Thursday, October 28, 2010
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Study targets students downtown Former Attorney General visits Tech MEIGHAN DOBER news staff writer
Every weekend, the streets of downtown Blacksburg are alive with Virginia Tech students. Recently, however, on Thursday and Friday nights, a research team from a Tech psychology lab has been observing the effects of alcohol on people’s behaviors and perceptions. Past studies have shown that 80 to 90 percent of college students consume alcohol and participate in risky behavior related to alcohol. Ryan Smith, a graduate student at Tech, is the brain behind this experiment. As a member of the Center for Applied Behavior Systems at Tech, he is continuing his eighth year involved in this alcohol study. Smith and his research team survey up to 200 people every night. “You see some pretty interesting things,” Smith said. With two teams posted outside the Lyric and Big Al’s, the researchers are able to survey random students walking by and study the effects of intoxication. Working downtown is the safest place for Smith and his research assistants, and they are able to interact with the community, rather than in a specific laboratory setting. Smith’s research team is composed of undergraduate psychology students who must apply for the position. Many of the students have personal reasons that drove them to participate in alcohol research. Random passersby are asked if they would like to take a free Breathalyzer. If they agree to participate, they give their verbal consent and state they are more than 18 years old. All participants in the study remain anonymous. The participant is shown a picture and then completes a survey about the emotion that the picture is conveying, a test designed to gauge the emotional recognition of the participant. The Institutional Review Board must approve all the surveys used by the researchers. Surveys cannot be used until all changes from the board are implemented. After survey has been completed, the participant swishes a sip of water around his mouth to get all of the residual alcohol out and make the Breathalyzer accurate. “If I took a shot, then a Breathalyzer, it would look like I was about to die,” Smith said.
KATIE NOLAND news staff writer Former U.S. Attorney General, defense attorney and Marine Ramsey Clark will be speaking at Virginia Tech’s Holtzman Alumni Center tonight at 7 p.m. His speech, titled “Perspectives on Peace,” will focus on his life experiences and highlight an anti-war message as well as the work he has done to promote human rights. Clark worked as a defense attorney for Slobodan Milosevic and Saddam Hussein. The Collegiate Times caught up with Clark before his speech.
DANIEL LIN / SPPS
Zena Melaku, a senior majoring in psychology, prepares to conduct a Breathalyzer test on a volunteer subject as part of an ongoing psychology study in front of the Lyric Theater last Thursday evening. The participant then takes the Breathalyzer and gets a mark on his hand so he cannot participate in the survey that same night. The Breathalyzers used are accurate to a 0.005 blood alcohol content. All participants are surveyed separately. “We can’t have friends help, that would bring a bias into the project,” Smith said. After the participant takes the Breathalyzer, the researcher provides feedback to show how safe the participant is being in regards to alcohol. If the participant’s BAC is over 0.05, the participant is advised not to drive. With the research acquired, the researchers look for a correlation between the accuracy of emotional facial recognition and the BAC of participants. With a high BAC, participants are less able to pick up on social cues, and have an overall lower accuracy in distinguishing emotions. Right now, the research team is studying the effects of alcohol on emotional recognition. In the past, Smith and his team have studied sexual assault, drinking intentions and motivations, alcohol advertising influences and the effect that the April 16, 2007, shootings on the Tech campus had on students’ drinking habits. The research project will end as soon as the temperature is regularly below freezing at night. The Breathalyzers do not work as well
when the temperature is that low, and it would interfere with the accuracy of the project. Smith and his colleagues have traveled to multiple conferences to present their work. Recently, Smith has presented to the Virginia Psychological Association in Norfolk and the American Psychological Association in San Diego. Smith works under Tech psychology professor Scott Geller, who founded CABS. Geller has been involved in this type of alcohol research for more than 20 years. Recently, the alcohol consumption of college students has increased dramatically. The average BAC of a person used to be 0.08. Now, the average BAC of Smith’s participants’ downtown is more than 0.1. In addition, the gap between men and women’s BAC used to be very large. Now, that gap is becoming smaller while the BACs of men and women are both increasing. Women are more at risk than men for becoming intoxicated quickly because of their lower weight. In the past, Geller has worked in numerous situations where alcohol has been present in order to observe how to persuade students to drink responsibly. “Can we have controlled drinking?” Geller asked. “Can we control drinking so that you don’t have to get out of control?” Geller and Smith have worked with fraternities in the past and observed
environment and peer pressure have a huge influence on how much people drink. “Fraternity members have tried to be proactive and work with us in the past,” Smith said. Geller said fraternity members had a higher intoxication level at their own fraternity parties than at nonGreek parties, demonstrating the environment’s influence on drinking habits. While working in the fraternity setting, Geller and his researchers tried an incentive program, where the people with the lowest BAC were eligible for a cash prize at the end of the night. “Lots of students who didn’t want to drink had an excuse,” Geller said. Geller said advertising also has an effect on alcohol habits. In states that disallowed alcohol advertising targeting minors, there was a 32.8 percent decrease in the number of alcohol-related fatalities. Likewise, each year more than 3,000 students turn 21 on campus. The mindset of this milestone is often “drink as much as you can drink.” “Students have come into my office asking my advice about their 21st birthdays, knowing that their friends want to take them out,” Geller said. Because of this, Geller and Smith have taken on the task of encouraging positive partying and drinking rather than excessive drinking and negative partying.
