Taste for Diversity at RU; a look back at the experience of cultures

The 2009 Taste for Diversity week started off with a bang on Monday September 28. Dalton dining hall was decorated with flags and displays for countries all over the world. Both live and recorded music was played throughout the cafeteria, enhancing the multicultural vibe of the setting. It was lively with the commotion of people migrating from one cultural section to the next. With the crowd constantly growing Dalton workers couldn

The Proposal: Sandra and Ryan propose an okay movie

This Summer was packed with some of the most exciting movies of the year (“Transformers,” “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,” “Star Trek” and the list goes on,) and somewhere lost in the middle of the cinematic awesomeness was “The Proposal,” starring Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds.

I’ll admit that I am a fan of the romantic-comedy genre, and this film delivers some cute, good laughs. But that is about it.

Plot Summary

The story begins with Margaret Tate (Bullock); a successful, uptight and generally hated editor-in-chief of a publishing company, who is told she is being deported back to Canada. To save her life in America, she forces her assistant who despises her, Andrew Paxton (Reynolds), to marry her in exchange for a promotion. To make the engagement seem legitimate, Andrew drags Margaret to a secluded Alaskan town that his family owns. Yes, Andrew’s family is filthy rich, and yet it is his goal to become an editor without the financial help of his family. He wants to make it on his own. He’s the touchingly typical good guy.

Upon reaching Andrew’s hometown, Margaret meets his family, including sweet, eccentric Grandma Annie, played by Betty White. The family buys into the fake romance. Margaret is treated to all the bridal festivities, including a very strange striptease from the town waiter/evangelist/wannabe Chippendale’s dancer. This is when Margaret starts feeling the consequences of her actions. She grows a heart and feels guilty for lying to Andrew’s entire family, all the while falling in love with him. And, surprise surprise, Andrew begins falling in love with her; only he does not realize it until Margaret leaves him at the altar (and it takes a strong woman to leave Ryan Reynolds, even if it is for the right reasons). But never fear, Andrew has a revelation and flies back to New York City just in time to save Margaret’s job and love. It’s disappointing that real life can’t be this way, but that’s what Hollywood is for.

The Pros and Cons

Let’s be honest here, the main characters are gorgeous. That’s attention grabbing in itself (no girl is going to say that seeing an almost naked Ryan Reynolds would not make their day, and even the guys wouldn’t mind a little peek at Sandra Bullock). Bullock and Reynolds are an easy-to-love comedic pair. Reynolds is likable with his easy sarcasm, while Bullock has to work for the audiences love in such an uptight role, but she pulls it off well. 1 point for Pros.

While there are some good comedic moments, such Grandma Annie (White) encouraging Margaret and Andrew to have premarital sex with the uber-gross family “baby maker” blanket or Margaret singing “Window to the Wall” with said grandma in the middle of the woods, there is really nothing new or fresh. The acts will still get a chuckle, but it is still nothing special. It’s the same jokes, puns, and stunts audiences have seen before. 1 point for Cons.

Perhaps the saving grace of this movie is, of course, the romance. It’s totally unbelievable that Andrew, who hated Margaret so much for a number of years, could fall in love with her in such a short amount of time. Some could argue that’s true love, I say that’s crap. But it is still a sweet thought and I’m a complete sucker for happy endings. The audience will know how this story ends before the previews even start, but the truth is, that’s just fine. It’s a typical, expected ending viewers will eat up. 1 point for Pros.

The Final Score

Pros: 2


This movie, however stereotypical, is still enjoyable. It’s as cute and sugary sweet as chocolate bunnies at Easter, and everyone could use some candy once in a while. Viewers probably won’t believe the ending, but they’ll still feel better knowing it ended correctly.

See it or Skip it?

See it. It’s not wonderfully awesome, but it is worth renting (since it is now out on DVD and Blue-ray). I would suggest renting before buying, however, because some of you may not be suckers like I am. It’s a perfect date movie or for a night-in with friends. For this movie, expect the expected and you’ll come out happy.

Photo from TouchStone

Video from YouTube

Saw: The Video Game

Saw: The Video Game is a interesting mix of the numerous movies, incorporating things that are iconic to the movies into a hodge-podge mix. The game opens up with your character being among Saw’s latest victims trapped in an insane asylum. You must find your way out or face death at the hands of the master of riddles and puzzles: Jigsaw. This game follows the basic storyline for the majority of the movies, and is rather ideal for anyone who happens to be a fan of the “Saw” movies.


