Fantasy Football Sleepers

One of the keys to winning your fantasy football league is the ability to draft Sleepers. “Sleepers” are NFL players who are drafted in much lower rounds in your fantasy football drafts than their ending statistics warrant. In shopping terms, this is like getting a 22oz bottle of Not Your Father’s Root Beer (the 19.9% version… mmmmm, mmmm) for A&W prices. In the full-season fantasy football world, this is the avenue to the league championship. We have seen championships won on the heels of Sleepers every year. They have come out of nowhere to register monster years after being double-digit or waiver wire picks. When you can grab a player at the end of your draft that becomes your number 1 producer at a certain position, you, my friends, have a true Sleeper. Below are a few projected fantasy football sleepers by position for the 2015 season.

2015 Fantasy Football Sleepers

QB: Teddy Bridgewater (Minnesota) – Teddy took over the reins from Matt Cassel in Minny in Week 4 in 2014 and never looked back. He was poised, confident and productive and he is back in 2015 as the opening game starter with experience and new toys. He had a trio of running backs to hand the ball off to last year but none of them were named Adrian Peterson. One might think that the Vikings will run Peterson into the ground since he has fresh legs, which they may, but having him in the backfield will open up the passing game far more than last year’s timeshare did. The Vikings also upgraded at WR by swapping out aging Greg Jennings and adding field-stretcher Mike Wallace. On top of that, the Vikings will have a healthy TE Kyle Rudolph to add to the mix. Teddy is being drafted in double digit rounds as a QB2 but there is no reason not to believe that you won’t find more games than not that you will want to start him.

Also consider: Derek Carr (Oakland), Ryan Fitzpatrick (Buffalo)

RB: Joseph Randle (Dallas) – Though owner Jerry Jones is an idiot, there is no way that he lets DeMarco Murray go and is satisfied with bringing in RB Darren McFadden to replace him unless he was confident on his backup RBs from 2014. I believe the McFadden move was a sympathy move from a fellow Razorback alumnus as McFadden has been a true bust since he was drafted by Oakland in 2008, though injuries are the main reason why. He was very talented in college but one has to wonder how much of a toll his slew of injuries has taken on his speed. With McFadden already battling hamstring injuries, Randle is strengthening his position as the opening game starter as Dallas realizes that McFadden is as far from a reliable workhorse back as I am. Randle is only 23 years old and has a great combination of size and speed. Even if Randle starts the season off with a mere 15 carries a game, I expect good things as I could probably get 100 yards per game behind that massive Cowboys offensive line.

Also consider: David Cobb (Tennessee), David Johnson (Arizona)

WR: Nick Toon (New Orleans) – We featured Brandin Cooks from the Saints in the spot last season and he made us look smart… until he was lost to injury. He is back this season and healthy but the Saints have rebuilt their offense and, in the process, lost TE Jimmy Graham and WR Kenny Stills. With WR Marques Colston getting older, Cooks is going to need a running mate and we expect Toon to be that mate. He is entering his third year in the league and seemed to get in tune with QB Drew Brees towards the end of 2014 when he pulled in 17 of his career 23 catches in the final 6 games of the season. Even though the Saints began to rely more on the running game last season, there is no way that they don’t keep Brees’ throwing arm active and we see Toon MUCH more involved than he ever has been in the past. You should be able to grab him with your last WR selection and not risk much for huge upside making him a massive fantasy football Sleeper.

Also consider: Allen Robinson (Jacksonville), Davante Adams (Green Bay)

TE: Austin Seferian-Jenkins (Tampa Bay) – Jenkins was thought highly of going into his 2014 rookie season, but he limped through the season with foot, ankle and back issues and made little impact. He comes into 2015 healthy and with a rookie QB, which is often good for a pass-catching tight end as a rookie QB often checks down quickly and finds his TE when the pass rush gets close. At 6’6″ 262lbs, Jenkins will be easy for QB Jameis Winston to find on the field. The Bucs did add new offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter this season from Atlanta. Atlanta put the ball in the air more than all but two teams last season so there should be plenty of opportunities to get that ball in Austin’s big hands in Tampa.

Also consider: Rob Housler (Cleveland), Josh Hill (New Orleans)

K: Connor Barth (Denver) – Barth came aboard in 2014 after the Broncos kicked Brandon McManus to the curb and promptly hit 15 of 16 field goal attempts and all of his extra points. Barth didn’t line up for any real long field goal attempts but had proven the strength of his leg over his four seasons in Tampa so I would expect to see those opportunities present themselves in Denver’s thin air this season. Denver’s offense may not be the powerhouse this season that it has been since QB Peyton Manning joined the team, but they will provide Barth with more than ample opportunities for him to compete for the league scoring title.

Also consider: Greg Zuerlein (St. Louis), Blair Walsh (Minnesota)

D: Miami Dolphins – The Dolphins were slightly above average last season with DEs Cameron Wake and Olivier Vernon wreaking a bit of havoc. In the off-season, the Fins added Ndamukong Suh and now this defensive line is one of the top 2 or 3 units in the league. With the added pressure, you can also expect a rise in fumbles and interceptions. Expect the defense to really rack up the points in the first half of the season as no opponent has an offense that is scary expect for one game in Foxboro and, truthfully, I am expecting the Patriots to step down a notch this year.

Mobsters in America – Louis “Lepke” Buchalter – The Only Mob Boss To Be Executed by the Government

He was bad to the bone from the time he was born. He swindled, he strong-armed and he killed men with relish. In the end, for his many crimes, Louis “Lepke” Buchalter became toast in Sing Sing’s electric chair.

Louis Buchalter was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn on February 12, 1897. His parent were Russian Jews and his father owned a hardware store on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Buchalter led an uneventful life as a child. He often walked across the Williamsburg Bride with his father to accompany him to work. His mother affectionately called him “Lepkeleh,” which is Yiddish for “Little Louis.” His childhood friends shortened that to Lepke, a name which stuck with him for the rest of his life.

Lepke’s life took a turn for the worst when he was 13. His father died unexpectedly, and his mother was so overwrought by her husband’s death, her health began to seriously deteriorate. Doctors told her she needed a change of climate to regain her health, so Lepke’s mother left for Arizona, leaving Lepke in the charge of his older sister. Lepke, deeply resentful for being abandoned, was impossible for his sister to control. Soon he left school and started hanging out on the streets of the Lower East Side, looking for trouble and mostly finding it. He hooked up with older gangsters, who taught him how to rob and steal, and how to jack old ladies for their valuables. In 1915, Lepke was caught robbing a store and sent to live with an uncle in Bridgeport, Connecticut. There he continued his thieving ways and was finally sent to a child reformatory in Cheshire.

A few months later, Lepke, now barely 16, was back roaming the streets of the Lower East Side. He took to stealing pushcarts, and one day, he tried to rob a pushcart that was already being robbed by another street tough named Jacob “Gurrah” Shapiro. The two became fast friends and started a relationship that would last the rest of their natural lives. Lepke and Shapiro teamed up and were the menace of the downtown pushcart owners. They tried to climb the latter to bigger scores, but in 1918, Lepke was caught robbing a downtown loft, and as a result, he was sent to Sing Sing Prison on a five year sentence.

Lepke’s time in prison was the equivalent of a college education for criminals. When he was released in 1923, at the age of 25, he was now a hardened thug, with the knowledge to make it big in a life of crime. He teamed up again with his old pal Shapiro and they decided they could make a mint selling “protection” to bakeries all throughout New York City. Other crooks called them “The Gorilla Boys,” and Lepke and Shapiro convinced such big-time outfits like Gottfried’s, Levy’s, Fink’s and California Pies, that they could prevent “crazy immigrants” from burning down their bakeries. Of course the crazy immigrants were “The Gorilla Boys” themselves, and those who did not pay protection indeed did get their bakeries burned down.

The next step up for “The Gorilla Boys” was as schlammers, or leg breakers for the unions. Under their boss Little Augie Orgen, Lepke and Shapiro made a fine living keeping garment district union members in line. Orgen was annoyed by the competition from Dopey Benny Fein, who was muscling in on Orgen’s union territories. So Orgen sent Lepke and Shapiro to straighten out Fein with bullets. The duo cornered Fein in a Bowery bar, but they were only able to wound him, while Shapiro took a bullet in the back. Orgen himself took care of Fein soon after, consolidating his hold on the unions. But then Lepke and Shapiro got the bright idea of taking care of their boss in the same manner that Orgen did to Fein. And that they did, filling Orgen with lead on a Lower East Side street, while Orgen’s bodyguard Jack “Legs” Diamond stood nearby, not doing much of a job protecting his boss.

Orgen’s murder propelled “The Gorilla Boys” into the big time. They became instant stars in the underworld, palling out with such mob greats as Meyer Lansky, Bugsy Siegel, Frank Costello, Albert Anastasia, Dutch Schultz, Tommy Lucchese and Lucky Luciano. Their specialty was working both ends of the union deals; blackmailing owners into paying protection, and charging union member high fees, while skimming a nice cut for themselves off the top of an ever-growing pot of union cash. Industries such as the poultry business, garment center, restaurants and the cleaning and dieing businesses, paid Lepke and Shapiro, who had upwards of 250 thugs now working for them, an estimated $10 million a year just to stay in business. In order to show the government some legitimate income to justify their luxurious lifestyles, Lepke and Shapiro, no longer called the “Gorilla Boys” but instead the “Gold Dust Twins,” acquired legitimate businesses like Raleigh Manufacturing, the Pioneer Coat Factory and Greenberg and Shapiro.

