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Thursday, November 30, 2006

What’s in a name? Thursday, November 30, 2006


The University Star - Page B3

Roots of Santa Claus far-reaching By Danielle Elisabeth Madsen The University Star


ith a supersonic, flying sled and countless aliases such as Kriss Kringle and Father Christmas, Santa Claus has an unbeatable breaking-and-entering record into thousands of good children’s chimneys. The man in the big red suit sounds more like James Bond than a real person. However, the origin of Santa Claus evolved from the story of a bishop from Myra — which is modern day Turkey — named Nicholas, who used his inheritance to ease the suffering of the poor and needy. Nicholas, who is a consecrated saint, dedicated his life to serving the Catholic Church and helping the impoverished at an early age. “Santa Claus is cool, but people forget about the real Santa Claus, Jesus Christ, who brings the gift of salvation — the greatest gift that grown people need,” said Timothy Swain, communication studies junior and vice president of Hip-Hop Congress. One account details Saint Nicholas saving a poor man’s three daughters from prostitution by giving

them gold to pay their dowries, enabling them to marry. When the Roman emperor Diocletian was in power, he persecuted Christians and had Bishop Nicholas exiled and imprisoned for his faith. The American title, “Santa Claus,” was derived from a mispronunciation of the Dutch form of Saint Nicholas, Sinterklaas, which is a shorter form of Sint Nicolaas. The McKenna Children’s Museum, located in New Braunfels, commemorates many days honoring Santa Claus including St. Nicholas Day, Pizza with Santa, Kids Night Out, Santa Claus Day and Santa Hat Day. “The whole idea is to let children be kids as long as possible. You have to come into the museum with a childlike heart, and Santa Claus is a part of it. Sometimes adults will come in pretty stressed out, but when they leave it’s a whole new ball game,” said Museum Director Peggy Maxwell. Amanda Singletary, mass communication sophomore, said she believed in Santa Claus as a child until she saw her parents putting gifts under the Christmas tree. “I still like the concept of him and wouldn’t ruin it for my kids. I want them to believe in him until they’re at a mature age to know,” Singletary said. In 1845, a picture book by Jan Schenkman helped shape modern Dutch customs by establishing Sint Nikolaas’ arrival on a steamboat from Spain with a Moorish assistant. St. Nicholas was a bishop of the region of Myra around 300 A.D. He was known for his charitable deeds and helping those in need. This 1904 German postcard shows St. Nicholas, or Sankt Nikolaus, leaving treats for children at their doorstep. The Eastern Orthodox Church has revered St. Nicholas as a miracleworker. This Bulgarian rendering of St. Nicholas was typical of the third century. The American version of Santa Claus was made famous by the Coca-Cola drawings of Santa by Haddon Sundblom. Sundblom depicted Santa in a red suit trimmed with white fur. Thomas Nast drew Santas for Harper’s Weekly magazine from 1864 to 1886. Santa was depicted with a long beard, a large belly, fur suit and a pipe.

A Christmas for all the senses

St. Nicholas, in the Bulgarian tradition, travels with a donkey to leave gifts to children through their chimneys.

Vendors, performers will be part of Sights and Sounds By Laura Jamison The University Star

Lights, elves, Santa Claus. Sights and Sounds of Christmas, a San Marcos tradition since 1987, will continue to spread Christmas cheer beginning Nov. 30 and ending Dec. 2 at the San Marcos Plaza in City Park. In 2002 an estimated 500,000 twinkling Christmas lights filled Sights and Sounds. Since then, it has been hard to keep up the count. Rebecca Ramirez, director of tourism at the San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, said Sights and Sounds draws people from beyond the city limits. “Attendance will be about 50,000, and about 35 percent of the people are locals and another 25 percent are family and friends,” Ramirez said. The list of entertainment is jampacked with local San Marcos talent, such as the Crockett Elementary Choir, the Hernandez 5th grade choir and the San Marcos High School Cheerleaders. Rodney Cobb, director of San Marcos Parks and Recreation, said the

San Marcos High School Jazz Band — playing 9:30 p.m. Dec. 1 — will be a notable performance. “The high school jazz band will perform and they are absolutely wonderful, a show-stopper. They bring the house down. We will have kindergarten kids, first graders and all of the schools performing,” Cobb said. Sights and Sounds will also host out-of-town entertainment such as the Sahawe Indian Dancers, an American Indian group, and Santa Claus. “We bring in the Sahawe Indians and they perform authentic Indian dances,” Cobb said. “They are dressed to the tee in all-authentic Indian wear. They are really good.” Cobb said approximately 50 vendors from all over Texas will set up at the event, selling things from clothing to ornaments. “It is just a great event … there is everything you can imagine there. I even bought these little warmers that are handmade,” he said. “We have stuff for kids. We bring in four carnival rides that flip you upside down. Last year we had a climbing wall and I think we are having it back.”

Sights and Sounds will also display a nativity scene, which will come alive with animals, backdrops and costumes. “We have a historic rendition of old Bethlehem across the river,” Cobb said. “It is actually a group of churches that get together and they have backdrops of all the little shops and stuff that would be in Bethlehem. They bring in live animals like camels, sheep and other animals too. They dress up in the attire that was worn back then.” Ramirez, who has been to Sights and Sounds for the past 15 years, hopes everyone will enjoy the celebration. “There are really many activities for the young at heart. It is all about Christmas … this is something to get you into the holiday spirit,” Ramirez said. Marisa Anteola, communication studies senior, said Sights and Sounds is a great way to bring people together. “I am really excited about it because Monty Marion/Star file photo it brings Christmas to San Marcos and all the college kids at Texas State Uni- WIRED REINDEER: Gordon Bailey of the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Departversity,” she said. “It brings the entire ment prepares lighted reindeer last fall in the San Marcos Plaza Park for the Sights community together.” and Sounds of Christmas festival.


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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Winter holidays encompass more than Christmas, Hanukkah Eight days of celebration

By Danielle Elisabeth Madsen The University Star


crackling fire, eggnog and borderline-insane shoppers are just a few signs that the holiday season has arrived. December is seasoned with holidays from various cultures and religions celebrating customs that not only express their diversity, but embrace their meaning of life all year long.

Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish holiday that begins on the 25th day of Kislev, which may be in December, late November or in early January. The celebration is carried out in Jewish households by lighting candles on a menorah on each of the festival’s eight nights. “I think for me, this Hanukkah is an opportunity to express my faith as an individual and is a more personal experience,” said Rachel Jew, Jewish Community Center employee and University of Texas student.

