by Roger Allen Have you heard about “letterboxing”? It’s an organized game of following clues to find items that other participants have hidden. It requires good walking shoes, access to the Internet, and a sense of adventure. Letterboxing began in England in 1854 and is still a popular pastime there. The idea came to Dartmoor resident James Perrott, who placed a bottle in a wild, nearly inaccessible local area. In the bottle he included his calling card so future visitors could contact him. They could also leave their own calling cards. In the past ten years or so, letterboxing has come to America and beyond, spurred by a 1998 article in the Smithsonian magazine. Participants are both hiders and finders. At the Internet site www.letterboxing.org, they post their own directions (for locating small items they have hidden) as well as retrieve the clues of other hiders. Following a printed-out series of directions usually requires a fair amount of walking, often in nature areas or parks. Once the seeker finds the “treasure,” he or she uses a rubber stamp in an included logbook to announce success. The box may also contain goodies for the finders. The letterbox is then closed (think waterproof zip lock bags) and carefully replaced for the next finder. Directions to a box (called “clues” or “the map”), can be straightforward, cryptic, or any degree in between, depending on the hider’s personality and ingenuity. New technology has come to letterboxing. Today’s modern version, “geocaching,” involves a Global Positioning System (GPS) unit to help locate the hidden object. A geocacher can place a geocache anyplace in the world, pinpoint its location using GPS technology, and then share the geocache’s existence and location online. Anyone with a GPS unit can try to locate the geocache. Geocaching was imagined shortly after the removal of Selective Availability from GPS on May 1, 2000, because the improved accuracy of the system allowed for a small container to be specifically placed and located. The first documented placement of a GPS-located cache took place on May 3, 2000, by Dave Ulmer of Beavercreek, Oregon. The location was posted on the Usenet newsgroup sci.geo.satellite-nav as 45°17.460N 122°24.800W. According to Dave Ulmer’s message, the original stash was a black plastic bucket buried […]
April 30 2009
Emma Crosby of Rockford was one of several students inducted into the Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society at Wittenberg University’s annual Honors Convocation on April 17, 2009. Alpha Lambda Delta is a national honor society that seeks to recognize and encourage scholarship among first-year college women. Selection is based entirely on achieving a 3.5 cumulative grade-point average for the fall semester of their first year. Wittenberg University is located in Springfield, Ohio.
Local student Taylor Harding recently pledged Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Albion College. Tau Kappa Epsilon was founded at Illinois Wesleyan University in 1899. The “Tekes” support the Special Olympics. Harding is a sophomore at Albion College. He is the son of David and Megan Harding of Rockford and a graduate of Rockford High School. Albion College offers the unique blend of a classic liberal arts curriculum with a focus on professional preparation in law, medicine, education, management and the sciences.
Enjoy the moment by DOUG HOOGERLAND Principal, Crestwood Elementary School Last week I received approximately 400 e-mail messages. I am still trying to get back to everyone. It’s respectful-right?-to get back to someone immediately after a call or message. This is the digital age, and with the digital comes the instant. No more “pony express” for us! We expect Internet service in milliseconds, text message responses in less than 30 seconds, and e-mail responses within the day, if not the hour. We have checklists, to-do lists, sticky notes and Blackberries all helping us keep track of getting it all done, finished, wrapped up. It’s all about the finished product. Call me back. Text me now. Answer your phone because I do not leave messages and I need to talk to you NOW! “Now” is the message we get every day. We are failures if we postpone or procrastinate. But what about being here now? What moments are we missing in our real lives, you know, the parts that don’t have buttons or touch screens, the parts of our lives who greet us after a long day or call us to ask us to go on a field trip with their class; the pieces of our day who look into our eyes and read what they see there? What about the people and the moments with them that might never happen if we don’t postpone that e-mail response, or procrastinate a bit out in the back yard? One of my recent favorite song lyrics goes likes this, “I have been running so sweaty my whole life, urgent for the finish line, and I have been missing the rapture this whole time of being forever incomplete.” Maybe there is something to that. Perhaps we need to stop running so hard and stand still for a few moments while we let the world stop spinning around us and just BE HERE NOW.
Rockford’s Lady Rams began the OK Red portion of their season in impressive fashion last week, starting with an 11-0 victory in Grand Haven on April 22. Tricia Graham completely shut down the Buc offense by allowing 0 hits, striking out 14 batters, and allowing just one walk on the day. Offensively, Graham and junior centerfielder Lauren Pasciak led the way with two hits and three runs batted in apiece. On Friday, April 24, the Rams hosted the Muskegon Big Reds in a doubleheader. Both games ended with identical 15-0 scores in favor of the Rams. Game one featured strong hitting from junior second baseman Nicole Beemer, who went two-for-two and scored three runs, and senior shortstop Carly Shutich, who had two hits while scoring two and knocking in two more. On the mound, Graham won game one, allowing just one hit, and sophomore Peyton Wells won game two, allowing just one hit and one walk. In game two, senior outfielder Sadie Jensen homered and drove in three runs, while Graham had a pair of doubles and scored twice. Senior Taylor Sargent and junior Kristin Phillips also scored two runs in the win. On Saturday, April 25, the Rams traveled to Frankenmuth to compete in the Swing Into Spring Tournament. The Rams won their first game of the day against Hartland 10-0 behind yet another gem by Graham, as she and her battery-mate Karli Showers combined for their fourth no-hitter of the young season, striking out 17. Offensively, senior third baseman Alex Fulbright scored three times and Pasciak belted a home run and drove in three runs. In game two on Saturday, Rockford defeated Holly 12-4 behind a balanced offensive attack which featured home runs by Graham and Wells, who drove in three more runs to run her season RBI total to 20. Scoring two runs apiece were juniors Halley Pattok, who is batting 0.429 on the season, and speedy right fielder Morgan Ruchty, who already has 11 stolen bases in as many attempts. In the final game of the day, the Rams were defeated for the first time this season, falling to host Frankenmuth in a rain-shortened five-inning game by a score of 7-0. The Eagles’ senior pitcher Heather […]