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Technician bulldogs.kettering.edu/technician

August 21, 2016

Volume 120

Issue 2

Coin Wars Triples Relay For Life Fundraising By Jacob Hankerd Online Editor The fight against cancer has been going on for years, and Kettering continues to play its part. On 9th Friday, Kettering hosted their annual Relay for Life to raise money for the American Cancer Society. The Relay ran for 7.5 hours, starting at 7 pm and running until 2:30 am, stopping short of the original 4 am end time due to rain. One of the well-known events that ran with Relay was the Coin Wars. This event was run throughout the term on Mondays through 8th week. Coin Wars itself is a competition where each team works to raise money in change (metal money) while giving other teams paper money, which then acts to negate their score. This is a somewhat strategic competition, and whichever team raises the most money then wins

What’s Inside


Formerly EWB

Inteviewing Professor Ben Paulie

the final total that is raised. In last year’s coin wars, the grand total was roughly 400 dollars. This year we managed to triple that in coin wars, and the first place team, FIJI, won $1242.22 toward their team goal! The standings at the end of coin wars were as listed: FIJI - $319.26, Sigma Nu - $145.95, and Beta Theta Pi - $92.66. Remember these are totals AFTER these teams accumulated a total of $245 in cash that went negative their totals. If you had a chance to visit the Coin Wars table during any of these Mondays, you would have known that it was exactly as “lit” as those working the tables would tell you. It was not uncommon for large donations to be featured on several people’s snapchat stories, along with the hoots and hollers that came from onlookers as pounds of coins were Photo Courtesy of KetteringCommunications

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Kettering App Future Development

Movie Review Legend of Tarzan

New Member Bios


Breakfast with President McMahan

By Becca Roughton Staff Writer

By Robert Lyman Staff Writer

This term I’ve had the pleasure of being a part of Professor Ben Pauli’s Introduction to Social Science class. During these classes, he made us aware 0f a series of projects he was acting in and helping to orchestrate, including his own research project, and looked for potential volunteers who would be willing to help with a canvassing activity within the city of Flint. Combined with the fact that he is also a relatively new professor to the university, The Technician decided that we would greatly appreciate having an interview with him, to which he agreed. While I was certain the meeting would be positive given my experience with the lectures, I was impressed with the thought and depth with which he was able to share his experiences. From the beginning of the interview, it was clear that the conversation would be unique. Typically, a profile of a teacher would begin simply with answering the question “who are you” with the standard information of field of work, courses taught, years of work, etc. However, as expressed by Dr. Pauli, sometimes identities and labels “can be like a trap.” Dr. Pauli chooses not to identify himself primarily as just a professor, whose features are distinct through the aforementioned qualities. He first introduced himself as a resident of Flint, and then perhaps as a professor of the university and a researcher of Legionella in the city and other topics. This conversation on the importance of identity

On Eighth Thursday, or September 1st, ten decaffeinated zombies woke up early to have breakfast with Dr. McMahan at 8 am. “So,” asked one of the students at 8:05, “what’s the over/under? When do you guys think he’ll get here?” At about 8:15 we had our answer: he’d been caught in a meeting, but all was well now. He asked us how we all were doing (a chorus of “good” in sleepy voices answered), picked up a fork and a plate of fried eggs, and asked us if there was anything in particular we wanted to talk to him about. Silence reigned for a few seconds, then someone piped up. After a short discussion about the size of the freshman class (more than half decided to be B-Section this year, resulting in a deceptively small freshman class in A-Section) and the fact that the rumors going around that there had been some sort of “cap” on the incoming class due to summer camps were completely unfounded (the University actually has provisions to make hotel arrangements for overflow for camps if the total number of participants exceeds the number of unused rooms in Thompson Hall), talk turned to the Campus Master Plan, which Dr. McMahan also spoke about during the Town Hall on Fifth Tuesday, or August 9th. By now I’m sure people have noticed the blackand-white flatness where Chevy In The Hole used to be – the blacktopped surface covered in seagulls that was put in this term. It was said some time ago

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Robots Society

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Dr. Karen Wilkinson Recalls Key Points of Her Career By Adam Lecznar Editor-In-Chief Dr. Karen Wilkinson of Kettering’s Liberal Studies Department will be closing the door to her office for the last time at the end of the Summer 2016 academic term. Having worked at the university for 29 years, serving as Liberal Studies Department for 15 years, Wilkinson has led a strong career of service to academia, and now feels that she is ready to turn her sights back inward. “It’s time,” stated Wilkinson, who plans to spend time with her husband, children, and grandchildren after retirement. “In academia, you do not have to retire, but at some point you realize that you are ready to take this time now rather than continue working and losing time with your loved ones.” Dr. Wilkinson graduated from the University of Arizona with a Ph.D in Sociology. After working at other universities, she found herself at Kettering, where she started as an assistant and then associate professor in the Department of Liberal Studies. After 14 years of service, Wilkinson was elevated to the position of Department Head of Liberal Studies as the first female department head at Kettering University/General Motors Technical Institute. In her time in academia, Dr. Wilkinson has always placed high value in service and education, as reflected in her work at Kettering. “My self-interest is in helping others,” expressed Continued on Page 4

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August 21, 2016

The Technician

Announcements Professor Pauli Continued from Front Page

was one of the first indicators of Dr. Pauli’s experience with his research within Flint, which has covered a significant number of issues facing the town. While issues directly and indirectly relating to the Flint Water Crisis are of significant importance, Dr. Pauli has been exposed to many other issues. He has been working with a group to examine an alarming increase in Legionella in areas including Flint. In addition, Professor Pauli has worked to help orchestrate ways in which community involvement and understanding may be built throughout the community, such as by organizing student-involved canvassing expeditions throughout the town. However, the canvassing team has been working beyond just meeting with people at their homes. In addition to “going door to door seeing what people need, [such as] bottled water, supplies, filters...,” they have also been “gathering stories” from the residents. “Sometimes, they just need someone to talk to, or they’re happy to jump at the opportunity to tell you their story,” Dr. Pauli explained. The reason for this extends past just recording information, but also helping “get people more connected to what is going around town.” The professor added that he “was drawn to that sort of canvassing because it was not just about giving people short-term relief, it was about building community.” In order to demonstrate the importance of building a community, Dr. Pauli was very clear about the necessity of involving Kettering students with Flint residents from all walks of life. “I wanted to give Kettering students the opportunity to go into parts of the city that they may have been told to avoid,” he stated, referencing the tendency for the students to stay within the block of the university as if they’re taking shelter. “Just because a house may be in a state of disrepair, that doesn’t mean there’s any particular threat,” he continued. With this in mind, Dr. Pauli expressed that he “saw an opportunity not just to bring assistance to people in need but to help to transform students’ understandings of Flint.” With his unique position as a professor, Dr. Pauli was able to help mobilize a group that previously may not have considered taking on such an experience. “It was something I was doing as a resident, it was something I was doing as a researcher, but now it’s also something I’m doing as a Kettering professor,”



