Heritage Park Zoo Hosts Annual ERAU Open House

By Lucas Widner
Correspondent/Layout Editor/Photographer

On the evening of the first day of the fall semester, Aug. 27, the Heritage Park Zoo across the street from campus was alive with the excitement and fascination of Embry-Riddle students.

The event was the Heritage Park Zoo’s annual night for Embry-Riddle students, faculty, and staff to explore the variety of incredible animals that live so close to our school.

Throughout the evening, hundreds of students drove or walked across the street to participate in the unique event.

Students mingled while eating hot dogs from the Turbo food cart, professors chatted with students while their children played on the playground, and Board of Campus Activities (BCA) volunteers served popcorn as peacocks roamed around the wide open grass field in the center of the zoo.

As the sun began to set, some animals like the black bear became more active, while others such as the lynx laid down to rest after a long day playing out in the sun.

The Heritage Park Zoological Sanctuary is a non-profit organization that hopes to inspire conservation through education.

They do so by rescuing and caring for animals from the local area that have been hurt or can no longer live on their own.

This event serves as a good reminder to everyone how important it is to conserve our environmental resources and help the animals whose habitats have been impacted by the spread of human urbanization.

Some of the animals at the Heritage Park Zoo have been rescued due to injuries caused by humans, and need careful watch to recover to health.

Students are encouraged to visit the zoo later in the semester for some of their popular events, such as a Breakfast with the Bears event on September 8th, Sip and Paint (21 and up) on September 22nd, Zoo by Moonlight on September 24th, Taste of the Wild (21 and up) on October 7th, and Breakfast with the Mexican Grey Wolves on October 13th.

If you are unable to make it to any of these special events, but still want to enjoy the zoo, it is open daily with student entry costing only $8 with student ID.

Many of the dedicated people who help care for these animals are unpaid volunteers.

One of the Docents, Jacqie Rollins, also a Wildlife Science student here at ERAU, has a high opinion of their volunteer program: “I love working at the zoo as a docent and we are always looking for more volunteers!”

For more information, Rollins suggests to “check our website [www.heritageparkzoo.org] and shoot us an email [info@heritageparkzoo.org],” as the volunteers are always excited to help others learn more about what they do. 

Featured

Christopher Robin: A trip down nostalgia road

By Peter Partoza
Correspondent

Disney fans have been buffeted with live-action remake and sequel after sequel of classic movies, such as “Toy Story,” “Cars,” “The Lion King,” “Beauty and the Beast,” and countless others. But with “Christopher Robin,” a nice change of pace has hit the cinema scene.  

Christopher Robin tells the story of an adult Christopher who has left the Hundred Acre Woods and has been through the rollercoaster ride of growing up. Those who grew up with “Winnie the Pooh” are pulled in, easily identifying themselves with Christopher Robin as they watch him go through schooling, falling in love, going to war, and starting a family, all within a brief montage in the opening portion of the movie.  

The movie cuts to a view of Christopher Robin, now a workaholic with a strained relationship with his family. Trouble at work adds to Christopher’s stress and begins to push him further and further away from his family, causing him to send them to his childhood cottage for the weekend as he works.

As Christopher aged and grew, Pooh eagerly awaited the return on the other side.

Coming to the movie’s present time, Pooh discovers that he can’t find his friends one day. He decides to venture through the door Christopher Robin would always come through to visit and play.

As Pooh comes through the door he enters our world and through story driving coincidence, Christopher Robin and Pooh reunite.

After realizing that the tree Pooh came through no longer has a way back to the Hundred Acre Wood, Christopher is propelled into a journey to his childhood home, all the while carrying the lighthearted Pooh with him.

As the movie goes on, Christopher Robin’s adult cynicism and stresses begin to clash with Pooh’s childlike wonder and simplicity, making it a recipe ripe for not only comedy and cartoon antics but also somber moments that bring the viewers back to the idea that they are no longer children.

As strange as this sounds, this movie was not made for children. Hear me out. Children being brought to this movie will enjoy the simple comedy that Pooh and friends bring, but the real meat of this movie is the idea of when a child such as Christopher Robin grows up.

