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THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA’S I NDEPENDENT STUDENT VOICE

VOL. 94, NO. 102 FREE — Additional Copies 25¢

TUESDAY, FEB. 24, 2009 © 2009 OU Publications Board

Recent Staph case in dorm no cause for alarm

CAMPUS NEWS Childers pleads not guilty, waives first hearing The alleged attacker of an OU instructor has waived his first hearing which was scheduled for today at 1:30 p.m. Michael Joseph Childers, 27, violated his probation period from a 2007 arrest when he allegedly attacked and attempted to kidnap OU instructor Mano Yasuda, said James Siderias, assistant district attorney. The hearing would not have addressed the two different felony charges of kidnapping and using a firearm during a felony. The felony hearings are scheduled for March 3. Childers has issued an official plea of “not guilty,” but will be given the chance to restate his plea, Siderias said. At that time, the district attorney’s office will give their recommendation on the punishment for the felonies, and Childers will have the chance to plea at that time, Siderias said. CLARK FOY / THE DAILY

WHAT’S INSIDE The housing market is in turmoil in some states. See where Oklahoma lands in the spectrum and how it will affect rent prices on page 2. OU students might have a new health care option soon if the Oklahoma State Legislature passes a new bill. Page 3.

• OU Housing and Food Services can’t quarantine students for staph infections JAMIE BIRDWELL The Oklahoma Daily A recent occurrence of staph infection in Couch Tower should not cause students to panic, a health department scientist said. While staph is contagious, it is not likely to spread in hygienic environments, said Becky Coffman, epidemiologist with the Oklahoma State Department of Health. “It’s not Typhoid Mary,” Coffman said. “If you do the right things, you’re not going to be putting people at risk.” A case of community associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was discovered in Couch Tower two weeks ago. CA-MRSA is a staph infection located on the skin. Everyone has latent staph on their skin that can enter the body through an open cut or sore, said Laryssa Couch, registered nurse. Once staph enters the body, large sores that resemble boils can

STEPS TO AVOID A STAPH INFECTION • Keep your hands clean by washing thoroughly with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. • Keep cuts and scrapes clean and covered with a bandage until healed. • Avoid contact with other people’s wounds or bandages. • Avoid sharing personal items such as towels or razors. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

develop on the skin, and drainage from the sores can cause infection in another person, she said. Although contagious, CA-MRSA is only passable by coming in contact with the drainage of sores, so an infected person should always keep sores covered with bandages, Couch said. It’s important for individuals not to share personal items like towels or razors, she said. Madelyn Russell, University College freshman, said she learned through word of mouth that her suitemate had CA-MRSA. She was afraid she could contract it by sharing the bathroom with her suitemate, but said she didn’t want the hassle of moving when Housing and Food Services offered to move her to

Photo Courtesy of Janice Carr Public Health Image Library

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. another room temporarily. Housing and Food Services could not make her suitemate move out because it was against policy, although it could be strongly suggested, Russell said. Her mother, Melanie Russell, called Housing and Food Services with her own concerns. “They told me they couldn’t tell me any information about Madelyn Russell’s suitemate’s condition because

of the student privacy act,” Melanie Russell said. Housing and Food Services deals with CA-MRSA on a case-by-case basis, said Lauren Royston, Housing and Food Services spokeswoman, in an e-mail. Royston said Housing and Food Services has taken special precautionary action since 2007 to prevent the

INFECTION Continues on page 2

LIFE & ARTS It’s New Music Tuesday! Check out our reviews on page 9. The Norman music scene is grooving. Get to know your local musicians, The Whiskey Trio on page 10.

After loosing star forward Blake Griffin, the Sooners fell short of the high-flying Kansas Jayhawks.

Bird Watching

photo provided

SPORTS The men’s basketball team wasn’t alone in their Monday night loss. The women’s basketball team traveled to Texas A&M Monday night and took on the No. 12 Aggies. The Sooners dropped their first Big 12 contest of the season, 57-56 and fell to 12-1 in the Big 12. Page 6.

Photos by James Cornwell

(Above) Freshman guard Willie Warren (13) drives to the basket in Monday night’s home loss to No. 15 Kansas. Warren finished with 23 points, shooting 8 for 16 from the field. (Right) Sophomore forward Blake Griffin looks on Monday night at Lloyd Noble Center. Team doctors did not clear Griffin to play Monday night, forcing him into the role of spectator. Griffin suffered a concussion in Saturday’s away loss to the rival Texas Longhorns. Team doctors have yet to determine when Griffin will return. AP Photo

Danielle Robinson

TODAY’S INDEX Campus Notes 2 Classifieds 8 8 Crossword Horoscope 9 L&A 9, 10

News 3 Opinion 4 Police Reports 2 Sports 5, 6 Sudoku 8

WEATHER FORECAST

TODAY LOW 47° HIGH 69°

WEDNESDAY LOW 48° HIGH 74° Source: Oklahoma Weather Lab

Construction science team battles for national title • ‘Heavy-Civil’ heads to California to compete HANNAH RIEGER The Oklahoma Daily A competitive construction science team will compete for the national title after winning its regional competition in Dallas two weeks ago. OU’s team will meet other teams at the Associated General Contractors convention for the National Student Championship March 5-7 in San Diego. OU’s squad operates through the construction science division of the College of Architecture and consists of six construction science majors who plan realistic city projects by estimating the cost of materials, labor and equipment to build the site. They also schedule a sequence of work to be done on a timeline. At the regional competition, the team simulated Founders Plaza and Levitt Pavilion, a real proj-

ect recently built in Arlington, college. Texas, said Sarah Brockhaus, “These guys are very succonstruction science junior. cessful at what they do because The opportunity to compete of the experience they have at a high level is very rare, said received from internships,” construction science profesPittenger said. Michael Ratcliff, senior sor Richard Ryan. This kind Michael Ratcliff, construcStephen Shaw, senior of opportunity also puts OU’s tion science senior, said he Adam Garrett, senior construction science program thinks the team is well preMarshall Johnson, senior on the map for future students, pared for the national competiSarah Brockhaus, junior he said. tion because of its success at Shaun Hinkle, junior “In the world of academia, the regional competition. All members are this is the best it gets,” Ryan “This is my third year on construction science majors said. “Six bodies acting as one the team and I think this is brain, marching in unison for the best team we’ve had,” he the grand prize.” said. “I think we will do well Dominique Pittenger, graduate student and con- as long as we keep the same pace as at the regional struction science professor, coaches and travels competition.” with the team while Doug Gransberg, longtime The team will compete against seven teams coach and construction science professor, is on sab- which all placed first in their regional competitions, batical in New Zealand. Brockhaus said. She said the team’s success is credited to the experiences its members have already received in TEAM Continues on page 2

OU CONSTRUCTION SCIENCE TEAM


photo provided

SPORTS The men’s basketball team wasn’t alone in their Monday night loss. The women’s basketball team traveled to Texas A&M Monday night and took on the No. 12 Aggies. The Sooners dropped their first Big 12 contest of the season, 57-56 and fell to 12-1 in the Big 12. Page 6.