Game play itself is rather simple and straightforward. The game is more or less a combination of a puzzle and adventure-fighting game. The overall graphics are okay nothing to get excited over. The atmosphere for the game really captures the spirit of “Saw” as a dark foreboding place. You truly feel as though you are in an abandoned insane asylum. The controls can often be somewhat clunky at times, not nearly as smooth as you would expect with this generation’s games. Though overall the game has its fun moments: as you fail to solve a puzzle and your character gets its head crushed or is killed in any number of random and gruesome means. These cut scenes used for the executions are among the best in the game.

The Good

The scenes where you are executed are always shocking and good for a gross-out moment or two. This can really cause you to become deeply engrossed into the game, soaking up every aspect as Jigsaw gives your character a mission for whichever level of the game you are playing. You will find yourself desperately moving to solve the puzzles and trying to find your escape from the insane asylum and get away from Jigsaw. The music also helps set the atmosphere with suitably creepy and dark-sounding music as you make your way through the asylum.

The Bad

At times, the game is extremely clunky when it comes to the combat. While not horrible, it is still notably awkward. The puzzles become tedious and utterly repetitive at times; there are only so many times you can search for a key or try to find a combination while enduring some horrible pain or having to preform some gruesome act before it becomes utterly and completely boring. While the game has its fair share of scenes where you fail a mission and are swiftly killed by one trap or another, the game animation itself becomes sort of repetitive as you make your way through the various puzzles.

Whim Rating: 3/5

Official Game trailer

Video from an outside source.

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Radford athletics extends farther than you think

Do you enjoy sports like, soccer, basketball or football? Were you a pretty good athlete in high school? Well Radford most likely has a place for you. There are many talented athletes who play a variety of different sports here at Radford University. During the Fall, since Radford has no football team, soccer is one of those sports. So lets say that you played soccer in high school, and you come here. During your freshman year, you tried out for the team and your performance isn’t quite enough to get accepted. Or let’s say that you are good enough to make the team, but you don’t get to play a whole lot your first year. In fact, we could even say that you are good enough to make the team and you’re the best player, but you don’t have time to go to all the practices and away games because you’re busy with school work.

If these are things that concern you, then there’s still a place that you can because club sports here at Radford exist for reasons like that. Among the various club sports is the club soccer team. “We’re the shit! And I want that quoted!” said team captain Daniel Grandfield. Radford’s club soccer team this year, opened up their 15-game season with an 8-0 win over New River Community College, which is quite a turn-around from years past. The team’s next game was a 2-1 loss to Viginia Tech.

“One of our problems was that we’ve had a tough time scoring goals in the past several years and that’s not a problem this year since we scored eight goals in just the first game, which is really good,” Grandfield said. The team has alot of new freshman this year, as well as a number of experienced players from last year. With the way they’ve played, they’ve been pretty strong all over the field, their main advantage has been mainly attacking.

The team, in the past has also had trouble getting more than five games for the season. Unlike Radford’s actual teams, a club team doesn’t have a set schedule at the beginning of the year. This year however, club soccer has gotten 15 games, which is quite an improvement. Their schedule pits them against opponents they’ve never played before like William and Mary, Mary Washington, Longwood and the University of Virginia. Their season will have them playing a few familiar faces like Appalachian State, who they beat last year, and Eastern and Western Kentucky Universities.

The after the games against New River and Virginia Tech, the team traveled out to a tournament at James Madison. Their record for the year is 2-2 so far. “We have a good set of boys on the team, and if they keep working the way they are, we’ll have a very successful year,” Grandfield said. (Soccer is only one of the many club sports you can look into if playing on one of Radford’s actual teams is too much for you.) So if you’re an athlete who wants to play somewhere else, club sports is definitely something you should look into.

Pictures from Peter Mason and http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/photo.php?pid=35673857&op=1&o=global&view=global&subj=26510636&id=26510636

Video from elflord9d on Youtube

Stumbleupon: a new way to browse the Web

While perhaps not as new as the title of this article suggests, Stumbleupon is definitely a different way to browse the Internet. What was originally a tool bar add on for Mozilla’s Firefox has taken on a life of its own. Released sometime in 2003, this add on to the popular browser allowed you select things of interest on a list. This was done of course after one had made a profile, allowing Stumble to store the information you selected. This way, even if you changed computers you were still free to stumble. From there, all you needed to do was press the Stumble button and away you went: a website would randomly be picked that matched some of your interests. You can keep on stumbling until you found something you liked. The majority of the sights were user submitted and labelled.

