Friday, May 3, 2013


America spends as much as $147 billion annually on the direct and indirect costs of obesity. In the year of the most recent CDC study, 2006, that made up 9.1 percent of medical spending.  That is ridiculous.  Republicans and Democrats fight over what healthcare will save the government the most money but they ignore one of the biggest costs.  Obesity.  Millions of Americans in this country are overweight or obese (66 percent of Americans).  That is ridiculous! Look to your left and right.  Two out of the three of you will be overweight or obese.  The problem is not genetics when 2/3rd of the population is overweight.  It is a cultural problem.  The government needs to take action to control this epidemic.  If it doesn’t Americans will have shorter lifespans and drown America in medical debt.

The first step needed by the government is the affordability of vegetables and fruits.  A dollar in this country can buy well over 1000 calories in potato chips.  With the same dollar, I could only buy 250 calories of carrots.  I could buy 900 calories in soda for the same price as 250 calories in orange juice.  This is ridiculous.  We are advertising unhealthy food by price.  Poor people as well as average Americans are more likely to buy the cheaper calories, regardless of nutrition.  This is a big reason why Americans are consuming so much fat and calories.  The salad is more expensive than the potato chips.  If the government stoped subsidizing corn, and started subsidizing vegetables, more people could afford healthy, nutritious food.  The greater availability of nutritious food would lower obesity rates, lowering the overall cost in healthcare.

The other problem with our culture is the workplace environment.  Too many Americans are spending 10 + hours a day at the computer!  That is an astronomical amount of time to be sitting.  Your body is meant to stand, move, and exercise.  With little movement or physical activity, your body starts to weaken and require fewer calories.  Your hunger level doesn’t go down at the same rate.  As a result, you gain weight.  This is a harder problem to solve.  The ultimate result for curing workplace laziness is standing and working.  Standing burns twice as many calories as sitting.  Workers who don’t want to stand can try a big rubber ball.  When sitting on a ball, you constantly use muscles to maintain balance.  This burns energy and keeps your body active. 

I will continue this post next week.    



          You need to do a lot of different things to gain respect.  Respect comes in many different forms.  It can be physical or mental.  I nod of the head or just a thought. All signs of respect.  Before you get respect though, you have to respect yourself.
          Self respect is how you hold yourself, confidence, and pride.  Don't show shy body language.  If you hunch you shoulders and keep your head down, you look weak, and not worthy of respect.  Dress on how serious you want to be taken.  A suit looks a lot more serious than a t- shirt and shorts.  Looking professional is usually the first step to getting respect.
          If you work hard at what you do, you can gain respect.  You can gain respect by doing your job well.  If  you want respect in a certain area, you must try your hardest in that particular area.  People will see you hard work and determination and give you respect for doing it.  Being lazy shows people you don't care, and that you shouldn't get any respect.
          Helping out can also give you respect.  If you show that you are helpful, and can be trusted, people respect you.  They will come to you more often for things they can need done.  In return for doing it, you get more respect from them, and they put you in higher standing.
          All of these things can give you respect.  None of them are guaranteed to give you respect, but all of them make you more likely to receive respect.  In short; Dress nice, have confidence in yourself, work hard, and help others and your chances for receiving more respect will be very high.  


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Essay for Ap Lang

Humans consistently use wooden-headedness in all affairs.  It is so common, that psychology has coined a term for it: conformational bias.  Conformational bias is defined as looking for evidence to support your claim while spontaneously ignoring evidence that opposes your claim.  In the work place, managers often have wooden-headedness when considering candidates for promotion.  This phenomenon is also prevalent with religion when people refuse to accept any other notion, sticking to their previous beliefs.  Another example of wooden-headedness can be seen in government.  There is a constant flow of affairs that is affected by wooden-headedness.  It plays a huge role in all human affairs.


Managers in the work place can definitely be seen using wooden-headedness while making decisions.  Suppose the manager and candidate A are really good friends.  Candidate B is better qualified than candidate A and has also done better things for the company.  These facts do not give candidate B the automatic promotion.  Often times, a manager will give the promotion to his/her friend because the manager sees candidate A in a better light than candidate B.  The manager is seen using wooden-headedness.  Candidate B should have received the promotion but didn’t receive it because the manager didn’t base his decisions on facts and qualifications.  He chose the person for the promotion based on preconceived fixed notions. 


People are consistently seen using wooden-headedness in religious affairs.   Wooden-headedness in religion happens often when people of contrasting religions try and communicate their beliefs.   People of all religions are guilty of this.  When a Jehovah’s Witness comes and preaches to people, most people tend to ignore them.  They keep their preconceived fixed notions that their religion is the accurate one and the Jehovah’s Witness are wrong.  These people choose not to listen to evidence that is opposed to that of their preconceived fixed notions.  They would rather keep their beliefs and ideals the same than listen to people who have contrasting opinions.


Government officials are seen using wooden-headedness on multiple issues.  There are multiple examples of when government officials have used wooden-headedness.  Republicans often vote no on abortion because of their preconceived fixed notions.  They do not listen to the Democrats opinion on why it is ok to do.  They refuse to accept the concept and stick to their preconceived notions.  Democrats tend spend too much on entitlements.  Republicans do the same thing when gay marriage policy comes up.  They don’t listen to the facts and opinions contrasting their personal views.  They ignore them and vote on their ideals. 


Wooden-headedness is seen in all human affairs.  Managers in the workplace use it when choosing someone for a promotion.  People of religious faith can use it when they are talking to someone of a contradictory religion.  Government officials are seen using wooden-headedness when policy that is against core values is brought up.  This common phenomenon is seen in all human affairs.  People want to be right and will ignore facts and opinions of the opposite view to maintain their preconceived fixed notions.    


