Archive for February, 2008

Hair-raising

February 29, 2008

polamalu.jpg The last item in today’s Live Wire is about Pittsburgh Steeler strong safety Troy Polamalu and it mentions his long-haired ways.

It also mentions a particular incident from 2006 in which an opponent downed him by grabbing him by the hair — yeeowwwchh!!

polamalu-hair.JPG Natch, this bit of video is available on YouTube. If you want to watch it, click on the photo at left.

It may have hurt but it didn’t scare Polamalu into cutting his hair. It’s still long.

Meanwhile, if the item about Girl Scout cookies made you hungry for more info on the subject, go to ABC Bakers’ Web site.

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There, you can feast your eyes on pictures of its eight varieties of Girl Scout cookies and even subject yourself to each cookie’s nutritional info, including — :: wrings hands :: — the calorie content. Note to self: One serving doesn’t mean one row of cookies. Note #2 to self: Forget note #1 until next year.

If you’d like to compare ABC’s offerings with those of the other licensed GS baker, go to Little Brownie Bakers’ Web site.

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Tomorrow’s Live Wire

February 28, 2008

Feeling a little kooky?

How about a little cookie?

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Why’d they name you that?

February 27, 2008

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In tomorrow’s Live Wire.

An amazing guy

February 26, 2008

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I’ll give some more info here about the subjects in today’s Live Wire, including Bryan Anderson, the Iraq war veteran who’s a triple amputee.

That’s the January 2007 issue of Esquire (pictured at right, with Anderson on the cover) which had the story that G.A. read. That story’s no longer available at Esquire’s Web site but, as you can see, the picture’s pretty eye-catching. Army Times wrote about the story at the time. Meanwhile, you can find two other more recent features about Anderson about Esquire’s Web site if you do a search using his name.

Six months before the first Esquire piece, LA Times staffer David Zucchino wrote a long, riveting piece about Anderson’s injury and his recovery. It’s worth the read. And check out the interactive feature, which is a slide show that’s narrated by Anderson.

In the story, Anderson says that after he was dragged out of his burning Humvee, his legs and arm blown off, he had one thought: “My life is really going to change now.” Indeed.

A friend marveled at Anderson’s ability to deal with that change. “…I don’t think I could’ve handled it,” said Spc. Michael Wait, who pulled Anderson from the Humvee. “I would’ve given up.”

You want more?

February 22, 2008

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On Barack Obama, that is?

Here, I’ll give a little more information about him than I could fit into today’s column and direct you to sources where you can learn even more if you want.

Maybe you want to know more about his family, which, says his half-sister Maya Soetoro-Ng, is “complicated.” To say the least! He has close blood relatives who are black, white and brown and who hail from around the globe. His mother was white and grew up in Kansas and Washington state. She met his father, an African from Kenya, at college in Hawaii, where her family had moved to from Washington.

Soetoro-Ng, a teacher who lives in Hawaii with her husband and daughter, is one of his seven living half-siblings. (An eighth died in a motorcycle accident.) She was the product of his mother’s second marriage to an Indonesian businessman.

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soetoro-ng.jpgIn 2004, Soetoro-Ng (pictured on the left) said she remembered attending Obama’s wedding in 1992: “…there were everything from the very fair Kansas complexion, you know, the Scots-Irish thing, to the blue-black Kenyan (some of whom are pictured on the right in a 1987 photo). And we looked like the rainbow tribe — and me in between. I’m Indonesian. . . . The united colors. Never a dull moment, right?”

You can read more about many of Obama’s family members and ancestors at a special site put together by the Chicago Sun-Times. Click on the “family tree” link and then on the various names.

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Some other links — a story about his Kansas-bred obamas-mother.jpggrandparents (pictured on the left); a story about his unconventional mother, Stanley Ann Dunham (she was named after her father); a short interview with Soetoro-Ng and a TV piece that includes interviews with Soetoro-Ng and Obama’s Kenyan half-sister Auma Obama, who now lives in England.

Edited on March 18 to add: This New York Times story about Obama’s mother has details about her life than I’ve seen elsewhere. (That’s her in the picture on the right just above this paragraph. It was taken sometime between 1988 and 1992 while she was in Indonesia.)

Or maybe you want to know more about his religious faith and whether he’s really patriotic.

Here’s what he has said about the Muslim school which he attended when he was very young. Here’s another link on the subject, too.

Here’s what he says about his own faith.

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Here’s the Time photo that’s often e-mailed with the erroneous claim that it was taken during the Pledge of Allegiance. Instead, the national anthem was playing, as is indicated in the photo cutline (click on the photo itself to see it). You may still be offended; just be sure it’s for the right reason.

Obama doesn’t wear a flag pin, unlike many (most?) pols. Here, he explains why.

A. Burr

February 21, 2008

Sorry I’ve been out of pocket on the blog the past couple of days. But I’m back.

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aaron-burr.jpgIf you saw today’s Live Wire, you may be interested in more info about Aaron Burr as well as his daughter, Theodosia, who mysteriously disappeared.

There are all kinds of spins to Aaron Burr’s story. Was he a falsely maligned heckuva guy? Or a victim of his own ambition?

The New York Times pondered the fate of the beauteous Theodosia in a long article in 1913. Pretty interesting!

Maybe you’re curious about Sen. Richard Burr, a distant relative of Aaron and Theodosia.

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The other item in the column referred to James Dulley, the Cut Your Utilities Bills columnist. You can go to his site for more information about those topics.

Tomorrow’s Live Wire

February 18, 2008

Stamp acts. Ab-zorb-ing fun. And primary school.

Tomorrow’s Live Wire

February 15, 2008

Taxing matters.

Gassy questions. 

And a Night at the Oprah (shindig) — it’s not for this Goldberg variation.

Tomorrow’s Live Wire

February 14, 2008

You think you like movie popcorn.

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They had a wunnerful time…

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F-U-N

February 14, 2008

It’s one of my favorite events of the year — I get to be a spelling bee judge for the day.

bee.gifThe county’s schools have had contests to determine individual school champs. Now those kids are facing each other on a district level. After these rounds of contests, the district champs will face each other and the winner among them will go to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.

I’m always amazed, interested, inspired and touched by these kids, who can range from fourth graders to eighth graders. It takes a lot of guts to get up in front of people and spell. And it takes a lot of smarts to even get there. I hate it for them when they flub, especially if it’s on the first word when they’re probably still working out their nerves.

And I love it when they do great, especially when you have two or more really good spellers going at it word after word. That’s what happened in the first contest this morning. There will be two more later today that I get to judge (along with two other folks from the paper). Y-a-y for me — and especially for them.

Note: The Fayetteville Observer sponsors the county winner in his/her trip to the national bee each year.

In honor of the spellers and their good work, here are a few cool (to me) spelling links:

*Can you spell? Test yourself here or here with these fun spelling games. (Note: Try to beat the Battleship game at the second link!)

*Some tips for conquering spelling problems.

*Watch a couple of great — yes, great — movies about spelling bees. Spellbound is a documentary about eight kids in the 1999 national bee. Akeelah and the Bee is about a girl from south Los Angeles who wants to make it to the national bee.