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Mark Hayter

Mark Hayter: The good, the bad and the worst

Last week's article had to do with how complicated it is to make a solar-powered dancing flower. I have every confidence that I'm the only person to ever touch on that topic. This week, I'm taking us down a different road. We're going to look at the bad stuff that some of us will live to see. You might want to buckle up. Last Wednesday, I found a headline that read "Solar activity is currently increasing and with it will come solar storms." That's depressing as all get out. I can't build a solar-powered dancing flower, so...
SCIENCE

Mark Hayter: Supernatural experiences with dancing solar flowers and song finder apps

I must caution you that this week's episode involves some things that may make you feel stupid. In my case, stupider. If you would like to forgo the read and skip over to the word jumble, I wouldn't blame you. I'd do it, but I can't work those things. I see eight of you who are sticking with me like grim death. You noble few. All right, I call our first episode "The Dancing Flower." At the moment, four small plastic flowers are dancing on our kitchen window sill. Earlier this week, there were five. Shiela, the girl who...
GARDENING
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Mark Hayter: Of masks, Mexican Pizzas and the James Webb telescope

Please! Settle down, people! Sorry I’m late. I had to see a man about a horse. My dad used that excuse for stuff. Seriously, let’s all calm down. We’re using Big Al’s house today because Marlena and he are at a family gathering 100 miles from here. They will be back this evening, so let’s get through three items that have dogged me.
PUBLIC HEALTH

Mark Hayter: Just like the times, our forms of currency have changed too

I don't know much about Economics, but I taught it in high school for about four years. It was a fun, but tough course to teach. I think Stephen Stills of Buffalo Springfield, summed it up when he wrote the song "For What it's Worth." He included the lyric, "Nobody's right if everybody's wrong." As I mentioned, I did enjoy teaching Economics. Unfortunately, I found that it required a lot of preparation. Planning would've been a lot easier had there been personal computers and the internet. But, nooo. I was forced to read the Economics book. In class,...
ECONOMY

Mark Hayter: Dr. Sten Ekberg’s punch to my liver

Don't you just hate it when life seems to be moving along in greased grooves and all of a sudden you learn something that kicks you right in the rear? If you have to think about that for more than two seconds, it's never happened to you. I have several such episodes, the most recent occurring last Friday. I was sitting right where I am now doing stuff so important that I can't remember what it was. Out of the blue, Kay yelled to me from the living room. I've been having trouble making sense from Kay's distant voice....
HEALTH

Mark Hayter: Smartening up via my usual Firefox site

I've done some dumb stuff in my life, but I'm getting smarter by the day. - Oh, yes I am. I'm almost as smart as an octopus. Yesterday morning, I turned on my computer as always and visited my usual Firefox site. It was there that I saw an assortment of titled photos one of which was that of an octopus. Accompanying the picture were the words "How smart is an octopus?" I learned a lot about octopi that morning, my friend. Did you know that they have six arms and two legs? I doubt they even know...
TECHNOLOGY
yourconroenews.com

Mark Hayter: Maybe it’s better not to know about David

A couple of weeks ago I ran across a website that locates people. At the moment, I didn’t feel the need to find anyone. But, I was curious. You know what curiosity did don’t you? It killed the goose. Killed something. There was a girl or two in...
PASADENA, CA
yourconroenews.com

Mark Hayter: I’m as shocked as you about the clownfish

This week, I did as much as I could to add to the wealth of information stored inside my noggin. My brain is a poor storehouse for knowledge because most of what I put in there is not retrievable when needed. It will only appear shortly in dreams. I can’t...
ANIMALS
yourconroenews.com

Mark Hayter: A nemesis raccoon with a lost sense of smell

BACK PORCH — Late evening birds don’t seem nearly as chipper as the early morning birds. Have you noticed that? When I was here this morning it sounded as if the backyard was the venue for a bird concert. Not The Byrds. They sound somewhat different. Tonight we’re...
ANIMALS
yourconroenews.com

Mark Hayter: The results are in from the ‘way back machine’

Yes, the results are in. The findings are in response to my question: “If you could travel back in time, where and when would you like to visit?” You are free to go back to any moment in your lifetime or to any event in any century you wish. The only drawback was that you could only be an observer. In other words, you can’t warn Lincoln about Booth.
SCIENCE
yourconroenews.com

Mark Hayter: The proper way to ruin a relationship

I can remember sitting with Kay at a table in Wyatts or Luby’s years back and noticing how old couples would eat and not say a word to one another. They’d just quietly sit there and nibble at their food. It depressed the daylights out of me. I...
RELATIONSHIP ADVICE
yourconroenews.com

Mark Hayter: Stepping in the way back machine

Today, I’m going to ask you to do something for me that will require more brainpower than you may have to spare. The mind is a valuable thing to squander. I sent a blanket email out to my family members, asking them to answer the same question I’m going to ask you, and only a third of them responded. You’d think I was asking for a new washing machine.
PENNSYLVANIA STATE
yourconroenews.com

Mark Hayter: Discovering Texas’ underrated destinations

Kay is ready to go on a trip, preferably before summer. There was a time in people’s lives when trips had to be taken in the summer, because of the children. Summers were the only time that kids or teachers could take off for any duration. Since Kay and...
TEXAS STATE
Houston Chronicle

Mark Hayter: A discussion of the planetary system

Some of you may recall that for our last couple of gatherings I’ve been meaning to tell you about the planet Venus. Well, this week I plan to do just that. The process will involve you joining a class I teach for a few of my friends. Tuition is free. All I ask is that you don’t misbehave. Here goes.
ASTRONOMY
Houston Chronicle

Mark Hayter: Let’s face it, today’s normal is still abnormal

Excuse my tardiness. I was watching the beginning of the news when I remembered our scheduled meeting. My priorities get all jumbled sometimes. It’s been that way all my life, but it’s not my fault. When I got to be a teacher, I hated to preach to the...
HOUSTON, TX

Mark Hayter: The Texas wildflowers are on their way

Texas wildflower season is much anticipated this time of the year. Many wildflower enthusiasts will travel from all over the state and the country to view this prestigious event. There is always a lot of speculating as to when the peak of the bloom will be or if this will be a good year or not. Regardless, there are always wildflowers that will never let us down with their spectacular display. One thing is for sure, weather does play a major role in the timing and splendor of our illustrious blooming wildflowers. First, there have been some early Bluebonnets...
CYPRESS, TX