Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The North Platte Women’s Resource Center

By Shawn Strasburg
Just what is the Women’s Resource Center and what do they do? When something truly life changing develops in people’s lives such as an unplanned pregnancy a whirlwind of questions surround those affected and a variety of tough decisions are faced by the mother and father. This is where the WRC can best offer help and according to the mission statement, they hope “To empower individuals to make informed life choices.” The services offered by the Women’s Resource Center aid not only during pregnancy, but also extend into post-pregnancy and beyond. A list of the services offered by the Women’s Resource Center follows:
  • Free pregnancy tests with immediate results
  • Positive pregnancy test verifications
  • Accurate information pregnancy, abortion and alternatives
  • Pregnancy & fetal development information
  • Referrals for housing, childbirth classes and future medical assistance
  • Referrals for ongoing prenatal care
  • Learn & Earn Incentive Program
  • Maternity and baby clothes available for clients
  • Prenatal and infant care education
  • Referrals to community resources and agencies
  • Post-Abortion Counseling
As I talked with Executive Director, Amy Woods, I found their approach to a ‘crisis’ pregnancy was well planned and sensitive to the needs of those affected. Crisis pregnancies can occur at any point in life and can affect singles, couples, or even those that are married. With the economy still quite sluggish and with so many people without jobs, a pregnancy, with all of the responsibilities that surround it, can become an unbearable burden without help. This is where the heart of the services offered by the Women’s Resource Center comes into play. They have Peer Counselors that have gone through struggles quite similar if not the same as those they counsel. The WRC allows people to access materials so that they can make an informed decision when it comes to the choices of keeping the child and marrying, keeping the child as a single parent, giving the child up for adoption, or abortion.
Beyond this, when a decision has been made, they offer continuing services to aid individuals to succeed in this transitional time of life. The Learn & Earn Incentive Program is a great way for an individual that has chosen to keep a child to flourish. Educational parenting classes and counseling times that are attended by the parent(s) are rewarded by points which are redeemable for items from diapers to cribs. Also referrals to community resources and agencies and housing referrals can greatly aid in a successful parenting experience.
All of this Information can be found at and phone numbers for the WRC are; 308-534-1440, 308-650-3085 texting enabled or 800-395-HELP.  The address for the Women’s Resource Center is 331 East 6th Street P.O. Box 1893 North Platte, NE 69101. They are located in the Parkade Plaza East of the Ace hardware store and the office hours are 11-5 Monday through Friday and the 800 number is a 24 hour hotline.

Monday, April 25, 2011

NFL Draft – On the Horizon

by Hayden Flanders
With a little under a week left until the NFL Draft starts, Rounds 2 and 3 will be done a week from today to be exact, there is still no NFL labor agreement.  But that seems to be ready to last for a while yet.
The NFL owners and players were in negotiations the past two weeks, unfortunately, nothing came out of it.  Judge Arther Boylan, who is overseeing the mediation has adjourned the mediation until mid-May at the earliest.  On the other hand, Judge Susan Nelson is expected to rule on the players lawsuit stating that the owners’ lockout placed on them is not valid.
From news that came from the New York Daily News today, states that it sounds like the players are most likely going to win this round.  If the players do, it would mean the lockout can’t be done, and it would be lifted. . .However, the owners have already said they will instantly appeal it, all 32 of them, so the lockout will be put right back in place, the second it is lifted due to the appeals needing to be ruled on.  So Nelson’s ruling will just lead to a never-ending circle of lockout-no lockout.  Needless to say, the courts aren’t going to help anything.
Anyways, back to what I was going to talk about.  As I mentioned earlier, the NFL Draft is set to start in less than a week, Thursday, April 28 at 7:00 PM CT/8:00 ET.  ESPN will be televising it, along with the NFL Network.   I know, I, for one, will be watching all seven rounds, starting Thursday, and closing on Saturday Night.
I’ve been watching ESPN and reading the articles online “religiously”, getting ready for the draft, and have been working on my own Mock Draft of the 1st round.  For those who are interested, I have it attached below the article.
While I’m pretty surprised that the #1 overall selection by the Carolina Panthers is still a heavy mystery, unless like last season when most, if not all of the analysts and experts, and even me, had the St. Louis Rams selecting Sam Bradford, the quarterback from Oklahoma #1 overall, and on Draft Day, that’s exactly what they did.  Although, all the “signs” this year point to Auburn quarterback Cam Newton being the #1 selection.
A lot of my 1st round picks, the majority of them, will look almost exactly like some of the experts out there, mainly because they have picked how I have, and their reasoning is VERY sound in all of them.  If any of you are NFL fans, agree and/or disagree with any of my picks here in the 1st 32, and have twitter, feel free to tweet at me @HayJay2000.  I’d love to hear your thoughts about the upcoming draft and even have some awesome discussion!

