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The student voice of Mines since 1920

Volume 95, Issue 4

December 1, 2014

Mines debates MLK Jr. Day Depts. in Review

Opinion from the CSM CSM Community

Letter from the CSM
USG Vice President answers: On a scale Faculty Senators
Colin Marshall
Faculty Senate
of 1-5 how effective CSM
Guest Writer
Guest Writers
are campus events
The following letter was written by
Currently the Calendar Committhe Faculty Senate and addressed
tee is deciding whether or not to
at promoting MLK
to several members of the CSM
make Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
a school holiday. There has been a
Jr. day?
The Faculty Senate proposes that
strong push from the faculty to have
the day o for two reasons: First,
many of them have school aged
children and must nd day care since
their childrens schools do observe
the holiday. Second, not having the
holiday seems disrespectful of what
the day represents.
If the day is observed, the Monday of school that we would no
longer have has to be replaced with
another Monday. Each semester
of school has to have a minimum
amount of hours for each weekday,
which is why we cannot just take
MLK day o as a holiday without adjusting the calendar in another way.
Continued at MLK Jr. Day brings
up issue of Mines diversity on
page 4

Average rating:

the Colorado School of Mines incorporate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (MLK
Day) into the academic schedule on
its appropriate day of celebration in
January. The primary reason we ask
for this change is to set up an appropriate tone on campus with respect to
diversity. We feel that CSM has made
tremendous strides in diversity over
the last decade, for instance as part
of the Presidents diversity initiative.
Now is the time to take the next step.
Celebrations are important for what
is expressed and shared, and serve
to socialize our students to important

Continued at What does the CSM

community say about MLK Jr.
Day? on page 4

Continued at MLK Jr. Day brings

up issue of Mines diversity on
page 4

because Higher Grounds closes

at 7:30PM most evenings, forcing
Golden caeine-seekers to head
to Starbucks or even Arthur Lakes
Librarys Book and Brew.

Windy Saddle:
Hours: 7:00 to 6:00
Internet speed: 32 ms ping, 12.61
Mbps, 8.13 Mbps

The students guide to

Goldens coffee houses
Katerina Gonzales
Content Manager
Higher Grounds:
Hours: 5:30am to 7:30pm
Wi speed: 41 ms ping, 0.51 Mbps
download, 1.21 Mbps upload
This cute and cozy coee shop
is a favorite among Mines students
and faculty, as customers can be
seen reading books on mechanics, debugging code, or chatting
about job oers with a hot cup of
coee in hand (and even the cups
are homey, if grabbing a drink to
stay). Higher Grounds has excellent and friendly sta, the best chai
latte in Golden, and pretty decent
burritos if hunger begins to set in
while working. There are reachable outlets nearly everywhere
in the shop, and both tables and
couches. Best yet, the shop is the
closest shop to campus, and even
closer to some academic halls
like Coolbaugh than they are to
Einsteins in CTLM.
When all tables are full, it would
be nice if the shop were larger,
though that would detract from
its coziness. Internet speed is
satisfactory, but not great. But
the most disappointing characteristic about Higher Grounds is
their hours. Looking to get some
work done or have a conversation
over cocoa after dinner? Too bad,

Cafe 13:
Hours: 6:30-3:00
Wi speed: 36 ms ping, 7.60 Mbps
download, 3.32 Mbps upload
Nestled in the Armory on 13th
Street, Cafe 13 boasts serving
Conscious Coees from Boulder
just one block from the Mines
campus. Warm beverages are
both relatively good price and
quality, and the sta is friendly. But
if hunger begins to set in, it best
to walk down the street to a real
sandwich shop than overpaying
here for a sandwich.
The wi system likely will not
lend easily to staying a while anyway. The reason Cafe 13s internet
speeds are higher than some is
that they require customers to sign
in with a code from their purchase
receipt, and that code is only valid
for two hours. Additionally, the
shops hours expect customers
to mostly hang out in the morning. The building is beautiful, the
furniture cozy, but only except to
spend a few hours here if internet
access is not required...or if multiple drinks are to be bought.

Favorite professors in

Favorite professors in Civil and

Environmental Engineering:

Windy Saddle is both a coee,

sandwich, and pastry shop, with
many gluten free options. As far as
warm beverages go, the prices are
comparable to Higher Grounds and
are quite delicious--their pumpkin pie
latte is head and shoulders above a
Starbucks pumpkin spice latte. If being near campus is getting tiresome,
Windy Saddle is walkable, but in the
heart of downtown Golden, between
12th and 11th Street.
The atmosphere is great for conversation, but terrible for productivity.
There are a few outlets and the internet speed is relatively good, but the
productivity-killer is the noise, as most
customers are there to eat or chat. And
like many shops in downtown Golden,
post-dinner hours are non-existent.
Bean Fosters
Hours: 6:30 to 6:30
Wi speed: 47 ms ping, 0.54 Mbps
download, 0.25 Mbps upload
A self-described coee, tea, and
people place, Bean Fosters is worth
the ve-minute drive from campus
down 6th Ave.
Continued at Finding the best
coee house on page 4

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page 2

december 1, 2014

Aberdeen, Scotland - Platelets are blood cells that play a crucial role in blood clotting. They help to prevent blood
loss by gathering together into clumps and then plugging the hole in the blood vessel. Scientists at University of Aberdeen
in Scotland wanted to nd something that would mimic those important characteristics to yield a more eective synthetic
clotting agent. They were able to create copycats, which are identical to natural platelets in terms of shape, size, exibility,
and surface biochemistry. These copycats were produced by additive nanoparticle manufacturing process, which builds
up layers of synthetic molecules and proteins. When the synthetic platelets were put to the test in injured mice, they were
found to be successful at stopping blood clots in the animals. Further tests will be made for evaluation on humans.

Washington D.C., USA - Scientists at the National Academy of Sciences, led by Vikranth Bejjanki,
researched how video games have a positive impact
on the brain. Their newly published paper show that
playing action video games, such as rst person
shooters, show improved performance in perception, attention, and cognition. In a series of experiments, the researchers reported that gamers with
previous experience of playing action video games
were better at perceptual tasks than gamers with less
experience. The interactivity can stimulate learning,
allowing individuals to experience novelty, curiosity
and challenge that stimulate learning. There is the
opportunity to develop transferable skills, or practice
challenging or extraordinary activities, such as ight
simulators, or simulated operations, says Bejjanki.

Oredigger Staff
Lucy Orsi
Emily McNair
Managing Editor
Taylor Polodna
Design Editor
Connor McDonald
Amos Gwa
Business Manager
Katerina Gonzales
Content Manager
Jared Riemer
Content Manager
Karen Gilbert
Faculty Advisor

Europe (European Space Agency) - Scientists from European Space Agency were able to land a spacecraft on a
comet, called 67P, 310 million miles from Earth on Wednesday. This is the rst soft/controlled landing in history. The
spacecraft bounced slightly on the comet and the scientists
say, although this was a successful landing, the spaceship is
not rmly secure. The spaceship is equipped with an array
of experiments to photograph and test the surface of Comet
67P as well as nding out what happens when the eect of
the sun drives o gas and dust. Sensors on the lander will
measure the density and thermal properties of the surface.
Gas analyzers will help complex organic chemicals that might
be present. In addition, other tests will measure the magnetic
eld and interaction between the comet and solar wind.

Magnus Chun, Staff Writer

Japan - Scientists from the RIKEN

Biology Center in Japan have created
mice that are transparent in order to better understand cell functions in the mice.
The group removed the heme (pigments)
from various parts of the body. Once the
specimen is transparent, scientists collected 3D images of tissues and organs
and were able to see dierences in the
pancreases of diabetic and non-diabetic
mice. The scientists hope to use this
transparent method for 3D pathology,
anatomical studies, and understanding
the chemistry of entire organisms.