It grips those who have already gone through that transition, playing on the heartstrings of those who miss a simpler time. If I had to say one message that this movie had, it would be that “it’s never too late to be a kid again.” “Christopher Robin” is a feel-good movie, which, if only for a short time, will bring you away from the negativity in the world and leave you feeling better than before.

Entertainment Featured Features Reviews

Internship Experience: Fixing the Pilot Shortage at the Highest Level

By James Ritchey
Correspondent

This past summer, I had the opportunity to live and work in Washington, D.C. through an internship program offered by Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings.

I, along with a few other Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corp (AFROTC) cadets from around the nation, had the opportunity to work at and immerse myself in the Pentagon, working with a variety of different departments within Headquarters Air Force.

Despite being a Global Security and Intelligence Studies major, with interests in foreign and operational policy, I was placed in the Aircrew Crisis Task Force (ACTF), a special organization created to tackle one of the largest hurdles facing the current Department of Defense: the shortage of pilots and other aircrew members, especially at higher levels.

The ACTF is a special “matrixed” organization under the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (HAF/A3). Because of the complexity (and hopefully temporary status) of the problem, officers from around the Pentagon worked together to develop an actionable, lasting plan to ensure the Air Force maintains proper personnel levels for the coming decades.

I worked with officers from A5/8, the department for Strategic Plans and Requirements, A1, the department for Personnel, A3T, the department for training and readiness, and many others from a variety of backgrounds and skills. My office was headed by a one-star general, and consisted mostly of officers who had been in the Air Force for over 15 years. As a cadet who has not even been in the active Air Force yet, it was somewhat daunting to be around such high-level officers on a daily basis. However, I was welcomed with open arms, and quickly assigned tasks to complete.

While I at first did not have much interest in the subject or any skill in operational research, I was quickly on-boarded and put to work in developing budget proposals, contract requirements, and idea solicitation. On many occasions, I was able to participate in meetings regarding potential future programs for developing pilots, many of which would involve AFROTC detachments and aviation schools such as Riddle and the University of North Dakota. Despite my lack of experience in the operational Air Force, I was productive within the ACTF and actively helped develop solutions for the near and distant future.  

Along with working on solutions for the aircrew crisis, I also had the opportunity to branch out into some other areas of the Department of Defense. I had the opportunity to go to the State Department and sit in on negotiations for foreign weapon sales of American aircraft, as well as take flights in F-16D and KC-135 aircraft at nearby Joint Base Andrews. The USAF’s Light Attack (OA-X) experiment was a critical matter as well, and I had the opportunity to work on budgeting and congressional proposals for the acquisition and stand-up of its potential future fighter squadrons and Formal Training Units.  

The Pentagon itself is a massive building, featuring a multitude of shops, food courts, and people incredibly important to national security. I had the opportunity to meet several of these people, including USAF Chief of Staff General David Goldfein, Vice Chief of Staff General Stephen Wilson, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Lieutenant General Mark Nowland. It is rare to see anyone below the rank of Major (O-4) in the building at all, and even rarer to see anyone below Captain (O-3). As a cadet in that world, the experience and connections I made were unparalleled. 

AFROTC/ROTC Diversions Featured Features News

Music Review

By Peter Partoza
Correspondent

Another week, another slew of new music coming out from artists across the spectrum. Logic is back with a brand new single, and he’s not holding anything back. “The Return” features the same aggressive unopposed lyric style he’s built his career on, and yes, he’s still got it.

Dropping names on big brands like Nike and Audi he takes a no-holds-barred approach, calling out the music business for how it still seems to deny him his place in the franchise and instead lumps him in with the mumble rap crowd.

A fast flow and a driving beat paired with powerful (and explicit) lyrics ensures he plants another flag in the rap genre, calling out other artists to push against the current rap trends and bring more types of his style of lyrically based music. Logic recently announced a new album coming soon, “Young Sinatra 4,” set to release Sept. 28, so keep an eye out.

Sliding over to the rock scene, Bring Me The Horizon’s new song “MANTRA” brings back the group after a two year hiatus.

Filled with resonating electric guitar, plenty of cymbal crashes, and the same pseudo-electric style they’ve shown off in the past, “MANTRA” brings a new story to the group, starting the song off with “Do you want to start a cult with me?”

