How to help Oklahoma tornado victims

To help disaster victims of the Oklahoma Tornado Disaster please follow this link http://www.redcross.org/ok/oklahoma-city


Above is a recent tweet from Actor/Director/Comedian Ricky Gervais and in the midst of the humor in the tweet it is touching on a serious note… Sending out thoughts and prayers is great but it is going to take a MASSIVE amount of money to help get OK back and its going to take a long time in doing so.  Donate anything you can even if it means skipping that morning coffee for a week…

The loss of life and stunning devastation in Oklahoma City suburbs after a monster tornado ripped through the area are heart-wrenching. “The streets are just gone. The signs are just gone,” said Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, after she toured the area by helicopter Tuesday. And many, many relief organizations are getting the message out on how to help.

American Red Cross
The Red Cross has set up shelters in various communities. You can donate to the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund here, and the organization also suggests giving blood at your local hospital or blood bank. Fundraising efforts were buoyed Tuesday by a $1 million pledge from Kevin Durant, of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team, via his family foundation.

If you’re searching for a missing relative, check Red Cross Safe & Well’s site. And please register if you’re within the disaster region. The site is designed to make communication easier after a tragedy like this.

If you want to send a $10 donation to the Disaster Relief fund via text message, you can do so by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999. As in the case with other donations via mobile, the donation will show up on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your balance if you have a prepaid phone. You need to be 18 or older, or have parental permission, to donate this way. (If you change your mind, text the word STOP to 90999.)

The Red Cross also accepts frequent flier miles as donations. Delta, United Airlines and US Airways partner with the Red Cross throughout the year, which uses miles to help get volunteers and staff to key locations during disasters. (Note: The donation is not tax-deductible as the IRS considers it a gift.) For Delta, email: delta.bids@delta-air.com with your SkyMiles number, the number of miles you want to donate, and specify the Red Cross as the charity. You can donate miles online at United Airlines Donate Your Miles and US Airways Dividend Miles.

Phone: 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767); for Spanish speakers, 1-800-257-7575; for TDD, 1-800-220-4095.



Well Said

The Boston Red Sox held their first home game since the Boston Marathon bombings on Saturday afternoon. And coming less than 24 hours after authorities successfully took suspect Dzohkhar Tsarnaev into custody alive, the game acted as a city-wide celebration of triumph over the bombers who tried to terrorize the city less than one week earlier.

Designated hitter David Ortiz, better known to fans as “Big Papi,” took the mic for a short but effective speech to the crowd. “This jersey that we wear today, it doesn’t say Red Sox, it says Boston,” Ortiz began. “We want to thank you, Mayor Menino, Governor Patrick, the whole police department for the great job they did this past week.”

“This is our fucking city!” Ortiz exclaimed, drawing wild applause from the stands. “And nobody going to dictate our freedom. Stay strong,” he concluded, lifting a fist in the air and the cheers went up in the crowd and he walked off the field to begin the game.

Like to give credit to NESN, Matt Wilstein, Mediaite, and papicity


Air Force ROTC paintball training

Next Thursday, approximately 50 members of UConn’s Air Force ROTC will participate in the annual paintball field training exercise. This will be the second year the event is held at Matt’s Outback Paintball field in Coventry, a couple miles from school.

8th-semester math major, Brett Eddins, also known as the senior cadet wing commander in the Air Force ROTC, is overlooking the event. The exercise is 2 to 3 hours long, and underclassmen are put through a number of mock scenarios that they may have to face later on in combat.

“The purpose of all this is to give them a real applicable situation where they have to make real life decisions,” Eddins said. “We take classes training us for different scenarios, but when in the paintball field, it can all be applied.”

The scenarios he described range from getting across a neutral area to a foreign land to saving a downed pilot that can no longer walk. In each situation, the lower class is divided into teams of 5 or 6 and lead usually by an upperclassman and an observer. They then try to accomplish whatever goal set out by them within in a certain time limit, all while trying to avoid the upperclassmen, who play the role of the “bad guys.”

After the leadership classes and the labs in which they work on their teamwork and problem solving skills, he said that it’s exciting to go out and apply what he’s learnt in a safe, fun environment. His favorite part he said, however, is what happens after the exercise. Laughing, Eddins recalled the last time he participated in this event in which after their training exercise he along with other upperclassmen shot at the lower classmen in what he described as, “a revolutionary war style.”

“At the end, we just play paintball. It’s hard for us all the way through the semester with midterms and finals. So we try to do things near the end of the year when everyone’s tired and just try to make them go home smiling,” he said.

Sophomore Cadet Michelle Smyth, a natural resources major, has participated in this event for two semesters now and also shared her excitement for the activity.

“It is by far one of my favorite activities that we get to do,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to apply what we learn during Lead Lab. It’s also a great way to increase the camaraderie between cadets.”

Lieutenant Colonel Kristopher E. Perry will be the head of this event, but while the missions are planned out by the cadets, he has mostly concerned himself with safety. He has been briefed for the last seven weeks about the safety precautions taken for this event and everyone involved has also had hours of guidance as well. Those participating had a briefing before break and will receive one once again before going out into the paintball field. The military, he explains, is all about keeping its people safe.

Although no one is actually in real combat, Perry believes the fact that paintballs are involved and participants can really be hit by something physical makes them more cautious. He describes this event as being the perfect opportunity for lessons learned. The students are able to balance the risks taken in the missions with the gains and rewards that they earned from it.

“The overall focus is training, not paintball,” he said. “It provides a good environment to practice fellowship, leadership, problem-solving skills, teamwork, operating with uncertainty, and still getting the job done. These are the skills of future leaders.”


