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Thursday Flakes: Doping in Sports, 10,000-Year-Old Dog Bones and a Yellow Penguin

I watched the documentary Icarus this week and have some thoughts about it.

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Photo by Frank Molter/picture alliance via Getty Images

This week I realized that doping in sports probably takes place more often than we think. It’s been happening in football and soccer for a while but the biggest doping stories in the news have come from baseball and track & field. Countries have been successfully coming up with ways to evade detection of using performance-enhancing drugs for decades.

I recently watched the documentary ‘Icarus’. It dives deep into a man’s journey of using performance-enhancing drugs under the guidance of experts in the field until a big twist completely changes the storyline. I won’t completely spoil it here for those who haven’t it but Icarus is definitely worth a watch whether or not you are a sports fan. It really opened my eyes to how far certain people and even certain countries will go to have the best athletes.

Have you ever watched Icarus? Have you been tempted to book cheap flights recently? Would you give up sex for a year to travel right now? What would you do if you saw a yellow penguin? Chime in below.

Onto Flakes...

Frosted Flakes

Nebraska WBB vs. Minnesota Recap | Basketball | Corn Nation

The Huskers should have won this game. Full stop. They needed this game. Nebraska was playing good basketball and Minnesota is a middling team that was missing a key player and playing others who were hurt. To be fair, Nebraska was without Bella Cravens, who would have likely made a big difference inside.

Nebraska MBB vs. Illinois Preview | Basketball | Corn Nation

The number two team in the Big Ten comes to town to start a new winning streak against the Huskers. Illinois is coming off of a 71-82 loss to the Michigan State Spartans. A somewhat surprising setback for one of the top teams in the nation. They hope to be able to come into Lincoln Friday night and take another one away from the Huskers.

Top In-State Kids Don’t Want to Play Football at Nebraska...Now What? | Football | Corn Nation

The fact is, barring an act of God, the top 2 football players in the state of Nebraska for the class of 2022 will not be playing for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. It is a fact. With losing records in 5 of the last 6 seasons, we aren’t particularly attractive to kids with dozens of options. So what next? The fact is, we have to find players who want to play for the Big Red. The coaching staff has proven themselves to be solid recruiters during their tenure in Lincoln.

Nebraska Recruiting: When Will Dominoes Fall for Huskers 2022 Class? | Football | Hail Varsity

Just consider that many of the 2022 prospects haven’t visited a single school that has offered them. Some have started taking self-guided tours of schools lately. Those can be helpful if you can make it out to a school that you are unfamiliar with. Still there is no substitute for meeting with coaches and staff face to face while on campus. It’s different being able to go through structured presentations about what a school has to offer.

Mailbag: Which Non-Volleyball Husker Team Wins a Big Ten Title First? | Sports | Hail Varsity

Hail Varsity staff members Mike Babcock, Jacob Padilla, Greg Smith, Erin Sorensen and Brandon Vogel tackle your questions about the latest news in Husker Nation.

Padding the Stats: Teddy Buckets, Burger Boy Sallis and Booker’s All-Star Case | Basketball | Hail Varsity

What Allen did Tuesday night was one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in college basketball this season. SID extraordinaire Shamus McKnight ran a search on and found that Allen is one of just four high-major players in the last decade with at least 40 points, eight boards, and six assists in a game.

Plans in Works for Nebraska to Open 2022 Season in Dublin, Perhaps vs. Northwestern | Football | Lincoln Journal Star

Reached Wednesday, Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos said plans for the 2022 trip haven’t been finalized, “but it would be something we’re interested in if the opportunity presents itself.” “It’s an exclusive television window to a broad audience of fans who are hungry for the college football season to start,” he said.

From Estonia to Nebraska, the Ilves sisters Lead Huskers into Big Ten Championships | Track & Field | Omaha World-Herald

Nebraska also appealed to her and her family because it’s an agriculture state and would allow Johanna to major in agribusiness. “We figured it’s a really good idea to come here and pick a major that would help me in the future after I’m done with track, and also run track and get better in what I’m doing,” Johanna said.

Nebraska Continues Season-Opening Road Slate at Michigan State | Women’s Soccer |

The game kicks off at noon (CT) and will be played indoors at Schoolcraft College. Both teams enter the game with one tie on their records after the first week of the season. In the all-time series, the Huskers own a 4-3-1 edge over the Spartans. NU has won the last three matchups between the two conference foes.

