Another year of high heat

July 11, 2012

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The cool that has settled in to the Piedmont has everyone going ‘ahhhh’ and windows opening in homes where the ac has been on high for more than a month. The stretch of heat busted records and made doing anything outdoors a chore. Jeff Masters has an extensive look at the record warmth we’ve endured […]

Study finds areas with high rates of cervical cancer

March 12, 2012

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Using a new cancer registry UNC researchers discovered some areas in North Carolina with unusually high rates of cervical cancer. The counties with the highest overall rates and highest mortality rates are among the state’s poorest. Among the report’s other findings is that African-American women die from cervical cancer at double the rate of white […]

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February Almanac

February 4, 2012


If the recent spell of warm weather has you thumbing through the seed catalogs you may want to check out the new zone map site at the United States Department of Agriculture, which has a nifty GIS driven version interface. Punch in your zip code and drill down. Both the USDA and NOAA are stepping […]

Langston Hughes in Chapel Hill

February 3, 2012

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Langston Hughes was born 100 years ago today. The author, essayist, poet and newspaper columnist visited North Carolina a few times in his career including a trip to Chapel Hill which he later wrote about in an essay called “Color in Chapel Hill.” There are several accounts of his visit, the most extensive in this […]

Blaming Nixon for NOAA in Commerce

January 13, 2012

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Interesting headline from Politico for a sidebar about President Obama’s proposed consolidation of several agencies and departments. The President explains how the NOAA came to be a part of the Department of Commerce. “If you’re wondering what the genesis of this was apparently, this had something to do with President Nixon being unhappy with his […]

‘I’m about usual,” he said. “Just able to get about. How are you?’

January 5, 2012

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Nice story out of WNC. Asheville Citizen-Times writer Susan Reinhardt interviews a couple of fellows who made it to triple digits. I’ve interviewed several 100 year old women, but never any guys. These two, as the story says, have their wits about them. Here’s the link.

January Almanac

December 31, 2011

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The days are short, The sun a spark Hung thin between The dark and dark. — John Updike, “January” Here in the Piedmont, January is not the coldest month of our year. It’s close, but December and February are pretty much in a tie for first. Of course this depends on where you are and […]

December Almanac

December 17, 2011

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For the record (since it’s so late) The wintry west extends his blast, And hail and rain does blaw — Robert Burns, Winter: A Dirge The Winter Solstice slips into December 22 this year at thirty minutes past midnight. The best thing you can say about the onset of winter is that the steady loss […]

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November almanac

November 5, 2011

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The husky, rusty russel of the tossels of the corn, And the raspin’ of the tangled leaves, as golden as the morn; The stubble in the furries—kindo’ lonesome-like, but still A-preachin’ sermuns to us of the barns they growed to fill; — James Whitcomb Riley, When the Frost is on the Punkin November is when […]

Soaking ahead

October 9, 2011

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Subtropical storm Nameless is creeping up the coast from Florida. I’ve been watching the rainfall estimates as it moves northward. Looks like we’ll get something out of it in the Piedmont. Down East should get plenty.