he explained. To understand the way in which his involvement has grown, Professor Pauli explained his previous background with the issue. “As early as January, I started interviewing some of the activists… I also regularly attended local meeting [put on by] local grassroots groups,” he stated, referencing the gathering for the Flint Water Crisis, which was then being talked about frequently on many news outlets. Dr. Pauli paused to express that “what really intrigued me about the Water Issue was...the prominence of democracy,” which he explained to be the measures by which citizens decided to put actions into play, such as by electing a “water warrior” mayor. “Since January, I’ve gotten increasingly involved,” Pauli claimed. This can be seen with his involvement with the Wayne Flint Area Community Health and Environment Partnership (FACHEP). Due to the necessity of building real connections with not just Flint residents, but also other activists, Dr. Pauli touched on the importance that Dr. Laura Sullivan has had as a partner. This was of particular interest, due to Dr. Sullivan being interviewed by myself for the Technician in Winter of 2016 regarding her work to help the Flint Water Crisis. “I realized very quickly just how deeply involved she was,” he expressed with utmost sincerity. “I really respected that she’d been involved with the struggle since the beginning,” he continued, referencing the work and activism Dr. Sullivan did prior to lead even being discovered in the water. Professor Pauli continued to express the ways in which Dr. Sullivan and himself were similar, citing their shared importance of helping to connect varying people of the community. “She’s played such an important role in creating a bridge of at the very least information but also collaboration between Flint Residents and also people on the institutional side of things that are working on things such as water testing and pipe replacing… I really admired her ability to navigate what is often a very difficult middle ground of having one foot in grassroots organizations and one in institutions, and both of those worlds are skeptical of each other.” Due to Professor Sullivan being “spread extremely thin” over all of her projects and involvements with numerous tasks, Dr. Pauli began recording much of what actions were going on. “I became an unofficial record keeper,” he said, “which meshed very nicely with my own research.” The interview then moved on to discussing what has been some of the biggest take-aways Professor Pauli gained during these times. After stopping pensively for a moment, he shared that “it has been a profoundly humbling experience.” “A lot of the time,

Adam Lecznar


Megan Cox

L ayout Editor

Gabrielle Feeny

Copy Editor

Jacob Hankerd

Online Editor

Bryan Boyse

Distribution Editor

Staff writers Ciro Napoletano Jacob Watt Jordan Mayer Robert Lyman Rebecca Roughton

Faculty Advisor Christine Levecq Special Thanks To Betsy Homsher & Debbie Stewart

academics fall into this trap of being very proud of their supposed ‘expertise,’ and the way they conceive of community engagement or community service is that they’re going to go out and offer their ‘expertise’ to people,” he explained. “Arguably, I do have a kind of expertise when it comes to understanding society, broadly, and understanding politics, and there are a lot of social and political implications of the water quality...and in theory, my professional background should put me in a position to speak to some of those issues...but really that’s only true up to a point,” he continued. He then shared that “what we’re dealing with here is an incredibly complex issue that no one person is ever going to be able to understand in its totality.” Continuing on, Professor Pauli described the wealth of knowledge many residents have when it comes to numerous social issues facing Flint. “What I also realized is that there are people,” he stated, “without an academic background or any professional training of any kind...that had a very impressive understanding of what was going on. There are people coming from the community that might have very little background in terms of education or credentials that have a very good comprehension of everything from the political side to the technical side in terms of their ability to be in lots of different places at lots of different times in order to keep tabs on everything happening with the water. There are plenty of residents in Flint who are chock full of information, and really know more about certain aspects about the crisis than I ever will,” he concludes. He then went on to defend this claim, stating that “it’s not just because they have a unique perspective, but because they’ve put in the time to get to the bottom of what’s happening.” Combined with attaining the realization that though he possesses a thorough background in social sciences, many residents were able to express new and thought-provoking ideas, Dr. Pauli described the necessity to shift his perspective when looking at these issues. “I realized that the very first thing as someone who’s coming in from the outside...was Continued on Page 3

Submissions Policy The Technician encourages any interested students to attend staff meetings. Meetings for Winter 2016 will be each Monday and Thursday over the lunch hour in The Technician office, located on the 3rd floor of the Campus Center above the Sunrise Café. Student submissions are encouraged and will be published if their material is in the public interest. Submissions or letters to the editor from faculty and administrative entities will be published if space is available. The Technician reserves the right to edit any and all submissions for brevity and clarity. Anonymous submissions are rarely published and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Individuals wishing to publish anonymously should consult the Editor-in-chief. This is the last edition of the Summer 2016 term. Students will be able to submit articles to editions in subsequent terms.

August 21, 2016

Coin Wars Continued from Front Page dropped in teams’ jars. The excitement levels were surprising based on the fact that this was simply giving away your car change. The other levels of hype were built around arguing over why someone’s bills should go to FIJI not Beta, and booing when they went against you. Coin Wars was spurred along not only by the generosity of those donating to the cause, but also by the air of excitement that surrounded the entire area. Coin Wars was able to earn copious amounts of money through this strong combination, and hopefully it will continue to see a rise in success during next year’s kick off to relay fundraising. If you get a chance to stop by the tables next year, you can be sure to have a good time.

Professor Pauli Continued from Page 3 to take a big step-back from my own expertise and just try to first understand what was going on, how people felt about it, and how people responded to it. I don’t feel like I frankly have the ability or the right to speak with authority on what’s happening here, maybe at some point when I have my feet better underneath me, but right now I’m a learner. I’m not a person who’s bringing any particular expertise to people in need, I’m just a resident doing my best to figure out what’s going on,” he said. “Of course, I’m also a researcher doing a research project, but how my understanding really began was by going to meetings just like any other resident, [or] reading newspapers like any other resident.” I then asked Dr. Pauli, in a manner similar to a recurring assignment he gives students in his Introduction to Sociology course, what he believed the significance of this work and assistance would be for himself and for society. Professor Pauli firstly began by expressing his personal reasons for wanting to be a part of this experience. He accredited his motivation to a long-standing interest in activism, which means that he has been placed in a position where he is able to fulfill a duty to “help other people.” In fact, he described his moving to Flint with the fact that “I came in knowing that I wanted to make community involvement a part of my life.” Beyond just fulfilling a deontological duty, Professor Pauli continued with sharing about the importance this work may potentially give to grassroots movements. The events of the Flint Water Crisis have also allowed people to analyze particular facets of the society of Flint and ask questions such as “why did it happen here” and question how it demonstrates impacts on society. In addition, because of the exposure students at Kettering and other potentially detached townspeople have been given due to the canvassing opportunities and local meetings, issues that may not have been considered previously may be talked about after. While canvassing has increased the knowledge about issues directly relating to the water crisis, it has also made the volunteers, including Dr. Pauli, more aware of other issues plagu-