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Taking Responsibility

     People should take more responsibility for solving problems that affect their communities for their nation.  If everyone took more personal responsibility, it would lead to change and improvement to the community.  If people took more initiative to solving national problems, they would feel more involved and rake initiative to get laws passed in Congress.  Finally, more responsibility will give people a more accomplished feeling in their life. 
     Often times people are more involved in their own problems than the problems of their community.  This leads to people taking less responsibility of their community.  It is called the social loafing effect.  It is summed up pretty much in one phase:  Someone else will do it.  If everyone took more personal responsibly for their community, the community problems would be carefully addressed and the community would have multiple solutions to choose from.  The options could be discussed and the community could use the solution that gave them the best chance at solving their problem.  The more people in the community who care, the better the community will be.   
     When people take more responsibility for national problems, the problems get solved faster.  If everyone lets Congress know how they feel on the issues, Congress could make accurate, informed decisions based on the peoples wants.  Congress could stop arguing and just turn to the people and ask them what they want.  It would lead to a faster, more democratic way to solve national problems. 
     People feel a sense of accomplishment when they solve problems.  IT makes people feel fulfilled and that they have a purpose to their life.  People who feel fulfilled are less likely to commit crime and have a higher life expectancy.  Less crime promotes for a better society and less community problems.    
     People should take more responsibility for the community and for national problems.  It helps solve problems quickly and efficiently.  It also gives people a sense of purpose and fulfillment.  More responsibility promotes for a better society and a higher quality of life.


Time Wasting

     Some teachers have the wrong priorities.  They spend the first ten minutes of class lecturing about how much time we waste of hers.  We talked for 20 seconds after the bell rang.  She talked for 10 minutes about wasting time.  Doing the math, we would have to talk 30 times in her class to equal the 10 minutes she wasted.  Some teachers focus on controlling their class.  They feel if the students are totally cooperative, they will have an easier time teaching them.  This is true but total cooperation comes at a price, resentment.
     Time wasting is an interesting subject in school.   We spend 35 minutes walking to different classes.  Is that a waste of time?  Teachers give work time for students when the work can obviously be done at home with no teacher help.  Is that a waste of time? If students come to school to learn, why waste their time with useless rants and time fillers.  Instead, if teachers can’t muster up a decent lesson plan, tell us of a life lesson they have figured out the hard way.  Show the kids something they will use in the working world.  Talk to them about something that interests them.  The biggest resentment I see from kids is when teachers assign meaningless homework. 
     How do teachers instill the maximum amount of knowledge into kid’s minds?  This is the real question teachers should be asking.  The answer will vary from teacher to teacher and subject to subject.  Two traits are universal in instilling knowledge: humor and common sense.  Kids don’t pay attention in class because the material is not interesting to them or they are tired.  Humor keeps kids on their feet and paying attention.  It’s very hard to fall asleep when the teacher is making jokes.  Common sense is another necessity.  If your students don’t understand the material, connect it to something they do understand.  This concept is so lost in the modern teaching world.  The best way to learn new information is to assimilate it to something you already know.  In the thirst for knowledge, time wasters are detrimental to success.  Students waste time yes, but teachers are just as guilty.  Together, we can change to become more efficient and learn as much as possible.   


Sushi House Server

Oye Vey.  That is all I can say about my first server experience at a restaurant.  There are so many aspects to waiting that people never consider.  Waiters work hard and have to get a lot done so people can just come in and eat. 

When I started training at sushi house, the manager told me to study the menu.  I spent the next two hours just staring at the menu, trying to memorize menu items.  When I finally had some of the names memorized with their corresponding menu items, I went up to start shadowing.  Needless to say, I had memorized the wrong types of things.  I needed to know what kinds of vegetables are in the food.  I had memorized all of the wrong things.  Damn.  The manager chuckled a little and sent me to the back of the kitchen to start learning the kitchen. 

The kitchen is straight forward unless you don’t know the menu, in which the kitchen is really confusing.  There are multiple waiters moving around, preparing salads, soups, rice, and entrĂ©e dishes.  The problem with learning everything is false confidence.  You think you know how to prepare curtain dishes until you make it and learn you did it wrong.  The scolding follows as you are shown how to do it again.  There are curtain ways to hold glasses and poor water and everything.  You have to do it their way.  If you don’t, the scolding starts again.

The hardest part about being a server is the technology.  Servers are supposed to know how to book tables, put in orders, separate sushi orders, hold dishes that take little time, print checks, print tip checks, and adjust tips.  There is so much the computer can do.  People always seem to want a special order for their meal.  Whenever someone asks for something special, it takes extra time to input the order.  Then, you have to go to the kitchen and make sure they understand what is different.  If you don’t, and the cooks mess up the order, the server has to pay (full price) for the meal.  Mess up one table and your night’s earnings are gone.

There is a lot of terminology among the waiting staff.  Most orders are shortened because customers order quickly.  Drinks are all abbreviated and even renamed.  The lingo can be a big much as a new trainee.  There was no warning or explanation with the lingo.  Use context and figure it out.  Thanks, that’s a lot of help.

In the end, the tips are worth it.  It is strenuous work that requires a lot of mental and physical effort.  Waiters work very hard and deserve the tips.  Trust me.  


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Commentary on Gun Rights Article. CNN

              This article really spoke to me.  I have researched quite a bit on the shootings and possible options.  There were ten options I heard: Strengthen gun laws, Keep gun regulations the same or relax them, Arm the schools, Improve school security, Cut down on violence in the media, Improve mental health care, Cover the families, focus on parenting, bolster kids’ social skills, and report it.  All of these have pros and cons.  This article spoke on the fact on arming the schools and gun laws. 
            Obama has been very conservative in his speeches about the action he will take as President.  When you look at the strings behind him, it starts to make sense.  He is a man of the people.  Gun rights and laws are split 50/50 on both extremes in this country.  “It would bring about another civil war to decide this problem.”  They are on the money on this one.  Recent polls show that the country is split on the issue.  They are on the extremes and butting heads.  Any big action will ignite uproar and chaos.    
            They also state guns won’t go away from our culture and PACs.  All over the country, ours shelves are stocked with guns.  It is a common item.  Many law abiding citizens take part in hunting, shooting, and collection.  There are also thousands of killers that own guns.  They said it would be impossible to take their guns away.   I also agree with them.  It’s valid.  A majority of people will hide their guns and protest until they get their guns back.  The issue is to split to take drastic actions in either direction.  The PACs, such as the NRA, also assure guns in our country.  The NRA started as hunting enthusiasts, but turned into one of the most powerful PACs.  The NRA succeeded in helping four out of every five candidates it endorsed in the 2010 congressional election.  An alliance with the Republican Party assures that they will never stop influencing elections.  There will always be a large opposition to strict gun laws.  That is why there has been a loosening in the gun laws in the past decade.  Most states allow people to carry their guns into most public areas. 
            The author suggests we negotiate with the NRA and Congress to ban automatic weapons and try and tighten gun laws slightly.  He also states that an increase in protection at the schools would deter possible assailants from a rampage.  If there was a rampage, the officer would be there to eliminate the threat.  Although it is expensive, I agree that there should be a cop with a gun in every school.  We live in a world of guns.  There is no feasible way to remove guns from our society.  We need to protect the children and make them feel safe.  The article hits the blunt reality that we can’t take away guns.  We can only protect the children.  Hopefully some action is taken.    


