Daily Archives: January 20, 2013

Movie Review: Zero Dark Thirty

From Kathyrn Bigelow, director of the critically acclaimed film “The Hurt Locker,” comes “Zero Dark Thirty,” a film that documents the search and pursuit of Osama Bin Laden. The most important thing for this movie is to know what to expect, as the movie has far less action than “The Hurt Locker.” Although the previews for the movie depict a high intensity, action packed thriller, these sequences are saved for the end of the film.

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Geek of the Week: Dani Hering, Senior, MME

Almost all of us at Mines have, at some point, run into that rare brand of geek who manages to simultaneously maintain both their nerd status and regular social interaction. However, this week’s geek is of an even rarer breed. Senior Metallurgical and Materials major Dani Hering is among the few who can actually convince fellow nerds to participate in various forms of social activities. Whether she’s inviting new people to a random game of dodgeball or cracking Scooby-Doo jokes with friends in a game of League of Legends (LoL), Hering certainly understands that geekiness is a dish best enjoyed with others.

Gear Review: iHome Headphones

Due to the improved sound quality of headphones like Beats by Dr. Dre, people have started to switch from earbuds to over-the-ear headphones. Anyone who enjoys and dislikes the pain caused by typical earbuds should consider switching to over-the-ear headphones. For those lacking the budget for top of the line headphones like Beats, a smart and affordable option is the iB45 Headphones from iHome.

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Game Review: Far Cry 3

The immersive and beautiful world of Far Cry 3 is entertaining, as the intelligent storytelling and elaborate plot establish a foothold for video games as a new (and unexpected) medium of art. Many view video games as an avenue to mindless violence, but the deeper layers of the journey contained in Far Cry 3 are sure to conjure astounding emotional responses.

Assassin’s Creed 3: An Imperfect trip to the past

“Assassin’s Creed 3,” the fifth installment of the popular franchise, takes players to the beginning of the Revolutionary War. Connor, an American Indian, must fight to protect his home and, in doing so, realizes that his life will never be the same. As the continuation of an established franchise, “Assassin’s Creed 3” builds upon the previous games, providing some new features, but in other ways falling short.

The Arab Spring and Islamism: Stories from the Syrian frontline

Since March 2011, Syria has been the site of a growing conflict between rebel and loyalist factions. More than 60,000 are believed dead from this clash, with the status of many more unknown. Upwards of 500,000 Syrian refugees have fled to other countries. Despite the scale of this fight, most Americans remain largely unaware of events in Syria or their significance. National Public Radio’s Foreign Correspondent, Deborah Amos, spent some time Thursday evening giving a much closer and more direct perspective on the fighting and its ramifications for the rest of the world.

Dr. Dana Christensen and Dr. Chuck Kutscher to deliver opening and closing keynote addresses at the 2013 CEER

The Spring 2013 semester is upon us, and with that comes the cornerstone event that the CSM Graduate Student Association (GSA) has become known for, The Conference on Earth & Energy Research (CEER) 2013. The event will take place at the Green Center on February 21-22, 2013, showcasing the best and brightest earth- and energy-related research from across the Mines campus, as well as other Colorado graduate institutions. Through a partnership forged by VP of Research, Dr. John Poate, NREL will be participating in CEER 2013 through presenters, judges, as well as the opening keynote speaker. CEER 2013 is very proud to announce that the opening and closing keynote speakers for CEER 2013 will be Dr. Dana Christensen and Dr. Chuck Kutscher, respectively.

Michael Dowd explains what it means to be truly religious

There is no question about it—religions are in conflict and have been for millennia. Michael Dowd, author of the book “Thank God for Evolution,” takes on the issue of what it means to be truly religious in his lecture. He has a lot to say on the subject, but his primary theme for the lecture is that God is Reality and Reality is God; there is no difference between the two concepts.

Scientific discoveries this week: 1/20/13

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Last year a team of physicists showed how to undo the “coffee-ring effect,” which occurs when drops of liquid with suspended particles dry, leaving a ring-shaped stain at the drop’s edges. The team discovered that different particles make smoother or rougher deposition profiles depending on their shape. The two deposition profiles of particular interest are “Poisson” and “Kardar-Parisi-Zhang” processes. Poisson processes arise when growth is random in space and time; the growth of one region is independent of neighboring regions. Kardar-Parisi-Zhang (KPZ) occurs when growth of an individual region depends on neighboring regions. A mathematical simulation of these growth processes might be a game of Tetris, but with single square blocks with the blocks falling at random into a series of adjacent columns, forming stacks. In a Poisson process a tall stack is just as likely to be next to a short stack as another tall stack. As such, Poisson processes produce a very rough surface, with large changes in surface height from one column to the next. On the other hand KPZ processes lead to blocks sticking to adjacent columns. When they fall into a column, they do not always fall all the way to the bottom but instead can stick to adjacent columns at their highest point. Thus short columns will catch up to their tall neighbors over time, and the resulting surfaces are smoother. There will be fewer abrupt changes in height from one column to the next.

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