What I’m Watching on Netflix

Like many other college students I do not pay for cable. Instead, I pay $8 per month for Netflix. It’s great. I can watch Netflix on my computer, my Xbox and there’s even an app for my phone. The number of studios that have made deals with Netflix keeps growing, which is a great reason to get started with the service.

Here’s what I’m watching on Netflix right now:

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I never thought I’d say this, but I’m watching Dexter. The Showtime series was recently added to Netflix and follows the life of Dexter Morgan, a blood spatter analyst for the Miami Metro Police Department. Dexter has a secret: he kills serial killers. I was surprised to learn that this show is not just a drama, but a dark comedy. It’s gruesome and gory, but don’t be surprised when Michael C. Hall’s monotone narrative draws you in.

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Here’s one to lighten the mood: Louis C.K. Chewed Up. It’s an hour of pure comedic standup genius. Louis C.K. talks about everything from offensive language to being a father. It’s wildly inappropriate but so much fun.

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I’m not big into the whole “superhero” genre. Arrow is different. There has only been one season so far, but the show is renewed for a second. Oliver Queen, a billionaire, has returned from spending years in isolation on a shipwrecked island. He doesn’t have any superpowers, but he’s dead accurate with a bow and arrow that he uses to fight crime. Where did he learn his skills? Will he ever get caught? One thing I like about the show is the flashbacks to Queen’s past.

 

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Bo Pelini: A Timeline

It’s been a long year for Nebraska’s head coach Bo Pelini. Here’s a look at his life as a coach and his journey with Nebraska.

http://embed.verite.co/timeline/?source=0Asm2yURfuqvEdDdGYll4eXdpQlpoRFRPVEh0Z2gyZXc&font=Bevan-PotanoSans&maptype=toner&lang=en&width=900&height=650

Racial Slurs in American Society Panel

Live tweet story can be found here. 

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Professor James Garza discusses racial slurs with the audience.

Story and live tweets by Brian Frey.

“This motherf***er won’t die because we will it to live and live and live,” Professor Kwakiutl L. Dreher said.

Dreher was referencing the N word. It was one of the many racial slurs brought up in UNL’s Ethnic Studies Colloquium Panel that was held today in Andrews Hall.

Every semester the Institute for Ethnic Studies holds panel discussions that focus on topics of interest among students and faculty. Today’s discussion centered on racial slurs in American society. Panel members included associate professors Tom Gannon, James Garza and Kwakiutl L. Dreher. “It allows students to hear from faculty researchers about controversial topics,” Garza said.

The panel discussions have been held for the past six years, usually between staff and students, but occasionally are open to the pubic. Guest speakers are often invited including writers and poets who specialize in certain topics. “We want to bring topics to the forefront that need to have more exposure [for students] in global job markets,” Garza said.

Next semester the program will have a celebration in April and the President of the Lakota Nation has been invited as a guest speaker.

The Toxicity Effect, and why the Huskers will prove us all wrong

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photo courtesy espn.go.com

A special thing happens at Memorial Stadium every home game, whether we win or whether we lose.

Fans fall silent and turn their attention to the giant HuskerVision screen in the North stadium. Players address the fans directly: “What’s up HuskerNation.” The Tunnel Walk begins, and an electric current creates a ripple in the sea of red as head coach Bo Pelini and his team take the field. For that moment, it seems, all doubt, criticism, speculation and uncertainty about this team is gone.

Then, at the first mistake, mess-up, misstep, interception, penalty, fumble, whatever you want to call it, it comes roaring back.

Last night it came roaring back louder than ever. I’m not going to talk about last night. Instead, I’m going to talk about something called toxicity and its effect on the University of Nebraska’s football program.

I’ve been at UNL four years. Before that, I was here for the Callahan era and witnessed the start of a new head coach whose name was on the lips of every Nebraskan man, woman and child. Bo Pelini. He was going to save our beloved football program.

