COVID-19 has been around since the beginning of 2020, and many have started to adjust to the new way of living that has become the norm.
Changes have been made since the beginning of the semester in terms of COVID protocol, which has been beneficial to the sports teams on campus.
Contact sports are now able to practice in full contact, and masks are only limited to those moments of contact, not for entire practices.
Women’s lacrosse has seen some relief with the loosening of restrictions around COVID.
The women are now able to get back to their normal, full-contact practices and they can breathe a little easier without the constant requirement to wear a mask.
Although lacrosse is an outdoor sport, the amount of contact that the women utilize each day in practice, and eventually in games makes COVID a daunting threat to these women.
“COVID effects lacrosse specifically because we are a high risk for transmission sport. We are going to have to get tested 72 hours prior to every competition, which is good to give us all a peace of mind, but isn’t going to be very fun,” said senior nursing major and lacrosse goalie Olivia Ward.
The reality of wearing masks for lacrosse players is that it has had implications on the players periphery, and breathing ability, with lacrosse being a high cardio sport.
Lacrosse players wear eye protection gear such as goggles or helmets, as well as a mouthguard.
“As an athlete we now have had to wear masks while lifting and running and during practice outside. It messes you up mentally but also makes it difficult to enjoy the sport I’ve always loved,” said Ward.
The addition of a mask to all of the business on their faces initially is a hard adjustment. The mask also blocks the athlete’s downward periphery, similar to what many other athletes have experienced.
Practices are now the best form of team bonding that athletes can get due to COVID, and even then, social distancing is enforced whenever possible.
“It stops those team events. No dinners. No movies. I feel like it has been a lot harder to bond with my team than in years past,” said Ward.
Sports teams rely on forming a bond between teammates, and COVID has prevented that from happening.
The pressure of school, sports and COVID do not have much to relieve them, like socializing or going out to do fun things.
Even though COVID has become more normal to society every day, it still takes a mental toll on people, especially those under a large amount of stress, like student athletes.
“I’ve had to learn to be more independent and how to deal with feeling alone,” said Ward.
Through all of the madness and uncertainty of COVID, it is important to stay in touch with loved ones, and make sure that those you care about are doing well throughout this pandemic.
“I just want everyone to continue to stay safe and healthy and remind them to reach out to someone if they are struggling. I know how rough it is, for athletes and non-athletes, but reaching out can really help,” said Ward.
There are many resources on campus, such as the MFT Kemp Clinic, as well as trusted individuals, whether they be friends or superiors.
“Don’t be afraid to talk to professors or coaches about how you really are because they can make a huge impact,” said Ward.
To keep up with the lacrosse team’s season and calendar, go to obubison.com to find their schedule, roster and statistics.
Covid-19 is the greatest obstacle for the church today.
The CDC recommends distancing from one another to slow the spread of the virus.
The obstacle occurs, because the church is called to gather and minister together to support those in need.
The National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCRID), Division of Viral Diseases of the CDC sets recommended guidelines for communities of faith about gathering together and coming in contact with other persons.
According to the NCIRD, “millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life… [but] gatherings present a risk for increasing spread of Covid-19 during this Public Health Emergency.”
“[The] CDC offers these suggestions for faith communities to consider and accept, reject, or modify, consistent with their own faith traditions, in the course of preparing to reconvene for in-person gatherings while still working to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
The recommendations stem from keeping facilities clean, physical distancing and training church staff to keeping an eye on personal health, planning for when someone is sick, creating back-up plans for absentee staff members and posting signs to ensure proper practice.
Some of these recommendations are: “clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces… allow time for cleaning and disinfecting… limit size of gatherings… promote [physical] distancing at [gatherings]… limit touching [of shared community objects]… staying home if sick… establish procedures when [a person has Covid-19]… implement flexible sick leave… and post signs… that promote… protective measures.”
“This guidance is not intended to infringe on rights protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution or any other federal law, including the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA),” according to the NCRID.
As the CDC has set out its recommended guidelines, ministries such as ReachGlobal and the Director of ReachGlobal Crisis Response Mark Lewis, give a guideline for all ministries that are continuing during the pandemic.
Lewis responds to many questions that are causing anxiety and worry within the church community and is making sure that ministry can still be properly done.
“Everything has changed [and] everyone is affected,” Lewis said. “Online services – keep same rhythm [as if attending service], e.g., times, content.
Utilize technology to support ministries… Use online forums, group discussions, chat boards.
Buddy system for church members to check on each other. Neighborhood prayer walks –ask how you can help.
Shopping ministry for more vulnerable / infected.
Door knockers telling people to call if they need help.