The Christian Christmas tradition Christmas is a Christian holiday celebrating Jesus Christ’s birth in a manger. The holiday is usually observed Dec. 25. However, the Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrate Christmas Jan. 7. “The meaning of Christmas is that God would be born as a human to live and experience what we experience and ultimately become a sacrifice for our debt. My hope is that Christians will allow Christ to reign in their Christmas,” said Erin O’Brien, Texas State Campus Crusade for Christ director. Catholics may observe different traditions than Protestants during the Christmas season, such as having four weeks of Advent. Catholics also have Advent wreaths, which are made of ever-

Harvest of plenty Rick Wood/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel DECK THE HALLS: Houses are commonly decorated with Christmas Trees during December. This evergreen sit in the Milwaukee County Historical Society’s Golden Glow of Christmas Past exhibit.

greens and symbolize continuous life. Four candles on the wreath are progressively lit to signify rejoicing over God first coming to Earth and the anticipation of His second coming. “Christmas makes me feel proud to be Catholic; there are multiple times you can go to Mass and it is absolutely beautiful, especially midnight Mass.

The Advent wreath reminds you that Jesus was here with us. He was human and God,” said Michael Opich, president of the Catholic Student Organization and agricultural education senior. The observance of Christmas by the Hispanic community in Texas provides for some unique approaches to celebrating the

holiday. “We get together in masses. Latinos usually have larger families and we’ll spend noon to midnight hanging out together and have different desserts like buñelos,” said Mark Hernandez, criminal justice sophomore. “They’re big fried cinnamon pieces of flour. Most of us are Catholic and go to church.”

Kwanzaa, a Kiswahili word which means “first fruits of the harvest,” is a black celebration that focuses on the seven basic African values, known as ‘Nguzo Saba’ in Swahili. They include family, community responsibility, commerce and self-improvement. Professional storyteller Elizabeth Kahura is an East African native and educator who will share her culture and involvement with Kwanzaa at the Austin Public Library from Dec. 27 to 29. “Kwanzaa is not just an African American concept. It can help anyone. It’s about teamwork, unity and people walking together. It

celebrates culture and it can link African Americans to their roots and their mother language,” Kahura said.

Journey of faith This December the Muslims will be celebrating the pilgrimage to Mecca, or ‘Hajj’, in Saudi Arabia. One Muslim requirement, outlined in the Five Pillars of Islam, is to go on Hajj at least once during his or her lifetime. “I was hoping to go on the pilgrimage this year, but I noticed my passport was expired. I’m looking forward to it next year though. It’s a place where you see millions of people together worshipping God,” said Samer Morad, president of the Muslim Student Association and manufacturing engineer senior.

Unity of holidays Some religions are not celebrating specific holidays this December, such as those of the Bahá’í Faith, a religion founded by Bahá’u’lláh in 19th century Persia encouraging unity of all religions. “We celebrate Ayyam-I-Ha in February or March. In general we show support for all religions’ holidays and are serviceable to other people,” said Allegra Kemp, president of the Bahá’í Club of Texas State and Spanish senior.

Don’t let seasonal stress get the best of you By Nerissa Pacio San Jose Mercury News SAN JOSE, Calif. — Ever wonder how some people seem to always look relaxed, happy and oh-so-put-together during the holidays? Meanwhile, the rest of us are showing the strain of late nights at the office, skipped workouts, entertaining out-of-town relatives and lastminute shopping. The holiday crunch is looming, with more to do in the same amount of hours. How to deal? We turned to the experts for advice on how to shave minutes off our daily routines — from packing in a more efficient workout to streamlining your morning makeup. Remember these tips, and you’ll spend more time enjoying family and savoring the holiday

spirit and less time worrying about that giant, stress-induced zit on your forehead.

The timesaver workout It’s tempting to load up on sweets and skip regular workouts, but Marie Crooks, fitness manager and personal trainer at California’s Club One Santana Row, suggests squeezing in some exercise time, even if you go less frequently than you normally would. Instead of a full hour at the gym, she says, go for a higher-intensity, 30-minute session that packs a bigger — and more calorie-burning — punch. Circuit train. Vary your exercises instead of sticking to the treadmill or the bicycle. For example, mix 5-minute bursts of

cardio in between weight training and you’ll burn more calories in less time. Combine exercises. Instead of standing still to lift weights, step up onto a raised platform, alternating legs, while pumping five-pound weights in each hand over your head. Instead of lying on a mat to do crunches, sit on a large physio-ball and do curls with your back, which forces you to balance while doing crunches. You’ll hit more muscle groups in less time.

Time-less shopping How will you ever get all your shopping done for that endless list of family, friends and coworkers? It’s all in the planning, said Becky Jasontek, concierge manager at Santana Row in San Jose, and Kathryn Finney, au-

thor of How to Be a Budget Fashionista: The Ultimate Guide to Looking Fabulous for Less, and the blog Make a list. Ideally, you’d keep a running holiday list year-round, says Jasontek, who creates an Excel spreadsheet of people, their interests, gift ideas and stores that carry the items. If you haven’t done that, start now. Visit a shopping center’s concierge. It’s usually a free service where people can seek tips on finding items or getting specific gift ideas. “We might know what merchandise has just arrived or which stores do free gift wrap,” Jasontek said. Go when it’s not busy. Take a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday morning off to shop, Finney said. These are usually the slowest times at stores and the best days to find parking. Use gift cards. Put all you plan to spend on a gift card to budget time and money, Finney said. When the funds run out, stop shopping.

Time-crunched dressing What to wear? The question can burn precious minutes when you’re getting ready for work or dashing off to the holiday office party. Save time by organizing and knowing exactly what’s in your wardrobe, said Katie Rice Jones, San Francisco Bay-area style expert and co-host of Comcast’s TV show Inside City Limits. Plan during down time. Think about your next day’s schedule while commuting or taking a shower, Rice Jones said. Use idle time to plan ahead for the following day, whether you’re leading a Monday meeting in a power

Elisheva Marcus/San Jose Mercury News suit or moving offices in jeans on a Friday. Organize your closet. Arrange it by type and color. Group all black pants together, white shirts, jeans, etc. Stack shoes by color and heel height. If you know you’ll be running around all day, you won’t waste a minute looking for those comfy red ballerina flats. Wear basics and accessorize. If you don’t have time to plan a head-to-toe look, stick with non-seasonal basics such as a light wool-blend, all-black ensemble. Make it a “look” with bold accessories. Grab a chunky necklace, shiny bangles, dangly earrings and colorful heels on your way out the door to dress it up.

