2012: History’s Greatest Hoax

Mayan civilization at its peak.
Mayan civilization at its peak.

By Nick Tulli

Anybody who has lived in the western world in the past decade has heard the theory that the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012, and the world will end with it. This assumption is so ludicrous that I have to ask myself, where do I begin?

First of all, I should begin by saying that the plural of a member of the Mayan civilization is not “Mayans.” It is actually “Maya.” Just like the plural of sheep is sheep, the plural of one Maya is Maya.

Okay, sorry, now onto the real point of this whole spiel.

The problem with this whole idea of 2012 is that the Mayan civilization, and its calendar, never predicted apocalypse. The calendar doesn’t even end. 2012 is simply the end of a period of time on their calendar. The Maya counted time in very, very long periods. They used what is known as the Long Count Calendar, which is now better known as the Mayan Calendar. The Maya called a day a k’in, twenty days were represented as a winal, 360 days made a tun, twenty tuns made a k’atun, and twenty k’atuns made a b’ak’tun, about 394.26 years. On December 21, 2012, the Mayan Calendar reaches its 13th b’ak’tun.

What does this mean? Nothing.

The date of the last time the Long Count Calendar reached a new b’ak’tun, represented as, was September 18, 1618. As it turns out, September 18, 1816 was about the most insignificant day history has ever seen.

America hadn’t been colonized by Europeans, no British king was busy invading Ireland, and, believe it or not, the French were not losing any wars.

The only interesting tidbit about December 21, 2012 is that the Long Count Calendar reads That’s it. Just a bunch of zeroes.

A few years ago NASA became so inundated with questions about this very phenomena that the scientists took time out of their busy schedules to explain that a civilization that existed thousands of years ago did not know more about the universe than modern scientists do today. If the Maya were so good at predicting the end of the world, how come they did not predict the Spanish crossing the Atlantic and wiping out the last of them?

This assumption has come into fruition in only the past couple decades, and though I don’t know this for a fact, I would bet that the Internet and multimedia should be charged as the cause of it’s success. Not to mention, the 2011 movie that certainly did not sweep the Academy Awards, 2012, was based on absolutely no scientific fact and really made a laughing stock of the whole ordeal (perhaps that’s what it deserves).

But, who knows? Perhaps science is all wrong and the world will end this week. Maybe all the volcanoes on the face of the earth will decide that it’s up to them to fulfill the prophecy of their Maya friends and erupt simultaneously. Maybe the Moon will decide that it’s too cold out in space and it wants to give the Earth a hug in order to share body heat. Or maybe there’s a far away race of extraterrestrial life that has mastered high-speed space travel and is flying through the galaxy in attempt to destroy all every blue planet (Sorry, Neptune).

I suppose that it wouldn’t hurt to get ready, just in case. So, I’ve made up two checklists for the end of the world. One for those of you who are still skeptical and not taking any risks, and one for those of you like me who can’t wait for everyone to go looney.

For the Skeptics:
• food
• water
• clothes
• fists, to fight the aliens
• shoes
• a pillow while you wait
• a metal bunker that most likely would not help anyway
• a lion or tiger to scare the aliens away
• a compass
• thermal underwear for the whole family
• lots and lots of gasoline
• shampoo, because even if you are the last ones left, you still need to shower. Nobody likes B.O.
• toilet paper, always.
• a dog to keep you company if your family thinks you’re nuts
• a Metallica playlist
• two sticks to make a fire
• a poster of Clint Eastwood, for motivation

For those in the right mind:
• a very large glass of Cherry Coke
• popcorn
• napkins
• KFC, if you so wish
• a La-Z-Boy or other leather recliner
• at least 3 working news stations (CNN, NBC, ABC are preferred)
• a nearby bathroom
• a sense of humor
• a deck of cards
• Internet access
• the ability to laugh at the world’s population
• a good night’s sleep
• fireworks, so you can scare your neighbors
• a twitter page

Friday is sure to be entertaining. I, for one, can’t wait. And if you want to have some fun in our waning days, you can test whether your friends really believe that the world will end – just ask them to sign all of their assets over to you on Thursday.

