Katy Steinmetz columns

The Columbia Chive: Celebrating 21 years of The Onion

The Onion, America's finest satirical news source, is celebrating its 21st birthday this week. Here follows a celebratory homage, an imagining of what a Columbia edition of The Onion — we’ll call it The Chive —would look like.

Why it's hard to love Twitter

Editor Evan Smith last week told students at MU about his Twitter conversion: He went from "hater to a zealot." I would love to follow his lead, but Twitter, for all its good points, is still hard to love.

Yes EU can: Why Americans should understand the European Union

At a time when Barack Obama is preparing for his administration's first summit with the EU, it's important to remember just how tightly America's prosperity is tied to that of our neighbors across the Atlantic, and what a significant role they play in the global economy.

Slang is so "jingo jango"

Kids at local high schools use "jingo jango" to mean "ridiculous." Here follows a look at what exclusive, subversive, informal appeal slang holds for them in general.

The Annie Le media frenzy continues

The media can't get enough of the murder of Annie M. Le. Her story is the perfect storm of pity, class conflict and horrid revelation. 


The lessons learned from the wedding season

As the wedding-heavy summer season ends, now seems a good moment to reflect on why some ceremonies succeed while others sputter.

Our love-hate relationship with standardized tests

Regardless of whether standardized test scores actually measure a student's knowledge or the quality of a class of freshmen, schools continue to use them as a means of comparison.

A defense of Utah

This week, one of many Utahphobes I've met asserted that Utah has nothing to offer. So I decided it was time for a look at what underlies their state of aversion.

The downside to awesome 3D laser-mapping

Mount Rushmore is set to be digitally preserved by laser-mapping this fall, and the results will be public. It's a good idea that comes with a little drawback: The availability of the nifty 3D-model somewhat devalues visiting the place in the flesh.

Outlawing drinking gear won't stop rowdy rafters

A bill outlawing the use of some drinking paraphernalia on rivers got stuck in committee last session, but most of its measures passed as an amendment of another bill. As the floating season ends, now seems a good time to reflect on the new rules — and why it seems unlikely that they'll stop rowdy rafters next year.

The need for LEED: We can make buildings more energy efficient

Buildings waste oodles of energy every day. LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a rating system used to guide "green" construction.

The news needs novelty

A liger-driven story that recently graced the Missourian's home page might not have been hard news, but it did allow readers to meet one of their most pressing needs: getting a daily dose of novelty. 

Original Roy Rogers unlikely to reach today's kids

News recently broke that surviving family members want to bring Roy Rogers back to the silver screen to edify today's youth. But unless the original content is drastically changed, that admirable messenger and his message will unlikely reach modern kids. 

Proposed ban on burqas reveals off-base assumptions

Depending on how you look at it, the proposal by the French government to ban burqas can seem like a blow to religious freedom or boon for secular liberation. 

The road to Microsoft City, Missouri

We expect to see advertisements in our media, but there’s got to be a line drawn between what space is for rent and what isn’t. The sale of a New York City subway stop seems to bode badly for that line's coordinates.

Highway renaming has potential drawbacks

If an upcoming transportation bill passes, a stretch of road adopted by the National Socialist Movement through a state program will be renamed after a prominent Jewish figure. The poetic justice of the move is obvious, but the political counterpunch has some ideological weaknesses, too.

The magic of Stephen Colbert's rapport

Not only is his show making the world a less stupid place, but newsman-satirist Stephen Colbert also used satire to direct the world's attention back to the tired-yet-important topic of Iraq. And the world could use more men like him. 

The curious power of words

On one level, words seem to be only haphazard combinations of markings, yet the most concrete, practical facts of the world — including those about politics and marriage — remain subject to those blocks of letters. 

Good jobs are hard to fill

While technological advances kill off positions for journalists and assembly-line workers, the teachers, nurses and IT personnel of the world remain or become more in demand.

A love letter for the NYMEX

Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and ... the New York Mercantile Exchange?  Why the NYMEX is now, in a time when all things Wall Street have a bad rap, one of my favorite things.