In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 14, 2006 / 20 Menachem-Av, 5766

When in Iowa, don't forget to duck

By Dave Barry

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If you're looking for a vacation travel destination that blends excitement with huge amounts of corn, I strongly recommend Iowa. I recently spent a few days there, and I can honestly say that it was comparable to experiences I've had in sophisticated, prestige travel destinations such as Paris, in the sense that I was not once engulfed by hog manure.

I was concerned about this, however. The second day I was in Iowa, the top story on the front page of The Des Moines Register was headlined, "Thousands of fish killed by manure spill."

The story stated that a leak in a storage basin at a major hog farm had resulted in "a mammoth hog manure spill," estimated at 1.5 million gallons, which — to give you a sense of magnitude — is more than the House of Representatives produces in a week.

The story said that state officials were especially alarmed because the manure spilled into a section of the Iowa River considered to be "one of the most prized canoe areas of the state." I can see where it could put a real crimp in a person's canoeing vacation. You're paddling peacefully down the Iowa River, when you hear this faint rumbling noise, which gets louder and louder until it sounds like a freight train, and you turn around, and there, thundering right at you — this would be just like the tidal-wave scene in "The Poseidon Adventure," only more aromatic — is the dreaded, biblically prophesied Wall of Swine Doots, and at that instant you realize that even if you do survive, you'll never be welcome in an elevator again.

Of course, it would be absurd to suggest that everybody who visits Iowa will be engulfed by manure leaking from storage basins. Some people could also be hit by manure shot from guns. You think I'm making this up, but that is only because you did not read The Wall Street Journal article about the Iowa hog industry, written by Scott Kilman and sent to me by many alert readers. This article states that Iowa's large hog farms have "huge waste lagoons, some emptied by 'manure guns' that fling their cargo through the air onto surrounding fields — and occasionally onto passing cars."

I am certainly not in a position to be critical, inasmuch as I live in Miami, an area also known for shooting at people's cars. But at least we have the common decency to use bullets.

Anyway, my point is that aside from the manure danger, there's no reason in the world not to vacation in Iowa, unless you're concerned about piranhas. I quote here from an Associated Press story that also appeared in The Des Moines Register when I was out there:

"SIOUX CITY, IOWA — For the second time in a week, a fisherman has reeled in a piranha from the Missouri River just south of Sioux City's downtown area. . . . A third report of a piranha came from Blue Lake at Lewis and Clark Park near Onawa."

The story quotes an Iowa state fishery official as saying that piranha reports are "not unusual" in Iowa; he also notes, reassuringly, that "piranhas will bite but so will bluegill, bass and snapping turtles, all of which can be found in Blue Lake."

That certainly makes me feel better. Clearly, the lesson here is that if you, the Iowa vacationer, would prefer for whatever personal reason not to be consumed by marine life, it would be wise for you to refrain from jumping into the water except in an emergency, such as when you're trying to evade an incoming round of gun-fired hog manure.

But aside from the piranhas and the attack manure, I can't think of a single thing that could possibly spoil your Iowa vacation, unless you plan to have breakfast. I refer here to yet another Des Moines Register story sent in by many concerned readers, which states that firefighters in Cedar Rapids were called to the General Mills plant to extinguish — I swear I am not making this up — "spontaneously igniting Cheerios."

So, OK, you have fish attacking, manure rampaging and cereal bursting into flame. Also, during July's severe heat wave in Iowa, there were news reports of — I am not making this up, either — cows exploding. But I am still urging you to take your vacation in Iowa.

Why? I can answer that question in five words, which you have probably already guessed: "the world's largest popcorn ball." Yes. It turns out that Sac County, Iowa, is the Popcorn Capital of the World, and in an effort to promote this fact and get in the Guinness Book of World Records, people there constructed a popcorn ball that is 22 feet in circumference. It weighs over a ton.

I had read an Associated Press article about the popcorn ball, sent to me by several alert readers, so when I was in Iowa I drove up to Sac County to take a look at it. I have seen some of the world's greatest attractions — the Eiffel Tower, the Grand Canyon, Ray Charles — and I can honestly say that this popcorn ball has them all beat, at least in terms of sugar content. Jim Stock, president of Stock Popcorn in Lake View, Iowa, told me that the popcorn ball, which travels around on its own trailer, is available on a limited basis to make public appearances. So if you can't get to Iowa this summer, maybe you can arrange to have what is probably the largest single snack item in the universe come to your town; it would definitely add "a touch of class" to any wedding, bar mitzvah or funeral.

But I hope you can get to Iowa. I had a great time there, and found the Iowans to be extremely friendly. Of course, that will change once this column appears. The state tourism commission will probably come after me. And they'll be packing the Doot Gun.

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Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness

© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.