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Saturday, June 15, 2024 — Houston, TX

Special Projects


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Women's tennis rebounds with home win after UT loss

The women's tennis team has found a consistent force and unexpected star in redshirt freshman Jessica Jackson, who has yet to lose a match this year in singles play. This past weekend, Jackson and the Owls (3-1) traveled to Austin, where they lost a 1-6 decision to the 16th-ranked University of Texas before returning home to put away Sam Houston State by the reverse score. According to Jackson, the players were optimistic about their chances against the Longhorns.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Podcasting possesses power to aid present, future students

One of the great things about college, especially at a university like Rice, is the plethora of technology available to guide students in learning. The Digital Media Center offers both video and photographic cameras for student use as well as programs and classes to help them create DVDs and Web pages. But as I browsed through my iTunes account the other day, I was taken by a particular feature that Rice could use: more podcasts.Essentially, a podcast is a media file that can either be audio (like an mp3 file and most music) or video file. The iTunes store has free podcasts with topics ranging from sports to science to politics and virtually everything in between. Podcasts are simple tools - and cheap if done through the Digital Media Center - that the university could use more to not only help its current students but also aid future matriculants.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Backpage's Voyage through the Annals of History

Welcome to the Backpage's Journey through the Annals of History! Because the Backpage can't go online each week, we've chosen to dig up an article from the Thresher's past and put it online for the world to rediscover. We've also recorded two audio readings in case all these words get too burdensome on your eyes. Please enjoy and send any comment to backpage@rice.edu.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

All trailer, no trash: Rice Gallery's latest exhibit goes green

This month's Rice Gallery exhibit is a little out of the ordinary. While in the same vein as the gallery's usual architectural installations - begun by Shigeru Ban in 2002 - the Emergency Response Studio is different because it is mobile. Artist Paul Villinski had the idea for his latest piece while rummaging through post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans in 2006 for found objects and refuse to use as artistic material. It was then that he noticed the dilapidated house in the large-scale photograph that currently hangs on the left wall of the gallery in Sewall Hall.Reflecting on traditional war artists like Winslow Homer, Villinski said that being in New Orleans in the wake of Katrina made him feel like some war was being waged.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

New colleges near completion

Now that plans have been laid for populating Duncan and McMurtry colleges, the only thing left to do is build them. Last Friday, the Thresher and the college presidents toured the north college construction site, checking in on its progress and planning the transition. At the entrance to the main site trailer - actually seven trailers merged together due to space constraints on the site - posters reminded visitors that entry was prohibited without a hardhat and safety vest. Inside the trailer, the mood was more urgent as signs counted down to Orientation Week, the be all and end all deadline. A series of aerial photographs chronicled the progress and the transformation of the area from parking lots and trees to the nearly-finished buildings that stand there today.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Rice staff member assaulted

An investigation is in progress to find a man who assaulted a Rice staff member late Tuesday night. At approximately 10:57 p.m. a staff member in the Humanities Building radioed in a call for help after she found a man sleeping on a table in Room 327. When she asked him to leave, the man got up and ran toward the staff member where a struggle ensued. She used a university radio to call for help and escaped to the women's restroom. The man followed her in and physically assaulted her. However, he fled the scene after hearing feedback from the radio from those responding to her call. The staff member then locked herself in the bathroom stall before the Rice University Police Department and co-workers arrived, according to Captain Dianna Marshall. The suspect is described as a male, white, about 25-28 years of age, 5 feet 6-7 inches tall with light brown hair and eyes. He had three pre-existing red scratches on the right side of his face. At the time of the incident he was wearing a black jacket and black gloves.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Lovett searches for new RA

Last week, Lovett College Resident Associate Rolf Ryham announced he would be leaving Rice to pursue a tenure track position at another university. In response to his recent announcement, Lovett's Central Committee has formed a search committee charged with finding a new RA for the upcoming school year.For the past two years, Ryham has served as RA for Lovett College along with math graduate student Renee Laverdiere. Both Ryham and Laverdiere hold degrees in mathematics, and can often be found assisting students in the common areas.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Closing time

Damon Stoudamire needs closure. The diminutive point guard, who burst into the league with his 5'10" stature and pinball-machine energy, knows that his career might be over. It's the middle of the NBA season, but for the first time since 1995, Stoudamire can't be found in NBA colors, nor on the injured reserve, nor collecting a massive payday from a European club.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Men's basketball squad stuck at one conference victory

Last Saturday's 78-40 loss against the University of Alabama-Birmingham marked the team's third straight defeat by at least 25 points, and was the second straight game in which a slow start dimmed the Owls' hopes by halftime. During the first seven minutes of play against the Blazers (13-8, 3-3 Conference USA), the Owls (6-14, 1-6 C-USA) were outscored 19-2 en route to a 37-15 halftime deficit.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

KTRU pickin'-of-the-week: Joe Bussard's Desperate Man Blues

Every week at KTRU, eager DJs scribble out short reviews of music's cutting-edge albums. KTRU's Music Department uses these reviews to judge the quality of the albums it receives and to provide information for the DJs who play them. Each week, a DJ polishes one of these reviews so that KTRU's riches can shine for the larger Rice community.Desperate Man Blues is a compilation of 1920s and '30s American roots music released concurrently with a documentary of the same name. Both are based on the immense collection of Joe Bussard, a 72-year-old Maryland man who has spent his life amassing over 25,000 vintage 78-RPM early Americana records, many of which are the only known copies in existence.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Steffensen chosen to lead O-Week

