Server goes down on students

The new housing process began Feb. 15 at 5 a.m. Instead of standing in line in Mayborn Student Center this year, applicants completed housing registration online. As many restless students logged in early for a place to live next semester, the server the new system relied on crashed. “We had a communication issue between our Web and database server,” said Web Services Manager Matthew Irvine. “The technical details are lengthy and complicated, but this problem basically resulted in memory not being released as intended, thereby crippling the Web server.” The resident life staff is trying to brace itself for an influx of students that could exceed the number of beds available. More students would mean longer lines and tougher competition in signing up for living space. Switching to an online method is just one aspect of the many changes that will take place with housing in the next year. An early flaw in the system allows for Information Technology and the housing office to adjust the process before more students lay siege to the servers. Irvine explains that Information Technology made changes after Wednesday’s crash so students who logged in Thursday would have their information saved. “Realizing the problem would occur again the following day, we made some configuration changes,” he said. “This ensured that even if our Web server crashed, we would have a process to generate time stamps that would not go down.” Not all students’ experiences with the new system were negative. Sophomore exercise sport science major Alyssa Hollie tweeted, “shout out to @UMHB and @umhbinfotech for trying something new and trying to make things easier on us with housing. #WayBetter” Junior church music major Cameron Roucloux was among the students trying to get online at 5 a.m. Wednesday to sign up for housing. “I woke up at 4:45, started the process at 5,” he said. “As soon as I clicked, the server went down. I was pretty frustrated. I felt like there was either wrong information or lack of communication regarding how many people would be online at that time in morning.” Roucloux was among many students who quickly posted their complaints on Twitter and Facebook. At 5:13 a.m., sophomore  sport management major Corbin Cochran tweeted: “I should have transferred.  – every UMHB student doing housing.” “My friends and I all thought if everyone got up at 5 it would crash,” Roucloux said. “I emailed housing at 5:40 and finished it at 5:50. In the meetings we had, they said it would only take 10 minutes.” Associate Dean of Students & Director of Residence Life Donna Plank said even with the complications students should receive...

Read More
Greece: Europe’s Achilles’ heel
Feb07

Greece: Europe’s Achilles’ heel

-Analysis- Mountains, stretching coastlines and sloping valleys have characterized Greece since its people began developing the very foundation of culture, society, learning, art and history itself. But Greece has found itself in one of the deepest valleys of its storied history. After forsaking its drachma for the stability of one united currency, the euro, Greece can’t pay back the money it owes. The eurozone is an example of what good can come from global business and also the risks it carries. “One of the most important things to understand is that it will impact me and my daily life,” said Assistant Professor Dr. Michelle Reina of the Department of Management, Entrepreneurship and Marketing. “Just going to shop in the grocery store, where your car is made or where your clothes come from – that’s international business. It only makes you a better consumer, a better citizen and a better employee if you understand these things.” The dream of the European Union and one united country stretches back to the 19th century. After isolationist national politics helped lead to two world wars, much of Europe was ready to unite and depend on each other’s strengths. And no country has proved stronger in the last 50 years than Germany. The tight-fisted Germans are a fiscal conservative dream. They work hard and are well paid for it. Their economy is the lifeblood of Europe, and while countries with weaker currencies wobbled in instability, the German mark was as strong as the beer it purchased in the 20th century. The French and the Germans led the way in creating the euro, backed by a central bank would allow for each of the individual countries to create a support network for each other while building a larger, more powerful, economy. This was a risky move for strong countries, as they would have to expose their economics to other nations. Diverse culture and history has always kept the European nations separate. No country epitomized national pride better than France, but even that notion saw the benefit of a financially united Europe. “Everyone was so willing to receive the benefits of the euro, but not the risks,” Reina said.  “For a country like Greece, it was almost a no brainer to have a currency backed by such a strong country as Germany. The debate in Greece wasn’t about financial implications, but if they could abandon their drachma as it was the longest in use currency in history.” But the dream became a nightmare in 2008, when bubble after bubble built by cheap loans and low interest rates throughout the world popped. Eurozone member Greece found itself...

Read More

Penn State in unrest

I remember sitting next to my grandfather on Saturdays as a child, eating lunch between sessions of yard work in western Pennsylvania. As we sat together, we watched the Penn State Nittany Lion football team take on whoever the opponent was that week. I remember watching Coach Joe Paterno pace on the sidelines and learning what a good man he was said to be. Jerry Sandusky, former assistant coach and current creep, must have been on the sidelines too. Once, my grandpa leaned over and asked me why I thought the sky was blue and white. I had no idea. He told me it was because “God is a Penn State fan.” I can’t imagine that God, or any moral being, throwing much support behind the Nittany Lions these days. When Sandusky was arrested, the Pennsylvania media was abuzz with the story. With outrage, I read the grand jury testimony that described how Sandusky allegedly raped young boys, often in Penn State facilities. I learned of his charity, Second Mile, that he used to meet and assault at-risk youth. Sandusky is said to have taken volunteer coaching positions at schools just so he could call boys out of class for special “meetings.” I read that in 2002, graduate assistant Mike McQueary caught Sandusky in the act. Since then, McQueary has risen to the job of receivers coach at Penn State. Sexual abuse of children is the most heinous of crimes. Naturally, when it is discovered, we can find relief this perpetrator is brought to justice before more children can be harmed. But when this was discovered nine years ago by McQueary, nothing was done. That’s why everyone in any way associated with the crimes must be held accountable. McQueary reported what he saw to his boss, Joe Paterno. Paterno then reported it to Athletic Director Tim Curley and Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz. It stopped there. No police. The only action Penn State took was making Sandusky stay away from Penn State buildings. When a mother reported a case of abuse in 2009, investigators finally were alerted to Sandusky’s secret and the web of lies that kept it from getting out. Paterno is an icon. He holds the record for Divison I football wins with 409. But his legacy  wasn’t all about football. His players consistently rated above the national average academically. He has also donated $4 million to various programs on campus. A statue of Paterno stands in front of the stadium with the words, “They ask me what I’d like written about me when I’m gone. I hope they write I made Penn State...