The Dentist

And the reason I dislike him
          We have all gone to the dentist and we have either seen salvation or the end of a drill. When I was 8 I had my first cavity and I decided I wouldn't have another one. So I tried to brush my teeth regularly. That didn't work next year I had 8, yeah 8 cavities. I spent hours in that chair with drill after drill. I had to stop this from happening so I made a system and I brush twice a day and floss almost every day so I was extremely confident coming into this office. However, my teeth still had a cavity even through all that extreme care. To make things worse my little brother who hardly brushes his teeth ever had no cavities which i feel is teaching him a bad lesson. Making him think if he ignores it, bad things won't happen. Hint: They Will. I know it isn't my dentist's fault that I have had to be at the wrong end of his tools. I just always associate the dentist and the dentist's office with pain and evil. Which is hard to do due to the fact that the place is brightly painted and happy. I am keeping up my ways but it is very hard when the results don't always come out as they should. This was not the end of my tooth issues though. All through middle school I had braces. Which are uncomfortable and just plain inconvenient. After those were off it felt like a miracle finally my teeth could have a break. Like I said before Mr. Gehring actually is a really nice guy and we joke around until the tools come out. It just shows you that sometimes the things that are awful to do are the ones that need to get done the most.


Thursday, April 18, 2013


Jonathan Burstain
Ap Lang.
Kirk Ferentz

1.Oh how I exalt Kirk Ferentz,
2.the most famously unknown coach in college football,
3.except when you mention his salary
4.where he ranks 6th.

5.Frantic fans flock to the stands of Kinnick
6.only to watch their Hawkeyes lose to Iowa State.
7.Atleast he beat Central Michigan, oh wait…

8.His play calling is staler than two week old bread.
9.The plays scream out before the ball is snapped.
10.Even Helen Keller knows what play is going to be called. 

 11.Kirk Ferentz is as reliable as the I.R.S. collecting taxes.
12.You know he will rustle together a sub-par team finish in the lower-middle of the conference,
14.barely getting us to our yearly reservations at the Alamo Bowl.
 15.Oh how I exalt Kirk Ferentz…

Line 1 (and line 15) is an example of verbal irony.  The whole poem bashes Kirk Ferentz but the major premise is how much I look up to Kirk Ferentz.
Line 2 contains an oxymoron.  His is famous for brining Iowa out of 2-10 seasons yet he has done nothing in his tenure to make a name for himself recently.  He is known from his big salary (mentioned in later lines).
Line 5 is an example of alliteration.  It creates energy within the line only to watch the energy die in line 6 when I mention them losing to Iowa State.
Line 8 is a hyperbole.  It is an exaggeration of how predicable and stale Kirk’s play calling is.   What is staler than old bread? 
Line 9 uses personification.  Plays can’t scream.  The play is screaming what its plan is before the actual play happens.  This infers that the opposing team knows what play Iowa is going to run before the ball in snapped. 
Line 10 is an allusion.  Helen Keller is deaf and blind.  The fact that she can figure out what play is going to be called infers that the play calling is really obvious and predictable.
Line 11 is a simile.  What is more reliable than the I.R.S. collecting taxes? Death, but I felt that mentioning the I.R.S. would stir some negative emotions that people would then associate with Kirk Ferentz.
Line 12 uses an onomatopoeia.  “Rustle” is often used to describe a noise that is made.  It’s an ironic onomatopoeia because finishing in the lower-middle of the Big Ten conference doesn’t make a lot of noise.  Finishing in the bottom of the conference causes the media to stop talking about your football team. That’s why rustling together a football team is funny because the football team doesn’t make any national noise anymore.      

Saturday, April 13, 2013

My Fitness Pal

There was a new application I found last week that has changed the way I eat.  It is called my fitness pal.  It takes your height, weight, age, and everything that is related to burning calories.  It then asks you how much weight you would like to lose.  It is pretty incredible.  It really makes me work before I eat.  If I want to eat something, I have to open the app, find the food I want to eat, and stare at the amount of calories I am going to consume.  Usually the guilt of the calories or my laziness changes my mind about the food.  I don’t starve but all of the mindless eating has stopped.  I am not eating because I am bored anymore.  Trust me, those mindless calories add up.  I have lost 7lbs that I put on during my spring break cruise.  I am really happy and I feel more energized.  I really recommend you get this app if you want to take an easy step to losing weight fast.  There is no pill.  There is only control of how much food you intake and how much you exercise.  Hope it helps someone as much as it has helped me. J



Nothing beats a juicy steak but beef can be unhealthy for you.  It isn’t unhealthy because it is red meat.  It is unhealthy because most cows are marbled with fat.  This fat is saturated and bad for you.  Steak is great in moderation.  Here are some other meat options to help live a healthier life.

Buffalo (Bison)
No matter how good white meat can be, it will never truly satiate the craving for red meat. Buffalo, however, can. It’s probably the reddest meat you’ll ever see and unlike beef, it’s pretty good for you.