Headlines from around the world

Magnus Chun, Staff Writer
US President Barack Obama
and Chinese President Xi Jinping both announced that the
US and China will cut down
their greenhouse gas emissions over the next two decades. The US will cut its carbon emissions by 26-28% before
2025. China will peak its carbon
emissions by 2030 and aim to
get 20% of its energy from zerocarbon emission sources by the
same year. Obama said, As the
worlds two largest economies,
energy consumers and emitters
of greenhouse gases, we have
a special responsibility to lead
the global effort against climate
change. The Center for Climate
and Energy Solutions said the
joint announcement is an extremely hopeful sign and will get
other countries attention.
The Obama administration hopes to sell the
plan back home by
offering lower costs
for people using
energy efficiently.
Also, Obamas
plan offers initiatives
to develop
more solar
both countries. China
has agreed
another 8001,000 gigawatts of nuclear, wind, solar
and other zero

emission generation capacity by

A US surgeon who went to
Sierra Leone to treat Ebola cases
was infected with Ebola and was
transported to The Nebraska
Medical Center for treatment.
Doctors at The Nebraska Medical
Center have already treated two
American Ebola patients. Dr. Rick
Sacra was treated at the hospital and released in September.
Ashoka Mukpo, a cameraman
who worked for NBC, was treated there and released last month.
So far, Ebola cases treated in the
United States have shown a

higher survival rate than cases treated in West Africa.

For the first time in 70
years, a gray wolf was spotted
in the Grand Canyon. Decades
ago, the species were eliminated
there and now the wolves will
bring ecological benefits to the
ecosystem. The nearest breeding
population from which it could
have come from is near Yellowstone National Park, which is a
thousand kilometers away. The
Fish and Wildlife Service are currently collecting fecal samples to
confirm that the animal is a wolf,
rather than a wolf-dog hybrid.

w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t

Local News
Republican Tim Neville ofcially replaced incumbent
Jeanne Nicholson (D-Blackhawk) almost a week after midterm elections ended. Neville
only narowlly edged out Nicholson with 2 percent of the vote.
The Colorado Railroad Museum is hosting a new event
which they hope will bring The
Polar Express to life through an
interactive train ride.
After the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, 46 ights at DIA
were delayed on Sunday due to
fog and freezing temperatures.
The University of Denver
Law School announced a new
class entitled Representing the
Marijuana Client. The threecredit class beginning in January sold out fast according to
Professor Sam Kamin.
A bill written to protect
the Hermosa Creek region in
southwest Colorado is currently
in front of the U.S. Congress.
The bill has just one week left
to pass before Congress breaks
for winter recess.
Colorado novelist Kent Haruf
passed away on Sunday November 30. Harufs best known
works include Plain Song,
Eventide and Benediction.
The Mines campus donated
enough food to feed nearly 45
families during the fall 2014
Castle of Cans food drive.
A former Mines student by
the name of Tesho Akindele
was named Major League Soccers 2014 rookie of the year.

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december 1, 2014

page 3

Brain-Computer Interface: Autism Treatment

Musaad Alfakhri
Staff Writer

Since its inception, the main purpose of a computer was to perform

a set of complex tasks and perform
some complex calculations as well.
However, computers have developed
into more than that. After much effort,
computers now can operate through
a touch screen or voice commands.
Also, computers have become small
and compact and have been integrated into our daily lives. Now, computers can be seen in our mobiles, iPods,
PDAs, BlackBerrys, etc., and it still
continues to develop even further.
The use of mobiles and computers can be defined as human-brain
interaction or interface, which is the
study and design of an interaction
between users and computers. Recently, scientists have discovered a
new paradigm of human-computer
interaction that could establish a connection between the brain and the
computer called the brain-computer
interface (BCI). Wang, Vallabhaneni,
and He, neuroscientists, defined BCI
as a communication method based
on neural activity generated by the
brain and is independent of its normal
output pathways of peripheral nerves
and muscles, while others defined
BCI as a system that allows its user
to control a machine solely with brain
activity rather than the peripheral nervous system. However, the most suitable definition is the one where BCI
is defined as a non-muscular channel for sending messages or mental
commands to an automated system
such as a robot, prosthesis, or a cursor on a computer.
The history of BCI dates back to
1929 where Hans Berger, a German
neurologist, worked on device that
could measure the brains electrical activity. That device came to be
known as an electroencephalogram
(EEG). 40 years later, researchers
were able to develop primitive systems that could be controlled by the
electrical activity of the brain. The Pentagons Advanced Research Project
Agency was interested in using this
feature to develop devices that could
be controlled biological signal based
computers. Dr. Jacques Vidal, alongside other colleagues, proved that
brain generated signals can be used
to communicate the users desires.
The main purpose of any BCI
is to run an application through the
detection of brain signals. This is accomplished by asking the patients to
undergo certain tasks that generate
a difference in the brain activity. Any
BCI based system is composed of six
main parts. The first part is the signal
acquisition system, whose main function is to obtain brain signals caused
by electrical differences. These signals
are passed down to the next part, the
feature extractor. The feature extractor extracts the main features of any
signal. Then the signal goes to the
feature translator, which converts the
signals into algorithms that can be
understood by computers. Finally, the
algorithm can be passed to a device
or a monitor.
*Adapted from the Bulletin of
the Transilvania University of Brasov
BCI can be used in various fields
such as communication for people
with severe disabilities such as lockedin-syndrome. Another application of
BCI is neural prosthesis, which helps
people with disabilities, such as paralysis, to regain mobility through restoring the communication channel
between the brain and the limbs.
One of the many applications of
BCI is virtual reality (VR), which can

be briefly described as machine-generated worlds that allow its users to

interact with these worlds. Virtual reality is a derivative of brain-computer
interface. It is used in many fields, one
of which is cognitive rehabilitation. Virtual reality aims to stimulate or create
new worlds. It can be differentiated
from normal human-computer interaction through the level of interaction, where VR presents its users with
3-D representations while computers
present its users with 2-D representations. Virtual reality can be used in the
field of cognitive rehabilitation, where it
helps to reduce the effects of phobias
and vertigo, and it can be also used to
help children with learning disabilities
to learn new skills. The main function
of VR therapy is for users to confront
their most predominant fear. Knowing
that the world is harmless, the reconstruction of frightening situations is realistic and enables them to deal with

that are common between people

with autism: love for routines, sensory
sensitivity, special interests, and learning disabilities. Although they face
learning difficulties, some people with
autism exhibit a form of exceptional
skills in various fields such as music,
mathematics and art.
Affecting 1 in every 150 children,
autism is becoming more prevalent,
Mayo Clinic stated that there is not
a specific cure for autism; however,
there is a set of interventions that
aims to boost the childs language,
social, academic and behavioral performance and attempt to exterminate
any autism signs. One of the interventions is Applied Behavior Analysis
(ABA), which aims to develop the necessary social skills in autistic children
by certified and trained therapists
ABA can be defined as an approach
that is based on the behavior analysis, which is based on the principles
on how learning takes place. One of

is cost effective, time-saving, provides

a safer learning environment, can be
individualized, and tasks can be repeated as much as needed to insure
the reception of the skill targeted.
Using Virtual Reality is CostEffective Compared to Applied
Behavior Analysis
ABA can be transforming and
yields good results; however, when
done on an intense basis, it can cost
up to $25,000 per year for schools
focused for autism treatment, while
in home therapy can cost up to
$40,000-$60,000 per year. Amid this
financial backdrop, that cost can be
pretty expensive for parents, especially those supporting more than one
child. As a result, some might deem
this approach unnecessary due to the
extremely high cost. Those parents
start to wonder what other alternatives are available that are cheaper
than ABA. In that case, VR pops up.
Costs of Virtual Reality Treatment

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD),

commonly known as autism, is defined as a lifelong brain impairment,
primarily characterized by learning
difficulties, that has no exact cause
and influences how people interact
with others, while the National Autistic Society defined Autism Spectrum
Disorder as a long-term impairment
that changes or influences how an
individual interacts with other people
and how they perceive the outside
Autistic people do not view the
world and the people in it like most,
but rather they see them as objects,
which they do not comprehend,
causing them to become anxious.
The main areas of difficulties in autistic patient concern difficulties with
social communication, interaction,
and imagination. For autism patients,
understanding other peoples verbal
and non-verbal language appears to
be difficult and they have a very literal
understanding. Autism patients suffer difficulties in the social domain,
especially when communicating with
others. Autistic people have to learn
to socialize with others as opposed
to naturally acquiring these skills. This
is due to the fact that autistic people
do not recognize other peoples emotions facial expressions and feelings,
and thus they might not be familiar
with the unspoken social norms such
as initiating an inappropriate conversation or standing extremely close to
someone. Furthermore, people with
autism experience difficulties figuring out other peoples psychological
states and thoughts. The characteristics of autism vary; however, there are
several main aspects of the disorder

