A.M.E. Star

The initials “A.M.E.” represents the artist’s name Amber Marie Estes in a logo format created for an art class during her senior year in high school. The star pattern depicts an abstract star, as well as offers a broad color palette that is consistently reflected throughout the drawing.

Cover and story photo by Amber Estes

Kate’s potato salad

Here’s a cool treat to accompany your barbecue as spring and summer approach. Grab a cold one, fire up the grill and enjoy a scoop of my favorite potato salad.

Ingredients:

– 4 russet potatoes
– 1/2 cup mayonnaise
– 3 tbsp. mustard
– 5-6 gerkin pickles, diced
– 3 eggs
– salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Bake potatoes in microwave until cooked. (Most microwaves have a potato button that properly cooks average sized potatoes.) Let cool.

2. Boil water. Poke a tiny hole in each egg with a needle, then gently place them in boiling water to cook for 12 minutes. Then peel and rinse.

3. Chop potatoes into somewhat large chunks, dice hard boiled eggs and place in a large bowl.

4. Mix in mayonnaise, diced gerkin and mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. Chill for 30 min. to one hour before serving.

Cover and story photos by Katherine Wilk

Flash game distractions

With this semester winding to an end, and as exams and exam stress begin to wind up, take a moment to relax and play some of the simplest games around: flash games. Flash games can be found at a number of sites, some better than others, but the vast majority are fun.

Kongregate

Kongregate is one of the more popular flash game Web sites. The reason for its success in an area that is overly-saturated in flash game portals is its achievement system. Yes, achievements for flash games. They work much like the achievements for Xbox live or the PlayStation Network. This site also offers a large variety of games, which is updated every week, and it offers a number of featured games.

Some examples of good stress-relieving games that can be found on Kongregate are Music Catch and Music Catch2. The Music Catch games are rather mellow and sedate. Classical music plays in the background as you try and catch certain notes while avoiding the red ones and getting everything else. For people looking for a more violent way to relieve their stress, there are always games such as Sonny2 and Last Stand 2. In Sonny, you play as a zombie trying to regain your memories while you fight through a strange world. In Last Stand 2 you are fighting off zombie hordes as you make your way through cities trying to find other survivors, weapons and food.

Miniclip

Miniclip is one of the older flash game Web sites, and it has aged well. The Web site keeps constantly updating to change with the times. One of the nice things about Miniclip is their seasonal games. These holiday games are usually well-made and rather amusing to play. Miniclip also sports a selection of multiplayer flash games.

Miniclip’s stress-relieving games also extend from the sedate to the violent. Among their more sedate games is Bubble Trouble. While it is an older game, it is still plenty of fun. You play as this little red guy and you make your way through a series of puzzles that you must solve using your gun to pop bubbles at the right moment, breaking them down gradually to nothing. If you get hit by a bubble you lose; a simple and fun concept. One of their more violent games is Commando 2. It is the second game in the series where you play as a Commando on a mission in the Middle East. You move through this side-scrolling flash game, fighting enemies and bosses along with way. Some of the boss fights can be extremely annoying.

These Web sites are just two examples of the many flash game Web sites out there. So when exam stress starts weighing you down, just take a break and wander over to one of the many flash Web sites out there. They offer stressed students a great way to relieve some of that built-up tension. Just don’t procrastinate too long.

Cover and story photo from Creative Commons

Mr. Belding a bust

Dennis Haskins, aka Mr. Belding from “Saved by the Bell,” graced Radford University with his presence on Tuesday, March 30. The actor came to bring the joy of music to students. This joy was brought in the form of karaoke that you could sing with him.

The evening was scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., but didn’t actually start until 7:40. Technical difficulties caused the delay. While the crew tried to work out the kinks, the students had to sit in the lobby of the Bondurant Auditorium. R-SPaCE members were trying to entertain the restless crowd by allowing them to browse through the available songbooks and pick out what they wanted to sing for karaoke. Many of the students grew tired of waiting for the show to begin and left.

When the doors finally opened at 7:40, the remaining students filed into the auditorium and sat for another five minutes waiting on the sound check to be completed. It would be nice to say the evening began looking up from here, but sadly that was not the case.

After the sound check, a video montage played displaying Haskins in some of his previous roles. It was almost as if they had to prove he acted in shows and films other than just “Saved by the Bell.” It was a sad attempt at escalating the status of the second-rate actor RU could bring in. The main man in charge of this event for R-Space stood up and talked about who was here (as if we all hadn’t seen him two minutes before finishing up the sound check), what was going to be happening (as if students didn’t know it was a karaoke night) and told us who was sponsoring this event (finally a worthwhile announcement). The event was sponsered by R-SPaCE and Kappa Sigma fraternity.

