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Realizing he can not sleep anytime soon Josh decides to pass the time by rolling a joint and passing it among his peers. As he and his groupmates inhale the thick, off-white, smoke each and everyone of them has a coughing fit. The sounds of after parties everywhere fill the air and soon drown out the heavy coughing. Josh’s eyes have now upgraded to a deep shade of red, not unlike that of a strawberry. Incredibly stoned he leaves his tent to find one of the many after parties, but before he even takes 10 steps he finds himself under the ambient light cast by the neons up in the trees. He finally gets it, electronic music in a forest filled with electric trees; an electric forest. The epiphany only distracts him from his task for a short time. Spotting the unmistakable signs of a party he rushes over. Shots are being passed around like a communicable disease and Josh is drunk before he realizes it.
 Marijuana and alcohol leave Josh feeling uneasy and throws up the contents of his stomach, which is nothing but bile and water. Purging is the catalyst for sleep, as afterward Josh can barely keep his eyes open. Drunkenly stumbling back to his own tent, he decides to urinate on a nearby one. An enraged man who looks straight out of a fitness advertisement steps out. Josh, finishing up in record time, runs with his pants still around his ankles. Barely escaping the otherwise definite ass-whooping, he makes it to his sleeping chamber. He lazily plops his body weight on his cot which squeaks from the unexpected dead-weight. 


 As he wakes from his not-so-good sleep, Josh feels restless and sore. Cramming pop-tarts in his mouth as if they were going out of style he aids his grumbling stomach. Taking an aspirin for the ache in his brain from the alcohol, he prepares for another day of Electric Forest. He can never know what the day will bring, but he does know that. Josh grabs a water and a cigarette then steps outside into the organised chaos that is Music Festivals. Josh’s experience is typical in the sense that it was unlike anything experienced by anyone else. 
 Electric forest continues to grow in popularity, as well as EDM itself. The genre can be heard on the radio and even in advertisements. Josh chooses not to let this phase him, he tells me he plans to continue attending Electric Forest for the remainder of his years. Thus creating equally bizarre and intriguing memories to come.


Festi-Head

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Electronic music festivals are becoming an increasingly popular phenomenon, with gatherings all over the world in many diverse locations. Tomorrowland in Germany is arguably the largest and most well known globally, yet here in the states EDC, or Electric Daisy Carnival has an almost cult-like following. Not all festivals are created equal however. Electric Forest (A festival in Rothbury, Michigan) is one of the most original, with sights and sounds that are unrivaled in aesthetic quality. Josh Clemmons had the opportunity to experience this grand spectacle of EDM culture.
Josh is your average festival-goer; if there even is such a thing. Sporting a thick mane of midnight-black dreadlocks, and in contrast an arsenal of neon themed clothing, he enters the gate into Electric Forest with anticipation building in his core. The first sight upon entry immediately bewilders him, a group of ladies boldly wearing nothing besides the bottom half of bikinis and glowsticks somehow secured to their chest.
“That’s the thing at music festivals...” Josh claims excitedly “...whatever concerns society places on modesty are entirely void once you step through that gate.”
After gawking in awe for a little too long, Josh continues onward. His first goal is to find some MDMA, or molly, before the nights first headliner; Zed’s Dead. It is 10 p.m. this gives josh only a two hour window to secure some ecstasy. Nevertheless, Josh is an experienced user and knows what to look for. Quickly spotting a man with no iris to be seen, he makes his move. The operation was a success, and Josh comes into possession of three contraband-filled capsules. A glance at his wristwatch tells him it is now 11:03, “Perfect” Josh thinks to himself, with his experience he knows it will take 45-50 minutes for the drug to take effect. Grabbing a free water bottle from a nearby booth that promotes safe and responsible drug use, he swallows two of the capsules, saving the last one to “boost” his high in a few hours. Away he goes on his way to the show.

