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THE DAILY TEXAN

ERN y MIO ekl M Td we U I S D nte E i Pr

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Serving the University of Texas at Austin community since 1900

Monday, June 25, 2012

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TEXAS

GOLD RUSH

UT athletes swim, run and dive their way into the London Game qualifiers. | SPORTS

The High Court on Health care:

WHAT THE DECISION WILL MEAN FOR UT STUDENTS OPINION PAGE 4


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INSIDE 2

THE DAILY TEXAN

This newspaper was printed with pride by The Daily Texan and Texas Student Media.

Permanent Staff

Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Susannah Jacob Associate Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Drew Finke Managing Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aleksander Chan News Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nick Hadjigeorge Associate News Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jody Serrano Senior Reporters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bobby Blanchard, Hannah Jane DeCiutiis Copy Desk Chief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Klarissa Fitzpatrick Associate Copy Desk Chiefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amyna Dosani, Kristine Reyna, Luis San Miguel Design Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chris Benavides Senior Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pu Ying Huang, Sarah “Ksenia” Foster, Natasha Smith Photo Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Elisabeth Dillon Associate Photo Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Lawrence Peart Senior Photographers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pu Ying Huang, Andrew Torrey, Marisa Vasquez Video Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jorge Corona Life&Arts Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aleksander Chan Associate Life&Arts Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Sarah-Grace Sweeny Senior Life&Arts Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Alex Williams Sports Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nick Cremona Senior Sports Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sara Beth Purdy Comics Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Riki Tsuji Web Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tony Snyder Associate Web Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ghayde Ghraowi Senior Web Staff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Omar Longoria, Paxton Thomes Editorial Adviser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Doug Warren

Cover illustration by Holly Hansel | Daily Texan Staff

CONTENTS VOLUME 113 | ISSUE 4

4

UT Professors and the health care debate

What the long-anticipated Supreme Court decision will mean for UT students.

Issue Staff

Reporters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Max Bridges, David Maly Copy Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Meagan Bluestein, Kevin DeLuca, Sherry Hu, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Huygen, Emily Salada, Multimedia. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Julia Bunch Sports Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Antonio Morales Comics Artists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aron Fernandez, Kathryn Hansen, John Massingil, Colin Zelinski Illustrator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Holly Hansel

Advertising

(512) 471-1865 advertise@texasstudentmedia.com Director of Advertising & Business . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jalah Goette Business Manager. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lori Hamilton Business Assistant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amy Ramirez Advertising Adviser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CJ Salgado Broadcast & Events Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Carter Goss Campus & National Sales Associate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joan Bowerman Student Advertising Manager. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ryan Ford Student Assistant Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Veronica Serrato Student Acct. Execs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ted Sniderman, Adrian Lloyd, Morgan Haenchen, Ted Moreland . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paola Reyes, Fredis Benitez, Tyrell Elegonye, Zach Congdon Student Office Assistant/Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rene Gonzalez Student Marketing Assistant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Allison McMordie Student Buys of Texas Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lindsey Hollingsworth Student Buys of Texas Assistants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Suzi Zhaw, Esteban Rivera Senior Graphic Design . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Felimon Hernandez Junior Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Aaron Rodriguez Special Editions Adviser & Production . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Adrienne Lee Student Special Editions Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christine Imperatore

OPINION

8

NEWS

‘WHAT STARTS HERE IS FORGOTTEN TOMORROW’

The creator of UTexas Memes has struck a deal with the Co-Op to sell Tshirts. But what about the thousands of people who took his meme viral?

13

SPORTS

longhorns at the olympics

How UT athletes, past and present, are training for the London games.

17

LIFE&ARTS

Historical FictioN

The Daily Texan (USPS 146-440), a student newspaper at The University of Texas at Austin, is published by Texas Student Media, 2500 Whitis Ave., Austin, TX 78705. The Daily Texan is published daily, Monday through Friday, during the regular academic year and is published twice weekly during the summer semester. The Daily Texan does not publish during academic breaks and most Federal Holidays. and exam periods. Periodical Postage Paid at Austin, TX 78710. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: The Daily Texan, P.O. Box D, Austin, TX 78713. News contributions will be accepted by telephone (471-4591), or at the editorial office (Texas Student Media Building 2.122). For local and national display advertising, call 471-1865. classified display advertising, call 471-1865. For classified word advertising, call 471-5244. Entire contents copyright 2012 Texas Student Media.

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Texan Ad Deadlines

6/25/12

Date of Publication

Space Deadline

Monday

Tuesday

Camera-ready Art Due 11 a.m.

Friday

‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’s’ revisionist thrills.

20 COMICS


W&N/NEWS 3

NEWS 3

Fall at troubled building site leads to inquiry By David Maly Multiple investigations are underway following a more than 20-foot fall at a West Campus construction site. Three construction workers were injured Wednesday afternoon while working at an apartment complex located at 2400 Nueces St. Preliminary investigations by Hensel Phelps Construction Company, the general contractor for the complex, said one worker fell from the sixth floor of the complex, causing injuries to two other workers as a result. All three workers were treated at University Medical Center Brackenridge for non-life threatening injuries

and released by 6:45 p.m. that day. Construction at the site resumed Thursday morning and investigations involving Hensel Phelps are currently underway by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Worker’s Defense Project and the City of Austin. “Hensel Phelps has an outstanding safety record and is committed to compliance with all rules and regulations. The company places the highest value on the health and safety of our workforce,” the company said in a press release issued this morning. Brian Penner, operations manager for Hensel Phelps, declined further comment on the incident.

Jason Cato, anthropology graduate student and workforce development trainer for Worker’s Defense Project, said his organization has been looking into alleged violations at the 2400 Nueces St. site since February, including improperly supported scaffolding, missing and broken guard rails, reports from workers of rest-break violations and company failure to pay overtime. “If [Hensel Phelps] was doing its job, there would not be any violations,” Cato said. Patricia Zavala, workplace justice coordinator for Worker’s Defense Project, said reports from workers said the accident occurred due to high winds,

and she believes preventative measures to suspend construction during turbulent weather should have been taken. According to a 2009 UT and WDP report about working conditions in Austin’s construction industry, Texas is the most dangerous place in the country for construction workers, with one in five workers requiring a hospital visit at some point in their life due to a work-related injury. Worker’s Defense Project is currently conducting a state-wide research study of working conditions in the construction industry throughout the state of Texas, Cato said.

“It’s more than should be happening,” he said. “Every violation is avoidable with proper safety training

and precautions from the employer, and [Worker’s Defense Project] is looking into this.”

Guillermo Hernandez Martinez | Daily Texan Staff A crew member on the 2400 Nueces St. site works Thursday afternoon. Three construction workers were injured after suffering a fall at the site Wednesday afternoon.

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@DTeditorial

opinion

editor@dailytexanonline.com

4

Editor-in-Chief Susannah Jacob

512-471-5084

Quotes to note: UT professors take on the Affordable Care Act

Editor’s note: Many college students rely on their parents’ health insurance plan, but soon they may well be on their own and planning to care for their parents. What should students look out for in the long-anticipated U.S. Supreme Court Affordable Care Act (ACA) decision and its aftermath? UT faculty members give their opinions, which have been edited for clarity.

