Science Saturday inspires passion

By Katie Maze The Science Education Resource Center hosted its third annual Science Saturday Oct. 29 in the York Science Building. Attendees performed hands-on experiments and activities with student volunteers and professors from biology, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and psychology. Around the first and second floors of York, rooms were filled with students, teachers, parents and children exploring exhibits from each scientific discipline. Children participated in various activities and conducted small experiments designed to teach them different aspects of science. Activities included a psychology presentation, liquid nitrogen ice cream, solar-powered robots, magnetic bumper cars and live animals the kids could play with and learn about. Volunteer and junior clinical laboratory science major Sabrina Hardcastle registered participants for the event. She was eager to see the childrens’ faces as they explored new things. “This is my first year doing this, but it’s the most exciting thing to just see how a simple pencil that changes colors can fascinate them,”  Hardcastle said. “It’s so fun. I’ll definitely be back.” While parents registered their children, kids got the chance to test the theories of gravity and buoyancy by making tinfoil boats and seeing how many pennies it would take to sink them. Toward the end of the afternoon, chemistry professor and director of  the Science Education Resource Center Dr. Darrell Watson performed interactive chemistry experiments in Brindley Auditorium, several of which included watching explosions and learning about  the effects of dry ice on every-day things like bananas and balloons. “I want kids to be excited about science and to know that it is fun. … We turn science into a game for a day, and we hope  that will carry on to high school and college,” He said. Watson got the idea for Science Saturday when he saw his son lose interest in science as he grew older. Watson was motivated to initiate the program on campus when a reporter contacted him about a former student from another university who was selected out of the entire nation to study in the Galapagos Islands. The student gave credit to Watson for passing on a passion for science. “You can’t get that kind of thing in a paycheck,” he said. Watson said that Science Saturday means just as much for the volunteers as it does for the participants. He hopes that such events will motivate children as well as students to get excited about science, so  they will hopefully go on to pursue a career in a scientific field, particularly teaching. “I would love for them to see how exciting and rewarding it is to share their love of science with others. I’m secretly hoping...

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Letter to the Editor

[The Bells writer] got it wrong by ridiculing a “rock.”  It is not a “mundane issue” to belittle nor simply “insensitive,” nor something that just “happened,” but an outright racist issue.  It is not “just a name” for a Black person, as the Haskell County judge said. Perry patronized the place.  No one put him in boxes; he put himself.  The writer points to those who indicated Perry’s “trouble with … race.”  Yet the governor himself brought up the topic of secession (what the Confederacy did, as its leaders said, to maintain slavery) without explicitly endorsing it. He himself referred to states’ rights, historically code for segregated schools, etc. He himself made Rush Limbaugh, someone laden with racist remarks, an honorary Texan. He himself is the sole person who somehow felt compelled the other day to refer to the Black person Cain as “brother,” twice.  He didn’t say “I love you, brother,” to Newt nor “sister” to Michele.  He himself said the federal government has gone too far “protecting civil rights.” Christianity needs more practicing here and elsewhere.  I propose that one of the four required chapels be a service component in the community.  Now that’s a “distinctive” for UMHB, since “distinctives” are currently bandied about. A Christian practice component would make our university stand out in a positive and constructive way among other Christian colleges. Jesus said in Matthew, chapter 22, that the second great commandment after loving God is to “love your neighbor as yourself,” and most importantly that on such “hang all the Law and the Prophets.” He specified doing for “the least of these,” and elsewhere further specified the poor, the sick, and such. Instead we see cutbacks for the poor, sickly health care in Texas, proposed cuts for college aid, slashing of K-12, cuts at food banks, cuts in children’s Head Start, recent candidates exhorting “Reload” and “macaca,” while current audiences cheer for a border fence that electrocutes, dismiss a gay soldier, applause Perry’s 234 executions, and cheer that the sick be left to die. Those are non-Christian acts and The Bells should be writing against that, and for Christian acts, and the more discussed the better. Jose Martinez, Ph.D. Sociology Professor  ...

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HEB Plus to offer variety for Belton shoppers

