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An independent, student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903

COLLEGIATETIMES 106th year, issue 105

News, page 2

Features, page 4

Opinions, page 5

Sports, page 9

Classifieds, page 10

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‘Just once more’


Purple balloons symbolizing hope and survival are released during a musical montage Thursday night at Northside High School, as friends and family of missing Tech student Morgan Harrington came together.

Vigil unites supporters of missing student GORDON BLOCK & LIANA BANE news staff he slogan that represents love in the family of missing Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington brought a larger family together Thursday, as her community came together in hopes of a safe return. “I love you too much, forever, once more.” The “2-4-1” slogan, a central theme for the evening, was represented by a scattered pattern of dots, with horizontal columns of two, four and one dots, representing an oftused family message. It was drawn in chalk in the parking lot, painted on the rear windows of parked cars, and colored on purple t-shirts worn by Harrington’s friends and family. Harrington’s mother said that the dots had been on her daughter’s lunchbox in kindergarten and her backpack in middle school. It is a slogan that originated in Gil Harrington’s family. The message permeated the scene as Harrington’s closest friends and family welcomed the support of a community in a vigil at Northside High School in Roanoke. During the ceremony, Harrington’s family welcomed the “outpouring of support” that has come from not just their close friends, but from all those who have heard about their daughter’s story. “We will survive this obscene place in time,” said mother Gil Harrington as she addressed the crowd, “by taking the shining gossamer threads of love from you and plaiting them together into a rope of support.” Family pastor Diane Scribner Clevenger opened the ceremony in prayer for Harrington’s safe return. “This may not be a time we can wrap our minds around,” she said, “but this is a time we can wrap our hearts around.” While all in attendance had unique stories to tell, one theme was clear: Harrington’s closest circle of friends firmly believes she is alive and will be safely returned. Dan Harrington, Morgan’s father, said that his daughter was “not a person who was trying to run away from her family, friends, and life at Virginia Tech.” “I think Morgan was taken,” he said, “and if someone out there has her, please, let her go.” During his speech at the vigil, father Dan Harrington said his co-workers at Roanoke’s Carilion Clinic donated over $100,000 for a reward in his missing daughter’s case. Virginia State Police said they could not yet confirm any details about the reward Thursday because of legal proceedings. After Harrington’s parents pleaded for their daughter’s safe return, her friends shared anecdotes of their positive memories, dating from recent years back to kindergarten. It seemed difficult for the girls to speak, but the addresses ended encouragingly as the speakers huddled together for a group hug. Chelsea Helm, whose speech opened the vigil, has known Harrington since the two went to Northside Middle School together. Helm and Harrington’s group of friends had unofficially gone by the nickname “The Nine.” She said the vigil was a source of comfort for Harrington’s closest friends and family. “It’s really important to have someone to lean on in troubling times, and all of us going through the same thing, it’s wonderful to get together and know that everyone understands exactly what everyone else is going through,” Helm said. Helm, a junior building construction major at Tech, said she and Harrington had seen more of each other during the past semester.

VT Police investigate YouTube comments SARA MITCHELL editor-in-chief Police are continuing to investigate threatening remarks referencing Virginia Tech as the YouTube channel in question has been removed from the site. “Law enforcement were investigating a theory somewhere to the east of us,” said university spokesman Larry Hincker. “All we can say at this point is they are following all possible

leads.” A YouTube account called NextKillerVirgTech showed in its commenting history a series of comments on various videos pertaining to Tech, including footage of April 16, 2007 shooter Seung-Hui Cho. The university sent a campus-wide notification Wednesday night that stated, “we have received no direct threats at the university.” Hincker said that someone outside the university had first alerted Tech

police about the YouTube channel, whose comments included “the massacre is coming.” The account was created on Wednesday, Oct. 21. Others also brought it to the attention of the university in the time the account had been created. One similar threat has occurred since April 16, 2007. A Las Vegas man pleaded guilty this past April to sending an e-mail threat to two Tech alumni on the eve of the one-year anniversary of the shootings.

Local bike policies differ PRIYA SAXENA news staff writer


Dan and Gil Harrington embrace with the family dog, Kirby, at Thursday’s vigil for their daughter. “We’d been riding the bus from our (apartment) complex, and seeing a lot more of each other than we had the past couple of years,” Helm said. Helm recalled Morgan talking about the Metallica concert the week before. “She had been excited about it for a while,” Helm said, adding that Harrington was excited to see friends that she had not seen in a while. Helm said that following Harrington’s disappearance, she felt the need to rally support for Morgan and the Harrington family. “A lot of people were calling me if they could do anything or what was going on,” Helm said. “I thought it would be a good idea to have a gathering of support for Morgan and her family.” Helm and Sarah Snead, another friend of Harrington, began discussing the idea of a vigil Monday, and later approved it with Dan and Gil Harrington. Northside High School in Roanoke welcomed the Harringtons’ friends and family to use its football stadium as the venue for Thursday’s vigil after several of Harrington’s friends approached the school on Tuesday about hosting the event. Each attendee was given a purple balloon, with purple representing the international color of hope and survival. “We didn’t want to do candles,” Helm said. “They weren’t as uplifting and celebratory as we wanted to be. This is more of an uplifting event.” As the music of Bob Marley and the Beatles lifted the purple balloons into the brisk fall evening, the crowd reflected in silence. Dan and Gil Harrington, along with see VIGIL / page two

Blacksburg Police say many residents have misinterpreted new Virginia Tech bicycle and skateboard policies, causing many to break town laws in the confusion. According to Sgt. Nathan O’Dell of the Blacksburg Police Department, students have recently been following Tech’s new campus policies, which allow cycling and skateboarding on sidewalks, throughout the downtown area. Meanwhile, Blacksburg’s policy remains unchanged. “We’ve had this town ordinance ever since I’ve been here, since 1993, for about 16 years now,” said O’Dell. “We want to let everybody know that now, even though Tech has made a change, there’s still a difference.” The town still has the ordinance in effect, in which students are not allowed to operate a bicycle, skateboard or in-line skates on the sidewalks. Skateboards and in-line skates are also banned on public roads. On the other hand, bicycles are allowed on public roads, but must act as if they were vehicles, and the riders must obey all traffic laws as if they were driving a car. One of the town’s ordinances is for bicycle use on sidewalks in a specified downtown area. Outside of that area, it is acceptable, O’Dell said. As far as public roads in the state of Virginia, the use of in-line skates and skateboards are prohibited according to the state code. “Not by enforcement, but by education, officers are stopping and letting people know about the ordinance and

that they can’t be riding those in those of skateboards and in-line skates near Blacksburg High School. areas,” O’Dell said. O’Dell said that as far as the two difThe police department has received some complaints from the downtown ferences in policies, the main purpose is merchants about the use of skateboards, for safety reasons — for the safety of the in-line skates and bicycles in the down- skateboarders, in-line skaters, bicyclists, as well as the motorists and pedestrians town area. O’Dell said that people are most likely that are in the “congested downtown to receive a warning or an explanation area.” “We just don’t have the sidewalk space of the ordinance. “We have new students and new to safely accommodate all users,” O’Dell people to our community every four said. “That’s where the ordinance is years, so it’s an educational process,” generated from. It’s more from a safety O’Dell said. “If people are doing some- standpoint than just saying, ‘No we don’t thing that’s obviously in clear violation want skateboarders or bicyclists in our and poses a safety hazard either to the downtown area. That’s not what we’re saying. This motorist or to a person, that stands a is for safety good chance that that person could reasons.” receive a citation.” The police department tends to handle problems with these uses more by issuing warnings, O’Dell added. “That far outnumbers the ordinance citations we issue,” O’Dell said. “It’s the officer’s discretion. It’s what the officer observes and what he feels is going to work best for that situation: if they’re going to use it as an educational tool or if they’re going to use it as a reprimand Although bicycles, in-line tool.” skates, and skateboards are People using allowed on campus skateboards and sidewalks in a recent policy in-line skates are shift, all three are illegal on allowed on sidesidewalks outside campus. walks outside of the specified Bicyclists may, however, downtown area, travel on public roads given but not on the they follow ordinary motorist roadway. There regulations. is a town skate park for the recreational use

october 23, 2009

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Vigil: Hope remains despite concerns from page one

family’s silky terrier Kirby, embraced at the sight of the balloons floating out of the stadium. “There’s been unbelievable support,” Dan Harrington said after the vigil. “It’s been phenomenal.” Scribner Clevenger was happy with the optimistic words of Morgan’s friends. “What I love is the attitude of ‘The Nine’,” Clevenger said. “Holding her up, speaking in a present tone — they’re holding a space for her.” Another optimistic community member who helped draw the “2-4-1” pattern in the parking lot was Diane Kelley. Kelley, executive director at Mental Health America of Roanoke Valley, worked with Morgan at the organization’s Forgotten Victims program, which focused on helping children who had witnessed domestic violence. Kelley said Morgan had worked with the pro-


on the web


Check out the CT’s Web site at to see footage from the vigil.

gram from the age of 13. Kelley brought with her a small gift from the children of the program: a pot holding a bouquet of handmade paper flowers, including a single butterfly. “She really liked those,” Kelley said. Also on the pot was a short message, “We love you Morgan”. The pot was “ a good way for them to be able to talk about it,” Kelley said. Kelley added she remained optimistic for Harrington’s return. “We just wait and we hope.” Harrington has been missing since Saturday, Oct. 17, when she went to a Metallica concert at the John Paul Jones Arena. Speaking at a press conference for

Wednesday, Virginia State Police Lt. Joe Rader said Morgan left her friends to use the bathroom, and somehow ended up outside the arena, which does not allow re-entry according to its policy. Rader added that Harrington told her friends she would either meet them or find a way home on her own, which Rader said explained why her friends were not concerned after they did not meet up after the concert. The 20-year-old Harrington, who has long blond hair and blue eyes, was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with tan letters that read “Pantera” across the front, a black mini skirt with black tights and knee-high black boots. Police have set up a new 24-hour tip line for the case. Those with information about the whereabouts of Morgan Harrington can call 434-352-3467. No university organizations have announced plans to recognize Harrington.


