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Wednesday, May 22, 2024 — Houston, TX

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NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Staff Editorial:Undergrads, have a safe summer

With the school year more than over, we hope that all of you have by now found whatever beach, mountain or lab disctraction with which you will preoccupy yourselves over the next three months. We are taking a vacation as well, during which we will try our hardest not to think about fonts or pictures or photo captions or anything else of the kind, no matter how much we might regret leaving the office. We wish you an excellent break and we will be seeing you again in the fall.


NEWS 5/15/08 7:00pm

Demolition causes debris to fall through band hall ceiling

The Marching Owl Band has experienced everything from rained-out shows to football fans who disagree with their sense of humor at halftime performances, and now they face an unexpected disturbance from construction crews.Director of Bands Chuck Throckmorton said the band hall has seen numerous pieces of debris fall through the ceiling this semester.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Walwyn sets personal-best in 100

The University of Texas-El Paso Invitational is traditionally known to be a prime meet for setting personal bests and record-breaking times. Last weekend, senior Desarie Walwyn met the first and nearly the second of these goals in the 100-meter dash; her 11.45 second finish is the third-fastest time in Rice women's track and field history. The scorching time set the pace for the Owls, who grabbed first place finishes in four separate events.Walwyn's distance-running teammates, who did not attend last week's meet, will make attempts at personal-bests of their own this weekend. Seniors Marisa Daniels and Callie Wells, sophomore Nicole Mericle and freshmen Allison Pye and Becky Wade will travel to Walnut, Calif., to compete in the Mt. Sac Invitational today and tomorrow, where each will take the opportunity to try to post qualifying times for regionals and nationals. The rest of the squad will run in the Texas Invitational in Austin tomorrow against six other schools, including Texas State University, University of Texas-San Antonio and the University of Texas.



NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Common reading requires big planning

Two years ago, back when the common reading program was nothing more than a few articles posted on an obscure Orientation Week Web site, we wrote a staff-editorial praising it for its potential benefits for the incoming class ("Common reading: Good idea, needs improvement," Sept. 8, 2006). We wrote that the reading material should be well publicized and that it should be incorporated into pre-existing O-Week structures, such as the English Composition Exam and academic lunches. This year, the common reading selection committee has narrowed the field down to two choices: Allen Raymond's How to Rig an Election: Confessions of a Republican Operative is the apparent front runner, and Greg Mortenson's novel, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . One School at a Time is the alternative choice (see story, page 1). With these two options in mind, and with another year of common reading program experience to draw from, we have some additions and revisions to make to our previous opinion.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Column: Take a back seat, coitus: Making out is the new black

There is something to be said about the terrifying and unrelenting march of time, reducing mountains to sand and flesh to dust in the unstoppable constancy of change - especially when it comes to contemporary fashion. No matter how cool something is, it will always eventually become tired, clichéd and lame. Aristotelian physics, mercantilism and even disco have suffered under the mighty progression of history, and now we find that one of our most beloved collegiate institutions is passing gently into that good night: sex.Sex? Yawn. How trite. How droll. What is so special about sex, anyways? Everybody does it. Boring.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Berezhynska picked in WNBA draft

After a stellar women's basketball career, during which she scored over 1,000 points and led the Owls in rebounding and scoring in the 2007-'08 season, senior Valeriya Berezhynska will have a chance to take her game to the professional level next year. Last Wednesday, Berezhynska was chosen in the third round by the Detroit Shock with the 42nd overall pick of the WNBA Draft.Despite being slowed down by an ankle injury, Berezhynska had a productive senior year. In only 23 games, she had 20 double-doubles and averaged 17 points and 10 rebounds per game. She ended her career with 1,076 points, placing her 10th on Rice's all-time scoring list.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Southern Reconstruction

A magic date is set in the minds of many students on campus, particularly underclassmen: Fall 2009. This is when major construction for current projects will conclude - including the Autry Court renovation, the new Recreation Center, the Collaborative Research Center and Duncan and McMurtry Colleges. Even with a dramatically transformed campus, the construction-free horizon is getting farther away, because a new, complex project is on the drawing board. Dean of Undergraduates Robin Forman is spearheading a $70 million, 14-month renovation that will affect Baker, Will Rice and Lovett Colleges. All students at Baker and some at Will Rice will be displaced in the academic year 2009-'10 during their colleges' renovation.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Column: Valuing humanity key to changing world

Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu.It is a Zulu phrase that I picked up while studying abroad in South Africa, and it represents a concept that I believe can bring new life and greater beauty to our world. Africans claim the phrase is difficult to translate into Western language, but Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu tries his best when he explains it as, "My humanity is caught up, is inextricably bound up, in what is yours." Another South African explains, "I am because you are, and you are because we are." It means your joys are my joys and your suffering is my suffering. It means until there is peace in the world, there cannot fully be peace in my heart.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Baseball blasts No. 8 Texas A&M on road

The baseball team's accomplishments this past weekend surely kept fans' hearts pounding from beginning to end, although not all of the drama was on the field. No. 11 Rice (28-10, 10-2 Conference USA) almost dropped two games to the University of Alabama-Birmingham after holding substantial leads, but was saved by late-game heroics both times. The series with the Blazers (14-21, 1-8 C-USA), the worst team in the conference, also brought the return of junior reliever Bobby Bell, who took the mound for the first time since Feb. 2007 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Rounding out the week's action, the Owls took down No. 8 Texas A&M University 11-2 in College Station. Off the field, senior starter Cole St. Clair was honored at the senior athletics award banquet with the annual Bob Quin Award, the highest athletic honor for a male Rice athlete.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Students dispute deadline change

