$45 Time Machine

Almost everyone is looking for the one thing that will act as a time machine to transport them back to their childhood. For many people that time machine comes in the form of a Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Atari or PlayStation. In a world dominated by the Xbox One and the PlayStation Four, the simplicity and nostalgia that these vintage systems bring to the player is priceless.

Radford University junior and business finance major Taylor Easter has turned his passion for retro games into a fairly lucrative small business. Taylor began his business while working on expanding his own game collection. While scouring yard sales and pawnshops, he’d often come across fairly priced duplicates of games that he already had. He began selling these in order to turn a profit, thus beginning Taylor’s Retro Games. Realizing what a gold mine the gaming industry could be, Taylor began setting up shop, even obtaining a table at a video game convention (during which he made enough money to pay off his car).

Taylor's Retro Games! Graphic by McKenzie Gibbons
Taylor’s Retro Games! Graphic by McKenzie Gibbons

Taylor’s strategy is easy to follow. Before going out and buying merchandise, he checks the prices of games on websites such as Amazon and eBay. “I try not to make purchases unless I’m paying 1/3 of its value so I can triple my money,” Taylor says.

Currently Taylor has many consoles in stock, including the Nintendo 64, PlayStation One and Two, Atari, Intellivision, and Sega Dreamcast and Genesis, in addition to some handheld systems. His game inventory includes fan favorites like Super Mario and Pokémon.

So how do Taylor’s prices stack up against big name companies selling the same merchandise?

DKOldies is currently selling a Nintendo 64 for a whopping $74.99, while the slightly more honestly priced Luckie Games is selling one for $61.64. Taylor’s price is a far more reasonable $45. The fact that Taylor has found a way to spend money to make money, and still be able to sell his merchandise at completely respectable prices, says a lot about his character and savvy business skills.

While business is booming now, Taylor imagines that his gaming business will take a backseat once he graduates from RU, becoming more of a hobby than an income. Those desperately searching for a piece of their childhood to buy back at a fair price should make their purchases while Taylor’s Retro Games is still operating.

To contact Taylor, simply e-mail him at taylorsretrogames@gmail.com. For those looking for a game that he doesn’t have in stock, Taylor takes requests and will keep his eye out for the games you desire.

The most common misconceptions about pit bulls

Pit bulls have gotten a lot of negative media attention in the past decade or so. Generally, any dog bites that make the news are  by a pit bull or “pit bull type” dog. However, this media coverage doesn’t mean that pit bulls are the only, or even the most, aggressive dogs.

One of the most common misconceptions about pit bull type dogs is that “pit bull” is a breed. Pit bull is simply a “type” of dog, and includes any pure-bred or dogs mixed with the American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, the American Bulldog and Staffordshire Bull Terrier. Unfortunately this causes a lot of dogs to be put under the assumed “pit bull breed.”

Even Police Officers show their love for these sweet dogs. Graphic from The Examiner
Even Police Officers show their love for these Pibbles. Graphic from The Examiner

Another huge misconception about pit bulls, or (as I lovingly call them)”pibbles” is that they have locking jaws. This is a huge myth which has been manipulated by those who push breed-specific legislation. One of the biggest personality traits of pibbles is their extreme determination. If they latch onto a toy, they’re not letting go easily. It’s been misinterpreted as a physical deformity that makes it impossible for their jaws to let go of anything they bite onto. Anyone who has played tug-of-war with a pit bull type dog knows this isn’t true. They’re very determined and once they have their sights on something, they won’t let go.

BSL has been thought to protect communities from dog bites. On the contrary, areas with BSL tend to see an increase in dog bites by pit bull type dogs. Programs that promote responsible ownership and the reporting of dog fighting tend to see a decrease in accidents involving dog bites. The biggest issue with BSL is that it prevents responsible owners from owning these dogs, and makes the animals even more desirable to irresponsible owners. Therefore, these dogs are bred and trained by irresponsible owners who fight or neglect them.

Another misunderstanding about pibbles is that they have more behavioral issues than most breeds. I will agree that pibbles can be a little more challenging to train, but this is because they tend to be stronger than some breeds and therefore a little more difficult to control. However, pibbles tend to rank quite highly on temperament tests! Chihuahuas, ironically, have the worst score. When I adopted my pibble, Roxy, the animal control officers told me that she passed her temperament test with flying colors.

The most popular misconception of pibbles is that they’re more aggressive than any other breed. One of the most important factors in being a responsible dog owner, regardless of breed, is knowing your dog’s body language. I’ve been around poodles who were much more aggressive than Roxy. Although Roxy tends to be a bit possessive of her toys, this isn’t attributed to the fact that she’s a pit bull. Every dog has its limits, no matter the breed. Growing up I had a collie mix named Heidi. One day, I was being the hyperactive child that I was when Heidi had enough of me and bit me on the lip. To this day I still have a scar, but that was only one incident. We never had another issue with Heidi biting me, because I learned what her limits were.

Many people argue that it’s better to adopt a pibble puppy as opposed to an adult because you can raise them knowing they never suffered abuse and therefore will have a better temperament. I wholeheartedly disagree with this assumption. If anything, dogs rescued from abusive situations make better companions because of the relief they experience when removed from those situations. Looking at the demographics of animal shelters, it’s very apparent that pit bull type dogs have a heavier presence than other breeds. Because of this, I strongly advocate for the adoption of adult or senior pibbles. One of my favorite Instagram accounts (@rebeccacory) mostly contains photos of a lovely rescue pibble named Angel. Angel suffered unimaginable abuse and neglect and was horribly over-bred. Now, Angel lives a lavish and comfortable life with her mom, Rebecca Cory. It’s very apparent on Cory’s Instagram account that Angel is a loyal and loving companion and her life has improved tremendously since she was found in 2007.

