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Friday, June 21, 2024 — Houston, TX

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NEWS 1/15/09 6:00pm

Outer Loop hazard to drivers, pedestrians

A substantial hazard exists that surrounds all of Rice University: the Outer Loop. As someone who has traveled and crossed the Outer Loop several times, whether merely for exercise or as a pathway to reach an alternate destination, I am fully aware of the large number of pedestrians who make use of it daily. For anyone who uses it, the sacred Outer Loop serves as an excellent jogging and walking lane, a convenient route to different parking lots and a barrier that, coupled with the hedges, shields Rice from some of Houston's more unsavory aspects. But the Outer Loop itself presents several dangers to both the students who use it and the drivers who cross it getting in and out of Rice. During the nighttime and early morning hours, the Outer Loop becomes a deadly intersection of pedestrians and cars. I frequently have been the passenger inside a car whose driver nearly crashed into an innocent jogger, a incident caused not only by the alarming lack of light but also by the general dynamics of the Outer Loop. The first impulse might be to blame the driver for his recklessness, but it is not completely his fault.


NEWS 1/15/09 6:00pm

Halas' cancer work earns Department of Defense nod

The world is always looking for a way to cure cancer or at least find a way to fight it. As it turns out, we may just have to look among our faculty.The Department of Defense named Naomi Halas, a professor of chemistry and electrical and computer engineering, a National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow at the end of last year.


NEWS 1/15/09 6:00pm

Eastwood's engine stalls in Gran Torino

Clint Eastwood has suggested to the press that his new drama Gran Torino will be his final acting appearance. But this disorganized disappointment would be an inappropriate finale to Eastwood's brilliant fifty-year career. At its onset, Gran Torino promises to be many things: funny, tense, moving and original. It fails to deliver on every count.Yes, there are many chances for Eastwood (Dirty Harry) to whip out a gun and terrify bad guys in this movie. His character, a crotchety old man named Walt Kowalski, snarls, speaks almost entirely in racial slurs, confronts various thugs, beats up a guy one-third his age and says things like, "Ever notice how you come across somebody once in a while you shouldn't have messed with? That's me." But, for the most part, the film substitutes violence for actual drama.




NEWS 1/8/09 6:00pm

Rice bowl win both historic and reflective of senior accomplishments

It was a reverse. During the third quarter of the Texas Bowl, Chase Clement sent a lateral, short and sweet, at Jarett Dillard's chest. The All-Everything receiver took the pass as the Western Michigan defense began to swarm, ready to cement a loss of yards. But Dillard, more often known for class than cleverness, wheeled and flicked the ball back to Clement, wide-eyed and wide-open, who popped into the end-zone to give Rice a 30-0 lead.


NEWS 1/8/09 6:00pm

Left 4 Dead: Bring on the zombie apocalypse

Forget everything you know about co-op shooters; Valve has raised the first-person shooter bar yet again with the release of Left 4 Dead, one of 2008's best multiplayer titles.The game's story is somewhat skimpy on the details, but the main thing to know is that a zombie apocalypse is going on outside, and it's up to the four "Survivors" to blast their way through wave after wave of undead and make it from one safe room to the next. To keep things interesting, players also have to deal with five different "Special Infected" zombies, who have mutated abilities beyond that of a normal zombie grunt: There's the Hunter, who can pounce on Survivors from afar; the Smoker, who can pull Survivors away from the group with his long tongue; the Boomer, whose bile attracts the horde; the Tank, who can beat the living hell out of the Survivors and soaks up a ridiculous amount of damage before dying; and the Witch, who is harmless until players wake her up with flashlights or loud noises, in which case she can kill them in one swipe.


NEWS 1/8/09 6:00pm

Rice needs help during financial plight

There's nothing easy, nothing fortunate and nothing guaranteed about the current recession.Nobody is unaffected, and nobody without responsibility. So when President David Leebron announces a hiring freeze (see story, page 1), we should not look at the plan as a surprise; rather, we should look at this stoppage as a necessary measure for Rice's fiscal survival during the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression.This freeze, the cessation of expansion, puts the campus's status as an elite institution at risk. On average, Rice hires 38 people per month, many of those heading into Housing and Dining and Facilities, Engineering and Planning to accelerate the university's recent growth. Now, you may not find yourself personally affected by the Big Chill, but that doesn't mean that the student body shouldn't chip in to carry us through the mire and muck of these times. Because many service resources will be stretched to the max, a greater burden of maintaining Rice's reputation and good order will fall on the student body's shoulders. It means that students should be more aware of the ramifications of their actions. When a night at Willy's Pub turns into a night of debacles, try to rein the destruction in a bit. Be aware of your surroundings, and keep the mayhem to a minimum.


NEWS 1/8/09 6:00pm

Owls struggle to gain momentum on road trip

After a five-game road trip that seemed even longer after numerous double digit losses, the women's basketball team may want to heed one of golf's oldest bits of advice: step up and swing without thinking about it. That is exactly what they did upon coming home to Tudor Fieldhouse on Monday, facing George Washington University only 24 hours after an embarrassing 31 point loss to University of Texas-San Antonio.


