General

Notice:

Prairie Fire Newspaper went on hiatus after the publication of the September 2015 issue. It may return one of these days but until then we will continue to host all of our archived content for your reading pleasure. Many of the articles have held up well over the years. Please contact us if you have any questions, thoughts, or an interest in helping return Prairie Fire to production. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you to all our readers, contributors, and supporters - the quality of Prairie Fire was a reflection of how many people it touched (touches).

Annual enrollment for over-65 health plan

By Bev Carlson, APR, PAHM

The annual enrollment period for the U.S. government’s over-65 health plan is Nov. 15 to Dec. 31. During this annual enrollment season, people with Medicare can join, switch or drop Medicare prescription drug and Medicare Advantage plans. Changes take effect Jan. 1, 2010, and there will not be another opportunity to change drug plans until November 2010.

Remember me

By Bruce Jones

“Untitled” by Sp4 Larry R. Collins, Combat Illustrator, First Cavalry Division (Airmobile), RVN, 1968.On the top of a little hill rising from the floor of the Que Son Valley, in the northern part of what was once South Vietnam, stands a large, jarring stone statue commemorating the North Vietnamese defeat of the United States. Like most of the memorials in what is now the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, the artistic style of this one is pure Late Soviet.

Organ allocation revision struggles to balance justice and utility for kidney transplants

By Clifford Miles, M.D., M.S.

Kidney failure is a growing problem worldwide, in the United States and indeed right here in Nebraska. Prior to the invention of dialysis, kidney failure was uniformly lethal. But as dialysis techniques have evolved since the 1960s, many people now survive for years after their kidneys fail. In fact, according to the United States Renal Data System, there were more than 350,000 Americans receiving dialysis at the end of 2006.

UNL's own prairie fire: Professor William Ayers

By Miles Bryant

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) invites many scholars to campus to address various student and faculty groups. Most visitors do not agitate the sensibilities of Nebraskans. But, this past year, one speaking invitation to a Chicago professor by the name of William Ayers stirred up a storm of controversy, a veritable prairie fire fed by the volatile dry grass of a presidential campaign. E-mails, phone calls and commentary in local and national media deluged university officials in a matter of hours. Between Oct. 16 and 18, the “heckler’s veto” became a howl.

Taking the train

Amtrak offers service to over 500 destinations across the country. Traveling by train affords many benefits from the moment you step on board. Lean back and stretch out in wide, comfortable seats and gaze at magnificent scenery of panoramic vistas, mountains, lakes and forests. Traveling by train means that you’ll arrive relaxed, refreshed and ready at your destination. Regardless of the season, there is plenty to see and do aboard an Amtrak train.

Chinese and American 'netizens' clash in cyberspace

By Kaiser Kuo

Sino-American relations in the Obama Administration are off to an encouraging start—at least at one level. Despite Beijing’s apprehensions over an Obama victory, the first seven months of the new presidency have seen a rare, nearly friction-free transition. Secretary of State Clinton and House Speaker Pelosi, both veteran critics of Beijing’s human rights record, were conspicuously quiet during visits to China earlier this year. For its part, Beijing has focused on common ground with Washington in dealing with the economic crisis, and even offered praise, after a fashion, for the Obama Administration’s “balanced” response to July’s ethnic violence in Urumqi.

Educational partnerships with China, part two

By Jane Hanson

The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) has hosted academic exchanges with Japan and China for more than 25 years and has also previously collaborated with Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine (SJTUSM) and the Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. This interaction culminated with the formation, in 2005, of the Asia Pacific Rim Development Program.

Educational partnerships with China, part one

The beautiful Temple of the Sea of Wisdom crowns the Hill of Longevity at the Summer Palace in Beijing. (Jane Hanson)

By Jane Hanson

On Aug. 8, 2008, the Olympic “Bird’s Nest” stadium in Beijing was the site of pageantry, protocol and fireworks for the 2008 Summer Olympics, as China very visibly stepped out on the world stage. If by any chance you missed the television coverage of the opening ceremonies at the Summer Olympics, you might not understand fully the need for a connection between China and the University of Nebraska. You might even ask yourself why events halfway around the globe, in a time zone 12 hours ahead of Nebraska, could have so much significance.

Recycle yourself: How blood banks began and how you can help them today

By Lisa Lightner

As many of us learned from biology class, ancient medicine and philosophy went hand in hand. Greek philosophers Hippocrates, Plato and Aristotle believed health was a balance of the body’s four “humours”: Sanguine (blood, produced by the liver), Choleric (yellow bile, produced by the spleen), Phlegmatic (phlegm, produced by the lungs) and Melancholic (black bile, produced by the gall bladder). Of these “humours,” blood was thought to be the most important as the “seat and source of the passions.”

Summer vacation: Find hidden treasures that are remarkably close to home

By J. L. Schmidt

Just in time for summer travel, Heritage Nebraska—a new statewide historic preservation advocacy and education group—has released a first-ever list of Hidden Treasures and Fading Places. The purpose of the list is to help celebrate Nebraska’s unique heritage as evidenced through its built environment, culture and landscapes.

UNL students create Prairie Fire marketing campaigns

By Stacy James

What is a capstone course anyway?

Every semester in the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s (UNL) College of Journalism and Mass Communication’s advertising sequence, senior ad majors face the much-anticipated and sometimes-dreaded capstone course called “Advertis­ing and Public Relations Campaigns.” A capstone course, by definition, is the learning experience in which students put it all together and work with a “real” client with real-world marketing and advertising challenges. They’re clients who need a strategically researched, conceived and executed promotional program, but don’t have the hundreds of thousands of dollars for a big-time ad agency effort.

A profile of Dr. Paul A. Johnsgard

Illustration of Paul Johnsgard by Bob Hall

By Jack Curran

While we are all endowed with special talents and gifts, it is vividly evident that Dr. Paul Austin Johnsgard has made the most of what he has been given. Like a true “Universal man,” he built a prolific career as a scientist, professor, researcher, author, artist, photographer and activist. By chance, he came to Nebraska—fell in love with the state, the prairie and the wildfowl that are found here. His many works have helped us to know and appreciate the wild world that surrounds us.

The Heritage Byway provides travelers with history, culture, nature and recreation

By Rosie Stockton

The Heritage Byway is one of nine scenic byways that criss-cross the state of Nebraska. The Heritage Byway was designated as a Scenic Byway by Governor Mike Johanns in 1999. The Scenic Byways Program provides for the designation of roads that have outstanding scenic, historic, cultural, natural, recreational and archaeological qualities. Nebraska’s scenic byways pass through some of the most enjoyable and intriguing landscapes in the state.

Lewis and Clark on the middle Missouri

By Gary E. Moulton

The flag was unpacked from its box and unfurled in the afternoon light. On a high hill overlooking the Missouri River the party assembled in military fashion to await the ceremony. This was no routine formation, nor was it a gathering for the usual purpose of honoring Indian dignitaries. This was a solemn occasion of the saddest kind. One of the members of the Corps of Discovery had died. Every member of the party must have wondered if this would be the only loss on the expedition and what fate lay ahead. Less than 100 days into the expedition an honored comrade had departed. Only a few days earlier a loss of another sort had occurred when two members of the party had deserted. One had been captured, but the other had made good his escape. Was this to be the fate of the Corps: desertion, death and perhaps ultimate defeat?

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Immigration in Nebraska

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