November 2011 Archives

A night out at a Dinkytown bar

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It's Friday night and a Dinkytown bar, the Library, rages on, according to a Minnesota Daily reporter on the scene.

Blasting from the speakers, Raghav Mehta, the Daily reporter, heard blue-haired beauty Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream," which sent "patrons into a drunken frenzy," he said.

Wanting to know what these patrons thought of what Mehta called the "[epitomy] of a 'campus bar," he started interviewing.

"There are a lot of bros here, but the drinks are so cheap," psychology major Alaina Klocke said, her voice nearly being drowned by the bar's chatter.

Klocke came to the Library with her friend, Erica Tasto who is a journalism student. "It's better than going to Blarney, and Burrito Loco is always a bust," Tasto, a junior at the University, said.

Mehta is not surprised by what he sees: college students cutting back and taking a break from the wear-and-tear of the college grind. He claims that the drinks are in a college student's budget and is a popular place to come because of the close proximity to student housing.

"It was almost 1 a.m. when another wave of patrons entered, making an already dense crowd even more difficult to maneuver," Mehta wrote. As he makes his way to the second level of the bar, he notices Jennifer Maes, a Political Science junior, who doesn't seem happy to be at the Library.

Maes, lost in the crowd of what Mehta calls "clean-cut boozehounds," can't find the friend she came to the bar to meet, one reason why she doesn't like to come to the Library.

"There are too many bros here ... " she said. "I get why people come here, but I can't stand it."

The "Arts and Entertainment" section of the Minnesota Daily hit the streets of campus to capture five trend-setters among University of Minnesota students.

First up was Caroline Janson, a chemical engineering student who transferred to the University from Sweden. Rocking a form-fitting pencil skirt and tank top, she decided that outfit wasn't enough. She paired it with a flannel shirt to complete her ensemble but added those extra touches like leather lace-ups and glasses (even if she needs them to see) to make the outfit come full circle.

Next is Lacy Braun, a public relations major who wore a wide-legged red pant with a tucked in white blouse. She pairs the outfit with black pumps and a simple white clutch to complete her business-casual outfit.

Cho Hung, an engineering student, dressed in high-wasted royal blue silk pants. Think the magic genie from Aladdin, but trendier. She pairs it with a tan 3/4-length shirt and flat sandals to give her outfit a classy and effortless look.

Last but not least is Chloe Ahlf, an apparel design major, who obviously knows how to put an outfit together. She paired a feminine and well-fitted flannel shirt with ripped stockings. She wore "Daisy Dukes" and moccasins to complete the look, giving off a Bohemian feel that is always applauded.

Occupy Wall Street protestors occupy a different location

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A clashing sound of snare drums, bongos, and bucket drums moved from the familiar spot of Zuccotti Park to the East side home of New York mayor Michael R. Bloomberg on Sunday, The New York Times reported.

Well, that was the intention of the Occupy Wall Street protestors. They wanted to stage a 24-hour circle of drums in front of the mayor's town house, but police officers blocked the protestors at every corner, according to The New York Times.

"In effect, the police have created a no-First Amendment zone on 79th (where the Mayor's house resides) Street," civil liberties lawyer Norman Siegel said.

The protestors who did a "Millionares March" on Oct. 11, bypassed the mayor's house, but was then chosen to protest in front of after they were forced out of Zuccotti Park according to The New York Times.

In response to being kicked out of the park by police early Tuesday morning, the protestors then decided to move their march elsewhere.

"[Bloomberg] sent the N.Y.P.D. to visit us the other day at 1 a.m., so now we are visiting him," Aaron Black, 38, said of the mayor to The New York Times. Black is a photographer who helped organized the event, according to The New York Times. "If he's in town, he should come downstairs to talk with us."

One-on-one with pop-star Adele

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According to Adele, she doesn't consider herself a singer, she told Cosmo at a cozy lounge in XL Recordings office in London.

"If you were to look up the word singer in the dictionary you'd see [Etta James and Aretha Franklin]. Not mine," she said flashing her gold rings on her manicured fingers.

Although Adele's music focuses on heartbreak, this part of Adele's life doesn't consume her and define her as a person. Cosmo reported that Adele is a breath of fresh air because she talks fast, laughs loudly, and swears more than some rappers.

After graduating from high school, Adele planned on attending college and thought she would eventually work for a record label to discover talent she told Cosmo. While planning her 18th birthday, Adele heard from a record label hoping to meet with her.

