3-D takeover

3-D movies are a recent trend that studios have used to try and get people back to the theaters. It is a gimmick that has no doubt worked. Now the 3-D experience hopes to move beyond the theaters and a home near you.

Many major television companies recently announced their intentions to release TVs that are capable of rendering 3-D images. A recent electronics expo featured such TVs, showing that it will not be too long before they begin popping up in family rooms everywhere.

While 3-D has been the flavor of the season, very few people have asked what sorts of practical applications this will have. For instance, will being able to view sports in 3-D really enhance the experience anymore, or will it turn it into some gimmicky thing with strange camera angles just because they can?

Will 3-D TVs make things more life-like and enjoyable? Probably. But the issue of practicality remains. In the past few years, TV manufacturers have managed to draw people into the resolution race with high-definition TVs. Now, it seems like it is just another avenue for them to sell TVs in this slumping economy.

Even though 3-D television might be some gimmicky move to get more people to buy TVs, there is still a very exciting aspect to this. 3-D TVs could very well mark a move toward the holograms of the future. As companies compete in this new market, it seems like it might be only a matter of time before what was once nothing more than fantasy, became reality.

Cover and story photo from Creative Commons

It’s survey time!

Hey all,

It’s that time of year again where we pass out surveys to the student body to see what you think about Whim. While we are still distributing hard copies (which can be found in Calhoun Hall in the Whim mailbox if you’d like one) we thought it was about time to do an online survey for an online magazine. So, we would really appreciate it if you took a couple minutes out of your day to fill out our survey. Let us know what we’re doing right, what we’re doing wrong and what you’d like to see more of in the future.

Click here to take survey

Love,

The Whim staff

Google trouble in big China

The past few months have been filled with strife for Internet mega-power Google, as they haven been dealing with real-world power China. In early January, Google announced that there had been malicious attacks attempting to reveal the identities and Gmail accounts used by human rights activists in China. These attacks were discovered to be coming from within the Chinese government itself.

In retaliation, Google announced it was considering ending the services it provides to China. This was followed by threats that the search engine was questioning whether it should filter the searches made through its Chinese site at all. Censoring content is standard for any Internet search engine, which works in China. This stringent censorship has been criticized, and Google was not exempt from such criticism when they agreed to follow China

Tiger, Tiger Woods y’all

Suppose you make a mistake, one of epic proportions that is life-changing and marriage-wrecking. Would you want to deal with it privately, or would you rather have your decisions slammed on entertainment and news stations everywhere? Add in that you’re a celebrity known as the country’s “it-boy” in golf, raking in tons of cash, fame and acting as a spokesperson for many companies. Does that make it alright for the public to be so in your business that they almost have to be penciled in on the divorce papers? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Eldrick Tont Woods, aka “Tiger” Woods, is an icon. This gem of the golf industry has captivated the public beyond the green, and because of this his private life seems to be everyone else’s playground. Woods endorsed many companies, including General Motors, General Mills, American Express, Nike Inc. and my personal favorite: the launch of Buick’s Rendezvous. His face was postered all over the television sets of America and Woods became a household name.

When the very odd story of a car accident involving Woods broke in November of 2009, America became a little too interested in the golf pro. He first appeared on the front of The National Inquirer, claiming infidelity. However, it did little to harm Woods, that is, until the rumors were fact-checked and the popularity of the information spread. Apparently Woods, (great god that he is… sorry, was) really was having affairs left and right.

His poor wife, right? Shouldn’t we humiliate this guy and make him wish he never cheated with one, two, three, who knows how many bimbos? Yeah.

That almost makes sense. Once America knew of his infidelity they acted like the grieving wife, hunting down every bit of information that could be found, exposing it to everyone else. Poor Elin for having to suffer through the media as it forced her cheating husband’s texts down her throat. I’d do the same thing, running away from the lying man, taking my kids and escaping daily life.

Sure, Tiger is at fault for giving into his desires, but is it an appropriate story on the 5 o’clock news? Is it important enough to recreate the Aniston-Pitt feud that once split America? Our classrooms, Starbucks and family gatherings could use a lot less of the Tiger Woods discussions. He made a major mistake for his marriage. This does not make him headline news, nor should we give this man the time or energy that we usually devote to the Commander-in-Chief of the United States. His address to the nation was nothing more than laughable.

