10 Amazing Facts About Dreams

Sep 18th, 2011

Dreaming is a phenomenon that is not well understood or easily explained. There are many theories as to why we dream and what our dreams mean, but it’s difficult to explore and interpret the realm of the subconscious. Despite the fact that dreams are difficult to study, scientists have managed to learn a great deal about these subconscious thoughts and desires. Here are 10 amazing facts about dreams that will truly blow your mind:

  1. We spend about two hours dreaming each night

    Although your dreams may feel like they last for hours and hours, we only actually spend about two hours dreaming each night. That means a person spends a total of about six years dreaming throughout their lifetime. There are four stages of the sleep cycle and the last stage, called REM sleep, is where almost all dreaming takes place. Each sleep cycle lasts about 60 to 90 minutes and will repeat throughout the night.

  2. The most common dreams involve falling, being chased, school, cheating and your teeth falling out

    Since we know that anxiety is the most common emotion experienced in dreams, it’s no surprise that the most common dreams have negative content that would cause anxiety. Dreaming of falling is very common and often correlates to something in your life that is going the wrong direction. Many people also dream of being chased, which has been tied to avoidance. Dreams about teeth falling out are frequently reported and have been connected to your words and communication. People also report reoccurring dreams of their spouse cheating on them, which often has more to do with being "cheated" out of quality time with your spouse than infidelity. Lastly, dreams of being in school are common for adults at any age, which has been linked to work and the pressures from your job.

  3. Nearly 75% of the content in dreams is negative

    Most dreams won’t leave you happy and smiling. According to research, nearly 75% of dreams contain negative content. The emotions experienced in dreams vary from anger, joy, fear and happiness, but the most common emotion in dreams is anxiety. In addition, negative emotions are more common than positive ones.

  4. Dreaming helps relieve stress

    Dreaming help us make sense of the information and events that happen in our lives. Dreams play an important role in processing and memorizing information that we absorb every day. These subconscious thoughts also help relieve stress and even solve problems. It’s very possible to work through real life problems while dreaming at nighttime. They also provide a great deal of important content and meaning that can be used to inspire and direct our lives in the daytime.

  5. Five to 10% of adults have monthly nightmares

    Nightmares are most common in children between the ages of three or four and seven or eight. Adults have fewer nightmares overall, but they do happen from time to time. According to the International Association for the Study of Dreams, about five to 10% of adults have nightmares once a month or more often. There are a number of reasons adults may experience nightmares, such as medications or withdrawal from drugs, as well as physical conditions like stress and illness. Others experience nightmares after a traumatic event that becomes a reoccurring theme. However, some adults have frequent nightmares that are unrelated to their daily lives, which may indicate that they are more creative, sensitive and emotional than the average person.

  6. The average person has about three to five dreams each night

    There’s no limit to the number of dreams you can have while sleeping, but the average person has about three to five dreams each night. Some people can have up to seven or more dreams in one night. On average, we spend about two hours dreaming during a full eight hours of sleep. Shorter dreams happen in the beginning of the sleep cycle and tend to last longer throughout the rest of the night.

  7. Everyone dreams, but not everyone recalls their dreams

    It’s a fact that everyone dreams, but not everyone remembers their dreams. The most vivid dreams occur during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep when the brain is very active and the eyes move back and forth rapidly beneath the eyelids. Dream recall varies from person to person, but some people have little or no recollection of the content of their dream. Since 90% of dreams are forgotten after the first 10 minutes of being awake, the dream content needs to be documented right away. Keep a pen and paper by your bedside and try to write down as much information as possible to find the meaning behind your dreams.

  8. Blind people do not see visual images in their dreams, but their other senses are heightened

    Most blind people do not see images when they dream, but they do experience a heightened level of taste, touch and smell in their dreams. Whereas people with normal vision experience intensely visual dreams, but have decreased auditory stimulation and the other senses are mostly absent. Researchers have found that those who lost their sight before age five rarely saw images in their dreams, but those who go blind after age five may continue to see images in their dreams.

  9. About 90% of dream content is forgotten after 10 minutes of being awake

    Dreams aren’t easy to recall. Just five minutes after the end of a dream, you are likely to forget half of the content. At 10 minutes, about 90% of the content has been forgotten. It’s not that dreams aren’t important enough to remember, but other things have a tendency to get in the way. As forward thinkers, we often forget things when we first wake up and carry on with our days. There are many plausible theories as to why we forget dreams. Freud believed that dreams were repressed thoughts and desires that weren’t necessary to believe anyway. However, dream researcher, L. Strumpell, theorized that we forget dreams for several reasons, such as a lack of intense dream images, as well as little association and repetition to help us learn and remember.

  10. Animals also have dreams

    Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered that animals do in fact dream and their subconscious thoughts are tied to actual experiences. Animals’ dreams are complex and they are able to retain long sequences of events while sleeping. Animals’ brains share the same series of sleeping states as humans, as well as replaying events or parts of events that happened while awake. Analyzing animals’ dreams and the content of dream states may help scientists more effectively treat memory disorders and develop new ways for people to learn and retain information.

10 Unlikely Product Partnerships Between High-End Brands and Middlebrow Outlets

Sep 15th, 2011

When you’re out shopping for groceries or wedding presents, you’re probably surprised when you stumble across a couture brand name. Suddenly you feel a bit out of place in your baggy charity-run T-shirt and $2 flip-flops as you wander among racks of clothes from designers you’ve actually heard of. In the past decade as the economy has taken hit after hit, low-price retail chains and big-name fashion brands have started teaming up to weather the recession or reposition their brands. Target might be the most famous retailer of affordable designer labels, most recently with their launch of Missoni for Target, but many other stores have brought in lauded brand names to help their image. Here are 10 high-low partnerships that might surprise you.

  1. Missoni at Target

    After advertising for weeks that the Italian designer brand Missoni would be arriving in stores, Target didn’t quite expect the rush of people who were clambering to get their hands on the zigzagged clothing. On Tuesday, Target’s website was down for most of the day as shoppers tried to buy the products before they sold out, and many stores around the country experienced rushes normally reserved for the Friday after Thanksgiving. This isn’t the first time Target, a cheap-chic expert, has brought in a big name to boost its appeal. In 2002, the store brought in a line from Isaac Mizrahi, and in 2010, it turned to Zac Posen and Jean Paul Gaultier, with many other designers in between. Target has managed to build an image of affordable but stylish clothes and home accessories by partnering with designer after designer, leaving us continuously surprised at their staying power.

  2. Vera Wang at Kohl’s

    Someone who designs wedding dresses that cost tens of thousands of dollars for clients like the Kardashian sisters and Ivanka Trump isn’t the first person that comes to mind when you think of a department store like Kohl’s. Kohl’s is known for it’s affordable clothing, decor, and housewares, so many wondered how a marriage between the store and top designer Vera Wang could work, especially when Kohl’s doesn’t sell wedding dresses. But Wang’s Very Vera collection, released in 2007, focused on clothing and lifestyle products that are useable in everyday life and affordable to women who don’t make six figures. Wang has also started providing dresses for brides without Trumped up budgets, selling gowns now at David’s Bridal for prices between $600 and $1400.

