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Friday, Aug. 29, 2014
Keeping Tabs on Cholesterol
Posted Sunday, August 17, at 3:49 PM
Cholesterol is a waxy substance (a form of protein) found among the fats (lipids) in the bloodstream and in all of your body's cells. It's used to form and repair cell membranes, and needed for other important bodily functions. High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is called "good cholesterol" because it helps keep cholesterol from building up in arteries. The buildup of cholesterol impairs the flow of blood, possibly leading to a heart attack or stroke...

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August 10, 2014 -- Super Moon
Posted Tuesday, August 5, at 3:43 PM

On August 10, 2014, there will be a full moon. This full moon will be the closest moon encounter with Earth in 2014, thus it will appear to be the largest full moon of the year. It's called a super moon, the closest moon of 2014. According to NASA, this full moon will be 14 percent closer and 30 percent brighter than other full moons in 2014...

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New Technologies
Posted Sunday, July 27, at 12:09 PM

When I was in college in the 1960s, trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life, I read an article about computers becoming one of the emerging new technologies and that there would soon be a big demand for programmers. It sounded exotic and potentially lucrative so I decided to become a computer programmer...

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Mysterious Lost Island
Posted Thursday, June 26, at 3:14 PM

In December of 1980, a number of U.S. military personnel, including airmen Jim Penniston and John Burroughs, were stationed at the Woodbridge Royal Air Force base in Britain. At the time, the installation was being used by the U.S. Air Force. On December 26, military personnel spotted strange lights in the Rendlesham Forest, just outside the base's boundary. ...

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The Last Code Talker
Posted Sunday, June 15, at 7:51 PM

On June 4, 2014, Chester Nez passed on to the Great Beyond at his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico, at age 93. He was the last remaining of the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers. He had been recruited as a teenager in 1942 by the U.S. Marine Corps and assigned to the 382nd Platoon at Camp Pendleton on the southern California coast during World War II...

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Comprehending Women
Posted Monday, June 2, at 3:54 PM

According to Tequila Mockingbird, my imaginary girlfriend, the book of Genesis is missing a few details. When Adam was hanging around the Garden of Eden, feeling a bit lonely, God decided to create a companion for him called woman. "She will be very pretty and eager to please you," God told Adam. ...

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Get Outta Here Project
Posted Tuesday, May 27, at 12:34 PM

On June 23, 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled, in a 5 to 4 decision, that the government has the right to condemn private property and transfer title over to other private individuals or private corporations simply to stimulate economic development and/or create a larger tax base...

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Freedom is Never Free
Posted Monday, May 26, at 5:27 PM

Today is Memorial Day -- the following list reflects the number of Americans who gave their lives for their country. American Revolution (1775-1783) -- 4,435 dead War of 1812 (1812-1815) -- 2,260 dead Mexican War (1846-1848) -- 13,283 dead Civil War (1861-1865) -- 558,052 dead...

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Reflections of Memorial Day
Posted Thursday, May 22, at 10:16 AM

In the spring of 1966, I was drafted into the U.S. Army during what was referred to as the Vietnam Conflict. They never did call it a war -- apparently, they didn't want to alarm the civilians. I did my Basic Training at Ft. Leonard Wood, Missouri, then was permanently stationed at Third Army Headquarters at Ft. McPherson in Atlanta, Georgia...

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Fifty Years Ago -- 1964
Posted Saturday, May 17, at 12:35 PM

The year 1964 was an eventful time, including the Beatles & Rolling Stones arrival in the USA and triggering of the Vietnam War. The following events took place in 1964. Jan 10 -- Panama broke ties with the U.S. and demanded a revision of the canal treaty...

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Humor Warning in Salem, Ark.
Posted Tuesday, May 13, at 1:52 PM

In 2001, I began writing a column for a weekly newspaper in Salem, Arkansas. When I first started, I tried to do mostly humor items and won several annual awards for humor columns through the Arkansas Press Association. However, my attempts at humor initially offended some of the readers. The newspaper even received a few threats of subscription cancellations if I wasn't immediately removed from uttering my gibberish in print...