Corrections In the special section, “Best of Blacksburg,” (CT, Oct. 20) the article, “‘Homebody’ goes for green, funky fashions and accessories” named items sold at Homebody’s as free-trade, rather than fair-trade. In “Season suspended for rugby squad” (CT, Oct. 20), WSLS was incorrectly printed as WLSL. The Collegiate Times regrets these errors.

october 23, 2009

page 3


he Collegiate Times interviewed all nine of the campaigning candidates for the four Blacksburg Town Council spots. Paul Lancaster stopped

I’d say the most important issue facing Blacksburg today is how we will develop and redevelop our property. I think we need to be very careful to grow in very smart ways, to

grow in green ways, to encourage businesses that are sustainable to protect our neighborhoods, to not just keep the quality of life we have but to improve the quality of life for our citizens.

I think we need to come up with some sensible growth for our town. We need to bring in more commercial growth to pay for all the luxuries we want, like parks and


This is the third installment of this series, which runs every Wednesday and Friday leading up the Nov. 3 elections. Candidates were asked to explain the central point of their candidacy.

all that sort of thing. I’d like to try to avoid taxes on homes and try to bring some growth that people will want and will help broaden the tax base.


Three basic points: One, we have a really great council right now. Three of those individuals are retiring. They’re good people. They’ve done good work. It will leave a big hole in the council JOHN having those three leaving. So number one is to make BUSH sure good people get put on that council to replace the people that

are retiring. Secondly, we’re going to grow. We’re going to continue to develop. The growth that happens should benefit most everyone. There are two areas of building that we need to provide more of. We need to provide more affordable housing, sometimes called workforce housing, for young families like

I would say the most central point, and one of the most critical issues Blacksburg faces, is pursuing community-oriented development. My campaign has two pillars: community and sustainability. With the community-oriented developBRYCE ment, you’re talking about smart CARTER growth development, mixed-use

development, which not only fosters the community, but also includes sustainability initiatives such as alternative transportation and renewable efficiency. I think it’s the way we have to go, sustainability is, and I think it’s all covered up by the whole community-centered development.

The central point of my campaign is that Blacksburg is going through a test, and by that I mean a test of what she’s made of, where she is now, and what she’ll be in the future. I think that whoever we elect in KRISHA this campaign will basically dictate CHACHRA how Blacksburg will answer questions to that test, which direction she’ll grow. Because we all know Blacksburg will grow — the ques-

tion is how. And so I am very passionate about going through a very calm, calculated, communicated review of how Blacksburg will grow, instead of just advocating that it grow willy-nilly without any consideration. And so I’m here to offer balance and a good approach that involves economic development and also retains the character of the town. And again, I’m very passionate


campaigning for a position in September to dedicate his time to his health, but his name will still appear on the ballot. To see his answers to previous questions, check out

Central point of the campaign is one community, one Blacksburg. We have a whole diverse set of people here in Blacksburg that I don’t think their voices are heard. And I think the town council has been led by a vocal minority,

and what I’m trying to do is bring balance and bring growth to Blacksburg. We need to listen to all opinions and move forward — students, environment, small business owners.

mine was when I first moved here. I bought a house in 1988 for $55,000 in the main part of downtown. Some of those opportunities aren’t here anymore. The third thing I’m trying to emphasize is continued and increased cooperation between the town and the county and other towns like Christiansburg and Radford.

The central point of my campaign is that we have to start having another look at the complexion of the town position of council. I don’t think the voice of the workforce that makes up part of FRANK the town, and also the students, is

really being heard. We seem to be getting lost in these high atmospheric arguments as to how things should look in sort of like a utopia. There’s not enough emphasis or even thinking of what makes a town work for all people in the

town. I’m not just playing off to you here because you are a representative of the Collegiate Times, but I feel that the 27,000 plus students over at Virginia Tech are not being represented in the quality of life of Blacksburg.

I think Blacksburg is in a time of needing leadership. We obviously have four open seats on the council with only one incumbent running, and I feel like our council has done a great job over the years of managing growth in CECILE Blacksburg and guiding our

community. Over the past 25-30 years there have been many towns in our country that have experienced over-exuberant growth, which I think has diminished the character of the towns and has also caused their taxes to be raised. Blacks-

burg has had a good history of leadership that has allowed the town to basically stay the same and retain our character even though we’ve grown. I would like to continue that kind of leadership.

Basically what I’m looking for is what I call balance. Basically, since I’m (a member of the Blacksburg Volunteer) Rescue, and I’ve also taken courses down at the FEMA, I’ve actually TOM got my certificates with FEMA, also. One of the greatest slides ROGERS that I saw was a FEMA slide in

that course. For a town to be sustainable, it needed to be balanced, and it showed three circles, and in those circles were the economy, the environment and society, which is our townspeople. To me in the town they have done a wonderful job with the environment, but we pretty much

have no real economy in this town with respect to retail. And those people that I’ve talked to in this town would want retail locally. They do not like going to Christiansburg, nor Radford or Roanoke.

The biggest thing I’ve been focusing on is how we improve our downtown area. If you go downtown, you see lots of empty storefronts, and I think there are different ways we can improve our downtown to improve the tax MICHAEL base and the sense of community SUTPHIN in Blacksburg.

One way, which is currently in the works, is through a business incentives program that would create incentives for businesses that start up in our downtown area. They would get their business and other license fees back after one year, all of them back. After another year they would

get 50 percent and after another year they would get 25 percent so they can get themselves started off easier and improve our downtown area. The other three areas I’m focusing on are smart growth, sustainable and alternative transportation, and citizen engagement.


NEWCOMB about young professionals like I said — the attraction and retention of creative professionals — and I think we do that by addressing jobs, affordable housing and things to do. And those three main things are what I’m sort of campaigning on. And I believe in the four C’s of community development — that’s what I call them: cooperation, creativity, caring and common sense.

4 features

editors: topher forhecz, teresa tobat 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES

Fix up your on-campus dwelling and find good chi with how-to guide C

ollege is a time when students slowly realize the responsibilities of living on their own — starting from the moment students move into their resident halls to the moment they find that their rooms are nothing but empty boxes that need to be filled. As schoolwork begins to pile up, so does the amount of clutter in every dorm room, whether it is a leaning tower of pizza boxes or scattered papers lying across a desk. Katherine Olaksen’s book “Dorm Room Feng Shui: Find Your Gua > Free Your Chi” is a handy guide for the average college student who wants to change her living habits to improve the chi, or energy, in her life. Olaksen understands what it’s like to live in a constrained collegiate living space, but she was able to transform her dorm room through the art of feng shui and, in the process, improved her life. She collaborated with her aunt, writer Elizabeth MacCrellish, and feng shui expert Margaret Donahue to write this book, which breaks down the art of feng shui into understandable

pieces. “This book is: a. easier to read than Cliff Notes and b. going to make your life all dreamy like a Sunday morning eating Krispy Kreme donuts in bed while getting a foot massage,” Olaksen writes. There are three basic parts of feng shui: chi, the elements and yin and yang. Chi is energy, both inside and out, that can improve one’s life. The elements are wood, fire, earth, metal and water, which all need to be in balance or in the room. Everything is comprised of yin (darkness, sadness) and yang (light, joy), and the goal of feng shui is to achieve balance between the two. Olaksen also writes about Bagua. It may sound like the word for bagel in a foreign language and make some start to feel hungry, but it actually is an important aspect of feng shui. It is a way to separate any space into eight different areas that are held together by a ninth area — the center. Each gua comes with its own element, color, shape and body part(s) that play a role in achieving balance in that area. Olaksen provides a simple

Dorm Room Feng Shui Synopsis Peruse this book to find ways to improve your dorm room’s feng shui. Authors Margaret M. Donahue, Elizabeth MacCrellish and Katherine Olaksen provide readers with room diagrams and advice on appliance placement so they can achieve balance in their lives.

