Tag Archives: RU

STOMP debuts at Radford University

This past Thursday, the critically-acclaimed theatre show STOMP came to Radford University. The show took the audience by storm; the audience spent almost the entire show cheering. The performance received a great turnout among faculty and students. The general consensus among the people I spoke with was that they absolutely enjoyed the event and would love to see it again. Continue reading STOMP debuts at Radford University

The case for early experience

This is one of my favorite times of year, and not just because the Christmas cups are back at Starbucks and Thanksgiving break is all but here. No, I love mid-to-late fall because I get a huge kick out of listening to my high school friends’ college application updates and other upperclassmen adventures. Not only is it exciting to find out what schools everyone’s aiming for, but their tales of senior homecoming and graduation applications are something of a nostalgia trip for me. It’s funny how the same thrills (and the same problems) show up for class after class, year after year. Continue reading The case for early experience

From our perspective: The best and worst classes at RU

We’ve all had those classes that are less than satisfactory. There are the classes where you have to drink a venti Starbucks coffee before attending (even though it’s in the middle of the afternoon), or the classes you spend texting and tweeting, counting the minutes until you’re dismissed. Last, but definitely not least, there are the classes you love and wish you could retake just for fun. Continue reading From our perspective: The best and worst classes at RU

From our perspective: A calendar with no holidays

As college students, we can’t help but notice other students heading home for their fall break. Here at Radford University, no such break exists. In fact, when the academic calendar is closely examined, it’s clear that RU has very few breaks and scheduled holidays. Continue reading From our perspective: A calendar with no holidays

From our perspective: No more core?

The Whim staff, a rich and varied collection of majors, concentrations and class ranks (to name just a few), is already intimately familiar with many of the headaches that transfer credits, progress sheets and prerequisites can inflict on hapless Highlanders. It is not, by any means, a trial reserved exclusively for honors students, or those brave (and quite possibly ill-advised) souls who pursue multiple degrees. In fact, most members of Radford University’s student community probably have their own tale of academic advising woe: the mysteriously uncounted Advanced Placement credits that ought to have exempted you from a class (but failed to), the GPA requirements that were raised just before your freshman year, the introduction class that you apparently needed to pass in order to take something that is only offered this semester. Continue reading From our perspective: No more core?

From our perspective: Are you proud to be a Highlander?

Three weeks ago, when I first stepped on campus as a Radford University scholar, I saw red. Walking from building to building, it was impossible to avoid seeing dozens of people plastered in everything from RU hats to Highlander pajamas. Honestly, I didn’t get it.

Wearing an RU shirt on campus seemed redundant and silly, like wearing a band’s shirt to one of their concerts. So I asked a few people, “Why wear a Radford shirt here? Out of all options available to you, this is the school you chose. Doesn’t that speak for itself?” People looked at me like I was crazy, but few could give me more than a shrug for an answer. Arguably, I ‘won’ those discussions, but I was still wrong. The answer was school pride. Continue reading From our perspective: Are you proud to be a Highlander?

Snob U? Not our RU

For anyone following the Republican presidential race, this year has already been a long and interesting struggle for supremacy. With the field narrowed down to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Sen. Rick Santorum, and (technically, still) former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Rep. Ron Paul, the months leading up to the August convention promise to provide an abundance of facts, opinions, promises and more than a few outrageous sound bites. Continue reading Snob U? Not our RU

Famous, infamous and notorious: It’s stars gone wild and crazy

Hollywood has never been short on crazy and wild stars, but there seem to be more and more popping up. Could it be the pressure of stardom is just too much? Is it just a stunt to grab some attention? Or are they just too fruity for Froot Loops? Here’s a look at some of the “love to hate” stars gone wild. While everyone has their opinion, there are quite a few celebrities that toe the line between having a wild streak and being just plain crazy. Here’s a list that goes from bad to scary.

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus taking a bong hit. Photo from Creative Commons.

Does anyone miss the days when Hannah Montana was happy, tame and not smoking out of a bong? A little bit, but needless to say Cyrus is more interesting and a lot less cute. But she seems to be going downhill quickly. Cyrus has done everything she can to shed her Disney star image. She has clearly stated that she can’t be tamed in the sluttiest way possible and has started off her parties with Salvia hits. True, Salvia is legal in California, but it’s still a hallucinogenic drug and a lot of states are trying to make it illegal. This could possibly be Cryus acting out against her parents’ divorce, which has to be a hard thing to go through, and being in the constant spotlight. But 18 year old Cyrus is definitely not dancing down the right path if she wants be taken seriously as an artist and actor. She could end up like our next star.

