Making the Most of Accidents

Accidents happen. It’s an inevitability of life. What it comes down to though, is how we respond when things don’t exactly go our way. According to Aristotle “The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, making the best of circumstances.” While you may not have realized it, those Post-It notes that you’ve been using since this week’s Crazy Commons were actually the result of one person’s “failures.” Spencer Silver attempted to create a stronger adhesive than was currently available, but the result he accidently stumbled upon was the easily removable glue that’s found on all those useful notes today.

Post-Its aren’t the only innovation to spawn from accidents. The inventions range from the entertaining (yet incredibly useless) Slinky to the antibiotic Penicillin, which is credited with saving millions of lives. Some other examples include:

  • Microwaves
  • Chocolate Chip cookies
  • Pace makers
  • Potato chips
  • Velcro
  • Cornflakes

So instead of feeling deflated the next time an idea or project doesn’t match your initial vision, rejoice because you have an opportunity to turn your accident or failure into something worthy of joining the list above.

– Stephen

Comment on this Post to Meet Corey Smith

“What’s your life story?” I have a friend who asks this incredibly broad question every time she has a moment alone with a new face.  The majority of the time she intially gets a startled stare, but then recieves a vast range of answers from the people that she asks.

When it was proposed to me, I took my time contemplating my response. It’s a very intriguing concept – what do I view as the most important events that came together to lead me to this point in my life, and how do I express that in as brief a way as possible?

When I think about meeting Corey Smith next month, I hope that I can hear a few of his amazing stories that he’s experienced so far in his life. I also hope that I will be able to contribute something meaningful to the converstaion from my own life story. Luckily for all the fans out there, UPB IS EXCITED TO GIVE OUT MEET AND GREET TICKETS so you can spend some time with the musician before he performs.

Check out the following events for your chance to win these tickets for you and one friend:

– Stephen

P.S. Make sure to follow us on Twitter (UPB) and listen to JMU’s radio station WXJM for more updates on how to win tickets!

The Sun-Day Forecast 1/25/10

Hope that everyone is having a great start to the spring semester! When you feel like you need a break as the classwork picks up, you should check out these events around campus this week:

Student Org Night

Feel like you could be getting more out of your college experience? All the Student Ambassadors would be happy to brag about JMU’s 300+ organizations on campus. There’s sure to be something out there thats just right for you (….like UPB’s PIT Crew) so come out to Festival tonight from 7 to 9 PM to get more info about getting involved.

How To Series: Me Fit

So it’s been a little over three weeks since we all set aside goals that we promised ourselves that we’d actually follow through with this year. Despite the good intentions, the crowds at the gym are thinning and more of us cave to the food cravings every day. UPB’s here to help. We have Heather Driver from Student Wellness and Outreach talking about losing weight in healthy ways.

Ski Spree

Looking to show off your skills on the Massanutten slopes? Sign up with UREC to ski Thursday nights from 4:30 to 10:30 PM this winter at a special discount.

Fiesta Night

Get excited for our Fiesta Night! You have another chance to learn how to salsa dance from the Latin Dance Club in TDU this Friday from 10 PM to 1 AM.

This week at Grafton

7:00 Paranormal Activity – “After a young, middle class couple moves into a suburban ‘starter’ tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be somehow demonic but is certainly most active in the middle of the night. Especially when they sleep. Or try to.” (from Paramount Pictures)

9:30 The Box – “Norma and Arthur Lewis, a suburban couple with a young child, receive a simple wooden box as a gift, which bears fatal and irrevocable consequences. A mysterious stranger, delivers the message that the box promises to bestow upon its owner $1 million with the press of a button. But, pressing this button will simultaneously cause the death of another human being somewhere in the world; someone they don’t know. With just 24 hours to have the box in their possession, Norma and Arthur find themselves in the cross-hairs of a startling moral dilemma and must face the true nature of their humanity.” (from Warner Bros. Pictures)

For The Love of The Unhealthy

Love is a strange and unexplainable thing. The common problem? We fall in love with the things that are all wrong for us. We are out of control, and logically we may see the error of our ways but by the time the error has been made, it doesn’t matter anymore…we’re hopeless. Many wonder, is there any way to control this?

Now I’m not saying we have a cure for love. For the typical girl-likes-bad-boy or boy-falls-for-the-taken-girl scenarios, we’re all out of luck (however, if you find a solution please feel free to share). But the UPB is taking the steps to take care of another problem: the love for the unhealthy lifestyle.

So for those of you who are struggling to keep a New Year’s resolution to work out or for all who struggle with the tempting nationally ranked campus food, How to: Stay Fit in 2010 is here for you. Come out to Taylor 402 at 6:00pm on January 26th and begin your quest for a healthier lifestyle or maybe just re-motivate yourself for the months to come. Who knows, maybe you’ll even meet a cute guy or gal there.

– Amanda Latham

Harrisonburg: The Next Food Network Feature?

