Leisure & Lifestyle

Fri
25
Apr

From global events to local treasures, history has a home in Kansas City


The Kansas City National World War I Museum is housed in the Liberty Memorial.

Grenades and “fighting knives” attest to the bitter fighting of World War I, where soldiers in tunnels or trenches might be blown up, gassed, buried alive or encounter the enemy with barely room to draw a blade in defense.

Dave Hawley sits beside a stanchion from the “Arabia” -- a ship he discovered buried beneath a cornfield.  

This is what the ill-fated “Arabia” would have looked like under full steam as she carried passengers and supplies toward the frontier. 

Keys and all sorts of tools were found in the once-buried Arabia steamship.

Shoes of various kinds appear to have been bound for general stors farther west. As well as personal goods, the “Arabia” was loaded to the decks with “dry goods” to stock stores for the coming season of families traveling to the frontier.

Stockings, someone’s cloak and hat and bolts of material were preserved by nearly 150 years below ground. The reason there were no human fatalities; the “Arabia” sunk while most were on land eating supper, and the rest were able to scramble to shore.

President Harry Truman’s home is in Independence, Mo., just outside Kansas City. The unassuming Midwesterner, who famously “lost” to Thomas Dewey in every poll except the actual Presidential election, returned to his Missouri roots as soon as he could. 

When co-workers asked me why I was going to Kansas City -- as if it were merely flyover country -- I said there is much to see and I’d tell them after my trip. While some seemed skeptical, one piped up that the World War l museum was the best military museum he’d ever seen.

Thu
24
Apr

‘Robot! Robot!’ Make way -- the future’s coming through


Robotics teams have team colors, referees in striped shirts, cheerleaders, mascots and their own devoted fan sections. (photos by Linda Baumeister and Holly Wenzel)

Irondale captain Logan Mildenberger, center, is all concentration as he and Matt Sondrol pilot the 2013 version of the KnightKrawler. The sleek machine can usually be counted on to do its job perfectly; it’s the human element that can play it up

This is what a robotics “pit” looks like when things are going wrong; Roseville FireBears Jonathan Hildebrandt and Sara Rieck reflexively put their hands to their heads as mentor Paul Mann mutters “We’re gonna need a drill press.” Fellow mentor and software engineer Keith Rieck explains that on-the-spot troubleshooting is just part of the learning process. “It’s a big puzzle to figure out ... We’re having some bad luck today, but we’re still having a lot of fun.”

Don’t let your guard down at its smile; this is a “Fighting Calculator,” mascot of the Math and Science Academy in Woodbury. From the Hill Murray “PioNerds” to a team whose uniforms are white lab coats, robotics competitors make the most of their “geek cred.”

Madeleine Logeais, of the Visitation Robettes, first all-girl team in the state, works on the team’s robot in the pit.

Make no mistake: these kids could hot-wire your car, hack its computer system, weld on enough hardware to make it do somersaults and secure corporate financing for the project in the time it takes you to parallel park it.
And then they’d put it on their college application forms.
Because the skills robotics students have learned -- from computer coding to negotiation, welding to presentation skills -- can power some pretty bright futures.

Tue
22
Apr

“Pea Soup and Tomatoes”


The title of “Pea Soup and Tomatoes” comes from the words of Scott’s parents. Before the storm, her mother said the sky looked like “pea soup,” while her father said it looked like a tornado was coming. The then two-year-old Scott misheard “tornado” as “tomato.” (submitted photos)

St. Anthony Village author Susan Scott’s first book, “Pea Soup and Tomatoes,” is an inspired-by-true-events children’s book about the May 6, 1965, tornado outbreak that swept the metro area, causing millions of dollars in damages.

St. Anthony author brings tornado history to life
On May 6, 1965, six of the most violent tornadoes in Minnesota history swept across the Twin Cities area. Throughout the course of “The Longest Night,” as the event came to be called, the tornado outbreak killed thirteen people, injured nearly 700 and caused millions of dollars in damages across the seven-county metro area.

Fri
18
Apr

Why invest in insulation during a renovation?

When it comes to enhancing the value and comfort of a home, most homeowners will opt to address the cosmetic features of a home when completing a renovation project. Yet, it’s often the things that homeowners don’t consider that can have the biggest impact on the value of a home.

Fri
18
Apr

The best home improvement for less than $5,000

Curious which home improvement costs less than $5,000, delivers the highest return on investment and has the maximum impact on curb appeal?
According to the latest studies, the answer is a new garage door.

Thu
17
Apr

Why a wood deck is one of the best investments a homeowner can make


Adding a deck will increase a home’s livable space and boost the property’s value as well. (Submitted photo)

As the seasons turn, more homeowners look for projects that not only make their homes more livable, but also offer great return on investment.

Thu
17
Apr

Is your garage door ready to roll? Survey casts doubts


Don’t get stuck! To make sure a garage door operates properly, homeowners should consider regular maintenance. Some tasks are do-it-yourself, but others are best left to qualified professionals. (Submitted photo)

Does your garage door creak, squeak or groan when you open or close it? If so, that isn’t a good sign. But noticing this is the first step to fixing what could become a major home repair issue.

Tue
15
Apr

Learning to take my time in Azerbaijan


New Year’s Tree in Yevlakh. Santa Claus comes to Azerbaijan on New Year’s Eve! (photos by Rebecca Rowe)

Making cookies or other treats is quite common for me as I simply have a difficult time going anywhere without some sort of gift in my hands. Here I made some, let me say, delicious chocolate chip cookies for a birthday present.

A Soviet-era Vladimir Lenin statue was cut into pieces and left in a Yevlakh junkyard.

A student group with whom I work; originally I had taken the photo of each student this autumn so that I could quickly learn each of their names.

Dear friends and family: I thought I would take the opportunity and send a quick update regarding my wellbeing. Everything is fine.
I had a bout of mononucleosis from late November through December which limited my levels of energy, but, of course, I persevered. The persistent feeling of having been hit by a bus and constantly needing sleep was – as those of you who know me can imagine – both unfamiliar and unwelcome. I’m glad that my health is much improved now.

Sat
12
Apr

The extraordinary world of Mr. Selfridge and his fabulous store


Selfridges department store dominates Oxford Street in London, just as it has for over 100 years. (Pamela O’Meara/Review)

Little did I know when I started watching “Mr. Selfridge” on PBS’ Masterpiece Theater last year that the go-getter who opened a shocking new store in the heart of London in 1909 was the same person who first modernized and popularized Marshall Field’s in the heart of Chicago. I often shopped at Field’s as a high school and college student.

Thu
10
Apr

Get back on the road — carefully


Car repair and maintenance can put a strain on both a senior’s budget and back. With some smart and simple preventive care, you can reduce automotive troubles down the line. (StatePoint)

The snow is finally melting and it may be time to shake off the cabin fever with a road trip — maybe to a shopping or entertainment destination or maybe to check on the cabin.
But first, take time to make some preparations to ensure you make your destination safely.

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