Read More
Egypt needs foreign pressure
Oct18

Egypt needs foreign pressure

The future seemed bright for Egypt as young revolutionaries of different beliefs and ideologies stood together in Tahrir Square last February. They were united as Egyptians against Dictator Hosni Mubarak, and, as a nation, they revolted. But Egypt is already in need of revolution again. Violence and oppression comes from the new rulers just as they did from the Mubarak regime. This time, the rest of the world needs to help.  After the government turned, the military, which refused to harm the protesters during the uprising, took control of the government. Their reign was meant to be brief and transitional. But now, as elections are set to begin, the new parliament may not be in power for as long as two years. Again and again the military grips the power that the people entrusted to them and delays the transfer of power. A group of Coptic Christians protested the government in front of the state-run news organization Oct. 9. Many Muslims stood alongside the Christians in the march. The military arrived to deal with the protesters, and the streets filled with civilians, troops and blood. Two hundered were injured, and the two dozen Copts where killed. Among them was 25-year-old Mina Daniel. He had been a passionate supporter of the recent Arab Spring revolution and a member of the Youth for Justice and Freedom movement. Journalist and activist Moustafa Mohi said that Daniel believed the revolution “was never about Christian or Muslim demands, but about Egyptian demands.” Realizing that he had received a fatal wound, Daniel’s final words were, “If I die, I want my funeral to be in Tahrir Square.” He wanted his death, like his life, to be a symbol of freedom and change. According to The New York Times, the state television implored citizens to head to where security forces and protesters were clashing to “protect the military.” Protester Tamer Mohamed el Mehy spoke to Sarah Carr of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. She transcribed her interview on Twitter. “I didn’t see any protesters attacking the army or police, just heard the usual chants,” she said.  “The credit that the military received from the people in Tahrir Square just ran out yesterday,” said leader of the liberal political group El Ghad and potential candidate for Egyptian president, Ayman Nour, in a press conference on the attacks. Coptic Christians comprise 10 percent of Egypt’s 80 million people. But that number is dropping as Christians flee Egypt en mass,  according to a report by the Egyptian Union for Human Rights Organizations. The study says that nearly 100,000 Copts have left in the past six months. These numbers...

Read More
Gungor release filled with creativity, emotion
Oct04

Gungor release filled with creativity, emotion

Michael Gungor tweets, “Do we move the horn player so that he isn’t so blocked by the concert bass drum? These are OK problems to have.” This is what the leader of the band Gungor has to wrestle with as his band tours across the country promoting a new album Ghost Upon the Earth. Despite the instruments described, the group isn’t a symphony or jazz group. And it isn’t exactly a rock band either. Gungor calls its music “liturgical post-rock,” and the new album strays even further from the realm of traditional contemporary Christian music than the breakout 2010 album  Beautiful Things. It is music designed to reflect the emotional reaction to life, creation, pain and the mysterious connection between God and man. Ghosts Upon the Earth plays more like an experience than a worship album. The tracks are musically and lyrically complicated and diverse. The band surprises listeners with  string, flutes, minor keys and accidentals. These are not songs that will or should be covered by amateur guitarists at camps, or be heard around the country on Sunday morning church services. Gungor, the leader of the group, didn’t start the band to follow in the footsteps of Matt Redman, but to honestly and purposefully express himself and the band. According to the web site, the record is full of meaning, from fast violin arpeggios that represent a primordial universe to the first heart beats of Michael and his wife Lisa’s baby girl,  it’s much different than a lot of music out there. Gungor songs typically convey the feeling of the message through the music itself, not just the lyrics. The song ‘When Death Dies’ seems to transform from an elegy into a bass-and-drum driven dance song, paralleling the resurrection itself as Gungor sings, “When death dies, all things live.” The song “Ezekiel” beautifully sets Ezekiel 16 to music as tender as the grace it describes, and the listener can feel the pain of God through the notes. Ghosts upon the Earth is exactly what should be expected from Gungor. It’s a different form of worship than what is heard in most contemporary churches, but it emphasizes the beauty and art involved in worshiping. It invokes awe in the way a poem or great painting might. It may not be made for participation, but listen to it to hear gifted artists create for their creator. “Music doesn’t have to fit the mold to move people’s hearts, and at the end of the day, that’s really what we’re trying to do,” Gungor said in an interview on his site. “We’re trying to make honest music that opens people’s...

Read More
Page 1 of 1312345...10...Last »