The Women Behind Santa

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Rod Woodson

Rod Woodson did it all during his college career at Purdue. He played running back and wide receiver on offense, played cornerback and safety on defense, and returned punts and kickoffs.
A consensus All-American, Woodson broke 13 Purdue records. In his final regular-season game in his senior year, he rushed for 93 yards, had three interceptions for 67 yards, returned two kickoffs for 46 yards and three punts for 30 yards, made 10 tackles, and forced a fumble.
Although Woodson (born 1965) envisioned himself as a “triple threat” player when the Pittsburgh Steelers made him their No. 1 pick in the 1987 draft, head coach Chuck Noll felt otherwise.
Noll reasoned that his young star was too valuable to risk by playing both offense and defense. He wanted him to concentrate on returning kicks and playing cornerback.
Noll’s discipline paid off when Woodson earned Pro Bowl honors as both a kick return specialist and a cornerback.
But it wasn’t until Noll’s successor, Bill Cowher, took over that Woodson really blossomed. In 1992, he led the Steelers in tackles and collected six sacks — a rare accomplishment for a cornerback.
The following season, the “Man of Steel” had 28 passes defensed, knocked down another two at the line of scrimmage, forced two fumbles, had two quarterback sacks, blocked a field goal attempt, and recorded a team-high 79 solo tackles. For his efforts, he was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
There were more honors in 1994. The most impressive was being named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All-Time Team — a distinction reserved for just five active players.
Unfortunately, misfortune struck in the opening game of the 1995 season when the three-time team MVP suffered a knee injury that required reconstructive surgery.
Recovery time was projected to be 6 to 12 months. But like another man of steel, the Steelers’ Superman stunned the skeptics when he returned to action in just four months and played in Super Bowl XXX.
After leaving the Steelers at the end of the 1996 season, Woodson played for seven more years, shifting his position to safety for the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, and Oakland Raiders.
Woodson won a second Super Bowl with Baltimore and appeared in his third as a member of the Raiders. In fact, in the 2002 Super Bowl season for Oakland, Woodson led the NFL in interceptions with eight — the first time in his career he’d accomplished the feat. His 11 Pro Bowls are a record for defensive backs.
To learn more about football greats, see:
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The Hindenburg Crashes

If we were to create a list of the greatest disasters of all time, the Hindenburg disaster would be near the top. Like the sinking of the Titanic, the destruction of the Hindenburg is something that still resonates with people many decades after it happened.
It’s easy to understand why it resonates. Imagine a gigantic, 12-story tall, three-football-field-long airship detonating in the night sky with 7 million cubic feet of pure hydrogen fueling the explosion, all captured on film. It was a spectacular event that may never be duplicated.
To appreciate the Hindenburg disaster, you have to know a little bit about the time period. The Hindenburg was a massive dirigible built in 1936. There are no dirigibles in widespread use today, but at the time the dirigible was a fairly common way to travel long distances in luxury. This is one reason that the Hindenburg disaster was so interesting — dirigible travel was something for rich people in the 1930s, in the same way that the Supersonic Concorde was a way for rich people to travel in the 1980s. If you needed to get from Europe to America in the 1930s, the normal way to do it was on a boat. The crossing took about a week at 20 to 30 knots. In a dirigible flying at over twice that speed, you could arrive in a couple of days. Tickets on the Hindenburg were very expensive — roughly $5,000 to $6,000 in today’s dollars. But you were traveling in the ultimate style, with nearly one crew member for every passenger on board.
A dirigible is a rigid airship. Today’s blimps, like the Goodyear Blimp, are not rigid. They are basically just big rubber balloons filled with helium. A dirigible actually has a massive aluminum frame inside that gives it its shape. The frame also lets you build accommodations for passengers that look a lot like the accommodations of cruise ship, complete with furnished passenger cabins, dining rooms, and more. Therefore, a dirigible has to be big enough to lift the frame, the frame’s covering, all the passenger accommodations and the passengers. That’s what made the Hindenburg so big. It was 800 feet long — about as long as four Goodyear blimps lined up end-to-end. Inside its aluminum frame were 16 giant bags holding hydrogen gas. Altogether there were 7 million cubic feet of hydrogen gas in the Hindenburg — enough to lift the airship itself, plus over 200,000 pounds of passengers, crew, luggage, food, cargo, et cetera.
By May 1937, the Hindenburg had successfully crossed the Atlantic many times. The safety record of dirigibles flown by the Zeppelin company was perfect. The Hindenburg had flown nearly 200,000 miles and carried thousands of passengers prior to this trip, so no one was expecting anything to go wrong. However, there were a lot of journalists on hand because it was the first flight of the year. The Hindenburg was coming to land into the Lakehurst Naval Air Station in New Jersey after a routine transatlantic flight from Frankfurt, Germany. Thirty-six passengers and 61 crew members were on board and ready to leave. The flight was late due to strong headwinds on the Atlantic, and the weather in New Jersey had delayed the landing even more.
The airship pulled up to its mooring post, let down its ropes to the ground crew, and at that point something went horribly wrong. A fire started near the tail and ignited the rest of the hydrogen in the ship very quickly. The gigantic fire ball was captured on film (both motion picture film and stills), and this is another reason why this disaster was so important. The explosion and aftermath were completely amazing, and people could see it actually happen on film.
The third reason for the resonance of the Hindenburg disaster has to do with the “mystery” that surrounded the explosion. No one knows exactly why the fire started. But there was (and still is) a huge amount of speculation. Here are three theories:
No one will ever really know. It is a strange coincidence that, although many cameras were on hand, none of them captured the start of the fire on film. Eyewitness accounts were conflicting.
There are several things that this disaster has left with us as a society. There is the iconic image of the ship exploding. There is the motion picture film shot that day that captures the disaster. And there is the phrase “Oh, the humanity!”, uttered by a radio announcer who was on the scene reporting the event. You may have thought that phrase came from a sportscaster. No, it came from the Hindenburg disaster.
For more information on the Hindenburg and related topics, check out these links:

