Every year, approximately 6.5 million animals are brought to shelters around the country. That is over 6 million animals who are homeless, abandoned and oftentimes abused or neglected. Many others are not rescued, and 2.7 million are euthanized in kill shelters every year. And for what? So people can have a purebred dog with perfectly pointed ears and just the right colored fur? Sorry, but the cost benefit analysis is just not adding up on this one. 

A little over a year ago my family adopted our beautiful, friendly and stubborn mutt Stella. Her story is sad, much like all the other dogs posted on adoption websites, but seeing her, you would never know. After being wronged by so many humans during her life, all she wants is to make up for lost time and receive as much love as possible. Like seriously, she won’t leave you alone until you pet her for at least 20 minutes, and if you don’t acknowledge her when she walks in...

Heart pounding, palms sweaty. You approach the podium, 50 people staring back at you, waiting to hear the speech you’ve been working on for months. Your mind goes blank, staring into empty faces, unable to find the words.  

Fear. 

The movie plays on the big screen in front of you, but your focus is on the door that continuously slams open and shut. You fight an impulse to examine those entering, wondering if they were here before, or if they are acting suspicious. Are they just movie-goers, or something else?

Fear. 

Standing in the corner of a party, with people you’ve never met, in a place you’ve never been. The friends you arrived with are nowhere to be found. You wonder if they left without you, you wonder if they even like you enough to remember not to leave without you. 

Fear. 

Fear is as basic to human nature as our need for food and water. It’s a matter of survival, guiding our behavior to avoid danger; we work...

If you don’t know her name-it’s time for you to learn it. Simone Biles is an Olympic gymnast who is completely changing the face of competitive gymnastics. Many have considered Biles the best gymnast the world will ever see. I would amend that statement to say she is the best athlete the world will ever see. 

On Oct. 5, 2019, Biles performed two new skills that have never been attempted before in a major competition. Onlookers at the world championships in Stuttgart, Germany witnessed history being made when the American gymnast stuck her double tuck double twist dismount off the beam. Her flawless execution lands the skill a spot in the “Code of Points”, under the name “The Biles.” The code lists out all skills and their score values, along with the rules and regulations of the sport. Shortly after the meet, the Federation of International Gymnastics (FIG) approved the skill for induction into the code. Sadly, FIG is...

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