Out and About: Thumb Butte Hiking 

By Oliver Davis
Social Media Coordinator  

Prescott is a great place to get out and explore the outdoors. Some of the most beautiful places are just a couple minutes from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, yet students seldom find the time to go out and see nature instead of the inside of their textbooks.  

There are plenty of noticeable landmarks that one can see from campus, like Granite Mountain or the Granite Dells right across the street, but there is one more shape in the skyline that is the most unique. Thumb Butte stands tall to the south of campus, and its peculiar shape makes it even more distinct.  

The most common thing to do in the Thumb Butte area is to hike up to the top of the mini-mountain and take in its breathtaking views. There are, however, many other hikes that one can do in the same area besides the short yet steep hike to the top. 

Thumb Butte sits in the Prescott National Forest which is home to hundreds of miles of trails available for use. Many of these trails begin only several minutes away from the Thumb Butte parking lot. The variety of trails allows hikers to choose between a short in-and-out hike that can last less than an hour, or an all-day adventure that could leave you over a thousand feet above Prescott with amazing views of the surrounding Bradshaw Mountains.  

The trails are also available for mountain biking and horse riding, so there are plenty of different ways to explore the forest! 

One particular spot offers what is arguably the best view in Prescott. One can hike up to it, but it is much easier to drive up a long dirt road which goes to what is referred to as the Sierra Prieta lookout. Follow Thumb Butte road past the parking lot for approximately three miles along an extremely bumpy road until coming across views that go for miles beyond Prescott. There is nothing better than witnessing the sunset from this point where almost nothing could distract from its beauty.  

Whether it’s going for a short hike or to see miles of mountains in the distance, a day in the Thumb Butte area is unbeatable. 

Featured Features Final Approach Student Interest

Short Stories: From the Ashes

By: Brandon Dudley
Online Editor 

Ash, screams, and mechanical grinding filled sulfur infused air around Noldane as he dropped to his knees in defeat. Before him, down the slope of the hill, lay the husked ruins of the once grand capital of Menzysii. His kingdom and its people were now nothing more than scattered refugees driven out by a foe they could not even reason with.

Each breath came in ragged gasps as the High Justicar tried to process all that had happened. The strike had been so swift and unexpected; a devastating blow that crippled the nation’s beating heart.

Flying high above the ruins of Menzysii floated the mechanical city of Koropolis, a phenomenal wonder of engineering and magic. Between all the golden piping and sleek steel structures was a plethora of large scale inventions that the city’s owner, an inventor named Kor, had practically slapped onto the super structure randomly.

Without even realizing it Noldane had balled his gauntleted hands into tight fists, feeling the magic within the reinforced armor straining again his grip. Behind him gathered the remains of those who had managed to escape the besieged city; men, women, and children sprinkled amongst city guards whose eyes spoke the many horrors they had witnessed.

“We cannot let this go unpunished,” Noldane managed to growl out between clenched teeth, a bestial animal waiting to be unleashed. He felt a rage boiling up inside that had been previously quenched by the adrenaline of the moment.

Feeling a hand grasp his right shoulder, Noldane turned to see a man in the golden-white armor of a city guard. His helmet was held to his side revealing the face of a middle aged man older than Noldane, a scar across his right cheek. The symbol on his chest plate designated him as a sergeant.

“Sir” the sergeant started, gesturing at the crowd behind him, “we need to get the people out of here and away from the city”.

A snarl escaped from Noldane. “Sergeant,” he said, “we need to find a way onto Koropolis itself and take Kor out! If he is allowed to-”

The man cut Noldane off, rather brash for someone he outranked. “With all due respect, these people need to get to safety sir. If there is a follow up attack, we are all as good as dead!”  

Meeting the man eye to eye, Noldane met a stalwart stance that would not give way to even the most violent storm.  

The blinding fury that had consumed Noldane faded back to its normal calm and collected manner; the determined look in the sergeant’s eyes having melted away the anger.  

