Four-year engineering program to be offered in Fall 2017
Feb08

Four-year engineering program to be offered in Fall 2017

Published in the February 8, 2017 issue of The Bells Beginning in the fall of this calendar year, UMHB’s pre-engineering program will broaden into a full four-year engineering degree. According to a press release on Jan. 23, students will now be able to receive a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science, either in a general engineering, or in the mechanical or electrical specializations. Previously students would’ve had to transfer to another university to finish out the degree. “This change is by far better for me,” said junior mechanical engineering major Kasey Gaar-Humphreys. “It allows me to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering rather than simply continuing in engineering science. I can now complete my upper level courses here, rather than being forced to transfer to complete my degree. I can also apply to graduate school at other universities.” For the past six years, students in the pre-engineering program took general courses during their first few years on campus. Once those courses were completed, the student would transfer to another school. UMHB even had a cooperative program set up with Baylor’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, where once a student had completed the requisite number of hours here, they could be recommended for transfer to Baylor, though acceptance was not guaranteed. “The small university atmosphere is just very attractive as a student,” Gaar-Humphreys said. “I get more one-on-one time with my professors in classes that are very challenging. At larger universities such as A&M or UT, who have very strong engineering programs, there aren’t those connections with their students.” The new program will include courses in physics, mathematics, and mechanical and electrical engineering. According to the Engineering Science page on the UMHB website, career opportunities in the field include electrical and electronics, environmental, biomedical, health and safety, mechanical, computer hardware, and materials engineering. “I’m hoping to use this degree to get into grad school, and after that I really want to pursue a career in the renewable energy industry,” Gaar Humphreys said.” I feel the job growth for engineers is very strong there. I hope to do my part to push for more renewable energy sources to be available to this country and the world, and make an impact for the future.” Many of the classes in the engineering degree plan match up with those on every plan– Public Speaking, New and Old Testament, and Chapel. But theirs includes classes that most do not like Numerical Algorithms and Thermodynamics. “Hopefully now that we have a full program, more students will seek this university out for engineering and further grow this school,” Gaar- Humphreys said. “It’s been...

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Plan a romantic date for Valentines Day
Feb08

Plan a romantic date for Valentines Day

Published in the February 8, 2017 issue of The Bells Ladies and gentlemen, the pressure is on. Valentine’s day, that “holiday” that simultaneously creates joy and fear, is less than two weeks away. Don’t forget the flowers, the chocolate, or at least a card. But the gifts are the easy part. Generally, the hardest part is planning a date. Everyone’s idea of a good date is different, but here are a few simple ideas to build your own perfect outing. If you don’t have to, why go anywhere? The whole purpose of Valentine’s day is to focus on one of the most important people in your life. So, if you’re able, just stay in. Cook dinner together or sit and watch a movie. Spend time together, and really enjoy it for what it is. Couples can get distracted at restaurants and movies, but having a nice, quiet dinner in can be a great way to refocus on your relationship. However, there’s nothing wrong with going out. Going to the movie theater seems to be most couples’ default setting when they don’t know what else to do, and that’s ridiculous. When did it start making sense to go sit in a dark room where you’re not allowed to talk? It can be part of a good date but in and of itself it is just terrible. Instead, try going to a coffee shop or someplace off the beaten path so you can talk and enjoy each other’s company. Everyone wants to make their Valentine’s day date in the evening, but going on a lunch date is just as nice. Be the great significant other and take them to one of their favorite restaurants. Chances are that the lunch crowd won’t be nearly as bad as what’s going to be there that night. One of the most important things to remember is not to fall into Valentine’s Day stereotypes. You don’t have to dress up and spend a lot of money to have a good time. Another option would be to embrace your inner hipster. Go stroll around in town and see what you find in the way of interesting small businesses. Wander around in antique shops and find out what kind of cool stuff is there. Sometimes the smallest hole-in-the-wall places have the most amazing atmospheres, and finding it with your boyfriend or girlfriend is a memory you could have for the rest of your life. You never know, you could end up coming back to it if you both fall in love with it. This holiday should be about your relationship. So, talk about what you’re going to do,...

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Why Netflix should make more shows out of books
Jan25