  3. Martha Stewart at Kmart

    Before her jailhouse days, Martha Stewart was the top name in entertaining and home making. OK, she’s still wildly successful, but before the tiny hit she took for insider trading, Stewart made a line for Kmart, the low-budget competitor of Walmart. The Martha Stewart Everyday collection included bedding and bath accessories, along with a line of interior paints. The Stewart collection kept expanding to garden and kitchen products and more even up until the time Kmart filed for bankruptcy protection. After Kmart merged with Sears in 2004, Stewart’s line lived on for five more years, but Stewart has gossiped publicly since the collection was discontinued that she wasn’t proud of the products toward the end of the partnership.

  4. Karl Lagerfeld at H&M

    Even those who swear by H&M as a major fashion store (or at least a major fashion store on a budget) probably think that Karl Lagerfeld seems a little bit out of reach for the retail chain. Lagerfeld has designed for Chanel and Fendi, as well as his own line, and those names aren’t exactly on the same level as H&M. But in 2004, Lagerfeld pleased penny-pinching fashionistas everywhere when he launched a 30-piece line for the store. You could buy a Lagerfeld product for literally 100 times less than you can through most of his other projects. But these high-low partnerships aren’t without their problems. Lagerfeld accused H&M of snobbery when they produced very limited numbers of his pieces, while also condemning them for producing sizes larger than those he wanted, saying his line was made for slender people. Make up your mind, Karl. Do you want more or fewer people to be able to wear your clothing?

  5. Charlotte Ronson at JCPenney

    There was a period of time where moms couldn’t bribe their kids to even walk into a JCPenney store. And then came Charlotte Ronson. Hitting JCPenney stores across the nation in 2009, Ronson’s I [Heart] Ronson line was highly anticipated and abundantly praised on fashion blogs and in fashion magazines. Finally teenage girls could afford the clothes they wanted to wear without having to take on the dreaded after-school job. The cute but edgy clothing in I [Heart] Ronson sells for about half the price of Ronson’s normal products, allowing Ronson to find a wider audience and helping JCPenney retain more than a shred of fashion dignity. Charlotte Ronson may even be more well known now than her DJ twin sister, Samantha, of Lindsay-Lohan-lover fame.

  6. Norma Kamali at Walmart

    Norma Kamali may not be a household name for young fashion lovers, but she has created some pretty iconic pieces in her career. Ever heard of parachute pants? That was her. Wonder how shoulder pads became so popular in the ’80s? Kamali played a big part. So maybe Walmart was going vintage when they signed Kamali on for her own line to be sold at the bargain giant. Her Walmart collections have been available since 2009 and include women’s clothing, child’s clothing, accessories, and items for the home. Here’s the best part: each piece from her line is sold for less than $20, so even the thriftiest shoppers can afford it. It seems like Walmart’s trying to overcome the image they’ve gotten from the hilariously awful website, PeopleOfWalmart.com.

  7. Diane von Furstenberg at Gap Kids

    You may not be able to afford a Diane von Furstenberg design for yourself, but in March 2012, your 2-year-old could be sporting one. The fashion all-star, famous for inventing the wrap dress, is bringing her talent to children’s clothing for the first time at Gap Kids. Because if anyone needs to have the latest fashions, it’s a child who will outgrow the clothes next week. Gap is hoping the partnership will boost sales, which have been down during the past few years. Von Furstenberg, who has a full plate of projects, might be thinking that clothing that is half the size of adult wear and costs half as much will only be half the work.

  8. Max Azria at Sears

    Around the time Sears was trying to convince women to come see its softer side, it should’ve simply been telling them to come see its Max Azria side. The name normally seen beside "BCBG" started showing up beside aisles of power tools in 2005, which was a great publicity move for the store. After four years of declining apparel sales at Sears, Azria generated buzz that the company couldn’t have produced without help from a big name. The Parallel line designed by Azria introduced several collections to Sears, including plus-size options. Since the partnership with Azria seemed to pull in customers, Sears has since tried using other big names, like LL Cool J and the Kardashians, but the success has been questionable.

  9. Donna Karan on Home Shopping Network

    If you don’t even leave the house to do your shopping, you probably don’t need designer clothing or accessories. But now even those who buy things from the TV can glance at a Donna Karan watch to make sure they don’t miss their stories. The Home Shopping Network and Donna Karan launched a line of watches in August, the sales of which benefit a women’s charity called Fatigues to Fabulous. Rather than using the partnership to increase a store’s sales or widen a designer’s audience, HSN and Karan seem to just want to give back to the non-profit that helps women in the military blend back into civilian life and highlights their sacrifices. More instances of brands teaming up for giving purposes rather than greed would be welcome in our society.

  10. Christian Siriano at Payless

    Payless ShoeSource is the place where thrifty shoe lovers go for the best deals, but in 2009, shoppers had an even trendier reason to head to the bargain shoe store. Christian Siriano, known for winning Project Runway after a drama-filled season (of course, what season isn’t?), made a deal for an accessories line for Payless after high-end stores declined to carry his pricier designs. While many accused Siriano of selling out, he seemed to see the discount shoes and bags as a way to dig his heels in during the recession and maybe as a stepping stone to more expensive markets.

9 Surprising People with Honorary Degrees

Sep 11th, 2011

While some people spend years poring over dusty books and slow computers trying to complete their doctoral dissertations, others simply have a degree given to them. Honorary degrees are often handed out to people who have made important contributions to a field, but sometimes they end up in the hands of celebrities for vague reasons. More than likely, the university wants the publicity that comes with giving a doctorate to someone famous. Whether they deserved the degree or not, here are 9 people you’d be surprised to know have honorary doctorates.

  1. Tim Allen

    We all know Tim Allen as Tim "The Toolman" Taylor in Home Improvement and as the voice of Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story, but most of us wouldn’t imagine that he holds a doctorate of fine arts from Western Michigan University. He finished an undergraduate degree at WMU in 1976, and was given an honorary degree in 1998. Maybe Allen’s degree should’ve been in fortune-telling, because in 1995, an episode of Home Improvement portrayed his character receiving an honorary degree from Allen’s alma mater. Just three years later it wasn’t fiction anymore.

  2. Kim Cattrall

    The star who plays the promiscuous Sex and the City character isn’t originally from New York. She was born in Liverpool, England before moving to Canada a few months later and eventually to the U.S. Her home city honored her in 2010 with a degree from John Moores University for her contribution to the arts. She brought her family with her to the ceremony and thanked them from the lectern. She was even fully covered in traditional academic regalia — a far cry from her trademark character’s skin-baring outfits.

  3. Bob Barker

    When this recipient was called to the stage, the announcer should’ve shouted, "Bob Barker, come on down!" In 2007, Barker received an honorary degree from his alma mater, Drury University, where he had earned a degree in economics in 1947 despite an interruption by his service in World War II. A year after receiving his Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, Barker gave Drury a $1 million gift for a fund to promote the study of animal rights, and the school named a campus street after the long-time Price Is Right host.

