The Big Something

The Big Something is one amazing/ beautiful/ fascinating/ brilliant/ intelligent thing about or from the Pikes Peak Region delivered to the web and email inboxes around the region every weekday.

The Big Something
Credit D. Utterback

Produced by Noel Black, Craig Richardson and Delaney Utterback at Radio Colorado College, KRCC, the original idea was to expand the station’s programming and content in a web-only format with a “show” that would be a sort of cultural archaeology project for the Pikes Peak Region. Using audio-slideshows, photos, videos, writing, good old-fashioned audio and anything else the web will allow, The Big Something hopes to expand the sense of regional identity and community beyond the old clichés by uncovering, showing and telling stories and ideas that might otherwise go untold with a sense of one-to-one intimacy that radio evokes.

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The Middle Distance
2:24 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

The Middle Distance 7.25.14: A Happy Tune

Yul Brynner and Gertrude Lawrence in "The King and I"
Credit Wikipedia

Ours was a show tunes kind of house, at the height of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s great musicals. And though we lived in a small Kentucky town where the idea of seeing a musical theater production onstage wasn’t even a distant dream, from the year I was born until I turned 11, films were made of Oklahoma, Carousel, The King and I, Flower Drum Song and The Sound of Music, and on television we saw the musical Cinderella. Between these and soundtrack releases on LP, we learned the melody and lyrics to most every song in every show.

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The Middle Distance
4:36 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

The Middle Distance 7.18.14: Our Houses, Ourselves

 

I’ve moved recently and have survived to tell the tale. Here are a few moving tips that might make your transition from old home to new home a little less difficult. 

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The Big Something
12:00 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

What Does Hegel Have to Do With The Motorcycle Helmet?

Alex Ilyasova, Organizer of the 4th International Journal of Motorcycle Studies Conference

The 4th International Journal of Motorcycle Studies Conference will take place beginning tomorrow, July 17 through Saturday. Conference organizer and UCCS Professor Alex Ilysova spoke with The Big Something’s Noel Black about the kinds of films and lectures the average motorcycle enthusiast can expect.

Click HERE for more information and to register.

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The Middle Distance
3:58 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

The Middle Distance 7.11.14: Jump In

Credit PPLD Image Number 001-5524

 

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Wish We Were Here
6:52 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Wish We Were Here Debuts Saturday, July 5

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE!

KRCC, Radio Colorado College, an NPR member station, will broadcast the pilot episode of its new hour-long radio show and podcast, Wish We Were Here, on Saturday July 5 at 3 p.m.; and Friday, July 11 at 7 p.m. on KRCC 91.5 FM and KRCC.org.

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Pikes Peak Library District
4:02 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Grand Opening of PPLD's '21st Century Library'

Inside the Pikes Peak Library District's new '21st Century Library"
Credit PPLD

The Pikes Peak Library District is set to officially open its new 21st Century branch in northern Colorado Springs Saturday. KRCC’s Tucker Hampson reports.
 

The branch houses several new types of facilities to provide equipment for aspiring artists, writers and filmmakers to learn and apply their skills. There’s also a new 400-seat theater designed for community shows, plays, and live music. 

District spokesman Travis Duncan says libraries are not static structures anymore, and the new branch will provide creative spaces for people to interact.

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The Middle Distance
4:49 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

The Middle Distance 5.30.14: The Best Kind of Cowboy

Kirk Hanna and Geronimo, by Myron Wood, May 1962. Courtesy of PPLD Special Collections. Image Number: 002-6082.

My heroes haven’t always been cowboys, but after moving to Colorado and getting to know a choice few, that changed. I was lucky as a journalist to spend time with Duke Phillips of Chico Basin Ranch, south of Colorado Springs, and witness his dedication to responsible land management and conservation. And I was privileged as a reporter back in the 1990s to hear Kirk Hanna explain to a room full of environmentalists how ranchers like him could help them achieve their goals if they’d just put aside their stereotypes and prejudices.

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The Middle Distance
5:37 pm
Thu May 8, 2014

The Middle Distance 5.9.14: Good Fences

Credit PPLD Image 023-162

 

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The Middle Distance
6:44 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

The Middle Distance 5.2.2014: The Family Cat Skull

 

Wherever I live there are two requirements. There must be a kitchen window over the sink, to gaze out when washing dishes. And on the windowsill, there must be the family’s cat skull.