Responsible ownership is vital to owning any breed of dog, not just pibbles. Just as humans have certain limits and pet peeves before we become agitated or even aggressive, dogs are the same way. Dogs became our friends thousands of years ago when wolves realized that if they befriended humans, we would feed them in exchange for loyalty and protection. In my opinion, pit bull type dogs are the absolute epitome of that loyalty. They will go above and beyond to please their owners. Some would say this loyalty has some faults because pibbles will become extremely protective of their owners, to the point of violence. However, I can say from personal experience that any dog would attack in the case that its owners life was in danger, but this is out of loyalty and love for their owners, not out of aggression.

 

Highlanders Anonymous: Who’s to blame?

Highlanders Anonymous: Who’s to blame?

“Why does my roommate always tell me it’s my fault she can’t get her work done? What’s her problem?”

Well, it seems to me like she’s trying to shift the blame on you. By telling you this, she’s not being very specific though and seems like she wants you to ask her what is the problem. I would suggest skipping all of the drama that she is trying to manufacture and confront her.accusation

“I just had a huge acne breakout and I have a date tomorrow. Do you have any tips to clear it up?

Websites like teenvogue.com suggest spot treatment that will help you to dry out pimples and the like. You could also just use makeup to cover up any blemishes you may have. Many sources also suggest the use of products with salicylic ingredients that fight acne. Try to use facial wash and other products the night before to help clear up the acne as quickly as possible. The day of your date is when I would recommend covering up whatever you weren’t able to get rid of. Also, these are short term solutions, but should help lessen the redness and irritation on your skin before the big day!

“What’s the best way to tell someone that their room is disgusting?”

 Well, I don’t think that’s very nice to say at any point to anyone. Lots of people end up with a messy room because it’s hard for them to get organized and can even be a telltale sign of depression. Approach this delicately and if you really want to help this person, you could always offer to lend a hand.

“How do you know when it’s time to move in with someone?”

Well, this isn’t exactly a black and white matter. Some people will give you a specific time frame with certain relationship milestones. Others will tell you that there has to be a certain level of understanding and cooperation between the two of you. However, all of that may not even work in the end, so I suggest the ultimate cliché: follow your heart.

There are no real rules that can tell you when the right time is for you to be emotionally or spiritually ready to cohabitate with another person. All you can do is try and be careful. Be honest with yourself and you’ll know the answer.

Japan’s solar plans for the moon

With all the talk about Mars and U.S. interests in colonization, we shouldn’t forget about our other celestial bodies. The moon, in fact, has been the subject of many plans since the 1950s when the U.S. proposed declaring it (along with the rest of outer space) a global commons.

One plan in particular was introduced after the March 2011 disaster in Fukushima, Japan. After the tsunami-induced nuclear meltdown occurred, energy costs in Japan skyrocketed and officials were motivated to seek more sustainable, safer, and cheaper forms of energy for their nation. Thus, the concept of ringing the moon with solar panels was born.

Yeah, you read that right. Solar panels. On the moon.

Solar power has become increasingly popular in Japan since Fukushima and one construction firm, the Shimizu Corporation, has created a plan to ring the entire moon with enormous solar panels and beam the energy down to earth in order to power not only Japan, but the entire world.

Japan's Master Plan! Graphic from Quartz
Japan’s Master Plan! Graphic from Quartz

The company’s site touts their idea — the Luna Ring — as “virtually inexhaustible” and states that “non-polluting solar energy is the ultimate source of green energy that brings prosperity to nature as well as our lives.”

Their website shows a brief synopsis of the technology and how it works. In fact, the moon would vaguely resemble a Pokeball and the terms involved all sound like they belong in an episode of “Sailor Moon.”

But the Shimizu Corporation doesn’t stop with their Luna Ring — they have concepts for plenty of other energy sources. These include the Ocean Spiral, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a large spiral connecting the sea floor with the earth’s service and providing energy from the earth’s core, according to the website. Try 2004 is the company’s idea for a futuristic “city in the air,” meant to work more harmoniously with the surrounding environment. In keeping with their lunar theme, the corporation has concepts for a space hotel along with lunar bases for the moment space travel becomes a legitimate vacation option.

It’s easy to make fun of such endeavors now, as this still only possible in science fiction. But the truth is that the more technology advances, the more likely that the Shimizu Corporation may simply prove ahead of their time. It’s entirely possible that we may be chastising our grandchildren about their wish to go vacation on the moon with their families — we are planning to send our first colony to Mars in the not-too-distant future!

Don’t have time for a pet? Think again

Many people argue that college kids shouldn’t have pets because they take up time, effort, and resources. While I agree that many college kids are much too busy or don’t have the resources to properly care for an animal, I don’t believe that is the case for most college kids.

Having a dog does take some extra time, but not everyone can have the perfect home for a dog where he or she will be spoiled and given a perfect environment. Most people have many other obligations that they would have to balance with a pet, but that’s okay.

Thousands of animals are put to death every year because they couldn’t find a home. Animal shelters are extremely over-crowded and no-kill shelters can be very hard to come by. Because of this, I don’t think you have to fit a tight list of criteria to be a pet parent. Sometimes I see billboards encouraging adults to adopt children. These boards often say that “you don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.” I think this saying should also apply to pet parents.

It takes love and care to be a good pet owner. Graphic by Katie Gibson
It takes love and care to be a good pet owner. Graphic by Katie Gibson

Having a dog or a cat is like having a child in some ways–but for the most part, dogs and cats are much less high-maintenance. Dogs can easily be left to roam the house while you’re at work. It’s not only illegal but obviously unethical to leave a baby free to “roam” the house while you’re in class or at work.