  4. Robert Mugabe

    Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe since 1980, still holds a handful of honorary degrees, but he’s had at least three revoked, along with some other awards. Since 2000, Mugabe’s government has violently seized land and the country’s economy has suffered greatly. After a contested 2008 election, Mugabe retained power even though his party lost. Because of this, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Massachusetts, and Michigan State University revoked the degrees they had given him in the ’80s and early ’90s due to human rights abuse.

  5. Dolly Parton

    When you think of Dolly Parton, you’re more likely to think of double Ds than a Ph.D. But the platinum blonde has held an honorary doctorate of humane and musical letters since 2009 when she accepted the degree from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She earned the degree from her home state for her legendary career and her charitable works, such as advocating for education through her Imagination Library program and other initiatives. She has also given more than 20 million books to U.S. schools and often provides funds for schools to continue operating when their budgets are low.

  6. Jack Nicholson

    Earlier this year, Brown University awarded Jack Nicholson a Doctor of Fine Arts degree. The reason was that the school considers him "the most skilled actor of our lifetime," and wanted to honor his ability to bring characters to life and make us laugh and cry at the same time. At a ceremony where scientists, poets, and journalists were also honored, it seems like Nicholson may have been brought in to provide the comic relief, which he did when he told the audience that he dabbles in particle research.

  7. Mike Tyson

    Notorious boxer Mike Tyson was awarded a doctorate in humane letters in 1989 from Central State University in Ohio. The school’s president said he deserved the degree because of his influence on young people through his promotion of civic causes and education. As he received the award, he said to the audience, "I don’t know what kind of doctor I am but watching all these beautiful sisters here, I’m debating whether I should be a gynecologist." Since receiving the degree, he has famously bitten off a piece of another boxer’s ear and was convicted of rape. Maybe he thought since he’s a doctor now, any part of the anatomy is fair game.

  8. William Shatner

    From spaceship captain to honorary doctor, William Shatner has certainly had a successful life. Born in Montreal, Shatner attended the city’s McGill University for his undergraduate degree and went back earlier this year to claim his honorary doctorate of letters. Besides playing Captain Kirk on Star Trek, Shatner is famous for his roles on Boston Legal, T.J. Hooker, and the Priceline commercials. Surprising to some, Shatner said he’s actually been offered other honorary degrees, but has turned them down until this special one from his alma mater.

  9. Kermit the Frog

    Many people are green with envy that they don’t have their own honorary doctorates since Muppet favorite Kermit the Frog received one from Southampton College in 1996. The degree is in amphibious letters, probably the only one of its kind. The school says Kermit earned the degree through his advocacy for environmental responsibility, as seen in things like his theme song, "It’s Not Easy Being Green," which is encouraging to environmentalists. The Muppet has also spread positive messages through public service announcements and Sesame Street, and has proven that you can do anything if you set your mind to it, even if you’re a frog.

College Football’s 10 Most Promising Newcomers for 2011

Sep 5th, 2011

College football is an incredibly difficult game to master. With the speed, strength and complexity of the schemes, it’s unreasonable to expect a first-year player to make an immediate impact. But, when a freshman or JUCO transfer can productively fill a position of need, it can catapult his team to a different level. Before last season, few college football fans knew about Cam Newton — a year later, Auburn is the defending national champion and Carolina Panthers fans are abuzz over their No. 1 overall pick and franchise quarterback. It’s unreasonable to expect the following newcomers to have that kind of success, but each one has the potential to become a household name in their respective states by year’s end.

  1. Braxton Miller, QB, Ohio State

    The unceremonious departure of Terrelle Pryor has thrust Miller into a difficult position. A possible starter as a true freshman with a new head coach at the helm, he’ll have to learn on the fly to steward the Buckeyes’ offense to a Big 10 title. Thus far, coaches are encouraged by his ability to grasp the offense. An early enrollee, he made a good impression in the spring game when he went 7-for-12 with a touchdown, and his composure and athleticism have since been the talk of Columbus.

  2. Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville

    Although Will Stein will likely start from the beginning, offensive coordinator Mike Sanford is making an effort to immediately incorporate Bridgewater into games to utilize his athleticism. Like Miller, he was an early enrollee, and he possesses the maturity and leadership skills to shoulder the responsibility of leading an offense.

  3. Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU

    Les Miles has been loyal to a fault to Jordan Jefferson, who, if nothing else, has experience on his side. But, with the senior quarterback now facing legal issues after a bar fight, the door could open for Mettenberger, the JUCO transfer and former Georgia quarterback. Currently third on the depth chart, his competition isn’t exactly stiff, as senior and No. 2 quarterback Jarrett Lee has been given multiple opportunities in the past, only to perform about as poorly as Jefferson. As it stands now, Mettenberger has the best arm, quickest release and sharpest accuracy of the three.

  4. Malcolm Brown, RB, Texas

    In dire need of offensive help, the Horns will rely on the top-10 recruit to make things happen. Mack Brown has emphasized establishing a steady rushing attack, something his team has lacked since Jamal Charles received a bulk of the carries in 2007. Weighing 220 pounds, Malcolm Brown has the build to take a punishment each Saturday — along with the starting gig from Fozzy Whittaker.

  5. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Georgia

    Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo already has a capable quarterback — now he needs a capable running back. Washaun Ealey and Caleb King are gone, and Carlton Thomas is suspended for the opener, leaving the uber-talented Crowell, the Bulldogs’ most highly-touted recruit in 2011, as the starter. His speed, quickness and cutting ability are impressive even by SEC standards, and he could have a Marcus Lattimore-like impact for the Dawgs.

  6. Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

    The Gamecocks, familiar with that aforementioned Lattimore-like impact, hope that Clowney, the No. 1-ranked recruit in the nation in 2011, can do the same for their already solid defense. So far, he’s lived up to the hype, tallying five sacks, a forced fumble and a touchdown during the team’s three inter-squad scrimmages. He’ll be competing with All-SEC defensive end Devin Taylor and team sack leader Melvin Ingram for a starting spot, but his talent alone will earn him his fair share of playing time.

  7. Aaron Lynch, DE, Notre Dame

    After allowing fewer than 10 ppg during the final four games of the 2010 season, the Irish defense certainly has something upon which to build. Further improvement may come with the addition of Lynch, a 6-foot-6, 265-pound early enrollee who performed well in the spring game, logging seven tackles. Not expected to start, he’ll own a spot in the rotation so that he can provide his plus pass rushing skills.

  8. Jesse Williams, DE, Alabama

    Nick Saban recognizes the value of a good JUCO d-line transfer, as he recruited Terrance Cody, a two-time Consensus All-American who anchored a defense that lost just two games in two seasons. A possible defensive tackle or defensive end, Williams may not be the next Cody, but he has a chance to emerge as a starter. The 6-foot-4, 325-pound tatted-up Aussie has the ability to take up space, occupy multiple blockers, and become an intimidating force in the SEC.