those is positive reinforcement, which

rewards the child after he or she performs a certain behavior. In the case
of a reward, the behavior or is more
likely to be repeated. ABA uses those
principles to teach and reinforce positive behaviors and attitudes in children. ABA can be integrated into the
everyday life of the family or in classrooms.
The main difference between
VR therapy and traditional behavior
therapies like ABA is that VR therapy
creates realistic situations in labs. In
those labs, therapists create situations where the client feels engrossed
in that scene. Another difference is
that a therapist using VR therapy can
see the patients fears while, with normal therapies, he must imagine what
is going on inside the patients head.
In VR therapy, therapists can also see
how the patients react to certain situations and are able to jump in and offer guidance.
Although considered to be a successful approach for the treatment
of autism in children, ABA can be
financially expensive for parents and
families as it can cost up to $50,000$60,000 per year, while a VR system
can cost up to $7500. Also, ABA requires a huge time commitment from
parents and families as it might take at
least 25 to 40 hours per week. VR has
been used to treat autistic children
and it has displayed good results,
where the children exhibited improvements in the social domain
While ABA can be an effective autism treatment, it is financially expensive and time consuming. The use of
VR therapy for autism treatment is
better than ABA due to the fact that it

for PTSD states that a VR therapy

Virtual Iraq- which is designed for
returning soldiers from Iraq, costs up
to $5,000. Also, the potential cost
can be somewhere above $5,000.
Here we can clearly see the huge
gap between the cost of ABA and
VR therapy, which is almost equal to
$35,000-$55,000. By opting for VR,
parents can save up to $35,000$55,000 annually.
Virtual Reality Saves Time
Compared to Applied Behavior
With a busy schedule, parents
who work often do not have much
space in their schedules. But when
their child suffers from autism, it becomes a different story. Aside from
its cost, parents would go for ABA
intervention sessions. Those sessions
would require roughly 25-40 hours
per week, for three or five years,
which is a huge time commitment for
parents. As a result of this time commitment, the parents would cut down
their working hours, which would reduce their income, and as result suffer financially. However, when parents
choose VR therapy as a treatment for
their child, their time commitment is
reduced. VR requires its user to use
or interact with a computer or head
mounted piece that constitutes a
gateway to the world of VR, which
requires no parental supervision; thus
less or almost no time commitment.
Virtual Reality Provides a Safer
Learning Environment
VR has been used in BCI training systems due to its safety and
motivational factors. The University
of Nottingham has developed a virtual physics lab where the students

w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t

would carry on experiments, including

those involving radioactive materials.
It can be inferred that such software
was developed in order to insure
that no accidents from such harmful
material would result. In the case of
autistic children, their presence amid
a group of people in the street or in
a caf or with someone else in their
environment, such as home, might
be a source or anxiety for them, thus
making them feel unsafe. In order
for autistic children to progress, they
have to be taught to develop themselves in the social domain. However,
with ABA, they are exposed to much
insecurity. VR can be a better environment for teaching children everyday
skills, where mistakes or errors during
the teaching process are less dangerous and can help children progress
from simple interactions to complex
or realistic ones.
Virtual Reality Can Be Individualized
Some autistic children cannot
tolerate certain levels of distractions,
such as visual or acoustic. However,
such complications or distractions
can be minimized to insure a successful therapy. VR can guarantee
that by adjusting input stimulation and
by introducing those distractions in a
slow and smooth manner so that the
patient can adjust to those distractions. VR can see and predict what
is going on the childs brain, and can
adjust the therapy accordingly. However, in the case of ABA, the therapist
has to imagine what the child is going through and try to modulate the
therapy based on their imagination,
which is not as accurate as what VR
can predict.
Virtual Reality Can Repeat
Tasks to Insure the Reception of
the Skill
The Journal of Intellectual Disability Research stated that the principles
of repetition of tasks are successful in promoting behavior change in
children with autism, and that they
present a greater potential in generalizing those behaviors in their lives.
Also, they also stated that tasks and
assignments in VR can be repeated
and practiced consistently without the
exhaustion associated with human instructions. This will enable autistic children to engage in certain tasks, such
as going to a Virtual Caf and order
a drink, more than once so that the
skill of interacting with others can be
instilled in them.
BCI is a new paradigm in the technological field, and has numerous applications in various fields. BCI can be
used in gaming, military applications,
and in the medical field. One type of
BCI is VR, which stimulates and creates real world environments using
computers. VR can be a useful tool
in cognitive rehabilitation, such as autism treatment.
VR is cheaper than the other
available treatments, such as Applied Behavior Analysis, from an economic point of view. In terms of time
consumption and commitment, VR
saves time for parents more than the
Applied Behavior Analysis. VR also
provides a safer learning environment,
where mistakes during the teaching
process are less catastrophic. A VR
program can be modulated according to every childs preferences to
insure a better and a more successful
treatment. Moreover, tasks in VR can
be repeated as much as possible to
ensure that the behavior targeted or
skill can be instilled within the child.
VR can be considered as a successful
approach for the treatment of autism
instead of Applied Behavior Analysis.

o p i n i o n

Page 4

december 1, 2014

MLK Jr. Day brings up issue of Mines diversity

Opinion from the CSM USG Vice President
Continued from page 1

Calendar Committee has come

up with several options and Undergraduate Student Government
(USG) has discussed each of them
to decide what we think the students would prefer. We also discussed whether or not taking MLK
day o would be the most eective
way to respect the days meaning.
As student representatives,
USG reviewed the calendar committees options from purely a students perspective. While taking
the day o is good for the faculty
because of their children, for the
majority of students this is not an issue. We did not believe that taking
MLK Day o for purely this reason
was a good option for students.
We did discuss the importance
of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and
how it could best be celebrated and
appreciated on campus. Adding
the holiday to the calendar, would
give students a chance to observe
MLK Day, as they prefer. Colorado
School of Mines is one of the only
schools that does not observe the
holiday, which may lead to the perception that we dont celebrate diversity or human rights. However,
currently there are university-sponsored programs to observe the holiday. USG discussed the ecacy of
these programs to date and agreed
that more could be done to improve
recognition of the holiday. Additionally, USG discussed that taking the

day o does not necessarily mean

the holiday would be appreciated
or recognized by students.
One of the alternatives proposed by calendar committee and
discussed by USG was switching
the day o for MLK Day with Presidents Day. USG did not think this
was a good option because it appears to be better for students to
get a break in the middle of the semester as opposed to right at the
beginning. Also, we did not think
this would be a solution to the professors child care problems, since
most schools also take o Presidents Day.
The other option is to start
school for the spring semester
two days earlier, on a Monday instead of a Wednesday. This would
give us the extra day for MLK Day
and an additional Tuesday that we
could take o at another point in
time. USG found this option more
favorable. We did not like that
break would be shortened by two
days, but we believe getting MLK
day and another Tuesday o without taking away any other holidays
in the middle of the semester is an
option worth considering.
Overall USG believes that the
best option would be to either keep
MLK Day as a school day or to start
school two days earlier at the beginning of the spring semester. We
will be sure to take the results of the
Orediggers poll on this issue to the
Calendar Committee.

Diversity at Mines according to the numbers:

The distribution of full-time, instructional staff at Mines from year to year. This data was
pulled from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) reports. Unfortunately, this data was only collected sporadically prior to 2007. Additionally, before 2010,
the Native Hawaiian or Other Pacic Islander demographic was included in the Asian
demographic. Editors Note: The Oredigger has doubts about the validity of the numbers
for the Nonresident alien demographic since they appear to make a few dramatic jumps
from 2006 to 2007 and 2011 to 2012.

