In 40,000 years, NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft will be closer to another star than it will be to our sun — and that’s just halfway. Gliese 445 is the lucky star system Voyager 1 is heading toward, albeit the system is actually traveling toward Voyager 1 faster than than the spacecraft is moving toward it.

As of 2007, there were nine states that had no explicit laws on necrophilia. Effective at the beginning of this year, Illinois pushed a law governing the taboo topic with a vote 114-0 in favor of: “Creating the offense of abuse of a corpse. Providing that a person commits the offense if he or she intentionally engages in sexual conduct with a corpse or involving a corpse.” The penalty for committing this crime is up to seven years in prison.

Across the country within the last couple months, Americans have been protesting the trial of George Zimmerman, demanding justice. The only problem, the verdict defined the servitude of justice. I never wanted to get involved with such a topic but the public just won’t let it go.

Iowa State’s roots are founded in agriculture. In the 1850s, the university began as the State Agricultural College and Model Farm, from which many agricultural discoveries and practices have evolved. Today the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has 15 different departments dedicated to the many aspects of agriculture. What makes Iowa State so interesting is the growth and evolution of agricultural studies here mirrors changes in the agricultural industry of the United States.

On June 30, 2013, I participated in my first LGBT Pride Parade. My day started out by waking up at six in the morning, picking up a couple of friends, riding the Metro into Chicago’s loop on a beautiful summer Sunday morning and preparing for the world’s single greatest celebration of equality.

Faith-healing, the immoral act of neglecting a person’s well-being to the point of death on the basis that modern science is ineffective or worse at healing than simply having a belief in a god.

It is humorous to hear someone claim they are Christian, only to find out later through winded discussion that they really don’t believe much in the biblical text. Isn’t that what it means to be a Christian? Following the teachings of the Bible? If not, then what separates a “loose” Christian from a “loose” Muslim, or Jew, or Greek Path?

Just past seven in the evening, the sun is making its departure and its warm rays blanket your body as your fingertips tickle the tall grass. Monstrous white clouds pock the bluebird sky, casting intermittent shadows across rolling fields of flora swelling in the breeze.

Sandy Hook, 20 children and seven adults murdered, plus injured. Virginia Tech, 32 students and faculty murdered and 23 injured. Aurora theater, 12 movie patrons murdered and 58 injured. Town Center Mall, two shoppers murdered, plus injured. Binghamton School, 14 murdered, plus injured. Fort Hood, 13 murdered and 30 injured. Boston bombing, four murdered and 298 injured. In between all of the aforementioned violent crimes, more than 105 others were killed and more than 64 injured due to …

Exactly one year ago during Veishea, I had a seizure. It had been a little over a year since I was diagnosed with Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy. This is an epilepsy that usually presents itself in younger kids and consists of grand-mal convulsions. It had likely taken over two decades to present itself because of the fact I have always been relatively healthy and that I am not light-sensitive, so if you walk up to me on campus and strobe my eyes, I’ll likely just get angry and punch you.

In 1947 our national defense budget was below $100 billion. In 1952 it was nearly $500 billion, dropping to $225 billion in 1955, and has been on the incline since. Excluding the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan, since 2001 our defense budget has gone up from $287 billion to $530 billion. These numbers have been adjusted for inflation.

In 2008, there was an estimate of 12.7 million new cancer cases along with 7.6 million cancer-related deaths. The previous year, cancer accounted for about 13 percent of all global deaths, with nearly 64 percent of all these deaths occurring in developed nations. With over 70 conventionally named organs in the human body, there are over 200 different types of known cancer — all of which are only treatable, not curable.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which is the single largest contributor to the Boy Scouts of America, stated that if the Boy Scouts allowed homosexual members then the church would withdraw all financial support from the organization. Accordingly, making a business decision after receiving such pressure from a religious organization, the BSA complied.

Second in military chain of command to none other than POTUS himself, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has lifted the Pentagon ruling on women in combat. Specifically, Panetta lifted a ban that prevents women from taking part in ground combat positions.

The weekend before Dead Week, I was sitting in one of the third floor Parks Library cushioned chairs overlooking the main staircase, counting down the minutes to my next class. I glanced at the chair next to me, and then my chair. Mashed in the cracks were literally dozens of trash wrappers: candy bar wrappers, straws, empty gum packs, cheese and jerky wrappers, paper cups, napkins, money...

As some of you may have heard, citizens from 11 of the United States have presented enough signatures to the White House for the president to make an official declaration on the petition for secession. The White House allows anyone to submit a petition, but will only make an official response if the petition accrues greater than 25,000 signees. So far, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas have crossed the give…

The universe in its grandeur is of an uncertain, possibly infinite size. Our universe is, at a minimum, 92 billion light-years in diameter. Alpha Centauri is our closest star system, at a distance of 4.25 light-years. Flying at the speed of light, 186,282 miles per second (yes, per second), it would take 92 billion and 4.25 years to travel those respective distances. The fastest humans have ever travelled is just a few thousandths of a percent of the speed of light.

The anatomical Homo sapiens has been walking Earth for nearly a quarter of a million years. On a 24-hour clock we came about roughly at 23:58:43 in comparison to the age of Earth. Not until 500 B.C. did Pythagoras claim that Earth was not flat and nearly 1,000 years later, 450 years ago, the telescope was invented. I was alive when America’s first optical telescope, Hubble, was sent into space. To say we know much about what lies within the confines of our universe is to be dense.

Standing on a floating ledge with a 128,000-foot view of the world, blue below and black above, I am sure Felix Baumgartner felt nothing less than complete and total nirvana. What goes up, must come down.

According to the Death with Dignity Act passed in Oregon in 1994, physicians are allowed to assist in the death of their patient provided circumstances fall within the bounds of a six \month terminal illness and strict codes of compliance. The vote margin was narrow, 51/49, ushering in the first of three states to legalize euthanasia: Oregon, Washington and Montana.

Irony echoed in the California skies over this last weekend. Space Shuttle Endeavor made its final flight while riding aback the modified Boeing 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft. In one last great homage, Space Shuttle Endeavor ferried its way across the nation, passing over key locations and making it virtually the most encompassing air show in history.

No, it’s not just a theory. The word “theory” is one of the most misused words in the English language. This argument stems from the religious argument about evolution, but far too many people, university students alike, throw the word “theory” out there as if it stands on the same ground as “opinion.” My recent column about warfare was not a theory: It was an opinion. I make this statement because as university students and associates of professors and scientists, “theory” must be respected.

“On my honor, I will do my best to do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times; to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight." This is the Scout Oath, which nearly 110 million members of the Boy Scouts of America have recited weekly since 1911.

"You think it's hot here?" were the words I recently read on a church sign here in Ames. When the church makes light of the heat in relation to hell, then you know the sun is blazing, and the pavement is searing. Medians on Lincoln Way literally buckled out of the ground, students frolicked through the sprinklers in front of the library, and multiple people were admitted into Mary Greeley for heat exhaustion.

Nationalism nowadays is generally an inadequate mentality. It estranges one nation from an ever globalizing world. A world that will need to work together to accomplish great things. But I need to admit, it was a bittersweet moment when I heard that CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Geneva discovered a Higgs boson like particle with nearly 100 percent accuracy on America's Independence Day.

You and your bud sign up for a coed softball league in your local town. At the same time, his girlfriend and her best friend sign up for the same team. All of you show up to your first practice ready to get down-’n’-dirty when you meet her for the first time. She’s wearing shorts and a three-quarters sleeve baseball tee with a baseball cap. You play third base, she plays second base and for the entire hour and a half both of you share glances and smiles with one another… until, you get h…