I Remember The Eerie Sound That Changed Lives In A Split Second

I Remember The Eerie Sound That Changed Lives In A Split Second

A day that will never be forgotten
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On March 19, 2018, shortly after 8:30, the gut-wrenching sound of a tornado siren filled the air of Jacksonville, Alabama.

The beautiful city that is nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian trail was ravaged by an EF 3 tornado.

The horrifying sound of a freight train ripped through the streets as many people took shelter for the impending doom that will accompany that haunting sound. It's the sound that makes you fear for your life. It's the sound that causes an overwhelming amount of emotions. It's a sound we never want to hear.

Devastated doesn't begin to describe the pain that many residents and students feel. There are simply no words to describe the emotions that are welling up inside those who have a special connection to Jacksonville. It all feels like a dream. A dream that you just want to go away. To hear first responders say it looks like a "war zone" really makes the hearts of those who love Jacksonville sink.

That eerie sound that swept through the city that night is so hard to think about. It has haunted the dreams and thoughts of the students at JSU and the residents of the city. It's a haunting dream that will continue to plague our minds as we work together to rebuild our beautiful city.

Thinking about the destruction the tornado left behind nauseates me. Many residents are without a home. JSU is damaged. It is all so overwhelming to think about. Fortunately, the students and faculty at JSU are on spring break this week. On March 20th, the mayor reported that there were no fatalities. That is a true blessing. Buildings can be replaced, but not the lives of the residents of Jacksonville are irreplaceable.

March 19 will be a day we will never forget. It was the day that will haunt residents throughout the years. It's hard to see a city with great people go through this.

As meteorologist and city officials said the chilling words "seek shelter now" and "there is a tornado on the ground" many people did not know what would be the outcome. Nobody ever wants to hear those words or hear your city or town mentioned specifically. It is an eye-opening experience and we will overcome it.

We Are Jacksonville Strong.

Thank you to the first responders who worked tirelessly throughout the night and next day.

Thank you to the meteorologist for keeping everybody informed.

Thank you to the city officials, JSU, volunteers, and those who have donated.

Each and every one of us appreciates all the thoughts, prayers, and donations.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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20 Of The Coolest Animal Species In The World

Animals that almost seem imaginary.
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The world is full of amazing animals. So amazing, that narrowing them down to 20 felt nearly impossible. To determine who made the cut for this list, I used very important factors such as, cuteness and how much some of them looked like Pokémon . I know, very official. So here are some of the coolest animals in the world.

1. Pink Fairy Armadillo

The pink fairy armadillo is the smallest and cutest species of armadillo. It is on the list of threatened species and is found in the sandy plains, dunes, and grasslands of Argentina. The pink fairy armadillo is a nocturnal creature that survives mostly on insects and plants.


2. Okapi

The okapi is an animal native to the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa. Although the stripes make many people believe okapi are related to zebra, they are actually closer to giraffe. Okapi are solitary creatures and come together to breed. They are herbivores, mostly eating leaves, grass, and other plants.


3. Glaucus Atlanticus or "the Blue Dragon"

These little dragon-like creatures are often only about a few inches long and can be found in the Indian Pacific Oceans. The blue dragon floats upside down in order to blend the blue side of them with the water, and the silver side with the surface of the ocean. This tiny dragon feeds on creatures like the man o' war and can even deliver a sting similar to it.


4. The Maned Wolf

The maned wolf is often found in the grasslands of south, central-west, and southeastern parts of Brazil. It is neither related to wolves nor foxes despite its appearance and name, but is actually closer to dogs. The maned wolf hunts alone and primarily eats both meat and plants (about 50% of its diet).


5. Fossa

The fossa is a carnivorous animal located in Madagascar. Despite having many traits similar to cats, it is more closely related to the Mongoose. The fossa is only found in forest habitats and can hunt in either daytime or night. Over 50 percent of its diet happens to be lemurs.


