University of Idaho student’s journal from 1918 flu pandemic ‘frighteningly relevant today’

U of I student Esther Thomas was a very social lady, according to her diary. That is, until the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic shut down the Moscow campus.

MOSCOW, Idaho — While researching for an article for Blot Magazine, University of Idaho journalism student Riley Haun found a diary belonging to a young college student in 1918.

Esther Thomas was a home economics student at the University of Idaho in 1918.  According to her diary, she was a very social lady, until the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic shut down the campus.

“She writes, ‘Still nothing doing. I am almost desperate. Make some sheets.’ And then the next day, the 23rd, ‘Make some more sheets. Desperation increases. What will become of me?'” Haun read of her journal entry dated Oct. 22, 1918. 

“There’s really only one line per day that she wrote, but she packed so much feeling and snarkiness, honestly, about her day-to-day life just in the couple of sentences she writes each time.”

Haun said that during her research, she found that once the first big flu outbreak made it to Moscow, it happened within the Student Army Training Corps members on campus.

“So they quarantined the campus off from the rest of the town,” she said.

Thomas wrote about passing the time by sewing sheets for the Student Army Training Corps infirmary. Eventually, she moved on to making masks. 

“They were requiring the student soldiers to wear masks whenever they were in the barracks,” Haun said. “There was a big push. She was a home economics student so her and the other home economics students were asked to sew masks.”

As each day passed, Thomas’s diary indicated just how lonely the pandemic was becoming.

“The sentiment that she’s expressing of loneliness and boredom and cabin fever, it’s just all so frighteningly relevant today,” Haun said.

Esther’s beautiful, old-fashioned cursive handwriting looks entirely different than what’s typed on the digital pages of the Idaho State Historical Society. But the stories chronicled there of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic are just as revealing.

“And if you go through and read them one after another, you get the feeling that there was an incredible fear and uncertainty back in March.  And then there was no toilet paper. And then kids were excited to be out of school,” state historian HannaLore Hein said.

RELATED: Historical society wants you to help write Idaho’s COVID-19 history

For Haun, reading about the past is comforting. She says that it’s helping her understand that we’ll eventually make it through this pandemic, just as Esther did in 1918.

“I thought that was so relatable for right now,” Haun said. “How things seem to stay the same no matter the circumstance.”

And by knowing the past, HannaLore hopes future generations will be in a place to make better decisions.

She told us that capturing history is just as important as preserving it. That’s why the Idaho State Historical Society continues to collect stories from Idahoans, their personal accounts of

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USA TODAY Sports college football staff picks for Week 14

On a weekend that was supposed to be the final one of the college football season, the schedule looks more like one you would see in September. There’s some quality games, but nothing that would appear to have much influence on the top teams. 

Clemson passes Ohio State in Amway Coaches Poll

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The biggest test for the College Football Playoff contenders sees No. 6 Texas A&M travel to Auburn. The Aggies need an impressive win to bolster their case with  the committee, but they struggled last week to put away LSU. The Tigers have the ability to making things difficult, especially if quarterback Bo Nix can put together four consistent quarters.



a group of football players playing a football game: Auburn wide receiver Seth Williams (18) is tackled by Texas A&M defensive back Demani Richardson during their 2019 game at Kyle Field.


© John Glaser, USA TODAY Sports
Auburn wide receiver Seth Williams (18) is tackled by Texas A&M defensive back Demani Richardson during their 2019 game at Kyle Field.

There’s a big game in the Big Ten with No. 11 Indiana still in contention to represent the East in the conference championship game. The Hoosiers, however, will face a challenge at No. 19 Wisconsin after losing quarterback Michael Penix Jr., the conference’s leader in passing yards, to a season-ending knee injury.

From NFL plays to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day.

WHAT TO WATCH: Five biggest questions for Week 14 in college football 

QB RANKINGS: Clemson’s Lawrence makes major move after return

ANALYSIS: Winners and losers from the College Football Playoff rankings

In the Group of Five, there’s a rare non-conference showdown of unbeatens that sees No. 8 Brigham Young travel to No. 14 Coastal Carolina. The game was put together on short notice after Liberty had to drop out of playing the Chanticleers due to COVID-19 issues. A win would provide a huge boost to the Cougars in their bid to play in the New Year’s Six. Costal Carolina has similar aspirations, but it would likely be as the Sun Belt champion if Cincinnati were to lose. A win Saturday would significantly help its case.





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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: USA TODAY Sports college football staff picks for Week 14

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YouTuber Maya Maxwell of Tic Tac Toy Turns 8 Today and She’s Already Got a Second Career

One of your favorite, child YouTubers is celebrating their birthday today, and continuing to grow their wild online presence at the same time. Maya Maxwell, one of the children from Tic Tac Toy, turns eight on December 2 and her YouTube success isn’t slowing down.

