Chrome and Carcinogens in Your Tap Water by Michael Braunstein

Your relationship with Steven Soderbergh is at least as personal as mine. Soderbergh is the Oscar-winning director of such fabled films as Sex, Lies and Videotape, Erin Brockovich, Oceans Eleven and Traffic. In 2001 he became the first film director since 1938 to be nominated for Best Director Oscar for two movies in the same year: Traffic and Erin Brockovich. He is the only director ever to be double-nominated for Oscar, Golden Globes and Directors Guild awards all in the same year. (He won for Brockovich.) I knew him when: Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich also earned Julia Roberts an Oscar. The film was about a small town in California that was polluted by a cancer-causing chemical called hexavalent chromium or chromium-6.…

entered on 12/30/10 at 08:36 PM | read more »


Nostalgia and new beginnings

In 1991 Madonna wrote a terrible song called “This Used to be My Playground.” It was a nostalgic slab of nothingness designed to support the singer’s lead role in the significantly-better-by-comparison baseball film A League of Their Own. The nice thing about 2010 is that, as far as I know, no one used that song in tribute to Rosenblatt Stadium. This was the year of farewells to the old South Omaha ball yard and from the start of summer on it felt like there was hardly time to do anything but say goodbye. The temptation towards wistfulness was everywhere but folks largely elected to party instead. Well played, Omaha. In June, Rosenbaltt hosted its final College World Series. This was…

entered on 12/29/10 at 03:04 PM | read more »


The look of a big man

I wholeheartedly approve of Gregory Echenique’s look. The new Creighton big man sports goggles and the number 00 — the same number Jays alum Benoit Benjamin wore for most of his 15-year NBA career. It’s redolent of late ’80s/early ’90s NBA post players and I can’t decide if he reminds more of Benjamin, Kevin Duckworth, Moses Malone or Antoine Carr (another MVC alum). Those were all big and occasionally begoggled bruisers and that’s what I see when I look at Echenique. If his play reminds Jays fans of any of those guys, Creighton could be in good shape. Coach Greg McDermott has shown patience working Echenique into the rotation, playing the transfer 18 and 21 minutes in his first two…

entered on 12/29/10 at 03:01 PM | read more »


Cosmic Forecast for Dec. 23-29

Merry Christmas everybody, from one of Santa’s many helpers. I’d like to kiss each and every one of you (That’s how rumors start?) under the Psychic Mistletoe and see how far we can go? See ya soon for the next New Moon Solar eclipse Jan. 4, in Capricorn. Peace and Love Shall Conquer All. There are no mistakes. — MojoPoPlanetPower.com CAPRICORN (12.22-1.20) December Capricorns: Wow! Happy BIRTHDAY! Sun conjunct Mercury retrograde conjunct the Hunab Ku conjunct the Dragon’s Head — the North Node of this lifetime’s karma, in the sign ruled by Karma (Saturn). What kind of world do you see for yourself this lifetime? For Jan. 1-9 births: Wear red to get ahead and benefit from the…

entered on 12/22/10 at 09:15 PM | read more »


Air on the Side of Health

In the dead of winter, we all become draft dodgers. We do the best we can to seal up windows and doors to keep cold air out and warm air in. Now that we’re in winter lockdown, we spend more time breathing the indoor air of our apartment or house. The good news is we aren’t freezing our lungs. The bad news is that the air inside our homes is often more polluted with chemicals than the air outside. In fact, several studies have found that indoor air pollution can be more of a threat to our health than the smoggiest day in L.A. Indoor pollutants fall into some basic categories. Environmental Tobacco Smoke: A report last month by researchers…

entered on 12/22/10 at 06:03 PM | read more »


Reiver football grows across the river

Here’s something to keep your eye on for 2011 — Iowa Western football. It took Coach Scott Strohmeier all of two years to turn the school into a player in the junior college ranks. In 2008 the Council Bluffs community college didn’t even have football. In 2010 the Reivers finished their second season 9-2 and one game away from playing for a national title. Last week six IWCC players signed to continue their careers at Division I schools. They aren’t just going anywhere, either. Quarterback Zack Stoudt could be an SEC starter after signing with Ole Miss; and defensive tackle Jared Ebert will try to crack the line-up at Oregon. It will be interesting to see how closely Nebraska aligns…

entered on 12/22/10 at 06:25 AM | read more »


Cosmic Forecast for Dec. 16-22

This be the last week of Sagittarius the Archer, and the end of Fall for us all. Sagittarius is the ninth sign, ruling travel, philosophy, gambling, the wild life, generosity, feasting, fun, luck, the joys of running and athletics, the thighs, higher education, publishing, the musical key of A flat and compositions. Before Sagittarius is over I’d like to invite you to check out some of my Astromusical compositions this Saturday (Inshallah), from my soon-to-be-released CD (one sign at a time), The ZODIAC, via my website. I hope to play a few tunes from it at the Jazzwholes reunion at Slowdown this Saturday, Dec. 18. We’ll see, hopefully? Remember Mercury is retrograde until Dec. 30, and will conjunct the Full…

entered on 12/15/10 at 11:15 PM | read more »


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Assumptions

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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Sack leader

As David Santos remembers it, Connor Cook was rolling out and he was pursuing the Michigan State quarterback when Nebraska teammate Randy Gregory...

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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…
—MOJOPOPlanetPower.com

i SAGITTARIUS...

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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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The Scoop on Poop

There is an eye-catching scene in Bernardo Bertolucci’s magnum opus and Oscar-winning film, The Last Emperor. The movie details the life arc of the...

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Skin Deep

Our skin is the largest organ of our body. Skin contains, protects and functions on the outside and inside. That’s right. Technically, skin doesn’t...

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Chakras: Wheels on Fire

The name Albert Einstein remains one of the most recognizable in all of history. Charles Webster “C.W.” Leadbeater, not so much. Both men made names...

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Our Deadliest Addiction: Convenience

You know you’re addicted to something when you forsake logic and quality of life in order to acquire what you think you can’t live without. A crack,...

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