Dennis E. Powell's View from Mudsock Heights

Dennis E. Powell is crackpot-at-large at Open for Business. Powell was a reporter in New York and elsewhere before moving to Ohio, where he has (mostly) recovered. You can reach him at

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The View from Mudsock Heights: A Decent Camera is Eclipsed by the Great Camera It Might Have Been

By Dennis E. Powell | Mar 01, 2010 at 7:24 AM

Imagine a new Ferrari. The specs are incredible: great steering and suspension, 0-60 in around four seconds, a top speed exceeding anything you would ever hope for on a public road. On paper, the perfect machine.

The View from Mudsock Heights: the Ruse Has Gone on Long Enough, and Now I Must Confess My Addiction

By Dennis E. Powell | Feb 20, 2010 at 5:57 AM

We live in an age of confession. I don’t mean so much the heartfelt admission to ourselves and our Creator of our manifold sins and wickedness as a loud and public proclamation of some character flaw that henceforth is expected to excuse unsatisfactory behavior.

The View From Mudsock Heights: Accentuating the Negative(s) Brings Back Amazing Memories

By Dennis E. Powell | Feb 10, 2010 at 11:45 PM

One of the best delights of the newspaper business is its unpredictability. Events, often unforeseen, dictate the course of the day. This can be exciting. Or, sometimes, it can be mortifying.

The View from Mudsock Heights: A Tiny Plastic Rectangle Reminds Me What Terrible Futurists We Are

By Dennis E. Powell | Feb 02, 2010 at 6:50 AM

For some reason, talk turned to the 1964 New York World’s Fair. You may remember the remnants of that event, especially if you saw the movie, “Men In Black.” The centerpiece of the fair was a huge, skeletonized globe, called the “Unisphere,” and there were two tall, modern-looking observatory towers that in the movie were actually captured flying saucers. My favorite line of the movie has to do with the fair having disguised an alien invasion: “Why else would they hold it in Queens?”

The View from Mudsock Heights: The Haitian Earthquake Brings Thoughts of Midwestern History

By Dennis E. Powell | Jan 21, 2010 at 11:13 PM

The sheer vastness of the devastation in Haiti, a nation that was not a garden spot to begin with, is such that it is almost impossible to grasp. It appears that at least as many people as populate all of my county — every man, woman, child, and out-of-town college student — were killed. The mind lacks perspective for such things, even as a phrase like “a trillion dollars” is so big as to be meaningless.

The View from Mudsock Heights: The Joys of Heating the Whole House With a Woodstove

By Dennis E. Powell | Jan 12, 2010 at 11:03 PM

Here we are, a third of the way through January and well into very cold weather, and I still haven’t fired up the furnace this winter. I don’t know if I will.

The View from Mudsock Heights: What Do We Do About the Asteroid Problem?

By Dennis E. Powell | Jan 08, 2010 at 1:52 AM

The article caught my attention — how could it not?

It seems that the Russians are going to get busy and, if they work hard and fast, they will push an asteroid away from Earth before it comes close — maybe too close — in 2032.

The View from Mudsock Heights: Nothing So Sweetens Christmas Memories as the Passage of Time

By Dennis E. Powell | Dec 23, 2009 at 5:47 AM

When Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol In Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas (the full title) in 1843, he chose to make the least frightening of his apparitions the Ghost of Christmas Past. That makes sense. Christmas memories tend toward the sweet.

The View from Mudsock Heights: To Enjoy Music, We Need to be Able to Escape Music

By Dennis E. Powell | Dec 18, 2009 at 4:11 AM

The assault on, with, and by music continues, and grows. I love music, but I don’t know how long I can hold out, in a world in which escaping from music has become increasingly difficult.

The View from Mudsock Heights: A Scientific Scandal You Probably Haven’t Heard Much About

By Dennis E. Powell | Dec 04, 2009 at 3:55 PM

Imagine, if you would, that a few weeks before Easter it were announced that the body of Jesus had been found, that it had been kept in an oh-so-secret crypt in the Vatican lo, these many years. That disclosure would be big news, wouldn’t it? It would put quite a crimp in the most fundamental tenets of Christianity. It would be pretty difficult to sustain the religion after that.

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