Gotham: Not to bat an eye at
Oct23

Gotham: Not to bat an eye at

The Fox hit show this fall is Gotham, and it has all of its newly-acquired viewers on the edge of their seats Monday after Monday.   The showed premiered on Sept. 22, and a few episodes into the season, it is evident that the story line is packed with countless twists.   The plot centers around a young James Gordon, who is new to the police force. As we all know, Gordon later becomes Commissioner Gordon and works side by side with Batman.   But in the Gotham television series, Gordon is trying to figure out who killed Bruce Wayne’s parents. Wayne is still a child in the show, so if you were expecting to see Batman, you will be disappointed. But producers do a great job of laying out the back story of how and why Wayne became Batman.   Bruce Wayne, played by the young actor David Mazouz, is 13 at the time of the show and is already showing signs of being a hero.   He is amazed at the amount of effort Gordon gives in order to bring justice and safety to Gotham.   Viewers can see the light go off in the young Wayne’s mind when he asks Officer Gordon if there is even a chance that Gotham could be saved from the dangerous people running the city.   Gordon responds, “However dark and scary the world might be right now, there will be light.”   This show gives Batman enthusiasts a glimpse of how Gordon and Wayne came to be such loyal friends.   Officer Gordon seems to be the only law enforcement person who isn’t crooked or part of the mob that controls the city.   He promises Bruce that he will find his parents’ killer, and Wayne trusts Gordon, seeing him as almost a father figure.   The show is packed full of all the old players in the Batman movies.   For example, Penguin has already played a major role in the first three episodes. He continually causes problems for Gordon in the early stages.   To begin with, Gordon is faced with a tough decision: Kill Penguin or be killed himself.   Gordon decides to keep Penguin alive but forces him to leave Gotham.   Penguin is now back though, creating more problems for Gordon.   What makes this show stand out from the others is the detail that went into filming the. The producers did an excellent job portraying Gotham as a dark and dangerous city, run by criminals.   The show is casted perfectly, as well. Jada Pinkett Smith plays a dark, sadistic and manipulative mob boss...

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Cru Culture: Learning your vocab
Oct23

Cru Culture: Learning your vocab

A guy you met just last week walks up and asks you if you want to go to the meth house with him. Instead of letting your jaw drop at the audacity of a stranger suggesting you head over to the local drug headquarters with him, there’s a few things you might want to know.   With half a semester under your belt, or your graduation gown in this case, you’re probably into the swing of things on campus. But there may be some UMHB terminology you’re still unsure of, and to avoid the embarrassment of some upperclassmen jeers, it’s time you read up.   The Meth House   Contrary to the obvious, this isn’t a sketchy building for buying illegal substances. When you hear students on campus throwing this phrase around, hold onto your books — it’s not what you think. Christ United Methodist Church in downtown Belton serves free lunch for college students on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. It’s a weekly occasion most Crusader veterans frequent. Make sure you to throw a few bucks into the donation jar on your way out to keep the tradition alive. The meals change each time, but it’s always home-cooked and delicious.   The Thursday Chick-fil-A struggle   In case you’ve been living under a rock or in a single room in Stribling, Chick-fil-A in Temple serves discounted meals for college students on Thursdays. Showing your Cru Card grants you two magical things — free waffle fries and a free drink. What more can you ask for?   Norts, Chacos and Crunilla   You’ve probably heard at least one of these slang words thrown around in normal conversation. If someone mentions their Norts, it’s not a cheap kind of candy or an eclectic hipster name. Instead, this term refers to the Nike shorts that unfortunately fill most college students’ closets.   Then there’s the infamous Chaco footwear. These outdoorsy shoes are great for adventuring around Lake Belton and accompanying almost any outfit — or so they say.   If you’ve been to a Cru football game and not had Crunilla, you’re missing out. This purple Bluebell ice cream was made specifically for UMHB and will change the life of your tastebuds forever. Don’t ask why, but it’s better than the homemade vanilla, probably because of the color, but mostly because of the Cru spirit.     Now that you’ve learned all the terminology, been dubbed a Crusader forever, made it to class without getting lost, and realized that parking on campus isn’t worth a ticket, welcome home,...