Hair and makeup The experts say that if you’re spending an hour or more on makeup and hair every day, you’re probably doing too much. Pati Dubroff, Dior celeb-

rity makeup artist in New York, and Giuseppe Franco, owner of Giuseppe Franco Salon in Beverly Hills, who is featured on the Style network’s new reality show Split Ends, give us their tips on streamlining your routine while still looking fabulous. Groom at night. Pluck and trim eyebrows when you have a little extra downtime, so you can concentrate on applying makeup in the morning, Dubroff said. Pick one stand-out feature. Instead of a full face, pick a focus of eyes or lips, Dubroff said. For the holidays, go with red lips and a swipe of mascara so you don’t have to do much else. Maintain your skin. It sounds very simple, but one way to cut your makeup routine is to have good skin, Dubroff said. Keep your skin clean and drink lots of water to stay hydrated, especially during the winter. Then you won’t spend a lot of time caking on foundation and concealer.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

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’Tis the season The thought, not the price, is what matters to spend, and spend By Jeffery D. Hooten The University Star

I love to shop. got for my sister last Nothing excites me Christmas. more than getting a Another thing I Saturday to myself to would advise you to do go splurge on clothes, is to watch store advermakeup or a new tisements for weekly pair of shoes. When MAIRA GARCIA specials. Target always Christmas comes has good deals in their Trends Editor around, it means I get Sunday ad, especially to splurge on others, around the holidays. which in the past has resulted Try to go in that day, because in some debt via credit cards. those sale items tend to go fast. This Christmas, my funds If you plan to go to the outlet are much more limited because malls, one of the easiest ways to I now have a car and insurance save a little extra money is to go payment to make. While I en- by customer service and pick joy giving back a little extra to up a coupon booklet. Prices my friends and family, I know vary for the booklet at either it won’t be possible this year. It Tanger or Prime Outlets, but if means I will have to sit down you sign up for Tanger’s savings and do something I have never club and show your student done before: create a holiday ID, you get coupon booklets shopping budget. for free each time you shop. Every year, I try to compile a You should also visit the outlet list of everyone I want to give malls’ Web sites because they a gift to. I will write down a list sales at individual stores. few items I think they would Something I know I will like and try to get them a least be doing as part of budget is a couple of things on the list. write down everything I plan While I plan to stick to that to spend money on. This could game plan again this year, I be useful in finding out where know I will have to do a little you can save, such as buying extra research when it comes to cheaper gift wrap or waiting a finding a good price on certain few more weeks when certain items. items might be marked down One thing I would recom- for less. mend if you are trying to cut One very useful and dependsome corners this Christmas is able way to save money is bring to shop online. In the past few someone shopping with you. years, I have done a portion of My boyfriend is the perfect my holiday shopping on the example. He is good at sayInternet with success. There are ing “no” when I want to buy no lines, no pushy salespeople something pricey and holding and more importantly, you can me back from making a bad find significant savings. Sign purchase. Sometimes having up for the weekly newsletters someone remind you what you of shopping Web sites, as they don’t need to spend money on usually include a coupon wit is very helpful. the e-mail. Whether it’s for free Holiday shopping shouldn’t shipping or 10 percent off your have to leave you broke and purchase, little things add up giving cheap gifts. With a little quickly, so every penny counts. planning and knowledge of Plus, Web sites often carry how much money you have hard-to-find items such as the to spend, the holidays can be Pee Wee’s Playhouse box set I richer.

gifts, gifts on sale and for people that gifts that are you would not something have otherwise done Few things seem more im- s o m e o n e can be portant around the holiday w o u l d n’ t a good season than giving the right gift n o r m a l l y buy for way to to the ones you love. s h o w For many college students himself or someone this can be an enormous pres- herself are how important sure, especially for those who great gifts to they are. have many loved ones to buy give. “Sm a l l With today’s for and not much money to things, like a technology, making spend. compilation CDs for However, financially limited shot glass for Photo courtesy of those you love can be a Photo courtesy of students need not buckle under instance, can the pressures of holiday gener- go a long way,” great way to show them you are thinking of them osity — there are plenty of ways Drolet said. Places such as Half-Price as well. ful than you did. to give meaningful gifts withBooks, garage sales and thrift “You can take something that “Once a friend gave me this out spending much money. The first thing one can do stores can be great places to costs less than a dollar (a blank shirt that was really nice, but I when deciding what gifts to find inexpensive items with a CD) and make it worth more didn’t really like it for myself, to the person than so I gave it away,” Drolet said. buy is remembering that the great deal of meaning. Sometimes the best gifts what it’s pressed In other words, don’t price of the gift are the ones you make. on,” said Cody be afraid to reisn’t as imporMaking gifts can be a Kelso, managegift. tant as how great way to save ment much it means sophocash without more. to the receiving sacrificing person. It may also substance. “You should be worth “I once got considering really consider a homemade all who you’re buythose calendar from bad gifts ing it for,” said someone with r e c e i v e d Courtney Storm, pictures they had d u r pre-psycholog y taken, and it was ing past sophomore and really one of the best holidays, enthusiastic gift gifts I’ve gotten,” Storm not only giver. “I try to said. make (the gift) as as a guide Things such as baked for what not to get personal as I can. goods and other foods can someone, but also as posThat usually makes it cheaper.” Photo courtesy of also be great gifts. Some- sible gifts for today — others Photo courtesy of Storm said the times doing nice things may find them more more impressive, expensive gifts are not always the best ones to give. The best gifts are the ones that fit the person they are being given to. Monica Drolet, pre-social work freshman, suggested that gifts should be something people want, but don’t necessarily need. “If you give someone something they would have bought for themselves anyway, all you’ve really done is saved them a trip,” Drolet said. Drolet also said that small

Photo courtesy of

Inexpensive gifts are easy to make or find

UNDER $5 UNDER $10 UNDER $20 Cookies: Unless you have all the ingredients, getting the stuff to make someone cookies shouldn’t cost you much. Consider buying Betty Crocker’s cookie mix — all you add is butter and an egg. The mix is under $2 and is less of a hassle. Make a movie: Windows Movie Maker isn’t as bad as you think. Compile photos and songs for someone special and make a slide show. All you need is a blank CD and a little time.

Coffee mug: As it gets colder, we could all enjoy a hot cup of cocoa to warm up. Get a holiday-themed mug and fill it with candy, a hot cocoa packet and a package of cookies. Target sells a set of four for $8.99. Gift card: A $10 gift card may not seem like much, but it could mean the difference between a $15 movie and a $5 one. Plus, you can get a gift card or certificate to just about any place you can think of.

Scarf and gloves: There is nothing better than a warm and fuzzy scarf with gloves to go with it. This chenille set from Target comes with a matching scarf, gloves and cap for $16.99. Sweet scents: Get that special person smelling like the season with this set of holiday-inspired lotions from Bath & Body Works. The Sweet Shack Sampler comes with three lotions for $19.50


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Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gifts come in many packages

LIGHT LEGS: A Christmas Story will come alive through the original home used in the home. The house was remodeled and now serves as museum about the film.