NEWS 1/8/09 6:00pm

Green does a world good

This week, Wiess College senior Jeremy Caves showed off his scientific literacy, and in an magnificent showing with the rest of his research team, he won Houston's Recycle Ike contest by suggesting that the city turn the organic waste into Biochar (see story, page 1).While our lengthy stays in the newsroom and away from the lab prevent us from fully comprehending just how remarkable a process this truly is, we do know that by turning Ike's debris into buried carbon, Caves and his crew have taken one more step toward providing a good environment for all of Rice's generations.


NEWS 1/8/09 6:00pm

New year an excellent time for last push improvements

With the spring semester beginning comes the return of fickle weather the reluctant return to studying and drudgery, and an ardent pursuit of cheap textbooks. But underneath this simple and routine facade lies a somewhat mundane and repetitive but very relevant detail. The most significant distinction the spring semester has over its autumnal counterpart is the fresh start for all involved and the potential benefits this new beginning can contribute to our university. The spring semester is a great way to truly bring about change to campus since it signifies a more communal student experience. The vast majority of those entering the spring semester are officially tried-and-true students; this statement is obviously true for upperclassmen but for freshman, it's an important distinction. Most true freshmen -not to be confused with transfer students - are no longer green and inexperienced in the maze of university life and can now, along with their transfer brethren, be considered fully initiated members of the Rice community. And although some students may have been abroad or on leave during the fall semester, most of the student body present in the spring have experienced the events and controversies that marked the fall term, such as Hurricane Ike and changes made concerning student finances and organizations like the Student Admission Council. These experiences and our reactions to them unite us as a student body, and it is only as a large body of students that we can bring change to campus.


NEWS 1/8/09 6:00pm

Bedtime Stories not quite bedtime appropriate

Adam Sandler's funny but down-in-the-dumps guy routine just is not working anymore.The act may have come across as comical in The Water Boy, and Sandler got away with it in his recent film I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry because of adequate box office returns.


NEWS 1/8/09 6:00pm

James Tour wins Feynman Prize for nanocar work

Molecule-sized cars complete with buckyball tires may bring new meaning to the term "compact car" thanks to chemistry professor James Tour, who has been awarded the 2008 Feynman Prize for his synthesis of the nanocar.The honor, which recognizes researchers who make significant contributions to the beneficial use of nanotechnology, is distributed by the California think tank Foresight Institute. The award was named after the late physicist Richard P. Feynman, who stressed that an atomic-level understanding of biology and chemistry would be crucial for further developments in the field.


NEWS 1/8/09 6:00pm

Graduate student dies

Graduate student Han Li, 31, died on Tuesday night after falling unconscious after using a stationary bike at the Recreation Center. Li came to Rice in 2006 from China to work on his Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. Shortly after 5 p.m. Li was getting off of a stationary bicycle in the weight room when witnesses saw him collapse, Rice Recreation Center Associate Director Evan Stein said. Officials in the Recreation Center alerted Rice Emergency Medical Services, which came to the scene and immediately began administering CPR. The Houston Fire Department later arrived and transported Li by ambulance to Methodist Hospital. His cause of death is unknown. There were no known malfunctions with the gym equipment, Stein said.


NEWS 1/8/09 6:00pm

Men's basketball plagued by inconsistency

One step forward and two steps back is an approach men's basketball coach Ben Braun hopes will not last in Rice's struggle to find its identity on the court. When students left after final exams in mid-December, the basketball team stayed on the court for a six-game stretch during which they took on some of their most challenging opponents of the year. On Dec. 17, before the Owls took on sixth-ranked University of Oklahoma and one-loss Texas A&M University, they had to take on another university known better for academic rather than athletic strength: Luxury cars filled the parking lot when Harvard, an undersized squad known for its numerous perimeter threats, came to town.



NEWS 1/8/09 6:00pm

Football takes first postseason win in 55 years

For the first time in decades, the football team won a game that meant more than just an extra mark in the win column. For the seniors on the team, it was the culmination of years of work, a final chance to step on the field with their brothers-in-arms to show the nation what they were capable of achieving. //


NEWS 1/8/09 6:00pm

Owls snag bowl game victory

Defensive tackle Chance Talbert (87) leads the charge out of the tunnel at Reliant Stadium before the Texas Bowl. Rice defeated Western Michigan University 38-14.See Sports section for stories.


NEWS 1/8/09 6:00pm

KTRU pick of the week: Poetry on Record: 98 Poets Read Their Work

Poetry on Record features a diverse collection of poetry on four discs chock full of readings by the poets themselves. The poetry ranges from incomplete fragments to complete works.The different poets' presentations range from flat to enthralling. The exceptional tracks of the album have the power to bring the artists' poetry to life and give the listener a detailed portrait of the poet.