I’m going to argue that he did just that. In 2008, Pelini lead the Huskers to a 9-4 season and beat Clemson in the 2009 Gator Bowl. The next year we played Texas in the 2009 Big 12 Championship game, although we lost, Pelini coached us in the 2009 Holiday Bowl and we beat the Arizona Wildcats 33-0.

Something strange happened in 2010, my first year as an undergrad. We raised our expectations…perhaps unrealistically. The AP poll had us ranked No. 8, a cruel joke it would seem, on Husker fans looking back on that season. The critics emerged. The toxicity began.

The bulk of it was directed towards head coach Bo Pelini and freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez. Both of whom have dedicated their lives to Husker football, yet were unable to live up to the fans expectations that season.

When 2011 rolled around, there was a difference in the faith of our football team. Fans were no longer saying “We’re going to win a championship game.” Instead, small voices began calling for a new head coach and a new quarterback.

Imagine how that must feel as a young QB, putting on protective gear every Saturday to go fight for your team and for your fans, many of whom doubt your success, and your future at Nebraska on the first interception you throw.

Now imagine being a young head coach beloved by fans that turn cynical towards your program and having to defend your team and your players despite maintaining a winning record.

Now imagine having to do it for two more years. The small voices spouting criticism have only grown louder. It has become toxic.

Here is something that I don’t doubt: Bo Pelini loves his players like a family and has gone great lengths to defend them. He has stuck with this program and never had a losing season.

Here is something I will say, because it needs to be said: the Huskers will prove us all wrong this season. When this season is over, the doubters will disappear and HuskerNation will once again have faith in their football team.

I’m not asking you to Bo-lieve me. But the fact is we’ve only lost 1 game this season.

I’m just wondering what it would be like if our fans turned their cynicism into support.

I wonder how it would it feel to the coaching staff, and to the players if, for the rest of the season, we gave them our undivided support for once as they take the field.

Every Saturday they fight for us. Why not start fighting for them?  Maybe we’ll win a championship.

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The best pulled pork you will ever eat

Do you like BBQ?
No, like really really like BBQ?
If not, then turn away because you’ll be eating pork sandwiches for the rest of your life. And you will be perfectly satisfied.

Go to the store.
Find the pork isle.
Buy yourself a nice big “rump roast.”
While your at it, pick up some spices you like.
And some buns to go with your butt.
DO NOT FORGET THE SAUCE.
One or two bottles of your favorite.

Heat the oven to 285 degrees.
Lather your pork with spices.

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Now wrap it in tinfoil.
Stick it in the oven for 6 hours.

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Take it out and use two forks to pull it apart.

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Now add the sauce. I like to go half n’ half with Cookies and Bullseye.

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Do yourself a favor and taste it.

Now stick it back in the oven for 20 minutes.

This stuff stores great in the fridge, just re-heat in the microwave.

iPhone rumors

I have a secret. I’m still using the iPhone 4. Actually, I had a 4s for a few weeks before I broke it, then downgraded back to my 4. I barely noticed the difference. The 4s was slightly faster, had a slightly better camera, and had Siri, which barely seemed to work right.

Then there was the 5. I, like many other students I know, are due for an upgrade but couldn’t justify the purchase. Once again, bigger, faster, “Siri,” but why not wait ’till the next one? Apart from looks and speed, I can do almost anything I need on an iPhone 4 that you can do on your iPhone 5.

And why should I buy an iPhone anymore?

The iPhone was the industry standard for a long time. If you were a journalist, it wasn’t a question. The app store was crucial. Everyone in the media had one. You had to have one.

That’s all changed. Android is a cross-platform operating system that has matured into a comparable alternative. Most iPhone apps are now on the Android market, and there are more carriers.

Apple is ready to take its title back. It introduced two new iPhones: the 5c and the 5s.

The 5c is basically a 5 with bright color options and a better camera. The 5s is where the real upgrade takes place.

Here’s one thing the new iPhone will have that makes it a deal-breaker: a fingerprint reader.

