Rep. Trey Radel of Florida announced that he would be taking a leave of absence from office on Wednesday, Nov. 20. This announcement was made following an earlier arrest in which Radel was charged with the possession of cocaine. The congressman has since pled guilty to the charges, for which he was put on one year of probation and fined $250 — a seemingly low punishment.

We are born and passed from hands to hands until we curl into our mothers’ arms. Once home, we are given a crib, toys, plentiful sustenance, and a roof under which to live. In our childhood, years of youth and our sour teenage era, we are sustained and loved by our parents (or guardians). Eventually, the majority of us are sent off to college with, if not financial support, the well-wishes of our families. We graduate and marry and have children of our own and one day, our parents are ol…

Part of the excitement of college is that you can take whatever classes you want and acquire whatever knowledge you desire. Whether it’s anthropology, statistics, wine tasting or even walking for exercise, you can expand your education in whatever way you see fit, right?

Forgive but do not forget: a universal motto regarding the proper way to deal with offenses long past. A betrayal between two close friends might be a proper context for the phrase. But is it an acceptable selection of words in reference to the genocide of millions?

The Eiffel Tower. An 8-year-old’s finger painting. "Mona Lisa." A hastily scribed poem. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. "Bioshock Infinite." Which of these are art, and which are not?

At first glance, America might seem to be a nation built around the ideals of leisure and relaxation. Celebrities whom we idolize are often pictured stretched out on beaches or lavishly dressed at grand events. In this day and age, the “American dream” means being wealthy enough to afford travel, vacation and other such luxuries.

A hot topic this summer has been the interest rate on government Stafford loans. The threatened increase of the rate from 3.4 percent to 6.8, originally postponed in July 2012, appeared once more in the summer of 2013. Washington D.C. remained tense as Congress’s Republicans and Democrats were unable to reach a decision by the July 1 deadline. As a result, the interest rate jumped to the dreaded 6.8 percent.

Extreme competition in the media industry necessitates each news provider to set themselves apart from their competitors in some way. Some choose to do so through content quality or regions covered, or most commonly in big corporation news, through having some sort of political bias. Occasionally a news group will go too far in the attempt to set themselves apart, bringing ridicule and scorn down upon themselves.

Next week, "The Great Gatsby" comes out in theaters. This movie is a remake of an older movie that is based on the classic book. Going off the preview, it looks like the main point of this movie will be to impress the audience with Gatsby’s over-the-top parties and not the actual plot of the book.

When the topic of women’s rights comes up outside of an American history lecture, a common reaction is a groan and awkward shuffle away from the speaker. The back-and-forth arguments about female equality (especially scant months after a vicious election year) can be a wearying and groan-worthy subject.

Having similar interests with others is what draws people together. The flicker of excitement felt when two people share a favorite band, movie, or sport is what creates that initial inclination towards friendship. By surrounding yourself with people who have the same hobbies and interests, you are sure to have a wealth of conversation topics.

The concept of rugged individualism on which the United States was built still has plenty of useful applications in the modern world. When it comes to “big picture” problems, being able to dig yourself out of a hole on your own is a necessary skill. Building your own wealth, securing your future, and being able to provide for yourself are all things that are expected of us as members of society.

It seems that every season has some accompanying fashion controversy. During the winter, there is the constant argument over whether or not wearing leggings as pants is actually OK. What started as yoga pants being worn outside of yoga class slowly turned to workout leggings being worn when not working out, to finally just wearing practically translucent leggings with sweaters, sweatshirts or really anything.

Every week for the last month, there has been a day where the temperature reaches up and scrapes the low 40s on the thermometer. Those with an optimistic eye see that, don a lighter jacket and think maybe winter is finally over. Unfortunately, for the last few weeks, those hopeful people have been sorely disappointed. Each bout of brighter weather is followed by sleet or three inches of snow on the following day.

Student debt and tuition are topics that most of us are quite familiar with, but few of us like to talk about. Even if your parents are paying for your college education or you have thousands of dollars in scholarship money and awards, there is something emotionally draining about clicking more and more of your money away each month on your U-Bill.

No matter how wildly liberating or exhilarating the college experience is, for those of us who moved straight from home to campus, there is always a thing or two that is missed dearly. For some it’s the coziness of their old room, or maybe a home-cooked meal that the UDCC can’t quite replicate. For numerous others (including myself) it’s our pets; whether they are cats, dogs or an Eastern Box Turtle, these family animals are the biggest loss when moving away from home.