Harrisonburg never ceases to surprise and amaze me. When most people think of the Harrisonburg community, they might think of spending the day at Purcell Park, heading up to the ski slopes, or trying to pick up some of the classics at the Green Valley Book Fair. One aspect of town that doesn’t always get the recognition it deserves; however, is the local culinary scene. Once I moved off campus (and very reluctantly switched from the 14-punch plan) I finally had to discover the off-campus options for sustenance. Luckily, my search has lead me to find some local restaurants that go way beyond conquering my hunger and truly satisfy my cravings for quality dining.

Here’s a few places that everyone who comes through Harrisonburg should check out:

  • Pizza – Franco’s is probably everyone’s first venture outside the realm of campus dining, but you just can’t beat a good slice of this classic college staple.
  • Mexican food – Head to Jalisco’s when you are looking for a Mexican dish from somewhere other than the overrated El Charro’s.
  • The downtown scene – Within a one block radius you get hit with three amazing choices depending on your current mood. There’s Daves Taverna for Greek food, Jack Brown’s for burgers, and Clementine for the unique atmosphere and challenging Tuesday night trivia.
  • Breakfast – I don’t think I’ve met anyone that hasn’t tried and loved Mr. J’s Bagels, but you may not have branched out to the organic and delicious Little Grill Collective.
  • Asian food – Taste of Thai is a nice diversion from the average delivery of Chinese.
  • Dessert – Kline’s icecream is unmatched around the area, and when their flavor of the week is Cookies and Cream there’s a great chance that you’ll find me there.

With so much great food around the Harrisonburg community, it might be easy to forget about the high quality dining right here on JMU’s campus. The school consistently provides a premiere college dining experience. This year the Princeton Review ranked us as the 4th top college dining in the country. Keeping that in mind, I hope you enjoy the Pirate-themed Late Night Breakfast tonight catered by Dining Services.

P.S.  I really want to try out Cuchi Guido’s Downtown. Let me know what you think about it.

I'm way ahead of the Jersey Shore crowd.... this was me two years ago.

– Stephen

(if you’re interested in finding out more about the local cuisine check out

Hanging Out With Corey Smith

In early June of last year, I had the pleasure of seeing Corey Smith play in Lexington with some friends. His music, which created a category of its own, resonated in the intimate outdoor arena of Washington and Lee University.  When we arrived at the venue, I began making my way down a dirt path and could already hear his blissful and catchy music. “Are they playing his CD before the show?!” I asked. When I reached the performance area, I was shocked to see him on stage. Never have I heard an artist sound so much like his recordings. In this day and age, every popular artist that we come across has had their voice so mechanically fine-tuned that it doesn’t even sound human. Then we pay an arm and a leg to go to the concert and hear their music sound nothing as we expected. Corey Smith is one-hundred percent all natural — the real deal. He is what we want out of a musical artist – what a musician is supposed to be.

Beyond his voice, Corey’s lyrics are sincere. He sings about “college towns,”“wishing he was 21,” and high school graduation. These are all ideas to which college students can certainly relate. Having a friend in the fraternity that sponsored the concert, my friend Ashley and I were able to hang out with Corey after the concert. He was relaxed and chill to say the least. He didn’t just stand there and take pictures, but mingled with us. We talked about school and life. Answering our questions sincerely and honestly, he, in turn, asked us questions about our interests. Our star-struck fronts came down when we got a chance to hang out with the band, and it was an experience unlike any other.

I can easily see Corey going big places soon and his setting as a semi-known artist is sure to transform. His music is effortlessly relatable and is a class of country-acoustic-alternative that anyone can enjoy. I feel so lucky to see him for a second time here at JMU; it is truly a magical performance. You can bet anything that I’ll be at the Corey Smith concert on February 11. Tickets go on sale tomorrow, January 22 and I hope to see you all their too.  The experience of this genuine artist is one that everyone should have.

– Natalie

“Did You See Me Fall?”

Skiing and snowboarding can be very fun but also dangerous.  I started snowboarding during high school when I visited Vermont.  I went about four or five winters, took lessons, and learned how to make it down a mountain pretty well.  I was definitely not the next coming of Shaun White, though.

My twin brother and I did not wear helmets… we were way too cool for that.  One winter in Stratton, Vermont, my brother zipped by me on his board and got pretty far ahead.  When I eventually caught up with about a quarter of the trail left, I saw him lying down, defeated, on the snow.

“Are you alright?” I asked him.

“Yeah… I don’t know what happened.  Did you see me fall?”

“No, I was behind you; I missed the whole thing.”

“Yeah… I don’t know what happened.  Did you see me fall?”

“Uhh… no.  Are you sure you’re OK?”

“Yeah… I don’t know what happened.  Did you see me fall?”

At this point, I was completely freaked out.  So I did what any loving brother would do: I made him get back up and ride down the remaining quarter of the trail to the bottom.  We had the medics look at him.  He was diagnosed with a concussion.

Not surprisingly, my brother and I got helmets the following Christmas before we went to Vermont.

You should follow our example when you try out your skills at Massanutten Thursday nights this winter. We are co-sponsoring with UREC to bring back Ski Spree. We will be busing students up to the mountain to be able to ski at a reduced price. Hope to see you guys out there!

– Craig