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Demystifying the artichoke
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For many, the artichoke is confounding. While considered a delicacy in Mediterranean and Californian cuisine, for the uninitiated, figuring out how to unearth its prized heart can be a mystery.  more
Road tripping
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Marci Penner, Wendee Rowe, and the Kansas Sampler Foundation have been on my radar for around 25 years — almost as long as I’ve been working at the library. more
Early railroad history
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When you are going down the highway and the flashing lights come on, a red and white striped bar lowers across the road ahead of you and you hear bells ringing and sometimes you hear the blast of a train whistle. more
Nobody likes Negative Nellie
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We all have a Negative Nellie in our circle and they can be difficult to be around. They are negative and pessimistic about everything. more
A taste of fried chicken fidelity
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A couple weeks ago my nephew Kirk, who was back in town from Washington, D.C., invited Linda and me out to eat fried chicken with him and his mother, Terre.  more
One was gracious, the other garrulous. One was severe, the other soft. One was rail-thin; the other carried a spare tire around his waist. more
Call it the dictator's paradox: By demonstrating weakness, you affirm the Big Man's power. By groveling, you gain standing. more
Time to audit Twitter censorship
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New Twitter owner Elon Musk is vowing to reform the social media platform. Many, many conservatives hope Musk succeeds. more
SEKCAP plans Day of Community Action
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May is Community Action Month and staff at Southeast Kansas Community Action Program (SEKCAP) are getting ready to celebrate. more
This week I’m returning to Ben George’s memoir with his recollections of ‘vacations’ in Girard and his family’s move to the Republic of Frontenac — J.T.K. more
After the last two years of pandemic living, many people are realizing that stress, isolation, and uncertainty takes a toll on our well-being. more
Even hummus enjoys a makeover
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In the contrarian spirit of fixing something when it is not broken, this recipe gives the ever-popular hummus a makeover. more
This Just In
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Listed below are some of the library’s latest arrivals; call and reserve your next read!   more
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Are you a good listener? Good listening actually takes work and practice.  more
Die just a bit, grow just a bit
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We resist learning. I wrote that as my first paragraph because some people say you should begin with an introduction, and I thought I’d give it a try.  more
Is inflation about to peak?
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When it comes to roller coasters, we have a ride twice family rule. The first time you ride a roller coaster you just want off and you promise yourself you will never get back on. more
The way I choose to look at things
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As April is National Poetry Month, I would be remiss not to remind you, dear reader, that, like Chicken Man (the hero of 1960s WHB AM radio), “Poetry is everywhere, it’s everywhere!”  more
Growing up, my grandpa taught me the importance of meeting your promises. I was a bit of a knucklehead as a kid. more
Putin crosses a line
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Where can the United States and its allies fight Putin's murderous rampage in Ukraine? The answer is everywhere, with every weapon available.   more
This week continues Calvin Trillin’s FRIED-CHICKEN WAR essay that appeared in the March 8, 1982, edition of The New Yorker magazine. more
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