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Tennessee Tech University | Cookeville, TN | 38505

Volume 94 | Issue 9 | Free in single copy | November 19, 2010

Alumnus stealth bomber contributor to speak at commencement By ISAAC WRIGHT Staff Writer

Cummins Falls has been listed as a top 10 swimming hole in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of Don Curry

Locals attempt to make Cummins Falls a state park By CASSIE TESAURO Staff Writer

A grassroots effort to protect Cummins Falls from developers plans to make the privately owned waterfall a state park. The nonprofit organization Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation leads the endeavor. The foundation describes the site as one of Tennessee’s finest treasures. “Cummins Falls is grand,” said Kathleen Williams, executive director and president the foundation board. “When you conserve a place like this, you conserve heaven on earth.” Travel and Leisure magazine names Cummins Falls in its top 10 list of Swimming Holes in the U.S. The 75-foottall waterfall also boasts a location on Blackburn Fork State Scenic River, which holds the highest possible rating given by the Tennessee Rivers Assessment Project for natural and scenic properties. The scenery surrounding the waterfall draws tourists

every year providing economic benefits for the local area. “It is certainly an incredible asset for the community to have for attracting tourists,” said Steve Walsh, Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation membership director. “This in turn helps draw businesses to the community.” When the Cummins Falls area went up for auction this past May, Cookeville resident Dr. Glenn Hall bought it to give the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation a chance to raise enough money to buy the land from him. The foundation has until June 16, 2011 to procure the property. “There just aren’t many waterfalls like that left,” Walsh said. “It’s an incredibly biodiverse plant and animal community right now. If homes were built there, it would have a terrible impact on that community. The only way to provide another option is for us to raise more than a million dollars to protect Cummins Falls.” See “Falls,” page 2

Events at Cummins Falls

A Tech alumnus whom helped create the modern stealth bomber and researched technology to keep airplanes and cars from crashing is this semester’s commencement ceremony speaker. Allen Atkins is speaking at commencement Dec. 18 in the Hooper Eblen Center. While at Tech, Atkins served and provided leadership on the Industrial Advisory Board and the Dean’s Advisory Board. He helped the College of Engineering create a blueprint to enhance research and scholarly activities. Atkins was one of the first two graduates awarded doctoral degrees in engineering at Tech. Atkins received his underAtkins graduate degree in electrical engineering in 1970, his masters in systems engineering in 1971 and his doctorate in engineering in 1975. He served in the United States Air Force from 1973 to 1980. It was Atkins’ technical leadership that brought about the success of the country’s stealth programs. Atkins spearheaded the development of Mini-Remotely Piloted Vehicles (RPVs). He helped develop an electric version, a solar powered RPV and a truly stealthy model. Success of these models of aircraft led to the eventual development of the F-117 Stealth Fighter. In 1990, Atkins became the vice president and general manager of McDonnell Douglas Technology Inc., a company which specialized in making things “invisible.”

Arabic classes open for Spring semester By RACHEL STINE Staff Writer

Extended education will be offering non-credit Arabic classes on campus next semester. The class was first offered this semester and currently has 12 students. Students mainly want to learn Arabic for travel purposes, according to course instructor Amel Alouani. “For years, students have been asking me, ‘Why don’t you teach this course?,’” Alouani said. “Students travel and need the basic communication skills when they go to a restaurant, get in a taxi or at the airport,” Alouani said. She added that international business students or those joining the military may want to take the course. “In the beginner’s class, students will learn how to communicate in a very basic way,” Alouani said. “This is a brand new symbol and a brand new tool to communicate. “If students don’t have the basics,” Alouani said, “they need to take the beginner’s class.” Students with previous experience with Arabic may wish to sign up for the intermediate class. Entry to the intermediate course is by instructor approval only. The course will primarily focus on the basics of Arabic, such as the letters and frequently-used phrases and greetings. Part of the class will also be devoted to studying the culture and different dialects of Arabic-speaking countries. Arabic is spoken by more than 200 million people and was adopted as one of six official languages of the UN in 1974. Arabic is the official language of more than 18 countries, including Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Lebanon. The course will begin in late January, according to Alouani. The beginner’s class will start Jan. 26 and meet each Wednesday night from 6 p.m. to

Saturday, Dec. 4 First Saturday Hike at Cummins Falls Time: 10 a.m. RSVP by Dec. 1 by sending an e-mail to Steve Walsh at steve@tenngreen.org Wear sturdy shoes or boots, bring a day pack with dry clothes and dress for the weather Monday, Dec. 13 Meteor shower/night hike at Cummins Falls Time: TBA, check tenngreen.org for updates Directions from Tech Head north toward North Dixie Avenue. Turn right onto North Dixie Avenue and take the third left onto West 12th Street. Continue to TN-290 West. Turn right onto Shipley Road. Take the first left onto Liberty Church Road, and turn right at Cummins Mill Road.