The walk to the Ranch Arena where all the headliners perform is a small country away it seems, taking an abnormally prolonged time, due to having to make it through a mob of over 30,000 attendees. 
Josh is given a stroke of luck, and makes it before the majority of people. Allowing him to get a spectacular spot within a few yards of the stage. The clock strikes 12 and all hell breaks loose, Josh is experiencing waves of euphoria unrivaled by anything else. Lights, lasers, and love, these are the universal attractions bringing everyone together all serenaded by Zed’s Dead’s tantalizing show.
EDM light shows are completely out of this world, with intricate and colorful displays all simultaneously playing along the thumping bass. This display is what brings many festival goers in. Combined with the sensory enhancement brought on my MDMA it creates a symbiotic relationship between DJ and fan. Lights look brighter and more breathtaking, the bass vibrates to the user’s core, and the euphoria is unlike anything else. Josh tells me, “MDMA is not something you can imagine, it is only something you can experienced. If I had to describe it though I’d say it is like christmas morning as a kid multiplied by 100.” 
 Quoting Newton, what goes up must come down; however, and as the show nears it’s last song Josh is beginning to come down. He stumbles through the dispersing crowd in a daze, exhausted from hours of dancing. Arriving back at his tent he is starting to feel the “crash” or after effects of his substance. Being a safe user, Josh takes many supplements vital for serotonin production as the majority of his serotonin has been sacrificed for the unexcelled empathy he felt only hours earlier. Laying his head down on his memory foam pillow he contemplates tonights events.

A Day In The Life: Electric Forest


Child Marriage: The Future of Young GIrls in Third World Nations

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Child Marriage:
The Future of Young Girls in Third World Nations
     Do you remember when you were a kid and people would ask you: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Did you reply enthusiastically back with: “Astronaut!” “Doctor!” or “President!”? In third world countries, like Niger or Bangladesh, no one asks that question to young girls. Their futures are decided by their families, and they are never given a say.

     On a global scale, 51 million girls below the age of eighteen are child brides (Ten Facts). The girls are usually married to middle-aged men, but some of the husbands are children as well. They can be from 3 years old to 45 years old; neither the bride’s nor the husband’s age is a factor that their family considers when making the decision to marry them. The head of the family, usually the parents, arrange the marriages for their daughter, without giving the young girl a voice in that decision. Child marriages are generally the result of poverty; in many cultures, husbands pay a dowry for their future wives to their wives’ family, making the marriage profitable for the parents. The cultural discrimination toward women, and the desire to ensure the girl’s virginity before marriage are also some of the causes behind these unions. Some countries in Africa and Southern Asia consider child marriage a tradition, and the best option for the young girls.

     A child bride is expected to fulfill every responsibility of a wife, including becoming a mother. Still a child herself, she is forced by their new husband, their husbands’ family, and their own family, to satisfy this part of the marriage agreement. Many girls are too young to become pregnant and give birth without life-threatening complications. “An estimated 14 million girls between the ages of 15 and 19 give birth each year. They are twice as likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth as women in their 20s. Girls who marry between the ages of 10 and 14 are five times as likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth as women in their early 20s” (Child Marriage). This is just one of the consequences of arranged child marriage.

     Domestic abuse is a common household occurrence in many child marriages, including but not limited to physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. Child brides have a greater risk of contracting AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and the girls are generally denied access or are too poor for hospital care. The children that the child brides have lead no better lives (Child Marriage).
     Child marriage strips away fundamental rights of the children involved. “Rights undermined or lost by children forced to marry early are: The right to an education. The right to be protected from physical and mental violence... The right to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health. The right to rest and leisure, and to participate freely in cultural life. The right to not be separated from parents against the child's will. The right to protection against all forms of exploitation affecting any aspect of the child’s welfare. The right to eventual employment” (Child Marriages). All of these rights that we take for granted are considered unattainable dreams to the victims of child marriage.