From its humble beginnings, Stumble has grown, now allowing you to add your own categories, not just the suggested few. It also gained a ‘pictures’ and ‘movies’ feature. These two features allowed you to sort through user suggested movies and pictures, making it almost certain you would find something that you would like. It was not long before Stumble was no longer a purely Firefox add on, making the jump to Internet Explorer as well.

Users can even jot down reviews and a rating system for the websites, giving the user submitted content real scrutiny, allowing to avoid the sites that somehow managed to get submitted that really didn’t deserve

to be. Letting someone know whether the site you are visiting is worthwhile or not is as simple as a thumbs up or down, both of which are a built-in part of the tool bar.

In its own way, Stumble is helping us to reclassify and organize the Internet in a way to understand it better. No longer do you have to spend countless amounts of time aimlessly wandering through search engine after search engine looking for something to interest you just based on your key-terms. Now there is a way to sift out the good from the bad and someone else has done most of the work. That is half of the advantage of Stumble. If someone else likes the web site enough to submit it, then more than likely you will like it was well. Another thing that makes stumble such a great program is that it helps you find those small sites that normally wouldn’t receive that much attention on a standard search engine. In this way, Stumble certainly helps you stumble upon the unknown. There is a bit of a downside to having all you want just one click away: the purely addictive nature of Stumble. More often than not, you will find it ever harder to stop cycling through that ever-growing catalog of web sites in anticipation of what stumble will bring up next.

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Radford’s own little piece of Scotland!

The sky was cloudless, the music loud, and the was crowd abuzz during with the energy of the 14th annual Highlander festival and the 24th annual Folk Arts festival. Moffett quad and Heth lawn were both set up for business and fun this past Saturday. Booths lined the edges of both areas, awaiting a potentially large number of customers.

In Heth lawn there were booths for the folk arts including metalwork, needlework, wicker baskets, caning, quilting, woodwork, corn husk dolls and the art of Willard Gayheart. A couple of booths sold homemade confections such as honey and apple butter. On the stage of Heth lawn was a band playing folk music for the crowd.

Across the way, next to Fairfax Hall, there was an exhibit of birds put on by their keepers. A large group of people gathered around an owl, a red tailed hawk and other such birds in order to take pictures and learn more about them.

Another demonstration was of goat herding. The trainer of two herding dogs displayed how to use the two dogs to determine where the four goats walked, and how they keep the goats traveling in a pack rather than wandering off.

On Tyler Street there was a parade consisting of marching bagpipers, the Radford University cheerleaders, the dance team, the highlander mascot and fire trucks to name a hand full. People flocked to the sides of the street and the medians upon hearing the first band of bagpipers approach.

On Moffett quad, people with dogs and children were milling about. Many spectators waited around the sectioned-off portion of the field to see the procession of the bagpipe bands and the march of the clans. Three bands of bagpipers were in attendance this year. Virginia

Big Trouble in Little China; big lame in big cinema

The movie “Big Trouble in Little China was clearly made for one specific reason: the makers wanted to have a film filled with lots of corny Chinese action. The action scenes in this movie are so obviously fake that even a preschooler would be able to tell the difference. However, the movie does have its laughs at certain points. But while it had a very interesting storyline behind it, the plot was not very well developed. The movie stars a truck driver named Jack Burton who takes his best friend to the airport to meet his fiance. His best friend is a young Chinese man who is eager to see the woman that he loves because he hasn’t been able to see her in a long time.

Things turn sour really quickly. When they arrive at the airport to meet her, she’s kidnapped by three mysterious suspects who tie her up, throw her in their car and take off with her. If I were her, I’d be thinking something like “Jesus Christ, I’m never going to that airport again!” So Jack and his friend set off on an adventure to save her and make a few new friends along the way. The two of them get involved in something thats much bigger than their rescue adventure and must fight numerous enemies along the way.

The action scenes in this movie, as mentioned earlier, are obviously fake. The sorcerers that Jack and his friends must battle are clearly being lifted by cables in the scenes where they fly. Also, in some of the fighting scenes, when the fighters are jumping around like in The Matrix and sword fighting midair, the effects behind it could have been much better. This movie was either extremely low budget or the makers of the movie were just extremely lazy. There were also monsters in this movie that were kind of scary but not very convincing.

As you get more and more into this movie, it becomes obvious that it’s nothing but a movie with Jacki Chan-style action. If the writers had taken a little more time with the story and made a better effort with the special effects, this would have been a pretty cool movie. Even though this is a movie that came out in the 80s, the special effects still could have been much better. A lot of cool sci-fi series were out at that time, like “Star Wars” and “Star Trek: The Next Generation and Terminator.”