Thinking it was a joke, Adele soon realized this man who called her worked for XL Recordings, and soon after she signed with the label. Feeling bad telling the story she said, "It was really that easy," she told Cosmo.

Adele then met a boy and starting dated him, but confessed that he cheated on her. "I was gutted," she said as she pounded a fist over her heart, according to Cosmo. But this relationship gave her inspiration in her album titled, "19."

The Grammy-award-winner then started dating another guy during a 6-month break from her music career. She claimed that the relationship was more severe than the first, but ended in heartbreak. "I'm fine without him," she said, "but I don't want to be without him and I still miss him."

Before leaving to meet with her manager, she reached the door and exclaimed, "God! If I find that happiness, what will I write about?" she joked. But then reassuringly said, "No, no. I really want my next album to be happy and fun."

*Can't get the interview on Cosmo's website but I linked the site anyway.

Violence erupts in Tahrir Square on Sunday

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As the sun set over Cairo, Egypt on Sunday, police and troops chased protestors out of Tahrir Square by firing tear gas and rubber bullets, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

An Associated Press reporter who was at the scene said hundreds of protestors made their way back to the square come night fall, waving the red, white and black Egyptian flags chanting "Allahu Akbar," (God is the greatest) the Sun-Times reported.

"We're not going anywhere," protester Mohammad Radwan told the Sun-Times. "The mood is good now and people are chanting again."

Even after the former leader Hosni Mubarak was ousted, the Egyptian people are still angry because of the "slow pace of reforms and apparent attempts by the ruling generals to retain power over a future civilian government," the Sun-Times wrote.

"We have a single demand: The [Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi] must step down and be replaced by a civilian council," protester Ahmed Hani said of Mubarak's longtime defense minister.

Graffiti that read, "The marshal is Mubarak's dog," was scribbled in the square, the Sun-Times wrote.

The beating of protesters by troops and police left 676 injured and one dead, according to the Sun-Times.

The scene on Sunday was reported as brutal by a 21-year-old university student. Yahya el-Sawi said, "I did not support the sit-in at the beginning, but when I saw this ... I had to come back to get my brothers."

Action must be taken to further prevent cliamte change

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Last Wednesday the International Energy Agency released the World Energy Outlook, which stated that to prevent long-term average global temperatures rising above 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, severe changes to energy and industrial policies must be met, according to the Wall Street Journal.

National Geographic stated how the world has about five years to make these changes, but some don't think this challenge can be met. Richard Jones, deputy executive director of the IEA and a former U.S. diplomat, said, "We've been trying to warn our member countries, [but] it's getting harder and harder to meet this target."

The Wall Street Journal also reported that this change is unlikely since there has been a decrease in the use of low-carbon nuclear power and an increase in the use of fossil fuels, like coal, which produces the greenhouse gas (CO2), and which scientists believe plays a key role in climate change.

Of the infrastructure already built -- power plants, buildings, factories -- and of the infrastructure in the process of being built, 80 percent of CO2 is emitted in the air, National Geographic reported. From 2017 on, all buildings would have to produce no emissions to keep the target below a 3.6 degree increase.

"Coal was the biggest source of emissions growth in 2010, primarily driven by use in China and India," the IEA report said. China and India have not made a lasting commitment to curb emission output, the Wall Street Journal reported.

To achieve the goal of maintaining the climate target, more than half of the energy sources created must be made from renewable energy like solar and wind, the IEA predicts. However, this would come with a steep price tag: National Geographic reported that subsidies would be required and could reach $250 billion per year by 2035. This is four times today's level.

Richard Newell, an energy economist at Duke University and former director of the U.S. Energy Information Administration, thinks meeting climate target will be a difficult task to accomplish. "Unless something significant changes about our energy technologies, markets, and policies," he said, "current trends lead to an energy future that looks very much like the present. Just bigger-much bigger."

Activists take action against dog slaughter

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More than 1,000 dogs intended for slaughter were saved by some 200 animal-rights activists recently in China, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The activists paid the dog traders about 80,000 yuan, or $15,500, to ensure the animal's safe release, according to the Wall Street Journal.

In Vietnam, roasted or stewed dog meat is a delicacy, and the streets of Hanoi are full of restaurants that offer this dish, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to police, traffickers in Thailand acquire stray dogs and sell them for $33 each in Vietnam, the Huffington Post reported.