  9. Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU

    There’s a reason LSU is ranked in the top-4 of every preseason poll despite losing Patrick Peterson, Kelvin Sheppard and Drake Nevis — its three best defensive players from last season. Recent top-ranked recruiting classes have filled the roster with incredible talent, including "Freak," a 6-foot-3, 295-pound freshman who runs a 4.8-second 40. Scouts have been fawning over him since he started high school, when he already appeared to have an NFL-ready body. His positive attitude should enable defensive coordinator John Chavis to mold him into one of the SEC’s best at his position.

  10. Thomas Finnie, CB, Miami

    As Miami attempts to rebuild under new coach Al Golden amid an NCAA investigation, several promising freshman are expected to receive significant playing time and give Canes fans something for which to cheer. Finnie is certainly one of them — since he arrived on campus last January, he has wowed his coaches with an excellent work ethic and has already risen to second on the depth chart. His presence will likely enhance an already solid defense.

11 Things You Didn’t Know About College Grading

Aug 26th, 2011

Getting good grades means everything to college students, but few actually know how grading works at their university. It’s not a secret, but colleges and professors aren’t making this information public either. The more students learn about the college grading process, the more they can help themselves and improve their grades. Here are 11 things you didn’t know about college grading:

  1. Grading is often outsourced overseas

    An increase in student enrollment and class sizes often calls for additional help with grading. Most professors use TAs to assist with grading, but many have also started turning to online grading services, such as Virtual-TA, which helps professors grade assignments from overseas. This virtual system of grading gives professors a chance to focus more closely on students’ needs and class lessons, while allowing TAs to focus on their own schoolwork.

  2. Graders spend an average of 10 minutes grading each assignment

    Regardless of how long it takes students to write an essay or finish a test, graders spend an average of 10 minutes grading each assignment. Professors and/or graders skim through assignments looking for the right answers or explanations that fully answer the essay prompt. With such little time to grade, it’s crucial that you make your point right away and answer the question being asked.

  3. Graders are looking for the answer before anything else

    Now that you know most graders only spend about 10 minutes grading each paper, it’s all the more important to answer the question right away. Graders are not only looking for the right answer, but they’re also making sure that you’ve answered the question asked.

  4. Disputed grades rarely get changed

    When it comes to disputing a grade, don’t expect for your B to suddenly become an A just because you argued for a better grade. Even though most colleges have grade appeal policies in place, disputed grades rarely get changed. In most cases, a professor has to make a major error or irregularity in order for the grade to be adjusted. If you cannot prove that the professor miscalculated, failed to read a page of the answer, broke a college rule or another related issue, then it’s probable better to avoid the dispute altogether.

  5. ‘A’s are few and far between

    Grade inflation may be a problem at some universities, but As are not as common as you might think. The almighty A is not given to just any student. On average, professors give 10 to 25% As in introductory classes and about 30 to 50% in advanced classes.

  6. Effort isn’t calculated into the final grade

    Professors may see your hard work in action, but it won’t make a lick of difference if your final product does not meet all of the requirements needed for a good grade. Effort alone is not a valid indication of mastering a subject. Effort is needed to complete a project, finish a test and give a presentation, but the results are what make or break your grade.

  7. There aren’t always do-overs and extra credit

    The only sure-fire way to make good grades is to do it right the first time around. Relying on do-overs and extra credit can be a hopeless venture and rarely make a drastic difference to one’s grades. Extra credit opportunities and do-overs vary from class to class, but by no means are professors required to give students these second chances to improve their grades.

  8. Conclusions matter

    Conclusions serve a bigger purpose than simply wrapping up an essay – they help drive home a point and leave a lasting impression on the reader and, in this case, the grader. Many students neglect their conclusions and just slap something together to finish, forgetting that the conclusion is the last thing the grader reads. Taking the time to draft a strong, thought-provoking conclusion will set your work apart from the others and certainly help your grade.

  9. More than half of the grade comes from end of the year assignments

    Most college courses measure comprehension at the end of the semester by back-loading assignments. The bulk of a student’s grade comes from these last assignments, including a third test, a research paper and the cumulative final. The whole semester is dedicated to teaching students the material and the last month is testing their knowledge of the material. Students have a tendency to run out of steam at the end of the semester, but they have to stay engaged and apply themselves to finish strong.

  10. Grading isn’t completely subjective

    Grading is both objective and subjective to some degree. Essays are a prime example of this because even though there might not be a definite right or wrong answer, there is a significant difference between the students that can back up their point with valid proof and those that have no clue what they’re talking about and make it obvious.

  11. Grading on a curve is rare

    Grading on a curve is rare, but still occurs in some undergraduate classes and in graduate school. When grading is curved, the student’s work is not being measured on its absolute value, but where it stands when compared to others in the class.

10 Moments That Defined the Civil Rights Movement

Aug 25th, 2011

The 48th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr’s "I Have a Dream" speech will be celebrated on Aug. 28 with the much-deserved dedication of his memorial in Washington DC. Our nation’s foremost civil rights leader now joins the ranks of other great Americans — such as Lincoln and Jefferson — who’ve been commemorated and immortalized with majestic monuments. Only the fourth non-president to receive such an honor, King’s contributions to our society surpass those of a vast majority of our elected officials, and his lessons will forever remain applicable, especially as our racial composition continues to change. The following defining moments of the civil rights movement, many of which wouldn’t have been possible without King, served as stepping stones toward dismantling racial discrimination and achieving equality for African Americans and all of our nation’s citizens.


  1. Brown v. Board of Education (1954)

    After years of accepting the poor conditions, overcrowding and generally substandard education in their public schools, African Americans in Virginia forcefully voiced their displeasure with the unfairness of school segregation. With the assistance of the NAACP, five cases were established, including Brown v. Board of Education. Ultimately, the court found that "segregation of white and colored children in public schools has a detrimental effect upon the colored children," thus declaring that establishing separate public schools for African American and white children was unconstitutional, overturning Plessy v. Ferguson. The decision marked the beginning of the civil rights movement.

  2. Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-56)

    The name Rosa Parks became synonymous with the civil rights movement when she refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus for a white passenger. Following her arrest and conviction for disorderly conduct, Montgomery’s African American community organized a large-scale bus boycott, which lasted 381 days. Their strategy of nonviolent civil disobedience prompted the desegregation of the buses, and served as model for future protests in the movement.

  3. Little Rock Nine (1957)

    Accomplished academic careers and promising futures didn’t lessen the resistance encountered by the Little Rock 9. Selected to attend all-white Little Rock Central High School in 1957 after the Brown decision, they were met with immediate harassment from white protestors and a blockade from the National Guard ordered by governor Orval Faubus, who acted under political pressure from the state’s Democratic Party. His orders were eventually reversed by President Eisenhower, who deployed part of the 101st Airborne to protect the students. Even still, all nine of them were incessantly mistreated the entire year, and only one graduated before Arkansas shut down its public school system as a response to desegregation.