A hunk of buffalo has far less fat than steak and buffalo are generally grass-fed, which means healthier meat. Let’s compare burgers: Your typical lean hamburger (10% fat) contains about 0.32 oz (9 g) of fat. Buffalo burgers, on the other hand, contain less than half that, about 0.14 oz (4 g). Not bad for a tasty burger. There was a point when buffalo were endangered, but the beasts have made a comeback, especially on ranches. Today, buffalo meat is readily available in most grocery stores.
White meat is much better for you than red -- that’s a well-known fact. As such, chicken (not deep-fried) is a great alternative to red meats. It’s low in fat -- without the skin -- and it’s pretty tasty if it’s prepared correctly. Chicken is a great source of protein and, as an added bonus; it’s less expensive than beef. But remember, there’s always the risk of E. coli infection when you’re dealing with chicken. Be sure to cook or heat it to an internal temperature of at least 165F to kill off the bugs.

Also, charred grilled chicken can contain some cancer-causing chemicals, such as heterocyclic amines, so limit your consumption of well-blackened chicken.
Turkey is a relatively recent addition to the world’s protein menu, and it’s great for you. Turkey is generally a white meat (turkey breast), but it has more flavor than chicken, and its dark meat can be oily. Try and stay away from the dark meat.  Turkey meat is also relatively low in fat: one 4.9 oz (140 g) serving of skinless roasted turkey contains about 0.25 oz (7 g) of fat.  It is a great alternative when you are sick of eating Chicken.

Salmon is a personal favorite although my girlfriend won’t touch the stuff.  It has a unique taste that people either like or hate.  Some people acquire a taste for salmon but most know right away whether they like it or not.  Anyway, to the beneficial properties of salmon.  Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids.  These omega-3 fatty acids are essential to proper brain function.  Deprivation of omega-3 can lead to depression, improper brain function, fatigue, and weight gain.  A 8 oz. fillet has 48 grams of protein and 16 grams of good fat.  It is also a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Protein, Niacin, Vitamin B12 and Selenium.

Hawkeye Special Team Predictions

      There’s no denying Iowa took positive steps in special teams last season. This coming season, the special teams is the only thing that looks good.  Senior Jordan Cotton returns to the Hawkeyes after taking “1” (really 2) kick offs to the house.  He is really strong.
     More often than not, special teams have helped as much as they’ve hurt. You arguably could pin a few losses on flubbed onside kick recovery attempts (Minnesota in 2010-11 and Central Michigan last season), but for the most part, Iowa’s special teams have been perfect segues to the ensuing commercial break.
For example, the Hawkeyes finished 24th nationally in kick return defense last season. In kick returns, it was No. 50. Iowa was great at covering punts (No. 13 at 4.41 yards per return), but not so great at returning them (No. 80 with 7.44 per).  We aren’t allowing big plays or making them.  With the addition of our new special teams coordinator, Chris White, I think things might change.  We will still keep big plays from happening but we might make a few big plays for the sports center top 10.  
      New assistant coach Chris White spent the last four seasons as special teams assistant with the Minnesota Vikings.  He did have Percy Harvin to work with, but he is still very good.   He knows how to stop big plays (something Iowa is usually really good at) and he is also really good at making big special teams plays.  One thing the Hawkeye fans should look for is a blocked punt/field goal.  Coach White has made it one of his marquee plays.  Big kick returns from Jordan Cotton is also possible. 
     One thing Iowa really has to work on is the onside kick.  Kirk Ferentz said in an interview that some players are assigned to block and some are assigned to receive.  He went on to say that neither assignment was done well.  We shouldn’t have lost to Central Michigan because that personal foul at the end was bull shit.  We shouldn’t have given up the onside kick! It was ridiculous!  The Hawks look like confused school girls.  Just because there are two kickers doesn’t mean you lose focus.  It means you have one less person coming after the ball.  I think the Hawkeyes have to completely change their strategy of the onside kick.  They need to have a couple less blockers but make them offensive line men.  Then put your back-up receivers in behind to secure the loose ball.  Back-up receivers aren’t practicing with the first team so they will have more time to practice the onside kick.  I do not want to give up one onside kick this year.  It has attributed to 3 loses in the last 3 seasons and it is totally unacceptable.  That is one reason Ferentz hired Coach White. 
     My prediction for the special teams is that they Hawkeyes will have an incredible year.  They will block one kicking attempt and score 3 TDs off of kick offs.  They will even get a muffed punt.  Big aspirations, but that’s what comes when you hire someone to focus on special teams.   

Monday, April 8, 2013

Nebraska Spring Game 2013

Nebraska won my heart on Saturday when their football team put seven year old, Jack Hoffman, into the football game.  Jack Hoffman has had a rough seven years.  He has been through multiple surgeries to battle his brain cancer.  He is a true hero. The Nebraska Cornhuskers have adopted Jack to their team.  He has attended multiple practices and games.  Football is his favorite sport and he has really enjoyed being a part of the football program this year.

Last Saturday though, was something different.  The Nebraska spring game is a real football game.  It has major implications on who will start for the following year.  There is a lot of pressure on the players to perform.  The usually have around 60,000 people watching their spring game.  In the middle of their aggressive spring game, they brought out Jack Hoffman in full uniform (number 22).  He was positioned at running back and when Martinez hiked the ball, he handed it off to Jack.  It was a real play.  The seven year old began to sprint passed the colossal defensive players in his race to the end zone.  Offensive players did a pretty good job blocking and making it look somewhat realistic.  When he scored a touchdown (it was put on the board for the record books), both benches of the Nebraska football team emptied to surround Jack.  I can only imagine the joy Jack felt.  A big tip of the hat to the Nebraska Cornhuskers for showing the country that there are some things that are more important than football.  I respect their program and will root for them until the Hawks go to Lincoln.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

NIT Champs > First Round Big Dance Loss

Number 3 seeded Iowa Hawkeyes will play Baylor tonight for the NIT title.  Many say that they would have rather lost first round in the big dance than win the NIT.  If the Iowa team was full of experienced seniors, I would probably agree, but that is not the case.  Iowa is a very young team who needs more game experience.  Iowa has also played four games on Espn and gained good national exposure.   I would much rather win the NIT and take the momentum into the off season than go lose in the first round of the big dance. 

