Getting from point A to point B

]The Radford University Transit system has not been the most reliable lately, but the system has been temporarily updated until a new system can be put into place. As of right now, there is a campus loop on Mondays through Fridays, that makes stops at Hunters Ridge (in front of the 400 building), Lot E (University Drive across the Bridge), Lot A, in front of Young Hall, Lot DC, on the upper side of The Dedmon Center, Lot CC, next to the Stadium, and Lot FF, on Stolkholm Street. This loop runs every 15 minutes during the time frame between 7:45 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. It also continues running every 30 minutes from 2:30 p.m. to 9:45 a.m.

If you live on campus, and are coming back from a weekend at home and need to park your car across the bridge, there is good news for you! The RU Transit system runs on Sunday nights from 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. The buses stop at The Dedmon Center, Lot Z, Cupp Stadium, Lot E, on University Drive, Lot A, in front of Young Hall, in front of Waldron, and in the Walker Parking lot. The RU Transit Committee put this schedule into place to keep students from having to walk in the dark and or alone back to their dorm rooms.

Need some munchies? Well the RU Transit system has you covered again! The “city loop” runs throughout the City of Radford starting at Lot A in front of Young Hall and continuing to the BP gas station on Main Street, Walmart, the RU Business and Technology Park, the corner of Grove and Tyler, Food Lion and then back to Young Hall. This loop runs every hour to benefit students who do not have a car here in Radford so that they can get from point A to point B.

Cover and story photo by Kasey Sutphin

Radio Tuna: Join the school

Radio Tuna is primarily billed as a music-discovery search engine. It more than meets what is expected of it. With a simple clean interface, it allows you to scan any number of radio-Internet stations. It filters these stations based on genre and next to these stations, you can see how frequently they play one particular type of music. The right side of the Web site is devoted to track information, along with a play/pause button and a volume control. It also includes the ability to share the station on any number of social networking sites.

Radio Tuna is best described as the love child of ‘Pandora Radio’ and Google. Taking some of the best parts from Pandora, and splicing them with the freedom that Google provides. No longer are you limited to a certain number of station changes or whatever cataloged music Pandora happens to have on hand; you have the freedom of thousands of radio stations. If one doesn’t play what you want, you can always find another.

The overall interface is relatively simple. There are two options for how you can explore all Radio Tuna has to offer. You can use the side bar under the genre tab on the site or you can type in a search. You can search for an artist, genre or station using the search bar. The site is still relatively young, and the search option can be rather limited at times, but that is certain to change as Radio Tuna ages.

Like any new thing, Radio Tuna has its bugs, particularly, the system that indicates how much of a certain genre a station plays. While it tends to be fairly accurate, there are other times when it is completely off, leaving a very confused listener: “Hey, I clicked this for metal, why am I hearing pop?” Also, the genre search does not have much in the way of sub-genres.”

Cover and Story photo courtesy of Creative Commons

My Horizon

I want you, but I don’t.

The pain in my chest is weakening.

How did this happen? I need a drink.

Where did the past two years go?

I was so sure of myself and I thought I understood my emotions.

Why oh why am I suddenly feeling this way.

I didn’t want you, threw you out, and not in the best way.

In fact, I was relieved to be free of you. I was young and free.

The last thing I wanted was you.

But suddenly, it has become apparent that you were there all along.

You were always with me. In the back of my mind,

I knew you always loved me, and I needed that.

Why did I hurt you? You were always so nice.

I used to think that I was better than you, you told me I was a couple of times,

But now I see, the one that was mistaken was me, for you are far greater.

Your beauty as a person shines bright and attracts people towards you.

My mother said you wouldn’t be single for too long,

I guess this was just something else she was right on.

I feel raw and wounded.

I feel like a fool.

Why did you let me push you away?

If you loved me the way you said you did, why did you just let me walk away?

Sometimes, I think it’s because you thought I deserved someone different,

Someone greater, but other times,

I fear it’s because you gave up on me, on us.

I’m sorry I was difficult, rude, young, immature, nasty, selfish and proud.

I’m happy for you in all that you do. I see that you are whole with her.

I’m sorry I couldn’t give you that.

My world was small then, and I didn’t understand love,

maybe I still don’t, but I have learned that when you love someone, you want what is best for them.

She is better for you; I’m still searching for my horizon.

Cover graphic by Kasey Sutphin

Money and you

Everyone is short on cash these days. Have you been thinking about getting a job to fund that weekend fun, or maybe need a little help on the rent this month? Well, there is a solution.

