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Columns

Saturday, December 17, 2011

By BOB URBAN

rurban@tnonline.com

I told you last week's Army-Navy game was going to be a barn burner. The only thing I could have done without was President Obama ending up in the announcer's booth in what amounted to nothing more than a campaign push. I can remember several presidents attending the game in the past, but that's the first time I remember one going into the booth for some free air time. I also didn't like his campaigning to have the game moved to the Washington D.C. area every year. The Army-Navy game is a Philadelphia tradition, Mr. President. Look it up.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Earlier this year, I got a once-in-a-lifetime chance to walk the hallowed grounds of the Pearl Harbor Memorial in Oahu, Hawaii.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

This holiday message was sent in by a loyal reader who said:

"I love Christmas lights - they remind me of politicians.

"They all hang together, half of them don't work, and the ones that do aren't that bright."

And not to mention, when you put them away after New Year's, they get all tangled up.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Years before the airplane emerged during the first decade of the 20th century, ballooning had been the one way to conquer flight.

Before ice hockey teams in the U.S. and Canada began competing for the Stanley Cup, aeronauts were competing in a balloon race with the winner receiving the Bennett Trophy.

In 1911, a writer for the Tamaqua Courier noted how balloon races, despite their slow-motion-like movement, had become very competitive between America and Canada.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

This past Wednesday was the seventieth anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Early on Sunday morning at 7:48 a.m. to be exact the first Japanese plans initiated Operation Al which before ending claimed the lives of 2,402 Americans with another 1,247 wounded. We lost four battleships, two destroyers and another ship while another dozen ships were damaged in the attack. In addition, the two aerial waves conduct by Japanese fighter pilots also destroyed almost two hundred airplanes.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

When I attended public high school in Canada, it was expected that everyone in an academic or science curriculum would learn Latin.

As could be expected, we students hated the thought of another language class. Why should be learn a dead language? We were already forced to take French and English, so Latin would be a third useless language in the opinion of my new classmates. Imagine our surprise when our first Latin class consisted solely of learning a 2000-year-old Roman Legionnaires song that was sung as a round, Dona Nobis Pacem.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

So, are you all done Christmas shopping?

Yeah. Me either. To date, I've purchased four gifts. Three of them I bought online, something I would never have dreamed of doing last year.

By now you know that when it comes to technology and all this modern stuff, I'm a Lindasaurous. But, they just might be on to something with this online shopping thing.

Don't get me wrong. I love to shop. Unfortunately, my feet don't. Between heel spurs and bunions, by the time I walk from where I'm parked to the door, it feels like I was on a three-day hike on top of the Rocky Mountains.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

For years I've pondered a mystery that plagues me more as each year passes: Why does time fly by faster when we're older?

Common sense tells us it doesn't. Everyone gets the same 24 hours in a day, regardless of age. But in reality, that doesn't appear to be true.

When I was a kid in Algebra class, the 45-minute period lasted at least a week and a half. I was sure the seconds of the clock never moved and time was frozen in place.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

JIM:

My wife and I recently met with our lawyer to update our wills. This, by the way, is a good idea for everyone. Remember the guy with the hit record of a graduation speech that began and ended, "Whatever you do, use sun block"? Let me paraphrase him: "Whatever you do, make a will." According to a 2010 Forbes Magazine survey, 65 percent of American adults don't have one. And if you don't have one, you probably won't take this advice either.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

This week the European economy tanked. For decades Europe has been a socialist playground, touting the easy life for the citizens of the European Economic Community. In the last few months, it became apparent that the excesses of the past have caught up with some of the countries in the Eurozone. Financial analysts refer to these countries as PIIGS, an acronym for Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain. These economies are in a shambles with Greece being in the worst shape. This week the Federal Reserve acted to prop up their economies by swapping good dollars for bad Euros.