This has been the scenario in every kitchen I’ve had — five of them — over the last 20 years.

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The Middle Distance
6:41 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

The Middle Distance 3.21.14: I Didn't Get It

Recently I came across some old notes that might as well have been written in Sanskrit. Aphorisms, clever sayings that seemed to turn on themselves.

“If you experience it, it’s the truth. The same thing believed is a lie.”

“In life, understanding is the booby prize.”

This was my handwriting but the ideas might as well have been written in code.

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The Middle Distance
6:05 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

The Middle Distance 2.28.14: The Line Leads Away From Home

If you drew a line straight up through the middle of a map of the United States, across the fruited plain, that line would come within 100 miles of the shooting locales of two American films currently contending for Oscars in multiple categories: Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, filmed in and outside a number of the state’s eastern plains towns; and August: Osage County, filmed largely in a big old house in Osage County on the border of Oklahoma and Kansas.

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Culture
5:19 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

The Middle Distance 1.17.14: With the Phone Unplugged

Half a month into the new year and I have lost all sense of time passing. Moving deeply southward across the continent in the dead of winter will do that. It is disorienting to see a rose in bloom in January, but here on the Gulf coast of Texas on the trellis of my mother’s front porch, the yellow climbing rose is loaded with buds.

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Culture
6:03 pm
Thu January 9, 2014

The Middle Distance 1.10.14: Still Time

PPLD Digital Photo Archive, Image Number 195-4258.jpg

My son-in-law arrives tired and hungry for his annual holiday visit. Winter storm Hercules, followed closely by a record-setting Arctic vortex of extreme cold, has left thousands stranded in New York City but he managed to get out and fly to Houston following a harrowing day in an airport filled with desperate traveling strangers. 

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The Middle Distance
4:24 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

The Middle Distance 1.3.14: Stories of a Pioneer American Family

Apple Tree and Irises by Myron Wood, May 1980. Copyright PPLD. Image 002-9202.

When I arrive in Galveston on the next-to-last day of 2013, my mother has made a soup from the bones of the Christmas turkey. Just a few rags of meat on the bones, but the broth is rich and brown and fragrant. She has tossed in the last scraps of vegetables from her refrigerator and a handful of wild rice.

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The Middle Distance
10:04 am
Wed November 27, 2013

The Middle Distance 11.29.13: Season of Contradictions

"Tejon Street at Night" by James and Helen McCaffery, ca. 1950s. Courtesy of Special Collections, Pikes Peak Library District. Image Number: 266-10084.

(This column originally ran on December 3, 2010. Kathryn Eastburn will return next week.)

‘Tis the season of contradiction. Bare black tree limbs, frozen earth, and neighborhood houses lighted up like Vegas. Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and a constant string of economic forecasts based on how much we might or might not spend on stuff we don’t need in this holiday season.

Meanwhile, 28 million jobless Americans lose their federally funded unemployment benefits, barely raising a peep.

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The Big Something
5:15 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

The Middle Distance 11.15.13: In The Bedroom

The earliest bedroom is corner-mounted in a brand new post-World War II house built of native Kentucky limestone. Your mother has arranged a maze of chests of drawers and beds for her three little girls — so close in age they seem part of one big whole — to offer them equal amounts of relative privacy. The effect is of a nest, a tiny space barely big enough to turn around in, where you hide the things you don’t want to share. In winter, it is cozy and dark. In summer, a large and very loud electric fan fills the window frame, blowing hot air out by day and sucking cooler air in by night.

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The Middle Distance
5:13 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

The Middle Distance 10.18.13: Recipe for a Cold Day

It has to be a cold day. Preferably the first really cold day of the season, when the wind has swept down from the north and left the yellow leaves dangling, threatening to fall all at once; when the still-green summer grass stands stiff and frosted. A gray mid-October day when staying at home is in order.

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The Big Something
4:34 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Vinylogue: Patrick McConnell's Stand-up Memoir Set to Music

Comedian and Storyteller Patrick McConnell will present his one man show “Vinylogue” beginning tonight and running through the weekend at the new Millibo Art Theatre at Ivywild. I spoke with McConnell about his autobiographical monologue set to music.

Click HERE for complete details about the show.

