Movies, popcorn, and winter chill: Review of The Greatest Showman
Jan26

Movies, popcorn, and winter chill: Review of The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman is enamoring audiences at the box office with its flashy costumes, catchy soundtrack, and star-studded cast. Hugh Jackman traded in his wolverine claws for a ring master’s costume and an impressive singing voice to portray the historical figure, Phineas Taylor Barnum, who is best known for founding the Barnum and Bailey Circus with James Anthony Bailey in 1881. The beginning of the film resembles the opening of Queen’s hit, “We Will Rock You,” as Barnum, dressed in his glitzy ringmaster’s costume, sings about “The Greatest Show” as the audience stomps their feet and claps. Then, the film flashes back to the 1820s when Barnum (Ellis Robin) is a kid who travels with his tailor father to rich people’s houses. It’s on one of these trips where he meets Charity Halletts (Skylar Dunn). The two children begin spending time together, unbeknownst by her father (Frederic Lehne). This prompts the duet, “A Million Dreams,” where the audiences watch the young children grow up into adults. This song also establishes their love for each other. Barnum wins Charity’s (Michelle Williams) hand, but her father warns her that she’ll come back once she’s tired of living in poverty. Barnum scrapes together a living for his wife and two daughters by working at a shipping office until the company goes bankrupt. He then gets a loan from the bank to buy a wax museum. After the wax museum fails, he decides to get together oddities from all over the city. He recruits the dwarf Tom Thumb (Sam Humphrey), the Bearded Lady Lettie Lutz (Keala Settle), plus others to be a part of his circus. Barnum then hires the rich playboy Phillip Caryle (Zac Efron) to help him establish credibility among the rich, established families. Meanwhile, Caryle quickly falls in love with the African American trapeze artist Anne Wheeler (Zendaya). The rest of the film follows Barnum as he struggles to make his circus prosperous, then once it does, how the wealth and power begins to consume him and affect his marriage. Jackman has just the right charm and charisma to play P.T. Barnum, plus he can sing and dance. Efron and Zendaya have instant chemistry, which is clearly seen in their duet “Rewrite the Stars.” Benj Pasek and Justin Paul are the masterminds behind the songs in Showman. It’s no wonder the soundtrack has been No. 1 for two weeks in a row. They’re inspiring. The film anthem, “This is Me,” sung by Tony award winner Settle, won Best Original Song at the Golden Globes. “This is Me” becomes the circus performers’ anthem as they long for acceptance. Some critics are...

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Got Milk? The pros and cons of drinking milk
Jan24

Got Milk? The pros and cons of drinking milk

“Got Milk?” was a popular ad campaign launched in 1993 and discontinued in 2014 by the California Milk Education Processor Board. It had celebrities, professional athletes and even fictional characters sporting milk mustaches and encouraging the American public to drink more milk. But in recent years, many sources are saying that milk isn’t as healthy as everyone thought. So, are there any benefits of milking milk? Growing up, my family of five (but mostly me) would consume multiple gallons of milk a week. Milk was the only drink option during dinner. We were told to drink, so we’d have strong bones. True story: I’ve never broken a bone. I’m chalking it up to all the milk I’ve had. According to medicalnewstoday.com, one cup (244-gram) of whole milk contains 276 mg of calcium, which not only helps maintain strong bones, but also helps maintain normal blood pressure and is a key component in blood clotting and wound healing. The National Institute of Health recommends that adults get 1,000 mg of calcium per day. Milk also contains several B vitamins, such as vitamin B 12, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin (National Diary Council). Theses vitamins help break down food into fuel. One-cup of milk also provides about 16% of the Daily Intake of protein, which builds and repairs muscle tissue. In a Nov. 22, 2016 article published in the Journal of Food and Nutrition titled “Milk and Dairy Products: Good or Bad for Human Health? An Assessment of the Totality of Scientific Evidence,” Dr. Tanga Kongerslev Thorning stated that recent evidence points to milk intake reducing childhood obesity. Milk and dairy intake seems to reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. While milk has several benefits, I found almost just as many articles giving reasons why we should lose the milk mustaches. According to medicalnewstoday.com, high calcium intake has been associated with ovarian cancer in women as well as prostate cancer in men. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests increased intake of milk could lead to acne flare-ups. In recent years, we’ve seen an increase in lactose intolerance, which means that our bodies can’t fully digest the lactose or sugar found in milk. After weighing the evidence, I believe that too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing. Milk has many benefits, and for those who can drink milk, I don’t think there’s anything wrong in continuing to drink milk – as long as people stay within the recommended limits. I believe that it’s important to weigh the pros and cons and decide what is best for your body. There are also many milk alternatives such as...

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Methodist church hosts lunch for college students
Nov16