CT: Why do you think it is important for you to come to Tech and give this speech? CLARK: Well, there are three reasons. This is a very important university and my granddaughter (Tech student Whitney Clark) is there. But the most important reason of all is knowing the role human rights plays in peace. It’s important to carry the message wherever you find people that want to hear it or are willing to hear it. CT: What is something you would like for students to take away from your talk? CLARK: Well, I think the inescapable challenge that our future, which is more importantly young people than the old people, has is peace. We’ve come to a time when our capacity for total destruction is at an all-time high because our research and advancement, if you think of it as an advance, in technology is giving us weaponry that can threaten all life and it’s out of control. There’s still the threat of proliferation, more nuclear weapons and there is still research for more nuclear and deadlier weapons. Our own country spends more on military and force than all these other activities combined, housing, health care, schooling and education. Imagine what it would be like if we could reorganize our priorities so we spent our money on those things that are good for children. Like a good breakfast, good food all day long and good schooling, made to really want to learn. It’s exciting for them, the information that they need for life and that they could
have good health care from inception and throughout their lives. If they had good jobs that were meaningful and productive and helpful to society instead of spending all of the money on arms. So the United States has a very special challenge, too, because it spends more on arms than the rest of the world combined, which is a stunning fact. And we provide more arms to more other countries than anybody else. So we have a major role in changing value systems and finding better means of preserving peace than the arms, particularly arms of mass destruction, from the United States with arms themselves, the destruction war inflicts on mother Earth on the physical environment we live in and as we race headlong with arming and military budgets, major increases in recent years, it seems like constant war and it creates more hatred and causes more violence. We’re also degrading at a more rapid rate the physical environment, mother Earth. The production of arms is highly harmful to the environment. And the use of arms is highly harmful to the environment. So we’re in a race between peace and our rivals. CT: Would you like to give a general outline or summary and maybe talk about what has inspired this speech? CLARK: Well, you know, I don’t write speeches, so a little of what I do is on my experience. I began in World War II and I was too young to be in the war, but I joined the Marines in the last year of the war. Then Korea came along and we were having our first child so I didn’t go. I was exempt anyway because I was a World War II veteran. Then we had a number of skirmishes and got bogged down in Vietnam, which is one of the real wars in all of human disaster. Millions of lives spent over Korean, Vietnam War. It took millions of lives that weren’t even Vietnamese. Both of those wars were very costly physically and psychologically. Since the Korean War, it seems like it’s been one conflict after another building up into a range of conflicts. We’ve been more or less in a war in Iraq since January of 1991, even during the ‘90s when it wasn’t actual see CLARK / page two
Quidditch flies off page and onto campus sports fields MICHAEL VASQUEZ mcclatchy newspapers MIAMI — Quidditch is part soccer, part basketball, part dodgeball, and all fantasy — or at least it used to be. The hybrid game was invented by author J.K. Rowling and, until recently, only played by the imaginary broom-flying wizards of her popular Harry Potter novels. These days, a version for us lowly humans — or “muggles,” in Potter terms — is popping up at more than a dozen college campuses in Florida alone. “I can’t tell you if there’s flying or not, that’s a secret,” joked University of Miami quidditch player Ally Levy. Truth be told, there are brooms, but no gravity-defying co-eds. Instead, students run around with a broom tucked between their legs. “You have to keep one hand on it at all times because we’re simulating flight,” explained University of Miami quidditch organizer Alex Locust. There are now more than 500 active quidditch teams worldwide. In Florida, most of the nearly 30 quidditch teams that have registered with the International Quidditch Association are colleges.
“Now we’re starting to get adult teams who are interested in joining,” said the IQA’s Alicia Radford. “Whatever age groups want to play quidditch, we will adapt.” Both the University of Miami and Florida International University have launched quidditch clubs this semester. In the most eagerly anticipated match since Slytherin vs. Gryffindor, UM will take on FIU in December. Quidditch players typically grew up reading Harry Potter, and relish the experience of playing even a scaleddown version of a game they dreamt about as children. “Look at how many books have been sold across America, there’s a lot of kids interested in it,” said Bob Beloff, whose 18-year-old son, Sean, plays quidditch at UM. Muggle quidditch might not have any acrobatic broom-flying, but that doesn’t mean it’s for sissies. There’s plenty of bumping and other physical contact. Men and women play side-by side. “I’ve found the girls are more vicious,” said FIU quidditch organizer Chelsea Klaiber, adding that one team practice featured a snapped broom caused by a female student tackling one of the guys. Ah, the brooms. This detail is respon-
Mike Kerrick, center right, tries to hold onto the ball during an Oct. 9 quidditch club scrimmage at the University of Miami. sible for much of the challenge that comes with playing quidditch: there’s the predictable awkward running, but holding the broom also takes one arm permanently out of play. “To me, it’s a little bit dangerous with the brooms,” Beloff said after watching his son play. So far, the list of official “recommend-
ed” equipment includes goggles, shin guards, and capes. How exactly does the game work? For non-Potter fans, try visualizing an ovalshaped, half-sized soccer field where each teams’ net is replaced by three basketball-hoop-like spheres. The underlying principle is the same — ball goes in, points get scored (with a goalie-type
player standing in the way). In this case, the ball is a partially deflated volleyball known as a “quaffle.” While teams’ offensive players scurry about on their brooms attempting to score goals, defensive players known as “beaters” work to sabotage any scoring attempt by knocking the quaffleholder temporarily out of play. This is done through a method closely resembling dodgeball — beaters toss partially deflated dodgeballs at opponents who are “knocked out” for a moment if they get hit. So quidditch is ... essentially soccer/basketball/dodgeball, right? Except there’s more. As all that quaffle-tossing and pseudo-dodgeball takes place on the field, three other players engage in a game of tag/flag football that also has points at stake. One of those players assumes the role of the “Golden Snitch” featured in Harry Potter’s pages. In the book, the snitch is a small, gold-colored ball with wings — whichever team catches it is rewarded with a healthy amount of points, and the game then concludes. In the land of Muggles, the snitch is an actual person, dressed in yellow or gold, with an ability to run really fast. The snitch is chased by a representative from
each team, with both players attempting to “catch” the snitch by grabbing a tennis ball that hangs from the snitch’s body, housed in a sock. Nabbing the snitch is harder than it may seem. The snitch is allowed to scamper far off the playing field, in and around campus, and can use whatever he or she finds to aid the escape. If the snitch sees a bicycle, the snitch might just snatch it. After finally cornering the snitch during a recent practice at UM, quidditch player Sean Beloff returned panting and out of breath. “He hid in bushes, and then he hid in a family,” Beloff said. “He jumped off a ledge, I followed him, and then I caught up to him a couple seconds later.” Beloff has played volleyball in both high school and college. Quidditch, he says, seems more “strenuous.” While the physical demands of quidditch are very real, players acknowledge their new passion can prompt some rolling eyes from classmates. It’s clear that the game’s core is made up of diehard fans. “You kind of feel like you’re in Harry Potter world,” said Levy. “Imagining that you’re in that setting, and actually going for it, it just feels like you’re really there.”
