by Don Winsor | Thursday, June 26 | Posted in View

With my current gig, I find myself spending a great deal of time in Quebec. Quebec City, to be precise. This province has the reputation for setting itself apart from the rest of its nation (Canada), not only through occasional attempts at separation but through having a separate official language. It's quaint, on the surface, to enjoy this slice of Europe in North America — the architecture and language both contribute to the feeling — but in thinking about it is a bit absurd. It's like crossing the border into Oklahoma, and suddenly everyone speaks Dutch.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, June 19 | Posted in View

There is an embarrassment of riches in the realm of episodic entertainment these days. Now that outlets like Netflix and Amazon are making their own series, in addition to the stellar creations of cable networks from AMC to HBO, the overwhelming threat of vacuous reality television which seemed to spell the death of the medium just a few years ago doesn't seem so dire.

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A half century of soccer is still somewhat inexplicable.

by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, June 19 | Posted in View

It frequently amazes me how much American society has changed in one lifetime. I could talk about telephones going from wall mounted crank machines to hand held computers. Or I could ruminate on cars that have advanced to become climate controlled, technology-laden machines that may not even use gasoline. But this week, I have been thinking about football. Or, as we provincials call it, soccer.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, June 12 | Posted in View

According to the item count listed in the folder named "F5" in the documents library on my laptop, I have now published 100 columns in these pages. To put this in perspective, if you weighed the ink used to print my columns alone, you would likely be asked why you were doing that and how you got in here. I thought long and hard about how to commemorate my let's-just-call-this-one-100th piece. After dozens of seconds I decided to do something which could inspire our editor burn me in effigy, but for many of you will recall the joys of Scholastic book orders and UFO 54-40.

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by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, June 12 | Posted in View

Wichita is growing. I guess that's a good thing, though sometimes I wonder. I grew up in the small town of Douglass in Butler County and came to the city fairly frequently. I remember that I knew I was getting to town when I passed the 54 Drive-In Theater at Kellogg and Rock or the Cessna plant on Pawnee.

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by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, June 5 | Posted in View

The news that the Joyland carousel was finding a new home at Botanica was good news to me.

That merry go round and the mechanical clown playing the calliope that stood next to it triggered a whole flood of Joyland memories.

Though I have a few vague memories of Kiddieland (about where the Wichita Mall now stands on Harry Street) many of my favorite summertime memories come from Joyland in the years between 1950 and 1962. The park was fairly new then and well maintained.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, June 5 | Posted in View

After a positive response to my column on the rise of geek culture, I thought I ought to touch on such things more often. Trouble is, how to offer anything new?

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, May 29 | Posted in View

One of the greatest promises of modernity is a world without disease. The noblest efforts of science have been directed toward achieving this since the dawn of medicine. It staggers the mind to think of all of the intellect, imagination and resources of generations of human achievement which have brought us to a point when, at least in the developed world, we are capable of all but eradicating diseases like smallpox, measles and whooping cough.

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Common Core isn't the worst thing in the world, but it won't teach people to think.

by Mike Marlett | Thursday, May 22 | Posted in View

So for the past month or so the hand-written image on the left of the graphic to the right has been floating around the internets (Facebook, mostly), and people have just been sharing it and falling out of their chairs about how stupid the "new" math of Common Core is.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, May 22 | Posted in View

Few who were there at the time realized the significance when in the mid-1980s a small fraternity chapter at Adams College rose up against the bro-dominated societal hierarchy. In the rebellion chronicled in Ken Burns' documentary "Revenge of the Nerds," the Lambda Lambda Lambdas (along with their sisters in Omega Mu) rose up against the idiocracy of the Alpha Betas (and their useless, hirsute sister sorority) with a musical number heard round the world.

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by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, May 15 | Posted in View

It's a gruesome story. A man named Clayton Lockett and his accomplices took a young woman captive, wrapped her in duct tape, shot her twice then buried her alive. Last week Lockett was scheduled to be executed by the state of Oklahoma for his misdeeds. They killed him, but the act has had widespread repercussions.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, May 15 | Posted in View

When people are asked to identify their greatest fear, they often retreat into the mundane and predictable. Everyday fears like spiders, snakes and other things which (barring genuine phobias) we know are not really that scary, at heart. Some people take a step further and name drowning or another means of their own death which they imagine might be just the pits. Not many venture into the genuinely unsettling, inescapable horrors of reality which if contemplated would darken our everyday and make us curse the very gift of sentience.

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by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, May 8 | Posted in View

Benghazi? Again? Yes, friends and neighbors, there is going to be yet another committee looking into the events of Sept. 11, 2012 and the subsequent handling of information by the Obama administration.

One can only suppose that this is the result of Republican weariness in trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act (forty-some times). Obamacare is alive, well and getting stronger by the day.

What was going to be the showpiece of the Republican mid-term election strategy seems to be slipping away from them.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, May 8 | Posted in View

It's that time of year again, the time when slow news cycles force pundits, anchors, and columnists to begin stories with that phrase. Also, it's tornado season, when it becomes legal to hunt tornados for sport in Kansas. It's been some time since F5 published a tornado safety guide, and science has taught us much since then. We now know that tornados do not, in fact, fear garlic. This was an old wives' tale and only anecdotal evidence exists to validate the claims of The American Garlic Association. Without any further delay, we present The Official F5 Tornado Season Survival Guide.

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by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, May 1 | Posted in View

Sometimes I feel old. This week I feel like a dinosaur. It's not like I had a birthday or wasn't able to do something that I usually can do, it's just that I felt like a work boot in a running shoe world.

A friend turned 66 this week and his lady friend had a get together for him. There were gag gifts, lots of food and drink and a good time was had by all. Almost.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, May 1 | Posted in View

When I was a kid, my parents had a singular idea of a vacation. Sometimes there were variations and/or additional people involved, but the constants were to throw me into the backseat of the stationwagon, drive to Kansas City, stay in a reasonably cheap motel, and go to a Royals game the next day. Dad only had one requirement of motels — they must have a nice pool. The day after the ballgame the car would be aimlessly pointed southeastish into whatever sorts of Ozarky resorty tourist nonsense we could find.

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by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, April 24 | Posted in View

It's that time of year again. When the weather begins to warm up, the spring storms dance across the Great Plains and the scam artists, con men and frauds come out of the woodwork. And they prey on senior citizens figuring that we will easily stampede into putting some of our pension checks, Social Security or savings into their schemes.

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Thursday, April 24 | Posted in View


To the editor:

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, April 17 | Posted in View

"There is no perspective less valuable than that of the optimist," said someone much smarter than I. While I have my passions, I cannot imagine being a "booster" for anything… leave that sort of thing to vapid, leggy blondes in beauty pageants, whose opinions will shape the future of our nation('s beauty pageants). Rarely does a smile form an effective umbrella, when the rains come it usually just produces a wet, grinning idiot.

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by Bill Jenkins | Thursday, April 17 | Posted in View

First a disclaimer: I am a teacher. Forty-five years worth of teaching at the high school and community college levels. Teaching is also my family's curse. All of my sisters work in education. My mother and two aunts taught. Also a grandparent. I like teachers. This is why I am incensed (pissed off if you will) by the Repbulican war on education in general and teachers in particular.

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