Emphasize online giving, request additional resources for benevolence and to meet church financial needs now.”
Lewis’ model recommends an online format, but a format that can be easily molded to shape a church that is now doing in-person services.
“We do not fear, we are children of the King,” Lewis said.
“Ignore [comments such as]: event is overblown, Media is creating panic, waiting and seeing, this won’t last long comments, no impact on ministry [and] no impact on finances.”
Lewis commented on how church should respond.
“[The church should] embrace [a somewhat new standard]: Nothing is certain, this is the new normal, adapt ministries, embrace [physical] distancing, new ministries to focus on trauma and counseling, prepare for the next wave [and] raise funds now,” Lewis said.
The church, both local and universal, ought to respond to this crisis in a manner appropriate to the gospel of Christ.
Lewis recommends some ways the church can be God’s hands and feet while abiding in social distancing.
Lewis recommends “prayer, reading the Bible, and devotionals for personal spiritual growth… praying for leaders, [being involved with] online community groups, purposefully meditating and prayer walking through neighborhoods.”
Keeping in touch with communities, both inside and outside the church is essential.
Making sure that everyone’s needs are met.
“Love others – From your own home, check-in by phone with others who you know do not have a strong support system. If you aren’t aware of someone’s support system, reach out to them to find out how to best encourage them,” Lewis said.
The ultimate goal of the church at this time is to adapt to the environment of the times and respond to whatever crisis is at hand, which includes Covid-19 and making sure that the gospel is still being used to reach out to those in need.
Since the Coronavirus outbreak, movie theatres have struggled to stay afloat.
Despite some states reopening their theatres weeks ago, attendance to movie theaters is still down compared to what it once was.
According to The Verge, “Regal Cinemas, the second largest theatre chain in the US with 536 theaters and 7,076 screens, will officially close all its doors in the United States for the second time during the global pandemic.”
The Verge continued, “In response to an increasingly challenging theatrical landscape and sustained key market closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Regal will be temporarily suspending operations at all of its Regal theaters in the U.S. as of Friday, Oct. 9.
Regal Cinemas’ official statement on their website states, “Regal will continue to monitor the situation closely and will communicate any future plans to resume operations at the appropriate time, when key markets have more concrete guidance on their reopening status and in turn, studios are able to bring their pipeline of major releases back to the big screen.”
The chain has also announced 127 theaters will also be shut down in the United Kingdom leaving over 45,000 people without jobs or furloughed without a plan in place for reopening.
This news comes shortly after many studios such as Disney announced the delay of many films into 2021 like “Black Widow,” “Eternals” and “West Side Story.” The upcoming James Bond film “No Time to Die” has also been delayed until April 2021.
These film delays are not the direct cause of the closures throughout the US and the UK, but with attendance to theaters already down and many showing films that have been out for years (with the exception of films like “Tenet” and “The New Mutants” each film earning over $300 million and $31 million globally, respectively) many would-be audience members are not showing up to Regal theaters for one reason or another.
“We are like a grocery shop that doesn’t have vegetables, fruit, meat…We cannot operate for a long time without a product,” CEO of Cineworld [Regal Cinema’s parent company] Mooky Greidinger said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
However, the closures of Regal Cinemas theaters do not mark the end of movie theaters as AMC and Cinemark have announced that 80 percent of their theaters will remain open. Both AMC and Cinemark have stated that they can only hold out part of 2021 if a change is not made soon enough.
Each theatre chain’s financial records show that “AMC lost “$2.7 billion in the first six months of 2020, and Cinemark lost $230 million.”
Some of the revenue lost was a result of having to throw away millions of dollars of perishable food items and the cost of rent for their theaters.
When asked on CNBC for comment about when reopening may occur, Greidinger stated, “Might be a month, might be two months, until the…COVID-19 situation will be clearer.
Maybe there will already be a vaccination, but at the end of the day we must have a clear lineup of movies before we reopen.”
The timeline for reopening Regal’s theaters remains unclear.
For now, the biggest obstacles for the chain are the lack of an effective COVID-19 vaccine and movie studios continuing to delay the release of new films in theaters according to Cineworld’s CEO Mooky Greidinger.
October is National Breast Cancer awareness month. As per its name, Breast Cancer is cancer affecting one or more areas within the breast.
According to Cancer.org, “most breast cancers begin in the ducts that carry milk to the nipple (ductal cancers), [however] [s]ome start in the glands that make breast milk (lobular cancers). [In addition to these], [t]here are also other types of breast cancer that are less common like phyllodes tumor and angiosarcoma. A small number of cancers start in other tissues in the breast. These cancers are called sarcomas and lymphomas and are not really thought of as breast cancers.”