news editors: philipp kotlaba, liana bayne, gordon block firstname.lastname@example.org/ 540.231.9865
october 28, 2010
nation & world headlines
Clark: Advocates for human rights ]
Kagan’s ﬁrst vote against execution WASHINGTON — Justice Elena Kagan cast her first vote on the Supreme Court late Tuesday, joining the liberals in dissent when the high court cleared the way for the execution of an Arizona murderer. The 5-4 ruling overturned orders by a federal judge in Phoenix and the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco that had stopped the execution by lethal injection of Jeffrey Landrigan. His lawyers, in a last-ditch appeal, had raised questions about one of the drugs used in the execution. Since the only U.S. manufacturer of sodium thiopental had suspended production, Arizona officials said they had obtained a supply of the drug from a British company. The judge in Phoenix put the execution on hold because she said she was “left to speculate” whether this drug was safe for its intended use. But state lawyers appealed to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, which lifted the judge’s order. “There is no evidence in the record to suggest that the drug obtained from a foreign source is unsafe,” the justices said. The high court used those words two years ago in a decision that upheld the use of lethal injections. -david savage, mcclatchy newspapers
CORRECTIONS In “Star-studded Miami cast won’t win title,” (CT - Oct. 27), NBA star J.J. Redick is a player on the Orlando Magic. the collegiate times regrets this error.
JUSTIN GRAVES -Contact our public editor at publiceditor@ collegiatetimes.com if you see anything that needs to be corrected.
major conflict. There were the sanctions against Iraq, daily fights over Iraq, often bombing attacks. And the shock and awe of 2003 and unprecedented full on uncontrollable conflict all over the country. Places daily where people were fearful and 20 percent of the people driven out of the country. Homes destroyed, cities destroyed. And all of that creating more hatred. More division in the world. Pakistan, which is no bigger than Iraq and Afghanistan combined by double, is in real trouble and anger and it’s an extremely dangerous situation there. I have worked in all the countries we are talking about. You’ve got disturbances from Iraq down on the Indian Ocean up to the Himalayas. Pakistan and all along the border with Afghanistan and border with Iran, border with India, which is very dangerous. It has always been heavily armed with weapons on both sides. Frequently a million men on both sides wondering if there is going to be an order to charge and it’s caused a real transformation in our society and steady increase in research and development of arms. The question today is the necessity of peace or threatened self-destruction. Enlisting all of us in spirit and many of us coast-to-coast and in direct effort and labor and involvement in politics, involvement in life to reorder us on a path to peace.
Johnson — what were the highlights or most memorable moments for you during your service? CLARK: Well, the ‘60s were the best of times and the worst of times. I thought they were overwhelmingly the best of times because people were passionate and involved in causes they believed to be mighty and worthy like peace, peace in Vietnam, civil rights for African Americans, which is in the class of human rights. We had war in Vietnam and riots in our cities. We had millions of people passionately committed to peace, demanding peace in the streets, demanding equal justice for African Americans and the main part I consider and think is enormous progress, particularly on the political side of civil rights for African Americans and other minorities. Real breakthroughs. We didn’t have segregated lunch counters or buses or neighborhoods because everybody has to live somewhere and the cities were all jammed up. They tended to break some of those things up slowly but it’s very hard. In a way the peace movement cost courage and determination. I think that we had idealism and brought in the death penalty for the first time in our history and kept it for a while. Not too long but a few years and we changed our model of police and brought higher education levels and more professional skills, more community service orientation, and force.
CT: You served as the Attorney General for President Lyndon B.
CT: As the defense attorney for both (Slobodan) Milosevic and Saddam
from page one
Hussein, what challenges did you face while serving in these trials? CLARK: I think behind the defense the major considerations are you want everyone to believe that everyone charged of a crime will have a fair trial. And a vigorously effective defense that truth and justice both require that if it’s absent then it is persecution, and the more notable, the more visible, the more aware the public is of a case, the more important it is to ensure fairness. It may not directly help other cases but it indirectly will, because people will think, “Well, if that terrible guy got a fair trial then certainly our own people should get fair trials.” So if you break the barriers for free trial because of passion, hatred and propaganda for people like Milosevic and Sadam Hussein, who were both heads of state in countries of which we engaged in war, then you really destroyed the image of the nation committed to equal justice under law. But there is another consideration and that is the underlying conflicts which arise for these trials create division and fear and hatred. The image of the leader from another country, an enemy country, a country that attacks its own country, I mean to defend your own past president I think enhances chances of reconciliation. It shows that we can rise above anger and hatred and demonization, and reach out to try to ensure fairness and justice and truth. Even for the proclaimed enemy and the people of that country will feel, I mean they
will feel somewhat better if people will come across the ocean and stand in the court with the defeated ruler and present as vigorous a defense as possible. There was not a possible vigorous defense in Iraq because the war was raging. We couldn’t go to scenes of the alleged offenses, we couldn’t go help find physical evidence. It was hard enough to stay alive in the compound in Baghdad where the trial took place. Three lawyers got brutally killed during trial. That’s out of 12 who were representing Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants. I think it’s easy for everybody to take sides and not give any assistance in finding the truth or presenting the evidence. But it doesn’t heal, it doesn’t bring people together, and it doesn’t keep peace. CT: Before you go, is there anything you would like to add or anything you would like me to include? CLARK: Well, I am sure looking forward to coming down there. I lived in Virginia, Northern Virginia, in my eight years in the Department of Justice. I started the first day of Robert Kennedy and ended the last day of President Johnson, assistant attorney general under Robert Kennedy then moved up later on after Johnson became president. So it’ll be good to be in good old Virginia again. It’s always good to be on a university campus because it’s the place where knowledge is respected and learning, commitment created and it will be really nice to see Whitney (Clark) too.