“It is difficult to predict what the Supreme Court will do. But one thing is certain: The Court’s decision could affect many young adults who are now covered under their parents’ policies if the mandate is struck down. Nationwide, and in Texas, this age segment of the population is most likely to be uninsured. Even so, the young population is generally healthy and, on average, coverage [for them] costs less than for the old. As a result, insurers may want to keep this section of the law.” Jacqueline Angel, Professor of Public Affairs and Sociology LBJ School of Public Affairs “Many will be covered on their parents’ plan until [age] 26,even if the ACA is found unconstitutional, at least for a while, since insurance contracts often run through the first of the year. And, in many cases, employers and insurance companies will keep that benefit in place. UT, for instance, offered [the option] to

its employees to keep children on their health insurance so long as [the children] were not married or eligible for employee coverage. In terms of caring for their parents in the future, the ACA will not be terribly relevant since the ACA does not change Medicare coverage for those over 65. It does have some reductions in cost for pharmaceuticals while in the donut hole [the commonly used name for a Medicare coverage gap] and also makes a number of preventive services free under Medicare. Also, if their parents intend to retire before 65 and do not have employer-based coverage, the ACA will make buying coverage cheaper and more transparent than presently.” David Warner, Professor in Health and Social Policy LBJ School of Public Affairs “The future of the parental coverage (until the age of 26) provision of the ACA is very much up in the air. The Supreme Court could uphold the ACA’s individual mandate provision, and then there’s no problem for students. It could also write a narrow opinion scrapping the individual mandate but leaving the rest intact (legally). It could also write a broad opinion and strike the whole ACA down. That would be bad for students needing parental coverage. However, (a) some insurance companies

have said they will maintain the parental coverage provision in their policies, even if the ACA is struck down. And (b), some Republicans are interested in reenacting some of the ACA’s more popular provisions, like the parental coverage provision, if the ACA is struck down. Other Republicans, however, want to eliminate every bit of ACA’s DNA down to its last molecule. Importantly, even if insurance companies voluntarily keep parental coverage and/or Congress reenacts it, and if the individual mandate is struck down, there is serious question as to whether parental coverage and other provisions of the ACA, such as barring the refusal of coverage due to preexisting conditions, would be economically sustainable.” Robert Prentice, Professor of Business Law McCombs School of Business “Whether or not the individual mandate is upheld, young people will need to think about finding jobs that include health insurance or finding health insurance plans they can afford to pay for out of pocket. One accident or illness could easily cause them to owe as much as or more than they do in student loans. Most important: Young people can help in figuring out how to rein in health care costs and develop a

system that provides Americans of all ages access to routine as well as catastrophic health care.” Diana DiNitto, Professor in Alcohol Studies and Education, School of Social Work

“The requirement for insurers to allow parents to insure their children until 26 has been very popular. Although the Republicans do not support health care reform, they have stated that they would want to continue this provision. If the Supreme Court supports health care reform, students will be required to purchase insurance from their employer or from a state or federal health care exchange. In the past, many young adults have forgone health insurance. Under health care reform, this choice would lead to tax penalties. In terms of parents, health care reform does expand coverage for things not currently covered by Medicare (e.g. prescription drugs), which will decrease the financial burden on parents and/or their children. Health care reform is also purported to be a method for containing rising health care costs, so both parents and children will, one might hope, pay less out of pocket for their insurance over time than they will if the health care reform law is overturned.” Kristie J. Loescher, Senior Lecturer McCombs School of Business

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Opinion 5

Views & Voices

My father deserves his due By Travis Knoll

Guest Columnist I was raised by a gay, single father. A recent study by UT sociology professor Mark Regnerus found that children raised by gay parents are at a disadvantage. One of the many responses to the study was the assertion by a conservative, Christian group on campus that scientific studies are less important than ‘the moral question of homosexuality’ when considering same-sex parenting. While I think the group’s claim is disingenuous, taken at face value, the assertion is useful. I find the assertion disingenuous because it tries to dismiss the scientific consensus of the last decade by shifting the debate from a scientific paradigm to a religious one seemingly more favorable for conservative Christians. The assertion, however, deserves attention because we can reflect on the fact that, as conservatives point out, many times studies have been used to shut out moral questions, close debates and diminish personal experience with the old adage, “The numbers don’t lie.” The problem for conservative Christians who make this argument is that proponents of gay rights are not the ones who have pushed dated sociological concepts regarding ‘the child’s best interest.’ for years. The other side has, through its claim of gay parenting’s ‘detriment to the child.’ My experience causes me to agree that studies are not the final say but has also caused me to ask a different moral question: What value does individual sacrifice have in this debate? I grew up in a small uppermiddle class neighborhood in Dallas and attended the Ridgewood Park United Methodist

Church there. At church, close friends would all gush with praise about the dedication of ‘my single father,’ his forbearance of my impulsiveness (ADHD), his generosity, his teaching me to be available to those at the church who needed help cooking luncheons or cleaning up afterward and his insistence that we give our share of prayers, presence and service to the youth group. The praise would turn less resounding after our friends in the congregation learned that my father was gay. Notwithstanding all of his generosity and their previous praise of his parenting skills, my father could never again meet their parenting standards. The sometimes explicit, but mostly unstated, question—“He’s amazing, but what would Travis be if he had been raised in a normal family?”— qualified my father’s long list of parental accomplishments, which include raising me in every stage of my educational development, from special education in elementary school to the University of Texas, where I am a two-time UT Presidential Scholar. This ‘but’ was all the more unjust, because along that road it was my father that paid the costs for physical and psychological testing of a child for whom the system had advised ‘limited expectations.’ My father searched out and found trusted childcare for the times he taught night classes. My father paid for the piano lessons that led me to attend Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, a fine arts magnet in Dallas. My father went to the aforementioned Methodist church because of its strong community and youth group when he could have been more at peace at the Cathedral of Hope or the United Church of Christ, both either gay or gay-affirming

churches. My father wrote to me every day of my first trip abroad in Argentina and was waiting with hugs upon my return. My father was there to teach me ethics, critical thinking and, yes, religious principles. My father and I have never insisted that single parenting is always the best, nor is growing up with gay parents always easy due to societal pressures, but we should be given a chance. As for the concept of ‘normal families,’ the man who is the very inspiration for those Christians who condemn ‘alternative family forms,’ was technically conceived out of wedlock, raising suspicion in his community (Mark 6:3), and, according to Matthew, had a genealogy full of heroic ‘disreputable’ women who sacrificed for their families (Tamar, Rahab, Bathsheba,and Ruth, the foreigner of the group). It is not necessary to debate my father’s homosexuality and its moral status in the Christian tradition any more than divorce or sex outside of wedlock. I am not asking Christian institutions to support same-sex marriages, or to host religious same-sex weddings. However, in a liberal republic (as opposed, to say, a confessional Catholic state), the moral question is not about stereotypes of ‘same-sex lifestyles’ any more than it is about ‘Vegas marriages’ and general promiscuity. The ‘moral question’ is, ‘Did my father, who was willing to make extraordinary sacrifices, have the right to raise me? Yes. Does he deserve due credit and praise for the job he did? Absolutely. My father’s due is more consideration than to be judged on a ‘normal’ distribution curve. Knoll is a Latin American studies senior.

