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Don’t Drink the Water? Author Paul Connett Wants People to Take a Fresh (or First) Look at Fluoridation PDF Print E-mail
Health
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 09 December 2010 05:16

If you’re approaching this article on water fluoridation with trepidation, Paul Connett knows how you feel.

“I didn’t want this issue,” said Connett, the co-author of the recently published book The Case Against Fluoride, in a phone interview last week.

“When my wife dumped a whole bunch of papers on my desk one afternoon in July 1996 and said, ‘Dear, would you read these papers?’” he recalled, “I said, ‘What is it? What’s it about?’ She says, ‘Fluoridation.’ I said, ‘Take it away. These people are crazy.’”

Connett already had a full-time job as a professor of chemistry at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. And for a decade he had been a vocal opponent of waste incineration, a cause that sent him around the world presenting lectures.

“I didn’t want a third issue,” Connett said. “I certainly didn’t want this one, which was stigmatized ... as the province of a bunch of Flat Earth Society crazy people. And I’d succumbed to that same notion without doing any research.”

That night the Village of Canton was considering whether to continue fluoridation of the city’s drinking water. Connett said: “When I started to read the papers that she put there, my intention was as quickly as possible to find out where these crazy anti-fluoridationists had made some fundamental scientific mistakes and [determine] that there was nothing to worry about. ... It didn’t take me long to realize that there were some very serious problems with that practice” of fluoridation.

 
The Best Local TV News: KWQC Is Still King, but Surprising WHBF Is an Underdog Worth Watching PDF Print E-mail
Media
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Thursday, 28 October 2010 05:21

Most of us like to root for an underdog, so here’s a story that our local television news stations should eat up.

When the River Cities’ Reader analyzed Quad Cities newscasts for four days earlier this month, there was one major surprise: The fourth-place local station at 10 p.m. – CBS affiliate WHBF, whose newscast has gotten trounced in the ratings by a syndication sitcom on Fox 18 – might just have the best local television news in the Quad Cities.

In just about every objective and subjective measure, WHBF’s late-night newscast beats or presents a strong challenge to established power KWQC, the local NBC affiliate.

 
Thank You for Participating in Our Dining Survey! PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 17 October 2010 12:26

Thank you for participating in the dining survey for the Quad Cities' Dining Guide, published by the River Cities' Reader. Look for the results in the fall/winter 2013 edition in October, and at RCReader.com.

Results of our previous survey (conducted October through February) can be found here.

Information from our Dining Guide can always be found at QuadCitiesDiningGuide.com.

 
Best of the Quad Cities Fall 2010 Winners PDF Print E-mail
Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 09:04

Here are the winners in our fall 2010 Best of the Quad Cities balloting, covering four categories: Arts, Culture, and Entertainment; Night Life; Shopping and Services; and People. 

(For the winners of our spring competition – covering Food and Dining; Civics and Government; Media; and Recreation – click here. Our Best of the Quad Cities archive – with 10 years of winners – is here.)

In this round of voting, we had 581 valid ballots, and we required participants to provide reasonable answers in at least 20 of the 63 categories. In all, 17,829 votes were cast on valid ballots.

Arts, Culture, and Entertainment

Local Band
1) Dani Lynn Howe Band
2) Funktastic 5
3) Wicked Liz & the Bellyswirls

Local Cover Band
1) Dani Lynn Howe Band
2) Funktastic 5
3) The King’s Kiss

Venue for Live Music
1) Redstone Room
2) RIBCO
3) i wireless Center

 
Hail and (Not Yet) Farewell: On Ray Bradbury, Near His 90th Birthday -- The Moline Public Library’s Fahrenheit 451 “Big Read” Campaign PDF Print E-mail
Literature
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 01 September 2010 05:35

(Author's note: This article was originally published in September 2010, but it serves as a fitting review of the career of Ray Bradbury, who died on June 5, 2012.)


"But of course he was going away, there was nothing else to do, the time was up, the clock had run out, and he was going very far away indeed."

Sam Weller, Ray Bradbury, and Black Francis in June. Photo by Nathan Kirkman.Unless one believes that Mr. Electrico's command to Ray Bradbury should be taken literally, the famed author will likely not be on this planet to celebrate his 100th birthday.

For those unfamiliar with the Bradbury mythology, Mr. Electrico was a carnival magician Bradbury saw in 1932, when he was 12. Sam Weller describes the event in his 2005 biography The Bradbury Chronicles: "Mr. Electrico then approached the bespectacled, wide-eyed boy in the front row. Taking the [electrified] sword, he tapped Ray on each shoulder, then on the brow, and finally on the tip of his nose and cried, 'Live forever!'"

"Why did he say that?" Bradbury said to Weller. "I decided that was the greatest idea I had ever heard. Just weeks after Mr. Electrico said this to me, I started writing every day. I never stopped."

Immortality, of course, already belongs to Bradbury. His 1953 novel Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Aldous Huxley's Brave New World (published in 1932) and George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (published in 1949) as a mid-20th Century cautionary-tale classic imagining a future full of numbing technology and invasive government. (See the sidebar "Pleasure to Burn -- Reading Fahrenheit 451.")

The book is the subject of the Moline Public Library's Quad Cities-wide "Big Read" campaign, which begins September 27 with a keynote lecture by Weller and closes on October 31 -- Bradbury's favorite holiday. (For a list of Big Read events, see the sidebar "Fahrenheit 451 -- Area Book Discussions, Panel Discussions, and Film Screenings.") But while Fahrenheit 451 is undoubtedly Bradbury's lasting long-form work, Weller noted in an interview last week that the book isn't typical of the author.

 
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