Monthly Archives: September 2013

Gear Review: Van’s Canvas Authentic

There exists an invention so simple and innovative that it has evolved to become an integral part of not only daily life but fashion as well. Civilization has brandished shoes for almost as long as recorded history goes, so it is easy to forget something as simple as footwear can be so vital to an individual’s outward appearance and persona. The Van’s “Canvas Authentic” model of men’s shoes combines both the common utility of all-purpose shoes with elegant style.

The Stars Above Mines: Observing the planets

From a theoretical perspective, stars are amazing to observe. The sky is chock full of ticking time bombs just the blink of an eye away from going supernova. In reality, the stars are frankly quite boring. Sure there are double stars and a few of them glimmer and flash in a way that can fascinate for a long while. Unfortunately for the night sky, stars are more like the individual dots of point in a pointillist painting rather than beauties themselves. Luckily for amateur astronomers, there are certain dots with a bit more discernible magnificence than the stars, and in astronomy terms, they are in our own backyard.

Game Review: Star Wars – The Old Republic

The entire world has been taken over by “League of Legends”. However, “Star Wars: The Old Republic” can definitely stand in as a substitute for League for those looking for a change of pace and a break from the same old video game, but perhaps not for those not wanting hardcore gaming. Since League’s inception five years ago, in 2008, and its beta version premiere a year after that, the completely free-to-play model supported by microtransactions, all anchored by highly addicting gameplay with millions of players worldwide has done its part to drastically alter the way consumers purchase video games.
While virtual token economies have long existed before, where a buyer can spend some amount of real money for an equivalent amount of electronic “points” or “coins” to buy individual components of a video game, Riot Games, maker of League of Legends, have become massively successful through this approach.

Comic Corner: Star Wars – Blood Ties

Boba Fett is one of the most popular and iconic characters in the “Star Wars” movies, despite the fact that he does not receive very much screen time in the series. Perhaps this is because of his father and their obvious visual ties to the Mandalorians, the infamous fan-favorites of the “Star Wars” Expanded Universe. Perhaps it is the mystery surrounding his presence in the movies and the fact that he has enough gadgets and resourcefulness to make even Batman jealous, or maybe it is simply because Fett’s appearances are too brief to be screwed up by any of Lucas’s past (or Disney’s possible future) modifications to the films. Whatever the reason, most “Star Wars” fans cannot seem to get enough of the bounty hunter who scares even the mighty Han Solo and, as a result, Fett is a popular character for “Star Wars” writers to explore and expand upon. “Star Wars: Blood Ties” collects issues #1 – #4 of “Star Wars: Blood Ties – Jango and Boba Fett” published by Dark Horse Comics and continues the long-standing tradition of slightly expanding one of the most feared and respected bounty hunters in the galaxy.

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Blue Skies Are Calling in “The First Days of Spring”

As Autumn begins, it may not seem ideal to review an album titled “The First Days of Spring” but given that good music is ideal any time of the year, this aspiring concept album by Noah and the Whale deserves a look over. Every album has a niche to fill, if done correctly. “Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band” by The Beatles is perfect for a day that is just absurd enough to be barely abnormal, “Megalithic Symphony” by last year’s E-Days headliner AWOLNATION is perfect when an electric enthusiastic jolt is needed, and any album by Explosions in the Sky sets the tone for a deeply moving experience. “The First Days of Spring” is by far one of the most dramatically perfect break up albums of all time. It starts with the bleary consistency of a dejected hungover morning and builds towards an unsurpassed hope that the future will be better than the past. Along the way there are moments of regret, joy, and acceptance.

Fight to “The World’s End”

Perhaps the greatest comedy of the year, “The World’s End” has certainly earned its spot on the shelf of great movies. From the comedic genius that crafted “Sean of the Dead”, Simon Pegg has once again struck gold. Join Gary King (played by Simon Pegg) and his team of rapscallions as they conquer the famed “Golden Mile”. The final installment of the Cornetto Trilogy brought in an impressive $8.7 million opening weekend in the US, earning it the highest average viewings across the country.

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Geek of the Week: Kelsey Kopecky

Some geeks are content to sit at home, gather knowledge, game, read, and otherwise shut themselves away from the outside in keeping with the stereotypical sedentary nerd lifestyle. Others boldly venture out to see the rest of the world, meet other nerds from all walks of life, and work on projects that require both travel and artistic capabilities. This is the kind of geek people can find in Computer Science senior Kelsey Kopecky. The Oredigger caught up with Kopecky last week to learn about her geekery.

Faculty Spotlight: Gregory Johnson

Calculus I is a standard first-year core class at Mines and one the vast majority of students here are familiar with. For this reason, it is not surprising that many students roll their eyes when Professor Gregory Johnson uses his famous line “you don’t know it because I haven’t taught you yet!” What initially sounds like hubris turns out to be gentle honesty as Johnson amazes his class with a seemingly impossible equation. As the students release a sigh of realization, the professor turns towards his class with a grin on his face and asks, “How about another example?”

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