Hayden Flanders 1st Round NFL Mock Draft
Team                 Player                  Position                  School
1. Carolina Panthers - Cam Newton – QB – Auburn
2. Denver Broncos - Marcell Dareus – DT – Alabama
3. Buffalo Bills – Von Miller – LB – Texas A&M
4. Cincinnati Bengals – A.J. Green – WR – Georgia
5. Arizona Cardinals – Blaine Gabbert – QB – Missouri
6. Cleveland Browns – Julio Jones – WR – Alabama
7. San Francisco 49ers – Patrick Peterson – CB – LSU
8. Tennessee Titans – Nick Fairley – DT – Auburn
9. Dallas Cowboys – Tyron Smith – OT – USC
10. Washington Redskins – Robert Quinn – DE – North Carolina
11. Houston Texans – Aldon Smith – DE – Missouri
12. Minnesota Vikings – Corey Liuget – DT – Illinois
13. Detroit Lions – Prince Amukamara – CB – Nebraska
14. St. Louis Rams – Ryan Kerrigan – DE – Purdue
15. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Mallett – QB – Arkansas
16. Jacksonville Jaguars – Akeem Ayers – LB – UCLA
17. New England Patriots – Anthony Castonzo – OT – Boston College
18. San Diego Chargers – J.J. Watt – DE – Wisconsin
19. New York Giants – Gabe Carimi – OT – Wisconsin
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Da’Quan Bowers – DE – Clemson
21. Kansas City Chiefs – Phil Taylor – DT – Baylor
22. Indianapolis Colts – Derek Sherrod – OL – Mississippi
23. Philadelphia Eagles – Brandon Harris – CB – Miami (FL.)
24. New Orleans Saints – Adrian Clayborn – DL – Iowa
25. Seattle Seahawks – Jake Locker – QB – Washington
26. Baltimore Ravens – Jimmy Smith – CB - Colorado
27. Atlanta Falcons – Cameron Heyward – DE – Ohio State
28. New England Patriots – Mark Ingram – RB – Alabama
29. Chicago Bears – Nate Solder – OT – Colorado
30. New York Jets – Muhammad Wilkerson – DT – Temple
31. Pittsburgh Steelers – Mike Pouncey – OG – Florida
32. Green Bay Packers – Aaron Williams – DB – Texas

Major League Baseball Regular Season 2011: My Brief Interesting Thoughts

By Evan Troxel
Another regular season of Major League Baseball is finally here  The only thing that really sticks out in my mind right now is some really great catches by outfielder Sam Fuld of the Tampa Bay Rays (of the American League).  Now I will share with you all my thoughts from each day’s action.
Friday, April 15, 2011
This day April 15th every year is slated as Jackie Robinson Day.  Why?  The reason is, that is the day Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and it was his Major League Debut in 1947.  Also, on this day’s action if you happened to watch only some highlights you saw that all the players, managers, coaches, and umpires wore the #42 on their uniform because that was Jackie Robinson’s uniform number.  Number 42 was a permanently retired number by Major League Baseball on April 15, 1997.  This means that no player (on any team) can ever wear #42 again on their uniform (except on April 15th to honor Jackie Robinson).
In the American League: The Cleveland Indians beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-2.  The Texas Rangers beat the New York Yankees 5-3.  The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Minnesota Twins 5-2.  The Boston Red Sox lost again this time to the Toronto Blue Jays 7-6.  The Red Sox have Major League Baseball’s worst record at two wins and ten losses which I don’t like because the Red Sox are my favorite Major League Baseball team.  The Los Angeles Angels beat the Chicago White Sox 4-3 and the Kansas City Royals defeated the Seattle Mariners 6-5.  The Detroit Tigers won against the Oakland Athletics in ten innings 8-4.
In the National League: The Florida Marlins and the Washington Nationals beat their respective opponents the Philadelphia Phillies and the Milwaukee Brewers by a score of 4-3.  The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-1.  The Houston Astros lost to the San Diego Padres 4-2.  The Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball’s best team beat the Chicago Cubs 5-0 for a record of 11-2.  The defending World Champion San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-2.  The St. Louis Cardinals destroyed the Los Angeles Dodgers 11-2.  The New York Mets at Atlanta Braves was postponed because of rain.
Saturday, April 16, 2011
In the American League: The New York Yankees won over the Texas Rangers 5-2.  The Kansas City Royals beat the Seattle Mariners 7-0.  The Boston Red Sox won 4-1 over the Toronto Blue Jays for their third win of the season and Boston’s starting pitcher Josh Beckett picked up his team leading second win of the season.  The Oakland Athletics beat the Detroit Tigers 6-2.  Cleveland Indians 8 Baltimore Orioles 3, Los Angeles Angels 7 Chicago White Sox 2, and Tampa Bay Rays 4 Minnesota Twins 3.
In the National League: The Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-2.  The Atlanta Braves won the doubleheader over the New York Mets 4-2 and 4-0.  The Houston Astros defeated the San Diego Padres 5-3.  The Chicago Cubs beat the Colorado Rockies 8-3 and improved with a record of 7 wins and 7 losses.  The San Francisco Giants beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-2.  The Milwaukee Brewers at Washington Nationals and the Florida Marlins at Philadelphia Phillies was postponed because of rain.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
In the American League: The Red Sox won back-to-back games for the first time all season by beating the Blue Jays 8-1 for a record of 4 wins and 10 losses.  The Twins beat the Rays 4-2 for a record of 5-10 and former Nebraska baseball pitching standout Brian Duensing picked up his first win of the season for the Twins.  The Mariners beat the Royals 3-2 and the Royals have 10 wins and 5 losses.  Cleveland Indians 4 Baltimore Orioles 2, Los Angeles Angels 4 Chicago White Sox 2, Oakland Athletics 5 Detroit Tigers 1, and New York Yankees 6 Texas Rangers 5.
In the National League: The Pirates defeated the Reds 7-6.  The Philadelphia Phillies won 3-2 over the Florida Marlins.  The Washington Nationals defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 8-4 and 5-1 in a doubleheader.  Both the Nationals and Brewers now have a record of 7-7.  The Mets beat the Braves 3-2 and the Padres won over the Astros 8-6.  The Colorado Rockies improved their record to 12-3 by defeating the Chicago Cubs 9-5.  Finally, the Diamondbacks and Dodgers had walk-off game winning hits against the Giants and Cardinals respectively.
Monday, April 18, 2011
In the American League: The Kansas City Royals lost to the Cleveland Indians 7-3 in 10 Innings.  The Boston Red Sox continued their winning streak by winning their third straight game over the Toronto Blue Jays 9-1.  The Tampa Bay Rays defeated the Chicago White Sox 5-0.  The Minnesota Twins beat the slumping Baltimore Orioles 5-3.  The Texas Rangers won over the Los Angeles Angels 7-1.  The Detroit Tigers won over the Seattle Mariners 8-3.
In the National League: The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 6-3.  The Pittsburgh Pirates won over the Cincinnati Reds 9-3.  The Reds’ pitcher Aroldis Chapman threw a 106 mile per hour pitch.  Unfortunately, the pitch was a ball and not a strike.  Tyler Colvin of the Chicago Cubs hit a walk-off double and the Cubs’ baserunner scored all the way from first base for a 1-0 Cubs win over the San Diego Padres.  The defending champion Giants downed the Rockies 8-1 and Tim Lincecum pitched really well.  The Dodgers beat the Braves 4-2.