Photos by James Cornwell

AP Photo

Danielle Robinson

TODAY’S INDEX Campus Notes 2 Classifieds 8 8 Crossword Horoscope 9 L&A 9, 10

News 3 Opinion 4 Police Reports 2 Sports 5, 6 Sudoku 8

WEATHER FORECAST

TODAY LOW 47° HIGH 69°

WEDNESDAY LOW 48° HIGH 74° Source: Oklahoma Weather Lab

(Above) Freshman guard Willie Warren (13) drives to the basket in Monday night’s home loss to No. 15 Kansas. Warren finished with 23 points, shooting 8 for 16 from the field. (Right) Sophomore forward Blake Griffin looks on Monday night at Lloyd Noble Center. Team doctors did not clear Griffin to play Monday night, forcing him into the role of spectator. Griffin suffered a concussion in Saturday’s away loss to the rival Texas Longhorns. Team doctors have yet to determine when Griffin will return. See the full story on page 5.

Construction science team battl • ‘Heavy-Civil’ heads to California to compete HANNAH RIEGER The Oklahoma Daily A competitive construction science team will compete for the national title after winning its regional competition in Dallas two weeks ago. OU’s team will meet other teams at the Associated General Contractors convention for the National Student Championship March 5-7 in San Diego. OU’s squad operates through the construction science division of the College of Architecture and consists of six construction science majors who plan realistic city projects by estimating the cost of materials, labor and equipment to build the site. They also schedule a sequence of work to be done on a timeline. At the regional competition, the team simulated Founders Plaza and Levitt Pavilion, a real proj-

ect recently built in Arlington, Texas, said Sarah Brockhaus, construction science junior. The opportunity to compete at a high level is very rare, said construction science profesMichael R sor Richard Ryan. This kind Stephen S of opportunity also puts OU’s Adam Gar construction science program Marshall on the map for future students, Sarah Bro he said. Shaun Hin “In the world of academia, All memb this is the best it gets,” Ryan construct said. “Six bodies acting as one brain, marching in unison for the grand prize.” Dominique Pittenger, graduate student and struction science professor, coaches and t with the team while Doug Gransberg, lon coach and construction science professor, is o batical in New Zealand. She said the team’s success is credited experiences its members have already recei

OU CO SCI


Clay Wesley Wyrrick, 21, 900 McNamee St., Sunday

AGGRAVATED DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE Carrie Ann Sevenstar, 24, 1617 Cherry Stone St., Sunday, also municipal warrant, driving without a license

PUBLIC DRUNK Danny Joe Sevenstar, 28, 1617 Cherry Stone St., Sunday

POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL Taylor Michelle Boswell, 20, 747 Asp Ave., Sunday Jordan Tracy Liberty, 20, 747 Asp Ave., Sunday

PUBLIC INTOXICATION Aaron Fredrick Meek, 23, 1800 Beaumont Dr., Sunday Daniel H. Beach, 18, 5th floor of Couch Center, Saturday

DISTURBING THE PEACE Roderick Phipps Cameron, 45, 218 E Ridge Road, Sunday Christopher Lee Nelson, 24, 2119 Melrose Dr., Sunday David Brent Nelson, 20, 2119 Melrose Dr., Sunday

POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA Gordon Belknap Foor, 18, 1801 Brookhaven Blvd., Sunday, also possession of drug paraphernalia Orvel Dell Merryman, 24, East Alameda Street, Sunday Nicholas Shawn Wilson, 19, East Alameda Street, Sunday

POSSESSION OF A STOLEN MOTOR VEHICLE Derrick Wayne Hayes, 20, 200 S. Jones Ave., Saturday

OUR COMMITMENT TO ACCURACY 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.

ERROR SUBMISSIONS e-mail: dailynews@ou.edu phone: 325-3666

EVEN

ODD


Nijim Dabbour, managing editor dailynews@ou.edu phone: 325-3666 fax: 325-6051 For more, go to oudaily.com.

Campus News

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009

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Gov. Henry pushes awareness of state health care plans • University’s basic plan costs $814 annually WILL HOLLAND The Oklahoma Daily

Lizzy Brooks/The Daily

Norman realtors are confident local housing costs and rent at apartments such as Crimson Park will not see a significant rise this year.

Rent to remain stable in Norman • Norman rent and housing face minimal change KATE CUNNINGHAM The Oklahoma Daily Despite a troubled national economy, housing and rent prices in Norman remain stable and competitive, and should remain so for the 2009-2010 academic year. Norman realtor Nancy McCall, a lifelong Norman resident, has been a realtor in the Norman market for 32 years. “Prices are up just a teeny percent in the last year,” she said. “This is really a good time to buy

[a home] in Norman.” McCall said she credits Norman’s housing stability to the city’s rank as the sixth best small city in the nation by Forbes Magazine, the fact that many parents buy homes each year for their children while at school at OU and the fact that there have been no major layoffs in the area. She said, for example, the average time it takes to sell a house in Norman rose from 87 to 88 days in 2008, a small change in comparison to real estate problems faced in other parts of the United States. She said even during tough economic times the Norman economy has proven resilient. “When many of the banks closed in 1984 [due to a recession],

the real estate market slowed a bit, but we picked right back up,” she said. McCall has also owned rental properties since 1964, many of which she usually rents to OU students because of the houses’ proximity to campus. When Oklahoma was in economic crisis during the mid-1980s, McCall said she did not see a major change in the number of renters willing to pay her rent. She said during that time she had about a 10% vacancy rate, which is not considered high by industry standards. She does not intend to increase rent prices soon. The last time McCall changed prices for her rental properties was about a year ago to compensate for increased taxes, she said.

Rent prices for many of the popular apartment complexes near campus are projected to remain fairly stable as well. There are no changes planned for rent prices at OU Traditions Square, said Dave Annis, director of Housing and Food Services. He said any change would have to be approved by the OU Board of Regents. Virginia Lamb, leasing manager of University Greens Apartments, 2900 Oak Tree Ave, said University Greens plans a small increase in rent prices starting March 1. For example, she said, rent for the complex’s most popular model, the 3 bedroom 3 bathroom, will go up $10 a month. Lamb said the rent increase is to raise money for a planned remodeling.