Yes, the iPhone 5s will be able to read your fingerprint. This could possibly change the way phone security works forever. A shift in a new direction. This is the kind of change that makes me want to upgrade.

In time, I’m sure we’ll see a lot of changes in the cell phone world with the implications of Apple’s cell phone reader.

Here’s Gizmodo’s coverage:

http://gizmodo.com/apple-iphone-5s-everything-you-need-to-know-1282062460

Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown”

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If there’s one good decision CNN has made, it’s hiring Anthony Bourdain, former host of Travel Channel’s “No Reservations.” Anthony Bourdain, a chef-turned-journalist is a fantastic storyteller. 

The first two episodes of “No Reservations” were very impressive. Bourdain took us to Myanmar and Korea Town in L.A. 

The unique thing about Bourdain is the way he tells a story. Not only is he a great food journalist, but he also has a way with people. He approaches life from all angles. It’s easy to tell the people he’s interviewing are comfortable with him. 

“Parts Unknown” is basically like “No Reservations” but with better equipment and more access. CNN has the rights to content from historical events of the past, which have the potential to make for a high quality show. 

 

Kid Cudi “Indicud”

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A picture frame of an explosion…or a picture into Cudi’s mind?

“You can look all over, but no you’ll never find, hot shit like mine. Woop, it blow your mind.”

These were the words my friends and I would slur together over midnight blunt cruises in high school. Back when Kid Cudi was “Dat New New.” That was four years ago. A lot can change in four years. An entire audience of young people can go from graduating high school to graduating college. Then the real world hits, and people slow down. Perhaps the best example of this is Kid Cudi himself.

When Kid Cudi walked out on stage during his first tour smoking a blunt, he became the leader of an entire generation of lonely stoners. He rapped about getting drunk, getting high and having problems with women. He’d get drunk and high with his fans at every concert he performed. He was the party rapper hipster stoner. He could relate to the fans, and they loved him for it.

After his second album came out, Man on the Moon II, Cudi announced he was done smoking weed. It came out of nowhere, and many fans were actually upset about it. It was the first time Cudi’s problems with addiction were brought to light. Lonely stoners realized for the first time the toll their idol’s lifestyle was taking on him.

Then Cudi all but disappeared until he released WZRD, which I won’t talk about because I don’t consider it an actual album. Now, the Cudi whose no longer a kid gives us something else unexpected: Indicud. Obviously the title is a play on the indica strain of marijuana, but Cudi no longer smokes, so I’m confused. What does a lonely stoner rap about when he’s no longer a lonely stoner?

Well, there’s still plenty of psychedelic verses that will appeal to his original audience (if they still smoke pot). There’s some guest artists; A$AP Rocky, Kendrick Lamar, RZA and King Chip. But one thing there’s not is a stoner ballad. No “Day N’ Nite,” “Soundtrack 2 My Life,” “Solo Dolo,” “Erase Me,” or “Marijuana.”

Instead, there’s a whole lotta shit that I can’t understand because the syntho-whining noises drown out Cudi’s seemingly tone-deaf sing-rap that I miss so much. And it’s depressing. It makes Man on the Moon II sound happy. But at the same time, it’s real. Cudi is struggling with life after drug addiction and fame. It’s obviously influenced his artistic ability.

“I need to smoke,” sings Cudi on “Just What I Am.”

A lot can change in four years. I want the old Cudi back, but then I realize that I, too, have changed. Accepting it is the hard part.

Songs you should listen to:

“Just What I Am”

“King Wizard”

“Solo Dolo Part II”

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Driving While Intexticated

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It’s dark out and you’re driving home from a friend’s house. As you pull onto the highway, your phone vibrates. It’s a text from your friend. He wants to know what you’re doing tomorrow. You glance down, and then back up at the road. The coast seems to be clear. You start thumbing a response with one hand, as you continue to steer with the other. You glance down, then up, then back down again. That’s when everything goes black and you wake up in the hospital.

