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Columns

  • What's Going On: Why failing to fail can be the greatest success

    Jia Jiang is an Austin, Texas, entrepreneur who had tasted failure one too many times.

    He finally snapped after losing a major investment deal in early November. In order to help overcome his growing fear of rejection, Jiang embarked on an odd do-it-yourself-psychotherapy treatment: for 100 consecutive days, he would make an outrageous request of someone with the hopes of being rejected.

  • Miner Queries: Do you know your home’s radon level?

    As I’ve written, my family and I completed a major home renovation this fall.  Specifically, we had our farm house, where I grew up, lifted and the old, brick, tile foundation and dirt floor basement replaced with a new-poured concrete foundation and basement. We also addressed a number of other issues like the roof and heating and cooling systems.

  • The Time Capsule: Firing anvils, a new Olympic sport?

    This week we’ll discuss launching heavy objects, along with my personal quest to have anvil firing sanctioned as an Olympic event.  

    Nearly ten years ago, this column included a reprint of a news item that appeared at the close of WWI. Wild celebrations were held in towns throughout our county. Crowds of cheering people jammed the streets, bands played, speeches were made, flags flew, anvils were fired.

  • The Time Capsule: Capitalism: A thing of the past?

    A couple of weeks ago on this page our editor cited some of his acquaintances who believed the re-election of President Obama put this country over the edge. Mr. Orear argued that one person, one election, couldn’t be so devastating.  

    I agree—getting to this point has taken a string of bad actors and a huge supporting cast.  

  • What's Going On: I’ll take the apathetic voter over the traitor any day of the week

    Apathy and treason.

    This most recent presidential election has somehow spawned both reactions, seemingly polar opposites.

    On one hand, an estimated six million fewer voters participated in this election compared to 2008. That’s a lot of people, especially considering the seemingly increased animosity in this political climate.

    Ironically though, some political analysts believe intense political divisiveness that plagues this country is what caused some voters to throw up their hands in disgust and collectively say “enough.”

  • Miner Queries: School kids aren’t the only bullies

    As one of my Facebook friends noted, October wins the prize for “Awareness” month; among a long list of causes is bullying.  Public service announcements, news broadcasts and school events all encouraged us to protect our children from bullying and teach them it is unacceptable behavior.  Many programs added it only takes one or two dissenting voices to stop bullies in their tracks.

    Fast forward to the election and events following, and I’m hearing an adult voice in my head sneer, “Do as I say, not as I do!”

  • Time Capsule: Local veteran tells his wartime story

    Those who filed into the gymnasium and took seats reserved for them were, by appearances, an ordinary group. There were men of varying ages, two or three women, most dressed in street clothes.  Had we been taken outside and lined up for a photo the result would have resembled the company picnic.  

    There was a notable exception. On the end of the front row was a thin, white-haired man in a wheel chair. He was wearing the green dress uniform of a World War II Army Air Force First Lieutenant.     

  • What's Going On: Why I shaved my head

    It was supposed to be a fairly simple procedure.

    When the doctors determined my sister had breast cancer, they thought it was as minor as cancer can be.
    Melissa would have a lumpectomy and have to undergo about six weeks of radiation.

    No big deal, I tried telling myself. Melissa will be fine.

    Then came the day of the surgery, and the doctors found out they were wrong.

  • The Time Capsule: Scams just aren’t like they used to be

    How it slipped through the spam filter I don’t know, but this morning my inbox contained an urgent message from Kahookalee Dimbamba, a Nigerian attorney.  

    You’ve heard the story — a wealthy businessman passed on, leaving an estate since liquidated into $1 million cash. A corrupt government is moving to seize the funds and an attorney representing the estate, Mr. Dimbamba, wishes to transfer the account immediately to a U.S. bank. He learned of me through a mutual acquaintance, and so on.  

  • What's Going On: Romney supporters: America too great for one man to destroy

    “RIP America!! I’m just sad that my kids will never enjoy the great country I grew up in! Four more years of this freakin idiot in office is going to kill this country. For all of you people that voted for this jack***, I will feel no sympathy when this country goes to hell in a handbasket and you are begging for something to change. I take this personally - those of you that voted for this guy screwed my kids and grand kids out of a bright future.”