nation & world headlines
Racially insensitive costumes discouraged CHICAGO — Despite their lofty SAT scores and sterling academic credentials, some Northwestern University students apparently need remedial instruction when it comes to selecting appropriate Halloween costumes. In an e-mail sent to the campus late Monday, Dean of Students Burgwell Howard warned against wearing racially or culturally insensitive costumes this weekend. He also discouraged “ghetto,” “pimps and hos” and “gangsta” parties at the esteemed Evanston, Ill., university. “Halloween is unfortunately a time when the normal thoughtfulness and sensitivity of most NU students can be forgotten and some poor decisions are made,” Howard wrote. The directive follows a 2009 incident in which two students attended a Halloween party in black face and pictures of their costumes appeared on Facebook. The photos sparked outrage at the university and prompted a public forum to discuss racism on the predominately white campus. “In many cases the student wearing the costume has not intended to offend, but their actions or lack of forethought have sent a far greater message than any apology could after the fact,” Howard wrote. And lest there be any confusion, Howard provided a list of questions to ask before selecting one’s Halloween attire: Is the costume based on making fun of real people or cultures? Does the costume promote cultural myths? Could someone take offense? Students who answered “yes” to any of these questions were urged to rethink their choices. -stacy st. clair, mcclatchy newspapers
editors: scott masselli, gabi seltzer email@example.com/ 540.231.9865 COLLEGIATETIMES
october 28, 2010
The Collegiate Times is an independent student-run newspaper serving the Virginia Tech community since 1903
Technology destroys personal interaction taken aback by a recent Facebook status, not because Iit was was shocking, but because it occurred to me how reliant we have become on technology. Whether we rely on Facebook, Tumblr, Foursquare, iPhones, iPods or what-have-you, most individuals are connected to technology and the Internet at all times one way or another. Those who somehow manage to disconnect seem odd to the rest of us, when in fact it should be the other way around. What have we gained from the interconnectivity of the world around us? Now we do not need to remember birthdays or anniversaries, we can skim through an article and just pull it up later when we need to recall the facts, and we don’t have to be face-to-face any more. As a society, we seem to be losing our social abilities. This loss of contact — actual, physical contact — is just the beginning. We are losing more than our ability to interact; we are imparting on the youth of society the idea they can do everything through their bits and pieces of technology and access to the Internet. I see the potential, I do, but I see the damage that could be done and the damage that has already occurred. My generation had computers in the home at the age of six or seven, at least I did. I’ve been using them ever since, and I know for a fact that I could never not have a computer. I live on mine, I rely on it, for my useless Internet wanderings and my schoolwork and my travel and my shopping and the list keeps going. Is it convenient? Unquestionably. Does it contribute to my life? Maybe. Could I live without it? Could any of us live without Facebook? Could any of us revert to the caveman-like days where the Internet was only there for research and e-mail? I doubt it. I have tried, too. I deleted my Facebook account at the end of last spring semester, and for the entire summer it went swimmingly. I did not even want to be on Facebook. All of my friends were home, I was home, and I called whomever I wanted to talk to. I have to say it was nice being unavailable to everyone I had been “friends” with. If they wanted to talk they had to call, text, e-mail, etc. I was not completely free from the Internet, but I had definitely reverted. There was no problem until I came back to Virginia Tech for the fall semester. All my Virginia friends were on Facebook, and I was not. I texted and called, and so did they, but the convenience of Facebook was undoubtedly missing. I had to go back. The problem was not the will to communicate, but the effort we put into it. Facebook is more convenient than anything else — a problem I eventually realized — and because almost everyone (our age) we
encounter uses it, it is the prime force of communication. So what does this mean for the future? Where will this take us? The gap between communication and interaction will grow, to the point that there will be no need for physical contact (on a social level). We will outgrow Facebook, e-mail, the Internet in its entirety. What will replace it, though? Who knows? Is this what we want? Is it where society should be going? These are not my decisions, though it is not what I want, and most definitely not where I want to see society going. We are destroying the qualities of being human through the pursuit of — ironically — being human. Technology is ours alone, separating us from every other species, yet we continue to develop it to the point that we destroy a distinctly human process — communication. Curiosity still exists, and I will be the first to admit that the Internet is a strong catalyst for it. Whether or not the Internet contributes to discovery is questionable, and unfortunately we are advancing so rapidly online that discovery made offline is limited and often undermined. The Internet is extremely convenient, making it all the more difficult to shun. At what cost, though? Is convenience more important than humanity? Is the Internet more important than being — human? Perhaps the Internet is the new super-species, as it has already begun to replace the human mind. I know, computers must be made, and they are made by people. As a thinking tool, though, they have begun to replace us. The Internet contributes to our intellect, but not without first limiting it. There is no need for imagining things, you can Google them. There is no need for remembering important dates — you can find them on Facebook. There is no need to read — you can find a summary on Bookrags. This is the society we live in, the one-way, fast-track society we are immersed in. It is a byproduct of the Internet, of mass communication and information. We are slowly losing our humanity, our interests outside of the Internet, losing our ability to think and discover. Discovering what someone else has already found isn’t discovery — it is regurgitating what is already known. Humanity needs thinkers, free from the trend of relying on technology. We are approaching the unknown everyday, making technological advances we believe will make our lives better, but they will not make us better.