Breast cancer is very common throughout the female population with NationalBreastCancer.org reporting that, “1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime [. . .] [making] Breast cancer the most common cancer in American women, aside from skin cancers. It is estimated that in 2020, approximately 30% of all new women cancer diagnoses will be breast cancer.”
According to NationalBreastCancer.org, “in 2020, an estimated 276,480 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in the U.S. as well as 48,530 new cases of non-invasive (in situ) breast cancer.”
While these numbers are high, it is also important to note that according to NationalBreastCancer.org, “64% of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at a localized stage (there is no sign that the cancer has spread outside of the breast), for which the five-year survival rate is 99%” and that “[t]here are over 3.5 million breast cancer survivors in the United States.”
In addition to the statistics regarding the commonalities of breast cancer in women, it is also important to note that it affects many women on a psychological level seeing as that breasts are often associated with femininity and desirability.
According to Simmons.edu, “though people respond differently, patients who receive a cancer diagnosis often experience a number of common emotions, including various levels of stress, anxiety, and fear related to uncertainty about what the future holds and self-image.”
Simmons.edu also reported that, “The link between physical and psychological health, particularly as it pertains to breast cancer, is well documented.”
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), “mortality rates were found to be nearly ‘26 times higher in patients with depressive symptoms and 39 times higher in patients who had been diagnosed with major depression.’ Additionally, a ‘decrease in depression symptoms’ was associated with longer survival in patients with metastatic breast cancer.’”
While Breast Cancer is often stigmatized as being a “woman’s issue” the truth remains that, while rare, men can also be diagnosed with breast cancer.
According to NationalBreastCancer.org, “in 2020, an estimated 2,620 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year in the U.S. and approximately 520 will die.”
This number is much lower than the estimated “42,170 women [that] will die from breast cancer in the U.S.” this year according to the same source.
According to NationalBreastCancer.org, “Male breast cancer can exhibit the same symptoms as breast cancer in women, including a lump. Anyone who notices anything unusual about their breasts, whether male or female, should contact their physician immediately.”
However, NationalBreastCancer.org also states that, “If you find a lump, schedule an appointment with your doctor, but don’t panic — 8 out of 10 lumps are not cancerous.”
When it comes to detecting breast cancer, especially among young adults, self-conducted breast exams are of the utmost importance.
According to NationalBreastCancer.org, “John Hopkins Medical Center states, ‘Adult women of all ages are encouraged to perform breast self-exams at least once a month [. . .] [f]orty percent of diagnosed breast cancers are detected by women who feel a lump, so establishing a regular breast self-exam is very important.’”
In addition to self-exams, mammograms are often used to detect signs of Breast Cancer. Mammograms can detect the cancer even without the presence of a lump.
According to Cancer.org, “Women who are at high risk for breast cancer based on certain factors should get a breast MRI and a mammogram every year, typically starting at age 30. Women between 40 and 44 have the option to start screening with a mammogram every year. Women 45 to 54 should get mammograms every year.”
According to 13 WHAM, a local branch of ABC News, in light of Covid-19, “Breast cancer screenings are down 25 percent from a year ago.” The article continued that “[a]t first, women had no choice. Mammography facilities shut down at the start of the pandemic. But they’re open now, and doctors warn the risk of not going is far too great.”
Mammograms are often covered by health insurance, however many facilities offer free and/or discounted mammograms if needed.
The Oklahoma Sooners (OU) took on the Texas Longhorns on Saturday, October 10, 2020.
Kickoff started at 11 a.m when OU won the coin toss and brought out their offense.
Redshirt Freshman Spencer Rattler Quarterback #7 started the first drive with a pass to Redshirt sophomore Drake Stoops Wide Receiver (WR)#12.
After a punt return, Texas starts their first drive with a first down, leading to a 2nd and 6 fumble by Junior Keaontay Ingram running back (RB) #26, picked up by Redshirt junior Isaiah Thomas Defensive Lineman (DL) #95, for the first turnover of the game.
With 12:27 left in the first quarter, Spencer receives the snap from Redshirt junior Creed Humphrey Offensive Lineman (OL) #56, junior T.J. Pledger Runningback (RB) #5 grabs the ball and runs up the left sideline on 1st and 10 gaining 20 yards.
This drive led to Redshirt sophomore Gabe Brkic Kicker (K) #47 putting OU on the scoreboard with a field goal making the score 3-0 OU with 9:34 left in the first quarter.
Texas calls for a touchback after a deep kick from Brkic.
Senior Sam Ehlinger Quarterback (QB) #11 receives the snap looking for a pass to sophomore Joshua Moore Wide Receiver (WR) #6.
