No. 3 Northwestern State Tops No. 6 Houston Baptist

first_img2019 Southland Conference Volleyball Tournament HomepageBox ScoreCONWAY, Ark. – No. 3 Northwestern State topped No. 6 Houston Baptist 3-1 in the second match of the 2019 Southland Conference Volleyball tournament Friday afternoon inside the Farris Center in Conway, Ark. Hannah Brister once again showed out for the Lady Demons, notching a match-high 24 kills and 21 digs for her 14th double-double of the season.Set OneThere were eight lead changes and 13 ties throughout the opening set where the Huskies claimed a 25-22 victory over the Lady Demons. Despite seven kills from Brister, the HBU defense came up with four blocks and limited Northwestern State to a .024 hitting percentage. Megan Patillo and Mikayla Vivens combined for six of the Huskies’ nine kills, while Hannah Lewis tallied five digs for HBU.Set TwoHouston Baptist continued its pace in the second set, jumping ahead with a 4-1 scoring run on a pair of kills from Ebonie Ballestros. Brister provided the Lady Demons’ first lead of the set with a go-ahead kill to take a 7-6 advantage. NSU did not relinquish its lead until back-to-back HBU kills from Vivens placed the Huskies up 12-11. Northwestern State was not deterred and chipped away at the Houston Baptist lead before Kourtney Seaton and Alexis Warren combined for a block to seal the set at 25-23 for the Lady Demons.Set ThreeThe momentum continued for NSU in the fourth set as the Lady Demons jumped out to an early 5-3 advantage. The Huskies remained in striking distance, however, and eventually jumped ahead 11-8 on yet another kill from Vivens. Houston Baptist’s lead stretched to 15-12 before Northwestern State closed the gap and locked the set at 23-23 on yet another kill from Brister. Darria Williams threw down a shot over the net to seal a 25-23 set-four victory for the Lady Demons.Set FourIn what appeared to be a mirror image of the second and third sets, the Lady Demons clinched another 25-23 victory to lock up a 3-1 match win. Williams tabbed four kills throughout the set, while Brister claimed the final three plays of the afternoon with three-straight kills.With the win, Northwestern State advances to the semifinal round where they will take on No. 2 Sam Houston State Friday at noon inside the Farris Center in Conway, Ark.last_img read more

When Liberians Become Desperate for Economic Change: Is Slavery An Option?

first_imgI could not stop laughing my guts out from what I heard few months ago. As Liberians anxiously trooped their way in huge quantity to play Diversity Visa (DV) nationwide, one of the applicants who is a Liberian, said he would prefer going to America as a SLAVE than to live in his own country. Another citizen said he is willing to walk in the street naked if only he is given an assurance to obtain a US visa. These are the funniest, but most serious and embarrassing remarks I have ever heard since last year. These statements are making me to ponder and wonder about where our country is going.  How could anyone stoop so low? I guess besides these men, who have made known their frustrating intentions, many others have similar thoughts. This shows how desperate our people are to detach themselves from poverty. It also means they have had enough and cannot continue to suffer in a small rich country of their own where hardship is eating them up. Anyone can easily predict Liberia’s future judging from present day reality.How could our people be brought so low? Don’t they deserve to reap a better living condition? Aren’t they human beings? Must they continue to undergo deep destitution even when they live in a nation of abundant natural resources? Were they borne to endure poverty and economic inequality? Or don’t they deserve the socio-economic dividends of the taxes they pay? I really don’t intend to answer these critical questions now, but I shall endeavor to do so after our current fight against Ebola. The collective destiny of our people seems hopeless and to even think about becoming slaves in a foreign land creates a dark cloud over Liberia. Their persistent pursuit of better livelihood remains unrealistic as a small portion of self-seeking extortionists and elitists continues to amass illegal wealth. The primary goal of these imported bureaucrats and opportunists is to keep our people far below the economic ladder and compel them to always be followers. The chain of poor governance must be broken in order to engender democratic sustainability. An equal and just Liberia can no longer be overemphasized!Ebola would not have overrun us if those we stood in long queues to elect yesteryears were working in our interest. Sadly, this brutal virus has taken advantage of our poor health system by putting an end to several lives. It is unfortunate that we have lost 4,057 persons so far to this destructive disease. This could not have happened if we had patriotic public servants. Regrettably, such is a time when an unforeseen disaster is threatening our mutual existence. Our people must not give up even during this difficult period of uncertainty. The fight against ebola depicts a new era of economic and political transformation. We shall use this situation to decide the fate of those who are playing gamble with our future. No