This time of year has always found me longing for home. The trouble is that, like millions of other Americans, home has become a mythic place—a place many of us have only heard of in old family tales and country songs.
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Today Admiral Hyman G. Rickover is best remembered for developing the atomic-powered submarine. With the launching of the first of these submarines, the Nautilus, in 1954, he was dubbed “The Father of the Atomic Submarine.” As Admiral Rickover’s only child, that made me The Atomic Submarine, and you can imagine what I now had to live up to. And just when I had become used to it, several atomic-powered surface ships were built and my father became “The Father of the Nuclear Navy”—and I acquired an even more bizarre identity!
March 2, 1972
Man has evolved from crawling to standing to sitting. This is the peak. To be able to live sitting down. Nearly everyone exits this life in a prone position, or hopes to (we have never heard of a head-first or feet-first burial) and as long as they can stay awake, they fight stretching out on their back for fear someone will put a lily in their hand and read an obituary.
It’s called corn on corn. That expression describes a crop-rotation strategy pursued by some Midwest farmers capitalizing on high corn prices because of ethanol. In other words, one year they plant corn. And the next year they do the same.
Whatever happened to letting the land lay fallow, you ask? Isn’t growing corn harder on topsoil than growing any other crop? Have you checked crop prices lately?
Long-term care is a topic that is growing in popularity these days and for good reason—it accounts for the single largest cost to the medical field today. Considering a majority of Nebraskans may only have a partial understanding of the subject, it’s more important than ever that you know the facts and be informed.
If it seems to you that there has been more damage from environmental catastrophes recently—from hurricanes to wildfires to the current flooding—you’re right. Direct costs from natural disasters (adjusted for inflation) have been increasing in this country for the last several decades.
“Wow!” Seven-year-old Michael Duane stared in awe at his first tornado. Today, 42 years later, Duane is a fine artist infusing his paintings with some of the “wow” factor that he first felt as a child.
“A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599”
Author: James S. Shapiro
New York: Harper Collins
This was a fascinating read for me in the field of “not my job.” A friend mentioned the book and, being a life-long Shakespeare devotee, I asked if I could borrow it.
One doesn’t have to walk very far in the mall or channel surf for very long during the month of December before hearing a familiar excerpt from one of the most famous holiday pieces in the world: “The Nutcracker” by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Commissioned in 1891 by Ivan Vsevolozhsky, director of the Imperial Theatres, “The Nutcracker” ballet was first performed at the Imperial Maiinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia in December of 1892.
When I was three years old, I embarked upon an activity that unknowingly would become my greatest passion. Passion is a relevant term that has a different meaning for everyone. To me, passion is when you love and appreciate something beyond reasonable doubt, so that it becomes a part of who you are. My goal is not to make my passion your passion but rather to educate you on the aspects you need to know to understand and appreciate what it is that I so unconditionally love.
It has nagged me for what seems like most of the 16 years that I have lived in Lincoln, Neb. I regularly make the trip to a reservoir near Hickman to either exercise my dog or unsuccessfully cast a line, but every trip that eroding gully catches my attention. It has always bothered me as to why a farmer would leave such an eyesore along a well-traveled road, but the trip this week really caught my attention. The gully is about four to six feet deep and extends several hundred feet into the field perpendicular to the road. On this particular day, the farmer had just finished combining, and it was obvious that every time he came to the ravine, he turned on end rows parallel to the gully. If the shame of such a poor farming practice has not been enough to cause him to fix the gully, then I would think the additional time and fuel used for the extra turns and the inconvenience of farming around the gully would motivate a change.
September through December, raptor enthusiasts gather 20 minutes north of Omaha, Neb., at Hitchcock Nature Center to observe and count thousands of hawks, eagles and vultures migrating south. The broad expanse of the adjacent Missouri River Valley and the updrafts created by the prevailing westerly winds striking the Loess Hills create a “hawk highway,” which attracts migrating birds of prey. Hitchcock Nature Center has been recognized as one of the top five hawkwatches in the world for viewing migrating bald eagles. November is an especially good time to view these majestic avians on their journey south, but the watch continues through December.
Almost 20 years after Kevin Costner transformed an Iowa cornfield into an historic major league baseball reunion, a new “Field of Dreams” is taking shape in the heartland of America. From the cornfields of the Midwest to the fuel in your vehicle, ethanol is leading the evolution to renewable energy.
To help tell the important story of the lower Platte River and present an additional perspective, I’ve identified several questions and issues relating to the corridor and its uses and addressed them to my good friend and colleague Frank Albrecht in a Q&A format.
One of my fondest memories of being on the lower Platte River takes me to my favorite hobby, bowhunting whitetail deer. The hunt was near North Bend. I was in the treestand well before light, and it was a cold, crisp early November morning. My stand was only about 10 yards from the river, and as I waited for a hint of daylight, I could hear some coons working the shoreline and some waterfowl out on a sandbar. For a bowhunter, that predawn light is a magic time to be in the stand as you try to make out the dark forms in the distance that look like deer, most of them becoming a stump or clump of vegetation as more light eventually rats them out.
During the late summer and fall of 2008, I had the honor of serving as the state director for the Obama for America campaign in Nebraska. From several different standpoints, the campaign in Nebraska was a historic one. History was made just by virtue of the ballots—it was an election that included a black American at the top of the ticket as my party’s nominee, and had a woman vice presidential nominee on the other side.