Source: Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation

See “Arabic,” page 2

IN THIS EDITION INDEX News............................2 Opinion ........................4 Sports ..........................5 Entertainment ..............6

Acheson reviews AMC’s “Walking Dead” Page 6

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More stories at www.tntechoracle.com Flatt elected to FFA regional office Tech to host future TSSAA bowl games Library releases holiday, finals week hours

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Page 2 | November 19, 2010

Falls CONTINUED from page 1 In an attempt to raise money to help the foundation, a group of students at Tech plan to spur the student body to action. “Our minimum goal is to raise $5,686, which is equivalent of donating an acre,” said Bill Hedderick, a junior wildlife major. “We’d like to donate the acre on behalf of Tech students.” To meet their goal, the students will hold fundraising events. “We’re throwing events until the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation has this fully funded,” said Colby Paul, a senior agriculture major. “We also hope to get students to stir up community involvement.” The first event will be held this Saturday at 11 a.m. at Cummins Falls off of Blackburn Fork Road. “We’ll have free food, guest speakers and a hike down to the bottom of the falls,” said Paul. “It’s also a chance for students to see Cummins Falls. It changed a lot after the flood.” President Bob Bell is personally supportive of the effort to save Cummins Falls. “This property is a significant natural and environ-

Arabic CONTINUED from page 1

The intermediate class will begin Jan. 24 and meet Monday nights from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The classes will adhere to the regular semester schedule, and registration costs $100 for 30 hours. “As of now, the instructor is supplying the materials needed,” said Dennis Tennant, Extended Programs and Regional Development Office associate director. Although the intermediate class will be the highest level offered next semester, the learning doesn’t have to stop there. “Next semester we will be offering the beginner and intermediate classes,” said Alouani, “and hopefully next

mental resource and I believe the current efforts will have an impact on many, many generations of Tennesseans,” said Bell. “I am delighted to encourage everyone to get involved in this effort.” Bell also sees the potential for Cummins Falls as an asset to groups on campus. “While the University cannot engage in any ownership negotiations, there are many academic and student organizations that will benefit from this purchase,” said Bell. “Cummins Falls can become a strategic resource for programs like fisheries, wildlife, environmental science, agriculture, our Water Center and many others.” The Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation continues to raise money for Cummins Falls and currently holds $426,013 in donations toward their goal. “It’s a stunning place and we’re thrilled that Tech students have stepped up to help us protect an acre,” said Walsh. “That will keep the momentum going on the project.” For more information about the effort to save Cummins Falls or to make a donation, contact TTUsavecummins@gmail.com or visit the Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation at tenngreen.org.

fall we will offer the advanced class.” However, the advanced class may be offered in the summer, according to Tennant. The course is offered through extended education as part of the personal enrichment program. The course is available to anyone in the surrounding community, not just Tech students. Registration can be completed at the Extended Programs and Regional Development Office located in Henderson Hall Room 3. Students may also register online, over the phone or by mailing or faxing the registration form. Anyone interested in taking this course can find more information at the extended education website at www.tntech.edu/noncredprog/basic-arabic.

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Neal McClatchey of Murfreesboro, Michael Cart of Whitehouse, Amber Shepherd of Knoxville, instructor Andy Smith and Nate Dodson, a Tech alumnus, work in the organic garden.