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Campus News

continuing on his view of how students could best provide help. “We really want to make it clear that this will be a resident-driven collaboration. We really want to make it clear that we are concerned with areas outside of Kettering and its immediate vicinity, and we really want to give the Kettering Community--faculty, staff, students--more opportunities to interact face-to-face.” When discussing potential events that may occur to help facilitate this, professor Pauli described that they “are hoping we can sponsor some community readings that will talk about hot topics such as gentrification,” which expressed that students themselves may have a platform along with local residents to talk about their wants and concerns. “We want people to be out in the north side of Flint talking with residents about their concerns...I am hoping that this is the kind of thing that will help enlighten students at Kettering as to what’s going on here, but I’m also hoping that it will help to build trust with people,” he finished. With that, our interview finished, freeing up Dr. Pauli once more to return to the vast amount of work he does for these causes. The conversation covered a broad number of topics--from Dr. Pauli’s personal research involving the city of Flint, the Flint Water Crisis, Legionella disease, to what students can do Dr. Pauli and I moved on to discuss what he be- to help contribute to the coming-together of Flint. lieved students could learn and take away from I would like to thank Dr. Pauli again for his time, as participating in potential projects. “I think that it’s well as for all of the help volunteers and activists of very important for academics who are so prone to Flint have done for each other, the people, and this feel proud of themselves for their expertise and for town. Perhaps we all could learn on how best to help what they think they are offering to the community our town. to approach a situation as complex as this one with a healthy dose of humility before they try telling people what’s going on or what’s best for them or what Continued from Front Page they think ought to be done,” he answered. “[Dr. ing the town, such as the fear of gentrification. Gentrification can be loosely defined as the change of an urban area due to the arrival of wealthier people, which results in higher property value and rent. It is usually seen negatively, as it can drastically change the culture and living area of the people already living in their town. This fear gives some understanding as to why Kettering University students and staff working on these canvassing teams may firstly introduce themselves as residents, rather than members of the school; Dr. Pauli made it clear while speaking that while the changing of Flint into a college town may be appealing for those with connections to the universities, many other residents “don’t see how they’re going to fit into that vision.” In addition to promoting the ability to share concerns amongst varying social groups within Flint, Dr. Pauli expressed that he believes that a further social impact of the Flint Water Crisis may be that programs may be established to help provide citizens with their needs. This may include healthcare, needed supplies, or other necessities. Past that, however, is the need to create a completely new infrastructure. The city has not even truly begun replacing the offending pipes, according the professor. However, as he says, “I’m still hopeful.”

President Breakfast

Sullivan and I] have realized how important it is to learn about subjects we have little to no experience in, just to be able to wrap our heads around whatever it is,” Professor Pauli went on to state. Dr. Pauli also explained that he would love to see students view Flint as an opportunity to learn. “Education is happening in all kinds of places,” he explained. “All kinds of people have things to teach you.” Unfortunately, for Kettering Students, Professor Pauli shared that he noticed that they “tend to view [education] as just in one place,” which is school buildings. “It’s a very anemic view of education,” he claimed. Instead, Dr. Pauli expressed that he wished that “if I could change one thing, it would be for every student to look at Flint as an exciting experience,” rather than complaining like “if only [Kettering University] didn’t have to be in Flint.” Instead, Dr. Pauli adamantly shared his belief that Kettering University’s location in Flint shares “not just an opportunity to learn about life, society, and politics… [but] there is so much more to be learned if you just decide to take an interest.” “It’s very clear to me that there are a lot of students at Kettering who do care,” he expressed afterwards, sincerely. While there are many students who have a negative look on Flint, there are certainly active students, such as those volunteering for canvassing opportunities, who attempt to do something to connect with it. “Our first step is going to be learning from other people what they would like to see happen and how we can help them,” Dr. Pauli explained,

that the area where that is would be available to the SAE team, but now it’s looking like a private area. What is that? The area that’s currently built, referred to as the Pad by Dr. McMahan, is Phase 1 of a multipart construction of what will be an autonomous vehicle proving ground. The entire area is covered with the next data standard in 4G LTE, which is what automobiles currently use to communicate with support infrastructure and the like. The area itself will, when finished, operate in much the same way that a microscopy lab would: the facility will have a director, and will be mainly for faculty use on research projects on autonomous cars. However, students and student organizations (such as the SAE team) will be able to schedule time for use in their activities, and block scheduling during competition season will be possible. The facility will be prox access, and with the stadium lights that are currently going in, it will be usable at night – again with prior scheduling. The second phase of construction on the proving ground, which will include a road course, is scheduled to begin in the next construction season. A few more questions concerning the Master Plan led the discussion to the University’s long-term plans for the Academic Building and student housing. What will happen to the space and the classrooms after the new academic buildings along Bluff Street are finished? What about Thompson Hall? Continued on Page 4

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September 9, 2016

lem with doing this, according to Dr. McMahan, is that it didn’t start soon enough. The majority of the knowledge, at least publicly, died with the Apollo Continued from Page 4 engineers, so the private companies who want to What about parking during events, since every time send commercial spaceflights will be the ones who really drive the projects from now on, since that’s one happens, students get displaced? With the completion of the Learning Commons where all the engineers are nowadays. Lots of freshmen in B-Section, the new proving building, which will have cafeteria space, several rooms like the D-Spaces appearing in various in- ground, the Learning Commons, new dorms, more carnations of the idea, a new library, a coffee shop, academic buildings, and Dr. McMahan thinks it apartment space for visitors who may be giving a talk would be cool to go to Mars. All over fried eggs and or a guest lecture or applying for a position so that waffles. Imagine what we would talk about AFTER they can stay on campus and interact with students, we’ve had our coffee. and maybe a few classrooms, the Master Plan next calls for the construction of new dormitories. The new building will be built where Lot 3 currently is, Continued from Front Page and the large grassy area by the river will become the