Huskers Open Season in Florida | Softball |

The Huskers will play three doubleheaders in three days in the Sunshine State, facing Indiana twice on Friday, Michigan State twice on Saturday and Ohio State twice on Sunday. This weekend’s action kicks off a 44-game conference-only schedule that has the Big Red playing multiple games against each of the other 13 Big Ten Conference teams.

Huskers Host Big Red Invitational | Bowling |

The Nebraska bowling team will host its lone home tournament of the 2021 season this weekend. The event takes place from Friday, Feb. 26 to Sunday, Feb. 28 at Hollywood Bowl. No media or fans will be allowed to attend the events due to COVID-19 restrictions. The tournament will be streamed from the Nebraska Women’s Bowling Facebook page.

Huskers Head to Big Ten Indoor Championships | Track & Field |

The Nebraska track and field team will compete at the Big Ten Indoor Championships this week at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio. The three-day meet begins on Thursday at 9 am. (CT), followed by a 9:30 a.m. start on Friday and a 10 a.m. start on Saturday.


Have the Travel Industry’s Inclusivity Efforts Made a Difference? | Travel | Conde Nast Traveler

How much of what we saw last year was virtue signaling and nothing more? In the case of the travel industry, which saw calls for diversification, inclusion, and active anti-racism work, how much progress has actually been made? “We saw a lot of performative posts and movements last year from brands who honestly just didn’t want to be dragged through the media during a very racially charged moment in history,” says Danielle Pointdujour.

12 Books By Black Female Travelers Everyone Should Read | Travel | Lonely Planet

For centuries, travel writing has been an important part of Black literature, and writers have penned them for a number of reasons. In the 18th and 19th centuries, they did so to chronicle their travels as enslaved people. More recently, others have written intimate portraits of how women of African descent live, work, and love in countries around the world.

10 Historic Black Landmarks to Visit in the USA | Travel | Lonely Planet

Black sites and monuments exist across the country as preserved moments in time that either sparked a revolution or bore witness to the resilience that inspired other movements. While there are numerous monuments and cultural sites that signified the fullness of the Black culture, these 10 sites are a must whenever you plan a trip to any of these cities.

Survey Says 38 Percent of People Would Give Up Sex For a Year to Travel Right Now | Travel | Travel Pulse

The survey polled more than 2,000 adults in the U.S. and U.K., just about equally split between the two nations. Trivago said in a statement that the survey was conducted to “see how consumers are planning, dreaming and considering travel in 2021.”

Why Booking a Last Minute Flight is So Cheap Right Now | Travel | Travel Pulse

With uncertainty shrouding much of the vacation-planning this year, vacationers want to book flights closer to their vacation time. Luckily, many of the airlines are offering historically low airfares, coupled with no change fees.

Millennials Are the Generation Most Likely to Travel in 2021 | Travel | Travel Pulse

Millennials (18-34) were the most likely generation (with 19 percent of the vote) to cite travel as the activity they’re most eager to resume, just behind being able to ditch face masks (20 percent).

Tourists Arrested in Hawaii After Trying to Bribe Their Way Out of Quarantine | Travel | Travel Pulse

Upon arrival in Honolulu, White allegedly offered an airport screener $2,000 to allow him entry without undergoing quarantine, and Bailey allegedly offered a further $1,000 for the screener to let the couple in together.

Hawaii Exploring Potential Vaccine Passport Program | Travel | Travel + Leisure

The program could start as early as March 1 and would likely kick off with in-state essential workers who received the full dose of a vaccine, according to Hawaii News Now. It would allow the Aloha State to ramp up tourism by making it easier for certain travelers to enter. Fully vaccinated travelers would get an electronic code that would grant them access to travel throughout the state.

This Bahamas Resort Will Send You Home Via Private Jet If You Test Positive For Coronavirus | Travel | Travel + Leisure

Baha Mar is offering guests the most luxurious COVID-19 travel insurance policy yet — a private jet. In addition to providing on-site testing, the Nassau, Bahamas resort will offer any guest who tests positive for the virus the choice of either a complimentary private jet to get home or a free, 14-day stay in a suite with a daily dining credit of $150 per person as a part of their “Travel with Confidence” initiative.