Methodist church hosts lunch for college students

Students can enjoy homemade meals at College Lunch every Wednesday at First United Methodist Church here in Belton. College Lunch is a ministry that 20 volunteers from the church put on for UMHB students from 11-1 p.m. on Wednesdays. For a donation, students can select from multiple entrees, sides, a salad bar, homemade desserts, and a drink. At last week’s meal, College Lunch offered breaded ranch chicken, oregano chicken, pulled-pork sandwiches and baked potatoes. For sides, there was corn, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, a salad bar, soup and hot biscuits. To wash down the meal, there was pink lemonade, water and sweet tea. Senior Education major Elleny Ohendalaski has been attending College Lunch since she was a freshman. “The people that work at this church or attend this church care enough for the college students in this area to make lunch for us,” she said. “It’s nice to have a home cooked meal during the week, and there’s so many different options.” First Methodist began College Lunch in 2005. Chairman of the college ministry team, John Sykes, said that before the lunch, they tried Bible studies and discussion groups, but they weren’t working. “We had been trying at the church for a number of years to come up with some kind of outreach to college students, specifically at Mary Hardin-Baylor,” Sykes said. “Our new pastor at the time, Darren Walker, recounted what he did when he was a Wesley Foundation minister at Tarleton [State University]: they served a free lunch for the kids. That sounded like an interesting idea.” The lunch, which runs strictly on donations from the students and members of the congregation, started out with 20 to 30 students. Now, over 200 students attend the lunch. The volunteers make enough for 350 lunches because many people come back for seconds. “The purpose of the lunch is to feed students; we’re not trying to get them to come to our services. The purpose is to feed,” Sykes said. “We’ve never refused seconds unless we just don’t have anything.” College Lunch has been lovingly nicknamed ‘Meth House’ by the students, and Sykes says that the volunteers have embraced the name, after alerting the police. “As soon as the chaplain for the police department, Reverand Darren Walker, heard we were being called ‘Meth House,’ he sat down with the [Belton] police chief, and he explained the meaning behind the name,” Sykes said. Set-up usually begins for the lunch on Tuesdays, when volunteers begin cooking and setting up tables. Sykes said that he chooses the menu based on prices, what the students seem to like, and the feasibility of cooking for...

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Tori Pharris crowned Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor
Nov15

Tori Pharris crowned Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor

Twenty young women, representing student organizations, classes and residence halls displayed their inner beauty at the annual Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor Pageant this Veteran’s Day, Saturday, Nov. 11. Miss Search Cru, junior mass communication major Tori Pharris was crowned 2018 Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor. Pharris will represent the university at parades, Crusader Knights and other campus events. She will also work to carry out her platform, “supporting military families during deployment.” “It’s kind of overwhelming,” she said. “I just went into the pageant with the expectation of, ‘let’s just have fun and meet some new people,’ so it’s kind of crazy.” Junior psychology major Sarah Szyperski directed the pageant, along with her assistant directors, public relations majors senior Rhema Jones and sophomore Mary De Acetis. “[Directing] was honestly one of the biggest blessings and honors of my life. It’s such an honor to put on this big of a tradition, and work alongside two awesome assistant directors.” The contestants were judged by four categories: interview, talent, platform, and evening gown. The night began with the talent portion. From singing about avocados, to dressing like Napolean Dynamite, to karate chopping a boyfriend, the talent portion brought many laughs and smiles. Pharris’ showcased her musical abilities during the talent portion of the pageant by playing the school’s alma mater using water glasses. “The school song means so much [to me,]” Pharris said. “By the end everyone was singing, and it made it much more heartfelt.” The contest also had the evening gown portion, where the ladies showcased their grace and poise. The ladies then performed a group dance together, and the top five finalists were announced. Each were given interview questions about their platforms and the organizations they were representing. While the judges collaborated on the winner, co-emcee Annah Jane Pascall performed an original song that she performed last year when she was a contestant in the pageant. Runner-ups for the pageant were Miss McLane Hall Sarah Jane Leaverton, Miss Junior Class Jenna Albright, Miss Senior Class Katie Winekauf, and Miss Baptist Student Union Hannah John. 1st runner-up John said that she looks forward to supporting Pharris through her reign as the 2018 Miss MHB. “I don’t plan on stopping with my platform, but I’m excited that I get to support her.” Several special awards were given out to a few young ladies. Miss Freshman Class Ally Jordan won best talent for her Bon Qui Qui Starbucks skit. Best Evening Gown went to Miss Student Foundation Hannah Yoes. Miss Farris Hall Keyarius Johnson won both Best Interview and the Congeniality Award. “We are all just family, so it was an amazing feeling to...

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Sports spotlight: Wykeyhe Walker
Nov15

Sports spotlight: Wykeyhe Walker

Senior mass communications major Wykeyhe Walker was recently baptized in the university’s pool at the Mayborn Campus Center. “It was something I wanted to do for a while now, and I was going through so much, but God gave me hope and that caused me to focus on the good instead of the bad.” Walker’s friends and family gathered at the pool to see him baptized. President Dr. Randy O’Rear and his wife, Julie, were in attendance at the baptism. Walker attends First Baptist Belton with the O’Rears. “It was joyful to see him make the best decision he will ever make in his life,” O’Rear said. “He desired to tell the world and stand up on top of the mountain and scream, ‘I am a believer, and I want to be obedient, and I want to be baptized.’” O’Rear said that Walker reached out to him after one of his teammates and now UMHB alumnus, Matt Cody, was baptized at Temple Lake Park. “We started talking about our faith, becoming a Christian, baptism, what that meant, and what that meant to him.” O’Rear said that he’s enjoyed watching the journey Walker has taken since he began attending church with the O’Rears. “To see the joy and the peace he has now as a believer has been a sweet thing to watch,” he said. Walker plans to graduate this December with a bachelor of arts in mass communications. He will then relocate to Madrid, Spain to play professional football with the Osos Rivas. “Honestly it hasn’t hit me yet, but I can’t wait for the experience,” he said. “Of course, my family is sad but this is a step I have to take to get to the NFL.” Walker played receiver for the university for four seasons. During his final season, he was a part of the National Championship winning team. “I have been a starter here for the last 3.5 years, and I have never played in a game so cold,” he said. “I was with my brothers. You can’t really ask for a better ending.” Walker said that playing football for the Cru and being at the university has changed him tremendously. “When I got here, I was a kid that only cared about himself,” he said. “Now, I am a man who is about to start a new journey.” He said that he didn’t really see change in himself until his sophomore year. “I didn’t know Jesus, and even football was going bad. But I got my head right in the summer of my sophomore year, realizing I wanted the college experience. So I had to...

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