Norman shelter offers low-cost spaying, neutering • Fee for cats is $30, dogs are $40 ALEX LYNN The Oklahoma Daily One Norman animal shelter is looking to reduce the number of signs for free kittens and puppies this spring. March marks the beginning of the animal mating season, which lasts through September, and more liters of unwanted animals are born during these months than any others, said Ruth Steinberger, Second Chance Spay and Neuter Clinic interim manager. She said more than 120,000 cats and dogs are put to sleep each year as a result of an animal overpopulation problem. Second Chance is trying to curb the problem by offering lower prices for spay and neuter procedures. The cost of spay and neuter procedures at the clinic is $30 for cats and $40 for dogs and includes a rabies vaccination. The clinic is dedicated solely to helping pet owners on limited incomes spay and neuter their animals and avoid the sometimes pricey costs of animal hospitals. Only those who make less than $35,000 a year qualify to have their animals operated on at the clinic. Students don’t have a lot of disposable income, so the clinic can help, Steinberger said. People need to have access to affordable pet care to become responsible pet owners, she said. “Nationwide, low-income families are the overwhelming source of unwanted pets,” Steinberger said. Oklahoma is not immune to the pet overpopulation problem, said Amanda Swain, law student and member of the Second Chance Animal Sanctuary board of directors. The board oversees Second Chance Spay and Neuter Clinic. Spaying and neutering animals is the only way to stop the population problem, she said.

Amy Frost/The Daily

In this archive photo, a puppy who is almost ready to be adopted sits in the cage with his brothers and sisters at Second Chance Animal Sanctuary. College towns like Norman are especially prone to overpopulation. Swain said there is a particular influx of cats and dogs in Norman at the end of semesters. She said many of the leftover animals are not spayed or neutered, which adds to the problem. All pet owners should and can take action to stop the problem that will begin again next month, Steinberger said.

Before the current legislative session began, Gov. Brad Henry announced his desire to further develop Insure Oklahoma, a program designed to provide insurance for Oklahomans working for small businesses, allowing more people in the state to be insured. Henry’s goal is to make insurance available to more Oklahomans, specifically young people, he said in a press release. “For young people who have less significant health needs, high deductible and tailored benefit plans might be the perfect, low-cost fit,” Henry said. “It’s much better for them and other Oklahomans to have some health coverage rather than none.” Oklahoma residents between 19 and 64-years-old working for employers with 50 or fewer fulltime employees are eligible for the plan, according to the program’s Web site. The University of Oklahoma Student Health Plan is another health insurance plan available to OU students. It is administered by the Macori Administration and covers select medical care through the Goddard Health Center. Students with the plan must go to Goddard first for care, said Nick Kelly, OU Human Resources assistant director in an e-mail. Student care, however, is not limited to what is available at Goddard, he said. OU offers two plans: a basic and a buy-up plan, which Kelly said are priced competitively with other university student health care plans. The basic plan costs $814 annually and the buy-up plan costs $1,371, Kelly said. “The plans provide medical benefits such as office visit copays, prescription drug co-pays, and major medical coverage at different levels,” Kelly said. “Students, as all consumers do, make a choice based on price, coverage and which doctors and facilities they can use.” He said about 3,000 students are currently taking advantage of the plan at the Norman campus, and 600 at the OU Health Sciences Center campus. Kelly said about half of the students on the plan are graduate assistants who receive the full premium of the basic plan, which is paid for by OU, and an additional 800 are international students who are required by OU to be on the plan. Students who qualify for multiple insurance plans, like the OU plan or Insure Oklahoma, must make health coverage decisions based on which insurance plan is right for them, he said. “For those students who might

COVERAGES COMPARED OU Student Insure Oklahoma Health Plan Cost (annually) Average cost for Basic: $814 Buy-up: $1,371 2008 Premium Assistance plan: $2803.82 Office visit co-pay $10 $10 Generic prescription drug co-pay $15 $5 Brand prescription drug co-pay $50 $10 Providers Five family care Students must providers in go through Cleveland County Goddard Health Center first Insure Oklahoma Eligibility Oklahoman residents between 19 and 64-years- old working for employers with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. OU Student Health Plan Eligibility Undergraduate students enrolled in at least nine hours during spring or fall semesters or six hours during summer. Graduate students enrolled in at least six hours during spring or fall or three hours during summer. qualify for Insure Oklahoma, the comparison [between Insure Oklahoma and the OU Student Health Plan] would have to be made individually based on the student’s finances, health condition, location, family situation and other personal factors,” Kelly said. Henry said he hopes Oklahomans will become more aware of the health care plans available to them. “Insure Oklahoma holds great promise for tens of thousands of people, but for whatever reason, they either haven’t heard of it or have been slow to sign up,” Henry said. To enroll more people in the program, Henry is pushing for on-site enrollment opportunities at medical centers throughout the state. The first of these will be located in Tulsa. The program is funded by state taxes on tobacco. Oklahoma receives $2 from the federal government for every dollar it raises. The funds from tobacco taxes allow the state to pay for the majority of the health care premiums of people on the plan. Oklahoma pays 60 percent of the cost of premiums, employers pay 25 percent and the employees covered by Insure Oklahoma pay 15 percent, according to the press release.


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Opinion

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009

OUR VIEW

Ray Martin, opinion editor dailyopinion@ou.edu phone: 325-7630, fax: 325-6051 For more, go to oudaily.com.

Ian Jehn - Civil engineering junior

STAFF CARTOON

Housing health, privacy policies need reform A student in the dorms recently learned either be required to change rooms until she had the staph infection CA-MRSA the infections is gone, or Housing and — a type of staph that enters the body Food officials should be required to tell through the drainage of sores and causes the students’ roommates the student has large boils to form on the the infection. Privacy policies skin. It’s contagious through are great, but not when other OUR VIEW students are at risk of acquiring open sores. OU’s Housing and Food a potentially dangerous infecis an editorial selected and debated policy allowed university offition because they share a bathby the editorial board cials only to strongly suggest room with someone who has it. and written after a the student move to a different They deserve to be informed. majority opinion is room until the staph infection There might be a slight level formed and approved was gone. Privacy policies by the editor. Our View of embarrassment that comes is The Daily’s official also prohibited Housing and with having an infection all of opinion. Food officials from informyour peers know about. But it’s ing anyone — including the far better for a student to endure young woman’s suitemates — that she slight embarrassment than it is for others had the infection. We think these policies to endure a potentially life-threatening need reform. disease. The student with the infection declined One of these two solutions should be the offer to move, and fear of acquiring the required, and the person with the infecinfection drove her roommates to shower tion should have the choice of either and use the bathroom in other places moving, or making sure his or her roomuntil antibiotics treated the CA-MRSA. mates are informed about the extent of See Page 1 for details. the infection and the dangers of sharing a Students with such an infection should room and bathroom.