    The life of a young girl trapped in a child marriage can never be fully understood. Those with the right of choice and liberty can’t completely comprehend the pain, stress, violence, and the overall nightmare of being a child bride. We can only listen to the stories of the girls who lived through it. The following, provided by ‘Child Marriages: Facts, Causes, and Consequences,’ is a truthful testimonial from a woman who was a child bride:

     I was married to a nine-year-old boy when I was three. At that point of time, I was unaware of marriages. I don't even remember my marriage event. I just remember that as I was too young, and was unable to walk, they had to carry me and bring me over to their place. Getting married at an early age, I was destined to suffer a lot of hardships. I had to carry water in a small clay-pot in the mornings. I had to sweep and swap the floor everyday.
      Those were the days when I wanted to eat good food and wear pretty clothes. I used to feel very hungry, but I had to be satisfied with the amount of food that I was provided. I never got to eat enough. I sometimes secretly ate corns, soybeans, etc. that used to grow in the field. And if I was caught eating, my in-laws and husband would beat me up accusing me of stealing from the field and eating. Sometimes the villagers used to give me food and if my husband and in-laws found out, they used to beat me up accusing me of stealing food from the house. They used to give me one black blouse and a cotton sari1 torn into two pieces. I had to wear these for two years.
     Never did I get other accessories like petticoats, belts etc. When my saris got torn, I used to patch them up and continue wearing them. My husband married three times after me. At present, he lives with his youngest wife. Since I married at an early age, early child-delivery was inevitable. As a result, I now have severe back problems. I used to weep a lot and consequently, I faced problems with my eyes and had to undergo an eye operation. I often think that if I had the power to think like I do now, I would never go to that house.
     I also wish I had not given birth to any children. Retrospective sufferings make me wish not to see my husband again. Nevertheless, I do not want him to die because I don't want to lose my marital status.
 
     Girls Not Brides, a dedicated organization, has developed a unique perspective and plan for ending child marriage permanently throughout the world. Called the Theory of Change, their plan is four-fold: empowering the young girls in child marriages or at risk of becoming a child bride, engaging families and communities to change this tragic tradition, providing services and protecting the girls, and lastly, implementing effective and rigid laws against child marriage. Girls Not Brides suggests many ways for people to get involved, from donating to volunteering, but mainly they suggest raising your voice against child marriage.
 
     If you ask anyone, most likely they’d be adamant about how horrible child marriage is. “That’s terrible,” they’ll probably say, before falling silent or changing the subject. Child marriage is not a topic people are comfortable with for obvious reasons, but being quiet about this issue won’t resolve anything. Raise your voice loud against child marriage because those girls need much more than politically correct silence.


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MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS 
WHAT IS IT?
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system 
Normally

Anatomy (structure) : Myelin sheaths on your nerves are fine and in good shape 

 Physiology (function)  :Complete feeling or control, able to walk and do activates, can see perfectly unless you have glasses, the body and brain work together and do well

Disorder 
Anatomy (structure): Multiple Sclerosis Myelin sheaths on your nerves deteriorate

Physiology (function): May lose the ability to walk  
Numbness or weakness in the limbs, flow of information from brain to body is disrupted

HOW IS IT NORMALL AND HOW IS IT WHEN SOMEONE HAS MS? 
IS THERE A CURE?
WHAT ARE SOME TREATMENT OPTIONS? 
because there is no cure that has yet to be found the treatment is mostly to handle the pain and reduce some of the attacks on the body. 
Medications most are experimental, Medical Marijuana, possibly surgery, comprehensive care which is where you meet with health professionals that discuss your case of MS and look for ways to help you, there are also many more ways to help that are being developed by health care professionals and researchers 
No, sadly a cure has not been found yet but health care professionals and researchers are looking for more ways to help people with this autoimmune disease and are discovering more ways than we would have many of years ago. 
WHAT PART OF THE BODY DOES IT AFFECT? 
it effects the Brain and the Spinal cord 
LINKS TO RESEARCH AND SOME INTERESTING ARTICLES 
http://www.nationalmssociety.org/Symptoms-Diagnosis%20Message%20sent
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ana.1032/full
http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD004192/MS_dietary-interventions-as-complementary-therapies-for-multiple-sclerosis-ms
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ana.1032/full
http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD002936/MS_the-use-of-immunoglobulins-antibodies-for-treating-people-with-multiple-sclerosis
http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD002818/MS_the-effect-of-amantadine-for-the-treatment-of-fatigue-in-people-with-multiple-sclerosis
http://summaries.cochrane.org/CD003980/MS_the-impact-of-excercise-therapy-for-multiple-sclerosis
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ana.410130302/abstract




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sports magic
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Deneme

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SOL CRM Haberleri
TMForum'da IT Convergence workshop'ına katıldık...


