Teens convicted in the Steubenville rape case

In a case the gained national media attention, two high school football players were found guilty this Sunday of raping a 16 year-old girl. The trial and case gained significance in the media due in part to the role that new technology and social media played in both the arrest after the August 2012 incident and conviction of the two defendants. The two young men from Steubenville, Ohio were tried as juveniles, but there is the potential for their sentence to stretch until they reach the age of 21.

Obama supports an independent Palestinian state

President Barack Obama visited the West Bank and Israel for the first time in his presidency this week. During his three-day visit, Obama met with Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas. In an effort to creating a lasting and peaceful solution in that area of the Middle East, Obama expressed his commitment to a two-state solution. He remarked, “Put simply, Palestinians deserve a state of their own,” while also emphasizing the need for a “strong and secure Jewish state” to also co-exist.

March Madness begins this week

After the annual “Selection Sunday” this week, the first round of the Division I NCAA men’s basketball tournament started Thursday. Sixty-four teams in four different brackets will compete for a chance to compete in the Final Four in Atlanta, GA during the first week of April. Last year’s champions, the University of Kentucky, failed to make the tournament this year, allowing a new team to take the title.

 

Last night an important celebration occurred on campus with little notice by the student body. Student organization and intramural award winners gained recognition for the work they do on campus from simple criterion such as being an outstanding member to organizing outstanding events for the campus to share in. This dinner put on by student affairs and the Student Government Association honored award recipients with a dinner and recognition for all the work they’ve done.
SGA president Kevin Dwyer and vice president Kylie McCollum welcomed students and faculty to the ceremony, and awards followed the dinner. They explained the significance of these awards to showcase the efforts of students in all aspects of the Rose community.
The first part of the ceremony recognized the intramural program awards taking special note of senior IM supervisors, IM employee of the year, and the intramural athletes of the year. And, Dan O’Leary presented the awards. Award winners included Erin Davey, Gavin Williams, and Sean Kilker for senior IM supervisors; Jordan Hennessy for employee of the year; and Paige Pinkstaff, Fallon Stinson, Samantha Pace, Mitch Feldhake, Jeremy Eaton, and Stephan Roessler for athletes of the year. These students were lauded for their competitive yet fun loving spirit in addition to showing respect and enthusiasm on the field. They were also praised for leading other students by encouraging cooperation with staff and other students.
Following the intramural awards portion of the ceremony, Kevin Dwyer and Kylie McCollum returned to the microphone to present the student organization awards. Outstanding Service Project went the 2011-2012 Percopo Hall Third Floor for their Rock Out for Ryland event last year that raised funds for juvenile diabetes research. Tri Delta received the next award in the Outstanding Program/Event category for their Tri Hop event. WMHD represented the following award which went to Kevin Lanke for Outstanding Organization Advisor. The Community Service by an Organization Member went to Cory Pardieck for his role in leading the Residence Hall Association’s Service Committee. Outstanding Organization Member went to Darren Jarboe for his participation in Volleyball Club. And, the final award was for Outstanding Organization President which went to two recipients: Alyse Mueller of Delta Delta Delta and Emily Eckstein of the Residence Hall Association.
The next stage of the ceremony involved Kristen Loyd recognizing all the Gold Star organizations on campus. Gold Star organizations must complete organization registration, follow all the student organization rules and procedures, and complete a service project to receive this honor. This year 24 organizations achieved this status, but there is still time for more organizations to gain Gold Star status.
In addition, Ms. Loyd recognized the six new clubs recently registered at Rose. These include Cricket Club, French Club, Improv Club, NETwork Against Malaria, RISE, and Wargaming Club. Ms. Loyd went on to wish these new clubs the best of luck and urged veteran clubs to register with the Student Activities office again in the spring.
Dean of Students Pete Gustafson ended the ceremony with a few final thoughts and words of appreciation for the awards recipients. And, Ms. Loyd said after that these clubs were tremendous for helping students to learn skills in leadership. She stressed the incredible nature of the time, effort, and commitment club members put into their clubs.