Though she’s only eight, Maxwell is one of the stars of Tic Tac Toy, a family-led YouTube channel designed for children and families. They specialize in toy reviews and silly videos that advertise trending kid’s items from the Mini Brand capsules you see all over TikTok to the classic American Girl Dolls.

Since the Maxwell family—parents Lucy and Jason and kids Maya, Addy and Colin—started their channel in 2015 they’ve gained 4.13 million subscribers and over 2.2 billion views. It’s a wild feat for any channel, especially one geared toward such wholesome content.

Addy and Maya
Addy Maxwell (L) and Maya Maxwell (R) appear in YouTube video “WOW! We Can CONTROL our DAD !!!”
Tic Tac Toy

Now that she’s eight, Maxwell is still acting as one of the lead stars of the channel. She and sister Addy often star in scripted videos together, like the channel’s pinned video “The TOY MASTER is Back!” In series like this, the family scripts “dangerous” situations that add suspense to the toy videos.

Unlike other family channels, for Tic Tac Toy, it really is all fun and games. Even videos with other angles, like “toy home school,” use their time to include the kids playing with toys, educational or otherwise.

The success of Tic Tac Toy has brought in muti-millions for the family, and it’s all because of Maxwell’s love of toys. Before their channel took off, Maxwell spent her free time watching toy unboxing videos on YouTube. The family wondered why they were so fascinating for the child until their own videos took a similar shape.

“I’m seeing dozens of these videos getting tens of millions of views. And I did more research, and people get paid for clicks,” Jason told the Tennessean in 2019. “I turned to Lucy and said, ‘We’re in the wrong business. I think we can do this.'”

Now that the family is so beloved by their YouTube following, they’ve even branched into their own toy creation. Maxwell and sister Addy have a toy collection available in stores like Target and Walmart and even online retailers including Amazon.

Though Maxwell is only eight, she’s one, working part of a multi-million dollar fortune thanks to her love of unboxing, wholesome toy obsession and hardworking family.

You can browse the entire Tic Tac Toy YouTube catalog here.

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University provides update on the Inclusive Excellence Initiative | UTSA Today | UTSA

UTSA’s Mission

The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property – for Texas, the nation and the world.

UTSA’s Vision

To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.

UTSA’s Core Values

We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.

UTSA’S Destinations

UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education.

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.

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University offers tips for year-end planning and Giving Tuesday | UTSA Today | UTSA

University offers tips for year-end planning and Giving Tuesday

Students sign a giant thank you card for Thanks Day in 2019.

DECEMBER 1, 2020 — Many UTSA faculty, staff, alumni and friends will make their final 2020 gifts to university programs, the UTSA Alumni Association and UTSA Athletics during the last few weeks of the year, including today: Giving Tuesday.

“Nationally, giving is traditionally highest during the months of November and December,” said Karl Miller-Lugo, vice president for development and alumni relations. “For some people it’s the deadline for tax purposes, but for most, they just feel a sense of being charitable during the holidays. We are certainly grateful for the support, especially this year, as we plan for a successful 2021.”


“We are certainly grateful for the support, especially this year, as we plan for a successful 2021.”



Here are some tips to ensure that your UTSA gift is eligible for a 2020 tax receipt: 

  • By credit card: Your online credit card gift must be made before 11:59 p.m. (Central time) on December 31, 2020. You are encouraged to make your gift on the UTSA Giving website so that it can be processed immediately as staff continues to work from home.
  • By check: If you wish to make a gift by check, it must be postmarked by December 31, 2020. Send your check to The University of Texas at San Antonio, Attn: Gift Services, One UTSA Circle, San Antonio, Texas 78249.
  • By stock or securities: Transfers of stock and securities take a bit longer than traditional gifts. Requests for transfers should be submitted to UT System by the donor or broker before December 11, 2020. For more information, call Gift Services at 210-458-6818.

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  • Gift planning: To learn about smarter giving opportunities, such as Donor Advised Funds, gifts of IRA assets, charitable annuities and trusts, or gifts in your will, call 210-458-7307. 

Winter hours: Gift Services will be open during the winter break from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on December 21 and 28–31. The Office of Development and Alumni Relations will be closed Tuesday, December 22 through Friday, December 25. UTSA is closed on Friday, January 1 and normal business hours will resume Monday, January 4, 2021.

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Tomorrow’s Top 25 Today: Iowa State jumps Oklahoma, moves into top 10 of college football rankings

The new college football rankings aren’t going to have too much shake up near the top after No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Notre Dame both flexed their strength against ranked teams on Thanksgiving weekend, but we could have a new arrival to the top 10 after Iowa State’s win against Texas on Friday. 

