01/31/2013 02:14 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Fracking Matt Damon, Boulder, Walmart, and Creationism

We go underground this week with 5280 assistant editor Chris Outcalt to learn a thing or two about fracking. You know, hydraulic fracturing. It's what that new movie with Matt Damon is all about (we think).


What's that? You don't really know that much about fracking? Vanessa, Joel, Ron, and Josh find out they don't either. Which is why we've invited Chris to the studio, where he schools us on a few things he learned while reporting 5280's fine-looking package of features on the natural-gas boom rumbling all across our beloved state, found here.

But first, we explore our feelings about Joel's new baby, Ron's new beard (cannibal soccer player or "hot" married guy?), and Walmart's announcement to open a "neighborhood market" on the sacred ground of American liberalism. That's right. Walmart is coming to Boulder. And as much as we despise what the company stands for, we're all pretty eager to see how the evil retail empire fares in the People's Republic.

We also recognize the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade with a look at a couple of anti-abortion bills that have been proposed in the first month of the Colorado Legislature's new session, as well as a separate bill that aims to bring the teaching of creationism to Colorado's public-school students -- from kindergarten classes all the way up into our institutions of higher education.

At the end of it all, many questions remain. About fracking. About gender-based abortions. About Ron's beard and the safety of local soccer players.

And perhaps most important: Who's a better frack? Boulder, or Matt Damon?