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Opening Arguments

Straw dogs

At least here's one gun-control measure that makes sense:

Straw purchases are those where one person fills out the legal forms and makes the purchase for another. The ruse is illegal and often used by convicted felons and others who cannot legally possess firearms. In addition to a possible 10-year prison sentence, violators also face a possible fine of up to $250,000.

It's nice to see someone trying to disarm the predators instead of their potential victims for a change.

Posted in: Hoosier lore

Just waiting for you to die

When I worked at the newspaper in Michigan City, I was once sent to interview the city controller, a well-known local political figure, who had just resigned to fight an ultimately losing battle with cancer. After 10 or 15 minutes of awkward questions and answers, the man cleared his throat, looked me in the eye and said, "This is for my obituary, isn't it?" I admitted that it was, and the interview went very well after that. We actually printed the story before he died, then used some of the information again when he succumbed a few months later.

Posted in: Current Affairs

Diversity 101

I'm getting so sick and tired of stories like this one. It isn't especially any worse than the thousands like it we've seen in the last couple of decades, but even the headline ticked me off: "Explosion of diversity sweeps U.S., census shows." The story explains:

Posted in: Current Affairs

A corny sentiment

A nice piece in the Star about the pleasures of corn on the cob:

A good player, but no defense

What a classy guy:

DETROIT — Ron Artest, who was tagged as temperamental and volatile during his first few years in the NBA, wasn't apologetic and defended his actions in the November 2004 brawl at a Pistons game as he talked Wednesday to children at a community centre.

Posted in: Hoosier lore, Sports

Casino royale

PR geniuses at work:

Two groups of Harrison and Floyd residents gave Caesars Indiana casino overwhelmingly high marks yesterday for improving their community.

The casino's tax revenues and incentive payments to two local community foundations have helped pay for college scholarships, adult-education programs and an array of projects.

Posted in: Hoosier lore

The four-year non-itch

Gosh, here's a shock:

A woman's sex drive begins to plummet once she is in a secure relationship, according to research.

Researchers from Germany found that four years into a relationship, less than half of 30-year-old women wanted regular sex.

Conversely, the team found a man's libido remained the same regardless of how long he had been in a relationship.

Posted in: Current Affairs

Today's chuckle

An outrage

I don't care how you try to dress it up -- something you drag out of the oven is not a fried potato.

Because of the new state law prohibiting fried food, soft drinks and junk food in K-8 schools during the school day, French fries are off-limits. But now, many school districts think banning French fries - a staple for many youngsters - is simply too much, and are whipping up imitation fries as a consolation prize.

Posted in: Food and Drink

Blissful America

Well, this is depressing. A version of Jay Walking from "The Tonight Show," but the whole country can play:

Three quarters of Americans can correctly identify two of Snow White's seven dwarfs while only a quarter can name two Supreme Court Justices, according to a poll on pop culture released Monday.

Posted in: Current Affairs

No sweat for Souder

The GOP is apparently still worried only about three congressional races in Indiana -- keeping the seats for incumbents John Hostettler, Chris Chocola and Mike Sodrel:

The White House and top Republicans are nervously watching, fearful that if they can't win these districts in a state Bush carried with 60 percent of the vote, are prospects for preserving their majority bleak?

Hey, watch this!

Natural selection at work:

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. A 21-year-old man suffered severe burns to his face and head when he ignited a mortar-style firework that he taped to an old football helmet and placed on his head.

Here's the part I know will shock you:

Police say Kaleb Spangler of Bloomington attempted the stunt while drinking at a party . . .

Posted in: Hoosier lore

How charming

Women, beware. There are men willing to pay $1,600 for a crash course on how to do better at picking you up in bars, learning how to give up on the "canned lines" and "think on their feet" instead, picking up on your "subtle cues."

Ben had a rough Friday night picking up women on the Hotel Gansevoort's balcony after being coldly rejected by two attractive blonds.

Posted in: Current Affairs

What are you reading?

A friend and I have done all three of the public library's "One City, One Book" programs ("Farenheit 451," "The Diary of Anne Frank" and "Frankenstein") and even bought study guides for the books. We kept waiting for this year's, and she finally decided to ask someone at the main branch, discovering there is no 2006 book. They had some silly excuse about being too busy with getting ready for the renovated building's reopening.

Maybe we ought to do a "One Blog, One Book" program. Anybody got a good book we can discuss?

Posted in: Our town

Members of the family

AWB at Summit City Odds and Ends has a sad post about the death of Buddy, the family dog:

Posted in: Our town

Every morning, kidnapped anew

The Jill Carroll story is going to run in 10 installments, and I'll probably read it all. I heard her interiewed on Good Morning America yesterday, and it was one of the scariest, most harrowing things I've heard in some time. She spent every waking second trying not to make her captors angry, knowing that if she said the wrong thing or did the wrong thing, she could be killed on the spot.

Posted in: Current Affairs

B.O. might be a problem

I get claustrophobic just reading this:

WANTED: six multinational volunteers ready to spend just under two years in a dimly lit, confined space pretending to be cosmonauts without alcohol, cigarettes and possibly sex.

[. . .]

“Blast-off” in a mock-up of a Russian spaceship that will never leave its Moscow hangar is scheduled for autumn of 2007, and crew applications are already flooding in.

Posted in: Science


If you ever accused the teens around you of not even knowing what time it was, you now have science to back you up:

The major problem with teenagers and sleep can be boiled down to two things, researchers say: melatonin and school start times.

Posted in: Current Affairs

The wrong number

I can appreciate the need to make something sound unique, especially if you've invested a lot of time and effort in an investigative report. But this number doesn't have quite the impact I think the newspaper would like it to have:

A newspaper investigation finds that the Indiana Toll Road ranks first in the state among highways in deaths per mile.The South Bend Tribune reports that 19 people were killed on the Toll Road in 2005 and eleven have died so far this year on the 157-mile highway.

Posted in: Hoosier lore

One billion saved

Spend some time learning from a real hero, either by listening to Penn Gillette's podcast or reading Ronald Bailey's interview:

Norman Borlaug, as the "Father of the Green Revolution," is the single human being who has saved more human lives than any other person in all of history. How many lives has he saved? My guess is easily more than billion. For his work in dramatically improving crop yields, Borlaug was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970.

Posted in: Current Affairs