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Balmorhea’s guitarist takes on Music Monday

The perfect season continues Monday, November 30, 2009

Serving the University of Texas at Austin community since 1900

Black Friday sales boost economy





Proposal decreases language semesters Reduction of required language hours aims to accommodate budget changes

Photos by Caleb Bryant Miller | Daily Texan Staff

Above, Best Buy employee Nate Smith, right, shows customers various TVs on sale during Black Friday in Dallas. Below, Taein Tun, an immigrant from Burma, sits beside his cart at a Best Buy in Dallas. His scarf indicates that he camped out in front of the store since Thanksgiving day.

Holiday profits aid national retailers, some Austin businesses suffer By Jim Pagels and Lena Price Daily Texan Staff The nation’s economy got a boost on Black Friday as sales continued to grow from previous years. Friday’s sales totaled $10.66 billion — up 0.5 percent compared with Black Friday 2008, according to ShopperTrak RCT Corp., a Chicago-based firm that tracks sales at more than 50,000 stores. Last year, sales increased by 3 percent. Erin Hershkowitz, spokeswoman for the International Council of Shopping Centers, said that because most stores placed their orders for Christmas products in the summer, last year’s financial crisis hit the retailers at an unfortunate time, as they were vastly overstocked on products. “This year, retailers were a lot smarter and [did not overstock on goods],” she said. “This helped prevent some of the massive price cuts consumers took advantage of last year.”

The ShopperTrak survey found that sales were strongest in the West and also rose in the Midwest and South. Sales declined in the Northeast. Despite a nationwide increase in Black Friday sales, Austinbased vintage clothing store Blue Velvet typically sees a slump in revenue on the day after Thanksgiving, said assistant manager

Puppet Schroder. This year was no different. “People aren’t really looking to buy vintage as gifts,” Schroder said. “They tend to be more interested in shopping at Wal-Mart or Best Buy so they can get electronics.” The survey also found that while cutthroat bargain hunters hit the stores early Friday morn-

ing, sales declined as the day progressed. “The lines outside the store were crazy at 4 a.m. this morning,” said Mark Pachellio, manager of the Lewisville-based Best Buy. “It kind of tailed off a little later, but that’s always expected.” Pachellio said that while the store did not immediately have any sales numbers, he felt the store made a solid profit. “Black Friday is always one of our [biggest shopping days] of the year, and I didn’t notice any decline today,” he said. “Take a look at all the empty shelves, and tell me we didn’t have a good day.” Many of those who braved the crowded stores were in search of holiday gifts. “I wanted to get my gift shopping done early this year,” said Coppell resident Maggie Loe. “It certainly helps that I can get some amazing deals, too.”

FRIDAY continues on page 5

By Lena Price Daily Texan Staff One month after College of Liberal Arts Dean Randy Diehl eliminated a proposal to restructure the school’s foreign language requirements, several language departments are still considering similar changes. Pending the approval of the registrar and several faculty committees, the Spanish department will reduce the number of required semesters from four to three. Each class will be worth six hours, which actually increases the number of mandatory credit hours to 18. “By reducing the number of semesters required to meet the language requirement from four to three, we reduce the total number of sections and thereby accommodate the budget reductions,” said Spanish department chairman Nicolas Shumway. “But by increasing the number of classroom contact hours, we actually strengthen the program.” Shumway said the new program will not degrade the quality of instruction, which was a concern about earlier suggestions. In the original proposal, the number of required language hours would have dropped from 16 to 12. The requirement could have been fulfilled with two six-hour classes or one six-hour and two three-hour classes. Faculty members overwhelmingly disapproved of the changes at an open forum, and Diehl dropped the plan the next day. The changes were suggested in order to save money to fund targeted merit pay increases for faculty and the new liberal arts building. The college needs to reallocate between $10 and $13 million. Introductory and intermediate Spanish courses will be taught on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and each section will last two hours with a possible break. The department currently offers two-hour class blocks during the summer session. Bilingual education junior Petra Ocampo tested out of the first three levels of Spanish and is currently enrolled in SPN 312L. She said two hours sounded too long for a normal class period, but the increased number of required hours seems like a good idea. “I have a test on Monday, and I’m a little worried that I won’t be able to finish it in 50 minutes,” Ocampo said. “It would definitely be easier with two hours.” Ocampo said it would be better to only have class three days a week because it gives students a chance

LANGUAGE continues on page 2

Research details Democratic hopefuls threaten Perry’s prospects loss of land mass UT employee-led report reveals reasons behind diminishing Antarctica By Israel Perez Daily Texan Staff The fifth-largest continent on Earth is shrinking, according to UT researchers. A report published in the Nature Geoscience journal concludes that Antarctica is losing large quantities of ice due to rising temperatures caused by global warming. “As a whole, Antarctica may soon be contributing significantly more to global sea level rise,” the researchers wrote in the study. Jianli Chen, the study’s lead author and senior research scientist at the UT Center for Space Research, said the study proves that both the eastern and western part of the continent are losing mass. But he said the loss of the eastern ice is small in terms of its effect on current sea levels. East Antarctica, which is 10 times larger than West Antarctica, lost about 57 billion metric tons of ice each year from 2002

to 2007, according to the report. Previous research from 2007 showed most of the continent’s lost ice came from the western part and that ice on the eastern side of the continent might actually be increasing. The new report, published this month, shows a net loss of ice throughout the entire region. However, the long-term effects of ice loss might be significant, Chen said. “Antarctica is the largest piece of ice on Earth,” he said. “If the entire ice sheet were to melt, sea levels worldwide would rise by 60 to 70 meters.” Chen said the effects of rising sea levels wouldn’t be seen for many years. Currently, global ice losses contribute 1.8 millimeters a year to sea level, Chan said. The amount is about double what was predicted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in a 2007 report. The IPCC is a scientific intergovernmental body that assesses the consequences of

CLIMATE continues on page 2

By Alex Geiser Daily Texan Staff A new face may enter the democratic gubernatorial primary and give incumbent Gov. Rick Perry a run for his money in 2010, according to some professors of politics. Days after Tom Schieffer dropped out of the race due to a lack of funding and support, Houston Mayor Bill White announced he may enter the gubernatorial race at a Nov. 23 press conference. White, who is currently running to replace Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison in the U.S. Senate, said at the conference that he will make a decision by Friday. White spokeswoman Katy Bacon said his decision will be made based on what he believes will be better for the state. If he enters the race, White will compete with Texas musician Kinky Friedman, haircare magnate Farouk Shami and Hank Gilbert for the Democratic nomination. Although some people think White’s potential candidacy would curb Gilbert’s chances of winning the nomination, Gilbert campaign spokesman Vince Leibowitz said that isn’t the case. “We believe that we’ll have the support necessary to win the democratic primary,” Leibowitz

said. “Outside of Houston, White is a relatively unknown commodity in Texas.” Leibowitz said the primary race will likely end in a runoff election between Gilbert and White, if he enters the race. He said the widespread rural and urban support Gilbert has acquired will push him to the top. “We’re going to end up at the end of the day with more votes than he will,” Leibowitz said. Sherri Greenberg, a fellow for the Center of Politics and Governance and a professor in the LBJ school at UT, said democrats, including Schieffer, have been urging White to enter the bid. “This completely changes the make-up of the race,” Greenberg said. “With Tom Schieffer in the race, the Democrats had no strong candidate to rally behind. The other individuals who are running do not seem to have the wherewithal to make this happen.” Greenberg said White has already developed strong support in Houston after being mayor for three terms, so entering the race at this point would make him the expected Democratic nominee in Courtesy of Hank Gilbert the general election. Cal Jillson, professor of Gov. Rick Perry could face another contender for the gubernatorial political science at Southern race with Houston Mayor Bill White announcing that he may run. If he runs, White will compete against Kinky Friedman, Farouk Shami and Hank Gilbert, pictured above, for the Democratic nomination. RACE continues on page 2




The Daily Texan

Monday, November 30, 2009

RaCe: Bill White


Volume 110, Number 122 25 cents

may contend for Democratic slot

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Mike Leviseur wrangles an elephant balloon at Chuy’s 21st Annual Children Giving to Children Parade on Saturday.

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Environmental-crimes prosecutor appointed By Lara Berendt Daily Texan Staff The Travis County District Attorney’s Office recently announced the creation of a new position dedicated to prosecuting environmental crimes throughout the state. District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg appointed white-collar crimes prosecutor Patty Robertson to the new post of environmental crimes prosecutor this month. Robertson will remain in Travis County but has the authority to pursue environmental offenses across the state. The new position is funded by a grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality with the goal of more consistently and efficiently handling statewide environmental violations. “We’re going to focus on those cases where the health and safety of the general public is at issue,” Robertson said. The position will be responsible for cases involving the illegal storage, handling or disposal of hazardous waste, illegal dumping, public drinking water contamination and the discharge of

The Daily Texan Permanent Staff

This newspaper was written, edited and designed with pride by The Daily Texan and Texas Student Media.

Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jillian Sheridan Managing Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Stephen Keller Associate Managing Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David R. Henry, Ana McKenzie Associate Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jeremy Burchard, Dan Treadway, David Muto, Lauren Winchester News Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sean Beherec Associate News Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pierre Bertrand, Austen Sofhauser, Blair Watler Senior Reporters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Viviana Aldous, Bobby Longoria, Rachel Platis, Lena Price Enterprise Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrew Kreighbaum Enterprise Reporters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Hudson Lockett Copy Desk Chief . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Robert Green Associate Copy Desk Chiefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Cristina Herrera, Nausheen Jivani, Matt Jones Design Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Thu Vo Assistant Design Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Shatha Hussein Senior Designers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Taylor Fausak, Lynda Gonzales, Olivia Hinton Photo Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . May-Ying Lam Associate Photo Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bryant Haertlein, Peter Franklin, Caleb Miller Senior Photographers . . . . Lauren Gerson, Mary Kang,Tamir Kalifa, Peyton McGee, Sara Young Life&Arts Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Leigh Patterson Associate Life&Arts Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brad Barry, Francisco Marin Jr. Senior Features Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Audrey Gale Campbell, Lisa HoLung, Ben Wermund Senior Entertainment Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Robert Doty, Mary Lingwall, Robert Rich Senior DT Weekend Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amber Genuske Sports Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Austin Talbert Senior Sports Writers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Will Anderson, Wes DeVoe, Blake Hurtik . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dan Hurwitz, Laken Litman, Michael Sherfield, Chris Tavarez Comics Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Carolyn Calabrese Web Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Annika Erdman Associate Web Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Erik Reyna Multimedia Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Juan Elizondo Associate Multimedia Editors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kara McKenzie, Rachel Schroeder Editorial Adviser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Richard Finnell

Issue Staff

Reporters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Israel Perez, Jim Pagels, Alex Geiser, Lara Berendt Sports Writer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Shabab Siddiqui Life&Arts Writers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Layne Lynch, Soloman Wang, Susannah Jacob Columnists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Emily Grubert, Molly Nesbitt Copy Editors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Beth Waldman, Dylan Clement, Ashley Morgan Sports/Life&Arts Copy Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Molly Nesbitt Wire Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Micaela Neumann Page Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Hicks Comics Artists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Alex Diamond, Connor Shea, Kathryn Menefee, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ryohei Yatsu, Jeremy Johnson, Rachel Weiss . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Michael Bowman, Monica Tseng Web Technician . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jonathan Damrich Videographer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Paul De La Cerda


Director of Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Jalah Goette Retail Advertising Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Brad Corbett Account Executive/Broadcast Manager . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Carter Goss Campus/National Sales Consultant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Joan Bowerman Assistant to Advertising Director. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . C.J. Salgado Student Advertising Director . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kathryn Abbas Student Advertising Manager. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Ryan Ford Acct. Execs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lauren Aldana, Anupama Kulkarni, Ashley Walker, Natasha Moonka . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Taylor Blair, Tommy Daniels, Jordan Gentry, Meagan Gribbin, Darius Meher-Homji Classified Clerks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Teresa Lai Special Editions, Editorial Adviser . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Elena Watts Web Advertising . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Danny Grover Special Editions, Student Editors. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Kira Taniguchi Graphic Designer Interns . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Amanda Thomas, Lisa Hartwig Senior Graphic Designer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Felimon Hernandez 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 except Saturday, Sunday, federal holidays and exam periods, plus the last Saturday in July. Periodical Postage Paid at Austin, TX 78710. 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. For classified display and national classified display advertising, call 471-1865. For classified word advertising, call 471-5244. Entire contents copyright 2009 Texas Student Media.

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pollutants into state waters. Matters of fraud and compliance will also fall under the purview of the new position, including recent issues of fraud within the Texas Emissions Reduction Plan. For example, some recipients of funds for the purchase of lower emission vehicles have been using the money inappropriately, Robertson said. “One of the advantages of having a dedicated prosecutor in Travis County is to ensure statewide consistency in the charges filed and the resolution of the charges and to ensure these cases move along quickly,” said Michael Blinn, staff attorney with the commission’s environmental crimes unit. Robertson has been an assistant district attorney since 1987. For the past 15 years, she has volunteered to take environmental cases on top of her regular caseload and has substantial experience working closely with the rest of the Texas Environmental Enforcement Task Force, Blinn said. Cases will be referred to Robertson by the commission and task force member organizations.

Ivan Vikin is the special agent in charge of criminal investigation at the Environmental Protection Agency’s regional branch serving Texas. He said that in addition to referring cases to the U.S. district attorney, he is pleased that he will now have the option of sending cases to a local prosecutor. “I’m looking forward to making some potential referrals and working closely with [Robertson]” Vikin said. Robertson said she has a special interest in environmental cases, which are more complex, challenging and labor-intensive than typical prosecution. The district attorney’s office recognized a need for a dedicated environmental crimes prosecutor and sought to make it a priority, she said. Since Travis County has statewide venue to prosecute these cases, Robertson said she fully intends to work closely with local jurisdictions with the goal of making Texas a cleaner state. “It’s a service to the community that you’re providing,” she said. “You’re helping to protect the natural resources of the state.”

SPECIAL ELECTION: Vote on the Election Reform changes to the SG Constitution on Dec. 1 & 2


NEWS BRIEFLY UT football player arrested for intoxication, possession Freshman defensive back Marcus Davis was arrested at approximately 6:48 a.m. in Pearland on Saturday. Davis was charged with driving while intoxicated and possession of a controlled substance, and posted bond to get released from jail. “We are very disappointed to hear about the recent allegations against Marcus Davis,” said Texas coach Mack Brown in a statement. “He will not be involved in team activities in any way at this time, including participating in either the Big 12 championship or our bowl game, pending the completion of the legal process.”

Methodist University in Dallas, said although White has been the leading democratic candidate for the Senate, he is expected to join the race for governor. Jillson said Perry is more likely to beat out Hutchison for the Republican nomination, and White thinks he has a better chance of beating Perry than Hutchison in the general election. “Hutchison is more popular than Perry among Texans, in general, but Perry is stronger in the Republican party,” Jillson said. As a result, Jillson said Perry is likely to win the nomination. Similarly, a poll conducted by Wilson Research Strategies found that over two-thirds of Republican primary voters want Hutchison to stay in the Senate. Texas republicans see her as effectively benefiting their cause in the Senate, according to the poll. The gubernatorial primaries will be March 2, 2010 and the gubernatorial election will be held November 2, 2010. According to information from the Pearland Police Department, officers responded to a call about a possibly intoxicated driver in a blue SUV. The SUV was driving on the rim of at least one blown tire. After conducting a field investigation of the vehicle, the driver, later identified as Davis, was arrested. The charge is a Class A misdemeanor, and bond was set for a total of $3,500. Davis has appeared in five games and made two tackles against the University of Wyoming and two against UT-El Paso. He lives in nearby League City and was rated the nation’s eighthbest cornerback by ESPN in high school. The team had Saturday off after beating Texas A&M University in College Station on Thursday. — Lena Price

Language: Course sequence

expands study abroad options From page 1

The Middle Eastern Studies department, which handles Arabic, to catch up on assignments. Hebrew, Persian and Turkish inThe new course sequence will struction, will switch to an intenbegin in Fall 2010 but will not go sive language program. Students into effect until Spring 2011. Stu- can fulfill their language requiredents who are enrolled under ments in two semesters by taking the current sequence will have two six-hour classes. enough time to finish. The classes will be five days Shumway said a week and will the new structure demand an exwill also be more tensive out-ofconducive to alclass time comWe think we lowing students mitment on the to study abroad. students’ part. have taken a bad Study abroad opAnyone who situation and turned wants to contintions currently it to everyone’s begin with thirdue will be eligisemester Spanble to enroll in advantage.” ish, but the new upper-division program will en- — Nicolas Shumway courses. courage students “Our goal is Spanish department to travel durfor our students chairman to reach the ining their second semester. termediate lev“ We t h i n k el of proficienthat we’ve takcy at the end of en a bad situation and turned it the first year of instruction,” said to everyone’s advantage,” Shum- Esther Raizen, Middle Eastern way said. “We are very enthu- Studies department chairwomsiastic about the new plan and an. “Our plan allows for us to achope that everyone will see its complish our goals for the year advantages.” within the allocated budget.”


CLimate: Rising sea levels

threaten coastal residents From page 1 climate change and makes recommendations based on their findings, according to the group’s Web site. “For the average person, the number is not significant,” Chen said regarding the annual increase in sea levels due to melting ice. “For researchers, the number is a big deal.” According to Chen, low-lying communities such as those along the Gulf Coast would be impacted more significantly. “There, we would see more storms and flooding in areas like New Orleans,” he said. Kenneth Dunton, a UT natural sciences professor, said the effects of climate change are already being felt. “It has already had an effect on the indigenous people of the

Arctic, particularly in Alaska,” he said. “It is affecting their way of life, their economy and it is starting to cost the country money.” Dunton said temperatures worldwide are rising, affecting the amount of ice. “Glacial loss of ice is accelerating both in the Arctic and Greenland, and it is accelerating more than the projections by the IPCC,” he said. The accelerated losses in Antarctica were found using the NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, also known as GRACE, which measures changes in gravitational pull. Chen said the real effects of climate change are still years in the future and that further research needs to be performed. “The big message is that reality is exceeding expectations,” Dunton said.