But hey, on the bright side, if the world really does end, I guess that means that my C in calculus isn’t really going to matter.

Editorial- Kony 2012, a Scam?

By Chad Gates-

Don’t always believe what you hear, checking into the details of a topic will always help you know what’s real, and what’s fake.

There’s absolutely no denying the fact that Joesph Kony, the infamous “star” of the recent YouTube video/documentary Kony 2012, and bloodthirsty leader of the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) is a horrible person who has committed shocking crimes against humanity such as recruiting childen, making the girls into sex slaves and the boys into soldiers, should pay for his atrocities.

But taking irrelevant facts and manipulating them to obtain millions of  peoples attention and money for supporting your cause, could be just as bad.

That’s exactly what Jason Russell, director of Kony 2012 and co-founder of Invisible Children, the activist organization geared towards seeing the capture of Joesph Kony, did.

Kony 2012 was uploaded to YouTube and other websites including Invisible Childrens’ site on March 5th, 2012. The video quickly went viral and by March 24th Kony 2012 had over 85 millions views on YouTube alone.

The video was a 30-minute documentary narrated by Jason Russell highlighting experience in Uganda where he ment Jacob Acaye, a young boy who’s older brother was killed by the LRA. Moved by Jacob’s story of his brother, Russell promised that he would find a way to stop Kony and the LRA.

This may seem like a noble cause, but this is were the suspicion begins.

As the video goes on, facts are stated about Kony and the LRA. Many of the facts are vaque and relevant to about 25-30 years ago. This is probably due to the fact because Russell wanted his video to have the biggest impact on the general public. By presenting the facts in conjunction with the crimes committed the motive in Kony 2012 seems very convincing, too convincing.  A simple internet search on Kony or the LRA reveals more recent information on these topics that contradicts those shown in the video. For example, the video claims that the LRA is 30,000  child soldiers strong.

However, a 2012 census reveals their ranks dwindle with as few as 200-250 soldiers. These numbers are spread thin across Uganda and countries adjacent to it, and there is no existing headquarters for the LRA. Kony is speculated to have never set foot in the country in over 6 six years. According to Matthew Green, author of The Wizard of the Nile: The Hunt for Africa’s Most Wanted, the LRA was highly organized and equipped with crew-operated weapons, VHF radios and satillite phones.

How could a child effectively operate these devices and be able to exucute modern combat procedures? Doesn’t sound like an army of children anymore at all.

At some point after these facts in the video, viewers are asked to donate as much money as they can to help support Invisible Children’s fight to bring Kony to justice. Last year there spending report totaled $8.3 million, with only a mere $3.3 million going to programs in Uganda.

Even the people behind the movement are of shady character. On March 15th, 2012 Jason Russell was detained by San Diego police officers after alledgely vandalizing cars, making sexual gestures, and publicly masturbating after removing his clothes according to eyewitness accounts and a video that can be seen on the internet as well.

Also, Jedidiah Jenkins, Senior Exeuctive for Invisible Children. Was shown in a leaked video drunkenly joking about stealing $900K from a $1 million dollar grant intented for earthquake aid in Haiti while periodically drinking a bottle of clear liquid from a 1.75 liter container of Smirnof

f Vodka.

IB Times stated that a source from within Invisible Children that the video was intended to be a private joke, and the container was filled with water and not vodka.

All these scandals and old facts has this “good” cause’s credibility at stake, but before all this activism Kony 2012 has stirred up dies down, it’s guaranteed that people will begin to realize this is as real as it is fake before they all look back and realize it was nothing more than just another crafty way to swindle people out of their money.





Editorial: The Lorax who once spoke for trees, now hawking SUV’s

By Dakota Jordan

We all know the Lorax who spoke for the trees, for the trees had no tongues,                                                                                              But I’m asking myself at the top of my lungs,
What’s that… *thing*?!
That horrible thing that I see!
What’s that thing that’s been wearing his skin on TV?!