one goes to the Executive Mansion or Legislature without the permission of our people. Therefore, it is important for all of us to rise above Ebola by taking all necessary precautions and disengaging from complacency. I know it may seem difficult for some of you to live by the rules, but please do whatever little you can to stay safe. This national crisis will soon be over!From what I see and hear every day, most of our people are willing and ready to sell their self-respect in order to untie themselves from long-standing adversity in Liberia. The shackle of poverty has overcome their determination and endurance. As Ebola increases their existing trauma, nothing seems more essential to them right now, other than leaving Liberia to a better destination. No wonder why some of them would prefer going to the United States as SLAVES. This preference is not only painful, but very humiliating. All of these frustrations being expressed by our people simply points to bad governance and lack of public trust. I hope the status quo will shift towards equality and justice for all when we finally defeat ebola. If only we were not depending on our oppressors to ignite economic revival since 1847, Liberia would have been an equal and just society. However, it is never too late to demand inclusive change from a cartel of economic migrants. The power is in our hands to either remain where we are or to advance ourselves.I want to disabuse the minds of all Liberians who feel that reducing yourself to nothing in order to have an American Visa is an option. Slavery is not a choice. It keeps your mind, body, and soul in chain till death. It should not be an option for any Liberian. You are above it and you must live beyond it. Even though times are hard to an extent our people lack access to minimum basic social services, but this must not be a reason to trade human dignity. Unacceptable and Unthinkable! This nation can rise above its current condition if and only if everyone begins to protect one another’s interest. Liberia can become a better place if no one group of people considers it as an inheritance or family farm. This country can only cultivate tangible developments if the down-trodden masses become up-trodden. Of course, it is their right to have access to good food, safe drinking water, better housing, quality education, improved health care, security, etc. No one, not even those at the helm of national leadership should see this as a privilege. The outcry of our people has been given deaf ears for too long to an extent that they have been considered ‘noisy minority’. The voices of those who have power to institute a legitimate government as per our constitution sound useless even when the realities are glaring. How could this be?  I can imagine the misery our people go through everyday just to survive. They move up and down daily on empty bellies in search of survival.  With Ebola creating an extra economic burden on them, their hope for a brighter future is gradually crumbling. Panic and fear have become their closest companions. Self-pity is eating most of our people up, and if we refuse to take appropriate measures to guarantee pubic happiness, generations to come will hold us responsible.The change we have been yearning for since the very formation of our nation must begin with the fight against Ebola.  After this countrywide fight, I am confident that our people shall use every opportunity available to chart a new course. I hope they will make good use of their ballots to protest and take control of their own destiny. The lessons learnt from this current Ebola crisis will be used as a conscious barometer to reshape Liberia and all who live in it. The cradle of African democracy (Liberia) must lead this continent by exceptional examples. This can only be realized if transparency replaces corruption, if merit substitutes nepotism, if patriotism surpasses pretense, if justice overcomes injustice, if economic freedom suppresses political oppression, if equality succeeds inequality! Liberians are potential people with unique attributes, as such; slavery is not an option for anyone of them to prefer.  As we continue to combat Ebola together, I hope no one will use this unfortunate situation to pay his/her mortgage bills in the USA.  This is not time to divert public resources to private accounts. We are watching with eagle eyes and we will resist any dishonest attempt to exploit our people’s ignorance this time around. About The Author: Martin K. N. Kollie is a Liberian youth activist, student leader, an emerging economist, and a young writer.  He is currently a student at the University of Liberia reading Economics and a member of the Student Unification Party (SUP).  His passion is to ensure a new Liberia of socio-economic equality and justice for ALL. He can be reached at: martinkerkula1989@yahoo.comShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Why jet lag and night shifts cause weight gain

