The domino effect

February 16, 2010 A bit of a rhetorical question today: When will the people in charge realize that when it comes to schools, bigger is not necessarily better?

Getting off track

February 16, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — Arkansas’ strained budget and the amounts for lottery-funded scholarships were supposed to be the top agenda items as lawmakers gathered for the first-ever fiscal session.But it’s the side issues that are stealing the limelight.

Trapped in a gold barrel

February 15, 2010 My daughter is learning how to drive.But, as it turns out, I’m the one getting a lesson.I’m learning all kinds of new things, like how to stifle a scream. And that no matter how hard you push your foot into the floor, you can’t stop the car from the passenger side because there’s no brake buried in the floor mat.I’m also learning that a sudden intake of breath at every passing car does not inspire confidence in a new driver. 

Everlasting love

February 15, 2010 I wonder if Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher ever squabble after 85 years of holy matrimony.And if so, what about?In a 2008 interview, Herbert said they never argued, but have had their disagreements, but I still wonder what kind of disagreement a couple such as them would have after so many years.Do they still talk, share sweet nothings as young lovers do, or are they more content to say nothing, figuring that after more than eight decades what more could they say that hasn’t been said already.

2 cents worth

February 12, 2010 I’m only guessing, but a major problem with being president has to be people around you being more likely to stick their face in a cast iron oscillating fan than tell you the truth. Let’s say you slip and fall and rip a hole in your pants down to your ankle while spilling hot coffee on a little blind girl in a wheelchair in front of a nationally televised audience. The worst you could expect to hear from a staffer is “Well, that could have gone better.”

Evidence of cosmic catastrophes

February 11, 2010 Last week’s column offered the theory put forth by the authors of “The Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes: Fire, Flood and Famine in the History of Civilization” — a theory that gives a plausible explanation for the extinction of mammoths and other large beasts about 13,000 years ago. It even accounts for the ice that froze mammoths practically in their tracks. 

Sticky, but not sweet

February 9, 2010 We’ve all heard the saying “Slow as molasses,” but once upon a time, nearly 100 years ago, molasses wasn’t so slow.On Jan. 15, 1919, in Boston, Mass., a large molasses storage tank burst, and a giant wall of molasses rushed through the streets, killing 21 and injuring 150. The event later became known as the Great Molasses Flood. The Great War (World War I) had ended the previous year, electricity was coming into its own but still wasn’t in every house yet, Lillian Gish was heating up the silver (albeit silent) screen, and many streets still had horse-drawn carriages.

Not guaranteed front runner

February 8, 2010 LITTLE ROCK (AP) — John Boozman likes to joke that he’s the senior Republican member of Arkansas’ congressional delegation. He’s also the only Republican member.It’s a line that earns chuckles at public appearances, but whether it’ll win him any votes is another matter.In any other election year, an incumbent congressman would be considered a front-runner in a Republican Senate primary in Arkansas, where Democrats control all but one of the congressional seats.But this isn’t any election year.