El Segundo Dental Implants

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El Segundo Dental Implants

Dental implants attach artificial teeth below the gum line using an anchor. The anchor holds the implant in place, allowing excess bone to fuse with it and the healthy gums to grow around it. The result is that of a strong, secure tooth that is virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.




Infrastructure Project Financing

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Infrastructure Project Financing
Universal Business Structured Solution is a premier provider of out of the box creative financial solutions. With over sixty years of combined investment and lending experience, management team brings a high level of expertise to the market. UB Solution’s goal is to offer unequaled service, accessibility, and professionalism to our clients.


Gpib Cables

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Gpib Cables

GPIB Cables (IEEE-488 Cables) by Amphenol -- Buy Directly from the Inventor of GPIB Connector Technology. Cables on Demand provides a selection of IEEE-488 GPIB cables and cable adapters in lengths up to 18m for precision instrumentation, test equipment and real-time data acquisition. Amphenol GPIB cables exceed IEEE-488 specifications and are fully compatible with legacy HPIB equipment. Please choose a GPIB cable or adapter product below:




WE ARE BECAUSE WE ARE

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http://wearebecausewecan.wordpress.com/


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Her Light

I am bathed in her brilliance
the moon, the shining one.

Nothing can stop her light -
        not street lights
        not concrete or brick or wood
        not tree branches.
Nothing can stop her light.

She reaches me,
         illuminating me,
my cracks outlined in moonsilver -
         the pain
         the addiction
         the patterns of suffering.

Nothing can stop her light
from
reaching me.

She illuminates me,
bathing my soul in the renewal of change,
every moment a chance to try again.

Andrea Huckleberry Iannone
10/8/2014


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 Can they be? Will they be? Who will be stopping the Cavilers this years? The answer to these questions are a little tricky on the spot, especially given its just preseason so far, but just look at the talent, and the depth this team has. The upfront “wow” of this rosters is young star guard Kyrie Irving, who has been in the league 3 years (all with Cavs), three time All-Star Kevin Love (acquired in 3 team trade with Minnesota and Philadelphia), and of course the returning, face of the NBA, nine time All-Star, LeBron James (free agent). But that’s not all of the weapons the Cavilers will have at their disposal for the 2015-2105 season. The Cavs’ bench also compliments their power house of a starting line up with players like Tristen Thompson (started last season for Cavs, Kevin Love projected to start over him, 11.7 pts. per game, 9.2 reb. per game), Shawon Marion (played for Dallas last season, 10.4 pts. per game, 6.5 reb. per game) and Mike Miller (played for Miami last season, 7.1 pts. per game). Making the Cavs own one of the strongest benches in the league. Also in their starting line up above average talent Anderson Varejao (8.4 pts. per game, 9.7 reb. per game) at center and Dion Waiters (15.9 pts. per game) at shooting guard makes the Cleveland Cavilers a well-rounded team with talent at every position on the court.


 The Cavs’ strengths clearly outweigh there weaknesses by a large amount. With a projected starting lineup (can change during season) in Kyrie Irving at the one, Dion Waiters at the two, LeBron James at the three, Kevin Love at the four, and Anderson Varejao at the five, makes the starting lineup of the Cavs one of the best, if not the best in the league. Throwing in a “just as flawless bench” in Tristen Thompson, Shawon Marion, and Mike Miller (just to name a few) makes the opportunities and the tactics of taking down the Cavilers minimal. The Cavs’ strengths are everywhere on the floor, at every position, not a single “below” average player to NBA standards. Probably their weakest link (in the Cavilers starting lineup) in Anderson Varejao at center, averaged close to a double-double last season in 8.4 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game. What a weak a weak link right?