College kids may not have the most ideal situations for a pet, but who does? College students are much more flexible in their schedules than other adults are. I get to spend quite a bit of time at home with my dog, even though I have a full class schedule and a part-time job. With training, dogs learn that their owners aren’t going to be gone all day and find ways to entertain themselves with toys or naps.

Whether you have a full-time job or a full-time class schedule, chances are you may not think you have time for a pet. However, I believe you can make it work if you want to. There are so many wonderful pets out there waiting for homes, and in my opinion having to wait for their owner to get off work is a much better situation than being in a shelter with little human contact. It’s also most certainly better than being put to sleep just because someone was told they won’t be a good enough pet owner.

Cinderella: Have courage and be kind

Our favorite Disney film has been adapted dozens of times over the years. The most recent adaptation of Cinderella, by Kenneth Branagh,  beautifully depicted the tale of a commoner turned princess. The details in each scene were vivid and elaborate, which enhanced the fairy tale’s plot. From the “talking” mice to the golden pumpkin carriage, the movie made every woman and girl envious. The plot was only enhanced further by the skillful acting of each actor and actress. Of course the film is not entirely the same as the original tale, but the new adaptation does not take away its original splendor. The daring romance and visual gorgeous scenes leaves the audience completely riveted from start to end.

As we all know, Cinderella (Lily James) was forced to endure the cruelties of her stepfamily after the death of both her parents. Branagh went a step further than past adaptations by creating a personal connection with Cinderella’s parents. The beginning of the film showed the love that emanated from the family before the dark years. The movie did a beautiful job portraying the pain and courage Cinderella had to rely on as the audience witnessed the wake of both deaths. “Have courage and be kind” was the mantra that Cinderella’s mother left her before she died. This statement continued to pop up not only on the big screen but also from the mouths of children and adults as they exited the theater. Once again, Disney has made us stop and think about how we could become better individuals. If only the stepmonsters followed in Cinderella’s foot steps.

FullSizeRender
Photo By: Daniele Johnson

 

The stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and stepsisters (Holliday Grainger and Sophie McShera) were exceptionally fair on the outside but incredibly rotten on the inside. The actresses did a wonderful job personifying the greed and selfishness of the antagonistic characters. On one especially horrid day, Cinderella had enough of their wicked ways and rode into the woods. There she meets a dashing stranger (Richard Madden), who, little does she know, is her Prince Charming. Richard Madden makes a dashing prince, from his heart-melting blue eyes to his heroic personality. As Cinderella’s and the Prince’s hearts grow closer, the plot thickens with fairy godmothers (Helena Bonham Carter) and glass slippers. I will not divulge anymore details about the plot, other than that it ends with happily ever after. This film will enchant all those who see it and most likely enchant them to pre-order it on DVD. The film is also preceded by a eight minute short titled “Frozen Fever.” This short is jam-packed with cuteness and fun. One detail about the short: Olaf gets little brothers! Remember! Have courage and be kind!

Bill Nye and GMOs

For many of us who grew up with Bill Nye the Science Guy as our mentor and guide through the scientific world, he remains an influential and nearly faultless voice of reason. Whether or not you agree with all his opinions, his more recent capacity in the public eye as an activist for climate change and evolution has had him in the spotlight once again.

In Nye’s Nov. 2014 book Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation,  he devoted a chapter to his opinions on GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and the relatively recent movement towards their domination of our foods. An outlier in the scientific community, he reiterated his skepticism towards GMOs during a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything):

Bill Nye as prophet. Graphic by Katie Gibson
Bill Nye as prophet. Graphic by Katie Gibson

“I stand by my assertions that although you can know what happens to any individual species that you modify, you cannot be certain what will happen to the ecosystem. Also, we have a strange situation where we have malnourished fat people. It’s not that we need more food. It’s that we need to manage our food system better. So when corporations seek government funding for genetic modification of food sources, I stroke my chin.”

Therefore, it has struck many by surprise that in February Nye stated in a video backstage on “Real Time with Bill Maher” that he is now “in love” with GMOs.

Some have expressed anger or have criticized Nye’s sudden change of heart, citing theories of bribes or threats. However, the great thing about science is that you are allowed — encouraged, really — to change or strengthen your opinion with every new piece of evidence you receive.

Nye declares that after visiting Monsanto (a corporation that has become all but synonymous with GMOs) and working closely with the scientists there to learn about the work being done with GMOs and food, he has found evidence for his about-face. Details of this are expected to be revealed further in his revised book (to be released next fall).

Now, although Nye says his opinion on GMOs has changed and indicates that they’re safe for human consumption, he still may be skeptical about the impact on ecosystems where GMOs have been introduced.

The argument for GMOs is that they allow more food, potentially better food, to be cultivated by farmers more easily. Scientists simply pick and choose the traits which food evolves with instead of waiting for natural selection to take its course — speeding the process up dramatically. And while this unnatural evolution makes many uncomfortable — including Nye until recently — there’s no current evidence that it’s any more dangerous than waiting a few hundred years for nature to take its course. Although it isn’t mandatory for GMOs to be tested for human health risks, all those currently on our shelves have volunteered to undergo review.

We may never see the day when we have a full understanding of the effects of GMOs, but at least we have the capacity, as an intelligent species, to seek out information and form our own opinions.

The Alabaman Inquisition

Recently, there has been some immensely confusing rhetoric coming from the conservative right concerning LGBT rights. Over the past few weeks, perhaps the most high profile story to develop concerning the divisiveness concerning homosexual marriage rights comes out of Alabama. Amid the refusal of the Supreme Court to grant a temporary stay in the debate, the Chief Justice of Alabama, Roy Moore effectively instructed other judges in the state of Alabama to refuse to grant marriage licenses to LGBT couples. His recommendation/demand is in spite of the fact that the Supreme Court of the United States refuted previous Alabaman law concerning the definition of marriage as  one man and one woman: “Moore’s actions come despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the federal ruling, effectively allowing same-sex couples to marry in the state for the first time on Monday” (Diamond 5).

