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EASY RIDERS TAKE SCOOTERS TO CLASS Money, time-saving scooter conveys class SANDRA KUNZWEILER The Oklahoma Daily

For some men, a mid-life crisis is an occasion to invest in hair dye and flashy red sports cars. But for Vice Provost Zach Messitte, it was a time to purchase a sky-blue Vespa. Vespa is a brand of twowheeled motor scooters, popular in Europe, and over the last half-century, its popularity in the U.S. has grown. And professors, students and bystanders say there is no better place to ride one than in Norman. “It’s not too crowded, it’s not too flat and the traffic isn’t bad,” said Messitte, director of the International Programs Center. As the onset of scooter season begins in the spring and summer, salesman Frank Felix of Extreme Auto Options said it is more likely people will consider buying their own sporty, wild rides, which range in cost between $1,100 to $3,000. He said scooters have become attractive because they help save on gas expenses. But international area studies professor Suzette Grillot said she likes her scooter because it saves time getting around campus, and the parking is more convenient. Grillot is a relatively new scooter owner, having purchased hers in November. Since then, she said she has put about 210

NEW SCHOLARSHIPS FROM OIL INDUSTRY HALTED Each year OERB, an organization funded by Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry, offers scholarships to students from OU, Oklahoma State University and Tulsa University. This year the organization is unable to award scholarships to new applicants. Scholarships only will be awarded to existing scholars, OERB Executive Director Mindy Stitt said. This was despite the fact more than 300 new applications were sent in by Oklahoma students. Stitt said the reason for this is due to a cut in scholarship funding. OERB receives its funding from the oil and natural gas industry as a percentage of oil prices, she said. When oil prices dropped last fall, the amount available to OERB fell as well. Stitt said when the organization advertised the scholarship opportunities, it did not know the funding would be cut so drastically. If a student received the scholarship last year, Stitt said he or she must reapply for the scholarship to be eligible for it. Scholars who no longer meet the grade point average requirement or have changed majors will lose their funding. “We weren’t going to cut any of our scholars out, but we couldn’t add any additional scholars,” she said. She said there currently are 147 scholars, and hopes more funding will be available to the organization for scholarships in the future. Students can apply for an OERB scholarship for the 2010-2011 school year until March 2010. —Will Holland/ The Daily

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Zach Messitte and Suzette Grillot, international and area studies professors, show off their scooters on Buchanan Avenue. They prefer riding scooters because they are environmentally friendly, have great gas mileage and set them apart from everyone else. miles on it. “I try to ride as often as I can when the weather is good,” Grillot said. “Sometimes I pick my daughter up from school on it.” For Grillot, being a mother

with scooter style also means having fashion sense. She said she often wears high heels when riding. Messitte, who works with Grillot, said he can relate. Though instead of heels, he said

he prefers a suit and a briefcase. “Also, I never ride without a helmet,” Messitte said. Messitte has had his Vespa since last summer. He said when students saw him on it this year, he gained unexpected popularity

status. “I have one student that has a scooter as well who wants to go ‘scootering’ with me,” he said. “I think things like this set you apart ... it’s something unique that’s different about you.”

Vanderbilt professor speaks on black power Speaker claims liberalism helps achieve human equality SHERIDAN STOVALL The Oklahoma Daily

Vanderbilt University history professor Devin Fergus visited OU Thursday to discuss liberalism, black power and the influential individuals that led from times of progressive political parties to the historic election of

AMY FROST/ THE DAILY

Devin Fergus, assistant professor of modern United States and African history at Vanderbilt University, and author of the newly-released “Liberalism, Black Power, and the Making of American Politics 1965-1980” speaks at the David L. Boren Auditorium inside the National Weather Center Thursday evening.

President Barack Obama. Fergus took members of the OU community from David Boren Auditorium in the National Weather Center on a journey of remembrance to the ’60s and ’70s to discuss the interplay between liberalism and black power. He touched on gender, economic and cultural nationalism throughout the time period, and how liberalism has reformed black power throughout the years, creating a sense of human equality. “We need to rethink the liberalism as a political policy and whether it failed or succeeded,” he said. Fergus described the skeptical viewpoint scholars have placed on the interplay, stating scholars often ignore the interplay between the two and place them in a destructive context, rather than describing the institutions and visions that resulted. “Liberalism creates a space for black

power,” Fergus said. “Amid this space, black power programs emerge.” Fergus said an example of the space created is the efforts of Floyd McKissick, founder of Soul City, N.C., a town populated by minority groups that planned to be self-sufficient by attracting industry and labor and having its own tax base. Fergus said Soul City was a tremendous influence in the diversification of the Republican Party. The goal for the town was for it to be placed on 5,000 acres of land where the economy and agriculture had been previously depressed to reach a population of 18,000 by 1990. McKissick teamed with Richard Nixon before he took office to fund the project. In return, McKissick would help Nixon diversify his party. Fergus said the progressive Republican Party helped Soul City and that McKissick ultimately helped Nixon win the election. He said McKissick’s efforts eventually ended with the election of George Bush and Jesse Helms, a Republican former senator from North Carolina. But Fergus ended on a hopeful note. He related Obama’s views of black power to those of McKissick, saying Obama’s willingness to compromise is similar, and that they both make practical efforts to negotiate for causes they support.

City offers temporary relief to 600 homeless in Cleveland County One night in January, there were about 600 homeless people in Cleveland County going to sleep without permanent housing. The city just released numbers from Norman’s Annual Homeless Count, conducted each year in January but believed to be representative of homeless rates throughout the year. Homeless people in Norman may sleep in temporary shelters, cars or parks. “Many of these persons are no different than Cleveland County residents with permanent housing, except that when faced with a financial crisis, they had neither the personal savings nor family support to enable them to maintain safe and adequate shelter,” said Lisa Krieg, City of Norman grants planner. There are organizations working to provide tempo-

rary shelter and long-term assistance to the homeless so they can get back on their feet. Christy Blair, executive director of East Main Place, said her organization works to alleviate homeless numbers in Norman. “Our goal is to put the people that come in here in a position to support themselves,” Blair said. “They live in fully-furnished apartments and are expected to stay free of drugs and alcohol. They also meet with case managers on a weekly basis to help them figure out what they want and need to do.” Blair said East Main Place officials also work to give individuals the knowledge they need to live within their means and understand the resources available to them. “One of the biggest things we see, even nationwide, is that they tend to use the emergency room for any

© 2009 OU PUBLICATIONS BOARD

kind of care,” Blair said. “Even for something like a spider bite, they don’t realize that you could just go to a walk-in clinic where it would cost $60. They go to the emergency room, and the bill is $2,000, and they’re never going to be able to pay that back.” While places like East Main Place focus on helping those with deep-rooted problems, Blair said Oklahoma received about $8 million from the national economic stimulus package to help combat homelessness. “This is going to be used as prevention money,” Blair said. “It’s for those without the deep problems, those in more temporary situations. But we’re going to have to apply for it and fight for it with all the other homeless shelters in the state.” — Eric Dama/The Daily

VOL. 94, NO. 145


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Friday, May 1, 2009

ZACH BUTLER/THE DAILY

Fans in the student section celebrate at the OU/Texas Tech game. Some students were unable to buy season tickets this week because computers failed to recognize their eligibility.