3 W/N

Wire Editor: Micaela Neumann



Monday, November 30, 2009

T he Daily Texan

Equatorial Guinea to decide on leader By Michelle Faul The Associated Press JOHANNESBURG — Elections in Equatorial Guinea on Sunday were certain to extend the 30-year rule of Teodoro Obiang Nguema, a man accused of draining his nation’s oil wealth to fabulously enrich his family and cronies while his people suffer in slums. Western governments that have promised to fight corruption so far have done little as companies compete for petroleum concessions and a burgeoning natural gas industry currently dominated by U.S. multinationals. Obiang, 67, denies all charges, and his government said in a statement released by an expensive U.S. lobbying firm that Equatorial Guinea “is committed to holding fair and democratic elections.” Opposition parties complain that campaigners have been attacked and harassed, Obiang gave only six weeks’ notice for the election and coverage in the state-controlled media is skewed. The National Electoral Commission is also headed by the interior minister and weighted with Obiang supporters, and the government has refused to publish the voters’ roll. Foreign journalists, including from The Associated Press, have not been granted visas, and African observers by presidential decree are barred from making “disparaging remarks” and must follow a government program. Opposition leaders have said this means observers will be kept away from villagers where they charge government-appointed headmen and electoral officials cast votes for all residents. It was not possible to get through by telephone to Equatorial Guinea by the time polls were due to close Sunday. Some 290,000 voters are reg-

istered, and Obiang has boasted at rallies that he will win with more than the 97.1 percent garnered in a 2002 poll widely criticized as fraudulent. Then, he ran unchallenged as opposition leaders pulled out citing harassment. On Sunday, four men challenged Obiang, though

none doubt who will win. “People will vote for Obiang so that they can survive, so that they can keep their jobs,” said John E. Bennett, a retired diplomat who was U.S. ambassador there from 1991, but left briefly after receiving governmentsponsored death threats in 1993

Christine Nesbitt | Associated Press

In this file photo from Sunday, Aug. 25, 2002, a young girl leans out of the doorway of her house in a slum neighborhood of Malabo, capital of Equatorial Guinea. Equatorial Guinea, a violent land of coups, petrodollar wealth and killer poverty, is holding elections Sunday that its leader of 30 years says he will win with 97 percent of the vote.

and ended his term in 1994. The government also accused Bennett of dancing on graves in a black magic ritual. Through government jobs and private companies ranging from hotels to Internet service providers, Obiang and his clique control everything in the small country, Bennett said. Dr. Wenceslao Mansogo Alo of the main opposition, Convergence for Social Democracy, said he lost his government hospital job, had all his property expropriated and has been thrown out of a rented home by a frightened landlord since he joined the opposition in 1994. Bennett said that is why an estimated quarter of the population live in nearby Gabon, Cameroon or Nigeria, or in Spain, the former colonizer. About 600,000 people live in the country. Bennett said Obiang flies in a $50 million Boeing jet while those needing to get from Malabo, the island capital, to Bata, the biggest town on the African mainland, are crammed into a secondhand Russian turboprop that costs $200,000. “The national airline sells the seats, then they sell floor space, and people have to sprawl on top of piles of baggage,” he said. Equatorial Guinea has become Africa’s third largest oil producer with income per capita swelling to some $37,000, making the World Bank classify it as a developed nation. But according to United Nations figures, 60 percent of people try to live on less than $1 a day. Obiang has called such statistics “false,” and strongly denies any corruption. “I ask myself, where is this corruption?” he said in an interview Friday with the Al-Jazeera television network. “I don’t have knowledge of that. There is none whatsoever.”

Eric Gay | Associated Press

In this Oct. 21 photo, a pregnant naked mole rat is shown at the Barshop Institute at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Scientists hit it off with African naked mole rats By Paul J. Weber The Associated Press SAN ANTONIO — Naked mole rats don’t get cancer. They shrug off brushes with acid and age so well that some are older than the college-aged researchers handling them. “They really are from Mars, I think,” said Thomas Park, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Actually, they’re from the horn of Africa. But naked mole rats are becoming more popular in research laboratories, where the seemingly invulnerable rodents have surprised scientists with their ability to live up to 30 years and their potential to offer insights into human health. They’re being used to study everything from aging to cancer to strokes. About 1,500 naked mole rats live in clear tanks connected by long tubes at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, where researcher Rochelle Buffenstein nurtures the largest colony in the U.S. At least a half-dozen other universities also have colonies. Nearly blind and hairless, the rodents resemble wrinkled spring rolls with tiny legs and

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buck teeth. They normally live in underground tunnels with a social structure comparable to bees. Buffenstein is studying their longevity. Whereas laboratory mice live an average two years, naked mole rats can live up to 30 years with little creaking in old age. Buffenstein said their bone quality doesn’t start to diminish until they’re about 24 years old. They look fragile — several can fit into a palm, and it’s possible to see beneath their pinkish skin — but naked mole rats are like tough, tubeshaped stuntmen. Squirting lemon juice on a cut would sting anyone, but Park said naked mole rats don’t feel pain because they lack a neurotransmitter known as substance P. The discovery has opened up ideas for pain research. Park and researcher John Larson report in next month’s journal NeuroReport that the brains of adult naked mole rats can withstand oxygen depravation for a half-hour or more. That knowledge could eventually help in stroke research, Park said. Cancer? Buffenstein said the disease has never been found in the rodent.

4 Monday, November 30, 2009


Editor in Chief: Jillian Sheridan Phone: (512) 232-2212 E-mail: Associate Editors: Jeremy Burchard David Muto Dan Treadway Lauren Winchester



To ‘the least of these’


By Molly Nesbitt Daily Texan Guest Columnist

Horns up: Direct lending U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan made a trip to San Antonio on Tuesday to speak with college and university presidents from across the country. Duncan enthusiastically plugged his agenda to revamp the student loan process for college students and increase graduation rates. With tuition rates on the rise, money is on the mind of just about every college student. Duncan’s agenda, largely outlined in a bill which passed in the House and is now up for consideration by the Senate, includes doing away with bank-based lending for federally backed loans in order to cut out the middleman and save billions of dollars, which would then be reinvested in Pell grants. Duncan’s agenda may be ambitious, but university administrations and student groups across the country largely support it. If Congress agrees to adopt direct lending, the process could free up more money to give to low-income students and help students who only lack a few credits to finish their degrees. Opponents of direct lending think that allowing the federal government to offer loans will destroy competition and choice from banks, which venture to make financing education a lucrative business. But Duncan’s plan would simply hinder banks, many of which receive the money from the federal government in the first place, from applying crippling interest rates to student loans. We urge the Senate to pass this student-friendly bill.

Horns up: Winning trees With the exciting victory over Texas A&M on Thursday night, Austin secured not only a perfect season from its beloved football team, but a few trees as well. Mayor Lee Leffingwell and College Station Mayor Ben White decided to spice up the annual football game between Texas and Texas A&M by agreeing to provide trees to be planted in the winning city. “This will provide a shady spot for Austinites to lie underneath our winning trees and celebrate our 12-0 season,” Leffingwell said before the game. Since White lost the bet, the city of College Station will provide Austin with crape myrtles. “Crape myrtles bloom maroon and white in the spring, and we’re maroon and white,” noted White quite astutely. We’re hopeful this wager becomes an annual tradition between the mayors. Austin is a city that is always striving to become greener, and what better way to ensure it continues than to bet against a team that has won only one bowl game in the past decade? Poor Aggies.

Horns down: Another arrest For the second time this month, a UT football player has been arrested. Freshman defensive back Marcus Davis was arrested Saturday and charged with possession of a controlled substance, just two weeks after redshirt freshman D.J. Monroe was arrested for driving while intoxicated. Football fans can breathe a sigh of relief that Davis is not important to the team’s success. But Longhorns should be concerned about a culture that leads to a football team with rap sheets as long and varied as its game stat sheets. Players like Davis and Monroe are cogs in the impressive UT athletics money machine, and, when their mistakes are not football-related, UT coaches, fans and administrators have every reason to turn away. Head coach Mack Brown and the UT community need to hold these football players accountable for their own good and the good of UT’s reputation — not to mention that too many arrests could jeopardize UT’s hopes for a National Championship. But seriously, these players are worth more than their contributions on the field, and they should be treated accordingly.

Horns up: Keeping Austin livable Austin is growing rapidly, and downtown developers are keeping pace by building, building, building. On Dec. 17, the Austin City Council will vote on a proposal that encourages growth while preventing Austin from becoming a concrete jungle of skyscrapers. The proposal offers developers more space to build if they provide community services such as a cultural space, affordable housing or child care, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Some developers worry that adopting the proposal will make it harder for companies to build downtown. However, in other cities where development bonuses are offered — such as Seattle, Portland and Nashville — growth has not halted. In fact, by bypassing zoning laws, the proposal would allow developers to make more revenue by building bigger projects. Without the bonus program, developers have little incentive to offer community benefits that will keep Austin livable and prevent downtown from morphing into a cluster of high rise condos. City Council should vote in favor of the proposal.

The monster in your math By Emily Grubert Daily Texan Columnist Numbers can be deadly. Everyone knows that six is afraid of seven because seven ate nine. Me? I have a degree in math, and I’m still getting over my arithmetic traumas. To bring this back to climate and energy, then, consider how we, as a society, are educated about these topics. Everyone wants to give you “the hard data,” which is a good thing, and those data are vital to how we make policy, decisions and progress. They are often also numbers, and people don’t do units and orders of magnitude very well by memory. I’m ashamed to admit that, on a quiz the other day, I wrote that the oldest ocean crust is 200,000 years old when asked to recall its numerical age. Real age? 200,000,000 years. I was off by a factor of 1000, giving an answer that was 0.1 percent of the actual age. And yet my first instinct was, “Oh, I was close.” Obviously, I wasn’t close at all — but psychologically, I felt closer than I would have if I had said, say, 130,000,000. Just because the 200 was there. I suspect this reaction isn’t unique to me, which is why I’m wary of many of the announcements about carbon cuts, climate risks, energy consumption and myriad other topics that present numbers rapidly — often forgetting units or using the wrong ones — knowing that people will probably misinterpret them even if they’re correct. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says the world needs to cut greenhouse gas pollution by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050 to lower the risk of global average temperatures rising more than 2 degrees Celsius by 2100. Internalize that for a moment, with all its specifics and caveats. Now, compare it with the United States’ goal of cutting greenhouse gas pollution from about five-sixths of the economy by 83 percent from 2005 levels by 2050. Another complicated mouthful, but what stands out? “Oh, the United States is doing 83 percent cuts, and we only need to do 80 percent.” We don’t deal with numbers well. We remember the 80 percent and the 83 percent, not the fact that the IPCC goal is far more stringent than the U.S. goal because it uses 1990 as a base year (when emissions were lower than in 2005) or the fact that the U.S. cuts don’t cover the

