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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Crusaders host Kean University and remain unbeaten
Oct14

Crusaders host Kean University and remain unbeaten

Relax, sports fans. Crusader football is back in action this Saturday as they face Sul Ross State University. The Cru will be traveling to Alpine, Texas, to take on a talented Lobo team.   The Cru is coming off of their bye week, which seemed to come at a perfect time, with injuries starting to creep up on some of the players.   “The bye week was good for us. As a player, we always like having a game to look forward to after a week of practice, but we needed the bye week to rest up and polish things in order to continue to get better,” senior tight end Ben Keilman said.   With the outing The Cru had in their last game, it might look like they wouldn’t have too many things to work on, after they defeated Kean University 73-7, with the help of big plays on offense and defense.   “We played well against Kean but that game is behind us,” Keilman said. “I think we got better during bye week.Everyone is working really hard.”   D3football.com still has the Cru ranked second in their latest polls. That is no surprise, considering the weapons the purple and gold have on both sides of the ball.   Senior Kamray Runnels has broken out as the go-to guy on the outside with four touchdown receptions thus far.   “Kamray has been everything that we know he could be. He has just had more opportunities this year, and he as taken advantage of those opportunities,” senior wide receiver Stanton Holland said.   The Crusader defense is solid again this year, only allowing a total of 36 points in four games. Senior Deshon Kinsey hasn’t dissapointed, tallying 28 solo tackles.   “Deshon is one of the leaders on this team and he sets a good example of how everyone needs to play,” Holland said.   This week starts conference play, and as they face Sul Ross State, the Crusaders understand that they have to be at their best.   Keilman said, “We let Sul Ross stick around too long last year. They are a good team, and we are focused on going down to their place and taking care of them this...

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Crusader soccer teams start seasons strong
Oct14

Crusader soccer teams start seasons strong

The men’s and women’s soccer teams have kicked off the 2014-15 season.   Currently, the Cru is 4-4-1 and began conference games this past weekend against Louisiana College and East Texas Baptist University.   The Cru went 1-0-1 on the road, starting with a tie and finishing with a victory. The Lady Cru are 6-3 and also played against LC and ETBU.   The women took care of business and won both games over the weekend, outscoring their opponents 11-0.   Head men’s soccer coach Brad Bankhead is ready to execute the team’s goals this year.   “The number one thing is to get to the post-season. We understand that, so it’s obviously a goal. We would like to host the (conference) tournament, but our ultimate goal right now is getting to the post-season and see what happens from there,” he said.   Over the weekend, the Cru defeated ETBU 2-1. Senior cellular biology and psychology major Nate Fagnant helped secure the victory for the Cru by scoring early in the first half.   Fagnant believes in his squad. He said, “The team that Coach Bankhead has assembled this season believes in his vision of a superior and dominant squad. (We) have been training our tails off preparing for conference play.”   What’s the key to success?   “To walk through fire this season and come out together, victorious, while making life long lasting relationships on the way,” Fagnant said.   Head women’s soccer Barry Elkins believes in his team and the goals they have set this year.   “Our main goal is to make the national tournament. That is either going to come two ways: through winning our conference tournament or getting our ranking up high enough and getting an at-large bid,” he said.   The Lady Cru are off to a great start as they have begun conference play undefeated at 3-0.   Junior nursing major Ashley Stenack enjoys being a part of the team.   “I absolutely love going to practice every day and being a part of this soccer family. I love that when I step on the field, everything and anything that is bothering me fades away, and nothing matters except the girls standing next to me. I have their backs, and I know they will have mine,” she said.   The Cru and Lady Cru will return home for two matches this Friday and Saturday at the Crusader Soccer Field.   They will take on rival Hardin-Simmons and Howard Payne University. Women begin at 5 p.m. followed by the men at 7...

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