• Mysterious, amazing: The hippo

    Over the years, mystery has surrounded the hippopotamus. Known for its gapping jaw, massive size, and aggressive nature, even the animal’s name led to some confusion. We now know it has a Greek origin meaning “river horse,” and not “Rush Limbaugh” as some liberal commentators …

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  • Sunshine Week unexpectedly dark this year

    Thank goodness the legislators from western Arkansas and across the state let us know they support Arkansas’ vanguard Freedom of Information Act. Routinely, they begin conversations saying, “I support the Freedom of Information Act.” If a “but” follows that opening clause, well, at least we …

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  • Priorities show weapons more important than schools

    Thinking and reading about last week’s closing of 23 public schools by the Philadelphia School Reform Commission, I’ve concluded the closings are necessary, though insufficient to address the fiscal crisis of the school district. Other school districts, including some of the nation’s largest like Chicago, …

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  • Henry Starr: One bank too many

    Henry Starr never became famous like his counterparts Jesse and Frank James or the Dalton boys, but he claimed to have robbed more banks than both gangs combined. Starr was born in 1873 in Indian Territory (Oklahoma), the son of George and Mary Starr and …

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  • Out of the mouths of babes

    Of all of the assignments I’ve been asked to do at my church, my favorite has always been in the nursery. The children range from 18 months to nearly 4 years old. They are so cute, and they think I’m wonderful, unlike some adults who …

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  • Women and Sunshine Week

    As we celebrate Women’s History month, we should pay homage to a resolute group of women who deserve recognition during Sunshine Week, another March event.  Sunshine Week calls attention to journalists who courageously brought to light information that governmental and other authorities prefer to keep …

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  • From coffin ships to coyotes: A St. Patrick’s Day reflection

    I’ve always loved Saint Patrick’s Day. For me, it’s not just about the wearin’ o’ the green and consuming mass quantities of alcohol. I’ve attended Irish cultural events for most of my life due to Irish heritage on my mother’s side. The atmosphere, music and …

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  • Dating in the fourth grade

    My youngest daughter came home with a wedding ring last week. A gorgeous gold ring encrusted with at least a carat of diamonds. Now you may be thinking “Awww, how sweet!” Well, it’s not. She’s TEN. I’m pretty sure the boy who gave it to …

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  • Patent ‘trolls’ are bad, but patents are worse

    While global biotechnology firm Monsanto battled a farmer over soybean patents in the U.S. Supreme Court, a District Court in eastern Texas heard a similar case: Personal Audio, an alleged “patent troll,” filed suit against Adam Carolla’s Ace Broadcasting network for patent infringement. The patent …

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  • Some of the bright sides of extreme maturity

    Some fancy-dancy public-policy think-tank just released a brand-new study that speculates the legion of aging baby boomers will permanently redefine retirement. Mainly because so few of us will be able to afford to retire. “Uh, lady, you want lids on these?” Fast-food break rooms equipped …

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  • Benedict deserves a better papal sendoff than this

    Just what kind of retirement party do you give a pope? Since the Vatican has adhered to a “no pope left behind” policy for the past 600 years, this was surely a puzzler when Pope Benedict voluntarily cashed in his cassock last month. Most popes, …

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  • Still wrote for symphonies, movies

    If you have watched “Lost Horizon,” “Pennies from Heaven,” “Perry Mason,” “Gunsmoke” or “Have Gun, Will Travel,” then you have heard the music of William Grant Still of Little Rock. Born in Mississippi in 1895, Still was a baby when his father died unexpectedly and …

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