“Three-Minute Questionnaire” to identify which of the eight areas of your life require the most attention. Each chapter is about a specific area (one through nine), and after totaling their score readers can skip to their weakest link to find what they can do to their room and start their journey to balance. The author also discusses “gua,” which focuses on relationships. “The primary relationship associated

with this gua is your mom,” Olaksen says, which is why it’s a good idea to put a happy picture of you and your mom here. Try also to place more earthy things in this area of the room such as pottery, natural crystals or candles. The dominant color in this area is pink, which will lighten the energy. Throughout the book, Olaksen sprinkles in pictures, diagrams and charts that are reader-friendly and

make it easy for visual learners to comprehend. After flipping through the pages of “Dorm Room Feng Shui,” it may seem like the pictures are meant for elementary school students, but it really does provide a good break from textbooks, and the light tone of the book also makes it an enjoyable read. The author also emphasizes that you don’t need to dip too far into your savings to improve your chi. No worries because Olaksen offers several charts of “Gua Fixes,” which are all under 99 cents and will have just as much of an effect as any of the other solutions provided. Draw a picture of a beautiful sunset, which represents relaxation and rest — just what one needs after a long day of studying. There are plenty of before and after scenarios featured in the book that detail the results of the authors’ makeovers of college students’ rooms. She provides an array of examples of different types of room set-ups that will probably be familiar to many readers. Beds, door, windows and electro-

magnetic fields also have a huge effect on how well chi will move throughout a room, and Olaksen gives advice on how to change problematic aspects. Don’t have the microwave or the refrigerator pointing directly at you, and place them as far away as possible from the beds or sleeping area. Electromagnetic fields can affect health so Olaksen recommends lowering the electronic frequencies by placing green plants in your room. The author recommends that her readers follow the principle of karma when re-designing their rooms. “Never, never use feng shui for negative reasons or to do harm to anyone or anything. What you put out into the world comes back to you.”

Looking for good conversation? watch

the Kevin Anderson Show Fridays at

JOYCE KIM -sophomore -communication major -had dead flowers in her room for two months

opınıons 5

editor: debra houchins 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES

october 23, 2009

The Collegiate Times is an independent student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903

Your Views [letters to the editor]

Virginia drug policies illogical


n Monday, the Department of Justice issued a memo directing U.S. attorneys to avoid prosecuting “individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” For the 13 states with medical marijuana laws, this is a great step by the federal government to respect states’ rights, but for those without such laws, this should open the discussion. In Virginia, we incarcerate people at a rate 9 percent higher than the already bloated national average. As a result, our taxpayers paid 12 percent more to keep these people incarcerated. We also have far fewer parolees and probationers compared to the rest of the nation. Instead of keeping all these people locked up, we should seek to save taxpayer money by not imprisoning nonviolent, otherwise law-abiding drug offenders. Furthermore, we should be talking about generating revenue for the state not by enforcing the senseless policies of prohibition, which three out of four Americans believe have failed, but by enacting sensible policies of regulation and taxation.

Perry Graham Senior Environmental policy & planing Treasurer, Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Student groups can be too pushy


hoever wrote the rules for advertising on campus concluded that all Virginia Tech students have unlimited time, patience and money. Of course, everybody knows “that guy/girl” who possesses these three things, but they’re few and far between. Unfortunately, few booths at Squires, groups on the Drillfield, or tables in Owens seem to realize this. I find myself in Squires most days during the week, and I have to walk by the “headphone zone” of organizations trying to sell me something. I call this the “headphone zone” because unless you have on an obscenely obvious

pair of headphones or are yelling into a telephone reminiscent of Trigger Happy TV, you’re going to be harassed. Everybody can recall a time when they had to go one route, but wasted precious time going another way to avoid a student group. To be honest, I have nothing against any organizations on campus and I’m glad we have such a diverse amount of student groups. I simply do not care about voting for your Homecoming candidate, nor do I have the spare cash or hunger for a Kroger-brand cookie in a box with the label ripped off. I know you’re passionate about freeing Tibet or helping out Honduras ... but I’m not. I don’t mean to be a cynic or an antiHokie, I’m just a realist, and so I’ll be realistic. Here’s how to reach students, now that I’ve ranted about what doesn’t work. First of all, don’t approach people walking by; let your banner speak for yourself. If I’m interested in your banner, believe me, I’ll approach you. If you yell out to people, they will avoid you. Case in point, I almost went into a construction zone last week to avoid being cornered about a cause, and I was not the only person who went that route. Secondly, don’t make it obviously clear that you don’t want to be there. If you scowl at everyone walking by while you text your friends, why would I want to help your organization out? Nobody wants to help out a group where the members don’t even want to be members. Third, no means no. If someone isn’t interested, they’re not trying to trick you, they’re trying to get to class or catch the bus or any number of things. On the way to class one day, a particularly persistent guy followed me for more than 5 minutes to try to convince me to become Christian and/or go to his organization’s barbecue. Even if I liked what they were serving, do you think I would even think about going after that? Simply put, there are a lot of students at Virginia Tech, so you don’t need to force your organization on every one of them.

Jacob Eberhard Senior Industrial design major Acting president, Teva

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Hollywood’s pleas for help ring hollow, self-serving H

ollywood stars, producers and directors often pride themselves on their moral compass and their compassion for the victims of outrage. They insist upon speaking of it, even if nobody asks, on those TV talk shows while plugging their latest movie. Sometimes, to prove it, they’ll run out and adopt a child from an impoverished Third World nation. The child always has big eyes, innocent, hurting, in need. And now, in another fit of compassion, Hollywood royals are signing petitions, issuing statements, in the hope of saving one of their own: Roman Polanski. Polanski, the noted film director, is having trouble finishing his new thriller, “The Ghost,” because he’s being held in a jail cell in Zurich. “It’s a nightmare looming that the director might be in jail at the time,” Polanski’s film collaborator, Richard Harris, was quoted as saying Wednesday. “But we will just have to cope with this. ... I’m sure he would want the film to go ahead, having worked on it for two years.” A movie in limbo is terrible. Almost as bad as justice in limbo. As many of you know, Polanski is otherwise indisposed because he’s being held as a fugitive convicted of having sex with a minor, and is awaiting extradition to the United States. In 1977, when he was 44, Polanski took 13-year-old model Samantha Gailey into the home of actor Jack Nicholson, gave her a quaalude and some champagne, and then forced himself on her as she repeatedly begged to go home, according to her grand jury testimony. Polanski pleaded guilty to sex with the child, then fled to Europe when he became afraid of doing time in prison. Polanski’s great champion, Miramax studio boss Harvey Weinstein — dismissing the outrage against a child as “the so-called crime” — is pushing a

petition for Polanski’s release on moral grounds. “Hollywood has the best moral compass, because it has compassion,” Weinstein said recently. “We were the people who did the fundraising telethon for the victims of 9/11. We were there for the victims of Katrina and any world catastrophe.” Anjelica Huston, Nicholson’s former girlfriend, was in the home when the crime occurred. According to a probation report in Polanski’s case, Huston knocked on a bedroom door and Polanski opened it, naked, and told her everything was all right. Then he closed the door and continued with the girl. Huston said Samantha looked older than 13. Another woman in the home said Samantha seemed like one of those young women who wanted to get into the movies. “She seemed sullen, which I thought was a little rude,” Huston told investigators. Years later, Huston would direct an acclaimed movie titled “Bastard Out of Carolina,” about a girl, sometimes sullen, who was repeatedly raped by her stepfather. In Carolina, not in Hollywood. Hollywood is the place where director Woody Allen is honored as a great talent. He once made me laugh. But then he ran off with Soon-Yi, the adopted daughter of his longtime girlfriend, Mia Farrow. When Allen first met Soon-Yi, she was a child, young enough for bedtime stories. And I couldn’t help but wonder whether Woody ever read “Winnie the Pooh” to the girl, about Piglet and the Heffalump. That killed my Woody Allen laugh buzz. When she was little, she probably had big eyes, too. Like the eyes of the other children adopted by the stars. Like all our eyes, when we were children. Like the eyes I remember staring at me in a movie theater years ago. The little girl was about 4 years old, her head facing away from the screen, on

the seat in front of me and my wife. Up on the screen, there was violence, physical violence, psychological violence, and then sex and more violence. It was an action movie, but action movies should really be called Kill Movies, because human beings are killed in them, but not before they have sex. I forget the movie, but I can’t forget that girl, staring. Maybe her parents couldn’t get a sitter. Most likely they were morons. The little girl winced as an actor up on the screen began to scream. Americans have a gut feeling about Hollywood. We desperately love the movies, though we don’t fully understand the bargain we’ve made: We’re thoroughly entertained, yet constantly assaulted, and the payment for the escapism is that we grow increasingly numb. The industry has a well-documented history of exploiting young girls, their bodies in real life, their images up on the screen, to be sold as sexual objects, the age of the females ever younger and younger, just as the Kill Movies grow more graphic and gory with each passing year. It’s called being “edgy.” “(The Polanski arrest) is based on a three-decades-old case that is dead but for minor technicalities,” said actress Debra Winger. “We stand by him and await his release and his next masterpiece.” But isn’t his masterpiece already here? It’s the story of the defense of the director who had sex with a child, as told by compassionate Hollywood royals. It says everything we need to know about what they think of themselves — and of us.