Senior Tre Brown Centerback (CB) #6 sweeps in front of Moore picking off the pass from Ehlingher for back to back turnovers.
3rd and 6 Ehlinger looks deep for Moore but the pass is broken up by both junior Delarrin Turner-Yell Safety (S) #32 and sophomore Jaden Davis Cornerback (CB) #4.
On 4th and 6 Freshman Marvin Mims Wide Receiver (WR) #17 is deep to receive the punt from Junior Ryan Bujcevski Punter (P) #8.
The ball bounces back up to the 40-yard line after a short punt for great field positioning for the Sooners.
With 8:20 left in the first quarter, Rattler and his offense sets up for a 1st and 10 handing the ball off to Redshirt Freshman Marcus Major Running Back (RB) #24, running the ball up to the left, giving Major a gain of 21 yards.
2nd and 11 Rattler receives the snap from Humphrey, scrambles and sees Mims down field, throwing across his body.
Mims wide open trotting in for the first touchdown of the Red River Rivalry.
During this scoring drive Mims managed to pick up 60 yards in 4 plays in only 1:33 with a 30 yard receiving touchdown.
After several attempts on getting there way down the field the pass from Ehlinger to Moore was broken up by Redshirt freshmen Woodi Washington Safety (S) #0, leading to 3rd and 10 for Texas.
4th and 15 Bujcevski receives the snap and punts the ball down the field, Mims ready to receive the ball bouncing back inside the 5-yard line.
3:38 left in the first quarter Sooners offense comes back out onto the field leading 10-0.
With 3:40 left in the second quarter, 3rd and 5 Redshirt sophomore Tanner Mordecai Quarterback (QB) #15, receives the snap and passes to Redshirt junior Charleston Rambo Wide Receiver (WR) #14 with an “unbelievable catch with the ball that never touches the ground.”
The Sooner and Longhorns are tied 17-17 with 1:14 left in the first half.
Texas has possession at 2nd and 2, Ehlinger receives the snap and goes nowhere under pressure getting sacked from Redshirt Senior Jon-Michael Terry Offense Linebacker (OLB) #40.
Starting the 2nd half, Brkic kicks off into the back of the end zone.
Ehlinger receives the snap for 2nd down and gets sacked for the fourth time during the game, by sophomore David Ugwoegbu Linebacker (LB) #2.
After getting blocked in the first half by Brown on the Sooners, Longhorns punter Bujcevski gets ready for the snap for 4th and 1.
With 9:15 left in the third quarter, the Sooners lead 24-17.
5:06 left in the third quarter the Sooners convert from 3rd and 7 with a snap from Humphrey to Rattler, passing to Sophomore Theo Wease Wide Receiver (WR) #10 for the 1st and 10.
Rattler takes the direct snap from Humphrey, finding the open hole through his Offensive line running inside the 15-yard line for the first down.
1st and goal, Rattler takes the direct snap, handing the ball off to Pledger for another Sooners touchdown, making the score 31-17 after the extra point made by Brkic.
Early in the fourth quarter, Ehlinger rolls left out of the pocket looking for a receiver and has no luck, getting sacked once again by Sooners defense.
With 10:59 left in the fourth quarter, Rattler gets the snap handing the ball off to Pledger, finding the open hold up the middle breaking free through the Longhorns defense, gaining the 1st down.
Shortly after Rattler fakes out the Longhorns defense and takes the left side of the field gaining another first down for the Sooners offense.
At the end of the course quarter, the Sooners and Longhorns are tied 31-31.
After going back and forth for four overtime periods.
The Oklahoma Sooners take the win back to Norman, Oklahoma with them 53-45.
The production of Silent Sky begins Oct. 30th at the Dorland Theatre. Tickets must be bought in advance at okbu.edu/theatre.
Assistant Arts Editor
At the end of this month, students from OBU’s theatre program will be performing a show known as ‘Silent Sky.’
These actors and actresses have put much time and effort into making this play happen. A few of them shared their thoughts and experiences about their time preparing for the show.
Emma Greathouse, a junior accounting major and theatre minor, gave a summary about the play and of her character.
“‘Silent Sky’ is about an astronomer named Henrietta Leavitt who left her home in Wisconsin to study the stars at Harvard Astronomy during the turn of the 20th century,” she said.
“She made a discovery there that influenced other astronomers such as Hertzsprung and Hubble. Their work would not have been possible if not for her, and yet, she was not given any credit for it because she was a woman. She even had to publish her work under her supervisor’s name to ensure its publication.”