Graduate students express anger over season ticket policy Some students ruled ineligible for season football tickets CLARK FOY The Oklahoma Daily

The early bird gets the worm. Or so the saying goes, but that was not the case for a group of graduate students who tried to buy OU football season tickets early Monday morning. Psychology graduate student John Houser said he was not allowed to get season tickets for no apparent reason. Houser was one of many graduate students who were told by the ticket office they were not registered as fulltime students. “It was just ridiculous,” Houser said. “It has never been like this before. We even had to

print off copies of our schedules and prove that we were full time.” Graduate students must be enrolled in at least six credit hours to be eligible for season tickets, and Houser said he and peers he knew who were having the same problem were enrolled in nine hours. “We were all easily within full time statues, so I have no idea why we were having this problem,” Houser said. Houser and many others protested to the ticket office, where they were told they were not listed as full-time students in the Bursar’s records, he said. Everyone who had problems was asked to bring printed copies of their schedules to the ticket office. The problem seems to be fixed now, as students were able to buy season tickets that afternoon and later in the week, Houser said. But, the students who encountered the

STATE NEWS BRIEFS ADVOCATE CRITICIZES NURSING HOMES OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma County’s top prosecutor said Thursday he supports a plan to install surveillance cameras in the rooms of nursing home residents to provide a new level of security for vulnerable elderly Oklahomans. District Attorney David Prater threw his support behind the proposal during a meeting with state lawmakers and elderly care advocates in which the founder of a senior advocacy group said the level of long-term care in Oklahoma nursing homes falls below national standards. The surveillance camera plan is part of legislation that would delete the minimum direct care staffing ratios for nursing homes and intermediate care facilities for developmentally disabled Oklahomans. It would require nursing homes that implement a flexible staff scheduling program to allow a resident to install an electronic monitoring in the resident’s room as a security precaution. No state funds would be used to pay for monitoring costs. It also authorizes the nursing home to install a camera in a resident’s room, with the resident’s permission, to provide additional security. A spokeswoman for a nursing home group, Rebecca Moore, has expressed opposition to the plan and suggested that electronic monitoring devices would not provide a higher level of security. “That’s absolutely absurd,” Prater said. “Cameras are a great law enforcement tool. I think they absolutely have a right to have a camera in their room.” But Moore said many nursing home residents object to placing a surveillance camera in their room because of privacy considerations. “We have providers that already utilize cameras,” said Moore, executive director of Oklahoma Association of Healthcare Providers. “The main objection has been from facility residents. They don’t want cameras in their home.” Wes Bledsoe, founder of A Perfect Cause, presented statistical information that he said indicates state nursing homes fail to properly care for their elderly residents.

problem on Monday morning have not received confirmation they have tickets. “I guess we are all just kind of assuming and hoping that we do have tickets,” Houser said. “I bet if we all hadn’t made a big deal about it, then they would not have fixed the problem.” Athletics department spokesman Kenny Mossman said the schedule and documentation were required to prove full-time status. He said the problem only affected a handful of students, none of whom were turned away from tickets. “It happens on occasion that a student is not listed as a full-time student,” Mossman said. “It has happened before in past years.” Mossman said anyone who encounters this problem should contact the ticket office and arrange to prove their full-time status. The process is not hard and should only take a few minutes, he said.

“It was just ridiculous. It has never been like this before.” JOHN HOUSER, PSYCHOLOGY GRAD STUDENT An employee at the OU Ticket Office said students ordering tickets at the office do not receive direct confirmation. Those wishing to check their tickets’ status can call the ticket office and submit their student ID numbers to see if they have the tickets or not. While the issue seems to be resolved, Houser said the situation was hindering and tiresome. “It was just kind of frustrating,” he said. “They kind of weren’t answering our questions and we had to go out of our way to get the tickets we wanted.”

OUR COMMITMENT TO ACCURACY HOSPITAL EMPLOYEE DOESN’T HAVE SWINE FLU MUSKOGEE, Okla. — A Muskogee hospital employee who returned from a trip to Mexico with flu-like symptoms does not have the swine flu. Veterans Administration Hospital spokeswoman Nita McClellan said Thursday that tests performed on the worker have come back negative for influenza. She said the employee is doing well and will be returning to work. There have not yet been any confirmed cases of swine flu in Oklahoma. The worker’s recent trip to Mexico, combined with his symptoms, had led to concern he might have the illness. Meanwhile, some hospitals are giving masks to emergency room patients with upper respiratory symptoms in an attempt to minimize the spread of swine flu. Some of these patients are also being seated away from other patients and put in a private room if admitted. “We are doing anything we can to minimize the contamination,” Integris Baptist Medical Center spokeswoman Brooke Cayot said. She said ventilators that help sanitize the air and hand-washing stations have been added to waiting rooms at the hospital in Oklahoma City. At Mercy Health Center in Oklahoma City, patients with flu-like symptoms are given a rapid antigen influenza test and asked about recent travel. If they’ve been to outbreak areas, nasal swabs are taken and sent to the state Health Department for additional testing. Staff treating patients with flu symptoms also wear masks in many cases, hospitals said. It’s best to be overly cautious, said Brian Bradley, emergency room manager for Deaconess Hospital. “In the ER, we assume there is a gorilla in the room until proven otherwise,” he said. Hospitals are also bracing for an influx of patients if the swine flu strain is found here. Oklahoma has a stockpile of enough anti-flu medications for about 200,000 people. The drugs have been effective in treating most flu cases. —AP

The Daily has a long-standing commitment to serve readers by providing accurate coverage and analysis. Errors are corrected as they are identified. Readers should bring errors to the attention of the editorial board for further investigation.

POLICE REPORTS Names are compiled from the Norman Police Department and OUPD. The reports serve as a record of arrests and citations, not convictions. Those listed are innocent until proven guilty.

