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Eat Arkansas

The Rib Cage in Hot Springs is tops for brisket

Barbecue might be subjective, but the Rib Cage in Hot Springs is just downright tasty.

Talking Arkansas State Fair food with Kat Robinson

We talk to State Fair expert Kat Robinson about fairs past, fried bubblegum, fry bread tacos and what it means to love the Arkansas State Fair.

Governor's Culinary Challenge, food trucks, cupcakes and more

We've got a few events coming up we want you to know about. And we want to know what you're up to as well.

Dining Review

Small Chi's, big taste

October 8, 2015
Small Chi's, big taste
Menu hits all the right marks. /more/

Dining Search

A&E Feature

A Q&A with Tav Falco

October 7, 2015
A Q&A with Tav Falco
On lost causes and burning mansions. /more/

To-Do List

King Biscuit Blues Festival returns with Taj Mahal

October 8, 2015
King Biscuit Blues Festival returns with Taj Mahal
Also, Motley Crue at Verizon, Arkansas's Reel History at Ron Robinson, Little Rock Pridefest at the Clinton Center, the Arkansas State Fair, the Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival and Israel Nash at Stickyz. /more/


Max Brantley

Little Rock's divide

It is a measure of the Little Rock public school dilemma that an announcement by School Superintendent Baker Kurrus last week drew unhappy responses from both sides of the economic and racial divide that has troubled the district for more than half a century. /more/

Ernest Dumas

Guns, God and gays

Many more mass shootings like the one last week in Roseburg, Ore., will stain the future and no law will pass that might reduce the carnage. That is not a prediction but a fact of life that is immune even to Hillary Clinton. /more/

Gene Lyons

Lyons: Trying to take down Hillary

To hardly anybody's surprise, it turns out that the "vast right wing conspiracy" has been right in front of our eyes. Always was, actually. Or maybe you thought a seventh Benghazi investigation lasting as long as the Pearl Harbor and JFK assassination probes combined was exactly what America needed. /more/

Movie Reviews

Life on Mars

October 8, 2015
Life on Mars
Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' waves the flag. /more/

Pearls About Swine

Hogs eek out road win

October 8, 2015
There was certainly a surreal quality to Bret Bielema's long-awaited first true Southeastern Conference road win as Arkansas's head coach. And, no, it wasn't just the fact that his maligned charges actually got that win at a place that had bedeviled the program completely since its inaugural year in the SEC. /more/

Blog Roll

Arkansas Blog

Hourly news and comment

Rock Candy

The guide to Arkansas entertainment

Eat Arkansas

For food lovers

Eye Candy

On art in Arkansas

Street Jazz

A view from Northwest Arkansas

Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 11:39:00

Appeals court affirms dismissal of suit over license plate reader systems

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals today affirmed a lower court's decision to dismiss a suit by two private companies challenging the Arkansas law that prohibits digital systems to collect license plate numbers. It agreed the governor and attorney general, named as defendants, were immune from lawsuit.

The companies, Digital Recognition Network, and Vigilant Solutions, had a system of photographing and copmpiling information on vehicle license plates. The information was sold to finance companies to help them repossess vehicles and insurance companies.

A 2013 law made use of automatic license plate reader systems illegal, by private companies or state agencies, but allowed some limited use and record retention by law enforcement agencies for parking enforcement, location of stolen vehicles and the like.

Here's the court decision.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 11:10:00

Judge rejects state motion in execution case; suggests rule violation by state

Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen this morning denied the state's request that he dissolve a restraining order that prevents the state from proceeding with scheduled executions of eight men convicted of capital crimes. The order also denied the state's request for an expedited hearing on a request for a preliminary injunction, now set for March 1.

He said the state's claim that the order was issued without notice last week was groundless because plaintiffs had made plain from the beginning they'd seek injunctive relief over the state's alleged failure to provide promised information about drugs used in executions. The plans were so plain, the judge wrote, that the state's assertion to the contrary couldn't be termed an oversight. Rather, it was "categorically false."

The judge found, on account of that, the state appears to have violated the portion of Rule 11 of the civil procedure rules pertaining to the requirement that pleadings by factual and warranted. He gave the state 14 days to explain why it should not be found in violation of the rule. Sanctions, in addition to dismissal of the motion, could include an order to pay opponents' expenses; payment of penalty to a court, or a referral to the Supreme Court Committee on Professional Conduct.

