Katy Steinmetz columns

Media should be careful with 911 calls

The media needs to be thoughtful about when and how emergency recordings are used. Using them for scream-value alone is to risk a valuable means of protecting public safety and endanger the privacy of victims for something that often looks like an inane attempt to turn the news into "24."

Naked vs. nude: a contrast in definitions

Sure, it's all about being in the buff, but there is a difference between being naked or nude. Critics don't agree on precisely what it is, and it may a pedantic distinction to make, but the naked-nude line is also a provocative and intriguing one to draw.

Concealed-carry permit listings should be public record

With seven states issuing proposals to remove concealed-carry permits as public record, the public should consider the benefits of keeping them available. Keeping the records public may have some regulations for protection, but having the information available is more helpful than keeping it secret.

Cricket vs. baseball: Which is the superior sport?

Which is the greater bat-and-ball game? There are many factors to consider in this summer-sporting showdown.

Boyle or bust: Britain's new singing sensation deserves her moment

Susan Boyle, a unknown, dowdy woman from Scotland, has been celebrated all over the news since nailing a song on “Britain's Got Talent." But while those kudos have rained down, others have objected to Susan’s limelight share. And to those people, I say this: Stop being such sopping wet blankets.

No point to allowing guns at MU

Though the case might be different elsewhere, allowing concealed weapons on the MU campus is a risk without any reasonable prospect of a reward.

No need to pass; call a fart a fart

Dozens of news outlets recently covered the same story about feeding cows fish oil to reduce their release of methane, a greenhouse gas the animals exude when they, as dairy cattle might say, cut the cheese. But coverage of the story quickly divided outlets into two camps: those who hid behind turgid, silly euphemisms and those who bore down, manned up and used the word “fart.”

Novelty is not enough for owning exotic pets

After the last few months of snake-laden, monkey-wild, chicken-chocked news, it seems time to review what should be a pretty straightforward lesson: Owning unconventional pets needs more justification than novelty.

Limited state funds shouldn't be spent on Missouri Scholars Academy

The Missouri House is recommending that the Missouri Scholars Academy be cut from the 2009-2010 budget.  The camp is a wonderful place, but it's not the Sorbonne (I speak from experience here), and if funds are limited, that program should not be at the top of the government-dollar list.

Do Sun-thing: Stand up for Sunshine laws, open government

This week is national Sunshine Week, a time to ponder how average citizens can help keep the government accountable for its actions. Wake up and start giving a hoot.

Abortion bill is hypocritical

The Missouri House passed a bill that outlaws coerced abortion while essentially mandating that physicians do all they can to coerce women into giving birth.

Booze and bullets could be a recipe for disaster in Tennessee

A bill passed by a Tennessee House committee would allow people to carry concealed weapons in alcohol-serving restaurants until 11 p.m. There are obvious dangers, and there’s little, if any, justification to account for the potential cost.

Movie malaise

One of the great minds of the movie industry has posed this question: "Why aren't movies better these days?" One answer is that people are only paying to see sensational, explosive flicks based on comics books instead of supporting more original films. 

Politically correct 'he or she' does little for feminism

This construction should be put in a group with other obsolete, politically correct constructions. There are gender battles worth fighting, but pronoun placement isn't one of them.

Stem cell research advances will require acceptance

With new advances in the field of stem cell research, the population must learn what they can about the process and accept its potential benefits. This may, however, mean rejecting the idea of natural order.

Hypothetical desert island continues to captivate

Being stranded on a desert island is a scenario that has fascinated for centuries. No matter how cliché it becomes, we continue to find it irresistible. What exactly is it about the idea that so easily captures our imaginations?

Neo-Nazi nonsense best ignored

By getting up in arms about a racist group's involvement in the Adopt-A-Highway program, we're doing nothing but giving more power and credence to people we should try to collectively ignore.

Multiculturalism comes with a price

The word sounds great on first read, but multiculturalism actually does more to push Americans apart than to bring them together.

Liberal rules of linguistic etiquette

Post-colonial theorists make a great argument for why words like "Oriential" are hurtful, even if the intent is not to be.

Scientists debate how male dinosaurs parented

Prehistoric parenting was as much about passing on genes as it was about survival.