JOHN KASS -mcclatchy newspapers

Steger distracts the masses with bread, circuses P

oliticians’ “bread and circuses” patronage was criticized as a technique of control by the Roman poet Juvenal. On Oct. 12, Virginia Tech President Charles Steger continued to put this adage into practice. The invitation read: “The Student Government Association is teaming up with President Steger for an amazing opportunity to interact with the President himself. If you are one of the 475 lucky students selected, you will be watching “No Impact Man” and eating free popcorn, courtesy of the President. At the movie’s conclusion, there will be a 15-30 minute Q & A session related to anything Virginia Tech! President Steger really wants to get to know students on a personal level, because he genuinely cares about you and your experience at Virginia Tech!” After the mediocre documentary had dulled our minds, he answered tepid questions from a few pre-selected students. The first asked, “Do you have office hours to meet with students?” Steger replied, “I am very busy and my handlers usually don’t give me that much time. I am gone about half the time. Each month I have two luncheons, one with undergraduate and one with graduate students.” (I could not write down the exact wording but am paraphrasing accurately.) The student rephrased the question. “Will you consider having office hours?” “I will consider it,” he responded. Another student asked about sustainability on campus. He replied that there are three initiatives: switching to carbon fluorescent light bulbs, installing energy monitors throughout in

campus grid and lawn restoration, where mowed areas are replaced with meadows. The earlier significant greenhouse gas cuts, proposed and supported by an active student and faculty environmental movement, are off the table. After he generously donated seven minutes of his time to us, no questions were allowed from the floor. It is rather difficult to “get to know students on a personal level” during “a 15-30 minute Q & A session” that lasts less than 10. So, I approached him afterwards. “The budget is going to be cut by 15 percent next year —” “That is one of the options being considered,” he interrupted. “—according to university spokesperson Larry Hincker. By what percent are you going to cut your salary?” “The Board of Visitors sets my salary,” he said. “There are no plans to cut it.” “How many times have you flown on a university private plane this semester?” I asked. “I don’t know.” “You don’t know?” “I don’t keep track.” “You don’t know whether you’ve been on a plane zero or 10 times?” “Sometimes I use it several times a week. I get three times as much done using a plane. We’re in the midst of a $1 billion capital campaign right now. Which would you prefer?” “You could drive to Richmond,” I said. “No, sometimes I go to Richmond, then to Washington, in the same day. I work 70-80 hours a week. So I don’t

buy that.” His statements contradicted other university positions. In “Kaine levies another round of budget cuts” (CT, Sept. 9), Hincker was quoted as saying that “this is the worst-case scenario. We’ve got a 15 percent budget reduction.” (Hincker would not reply to questions about Steger’s salary and plane rides for this column.) The same article noted “a one-day furlough, or unpaid leave of absence, is also being mandated for all university employees in the latest plan from the governor.” Steger’s response concerning his unchanging salary can be read in several ways. First, he may be unaware that the budget is being cut for “all university employees,” including himself. Second, in his mind he may reflexively exempt himself from these cuts because he believes that he is amazing. Third, he and his advisers may in reality be insulated from budget cuts. If his $457,040 salary is not being cut, while cooks’ salaries are, this deserves further exploration. Generally, we should question why he makes $57,040 more than President Barack Obama. The article “Steger lobbies in Richmond” (CT, March 24, 2008), stated “President Steger made four expeditions to Richmond,” although he “occasionally drives as well.” If we assume that Steger actually knows whether or not he is in a plane, which is not a sure bet, this means that the spokesperson quoted on March 24 was incorrect. The president and his mouthpieces need to get their stories straight before the ignorant masses find out.

Throughout the night, the message was straightforward: He is going to run the university how he thinks it should be run, and if this doesn’t correspond with the will of the masses, they must be distracted by bread and circuses, paid out of their own pockets (“free popcorn, courtesy of the President himself”). This theory of governance is not unusual. It is representative democracy, where the rabbles are kept out of decisions because of their idiocy. Steger probably thinks (“genuinely cares”) that the money we pay for his fine hotels is both out of our gratitude and for the general good. We have seen his false dichotomy: Either he flies in private planes or the university doesn’t get one billion dollars. In “Atlas Shrugged,” Ayn Rand depicts a corrupt businessperson who, driving his company into the ground, tells his impoverished workers that he must live lavishly in order to keep up appearances for outside investors. The general disregard for students is also evident in the recently completed, astoundingly inept, $300,000 Class of ’59 Graduate Life Center Plaza and Amphitheatre. Months of work resulted in knocking down a wall, rebuilding it and turning on a broken fountain. We could have gotten the same results if we had paid 20 bucks to a couple of mechanical engineering students. The familiar rejoinder from the administration is that this money came in privately and could not have been used on anything else. This line of reasoning begs a few questions. If this fundraiser netted $300,000, how much money could have been raised

if the drive was for scholarships and academics? What percentage of the faculty and students were asked about and supported this use of resources? Was the percentage greater than zero? The familiar, vacuous refrain sheds light on how the university operates. Our great leaders will deign to grant token representation to students, faculty and minorities. In the end, these three special interests represent virtually everyone. But when real decisions are on the line, we will be informed that in our leaders’ beneficence they “will consider it,” because we are too dumb to be trusted. To ensure accountability, they pass out popcorn; to mitigate global warming, they change light bulbs; to increase diversity, they put on cultural awareness weeks. When the Roman poet wrote, he criticized leaders for deceiving their populations and the people for putting up with it. On the contrary, Virginia Tech students are engaged and eager to shape the policies that affect their lives. One solution is simple and obvious: hold yearly plebiscites on decisions that govern the university, including allocation of resources. This will never happen, because for a few dozen of our titular betters, the thought of students and faculty banding together is a dangerous form of democracy.

BURKE THOMAS -regular columnist -graduate student -international affairs

Collegiate Times Editorial Staff Editor in Chief: Sara Mitchell Managing Editors: Peter Velz, Bethany Buchanan Production Manager: Thandiwe Ogbonna Public Editor: Justin Graves News Editors: Zach Crizer, Philipp Kotlaba News Reporters: Liana Bayne, Gordon Block News Staff Writers: Hope Miles, Billy Mitchell, Katie Robidoux, Allison Sanders, Claire Sanderson, Priya Saxena Features Editors: Teresa Tobat, Topher Forhecz Features Reporters: Ryan Arnold, Mary Anne Carter, Dan Waidelich Features Staff Writer: Joyce Kim Opinions Editor: Debra Houchins Sports Editors: Joe Crandley, Alex Jackson Sports Reporters: Ed Lupien, RayNimmo, Ryan Trapp, Melanie Wadden, Thomas Emerick Sports Staff Writers: Garrett Busic, Matt Collette, Hattie Francis Copy Editor: Kelsey Heiter, Dishu Maheshwari, Mika Rivera Layout Designers: Kelly Harrigan, Josh Son, Lindsey Bachand, Sara Spangler, Cecilia Lam Illustrator: Mina Noorbakhsh Multimedia Editor: Kevin Anderson Multimedia Reporter: James Carty, Riley Prendergast Online Director: Jamie Chung Online Programmer: Zach Swasey Collegiate Times Business Staff Business Manager: David Harries College Media Solutions Advertising Director: Tyler Ervin Asst Ad Director: Kendall Kapetanakis Account Executives: Nik Bando, Brandon Collins, Lee Eliav, Wade Stephenson, Kelly Burleson Inside Sales Manager: Judi Glass Office Manager: Kaelynn Kurtz Assistant Account Executives: Maddie Abram, Katie Berkel, Diane Revalski Creative Director: Sarah Ford Asst Production Manager: Creative Services Staff: Jenn DiMarco, Kara Noble, Kyle Waldrop, Chloe Skibba Student Publications Photo Staff Business Manager: Luke Mason Voice your opinion. Readers are encouraged to send letters and comments to the Collegiate Times. 365 Squires Student Center Blacksburg, Va. 24061 Fax: (540) 231-9151 All letters to the editor must include name and phone number. Students must include year and major. Faculty and staff must include position and department. All other submissions must include residence, and if applicable, relationship to Virginia Tech (i.e. alumni, parent, etc.). All letters should be in MS Word (.doc) format if possible. Letters, commentaries and editorial cartoons do not reflect the views of the Collegiate Times. Editorials are written by the Collegiate Times editorial board, composed of the opinions editor, editor-in-chief and the managing editors. Letters to the editor are submissions from Collegiate Times readers. We reserve the right to edit for any reason. Anonymous letters will not be printed. To order a reprint of a photograph printed in the Collegiate Times, e-mail Have a news tip? Call or text 200-TIPS or e-mail Student Media Phone Numbers Collegiate Times Newsroom 231-9865 Editor-in-Chief 231-9867 College Media Solutions Advertising 961-9860 The Collegiate Times, a division of the Educational Media Company at Virginia Tech, was established in 1903 by and for the students of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The Collegiate Times is published every Tuesday through Friday of the academic year except during exams and vacations. The Collegiate Times receives no funding from the university. The Collegiate Times can be found online at Except where noted, all photographs were taken by the Student Publications Photo Staff.The Collegiate Times is located in 365 Squires Student Center, Blacksburg, Va. 24061. (540) 231-9865. Fax (540) 231-9151. Subscription rates: $65 semester and $110 for the academic year. The first copy is free, any copy of the paper after that is 50 cents per issue. © Collegiate Times, 2009. All rights reserved. Material published in the Collegiate Times is the property thereof, and may not be reprinted without the express written consent of the Collegiate Times.