Please, I beg of you America, do not feed into the celeb-obsessed nation we’re seen to be in the rest of the world. Brush up on your politics or read a book. And, remember that if you were in his shoes, America wouldn’t be demanding your apology.

Cover and story photo from Creative Commons

“The Hurt Locker” not hurting now

Before the Academy Awards on March 7 I had never heard of “The Hurt Locker.” Now it has won the most Oscars in 2010, taking home six awards of the nine for which it was nominated. Kathryn Bigelow, the director of “The Hurt Locker, became the first female to win in the Best Director category for her feature film.

Sandra Bullock finally received the acclaim she deserved. She won Best Actress In a Leading Role for her performance in “The Blind Sideand became America’s sweetheart yet again this year with performances in “The Proposal” and “All About Steve.” She went from a crime fighter in “Miss Congenialityto do-gooder supermom in “The Blind Side.” Finally she received notice for her great ability.

We cannot acknowledge best actress without telling you about this year’s Best Actor In A Leading Role. It went to actor and musician, Jeff Bridges. Bridges played in “K-PAX” and “The Big Lebowski.” He won his Academy Award for playing Bad Blake in the film “Crazy Heart.” He also sang in the movie and was one of the artists to sing in this year’s remake of “We are the World.”

On to Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. Christoph Waltz won Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Inglorious Basterds.” In the film he plays Col. Hans Landa, a Nazi who is exceptionally good at finding Jews in hiding. The Best Supporting Actress award went to stand-up comedian and actress Mo’Nique for her portrayal of Mary in “Precious: Based On the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.” Mary is the abusive mother to pregnant teenager Precious.

Disney had two nominees in the Best Animated Feature Film category, “The Princess and the Frog” and “Up.”The Princess and the Frog” is Disney’s latest princess movie that follows Princess Tiana who kisses a frog and then turns into one. The winning film was a collaboration with Pixar. “Up” is about a lonely old man who tries to escape his problems by flying his house away but finds a child on his front stoop instead, a wilderness explorer named Russell. The two take a crazy adventure. “Up” also won for Best Music.

Avatar” was thought to be a big winner of the night, but only won three of the nine awards it was nominated for. It won Best Cinematography, Art Direction and Visual Effects, not to mention it was also the brunt of various jokes throughout the night. Director James Cameron’s name was dropped more than a cell phone, and Ben Stiller came out decorated and dressed in full “Avatar” make-up and costume to give out an award.

Adding to the humor of the night were the two hosts, Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. These comedian-actors kept the comedy coming with cracks about nearly everyone in the audience. Everyone seemed to be enjoying the witty banter, even though they talked about most of them. George Clooney was the only movie-man in the house who did not seem to be digging the criticism. His face was somber on every camera shot that caught him.

The 82nd Academy Awards opened with a song and dance number performed by Neil Patrick Harris and dancers. It was similar to his performance at the closing of the Tony awards for Broadway and live theater.

The 2010 Oscars held big laughs, big names and big shocks this year.

Cover and story photo from Creative Commons

March Madness is back!

After a long season and back-and-forth conference tournaments, the field of 64 is set for the 2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship. Though our hometown Highlanders failed to reach the tournament for this season, the field is as intriguing as ever, with many new faces and without last year’s champs, the North Carolina Tar Heels.

The bracket is headlined by the four No.1 seeds: Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse and Duke, with Kansas as the overall number one at the end of the season. Kansas controls their destiny in the Midwest bracket, with notable teams No.2 seed Ohio St., No.3 seed Georgetown, and No.4 seed Maryland, in considerably the toughest region. Other sleepers in the Midwest include Michigan State, Tennessee and Oklahoma State, who are all expected to compete with the top seeds.

Kentucky, the overall number two team in the nation at the end of the season, will play in the east bracket with the likes of No.2 seed West Virginia. The east is a bit of a head-scratcher, as the No.3 seed is New Mexico, who is not known for its experience in the dance, but have had a great season. Wisconsin sits as the No.4 seed, followed by Temple, Marquette, Clemson, Texas and Wake Forest.

The west bracket will be very interesting as well, with Syracuse at the top, but strong and talented Kansas State sitting as the No.2 seed, who I believe has a chance to push their way to the Final Four. Pittsburgh, Vanderbilt and Butler round out the other notable teams in the west, but expect Xavier, Brigham Young, Gonzaga and Florida State to make things interesting.