Lepke, along with Luciano, Schultz, Lansky, Siegel, Costello, Anastasia and Lucchese formed a national crime syndicate, which controlled every illegal activity in the northeast, and as far away as the mid west. Of course, to have such an operation to continue to prosper and grow, some times dissidents, inside and outside the group, need to be “straightened out,” or in other words — killed. The syndicate put Lepke in charge of the murder department, with kill-crazy Anastasia as his underboss. They expertly ran what was called by the press, “Murder Incorporated.” Lepke employed gunsels like Abe “Kid Twist” Reles, Harry “Pittsburgh Phil” Strauss, Happy Maione and Dasher Abbandando, amongst others, to travel wherever they were needed, to straighten out whatever person needed to be straightened out.

Trouble arrived for Lepke in the name of Special Prosecutor Thomas E. Dewey, who had already jailed Luciano on a trumped-up prostitution charge. Dewey went after Lepke for his bakery extortion rackets, but Dewey came down harder with the hammer, when he got the Federal Narcotic Bureau to build a case involving Lepke in a massive drug smuggling operation. Figuring he was facing big time in the slammer, Lepke went on the lam. He was concealed in several Brooklyn hideouts by Anastasia, while his rackets were tended to by other member of the syndicate.

Lepke’s actions had an adverse affect on the rest of his pals. J. Edgar Hoover, obviously ignoring that Hitler and Mussolini were wrecking havoc throughout the world, said Lepke was “the most dangerous man on earth.” As a result, a $50,000 reward was offered for Lepke’s head. New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia added to the heat, when he ordered his police commissioner Lewis J. Valentine to start a “war on hoodlums.” Things got so bad, a message was sent to Luciano, who was cooling his heels in the can, for some sage advice as how to handle the Lepke matter. Luciano decided that for the common good, Lepke, after nearly four years on the run, had to turn himself in and face the music.

The trick was how to convince a man, who was facing 30-years-to-life in prison, to give himself up and take his medicine like a man. Luciano, ever the wily fox, constructed a plan, whereby Moe “Dimples” Wolensky, a man Lepke trusted, convinced Lepke that a deal had been made with Hoover, that he would be tried only on the narcotics charge and get five years in jail, at most. And if Lepke surrendered directly to Hoover, Dewey would then be out of the picture completely. Lepke had his doubts, and when he asked Anastasia for advice, Anastasia, obviously not in on the deal, told Lepke, “This deal sounds screwy. As long as they can’t get you, they can’t hurt you.”

On August 5, 1940, gossip columnist and radio host Walter Winchell got a phone call at his nightly stomping grounds, the Stork Club, at 3 East Fifty-Third Street. A gruff voice on the other end said, “Don’t ask who I am, but Lepke wants to come in. Contact Hoover and tell him Lepke wants a guarantee he will be not be harmed if he surrenders to Hoover.”

The very next day, Winchell went on the radio. He said, in his usual staccato delivery, like a machine gun firing from his mouth, “Your reporter is reliably informed that Lepke, the fugitive, is on the verge of surrender, possibly this week. If Lepke can find someone he can trust, I am told, he will come in. I am authorized by the G-men that Lepke is assured of safe delivery.”

On August 24, 1940, Winchell received a phone call telling him to go to a drug store on Eighth Avenue and Nineteenth Street, and to sit in a phone booth in the back. At 9 pm a customer casually walked over to Winchell, and told him to phone Hoover and tell Hoover to be at Fifth Avenue and Twenty Ninth Street at 10:20 pm. Winchell himself was told to drive immediately to Madison Avenue and Twenty Third Street. Winchell did as he was told, and at 10:15, Lepke, wearing a mustache as part of his disguise, entered Winchell’s car. Minutes later, the two men exited Winchell’s car and walked to a black limousine. Hoover was sitting alone in the back seat.

Winchell opened the back door of the limo and said, “Mr. Hoover, this is Lepke.”

Hoover said to Lepke, “How do you do?”

Lepke said to Hoover, “Glad to meet you. Let’s Go.”

Almost immediately, Lepke knew he had been hoodwinked. In a few days, Hoover told Lepke there had been no conditional deal for his surrender. Lepke was tried on the narcotics charge and sentenced to 14 years. But then the roof fell on Lepke, when, after his first trial, Hoover handed Lepke over to Dewey, to stand trial for the murder of an innocent schmo named Joe Rosen, whom Lepke ordered killed in 1936. Rosen was murdered because he threatened to go to Dewey and tell him that Lepke had stolen Rosen’s trucking business. As a result, Lepke’s boys put 17 bullets into Rosen. At Lepke’s murder trial, a sting of rats, including Abe “Kid Twist” Reles, testified that Rosen was killed under Lepke’s orders. After a short deliberation by the jury, Lepke was found guilty and sentenced to death.

Lepke lost appeal after appeal for a full four years, and was scheduled to be executed on March, 2, 1944. Then suddenly, on the day he was to be executed Lepke dropped a bombshell, when he requested a meeting with New York City District Attorney Frank Hogan. Lepke told Hogan he had information of political corruption that went all the way up to the President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt. Lepke got a 48-hour reprieve and Hogan went to Dewey, who was now Governor of New York, and the only one who could stop Lepke’s execution. Hoover told Dewey Lepke’s story. Dewey, who would later run unsuccessfully for the Presidency, turned a deaf ear to Lepke, sealing his fate.

On March 4, 1944, Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, knowing he had been stiffed by his best friends, and with no trace of emotion, or remorse, was executed in Sing Sing Prison’s electric chair.

7 Most Architecturally Amazing Buildings In The US

American architecture reflects the rich diversity that has shaped all areas of life in the United States. From Spanish-influenced southern architecture to the English-inspired designs of Virginia and Massachusetts, the suburban arts and crafts style and the Victorian grandeur of early 20th-century homes, American architecture has varied significantly overtime to reflect a range of styles, building materials and influences. The following seven buildings do not fit neatly into any one style but reflect the sometimes whimsical, ingenious and innovative spirit of American design.

The Basket Building

This Newark, Ohio landmark may be the world’s most unique office building. Home to the Longaberger Basket Company, the building is a 180,000 square-foot replica of the company’s best-selling basket. While the real thing is less than $50, the building cost $30 million to construct. No one took owner Dave Longaberger seriously when he proposed constructing a seven-story replica of a basket, but employees moved into the new office on December 17, 1997. The building is a faithful replica, using stucco over steel to achieve a more authentic wooden appearance. The interior is less whimsical than the exterior but is no less impressive. A grand staircase and marble flooring lead to the seven-story atrium that fills the space with light.

The Kansas City Public Library

All libraries are full of reading materials, but this Missouri library actually looks like them. The library garage’s exterior was designed to look like a bookshelf, complete with massive book bindings. Locals voted on their favorites and chose the Lord of the Rings, Charlotte’s Web, The Invisible Man and other tales to create the library’s intriguing facade. The mylar book spines measure nearly 25 feet tall and nine feet wide.

Wonderworks

This Pigeon Ford, Tennessee building turns American architecture on its head, literally. The upside-down building rests on its roof while the floor faces up to the sky. The topsy-turvy space houses over 100 interactive exhibits for families to enjoy, including laser tag, educational shows, magic demonstrations and a ropes course.

Chapel on the Rock

Seamlessly blending modern architecture with nature, this Arizona Catholic chapel sits within the red rocks of southern Sedona. The building’s designer, Marguerite Brunswig Staude, was heavily influenced by her teacher, famous American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The chapel reflects their love of nature, open spaces and geometric design.

Quadracci Pavilion

Welcoming visitors to the Milwaukee Art Museum is this stunningly futuristic design from Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. The dramatic 142,050-square-foot space reflects both modern design and old-world craftsmanship. Hand-built concrete flying buttresses, vaults and arches create impressive wings that actually close automatically when high winds are present. The 217-foot long wings are constructed of 72 massive steel fins that make a startling contrast with a blue sky and glisten in the sun. Designed to resemble a ship, the space overlooks nearby Lake Michigan with enormous floor-to-ceiling windows.

Rose Center for Earth and Space

A true architectural wonder, the American Museum of Natural History’s Rose Center for Earth and Space is a stunning example of American ingenuity and design. Located near Central Park in New York City, the center revamped the Hayden Planetarium’s design in 2000. The enormous glass cube houses the Space Theater, designed by architects James Polshek and Todd Schliemann. The redesigned space is six stories tall and seems to float in midair. The hidden complex truss work below supports the 333,000-square-foot structure. The museum’s Western Pavilion is just as stunning and allows visitors to enter the museum through a four-story archway of white glass.

Shoe House

The old woman that lived in a shoe would feel right at home in this Pennsylvania home. Designed to look like a shoe, the 1948 home is 48 feet long, 17 feet wide and 25 feet tall. An actual home, the space features three bedrooms, a kitchen, living room and two full baths. Designer Mahlon Haines originally intended the space to be used as an advertising gimmick but it later became a guest house. Today, the house draws tourists from all over the country that hope to sit at the kitchen’s curved breakfast table, which is located in the shoe’s heel, and to gaze out over the shoe’s tow from the second floor.

Some Ponderings On That Roswell UFO Incident (July 1947)

The UFO-related Roswell event (July 1947) was one of only a select few UFO events that has both extremely high credibility (professional military officers as witnesses – plural) as well as extremely high strangeness in the form of actual physical stuff for analysis on the slab in the lab. Alas, the downside is that the very nature of the Roswell event was never a scientific issue but always a highly classified and ongoing national security issue. Thus, you don’t get to know about that slab in the lab analysis.