With a start Noldane looked toward the terrified expressions of the gathered Menzysiians and felt his heart sink. They were looking to him to lead them out of this and he had almost lead them all to a certain death. 

Taking a deep breath to calm himself Noldane spoke. “You are right sergeant. I was…” he trailed off in search of the proper words. “I was lost in my own grief. But we all have cause for grief on this day.”  

Standing, Noldane placed a hand upon the older man’s and looked him in the eyes to somewhere deeper.  

“Thank you. What is your name sergeant?”

“My name is Bran, sir,” came the reply. 

“Bran,” Noldane spoke the words with near reverence, “You have saved me from my own self-destructive path, and I cannot thank you enough for this.” He scanned the crowd, “We do need to get them out of here and as much as even I hate to admit it, we need to go to Ser.”  

With a nod, Bran called out. “You heard the High Justicar, we march north.” 

“And captain,” Noldane added before Bran could get any further. 

Bran’s expression was confusion before realization washed over his veteran face.  

“We will get these people to safety. Ser might not be our greatest ally, but if anyone weathered Kor’s storm, they will have,” Noldane admitted.  

With a nod, Bran turned back and began organizing the guards into escort positions for the coming refugee procession.  

Their people would live on. Perhaps Kor would not meet justice this day, but the countdown had begun.  

Final Approach Student Interest

Cyberpunk Column

John Mills
Diversions Editor 

My favorite sci-fi author, and likely my favorite author of all time, is John Scalzi. Scalzi is the owner, operator, author of one of the oldest blogs on the internet, “Whatever.” Now, why bother mentioning this seemingly inane bit of trivia? Well, the powers that be (i.e., the editors) saw fit to let me write a column. Well, they saw fit to let me try writing one this issue. I suspect I will disappoint in spectacular fashion, but in the spirit of Scalzi’s twenty-year-long exercise in writing about whatever he feels like, I present to you my own opinions on things. This issue, cyberpunk. 

Now I realize that that was a bit of a hard cut, something akin to throwing the hand brake while in fifth gear. What goes into cyberpunk? Cyberpunk is something I’ve wanted to write about for a while, as it stands as one of my favorite genres in fiction. Here are a few key aspects of the genre that I find most defining. 

The first is advanced technology, usually with an emphasis on electronics, usually in both the industrial and consumer sectors. Think of yet to come phones or other personal electronic devices, implanted electronics, more advanced and connected internet. Despite whatever particulars may vary between settings, a massive increase in the usage and massive decrease in physical size of computers is a staple of the setting. Its worth noting human augmentation often dovetails in with this theme.  

Second is color. Most cyberpunk seems to believe the future will be lit up in frankly blinding levels of neon. If this is the future that awaits us, frankly I can’t wait. The more neon the better in my humble opinion. “The Matrix” movies are a notable exception to this trait, but it’s common enough in most other representations of the genre to be worth noting. A future without neon is not a future I want to live in. 

Coming in third is a two-pronged subject: the rise of mega-corporations and the stark increase in income inequality. The inspiration behind these themes is pretty easy to see today. Large corporations like GE, Wal-Mart and dozens of other massive conglomerates seems to control excessive amounts of power and influence due in large part to their brain-meltingly massive revenue. Meanwhile, the majority of their employees may not even get paid a living wage. 

Fourth and last is heavy Asian influence. I have to confess I don’t actually know who started this trend, but it’s very prevalent in the genre. I’m going to hazard a guess and say the original “Ghost in the Shell” movie played a large part in the trend.

Additional examples include 1982’s “Blade Runner” to 2011’s “Deus Ex: Human Revolution,” or obviously, this year’s live action remake of “Ghost in the Shell.” I suspect the extreme urban development seen in Japan, China, and other countries like Singapore in the last two decades mirrors the physical setting of many dystopian futures that cyberpunk seeks to convey.  