PETTY LARCENY Chad Andrew Snyder, 20, 333 N. Interstate Drive, Tuesday Norma Vasquez, 24, 333 N. Interstate Drive, Tuesday

OTHER COUNTY WARRANT Hama Denver Foran, 22, Acres Street, Wednesday

LARCENY Waylon Gene Whitlow, 30, 1306 Northcliff Ave., Wednesday, also municipal warrant, county warrant and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle

DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE Joshua Alvin Kuder, 21, 1100 E. Robinson St., Tuesday ASSAULT AND BATTERY WITH A DEADLY WEAPON David Brent Nelson, 20, 200 Vicksburg Ave., Wednesday

PUBLIC INTOXICATION Ricky Gene Toho, 33, 901 24th Ave. SW, Wednesday Katie Louise Turley, 29, 901 24th Ave. SW, Wednesday


Friday, May 1, 2009

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BROGDON STIRS STIMULUS CONTROVERSY State senator insists accepting funds makes state financially vulnerable in coming years

still is working toward prioritizing the budget. “We’re making targeted cuts, shifting funds and we’re trying to look ahead with the next budget year in mind,” Leaver said. About $905 million of stimulus money will go to health and human services, with about $78 million of that going to low-income housing assistance and grants, according to the state stimulus Web site. But this money and other stimulus funding will not be available until the end of December 2010, which Brogdon said makes the state financially vulnerable. “The credit card payment is going to come due in the state of Oklahoma, and in the 2011 budget cycle when this stimulus money runs out, we will be forced to make the budget cuts that we should be discussing today,” Brogdon said. “I think it’s important that we should be making some tough decisions today, and if we don’t we may be forced to make some impossible decisions tomorrow.” But Michael Clingman, director of the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, said although the federal funds have an expiration date, it is possible that when the funds do run out the economy will be in a healthier situation so budget cuts would not be as painful. “It will be a challenge I’m sure, but the economy could take less of a hit then, instead of a huge hit today and worsen the recession,” Clingman said.

CADIE THOMPSON The Oklahoma Daily

While Oklahoma agencies wait to see how federal stimulus money will affect the state budget, one lawmaker thinks it is only a matter of time before the federal bounty turns into a financial burden. R a n d y B ro g d o n , R- O w a s s o, s a i d Oklahoma Legislators and Democratic Gov. Brad Henry are putting the state’s economic future at risk and avoiding state budget issues by accepting stimulus funds. In March, he suggested the state return the funds. “It’s financially breaking this state, it is bankrupting our nation. We just cannot afford any more free money from Congress,” Brogdon said. “There’s no such thing as free money, no such thing as a free lunch. We’re putting off today what we’re going to have to deal with over the next couple of budget cycles.” Oklahoma has about a $900 million budget deficit, but the state is using some of the allotted $2.6 billion in federal funds to cover some of the shortfall, Brogdon said. According to the state stimulus information Web site, about $578 million of stimulus money will go to budget stabilization to help minimize budget cuts. But Brogdon, who entered the 2010 race for Oklahoma governor, said he wants to prioritize and that using the federal money is just a quick fix to a broken budget which will have a heavy cost. “We have the opportunity to encumber our kids’ futures for many, many years if we’re not careful on growing the budget and spending the money like we’re doing right now,” he said. “We should be about trying to protect their future economically, rather than robbing them of their future.” But without the stimulus funds, the state budget would have to be cut even more than it already is, said David Blatt, policy director for the Oklahoma Policy Institute, an Oklahoma City-based anti-poverty group. Cutting the budget would be devastating because many families are facing unemployment and difficult financial situations, and will need government programs for assistance, Blatt said. He said budget cuts also could worsen the economic climate by forcing the state to cut contracts and lay off employees. “It’s absolutely a good thing this money is

CAMPUS NOTES

TODAY

SATURDAY

HILLEL Hillel will host Israel Café at 7:30 a.m. at the Hillel center.

OKLAHOMA EDUCATIONAL STUDIES ASSOCIATION OESA is hosting a conference at 8 a.m. in the Oklahoma Memorial Union.

PROVIDED PHOTO

Oklahoma State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, debates on the Senate floor during the April 16 session. The fiscal conservative says Oklahoma should not accept funds from the federal stimulus program, saying it will create a future financial burden. Brogdon plans to run for governor in 2010. coming. In the absence of stimulus money, we would be looking at deep cuts for public services affecting students, the elderly and the poor, the most vulnerable people,” Blatt said. “It is essential to help ride out the worst of the economic downturn.” Mary Leaver, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Health and Human Services, said she already has seen an increase in the demand for state-provided services. In March, the food stamp program

hit a record high with more than 450,000 people participating. That number is likely to increase, she said. Leaver said the department requested $630 million from the state, leaving a $19-million shortfall for the department. But without the stimulus funds the agency expects to receive, the department’s deficit would be even larger, and programs would be impacted, she said. But even with the federal funds, OKDHS

SCHOOL OF OPERA The School of Opera will perform at 8 p.m. in Holmberg Hall. SCHOOL OF THEATER The School of theater presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center.

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SCHOOL OF THEATER The School of theater presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 8 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center.

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COMMENTS OF THE DAY »

Friday, May 1, 2009

In response to a Thursday news story about possible higher education tuition increases.

Ray Martin, opinion editor dailyopinion@ou.edu • phone: 325-7630 • fax: 325-6051

YOU CAN COMMENT AT OUDAILY.COM

OUR VIEW

“Has there ever been a year where there wasn’t a tuition increase? This is to be expected, I thought. Not that it’s right... I think it’s pretty clear how Oklahoma feels about education by the way they treat and pay their teachers.” - cketrick

“With inflation and decreased support from donors, this is inevitable. Sure, we can complain all we want, but that isn’t going to make the money tree grow any faster... In addition we already have one of the lowest rates of tuition in the country.” - delayed

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

State senator wrong on returning $2.6B in federal stimulus funds In March, State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, suggested Oklahoma give the $2.6 billion it’s set to receive from the federal stimulus package “back to Obama and Congress.” This is a foolish example of political posturing by Brogdon, who has said he is planning to run for governor in 2010. See page 3 for more details. We understand why Brogdon says he wants to give the money back. There are some strings attached to the money, but the money will benefit Oklahoma, even if the state doesn’t get to decide exactly how it will be used. For example, $465 million of the stimulus package has been allocated specifically to improve roads and bridges in the state. But is this a bad thing? Hardly. Oklahoma is near the bottom of national rankings in several categories, including income, health insurance, high school education, college education, good nutrition, tobacco use, mental illness, diabetes and heart disease.

And Brogdon’s solution is to refuse money that Oklahoma could use to actually help its people? If the state is being given this money, government officials might as well use it. If Oklahoma uses it wisely, a chunk of money this large could spark real progress in Oklahoma, which is something that should reach across party lines. If Oklahoma were to decline this money, it most likely wouldn’t go back in the Federal Reserve. If the Sooner State doesn’t take it, another state will. Those millions will be used to benefit Texas or Kansas or Missouri, but not Oklahoma. The state has a budget shortfall potentially as large as $900 million, and the money would help alleviate state income issues while giving the government the opportunity to improve the quality of life in Oklahoma. If Brogdon really wants to help the state, he will stop his political grandstanding and recognize that, whether he initially supported the stimulus or not, it’s on its way, and Oklahoma should benefit from it.