Screened porch project a unique gift for Kansas City lawyer By Stacy Downs McClatchy Newspapers KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If you’re stumped about holiday gifts, you can take a cue from a home-improvement project that changed Phyllis Leach’s life. The Kansas City, Mo., woman returned home one day to find her screened porch was no longer a dumping ground for old magazines and the lawn mower. Now it’s an attractive space where she drinks her coffee, reads her newspaper and plays with her beagle, Cooper. “I cherish it,” said Leach, a lawyer for Hallmark. “I’ve never received a gift like this and probably never will again. It went beyond any gift I’ve ever heard of. It was such a random act of kindness.” Leach’s friends Dan Needham and Bill Damico were behind her screened-porch surprise. They snuck in to rebuild and redecorate the room last year while Leach was on a weeklong vacation. “Sharing your time and your talents is better than buying a gift because it makes much more of a lasting impression,” said Needham, a Kansas City florist. Damico is a Kansas City handyman and woodworker who makes furniture and toys. Of course, not everyone has the expertise to tackle a home-improvement project for their nearest and dearest. But there are other methods. For example, Nicole Gaulden received an interior design consultation as a gift from her mother. “I was having a hard time about how to use my furniture,” said Gaulden, a high school teacher. “My house has wide open rooms.” So the designer helped her arrange furniture and develop an action plan for new pieces. Gaulden was pleased with the results and bought a similar consultation for a friend to help her choose paint colors.

haring your time and your “S talents is better than buying a gift because it makes much more of a lasting impression.”

Photo courtesy of

—Dan Needham florist

“It’s a type of gift so many people wouldn’t spend money on for themselves,” she said. “But it’s a gift they would enjoy.” Needham and Damico didn’t think Leach’s disheveled screened porch signified neglectful housekeeping or bad taste. The interior of her 1920s Tudor Revival home is typically tidy and charming with its cottage-style decor. But the porch did reflect Leach’s busy lifestyle. It was a catch-all room where she stored bags of newspapers, magazines and catalogs that she wanted to read later. She inherited the previous homeowner’s decor: Green Astroturf swathed the floor and gray paint covered the walls. The light fixture hanging from the ceiling featured a kitschy mountain scene. The old door and screens were falling apart, and the paint was peeling. Damico saw the porch’s potential through the clutter and outdated decor. “Screened porches are great because you’re close to nature, yet you keep nature at bay,” he said. “I miss having one.” Needham borrowed the popular design-on-the-sly concept from television shows. But he made sure the screened porch echoed Leach’s cottage style. On an earlier visit from Rhode Island, Leach’s father, John Leach, moved the lawn mower to the garage and recycled all the newspapers, magazines and catalogs. But Leach had no idea about the upcoming secret redo.

Needham ripped out the green turf and screens. Damico rebuilt the door, put beadboard on the ceiling and installed new aluminum screening. They painted the walls white and the concrete floor gray. The project could have been expensive, but it cost about $100 for materials. Needham used an existing rattan rug from his basement and palm and ivy plants from his store. Damico built a coffee table and refreshed one of Leach’s wicker chairs by painting it white. He also rescued a wicker planter and chair from bulk trash and repainted them. A new ceiling fan that Needham installed was the priciest item. Leach returned home from vacation and saw the kitschy light fixture from her screened porch on the dining-room table. She thought the friend who was collecting her mail was playing a prank on her. Damico’s and Needham’s wives jokingly grumbled about their husbands doing work on Leach’s porch instead of getting to their own to-do lists. But Mary Needham, who is in a book club with Leach, thought the new, improved screened porch was a beautiful gift. “Phyllis didn’t need more stuff (as a gift),” Mary Needham said. “She needed work done, and she’s so busy, she might never have gotten to it. I think it’s important that single people who don’t have family in town have a surrogate family to help them do the things that need to be done.”

Hollywood house opens to all By Jinae West Daily Kent Stater KENT, Ohio — On an unsuspecting side street just outside downtown Cleveland, a house with gold siding and dark green trim sits quietly amid maple trees and suburban sidewalks. The silhouette of a leg lamp can be seen from the front window, enticing young, adolescent boys with its “soft glow of electric sex.” The house was used in the popular holiday classic, A Christmas Story, as the Parker family residence. The movie focuses on Ralphie Parker, a stubborn young boy determined to get a BB gun for Christmas. The grand opening of A Christmas Story House will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 25. Actors from the film will appear for the official commencement. The house’s curator and director, Steven Siedlecki, said he expects 3,000 to 4,000 people to show up this weekend. “The actors who played Randy, Flick, Scut Farkus, Grover Dill and Miss Shields will be there, and the councilman and the owner (of the house) will give a speech,” Siedlecki said. The film was based on Jean Shepherd’s In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash, a collection of short stories about the author’s childhood in the 1940s. Located in the historic Trem-

ont neighborhood, the house has been fully restored to its original A Christmas Story appearance. Brian Jones of San Diego purchased the house for $150,000 through an online eBay auction in February 2005. Soon afterward Jones began an extensive 11-month renovation totaling close to $250,000, according to Siedlecki. Jones also bought the house across the street to turn into a museum. Siedlecki said he was eager to get involved with the project. “I thought it was a great idea,” he said. “I have family here, and I’ve seen the ups and downs of the house.” While only the exterior of the house was used in A Christmas Story, the interior has been recreated to mirror that of the film’s. Siedlecki said fans donated furniture to aid in the process. One of the most recognizable pieces featured in the house is the infamous leg lamp. “Brian makes leg lamps for a living,” Siedlecki said. Public relations director Emily Vincent said the leg lamps are available for sale in the museum ranging from $149 for a full size to $199 for a deluxe. “One time I asked Brian what the difference was between a full size and a deluxe,” she recalled. “He said the deluxe had a knobbier knee and a butt cheek.” The museum also offers

visitors a rare glimpse into A Christmas Story history. Behind-the-scenes photographs, old newspaper clippings and memorabilia from the film, including a Red Ryder BB Gun and Randy’s “I-can’t-put-myarms-down” snowsuit, are displayed for the public’s viewing pleasure. The gift shop carries an assortment of amusing souvenirs: A Christmas Story action figures, paintings, T-shirts, ornaments, Ovaltine, Lifebuoy soap, and of course, the leg lamps complete with “Fra-GEE-lay” cardboard crates. Even after more than 20 years, A Christmas Story still remains immensely popular. Siedlecki said the film “spans across all generations” and will “keep rolling” into the future. “I think this movie is extremely popular because of how funny and realistic it is,” said sophomore accounting major Kristen Sims. “I watch the movie every season. If it’s on TV, I watch it. The tradition at my house is to watch it all day on Christmas.” Corey Fowler, a sophomore music education major, agreed A Christmas Story has lasting appeal. “It is an iconic part of the Christmas season,” Fowler said. “I can’t even think about going through the November and December months not hearing, ‘Fudge!’”


