Pause for thought: Roommate Woes
Nov04

Pause for thought: Roommate Woes

By Joshua Thiering The door opens, and in walks old bad news herself. It’s that roommate who always gets on your nerves. She plops down on the sofa, groaning, making a point to let everyone know how miserable her life is. Soon the groans will be drowned out by Lauryn Hill, whining over her laptop speakers. “Killing me softly, with his song, killing me softly,” she sings along with the chorus. Ironically, however, it’s really you she is killing softly. Perhaps you have a roommate like this one. Like a badger, their tracks can be spotted a couple of ways. They usually live in your living room and never leave. They only speak to you negatively, and ask you a lot of questions when you’re walking out the door like: “Where you are going? And why do you never make time for me?” With the housing process quickly approaching, switching roommates can be as difficult and terrifying as undertaking surgery. For those thinking about cutting ties, here are a few quick tips to numb the long-term pain of your roommate woes. Avoidance “The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it,” said best-selling author Dale Carnegie. The best way to avoid conflicts at your apartment is not to be there. Make a schedule of when your roommate is home. Now take a permanent marker, and black out those blocks, and write over them with red ink: study in library, dinner with friends, long walk around campus or dig a hole to China. Be dirty The dirtier you are, the less likely they will want to live with you. Try eating meals in their bed. Leave your dirty dishes on their night stand. If you ever do have to wash any dishes, do it in the toilet bowl. Once the mess piles up, blame them. Take your friends on guided tours through their messy rooms. Be sure to use metaphorical language comparing the room to a pigsty or a tsunami refugee camp. Redecorate the living room Print up bad photos of your roommate and hang them all over your living room walls. You know the one, with the double chin, and the one black and white photo where they tried to be artsy, but just ended up looking like a whitewashed bloated Jabba The Hut with heartburn. Tack it up. These tactics may make matters worse temporarily, but in the long run, they will not put up a fight to move...

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Civil rights, football fuel ‘The Express’
Oct21

Civil rights, football fuel ‘The Express’

The Express is not just a name. It is history. The film is a story of an athlete who overcomes social discrimination and provokes black athletes across the nation to stand out from the crowd. This production is not a football film. It is more than that. Ernie Davis’ story begins in Uniontown, Penn., in a transitional era  when segregation in schools was normal and when civil rights to every American, regardless of race, was added to the Constitution. The young Ernie Davis has a poster of Jackie Robinson, a role model who inspired many black athletes to pursue their dreams and break through social oppression, on his wall. Davis’ grandfather, Pops, is his guardian throughout his childhood who instills in him at a young age that he can do anything and to follow Corinthians 15:10, which says, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed on me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” This verse gives Davis’ character a meaning larger than just football. In his high school years, the now older Ernie Davis played by Rob Brown, impresses college scouts, breaking through would-be tacklers and running circles around players, much like his favorite player, Jim Brown, played by Darrin Dewitt Henson. Needless to say, Davis is a beast on the gridiron. The Syracuse head coach, Ben Schwartzwalder, played by Dennis Quaid, recruits Davis to play for the Orangemen. He provides helpful advice and stands up for his players despite his own possible persecution as an “n-word lover.” The movie has more racial slurs than most would appreciate, but it shows how hard it was being a black American during that time. The racially-charged storyline builds into climax when Davis and the Orangemen face off against the University of Texas Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl. The unforgiving fans and brutal players from UT make a victory in Dallas seem impossible. Coach Schwartzwalder says about the national championship, “This is more than a game now. I can see that just as plain as any of you.” The visual appeal in the film is impeccable. Old film clips mixed with fast-paced action makes watching the games extremely pleasing. The cinematography used in the film is by far the best of the fall season. The camera angles are unique. The production makes use of several different techniques, each enhancing the film into a superfluous retelling of Ernie Davis’ story. This inspirational film is a treat in a rather unimpressive fall movie season. The Express...