Letter from the CSM Faculty Senators

Continued from page 1

The history of race relations in this

country makes MLK Day important,
and in this era, and in parallel with our
desire to further increase diversity at
Mines as part of the Strategic Plan
approved by the Board of Trustees
last year, we need to consider the
symbolism associated with not giving students the day to reect on civil
rights. As noted in Bolman and Deal
(2013), creating symbolic frames
in organizations are what infuse an
institution with its soul, build shared
meaning and vision among members, and provide a strong culture
that honors important traditions. Not
recognizing and fully celebrating MLK
Day at Mines sends a poor message
to our students that the day's celebration of racial equality and civil rights
is not all that important, but merely a
day o work that can be moved to
the Thanksgiving break without much
fanfare and some small celebrations
held on campus in its stead (such
as the MLK Day breakfast). By not
fully celebrating MLK Day as other
schools do, we implicitly tell minorities
and those external to the university
that Mines does not in fact value the
inclusivity heralded in the Strategic
Plan, in contrast to our direct competitors both in and out of state.
All Southern universities explored
as part of our research in preparation
for this Memo (including U. Arkansas,
Mississippi State, Georgia Tech, and
U. South Carolina) celebrate MLK
Day. Currently, the University of Colorado (
holiday_schedule.aspx) and Colorado State(http://www.hrs.colostate.
edu/benets/holiday.html) systems
also oer this holiday (they oer MLK
plus other holidays in lieu of the week
between Christmas and New Years).
We understand that from an energy
perspective, it likely is cost eective
for the university to be closed during the week of Christmas to New

Years, a value we share. That said,

other universities (like Cornell, for example:
all/sta_holidays.html) manage to observe Labor Day, MLK Day, the day
after Thanksgiving, and a long Christmas holiday. We hope CSM should
be able to follow these examples as
well. As an added benet, this day of
celebration will also make it easier on
families (thereby supporting diversity)
since MLK Day is a holiday in the Jefferson County school system (http://
30%202013.pdf), which means students, faculty and sta must nd day
care if both spouses are working or if
one is a single parent. The burden on
mothers of young children (both students and faculty) can be particularly
severe, which further impacts diversity at Mines.
We would like to propose that
Mines make MLK Day a holiday on
the academic calendar at its
intended locationto celebrate
the true meaning of this day. MLK
Day should be a day of service where
our students are encouraged to look
beyond the walls of the Colorado
School of Mines. As Martin Luther
King Jr. himself said while a student
at Morehouse College: We must
remember that intelligence is not
enough. Intelligence plus character
that is the goal of true education.
Reference: Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T.
E. (2013). Reframing organizations:
Artistry, choice, and leadership. John
Wiley & Sons.
The letter was signed by the following faculty senators: Lincoln Carr,
Joel Bach, Bernard Bialecki, Gerald
Bourne, Uwe Greife, Dan Knauss,
Thomas Monecke, Ken Osgood,
Steve Pankavich, Kamini Singha,
John Spear, Kim Williams, and Ray

The distribution of full-time students (undergraduate and graduate) at Mines from year to
year. This data was pulled from Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
reports. Before 2010, the Native Hawaiian or Other Pacic Islander demographic was
included in the Asian demographic.

Finding the best coffee house

Katerina Gonzales
Content Manager

Hours: 5:00 to 9:30
Wi speed: 110 ms ping, 1.40
Continued from page 1 Mbps download, 1.42 Mbps upload
The bookstore/coee house
provides a homey atmosphere,
Starbucks is the opposite of
but not as cozy as Higher what one pictures when thinking of
Grounds as the shop is larger and a cozy college town coee shop,
not fully carpeted. There are a few but it is included here because
places for laptops, but it functions of the noticeably longer hours
better as a place
than any coee
to read, write, or
Bean Fosters is a house in Golden,
talk over a mug of
or even Colorado.
a hot americano.
nice getaway from Starbucks stays
Forget streamopen to 9:30, but
ing music while campus and the usu- students will have
working, visiting
wanted to had
youtube during al coffee shops that spent their money
a study break,
and received their
or downloading double as sandwich caeine x across
the latest assignplaces in downtown the street at Higher
ment from BlackGrounds.
board. The inThe
ternet is glacially
sphere is more
this shop is best enjoyed without conversations, though the back
area has areas good for studyAlthough not very cozy (es- ing. However, the shop is the oppecially when working near the posite from cozy--it is downright
windows, where the outlets are), cold, even when the outside temBean Fosters is a nice getaway peratures are balmy. The internet
from campus and the usual coee speeds are quite atrocious, and
shops that double as sandwich hopping on CSMWireless in the
places in downtown Golden.
library is probably a better option.
Starbucks on 13th and Wash- Going to graduate school in Seat-

w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t

tle or Vancouver, or places where

coee shops are open all night, is
probably the best option.
Book and Brew:
Hours: 7:30 to 9:00 most days,
closes at 3:00 Fri and Sat
Internet speed: CSMWireless...
If productivity needs a hot beverage for a catalyst and late hours
seem to be ahead, consider going
to Book and Brew at Arthur Lakes
Library instead of Starbucks.
Book and Brew closes at 9 most
evenings, but the library stays
open until midnight. However, this
is not the place to hang out and
have a conversation, neither is it
the place to be when sick of being
on campus.
Best coee house: Combine
Windy Saddles internet speed,
Starbucks hours (and add at least
two more hours), the hominess of
being around books at Bean Fosters, and everything about Higher
Grounds, and there students will
nd Goldens Best Coee Shop.
However, until the small town of
Golden realizes that students
need late night caeine options,
Higher Grounds will be the best
place to grab a chai, or whatever
your chosen caeine vice is, and
bust out a lab report.

december 1, 2014

c o m m u n i t y

p o l l

page 5

What does the CSM community say about MLK Jr. Day?

Lucy Orsi

The Oredigger sent out a campus wide email asking members

of the Mines community, including
both students and sta, how they
felt about Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The survey consisted of ve ques-

tions and one open comment box.

Each of the questions, as well as the
distribution of responses, is listed
verbatim below. The survey was sent
out on Monday November 24th and
results were compiled on November
30th. In total, there were 641 responses and 121 written comments.
Survey participants were given

the option to respond anonymously

and the majority of respondents took
this option. In fact, 91% of responses
were anonymous. Of the 121 written
comments, 83% were anonymous.
The Oredigger believes that despite
their anonymity, these comments
provide a valuable glimpse at the
perspectives of Mines students.

On a scale of 1-5 how effective

are campus events at promoting MLK Jr. day?

How should CSM recognize MLK Jr. Day?

Average rating:

Which of the alternatives below would

you prefer?

On a scale of 1-5, how important do you think it is that CSM

recognize and promote this
holiday effectively?

Do you have any comments on this issue?

The Oredigger selected a group
of written comments which we felt reected the array of written responses.
Comments left anonymously may
reect sentiments that the survey
participant may not feel comfortable
voicing publicly. These comments
help capture sentiments on campus
about this issue in a way the above
data cannot.
The Oredigger attempted to select
comments from both sides of the issue. It was not our intention to select
only the comments that made strong
arguments, but rather comments that

showcased the varying perspectives

held by the community. Additionally, we reached out to the universitys
VP for Diversity and Inclusion, Debra
Lasich. Lasich explained I have been
at Mines for over 15 years and can
tell you that during this time we have
become a more diverse and inclusive
institution due to the commitment
and work of our students, faculty,
sta, alumni, and corporate partners.
Is there more work to be done? Of
course. Over the past year, my area
has been working with various oces on campus, including the Career

Average rating:

Center, Residence Life, and Student

Activities, to educate our students
on understanding how diversity, in all
its many facets, can positively aect
their personal and professional lives. I
would also like to note that President
Scoggins has been committed to establishing Inclusive Excellence as a
core value at Mines for the past nine
years, and we will continue to build on
this commitment in the future.
If you would like to respond to any
of the comments, feel free to write us
a letter-to-the editor at oredig@gmail.

MLK day is a really quite unimport-

I nd it appalling that MLK day is not

I found it very disrespectful that last

If I am not at school on mlk day I will be

ant holiday. Neither it nor Christopher

celebrated by a day off, but more impor-

year they "celebrated" MLK day with

skiing. If I am on campus I will participate

Columbus day should be observed at

tantly, very poorly promoted, and thus

"diversity cake". A half chocolate and

in the mlk celebrations which I think is

all. - Anonymous

disrespected, by the school. The fact that

half vanilla cake?! I mean really.

more meaningful. I prefer to recognize

If there are no classes, students will

the black community at Mines is a very

- Anonymous

this important day and the signicant

just enjoy a day off. With the Delta Days

small minority should not be an excuse

activities, the students recognize (if only

for neglect and disrespect. -Anonymous

This isn't a race issue. We just like

of racism in our society. -Pam Blome,

breaks in our year. We are not saying

Administrative Faculty

that one holiday is more important than

We should get any day that the

another. People need to stop reading in

government gets off. Simple as that.

Labor Day and MLK Day included

Our campus is predominantly white

and I feel like acknowledging this holi-

briey) the signicance of MLK and the

Civil Rights movement and the harm

contributions of this amazing man by

to this. - Anonymous

day will give minorities at this school

a stronger voice. - Anonymous

celebrating on campus. - Anonymous

I respect MLKJ for what he accomplished with his life and how it
has benetted a number of people,
and I think it is worth recognition.
However...I prefer to have holidays
like labor, memorial, and veterans
day off because they celebrate
the actions of all those who have

In light of recent events around the

contributed their lives to give us

country, it is important to highlight

the lives we are able to live today.

the level of inequality in our society.