  4. Greensboro Sit-ins (1960)

    Taking a cue from Rosa Parks, four students from all-black North Carolina Agricultural & Technical College conducted a modest protest of a Woolworth’s store segregation policy by sitting at its all-white lunch counter and politely asking to be served. They were refused, but they steadfastly remained in the store until it closed. More people gathered to help the next day, and by day four, more than 300 people participated, making headlines and encouraging other sit-ins across the South. Months later, the entire Woolworth chain was desegregated.

  5. Freedom Rides (1961)

    Nonexistent enforcement of Boynton v. Virginia, which outlawed segregation in waiting rooms and restaurants in bus terminals, set forth freedom rides across the South designed to challenge the status quo. During the journey, they endured attacks from Ku Klux Klan members, mob violence, a firebombing, arrests, and jail time with incredibly hostile treatment. But the publicity they garnered led to a desegregation order from President Kennedy, integrating the terminals and the buses.

  6. Integration of Ole Miss (1962)

    The integration of Southern colleges was a gradual process that occurred over time. Although a few African Americans had already been admitted to some colleges in the South, it was James Meredith, a student at all-black Jackson State College, who brought the issue into the national consciousness. His repeated failed attempts to gain admission to Ole Miss were followed by a lawsuit he filed along with the NAACP resulting in a ruling in his favor. Mississippi governor Ross Barnett, with the backing of a vast majority of white Mississippians, defied the federal government and blocked Meredith’s arrival. The ensuing chaos ended with two deaths and 160 injuries, prompting President Kennedy to send federal marshals to control the area. A year later, Meredith graduated, becoming Ole Miss’s first African American success story.

  7. March on Washington (1963)

    Never before had the power and unity of African Americans been demonstrated in such a manner. Officially called the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the event was organized by civil rights, religious and labor leaders striving to bring attention to civil rights laws, voting rights, and fair employment, housing and education. Between 200,000 and 300,000 people were in attendance — 20 percent of which were people from other races who wanted to show their support — and it received massive television coverage. The most memorable moment, of course, occurred when King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech.

  8. Birmingham Campaign (1963-64)

    Alabama governor George Wallace’s cries of "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" were challenged by Wyatt Tee Walker, executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, with the mission of desegregating Birmingham’s downtown merchants. Participating in sit-ins and marches, they drew the ire of Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Connor, a staunch segregationist who recently lost the election for mayor. His decision to use high-pressure fire hoses and police dogs to deter demonstrators only angered Americans who viewed the brutal images on television. Thousands of protestors were jailed, including King, who in turn wrote his "Letter from Birmingham Jail." Thirty-eight days after the confrontation began, with the urging of the Kennedy administration, Birm ingham business leaders struck a deal with the SCLC, desegregating lunch counters and other accommodations and ending discriminatory hiring practices.

  9. Civil Rights Act (1964)

    Following the Birmingham campaign, President Kennedy delivered a civil rights speech advocating legislation that would end segregation in public establishments. Passage of such a bill seemed unlikely in November 1963, but the assassination of President Kennedy provided his successor, Lyndon Johnson, with a more unified political climate, enabling him to oversee its passage — King was present for John’s signing of the bill, and his expression of satisfaction was captured for posterity in a famous photograph.

  10. Voting Rights Act (1965)

    From reconstruction to the early portion of the 1900s, African Americans in the South were disenfranchised by violence, intimidation, poll taxes and literacy tests. And even though many of those measures were ruled unconstitutional, Southern states developed new ways to maintain the status quo. Securing voting rights was an essential part of the civil rights movement, and leaders pressed for strong legislation. President Johnson responded by composing a bill that eliminated tactics of disenfranchisement and established federal oversight of elections. Since 1965, the bill has been renewed and amended four times.

Top 10 Sports Documentaries of All Time

Aug 21st, 2011

There’s always a market for sports documentaries, from season-ender puff pieces to stories about the seedy side of sports. But every now and then a film comes along that rises above the genre and uses sports to examine the real human condition in all its complexity, and it’s that devotion to grander themes that sets these sports documentaries apart. They cover major athletes and forgotten heroes, popular sports and niche pursuits, but they’ve all got one thing in common: They totally redefine their subjects in the eyes of the viewer.

  1. Hoop Dreams

    For every wide-eyed athlete who makes it to the pros, there are hundreds — thousands — who never get that far. Steve James’ riveting 1994 documentary Hoop Dreams is all about the divide between those groups. Shot over the course of five years, the film follows Arthur Agee and William Gates, two gifted young black basketball players who attend an all-white school with a killer program in hopes of finding professional glory. What makes the film work so well is its ability to use the boys’ story as a springboard for examinations of race, class, and modern society. It’s a bittersweet, perfectly rendered piece of Americana.

  2. When We Were Kings

    Winner of the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, 1996′s When We Were Kings revolves around 1974′s Rumble in the Jungle, the heavyweight championship bout between George Foreman and Muhammad Ali that saw Ali defeat Foreman in the eighth round. Leon Gast’s film digs into the lives of Ali and Foreman as well as that of promoter Don King, who outsourced the fight to Zaire in order to drum up the payroll he’d promised his boxers. The film succeeds because it’s about one of the biggest and most colorful brawls in boxing history, and it’s also a look at a time when boxing was much bigger than it is today. The sport hasn’t produced stars like Ali and Foreman in a long time.

  3. Baseball

    No one does documentaries quite like Ken Burns, whose The Civil War redefined the style and scope of made-for-TV projects. Four years later, he released Baseball, a staggering series that spanned more than 18 hours and covered the history of the sport and its role in American culture and commerce. Adhering to a rigid structure — each chapter was titled an "inning" that then delved deeper into a particular era — the sprawling film mixes biography with commentary to examine the flaws and joys of the American pastime. It’s definitely a test of will to finish the whole thing (spread it out over a few nights, or weeks), but for sheer breadth, there’s no better resource for the sport’s fans than this. Burns followed up the documentary years later with Baseball: The Tenth Inning, covering the sports turbulent steroid problems throughout the 1990s.

  4. Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team

    Dare to Dream was produced and distributed by HBO Sports, which makes it a little slicker than other game documentaries, but it’s no less captivating for being so. Released in 2005 to piggyback on the women’s soccer team’s gold medal success at the 2004 Olympics, the film follows the team’s development and guidance under marquee names like Brandi Chastain and Mia Hamm. It also highlights the pop culture significance the team earned in 1999 when they defeated China in the World Cup in a penalties shootout, with Chastain bringing home the victory and promptly celebrating by ripping off her jersey in an image that made the cover of Sports Illustrated.

  5. Murderball

    Murderball‘s great for many reasons — it’s a tight story full of great characters that proves just how much movie you can get for a shoestring budget — but the biggest is the way it breaks down the walls of misunderstanding people have about quadriplegic citizens and athletes. The film follows a group of men who play wheelchair rugby for the U.S. in the Paralympic Games, alternating between personal stories about their accidents and lives and the work they put in as they train to beat their rival Canada. Marc Zupan becomes a breakout character whose antics and energy carry the film, but it’s really about the team and the ways they bond through tragedy. A great look at a sport most people don’t know about.

