generic Darts and Laurels

It’s the day after Valentine’s Day, which means the day of love has come and gone just as quickly as that box of chocolates sitting on your dining room table. But today is even better because all things love-related are half off at Target. Were you eyeing that giant Reese’s heart-shaped candy but couldn’t possibly find a reason to buy it? Well, guess what? Today, it’s only $5 — an instant cop. This week was about showing everyone you love how much you care about them, with Galentine’s Day, Palentine’s Day and of course Valentine’s Day.

But today, it’s all about you. Yeah, that’s right, it’s a self-love kind of day. So you get on with your routine and all of the responsibilities that go along with it like class and studying. Once you’re done for the day, you make your way back home, where you know a bowl of popcorn and Netflix await you. You plop down on the couch and start to scroll through all the new shows. You know exactly what you’re looking for. You’ve been waiting all week to be able to sit back and relax, and no, it’s not to watch Marie Kondo. You finally find it, truly the most bingeable show; it’s...

Darts & Laurels

Like we said it’s the week of love, so we’ll start out by handing out a laurel. First, we have to hand out a laurel to the Opportunity rover, Oppy, for 14 long years of service on the surface of Mars, sending us back information. NASA made an announcement Wednesday that the robot would no longer be able to continue its job on Mars. NASA lost contact with Opportunity about eight months ago after the solar-powered rover got stuck in a major dust storm that blocked out the sun. It was decided Wednesday that any efforts to contact the rover would cease. We offer our thanks to Oppy for the wealth of knowledge it offered us over the past 14 years.

“Love is blind” isn’t just a saying. At least that’s the case for Americans who lost a total of $143 million to love scams, scams in which people often use stolen identities to attract victims and gain their trust, only to abuse it. According to the Federal Trade Commission, most of the scams involved gaining a person’s trust then asking for money, usually for a ‘medical emergency.’ These scams accounted for only about 1.5 percent of reported frauds tracked by the FTC, but they cost people more money than any other scam in the past year. A dart goes out to all those catfishers out there taking advantage of people just looking for love. So, be careful the next time you swipe right.

Another laurel goes out to UF’s newly revamped rehabilitation center, which will open on Tuesday. The center was renovated to accommodate for a growing number of patients recovering from spinal injuries, strokes and neurological conditions. The center is important in allowing patients to adjust to doing daily tasks like setting the table, opening a car door or washing clothes again. The facility is expected to start housing about 30 patients on its opening day.

Finally, we’d like to offer a laurel to The Trace, a nonprofit news organization that reports on gun violence. The organization created a project called “Since Parkland” that reported on the lives of the nearly 1,200 children who died by gun violence in the past year since the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. The project strives to turn statistics into real-life stories. It was completed by 200 teenagers, the people who would relate to the victims the most, to tell the stories of the 1,200 children. These young journalists are continuing to raise awareness of gun violence in our country, so take the time and read the stories of these children who lost their lives too soon.