STAFF COLUMN

YOUR VIEWS

Keep discussions civil, mature Listening to discussions after two lectures on intelligent design last Friday convinced me that our campus has a deficiency in willingness to consider to both sides of controversial issues. Almost invariably, this deficiency affects people in every camp of thought surrounding a heated topic. In Friday’s Daily, Jon Malone wrote a column entitled ‘Open minds necessary in Darwin discussions.’ I agree. Closed minds result in the malice, name-calling, prejudice and persecution that plague some campus discussions. But what stigma is preventing many from being TREVOR open-minded? I think the CLARK answer is one of maturity and human nature. People turn to hostile argumentation rather than reasonable argumentation because they lack the maturity to distinguish the better path. We fail to attain this maturity because our nature is drenched with rebellion. My experiences after the intelligent design lectures revealed to me that immaturity in academia includes being unwilling and irresponsible to the point that listeners do not hear what somebody is saying. The talks were centered on the fact that unguided, purposeless evolution is

Real maturity — recognizing the difference between good and evil, taking initiative, serving, loving, being consistent, teaching and managing correctly, and being fair — will guide conversations in the right direction. Lacking maturity leads to the aforementioned ignorance and havoc. For students to take a mature outlook to class, the upcoming debate between William Dembski and Michael Ruse or Richard Dawkins’ March 6 talk, they must be changed from the inside out. Maturity exists on the individual level, and attaining it requires an intimate solution. As a Christian, I believe the ultimate reprogramming is done in a personal relationship with God through Christ. I do not think people who disagree with this are raving warmongers — there are many kind people who oppose my belief. I also believe nobody is perfect, and that we cannot escape from a corrupt, darkened existence without divine intervention. Disputes over controversial topics like my prior paragraph, religion, Darwinism, and more are sure to come. Hopefully, though, we can approach them with the maturity to counter the malice that so often accompanies those discussions.

scientifically controversial. (Many proponents of Darwinian thought claim that the controversy is purely social. Although the resistance is largely social, there are hundreds of accredited scientists who dissent from this view.) Many people in the audience thought the speakers were trying to debunk Darwinism. Listening to the lectures more intently, however, revealed that speakers Casey Luskin and John West were not even trying to debunk Darwinism. They were instead illustrating that the subject of evolution is controversial and merits an even-handed approach. Being fair and responsible are important qualities in an audience member. But these qualities are also essential in everyday life. Being hateful to others because of a clash of worldviews will not get anybody far in the workforce or in relationships, so why allow the realm of education to be any different? No matter where someone stands on this year’s controversial subjects, it’s important to remember that those on opposing sides are people, too. It is the dehumanization of others and the deification of self that renders conversations shouting matches. Too often we try to talk only to win an argument — I know I’m guilty of this — instead of contributing to others.

Proposition 8 column flawed While I respect Matt Felty’s attempt to use “common sense” in his Monday column “Proposition 8 misunderstood by most,” the use of logic to promote bigotry does not make bigotry excusable. Furthermore, Felty’s common sense is, at best, critically flawed. Felty argues homosexuality is not an “immutable characteristic,” and as such cannot be considered a protected class under the 14th Amendment. The reality is that race and ethnicity are social, not scientific, constructs. The fact that the homosexual community considers itself a social minority makes it one, immutable or not. Also, I would argue the freedom to marry is, like religious freedom, “fundamental to a citizen’s life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.” Felty also argues “marriage is an invention of the church,” and he advocates civil unions rather than marriages for homosexuals as a way to ensure equal rights. Marriage existed long before the Christian church, and has been a social and legal institution in every major society in history. If the concept of marriage is indeed a religious one, the term “marriage” should be banned not only for homosexual unions, but also for all unions in the eyes of the state. I hope that idea sounds as absurd to you as it does to me. - DAVID SHERMAN, METEOROLOGY SENIOR

Gun photos misleading Daily photographers have crossed the line in their portrayal of people carrying concealed weapons. The pictures published online are very misleading to some people who might not know the laws regulating concealed carry in the U.S. People are not allowed to carry a weapon slung in their waistband like a common criminal. This kind of portrait blurs the line between what people are legally required to do and what most people think of when they think of people carrying firearms. It seems the photographers were going for more of a shock picture than an actual portrayal of a person carrying a concealed firearm. The fact that they were both published with articles that advocate against concealed carry only show the bias of certain members of the staff, rather than the objectivity needed in this type of argument. - DAVID HILL, UNIVERSITY COLLEGE FRESHMAN

Trevor Clark is a University College freshman.

STAFF COLUMN

Intelligent design lecture an embarrassment

Psuedo science at best It’s clear why intelligent design proponents would want to be associated with the university. Intelligent design is an idea that explains nothing, makes no predictions, has led to no discoveries and is rejected by more than 99.85 percent of U.S. earth and life scientists, according to Gallup. Though West claims intelligent design is a purely secular idea, its roots in fundamentalist Christianity are plainly discerned by skeptics. Intelligent design is creationism repackaged beneath a thin veneer of science — as journalist Geoff Brumfiel put it, “creationism in a cheap tuxedo” — in an attempt to circumvent the establishment clause and inject religious ideas into science classrooms.

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In one instance, a proposed creation-advocating school textbook titled “Of Pandas and People” was revised to espouse intelligent design by simply replacing “creationism” with “intelligent design” and “creationist” with “design proponent.” At one point, a botched substitution resulted in the phrase “cdesign proponentsists,” illustrating the extreme haste with which the publishers were able to turn a religious tome into a cosmetically secular one. Numerous scientific organizations, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as a federal court, have declared intelligent design religious. Furthermore, a confidential Discovery Institute fund-raising document leaked in 1999 describes the organization’s mission as “to replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God.” “Irreducible complexity” is the centerpiece argument of the intelligent design movement. The booklets distributed at West’s lecture apply the argument to the bacterial flagellum, asserting that, since, so far as they can tell, the flagellar motor cannot be simplified without losing functionality, it could not have evolved from a more primitive form. In other words, “I can’t imagine how it could have evolved, so therefore it didn’t.” Ways in which the flagellar motor might be simplified and still

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of primitive Darwinism.” Writings “that ridicule[d], belittle[d] or besmirch[ed] the Christian religion” were prohibited, as well. West also displayed a strange preoccupation with running down Barbara Forrest, an author who apparently mentioned him unflatteringly in a book. Coming from a mouthpiece of the Discovery Institute, none of it was particularly unexpected. But why was this gibberish being delivered in an auditorium of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History?

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On Friday, the University of Oklahoma hosted a lecture by John G. West, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute. The topic was “Seven Myths About the Darwin Debate.” On Friday, I was embarrassed to be an OU student. The bulk of West’s talk was an endless recitation of pro-intelligent design quotes attached to credentialed names. (Apparently Thomas Jefferson saw design in nature. Impressed yet?) Astronomical numbers were bandied about, showing how unlikely it would be for certain ZAC complex structures to form pureSMITH ly randomly, something which no one is actually claiming has ever occurred. A YouTube video of six men singing a song making fun of intelligent design was presented as proof that evolutionists have turned science conventions into “anti-religious revival meetings.” Booklets handed out described “irreducible complexity,” an argument that has been universally discredited for years. Unsubstantiated but fervent claims were made that Darwinism caused the Holocaust. Just for the record, the Nazis actually banned books promoting “the false scientific enlightenment

retain functionality have been known for years, but even this is not necessary to show the most often repeated argument for intelligent design is both invalid and silly, whether it’s being applied to the flagellum, eye, immune system or whatever other structure has been declared irreducibly complex for the moment.