Monday, April 18, 2011

NBA Playoffs 2011: Celtics, Bulls, Heat, Spurs, and Lakers: Teams to watch for to realistically make it to the NBA Finals

By Evan Troxel (Associate Editor of Sports Content)
Well, we’re back to another season of NBA Playoffs.  So, what are we waiting for?  Let’s get started!  All the teams who were in first place in their respective divisions from my Yard Rake article last November made it to the playoffs this season and all the teams who could not win many games did not make it to the playoffs this season. 
The playoff matchups in the Eastern Conference are as follows: the #1 seeded Chicago Bulls (62-20 regular season record) vs. the #8 Indiana Pacers (37-45) will play the winner of the #4 Orlando Magic (52-30)  vs. the #5 Atlanta Hawks (44-38) and the #2 Miami Heat (58-24) vs. the #7 Philadelphia 76ers (41-41) will play the winner of the #3 Boston Celtics (56-26) vs. the #6 New York Knicks (42-40) in the Conference Semifinals. 
The playoff matchups in the Western Conference are as follows: the #1 seeded San Antonio Spurs (61-21) vs. the #8 Memphis Grizzlies (46-36) will play the winner of the #4 Oklahoma City Thunder (55-27) vs. the #5 Denver Nuggets (50-32) and the #2 Los Angeles Lakers (57-25) vs. the #7 New Orleans Hornets (46-36) will play the winner of the #3 Dallas Mavericks (57-25) vs. the #6 Portland Trail Blazers (48-34) in the Conference Semifinals.
How did the Indiana Pacers make the playoffs?  If one of two Western Conference teams were in the Eastern Conference they could have stolen the Pacers #8 seed.  Those teams would be the Utah Jazz (39-43) and the Phoenix Suns (40-42).  Also, it’s very unfortunate for the Houston Rockets (43-39) of the Western Conference that they aren’t in the Eastern Conference because they would be in the #6 spot replacing the New York Knicks.
The teams who are in the playoffs this season who have been to (if not won) the NBA Finals in the last twenty NBA seasons (1990-1991 season through 2009-2010 season) are the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, Indiana Pacers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, and Philadelphia 76ers (in the Eastern Conference) and the Dallas Mavericks, Los Angeles Lakers, Portland Trail Blazers, and San Antonio Spurs (in the Western Conference).  Out of those teams, the following teams actually won: the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, and Miami Heat (in the Eastern Conference) and the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs (in the Western Conference).  The only team in the Eastern Conference who is in the playoffs this year and has not been to the NBA Finals in the last twenty NBA seasons is the Atlanta Hawks.  Maybe it’s their year to represent the Eastern Conference (if not win the NBA Finals).
Obviously, the teams who have proven that they can win the NBA Finals since 2006 (who are in the playoffs this season) are the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference and the Los Angeles Lakers and San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference.  The Dallas Mavericks (Western Conference) made it to the Finals in 2006 when they lost to the Miami Heat and the Orlando Magic (Eastern Conference) made it in 2009 when they lost to the Los Angeles Lakers and both teams are in the playoffs this season.
There are three teams in the NBA in the playoffs this season who have never lost the Finals before.  The three teams are the Chicago Bulls with six championships, the Miami Heat with one, and the San Antonio Spurs with four.  It is also interesting to note that these three teams have the top 3 winning percentages with the Spurs leading, the Bulls second, and the Heat third. 
The Denver Nuggets, Memphis Grizzlies, and New Orleans Hornets are the only Western Conference teams who have never been to the NBA Finals and who made it to the NBA playoffs this season.  The other teams who also haven’t been to the NBA Finals ever before and are not in the playoffs this season are the Charlotte Bobcats and Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference and the Los Angeles Clippers and Minnesota Timberwolves in the Western Conference.

