Photo by John Fowler on Unsplash

It’s been about a month since the Legendary Edition of Mass Effect has been released and I am fully embracing and enjoying all the nostalgia that has come with the rerelease of this monumental series. Going back to hanging with the best buddy Garrus, hating on Ashley’s bigotry, embracing the lore, etc. I have been so happy and giddy to be back in this series at least until one dark shadow hangs over the entire first game that makes me dread having to replay that first game for the full experience of the whole trilogy. That’s right, the dreaded Mako.


St. Philips Parish Credit to North Carolina Historic Sites

The Wilmington, North Carolina area is full of beautiful places and fun activities to explore and take advantage of. There is the beach, downtown Wilmington, plenty of good restaurants, and so much more to see and do. However, if you are either a local or visitor, Old Brunswick Town/ Fort Anderson State Historic Site is another place you should add to your list of things to see. I will go ahead and warn you that the park is a detour from Wilmington (Google Maps saying 52 minutes from downtown Wilmington). …


Recreated Fort Watauga

Today, I will take you to one of the old frontier posts in colonial history. Nestled in a valley along the Watauga River, Sycamore Shoals State Park is one of those fun, fascinating, and worthy destinations for a fun day trip for those in Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. This State Park offers a few things for families and people of all ages to enjoy.

Sycamore Shoals State Park 70-acre stretch that sits along the Watauga river and historically was one of the main river crossings for the area. Historically speaking, Sycamore Shoals is rich with lore and events…


Photo by Marcel Strauß on Unsplash

I am sure many of the conservative readers will look at the title of this article and probably be outraged. But I implore you to just hold on a minute and bear with me while I explain this concept. I am an alone Democrat in a family of many conservatives, so I have learned to either bite my tongue or create some good arguments. This idea is one of those arguments that I have made before that even made my stubborn father concede I had a good point. …


Photo by Josh Miller on Unsplash

I had one of my friends the other day send me a Snapchat the other day that frankly surprised me. It was a snap of him putting together an AR-10 that he had purchased the parts for and was putting together himself. Now I didn’t find the idea of him shooting or handling a gun all that shocking since we both were raised in households that had guns in them. We have at that point even been shooting together multiples times, including the time I took one of his exes to shoot her first gun with us. …


Photo by Kevin Bhagat on Unsplash

I know that I have already written one article on why everyone should go canvass with a campaign. However, as everyone is also aware, COVID-19 has changed the world vastly and campaigning has not been immune to those changes. Canvassing has lost a lot of support due to the face to face interaction required by it and therefore many campaigns have had to turn to other methods of public outreach. …


*This is normally where I would put the map for you to get your own view of the park, however it seems that due to the small size of the park, VA State Parks didn’t bother to make a map.

Widewater is an unusual state park due to its small size. Most state parks that are this small are usually centered around a certain historical or geographical feature such as Fort Washington National Park, Natural Bridge State Park, or Natural Tunnel State Park that make them unique. In the case of Widewater State Park, I couldn’t find anything that was…


Mason Neck State Park is a ~1800 acre state park in Northern Virginia that is roughly 15–30 minutes outside of Washington D.C. Now I have to admit, I have visited a number of parks and state parks around D.C. and so far this has been one of the better ones. I’ve decided while I am staying in D.C. for the course of my graduate school years, I will make a point to visit as many state parks in the surrounding areas and write about them to create awareness about how amazing these state parks are!

I particularly am a fan…


A Tuareg family takes shelter from a sandstorm at Lake Banzena. It has not rained for months and the area is suffering from the most severe drought to hit Mali in 29 years. Photo by Abbie Trayler-Smith made available by ARTSTOR.

Since the 1960s, the Tuaregs of Saharan Africa have launched multiple rebellions against the Malian and Nigerien governments. The latest round of armed rebellions happened in 2012 in Mali which has severely destabilized the country. Since then France, the United Nations, and other nations have intervened to support the Malian government. While that conflict also has ties to other international Islamist terrorist groups due to initial alliances in the rebellion breaking down, the Tuareg’s fight has little evidence that their fight is tied to Islamist extremism. Instead, when we peel away the superficial layers of the conflict, we see that…


Photo by Darren Halstead on Unsplash

Embarrassment is a common theme in Trump’s presidency. This article is also just another person just adding their opinion to the miasma of writing on this subject. After the crazy State of the Union (SOTU) address last night on February 4, 2020, I felt compelled to write a response.

Ben Padleckas

Graduate Student in International Security, Political Junky, History Buff, Star Wars Fan.

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