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Campuses welcoming retailers with open arms

CHRISTMAS BOUTIQUE: Applied Sociology senior Christopher Baker runs the seasonal Comfort and Joy shop located at 208 West San Antonio Street just off the square. For store hours visit www.

By Noah Bierman McClatchy Newspapers

Monty Marion/ Star photo

Student opens Christmas-themed specialty shop By Maira Garcia The University Star You can find more than your standard Christmas tree at Comfort and Joy, a store specializing in Christmas décor. The store, located in downtown San Marcos on San Antonio Street, sells trees, personalized wreaths, colorful decorations and furniture to outfit your place for the holidays. Christopher Baker, sociology senior, owns the business which opened in late October. Baker said he chose to open a Christmas-themed store after he had a few other business ventures and participated in San Marcos’ Christmas event, Sights and Sounds. “Before I even went to college, I used to do several trade shows and fairs back at home. They were pretty successful,” he said. “When I came here, I did the Sights and Sounds and I had a booth out there one year. We did pretty well, and I said, ‘Why not try and open a business and see what happens with that?’” Baker’s store has unique decorations he custom makes. Items such as his beer-can

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Christmas trees, made of beercan label cutouts, have been well received. “I was just fooling around with some beer cans one day and I said, ‘Well I know guys like beer, so why don’t see what I can come up with?’” Baker said. “They’re pretty popular. I don’t have that many in right now.” In addition Baker said he customizes wreaths, which can range in price from $15-$100. Personalized items on the shop’s walls include tennis-themed wreaths with balls and rackets. “The mini Christmas trees and wreaths I’ve constructed (are) handmade. Some of the ornaments were bought wholesale,” he said. When it comes to price, Baker said he tries to keep it in check with what he would pay. “I try to keep everything at least within a moderate term of what I would be comfortable paying,” he said. “Of course the furniture is a little bit more expensive, but I just had to because of how much I initially spent on it.” Baker, who is also a business minor, said although studies are time-consuming, starting a

small business is a learning experience. “It takes a lot. Once I finally got the financial backing for it, everything else seemed to line up in place,” he said. “It’s been a journey, though.” Dominique Partee, finance senior, works as Baker’s financial analyst for Comfort and Joy. “It’s a lot for him and it’s pretty stressful,” Partee said. While there are pressures, Partee said Baker is passionate about what he is doing. “He has a passion for the whole Christmas thing and his business,” she said. “It’s hard work trying to run a business that is brand new and trying to make your bills. It’s expensive being a student alone.” While Comfort and Joy is a seasonal store, Baker said he might continue exploring other businesses. “You never know, I might start something up in Austin later on. For right now, I just wanted to try something different and see how well this did,” Baker said. “Once I figure out how this went at the end of January, then who knows what will happen?”

ORLANDO — Students bunking in the newest residence halls at the University of Central Florida soon will be tripping over Maggie Moo’s ice cream, Subway sandwiches, Starbucks, Red Brick Oven Pizza, Barnes & Noble and other chain stores on their way out of their dorms. At UCF and elsewhere, it’s getting harder to tell the difference between the university and the mall. Once content to sell sweatshirts from a generic campus store and meals from a mess hall, universities are entering into increasingly sophisticated arrangements with national retailers, allowing more franchises directly on campus. At UCF, many of the stores set to open in the coming weeks are attached directly to the dorms, across from a basketball arena under construction with its own set of chain stores. “This much impulse buying on the way to class could be hurtful,” said Boston Russell, sophomore from Longwood, Fla., who is among the first living in the new dorms on the edge of a pine forest in suburban Orlando. The design, he said, is “letting these companies have a free shot at us when we walk by three times a day for class.” But Cheryl Adams, senior from Daytona Beach, Fla., said most students are less skeptical: “Who doesn’t like to shop?” UCF isn’t alone. Though nearby college towns with quirky health food and rare bookstores have long been a staple at traditional universities, many schools are placing retail on campus and collecting rents to subsidize operations

and attract students. At UCF, money from the dorms, shops and a pair of parking garages is subsidizing the 10,000-seat basketball arena. “We’re a public university, but we want to adopt some of the best practices of the private sector,” said Bill Merck, vice president for administration and finance at UCF. Florida Atlantic University’s board of trustees began moving in the same direction Tuesday. Trustees discussed “Innovation Village,” a proposed complex of dorms and retail stores designed around a proposed football stadium at the Boca Raton campus. In a study, administrators learned many students were rejecting FAU to attend UCF, Florida State and the University of Florida — in part because those schools offer more campus life. And FAU defines that to include a shopping district. “It is no longer enough for a college or university simply to provide students with four walls and a bed,” said Jill Eckardt, the school’s director of housing, in a report to FAU’s board. Urban schools have a longer tradition of integrating their campuses into downtown retail environments. But even that model has changed. The University of Pennsylvania began aggressively developing the depressed West Philadelphia neighborhood around its campus a decade ago, starting with a $100 million project opened in 1998 that converted a parking lot into a hotel, sporting goods store, Barnes & Noble, Cosi coffee bar and Urban Outfitters, among other stores. “At the time there was probably not a lot of enthusiasm among developers for the site,” said Paul Sehnert, Penn’s director of real estate develop-

ment. “We needed to prime the pump.” Penn added another project four blocks away — including a grocery and multiplex movie theater. Outside developers have since started their own projects, leaving a mix of retail and academic buildings on almost every block. “I think they’ve done remarkable things,” said Jeff Speck, director of design for the National Endowment for the Arts. Speck is a former planner with the Miami firm Duany Plater-Zyberk, one of the pioneers for the so-called New Urbanist movement that advocates building traditional communities by intermingling homes, offices and apartments so people can walk everywhere. The projects’ success depends on how they are executed. Adam Drisin, director of FIU’s architecture program, worries about concentrating retail on a campus in such a way that students never leave. Drisin likes the urban model at Penn because it reaches out into the city. But in more suburban campuses, the retail can create an artificial town and separate students from the neighborhood, he said. “I’m always suspicious of attempts to replicate, if you will, the complexities of a city,” Drisin said. “In the best sense, what a university is trying to do is expose students to ideas and places and people that they don’t know about and maybe are a little bit uncomfortable with.” Drisin, like others, expects the retail trend to keep growing because parents and students are demanding it. The newest “campus apartments” at UCF are more expensive, but the school had 500 more applicants than spots, according to Merck.