This is a particularly confusing argument for several reasons. The most obvious reason is because in this wonderful land called America, federal law trumps state law. Regardless of what Moore and his conservative compatriots may think, the law of the land is clear on this very issue. Put simply, as stated in the Supremacy Clause in Article 6, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution,

“[t]his Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding,”

Marriage equality arrived in Alaska. Graphic from Washington Blade
Marriage equality arrived in Alaska. Graphic from Washington Blade

As stated by the Constitution, which is the legal framework for the entire judicial, legal, and governmental system we all belong to, the federal government always takes precedence over the whims of the state. Hilariously enough, in American history, similar debates about strong state governments have been raised before. Before America has the strong federal government it now enjoys, the founders first tried the Articles of Confederation, which was a government with a weak federal presence but a strong state presence. Keep in mind, this policy had been tried when we had only 13 states, and it failed back in the late 1700’s. Now, with 50 states, the idea that a weak federal government could sustain such a global and economic powerhouse like the U.S. is utterly preposterous. The federal government needs to be large to support the commons, such as public schools and interstate highways. Much like desegregation, Moore wants to frame LGBT rights as a “federal intrusion into state sovereignty” when in reality, the Constitution gives the federal government that very power. If the state government is pushing an ideologically driven agenda of hate and discrimination, it is the job of the federal government to step in and assert its dominance.

The other main problem with Moore’s argument is that he defines marriage as a union between one man and one woman. Frankly, the notion that marriage is legally defined as anything is facetious at best, and uninformed at worst. For all of their bluster, the Constitution of The United States of America makes no mention of marriage or the definition of it at all. Constitutionally speaking, marriage is left undefined. However, according to Amendment XIV, ratified in 1868, “[n]o State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any persons of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws” (Madison 26). Make no mistake, people like Judge Moore are “personally opposed to gay marriage and steadfastly against legalizing gay marriage, [Moore is] insisting that Alabama recognizes the ‘divine’ nature of the definition of marriage.” When the remaining 13 states choose to defer on this issue, and when states and figureheads for clandestine, discriminatory factions like Chief Justice Moore decide to litigate issues like these, they invite the Supreme Court to read the Constitution as it’s meant to be read, as a document written by people, not as a holy book written by a deity. The Constitution, the Bible, the Torah, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Qur’an, along with every other sacred text, are mutually exclusive. Effectively, they’re ensuring their own defeat.

According to most religions, Christianity included,  marriage is an act between one woman and one man. Conversely, it’s just as simple to get legally married in a courthouse as it is a place of worship. Marriage is a legal covenant between two people as defined by our society. When two people get married, they may do it in a church, but when they get a divorce, they go to a judge. Marriage is a legal affair that started as religious ritual. As it has evolved along with our society, the constraints of it have changed. At one time, divorce was antithetical to Christian thought. Christians allowed (after much debate) an evolution on that thought of what defines marriage, much in the same way the (so called) definition of marriage will continue to evolve.

Only 13 states still ban gay marriage; 37 states in the Union have sided with rationality and the Constitution that no person (regardless of sexuality) should be discriminated against. There will come a point when those holdout states (it’s no surprise that 8 of those 13 states are in the South) realize that by fighting this battle, they have essentially lost. Much like the equal rights marches of the 1960’s, LBGT rights is the great civil right issue of our day; when historians write about the inevitable victories of LGBT activists, people like Chief Justice Roy Moore and his kind will realize that they were on the wrong side of this issue.

I, for one, will relish that day.

Weekly Time Wasters: Top five SpongeBob Squarepants musical moments

#5.

Because when you’re wearing a striped sweater…

 

#4.

SpongeBob telling it how it is. No body wants to be the fool who rips their pants.

 

#3.

With Big Gigantic and Cherub coming to campus this semester, who better than SpongeBob and his jellyfish friends to get us in the mood for some EDM?

 

#2.

Remember that time SpongeBob made all of us Twisted Sister fans? Everyone at Whim certainly hasn’t forgotten.

 

#1.

And how could you forget about the Bubble Bowl? We all know you turned your TV’s speaks to max for this when you were a kid.

The MacBook quietly evolves

It’s that time again; all of your I.T. friends and Apple fan-boys will be raving. Why wouldn’t they? For just under $2,000 you could have a brand new MacBook.

What you’ll also have is the latest in Apple innovation that will subtly inhibit your ability to share chargers.

Remember that first friend to get an iPhone5? Their biggest plight was needing a charger. If they forgot to bring their charger with them, odds are their friends wouldn’t be able to help.

Now, Apple has taken this sadistic technique and applied it to the new generation of MacBooks.

Even CollegeHumor has chimed in on the absurdity.

 

 

No longer will you be worrying about being that “charger guy” in front of your friends, but now you also have the opportunity to be a screw up in front of your coworkers.

While the new charging cable is an unneeded addition, Apple has made significant improvements to its popular laptop model. The MacBook now boasts dual-core and quad-core Intel processors to compliment its more-than 5 million pixels Retina display.

Retina display, however, is so 2012. The real innovation in this year’s model is the addition of the Force Touch trackpad. According to Apple, users will enjoy, “a tactile response from the trackpad.”

Using the Force Touch trackpad – only available on the 13 inch model – one will be able to scrub through a video by applying pressure to the trackpad. The more pressure you apply, the faster the video will play.

