Something In the Air


Even for those of us in the business, the news can seem overwhelming at times. Headlines full of plagues, political upheaval and weather disasters can do that.

But for now — and now is all any of us has — our mood is lifted by two phenomena: our recall of history and the touch of autumn that has greeted us these last few mornings.

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As for history, if you think it’s bad now, consider being a Roman in 410. The sack of Rome was no fun at all except for the Visigoths. Remembering that helps keep current events in perspective.

As for the almost-crisp fall weather, that turns our thoughts to the positive, and that leads us to offer two up arrows for your consideration.

 This year’s crop of 20 in Their 20s leave us hopeful for the future. Josi Gass, a project engineer at Garver, works with cities to find, fix and avoid flooding problems. Brock Hyland, a Texan who fell in love with Arkansas and its food, created the Arkansas Barbecue Trail as his capstone project at the Clinton School of Public Service, and now PK Grills of Little Rock, the trail’s corporate sponsor, will award prizes to barbecue fans who visit the 40 or so restaurants on the trail this fall.

 The University of Arkansas at Fayetteville has received a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation to partner with Montana State University to establish the MonArk NSF Quantum Foundry to develop quantum science and technology. Quantum technology seeks to harness the spooky branch of physics known as quantum mechanics. The foundry will produce materials of vanishing thinness, subatomic thinness. These new materials are expected to have astonishing properties that could revolutionize science, said Todd Shields, dean of the Fulbright College of Arts & Sciences.

Some good news to begin your week.