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Smart Talk Nov. 10 

Coming attractions

We caught a glimpse of a recent Nielsen SoundScan list of best-selling albums in the Little Rock area. SoundScan is a marketing survey of CD/cassette sales in all stores, as well as data collected from Internet music downloads. The Billboard Hot 100 comes from SoundScan.

Here are the most recent top 10 sellers in our area:

1. Nickelback, “All the Right Reasons”

2. Joe Nichols, “III”

3. Martina McBride, “Timeless”

4. Bun-B, “Trill”

5. Destiny’s Child, “No. 1’s”

6. Black Eyed Peas, “Monkey Business”

7. Three 6 Mafia, “Most Known Unknown”

8. Rascal Flatts, “Feels Like Today”

9. Kanye West, “Late Registration”

10. Ashlee Simpson, “I Am Me”

Nickelback, in case you don’t know, is a modern rock act. Joe Nichols is the Rogers native who has become a country star. Several of the acts in the top 10 are R&B or hip-hop.

Other big recent sellers are Rod Stewart (“4-Great Americans”), Kelly Clarkson (“Breakaway”), Billy Currington (“Doin’ Something”) and Mariah Carey (“Emancipation of M”).

Our quick glance at the numbers showed that young country Rascal Flatts has sold an impressive 17,063 records of “Feels Like Today,” in the area. This is the information that music promoters partly rely on when scheduling acts in the market. Therefore, expect to see Rascal Flatts in this area soon.


Good going

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and UA Fayetteville are bragging about their contributions to the treatment of breast cancer.

In mid-October, the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences made two announcements: That its digital mammography was pronounced superior to film mammography by the National Cancer Institute, and that a clinical trial showed that a radiofrequency ablation (RFA) lumpectomy technique devised by Dr. Suzanne Klimberg reduced the need for repeat surgery in 86 percent of the cases. UAMS is the first hospital to use the surgery. The trial involved 25 breast cancer patients at UAMS.

On Nov. 3, UA engineers at Fayetteville announced they’d created an archetype of a system to detect breast cancer using a microwave-imaging system that borrows from the technology used to detect buried land mines. Magda El-Shenawee and Fred Barlow’s device sends electromagnetic waves through soft tissue; the waves bounce off hard objects and are interpreted by software, still in development. The result should be an inexpensive and comfortable way to detect cancers, the UA says.


‘By singing of her own hardships, she has given strength to others’

Maya Angelou, formerly of Stamps, is one of 35 “Innovators of our Time” named by Smithsonian magazine in a 35th anniversary issue acclaiming “scientists, artists and scholars who’ve enriched the magazine – and our lives.”

An article by Richard Long says in part:

“Maya Angelou’s signature book, ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,’ burst upon the American literary landscape in 1969, becoming an immediate bestseller. It has retained its position as a treasured work in the past 36 years, capturing the loyalty of successive generations of readers, remaining a constant recourse for those who early on were enraptured by its story of a girl growing up in rural Arkansas amid the tensions of America’s black-white divide. Her memoir is a narrative of the ability of the human spirit to surmount adversity.”

Others on Smithsonian’s list of 35 are James Watson, a discoverer of the structure of DNA who has since become “a kind of senior statesman for science – as well as its most outspoken critic”; Tim Berners-Lee, who wrote the code for the World Wide Web and gave it away; cellist Yo-Yo Ma and film director Steven Spielberg.

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