We already have enough school days

Although it is important recognize MLK

why make it worse by adding a useless

and his life on this day, it would mean

holiday to complicate things.

nothing to his memory if this day didn't


also further his cause. -Anonymous

w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t

There are many holidays that arent

recognized, what makes this more
important? -Anonymous

c i v i l / e n v i r o

page 6

i n

r e v i e w

What does the What was the easiest class?

department say?
Jared Riemer
Content Manager
For our next installment of Department in Review, the Oredigger
sat down with Susan Reynolds to
discuss the state of affairs in the
Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. When asked to
highlight what she would tell those
interested in pursuing a degree in
either civil or environmental engineering, she emphasized the
fact that both fields are extremely
broad, meaning graduates can
find employment in a wide array
of industries. In the words of Professor Reynolds, they are two
similar fields that range from the
dry to the wet side. She is alluding to the fact that environmental
engineering is a water based field;
while civil engineering deals more
with the earth, soils, metals and
One key to choosing a career
in either field is the potential for
impacting a large number of lives.
Environmental projects, such as
dam building or water treatment,
and civil projects, like bridges or
skyscrapers, all have the ability
to help millions of people. Either
major allows students to chart
their own path because of the
diversity of fields one can find
employment. Because of this diversity, careers can be tailored to
the interests of each individual. If
someone enjoys field work, then
they can have a career where they
spend most of their time in field
and if someone is more office oriented, the same applies for them.
With graduates finding jobs in the
construction market, oil and gas,
government, consulting, water
resources, or even the engineering sciences (chemistry, biology,
etc..), it creates a wide array of
salaries and experiences one can
choose upon completion of a degree.
Professor Reynolds pointed
out that many students in their first
years at Mines have a choice between majors and when it comes
to the choice between civil or
petroleum engineering, she does
not want salary to be the only decider. Because of the diversity a
civil engineering degree provides,
students can find a job in petroleum and make a comparable salary to a petroleum engineer, but
students can also pursue jobs in
other markets because they are

not specialized in just one field.

While the average salaries are
varied, the highest salaries in CEE
rival those of other majors. Jobs
that pay the same as other majors can always be found, but the
diversity a civil or environmental
degree provides is the true value.
Graduate students hone their
undergraduate skills in one of the
many different specialties of the
CEE department. The Colorado
School of Mines is home to the
Underground Construction and
Tunneling (UC&T) masters program which is the only one of its
kind in existence in the United
States. Students can also study a
structural path, environmental science, environmental engineering,
or hydrology.
As with our other department
featured in this issue, females are
the majority in The Civil and Environmental Engineering department. For civil engineering roughly
35% of the students are females,
compared to the national average of 21% according to a study
from ASEE (American Society for
Engineering Education) during
the 2012-2013 school year. The
same study showed the national
average for environmental engineering was 45.8%, but at Mines
the major is roughly 60%.
Another special trait of the CEE
department is its involvement with
humanitarian organizations like
Engineers without Borders (look
for them on campus). These are
great organizations to be a part
of and with a background in CEE,
students could make this a career.
There are many different opportunities for research in the
department. The civil field of geotechnical includes the UC&T department as well as research in
soil mechanics or soil dynamics.
Shiling Pei, one of the departments new hires is currently putting together a shake table that
will be used to simulate earthquakes so that research can be
done using small-scale models of
materials/buildings in order to see
how they handle earthquakes.
The environmental side has a
few labs that are built specifically
for research in its field including
the Center for Experimental Study
of Subsurface Environmental Processes (CESEP) as well as microbiology or environmental- chemistry research opportunities.

december 1, 2014

Toughest class?

Favorite class?

How much time on average do you spend

doing major related coursework each week?

Civil Undergrad Placement Rate: 93%

Environmental Undergrad Placement Rate: 90%
Civil Undergrad Average Starting Salary: $54,683
Civil Undergrad Salary Range: $33,608 - $79,800
Environmental Undergrad Average Starting Salary: $55,809
Environmental Undergrad Salary Range: $41,500 - $73,680
Graduate Placement Rate: 89% - 100%
Number of Full Time Faculty: 20
Number of Civil Undergrads: 160
Number of Environmental Undergrads: 140
Student:Faculty Ratio: 15:1
Number of Masters Students: 97
Number of PhD Students: 50

w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t

c h e m i s t r y

december 1, 2014

i n

What was the easiest class?

r e v i e w

`page 7

What does the

department say?
Jared Riemer
Content Manager

Toughest class?

Favorite class?

num ber of fem al es . The m aj or i s predom i nantl y fem al e

wi th over 55% bei ng of the
The Oredi gger s at down fai r s ex .
w it h Betti na Voel ker thi s
The departm ent has 24
w e e k to di s cus s the s tate of ful l ti m e facul ty and 113 s tut he Chem i s try and Bi ochem - dents , m eani ng the s tudent
ist r y departm ent for our l at- to facul ty rati o i s very s m al l
e st segm ent of D epartm ent at about 4. 5: 1. The pl acein R evi ew. When as ked what m ent rates for the Maj ors unshe wanted to hi ghl i ght dergraduates are ex trem el y
a bout the departm ent, D r. hi gh at 96% and the average
Voe lker m enti oned that whi l e s tarti ng s al ary i s $57, 927.
Che mi s try and Bi ochem i s try Out of 28 graduates l as t
is a s m al l m aj or; that i s what year, hal f went on to grad
ma kes i t s o s peci al . When s chool and al l but one who
st udents get to uppercl as s - were acti vel y l ooki ng for a
me n cl as s es , the s m al l cl as s j ob found one. For graduate
siz e al l ows the s tudents to s tudents , out of fi ve reportge t t o know thei r facul ty and i ng for the 2013-2014 cl as s ,
a llows for s tudents to get al l fi ve ei ther: found j obs ,
inv olved i n
t he departRecently, professors Ryan on to purs ue
me nt s
rea doctorate,
se a rch l abs .
j oi ned
M. Richards and Kent J.
ex the m i l i tary,
pla ined that
Voorhees were elected to and al l ei ght
d o c t o r a l
trul y the 2014 class of American degree s tube p as s i ondents found
Chemical Society Fellows. work upon
a nd enj oy l ear ni ng about wi th an average s tarti ng s al w ha t the worl d i s m ade of, i f ary of $87, 500.
t he y want to purs ue thi s deWhen i t com es to res earch
gre e . There are three tracks i n the departm ent, i t i s one
t ha t undergraduates m ay of the l eaders i n renewabl e
t a ke once they are a part of energy res earch whether i t
t he departm ent. The s trai ght i s fuel cel l s , s ol ar panel s , or
c he mi s try track, the envi ron- s i m pl y des i gni ng the m ateri me nt al chem i s try track, and al s that m ake thes e renewt he bi ochem i s try track. For abl e energi es work. Furt he l atter two tracks , s tu- therm ore, whi l e Mi nes does
de nt s take el ecti ves rel ated not have a s peci fi c pre-m ed
t o e i ther the envi ronm en- cours e track, the chem i s try
t a l o r bi ol ogi cal tracks of departm ent has m ore m edi c he mi s try for thei r el ecti ves cal res earch goi ng on than
a nd maj or cours es . The bi o- m os t s tudents know about.
c he mi s try track i s the m os t For ex am pl e, as s i s tant propopul ar for s tudents who fes s or Bri an Trewyn i s curw ish to go on to m edi cal rentl y worki ng on s tudysc hool or pharm acy s chool . i ng vari ous form s of cancer
Ma ny graduates from the de- treatm ent. Whi l e the above
pa r t m ent conti nue on i nto i s al l wel l to do, D r. Voel ker
gr a duate s chool no m atter s ai d the thi ng s he i s m os t
w ha t track they chos e.
proud about i s that the facAnother pos i ti ve trai t of ul ty i n the departm ent are al l
t he Chem i s try departm ent ex trem el y ex ci ted by teachre la t es to the ex trem el y hi gh i ng and trul y enj oy i t.