This movie is a pretty good comedy. It has some pretty clever jokes here and there, and seeing how corny the special effects are, it can easily make you laugh. The ending to this movie was sort of creepy, when the monster was hiding on Jack’s truck. This ending was clearly designed to leave the audience with a little bit of fear. The movie had the potential to be great. While it was still ok, the makers should have made a better effort with it.

This is another featured story from Life Manager, Peter Mason, reviewing (or demolishing), older films. Enjoy; along with this video from the film.

Photos from of Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

Video from of YouTube.com

Shove your loan up your @$$

It is said that later in his administration, Richard Nixon became a total paranoid bastard in regards to intelligence, money and secrets. I doubt if this personality trait grew out of being elected to office; he was probably paranoid as a result of some childhood trauma or chemical imbalance. Anyways, he makes me think of our administration and vice versa.

The Radford University administration has become a bunch of stingy loan sharks. I’d really like to rip open their pockets and see what falls out. Last year, feeling trapped in a corner with no other options, I signed a contract binding me to on-campus living. I don’t even live on campus, I just like to have a place to shower and put my stuff when I crash at my girlfriend’s place. However, it totally slipped my mind that if you live on campus, you have to pay out your arse for a meal plan. It costs something like three feet of intestines and your left nut. Anyways, I didn’t want to pay for some bullshit meal plan when I like to play chef and cook myself taquitos and what-not, so I went to the office of living arrangements (or as I like to call it, the office of sodomy). These bastards tell me that in order to get out of my contract, I have to fill out some form with a valid reason. Here are their acceptable reasons: I’m married, I’m enlisted in the army or I have relatives in a nearby home that I stay with.

Nowhere does it say that I can get out because I can’t afford their goddamned expensive meal plan. Those sneaky whores really had my balls in a vice grip. Long story short, my Ingles roommate and I rarely meet and I have a mealplan instead of grocery money. Whatever, this shit gets worse.

My girlfriend (that I totally mooch off and therefore try to help her moneywise) needs a student loan. Like many of you, she went to the university and didn’t receive financial aid because of some backasswards rule like “go ask your parents for money, we’re too busy giving President Kyle a raise.”

So she gets a loan but no aid, and asks one of those ladies behind the counter in Heth if she should get direct deposit. This bitch steers my girlfriend in the wrong direction completely. It’s one thing if you’re stupid, but if you’re stupid in a position of power, go get a revolver and play Russian Roulette. Seriously. This stupid lady tells my sweet, innocent girlfriend that direct deposit would slow things down. BULLSHIT! And goshdarnit if my trusting girlfriend didn’t believe her.

Two weeks later and far into the semester, no check has arrived. We’re practically getting by on meals of toothpaste and rice. I’m fed up with this bullshit so I decide to go with Heidi (my girlfriend) to the aid office. We talked to a very nice woman who said “Why didn’t you do direct deposit? It only takes a form to set up and we instantly put the money into whatever account you choose,” or something of that nature. I practically dove over the counter to her right, where the “Don’t get direct deposit” lady was closing up shop for the day. In desperation we ask this lady where the goddamn check is. “It will probably be in your hands in about a week.” This unsure bullshit was really starting to piss me off.

“So what should she do for food until then?” I ask, as politely as I can manage.

“Well, you can ask for an emergency loan downstairs, but that usually takes 3-4 days to go through.” Financial Aid lady replies.

My god. Well long story short again, the check came through. We didn’t starve; but I did make some enemies in the financial aid office.

The moral is, don’t bother asking Radford administration staff for anything you’re in dire need of. They fucked up my major, they fucked up my housing and they fucked up my money. It’s like Nixon in his office saying “I want this information double checked! I will not be fooled by some ‘non-profit’ organization that needs federal funding. I want proof that they aren’t godless communists.”

And then Watergate happened. Keep your fingers crossed that the same fate creeps up on these vain succubi.

For a short documentary on student loans, check out this video.

Photos from:
Adam LaFon
Peter Mason

Pressure on the rise: college stress

The stress of college life is something we all experience and it’s something that we experience in many different ways. However, if you experience no stress during your time at college, then you’re simply not getting everything you should be able to get out of the college experience. We’ll look at stress on several different levels, and then we’ll put it all together to show you how it fits into being a college student. Hopefully it may help you manage your life here at Radford University just a little bit better.

