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Rice Women’s Basketball improved their record to 15-2 with back-to-back victories against Louisiana Tech University this weekend. The Owls outscored the Lady Techsters by a combined 34 points as they earned their tenth and eleventh conference wins of the season. Head coach Tina Langley said she is proud of her team’s performance, especially given their stop-and-start season due to the pandemic.
Just days after the city of Houston was in its most desperate need of light, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston unveiled an unparalleled beacon of brilliance. “Electrifying Design: A Century of Lighting” opened last week as the first large-scale U.S. exhibition to examine both the technological and artistic innovations in international lighting design. Through three thematic galleries, audiences are invited to see lamps, chandeliers and the humble bulb in a whole new light.
It can be hard to imagine that Andra Day, who plays legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday in “The United States vs. Billie Holiday,” has never played a leading role before. Better known for her success in the R&B music scene than on the silver screen, Day beautifully captures the spotlight and Holiday’s essence: her swagger, her love for gaudy jewelry and clothes and especially her voice. The same success, however, cannot be said for the rest of the movie, directed by Lee Daniels and written by Suzan-Lori Park. Though it boasts a talented star-studded cast, "The United States vs. Billie Holiday" largely fails to do justice to Holiday's life and legacy due to shallow writing and confusing plot development.
On Feb. 22, electronic duo Daft Punk unexpectedly announced their retirement after 28 years of prolific influence on the music industry with a short video featuring one of the duo's robots dramatically exploding. Emerging in 1993 out of the Paris underground rave scene, Daft Punk’s music effortlessly combined influences from disco, funk, R&B and even the Chicago house genre. The duo’s enigmatic robot personas allowed them to avoid the media and uniquely transcend the limitations of age, relevance and appearance to continuously create musical masterpieces. By choosing anonymity, Daft Punk maintained a focus on their creative freedom and musical quality, managing to evade the corrupting forces of fame and ego.
Last Friday, Feb. 26, KTRU held its fourth annual Cozy Show, and it was unlike any year before. Instead of going to see and hear the featured artists perform live on Rice campus, this year’s audience was invited to enjoy the show from the comfort of their homes as the artists’ performances were streamed on KTRU’s Facebook and YouTube pages, marking the radio station’s first completely virtual concert.
Ya’Ke Smith, filmmaker and associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin’s Moody College of Communication, channels his powerful prose and uncompromising storytelling to rewrite traditional narratives of Black Americans in film.
Kendall Vining will serve as the next Student Association president after winning the election against Jarrett Prchal. Vining received 56.8 percent of the vote (545 ballots) while Prchal received 41.4 percent (345 ballots). A total of 959 ballots were cast for the SA presidential election for a voter turnout of 24 percent, the lowest turnout in the past five years.
Rice plans to launch a two-year professional master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology and a 31-credit professional master’s degree in data science. Both programs will begin their classes in Fall 2021.
We’ve all heard that expression before: if it's not on social media, then it didn’t happen. It seems like nowadays we can’t do much for the fun or the joy of it without feeling that urge to take a picture or video, upload it to the web, and tag our friends in it. In trying times like these, we need to realize that number of likes and retweets aren’t a healthy measure of social affirmation. We need to consider taking a serious break from social media (maybe pick up a hobby) and re-examine our relationships with these platforms.
Even as many movie and TV show releases get pushed farther and farther back due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association still managed to pull together a list of nominees that they think represent the best of the best of this year, despite the smaller-than-usual pool. The Golden Globes, often described as the precursor — and sometimes inferior sibling — to the Oscars and the Emmys, are happening this Sunday, Feb. 28 and I will be taking you through my predictions for the biggest categories in film and (some) television. Buckle up … because, once again, it is very beige.
Houston artist MoNique LeRoux opens her docuseries “Meet Houston’s Artists” by acknowledging the upheaval of normal life in the past year in the past year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, economic downturn and Black Lives Matter protests. The tumultuous events of 2020 were key motivations for LeRoux to produce her docuseries, which highlights 14 local artists and how they were impacted by the pandemic. The docuseries culminated in a physical art exhibit, which opened Saturday, Feb. 13 at Sabine Street Studios.
KTRU COZY SHOW
As Black History Month continues, we must remind ourselves that Black culture encompasses the bonds made between different genders and sexualities as well. Intersectionality is important to make sure all Black voices are heard.
Over the past weekend, Rice students participated in a platelet donation drive with the Houston Methodist Hospital. This project was organized by the Rice Student Association as well as the Rice Emergency Medical Services leadership.
Three of Rice’s student-run businesses — Rice Coffeehouse, The Hoot and Rice Bikes — are all expected to reopen in the coming week for the spring semester. There have been no updates released regarding the reopening of Willy’s Pub and East-West Tea.
Recently, I was looking through pictures from my freshman year and discovered something startling — they all depicted me as an unhappy and miserable student. Transferring to Rice was never part of my postsecondary education plans. In fact, like most students, I graduated high school with the expectation that I would spend only four years in college. My complex college journey has led me to realize how important it is for us as individuals and an institution to actively work towards maintaining our diverse student body and prioritizing inclusion. In light of Rice’s plan to expand its undergraduate enrollment, it is imperative that students educate themselves about student movements and hold the institution accountable for its actions and promises, paying closer attention to the “Down with Willy” protests, the work being done by the Task Force and the steps the university will take to attract new students while also meeting the needs of current students.
Almost one year ago, we wrote an editorial titled “Centralize COVID-19 Communication.” That editorial, published on March 10, 2020, came a day after Rice made the decision to suspend classes following the announcement that a Rice employee had tested positive for COVID-19. We wrote, “When we instead get information fragmented between Rice Alert, our magisters, other students’ magisters, our professors, our college presidents or group chat screenshots, it becomes almost impossible to distinguish rumors from facts.”
From spotty Wi-Fi connections in the middle of class discussions to talking to students over six feet of distance, Rice’s professors have faced countless difficulties adapting to yet another semester of online instruction this year. But for professors who were hired in the past year, this virtual and distanced mode of teaching has been all they’ve known at Rice. The Thresher caught up with four new professors to see how their first year at Rice has been going from behind the screen.