To question the Cavs stellar starting line-up, who is their go to player in crunch time? They don’t have one. One simply cannot single out a go to player in this starting lineup, they are simply to go. For example, Cleveland’s go to player was Kyrie Irving for the past three years (20.8 points per game, 6.1 ast. per game), with incredible ball handling skills, quick feet, and a great jumper made him easily the face of the Cavilers franchise for those three years. Minnesota’s go to player was the big man, Kevin Love, (26.1 pts. per game, 12.5 reb. per game) with great post moves, a knock down mid-range and three point shot, and an outstanding rebounder, K-Love was also deserving of the role “Mr. go to”. And of course, Miami’s go to player was King James (27.1 pts. per game, 6.9 reb. per game), with above average range and shooting ability, athleticism, and strength with quickness, made the King himself the only one for the job in Miami. That should answer the question, they are simply too good to single out just one of their three All-Stars to be the go to player on the court. With other starting talent on the court, and a great bench, they are simply to too good to single out
Who Will Stop the Cavs?

Strengths



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Yet another, maybe even a bigger gamble, was acquiring forward Anthony Bennett in the trade. Though Bennett too only played one year of college ball at UNLV with constant “All American numbers” putting up 16.1 points per game, 8.1 rebounds per game, and along with a 53.3% shooting percentage, (Sports Reference, Anthony) he is still in the same boat as Wiggins. The worst part of the deal is Bennett was drafted in 2013, playing one year with the Cavilers. Actually, not really playing. His playing time was limited all season due to shoulder and knee injuries along with asthma and conditioning problemYs. When Bennett would play he simply just could not perform on the court, in fact, the Cavilers sent there number 1 overall draft pick down to the D-League to develop and get some playing time. Later in the year, Bennett started to improve and got back up to the Cavilers and stayed at that level for the rest of the year, showing big signs of improvement. But if Bennett can return to the 2014-2015 season with the T-Wolves healthy and ready to work, the 6 foot 7 inch, 240 lbs. forward could be an immense help to the T-Wolves offense this year, also with a big strong body with some physical play, averaging 1.2 blocks per game at UNLV (Sports Reference, Anthony), could add to the defensive side as well. 

Now that the three-time All-Star Kevin Love is no longer Minnesota is there any hope? Absolutely. K-Love leaving obviously takes a franchise player out of the picture, but that is not as nearly as bad as it sounds. With K-Love gone that opens up a huge amount of cap space to pick up free agents like Mo Williams and others along the way of the season, also with young talent waiting to shine on the court in Wiggins and Bennett (acquired in three-team trade), veteran like talent in Thaddeus Young (also acquired in three-team trade) and Mo Williams (free agent), along with the already known players to the T-Wolf community in Rubio, Pekovic, Kevin Martin (19.1 pts per game), Cory Brewer (12.3 pts per game), and recently drafted young athletic talent Zach LaVine (9.4 pts per game, 46 inch vertical) from UCLA, makes the T-Wolves’ diverse roster consisting of young and veteran like talent. The T-Wolves don’t have NBA champions in their minds, but a long playoff run with an exciting regular season at the Target Center is inevitable (Cory Brewer, Kevin Martin NBA.com, Zach LaVine Sports Reference).

What to Expect?



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All at once, a quiet voice deep in my soul said, “Are you trusting Me? If you were you wouldn’t be crying.” I sat upright and stared in horror. I wasn’t trusting and I knew it! I felt shame wash over me and I cried again. 
“I’m sorry Lord, please forgive me?” I turned my lamp on and lifted my Bible from the night stand.
Opening it, I read part of James two which says, “You ask but do not receive because you ask for the wrong reasons.” Early the next morning, I went outside and surveyed our garden. Kneeling down, I turned my head up to the sky and prayed again, “Lord, please bless this garden, please bless our efforts.
You know our dilemma, you know what is best, you know we need rain. Please let it rain. Your will be done for I will trust you.” That day, I left it in God’s hands to provide for my family. I prayed that prayer a few times throughout the day but it was always with, “Your will be done.” 
That evening, Mother was preparing supper as I held baby Andy. I had just finished silently praying when the lights flickered off then flashed back on. Mother and I looked around, surprised, when it did it again! Then I heard it. The rain pouring down. I hardly dared to look, but I turned and saw it through the window. A waterfall of rain hitting the ground and making puddles in the driveway. My heart rejoiced, and I ran to my room to thank God personally. He had sent rain!
That rain brought our garden back to life and it grew! We had one of the biggest harvests we have ever experienced.


