Top Five Reasons to Live in Kansas

Top Five is a show where the hosts categorize, rank, compare, and stratify everything… from cars to gadgets to people and movies. From stuff that is hot, and things that are not nearly as interesting – it’s Top Five.

Even with all the goofiness going on with state politics, your hosts have each come up with five reasons to live in Kansas.

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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. As I listened I really wanted to type up a post that went blow by blow response, matching you point by point full of false braggadocio.
    But I’m likely the only one that may have found that entertaining. So I’ll stick yo the format.
    Top 5 reasons to live in Washington State (Not D.C.)
    5: Diverse Geography. Washington has it all, well everything except Tundra. Eastern WA is all rolling plains and windswept valleys, very similar to how Kansas sounds, but as you swing west we have something a little different. We have mountains. Now I know a lot of states “say” they have mountains, but check those elevations. What most states consider a mountain is a mere foothill in here, undeserving of a name. These mountains, in addition to providing a second biome on this list, create a massive rain shadow dumping the vast majority of our rain on the west side. This, in addition to making Seattle famous for it’s rain, despite being second in the state, means the western half of Washington is heavily forested with temperate evergreens. Moving further west we have a geographic features most Americans have never heard of a Sound. A Sound is like a Fjord the same way a bison is like a cow, it’s a whole lot bigger and more badass. Looking further west is the only Rainforest in the (contiguous) US. And what is at the heart of that rainforest? More giant Mountains. And then beaches and islands. You want it? We got it. Except for tundra. We got Tiaga and volcanoes too.
    4) City diversity, whatever you want we got it. From tiny island towns to three of the largest west coast ports. All of it connected by highways and ferries.
    3) Temperate climate. Western Washington is the perfect mix of temperatures. Lows of 25, highs of 93 in most years. Never too hot or too cold. As long as you don’t mind not seeing the sun 330 days out of the year.
    2) Economy: Whether you want to farm on the east side, cut lumber in the southwest, build airplanes, or work in the tech industry we got it. Washington is the nation’s leader in apple production (produce not computers) and chief lumber exporter to Asia. Oh and home of Microsoft, Starbucks, Boeing, and countless indie game studios.
    1) Crazy local traditions. The “Weird Washington” book from the “Weird [State]” series was so long they made it 2 books. Washington is full of really weird stuff, scattered in local areas that consider it perfectly normal. From the tiny Seattle neighborhood of Fremont, which is perpetually trying to declare independence despite being only 8 blocks wide, to the transplanted Bavarian village town of Leavenworth, Washington is full of odd communities and odder landmarks. My personal favorite is Carhenge, a perfect replication of Stonehenge made out of cars, in proper celestial alignment.

    All in all, Washington is a great place to live. Hope someone enjoyed reading this.

    Great podcast, highly entertaining.

  2. Frederick, aka Darth Macho on

    I enjoyed listening to this episode because I learned a lot about Kansas that I hadn’t given much thought about, I lvd in Massachusetts, and could certainly put together a list, but it would probably take me some time, so for now I’ll list the most convincing items on your lists that could persuade me to possible move to Kansas! Thanks for the episode!
    5. Snapping Turtles: We have big ones here too, but I imagine the ones in Kansas are the size of Dragon Turtles in D&D!
    4. History: Why are we so fascinated by the most violent aspects of History? I know I am…
    3. Diverse Towns/Cites: We have a pretty good combo of this in New England, which I love, so it’s a great selling point for anywhere.
    2. Bison: I agree that they are truly awesome. One of our local zoos has three, but I’d love to see a whole herd of them.
    1. Seeing the Stars: Because it’s so hard to find a place where clouds and light pollution aren’t an issue here. It’s a top bucket list item to go and see the stars the way they should be seen.

  3. Top Five Reasons To Live In Grand Rapids Michigan…

    5) Sports! We have tons of minor league sports in town. The West Michigan Whitecaps (baseball), The Grand Rapids Gryphons (hockey), The Grand Rapids Hoops (basketball) and the Grand Rapids Rampage (arena football).

    4) Beer City USA! Grand Rapids has repeatedly won the title of Beer City USA with a half-dozen micro-breweries in the area and a TON of wonderful little pubs all over the place to drink them.

    3) Rich Guy Names! Grand Rapids is the home of the Meijer corporation (like a regional Wal-Mart or Target) and the Frederick Meijer Gardens, the world-famous-legally-NOT-a-pyramid-scheme-company, Amway, and the families who made it, the DeVos’ and VanAndels. Their names adorn about half the buildings in the city.

