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Thursday Flakes: Meditation, Salsa Dancing and AI Girlfriends

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I started taking salsa classes again

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Photo by: Philippe Lissac/Godong/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

After month in Mexico City, it was time to move down to Oaxaca and spent a month living here. It’s great to back in my favorite city in Mexico and what I consider to be the food and culture capital of Mexico. I’m happy with the way things are going right now.

One of my New Year’s resolutions was to start learning salsa again. Finally I started salsa classes again this week. I found a local salsa teacher in Oaxaca, Mexico who offered $15 for a one month membership (two salsa classes a week). I hadn’t really practiced salsa dancing since right before the pandemic when I also in Oaxaca. However, the first place where I took private salsa lessons was in Medellin, Colombia. It was nice to get back into the groove again. Although it appears I forgot most of what I learned in Colombia over two years ago but I feel confident about where I am heading.

Have you been following through on some of your New Year’s resolutions? Do you know how to dance salsa? bachata? cumbia? zouk? What are your thoughts about people having AI Girlfriends? Do you meditate? Let’s hear in the comments section.

Anyways onto Flakes...

Flakes

Nebraska WBB vs Rutgers Postponed | Basketball | Corn Nation

The Nebraska women’s basketball game with Rutgers originally scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m., at Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln has been postponed due to health and safety protocols within the Husker program.

Bryan Applewhite Talks ‘Explosive’ Transfer Running Back Anthony Grant | Football | Hail Varsity

“Anthony’s an explosive kid, he’s got tremendous vision, his start-to-stop for a kid his size is unbelievable for what he can do with the ball in his hands,” Applewhite said. “He’s got incredible instincts, he’s tough, he’s got great hands out of the backfield. I was just tickled to death and excited to get the opportunity to work with him.”

Mailbag: College Football’s Transfer Portal and Volleyball—Beach Volleyball | Sports | Hail Varsity

This week’s edition tackles a bunch of good questions regarding the transfer portal as it relates to Nebraska, which has been doing a good job of attracting talent looking for new homes. There’s also questions that deal with the men’s basketball team and volleyball—beach volleyball, that is.

Nebraska Recruiting: Wide Receiver Decoldest Crawford Eager to Join New Husker Family | Football | Hail Varsity

“With football, it’s relationships,” Crawford said. “I didn’t want to go to a school where I didn’t have any relationship with the coaches. I wanted to go to a school where me and the coaches had known each other for three or four years, and we can make big things happen.”

Padding the Stats: Focusing on the Little Things | Basketball | Hail Varsity

This team has put together stretches of really solid play throughout this season. The Huskers had the Buckeyes all but defeated before letting the game slip away, and they had a double-digit lead at N.C. State before, again, letting it slip away. They went toe-to-toe with the likes of Michigan State and Illinois. Yet they lost all those games, and it’s because they can’t sustain good play.

Huskers Announce 2022 Schedule Change | Baseball | Huskers.com

Originally set for a home series with San Diego State, the Huskers venture to Arlington, Texas, for four games in two days on March 4-5. The Big Red play Northwestern State and UT Arlington on Friday, before a rematch with both teams on Saturday to wrap up the weekend’s action.

Kayla Caffey Plans Return to Nebraska Volleyball Pending Eligibility | Volleyball | Omaha World Herald

According to Nebraska coach John Cook, NU is submitting a waiver for her to play this fall for her seventh season of college volleyball. “This will take time,” Cook said via text message on Tuesday. All athletes who enrolled during the 2020-21 season were granted an extra year of eligibility because of the COVID pandemic.

Husker DC Erik Chinander signs extension, earns raise to $850,000 for 2022 | Football | Lincoln Journal Star

Chinander is the second-highest paid assistant on Frost’s staff. New offensive coordinator Mark Whipple is set to make $875,000 this year and $900,000 in 2023. In addition to Chinander’s raise, defensive front coach Mike Dawson also had a one-year contract extension finalized recently, according to a copy of his contract obtained Tuesday.

Travel

10 Underrated Winter Destinations Around the World | Travel | Travel Pulse

Each of these destinations might be considered “underrated,” but they all have one thing in common: longer winters mean better attitudes towards the cold season, which means more opportunities for fun!