STUDENT CONGRESS NOT FOLLOWING CODE On Wednesday, The Daily featured a small report about Student Congress passing a bill to elect Kely Van Eaton as CAC chair. The same report also mentioned that Student Congress approved the cabinet members for the Executive Branch for the 2009-2010 school year. Sadly, what The Daily did not report was that the cabinet members were approved in clear violation of the UOSA Code Annotated, the second highest governing document that establishes the rules for the University of Oklahoma Student Association. When Student Congress is asked to provide advice and consent on appointments made by the UOSA president and vice president, the UOSA Code Annotated, UOSACA, clearly states that the people who the legislature is providing consent on must be present at the

meeting. At the Student Congress meeting on Tuesday, only six of the 11 appointees were present at the meeting. When a member of Student Congress brought up the point that Student Congress could not offer its consent on the appointees without all of appointees present, the Vice Chair of Congress, Matthew Gress, as well as several others, advocated for continuing with the consent process even though it was in clear violation of the UOSACA. While this may seem like a trivial matter, this process also applies to several other high profile positions including UOSA general counsel, UOSA superior court justices and the election chair, all of which can have a major impact on the students at the University. If Student Congress was willing to violate the law now, what is to stop them from doing it later? Joseph Ahrabizad, political science junior and Student Congress representative, Social Sciences District

STAFF COLUMN

IT’S NOT EASY BEING MODERATE It has never been easy to be a moderate in America; our two-party system is set up against people who are in the middle. But the difficulty of being a moderate has greatly increased in the past 20 years, and this trend worries me. We’ve had polarization of outlooks from the getgo; the loyalists wanted to stay with Britain, the revolutionaries wanted to form America. But once general Americans (i.e. moderates) sided with the revo- STEPHEN lutionaries instead of the CARRADINI loyalists, the American revolution got going (and Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense,” then as now, resonated with the average American citizen). Once it became time to write the Constitution, there was conflict in many

areas. States’ rights, slavery — it’s all fifthgrade American history now. But current Democrats and Republicans seem to have forgotten that the Three-Fifths Compromise and the Great Compromise were two of the most important moments of the Constitutional Convention. We wouldn’t even have a country without compromise. Once the founders got past the whole loyalist vs. revolutionary thing, they realized they had to work together or they were all going to get killed individually. Their loyalties to their states were not forgotten, but instead compromised, for the better good. It saddens me that Americans have fallen so far from the celebration of compromise, that “compromise” has an almost entirely negative connotation in our culture. “Don’t compromise your morals!” “This mission has been compromised!” These are familiar statements. The word compromise has been associated with “weakness” in a terrible way. It’s not weakness. It’s diplomacy.

It’s strategy. It’s a necessity. This is due heavily to spy movies, for the second sentence and the polarization of the culture. While the biases of various news networks are the most obvious display of polarization, I don’t fault the media. They only show what people will watch. If nobody watched the polarized media, media would shift back to actually reporting in an unbiased way. But unbiased news is boring. We don’t like boring. This polarization of culture is damaging to America. Instead of being able to come up with solutions in which one party gets some things and the other party gets other things with neither getting all of what they want, the party in power jerks around the minority party for as long as it can, knowing that it will eventually get jerked around when it becomes the minority. Instead of taking some losses while in power to ensure that they have some gains while not in power, they just take everything they can get while they’re in

power. This caused, is causing and will continue to cause a stalemate in America. If we don’t remember how to compromise, then we’re going to have a long period of Democrat action replaced by subsequent Republican action, which is then nullified by more Democrat action. The country will never go anywhere and will never be as prosperous as it could be. It is a good thing not to have rock-solid beliefs on everything. It allows compromise, which is pretty much the only thing separating this country from tyranny, monarchies, despotism and oppressive ideologies. Unfortunately, it seems that oppressive ideologies seem to be taking over American politics, and moderates have no place in that system. I hope that we re-learn to compromise so we don’t have to work backward down the list. Stephen Carradini is a professional writing junior.

STAFF COLUMN

US health care system should be revamped President Barack Obama recently announced plans to triple the number of Americorps positions in the coming years. A couple weeks prior, I had applied to a number of Americorps positions and have been interviewing for them. A m e r i c o r p s, I thought, was a good way to do some public service, pick up some marketable skills, and – in all honesty – avoid the dreadful job market after gradJACOB uation. I imagine JONES it still is, just not for me. The reason? Health care coverage. Like 133 million other Americans, I have a chronic illness. Crohn’s disease in my case, but I am sure many of you might also suffer from another disease. As I was getting closer to accepting an Americorps position, I reviewed their health care plan and found it offers no coverage for pre-existing conditions. Tough luck if your cancer comes out of remission or you need physical therapy for an ankle injury you suffered in the past. This isn’t unusual, though. OU’s student health care plan does

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not offer coverage for pre-existing conditions, nor do a number of insurance plans that aren’t administered through employment. It is, however, extremely unfortunate for individuals like me, and it shows how desperately we need health care reform. Take Americorps. Although Obama has tripled the size, you still have a public service initiative that implicitly excludes more than a third of the population. The American auto industry is in crisis mode largely because of its retirees’ medical expenses. These medical expenses forced the companies into their current position and have been responsible for much of the difficulty in pulling them out. We spend twice as much on health care than any other nation per capita, but by most measures, our quality of care is no better, and the U.S. government pays half of all medical expenses. This makes you wonder what or whom we are paying for with our personal expenditures. You cannot take an unbiased look at the numerical arguments and conclude our system is superior. Yet we continue to stick with it. Why? Our society’s fear of the socialism plays a crucial role, and I

Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Assistant Managing Editor Night Editor Opinion Editor Photo Editor

believe it is evidenced by the BandAid proposals of the last election cycle. It is beyond me why we lack a collective fear of job lock, medical expense-induced bankruptcy and wasteful spending. I have personal experience with “socialized” medicine, so I think I am qualified to compare it with the current U.S. health care system. I have been hospitalized for extended periods on multiple occasions, had a couple run-ins with emergency rooms, had close to a dozen outpatient procedures and more doctor visits than I can count. This is average for those with chronic conditions, but I would wager that I have a lot more experience being poked, prodded and sick than 90 percent of those reading this paper. I spent four days in a German hospital and a couple hours in a Dutch emergency room last summer for a condition that was eerily similar to a flare up of my Crohn’s Disease. I think it’s important to note that I have a very good idea of how American doctors go about assessing these cases. I know what tests they run, and I have a good idea of how to interpret the results. In the Netherlands, I saw a doctor within 15 minutes of arriving to the emergency room. I didn’t even need to fill out forms. I just handed

