My students often ask me if the items we find in the woods are edible. I answer in the affirmative, explaining that anything they can fit down their esophagus is edible. The question is whether the item of interest will kill you. I get asked this a lot about mushrooms. Members of this kingdom are especially difficult to identify, and for every safe species, there is another, almost identical species that could be deadly. And so it is my standard practice to avoid consumption of any mushroom I find outside of the supermarket shelf.
WASHINGTON -- Thank you, Kaci Hickox.
The best my body has felt in a long time was last summer when I gave being vegetarian a try. I know that the foods a person eats play a major role in the state of his or her health, but I had no idea that altering my diet would dramatically change how I slept and how much energy I had. It even cut out my occasional night sweats.
Yes, I know that I am, occasionally, prone to embellishment. But trust me when I say this is the law and the gospel: I have a long-time friend who only calls me when someone dies. Most times, I know the person but sometimes I don't have a clue the person ever existed.
For the past 60 years, the Kershaw County Historical Society has been collecting, conserving and sharing the history of the county.
(With focus on this year's election coverage, I'm giving myself a break from this week's column. However, here's a somewhat Halloween-related column from 2010 I hope you'll enjoy again.)
Renee Zellweger turned up last week looking nothing like ... well, nothing like Renee Zellwegger.
First off, let me wish one and all a happy, safe and fun Halloween. I hope it brings you all that you hope for. But, that's not my main topic this week.
WASHINGTON -- Monica Lewinsky is trying to make lemonade out of 16-year-old lemons. Good for her, and good, ultimately, for us.
July 27 marked the beginning of the most stressful week of my life. It began with the surprising news of my aunt's passing, and on top of having to deal with that, I also had to get through my last week of two summer classes and do work for two other classes that would end the following week.
Ben Bradlee became editor of The Washington Post the year I was born, 1965. He stepped down when I was 26, in 1991, the year after I moved to the Midlands of South Carolina.
A friend of mine, long embroiled in upsets, distractions, problems and tribulations, called one day to announce happily that she was learning to "let things roll right off my back."
Ebola is scary. It has scared the bejesus out of us here in South Carolina, nationally and literally all over the world.
The issue of road funding -- or, to put it slightly differently, the question of how South Carolina should fix its broken road system -- is now a constant topic in politics and the media. A fair number of state lawmakers have therefore begun to advocate what politicians always advocate when they don't want to make tough decisions about the budget: raising taxes, specifically the fuel tax.
WASHINGTON -- If politicians preying upon your attentions this season fail to inspire, you might seek common cause with the beasts -- the four-legged variety rather than those running for office.
• "Glenn," writes my friend Waylon Fortenberry of Chesterfield County, "I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people. I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem work itself out."
WASHINGTON -- News that Pope Francis will visit the U.S. next year for the triennial World Meeting of Families brings elation to Catholics, excitement to pope watchers -- and perhaps a little chagrin to some who too soon interpreted Francis' broad compassion as a precursor to doctrinal changes related to marriage.
This space in the Friday edition of the Chronicle-Independent each week is where I am allowed to share my personal stories, opinions and basically whatever is on my mind as I write this column. I know I complain about a lot of things and, eventually, the time may come when I have covered everything that aggravates me and the rest of the columns in my career won't be the kind where you can imagine me pounding my fist on my desk as you read them. But, if that day ever does come, it's a long way off.
In 2008, a group of graduate students from the University of South Carolina's Public History Program produced a study entitled, "The Camden African-American Heritage Project." It was the product of a student group assignment conducted in 2005-06. The students were assisted by many Camden residents in their search for the history of African-Americans in Camden from the Colonial period through the era of civil rights. Though able to spend only one semester researching and writing, the students pulled together an admirable overview of the lives of African-Americans here. In their final recommendations they suggested, among other things, that an ...
I try to live life as a journey full of unknown destinations. And I do believe it is the journey that matters most. During the last year, I was blessed enough to experience a journey throughout our wonderful state of South Carolina. A campaign for governor is a journey through the hearts and souls of many people and places. A statewide campaign is sometimes brutal and sometimes joyful, but never dull. I treasure that journey and thank my friends in Camden and Kershaw County for letting me experience it.
WASHINGTON -- Millennials are foolhardy spendthrifts. But young people basically always are, and that's probably OK.
I used to have high and/or specific expectations for everything. I was never cynical. As a matter of fact, I was the most optimistic person I knew.
Even as I close in on 50 (mark your calendars for next March), I still like to play computer games. Frivolous, I know ... or is it?
That apple tree. Oh my goodness. Something told me it wouldn't turn out well.
November 4 is past, and statewide elections have been decided. As I have discussed in earlier columns, I am always intrigued, and even a little amused, with the amount of rhetoric that is aimed at education during election time. Now that the votes have been cast, there are a lot of important educational issues hanging in the air that will need to be resolved by newly elected office holders. The decisions made will have significant and lasting impact.
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