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Columns

  • A genius like Norman Einstein

    Remember a few years back that a pair of human spell-checkers made the news for traipsing around the country making corrections to signs they believed contained errors? For their efforts, the language-fixers, Jeff Deck and Benjamin Herson, got banned from certain national parks.

    I wrote about this team who would arm themselves with Sharpies, erasers, adhesive tape and righteous indignation. They’ve faded from the news, but if they wanted an assistant, I’d try to join them.

  • Editor's Note: Hog-wild for your vote

    Did you miss me?              

    I returned to work last week after several days in my native state of Arkansas, where we relaxed under a globally warmed summer sun, spent time with my dear ol’ pa and ma, and other family members and old friends, and traded in tamales for pork rinds.

    I tell you this as context for my participation in a fundraiser — and to solicit your vote.

  • Nuestra Historia - Governor pardons Magee; Sec’s kingdom falls

    The same day a jury found Carl Magee guilty of criminal libel on June 22, 1923, Judge David Leahy spared no words as he sentenced the editor to a year in jail.

    “No, Carl Magee,” said Judge Leahy, “you, and others of your kind — and thank God they are mighty few — are a greater menace to civilized society, to the lives and liberties of the people generally, than is the cow thief or horse thief.”

  • Work of Art - No more strraaiigghht ticket

    “And I want all of you to vote the strraaiigghht ticket when you go to the polls in November.” How many times have we heard this, and from how many politicians?

    Too many times and from too many politicians.

  • Editor's Note - The Farmers’ Almanac

    Call me an old fogey if you want, but I think the Farmers’ Almanac is an interesting read.

    I can’t say I’m a loyal buyer of the annual booklet, but I’ve been perusing it for years, as a “gift” to this and other newspapers I’ve worked at. In other words, it’s a freebee I’ve enjoyed.

    This year, however, I didn’t receive one (or somebody else around here got hold of it before I did). So I was pleased to find a complimentary copy sitting on the counter at Quality Motor Co., which I gladly snatched up.

  • Nuestra Historia - Fiestas!

    Editor’s note: This column first appeared July 1, 2011.

    Since Las Vegas was founded in 1835, fiestas have been celebrated at the Old Town Plaza, but a Fourth of July celebration did not begin until 1882.

  • The lifeblood of U.S. startups

    In a rare moment of genuinely bipartisan lawmaking, the president recently signed the JOBS Act into law. Short for “Jumpstart Our Business Startups,” JOBS will roll back some of the regulatory barriers that small and mid-sized entrepreneurial ventures face in their efforts to grow and go public.

    This is a great victory for the American start-up community. Now, policymakers need to turn their attention to the hurdles in the way of talent acquisition.

  • Work of Art - No instant replay in 1912

    Super Slo-Mo (that’s a term I believe I’ve just made up), instant replay, zoom lenses, extra-sensitive mikes: they’ve spoiled it for all of us.

    Let me explain:

    It was exactly this time 100 years ago that Las Vegas became transformed from a sleepy little town to an active little town, with the hosting of a world heavyweight championship bout.

    Those of you who read our Page 1 Looking Back feature may be aware that the Fourth of July festivities that year included a fight between Jack Johnson and Jim Flynn.

  • Editor's Note - Festivals here and abroad

    In honor of the fiestas that grace our landscape, last year at about this time I wrote a column about some of the festivals I’ve experienced up close and personally.

    There’s Toad Suck Daze in my old hometown of Conway, Ark. It’s named after an area along the banks of the Arkansas River where, legend has it, people used to go to suck on bottles of booze “until they swelled up like toads,” giving Conway a novel name for its festival that, actually, has nothing to do with Toad Suck but has drawn national attention anyway.

  • Dulcey Amargo - Let the games begin

    We’ve got so many phrases that refer to games and our human penchant for competition, but the Greeks, in the sixth century, started something that has become much bigger than they ever imagined.

    I’m referring to our modern-day phenomenon, online games.  Curious, I did an online search of the term, which revealed that more than 500,000 apps are available for online gamers. These games are a far cry from the boxing, running, wrestling, equestrian, etc., games that the Greeks offered in their heyday.