The remainder of the song continues with lyrics speaking to those who feel like they are drifting through life with no purpose, stuck in a rut, and those who are “chanting that same old MANTRA.” No word as of yet on when the next album from them will drop, but with the release of this new song and its music video, you can expect more in the coming months.

Moving away from the more mainstream artists, a new face is making his way onto the scene. Alec Benjamin is an up and comer and his new song “Death of a Hero” features an acoustic and ambient tone with melodic lyrics.

The song laments the “death of a hero,” i.e. the moment you move out of childhood wonder and begin to see the world and people as they truly are without the veil of perfection attributed to icons. This is a good song for those rainy days or times where everything just feels too real. Benjamin is a Phoenix native and has released multiple other singles, and can be found on major music streaming and downloading websites.

There is no word yet on whether we can expect an album or not from the new kid on the scene, though, so fans will have to wait with bated breath.

Audio Featured Features Reviews

T2 Residents Displaced

By Vee Glessner
Copy Editor

The buzz around campus is that the new residence hall, T2, is only half-occupied despite the promise of a new fully-inhabited building for incoming and returning students by the start of the fall semester.

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen delays in the construction process, this goal could not be met.

During the summer, the construction crew notified administration that delays would prohibit the building from opening on time.

“It was a tight turnaround with an estimated completion date of Aug.14, and Aug.19 was move-in, so we knew it was super tight,” said Jason Langston, Director of Housing and Residence Life.

“At that time, ERAU directed the construction company to focus on getting the ‘B’ side finalized as soon as possible so students could move in to that half on time.

They agreed and were able to open that half of the building before the freshman class arrived,” says Orientation Leader Lucas Widner.

When Housing found out the building couldn’t be fully opened by the Aug.19 move-in date, they took rooms from side A out of the room selection options to mitigate the inconvenience and achieved a temporary certificate of occupancy for the ‘B’ side.

“We called all of the students to explain what was going on and receive questions. We sent emails, letters, and really tried to over-communicate,” said Langston.

The students that will be housed in the “A” side of the building are temporarily living in Mingus Mountain Halls 3 through 5.

Displaced students are sleeping in the lounge rooms of those Mingus suites, accommodated by temporary privacy doors and the beds that will eventually occupy their rooms in T2.

“Once it was confirmed it was going to be late, we went ahead and converted the lounges in Halls 3 through 5.

The math worked well: students from the ‘A’ side were able to move into 3 through 5 almost exactly, and we were able to keep roommates together,” said Langston.

The freshmen still got to experience the first few weeks adjusting to a new roommate and are housed with other freshmen, which made this the ideal solution.

This unique group of freshmen get to be part of two communities, Mingus and T2, and have the opportunity to make additional friends with the suites they are currently living in.

The construction is projected to be complete in early- to mid-September, with students moving in over the next few weeks.

Housing needs to secure a certificate of occupancy before anyone can move into the new construction and will notify T2A occupants as soon as it is received.

Although some parents were unhappy they couldn’t see their student’s final room before they left campus, displaced students and the residents of suites now housing them are reacting fairly positively, in part due to the way that Housing has handled the situation.

“Everyone has been generally understanding and appreciative that Housing has communicated with them so often and done as much as they could to make the most out of this situation,” says Widner.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that both parties are being financially compensated for the inconvenience.

When the construction is complete, there will be a transition period where the displaced furniture is moved out of Mingus and into T2.

This process will be executed in waves: about one-third of the T2A furniture is in storage, and the rest is in Mingus with the displaced students.

”We have to move the furniture in, move a third of the people over, then move their furniture,” said Langston.

Then, the Mingus lounges will be re-furnished with the standard accommodations, which Facilities has stored in the meantime.

“I have heard more grumblings from them [Mingus occupants], and I understand that they are not getting the lounge that they expected. We have done lots to mitigate that, including extra money on the dining cards for snacks,” Langston says.

There has also been a microwave placed in the Hall 5 lounge for use by these students.

Though T2 will be occupied in a few weeks, the outside of the building will need a little more time.

The metal paneling meant to be used on the outside was damaged in transit, so more has to be special-ordered.