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over my passport to be photocopied and told the intake nurse my symptoms. The doctor ran tests, asked the right questions, and, in response to my question about a missing test in the blood work, politely told me why the test they used was superior. He offered to run the test and e-mail me the results. I declined. We decided it was probably not a flare up from my disease, but a nasty stomach bug. He gave me his personal e-mail in case I had any questions. I left without signing a single document or spending a dime. Two days later, I found myself in Berlin, sick as ever. I went to the hospital, saw a doctor within 15 minutes and was admitted within the hour. I shared a Spartan room with four others, but the quality of care was excellent. After a round of invasive tests, the culprit was still unknown, but their combination of IV fluids and medicines seemed to do the trick. I signed my name a couple of times and left with my medications and records. Again, I didn’t pay a thing. When I returned home, I saw my specialist at the OU Medical Center. He was just as puzzled by my symptoms. I found my way back to normal health within the month regardless. The medical care I received in

The Oklahoma Daily is a public forum and OU’s independent student voice. The opinion page is produced by a staff of columnists and cartoonists who are independent of The Daily’s news staff. Letters to the editor are welcomed. Letters should concentrate on issues, not personalities, and should be fewer than 250 words, typed and signed. Letters may be cut to fit. Students must list their major and classification. OU staff and faculty must list their title. All letters must include a daytime phone number. Submit letters to dailyopinion@ou.edu or in person Sunday through Thursday in 160 Copeland Hall.

foreign countries was as good as what I have experienced here, and in some respects, better. There was less hassle, but I didn’t have my own room, television or room service menu. I wanted to share my experiences because I feel it would erase so much of the hypocrisy our society has toward medical care. In time most of you will have your own stories to tell as well, but it will likely be when you are old and retired. It will be when you are on Medicare, on the government’s dime and on your way out. For individuals and policymakers to wrap the health care issue in stigmatizing terms, like “socialized medicine,” is ignorant of our current system and of what “socialized medicine” entails. We cannot continue to let health care reform be defined by tired ideologies and arguments. Doing so is not only ignorant of the true nature of the issue, but of great consequence to many like myself. I am glad that many Americans can take their health for granted, but it is deeply insulting when it is manifested as nonchalance toward the millions of us for whom it is one of the biggest issues in our daily lives. Jacob Jones is an economics senior.

Guest columns are encouraged. They can be submitted to the opinion editor via e-mail at dailyopinion@ou.edu. Comments left on OUDaily.com may be reprinted on the opinion page. ’Our View’ is the opinion of majority of the members of The Oklahoma Daily’s editorial board. Editorial Board members are The Daily’s editorial staff. The board meets Sunday through Thursday in 160 Copeland Hall. Columnists’ and cartoonists’ work is representative of their own opinions, not those of the members of The Daily’s Editorial Board.


SOFTBALL »

OUDAILY.COM

Steven Jones, sports editor dailysports@ou.edu • phone: 325-7630 • fax: 325-6051

BASEBALL

ROWING

Sooners heading home OU hosts Kansas for three-game series after lengthy road trip JONO GRECO The Oklahoma Daily

Two weekends on the road during Big 12 play can be tough for any team, so returning to L. Dale Mitchell Park is exactly what the No. 9 baseball team needs. OU welcomes the Kansas Jayhawks to Norman for a threegame set starting 6:30 Friday evening. The Sooners (33-12, 11-9) went 3-3 in two road series against No. 8 Texas and No. 17 Baylor. They were swept by the Longhorns and took all three games from the Bears. OU is 19-2 at home this season, the only losses coming against Nebraska and Texas Tech by a combined differential of six runs. “This is where we play the best,” sophomore left fielder Casey Johnson said. “It’s tough to beat us here and we’re happy to be back.” In those 19 victories, the Sooners averaged 9.8 runs per game and have outscored opponents 187-77. In addition to holding opponents to a mere 4.1 runs per game in Norman, the pitching staff has recorded three shutouts – one against Houston Baptist March 10 and two against Texas Tech in back-to-back games April 10 and 11.

5

MERRILL JONES/THE DAILY

OU faced Oklahoma State Thursday night. Read the story online.

Friday May 1, 2009

On the other hand, the Jayhawks (31-15, 10-8) post a less-thanstellar road record. Away from Lawrence, they are 8-12, including a 2-5 record in Big 12 play. OU head coach Sunny Golloway said despite the lackluster road record, he expects this weekend’s series to be a tough one, but being at home gives his team the advantage. “We expect nothing but their best effort, but we are playing at home,” Golloway said. “We’ve been very good at home, and we are a very good team. So we expect to play well and we expect to win.” Junior pitcher Andrew Doyle said all he has heard about the Jayhawks, who swept Texas at home this y ear, is that they have struggled on the road this season. “I haven’t heard too much about [the Jayhawks] outside the fact that they’re better at home and not as good on the road,” junior pitcher Andrew Doyle said. Doyle is scheduled to be Friday’s starter, a role in which he has excelled this season. He has started each Friday series opener during Big 12 play, excluding two times when the openers were pushed to Saturday due to weather. In 10 starts, Doyle posts a 6-3 record and has a 3.76 ERA. In 69 1/3 innings he has struck out 48 and has walked only 12 batters. In his last start against Baylor, Doyle went eight innings, allowing two runs, six hits and striking out six Bears en route to a 4-2 win.

OU COMPETING IN FIRST EVER BIG 12 CHAMPIONSHIPS Rowing is heading to Kansas City, Kan. Saturday to participate in the inaugural Big 12 Championships. Prior to this season, OU’s first season of rowing, the Big 12 only had three teams, so they did not have a championship. Junior Chelsea Moore said she’s looking forward to see how the Sooners match up against the Big 12 teams. “I’m interested to see how we stack up against the competition,” Moore said. “I think it will be really fun because all the schools, you hear about them in football and stuff like that so it will be fun to take that into rowing.” The other schools competing this weekend are Texas, Kansas and Kansas State. Moore said she is hoping for a top three finish. “I want a medal,” Moore said. “First, second or third, I really just want to show them that we can do it and that it is possible. I think it would set us up for future years because we’ve got such a small program that we’ve set a standard for future years.” The Sooners varsity four and two novice eight teams will compete this weekend. Sophomore Megan Harrell said she’s hoping for a good showing in Kansas. “We’ve worked our butts off to get where we have been so far,” Harrell said. “I’m just looking forward to trying to go out there and win it, really.”

