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Columns

  • Don't let the quietness fool you

    By State Representative Terry Mills

    The halls of the Capitol may be relatively quiet when July arrives, but that doesn’t detract from the month’s importance when it comes to running state government.  It marks the start of another fiscal year and, in even-numbered years, is when most new state laws take effect.

  • Forget the driveless car, a driveless tractor may be in your future

    You might think that the concept of the Driverless Car began with Google. Actually, we can trace the idea back to as early as 1935 where the idea first appeared in the pages of works of Science Fiction. By 1939 the idea of smart, or automated, highways were seen in early plans from GE and others. But, of course, in the early 1930’s, computers to power these magic devices were also things of Science Fiction, so we would have to wait another 75 years for scientists and Google to come along and make an idea a reality.

  • Steaming – a healthy way to cook your veggies

    Steaming is a healthy way to cook - no added fat required, zero potential carcinogens from charring, and minimal loss of nutrients. You can add flavors in the steaming liquid or by lining the steamer with fragrant additions such as using your favorite fresh or dried herbs for extra flavor.

  • Laboratories of democracy

    By Terry Mills, State Representative

    States have often been called laboratories of democracy, and for good reason: That’s where most cutting-edge ideas to improve government are first tested. The good ones are widely copied while the unworkable ones teach a valuable lesson as well.

  • A crisis waiting to happen

    There is a new variation of the Crysis (pronounced Crisis by most) malware and it is a nightmare waiting to happen. When Crysis first emerged a few years ago, it was a simple ransomware virus (see my article from August 5, 2015 for more discussion of ransomware). After many updates from nefarious computer black hat hackers (bad guys,) this malware has evolved.

  • Can you concentrate?

    The Concatenate function in Excel is one of those great features that few users know about. So what does concatenation do?

    To concatenate is to join together. We use the plus, negative, or slash (divide) symbols to do math inside an Excel cell, but what if we want to join the contents of one cell with the contents of another cell? Let’s see how the =CONCATENATE function works.

  • Celebrating Independence Day

    As it has for nearly two-and-a-half centuries, our nation will pause on Monday to celebrate its “birth” day, commemorating a time 240 years ago when the Founding Fathers declared our independence.

    Since July 4, 1776, we have weathered a war for our freedom, a war against ourselves, and wars against those who would like nothing more than to see us and our values falter.  Although the world has changed in countless ways since Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, our commitment to protect and promote freedom has never wavered.

  • Home canning tips

    Watch your headspace. In canning, this is the empty space between the top of the food and the top of the jar. This empty space allows the food in the jar to expand during processing. If too little headspace is left, the hot food may bubble over the top of the jar during processing, leaving a deposit on the rim and preventing the lid from sealing. If too much headspace is left, the processing time may not be long enough to drive all of the air out of the jar. This may cause the food in the jar to discolor and may prevent the formation of a strong vacuum seal on cooling.

  • How to improve cell phone reception

    My office is in the basement level of my home. And even though it is a sunlight basement, one wall is exposed with walkout and windows, cell phone reception from local towers is weak. Even when upstairs, I had difficulty receiving a cell phone signal because I am almost equal distance between two cell towers. I imagine many of you have the same problem. But, take heart, there may, and I say “may,” be a solution for you.

  • New dangerous drug emerging in state

    By Terry Mills

    It has often been said that the war against illegal drugs is an ever-changing battlefield. When we seem to be making headway on one front, another tragically opens up.

    Over the past dozen years, those “fronts” in Kentucky have ranged from meth and synthetic drugs to prescription pain medicine and heroin.

    According to the annual report the state’s Office of Drug Control Policy released last week, a new name has been added to that list: fentanyl.