Commentary

Over this past summer, long-time public radio host Garrison Keillor announced his retirement from A Prairie Home Companion, in a slow transition during their 2015-2016 season. His replacement is singer and mandolinist (and for a time a Murray State student) Chris Thile best known as part of Nickel Creek and Punch Brothers. Commentator Dr. Brian Clardy grew up listening to A Prairie Home Companion and says the change prompts him to reflect on other transitions in life.

Courtesy of Swank Motion Pictures, Warner Brothers

Andrew Black of Murray State's Cinema International ponders artificial intelligence and what it means to be human ahead of tonight's showing of Blade Runner The Final Cut at Murray State's Curris Center Theatre.

"Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" Well, if they do, doesn’t that make them essentially human? Tales of computers coming to life come out all the time, and while we’ve yet to enter the Matrix, we still think about what would happen if our technology decided to take on a mind of its own. Maybe we’re not so worried that our toaster or our alarm clock is going to take over the world, but we continue to be gripped by concepts of “artificial intelligence.” 

Matt Markgraf, WKMS

Note: The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the commentator and don't necessarily reflect the views of WKMS.

As world leaders and U.S. presidential candidates react to the historic agreement between P5+1 countries including the United States and Iran regarding their nuclear program, Murray State history professor with a focus on diplomatic history Dr. Brian Clardy weighs in with his thoughts on the deal putting into context events of the late 1970s and mid 1980s.

Chad Lampe, WKMS

Murray State welcomed NBC News' Chuck Todd to campus Tuesday for their Presidential Lecture Series, sponsored by the President's Office, Student Government Association and the MSU Foundation. Commentator and Murray State History Professor Dr. Brian Clardy reflects on the annual series and his formative years as a "political junkie" attending University of Tennesee at Martin.

commonwealthpolicycenter.org

Many Kentucky lawmakers are calling a local option sales tax their highest priority this legislative session. The legislation would allow local governments to put public projects on the ballot and allow residents to vote on paying a sales tax to fund the project. This bill has been an issue among conservative groups, namely the United Kentucky Tea Party. Commentator Richard Nelson takes issue with the proposal and says Kentuckians are already over-taxed.

Amazon.com

Murray State University Professor Emeritus Michael Cohen continues his series of uncommon mystery reviews on Sounds Good with Arturo Pérez Reverte's 1990 mystery The Flanders Panel. It's a multi-layered, 'whodunit' thriller set in the world of art restoration and the riddles of a Renaissance-era masterpiece.

Working with an Arts Access Grant titled "The Art of Caregiving" from the Kentucky Arts Council, Murray author Constance Alexander is coordinating collaborators across arts agencies and healthcare providers in a positive community conversation about patients and caregivers at the end of life. There's a public forum at the Calloway County Public Library at 710 Main Street in Murray, Thursday starting at 7 p.m. Alexander's commentary relates to these community activities focusing on a new support group in Murray.

Amazon.com

One of the most influential science fiction writers of the 20th century also dabbled in stylish noir tales of mystery and murder. Drawing inspiration from Raymon Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, Ray Bradbury penned a mystery set in a 1950s Venetian circus and the quirky detective Elmo Crumley.

On Sounds Good, Murray State University Professor Emeritus Michael Cohen continues his series of commentaries about "uncommon mysteries" with a review of Ray Bradbury's Death is a Lonely Business, published in 1985.

The 1964 United States Presidential Election between Lyndon B. Johnson and Barry Goldwater is regarded as both a landslide win for the Democratic Party, followed by Johnson's "Great Society" programs: the Voting Rights at of 1965 and the War on Poverty; and also the foundation of the conservative values of the modern Republican Party, leading to the "Reagan Revolution" in the 1980s. Commentator and Murray State History Professor Dr. Brian Clardy reflects on the legacy of the 1964 campaign for president, 50 years ago.

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For WKMS, Michael Cohen contributes a series titled "Uncommon Mysteries" in which he writes about unique examples of the genre. He is celebrating the publication of an autobiography in the form of 22 personal essays titled A Place to Read: Life and Books. He speaks with Kate Lochte about his new book, on Sounds Good.

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