President Breakfast

department. “One of the most significant positive changes I’ve seen was the creation of the Senior Seminar: Leadership and Ethics class,” recalled Wilkinson. “It is a very distinctive feature of our program. It sets us apart from other institutions associated with STEM.” The course, which was introduced to Kettering in 2001, the first year of Wilkinson’s role as Liberal Studies Department Head, acts as the defining course where students learn about leadership and ethics. “The course allows students, no matter what their major, to share this common understanding of leadership and ethics,” described Wilkinson. “It tells others, outside and inside the university, that leadership and ethics are important to us.” Once Dr. Wilkinson retires at the end of the term, Wilkinson, who will remain active in the Flint com- an interim department head will be appointed by munity after retirement as part of a coalition to reju- Kettering University’s Provost Dr. James Zhang. venate the University Avenue corridor. “As a depart- Following will be a national search for a new Liberal ment head, you serve yourself best when you serve Studies Department Head. Though Dr. Wilkinson is leaving Kettering, she the greater good. As a department head, I aimed to be available and interruptible. I wanted to work in has high hopes for her future and the future of Liberal Studies at Kettering. ways that allow me to enact my core values.” “What if we didn’t have this department or these During her tenure as Liberal Studies Department Head, Dr. Wilkinson was able to touch many proj- classes?” challenged Dr. Wilkinson. “The courses ofects and achieve changes that she feels positively im- fered in the Liberal Studies Department offer varipacted the university. As stated above, she was the ety, discussion opportunities and awareness of social first female department head at Kettering Universi- issues. My impression of this department is that of ty/GMI, an institution with strong ties to the histor- excellent, hard-working faculty who are driven by ically male-dominated STEM fields. Dr. Wilkinson the conviction that a broad education in the liberal arts is absolutely essential to having a high quality also helped educational experience here.” gain LibDr. Wilkinson’s tenure as Liberal Studies Departeral Studies ment Head has been beneficial for her and the entire faculty the Kettering Community, and we can all wish her the option to best of luck in retirement. create their own elective classes. “Hiring faculty is the most important thing we do,” added By Becca Roughton Dr. Wilkinson, who recommended the hiring of Staff Writer 13 Liberal Studies faculty. Eight of those faculty remain with the university today. “We have to get the Kettering Mobile, a free application developed right people.” by Kettering alumus Garrick Brazil, hit the Apple In addition, Dr. Wilkinson has supported the cre- Store and Google Play store almost a year ago, and ation of the Global Issues Film Festival at Kettering is still gaining traction and use among the students and was elected to the Planning and Assessment today. With its powerful abilities to present relevant Council Steering Committee that coordinated Ket- campus news, read important announcements, find tering University’s Visioning Process of 2012. Final- useful information on faculty, staff, and credits, as ly, and most recently, Dr. Wilkinson worked with well as view personal student information, the app the Faculty Senate to create a Teaching Effective- has proven popular with students and faculty alike. ness Task Force that proposed principles of teach- I was able to connect with Garrick to talk about the ing effectiveness that are now becoming part of the software he developed. required annual faculty review process. The first topic proposed to Garrick was about the “I have always tried to elevate the intrinsic value of most notable features of the application, as well as learning and the value of the liberal arts,” Wilkinson his personal experience with coding the project. explained. “Studying the subjects we offer in Liberal He responded by saying that “student features like Studies helps students to understand the world, the Blackboard and Banner access were my favorites way people behave, what people value. It’s the hu- when I was developing. The application also conman factor.” tains a searchable map, news, announcements, and Dr. Wilkinson also now has the opportunity to reContinued on Page 3 flect on her career and the changes she’s seen in her

Dr. Wilkinson

new parking lot. The new dorms will have different wings with different modes of housing, singles, doubles, and suites being the modes currently planned. Once the new academic buildings on Bluff Street are finished—and this will likely be at least six or seven years down the road—the Academic building will become a University-run charter school, making use of the already existing FIRST Robotics center and labs. The second-and-a-half floor may even possibly be removed at such time, but that’s still such a long way off that nothing is really set for those plans. As far as the short term is concerned, the trolley system that will run from Kettering to Downtown Flint to Mott College is scheduled to begin running some time during the next few weeks, and will be free for all students of the University. The buses will run on a 30-minute loop. The topic then changed to Dr. McMahan’s knowledge of astronomy and stellar physics and the lecture he gave on Eighth Wednesday, or August 31st. Would he like to teach a class on astrophysics or the like? “Yes, yes I would, I think it would be very fun,” he said, before outlining some problems that would be intrinsic to him doing so. As the President of the University, his travel schedule would make it impossible for him to commit to a regular schedule every week. Another option would be to reserve a block of time every day of the week, and then have lectures on two or three of those days, but obviously doing so would be a scheduling nightmare and unfair to students. A third option, and the most likely option, would be to have online lectures when required once that system is in place with Kettering Online. And not those “the lecture is there, go watch it” kind of online lectures, either, but real, interactive, video conference lectures. “And I would teach a seminar, so around 20 students,” he concluded. The idea seems extremely feasible, and would definitely be something that anyone interested in stellar physics or astronomy should look into. Speaking of stellar physics, what does Dr. McMahan think of NASA’s Journey to Mars program? The idea of putting men on the Red Planet has been floating around for ages, and the first advance supply mission is scheduled to launch in Fiscal Year 2018. “I’d go,” he said immediately. “Oh, yeah. I think it’d be cool.” Would there be problems and logistical issues? Sure, but we had the same problems sending men to the Moon in ’68-‘69. Is the plan feasible? Well, NASA sure thinks so. The main prob-

Kettering Mobile App Continues Improvement

September 9, 2016

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Obsniuk Joins Kettering By Jordan Mayer Staff Writer

In case you missed the highlight about him in the Bulldog Weekly, Professor Obsniuk is our new guest lecturer of Physics. He is teaching at Kettyering while working on his PhD. “Although I will not be starting up and maintaining a research group or laboratory in the traditional sense, I do like to think of the classroom as my lab and each lecture as an experiment,” stated Obsniuk. His ultimate goal while he’s here is to present introductory physics that “fits” with the student body at Kettering in the most efficient and effective way. Obsniuk has taught previously at Michigan State University, teaching a similar course, an introductory integrated calculus based mechanics course that was also geared towards engineering students. This class was a project-based learning class where students would work in groups to solve complex problems through analytic and computational methods. He implements some of the methods from this class to teach his current Physics class here at Kettering. When asked about his teaching style, Professor Obsniuk says he prefers “direct instruction with elements of inquiry”. By this he means providing students with direct information and clear applications through worked examples. Sitting in his class on any given day, you’re going to have more examples to work through as a class than straight lecturing. This is helpful in engraining the uses of each formula. “On top of this, checking for understanding along the way through conceptual questions and asking students to inquire into the deeper meaning of physics is also important,” he continues. At the beginning of the term he stumped many students with his “trick” questions, but without these questions it would have been much harder to understand the meaning of what was being taught. To the students who have either met him or are currently in his class, it might come as a shock that physics was not his first intended major. Hopping from first art, to philosophy, to math, and finally to physics, his path was quite the interesting one. “The way I like to think of it is, I started with something focusing purely on beauty. Then I moved to something purely logical. Both of these, though great fun, are not very employable,” he says. Carrying on with a logical subject is what brought him to math, where he could at least be making money “However, the mass was a little dry and I missed the beauty which is where physics comes in. Physics has the beauty of an art, with the logic of math and philosophy,” Obsniuk explained. So far Professor Obsniuk says that he is enjoying his time here at Kettering, because the students here are more advanced. “It really gives me an opportunity to try new things and really engage the students in difficult questions that we can think about together,” he says. When asked for some advice for students, he recommends remembering the less tangible things. There is no one way to study physics, so instead try to maintain perseverance, determination, and a certain confidence. This is so that when

you’re facing a difficult physics problem, you can understand the physical world on a more fundamental level. He intends to stay here for as long as there is a place for him as he enjoys the students, his colleagues, and the university as a whole.

