Debate is about more than arguing a point. It is about understanding an issue so well that you can coherently defend its merits against an opponent. It requires critical-thinking skills, an understanding of facts and logic, and the ability to perform under pressure. And it can change the trajectory of a student's academic career.
The Saint Louis Urban Debate League helps youth in underserved communities rise to the challenge. Every month, more than 150 students at nine area high schools research a topic of national or international importance and make logical, fact-based arguments for action. Weekend workshops and annual tournaments pit the strongest debaters against each other for the chance to debate in ever more challenging arenas and improve their debating skills. In addition to fostering academic achievement by engaging students in their own learning, the Saint Louis Urban Debate League aims to propel students along the path to college and career success, with the ultimate goal of closing the achievement gap for students from poor or minority backgrounds.
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On loan from the Museum of Leonardo Da Vinci in Florence, the Da Vinci Machines exhibit debuts in North America with more than 60 interactive models based on the polymath's original 500-year-old concepts. Peruse replicas of major inventions, each handcrafted by three generations of Florentine artisans, including the air screw, an early ancestor to the both the helicopter and the propeller beanie, and learn the secrets behind the mechanical lion, a robotic lion given as a gift to the king of France. Visitors young and old are fully encouraged to touch the war machines, flying machines, and nautical and hydraulic devices for insight into their functionality, and accompanying explanatory notes, illustrative panels, and computer programs help modern minds glean further understanding into Da Vinci's wide-reaching genius and favorite emoticons.
At Indulge Bistro and Wine Bar, there are many ways to treat yourself—more than 75, to be specific. That’s the approximate count of the international and regional wines that populate the racks at the wine bar, which earned Open Table’s 2012 Top 100 Notable Wine Lists in the USA award. Ranging from New Zealand sauvignon blanc to Italian prosecco and syrah made in Colorado, diners have seemingly limitless pairing options to complement the kitchen’s bistro cuisine. The sommelier can also make pairing suggestions, such as coupling an Oregon King Estate pinot gris with seared scallops drizzled in Valencia orange and ginger beurre blanc. As you sip and dine, the floor-to-ceiling windows provide awe-inspiring views of the Front Range and the patio offers a place to sink into plush couches beside a fire pit.
In 1999, Jimbo Sinovic opened the first Big Daddy's on the Landing and Soulard in the historic Soulard district, less than a half-mile from the iconic Anheuser-Busch Brewery. The eatery's drink specials and tasty pub staples—served for lunch, dinner, and late-night owl watching—established the bar as a neighborhood favorite and inspired its owner to declare it "The Best Bar in the Whole Wide World."
Currating a bustling indie scene of regular live music and movie nights, The Heavy Anchor's press-lauded, dive-bar appeal reels in locals with an extensive line-up of rotating beers and light bar fare. Dining duos can settle into a pair of cushioned barstools and dig in to a Dogtown pizza, smattered with meat or vegetarian adornments. Drink-slingers serve up two beverages from the full-service bar, which brims with soda, more than 50 beers, and an extensive collection of liquors. Take taste buds for a ride with a Twisted Tea, keep it classic with a PBR, or go gluten-free with a Red Bridge brew. Parched pairs can also clink glasses of Wild Turkey or Pernod absinthe to fuel up for impromptu Flashdance flash mobs. Attendees can beef-up their dinner date with a side of Gus' pretzels or Billy Goat chips for an additional fee.
Historic, picturesque Laclede's Landing is the backdrop for the "Kick It On The Cobblestones" block party, a fundraising event for area youth-sports organizations. In keeping with the sports theme, participants can enter for a chance to win tickets to the soccer game between Real Madrid and Inter Milan at the Edward Jones Dome at 1 p.m., and youngsters can compete in soccer challenges in the hopes of winning prizes. The full-day event isn't just about sports, though. Crowds can boogie to live tunes by R&B-tinged rockers Dirty Muggs and eclectic quintet El Scorcho. They can also wield their tickets for discounts at area establishments all weekend, including $3 off adult admission at the Wax Museum, a free handcrafted beer with lunch or dinner at Morgan Street Brewery, and half off apparel at other local businesses.