Television has endured numerous changes throughout its history. One of the most recent and perhaps revolutionary occurred with the invention of digital video recorders and then the popularity of online providers such as Hulu or Netflix. With these new and convenient forms, viewers have not been confined to strict show times, ending the era of forming your schedule around your favorite program.

Historically, we humans have been obsessed with marriage. In previous eras, marriage was the acceptable conduit to procreation and population growth. In more recent times, with an increase of births out of wedlock and an emphasis of affection over duty in partner selection, this has changed. Regardless, marriage is still a very important concept for post-industrial societies.

No matter what people think of current representatives of our nation, U.S. patriotism is and has always been high. Occasional disgust in policy or politicians cannot expunge the undercurrent of pride that we Americans have traditionally held in our great and powerful nation.

Video games have come a long way from their simple, 8-bit beginnings. For the most part, these changes are wrought by the constant improvements being made to technology. With improved visuals, audio and other technological advances, the gaming experience has gone from stand-up arcade machines like "Pac-Man" and "Space Invader"s to detailed adventures like "Crysis 3" and "Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning."

If you walk anywhere on campus, you can see other students hurrying by, one gloved hand wrapped around a Caribou Coffee cup or thermos. As I type this, I’m sitting in Bookends Reading Room in Parks Library and with a quick glance around the room, I can spot at least nine students sipping out of a paper and plastic coffee cup — myself included. Coffee is an undeniably large part of our culture. But why?

In an increasingly visual society, maintaining our appearance seems all-important. It’s nearly impossible not to feel self-conscious amidst the hundreds of commercials, advertisements and movies that showcase men and women with perfect hair, flawless skin and toned muscles. Though self-esteem is usually associated with females, it affects everyone. And thoaugh we were supposed to have left behind our crippling lack of confidence in high school, college life can often bring it right back.

Browsing your Google Play Store or App Store for useful applications can be an exhausting task. We would all like to believe that our expensive gadgets are the solution to the daily problems we encounter. Unfortunately, there is a veritable sea of applications proclaiming their various benefits. There are countless apps for games and other forms of amusement, but what can be found that is truly useful?

A big piece of news has been in the social issues arena recently: The Boy Scouts of America is considering ending its national ban on admitting gay members to the organization. This is a new and surprising update, considering the Boy Scouts of America publicly reaffirmed their policy against gay members less than a year ago in July 2012.

As the spring semester finally starts rolling, many students are already over-burdened with long readings, huge assignments, and irritating group projects. After the lengthy and relaxing winter break, it can be hard to get back into the spirit of schoolwork. Often, the stresses of the new semester seem to pile up so rapidly that you are soon buried under the heavy weight of anxiety.

As wonderful as our technology-ruled world is, the Internet and digital age are slowly suffocating a number of industries. Musical artists and their record companies have found it necessary to locate new avenues for their products, as have all those involved in the film and television business. Authors and publication companies have not escaped this fate either, although the literature business seems to be the most lacking in profitable solutions. Now that it is easy to purchase (or pira…

A pop culture trend that has been taking over all forms of media lately is that of the apocalypse. Even though the end of the world prophesied by the Mayan calendar did not occur, society remains obsessed with the concept. Many movies, novels, and video games depict a devastated and ruined world brought about by aliens, biological or nuclear warfare, zombies or some other strange plot device. However, in the last decade, zombies have been the prevailing theme.

After witnessing firsthand the disappointing defeat of our football team at the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, I was thinking back on the whole experience and found that my thoughts kept wandering back to the Iowa State Marching Band. To some students, the band is just a taken-for-granted attachment to the football team, as are our cheerleaders, dance team, and mascot Cy. On this occasion, though, the band shone in a way that our football team, sadly, did not match.

When it comes to fitness, the United States seems a land of extremes. Americans are ridiculed by foreigners (and even by ourselves) for our appalling rotundity. Global statistics put the United States at the top of the list for national obesity, with nearly one-third of our population being grossly overweight. Especially here in the Midwest region, this is an extremely visible issue. Yet simultaneously, Americans are spending several millions of dollars each year on dieting and exercise.…

At the dawn of each new year, most of us select one goal to achieve in the next 365 days. Whether you’ve buckled down for days trying to compile a strict list or will end up making some last-minute decision as the clock strikes 12, New Year’s resolutions are a tradition we have a hard time dismissing. Maybe someone will give up smoking, or try to drink less, or perhaps vow to lose 20 pounds in the coming months. Your resolution could be as strange as trying to laugh more often or cutting…

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