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan during her court hearing. Photo from Creative Commons.

Oh, Lindsay, what happened after “The Parent Trap”? Honestly, I think Lohan is a product of her environment because her father isn’t always the most stable horse in the stall if you know what I mean. That family has more issues than the New York Times, so how does Lohan deal with it? Why drugs, alcohol and stealing of course. And it really is such a shame. She was a gorgeous girl with a lot of potential that just fell apart. Her multiple trips to rehab and court for her stealing and many DUI’s has done the star no good. There seems to always be something going on that isn’t her fault. Lohan is notorious for the blame game and crazy excuses for her problems. But she could actually be jailed for her latest incident of stealing a necklace from jeweler Kamofie & Company. Best advice: go to jail and just get it over with.

Britney Spears

Britney Spears sans hair. Photo from Creative Commons.

I love Britney Spears. She’s too catchy for her own good, but the girl used to be a bag of cashews (i.e. she was nuts). As one of the must popular artists of all time, Spears has been in the limelight for years. But I think it was the breakup with Justin Timberlake that sent her over the wild edge. She shed her innocent girl next door image and went from sexy to sex slave (as in “I’m a Slave for You”). Every guy wanted to be with her and every girl wanted to be her.

But it was after her failed marriage to Kevin Federline that Spears started to unravel. She made multiple trips to the hospital for mental evaluations. Her two sons were taken from her (with good reason) as she tried to pull herself together. Unfortunately, she didn’t do it in time to save her hair. If you don’t remember Spears’ bald head, you’ve been living under a rock. This got considerable attention, but it seemed to be what the doctor ordered. That and rehab. Ever since, Spears has been on the mend and making another name for herself as a successful artist that still has a huge fan base.

Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen "winning." Photo from Creative Commons.

What a hot-mess he is. After being fired from “Two and Half Men,” verbally bashing his boss, ending up in rehab (which could not cure him better than he could cure himself) and claiming himself to be a “rock star from Mars,” Sheen has been labeled an honest to goodness crazy. The outlandish rants that make no sense to anyone, flings with porn stars, reports of abuse from his ex-wives and girlfriends, drinking and drugs makes one wonder why in the world someone hasn’t called him out earlier. Instead of pointing all of these things out over the years (because behavior like this doesn’t happen over night), Sheen gets great jobs, pay raises and beautiful women…what? Tell me I’m not the only one who is confused. The popularity of Sheen is growing, and I’m not sure why. He’s past the point being a bad boy and wild party guy. Sheen has entered crazytown on his massive media train wreck.

These celebrities may be wild, crazy or both. Need a guilty pleasure of drama to keep with? Pick any from this list and you’re sure to be entertained by all the insane nonsense of their lives.

Harry Potter comes to an end…sort of

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons.

Ever since I saw the first “Harry Potter” movie when I was 11 years old, I’ve been dreading this day. As dorky as it sounds, I’m going to miss Harry and all his deadly fun. It’s been over a decade since the beginning of the book series and movie franchise; most of us have grown up with these movies (whether you like that fact or not) and Nov. 19 will signal the beginning of the end. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” will premiere that day, followed by “Part 2″ July 15, 2011. So in honor of the newest installment, let’s take a look back the best moments from the previous movies and get you excited for the next one.

1.”Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”

Let’s face it, there’s nothing like the original, and to pick a best moment is hard to do. But if I have to choose it would have to be every single moment Harry (Daniel Radcliff), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) were together on screen. They were so little and cute; you just can’t help but love seeing them together and knowing it’s just going to get better from there.

2. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

Right up front, best part about this movie, the fact that the boys’ voices were cracking the whole time. It’s pretty distracting actually, but you can’t help but laugh.

3. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”

This is one of my favorite out the franchise. The best moments out of this film are those between Sirius (Gary Oldman) and his godson, Harry. The moments are intense, sad, happy and dark. Every emotion is pulled between these two characters and it honestly makes the movie. A good runner up would be when Hermione punches Malfoy (Tom Felton) in the face. Epic win for Team Potter.

4. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire”

If you think I’m going to say the best moment in this movie is anything with Robert Pattinson, then you’re wrong. The best part was the massive amount of flippy hair. Almost every male character had flowing locks. I’m not sure why this is so entertaining, but it is. Oh, and I guess the epic return of Lord Voldemort could be in that category too.

5. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix”

If you’re thinking Cedric Diggory flashbacks, you’re reading the wrong article. This one is all about Harry and Dumbledore’s (Michael Gambon) confrontation with Lord Voldemort. Harry sees visions of what Voldemort sees and what he wants him to see, which leads to a monstrous fight at the Ministry of Magic between Death Eaters and the Order of the Phoenix, along with Harry and his crew. The effects are great and the fighting is pretty intense for people swinging twigs at each other.

6. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”

Hands down the best and saddest part of the entire series is the death of Dumbledore. I cried in the theater when it happened. I don’t say best because I wanted it to happen; I say best because of how it was done. Dumbledore went down like a hero and there wasn’t a single person not crying. An honorable mention would have to be the Inferi in the cave scene. They’re just plain creepy.

Movie seven appears to be the best movie yet. Hopefully it will give us real closure, unlike so many movie series before it.

A simple CD review: “Garden State” soundtrack

The Garden State soundtrack album cover. Photo from Creative Commons.

For the past couple of years, I’ve come across some CDs I could listen to all the way through without skipping any song. Sure, there are songs I don’t listen to often like if I’m driving in a car or just doing homework with music in the background. Nonetheless, this is certainly one of those albums. It might take a couple tries, but once you understand the concept of the song, you’ll appreciate it. Here’s the playlist for the CD if you care to individually look up the songs.

1. Coldplay – “Don’t Panic”

2. The Shins – “Caring Is Creepy”

3. Zero 7 – “In The Waiting Line”

4. The Shins – “New Slang”

5. Colin Hay – “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You”

6. Cary Brothers – “Blue Eyes”

7. Remy Zero – “Fair”

8. Nick Drake – “One Of These Things First”

9. Thievery Corporation – “Lebonese Blonde”

10. Simon & Garfunkel – “Only Living Boy In New York”

11. Iron & Wine – “Such Great Heights”

12. Frou Frou – “Let Go”

13. Bonnie Somerville – “Winding Road”

The first song is Coldplay’s “Don’t Panic,” which actually fits right into the movie. I’m not going to spoil it for those who don’t know the movie, but this song’s title fits in with the scene, because the main character, Andrew, finds out some information that is quite unsettling.

Everyone might recognize the two songs by The Shins. “Caring is Creepy” is a song where you wouldn’t know what the lyrics are talking about, unless you go to my favorite lyrics website, which is very trustworthy and has thousands of artists in its library.

There’s a song in between the two Shins songs, “In The Waiting Line” by Zero 7. I’m not too thrilled about this song, however, it seems to fit well between the two songs. It’s very trance-like, and it’s a song to zone out to and just ride it out.

The song after that, Colin Hay’s “I Just Don’t Think I’ll Ever Get Over You,” is a very slow, meaningful song. It’s very touching because only Colin Hay is singing with an acoustic guitar as the sole instrument. All I can say is this is one of those songs you’d play to a significant other or a dear person who is close to your heart that you have no idea how you’d live without.

Cary Brother’s “Blue Eyes,” to me, is the “Brown-Eyed Girl” of the other color. It honestly touches the heart and it’s basically saying that the singer would do anything to help this girl out because he loves her.

Remy Zero’s “Fair” is certainly the song that gives me goosebumps on this album not only because of the way the guitar is played, but also the emotion that Remy and his band portray in this song. It’s quite captivating and most certainly strikes the biggest chord in me.

Nick Drake’s “One of These Thing’s First,” Thievery Corperation’s “Lebonese Blonde” and Simon & Garfunkel’s “Only Boy In New York” are the songs where you zone out because they seem to mesh together into three parts. Nick plays this song in a way that would be perfect in a car, just driving around and enjoying the scenery. Theivery Corperation’s song is very trippy because the instrument, possibly a mandolin, is being played throughout. Simon & Garfunkel, well, are Simon & Garfunkel. Simple, but meaningful. I enjoy this song for that sole purpose. Nothing else can explain this song but those two words.

My favorite song is “Such Great Heights” by Iron & Wine. Personally, I used to be able to play this on the guitar, but I think it’s two guitars playing at the same time. I personally love this song because of the lyrics, and this is the original “Such Great Heights” to me. Sure the Postal Service is a good band and all, but it seems way too complex with the electronic sounds and effects. This song is made to be soft, meaningful and filled with heart.