Regarding the Roswell Event

The 1947 Roswell Incident tends to be the event that has triggered a lot of these dead aliens, etc. issue. Many of the first-hand eye-witnesses have gone on the record, including deathbed affidavits attesting to the reality of the Roswell Incident. You can find some relevant eye-witness interviews on YouTube. There are also many excellent hardcore books written by serious investigators that attest to the truth behind the Roswell Incident. Alas, Roswell was in 1947 and was quickly forgotten and given no renewed attention until 1980 when the first of now many Roswell books came to light. In that interval many witnesses moved and traces of whereabouts were lost. Others refused to talk. Others passed away before Roswell became topical. That’s certainly the case now. Just about anyone and everyone present and accounted for then is now dead. It’s rather hard to show up now to bear witness to the event when your six feet under. Others who might be alive and kickin’ today, those in the loop, would be rather foolish to open their mouths. There are very, very, very severe penalties for releasing classified information, and Roswell, if it’s really an accurate event dealing with an extraterrestrial crash, falls into that category. You’ve heard the quote “we’ve ways of making you talk”? Well the opposite is also true.

Roswell and the FBI

Here’s some proof about the Roswell pudding. A little while ago I dropped a bit of a bombshell when I noted that formerly classified, now declassified FBI documents show that former FBI Director, the late J. Edgar Hoover, while actually in his capacity as Director, acknowledged that the (then) Army Air Forces (AAF) were in possession of crashed disks – disks being the alternative description to saucers, words that were in vogue before the term UFO was invented. These documents (plural) were issued just a few days after the Roswell incident (July 1947). Alas, not one peep was heard out of Roswell sceptics. Perhaps that revelation ended up in their too-hard-basket. So, how do they explain this statement by Mr. Hoover? In fact how do they explain the entire Roswell incident in light of the fact that the official line of unclassified public relations explanations (plural) – there have been many and that in itself is more than just a little bit suspect – have all proved to be ridiculous?

The armed forces clearly aren’t opening up about Roswell, especially the USAF, but a declassified FBI office memorandum dated 22 March 1950 and addressed to Hoover notes that there were three “flying saucers’ recovered in New Mexico, and, as noted above, an FBI telex message from Dallas, Texas to Hoover dated 8 July 1947 confirms that the Roswell debris was sent to Wright Field “by special plane for examination”.

Roswell and Terrestrial Flying Disks

In 1947 we (Royal We) had no “disks”. All later on down the track experiments with saucer-shaped aircraft failed – totally failed to be viable. There are no, and never have been any terrestrial “disks” that could operate in any shape, manner or form to that reported by observers of what we now call UFOs. So, the bottom line, in July 1947, if the military say they came into possession of a crashed “disk”, it was not, could not, have been terrestrial. If these crashed “disks” were not terrestrial, what’s the alternative?

Just for the sake of completeness, I have to retract slightly and acknowledge that there was the U.S. Navy’s “Flying Flapjack” (XF5U, nee the Vought V-173 “Flying Pancake”) which was cancelled in March 1947 as being over-budget and taking way, way, way too long to develop. Being propeller driven, it was already outdated with jet engines now coming to the fore. It, only one of each was ever built, neither never made a true flight and never left its home state of Connecticut. Further, the fate of each is known. One was destroyed and the other is in a museum, on display. It’s not the answer to Roswell.

Roswell and the Alien Bodies

Now the other side to the Roswell coin, a side not absolutely required to prove the existence of ET, were the reports of alien bodies. I personally don’t care if there were bodies or not. The crashed “disks” alone are a smoking gun. However, what’s very, very interesting is that the USAF though it somehow necessary to explain away these alien bodies. In providing an explanation, they lend credibility to the reliability of those witness accounts of their being bodies. The USAF explanation was that these alien bodies were really just crash-test dummies that were tossed out of aircraft testing new parachute designs, etc. However, a bit of fact-checking quickly revealed a major “OOPS”. The crash-test dummy programme didn’t happen until several years after the Roswell incident. Oops indeed.

If there be aliens associated with the Roswell event, well sceptics will scream “Show me the Roswell aliens!!!” Of course instead of you going to see the ETs, perhaps the ETs might come and see you, or rather abduct you! Seriously, if you have no need to know about the nature of the Roswell debris, you also have no need to know about any associated extraterrestrial biological entities (EBEs) otherwise more commonly called ‘aliens’.

If sceptics want to negate the UFO extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH), they had better come up with some darn good answers, some very convincing explanations, for the Roswell alien bodies, close encounters of the third kind, and the entire alien abduction phenomena. Good luck to them!

The Roswell Press Release

Actually in the original Roswell press release, the military said neither “terrestrial” nor “extraterrestrial”. But they did say “flying disc” and there was no such terrestrial aeronautical device as a “flying disc” in July 1947. Here is the actual media release.

The RAAF (Roswell Army Air Field) Media Release (8 July 1947)

“The many rumors regarding the flying disc became a reality yesterday when the intelligence office of the 509th Bomb Group of the Eighth Air Force, Roswell Army Air Field, was fortunate enough to gain possession of a disc through the cooperation of one of the local ranchers and the sheriff’s office of Chaves County”.

“The flying object landed on a ranch near Roswell sometime last week. Not having phone facilities, the rancher stored the disc until such time as he was able to contact the sheriff’s office, who in turn notified Maj. Jesse A. Marcel of the 509th Bomb Group Intelligence Office.”

“Action was immediately taken and the disc was picked up at the rancher’s home. It was inspected at the Roswell Army Air Field and subsequently loaned by Major Marcel to higher headquarters.”

It’s an historical (on or for the record) fact that this military document existed – no fraud or fakery can be alleged. That the press release received reasonably widespread national, even international media (radio and newspaper) coverage is not in dispute. That too is an historical fact with no allowance for any wriggle room. The most oft displayed newspaper headline and associated article text reproduced in books and websites is from the Roswell Daily Record, 8 July 1947 – “RAAF Captures Flying Saucer On Ranch in Roswell Region: No Details of Flying Disk Are Revealed”.

Roswell and the Late Senator Barry Goldwater

“Higher headquarters” was apparently Wright Field, now known as Wright-Patterson AFB. Now you might be interested in what happened to the late Senator Barry Goldwater (Arizona), who was also the GOP candidate for president in 1964, and also a Major-General in the USAF (Reserve). Senator Goldwater was very interested in the Roswell UFO question, and he tried to gain access to the inner sanctums at Wright-Patterson AFB to check out the stories of UFO (“flying disc”) remains and alien bodies there. He was basically told to “piss off” – access denied – by his friend, Air Force General Curtis E. LeMay. Now all of that is on the public record. Sceptics got to ask themselves why such a high-ranking and senior American political figure was given the middle-finger. What was at Wright-Patterson that the powers-that-be didn’t want Goldwater to see?

Now as has been pointed out by sceptics, Goldwater did not have a “need to know” about Roswell. Yes indeed, Goldwater did not have a “need to know”. That means there must have been something to know that Goldwater wasn’t told or couldn’t be told. Since Goldwater was interested in Roswell crash debris and/or associated alien bodies, there must have been an actual something to know about those subjects. That Goldwater was told to cease and desist, that in itself tells you that there was structure and substance to his request. If there were no Roswell crash debris and/or no alien bodies, Goldwater would have been given the grand tour and the end of his quest would be at hand. There would have been a happy ever after ending. Alas, it was not to be.

Roswell and Your Need to Know

People always ask, if Roswell was the smoking gun that proves the UFO extraterrestrial hypothesis (ETH) where can I see the proof? Now where can you (the Royal You) go to see actual proof, well I’m of the opinion that the Roswell incident is factual as originally related and so you (the Royal You), can NOT see that stuff because you (the Royal You) do NOT have a need to know. There are hundreds of parallels with other stuff that you (the Royal You) can NOT see and do NOT have access to. The great unwashed and Roswell sceptics can throw temper tantrums all they wish but that’s the way classified stuff is dealt with. You’ll just have to cool your heels a while longer. Perhaps in the meantime such sceptics should have a good lie down and just calm down.

If you want THE answer, if you want to see the good stuff, well this is THE answer in a nutshell: Roswell, Roswell, Roswell, Roswell, Roswell and Roswell. If Roswell happened as related, then all else follows as sure as night follows day follows night. It’s the closest you are going to get to the smoking gun. Goldwater proved that when he tried to gain access to the inner sanctum of Wright-Patterson AFB. You just try waltzing up to the front gate of Area 51 (unlikely as you’d probably be terminated with extreme prejudice before you ever made it that far) and demand to be shown what’s inside (which doesn’t have to be UFO related) and see how far you get. This entire universe wasn’t brought into existence just to cater to the whims and wants of those who feel they have a right-to-know. The powers-that-be will take not the slightest interest in such demands.

Roswell and the Brazel Ranch

# The question has been asked about where could a large crashed disk or all of the bits and pieces be stored as was reported before the military took possession? Actually the discover of the debris, the rancher in question, William W. Brazel, wasn’t the owner of the ranch in question, just the foreman, but the key word here is “ranch”. A ranch has lots and lots and lots of room, like a very large barn perhaps. We’re not talking traditional family home here on a quarter-acre block.

