Thumbs: Summer reading, Iraq, hog farms

Vacation opportunities. We like the message displayed on the changeable sign at Ida Burns Elementary School in Conway. “Enjoy the summer. Read.” This advice could apply to all of us. Young people especially will do well to get a book, nearly any kind of book, or a newspaper, read it then do another. Reading is fundamental as they say.


Not explainable. Here we go again. Factions in Iraq are killing each other so gasoline prices are rising in our neck of the woods. People in the know tell us that Iranian oil is not used to produce American gasoline. Yes, we are among those who think gasoline pricing comes close to being a crime in our land.

Head off problems. It is summer, and the lawnmowers are running. So are weed whackers, powered blowers and other yard machines. A tip for continued good performance is to check the air filters often. Few of us do. Take a few moments, remove or open the filter and blow out, shake off or wash away the accumulated dirt and debris.

Closing the barn door. That contentious issue of the large hog farm near the Buffalo River may result in rules prohibiting such mistaken permit granting in the future. It is apparently too late to shut down the already operating hog factory in Newton County, but additional ones in sensitive locations should be banned.

Adaptable English. New words in our daily language don’t bother us, once we learn them. For today’s example, barista. This is not a slurring or fumbling of the British term for lawyer. Barista is from the Italian for bartender and is being used for a person making beverages in a coffeehouse. OK, we can live with this new word.

Always the season. Football games are just a few weeks away, so maybe it’s not surprising a recent email has the closing comment “WPS.” If you are out of the loop, that’s short for Woo Pig Sooie. There are many other teams of course, but the Razorback fans rightfully expect an improvement over last year’s 3-9 dismal performance.

“When Team Rubicon left, they turned over all the work orders to the Arkansas Dream Center. There’s still a lot of areas where people need help. You cannot clean it up in six weeks. We’re not even close to being done.”

— Pam McBroome,

Nucor building manager