Wednesday, April 18, 2007

For Virginia Tech

In honor of recent events, I'm posting this speech. Professor Nikki Giovanni spoke these words at the Virginia Tech convocation.


We are Virginia Tech.

We are sad today, and we will be sad for quite a while. We are not moving on, we are embracing our mourning.

We are Virginia Tech.

We are strong enough to stand tall tearlessly, we are brave enough to bend to cry, and we are sad enough to know that we must laugh again.

We are Virginia Tech.

We do not understand this tragedy. We know we did nothing to deserve it, but neither does a child in Africa dying of AIDS, neither do the invisible children walking the night away to avoid being captured by the rogue army, neither does the baby elephant watching his community being devastated for ivory, neither does the Mexican child looking for fresh water, neither does the Appalachian infant killed in the middle of the night in his crib in the home his father built with his own hands being run over by a boulder because the land was destabilized. No one deserves a tragedy.

We are Virginia Tech.

The Hokie Nation embraces our own and reaches out with open heart and hands to those who offer their hearts and minds. We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid. We are better than we think and not quite what we want to be. We are alive to the imaginations and the possibilities. We will continue to invent the future through our blood and tears and through all our sadness.

We are the Hokies.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We will prevail.

We are Virginia Tech

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

7 plays in 24 hours

Sock N' Buskin will host it's very first 24 hour festival this weekend. It's a pretty neat idea - one that I've never heard of before. A team of writers will shut themselves in a room Friday at 8 p.m. and compose seven 10-minutes plays in a certain amount of time. Then, they hand off their work to teams of directors and actors who rehearse the pieces until show time Saturday at 8 p.m., when they will perform the sleep-depriven summation of the groups efforts. Anyone who wants to join in can contact Clayton Tune - Facebook might be the best means of communication.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Deleted stuff: the Step Show and the Ms. School of Ag Pageant

This week, the newspaper ran on an early deadline. Therefore, events that College Life would have covered if we were on a normal production schedule got deleted from the section. Namely, the Greek Step Show and the Ms. School of Agriculture Pageant were overlooked. I apologize to the organizations who run these events. I wanted to cover you, but Spring Break and early deadlines got in the way.

However, students should still check them out. The Step Show showcases Murray State fraternities and their mad, rhythmic skills. It starts at 6 p.m. tonight in Lovett Auditorium.

The Ms. School of Agriculture Pageant has a slightly misleading title. Instead of witnessing beauty pageant contestants competing in bikinis, audience members will watch a group of guys try to win the crown. I assure you it will be a masculine competition to say the least. The pageant will be held at 6:30 p.m. tonight in the Expo Center. Tickets cost $3 with a MSU ID and $5 for general admission. All proceeds go to Bright Life Farms.


Thursday, March 8, 2007

Want a Chocolate-Cinnamon Roll?

At the moment, I'm hungry, so I can't think of any other blog-worthy subjects except food. Therefore, I bequeath unto the students of Murray State and the world, another microwave recipe. This one looked especially good.



1/2 c. chocolate morsels
1/4 c. chopped nuts
2 tbsp. honey
1 (9.5 oz.) can refrigerated cinnamon rolls

1. Mix together chocolate morsels, nuts and honey. Place one tablespoon mixture into 8 individual custard cups.

2. Place one cinnamon roll, cut into fourths, over chocolate chip mixture.

3. Microwave, four at a time, on medium high (70%) for 2 to 3 minutes, or until surface springs back when lightly touched. Re-arrange halfway through cooking. 4. Invert custard cups immediately onto a serving dish. Leave cups over rolls about 3 minutes, then remove. Serve warm. Yield: 8 rolls. Drink with milk or coffee.


Counterculture Embodied

What exactly is a "counterculture icon"? According to a press release from the English and Philosophy Department, it's a former anti-war activist with disheveled hair who once wrote award-winning poetry from jail on pieces of toilet paper. I think I want to be a counterculture icon, too.