In addition to off campus job possibilities such as University Tanning, WalMart, Kroger and various other places, Radford University offers jobs on-campus to students. You can access a list of all of the jobs available through the RU Portal. Campus jobs pay $7.25 an hour. Students that are registered through financial aid do have first choice, but after the first week of classes, all jobs are free game to anyone enrolled here at RU. This give students who are in the university’s eyes “most desperate” for cash first dibs, but still have opportunities for those that are not eligible for financial aid for one reason or another.

Many students worry about taking an extra course during the summer and whether or not they will still be able to make enough money to get them through the year without that summer job cash. If you need to catch up on credits, and need to take a summer or Maymester class, as long as you are taking six credits (the equivalent of two classes) you can apply for an on-campus job to bring in some dough, as well as catch up on those credits. By accessing MyRU, then choosing student affairs, and finally work study will lead you to all of the details to find a job that suits you. Maybe earning that extra cash wont be so hard after all and you might just find that working for your school might end up being more fun than you expected.

Cover and Story photo by Erin Foley

Google Buzz hardly buzzworthy

Google Buzz is the latest Web application to be created by the Internet giant, Google. This application is Twitter-like in nature. Google Buzz allows users to post status updates from the ease of their Gmail account. These updates can be viewed by anyone on your contacts list from Gmail. However, this is where the problem with Google Buzz begins. While brilliant in concept, there are a number of downsides that heavily affect Google Buzz’s chances to become the Internet-wide force that Twitter has become in such a short time.

Privacy is a huge concern with Google Buzz because the automatic Web application that generates a list for you from your contacts. This is a huge issue, since the only solution is to go through and block each individual from seeing your “Buzz” updates. There is also another problem, these auto-generated follower lists can be viewed publicly worldwide. Not only is this a bit creepy, it creates a major concern since spammers will suddenly have all these lovely new contacts to use. To Google’s credit, they quickly realized the error of their ways and made solutions to this particular issue.

The early release of Google Buzz also had another not-so-pleasant issue. If someone were to click “Ok” when Google prompted them with the option to join Google Buzz and then decided after the fact that they didn’t wish to participate, they could scroll down to the bottom of the Gmail account page and click “turn off Google Buzz.” The page would then reload, and lo-and-behold the pesky Buzz just wouldn’t die! The button was completely ineffective on removing Google Buzz. The only solution was to disable public profile and then block everyone on your contacts list one at a time. This too was eventually fixed.

In essence, Google Buzz offers the exact same services as Twitter and other social networking sites. Not only can individuals post comments, they are also capable of posting images and videos in their comment stream. While this allows for a richer, social experience in a Twitter-like environment, it still fails to serve any real need on the consumers part, beside the hardcore “Twitterholic.” Goggle Buzz, while good in concept, just doesn’t translate to the needs of the people. Google has lost its cutting-edge feel, and instead seems content on trying to play catch-up.

Cover and story photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Parliament Square Tree

Tree in Parliament Square

This is yet another photo taken on my study abroad trip to London in May of 2009. I especially liked this tree because the leaves had a look that reminded me almost of bronze. Notice the shading is very close to that of the statue right next to it depicting Winston Churchill. The building behind it is probably rich in history. If the camera were to pan to the right, the viewer would see Big Ben and The Parliament.

Radford University, the past and present

Virginia is home to some of the best Universities in the south, and Radford University is now among them. In 2009, RU was recognized as one of the “Top 20 Public Master’s Universities” in the south by U.S. News & World Report, as well as one of the “Best Colleges in the Southeast,” by the Princeton Review. With a student body of over 9,000, RU is growing faster then it ever has before. As our history continues to grow, it’s always good to look back at the past, for without it, we wouldn’t be here today.

In 1910, the Virginia General Assembly created the State Normal and Industrial School for Women at Radford. More commonly known as Radford Normal, the first appointed president of the school was John Preston McConnell, ring any bells? The opening day of classes was September 17, 1913, an all women’s school with no dorms rooms, causing the girls to rent nearby buildings for housing. Over the next ten years or so, the school continued to grow, adding Tyler Hall as the school’s first residence hall, which opened in 1915. By 1921, the school had its own newspaper, The Grapurchat.

In 1924, Radford Normal became Radford State Teachers College and continued to grow, the campus was getting bigger and more students were attending. In 1937, President McConnell retired due to illness, and Jeremy Pate Whitt was named the acting president, who was previously the school’s registrar. On Jan. 1, 1938, David W. Peters assumed the role of president. Dr. McConnell passed away in 1941, just two years before Radford College merged with Virginia Polytechnic Institute as the Women’s Division of V.P.I.

