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Columns

  • Worst Valentine's gifts are real heartbreakers

    A weed whacker, cellulite cream, a Campbell’s Soup thermos, a mushroom-growing kit, a heart-shaped potato—what do these items have in common? They’re among less-than-lovely presents submitted in Talbots women’s retailer’s worst Valentine’s Day gifts contest.

    They’re also on a lengthening list of things not to give your beloved on the day of love, if you don’t want to find yourself written about on the Internet.

  • The Phantoms of Saint Valentine’s Day

    The shallow definitions of Valentine’s Day given by resources like Wikipedia miss the point. This article will draw you closer to the actual fun and understanding of this special day.

    You may have witnessed a valentine phantom in action and have wondered about the phenomenon. Here is interesting firsthand information:

    Profiling the Phantoms

    The basis for establishing an accurate criminal profile is a meticulous examination and reporting of the crime scene. Through analysis of the known facts, an accurate profile is established and understood.

  • The groundhog says: Six more weeks of winter await us

    Don’t put those sweaters away—according to old Punxsutawny Phil there’ll be six more weeks of winter.

    On Feb. 2, I turned on the morning news and watched as reporters were on location just outside the groundhog’s hole. There they were standing around, whispering—waiting for the groundhog to emerge from his hollow home.

  • Have an action plan

    Successful people or are usually goal-oriented. Dr. Martin Luther King was a goal-oriented person; he had a specific goal and some clearly defined objectives and a solid action plan to achieve his goal.

    He was not afraid of listening to different ideas of men and women who were accomplished in their right. He surrounded himself with strong capable associates.

  • What happened to humanity and the decree to ‘love thy neighbor’?

    People often refer to the past as “the good ol’ days”—times when things moved slower, technology had less necessity in our lives, and neighbors called upon one another in times of need.

    What has happened to that? Why is it in this fast-paced, technology-driven, I-don’t-have-to-acknowledge-you-because-something-electronic-is-flashing-in-my-hands era have we lost sight of one of the most basic human values?

  • Just what’s included in the stimulus plan? It depends on whom you ask, and when

    OK, so it turns out trying to research what’s included in the stimulus plan isn’t as easy as conventional wisdom would suggest.

    At more than 700 pages, news networks and other media outlets have their teams devouring the bill—dedicating hours upon hours to attempt to find what any of the $819 billion would actually stimulate, besides the sod at the National Mall.

    Of course, depending on who you ask and when, that also changes things quite a bit.

  • If you’re going to start it, finish it

    It was an anti-climactic ending to a long, drawn-out media circus.

    In last week’s Beacon, education reporter Kathryn Jacewicz wrote that the two parties in an ongoing, public feud over treatment of students in Brunswick County Schools reached a “confidential agreement” and agreed to have no further contact with each other.

    Like most of the readers who have been following this debacle, I was annoyed by this conclusion.

  • It may actually be my fault snow found its way to Brunswick County

    When I first heard last week there was a chance of snow for Brunswick County, I thought someone was joking. I moved to the coast to escape the colder, often-snowy winter months of Kentucky, and the last thing I thought about encountering here was a chance of snow.

  • Belly-fat bombardment difficult to stomach

    If aliens from outer space were to drop in and cruise the Internet lately, they wouldn’t know we were in economic turmoil.

    They wouldn’t think we face an uncertain future or fears about everything, including them.

    No, they would think the biggest priority on our worry list is belly fat.

    Have you noticed? How could you not?

    It’s the unsightliest, most graphic advertisement ever to invade the World Wide Web—big, gloppy bellies protruding over waistlines, accompanied by headlines like, “One flat-belly rule: Obey.”

  • Who’s afraid of the big bad digital switch? The Senate, that’s who

    During the middle of what people call the worst economic crisis in history, the Senate passed an oh-so extremely important bill on Monday—a bill allowing a near four-month delay in the switch to digital television.

    This comes only days after President Barack Obama discussed a possible delay in the nationwide switch shortly before his inauguration. Now, I’m not that political, and I am not one to criticize the leader of the free world, but aren’t there more important issues to tackle and don’t some of those issues need immediate attention?