6 features he she

editors: topher forhecz, teresa tobat 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES


He said: Men only shed tears during very poignant moments A

playfully critical friend once told me I look like Sid from the animated movie series “Ice Age.” For those who are unfamiliar with the character, he’s a sloth with what could be a wicked thyroid issue. Like him, my eyes appear to be escaping my skull. But my massive blues rarely charm with their sparkle. I’ve come to accept that my eyes will almost always be bloodshot. It’s like vines crawling from my corneas, and their deep roots refuse to die. The reason behind the irritation is unclear, however. It’s not because I’m an insomniac, always refusing the weight of my exhausted lids. Nor am I perpetually under the influence (of what, you decide). And maybe most certainly it isn’t the result of routine emotional breakdowns. Crying is in fact nearly foreign to me. It’s that way for all dudes, actually. We are rigid statues that the most wrenching turmoil cannot penetrate. Our mental brawn scoffs as women wipe their cheeks after “Grey’s Anatomy” each week, smearing their sleeves with dissolved mascara. In fact, our shirts can’t even absorb such runoff because we wear items like flannel, which is essentially steel armor. This, of course, is crap. We aren’t senseless Neanderthals; our ducts are capable of leaking, and they do. But I also suspect women shed tears much more frequently and openly than men. We just happen to be skilled pilots, flying our waterworks under the radar. That or we choose to suffer from selective amnesia, which is likely why I have such trouble recalling epic sobs. We aren’t big on keeping tabs on swollen, snot-soaked moments. Still, I can immediately pinpoint a pair of crying catalysts, although they are spaced far apart. The first catalog of weepings is from before the millennium turned. What seemed to open the floodgates were the cinematic masterpieces of the ’90s, which included “Free Willy” and “Air Bud.” Yes, I have an affinity for animals, and I bet those endangered mammals choked you up, too. (First stop after the theater: local pound.) But films with human protagonists hit my weak spot, too. As a bit of “research,” I acquired “Simon Birch,” a movie that crushed me around the age of 12. It’s a story of a boy born with an extremely small stature who feels he’s destined for heroics, yet he continues to face tragedy. I

locked myself in my darkened room and waited to experience the same waterfall as I had years prior. Nothing. It was sad, for sure, but a decade clearly made a difference. I mean, I have facial hair now, which obviously adds exponential toughness. Since the big screen rarely encourages my vulnerability as an adult, it’s been family that has managed to shake me up. After sophomore year I landed a summer internship in Denver where I lived with my older brother. Our connection was once fleeting, but those few months renewed and strengthened our friendship, and my August departure was brutal. Only moments after his waving hand left my rearview mirror, that paralyzing chill swept over my body. Then a buffalo began tap-dancing on my chest, and I struggled for breath like a beached whale (Willy’s still with me). By the time I entered Interstate 70, I was absolutely blubbering and pursing my lips from the salt. Considering the road’s steep speed limit, it was all sorts of unsafe. Thankfully I made it home, and I don’t think I’ve bawled since. Seriously. And it’s not like there haven’t been instances that were supposedly prime for it. I’ve been to weddings and funerals where drops might be expected to flow, but those simply aren’t the contexts in which I lose it, and I imagine a lot of guys relate. Crying is a very personal release, and it’s not mandated by any sort of social expectation. We can endure sorrow (or joy) while appearing like robots. So we aren’t necessarily inhuman, but we are rather particular. My eyes stay dry standing before a gravestone, but they well up in light of distant siblings and basketball-playing dogs. Wait. My parents have a dog. Two of my apartment neighbors have them as well. Maybe my demon eyes do have a clear future. Either I start taking Claritin or we abandon the pups. But then, I’d start crying again.

RYAN ARNOLD -favorite drink: Hoegaarden wheat-beer -had three pet rats: the late Snowball, Sasha and Angel


She saiid: Crying keeps you from going crazy C

aught in conversation with a friend regarding his roommate’s dating situation, he very candidly put forth his opinion. “Well, I think his girlfriend’s crazy,” my friend said. “I mean, she just suddenly became a crier. She cries over everything now.” When a girl cries, it means she’s crazy? I might consider that statement as a fact if I wanted to talk about that “token crying girl” you always see downtown, so drunk and ridiculous that you wonder if she’s secretly on some reality show. But really, most tears don’t happen like that. What some people don’t understand is that sometimes, there’s a definite need to cry. Crying doesn’t completely hinge on mental illness. There are plenty of good reasons to weep and wail — and not be considered crazy. My most intense bout of unhappy crying happened after getting home from vacation, only to find every single fish in my marine tank — and my prized pet shrimp, Dr. Brain — stone-cold dead. That’s a pretty good reason to get out the Kleenex. (Not to mention I lost hundreds of dollars because of the Great Tank Disaster of 2009.) When a pet dies, it’s a given that you’ll cry — even if you have tear ducts made of steel. Whether it’s your childhood cat Fluffy, your smelly dog Fido or a dumb crustacean, you can’t simply dismiss the loss of your pet and hold back the sobs. How can you not be lachrymose when losing unconditional love?

Now, on the other hand, breaking up with someone is losing not-so-unconditional love, but it is still another legitimate excuse to cry. Your feelings — and your pride — are suffering during that awkward “let’s talk” conversation, and of course you’re going to feel pretty rotten. And after the ordeal is over, you can crawl into your container of Chunky Monkey and mourn fully. It’s OK. Everyone has been to that ugly post-dumping place and has probably done the exact same thing. You can’t be labeled crazy for crying in that situation. But during the break up, the worst circumstance to happen occurs very rarely: the guy starts crying. Yes, it’s an emotional time for him, too, but women aren’t used to seeing their man-things break down emotionally. A man tearing up will easily send even nonweepy women into a fit of blubbering. For me, a crying man has often gotten me to stay in a relationship completely out of pity. Ladies — don’t be fooled. His sensitive side isn’t sensitive enough for him to stop flirting with his ex on Facebook. And even if your pets are still kicking and your relationship (or lack thereof) is going great, sometimes stress alone is enough to send you into hysterics. Most professors have the uncanny ability to make all their major projects due in the same three-day span of time — and though you know you’re brilliant, you’re just swamped. Add on top of that your extracurricular activities, cruddy job, career search and grad school applications,

who wouldn’t find themselves crying out of sheer frustration? So why cry at all? Yeah, sure, something is sad or aggravating, but is it really worth it to mess up your mascara? The answer, of course, is a heartfelt, resounding “yes.” Punch a teddy bear and scream into your pillow. Rip up all his old photographs and “lose” his CDs you’ve borrowed. Curse the day you decided to take that class, and write a string of obscenities at the bottom of a paper you’ve been working on for hours. Or just sit in the dark and take a moment for yourself. And do all these things while crying. Let me tell you, it’s the best stress relief out there. Why? Because your life can’t get any worse than that moment where you’re sobbing uncontrollably like a preteen girl. So screw the phrase, “big girls don’t cry.” That’s the worst piece of advice ever hashed out by the radio. In fact, it’s a good thing to get your waterworks flowing, because crying doesn’t make you crazy — but it can definitely keep you from going there.