“There will be some delays on the outside of the building, but nothing that impacts the livability,” Langston reassures us.

The roof is finished and weather-ready; the missing panels are primarily for aesthetic purposes.

Overall, displaced students have had primarily understanding and positive reactions.

For the most part, they’re just excited to move into their new building as soon as it’s finished.

Thanks to communication from Housing and agile accommodations by Facilities, the impact of the construction delay has been minimized.

Featured Features

Sports Update

By James Ritchey
Correspondent

Volleyball (6-1) 

24 Aug (Home) 

ERAU 3 – 1 Hope International 

ERAU hosted and played in its own Volleyball tournament, playing Hope International in the first two of its three games. In both matches, the Eagles came out on top with the same final score. The two teams played very evenly in the first set, but the Eagles stayed ahead by a few points for most of the set. HIU surged ahead late in the game, tying the score at 17 and pushing forward to take a 23-25 win. The second set played out similarly, however this time, it was HIU who led for most of the set. The Eagles stayed within two points of the Royals for nearly the entire game, even leading briefly 14-13 before again falling slightly behind. An HIU attack error tied the game at 18-18, and ERAU took that advantage and ran with it, taking the lead on a kill by Erin Clark. HIU stayed within striking distance until two attack errors gave the Eagles a 23-20 lead. Errors on both sides gave the Eagles a 25-23 win to tie the match.  

The momentum from the second set gave ERAU confidence in the third set. After holding a small 10-9 lead, the Eagles scored seven straight points to give them a nearly insurmountable lead; they took a 2-1 match lead with 25-16 set win. In the fourth set, the Eagles started strong, pushing ahead to a 13-6 lead early in the set. However, the Royals then fought back, taking a 18-19 lead to give the Eagles a scare. ERAU then responded with six straight points from causing five HIU errors and a kill from Erin Clark. A final kill from Caylee Robalin finished the match with a 25-20 win.  

After a short break, both teams returned to the court for an immediate rematch. The Eagles returned dominant, capitalizing on several HIU errors to take a 20-8 lead. A few more kills and ERAU found themselves up 1-0 in the match from a 25-12 win. In the second set, the Royals were able to find their bearing again and put up a fight. HIU went up 7-15 over ERAU, and the Eagles were unable to recover. HIU tied the match with a 17-25 win. The third set saw the Eagles back in their groove, going ahead 10-3 to begin. ERAU kept the pressure on HIU, and maintained a consistent lead, finally taking the third set 25-20. In a tumultuous fourth set, the Eagles found themselves down 2-11, their largest deficit of the day. However, in the coming plays, the Eagles maintained a good defensive effort and cut down that deficit. A series of aces, blocks, and kills brought the Eagles back into the game, tying at 15-15. A hard fought battle on both sides ensued, and the Royals and Eagles found themselves tied at 24-24. Kills from Erin Clark and Caylee Robalin sealed the victory for the Eagles, and pushed them into the second day of the tournament.  

25 Aug (Home) 

ERAU 3 – 0 Arizona Christian 

In the last game of their home tournament, the Eagles comfortably swept the ACU Firestorm. In the first set, ERAU took an early lead and maintained a superior level of play, taking the set 25-16. In the second set, the Eagles expanded a 11-7 lead by scoring six straight points to stifle any attempt of an ACU comeback. A kill by Erin Clark and a series of service errors by the Firestorm gave the Eagles a 25-17 set win. Without succumbing to overconfidence, the Eagles ensured a match win with a solid performance in the third set. Scoring four straight points early in the set to take a 5-2 lead, ERAU was clearly superior as the set progressed. Late in the game, the Eagles scored seven straight points to take a 23-9 lead. An ACU service error and a kill from Caylee Robalin sealed the victory with a 25-12 set win. Erin Clark led the Eagles with 13 kills and 14 points, while Caylee Robalin earned 11 kills and 11.5 points.  