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entire economy. In the United States, we have another problem: 2 degrees Celsius is a lot more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit, but we often just hear “2 degrees,” or at the more dire end of predictions, “5 to 6 degrees.” To someone who speaks Fahrenheit, that sounds bad, but to someone who speaks Celsius — which is what these numbers actually represent — that sounds disastrous. No wonder people in countries that speak Celsius are a little more freaked out by climate change news. I could go on. But the point here is that reporting numbers is not the best way to communicate information through the mass media. So how do we make this more qualitative? That we don’t all have to know everything about energy and other resources is the mark of a highly developed society. We’ve been able to specialize and let some people handle energy issues while other people work on medicine. Think back on thirdgrade history and how societies that had agriculture — and thus a stable food supply not dependent on many hands hunting and gathering — developed artisan classes and other specialized laborers. I don’t want everyone to need to know how to drill a gas well or build a canal. I do want everyone to know that it takes those kinds of things to assure stable energy and water supplies. Most people are familiar with the idea that food comes from a farm, even if we have no idea how we would make food happen if someone handed us a farm. Likewise, we know that wood comes from a forest or cars come from a factory. But for a lot of people, electricity comes from the wall, and water comes from the faucet. The extraction, transportation, generation and transmission processes, as well as the transfer and conveyance processes, are not systems that we understand intuitively. This is mostly because we’re not exposed to the ideas. Little kids play with toy cell phones, Easy-Bake ovens and tiny farm animals. We have computer games like SimFarm and, now, The Sims that, on some level, teach us how to interact with the actual world. So, what can we do to make interaction with energy infrastructure more natural? Make your Sims pay electricity bills. Have a utility truck to repair transmission lines to go along with toy dump trucks. I don’t know, but we need to do something to make these systems more real. Until then, we have the numbers.

On one of my most glorious of days, I won a breakfast sandwich from the Monopoly game at McDonald’s. The day it expired, I drove through McDonald’s to claim my sandwich. I absentmindedly forgot about the coupon and paid for my meal, then saw it sitting on my seat. I drove back through, but this time I saw a man pointing at his mouth like he was hungry. I gave him the coupon instead and felt fulfilled as I drove away. Then, as I looked back in my rearview mirror filled with pride, I saw the McDonald’s manager talking to the homeless man. He took the man’s coupon, and the man walked away. I drove back to the McDonald’s and asked the manager why he turned the man away. He said, in a very authoritative voice, “We don’t allow people to beg on this property.” I said, “That’s nice, but I gave that to him. It’s a free sandwich, and he should be able to have it.” He retorted, “Well that was very kind of you, but we can’t allow begging on this property.” I drove off in search of the homeless man, feeling the need to do something, anything. I gave him the sandwich that I had purchased for myself. I should have gone home with a deep-seated feeling of pride since I had helped my fellow man. Instead, I came home filled with seething anger. How could one man in power slight another man with nothing? How much is that breakfast sandwich worth that he can’t share? How easy would it have been to give him the sandwich and then tell him to get off the property? The thing is, we all know poverty is a problem, and we all know that apathy is a problem. But what this man did actively furthered the cause of both. It breaks my heart, not just because my efforts to help someone were denied, but because the entire city of Austin desperately needs help. The homeless situation requires intervention. We have the Austin Research Center for the Homeless: this beautiful building in the heart of downtown, which I thought was an ice-skating rink when I first saw it. It puts a nice, friendly face on homelessness ... until you see it in practice. It has 100 beds — just 100. And anyone who wanders down Seventh Street on the weekends can see just how much demand is not being filled. There are hundreds of people each night sleeping outside the ARCH, or outside somewhere else or in prison. Why? Because life does not smile on them as it does on others. These people know true tragedies. I know some people want to say “Well, they can just go out and get a job.” They can’t. How will they clean themselves? How will they clean their clothes? Where will they keep their clothes? They keep everything they own on their backs. These people need help. I also know that people consider the aiding of homeless people to be enabling their lifestyles. The thing is, we have no control over what people do with their lives, but I think it’s necessary to have the hope and the faith in humanity that allows us to help people who need it without cynicism. I’m not a woman who regularly quotes scripture. In fact, I’m barely a Christian. But whenever I hear this quote, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me,” I know what my morality expects of me. I hope you know, too. Nesbitt is an English senior.


Grubert is an energy and earth resources graduate student.

THE FIRING LINE The Why of Arcattack Thank you to The Daily Texan for covering the ArcAttack concert on the Main Mall last week (ArcAttack plans to illuminate UT, Nov. 18), which was sponsored by UT Physics and the Society for Physics Students and was a good antidote to end-of-semester studies. While we wanted students to see the connection of physics to everyday life — and there were lessons provided by the band on Tesla coils and electromagnetic radiation during the show — the real message was in The Daily Texan itself: Just below the ArcAttack article was an ad for the MD Anderson Proton Accelerator Cancer Therapy Center. Proton accelerators, one of many nuclear and particle physics tools, are now common tools in the fight against cancer. Antimatter, the subject of many Nobel prizes and many quests for

“why?,” is the foundation for PET scans, a key medical diagnostic tool. The World Wide Web, a data-sharing architecture developed for physics research, is obviously one of the greatest changes to the way modern society communicates and does business. Each of us has our calling in life, and not everyone will want to study physics as their career. However, physics is not so much a career as a way of thinking — we like to say it trains us to ask “why?” not just “how?” For many, that training in how to think can enrich their passion for their own fields. Many of our best physics students have used their physics training to go into law school, business or medical school — and work at MD Anderson, in fact!

— Sacha Kopp Physics Department Associate Chairman for Undergraduate Affairs




Monday, November 30, 2009

friday: Retailers see increase in online sales from 2008 From page 1 Allen Boots sales representative Sean Greenberg said the store didn’t offer any type of special sale but that Black Friday was a good day overall. “Sales were a little bit down from last year, but it’s nothing to get too worried about,” Greenberg said. “Black Friday is never really big for people that aren’t in a mall.” Jenny Joo, manager of Fame clothing store in Highland Mall, said that she noticed a $4,000 decrease in sales across the whole weekend compared to last year. “There didn’t seem to be that many people in the mall,” Joo said. A survey conducted by said the Nintendo Wii, Garmin’s GPS phone and the iPod were the most popular products sold on Friday. Discount Electronics, a local store that sells refurbished computers, saw a slight increase in sales across all four locations. Brian Krueger, a sales representative for the West Anderson location, said there was a slight decrease in sales from last year at his store. “But we definitely did better than a normal Friday,” Krueger said. According to online retail analytics company Coremetrics, online shopping rapidly grew from last year. The study found that online shoppers spent 35 percent more on Black Friday Web purchases than a year earlier, with the average order value standing at $170.19. The shoppers also bought an average of 5.4 items per order, up from 4.6 items last year. According to the retail tracking firm Hitwise, WalMart’s Web site was the most popular retail site for the fifth year in a row, followed by and Best Buy. Even though online sales are growing, they still account for less than 4 percent of total retail sales. However, the online expansion is just one more positive sign toward economic growth. Shoppers stand in a checkout line at Wal-Mart on Black Friday.

Tamir Kalifa Daily Texan Staff

Photos by Caleb Bryant Miller | Daily Texan Staff

Top, An early-bird shopper walks through a mostly empty Macy’s in NorthPark Center shortly after it opened at 5 a.m. on Friday. NorthPark is the second largest mall in Texas and 19th largest in the nation. Bottom, Steve Armstrong motions shoppers into a Dallas area Toys R Us at midnight on Black Friday.

Journalists debate future of newspaper industry Expert remarks Internet allows unreliable sources to post dubious content By Rachel Platis Daily Texan Staff In the last few years, 160 American newspapers have halted their presses, and 30,000 staff members have been fired or laid off, said Carlton Carl, chief executive officer and executive publisher of the Texas Observer. Half of these layoffs have occurred this year, Carl said. Today, only five cities in the nation have more than one daily paper, and even The New York Times is in trouble, he said. “The big secret of all this is that almost every daily newspaper in the United States is profitable,” Carl said. “They are maybe not as profitable as those folks on Wall Street would like to see, but they are profitable nonetheless.” Carl was among the publishers, journalists and advocates that discussed the future of the American newspaper industry at the Public Affairs Forum at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin. He was joined by Keith Elkins, executive director of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, who talked about the Shield Law and Freedom of Information Act. The Texas Observer exists as a nonprofit, which some say is the way of the future in journalism, he said. Carl, a former Houston Chronicle and New York Times reporter, said that radio, TV and cable have all threatened newspapers but have existed in relative harmony with print news until recently. “With the Internet, we have less assurance than ever before on

the truth of what we are hearing, reading and seeing,” Carl said. “Tragically, because of the Internet and other factors, many daily newspapers are dying or shriveling up.” Keith Elkins has been in the news business most of his life and worked as an anchor and reporter for CBS 42 in Austin before becoming one of the many to lose their jobs due to a declining news industry.


With adversity came opportunity. But by taking a job with the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, I knew I’d have my job cut out for me. ”

— Keith Elkins Freedom of Information Foundation

“With adversity came opportunity,” Elkins said. “But by taking a job with the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas, I knew I’d have my job cut out for me.” The foundation advocates for open meetings, open records and the free flow of information in Texas. Elkins spoke on the importance of the Shield Law, which provides unlimited protection to journalists who depend on confidential sources for information. In March of this year, the Shield

Law was passed in Texas, which became the 37th state to have the free flow of information act. The bill is not intended to let anyone hide information or protect criminal suspects in any way but rather to benefit the public, Elkins said. The next challenge lies with the Texas Open Meetings Act, Elkins said. The act, which says that any governing body must do its public business in public view, has recently been questioned by many governing bodies and municipalities, he said. The Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas also works to educate young journalists through the Light of Day Project, a program that works with universities in the communications departments to teach students how to use the Public Information Act. Pamela Mayo Clark, director of education for the foundation, said the project will be implemented sometime next spring in UT’s School of Journalism. As for the state of the news industry, Elkins said that it is true that a great number of investigative journalists have been put out of work and that the public will suffer as a result. “I take issue with the movement for citizen journalists in some way, because journalism is not just about getting information and putting it in a blog,” he said. Elkins said that it is up to the public to decide on what is a fair and balanced story and what is a marketing technique. “I grew up in the days of Walter Cronkite, where you’d have to have three confirmed and independent sources to publish a story,” he said. “It’s not quite that way today, especially in electronic media, where competition is so fast and furious.”