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Pause for thought: Decision 2008
Oct21

Pause for thought: Decision 2008

By Joshua Thiering Big questions loom as we barrel down the homestretch of 2008. Big questions like: What should I major in? Who should I vote for? Should I get a hair cut? Well, don’t fret my little fretting freshman. I’ve got some answers for you. But they aren’t about silly things  the “main stream media” covers like majors and presidential elections. Instead, like Santa, or the three wisemen (if your feeling preachy), I come bearing gifts to those who care about their hair. These gifts are in the form of a point counter point of the ever important issue of hair cuts. Pro: Hey you, get a haircut. Your head looks like a mangy cat. Call the vet! Haircuts make it look healthy, and you’ll get less dandruff — a win-win situation for everyone. The Bird’s Nest is not just the stadium where the Olympics were held. It’s your head! Shave it, you haggard, kinky-haired Chia Pet. A hair stylist should hijack your hair.  Your hair is an abomination. It ruins your witness. Think about God.  Think biblically. Your mother tells your grandmother it’s time to get the shears.  We will cheer if you shear! “Your hair looks like a bush,” said senior Andrew Dickerson, who is a reliable source of unreliable sources. Cut your hair.  It isn’t famous. It’s infamous. You look like Saddam Hussein when they pulled him out of his hole. You were seen on campus and thought to be Bigfoot. Con: No, don’t shear thy righteous bangs. Thou long, flowing mane doth glow in the sun’s golden rays. Doth the shaved lion roar as loud? Nay, my friend. Your hair is a liberation; let us drink from its cup. The barbers are the truly barbarous. Maybe your hair has gone hay-wire. What is wrong with that? The armed services shave the heads of enlistees to maintain uniformity. They want you to be part of the mass. Be bold. Celebrate your differences. Grow it long and strong. Paint with all the colors of the wind. Or, better yet, think biblically. Delilah is waiting around ever corner, waiting to sap your strength. Take a walk on the wild side. Business in front, party in the back, isn’t merely the mullet. It’s the Missouri Compromise. You look like a mop head, but mops clean things. So what if you look like you stuck your fingers in a light socket? It’s only a testament to your electric personality. Oliver Herford once said, “A hair in the head is worth two in the brush.” Grow it long before it all falls out. Conclusion: As you can tell, by column...

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‘Remember the Alamo’ in library exhibit
Sep30

‘Remember the Alamo’ in library exhibit

The Alamo has become more of an icon than an actual event in the minds of many Texans. However, as part of the “Humanities Texas Traveling Exhibits,” rare Alamo images and historical information regarding the battle have been featured in the library. “For a lot of guys my age, who grew up in Texas, we feel like the Alamo is one of the greatest stories ever told — besides the birth of Christ,” Professor of history and political science, Dr. David Chrisman said. He enjoyed the exhibit because it was “as much about the portrayal of the event as it (was) about the historical facts of the battle.” Changing Perceptions of a Texas Experience was the title of the exhibit, which was created by the DeGolyer Library of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “There’s a lot of misconceptions about the Alamo,” said Anne Price, head of public services. “The images (were) here to provide accurate information about what happened and how people believe it to have happened.” It gives students the opportunity to gain the knowledge they would learn at a museum by visiting their university library. “The exhibit helped me realize that the battle still holds relevance to our culture, and that more than anything — it’s a symbol of courage,” library student worker junior Sarah Parry said. The Alamo exhibit has already been removed to make way for the October display, that arrives just in time for elections, called Campaigns, Elections, and Presidents. Price said “Our goal here at the library is to provide added interest and our exhibits and forums and art galleries (are) how we do...