LAKEN RENICK -favorite drink: Long Island iced tea -lost a toenail moshing during prom

october 23, 2009

page 7B

Italian-born director Mira Nair became Former ad jingle writer pens fascinated with late aviator Amelia Earhart signature soundtrack for ‘Halo’ ROBERT W. BUTLER mcclatchy newspapers

BRIER DUDLEY the seattle times

Growing up in India, Mira Nair didn’t know much about pioneering American aviator and Atchison, Kan., native Amelia Earhart. “For me, she was a person on a postage stamp,” the filmmaker said in a phone call from her New York production office. “That was it. “Of course I learned about her when I came to this country to study. But I only really began to understand her in an emotional way when I was hired to make this movie about her. Then I looked at all the newsreel footage, and that’s what really got me hooked.” What she saw, Nair said, was a woman who kept her eyes on what excited her: flying. “And though she was living in the public eye — always getting medals and climbing in and out of airplanes while camera crews recorded it — there was a consistent humility about her. “Humility, you know, is not a particularly American sensibility. But here was this woman who had enough madness to dream big, to achieve her goals systematically, but also to achieve them with humility and to go through life with a kind of grace.” Nair said she hoped she captured some of Earhart’s spirit in “Amelia,” the biographical film starring Hilary Swank that opens Friday. Nair’s directing career has covered lots of ground. She has made movies about Indian slum children (“Salaam Bombay!”), about Cuban exiles in Florida (“The Perez Family”), about Indian transplants in the Deep South (“Mississippi Masala”) and even about classic Hindu erotica (“Kama Sutra: A Tale of Love “). “Life is short,” she said. “You can’t repeat yourself. What’s the point? It’s all about stretching and enjoying new things.” “Amelia” is her first film about a real historic person, and she found it particularly challenging. “I must say it was my most difficult film. I wanted it to reflect Amelia’s epic story. It’s daunting to make a biography of an iconic person in a flesh-andblood way. In Amelia’s case, she’s very elusive, and it was hard to capture that enigma and her non-hysterical sense of cool.” Earhart’s many accomplishments so popularized flying that she was a major force in the establishment of commercial aviation, Nair said. “But she wasn’t a flag waver. If you asked why she flew, she’d tell you it was for the fun of it. I love that plain-talking Kansas speak.” Earhart was taking to the skies at a time when aircraft were primitive. “These airplanes were tin cans with doors fastened by a simple latch. You could fall out of one of them if you weren’t careful. We didn’t exaggerate that in the film. She risked her life often.” Earhart’s private life was groundbreaking, too. Her marriage to publisher George Putnam (played by Richard Gere) was way ahead of its time. “If you were to read aloud today what I call her ‘pre-nup,’ it still would be considered iconoclastic. We filmed it word for word — in fact, whenever possible we tried to use Amelia’s own words as dialogue. She had such an interesting turn of phrase.” “Amelia” was shot all over the world, but especially in Canada and South Africa. “We filmed in Halifax, Newfoundland, in the very spot where Amelia took off for her solo flight across the Atlantic. It was very important for me to have this reality. “We found that much of the art deco architecture we needed no longer exists in the U.S. But in Africa entire airports are in the art deco style. The ’30s were a very exciting time in design, architecture, cars, fashion and airplanes. I fell in love with the look.” There are numerous theories about


Richard Gere, left, and Academy Award winner Hilary Swank star in the biographical film “Amelia” about the late aviator Amelia Earhart.


Hilary Swank stars as Amelia Earhart in the film “Amelia” that opens Friday. The pilot Earhart disappeared during a flight in 1937. how Earhart died; no trace of her plane was ever found. Nair said she preferred to concentrate on what we do know rather than conjecture. The most fulfilling day on the set came with the scene in which Earhart, in an attempt to be the first to fly around the globe, realizes she’s running out of fuel in the middle of the Pacific. The sequence was based on 1937 recordings made by the crew of a Coast Guard ship who could hear Earhart’s radio transmissions. Unfortunately, she could not hear the sailors, and they were unable to guide her to a safe landing on a nearby island. “Listening to that recorded transmission, I really felt the power of Amelia’s

last minutes before going down,” Nair said. “The film represents exactly what’s on the recording. She was running out of fuel with only the ocean in front of her. “At that point I imagined myself as her. I wondered what she would be thinking and feeling. “I don’t shoot much, usually three takes. After the second take of that scene I told Hilary, ‘We’ve got what we need. Now just fall apart for me. There’s nowhere to go but into the water. Let it go. Let the self-possession go.’ “And Hilary delivered. I refer to takes like that as ‘calling one for love.’ You’d be surprised how often that’s the take that ends up in the movie.”

Just as “Star Wars” wouldn’t be “Star Wars” without the awesome soundtrack by John Williams, “Halo” wouldn’t be the same without the evocative music of Marty O’Donnell. The iconic video game’s signature music was created by a former advertising jingle writer who has done audio for Bungie, the studio behind “Halo,” since its early days in Chicago. O’Donnell’s biggest hit used to be the jingle for Flintstones vitamins — “We are Flintstones kids, 10 million strong and growing” — but now it’s “Halo,” the first game soundtrack to make the Billboard charts. The music has been a cornerstone of the game since it was shown by Steve Jobs at Macworld in 1999 up through the newest, recently released version, “Halo 3: ODST.” O’Donnell and his musical collaborator, Mike Salvatori, simultaneously released the ODST soundtrack as a two-disc set. Buying this kind of music may sound crazy to nongamers, but more than 120,000 copies of the “Halo 2” soundtrack were sold. Looking at it another way, O’Donnell is introducing classical music to a younger generation, writing music heavy on piano and stringed instruments that’s played repeatedly by millions of people around the world. More than 27 million copies of “Halo” games have been sold, and “ODST” will easily push that over 30 million. The phenomenon isn’t limited to “Halo.” Game music is popular enough that live concerts are held around the country, and Seattle’s Northwest Sinfonia has become sought-after performers for game scores. In that world, O’Donnell is one of the biggest stars, according to Brian Schmidt, a game composer and consultant in Bellevue, Wash., who invited O’Donnell to give a keynote address at a recent games music conference in Los Angeles. “He’s easily a John Williams,” Schmidt said. “He has written the

most easily recognized video-game music of his generation. Play the first five notes of ‘Halo’ and everybody starts cheering.” O’Donnell also encourages other studios to place a higher priority on how music is integrated into their games. “I think having an audio director who is also a composer inside the studio and has enough clout to have some influence, I think it makes things better,” O’Donnell said. “I completely recommend that to any of the other studios out there.” Bungie has a unique situation with O’Donnell. He’s involved from the beginning in game creation, and he has authority that comes from his tenure and age — at 54 he’s the oldest employee and was the first family man hired. This can draw some grief from co-workers. For instance, game designers included a bonus achievement in “ODST” called “Be Like Marty.” It rewards players who make it through a “Firefight” battle without killing a single enemy. “Most of the young punks here have this unfounded belief that, because of my age, I’m not good at ‘Halo.’ This of course is not true. ... The truth is, Marty has never actually ‘been like Marty,’” O’Donnell said. “At some point in the future, when they least expect it, I will pay them back for this.” Music came naturally to O’Donnell, whose mother taught piano and father made films. He studied composition at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music and the University of Southern California before starting the Chicago audio business with Salvatori, producing music for films and ads. O’Donnell began working with Bungie on contract in the 1990s when his company diversified into the video-game industry. After he started work on the first version of “Halo,” O’Donnell decided to join Bungie full time in 2000. He kept his stake in the audio business, where Salvatori provides services to Bungie and collaborates with O’Donnell on composition. It was a bold move for a married for

father of two. “I had an established business and they were these guys just barely out of the basement of a dormitory,” he recalled. But O’Donnell had an epiphany during a late-night session writing music for a kitty-litter ad. “We were so serious and it just sort of hit me — ‘What am I doing?’” he said. “I was just so tired of doing jingles like that, scoring animated cats in Tidy Cat commercials, it was just like, ‘I’ve got to get out of this.’” Then there was the pull of “Halo.” “I totally believed ‘Halo’ was going to be a huge success even in 1999 —I saw what it was. I saw where it was going,” O’Donnell said. That wasn’t the only change coming. Less than two weeks after O’Donnell joined, Bungie was acquired by Microsoft and he moved to the Seattle area. Now O’Donnell works in a cozy studio in Bungie’s Kirkland, Wash., office, outfitted with a piano, mixing board and recording booth. He and Salvatori send their compositions back and forth electronically, and share composing credit. Creating music for a game, O’Donnell tries to “score the emotions of what we want the player to be feeling while they’re playing,” he said. This carried over in “ODST,” which is set in a mysterious city where “orbital drop shock troopers” arrive to battle invading aliens. “With ‘ODST,’ it’s still really about how you should feel as the player, especially in the city at night, alone, looking for your friends, so it was really all about that feeling,” he said. “I kept trying to bring that feeling back.” The rain served as an inspiration, similar to the way “Halo” designers have taken cues from the woodsy terrain of their adopted home. The first piece O’Donnell wrote for “ODST” captured the essence of a dark and rainy evening, with a melancholy piano sequence. “Maybe I’ve lived here long enough, the first thing I did, I just said, ‘Yeah, this is rain,’” he said. “Once I had that, I felt good about it.”


october 23, 2009

page 8

Virginia Beach provides haven for dolphin lovers KATHY VAN MULLEKOM daily press NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Two families vacationing in Virginia Beach, Va., started their stay with an adventure they can write home about — kayaking in the Atlantic Ocean with dolphins playing all around them. “It’s marvelous to be so close to the dolphins because the ocean, it is so big,” says Roger Tobon, 38, from Montreal. “It was fantastic.” Virginia’s oceanfront is a popular travel destination for Canadians because the weather is warm and there are big beaches — with watchable sea life like dolphins, says Bernard Vannerum, 45, also from Montreal. His clan drove down the East Coast with Roger’s family and is staying at a nearby camping site. Dolphin-watching is ideal along a point of land at Atlantic Avenue and 89th Street, just above Fort Story, in Virginia Beach. The dolphins are there spring through fall, feeding and raising their young. Companies like Kayak Nature Tours of Virginia Beach take children as young as 6 and adults 50 to 100 yards offshore where dolphins like to frolic. No paddling or swimming experience is needed to join a group; single and double kayaks are available. Before a group heads to the beach on an August morning, tour guides Ben Jackson and Zach Christman hand out life jackets and give quick instructions on how to paddle a kayak. Ben, 32, is a PE instructor at a private school in Virginia Beach and has been doing the tours for four years; Zach, 24, is an Old Dominion University student working on an internship in tourism and recreation.