Explaining My Gaming

by Hayden Flanders
So in my debut article, which, was about myself, I didn’t write a lot about one of my favorite past-times.  That past time is video games.
I’ve been playing video games since I was really young, can’t remember how old to be exact.  It all started with the Super Nintendo over at my grandparents’ house.  My Grandma, or grandpa, and I would play Super Mario Bros. all the time, they taught me everything I know, or, knew, about that game.  There were a few other games, but that was the most memorable one.
As the years progressed, so did the games, my grandparents, and my family, had Nintendo 64 systems.  I played that system like it was going out of style.  It’s home to my FAVORITE game of All-Time, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.  I played that a lot, beat it several times.  Donkey Kong 64, Banjo Kazooie, and Banjo Tooie are the other three games I spent most of my time playing, each offering me more fun than I ever imagined possible in a video game.  I played Donkey Kong 64 more times than I can count, each time as much, or more fun as the last.
The Nintendo 64 was shortly passed by the Nintendo Gamecube, the Playstation 2, and the Xbox.  My gaming ways began to change with those 3 systems.  I still own a Gamecube and Playstation 2, and still occasionally play them.  The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker, and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess are what kept my attention on the Gamecube, while Kingdom Hearts, and Kingdom Hearts 2 really had me playing the PS2 much more often.
I can’t forget the handheld systems of course, the Game Boy line.  I was especially obsessed with the “Pokemon,” “Golden Sun” and “Megaman Battle Network” series of games for the Game Boy systems.
Now-a-days, my attention is focused solely on my Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS, but I’m not as hardcore of a gamer as I used to be.  Now I have a life filled with work, and attending school here at Mid-Plains.  Not to mention, I’ve discovered that I’m not really very good at PLAYING the games, my friends have shown me just how bad I really am.  I can remember things from games; maps, storylines, secrets, etc. like the back of my hand, and guide my friends through them, but when I play them myself, I’m not very good.
All-in-all, I just enjoy playing video games, it helps take my mind off of stressful situations, or gets me “out of the real world” and in to another realm where other things are possible, depending on the game I’m choosing to play of course.  It really helps that I have something I enjoy that helps me with that.  Football, and sports help me with that as well, but video games are a childhood enjoyment that I hope will never die.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Political Soap

by Shawn Strasburg

Stefano DiMera, of Days of Our Lives, has been diabolically scheming since the eighties and his political counterpart Moammar Gadhafi of Libya is now a conniving con artist attempting to thwart president Obama’s 2012 campaign, according to Whoopi Goldberg of The View. The Libyan leader whom nearly everyone agrees has a major aversion to sanity, has in Whoopi’s eyes became a reverse psychology master. This soap opera of politics has hit a high note in the last few days with a NBC interview with Donald Trump announcing his intentions of running for president as soon as this season’s Apprentice is finished airing.
New allegations blossom in the media as reporters and media sources, like good directors, explore and exploit the controversies. According to the Associated Press the letter from Gadhafi called Barack Obama, "Our dear son, Excellency, Baraka Hussein Abu oumama.” Gadhafi support of Obama is of course nothing new; in a 2009 speech to the UN he called president Obama as, “our Obama.” While this by no means infers anything at all, as Gadhafi is a questionable person mentally, still some media sources have capitalized on this statement to stir the political pot.
This Gadhafi letter was revealed the same day that NBC’s Today Show aired a clip of the interview with Donald Trump. Trump made several claims during his interview and one dredged up the question as to Obama’s citizenship. Trump claimed that his people had researched Obama’s birth and could not come up with a birth certificate or any other proof of a US birth. While many disregard this variable, it still bears some interest as Trump claimed millions of dollars had been spent to sweep the issue under the rug. If Obama was born in the US and has a birth certificate, would it not be very cheap and easy just to publicize it? It can be seen where one would not want to lower themselves to absurd claims; yet spending millions of dollars to muddle the issue seems to be somewhat suspicious.

I cannot go into detail as to who the political Hope, Bo, or even Sammy is, because honestly I only see mere minutes of soap operas a week. I just found it astounding that even though you may miss months or years of politics or soaps you can still quickly slip back into viewership with ease. It is easy to sympathize or cheer the characters or politicians you relate with, and to dislike or boo those that oppose your views, morals, or romantic ideals. In some cases you may even secretly support the shady character in soaps, yet perhaps not as much in real life. And no matter how you stand on a political subject, there will be those in media that will play upon your passions to get you intrigued enough to watch those now extinct soap commercials, and perhaps through repetition, buy the products that finance the news broadcasts.