Roswell and the Government Accounting Office

# Now here’s a very interesting document which you can find on the WWW though it’s available in hard-copy too (which I have). The document is titled: “Government Records: Results of a Search for Records Concerning the 1947 Crash Near Roswell, New Mexico” (July 1995). The “search” was conducted by and the report issued by the U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) at the request of the Honourable Steven H. Schiff, House of Representatives; United States Congress. The GAO is the independent investigative fact-finding branch of the American Congress. Three interesting things here: Firstly, relevant records from the Roswell Army Air Field for the relevant period (July 1947) have been destroyed – illegally by the way. There’s no record of who destroyed them or under what authority they were destroyed. Why am I not surprised! Secondly, some documents from other agencies were mysteriously unavailable or missing without explanation. Why am I not surprised! Thirdly, an FBI document issued one day after the Roswell event noted that the material collected was being sent to Wright Field (now Wright-Patterson AFB) for analysis (why analysis if it was just a crashed weather balloon is beyond me), yet the GAO found no associated records at the receiving end. Why am I not surprised! All very mysterious, yet this is official U.S. Government document; independent documentation made at the request of a Member of the U.S. Congress, the above mentioned Steven H. Schiff!

Roswell and the Case of Mistaken Identity

For all of the dozens of book, hundreds of articles and millions of words written about Roswell, the entire incident (which cannot be disputed) and its explanation (which sceptics have disputed), ultimately boils down to and revolves around one and only one point. That point is, is it even REMOTELY POSSIBLE that the ranch foreman who discovered the Roswell debris (and who testified that he had on several previous occasions found balloon remains on the sprawling property and thus was familiar with balloon materials) and who alerted the police (that this was something strange) who in turn alerted the military, coupled in addition with a group of senior military officers, including the base intelligence officer, could MISTAKE balloon materials – weather or Project Mogul – for a “flying disc”? Those on the spot called it a “flying disc” (an alternate phrase for “flying saucer”). Those hundreds of miles away, but of superior rank, ordered the terminology “balloon” debris or fragments be substituted, thus a “balloon”, weather initially but later changed to a Project Mogul balloon train, became the official explanation.

It’s a bit like you emailing me that you saw a white cat in your front yard but I reply, from 400-500 miles away that, no, you saw a black dog in your back yard and that’s the story you will adopt from here on in. Now who is more credible – you the witness who saw the white cat in the front yard and who was on the spot, or me, the ‘witness’ hundreds of miles away? That’s the analogy with Roswell, Day One.

Now I have relatively little faith in some people’s cognitive abilities, but I do honestly believe even they could tell the difference between balloon materials and a “flying disc”, even “flying disc” debris.

If military offices could be so incompetent as to fail to distinguish balloon debris from “flying disc” fragments, then I fail to understand how we could have won WWII!

Roswell Witness Reliability

Were the Roswell witnesses “unreliable”? The absolute last thing you want your military officers to be is “unreliable”. You might recall that the personnel at the Roswell Army Air Field were, in 1947, the ONLY military personnel charged with the responsibility for minding and safeguarding America’s atomic arsenal. They had darn well better not have been “unreliable”. And just what the heck does “unreliable” have to do with being able to tell the difference between balloon debris and the debris from a “flying disc”? You might be “unreliable” in showing up for work on time, but reliable in being able to tell an elephant apart from a dog!

There also is no “belief” issue when you hold the physical materials in your hand. If you hold a glass in your hand is that glass a matter of “belief”? Those physical materials, the actual debris retrieved, were absolutely “serious evidence”. The “serious evidence” is not in question. Quite apart from the bodies that were found, and on-the-spot witnesses have so testified that there were bodies, there was no evidence, no suggestion, that what was found was manufactured here on Earth. On-the-spot witnesses have so testified to the “out-of-this-world” nature of the Roswell debris.

In any event, who are armchair sceptics to judge what did or did not happen at Roswell in July 1947? Who are armchair sceptics to judge the reliability of the personnel stationed at Roswell in July 1947? Armchair sceptics were NOT there. Armchair sceptics have NOT seen the evidence. Armchair sceptics do NOT know any of the personnel who were first-person witnesses. Armchair sceptics sit in their armchairs some 68 years after-the-fact and presume to KNOW everything there is to KNOW on the subject.

If anyone is prepared to deny the Roswell event as originally reported then they had better be prepared to call an awful lot of witnesses liars, people who have gone on-the-record (usually post retirement) with interviews and signed, even deathbed affidavits. Further, they had better be prepared to back up their statements and claims with their own documentation.

Sceptics have no moral right to call the Roswell witnesses “unreliable” – especially now that they are all deceased and cannot defend themselves – just because they want it to be so. By the way, those various statements and affidavits by witnesses to the Roswell incident that testify to the out-of-this-world nature of the debris and/or the alien bodies are admissible in any court of law as EVIDENCE! The facts remain, that they were there and the sceptics weren’t there so they were in a far, far, far better position to judge the merits of the debris than sceptics could ever be. Also by the way, you don’t need to have a “belief” in Zeus if you are standing right in front of him having a chin-wag. If you hold the physical evidence in your hands, as in the case of Roswell, your “belief” in that evidence is irrelevant. That however is not quite the same thing as saying your belief in the nature of that evidence is fixed in stone – that belief might be flawed.

Costa Rica Just Might Be the Best Country in The World

The Boeing swoops low over a valley peppered with fields and farms, then little factories and a sprawling town – lights coming on in the tropical dusk. I’m arriving in San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital and, let me tell you, I’m a touch nervous. It’s not for my safety, because Costa Rica is a peaceful place – they call it the Switzerland of Latin America. But I’ve no idea where I’ll be laying my head tomorrow night, or the night after that, or…

A patient man in his early 60s meets me as I cross the barrier from airport madness into the real world. I know where I’m to stay tonight, and he drives me there, but all I’ve got for the rest of my stay is a book of vouchers and a list of a hundred or so hotels who will gladly exchange them for a room and breakfast. Or so I’m told. ‘Just make it up as you go along’ the nice people told me before I left London. They’ve been using this system for self-drive holidays for years apparently, and it works a treat. They could arrange it all for me in advance they said, but where’s the fun in that?

On the plane I flicked through the hotel list and decided to try Almonds and Corals Lodge, an ecolodge in the forest where you sleep under canvas. It looks incredible from the pictures and I’m dying to try it. Next morning my patient friend returns, this time with a man from a rental car company with a smart little four wheel drive car. We pour over maps, discuss my route, and I confess to the mounting tension I’m experiencing. He fishes into his bag and brings out a SatNav, pushes the buttons for my destination, and sets it up on the dashboard. I relax. I’m given a cell phone and the idea is that I call ahead to book my room each night, no more than a day in advance. I try the phone. After 2 rings a nice lady in the jungle answers and confirms that they do have space. She takes my name, and I’m all set.

‘Pura Vida!’ the rental man exclaims – that’s ‘Pure Life’ to you and me, and Costa Ricans say it all the time. What a great way to set each other up for a positive take on the day. I return the compliment and we slap hands. A few minutes later my bag is in the back of the car and I’m making my way out of the car park.

The road climbs into mountains, the traffic thins, and suddenly there’s a wide view across the slopes that lead to the Caribbean – a spell-binding sight. My jungle lodge is right down in the south, at Puerto Viejo, about as far from San Jose as it could be. But Costa Rica is a small place and by lunchtime I’m almost there. I stop at a beach bar where a small group of surfers are joshing each other over coffee, stopping to stare lovingly at the breakers rolling in. A tattered magazine cutting on the wall tells me this is where a special wave called ‘Salsa Brava’ arrives. I consider texting London to chuck in my job and sell the flat.

When I get to the lodge it is everything I projected on to it, and more. Neat wooden boardwalks wind around giant trees hanging with lianas, to wooden platforms raised on stilts, with high pitched canvas roofs like some very well organised and unexpectedly luxurious safari camp. Next morning I wake to the distant roar of howler monkeys, a wonderful sound that haunts me still. Birds call from every side as I amble to a breakfast of tropical fruit. It just doesn’t get much better than this.

I spend the whole day exploring the jungle, being shown plants, insects, birds and butterflies of every kind. My favourite is a bright blue butterfly as big as my hand that flits dazzlingly into shafts of sunlight. Over lunch I plan my next move, and ask the lady at the desk for her opinion of Sarapiqui, which my guide book says is a wildlife hotspot. She approves and calls ahead for me. Of the four hotels in the area the first choice is sadly full, but the next has space and I’m sorted.

Stopping in a village on my way a small boy shows me his beetles. There are seven of them on his stick, each about three inches long with great horns and funny legs. His mum appears and we spend a happy ten minutes having them crawl weirdly on our hands and up our arms. There’s another 50 or so of them on a bush in their garden, some beetle festival is in progress.

My hotel at Sarapiqui is a lovely little place and I’m shown a room with a view of their farm. It’s not very big, about the size of a tennis court, and shrouded in netting. I’m curious and find that they farm butterflies. Through complicated doors I step inside and find a world of fluttering gorgeousness: hundreds of bright wings flap about merrily mating, laying eggs and mating again. Chrysalises are exported to fanciers worldwide – a trade in living glimpses of bright Costa Rican sunshine.

I’m here to visit La Selva, a research station that unravels the secrets of life in the rainforest. The coordinates are on my SatNav and I park, pay a surprisingly modest entrance fee, cross a bridge and I’m in an area of neat cabins laid out beside a Visitor Centre. I didn’t know they had those in the jungle. A young man with a beard and a t-shirt from the University of Arizona at Tucson greets me as a family of coatimundis race across the lawn behind him and disappear up a tree. There’s a map of trails that would keep Richard Long busy for a fortnight, so I decide on a modest loop that promises much. I am not disappointed. In an hour and a half I see more wildlife than David Attenborough could cope with in a 6-part mini-series.