Greathouse, who plays Leavitt, said her character is both smart and curious. She said Leavitt is dominated by her wonder of what is in the sky and the distance she is from the heavens. But she is not allowed near the telescope or any other instruments.
“She still strives to explore more and more. And the more she realizes and discovers, the more she realizes how much there is to discover,” Greathouse said.
“Eventually, she has to resign herself to understanding that there is way too much in space for one person to discover during their lifetime. It is a struggle for her to define her worth and her work’s worth when she is so demoted and discouraged by supervisors who won’t even let her touch the telescope.”
Kennedy Largent, a sophomore double major in English and secondary education, also gave a summary of her own character.
“I have the privilege of playing Williamina Fleming, one of Henrietta’s coworkers,” Largent said.
“She’s a spunky Scottish woman in her fifties and, quite honestly, my favorite character I have ever played. She was also the first female curator at Harvard University. I’m really inspired by her legacy.”
Largent also spoke of the people working on the set.
“I love the cast. I had the joy of meeting and working with them last year. They are all so talented, encouraging and fun to work with,” she said.
Greathouse said the cast and crew for this show have been amazing. It is only a five person cast so it is more intimate than other shows.
“We are becoming more and more of a close-knit family, and I believe that will only make our performance stronger,” Greathouse said.
Largent talked about how much they rehearsed and what would happen during these rehearsals.
“We rehearse 6-9 Sunday through Thursday. Our wonderful director, Dr. Dutt, has divided the rehearsals for different scene sections,” she said.
“We began with memorization and general blocking for the whole play and are now going back through to smooth out transitions and character choices. Personally, my favorite parts are the slap-happy moments where we just start laughing uncontrollably over a silly mistake.”
Greathouse also talked about some things she wanted people to know about the play.
“This show does have some serious themes-the role of women in the professional world, the struggle of love and disappointment,” she said.
“But this show is so fun and witty. Our director, Hephzibah Dutt, described it as ‘harmony in the midst of agony,’ which has been a wonderful concept to play with as we decide how to tell the story.”
Greathouse showed a lot of enthusiasm for people to come see the play.
“I am so excited to hear people’s reaction to the show and to hear how it hopefully inspires them to look at God’s wonderful creation around them and letting His creation display His character,” she said.
“My concerns are for health primarily. We have been taking COVID precautions through the entire rehearsal process, but as we get closer to the show we would appreciate the prayers for the health and safety for our entire cast and crew.”
Junior journalism and mass communications major Lily Huff once said, “If you’re in college and don’t have a caffeine dependency, are you even in college?”
This brought up a genuine curiosity, especially in light of the month of October.
How many people at OBU would say they have a caffeine dependency?
Caffeine can not only cause negative effects within itself, but lack thereof can also negatively affect the consumer.
According to the Mayo Clinic, reasons to cut back on caffeine intake may be insomnia, restlessness, irritability, rapid heartbeat, stomach issues and anxiety.
On top of these symptoms of caffeine addiction, symptoms of withdrawal are also a sign of addictions.
So for individuals who have ever experienced a headache that can only be remedied by a cup of joe, a lack of concentration that can only be focused by an energy drink or a chronic drowsiness that can only be energized with a couple full cups of mountain dew, October may be a month of realization – and maybe even rehabilitation.
October is Caffeine Addiction Recovery Month.
So if there are any OBU students who’ve been concerned about their daily caffeine intake, now is the time to make a change.
According to a study conducted by pubmed.com, caffeine of any form was consumed by 92 percent of college students in the year 2019.
While coffee was the main source of caffeine intake in male and female consumers, energy drinks, sodas and tea were also reported amongst the forms of daily consumption.
The study also recorded the multiple reasons students provided for caffeine use.
These reasons include, “to feel awake (79%); enjoy the taste (68%); the social aspects of consumption (39%); improve concentration (31%); increase physical energy (27%); improve mood (18%); and alleviate stress (9%).”
These numbers reflect those of the responses gathered from OBU students and faculty by a report conducted by The Bison student newspaper.
[Insert year and Major] Megan Presley shared her daily caffeine habits after answering, yes, she has a caffeine dependency.
“I drink pop or soda. So like Diet Coke or Coke, normally,” Presley said.
On average, Presley said she consumes three or four cans of soda on a daily basis.
But soda isn’t the only form of caffeine OBU students are consuming.
Seeing as there is a Starbucks on Bison Hill, coffee is a common choice amongst caffeine enjoying college students.
[Insert year and Major] Caleb Finch is one of such students.
Finch claimed his order depends on how much money he wants to spend, but his go-to Starbucks drink is four shots of espresso with half and half and vanilla.
Finch described his caffeine intake in terms of shots of espresso.