Learning villages aim to connect students, majors By JULIE GRAHAM Staff Writer

Walls separating students’ academic and residential worlds on campus are slowly coming down. Tech’s first two learning villages are taking shape in residential halls New Hall North and New Hall South. New Hall North is now the home of The Tree House, an environmental based learning village. The Tree House is designed to connect students from different majors with a common interest: the environment. The Service Station, the other learning village, is located in New Hall South. The idea behind The Service Station is to bring together students who want to participate in service and leadership. “The learning villages promote social involvement through socials, trips and parties as well as academic tutoring,” said Lenly

Weathers, The Tree House faculty adviser. Learning villages are a new concept Tech is using to achieve a higher student retention rate. It is modeled after Murray State University’s residential colleges. Eventually, each residential hall will house a learning village. “The Tree House and The Service Station are the first of 10 villages that will come about in the next few years,” Weathers said. Weathers role as the faculty adviser is to be a mentor to the students in The Tree House. He is an academic resource for the students. One of his goals is to bring more academics into the residential halls. Some classes are already being taught in New Hall North. Professor Andy Smith has been a big help at The Tree House. He puts an environmental spin on his University 1020 class. In his writing classes, he assigns environmental topics for students to write about. “Having classes in residential halls helps students

see professors more as individuals,” Weathers said, “and not as teachers.” Any student can get involved in the learning villages. The goal is to eventually have all students and faculty belonging to a village. It will be a way for commuter students, faculty and students living on campus to connect through a common interest. The learning villages are there to help students make social connections that will help them grow and develop at Tech. Students are mainly responsible for the activities that go on in the villages. A village council consisting of four executive officers and several representatives exists within each village. Each village has a budget, and the village council decides how the budget is spent. Students get to decide what activities that want to have and plan them. They had a haunted house for Halloween. They plan to have a Christmas party, a Mardi Gras event and maybe even a rave next

semester. The Tree House council has begun forming ideas for a crest to represent its village and is having T-shirts made. The council eventually wants to be able to spread environmental awareness on campus. “A big challenge has been communication,” Weathers said. “Flyers are posted, e-mails are sent, Facebook posts are made, but sometimes it’s still not enough to get the information out there.” Weathers has ideas of his own for helping The Tree House. He wants to start Saturday morning coed football leagues, with each team having four men and two women. “I think it would help students stay on campus during the weekend and give students a great way to meet new people during the games,” Weathers said. “I would even stay in town to come on Saturdays.” In its first year, The Tree House has 344 members from many different majors.

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OPINION www.tntechoracle.com

Page 4 | November 19, 2010

Graduating ‘Oracle’ staffers offer thanks, farewells EMILY BOOKER Editorial Editor

First, I want to say that I’m graduating Tech with an overall positive impression of the school. One of the first things that attracted me to Tech was that it looked like a smaller, private college with the benefits (and cost) of being a state school. And I still get that feeling when I walk around campus. I think it says something about the good atmosphere of

Tech when I can walk across campus alone at 10 p.m. and feel not only safe but completely comfortable. Second, I want to acknowledge the journalism program for three and a half great years of education. You made me really enjoy my major, and I’ve had a great experience working on the Oracle and Eagle staffs, which will help me as I go out to work

in the field. I hope my editorials added value to the paper and maybe some discussion among readers. I felt that I’ve not only learned the necessary skills, but a code of conduct and ethics to accompany them. Last, I want to thank my friends, boyfriend, and family for being supportive, helping me get through, and providing lots of fun and laughs. I’m truly blessed! Work-spouse, thanks for fixing all my InDesign mistakes. To fellow December graduates, congratulations! I wish you all good luck in future endeavors.

Poll of the Week What do you think of Tech’s new e-mail system?

Love it 44%

Hate it 33%

Don’t care 22%

This poll is not scientific and only reflects the opinions of those who chose to participate. It does not reflect the public as a whole. Voting for this poll took place online between Nov. 12 and Nov. 17, 2010 at www.tntechoracle.com.

BRANDON GOODWIN Sports Editor

“You adapt. You overcome. You improvise,” Clint Eastwood said in the 1986 film ���Heartbreak Ridge.” Yes, that quote was meant for a recon platoon in the Marines, but it also holds significance to me. I’ve adapted by changing my major until I found what I am passionate about. I’ve overcome my background, becoming the first in my fam-

ily to get a college degree. And I’ve improvised, by coming from a high school where the average ACT score was a 17 and there was no preparation for college. I will graduate with 179 credit hours in nine semesters. I have worked at least 20 hours per week in each of those semesters. I can gladly say that I have earned my degree. Of course, I’ve had some