Frou Frou is quite the underdog here, with her song “Let Go.” What attracted me to this song in the first place is the incredible bass line when the chorus picks up. I began to respect the entire song, the simple saying of ‘let go’ is certainly one of the better sayings if something is troubling you and you’ve tried everything to fix it, then you just have to ‘let go’. It grew a little bit on me, but once that chorus hits I think you’ll get goosebumps.

Bonnie Somerville’s “Winding Road” could possibly be the best ending song to an album ever. It signifies that life is a ‘winding road’ filled with twists and turns and in the end you’ll find your way home no matter what you stumble across on your journey.

The whole movie is very thought-provoking and this soundtrack compliments it and makes it sound beautiful, wondrous and even spiritual. You could say the movie is wrapped around the soundtrack, or the that the soundtrack is wrapped around the movie. Either way, one cannot live without the other. The soundtrack itself tells a story through its songs, but once you see the movie, the soundtrack will bring the movie to life.

Step Afrika! rocks the house

Step Afrika! logo. Photo Courtesy of Annalee Tull.

“Stepping is a polyrhythmic percussive dance form that was created by African American college students,” Mfon Akpan of Step Afrika! said.

Step Afrika! noisily blew through RU on Thursday, Oct. 21. They performed in the Bondurant Auditorium of Preston Hall at 8 p.m. Step Afrika! smashed the floor and blew the audience’s minds with stepping and African dancing.

The show began with an explanation of what stepping is. The people in Greek life knew all about stepping, and they show off their talent at various step shows throughout the school year. The rhythms of stepping are similar to tap dancing without the tap shoes. Stepping utilizes rhythms, beats, claps, steps and stamps to make the percussive melodies in the movement. Not only is it interesting to hear how synchronized the dancers were, but the precision with which they moved was also intricate.

Step Afrika! is a stepping company made up of 11 members from various backgrounds. It was founded in 1994 by C. Brian Williams as a cultural exchange program with the Soweto Dance Theatre of Johannesburg, South Africa. Williams came across the gumboot dance while he was in Africa and noticed the similarities between American stepping and this dance form in Africa. Along with the Soweto Dance Theatre, Step Afrika! formed the Step Afrika! Festival held annually in Africa.

While Step Afrika! is based out of Washington D.C., they tour across the world all year. They also have bases in London (home of Step Afrika! U.K.) and South Africa. Each year they complete a 50 city tour of various colleges and universities across the United States in addition to performing in other countries.

Despite the diverse backgrounds of the performers, one thing they all have in common besides their love and talent for stepping is their college degrees. This dance company stresses the importance of education and the arts in education. Because of this, a requirement to be a performer in this company is a college degree. Whenever they tour a school, they offer step classes for the students. Their art in education program is called “Stepping into Schools.” They taught two master classes Thursday, one at 9:30 a.m. and one at 11:15 a.m. to RU dance majors, but the classes were open to the public as well. Junior Ashley Coats took the 11:15 class.

“It was amazing. We learned a lot in a short amount of time. I wish they would come back for another class sometime,” Coats said.

Stepping was made popular by recent films such as “Stomp the Yard,” but it is a tradition of African American Greek organizations. The Greeks were out in full force at Thursday’s performance. Senior Sierra Jones came to the performance to learn more about stepping, but also to support Step Afrika! She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority incorporated, as were many of the female steppers in Step Afrika!

“DST is a group of college educated African American women who are committed to public service and one thing we do is STEP, so I was interested to see how they would tell the history and incorporate it with stepping,” Jones said.

In addition to the sharp, loud step dancing, Step Afrika! also performed dances from their African roots at Thursday’s performance. The show not only included the Step Afrika! performers, but it also included audience members as well. They asked for ten volunteers to come up onstage and learn a short combination of stepping. The students also participated in the African dancing while two of the members of Step Afrika! played the drums. The similarities between the African dancing and stepping were spelled out clearly in the performance. It was an educational and entertaining show.

“I think stepping is a fascinating, overlooked form of dance. The performance was great. I didn’t expect it to be that long and with so much audience participation, but I really liked that. I also liked the fact that they gave us a little history about step dancing with the tribal dancing,” Coats said.