Should I keep DREAM-ing?

By Manuel Ramírez

Guest Columnist Like many college students this summer I secured an internship. Others would be excited about the opportunity. I, on the other hand, had to worry. I flew halfway around the country for my internship, and because I am undocumented, was petrified by the idea of risking deportation. My Mexican passport surely looked suspicious to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officials, and I knew that at any minute they could ask to see a visa, which I do not have. At any moment, I could be detained. In high school, I was a straight-A student, I graduated third in my class and I made it into one of the best universities in the nation, but I had to worry about whether I would even be able to stay in this country. At the airport, as I waited to be checked by TSA, I glanced at the television to my right and saw news of President Obama’s decision to stop deporting undocumented students. Constant text messages and Facebook notifications about the president’s announcement prompted happiness and a sense of accomplishment for me — accomplishment because the immigrant community finally received an opportunity for undocumented students to legalize their status. I have mixed emotions, however, about Obama’s decision to give administrative relief to undocumented students, an action that would immediately affect individuals who are in deportation proceedings, or have ever had

contact with immigration authorities. Obama’s decision would allow undocumented students to gain a two-year work permit but only after meeting certain requirements, which include having been in this country since the age of 16, not having reached their 30th birthday and having graduated from high school, acquired a GED or served in the military. While this was a courageous step by Obama to fix a piece of our country’s broken immigration system, it is only a temporary solution. But why did he choose to use his presidential power now? With elections being held in five months, Obama knows he needs the Latino vote, belonging to the largest ethnic group in the United States, to win. Call my reaction cynical, but to me it is clear that the president’s bold decision is largely a political one. These political chess moves that play with lives of real people have been carried out by many of our presidents. Politicians only appeal to the common folk when reelections are on the line and later forget about us after being re-elected. This calculated timing of Obama’s decision reminds me of growing up in Mexico during elections, when the PRI (Partido Revolucionario Institucional, a centrist party) and PAN (Partido Acción Nacional, a right-wing party) handed out rice and beans in exchange for votes. I feel that I should be happy to have such a “progressive” president, who supports the idea of gay marriage and is now offering temporary relief for undocumented students to legalize their status. But I

know all of these decisions are part of the re-election show. I feel the recent announcement is a short-term solution to fix the broken immigration system; Obama’s decision bypassed review by courts and has little chance of being implemented as proposed. For now, I am happy that this opportunity has been given to the immigrant community, but we will continue to organize until something is done permanently. Personally, I may benefit from this decision, but the community as a whole still struggles. I would still be heartbroken if the day arrives when my parents are deported because of their immigration status. While Obama’s decision represents a step forward to accomplish the immigrant community’s end goal of legalizing the status of 11 million undocumented immigrants, our plight continues. While this decision will help some students, it is only a short-term solution, and it is unclear that this decision will extend beyond the Obama administration. But I know it will help put me in a stronger position to win broader change for the immigrant community and fight piecemeal policies that still allow my parents, friends and family to be deported and divided. This may be politics, but I, for one, will not simply be a pawn in a game of chess and, as part of a community, we will hold those in power accountable by rallying and pressuring until something is done permanently. Ramírez is an international relations and global studies sophomore.


NEWS

News Editor Nick Hadjigeorge

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@thedailytexan

Scientist’s birthday celebrated with forum, robot By Max Bridges Alan Turing would have been 100 years old on June 23. Although he died in 1954, his work in computer science and artificial intelligence lives on today. Three university scholars discussed Turing’s life and contributions to commemorate his centennial birthday Saturday, one of the many celebrations and tributes to Turing worldwide. Turing is considered one of the earliest pioneers of computer science and artificial intelligence and is renowned for his codebreaking work for the Allies during World War II. He also did research that many say laid the foundations of the modern computer. Robert King, UT linguistics professor emeritus, said Turing was the embodiment of many human qualities. King led a discussion titled, “Alan Turing, Genius, Patriot, Victim,” one of three panels Saturday dedicated to Turing’s life and contributions. Others included “Language Translation and Code-Breaking” and “Turing’s Strange Seas of Thought.” “He was a hero. When we honor him, we are honoring some of the very best qualities of the human race,” King said. Turing died at age 41 from cyanide poisoning after being charged with committing “homosexual acts,” which was a crime in England at the time. Offi-

Julia Bunch | Daily Texan Staff University of Southern California Professor Kevin Knight and science fiction author Bruce Sterling have a panel discussion at the Turing Centenary Symposium in the AT&T Conference Center Saturday evening. The event had was held in honor of computer science pioneer Alan Turing and hosted speakers who were affected by his work.

cials later ruled his death a suicide. “Turing was an easygoing guy who would have been content with a few friends to work with in his studies, and time to practice his running, of which he was very talented,” King said. “He was an open homosexual who was con-

demned to take estrogen supplements as a ‘cure’ for his homosexuality. This led to his death.” The event was hosted by the UT linguistics department in conjunction with the North American Summer School in Logic, Language, and Information program, which offers

courses in areas such as logic and translation. Kevin Knight, computer science professor at the University of Southern California, demonstrated how Turing’s algorithms were used to understand encrypted messages, such as those used in World War II. “One naturally wonders

if the problem of translation could conceivably be treated as a problem in cryptography. When I look at an article in Russian, I say, ‘This is really written in English, but it has been coded in some strange symbols. I will now proceed to decode.’” The symposium also

featured “Turing Bot 2.0,” a computer simulation of Turing with the capability of answering questions similar to the iPhone’s Siri. When a member of the audience asked the animation a question, Turing Bot would sometimes answer

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Ralph Barrera | Associated Press Patrick Roberts, left, and Scott Wengert hang drapes in the yellow room called the Conservatory at the Texas Governor’s Mansion on Wednesday. Four years ago the building was nearly destroyed in a fire started by an unknown arsonist.

Governor’s Mansion wraps up restoration By Jim Vertuno The Associated Press

The $25 million project to restore the historic Texas Governor’s Mansion is almost complete, four years after the building was nearly destroyed in a fire started by an unknown arsonist. Gov. Rick Perry’s office said Wednesday that pieces of the mansion’s historic furniture collection are being moved back into the building. Perry and his family are expected to return in late July. Located a block from the state Capitol grounds, the twostory Greek-revival mansion has been the home of every Texas governor, including Sam Houston and George W. Bush,

since it was completed in 1856. Perry moved in when he took office in late 2000, and he and his family moved out in 2007 for a $10 million renovation project to upgrade mechanical systems, including fire alarms, sprinkler systems, plumbing and wiring. The mansion was severely damaged in June 2008 when police say a person threw a Molotov cocktail that landed near the front door and ignited the building. Parts of the roof collapsed, and the majestic columns at the front of the mansion were charred. No one was injured. Most of the original interior was damaged by smoke. But the historic furniture collection, including the bed used by Houston and Stephen F. Austin’s writing desk, were not dam-

aged because they had already been removed. The collection is owned by the nonprofit Friends of the Governor’s Mansion. Historic chandeliers were installed on the first floor last week, Perry’s office said. Authorities have made no arrests in the case despite a $50,000 reward offered by the Texas Department of Public Safety. Investigators have released surveillance video and a sketch of the person they believe started the blaze. Perry and his wife Anita have been living in a $10,000-amonth leased home away from the downtown area during the restoration project. Anita Perry has been leading the effort to raise nearly $3.5 million in private money for the

restoration project. The mansion “has been a symbol of Texas pride and resilience for decades,” Anita Perry said. Before the Civil War, Houston paced the hallways as he worried about seceding from the union. Miriam “Ma” Ferguson, the first woman to be governor of Texas, built a chicken coop in the backyard. And Gov. Wilbert Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel served barbecue on the grounds to 20,000 of his supporters in 1941 to celebrate his re-election. Gov. John Connally recuperated at the mansion from a gunshot wound suffered in the attack on President John F. Kennedy’s motorcade in Dallas. Gov. Ann Richards hosted Queen Elizabeth II of England there in the early 1990s.

