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Jon Niccum

Stories by Jon

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Street scene: Entertainers invade Downtown Lawrence for third annual Busker Festival

El Gleno Grande, Bruiser the dog and Mentoc the Mind Fuggler reveal their twisted techniques.

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Net Worth: Pop music takes on surprising depth at different speed

Perhaps true art can be made from anything once it’s placed in a different perspective.

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Net Worth: Bootleg DVDs appear ridiculously lost in translation

You never know what an illegally made video from Thailand might contain.

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Career ‘Leverage’: KU film students spend summer on set of TV series

What one learns in film school isn’t necessarily the most vital info when attempting to break into the Hollywood scene.

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Net Worth: ‘Old-timey jokes’ get force-fed modern enlightenment

Q: Why are balloons in the air like vagrants? A: Because they have no visible means of support.

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Meet the dean: Head of KU’s School of Music tackles challenges of reorganization

Nearly 35 years since he last stepped foot in Lawrence as a junior high student attending music camp, Robert Walzel returns to run the college program.

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Net Worth: Irksome e-mail exchanges lead to comedic cat fancy

I’ve had at least five people this week say, “You’ve got to write about that cat thing.”

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Net Worth: New site helps compare your literary merits to famous authors

It’s tempting when unleashing a critical opinion about those in the creative arts to immediately leap to comparisons.

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Lilith's fare: Three Kansas City artists earn the opportunity to take the stage at female-powered festival

After an 11-year absence, the eclectic celebration of women and music has returned.

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Net Worth: Will a certain actress serve jail time? You can bet on it

Think Lindsay Lohan’s release date is a dumb place to risk money? On YouWager, you can bet on ANYTHING.

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Sweet Home Kansas: Lawrence native Ashley Ray embraces her rock roots to find success in the country music industry

While Ashely Ray is currently best known as a Nashville-based country artist, a childhood baptism in rock has served her well.

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From posters to posting: Lawrence bands offer best ways of utilizing Internet to promote their music

Gone are the days when the only way a Lawrence band had to promote itself was by stapling fliers to telephone walls or taping album promos to store windows. Yes, the rise of the Internet has made an enormous difference for musicians trying to connect with their fanbase.

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Net Worth: Net embraces most annoying sound in the World (Cup)

Like many Americans during the last few weeks, I’ve become mildly interested in the World Cup. The key word is “mildly.”

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Net Worth: ‘Yo-yo expert’ saves greatest trick for gullible TV stations

The yo-yo first achieved mass popularity in the 1920s. But the yo-yo prank has only recently begun to enter the public’s consciousness.

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Father knows best: Lawrence filmmaker turns short film into a universal story of fatherhood

Already having played at more than 40 international film festivals and earned numerous awards, “And What Remains” makes Lawrence debut.

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ArtStar trek: Carlin Francis boldly embarks on mixed-media career

Carlin Francis can barely contain her enthusiasm.

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Net Worth: Wild antics earn drummer Internet fame, ridicule

I spent the entirety of my 20s earning a living as a full-time musician. No waiting tables. No selling retail.

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Net Worth: Four chords are all you need for radio or Internet fame

Seemingly overnight, my young daughter went from preferring to watch cartoons such as “Phineas and Ferb” and “Justice League Unlimited” to live-action fare found on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel.

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Game or sport? Golf gets put to the test

With the PGA tour in full swing, it’s time to address those supporters who believe golf should be considered a sport. Some not only argue it’s a sport, but they believe it’s the greatest sport. It's not — it's a game ...

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Net Worth: Splicing and morphing are all the rage on Internet

Few things have burrowed under my skin lately like “The Human Centipede.” As with last year’s “Paranormal Activity,” it’s become the movie that everyone is talking about but few have actually seen.

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‘What a difference a day has made’

Legendary musicians assemble for Lawrence illustrator’s cancer benefit

Greg Volpert’s favorite song by his favorite band is “Indifference,” a track from Moby Grape’s 1967 eponymous debut.

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Net Worth: Humor found in site that fosters demotivation

In this era of economic futility, corporations are often asked to resort to cruel tactics with their employees.

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Net Worth: Whether in person or on the web, Conan delivers

Jay Leno is the black hole of comedy.

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Time out: Kansan Chely Wright becomes first openly gay country star

In country music, you couldn't be gay. Not in Nashville. Not around mainstream country audiences. Chely Wright challenged that last week. The Wellsville native came out to the world, and braced for the response...

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Net Worth: Technology allows even the least talented to dabble in ‘artistry’

Everything is so easy these days. With the click of a button, you can become a “musician” or an “artist” or an “experimental filmmaker.”

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The man behind 'A Man Within'

Former KU student creates signature documentary about William S. Burroughs

"I knew I wanted to make a documentary about Burroughs, but I didn't know I'd be making THE documentary about Burroughs," Yony Leyser says. After four years of work, he's done just that...