Stepping is the newest form of dancing, and it is rapidly growing in this century. RU caught a glimpse of the new craze at Step Afrika!’s performance.

“I thought the show was amazing and it gave a great overall concept of where stepping comes from for people who don’t know a lot about stepping,” Jones said.

Step Afrika! live. Photo courtesy of Annalee Tull.

3OH!3 concert

Sean Foreman of 3OH!3. Photo by Jenny Krashin.

On Tuesday, Oct. 19, R-SPaCE hosted possibly the biggest event of the semester–3OH!3 in concert with guests Hellogoodbye, Down With Webster and The Secret Handshake. Before the doors even opened at 7 p.m., people were lining up around the Dedmon Center where the gig was held. Listening to the conversations before the show, you could easily tell that many people had come from other universities as well as the area high schools to have the opportunity to see these bands play live.

The night began with The Secret Handshake, which was probably the least known band on the bill, but the audience was very welcoming nonetheless. They were probably the most chill performers of the night as well as the most in sync (they were really into swaying along with their music). The next band was Down With Webster and the response they received from the crowd was only rivaled by the love showed for 3OH!3 further into the night. They really got the crowd pumped and showered them with red cups emblazoned with the DWW logo their fan base has grown to recognize.

Photo by Jenny Krashin.

Hellogoodbye performed a lot of songs from their new album Would It Kill You?, which drops Nov. 9. The crowd really seemed to enjoy the new tunes, but I also think they would’ve enjoyed hearing some more old favorites. And who could forget Forest’s claims that they were actually 3OH!3 and that they started a clothing line called Hellogoodbye that was selling at a merchandise table in the back. Good times. Then, after waiting with anticipation for what felt like forever, 3OH!3 took the stage. They played songs from all three of their albums and one of my favorites of the night was Sean’s rap about the wolves with laser beam eyes. If you didn’t go to the show, don’t have your vision checked because you definitely read that correctly–WOLVES WITH LASER BEAM EYES. Honestly, they were probably the coolest thing to be seen the whole night, not to mention the little Carlton-esque jig that Sean and Nat did during “Starstruckk.”

Photo by Jenny Krashin.

Having been to a concert at Virginia Tech the week before, I’ve got to say that I was really impressed with the RU crowd and how they treated the opening acts. At Tech, the first two bands didn’t really get much response from the audience. On the other hand, some people should probably brush up on their concert etiquette before attending a show because I know a lot of people who went home miserable because of the people around them.

Photo by Jenny Krashin.

Overall, the bands were great and each performance had really memorable moments. Be sure to thank R-SPaCE for putting together an amazing show and the various fraternities that helped out with the heavy lifting.

Interview with 3OH!3:

“Scariest Places on Earth”- History of the hauntings

“Scariest Places on Earth,” though it has been off the air since 2006, is still a Halloween favorite for many, and with good reason. The show takes you inside old buildings to get a look at some terrifying places. Here is the history of a few of them that are right here on the east coast and even in our own backyard. If you think you might be interested in visiting a real haunted house for Halloween, here are a few that have the fear factor written all over them.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Waverly Hills Sanatorium. Photo from Creative Commons.

Featured on ABC Family‘s “Scariest Places on Earth,” the Waverly Hills Sanatorium is a place that would give me nightmares. I hate the idea of asylums and this one doesn’t help change my mind; in fact, it made it worse.

Waverly Hills is located in Louisville, KY and was originally founded as a one room school for the daughters of Major Thomas H. Hayes who bought the land in 1883. Teacher Lizzie Lee Harris named the school Waverly School and the property that became Waverly Hills. The Board of Tuberculosis Hospitals bought the land and constructed the sanatorium from 1908-1910. They decided to keep the peaceful name to accompany the quiet, wooded surroundings that would help the patients recover. The two-story building, which was only supposed to hold 50 patients, was soon overflowing with 100 more as the spread of TB grew to epidemic proportions. The building finished expansion in 1926 to accommodate over 400 patients and perform treatments such as Heliotherapy (exposure to hot temperatures to kill bacteria), Pneumothorax (deflating a portion of the lung so it can heal) and Thoracoplasty (surgically removing up to 7-8 ribs for breathing ease) along with healthy diet and fresh air on the screen-windowed solariums, which are large, open rooms with no closed windows. Without antibiotics, the deaths piled up near 63,000 and the body chute, a 500 foot, pitch dark tunnel, was used to transport the bodies out of the hospital to the bottom of the hillside so that the other patients wouldn’t lose morale. This tunnel is said to be extremely haunted and has sparked enough interest to inspire a movie called “Death Tunnel” (2005).