Late in the day there’s just time to drive on to the little town of La Fortuna, just beneath a massive volcano called Arenal. I arrive at sunset and, seeing smoke coming from the top, ask the hotel receptionist if it’s about to blow. Not tonight, she says. Arenal is permanently active and spends its time contentedly steaming and gently burping lava, which I can just see as a ragged rim high on its steep cone, glowing red as night falls. Tired after a busy day I make for hot springs and gently lower myself into volcanic waters as a waxing moon appears. Every so often there’s a distant rumble as Arenal gets on with its job.

Although I have not come very far from the lowland forest at La Selva, here I’m high enough to be in a different kind of forest, and I walk next day on the ‘Hanging Bridges’ – metal walkways enterprisingly slung across little gorges connecting paths through the trees. My guide stops and lifts a leaf to reveal a tiny frog, no more than an inch long, red but with bright blue legs. I’m sure it has a weighty scientific name, but ‘Blue Jeans Frog’ suits it just fine. We see birds galore, and I ask how many live here. About 170 species, I’m told, which puts my London bird table in a new light.

Now I’m not a birder, although I fancy I can tell a robin from a wren, but looking through my guide’s binoculars made me realise, for the first time, that I could become one here. The colours, for a start, are incredible. You may not believe me when I tell you I saw birds with bright purple chests and startlingly red legs, natty little chaps all in turquoise, [others]. Later I stopped for a muffin and juice (don’t ask me to name it but it was delicious) at a hummingbird gallery, where I swear a hundred hummingbirds buzzed and swooped around plastic devices filled with some tempting liquid. I saw toucans bearing the weight of beaks the size of a decent banana madly decorated in seven different colours. And great big macaws flying romantically in pairs across treetops by the sea.

There’s a special something about Costa Rica that I’m beginning to understand. Here they actually enjoy, and revel in, the nature that surrounds them and apply a lot of ingenuity to make it possible for you to share the experience. And they actually like having visitors, you can see it in faces that light up when a tourist comes in the door of the hotel, or walks down their street, or stops to ask the way. I’m sure it’s not just the money, but if it is I don’t begrudge them a penny of it.

I spend the next two days up in the northwest of Costa Rica, dry flatlands where they ranch cattle. I phone ahead to a cattle-ranch-turned-lodge inside a national park, and hand over my little voucher to a man with a face the colour of walnut and wearing a white Stetson. Steak and beer for dinner. Next morning they milk the cows, fry up a hearty breakfast, and ask me whether I’d like to go walking, rafting or riding. They had some horses to round up. I narrow my eyes to a Clint Eastwood squint and say I’ll lend them a hand.

We mount smallish horses with surprisingly comfortable saddles, and the cowboys set off. I don’t. I tap my heels into the sides of my mare. She ambles a little, but doesn’t seem very sure about it until I am let in on the secret. She needs a kiss. Not on the lips, thank goodness, but the sound of a kiss, loudly made. The command system thus mastered, we set off. A happy band of cowboys blowing kisses. Twenty minutes later we are circling a group of horses, dashing off to fetch escapees, yelling and whooping like the movies. It was enormous fun. We shepherd them back to the ranch, arriving in a cloud of dust and whinnies that would swell the heart of any proud homesteader in the badlands of Wyoming.

It’s time for the beach. At dinner I meet a delightful couple from Virginia who come to Costa Rica every year, who recommend a village on the coast. I find a promising hotel there on my list, pulled out my cell phone and within a few minutes I am booked in for the following night. I lounge, swim in pool and ocean, dine on fish and sleep like a log to the sound of waves flopping lazily against the shore.

My time has run out. I haven’t been to Ostional, where turtles arrive by the hundred to lay eggs, nor to Manuel Antonio, where sloths dangle from trees over forest paths behind tropical beaches. I haven’t explored the southwest, where humpback whales and dolphin patrol the Pacific off the Osa Peninsula, whose forests are so thick and undisturbed they hold jaguar. Nor have I climbed the mountains to the cloud forests of Monteverde or San Gerardo de Dota to see the Resplendent Quetzal, the sacred bird of the Mayans.

Native American Art Auctions – Art Antiques

Whether traditional or modern, Native American artwork is both highly collectible and universally appealing. Native American art forms the basis of many exemplary public, along with private, art collections. People that collect Native American artwork can be very keen about their collections.

Older, more conventional Native American artwork and cultural artifacts are not merely revered and / or emulated by modern artists, they are also held dear as parts of art collections the world over.

Fine Native American art done by famous American Indian artists, such as Nampeyo, the Hopi potter, can raise the caliber of a private or public art collection quite substantially. Iris Nampeyo lived on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona. She made a good income making pots and selling them at local trading posts.

An exceptional aspect of Nampeyos work is that in time she became more ad more curious about making pots in keeping with ancient ways, in preference to the modern pottery that was being created by people at the time. The grade of her work, in addition to her interest and use of ancient pottery systems certainly add to the demand and high price tags of her work.

If you find yourself in the market for Native art antiques, be prepared to pay the price. Particularly with Native American art, availability doesn’t correlate to requirement or cost, as is the situation with a number of other highly collectible art types.

Items like early Plains beadwork or late nineteenth century basketry are certainly examples of what would be considered extremely rare finds internationally of Native art auctions.

When choosing from various art pieces, compare types, read and investigate. This is genuinely the only method to educate oneself about the various types of American Indian art. Then its time to shop around. Similar to anything else, you wont know whats available unless you take a little time to comparison shop.

During the 1900s nearly all of the Native American art and crafts that other individuals go along with American Indians began to be commercially produced, especially by Asian nations. These Native American fakes became so widely purchased that several lots of dollars were taken from the American Indian artists in the kind of cheap imitation Native art.

Before obtaining Native American art antiques its a great idea to perform additional investigate has to the authenticity of the piece or pieces. Unless you’re highly educated on the topic and have experienced spotting fakes, this sort of art can be extremely hard to make sure by inexperienced sight alone.

On the whole, collecting American Indian art antiques is a twin of collecting any other antique, the definitive and primary timeframe is something that is pre-1950s. Although a name that is well known can seriously increase the value of an object, condition, workmanship and prevalence are aspects that are only as important.

More and more, even seasoned art dealers that trade in American Indian art find it difficult to discern authentic art antiques from imitation pieces. For this purpose, it is particularly important to select handling trustworthy sources. As a way to ensured that your perfect Native art antique is the real deal its worth taking the time to find such a well known art trader or museum.

There are specialized art museums and dealers that offer Native American art pieces. These organizations generally are most interested in promoting Native art and cultures. The better of these institutions and organizations directly invest nearly all of the gains gained from the sale of art pieces back into the Native American community.

When it concerns collecting Native American art antiques or any other type of art, dont buy it unless you absolutely like it. Your easiest pieces are intending to cost a pretty penny. If you dont fall head-over-heels with, probabilities are you’re not going to love it any better once its on your wall. So hold out for the ideal piece, you’ll be glad you did.

10 Ways Baby Boomers Can Be Happier in 2018

How can you live your best life and be happier in 2018? Here are 10 surefire ways to help you hit the restart button for a better life.

Change Careers

Studies show that up to 80 percent of baby boomers plan to do some sort of paid work until age 70 to stay mentally sharp, keep engaged socially, and achieve financial security in retirement. That leaves a couple of decades after 50 to work.

Perhaps that’s why more and more boomers are contemplating an “encore career” to pursue their passions and create a fulfilling life they can enjoy.

The American Institute for Economic Research looked at people who changed or tried to change jobs after age 45 and found that 82% of people aged 47 and older who took up new careers in the last two years were successful, and 50% saw a salary increase.

“Don’t view your age or your experience as a liability. It’s a benefit to companies to have a multi-generational workforce,” says Oriana Vogel, vice president of global talent acquisition at American Express. “One of our goals… is to hire employees that can provide a variety of different perspectives and experiences.” Age doesn’t come into consideration when it comes down to hiring the best people, she says.

Enjoy Life’s Simple Pleasures

In 2017, International Happiness Day and the first day of spring coincided. How often does that happen? But do we really need a special day to find some bliss? I say that any ordinary day will do.

In 2018, let’s pause and enjoy all of life’s simple treasures and treats we look forward to throughout the day. Yes, we all have them! You know, the moment you open up your drapes and sunlight fills your home. The aroma of coffee in the morning. Those delightful blueberries on your cereal. The hot shower in the morning that awakens and refreshes you.

If you’re a baby boomer still working, instead of grumbling about it, enjoy your favorite song on the radio as you drive to your job. Don’t just sit there, sing along! If you’re lucky enough to be retired, enjoy some creative leisure time.

Experience happiness from the simple act of giving. Take a moment and write, text, or call a friend. Give someone a big smile to brighten their day and perk up yours as well. Make it a point to do something nice for a stranger or give someone a sincere compliment today. When you get home, give a loved one a big hug. Make your dog’s day with a walk around the neighborhood, a treat, and an extra pat on its head. Relish each bite of dinner. Watch the sunset. Enjoy your favorite comedy and laugh loudly. At the end of the day, remember each blessing and give thanks.

If a gloomy thought dares to enter your head this day, usher it right out and replace it with a happy, positive thought. No groans or gripes allowed. Mentally shout “next” in your head and move right along. Relish every day of simply being alive.