The Best National Parks to Visit in the Winter | Travel | Conde Nast Traveler

One of the best-kept secrets about America’s national parks? Many are even better in winter. Whether you want to feel the satisfying crunch of snow under your boots or escape those chilly temps for a desert ramble, one thing’s for sure: You’ll be able to do so without the crowds that summer brings.

A Small West Virginia Town Feels the Impact of a New National Park | Travel | Conde Nast Traveler

This influx of people is largely thanks to nearby New River Gorge gaining national park status in late 2020, a designation that has helped turn Fayetteville, a former coal town of 3,000 residents on the fringes of the park, into a booming outdoor recreation destination.

Delta Airlines Says Passengers Can Use Travel Vouchers Through 2024 | Travel | Conde Nast Traveler

The new expiration date, which went into effect on January 12, applies to all existing Delta eCredits. Fliers will be able to rebook their tickets through December 31, 2023, for travel throughout all of 2024. The same policy will apply to all tickets booked in 2022.

The 10 Most Romantic Places in the World to Get Engaged | Travel | Lonely Planet

Congratulations! You’ve found ‘the one’. Now you’re keen to seal the deal with a romantic proposal abroad. But where should you pop the question to your soon-to-be travel buddy for life? Here are some of the world’s best places to get engaged – all you need to do now is get them to say ‘yes’.

France to Require Proof of Vaccination for Restaurants, Cafes, Trains, and More | Travel | Travel + Leisure

Going forward, France will require anyone 18 and older to have a booster shot seven months after being vaccinated with an approved vaccine to obtain a “sanitary pass,” according to the government.

Thailand to Impose Tourism Fee Starting in April | Travel | Travel + Leisure

Thailand will begin implementing a tourism fee in April, using the money for things like funding new projects and upgrading tourism infrastructure. The new 300 baht fee, or about $9, will be included in the cost of airline tickets. The fee will also be used to cover accident insurance for foreigners who can’t pay themselves.

9 Brand New Museums Opening Around the World in 2022 | Travel | Travel + Leisure

While topics span everything from medieval art to NFTs, the locations are also incredibly varied. From robot-built futuristic spheres to underwater sculpture gardens, the new museums opening in 2022 have something to offer every type of traveler.

Aranese: Spain’s little-known language | Travel | BBC

Geographically, Spain’s Val d’Aran should be part of France, but it’s neither French, Spanish nor Catalan in culture, history or even language.

Nowa Huta: The City That Went from Communism to Capitalism | Travel | BBC

Once a failed post-WW2 utopia, Krakow’s Nowa Huta neighborhood has found a new lease on life and is slowly emerging as a tourist destination.

The Rest

100 Tips For a Better Life | Lifestyle | LessWrong

I have to say there are lots of helpful tips here that are worth a look.

The History and Origin of Meditation | Mental Health | Positive Psychology

The word meditation stems from meditatum, a Latin term that means ‘to ponder.’ Through the practice of meditation, we can seek to find a better connection with our body in the everyday moments that we often let pass us by, and create stronger awareness for how our emotions influence our behavior.

Dogs Can Distinguish Speech from Gibberish — and Spanish from Hungarian | Animals | Scientific American

A new study’s authors say their investigation represents the first time that a nonhuman brain has been shown to detect language.

The Dirty Work of Cleaning Online Reputations | Society | The Walrus

For a fee, companies will tackle damaging search results. But is the new economy of digital makeovers making things worse?

Capitalism The Trouble With Roblox, the Video Game Empire Built on Child Labor | Games | The Guardian

Young developers on the platform used by many millions of children claim they have been financially exploited, threatened with dismissal and sexually harassed.

Men Are Causing AI Girlfriends and Then Verbally Abusing Them | Technology | Futurism

The smartphone app Replika lets users create chatbots, powered by machine learning, that can carry on almost-coherent text conversations. Technically, the chatbots can serve as something approximating a friend or mentor, but the app’s breakout success has resulted from letting users create on-demand romantic and sexual partners.