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UT computer science updates curriculum

Computer science sophomore Daniel Monroy created the UTexas Memes Facebook page in February because he wanted to centralize UT themed memes. The University Co-op announced last week it would begin selling UTexas Memes T-shirts on their website.

By Bobby Blanchard

Marisa Vasquez Daily Texan Staff

UTexas Memes T-shirts sell online By Bobby Blanchard With 18,000 likes and counting, the UTexas Memes Facebook page has not left the spotlight yet. Page creator Daniel Monroy said he thought his Facebook page would have died out by now — but it hasn’t. The page has continued to attract new fans and “likes” and is now bringing in the bucks, a development that has prompted both excitement and disappointment. The University Co-op announced last week it would begin selling four UTexas Memes T -shirts on its website. Monroy announced the Co-op partnership on the Facebook page. Some users said they were excited to buy one, while others were upset because they felt the Co-op was capitalizing on the site and making profits. In addition, students have also voiced complaints that memes they posted on the Facebook

page are being used on the Tshirts without proper credit. Monroy, a computer science sophomore, gets a percentage of profit for every T-shirt sold. “We’re seeing how it starts and if it’s selling,” Monroy said. “It’s going to be a fun project. I’m going to be looking forward to it.” Memes are comical ideas shared by Internet users, and the UTexas Memes page is made up of the more common ones, macros. Macros are generic photos with lines of text that usually make a comical comment about certain situations in everyday life. In the case of UTexas Memes, the memes typically refer to University of Texas culture and news on the UT campus. Co-op officials said that currently the T-shirt with the highest sales is a reference to an incident in May where UT student Nick Engmann was hit by a Capital Metro bus during the biannual foam sword fight. The T-shirt reads: “No

cruze en frente del autobus [sic]/Challenge accepted.” Co-op promotions manager William Kelleher said he first contacted Daniel a few weeks after the page launched in February. The page had received more than 4,000 “likes” within the first 24 hours of launching, and it hit 10,000 just a few days later. Memes infested Facebook users’ news feeds, which some hated and others enjoyed. “We’re all fans of the page here at the Co-op,” Kelleher said. “As soon as UTexas Memes came out, we immediately saw how everyone kind of gravitated toward this.” Monroy chose to keep his identity a mystery initially but decided to go public and reveal his part in the project on Feb. 12. His Facebook page and identity were featured in several media outlets, including The Alcalde, The Horn and The Daily Texan. Kelleher said many at the Coop were impressed a freshman founded the page.

“We thought it seemed like a good partnership, and Daniel has been excited from the getgo,” Kelleher said. Kelleher said the deal to develop products featuring UTexas Memes has been a four-month process. He said it took a while to get Co-op management on board with the idea to sell shirts, but they eventually gave him approval. He said the Co-op selected some of the more popular memes on the site and used the text only, redesigning the art for the T-shirt. Kelleher said the Co-op is waiting to see if online sales are successful before they begin offering them in-store. Kelleher also said there were plans to make more T-shirts and sales have already been made. Radio-television-film and Asian cultures and languages senior Anthony Fisher, who originally posted the “No

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The Department of Computer Science will decrease the number of required classes needed to obtain a degree from the department, a move some faculty hope will allow students to specialize in their interests and experience more while attending school. Designed to be more flexible, the new curriculum has been a five-year endeavor by the department to allow students to take more electives. Bruce Porter, department chair of the computer science department, said the average student has time for 15 computer science classes. However, the old curriculum required students to take 11 specific courses to obtain a degree, leaving little time to take upper-division electives. The new curriculum has reduced the number of required courses to six. Porter said some students have jumped to conclusions of the department cutting back the number of required courses for budgetary reasons. “I cannot think of any way that this has a budgetary side to it at all,” Porter said. “Sure, the department has had budget cuts, we’ve all had budget cuts. But that has nothing to do with the curriculum. This is based on what is best for teaching the field.” He said the idea of scaling back on required classes to open up more

upper-division elective options is taking place at computer science schools across the nation and UT was neither ahead nor behind the trend. Faculty in the department started talking about revisiting the computer science curriculum in 2007, Porter said. He also said the department took a lot of inspiration from a 2001 report by the Association for Computing Machinery, a national organization dedicated to delivering education resources for computing. The report, titled “Computing Curricula,” states that the required body of knowledge should be made as small as possible. “Over the last decade, computer science has expanded to such an extent that it is no longer possible simply to add new topics without taking away,” the report said. “We believe that the best strategic approach is to reduce the number of topics in the required core so that it consists only of those topics for which there is a broad consensus that the topic is essential to undergraduate degrees.” Porter said the department wanted to change the curriculum because the field has gotten too big to try to teach in four years. Now, Porter said students can study the areas that most interest them in depth. “For some students,

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cruze en frente del autobus/ Challenge accepted” meme, said he was excited at first to see his meme turned into a T-shirt until he realized he wasn’t given credit. “Why didn’t they ask me for my permission?” Fisher said. “I heard nothing about it before it launched.” Fisher said he messaged Monroy inquiring if he was entitled to credit or a share in profits, but Monroy told him uploading memes to Facebook grants the page free use of the images. There is a disclaimer on the page that states “Any meme you post in the page can be freely used by the page.” “I don’t think the Co-op did anything morally wrong. I just kind of wish I had notification ahead of time,” Fisher said. “I’m not against it, though. I might even buy a shirt.” But Matt Evans, a recent UT graduate, said he had more problems with the idea of the Co-op selling the Tshirts. He is the creator of the “What starts here [Sixth Street]... Is forgotten tomorrow” meme, which is being printed on a T-shirt. Co-op representative Kelleher said the Sixth Street T-shirt meme is currently the second most

TURING directly and other times reply with an irrelevant comment. At one point, a member of the audience asked Turing Bot if it had a sister. “Do you mean a clone?” responded Turing Bot. Bruce Sterling, science fiction writer and UT alumnus, ended the event by discussing the Turing test, a test of a machine’s

sold meme T-shirt. “It does bug me a little bit,” Evans said. “Not necessarily because of the cash or money aspect. I honestly think the guy who created it did a great thing for the school, but I think it’s going a little too far by taking ideas from other people and trying to make a profit from it.” Evans said he felt the Tshirts were changing what the page is about. “I don’t think it’s fair that the Co-op is taking these ideas from students and making T-shirts out of them,” Evans said. “This was a page students used to take a break in between classes, and now it feels like the Co-op is taking that away from them by trying to make a profit off of it.” Evans said he did not have plans to buy a T-shirt. Kelleher said the Co-op redesigned the art of every meme used on T-shirts. “We’re not taking the exact design from the memes. We’re taking the idea and changing it up and making it T-shirtready,” Kelleher said. “We actually had someone in-house take the T-shirt and change up the design. But Daniel has the rights to those, since they were posted to his Facebook page.”

continues from PAGE 6 ability to exhibit intelligent behavior, and how it may have related to Turing himself. He also said although machines are obviously good for computing, artificial intelligence might never work. “For can you have intelligence without having gender? Is your gender not part of your psyche?” he said.

