The good kind of Hollywood shows up in a biography of Dinah Shore

After graduating from Vandy, she sold her camera collection in order to finance her first weeks, and went to New York to make it in show biz. While running through her funds–“There’d always been dollars in my pocket because Daddy put them there”–she teamed up with (metronomic?) accompanist-arranger-conductor Martin “Ticker” Freeman in a long-lasting professional relationship. … More The good kind of Hollywood shows up in a biography of Dinah Shore

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For love of Lanner: Trees of the Great Basin is an enduring treasure

Back in the Civil War era, when turpentine was being distilled from Ponderosa pitch, one distiller learned the hard way about the disadvantages of confusing the identification of these yellow pine species. … More For love of Lanner: Trees of the Great Basin is an enduring treasure

Hollywood’s ultraviolence, chaos theory, and the end of mass shootings

Here’s a quick way to learn how arrogant and condescending some people can be: Say you grew up with semi-automatic weapons in your home but never contemplated a mass shooting. Then suggest there must have been a cultural shift that made mass shootings conceivable. It is really the availability of weapons, or is it the … More Hollywood’s ultraviolence, chaos theory, and the end of mass shootings

It took a visit to Thunderbird C.C. to learn of Nebraska’s leadership in water for food

Ethiopia is a tantalizing yet vexing example of Africa’s problems. Aid money goes to urban development, contributing to a backward situation and causing the pessimism expressed by Patrice McMahon. … More It took a visit to Thunderbird C.C. to learn of Nebraska’s leadership in water for food

Whatever could be wrong with NASCAR is wrong (and whatever can be done?)

Between the local casino’s breakfast buffet ($23.65) and the Auto Club 400 (no charge thanks to a press credential), my Sunday was the lowbrow day I require a couple of times a year, as a sparrow must have the occasional dustbath. Breakfast was incredible with coffee, a bagel and lox with cream cheese, eggs benedict … More Whatever could be wrong with NASCAR is wrong (and whatever can be done?)

From underachieving brat to model citizen in a few short weeks of 1967

Seventh grade at St. Pius X was a tough year. I went from A- in arithmetic to D. In the final quarter I had all C’s and D’s. It’s pretty obvious I’d stopped trying. My problems must have been because of the mean girls. I went to summer session at Thomas A. Edison School, where … More From underachieving brat to model citizen in a few short weeks of 1967