The Effect Instant Replay and Technology has had on Sports and How it Changed Sports Forever

By Evan Troxel (Associate Editor of Sports Content)
What positive and negative effects has instant replay and technology had on sports?  I think the positive aspects are that a sports officials’ calls are being corrected nowadays.  Unfortunately, some people are too obsessed with it and “have to” get the call right.    One example today would be NCAA college basketball in which late in the game the officials have to go to instant replay to determine which team has possession of the ball and how much time is left in the game.  I don’t think determining a team’s possession or how much time is left in the game is obsessive but that the officials seem to take an extremely and ridiculously long time to make a decision in NCAA college basketball which I think is obsessive.  The negative effects…when your favorite team loses the most important game of the season.
In all sports I like the fact that technology is utilized for challenges but I don’t think it should be abused and used for every situation because it takes away an officials job in the first place.  I think a reason should have to be given to “open up” a challenge possibility on a particular ruling by an official.  I like the challenge rules with the NFL but maybe challenges should be allowed in the last two minutes of each half also and the number of challenges doesn’t change from whatever it is now.
I think technology is great such as when a video or film of a game is kept in its entirety.  Fortunately someone was thinking when they decided to keep the only video (today) of Don Larsen’s World Series no-hitter.  Shame on the people who cut out the scenes from a sports video! Who cares if it’s a stolen base in baseball and the baserunner doesn’t score later in the inning or for the rest of the game!  Keep sports videos in their entirety because they may be worth some money someday!
Everybody remember Ed Hochuli?  That was a terrible call but fortunately for him God let him off the hook.  I have seen more worse calls by major league umpires punching the air (in anger, usually near second base) such as Thursday’s Red Sox @ Indians Major League Baseball game than Ed Hochuli’s embarrassing or not embarrassing speaking blunder.  Thanks to technology Ed Hochuli had a microphone and didn’t have to lose his voice by telling both teams what the ruling he messed up on was.
In football technology is completely part of the game.  For instance, the coaches wear headsets to determine which play from a team’s playbook is the best play to call.  Also, there are photographs for quarterbacks to look at so they can stay ahead of their opponents’ defensive strategies.
Instant replay and many camera angles also make marks in the National Football League (NFL) such as when head coaches throw a red challenge flag to try to help their team win a challenge in their favor.  Probably the most disputed challenge of all-time in the NFL was when Santonio Holmes of the Pittsburgh Steelers caught the football and got each foot down inbounds while maintaining the football in Super Bowl XLIII.  I said caught the football because he actually did catch the ball but I still don’t know if he actually got each foot down inbounds.  I think he got one foot down inbounds but the second foot if it got down was probably by a grass or turf blade or something that the television viewer couldn’t see. 
In baseball, I wish instant replay was used all the time at home plate to determine whether a team scores runs or not.  I also think instant replay should be used all the time to determine home runs and cameras should be put on both sides of the foul poles so fair or foul ball rulings can be made correctly.   
To include to the baseball instant replay rules I have already mentioned I wish in the Major League Baseball (MLB) postseason technology was used to determine the strike zone and instant replay on all the bases (including home plate) at the start of the seventh inning.  Perhaps the two additional rules I just mentioned could be applied during the regular season only if a game went into extra innings. 
Okay, using technology to determine the strike zone on every pitch may make the umpire pointless once a game reaches the seventh inning so throw in technology when the count reaches ball 3 or strike 2 of a plate appearance (whichever situation comes first) so the umpire isn’t biased based on his feelings of what’s already happened in the game and the situation late in the ballgame.
If technology and instant replay were used I would pick the entire MLB postseason as a time period in which to use it in because the players take the game more seriously (especially the World Series) then.  Umpires will be biased during the postseason whether they will admit that or not. 
Finally, on a new topic about baseball if a perfect game was ruined just because one umpire called a batter running to first base safe and the umpires and/or the managers weren’t sure it was the correct call perhaps they could appeal and check instant replay.  What I just typed actually did happen to Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers last season and he hasn’t got his perfect game yet because instant replay was not allowable to check in that situation.