Bias warranted A religious fundamentalist group like the Discovery Institute benefits from borrowing OU’s high academic gloss. But why would OU want to sanction a view that’s about as well-regarded by biologists as Holocaust denial is by historians? Perhaps administrators feared appearing biased, though I think an unapologetic bias against pseudoscience is commendable. Perhaps they thought it created a nice symmetry with evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins’ impending March 6 lecture at the McCasland Field House on campus. Perhaps they just didn’t want to give intelligent design supporters an excuse to cry persecution. But, the fact remains, by allowing people like John West to speak, OU is lending credibility to a package of anti-science propaganda and doing a disservice to the professionals on its staff with a genuine interest in practicing science.

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The Oklahoma Daily is a public forum and OU’s independent student voice. Letters should concentrate on issues, not personalities, and should be fewer than 250 words, typed, double spaced and signed by the author(s). Letters will 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. Authors submitting letters in person must present photo identification. Submit letters

Zac Smith is an English junior.

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Sunday through Thursday, in 160 Copeland Hall. Letters can also be submitted via e-mail to dailyopinion@ou.edu. Guest columns are accepted at editor’s discretion. ’Our View’ is the voice of The Oklahoma Daily. Editorial Board members are The Daily’s editorial staff. The board meets Sunday through Thursday in 160 Copeland Hall. Columnists’ and cartoonists’ opinions are not necessarily the opinions of The Daily Editorial Board.


Sports Dazed and Confused

Steven Jones, sports editor dailysports@ou.edu phone: 325-7630, fax: 325-6051 For more, go to oudaily.com.

Men’s Basketball

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009

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• With Griffin out, Sooners fall to Jayhawks, jeopardize Big 12 title hopes

James Cornwell/The Daily

Sophomore forward Blake Griffin (center) sits on the bench in street clothes in Monday’s 87-78 loss to Kansas. The win gave Kansas the top spot in the Big 12.

Sooners lose 87-78 without All-American forward cessful foul shots. Following an errant pass from junior forward Juan Pattillo, Kansas guard Tyrell Reed added a three from the corner with three t looked like more than just first place in the Big 12 was on the seconds left to send the Jayhawks into halftime with a 36-29 lead. “Tyrell hit that huge shot to end the first half,” Kansas center line Monday night at Lloyd Noble Center. With sophomore forward Blake Griffin on the sideline in Cole Aldrich said. “We knew they were going to come back, but we street clothes, freshman guard Willie Warren showed he could just had to try to limit that run. But Willie Warren was unbelievable fill in just as well as the Sooners’ leader, scoring a team-high 23 tonight.” In the second half OU started showing just how much it missed points. Kansas guard Sherron Collins, however, wasn’t going to be Griffin. The Jayhawks grabbed several offensive rebounds and bested Monday night. Collins scored a game-high 26 points tied scored nine straight points, pushing their lead to 51-36. With 8:09 remaining and KU up 62-47, senior guard Omar Leary with freshman Tyshawn Taylor, leading KU to an 87-78 victory over hit a three from the corner. the Sooners. On the ensuing possession, sophomore guard Cade Davis poked “I knew [Taylor} was going to break out, I just didn’t know it was going to be tonight,” Collins said. “I’m glad for the youngster. the ball out from behind guard Brady Morningstar, turned back up He’s playing good and hopefully it carries on to the next game. His the court and sunk a three of his own in transition. Davis hit another three on the next possession after an offensive confidence is really high.” rebound from senior forward The win broke OU’s 18-game Taylor Griffin, reducing the home winning streak, which deficit to 62-56. was the third longest in the With 3:30 remaining and the nation. Sooners trailing 71-65, Leary OU opened the game with a drained another three to pull 22-8 run, during which Warren within three. But that’s the scored 10 points. At one point closest OU would get. during the stretch, the Sooners “With or without Blake limited Kansas to just two they’re a great team,” Aldrich points in a span of over eight said. “They showed that tonight. minutes. Blake would have helped them “I thought they’d be good — Kansas center Cole Aldrich a lot tonight, but that’s the way early because they play with the ball bounces. You get an unbelievable energy,” Kansas head coach Bill Self said. “I thought they would rally around [Blake unfortunate injury like that and you just have to roll with it.” Collins and Taylor combined to score 12 points in the final three not playing]. But eventually they got out of rhythm and we were minutes, and the shots that were falling for the Sooners the past able to get in tight and do a better job on the glass.” The Jayhawks, however, responded with a run of their own. five minutes were no longer dropping. The loss puts the Jayhawks in sole possession of first-place in Taylor scored eight points, including two threes, to springboard KU on a 16-0 run, which gave them a 24-22 lead with just under the Big 12. OU is now 11-2 in conference play, and will play Texas Tech at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday in Lubbock, Texas. five minutes to play. Whether or not Blake Griffin will be able to play is still Several baskets later, Warren fouled Taylor on a three-point attempt with 40 seconds remaining, giving the freshman three suc- unknown. ERIC DAMA The Oklahoma Daily

I

“With or without Blake they’re a great team. They showed that tonight. Blake would have helped them a lot tonight, but that’s the way the ball bounces.”

James Cornwell/The Daily

Freshman guard Willie Warren drives by Kansas defenders in Monday’s loss to Kansas. Without sophomore forward Blake Griffin, Warren scored 23 points.


6

Sports

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009

Women’s Basketball

STAFF COLUMN

Sooners fall to Aggies 57-56

Sooner fans should enjoy current OU athletic success

• OU drops first Big 12 contest of the season in College Station

E

ANNELISE RUSSELL The Oklahoma Daily The OU women’s basketball team saw how vital young shooter Whitney Hand was after swallowing its first Big 12 loss to No. 11 Texas A&M 57-56 Monday night in College Station, Texas. OU looked as if it would be just fine without Hand, the standout freshman guard who is out for four weeks with a fractured finger, but in the end came up just short. The Sooners capitalized on the Aggies’ early turnovers and jumped out to a quick 20-15 lead. Senior center Courtney Paris took charge for the Sooners early by taking high-percentage shots and fighting down under the basket. As a team, the Sooners shot 60 percent in the first half. Texas A&M was not easily outdone at home, however, and the Aggies made a charge toward the end of the first half to tie the game at 24 with fewer than four minutes to go. The Sooners made their own mistakes, like not taking care of the ball and letting the Aggies’ defense get the best of them. OU committed 14 turnovers in the first half. The back-and-forth continued through the end of the first half when the Sooners junior guard Nyeshia Stevenson hit a 3-pointer to put the Sooners up 33-28. The Sooners came out of the locker room and quickly grabbed a 42-28 lead on the Aggies to push the lead to 14. As quickly as the Sooners got hot, however, the tables turned when Texas A&M went on an 8-0 run within the first five minutes of the second half. OU had its opportunities, but struggled to find the bottom of the net. What hurt the Sooners more than anything were mental errors and too many turnovers. Recently, the OU women’s basketball team has been known for high turnover rates, and in this game OU shot itself in the foot by turning the ball over. Texas A&M built up a 7-point lead over the Sooners after OU missed its last nine shots and looked like it was headed for certain defeat. The second half of the game continued in the back and forth style, but OU regrouped and went on its own 8-0 run to regain the lead. The game flowed between the two teams as the battle wound down and, with six seconds left, Texas A&M put down the winning layup. OU finished with a season high 29 turn-