Launching SAGE By Robert Lyman Staff Writer SAGE, or the Student Association for Global Engineering, is a new student organization on campus. They grew out of the former members of Engineers Without Borders, but a lot of people don’t know that much about them. I asked Tanay Nagireddy, SAGE’s KSG representative, to answer a few questions about the organization, their goals, and how students can get involved. "What is SAGE, and what do you do?" The Student Association for Global Engineering, or SAGE, is a great student-run campus-wide philanthropic organization. We are an enthusiastic and outgoing group of engineering students that want to be a part of the community and discuss ideas, thoughts, and actions toward accomplishing our goals of making a difference in the lives of the underprivileged. Our mission is to support the development of communities, to raise awareness for current issues which require the aid of the Kettering University community, and to provide support for those disabled by afflictions. SAGE is open to all KU students, no matter what major, and our transition has been beneficial in helping us realize where our efforts are most needed. We meet in the Fish Bowl during lunch on Tuesdays, and we encourage all students, faculty, and staff to come and express their concerns about the community and how we can make a difference in the lives of people who are underprivileged and under-served and share ideas for ways we can work with the community of Flint to improve the quality of life for all residents. "What are some things you’d like to accomplish in both the short-term and the long-term?" Long-term, SAGE would play an active role in the Colleges/Underserved Community Partnership Program (CUPP). This program focuses on enabling colleges and universities to contribute expertise and form a relationship with the residents of a community in need. Right here in Flint, we wish to revitalize the city and its surroundings through community engagement. Not only are we committed to serving local communities, but we also aim at involving ourselves with the uplift of those less fortunate than ourselves. Recently, SAGE students from both A and B Sections went to South Dakota to serve the Native American residents of the Pine Ridge Reservation. SAGE has also empowered students to come up with solutions to the Water Distribution Crisis through Kettering’s Water Distribution Challenge. Regardless of whether our service is in or out of state, SAGE hopes to make a difference in the lives of those who are under-served and underprivileged, and those who have great ideas, but need a platform from which they can launch those life-changing ideas. Together, we can help to provide that platform.

Kettering App Continued from Page 4 events.” The searchable map feature allows users to find points of interest around the city, such as restaurants or gathering locations. In addition, since information such as Events and Announcements pull their data directly from Kettering’s sources, students no longer need to navigate the university’s website on their mobile browsers to receive information on meeting times, locations, or sudden alerts such as Kettering Student Government events and weather announcements. When asked about the most difficult issues he faced when developing the application, Garrick answered that “most of the problems originate from Apple and Google Play. They continuously reject the app and I have to use strong words to convince them to update [or] publish it.” In addition, now that Garrick has graduated from Kettering, there has been an added difficulty of staying up-to-date with the latest needs of the campus. Despite these challenges, however, version 0.1.6 was released just last Thursday, September 8th, indicating that the application will continue to change with the needs of the student body. For future plans with the application, Garrick had plenty of ideas: “I intend to keep supporting it (especially regarding maintenance) along with ongoing help from students in Open Source Club. Eventually there are plans to transition the ownership and maintenance to Kettering but until then the project sites and source code are hosted by me. I'd love to add more features that people are interested in. It's pretty hard to say when I'll be able to get to them but I am trying! There is a list of cool features which some faculty and students have expressed interest in. I'd like to take a more recent survey to see what the current opinions are before I dedicate any of my free time to the task.” In the “Credits” section of the application, Garrick acknowledges Josh Lindoo as a contributor, Alan Xia for usability help, Dr. Huggins, Dr. Tavakoli, and Kettering IT as sponsors, and gives special thanks to Andrew Marrison, Shayne Baugher, and the Open Source Club. In addition to Kettering Mobile being free software, it is open to being redistributed and/or modified under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation. This means that the source code is available for users to explore and utilize. Kettering Mobile is an excellent example of how students at the university are empowered to create their own technology relevant to their major and interests. For Garrick Brazil, this turned into a full thesis project. So don’t simply wait for the next student of Kettering University to come along with an idea of how to better life here or begin their adventure of designing, developing, testing, and publishing, feel empowered to go and make your own mark!

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The Technician

Through The Camera Lens

August 21, 2016

Top: Kettering University Senior students were invited to President McMahan's home to enjoy food with him and his wife as part of the annual Senior Barbecue. Left: Kettering University Student Jacob Watt diligently ensures cups of water are filled during Flints annual Crim Festival of Races. Watt and several other students volunteered their time distributing water to race runners as they passed Kettering University.

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The Technician

Kettering In Pictures

Top: Kettering University students gathered in the Sunset Room of Kettering University's Campus Center to enjoy food with scholarship donors during the Scholars and Donors Luncheon. The event gave students who had received scholarships the opportunity to meet with donors and representatives of organizations that had awarded them scholarship funds. Bottom: Kettering University students Sean Shappee and Reed Paskvan participate in Innovation Quest in the Great Court of Kettering University's Campus Center. The two are regular attendees and can often be seen participating in the activities on Wednesday afternoons during the lunch hour.

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The Technician

Robot Society

August 21, 2016

Brief Overview of Robot Society The Robot Society is an honor society organized in 1928 with the purpose of recognizing Kettering University students and faculty who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, citizenship, and service to the Kettering community. A maximum of 1% of the student body can be inducted as a Kettering Robot. Faculty members can also be inducted as honorary members. This year for A-Section, seven students have been selected to enter the Robot Society.

Andrew Harris Andrew Harris is a Senior II Industrial Engineering student with a minor in Statistics. He is the president of Kettering Robotics, leads the weekly Innovation quest and partnering with the FIRST Center, and mentors many middle school and high school teams in the Flint area, as well as others in the state.

Chadwin Hanna Chadwin Hanna is a Mechanical Engineering student from the Bahamas also pursuing a Biochemistry minor and he is in his last year of Kettering University. Chadwin currently serves as a community vitality coordinator assisting the office of University Advancement in the revitalizing of Flint’s Mott Park Golf Course. Chadwin has previously served as KSG’s Multicultural Representative and has held positions on the executive boards of BUC and NSBE.

Ronni Isham Ronni Isham is a Senior II Mechanical Engineering, Math minor student who has served as the SPHE president, KSG Multi-Cultural Rep, held many positions in her sorority Alpha Phi, and works with south side school systems to facilitate STEM programs back in her home state of Texas to help develop the future engineers of tomorrow.

