The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 26, 1996, Page 5, Image 5

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Signs of spring
Nature wonders symbolize season’s arrival
Well, maybe — maybe not. It is
technically spring. It’s officially
spring. But does that mean that it’s
really spring? It sure doesn’t seem
like it at times. So how do you know
when it’s really spring?
There are the unimaginative
people who look at their calendar
and say, “Yeah, it’s past March 20,
1996, which is the equinox, and that
means it’s spring.” Or those who
think “Well, I’ve just come back
from SPRING break. Of course it’s
spring.” But I disagree.
I think it’s spring (yes, even
though we had a blizzard Sunday).
So what makes me different from
everyone who uses the calendar or a
man-made holiday to differentiate
between the seasons? To me, spring
is defined by certain events that
often are called the signs of spring.
So what defines spring? Is it just
the warm sunny days that character
ize spring? Nope, sorry. Those
beautiful days we had in January
between the nasty gray days don’t
qualify. Those are just aberrations. I
love those aberrations, though.
They’re better than spring for
several reasons. First of all, they’re a
welcome break from sub-zero
temperatures, and are much more
Another reason I like those days
better than spring days is that they
don’t contain insects. There arc no
pesky mosquitoes ready to bite any
exposed skin. There aren’t even any
of those little shiny, metallic green
bugs that can be seen flying around
every so often. Those are usually the
first insects I see, and that’s how I
can tell that spring’s here.
The members of the animal
kingdom are increasingly seen
outside. I was taught by Mom that it
was spring when you saw a robin. A
day after I saw a green bug flying
Kristi Kohl
“most students don’t
have time to go out and
see the ivonders of
nature, except on the
run. ”
lazily through my open window, I
saw a robin. They’re fun to watch —
those cheery gray birds with the red
orange breast and bright black eyes.
All they do is hop around happily in
the grass, feasting on worms. What a
Bats also arc beginning to come
out of hibernation, I’ve been told.
You didn’t know we had bats here?
Take a closer look some summer
night. If you see something flying at
dusk, it’s probably not a bird. I
remember seeing several around
different street lights one summer,
dining on the multitude of insects
gathered around the light.
Another sign of spring is that it ’
rains instead of snows. Those gentle,
low rains drumming on the roof are
characteristic of spring to me. So,
however, are sleet, hail and torna
does. Especially in Grand Island.
Every time I have ever spent the
night in Grand Island, there has been
a tornado siren. I have only seen one
tornado in real life. Mom always
made us go to the basement or the
designated area if there was a real
tornado warning.
But, one day when we were
shingling the roof, we saw one by
the river. Instead of running for
cover like any sensible person
would, we ran for our cameras. My
sister took a great snapshot of me
that looks like I was holding the
tornado between my hands.
Another sign of spring I almost
missed this year. I already had
noticed the tiny green blades of
grass poking through the dry brown
lawn. I had seen the tiny buds on all
of the trees. One day, passing by the
Administration Building, I heard a
biker call to another, “Look! Did
you see the crocuses?” I don’t know
how she saw it from the bike, but I
looked too. Sure enough, nestled in
the broad green leaves, there was a
yellow flower.
But for the average dedicated
college student, spring break has to
suffice for the beginning of spring.
This is because most students don’t
have time to go out and see the
wonders of nature, except on the
Spring is the time when profes
sors realize that they haven’t done
everything they wanted to do this
They load on the homework. They
cram material into their lectures.
They ensure that the average college
student (who hasn't even looked at a
textbook over spring break) is
indoors, buried under a mountain of
textbooks to maintain that 4.0 or 3.5
or whatever GPA.
But hey, let’s look at the bright
side. Only five more weeks and it’s
summer! Because summer doesn’t
depend on nature. Summer happens
when you get out of school.
Kohl h a jaaior biology major aad a
Daily Nebraska! colamaist
Sober up
Life more important than lower drinking age
Recently, the Louisiana State
Supreme Court threw out a
bill that raised the legal drinking age
to 21. It had been at 18 for quite
some time. Already students here at
the University of Nebraska and at
universities all over the nation are
asking why their drinking age can’t
be changed as well.
After all, at 18 you can fight for
the U.S. in combat, vote for its future
leaders, legally have sex and smoke
— why not drink?
Well, the change in Louisiana
occurred a little more than a week
ago. On Monday, the main reason
“why not” was lowered beneath the
It was Monday when four 19
year-olds were buried. Two were
UNL students.
While I do not want to mar their
memory, all were legally drunk at the
time their car went into Wagner
Details remain sketchy as to
whether there was a blowout on the
car causing them to lose control of
the vehicle. There were even reports
that the brakes failed, a theory that
since has been rejected.
Whatever the details were, four
people, who were just like many of
us, are now dead.
They sank in an automobile to a
watery grave, only to be pulled from
it and buried again by friends and
family who will never quite recover
from their loss.
Now I pose the question that no
one in a sensitive time of mourning
wants to hear, yet must be asked —
if the teens had not been drinking,
would they be alive today?
The driver of the car might have
steered straight off the road as a
result of an intoxicated misjudgment.
Kasey Kerber
"... life doesn 't give spit
for how invincible you
feel or hoiv strongly you
cling onto the belief that
it always happens to
someone else."
Or the car may have had a blowout
and gone into a feverish spin-iout.
Would a drunk driver at the wheel
have been calm and calculated
enough to regain control of the
The simple fact is, none of the
four teens should have been behind
the wheel in the first place.
Yet there’s a huge number of
students across the country right
now, clamoring about why the
drinking age can’t be lowered to 18.
Many students say “they can
handle it” — they drink responsibly
and know when to call it quits and
rely on a friend to take them home.
