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Today's word on journalism

May 8, 2009

The Last WORD

The Fat Lady Sings, Off-Key, Drools

At about this time every year, like the swallows to Capistrano or the buzzards to Hinckley, Ohio, the WORD migrates to its summer musing grounds at the sanitarium —St. Mumbles Home for the Terminally Verbose.

The reason is clear, and never moreso than as this season —the WORD's 13th —peters out.

It's been a fraught year of high palaver and eye-popping transition, both good and not-so-much. An interminable presidential campaign saga finally did end, and in extraordinary and historic fashion. Meanwhile, the bottom and everything that's below the bottom fell out of the economy, with families, homes, entire industries and —of particular interest to WORDsters and the civic-minded —dozens of daily newspapers ("I don't so much mind that newspapers are dying--it's watching them commit suicide that pisses me off." --Molly Ivins). . . all evaporating. What replaces them, from the individual to the institutional to the societal? Are we looking at a future of in-depth Tweeting?

As any newsperson or firehorse knows, it's hard to turn your back on day-to-day catastrophe --we just have to look at the car wreck. But even the most deranged and driven need a rest. As philosopher Lilly Tomlin once observed, "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."

So this morning, as a near-frost hovered over northern Utah, the unmarked van pulled into the driveway and the gentle, soft-spoken men in the white coats rolled the WORD out of bed and into a straitjacket for the usual summer trip to St. Mumbles, where the blathering one will be assigned a hammock and fed soothing, healthy foods --like tapioca, dog biscuits and salmon --while recharging the essential muscles of cynicism, outrage, sarcasm, social engagement and high-mindedness, in preparation for the next edition.
Summer well, friends.

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Feedback and suggestions--printable and otherwise--always welcome. "There are no false opinions."

Aggies mark Earth Day with a fair focused on simple ways to live greener

By Aaron Mecham

April 23, 2009 | LOGAN -- Living a greener lifestyle accompanied recycling as main themes at an Earth Day fair sponsored by USU Student services Wednesday.

Aggie Blue Bikes gave attendees a bike toss and displayed a bike-powered generator that helped them provide music.

USU recycling was on hand to promote recycling and let people know where to recycle and what can and cannot be recycled. Recycling bins are available in classrooms and hallways on campus and at drop-off areas at the Recycling Area at 870 E. 1250 North in Logan and at Aggie Village along East Stadium Drive.

Logan Recycling gave out reusable grocery bags to anyone that promised to use them instead of paper or plastic bags. They also gave donuts to people that wrote down ways to live a greener lifestyle by reducing energy or consumption.

"I am going to conserve energy during the day by turning off the lights and I pledged to use this blue bag at the grocery store to reduce my plastic waste," Nicole Allred said.

USU's Be Well program also was able to tie in eating healthier to reducing litter because most healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, are biodegradable.

Nate Millard, with USU's Sustainability Council, said, "We already do a lot of stuff that is sustainable. It's fairly easy to and with most things it's economically feasible."

Millard said sustainability is about the long-term. He was at the fair to promote sustainability in Cache Valley, like reducing driving for better air quality during the winter and buying locally grown produce.



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