The Beat: Gator’s Exploration Will Be World’s First

Quote of the Week

“When it’s time to be locked in and focused, and we’re involved in preparation, we need to be locked in and focused. When it’s time to relax and have fun, we’re going to relax and have fun.” – Dan Mullen on his approach to bowl games. We’re digging the work hard, play hard ethos!

While we’re on the Florida football topic, you can vote for the Play of the Year here (voting is in Round II already, so hurry!). Ours is probably Donovan Stiner wrecking Nick Fitzgerald to seal Dan Mullen’s first game against his former team.

Exploring Antarctica

Here’s one of those really cool, “only in academia” stories that caught our eye and reminded us how fun the university system is. This month, Ph.D. candidate Christina Davis will be part of a 37-person expedition that will, for the first time in human history, visit Mercer Subglacial Lake in Antarctica.

The expedition is funded by the National Science Foundation, and its scientists will be studying water under the lake’s ice, creatures (past and present) under the ice, and the structure of ice sheets. Essentially, they’re looking to glean more information on how Earth will be affected by the melting of polar icecaps.

Davis has been super stoked for the event, which she’s deemed “life-changing.” She also is excited to share her findings with the world.

“When you realize you’re the only person in the world who knows the result of your research, it fills you with such excitement to know you can share this knowledge with everyone,” Davis said.

If you’re like us, you’re probably curious what the heck somebody takes on a trip to Antarctica. Well, here’s Christina’s list of essentials: Books, thermal socks, dry shampoo, 100% percent UV resistant sunglasses (there’ll be sun for 24 hours while she’s down there!), and Skippy creamy peanut butter.

Sounds like all normal things you’d take on a boat trip on any old lake, right? You know, except she’ll be in subarctic temps. Pretty awesome!


Strike Up The Band

We received an email from alumnus Bob Mack, who had a wonderful idea for a new tradition. Bob does a lot of research for his radio shows on WFCF, Flagler College Radio (according to WFCF’s site, you can check him out on Saturdays at 2 p.m.), and found a song that’d be great for the band to play.

The track is called, wait for it, “Alligator.” It’s a nice jazz number performed by Kelley Love and The Pandemonia Orchestra — the second track on their 1999 album Foolin’. Bob sent us a copy of the song, and he nailed it. It’s an upbeat ditty that’s super easy to visualize the Pride of the Sunshine playing during a themed halftime.

We’re all about it, especially if it’s followed by the Grateful Dead’s song “Alligator” off Anthem of the Sun! Maybe the right eyes will catch this suggestion and start getting the band together for our bowl game.

Thanks for the email and the great idea, Bob!


Gator Tracks

Here’s a smattering of articles, images, and all things Gators from the week. Enjoy!


UF is pretty good at taking an innocuous hashtag and turning it into a good cause. Over Thanksgiving, some students sought to share pics of their holiday meals with the hashtag #gatorplate (sounds like Gator Bait, eh?). Anywho, President Fuchs caught wind of this and pledged to donate $1 to the Field And Fork Food Pantry for every hashtag used.

His final donation total: $1,175. Pretty awesome, right? But wait, there’s more! Because we’re Gators and go the extra 10 miles, the school multiplied President Fuchs’s pledge by 10 and donated roughly 10,000 cans to the Food Pantry. Now that’s the Gator Standard!

You can check out all of the tweets here!

More on the charity drive here

Hotlanta Happenings

Heading down to ATL for the Peach Bowl? The Atlanta Club is ready and waiting to welcome you with open arms. It should be a hoot and a holler, especially the pregame at Park Bar. And if you’re looking for a solid locals joint to hit down in Atlanta, check out our favorite bar, Manuel’s Tavern. It feels like home the second you walk in. To quote the late Manuel Maloof, “Anyone don’t like this life is crazy.”

List of Peach Bowl events

New Computer Background

We just thought this picture was beautiful, and that y’all would like it.

Superfoods Of The Future

Teff. Fonio. Breadfruit. Any of these words mean anything to you? They didn’t for us, either.

Apparently these are the superfoods of the future. With climate changes and booming populations, scientists are looking at foods that will be able to sustain the global populations of the future. And, wouldn’t you know, UF is right there on the front lines.

“If you think about what we eat currently, much of it relies on just a few crops: wheat, rice or corn,” says Soo Ahn, assistant professor of food science at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. “As climate change begins to affect what we can grow and where, those crops may shift or become less available, so people are looking at alternatives.”

More about superfoods here

Understanding Genetics

UF genetics researcher, Dr. Eric Wang, has received a five-year, $2.5 million grant (!!!) from the Chang Zuckerberg Initiative to study cellular function that leads to neurodegeneration. The way we understand it, neurons zip around on superhighways within the body. But every once in a while the lanes get clogged, there’s a traffic jam, and our bodies suffer. Dr. Wang seeks to find out why these traffic jams happen.

“Almost everyone knows someone affected by neurodegeneration. So the opportunity for us to make an impact through basic studies of cell function is highly meaningful and rewarding,” Wang said.

More on the grant here


Sports Corner

Gator Nation Football Podcast

Who’s ready to play Michigan for the third time in as many seasons? Which Gators should make a career move and head on down to the NFL? How’s our recruiting looking? James and Allen deliver some great offseason talk to feed the beast in this week’s Gator Nation Football Podcast.

Listen to the podcast here

Six Bits

    1. 22 tackles, 6 pass breakups, 1 interception, a spot on the Freshman All-SEC Team: what a year for Trey Dean. We’ve now had a representative on the freshman team for 12 seasons, with 38 players named to the All-SEC team since 2006.
    2. Jachai Polite, Martez Ivey, and CJ Henderson were all named to the AP and the Coaches All-SEC teams!
    3. After knocking out FSU and FGCU, volleyball is set to play 4th-seeded BYU in the Third Round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament on Friday at 6:00 pm ET. We’re 5-3 all-time against the Cougars.
    4. Aussie redshirt junior distance runner Jessica Pascoe set a Gator and an Australian indoor record by running the 5,000 meters in 15 minutes, 34.76 seconds!
    5. Gator gymnastics’ 21st (!!!) Annual Harvest Food Drive yielded a whopping 1,004 pounds of food for the needy. That’s half a ton generated by the gymnastics squad!
    6. Trey Burton and Carlos Dunlap are two of 32 nominees for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year award — loving Gator Nation’s odds of bringing this wonderful award home!


UFact of the Week

The inventor of the feline AIDS (FIV) vaccine, Dr. Janet Yamamoto, is a member of the UF vet school, and part of the Florida Inventors Hall of Fame. Next time your kitty goes to the vet for its yearly checkup, thank Dr. Yamamoto for the vaccination keeping it healthy!

See y’all next week!

Go Gators!