By Aysha ManmoodThe UConn Daily Campus

Published: Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2013 22:03

Colored paintball sport protection masks on the fence

Now you see me…now you don’t.

The dictionary defines valor as, strength of mind or spirit that enables a person to encounter danger with firmness: personal bravery. Honor is defined as, a person of superior standing; personal integrity. These are the hallmarks of fierce competitors that respect themselves and their sport. Not someone whom feigns an injury to stop the clock or pretends he’s sustained a hit to the “jimmys” in an attempt to gain a point against his competitor. Those that possess a code of ethics that won’t allow them to take a chance of being disqualified or have their team receive a potential game losing penalty for the slim chance of an underhanded quick gain, should be recognized and celebrated. These athletes make the game worth watching. I’ve seen Michael Jordan dive for a ball quite often but I’ve never seen him take a dive as if he was struck by another player for some cheap free throws.

At almost every playground and school yard, some child has stumbled on to the black art of cheating. Finding the ability to change the game in their favor by playing around the rules rather than playing the game, this is a habit that’s hard to break if someone gets away with it often enough. Some live by the creed “by any means necessary” or “the ends justify the means”. Playing outside the rules as an older competitor is not a onetime indecent, rather; it’s hard wired into their D.N.A. These folks don’t color in between the lines because they can’t, it’s more of a conscious decision not to.

Because we’re all human I’m quite sure you like myself can find plenty of situations were a bit of cheating could aid a great deal to help steer the outcome of our efforts in our favor. Personally, I would like to enjoy my children from childbirth to age 12, and then have them temporarily suspended in time thru cryogenics until age 26. As a result thus alleviating them, my wife, and me of the argumentative, envelope pushing antics of young teens along with the “sexcapades” and addictions of college aged young adults. Now something like that I could sign up for…I’m half joking.

The purpose of this blog is to remind participants that even though E.B.O.T.S. is a tournament that celebrates individual accomplishments there are still components of the competition that rely upon team tactics. Trying to gain an edge by cheating does little for your career and reputation. I like men to be men, if you were struck by paint raise your hand like a man and leave the field to battle another day. Don’t be a petulant child that throws a fit because you were caught. Remember paintballs aren’t bullets, you won’t actually die if hit. You will have another opportunity to battle. However keep in mind, if you spend all your time cheating and breaking your arm patting yourself on the back for it, how much battling have you really done?
A suit of armor may look impressive enough, but it’s the man inside of the suit that takes it from being a hollowed shell to a knight…your thoughts?



Second amendment rights and the pursuit of happiness be damned

First let me offer my apology for the timing of this blog. Original articles were published in October of 2007.  I’m quite sure most of you have either read or have  heard about this story by now, however due to the fact that our website is brand new; it’s our first opportunity to weigh in on the incident and its news coverage thereafter.

There were numerous articles written about a married couple Mr. and Mrs. Contois (pronounced con-TOYZ) who took their 10 year old son to a paintball park in northern California and the unfortunate tragedy that befell them. Mrs. Contois was accidently struck in the head by a carbon-dioxide-filled cylinder that was launched by a 14 yr. old boy whom inadvertently detached a valve on his marker. Mrs. Contois never again regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at the scene. Reports stated Mr. Contois was awarded $8 million dollars from the manufacturers and distributors of the valve and cylinder.

When I first read reports on this story I found it mind-numbing to try and keep count to all the references to how “unsafe” paintball is. Reports of how paintball is not highly “regulated”. As if there should be some sort of blue ribbon government sanction committee that would oversee paintball and issue licenses for markers, fields, and referees. A committee that would strictly enforce guidelines for advertisements and that would have the ability to compel compliance through penalty-based fees for any infraction or non-compliance.

Each of these stories read as if paintball was some sort of blood sport suitable only for knuckle-dragging-neanderthals, barbarians of the lowest order. As stated earlier in this post, this was an unfortunate tragedy that befell a family, but the constant groaning, whining, and complaining by the paragons of peace, justice, and tranquility in polite society about the lack of national statistics of deaths and injuries in paintball, stats they’ll undoubtedly use to demonize a sport is deafening. It’s one of the main ingredients needed to derail the meteoric rise of a sport that’s genesis began in the late 70′s.

Though the game has changed somewhat you can still get a sense of the rugged outdoorsman ship and intrepid pioneer spirit that’s prevalent throughout the sport till this day. A spirit that’s in direct conflict with the “everyone gets a trophy” and “no red markings on report cards” society that we live in today. A society that coddles supposed grown men, where the “wussification” of America’s males is constant and a society where not even our military is off limits.

In summation, when you have an ignorant and litigious society such that is ours, all it takes are pandering politicians, overzealous lawyers, and fear mongering media outlets and you’ll have all the ingredients you need to destroy a sport, thousands of  businesses and most importantly a man’s instinctive attributes.

Call me a knuckle-dragging neanderthal, but it was the hunter gathering abilities that propelled mankind to the apex of the food chain. Would anyone rather be second, your thoughts?


Blast your way to the top

Everyone wants to claim to be the “Best of the best”, “The Alpha dog”, “Número uno” or whatever accolade they choose to bestow on themselves. But in our world we recognize the game play history of participants; so that we may acknowledge true grit, determination, tactics and execution. These are the attributes that separate technicians from the average braggarts.

Friend or Foe?

As the competition mounts players quickly become aware that the buddies they’ve arrived with to the designated area for a day of challenge and fun may be their stiffest competitors.  They may have shared light hearten tales prior to the event and may even share a pint after but on the field the question begs to be asked…friend or foe?