

Rainy Day Books

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

Local, independent bookstores in the Kansas City area are making a comeback. 

Buoyed by growing consumer unease with online retail giant Amazon, "indies" here and around the country are trying to capitalize on customer sentiment that favors brick-and-mortar intimacy and community spirit. 

Can you land an airplane on the deck of a submarine? Can you build a swimming pool out of cheese? Can you lift a house with two helicopters glued together? These are the strange and hypothetical questions that inspire Randall Munroe, whose internet-famous comic series xkcd is known for its stick figure cast and impractical wit. Dig deep enough for answers, and you may just learn a lesson in science.

Segment 1: XP-1, a possible future mode of high-speed transportation, will be on display in Kansas City.

The Hyperloop test pod known as XP-1 is leaving its test site in Nevada and making a stop Kansas City. One expert said, rather than investing in additional lanes for I-70, the multi-billion-dollar hyperloop project could be a more effective use of land, money, and time for travelers between St. Louis and Kansas City. Learn more about the feasibility and funding of the future of transportation. 

The Making Of Koch Industries

Aug 27, 2019

You won't see its name on many products but the Wichita-based conglomerate touches the lives of most Americans.

Charles and David Koch took their father's oil-refining business and converted it into the second largest privately held corporation in North America. Business writer Chris Leonard discussed what has been behind the brothers' success, their past transgressions against Native Americans and environmental law, and their influence on American politics.

Gretchen Rubin

Apr 12, 2019

In "Outer Order, Inner Calm," happiness explorer Gretchen Rubin explains how getting control of your stuff makes you feel more in control of your life.

Organizing your belongings isn't a one-size-fits-all concept. Kansas City native Gretchen Rubin explained the "don't use, don't need, don't love" rule for sorting through your possessions and why something as simple as making your bed can bring a sense of calmness to your life. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Cerner co-founder steps away after forty years with the healthcare records company.

One of Kansas City's most succesfull businessmen, Cliff Illig helped lead a company whose total local workforce today numbers nearly 13,000 Kansas Citians and more than 26,000 employees companywide. Illig explained his decision to retire and how outside interests like ownership of Sporting KC will keep him occupied.

NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology / Flickr - CC

For some, a belief in God and adherence to fact-based scientific research are mutually exclusive. That's not the case for Katherine Hayhoe, who's had remarkable success convincing evangelical Christians that climate change is caused largely by human activity. It could be because she's a conservative Christian herself.

In a time of diminishing budgets, guest host Brian Ellison learns how fine-arts program Harmony Project is helping underserved kids in Kansas City do better in school. Then, actor Bryan Cranston says a large part of his successful career has to do with hard work and good luck. This week's Local Listen features the classic rock band Kansas, touring in support of its first album since 2000.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Even if you're not a fan of science fiction, you've probably heard of George R.R. Martin. (Does Game of Thrones ring a bell?) Melinda M. Snodgrass is no slouch herself, having written and edited for Star Trek: The Next Generation. Together, they edit a book series called Wild Cards, which could soon be adapted for television.

While she comes from a writing family, Delia Ephron didn't start her writing career until her thirties. Since then she's made up for lost time, writing and producing screenplays, plays, books for children and adults and movies. Her latest novel, Siracusa, is already being adapted into a film.

Kansas City author and teacher Whitney Terrell embedded with the U.S. military in Iraq about a decade ago — writing for publications such as Slate Magazine and The Washington Post. Some of the stories he heard became the basis for his third novel, The Good Lieutenant, an eye-opening look at women in the military.  

Tackling The World's Problems, One Step At A Time

Jul 15, 2013
Mary Pipher / MaryPipher.net

We’d all like to make a difference in the world, but doing so on our own might seem overwhelming. And when it comes to global issues such as climate change, tackling such big challenges can feel impossible.

It’s hard to imagine sitting for 9 hours at a stretch. Maybe on a long-haul flight, or a long-distance car trip. But, a 9-hour book signing?