Choose words wisely

Bad things happen.

There's nothing anyone can do; they just happen. This past week, we saw our fair share of incidents. Nationally, a man whose life has been in a continual spotlight died in a plane crash. Locally, a young woman was found dead after being missing since July 4.

Tragedies strike at all times, mostly when least expected. There are numerous levels of tragedies, yet they all come back to one thing — loss. Losing something or someone can be devastating. But eventually, the void becomes a part of you, while you try fervently to concentrate on other things.

Grass cutting fun

In today's society, there are two groups of people — ones who get paid to cut grass and ones who cut grass only because it's their duty to the country. Actually there's a third, smaller group of people, composed mostly of apartment dwellers, kids and travel agents. But they, too, have either had to cut the grass or will in the future.

What are fireworks salespeople up to now anyway?

Nomads have wandered through cities during the last two weeks, sold their goods and departed for lands of milk and honey.

They don't leave a trail, but their wares do – usually ashes, perhaps a foul-smelling odor but always a glowing experience.

Fireworks salespeople have rigorous lives. I recently caught up with one such seller, Smokin' Joe Romancandle. What follows is his normal day:

6 a.m. Wakes up, sings the "Star-Spangled Banner," eats a Pop-Tart and brushes his teeth.

Shark cartilage possesses a mean bite

Last month I was in Wal-Mart, and I aimlessly wandered into the vitamin aisle. There were hundreds of nutritional supplement items, but one caught my attention – shark cartilage.

Unfortunately, the label contained little information pertaining to what the product actually does, such as make one lose weight or grow a dorsal fin.

As a kid, I used to see "Jaws" on my wall at bedtime. Now I see health companies trying to withhold routine information on Jaws' cousins.

Can you keep a secret?

Can you keep a secret?

Last week, I met with a special agent from the Department of Defense. I had my shrubbery costume ready (luckily, there were no dogs around), but it wasn't necessary. The agent led me into a room in the Crawfordsville Armory, looked both ways and closed the door. The questioning was ready to begin.

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Random News

Sometimes predictions are wrong

It's mildly amusing to me how people -- the media, your next-door neighbor, the waving chicken mascot on the corner of your street -- will make it a point to remind you how right they were about something they predicted. Maybe they picked Florida to win the men's NCAA basketball championship, or maybe they picked Taylor to win "American Idol." But it's interesting to note how hardly anyone reminds you about a wrong prediction.

Ultimate Crazy Survey Comments

It's not entirely pretty, but here's what others had to say about the Ultimate Crazy Survey:

Take the Quiz

User Comments

Fairly insane sounds about right. 

Gloria

Ben, I don't feel crazy. Just out going, fun and fearless some times. I think reality shows are the DEVIL!! Ha ha 

Sara

I really do not have any comments on the quiz itself, but thank you for writing it so that I had something to do at work. 

Sonya

Here comes Spuds McDarth

I am big fan of toys, and "Star Wars," and "Star Wars" toys, but it appears Hasbro has stepped over the boundary with the release of Darth Tater. The toy is a Mr. Potato Head that somewhat resembles the evil villain Darth Vader. See for yourself on Hasbro's website.

Book review: 'Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed' by Jared Diamond

Is civilization, as we know it today, invincible? Considering human existence since the beginning, it's a tough call to say how long we'll survive. On the other hand, it is feasible to review past societies to compare and contrast them to today's world.

To classify Jared Diamond's latest work, "Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed," as just a book about the changing environment would be short-sighted. Diamond's focus is planet destruction, which ranges from damage to land and damage to life in general.

Choose words wisely

Bad things happen.

There's nothing anyone can do; they just happen. This past week, we saw our fair share of incidents. Nationally, a man whose life has been in a continual spotlight died in a plane crash. Locally, a young woman was found dead after being missing since July 4.

Tragedies strike at all times, mostly when least expected. There are numerous levels of tragedies, yet they all come back to one thing — loss. Losing something or someone can be devastating. But eventually, the void becomes a part of you, while you try fervently to concentrate on other things.

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