• Someone say McThor’s?

    The analogy in the headline “Thor 2 is a Cinematic McDonald’s Cheeseburger” (Eileen Jones, Jacobin) is apt. There is indeed a strong parallel between the predominance in comics-to-film adaptations and diner-food restaurants: A few homogenous, formulaic products aimed at broad mass-market appeal. But far from …

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  • War decimated early industry

    Arkansas had very little industrial machinery prior to the Civil War, and it would be decades afterwards before the state shed its “cotton patch” image. Grist mills, powered by flowing streams in the Ozarks, constituted the major part of industry between 1820 and 1880. No …

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  • Holy comic book craze, Batman is 75!

    According to DC Comics, March 30 marked the 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Batman (in “Detective Comics” #27). I’ve been a fan of the Caped Crusader (created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger) for two-thirds of that span. With Batman and Robin available …

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  • Loving beyond worldly measure

    Some of the most difficult times to watch are when someone we know is trying to be there for a loved one when he or she is coming to the end of his or her journey. I remember watching my mother and father as they …

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  • About Town

    This week’s article expands a little beyond the Batesville area. Last week was spring break, unless you are a part of one of the school districts who had to lose spring break because of the winter weather this year. We decided to spend part of …

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  • Positive role models are hard to find

    There’s been a lot in the media lately about relationships: Everything from “what makes a relationship last” and interviews with couples married 50 years or more, to stories about failing Hollywood marriages and the top ten “great” couples of all time on the big screen. …

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  • Paul Eells’ popularity

    When football season arrives in The Natural State, thousands of Arkansans will flock to their radios and televisions to follow the Razorbacks, hanging on every play. For years, no Razorback game was complete without the play-by-play calls of Paul Eells. Paul Eells was born in …

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  • Foul ball

    Over in the sports section they greet each baseball season with rankings, predictions and detailed summaries of off-season roster moves. Here on the opinion page we usually prefer to wax about emerald green grass, the crack of the bat and the vernal reawakening of our …

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  • Phone tracking

    The Obama Administration has decided the government should get out of the business of collecting data on Americans’ telephone calls. That’s the good news. For several years now, the National Security Agency has been collecting what is called “metadata” on every call made or received …

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  • Population in LA County hits unsustainable record high

    Los Angeles County, where I was born in the mid-1940s, reached an ominous milestone last July. Recently released Census Bureau data show that in 2013 LA County’s population inched over 10 million, nearly twice the total of second place Cook County, Ill. with its 5.3 …

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  • Sawbucked to death

    These days, the only thing harder than making money is hanging onto it. It’s easier to protect dandelion fuzz in a tornado. Everywhere you go, everyone wants a taste. Their only job is to get a grip on your money. And some of these folks …

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  • Mitt Romney and his Sour Grapes Tour

    Bad habits are hard to break. Sixteen months after the electorate told him to take a hike, Mitt Romney is still lying. He has lately embarked on a sour grapes tour, seeking to sell himself as a retroactive foreign policy expert who, by dint of …

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