It’s marvelous to be so close to the dolphins because the ocean, it is so big. It was fantastic.” ROGER TOBON 38-YEAR-OLD DOLPHIN OBSERVER FROM MONTREAL

“We call the doubles divorce kayaks because you have to decide how you are going to paddle and do it in sync,” Ben jokingly tells the group, which includes several couples and families. The company recommends young kids or nervous adults go in a double with a more experienced paddler. The company uses only sit-on-top kayaks for dolphin trips because there is the chance they will turn over — something that can happen when you return to shore because the surging surf can easily flip the craft. When a sit-on-top kayak flips, you just fall out of it, and it’s easier to get back aboard than a sit-in kayak. “If you fall off, fall toward England, never get yourself between the kayak and shore because you could get hit in the ankle and ruin the rest of your vacation,” Ben says. Fortunately, a calm lake-like Atlantic Ocean and mild surf greet the group when they get to the water’s edge. Ben and Zach help each kayaker adjust their seat and foot supports, and accompany the boats into the water. Paddling is easy, even if you’ve never stepped foot in a kayak. The key is to sit with your back straight, knees bent slightly, while you take long, even strokes. Once the group is about 50 yards offshore, the kayakers stop paddling. Everyone is quiet, not wanting to startle the dolphins that begin to

appear around the boats. Dolphins and kayakers hang together about an hour. The group paddles toward the Cape Henry Lighthouse at Fort Story as the dolphins make their way along the shoreline. Dolphins surface six to seven feet from a kayak, then dive under again. It’s their artful game of hide-and-seek. Midway through the 2{-hour tour, a Rudee Rocket tour boat speeds past the group — well out of the way of creating any hazards for the kayakers. Within minutes, the dolphins are behind the boat, leaping in and out of the boat’s wake. Everyone laughs, pointing at their antics. “When there are no waves, they’ll find one,” Zach says. With no dolphins around to entertain everyone, Zach encourages the group to slide out of their boats and into the tepid salty water. First, the kids go in and several adults follow. It’s the next-best way to spend the remainder of the time — sunning, swimming and socializing. Too soon, it’s time to head back to where the kayakers launched. One by one, Zach and Ben guide each boat through the surf that can cause those sudden spills. If you don’t believe it, watch the YouTube videos that show a surf crash. Kayak Nature Tours recommends everyone watch the video before deciding to sign up because typically it’s not a flat-water trip. “It was hilarious — everyone crashing at the end,” says Todd Nussbaum, 35, and wife Megan, 33, who watched the video before they left their Columbus, Ohio, home to also vacation at the beach. On this tour, no one tumbles into the surf — everyone makes it to the beach with paddles and pride intact. “We didn’t crash, we just wobbled,” says a grinning Todd.

...... radio for everyone

Discouraged Chicago teenager found muse, inspiration in Shakespeare


Samuel Vega, a sophomore at Northeastern Illinois University, hated reading when he was in high school and got low grades, but found a spark when he got involved with the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre.

TROUBLED CHICAGO YOUTH TURNED HIS LIFE AROUND BY ACTING IN PRODUCTION OF ‘HAMLET’ DAWN TURNER TRICE chicago tribune There’s a line in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” that sums up Samuel Vega’s story beautifully: “We know what we are, but know not what we may be.” About four years ago, when Vega was a sophomore at Roberto Clemente High School, he was in honors classes getting D grades. Though he had always been a strong reader, he hated reading. Words didn’t jump off the page. Instead, they lay there flat and lifeless unable to speak to him. Around the same time that Vega was hating reading, he had another problem. A new landlord had just purchased his family’s Humboldt Park apartment building and his parents’ rent increased to where they had to choose between paying the rent or the monthly gas bill. They chose to pay the rent and filled the house with electric space heaters. But there was no hot water. Some mornings, Vega jumped out of the bed, got dressed and ran down the block to a relative’s apartment to shower. Too many mornings, though, he remained under his bed covers and soon racked up more than 40 days of truancies. “I was dealing with the frustration and anger of it all,” said Vega, now 19. “I had asked to get out of honors classes. Even before then, I had not been a straight-A student. But my English teacher kept saying she saw something in me.” Vega happened to attend school the day his English teacher invited students to audition for Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s then-pilot program, CPS Shakespeare! The company was conducting a citywide search for Chicago Public Schools

210A Prices Fork Rd

students and teachers who would participate in a four-week rehearsal that would culminate in a production of “Hamlet.” On a whim, Vega agreed to audition in part because it provided an after-school place where he could keep warm. “I was surprised by what I’d gotten myself into,” said Vega, who played Hamlet and Horatio. “Professional actors (and a director) were training us. The staff was measuring us for costumes, helping us practice fight choreography. They were bringing us food, and I wasn’t used to being catered to.” During rehearsals, the actors would sit in a square and run through their lines. Vega said that for the first time, the words — even those of a 16th century bard: “I will speak daggers to her, but use none” — began to come alive for him. “I wanted to know what the words meant,” Vega said. “Shakespeare used all these big and complex words and phrases to create complicated characters, and you had to know what he meant — and own it — in order to understand how to play the character. One word could have multiple meanings depending on how the character used it, and that fascinated me.” Though Vega had never acted before — in fact, he had never heard of the Shakespeare Theater — the professional actors were astounded by how the teenager was naturally gifted. Small in stature, Vega had a presence that filled the stage. Soon, Vega started bringing a dictionary to rehearsal to decipher his lines. He then began to carry it wherever he went. Before, he hardly read school assignments.

Now, whether he was reading for history class or social studies, he applied the same analytical skills he had learned from reading Shakespeare. He said he tried to get into the heads of the people about whom he was reading and he imagined himself as them. “We would read aloud in class, and I would act out the character and start speaking in a different voice — and it didn’t matter which class I was in,” Vega said. “The students loved it. I was even doing homework that way, and me doing homework was unheard of.” Reading helped him deal with the cold apartment until his family was able to move. His grades gradually improved from Ds to Bs, with some As. Vega now is a sophomore at Northeastern Illinois University. A disc jockey, he also teaches sound editing at Batey Urbano, a colorful, playhouselike community space serving his Puerto Rican neighbors. At Batey, he has directed and acted in several plays, including “Crime Against Humanity,” which recently took him to Puerto Rico. Though he doesn’t want to pursue an acting career, Vega told me that he loves it as a hobby. Since his first stint with the Shakespeare Theater, he returned the next year to play Romeo and the Prince in “Romeo and Juliet,” and has returned every October since then to see the new crop of CPS actors perform. Next month, an ensemble of 24 students and eight teachers will put on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” “A lot of these kids never imagined themselves acting,” Vega said. “They’re learning to harness the energy from the audience as well as from themselves.”

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editors: joe crandley, alex jackson 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES


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56-17 50-16-1 51-14 48-18 49-15-1 41-23 47-16 40-26 43-18 46-18 44-20 10-18 42-22 44-22 46-20 45-15 47-18 38-19-1 43-20 38-22 40-23 43-18-1 47-16 38-24 37-27





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19-10 17-10-1 18-12 16-11-1 15-15 12-17

48-18 38-19-1 38-22 49-15-1 35-24 32-21

*as of 6/26/09

Baseball completes fall practice LUKE MASON/SPPS

Redshirt junior infielder Michael Seaborn takes a big swing at the plate last season when the Hokies defeated High Point University at home 9-1, on April 28.

BASEBALL TEAM WRAPS UP INTRASQUAD WORLD SERIES AFTER THREE CLOSE GAMES RAY NIMMO sports reporter Virginia Tech baseball wrapped up its annual intrasquad Fall World Series on Wednesday with Team Camo defeating Team Throwback based on run differential, 17-16. The series consists of three games, and the winner is the team with the most total runs after the three games. Every game was close with no team winning by more than two. Team Camo won the first game 8-7 and the second game 5-3. Team Throwback won the final game 6-4. While the series is just for fun, the players took it seriously and wanted to win. “We’re competitive,” said Anthony Sosnoskie, a senior catcher with Team Throwback. “We talked a lot of trash all week, and we wanted to win. It wasn’t fun watching them celebrate.” Sosnoskie was Team Throwback’s best player hitting .455 with two runs, one home run and four runs batted in. “I felt like at the plate I was letting the ball travel and seeing it real well,” Sosnoskie said. “(I was) just getting some timing back. I missed a lot of fall practice because of classes.”