The Lorax, the new hit movie that everyone is talking about, but where is the original message that the Lorax once famously boasted, “I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues “for now the Lorax is merely speaking for Mazda in what is merely a big market ploy.

“Remember me from the days when the world didn’t stink?
Well, come see my movie,” it says with a wink.
There it prances and pratfalls, and all laugh along,
And all leave the theater like nothing is wrong,

And they smile and quote lines as they climb in their cars
And drive away under the smog-smuggered stars.
Then at home, on the TV, they see its new ad
For a Mazda that’s only a little less bad
About belching up clouds full of poisonous smoke
And destroying the planet for air-breathing folk.

Mazda one of the motor companies who are trying to lead the new ‘green’ movement and are using the Lorax, a character who was once bathed in nostalgia and environmentalism as a spear head for there new Read Across America campaign where the fluffy character rides around in a “truffula tree approved” Mazda offering kids prizes if their parents come to test drive their new car.

“Unless someone like you drives one straight off the lot,
Nothing’s going to get better; it’s not.”
And the misplaced nostalgia o’erpowers all sense
And some think themselves part of the planet’s defense
For buying a car the good Doctor would like
And buying the movie for their little tyke.

At 35 MPG the Mazda CX-5 could be toted as the most fuel efficient SUV in America but to have this, or any car marketed to elementary age students as a ploy to boast the companies profits is outlandish and to use a character who was once so pure as the Lorax is even more despicable.

The majority see the extent of the lie
But defeated and cynical let the world die.
And the Hollywood studios search with a surety
For the next decent thing they can rob of its purity

Outside of one school hundreds of kids filed past the two Mazda vehicles on display.

Some reached out to touch the cars. A few kneeled to have their photographs taken. Others erupted into a spontaneous chant. “Lorax car, Lorax car, Lorax car!” they said,

One of their classmates quietly objected.

“The Lorax doesn’t drive a car,”

And squeeze just a little more blood from the stone,
No matter whose coffin is muffling a groan,
While the clattering engines keep smoking on
As they will till the truffula trees are all gone.

Dakota Jordan


Editorial: Madness- in more ways than one

By Brady Charles –

Let’s toss out this flawed March Madness selection system and start fresh.

31 automatic bids are awarded to many teams from mid-major conferences, but many of these teams don’t deserve to ‘dance’.

Instead of giving automatic bids to these unknown teams who don’t stand a chance against the powerhouse Big East, ACC, Big Ten and Big 12 teams, the NCAA should change their way of selecting teams.

Take this into perspective. Last season Virginia Tech (21-11) was left out of the tournament along with Boston College (21-13), Alabama (25-12), and Colorado (21-11) due t

Brady Charles

o their ‘weak’ non-conference schedule, even though they’re all in major conferences playing powerhouse teams.

While those teams were eliminated from the ‘dance’ teams such as Arkansas Little Rock (19-16), and Alabama State (17-17) who won their conference and earned their automatic bid with an RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) of 196 and 263 out of a possible 344, played in the 2010-2011 NCAA Tournament. This whole selection system is very unfair by eliminating teams who don’t play tough non-league games, since the selection committee admits teams who are in conferences that are unheard of, with teams that are unheard of, and with records that are mediocre at best.

The selection committee needs to change this system, by either expanding the bracket and selecting more teams, or eliminating all of the automatic bids and take the down right best 64 teams. A poll should be taken each week of the season, that would put a teams RPI, key wins and losses and their record into perspective. This poll will be voted on by experts of the game, as well as members of the prior selection committee.

With this new system, the best 64 teams will be selected, which will make every game more and more of a grind for the top seeded teams. The first round match-up (in the present-day system) is between the 16 seed and the number one seed, the 16th seed has never beaten a one seed since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985. With the substitution of the best 64 teams the best teams will be in the tournament, the problem of weak automatic bid teams will be eliminated. The top seeded team would play better competition and it would make the first couple of rounds way more interesting for viewers.

