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Follow the Red Dirt Road: Some Thoughts on Being a Southern Writer

My friend, colleague, and fellow native Alabamian, Gary Walker, wrote an excellent USR essay a couple of weeks ago reflecting on being a writer who just happens to be from the South. Despite others’ expectations that he write about red dirt, hunting, fishing, football, the land, and the people, Gary confessed that he doesn’t really feel motivated to write about Dixie-themed topics. Gary’s admission is a little surprising (after all,

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Museum Feature: The Story of Us

If you haven’t had a chance to get to the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum lately, an exhibit well worth your time awaits. It’s called “The Story of Us,” and it features the city’s history in an interactive, non-traditional way by representing our history through the alphabet, one letter at a time. Here’s a snapshot of the exhibits, along with some extra commentary based on my experience. Click on the links

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The Academic Redneck Fitness Challenge: Update 1

Previous Weight Loss (November 28-July 5): 25.2 pounds Weight Loss July 5-August 7, 2017: 4.8 pounds Total Weight Loss (November 28-August 7, 2017): 30 pounds End-of-Year Weight Loss Goal: 50 pounds Remaining to 2017 Goal: 20 pounds As promised, here is my monthly fitness check-in. In July, I had my best month of weight loss in 2017, 4.8 pounds. I’m averaging  3.25 pounds per month this year, so my weight loss

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Metric in Minutes

As I walked out to my car, juggling coffee, lunch and books, I sensed something was wrong before I saw it. Flat tire. I briefly considered just trying to air it up and even turned on my air compressor. But I knew better. For some reason that only the universe understands, the passenger side rear tire on my vehicle is prone to accidents, injury, and even death. I blame my

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Hotel Breakfast Buffet Nightmares: The Compilation

Last week at the kick-ass US Represented staff party, my colleagues and I had an interesting conversation about travel. Eric, our esteemed editor-in-chief, told us he’s planning a trip to Greece next summer and wanted to know whether he should rent a car and strike out on his own or hang with a tour group. Pretty much everyone was in agreement with him that going solo instead of being the

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Your Gut Affects Your Brain, so Take Care of It

The gut’s ecosystem of bacteria (or microbiome) is often called the “second brain” because it’s so intricately connected to mental activity and health. In fact, the vast neural network in our guts communicates mainly with these bacteria, which in turn influence the brain through multiple mechanisms. Around a thousand different species of gut bacteria play a major role in anxiety, depression, memory loss, and other disorders. To a great extent, they regulate

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