Amateur Huskerland Preview 2.0

by Hayden Flanders
Here in Huskerland, the spring game inches ever closer, in which, means more spring information from our beloved Nebraska Cornhuskers.  The quarterback battle continues, not much is being made of it right now, everyone knows it’s between Taylor Martinez, Cody Green, and Brion Carnes, which I mentioned in my previous article.
Now on the defensive side of the ball, battles are being waged to take the place of departed seniors Pierre Allen, Eric Hagg, and Prince Amukamara.  The good thing for the Huskers is, there are three players who are seniors this season who are taking over as the defensive leaders, each leading the separate sections.  The Defensive line, which is led by Defensive Tackle Jared Crick, Linebackers are led by LaVonte David, and the defensive backs are headed by Alfonzo Dennard.   Thanks to the three of them, the transition of the younger players shouldn’t be very difficult.
Replacing Amukamara will be the hardest of the replacements to make.  Leading the way is sophomore Ciante Evans, who made several appearances last season, and made quite the impression, on me at least.  I’m excited to see what else he can bring to the table, although I mentioned last article not to count out redshirt freshman Harvey Jackson either, I’m hoping Evans and Jackson give us a great battle in to the Fall. Along with those two, our recruiting class brought a big time recruit in at the defensive back position too, Charles Jackson, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him redshirt this season.
Replacing Eric Hagg will be much simpler, seeing as how we had a rotation at his position last season.  Daimion Stafford, one of our Big recruits this spring looks to be one to watch to take over for Hagg.
Lastly, replacing Pierre Allen will be the easiest.  We all expected BIG things out of Allen this past season, but sadly…he disappointed and didn’t produce to what he was capable of.  We saw Terrence Moore last season come out in spots, and he provided a bit of spark when he was in.  There are many more players, to many to mention, on the defensive line that are looking to, at least, make the rotation this season.
After taking another look at our offense, I didn’t see any other positions of interest besides the quarterback, and wide receiver, but those two I mentioned in my previous article.  Running back is going to be fun to watch this year, with Rex Burkhead back, along with incoming players Braylon Heard, Aaron Green, and Ameer Abdullah.  All three incoming players provide some SERIOUS speed, to go along with Burkheads’ power and versatility.
But needless to say, this will be a fun spring, and fall to check out, with our maiden voyage into the Big 10 conference.  I hope you other Husker fans are just as excited as I am!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A Collection of Poems by Bert Ogg

Pie Talk
Spicy Pumpkin Pie, memories of my home- I sigh.
Sugary Rubarb Pie, missing childhood laughter- I cry.
Rich French Silk Pie, wanting to go back- during the best of times.
Fluffy Coconut Cream pie, it's uneasy to think- I am not a child.
Tart Wild Berry Pie, mom, is this apart of growing up- are these the signs?
Creamy Peanutbutter Pie, mom, is it apart of growing up if brother and I saw- dad dieing?
Tangy Lemon Meringue Pie, mom, is it apart of growing up if you - find love in life?
Smooth Butterscotch Pie, mom, is it apart of growing up if - plans go awry?
Thick Bannana Cream Pie, mom, should I ask brother about these- trials?
Nutty Peacon Pie, brother, I am "immoral" in eyes of society- will you still stand with, I ?
Mellow Peach Pie, brother, will you, mom, dad and I ever be reunited- when we accend and fly?
Sweet Strawberry Pie, brother- im just scared to die.
Sharp Key Lime Pie, brother I should talk to dad, right?
Piercing Blue Berry Pie, dad, you probably can't hear me - I need to shout to the sky!
Unique Gooseberry Pie, I am in dier need of help- anything I do it feels as thought I'm putting on a guise.
Snappy Raspberry Pie, dad, will everything be alright- I really do try.
Classic Cherry Pie, I guess I just need to grow up and move in a line.
God, is it ok if I have a slice of Apple Pie?

You-Me Fool
Here is me.
Here is you.
We both have differnet points of view.
But, you call me the fool.

Wind Chimes
Wind chimes- the beauty of collaborating random rhyme.

At a Mirror Disadvantage
Look at your self in the mirror.
Your just like me.
I see you, you see me.
You move, when I move.
But you have a greater disadvantage.
You can be human, you can live.

Rhyming Nonsense With Morality
Lost - scared - fearing of what has been there.
Exhaust- impaired- weary of impudence and bigatory flair.
Pause- dare- take care of your self, God will be fair.

Working for a Good Screw: Public Speaking Student Describes the Meanings and Origins of the Word "Screw"


By Shawn Strasburg

We have probably all heard the cliché; you’ve got to stretch your dollar further when things are tight. Well, some days I feel like I am stretching that lousy dollar into wallpaper. I have found over the years that by doing things for yourself, it can often save you a lot of money, and in the past six months I have felt the triumph of self sufficiency quite often.

In my house it has been “the year of the appliances”, and thanks to a little research and the Readers Digest Fix-It-Yourself book I have yet to replace one of these malfunctioning appliances. First off the dryer broke only being three years old. The way I found out about this was rather second hand, as I am banned from doing laundry (that is a story for another day). I scratched my head and looked at the symptoms, no heat, and I had a solution; the heating coil. With make, model number, and serial number scratched on a piece of paper I called Sears to see if they could ship me the part. They could for sixty-eight bucks but it would take over a week to get here. I thanked them and hung up and rushed down to Carl’s T.V. and Appliance in search of the part. They had the part for eighty-four bucks and available immediately, so I purchased it. I chatted with the gentleman at the counter about the steepness of parts prices, considering I had only paid three hundred for the dryer in the first place. He informed me that a service call would have been ninety bucks alone and advised me to check the thermostats on the duct that the heating coil is secured in, as these were much cheaper and could be my problem. I Ohmed the thermostats when I returned home and found them to be functional. I replaced the heating coil, secured the back, plugged it in. and I was the hero of the day, or at least for five minutes.