  6. Beyond the Mat

    Turns out Darren Aronofsky’s The Wrestler was a lot more realistic than you might have imagined. The 1999 doc Beyond the Mat is a jaw-dropping look at what actually goes on in the lives of pro wrestlers, from the constant injuries and money problems to the threat of obsolescence, poverty, and drug addiction. Branded as "the movie Vince McMahon didn’t want you to see" (McMahon had granted filmmaker Barry Blaustein access to WWF wrestlers but went understandably bananas when the movie turned into a brutal look at the dark side of the life), the documentary is a warts-and-all approach to the business of pro wrestling. The sport is undeniably fake, but that doesn’t mean people don’t get hurt. Even in a scripted performance, things can go very wrong. Recommended viewing for anyone who grew up in the 1980s.

  7. The Endless Summer

    When it comes to surf movies, there’s The Endless Summer and then there’s everything else. The 1966 documentary changed the format by loosening up the formal rules of the genre — it’s basically a point-and-shoot adventure — but it also came at a time when surf music and culture were at a peak. The film charts the escapades of Robert August and Mike Hynson, a pair of California surfers who travel the world looking for the best waves and experiences. It’s a perfect snapshot of a time and place, rooted in the wishful thinking that it just might be possible to keep traveling and chase a summer that never stops. Bonus: catchy soundtrack.

  8. Dogtown and Z-Boys

    In the 1970s, a group of boys with a love for surfing expanded that passion into skateboarding. The Z-Boys — the Zephyr Competition Team, named for their surf shop in Santa Monica — skated as a hobby but soon began to push the limits of what people thought was possible with skateboards, inventing aerial tricks that blended the skill and spectacle of surfing with the still unexplored regions of extreme land sports. Dogtown and Z-Boys was directed by Stacy Peralta, who started riding with the Z-Boys at age 15 and is able to speak with authority about the life. It’s an intriguing film because it traces the origins of something everyone knows about — skateboarding — to places they never expected, and it offers a fun mix of vintage footage and new interviews. It also inspired a feature film version of the story, 2005′s Lords of Dogtown.

  9. Senna

    Ayrton Senna’s story is a powerful but tragic one: The Formula One racer was only 34 when he died in a crash at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, but by then he’d rocked the sporting world and affected racing forever thanks to his skill and personality. The 2010 documentary Senna is easily one of the best racing stories ever told, relying on copious amounts of real footage to put viewers back in the action as director Asif Kapadia works his way through Senna’s victories and defeats. It’s an eye-opening look at a sporting culture many Americans don’t know much about (the U.S. loves NASCAR a lot more than Formula One), but it’s made with such skill that it appeals to non-fans, as well.

  10. Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson

    Ken Burns makes the list twice (he’s good at what he does, after all) with Unforgivable Blackness, a gorgeous documentary about the legendary boxer who became the first black man to hold the title of world heavyweight champ, and who did so at a time when the U.S. was still choking its citizens with Jim Crow laws. Born in 1878, Johnson was boxing before the turn of the century, and in 1910 he won the "fight of the century" against retired but undefeated heavyweight champ James Jeffries, playing to a crowd of 20,000 in Reno and winning $65,000. His fame became a template for the way celebrity athletes would be revered and feared at the same time. Burns’ film is a wonderful and often harrowing document of a time that feels foreign to modern Americans but that’s a whole lot closer than we’d care to remember.

10 Reality Show Moments Destined to Live in Infamy

Aug 18th, 2011

Reality shows have changed the way we watch TV and connect to the outside world. These shows have made us laugh, cry and even question humanity at times, but one thing’s for sure – they keep us entertained. As big name shows like Kate Plus 8 come to an end, we reflect on the good and not-so-good moments captured on reality TV. Here are 10 reality show moments destined to live in infamy:

  1. Jon and Kate Gosselin announce their separation

    It didn’t take a psychic to predict that Jon and Kate Gosselin’s marriage would eventually go downhill, but instead of dropping the show to work on their relationship, they just dropped each other. While filming Jon & Kate Plus 8, the couple announced their somewhat shocking decision to separate for the sake of the kids, as well as our own sanity. There’d be no more petty arguments or couple interviews on the couch; it’d just be Kate and her plus eight, which we now know wasn’t enough to keep the show afloat.

  2. Snooki gets punched

    It was the punch heard ’round the world. Jersey Shore‘s Snooki got punched in the face by a random man at the group’s Seaside Heights hangout. As the story goes, Snooki’s random attacker Brad Ferro, a high school gym teacher, was intoxicated and tried to steal Snooki’s cocktail. When she confronted him and started yelling in his face, Ferro swung and the pint-sized party girl fell to the floor crying. Although MTV ultimately decided to pull the footage from the show, we still have the teaser clips to remind us of this infamous moment on the Jersey Shore.

  3. NJ Housewife Teresa Giudice flips a table

    The Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice made headlines when she infamously flipped out and flipped a table on cast member Danielle Staub. The two women were arguing about the facts in Danielle’s ex-husband’s book, but it wasn’t all the yelling that got Teresa stirred up, it was being told to pay attention by Danielle. As expected, all hell broke loose and Teresa began attacking Danielle, famously calling her a "prostitution whore" before flipping the table like a wannabe Mafioso.

  4. Jason Mesnick dumps The Bachelor winner for the runner-up

    Like most Bachelor finales, season 13 bachelor Jason Mesnick proposed to the girl he "said" he wanted to marry, but ended up pulling a stunt so huge that even the biggest love cynic didn’t see it coming. On the After the Final Rose episode, Mesnick shocked viewers when he dumped his fiancée Melissa Rycroft because he said he was still in love with the runner-up, Molly Malaney. The entire embarrassing breakup was caught on camera, and we can’t help but wonder if these people will ever learn.

  5. The Real World: Seattle goodbye slap

    Real World: Seattle took a turn for the unexpected when Stephen infamously slapped his housemate Irene after she told him he was gay. Stephen didn’t like Irene’s claim, so he threw her stuffed animal into the water, ran up to her moving car and slapped her in the face and ran off. The slap became one of the most infamous moments in Real World history, but the best part was finding out years later that Irene was right about Stephen all along.

  6. Jessica Simpson’s Chicken of the Sea moment

    MTV’s Newlyweds was more than just another reality series. It was a window into the "real" side of Jessica Simpson and it wasn’t always pretty. Simpson became known for her signature blonde moments that ranged from mispronouncing Massachusetts and platypus to questioning what kind of meat is in Buffalo wings. But Simpson’s most infamous moment happened when she was eating a can of tuna fish and asked her now ex-husband Nick Lachey if she was eating chicken or fish because the brand name, Chicken of the Sea, confused her.

