The Republic of the Philippines suffered major devastation as a result of Typhoon Haiyan, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, which occurred in early November 2013.The powerful tropical cyclone ravaged many portions of Southeast Asia, with the Philippines being one of the hardest hit areas. The storm, recorded as one of the most deadly Philippine typhoons, claimed the lives of some 5,924 people, and not one missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently referred to as the “Mormon” Church by the media and others) was numbered among those who perished.
The Aftermath of the Storm
On 12 November 2013, 71 missionaries from the Tacloban mission arrived safely by bus in the capital city of Manila. There they were greeted by Elder Brent Nielsen, Philippines Area President, who had been expecting their arrival.
The missionaries had little more than the clothes on their backs as most of their belongings were washed away by the typhoon. They were given warm blankets, taken to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) cafeteria for a hot meal, given clothes that they could change into, and were able to notify their families of their safety via Skype and telephone calls. (more…)
Concussions are a big topic of discussion in the world of sports, in particular in the sport of football. Statistics show that there are between an estimated 1.6 and 3.8 million sports-related concussions in the United States every year, and athletes ages 16 to 19 sustain 29% of all sports-related concussions.
There are distinct differences in age when it comes to managing sport related concussions. Recent research demonstrates that high school athletes not only take longer to recover after a concussion when compared to collegiate or professional athletes, but they also may experience greater severity of symptoms and more neurological disturbances as measured by neuropsychological and postural stability tests. It is also estimated that 53% of high school athletes have sustained a concussion before participation in high school sports, and 36% of collegiate athletes have a history of multiple concussions. 
To better understand the impact of a hit that a football player receives on the field (which often leads to other serious injuries), Jake Merrell, a Brigham Young University (BYU) graduate student in mechanical engineering, has developed a “smart foam” that fits inside of a football helmet.
“Smart Foam” – An Impact Detection System and Alert System for Coaches
While searching for a way to measure the amount of impact inside a football helmet, Merrell discovered that when he combined nanoparticles to a foam substance similar to that found inside a football helmet, when compressed, the two created an electric current. The “Smart Foam” system is a combination of foam and motion sensors that measures the acceleration and force of impact that a player receives to his head, and transmits that data to a tablet or computer. It also sends a warning to sideline coaches that there has been a concussion-level hit. In a recent press statement Merrell stated, “A coach will know within seconds exactly how hard their player just got hit. Even if a player pops up and acts fine, the folks on the sidelines will have data showing that maybe he isn’t OK.”  Merrell has plans to submit his project to the Head Health Challenge in which the “NFL is collaborating with G.E. and Under Armour to spend $60 million researching and developing new helmet technologies.”  (more…)
When a person hears the words “Imagine Dragons,” what might be the first thing that comes to mind? Perhaps they think of a mythological tale of a knight in shining armor defending a beautiful maiden in distress, or an entire village, from fire-breathing, man-eating dragons. That might be the case in a fairy tale adventure, but what about in reality?
Imagine Dragons is an alternative rock band that may at times claim Las Vegas, Nevada, to be their home; however, their real beginnings are in Utah. Guitarist Wayne “Wing” Sermon was born in American Fork, Utah, and lead singer Dan Reynolds attended Brigham Young University. Both are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (inadvertently referred to as the “Mormon” Church by the media and others). The other members of the band are Ben McKee (bass) and Daniel Platzman (drummer). (more…)
Horton Alexander “Cotton” Rosser is the owner of Cotton’s Cowboy Corral in Marysville, California, as well as, “one of the most successful stock contracting firms in professional rodeo,” the Flying U Rodeo Company, which is the oldest rodeo company in the world and the major supplier of rodeo stock in the United States. According to John Bascom, a relative of Rosser’s wife, Karin Allred Rosser (Miss Rodeo Utah from the Ogden, Utah area), the Flying U Rodeo Company was begun by J.C. “Doc” Sorenson of St. Anthony, Idaho. Bascom also states, “My late father Earl Bascom worked for that outfit when Doc had it back in the 1930’s.”
Earl Bascom was born in Utah in 1906, but he was raised in Alberta, Canada. His ingenuity led him to learn all that he could about horses and cattle thus helping him to become a rodeo champion. He also invented, designed, and made rode rigging that is still being used on the rodeo circuit today. In his later years he studied art, and he and his wife, Nadine, taught at schools in Southern California at high desert. When he died in 1985, Earl Bascom was “remembered throughout the West for his ability to span two seemingly disparate pursuits – rodeo and art.”  (more…)
Todd Jay Christensen, an American football player who played in the National Football League from 1978 until 1988, was born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, to Ned Jay and June Christensen on 3 August 1956. During his career as a professional football player, he spent most of his time playing tight end for the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders. He became well known as “The Renaissance Man” because of his varied interests.
An Athletic Prowess
When Todd was born, his father was pursuing a doctorate degree at Pennsylvania State University. His father taught in West Virginia for a time, and when Todd was 5 years of age, the family relocated to Eugene, Oregon, where his father was offered a job as a professor.
Todd was athletically gifted from a very young age. By the age of 9 he had already set world records in track and field. He had originally hoped to continue excelling in track and field, but by the time he reached puberty and adolescence, he soon discovered that although his mind was set on one goal, his body had other ideas. “Puberty and adolescence helped me realize that I was not as fast as I had thought,” he recalled. “My body went a different direction and that was when I started leaning towards football.” 
He graduated from Sheldon High School in Eugene, Oregon, and later attended Brigham Young University (BYU) in Provo, Utah. While attending BYU, from 1974 to 1977, he was a starter at running back. In 1977, he led the team for three consecutive seasons as a receiver, and was an All-Western Athletic Conference selection. His career numbers at BYU are impressive: 152 receptions, 1,568 yards, and 15 touchdowns. He graduated from BYU in 1978 with a degree in social work and soon embarked on a professional career in football. (more…)