Why Netflix should make more shows out of books

Published in the January 25, 2017 issue of The Bells I can’t speak for everyone, but I grew up as a quiet kid—one who would rather have his nose in a book than do almost literally anything else. Having free time meant more time to read. As technology improved and animation and film advanced, I got to see many of the books I read become movies, and in some cases, shows. One of my childhood favorites, A Series of Unfortunate Events, has recently come to Netflix and well exceeded my expectations. The first four books in Lemony Snicket’s thirteen-book series has been made into a series, with each book making up a 45-minute episode. The creators did such a great job with this first installment that it gives me hope to see other former book series come to the media giant. Series like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings have already been successful in their transition from print to the big screen, and others like Eragon or either of the Percy Jackson movies have attempted to make it, but just not quite live up to expectations. But taking the time to split a series into episodes available to Netflix subscribers is an amazing idea, especially if they are as well done as Snicket’s books in terms of acting and in how meticulously they stick to the themes of the books. I have a little bias when it comes to books being adapted for other media formats, because I always want them to be perfect, to capture all the actions and emotions of the characters, to make me feel the same way the book did. It’s unrealistic to expect perfection, but in a show spread out among so many episodes, it’s easier to capture more of the essence of the stories we fell in love with. Trying to smash a book that took over 500 pages to convey a story into an hour and a half or even two-hour-long movie is unrealistic. Things must be cut, or it would be too long and much too expensive to produce. But fortunately, for myself and other avid readers, TV shows are much less restricted when it comes to the amount of content they can include. There are just so many different books to pick from that would make a great show. Take for example Pseudonymous Bosch’s series, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, or James Patterson’s The Dangerous Days of Daniel X or Maximum Ride. Sure, they’re kids’ books, but they still have the ability to be great shows. It’s not like things intended for kids don’t capture the attention...

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Doctor Strange Blows away Marvel fans everywhere

Published in the November 16, 2016 issue of The Bells Marvel, almost as a rule, produces some of the most popular and widely viewed films in the United States, with an eye for quality and storylines like no other. Their latest film, Doctor Strange, is no exception. The movie features Benedict Cumberbatch as the eponymous hero-to-be, Doctor Stephen Strange, Tilda Swinton as the Ancient One, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Baron Mordo, and Mads Mikkelsen as Kaecilius, the human antagonist of the story. The acting was exceptional, the special effects could not have been better, and the storyline, while different from its comic book origins, did an amazing job of staying in canon. Doctor Strange begins his hero’s journey as an arrogant neurosurgeon. He is shown performing brain surgery, and showing off his impeccable memory and displaying extreme confidence in every aspect of his demeanor. Once out of the hospital, he is shown in a luxurious apartment. The audience sees numerous awards displayed throughout his home as well as other signs of his wealth. From a drawer full of expensive watches to the Lamborghini that ends up being the instrument of his fall from prestige, it all shows his extravagant lifestyle. Strange is shown driving distracted, before getting into an accident that ultimately costs him the use of his hands. He hears of another man that has had similar issues concerning nerve damage, and he seeks him out in order to learn his secret. This puts him on the path that will bring about the events that put him on the path of a sorcerer. In the interest of full disclosure, I have a good deal of bias towards Marvel movies, and waited for more than a year to see the movie, seeing it twice in the week immediately following its release. At face value, the movie is entertaining, just another superhero movie with great special effects, the occasional joke, and at least one swoon-worthy actor. Beyond the simple story though, it carries a deeper message, showing the story of a man who goes from incredibly self-centered, to becoming much less self-involved (albeit through some fairly extreme circumstances). One of the best features about Marvel is the teaser trailers that hint at movies to come; little clues that certain characters will be interacting in one of their upcoming movies. Doctor Strange has two of those, one after the initial breakdown of important characters throughout the movie, and another after the full credit roll. Never leave a Marvel movie before the lights come on in the theater. Doctor Strange is one of the best Marvel movies in a while. The amount of...

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Do you have early-on set Christmas spirit?

Published in the October 26, 2017 issue of The Bells ‘Tis the season… except that no, it’s not. One of the worst transitions that happens all year generally occurs around this time: early-onset Christmas. Halloween has yet to happen, and Thanksgiving is still weeks away, so there should be no appearance of Christmas music. Somehow the phenomenon occurs in the same way each year. It starts with one or two mentions of Christmas in a commercial or a magazine, and suddenly despite two other holidays between now and then, everyone is in the throes of festive cheer. It seems like an innocent mistake to make, but what real ramifications does it have to start playing “Holly Jolly Christmas” and Michael Bublé’s Christmas album too early? For me personally, it causes a good deal of resentment toward the music. It would be fine if it were simply for the month or so between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but it never stays within that constraint. It goes from a novelty thing, something fun and cheery, to something that simply comes off as obnoxious and overdone. It creates stress that doesn’t need to occur. The easiest fix to this problem is to just keep “Jingle Bells” put away until AFTER Thanksgiving. A month’s worth of the holiday spirit is plenty. The majority of Christmas music is not about the birth of Jesus Christ anyway. If that were the goal, it would be so much easier to support it. There is plenty of other gospel music to enjoy leading up to the actual Christmas season. When the majority of the music is about presents and candy and coming up with all of the hokey traditional ways of cuddling up to someone, it becomes nearly impossible to support more than a month of the endless drivel that is contemporary Christmas music. Even Rudolph and his red nose become annoying when the song gets overplayed. So just calm down, everyone. “Frosty the Snowman” will still be waiting for you come late November. The temperature is more likely to be at the right place for “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” and “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause” will be slightly less horrifying since it’s actually being played during the right season. There is a time and a place for everything, and since place is up to the discretion of the people, please keep the Christmas music in the right time...

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