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Monday, February 06, 2023 — Houston, TX

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NEWS 3/20/08 7:00pm

Wilson fired after 16 years with men's basketball

While winning may not constitute the entire purpose of sport, it is certainly one of the more important requirements of coaching a Division I athletic program. Because of this requirement, men's basketball head coach Willis Wilson (Will Rice '82) was fired last Friday, two days after Rice was knocked out of the Conference USA tournament by the University of Southern Mississippi. The final loss dropped the Owls to 3-27 overall, and their 0-16 showing in conference play now stands as the worst men's basketball record in C-USA history.As the face of Rice basketball for the last 16 years, Wilson compiled a 219-246 record to become both the longest tenured and winningest coach in Rice history. However, Wilson's extensive experience could not lead the Owls around the numerous roadblocks they encountered during the course of the 2007-'08 season, and by the time the last whistle blew, the defeats added up to a 20-game losing streak, the third-worst run for men's basketball in school history.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

ASB participants trade beach parties for volunteering

While some students were spending their spring breaks at the beach or on the ski slopes, about 100 others decided to devote their time to volunteering with Alternative Spring Break, a program in which teams of college students in communities do short-term community service projects addressing issues such as racism, homelessness, poverty and the environment. This year, there were 10 ASB trips organized by students appointed to be site leaders and coordinated through the Community Involvement Center.All trips required that participants pay a $250 registration fee. The rest of the money for the trips was raised through individual fundraising by each student group.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

Vapid Penelope provides timeless empowerment

Penelope is not practical. She has the face of a beautiful wood nymph and the voice of a fairy, but also the pronounced nose of a pig. She lives in a modern world of high technology subdued by 1950s clothing and milk trucks that hearken back to the early twentieth century. Like its principal character, the movie Penelope is neither practical nor provocative enough for thrill-seeking audiences but is perfect for a quiet, simple afternoon viewing.Afflicted by an ancient family curse, Penelope (Black Snake Moan's Christina Ricci) follows the demands of her aristocratic parents (Monster House's Catherine O'Hara and Corpse Bride's Richard E. Grant) that she cover her pig's nose and ears to hide her secret from the public. Unfortunately, the only way to break the curse and restore her features is to find the one man who will love Penelope for who she is. To discover him, she depends on the help of a sassy new friend (Rendition's Reese Witherspoon), a sensitive musician (Atonement's James McAvoy), a haughty blue blood (Pride and Prejudice's Simon Woods) and a midget reporter (Underdog's Peter Dinklage).


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

Rice-Baylor scholar earns national recognition, $2,500 from USA Today

Wiess College junior Steve Xu became one of 20 undergraduates nationwide to join USA Today's 2008 All-USA College Academic First Team. The group of selected students consists of undergraduates throughout the country who excel in various fields.USA Today featured the 20 winners who took home $2,500 in prize money. Xu estimates that between 550 and 600 undergraduates applied for the team this year.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

Self-proclaimed gadfly: College system strains university bond

Ideally, the college system is a great system. Students leaving their homes, often for the first time, can find a nurturing new community within their colleges. But one cannot live in the nursery forever. However, the Rice housing scheme seems to disagree - Rice does not provide housing for students who wish to leave the confines of the college system.It may seem inconceivable to many students that their peers would want to leave the alma mater they love so dearly, but all it takes is a few minutes in the Rice Memorial Center to find students who want to graduate from their colleges but still attend the university as a whole.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

After jump in ranking, men's tennis falls against No. 17 Florida State

For the men's tennis team, the confines of Jake Hess Tennis Stadium are a welcome sight. In most instances, that is. The Owls, ranked 13th in the nation, found themselves rudely treated by a visiting Florida State University, which pulled out a 4-3 come-from-behind win last Tuesday. Rice's loss to the 17th-ranked Seminoles came on the heels of a California road swing that saw them drop two ranked opponents. However, those wins sandwiched a 7-0 blowout loss to the No. 6 University of California-Los Angeles on March 5, Rice's first road loss to a top-50 opponent this year.The Owls finally get a reprieve from their strenuous schedule, with an entire week off until their next match - a home contest against No. 26 Louisiana State University next Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. The Tigers have been streaky of late, winning three in a row after dropping a pair of matches to ranked foes, and boast only one player, No. 86 Michael Venus, in the top 115.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

Men's first win of 2008 will have to come in fall

On the same night that one Houston basketball team won its 20th game in a row, another dropped its 20th consecutive contest. The men's basketball team's season came to an end Wednesday in a disappointing yet telling way, as Rice dropped a 59-50 contest against the University of Southern Mississippi in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament in Memphis, Tenn. The defeat ended what could be claimed as the program's worst season in its history - not only did the Owls (3-26, 0-16 C-USA) become the first team ever in C-USA not to win a single conference game, but they failed to win any games at all in 2008.However, the dismal record may be a bit deceptive. Prior to their season-ending loss, the Owls lost three hard-fought games during spring break. After trailing by more than 16 points in the first half, the Owls closed to within two points late in the second half before folding 68-60 to the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Fla. Later in the week, senior forward Patrick Britton scored a career high 40 points on 14-18 shooting, but the Owls lost 75-68 to East Carolina University at home.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