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Viewers navigate maze of emotion
Oct23

Viewers navigate maze of emotion

Based on the first novel of James Dashner’s bestselling trilogy, The Maze Runner presents a suspenseful and dark version of dystopian ideals found in films like The Hunger Games and Divergent.   The movie begins with 16 year-old Thomas waking up inside of an underground elevator. When he surfaces, he finds himself surrounded by dozens of other teenage boys in the middle of a meadow.   He doesn’t know where he is, why he’s there or even who he is. Apparently, none of the boys can remember anything about their past lives either, recalling only their names.   The group lives in a primitive camp built in the meadow, dubbed “The Glade” by residents of the dystopia. The boys call themselves “gladers,” and have made a life in the rough, green setting by building their own homes and growing food.   Anything else they need is sent to them once a month through the mysterious elevator. Along with the necessities comes a new boy, who is introduced to the lifestyle and encouraged to adapt to the strange circumstances.   Some gladers have lived there for years, and many have died there as well.   But why are they stuck in The Glade, and why can’t they just leave?   Surrounding the camp on all sides and towering in all of its ivy-covered glory is the solid stone walls of the maze. The only way out is through the maze, but very few enter it.   The brave kids who volunteer for the treacherous task are called “runners,” and it is their sole mission to run the course, mapping and charting all of the alleys and passages in hopes of finding the escape route.   However, there are a few problems with navigating the maze. The “runners” must return to the Glade before nightfall, because the opening to the course closes until early morning.   No one has ever survived a night within the walls, thanks to the Grievers — large, grotesque creatures that haunt gladers’ nightmares.   To make things worse, the maze changes each night as walls shift and new pathways open, making the possibility of finding a way out even more challenging.   Shortly after the arrival of Thomas, everything changes when the first girl shows up in the elevator, holding a written message.   Do they stay and die in the Glade? Or should they face the maze and all its dangers once and for all?   Sacrifices will be made, alliances will be formed and many will die before the maze trial is complete.   The Maze Runner proves to be both entertaining and thrilling....

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#UMHBRO14
Oct16

#UMHBRO14

A frigid wind dragged along the steps of Luther Memorial Saturday morning, October 4th, yet still, more than 300 students showed up to serve at Reaching Out 2014.   Lord knows it was a miracle I was one of em’. Saturday mornings, I’m usually in a state of comatose only the rapture can lift me out of. But my girlfriend, junior education major Savannah Davis wasn’t having any of that. My phone bu-zzzzzzzzzz-ed. It was time to go [insert sound of whip cracking here].   7:30 a.m. We just had to get a T-shirt. Savvy and I stood at the back while dedicated students materialized in front of Luther.   My roommate, senior physcology major Alex Aleman, stepped up to the microphone to lead us in prayer.   “We wanted students to have a direct impact on the community this year in a way they could see it,” he said. “It’s great that we got to work in Belton because this is our town.”   Aleman is the Director of Spiritual Life for Student Government Association, and “me and the chaplains are in charge of preparing the sites, finding a speaker and finding people to lead worship,” he said.   Senior Biblical Studies major Matt Boden, and fellow teammate of the acclaimed co-rec intramural football team known as “Jesus Jukes,” joined junior exercise science major Alexa Billington in leading worship.   Boden said leading worship at Reaching Out is unique.   “First,” he said, “It is so dang early. But the people who show up usually want to be there. That’s a breath of fresh air for someone in ministry to see.”   Students all around joined in a chorus of praise.   “Singing is just a very powerful form of worship,” Billington said, “and I know, for me, it’s what makes me feel like I’m connecting with God the most.”   “It’s just a beautiful thing to be able to sing to The Lord before the sun even comes out …” Boden added.   The only thing missing from Reaching Out’s pregame experience was Shawn Shannon’s “Big Watermelon!” warm-up. She was sick and dearly missed. But either way, it was time to serve. Savvy and I headed out to help clean up Nolan Creek.   We were joined on the trail by senior education major Kristen Cain, who also served at the Harris Community Center.   “We picked up large sticks and branches that were along the trail to clean up from the big storm Thursday night,” she said.   Our work replenished the creek’s appearance.   “God has shown me easy ways to serve in my community...

