Happy Dirt is Nature’s Prozac

Recently we wrote about the human proclivity to kill everything. We called the cause of this behavior, “biophobia” or a fear of life. We stomp on bugs, sometimes just because we can. We hunt giant mammals and shoot them for sport. We kill other humans for a variety of reasons. And everywhere, we try to eliminate every bacteria or virus we possibly can in the mistaken belief that it will keep us safe and healthy. The unvarnished truth is that the more we kill, the less healthy we become. And that goes for killing bacteria and viruses.

One common bacteria in particular (and logic would deem others) improves our mood, increases our ability to learn and boosts our immune system.…

entered on 04/28/15 at 10:00 AM | read more »


<p>Get ready for a lot of reading.</p>The Long Tale

We are entering an era of extremely long-form storytelling. While there was a time when a three-hour movie was considered long and a 600-page book was considered enormous, we are now in a time when stories can be told in a variety of formats as an ongoing concern. These will not be like the stories of old, where a television soap opera might run 20 years and tell hundreds of stories. Instead, the stories will be serialized, deliberate, and tell single stories, albeit stories that are typically of epic proportions and covering years or even centuries.

It will not be unusual for a single storyline to take three or four years to complete, if dramatized on television. Films will tell…

entered on 04/27/15 at 02:38 PM | read more »


Blinded by the Light

It took only a few seconds for me to realize it. I was lying in bed in the wee hours, staring at late night movies on TV. Most everyone in the music business in Los Angeles in the ‘70s and ‘80s knows the stare, the insomnia trance. Light from the TV was piercing my brain, not helping at all. But then I tossed a glance at the TV’s reflection in the bedroom window and noticed my eyes relaxed right away. Back to the TV. My eyes squinted and ached. Back to the reflection in the glass. Ahhh, that’s better. The realization: It’s easier on the eyes to watch TV in a reflection rather than directly.

Alright, admittedly it’s one of…

entered on 04/21/15 at 04:00 AM | read more »


<p>We will all sing songs about crows.</p>Heavy nettle

A new genre of pop music is about to emerge called "heavy nettle." Despite its name, the music will tend to be folk-based and very twee, and it will concern itself with the natural world. Songs will typically detail, in almost storybook fashion, the day-to-day activities of, say, a fox, or list various strange sea creatures, or discuss the strange intelligence of corvids.

Unsurprisingly, in this era of increased environmental awareness, this genre of music will develop a large and devoted audience. While heavy nettle will never surpass pop music, and songs about nature will never be more popular than love songs, it will give both a run for their money, and many of the classic songs of the next…

entered on 04/20/15 at 02:35 PM | read more »


<p>What happens when a democracy actually becomes democratic?</p>Meet the New Boss, Different than the Old Boss

We are about to see an epochal change in civic participation. The system we have now is inflexible and mired in bureaucracy, which makes it hard to even make necessary changes, much less experiment with new ideas. But the politics of the future will be very different.

Instead of a system of representatives making decisions for the rest of the country, a new system will arise called Open Gate Government. This philosophy will argue that it is the job of government to get out of the way of citizens governing for themselves, and that the best thing a political system can do is provide support and funding for projects that citizens develop for themselves.

This change will start out at…

entered on 04/14/15 at 12:18 PM | read more »


Design Interview: Buf Reynolds

Buf Reynolds - fashion designer

What drew you to your particular field?
It was something I always appreciated. I loved shopping, I loved looking at clothes and style and how things were worn. I remember seeing a fashion show in kindergarten, and I couldn’t look away from it; it was just the coolest thing. When I started sewing I just kept going and kept learning and kept teaching myself new things and I just really love it. It’s a nice instant gratification sort of job, it makes you appreciate making things with your hands and you can really see it come together all at once. 

What has changed most over the years in your particular field?
I realized…

entered on 04/14/15 at 04:00 AM | read more »


Design Interview: Jed Moulton

Jed Moulton - urban design manager for the City of Omaha

What drew you to your particular field?
I’ve always been drawn to very large, messy, complicated problems. Because I’m ultimately an optimist, I feel that through applying yourself to any problem we can come up with solution...I’m equally fascinated with the political process and how the public engagement process is intended to function within the city and that has direct implications as far as the quality and character of your city. The area of urban design is about the livable quality of urban places.

What has changed most over the years in your particular field?
I think what’s changing is the resurgence of the interest in living…

entered on 04/14/15 at 04:00 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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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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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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Nanotechnology

Commercial toothpaste is a waste of time since there are better dentifrices to use. Many people recommend baking soda or salt or just a clean brush....

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Acupuncture: More than just a prick with a pin

There are a couple ways to test the effectiveness of a healing modality. One is “FDA Approval.” Most Americans buy into this version, where a drug...

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Everything You Need to Know is in ‘60s Music

I was convinced that the 1960s and ‘70s, my teen and young adult years, had to be the quintessential decade of change, a quantum leap in social and...

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The Power of One

The 1970s was the decade of the digital revolution. Computers existed long before that penultimate chapter of changing history but they came to the...

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