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Monday, November 30, 2009


Photos by Caleb Bryant Miller | Daily Texan Staff

Above, Women walk through a beam of sunlight in the Dallas Convention Center on their way to pray. Below, Imam Yusuf Kavakci speaks to thousands gathered for the annual Eid-ul-Adha Prayer at the Dallas Convention Center on Friday. Kavakci stressed the importance of caring for the elderly and educating children. After a frantic, sleepless night photographing Black Friday shoppers, I found myself waiting on a platform to catch a DART train downtown, looking for more eager consumers. I noticed instead a well-dressed family holding prayer mats, introduced myself and learned their destination: Dallas Convention Center, where 20,000 would soon gather to celebrate Eid al-Adha. This holiday, the most important feast of the Muslim calendar, celebrates both the prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his own son to Allah and Allah’s mercy in sparing the boy. Eid alAdha falls on the 10th day of Dhul Hijja in the lunar Islamic calendar and marks the end of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Participants in Eid al-Adha recite “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is great,” many times before prostrating themselves in total synchrony. Witnessing this moment of spiritual unity was a welcome and refreshing change of pace from the most feverishly hyped shopping day of the year. — Caleb Miller


Top, Harun Ahmed, 3, plays with his father, Kedir, before the prayer begins. Bottom, Assembled Muslims await the Eid-ul-Adha Prayer, or “Festival of Sacrifice,” a holiday celebrating Ibrahim’s obedience to God. This year it fell on Black Friday.



Life&Arts Editor: Leigh Patterson E-mail: Phone: (512) 232-2209


Monday, November 30, 2009

T he Daily Texan

Meet musician Michael Muller

Tamir Kalifa | Daily Texan Staff

Michael Muller, guitarist for Austin’s Balmorhea, founded the band with Rob Lowe in 2006. Balmorhea has released five albums, the most recent being this year’s All Is Wild, All Is Silent.


With its evocative compositions, Austin’s Balmorhea weaves together dusty Americana and the sweeping dynamics of modern classical music. On the quintet’s albums, such as this year’s All Is Wild, All Is Silent, fragile violins and cellos are paired with more rugged, folksy elements such as plucked banjo and acoustic guitar. Though many Balmorhea pieces are wordless, the emo-

tions of the two genres speak Michael Muller: Losing Sleep clearly through the fusion. by Mark McGuire. The band, recently off of a month-long European tour, looks If you could collaborate forward to playing its first show with any musician in the back in Austin on the 11th at Moworld, who would it be? hawk. While preparing for the MM: Keith Kenniff. show and readying the group’s newest album, Constellations, for What was the best show release early next year, foundyou’ve ever played? ing member Michael Muller MM: On a tour last takes on the Music Monday May, we played in a tiny questions. Italian town called Mondaino near the Adriatic Sea. The show What album have you was on the top of a small mounlistened to the most in tain in a beautiful theater amidst the last week? a nature preserve. There was

2 3


Photo Courtesy of David Bull

David Bull, former head chef at Austin’s Driskill Grill and “Iron Chef America” alumnus, will be one of the head judges in Austin’s own culinary competition, “Chefs Under Fire,” tonight at the AT&T Center.

Movie provides touching view on Iraq War veterans By John Ross Harden Daily Texan Staff For a military veteran, returning home after serving in a war is a glorious and dignified honor. However, “The Messenger” gives audiences a real, unfiltered sense of life after war. Or in Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery’s case, life after death. The film follows Montgomery (Ben Foster) as he copes with his return from the Iraq War. Unlike the stereotypical warrior’s return, with bands playing and thrown flowers, Montgomery is greeted by an assignment to the Army’s death notification post. To help train and supervise Montgomery on this supposedly “emotionless” duty is his superior, Captain Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson). Much of the film examines the interpersonal conflicts between the pair. However, “The Messenger” still carries a strong overall plot without involving too many (or too few) characters. The story itself is an emotional roller coaster touching on everything from alcohol abuse and violence to love and sex. Arguably undertaking the most difficult duty in the military, Fos-

ter depicts the emotional strain of notifying the fallen’s “first of kin” flawlessly. His portrayal of a cold and exhausted veteran in his midtwenties creates many emotional connections with the viewer. This film is Ben Foster’s breakout performance after a small role in “XMen: The Last Stand” and a flop in the lackluster, “Pandorum.” Co-starring with Foster is the always-likeable Woody Harrelson. “The Messenger” is right up Harrelson’s ally, as he is able to provide the comedic relief needed when bringing such an unfortunate topic to life. Harrelson has topped his recent acting jobs here, however, thanks in part to his sub-plotted alcohol addiction. Ben Foster stands out in this movie as an actor with loads of untapped talent and is very likely to see his workload improve following this movie’s “indie” success. Unfortunately, even after being invited to nearly every major film festival, “The Messenger” will likely only get a small chance in theaters nationally. However, don’t be quick to judge: “The Messenger” could be one of the year’s top films.


What was the worst show you’ve ever played? MM: On our first U.S. tour, we “headlined” what was basically an open-mic

MULLER continues on page 8

The contest’s recipes created by Rathbun, Bull and Cole were taken directly from the interactive platform upon which the Keeper Collection is based. In terms of guidelines, each of the chefs has picked his own specific recipe, and contestants prepare the dish according to the recipe while adding their own twist on the specific ingredients. For his signature recipe of choice, Rathbun has selected savory wood-grilled pork tenderloin with peach barbecue sauce; Bull has picked a hearty braised chicken and pancetta cacciatore; and Cole is going with a more delicate sashimi ceviche. Each of these dishes will be prepared with a personal flare by the contestants. The chef selects three finalists for his recipe, and the final nine will showcase their recipes in the finale tonight. The winner from each celebrity recipe will receive $1,500 in prize packages from all over the United States. In addition to receiving prizes for their victories, the winners will also be entered in the “Plate and Vine Interactive Cookbook.” The showdown is located at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on campus at 1900 University Ave., and it begins at 6:30 p.m. General admission tickets are $30 and get you into the live event, the pre-event and a chance to meet the three “Iron Chef America” challengers.

Guidebooks provide travelers with a helping hand Books entertain, inform as they tell readers where to go on Texas road trips

6,000 terra cotta soldiers in Katy, there is no shortage of interesting destinations. In designing a road trip to see all of Texas’ glorious geographic riches, useful By Susannah Jacob travel guides are a must. Here Daily Texan Staff are some of the most informaFor many UT students — par- tive trip-planning aides. ticularly those raised and confined to the indistinct suburbs “Weird Texas: Your Travof Houston, Dallas and San Anel Guide to Texas’s Local tonio — there is something esLegends and Best Kept pecially enchanting about takSecrets” by Wesley Treat, ing a road trip across the state of Heather Shade and Rob Riggs Texas. A fixation on the state’s oddiFrom a recreation of Shake- ties seems to dominate the Texas speare’s Globe Theatre (The travel guide scene. “Weird TexGlobe of the Great Southwest) as,” presented by the authors of in Odessa, one of three in the “Weird U.S.: Your Travel Guide world, to a scale model replica of TEXAS continues on page 8 Beijing’s Forbidden City and its

The Messenger

minimal parking, so the attendees walked from surrounding areas, and there was a catered dinner for everyone. Children and grey-haired concert-goers alike sat on the hillside at dusk before the show. It was our first soldout show outside the U.S. and it was a truly amazing night.

Prominent chefs judge cooking competition By Solomon Wang Daily Texan Staff Texas has a growing culinary scene that is constantly producing the most well-known chefs in America. Three of these culinary geniuses will be on the UT campus tonight. Chef Kent Rathbun of the highly acclaimed restaurants Abacus and Jasper’s, chef David Bull, former chef at The Driskill Grill and chef Tyson Cole of Uchi are judging a competition fit for major foodies. In addition to running a number of Texas’ blossoming restaurants, these chefs have competed on “Iron Chef America,” the famous fast-paced cooking competition on The Food Network. The Chefs Under Fire Competition is a showcase of these chefs’ favorite recipes in their unique styles. The contest is hosted by Keeper Collection, a new database of cookbooks that allows for interaction and constant changes to parallel the ever-evolving culinary world. Diane Dixon, the president and co-founder of Keeper Collection, says she created the competition as a tribute to the one-year anniversary of the start of the Keeper Collection, what she calls “an innovative project that brings cookbooks up to date.” “Chefs Under Fire was inspired by the top chefs of the state,” Dixon said. “Its purpose is to support the creativity of chefs from all backgrounds.”



Bruno Morlan | Daily Texan Staff

“Weird Texas,” by Wesley Treat, Heather Shade and Rob Riggs, is a road trip guide that gives information about places to visit in Texas.

Photo courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

The new film “The Messenger” examines the interpersonal conflicts of an Iraq War veteran with his superior.


The Road

Photo Courtesy of Dimension Films

“The Road,” based on Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, thrives with its minimalist approach to depicting a postapocalyptic wasteland.