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Regular People
Posted Friday, April 18, at 12:22 PM

In 2001-2006, I was a part-time adjunct instructor at the Ozarka College in Melbourne and Ash Flat, Arkansas. One of my students once asked me what the difference was between Democrats and Republicans and regular people. This seemed like a strange sort of question, especially since I only taught computer courses...

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Kennedy & Lincoln Coincidences
Posted Saturday, April 5, at 10:02 AM

There is a remarkable set of coincidences between President John Kennedy and President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946. Lincoln was elected President in 1860. Kennedy was elected President in 1960...

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The Road Less Traveled
Posted Wednesday, March 19, at 11:35 AM

I like to collect strange facts. It keeps my fertile mind from gathering moss. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most difficult tongue twister is "The sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick." In 1980, Dr. Paul Ashton, anesthetics registrar at Birkenhead General Hospital Merseyside, in England, worked a 142-hour week...

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Moving to Mexico
Posted Tuesday, February 25, at 10:14 AM

In 1980, when I was married and living in Los Angeles, my wife and I took a trip to Club Med in Playa Blanca, Mexico. We boarded a 707 passenger jet, chartered by a travel agency, on a Friday night bound for Manzanillo. To my surprise, the plane landed in La Paz on the Baja Peninsula where each passenger was given a card by the stewardess and told to fill it out. ...

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Valentine's Day
Posted Saturday, February 8, at 10:15 AM

February 14 is Valentine's Day. According to legend, Valentine was a Roman priest during the third century. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he decreed that young men were forbidden to get married...

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Groundhog Day -- 2014
Posted Sunday, February 2, at 10:23 AM

February 2nd is Groundhog Day. This is the day when grown men and women congregate outside of rodent burrows and wait patiently for a groundhog to emerge. If the groundhog sees its shadow on this day, legend has it that there will be six more weeks of winter...

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Chinese New Year
Posted Sunday, January 19, at 5:18 PM

The Chinese invented many wonderful things, such as dynamite, fortune cookies and Chinese food. They also invented astrology. In fact, the Chinese Lunar New Year is the longest chronological record in history. Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the zodiac in 2600 BC. It takes five minor cycles of 12 years each, or 60 years all together, to make one complete cycle...

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The Big Six-Oh
Posted Tuesday, January 14, at 5:57 PM

A couple of decades ago, after spending much of my life moving from city to city and state to state, I finally settled into a peaceful rural existence in the Land of Ark -- a.k.a. the Natural State, a.k.a. the Land of Opportunity. The rest of the country refers to it as Arkansas, where all the beautiful people live and time stands still...

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End of the World in 2014
Posted Tuesday, January 7, at 11:35 AM

In the year 1514, Pope Leo X proclaimed, "I will not see the end of the world, nor will you my brethren, for its time is long in the future, 500 years hence." 1514 + 500 = 2014 Perhaps Pope Leo X was just blowing off some steam -- we'll find out in the next 359 days...

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Boldly Going Nowhere
Bret Burquest
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Bret Burquest is a former award-winning columnist for The News (2001-2007) and author of four novels. He has lived in Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Kansas City, Memphis and the middle of the Arizona desert. After a life of blood, sweat and tears in big cities, he has finally found peace in northern Arkansas where he grows tomatoes, watches sunsets and occasionally shares the Secrets of the Universe (and beyond) with the rest of the world.
Hot topics
Keeping Tabs on Cholesterol
(2 ~ 9:35 AM, Aug 22)

August 10, 2014 -- Super Moon
(1 ~ 4:46 PM, Aug 5)

New Technologies
(6 ~ 4:54 PM, Aug 2)

Mysterious Lost Island
(2 ~ 11:58 AM, Jul 26)

The Last Code Talker
(1 ~ 2:51 PM, Jun 22)