veryone at OU is spoiled in one way or another. We get to come to this beautiful campus everyday and take in the many traditions the university has to offer, albeit with a small fee. There are many people who see flaws in the university, but there are worse places you could get your college education. But the area we have been spoiled in the most JONO in recent years is sports. GRECO Just look at our athletic program. This season the football team went to the national championship game and quarterback Sam Bradford won the Heisman Trophy. The women’s and men’s basketball teams are ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in the nation and feature two of the most dominating players in their respective sports. The baseball team is the No. 16 team in the country after spending much of the 2008 season outside the top 25. At the baseball team’s media day Feb. 11, head coach Sunny Golloway joked that the team needs to pick up the slack in the rankings because its ranking is low compared to other OU sports. “If you’re ranked 16th down in Norman at the University of Oklahoma, then you’re kind of way behind,” Golloway said. “The fact is we got to bring up that tail end a little bit better.” If a coach is cracking jokes about the recent athletic department’s success, then you know, as students, we are in sports heaven. Arguably the most successful sport on campus is one that the student body may be the most uninformed about — men’s gymnastics. I bet there are only a handful of the 35,000-plus students on campus able to tell me what the men’s gymnastics team is currently ranked or how many national championships it has won without looking up the answers on the Internet. Even though football, basketball, baseball and softball produce professional athletes, gymnastics is the sport which has given the school worldwide recognition. The team has two athletes, senior Chris Brooks and sophomore Steven Legendre, who recently made the U.S. national team. The program put out an Olympic silver and bronze medalist last year, Jonathan Horton, and is led by one of the best coaches in the business, Mark Williams. Maybe the gymnastics team will win an unprecedented ninth championship in April to give OU its first national title of 2009. Overall, the athletic program is flourishing and this past year has to be one of its best in school history. So here’s a toast to us being spoiled. Let’s hope we can hold our glasses high to this kind of treatment for many years to come.

Wade Barker/ AP Photo

Texas A&M’s Takia Starks (3) shoots the game-winning basket over OU’s Danielle Robinson (13) and Nyeshia Stevenson (1) during an OU’s 57-56 loss against Texas A&M on Monday night in College Station, Texas. overs, an Achilles heel throughout the game. Sophomore guard Danielle Robinson led scoring for OU and finished with 17 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Stevenson, filling in for the injured Hand, added 12 points to the Sooner offense. Monday was OU’s first loss in the Big 12 and its first since being stomped by Connecticut in November. OU had previously been on a 20-game winning streak, the longest in OU history. The Sooners’ next game is against Oklahoma State at 1 p.m. Saturday at Lloyd Noble Center.

STAR WATCH Minutes: 38 Field goals: 4-6 Free throws: 9-9 Points: 17 Rebounds: 5 Assists: 7 Steals: 1

JONO GRECO IS A JOURNALISM SOPHOMORE.

DANIELLE ROBINSON

“If you’re ranked 16th down in Norman at the University of Oklahoma, then you’re kind of way behind.” — Baseball coach Sunny Golloway

SPORTS BRIEFS Warren grabs Rookie of the Week No. 7 following 27-point performance Freshman guard Willie Warren was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Rookie of the Week Monday, marking the seventh

Lilly Chapa/The Daily

Freshman guard Willie Warren (13) puts a move against Texas guard Dogus Balbay in OU’s 73-68 loss on Saturday in Austin. Warren scored 27 points in the game, and was named the Big 12 Rookie of the Week on Monday.

time he has received the honor this season. The seven awards put Warren at second place all-time in the Big 12, one behind Kansas State’s Michael Beasley’s eight last season. The award came following Warren’s 27-point outburst on Saturday in OU’s loss to Texas. After sophomore forward Blake Griffin left the game in the first half with a concussion, Warren caught fire and led the Sooners into a tight contest with the Longhorns. Warren hit six 3-pointers in the contest, including one on a cramped leg after tightening up during the previous play. Warren also dished out six assists in the game. He scored 17 of his points in the second half, and they all came within a 11-minute span between the 16-minute mark and the 5:14 mark. The game was Warren’s sixth with at least 20 points this season, the most for an OU freshman since Tim McCalister had nine in 1983-84. Warren, the only McDonald’s All-American to commit to a Big 12 school in 2008, was the preseason selection for Big 12 Freshman of the Year, and is the highest-scoring freshman in the conference this season. In OU’s road games, he is averaging 20 points, 3.9 assists and shooting 50 percent from 3-point range.

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Paris named Big 12 Player of the Week

Hand out four weeks with broken finger

Senior center Courtney Paris was named the Phillips 66 Big 12 Women’s Basketball Player of the week Monday. It was the second time this season Paris received the award, and the 19th time in her career, which is a Big 12 record. Last week, Paris averaged 20.5 points, 17.5 rebounds and four blocks as the Sooners won two games during the week, one at Texas Tech and at home against Baylor. The two wins propelled the Sooners to a 12-0 mark in the Big 12, and extended their winning streak to 20 COURTNEY games, a program record. PARIS Against Texas Tech on Wednesday, Paris scored 23 points and grabbed 20 rebounds in the Sooners’ 80-72 win. The Sooners were down 9 in the game, and Paris scored 15 of her points in the second half. Against Baylor on Saturday, Paris had 18 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks. The win gave OU a season sweep of the No. 6 Lady Bears.

The women’s basketball team will be without freshman guard Whitney Hand for approximately four weeks, head coach Sherri Coale said. Prior to Monday’s game against Texas A&M, Coale announced that Hand underwent surgery to repair a fractured left index finger suffered during Saturday’s game against Baylor. Hand’s injury is on her non-shooting hand. She dislocated and fractured the finger in the second half of OU’s win against Baylor. She left the game briefly but returned. Hand was the pre-season Big 12 Freshman of the Year and has averaged 9.2 points and 2.6 rebounds through OU’s 26 games this season. She was also the Sooner’s most consistent 3-point threat with 47 three-point shots made. Hand has shot 42 percent from the field, 39 percent from 3-point territory, and 76 percent from the free-throw line this season Hand has been the Big 12 Freshman of the week four times this season.