This is when Dennis Haskins came back out and began singing. He opened the karaoke night by singing “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper. It’s a well-known song, but I wouldn’t exactly call it a popular choice to sing to students who are frustrated with school and wishing it actually was summer, knowing they still have a month left. Also, it seemed the man is tone-deaf. No other explanation is good enough for the screeching and howling coming out of his mouth as he “sang” the song. He then sang a duet with a student. They entertained the crowd with a rendition of “Piano Man” by Billy Joel. The student would have done better singing on his own.

As the students came on and off the stage singing their karaoke songs, Haskins stood in the audience for a while and signed autographs and took pictures with students. The night might have been more successful if they just had him do that. The auditorium had a good crowd of around 150 students, so the event could be called a success nonetheless.

Many of the students were disappointed with the karaoke night, especially senior Whitney Gunn.

“I just wanted to see Mr. Belding. I had to wait, and then he was just a big disappointment. It wasn’t even worth being there.”

Karaoke can traditionally be considered an activity for drunk people. It is a great form of entertainment if you are the sober person watching the drunk people make fools of themselves. Unfortunately this evening just seemed like a big flop and a bad rendition of a former principal we all watched so fondly.

Division of dance celebrates health week

Every year the division of dance celebrates their own health week to teach the dancers how to respect their bodies and stay healthy. When your tool is your body, you have to know how to keep it in good condition. That’s what the dance department worked to accomplish the week of March 29- April 2, in association with Harmony in Motion.

The week kicked off on Monday by encouraging students to keep a food journal of everything they ate. Two anonymous dancers posted their own food journals daily in the department. A food journal is a good way to remind yourself of any of the unhealthy foods you might have eaten that day. There was also a recipe posted daily that students could take a copy of and try cooking a healthy meal for the day.

Also on Monday, at 9:30 a.m. Modern class and 11:00 a.m. Ballet class participated in circles of flattery. Circles of flattery can be fun or can just remind you of a forced activity where you have to say something nice like a get-to-know-you exercise because a teacher ordered you to do so. The circle is supposed to encourage camaraderie and teach you how to be nice to one another. Students also had the opportunity to attend a cardio class during the 2 p.m. jazz class, taught by dance professor Kyle Shukis on Monday.

On Tuesday, the dancers learned how to keep their bodies safe with physical therapy tips from Kathy Stewart. Kathy Stewart, a local physical therapist. She attended the 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. Modern classes to teach the dancers hands’ on physical therapy tips they could perform on themselves to keep their muscles safe. This is important for dancers because they put serious strain on their bodies daily. During health week, students were encouraged to not only attend their regularly scheduled classes, but to attend the sessions put on by health week.

On Wednesday, the dancers were pampered with massages from Sean Terry, a local massage therapist, who came to the school at 10:00 a.m. She offered the students 15 minute massages. There was also a meditation session during the 2 p.m. jazz class. It was truly a relaxing day for the students who attended these two events.

Thursday brought yoga to the dancers. Michelle Muttart from Omkarra Yoga treated the students with strengthening yoga. The students from the pointe class and jazz class combined to participate in the yoga class.

Friday gave the dance students a chance to not be so healthy. The dancers pigged out on ice cream, which was available in the student lounge in the dance department. They justified eating the ice cream during a week devoted to health saying that everyone who is healthy deserves a treat. If that’s the case, we should eat chocolate- covered fruit all the time because the healthiness of the fruit would cancel out the unhealthiness of the chocolate, right? Wrong. But it is nice to treat yourself every now and then.

The Dance Department and Harmony in Motion had good intentions with health week as the students always benefit from it. RU dance major Amanda Sinn participated in the circle of flattery, yoga and ice cream party.

“I think it’s nice; it’s educational and a good stress reliever,” Sinn said. “I wanted a massage, but the spaces filled up too quickly.”

The students learned about how to keep their bodies healthy so they can continue dancing for years to come. Health week is always a welcome event in the department, but it can only do so much.

Cover and story photos by Annie Tull

Rumor mill: Microsoft phone

With Microsoft recently releasing its own mobile operating system, it was only a matter of time before they took a bigger step into the mobile phone market. Rumors have begun to circulate that Microsoft is developing its own phone. This phone will, of course, use the Microsoft mobile OS.