Matt Campbell has done something historic with Iowa State, knocking off both Oklahoma and Texas in the same season and leading the Cyclones to their first win in Austin since 2010. AP Top 25 voters are going to be coming out of the weekend with Friday’s win and Iowa State’s Big 12 championship chances on the mind, so a slight boost is in the cards. 

The door has opened for an arrival in the top 10 with Northwestern’s loss at Michigan State and Oregon’s loss at Oregon State. The Cyclones are sure to jump back ahead of Oklahoma thanks to their head-to-head advantage and the Sooners having their game canceled, leaving just Georgia and Indiana in the pecking order. We think Iowa State will land there thanks to its win coming against a top-25 team, even if that Longhorns team isn’t likely to be in the top 25 when the rankings are updated on Sunday. 

If you’re looking for intrigue in the top five, keep your eye whether Clemson will pass Ohio State for the No. 3 spot after the College Football Playoff Selection Committee put the Tigers ahead of the Buckeyes in its first set of rankings on Tuesday night. There’s a better chance of the AP voters bending towards the committee with that debate than following suit with Georgia’s top. 10 ranking or a lower ranking for BYU.  

Here’s how we think the new AP Top 25 will look on Sunday. Last week’s rankings in parenthesis.

1. Alabama (1): A unanimous No. 1 ranking should be coming on Sunday after a 42-13 win in the Iron Bowl. Mac Jones threw for five touchdowns, and the Crimson Tide defense controlled the game at the line of scrimmage, forcing Bo Nix off his spot all afternoon. Everything was clicking on both sides of the ball as Nick Saban spent the afternoon watching from isolation. This is the best team in the country. 

2. Notre Dame (2): There’s not one player that stands out for Notre Dame’s defense, and it’s OK with that because it is a total team effort that is tied intimately to the program development. The Fighting Irish are experienced and deep on the defensive side of the ball, and that group stood tall in the second half to limit North Carolina’s explosive offense and seal the 31-17 road win. 

3. Clemson (4): The return of Trevor Lawrence brought a reminder of how deep Clemson’s wide receiver room is heading into December with young blue chippers getting more snaps while breakout star senior Cornell Powell continues to be one of the most reliable targets in the passing game. The Tigers can overwhelm

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College football scores, NCAA top 25 rankings, schedule, games today: Texas A&M vs. LSU, Georgia in action

After two straight weeks off, Clemson is returning to the field Saturday with something to prove. The Tigers sit at No. 3 in the College Football Playoff Rankings and can ill-afford a lackluster performance against Pittsburgh with No. 5 Texas A&M and No. 6 Florida also in action Saturday as the race for CFP positioning heats up.

The 7-1 Tigers might have their hands full with a Panthers team that improved to 5-4 with a 47-14 thrashing of Virginia Tech last week. If Clemson slips up, the Aggies or Gators could be ready to slide into the playoff picture. Texas A&M is seeking revenge for last year’s 50-7 loss to LSU, while No. 6 Florida will be looking to to keep its offense rolling against a Kentucky team that gave up 63 points to Alabama last week. Meanwhile, No. 7 Cincinnati should have no trouble against Temple but will be looking to make an impression on the CFP committee with its play on the field.

CBS Sports will be here every step of the way to update you with the latest scores, highlights and storylines throughout the day. All times Eastern

College football scores, schedule — Week 13

No. 23 Oklahoma State 50, Texas Tech 44 — Box score
Penn State 27, Michigan 17 — Box score
No. 6 Florida 34, Kentucky 10 — Box score
Michigan State 29, No. 8 Northwestern 20 — Recap
No. 3 Clemson 52, Pitt 17 — Box score
No. 1 Alabama 42, No. 22 Auburn 13 — Recap, takeaways
Ole Miss 31, Mississippi State 24 — Box score
LSU at No. 5 Texas A&M — 7 p.m. on ESPN — GameTracker
No. 9 Georgia at South Carolina — 7:30 p.m. on SEC Network — GameTracker
Check out the complete Week 13 scoreboard

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College football scores, NCAA top 25 rankings, schedule, games today: Clemson, Northwestern in action

After two straight weeks off, Clemson is returning to the field Saturday with something to prove. The Tigers sit at No. 3 in the College Football Playoff Rankings and can ill-afford a lackluster performance against Pittsburgh with No. 5 Texas A&M and No. 6 Florida also in action Saturday as the race for CFP positioning heats up.