Timothy Tan • guest writer

An idea is coming to a theater near you. As a recent e-mail announcement attests, Rose-Hulman is slated to host an independent TEDx event May 10. TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, seeks to bring the best and brightest in each of these three fields together twice a year in the form of a conference centered around a lecture series. The net result is the thousands of TEDtalks freely available online: 18 minute snippets of video which have been watched, shared, and loved by millions around the world. In the age of the meme, 18 minutes is nothing short of an eternity, yet TEDtalks have been able to find a large and growing audience captivated by the messages they present and the visions they propose. The subject matters range wildly, from the power of introverts (author Susan Cain) to the virtues of spaghetti sauce (journalist Malcom Gladwell) to autism (slaughterhouse designer Temple Grandin).
Like the videos they are known for, TEDx has been marketed virally so far at Rose-Hulman and now has its own Facebook page. The impetus for bringing TEDx to Rose-Hulman came wholly from five students: juniors Claire Stark, Donnita Robinson, Nate Moore, Ranjana Chandramouli, and Marcel Snijder. “For me, I’ve been watching TED talks on their website and on YouTube for a couple of years now,” Chandramouli, one of the student organizers, said. “It’s my favorite way to procrastinate. It was always kind of an idea that stuck in the back of my mind until I went home for break and realized that a lot of different universities, as well as cities and organizations, hold their own TEDx events. I didn’t realize that these types of conferences were so widespread – I had only heard of the official TED conferences up until then. After winter break, [all five of us] kind of came together to kick start the process.”
The group proposed hosting the event and received wholehearted support from the President’s Office. Dean Kline, who has been working with the group, has found the process extremely rewarding. The Sapling Foundation, owners of the TED trademark, still maintain considerable oversight over independent TEDx events.
“Despite being an independent TED event,” Kline said, “there are very firm rules for promotion and hosting. We had to apply for a license to host an event and it was only recently granted.”
The selected theme, “Step 2 Inspire,” is meant to reference the second goal of the new Strategic Plan for the Institute, which is to “give students a vision of the breadth of their possible futures...”
“A lot of Rose students work really hard for their time here,” Chandramouli said. “They are all passionate and motivated people who are extremely talented in so many different ways. It often seems, however, that once they reach the point to get a job or go to graduate school, they lose a lot of their inspiration and just pick the first offer they get. We wanted to ... remind students that they are some of the leaders in engineering, math and science, and, with that type of knowledge, they can make a huge impact in the world by innovating and creating new things, and that they are not just limited to going into an engineering or science discipline. With our engineering backgrounds, we can apply the skills we learn at Rose to truly change the world in many different ways.”
Kline hopes the event inspires conversation and a vision that engineers, mathematicians, and scientists that graduate from Rose-Hulman have the skills necessary to make a significant impact on the world not only in technical fields but in all other fields as well.
“For me personally, it is tremendously exciting and inspiring just to have the opportunity to work with Rose-Hulman students,” Kline said. “For them especially, it will be a ton of work but a lot will be learned in the process. I know that the event itself will be additional inspiration on top of that.”

Nuns are a section of the Christian faith that choose a life of abstinence and privacy in service to the Lord. They eat meals provided by charity, have mass two to three times a day, and dedicate themselves to the humble lifestyles that their savior Jesus Christ was fond of following. Nuns are separated from monks or other religious groups committed to isolation in that they are all female and admit women from as young as thirteen to as old as late eighties.

Apparently, they have also developed their own form of martial art called Nun-fu that give them increased durability and strength. They use these powers to fight witches and warlocks that still roam the earth, protecting us from great evils from cities like Atlantis to ancient castles such as Thronum Mare.

At least, that's the premise of "Sister Claire."

If the description above isn't enough of a clue, "Sister Claire" is an online comic about a nun living in an isolated abbey. It's a comedy piece that ties in the ever-popular prophecy about the end of the world, started this time by the second coming of Christ. You have only one guess as to who the Maiden Mother is.

"Sister Claire" is unique from other online comics today in that the characters, while widely diverse and easily distinguishable, don't have ridiculous clothing, hairstyles, or attitudes that make it absolutely clear that it's a fictional story. That's the purpose of the water angel. No, the characters in "Sister Claire" are all properly-dressed nuns that have their own motivation, methods, and ideals for hunting witches, ranging from truly "nun-like" teachings, such as optimism and peace, to the nearly-required violent and no-parley method of near genocide. Except for one character though, all of them seem entirely believable given the small snippets of their past.

The art is not completely unique, compared to many other comics and cartoons, but the consistency of great quality from page to page is something that's easy to appreciate. Some of the comedy stems from the utterly ridiculous facial expressions the characters give, make reading the comic all the more enjoyable. References to other popular media are also present, from animes you haven't heard of to memes with which even professors are familiar. 

"Sister Claire" is a unique, and rather unknown, online comic that deserves a bit more attention that it currently has. Playing a perfect set of realism, comedy, and fantasy, it's easy to enjoy the world that is built.

Rating: 4/5 Elephants

Visceral Games' "Dead Space" series has held a place of its own among games since the first installment's release back in October 2008. It hit the scene with an exciting mix of horror and shooter surprisingly different from other games of its "genre." Capcom's "Resident Evil" series is the only remotely similar endeavor, as most horror/shooters either emphasize one aspect or the other much more. The first "Dead Space" brought jump scares, macabre locations, and gruesome death almost literally into a new era, as the game and its sequels take place in the 24th century. The combination of futuristic weapons, relatively original enemies, and gameplay that kept players on the edges of their seats for hours at a time gained Visceral some very well-deserved respect.