The judge also put in boldface at the beginning of the order that the temporary restraining order was to remain in effect pending a preliminary injunction hearing in March. The state had given an indication it believed the judge's temporary order would expire Oct. 23.

Here's the order.
I've sought a comment from the attorney general. I don't think we've seen the end of legal pleadings on this matter. UPDATE: The attorney general is "considering her options," a spokesman said.

Next up, barring an interim appeal to the Arkansas Supreme Court, is the state's decision on whether it will provide information about execution drugs sought by plaintiffs or if it will seek a protective order.


Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 10:32:00

Highways: The obvious solution is the hardest

click to enlarge HIGHWAY MONEY: Obama stimulus money helped build the Big Rock interchange in western Little Rock. Who'll provide the money for the next big highway program? - KUAR
  • KUAR
  • HIGHWAY MONEY: Obama stimulus money helped build the Big Rock interchange in western Little Rock. Who'll provide the money for the next big highway program?

Ernest Dumas this week provides historical perspective on building Arkansas highways. It used to be so popular that legislators didn't fear voting for fuel tax increases to pay for them.

Fuel taxes remain the obvious choice — a user-based levy. But political times have changed. Everybody wants a highway program, but no one wants to pay for it. And few want to admit the last big highway stimulus came courtesy of that Muslim in the White House.

Good column follows:



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Today's headlines: Executions; police chases, UA junket, Duggars

Rock Candy

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 11:27:00

Brad Neely endorses Bernie Sanders

In case you were wondering where Brad Neely, the Fort Smith native and cult-favorite animator, stood on the upcoming presidential election, here is his new video tribute to Bernie Sanders. Neely, who created the Adult Swim series "China, IL" as well as a number of other popular web series and one-offs, has produced tributes to presidents in the past, but they tended to be dead ones. Sanders has yet to indicate whether or not he'll be adopting this as his official campaign anthem, but here at the Times we believe he'd be a fool not to jump at the chance. 

Read Lindsey Millar's 2007 profile of Neely here..


Monday, October 12, 2015 - 09:15:00

A brief history of computers

ROWE: This week on Brasher and Rowe: The first of a never-ending series about THE INTERNET. Is the Internet good or bad? Let’s start from the beginning.

BRASHER: Like Raekwon said on "36 Chambers," "Good ol' days, yeah, good ol' days, let's talk about them shits." So put on your mirror shades and throw on that CD of Pretty Hate Machine because we are gonna enter a cyber realm.

ROWE: As a dumb Millennial American, I look upon the technology of previous generations with bafflement and confusion. Did people just edit the encyclopedia in the margins? How did mouthbreathers complain about people at restaurants without Yelp? And I am very aware that future generations will look at this time in our technological era with disgust.

click to enlarge Leonardo da Vinci works on his first draft.
  • Leonardo da Vinci works on his first draft.

BRASHER: It seems like only yesterday when you could just ride mopeds with your girlfriend all day and use your modem to start a global thermonuclear war. Back in the '80s when knowing about computers made you a cool smooth guy that could impress the ladies with your hacking chops. Computers: so new, so hot! Wait, what was this fantasy world from '80s movies? Computers were never cool like that, and computer nerds were always computer nerds and none of them had girlfriends probably until they left home. I know because I walked in that world.

click to enlarge The most unrealistic thing about this movie is the relationship, not the thermonuclear war.
  • The most unrealistic thing about this movie is the relationship, not the thermonuclear war.
BRASHER: I remember one of my friends back in 1987 had a separate phone line for his dial up computer modem and me and my pals thought that was an insane luxury. This is at a time when for anyone else, to get on a modem knocked out your telephone service entirely, which you can imagine parents absolutely loved. But here was a guy with a whole phone line, just for a computer.

That this dude did not come from some rich circumstances made it even more improbable. The house was trashed with pizza boxes and dog crap everywhere, but that modem was humming. Somehow that guy and his family had their priorities straight very early.

