Cutting the Slack: Understanding an Economy in Growth Mode

These days, there is talk of a recession: A foreboding conclusion many economists and market experts seem to draw from a slowdown in economic growth. Of course, doom and gloom narratives outsell a rosy picture any given day. However, a slowdown in economic growth is not always a recession. To understand this truism, it is […]

Devil’s Icebox

Before access into Devil’s Icebox was restricted in 2006 due to the bats contracting white-nose syndrome, it was not uncommon for college students from around Columbia, Missouri to hang out in or around the perennially 56-degree cave, especially during the hot, humid Midwestern summers. Much like Austinites in Texas frequent the continual 68-70-degree Barton Springs […]

A Real National Emergency

This week the nation mourned the one-year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida shootings, which claimed 17 lives. Seventeen used to be my lucky number—the day I was born in September, the age I was when I started college, and the year I gave birth to my only child. A year ago, as I listened to […]

Stolen Valor Has Consequences

The photo of a US Army Sergeant First Class in dress blues appeared two days ago on a closed Facebook group for veterans. The petite, startled-looking man in the uniform, whose neck could use a good shave to bring him up to regs, has apparently seen a lot of action. His chest is a fruit-salad […]

I Eat the Ugly Food: A Father’s Resumé

I take the watch, morning and night. Check on your sleep. Kiss your foreheads. Wake you gently. Have made most of the meals you have eaten and give you the lion’s share, now you need it and I do not. Clean kitchen, clean plates, clean floors, clean toilets, clean tubs, make beds. Paint murals on […]

And It Shows

Throughout our days, the either-or fallacy is often presented to us as, “There are two kinds of people…” Ella Fitzgerald crooned about the two kinds of people she could not understand in Duke Ellington’s 1941 song, “Rocks in My Bed”—“that’s a deceitful woman and hard-faced man.” Writer Amy Tan wrote about the two kinds of […]

Finding Your Way Without Digital Technology

GPS-enabled apps have changed things so completely, for the average person with access to a device, that it is surprising to remember GPS only became widely available to consumers around the year 2000. What did we do before we had talking maps in our pockets? Printed out sheets of instructions from online maps, I guess, […]

Sesame Street Turns 50

For anyone who has been a child in the last half-century (or loves one or five of their own), you are likely familiar with Sesame Street, the beloved children’s television show conceived by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett in 1966. The show, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, began airing on public television […]

Deep in Our Refrigerator*

In weird news, UPI reports that Samsung has created a dating app based on the contents of one’s refrigerator. In a weird mash-up of “swipe left, swipe right” app-based romance, foodie culture, and viral marketing, the South Korean multinational conglomerate promises, “It’s the inside (of your fridge) that counts. Simply upload an image and let […]

America the Blessed

Whenever I hear of ‘culture’… I release the safety-catch of my Browning [pistol]!      —A line in Hanns Johst’s play Schlageter, often misattributed to Nazi leaders   When I hear of Schrödinger’s cat, I reach for my gun.      —Stephen Hawking   When I hear the words ‘phenomenology’ or ‘structuralism,’ I reach for […]