First, maybe you have a boyfriend or girlfriend you’ve been dating for a long time and you sleep together every night, or you’re the person that everyone around you wants to be like, one of the morepopular people in the crowd, or you have very few friends here at Radford and get straight A’s. If you’re somebody like that, then you simply need to find the right balance between your grades and your social life. If you make straight A’s but never talk to anyone, well, later on in life that’s something you’ll seriously regret. If you have a lot of friends, go out and party a lot and make terrible grades, then that’s something you’ll also end up seriously regretting.

So you need to find the right balance. Obviously it’s important for you to do well in college, but it’s alsoimportant for you make friends and know the people around you. You should go out to parties when you get the chance, regardless of whether or not you’re a pothead or a drinker, because it’s a good chance to get to know people and improve your social skills. So that’s where the role of stress comes in. What stresses you out more, your grades, your relationship issues or your friends. Perhaps you play on an athletic team or are in a club that requires alot from you.

All of these things can put a great deal of stress on you. Especially if you face problems in all these categories at once. What’s the best way to manage this stress? Should you go to the top of Muse and jump off? Well obviously that’d be a completely stupid thing to do now, wouldn’t it? The stress of college life affects you in many different ways. It’s a kind of stress that never goes away, either. Regardless of how many assignments you turn in, there will always be more until the semester’s over. Almost nobody’s relationship is perfect and you may or may not have trouble with your friends.

The best way to balance your life while at Radford or at any college is to do the best you can but not to overdo things. Complete your assignments on time and make sure you schedule time for yourself to do the next ones. Go out at least on weekends with your friends or by yourself to meet people. If you’re in a relationship, well, just make sure your girlfriend or boyfriend understands that you do have a life of your own (without showing any disrespect of course). Do the best you can at everything you do, and that will be the key to keeping your life in order.

Pictures from:

Video From: Kevjumba on Youtube

Zombieland: giggly gruesomeness

The season of horror movies is officially here, and what better way to start the gorefest of October than with some zombie bashing like what you would find in “Zombieland”? While the number of zombie films has fallen in the last few years (replaced by movies like the millionth “Saw” and anything with vampires), this film shows all the promise of reigniting the fresh-eating frenzy all over again, even if it is with kicks and giggles.

I have never been one for horror/comedies, but I could not pass this one up. There was something about it that compelled me to see it. And it was totally worth it.

Plot Summary

The story starts with Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a multi-phobic, shy college student giving a monologue of his survival rules and a brief history of the apocalypse. The story is as follows:

OnLive: the future of gaming…or not

OnLive is being billed as the future of video gaming. To explain Onlive is sort of difficult. It works via the principle of cloud processing. Cloud processing is where the majority of the processing and the work that would normally be associated with something like playing a video game or running a CPU-intensive program is done in a remote location and the results are streamed back to you.

Onlive plans to use cloud processing to run video games and then stream the video content back to the individual’s computer or OnLive console. The idea behind this is that it would eliminate the need to constantly buy games. Instead, one would sign up to a subscription service, allowing them access to the Onlive system. From there, they would be able to purchase licencing for games stored on the Onlive servers. No more waiting to receive a game disk or even download and install it. Also, there would be the entire death of the whole console-wars concept, since what would be updating would be the massive amounts of servers that would be required to run this system.

Onlive often-times seems as though it is going to run purely upon voodoo magic. Many of the designers’ concepts and ideals seem rather unrealistic. One of the major claims that the makers of Onlive are claiming is that Onlive will eliminate lag all together. While that seems like a great idea, how will there not be lag when the video stream on which you are playing is streamed to you from a central server somewhere? Another one of the company’s strange and somewhat premature claims involves claiming to have a massive community when the system has just entered beta.

Most recently, Onlive got a huge shot in the arm as far as its finances were concerned. It looked as though the Onlive project was going to be a pipe dream lacking serious capital to help support the massive amounts of servers required to for the system to work as proposed. The sudden addition of sponsorship by AT&T is making people look again at Onlive’s somewhat outrageous claims. Perhaps there is more to it than a company just trying to drum up business.

While this concept seems rather ideal at the time being, it may be harder to take off in the gamer community that still looks somewhat wearily at the latest and greatest concepts of motion-capture gaming. To them, this will just seem like one more abrupt change for the game community, a change that will take more of the material aspect of games away. However, there is something to be said about being able to hold a game in your hands and know that you own it. That will ultimately be lost by this streaming gaming concept.

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