The 7-1 Tigers might have their hands full with a Panthers team that improved to 5-4 with a 47-14 thrashing of Virginia Tech last week. If Clemson slips up, the Aggies or Gators could be ready to slide into the playoff picture. Texas A&M is seeking revenge for last year’s 50-7 loss to LSU, while No. 6 Florida will be looking to to keep its offense rolling against a Kentucky team that gave up 63 points to Alabama last week. Meanwhile, No. 7 Cincinnati should have no trouble against Temple but will be looking to make an impression on the CFP committee with its play on the field.

CBS Sports will be here every step of the way to update you with the latest scores, highlights and storylines throughout the day. All times Eastern

College football scores, schedule — Week 13

No. 23 Oklahoma State 50, Texas Tech 44 — Box score
Penn State 27, Michigan 17 — Box score
No. 6 Florida 34, Kentucky 10 — Box score
No. 8 Northwestern at Michigan State — GameTracker
Pitt at No. 3 Clemson — 3:30 p.m. on ABC — GameTracker
No. 22 Auburn at No. 1 Alabama — 3:30 p.m. on CBS — LIVE updates
Mississippi State at Ole Miss — 4 p.m. on SEC Network
LSU at No. 5 Texas A&M — 7 p.m. on ESPN — Preview, predictions
No. 9 Georgia at South Carolina — 7:30 p.m. on SEC Network
Check out the complete Week 13 scoreboard

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College football scores, NCAA top 25 rankings, schedule, games today: Florida, Oklahoma State in early action

After two straight weeks off, Clemson is returning to the field Saturday with something to prove. The Tigers sit at No. 3 in the College Football Playoff Rankings and can ill-afford a lackluster performance against Pittsburgh with No. 5 Texas A&M and No. 6 Florida also in action Saturday as the race for CFP positioning heats up.

The 7-1 Tigers might have their hands full with a Panthers team that improved to 5-4 with a 47-14 thrashing of Virginia Tech last week. If Clemson slips up, the Aggies or Gators could be ready to slide into the playoff picture. Texas A&M is seeking revenge for last year’s 50-7 loss to LSU, while No. 6 Florida will be looking to to keep its offense rolling against a Kentucky team that gave up 63 points to Alabama last week. Meanwhile, No. 7 Cincinnati should have no trouble against Temple but will be looking to make an impression on the CFP committee with its play on the field.

CBS Sports will be here every step of the way to update you with the latest scores, highlights and storylines throughout the day. All times Eastern

College football scores, schedule — Week 13

Texas Tech at No. 23 Oklahoma State — Noon on Fox
Penn State at Michigan — Noon on ABC — Preview, predictions
Kentucky at No. 6 Florida — Noon on ESPN
No. 8 Northwestern at Michigan State — 3:30 p.m. on ESPN
Pitt at No. 3 Clemson — 3:30 p.m. on ABC — Preview, predictions
No. 22 Auburn at No. 1 Alabama — 3:30 p.m. on CBS — Preview, predictions
Mississippi State at Ole Miss — 4 p.m. on SEC Network
LSU at No. 5 Texas A&M — 7 p.m. on ESPN — Preview, predictions
No. 9 Georgia at South Carolina — 7:30 p.m. on SEC Network
Check out the complete Week 13 scoreboard

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College football scores, NCAA top 25 rankings, schedule, games today: Stanford-Cal, UCF-South Florida matchups

The disruptions to the 2020 college football schedule have been vast, but the arrival of Thanksgiving weekend brings some welcome consistency. Per usual, there will be a handful of quality games on Friday in addition to the usual Saturday slate this week as we munch on leftovers. Headlining the Friday action is an ACC showdown between No. 2 Notre Dame and No. 19 North Carolina, but there will also be critical games in the Big 12 and Pac-12 as well.

Positioning in the race for a spot in the Big 12 title game is at stake in a game between No. 13 Iowa State and No. 17 Texas. Meanwhile, out West, No. 15 Oregon will look to show College Football Playoff voters that the Ducks were underestimated in Tuesday’s first batch of CFP Rankings as they face off against rival Oregon State. Elsewhere, No. 24 Iowa will take on Nebraska while looking to extend its winning streak to four games after an 0-2 start, while Stanford and Cal will face off as both look for their first win of the season.

CBS Sports will be here every step of the way to update you with the latest scores, highlights and storylines throughout the day. All times Eastern

College football scores, Friday schedule

No. 13 Iowa State 23, No. 17 Texas 20 — Recap
No. 24 Iowa 26, Nebraska 20 — Box score
No. 2 Notre Dame at No. 19 North Carolina — 3:30 p.m. on ABC –LIVE updates
UCF at South Florida — 3:30 p.m. on ESPN — GameTracker
Stanford at California — 4:30 p.m. on FOX — GameTracker
No. 15 Oregon at Oregon State — 7:30 p.m. on ESPN
Check out the complete Week 13 scoreboard

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