Jack Lambert

Jack Lambert played without his front teeth dental bridge, leaving a gap from eye tooth to eye tooth. The effect was to give him the appearance of having fangs. One commentator aptly combined his appearance and playing style in the description “Dracula in shoulder pads.”
Lambert (born 1952) was a two-time all-conference defensive end at Kent State and a second-round draft selection of the Steelers in 1974.
The 6’4″, 220-pound blond won the starting middle linebacker assignment in training camp as a rookie and kept the job throughout his 11-year tenure in Pittsburgh.
Even though he was the youngest starter on the Pittsburgh defensive unit, many felt that Lambert’s presence was the final element needed to turn that unit into a juggernaut.
Lambert had all the necessary ingredients to close down opposing running backs-intelligence, intensity, speed, quickness, range, and durability.
He led the Steelers in tackles every year from 1974-83 with a technique that could be described euphemistically as enthusiastically aggressive.
Additionally, his height made him a formidable obstacle to passers when they tried to throw over the middle. He intercepted 28 passes in his career and also had 15 fumble recoveries.
Named the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1976, Jack was named All-Pro seven times in a nine-year span from 1975-83.
He played in nine straight Pro Bowls and was the AFC Defensive Player of the Year in 1976 and 1979. The Steelers’ captain for eight years, he played in six AFC championship games and led his team to victory in four Super Bowls.
Lambert enjoyed an uncompromisingly macho image. When rules were passed to try to protect passers from being injured by sackers, it was Lambert who quipped that perhaps quarterbacks should start wearing dresses.
Ironically, the injury that ended his football career seemed wimpish to some fans-turf toe. But in truth, his 1984 toe injury made it impossible for him to move with any quickness or agility and was just as decimating as any knee injury.

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What Equipment Is Needed for Field Hockey?

The history of field hockey may date back to 4,000 years ago, when ancient Egyptians played a similar game with a small ball and a long stick. The modern game of field hockey took shape in England in the late 18th century. It was introduced to the United States in 1901 by an English physical-education teacher named Constance Applebee. Field hockey is mainly a men¡¯s sport throughout the world. In the United States, however, the sport is dominated by women.
You will need a specific stick to play field hockey. These sticks have two sides. One side (generally the left side) is referred to as the “playing side” and is flat on the lower half. The other side is referred to as the non-playing side; it is rounded from top to bottom. According to the official field hockey rules, a stick cannot weigh more than 737 grams, which is just under 26 ounces.
A field hockey ball is also necessary; this ball is usually white and made of a hard, solid plastic. It must weigh between 5 1/4 ounces and 5 3/4 ounces, and the circumference must measure between 8 13/16 inches and 9 1/4 inches. You’ll need two goal cages, one on each end of the field. These measure 12 feet wide, 7 feet high and 4 feet deep.
You can play field hockey in any clothing that is comfortable, but you’ll need field hockey cleats to get a good grip on the field as you run. Shin guards that will protect your legs from contact should also be worn. Goggles, gloves and mouthguards are also worn by field hockey players.
Field hockey goalies will need a helmet with a cage to protect the face. Goalies also need extra padding. A goalie’s leg pads cannot be larger than 12 inches wide, and the hand and arm pads cannot be longer than 14 inches or wider than 9 inches.

