Advice for a future NFL star
Southeast Polk’s Kadyn Proctor has captured a lot of attention in football circles for good reasons. The 6-foot-7, 315-pound, 15-year-old offensive lineman is a top prospect for colleges from Alabama to Michigan and Oregon. Iowa and Iowa State are also in the mix at this point.

A recent article by Des Moines Register sportswriter Matthew Bain indicates Proctor has his head screwed on and will carefully select a college program that he believes can enhance his chances of success in the NFL. 

That’s a weighty decision for someone as young as Proctor and far be it from me to attempt to influence him, even though I know ISU’s Matt Campbell would love to be Proctor’s next mentor.  

But I do want to suggest something young Proctor should consider in scripting his career. As a future NFL player, he should look at schools with strong finance and business leadership programs, because once he’s out of college and playing on Sunday afternoons, proper management of money and those around him will be the real keys to success and happiness.

Mountains of solid waste
With just under 3.2 million people, Iowa’s population growth has lagged the nation as a whole every decade since 1880. Iowa’s 10-year growth in 2020 amounted to 4.8%, or roughly two-thirds of the national rate of 7.4%.

When it comes to animals, though, it’s hard to beat Iowa. In 2019, Iowa counted 24 million hogs, more than 2 million cattle, 80 million chickens and nearly 5 million turkeys. 

Even more startling is the amount of waste those animals produce. 

A recent article by Randy Evans for the Iowa Capital Dispatch quotes Chris Jones, a scientist at the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research, as saying Iowa’s hog population alone produces waste that is the equivalent of 83.7 million people. That’s more than twice the population of California (39.4 million) and four times the population of New York (20.2 million).

Add in the waste of Iowa’s cattle and poultry and it’s difficult to fathom the amount of damage inflicted on Iowa’s lakes and rivers by what Jones describes as “this Mount Everest of waste.”

The point of Evans’ article was that despite the magnitude of the problem, Iowa’s lawmakers were too busy with social engineering this year to tackle the very real problem of water quality. 

Not much has changed
Abraham Lincoln “once warned that America could be taken over by a despotic leader who served himself, and not the nation,” author David S. Reynolds wrote in his 2020 biography “Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Times.”

Reynolds noted that a journalist who covered Lincoln’s 1858 debates with Stephen Douglas said Douglas “suppressed facts, twisted conclusions, and perverted history. He wiggled and turned and dodged; he appealed to prejudices; in short, it was evident that what he was laboring for was Douglas and nothing else.”

Reynolds added: “Douglas’s constant insults and evasions led Lincoln to compare him to a cuttlefish, ‘a small species of fish that has no mode of defending itself when pursued, except by throwing out a black fluid, which makes the water so dark the enemy cannot see it, and thus it escapes.’”  

Vroomm, Vrroommm
When Tesla came out with its first electric vehicles a decade ago, one of the first things buyers noticed was how quiet they were. With no internal combustion (explosions) under the hood, there was no reason for noise.

Nonetheless, the first generation of Tesla owners had to put up with drivers who would occasionally pull alongside and rev their engines to issue a challenge. 

Fortunately, it wasn’t long before antagonists realized how ridiculous that was. Tesla drivers could squeeze a foot to the floor and be a quarter mile down the road before Mr. Muscle Car hit second gear. 

But you knew it wouldn’t last. According to promotions, Ford’s new electric Mustang comes with sound effects engineered to combine “a futuristic tone with that of a classic muscle car."