• Say ‘Yabba Dabba Don’t’ to Neanderthal clones

    If you’re the average person, you say things like “I wish they’d bring back ‘ABC’s Wide World of Sports’ and full-service gas stations.” If you’re more like Harvard University geneticist George Church, you say things like “Wouldn’t it be a hoot if someone brought back …

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  • Be like pro golfers: Move to Florida, avoid state taxes

    Phil Mickelson choked on a gimme putt this week, but it wasn’t on a golf course. According to the AP’s golf writer, America’s most popular golfer “put his popularity on the line with polarizing comments about how much he has to pay in state and …

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  • Mysteries of South America

    South America is a continent of mysteries and enigmas. The word enigma, derived from Latin and Greek words translated as “to speak in riddles,” is defined by dictionary.com as a “puzzling or inexplicable occurrence or situation.” That’s South America. When the Spaniards arrived in South …

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  • The smog of Beijing couldn’t conceal this

    There’s nothing like trying to use a foreign toilet to make you realize just how spoiled you are. Dispatch from China: My oldest daughter and I have hiked the Great Wall, braved the smog of Beijing, walked the ice at the Summer Palace, and stood …

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  • Letter to the editor

    Schools should consider constables  Dear editor: On Jan. 16, 2013, President Obama signed 23 Executive Orders and outlined his proposals to help keep our school children safe. Executive Orders give a sitting president quite a bit of power, especially since the United States Supreme Court …

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  • Unearthing a good story

    It’s present day, but our convention speaker is taking us back to 1963. He has spent a good portion of his time criticizing us for being lazy reporters who hand in spoon-fed jargon to their editors and have lost the ability to track down a …

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  • A sea change in firearms debate

    In August 1925, The New York Times estimated 50,000-60,000 members of the Ku Klux Klan marched in a parade in our nation’s capital. It was a huge public display of the once-secret group. H.L. Mencken called it “a full mile of Klansmen and their ladies.” …

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  • Some heroes rescue children; some tell their stories

    Not all heroes wear a cape and mask. Some live quiet lives and if we passed them on the street we’d never recognize them. Take Irena Sendlerowa, although you might have heard her name as “Irena Sendler.” During World War II, Sendler went into the …

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  • Knee-deep in a tattoo boom

    We may have witnessed a generational sea change the other night at the Golden Globe Awards. Talking about when creator, writer and breakthrough star of HBO’s “Girls,” Lena Dunham, teetered up to the stage on what appeared to be hockey skates sporting a minor array …

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  • Aloha, Hawaii

    Now that most of my Facebook/Elvis friends whom I see often at annual events held in honor of the musician have made it home from Hawaii after a week-long celebration honoring the 40th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s “Aloha From Hawaii” satellite concert special, I’m ready …

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  • Disfarmer photos were highly prized

    Michael Disfarmer, born in Indiana in 1882, was brought to Arkansas by his parents, who became rice farmers near Stuttgart. Shortly after his father died, Disfarmer moved, with his mother, to Heber Springs. Here, the self-taught photographer became partners with a local studio photographer. In …

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  • The 1970s stereo console

    Editor note: A prior version of this column was distributed by Cagle Cartoons in April, 2007. It is an excerpt from Tom Purcell’s new book, “Misadventures of a 1970s Childhood” available at amazon.com.   It sat in my parents’ dining room for 30 years or …

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