Break Through Barriers

Oh, the wonderful things that can happen when we break through our self-imposed barriers!

When I wanted to become a writer, I put a lot of barriers on myself. I was afraid that people would laugh at me because I didn’t have a college degree. That my submissions would sit in a huge pile and be ignored by literary agents and editors since I didn’t know anyone in the publishing business. That friends and family would roll their eyeballs if I dared to express my dreams of becoming a writer out loud. That I would become so discouraged by the countless rejections sure to come my way, I would give up and watch my precious dreams slowly fade away. Doesn’t everyone want to be a writer, but how many actually make it?

Instead of taking action, I was comfortable just dreaming about becoming an author one day. It was fun envisioning my novel on the shelves of Barnes and Noble and my first book signing. Until a woman at a writer’s conference asked me a simple but profound question. What are you waiting for?

With the woman’s words echoing in my head, I took the first step and began submitting my short story to magazines. Of course, I received the standard rejection letter which stung, but I continued on my journey, taking writing classes and submitting my work. The road wasn’t easy. Many of my fears came true during that time. I gathered enough rejection letters to wallpaper a room. Many times, I became discouraged and swore off writing. But I tenaciously pressed forward. Six long years passed before my first short story was published. Am I happy that I persevered and finally faced down all those nagging self-doubts and fears?

You bet! I’ve been writing professionally for over 25 years now. Over the years, I’ve been published in national magazines, authored three books (one of which was published by big time publisher McGraw Hill), landed an agent, won three journalism awards, and even had my dream come true with a book signing at Barnes and Noble.

This is the year to reflect on who you are and what matters most to you in life. Time to overcome your fears, persevere, and find the power to become the driver of your own life and personal journey!

Become Happy-Go-Lucky

The Urban Dictionary defines happy-go-lucky as a person who is cheerful about most things, has a positive view on life, and annoys the you-know-what out of their friends. Haha! Seriously, think of all the benefits of lightening up. You’ll be less stressed, have more fun, take more risks, step out of your comfort zone and because of your positive attitude have more friends and better relationships.

So adapt a devil-may-care attitude, be a little silly, laugh more, mellow out, and be playful! If you can become more of a happy-go-lucky person, I’d lay bets that you’ll find life more enjoyable and even more fulfilling.

Take a Trip

It’s no secret that I love to travel, so a new survey last year that listed baby boomers choices for top bucket list travel destinations caught my eye.

Of the 12,000 boomer participants, a whopping 99 percent said they planned to take one leisure trip last year. About half planned to travel domestically on multi-generational trips, weekend getaways, and holiday travel. Bucket lists inspired 43 percent of boomers to say they hoped to travel internationally as well.

Which places topped boomers’ bucket lists for travel? Hawaii topped the list for a dream domestic destination followed by Alaska, California, Arizona, and Nevada. The top international destinations were Australia, followed by Italy, the United Kingdom/Ireland, France, and the Caribbean. Are any of these places on your bucket list? No time like the present!

Interestingly, boomers enjoy dreaming about their trip almost as much as experiencing the trip itself. Part of the fun is planning!

Stay Positive Despite Adversities

is it possible to be happy when persistent, scary, and frustrating problems keep rising to the surface and smacking us in the face?

Adversity can make us feel stressed, upset, disappointed, powerless, angry, and depressed. Even when some or even most other aspects of our lives are going well, we tend to focus on things that are going wrong.

Instead of allowing damaging thoughts to build and grow in strength, find a quiet, peaceful place. Think of your problems and then forcefully push them aside. As Mark Twain wisely said, “Drag your thoughts away from your troubles… by the ears, by the heels, or any other way you can manage it.”

Research has shown there is a strong link between creativity and better mental health. Instead of stewing about your problems, do something creative and you’ll be forced to look inward and listen to yourself. It will help you shut out the world and its problems for a while.

Purposely direct your mind to focus on things that make you feel happy. You might recall something funny your grandchild did or said, reminisce about one of your favorite memories, or plan a trip for the future. Or write down five reasons you can feel grateful and force yourself to focus on those things. Put inspirational, happy quotes on post it notes and spread them around the house. Again, with a little practice you can train your mind to naturally gravitate toward more pleasant thoughts.

Of course, these tips won’t make your problems magically disappear, but they can help you better able to cope with challenges.

Get Rid of Clutter

Whether we’ve become empty nesters or are following the latest trend of decluttering, many of us baby boomers are downsizing.

Two years ago, we moved. As I was filling up trash bags and putting aside things to donate and sell, I felt incredibly FREE. Why hadn’t I done this sooner?

Conquering clutter can clear the way for a more productive life. Without physical obstructions like piles of unopened mail, old clothes, and Tupperware without lids in the way, you’ll be amazed how much you can accomplish in your life.

Aim for Long-Term Happiness instead of Instant Gratification

Instant self-gratification rules the world today. Think about ATM machines that provide instant cash, fast food supplying instant meals, the Internet with its access to instant information and entertainment – all of which has turned us into impatient beings that can’t tolerate waiting for anything.

According to a CNN article, there are two types of well-being. One relies on self-involved instant pleasure and requires continuous action to constantly feed positive emotions. This type of satisfaction typically leaves as fast as it comes. For example, buying an expensive pair of shoes creates a temporary high but to keep that euphoric feeling we must keep shopping for the next quick fix. If something threatens our ability to seek out this kind of personal happiness – for example, all our credit cards are maxed out – our entire source of well-being is threatened.

The second type of well-being is a kind of happiness that comes, not from consuming products, but from working toward something larger than ourselves that gives true meaning to life.This type of well-being can bring long-term happiness.

That’s not to say that we should never reward ourselves with a bowl of ice cream or a great pair of shoes as a special treat every once in a while. We don’t have to wait to enjoy the present or our lives.

However, we’ll all be happier if we develop some self-control and avoid the habit of wanting everything right this second. Constantly giving into momentary desires can actually make us feel depressed in the long run. Advertisers have become experts at convincing us that instant gratification is the key to happiness. Don’t buy it. Shoot for long-term satisfaction and fulfillment instead.

Embrace Hygge like the Norwegians

Despite frigid arctic temperatures and months of darkness, the happiest people on the planet apparently live in Nordic countries, according to the 2017 World Happiness Report.

Norway jumped up three spots to claim the title of “world’s happiest country” for the first time. Denmark, the previous winner for three years in a row dropped to second. These countries were followed by Iceland, Switzerland, Finland, Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden. In case you’re wondering, the U.S. came in 14th place, dropping down one spot from last year.

Could the reason Norwegians are so darn happy have to do with the Danish term hygge? Hygge is also difficult to define, but is translated loosely into the English word coziness and is associated with relaxation, indulgence, and gratitude. However, Norwegians would probably argue there’s much more to the word.

Hygge requires being present in a moment – whether it be simple, soothing, or special – that brings you comfort, contentment, or pleasure. The word refers to the ability to enjoy the good things in life with people you love. Hygge can describe soft candlelight, comfort foods like a pork roast or home-made cinnamon pastries, sitting by the fire on a cold night with fuzzy socks, or simply being kinder to yourself and others. It’s about transforming an afternoon cup of tea into an event with friends. Some people translate the word as coziness of the soul.

So, go ahead. Eat that pastry guilt-free, invite friends over for a glass of wine by the fire, or luxuriate in a candlelit bath. Savor the moment and let the warm, fuzzy feelings flow.

Retire in a Happy State

My childhood friend was visiting me last year when she asked, “Where do you want to retire?”

I’m from the Palm Springs, California area, which has long been one of the most famous retirement communities. Snowbirds love this place with over 300 days of sunshine a year. Golfing, casinos, hiking, and cycling are popular activities. Places to shop and dine abound. In addition, a fairly strong economy and low unemployment rate make the Palm Springs area a popular destination for baby boomers and retirees.

But do I want to retire here? Not especially. Some people love the heat, but I’m not a fan of the long, hot summers with temperatures that exceed 115 degrees. However, I have time to consider my options. Like many boomers, retirement is nowhere in sight for me at the time being. But of course, a girl can dream, right?

So, what are the best and worst states to retire? The results from a Bankrate.com’s survey last year were interesting. Traditional retirement spots like Florida and California didn’t make the top 10 while other states, not usually considered as premier places to retire, like Wyoming and Colorado, made the top five. Honolulu is the 2nd most expensive place to live and Hawaii residents pay an individual income tax rate of 11% – the 2nd highest in the U.S. But if you can afford it, this state ranks high for happiness and personal well-being. New York and West Virginia rated the worst.