Why do I love cyberpunk? Ignoring my undefendable love of neon, I like the idea the downtrodden making a life for themselves in a system that would happily forget they exist. The drive shown by these characters is an inspiration I think we can all take something from, even if we don’t have a computer stapled to our skulls. 

Final Approach Opinions Opinions Student Interest

Restaurant Review: Kiyoshi Ramen ‘N’ More

By: Reece Cabanas

Prescott, Arizona is not exactly known for its ethnic cuisine when compared to major metropolis areas such as Los Angeles or San Francisco. However, positioned on the corner of a small shopping center is a family-owned and operated business that brings the tastes of Hawaiian-American cuisine to this former Wild West town.

Kiyoshi Ramen ‘N’ More opened just over a year ago, establishing a location between Iron Springs and Willow Creek Roads in the Willow Creek Village shopping center. The drive from campus is approximately eleven minutes, making for a quick go-to for lunch between classes or a light dinner option.

Hawaiian food has been transformed by a variety of ethnic backgrounds which have, at some point, had a heavy influence on the Hawaiian Islands and their people. Some of the more notable influences come from China, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and Portugal. Local food became a mix of these different cuisines and the traditional plate lunch was soon turned into the fusion cuisine now familiar to the world.

So, what is on the menu?

Starting with appetizers, there are a few items to choose from. There is the Filipino lumpia, a spring roll filled with pork and vegetables, and Japanese Gyoza, a pan-fried pot sticker. Most notable is the regular and deep-fried Spam Musubi which consists of rice formed in a rectangular fashion, a slice of canned spam, and seaweed to wrap everything together.

There are numerous options available for the main entrée. Order a bento box for on the go, or sit down and enjoy the local favorites in house. The list includes chicken katsu, teriyaki beef, teriyaki chicken, fried noodles, fried rice, or seared salmon or tuna.

Also offered is what is known as a poke bowl. This consists of green onion, Japanese seaweed, raw fish, and rice, combined with other ingredients to the customer’s liking.

Kiyoshi Ramen ‘N’ More would not be able to live up to its name if ramen was not on the menu. Customers can choose from a wide variety of options such as broth, flavor, noodle type, and toppings to create a satisfying blend of aroma and taste. A fair warning, however: eating an entire bowl of ramen can be extremely filling, so be careful not to overdo it on the side dishes.

Finally, top off any meal with Japanese mochi ice cream or a Boba drink from one of twenty-five flavors. If you happen to come on a Friday night, there is also live entertainment to sit back, relax, and enjoy.

In conclusion, along with the friendly staff and reasonable wait times on orders, Kiyoshi Ramen ‘N’ More is a light-hearted place to indulge in Hawaiian fusion cuisine. While some of the prices may be slightly daunting for the average college student, the atmosphere and food quality is well worth the trade-off.


Diversions Reviews Student Interest

Letter from Career Services: Career Expo 2017

Visit us there for the latest!

Countdown to Industry/Career Expo – October 5, 2017
20 steps to ensure your success

By The Career Services Team

Put Expo and related events on your calendar

  1. Google yourself
  2. Clean-up your Facebook account, review current privacy settings
  3. Create/update your LinkedIn profile
  4. Make sure you have professional dress clothes, put together a job/internship interview outfit
  5. Inventory skills you’ve gained, campus activities, leadership roles – what sets you apart from the competition?
  6. Update your resume with above, show to your Career Services professional
  7. Build a reference list of faculty who are familiar with your work, ask permission to use
  8. Be able to articulate accomplishments – have a good answer to “Why should I hire you?”
  9. Practice your elevator speech incorporating above
  10. Attend Career Services Expo Prep Workshops
  11. Schedule a mock interview (really)
  12. Research Expo employers; apply to opportunities that fit you, print those job descriptions
  13. Get a haircut
  14. Get your outfit cleaned and pressed
  15. Customize resume objectives, print resumes and put them in a portfolio with a pen
  16. Review the list of exhibiting employers that hire your skill set
  17. Practice your handshake, smile, eye contact and passionate can-do attitude
  18. Be confident
  19. Read upcoming Horizons issue for Day of Expo tips!
News Student Interest