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We stood standing still a minute looking at it with pride. I looked up to the sky and closed my eyes and whispered, “Please let this garden grow. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
I felt something cold and wet hit my face with a splat, as the heavens opened and rain came pouring down on us.
We all scrambled to put our tools away and ran for the house. It was a happy, laughing family that piled into the house a few minutes later and watched the rain fall.
That summer there was a drought. Our beautiful garden began to wither and I could tell that if we 
didn’t get rain soon, we would have nothing to harvest. It wasn’t just us though, it was everyone having the same problem. Every Sunday in church, we would pray for rain and commit it into God’s hands again and still no rain came. I couldn’t understand why God wouldn’t send rain.
 One night, I laid awake and prayed, “God, what are you doing? I asked you to let our garden grow! Why would you leave us flat like this? We’ve all been praying for rain for weeks now, why don’t you send it?
Don’t you care? We trusted you!” I turned over and cried angry tears into my pillow.


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YYC


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The whole staff here at You and Your Child are getting in on the halloween festivities!


At our home base in Nowhere, New York, we will be hosting a family friendly halloween event. Complete with games, music and a Haunted House!


The event will take place on Friday October 31st from 6-9PM.

Halloween
Event!


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     Research from the NCAA Sports Sponsorship and Participation study in 2006-2007 found some interesting statistics. In sports both men and women participate in, women received 32,656 scholarships, compared to only 20,206 for men. NCAA Division I FBS football teams have a maximum of eighty-five scholarships, and NCAA Division I FCS football teams are allowed sixty-five scholarship for their teams. There are 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools like University of Minnesota, which tend to be bigger. There are also 123 Football Championship Subdivision schools like the University of Northern Iowa or The North Dakota State University, which tend to be smaller. So, when you do the math the number of scholarships is similar (Watson).
     Since “Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972” passed women have had the opportunities they deserve to participate in high school and collegiate athletics they previously did not. Are the opportunities equal, and does Title IX provide them? Women have the same number of scholarships available as men do. Also, women tend to have more sports to participate in while attending a college. Men, though, tend to have more money spent on their side of the athletic department. Under Title IX, that is legal, because some sports like football take more money to operate. The difference in operating budgets cannot discriminate though. The downside is they tend to have less sports to participate in while in college, and also tend to have their sports cut before women’s. Title IX can be hard to enforce, and also leaves some loopholes, but without it women probably would not be playing sports today. Hopefully in the years to come women will have the same amount of money spent on their athletic programs, and men will have an equal number of athletic teams they can be a member of. 
Works Cited 
"Five Myths about Title IX." ESPN. ESPN Internet Ventures, 29 Apr. 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.
NCAA Revenues/ Expenses Division I Report 2004-2010. Rep. no. 23-24,32-39. N.p.: n.p., n.d.
          Print.
"Title IX and Sex Discrimination." Title IX and Sex Discrimination. U.S. Department of
          Education, 8 June 2012. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.
"Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972." Title IX, Education Amendments of 1972. United
          States Department of Labor, 2014. Web. 23 Nov. 2014.
Watson, Graham. "Watson: Men's Teams First on Chopping Block Thanks to Title IX Issues."
          ESPN.com. ESPN, 14 July 2009. Web. 24 Nov. 2014.