Feeling Our Pain: The Rift Between NHL Owners and Players… And Fans

There has been no better time to be a fan of the NHL! Sure, 422 games have been canceled so far. Sure, the two sides negotiating the new CBA have poisoned the well of compromise so badly that the bad blood is sure to carry into the next CBA negotiation. Sure, your wintry Saturday nights will seem listless and long. But people aren’t considering the major benefit that has emerged from this whole ordeal; the average NHL player and owner have never been more respectful or empathetic towards the average fan. They’ll tell you so themselves. And they will fight tooth and nail to make sure that as self-indulgent and damaging as this lockout seems, it is all for the greater good, and it is definitely not their fault. And we should all just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Consider the owners. Gary Bettman has continually made us blush by telling us that the NHL has the ‘best fans in the world.’ It’s why we all came back after the last lockout, he tells us. How can you argue with that? Fans in Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton all came back in droves to see their hockey teams. The fact that you could rename the Toronto Maple Leafs the Toronto Festering Sores, serve Soylent Dogs in the concessions, and play nothing but Kenny G over the PA between whistles and people in the Big Smoke would still be stepping over their own mothers to get tickets I’m sure can be overlooked. Judging by the caliber of hockey usually played at the ACC, the Leafs have been trying to give fans a good reason not to come the rink for years before the lockout, and yet they keep coming back. It’s the same with all the Canadian teams. Even when they are bad, they still draw fans. So we are the best fans in the world! We expect nothing from our teams, and in return give complete, unreserved support. That’s what Gary is talking about. That’s why it can’t be suggested that the league is taking advantage of this deep national character flaw. And of course if the fans up here where hockey is religion will always masochistically come back for more, then the fans in the US where hockey is still in its infancy in many places… well the fans will take their lead from us Canucks, and will always come back. Cause those teams are actually successful. According to ESPN.com, The New Jersey Devils, Stanley Cup finalists last spring, winner of 3 in the last 15 years, and all-around model organization sold on average 87.4% of their seats per game last year, including corporate seats. Seems like a solid number, except when you watch a game on television, and see that the seats may have been sold, but they are not filled. Corporate seats are usually given free to clients, or employees. Apparently there are simply not enough people who want to come see a consummate NHL team and franchise even for free. Phoenix was last in the league in attendance, selling less only 72% of their tickets, despite Gary’s insistence that the market is viable, the franchise is thriving, and the ownership is solid. The city of Glendale, the supreme court of Arizona, and even the team’s hitherto unflappable captain Shane Doan don’t seem as convinced, but what do they know? They don’t get to touch the Stanley Cup whenever they want.

Gary also will tell you that the league is on the same page with its fans. They’re being transparent, and share our frustration with the entitled players who don’t understand the realities of the current situation. When Bettman was asked about the most recent proposal from the NHLPA, he sounded off authoritatively, and showed just how in touch he is. “Hopefully there will have been some momentum from today’s session that we can build off of to hopefully bring this process to a successful conclusion,” Bettman said on Wednesday. Goosebumps. The successful conclusion he is talking about is of course the invention of an NHL time machine, so that he and Boy Wonder Bill Daly can travel back, hop in the Bett-mobile and warn his former self of the impending loss of 422 regular season games at a critical moment for the league amidst financial uncertainty not seen in twenty years. That must be what he’s talking about, because that is pretty much the only scenario that would represent a ‘successful conclusion.’ As it is, especially for the fans, there is no such thing as a ‘successful conclusion’, even if hockey started again tomorrow. But Gary knows that, he’s a lawyer.

Just like he knows that it would be wrong to renege on player’s contracts years after they were signed. All the league is asking for is a re-do. We all know that those evil, cap-circumventing, front-heavy contracts were all signed at gun-point by sweating owners and GMs while Ilya Kovalchuk and his agent sat in high backed chairs and simultaneously stroked white fluffy cats. Now the owners are calling foul. They are the champions and defenders of financial sanity, and they’re only asking for what used to be theirs until they gave it to someone else. I think the average NHL fan can relate to that. After all, they used to think that hockey belonged to them on some level. Gary will set us right though. We need to stop worrying, and just wait at the turn-style, money in our fist.
And he’s so in touch with our pain that he’ll do anything that is necessary to get this thing fixed, including damage his spotless reputation by requesting a two week hiatus just when talks seemed to be heating up. What a crafty negotiator. This is a man who gets things done. Nobody presents the Stanley Cup like he does! Of course, that’s because nobody is allowed to present the Stanley Cup like he does. Probably because nobody could match the level of commitment that he displays while doing it. Despite being resoundingly drowned out by boos no matter what city he’s in (even cities that have just won the Stanley Cup take time off from their revelry to lustily jeer the commish) he resolutely plows forward with his congratulatory remarks, and darn it if he isn’t going to get all of his platitudes out before he gives up that trophy. We fans should know better, and will just have to wait. And thank goodness. Gary makes sure we know the names of the players who have just won the Stanley Cup, he reminds us of the hard work and perseverance we’ve all been watching for the last three months, and makes sure to give a shout-out to his good personal friend, owner of team X, and even though he has worked in close quarters with this person (and is currently representing them in major negotiations), still manages to say their name like he’s reading it off a queue card. This the generosity, the genuineness, and the geniality of our commissioner. Triple G.

NHL fans, stop railing against it. Stop thinking that you have the slightest idea of what is going on. You couldn’t possibly. Only one man does, and don’t worry, his smiles may never reach his eyes, his platitudes may never be reflected in his actions, but he feels your pain, he has your best interests at heart. Trust in Triple G Bettman, and we will reach that ‘successful conclusion.’
But what of the players? Do they not also commiserate with hockey fans affected by this tyrannical owner-induced lockout? Of course they do. Just ask Donald Fehr, president of the NHLPA, and chief negotiator for the oppressed and under heel players. “The players are suffering right along with the fans” pronounced Fehr, as if that wasn’t already clear. The fans, just like the players are being forced to get paid thousands of Euros to play hockey in European abysses like Prague, Moscow and Cologne. Some of them even shamed into returning to their home countries, fulfilling dreams of playing for their childhood clubs. Some of them have even said that things are so bad for them where they are right now, they might actually never leave. Obviously not as many of the fans are doing this as players are, but the kindred feeling of despair is obvious. TSN had briefly flirted with the idea of working out a broadcast agreement with the Russian KHL and other European leagues, but gave the up the idea of chasing hockey all the way to Europe as ludicrously expensive and impractical. But just because TSN, with its millions of dollars of endorsement money shouldn’t be willing to cross the Atlantic, that doesn’t mean fans shouldn’t. After all, the players are suffering with us, making all of these sacrifices, forgoing their usual hundreds of thousands of dollars to play in the NHL, and instead collecting hundreds of thousands of Euros to play overseas. The least we as fans can do is quit our regular jobs to hop the pond to support them.

And the players themselves leave little doubt as to how closely they can identify with the plight of the fans. They have conducted themselves with nothing but honor and decorum. Scathing tweets from European hotel rooms as to the mental prowess of NHL executives, and infighting between union devotees and malcontents have surely done nothing to tarnish the reputation of these blue collar heroes. Why, only last week Washington Capitals defenceman Roman Hamrlik voiced his displeasure about the seemingly farcical and ponderously slow progress of negotiations under Donald Fehr. But former Montreal Canadiens teammate Erik Cole was quick to quash these remarks, calling them the “the most selfish thing I’ve heard during the lockout.” You can imagine that the competition in that particular category is stiff, but Erik Cole, People’s Champion that he is, is right. Being upset about the fact that nothing is getting done while most suffer and some do not is very selfish. Roman Hamrlik should be ashamed to voice his displeasure, just as we fans should too. It would be selfish to criticize people who are clearly so relatable and who share our pain. Cole heroically went on to betray private conversations that Hamrlik had in the Montreal dressing room with other former teammates while foolishly believing that the sanctity of what is discussed between teammates and friends would never be thrown on the sacrificial pyre of CBA negotiations posturing. You fool, Roman. If you believe that, the terrorists win. Hamrlik even went as far as to suggest voting (Voting?) among the membership of the NHLPA before a proposed deal is summarily dismissed by the leadership. Even if there were some kind of international network that could be used to share information, the idea of people actually voting about things is frightening and untraditional. Hamrlik should just take his socialist agenda back to Commie-land. Soon we’ll be holding elections to democratically elect an NHL commissioner.

The idea is certainly cumbersome judging by the NHL players’ complete lack of ability to use social media. Chicago forward Dave Bolland admitted it that he erred in re-tweeting a death threat made against the commissione by one of Bolland’s followers. “It was a mistake” said Bolland. After all, some things should never be said. Also some things should never be said publicly. Also, some things should never be said publicly and then publicly endorsed by a high profile athlete with thousands of subscriber sharpening pitch-forks and lighting to torches, just looking for a good time. I’m certain that the damage done to any young and impressionable fans will be mitigated by Bolland’s ‘aw shucks’ admission that threatening to kill people is wrong, but it’s sure as heck funny enough to post it for all to see.

Former NHLer Jeff O’Neil was also in hot water for tweeting that he wanted to ‘make whole’ in Gary Bettman’s head, referring to the legal lingo assigned to the owners’ acknowledgment that to not pay contracts is stealing. O’Neil later reported that he was the victim of a nefarious hacking scheme, where persons unidentified hack into innocent people’s twitter accounts, and then post the innocent person’s exact thoughts.

Back in the trenches, Erik Cole, or ‘Che’ as he has come to be known in the world of labor dispute, went on to extoll the nobility of the unions cause. “”That’s what this is supposed to be about, that’s what makes hockey players different. You sacrifice something for the people coming behind you. That’s where the respect factor comes in. Whoever’s kid is the best kid on your son’s hockey team, you want that kid to have the same opportunity that you’ve had. That’s what it’s about.” Come on fans, this is not about your love for the game, or the players incredible good fortune to be able to do it for a living. This is about people getting what they deserve because they’re better at something than you. It’s not even about your kid, because as Eric points out it’s going to be somebody else’s kid, because let’s face it, no kid of yours is going to be good enough to make the NHL. Let’s stop being all entitled, and thinking that hockey belongs to everyone. We all know it only belongs to those who do it best. Really, by following them so closely, and cheering them on, we’re doing them a disservice. Our ignorance, selfishness, and lack of talent drag them down. They don’t need us, they’re good at hockey, and they have to make sure the world will be a better place for other people who are good at hockey too.