Following the merger, RU’s enrollment began to rapidly rise, as students were able to take classes that used to only be available to men. In 1951, President Peters passed away, and Jeremy Pate Whitt once again took over as acting president, but died a few months after. Dr. Charles Knox Martin, Jr. took over on Jan. 17, 1952, and just twelve years later, Radford College had dropped their merger with V.P.I. as the school was growing faster than ever.

In the summer of 1971, Radford College went through one of it’s biggest changes, by the undergratuate admission of men. That same year Dr. Donald N. Dedmon took over for Dr. Martin as president, becoming the fourth in the school’s history. Eight years later, in 1979, Radford College became a University, and has been known ever since as Radford University.

In 1995, Dr. Douglas Covington became the fifth president, and served until 2005. Our current president, Dr. Penelope Kyle has been in office since. Now, with Division 1 athletics, 15 residence halls, state-of-the-art facilities and labs, over 140 academic majors and 185 acres of land, Radford University is proving to be one of the top-notch schools not only in the south, but all over the nation.

Cover photo by Kasey Sutphin

Story photo by Jordan Oakley

Welcome to winter

The snow has been falling for some time now, and it seems to me that no one has gotten over it. I find the overwhelming attitude of the student body to be a little absurd. You want school to be canceled as soon as snow is in the forecast? Go back to high school.

It is understandable that commuters may have a more difficult time getting to school on snowy days, but for a large amount of students,the commute isn’t really the issue. Students simply want a day off from school, and they think the snow is going to save them from having to sit through boring lectures and annoying exams.

Welcome to college, kids. Now you, or your parents, are paying for you to be here, and the school must supply what the student body demands, and that’s an education. If it seems safe for the majority of the students and faculty to attend classes, then school won’t be canceled. Even if the snow on the grass amounts to more than a foot, if the sidewalks and streets are cleared there is no reason to freak out.

It is important not to get your hopes up, because time and time again there will be snow on the ground; we are in the mountains after all. In the end, all of the excitement just annoys those of us who know better and disheartens those who haven’t. Snow in this area just isn’t worth getting riled up about.

I’m not saying that it’s a good idea to act as if nothing is happening and go about your usual business. If you tend to drive places outside of school time, then it’s still a good idea to stay off the roads when they are covered in snow. That will certainly keep you and your community safe. However, calling off classes for a tiny bit of snow, or snow that hasn’t happened yet doesn’t necessarily do anybody any good.

Another thing to do: dress appropriately for snow. Flip flops are not helpful if you don’t want to slide and fall on your butt. I’ve seen this happen in all types of bad weather on this campus. Just use common sense when you get dressed in the morning. Wear boots, a thick coat, gloves, a scarf and even ear muffs. If you don’t dress for the weather then you shouldn’t complain about the snow and the cold!

Thankfully for all of us, March is right around the corner. That doesn’t mean that it will be fabulous spring weather right off the bat, but there will be an improvement at least by mid March. Despite this semester being referred to as “Spring Semester,” it’s not really going to thaw out nicely until around April. So much for all the dresses you brought to school after break, huh? On the bright side, I’ve found a much needed friend for this semester, and that is AccuWeather. Kiss Weather.com goodbye, and say hello to a Web site worth paying attention to. Trust me, you’ll need it this semester.

Cover photo by Erin Foley

Story photo by Kasey Sutphin

Games to look out for 2010

With this year just starting, it is time to look toward the future. This past year brought gamers over some of the best games seen in a long time. Here is a peek of what this year promises to bring.

Battlefield Bad Company 2

This is the second game in the Battlefield series, the first being one of the most popular games of 2008. Battlefield Bad Company 2 promises much more of the games fun, explosive environment. With more vehicles, it only means that the online play will be all the more intense as players will continuously need to move to find new cover as old cover is blown to pieces.

Final Fantasy XIV

This new multi-player online game, offered by Square Enix, is not meant to be an update or a replacement to Final Fantasy XI, which has been on the market for quite some time. FFXI will still be available to play in the foreseeable future. FFXIV takes place in a different world, and offers a bunch of new features and classes. This game promises to be one of the highlights of late 2010.

Final Fantasy XIII

With yet another Final Fantasy game, it looks like the year of 2010 will be heavy with them. FFXIII will take place in a different world from X or XII. Trailers from this game hype the possible return of the gunblade, along with a new summon-system of sorts. This is one of the most anticipated Final Fantasy games in recent years, with both XII and X-2 being complete and utter flops.