Page B8 - The University Star

Thursday, November 30, 2006

NBC shows faces behind superheroes’ masks By Joey Holleman McClatchy Newspapers COLUMBIA, S.C. — Did Claire the cheerleader really kill the quarterback? When did Hiro learn English and ditch the dorky glasses? Who is this evil Sylar, and what exactly are his powers? If you’re not asking yourself these questions, you’re missing out on the hottest new show of the television season, Heroes. The common-people-withuncommon-powers drama on NBC ranks first in its 8 p.m. Monday time slot and has added a new phrase to the pop-culture lexicon: “Save The Cheerleader. Save The World.” The drama is water-coolerworthy partly because how it harnessed the Internet and cultivated an army of sidekicks in comic book fans. Viewers are drawn in by the Photo courtesy of MCT complicated plot lines and conflicted characters. It’s along the INDESTRUCTIBLE: “Save the cheerleader. Save the world.” lines of Twin Peaks or Lost, but Hayden Panettiere plays Claire Bennet, a cheerleader who can taken to another level with the heal her wounds, on NBC’s new hit show Heroes. hook about people who sudden-

During short breaks from school students are choosing to fly home By Drew Harwell Independent Florida Alligator GAINESVILLE, Fla. — While other University of Florida students have been scrambling to finish schoolwork before they skip town, Scott Stewart has been putting up Christmas lights about 800 miles away. The economics senior, who flew to his family’s Memphis home Nov. 16 from Gainesville Regional Airport, is one of the many students taking part in the annual exodus from campus during Thanksgiving break. Stewart chose not to make the 10-hour drive because he said the break is not long enough to justify so much time on the road. His flight took only two hours. Most of his friends traveling out of the state are also flying. Stewart said he chose to fly out of the local airport because of its convenience. “I like that it’s close,” Stewart said. “I don’t have to drive far, and typically I can get a pretty good rate.” Compared to other, larger airports used by students — ones like Tampa International Airport and Orlando International Airport — Gainesville Regional Airport is closer but more expensive. It lacks the luxuries of larger airports, such as covered parking or shuttle service. Michelle Danisovszky, spokeswoman for Gainesville Regional Airport, said Gainesville Regional Airport has 28

flights a day this week, compared to the hundreds at busier airports in the state. Travelers out of the small airport also pay higher prices. According to travel Website, one-stop flights to New York from Gainesville Regional Airport were about twice as expensive as direct trips from Tampa International Airport. But the Gainesville airport has its strong points. It’s only about six miles from campus. The next closest terminal is Ocala International Airport — about 40 miles from Gainesville. Also, to entice travelers, Gainesville Regional Airport offered morning fliers a free breakfast Tuesday and Wednesday. Danisovszky said Thanksgiving is the airport’s busiest time of the year, and most flights are full. The day before and the Sunday after Thanksgiving are the busiest days. She said most travelers consider flying much more now due to constantly changing gas prices. Due to Homeland Security regulations, travelers can’t bring presents that are already wrapped. Danisovszky advised travelers to wrap presents when they arrive at their destination. She also advised travelers to come to the airport an hour in advance. Danisovszky said she won’t be braving the busy air terminals, however. She’s driving to South Florida to see her family.

ly realize they are extraordinary. “It’s the dream of most people, I guess,” said Angela Ruot, manager of Silver City Comics in Cayce, S.C. “They wake up one day and they’re not ordinary anymore. They’re special.” There’s Claire, the cheerleader whose body can recover from any wound; Nathan, the politician who can fly; Isaac, the artist who can paint the future (albeit only when whacked out on heroin); Niki, the online stripper with a serious Jekyll-Hyde complex; Hiro, the Japanese officer worker who can bend time; and Peter, who thinks he can fly. NBC cultivated an early buzz during the summer by taking most of the cast members to a sneak preview at Comic-Con, the massive comic book convention in San Diego. The Internet soon was abuzz, but unlike the even louder buzz for the movie Snakes on a Plane, this was more than just noise. While you don’t have to be a comic book fan to appreciate Heroes, NBC recognized its special appeal to that crowd. After

each episode, fans can go online to and download a six-page graphic novel (that’s a fancy name for a comic book) that advances one character’s story line into the next week’s episode. And the Web site has a multi-tiered message board where fans already have dissected every plot twist and intentional (or unintentional) clue. Comic book fans have taken notice. “Everybody who comes in mentions it,” said Ann Hart, who helps run Silver City Comics. “I was surprised they did it as well as they did. They didn’t make it cheesy.” The closest the producers came to a superhero-like costume is Claire’s cheerleader outfit, which seems as indestructible as her. And while the evil Sylar seems a little over the top with his penchant for cutting off the tops of heads, he at least hasn’t made the “I am evil, hear me roar” soliloquy so common in bad comic adaptations. Tug Baker, comic books manager at Heroes and Dragons in

Columbia, S.C., said the hardcore fans who show up at the store every Wednesday for the latest books were skeptical at first. “The comic book crowd is a wary bunch,” Baker said. “They said, ‘We’ll see how this goes.’” Most he has talked to were psyched after the first episode, started having some doubts after the second and third episodes, then were blown away by the fourth episode, Baker said. Heroes has one advantage over similarly quirky shows from the past: People who missed the early buzz can catch up online. The major networks this fall started offering streaming video of some of their most popular shows. Viewers have to put up with a short ad between each of the segments, and only top-ofthe-line computers come close to television quality, but it’s free. If your computer isn’t up to the task, NBC gives you one more chance to hop on the Heroes train before it’s out of the station.

Box office blasts invade theaters in December By Rene Rodriguez McClatchy Newspapers Thanksgiving officially launches the holiday film season — the weeks when Hollywood unleashes the best movies of the year, in hopes of a) luring you away from that new Sony PlayStation 3 or plasma TV and into the multiplex, or b) catching the attention of Oscar voters, whose statuettes will presumably lure you away from that new PlayStation 3 or plasma TV and into the multiplex. Either way, it is audiences who end up winning, as long as the movies deliver. At least on paper, a lot of them sound awfully good. Here is a list of the movies scheduled for release between now and year’s end. Dates are subject to change.

DEC. 1 The Nativity Story: Australian actress Keisha Castle-Hughes, who snagged an Oscar nomination for her 2004 debut Whale Rider, is Mary and Miami native Oscar Isaac is Joseph in this retelling of the birth of Jesus Christ from director Catherine Hardwicke (Thirteen, Lords of Dogtown).

covers his friends and family suspect him of being gay after he befriends a male hairdresser (Wilson Cruz). The Holiday: Two women — one American (Cameron Diaz), the other British (Kate Winslet) — discover dating is hard no matter on which side of the Atlantic you are. Jude Law and Jack Black are the guys wreaking havoc on the girls’ love lives. Unaccompanied Minors: Freaks and Geeks co-creator Paul Feig directs this comedy about a group of teenagers snowed in at an airport on Christmas Eve, with nary a parent in sight.