How to Start a Nonprofit Organization for At-Risk Youth

Starting a nonprofit organization for at-risk youth can be a great resource for your community. By doing some basic planning, your organization can greatly benefit your community without you losing sleep or putting anyone further at risk. At-risk youth are those referred by schools, counselors or community agencies who are most likely to drop out of school, join a gang or run into trouble with the law.
Contact a lawyer and set up a board of directors to apply for a 501(c)(3) not for profit corporation. Each state has slightly different rules, but basically you will need at least three people on the board (preferably a dozen) who volunteer as community oversight and organizers. The board should be a cross section of your community. It’s nice to have a banker, lawyer and certified public accountant on the board, but parents, blue-collar workers and other nonprofessionals add depth and often are the backbone of a nonprofit. Make sure of the need for your mission, and that there is not another group already mentoring youth or offering youth-at-risk programming.
Set up a financial plan with a certified public accountant for proper reporting of funding. Apply for grants, research fund-raising programs and explain your plan to local civic and church organizations and see what local funding is available for such an organization. Don’t neglect meeting with local school administrators to see if your group could provide programming for students with education-backed funding. It is often easier to receive several smaller, local grants than one large state or federal grant. Check with lawyers and banks to see if charitable trusts have been set up to aid youth as well as social work, mental health and corporate community service groups.
Advertise and interview staff with social work, education or athletic degrees and experience for the specific mission of your agency. Administration should have a master’s level degree and case managers at least a bachelor’s degree in social work, mental health or a related area. The executive director or program director should be responsible for a thorough background check on all those who will work directly with the youth. Get letters of reference and talk with former employers. Sometimes a former supervisor will say things about the worker in question the former manager won’t put in writing. This is a good place to err on the side of caution.
Set up insurance for liability and to protect your board of directors (often called D&O insurance) so they need not ear serving on your board. If transportation of youth or activities off premises will be part of the plan, accident insurance might be a good thing to add. If your state has adequate protection for those serving on a nonprofit board (and most do so), inform potential board members of this for their own peace of mind.
Find a site or umbrella organization for your headquarters and let local counselors and educators know of your mission. There should be no lack of people referred for a well-planned youth-at-risk organization that will help improve the quality of tomorrow’s adults.

Julieanna and AJ’s Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms

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Paraffin Wax Treatment for Feet

A paraffin wax “dip” or “bath” is a soothing treatment in which the feet are submerged in a warm mixture of paraffin, a petroleum-based wax, and mineral oil. This warming treatment soothes aching joints and improves circulation, and the combination of oil and wax softens rough skin. Massage therapists can use paraffin dips to relieve joint stiffness, while spas and salons often include them before pedicures.
The wax, solid at room temperature, is heated to between 123 and 125 degrees in a foot bath. The feet are then submerged, either one at a time or together. After a few seconds, the feet are removed from the bath and the wax hardens slightly when it hits room temperature air. The feet are dipped three to six more times to form a thick layer of wax, and then allowed to dry for 10 to 15 minutes. The wax is then peeled or rubbed away and the used wax is discarded.
The wax traps heat near the skin, which penetrates to stiff and aching joints. This warmth also improves circulation to the feet. The wax and mineral oil softens rough skin, making it an ideal preliminary to a pedicure or a relaxing treatment for those who work on their feet for long periods. It is also used as a therapeutic treatment for arthritis, muscular pain or joint sprains.
Since the wax in a paraffin treatment needs to be very warm, it is not recommended for children, very elderly people or anyone who is sensitive to high temperatures. It can also be dangerous for those with limited sensation in their feet, including people with diabetes or vascular disease.