6. Japanese Spider Crab

As the name suggestions, the Japanese spider crab inhabits the waters surrounding Japan. In many parts of Japan, this crab can be considered a delicacy but can be considerably difficult to catch. The Japanese spider crab can grow to 12 feet long from claw to claw. There is only one sea creature-- amongst similar species (aka crustaceans)-- that beats the weight of a Japanese spider crab: the American Lobster.


7. Pacu Fish

Look closely at the teeth, do they look familiar? This fish is found in the waters of South America. This fish, while related to the piranha, can actually grow much larger. They can also be found in rivers like the Amazon and is an aid to the fishing industry. Unlike the piranha, pacu mostly only eat seeds and nuts, though can still create nasty injuries to other animals if need be.


8. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a nocturnal creature found in Southeast Asia. While very adorable, the loris's teeth are actually quite venomous. The toxin on their teeth can also be applied to fur through grooming to protect its babies from predators. Often times these creatures forage and spend time alone, although can on occasion be seen with other slow lorises. Apart from their toxic teeth, the slow lorises have another defense mechanism, in which they move nearly completely silently in order to prevent discovery.


9. Angora Rabbit

These cute, fluffy rabbits are among the hairiest breeds of rabbit of both wild and domestic types. These rabbits originated in Turkey although managed to spread throughout Europe and was even brought to the United States in the 20th century. These rabbits are often bred for their soft wool which can be made into clothing, and often get rid of their own coats every 3-4 months.


10. Axolotl

The axolotl or "Mexican salamander" (who looks like a Pokémon , if you ask me) is often spotted in lakes in various places around Mexico. These little salamanders are amphibious although often spend their adult lives strictly in the water. However, the population of these cute creatures is dwindling due to non-native predators and the continued urbanization of Mexico. The axolotl eats small worms, insects, and fish in order to survive.


11. Liger

The liger, however made up it sounds, is a real (and cute) animal created by a lion and a tiger mating. Ligers only seem to exist in captivity or zoos because the lion and tiger don't share the same habitat in the wild. Unfortunately, these animals don't live very long or are sterile despite being bigger than both the lion and the tiger. While these animals are cool and unique, they are not strictly natural or sustainable.


12. Bearded Vulture

I don't know about you all, but this vulture reminds me of a phoenix which was initially why I looked into the creature. These vultures inhabit a range of places from southern Europe to the Indian subcontinent, to Tibet. This vulture, like other vultures, typically eats dead animals, although it has been documented that the bearded vulture will attack live prey more often than other vultures.


13. Goblin Shark


This unusual shark is also known as a "living fossil" because they are the last representative of sharks that lived about 125 million years ago. It is a deep sea shark that can grow between 10-13 feet if not longer. The goblin shark has been caught accidentally in every major ocean. The goblin shark is not a fast swimmer and relies on ambushing its prey.


14. Red Panda

This cute, small panda lives in the eastern Himalayas and southwestern China. The red panda is rather small, only about the same size as most domestic cats. Its eating habits range from bamboo, to eggs, to insects, and several other small mammals. The red panda is primarily sedentary during the day and at night or in the morning does whatever hunting it needs to do.


15. Blobfish

This blobfish is, in a way, so ugly that it is cute (although reminds me of a certain Pokémon ) This fish lives in the deep waters of Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand. The blobfish has a density only sightly above that of water. The fish primarily hunts by just floating along and letting creatures wander into its mouth, rather than expending any energy.


16. Leaf Deer

The leaf deer is usually found in dense forests in the northwest region of Putao. The adult leaf deer only stands at about 20 inches high and the males and females are nearly identical except for an inch long horn on the males. It is called a leaf deer because hunters could wrap the deer in a single large leaf.


17. Tiger

While tigers are a more common animal than many others on this list, it is still one of the coolest animals in the world. Tigers are the largest of all cats and once ranged from Russia, to Turkey, to parts of Asia — almost all over the world. These animals are fierce, powerful creatures, although they are on the endangered species list.


