Jul 21

What is the community risk? Here’s a podcast to answer that

I got up in time for a run this morning, a simple neighborhood shuffle to cover 2.75 miles. I made it back inside just in time to grab a shower and then record a podcast.

After which I made a quick to drop off the recycling. Which I did just as the best part of the day’s rain decided to fall upon us. So I was soggy for much of the day.

And later in the morning I edited the podcast, making this officially the most productive day of the week. It’s going to be difficult to top Tuesday, rest of the week, he said without looking at his calendar.

Here is that podcast. This is IU Northwest economist Micah Pollak. He’s part of a team of a physician, a med student, a biostatistician and more. They got all of the data from the school districts across Indiana this past year and tried to create an understanding of the risk involved with sending more kids back into their classrooms. What is the risk to the larger community? Take it away, Dr. Pollak.

Now, what expert am I going to ask questions of next? It’s not that easy of a question to answer in the summer. You’d be surprised how many people don’t check their email when they aren’t in their regular weekly campus routine. (Lucky.)

When I pitched this program last year I said I could do a lot of shows within the context of Covid-19, and this conversation with Pollak makes 50. Soon I’ll be expanding it into other topics, I think.

That’ll be something to start figuring out tomorrow morning.

Jun 21

Highlighting Friday things

There is a new look to the front of this website. The photo below will give you a clue. And if you click that image, you can go the front page and see the new art for yourself.

Speaking of the site, I tallied the stats earlier this week and noted that kennysmith dot org recently surpassed four million views. I’d like to thank you for your continued support. And the bots for continually crawling the site. They count, too.

It’s Friday, let’s show off some other people. This is some of the work stuff that I did this week. Enjoy.

And since we’re promoting things around here …

So go visit them. And be sure to come back on Monday. We’ll have updates on the weekend, and the cats!

May 21

New photos adorn the website

It’s another new look Friday here on the website. The little minion that runs the joint — in a word, me — has updated the photos on the front page. The general theme is something akin to this photo.

And if you click that photo another tab will open in your browser and you can see all of the nice new art. Also, I’ve made minor changes to the text there. But, really, the pictures are the nicest part of it. They will stay on the front page for about three weeks, until it’s time to freshen the thing up once more.

A system is now in place, you see. A pipeline has been built. An efficient workflow has been developed.

Until one day when I forget to make the requisite changes. Then it’s simply c’est la vie.

Quiet day on campus. Everyone was in summer weekend mode already, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

But this happened today:

And that’s big, substantial, news for the fall term.

Also, I did this:

And some other stuff, too, but mostly a quiet day.

Also, meet Col. Ralph Puckett Jr.

What you can’t get in a tweet: then-1st. Lieutenant Puckett was serving in an occupation garrison on Okinawa when the fighting in Korea broke out. He volunteered to join this new Ranger unit, the first since World War 2. He didn’t get the job, so he volunteered to serve in the unit beneath his status. He so impressed the brass that they gave him command of the company.

He drew his soldiers from the roster of cooks, clerks, and mechanics — people who’d gone through basic training, but generally served in non-combat capacities — and drilled them for five weeks, and then they were Rangers. He had 57 American Rangers and Korean soldiers with him when he took this little hill. As President Biden said in the ceremony today, “The intelligence briefing indicated that there were 25,000 Chinese troops in the area.”

They fought off battalion-sized attacks all night. He was wounded by mortars and grenades. His Rangers refused his order to leave him behind. It took about a year for Puckett to recover from his wounds, during which time Army doctors thought, for months, they’d have to amputate his foot.

You know that dramatic scene in war movies where the guy in charge calls in artillery right on top of his position? Puckett did that several times on that frozen November night in 1950.

He was offered a medical discharge, but he continued to serve, and even fought in Vietnam, where he earned his second Distinguished Service Cross. He also wears two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, two Bronze Stars with V device for valor, five Purple Hearts and ten Air Medals.

Also at the ceremony today was South Korean President Moon Jae-in, apparently the first foreign leader to attend such a service. He said “From the ashes of the Korean War we came back and that was thanks to the war veterans who fought for Korea’s peace and freedom. The Republic of Korea and the U.S. alliance was forged in blood from heroes (and) has become a linchpin of peace and prosperity on the Korean peninsula and beyond. Col. Puckett and his fellow warriors are a link that thoroughly binds Korea and the U.S. together.”

And, to tell you what his fellow Rangers think of him, Col. Puckett was in their inaugural Hall of Fame class.

One of his soldiers was at the ceremony, as well, and yesterday he recalled the man that turned him into a Ranger. “Puckett impressed me. If you made a mistake, you would do 50 pushups, and he would do 50 with you. There is no telling how many a day he did.”

Many years ago now I decided to read all of these stories about men (there remains only one woman to have been awarded the Medal of Honor, the equally admirable Dr. Mary Edwards Walker) who demonstrate such valor. It never disappoints, learning more about these people and their great personal courage and virtue toward their fellow service members. You can do that, too, right here.

Apr 21

New site look

There’s a new front page on the website. It looks similar to this, and if you click this image you can see it for yourself. So click this image. We’ll be here when you get back.

Here are some television programs I didn’t share in this space this week. Let’s get caught up.

The award-winning late show:

The award-winning morning show:

The award-winning pop culture show:

The award-winning news show:

The award-winning sports highlight show:

And a sports talk show that will be winning awards very soon:

Happy weekend! Make it an award-winning weekend, why don’t you?

Apr 21

Easing into a springtime weekend

Here are the sports shows from last night. First, the highlights from Sports Nite. Big stories are about postseason play in soccer. And basketball. Always basketball. Basketball never ends here. The sport needs a shot clock.

And here’s The Toss Up, which is where they talked about The Masters. A fun time was had by all.

Today I gave two tours. First time I’ve had guests in the building since, I don’t know, maybe February of last year. The first was for a young man who’ll be joining us as a freshman in the fall. The other is a guy who’ll be joining us for grad school. He is also from Alabama. Two new people from home in the same week.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him about the barbecue situation.

I have made a new look for the front page. I rather like it, and I think you will too. Just click the image below and, via the magic technology of hyperlinks, you will be effortlessly transported to it. Tell me what you think.

And then effortlessly transport yourself to the weekend. I’m starting mine relaxing on the deck. How you are beginning your weekend? You’ve earned it, after all. Enjoy it!