It remained a tuberculosis hospital until 1961 when it was renovated by Woodhaven Medical Services and opened again in 1962 as a geriatric hospital until 1980 when it was closed by the state for patient abuse.

The many hauntings of the building include an older woman in chains crying for help that appears in the front entrance hall; an eyeless girl, possibly named Mary, on the third floor; the image of a nurse in room 502 (two nurses working in that room committed suicide); and shadow figures on the fourth floor. These are only a small sampling of the reported hauntings. And now, everyone can experience these frightening experiences for themselves by taking guided tours of the entire hospital. Creepy? Yes. No wonder it’s one of the scariest places on earth.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary. Photo from Creative Commons.

This old prison in Philadelphia, PA, was open October 23, 1829 to help relieve overcrowding from another nearby jail. This prison, built in the shape of a wagon wheel, was part of a controversial movement to correct inmate behavior through solitude and labor. The solitude included feeding doors so the guards would have minimal contact and was even so extreme that they gave the 250 inmates masks to wear during their rare trips outside their cells. Their only source of sunlight came through tiny windows or slits in the ceiling. This complete solitude drove many of the prisoners insane. And if that didn’t, the punishments would. The water bath (being dunked in ice water then strapped to a wall for the night), the mad chair (tightly strapped to a chair for days without food, water or movement), the iron gag (an iron clamp was placed on the tongue and then connected to the prisoner’s wrists, which was behind their back) and the hole (a dark pit dug below cell block 14 where prisoners were left for weeks with no light and only bread and water) were the typical torments of the day. No wonder the place is supposed to be haunted.

Originally a single story building, it was expanded in 1835 to include a second story to include four more cell blocks and 450 cells for the ever increasing inmate numbers. These expansions would continue for decades reaching numbers as high as 1,700 prisoners and 14 cell blocks, leaving hardly any space between the buildings. As the years passed, the idea of total solitude was abandoned and prisoners could exercise and eat together. There were over 100 escapes from the prison and 99 were recaptured. Riots broke out regularly until the prison was closed in January 1970 due to its poor mechanical and electrical conditions. Some notable inmates during the prison’s 142 years of use have been the infamous gangster Al “Scarface” Capone, bank robber William Sutton and even women like Freda Frost, who poisoned her husband.

Many paranormal groups, including “Ghost Hunters” and “Ghost Adventures” along with “Scariest Places on Earth” explored this building and had some interesting findings. Whispering, giggling, weeping and even shadowy figures and ghostly distorted faces are found in many of the cell blocks. Very spooky.

St. Albans Sanatorium

St. Albans Sanatorium. Photo from Creative Commons.

Right here in Radford we have our own supposed haunting. Even though it was not featured on “Scariest Places on Earth,” St. Albans Sanatorium has gotten a lot of attention. So much, in fact, that “Ghost Hunters” members Steve Gonsalves and Dave Tango came to the abandoned hospital on Sept. 25 to show their support for the building’s preservation.

St. Albans first opened in 1892 as school for boys but was closed in 1911 for lack of funding and interest. Dr. John C. King then reopened the facility in 1915 as a sanatorium for mentally ill patients. Some of the reported treatments conducted at the hospital included opium, mercury and belladonna extract (all are very dangerous poisons) along with insulin-coma therapy, hydrotherapy and electro-convulsive therapy. Many of these treatments resulted in brain damage and death.

The sanatorium was absorbed by the Carilion Health System, but the hospital was moved in 2003, leaving the building abandoned. It was given to Radford University in 2004 but was up for auction and bought in 2008 by Tim Gregory, who was a patient of the hospital when he was 14. He hopes to preserve the building as a historical landmark and is willing to allow paranormal investigations. This site is said to be very active with EVP’s (electronic voice phenomenon), strange noises and shadows. Maybe Steve and Tango could come back one day and have a ghostly experience at St. Albans.

These are only a few frightening places with chilling ghost stories. “Scariest Places on Earth” may not be on TV anymore, but there is always the internet. Go find some scary places and enjoy!

Halloween treats without the tricks

Photo by Gini May.