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     Another discussion point of Title IX, is has it cost men opportunities, not women? The University of Northern Iowa is place you can make a case. With the University of Northern Iowa Athletic Department facing budget difficulties, the school decided they needed to cut a sport. The university decided they could not a women’s sport, because they would no longer being in accordance with Title IX. So, the university decided to drop the university’s baseball team. The university athletic director, Troy Dannen, did not even try to cover the fact the university was trying to stay in line with Title IX. “From a proportionality standpoint, we are really not even close. We were not going to look at a women’s program,” said Dannen. The University of Northern Iowa is not the only place where men’s sports have been cut, but not any women’s sports (Watson). 
     Rutgers University is another location where a men’s sport got dropped, but not a women’s sport. In 2006 Rutgers University dropped its men’s tennis team. By dropping their men’s tennis program, the athletic department saved $175,000. That same year though, the university spent $175,000 on hotel rooms for their football team. The kicker, $175,000 was spent hotel rooms for home football games (Five Myths about Title IX). 


OKC May Actually Be In Some Trouble

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It pains me incredibly to say this because they're no question my favorite team, but the Oklahoma City Thunder need to wake up, NOW! After losing to the lowly Utah Jazz last night, the Thunder have now dropped three in a row and seven of their last nine. With Russell Westbrook expected to miss at least six more games if not more, and Kevin Durant probably going to miss even more than that, it might be time to start worrying just a little bit in OKC.
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not hitting the panic button here and claiming that the Thunder need to tank like Maverick's owner Mark Cuban has recently said. I know the Thunder are dealing with the worst injury situation the NBA has probably ever seen, but the teams OKC are losing to are just pathetic. Starting with the Jazz last night, the Thunder's last week and a half is littered with losses to teams they should've beaten despite being without KD and Westbrook. The Bucks and Pistons are the two that stick out like a sore thumb. If it weren't for Anthony Morrow scoring 28 points against the Celtics you could've added Boston to the list of sub-par teams that have had their way with the Thunder. 
Every match up against a winnable opponent is so precious for the Thunder right now. Without the two mega-stars, those are games that OKC desperately has to win in order to keep their head above water. It's reasonable to lose to team's like the Rockets or Grizzlies, because through the beginning stretch of the season both of those teams have proven to be apart of the league's elite. The Thunder fought valiantly against both of those teams and were close to pulling out victories despite being largely undermanned. That seems to be the ultimate story of the Thunder's injury-riddled season. 
Who's to blame for these inexcusable losses? Normally you would point the finger at the head coach, but I don't know if that's necessarily the case with Scott Brooks. He's so far said the right things and seems to have the guys believing they can win on most nights. The reason they've only been able to pull of that feat three total times this season is primarily on the shoulders of Serge Ibaka. Am I saying that it's all his fault and that he's played terribly? No, not at all. I'm saying that when your two best players go down with an injury, it should be the next guy up to lead the way. In OKC's case the next guy is Ibaka and he hasn't proven he can be the go to guy for any team. It's also been made crystal clear that Ibaka is primarily a role player, and all of his all-star talk in the past is a little far fetched. Through the first twelve games this season Ibaka is averaging 15 points and 7.3 rebounds. Both numbers are down from last season in 2013-14, a year where Ibaka was the third option on the team. The difference now is that he needs to play like the number one guy for the Thunder, but instead his numbers are technically getting worse. 
I was reading an article on Grantland a couple of weeks ago and the writer made a great point about the Heat last season when LeBron James and Dwayne Wade would both sit out of games. The Heat's third option, Chris Bosh used that opportunity to thrive and show that he can be "the guy." Ibaka either doesn't have that mindset, or the skill to do what Bosh did. That in my opinion is the key reason OKC isn't winning the games they should. If it weren't for the stellar play of Reggie Jackson, things could be even worse in Loud City. I'm not giving up on the Thunder, because I believe when Durant and Westbrook return that OKC be able to win enough games to sneak into the playoffs. That's if they're both able to return by mid December at the latest. If it gets to be later than that, then I may start finally hitting the panic button. For now, the Thunder take on the Nuggets tonight on the road. Denver is actually one of the three teams the Thunder have been able to beat this season. I don't think I have to say it, but I will anyway... Tonight is definitely a needed win for OKC. 
OKC may actually be in some trouble


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