Women’s Soccer (1-1) 

20 Aug (Home) 

ERAU 4 – 1 Midland 

Women’s Soccer kicked off their season facing highly-ranked opponent Midland University. The Eagles, ranked 14th in the nation, looked to build off their highly successful 2017 season against Midland, who had received votes in the latest NAIA Top 25 poll. The Warriors were the first to strike, scoring an unassisted goal in the 25th minute. However, Breanna Larkin tied the match 1-1 late in the first half off an assist from Sierra Vicente, capitalizing on one of ERAU’s many offensive pushes. With under three minutes left in the first half, the Eagles received a penalty opportunity to potentially take the lead, but were unable to convert, and the halftime score remained 1-1. The Eagles had 14 shots in the first half, compared to the Warriors’ six. That offensive momentum paid off in the second half, as Maggie McElrath scored early in the half from an assist from Riley Martinson. Later, Riley Martinson ensured an ERAU victory by scoring two goals in less than two minutes; Ashley Askevold assisted both. The Eagles finished the game with 26 shots, while Midland had only nine. Midland also garnered 13 fouls, including two yellow cards.  

24 Aug (Home) 

ERAU 0 – 1 Eastern Oregon 

Eastern Oregon, ranked 25th nationally, barely escaped with a win over ERAU in their second game of the season. Both teams put forth several offensive drives in the first half but none resulted in a goal. ERAU goalkeeper Caitlyn Aaron had three saves in the first half. Early in the second half, EOU managed to break the stalemate and score. However, this only inspired ERAU to work harder and put forth even more shots and offensive pushes. Unfortunately, by the time the 90 minutes were up, the Eagles never found the back of the net. ERAU had 18 shots overall to EOU’s 10.  

Men’s Soccer (0-1) 

17 Aug (Home) 

ERAU 2 – 4 Ottawa University  

The ERAU Men’s Soccer team opened their season against in-state rivals Ottawa University. The Eagles began the match well, as Simon Jensen gave them a 1-0 lead within the first three minutes off an assist from David Bates. The Spirit responded in kind, but ERAU goaltender David Hutto was able to make two saves to stall the OU counterattack. However, they were still able to tie the match with a goal at 29:46. About 10 minutes later, Mason Laaksonen returned the lead to the Eagles with a goal off an assist from Sergio Montero. The Eagles went into halftime leading 2-1, and returned eager to maintain their lead. A defensive struggle ensued as the second half kicked off, with both sides struggling to put together a solid offensive effort. About 21 minutes into the half, OU managed to tie the game on an unassisted goal. About two minutes later, they found the back of the net again and took the lead. The Eagles attempted to lock down their defense, playing a much more physical game, resulting in ERAU committing several fouls. With just 20 seconds left in the match, the Spirit scored yet again to cap off their victory. Both teams ended the match with similar statistics, each having 14 shots, eight shots on goal, and five corner kicks.  

Featured Features Sports

The “Nature” of Your Health

By Justin Hawkersmith
Counselor and Outdoor Enthusiast

“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.”  


– Henry David Thoreau (Walden). 

For a long time, we’ve intuitively known that going outside can have a positive effect on us: mentally, physically, and emotionally. We may see updates via social media of a friend hitting the Pacific Crest Trail or Appalachian Trail to “find themselves.” Some of us may even remember parents kicking us outside when we were younger to “get some fresh air” (with the underlying message of “get out of my hair”) and enthusiastically or reluctantly going along with it. However, research is starting to back this up too. 

A possible link has emerged between increases in obesity, diabetes, and ADHD symptoms and lack of outside time. Another study suggests a relationship between increased levels of anxiety and depression in children and a disconnection from nature. 

Part of the problem lies in that our relationship to the natural world has changed.  It’s estimated that human beings spend close to 90 percent of our time indoors. Part of that’s due to how society has changed: cars instead of bimodal transportation (legs), sitting in offices instead of working outside, etc. Technology has played a huge role in this change as well with smartphones and 24/7 accessibility redefining entertainment and being “plugged in.” 

So how do we “plug in” instead to the natural world? You can go big and hit the trails close to home (the Peavine Trail, Granite Mountain, and Thumb Butte Trail 33 to name a few) or “branch out” and mountain bike in Sedona’s Oak Creek area or head up Flagstaff’s Humphrey’s Peak to scale Arizona’s highest peak. But getting outside doesn’t have to look like that. It could be taking a walk across campus, reading a book outside, rock climbing in the Dells, or finding that perfect hammock-worthy spot to chill. Make your outdoor experiences your own! 