Iowa is very young.  If you take a look back to the start of the season and the middle of the season, you will find our struggles.  The young team didn’t know how to close out a game.  They struggled late and weren’t able to put games away.  It all comes from experience.  As the Hawkeyes finished the season, they showed a little composure but still struggled.  The NIT has given the Hawkeyes a great opportunity.  Extra practices and games against solid teams have aloud Iowa to practice closing out games.  They have proven that they can play smart basketball, get a nice lead, and close out a game.  That was simply not true when the Hawks started this year.  The young guys, such as Adam Woodbury have gained two weeks of extra practice and high-profile games against stiff competition. Woodbury and Gabe Olaseni tested their skills against Alex Len, Maryland’s big man and projected lottery pick, and didn’t shy away one bit.  

Iowa has received a lot of recruiting buzz from the NIT.  The NIT airs during the dull times of sports.  There was no Miami heat record to watch, no big dance games, only the Hawks on Espn.  The games were fun to watch too.  Carver Hawkeye was sold out for the two NIT games.  Nobody is talking about Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota, teams that were knocked out early in the big dance.  Iowa is still talked about.  Recruits are watching these games and it is leaving a good impression.  The benefits from winning the NIT will carry forward to the next year. 

Iowa has a great chance to win the NIT this year.  They are on fire defensively and are shooting with poise.  I fully expect a win tonight fairing the Hawks don’t become complacent.  I highly doubt that will happen.  The positives from winning the NIT will carry the Hawks easily into the big dance next year.  Maybe we could even snatch a 3 seed for the big dance? Anything is possible in basketball.


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Iowa to NIT Finals!

     Iowa is heading to the finals of the NIT.  They had a solid win in the final four against Maryland.  There were four keys that won the hawks the game this time.  Devon Marble played extremely well as he has during the NIT.  Lone senior, Eric May, proved he can provide momentum and leadership on the court.  Iowa’s defense was outstanding.  Finally, Iowa was able to close out a game for the second straight game.
     Devon Marble.  The NBA is going to have to take a look at him.  He had a super-efficient 21 points on 16 shots, grabbed 9 rebounds to go along with three assists, a block and a steal, and generally looked like a player with no fear and infinite swag.  He has averaged 24.3 points per game, 4.8 rebounds per game, 4.8 assists per game, and 2.5 steals per game in the NIT -- oh, and he's only been whistled for TWO FOULS through all four games.  That is the best run by any Iowa player in a long time if not ever.  Marble struggled for two games midway through the season but since those games, he has been on fire.  He will definitely be a key to winning the NIT championship game.
     Eric May.  Lone senior.  Poor guy was caught sleeping on the plane.  They put a playboy magazine over his hand and waste area.  It was funny as hell.  How does May respond.  He records his best game of the year.  He had 12 points, 4 rebounds, a team-best 5 assists, 3 steals, and only 1 foul in a team-high 36 minutes of playing time.  Seniors always seem to step up at the best times and Eric May chose a good game to step up.  Iowa fans should be proud of his performance. 
     Iowa Defense!! This is the defense we missed in the last game.  Guys were steeling and anticipating passes!  Maryland had 17 turnovers that lead to 27 points.  Game, set, match.  It is very hard to win when Iowa commits a season low 7 turnovers.  This was the aggressive, block contesting, stone cold defense I want to see every game.  If this defense shows up, Baylor has no shot.    
     Iowa was able to close out a game! Hooray.  With two minutes remaining, Iowa was clinging to a four point lead.  Eric May managed to get fouled and nailed both free throws.  Senior, Eric May also made a clutch three pointer to put the Hawks up 9 with 40 seconds to play.  It was the knife in the back of Maryland.  The Achilles heel of this team was closing out games.  Eric May sent a message that closing out games was no longer a problem.  He did it perfectly.
     It was an amazing game for the Hawkeyes and a well-deserved win.  Nobody expected the Hawkeyes to go to the finals but we made a statement that the Hawks have come to play.  We are winning convincingly and often.  The Hawks are 11-2 in their last thirteen games.  It’s really exciting to see how much this team has improved in March.  I am very excited for tomorrow’s game as well as the season next year! 


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Ball

       The Hawkeyes started spring practice last week for the 2013-2014 football season.  There are so many questions heading into next season, but the main one is who will make the plays for the offense this year. The season ahead is a total mystery.  Most people have already counted the Iowa Hawkeyes out of contention for a bowl game.  Although another 4-8 season is likely, there is some hope for the Hawkeyes. 
       One person I feel that will make the strongest impact on the team’s record this year is Mark Weisman.  He is a total beast when he is healthy.  Iowa always produces a solid offensive line and I know the line will be solid this year.  The new quarterback will have an easy job when Weisman is racking 200 yards + a game.  A new quarterback’s greatest friend is a strong running back.  I hope.  If Iowa were to go all in for one player on their offense, they should put their money on Weisman.  Go Hawks. 


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hawkeyes Soar to Madison Square Garden

Every basketball player in America would like to play in Madison Square Garden.  With the win last night at Virginia, the Iowa Hawkeyes are headed there.  The odds were stacked heavily against their favor last night.  The referees were missed multiple calls and changed their style of calling throughout the game.  Virginia had won 19 straight home games, including a big win over Duke, a team currently in the sweet sixteen.  Finally, Iowa has had trouble keeping consistency in the final minutes of the game.  Yesterday, however, Iowa overcame all of this and advanced to the final four of the NIT.

                The referees wanted to make me pull my hair out.  Early in the first half, the referees called only offensive fouls.  Blatant travels and blocking fouls were missed.  One play sticks in my mind.  Aaron White had stolen the ball and was going to the hoop to shoot and was pretty much tackled at the hoop.  There was no foul called.  The defender had grabbed both of White’s hands and tripped him.  No foul.  The second half, the whistle blew for all the small fouls that had slid by in the second have.  Reaches and moving screen violations were called left and right getting Virginia into the bonus quickly.  It was no wonder why Virginia had a 19 game winning streak at home.  The referees should be looked at. 