Ever have issues trying to gently zoom in or out on a map? No longer will one have to deal with the awkward two finger zoom function, instead one needs only to apply pressure to the trackpad.

Let us have cake

While I completely understand, agree with, and support the current trends of healthy living and eating habits that have become so entrenched in our society, I can’t help but wonder why some people take it too far.

I’m fairly healthy. I eat well, I work out every single day unless I just don’t feel like it. (Everybody has those days, even if you try to deny it.)

What I don’t understand are the people who are so obsessed with healthy habits that they judge others for eating a slice of pizza or chocolate cake every once in a while–or worse, the ones who judge people who are  “overweight.”How I hate that word. it’s just so judgmental.cake

Consider the lovely Valentine’s posterboard that was set up in the entrance of the Student Recreation and Wellness Center for a solid few weeks. Itcondemned the consumption of anything “bad” for one’s health during Valentine’s Day, which  made no sense to me. “Calories don’t take a vacation?” Well, maybe calories don’t, but I surely do. If someone wants to buy me chocolate for Valentine’s Day, my birthday, or a Tuesday, I will happily consume said calories — and I refuse to feel bad about that.

There’s a difference between having sweets and fatty foods every once in a while (I indulge on special occasions, i.e. Valentine’s Day) and consuming a plethora of saturated fats every day.

But honestly, even if someone WANTS to consume saturated fats in excess every day, who are we to judge them or say something about it? Why are people so invested in what others decide to do? If someone is happy, why do we care to burst their bubble with our opinion? I’ve never understood why people judge other people based on what they eat, who they love, what they wear, ANYTHING. There have been so many rising incidents with eating disorders in college-agemales and females alike. I know this because I did a research paper on it. Eating disorders are caused by many things, including the eating habits of one’s peers and a lack of self-confidence or self-worth.

It’s very upsetting to me when people judge what other people eat because quite frankly, it’s none of their business. Let them have cake, cookies, muffins, a Whopper, whatever they please. You might be happier with yourself as soon as you stop being so critical of others.

RU Honorable?

You did a lot to make it this far in life. You kept your grades up, studied for that SAT, and you applied yourself and made it to Radford University. Take pride in that, you should be honored to be here. But what happens when an administrator decides to question your honor?

Everyone knows the honor pledge you have to agree to upon coming to Radford, it’s like a legal binding contract that you’ll be a good person while you’re here.

“I shall uphold the values and ideals of Radford University by engaging in responsible behavior and striving always to be accountable for my actions while holding myself and others to the highest moral and ethical standards of academic integrity and good citizenship as defined in the Standards of Student Conduct.”

You might see it at the top of an exam so you won’t cheat, or in the closing parts of a syllabus at the beginning of the year, and you probably pay it no mind. That is, until you’re accused of cheating, lying, or otherwise violating this code. Maybe your phone went off during an exam, maybe you were caught drinking on campus, or maybe someone else signed for you in an attendance sheet. You might’ve done something you had no idea was cheating, but your professor sure thinks it was.gavel

Guilty or not, you need to know what happens when you’re charged with an honor code violation, and what you can do to make sure you stay in good standing.

It starts out with an initial meeting with the administrator who accused you. The professor might call you in and have a stern talk with you about what they think you did. They’ll pass you a scary-looking form with your charge, and they’ll ask you to make a plea. Guilty, or not guilty. If you plead guilty, that’s the end of the road. Whatever sanctions they put on you are done and done.

Don’t plead guilty right away though. You’re given 24 hours to think about your decision. Take the time, talk to people, get advice on whether or not it would be worth it to fight it. Don’t be intimidated into making a hasty decision.

If you choose to plead not guilty, it gets taken to the next step, where you and the administrator have to go into the conduct office and have your cases heard by a conduct officer. They’ll present their evidence, you’ll present yours, and you hash out your disagreements there.

You’re allowed to have a student adviser in the hearing with you. They can’t speak for you, but they’ve been to enough of these hearings to be able to help you get through it in one piece. They can pass you notes, highlight important information, or just be there so you don’t break down at the nervousness of this high-stress situation. Take the adviser. It can only help you in the long-run.

Here’s the thing about this part of the hearing though: It operates on a “more likely than not” basis, so if the officer is 51% certain you did what your accuser said you did, you’ll be found guilty and charged with sanctions of the officer’s choosing.

This was the issue I ran into during my hearing. I admitted to the transgression I was accused of, but I had a disagreement with my professor about whether it constitutes an honor code violation. I felt the odds were stacked against me after doing this, because then the officer was 100% certain I had committed it, and it became completely up to her whether or not to consider it a violation. In hindsight, I might’ve actually won my case had I simply said there was no evidence of any wrongdoing.

If you’re found guilty at this part of the hearing, you can appeal it one more time. Whether you believe there was a lack of evidence, or your officer may have been biased, you can take it to be heard by someone else for a last-ditch effort to save your honor.

If after all of that, you’re still found guilty, you’ll be given whatever appropriate sanctions apply, in addition to a decision making seminar, which lasts about an hour. If you can’t attend that or you’re too salty to, you’ll be made to write a four-page paper about decision making instead. Not the most glamorous of options, but it beats 40 lashes.

If you truly think you’re innocent, pull out all the stops to make sure you don’t get slapped with an academic probation. It won’t be something that comes up in your transcripts for the rest of your life, but you don’t want it there either way. Here’s hoping this helps to equip you with everything you need to know to fight for your honor. Good luck.

BREAKING: RU President Penelope Kyle to retire after 2016 academic year

At approximately 9:30 this morning, RU sent out an email to the students and faculty that RU President Penelope Kyle would be retiring at the end of the 2016 academic year. For those who didn’t receive the email or are otherwise unable to see it, here it is in its entirety.

