Tag Archives: free

Free and Fierce

fire
“In the dead of the night, the brilliant flames were alive with a seemingly insatiable hunger for fuel and fodder.” Photo from: http://forest.ambient-mixer.com/images_template/7/a/5/7a5f2da770d424198f5fe0e88b573b10_full.jpg

The night was alive with crackling light and shifting shadows. In the dead of the night, the brilliant flames were alive with a seemingly insatiable hunger for fuel and fodder, eating through the wood and the walls. The people outside on the ground stood in silent awe of the gold and orange flames that danced in the windows of what was once their home. They could do little else. They had been roused from the depths of sleep by the heat and the smoke, going from groggy to completely awake and alert in a second, only to have the adrenaline disappear from their bodies as they made it to the safety of the street. No one had seemed to be hurt much, and the fire had only just begun to roar in full force. As if it had waited for the last resident to leave before it feasted.

Free of any human chains to slow it down, the fire seemed to start anew, growing and blazing with a strange ferocity. It burned brightly and quickly, tearing and clawing its way through the apartment building. The entire building would be gone in seconds, but for the residents on the street, it seemed to take an eternity. Every flame slowed to a crawl, creeping up through the windows and along the walls. The flames seemed to gently brush against their prey before slipping into the wood to consume it from the inside out. Black spots of destruction blossomed forward, spreading out in a slow wave like a drop of ink in water. It would spread and spread, becoming wider and greater while it weakened itself, until it began to crumble away from its center to its very edge, the ash falling through the air like snowflakes and dancing in front of the viewer on the street.

The 24th annual international banquet

The 24th International Banquet was held in Muse on April 18. The doors opened at 5:30 p.m. The event was put on by the Radford community: both students, faculty, and locals. It was sponsored by the International Student Affairs Council of SCA and The International Education Center. The Beans and Rice charity was selected this year for the banquet. A donation box was located in the main entrance. Also, there was a place for donations of nonperishable food items by the ticket table.

The beginning of the event was just for people to find a table and socialize with their preset salads and beverages. Each table was also set with bouquets of fake flowers in glass vases, surrounded by picture frames. The frames displayed a world disaster-like a wild fire or flood-along with a picture and a table number.

The columns in the dining room were decorated with colored paper and famously influential people from around the world, like Malala Yousafzai and some information or a quote about them. There were also colored balloons bobbing around the room and tied to chairs. Half of the attendees were dressed business casual, while some chose to be very formal with a suit and tie or dressed down with a t-shirt and jeans.

The MCs of the night: Sarah Rainey, Suliaman James, Kieran Robert spoke on a small stage centered in the room. They announced all of the performances and called each table, three at a time, to serve themselves at the international-themed buffet. The menu featured foods from Japan, Cameroon, Scotland, Haiti, and more.

There were also many vegetarian options and all food had it’s ingredients labeled specifically. Whether those labels decided to stay on or fall off was another story.

The buffet also included several different types of bread in all manners of shapes and sizes. The desserts included taro coconut, cranahan, chocolate trifle, and baklava.

The performances began with a Colombian and Venezuelan dance by three young women in the appropriate more traditional dancing skirts. The next performance was Catriona Scott, a foreign exchange student from Scotland. The night also featured RU HYPE, clogging, and singing. It was very much like an international talent show.

Why you should consider going to RU’s counseling center

Did you know that Radford University offers free counseling to students?

I didn’t know that until last year when I was directed there by a friendly doctor at the health clinic who was convinced that the stomach pain I was experiencing was related to anxiety. Continue reading Why you should consider going to RU’s counseling center

STOMP crashes into RU

On Feb. 21 from 8 to 10 p.m., Radford University will be electrified by the British percussion theatrical show STOMP.

This landmark rhythmic creation was conceived and brought to life by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas, both of whom have long and varied careers in the UK performing arts scene. The fruit of their labor, STOMP, has been nominated for several of the entertainment industry’s biggest awards including a Grammy, four Emmys, two Olivier awards and has won both an Obie and a Drama Desk award.

stomp
Get your tickets soon! Photo from Creative Commons.

One of the major attributes that really makes this theatrical show stand out from the rest is that it’s a completely organic percussion-based show. The performers create magnificent sounds with everyday street objects, including trashcans, trashcan lids and brooms. The show is comprised of eight performers who are able to transfer their performances into the hearts and minds of international audiences. Continue reading STOMP crashes into RU

Spotify: The way of the future?

Spotify, Spotify, Spotify. It seems as if that’s all we hear about recently, but to be fair, it’s not that new. Spotify used to be a European-only service and was introduced to the US over the summer in beta and became officially open to all users as of November 2011. The service allows users to “save” music to their profile and listen to it whenever they want, kind of like if Pandora and iTunes had a baby (minus the random music generator via Pandora). The catch, of course, is that in order to listen to it anywhere, like on your iPhone for however long you want, you have to pay for it. Continue reading Spotify: The way of the future?

New transit system helps solve parking stress

One of the newest additions to Radford University and the City of Radford is the Radford Transit. It’s a thrifty transportation choice that’s better for the environment and for everyone’s wallet. Many students, however, are taking advantage of the new transit system so they can avoid having to worry about parking.