                The NIT tournament is set up so the lower seed has to go to the home court of the higher seed to play the game.  This system works until the final four, which is hosted in Madison Square Garden.  Virginia was put into the NIT as a one seed.  This means that every game they could play at home, they would.  Virginia is 3-8 in away games and was 19-1 at home.  There crowd gave them enormous energy that seemed to translate into big wins.  One of the games on the 19 game win streak was against Duke.  They won by 5 points.  That is really impressive.  Good job by the Hawks on playing well and ending their win streak.

                The final aspect of the game last night was the shooting late in the game by the Hawkeyes.  In so many big games, the Hawkeyes would be up late and fail to make simple baskets or turn the ball over.  Michigan State came back twice against the Hawkeyes to win.  Purdue and Minnesota both came back to beat the Hawks in the final minutes of the game.  This has really been the Achilles tendon of the Iowa Hawkeyes.  I was so proud of Devon Marble and Josh Ogleby for knocking the shots late in the game. 

                With no help from the stadium or the referees, the clutch shooting helped the Iowa Hawkeyes advance to Madison Square Garden.  Hopefully the hardest competition is behind us, but Maryland will be stern competition.  It is a good day to be a Hawkeye.  

No Perfect Algorithm

            There is no accurate algorithm for online dating but dating sights make you think there is one.  Computers are just as inaccurate at choosing people as people are at choosing people.  You might as well go ask some stranger on the street to dinner than going on to find your “soul mate.”  Online dating has its place, but it is just for connecting people who want to go out on dates.  Just because you are 99 percent compatible doesn’t mean you are destined to marry that person.   It is solely up to the individuals to decide what they want in a person, not a compute choosing one for them. 

                Every matching site has a different algorithm.  This inconsistency means that there is not a set way to match people together.  Every individual is different and wants something different from their relationship.  It is this unique mix that is so hard to calculate.  The intangibles of the relationship that can’t be measure or calculated usually are the determining factors on whether a relationship works or doesn’t work.  The computer will give you its best guess on what people would be good for you.  My uncle found my aunt on EHarmony.  On however, my aunt was not demographically attractive or height sufficient.  She was cut from the list of matches.  If my uncle looked on and chose a woman from there, he might still be single.  Lucky for him, my aunt had the intangibles that flourished their relationship.  The computer just guessed.

                Many dating sights advertise that they will help you find a love one.  The idea is fantastic.  The problem is in the connotation of the phrase “find a love one.”   The dating sight is only good for matching you with someone that you might work with.  It is not guaranteed and just because you are compatible from the algorithm, doesn’t mean you will work. Some people see the compatible algorithm as a destined match.   They go out with the person and are determined to make it work.  Some will get married and realize their mistake and get a divorce quickly.  Others will get shot down by their commitment to their “soul mate” and become depressed.  A study showed that many people become depressed after their top three matches from a dating sight didn’t work out.  The psychology behind it is that these people are emotionally valuable.  Because companies assure them these people would be good for them, people put a lot of energy and hope into the beginning of the relationship.  When the relationship fails, these people think that even the “perfect match maker” couldn’t match them up with someone.  They slide deeper and deeper into sadness until they become depressed.  This depression can lead to suicide and alcoholism.

                There is no perfect algorithm for online dating.  The reason people should go on these websites is to find people who want to be in a relationship.  Sometimes it is hard to find someone who is looking for a relationship in the real world.  Dating sights are not perfect and shouldn’t be considered the “perfect match maker.”  This only leads to unhealthy expectations and sometimes, depression.  It is better to go in with no expectations than to go in thinking he or she is the perfect one for you.   

Monday, March 11, 2013

Calorie Labeling in Fast Food Restaurants

       At the start of this year, all restaurants who own more than 50 stores must post their calorie content on the menu.  Many restaurants have applied for an extension of time to delay the negative effects to their franchise.  The truth is, the more the consumer knows about fast food, the more the fast food industry will be forced to be healthier.  McDonalds has recognized and capitalized on healthy fast food.  They posted under 100, 200, 300, and 400 calorie menu items to attract those who were watching calories.  Other restaurants haven’t changed their menu and have seen significant loss in revenue.  Since the calorie content was put up on the menu, the calorie content per transaction has dropped 10 percent.  That is HUGE!  If all Americans chose food that was 10 percent healthier for them,  we wouldn’t have a lot of the current health problems we due today.
       The franchise fast food companies fought the crap out of this law. They knew that they could no longer sell fast food that was cheap and caloric.  They are now moving in the healthier and lower calorie menu items.  Salads, fruits, and veggies are being added to menus.  Light mayo is being substituted instead of regular mayo.  These small differences will make a big impact on obesity rates in the U.S.  Hopefully our government stays tough on these laws.  I am very happy with this law.  Any other laws that brought transparency to the consumer and lowered calorie consumption would be awesome.  I can’t believe the government did something right.



     What makes you hungry?  There are quite a few things in your body that sends hormones saying you’re hungry.  These are called physiological factors of hunger.  Many people can guess that your stomach tells you that you’re hungry.  True, but what is the number one place that tells you?  And what are some interesting parts of your body that gives off hunger hormones?
     Your brain is the most powerful part of your body.  When it comes to hunger, the brain is in charge.  The hypothalamus performs various functions, including the control of hunger.  Blood vessels supply the hypothalamus, enabling it to respond to our current blood chemistry as well as to incoming neural information about the body’s state.  In short, it is a sensory intake machine on how the body is doing nourishment wise.    It receives multiple different hormones from your digestive track on hunger status.  These hunger hormones are released for different reasons.
     Leptin and Ghrelin are secreted by the stomach.  Ghrelin is the “I’m hungry” message to the hypothalamus.  If the stomach is empty, it will start to contract and release ghrelin.  One easy way to stay full is to load up on protein! It takes a solid two to three hours to digest complex proteins.  Your body will not send ghrelin hormones to the hypothalamus if it is busy digesting protein. Leptin is secreted by fat cells.  When they are abundant, they send an “I’m full” signal to the hypothalamus.  It causes the brain to increase metabolism and decrease hunger.
     Orexin is a weird hunger hormone.  It is stored in the hypothalamus.  Your brain has a biological clock.  IF you ever feel like you get hungry at a certain time, every day, orexin is the reason.  It sends the hormones from when your usual meal times are.  Even if you have a huge breakfast, you might still be hungry for lunch because orexin was released.
     PYY is a digestive tract hormone.  Usually released by the small intestine, it sends a “stop eating, I’m full” message to the hypothalamus.  If your small intestines are hard at work, they don’t want more food coming in.    
     These are just the hormones that cause you to be hungry.  They account for a third of your hunger pains.  Other major factors include sleep, stress, and social situations.  If you don’t sleep enough, you will consume more to make up for your lack of energy.  If you are stressed, you might stress eat or not eat at all.  Social situations can make you eat even if you aren’t hungry.  There are so many factors that contribute to hunger.