Jace Stokes Jace Stokes is a Junior I Industrial Engineering student with minors in Business, Innovation to Entrepreneurship (i2e), and Statistics. Jace is a brother of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and serves on the executive board as Magister; a position in charge of pledge education. On campus, he is currently the President of the Kettering Entrepreneur Society (KES), Trap & Skeet Club, VP of Ethics Club, an active University Innovation Fellow, and a co-founder of ku-bin. Jace has worked on many entrepreneurial projects, including his own startup company Huntspot, as well as mentoring others with their innovative endeavors in the Flint community.

Alan Xia Alan Xia is a Mechanical and Electrical Engineering dual degree and Automotive Specialty student wrapping up his last year at Kettering. Alan currently serves on the leadership team of the Kettering Entrepreneur Society, is the president of ASME, is a University Innovation Fellow, and is a part of the team working on ku-bin. Alan has also served multiple leadership positions on campus, including: president of Eta Kappa Nu, vice president of Tau Beta Pi, Kettering Student Senate’s Junior, then Senior representative, RSA president, and he has held other leadership roles on campus and in the community. Alan has helped lead multiple initiatives on campus and the community, including Open Lab Days, Speed Interviewing, Bob Lutz’s Kettering talk on leadership, to name a few. In addition, he has been a part of initiatives such as a program for Flint’s school district, the Kettering Mobile App, and others.

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New Member Bios

Chelsea Reeves Chelsea Reeves is a Senior II student studying Industrial Engineering with a minor in Business. Chelsea currently serves as the National Society of Black Engineers President, she is a mentor for Kagle Leadership Initiatives as well as a counselor for the pre­college STEM program AIM. Chelsea continues to help make a postive impact back home by serving in the Metropolitan Detroit area when she isn't at school and helps to influence grade school students in being a Kettering Ambassador. It is important for Chelsea to give back because so many helping hands have helped her get to where she is.

Below: The new member of Kettering University's Robot Society gather together after volunteer efforts at the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. Working with the Alpha Phi sorority, the students sorted 10,493 lb of food for the Food Bank, which serves the greater flint region.

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Benjamin Fick Benjamin Fick is a Mechanical Engineering student in his final year at Kettering. Ben currently serves as the president and membership educator for his fraternity, Theta Xi, as well as an undergraduate director on the Grand Lodge of the national fraternity. Ben is also a member of Tau Beta Pi, Order of Omega, Pi Tau Sigma, and Gamma Sigma Alpha honor societies, and works with Kettering’s Academic Success Center and local neighborhood associations to give back to the community as much as possible.

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Aviation, Engineering Showcased at "Thunder Over Michigan" By Dalton Nofs Submission Writer What happens in the past often shapes the future; for this reason, knowing history is very important. Most knowledge of the past is stored in books and museums, both of which are very good ways to observe historical events and technologies. Nevertheless, there is something missing from the static exhibits in museums and pictures on pages. What’s missing is similar to listening to a recording of a song; while you get to hear the tune, you do not receive the full experience of the track. This is where “Thunder Over Michigan” comes in. “Thunder Over Michigan” is an annual airshow hosted by the Yankee Air Museum. At these events, observers can see history fly. The show spanning one weekend has aircraft that range from pre-World War II aircraft all the way to modern fighters like the American powerhouse, the F-22 Raptor. With each year come different planes presented as the main attraction, usually comprised of at least one modern military aircraft and several rare World War II warbirds. This year’s main event featured the Breitling jet team, an F-22 Raptor demonstration, and a helicopter parade featuring the bat-copter, two cobra attack helicopters, and a Russian Hind. Breitling is a watch company that surprisingly has a jet team. Their air demonstration is somewhat similar to the Navy’s Blue Angels. While not as action packed in performance as the Blue Angels, the French team brought some new maneuvers to the show that I liked more than most of the stunt shows I have seen before. Rather than attempt to awe the crowd with tons of close flying like most stunt teams, Breitling took an approach more along the lines of elegant formation with smoke trails that look as though an artist painted them in the sky, finishing with a beautiful flair release that left the crowd “oohing” and “aahing” as they flew overhead. Modern fighters are always a great sight at air shows, and are always interesting to watch. This year proved no different, as the Raptor was truly spectacular for being a single aircraft performance. The demonstration of its two-dimensional vector thrust was very interesting as the aircraft came to a virtual standstill at the top of its climb before going nose down and applying the after burner. That specific point when everyone is watching a plane being held in the air by its thrust alone, is when you finally realize how far aerospace engineering has come since the first flight on the beach at Kitty Hawk. For those who do not particularly care for aircraft, ground demonstrations are held two times a day. This year was a little different than the years before in regards to the ground battles: rather than have just a World War II reenactment battle, the show also contained a Hollywood movie battle. This bat-

September 9, 2016

The Technician


tle had every action movie cliché, from the standard car chase to a helicopter attack scene. Unfortunately, the Hind that was cast to play the part of the attack helicopter was not able to make the performance for unknown reasons. The World War II reenactment, however, was better than ever, as they had obtained a few more tanks. The show had a German Hetzer tank and an American M4 Sherman which fired its 76mm cannon. The group also goes into great historical detail, which any history buff would be proud of. Once again “Thunder Over Michigan” outdid itself with a spectacular performance from all its demonstrations. While there were some disappointments in regards to the Hind being absent and low cloud cover, I have to say I am very pleased with this year’s show, and look forward to going back next year as I have done year after year, ready to see history re-enacted.

The Lost Potential of "No Man's Sky" By Braylond Baska Submission Writer It’s hard to talk about No Man’s Sky without addressing the massive amount of hype behind it. The new space exploration game by Hello Games received numerous awards at E3, painting everyone’s expectations a solid gold. This was a game about exploring the cosmos, hopping from planet to planet and from solar system to solar system to discover new planets, moons, and alien species. Not only would you discover them, you would also be able to name them so other explorers would be able to see what you have found. This sounds absolutely great in concept; unfortunately, the game nowhere near lives up to the hype. No Man’s Sky begins with you waking up at what looks to be a crash site. You are able to talk to a floating red orb called the Atlas that tells you if you seek it out, you will be given purpose. From this point you collect resources to repair your ship and begin your odyssey to the center of the galaxy. Along the way you will find space stations to trade at for materials and new ships where you will meet the other intelligent species in the galaxy. All works towards your ultimate goal of finding purpose in the center of the galaxy. Let me start with the praise for this game. First off, I enjoy the mechanic where you must find monoliths on planets to learn words for the other alien languages. At the beginning of the game, you start with knowing nothing, and trying to communicate with the aliens is difficult, but over time you are able to pick up on what they want and how to help them. I also like the way the universe actually feels huge. You could spend forever exploring one planet if you really wanted to and that is just crazy impressive to me. The scale of this game is just massive. I’d also like to say that the planets themselves are actually quite beautiful at times. I really like the art direction they decided to go with. Now it is time to list the negatives of the game.

