Rising: Football fever
The Vols won – albeit, against themselves. But what really mattered in Saturday's Orange and White game was not the number on the scoreboard but rather the numbers in the seats. Vol Nation showed up in full, practically filling Neyland Stadium's lower bowl with nearly 70,000 fans. Is it lunacy, for so many to care about a practice game? Not a game, not a game – practice. But even Allen Iverson would admit that, even if it was crazy, it was crazy awesome. We all remembered what it feels like to lose our individual identities in the belly of the bandwagon beast, to cheer for athletic achievement in the face of dangerous violence, to believe that, yes, we can beat Alabama this year. OK, maybe not that last one.
Falling: Basketball belief
Meanwhile, the BasketVols lost Jarnell Stokes and Cuonzo Martin in the span of five days. Friday, our studly giant broke countless hearts when he announced he would leave UT for the NBA draft – I think I saw at least nine girls crying and probably twice as many guys. Of course, Stokes will succeed in the pros; that smile is just begging for endorsement money, and that baby hook was looking pretty finished in March Madness. But we're sad to see him go, especially with Tuesday's announcement that Coach Martin is Cali-flying his way outta here. With the loss of the SEC's third best coach, the success of next year's Vols could be anybody's guess. One thing's for certain – that "Fire Martin" petition was probably the worst thing that has happened to Dave Hart since he hired Derek Dooley's orange pants.
Rising: Tension in Ukraine
Y'all – Putin's out of control. First, he stormed into Crimea and said, "This is mine." Naturally, the entire Western world panicked, calling it a Cold War-era sign of aggression; the United Nations, European Union and U.S. all leveled sanctions. But now, it's getting more serious. Russian military has begun operations three regions near Ukraine, and some fighting in Eastern Ukraine suggests the country won't back down from Putin's flexing. President Barack Obama has a lot on his plate right now, and with important elections coming up, it will be interesting to see how involved America gets in this fight. Russian media is telling its people that pro-Russian people need protection in Ukraine – what do you think American media is telling you?
Falling: U.S. Airlines social media
It didn't fall – it crash-landed in the most inappropriate place possible. If you haven't seen the tweet U.S. Airlines sent out – and left up for an hour – on Monday, you may not understand. I don't exactly recommend looking it up, especially not at work, but it's sufficient to say the picture is pornographic and inappropriate. The airline apologized and promised to look into the matter, but really, what is there to see? There's nothing to do except fire everyone who has access to that Twitter account. Actually, just fire everyone. And go hide.
Rising: Internet Security Concerns
On April 7, cyber security experts revealed a bug in a widely used encryption software. Called the Heartbleed, the bug was discovered in a section of code approved two years ago by a developer that helps maintain a piece of free software called OpenSSL created in the mid-1990s. OpenSSL is still used by companies and government agencies almost everywhere. Heartbleed has affected popular sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Google and Netflix. There's no evidence that anyone is exploiting the vulnerability, but the full extent of the damage caused by Heartbleed may never be discovered. Change your passwords, y'all.