This new system will eliminate the teams who have weak records and play in easy conferences. If the no-name schools have a problem with the ‘new’ system, there’s a way for them to get them into the mix as well. They have to earn their bid just like everyone else for once, play some major teams in your non-league schedule. Or even better yet change your conference.


Texting at Lunch should be Allowed

By Richard Schulz –

A student gets a text from his dad but waits until lunch to read it. His mom’s going into labor with the young man’s, soon to be, little brother. A teacher comes to his side and asks for his phone. The boy gives up his phone, crushing the joy the he had. A light of happiness eclipsed by the school law. Even though the student wasn’t in class and waited until lunch to view it, the teacher took his phone.

Not fair.

Students should have the right to have their phone out during lunch since it’s a free time and not considered a class. That way students wouldn’t have the urge to text in class. While class is in session, students should have all attention on the teacher, of course, but at lunch what should students have their focus on, their lunch?

At Penn Manor High School, a lot of students admit that they have been caught texting during lunch by a teacher or principal, but in other schools, such as Hempfield High School and Manheim Township, students are allowed to text during their lunch. Not only at lunch are they allowed to text, but during homeroom too.  A student attending Hempfield said schools have been letting students text in school for at least a year and it doesn’t look like it’s stopping anytime soon.

Richard Schulz Penn Manor junior. Photo by Daulton Parmer

“It’s not like anything important is going on,” said Kevin Brubaker, a Penn Manor senior who was bothered to hear that other schools can text during lunch. He’s also a victim of this rule and has been caught with his phone out often.

“Other schools have that privilege in the county, so why shouldn’t we?” he said.

Certainly texting and tweeting shouldn’t occur when the teacher is talking. However there is no designated teacher to listen to or follow directions of at lunch. Only principals who sit there to supervise and tackle any rambunctious teenagers that are ready to throw down. Philip Gale, principal of Penn Manor High School, says the office gets 50 percent or more phones that are collected from lunch than from teachers during class throughout the whole school.

The school should adapt to the new technology that’s available to them and  allow students to text during lunch so they’re less inclined to text in class.

It is Time to Help the Invisible Children

By Alex Lombardo –

For the past 20 years one man has destroyed the lives of over 30,000 children and no one has noticed until now.

A video exposing Joseph Kony, a war criminal leading a group of rebels called the Lord’s Resistance Army(LRA) in the African nation Uganda, went viral in the first week it was uploaded. Kony kidnaps children and forces the boys to fight as soldiers for him and sells the girls as sex slaves.

With no supporters one should wonder how Kony has remained in control for so long. Kony fights only for power. He has no cause or wishes to reform.

He should be stopped and people in the United States should pressure the government to intervene.  It is our duty as human beings to watch out for each other.

His army is made up mostly of kidnapped children whom he forces to kill. Sometimes the children are forced to even murder their own parents.

This is wrong and is terribly immoral that it is happening and the rest of the world is standing by and, basically, doing nothing.

People complain about children working on computers in China.  In Uganda, children are forced to commit far worse crimes.

Kony is at the top of the wanted list by the International Criminal Court or ICC. The ICC is an institute set up to prosecute criminals for crimes such as genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

Joeseph Kony. Photo courtesy by Stuart Price

But worldwide awareness of Kony and his crimes has been relatively low and, as a result, not much has been done to stop him.

But in 2006 a group called the Invisible Children officially became a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing Joseph Kony to justice.

On October 12, 2011 president Barrack Obama sent 100 troops to Uganda to assist local forces in the capture and removal of Joseph Kony.  Unfortunately, Kony is operating as before.

Alex Lombardo

The organization Invisible Children created and uploaded an informational video on March 5, 2012 and it has since gotten over 76 million views.

The video describes who Kony is and what he has done. It also goes over a plan for what the United States citizens need to do to help bring Kony to justice.

The goal of the video is to bring awareness about the LRA and to make Kony as infamous as possible. The more our citizens care, the more priority the government will give the campaign.  The idea is if the United States government sees that it really matters to its citizens then they will take more action towards seeing Kony captured.

