Latest Ken Newton Stories

2008-09-26 00:00:00

By Ken Newton Tom Carnahan struggled to understand a perspective that failed to embrace the possibilities of renewable energy. President of Wind Capital Group, a company whose wind turbines changed the physical and energy landscape in Northwest Missouri, Mr. Carnahan cited an interview in which Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin called Democrat Barack Obama "naive" in his support for energy projects she considered unproven in their economics and reliability. "Not proven...

2008-09-20 15:00:14

By Ken Newton Some bugs of nearly microscopic size held a convention this year on my tomato plants. Not sure why my modest garden got chosen for this gathering, but their insistent sucking of moisture from the vines left an autumn- like bearing by early August. In spite of the intended remedies applied, the bugs showed an almost admirable heartiness. Small enough that hundreds could fit on a dime, they almost seemed festive in their leaf-destroying revelry. The impact of this never...

2008-09-20 15:00:00

By Ken Newton The wood-chip trail offers a measure of kindness to what Terry Seiter calls his "old-man body." The description proves a self- mocking dodge. A picture of aerobic fitness, Mr. Seiter suffers few of the ailments of long-time runners. His joints give him no real problems. His muscles, sure, hurt at times, but ice and ibuprofen do wonders. But that misses the point, anyway. The 48-year-old St. Joseph man accepts the physical aches because of the rewards he finds in running....

2008-09-19 15:00:37

By Ken Newton Everybody knows about comfort food. I get confused when they talk about comfit food. Where I grew up and when I grew up, most things were fried. By the time I got out of high school, 30 percent of my bloodstream was Crisco. At my house, we even had some fried vegetables. That was the way of things. Also at my house, we never questioned the preparation methods. If I had known to raise the issue of heart healthiness, my dad would have asked me to find his pack of Winstons...

2008-09-19 15:00:12

By Ken Newton My venture into the sciences began and ended with a high school chemistry teacher who warmed to students with an interest in the periodic table. Sadly, that did not include me. He was an older teacher, very good at his profession, who amused his students by pronouncing Walter Cronkite's surname as "concrete." We shared a David Lynch moment that probably cemented his dislike for me. Awaiting the start of class, I was reading in a biology classroom, the only student there. A...

2008-06-24 06:02:56

By Ken Newton, St. Joseph News-Press, Mo. Jun. 24--Punctuation gets some people crazy. Remember that Elaine, the gal pal on "Seinfeld," once broke up with a guy because of his too-prudent use of exclamation points. I'm not a real lover of exclamation points, either, though I expect the growth of electronic mail created an exclamation renaissance. E-mail notes I get sometimes have multiple exclamation points that presumably prompt me to feel the excitement meant by a preceding sentence....

Word of the Day
  • Exultant; jubilant; triumphant; on the high horse.
  • Tipsy; slightly intoxicated.
This word may come from the phrase 'to set cock on hoop,' or 'to drink festively.' Its origin otherwise is unclear. A theory, according to the Word Detective, is that it's a 'transliteration of the French phrase 'coq a huppe,' meaning a rooster displaying its crest ('huppe') in a pose of proud defiance.' Therefore, 'cock-a-hoop' would 'liken a drunken man to a boastful and aggressive rooster.'