For more ideas, check out: 

https://www.prescotthiking.com/
https://www.fs.usda.gov/attmain/prescott/specialplaces

Or Check Out all the Clubs/Organizations on Campus Geared to the Outdoors! 

Statistics provided by “Using Nature as a Therapeutic Partner” by Lindsey Phillips        

Featured Features News

Heller 1/72 De Havilland Vampire FB.5 Model Kit

By Noa Brown
Correspondent

Although a rather old kit, the Heller De Havilland Vampire FB.5 is still a fun, quick build. The airplane recreated in this kit was the second jet fighter manufactured in Great Britain in the 1940’s.

The Vampire was then exported to many different countries including France and Sweden.

Despite its age, the parts were very well molded and didn’t show much flash. The interior detail was very basic and was painted with flat black and given a chipped effect using a silver pencil.

To make the model a little more interesting, a pilot figure from an Airfix kit was placed in the cockpit. The figure was painted with a silver helmet and a green flight suit.

The assembly of the airplane exterior was rather simple. The fuselage came in two halves that were glued together.

Before gluing the halves together, birdshot pellets were placed inside the nose to move the model’s center of gravity forward.

The wings fit snugly into the fuselage, and the two tail booms were separate parts that were attached both to the trailing edges of the wings and to the horizontal stabilizer.

Following assembly, a putty was needed to smooth out any gaps between the parts. The canopy was then masked using Tamiya masking tape and an Exacto knife before being placed on the airplane. 

Attaching the landing gear was rather difficult compared to the rest of the build. There were no clear attachment points for the gear doors and the gear legs were difficult to line up properly. To make matters worse, the pellets in the nose were not enough to get the model to rest on its nose wheel. 

With all parts of the airplane in place, the model was pre-shaded with flat black paint on its panel lines. The base coat used was Alclad aluminum paint and had an amazing metallic finish to it. However, in the areas where putty was used, there was a major change in the paint’s texture despite having sanded the putty extensively beforehand. 

The decals used on the model were for the French air force. They were from a set that came out of the box.

Despite the backing sheet having turned yellow, the decals held together perfectly well and were not discolored in any way.  They were placed on the model using micro-setting and micro-solvent solutions.

To conclude, this kit was an enjoyable build. Construction was very simple with only small amounts of work going into detail or assembly. This kit would be good for a beginner or for anyone wanting a fast simple weekend build! 

Diversions Featured Features Student Interest

Book Review: Red Army

By John Mills
Diversions Editor

The mid-to-late 1980s saw the rise of the techno-thriller as a literary genre. In similar sense, it also saw a wave of novels written about a theoretical outbreak of WWIII amidst rising tensions during the Cold War.

Tom Clancy’s “Red Storm Rising” is probably the best known of these and is an early example of the tropes that would come to define Clancy’s writing.

Conversely, “Red Army” by Ralph Peters bucks the in-depth explanation of tactics, vehicles, and weapons that brings “Red Storm Rising” to some 800 pages and instead takes an in-depth look at the men behind and inside those vehicles and weapons.

Perhaps unsurprisingly based on the title, “Red Army” is a character study of the Soviet fighting man and how he reacts to the many unique stresses of combat.

“Red Army” was published in 1989, only a couple years before the Soviet Union dissolved. Consequently, the book received a fair amount of bemused criticism, as people rightly observed that the unity of the USSR necessary to undertake the invasion portrayed obviously didn’t exist when it was written.

However, these critics are missing that what “Red Army” has to say about the men who fight a war, and, more specifically, the Soviet men who would have fought WWIII, is as accurate as any western writer has ever gotten.

Ralph Peters was a US Army Intelligence Officer for many years before writing “Red Army,” and he wrote the novel with the express ideal of ignoring the technological aspect of the respective militaries.

Instead, we get fully three-dimensional characters, from the general whose family has fought for Russia in one way or another for the last three hundred years, to the scared infantryman who has only been in the army for a year, to the grizzled and vicious airborne veteran of Afghanistan.

Everyone has a family they wish to return home to, to wives or girlfriends for whom to survive, to children they hope to see grow. It is unfair to say the human drama is the best part of the novel, because it is really the core of the novel.