Next the refrigerator quit cooling. Even though I have I universal EPA refrigerant certificate, I was pretty lost without a manual. I called a couple of people and not a one had much advice but to tell me a Frigidaire built in the 1950’s had probably served its duty about four times over and should be retired. I disagreed, so I cleaned it for an hour and defrosted it overnight on the odd suspicion that the refrigerant was not circulating properly due to the ice buildup in the freezer. In the morning I plugged it in and within a few hours I actually had to idle it down as it was below freezing within the fridge. I tell you this story because it reminds me of a working dishwasher my father-in-law, Mike and I threw away. I had changed out their dysfunctional garbage disposal with one I had purchased for a steal of five bucks one day at a garage sale. Knowing next to nothing about them I forgot to remove the knockout that allows the dishwasher to drain into the side of the disposal. We then misdiagnosed the dishwasher, threw it out, found out the bargain garbage disposal was faulty, and ended up replacing both of them. Thankfully that was nearly ten years ago and I am sure they have forgotten my ignorance. The moral to that story is to never be too hasty to condemn something that costs hundreds of dollars.

The next appliance to go was the washing machine. It began to mysteriously flood the floor after five years of strong service. I researched the Fix-It-Yourself manual and began disassembly. I found the water pump to be leaking, as the plastic propeller had worn through the plastic casing. Another trip to Carl’s and I returned with sixty dollar part. In the dollar store for one buck you can buy something as complicated as this water pump, when Kenmore produces it, it’s value magically increases sixty fold. Well after restoring everything to it’s original condition and testing it, I had saved another ninety dollar service call.

The last appliance that failed is my microwave. I will warn you about this appliance, a lot of internal high-voltage parts can kill you. If you do not have a manual do not attempt repairs. I followed the manual and the Fix-It-Yourself book plus articles on the internet. After testing each part as prescribed I found nothing wrong with it, however it still occasionally released a sulphurish electrical burning smell. I have banished it to the porch pending further investigation and have borrowed a spare microwave from my brother.

While I am by no means an environmentalist, by fixing my appliances I have saved natural resources, countless green house gas emissions, oh yes the most important to me cold hard cash. I believe it is prudent to save money when you can, and since I have saved myself so much money in the past six months, I think I’ll celebrate and take my family camping if it ever warms up.

Husker Spring Ball Begins

By Hayden Flanders
After so much NFL talk by me, I thought I would give it a back seat for this week.  However, the topic of football is NOT going anywhere.  I live by the saying “Football: There is No offseason!”  More truth to that than most people know. . . for instance,   the NFL season ends after the Super Bowl, but as soon as the Super Bowl ends, so begins NFL Draft season, and Free Agency (although this year is different due to the labor disaster. . .) and with College Football, as soon as the Bowl Season ends, recruiting begins.
But now, recruiting is done, and the teams all signed their respective recruiting classes.  Our Nebraska Cornhuskers came away with a pretty good recruiting class, led by the signings of JUCO (Junior College) transfer, safety Daimion Stafford, running back Aaron Green, and high profile quarterbacks Derek “Bubba” Starling, and Jamal Turner.  However, one of these players may not stay with the program come this May.
This upcoming May the Major League Baseball draft will be held, and Bubba Starling is slated to go between picks 1 and 5 in the 1st round of that draft. . .yes, he’s THAT good at baseball, Oh, he’s also good at basketball as well.  In high school he was the best there was at what he did, no matter what sport.  They say that if he would’ve run track as well, they most likely would’ve taken state.  So Husker nation is holding their breath, waiting, and wondering to see if they may get what some are calling, the Next Great College Quarterback, or, for lack of a better term, swing and miss on a possibly amazing player.  We can only wait, and see.
Jamal Turner has started to show some serious prowess in the spring practices that have been completed so far, but news that broke yesterday (Thursday, March 31st 2011) is that Turner has been switched from QB to Wide Receiver to attempt to get him on the field the same time as QB Taylor Martinez, and RB Rex Burkhead to give our offense an extra dimension. 
Speaking of spring practice, the Huskers have taken the field to install new offensive coordinator Tim Becks’ offense, one that is said to be much simpler, and more explosive than that of Shawn Watsons.  Martinez has begun his battle to retain his starting job from Cody Green, and Redshirt Freshman Brion Carnes.  Most experts have Martinez pegged as the starter again this season, but we’ll have to wait and see what kind of battle Green and Carnes can give him, I’m going to go on record myself, and say that Martinez will be the QB, and Green the #2 again, but DO NOT, I repeat, DO. NOT. Count out Brion Carnes, The redshirt freshman was said to have some SERIOUS ability on his side, and may give Martinez a run for his money.  I, for one, don’t think Carnes will actually Start, but I DO think he will see some snaps at some point this season, along with Cody Green, but Martinez will be the starting quarterback.
The running back position has become much more muddled however, with the exception of Rex Burkhead of course.  We have two freshman coming in, Aaron Green, as I mentioned earlier, and Ameer Abdullah.  Both of these running backs are said to have top end, Elite speed, with Green being the “better” one of the two.  Also a running back who was supposed to be in the program last year will be joining the program this year, Braylon Heard, another player who is said to have Top end speed.  I think I can safely say, the Huskers are adding some serious speed to the offense this year.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Huskers will have to replace graduated cornerback Prince Amukamara, defensive end Pierre Allen, and safety Eric Hagg.  Stafford, the previously mentioned JUCO transfer safety will definitely be in the mix to replace Hagg.  Amukamara will be much harder to replace, although words gotten out that redshirt freshman Harvey Jackson has been making some noise in camp, but I want you to also look out for incoming freshman Charles Jackson to be in the mix as well.  He was HIGHLY rated, and highly recruited, but luckily for us, chose Nebraska over schools like Arkansas and Auburn.  Allen will be the easiest to replace, with some candidates already in place, like Terrance Moore who played some downs last year for the blackshirts.
Husker leader Jared Crick is out for the rest of the spring with a knee sprain, so we won’t see him this spring, look for redshirt freshman Chase Rome to take his spot in spring rotation.
Well, these are just some of my many thoughts on the upcoming 2011-2012 campaign, and maiden voyage into the Big Ten conference.  I will hopefully have more as the spring rolls on, and the spring game is played!  And of course . . . GO BIG RED!!

