Arts + Entertainment

Last night I read Harold and the Purple Crayon to my 5-year-old. He sat wide-eyed with an expression of intrigue as we learned about Harold drawing an imaginative world with his crayon.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a crayon or a pen or a pencil and create a world that’s easier or happier? It certainly would. But that’s not the way real life works.


The moment my girlfriend handed over my soaking wet smart phone, a shiver of isolation ran up my spine. That’s the last time I try to sneak a water bottle of cheap domestic beer in her purse into a bluegrass show, let alone have my phone also in said purse for “safe keeping.”

op frWho you going to trust, Apple or Uncle Sam? By deciding not to obey a court order to unlock the iPhone phone of San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook, Apple says it’s taking a stand for privacy against government intrusion. The company insists breaching Farook’s iPhone security system would be tantamount to opening the floodgates and endangering the security of the data on millions of phones.

fr dronegoodbadThough it can make certain aspects of life easier, technology often has unintended consequences.

schoolsNew Smartphone applications are being developed every day, and many of them are helping teenagers keep secrets from their parents.

Haywood County leaders are still in the process of collecting data on broadband Internet service, but they need help from residents living in rural parts of the county. 

Maggie Valley Mayor Ron DeSimone sits on the Haywood County Economic Development Commission and is heading up the effort to bring better broadband service to the county.

fr broadbandIt’s been more than eight years since the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians made its first move toward creating a business to bring Internet to the Qualla Boundary, but the issue has proven a good bit more complicated than first expected.

fr roboticsMost ribbon cuttings are routine. Bland, even.

But then, most ribbon cuttings aren’t executed by a robot. 

“You’ll note there’s a pair of scissors strapped to one hand,” said Jim Falbo, mechatronics program coordinator for Southwestern Community College, pointing to the robot across the room. 

fr industryIt’s an industrial mechanic’s worst nightmare.

A machine on the assembly line goes down, and production screeches to a halt. Workers stand idle despite being on the clock. Orders are backing up. All eyes are on the mechanic. Is it a worn bearing, a loose belt, a slipped coupling, a blown fuse? The trouble-shooting within the bowels of the hulking metal parts is endless. 

bookFour years ago in November, a schoolteacher in Knoxville asked her English class to write a composition on family dinner together. With two exceptions, the class — a racially mixed, lower income group of students — hooted at her in derision.

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This Must Be the Place

Reading Room

  • Books that help bridge the political divide
    Books that help bridge the political divide Time for spring-cleaning.  The basement apartment in which I live could use a deep cleaning: dusting, washing, vacuuming. It’s tidy enough — chaos and I were never friends — but stacks of papers need sorting, bookcases beg to see their occupants removed and the shelves…
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