Do-it-yourselfers have made everything from bamboo bicycles to 3-D printers, but nothing as ambitious as what's happening on a farm in northwest Missouri where tractors and other industrial machines are being made from scratch.
Marcin Jakubowski earned a Ph.D. in physics, and his doctoral thesis deals with velocity turbulence and zonal flow detection, whatever that is. But when Jakubowski graduated in 2004, he wanted nothing to do with physics or academia.
How do you know you're in Kansas City, Missouri? Follow the smoke, and listen for this:
"Hi, may I help you?"
At the famed Gates Bar-B-Q in Kansas City, "May I help you?" is a kind of mantra.
It's how people standing in front of the barbecue pits greet all who walk in the door, while ribs, brisket, turkey, and for all I know, pillow stuffing sizzle, pop, and get saturated with smoke and the signature sauce of Ollie Gates, the barbecue master.
On a recent wintry day, Kansas City eighth-grader Yak Nak sat before a Missouri state Senate committee. He was there to tell lawmakers why his family had sacrificed to send him to a parochial school.
"Even though it was a struggle for my family, the reputation of the public schools in my area was not as good as my parents would have hoped," he said. "They knew there was no time to waste when dealing with young minds, and education was more valuable than any money they could save."
Consider this: Yak Nak and his family are refugees from Sudan.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's losses on Tuesday, while not very meaningful in the race to accumulate delegates, have raised questions once again about his ability to inspire passion from his party's base and about his viability in the general election.
Rival Rick Santorum's victories in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota dealt a setback, if not exactly a body blow, to Romney — whom Santorum routinely dismisses as a candidate with a big machine but no core.