As the majority of the senior class prepares for the last round of final exams and the days leading up to graduation, several mechanical engineering seniors have to adjust their schedules to accommodate an unexpected change. Students in the spring semester senior design course Mechanical Engineering 408: Capstone Design Project II, will finish their year with a final presentation on May 5,five days after senior exams officially end. This exception to university standards has stirred controversy amongst students in the class who were looking forward to spending the days between the end of final exams and commencement at liberty. "Everyone was pretty much unanimously inconvenienced by the [decision] because it's in the middle of senior week when most people go and travel," said an anonymous MECH E student from the class, who wished to remain anonymous because he thought appearing in the Thresher might affect his grade.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

The Thresher takes a break

With finals quickly approaching, even Thresher editors need sleep. So please be patient with our unchanging Web site, because the last issue of the year will come out after commencement, on Friday, May 16. That's three weeks! Hello, Wednesday nights! And schoolwork.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Backup server brought online after crash

One of Rice's three e-mail servers suffered a hardware failure and a subsequent operating system collapse at 10 a.m. Monday. The failure severely slowed e-mail access for about 50 percent of users until after 2 p.m. Director of System Architecture and Infrastructure Barry Ribbeck said a replicate mail service was implemented in lieu of the failed server and functions exactly like the original system.Ribbeck said the failure at 10 a.m. was repaired with a replacement part within 30 minutes, but a flood of recovered information led to the corruption of the operating system software at 2 p.m. E-mail access was restored at 2:30 pm. Ribbeck said the replicate e-mail service used to restore services was installed during Winter Break in response to previous e-mail outages in the fall semester.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Heard sprints to top 20 in country

Each week this spring it seems as though a different member of the men's track team jumps, throws or runs into the spotlight. And this week was no exception. Senior Bubba Heard found the bright lights when he finished first in the 200 meters at the Texas Southern Quadrangular with a personal best time of 20.93 seconds. His time was .36 seconds faster than the second-place finisher, fellow senior Gary Anderson, who clocked a time of 21.29.Heard received the Conference USA male track athlete of the week award on Wednesday, but that was perhaps the least important of his accolades. His time placed him first in the conference and put him in the top 20 in the nation. Heard became the first Rice athlete to break 21 seconds in competition since Bryan Bronson (Wiess '95) did so in 1995, when he ran the event in 20.61.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Commentary: The confessions of a failed sports columnist

I surrender. I can't hack it. There's just not anything to write about in sports anymore. New men's basketball coach at Rice? Don't get me wrong, I was excited by the Ben Braun hiring, but coaches get hired and fired every day now.The baseball team, yet again, looks like it may round into form just in time for the stretch run of conference play and head into the postseason looking good.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

President's Study Break to feature '50s Sock Hop theme, Elvis

In anticipation of stressful finals, President David Leebron and Dean of Undergraduates Robin Forman are inviting students to return to a much simpler era: The 1950s. The '50s Sock Hop-themed study break will celebrate the Rice Memorial Center's 50th anniversary and next Thursday's opening of the Brochstein Pavilion. The '50s Sock Hop will be held Sunday, April 27, from 9-11 p.m.Student Association External Vice President Nick Muscara said he thinks the study break will be attractive to students because it will incorporate the pavilion as well as the Ley Student Center.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Will Rice Will Make You Laugh: The Odd Couple

The Will Rice Players' production of Neil Simon's The Odd Couple may sound like an unassuming little play, but it manages to deliver a highly entertaining experience for fans of comedy and drama alike.Written for Broadway in 1965, the play centers on a man named Oscar who has been divorced for some time and lives alone in an eight-room apartment. He decides to take in his friend Felix, who has recently separated from his own wife. Eventually, their polar-opposite personalities begin to clash, and this conflict forms the humorous centerpiece of The Odd Couple.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

83 graduating seniors to enter Phi Beta Kappa society

This spring, 83 graduating seniors were invited to become members of Beta of Texas, Rice's Phi Beta Kappa chapter. The academic society, which was established in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, honors the top 10 percent of each graduating class. Last year, 86 Rice seniors entered Phi Beta Kappa. She also said the Beta chapter reviews graduating seniors' transcripts each spring. The society accepts members regardless of major and requires that students take at least 10 courses outside of their field of study. McStay said these additional classes emphasize a student's love for learning for the sake of learning.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Willy revolutionaries return to Rice for 20th anniversary of prank

The April 12, 1988 turning of Willy's statue has become the stuff of Rice legend, and every good campus tour guide will mention the famous prank when showing prospective students through the academic quad. Like every legend, however, the specifics remained unclear, and the questions of who was behind the prank and how they did it remained unanswered. But last Friday, on the 20th anniversary of the prank, a group of 11 Rice alumni involved in the turning of Willy's statue returned to campus for the screening of the new documentary 180 -- The Spin on Willy's Statue, ready to explain everything and to unveil their plans for a $180,000 engineering fund.The FOX 6 news reporter who was assigned to cover the story had also attended Rice when the prank occurred and, in a recurring pattern, Houston Chronicle reporter Lisa Gray (Brown '88) was also at Rice at the time, and had covered the story for the Thresher.


NEWS 4/17/08 7:00pm

Only a few dim stars in La boh?me

Passionate romance, jealousy and redemption, humor and tragedy - Giacomo Puccini's La boh?me has all the elements of a classic love story. Its revival at the Houston Grand Opera this month is cause for celebration, although the performance falls just one poor singer short of perfection.The story of La boh?me is simple and will be familiar to those who have watched the musical Moulin Rouge!. The recent film version of Moulin Rouge! was based partially on Puccini's opera, which is also about a young bohemian artist who meets the love of his life just as she is on the verge of death. In La boh?me the two lovers are Rodolfo and Mim, who endure their share of jealousy and bickering before they are confronted with the reality of Mim's certain death.