ELIZABETH NALEWAJK/THE DAILY

Freshman catcher Tyler Ogle rounds second base against Wichita State April 22 at L. Dale Mitchell Park. “I’m expecting a hard-fought series [this weekend],” Golloway said. “They have a winning record right now in the Big 12, and I’m sure they’re looking at it like,

‘Man, if we can win this series against a nationally ranked, top10 team, what can that do for us?’ They’re going to be fired up and ready to go.”

— Steven Jones/The Daily

FRIDAY FACE-OFF

WHO WILL HAVE A BETTER POSTSEASON? SOFTBALL

BASEBALL

I

Claire Brandon is a journalism sophomore.

I

f you are expecting to head out to the baseball diamond to catch the men in the postseason, you might want to think again. The only Sooner squad with a legitimate shot at doing damage on the diamond in the postseason is the OU softball s team. While the men struggle in their fight for the top spot, the softball tteam finished its season as the Big 12 regular season champions. OU softball and head coach Patty Gasso have a winning tradition, unlike u a Sooner baseball te team that has not proved itself as a presence on o the national scene for years. So Sooner softball has att attended t a Super R Regional the past nine years and participated in the Women’s College World Series five out of th those nine years. The ba baseball team has not seen a World Wor Series in years and has not been b of the same Senior catcher J.T. Wise caliber since it claimed the

dependable pitching staff. The softball team peaked at a critical time to claim the top rank in the Big 12; however, stability will be crucial to postseason success. een reliable with OU baseball has been sive talent. The its unshakable offensive ed in 18 of the Sooners have homered past 22 games. Before losing to highly-ranked Arkansas Tuesday, the secutive midSooners won 10 consecutive week games. ayetteville The road loss in Fayetteville wasn’t a heartbreaker, aker, though. It was a non-conconference game in front nt of 8,000 spectators. Before that, the Sooners ooners swept Baylor — the first rst time in rs saw defeat in a 11 years that the Bears homestead. Sitting at No. 2 in the Big 12, the Sooners have an optimistic future of improving, and movingg on to regional and p appearances. national championship all and baseball The Sooner softball teams are both havingg exceptional sead to have postsons and are destined aseball making season success. I see baseball heir dominating it further because of their cy. offense and consistency.

AMY FROST/THE DAILY

t’s been a great year for OU athletics. As we reach the end of the regular season, it seems both baseball and softball have the potential to complete a booming year of Sooner sports. Yes, softball is having a great season that suggests a significant post-season journey, but it doesn’t feature any aspects that stand out. Sooner baseball has a potent offensive attack this season, one that leads the Big 12. The Sooners offense dominates the conference, hitting .329 as a team. CLAIRE A team that tops conBRANDON ference rankings in every offensive category is enough to indicate a spot in the College World Series alone, but the Sooners are leading one of the toughest conferences. The baseball team has highlighted a consistent offense — something the softball team needs in order to go as far as baseball will in postseason. Looking at the entire span of the season, OU softball is less dominating because of inconsistency in series play and offensive performance and the lack of a truly

national championship in 1994. Softball has a winning program and Gasso continues to run successful teams through a postseason full of Pac10 powerhouses. This year’s team has the possibility to be just as successful. It is peaking at the most opportune time. When Sooner softball ANNELISE is at its best, there are few RUSSELL pitchers who can stop the hot bat of Amber Flores. Hitters also struggle against OU’s reliable pitcher D.J. Mathis. Baseball has the ability to play at a high level just like their female counterparts, but softball does it on a more consistent basis. Baseball showed a glimmer of excellence when it swept Baylor this month, but it also struggled losing three games to Big 12 powerhouse Texas. Sooner softball faced the Big 12 leader Missouri on the road and stole the Big 12 title from the Tigers. That is the kind of gumption that is going to take a team far in the postseason. Annelise Russell is a journalism and political science junior.

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POLICY The Oklahoma Daily is responsible for one day’s incorrect advertising. If your ad appears incorrectly, or if you wish to cancel your ad call 325-2521, before the deadline for cancellation in the next issue. Errors not the fault of the advertiser will be adjusted. Refunds will not be issued for late cancellations. The Oklahoma Daily will not knowingly accept advertisements that discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, religious preference, national origin or sexual orientation. Violations of this policy should be reported to The Oklahoma Daily Business Office at 325-2521. Help Wanted ads in The Oklahoma Daily are not to separate as to gender. Advertisers may not discriminate in employment ads based on race, color, religion or gender unless such qualifying factors are essential to a given position. All ads are subject to acceptance by The Oklahoma Daily. Ad acceptance may be reevaluated at any time.

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2 6 4 5 3 9 7 8 1

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Monday- Very Easy Tuesday-Easy Wednesday- Easy Thursday- Medium Friday - Hard

8 3

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ACROSS 1 Trellis piece 5 Kind of equity 10 Austin Powers euphemism 14 Diamond feature 15 What cover letters spell out? 16 Unaffected manner 17 “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” author 18 Enlarges, as a hole 19 Piece of a floor plan? 20 “Shh!” 23 Equipped, as with talent 24 Underdog’s win 27 Two year old 28 Columbia Pictures co-founder Harry 31 Prefix with “athlete” or “angle” 32 TV schedule letters 34 Type of barrier or boom 35 Black gold 36 “Shh!” 40 ___-mo 41 Paints messily 42 Meditation syllables 43 Simile center 44 Swirl of

water 45 Wasn’t brave 47 One-third of a phrase meaning “etc.” 49 Start of play, in tennis 53 “Shh!” 57 Booster Club member 59 Cowboys vs. broncos event? 60 Acquires in the end 61 Frolic 62 Type of circle 63 Trunk site 64 Some kennel cries 65 Billy goat feature 66 Underworld river DOWN 1 Sahara shortage 2 Enter cyberspace 3 “FoxTrot” cartoonist 4 Stay on the wagon 5 Drive way 6 Handle skillfully 7 Substitute for unmentioned text 8 “Mater” lead-in 9 Romandirected film? 10 Reverse of 24-Across? 11 Bit of

12 13 21 22 25 26 28 29 30 32 33 34 36 37 38 39

unusual weather Communication for the deaf (Abbr.) Wally’s exclamation Jefferson bill One-eighth of a cup Iroquois enemies Use a lance Cheese type Keys with “!” Common possessive Oklahoma’s secondlargest city Track meet event Vertical post Opening words at a ball game? Notions Wee fellow Sisters’ accommo-

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“SHH!” by Marsha Fowkles

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Previous Answers

dations 45 Phrase differently 46 Is for many people? 48 Refuse sites 49 Range rover 50 Sluggish by nature 51 Charmingly attractive person (Var.) 52 English county 54 Chicago paper, familiarly 55 Treat for Marmaduke 56 Author Ferber 57 An end to honor? 58 Mauna ___


7

Friday, May 1, 2009

Luke Atkinson, L&A editor dailyent@ou.edu • phone: 325-5189 • fax: 325-6051

NATASHA GOODELL/THE DAILY

Bill Wright sets up his display Thursday in preparation for the weekend festival.