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‘Beware the Jabberwock…’

By Joshua Thiering In a watershed moment for modern anthropology, a group of men from Georgia claimed they had found Bigfoot. However, when placed under the intense eye of scrutiny, the dead body of the monster was found to be — a rubber gorilla costume. The Bigfoot hoax of 2008 means only one thing. The monster is still at large and could be on campus. No official sightings of Bigfoot have yet to be recorded at UMHB according to the Director of Campus Police, Gary Sargent. However, many students suspect paranormal occurrences on campus are not infrequent. “I think I saw the Chupacabra in the Sesquicentennial Plaza in mid scurry,” sophomore Micah Lynch said. For those of you who aren’t “in the know,” the Chupacabra is a monster from Puerto Rican lore best known for attacking and sucking the blood of goats. Lynch agreed that the sighting has left him with a growing concern for the safety of unaccompanied girls walking through the plaza at night. Lynch did not mention, however, that if the girls were accompanied by goats, it would actually increase their chance of being attacked by the Chupacabra. *NOTE: Girls should not take goats for walks late at night through the Sesquicentennial Plaza. * Side Note: Wouldn’t “Raising Chupacabra awareness for the goat owners near the Sesquicentennial Plaza” be a great platform for the Miss Mary Hardin-Baylor Pageant? Pageant entries may never get the chance if Lynch gets his way. “I would like to set a trap to catch the Chupacabra. Maybe we can have a march, form a mob and get pitch forks,” he said. However, pitch forks are not available in bulk at Wal-Mart. There is no word yet if Lynch plans to take this issue before the Student Government Association. In other news of the paranormal, senior Brandon Blackshear saw a falling star the other day, but thought it “might not have been a falling star.” Junior Lindsay Hunt claims she has seen more falling stars than usual lately. Could an alien invasion be underway? Not likely. Hunt also claimed that she was the “tooth fairy.” Hunt has yet to take a DNA test. There was not much evidence to support the claim of a possible alien invasion except for a faculty member who commented off the record that some of the freshmen “look like aliens.” There are many theories circulating on campus; however, no hard evidence has been found to support any of the claims. Until more develops, keep an eye out for Bigfoot, and keep goats out of the Sesquicentennial Plaza. It’s better to be safe than...

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Wield the force like never before
Sep30

Wield the force like never before

“A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… “The galaxy is on the brink of total darkness. The evil Galactic empire has overthrown the Old Republic and now holds countless worlds in the grip of fear. “The Jedi Knights have been all but destroyed. Only a handful have escaped Imperial forces, disappearing into hiding across the galaxy. “The Emperor’s spies have located a lone Jedi Knight on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk. The Sith lord, Darth Vader, has been sent to destroy him.” The Game In Review: A boy was kidnapped by Darth Vader on the planet Kashyyyk during the extermination of his father, the lone Jedi Knight. Darth Vader accepted the boy as his own personal apprentice and vowed to teach him the power of the dark side. The boy had a destiny. His name: Starkiller. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is an action-packed game that allows gamers to use the force like never before. The sound, graphics and characters all tie into the Star Wars universe with ease. The story takes place between Episode III and IV as Vader is completing Order 66, the command to kill every Jedi. As Vader’s apprentice, Starkiller’s duty is to carry out his master’s orders, and doing so in the game makes Star Wars fans as giddy as a kid on Christmas morning. The presentation of the game is clear and makes use of brilliant lighting and great graphic elements. The sound: brilliant. Star Wars fans can reminisce over the many different theme songs they hear in the movies, along with several new compositions. Each planet that is visited has unique characteristics and parallels to what viewers see in the six Star Wars movies. Felucia is crawling with life and everything that is touched moves vivaciously. Kashyyyk is all fans could expect from the Wookiee  planet. Overall, the game does a great job in each area, excluding replay value. The 12-14 hour game is fun for about two run-throughs, but once  every upgrade and all of the different lightsaber power and color crystals are won, it becomes a little dull. The sheer amazement that one experiences when wielding the force like an excited infant is the best feature this game has to offer. Whether it is force lightning, force push, throwing the lightsaber or using a combination of each, this game has much to offer to Star Wars and video game fans...

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