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The Middle Distance
6:08 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

The Middle Distance 8.23.13: Summer of 1971

Memphis, 1971
Credit Ted Eastburn

Summer of 1971. Our hip-hugger bell-bottom jeans are worn thin in the seat and we like to wear them with flimsy halter tops. It’s possible we are emulating the hippies in San Francisco we’ve seen on the news since hippie sightings are still rare here in Memphis, Tennessee. We will be high school seniors in the fall and this, we faintly realize, is our last summer of real freedom.

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The Big Something
4:37 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Symbiosis Part 1: An Interview with Ivywild Partners Mike Bristol and Architect Jim Fennell

[Listen to Part 2 HERE]

Beginning tomorrow and continuing through the weekend, Ivywild School will celebrate its grand opening. The Big Something’s Noel Black sat down with Co-Owners Mike Bristol of Bristol Brewing and Jim Fennell, Lead Architect of Fennell Group, and author of the book BUILD IVYWILD. Tune in to KRCC tomorrow, Friday, August 16 at 4:50 p.m. to hear Part 2 of the interview.

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The Middle Distance
4:44 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

The Middle Distance 8.9.13: Summer in Full

[Clouds] by Myron Wood, June 1976. Copyright PPLD. Image Number: 002-1619.

The clock is ticking and it’s making me uneasy. I’ve got those back-to-school, back-to-work, back-to-reality, check it off the to-do list, end-of-summer blues.

This year I decided the summer would be mine to do as little as possible in. I would recharge, replenish, rejuvenate. No road trips to places I hadn’t been before or to visit family. This would be the first summer in memory when I just stayed home and received whatever the day delivered.

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The Big Something
4:43 pm
Thu August 1, 2013

The Middle Distance 8.2.13: The Serendipity of Yes

Boudhanath Stupa

Out here in the middle distance, the light is sometimes so harsh and bright that we want to draw the shades and just rest in cool darkness. The impulse to retreat has never been stronger than in these years approaching old age.

At home I am safe, is my mantra. At home I know who I am.

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The Big Something
3:46 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

The Brilliant Sean O'Meallie: How Does He Do It?

Lucky for those of you who plan to attend the Gallery of Contemporary Art's Brilliant Benefit on Saturday, August 10, local artist Sean O'Meallie has "Got A Handle On It: Circus", one of his deceptively whimsical sculptures, available for auction. You know how these things go: A piece worth $3-$4K could be yours for as little as... well, who knows? But it'll likely be quite a deal, particularly when you watch this slide show that shows that the art of making things look easy is indeed still difficult.

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Culture
3:41 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Major Skateboard Contests Come to Colorado Springs

This weekend, the local skateboarding non-profit SK8-Strong will host the Rocky Mountain State Games, an amateur contest at Memorial Park. They’ll host a professional contest at Memorial Park on the weekend of August 8. The Big Something’s Noel Black sat down and spoke with SK8-Strong’s founder, 16-year-old professional skateboarder Jono Schwan, and Rachel Reinhard, a local professional who recently competed in the X-Games in Brazil.

Get all the details about this weekend's amateur contest and the August 8 - 10 Rampage over at Sk8-Strong.

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A Big Something
4:31 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

A Nick Cave Sneaky Preview

No, not Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds; the artist/performance art Nick Cave. If you haven't heard about his exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, we highly recommend it and managed to snap these photos of his new, decidedly silver-themed Soundsuits before the guard tsk tsked us.

And here's a painfully quick peek courtesy of the DAM:

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The Middle Distance
9:14 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

The Middle Distance 6.28.13: Hey Yawwwwwl!

Paula Deen

The Middle Distance 6.28.13: Hey Yawwwwwwl!

A friend asked me yesterday what’s been in the news. She had not been paying attention. Let’s see, I said. More killing in Syria, more guns flowing in so even more will be killed. Edward Snowden is holed up somewhere in Moscow while the U.S. and Russia argue about extradition. Mmmmm … The Supreme Court’s ruling on the Voting Rights Act and Prop 8 and gay marriage.

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Culture
1:00 am
Fri May 24, 2013

The Middle Distance 5/24/13: At Their Own Hands

Teddy Eastburn

As Memorial Day approaches, far too many American families are not thinking about what they’ll cook on the grill, but how they will remember their military dead, particularly the growing number who died at their own hands, of suicide. I am the mother of one of those soldiers. My son was a reservist between deployments in the summer of 2007. He had served in Iraq in 2005 in a Special Operations unit and was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan at Thanksgiving. He floundered between civilian jobs and was increasingly enraged and irritated. His sleep patterns were labored and erratic.

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