Editorial Results (free)
1. Pulitzer Deadlock Decided by Dog
- Thursday, August 13, 2015
The 2008 Arkansas Writers’ Conference featured a spontaneous writing contest. Yeah, I know, that was seven years ago, but I was thinking about it recently and, for some reason, thought you might get a chuckle out of what came of it.
2. Murphy, the Realist
- Thursday, June 25, 2015
“Whatever can go wrong will go wrong.” That’s a common wording for the epigram that we call “Murphy’s Law.” Granted, others have said it somewhat differently.
In her 1953 book, “The Making of a Scientist,” Ann Roe (1904-1991) attributed “If anything can go wrong, it will” to an unnamed physicist whom she’d interviewed. In his 1952 book, “The Butcher – The Ascent of Yerupaja,” John Sack cited a saying among mountaineers: “Anything that can possibly go wrong, does.”
3. Anson VII Has Arrived
- Thursday, May 28, 2015
My great-great-great-great grandfather Elijah Fleming had eight kids and no middle name.
According to an essay by a distant cousin of mine, five of the eight left their South Carolina homes “the night the stars fell.”
4. Schumer's '12 Angry Men' Satire Stings
- Thursday, May 21, 2015
A recent episode of “Inside Amy Schumer” parodies the 1957 Sidney Lumet movie “12 Angry Men.” A “jury” of dudes deliberate whether Schumer is “hot enough” to be on TV. Jeff Goldblum, John Hawkes, Paul Giamatti, Nick DiPaolo and Kumail Nanjiani are spot-on with their mimicry of the original actors from the movie – Henry Fonda, Ed Begely, Lee J. Cobb and others.
5. Cool Catt
- Thursday, March 26, 2015
The Honorable George Rose Smith is depicted in a John Deering wall-mounted bronze relief at the Central Arkansas Library System’s main branch. He’s in his robe, seated in front of a giant crossword grid. The inscription reads: “Wordsmith Extraordinaire – New York Times Crossword Puzzle Author – Arkansas Supreme Court Justice 1949-1987.”
- Thursday, March 12, 2015
On the golf course, a 20-foot putt rolls on a green, slows down, collides with the right half of the hole, spins 360 degrees along the rim, and winds up hanging on the front edge of its destination. “Call nine-one-one!” a player says. “You were robbed!”
7. Long Live the Pasquins
- Thursday, February 12, 2015
Charlie Hebdo promotes itself as having a viewpoint that reflects “all components of left wing pluralism.” Its business is satire. It skewers Jews, Catholics, Protestants and Muslims. It has twice been attacked by terrorists. The attack in 2011 didn’t kill anyone.
8. Tigers’ Season: Inconsistent Play, Lukewarm Support
- Friday, February 06, 2015
It has become a nightly ritual at University of Memphis home games. When a member of the stats crew walks down press row holding a sheet of paper displaying the “announced attendance,” members of the Fourth Estate roll their eyes and shake their heads.
9. Addressing the Post Office
- Thursday, December 25, 2014
“Dear Judge Vic, I am writing about the U.S. Postal Service. My wife and me send several things each month to the same address in a major city in another state. To the home of our kids. A house we’ve stayed at. A place with a porch, where the mail guy leaves packages. A few weeks ago, we sent a box with some presents in it.
10. According to Foyle
- Friday, December 12, 2014
My early New Year’s resolution is to be more like Christopher Foyle. Demeanor-wise and wisdom-wise. No, I won’t be wearing a vest.
“Foyle’s War” is a British detective series created by Anthony Horowitz. As World War II rages, Inspector Christopher Foyle (played by Michael Kitchen) investigates crimes from his headquarters in Hastings, England. He never raises his voice. He’s never puzzled by an inconsistency. Obvious lies from the devious don’t faze him one bit.
11. It’s Art
- Thursday, November 13, 2014
“But is it __?” This clue is used in dozens of crossword puzzles. The answer is ART. At Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, tucked away in the Northwest Arkansas hills, the question’s answer is “You’d better believe it!” My heart sings to know that Crystal Bridges, open now since Nov. 11, 2011, is a major world player in its field.
12. Memphis Sports Legend Bramlett Passes Away
- Saturday, October 25, 2014
John “Bull” Bramlett, who starred for the University of Memphis in football and baseball, and played in the NFL, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 23. He was 73.
“John Bramlett was a great football and baseball player for the University of Memphis, and we are deeply saddened by his passing,” Tom Bowen, director of athletics at the University of Memphis, said in a statement. “John made a lasting impression in all that he did both on the football field and in his work and ministry. God bless his family.”