UPDATE it’s going to be the mathematical stuff, for others it’s going to be game development,” Porter said. “Everybody has their own inclination.” Although much of the new curriculum has already been implemented over the last couple of years, the most recent and final changes to the curriculum include reducing the number of theory classes. The department previously required four theory classes, but now students only have to take two. “When you go to four to two, it is not like you can take the content in four courses and squeeze it down to two, because the students aren’t any smarter than they had been before,” Porter said. “Instead you have to choose a little bit of

continues from PAGE 8 one course and add a little bit of another.” Before the most recent changes, the department reduced the number of required computer system courses from 12 hours of coursework to eight. “A problem we had in the past is students would take these four system classes and never really come away with the big picture view of how a computer works,” he said. Associate computer science professor William Cook said while he did not foresee the department needing to make any additional curriculum changes, adjustments might be needed. “I do think there will probably be some adjustments to fine tune the current system,” Cook said.

“There is a lot of room with flexibility, so if there are any problems we can tweak the curriculum.” Cook said students in the new theory, systems and programming classes will experience classes taught at a faster pace. “There could be some struggle there as students adjust,” Cook said. “Essentially we are raising the bar and expecting more of the students.” Calvin Lin, a computer science professor who chaired a committee that defined a new theory course under the new requirements, said students will find more excitement under the new requirements. “There is also an observation that our old curriculum, because there was

this long chain of required courses, students often didn’t see the pay off, they didn’t see the excitement till a few courses down,” Lin said. “The hope is by shrinking the core they will get to see some of the more exciting things quicker, and this is also an opportunity to bring some of the excitement into the core as well.” Porter said he was pleased with the curriculum and he did not foresee any more upcoming changes. Nevertheless, he said teaching computer science is a constant struggle. “There will be a continual battle to keep each of these classes current,” Porter said. “But the overall scaffolding of them, that is going to last us at least 10 years.”


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THE SWEETEST

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The town of Luling, Texas hosted its 59th annual Watermelon Thump festival this past weekend, which included seed spitting and melon eating competitions, a parade and live music. Photos by Andrew Torrey


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For a closer look of the Luling Watermelon Thump Festival, check out: http://bit.ly/MSqJEK

Left: Bubba Damon pauses after preparing watermelon slices for the watermelon eating contest.

Left Top: Thump Queen Victoria Basquez waits for her float to join the parade that kicks off The Luling Watermelon Thump. The festival celebrates the heritage of growing watermelons in the Luling community.

Above: Samantha Mager, 14, participates in the watermelon eating contest. Mager has won in her age group for the past four years. Left Bottom: Oliver Oliveros of R Bar 5 Ranch stands up on his horse as part of the parade. Above: The Shiner Hobo Band plays at the Small Stage in the Pavilion. The band is sponsored by The Spoetzl Brewery and plays Czech and German music for the Thump.


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Governor-mandated budget cuts may affect University funds By Hannah Jane DeCiutiis Governor Rick Perry’s call for Texas agencies to cut spending over the next two years has prompted a statewide search for fiscal inefficiencies, a search UT will undertake in the next few months. It is currently unclear how these reductions will affect universities across Texas. Perry and the Legislative Budget Board, a committee of the Texas Legislature that oversees budget analyses and recommendations, sent a let-

ter June 4 directing Texas agencies to keep their 201415 budgets below the 2012-13 biennium expensed and budget total. It also called on state agencies to identify proposals to further reduce budgets by 10 percent. These proposals will ultimately be decided upon when the budget board meets in January. Mary Knight, associate vice president of the UT budget office, said a 10 percent reduction for UT would amount to a $59 million cut over two years. Knight said it is unclear how UT will be affect-

ed if the Legislative Budget Board approves the reduced budget proposals. Officials in the governor’s office said every agency in Texas is being asked to search for inefficiencies within their budgets and to propose reductions. Knight said UT has an ongoing five-year budget planning process that involves deans from respective college and vice presidents who collaborate with the president and provost to determine strategic priorities for each unit of the University. “At this point, the reductions are part of a planning process for next legislative session,” Knight said. “Until the legislative session begins in January of 2013, we will not have the details of how this may impact UT Austin.” Michael Morton, president of the Senate of College Councils, said it is difficult to determine where the cuts will be made within the University at this point if the Legislature asks state institutions to cut

their budgets. In the 2011 legislative session, the Texas Legislature cut 17.5 percent of UT’s budget, or $92 million, over two years. Morton said cuts made in the last budget cycle resulted in the loss of valuable administrators and staff members. He is a member of the President’s Student Advisory Council, a group of 12 students who guide the University president in matters relating to student interests, including finances and tuition. Morton said UT is currently already operating at minimal costs, making additional cuts especially harmful. “There’s a lot of little things that I don’t think people realize are affected by the cuts,” Morton said. “It does take a toll on people and it does take a toll on the university because we’re receiving less and less state funding.” A 2.6 percent tuition increase proposed by President William Powers Jr. was denied by the UT Board of Regents in May, which Mor-

ton said would have made up some of the ground lost by budget cuts. “I supported the tuition increase of 2.6 percent,” Morton said. “It was a modest increase for the situation that we, as an institution, are in. Ultimately, I thought it was better in the long run for the institution and better for students. Obviously no one wants a tuition increase in an already poor economic climate, which is why state funding is so critical and why we need to continue to get that message heard at legislature.” Lucy Nashed, spokeswoman for the governor’s office, said Perry has asked universities to avoid raising tuition in the future if the reduced budget proposals are approved. Nashed said Perry has been very vocal about keeping tuition rates frozen. “Tuition shouldn’t be the first place universities look to raise to revenue,” Nashed said. “He’s still calling on universities to find deficiencies. There’s still a lot that can be

UT State Funding VS Rainy Day Fund

done before tuition needs to be increased.” Nashed said the governor’s overarching vision for the state is to maintain fiscal discipline and to streamline government operation. She said not raising taxes for Texas residents is one of Perry’s goals outlined for this upcoming budget cycle. “He has asked lawmakers to keep this [goal] in mind, and now we’re just asking agencies to take a look at their budgets and see what savings they could find,” Nashed said. “It’s basically just kind of setting the stage.” Preservation of the state’s Economic Stabilization Fund is another of Perry’s priorities, Nashed said. Often referred to as the Rainy Day Fund, it is set aside for state emergencies such as natural disasters. According to the Legislative Budget Board’s 2012-13 revenue outlook, the Rainy Day Fund was at a balance of $8.2 billion and is projected to increase to $9.6 billion by the end of the 2013 fiscal year.