Residents prepare for fest NATASHA GOODELL The Oklahoma Daily

Despite potential bad weather, artists and craftsmen prepare for the 2009 May Fair Arts Festival this weekend as usual. April Ayers, 2009 May Fair Arts Festival Chairwoman, said they are prepared for the rainy weather but are hoping for the best. From 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, the 35th Annual May Fair

L&A BRIEFS MISS CALIFORNIA TO CAMPAIGN AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE NEW YORK— The reigning Miss California has gone to Washington to help launch a campaign opposing samesex marriage. Carrie Prejean told NBC’s “Today” show Thursday she’ll be working with the National Organization for Marriage to “protect traditional marriages.” The 21-year-old says that marriage is “something that is very dear to my heart” and she’s in Washington to help save it. She says many people have thanked her for standing up for traditional marriage. Prejean was named the first runner-up to Miss North Carolina in the Miss USA pageant April 19. Her response to celebrity blogger Perez Hilton’s question about legalizing same-sex marriage may have cost her the title.

Arts Festival will be held at the historic Andrews Park in Norman. Andrews Park has a covered amphitheatre this year in case of potential rain. The Norman community can immerse themselves in the artwork provided by nearly 80 artists and craftsmen at the festival. The Assistance League of Norman hosts the festival each year as a way to expose the Norman community to various artworks and gather together for a

WEEK

LOOK OUT FOR SHARKS

Well dear readers, I’ve hit a huge bump. This bump is a financial one. This is ironic, because my huge bump is actually my small amount of cash. So, due to the current state in the economy (I have about $20), I decided to save that money and just drink a beer that I had in my fridge. The beer I pulled from my arctic beverage sanctuary was Land Shark. I first discovered the existence of this awesome “Margaritaville” product several years ago when I saw a shark-bitten surfboard advertisement in a Tulsa bar. Since then it’s become a staple of my beer-drinking BRAND repertoire. RACKLEY Let me tell you folks, when it comes to weak beachside beer, it doesn’t get much better than Land Shark brew. The light, gold coloring and slight wheat taste of this crisp cool summer treat is the Clint Eastwood to Corona’s pre-pubescent boy. The smooth, easy feel of the beer makes it perfect for any recreational binge drinking you might have planned. Also, it’s great for those wild Jay-Z-style summer parties on your 80-foot yacht at Lake Thunderbird. Check out Land Shark as soon as possible and start stocking up for those dog days of summer. Brand Rackley is a journalism senior.

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Friday, May 1, 2009 TAURUS (April 20-May 20) -If you don’t want to be labeled the culprit who puts everyone in a bad mood, don’t be heavyhanded or domineering. You can change the entire atmosphere by smiling instead of snarling.

your health

is in your hands

DISNEY JOINS NBC AND NEWS CORP. WITH ONLINE HULU LOS ANGELES — Disney movies and ABC TV shows will be available on Hulu. com now that Walt Disney Co. is taking an equity stake in the popular video streaming site, joining its founders, NBC Universal and News Corp. The deal announced Thursday will bring older Disney movies to the site, along with ABC and Disney Channel shows such as “Lost,” ‘’Grey’s Anatomy” and “Wizards of Waverly Place” after they run on TV. Disney hopes to gain new online viewers that it does not already capture on ABC.com and pick up new income from sharing ad revenue on Hulu. The ne w setup also brings the owners of three of the four major broadcast networks — ABC, NBC and Fox — into a fight for online viewers.

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weekend of community events. “This is truly a community event,” Ayers said. “It’s not a fundraiser; it is simply for the community.” Ayers said it takes the league an entire year to prepare for this event, but after 34 years, it gets easier. Although lacking in artwork by students, the May Fair Arts Festival includes about 80 artists and craftsmen. Ayers said there isn’t a lot of participation from the students despite continuous invites; they just haven’t submitted anything to the festival. “We would love to have their work in the show though,” Ayers said. The artists in the show mostly are returning artists that come from all over the country, Ayers said. Awarded best in glass at last year’s festival, stain glass craftsmen Hank Barnes, from Rogers, Ark, is returning for his second show. “I just took a shot and came to this last year and I was pleasantly surprised,” Barnes said. “As far as promoters, these ladies go above and beyond.” Barnes said he is hoping for clear skies this weekend, but is glad to have the tents staked down into the ground unlike other festivals he has attended. By recommendation, photographer Bill Wright from Fayetteville, Ark, is attending the festival this year. “In today’s economy, you always look for a place where you can sell whatever you make,” Wright said. Wright said he has been doing shows with Barnes for several years. Hand craftsman Filiz Sprouse said she really enjoys the festival despite her tent being blown away last year. “I hope the weather will be nice,” Sprouse said. “But I’m ready for a weather challenge.” Sprouse is displaying jewelry, handmade bags and potpourri from her family’s business LizBel in Moore. Ayers said there will be live entertainment ranging from kids dancing their spring recitals to church bands to individual soloists.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) -- It might be difficult to own up to your shortcomings. Remember, you can skillfully defend them, but it won’t alter the lack of results you get from a poor performance. CANCER (June 21-July 22) -- Don’t be stupid about insisting on doing things others can afford, but you can’t. There is no shame in frugality and prudence, but there will be in self-inflicted bankruptcy. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) -- It’s unlikely those who are usually helpful will be of much assistance if you are too selfcentered or self-involved. Don’t take on any airs, and make it a point to be congenial.

Your best defense against contagious illnesses, including colds and flu

More than 80% of germs are spread by the hands. Wash your hands to stop the transmission and kill the most common germs that may make you sick.

Other ways to prevent the spread of common germs: • Do not share cups, plates, utensils,

• Cover coughs and sneezes

make-up.

• Eat a healthy diet

• Avoid close personal contact with

• Exercise regularly

an infected person

• Get enough sleep • Frequently disinfect shared objects

• Stay home when sick

• Avoid touching the face, eyes, nose and mouth until hands are washed

–AP The University of Oklahoma is an Equal Opportunity Institution.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -Instead of learning from painful past experiences, you are likely to repeat an old mistake. Unfortunately, nothing has changed, and the same penalties will be in effect. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) -You’re an individual who likes people and usually gets along with just about everyone. Yet, unless someone is carved in your own image, no one will be perfect enough for you.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) -- Generally, your likes and dislikes are exacting, but the inability to make a decision could hamper you greatly. Instead of being namby-pamby, get back in character and take a stance. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) -- Adopting a negative attitude will only amplify what you consider to be undesirable tasks that have been assigned to you. It is a misuse of your imagination and makes e verything harder. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- Unless you guard against a tendency to take everything too seriously, you will end up having an unhappy day. With the exception of serious issues, relax and let things roll off your back. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- Everything will go smoother if you show a willingness to compromise instead of being stubborn and hardheaded. Steering a middle course will not endanger your efficacy. PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) -- You will get a lot further when dealing with underlings if you are tactful and patient. Being pleasant will turn away wrath, lessen dissension, and spawn allegiance. ARIES (March 21-April 19) -- If you fail to manage your resources with the same prudence as someone who is well off, you might discover why he or she is successful and you’re not. Learn from observing, not from harsh lessons.