13. Memphis Two-Sport Legend John Bramlett Passes Away
- Thursday, October 23, 2014
John “Bull” Bramlett, who starred for the University of Memphis in football and baseball, and played in the NFL, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 23. He was 73.
“John Bramlett was a great football and baseball player for the University of Memphis, and we are deeply saddened by his passing,” Tom Bowen, Director of Athletics at the University of Memphis, said in a statement. “John made a lasting impression in all that he did both on the football field and in his work and ministry. God bless his family.”
14. Road Show
- Wednesday, September 10, 2014
In about a week the Grizzlies’ Quincy Pondexter will deliver the ceremonial first pitch before a St. Louis Cardinals game at Busch Stadium.
If his throw is bad enough, the Grizzlies actually might get more exposure because it’ll make ESPN’s SportsCenter and get shown again and again.
15. Mumford Teacher Cheating Scandal Takes High Toll
- Thursday, August 21, 2014
Federal prosecutors tallied the toll this week in the largest teacher exam cheating scandal ever pursued by authorities in the Western District of Tennessee.
The occasion was the announcement Tuesday, Aug. 19, by U.S Attorney Ed Stanton of diversion agreements with four more teachers in the two-decade long scandal and a June guilty plea and sentencing of former Hillcrest High School and Byhalia High School basketball coach James O. Sales of Memphis.
16. Mr. B’s Cross-Examination
- Thursday, July 17, 2014
Several years ago, a Mr. B. testified as an expert witness in a plane crash case. The lawyer cross-examining him worked awfully hard. And provided some entertainment along the way. The issue was whether the pilot should have been warned of bad weather seen earlier by six FAA employees.
17. For the Red, White & Blue
- Thursday, July 10, 2014
Let’s start this column with holiday quiz:
1. Who immortalized Paul Revere’s “midnight ride” and how?
2. Which body of water did Washington and his men cross on Christmas 1776?
3. According to legend, who sewed the first American flag?
4. Who wrote “The Star Spangled Banner”?
5. Which European countries fought for the colonies and which did not?
6. What was thrown into Boston Harbor in 1773 and why?
7. Who was the primary author of the Declaration of Independence?
8. Which state whose name starts with V was not one of the original 13 colonies?
9. How did John Adams explain to Abigail the colonies’ defeat at Long Island?
10. What was the approximate population of the 13 colonies on July 4, 1776?
18. Little Rock Film Festival Shines
- Thursday, June 05, 2014
The latest version of the Little Rock Film Festival was the best yet. Ask anyone who gathered at the Old Statehouse Sunday, May 18, for the Awards Gala. The enthusiasm of the filmmakers was infectious.
19. One and One for the Morrisseys
- Thursday, April 03, 2014
Robin and Darren Morrissey, wife and husband, finished one and one at the 2014 Clinton School Puzzle Festival. That would be first place in crosswords and first place in Sudoku.
20. Grisham Thriller Smacks of Dickens
- Thursday, March 13, 2014
At the pretrial conference, big-city lawyer Wade Lanier does an “evidence dump.” His witness list includes 45 people not previously disclosed in discovery. Local lawyer Jake Brigance moves for a continuance. Lanier says that with two weeks remaining before trial, there’s plenty of time for Jake to call these folks. Judge Reuben Attlee denies the motion. What will Jake do?
21. High Colorado
- Thursday, February 27, 2014
“Friends around the campfire, and everybody’s high.” I cannot but think that John Denver was a prophet after all.
In January, Colorado’s long-running “grass”-roots campaign took another step, as retail marijuana shops started opening. This surely has solidified the movement begun by a 2012 statewide initiative. Fifty-five percent of voters approved a constitutional amendment that reads, in pertinent part,
22. Ghosts of Holiday Programs Past
- Tuesday, December 24, 2013
It’s that time of year again. Time for holiday programs.
Such as the one recounted by John Irving in “A Prayer for Owen Meany.” The one directed annually by Rev. and Mrs. Wiggin. The one that made Owen mad, because the little kids were “disguised as turtledoves.”In costumes “so absurd that no one knew what these children were supposed to be”! They looked like “science-fiction angels, spectacular life-forms from another galaxy, as if the Wiggins had decided that the Holy Nativity had been attended by beings from faraway planets.”