First off, the planets, as varied as they are, do not feel all that different. You might find a planet that is extremely hot, but it really isn’t that different from being extremely cold, toxic, or irradiated. It just means you have to recharge your suit every once in a while or you start taking damage. There is also the problem of not having really anything to explore. As I said earlier, you could spend years exploring a single planet, but there really is no reason to do so. All interesting things are displayed on your map, and they are the same things that you not only find on every other planet, but on the same planet within about a mile radius. You will either find a monolith for learning more about ancient aliens, an outpost with an alien to talk to, an abandoned outpost with an upgrade for your laser gun/mining tool, or a factory with rare instructions for making materials. You will never find anything beyond those things, and that takes all the fun out of exploration because you already know what you will find. So really there is no reason to explore this vast galaxy. When you finally get to the center of the galaxy, it makes the whole journey not worth it. I won’t spoil it, but it will make you wonder what the point of it all is. No Man’s Sky commits the biggest sin there is in my opinion. That sin is that it’s just boring. I would not say that this is the worst game ever created like some people are. In reality the concepts behind the game are still very interesting concepts; their execution, however, leaves a lot to be desired. It is ironic that a game that has a main theme of trying to find purpose in the galaxy really has none to find. Nothing you do has consequence and this makes it seem like nothing you do matters. At the end of the day I would not recommend buying No Man’s Sky, especially at full price. Maybe if the game was around $20 and had multiplayer, I would recommend it, but at its current state I would give it a pass.

Attending the Minnesota Fair By Keegan Laporte Submission Writer I find myself 13 hours from home, a roughly 675 mile drive to the state of Minnesota, a beautiful, expansive land of quiet radio listening, corn fields and national pride. Such a journey in the middle of a school section seems irrational, but my driving companion, to whose home we have just returned, assures me the Minnesota State Fair is an event people come to from across the oceans. It is a gathering just outside of St. Paul that draws artists, businesses, creators, crafters, and everything else under the sun, a maker fair wrapped in an art exhibit held at a food carnival hosting a dozen farms worth of animals all packed into one square mile. With that in mind, I reserved the complaints of a very tired Michigander and experienced the unfolding of a fair nearly 2 million people come to share and enjoy. Here I share my thoughts on what the State Fair represents to Minnesota, a symbol of creativity and entertainment for the community and culture. Saturday afternoon is cool and sunny, and the foot Continued on Page 4

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Fair Continued from Page 10 traffic through the gates is like a fiasco only reserved for the ball drop minutes to midnight in New York square. The first building is labeled Creative Activities, and assuredly, it houses some of the most impressive demonstrations of hand sewing, woodworking, and metal working one could imagine. This is only to name a few, for the rows of expertly sanded chess sets of delicately cut wood, handmade gowns, paintings, mosaics, and even one masterpiece of a Harry Potter tapestry are too numerous to describe. In the back, an entire warehouse is filled with local farm produce and a man is expertly displaying the ways a radish is a perfect rose on a first date, slicing vegetables like painting a picture, and turning wasted slices into decorations for a small animal he gives to a young child in the front row of his crowd. Outside, booths of local shops line the packed streets to display their wares, and a concert stage of local musicians plays off in the distance. The fair does well in providing great entertainment to the crowds that pack it, but is also a fantastic way to celebrate achievements and host competitions that are enjoyed in the local culture. A whole building is dedicated to corn art, with walls of handcrafted artwork glued together from the kernels of local food, and blue ribbons are awarded in multiple categories to the “best corn”, literally selections of a farmer’s goods competing against others to see whose crops look and taste the best based on a dizzying number of metrics. A few blocks down, a coliseum hosts an actual cow show, and one barn over dozens of horses are resting to compete for blue ribbons in jumping hurdles, races, and beauty contests. Friday night, Minnesota’s famous NPR radio host Garrison Keillor performed his final show on the grandstand with hundreds of fans to share his farewell to the Fair. The host gave a touching send off with stories of his home state, piano music, and a guest choir. As with all these festivities, the Minnesota State Fair wraps up after its ten days of celebration, food, crafts, and competition. It certainly was enjoyable to watch, and its atmosphere filled with creativity, fried foods, and fun, makes for a wonderful part of any community.

Abzû: The Ocean of Wisdom Video Game Review Nathan Schleh Submission Writer You know what’s a relaxing and beautiful game? Abzû. Have you ever been to Seaworld, and wished there were some way you could swim with the aquatic life like the trainers do? To swim alongside dolphins, through schools of fish, surrounded by turtles in a jetstream and even... swimming with sharks? That is the game that Abzû is. The game shows off and allows you to explore an aquatic won-

derland at your lead, swimming with fish, dodging through undersea caverns, and uncovering the mystery of the sea and yourself. The game starts you off straight from the title screen; once you press start, the camera dives off into the ocean, showing only a fraction of the sea life the ocean contains. It then shows you the two pieces of information to start your mystery, a glowing pink light at the bottom of the ocean, and you. ‘You’ in this game is shown by a humanoid being, without knowing a gender or even species, wearing what looks like a yellow diving suit and flippers that can materialize at will. Following that is a brief controller tutorial, which merely shows you how to swim using your controller, then the rest is up to you. Your mission now is to find out who you are, and what the mystery is behind this ocean. The last spoiler free thing I can tell you about the story now is that it is your job to return life to this once ­plentiful ocean. The game is developed by an indie game studio called Giant Squid, a fairly new game studio from the developers of the cult hit game Journey, and for those of you that have played it, you know what kind of experience this will be. And my, what a spectacle that is. The art style of the game shows just how much effort and care was put into it, even for the Unreal Engine. The entire thing looks like it was pulled straight out of an animated movie, including camera blur and everything. The game has no life bars, no time limit, and no other clutter to the screen. Once you complete the control tutorial, the screen only shows what is most important: you and the ocean. Schools of fish swarm the sea, along with sharks, dolphins, turtles, and even my favorite, ocean sunfish; all without ever being too taxing on your computer or console, and still making for an amazing sight. The ocean truly feels like it’s filled with life, with colors of not just traditional blue oceans, but orange caverns, purple twilights, and dark chasms. Even beyond that the sea is filled with plant life that interacts with your swimming movement and even reacts to your touch, with some of the shy plants hiding away before you show up. And the game isn't all oceans either, even if it is all underwater. The game showcases a variety of environments: you could be venturing the seas at one moment, exploring ancient temples filled with hieroglyph-like drawings the next, ending with a treacherous factory maze with danger at every turn. And with each turn, the beautifully orchestrated music reacts in kind. Following the movie vibe, the music reacts to every event, speeding up the pace to match your speed, warning you when danger is near with suspense, or even when it is silent, implying for you to just take in the scene as it is. Now don't assume that presentation is all there is to it; this is a videogame after all; however, the gameplay is a bit on the light side. The game is styled as exploration and puzzle game, though the only penalty is losing time. Even then, there is still the marvelous experience, so time never feels like it is truly wasted while experiencing the open ocean. Controlling in that vast ocean is also the most intuitive part of the game, with traditional swimming controls of inverted joystick movement and pressing one button continuously to swim. For those of you that played Endless Ocean for the Wii, this may seem familiar, as it controls very similarly. The main swimming