Today at 7:30 p.m., author Ed Sanders will read his poetry in the Freed Curd Auditorium as a part the annual Jesse Stuart Writing Symposium. He has written books of poetry such as "Poems from Jail" and nine volumes of "America: A History in Verse." He also published a bestselling nonfiction book titled "The Family," which investigates the events involving the Manson Family that lead to the Tate murders. He obtained the information for this book by disguising himself as a "satanic maniac-guru and dope-trapped psychopath" to infiltrate Charles Manson's cult.

Those are just a few of his accomplishments. Sanders also started an avante garde journal called "F*** You: A Magazine for the Arts" (but his version didn't have stars,) and he formed a satirical band called The Fugs. He currently lives in Woodstock, NY. Go figure.

Anyway, Sanders will be in Murray tonight, reading poetry that he probably originally penned in a cell. He'll also be participating in a panel discussion called "The Writer and Social Activism" at 3:30 p.m. in the Freed Curd Auditorium. It's all free, so check him out.


Friday, March 2, 2007

For you, Dr. Seuss

In case you didn't know, today is Dr. Seuss' birthday. The man gave us literary masterpieces such as "The Cat in the Hat," "On Fish, Two Fish" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas." Therefore, in his honor, I post the following link. I haven't decided whether or not it's an abomination or a glorious internet find, but decide for yourself. Apparently, this is what happens when Dr. Seuss decides to write Star Trek:

Thursday, March 1, 2007

By Our Powers Combined ...

The weather was beautiful yesterday. Warm sun. Gorgeous clouds. ... I'm worried about the planet.

Today is March 1, so shouldn't we still be lamenting the loss of feeling in our toes as we walk to class? This whole global warming thing has gotten to me, so now whenever we have a nice day, I think the ice caps might melt. I really don't care to experience "Waterwold" first-hand. It wasn't a good movie.

We've been taught all of our lives that Earth is suffering in numerous ways, not just from warming, but from pollution. However, recycling can fix help. Between 8 a.m. and noon on Saturday, students can take their aluminum cans, plastic bottles, cardboard and paper to North Farm for recycling. North Farm is located on North 16th Street, 1.5 miles north of Highway 121, look for signs on the left. If you have any questions please contact Dean Stutesman at 809-3183.

It's like Captain Planet always taught us, together, we can save the world.


Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Beyond According to Jim: Sports blogs are replacing the real deal

Thanks to sports blogs, I'll never go to ever again. I'm not sure the general population are aware of the Internet and sport's best kept secret, but if they don't then somebody needs to tell them.

I first disovered sports blogs when a good friend of mine introduced me to Deadspin ( It changed my life. With a combination of humor, sports and the audacity to drop the politics of the game and finally "go for it," Deadspin showed me what writing about sports really means. Perspective, that meant nothing before I found sports blogs. It was like finding Jesus.

Then, I found Jesus like 10 or 11 more times. There are more amazing blogs out there than I can keep track of. The Fan House, Kissing Suzy Kolber, True Hoops, With Leather, these are all sites that I truly cannot get enough of and they offer more insight than ESPN could ever attempt (not including "Page 2" on, Bill Simmons is too good for ESPN).

I love blogs so much that I even have one of my own ( It surely doesn't see the traffic of Deadspin but just the thought that I could offer the same kind of insight and opinion to America gets me going. I could let my life waste away reading nothing but sports blogs.

Oh, and humor blogs, too. I strongly recommend What Would Tyler Durden Do ( and I dare you to read Maddox ( or Tucker Max ( without laughing uncontrolably.

- Jim Burch

Harry Potter and the Conservative Blush

Actor Daniel Radcliffe has finally cast off his Harry Potter cloak - literally - and a group of Murray State theatre students will get to see it.

Theatre and Dance Lecturer Lissa Graham-Schneider will take a group of students to London during Spring Break, and in between sightseeing and shopping, they plan to see Radcliffe star in the stage show "Equus." It premiered last week, and the young Hogwartz prodigy received rave reviews for his portrayal of a troubled boy who blinds horses. The show has create a buzz for a few months now, because the play requires the 17 year-old teen role-model to perform a scene completely in the buff. Soccer moms are up in arms.