People need to make donations or buy action kits to give support to the effort to stop Kony.   There is contact information on the site that allows people to contact government directly.  We should all do this.

On April 20 of this year there will be a movement stretching through the night to put up signs and posters so that when the rest of the country wakes up they will know what  all about. Everyone should come out and show their support for this incredible movement.

Join the effort today and on April 20.  Together we can make a difference.

The website address: http://www.invisiblechildren.com/


Supporting Athletes Rather Than Actual Athletes

By Maggie Dubbs –

Most people don’t considering standing on the sidelines a sport.

But cheerleading has been a part of universities since 1880. This “sport” started at Princeton University on the sidelines at football games to encourage spirit. It has since then trended over to high school and now is be coming an all star sport for competition.

But how does this “sport” compare to the other endeavors athletes endure?

Maggie Dubbs (Left), Mackenzie Payne (Right)

People say it doesn’t even compare to the amount of work that other athletes put in, from early morning conditioning at 6:15 to late night practices around 8:30.

Cheerleading practice, some say,  is just a bunch of girls jumping around yelling.

But consider this -cheerleading has had more and more injuries over the years. According to CPSC, “in 2007, head and neck injuries accounted for 15.1 percent of total cheerleading injuries. In 2006, head injuries were associated with 1,070 concussions, 200 contusions, 15 fractures and 1,157 internal injuries; neck injuries accounted for 79 contusions, 60 fractures and 1,325 sprains/strains. In 2007, head injuries were associated with 783 concussions, 308 contusions, 69 lacerations and 1,122 internal injuries; neck injuries were associated with 303 contusions, 5 fractures and 1,281 sprains/strains.”

According to Momsteam.com “Football has between 600,000 and 760,000, in high school, concussions.”

Yes, football has more concussions over all, but it seems as though cheerleading is somehow more dangerous with different injuries.

Many sports including boy’s and girl’s lacrosse, girl’s basketball and boy’s and girl’s volleyball have the school trainer working them out and pushing them to extreme limits using their muscles. Cheerleaders lift maybe 90 to 100 pound girls, and of course with the assistance of two other team mates.

All sports have mandatory practices during the season when they are not performing on the fields or courts. Cheering only  occurs two to three times a week and preseason practices are even less.

But, the amount of time put into other varsity sports is no where near the amount of time cheerleaders put into their routines and the learning of their cheers is even less.

“Cheerleading is a sport, because we go to the weight room, and stay in shape just like all of the other teams do,” said cheerleader of three years, Jessica Hanner.

Mackenzie Payne and Erica Williams are varsity cheerleaders for Penn Manor.

Just because cheerleader goes to the weight room, doesn’t mean they have set routines while lifting.

“We’re kind of allowed to do whatever we want, we mostly just do abs,” said Mackenzie Payne, cheerleader of 11 years.

Payne was also apart of All-Star Elite cheerleading.

“Cheerleading is cheerleading, either way I’m having fun,” said Payne.

All-Star cheerleading should be considered a sport, because those gymnasts are actually in the gym. Usually the girls and or guys, six out of seven days of the week, for many hours are training very hard to place well in competitions coming up.

“All-star cheerleading is more extreme than high school because you have to be in tip-top shape. All-Star practice was three hours, six days a week, where as high school is like two hours for three days out of the week. We don’t do stunts like All-Stars do,” said Payne.

All-Star Cheerleading, Mackenzie Payne

As long as they’re on the sidelines, they’ll never cross the line of sport-hood. They’re more like supporting athletes than real athletes.

All-Star Cheerleading Cheerleaders do flips, twists and difficult stunts. Yes, they deserve credit for something most people can’t do, but it’s nothing an Olympic gymnast couldn’t do.

Some sports that get cheered for find it annoying.

“Sometimes, yeah they’re annoying because you’re trying to concentrate, and they’re just yelling and carrying on, but sometimes it’s nice to have something to look at,” said varsity wrestler Mac Evarts.

