Commentary
5:00 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Richard Crowson: A Different Kind Of Madness

We’re in the throes of a kind of “March madness” that most likely will not be going away come April. It is a sort of madness that has a much more profound impact any than basketball game could ever have.

I’m talking about the kind of madness that could leave thousands of Kansas Medicaid recipients stuck in that crazy-making, Alice-in-Wonderland place of having to deal with for-profit companies who will make decisions about those folks’ health care.

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Commentary
10:37 am
Tue March 13, 2012

Into It: Barber Pole

Blood letting image from 1860.

The barber pole has come a long way to be stationed above old brick shops, to repeat and repeat its lonely spins. In fact, the barbers themselves have a strange past, their title once denoting a more taxing profession.

In the middle ages, if you required dentistry, surgery, fire cupping, or a session of leeching, you’d visit the barber-surgeon. It was hundreds of years before the roles we now know as doctors and barbers diverged completely.

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Commentary
8:28 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Book Review: The Darlings

First-time novelist Christina Alger’s pedigree reads just like that of her characters’ in The Darlings:  Harvard, NYU School of Law, work at Goldman Sachs. Alger takes the adage, “write what you know,” to heart and tells an entertaining story of the rise and fall of some of the “1%” during the financial crash of 2008.

The book opens at 2:00 a.m. on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, with the alleged suicide of Morty Reis off the Tappan Zee Bridge. Reis’ investment fund is suspected of a Bernie Madoff-style ponzi fraud.

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Restaurant Review
5:00 am
Fri March 9, 2012

Lupe's Carry Out

I grew up in Newton, Kansas, in the ‘70s and ‘80s. It goes without saying that there weren’t many fun dining options in our little town. We had a Big Cheese Pizza, a Pizza Hut, a Sonic, The Red Coach Inn, and a Hardee’s. There were a couple of coffee shops and our Woolworth’s had a lunch counter—the old-fashioned kind—but that was torn down and replaced with a thrift store. We had one fancy restaurant, the Old Mill, which featured the first salad bar I had ever seen and served adult beverages, a rarity in our dry county.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Fri March 2, 2012

Richard Crowson: Even Sasquatch Wants To Vote

Driving down Douglas this past Tuesday I couldn’t help noticing a forelorn figure, shaggy head down, slumped despondently on a street-side bench. His large, bare feet instantly identified him to me and I swung over, pulled to a stop in the parking lot beside him, rolled down my window, and said, “Hey Bigfoot, why so sad?”

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Commentary
9:30 am
Tue February 28, 2012

Into It: Colorful Noise

When we hear the word “noise,” we think annoyance and distraction. And that makes perfect sense. Noise is essentially interference, something that disrupts our experience with everything from radios and televisions to images on digital cameras. But our ears have a unique relationship with colorful noise.

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Commentary
7:31 am
Mon February 27, 2012

Book Review: When the Killing's Done

T.C. Boyle has written adeptly on subjects ranging from academic politics, to illegal immigration, to the women who loved Frank Lloyd Wright. When the Killing’s Done, Boyle’s 14th novel, is set principally off the Santa Barbara coast on the sparsely inhabited Channel Islands.

Opening with a quote from Genesis in which man is instructed by God to have “dominion over the fish of the sea, over the fowl of the air, over every living thing that moveth upon the earth,” Boyle sets out to explore that very dominion we attempt to exert over the earth.

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Food
5:00 am
Fri February 24, 2012

Kimchi at Grace Market

I am obsessed with kimchi. I think about the earthy, fermented, spicy pickle all the time. I know that some people find kimchi’s deep funkiness repellent, but I love it. Kimchi is one of the most common Korean condiments and is made with vegetables, chili pepper flakes, garlic, ginger and salt. It is lightly fermented, sort of like sauerkraut, and then eaten as a side dish or used as an ingredient in Korean cooking. The kimchi most of us are familiar with is made with Napa cabbage.

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Commentary
5:00 am
Fri February 17, 2012

Richard Crowson: We Have Met The Enemy

Surely no one is surprised that parents are very concerned about the proposed boundary changes in Wichita’s school district. Schools are about our children and our children are an emotional subject for all of us. So if you’re going to start messing around with my kid’s school, maybe even closing that school and making my child go elsewhere, then you’ve got some serious explaining to do.

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Commentary
7:34 am
Mon February 13, 2012

Book Review:

What would your legacy look like three generations down the line? Would it be a fledging family business? A statue symbolizing a conquest? Moral values and religious beliefs?

Jonathan Evison’s West of Here is a novel of the western expansion. It juxtaposes the legacy of the past with the drama of the present in the fictional town of Port Bonita, on Washington state’s Pacific coast. While everything changes, basic human nature remains the same as the two very distinct worlds collide in interwoven chapters.

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