Catastropic events cause quick geologic changes

February 24, 2011 When the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state erupted on May 18, 1980, it created a huge laboratory that scientists are still studying.And, boy, are they learning a lot!For one thing, geologists have learned that stratified layers of stone do not take millions of years to form, that sandstone can solidify in a matter of weeks rather than hundreds of thousands of years and that canyons can be formed in a matter of days.

Solve conflicts without compromise or killing each other

February 24, 2011  In every conflict, there are really three sides to it (like a triangle) — your truth on one side, their truth on the other, and then the higher-level solution at the top.If you stay stuck on your side of the triangle, you never solve the problem.The Triangle of Truth, my new conflict resolution model, is a tool to help you break the stalemate. It’s not about “compromise” or “right vs. wrong.” It’s about being willing to engage in conflict in such a way that we allow something bigger, better and more inclusive to emerge.

Watson for president

February 23, 2011 Watson, an artificial intelligence program developed by IBM and eight  universities including CMU, performed so well on “Jeopardy!,” his supporters urged him to run for president. I sat down with Watson to discuss the presidency and the challenges America faces.Purcell: You’ve gained massive fame in a very short time. Some feel you are exactly what we need in a president: unemotional, logical and good with numbers.

And the rot rolls on ….

February 23, 2011 “Creation comes before distribution — or there will be nothing to distribute. The need of the creator comes before the need of any possible beneficiary.” — Ayn RandFor anyone truly interested in observing a concrete instance of ideas in action —of politics as an extension of ethics —Wisconsin’s current crisis of debt, budget cuts and union manipulation is a classic example of it.

George who? What happened to Washington’s day

February 22, 2011 “If we do this [change the date of the Washington holiday celebration], ten years from now our school children will not know what February 22 means. They will not know or care when George Washington was born. They will know that in the middle of February they will have a three-day weekend for some reason. This will come.” Theses prophetic words, passionately argued by Tennessee Congressman Dan Kuykendall over 40 years ago have come true. Ask most school kids today why February 22nd is special, and they will probably give you a blank stare.

Today’s toys vs. yesterday’s memories

February 22, 2011 I feel like I’m getting a second round of Christmas. I’m getting TOYS! Specifically, two new electronic gadgets that are all-but-guaranteed to make one’s life better.

Lessons learned

February 22, 2011 How do you live or work with someone who sees the world through a different lens than you do?This was the challenge facing Thomas Jefferson and John Adams back in 1776.Adams, considered by most historians to be a conservative, and Jefferson, whom most view as a liberal, were the two men primarily responsible for writing and presenting the Declaration of Independence.

Historical artifacts tell our story

February 21, 2011 The Fonz’s leather jacket (boy, was he small). Edith and Archie Bunker’s chairs. The Lone Ranger’s mask. Dorothy’s ruby red shoes.I’m a sucker for looking at knickknacks behind glass displays or velvet ropes. Call it a hobby. It’s like Clark Griswold wanting to travel miles out of the way just to see the largest ball of twine. The unusual, the famous, the infamous and the historic intrigue me whether it be an object or a place where something of the such happened.

A better future

February 21, 2011 In order for Arkansas’ rural cities and small towns to contribute fully to the nation’s economic recovery, we must enable small, mainstreet businesses to build a better future for themselves, their community, state and nation.

Selling to China?

February 21, 2011 When I read the recent article about Chesapeake Energy selling $5 Billion in Arkansas natural gas to lower its debt, I remember thinking, “That’s interesting. I wonder who is buying it?”Well I read (recently) that a Chinese company is buying it. So the US is exporting its cheap, clean natural gas and importing expensive, dirty oil from countries that pay to blow up our trade centers.  And China jumps into an early lead in inexpensive auto conversion to clean natural gas. While our leadership is pushing overpriced, coal powered electric cars.