The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

Articles written by william h. benson

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Lord Chamberlain's Men

In the spring of 1594, 26 London actors joined together to create an acting company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men. These actors included London’s leading dramatic actor at the time, Richard Burbage; plus Will Kempe, London’s leading comic actor;...

 

Jay Walker and the Library of Human Imagination

In 2002, multi-millionaire Jay Walker designed and built his Library of Human Imagination. Located in Ridgefield, Conn., Walker’s 3,600-square-foot home stores and displays his collection of books – more than 50,000 volumes – plus his myriad...

 

Futurology

Fred and Wilma Flintstone lived in the past, George and Jane Jetson will live in the future and Ralph and Alice Kramden live in the present. Although “The Flintstones” and “The Jetsons” were animated, the three fictional sitcoms, including...

 

Pedro Noguera and 'The Trouble with Black Boys'

Pedro A. Noguera teaches education and sociology at New York University. The son of Caribbean immigrants, he has a Spanish name, but he is black. In 2008, he published his book, The Trouble with Black Boys, and within its pages, he lists the...

 

'Step-by-step' approach can ease estate-planning process

Like many people, you may enjoy investing. After all, it can be invigorating to put away money for your future, follow the performance of your investments and track the progress you’re making toward your long-term goals, such as a comfortable...

 

Lyrics and graduation

Fifty years ago, on the night of May 7, 1965, in a Florida hotel room, Keith Richards strummed his guitar while a cassette recorder taped a phrase that he had dreamed, “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” The next day he asked Mick Jagger to listen,...

 

Viruses are much worse than war

At a TED conference on March 18, in Vancouver, Bill Gates said, “If anything kills over 10 million people in the next decades, it is most likely to be a highly infectious virus, rather than war; not missiles, but microbes. We are not ready for the...

 

Civil War ends

Abraham Lincoln recited the President’s oath of office on the Capitol’s steps at his second inauguration on Saturday, March 4, 1865. After four years of a ghastly series of bloody battles, the deaths of 620,000 men, and the dismemberment of...

 

France and Muslim scarves

In France, a fight has broken out between university professors and students who wear Muslim headscarves or veils into class. Some professors insist that before they will begin a lecture, students must remove their scarf or veil. French law already...

 

Kidnapping: It's simply ugly and immoral

In 1907, the author O. Henry wrote a short story he entitled “The Ransom of Red Chief.” In it, two crooks named Bill and Sam kidnap a red-headed boy in an Alabama town thinking that they will demand a ransom, but unaware that the boy is ornery. H...

 

The art of language

To learn a second language is difficult, if not impossible. At an early age, a child learns to think in his or her first language, and so his or her brain is set, hardwired for that first language. After that, an adolescent or an adult cannot stop...

 

Abraham Lincoln and Edwin Stanton

Today, we honor Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. In the summer of 1855, George Harding hired Lincoln to assist him in a patent infringement case because Harding needed an attorney knowledgeable of Illinois law. At the last moment, the trial was moved fr...

 

Self-government and modernity

Historians rank Frederick Jackson Turner as one of the most noted of all American historians. In 1893, in Chicago at the American Historical Association, he delivered a paper he entitled The Significance of the Frontier in American History, and in...

 

Basketball: Press for success

Vivek Ranadivé coached his daughter’s National Junior Basketball team at Redwood City, south of San Francisco, in Silicon Valley. Because Vivek had grown up in Mumbai, where he had played cricket and soccer, Vivek knew very little about...

 

Cuba and North Korea

The two Communist holdouts from the Cold War dominate the news again: Cuba on one page, and North Korea on the other. First, President Barak Obama wants to re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba after five and a half decades of Communist rule....

 

Christmas

Della sold her hair to buy “a platinum watch fob” for Jim, her husband, and he sold his watch to buy “tortoise shell combs” for Della’s hair. On Christmas Day they opened their presents, and neither he nor she could enjoy his or her gift....

 

Space flight

On Nov. 23, a week ago last Sunday, another Soyuz rocket launched three astronauts into outer space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and after a six-hour flight they docked at the International Space Station 268 miles above the Pacific...

 

Longevity

Billy Graham will celebrate another birthday this week, his ninety-sixth. As far as I know, he still lives, despite a lifetime of poor health: “hernias, retina clots, pleurisies, headaches, nauseas, removal of a salivary gland, urinary infections,...

 

Calendars

President Obama visited Stonehenge three weeks ago, on Friday, Sept. 5. As he stepped around the stones, he said, “ How cool is this. This is spectacular! Knocked this off my bucket list.” Stonehenge is located west and south of London, in south...

 

Stalin and Khrushchev's Great Purge

Although President Obama has ordered airstrikes on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the Pentagon is saying that “further strikes are needed in both Iraq and Syria to stop the militants from regrouping.” Then, from the Red Square in...

 

Robin Williams was his generation's best jester

Robin Williams was born in 1951, and I in 1953. Due to his rapid-fire wit, his zany antics and his overabundance of comedic talents, success came quick for him, more so than it did for others of our generation. In 1978, when I was trying to teach...

 

The Japanese national exams

In an effort to raise students’ educational levels across the globe, the Program for International Student Assessment, encourages hundreds of thousands of 15-year-old students from sixty-five countries to take a two-hour test that covers just three...

 

Competition vs. cooperation

Two boys were playing badminton, and because Andy played better than Bob, Andy won all the games. Bob threw down his racket, sat on a tree stump, and said, “I won’t play anymore.” So Andy suggested a different game. “Bob, let’s see how long...

 

Dinosaurs and asteroids

In March of 1992, three astronomers, Carolyn and Eugene Shoemaker and David Levy discovered their ninth comet, hence its name, “Shoemaker-Levy 9.” The team determined that S-L9 was orbiting Jupiter now rather than the sun. Because Jupiter is a...

 

The Puritan Ethic and the American Revolution

Joseph J. Ellis says in his book, Founding Brothers, “No event in American history, which was so improbable at the time, has seemed so inevitable in retrospect as the American Revolution.” In other words, Ellis contends that the revolution was...

 

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