By Spencer Turner UMHB students and residents of the Belton community will soon find a new addition to the stable of grocery stores and supermarkets. The Texas grocer HEB is in the final stages of constructing a superstore on North Main Street, across from the Walmart shopping center. Due to open its doors for the first time at 5 a.m. Friday, the new facility will present a number of improvements over the current store located roughly a mile from the construction site. Tamra Jones, public affairs official for the HEB regional headquarters in Austin, explained the motivation behind HEB’s desire to develop an enhanced venue. “We had the opportunity to move the store to a better location and provide more variety to the city of Belton,” she said. Sophomore Christian studies major Rene Martinez has worked for HEB the past several years as a central checkout specialist and will soon become part of the staff at the superstore. “Our main focus for this new HEB is to provide the best customer experience ever,” he said. Once completed, the store will occupy 117,000 square feet of space and include a variety of departments. Entertainment, Do-It-Yourself hardware, a large school section, a sushi corner and an extensive seasonal aisle highlight but a few of the options offered to future customers. but a few of the options offered to future customers. “If you’re looking for Valentine candy, you’ll know where to find it,” Jones said. An in-store restaurant named HEB Café on Your Way will serve hand-tossed pizza made with ingredients imported from Italy, while free Wi-Fi service is to be provided storewide to meet customers’ media needs. Construction on the new store also includes a full-service gas station and car wash, which opened to the public Oct. 28. Leslie Sweet, director of HEB public affairs in Central Texas, explained the company’s approach to attracting auto clientele. “We’re always going to be competitive with our gas prices,” she said. “We’re very proud of the prices that we can offer.” In recent months Sweet has  held meetings with administrative staff at UMHB to discuss possible promotions and sales ideas for students that have yet to be disclosed. The store will also provide Belton residents and UMHB students with an equally important resource: future        employment. Sweet estimates that after the current employees’ transfer requests were processed, the store hired an additional 200 “partners” to work in the new facility. “We have filled a majority of the positions so far,” Sweet said. However, she insists many more employment opportunities will arise for students and community members. “The way the company works is we make a...

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The end of an Era: Apple after Steve Jobs

By Slade Stevenson “Apple has lost a visionary and a creative genius, and the world has lost an amazing human being.” Apple posted this somber statement on its website Oct. 5 following the death of Steve Jobs. He was 56 years of age. Jobs had been dealing with various health issues resulting from his battle with pancreatic cancer. Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976. Just ten years later, he resigned from Apple after being relieved of his executive duties. In 1997, Steve Jobs returned to Apple and transformed it into the company the world knows today. Under Jobs’ leadership, Apple produced gadgets that revolutionized the tech world. Millions of people can now carry the Internet with them on their iPhones wherever they go. Those on opposite sides of the world can feel as though they are in the same room with Facetime on iPads. Jobs forever changed the way people use smartphones, tablets and computers. Without its chief “creative genius,” it is doubtful that Apple will be able to continue making such revolutionary products. As CEO of Apple, Jobs did much more than operate the business side of things; he played a huge role in creating the Apple products customers love so much. ABC News reports that Jobs’ name is listed on  more than 300 Apple patents. They range from everything from designs for iPhones and iPads to the glass staircases found in some Apple stores. Jobs wanted to be involved in every aspect of his company. He helped to create the products and even helped to create the stores at which they would be sold. Jobs was much more than a leader; he was a creator. Apple will   more than likely remain successful; the company must have realized that there would come a time when it would have to function without Jobs, and Apple has probably planned and prepared for this day. However, there is a big difference between simply remaining successful and making things that amaze. New Apple products will inevitably come out, but the excitement and “wow” factor that Jobs gave products is lost forever. With the loss of Jobs, Apple starts a new chapter by putting a solemn period on the previous. The chapter that began in 1976 and that would change the face of technology as it is known today. Revolutionary and innovative, that’s what Jobs made Apple. In the future, Apple’s new products will probably be viewed in the same way new Dell or Nokia products are: people will think they are cool and nice, but nothing to go crazy about. For instance, look at the new iPhone 4S. It was the first iPhone...

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Danger at 9th and College

By Terryn Kelly If you are one of the many students who fear getting your legs knocked off while walking across campus streets, you are not alone. Although there is a speed limit while driving around on campus, it seems some drivers are going well above 30 mph. A dangerous intersection is at 9th and College streets. Where only stop signs and fading white stripes mark the crosswalks. Many universities have actual stop lights at such intersections to regulate traffic and provide a safer crossing. Yes, we were all taught in grade school to look both ways before crossing the street, but they never said what happens when you look both ways and a car still comes out of nowhere and nearly runs you over. Junior interdisciplinary studies major Charles Hitchens feels unsafe when using crosswalks. “At times I do not feel safe when I am walking because half of the time people do not look where they are going while driving. I would prefer the school look into getting stop lights,” he said. “I would have a security guard out directing traffic at all times. That way it will be safer for students to get across without interrupting traffic and for drivers to drive safely,” Hitchens said. Sophomore nursing major Shelby Ashley thinks that both pedestrians and drivers should be aware. “When driving through the intersections, I stop at the stop signs and look for pedestrians. If I see them, I’ll wave… them to go. I try not to be distracted when driving on campus because some people just don’t pay attention,” she said. “I almost hit a guy the other day because he just darted out on his bicycle from in between two cars in line at the stop sign. He put himself in a dangerous predicament by crossing somewhere other than a crosswalk,” Ashley said. She thinks the   problems at the crosswalk can be alleviated if people are educated on how to cross the street safely. Senior performance studies major Lauryn McCoy agrees that a stoplight should be put into place soon because there is great chance that an unfortunate accident will happen sooner or later. “All too often people wait too long to do something about traffic problems until someone is seriously hurt or injured. Why not take the steps now to prevent such a horrible thing from happening?” she asked. Stop lights or crossing guards would be a nice addition to the school crosswalks and would have an added element of...

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