help along the way. My family has supported me and pushed me to continue my education. My jobs at Tech have helped me not only financially, but have also given me experience in the sports field. That experience, to me, is as valuable as all of the classes I’ve taken at Tech combined. Finally, I give you a quote passed down to me from my great-grandfather. Boyd Goodwin was told this when he was being shipped out to fight for our country in World War II: “Don’t ever forget who you are or where you came from.” As always, thanks for reading.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Custodial changes The article on the custodial shift change here at TTU was very well done. One thing that was left out of coverage, though, was the health effects of working third shift. Did you know there is something called Shift Work Disorder? It is associated with cancer, heart attack and diabetes. Working such odd hours, 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., causes stress, both physical and mental. In fact, among other things, third shift work destroys families. The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety reports that: “Compared with people who work straight days, shift workers report more interference to their family lives, especially the time available to spend with spouses and children. . . . Individuals who cannot establish regular routines in their daily activities have difficulties planning for family responsibilities and coping with physical and mental fatigue as effectively as non-shift workers. “Participation in clubs, sports and other organized activities is very difficult since they are usually geared to the normal day schedule. The lack of regular social contact can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. In addition, quality child care facilities aimed at meeting the needs of shift workers is al-

most nonexistent.” This is a sad thought for the holidays, especially for a university that claims to think of its employees as “family.” It would be very nice if the university administration would give its TTU family the “gift” of returning our custodians to their former shifts. The hardship they are experiencing over this unreasonable order is real and distressing to all who are aware of it on the Tech campus. Did the administrators who made the decision to assign custodians to third shift just not understand the consequences of their decision? I hope so. Now that they know the ramifications of their decision, if they do not return the custodians to their former shift, they will be willfully mistreating their TTU “family.” That sounds like the actions of a Scrooge, not a Santa.

Josephine McQuail JMcQuail@tntech.edu

Putnam elections In last Friday’s “HeraldCitizen,” an article reported on supposed discrepancies with voting booths in Putnam County on election day, as well as claims that Senator Charlotte Burks violated election laws by entering polling places illegally. These trumped up claims

have led to Senator Burks’ vanquished rival, Gary Steakley to call for the FBI--yes, the FBI--to get involved (Bitter much, Mr. Steakley?), and to overzealous Republicans apparently not happy with their party’s huge gains at every level on Nov. 2 to cry “foul” and make the baseless claim that Democrats are trying to steal the election. Makes perfect sense, right? As a lifelong conservative Republican, I’m appalled by the dirty politics that I see my party playing with this matter. Even if they disagree with her, Republicans know the unparalleled character of our beloved state senator. They know that she would never sell out her principles to win an election and that she survived the Republican tidal wave fair and square, largely because of her record of reaching across the aisle and not toeing the party line. But by pushing this frivolous matter and attempting to create a controversy where one does not exist, Republicans have targeted her anyway. Gary Steakley should concede with a little grace and dignity while there’s still time to do so and Republicans should stop demonizing a devoted public servant and get to work on creating an agenda that will help Tennessee families.

Jonathan Frank

ajfrank42@tntech.edu

Apology to Tech On November 11th while driving through campus we stopped and picked up one of the traffic cones blocking off the faculty parking lot. We would like to sincerely apologize to the University for our act. Our actions were spur of the moment and, quite frankly, stupid. We assure that we will not let anything like this happen again.

Jack LeMaire and Bobby Muller

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CHRISTINE SEIBER Managing Editor

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BRANDON GOODWIN Sports Editor

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Tennessee Technological University--nondiscriminatory on the basis of sex in its educational programs and activities including employment and admission of students to the University as required by Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 and regulations based therein and published in CFR, part 86. Tennessee Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer.

BRENDA WILSON, Faculty Adviser BEAT REPORTERS: Brittany Anderson, Kyle Buckner, Brandi Campbell, Courtney Clifford, Matthew Davis, Sarah DeRossett, Katrina Dvorken, Lee Ferris, Lindsey Gore, Julie Graham, Candice Griggs, Hannah Harris, Brandon Jelson, Pavel Koshkin, Jodi Lawrence, Leasa McCall, Bailey Morgan, Justin O’Dell, Ariel Perry, Aleksandr Peterson, Jonathan Pierce, Ashlee Polk, Christina Riddle, Brittany Ritzman, Kaitlin Salyer, Ashley Smith, Dustin Smith, Rachel Stine, Evan Taylor, Cassie Tesauro, Isaac Wright


SPORTS Page 5 | November 19, 2010

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Football celebrates Senior Day Saturday versus JSU By BRANDON GOODWIN Sports Editor