SEAN SIMONS -regular columnist -junior -English major
Tech students can help feed Southwest Virginia id you know that throughout history the turnip has been D used to make jack ‘o lanterns, has replaced cabbage in coleslaw and has even been thought of as a cancerfighting vegetable? When cooked or smashed, a compound is released that research has shown decreases the amount of tumor growth, especially in breast cells and decreases the spread of existing cancer cells to other parts of the body. When consumed regularly, another compound is released which research shows increases the liver’s ability to detoxify carcinogens and free radicals. Turnip greens help relieve rheumatoid arthritis, promote colon and lung health and fight against declines in mental function. They are also chock-full of more familiar nutrients such as vitamin C, fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, folate and copper. Last year, Darin Greear, a farmer in Riner, Va., not more than 20 miles from Virginia Tech, grew more than 60,000 pounds of turnips and distributed them to the hands of hungry people all over Southwest Virginia. This year he plans to put between 300,000 and 500,000 pounds of this nutritious vegetable into the same hands all over Southwest Virginia. Everyone knows about farming. We may not know the ins and outs of farming, but we know the basic practice: A farmer grows food and sells it to make money. How he grows the food and who he sells it to are different for each farmer, but all have the same basic outcome. What most people don’t know is almost all farmers have a little leftover crop in the fields at the end of a rotation. For some farmers, the amount of crops left might be larger than others. Mostly this is produce that was not ready to be harvested with the rest. It was likely left in the field to mature, but was not worth
the farmer’s time to come back, or it was missed by a machine when the field was picked over. Gleaning is the gathering of this produce. Groups all over the world participate in gleaning, whether for personal food procurement or for those who cannot obtain food on their own. What Greear is doing is not quite considered gleaning by most standards, but it is of great importance. He has decided to combat a need he saw in an innovative, creative way. Instead of giving the leftover, unwanted crop of his land away to the hungry, he has decided to intentionally set aside several acres of his land in an effort to help feed his neighbors in Southwest Virginia. And you can help. Greear has planted the crop, and now he is waiting for people like you and me to harvest acres of nutritious turnips to feed people all over the region. More than 10,000 pounds have already been harvested and distributed, but that still leaves hundreds of thousands of pounds to get out of the ground and onto the plates of those who are hungry. This season people who are not only hungry but are in need of food that has good nutritional value will be roasting, mashing and sauteing turnips. They will cut raw turnips and use them in coleslaw, dip them in peanut butter, hummus or just add a little salt. You have the opportunity to make sure this happens. Interested in making this happen? Feel free to contact me at NRVHungerRelief@gmail.com or stop by the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships office in 1660 LittonReaves to see us face-to-face.
TARA MILLIGAN -guest columnist
Combating the Chinese economic assertiveness seems today that a lot of news stories play on our fear. Our news It covers everything from Al-Qaeda to diet pills, but lost in these stories is probably the greatest threat to American sovereignty — China. It is my belief the development of nuclear weapons eliminated conventional warfare among first-world powers, and economic warfare has become the new way of doing battle. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the United States toppled the Soviet Union, but not with direct military conflict; it was through outpacing it economically with programs like Star Wars. When the Soviets could not afford to send in the tanks in Poland and Eastern Europe, the country collapsed on itself. Now we face a new opponent, China. China has risen to become an economic power since it joined the World Trade Organization in 2001. China controls about 97 percent of the world’s rare earth metals, it is manipulating the Yuan (keeping it artificially low), and is responsible for numerous cyberattacks. Why are these three issues about China so critical? Let’s start with the Chinese control of rare earth metals. The U.S. Geological Survey recognizes 17 different rare earth metals, metals that are essential to making computers, TVs, and pharmaceutical drugs. The U.S. is a major buyer of rare earth metals, but we mined none last year. Although we complain about reliance on foreign oil, at least the U.S. produces some of its own oil. About a month ago, China was engaged in a diplomatic standoff with Japan when Japan detained a Chinese fishing boat captain after he allegedly rammed a Japanese Coast Guard ship.
In response to his detainment, China aggressively enforced a rare earth metal embargo, which forced Japan to release the captain. Now China has quietly expanded its rare earth metal embargo from Japan to Europe and the United States. As we move toward green technology, rare earth metals are going to be essential because they are a crucial component in almost any gadget that moves or sees or is guided by a computer. These metals are also are necessary for developing battery-powered cars, which is crucial in the effort to ween us off the petrol engine. China is also manipulating its currency to the detriment of the U.S. Last month, Brazil’s finance minister declared there was an “international currency war,” as China has moved to try and replace the dollar as the standard international currency. Right now the Chinese strategy is simple, but deadly to the U.S. dollar — accumulating foreign currency reserves and sending money abroad (in the form of direct investment, aid and loans) has given China financial clout in the global economy. In May 2009, the head of the People’s Bank of China called for an end to using the dollar as the world’s reserve currency in favor of a new currency to be created by the International Monetary Fund. Replacing the dollar means the price of goods may go up and U.S. prestige will probably continue to dwindle. China currently holds the world’s largest foreign-exchange reserves. With the expansion of the Internet and computer usage, it’s no wonder cyberattacks are being used against the
U.S. What’s dangerous about this is how aggressive the Chinese have been in going after our state secrets. During the 2008 presidential campaigns, both sides were completely invaded by cyberspies in August, and the Secret Service forced all senior staff members to replace their laptops and BlackBerries. In March 2009, Sen. Bill Nelson discovered his office computers had been hacked three separate times (all three hackings were traced back to China). Researchers in Toronto discovered that a cyberespionage ring called Ghostnet, centered in Beijing, had infiltrated 103 countries and more than 1,200 systems ranging from NGOs to the offices of the Dalai Lama. Chinese hackers are also believed to be behind the 2003 blackout that plagued the Northeast. The U.S. needs to address these issues before we lose our standing as the dominant power in the world. First, we must either find new suppliers of rare earth metals or use diplomatic influence in the WTO to pressure China into expanding its rare earth metal supplies. Next, develop sanctions and use political pressure in the WTO to prevent it from buying its own currency, which is artificially keeping the Yuan low. Finally, the U.S. needs to invest in network security and step up its own weapons for cyberwarfare to respond to Chinese invasions of privacy.
