The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, March 03, 1997, 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.

    ^ ( Guest
Out in a flash
Close friend's death sparks disbelief, outrage
SAN JOSE, Calif. (U-WIRE) —
Living in the ghetto, my life is
constantly touched by violence. It’s
at the point where I don’t even bat
an eye at the sound of sirens blaring.
I just pray to God that no one J know
and care about has been hurt and
then go about my business.
On Jan. 16, my luck ran out. I
opened the newspaper and was
confronted by the headline “Rich
mond man found dead.” The 6-inch
story was about a framer classmate
and friend who had been found
dead in the street, his body riddled
with bullets.
At the sight of his name, my body
went numb. I immediately thought
back to Sept. 25 when another
Contra Costa College student was
shot and killed. In broad daylight,
three gunmen drove onto the San
Pablo campus and emptied their
semiautomatic weapons into the 20
year-old body of Christopher
Robinson while he waited between
I read the article about my
friend’s death about 50 times that
day — the reality of him being gone
just wouldn’t sink in. I remembered
Robinson’s mother telling me that
she heard noises at night and
They’re slanging and banging and
expecting people to be impressed. All the
posturing is a waste of time if no one
acknowledges your existence until it’s
erased. ”
thought that it was her son, who she
knew in her heart and mind was
The fog that had enveloped me
was replaced by sheer outrage.
How many more tears will black
women have to shed before black
men get their acts together? Accord
ing to the National Center for Health
Statistics black males between the
ages of 15 and 24 were killed by
guns at the rate of 179 per 100,000.
“If the rest of the American popula
tion was being killed at the same
rate as that of young black men,
more than 460,000 people would die
of gunshots each year.”
Why is this happening? Because
thousands of young black men have
been miseducated. They have been
led to believe that a man’s worth is
measured by the amount of drugs he
sells or the caliber of gun he carries.
These are the same young men who
say they want respect or props as
they’re called in my neighborhood.
These are the same young men seen
on the nightly news outlined in
Where is the honor in having
some television reporter standing
over your dead body saying, “And
now to Sal Castinada with traffic” or
a headline that reads, “Streets claim
two more?” When I die, I want
people to say “Genoa Barrow made a
difference.” If at the time of my
death, the only thing people can say
is that I died, then I failed to make
use of my time on earth.
Many young black men are doing
just that — wasting time. They’re
slanging and banging and expecting
people to be impressed. All the
posturing is a waste of time if no one
acknowledges your existence until
it’s erased.
My friend Lee was charming and
talented, but you couldn’t tell by the
article that appeared in the paper.
One could blame it on the reporter,
for only focusing on the negative
and not including any facts about his
life. That would be easy. But Lee,
even in death, must take responsibil
ity for the choices he made in life.
And so must the hundreds of others
determined to live the “thug life.”
Black men are always complain
ing that no one respects them. I say
it’s about time they start respecting
themselves and those they will
ultimately leave behind.
— Genoa Barrow
The Spartan Daily
Falling in a big way
Potential for destruction of Earth is out there
WIRE) — Considering the Earth’s
impending doom, grades aren’t
Kaboom! In the time it took to
read that word, Earth could be
blown out of the Milky Way by an
No human will ever comprehend
the immensity and complexity of the
universe. Grasping the fact that the
human race could end in a matter of
years is only the beginning of a
thought process that could lead
humans to think on a higher level.
Whether fretting over a problem
with school, work or a relationship,
humans need to learn a little
About 65 million years ago, an
asteroid hit Earth near the Yucatan
peninsula, a collision that wiped out
the dinosaurs according to some
Human life is so trivial when
thought of in cosmic terms. In a
matter of minutes, the human race
could be vaporized; everything our
species has worked for or developed
would be gone.
Scientists predict an asteroid, a
much larger form of cosmic debris,
will hit Earth every 250,000 years or
However, meteorites enter the
Earth’s atmosphere every day. Most
are traveling so fast they bum up
before impact. But cosmic debris
some scientists would consider
“small” could easily wipeout the
Texas A&M campus.
John Connolly, a scientist at the
NASA Johnson Space Center in
Houston, said the chance of humans
being affected by cosmic debris is
rather high.
“The chances of (the earth) being
hit by an asteroid are better than (a
person) being in a car accident,”
Aaron Steckelberg/DN
Connolly said.
In 1994, astronomers had the first
opportunity in scientific history to
predict the collision of an asteroid
with a planet in our solar system.
Fourteen months before it was
forecast to hit Jupiter, the largest
planet in the solar system, astrono
mers around the world began
preparing for the event. As the
meteor closed in on the planet,
tension rose. But before impact, the
meteor broke into several smaller
From Earth, the collision of the
first and largest meteorite with -
Jupiter appeared to be a relatively
small explosion — like the size of a
mosquito bite cm one’s back. In
reality though, the collision created
an explosion the size of Earth, and
the fires it ignited burned for more
than a year.
Obviously, the human race would
be history if an asteroid that size hit
Earth. Cosmic collisions occur as
planets’ orbits arounc^the sun
coincide with those of asteroids.
Therefore, the laws of probability
and chance will ultimately lead to
disaster. The severity of the disaster
depends on the size of the asteroid,
which can range from a fraction of a
mile wide to several miles wide.
To calculate the austerity of an
asteroid colliding with Earth, one
multiplies one-half the mass of the
object times the square of its
Or. Duwayne Anderson, a
professor of geology, said a major
collision would create a reaction
unlike any human has ever seen.
“(Asteroids) are traveling several
thousand miles an hour,” Anderson
said. “Detonating all nuclear
weapons on the planet at the same
time would not equal the energy of
one of these large asteroids hitting
the Earth.”
If an asteroid hit the Earth, it
would likely penetrate the upper
cmst of the surface and bury itself
several miles deep in the lithosphere
causing an explosion. The explosion
caused by the impact would project
debris for hundreds of miles.
.A cloud of dust and soot would
fill the air, blocking the sun’s rays
for several years. If the impact itself
did not kill everything, the depriva
tion of sunlight could wipe out all
other living things.
However, not all cosmic debris
that falls to Earth is damaging.
- I his year, for example, NASA
scientist Dr. David McKay found
evidence of ancient bacteria cm a
meteorite from Mars. Attempts have
been made to create some sort of
device that could throw an asteroid
off course, but not even the most
powerful weapons in the United
States’ arsenal could prevent a
massive rock from hitting the Earth.
The cost of building something
capable of such a challenge would
bankrupt even the richest country.
We are alive for only a fraction of
the time it takes for a world to be
created or destroyed. It is vital to the
well-being of society that humans
learn to look at things on a larger
That will help ease even the
deepest pains.
— BmtfM Hausenflick _
The Battalion ClboasA&M U.)
■ ■ . : ■ ■ '?