“Probably two, three shots a day,” Finch said.
According to Finch, he picked up his caffeine habit first semester of 2019 due to a “bad sleep schedule.”
A member of OBU faculty that claims a caffeine dependency is Assistant Professor of Communication Arts and Debate Scot Loyd.
With Coke Zero being his caffeine of choice, Loyd claims to intake at least two cans of this soda a day.
Loyd said this presents many problems for him because of recent news surrounding Coke Zero production.
“Coke Zero, as I understand, is not being manufactured anymore,” Loyd said.
“Now this contributes to my stress greatly as an American. I think as Americans we have a right to Coke Zero. Wouldn’t you agree?”
Loyd explained how a lack of Coke Zero consumption affects his physical and mental state.
“I experience an existential crisis followed by kicking and screaming and me ending up in a fetal position on the floor,” Loyd said.
But all jokes aside, caffeine dependence can cause serious signs of withdrawal within caffeine consumers.
According to an article written by psychologist, professor and Director of the Centre for Health Leadership and Research at Royal Roads University, Canada, Elizabeth Hartney for
verywellmind.com, caffeine withdrawal can affect not only the physical physical state of the individual, but the mental state as well.
“As with all addictions, the pattern of intoxication and withdrawal can mask emotional difficulties that are avoided by seeking out the pleasurable effects of caffeine. Lack of energy, lack of motivation, and depression may underlie caffeine addiction,” Hartney writes.
“It can also overlap with work addiction, as some people use the stimulating effects of caffeine both to increase energy for and interest in the mental and physical activities associated with their jobs. Similarly, caffeine addiction can mask the avoidance of more fulfilling activities and relationships.”
So if any OBU students or faculty feel that they might have a caffeine dependency, it might be a good idea to try and wean off of caffeine intake throughout the month of October.
Instead of drinking a soda or cup of coffee, try adding morning and afternoon walks to your day, replacing your caffeinated beverage with sparkling water, herbal teas or lemon water or even try to add five-minute desk stretches to your daily routine.
Though it might be difficult at first and could cause a few headaches, individuals may find that dropping a caffeine dependency betters their day-to-day functionality by cutting out the time it takes to prepare a caffeinated drink, decreasing the amount of money spent on caffeine and even just making them feel healthier.
Who knows? Maybe October could be the start of a new, caffeine-free lifestyle.
On Thursday, Sept. 24, the online shopping giant Amazon made an announcement for a new indoor- only security camera drone set to be released next year.
In cooperation with Ring, originally a doorbell security camera company that is now a subsidiary of Amazon, both of these companies are working together to create a self- travelling drone called the “Always Home Cam” that has a camera built into the base of the drone.
The blades that allow it to fly are encased in a plastic cage to help avoid injuries, as well as aid the sleek design.
Users do not control the drone, as it is made to follow premade paths set by the user to fly to specific spots around the inside of the home, as well as to only record when dispatched from its dock, which doubles as a charger.
According to Ring president Leila Rouhi in an interview with Megan Wollerton from CNET, “the path is entirely determined by the customer … you actually walk the device around your home and … train it on that path and can set different waypoints for the camera to fly to.”
Rouhi explained why Ring created the drone in an interview with CNN Business, “We know when something happens our customers want to be able to see exactly what’s going on, but it’s not always feasible to have whole-home coverage,” she said.
Some are concerned with how secure their information is with the drone due to a scandal that included Ring sharing users doorbell footage with law enforcement earlier this year.
Since this product will not only be in the homes of users, but also flying without any controller, privacy is an extremely important issue.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation did some research about the information leak, and reported that it was, “packed with third-party trackers sending out a plethora of customers’ personally identifiable information (PII). Four main analytics and marketing companies were discovered to be receiving information such as the names, private IP addresses, mobile network carriers, persistent identifiers, and sensor data on the devices of paying customers.”
Ring announced that this will not be the case with the new product, as the company is adding new features to the Ring app that allow more security for users and blocking most data from being shared with third- party groups.
They will also be adding a new privacy settings Control Center, and requiring a two- factor authentication when you sign into the app Amazon devices SVP Dave Limp told Dieter Bohn from The Verge in an interview after the product was announced, “I’d be more worried about the camera on your phone than I would be about a drone.”
The product was also made to be noisy so users will know when it is in use, as well as recording.
An Amazon spokesperson referred to this in an interview with CNET as, “Privacy you can hear.”
Some are curious about where the video footage goes, and if they can access it other than the live feed when the drone is activated.
Users can access the recordings by paying for a subscription for one device, priced at $3 per month or a subscription for all their devices priced at $10 per month.