This rumor makes sense with Google recently announcing its own phone. Its release date is looming in the not-to- distant future. It would not be shocking in the least to see a release on Microsoft’s part, if nothing more than being a veiled attempt to compete with Google. With Google pushing more and more into territory usually held by Microsoft, this could just be the early signs of an all out war between the two companies.

This rumor also takes credence in the fact that it seems like Microsoft is dipping its hands into just about every market out there, as far as technology is concerned. For example, their recent and successful reach into the console market for video games. This is putting pressure on some better-known companies such as Sony and Nintendo. As phones advance to the point where they are mini-mobile PCs, it should be no shock that Microsoft would want to step into this arena. They would face old-time foe Apple and the new challenger, Google. What better way to compete with them than in a market that is constantly changing by the year? This way, if one phone is a flop, they at least have the safety net of their phone OS being so widely used across many different carriers. This actually gives them a benefit that other companies may not have. They have an existing relationship with cell phone providers; something Google will have to foster and grow on its own.

Cover and Story photo from Creative Commons

Let

When you were in high school, most likely, you probably didn’t want to be associated with geeks. They were never popular and were most likely never going to get laid. Now, even though most of you thought that, it still doesn

Disney does it again

Do you remember the good ole’ days of Disney? When we were growing up, Disney was in the prime of movie-musical producing. They were producing hits like “The Little Mermaid,” “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King.” It was the leading company in terms of animation, and the world was eating out of the palm of the mouse’s white glove. Well, they’ve done it again.

Last week Disney came out with its latest princess movie on DVD. March 16 marked the release of “The Princess and the Frog.”This movie brings out the first black princess in Disney history, and boy is she a feisty one. All the Disney princesses are known for their girl power and love stories, but this one takes a twist.

The Princess and the Frog” follows Tiana, a girl growing up in New Orleans. She has big dreams of owning her own restaurant and believes the only way to obtain this goal is through hard work and motivation. She is driven and disregards foolish thoughts like wishing on a star. She discovers a frog while standing out on her friend’s balcony and decides to take a chance and kiss it. Instead of the kiss turning her human it turns her into a frog.

Prince Naveen is the name of the frog, who was turned that way by the evil voodoo shadow man. Prince Naveen is a selfish prince who lives life for the fun and joy of it. He seems to be a cross between the beast from “Beauty and the Beast” and Kuzco from “The Emporer’s New Groove.” He thinks money is the secret to a happy life and has never worked for anything a day in his life.

Tiana and Naveen then set off through the swamps and bayous of New Orleans to find a different voodoo woman who can potentially turn them back into humans. They meet crazy sidekicks and enjoy the trip. It’s Disney, so I’m sure everyone knows how it ends, but I won’t be the one to give it all away. Let’s just say it has a pleasant resolution.

It’s a good movie that goes back to the classic animation of Disney before Pixar invaded and began making “better” movies. Don’t get me wrong, I love Pixar movies, I just appreciate the good old Disney animation. It has the classic peppy music and sing-a-long songs. It has the same happy princess story like the older princess story. Guy meets girl, a problem arises, they fall in love, and their love saves the day.

In this movie, their are numerous references to other Disney movies. I guess after you’ve made as many movies as Disney has it’s hard not to start seeing similarities between all of them. It’s a great movie to see if you want to reminisce about your childhood. With a good storyline it’s a nice pick-me-up on a sad day. If you are male, you probably will not like it. There is not much action in this movie, but it is full of adventure.

It seems to be much scarier than I remember Disney movies being. The voodoo shadow man deals with the underworld and is just plain creepy. I don’t recall all the evil in the older Disney movies, and maybe it takes more to scare and intrigue this younger Disney generation. I’m not afraid to say this though; this movie actually scared me a bit.

And yes, it will give a whole new generation a false sense of hope for men. Guys, face it, you will not live up to any girl’s fantasy of her prince charming. That doesn’t mean stop trying. And girls, no guy will be as perfect as prince charming seems to be. Leave the perfect love stories to Disney. Just be happy with your mediocre relationship, because at least it is real.

At the end of the day, this movie will be remembered for one thing: being the first with a black princess. It is a good movie, but is not without its flaws. So, thank you Disney for taking us back to the good old animation and giving us a new twist on an old fairy tale.

Cover and story photo from Creative Commons

Sunflower Clock

The photo above is an original art piece created out of a styrofoam base with a hollowed-out center. The face of the clock is protected by pieces of glass, and the yellow feathers represent the petals of a sunflower. The piece was originally intended for my room at home but now hangs as a decoration here in Radford!

Cover and Story photo by Mary Askins