Most Valuable Player honors went to Team Camo member Matt Blow. The redshirt junior third baseman hit .700 with two doubles, six runs batted in and a stolen base. “I was really seeing the ball well,” Blow said. “I’ve been seeing it well all fall. I guess I was just able to find some pitches up in the zone, get the barrel on them and find some gaps. I think I had a good approach coming into this fall. I worked real hard this summer and kind of carried it over.” Other notable players were junior utility man Austin Wates and redshirt junior shortstop Tim Smalling — both of Team Camo. Wates batted .500, scored seven runs, amassed two runs batted in and one triple. Smalling, who transferred from the University of Arkansas and sat out last year because of NCAA rules, hit .444, smashed two home runs, added four runs batted in and fielded 1.000. Players realize how important the Series is and made sure to take advantage of it. “I think it’s a good way to end fall practice,” Sosnoskie said. “A lot of scrimmages are scripted, and you only have certain pitches or a 1-1 count, but out here, it’s play three games. It leaves you hungry

for spring.” It’s a “good end to the fall,” Blow said. “Live games — can’t get any better than that.” The event also gives the coaching staff a chance to see how players, both new and veteran, respond to pressure situations and figure out who might get a starting job. “I think offensively we’re a pretty good club,” head coach Pete Hughes said. “I think we’ll easily be in the top two or three teams in this league offensively. We showed really good offense, and our strikeout numbers were down. I thought we played really good defense in our infield.” Hughes looks toward the pitching staff for improvements. “I think our pitching staff has to get tougher and more competitive,” Hughes said. “I saw glimpses of it in the last three games, but no question our pitching staff is a huge weakness as far as their approach to the game and their competitiveness during games. That’s something that’s addressed every day and something we’re working on every day.” Hughes added a challenge to his pitching staff. “We can’t just rely on five or six guys for mental toughness and competition,”

Hughes said. “We got to have 10 or 12 guys we can give the ball to who you know will compete like crazy, have some confidence and go after people. That’s what we’re looking for. There’s about four or five slots for anybody who wants to be that person and have that winning personality. Those guys got to know I’ll give the ball to anybody who’s not afraid of the zone, who trusts their stuff and will compete like crazy.” Not all players participated in the series. Six of Tech’s best pitchers sat out; Hughes wanted to give them an offseason after they pitched all spring and summer. Those players were Mathew Price,

Jesse Hahn, Justin Wright, Ben Rowen, Joe Parsons and Clark Labitan. Four Hokies are currently injured and also didn’t play. Those are Luke Padgett (wrist), Brandon Lower (wrist), Andrew Rash (undisclosed) and Kyle Cichy (shoulder). The series provides a good springboard into winter workouts, and Hughes is excited to start the season next spring. “It’s a great fall when you got a lot of experience coming back to your program and you’re seeing good leadership,” Hughes said. “We got an unbelievable senior class and junior class. They know the winning ways of working every day. I can go on a recruiting trip for 11 days in California and trust the leadership in our program to run our program.” The Hokies’ season begins Feb. 19 against Kentucky in Coastal Carolina’s Caravelle Resort Tournament. LUK EM ASO N/S PPS

october 23, 2009

page 10

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31 Food in a flat box 32 11-Down, e.g. 33 Battered repeatedly, in slang 34 ThinkPad maker 35 Camp shelter 36 Bun seeds 40 Rent-__ 41 Attends 42 Tarzan, e.g.


43 Biological divisions 44 Down a sinful path 46 Additions 47 Zaps in a microwave 49 Salon sound 52 Pocatello’s state: Abbr. 53 Brit. record label 54 Latin law


editors: joe crandley, alex jackson 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES

october 23, 2009

Track and Cross Country teams host shoe drive Saturday GARRETT RIPA sports staff writer Do you have old shoes that you never wear anymore? I’m pretty sure we all do. If so, be sure to bring them to Cassell

Coliseum Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to support the Virginia Tech Track and Cross Country teams’ second annual shoe drive. Student athletes will be there to accept the donations and all types of shoes are accepted. Depending on the shoe donated,

the drive will donate your shoes to Soles4Souls or the Nike Reuse-AShoe Program. “(Soles4Souls) sends shoes worldwide, wherever there is a significant need for shoes,” Danny White, coordinator of student life for the athletics department said. “That could be if

there was a recent large disaster, such as a tsunami. “(The Nike Reuse-A-Shoe Program) only takes running shoes or athletic shoes,” White said. “You donate those to Nike, and they have a system in which they recycle the shoes, and they use them to build playgrounds.” The recycled shoes go back to the community through community projects. “Nike builds the black rubber mats that are the foundations for playgrounds out of the shoes that people

donate — playgrounds for the innercity or a community that couldn’t afford a playground.” The idea of running a shoe drive as a community service project was originally brought up by Stacey Vidt, technical director of track and cross country. “It’s a nice way to give back, especially since we’re a Nike-sponsored school,” Vidt said. Olympian and All-American junior hurdler Queen Harrison embraces Vidt’s idea.

“It’s important because we go through so many shoes,” Harrison said. “We just thought it was a good idea to stick with our sport.” Last year the drive collected 250 shoes. The teams are looking to at least double that number on Saturday. “We’re really trying to make it an annual thing,” Harrison said. “We know a lot of people have shoes they never wear.” Donations of $1 are also being accepted to help offset the cost of shipping the shoes.

october 23, 2009

page 12

Hokies need help: Games to watch sports editor While Virginia Tech is on a bye week, there is still plenty of college football action for Hokie Nation to follow this weekend. With the Hokies loss last weekend to Georgia Tech, the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Coastal Division became a lot less predictable. The Hokies now need a loss from Georgia Tech, at the very least, to propel themselves into the drivers seat in the Coastal Division. No. 12 Georgia Tech (6-1, 4-1 ACC) vs. University of Virginia (3-3, 2-0 ACC) Georgia Tech heads to Charlottesville this week to claim the top spot in the Coastal Division. After defeating the then-division leading Hokies last week, one unlikely team stands in the way of Georgia Tech controlling its own destiny on the road to the Orange Bowl: UVa. The Cavaliers have spent the past three weeks disproving their poor performance in their first three games, with three straight victories over North Carolina, Indiana and Maryland, evening their record at

ACC Standings



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3-3 and earning the top spot in the Coastal Division for now. Looking like a different team as of late, the Cavs have won their past three matchups with tough defense and efficient offense. They’ve limited their past three opponents to 19 points total and quarterback Jameel Sewell has been very efficient in those games. Sewell is 46 of 77 and has thrown for 581 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions in his past three games. An ankle injury, which he suffered in the third quarter of last week’s game, however, leaves him questionable against the Jackets. Georgia Tech’s offense will surely test the Cavs, but Virginia’s 3-4 defen-

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sive scheme may be better suited to stop an option attack that baffled Tech in the second half. The Jackets’ rush offense is ranked second nationally and is coming off a game in which quarterback Josh Nesbitt and company torched the Hokies for 309 yards on the ground. If the Cavs are to stand a chance against Georgia Tech and help the Hokies in giving the Jackets their second conference loss, they’ll need their quarterback healthy and ready to go in addition to another great performance by their defense. Virginia does have history on its side, as the Jackets have not won a game in Charlottesville since 1990.

2-0 4-1 3-1 2-1 1-1 0-2

3-3 6-1 5-2 5-1 3-3 4-2

Clemson (3-3, 2-2 ACC) vs. No. 10 Miami (FL) (5-1, 2-1 ACC) on ABC While Georgia Tech has Virginia Tech’s number if the Coastal Division is to be decided by a tiebreaker at the end of the season, another one conference loss team in the division has Georgia Tech’s number. Miami, the highest ranked team in the ACC, faces off against Clemson this weekend. Miami is coming off of three straight wins itself, including a win in late September over then-No. 8 Oklahoma. Hurricanes’ quarterback Jacory Harris has been doing what he’s had to do to win in those games. Harris has thrown for 1,518 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, and in his last performance, went 20 for 26, throwing for 293 yards and a score in the ’Canes 27-7 win over Central Florida. Clemson heads south with a pretty good team themselves. The Tigers are ranked 11th in total defense in the Football Bowl Subdivision, allowing just 270.2 yards per game this season. They are also ranked second in the ACC in stopping the pass. Clemson boasts several defensive stars including safety DeAndre McDaniel and defensive end Da’Quan Bowers. McDaniel has racked up five interceptions this year to lead the conference and also leads the team in tackles with 46. Bowers has eight tackles for loss, three sacks and 34 tackles coming off the end this year and his unit will need that pressure this week against the mobile Harris. Clemson tailback C.J. Spiller will also be an X-factor in the game. Spiller has rushed for 466 yards, three touchdowns and has 12, 10-plus yard rushes this season. His play will be crucial for the Tigers to control the pace of the game on the road.

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Friday, October 23, 2009 Print Edition  

Friday, October 23, 2009 Print Edition of The Collegiate Times

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