The amount of battery life the drone has is also something of concern.
The drone can fly for up to five minutes, then must return to its charger where it will take at least an hour to be fully recharged.
Rouhi said that the short runtime was intended so that way it is more of a “purpose- driven security camera,” according to CNET.
Todd Miller, a play-by-play radio broadcaster for Oklahoma Baptist University since 2015, has lived amidst his passion: sports.
A native of Blackwell, Oklahoma, Miller attended Blackwell High School and currently resides in Oklahoma City.
Beginning radio broadcasting at the end of his high school tenure, Miller has 30 years of experience in play-by-play announcing and freelance work.
Miller highlighted the fact that he began his career in his junior year at Blackwell High School.
“I’ve been really lucky,” Miller said.
“I started at my hometown radio station in Blackwell, Oklahoma in high school, and they gave me a lot of opportunities not a lot of young, inexperienced people get. I started doing color work for their high school football broadcast. I did some play-by-play, and to be honest with you, it was woeful. But that’s kind of how I got my start.”
After high school, Miller went to Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa and then transferred to Northwestern Oklahoma State for his remaining two years.
He graduated in 1992 from Northwestern Oklahoma State with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications.
While at NWOSU, Miller described the job position he earned and how it turned into a long career in Alva, Oklahoma.
“I was a sports director at KALV which is a radio station in Alva,” Miller said.
“I did out of high school; I did Northwestern play-by-play. I did the high school and college 20 years combined, and then I did another year with the Rangers, and that’s when my wife and I moved to Oklahoma City.”
When the year 2015 rolled around, Miller found his place at OBU as a radio broadcaster for basketball, baseball, softball and then the following year was asked to cover football.
“I was brought to OBU in part because of the former sports information director Ray Fink,” Miller said.
“He and I had a long working relationship when I was, at the time, at a fellow conference school when both were in the NAIA, Northwestern Oklahoma State University. So, through Ray I made some connections.”
Miller then discussed how important OBU’s addition of football was for the greater community.
“I thoroughly enjoy doing OBU football,” Miller said.
“I think it’s something of a gathering point for the campus and the community. I think it was a great decision by Oklahoma Baptist to reinstate football. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time with the football program and I’m hoping, sooner rather than later, we’ll get to get back together and enjoy some Bison gridiron.”
In the past, Miller was in charge of conducting one-on-one interviews with coaches and some players at OBU, but with the COVID-19 pandemic another strategy had to be used.
Staying in contact with assistant athletic director James Hill, Miller was asked to keep the OBU community in the know by an alternative medium: “Todd Talks.”
“During this pandemic, you have to keep things fresh, you have to keep your out there,” Miller said.
“I think this [“Todd Talks”] was one way they felt they [OBU athletics] could do that. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it because I’ve interviewed all of the coaches, many of which I have never interviewed before. I found it delightful to get to know people I don’t work with on a seasonal basis. They all have great stories.”
“Todd Talks” only began back in May 2020, but Miller speaks to how the Zoom-driven program has grown significantly in a short period of time.
“It started out as this little thing, I think, to promote programs, to keep programs in the limelight,” Miller said.
“I think it’s something that has grown now to where you can reconnect with a lot of people. I hope that [“Todd Talks”] has enabled the fanbase at OBU to engage with other sports that maybe they don’t necessarily think a lot about.”
Other than being involved in “Todd Talks” the past few months, Miller also gave an update on how he has tried to stay working at a time where many in the United States have lost their jobs.
“I’m doing some freelance work for an online streaming app called Skordle,” Miller said.
“I’ve done a couple of games for them. I did the All-State game for Skordle that was hosted at OBU. They’ve been very, very kind to throw some work my way because man, it’s tough for people in our industry. If sports is what you do for a living, there’s no sports for you to go out and call,” he said.
“So, I’ve been fortunate with some friends of mine through Skordle. It’s not like working full-time for OBU and going from one sport to the next, but I’ve enjoyed getting back into the high school game, which I haven’t covered in quite some time.”
Though Miller has never had to remotely broadcast a sports game, he recognizes the switch to remote sports broadcasting as an inevitable trend.
“The way I call a game, I feed off the emotion of what’s going on right in front of me,” Miller said.
“To me [sports broadcasting] is a little bit de-sanitized when you’re sitting there looking one-on-one at a picture and trying to call a game. So, it’s going to be difficult. I hope it’s not going to be a trend that continues, but I’m afraid that maybe someday it will be at higher levels of broadcasting.”
Miller, having spoken to a great level of appreciation for the opportunities provided to him in radio broadcasting at such a young age, contributes the best advice he can give someone who is pursuing a career in broadcast.