How much time on average do you spend

doing major related coursework each week?
Undergraduate Placement Rate: 96%
Graduate Placement Rate: 100%
Average Undergraduate Starting Salary: $57,927
Undergraduate Salary Range: $47,507 - $72,000
Average Graduate Starting Salary: $87,500
Number of Full Time Faculty: 24
Number of Students: 113
Student:Faculty Ratio: 4.5:1

w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t

page 8

m i n e s

a t h l e t i c s

december 1, 2014

w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t

december 1, 2014

m i n e s

a t h l e t i c s

w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t

page 9

f e a t u r e s

december 1, 2014

page 10

Butter-Beer Mini-Cupcakes French Onion Soup

Winter weather has nally come
to Mines, which brings about many
changes in habits. People trade in
tennis shoes for snow boots and
skateboards for skis. Even the diet
of a college student in winter may be
altered slightly. The longing for warm,
hearty, and tasty treats may prevail
over motivation to study for nals,
and to satisfy this craving, many turn
to baking as a way to relieve stress
and have something delicious to eat
as a snack. Baking a cake or pie or
crisp might hit the spot for some, but
these require large pans-something
someone living in a residence hall or
apartment might not have handy. So
instead of large, unwieldy baking materials, perhaps try something smaller, like mini-cupcakes. They even t
in a plastic snack bags, which makes
them a great snack to ease your
way as you immerse yourself in your
These mini-cupcakes are unique,
however. Rather than just being
made from a simple cake mix, these
have a special ingredient that brings
Harry Potter fans some extra joy
and still tastes delicious. Available at
stores like Whole Foods, bottles of
butterscotch beer (known as ButterBeer among wizards) can be used to
transform this dessert from ordinary
to magical.
The following recipe makes about
90 mini-cupcakes.

1 box of yellow cake mix
1 12-oz bottle of nonalcoholic
butterscotch beer
1 can of cream cheese frosting
3 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
1/3 cup of all-purpose our
(high altitude only)
1) Heat oven to 350 degrees (375
for high altitude).
2) Line the mini-cupcake tins with
mini liners.
3) Stir together the dry cake mix
and our.

4) Add the contents of one bottle

of butterscotch beer and mix until
5) Add the eggs, water, and oil,
and mix well.
6) Spoon batter into the cupcake
tins and insert into oven.
7) Bake each batch for between
14-17 minutes, or until golden brown.
8) Insert a toothpick into one cupcake to test-if it comes away clean,
they are fully cooked.
9) Let the cupcakes cool before
removing from the baking tins.
10) Once the cupcakes are cool,
frost with cream cheese frosting to

Set in a dystopian world that

gives o a overwhelmingly steampunk vibe, Dishonored challenges
its players to bring justice to the corrupted ocials of a once functional
society. Players are presented with
a large variety of methods to play
though the game, each requiring
diering levels of nesse, patience,
and self-control to pull o that all
provide the player with separate experiences by the time the credits roll.
Although the game is primarily
focused around its above average
stealth gameplay, the option to run
through the city swinging a sword
like a berserker is entirely open.
Priding itself in the sheer variability
of its gameplay, Dishonored is a
game that allows its players to set
the diculty of its gameplay with
specic story-driven challenges and
not just a sliding bar.
This eect is accomplished
through the players utilization of the



There are few things more

warm and comforting than making
a real French Onion Soup slowly
cooked, caramelized onions that
turn mellow and sweet in a tasty
broth. The whole thing is nished
o with crunchy baked crotons of
crusty bread topped with melted,
toasted cheese. If ever there was
a winter stomach warmer, this is
surely it!

Dishonored Review
Ethan Meeks
Staff Writer

Jacqueline Feuerborn
Staff Writer

and combat mechanics of gameplay. Though the option to run willynilly through the streets is entirely
possible, at its core, Dishonored is
focused around the cloak-and-dagger approach expected of a proper
assassin. Not adhering to the stealth
nature of gameplay trivializes nearly
all of the gameplay into a whirlwind
of awkward, clunky combat that
would leave any self-respecting
warrior of the night blushing into
their palm.
On the other hand, when running becomes taboo and crouching becomes the pose of choice,
the game shines brighter than ever.
The disconcerting atmosphere of
the broken down city of Dunwall
and tense fear of being discovered
makes for a glaring contrast to the
humorous experience slicing down
swaths of hapless guards as they
struggle to provide the player with
any meaningful sense of resistance.
In addition to the eect of
stealth-based combat on gameplay
diculty, players are also given the
ability to defeat their enemies with
non lethal methods. Though it
may not sound like it at rst,
choosing the path of non lethality will increase the challenge of the game twofold.
Whereas a murderous assassin is given at least a
dozen dierent methods of taking out any
particular target, future
Batmen must rely only on
chokeholds and sleep darts if they
want to put someone down for the
duration of a mission. Furthermore,
to take out the main targets of each
mission, a special advent of the
main quest must be unlocked
by talking to certain individuals before the mission can be
Of course players that decide
to follow in the footsteps of the Dark
Knight by keeping their bloodthirst


to a minimum and receiving low

chaos ratings for each mission will
receive the good ending. The rest
must settle for a slightly less happy
go lucky peak into the future of this
dystopian world.
Finally, the plot of the game revolves around a bodyguard to the
queen, Corvo, being betrayed and
imprisoned by some of the most distinguished members of the imperial
government, players are introducing
to a colorful collection of despicable
individuals. Each antagonist comes
with their own unique quirks, designed for the express purpose of
trodding on morals and bringing the
absolute worse human traits to bear
on the conscious of players.
Aside from providing the game
with its own denitive atmosphere
of corruption and despair, the setting helps to add a nal layer of
challenge to the games more righteous objectives. In order to achieve
the good ending, players must
not only have an higher level of skill
with the games mechanics, they
must also make a conscious decision to spare the lives of these less
than ideal spectacles of human existence.
Assuming that a player is immersed in the roleplaying aspect of
the game and truly cares about what
is occurring in this ctional reality, to
look passed the natural desire to
extract vengeance for the wronged
bodyguard shows self-control.
Considering these points, Dishonored is a must play for individuals that nd pleasure in the satisfaction of stealth-based gameplay. Its
multi-leveled diculty curve, makes
for entirely dierent gameplay experience with each playthrough and its
setting is lled with enough lore to
ll a short story if all the books and
letters are read. Also the bleak dystopian setting is also an interesting
environment to teleport around in at
the very least.

1 lb (700 g) onions, thinly
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 oz (50 g) butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
level teaspoon granulated
2 pints (1.2 liters) beef stock (or
whatever stock is on hand)
10 oz (275 ml) dry white wine
(optional depending on ability to
salt and black pepper
French bread, cut into 1 inch
(2.5 cm) diagonal slices
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 large or 12 small croutons
(see above)
8 oz (225 g) Gruyre (swiss
cheese), grated
(A large heavy-based saucepan
or ameproof casserole of 6 pint
(3.5 liters) capacity will be needed.)
1) Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
2) First make the croutons begin by drizzling the olive oil on to a
large, solid baking-sheet, add the
crushed garlic and then, using your
hands, spread the oil and garlic all
over the baking sheet. Now place
the bread slices on top of the oil,

then turn over each one so that

both sides have been lightly coated
with the oil. Bake them in the oven
for 20-25 minutes until crispy and
3) Next place the saucepan or
casserole on a high heat and melt
the oil and butter together.
4) When this is very hot, add the
onions, garlic, and sugar, and keep
turning them from time to time until
the edges of the onions have turned
dark this will take about 6 minutes.
Then reduce the heat to its lowest
setting and leave the onions to carry
on cooking very slowly for about 30
minutes, by which time the base of
the pan will be covered with a rich,
nut brown, caramelized lm.
5) After that, pour in the stock
and white wine (if using it), season
with salt and pepper, then stir with a
wooden spoon, scraping the base
of the pan well. As soon as it all
comes up to simmering point, turn
down the heat to its lowest setting,
then go away and leave it to cook
very gently, without a lid, for about
one hour.
6) All this can be done in advance but, when ready to serve the
soup, bring it back up to simmering
point, taste to check for seasoning.
Warm the tureen or soup bowls in
a low oven and preheat the grill to
its highest setting. Then ladle in the
hot soup and top with the crotons,
allowing them to oat on the top of
the soup.
7) Now sprinkle the grated Gruyre thickly over the crotons and
place the whole lot under the grill
until the cheese is golden brown
and bubbling. Serve immediately
and do not forget to warn any
guests that everything is very hot!
Eat and enjoy! Serves up to six.