This is a scenario that is becoming increasingly more likely in today’s society. In 2011, at least 23 percent of all automobile accidents—or 1.3 million crashes—involved cell phone use. It is possible that those numbers have since risen. Texting is a relatively new technology that presents a risk to everyone on the road. While some states have banned it while driving completely, it’s still legal in others. We are at a crossroads where the laws have not quite caught up to the technology.  Texting while driving should be illegal in all states because it is both dangerous, yet common among young adults.

Most people have heard that texting while driving is dangerous, but just how dangerous is it? Texting while driving makes a crash up to 23 times more likely than driving normally. According to the National Highway Transportation Administration, people whom text and drive are six times more likely to cause an accident than people who drive intoxicated! Actually, texting while driving is roughly the same as driving after consuming four alcoholic beverages.

When you read and send texts while operating an automobile, you are essentially driving with a BAC of .08 or higher—above the legal limit. So just what does this mean? It means that texting while driving is one of the country’s top killers. It accounts for more than 1.6 million car crashes every year, according to the National Safety Council. But just how deadly is it? The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety reports that 11 teenagers die every day as a result of texting while driving and another 330,000 are injured every year.

Five seconds. That’s the minimal amount of time your attention is taken away when you text and drive. At 55 mph, taking five seconds to look at your phone means that you have driven the length of a football field without looking at the road. Yet, despite these staggering statistics some people don’t think texting while driving is a problem.  In fact, 55 percent of young adults say that texting while driving is easy. What’s even more shocking is that most young people would almost brag about their texting abilities—77 percent say they feel confident when texting and driving.  Results show otherwise. Teens who text and drive spend roughly 10 percent of their time driving outside of their designated lane.

Part of the problem is that people seem to be able to easily justify texting while driving. For starters, it’s a legal grey area. There are only 39 states, plus Washington D.C., that have banned text messaging while driving, including 10 that have banned all handheld cell phone use while driving. Some people hold their phones near their windshield thinking it will improve visibility. Others increase their following distance from the cars in front of them. Many young adults have learned the behavior by observing other drivers. Half of all young drivers have seen their parents talk on a cell phone when driving, and 15 percent have seen their parents text and drive.

Nebraska is one of the 39 states that have banned texting while driving. The texting ban is a secondary law. This means that a driver can only be ticketed for texting while driving if an officer witnesses it while pulling the driver over for another violation (such as running a red light), the driver admits to it, or phone records are subpoenaed. First, the driver will be ticketed a $200 fine that will increase to $300 for a second offense. Any subsequent offenses will elicit a $500 fine and 3 points against the driver’s license.

Texting while driving should be illegal in all states. It is both dangerous and tempting to young adults. What makes it challenging is that many people find it easily justifiable. There is no federal ban on texting while driving.  It has only been banned by 39 states, where it is mostly regarded as a secondary law that elicits no more than a fine of a few hundred dollars. Yet, it’s more dangerous than drinking and driving. There are 800,000 people that are texting and driving in our country right at this very moment. That’s a combined 18.4 million times increase in the likelihood that a crash will occur. Think about that next time you buckle up. Does that make you feel safe?

Sources:

“Cellphone and Texting Laws.” Cellphone and Texting Laws. N.p., n.d. Web.

“Dangers of Texting While Driving PSA – Accident Stories | AT&T.” Dangers of Texting While Driving PSA – Accident Stories | AT&T. N.p., n.d. Web.

“Death by Txt – Numbers Show SMS and Driving Don’t Mix.” Death by Txt – Numbers Show SMS and Driving Don’t Mix. N.p., n.d. Web.

“Nebraska Cell Phone and Text Messaging Laws.” DrivingLaws.org. N.p., n.d. Web.

“NSC Estimates 1.6 Million Crashes Caused by Cell Phone Use and Texting.” NSC Estimates 1.6 Million Crashes Caused by Cell Phone Use and Texting. N.p., n.d. Web.

“Texting and Driving Statistics.” Texting and Driving Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web.