23. When Siri Speaks
- Thursday, September 26, 2013
My smartphone was, of course, in my pocket. Apparently, though, I’d unknowingly pressed the button that activates it. Through my judicial robe and the fabric of my trousers. The lawyer in front of me wound up his remarks. There was a longer-than-normal pause.
24. Old Ads Still Funny
- Thursday, June 20, 2013
Cleaning off a shelf, I came across the 2005 issue of “Uncle John’s Fast-Acting, Long-Lasting Bathroom Reader.” This series, by the way, has been around for a quarter-century now, and I’m long overdue to order the 2012 issue: the “Fully Loaded 25th Anniversary Bathroom Reader.”
25. Apostrophe Yes or No?
- Thursday, April 18, 2013
Henry Chu of the Los Angeles Times reported in late March that “To grammarians’ delight, officials in southwest England who had considered expunging apostrophes from street signs threw out the idea … and vowed to follow the rules of proper English.” Ha! Good luck with that!
26. Hugs All Around After Tigers Season
- Friday, March 29, 2013
Only Josh Pastner could utter the word “Lamborghini” on the occasion of his contract extension and a pay raise that likely pushed his annual salary north of $2 million and come across as grateful, gleeful and humble.
27. 10 New Defendants Part of Test Scandal Indictment
- Friday, September 21, 2012
A new federal indictment in a growing teacher testing scandal alleges teachers and those who wanted to be teachers were paying thousands of dollars to an organization led by former Memphis City Schools assistant principal Clarence Mumford.
28. Did They Really Say That?
- Thursday, September 13, 2012
Thanks for the cards and letters regarding how much you enjoyed the past few weeks’ return to our roots – our roots being quotations from “The Record,” that large, vague compendium of things people have actually said or written in court proceedings.
29. Guilty Plea Raises Questions in Test Cheating Scandal
- Tuesday, September 11, 2012
A multi-state teacher test cheating scandal had been a federal court case with a lot of criminal counts and a lot of initials of paid test-takers for teachers until last week.
That’s when one of those referred to by his initials in the 49-count fraud and identity theft case pleaded guilty in Memphis federal court. The plea is connected to the fraud case that emerged in July with the indictment of former Memphis City Schools assistant principal Clarence Mumford. It offers more detail about an alleged scheme that U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton has said involved “more than 50” teachers in the three-state Memphis area.
30. Late Bloomers
- Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Last week we discussed the Family Safety Center, which is focused on providing one location that effectively combines civil, criminal, health and social services for victims of domestic violence. This week let us share a story that was submitted by reader and LPBC partner, Mike Bowen, CEO and President of Champion Awards & Apparel. The story is about “late bloomers” and is a testament for how businesses can play an active role in the community and how someone’s past does not have to predict his or her future.
31. Lost Crosswords: Part 2
- Thursday, June 28, 2012
This is Part 2 of a series. Don’t miss Part 1, next week. (I know what order series normally go in! Get over it already!)
Maggie the Cheagle and I decided to watch “Lost” again. Last year, we watched for the first time, with Susan along for the ride. We went through all six seasons in about two months.
32. Gripping Tales Of True Crime
- Thursday, April 19, 2012
During the past 16 months, NPR has featured a couple of creative police-blotter writers in stories filed by Don Gorenstein and Alexandria Gutierrez.
In January 2011, Gorenstein reported on John Nolan, editor of the Rochester (N.H.) Times, who writes up the local police’s doings, and is known to inject puns and rhyme into his work. For example:
33. Less-Than-Angelic Christmas Programs
- Thursday, December 22, 2011
Again it is the time of year that reminds me of Christmas programs. Such as the one recounted by John Irving in “A Prayer for Owen Meany.” The one directed annually by Rev. and Mrs. Wiggin. The one that made Owen mad because “the smaller children were disguised as turtledoves. The costumes were so absurd that no one knew what these children were supposed to be; they resembled science-fiction angels, spectacular life-forms from another galaxy, as if the Wiggins had decided that the Holy Nativity had been attended by beings from faraway planets.”
34. The Law of Crosswords
- Thursday, November 03, 2011
“Dear Judge Vic, I’ve heard that crosswords are considered mentally healthy. Can you address this topic? Also, I’d like to work on your crosswords, but I hear they have legal themes. I worry I might not be qualified. /s/ New Kid.”
35. National Parking, Part 1
- Thursday, October 13, 2011
West Yellowstone, Mont. This hamlet of 1,000 residents is said to have 4,000 motel rooms. But I don’t have time to count. There’s a park to be explored.