  7. Tyra Banks goes berserk on a model

    America’s Next Top Model has built its popularity on the premise of looks and drama, so it’s no surprise that the show’s host, Tyra Banks, is one of the biggest divas in television history. There have been many infamous moments on America’s Next Top Model, but none quite like Tyra’s screaming match with season four model Tiffany. Banks is upset that Tiffany doesn’t show any emotion about being disqualified, but when the model tries to defend herself Banks yells like a mad woman.

  8. The Hills‘ Hollywood ending

    Millions of teenagers’ hearts broke when MTV’s The Hills came to an end. It wasn’t just the end of an era that made them upset, they wanted an explanation for the surprising twist that ended with Brody looking at Kristin’s car drive off as the Hollywood backdrop is pulled away and the set is exposed. Even though we could admit that The Hills was scripted and exaggerated for TV, no one expected this kind of Hollywood ending.

  9. Drunken Verne Troyer pees in the corner

    The Surreal Life has seen its fair share of bizarre celebrity behavior, but few moments are as infamous and hilarious as Verne Troyer’s naked and drunken scooter ride that involved running into walls, mooning the camera and urinating in the corner of the house. To make matters worse, Troyer, who’s best known for his role as Mini-Me in Austin Powers, passed out in his bed making an odd, loud moaning sound that woke up the whole household.

  10. Sue Hawk’s snakes and rats speech on Survivor

    The first season of Survivor kept audiences on their toes, but no one expected the stunt that outspoken castmate Sue Hawk pulled in the finale. Hawk’s ridiculous snakes and rats speech goes down as one of the most remembered moments in Survivor and reality TV history. Hawk’s bitter speech took another surprising turn when she gave her vote to Richard Hatch and not her former friend Kelly Wiglesworth.

10 Pro Athletes Who Couldn’t Stop Gambling

Aug 17th, 2011

Alex Rodriguez, who’s arguably the greatest player of his generation, has done a poor job of maintaining a clean reputation. After admitting to steroid use, receiving the nickname "A-Fraud" from his teammates, cheating on his wife, and enduring the perception that he’s "unclutch," he’s made things even worse by participating in illegal high-stakes poker games. Of course, plenty of athletes have tarnished their reputations and careers due to their penchants for gambling. Conspiracy theorists, for example, like to claim that Michael Jordan’s first retirement was "forced" by David Stern because MJ allowed things to spiral out of control. The sometimes shady activities of these ultra-competitive, testosterone-laden jocks can produce fascinating stories. Here are 10 guys who serve as proof.

  1. Pete Rose

    From 1989 forward, all major sports gambling scandals have evoked and will evoke the name of Pete Rose, who remains banned from baseball and the only living person ineligible for the Hall of Fame. His activities as the manager of the Reds compromised the integrity of the game, even though the infamous Dowd Report indicated there was no evidence that he bet against the Reds — years later, investigator John Dowd stated that he thought Rose may have bet against his team. To date, Rose’s biggest admission is that he bet on the Reds "every night."

  2. Denny McClain

    Rose’s coauthor of the 1969 instructional booklet How to Play Better Baseball shared a similar interest, one that contributed to his downfall just as he was reaching the prime of his career. After winning the Cy Young Award in 1968 and ’69, his interest in betting on horses eventually prompted him to invest in a bookmaking operation with members of the Syrian mob. According to an article in Sports Illustrated, a foot injury suffered by McClain in 1967 was caused by mobster Tony Giacolone, who bet on the Twins and Red Sox to win the pennant and the Angels in McClain’s last start of the season. McClain, certainly no golden boy, was suspended from baseball on three occasions and has lived a turbulent life since he left the game.

  3. Alex Rodriguez

    Major League Baseball’s biggest concerns with A-Rod’s involvement in the poker games is the presence of cocaine, the amount of debt he may have incurred and whether or not his activities have led him to betting on baseball. The Pete Rose ordeal has encouraged MLB to nip such issues in the bud — suspicions of Rose’s gambling problems arose in 1970, but, prior to the late ’80s, few could have imagined him being so reckless. A suspension may not be in the cards for A-Rod, but at the very least, he’ll have to suffer through a stern scolding from the commissioner.

  4. Michael Jordan

    As with your typical type A personality, Jordan always has to be in the middle of the action. In 1993, an eventful year for MJ, he was spotted gambling in Atlantic City the night before a game against the Knicks, he admitted to losing $165,000 due to the vice, and Richard Esquinas, a San Diego businessman, claimed MJ owed him $1.25 million after a game of golf. Now retired for almost a decade, it’s not uncommon to find him participating in high-stakes games or going 18 holes with another celebrity, adding to the veritable library of MJ gambling stories that have been collected through the years.

  5. Charles Barkley

    Long-time friends with Jordan, Barkley has been just as dedicated as a gambler. In 2006, he told ESPN that he lost $10 million due to the habit — including $2.5 million in six hours while playing blackjack and $700,000 during a Super Bowl weekend — stating that "It is a problem for me," though he said he would continue gambling. Two years later, The Wynn in Las Vegas sued him for $400,000 for unpaid gambling markers, causing him to publically declare "I’m not going to gamble anymore" on TNT’s NBA playoff pregame show. Not exactly known for his willpower, it’s doubtful that Barkley has stayed the course.

  6. Paul Hornung

    During the early ’60s, gambling was a major problem in the NFL , as evidenced by the suspensions of its biggest star, Hornung, and All-Pro tackle Alex Karras, both of whom missed the 1963 season for betting on NFL games and associating with gamblers. Hornung bet up to $500 on games, but never bet on the Packers, according to Commissioner Pete Rozelle. Hornung, the league leader in scoring from 1959 to 1961, led the Packers to the 1961 and 1962 NFL championships — the team wouldn’t win another until 1965, a year after he was reinstated. His forthrightness about his gambling ensured the punishment wasn’t too severe and his reputation remained intact.

  7. Art Schlichter

    A year before the Colts drafted Elway and subsequently traded him away, they made the mistake of drafting Schlichter, whose questionable associations in college foretold the problems that would plague him for much of his life. His signing bonus was gone by midway through his rookie season, and by the end of the 1982 strike, he was $700,000 in debt. Eventually he became the first NFL player suspended for gambling since Hornung and Karras. With his NFL career over, he was arrested in 1987 for his involvement in a multimillion-dollar sports betting operation. Having committed more than 20 felonies during his lifetime, Schlichter has essentially resorted to fraud and forgery for his livelihood.

  8. Wayne Rooney

    Just 25 years old, it’s difficult to imagine that Rooney has been an international soccer star for several years. It’s even more difficult to imagine that he’s gambled away almost £1 million. As a 20-year-old, he accumulated £700,000 in debt while betting on football (also known as soccer), horses and dogs with a business associate of teammate Michael Owen, a dispute that was eventually settled. Two years later, it was reported that he lost £65,000 in just two hours in a Manchester casino. Rooney has pledged to control his gambling, but with weekly earnings surpassing UK’s gross annual median salary, it’s clear that he has the resources to maintain the habit.