Track and Field 2011: A glimpse and reminder of potential competitors in the 2012 Summer Olympics

By Evan Troxel (Associate Editor of Sports Content)
To begin with, instead of talking about Track and Field and why it’s so great let’s first talk about the negatives of it.  First, Track and Field like any Olympic sport is rarely nationally televised except when it’s the annual National Championships (except in Olympic years when it’s a nation’s Olympic Trials) and the Olympics itself.  Second and finally, a person probably won’t know what goes on in Track and Field except when newspapers and online articles show in big bold letters that someone broke some record. 
Now let’s look at the positives of Track and Field.  Currently, the world-record holder for the 100 meters is Usain Bolt of Jamaica with a time of 9.58 seconds.  The closest USA Trackster to Bolt is Tyson Gay with a time of 9.68 seconds which he set on June 29, 2008 during the 2008 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Trials at Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon.  The tail wind speed was 4.1 m/s which is a wind aided time and I think wind aided times should be world records no matter how fast or slow the wind is blowing—God’s in control! This was the fastest 100 meters in history until Bolt ran faster on August 16, 2009 at the World Championships in Berlin.  Bolt’s time of 9.69 seconds at the 2008 Summer Olympics technically wasn’t a world record because Gay had the “wind aided” record but he didn’t get credit for it from track officials because the wind blew too much. 
Honestly, I think Usain Bolt can run faster than he did at the 2008 Summer Olympics and I think he can still run faster now that he’s the reigning 100 Meter All-Time World Record Holder.  I bet Usain Bolt can run at least 8.99 seconds (maybe even faster) for the 100 Meter Dash (if he really tries and gives it his all).  I’d love to see how fast he can run 400 meters and/or the mile.   
Before Bolt and Gay set world records, Carl Lewis ran a time of 9.78 seconds at the 1988 US Olympic trials in Indianapolis but it was wind aided, so that didn’t count according to track officials which I think it really did.  Obadele Thompson of Barbados ran a wind-aided 9.69 in El Paso, Texas in April 1996 which stood as the fastest ever 100m time for 12 years until Tyson Gay's June 29, 2008 performance.
Now, the 200 Meter Dash World Record is 19.19 seconds again by Usain Bolt.  Michael Johnson of the United States is 2nd on that list by running 19.32 seconds.  Tyson Gay is 3rd on that list with a time of 19.58 seconds.
The best 400 Meter Dash time is by Michael Johnson with a time of 43.18 seconds.  Jeremy Wariner also of the U.S.A. is third on that list with a time of 43.45 seconds.  The fastest 800 Meter run is by Kenya’s David Rudisha with a time of 1 minute and 41.01 seconds.
The fastest mile ever ran is by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco in 1999 which was timed in 3 minutes and 43.13 seconds.  The fastest 5,000 meters ever ran is by Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia in 2004 with a time of 12 minutes 37.35 seconds.  Finally, the best marathon time ever is 2 hours 3 minutes and 59 seconds held by Haile Gebrselassie of Ethiopia which he set on September 28, 2008 in Berlin, Germany.
I thought it would be neat to bring the best running times of all-time together in this article.  I like to run and that would be cool to someday run within a minute behind the all-time world record mile and/or run within an hour behind the all-time marathon world record if I don’t break these records myself.
I like sports a lot and I even don’t pay much attention to Track and Field.  So by not getting into more detail with Track & Field, to conclude this article let’s relive the greatest moments from the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.  One moment was when the Men’s and Women’s USA Basketball Teams won the gold medal.  Arguably the coolest moment of the Olympics (for USA fans) is when the USA Men’s 4 x 100 freestyle relay swimming team beat the French and took gold.  Finally, we all remember that Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals at a single Olympic games.