• Ode to our throwaway society

    Who can fix my chair? My light, aluminum beach chair, with the wooden armrests, and canvas seat. My chair, that with a loud rip from its striped bottom, plopped me down on the sand in a rather undignified way one hot day last summer? Through …

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  • The dying art of cursive handwriting

    I’m torn about it if you want to know the truth. I speak of the death of cursive handwriting, which I read about recently in the Atlantic Wire. As it goes, many American schools are phasing out lessons in cursive. There is a waning need …

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  • When the money is already spent

    This single phrase is responsible for more bad decisions than almost any other. Once we’ve spent some money, we’re reluctant to back out. Whether it’s millions on an IT project or a hundred dollars for concert tickets, once we part with cash, we become invested …

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  • A ‘100-mph job’ doesn’t come without stress

    “I’ve got to get one of those ‘Hundred Mile per Hour jobs!’, I say every morning as I funnel onto the Interstate 55 speedway and make my rush hour trek to Memphis. My day job barely inspires me to do the speed limit, so I …

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  • Ledge update

    LITTLE ROCK —  In the fiscal year that just ended, the state lottery raised $97.5 million for college scholarships for Arkansas students. The amount is a slight increase from the previous year, when the lottery raised $94.2 million. The lottery director estimates that $98.6 million …

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  • Exploring along the White River

    When geologist Henry Rowe Schoolcraft of New York explored the upper White River in 1818-19, just about everything went wrong. He had no frontier experience and his guide, Levi Pettibone, apparently knew very little about surviving in the wilderness. Schoolcraft, the guide and their packhorse …

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  • The Internet, mental illness and you

    “Is The Web Driving Us Mad?,” asks a recent Newsweek cover story. According to the article, there is now a growing body of evidence that our fascination with the Internet, smartphones, video games and related technology has become a clinical ADDICTION. Our ever-present hobbies have …

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  • Civil War brings diseases 150 years ago

    One hundred and fifty years ago, the summer of 1862 took its toll on soldiers in both armies. As camps became crowded disease became commonplace. As the drought continued, crops failed, soldiers got sick, and Arkansas citizens wore themselves out in a meager and in …

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  • One author’s tribute to spam — of the email kind

    I attended a math conference for three days in Washington, D.C., and chose not to take any electronic device for checking my email. When I came back, my email account had almost reached its quota, and there were hundreds of unread messages. Almost all of …

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  • Don’t be alarmed

    Baby, it’s hot outside. If it wasn’t for the refreshing cold front pushing through parts of the U.S. right now, one might be tempted to think there is something to all that global warming nonsense that conveniently breaks out every time it is warm enough …

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  • Ledge update

    LITTLE ROCK  —  Arkansas state government ended its fiscal year with a budget surplus of about $145 million. The governor proposed spending the surplus in three main categories — Medicaid, economic development and capital projects at colleges and universities. When combined with money left over …

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  • Talk of draft dodgers gets cease fire

    The times, they are a-changin’. Forgive the anachronistic reference to a Bob Dylan song, but it’s in the service of a point. There was a time when his music, as well as the war he protested, was relevant in American politics. Whether presidential candidates avoided …

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