Daylight Savings Time

Many of us are quick to blame Benjamin Franklin for the hour of sleep we lost yesterday due to daylight savings time. I did some research and concluded that Ben Franklin joked about daylight savings time. Franklin was encouraged to work on simple, yet important, problems. To show his friends his appreciation, he wrote a series of fun pieces for their amusement, one of which was the infamous daylight savings letter.

This daylight savings letter was used later to establish daylight savings times.

The letter said how the law might work. There would be a tax on shutters that blocked light. All families would be rationed to one pound of candle wax per week. Church bells, and, if necessary, cannons, should be rung or shot every morning as soon as the sun rises to “awaken the sluggards effectually and make them open their eyes to see their true interests.” This law was to basically make people use the sunlight while they had it so they didn’t waste candle wax. The idea was ok then but in our society, is not very useful. There are a lot of negative repercussions from daylight savings time.

First, people are cranky and tired. The last person I want to deal with is a cranky person. I don’t even have to do or say something wrong to piss a cranky person off. They go off and yell at me all by themselves. The fact that daylight savings time is on a Monday makes it even worse. There has to be a better time to start daylight savings time, if we are going to do it at all.

Secondly, it gets dark in the morning again. People going to work early are usually tired and unaware of their surroundings. Adding darkness back to their lives increases the likelihood that they will get in an accident. Sunday and Monday after daylight savings time are awful times to drive. People are sleepy, cranky, and inattentive to the road. If weather is a factor, you might just want to stay off the roads altogether.

Lastly, the United States Economy lost $433,982,548 according to the Lost-Hour Economic Index. The Lost-Hour Economic Index breaks down the economic loss state-by-state, across the top 360 metropolitan areas, saying that the lost income is due to a number of factors, including fatigue. Bigger cities were harder hit as less people went outside to spend their money. Fewer consumers bring lower sales and ultimately less profit. Daylight savings time is increasingly costing Americans more and more money. People are becoming lazier and less likely to get out during daylight savings time.

Daylight saving time was a good idea when Franklin was alive. They did it to conserve resources and force people to use sunlight. Now, daylight saving time is costing the United States more money than it makes on the other end. The roads become more dangerous during the time switch. It just isn’t worth the hassle to have daylight savings time in our country. Benjamin Franklin is probably laughing in his grave on our stubbornness to keep daylight savings time. He wrote the letter as a joke after all.



Sunday, March 10, 2013

Gun Control

       How many children have to die until the people agree on strict gun laws?  100 more? 200 more?  1000 children, innocently murdered?  We are better than this America.  I can’t believe the amount of school shootings.  Society is numb to the tragedies.  20 elementary school kids died avoidably today.  If the assailant didn’t own a gun, he wouldn’t have been able to walk in and shoot those kids.  They would still be alive today, able to run home for Christmas and open their gifts. 
       There have been multiple mass school shootings in the past few years.  One reason is mental health.  As it society gets more complex, an increasing amount of people can’t keep up and go insane.  I am not saying society is to blame, but we have an increased amount of mental people in our country.  Our government does nothing about it.  They have actually decreased mental health spending and released more and more mental Americans to the streets. 
       Bullying is another factor that has led to school shootings.  There are so many bullied kids in school.  Most of them can take it, but there are a few who get bullied a lot.  Kids see a weakness and extort it.  Most have to move schools or start counseling.  Some, though, lose their minds and plan a school shooting.  Many have been avoided because they told someone beforehand   but a few have still occurred.
       The biggest problem is the easy accessibility of guns in the United States. I mean Jesus Christ.  There are no mental checks to get a gun.  Most mental people do not get checked.  If they wanted a gun, they just go and apply for one.  Personally, Americans have outgrown the need for guns.  Back when the Constitution was written, we had just freed ourselves from British rule.  A big reason was the minute men.  They kept guns at their house while under control of the British.  They fought the British and won.  Gun owners feel like they should have a gun in case the government was to turn on them, causing them to revolt.  One problem with the theory, the government has more advanced and bigger weapons in comparison to the 1800s.  They have nukes and unmanned air drones.  Give me a break.  If they wanted you dead, you would be dead.
       There is no reason why any local citizen should be able to carry a gun unless they are hunting or at a shooting range.  Those regulations would be fought out in Congress.  Before they figure that out, Congress needs to figure out how to tighten regulations on guns.


Snow Days

                Last Tuesday, we had a snow day.  There was eight inches of snow on my driveway.  Swimming practices were cancelled.  I slept in until eight a.m. and realized missed school.
                I spent four hours shoveling the driveway.  The snow was wet concrete.  This sludge would barely move.  When I fired up the snow blower, it broke one of the augers and tore a pin.  This snow was tough stuff.   My coat was very warm, but I forgot to wear wool socks.  When I finished, my feet were solid blocks of ice.  I proceeded to take a shower that burned the crap out of my feet.  I hate shoveling. 
The problem with snow days is when you finish the crappy shoveling job, you are tired.  You end up sitting on the couch doing nothing for the day.  I sat on the couch and played Halo 4 all day because I was too tired.  Even if I had energy, I couldn’t go anywhere because the roads were really bad. 
                The worst part of a snow day is the homework.  Your teachers aren’t stupid.  They can sort of predict when a real snow day will happen.  Their homework is planned accordingly.  I always have projects and lots of monotonous work when we have snow days.  Teachers don’t want to get behind, so they assign a ton of work.  Most kids just don’t do it, but I feel guilty if I don’t do it.  They usually collect the homework for completion points because they know how many won’t do it. 
                 I would rather have school than a snow day.  If it is too bad to have school, I can’t do any fun activities outside and friends can’t come over because the roads are bad.  There is a pile of homework to do as well as work around the house.  Shit, sometimes, we still have swimming practice during a snow day.  I would rather be in school because we are in school 180 days, regardless of whether we have snow days.  I’d rather have the three day weekends in February. That’s just me.     