ROWE: I always enjoy seeing how previous generations imagined what the future would look like. The ethereal white rooms and wood paneling dreams from the '70s gave birth to the grimy, hyperglobalized vision of '80s cyberpunk dystopia. The truth is somewhere else, and it involves dog mess ground into the carpet.

click to enlarge computerlove3.jpg

: My first experience really messing with anything like the Internet we know today was when I went off to college at Henderson State. If you ever find yourself in Arkadelphia in 1994, I guarantee all you will want to do is get the freaking hell out of Arkadelphia in 1994. So aside from Hot Springs, the early online realm was the next closest escape, because there sure wasn’t any booze around.

I used to hang out in the computer lab and hop on the Iowa State Computer Association Billboard System over something called telnet. If you are too young to remember, a Billboard System is basically like viewing a sucky all-text version of an Internet. Why Iowa State? I didn't even go there; I had never even been to Iowa. Somehow though, their BBS was massive, like 200 forum rooms. If you wanted to argue with people about central Illinois emotional hardcore bands in the mid­-'90s, the University of Iowa BBS was the place. There is no telling how much time I spent in computer labs messing with the ISCA BBS. To even get on, you had to wait in a virtual line. It could take 10 minutes just to log on, and what do you do in the meantime? There were no cell phones, nothing else interesting on the nascent Internet, so you read books, like a caveman or something. I'm amazed that I survived.

click to enlarge commandprompt.jpg

: I’m impressed with the ability of people to get mad at each other despite graphical limitations. I started my coming of age on the Internet a few years later, using a copy of "Dave Barry in Cyberspace" as my roadmap. The goal was usually to find access to things that weren’t accessible growing up in Central Arkansas and to always stop at the Cruel Site of the Day

BRASHER: I’ve heard it said that the driving forces of technology are always war and sex. My introduction to the actual final form of the Internet was basically both. There was this one very early website (that will not be linked to, because Brasher and Rowe is for the children) where you could go to see the most grisly and graphic stuff you could imagine, really transgressive type things. It was as if "Faces of Death" was written and directed by Jim Goad but on a computer.

Going onto these early gross out websites felt secret, like doing something illegal, and it was a rush. The sites, as stupid as they may have been, definitely pushed the boundaries of where the Internet would go in an almost prescient fashion. Still, even at that point I didn’t  have a computer myself, but that was about to change.

I remember walking into a party in Fayetteville and someone was playing music on a computer that was hooked up to speakers. That was the first time I had ever seen anything like that. I was amazed, but the thing that I was so amazed with wasn’t the music, or the speakers, but the dancing laser visualization on Windows Media Player. It was incredible. I couldn’t believe it. I just sat there laughing for a second. It was if some remote tribal society had a Harrier Jump Jet land in the middle of the village. I watched that colorful graphic squiggle in awe for 10 straight minutes.

I realized I had to ditch my Luddite affectations and catch up on computerworld. I had completely missed Napster and AOL’s heyday by this point, which was probably bad and good, respectively. Eventually, I picked up a used Pentium III from a friend and straight Lawnmower Manned myself into the fresh world of Crackz and Warez and Pr0n and Audiogalaxy, and the rest is history. From those humble beginnings, I became the colossal technology magnate you see before you. Now it’s just global thermonuclear war and mopeds all day.

ROWE: If you have comments on your first experience on the World Wild Web, please comment below, or send us an email at


Friday, October 9, 2015 - 10:31:00

The Bachman-Wilson House at Crystal Bridges: A slideshow

FLW House
FLW House FLW House FLW House FLW House FLW House FLW House FLW House

FLW House

Frank Lloyd Wright's Wilson-Bachman House on the grounds of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Click to View 8 slides

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art offered a preview yesterday to the Bachman-Wilson House, a Usonian-style house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and moved to the museum's grounds in Bentonville. The house will be open to the public Nov. 11, the museum's fourth birthday.

Press release details on the house are on the jump.



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Gaming the past at the University of Arkansas

October 8, 2015
Gaming the past at the University of Arkansas
Professor's radical idea: to teach history, myth and game design through courses that virtually immerse students in the ancient world. /more/

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Kanis development decried

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Fletcher Hollow wrong place for density, neighbors tell LR planners. /more/



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