During the recent holiday season something really grabbed my attention. We have now become a nation of numbers. That is not a particularly comfortable feeling for people like me, people who started their formal education in various schoolrooms throughout the country with an oppressive dread of being sent to the blackboard to work arithmetic problems.
We all know about Andrew Jackson's historic victory over the English at the Battle of New Orleans on Jan. 8, 1815. From television and movies we have learned that Jackson's army was composed not only of U.S. regular Army regiments but also backwoods militia and Jean Lafitte's Baratarian pirates. Actually, Jackson's army was even more diverse and represented a true cross section of the American South.
Everyone knows about the current Tea Party and its influence on our politics. Whether it will still be in play 20 years from now will have to be seen, but far more certain is that the original Boston Tea Party of 1773 will continue to be influential.
It is hard not to pay attention to optical illusions, and wonder how can it be that one line is not really longer than the other or one circle is not really darker than the other or all the other varieties that tell us our eyes lie to us.
You pick up a rock and it's just a rock. Jan Zalasiewicz picks up a rock and sees a history of the whole Earth. That's because Zalasiewicz is a geologist, so rocks have more meaning to him than they do to most of us.
I was thinking about the new year and how inevitably there will be changes. Sam is reading "The Shack." He shared the part where Mack goes to a broken-down dilapidated shack in wintertime; in 30 seconds the shack transforms into a nice cabin, and it's springtime.
By now Santa Claus must surely be back at the North Pole, utterly exhausted after his whirlwind trip through all those time and temperature zones on his annual marathon journey. Actually, a mere marathon pales by comparison.
It's the season for believing -- in Santa Claus, in miracles and in the magic of all that the holidays deliver. Ten years ago, a guy from a small town armed only with the passion to follow a dream and a few bobby pins arrived on the scene in Jackson, and it has been a rollercoaster ride from day one.
They say when one door closes, another one opens. Sometimes it's a window that opens. The portal does not matter. The meaning is the same.
The native American pig had become extinct at the end of the last Ice Age probably about 10,000 years ago. It was Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto who reintroduced what is now Alabama and Mississippi to pork.
Stepping into the spa, I felt the stresses and strains of Prairie life drain from my shoulders. I recognized the sounds of Pachelbel's Canon and knew I had found a home. The overstuffed couch wrapped its comforting arms around me like a long-lost mother. The receptionist said they'd be with me in a minute. For a rare moment, waiting was a pleasure.
It was in the early 1930s that community leaders in the Columbus area began pursuing an air base. Capt. Sam Kaye, Herman Owen and T C Billups were among the first to promote an air base or airport to be located at Columbus. Billups helped secure the full support of his old college friend, Congressman John Rankin, but that initial effort was unsuccessful.
For a while it seemed that the entire country of Israel was on fire. The heart of the Holy Land appeared to be turning into a wasteland of burnt bushes and ash. As I write this, things are looking up a bit. The blaze has been controlled.
Author Deborah Johnson has been awarded the 2010 Mississippi Library Association Award for Fiction for her novel "The Air Between Us" (Harper Collins). The debut work, set in the fictional town of Revere, Miss., in 1966, looks at how the murder of a white man ripples through a town already struggling with integration.
The funniest Christmas story I ever read appeared years ago in one of the women's magazines; I forget which. Will Stanton was the author.
If you know me, then you know that I love glitter! Ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper, anything that shines, sparkles or shimmers has made my heart beat faster.
Columbus certainly appears to be wrapped in the spirit of the season. It seems that yards are decorated a bit earlier this year. Chris and I got our tree up only a few days after Thanksgiving. This is my goal every year, but not always my reality.
I dragged out the Christmas lights this weekend and began unraveling the many tangled cords of festive little bulbs of colored joy. It took some time as I sat thinking near boxes of last year's decorations, nutcrackers from my childhood, Christopher Radko snow globes bundled up cozily in bubble wrap, and ornaments galore.
I am a strict and fervent teetotaler, so I might be the wrong person to review "Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl" (Perigee) by David Wondrich.
You are looking at it right now, and if it is doing its job, you don't even notice it. It might represent a creation that has taken centuries to come to its current state of perfection, or it might be something that a dedicated specialist worked on for years and brought out a decade ago. It represents artistry directed within a circumscribed realm.