JEFF HOMAN -regular columnist -sophomore -history major
Important Virginia congressional races display similar dynamics ’s all we can do to ask busy college kids to care enough about politics It to participate in the (very important) congressional election going on here in the 9th District this November. Finding someone interested enough to pay attention to what’s going on in the rest of the state is very rare, even though many of our students are Virginia natives. While this is completely understandable, some students might be interested to know about another very exciting race going on right around the corner, in the 5th District. The outcome of this race will make a definitive statement about the political climate and the nature of politics these days, a statement relevant to us all. Virginia’s 5th District is the largest in the state. It includes Charlottesville and several other decently sized cities. The current representative for the district is Democrat Tom Perriello, who is being challenged by Republican Robert Hurt. The latest polls show Perriello trailing, as he has been all along, but for the most part by less and less. There is, as always with polls, some discrepancy as to exactly how close the race is, but most on either side would say it’s definitely still a race, much like the race between Democrat Rick Boucher and Republican Morgan Griffith in the 9th District. The races in the both districts are comparable in some significant ways. Both feature incumbent Democrats facing some serious opposition from challenging Republicans. Both races are relatively close. But the incumbents themselves are fairly different kinds of Democrats, which is what makes comparing the two races interesting: Seeing which one (if either) prevails over his opponent will make a statement about what works and what doesn’t in the current political climate. Boucher seems to be pushing, as one of his greatest assets, that he doesn’t just vote the Democratic Party line. He claims to put the interests of his district first and his party second, which is part of the reason he voted against one of the most important pieces of Democratic
legislation of the Obama presidency, the health care reform bill. There have been other major things his party has pursued that he opposed, such as the repeal of “Don’t ask, don’t tell” and the financial reform bill. Clearly, though he does undeniably vote with the Democrats and Obama the majority of the time, he isn’t doing so blindly or without reservations on some issues, particularly those which might harm his constituents. He has always been a moderate Democrat, as he must be to be successful in a more conservative district such as this. However, by voting against some major Democratic legislation, such as health care reform, Boucher has managed to alienate some of the people that should be his core base. Democrats are unhappy with him, and some of them are deciding they just won’t vote at all rather than have to vote for someone they see as “the lesser of two evils.” Though I myself rarely condone deciding to sit out an election, many in the 9th District are seeing it as the only way to express their displeasure. They might just end up with an even more conservative representative as a result, but that’s not enough to motivate them to support Boucher at this point. Boucher may also be suffering from a lack of enthusiasm in the campaign-volunteer department. Many of those die-hard Dems who’ve decided to swallow his no-vote on health care and DADT and go ahead and support him anyway are unlikely to take it a step further and volunteer for a guy they just don’t feel that enthusiastic about. The most loyal Democrats, not the moderates or swing voters, are the ones to be depended on for support in the form of time volunteered and money donated, and they’re the ones that Boucher has turned off with his more conservative stances on big issues. Is it worth it to vote against your party to achieve broader appeal in a more conservative district? That remains to be seen. Perriello is another story. He votes with Obama more, including support-
ing the health care reform bill and the financial reform bill. He seems to be of the mind that he was elected to office to be a Democrat, and that’s what he’s going to be, with few exceptions. This is part of the reason the same Democrats who might have been volunteering for the Boucher campaign are much more interested in supporting Perriello. Democrats in general are excited about him and more eager to help his cause, even though Perriello (in his first term) doesn’t have nearly the history of service to his district that Boucher has in his. By voting the party line more often, Perriello seems to hope he can both do good for his community and keep the people who put him in office happy. And though it looks like that might not be enough to keep him in office, many Democrats I’ve talked to respect him a lot more right now than they do Boucher. In a political climate that’s been generally difficult for Democrats, Perriello hasn’t been afraid to make unpopular votes. Some see this as naive; others see it as the kind of politician we need more of. So if one of these men manages to win and the other does not, perhaps we have an indication of what kind of politician it’s prudent to be nowadays. Though there are many other factors at play in these races, including the personalities of the men and the districts themselves, one still might be able to draw a general conclusion. Do we reward a man who’s moderate enough to admit his own party doesn’t always know what’s best, or do we see him cynically as just “playing the political game” and abandoning what he said he would stand for in order to stay in office?
LIZZ WENSKA -regular columnist -sophomore -political science major
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october 28, 2010
Hockey heats up ice with dominating early season wins GEORGE TILLERSON sports staff writer The Virginia Tech club ice hockey team picked up right where it left off last year, when the team went 14-4-3 and won the Atlantic Coast Conference Hockey League championship. The Hokies began this season 30, with an opening game thrashing of the Virginia Cavaliers, 9-3. Tech has continued the early success and currently holds a solid 7-3 record. “It’s a good start to the season; we have a lot of work to do though,” said Keith Houghton, head coach. “We always play great early. Come out focused; come out disciplined. We still have a lot to work on. But early wins are early wins, so it’s good to get these under our belt.” The Hokies have used their ability to control the puck and speed of the game to wear down opponents. In the UVa game, Tech controlled the puck with authority throughout the three periods, notching 47 shots on goal compared to UVa’s 22 as Tech goalie Tony Wolak piled up 19 saves compared to UVa’s 38. Tech has also used its speed and aggressiveness offensively to jump ahead early on opponents. The Hokies got off to a strong start in the first period against UVa with a total of six goals. Additionally, Tech scored four first period goals against the Monmouth Muhawks. Yet, the Hokies have lost three games by a combined five goals and in each of Tech’s losses it was leading in the second period. Stamina and endurance may be a problem, as the Hokies could not hold their leads that would have given them a perfect 10-0 record at this point, but Houghton attributes the losses to not playing all 60 minutes. “Sixty minutes. We got to play 60 minutes. They are better teams,” Houghton said. “They’re gonna be fast; it’s a game of 60 minutes, which means a lot of dumping the puck, a lot of floor checking, going hard in the corners, taking out the D. We have to stay focused and do that for 60 minutes.” This season the Hokies also face a
STEVE SILTON/ SPPS
Tech challenges the Monmouth net good enough for four ﬁrst period goals against the Muhawks. The Hokies have sizzled in their ﬁrst 10 games with a 7-3 start. They also won convincingly over the University of Virginia in the opening game, 9-3 and haven’t looked back since. Tech will try to keep its pace going as its next three games are on the road. new crop of competition as a result of switching leagues. Last year Tech was in the ACCHL, where the Hokies only faced two ACC teams – Maryland and Boston College. This year, however, Tech is in the Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association and facing stiffer competition from the likes of Pittsburgh, Penn State, St. Joseph’s and Temple.