NFL Reviews Week 14

Philadelphia edging Dallas. The Eagles earned a tough road win against a hated division rival. Michael Vic started off the game with his usual long distance laser shot bomb to speedy, svelte receiver DeSean Jackson which put the Cowboys are there heels. The Eagles finished the game by running out the clock behind an often criticized offensive line when the defense was looking for the run. In between the Eagles overcame a below average performance set by his own standards Michael Vic, who turned the ball over two more times and was sacked and often hit. Some of the hits were more than a little late and Vic is not getting the kind of calls that other elite NFL quarterbacks get, but he toughed out the game which is a testament to his mental and physical strength. His short hitch pass to Jackson was the biggest play of the game, when Jackson glided 91 yards for go ahead touchdown. Jackson then made a bone head play by falling backwards into the end zone and drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, but also landing hard and almost knocking himself out. For someone who has already had two concussions, he might want to not take any unnecessary hits. The Eagle defense gave up yards and points but did not give up the big play. They also came up key interceptions when they needed them. They sorely miss Asante Samuel for not only his ball hawking ability, but because he gives the entire defense the confidence to play better. Samuel allows defensive coordinator Sean McDermott to call for more blitzes, which in turn energizes the entire defense. The Eagles offensive is defiantly Super Bowl caliper because they can on anybody. It shows how potent they are when they are “held” to 30 points. But they will only advance in the playoffs as far as the defensive can take them. A healthy Samuel helps.

The Cowboys keep finding ways to lose close games, especially at home. It’s just the little things that turn’s games on them. For instance Roy Williams slightly slipping out of break on a sideline pass that resulted in interception, which in turn allowed the Eagles to extend their lead to 10 points in the fourth quarter. Michael Jenkins who his had a terrible year again get’s lit up on key play. With the score tied Jackson catches a quick hitch which is designed to gain less than 10 yards, but Jenkins misses not only knocking down the pass, but also the tackle and Jackson sprints into the end zone. Over all the Cowboys have been much better since Jason Garrett took over, Jon Kitna played well again showing that he deserves to start in the league. The interceptions were not his fault, a tipped pass and a slip on rout. The Cowboy defense played well by hitting and controlling Vic and the high powered Eagle offense to 30 points. However the offense did miss injured receiver Dez Bryant’s big play ability. It’s still shocking to see them at 4-9 with the talent they have. That’s what happens when they took a six week mental vacation in the middle of the season, and can’t win at home. Beating Detroit at home does not count.

Indianapolis over Tennessee. Oh the nightmare is over. The Colts win and Peyton Manning turned back into to Peyton Manning and threw touchdowns to his team and not the opponent. The Colts have contacted the FBI to find out who the impersonator was. It is hard to believe that the Titans were 5-2 but they have crashed and burned faster than Maverick in “Top Gun”.

Mother Nature over the Metrodome. That was an awesome display of power when snow blasted through the baggie roof of the Metrodome. Sorry to say this Minnesota Viking fans but can you say Los Angeles Vikings?

Buffalo over Cleveland. The Bills and Browns are mirror images of each other. The only difference in this is that the Bills have Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Browns have the Mr. turnover Jake

Steeped in Tradition – A History of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament

It is a looking glass for human hope, excellence and positive social change. It is, in short, a microcosm of the human existence, with all of its exuberance, tragedy and triumph.

The excitement and tradition of “March Madness” as we know it today has been shaped by many significant events in NCAA tournament history: The first NCAA men’s basketball tournament was held in 1939 with the first championship game held at Northwestern on March 27, 1939. Only eight teams competed in two regions. Oregon defeated Ohio State in the championship, and the West region held a third-place game.

Although the NCAA tournament now determines the national champion, that was not always the case. Until the 1950’s, the NIT was considered a more prestigious tournament than the NCAA, and teams often chose to enter the NIT and bypass the NCAA tourney. Because of this dichotomy, two of the best centers of the 1940’s never met in an NCAA tourney. George Mikan’s DePaul team traditionally entered the NIT, while Bob Kurland’s Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State) won two NCAA titles. Several schools entered both tournaments. One such team, City College of New York (CCNY) led by Irwin Dambrot, won both in 1950. Ironically, CCNY defeated Bradley University in the finals of both tournaments. Another school, Utah in 1944, entered the NIT, lost in the first round, and then went on to win the NCAA title. Kentucky pulled off a similar accomplishment in 1949, losing in the second round of the NIT and then going on to win the NCAA Tournament.

In 1941, the East region added a third-place game into the schedule, and in 1946, a national third-place game was held for the first time; the game would be a fixture until 1980. In 1951, the tournament expanded to 16 teams, and in 1952, Seattle was the site of the first true “Final Four,” with both semifinal games and the championship game in one city. It was 1956 when the tournament was divided into four regions. Some of the most astounding and telling events in college basketball were to follow: North Carolina defeated Wilt Chamberlain and Kansas 54-53 in three overtimes to win the title in 1957. The legend of dominance emerged in 1962 when John Wooden’s UCLA team makes the first of 13 Final Four appearances over the next 15 seasons.

Reflecting the race and civil rights issues of the time, Loyola (Illinois) was matched up with Mississippi State in a 1963 men’s basketball tournament regional semifinal. Mississippi State, an all-white team, fled the town in the middle of the night despite protests from the governor and state police of Mississippi to play a Loyola team that features four black starters. Mississippi State overcame an unwritten Mississippi rule against playing integrated teams with a cloak-and-dagger flight to the North just one step ahead of a court injunction. Triumphantly, Loyola beat Mississippi State and went on to win the title. In 1966, Texas Western (now UTEP), with an all-black starting five, defeats an all-white Kentucky team to win the national title.

In 1973, with the championship game held on Monday night for the first time, UCLA behind Bill Walton’s 44 points on 21 of 22 shooting, won its seventh straight championship, defeating Memphis State. NC State, led by David Thompson, ends UCLA’s title run in 1974, defeating the Bruins in the national semifinals in double overtime.

The following year, the NCAA tournament expanded to 32 teams, and then allowed more than one school from each conference to participate. Prior to this ruling, the restriction prevented several great teams from competing in the tournament, including the 1974 Maryland team. They finished the season nationally ranked #4, yet lost the ACC Conference final game to top-ranked NC State prior to the start of the tournament. After that, the NCAA began to allow more than one team per conference to participate. In 1976, Bobby Knight’s Indiana Hoosier squad completed an undefeated season with a victory over Michigan in the championship game. The Hoosiers are the last team to go undefeated and win the title.

The tournament expanded to 40 teams in 1979, and teams were seeded for the first time. “Magic” Earvin Johnson leads Michigan State over Larry Bird and Indiana State to win the national championship. The game drew the attention of millions throughout the country; its 24.1 TV rating remains the highest ever for a college basketball game and is still considered one of the greatest match-ups in NCAA Tournament history.

Expansion followed in 1980 to 48 teams, and then in 1983, to 53 teams. In what many believe is the greatest Cinderella story in college basketball, North Carolina State’s Lorenzo Charles dunks the ball as time expires in the 1983 championship game to lead the Wolfpack to a 54-52 win over heavily favored Akeem Olajuwon and Houston. Perhaps no one figure in college basketball history more personified the spirit of March Madness than Coach Jim Valvano. His underdog North Carolina State Wolfpack did what many consider a miracle by making an incredible run through the 1983 Tournament. Culminating in the defeat of the highly touted “Phi Slamma Jamma” squad from the University of Houston, Valvano was rocketed into the media limelight and quickly became the symbol of exuberance and enthusiasm. He discovered soon afterward that he had bone cancer, and for a short time became a commentator for college basketball. Before his death at age 47, he was named the recipient of the Arthur Ashe award for courage at the first ESPN ESPY awards. It was at this time he announced the formation of the V Foundation for cancer research.

In 1985 the tournament expanded to 64 teams. A Villanova Wildcat team shot a 22 for 28 field goal percentage to defeat Patrick Ewing and defending champion Georgetown in the championship game. Villanova remains the lowest seed (#8) to win the championship. In 1991, Duke upset undefeated UNLV in the semifinals and went on to win the national championship. In 1997, Arizona, led by Mike Bibby, Jason Terry and Miles Simon, becomes the first school to defeat three #1 seeds en route to the national championship, winning against Kansas, North Carolina and Kentucky.

The NCAA Tournament’s popularity has grown to rival that of the World Series, the Olympics and the Super Bowl. CBS Sports in 1999 negotiated an 11-year, $6 billion agreement for television, radio, Internet, corporate marketing, licensing, publishing, home video and Hoop City rights for the Division I men’s basketball championship.

In 2002, the NCAA tournament committee developed a “pod” system for the first and second rounds. The system allows the top four seeds to play at a site as close to home as possible, without regard to the school’s tournament region. In that year’s tournament, Maryland became the first school to defeat five former national champions on their way to win their first title. In 2004, the regions became known by the regional final’s host city instead of by their geographic names. The Final Four match-ups were set by committee prior to the tournament instead of on a rotating basis. Connecticut, behind center Emeka Okafor, won its second title in six seasons. Last year, 2005, Roy William’s North Carolina Tar Heels led by Sean May, held off the Fighting Illini to win the title game by a final score of 75-70.
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Adversity, tragedy, and ultimate triumph; the downtrodden and beleaguered emerge through the journey as champions. The drama of hope intensified to euphoria, only to be dashed on the rocks of defeat in the ultimate test of poise and determination. The human experience in all its excellence and all its failures. Yes, this Tournament has it all.