The last region, the south, is controlled by the ACC champions, the Duke Blue Devils, which is coincidentally also home to the only two teams to reach the tournament out of Virginia, which was neither the University of Virginia nor Virginia Tech, but instead No.7 seed Richmond and No.11 seed Old Dominion. Villanova retained the No.2 seed, with Baylor, Purdue and Texas A&M rounding out the top five seeds. The Big South champion, the Winthrop Eagles, who ended the Highlanders’ season in the conference semifinals, are in the play-in game with Arkansas-Pine Bluff for the No.16 seed, and a chance to play against Duke in the first round.

From a fan’s standpoint, it’s never good to see teams like North Carolina and Connecticut out of the field, but it just makes the tournament that more exciting since anything can happen. Most people around the world have filled out multiple brackets right now, but for those of you who haven’t, here are some teams to look into, instead of staying generic, with either Kansas or Kentucky ruling the field. As I said before, Kansas State has the power to mix things up, but don’t leave out West Virginia and Ohio State, who have Final Four talent. When trying to pick upsets, I’d look at teams like No. 9 seed, Northern Iowa out of the Midwest, No. 12 seed Cornell out of the east, No. 5 seed Butler and No. 11 seed Minnesota, out of the west and unexpected No. 3 seed Baylor out of the south.

If I had to pick my final four today, I’d have Kansas facing rival Kansas State on one side, and Kentucky facing either Baylor or Villanova on the other. From there, it’s all about whoever is playing the best ball, and those teams will have the best shot to reach the finals. That’s the great thing about college basketball; it’s not about what you did in the beginning of the season, it’s all about how your team is playing when it comes down to crunch time.

Cover and story photo from Creative Commons

Tigertext

Ever sent a text message you wish you could take back? Well now you can, thanks to Tigertext. Tiger Woods probably wishes he had this smart phone application; it would have certainly lessened some of the evidence that helped secure his scandal in the mind of the public.

While ironically named, Tigertext was not named after Tiger Woods. The developers at least claim they came up with the name prior to the Tiger Woods scandal.

On to the application itself, Tigertext can be purchased in the iTunes application store for free. Using the application is not free; one has to purchase an unlimited texting plan from the developers. They base these plans on monthly or yearly charges. Unlimited texts for a month will cost users $1.99, and unlimited texts for a year are $19.99. You can purchase these plans through the Apple app store. While it costs to send texts using the program, receiving them is free.

Tigertext works differently from how phones normally send texts. Instead of the texts being saved in multiple places, it is all stored on the Tigertext server; where after a certain amount of time the texts are auto-deleted. That isn

Elizabeth’s Kitchen: Pasta galore

This week for Elizabeth’s Kitchen we will be cooking pasta. It’s not hard, but tastes great. This is another one of my all-time favorite Heinz family recipes.

Crab Pasta Salad

A delightfully delicious and easy meal. Great for vegetarians and for those Fridays during Lent where you can’t eat meat!

ALLERGY CONCERNS: milk products, shellfish

Approx. cost: $15

Serves: 10

Kitchen Supplies you will need:

Large pot
Large mixing bowl
Wooden spoon
Strainer

Food you will need:

1 package spiral pasta
1 block Monteray Jack cheese
1 whole green pepper
1 package of imitation crab meat
1 bag of frozen peas
1 16 oz. bottle of ranch dressing

How to make the dish:

1. Fill pot with water and set on stove, bringing to a boil.

2. While water is heating up, chop the green pepper and the block of cheese into small cubes.

3. Once water boils, prepare pasta as directed.

4. Drain pot, put pasta in a separate bowl and chill for 20 minutes.

5. After 20 minutes remove pasta from refrigerator, add crab meat, peas, green pepper and cheese.

6. Mix in Ranch dressing and enjoy!

Cover and story photo from Creative Commons

Heroes of Newerth

Heroes of Newerth is your standard real-time strategy game with a slight twist, taking from Warcraft’s most popular game-play mode called “Defense of the Ancients.” This up and coming game looks as though it has a chance to make a large dent in the lagging game market. Currently, the game has been in beta for, a little under a year, with an unknown, but expected release date later this year.