“If you’re getting into business, learn as many different things as you possibly can to make yourself as attractive to an employer as possible,” Miller said.
“You may not like a certain sport, but you need to learn how to cover it. You need to be as diversified as you can. The other is you just not going to make everybody happy, you can’t please everybody.”
Racking up some 34 years of radio broadcasting and freelance, Miller shared some of his greatest memories. He recounted calling play-by-play in Northwestern Oklahoma State’s men’s basketball first round win against Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the 1992 national championship.
It had been their first championship berth since 1947. In his OBU career, the stand-out broadcasts came from just this previous spring semester.
“I think the run last year, to be honest with you, with our men’s basketball team was really, really special,” Miller said.
“I thought all along that team had a chance to be really good, but you never know because the league is so good. And then to put the run together that we had put together in Bartlesville, where we probably shot our best two field goal percentage games back-to-back to get to the finals,” he said.
“That was special to be there [GAC conference final] for the first time.”
Besides the fact that “Todd Talks” have grown in popularity and have covered coaches and topics such as recruiting, Miller suggests a near future possibility.
“Now that student-athletes are back on campus, maybe at some point we need to start talking to student-athletes,” Miller said.
Besides the fact that “Todd Talks” have grown in popularity and have covered coaches and topics such as recruiting, Miller suggests a near future possibility.
“Now that student-athletes are back on campus, maybe at some point we need to start talking to student-athletes,” Miller said.
“You could probably try to get ahold of some past OBU greats and start some type of series like that. There’s just a lot of different things from what the initial intent was of this series.”
Ministering to children who have never had a chance to hear the gospel through the act of being a role model is the mission behind Mission Shawnee.
Mission Shawnee Director Ryan Brooks and Student President of Mentors Club Sarah Dean describe what the Mentors Club is and its place in the purpose of Mission Shawnee.
“Mentors Club is a way to get people on campus aware of what Mission Shawnee does through their mentor program.
Mentors Club is a way to create community on campus and to people aware of being a mentor,” Dean said.
“Mission Shawnee is a nonprofit,” Brooks said.
‘Our primary focus is to provide mentor relationships to kids in the community,” and, “Our After-School program, Summit, involves elementary and middle school kids on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoon where volunteers can be a mentor to a kid.”
“That kid will be paired with that mentor on a weekly basis to help them grow developmentally,” he said.
Brooks said there are three different areas they want to see the children develop in.
“First is their education, to be able to help them reach goals that they need to. To either reach their grade level or go above,” he said.
“Second, we focus on social/emotional growth. To know how to handle certain situations properly and knowing how to have the appropriate reactions in situations.
Gaining those life skills that are really important.”
“Finally, be able to have spiritual growth. So, we to help them see the gospel and see who Jesus is and introduce them to the Bible, if they are not familiar with the gospel or don’t attend church. A lot of the kids going through our programs are hearing a lot about stories within the Bible for the first time.”
Brooks said it’s a great experience to be given the opportunity to share the gospel and have conversations with a mentee about Jesus.
Mentor and mentee pairings are even provided different videos to watch so they can choose what they want to learn together.
Dean describes her experience with her mentee through the Mentors Club, describing it as a gateway to attend Mission Shawnee.
Dean said being a part of Mentors Club is a gateway to attend Mission Shawnee and that they prefer to have events together as a club.
“Our future plan is to build more community on campus. To… have meetings and little gatherings,” she said.
“Bowling, carpooling and prayer… little things like that to let us get to know each other as mentors because when we are at Mission Shawnee… the group of mentors get to see each other but not hangout. We are supposed to [focus on being] with our mentees.”
“It’s important to have those times to get to know each other outside of that context of Mission Shawnee.
But also, to have meetings to let people know what is happening and to get more people involved,” she said.
Dean said they are always looking for more people to join, because they more mentors the group has the more children that can join Mission Shawnee.
“This club is meant for anyone who is interested,” Brooks said.
“It’s not just for OBU, but it is also for the community at large.”
Brooks wants Mission Shawnee to be a place where meaningful mentor relationships with kids in Shawnee can blossom.
“Our mission statement is to educate and equip individuals through mentoring relationships rooted in the love of Christ,” he said.
Dean shares some obstacles and blessings that come with being a mentor at Mission Shawnee.
“Time commitment can be difficult. It is just two hours a week… but that can sometimes be hard… Sometimes I feel two hours out of my day would get in the way of doing my homework or prevent me from studying for a test,” she said.
“But every time I get there… it’s just a blessing to get there and spend time with my mentee… Just being there for your kid… that can be huge for them.”