Radford University President Penelope W. Kyle and Board of Visitors (BOV) Rector Michael A. Wray announced today that the BOV approved on March 28, 2015 President Kyle’s plan to retire as president, effective June 30, 2016.  Kyle, who was appointed in 2005 as Radford University’s sixth president, is also RU’s first female president.

“I am proud to have played a part in the transformation of Radford University since my arrival nearly a decade ago,” said President Kyle.  “After much deliberation and looking back on the tremendous accomplishments we have achieved together for Radford University and our students, I have given consideration to identifying a good timeframe for transition of the presidency.”

“On behalf of the Board, I want to express our deep gratitude for President Kyle’s leadership and staunch advocacy of RU,” said Wray.  “As both a Board member and a father of a Radford University alumna, I have witnessed the results of President Kyle’s energy and drive to gain support for RU and help us transform our institution to better serve the needs of our students to succeed in their future careers.”

“Much of Radford University’s achievements under President Kyle can be directly attributed to her tireless efforts to build upon and improve the University’s relationships with the General Assembly and the Commonwealth’s elected leaders,” said Wray.  “Her advocacy has resulted in unprecedented support for Radford University in funding capital construction and renovation projects and introducing new degrees and programs that address the needs of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

With the announcement of President Kyle’s retirement at the conclusion of the 2016 academic year, the BOV has begun planning for the presidential search process and the establishment of a search committee.  “The Board anticipates a search process that will involve the broader RU community of faculty, staff, students and alumni,” said Wray.  “Today’s announcement ensures ample time to identify the new president and will allow an orderly transition.  The Board anticipates providing more details in the near future about the search committee and the search process,” Wray added.

More details will come as they are available. In the mean time, the RU community has much to thank Penelope Kyle for over the past ten years, and the staff at Whim would like to wish her good luck in her future endeavors.

Adventures in scrapbooking

The men on the lawn looked like aliens as Michelle watched them pulling the industrial vacuuming equipment out of their van. She kicked her car door shut behind her as she looked them over- white uniforms all tucked in at the ankles and wrists like they were going into a quarantine zone or a surgery. They had parked in her driveway, behind the black sedan, and she had to park on the road. Wrangling her groceries, she tried not to look too irritated as the workers in white uniforms waved at her despite the fact that, with her arms full of bags, she obviously couldn’t wave back.

The house was one of the only ones situated on their street, small and pale with vinyl siding. It faced north and had three azaleas, two boxwood shrubs that still had the new topsoil piled around their roots near the living room windows, and the two tiny sage plant cuttings from Michelle’s mother that sat next to the sidewalk. All were bordered with diatomaceous earth.

These details, which Michelle hadn’t cared about (or even known) before, were known only to her now because of the problem that her new house had come with a few months ago. She fumbled with her keys for a moment before the door opened in front of her.
“You look angry, Mitch,” Nicole, her girlfriend, informed her as Michelle handed a few of the plastic bags to her. Michelle sighed.

“Yeah, well, the bug guys parked in my spot.”

“Don’t take it personally. We can take your car into town.”
“Yeah, I know. It’s just on principle, you know? I just wish people wouldn’t do that.”
As grouchy as she felt, the gentleness in Nicole’s voice made it impossible to get too snippy. They walked into the kitchen together.

“How was the store?”

Michelle shrugged a little. “Some good, some bad. There was a pretty good bread sale, but when I was leaving, some asshole in the parking lot called me a Mexican and told me to go back where I came from.”

“Oh, nice.”

“It’s whatever. You know, considering most of Texas was annexed anyway, it wouldn’t even make any sense even if it was true. Besides, he had one of those Ron Paul bumper stickers, so I don’t think any important friendship was lost there.”

She heard Nicole laugh softly at her quips as she pulled out the eggs and margarine from the bag and set them on the counter. Against her better judgment, she found her eyes drawn up to the crawling, shadowy shapes on the window that faced the front yard and the bug men beyond it.

“They’re just ladybugs, baby.”

She looked back at Nicole. She was a dark-skinned, beautiful woman with almond-shaped eyes that always seemed thoughtful and kind, even when she was pissed off. Privately, Michelle thought she was probably way out of her league, if everything was evaluated by what Nicole, in her studious, teacherly way, would call mainstream cultural standards. She was hourglass-shaped and naturally toned, whereas Michelle herself was, as Nicole put it lovingly, “reubenesque.” Sometimes straight men liked to try to hit on her and scoot Michelle off like she was some kind of token fat friend, but Nicole always found a way to shut them down that made her feel a lot less irritated. It happened less since Nicole had cut her hair short, but now there was a wretched minority that tried to get her attention by talking to her about sports. It didn’t matter how much Nicole insisted she was a lesbian, most people selectively ignored it.

“I saw the bug guys outside. How long is it supposed to take?”

“I’m not sure. They said a few hours because of how bad it is. They said they’d be done by tonight.”

“Good. Hopefully this’ll finally get rid of them.”

The ladybugs had been on them like a biblical plague since they had moved into the house. They were on the walls, the floor, in the bed, in the dishes and the pantry. They had put the diatomaceous earth around the house, burned lemon candles, sprayed mint oil, vacuumed up as many as they could, but it never seemed to have an impact. They had moved in over the winter, and at first they had assured themselves that they would leave sooner or later, but now it was getting to be summer and nothing seemed to have changed. They had fussed about it and eventually decided that professional help was the only recourse they had left. The bugs were too much, and their efforts were futile.

“I bet if your mom had heard that guy in the store, she would have flew off the handle.”

“Yeah, and make me look like a freak for being with her. The only time anyone here cares about Shoshone people is for five minutes in seventh grade when they talk about Lewis and Clark.”