Baking Tips
Kathy Cheng
Staff Writer

1. Do not substitute cocoa

powder for hot chocolate powder,
especially when making brownies.
2. When people say you can
mix the ingredients for cookies in
any order, do not listen to them.
Make sure the butter is creamed
before putting in the our.
3. Do not mistake the salt for
sugar, even if they are both white.
4. Doubling the recipe does not
mean doubling the oven temperature.
5. As convenient as they are, do
not trust internet recipes.

w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t

6. If you think the cookie dough

looks wrong, nd a cookie dough
expert and have them check it. In
the absence of a cookie dough expert, ask your roommate.
7. Adding butter is good but do
not overdo it.
8. As proactive as it is, do not
do homework while youre baking.
You are likely to miss something.
9. As tempting as it is, do not
add cocoa powder to nished
cookie dough just because you
want double chocolate chip cookies
10. Do not over mix, do not under mix but if you had to choose
between the two, over mix.

f e a t u r e s

december 1, 2014

page 11

Hidden Remains A black hole experience

Chapter 2: Hazy Skies

Kathy Cheng
Staff Writer
*the following is ctional*
He wasnt sure how long he had
been walking. He knew the sun had
set at least twice, rising just as many
times. He knew there had been no
signs of life as he continued walking, oblivious to the animals that
had stared at his back after he had
passed. He saw smoke in the distance, and unconsciously, his pace
quickened, a small part of him hoping that the re was nothing of concern. Another part of him knew that
highly unlikely.
It was when he came upon the
village that his knees buckled and
his stomach emptied itself of what
little he had had. His arms shook as
they struggled to support his weight,
his whole body quivering as his eyes
snapped shut, unwilling to see what
was in front of him.
Bodies. Dozens of bodies littered
the ground. Arrows had pierced
through hearts; throats had been
slit; guts skewered. A head stared
at him through dead eyes, mere
meters from where he was on his
knees. Near the remains of house,
a mother was curled around a child;
a spear had pierced through them
both, killing them at the same instance. As the image registered,
the teen dry heaved, whimpering as
some part of him registered that this
was his fault.
Mom, whos that? The voice
broke through the red haze that
clouded his thoughts, his eyes snap-

Katrina San Nicolas

Staff Writer

ping open to meet the curious eyes

of a child. Blinking rapidly, his eyes
swung past him to meet the terried
eyes of the mother. Momm---
Dont go near him! The mother
screeched, drawing the attention of
the villagers. The boy blinked, his
mind wiping what he had seen from
what was actually reality. A mother
pulled on her sons arm, dragging
him away as if he could catch some
disease. Fathers and sons drew
their weapons, their gazes hostile,
while their daughters stood next to
their wives, fear apparent in their
eyes. Several homes were aame,
sending columns of black smoke
into the air.
Youre not wanted here demon!
The boy frowned, his eyes furrowed
in confusion. Was the elder referring
to him? Leave!
The boy jolted, narrowly dodging
the dagger that was thrown his way.
He scrambled backwards, somehow nding his feet as the men advanced. Youre the cause of all of
The boy cringed, images ashing through his head as he bolted
from the attacked village, his form
blurring along the treeline. A twang
sounded in the distance and all the
boy felt was something warm coating his ngertips. It was not until his
legs crumbled and he dry heaved
again that he realized a barb head
arrow had pierced through his arm.
He whimpered as snippets of his
memory ashed in front of his eyes.
He dry heaved once before his arms
gave out and his vision grew dark.

Mankind was born on Earth.

It was never meant to die here.
Cooper from Interstellar. While
most movies can easily be categorized as dramas, comedies, or
science ction pieces, Christopher
Nolans Interstellar transcends
categorization while transcending
time and space. A mind-blowing
experience lled to the brim with
astrophysics, this scientic phenomenon is a must-see for any
self-respecting scientist or engineer.
Interstellar features a dystopian future where food is a scarcity and the land is plagued by lifethreatening dust storms. While the
exact year that this movie takes
place is unclear, the new world
has a much smaller human population and such an absolute focus
on food and survival that science,
exploration, and engineering are
strongly discouraged. Protagonist
Cooper (Matthew McConaughey)
is an unsatised farmer who
yearns for the thrill and excitement
of scientic discovery. When Cooper and his daughter Murph accidentally discover a compound for
NASA, which has secretly been allowed to continue aeronautical exploration, Cooper is faced with the
decision of following his dreams to
journey through space to save the
human race, or being the father
that his daughter Murph and son
Tom need him to be.
As Cooper follows his heart into
the world of space exploration, he
discovers more than he originally

bargained for. The challenge for

the small group of courageous
astronauts is to travel through
a wormhole to nd a hospitable
planet for the human race. However, the journey is instantly plagued
by time warps, a rocky relationship with his fellow traveler Amelia Brand (Anne Hathaway), and
the physical and mental strain of
hurtling through space. While the
movie is not 100% scientically
accurate, it is based upon the theory that some of the unexplained
objects in our universe may be
portals to other universes, commonly referred to as wormholes.
Time is very relative for Interstellar, and this assumption is based
on the science surrounding Einsteins Theory of Relativity and its
potential for time travel.
Director Christopher Nolan
worked closely with astrophysicist
Kip Thorne from the California Institute of Technology to integrate
theoretical physics concepts into
the movie as well as portray the
imagery based upon current scientic ndings. While much of the
science in the movie is probably
beyond the average movie viewer,
Interstellar serves as a societal
catalyst, challenging the audience
to consider the innite possibilities
that may lie just beyond our universe.
Although the movie is lled
with everything from the science
of ve dimensions to the calculus
of space travel, Interstellar is
ultimately a movie about what it
means to be human. The robots
of the futurenamed TARS and
CASEare sophisticated pieces

of machinery that can interact with

characters, control a spacecraft,
and even have a sense of humor
and social discretion. However,
through their shortcomings, the
robots reveal what makes being
human so special: the ability to
adapt, to survive, and to love. The
movie also examines the evolutionary desires of human beings
and the implications for the human
race. Is it possible to ignore the
desire to protect your children? To
live without a shred of human interaction? To ever sever emotional
ties and make a completely objective decision?
The entire course of the movie
is also guided by one mans promise to his little girl that he will come
home one day and the resulting
father-daughter relationship that
unfolds between Cooper and
Murph over the years. From hearing Murphs cries as her father
drives away from their farm, to
watching the space transmissions
as the years go by, this special
bond tears at the heartstrings of
any viewer. As Dr. Brand (Michael
Caine) of NASA says in the movie,
Love is the one thing that transcends time and space.
While 30 minutes could have
easily been eliminated from this
three-hour movie without a loss
of emotional or scientic impact,
Interstellar remains overall one
of the best lms of 2014. Scientically inspiring yet equally emotionally riveting, this aeronautical
adventure will pull viewers into a
black hole and challenge them to
think far beyond this universe in
more ways than one.

A romantic winter classic Remember...

Erica Dettmer-Radtke
Staff Writer

As the end of the year approaches, good holiday movies are in high demand. Love
Actually is the perfect romantic
comedy for the holiday season.
It may be sappy at times, but
there are both happy and sad
stories in the mix, so there is a
little something for everyone.
The time around Christmas is
always a magical time of year
and the movie follows various
characters in the five weeks
before Christmas and then until the month after Christmas.
The movie is filled with various
moments that bring a smile to
the face. It has comedy, love,
friendship, music, and more.
The cast list is impressive,
and British. Hugh Grant stars
as the Prime Minister of Britain. Alan Rickman, Liam Neeson, and Emma Thompson play
large roles. Martin Freeman is
also included in this famous
cast, along with Keira Knightley
and Chiwetel Ejiofor. At times it
seems like the large cast might
get confusing, but the stories
are tied together in such a way
that it makes the movie worth
it. While the acting may not be
Oscar-worthy, the actors themselves are worth the watch, and
they portray their characters
with ease and style.
A movie which attempts to
follow so many plots would assumably end in somewhat of
a disaster, but Love Actually
manages to pull it off with very
few hiccups. The Prime Minister (Grant) falls in love with one
of his employees, which cre-

problems that
would not exist if he was
not the Prime
Minister. His
sister (Thompson) is having
her own marital problems,
and the story
of her and her
perhaps one
of the sadder
in the movie.
Then, there is
a young boy
who has fallen
in love with a
girl from his
is convinced
that she does
not know he
his part of
the movie is
trying Love Actually is
to figure out how to get her to
notice him. There are several
more stories intertwined among
these that are filled with just as
much laughter and love.
Love Actually is not necessarily a love story, but it is a
story about love. A lot of love
stories fail to show all different
types of love, but this movie
includes a lot of kinds of love,
from friendship to romance,
and manages to do so in a
heartwarming, genuine way. In
the movie, there are happy stories, about new couples and
new love, and there are stories
about loving friends, and then


a warming holiday classic.

there is a sad story or two. All

of these stories are linked together by the end of the movie.
As with any romantic comedy, expectations should be
kept reasonable. The movie is
a little sappy and it parts of it
are predictable. Maybe some of
the plot is not realistic, but that
is to be expected of a romantic comedy. The cast is great
and they put on a genuine performance that could probably
leave anyone smiling.
Love Actually is a heartwarming holiday movie that is
worth the watch as the holiday
season approaches.

