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NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Staff Editorial:Parking proposal rejection na've

Earlier this month, President David Leebron reviewed the Parking Committee's decision for next year's parking fees. The committee, which had proposed a return to the tiered-surcharge system and cutting Greenbriar Lot's surcharge by half for students, found its work from the past year largely overlooked when Leebron rejected much of its proposal (see story, page 1). We applaud the committee's willingness to listen to student opinion; earlier this spring, committee members presented their ideas to members of the Student Association, generating positive feedback on the possibility of cutting rates to make Greenbriar Lot more affordable.


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Fresno St. bests Rice at College World Series - June 16

Before the baseball team's opening game at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., most analysts agreed that the Owls would have to find some way to jumpstart their offense if they were to make a serious run for the title. Nobody expected that the pitching would need to be resuscitated, too. The underdog Fresno St. was chillingly efficient in its complete dismantling of sixth-ranked Rice's pitching efforts; the Bulldogs turned 13 hits and six walks into 17 runs as they continued their rampage over nationally ranked opponents with a victory Sunday afternoon. Fresno St. has now defeated five top-25 teams in its notable postseason run.


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

BioE professor wins award for photobiology research

The American Society of Photobiology awarded Associate Bioengineering Professor Rebekah Drezek the New Investigator Award in March. Drezek, also an electrical engineering associate professor, was awarded $1,000 and will speak about her research in June at the society's annual meeting in San Francisco. Drezek is the first bioengineer to receive this award.According to its Web site, the American Society of Photobiology gives the New Investigator Award to a young researcher under the age of 36 who has conducted a notable amount of research in photobiology and photomedicine, a discipline of biology that studies applications of light and optics in biology and medicine. The award is also open to researchers who are new to the field. Honorees are nominated anonymously and selected by a committee.


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

LSU eliminates Rice from CWS with 6-5 comeback win

When he left the game with two outs in the fifth inning, starting pitcher Chris Kelley took a sigh of relief. He had done his job, holding Louisiana State University scoreless through more than half of Tuesday's elimination game at the College World Series. It was one of the baseball team's best performances by a starter in the postseason, and as senior reliever Cole St.Clair recorded a convincing strikeout to end the inning, Rice fans were feeling comfortable with their team's 5-0 lead.Three innings later, however, after the Tigers marched off the field with an improbable 6-5 comeback victory, that feeling of comfort had turned into disbelief.


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

News in brief

College Way closureStarting last Wednesday, College Way in front of Autry Court began a daily scheduled 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. closure. The street will reopen next Tuesday. Construction crews are building a man hole and tying in new storm lines, Facilities Service Center Supervisor Eugene Kettlewell said in an e-mail last Friday.


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Column: Rice blogs reveal university's potency and flaws

I love blogs. News blogs, tech blogs and such, those are nice. But the best blogs are those personal blogs: Livejournal, Xanga, etc., because it is there where you can find real information. Blogs that provide analysis and whatnot just provide a new avenue to information that is already out there. But in these more personal exhibitions, people are willing to spill information they would never, ever reveal in personal conversation. Those blogs provide true insight into peoples' characters, giving little secrets straight from the horse's mouth - or keyboard. Whatever.The best thing about these personal blogs is that people will actively list their personal associations, such as home town, interests or university. With this information, five minutes of clicking can provide an interesting cross-section of campus - Christ-o-philes, coke fiends and other traditional members of the Rice fauna. In these HTML-framed journals, Rice students spill their deepest secrets and personal beliefs. While the entries may be entertaining at times, they also paint a rather distressing picture of the student body.



NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Hercules and Love Affair anything but pretentious

Eponymous albums with Internet buzz are hot right now: First Vampire Weekend, and now the new self-titled LP from Hercules and Love Affair. The latter has been touted as a "reinvention of disco," which is sort of like reinventing New Coke or trench warfare or anything else that sucked, then died. H&LA is signed under DFA Records - the label behind !!! and LCD Soundsystem - and DFA has been known to straddle the fine line between cool and pretentious music. Doesn't it already sound like an album you won't understand?Luckily for the listeners, Hercules and Love Affair is an album that transcends the pretentious attitude of anything with a dance beat. It's everything you love about subtle bass guitar and drums fused with semi-androgynous, powerful vocals and an element of atmosphere that can only be described as, well, mythical.