It’s our first trip to the world’s oldest national park (established 1872), a rectangular tract of some 3,500 square miles that, at first blush, appears to be wholly in Wyoming. However, small chunks of it are in Montana and Idaho.
36. Stone Joins Metropolitan Bank As Mortgage Specialist
- Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Kent Stone has joined Metropolitan Bank as a mortgage specialist.
37. Have ‘Mondegreens’ Had Their Day?
- Thursday, September 01, 2011
The word “Mondegreen” made it into the dictionary in 2000, 46 years after it was coined. I guess I haven’t written about it since before that time.
The word was come up with by American writer Sylvia Wright, in a 1954 essay in Harper’s. As a youth, Wright heard her mother read from “The Bonny Earl o’ Moray”: “They hae slain the Earl o’ Moray/ And laid him on the green.”
38. Tiger Gift Shop Moves To Larger Space
- Friday, August 05, 2011
Tiger Gift Shop is relocating a few doors down from its current location on the Highland Strip near the University of Memphis.
The university retailer, now at 549 S. Highland St., has signed a new 5,000-square-foot lease at 531 S. Highland, in the space formerly occupied by From One Greek to Another.
39. Would I Lay to You?
- Thursday, August 04, 2011
One of Richard Lederer’s books is “Sleeping Dogs Don’t Lay (and that’s no lie).” Subtitled “Practical advice for the grammatically challenged,” it’s a good book to keep handy.
40. Good English, Plus ‘Who am I?’
- Thursday, February 10, 2011
True story. It happened in front of me.
The defendant, Ms. Martinez, who had recently moved to the United States from Argentina, was charged with failure to yield in connection with a motor vehicle accident.
41. Use Puns, Name Change, Win Books
- Thursday, January 27, 2011
Words are the toys of a civilized world. Playing with them often results in good will and better friendships.
Consider, for instance, the pun, a tool no lawyer, or other problem-solver, should ever be without.
42. Whatever Happened to Horace?
- Thursday, January 20, 2011
Where is Horace Rumpole when you need him most?
The barrister whose cases and antics entertained me (and millions of others) on PBS’s “Mystery” series for many years is not on the airwaves in these parts anymore.
43. Taking Care of Business
- Monday, August 30, 2010
A diverse mix of Memphis businesses is defying the odds and finding success spanning multiple family generations. Grant & Co., Champion Awards, Jim’s Place East, Barden Stone and Broadway Pizza are among the Memphis institutions thriving under second- and third-generation ownership and management.
44. Gerard Appointed Administrator at Methodist Cancer Center
- Wednesday, October 18, 2006
Dr. Dava F. Gerard has been appointed administrator for the Methodist Healthcare Cancer Center. She previously was the founding vice president and chief operating officer of the Nevada Cancer Institute in Las Vegas.
45. No Swords or Eye Patches Needed for Modern Piracy
- Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Six computer users in Memphis and the surrounding area have been sued by the Recording Industry Association of America for illegally downloading music from the Internet, an act for which each could pay a fine of more than $4,000.
46. Tuttle Elected to State Judicial Selection Commission
- Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Dale H. Tuttle of Glassman, Edwards, Wade & Wyatt PC has been elected 2006 vice chairman of the Tennessee Judicial Selection Commission. The commission interviews and recommends applicants for all state courts.
47. Archived Article: Newsmakers
- Wednesday, October 06, 2004
Joseph Lee Makes Appointments to Management Team
AutoZone Announces Organizational Changes
AutoZone Inc. hired Jim Shea to the position of executive vice president, merchandising and marketing. Shea most recently worked for Party City. In addi...
48. Archived Article: Newsmakers
- Wednesday, October 15, 2003
(ephotos of both) Dr
Campbell Clinic Doctors Named to State Board Dr. Robert Miller and Dr. William C. Warner Jr., both of Campbell Clinic, were named to the board of the Tennessee Orthopaedic Society at the groups recent annual meeting. Miller w...
49. Archived Article: Memos
- Wednesday, March 17, 1999
Vastera Adds Dennis Jones, FDX CIO, Dennis H. Jones, executive vice president of information technology and chief information officer for FDX Corp., has been appointed to the board of directors for Vastera Inc. Ernst & Young announced the follow...
50. Archived Article: Back
- Wednesday, June 26, 1996
Leadership Memphis announces 1997 class Leadership Memphis announces 1997 class Top business executives, administrators, civic volunteers and ministers are among the 55 leaders in the public and private sectors who have been selected to participate ...