How Athletes Are Preparing for the Uncertainties of the Tokyo Olympics | Travel | Conde Nast Traveler

“My current mindset is to not think too far ahead,” Gray says. “It is hard to predict what will happen, so I am going to train and get ready to make my Olympic team.” Each sport has its own qualification process to earn a spot on Team USA, so while some athletes already knew they were headed to Tokyo 2020 pre-pandemic, other sports hadn’t chosen named teams yet.

On Horseback Among the Eagle Hunters and Herders of the Mongolian Altai | Travel | New York Times

Deep in the Altai Mountains, where Russia, China, Kazakhstan and Mongolia meet, Kazakh people have for centuries developed and nurtured a special bond with golden eagles.

Welcome to Polebridge: One of America’s Last Frontiers | Travel | BBC

In the middle of northwestern Montana’s remote wilderness, along an unpaved stretch of highway known as “The North Fork Road”, an electric car pulls up next to a mud-splattered truck in front of a red building. Tall white letters on the 106-year-old storefront spell out “Polebridge Mercantile.”

Stereotypes Have Fueled a Tourism Boom in Europe’s Icy North. Can Things Change? | Travel | National Geographic

In recent years, dog sledding has become a symbol of Europe’s far north—known as Sápmi to the nearly 100,000 Indigenous Sámi who live there. In fact, a 2018 report by Animal Tourism Finland found 4,000 huskies working in Finnish Lapland alone. The problem? “Dog sledding was borrowed from other cultures and transplanted to Lapland’s tourism scene in the 1980s.”

What I Read Recently

The Moments That Could Have Accidentally Ended Humanity | History | BBC

In recent history, a few individuals have made decisions that could, in theory, have unleashed killer aliens or set Earth’s atmosphere on fire. What can they tell us about attitudes to the existential risks we face today?

The Battery Invented 120 Years Before Its Time | Future | BBC

At the turn of the 20th Century, Thomas Edison invented a battery with the unusual quirk of producing hydrogen. Now, 120 years later, the battery is coming into its own.

The Age of Peak Advice | Culture | The New Yorker

With the coronavirus, the thirst for advice has become unquenchable. Columns have been swamped with questions about the best way to leave your partner during a pandemic, the etiquette for masks on hiking trails, and, heartbreakingly, how to deal with your husband’s alcoholism quietly spinning out of control in the background during your remote work meetings.

There Are Spying Eyes Everywhere and Now They Share a Brain | Technology | WIRED

Mind-bending new breakthroughs in sensor technology get a lot of buzzy press: A laser that can covertly identify you from two football fields away by measuring your heartbeat. A hack that makes your smartphone spy on anything nearby with a Bluetooth connection, from your Fitbit to your smart refrigerator. A computer vision system that will let the authorities know if you suddenly break into a run within sight of a CCTV camera.

How Coronavirus Saved the Fast Food Drive-Thru | Food | The Counter

As independent restaurants struggled to adapt to new Covid-19 safety protocols, dine-in and counter service fell immediately out of favor, while pick-up and home delivery thrived. In other words: The more impersonal the restaurant experience, the better. And so, the drive-thru made a comeback.

10,000-Year-Old Dog Bones Changes What We Know About the First Humans | Science | Inverse

This finding suggests dogs journeyed with the first humans to the Americas, specifically via a coastal route that followed the Cordilleran Ice Sheet. It began retreating around 17,000 years ago, enabling humans to migrate to the Americas — along with their dogs.“Our study suggests that dogs participated in this initial migration,” said co-author Charlotte Lindqvist, an associate professor at the University at Buffalo.

There’s a Rare Yellow Penguin on South Georgia Island and Scientists Can’t Quite Explain It | Animals | Live Science

This particular penguin seems to have retained its yellow feathers but lost its dark ones, which are typically colored by a blackish-brown pigment known as melanin. Penguins with unusual plumage are relatively rare, and sometimes it can be difficult to identify the cause behind the rare colors just by looking at the penguins. Some unusual coloring can be due to injury, diet or disease, but many instances are due to mutations in the bird’s genes.

Last But Not Least

A great road trip song from a supremely underrated rock band, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. Go check out more of their stuff.

Has anyone watched this yet?