ON LOND ICS P OLYM012

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SPORTS

@texansports

COLUMN

Longhorns qualifying for London in bunches

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Sports Editor Nick Cremona

Dumais dives into fourth Olympics

By Nick Cremona The 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London will mark the first time a city has ever hosted the modern Olympic Games three times. Home to the 1908 and 1948 summer games, London will open its doors once again on July 27 to more than 10,000 athletes representing 204 nations from around the world. Before the games begin, athletes must first qualify for a spot on their nation’s Olympic Team. Among the hordes of sprinters, hurlers, swimmers and divers hoping to represent their country in London are plethora of current and former Texas Longhorns that are vying for spots on the U.S. Olympic Team. Several current and former Longhorns are also hoping to earn a spot on the Jamaican, Nigerian, Liberian and U.S. Virgin Islands’ teams as well. Forty-four current UT swimmers, along with 11 former Longhorns, are competing in the Olympic Trials in Omaha, Neb. to earn a spot on the U.S. Olympic Swimming Team. The trials have been underway since June 25 and will wrap up July 2, with the top two finalists

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Elaine Thompson | Associated Press Kristian Ipsen, left, and Troy Dumais start a dive in the men’s 3-meter synchronized springboard final at the U.S. Olympic diving trials on June 22 in Federal Way, Wash. The pair won the event and will join 14 additional divers from eight nations in search of a gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England.

By Sara Beth Purdy A veteran on the diving board, Troy Dumais uses age and experience as an advantage when he steps up to the 3-meter platform to perform a dive. The 32-year-old Texas alumni is one of the oldest competitors aiming to bring home a medal as he heads to London for his fourth consecutive Olympic Games. Dumais is only the second American to qualify four times, but he is the first American to actually make the trip. “It doesn’t matter how many times

I’ve been to the Olympics,” Dumais said. “It’s the idea of the hard work.” This past week, Dumais qualified at the US Olympic diving trials in Federal Way, Wash. Dumais, along with Stanford diver Kristian Ipsen, took first place in the synchronized 3-meter springboard event, narrowly edging out Longhorn Drew Livingston. With the win, Dumais became one of the first Longhorns to qualify for the trip to London. Dumais also qualified for the individual 3-meter springboard event with a second place finish at the trials. On the national level, Dumais has

a vast collection of hardware from many Pan American Games, world cups, world championships and other national meets. For the Longhorns, Dumais was a seven-time individual NCAA Champion. “Being a part of the Longhorn family is truly unique,” Dumais said. “And then to qualify for the Olympics representing and being Longhorn— that’s an even greater achievement.” At his fourth games, Dumais hopes to live up to personal pressure and expectations and finally bring home a medal. Doing so would make him the first of his siblings to bring home an Olympic

medal. Dumais is joined on the diving board by two brothers, Justin and Dwight. Justin, an Olympian from the 2004 games, is attempting to qualify for his second games while Dwight is hoping to qualify for his first. “Growing up, I did watch the Olympics,” Dumais said. “I just wanted to be a part of it ... this will be my fourth one and going for my fifth one to qualify, and it doesn’t get easier, but still to this day I can’t even describe the feelings and emotions that are involved. There are no words.”

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Feigen flashes speed, technique in Omaha By Sara Beth Purdy

Photo courtesy of getty Images / Populous The Olympic Stadium in London, with 80,000 seat capacity, will serve as the centerpiece of the 2012 Summer Games.

LONDON in each event earning a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team. Twenty-six women and 26 men will represent the U.S. in London. At the Olympic track and field trials in Eugene, Ore., 27 current and former Longhorns also have their sights set on London. The trials run through July 1, and the top three finalists in each event will be named to Team USA. Since 1936 there have

DUMAIS

continues from page 13 Even after 16 years of competing on the big stage, the meaning of it all still has not escaped Dumais. Over the past several decades, the United States has established

continues from page 13 been 139 Longhorns to appear in the summer games, winning a total of 117 medals, 67 of them gold. That number is very likely to rise before the games end on Aug. 12, as several Longhorns are favorites to win gold in their individual and team events. In recent years, there has been a steady stream of Longhorns that have qualified and gone on to repre-

sent 17 different nations in the Olympics. While there are 300 events in 26 sports taking place over the span of the games, swimming and track and field events take precedence due to their length and breadth of team events. Swimming events begin just a day after the opening ceremonies, lasting until Aug. 10, and diving competitions last from July 29

to Aug. 11. Track and field events won’t take place until the final 10 days of the Olympics, but they are shaping up to be just as exciting as any other competition in London. In 1988, 26 Longhorns were a part of the Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea, but that number could be eclipsed at the conclusion of this year’s remaining Olympic trials.

itself as one of the perennial powers in the pool. In 2008, the US Olympic team came home with 31 medals, 12 of them gold. The last time the United States did not lead the medal count was in 1988, when it was edged out by East Germany. “Representing Team USA, you’re the top 1

percent of athletes in the United States,” Dumais said. “It’s an amazing feat. Just to wear the colors and be with the other top athlete — that’s their goal, that’s their dream, and the atmosphere it creates is a phenomenal feat.” So after so many years, how does he do it?

“It’s all mental,” Dumais said. “I mean, if you walk up on the board knowing that you are going to do everything fine, chances are, you’re going to do everything fine. There are just trillions and trillions of things that could go wrong, and you have to have the utmost confidence.”

Jimmy Feigen is the one to watch in Omaha this week. As one of the fastest freestyle sprinters in the world, Feigen is a favorite to earn a trip to London during this week’s U.S. Olympic trials. This past season Feigen established himself as a premier swimmer after coming home from the 2012 NCAA Championships with two individual championships and a firstplace relay finish. After three years of finishing in the top five, Feigen finally finished first in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 19.01 seconds and first in the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 41.95 seconds. With two individual crowns on his resume, Feigen is aiming for something a little bit bigger: a spot in London to compete against the best from around the world and a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream. “Jimmy is probably one of the most talented swimmers in USA swimming right now. He has a great stroke and great talent,” said Ricky Berens, a former Longhorn teammate. “He hates to lose. He’s very focused and internally motivated. He’s a huge asset for UT and hopefully will be at the Olympics for Team USA.” Feigen’s solid senior season will be a huge advantage as he competes in Omaha. As a freshman in 2008, Feigen took a shot at a trip to Beijing but was not able to make it out of prelims in his two events. He finished 28th in the 50-yard and 40th in the 100-yard freestyle events that year. “I knew that 2008 wasn’t going to be my year, but I’ve

Jimmy Feigen UT freestyle sprinter

been looking forward to 2012 my whole life,” Feigen said. Feigen will compete for a chance to represent the United States in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle events in addition to a possible relay spot. The Olympic races are considered long-course races, which are done in meters, as opposed to the short course races, done in yards, seen at the NCAA Championships. This won’t be the first time that Feigen has competed for the United States. He finished second in the 50-meter and 100-meter freestyle events at the 2011 ConocoPhillips National Championships. At the 2011 World University Games in China, Feigen took home golds in the 100-yard freestyle and the 400-yard freestyle relay. He currently holds a spot on the U.S. National Team. “You can never turn down an opportunity to put on a USA cap and represent America,” Feigen said. “It meant a lot to wear the USA cap. It was absolutely fantastic. It was a really humbling experience, to say the least, but also a totally fulfilling and wonderful experience.” Feigen also holds the