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Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009

OU STUDENTS YOU ARE INVITED! “Where Our Economy Is Headed”

David Leonhardt

New York Times Economics and Business Columnist David Leonhardt will share his insight on today’s economy. Leonhardt has been writing about economics for The New York Times since 2000, focusing recently on the housing bubble, bailouts, the stimulus package, the Big Three autoworkers and today’s stock market. He also writes frequently about economic policy, real estate and the job market as well as about corporate mismanagement in recent years.

5 p.m.

March 2, 2009 Sandy Bell Gallery, Mary and Howard Lester Wing Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art Please respond by calling the Office of Special Events at 325-3784. For accommodations on the basis of disability, call the Office of Special Events at (405) 325-3784. The University of Oklahoma is an equal opportunity institution.

7


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1 BLK FROM OU, very nice 4 room apt, 800 sf, wood floors, 1016 S College, Apt 1, $295/mo. Call 360-2873 or 306-1970.

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2 8 9 5 6 3 1 4 7

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

Instructions: Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. That means that no number is repeated in any row, column or box.

ACROSS 1 Decorative pottery 6 Fido’s peer 10 Does something 14 Willow variety 15 Take a bride 16 Lee of baking fame 17 Abode of a Muppet 19 Impediment 20 Grafton of mystery 21 Overcharge 22 Produce hippie attire 24 Attempt 25 Pastor’s home 26 Kindergarten supplies 29 Nonverbal congratulations 32 Easily understandable 33 Beerdrinker’s middle name? 34 Stunned disbelief 35 Jewish calendar month 36 Baby Jane portrayer 37 Alpine elevator 38 Seminary subject 39 Light wood 40 Chunnel vision? 41 In a contemporary way 43 Dress down

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39 Whitecrusted cheese 40 Act of contrition 42 Tribal spokesmen 43 Amish community project 45 Benefit from a teacher 46 Hogwash 47 Having the know-how 48 Disfigure 49 Steve Urkel, for one 50 Norge capital 51 Put safely away 54 Wedding announcement word 55 Writer Fleming

PREVIOUS PUZZLE ANSWER

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“CAN DO!” by Alice Walker

be diagnosed with lung cancer, and more than

lungcanceralliance.org

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Luke Atkinson, L&A editor dailyent@ou.edu phone: 325-5189, fax: 325-6051 For more, go to oudaily.com.

Life & Arts

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009

9

Rock is more than facial hair Black Water Rising sounds like every band you’ve ever seen on Ozzfest. It sounds like Creed, which sounds like Hinder, which sounds like Stained, which sounds like Stone Sour. It’s the radio stations “94.5 the Buzz” multiplied by “100.5 the Katt,” divided by talent, plus maybe one or two fuzz pedals. Black Water Rising writes on its MySpace page they sound like TYLER “Godzilla stepping on your head,” BRANSON which I’m guessing sounds pretty revolting, because Black Water Rising sounds just as trite as the analogies they use to categorize themselves. The band is very riff-heavy, similar to Pantera but with a lot less attitude and innovation, and definitely more geared – dare I say, “constructed” – toward a radio audience. If you’re in the mood to grab a case of beer

many famous hard rock bands. But that comes in packages of 30, and that’s just it — comparable, at best. then hang out in the parking lot The only impressive things about of a rock club, Black Water Rising Black Water Rising are the massive might be what you play out of the soul patches adorned on three out stock speakers of your truck. of four chins in the promo picture. From track one to 11 of their I may sound harsh, but trust me self-titled EP scheduled to come when I say that something smells out this April, Black Water Rising fishy. From the album cover, which makes use of maybe six chords, makes use of cliché metal symbols, continuously recycled melodies like skulls, fire, a goat’s head and and song titles that seem to parody motorcycle art, to the titles of the the band without meaning to. “Hate songs to the general image of the Machine” sounds just like “Black band — I’m forced to wonder to Bleeds Through” which sounds ‘Black Water Rising’ myself, “Gosh, Black Water Rising, eerily like “No Halos,” which still who are you trying to impress?” Is sounds like Hinder all over again. the hard rock demographic that To be fair, the band’s members appear to be at least minimally talented musicians predictable, that unintelligent, that bland? I want with pretty heavy riffs and ’80s influenced solos to hear Black Water Rising before a promoter or (with crazy wah pedals) and lead singer, Rob a publicist got hold of them and tried to market Traynor, has a voice comparable to frontmen of them toward the “young, angsty metal kids.” That

AP Photo

Children of the slum, where “Slumdog Millionaire” actor Rubina Ali lives, sing the Oscar-winning song “Jai Ho” from the film Monday in Mumbai, India.

‘Slumdog’ celebrations erupt across India MUMBAI, India — In the narrow lanes behind the Mumbai train tracks, the slum's first Oscar party turned into a raucous celebration of two hometown heroes, complete with Bollywood dance moves and squeals of joy from old friends.

“Slumdog Millionaire,” the darling of this year's Academy Awards. Her friend and neighbor, Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, 10, was also chosen for the film, and both were flown to Los Angeles to watch “Slumdog” nab eight Academy Awards, includ-

Every time the big-eyed girl who calls this slum home appeared on TV, her friends gawked, beamed, shouted — and danced. Rubina Ali, 9, was plucked from the tin roof shack she shares with her parents and six siblings in this squalid Mumbai slum to star in

ing the Oscars' highest honor for best film. Crowds gathered around the few television sets in the slum and it took barely a minute for word of each award to spread through the slum's winding lanes. “It seems like happiness is falling from the sky,” said Sohail Qureshi, a neighbor who said he had watched Rubina grow up. The Bandra slum could not be farther from the Hollywood glitz, stretch limousines and designer dresses of the Oscars. Azhar lives in a lean-to made of plastic tarpaulins and moldy blankets. Rubina's home is perched above an ocean of trash. Dirty train tracks and a clogged highway form the slum's borders. Hordes of journalists descended on the neighborhood Monday. TV tripods straddled the thin stream of sewage outside Rubina's home while rows of satellite trucks idled outside a usually sleepy tea stall. “Normally, no one talks to us and no one comes here, but now everyone is here,” Mohammed Ismail, Azhar's father, said before a bouquet of flashing bulbs. If the Oscar excitement brought a sheen of glamour to the community, it vanished Monday shortly after the final award was announced. The journalists left, the dancing stopped and life pressed on as always. The sweatshop men

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band might have a little more originality. It might still suck, but I’d be more willing to give them a chance. Sometimes playing it safe and sticking to the formula is a horrible idea, because it exposes how lame the formula is and needs to be changed in the first place. The band’s MySpace description says it all: “[Black Water Rising] does not want to reinvent the wheel, they just want to give it a much needed alignment.” Unfortunately for them, the car’s been totaled for months on the front lawn and isn’t worth fixing. Metal, or even hard rock, can be cool, but it’s only the real innovators who get the credit, not the roadies who try to ride in on their coat tails. TYLER BRANSON IS AN ENGLISH SENIOR.

