Mother Nature's Influence
by Eric Gilmore

Take an extra second tonight to check out the moon. When we are frantically ripping our bracket in half and cursing at Oklahoma for not advancing, the orbiting moon’s luminance shines on the comfort-filled house lined with high dollar mid-sized sedans.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But the moon - ever constant - goes largely unnoticed throughout our fast-paced lives. When was the last time we went outside to take a deep breath while admiring Mother Nature’s gift? I know I hadn’t.

I usually sit in my shoebox-sized apartment and saturate myself with every sports fact possible. The never ending pursuit for the fountain of knowledge leaves me on the couch for hours on end, which translates to lost weeks, months, years, etc.  

Fast forward to last night when we are watching UNC-Wilmington blow an 18-point lead while ignoring the moon. Of course, the NCAA tournament provides more drama for sports addicts than any episode of CSI: Miami or Myth Busters. The fact remains the same: entertainment holds our lives hostage.

It’s not the moon per se that is so important, but the environment that it resides with. Aside from our plot of land, our environment falls clearly outside our comfort zones. We feel vulnerable when isolated from our common amenities, which I’ve been for much of this Spring Break vacation.

My close friend - with a tad Green party flavor - is super-conscientious about Ms. Mother Nature. But I’ve come to find that his fundamental rationale for his love of his natural surroundings couldn’t be more right. The Eagle Scout feels like he’s learned the most about himself in the environment.

Not while watching the digital pictures jump across our black box or even while spending overtime hours striving for that corner office. A pedestrian 12 mile hike - by his standards - on the Appalachian Trail solidified his hypothesis in my mind. And had I not been hiking and fishing, I would have wasted my weekend watching the ACC tournament.

But when we came back to civilization from two nights under the stars, the ACC tournament went on without me. Go figure. Just because I didn’t attend or have access, the event still went on. For a couple of days, sports didn’t consume my life to the point of wasting hours, days, weeks, etc.

With the technology age of DVR and on-demand sports highlights, why are we still consumed by everything ESPN? Our precious time could be better spent towards friendships, relationships or family. Laughs with lifelong friends are suspended by our inability to pry ourselves from our featured entertainment.

So let’s turn the TV off and go experience the outdoors. Try seeking a pick-up game of basketball or picking up the pole to go fishing. What about a run through the Town Commons or a local park? Heck, just take a glimpse of the moon. You might learn something.


Antarctica Newspaper?

While undergoing a routine job search, I came across another enlightening nugget. Did you know that Antarctica has a newspaper? (CLICK HERE!) The Antarctica Sun Times is published by the U.S. Naval Support Force Antarctica, Public Affairs Office, in conjunction with the National Science Foundation and Antarctic Support Associates.

The job description’s responsibilities include - in case anybody is wondering - “creating and publishing The Antarctic Sun newspaper and providing other media and public relations services during the austral summer in Antarctica. Interacts with the station community, National Science Foundation, military, and other agency officials, both over the telephone and in person, in a professional and tactful manner.”

I’ll pass.


Dr. Henry VanSant

Prayers certainly go out to Dr. Henry VanSant’s family who suffered his loss on Thursday. For a man who put nearly 30 years into advancing ECU’s athletic program, it’s a darn shame that he won’t get to see the glory years to come for Pirate fans. I never shook hands with VanSant, but was also well aware of his credentials and presence at Pirate games. I remember watching VanSant in 2004 during ECU’s magical 51-13 baseball season. VanSant, at age 68, was sitting in the not-so-sturdy wooden bleachers located in centerfield of the old Jungle at Harrington Field heckling opposing center fielders. Now that, gentlemen, is a Pirate.

Eric Gilmore