AMA Motocross and Supercross Safety Needs More Attention

By Brad Kruger –

The sport of motocross racing is extremely dangerous and the American Motorcycle Association (AMA) needs to set a new ruling about wearing proper safety gear in professional motocross and supercrosss racing because of the rise in serious injuries that have occurred from extreme competition and challenging race tracks.

Professional MX/SX Racer Ryan Villopoto shown wearing a neck brace.

For years motocross racers, fans, teams, and others involved in the sport have known the risks and injuries that a racer can sustain in the sport. But over the last 10 years the rise in serious injuries are devastating. Top racers around the world have sustained career-ending injuries. Riders like Ernesto Fonseca, Doug Henry, and Broc Hepler are just a few that have suffered injuries over the last few years that have ended their careers.  Broken backs, necks, and serious head injuries are the main injuries that are ending careers. With the help of proper helmets and neck braces, riders can reduce their chance of having one of these injuries. However, the AMA currently does not force riders to wear neck braces. They must wear a helmet, but the current safety standards of the helmets are too low.

The AMA needs to force professional racers to wear some form of neck brace and better quality helmets. Many riders have started wearing neck braces since the Leatt Brace came onto the scene a few years back, and since then many other protective gear companies have started making neck braces as well. A neck brace is not something a professional racer is forced to wear but if it were, it would reduce the number of back and neck injuries.

In early 2006, professional racer Ernesto Fonseca suffered a practice crash that ended his career. He broke several bones in his back and left him paralyzed from the waist down. At this time nobody wore neck braces. Over the next few years the neck braces were developed and many racers started to wear them after seeing what happened to their fellow racers and wanted to avoid their chances of this injury.

While neck braces don’t 100 percent protect riders from all injuries, they help tremendously. There have been several incidents where a racer has broken their collarbone while wearing a neck brace but  said, if I wasn’t wearing this neck brace, I would have gotten hurt a lot more. A broken collarbone is better than a broken neck or back.

According to Leatt-Brace.com, between 2001-05 in 142 injuries were reported from professional motocross and supercross racing, and 7 percent were vertebral injuries. With the help of Leatt Brace’s and other brand neck braces this number of injuries can be lowered.

For the safety of younger and amateur motocross racer the professional’s should be forced to wear neck braces because it will help show younger kids that they need to protect themselves properly when riding and racing to avoid serious injury.

Author Brad Kruger

Proper helmets should also be enforced among professional racers. Although many do wear high quality helmets, there are also many who do not. Part of the reason some wear somewhat unsafe helmets is because a rider’s sponsor wants them to promote all their products including their less protective helmets. This is not a smart thing to do for sponsors or riders. There is no excuse for not wearing a safe helmet, your head is the most important thing to keep safe and not wearing a proper helmet raises the risk of having a head injury.

In 2008, Wyatt Barto, a young rider from Pennsylvania lost his life while practicing in North Carolina. Since the accident his parents have started Foundation 529 to help provide proper helmets and neck braces to kids under the age of 18 who cannot afford them. Since they started the foundation they have donated tons of helmets and neck braces. They also have had the support of professional racers who do realize that safety in racing is a huge concern by donating autographed gear, t-shirts, hats, and more to auction off to raise money for the Foundation.

More professionals and AMA officials need to realize that safety should be their number one concern. There needs to be a change to make riders wear the proper protective gear. Is winning a race or doing a big triple really worth a good chance of crashing and ending your life or career?

Trash the Bowl Games, Playoffs are the Future (Editorial)

By Ian Noll –

Everybody loves college basketball’s March Madness and a football version would ensure that the best teams play each other in that sport. And it would ensure that a real champion is crowned every year.

The BCS-championship system college football is using now has continued to show it’s weak points year after year, the best teams are not playing for the championship every time.

“It’s better than the BCS, probably more fair, and the NFL does it so why shouldn’t college too,” Penn Manor junior Ian Martzall asked.