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Net Worth: Earthquakes, clerics and cleavage collide in Facebook protest

Facebook is no stranger to goofball causes. Things like “Can this moist lump of coal get more fans than Toby Keith?” routinely muster thousands of supporters on the social networking site.

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Net Worth: Cinematic endings revamped by animated site

Back during my dozen-year stint as a film critic, what infuriated me more than anything was sitting through a good movie that was thwarted by a terrible ending.

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'Celebrity Art Party': Embarrassment founder Goffrier returns to Lawrence for gallery and guitar showcase

It's been three decades since Bill Goffrier staged an art show in Kansas. Of course, that depends on your concept of "art" and "show."

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Net Worth: Streamys celebrate tops in Web TV programming

In the entertainment industry, there are awards for everything.

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First string: Kronos Quartet continues to push boundaries of contemporary classical

David Harrington enjoys a love/hate relationship with his main musical compatriot. "In a certain way, you have to be crazy to be a violinist," says Harrington, founder of Kronos Quartet...

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Net Worth: Viral choral video traces roots to Lawrence encounter

What’s the hardest part about being in a musical group? Frequently, it’s trying to get everybody at the same place at the same time.

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Net Worth: Commonplace URLs reveal startling amount of wasted space

Back during my tenure at a regional alternative newspaper in the 1990s, the whole Internet bubble suddenly inflated. Thus, we went from not needing a Web site to needing one immediately.

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Ratings game: MPAA chief Glickman departs Hollywood

Dan Glickman spent much of the last decade fighting pirates in Hollywood. But he did it from an office in Washington, D.C.

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Net Worth: Viral phenomena tracked and scrutinized by Know Your Meme

Memes: viral videos, image macros, catchphrases, Web celebs and more.

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Means spirited: American Indian actor and activist honored at Haskell film festival

Russell Means' Lakota Sioux name (Oyate Wacinyapin) translates to "Works for the People." It's fair to say the American Indian activist and actor has earned that designation...

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Net worth: Internet predictions turn out erroneous ... sort of

Everybody’s an armchair psychic this week. Something about the NCAA tournament makes even the most tight-lipped of personalities blather on about their clairvoyant capacities...

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Irish heart: Celtic singer Ashley Davis returns to her Kansas roots

“Where are you from?”The question became so pervasive that when Ashley Davis was earning her master’s in traditional Irish music at the University of Limerick, she learned how to respond in Gaelic.

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Milestones: Author Barry Miles recalls relationships with Beatles, Burroughs and Swinging London

If something interesting was happening in London during the 1960s, chances are Barry Miles was part of it....

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Net Worth: Web goodies divulged during spring cleaning

Although spring doesn’t officially start for a few more weeks, I’ve decided to utilize this week’s Net Worth to take care of some spring cleaning.

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Oscar night: Academy Awards offer Lawrence movie fans an excuse to stage year's most anticipated party

For some, watching the Super Bowl or the Olympics or even the presidential election pales in comparison. That's because the Academy Awards are still the ultimate touchstone for drama and glamour, sentiment and lunacy...

Are you throwing an Oscar party? Let us know!

Whether you plan to recreate storied Oscar fashion (Hello, Cher!), cook up an all-blue "Avatar"-themed buffet or cram all 10 best picture nominees into your pre-show entertainment, if you're hosting an Oscar party in Lawrence, we want to hear about it...

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Net Worth: Free State High joins ‘lip dub’ rivalry ... in reverse

City’s high school rivalry finds a creative outlet via lip dubs.

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Creative space: Musicians, filmmakers, artists and more become roommates at the Art House

Record a song. Edit a movie. Paint a picture. Take a guitar lesson. Get a haircut. All these options are readily accessible in a town like Lawrence. Now, all can be found in one house...

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Net Worth: Network news formula captured in comedic package

BBC video skewers the "stand-up reporter package."

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Radio active: Ira Glass takes his journalistic storytelling on the road

As host and producer of NPR's "This American Life" - and its television companion on Showtime - Glass is responsible for a weekly foray into "mostly true stories of everyday people" ...

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Net Worth: ‘Lip dub’ offers social musical experience at Lawrence High

It’s never easy to get a diverse crowd of teens to do anything.

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Net Worth: Personal privacy all but disappears thanks to Blippy

I have recurring nightmares about a dystopian future. It’s run by a Big Brother-like government (as in the novel, not the TV show). Every move you make is tracked. Each conversation you engage in is recorded. You live in constant fear of doing or saying the wrong thing.

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Busy body: Lawrence dancer hits new artistic heights with Pilobolus troupe

The irony of his situation is not lost on Jun Kuribayashi. As a dancer who makes his living executing gravity-defying leaps into the air, he spent the entire day recovering from altitude sickness...

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Write on: Langston Hughes Award winners experience twists and turns in literary careers

Amy Stuber is amply familiar with legendary Lawrence writer Langston Hughes. "I taught college writing for about 10 years, and his work was one of my favorite things to teach," she says...

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