“I use it mostly to get to class because it’s faster than walking, but I don’t have to get to campus really early or stress about parking,” said junior Karlus Brown. “It’s a lot more convenient than the parking mess on campus and I didn’t have to buy a commuter pass, so it saved me a lot of money, too.”

The buses used in the new system are much smaller than the old Tartan Transit buses, so that means they can drop off and pick up at more locations and they are able to stop more frequently for shorter periods of time.

The new Radford Transit bus. Photo courtesy of Radford Transit.

The new public transit system is a collaboration between Radford University and the City of Radford. This collaboration helped relieve the financial burden for both the city and Radford University.

There are a total of five routes, and each route has between 10 and 20 stops. The routes also cater to the needs of the entire population using it. Two routes, 10 and 50, mainly stick to campus running between the parking lots on campus and over the bridge near the athletic facilities and the Armstrong Complex. Route 20 travels from Radford to Fairlawn, where Wal-mart is located, and to the Carilion New River Valley Medical Center. Route 30 travels to west Radford, the Radford recreation center and downtown Main Street. Route 40 travels the longest distances from Radford to Blacksburg and Christiansburg. The times and maps can be found on the transit website.

For many students, Radford Transit is the best change Radford has undergone this year.

“I don’t have a car here, so it’s made my life a whole lot easier,” said senior Chris Montana. “I use it to get to campus a lot, and it’s nice that I don’t have to bum rides off of friends to go to Christiansburg or wait until I know someone is going grocery shopping. I think it’s given students that much more independence.”

However, some students have trouble figuring out the extensive route and stop schedules.

“I wish they would put the schedules on the signs for the stops because I can only access it on my computer and then I either end up waiting a while or running to catch a bus,” said junior Mariela Alvarez.

Some students also have issues with the times that certain routes run. Routes can run as early as 7 a.m. and as late as 2 a.m. while other routes don’t start until 10 a.m. and end at 6 p.m.

“It’s really inconvenient for some routes to not run at certain times while others do,” said senior Dalton Francis. “Who says no one needs a ride to those places anymore? It’s a pain and it can get really confusing. You can end up at the bus exchange center and be totally lost. I don’t think it’s fair.”

Though Radford Transit is still trying to work out a few kinks, the overall organization and system are considered a success. Many stops are in high demand and students as well as citizens of Radford are taking full advantage of the free service.

“It’s so busy in the early morning at the Greenhill Apartments stop that they had to add a second run,” said Area Director Dave Falletta. “So, it’s definitely been good for students, and they seem to like it a lot.”

Top 9 free iPod touch applications

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For those who were lucky enough to receive an iPod touch this past holiday season, here is a little list of need-to-have free applications or apps for the iPod touch or iPhone.

1. Shazama

Ever hear a song and wanted to know who it was by and what it was called, only to forget it later? This is no longer a problem. The app “Shazama” will listen to a snippet of a song and in a matter of seconds, display everything about that song, from its title, to where you can get it. This used to be a purely iPhone app, but since the second generation of iTouch allows for microphone input, it has made its way to the iTouch.

2. IM+ All-in-One Mobile Messenger

This neat little app is all of your messenger options wrapped into one. It has everything: AOL Instant Messenger, iChat, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and more. This is perfect for those who can’t go without being in-touch with people for any period of time.

3. Scribble

Not the most useful of apps, but one of the more fun. Scribble allows you to create drawings and “scribble” over existing photos. From there, you can e-mail them using iPod Touch’s e-mail client.

4. Text Free Lite

This application does exactly what its name says it does. It allows you to send free text messages to be sent to US mobile phones. Misplaced your phone but have something urgent that needs to be shared? Not a problem, thanks to this app, however, there is no way to receive incoming text messages.

5. Social Networking Apps

This is a grouping of the several social networking site applications. For Twitter, there is Twitterific. This app allows you to view and publish tweets from anywhere there is Wi-Fi. There is also the Facebook app, which allows people to view and update their status on Facebook. Myspace app serves much of the same purpose as the other two, allowing quick, easy access to users’ Myspace accounts.

6. Wikipanion

“Wikipanion” allows for people to browse Wikipedia with ease on their iPod touch or iPhone. This app is perfect for those who enjoy browsing Wikipedia as both a way to expand knowledge and waste time looking for random facts.

7. New York Times

This app allows for you to read stories from the New York Times. The nice thing about this app is if the user wanders off away from a wireless hot spot but still wants to read the Times, they can. The app stores the latest stories when it has access to the Internet, allowing for reading later.

8. Instant Paper

This app allows for people to save Web pages for later viewing. This application is perfect for those long blog entries or articles that take forever to read. Unlike book marking, this app literally saves the page, allowing for it to be viewed offline.

9. Flashlight

This app turns your iPod Touch or iPhone into a flashlight. It even has the option to change the color of the lights. While not the most exciting app ever, it is still a rather useful one.

Be quick to get these applications while you can. It is only a matter of time before the publishers rethink offering these great apps for free. Who doesn’t love free stuff?

Cover photo from Sotckxpert

Story photo from Creative Commons