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May 24, 1999

"Star Wars" has been in theaters for two days now. Is anyone still counting? Die-hard fans have probably already memorized the movie and are currently petitioning for title roles in the next installment.

The rest of us, "Star Wars" fans or not, have moved on with our lives. The movie was good, the special effects and sound were excellent, but there are other things to do, like clean the bathroom or raise porcupines.

May 18, 1999

Fold out a brown cardboard box.

Add five strips of tape - three long ways, two short ways - to the bottom.

Stack a layer of canned goods, maybe some baby food and toiletries, followed by a layer of clothes or towels or another random packing item.

Seal the box with five more pieces of tape, load it and be ready for another.

Crawfordsville residents weren't moving, but they were following a recipe for others who were. No one really knew who they were helping, but the cars of goods rarely stopped last weekend at the Hoosiers Helping the Heartland drive.

May 7, 1999

Most people probably think Crock-Pots, stoneware slow cookers, are about as interesting as clothes hangers. They take up space, are decorated with small vegetable pictures and stand out like a drunk at a frat party.

But the real question concerning the cookware is — how come everything you put in a Crock-Pot always tastes like ... a Crock-Pot?

April 30, 1999

There's nothing worse than people complaining about a product because it works too well.

For instance, there's glue. Try using that stuff that holds elephants from a trapeze by their teeth. If you accidentally glue the elephant's ear to the swing, the immobile animal will be stuck forever.

Another example is plastic wrap. You try to wrap something in it, but the stuff just clings together. Being persistent, you try to unwrap it. But the static forces that bind the universe won't allow a simple tug to do the trick.

April 27, 1999

One big disadvantage working at night is the television quality when I arrive home. Sometimes there could be a "Perfect Strangers" rerun or two, and possibly an old game show, but most channels are overrun by infomercials.

Webster defines an infomercial as "a long television commercial, often made to resemble a talk show, educational demonstration, interview, etc." Kudos to Webster's assessment. The only words missing from the definition are "trash," "ridiculous" and "cheap."

From the Archive

April 26, 2009

I have a subscription to Harper's Magazine, and I try to read it as regularly as possible (although that's tough when we're all in similar boats with a million things going on). In this year's February edition, I came across a pretty good article titled "Sick in the head: Why America won't get the health-care system it needs" by Luke Mitchell.

September 24, 2001

This is a column that everyone must read. It beats all compatibility tests, all love quizzes, all personality exams. It's the exam of all time.

It determines just how crazy you are.

July 23, 2001

People visit the Internet for various reasons, but if we get right down to it, there are two things you can see: text and pictures. Both contain a great deal of information, as the old sayings go, "A picture is worth a thousand words," and "A word is worth a thousand gummy worms."

October 27, 2012

Sure, you could argue that attending a public school essentially excludes you from having privacy. But is it really necessary to add tracking chips to IDs for San Antonio students?

January 8, 2005

While most experts would jump at the opportunity to tell you that the Internet is a relatively new invention, apparently not all places on the World Wide Web agree. The Institute of Internet History clearly describes the foundations being set as far back as 1839. That's when Aldophus B. Huxley came up with the idea of creating better punch cards, which led to a "steam pattern system" the following year.