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Common Reading Selected

Those who were hoping next year's common reading would be the timely political memoir by Allen Raymond, How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative, may have to wait until the 2012 presidential election. This month the common reading committee reached a decision, selecting Greg Mortenson's memoir, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time, which they have since distributed to Orientation Week coordinators, advisers, resident associates, college counselors and next year's incoming class.The common reading committee met before winter recess and periodically throughout the spring, and is made up of undergraduate students, including former O-Week coordinators, a faculty member, a graduate student and Assistant to the President Matthew Taylor.


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Commentary: A disappointing finish, but more than just a two-and-out

Well, that was quick."Owlmaha" was here, but if you took a break to fret over Willie Randolph or throw out your salmonella-laced tomatoes, you returned to find Rice's College World Series presence replaced by a sickening vacuum. In our seventh CWS appearance since 1997, the Owls choked their way to the program's fourth two-and-out in seven tries, but only its first since Notre Dame bounced the Owls with a 5-3 two-run walk-off bomb in 2002.



NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Owls defeat Aggies 9-7 in first game of Super Regional

A record crowd of 5,368 spectators filled Reckling Park on Saturday to witness a Super Regional rematch between Rice and Texas A&M University. The Aggies could not prevent history from repeating itself as senior designated hitter Jordan Dodson again played the hero in the Owls' 9-7 win. Mimicking last year's performance, Dodson had the crowd seeing déj? vu as he broke a tie to pull the Owls ahead in game one. On the day, he had four RBIs spread across three hits, an impressive feat considering he entered the game batting .167. He raised his batting average by nearly 30 points by the end of the game.


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Column: Life after Rice vague, but clear in nature

As a man of generally few outspoken opinions, trying to choose what to write for my first and last column as an undergraduate at Rice was rather difficult. Looking within the hedges there were many options: From lambasting the administration for the lack of both outdoor power outlets for laptops, among other issues, at the new Brochstein Pavilion, to recommending improvements in writing and communication for the undergraduate engineering education at Rice, no topic seemed broad enough. Looking beyond the hedges to November's election or global warming seemed too detached. In truth, as cliché a topic as it is, the only thing that seemed worth discussing was moving on to the next phase of life and the choices we have outside the hedges as Rice graduates.Looking back four years ago to graduation from high school, it seemed like there were so many choices. In retrospect though, there were few choices beyond picking which school to continue studying at for an undergraduate education. Going to college was not a choice, but rather, a mandate. While not true for every high school graduate, this is certainly true for most students at Rice.


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Women's track set for postseason competition

This season, the women's track and field team set a bevy of personal and career individual bests. Together, however, they recorded an even more important team accomplishment: The largest number of post-season qualifiers in school history. After last weekend's action, the Owls now have 14 members with regional qualifying marks and one with a national meet invitation.The next competition for the Owls will be this weekend at the Conference USA Outdoor Championships in El Paso, Texas. Following that will be regional competition in Lincoln, Neb. May 30-31 and the NCAA National Championships in Des Moines, Iowa June 11-14. After winning the C-USA Indoor Championship in March, the Owls have a good chance to take both titles with a first-place finish in El Paso. With more regional qualifiers than any other school in C-USA this season, the Owls come in as the squad to beat.



NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Missing student Matt Wilson found at University of California-Berkeley

Thursday, Aug. 14 - Hanszen College junior Matt Wilson, who had been missing since December, was found Wednesday night in a building on the University of California-Berkeley campus. A UC-Berkeley police officer was patrolling that part of the campus looking for a theft suspect when he came across Wilson alone in a classroom with a laptop hooked up to a projection system. At first, Wilson gave the officer a false name, but acknowledged that he was not a UC-Berkeley student. Later on, he provided police his real name.The laptop Wilson was using was confirmed to be stolen property, and police detained him overnight pending theft or trespassing charges.