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TRIALS

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American record in the 200yard and 400-yard freestyle relay and the 200-yard medley relay, and he’s a 17-time All-American. At Texas, Feigen holds five school records in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle, 200- and 400-yard freestyle relays, and 200-yard medley relay. Feigen was on the 2010 Longhorn squad that were crowned NCAA Champions. Feigen’s major competition in the pool this week includes former University of California Golden Bear Nathan Adrian. In addition to also having individual NCAA championships in both the 50- and 100yard freestyle events, Adrian currently holds the U.S. record for both freestyle event lengths. He will be competing for his second trip to the Olympics and another medal to go with his 400-meter relay gold from Beijing. But Feigen won’t let Adrian, or anyone else, get in the way. Earlier this summer, Feigen

I live for the pressure and will embrace it come trials. [I] will move the earth to accomplish my dreams.”

— Jimmy Feigen, UT freestyle sprinter

beat one of the best swimmers in American history, Michael Phelps, at the Longhorn Aquatics Elite Invite. Feigen won the 100-meter freestyle event with a time of 48.63, a personal best, while Phelps clocked in at 49.05. “I live for the pressure and will embrace it come trials,” Feigen said. “[I] will move the earth to accomplish my dreams.”

The London Olympics By the Numbers LONDON—The London Olympics this summer is big by any measure. Here are a few numbers from Olympic organizers that put the July 27-Aug. 12 event into perspective. The Games Themselves 10,500 athletes from 205 national Olympic committees 26 sports; 39 disciplines 34 venues around the U.K. 302 medal events 8.8 million tickets 21,000 media and broadcasters The Torch 8,000 torchbearers to carry the flame 8,000 miles (12,785 kilometers): Length of the torch relay Equipment 541 lifejackets 510 adjustable hurdles for track events 53 sets of lane ropes for swimming —The Associated Press

Marcio Jose Sanchez | Associated Press Sanya Richards-Ross leads the way in the women’s 400-meter preliminary at the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, Ore.

Olympic veteran vies for chance to outperform previous races By Antonio Morales Former Longhorn runner and five-time NCAA Champion Sanya Richards-Ross is attempting to qualify for her third Olympics and redeem herself from what she considers a subpar performance in the 2008 Beijing summer games. “I wanted to win for my country, my sponsors and myself,” Richards-Ross said. “I got so caught up in everything around the Olympic Games and what it would mean for my career to be an Olympic champion ... I made the emotions and circumstances get the better of me.” Those emotions and cir-

cumstances still resulted in a bronze medal in the 400-meter race for Richards-Ross. Currently trying to qualify for both the 200- and 400-meter races, Richards-Ross said she believes she is more mentally prepared to deal with the pressures of participating in the Olympics. “I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that it’s something that I’ve actually had to work on, and I have learned through life experiences more how to deal with it,” Richards-Ross said. Despite winning gold with Team USA in the 4x400-meter relay in Beijing, RichardsRoss didn’t win the race that mattered to her the most. “I felt like it was a real

missed opportunity. I won every single race that season and won every single race after that,” Richards-Ross said. “I was a little bitter about it and sour about it, but starting maybe in 2009, when I started competing again, it became pure motivation.” That motivation drove her to win both the IAAF World Athlete of the Year and the Jesse Owens Award in 2009. Earning 11 All-American honors during her time at the University of Texas from 2003-04, Richards-Ross remains one of the best runners in the world. She also credits her training to her ability to remain focused and deal with the

various pressures in preparation for the 2012 games. “I’m lucky, because I train in Waco, so there’s not much to do there but eat, sleep and train,” Richards-Ross said. “It’s a quiet place. There’s nobody there but myself, my coaches.” Richards-Ross and her coaches have had to intensify training to help her reach her goal of making both the 200and 400-meter teams. “I’ve been training really, really hard. I know the speed is there, I know my endurance is there, so it’s just putting those two together in the 200,” Richards-Ross said. “I mean, it’s a no-brainer for me. The 400 comes first, so it’s really just icing on the cake for me.”


Life&ARTS

Life&Arts Editor Aleksander Chan

16

@DTlifeandarts

Letterpress keeps printer principled By Sarah-Grace Sweeney Sarah Wymer tries her best to practice what she preaches. For her, that means sending handwritten letters and cards and even still paying bills through snail mail. “I know that I’m not going to be able to keep the post office single-handedly in business,” Wymer said, laughing. “But I feel like out of principle, I’m not going to pay my bills online.” Wymer is the owner, printer and designer behind Studio SloMo, where she creates greeting cards, wedding suites, business cards and custom work using her Vandercook letterpress printer. She did not take the most straightforward route to her current career. Wymer started in architecture school at Virginia Tech but wanted more freedom. She tried art school in Boston, which proved to be too much freedom. That’s how she ended up finishing her degree in the design program in UT’s art department. Wymer worked in landscaping as well as graphic design and continues to do wedding flowers occasionally. While she is passionate about her work with the letterpress, she said she doesn’t like to think too far into the future, for a fear of becoming bored. “It kind of freaks me out to think that I’ll be doing this forever,” Wymer said.

“My husband is a graphic designer also. We have separate companies, although we both sometimes work for each other. We have different aesthetics, and we tune into different aspects of design. So yeah, that kind of helps things move forward and not get stagnant. But I don’t really like thinking too far into the future. It’s sort of a scary thought.” Wymer and her husband Derrit DeRouen’s studio space is centered around the press. There are vivid yellow filing cabinets against one wall, prints framed throughout the room and the letterpress printer — clearly the oldest thing in the room — smack in the middle. Wymer is so familiar with the process, she could likely do it with her eyes closed. It takes around six hours to get a good amount of printing done in a day, just enough time before her arms start to hurt or the room gets too dark to see colors correctly. Wymer and DeRouen enjoy sharing studio space and collaborating; they both seem to enjoy the freshness it brings to the other’s work. “I love our working relationship,” DeRouen said. “I didn’t know if being a couple at the same time, we would survive working together, but we do. And we both like a lot of the same things, but we have very different opinions about design sometimes. So it’s good to have somebody who can kind of

Andrew Torrey | Daily Texan Staff Sarah Wymer is a graphic designer and printer whose work centers around the use of her Vandercook letterpress printer in her business, Studio SloMo.

push back.” Chelsea Fullerton, a friend, fellow designer and occasional colleague, said Wymer is very detailed in her work. “Let’s say you’re a boutique owner looking for a brand and business cards,” Fullerton said. “You can expect questions about your store and your personal style and, based on your answers, she’ll design a variety of concepts to choose from. She’s thinking about every point.

