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Opening Pandora’s Box (and Finding Matt Whipkey Inside)

Is Pandora the new “radio”?

And by that I’m asking, could digital music streaming services such as Pandora replace terrestrial radio stations, especially after car stereos become “internet ready,” allowing drivers to punch in a website from their dashboards?

While I can’t answer that in this column, I can say that Pandora at least gives unsigned musicians a glimmer of hope that a stranger...

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Taxes and Medicaid and Mountain Lions? Oh, My!

As state senators assembled for the second, shorter, 60-working-day session of the 103rd Nebraska Legislature on January 8, 2014, many observers expected that tax reform and Medicaid extension would be high on the list of priorities, as they had been since the body had adjourned the previous June. 

And mountain lions. Omaha Senator Ernie Chambers, protector of every threatened species, had...

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Collective Activism

Precisely at 10 a.m. on June 20, 1952, a stylishly dressed middle-aged black woman named Mildred  Brown urged the Omaha City Council to “do all in their power to see that Negroes were hired as bus drivers and therefore end the lily-white hiring practices of the Omaha & Council Bluffs Street-car Company.” Speaking slowly, enunciating each word and standing at her tallest, five feet, five inches,...

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Mejor que las aves enojado y aplastado dulces

Learning to speak Spanish or any foreign language is a classic New Year’s resolution, but what drove me to take on the task was an obsession with iPhone games.

Before we get to that, let me point out that this is not the first time I’ve tried to learn Spanish. My first attempt came in Mrs. Ladd’s class. Spanish was mandatory at Ft. Calhoun High School. It also was the only foreign language...

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Vinyl Sales Help Homer’s Buck Industry Trend

After spending the last two weeks writing about the current state and predicted future of the music industry, it’s time for a dose of reality in the form of the 2013 Nielsen SoundScan numbers.

Billboard Magazine reported last week that album sales suffered an 8.4 percent decline in 2013, CD sales declined 14.5 percent, even digital music sales declined last year for the first time since the...

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Networking group ties Nebraskans in Hollywood

 

Dreamers from Neb., as from everywhere else, have flocked to Hollywood since the motion picture industry's start.

Softening the harsh realities of making it in Tinsel Town's dog-eat-dog world, where who you know is often more vital than what you know, is the mission behind the Nebraska Coast Connection. This networking alliance of natives already established in Hollywood or aspiring to be...

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The Hobbit: The Desecration of Tolkien

So we went and saw The Hobbit, Desolation of Smu-ogg (as apparently it’s pronounced, though I’ve always (in my mind) pronounced it with one syllable — smaug or smog).

I used to read The Hobbit — along with The Lord of The Rings trilogy — every other year at Christmas time, so for me the books feel like winter and Christmas trees, fireplaces and sugar cookies.

Here’s a thought: The best...

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The Right Side of History

“The Charter Committee’s job is to make recommendations to the city council about any proposed changes that they may discern after reviewing the charter and hearing from the citizens of Omaha,” said Stephen Pedersen, Charter Committee member.

Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 3, saw the last meeting of the city’s Charter Committee. Approximately every 10 years, the Mayor’s office and the City Council...

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