A new campus-wide Student Director of Orientation was appointed last Wednesday - Brown College junior Peter Steffensen. The committee that chose Steffensen convened last fall and consisted of several former Orientation Week coordinators, former student director Megan Hermance and Assistant to the Dean of Undergraduates Kate Noonan, and applications were released over winter break.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Dawson searches for future for Rwanda

Dale Dawson, a University of Texas graduate and successful entrepreneur, spoke last Thursday at the Jesse H. Jones School of Management on his work, which involves building schools and bringing entrepreneurship skills to people in Rwanda. In a lecture presented by Rice 360ø, the Institute for Global Health Technologies, Beyond Traditional Borders Initiative and the World Affairs Council of Houston, Dawson described how he was drawn to Rwanda's plight.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

'Open' critics need to update their views

Recently, ABC News released an article titled "Student-Run Sex Magazines Surface Across U.S." in which Rice University's very own Open Magazine was featured. The article truthfully exposes the origins and the nature of Open, while comparing it to other sex magazines that have been springing up in various schools, including Washington University in St. Louis, Columbia University and Harvard University. After reading through the article, however, I noticed that a host of readers had posted scathing comments criticizing Open for a range of reasons, and I realized that those who have never opened the magazine are interpreting it in entirely the wrong way.What people unfamiliar with Open don't seem to realize is that it is not a porn magazine containing stories of erotica, promoting casual sex, exploiting women or preaching promiscuity. Its approach to sex is completely different: As the mission statement asserts, the magazine "aims to promote a healthy attitude toward sex by presenting a wide range of perspectives on the interplay of sex and culture through articles, editorials, interviews, poems, short stories, photos and art." It's fine to critique Open, but unfair to condemn it without even knowing what it really stands for. It appears that people are getting the wrong impression, that the magazine promotes casual sex while exploiting women, when in reality it serves as an outlet for students to express their viewpoints on various sexual issues.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Injury-plagued Owls unable to pick up pieces

The women's basketball team (5-14, 0-6 C-USA) was knocked down twice last week, and with the 10-count almost over, they are showing no signs of getting up to fight again. After a crushing 77-52 loss at the University of Central Florida (6-13, 4-2 C-USA) on Jan. 22 and a demoralizing 65-50 loss at home against the University of Southern Mississippi (12-7, 5-1 C-USA) on Sunday, the last place Owls are putting their hopes on the return of freshman point guard D'Frantz Smart. Though Smart is listed as day-to-day, she said that she is ready to play as soon as the coaches let her, even though she is currently walking with a brace on her foot. She was expected to make her return yesterday on the road against the University of Tulsa, but the results of that contest were not available at the time this article went to press.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Wednesday Sports Update: Women's basketball tripped up against Houston

The women's basketball team fell to the University of Houston Wednesday night at Tudor Fieldhouse in the first of two back-to-back match-ups between the cross-town rivals. The loss keeps Rice winless in nine conference games, and moves them to 5-11 overall.Freshman Megan Elliot and junior Tara Watts made consecutive three-pointers to start the scoring for Rice and tie the game at six after five minutes of play. Houston then scored five unanswered points before freshman Brianna Hypolite grabbed an offensive rebound to make the score 11-8 with 13:11 left in the first half.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Commentary: College football deserves an improvement on BCS

College football should be better than the NFL. I know most of you probably think that is ridiculous to suggest, especially as we're reaching the culmination of the NFL playoff season. Prof e s s iona l football is the highest-grossing sport in the country, and it attracts bigger television audiences than any college coach could imagine.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Rice edged at home with Tulane last-second layup

Editor's Note: check ricethresher.org throughout the week for sports updates. We'll post them at the top of the home page.Tulane guard Kevin Sims's last-second layup capped an improbable, come-from-behind, 61-59 victory over the men's basketball team Wednesday evening at Autry Court


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Taken takes the cake

If someone asked me who my favorite action star was, I'd conjure up images of Arnold Schwarzenegger smearing cakes of mud across his chest in Predator, Bruce Willis walking barefoot across broken glass in Die Hard and Keanu Reeves dodging bullets on a rooftop in The Matrix. But Liam Neeson? The dude from Schindler's List and the voice of that goofy lion from Narnia? No way. After watching Taken, however, I was forced to reconsider.Neeson has acted in dramatic films for the majority of his prolific career, with brief stints in the action genre in Batman Begins and Gangs of New York. His last major foray in an action movie dates all the way back to his critically-acclaimed performance in Rob Roy, over 13 years ago. For Neeson, apparently, the wait had been long enough.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Saturday sports update: Rice rebounds with strong win over ECU

The men's basketball team picked up its second conference win of the season Saturday afternoon at Tudor Fieldhouse, beating East Carolina University 76-70 in a game Rice led from start to finish.With the victory, the Owls improved to 7-14 on the year, 2-5 in Conference USA, and looked to have rebounded from Wednesday's emotional collapse versus Tulane University.


NEWS 1/29/09 6:00pm

Men's tennis breaks 17th-ranked Hurricanes' wave

You could say the men's tennis team's 4-3 win over the University of Miami on Sunday was the biggest of the season. You could say the success over the 17th-ranked Hurricanes was the most important match of a seven-week road swing, a victory against the highest-ranked opponent the 24th-ranked Owls have seen yet. You could say that the win will set the tone for the massive road trip, which in turn will set the course of Rice's season. You could say all that. Just don't ask assistant coach Efe Ustundag (Baker '99) to reciprocate your feelings.