BCS or Bowl Championship Series Logo. Photo by Bloguin.com

The Bowl Championship Series, BCS for short, is decided by human opinion which alone sets up unfair bowl games. The system was changed in 2004 when the strength of schedule, win-loss record and quality wins were all eliminated from deciding who will play, according to About.com. Human polls account for about two-thirds of the deciding formula compared to before when it was only one-quarter.

“It needs to be set up like playoffs in the NFL so the top 8 teams have a shot of winning it,” junior Matt Hatch insisted.

In recent years, there have been multiple blowouts, showcasing the fact that the teams were not evenly matched to play for the title game. The 2004 and 2006 championship games were prime examples of blowouts, 2004 was USC vs. Oklahoma, USC won by 36. The 2006 game consisted of Florida vs Ohio State, had Florida winning by 27.

Nick Saban and the Alabama Rolling Tide celebrating their National Championship. Photo from the Washington Post

Now, here’s a proposition to fix the system, and have the best teams play every year.


It doesn’t have to be the NFL form of playoffs, or the March Madness version, but somewhere in the middle.

“I guess they could take away one or two regular season games, or just start earlier or end later,” Martzall said.

According to a survey ESPN conducted, the majority of the NCAA players and coaches prefer a playoff system over BCS.

To institute a playoff system the NCAA should start eliminating the games where the teams just have a “hay day” on smaller schools. An example would be Penn State playing a school similar to Youngstown State. Both are D-1 football programs, but are not even close to playing on the same level. With the elimination of these rather pointless games, could shorten the season so that the playoff system would be able to be used.

But with every idea or proposition, comes the critics.

According to CollegeFootball.procon.org, with a playoff system, a team can lose an entire year worth of hard work if they have one bad day. Also, if there was a playoff system the season would be extended by as much as a month and would contribute to player injuries and academic problems.

Author Ian Noll

There hasn’t been a decision yet, but with a few big name conferences warming up to the idea of playoffs, the drop of the BCS might not be so far away.

The NCAA needs to drop the BCS already and move their ranking system towards a playoff oriented version. Doing this will ensure that the best teams who played well throughout the season will be playing each other in the National Championship. It will also hopefully eliminate blowout games, such as the 2004 and 2006 game.

Animals: Please Enjoy Responsibly

By Frank Herr –

Animals, like any commodity, have their own place in a society. When a single aspect, such as said animals are referred to too highly, the effects, both moral and economic, can be detrimental. With all of the activism and attention that critters have been attracting lately, people seem to be forgetting the original reason that God created animals: to eat and for humans to use them to survive.

Centuries ago, animals were a symbol of wealth and prosperity. Hunter-gatherer tribes and nomads depended solely on the land that they inhibited, and the domesticated animals which they controlled. This livestock was protected, for it was a direct extension of the peoples’ livelihood. It was used wisely, hides were used as clothing and shelter, bones were used for tools and weapons, and the animals’ meat was used for food.

Frank Herr, Senior at Penn Manor High School

Flash forward to present times. Sharks are finned alive, with their useless bodies dumped back into frigid ocean waters, just to slowly sink to the sea floor.

Whales are illegally captured for “research” programs conducted by Asian medical services (black market whale meat, oils, etc.). With such a drastic contrast to the centuries-old method of being conservative with nature’s resources, misjudgment, mismanagement and misconduct have become prevalent in today’s interactions with animals.

If we, the human race, a so-called “green-bound” society, would like to continue to experience life even remotely the way in which we experience it presently, we must be stewards of the gifts that we have been given. We must guard and care for animal species, one of the first tasks that man was ordered to perform. However, we must remember that animals exist to serve and provide for humans. This does not mean that people can roam this finite planet, destroy, alter and claim all that they please, and expect their actions to not be justified. Stewardship includes utilizing animals in a healthy, sustainable manner. When instances arise that pose the moral well-being of animals against that of a human, while animals must be respected, in any manner, people are always, undoubtedly, superior.

Pilot Whales Brutally Slaughtered Annually in the Faroe Islands. Photo Courtesy of www.earthfirst.com