From Readers

FROM READERS: How to bird watch

If you can be patient and appreciate getting a glimpse into the natural world around you, bird watching can be especially rewarding.

FROM READERS: Local writer says weight loss helps her live fuller life

After reading Gracia Burnham's "In the Presence of My Enemies," Teresa Shields Parker realized living a healthy life is easy when you have access to healthy foods and exercise. Being spiritually fit is just as important as being physically fit.

FROM READERS: Tips for a happy, healthy holiday

Mica Newman, a doctor at Missouri Valley Physicians, advises that a flu shot, healthy snacks and smart alcohol consumption can help make your holiday season brighter.

FROM READERS: What swimming can teach us about health at any age

Steve Drake, a health writer, explains how swimming gives him a feeling of physical and mental well-being.

COMO SOCIAL: What Columbia folks are up to on YouTube

YouTube is good for more than videos of dancing babies and skiing squirrels. Columbians are using YouTube to show off their creative sides and help others understand what's going on in their city.

FROM READERS: Rugby more than a pastime

Rachel Boyce, who spends a lot of her time volunteering, found fun and family in a new place, the Mid-Mo Black Sheep Women's Rugby Club.

FROM READERS: MU student learns the beauty of inconvenience in Brazil

Audrey Zigmond spent the summer teaching English in Brazil, where she ended up learning that time and being present are blessings.

FROM READERS: MUTV debuts on Columbia Access Television

MUTV, a student-run TV station, broadcasts five shows, covering sports, news and arts and entertainment.

FROM READERS: Stephens College to host free holiday concert Dec. 15

The concert will feature Stephens College a cappella group The Velvetones as well as choirs from several local public schools.

FROM READERS: Former students let Spanish teacher know she made a difference

Alice’s passion and devotion to excellence created lively, compelling classes that were irresistible to her students.

FROM READERS: Perfectionism impedes writing process

Eric Praschan, author of The James Women Trilogy, explains how you can't be too concerned with perfection when you write drafts. The more restrictions in place, the harder it is to develop ideas.

FROM READERS: High Street Victorian hosts holiday tours, events

The High Street Victorian Bed & Breakfast and Tea Room plans to donate 20 percent of the profits from its Christmas Home Tours to the Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri.

FROM READERS: Columbia Community Band to perform holiday concert

Take a break from radio tunes to hear the Columbia Community Band perform at 4 p.m. Sunday at the Hickman High School auditorium.

FROM READERS: Columbia-based startup recognized as leading job creator

Division-D was recognized in the 2013 Inc. Hire Power Awards for its growth in Missouri. The company's CEO attributes his success to driven employees and emerging technologies.

FROM READERS: Columbia author shares childhood memory

Joe G. Dillard, a longtime Columbia resident, shares a short story from his recently published book, "A Full Cup of Joe."

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Missouri's postseason success

This Saturday won't be Missouri's first trip to a championship game. Do you know how long it's been since the Tigers were part of a conference championship? Or what other Missouri sports teams have had postseason success?

FROM READERS: How to be a better writer

Eric Praschan, a local novelist, offers advice on avoiding writer's block and encouragement to people who want to be writers in the future.

Predict SEC Championship score and Missouri's bowl future to win Shakespeare's Pizza gift card

Will Missouri beat Auburn in the SEC Championship? If so, will the Tigers make the national championship? Tell us what you think for a chance to win a $30 Shakespeare's Pizza gift card.

FROM READERS: What “Merkelphone” means for U.S.-German relations

Alexander Drößler, a German student studying at MU, discusses electronic communications monitoring and how that affects relations between U.S. and Germany.

FROM READERS: Documentary about small-town life will play Monday at Ragtag

Medora is a look at life in Medora, Ind., by following four teenage basketball players.