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One of my responsibilities at Weber State University this week was to facilitate a 2 1/2 hour discussion about diversity and inclusion. Some of you might think that sounds like a fate worse than death, but it was quite pleasant. With 14 people representing the colleges and divisions of the u…

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It’s common to see Christmas through tired eyes. A couple of days into the season and we feel behind. So much to do, and so little time to do it in. Our lists lengthen each year, we feed our own expectations, and we sometimes lose sight of the reason for the season.

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of the release of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the seminal work by auteur director Stanley Kubrick. On Dec. 7, Weber State University Honors Program will present a screening of the movie with some guest commentators — myself and history professor Eric Swedin.

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There’s so much science in the news right now, I don’t know what to write about: A massive crater discovered under Greenland’s ice sheet that caused climate chaos for early humans? A new planet around Barnard’s star, a mere six light years away? A method for cooking turkey using nothing more…

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No, no, no, no, no! It’s okay to fiddle with the stuffing recipe, try a new cranberry sauce technique, or add orange zest to the yams. But in the name of all that’s traditional, how could a dressing-filled chicken stuffed into a duck stuffed into a turkey stuffed into a pig stuffed into an a…

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“#Me Too” movement has drawn attention to the mistreatment, harassment, and sexual assault of women in general and in the workplace. However, it has also rekindled the controversy of wage earnings discrimination against women in the workplace, even though the gap has narrowed since 1955.

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Fall has arrived in Utah with cool temperatures and a heated electoral campaign season. Whether on television, by email, in the mailbox, on a lawn sign or at a public event, candidates and their advocates have made their positions known and implored you to get out and vote.

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I’ve never lived anywhere else in the world where Halloween has such an impressive hold on the local imagination. Not just kids trick or treating for chocolates, we have trunk-or-treats, ghost tours, scare factories, corn mazes, Halloween karaoke, haunted hayrides, Halloween love-poem contes…

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The 88-page “Voter Information Pamphlet” arrived about a week ago in my mailbox, along with a stack of colorful, noisy solicitations from candidates, mingled with informative, biased mailers about the three propositions on this coming ballot. Staring at the wad, the thought flitted through m…

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We’ve passed the autumn equinox, an event for astronomers that marks the end of summer’s box-office blockbuster season. As such, I’m reminded of a very important piece of advice: Never take a scientist to a movie. Chances are we’ll ruin it for you.

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There is an ongoing debate on Proposition 2 dealing with medical marijuana. Opposition groups want voters to vote against the proposition, but at the same time they propose that improvement and/or changes to the existing law and the proposition, if approved by voters, should be made by the l…

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We’ve all heard stories about possible interference in American elections by foreign states such as Russia, China, Iran and others. It’s become a topic of international dimensions and worldwide concern.

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I overheard a young adult ask her mom how folks ever got anything done before we had the internet and social media. Her mom wisely responded, “Well, do you run them, or do they run you? Because I don’t know how people get anything done with those constant distractions.”

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In 1991, I was a college student during the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas hearings. My friends and I discussed sexual harassment and whether we would report if something happened to us. I was emphatic that I would not allow anyone to compromise my job or make me feel less-than in any way. I was…

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This past weekend the Western States Regional Conference for the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) took place in the Northrup Grumman Executive conference center, the old 1904 stone and log Bamberger Electric Railroad Company building in Ogden Canyon.

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It’s back to school time for the students of Northern Utah, and time to get back to building for the future. It’s even a good time for those who’ve moved beyond formal education years to review, reconsider and perhaps reset their goals.

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Most people express surprise or even shock when they learn I bottle food. Many want to know why I have to do it. They’re more surprised when I try to explain that I do it because I want to, I even like to. The surprise changes to one of concern, something along the lines of, “Poor dear. She …

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The great thing about fall is all its new beginnings — returning to school, dropping temperatures, preparing for holidays and time with family and friends. It also brings Hispanic Heritage celebrations. Some may ask what is Hispanic Heritage? Why does it run mid-September to mid-October when…

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If you think your brain doesn’t need the protection of a helmet, you’re probably right. But for the sake of every child that lives, put one on your kids’ heads if you decide to decorate your All Terrain Vehicle with a kid in front of you hanging on to the gas tank and two bouncing behind you…

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Recently, I chatted with a man who trims my trees. As we talked about nature, I discovered he once believed the earth was flat. True, you can’t easily see the curvature in the earth from atop a tree. While in a tiny minority, he is not the only one to hold that belief.

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If you’re like me, August offered another fantastic opportunity to miss the Perseid meteor shower. With the rash of forest fires, I knew the spectacular event was going to be hard to see through smoke-obscured skies. Coupled with a late sunset and my early farm chores, this astronomer chose …

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“We cannot do it alone” is the phrase generally used by the First Presidency of the Mormon Church when it publishes its annual letter to church employees urging them to give during the United Way community campaign.

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Recently, I had an individual tell me I should stop focusing on our differences and focus instead on our similarities. She said it made her uncomfortable when I talked about my ethnic background or when I questioned if something might have sexist, racist or homophobic implications — because …

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If you get your news from Twitter and Facebook, you may think the most important political stories are about prostitutes, porn stars and Putin. In fact, the outcome of future elections may depend upon exactly the same factor that has determined the outcome of many national elections. That is…

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When your internet connection comes and goes, it can be an extremely frustrating experience. Just when you hit send on an email that’s taken an hour to compose, you see the message “unable to send, no internet connection.” Intermittent internet is a common problem, and what to do about it de…