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

EWB Trip cancelled due to political unrest

The rising costs of fuel on the international market may seem more than a slight annoyance when shelling out $3.50 per gallon of gasoline, but a group of Rice students experienced the global effects firsthand when they had to cancel a trip to Central America. The team, comprised of seven students from Rice's chapter of Engineers Without Borders, had to cancel their Nicaragua trip which was scheduled to start last Monday, because of transportation strikes in the country that have recently escalated in violence.EWB Project Leaders Matt Wesley and Amy Liu directed the team, which had chosen Nicaragua for its service project last December. Wesley, a Baker College sophomore, said the team planned to construct a system to deliver fresh water to inhabitants of the area, which is two kilometers from the Costa Rican border. EWB projects involve several stages: Background research of the area; gathering data; implementation, when members construct and complete the project and a post assessment, when members will evaluate their project. Wesley said these projects take four different trips to the area to complete, and implementation alone often demands multiple trips.


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Worker dies after walls collapse at McMurtry College

JUNE 19 - One construction worker was killed and seven others were injured after a number of masonry walls collapsed Thursday afternoon at McMurtry College. The accident happened shortly around 4 p.m., and coincided with the arrival of heavy thunderstorms in the Houston area, Director of News and Media Relations B.J. Almond said. Executive Assistant Chief Rick Flannigan of the Houston Fire Department said four of the seven injured workers were transported to various hospitals in the medical center. The other three were treated on-site. Flannigan said the extent of the workers' injuries had yet to be determined, and their identities were still unknown. The workers were on the second floor of the building when the walls collapsed, and they were trapped in the rubble for a short time before fire and rescue crews arrived on the scene to secure the area. Rescue crews then checked the rest of the site to account for all the workers. Flannigan said an investigation has commenced to ascertain the cause of the collapse, but he maintained that HFD's first priority was ensuring the site's safety. "There's just a lot of work to be done," Flannigan said. "We want to make sure that it's safe, the walls are safe, and the investigative team can have access … to a large area." McMurtry and its counterpart, Duncan College, are scheduled for completion by Fall 2009.


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

In Focus: Cole St.Clair

Whenever a Rice baseball player crosses the plate to tally a run, his teammates immediately head out of the dugout to meet him - a celebration that is tradition in college baseball, and one that highlights the true sense of team camaraderie in college athletics. But fans following the Owls closely this year might have noticed that one of the first players out of the dugout is almost always senior pitcher Cole St.Clair. This Santa Ana, Calif. native has been a driving force for Rice's success whenever he set sfoot on the rubber, and he has been a consistent leader for the team in the locker room during his four-year tenure at Rice.It was then no surprise to Rice fans that St.Clair was drafted in the seventh round by the Cleveland Indians last summer. His accomplishments are numerous and include several school records: 27 career saves, 103 appearances and a top 10 all-time place in both the career and season-best ERA categories. These numbers also share a spot with St. Clair's multiple awards, which include the Dell Morgan Most Valuable Baseball Player for 2006 and the 2008 Bob Quin Award, given to Rice's most outstanding male athlete on and off the field. And that's on top of being named an All-American by Baseball America in 2006 and a freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball in 2005, as well as earning a spot on Team USA in 2006. On the national team, he had a 4-0 record with three saves and an ERA of 0.69 against some of the best athletes in the world.


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Staff Editorial:Congratulations, graduates

You made it through alive, though perhaps not unscathed. You have braved the late-night hours of Fondren, walked to lab in the darkness before dawn and left it in the darkness after dusk. And finally, after all of it, you walked across the stage and received the hollow tube with a picture of campus rolled up inside. But you will get your diploma in the mail sometime in the next few months.The Thresher wishes you all the best of luck in the future, in whatever endeavors you pursue, and we hope to be able to write about you (positively) in years to come.