Game Play:

Unlike most RTS out there, Heroes of Newerth does not follow the set-in-stone model of build an army and have the two armies collide somewhere on the map until on side is overwhelmed. Now, what Newerth does instead, creates a siege-like environment where one team or one player is setup in a base that they have to defend by building up its defenses. The other players on the map then have the job of attacking the defending side as they attempt to win the match. Character selection is a sort of new option, most games at best you got to pick your race, and then if you were lucky, maybe your alignment or some similar thing. The number of races would be extremely limited and what you were capable of building was based on this. Instead, you pick from 40 different heroes, each having their own skills and abilities. The heroes are broken down into three times: intelligence, strength, and agility. Heroes of Newerth has stores where one can upgrade their chosen character. Scattered throughout the map are monsters, which players can use to level and upgrade their characters. The armies in Heroes of Newerth are AI-controlled, taking away part of the RTS element many players look forward to. You still command your units, but the players’ view of the battlefield is limited, and your main focus is leveling your hero.

The Good:

Depending on the players, style of play can be quick, short or long and time consuming. The short games are fun and intense, but lack the build-up that long ones have. Either style of play is good, though sometimes you can’t spend four hours leveling characters to create an epic final battle. Playing as a single hero is fun and really does help to draw the player into the game. This is a vast improvement over most RTS, where the players tend to sit back and critically look at the game as they play it, rather than allow themselves to be immersed in the actions of the units on the screen.

The Bad:

Kind of difficult to come up with negative things to say about the game. For most people, going into this game and expecting a classic RTS, they will be disappointed. While this is an RTS, it falls under the sub-genre of “Arena RTS.” The limited battlefield view will upset people who are use to playing Age of Empires and the like.

Final Thoughts:

While still in beta, this game already has a large following of players. It is nearly impossible not to find a game waiting or additional players at any given time. Though it does not fall into the pure RTS category, the game still should do extremely well, maybe even redefining the entire genre.

Whim Rating: 4.5/5

Cover and story photo from Creative Commons

Size doesn’t matter

I’ve noticed that my generation can be too obsessive about their weight, size and shape. This is something that disturbs me greatly. When you’re in your late teens and early twenties, it’s generally a good idea to let go of those old middle school insecurities and try to be comfortable in your own skin.

In the time I’ve attended school here, I’ve realized that people think nothing of commenting on the way other people look, and they even comment too much on the way their own bodies look. What I’m trying to say is this: please get over yourselves. Of course, everyone should strive to be healthy, but for some of us that means being a little over or under the average weight for height. It’s alright to have a different body type than other people.

I have a personal problem with people judging themselves and others for their weight, because I know what it’s like to be judged. In high school I became fairly underweight because I couldn’t keep my food down no matter how hard I tried. No, I didn’t have an eating disorder. I have acid reflux, which is now totally under control by prescription. Even though I didn’t have an eating disorder, it bothers me to hear people judged so much because I was made fun of mercilessly by my larger friends during the time I was underweight. Their attempts to make themselves feel better by putting me down led to ruined friendships, and that is the sort of petty thing that young adults shouldn’t have to deal with anymore.

Don’t think that this is only aimed at the excessively skinny, it goes for larger people, too. No one should have to feel bad about themselves, and that includes the overweight. I know that in the past our culture has been more accepting towards the girls who resembled Twiggy, but the times have changed. Big people are beautiful too, and they deserve just as much respect as everyone else.

The sad part is that I can’t even aim my disappointment toward men. They can be pretty horrible with their judgments at times, but I hear worse things more frequently coming from young women. What’s worse is that they attack each other when they should be more supportive, because we’re all in the same boat when all is said and done. Even the most stereotypically attractive people have tons of insecurities. One could probably write volumes about how much they criticize themselves.

By the way, this goes for clothing, too. It’s not right to make fun of people if their style isn’t the same as yours. In high school I was one of those creepy kids who came to school wearing all black, glaring at everyone. Now my wardrobe is practically all pink and blue, but I’m still the same person I’ve always been. Clothing may reflect how a person feels on any given day, but it does not make the person who they are. Don’t write someone off just because you think they dress oddly.

What this has been leading up to is this: our generation needs to learn how to accept ourselves, and each other. Life is no longer a popularity contest. People want to be around you for your personality more than anything, so don’t try to be something you’re not, and don’t expect other people to do that, either.

Cover and story photo by Kasey Sutphin