Walk out into the backyard at 4 a.m. and the first thing you notice is the birds. A million of them there must be, all singing their particular songs. The result is a symphonic composition more complex and beautiful than anything a human could conceive.
When asked to explain the brisk pace of his novels, Elmore Leonard said, "I leave out the parts that people skip." You will not want to skip anything in William Zinsser's short essays written for the American Scholar magazine's Web site and now collected in "The Writer Who Stayed," a book that begins with him wondering why "every year student writing is a little more disheveled."
Tonight, the Columbus City Council will consider a proposal to amend its hiring policies as they apply to people with felony convictions. This comes in the wake of enforcement guidelines issued recently by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that warned employers that making employment decisions based solely on a candidate's criminal history could be considered discrimination.
Spring flings a craving on me for something new to wear; something "springy" even if temperatures are freezing. No matter, I wanted something the yellow of a daffodil, the fuchsia of loropetalum or the purple of a budding redbud. Only I was prevented from going to my usual thrift haunts because I had given up my love of thrifting for Lent. It meant sacrifice.
Many hoped Paul Harvey would never die. Listening to the commentator's daily radio broadcast from Chicago was a happy habit for legions of Mississippians from right after World War II until 2009 when, at age 90, Harvey's life and career came to its inevitable end.
In a previous column, I referred to the Mississippi Legislature as a "festering pile of stupid." Upon reflection, this was not an accurate portrayal. As the 2013 legislative session draws toward a merciful end, I am reminded daily that there is a more complete description of our state leaders: "A devious, festering pile of stupid."
The fight goes on. Whether cats are bird-killing machines or soft balls of love (for themselves, anyway) remains a subject of painful debate. The first part is undoubtedly true. Cats in the United States destroy a median of 2.4 billion birds a year. Add to that death toll 2.3 billion mammals, many of them native creatures: chipmunks, rabbits and voles, reptiles and amphibians.
Google has started a big "Go Paperless in 2013" campaign. Paper, they say, is bad for the environment. It's high time someone called bovine manure on this. Trees are organic. Trees are renewable. Tree farms reduce CO2. There are more forests in Mississippi than there were at the turn of the century.
The Supreme Court began hearing arguments Monday in two landmark cases which could impact how states and the federal government interpret marriages. I am optimistic laws can catch up to our nation's changing viewpoint on same-sex marriages, but I'm also certain federal protections are sometimes needed to ensure equality.
Monday's announcement that Columbus Air Force Base is bringing back its Fourth of July fireworks show is something everyone can agree is a good thing.
You want a routine checkup. Or your throat is sore. It's probably nothing, but you're concerned. Do you need a full-fledged MD with all those certificates and perhaps a God complex?
Barring a change of heart among organizers, there will be no Juneteenth Festival in Columbus this year. The Columbus Juneteenth Festival has been held every year since 1995.
Two guys are at a conference, looking bored. On stage, there's been talk about "dongles," which, if you aren't aware, are devices you plug in to laptops to get connectivity. Bigger ones are supposedly more powerful. Can you guess the joke? (Hint: about whether size matters.)
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