UPR Commentaries

Insightful and entertaining commentaries from folks throughout Utah and beyond.

It’s the end of August and the sky is falling. Jennifer Pemberton tells us why the Perseids meteor shower always brings change. "When it comes to space, I like to pretend that I don’t know anything. I like to pretend that I’m seeing the night sky for the very first time and I try to understand what I’m seeing. When you think about it that way, it doesn’t seem so strange that meteor showers are scary. Like other uneducated people who came before me, it’s easy to see the phenomenon as fiery...

Argus Observer

While it’s not exactly a time to celebrate, fire season can be a time of reflection for those of us who live in the West. “If you’re the last one up watching the coals from the campfire go from orange to black, then you’re probably a follower of Fyr. If you find the crackling of the fire more soothing than rain, then you’re a follower of Fyr. If you live in the West, you are definitely a follower of Fyr. Fire is a part of life out West. We have a whole season for it, when fire comes out of...

The new Star Trek movie is out, but Steve Eaton may or may not be at the theater. He has PTSTPRTS: Post Traumatic Star Trek Public Relations Trauma Syndrome from a traumatic experience with Cpt. Kirk and Spock. He tells us why you may be postponed from seeing the movie.

Jennifer Pemberton

This is my mushroom story. I used to love mushrooms as a kid. Those veggie and dip trays with the raw button mushrooms on them? Those ones. I loved those ones. When I was 4 years old, I found what I thought were some of those ones growing in my friend’s front yard. My mom picked me up later that day and asked about my play date. I told her we’d had a mushroom party. A mushroom party? Yes, a mushroom party. A pretend mushroom party? No, a real mushroom party with real mushrooms.


The battle for spring began on March 1. Jennifer Pemberton tells us why this month we're fighting against a Bulgarian grandmother with weapons made of string.

It's Americans at their most superstitious. Saturday, February 2, is Groundhog Day. Jennifer Pemberton talks about Pennsylvania's rodent prophet with Logan's self-proclaimed Groundhog Day expert, Mary Fugate. "The groundhog comes out of his hole, and goes back in because he's scared of his shadow. So, first of all, the inversion would confuse him because he wouldn't be able to see his shadow as well because the sun is more hidden, so he would predict spring is just around the corner. But I...

Jennifer Pemberton

Six years ago, Jennifer Pemberton watched a fledgling albatross take flight for the very first time. There's a reason why she's thinking about that particular bird this week and she tells us about it in this commentary. Robert Cushman Murphy, a young naturalist aboard an American whaling ship in the early 20th century said, “I now belong to a higher cult of mortals for I have seen the albatross.” It is perhaps the boldest claim made about a bird, an exaggeration for sure, but I do feel...

April Ashland, April Apes Ashland, graduation,
April Ashland

Students at Utah State University are packing up and heading out of Cache Valley this week. The fall semester has ended and students will leave for the holiday break. Some will return as students, and others, like UPR's April Ashland, will return as a graduate, moving forward in their lives. I almost feel like I should give an acceptance speech, thanking all the people who have helped me get here, because it is one of the biggest accomplishments I've ever had. Although I'm only 22, I...

UPR reporter Ryan Cunningham graduates from Utah State University this week. He tells us what this accomplishment-- nine years in the making -- feels like. The graduation speeches in the region that got the most press were the controversial ones, the ones that warned about how crappy life was going to be. I kind of felt like life was already crappy, so I made it a priority to remind my peers that, a decade ago, we all just wanted to be ninja turtles, and how strange is it that now, all of a...

Ray Foster / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

It's the time of year when birds start flying south for the winter, leaving humans behind to deal with the change in weather in other ways. Jennifer Pemberton wonders if maybe the birds have the right idea. What I understand is Zugunruhe , which is German for PMS -- pre-migratory syndrome. Zugunruhe is what happens to a migratory bird in a cage, characterized by over-eating, restlessness, and obsessive orientation behavior toward the direction the bird should be traveling. I’ve got a bad case...

There's more than one way to celebrate this weekend's Harvest Moon. Jennifer Pemberton gives us some options and reasons -- from the moon rabbit to giant citrus fruits to Buzz Aldrin -- for celebrating the moon.

Mackinzie Hamilton

Jennifer is determined to escape Utah's bad air through a good old-fashioned health holiday -- if only in her mind.

My Big Mouth

Aug 15, 2012

Steve Eaton talks today about the trouble hes gotten into when the words tumble from his mouth. Always in good humor and fun, sometimes the wrong things come out. And sometimes, theyre the right things.

Los Cabos: Quiet and Beautiful

Aug 13, 2012

Los Cabos is generally a scenic tourist destination. But at this time of year, when its too hot even for most locals, Ed Kociela talks about the wonderful alone time he and his wife had when everyone else was gone.

Why should all wedding announcement pictures be the same? Steve Eaton thinks they should be as unique as the individual.

Utah ranks last in the amount of money spent per student in the nation once again. Thad Box says parents should be outraged, and education is important for children of all ages.

Even though Jennifer's ancestors came to Ellis Island from Greece and England, then West in a station wagon in the 1960s, she shares how Utah's history of pioneers is one that resonates. "The story of the settling of Utah by the Mormons, though, is one of the greatest stories in American history. Really. It's mind blowing. It is an amazing immigration, a diaspora, a vision, an epic adventure."

Thad Box tells us about the connection between Mother Earth and ourselves at the Gardeners Market.

Gina Wickwar tells us of the battle that is sure to ensue as she faces off with her grown children over their upcoming family vacation: Mac vs. PC.

Garage Sale Lessons

Jun 19, 2012

Steve Eaton talks all about the tricks of getting just what you want, and maybe what you dont really need, at a garage sale.

The Euro and Us

Jun 14, 2012

Ed Kociela discusses economics, the Euro, and the G20 meeting next week, as well as the Greek election this Sunday.

Steve Eaton talks about the dogs in his life, the four legged ones, and the lessons we can learn from them.

Gina tells us why she is the garden procrastinating queen-- the grubs and pests.

This week's solar eclipse in Utah had all the makings of a good holiday. Jennifer Pemberton tells us why something that hasn't happened in 18 years is definitely worth celebrating.

The weathers warming up which means its time to remember the colossal mistake.