Hard Rain

Hard Rain is the cinematic master piece making its way to Play Station 3. While Hard Rain does contain parts of traditional game play, such as first person shooters and basic adventure games, it also throws in something new: the game follows multiple different story lines.

As you complete each chapter of the game, you will jump to another character whose life has been affected by the origami killer. Every decision you make in the game effects the final outcome. If one of your characters were to die, it dies for good, there is no going back to save them.

Heavy Rain has been described part movie, part video game by its developers. This has many critics on edge, stating that it may become more of a nich

Even When…

 

Even when your heart breaks
And they’re not there,
Life just takes,
All that’s fair.
Your heart wakes,
Your eyes to stare,
At what makes
You and your soul care.

Even when you make mistakes
And hurt someone,
You slam on the breaks.
Because you realize what you have done,
And when your soul aches,
Look to the sun.
He knows what it takes,
And in him you have won.

Even when you fall on the ground,
Don’t give up on your dream.
Just listen for a sound,
And something will gleam.
By the one who’s crowned,
He is supreme,
And he will surround.
Because you’re on his team,

Even when they aren’t around.
And you feel all alone,
Don’t go drowned,
You’re just in a zone,
Look to the rebound.
And how much you’ve grown,
Look at what you have found.
When you’re seated before the throne,

Even when everything’s not perfect.
And it seems it never will be,
Don’t let it affect
What you truly see.
For it’s direct,
And it’s a guarantee.
You can connect,
And you can be free.

Even when they reject,
And you feel ignored,
Remember he is here to protect
Just wait to be restored.
And gain the respect,
By getting your reward.
You will be correct,
Just look to the Lord.

Cover graphic by Kasey Sutphin

A tribute to Alexander McQueen: Remembering a genius

McQueen was born in London in 1969. He left school at an early age and started an apprenticeship at Savile Row in London. He went on to work for other designers such as Anderson and Sheppard and Gieves and Hawkes.

McQueen did a few stints at designers around Europe until returning to London in 1994. He went to design school and received a Master’s in Fashion Design from Central St. Martin’s College. He recieved critical acclaim when his collection was bought by famous Fashionista Isabella Blow, whom later became his mentor.

McQueen quickly became one of the most respected designers in the fashion world. He won the Brittish Designer of the Year Award four times from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and he was awarded the Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by the queen.

McQueen went on to take over as Creative Director of Gucci and moved on to Givency in 1996. He also had his own label known best for its expertise in couture.

McQueen was found dead in his apartment Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010.

Cover and story photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Dragon Age: Origins the story begins

Dragon: Age Origins is not Bioware’s first role playing game (RPG), nor will it be its last. The game is certainly among the best from this publisher. Bioware, building off the success of Mass Effect, released Dragon: Age Origins just before Christmas, hoping to draw in a holiday crowd to buy their new RPG.

Game Play

Origins is fairly straight forward as far as RPGs go. The beginning has a slight twist. Based on which race and class you choose influences where and how the game begins, though after this initial stage that choice plays very little effect on the over all story, though it will occasionally affect how people respond to your character.

Actual game play is your standard RPG affair. You pick a class and race. Your job builds off a skill tree, allowing you to pick what abilities and spells you want your character to master.

The real twist Bioware threw into their new game is something borrowed from Mass Effect. What They borrowed is the decision-based storyline. The choices you make influence how the game goes. Even when making a character with the intention of being good, you sometimes find it to be more effective and simple to break down the door to get to someone who refuses to talk to you and apologize later to get them to do what you want. Each choice you make builds your reputation and can either make the game easier or harder.

The Good

There is so much that is good about this game it is hard to gather it all into one little section. The musical score to the game works perfectly, making the moments that are suppose to feel creepy feel, well, creepy and the ones that are supposed to feel epic. Character interactions between your party range from being funny to dramatic. This helps players build a bond to those characters they choose to have in their party. The game has a great twist at the end which leaves it open for them to make a sequel.

The Bad

The only thing I can be really be picky on are some of the non-playable characters and how they react to what you do. Often times their reactions to your actions make no sense at all. For instance, if you were to break down their door, a simple apology is all it takes to smooth everything over before you tell them to help you fight off a zombie invasion. It makes no sense that these people who were busy hiding would so eagerly agree to aid you after you broke into their home. This is just a brief example of some of the things that make little to no sense.

Overall

This is definitely a must-have game for RPG fans out there. The story and game play are deep and fun. It’s surprising at times to see how your choices affect the world, shaping how things play out.

Whim Rating 4.5/5

Cover and story photo from Creative Commons