Thursday, March 7, 2013


     Eating Healthy is as interesting as a sack of potatoes.  Eating healthy means that you have to give up old habits of unhealthy food.  Eating snickers and drinking coke must stop as you exchange them for water and carrots.  At first, nobody wants to eat healthy.  The human body is trained to love sweets and “junk food” because you can put on weight.  In the past, keeping weight and having energy was a big problem.  Any source of fat or sugar tasted really good because it provided the body with energy.  Now, most people consume more calories than their body uses.  The body stores it as fat.  People don’t use the stored fat energy because they eat more at the next meal.  Eventually, people become overweight and unhealthy because they have stored too much fat.  In this case eating healthy can actually make you feel better.  It will better nourish your body and improve your standard of living.

     Last month I was with my Youth Leadership group for Five Seasons.  We were given a talk about nutrition and a way to calculate food you buy at a grocery store.  Hy-Vee bought the rights of NuVal to test all of their foods.  The foods were given a number from 1-100 based on nutrition.  There were a lot of interesting results that came from the NuVal testing.  Most cereals scored below 30.  Pure foods with no added sugar or chemicals scored much higher than those foods that were healthier with influenced sugar.  The NuVal system preferred nature foods as more healthy than vitamin rich or protein rich foods.

     I asked the nutritionist at Hy-Vee if they had a specialized NuVal scale.  She said no. Men and women need different things from their food.  Generally, men need more protein and more calories from their food than women do.  Generally, women need more iron and calcium than men do.  I brought the point up to the nutritionist and she quickly dismissed my idea.  She then continued to praise the NuVal scale for how accurate and helpful it can be. 

     Here is a link for the NuVal website.  (here)

     Look at the website and leave a comment.  If you could, address some of these questions.  One, do you think the NuVal system is accurate?  Do you think the Nuval scale works for people?  Would knowing the NuVal scale of every item make you change your eating habits?  What would be a better design for the NuVal scale so stores across the country can implement the scale?

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Snow Days

The Thursday before break, we had a snow day.  There was eight inches of snow on my driveway.  Swimming practices were cancelled.  I slept in until eight a.m. and realized missed school.
      I spent four hours shoveling the driveway.  The snow was wet concrete.  This sludge would barely move.  When I fired up the snow blower, it broke one of the augers and tore a pin.  This snow was tough stuff.   My coat was very warm, but I forgot to wear wool socks.  When I finished, my feet were solid blocks of ice.  I proceeded to take a shower that burned the crap out of my feet.  I hate shoveling.
     The problem with snow days is when you finish the crappy shoveling job, you are tired.  You end up sitting on the couch doing nothing for the day.  I sat on the couch and played Halo 4 all day because I was too tired.  Even if I had energy, I couldn’t go anywhere because the roads were really bad.
     The worst part of a snow day is the homework.  Your teachers aren’t stupid.  They can sort of predict when a real snow day will happen.  Their homework is planned accordingly.  I always have projects and lots of monotonous work when we have snow days.  Teachers don’t want to get behind, so they assign a ton of work.  Most kids just don’t do it, but I feel guilty if I don’t do it.  They usually collect the homework for completion points because they know how many won’t do it.
     I would rather have school than a snow day.  If it is too bad to have school, I can’t do any fun activities outside and friends can’t come over because the roads are bad.  There is a pile of homework to do as well as work around the house.  Shit, we still have swimming practice during a snow day.  I would rather be in school because we are in school 180 days, regardless of whether we have snow days.  I’d rather have the three day weekends in February. That’s just me.    

Gun Control

     How many children have to die until the people agree on strict gun laws?  100 more? 200 more?  1000 children, innocently murdered?  We are better than this America.  I can’t believe the amount of school shootings.  Society is numb to the tragedies.  20 elementary school kids died avoidably today.  If the assailant didn’t own a gun, he wouldn’t have been able to walk in and shoot those kids.  They would still be alive today, able to run home for Christmas and open their gifts.
     There have been multiple mass school shootings in the past few years.  One reason is mental health.  As it society gets more complex, an increasing amount of people can’t keep up and go insane.  I am not saying society is to blame, but we have an increased amount of mental people in our country.  Our government does nothing about it.  They have actually decreased mental health spending and released more and more mental Americans to the streets.
     Bullying is another factor that has led to school shootings.  There are so many bullied kids in school.  Most of them can take it, but there are a few who get bullied a lot.  Kids see a weakness and extort it.  Most have to move schools or start counseling.  Some, though, lose their minds and plan a school shooting.  Many have been avoided because they told someone beforehand   but a few have still occurred.
     The biggest problem is the easy accessibility of guns in the United States. I mean Jesus Christ.  There are no mental checks to get a gun.  Most mental people do not get checked.  If they wanted a gun, they just go and apply for one.  Personally, Americans have outgrown the need for guns.  Back when the Constitution was written, we had just freed ourselves from British rule.  A big reason was the minute men.  They kept guns at their house while under control of the British.  They fought the British and won.  Gun owners feel like they should have a gun in case the government was to turn on them, causing them to revolt.  One problem with the theory, the government has more advanced and bigger weapons in comparison to the 1800s.  They have nukes and unmanned air drones.  Give me a break.  If they wanted you dead, you would be dead.    
      There is no reason why any local citizen should be able to carry a gun unless they are hunting or at a shooting range.  Those regulations would be fought out in Congress.  Before they figure that out, Congress needs to figure out how to tighten regulations on guns.