• Why I sometimes long for the Cold War

    I’ve been thinking about the sorry state of American culture, and that made me reminisce about the Cold War. You remember the Cold War. It brought us espionage, alliances with cheesy dictators and a devotion to making bombs. And throughout it all, we lived in …

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  • Some chilling news

    All I know about climate, some say, is what’s outside my window. Across much of California this is one of the coolest summers in memory, with temperatures well below normal. Here in San Jose, where the average high in August is 82 degrees, so far …

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  • A nerd girl’s paradise

    My big summer project has turned out to be redecorating my Chicago apartment. It all started because I told my landlord I was moving in order to gain a dishwasher and a vent above the stove. He countered with an offer to put both of …

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  • Disability rights are human rights

    Imagine if you had to fight in a court of law in order to be permitted to move in with friends, go to work, and make basic decisions about your daily life. Jenny Hatch doesn’t have to imagine, because she just fought and won that …

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  • FCC limits charges for calls from inmates

    Those who have loved ones behind bars have to worry about a lot of things. But it looks like they won’t have to worry about sky-high phone bills for much longer. Recipients must pay for telephone calls from their incarcerated family members and friends. For …

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  • Is a Wall Street crash coming to public schools?

    Just like AAA ratings on mortgage-backed securities led to Wall Street’s 2008 disaster, a rash of accountability scandals might be precursors to a similar public school crash. After years of promises that test-driven accountability would yield miracles, scandals with school ratings are popping up all …

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  • Getting the heck into Dodge

    I remember the year we got the heck out of Dodge. When I was a teenager my mother lived for a brief time in southwest Kansas, which was the flattest, driest piece of Earth I’ve ever seen. She’d gotten a job with the USDA at …

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  • The true story of the Little Red Hen

    Once upon a time, there was a little red hen who lived on a farm past the woods. She was friends with a bossy but politically connected pig, a groveling sheep who worked as a flunky for the village and a scared little mouse who …

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  • What is with those childless couples, anyway?

    Whether you’re arising from a long, luxurious sleep or frantically cleaning up melted crayons, surely you have a strong opinion on the cover story in the Aug. 12 edition of Time magazine: “The Childfree Life: When Having It All Means Not Having Children.” The article …

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  • Save the little pink bathrooms (for you and me)

    I’ve always said if I ever found a house for sale with black-and-white tile floors in the kitchen, I’d know it was the house for me. I suppose I should start prefacing that with “if the house is in good shape without a lot of …

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  • First Hot Springs expedition

    A few months after the famous Lewis and Clark expedition left St. Louis on their historic journey into the northern regions of the Louisiana Purchase, a lesser known adventure started up the Ouachita River into Arkansas. President Jefferson wanted to know what the nation’s $15 …

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  • Guess who got married?

    Well, I finally did it. On July 26, I married my longtime sweetheart, Bryan Hubbard. We pretty much eloped because it seemed like the perfect thing for us since we have known each other for 10 years and didn’t want a big formal wedding. Besides, …

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