Nicole snorted into her coffee.

“Don’t laugh, it’s true!”
“I know, that’s why I’m laughing. I’m sorry.”

She wasn’t really angry. Michelle’s tongue in cheek attitude served her well enough and kept her temper in check (for the most part). Even if the weird racist had genuinely gotten to her, she was too relieved at the prospect of finally getting rid of the bugs to let it spoil her mood. One of her cousins managed the company, and she trusted her employees, as far as bug companies went.

Michelle and Nicole had planned to spend the evening doing something fun together, and to some extent, they succeeded- the early summer weather was very mild, and they went out to dinner and ate outside in a restaurant blessedly free of ladybugs. Michelle told a story about one of the classes she was teaching, how one of her students that played the clarinet was already offered a scholarship despite only being a sophomore. They expected the workers to be done (and gone) by the time they returned, but some hours later, the men were still around, loading the vacuums into the van. When they approached, there was only one worker left outside, a tall man who was sheepishly milling around it. Michelle assumed this must be the manager, since the other two seemed to have taken the chance to avoid conversation.
“What’s up? I thought you were going to be done a while ago,” Nicole asked him as he avoided eye contact.

“Well, I mean, we are done.”
“Are the bugs gone?”

“Not really.”

“Honey, I thought you said you were done?”

“Yeah, I’m- I’m sorry. We sucked up the ones we could, but we had some trouble. We could come back again and try it, maybe half off-”
“No, no, nope. If it didn’t work the first time, why would it work the second?” Michelle demanded, and the man’s cheeks turned red. She was embarrassed for him. She knew he was just trying to do his job, but clearly, he wasn’t very good at it.

“Listen,” she began, more compassionately. “I know you boys did the best you could, but really, I think we’re going to keep trying to handle it from here. I’m sorry.”
“That’s all right, ma’am. Sorry we couldn’t do more for you.”
“It’s okay,” she said, patting him on the arm. “Good luck.”
“Thanks,” he said, and pulled out of the driveway, heading down the road.

Nicole shook her head. They headed back inside.

“This is some shit,” Michelle sighed as they shut the door. Nicole kissed her on the cheek.

“Don’t take it too hard. I’m sure they did their best.”

Michelle shrugged. To her, it seemed like some nerve to screw up what was supposed to be your job and then ask for more money to fuck it up again. That night, while watching TV, they chatted back and forth and pretended like it ‘really did seem a little better,’ and tried to convince themselves that maybe there had been an impact, although they both knew it wasn’t the case. The following morning their conversation was sparse and marked by disheartened silence, and they went back and forth debating solutions, although there wasn’t much that they hadn’t already considered.

As Michelle styled her hair, she heard Nicole from the other room.

“You should call your mom.”
She stared into her reflection’s annoyed dark eyes.
“I don’t really… I’m not sure I feel up to that,” she called back.

“I’m not trying to push you, I’m just saying-”

Michelle turned her head without thinking. She jerked the hair curler away from her jaw as she felt the sudden shock of the heat, and let it clatter into the sink as she examined the cylindrical mark as they darkened on her face. From the bedroom, she heard Nicole talking over her yelp of pain.

“I just think she’d really appreciate it-”

“Christ, Mitch, I fucking burned myself! Can you just cut me some slack for five seconds!?” She yelled, and her girlfriend fell silent.

For a moment, she did too, partially regretting her reaction but knowing, deep down, it was probably justified. She unplugged the curler and put it on the counter to cool off. She heard the sound of Nicole’s shoes on the wood floor and the door shutting behind her, and sighed. She wasn’t sure whether to be angry at her partner or herself. Sure, Nicole could have rushed in and tried to console her, but she could have also not have snapped at her.

From the hallway, she saw Nicole sitting in the loveseat in the living room. She lay out across it with her head craned off the other arm, staring up at the ceiling, her arms crossed across her chest.

“Nicky?” Michelle called, gently.

“There are a hundred bugs on this ceiling,” she responded flatly.

Michelle glanced up at the tiny red shapes ambling across the uneven white plaster and looked away in disgust. She’d never seen ladybugs stick to the ceiling, and it made her think of roaches.

“Nicky, I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have gone off on you like that.”

Nicole uncrossed her arms and sighed, running a hand over her short hair.

“It’s all right. I’m sorry you got burned.”
“It was my fault. I’m okay,” Michelle assured her. Nicole sat up and turned to face forward on the loveseat as Michelle joined her.

“I’d really like to see her, Nicky.”

“I know, it’s just- you know it’s complicated with my family. I don’t always want to hear about where I came from,” she sighed, running her hand over Nicole’s knee. Nicole scoffed.

“Yeah, well, at least you get the chance.”

Florida needs a psych eval

The existence of climate change has been a hotly debated issue in the not-too-distant past. At least, that’s how it went for most of the world. Unfortunately, headlines have been telling a different story about Floridian politicians.

You can’t sound more ridiculous than shouting the world is flat. Why? It isn’t because every person has walked completely around the entire world to test the theory. We trust our scientists to do their research and fact check one another. After enough of a percentage say they tested it and found that they were able to disprove the flat earth theory, the popular belief is that the world isn’t flat.

But despite this, Florida’s own DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) has gone and created a censorship on climate change.

Barton Bibler, an employee of Florida’s DEP, was required by his administration to take a leave of absence and complete a mental health evaluation for using the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in a presentation on March 2.