Governor of the Nakhon Phanom province Rerngsak Mahavinitchaimontree, 58, organized a string of checkpoints with local police and broke up a network of smugglers in August saving 1,800 dogs, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"We raise dogs to obey us, not for food," Mahavinitchaimontree said, "We must treat them well."

Since the trafficker bust in August, animal-rights campaigners have raised about 20.7 million baht, or $690,000, to help keep the dogs at a special refuge, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Although many dogs that were intended for food have been rescued, some see no harm in eating dog meat. Dao Van Bien, a 66-year-old Hanoi man, believes that his customs should be respected and that others should not be so close-minded. "Each county has its own culture and here we eat dog," he said.

Of the five Washington County districts, four can continue to raise student achievement since their levies were renewed Tuesday. The Star Tribune reported that these renewals will bring millions of dollars to these districts in the upcoming years.

However, the Independent School District 834 Board of Stillwater faces cuts up to $10 million from the budget after voters rejected two levies and a bond issue, according to the Stillwater Gazette.

Stillwater Superintendent Corey Lunn told the Star Tribune that the people were clear with their message. "As a school district we must find ways to do more with less, become more efficient, and change the way we do business," he said.

The first levy, which proposed to revoke the district's current $965 per pupil per year for $1,465 failed by 52 percent. The "no" votes totaled 7,030 against the 6,454 "yes" votes, according the the Stillwater Gazette.

The levy that requested new technology to provide students with learning aids like iPads or online textbooks received 53 percent of the "no" vote, according to the Star Tribune. This levy would have provided the district $982,300 a year for seven years, the Star Tribune reported.

The bond that amounted to $18.3 million, which would have paid to upgrade facilities failed by a 52 percent margin to a 48 percent margin, according to the Stillwater Gazette.

"We're going to do our best to maintain quality education, but there's no doubt things will have to look vastly different," Lunn told the Stillwater Gazette.

The debate of building a new Viking's stadium continues and owner Zygi Wilf told the Associated Press Thursday that the team would spend much less than the originally pledged $400 million if the stadium is not built in the preferred location, Arden Hills.

The Star Tribune reported that the team would pay around $225 million (or less) and the rest would be paid through a National Football League loan, where visiting teams and the sale of personal seat licenses would cover the cost of the $1.1 billion project, according to Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission Chairman Ted Mondale.

Gov. Mark Dayton and legislatures have yet to approve the funding plan where taxpayers would provide $650 million or roughly 60 percent of the project, while the Vikings' contribution would amount to about 37 percent, according to state calculations referenced in the Star Tribune.

Though some politicians and business leaders prefer a downtown Minneapolis location, Wilf is committed to the Arden Hills location. "Any other location besides Arden Hills wouldn't justify near that level of commitment," he told the Associated Press.

If a deal is not reached soon, Minnesota is in jeopardy of losing its football team to Los Angeles, who the Associated Press calls "football-hungry."

A Sports Illustrated study this year of NFL finance with the help of private wealth assessment company concluded that the $1.1 billion stadium-building project would be the third most expensive of the 11 NFL stadiums completed in the past decade, the Star Tribune reported.

Dayton told the Star Tribune that he has not pressed the NFL or or the Vikings about their shares: "Where the Wilfs obtain their financing, whether it's from a lending institution or their own wherewithal or the league -- it's really their business."

A determined Wilf said, " ... It's not a matter of when, but how we do it. I think as we work toward getting this resolved, everyone will focus on how it gets done and not if," according to the Associated Press.

Daily-deal site at risk for survival

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Groupon, a daily-deal site, is in jeopardy of losing its business model because rival sites offer merchants a quicker pay period, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Though The New York Times reported that Groupon is likely to stay afloat because it was the biggest I.P.O. since Google's in 2004, The Wall Street Journal reported that merchants are looking to use other daily-deal sites like Living Social or Google Offers. Groupon collects cash immediately after it sells the coupons, but does not promise full payment to businesses up until 60 days according to the Wall Street Journal.

"The payment timing is so erratic you can't count on any of that money helping to pay your bills," Meridian Restaurant owner Mark Grohman, of Winston-Salem, N.C., told the Wall Street Journal.

However, The New York Times reported that Groupon's stocks are "holding steady." Groupon Chicago-based founders Andrew Mason and Eric Lefkofsky and other insiders sold $940 million of stock back to Groupon in two separate transactions in 2010. This represented 84 percent of the money raised up until that point, according to The New York Times.