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Cru Culture
Oct14

Cru Culture

If you’re not “yaking,” your social game is lacking — at least that’s what creators of the latest social networking app, Yik Yak, are hoping.   Though it’s not a game in the traditional sense of the word, it’s a social experiment for the honest, the bored and the nosy. Essentially, Yik Yak has become a back and forth game of secrets and blackmail, taking over college campuses one by one.   Upon downloading, users assume anonymous identities, literally invisible to participants. With such secrecy, writers can post anything they want. And I mean anything.   Restricted by location, your feed of posts differs depending on where you are at the moment. For example, students using Yik Yak on campus will only be reading UMHB gossip.   The app also allows “peeks,” where users can look at feeds from other universities, literally reading the dirty laundry of places like Stanford and Baylor.   Crusaders have taken to this free speech forum to express all sorts of sentiments, whether it be their frustrations with the university or their personal problems. While it can be as innocent as posting jokes or Monday encouragement, there’s a darker side to this conversation free-for-all.   Unfortunately, the yaks have turned into negativity and hatred, earning users Yakarama points, giving them no reason to stop.   Freshmen, overweight students and even the kid in the library playing his music too loud — these are just a few of the people being attacked by users of the app. Flaws are being exposed, and controversial opinions are being uploaded by the second. It’s like a public condemnation of sins, and stones are being thrown from countless users.   Many Crusaders have expressed their unhappiness with Yik Yak and the aftermath of its contents, so the university responded by blocking yaks on CruNet.   But nothing can be done about using cellular data for spilling secrets. The face of the app, the little mischievous Yak, will continue to spin as posts load on campus.   For those that are tired of reading and hearing these terrible things, delete the application — it will save you a lot of time and hurt.   Yakers, you may not be able to control what people say about you, but you do have the power to say, or not say, cruel things about...

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Gone Girl goes big in theaters
Oct14

Gone Girl goes big in theaters

It’s not very often that a really good, suspenseful movie comes along. But when one does, it hits big in theaters, just like Gone Girl did over the weekend.   The film, based on the best-selling novel by Gillian Flynn, not only had viewers on the edge of their seats the entire running time, but caused a variety of emotions.   The depth of the story proves the author had this entire plot carefully planned, and it was detailed enough to make the audience wonder who could even come up with something so dark.   The movie starts out simple. Nick Dunne, played by actor Ben Affleck, goes to work at the bar he owns. There, he gets a call from his neighbor that the door to his home seems to be left open, and his cat is roaming around outside.   Nick rushes home to find his house has been invaded, and his wife, Amy, played by Rosamund Pike, is nowhere to be found.   As the police try to find out what happened, Nick goes through many obstacles that include the media picking apart his every move, bringing back Amy’s past and him being accused of murdering his spouse for selfish reasons.   While everyone is questioning if he did it, Nick begins to unravel what is really happening, asking himself how well he really knows his wife.   The way audience members feel at the beginning of the movie is nothing like how they will feel at the end of it, that’s guaranteed.   Gone Girl will pull on your heart strings and make you angry all at once, proving that the range of emotions the film gives viewers is worth the two and a half hour run time.   Director David Fincher accomplished yet another novel adaptation, surprising many viewers and critics.   “Fincher is as Fincher does. And what Fincher does better than almost anyone is create moody, meticulously-crafted thrillers that straddle the divide between genre and art,” critic Christopher Orr said.   You might have to sit through some slow but necessary scenes, but the ending will leave you speechless.   If you’re afraid because you didn’t read the book first, thinking you might get lost during the film, think again.   The movie flows very well, capturing a lot of the darkness that was helpful in building tension.   Because Flynn wrote the screenplay, there weren’t many scenes that got cut from the book, so the audience does get the full effect.   As harsh as Rotten Tomatoes is known to be, they rated Gone Girl at 87 percent, which is exceptionally...

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