The Tennessee Tech football team will look to end the Ohio Valley Conference championship dreams of Jacksonville State on Saturday as it hosts the Gamecocks in its final game of the year. The Golden Eagles (4-6, 3-4 OVC) will finish sixth in the conference this season after taking home second place a year ago. A pregame ceremony will honor 11 seniors to recognize their final game as Golden Eagles. Nine of those players have been on the Tech roster for at least four years. This year’s seniors are Receiver Colin Allen, quarterback Cass Barnes, running back Jocques Crawford, rover Dustin Dillehay, defensive tackle Justin Hilliard, punter Jason Lennartz, cornerback Corbin Miles, defensive tackle Dedrick Miley, linebacker Kelechi Ordu, receiver Henry Sailes, and defensive end Charlie Seivers. “I’m kind of excited,” Dillehay said, “but kind of sad coming to the end of my career and knowing I won’t ever play again.” Dillehay and the other seniors who played their entire careers at Tech earned an overall record of 17-27, but a winning record of 12-9 at Tucker Stadium. Jacksonville State (9-1, 61 OVC) can clench the OVC championship with a win over Tech this weekend. “I don’t think we’ve come close to beating them since I’ve been here,” Dille-

Front row, Left to Right: Kelechi Ordu, Charlie Seivers, Justin Hilliard, Dedrick Miley, Henry Sailes. Back Row, Left to Right: Jason Lennartz, Dustin Dillehay, head coach Watson Brown, Cass Barnes, Corbin Miles. Not pictured: Joc Crawford, Colin Allen. hay said. “I just want to give them something to remember Tennessee Tech by,” he said with a smile, referring to rumors that Jacksonville State is planning on jumping to the Football Bowl Subdivision soon. Dillehay said his best memory of being a Golden Eagle was being named the

National Defensive Player of the Week for his stellar efforts in last season’s game at UT Martin. “It’s going to be good,” Sailes said. “Going out with a win would be good,” he said, “but either way, I think I’ve had a good career.” “If we knocked JSU out, it

would be tremendous,” Sailes added. “It would mean a lot because I feel like our team is a lot better than our record,” he said. “Knocking them off would prove to us how good we are.” Dillehay, Miley, Ordu, Sailes and Seivers each served

as captains on the 2010 squad for coach Watson Brown. Last week, Tech fell to Eastern Kentucky by a score of 42-29 on Homecoming, ending the chances of a winning season. Kickoff for Saturday’s contest is slated for 4 p.m. at Overall Field. The game will be broad-

TTU Sports Information

cast live on the Golden Eagle Sports Network via Magic 98.5 and Free TeamLine. Admission is free for all Tech students with a valid ID. For ticket information, visit www.TTUSports.com or call the ticket office at 931372-3941.

Three named to volleyball All-OVC teams By ASHLEY SMITH Staff Writer

1

The Ohio Valley Conference named three Kentucky natives from the Tennessee Tech volleyball team to AllConference this week. This year marks the fourth year in a row for senior standout Leah Meffert and the first for freshmen Natalie Penrod and Allison May. “I’m honored,” May said. “It’s something that I didn’t expect.”

In their first year at Tech, Penrod and May have proved they work hard. Receiving awards for the All-Newcomer Team in the OVC, both Penrod and May have finished their first conference season with a bang. “Winning anything in the OVC is a difficult task,” Penrod said, “but I’m delighted and honored to receive this award. “It makes it so much better to know that two of us are in the top seven of all freshmen in the conference.” Leah Meffert received an

award for All-OVC. She had 1,688 kills as of last Saturday’s match against Southeast Missouri, giving her the all-time kill record for Tech. She is ranked second in the OVC in kills per set with an average of 3.54. “It feels good to know that my hard work finally paid off,” Meffert said. “Volleyball is a team sport, so I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them.” Tech won four out of its last five conference matches to lock up the sixth seed in the 2010 OVC tournament.

At deadline, the Golden Eagles were participating in the 2010 OVC Conference championship in Morehead, Ky. The championship game is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday. As long as Tech remains in the tournament, fans can listen to a live broadcast of each of the matches live via Free TeamLine. For more information, visit www.TTUSports.com.

Men’s basketball takes on ETSU NOW OPEN FOR LUNCH

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By ROSS HARVEY Asst. Sports Editor

Tech Men’s Basketball has played well in two contests this season, an exhibition blowout win over CarsonNewman, and a hard-fought loss against Atlantic Coast Conference power North Carolina State last week. In the NC State game, the Golden Eagles hung with the Wolfpack for the first half, as they were only down 37-34. Despite dominating the Wolfpack on the boards, Tech couldn’t overcome some early second half foul trouble, and came up short in the end, 82-69. Still, Junior point guard Zac Swansey said there were good things that took place, despite the loss. “We played well for a lot of the game,” Swansey said, “but we didn’t do the things we needed to pull it off. On the other hand, we did some great things, which we will try to carry over against East Tennessee State University.