Although this was seen as a good investment, Groupon is still likely to struggle, The New York Times reported. As of last June, Groupon owed $392 million to merchants who used Groupon for business deals, and these transactions must be paid within 30-90 days, according to The New York Times.

Competing daily-deal sites pay merchants in a more timely matter: Living Social pays in full within 15 days while Google Offers ensures 80 percent of the merchant's cut within four days, and the rest within 90 days, the Wall Street Journal reported. John Hanson, a certified public accountant and executive director at Artifice Forensic Financial Services LLC in Washington, D.C., seems to think Groupon's payment method is a good business strategy. "It makes their cash position look stronger on their books," he told the Wall Street Journal.

Although Groupon has survived multiple competitors, it faces a risk of about $14 million in free cash flow with every one-day reduction payment to merchants, according to estimates by Herman Leung, a Susquehanna analyst.

Ted Zoller, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Kenan Business School l believes that this deal model is still in its early stages. "Many of them are just experimenting with it," he said. "They don't have the bandwidth or the time to research the differences in payment terms."

Ryan Dunn, was killed in a car accident near Philadelphia early Monday morning, The New York Times reports. He was 34.

Dunn was driving with a passenger who was later identified as Zachary Hartwell, 30, of West Chester, the production assistant for "Jackass: Number Two," was also killed in the crash, the Post-Gazette reports.

The car, which could have reached over 100 mph in a 55 mph zone hit a guardrail, flipped into the woods, crashed into a tree and burst into flames, said the Post-Gazette.

Although Dunn was most famously known for his stunts in "Jackass," he also appeared in a spin-off show, "Viva la Bam," which starred his best friend Bam Margera. He also created his own show that appeared on MTV, "Homewrecker," which rearranged people's homes in "malicious" ways, The New York Times reports.

The prank that Dunn is best known for occurred in "Jackass the Movie," where Dunn put a toy car in his rectum and then went to the doctor to receive an X-ray. "Even though it hurt like hell, I said that if I committed myself to this insanity I may as well see it through," Dunn wrote on his Web site.

Dunn was born in June 1977 in Medina, Ohio, and moved to Philadelphia when he was 15 and met Margera on his first day of high school, according to The New York Times. His recklessness started in the '90s when Margera and he filmed "underground skateboard and stunt videos." In 1991, Johnny Knoxville, a friend of Margera's asked to use footage of what Margera and Dunn called "Camp Kill Yourself" to use in his MTV show, the Post-Gazette reported.

In an email to the Associated Press, Eric Dunn, Ryan's brother wrote a statement: "We appreciate the support of Ryan's fans during this time, and we are grateful for your thoughts and prayers," he said. "Ryan will be greatly missed, but he will forever remain in our hearts."

Rachel Sandell of Duluth, Minn. died Oct. 16 after losing a year and a half battle to a rare form of liver cancer, Northland's NewsCenter reports.

A funeral was not scheduled, but a celebration of Rachel's life took place on Oct. 29 where family and friends gathered to share stories and memories about her, according to the Northland's NewsCenter.

"She didn't want a funeral, she didn't want anything sappy and I think the main thing was just to have a big celebration together, celebrate all of her achievements and everything she's done," Anna Adatte said, a best friend of Rachel's.

Rachel's parents, Katie and Dick Sandell, told Fox21 News that they learned more from their daughter than they've learned from anyone in their entire lives. "She didn't feel sad or depressed about her situation she just knew that, I still have a life to live," Dick said.

Her positive outlook not only touched her parent's lives, but the lives of her younger sisters, Ruby and Charlotte, as well, Fox21 News reports. " ... It just amazed me sometimes just how positive and happy she was, how normal she lived her life even though she had cancer," Charlotte said.

At the celebration, the dance team Rachel was a part of at East High School performed a dance in honor of their friend, according to Northland's NewsCenter.

The night was filled with laughing and crying where friends reminisced about Rachel.

Anna Little, a friend of Rachel's, said, "We just want to make sure that tonight her spirit and her personality got across to everyone and everyone could remember all the fun things and all the good times with her."

Andy Rooney of CBS's "60 Minutes" died Friday Night in a New York hospital after facing serious complications after a minor surgery. He was 92 years old. New York Daily News reports.

Rooney did commentary that closed "60 Minutes" each Sunday night, and he would talk about an array of subjects "[speaking] into the camera as though the viewer at home had just dropped in for a brief visit to see what was on his mind that week," reports the Chicago Tribune.