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Friday, May 1, 2009

iGoogle replacing human interactions Google is taking over the people think, communicate world. and share information. Do you need directions to As Google spreads further your cousin’s birthday party? into our consciousness like Google Maps can show you. slowly expanding ooze, inDo you need to know filtrating the way we inquire who won the World about information Series in 1972? and now each other, Google can tell something eerie is you (the Oakland happening. Athletics won, by Does the future the way). involve a world in Do you need to which everybody find a cartoon picsees everybody else ture of a monkey and conversations eating a banana? and human interacYo u g u e s s e d i t. TYLER tion are mediated Google Images has BRANSON by a Google logo it. and the lights of a And now, in an computer monitor? age where Web sites, like Only time will tell. Facebook, reign, set the temBut I think it’s important plate and the tone of social to take a look at what Google networking, Google – albeit is doing by introducing sounder our noses – has taken cial networking features. a swing at that, too. They are infiltrating popular You may not have noticed culture in a subtle way, slowit, but with Google’s relatively ly becoming so ubiquitous new iGoogle feature, you can that they are engrained in set up a homepage in which the very fabric of American all of your favorite news sites culture. My iGoogle has RSS feeds and RSS feeds are consolidated into one area. You can from Wired, Digg, NPR and check your e-mail, add a pic- the Weather Channel (I’m ture, a short profile and you a nerd, I know). It’s convecan chat with other iGoogle nient, and fun, but it leaves users in real time. There also me wondering about the are status updates. These implications. How interconnected features ring heavily of social networking, and it’s no are we? What does the culture surrounding Google, doubt on purpose. And so here we sit, at the Facebook, Twitter and very beginning of a techno- MySpace say about our logical revolution that 30 generation? Is the future a gloomy reyears from now will likely be ality in which every piece of unrecognizable to us. We are only witnessing the very tip information about us is visof an iceberg that proves to ible and up for criticism by show humanity the vital sig- all, or a dawn of an new era in nificance and implications which access to information of an interconnected world. and communication reach We now live in a world where monumental heights, where Google is a noun and a verb, instant access to figures, and concepts like social news and people become a networking and instanta- state of normalcy? Not even Google can anneous access to information threaten to completely swer that yet. reinvent the way in which Tyler Branson is an English senior.

PHOTO PROVIDED

Carl Fredricksen (right) and Russell (left) take in the sights of distant lands in Pixar’s “Up.” The film opens May 29.

Upcoming Pixar film takes to the skies

P

ixar’s 10th feature film, “Up,” tells the story of 78-yearold Carl Fredricksen, who heads off on a journey by tying thousands of balloons to his house. Little does he know, a curious 8-year-old is going to be his accidental companion for the trip. Pete Docter directed “Up,” his second directorial effort after 2001’s “Monsters, Inc.” The Daily’s Dusty Somers participated in a conference call with Docter.

HOW DID THE CONCEPT FOR THE FILM ARISE? I’m not an extrovert, so by the end of any given day, I just want to crawl under my desk and rock quietly in a corner or something, so the idea of getting away from it all is really appealing. We were thinking of tropical islands and stories like that. And I think I just drew this picture of a house floating with balloons, and something about that just seemed very evocative.

DID YOU FIND DIRECTING TO BE EASIER THE SECOND TIME AROUND? Well, I was hoping it would be, but it didn’t end up that way. “Monsters, Inc.” was more difficult – physically, emotionally, personally demanding and taxing. There was a point where you start to think, “I’m going to die.” Which sounds weird. You’re working on cartoons – happy, fun Pixar la la land – but you come to a place where you start to think of yourself as a failure if you don’t get this done. These things are so personal to us, you begin to identify with the film, and if the film is failing, I am.

So, the second time around, I knew that was part of the road that happens with every film. It’s no reflection on me, necessarily, and knowing that helped a lot. I didn’t take it as personally. It was definitely just as demanding, though.

EVEN THOUGH THE CHARACTERS AREN’T RELATED, IS THE IDEA OF A GRANDFATHER AND GRANDSON RELATIONSHIP IMPORTANT HERE? Yes, I think so. There are things that we set up in both characters – holes in their lives – that the other character can fulfill. It’s even beyond the grandfather and grandson relationship, which is sort of an archetypal relationship that you don’t see a lot of.

ARE YOUR FILMS MEANT TO BE ESCAPIST, AND IS THAT SOMETHING IMPORTANT IN A TIME OF RECESSION LIKE THIS? As a filmmaker, and even as a filmgoer, what I want is yes, escapism, but on some fundamental level, [I want] an emotional truth and a reality that resonates with my own life. So even though we’re watching a film about toys or monsters or fish or whatever, there’s something about them and the way they’re acting that speaks to my experience. Something we work really hard on at Pixar is finding the foundational thematic elements that relate to all of us in the audience. That’s not easy to come by, but I think it’s pretty fundamental to what we do. Dusty Somers is a journalism junior.

DID YOU KNOW? 59 Collegiate Awards OU Student Media is among the nation’s best.

Gold Crown

Sooner 2008/Crimson Traditions 2007 and OUDaily.com

Pacemaker Sooner 2007/ Crimson Traditions 2006

Pacemaker finalist OUDaily.com and Sooner 2008/ Crimson Traditions 2007

Honor Roll Yearbook Adviser Lori Brooks, associate director

Designer of the Year John Salvie, Advertising design manager

Admiral William J. Crowe Award

3 7 4 2 1 42

Meredith Simons, The Oklahoma Daily editor

Best in Show Best of Collegiate Design SPJ Mark of Excellence Awards Hearst Awards CNBAM Award Gold Circles

27 13 2

Sooner and Crimson Traditions Oklahoma Daily Sower Magazine

21Professional Awards STUDENT

Visit www.studentmedia.ou.edu for more information on all the awards listed above.

M E D I A

THE OKLAHOMA DAILY

SOONER YEARBOOK

The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution. Student Media is a department within OU’s division of Student Affairs.

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The Oklahoma Daily  

Friday, May 1, 2009

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