‘The Road’ pleases jaded apocalyptic movie fans By John Ross Harden Daily Texan Staff Moviegoers have recently been exposed to apocalyptic films that are cluttered with detailed special effects and six-figure explosions. Though these movies are visually appealing — and with no disrespect to the Michael Bay type of cinematography — “The Road,” based on Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, thrives without the spectacle. Led by a performance that will likely land Viggo Mortensen an Oscar nomination, “The Road” follows a young boy (Kodi SmitMcPhee, literally known as “the boy”) and his father’s (Mortensen) journey along a desolate highway while maintaining the common goal to “go South.” However, complicating this endeavor are all the problems most audiences would expect from the end of times: starvation, extreme weather conditions and, of course, crazed factions. The film revolves around Mortensen’s unwavering determination to protect his son, who he often refers to as a “god,” and the pair’s struggles along the way. Directed by John Hillcoat, “The Road” has taken the post-apocalyptic trend to a new level. Like the book, the movie features nu-

merous flashbacks to a period before the apocalypse, in which the two focal characters are joined by a mother (Charlize Theron). Though these flashbacks seem sporadic, and at times unnecessary, they help emphasize the reasoning behind Mortensen’s perseverance to save the couple’s child. Throughout the film, Mortensen employs a strict code for the two to live by, and based on the conditions, important techniques such as ammo conservation, looting and even proper suicide form if needed. The movie is dark, to say the least. The mood of the film is somber and sometimes desperate. To contribute to this attitude, the dialogue is very short and forthright, saying what needs to be said and little more. And while the background cinematography is amazing, it, too, is dark. Overall, I highly recommend this film (and book) to anyone who is new to Cormac McCarthy’s stories or would like to enjoy a really wellput-together and carefully thought out movie. Yet, unlike McCarthy’s most recent on-screen novel adaptation “No Country for Old Men,” I can’t imagine “The Road” will be up for any movie of the year awards.

11 ENT



Monday, November 30, 2009

Band redefines ‘Nutcracker’ classics for holiday season By Layne Lynch Daily Texan Staff Every year around Christmas, when the frost begins to bite, audiences around the world dress to the nines, purchase absurdly expensive theater tickets and flock to see the breathtaking ballet production “The Nutcracker.” Besides gazing at tiny ballerinas, staring at men in extremely tight-fitting tights or marveling at the obviously difficult choreography, audiences are often mesmerized by the accompanying score originally composed by Tchaikovsky. In hearing the songs “Waltz of the Flowers,” “No. 2 March” and “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” listeners will always be able to trace the music’s origins back to “The Nutcracker” – it’s

rooted in our musical culture. This holiday season, audiences won’t have to purchase ballet tickets to get a taste of Tchaikovsky’s music. Austin band The Invincible Czars will play Tchaikovsky’s classical music from “The Nutcracker” at two local shows this holiday season. However, the band doesn’t plan to stay within the well-known classical arrangement of the production; they have their own take on the music. The Invincible Czars incorporate genres like rock, classic symphonic, heavy metal, punk rock, polka and a bit of country in its music. The Dallas Observer describes the band’s sound as “frenzied, turn-of-the-century riot-inducing classical music.” Started by guitarist Josh Robins

in 2002, the band is known for creating mini-symphonies. The members have made it their goal to create a truly unique concept when it comes to their music. Using instruments such as a violin, saxophone, flute, bass, drums, guitar and keyboard, The Invincible Czars embody an avant-garde music persona. In the years since the band’s original production of “The Nutcracker” in 2004, its performance of Tchaikovsky’s music has become an audience favorite. The performances will certainly put everyone in the mood for Christmas time. While cramming for final exams or out shopping for quirky Christmas gifts, stop in to see a unique interpretation of a classic Christmas favorite from a unique band.

texas: Books note best places to bike, enjoy hot tea From page 7 to America’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets” is the most complete of these guides and contains some of the strangest destination options. The authors, who define weird as “mysterious, possibly forbidden and better left alone,” are all native Texans. The book is a lot of legend and less concrete detail, but it’s quite inspirational and probably tops the list of makes-you-want-to-take-a-roadtrip guides. Unlike some of the more formulaic books, “Weird Texas” is divided into chapters with titles: Local Legends, Ancient Mysteries, Fabled People and Places, Unexplained Phenomena, Bizarre Beasts, Local Heroes and Villains, Personalized Properties, Roadside Oddities, Roads Less Traveled, Haunted Places and Ghostly Tales, Cemetery Safari and Abandoned in Texas. The book has colorful pictures and 287 pages of information. The runner-up guide to peculiar hot spots on the side of the road: “Texas Curiosities” by John Kelso.


“ L o n e S t a r Tr a v e l Guide to Texas Parks and Campgrounds” by George Oxford Miller What Texas lacks in good weather, it makes up for in variety. The sheer size of the

state makes it a natural smorgasbord for any adventurous backpacker. “Lone Star Travel Guide to Texas Parks and Campgrounds,” the self-described guidebook “for campers, hikers, mountain bikers, horse back riders, birdwatchers, nature photographers and folks who just like to enjoy the outside,” is best at providing information on campgrounds and state parks. The book is a directory of 186 Texas parks and campgrounds — starting with Abilene State Park and ending with Yoakum County Park — and provides information on facility location, contact information, applicable regulations and costs. But, it’s not quite as adept at providing guidance about which are the best and for what reason. The book is also is a little sparse on bike trail information. The better choice for the biker: “The Biker’s Guide to Texas: 25 Great Motorcycle Rides in the Lone Star State” by Dorothy Waldman.


“Fodor’s Texas” The best source of allpurpose, comprehensive, impersonal information is Fodor ’s guide, efficiently titled “Texas.” Organized alphabetically by region, it is the best book to keep in the glove compartment for speedy access when trying to determine exit numbers or the

nearest place to eat. Another more personal all purpose guide — also organized by region and published by Fodor’s — is “Compass American Guides: Texas.” It provides the history behind different destinations — the details that make you want to drive the umpteen miles to get there. Plus, its threepage timeline, “A History of Texas,” rivals several years of Texas history education and has better pictures.


“Tea for Texas: A Guide to Tearooms in the State” by Lori Torrance For those who prefer the words at the top of each page to be in Curlz MT font, a good option is “Tea for Texas: A Guide to Tearooms in the State.” Written by Lori Torrance, a computer programmer in Arlington, Texas, the book is comprehensive and clear about pricing, menu options and locations of Texas tearooms. It’s a perfect guide to have close by when searching for a fancy lunch spot. The book is divided by geographic region, listing all of the tearooms worthy of paying a visit to in the area. The author defines “tearoom” (a quiet place to sit down and have a light lunch or afternoon tea) in a 10-bullet point summary at the beginning of a book — the last of which reads “is a tearoom because the author decided it is.”

Photo Courtesy of The Invincible Czarsx

Austin band The Invincible Czars will play classical music from Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” at two local shows this holiday season.

mULLeR: Musician still hasn’t quit his day jobs From page 7

Michael Muller will perform with Balmorhea at the Mohawk on Dec. 11.

night at a music school’s performance space in Reno, Nevada. We all laughed the whole time and couldn’t believe how bizarre the other acts were. We just kept thinking, “Why are we here?” It was all very Lynch-ian in that oddly-lit and off-putting way.


What is your favorite song to play live? MM: Anything off our forthcoming LP, Constellations. The compositions are more sparse and tender than previous pieces, and there is a very textural and emotive feeling that arises for me when we play them live. They’re more visceral, perhaps.


When you were forming the band, were there any alternate band names you didn’t pick? MM: There really wasn’t. I don’t recall really sitting down and naming our group, it just seemed to come up and we were like, “Yeah, that’s it.”


Tamir Kalifa Daily Texan Staff


Do you have a day job? MM: Justine’s, El Chile [Cafe MM: I do freelance photography and design, as well Where is your favorite y Cantina], Fricano’s [Deli and] Food Heads as booking shows for some bands. place to eat in Austin?

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Monday, November 30, 2009



for McCoy,

a relief for Texas fans

Stephen Keller | Daily Texan Staff

Far Left, Malcolm Williams catches a pass from Colt McCoy. Williams finished with a team-high nine receptions for 132 yards as the Longhorns eked out a 10-point win. Left, Tre’ Newton breaks past two defenders.

Derek Stout | Daily Texan Staff




day, month day, 2008


Stephen Keller | Daily Texan Staff


Weekly Rates: $100 – Large $50 – Medium $25 – Small

Above, McCoy calls out adjustments at the line of scrimmage. Left, Curtis Brown goes up against Texas A&M’s Jeff Fuller for a ball in their teams’ Thanksgiving night contest.

CORKBOARD Derek Stout | Daily Texan Staff

DEFENSE: Double-threat Johnson minimizes Texas’ defense in tough UT victory Contact Joan at 512-232-2229 email holding opponents to just 26 per-or The defense’ biggest play came answered points.

