Tag: Florida

Higher Lottery Sales: Good for Education or Signs of Desperation?

Home | Education | Higher Lottery Sales: Good for Education or Signs of Desperation?
here's hoping
here’s hoping by Robert S. Donovan, on Flickr

Lottery sales keep breaking records this summer: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee.

Some states essentially made the lottery into an education lifeline, but not all of the money goes to education as shown in this South Carolina example. Missouri budgeted for an increase that did not occur. Ohio educators claim education does not receive the money it deserves. With that much money, is it any wonder crime occurs?

What do you think?

Feel free to comment.

Signs of the Times

Home | A Traveling Arkansan | Signs of the Times
Justified — This sign seems planned to remind North Carolina motorists why it should remain standing during tough economic times.

Perpetual Notions
by Ronald Sitton

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Aug. 3) — You see them every day on your way to and from work, the grocery store, the library, the pool, the folks … but you might not “notice” them except for the occasional message.

In the late 1990s, “Got Milk?” grabbed the attention of passing American motorists before becoming a world-wide campaign. Without knowing the actual returns on investment, it seems the milk industry fared much better than the pork industry’s “The Other White Meat” and “Beef – It’s what’s for dinner” (note: the beef billboards apparently spawned a PETA/vegetarian response).

Around the nation, recession billboards ask Americans to lighten up. Some of you may remember the racy Calvin Klein ads of the late ’80s, but apparently the company’s newest billboards even messes with New Yorkers. Someone found the time to make a Web site commemorating crazy and funny billboards for the bored to enjoy. But not all billboards are funny:

It’s hard to understand the logic behind the use of some billboards.

File Photo
Priorities — Stop to see where the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker might be, but what about where Louis Jordan was? (File Photo)

In Kevin Clark’s documentary “Is You Is: A Louis Jordan Story,” Arkansongs dee-jay Stephen Koch tells of childhood expectations of seeing a statue of the legendary Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame honoree noting his hometown of Brinkley, Ark.

Instead he found a lot of promotion for the re-discovery of the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker — but not one billboard tells passing travelers about Jordan. Wouldn’t it be better to attract as many travelers as possible during tough economic times, especially when located on a busy Interstate?

Perhaps even crazier: billboards on I-40 westbound promote investment opportunities in Brinkley … right after you pass the Brinkley exit with the next exit nowhere in sight.

Of course now, it’s not enough to have a static sign breaking the scenic view as you drive America’s highways and byways. Electronic and digital billboards are becoming all the rage. Even the FBI understands how useful they can be with the ability to update as needed. Are they safe? The federal Highway Administration sure seems to think so, especially when they sit in congested areas that give drivers time to sit and watch them.

Some claim business forays into social media represent nothing more than electronic billboards, but somebody’s watching. And just when you thought it was safe to go out in the water again … amphibious billboards! What’s next? Billboards in space?

But billboards aren’t just for business anymore.

GOD, Politics and Education

I’ll never forget driving to Knoxville from Clinton, Tenn., and seeing:

“That ‘Love Thy Neighbor’ thing … I meant that.” – God

Apparently, a non-denominational anonymous donor started that campaign. Halfway across the world, the Church of Singapore ran these to get more people to attend church on Sunday.

Some would say religion wouldn’t be religion if there wasn’t some controversy. You expect atheists to question God’s existence, but what about this campaign to “challenge the mindset of a new generation of church goers”? I prefer the approach of The Foundation for Life, whose “Pass It On” series hits really hard.

When it comes to politics, sometimes it’s tough to tell who’s selling what. Read more: Signs of the Times

College Football Preview: Big Game On The Bayou

Home | SEC | College Football Preview: Big Game On The Bayou

by Paul Rockne

When two of the top 10 teams in the nation, both undefeated, go head to head, it’s always a big game and that’s the case this Saturday night in Gainesville, Fla. In what is the showcase game of the SEC this week and one of the top games nationally as well, No. 9 LSU invades The Swamp to take on Coach Urban Meyers’ No. 5 Florida Gators.

LSU will be trying to beat Florida three straight seasons for the first time since 1980 and it will be counting on a stingy defense to get the job done. The Bayou Tigers are ranked No 1 in total defense and No. 2 in scoring defense – in the nation as well as the SEC.

Those ranking should be challenged by the Gators. Florida ranks first in the SEC in total offense, led by quarterback Chris Leak, who is now executing Meyer’s spread option offense with high efficiency.

LSU’s game plan will be to do what it did last year – put a hurtin’ on Leak, thus crippling the Gator offense. The Tigers came close to completely shutting Leak down in last year’s 21-17 LSU victory, sacking him four times and harassing him into an 11-for-30 passing day for a career-low 106 yards.

LSU has also vowed to be a little more air-minded on offense. With its offense somewhat limited in early games by Coach Les Miles’ stubbornness about running the ball regardless of the situation, the 7-3 loss to Auburn changed some minds – including Miles.

Miles said earlier this week that while it was a painful and costly way to learn, LSU had learned its lesson and it was a learning experience that will pay dividends down the road – in other words, if you’ve got a quarterback like JaMarcus Russell (who hails from Mobile), use him.

Another big game this week in the SEC pits No. 13 Tennessee against No. 10 Georgia in Athens. This game will keep Tennessee in the East Division picture with a win or eliminate the Vols early with a loss. Some good news for Tennessee: the Vols lead the series 7-5 when both teams are ranked in the top 25.

Alabama should easily improve to 4-2 Saturday as the Tide hosts inept Duke. The Tide is such a big favorite that the game is not on TV except for pay-for-view. Bama is a 28 point favorite.
This week’s college football TV schedule kicks off tonight, Friday, with Louisville vs. Middle Tennessee at 7 p.m. on ESPN2). Saturday’s weekend TV lineup, other than pay-for-view is as follows:

Arkansas at Auburn, 11 a.m. (CBS)
Clemson at Wake Forest, 11 a.m. (ESPN)
Purdue at Iowa, 11 a.m. (ESPNU)
Texas A&M at Kansas, 11:30 a.m. (FOXSS)
VMI at Army, 11:30 a.m. (ESPNCLASSIC)
Stanford at Notre Dame, 1:30 p.m. (NBC)
Washington at Southern Cal, 2:30 pp.m. (FOXSS)
Texas at Oklahoma, 2:30 p.m. (ABC)
LSU at Florida, 2:30 p.m. (CBS)
Bowling Green at Ohio State, 2:20 p.m. (CSS)
Maryland at Georgia Tech, 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
Michigan State at Michigan, 3:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Furman at Coastal Carolina, 6 p.m. (CSS)
South Carolina at Kentucky, 6 p.m. (ESPN2)
Central Michigan at Toledo, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
Missouri at Texas Tech, 6 p.m. (TBS)
Tennessee at Georgia, 6:45 p.m. (ESPN)
Oregon at California, 7 p.m. (ABC)