Apparently, Bibler was unaware of the off-the-record ban on both of the terms, which has been enforced since Governor Rick Scott took office in 2011. When asked about the reason for Bibler’s punishment, Scott’s office stated that there’s no such policy and Bibler had been reprimanded due to his performance, insubordination, and behavior which was not becoming of an employee of the DEP. However, a former DEP attorney stated that more than a dozen complaints had been reported by DEP employees on this topic in the last five years.florida

Another attorney, Christopher Byrd, gave this statement: “We were told not to use the terms ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ or ‘sustainability.’ That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel.”

Regardless of the proof of a real policy or simply an atmosphere of fear and hostility in Florida’s DEP, the state should be concerned about how the reality of climate change is affecting them. Miami Beach alone is victim too unusual flooding and dying coral reefs — which are a major tourist attraction and source of revenue. And, despite being nicknamed the Sunshine State, Florida is behind dreary, cold Massachusetts, as well as California and Nevada, in solar power. In fact, it’s illegal for homeowners to rely entirely on individually produced electricity.

Bibler’s punishment for his presentation — whether due to his use of censored terms or not — is a wake up call for the state. If Florida’s DEP is afraid to talk about climate change, it doesn’t bode well for the future of the state.

5 signs that you’re growing up

For most students, college is that awkward bridge between adolescence and adulthood. For us, it seems that just yesterday we were having our first crush or getting our braces removed. As you get into your later years of college, the reality of adulthood seems to be looming just inches over your head. As a kid, all you wanted was to be an adult –but with the reality sinking in, it’s easy to dread the inevitable. Adulthood is a scary thing, so it’s important to recognize the signs that you’re growing up.

 

  1. Your wardrobe changes

One of the first telltale signs of adulthood is actually wanting to dress like an adult. When you go shopping, you may look at more age-appropriate clothing rather than sweaters with cats on them.

On one of my recent shopping adventures, I found myself looking at button-up shirts and pencil skirts instead of my usually frilly crop-tops and leggings. I didn’t realize until I was checking out that I had made a relatively adult purchase of a plainblue button-up shirt and a maxi dress that didn’t involve sequins or lace.

You also may find yourself slowly feeling more embarrassed about your guilty-pleasure clothing items, such as your Marvel sweater or your brightly-colored skinny jeans. Let’s be honest; you still love wearing those, and the chances of them being donated to Goodwill remain at zero.

kid-height

  1. You become more responsible with your money

Last year, you would blow your entire paycheck on alcohol, pizza, and/or video games. This year, your money goes directly into the credit card bill(which you ran up buying alcohol, pizza and video games). You may also opt to eat at home instead of blowing money at a restaurant.

As part of your resolution to eat at home, you also find yourself straying away from  Easy Mac and Bagel Bites. Instead, you spend your money wisely on vegetables and fresh meats so you can actually cook a decent meal. You may still spoil yourself with an easy meal every once in a while.

  1. You find yourself staying in more often than not

It’s Friday night and all of your friends are going out to drink. This time last year, you’d throw on your best party get-up and roll out with them. Sadly, things have changed.Tonight you’ve opted to stay in, catch up on homework, watch Netflix and cook one of your adult meals. You may even go out for a little while, but the entire time you’re thinking of all of the laundry you need to do and the fact that partying is what made your GPA the way it is today.

  1. You clean more

On the off chance that you do go out with your friends, your mind keeps wandering back to the fact that your room isn’t pristine. Freshman (or even sophomore) year, you were perfectly content leaving dirty dishes under your bed while you went out and partied –resulting in you coming back intoxicated and adding to the disaster.

When I do go out with my friends, I always make it a priority to clean my room before I leave. This way, I actually have a chance of enjoying myself and not being the girl standing in the corner, picking her nails as  I worry about all of the things my dog could be getting into.

  1. You actually care about your credit.

One of the worst parts of adulthood is keeping your financial situation afloat. In your later years of college, you actually start to wonder how bad or good your credit score is. Because of this, you will likely use your credit card less and start making bigger, more frequent payments. You may be a little more aggressive in getting your roommates to pay the bills on time, especially if they’re in your name.


Growing up is a scary, but rewarding experience. On one side, there are a lot of new responsibilities which can seem intimidating. On the other side, however, there is a world of new experiences and people that we get to look forward to.

Bonnie-roo: artists welcome

If you haven’t heard of it yet, Bonnie-roo is being put together by the Music Business Association and the SGA College of Visual and Performing Arts student council. They’re trying to create an event that will put every department in the CVPA together. The name Bonnie-roo is actually a spin off of the yearly Bonnaroo music festival. The event was supposed to be in Bonnie Plaza, but was moved.

Essentially, Bonnie-roo is a large concert that will be put together by art departments of RU. Those departments include art, design, theatre, music, and dance. The MBSA is also trying to bring in three local and traveling bands: “Fletcher’s Grove”, “Mad Iguana”, and “Feel Free”. The bands will be confirmed just as soon as there’s funding found to have them perform.Bonnie-Roo flyer Slide1

The rest of the entertainment will be in the form of student work and pieces from each department participating. For example: the theatre and dance departments will be doing mini performances. The event is scheduled to take place Saturday, April 25 from 2-7 p.m. on Heth Lawn.

Samantha Onstad (the president of MBSA) contacted Sydney about a proposal Sydney made about creating a CVPA showcase this spring and thought to just combine events. Samantha is in charge of the MBSA planning. Sydney is in charge of gathering people from each department and organizing them. For Sydney, this was something she wanted to do as an SGA member. This event will hopefully help unite the CVPA in the community.

MBSA has funding from their program, but for this event to happen there needs to be more funding from the club programming committee (CPC). Here at Whim, we would like to promote this event and hope that others will try to lend a helping hand. You can do this by looking out for fundraisers that would like to make this happen.

Update: As of Wednesday, March 25th, Bonnie-roo managed to get all the funding they needed from the CPC.