Every curve. Every letter. She’s precise and thoughtful with every project she works on, large or small.” For a craft so old, the biggest change has been the type of product being produced. Wymer said old print masters are retiring and young people are interested in creating much more modern products. Wymer doesn’t describe her own aesthetic as vintage or modern but as “playful” and “colorful.” There are examples of her

work on both her website and Etsy shop. While Wymer isn’t sure what she plans to do with the rest of her life, it does not seem like letterpress is going anywhere anytime soon. Creating and being constantly challenged are important to her, and for now the letterpress and graphic design give her just that. “I like working with the machine and that you have to have a technical knowledge and [you are] always

problem solving and figuring things out,” Wymer said. “But then I also get to sit down and design something. I can design something and then also create it with my own two hands, which is kind of a unique thing these days. It’s pretty satisfying. It’s more satisfying than plugging and chugging away on the computer, which I still end up doing plenty of. It’s not like I’m immune to the rest of the vices of the world.”


LIFE&ARTS 17

movie review: ABe LiNCoLN: vAmPire HUNTer | Timur BekmamBeTov

Movie revamps Abe Lincoln myth, subpar setting bites By Alex williams A film with a title like “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is going to have to fight very hard to earn anything but a derisive snort, simply for its audaciously silly title. Fortunately, the film itself, adapted by Seth Gra-

hame-Smith from his novel of the same name, strikes an appropriate balance between the serious and the ridiculous. The result is a unique, strangely patriotic twist on historical fiction. The film’s premise is right there in the title, and director Timur Bekmambetov doesn’t waste any time

getting to the meat of it. When Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) was just a boy, his mother’s death by vampire inspires a lifelong hatred of the undead. With the help of Dominic Cooper’s character, Henry Sturgess, Lincoln becomes a proficient vampire hunter, even as he chafes against

the required anonymity of the job. Timur Bekmambetov got his start in vampire fiction with his incomplete “Night Watch” trilogy. The vampires of “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” are vicious, feral and menacing. Bekmambetov also stages some entertaining action

scenes, full of slow-motion dismemberments and aggressive defiance of the laws of physics and logic. Even so, it seems like every major action beat takes place in a shapeless location where smoke or fog dominates the landscape. While this can occasionally add mood to a scene, it comes across as

lazy. In contrast, this spring, “The Raid: Redemption” staged some truly phenomenal action scenes because of the precise geography that the film’s director, Gareth Evans, laid out cleanly in every scene. Here, it seems like Bekmambetov simply

HUNTer

continues on PAGe 18

movie review: SAFeTY NoT GUArANTeeD | Colin Trevorrow

Great performance guaranteed, safety not By Alex williams Many people had no idea who Aubrey Plaza was before she began quietly stealing scenes on NBC’s “Parks and Recreation,” but once she began popping up in comedy films here and there, her distinctive brand of deadpan surliness began to get her some attention. With “Safety Not Guaranteed,” Plaza gets a huge chance to shine, and her performance alone makes the film worthwhile. Plaza plays Darius, an intern at a Seattle magazine. Another intern, Jeff (Jake Johnson), finds a compelling ad in the classifieds asking for a partner in time travel and ominously declaring “safety not guaranteed.” He asks Darius and fellow intern Arnau (Karan Soni) to go track down the story with him. Darius quickly learns that the ad’s writer is Kenneth (Mark Duplass), a possibly insane but undeniably sweet grocery store worker who may or may not be legitimate in

his quest. “Safety Not Guaranteed” operates in several genres at once and juggles the ensuing demands of its narrative marvelously. The film has the setup of a mystery, a bit of romance (notably in a thematically appropriate offshoot about Jeff chasing down a fling from his past) and even a dash of conspiracy thriller and sciencefiction. But above all, it’s a comedy, and the film is wise to never lose sight of that. It’s funny throughout, but its jokes are drawn much less from the plot than from the script’s fantastically developed characters and what we learn about them over the course of the movie. Plaza’s Darius isn’t who one would normally build this type of story around, usually focusing on the investigative reporter or the paranoid aspiring time traveler, but she makes for an interesting central character. The role is perfectly suited to Plaza, using her curmudgeonly demeanor to mask a sweeter, wound-

ed side, and when the film goes for truly poignant moments, it’s because of her honest performance that they work. As for the supporting cast, director Trevorrow pieced together a strong group of players, each of them bringing something distinct but essential to the table. Duplass plays his Kenneth as a fundamentally good guy with a strong passion and seriousness for his mission, and the dynamic that his character develops with Darius is unexpectedly tender. Soni’s awkward intern character looking for resume experience without any real memories to go along with it gives the film tons of unexpected huge laughs, and his effeminate delivery and harmless creepiness is brilliantly deployed throughout. There are several scenes in the film where Soni, Plaza and Johnson are kicking around ideas, and the chemistry between the three of them is so strong, the jokes they

bounce off of each other so sharp that they’re some of the film’s highlights. “Safety Not Guaranteed” may focus on Plaza’s character, but it’s by no means a one-woman show. Great performances showcase a heartfelt, funny script from Derek Connolly, one that’s never satisfied to rein itself into any single genre but still makes some beautiful insights to humanity and our desire to know about our world and the people in it. The film ultimately

Photo courtesy of Film District Aubrey Plaza and Jake Johnson star in Colin Trevorrow’s ‘Safety Not Guarenteed.”

builds to a triumphant, cathartic conclusion, a daring, unexpected way to end a film that bills itself as a typical comedy. “Safety Not

Guaranteed” doesn’t fit into any particular box, and it’s proud of it, which is something that makes the film worth seeking out.


LIFE&ARTS 18

HUNTER

continues from page 17

wanted a crutch to lean on while editing these scenes together, and obscuring anything outside the immediate action was just the easiest way to ensure that. A film like this also has to absolutely nail its casting, and the film asks a lot of the mostly unknown Benjamin Walker, who has to portray one of America’s most certifiable myths while adding a whole new level of ridiculousness to his legend. Fortunately, Walker does a pretty fine job. He’s got the

build to portray Lincoln as an intimidating physical presence, and he brings a sense of decency and righteousness to the character — a genuine desire to make the world around him better, be it through the slaying of vampires or the freeing of slaves. However, as “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” goes on, the silliness becomes more and more pronounced, with the third act crippling every performance by saddling the

human characters with distinctly bad old-age makeup. Benjamin Walker takes on the look of a plastic-y Liam Neeson, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (playing Mary Todd Lincoln) simply gets a little grayer. But the supporting cast never really shines anyway — Winstead is horribly out of place in the film’s period setting. Anthony Mackie, who plays Will Johnson, Lincoln’s black best friend (yes, the movie isn’t exactly subtle),

gets some noble moments but not much character to work with. Cooper seems to be having the most fun with his mentor figure, but even his performance too often veers towards campy, especially in his hilariously overwrought take on vampiric transformation. “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” is a uniquely American film. Abraham Lincoln is one of America’s most famous presidents, so to alter his myth so substantially, a film must ap-

proach the subject with not only confidence but also with respect. Thankfully, the film has nothing but respect for Lincoln, and it goes out of its way to show what a decent man he was in real life even as his fictional counterpart slaughters vampires. “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” doesn’t offer up many surprises, but it delivers exactly what its title promises, which is more than enough to earn it a mild recommendation.

Illustration by Aron Fernandez

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06-25-12  

The June 25th 2012 edition of The Daily Texan