    2) Location, location, location. Grand Rapids is, arguably, the largest city in Michigan. Detroit through a massive fit and filed lawsuits during the last census when it became clear that they had lost so many people over the last decade that they would not be the largest city, Grand Rapids would be. Various suburbs and surrounding areas were eventually included into Detroit, but it is just on paper. GR is bigger. It is also smack in the middle of Detroit and Chicago and just about 45 minutes from the shores of beautiful Lake Michigan.

    1) The Medical Mile. Grand Rapids has made a concerted effort over the last decade to draw in the medical industry and has succeeded wildly. The University of Michigan and Michigan State University both have medical schools in town and the nearby Grand Valley State University (my fine alma mater) has a massive nursing program while Grand Rapids Community College (the alma mater of Grand Rapids most famous son, President Gerald Ford) has a huge medical assistant program (and also culinary program, but that doesn’t fit too well in this topic). In this day and age, health care is huge and the jobs are booming leading to massive growth in the city. It has also made Grand Rapids one of the places you would like to be if you do get seriously ill as I did a few years ago with cancer. Top notch medical facilities and doctors from around the world will give you medical care that is almost impossible to find anywhere else.


  4. Top 5 Reasons to Live in Texas
    1. It’s Texas
    2. It’s Texas
    3. It’s Texas
    4. It’s Texas
    5. It’s Texas

    For those who need it transalated:
    1. Texas weather. Your looking at 2 or 3 weeks of winter, most of which nobody north of the Red River would consider winter. Okay, it’s hotter than hell for 4 months, but that just means more nocturnal activity. And plenty of pool time.
    2. Texas music. Pretty much any kind of music can be found. And in some of the great areas like Fry Street (in Denton), Deep Ellum (Dallas), most of Austin and even Houston and San Antonio have great venues where you can hear everything under the sun. If your visiting though you will almost be required to attend a C&W bar.
    3. Economy. I know its not sexy, but the Texas economy is pretty strong and in pretty much everything (although film and TV has taken it on the chin in the past decade (Damn you Georgia!) Medical, energy, IT, manufacturing, insurance just off the top of my head. Cost of living is so low (but slowly getting dragged up by Cali ex-pats and carpet bagging yankees) that you can get a really good home or apartment for rates that sound ridiculous to people from the NorthEast.
    2. Food. You can get anything in the urban areas, of course. But the core has to be the run through the Tex-Mex spectrum. You can get legitimate honest to god Mexican (my favorite is Torteria Insurgentes, the tacos are great but the Alambre is fantastic), and wonderful Tex an in the form of Texas style BBQ (Pecan Lodge for the win, although you can’t through a spare rib without hitting good or better BBQ), but the apotheosis is TexMex which merges the two into one glorious whole. Every city subtly flavors it’s own version. I’m partial Blue Mesa, Desperados and/or Ozona.
    1. It’s Texas. It’s a ready made experience. You’re always free to be who you want to be, but you can always slip on the Tex attitude. That everything’s bigger in Texas style, that I know rubs some people the wrong way. No matter where you go, people will talk to you about Texas. It’s a ready made conversation piece. And it can be a lot of fun to go ahead and just embrace the Big Tex attitude. I was at a Luau in Hawaii and the host asked the audience what guests they had from a foreign country, inevitably someone yells out Texas.

  5. I’m a bit late, but here are the Top Five reasons to live in Sweden (the entire country is just over twice the size of Kansas, so I won’t go into specific areas).
    5. Laws: Even though there’s a lot to be worried about politically at the moment, there are quite a few laws I like in this country. Same sex marriage is legal, abortion is legal and virtually uncontroversial, corporal punishment of children is illegal. My favorite is the prostitution ban: It is illegal to pay someone for sex (placing the blame on the buyer, not the seller).
    4. Independence on cars: If you live in a reasonably densely populated area, there’s no need to own a car (the way Americans seem to drive everywhere has always puzzled me). Our infrastructure favors biking and walking, and public transport is good and cheap. Also, we have lots of trains. I love trains.
    3. The spring: There’s no denying that our winter can be tough. In December we only have a couple of hours of proper daylight. It’s especially hard if there is no snow, as that makes it even darker. But this time of year I’m reminded that it’s all worth it once the spring arrives.
    2. The environment: Sweden is a beautiful country. And everyone is allowed to enjoy it – we have something called “allemansrätten” (which basically means “all men’s right”). This says that anyone can walk, pick berries or mushrooms, or even camp, anywhere in nature, no matter who owns the land.
    1. Social security. Free health care and medication (almost) and society provides for people who are sick or unable to work. I’m often angry at various parts of the system, but the truth is it’s invaluable, and the biggest reason I will probably never move anywhere else.

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