first_imgWe know stress and poor sleep are linked to weight gain, largely because they send hormones for a loop.But for the first time ever, scientists have confirmed that the timing of those hormonal dips and rises are crucial. In healthy people, fat cells turn over at a rate of 10 percent per year: when they die, they are replaced by new healthy fat cells.Now, a team at Stanford University School of Medicine has confirmed how this regular rate relies on the day-night hormone cycle, and it is when that cycle is out of sync or operates at night that unhealthy fat starts to build, particularly in the belly.It was a mystery long-plaguing science to discover what ‘flips the switch’ that leads to weight gain, and lead author Dr Mary Teruel says the research has implications for controlling weight gain in humans.‘Yes, the timing of your stress does matter,’ Dr Teruel, assistant professor of chemical and systems biology, said.‘Since conversion of precursor cells into fat cells occurs through a bistable switch, it means you can control the process with pulsing. ‘Our results suggest that even if you get significantly stressed or treat your rheumatoid arthritis with glucocorticoids, you won’t gain weight, as long as stress or glucocorticoid treatment happens only during the day. ‘But if you experience chronic, continuous stress or take glucocorticoids at night, the resulting loss of normal circadian glucocorticoid oscillations will result in significant weight gain.’ In a healthy person, cortisol levels peak at around 8am, which wakes us up (in theory), and drop to their lowest at 3am the next day, before rising back to its peak five hours later. Ideally, this 8am peak will be triggered by exposure to sunlight, if not an alarm. When it does, the adrenal glands and brain will start pumping adrenalin. By mid-morning, the cortisol levels start dropping, while the adrenalin (for energy) and serotonin (a mood stabilizer) keep pumping. At midday, metabolism and core body temperature ramp up, getting us hungry and ready to eat. After noon, cortisol levels start their steady decline. Metabolism slows down and tiredness sets in. Gradually the serotonin turns into melatonin, which induces sleepiness. Our blood sugar levels decrease, and at 3am, when we are in the middle of our sleep, cortisol levels hit a 24-hour low. During this cycle, we can experience some stressors without having to worry about our bellies bulging. A morning coffee or an afternoon workout, for example, will increase cortisol levels in our bloodstream temporarily in a positive way, boosting energy. Underlying all of this is the fact that we all have an excess of ‘precursor’ fat cells, which could convert into fat if given the signal. In healthy people, fewer than one percent of their precursor fat cells are converting into fat cells – a low rate of conversion which is key so that damaged mature cells can be replaced and healthy fat tissue can be maintained.In people suffering chronic stress, jet lag, or working night shifts, this conversion can go into overdrive, turning precursor cells into fat that start to balloon the person’s body. While we knew cortisol was inextricably linked with fat conversion, we have never been able to explain exactly what kept this balance in check. ‘What stops normal, healthy daily increases in our glucocorticoid levels [which includes cortisol] due to circadian rhythms and healthy short-term stresses from causing all our precursor cells to convert into fat cells?’ Dr Teruel asked. ‘Why aren’t we drowning in fat every time glucocorticoid levels go high in the morning due to normal circadian rhythms or when our glucocorticoid levels spike when we exercise or go from a warm building out into the cold? ‘And why is losing the normal rhythm of glucocorticoid secretion – such as in conditions of chronic stress, jetlag and sleep disruption in shift-workers – so linked to obesity?’To find an answer, Dr Teruel decided to become the first to investigate the timing of glucocorticoid ‘pulses’ (dips and rises).Dr Teruel found that rises in levels of the ‘stress hormone’ (cortisol) are beneficial if it happens during the day, and lasts fewer than 12 hours: it gets to work breaking glucose down from stored fat to boost energy.But chronic stress and night shifts can send cortisol levels spiking at night, or even soaring for more than 24 hours – and that is when cortisol’s fat-busting becomes a problem, saturating the body with glucose that turns into unhealthy body fat. ‘It explains why treatments with glucocorticoid drugs, which are often essential for people with rheumatoid arthritis and asthma to even function, are so linked with obesity, and it suggests ways in which such treatments can be given safely without the common side effects of weight gain and bone loss,’ Dr Teruel added. To investigate this, Dr Teruel worked with graduate students Zahra Bahrami-Nejad and Michael Zhao to expose precursor fat cells to glucocorticoids in carefully timed pulses over the course of four days.Every other day they bathed the petri-dish-grown cells in fluids with and without glucocorticoids, to assure that the total exposure to the hormone remained the same.Scanning the cells, they found that one pulse of glucocorticoids lasting 48 hours led most of the cells to differentiate. Meanwhile, shorter pulses with at least 12 hours between them resulted in minimal differentiation. The link between food and glucocorticoids is not well-understood, Teruel said. Some of her newer experiments aim to understand how food, insulin and glucocorticoids are related.Sourcelast_img read more