Reviews are mixed, though. Critics boast on Radcliffe's gutsy performance, but they say the play - written in 1973 - is now outdated and doesn't support the actor's talent. Graham-Schneider's crew probably will enjoy it though, and I have to admit, even though I really never want to see Harry Potter's magic, I'm a little jealous of their chance to witness the controversy.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lord, what fools these mortals be ...

I'm not going to lie - I don't always understand Shakespeare's writing. Sometimes, Elizabethan English might as well be German to me, but once I watch an actor portray the characters and once I hear Shakespeare's flawless cadences and poetry spoken, I'm hooked. I know 450-year-old poetry isn't for everyone, but it deserves a chance. It's full of beautiful sentences like "Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds towards Phoebus' lodging: such a wagoner as Phaethon would whip you to the west,and bring in cloudy night immediately." Words like those just aren't uttered enough anymore.

Murray is currently holding its annual Shakespeare festival. We'll publish an article about it Friday, but by then, it will be over. Therefore, I urge readers to check it out before then.

David Lee Miller from the University of South Carolina will be giving a lecture tomorrow at 7 p.m. in the Clara M. Eagle Art Gallery titled "The Voice of Caesar's Wounds." It's free. Enough said.

The Blackfriars Stage Company will perform "Julius Caesar" at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Lovett Auditorium. It's not free, unfortunately. It costs $7 for students and $10 for adults, but that means you can get a taste of culture for the price of a pizza.

Tuesday night, the Blackfriars will perform "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at 7 p.m. in Lovett Auditorium. Again, tickets cost $7 for students and $10 for adults. It's a light, fun comedy, and - excuse the pitiful joke, I can't resist - missing it would be a true Shakespearean tragedy.


We want YOU

Friday, College Life will run a story about student opinions of the War in Iraq. The article will cover both sides of the issue, citing people who stand behind President Bush's decisions as well as people who think believe the leader of the Free World is one crayon short of a full box (to put it nicely.) I want to give anyone who has something to say an opportunity to voice their opinion. If you want to give a shout out to G-Dub, comment on this blog, and we might call you for more quotes. Or, if your greatest wish is to camp out in a tree on the White House lawn until they bring the troops home - again, comment on the blog. The only catch is we lay out the paper on Wednesday, so you have to get your comments in before, say, 6:30 that night. Otherwise, you might have to limit your cheering or cursing of the war to Facebook notes.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Oh, Paolo

This morning, my roommate introduced me to Paolo Nutini. It was a beautiful moment.

Paolo Nutini is a Scottish singer/guitar player who would sound like John Mayer with a cold. His voice is gritty and slightly horse, and his album sets poetic lyrics to predominantly mellow music. The combination is magic. I would like to think of myself as a person on the forefront of the music scene now - someone who knows of an obscure and wonderful artist. However, I just found out that one of his songs is playing on the radio. That puts a bit of a damper on my day - knowing that I'm not quite as hip or savvy as I thought I was - but the CD is still good. It's called "These Streets," and it's great background music for a rainy day. Coincidentally, it's been raining a lot lately.


Monday, February 19, 2007

A Food the Microwave was Made to Make

What characterizes Christmas for me - besides the birth of Christ, the presents and the crappy holiday TV specials - is puppy chow. It's a dessert constisting of Chex Mix smothered in melted chocolate, peanut butter and butter, and covered in powdered sugar. (It might seem out of place to be talking about Christmas food in the middle of February, but I'm going somewhere with this - I promise.) This food is wonderful because it's quick, it's simple and it only requires a microwave, so hungry students can make it in their dorm rooms any time. Plus, it makes a great subject for Org Comm demonstration speeches.