hunched over humming sewing machines. Squatting children relieved themselves by the train tracks. Mothers washed their dishes in murky water. Although everyone from the local butcher to the prime minister called the Oscar coup a proud day for the country, “Slumdog Millionaire” was hardly a phenomenon with Indian audiences. “Hit in the West, flop in the East,” read a front page headline in DNA's Sunday newspaper. The film was a tough sell in Indian movie theaters because it was largely in English, featured few giant stars and skimped on the dance numbers. Many people here also objected to its gritty portrayal of India, as well as its title, which some took as derogatory. The film sparked protests in Mumbai and at least one north Indian city by slum residents who said the movie demeaned the poor. The “Slumdog” filmmakers said they wrestled with the com-

plications of working with children from impoverished families. Danny Boyle — who won the Oscar for best director — and producer Christian Colson decided to help Azhar and Rubina by securing them spots in Aseema, a nonprofit, English-language school in Mumbai. Rubina's parents were thrilled with Boyle and his team. “Whatever a parent could have done, they have done much more than that,” Rafiq Qureshi said during the run-up to the awards. Rubina's best friend Saba Qureshi wants something, however — lots of stories and pictures from Los Angeles. “My eyes couldn't believe that I was seeing Rubina in America,” said Saba, who led her sisters in Bollywood dance numbers throughout the morning. “She looked like an angel.” “When she comes back,” Saba said, “we will have the biggest party.”

–AP

HOROSCOPE By Bernice Bede Osol

Copyright 2008, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009 PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) -Something promising is developing between you and another that makes it possible to release news about a joint endeavor. If you think the timing is right, do so.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Although the possibilities to add to your material holdings or resources are growing stronger, you must be willing to take advantage of what’s at hand, no matter how small an opportunity looks on the surface.

ARIES (March 21-April 19) -- Even though you are known for your independence, having a partner could play some kind of significant role in your affairs. Don’t hesitate to team up when called for.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) --A personal project or enterprise has just as good a chance for success as one initiated by an outside source. Try to get your offerings shown to those who could help launch them.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20) -Continue to focus on your job and the projects you’ve been working on. It’s important to be patient and not force any issues. Let time and circumstances develop things for you.

SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) -- Take care not to reveal more information than is necessary to get what you want. If you give too much away, you might be forced to play your aces before they can do any good.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20) -- If you’re feeling totally left out of the dating scene, don’t get on Dan Cupid’s case just yet. He has something exciting in the works that could be exactly what you’ve been hoping for.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) -- The new prevailing conditions will enable you to produce something that has been on the drawing board for a long time. Just be sure to keep your project and methods practical.

CANCER (June 21-July 22) -- Disruptive or disturbing conditions regarding your work or career are about to change for the better. The power to make things happen will be back in your hands.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- An objective you’ve quietly nurtured for a long time has an excellent chance of being launched. However, it’s important to make your disclosures to those who can help you.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Take advantage of all opportunities to meet and mingle with new groups of people. One group in particular will turn out to contain just the kind of friends you would enjoy having in your life.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -Knowledge and expertise you’ve been holding at bay has a chance to be utilized on something important to you. Don’t hesitate, because its efficacy will diminish with delay.


10

Life & Arts

Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009

Local band brings back country sound • The Whiskey Trio sticks to old-fashioned country to produce ‘simple’ music TYLER BRANSON The Oklahoma Daily

Photo Provided

Ben Arnett (right), Cade Whitaker (middle) and Tim Gregory (left) perform at Justin’s Gourmet Food. The Whiskey Trio is a traditional folk band that collects influences from jazz, blues and country to create old-fashioned music. It draws inspiration from their idols Woody Guthrie, country singer John Prine and folk guitarist Doc Watson.

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The Whiskey Trio sounds like the folky, frontporch music your grandpa probably liked. With only two guitars and a fiddle, the Trio embodies traditional music stripped down to the basics. No fluff, no gimmicks, just old-fashioned country. And they like it that way. An unlikely uprising from the breakup of a more experimentally geared jam-band, The 9 p.m. Sunday Whiskey Trio represents a reorganized, simpler In The Raw ideology. Guitarist Tim 575 S. University Gregory keeps that ideol(405) 701- 1323 ogy in mind when he sits down to write a song. “I try to think about that old-time sounding music from the 40s and 50s, like ragtime or something,” he said. “It’s like I’m taking people back in time to a older, simpler time and feeling—at least that’s what I try to do.” Indeed, the Trio sounds as if you just popped in an old Hank Williams or Woody Guthrie 78 rpm vinyl record. Singer Cabe Whitaker’s twangy, reeling voice is backed by simple rhythm chords, Gregory’s haunting lead guitar work and the prominent country-fiddle of Ben Arnett. Together they use elements of traditional jazz, blues, country and folk to produce something straight out of your parents’ old vinyl collection, while still remaining refreshing and contemporary at the same time. Gregory and Whitaker have been playing together since they first learned guitar, and after several jam sessions with the fiddle of Arnett wrote their first song, “I’ve Seen,” they said. “It just kind of took off from there,” Gregory said. Writing traditional folk music wasn’t really a conscious decision for Whitaker, who said he’s always loved it, considering it the best, most

honest medium for songwriting. Even while playing with Gregory in Robots in the Sky, a band that gained a reputation in Norman for playing experimental-psychedelic jazz, Whitaker said he would go home after the shows, grab his acoustic guitar – and maybe some whiskey – and play some country songs. “It just felt right,” he said. “I loved playing for Robots, don’t get me wrong, but I just felt insecure. I’d much rather play some John Prine or something like that. I think country music is heartfelt, truthful—and it matters.” Whitaker said the Whiskey Trio’s more honest approach may not be exactly what Norman embraces right now, but he could care less. “Norman right now is all about 747, Logan’s and striped shirts—hipsters. Life’s too short to worry about what people think of you. I mean, John Prine is great—he’s corny, and cliché, but so is life, ya 8 p.m. March 12 know?” The Deli The Whiskey Trio’s 309 White St. first album, “Tangled in Oblivion,” is a self pro(405) 329-3534 duced, gritty-sounding collection of traditional tunes. The guitar work is sparse and subtle, and the exceptional violin work of Arnett gives the Trio their edge. Whitaker described his lyrics as “cynical” and “morbid,” but overall he said, “It’s about playing some chords and having a good time, trying to figure it all out.” Their laid-back attitude should not be mistaken for apathy, however. The Whiskey Trio has big plans for the future and hopes to continue doing what they do for larger audiences in more diverse towns. In the future, however, Whitaker said The Whiskey Trio might end up having to change its name. “I got on MySpace the other day and found a few other Whiskey Trios,” he said, laughing. “I guess we’ll just have to see who makes it to Austin first.” It all derives from a love and desire to play music, Whitaker said, no matter what you call it. “Hell, we could just change our name to the Evan Williams Trio,” he said. “I’d actually be OK with that. A name is just a name. We’re just a group of people with something to say.”

UPCOMING PERFORMANCES

The Oklahoma Daily  

Tuesday, February 24, 2009.