To those students I say “fine.”
But what about all those other
students who make no such prom
ises? The ones who get drunk every
weekend and would get drunk every
night if the spirits were a little easier
to get a hold of? The students who
have not a care in the world —
including what happens when they
get behind the wheel?
Do you think those students are
responsible enough n<5t to kill
themselves and possibly you if you
happen to be in the vicinity of
wherever their car crashes?
No, we don't think about that at
all. All we think about is what we
want, how we want to feel and what
we think we should be able to do.
It’s sad, but often it takes a
tragedy like this to make us quit
thinking about ourselves and
consider our actions for a moment.
Yet even then, how long do we truly
remember the tragedy? A week,
maybe two. Then we go on with life
as normal until the next tragedy
opens our eyes and time shuts them
once again.
We’re living in a daydream. One
in which we think tragedy doesn’t
happen to us or even those we know
One in which we can get away with
the world and no one will stop to
notice. One in which lowering a
drinking age is no big deal and
poses no threat if we’re “respon
sible” about it.
Unfortunately, all daydreams
have an end.
Wake up. Realize that the world
doesn’t care what age you are when
you down one too many tall ones
and then slide yourself behind the
wheel. Comprehend that life doesn’
give spit for how invincible you feel
or how strongly you cling onto the
belief that it always happens to
someone else.
Life will rip everything from
your clutches when you make a ;
choice like that — friends, family,
memories and dreams.
And after it has tom everything
dear from you, it will not leave you
for dead ...
It will make sure of it.
Kerber b a fmhmaa aewi-editoiial
major aad a Daily Nebratkaa coiamaist
Internet ‘indecency’
pollutes moral fiber
If there is one problem with
the recently signed Communica
tions Decency Act, which makes
it illegal to post “indecent”
material on the Internet, it is its
Discussions of indecency and
pornography conjure up images
of Playboy and Hustler, when in
fact the kind of material available
on the Internet goes far beyond
indecency — and descends into
Most parents never have been
on the Internet, so they cannot
imagine what their children can
easily gain access to in
cyberspace: child molestation,
bestiality, sadomasochism and
even specific descriptions of how
to get sexual gratification by
killing children.
Though First Amendment
absolutists are loathe to admit it,
this debate is not about control
ling pornography but about
fighting crime.
Every society has had its red
light districts, but going there
involved danger, stigmatization
and often legal sanction. Now the
red-light districts can invade our
homes and our children’s minds.
During a recent taping of a
“Firing Line” debate on control
ling pornography on the Internet,
which aired March 22,1 was
stunned by the gulf that separated
the two sides. For Ira Glasser,
executive director of the Ameri
can Civil Liberties Union, and his
team, it was about freedom and
the First Amendment. For our
side, headed by Bill Buckley, it
was about our children and the
kind of culture that surrounded
There are three main argu
ments on the other side, and we
are going to be hearing a lot of
them in the year ahead as the
ACLU’s challenge to the Commu
nications Decency Act comes to
The first is that there is no
justification for abridging First
Amendment rights. The reality is
that depictions of criminal
behavior have little to do with
free speech. Moreover, there is no
absolute protection of free speech
in the Constitution. The First
Amendment does not cover
slander, false advertising or
peijury, nor does it protect
obscenity or child pornography.
Civilization is about trade-offs.
And I would gladly sacrifice the
rights of millions of Americans to
have easy Internet access to
“Bleed Little Girl Bleed” or
“Little Boy Snuffed” for the sake
of reducing the likelihood that
one more child would be mo
lested or murdered. With more
than 80 percent of child molesters
Arlanna Huffington
“Every society has had
its red-light districts,
but going there
involved danger;
stigmatization and
often legal sanction.
Now the red-light
districts can invade
our homes arid our
children's minds."
admitting they have been regular
users of hard-core pornography, it
becomes impossible to continue
hiding behind the First Amend
ment and denying the price we
are paying.
The second most prevalent
argument against regulating
pornography on the Internet is
that it should be the parents’
responsibility. This is an odd
argument from the same people
who have been campaigning for
years against parents’ rights to
choose the schools their children
attend. Now they are attributing to
parents qualities normally
reserved for God — omniscience,
omnipresence and omnipotence.
The third argument that we
heard a lot during the “Firing
Line” debate is that it would be
difficult, nay impossible, to
regulate depictions of criminal
behavior in cyberspace. We even
heard liberals lament the govern
ment intrusion such regulations
would entail. How curious that we
never hear how invasive it is to
restrict the rights of businessmen
polluting the environment or
farmers threatening the existence
of the kangaroo rat.
Yes, it is difficult to regulate
the availability of criminal
material on the Internet, but the
decline and fall of civilizations
throughout history is testimony
that maintaining a civilized
society never has been easy.
It is not often that I have the
opportunity to side with Bill
Clinton, who has eloquently
defended restrictions on what
children may be exposed to on the
Internet. When the president is
allied with the Family Research
Council and Americans for Tax
Reform is allied with the ACLU,
we know that the divisions
transcend liberal vs. conservative.
They have to do with our core
values and most sacred priorities.
(Q 1996 Creator* Syndicate, lac.
I Apply to be a DN columnist.
The application deadline for tell semester columnists has been
extended to Wednesday, March 27at 5 p.m.
The DN seeks diverse columnists with strong opinions and
good writing skills. Applicants must be4JNL students carrying
at least six hours and a 2.0 QPA.
Pick up an application and sign up for an interview at the DN,
room 34 in the basement of the Nebraska Union.
UNL does not discriminate in its academic, admission or employment programs,
and abides by all federal regulations pertaining to same.