From page 12

it and gave a post-game speech in the locker room to personally thank the offense for bailing out a porous Texas defense that gave up 532 yards to the Aggies. And while Texas quarterback Colt McCoy put on a Heisman-worthy performance, his Aggie counterpart matched him blow for blow. Jerrod Johnson was nearly unstoppable, completing 26-of-33 passes for 342 yards and four touchdowns. Johnson, the second doublethreat quarterback Texas has

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faced, also gave the Longhorns fits with his running ability, piling 97 yards on a mix of called run plays and scrambles. “They just kept moving the chains,” said Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp. Johnson and the Aggies destroyed the impressive defensive numbers the Longhorns brought into the game. Texas was third in the nation in total defense (238.7 yards per game), first in rushing defense (50 ypg) and 22nd in passing defense (188.6 ypg) while allowing 13.2 points per game and

cent on third-down conversions. The Aggies began shredding those numbers from the start with Johnson’s 70-yard touchdown pass to Jeff Fuller in the third play of the game. Fuller blew past Texas cornerback Chykie Brown, who was looking for safety help that never came. Muschamp took the blame for the blown coverage, saying it was something he changed in practice. “In a short week, those are things you just can’t do and that’s my fault,” Muschamp said.

on Earl Thomas’ end zone interception in the third quarter, which set a new school record for most interceptions in a season with eight. Fittingly, it came two plays after an offsides penalty negated an interception by Curtis Brown on the exact same pass. The rest of the defensive highlights came from A&M mistakes. The Aggies had a chance to go up 14-0 early after stuffing Texas’ odd fake-punt, only to have their drive killed by a chop block penalty. Texas responded with 14 un-

The Longhorns were in position to put the game away on their second-half opening drive but were stuffed again on fourth down. On the ensuing Aggie possession, A&M running back Christine Michael gave it away after fumbling a hand off. But no A&M letdown was bigger than kicker Randy Bullock’s missed field goal from 23 yards that would have made it 49-42 with 3:21 remaining. Ironically, it was the play the Texas defense hung its hat on af-


ter the game. “Just again, it was big stop at the end to force a field goal try,” Muchamp said. Then again, there wasn’t much to choose from. For this week’s Big 12 Championship game, the Longhorns hope their defense returns to normal. But if it doesn’t, at least it has a high-powered offense. “Next week the offense may not make a first down, defense may make play great,” Brown said. “You never know who’s going to show up.”

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Monday, November 30, 2009


basketball: Women lose

to USC but earn 3rd place From page 12 After their Thanksgiving meal, the Longhorns were still hungry, shooting 49 percent from the field behind Ashleigh Fontenette’s 20 points in a 73-55 win over No. 19 Mississippi State — the same team that eliminated Texas from the NCAA Tournament in March. “This was a chance for us to show how much we’ve grown as a team,” Goestenkors said. “[Mississippi State] returned all of its starters, and that’s a veteran team. This win really shows how far we’ve come from last year to this point.” Texas must have had too many leftovers, as they took a step back the very next night and fell to unranked Southern California 61-54. The Longhorns shot only 30 percent from the floor against USC. “We called about every play we

had tonight, but it’s tough to make anything happen when your shots aren’t falling,” Goestenkors said after the loss. The Longhorns cut a 14-point Trojan lead to four late in the second half, but were unable to regain the lead they had in the first half. “I was proud of the effort we showed at the end, but it was too little, too late,” Goestenkors added. “USC did a nice job of switching on screens, and they got some open shots on our guards at the end and took advantage of them.” Performances by Brittainey Raven and Nash placed them on the all-tournament team. Raven scored a game-high 15 points off the bench against Rutgers. The Longhorns return to Austin for home for a game against Oral Roberts on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Ashleigh Fontenette inbounds the ball against UT-San Antonio. Fontenette scored 12 points against Rutgers.

Lauren Gerson Daily Texan file photo

heisman: McCoy will need to face

tougher defense to impress voters From page 12 McCoy is probably the leader heading into the final weekend thanks to his performance against A&M and Alabama’s Mark Ingram garnering only 30 yards on 16 carries against Auburn. But if Ingram is able to run all over a talented Florida defense or Tebow is able to run through Mount Cody and Alabama, then that will be more significant than what McCoy did



Monday, November 30, 2009

against A&M. Though, if nobody has a big game on Saturday, the Heisman is probably McCoy’s by default. That is, as long as he doesn’t throw a pick-six and look bad against the Huskers. What his performances against A&M and Kansas (396 yards, 4 touchdowns) have done is allow him to control his own destiny for the Heisman. “I think I played [the Heisman trophy winner],” said Texas A&M safety Jordan Pugh.

MeN’S bASkeTbAll

No. 3 Texas 77, rice 59

Pittman leads team past Rice, 77-59 Dexter Pittman By Will Anderson reacts after Daily Texan Staff making a When starting guard Varez shot against Ward went down with a rupUC-Irvine in the tured quadriceps tendon during season opener. pregame warm-ups last week, Pittman scored third-ranked Texas’ composition a team-high 21 and starting line-up was irreverspoints against ibly altered for the season. Rice on Sunday But freshman J’Covan Brown, night. who switched his jersey from No. 14 to Ward’s No. 50 to honor his injured teammate, proved that little else changed by scoring 15 points from the starting slot vacated by Ward as the Longhorns (5-0) rolled over Rice 77-59 on Sunday night in Houston. Brown scored double digits for the fifth straight game and tallied four assists and five rebounds. Senior center Dexter Pittman added a game-high 21 points as the Longhorns coasted by on their worst shooting performance of the year — 41.2 percent from the floor — to overcome an aggressive Owls team in Tudor Fieldhouse on the Rice campus. Ward was injured before last Tuesday’s game against Pittsburgh, and Brown has since been moved back into the starting rotation. His 12.8 points per game average is the best among the guards on the team, and he is second in assists with 12. He is still having problems with turnovers; his 4.2 per game average is a team high. While he turned the ball over five times on Sunday night, Brown looked fresh and dangerous against Rice. He registered a team-high 31 minutes of action. The freshman from Port Arthur was 3-of-8 on field goals but was Sara Young perfect from the foul line. Daily Texan Texas shot under 50 percent for file photo the first time all season. Texas returns to action on Rice would not give up on its to play. But Brown hit two clutch Texas closed out the game with 11 home court and battled back to shots, including a long-range fad- straight points to secure the large Thursday against Southern California (2-2). 58-50 with under nine minutes ing jumper, to kill the Owls’ run. victory.

football: Thanksgiving game turns into quarterback duel From page 12 backs play that well, two offenses play that well and two defenses try to hang in there and fight to make the play.” The two quarterbacks met and embraced near midfield at the end of the game, congratulating each other on one of the best duels either will ever take part in. The duo combined for 918 yards and nine touchdowns. In the first half, the offenses made almost all the plays. On the third play of the game, on third-and-long, Johnson found Fuller on a 70-yard touchdown pass. It was the Aggies’ first and


only lead of the game, but Texas never stretched its lead beyond 14 points, and saw it shrink to three twice in the fourth quarter. McCoy responded on Texas’ second possession after a fake punt failed on its first. Jordan Shipley made his first of two 14-yard first-half touchdown catches in the corner of the end zone to tie the game. McCoy’s legs took over from there. After surpassing his season high for rushing yards in the first quarter with 46, McCoy topped his career high on the second play of the second quarter. McCoy pulled the ball on a zone read play and burst up the middle of the A&M defense, outrunning linebackers and defensive backs for a 65-yard touchdown, the longest run of his career. “We went back to the old-fashioned zone read,” McCoy said. “I haven’t run that much in a long time.” But with the game threatening to get away from the Aggies, Johnson led two touchdown drives, finding Fuller and wide receiver Howard Morrow on 14-yard touchdown passes to tie the game at 14-14 and 21-21, respectively. But the Aggies left too much time on the clock for McCoy, who took over the last possession of the first half with about one minute to go and three time-outs. He connected twice with Shipley on long passes before finding James Kirkendoll on a curl in the end zone with five seconds remaining. Texas looked ready to pull away when it opened up a 3521 lead following a Tre’ Newton 7-yard touchdown run on a drive that featured all running plays. But the Aggies’ offense responded, and their defense awakened. The Longhorns went three-and-out

Texas’ Tre’ Newton is held up by an Aggie defender in last Thursday’s game. Newton rushed for 107 yards against A&M.

Stephen Keller Daily Texan Staff

on consecutive possessions deep in their own territory as McCoy missed seven consecutive passes. A&M shrunk the lead to three in that time with a field goal and touchdown, achieving the two-point conversion when A&M receiver Ryan Tannehill beat Texas safety Blake Gideon, who was matched up on him in single coverage. But McCoy found his rhythm again, hitting Kirkendoll on third-and-eight and watching the junior spin away from a tackle and race downfield for a 47-yard touchdown. “Colt McCoy was unbelievable. I don’t remember any performance like that, period,” Brown

said. Johnson responded one more time, finding Fuller for his third touchdown in between coverage from the usually unbeatable Aaron Williams and Earl Thomas. “It seemed like every time we’d do something to stop them, they’d pop right back,” Brown said. play that well.” Texas responded from a most unlikely source. Freshman Marquise Goodwin returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown. The game finished, fittingly, with McCoy running for one last first down, running down the clock and securing Texas to a 12-0 regular season.

volleyball: Seniors serve up impressive final game From page 12


103-16 record, a .866 winning percentage, three Big 12 titles and a Final Four appearance. “I think the support from the city and the University in general has grown so much,” Engle said. “We love playing here. The fact that tonight we had one of the largest crowds just felt great.” The match started out with junior Juliann Faucette singing the National Anthem in front of nearly 4,000 fans and ended with Engle setting up Hooker for her 14th kill of the match and the three-set sweep of Kansas. The match served as a victory

lap for the newly crowned Big 12 Champions and the best senior class to ever play for Texas. The Texas seniors combined for 17 kills, 28 assists, 17 digs and 19.5 points. The Longhorns hit .526 for the match, the third best mark in program history. “It was great to be able to showcase our senior class in front of such a great crowd,” Elliott said. “They have done so much for this program. They returned the pride of Texas volleyball. They have performed very well in order to win three Big 12 Championships and get back to the NCAAs. More importantly, they are better people off the court, and the way that they

represent this program has set what the standard will be for Texas volleyball from here on out.” Texas now awaits its fate in the NCAA Tournament. The Horns entered the match ranked second and have the top-ranked RPI in the NCAA. “To an extent, we have the same goals of ultimately winning the whole thing, but with the season that we had and the experience that we have gained, I think it is a different mentality,” Engle said. “We are going to go in there and show everyone what we can do, and we are really confident in the way that we’ve been playing so far.”