18. Narwhals

Narwhals are a species of whale that live in the waters around Greenland, Canada, and Russia. The narwhal's diet changes depending on the time of year: in the spring the narwhal will eat cod, while in the winter the narwhal will eat flatfish. Narwhals can live up to 50 years and most frequently die of suffocation from being trapped under the ice.


19. Cheetah

Cheetahs, while more commonly heard of then some of the other animals on this list, are still incredibly cool. They often inhabit many parts of Africa and Iran. These amazing cats can reach up to 60 miles per hour in three seconds and use their tails to make quick and sudden turns. These amazing cats also have semi-retractable claws which helps with speed. The cheetah, however, doesn't have much besides speed to defend itself.


And finally....


20. Superb Bird of Paradise

This GIF demonstrates the mating dance used by male superb birds of paradise. Typically females reject about 20 mates before selecting one they want to mate with. They are often found in New Guinea although it is unsure just how many of these birds there are. As far as scientists know, the population has remained stable.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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11 Things You See On A Midwest Campus When it Hits 50 Degrees

ANYTHING to switch up the snow boots, parkas, and seasonal depression

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All those jokes about people in Michigan and other cold places breaking out bikinis and shorts when it surpasses 45 degrees-well they're pretty accurate. One lap around a campus in the midwest will expose you to all of the different stereotypical behaviors of students who suffered through the polar freaking vortex or cyclone or black hole or whatever it was called.

50 degrees on a campus like mine? That calls for windows down, exposed shoulders that would've warranted a dress-coding in middle school, and energy that would make you think there was a full moon during the day.

1. Birkenstocks

Maybe it's just me, but the moment I can throw my boots in the back of the closet and make the transition from moccasins to Birks, I do it ASAP! My red, squishy Birkenstocks have been with me through years of puddles, vacations, and walks to class. As soon as you can wear them, with or without socks, it is truly a liberating feeling like no other.

2. SO many calves

Running shorts, basketball shorts, and Soffees, oh my! The leggings and sweats we've been rotating for the past three months can FINALLY be put in a drawer for the day and the legs can finally be shaved!

3. Sunnies

Yes, I know the sun still shines in the winter. But there's nothing like completing a Spring outfit with a chic new pair of shades. Whether you're driving, walking, or wearing them during class, I guarantee you look more badass.

4. Skateboards

The kid zooming by you on a penny board is quite a mystery. You heard about three seconds of the song he's blasting through his headphones around his neck, and you only saw a portion of his face without facial hair.

5. Girls blasting country music

The Jeep Wrangler speeding by is sure to have at least seven girls squished in listening to Sam Hunt with the windows all the way down. They're not going to class-just going for a joy ride.

6. Frat boys in lawn chairs

The houses with Greek letters are sure to be preceded by an army of shirtless guys drinking Coors and lounging in lawn chairs while whistling to any female passer-by just to confirm their sexuality.

7. Iced coffees galore

The Starbucks line will be out the door. The amount of iced caramel macchiatos will be at an all-time high, but hopefully, that means the amount of straws will be at an all-time low. :)

8. People walking FOR FUN

Vitamin D does wonders for the mood. Grab some friends and waddle over to get ice cream.

9. Colors other than black

Yellow? Pink? Red?! You haven't been able to show off your colorful wardrobe under all of those black parkas! Break out your brightest outfit t celebrate the season change!

10. A looooooooooong line at the bar

There's no excuse not to go out anymore. And you bet your ass you'll see jean skirts and tank tops that aren't suede for once this year.

11. Those three kids from California still in gloves and hats

They're just not on the same page yet. They'll have their moment if it hits 70.

Spring has sprung ladies and gents! Keep a look out for all of the eager beavers like me that just can not WAIT to break out the summer wardrobe, summer playlist, and summer snacks! Ice cream, Slurpees, and iced coffees are back on the menu and hot chocolate is out!

Some of these things may seem a little dramatic, but I assure you, you'll be able to check off at least five of these in one day if you explore a midwest campus in March.

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