Texas routs Rice 9-1 at Reckling Park

The baseball team book-ended the last two weeks with a sweep of the Minute Maid Park College Classic and a 7-3 win over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi University, but there were a few bumps in the road in between. Not only did No. 15 Rice (9-6) drop two one-run games in a row against Sam Houston State University and Dallas Baptist University on the road, but the Owls were smashed 9-3 by Michigan State University in the opener of the Rice Classic. While the team rebounded with wins over Western Carolina University and Creighton University, the Owls rolled over against the 19th-ranked University of Texas to even the season series at 1-1.The Owls will look to defend their home field once more this weekend, facing Winthrop University four times in as many days, starting today at 6:30 p.m. The Eagles (3-10) have yet to beat a ranked opponent this year, falling three times to the University of Southern California and once to the University of North Carolina. Before the week is over, the Owls will also take on the University of Louisiana-Lafayette at home at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

Bike-o-saurus rex

Jones College freshman Ryan Le and Jones junior Daniel Hodges-Copple push Jones junior Daniel Antworth off to the races during Mock Beer-Bike Wednesday night, while Professor of Political Science Richard Stoll prays fervently in the background.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

With spring in swing, we say farewell

The Thresher office is a little bit different come this year's Beer-Bike weekend. It's a little bit quieter, a little more focused and has a little less Hall & Oates blaring from computer speakers. That is because it's changeover week at the Thresher, and as our seniors depart and leave the rest of us legally culpable for everything we print, we must thank them for all of their contributions, past and present.Julia Bursten served as editor in chief for the first part of the year, until she was kidnapped by Descartes' evil demon and dragged away into a philosophy paper. We were sad to see her leave because she was an efficient and encouraging editor whose epic bouts with a certain backpage editor made the office a great place to work.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

Serendipitous musings: Beer-Bike tradition as quirky, unique as Rice

As the Ides of March approaches, students steel themselves for an especially important and momentous event. Summer job and internship searches? Child's play. Midterm exams and papers? Who worries about those? I am talking about what could arguably be the most memorable and vital annual event at Rice, comparable in magic and joy only to Christmas, and, quite possibly, a law or med school admissions letter: I am talking about Beer-Bike.Not only is it a tradition unique and specific to Rice, but Beer-Bike also provides students with a way to rally and connect together as residential colleges and a university as a whole, regardless of major and age - even the Graduate Student Association participates. The event's evolution marks the growth of the university as a whole, and the excitement is like nothing ever seen before. The energy and anticipation in the air replaces the usual enthusiasm and excitement you find at other universities that have exceptional varsity sports programs and makes the experience available to sports fans and bookish types alike.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

There's no use crying over spilt carcinogenic milk

If you think milk "does a body good," think again. As consumers, we have fallen prey to a conspiracy of epic proportions. The truth is that milk is no panacea; it is no health food. In fact, it just may kill you.According to the renowned nutritionist Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University, the dairy industry has infiltrated "virtually all segments of our society - from research and education to public relations and politics - to have us believing that cow's milk and its products are manna from heaven." Milk has found its way into the government-endorsed healthy diet pyramid and is Santa's favorite drink. The truth, however, is a bit less wholesome. Milk causes cancer. Really.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

SA, RUPD take strides with collaboration

Rice University Police Department caused quite a stir when it implemented its laptop-retrieving policy at the beginning of last semester - in which officers picked up items left unattended within Fondren Library and stored them at police headquarters - to prevent thefts from occurring. But many students reacted negatively to this, saying that RUPD did not inform students when they recovered their items or where they were stored.At the present time, Rice does not have a centralized lost-and-found location. If someone were to lose an item, he or she would have to check many different lost-and-found locations such as the ones in Fondren Library, RUPD headquarters and Rice Memorial Center.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

Owls leap to second at C-USA Championships

The men's track and field team has grown by leaps and bounds this year, mainly due to its impressive ability to leap and bound. The Owls flew into second place at the Conference USA Indoor Championships two weeks ago, helped by first-place finishes in both the heptathlon and pole vault. Freshman Shea Kearney cleared a mark of 16 feet, 11 inches, to grab first in the pole vault on his third and final jump of the afternoon.Unfortunately for the Owls, host University of Houston managed to make up those points in other events and notched 152 points to repeat as champions. Rice finished with 116.5, followed by the University of Memphis' 104. The University of Texas El-Paso and the University of Tulsa rounded out the top five with 100 and 88.5 points, respectively.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