The story takes place over three days, in which time we see the Soviets move from the East-West German border to the Rhine.

The incredibly rapid advance of Soviet forces, either directly through defending British and Dutch forces, or around them when possible, leaves the defenders off balance and unable to respond effectively.

Casualties are unthinkably high on both sides, but by maintaining an advance across several routes, the Soviets eventually force a favorable conclusion to the war.

“Red Army” is a deeply depressing book at times. Several characters we have spent dozens of pages with, learning who they are from top to bottom, are killed quite violently in the maelstrom of battle.

One commits suicide after his unit is cut off and overrun. Unlike novels written by authors with poorer skills of characterization, these deaths don’t feel cheap or forced. We care because they are small tragedies in a greater calamity.

Of the four biggest 1980s novels about a possible WWIII—“Red Storm Rising,” “Red Army,” “Team Yankee,” and “Chieftains”—“Red Army” is generally held as the best piece of literature. The others all have their place, but if you’re looking to get the best of them, go Soviet. 

Entertainment Featured Features News Reviews

Vacation Review: Sunny San Diego, California

By Reece Cabanas
Chief Distribution Officer

Let’s face it: even us college students need to unwind occasionally, and what better way to do so than with a nice getaway vacation?

If you’ve never been out to California before or are tired of places like Los Angeles and San Francisco, San Diego should be on your list.

It’s hard to narrow down a list of things to do in my own home city, but this past summer I decided to explore what really makes this area appealing to the average visitor.

Included are things to do not only in downtown but the greater San Diego area as well.

To begin, the beaches. In the summer, the San Diego coast is a huge must. Aside from being packed with locals and visitors, this is where the term “sunny San Diego” really shines through.

You’ll find people swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, bodyboarding, scuba diving, kayaking, jet skiing and more along the shoreline. 

There are numerous spots in particular you can look up, though my personal favorite is La Jolla Shores.

Depending where you go, in-ground bonfire pits are also available for those who want some warmth next to the water.

Next, Mission Bay: perhaps the biggest water recreation area aside from San Diego Bay. 

You can rent jet skis, boats, kayaks, paddle boards, and even take a ferry ride across.

And of course, San Diego Bay: for starters, the USS Midway museum is a must for military enthusiasts as you can walk through the decommissioned aircraft carrier’s interior and on top of the flight deck.

The museum pays homage to the carrier’s history, San Diego’s naval background, and those who have and continue to serve. 

Boat rentals are also available for sightseeing, special day cruises, parties, and off-shore fishing trips. Occasionally, large cruise liners will even pull into port.

Next, Belmont Park. Think of the famous Santa Monica Pier, but less crowded and there’s no pier.

Located next to the ocean and Mission Bay, this small amusement park is perfect for some good vibes and good times with friends or loved ones. 

Not sure what to do? There’s an arcade, mini golf, laser tag, rock climbing, rides, and carnival food.

And if you get tired of all that, you can go for a swim or ride a bike along the boardwalk.

Next, Balboa Park. It is perhaps one of the more exquisite works of architecture in the city, dating back to the year 1915 when the Panama-California Exposition was held here.

There is a giant fountain, an enormous outdoor organ pavilion, botanical garden, reflecting pool, and a replica old globe theater among other notable sites. 

Fun fact: the Embry-Riddle Golden Eagles Flight Team was inducted into the San Diego International Air and Space Museum’s Hall of Fame just last November.

The museum is one of 18 located throughout the park, with free admission on certain days of the month.

Next, the San Diego Zoo! It houses a variety of animals and is located right next to Balboa Park. It is one of the largest in the nation, housing both local and exotic creatures. 

For those old enough to legally consume alcohol, San Diego’s Gaslamp District is filled with local microbreweries and nightclubs.

Conveniently located next to Petco Park (where the Padres play), the Horton Plaza mall, convention center, and a ton of music venues within walking distance, the famous gas lamps represent the heart of the city and its nightlife.

These places are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to exploring San Diego.

Even for someone like me who’s lived there my entire life, I’ll always find something new to do or see.

Being a decent 8-hour drive from Prescott, Arizona, this city is well worth a trip or two.

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