Across the Universe

Something about the 1960s has always inspired me. I think there was a different consciousness toward social change. There was a deep seated restlessness that evokes a sense of awe to later generations – even to those who didn’t agree with the rebellions. 

In many ways the 1960s defined movements, social rebellions and how people connect with each other. 

Recently I think that the latent feelings of rebellion have reemerged. In many ways the social constructs have been shaken. I think that there has been change in consciousness and feelings that change is eminent have made people feel ill at ease. The millennial generation has realized its voice in the form of social media.

If we look at current trends we can see people moving back to the singer/songwriter, folk-y, mellow and psychedelic rock that defined the 60s. A lot of your fashion trends can trace their roots back to the 60s and 70s. Example, people, including this blogger, are wearing big black framed glasses. While tie-dye will probably never resurface (thankfully) other trends of the era have made a significant comeback. 

To the business man – if you want your business to be successful in the the modern world – the era of the suit and tie, benefits and mini-vans are almost over. Your younger employees want to be catalysts for change, despite their love for computers and internet, they want to be involved. They want to feel rewarded but not by money or nominal awards, while those are nice too. 

We want local.

We want real.

WE want to know we have made a change in the world.

We don’t care about new and improved or rod and pinion steering.

We want to know what YOU have done to promote positive change.

We want stories to connect to, (hello, UpWorthy?). 

Speak to us, not at us. the era of being sold to is over. 

So from across the universe, we are finding our voice again, realizing that things need to change. Millenials are no longer just taking 9-5 jobs, we are finding our own ways in the world and realizing that sometimes fulfillment doesn’t just come from a bigger pay check, it comes from doing something that we can believe will help others, change the world, or promote positive social change. 




UNL Range Club goes to Florida

Photo By | Ashley Burns

The Nature Conservancy was nice enough to let a rowdy group of Range Students tour the Disney Preserve a few miles outside of Orland, Fla. Touring in a swamp buggy students were given a first hand experience of the unique ecosystems indigenous to Florida.

This Live Oak plays host to parasitic Spanish Moss and ferns. Without proper management Live Oaks in Florida can colonize open grass expanses and make it difficult to maintain functional grassland ecosystems.


Amanda Hefner celebrates the open ocean

A large alligator takes a break from the tepid, swampy waters. Nebraska students are enthralled.

Young alligators sunning themselves on the swampy bank



This is not a witty expose on the merits of a pre-Castro Cuban Economy, Cuban culture, Cuban dancing, Cuban music or Cuban rum and definitely not European Cigars.

This actually has everything to do with coffee and the fact that a very European coffee house called the Chocolate Bar house exists in Grand Island, Neb.

And at said coffee shop, they have drink called a Cuban.

Really its pretty simple – espresso, condensed milk.

No fruffy syrups or complicated frothing. Just a simply good shot of espresso and steamed condensed milk.

Simple. Sweet. Well-balanced.

Oddly enough, it’s metaphorical for this state. Sometimes locked in a Rockwellian vacuum, but with these bizarre paradoxes. Like the guy with the long, grey pony-tail sitting with a farmer at the window of this unique little gem. Or the dude talking to the lady next to me with the converse, cardigan and giant gauged ears.

I admit that the last time I was in Europe I was 11, and I have never been to any of the Scandinavian countries. But if I could imagine a Euro-coffee bar, it would be like this place – painted white brick walls, minimalist white/black decor, plain pine benches at long tables, high ceilings and drum lights.

Did I mention they serve beer here. Like good beer. Good local beer.

And I am kindred spirits with whoever acts as their DJ. So far I have heard Awolnation, Imagine Dragons, Plain White Ts and Nat King Cole. And not one Dadgum country song.

It is quite wonderful here.

This town is its own kind of unique. In many ways its like every other medium sized mid-western town. In truth, Garrison Keillor described a smaller version in Lake Woebegone Days, “The buildings are quite proud in their false fronts, trying to be everything that two stories can be and a little bit more.”

Most of the places down here by this coffee shop are fly-by-night law offices and run down bars that had their heyday 25 years ago. But in the mix are a few art galleries and one or two restaurants that might have amounted to something in a larger town. Along with places called things like, The Place, Coney Island Luncheon and the Chicken Coop, there is one bar not-so-subtly alluding to one of my favorite poems called J. Alfred Prufrock’s.

And this is why I love the mid-west. Just when you least expect it, in front of a dower brick building, with a false front 30 years out of style and a brass plaque advertising the services of lawyers also 30 years out of date, you find a gem.