“We see it as an opportunity to get better.” Tech will be visiting ETSU, a team that has also recently lost to a powerhouse basketball school. The Buccaneers from Johnson City, Tenn. will be hungry for a win after a 23-point loss to Kentucky. “It’s always tough going on the road,” Swansey said. “When you play away games, you are playing the team plus all their fan support. “We’re going down there with a chip on their shoulder to get a win, especially because it’s their homecoming.” Both teams are looking for their first regular-season win for this season. Some things coach Sutton has been preaching to his Golden Eagle squad is communication and defense. If those two things are working well for Tech, they have a good chance against ETSU, who only put up 39 points against Murray State Monday. The Buccaneers shot 33

percent from the floor, 10 percent from 3-point range and committed 25 turnovers. “Our offense can be great,” Swansey said, “but if we don’t play good team defense, it’ll be hard for us to be a great team. “We want to be a great team, but with the defense as our backbone.” After the ETSU game Saturday, Tech returns home to host the Appalachian State Mountaineers on Tuesday. The Mountaineers destroyed NAIA school Montreat in their last game to push their record to 2-0. The visit to Cookeville will be part of a six-game road trip for App State. “We are looking forward to [a stretch with more home games],” Swansey said. “We are excited about our team and we want to play in front of our great fans because we definitely have an advantage.” Swansey and backcourtmate Zach Bailey combined for seven assists versus NC State and 10 in the Exhibition

game versus Carson-Newman. In order to be successful the rest of the season, Swansey said, the guard play has to continue to be good, and they have to establish the post game early. “We have talented front court players,” Swansey said. “We have to establish our big men early in the game. It not only gets them involved but opens up for guard play as well. “To be successful in the [Ohio Valley Conference], you must have good guard play. As the point guard, I try to lead the team, and playing with [Bailey] is great. “We have really meshed.” After the Appalachian State game, Tech travels to East Lansing, Mich., to take on the Michigan State Spartans. That game is scheduled for Nov. 28. Tech’s first OVC game is scheduled at Jacksonville State on Dec. 2. For more information on all Tech Athletics, visit www.TTUsports.com.


ENTERTAINMENT www.tntechoracle.com

Page 6 | November 19, 2010

Photos Courtesy of Image Comics and AMC

Left: The cover of the 60th issue, drawn by Cliff Rathburn, features protagonist Rick Grimes. Above: Grimes, played by Andrew Lincoln, searches for gas after his squad car runs dry.

AMC’s ‘Walking Dead’ pays homage, improves on book By CHUCK ACHESON Entertainment Editor I have to admit that I’m not really a big television fan and I didn’t start reading “The Walking Dead” comic until the series came out on the tube. However, after reading the first three volumes of the book and the first three episodes of the show, I am hooked. The book has been running since 2003 and the 13th volume, each containing six issues of the comic, is due out next week. The story follows protagonist Rick Grimes as he searches for his wife and son during the zombie apocalypse after waking up from a coma. The series on AMC follows the story of the first volume of the book. If you have read the book, you know that it’s rather short, taking about an hour to read. So, it was no small feat for producer Frank Darabont, known for directing

“The Shawshank Redemption,” to turn the book into a six episode miniseries. Namely, Darabont added numerous characters and plot developments to the original story, while keeping the core of the story true to the book. Unlike numerous other adaptations, Darabont’s additions give far more depth to the story and the characters. In the introduction to the book, Robert Kirkman, creator and writer for the book, stated that “The Walking Dead” was not about shooting up zombies or other crazy antics. The heart of book revolves around the people and how they dealt with the end of the world. Darabont takes this idea and runs a marathon with it. Not shying away from the location of the series, which jumps between rural Georgia and Atlanta, Darabont plays with several issues of the area. The most interesting issue to come to the surface so far has been racism. In

a prime example of Darabont adding to the comics, he created two characters on opposite spectrums of the issue. Lawlessness is another important issue, especially pertaining to Grimes’ previous job as a sheriff’s deputy. I have heard some people complain about the pacing of the show and it can be slow at times. However, by adding the speed of the story to the muted background sounds of series, we get a creepier rendition of the events than possible in the book. Don’t get me wrong I keep lauding praise on the television series, the books are fantastic in their own right, especially once you get to second volume. Following the finale of the first volume, the story starts a rollercoaster that hasn’t slowed down through volume three. I’ve got the next three volumes lined up at home to read tonight, and I can’t wait.