Monday, November 30, 2009

Sports Editor: Austin Talbert E-mail: Phone: (512) 232-2210

T he Daily Texan

fooTBall ColuMn

TExaS 49

McCoy a Heisman favorite, but no lock

TExaS a&M 39

McCoy and Texas survive test

HEISMAN continues on page 11

SIDELINE BCS RANKINGS 1. Florida (12-0) 2. Alabama (12-0)

3. Texas (12-0) 4. TCU (12-0) 5. Cincinnati (11-0) 6. Boise State (12-0) 7. Oregon (9-2) 8. Ohio State (10-2) 9. Iowa (10-2) 10. Georgia Tech (10-2) 11. Penn State (10-2) 12. Virginia Tech (9-3) 13. LSU (9-3) 14. Brigham Young (10-2) 15. Pittsburgh (9-2) 16. Oregon State (8-3) 17. Miami (FL) (9-3) 18. USC (8-3) 19. California (8-3) 20. Oklahoma State (9-3) 21. Houston (10-2) 22. Nebraska (9-3) 23. West Virginia (8-3) 24. Stanford (8-4) 25. Utah (9-3)

By David R. Henry Daily Texan Columnist

Colt McCoy had his Heisman moment Thursday night when he kept the ball on the zone read at the start of the second quarter and raced 65 yards down the field untouched. It was a run that made his Heisman competitor, Tim Tebow, look slow by comparison and was just one of many big plays McCoy made Thanksgiving Day. “I don’t get to vote for Heisman, but if anyone has a better Heisman moment than that, then I’d like to see it,” said Texas coach Mack Brown. While McCoy had some big highlights and put up big numbers (5 touchdowns) in the game, it doesn’t mean much for his Heisman campaign — that will be determined next week when he plays against a real defense. McCoy’s performance against Texas A&M shouldn’t be the deciding factor in the Heisman race because it came against a terrible defense — 100 out of 120 Division I FBS schools, and 110th in pass defense heading into the game. That’s like playing against air. To his credit, McCoy made big plays when the team needed him to, and the Longhorns probably would not have won the game if not for him, based on how the UT defense played. He will need to put up some numbers against a decent defense at least once this year to win the Heisman. While he had a gutsy performance against Oklahoma, the nation’s 11th-ranked defense, his numbers in that game, 21 of 39 for 127 yards with one touchdown and an interception, were not Heisman-worthy. Since then, the rest of the defenses Texas has played, with the possible exception of Oklahoma State, have been garbage. The Heisman will be won or lost this weekend when McCoy faces Nebraska’s eighth-ranked defense, led by star defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. Part of the reason McCoy was able to run for 175 yards against the Aggies was because they played their safeties extremely deep and had no push coming up the middle. He’ll see that push for sure Saturday.


NFL Photos by Derek Stout | Daily Texan Staff

Tampa Bay 17 Atlanta 20

Above, Texas quarterback Colt McCoy streaks past defenders on his way to the end zone near the beginning of the second quarter. McCoy’s 65-yard run was the longest of his career. Below, defensive end Eddie Jones chases a&M’s Jerrod Johnson. Jones and the Texas defense had a hard time containing Johnson, as the aggie quarterback ran for 97 yards and passed for 342 more.

Miami 14 Buffalo 31

Aggies threaten Longhorns’ perfect season, lose in final seconds

Cleveland 7 Cincinnati 16

By Michael Sherfield Daily Texan Staff COLLEGE STATION — Colt McCoy could barely hold himself upright on the staircase at the bottom of Kyle Field on Thursday night, wearily leaning against the rail as he answered questions. The senior quarterback had

just finished running himself, and the Texas A&M defense, ragged. McCoy piled up a career-high 175 rushing yards, needing every single one to go with his 304 passing yards in a wild 49-39 shootout win over the Aggies. For the majority of the game,

A&M junior Jerrod Johnson was every bit as good. Johnson matched McCoy’s four touchdown passes, throwing three to wide receiver Jeff Fuller while leading A&M to 532 total yards on a Texas defense that ranked in the top 10 in yards, points and third-down defense.

“What a great football game. I congratulate Jerrod Johnson and Texas A&M on a great game,” said Texas coach Mack Brown. “TV and fans around the country on Thanksgiving got a treat to see two quarter-

OFFENSE continues on page 11

Offense comes to the rescue in a role reversal for Texas in last regular-season contest of 2009 By Blake Hurtik Daily Texan Staff COLLEGE STATION — Had it happened a year ago, Texas’ Thanksgiving performance wouldn’t have made anyone so much as bat an eye. It played out like a typical Longhorn game from 2008: tons of offensive firepower with both defenses spending the full 60 minutes trying to catch their breaths. But in a 2009 season that has been defined by a smothering, shutdown defense, the Longhorns’ thrilling 49-39 win over rival Texas A&M in the ever-hostile Kyle Field had a different feel. For the first time this season, the Longhorns’ offense came to the rescue and kept Texas’ national championship hopes alive and well. “Our defense made enough plays to win the game … And our offense was real-

Carolina 6 NY Jets 17 Washington 24 Philadelphia 27 Indianapolis 35 Houston 27 Kansas City 14 San Diego 43 Jacksonville 3 San Francisco 20 Arizona 17 Tennessee 20 Chicago 10 Minnesota 36 Pittsburgh 17 Baltimore 20


Texas volleyball team named No. 1 seed in Omaha Regional ly hot, so that’s what has to happen,” said time. You have to feed off each other.” Texas coach Mack Brown. “Some of our Defensive end Sam Acho recognized games, our offense made just enough plays because our defense hung in there a long DEFENSE continues on page 9


woMEn’S BaSKETBall

By Chris Tavarez Daily Texan Staff Last Wednesday, Texas did what it has done all season but what it had failed to do in over a decade. The Horns marched into Norman, Okla. and dominated the Sooners like they have nearly every other opponent this season with a 3-0 sweep. With the win came another Big 12 Championship — Texas’ third in a row — but its first outright since 1997. Texas won at least a share of the Big 12 title in the match before with a sweep over then-No. 24 Baylor but was able to clinch the solo-title with a win over its archrival. “This means a lot,” said head coach Jerritt Elliott. “A lot has gone into this championship. This is great for this group, and I’m really proud of our team. They executed very well tonight. This is a big win on the road against a rival team that we have struggled with in the past.” The key victories for the title came far from any court in Norman, though. For the first time in nearly 21 years, Texas was able to win in Nebraska earlier this season — something no team had done in 82 matches. The win in Lincoln, Neb., coupled with only one loss in con-

go 2-1 at holiday tournament

Team earns Big 12 title with wins over break Longhorns

and a chance to salute the winningest senior class in Texas history. All-Americans Destinee Hooker and Ashley Engle, as well as libero Heather Kisner, entered the match with a

By Dan Hurwitz Daily Texan Staff Kathleen Nash, No. 13 Texas’ leading scorer, had only six points but sank the deciding three-pointer with one second remaining to give the Longhorns a 70-67 win over Rutgers on Saturday night. Nash’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the baseline concluded the week-long Paradise Jam in dramatic fashion and allowed the Longhorns to finish 2-1 in the tournament held in the U.S. Virgin Islands. “I’m so proud of this team tonight,” said head coach Gail Goestenkors. “We started off strong, and I was pleased with the way we competed. We could have closed it out by hitting a few more free throws earlier in the game, but we played a really great team down to the final possession.” The win capped off a Thanksgiving weekend with both hot and cold shooting performances.

VOLLEYBALL continues on page 11

BASKETBALL continues on page 11

Rachel Taylor | Daily Texan file photo

Heather Kisner (19) and ashley Engle (10) celebrate after their 3-0 sweep of nebraska on oct. 30. Kisner, Engle and fellow senior Destinee Hooker won their final regular season game on Saturday. ference play, allowed the Horns to be selfish with the Big 12 title this year. “It is sweeter to win the title outright,” Elliott said. “It is never fun when you have to share something, unless you are sharing with your kids or your fam-

Seattle 27 St. Louis 17

ily. As competitors, you do not want to share. I’m very happy for our senior class and this team for believing in this staff and what we do.” Texas came back to the 40 Acres on Saturday for its last match of the regular season

Second-ranked Texas earned a No. 1 seed for the sixth consecutive year in the regional round of the NCAA volleyball tournament that begins this week, the organization announced Sunday. Texas (24-1, 19-1 Big 12) won the Big 12 title outright last week and will now play top dog in the Omaha Regional. The Longhorns host Rice, TCU and Texas State Dec. 3 and 4 for the first and second rounds of the tournament. Texas begins its NCAA championship bid on Thursday against Texas State (21-12, 13-3 Southland) at 6 p.m. in Gregory Gym. Rice and TCU play at 4:30 p.m., with the two winners set to meet on Friday. The team that emerges from the Austin Sub-Regional will travel to Omaha for the third round of the tournament Dec. 11-12. — Will Anderson

Ravens prevail in OT as Kruger’s interception sets up field goal BALTIMORE (AP) — Third-string quarterback Dennis Dixon was doing a fine job for the Pittsburgh Steelers in his first NFL start — until he was forced to work overtime. An interception by rookie Paul Kruger set up a 29-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff with 6:42 left in the extra session, giving the Baltimore Ravens a 20-17 victory Sunday night. Dixon started because Ben Roethlisberger was sidelined with a concussion and backup Charlie Batch had a broken left wrist. Dixon had thrown only one pass in two seasons before getting the nod against the Ravens. For much of the game, Dixon did his best impersonation of Roethlisberger. He threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes, and even added a personal touch, running for a 24-yard touchdown to put Pittsburgh up 17-14 in the fourth quarter. — The Associated Press

November 30, 2009  

November 30, 2009, issue of The Daily Texan

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