Crystal Clear: SGA Candidates Run On Transparency Platform

By: Tex Barron


Student Government Association (SGA) elections are happening the week of March 6, 2017. In the past, SGA elections have been a popularity contest among Greek life members who have one goal: maintain the status quo.  The past and present SGA councils have brought with them what many on campus consider a lack of representation of student and club desires.  Additionally, students and club leaders have began to openly remark on the arbitrary smoke and mirrors act whenever they sought help from this supposed representative body. With that, this year’s candidates hope to change SGA’s perception and processes.

This election cycle brings a variety of candidates from many backgrounds. However, a common trend among candidates is to push for the same goal: transparency between administration and students. Every candidate on the ballot is rallying for a renewed dedication to making the SGA a place more open to students. When asked to define the meaning of transparency in the context of the SGA, this is what some of the candidates had to say:

“Transform the norm and spice things up,” were presidential candidate Gleb Shenov’s campaign slogans. Shenov’s ambitions are to increase funding for clubs, and transparency between SGA and students. To increase this transparency, Shenov aims to establish what he calls a “student freshman board,” which would be in place to teach incoming freshman about the innerworkings of campus life and, in particular, the SGA.

Vice presidential candidate Dakota Burklund believes there is too much smoke for students to see the administration clearly. Burklund wants to increase transparency not just between students and administration, but also between the two campuses. Another issue Burklund wishes to correct is “representation of student club leaders” in the SGA. He wants to reduce the virulence between clubs and SGA that come about due to perceived mismanagement and lack of communication.

Treasurer candidate Jerome Lim hopes to “bring SGA to greater heights” by quelling animosity between clubs and SGA on the grounds of funding issues. His goal is to establish budget appeals where clubs can appeal for more funding. Lim also wants to increase connectivity between international and American students. He hopes to facilitate an environment of trust and understanding for all students regardless of national origin.

The candidates above are not the only candidates running in this election; many others have visions of a better SGA-student relationships.  Other candidates’ bios are available through Control Tower on ERNIE. The important thing is that students go out and vote either on Control Tower or in AC-1 on March 9 or 10, 2017.

Campus Events Featured Features Local News News Student Interest

Fall Ceremony Commissions Nine Air Force Officers

By: Jacob Schneider

Special to Horizons

On Dec. 16, 2016, families, friends and military personnel filled Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Davis Learning Center to witness the United States Air Force’s newest officer’s commission as Second Lieutenants.

The Fall 2016 Commissioning ceremony began with the National Anthem and the Posting of the Colors. Officers from Detachment 028, including Major David S. Richardson and Captain Alan B. Frazier, praised the new Second Lieutenants for their hard work and prestigious achievement.

comm pic 2 - Copy.jpgDuring the ceremony, nine of Detachment 028 Air Force ROTC’s cadets were commissioned as officers. Among the new Second Lieutenants this season: 2nd Lt. Mitchell Bartlett, 2nd Lt. Alec Braun, 2nd Lt. Alexander Collins, 2nd Lt. Cherie Gambino, 2nd Lt. Devon Meisetschleager, 2nd Lt. Francis Rechner, 2nd Lt. Kevin Romeyn, 2nd Lt. Tyler Schulz, and 2nd Lt. Jennie White.

During the event, loved ones pinned a single golden bar to the shoulders of each new officer, signifying their new rank. After each officer received their first salute, the group took the Air Force Oath of Office, pledging themselves to national service.

Emotions were high as the ceremony concluded with the presentation of awards, as well as a photo montage, displaying each new officer’s enormous growth over the years to reach the place they are now.

We are extremely proud of our new Second Lieutenants and wish them the best of luck throughout their careers!