The Hokies have already shown signs of their toughness when they traveled to play the Kennesaw State Owls two weekends ago. Tech lost a close game that Friday night, 5-3, but turned around the next night and dominated the Owls 10-0. “We didn’t think about what happened the night before,” said Joe Woermer, senior captain. “We knew if we we’re going to have a chance
of winning, that we would have to forget about the loss and come out and play our game like we know we can; and that’s what we did. It showed just how good of a team we really are.” Tech also has several new players on the team, creating multiple new line formations. Throughout their games, the Hokies sub in new line formations nearly every three minutes to have the
freshest bodies on the ice as possible. Therefore, many players haven’t played with each other before and the overall chemistry hasn’t developed as quickly. However, each game allows the players to get a better feel of playing with each other. “We have a lot of new line combinations,” said Rick Onorato, senior forward. “I know for my line, I haven’t
played with any of them before. We don’t know each other’s tendencies yet or who is best at what, but overall we have played well together so far and we’re winning, so that’s what counts.” The Hokies’ next three games are on the road, as they take on Liberty University (6-4), Georgetown University (5-1) and St. Joseph’s (22-1).
New faces shine H2Okies take plunge into new pool in weekend series ED LUPIEN
sports staff writer
QUENTIN STOEFFLER / SPPS
Tech’s Ronnie Shaban takes a swing in the Hokies intrasquad series this past weekend. He led the white team with two hits on Friday.
DESPITE LOSING THREE STARTING PITCHERS TO MLB DRAFT, NEW ROTATION IMPRESSES IN SERIES NICK CAFFERKY sports reporter While the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers were battling to get into the World Series this past weekend, the Virginia Tech baseball team was playing in one of its own. In a three-game intrasquad series, the Hokies got back on the field together for the first time since making it to the NCAA Tournament this summer. The scrimmages featured a lot of youth on the team, especially at pitcher — a position where the Hokies saw their three best players leave for professional careers. Of the young hurlers, freshman Colin O’Keefe was the most impres-
sive. In four innings, he gave up just two hits and one unearned run in the gray team’s win Sunday. At the plate, the Hokies saw some great performances from seasoned veterans, but a few fresh faces contributed as well. Sophomore infielder Brent Zimmerman collected four hits on Sunday alone for the gray team. Gabe Ortiz, a junior college transfer from Panama, was perhaps the top performer in the series — logging a multi-hit game on Thursday and following it up with a powerful double on Sunday. The scrimmages conclude the team’s fall practices as players are allowed only two hours of instructional time with coaches a week. The Hokies begin their regular season schedule on Feb. 18 at a tournament in South Carolina.
If you drive down North Franklin Street toward the Montgomery County Courthouse in downtown Christiansburg, the structure that dwarfs all others is bound to catch your eye. The titanic edifice is actually the new 64,000 square-foot Christiansburg Aquatic Center. One the New River Valley’s latest gems, the center opened in July. The center offers a slew of activities and programs, including kayak instruction, water aerobics, life guarding courses and scuba and snorkeling classes. One can get in with a membership, or pay a daily admission price ranging from $2 to $6. “It’s more than a swimming pool,” said Wanda Roberts, a resident of Pulaski. “It also has therapeutic uses and a lot more for people who want to do more than just lie out in the sun.” Although the center specializes in birthday parties for kids, it has brought in people of all ages who seek some relief or exercise. “When you go over there, you can’t help but notice the age variety — it’s not just for kids,” Roberts said. Roberts expects the daily turnout at the center to increase in the coming months as the temperature drops. “They did have an outdoor pool here in Montgomery County but with this you can use it year-round,” Roberts said. “People are going to get bored and want something to do so I think there’s a good possibility of the attendance increasing in the coming months. “More people are going to be made aware of its existence. It will open up more to the residents of the entire New River Valley, not just of Christiansburg.” Roberts, who commutes to Christiansburg daily for work, says the project is “community-specific” and doubts such an undertaking would be able to take shape in Pulaski. “The town’s economic system is so different (compared to that of Christiansburg),” Roberts said. “They’ve tried similar, smaller projects in the past and there was not any support from the people. There’s not even a movie theatre in the town right now.” Christiansburg Mayor Richard Ballengee said the entire project cost more than $17 million but will be well worth it because of the value to local merchants and restaurants.