Courtesy of Rogue Pictures

The aliens’ first appearance is one of many impressive visual elements utilized by the movie’s $10 million budget.

Let ’s Talk About CHUCK ACHESON Movies By Entertainment Editor

“Skyline” is an odd sort of movie. Because, despite its lack of a coherent plot or likeable characters, an absolutely ridiculous ending and special effects that only exist as a resume for the effects person, the movie was at least interesting. In the opening of the movie, Jarrod (Eric Balfour) and his girlfriend Elaine (Scottie Thompson) fly to Los Angeles to visit Jarrod’s friend, Terry (Donald Faison). Following a night of partying in Jarrod’s penthouse suite, a mysterious light descends from the sky outside their window and everything goes crazy. After the mind-numbingly slow opening to the movie, the movie becomes a weird combination of “Independence Day,” “Cloverfield” and most B-rated scifi horror movies from the 1950s. The unique portion of the story is that the main group of characters never leaves the apartment complex over the course of the next 60 hours. This is where the movie’s plot goes horribly awry. Rather than choose one, the story tries to tell a combination of Anne Frank’s story and “Independence Day.” Telling a story where the characters attempt to hide from the aliens is an interesting concept and could be an imaginative recreation of a story we all read in grade school. Even if the directors Colin and Greg Strause went this route, all the characters were too stereotyped

MPAA Rating: PG-13

By MATT KNIELING | For more comics, illustrations and information, check out www.inanimateshorts.com.

to be likeable. The troubled artist? Check. The stuckup valley girl? Check. The Catholic zealot? Check. I should admit that some of the most wonderful lines come from these characters. I laughed more at the terrible lines than I did through all of “Due Date.” In addition, there was no way the Brothers Strause (Yes, that is the exceedingly pretentious name by which they refer to themselves) would let the story get in the way of the special effects. Don’t get me wrong, it is impressive what they managed to pull off visually on a $10 million budget. However, at times the movie resembles a Syfy channel movie with a slightly larger budget. Finally, the ending of the movie is a head-scratching moment if there ever was one. I get what happened, I’m not confused by it; it’s just insanely stupid. Let me say though, for all of its shortcomings, “Skyline” is an interesting movie. I kept watching until the end, due in large part to the moments of almost brilliance. You can see where the movie could have been good, but the Brothers Strause continuously chose the greater of two evils. In honor of my last article of the semester, I would like to give a special shout out to the “Harry Potter” franchise. Congratulations on seven movies. You have joined the ranks of “Saw” and “Police Academy.”

Final Grade: D

Video games round up - Fallout: New Vegas, Fable 3 and Black Ops By CHUCK ACHESON Entertainment Editor

plore in the post-apocalypse Mojave Desert.

Fallout: New Vegas

Fable 3

Bethesda’s newest iteration in the long-running series is great, building on the mechanics and storytelling of “Fallout 3.” The combat system returns from the previous “Fallout” game, receiving some tuning to tighten up the experience. Two issues I’ve encountered with the game so far include the number of bugs and glitches. The second is the inability to play the game after the finale to the story line. Despite these problems, the game is wildly fun with a great story, fun game play and plenty of things to ex-

It took until the third game in the series, but Peter Molyneux and the people at Lionhead Studio finally got the morality system just right. Replacing the very polarized system from the previous games, “Fable 3” forces the player to make tough choices as king of Albion. You have to make choices where you can be popular and get people killed or be hated and save lives. Unfortunately, I can’t go into much more detail without ruining the story. One of the problems with the game comes from the fact

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that you can totally fudge the decision-making in the end if you know what to expect or have played through once.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Undoubtedly the most hyped game in some time, “Call of Duty: Black Ops” has some major issues. PC gamers like me have noted several problems with lag and other technical issues. The console versions of the game seem to be faring far better. Beautiful cinematics and intense firefights are plentiful in the game. Although it feels like an update to previous games in the series, the game still has fun in it unless you like playing PC multiplayer online.

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The Oracle - 11.29.10