Commentary: Softball uses forgotten play as means for success

The game of baseball has many great moments any fan loves to see - a do-it-yourself triple play, a successful "daylight" pickoff move or a squeeze like the one our very own Jimmy Comerota executed to perfection against UH. Not only do these plays result in gleeful grins from fans in attendance (and, if we're lucky, Wayne Graham), but since the years of yore, baseball writers have scrounged for nicknames to describe them for the next morning's newspaper readers. From "basket catches" to "worm-burners," all were cleverly coined yet all were easy to picture.But despite following the game since I was a diapered little dude, there was one phrase which had origins outside my experience - the "Baltimore Chop." Cleaving downwards with the bat, a batter aims to bounce the ball off the area around the plate and sky it into the air while the impatient fielders squirm underneath. Rarely is this play utilized; rarer still is its success. Those who unleash the Chop are few in number and must be quicker than a chameleon's tongue on smack, i.e. Ichiro or Jose Reyes.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

Top-seeded UTEP ends Rice's hot streak in C-USA quarterfinals

Going into the Conference USA quarterfinal with No. 24 University of Texas-El Paso, the women's basketball team had done everything right. The Owls (14-18, 6-10 C-USA) were peaking when they needed to, having won four in a row. They had handily defeated East Carolina University 69-55 in the opening round of the tournament, holding their opponent to its lowest output since December. And as the contest against the Miners (27-3, 16-0 C-USA) entered the final stretch of the second half, the Owls had not buckled - unlike in the squads' previous meetings - and looked poised to make a run at a fifth-straight conference final.But just when they needed it most, the Owls' luck ran out in the second half when UTEP guard Jareica Hughes, the eventual C-USA Tournament MVP, turned in a performance for the ages: Hughes put in 29 of a career-high 33 points in the second half to lead the Miners to a 80-71 victory that brought Rice's season to an end.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

Revamped Hello Hamlet! raises theatrical bar

The pressure of high expectations is a powerful motivator. Gleaned from 40 years of tradition and amidst the bustle of Beer-Bike festivities, this year's production of the original Rice play Hello Hamlet! delivers a polished diamond of a show, jam-packed into two hours of comedic pleasure and Monty Python-like humor. Director Caitlin Miller's attention to detail pays off in a show that is not merely a reproduction of the original script written by George Greanias (Wiess '70) in 1967, but a revamped and edited version, with almost a third of the songs modified to keep the jokes relevant and the audience engaged. While some musicals drag with a large load of song and dance numbers, this Wiess Tabletop Theater production does just the opposite. The fast pace of the show flows seamlessly with the good-humored parodies of famous musical numbers, ranging from Les Misérables to Fiddler on the Roof.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

Massengale paces swimmers to second place

Since the Conference USA Championships were her last meet as an Owl, Brittany Massengale - the sole healthy senior on the swim team - was anticipating an extra dose of emotion. But as the meet wound down, there was too much excitement surrounding Rice's second-place finish for her to shed a tear for herself. For the second year in a row, Rice finished its dual season with a 10-4 record and took second place behind Southern Methodist University, which scored 926 points to the Owls' 635 and took the title for the third consecutive year."SMU had a better team this year than they did last year . but we definitely separated ourselves from the rest of the conference," head coach Seth Huston said. "We were putting a lot of people in the top eight in the finals right there like SMU always does, but we were doing it more so than in previous years."


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

Tuesday is made for gypsy punks: Gogol Bordello comes to town

Imagine taking the Grandmaster Flash out of Gnarls Barkley and replacing it with a Weird Al vs. Borat bar brawl: Presto, you would have Gogol Bordello, the self-described gypsy punk band that is slated to confuse, enthrall and energize audiences at the Meridian on Tuesday. The eight-piece set of rockers from New York City, by way of custom, furiously blends metallic core rhythms with instrumentation that is decidedly out of the mainstream. Accordions and fire buckets, as well as percussive dancing, are common fare for Gogol stages. This is not your mama's world music. It is no goodwill musical mission, no sweet-voiced cultural petit four. It is impossible to walk away from Gogol feeling like you have witnessed a quaint foreign concert, a Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The gypsy punks do not allow audiences to just listen to the snarling, heavily accented songs and lyrics: Listeners have to meet Gogol head-on and immerse themselves in the bizarre culmination of five continents' worth of musicians, or they will end up running away screaming.


NEWS 3/13/08 7:00pm

Women's tennis keeps win streak rolling with victory over UCF

Winning streaks are a funny thing. They are both media darlings and fan favorites, but they can find lessened importance if the teams that own them play sloppily and without fire. However, after its sweep of spring break opponents to stretch the winning streak to six matches, no one can accuse the women's tennis team of playing without desire. Over the past two weeks, No. 75 Rice has downed No. 69 California State University-Northridge, the University of Texas-Pan American and the University of Central Florida, its first Conference-USA foe of the year.After improving its record to 12-4 on the spring season and 9-1 at Jake Hess Tennis Stadium, the team will host Abilene Christian University this Friday at 3 pm. While Abilene Christian - Rice head coach Roger White's alma mater - may be Division II, they are seventh in the country and have lost only one of the last ten matches. They also feature the doubles tandem of Irene Squillaci and Aina Rafolomanantsiatosika, the second-ranked team in D-II.