Here's the recipe:


3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
8 cups Crispix cereal
2 cups powdered sugar

Melt the peanut butter, chocolate chips, and butter together. Pour over the cereal in a large kettle or bowl and stir well. Pour the powdered sugar into a large plastic grocery bag and add the cereal. Seal the top of the bag with a twist tie and shake well to coat evenly. Enjoy.


Friday, February 16, 2007

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Playhouse in the Park is currently showing the award-winning play "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Made famous by a film starring Jack Nicholson, the show centers around McMurphy, a sarcastic criminal who opts to serve a short sentence in a mental hospital rather than in a prison. While there, he infuriates the head nurse, leads a rebelion, stages a party and succeeds in making a previously mute Indian speak. Eventually, the events culminate into a twisted ending that leaves audiences stunned. The play stars several Murray State students and runs Feb. 15 through 25.

Showtimes and ticket info can be found at

Of Murray and Its Movies

So Murray State might not be a famous film school that churns out dozens of little Stephen Spielburgs every year. However, the University does have a very productive indie film club, the Murray Independent Film Association (MIFA). Eric Hovis, one of the said student filmmakers, manages a Web site devoted to the association and the wide variety of student films produced by its members. Users can browse through, and check out trailers for projects such as "Secret Agent Jack Russell Terrier" and Hovis' own movie, "I Love Ashley Bailey." MIFA also holds film festivals every semester to let the student body view its cinematic masterpieces.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Gotta Have Faith

The College Life section is running a series called "Gotta Have Faith." The series covers various religions represented on campus and what life is like as a member of those religions in Murray. We plan to cover all of the major religions and sects on campus as well as a few of the minor ones, but we are also open to suggestions. If readers want to make sure that their particular faith gets explored and published, let us know.

Monday, February 12, 2007

...and my heart melts.

Really, what girl wouldn't want a group of atractive men seranading her "Top Gun" style? The boys of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia have stepped up to provide this service, offering themselves as Singing Valentines. Anyone who really wants to impress a crush can purchase a song for $10 at the Curris Center. The fraternity is offering customers the choice of "Silhouttes," "In the Still of the Night" and "For the Longest Time" for the valentine, as well as their own "Seranade." Those who wish to indulge can contact Kenneth Oeth at This could possibly solve all relationship ills.

Friday, February 9, 2007

The Gardenburger: An Unexpected Heaven

Most students grew up eating half-cooked soy burgers in sketchy shool cafeterias, so when they get to college, nothing but tender, juicy, 100% meat will satisfy their burger cravings. However, as unlikely as it seems, the T-Room makes a pretty tastey gardenburger, and this College Life Editor believes that more people should know about it. Does it taste like real meat? Not a chance. Is it edible? Absolutely. There are only 90 calories in a gardenburger patty compared to the 275 calories in a regular burger. To be honest, it's just healthier, and considering the physical condition many Americans are in, maybe the T-Room should be giving those things out.

Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2007

From Feb. 22 through Mar. 2, the Women's Center will stage events all over campus for Eating Disorders Awareness Week. The news will publish an article about it, but this is just a heads up way in advance. Sometimes, disorders go unnoticed and the people who struggle with them fall through society's cracks. But, for a week, the Women's Center will highlight problems such as anorexia and bulemia with events including a fair focusing on loving oneself and a jeans exchange, where students can trade pants that don't fit for ones that do.

Here's the schedule:
Feb. 22 - Great Jeans Exchange

Feb. 26 - Through the Looking Glass

Feb. 27 and 28 - Room with a View

Feb. 28 - Love Your Body Fair: Uniting the Mind, Body and Spirit
- Global Taste Test

Mar. 1 - What Not to Wear

Mar. 2 - Canines in Front of Carr

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Welcome to The News Blogs!

The Murray State News is taking to the Web in 2007, launching its first three blogs, whose content will mirror that of their sister sections in the newspaper -- News, College Life and Sports. This is the college life blog, and will feature thoughts and inside scoop from the College Life editor, music and movie critics and college life staff writers.