DEC. 15 Charlotte’s Web: Julia Roberts voices Charlotte, Dominic Scott Kay talks for Wilbur the pig, and the all-star likes of Oprah Winfrey, Robert Redford, John Cleese, Reba McEntire, Andre Benjamin, Cedric the Entertainer and Kathy Bates speak for the rest of the farm animals in this live-action adaptation of E.B. White’s classic novel.

DEC. 22 The Good German: At the end of World War II, a U.S. war correspondent (George Clooney) goes to Berlin to track down a former flame (Cate Blanchett) and gets snared in a murder mystery. Tobey Maguire co-stars for director Steven Soderbergh, who shot the movie as if it had been filmed in 1946, using black and white film, special lenses and old-fashioned editing and camera techniques. The Good Shepherd: A Yale student (Matt Damon) is recruited to join the OSS (the precursor to the CIA) during World War II. Angelina Jolie, John Turturro and Robert De Niro co-star. De Niro also directed, for the first time since 1993’s A Bronx Tale. Rocky Balboa: Sylvester Stallone revives the iconic character that made his career 30 years ago, who comes out of retirement to take on the reigning world champion. What else did you expect him to do, cure cancer? We Are Marshall: Matthew McConaughey, Matthew Fox, Ian McShane and Kate Mara co-star in this fact-based drama about the 1970 plane crash that killed most of the players, coaches and supporters of Marshall University’s football team and the efforts by a new coach and team to band together and help the school begin to heal from the accident.

DEC. 25 Black Christmas: Remake of the 1974 cult favorite about a serial killer preying on a group of sorority sisters on Christmas Eve. Ho ho ho! Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of New Line Cinema Turistas: Director John Stockwell (Into the Blue, crazy/beautiful) tries his hand at the horror genre with this gory romp about a group of backpackers stranded in a remote jungle in Brazil where wild, evil things lurk.

DEC. 8 Apocalypto: Curiosity is high around this subtitled, action-heavy historical drama about the ancient Mayan civilization, and not just because of the fracas surrounding director Mel Gibson’s recent drunk-driving arrest.

Photo courtesy of The Blood Diamond: A mercenary (Leonardo DiCaprio) and a farmer (Djimon Hounsou) embark on a race to find a rare pink diamond. Jennifer Connelly co-stars as a journalist helping the men on their quest. Directed by Edward Zwick (The Last Samurai). Coffee Date: A man (Jonathan Bray) dis-

Eragon: A boy (Edward Speleers) finds an odd stone in the forest and decides to keep it, not realizing it’s really a dragon egg, in this adaptation of Christopher Paolini’s bestselling fantasy-adventure novel. John Malkovich, Djimon Hounsou and Jeremy Irons co-star for former visual-effects wizard-turned-director Stefen Fangmeier.

Children of Men: Mexico’s Alfonso Cuaron (Y tu mama tambien) directs this adaptation of P.D. James’ novel about a futuristic society where the human race has lost its ability to procreate. Julianne Moore, Clive Owen and Michael Caine co-star.

The History Boys: Nicholas Hytner (The Crucible) directs this adaptation of Alan Bennett’s highly acclaimed stage play, using many of the original British cast, about the clash between a group of adolescent boys and their teachers in a boarding school in the 1980s. Night at the Museum: Ben Stiller is a security guard at the Museum of Natural History who accidentally unleashes a curse that brings all the exhibits to life. Robin Williams and Dick Van Dyke co-star, which means there’s someone to tickle every generation’s funny bone. The Pursuit of Happyness: No, it’s not a typo. The spelling of the title will presumably be explained during this story of a single dad (Will Smith) trying to restart his career while raising his 5-year-old son (Jaden Smith).

DEC. 20 The Painted Veil: A British couple (Edward Norton and Naomi Watts) living in Shanghai in the 1920s struggles to save their crumbling marriage in this adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s novel, previously filmed in 1934 with Greta Garbo and Herbert Marshall.

Photo courtesy of Dreamgirls: Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy, Anika Noni Rose and American Idols’ Jennifer Hudson are part of the formidable cast of writer-director Bill (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey) Condon’s adaptation of the smash Broadway musical, loosely based on the story of Diana Ross and the Supremes, about the rise of an all-girl singing trio in the 1960s. Expected to be a major contender at next year’s Oscars.

DEC. 29 Pan’s Labyrinth: A masterpiece of dark fantasy from director Guillermo Del Toro (Hellboy, The Devil’s Backbone), about a little girl (Ivana Baquero) who stumbles into a frightening world of fairies and monsters during the Spanish Civil War.


Thursday, November 30, 2006

The University Star - Page B9

A Year in Review JANUARY


Queen Elizabeth II of England celebrates her 80th birthday at Windsor Castle.


Dick Clark and Ryan Seacrest cohost ABC’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in Times Square, N.Y., and bring in 2006 for about 20 million viewers.

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of


Lost star Michelle Rodriguez pleads guilty to chargers of driving under the influence in Hawaii.

25 Survivor season one winner Richard Hatch is found

Photo courtesy

guilty of tax evasion in a Rhode Island court.

Photo courtesy of AP from

MAY 23


Taylor Hicks from Alabama wins American Idol. He beat out second place contestant Katharine McPhee.



Photo courtesy of

The Rolling Stones perform during halftime of Super Bowl XL in Detroit evoking censorship from TV execs still nervous after Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” of 2005.

Gwen Stefani and husband Gavin Rossdale welcome their first child, son Kingston James.

Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock get married for the second time in Nashville, Ten.


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Jessica Simpson says she’s fallen for pop star John Mayer. Her father, Joe Simpson, releases a statement about the couple. Mayer later denies any romance between him and Simpson.

Photo courtesy of


Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin is killed by a stingray barb through the heart while filming in Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef.

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Photo courtesy

26 Former 98° singer Drew Lachey wins Dancing with the Stars with partner Cheryl Burke.


12 15 – 17

Britney Spears gives birth to a second son, Jayden James Federline

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Angelina Jolie gives birth to Brad Pitt’s first child, Shiloh Nouvel, in the African country of Namibia.

The Austin City Limits Festival at Zilker Park features over 130 bands, including headliners Tom Petty, Van Morrison and Willie Nelson.

Star file photo

Photo courtesy of


Photo courtesy of

Houstonite Chloe Dao is named the winner of Project Runway season two.

Photo courtesy of BravoTV

10 – 19

South by Southwest Music and Film Festival rocked Austin, featuring performances by Morrissey, Neko Case, Spoon and Kris Kristofferson to name a few.

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Photo courtesy of

Actress Daryl Hannah is arrested for refusing to come down from a tree. The stunt was to protest the landowner’s reclamation of a community garden in Los Angeles.

Photo courtey of AFP,


Supermodel Naomi Campbell is charged with assault on her housekeeper. She allegedly threw a cell phone at her head, causing the woman to require stitches.