According to the New York Daily News, Rooney started working at CBS in 1949 on Arthur Godfrey's radio and TV shows. Rooney's first appearance on "60 Minutes" was in 1978 when he replaced the end of the show segment called "Point Counterpoint," the Chicago Tribune reported.

Rooney preferred to be called a "writer" and didn't handle the fame of being on TV well, says the Chicago Tribune. "A writer should be sitting over in the corner watching the dance and not be out there dancing," Rooney said.

Though he was seen as a controversial man, Rooney was also respected by his colleagues. "Words cannot adequately express Andy's contribution to journalism and the impact he made upon everyone at CBS," CBS president and CEO Les Moonves said, " ... We treasure the legacy he left."

Born January 14, 1919, in Albany N.Y., Rooney attended Albany Academy, and later attended college at Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y. Rooney was drafted into the Army in 1941 where he was shipped out to London, says the Chicago Tribune. There he applied for a reporting job at the London edition of Stars and Stripes, where he wrote over 200 stories for the newspaper, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Rooney wrote a total of 16 books and a newspaper column for which he won the Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award, the New York Daily News reports Among other accomplishments, he won his first of four Emmy Awards in 1968 for writing the CBS special, "Black History: Lost, Stolen Or Strayed."

Never wanting to retire, he finally did on Oct. 2 where he addressed his viewers saying, "I wish I could do this forever. I can't, though. But I'm not retiring. Writers don't retire. And I'll always be a writer," reports the Chicago Tribune.

Rooney is survived by his four children, Brian, Emily, Martha, and Ellen, according to the New York Daily News.

At age 92, Dorothy Rodham, mother of Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton, died Tuesday night in Washington, according to The New York Times.

Although her daughter was a prominent figure, Rodham stayed out of the spot light, but always supported Rodham Clinton. "Rodham was on hand as her daughter was sworn in as Obama's secretary of state," reports.

Rodham Howell, who was born in Chicago in 1919, had a childhood that was loveless and lonely, according to Rodham Clinton. She was raised by dysfunctional parents who later got divorced in 1927, The New York Times reports. The father was granted custody of Dorothy and her younger sister Isabelle.

At age 8, Rodham and her sister were sent to live with their paternal grandparents in California, The New York Times reports. "Her grandmother could be cruel when not ignoring young Dorothy," Clinton Rodham wrote.

Rodham ran away from her grandparent's house when she was 14 years old and became a nanny for a family in San Gabriel, earning $3 a week, The New York Times reports.

According to USA Today, Rodham moved to Chicago after her high school graduation when her mother promised that her and her new husband would help pay for Rodham's college tuition. That promise wasn't kept so Rodham ditched her college plan and became a secretary for a Chicago office, USA Today reports.

Years later, Rodham met Hugh E. Rodham, and they married in 1942. Besides having a daughter, Rodham raised two sons, Hugh and Troy, USA Today reports. She is survived by her children as well as four grandchildren, according to The New York Times

Rodham and her husband moved from Chicago to Little Rock, Ark., in 1987 to be closer to their daughter and her husband who was the state governor at the time, USA Today reports. The couple then moved to Washington to live with their daughter and family in 2000 when Clinton Rodham was elected to the Washington Senate, according to a 2007 Washington Post Profile.

Rodham died surrounded by her family in a Washington hospital. "I'm still amazed at how my mother emerged from her lonely early life as such an affectionate and levelheaded woman," Clinton Rodhman wrote of her mother.

11-year-old-boy attends college university as PSEO student

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He is not here to visit his older sister. He is not here with his 5th grade class on a field trip. No, Lucas Kramer, 11, is studying at the University of Minnesota as a PSEO student, according to the Minnesota Daily.

Lucas' mother, Angela Kramer, attends classes with Lucas and drives the hour-long car ride to campus with him so Lucas can attend his classes, reports the Daily.

Unlike other kids his age, Lucas spends his weekends completing homework. "No time for cartoons or video games," he told CBS Minnesota. And while most children are not even thinking about what they would like to major in when they get to college, Lucas plans to major in either chemical engineering or material science, reports the Daily.

Once Lucas has finished his PSEO classes, in what he guesses as spring of 2013, he intends to complete a few years at the University as a college student. He will take a variety of classes of classes to find out what interests him, Lucas told the Daily.

Whatever Lucas chooses to do in life, his father, Tim Kramer, said his son will be influenced by God: "It's just the one thing that I guess is really important in all I do is just try to do what God would want me to do always," Lucas said to CBS Minnesota.

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