I was late, as usual, to study and meet my friend for coffee at Cafe Diem in downtown Ames. Swiftly stalking down the sidewalk, attempting to …

"The New York Soda Ban," the tastiest debate for Americans to bite each other over since the "Super-Size" option was eliminated from McDonald’s menu. While it is easy to claim a breach of rights whenever something is taken away from our privileged lives, sometimes you just have to know when to say "enough is enough."

Whether road tripping across the country with your favorite allies or across the state with the family, summer is all about adventure and good times. What better way to make it the summer you will never forget than to take a good ol’ American road trip. But without proper planning and a few key investments, a heavenly luxurious trip may spoil into a torturous pit of never ending misery and repercussions. With this list of road trip survival musts, any and every trip will make a glorious …

It was a disgusting spectacle. The living room was awash of stoic, disbelieving fanatics in purple and white jerseys, as my Minnesota Vikings crazed friends and I watched “our season” come to a close in the heart-wrenching 2009 NFC Championship game against the New Orleans Saints. For a moment, the earth stood still as we refused to believe the universe could be so unjust as to deny our team their first Super Bowl appearance of our lifetimes.

Apocynum cannabinum, otherwise known as hemp, is among the world’s most efficient, lucrative and useful plants. The United States is the only industrialized nation to not see the advantages of hemp as an industry; it is illegal to grow within the confines of American borders. The Columbia History of the World claims the oldest bit of cloth was made of hemp and dates back to approximately 8,000 B.C., and is also the earliest sign of industry amongst the human race.

Many stereotypes and misconceptions envelope the topic of sustainability. Often written off as nothing more than the newest fad to gain popular favor, many do not realize the full implications and benefits of living sustainably.

Society today places so much stress on being an individual, the idea of self-improvement and striving to be something more is often thrown under the bus as character flaws are ignored and justified as "being yourself." Nobody should ever be so vain as to accept "who they are" as sufficient, never seeking further personal progression.

As the needle on the world’s fossil fuel reserve gauge borders on "E," we are forced to search for alternatives. It’s not a question of if but when we can no longer coast on fumes and must resort to alternative means of powering our cars and heating our homes. The unadulterated truth is that the world has a very limited time left to continue its consumption of fossil fuels.

It is too easy to read stories of tragedy, slaughter and tyranny in the worst degree in far-off lands and let them barely elicit an emotional response. We write them off as a sad story happening a lifetime away, far beyond the breadth of our control.

The fight for GOP front-runner has been a vicious battle, a gruesome spectacle complete with blood and gnashing teeth, leaving behind little more than a pile of deceased campaigns and the survivors posturing for position. Voters are torn about who the right person for the job is in the 2012 Republican nomination race.

Musicians and drugs — the two are almost synonymous with each other. Whether products of their environment or of their own creatively destructive minds, almost all musical artists who hit it big often seem to meet their demise through their over-the-top drug use.

I was staring intently at the clock on Mr. Boehnke's fifth-grade classroom wall, watching the seconds tick by as my beloved recess came unbearably closer. One of my "neighbors," as elementary teachers like to call the surrounding classmates, leaned over and asked me what time it was. "The clock's right there," I said with a nod of my head to our right. "I can't read that kind," he said, referring to the analog (not digital) clock on the wall.

The time has come when religion no longer dominates popular opinion and government policy. Recently, President Barack Obama passed a new health care reform, mandating all companies and institutions provide their employees with contraceptives, Plan B (the morning-after pill) and sterilization surgeries as a means of making contraceptives available to all demographics. There are few organizations exempt from this new bill. Among those who are not exempt are hospitals, schools and charities…

Pleasure we receive from music is limited only by ourselves. Availability of music today far surpasses any to come before. With a few clicks, we can be instantly connected to millions of songs from anywhere on the globe. Providers such as Pandora, Spotify, and Amazon create access for anyone with a computer to become familiar with artists such as Ravi Shankar, a sitar player from India, or French pop group, CocoRosie. Music previously unimaginable to a simple Midwesterner is now commonplace.