Photo courtesy of


Photo courtesy of

The divorce between Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey is finalized.


Photo courtesy of


Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin announce the birth of their son, Moses.

Photo courtey of


Suri Cruise is born to the infamous celebrity couple TomKat despite rumors that Katie Holmes faked her pregnancy.

Photo courtesy of AP,

Actress Eva Longoria and Spurs guard Tony Parker split after weeks of reported “hard times.”


Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie adopt a one-year-old orphan boy from Malawi. The speedy process causes controversy back in the U.S.

Photo courtesy of


Bob Barker, host of The Price is Right, announced plans to retire from 35-year job in June.

Power couple Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons announce plans to divorce.

Photo courtesy of


Photo courtesy of

Television producer Aaron Spelling dies at age 83 from complications after a stroke.



Anna Nicole Smith weds lawyer Howard K. Stern on a yacht off the coast of Paradise Island in the Bahamas. The marriage comes three weeks after the birth of her daughter, whose paternity is still in question.


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, starring Johnny Depp, is released in theaters and quickly becomes the top-grossing movie of the year.


Photo courtesy of

Actor Mel Gibson is arrested and charged with drunken driving and allegedly made anti-Semitic comments to police officers.

Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Sheriff Dept.,

Photo courtesy of


Britney Spears files for divorce from husband Kevin Federline, whose nickname appropriately changes from K-Fed to Fed-Ex.


Photo courtesy of

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes exchange wedding vows in a castle in Bracciano, Italy. The elaborate Scientology ceremony attracts big-name celebs and extensive media coverage.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images, Compiled by Leah Kirkwood

Page B10 - The University Star


Thursday, November 30, 2006


Thursday, November 30, 2006

The University Star - Page B11

A Festivus for the rest W

hether or not you celebrate Christmas, there is a holiday that we can all celebrate together called Festivus – thanks to those clever Seinfeld writers. Here is a taste of what The University Star would like around its metal pole this December.

Photo courtesy of

Danielle Elisabeth Madsen trends reporter 1. Everyone to enjoy the Lord’s blessings and peace this holiday season. 2. A meet-and-greet with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. 3. A pink four-wheeler with ‘Diva’ written on the back 4. Underprivileged children to have love and toys this holiday season.

Mike Perez design editor 1. A 1GB SanDisk micro SD card. 2. A real Ninja Turtle van. 3. Tuition.

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George Bridges/MCT Leah Kirkwood trends assistant editor 1. Diamonds because they’re a girl’s best friend. 2. A puppy because I’m graduating and will finally have time for potty training one. 3. Sirius Satellite Radio because traditional radio sucks and I love station 26, Left of Center. Photo courtesy of

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Jason Buch editor in chief 1. New pants because the last pair of jeans I bought tore (I didn’t buy them at the outlet mall), causing me to be late to the final tailgate of the season. 2. I also need a new soccer ball because I don’t know where mine is. 3. But I really want The Muppet Show Season 1.

Chuck Myers/MCT

David Saleh Rauf news editor 1. Peace of mind. 2. An awesome massage. 3. Acupuncture treatment.

Bill Rix copy desk chief 1. A Wii (sometime this year.) 2. And a girlfriend to play it with. 3. I’d like to go rock climbing in Canada again. I went with my dad a few years ago and it was fun. Maybe rock climbing at a state park in Texas would be just as cool.

Maira Garcia trends editor 1. I would like an engagement ring from my boyfriend. 2. I want some new pots and pans because mine have no more non-stick coating and are Photo courtesy of getting rusty. Photo courtesy of

Mershon Illgner designer 1. iPod speakers. 2. A date to the Nutcracker.

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of us

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Photo courtesy of Monty Marion photo editor 1. A Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 lens and other painfully expensive photo gear. 2. Donations.

Emily Messer managing editor 1. I’m going to have to quote John Lee Hooker on this one: I need some money. 2. I want better health, so I’m not sick every other week. 3. I’d also like to see snow in person. It would be a first time for me.

Photo courtesy of Eloise Martin assistant news editor 1. A bike, so I can stop driving so much and paying for gas. 2. A laptop, so I can get out of my apartment but still get some work done. 3. A job, so I can start making money and feel like college wasn’t a waste. Photo courtesy of

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Page B12 - The University Star



Thursday, November 30, 2006

✯Star Comics

RealPlayer a real pain I’m decently educated when it comes to technology. I can put together and take apart a computer BILL RIX quickly. I can set up a stereo Star Copy Chief system and I can muddle through a C++ class. What I don’t understand, however, is how RealNetworks, Inc. is still in business. I’ve been thinking about this on and off for years now, ever since I opened my first .rm file back in the 90s. The thought came back to me when I was in Modern Poetry. The professor was speaking on Jayne Cortez and he wanted to play an audio file of her reading “I See Chano Pozo.” The prof navigated to the Literature Online database and found the file — available in both .rm and .wmv formats — and clicked on the first (RealPlayer) link. RealOne launched rather quickly and stood ready, waiting for input (evidently you must press play

to hear the file; I guess clicking on the link isn’t convincing enough). The second the play button was clicked, RealOne asked to be updated. At this point I was about to go back to cleaning my nails with a key, knowing how well this will go, but I was riveted. See, the prof is a smart guy, and doesn’t blindly click (his link suggestion the sole exception) on anything and everything like most professors would do in this situation. I watched because it was a great example of a normally intelligent being attempting to deal with RealPlayer (or RealOne, or whatever they call the program at the time of this writing). He tried to update it and it asked for an admin password. It took a minute for him to remember it, but he finally got it and RealOne trudged along, slowly downloading adware and viruses and pornography and who knows what else. After all was said and done, RealOne stopped downloading and began its signature move: buffering. Non-stop, galeforce buffering. The “stream”

would buffer for 30 seconds every three or four seconds, rendering it impossible to hear anything. At this point the prof was just about done with trying to let us hear Cortez, so he makes to terminate the program. RealOne wasn’t about to deal with that, so it froze. This isn’t unexpected, though, as I’m sure the entire RAM was siphoned away by background services and whatnot. Can anyone tell me why this company is still in business? The product hasn’t been improved on in any noticeable way in at least five years, and it wasn’t that great to begin with. I’m thinking the only people who actually have any RealNetworks software installed are those who buy Hewlet-Packards or Dells that already come bundled with a ton of rubbish. It’s breathtaking that anyone would encode something into .rm or .ram or whatever else the company uses. Why not use .ogg, or if it’s something important (like, I don’t know, hard-to-find poetry readings) .flac, or something high-quality like that?


© Pappocom

Complete the grid so that every row, column, and 3-by-3 box contains every digit from one through nine inclusively.

Yesterday’s solutions:

Solutions available online at



Yesterday’s solutions:

11 30 2006 Section B  
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