Commentary

Marginalia: Carrie Brown

Mar 10, 2016
© Aaron Mahler

Sir William Herschel was an astronomer who is best known for discovering Uranus and several moons while compiling a catalog of more than 2,500 celestial objects that is still in use today.

He was assisted for decades by his younger sister and fellow astronomer, Caroline Herschel. When he collected her from the family home in Germany to assist him in England, he liberated her from an awful existence , and she was forever grateful--and indebted--to him.

 The ColecoVision console, Nintendo’s Game Boy, the Sega Genesis and several arcade games - Frogger, Galaga, and even Street Fighter 2 have one very important thing in common: They all use the Zilog Z80 processor.

'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot' is NOT a Comedy

Mar 10, 2016
Frank Masi - © 2015 PARAMOUNT PICTURES

Toward the end of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Tina Fey asks a question to which she gets, and apparently expects, no answer: Do the patients in the Afghanistan hospital ever get well? And a little later, a victim of an improvised explosive device insists that nobody is really responsible for anything because nobody has any real control over anything that happens anyway.


The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the Senate Judiciary committee’s refusal to consider an appointment by President Obama to replace him is provoking ongoing debate.


When the news gets too grim, as it so often does here in Kansas, I seek solace in walks with our Airedale, Lucy.

“Authority” is a word we associate with positions of power. Authority in this sense comes from the role you fill, not from the personal qualities you possess.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, though, authority’s Latin root means, among other things, to originate, to promote, to increase or make grow.

At its origins, authority is distinct from power, but it can embody its own kind of power.

On May 10, 1840, Elizabeth Cady married abolitionist Henry Stanton. For the presiding pastor, the unconventional wedding day, a Friday, was not the most shocking part of their wedding ceremony. Rejecting Protestant tradition, Elizabeth Cady omitted the vow binding her “to obey” her husband. While she was not the first bride to make this omission, Stanton’s choice reflected a deeper understanding of the inequity women faced within their marriages and her desire to increase women’s legal rights within the institution.

Brigitte Lacombe

Jean Stein’s new book West of Eden: An American Place is told in the oral form tradition she used in her 1982 bestselling oral biography, Edie: An American Biography.

Charisse Kahler is a native of Michigan who has lived in a variety of cities and states. For more than a decade she and her husband Steve have performed as The Kahlers.

My concept of songwriting is that the best ones are handed to you, as John Lennon once said, on a flaming pie.

Appreciate Individual Scenes, Not Whole Movies

Mar 3, 2016

The​ Wichita Eagle described both Triple 9 and Gods of Egypt as incoherent and confusing, so I decided to try appreciating them for their individual scenes without concerning myself with whether they made sense as whole movies; this is the way I  suspect we are supposed to appreciate a lot of movies these days. Triple 9 defeated me on all grounds, but I don't understand the objections to Gods of Egypt.

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