Sick Building Syndrome

Several years ago, when the local powers decided to avail themselves of the phenomenon of “trickle-up economics,” — you know, where political and corporate fat cats reap the rewards of public tax dollars, — the vaunted Orpheum Theatre was placed on the sacrificial altar. Though it had served as an acclaimed proscenium for 75 years, paid so-called experts proclaimed that the acoustics of the theatre were inadequate. This was in direct conflict with the very words Stephen Stills uttered to me sometime earlier after a rehearsal for a Crosby, Stills & Nash concert in the room.

“Damn,” he said. “This room sounds incredible.” Stephen has been around the block and knows a thing or two about sonics. I knew he…

entered on 04/05/16 at 01:13 PM | read more »

There will be blood

Our blood will no longer be recognizable in the future. It will be filled with man-made products, designed to indefinitely extend our lives. There will be synthetic blood, which will heal wounds faster than real blood. There will be genetically engineered bio-organisms designed to battle specific diseases and infections, injected into us in the way that vaccines are now. There will be nanobots, built to do things like scrape plaque off the side of arteries. People will even have messages encoded on specially designed DNA, used for things like identifying a body and for keeping a permanent copy of your will embedded in the proteins of the DNA. We will be a river of technology, passing through us constantly, unnoticed…

entered on 04/01/16 at 01:52 PM | read more »

Casting the Iron Guru

For decades they called him “The Iron Guru.” For a few cherished years in the 1980s, I simply called him “Vince.” A new book by Karl Coyne, appropriately titled Vince’s Secret Locker, is the most ambitious and thorough compilation of what made the late Vince Gironda one of, if not the most influential and significant bodybuilding experts in history. Gironda trained thousands in his Studio City, Calif. gym across six decades, but millions of followers could never experience the inner workings of Vince’s genius — until now. Coyne’s book takes the reader inside that small gym on Ventura Boulevard and taps into the training secrets, nutritional wisdom, philosophy and charisma that made Vince’s Gym a bodybuilding mecca. Make no mistake,…

entered on 03/29/16 at 09:39 AM | read more »

The time of toothlessness

A terrible prediction: There is a bacteria that is even now beginning to emerge, and it's primary target will be human teeth. This bacteria will cause teeth to become infected and rot quickly, and it will be easily spread. Within a decade, 50 percent of humanity will have lost all their teeth, and the remainder will suffer from some degree of tooth loss.

We will, of course, soldier on, with implants or dentures. But for the very poor, theirs is a future of toothlessness, of soft food and aching gums. For other, wealthier people, this will be a chance at self-expression, as they choose replacement teeth of unnatural colors, or surprising shapes (vampire teeth will be especially popular.)

entered on 03/25/16 at 02:54 PM | read more »

Health Expo 2016

Health fairs, expos and conventions are a dime-a-dozen these days. Corner drugstores, corporate call centers, college campuses, even church basements pull out a few tables, invite a few doctors with blood pressure cuffs, fancy glucose testing schemes and free pens sponsored by drug companies and set out to tell the public what to do and who to see after you get sick. So what makes the Omaha Health Expo different as it presents its ninth annual event, this year at Baxter Arena on April 9 and 10?

“Well, to start with,” informs show producer Bob Mancuso of Mid-America Expositions, “It’s the premier event of its kind in the region offering information and education, products and demonstrations with a particular emphasis…

entered on 03/22/16 at 10:00 AM | read more »

Social media addiction

In the next few years, social media addiction will be diagnosed as a mental illness, and will be found to be widespread, especially among those under the age of 20. The addicted will not be able to go more than a few minutes without checking in a social media, and will obsessively spend every spare moment loading pictures and commenting.

Addicts will actually base their self-worth on their social media experience, agonizing about how many likes they get on each selfie, tending to their friends list with the sort of obsessive lunacy of a hoarder. Some will even try to build massive collections of online friends, and insist on interacting with them all, regardless of how well they know each…

entered on 03/21/16 at 02:19 PM | read more »

Green Grass for Real

The ugly, deadly trucks of TruGreen have already started their parade through the streets. The killing season has begun for many. Kill those weeds. Kill those bugs. Kill everything that lives except that genetically modified green swath of Kentucky Bluegrass that seems to be the necessity of everyone from homeowners to hospitals, businesses to bumbling bureaucrats who budget poison sprays for our boulevards and right-of-ways.

Last spring, the fog of poison gas was so heavy in Dodge Park that we often turned our vehicle around and left the minute we got within detection distance. I confirmed by phone with the park ranger on duty that the poison spraying would continue for a few weeks. The pall of toxic fumes waft…

entered on 03/15/16 at 10:44 AM | read more »

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Bud Rising

When Terence "Bud" Crawford defends his WBO lightweight title June 28 at the CenturyLink Center, he'll fight for himself, his tight-knit family and a...

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Bo Pelini behaved as if he had coached his last game at Nebraska, based on his sideline and post-game decorum, or lack thereof. That was the...

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Attention to detail

If not for Sam Burtch, the most dramatic play of this Nebraska football season might never have happened.

If not for Burtch, Ron Kellogg III...

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Planet Power: Nov. 21 - 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving. Let’s be nice to each other and cultivate warm thoughts. You are what you think…


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Planet Power: Nov. 14 - 20, 2013

This issue marks my 17th year here at The “READER.” Thanks to John, Eric, my beloved Carrie, et al., for all your help, encouragement and...

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Planet Power: November 7 - 13, 2013

The new Aquarian-Age astrology is/will be ruled by the planet Uranus (yeah, I’ve heard that joke before). Traditional astrology, prior to the...

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Planet Power: Oct. 31 - Nov. 6, 2013

Happy Halloween! Let your subconscious desires flow as the twilight fades into the black of the night of the year. Don’t fear the night. You have...

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Holistic vs. Conventional

There are two kinds of medicine being practiced in the United States and mostly they are diametrically opposed. One form is of the traditional sort,...

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Red Meat Roulette

Yes, we live in a red state. When it comes to red meat, Nebraska has more beef on the hoof than any other state save Texas. And if you’re like most...

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Watermelon, Man

The Dog Days of deep summer can make a body desperate for help. The humble watermelon can help you make it through the plight. In August, with most...

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Not Milk

Junk mail. We all get it. Sure, in a lot of cases it’s called “spam” these days. But the snail-mail hardcopy still finds its way to the front door....

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