Halloween is right around the corner and so are the ghoulish parties that come with this holiday. Whether you are planning a sophisticated party for your closest friends or the bash of the century, these treats are sure to tickle your taste buds.

The first item on the menu is crispy rice jack-o-lanterns.

The ingredients are:
1 stick butter
2 10 oz packages marshmallows
12 cup rice crispy cereal
1 teaspoon yellow food color
1/4 teaspoon red food color
green decorating icing in tube
black decorating icing in tube
decorating tips
12 cup bowl (not plastic)

Preparation:
Melt butter on low heat and add marshmallows. Stir marshmallows frequently. When marshmallows have dissolved, add food colors and mix well. When the marshmallow mixture is uniform in orange color, add cereal and stir and mix until rice crispies are completely coated.

Pour mixture into the bowl that has been well sprayed with a non-stick spray. Carefully press down cereal (spray the spoon or your hands when pressing the cereal, this helps so the cereal will not stick). Place into the refrigerator until completely chilled and firm. When the pumpkin is chilled, remove from refrigerator and invert onto a plate. Remove bowl and decorate with leaves and stem. A great jack o lantern smile will be the finishing touch.

This jack-o-lantern is a great snack to make for your friends, and it makes a great decoration for your Halloween party.

The next item on the menu is witch’s broom cookies.

Total: 1 hr 2 min. Prep: 20 min. Bake: 12 min. Cool: 30 min. Makes 20 cookies.

1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups Gold Medal

Dimensional disruption

Graphic by: Marie Stovall

Do you remember the first time you saw a 3-D movie? Junior James Eagle does.

“My first 3-D experience was something at Disney with the old school red and blue glasses. I think it was ‘Honey I Shrunk the Audience,'” Eagle said.

Disney World has 3-D attractions such as It’s Tough to be a Bug, Muppet*Vision 3-D and Mickey’s PhilharMagic. “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience” was in Disney World’s Epcot theme park, but it closed May 9 of this year. These attractions were the first experiences many people had with 3-D. Today the movie industry has decided 3-D is the way to go when making movies. Recently, movies have come out in 2-D with a 3-D counterpart.

3-D refers to the enhanced illusion of depth perception. It is derived from stereoscopic photography which uses a special movie camera system to record the images from two perspectives. It’s blurry without a special form of eyewear because the two perspectives are forced together. With the eyewear, the screen becomes clear and the image then has the illusion of depth. There are many types of 3-D processing systems, but the two most notable are anaglyph and polarized systems.

Anaglyph images were the earliest form of 3-D and are superimposed through two filters in additive light. The two filters are red and cyan. The glasses used for this have one red lens and one blue lens that filters out the appropriate image and gives it a 3-D quality. The polarized system uses two images projected superimposed onto the same screen, using different polarizing filters. This also uses a type of eyewear, but instead of colored lenses these lenses are polarized differently than the image on the screen, either horizontal and vertical or clockwise and counterclockwise. These are not the only two forms of 3-D; they are just the most common and widely used forms.

3-D movies are not a new sensation. They have been around since the late 1890s and went through a popular period during the 1950s. Today they have made a resurgence with 3-D movies such as “Avatar” and “Toy Story 3.” Movie theaters today typically have 3-D movies in their 3-D and 2-D forms so that customers can choose. The 3-D movies are more expensive due to the glasses and different equipment used to produce them. Some theaters charge up to 26 percent more for a 3-D ticket than its 2-D counterpart. IMAX played a huge role in the resurgence of 3-D movies. They began making 3-D non-fiction films then branched out into fiction films played by theaters everywhere with a different IMAX experience and by being in 3-D.

Not everyone is so crazy about 3-D movies, though. They have been known to give people headaches, nausea and eye problems. If people have bad eyesight or only one good eye to see out of, a 3-D movie is lost on them and the movie can actually be painful.

“I hate 3-D movies. They give me a headache after a while, and it hurts my eyes. I just don’t find it enjoyable. I’d rather watch a 2-D movie; my life is 3-D. I don’t need my movies to be,” junior Emily Snow said.

Freshman Bobby Adams feels that 3-D movies are unrealistic. He first experienced 3-D movies at a King’s Dominion attraction as a child. He says today he would rather see a 2-D movie.

Famed film critic Roger Ebert criticized 3-D movies in a May 2010 issue of Newsweek.

“3-D is a waste of a perfectly good dimension. Hollywood