Commentary

pokemon.com

I’ve been playing Pokemon games since the very first were released on the Game Boy in 1998. I put hundreds of hours in on that game on the school bus and elsewhere - and I’ve played every single game in the series since. Nearly all of them have followed the same basic formula. A professor gives you a Pokemon at the start of the game, and then you travel around through several cities, catching more Pokemon along the way, and defeating 8 powerful Gym Leaders, while also stopping some nefarious group or another from achieving their evil goals.

M. Night Shyamalan has had a strange career. The director kicked down the door with 1999’s The Sixth Sense, then had a couple of fantastic follow-up films before falling hard and fast into self-indulgence and eventually making a few of what are considered the worst films of the past decade.

But then, all of a sudden, with 2015’s wonderfully creepy The Visit, and now his newest thriller, Split, it appears that Shyamalan is back. And what’s more, for the first time it seems like he’s actually having fun making movies.

Other than what was here before Columbus arrived, all American music is the result of migration. It’s been happening since Plymouth Rock; music is carried in with waves of immigrants and thrown into a Darwinian mosh pit, subjected to opposition, transformation, juxtaposition, synthesis, and evolution. And the sounds that survive change from being “World Music” into “American Music.”


I know we’re almost into February, but some of our Christmas lights are still glowing outside out on our deck. They’re a tangle of multi-colored strands—some old-style twinkle lights, mixed in with newer LED lights. They’re big, little and medium in size, every shape and color, all brightening the long nights of winter.

Book Review: 'Victoria'

Jan 25, 2017

I couldn’t resist reading Victoria, the novel by Daisy Goodwin. It follows Queen Victoria beginning in 1838, when she becomes Queen of England a month into her 18th year, taking us through her courtship and marriage to Prince Albert in 1840. Goodwin was commissioned to make a TV series about the life of Victoria and I tuned into the first episode now airing on PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre. I wanted more and I got exactly what I wanted. 

kansas.gov

Governor Sam Brownback disappointed many Kansans when he failed to offer a long-term plan in his State of the State address on how to get Kansas out of its fiscal hole. Instead, the governor reiterated that he believes his tax plan is working.

OnWords: Expert

Jan 25, 2017

A few years ago, the humorist John Hodgman published a book titled The Areas of My Expertise.

The book used irony to skewer the whole notion of expertise, yet the subject matter expert or “SME,” is still the go-to person for journalists and executives alike.

In my own limited experience with being called an expert, it certainly doesn’t feel like anything special.

In fact, it’s kind of scary, because the deeper you get into a subject, the more you’re aware of how little you actually know.

The first 100 days of a new U.S. presidential administration provide an important vantage point to assess how effective (or ineffective) the nation’s chief executive will be.

Silence offers no easy answers. In fact, it may not offer any answers at all.

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