Commentary

I don’t know if you know this, but it turns out that technology can be used for good and for evil. That’s the lesson of The Circle, the latest in a long, long line of movies that tell us that the shiny new tech thing we love so much might not be so good after all.

The state legislature is in the final weeks of its 2017 session, and it still faces important fiscal decisions.  One is to comply with a mandate by the Kansas Supreme Court, which decided in March of this year to increase funding for K-12 education by June 30 of an estimated $800 million per year. Also, an annual funding formula for K-12 education has yet to be adopted. Cuts in school funding occurred in 2008 and were blamed on the national recession of that year.

I stood damply beneath a wind-warped umbrella recently in my front yard, the temperature around 40 degrees, waiting for Lucy to find the perfect patch of grass.

OnWords: Earned

May 2, 2017

As we move out of tax season, you may be thinking a lot about what you’ve earned.

Situated between World War II and Vietnam, the Korean War is often referred to as America’s “forgotten war.” Despite its relative murkiness in the context of public consciousness, the Korean War and its aftermath is arguably America’s most fascinating recent military endeavor.

Book Review: 'Spoils'

May 1, 2017

When the recent news that the ‘mother of all bombs' was dropped in Afghanistan to wipe out a stronghold of ISIS, I immediately thought about  Brian Van Reet’s debut novel Spoils, a propulsive novel that empathetically depicts both sides of our ruinous war on terror.

The Lost City of Z—or The Lost City of Zed, as our British hero calls it—tells the true story of the early-20th-century explorer Percy Fawcett. While on a surveying expedition in the Amazon, Fawcett uncovered what he considered to be evidence of a lost civilization, the proverbial city of gold. He took his findings back to England, where he was met with not just skepticism but outright derision—how could civilization like this exist among the savages of South America? And how, as Fawcett suggested, could it even predate the great civilization of Britain?

Craig “Twister” Steward has been playing and recording music on a local and global scale for decades. He record a number of songs with Frank Zappa and appears on albums such as Joe’s Garage, The Man From Utopia and You Are What You Is. He is a consistent presence in the Wichita music scene and frequently appears at Zappa-related events throughout Europe.

“I was a gymnast in high school. My music is an extension of my sport career. I was a tumbler and my solos have a lot to do with my tumbling routines.

Marginalia: Ulrich Boser

Apr 28, 2017

In this podcast, I visited with Ulrich Boser about his new book, Learn Better: Mastering the Skills for Success in Life, Business, and School, or, How to Become an Expert in Just about Anything.

People sometimes ask me how I make some of my paintings.

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