Blog Archives

Poll: Are you concerned about winter weather this year?

The unseasonably cold winter last year could raise concerns for this year's winter. Photo courtesy of NOAA via Wikipedia

The unseasonably cold winter last year could raise concerns for this year’s winter.
Photo courtesy of NOAA via Wikipedia

The winter weather outlook from The Weather Channel has more below average temperatures in the forecast for Arkansas. Accuweather has Arkansas sitting in the middle of an “ice threat” zone. We want to know if this makes Sync readers nervous.

Are you concerned about winter weather this year?

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UTeach looks to stem the tide of teacher shortage

There is a real need for science, technology, engineering and math educators in America, and Museum of Discovery’s Kevin Delaney is using his star power to promote a teacher-certification program for those educators called UTeach Arkansas. In a video on the program’s website, Delaney encourages students to submit STEM-themed videos for a chance to win school supplies and tuition credit to participating universities, where they will then be certified to teach in their area of study.

In 1997, the University of Texas at Austin developed UTeach as a response to the need for more qualified teachers in the STEM subjects. The school offered scholarships and supplies for students who incorporated specific education classes into their four-year curriculum. When they graduated, in addition to receiving their desired degrees, these students were certified to teach STEM courses.

Following this model, UTeach Arkansas aims to educate degree-seeking students in order to fill the desperate need for STEM teachers while also helping employ more graduates. Many students will have jobs waiting for them immediately after graduation.

The scholarship packages include $2,500 tuition credit at participating universities, a laptop worth approximately $1,500, a graphing calculator worth around $250 and a $750 book voucher. Participating universities are the University of Arkansas, University of Central Arkansas and University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

To enter, students create a 15-second-or-less video that demonstrates a STEM concept and upload the video to Facebook, YouTube, Instagram or Vine using the hastag #UTeachARScholarship. Finalists will be judged based on accuracy, clarity and imagination, and three students will win scholarship packages.

According to a press release from UTeach: “The UTeach program is currently active at 40 universities across 19 states with a total enrollment of more than 6,700 students and more than 2,000 graduates. By 2020, the UTeach Institute projects more than 8,000 graduates will be teaching across the country.”

To qualify for the scholarship, students must attend a participating school, be a resident of Arkansas and enter before Nov. Read the rest

The Big G and preparing for a food challenge

When I was writing about the Big G for this week’s issue of Sync, I knew I was going to try it the following week. I heard that it was nearly 10 pounds and I decided to get serious about preparation. I did what any millennial would do. I typed “How to prepare to eat a lot of food” into a search engine. I ran across a blogger’s in-depth post about his personal experiences in eating challenges. It was a bit anecdotal, and for more serious endeavors I might suggest you go to the library and find a more reputable source, but this looked right up my alley.

The Big G in all its glory. By Morgan Acuff (sorry for grain, it was really dim in there)

The Big G in all its glory.
By Morgan Acuff (sorry for grain, it was really dim in there)

Following the advice given, I ate a max-out meal 22 hours before my planned “food event,” as my blogger source, Satel, calls it. I started by eating some grapes on my way to my night job at the Capital Hotel. Once I arrived, I ate a few salads in the employee dining room. I then came back to eat another salad after I saw the lobby and mezzanine were empty (I am a lobby server). I was still not very full, and took to a bowl of tomatoes and cucumbers. The plan with the max-out meal is to eat foods that are easily digested to ensure your digestive tract is empty. I had two bowls of my cucumber and tomato mix before I left early from work due to lack of volume. Once I got home, I really maxed out with roughly two pounds of grapes (there were barely any grapes left in the three pound bag) and I drank three or four glasses of water. I felt bloated, to say the least. Read the rest

12 martial arts movies to watch during the ATA World Expo

Taekwondo got its present name from Supakhee in 1954. Since then, there has been no looking back and today it is estimated that more than 23 million people prefer learning this martial art for varied purposes like self-defense, sport or a leisure-time activity. Basically, it consists of many types of hand and foot techniques. By Monadawson/Wikimedia

By Monadawson/Wikimedia

The American Taekwondo Association World Expo is in Little Rock this week. For everyone who isn’t capable of breaking bricks with their fists, we put together a list of the best martial arts movies for vicarious living. Martial arts movies have appealed to audienes for quite some time, and the sport’s rich, storied history is still bobbing up into mainstream consciousness. Directors like Sergio Leone display Akira Kurosawa as a great inspiration, while Star Wars and spaghetti westerns drew heavily on Kurosawa’s influence, with less name dropping. It’s only fitting that a good number of influential movies are tied to this ancient Eastern tradition.

A movie about getting drunk and fighting. Right up my alley.

A movie about getting drunk and fighting. Right up my alley.

The Legend of Drunken Master

The 1994 sequel to Drunken Master is 16 years removed from its original, but it delivers a tighter story with a better sense of Jackie Chan’s comedic skill. The movie’s production was a subject of contention for Jackie Chan and Chia-Liang Liu. Eventually, Liu would leave the production during filming, leaving Chan to pick up the direction for the final scene, which reportedly took months to film. The drunken boxing style depicted in the film is an actual martial art, although it is not normally used whilst drunk. All in all, Chan delivers the goods in the comedy department and drops jaws with amazing fight scenes.

Chan is the king of prop fighting.

Chan is the king of prop fighting.

Seven Samurai

Kurosawa might go down in history as the greatest filmmaker to ever live, and his magnum opus Seven Samurai is a perfect example of why. The film inspired The Magnificent Seven directly, shot to be identical side by side in certain scenes by director John Sturges, and inspired every filmmaker since with its mold-breaking attitude toward film. Samurai is often called the first modern action-adventure film. Read the rest

Poll: Thoughts on the U.S. in the World Cup

Tim Howard

What are your thoughts about the U.S. Men's National Team's run in the World Cup?

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