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mechanic in this though is a rhythmic pressing of the swim button (R1 by default) three times rhythmically to execute a ‘golden boost’, which sends you flying forward, followed by all the fish and other sea life surrounding you. You can even breach the surface while doing so and create some very picturesque moments, so be sure to have your screenshot button ready. It truly gives you the feeling of being completely free in this ocean to explore, and I have spent much time myself just swimming around the open areas with whatever fish I could find. Speaking of finding fish, the game also gives you the option to rest on nearby posts and pedestals to enter ‘meditation mode’, which allows you to focus the camera on nearby fish and even find the real-­world names. The gameplay itself, however, is probably the biggest issue in the game. Many of the puzzles aren’t very difficult, and besides that there are many collectables to find littering the seafloor, though the game doesn’t provide a counter of any sort, leaving the only idea of progress when an achievement or trophy is earned saying you got them all. Along with this, most progress is made linearly, going through set areas to explore, but I never found this limiting in the area of exploration; seeing a new area to search through was always exciting. The game may start off slow and convoluted, but the plot and meaning of the game is definitely one of the higher points. Even without speech or characters, some of the fish make themselves pretty evident by their actions, and you are able to find and repair little sea drones which swim around and make numerous sounds, giving them a personality of their own. Other mechanical constructs as well have personality given by simple eye movements and sound effects. And even for a game with no dialogue, you’d think there wouldn't be much story, and for the beginning parts, you’d be right. But once you get further on and start to uncover the mystery, it gets involved very quickly. I don't want to spoil much, but I will say this: I have never had a game with no dialogue bring me to tears. It becomes about more than just swimming in the oceans, it becomes a tale of self discovery, of life and justice, and of embracing nature. It emphasizes you, the player, amongst all else. Throughout playing the game, I always felt like there was a purpose for me being there; the feeling something was wrong and only you could do something about it. It’s an age old story of embracing nature and putting life above all else for the sake of the planet, which we’re going to assume is earth, for now at least. And I could honestly go on for hours and hours, but, as this review is spoiler free, all I can do is encourage you to play it yourself. With adventure at it’s fingertips and discoveries to make at every turn, there is no doubt to me that this game is a worthwhile experience to anyone who picks it up, gamer or not. Though it may be gameplay­light, in the long run this is made irrelevant by the display of colors and wonders you pass and the surprisingly deep plot it contains. The personality of the game may lead you to tears by the end, and with its accessibility to anyone playing it, it no doubt gets my recommendation for a game worth picking up. So if you need something to relax with in between studying for finals, Abzû gets my vote for game of choice.

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The Technician

Legend of Tarzan Review By Adam Lecznar Editor -In-Chief Warning: Potential Spoilers Ahead KSG Movie nights returned to the Sunset Room in the Campus Center of Kettering University on Wednesday, August 30 with a viewing of the movie The Legend of Tarzan. Featuring a slightly older, more refined version of the vine-swinging monkey man, the movie provides viewers with a campy rescue adventure set against the backdrop of an interesting take on Africa as it moved through the era of colonialism. Alexander Skarsgard opens in the role of John Clayton, the grown version of Tarzan who has become reintegrated into British culture and inherited the estate of his late parents. Living happily with Jane, played by Margot Robbie, Clayton is suddenly thrown back into the heart of Africa when he is invited to visit the continent by the British royalty. Unbeknownst to him, King Leopold of Belgium, who owns the territory he visits, and his lackey Leon Rom plan to kidnap the famous son of Africa and use him as payment to the vengeful Chief Mbonga for the diamonds of Opar. This would allow the otherwise bankrupt king to complete a railroad and fund his mercenary army that would give him complete control of the Congo. As Tarzan, Jane, and the American former Union soldier George Washington Williams, portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson as a man investigating the allegation that Leopold is enslaving the residents of the Congo, tour through Africa, they are abruptly attacked by Rom and his men. Though Tarzan and Williams escape, Jane and a number of the local tribe members, with whom Jane grew up, are captured and used as a hostage to bring Tarzan to Chief Mbonga. So begins a quest to save Jane and the villagers. Tarzan and a few of the remaining warriors begin tracking the kidnappers, who are sailing

down a river. Williams joins despite being told to stay, and the group hijack a train that happens to be filled with newly enslaved villagers. Though Williams finds his proof of slavery in the Congo after he and Tarzan dispatch the Belgian soldiers, he stays with Tarzan and entrusts the warriors to return it to the British government. The two continue on, encountering Tarzan’s former gorilla family and finally managing to rescue Jane after encountering Mbonga, who wanted revenge for the savage Tarzan, seen as a jungle spirit at the time, for killing his son during rite of passage hunt. Tarzan and Williams inform him of King Leopold’s plan and, with the help of Tarzan’s gorilla family, and some other animals, are able to prevent Rom from completing the transaction to bring Leopold’s army to the Congo and at the same time proving Leopold of being guilty of slave labor. Though the movie provides a fun story of romance that overcomes political intrigue, it suffers from conspicuous computer generated graphics that make up the otherwise beautiful trees, landscapes and animals. One of the movie’s strongest aspects comes from its secondary storyline of liberating the people of the Congo out of slavery from King Leo-

pold. Here the movie provides audiences with an interesting look at colonial Africa and the superpowers of the day. The movie also give an interesting look at Tarzan after he leaves Africa and tries his best to revoke savagery and adopt civilized customs. Though he is now regal, he maintains his strength and connection with the wild. The movie portrays him as having some sort of mystical ties to nature, which makes him more than human. Reminiscent of Henry Cavill’s Superman from the DCEU, this version of Tarzan is a compassionate outsider who quickly transitions to a merciless powerhouse as soon as anyone threatens his loved ones. In the end, he causes Rom’s death at the jaws of crocodiles, before returning to Jane and Williams. In all, the movie gives audiences a fun, easy-towatch summer movie that expands on the original story of Tarzan by showing how he fights for the continent that raised him. With a strong secondary conflict to drive the main story, the movie rounds out as a good watch for anyone wanting to see more than just Tarzan swinging through trees, as the movie provides much more besides just that.

Profile for   The Technician

Issue #3, Summer 2016  

Issue #3, Summer 2016