Thomas Hennen
Staff Writer

Before we break up, remember

Remember all the good times
we had?
Remember when you took me
out for frozen yogurt? You were
so mad that I just got a cup full of
frosted animal crackers because
the bill was $14. Remember that?
Who knew frosted animal crackers
weighed so much? That sure was
a fun day.
Remember when we went
black Friday shopping and I refused to stop shouting AWOLNATION quotes? Sale. It is a pun
on their song Sail. Boy, we sure
have had some good times worth
Remember that week that I was
so obsessed with Top Gun that I
covered our living room with stills
from the beach volleyball scene?
Remember the time your parents came to visit and I set up
framed pictures of Ronald McDonald all over our apartment?
Your parents never understood my
quirky personality.
Remember when we went to a
Nicolas Cage movie viewing party
and I would not stop complaining
about National Treasure being
a big Atlantis rip o? This is not
just a silly memory. This one I still
feel strongly about. This is very real
to me. I just wanted to remind you
that even though Disney produced
both movies, it is still uncool for
National Treasure to steal eighty
percent of the Atlantis plot for
their Nicolas Cage lm.
Remember when we went on
that canoeing trip and you were all
like, Stop yelling SAIL every sev-

w w w . O R E D I G G E R . n e t

en seconds! We are in a canoe, not

a sailboat. Do you know the dierence? You are so cute when you
get worked up.
Even though we do not always
agree on everything, we have had
so many good times together that
are worth remembering.
Remember the time we went
to Barnes and Noble and turned
the spines of all the books in the
Mystery section backwards? You
always did appreciate the enigmas
of the world. We never tried to unravel lifes mysteries, only understand them.
But it is no mystery as to why
you no longer want me in your life.
You nd me childish.
You nd me selsh.
You nd me stubborn.
You wish that I would stop yelling SPACE JAM whenever a
team slam dunks the basketball on
the television.
Before taking all of that into
account, I just ask you to remember
Remember the month I learned
how to make memes and kept
making you the subject of them?
You returned re by subtly stating that you want to see other
people. Remember that?
I am begging you to reconsider
moving out. I have messed up, and
I plan to change.
Hopefully these great memories
of our adventures bring you some
reason to not leave me.
We always go on such fun adventures.
I mean, we stole every employees must wash hands sign
from here to the Iowa City Steak N
Shake while road tripping!

f e a t u r e s

page 12

december 1, 2014

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed

Out the Window and Disappeared
Eric Dettmer-Radtke
Staff Writer

The 100-Year-Old Man Who

Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson is about
as quirky as the title suggests. The
title may be a bit long, and perhaps a
bit strange, but the book itself is definitely worth the read. It was originally
published in Sweden in 2009. It was
translated from Swedish to English
and released in the United States
in September of 2012. The plot follows the past and present of the very
interesting, vodka loving, explosives
expert Allan Karlsson. Allan Karlsson
has lived life to the fullest, there is no
doubt about that. This centenarian is
mischievous and quirky in more than
a couple of ways. In case he is not
interesting enough, he is met along
the way with character who are just
as eccentric as he is.
Allan Karlsson believes he has

made his final stop when he ends

up in a nursing home. However, the
nurse is always on his case and he
wants to drink a little bit more vodka
than the standard nursing home
allows. On the day of his one hundredth birthday party, a very big deal
for the nursing home that also involves the press, he decides that he
has had enough and climbs out the
window in his slippers to embark on
his newest journey. The centenarian
ends up stealing a suitcase at a bus
stop, which results in quite the series
of events involving a couple of criminals, quite a large amount of cash,
and an elephant named Sonya.
The story happening in present
time is interwoven with the centenarians backstory. Allan Karlsson
has participated in a large amount
of twentieth century history and travelled around the world. He has met
famous and important people from
Stalin and Churchill to Mao and Tru-

man. Becoming interested in munitions as a boy, he is also a bit of an

explosives expert, and explosives
are almost as important to him as
his vodka. Karlsson participated in
some of the biggest explosions of
the century.
Jonas Jonasson brings his characters to life and his writing entrances
the reader. The 100-Year-Old Man
Who Climbed Out the Window and
Disappeared involves its fair share
of history and it is well-researched
and, on top of that, well-written. It is
a book where it is obvious that the
author was enjoying what he was
writing. That shines through on the
page and make the story itself fun
to read. Jonasson navigates his way
through the past one hundred years
of history with style.
With a couple of characters that
are larger than life, The 100-YearOld Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is a book

word and may even find themselves

strangely invested in the case.
Serial is a show unlike any other.
It has quickly climbed the charts to
become the most-downloaded podcast of all time on iTunes. It is seriously
addicting for listeners everywhere and
provides a unique contrast to the traditional mystery novel or audiobook.
Because the episodes are only 3045 minutes in length, they are easy to
squeeze in during a busy day and do
not demand a large amount of mental
effort or focus.
The best part of Serial is the
depth of the character analysis. Adnan, a Pakistani high school student
and a devout Muslim, is the central
focus of the show yet remains morally
ambiguous. At one moment, Adnan
seems completely relatablethe honors student and caring boyfriend completely incapable of violence or murder.
Contrastingly, Adnans lack of alibi for
the time of the murder, risk of Muslim
beliefs for his relationship with Hae,
and rebellious tendencies all point to
something much more sinister. Adnans friend Jay, the prosecutions
star witness, is shrouded in the same
level of mystery and moral-uncertainty.
From the interview with the janitor who
found Haes body, to question and

answer sessions with friends of both

Adnan and Hae, every interaction is so
carefully analyzed and presented that
the tragic situation is truly brought to
While the show is an intriguing listen for all, it also evokes several ethical
questions. For instance, is it morally
acceptable to make a convicted killer
the star of a radio show? Additionally,
Haes family members went through
the grieving process 15 years ago and
are now forced to relive an emotionally
devastating situation as it is publicized
episode by episode for the world to
see. As new episodes are rolled out
every week, the listener is challenged
to consider these questions and ultimately, analyze the competencies and
shortcomings of the American judicial
No one could ever come with any
type of proof or anecdote or anything
to ever say that I was ever mad at her,
that I was ever angry with her, that I
ever threatened her. Thats the only
thing I can really hold onto, says Adnan in episode one of Serial. So, is
Adnan Syed the vengeance-filled exboyfriend that the state of New Hampshire prosecution believes he is, or a
well-meaning teenager trapped in the
wrong situation at the wrong time?

that is worth the read. As an added

bonus, it is also spotted with humor
and reading it could probably put
a smile on anybodys face. It is the
kind of book that is downright enjoyable with characters who are zany

enough to keep the story rolling.

Allan Karlsson has lived life to the
fullest and at one hundred years of
age he is still going strong. His tale
inspires one to reach out and seize
life and live a bit on the crazy side.

Serial is seriously addicting

Katrina San Nicolas

Staff Writer

January 13th, 1999 may have

been just an ordinary afternoon for
some, but they changed the life of
Adnan Syed forever. This was the day
that Hae Min Lee, a high school senior
with a promising future, was brutally
murdered and her body disposed of
in Baltimores infamous Leakin Park.
Adnan, her ex-boyfriend, is currently
serving a life sentence for the crime,
despite many questionable details in
the 15 year-old investigation.
While this situation may seem like
the perfect plot for a mystery novel,
Serial, narrated by Sarah Koenig, is
actually a non-fictional investigation
revealed week by week through podcast. The show carefully analyzes the
15 year-old murder, from the dynamics of Hae and Adnans relationship,
to the prosecutors proposed timeline
of events that afternoon, to the suspicious number of calls on Adnans cell
phone that day. The podcast format
allows for the inclusion of police interviews of key suspects, conversations
with Adnan and Haes old friends, and
even phone calls with Adnan himself.
As details of the murder are revealed
bit by bit, listeners will hang onto every

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