Creating an original horror game is a difficult task. By this point, we as a culture have drummed up just about every possible frightening prospect imaginable. We've reached a point at which no ideas are completely new. "Dead Space" wasn't built on a wholly new concept; the enemies, called necromorphs, are grotesque undead creatures converted shortly after death into a gruesome form. The series was more original in other ways: the weapons and combat system were something completely different and very welcome. The horror entailed a combination of jump scares, grotesque imagery, and fear for your life, as enemies regularly pushed players to the limit of their skills. "Dead Space" was lauded by critics and players alike, and Visceral got to work on a sequel. "Dead Space 2" sought to further explain the myhtos behind the first game as well as enhance the weapon system for players. It garnered mixed reviews but an overall positive reaction from players. As with most series, fans would inherently be mildly disappointed as the originality of the first simply can't carry over without removing the continuity.

Released just over a month ago, "Dead Space 3" is yet another attempt by Visceral to maintain some originality in each game while holding true to the overall mythos upon which the games are built. From the opening, this installment feels more epic, more meaningful, more driven than its predecessors. For the first time it seems as though Isaac has a purpose instead of simply being caught in the midst of catastrophe, and that's a great feeling for a game. The climate of the game is not the same as the two prior. As you might expect gamers to become immune to the fear they once felt, Visceral seemed to tap into the change they saw coming. Fans who were squealing at the surprises in the first game found themselves to be largely stoic during the second, as personal constitutions strengthened with experience. The games progressed in parallel, transitioning more towards combat than fright, while still maintaining a very macabre feel. Some might be disappointed but it seems to be the natural progression of the players, and the developers certainly worked to suit their needs.

The combat system in "Dead Space 3" is much the same as the rest of the series, but the weapon customization system saw a huge reboot. Where once players could carry four separate weapons into a fight, now they have the option of two weapons, each with the potential to hold two completely different firing mechanisms. If there was ever a player who wanted to combine the line gun and a rocket launcher, that dream has been realized. The weapons can be combined in countless ways to suit one's personal taste and combat style, and each one can be tailored to a different scenario. Not to mention how much simpler it is to pull the bumper instead of switching weapons when the fight starts to shift. As well, the story is expansive and almost episodic, taking place in multiple distinct areas and offering fans a breath of fresh air from the usual dark, dank, bloody halls, while still maintaining a valid fear factor. As mentioned before, the game has become much more fighting than scaring, although the developers made sure to throw in a few good scares to remind fans of the days before and the action will nearly always keep the heart pounding.

This game also sees the addition of a co-op system, which was implemented beautifully. Loot drops are given to both players individually so that nobody can hog more than their share. If one player does find himself at a deficit, sharing health and ammo is as easy as pushing a button. Players can share items and weapon designs and can carry upgrades and weapons from their individual sessions into the cooperative campaign. The co-op campaign really is just that: standard story mode built to accommodate two, but it's done in such a way that it doesn't hamper the experience. Perhaps the only issue with the game mode is having to shoot around a fellow layer in some of the tighter areas, but good strategy will easily remedy the situation. I'm going to have to admit that Visceral surprised me with this one, and I will definitely recommend it to all who care for the genre.

Dan Egan • guest writer

Looking up at the menu of Taco Bell can be an exciting experience. Meat pops out of fully loaded burritos, a tantalizing look at what lies in your culinary future. But when the attendant hands you over the same burrito that you were just drooling over, all you have in hand is a barely filled burrito filled with precooked meat and dull, wilted lettuce. The same thing can happen at McDonalds, fries seem to be popping out of their carton, burgers buns are perfectly domed with a burger that looks fresh off the grill, but in reality you get a squished sandwich at the bottom of your bag and mushy fries.
The reality comes down to the fact that what we are seeing on their menus can barely be called food. In the world of food photography an entire team composed of food stylists, professional photographers and art directors can be found behind every shot of too-good-to-be-true food. When that perfect photo is taken the meat is often undercooked or sprayed with an oil to help give it that juicy appearance. Blowtorches are used to brown edges while toothpicks are used hold everything into a physics defying stack. Ice cubes are often made from acrylic, that way they stay in place and never melt. Food stylists even go so far as to glue sesame seeds to buns in order to achieve the correct distribution. All of this is done in the hunt to entice the consumer into making an impulse decision to follow their stomach and eyes from just a glance up at the menu. The reality of the situation is that you could never eat the burger or burrito pictured above your waiter. And the food that you receive from your server was prepared using none of the processes that were used on the photographed item of food. So next time you look up at one of these menus, pause and think, “Is that really the burger I am going to get, or just a way to fool me into spending more of my money?”

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