  9. Rick Tocchet

    Since the versatile Tocchet hung up the skates in 2002, he has pursued careers as a coach, television analyst and bookmaker, the latter of which resulted in two years probation and leave of absence from the NHL. According to a criminal complaint, he was one of the primary funders of a nationwide sports gambling ring out of New Jersey used by several current NHL players. Also operated by ex-New Jersey State Trooper James Harney and a man named James Ulmer, it averaged more than five bets per day worth a total of more than $5,000. Overall, more than $1 million circulated through the ring.

  10. John Daly

    Barkley’s surprising admission that he lost $10 million to gambling was spurred by Daly’s even more astounding revelation that he lost between $50 million and $60 million during a 12-year period, an estimate that Barkley thought was exaggerated — after all, Daly had an autobiography to sell. With Daly’s unique personality and many vices, stories of his extracurricular activities are abundant. For example, after narrowly losing a match at a World Golf Championship, he lost $1.65 million in just five hours while playing the $5,000 slots. Fortunately for Daly, he can maintain a steady stream of income because of his legendary off-the-course status.

10 Greatest PGA Winners of All Time

Aug 12th, 2011

A healthy Tiger, hungry Rory and confident Scott have teed off at the Atlanta Athletic Club, each vying for the coveted Wanamaker Trophy amid challenging conditions. Just 10 years ago, David Toms posted an impressive 15-under total on the same course, edging out Phil Michelson by a single stroke. But a redesign that began in 2006 has produced surprisingly fast greens due to the incorporation of Diamond Zoysia and Champion Ultradwarf Bermuda grasses designed to withstand the sweltering summer heat. With a daunting final hole that has been a major topic of discussion among the players, this weekend’s action promises to be captivating from start of finish, evoking memories of past great PGA Championships and their winners. The triumphs of the following golfers were particularly memorable, as they provided those extra storylines that have made the tournament unique.

  1. Gene Sarazen, Oakmont, 1922

    The absence of defending PGA champion and golf legend Walter Hagen gave the 20-year-old Sarazen the golden opportunity to become the youngest winner in the tournament’s history, a record that still stands almost 90 years later. Competing in match-play rounds in a 64-player field, he impressively rallied to eliminate former champion Jock Hutchison Sr. in the quarterfinals, eventually knocking off Emmett French in the finals. The victory, along with his U.S. Open victory two months earlier, established Sarazen as the hot young name in golf, setting up a classic duel a year later.

  2. Gene Sarazen, Pelham, 1923

    Much like Tiger’s return to the PGA Championship this year, Hagen’s return in 1923 excited golf observers, adding hype to the already much-anticipated tournament. His rally from a three-hole deficit with nine to play forced the first extra-hole finale in the tournament’s history. On the second hole of sudden death, Sarazen’s tee shot found heavy rough, but it didn’t shake his confidence. After announcing "I’ll put this one so close to the hole it’ll break Walter’s heart," he placed the ball within two feet, enabling him to sink the birdie and win his second PGA Championship.

  3. Paul Runyan, Shawnee, 1938

    Everyone enjoys a good duel, but sheer domination can be entertaining too. Runyan was playing the best golf of his career at Shawnee, turning the event into the biggest title match blowout of the match play era. Utilizing his exceptional short game, he defeated Sam Snead 8 and 7, finishing 24-under for the weekend. One of golf’s famous little men, Runyan towered over his contemporaries.

  4. Jack Nicklaus, Dallas Athletic Club, 1963

    Bursting onto the golf scene in 1962 and ’63, Nicklaus won his first three major championships in dramatic fashion. Faced with 100-degree heat and a three-stroke deficit in the final round at DAC, the 23-year-old came through in the clutch, shooting a 68 to move atop the leaderboard from fifth place. Bruce Crampton’s slide on the final holes caused him to finish the day with a 74, thus giving Nicklaus room to wiggle. Of course, Nicklaus would go on to win four more PGA Championships.

  5. Julius Boros, Pecan Valley, 1968

    Golf’s version of a late bloomer, Boros turned pro at the age of 29 after working several years as an accountant. He went on to win three majors, the latter of which came at Pecan Valley when he was 48 years old. His primary competition was the 39-year-old Arnold Palmer, who was slightly past his prime but hungry for his first-ever PGA Championship victory. Palmer finished the day tied for the lead with Bob Charles, with Boros still out on the course. Reaching 18 with a one-stroke lead, Boros made par, becoming the oldest winner of any major championship. Unfortunately, a PGA Championship win would forever elude Palmer, one of the game’s best.

  6. Bob Tway, Inverness, 1986

    Tway etched his name in PGA Championship lore with one of the most amazing shots in golf history, now remembered as the "shot heard ’round the world." Overcoming Greg Norman’s four-stroke lead with eight holes remaining, he entered 18 tied for first place. His approach landed in the bunker as Norman’s rested on the edge of the green. Attempting to make up ground, Tway hit the ball over the bunker lip, and to the astonishment of Tway and the gallery, it somehow found the cup. The dramatic shot secured Tway’s only major victory.

  7. John Daly, Crooked Stick, 1991

    It’s difficult to imagine, even 20 years later, that a ninth alternate could win a major tournament. Daly, in his first year on the PGA Tour, accomplished that feat after Nick Price dropped out because his wife was giving birth. Equipped with Price’s caddy, Daly scored rounds of 69-67-69-71 — without the luxury of a practice round — winning the tournament by three shots. The mulleted everyman immediately became one of the most popular players on the Tour as he went on to earn PGA Tour Rookie of the Year honors.

  8. Tiger Woods, Medinah, 1999

    Two years removed from his monumental Masters victory, Tiger had yet to capture his second major, though he was still considered golf’s rising phenom. A new kid on the block, however, sought to snatch that title at Medinah. Lingering around the top of the leaderboard on all four days, 19-year-old Sergio Garcia mounted a comeback on the back nine best remembered for his incredible shot on 16 in which he blindly connected with the green from the base of a tree trunk. Ultimately, he finished a stroke short of Tiger, and what appeared to be a budding long-term rivalry quickly wilted. Tiger has since won 12 majors, and Sergio is still seeking his first.

  9. Rich Beem, Hazeltine, 2002

    Beem, a relative unknown on the tour at the time despite boasting a victory at the 1999 Kemper Open, managed to do the impossible — tame Tiger when he was at his best. The underdog staved off a ferocious comeback in which Tiger birdied his last four holes to post a final-round 67. But a couple of clutch shots, including a 35-foot birdie putt on 16, provided Beem with enough of a cushion to secure the win.

  10. Shaun Micheel, Oak Hill, 2003

    Ranked 169th in the world, Micheel was winless in 163 career PGA events and on nobody’s radar heading into Oak Hill. By the end of the tournament, he was the fourth first-time major winner of the year, and everyone knew his name thanks, in part, to his near-impossible shot on 18. Carrying a one-stroke lead, he hit a 162-yard 7-iron to within two inches of the hole, setting up the birdie. Eight years later, it remains Micheel’s only PGA win.

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