REBECCA FRAENKEL / SPPS
The Virginia Tech swim and dive team opened its season in the new 64,000 square-foot Christiansburg Acquatic Center on Oct. 16. Tech will pay $250,000 per year for 20 years to use the facility, while the lease will expire after 25 years. Both the men’s and women’s teams won in their ﬁrst meet. Terry Caldwell, the center’s director of aquatics, also cites swim meets as a huge source of revenue. “When you host these kinds of meets you have all these swimmers and their families coming to Christiansburg, staying in our hotels and eating at our restaurants,” Caldwell told the Collegiate Times over the summer. Swimmers in Christiansburg are not the only ones taking advantage of the facility, which boasts a 50meter competition pool, platforms for one-meter and three-meter springboards and a diving tower with five-meter, 7.5-meter and 10-meter platforms. The center has also affected the
university’s swimming and diving programs. According to Caldwell, Tech will pay $250,000 per year for 20 years to use the pool, though its lease to use the facility lasts 25 years. The swimming and diving programs have begun to practice at the center in the mornings on a regular basis, with the coaches claiming it bears no comparison to the teams’ other pools at War Memorial Hall, a facility built in 1922. Virginia Tech diving head coach Ron Piemonte told the Collegiate Times over the summer that the center is scheduled to host the 2012 ACC swim meet. “I’m going to get into the rotation of hosting the NCAA zone diving
competitions,” Piemonte said. “It’s a separate meet that’s just diving, and it’s how divers qualify to go to the NCAAs.” Along with invigorating the swimming and diving programs and providing a new means of entertainment for the area’s residents, the center’s central mission is to operate a public aquatic facility to increase health, water safety and the aquatic education of Christiansburg citizens and aquatic organizations. “I think they’ve needed something like this for a while now,” Roberts said. “It gets people out of the house and has given them life as far as swimming again and having fun.”
6 weekend october 28, 2010
What: Music: American Roots Where: Gillie’s When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free What: Movie: Inlaws and Outlaws Where: GLC auditorium When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free
[Friday, October 29] What: Goth Halloween Dance Party w/DJ Good Old Neon Where: Gillie’s When: 9:30 p.m. Cost: Free, gift certificate for best Goth costume! What: Speakers: A Personal Perspective on Battling Breast Cancer Where: 30 Pamplin Hall When: 4:30 p.m. What: University Choirs Fall Showcase Where: Squires Recital Salon When: 8 p.m. Cost: $3 students, $5 general
[Saturday, October 30] What: Halloween Brunch Show Where: Our Daily Bread Bakery and Cafe When: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Cost: Free What: Music: Bobby Parker Where: Gillie’s When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free What: Brew Do Craft Beer Festival Where: First and Main When: 12 p.m. - 5 p.m. Cost: Ticket prices range from $5-$35 What: Boo Bash (costume contest) Where: Awful Arthur’s When: 8 p.m. Cost: No cover, 21+ What: Celebrating Diwali: Cultural show, fireworks, Indian dinner Where: Buruss auditorium When: 4:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. Cost: Free, dinner is charged
Tricks and treats for your Halloween MIKA MALONEY features reporter
In the mood for a chilling Halloween weekend? For all you ghosts and gremlins hoping to make the holiday a spooky one, check out some of these frightening activities.
What: Speaker: Ramsey Clark: Perspectives on Peace Where: Holtzman’s Alumni Assembly Hall When: Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre Cost: Free
[Thursday, October 28]
editors: lindsey brookbank, kim walter email@example.com/ 540.231.9865
Wondering what’s going on around the ‘burg? Check out the events of the upcoming week.
[Sunday, October 31] What: Pumpkin Festival Where: Sinkland Farms When: 1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Cost: Free admission What: Corn maze after dark Where: Sinkland Farms When: 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Cost: $6
Floyd Ghost Tour: Spend an evening getting chills during the Floyd County ghost tour. The one hour walking tour winds its way around a spooky cemetery, by an old court house and through the center of town. Tours start at Black Water Lofts, departing at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. Oct. 31, and cost $7 per person.
Trick-or-Treating Downtown Blacksburg: Bring young witches and fairies downtown for an evening of community trickor-treating. Downtown restaurants and stores, including Gillie’s, Mish Mish and Champs, among many others, will be handing out candy between 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 30, for young trick-or-treaters. Head over to the Lyric Theatre after for a show by “The Scary Strings” at 5 p.m., followed by a costume contest for ages newborn to 12 at 5:30 p.m.
[Monday, November 1]
Salem Museum Ghost Walk: Relive parts of Salem’s spooky past with this historic ghost tour. Actors are dressed as real characters from the cities history and will lead you through the Historic East Hill Cemeteries recounting goose bump raising memories. The tours meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday until October 28th at the Salem Museum. There is a $6 recommended donation.
Halloween Carnival: Looking for a fun and safe place to celebrate Halloween with younger goblins and princesses? Blacksburg Parks and Recreation and the Virginia Tech chapter of Circle K are hosting a fun-filled evening for preschool and elementary-aged children. Head to the Blacksburg Community Center located at 725 Patrick Henry Drive, Saturday, Oct. 30, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., to enjoy an evening of carnival games, treats, prizes and a surprise guest. The entrance fee is $2.
What: Dr. Marsha Hurst: Narrative, Illness and Advocacy: Attending to Stories of the Body Where: Torgersen 3100 When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free
[Tuesday, November 2] What: Music: Two Fresh/MIMOSA Where: Attitudes When: 8 p.m. Cost: $13 advance, $15 at door, 18+
Boo Bash at Awful Arthur’s: Stop by Awful Arthur’s for a costume contest, live broadcasting, prizes and other surprises. Dress in your most creative or sexiest costume and enter to win. The party starts at 8 p.m. Saturday.
[Wednesday, November 3] What: Visiting Writers Series: Matthew Shenoda Where: Torgersen 3100 When: 7 p.m. Cost: Free What: Spirit Rally Where: Steps of Cassell When: 6 p.m. Cost: Free
Halloween Blast: Think you can break the Thriller Guinness Record? Head into Roanoke at 8 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 31, to see “Who’s Bad,” the Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band, at the Roanoke Civic Center. Tickets cost $12 to $15. Orange jumpsuits and white gloves are optional.
Murder Mystery Dinner: Take part in a murder mystery dinner where newlywed bed-andbreakfast owners Audrey and Herbert Fox discover an array of dark secrets relating to their dead guest in suite nine. Presented by New River Stage, the shows will take place at Preston’s Restaurant at the Inn at Virginia Tech at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, and 6:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 12, at the Blacksburg Country Club.