Daily Archives: November 11, 2014

Campus Sexual Assault Policies

Colleges nationwide are required to have policies that deal with discrimination based on gender, sexual assault, and sexual harassment. There are two main laws that address these problems: the Clery Act (updated by the Campus SaVE Act), which requires colleges to report crimes, and Title IX, which deals with gender based discrimination. If colleges want to receive any federal funding, it is required that they abide by these laws.

Scientific Discoveries this Week – 11/10/14

Melbourne, Australia- It is a known fact that there is no way the temperature can go below absolute zero, or negative 273 Kelvin. This is the point where all motion in matter stops and is thought to be unreachable. However, recent experiments using ultracold atoms have measured temperatures that are negative in the absolute temperature scale. Tapio Simula, Monash Research Fellow in Physics at Monash University, states, “The journey there, however, is quite the opposite to what you might expect. Simply removing heat from the equation to make things colder and colder is not the answer. Instead, you need to heat things hotter than infinitely hot!”. Research at Monash University is showing that under very special circumstances, a system may become more ordered when more energy is added beyond a value which corresponds to an infinite temperature.


Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog Review

Ever wanted to freeze the world, join an evil villain league, and talk to a girl at the Laundromat but your arch nemesis just keeps getting in your way? Dr. Horrible understands. In this 2008 musical comedy, Neil Patrick Harris stars as Dr. Horrible, a truly evil villain out to prove his evilness to everyone. All Horrible really wants is to join the most prestigious society for super villains: the Evil League of Evil. But in order to join the League, he must prove that he’s bad enough to join their ranks. And so he hatches a plan: steal some wonderflonium to create a time-stopping freeze ray and take over the world! The only problem? As Horrible is carrying out his super evil scheme, that cute girl from the Laundromat appears. Penny, played by Felicia Day, is a sweet, generous volunteer at the local homeless shelter who comes looking for signatures on a petition to turn a condemned building into a homeless shelter. While Dr. Horrible is distracted he is interrupted yet again, this time by someone much worse: his arch nemesis Captain Hammer. Played by Nathan Fillion, Hammer is a hero with super strength, invulnerability, and an ego to match. Just when he thought that Captain Hammer couldn’t get any worse, he steals Dr. Horrible’s girl! Not that she was really his girl, but they talked a few times at the Laundromat so it was pretty serious. Now Dr. Horrible has to impress the Evil League of Evil and try to win Penny over. And it will not be an easy feat.

Headlines from Around the World: 11/10/14

Election Day was November 4 and the Republicans were the big winners. 62% of elected Governors in the US are now Republicans, 56% of the elected House of Representatives are Republicans, and 52% of the elected Senate is Republicans (CNN). Republicans swept state legislative races by winning control of more than 68 legislative chambers, largest since 1920 (CNN). In addition, Ms. Mia Love narrowly won election to a House seat for Utah, becoming the first black woman to represent the Republican Party in Congress. For Colorado in the Senate, Cory Gardner (Republican) defeated Mark Udall (Democrat) by 48.5% to 46.0%. Governor John Hickenlooper (Democrat) was re-elected as governor defeating Bob Beauprez (Republican) 49% to 46%. The governor became the only Democrat to win the statewide contest and one of the few bright spots for the Democrats. “This is a moment and an opportunity to seize the day and to move forward,” Hickenlooper said, “Not to dwell on the wedge issues that too often divide us.” Hickenlooper’s opponent, Beauprez acknowledged, “There just aren’t enough options to get us across the finish line.” Beauprez said that he failed to capture the energy and could not offer a “fresh face” for voters.

EThos Electric Car Share

It is well known that driving an electric car is much greener and better for the environment than driving a regular car. Tim Prior, owner of the eThos car sharing company, wants to take this a step further by incorporating car sharing (think of this as renting cars). Prior holds a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Wisconsin, enjoys spending time looking at maps and reading zoning codes, and most people would call him a “car guy”. Prior said, “The quickest, simplest solution to me is the electric vehicle. There are more outlets in the world than gas stations.”

Chemistry Seminar: Xiaotai Wang

CSM was honored to hear from Dr. Xiaotai Wang on Friday in his lecture on computational mechanistic studies of transitional metal-catalyzed synthetically useful organic reactions. Dr. Xiaotai Wang has been a professor at the University of Colorado, Denver, since 1997. His last lecture at Mines was over 10 years ago on the synthesis of metal frameworks. Since then, Dr. Wang has been attracted to the field of computational chemistry. Dr. Wang said that he was drawn to this field because of its utility in providing insights into the designing of new molecules. He is currently researching the synthesis and of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) with newer structures and a whole host of useful properties. Dr. Wang worked in a field called computational chemistry, a branch of chemistry involving computer simulations of chemical structures to assist in solving different chemical questions. Dr. Wang noted that there are two main divisions of computational quantum chemistry: wave function based and density function based.

Campus Research: Geophysics Senior Design

For Mines seniors, their final year at Mines can be a stressful time. Not only are students trying to figure out what to do upon graduation, but they are also usually in the middle of senior design projects. In the geophysics department, students choose their own projects to research for one or two semesters and, while geophysics is usually concerned with what is beneath the earth, the students are allowed to explore different fields and research what interests them. The Oredigger sat down with geophysics student Katerina Gonzales to ask her about her research.

Treasure Island: An Ironic Experience at Engineering School

“Colorado School of Mines” and “theater productions” are two phrases not frequently found in the same sentence, but avoid telling that to the members of Mines Little Theater. Amidst Calculus class, Physics homework, and plenty of Engineering Design, students involved in Mines Theater wholeheartedly performed the classic play “Treasure Island” last weekend. While the performance was far from a Broadway production, the enthusiasm of the actors made the experience light-hearted and humorous for all involved.

“Tech Transfer:” A witty tale of deceit

When the beloved president of Kershaw University died, the faculty fell into a state of worry. Their pet projects were coming under more scrutiny than they had ever imagined. From the secret army project to create soldiers who did not need sleep to research in the lifestyle of laboratory rats, no laboratory was safe from the prying eyes of newly-instituted president Mark Winner. However, this is only the beginning of the problems at Kershaw. Scheming professors, a scandal that nearly closed the medical school, and so much more have the potential to damage the reputation of a university that is only beginning to turn itself around.

Scientific Discoveries this Week – 11/02/14

California, USA: Researchers at University of California, San Francisco have found new genes that play a role in causing autism. Scientists identified 60 genes with a greater than 90% chance of increasing a child’s autism risk. The researchers say these genes appear to be clustering around three sets of key biological functions: development of synapses in the brain, creation of genetic instructions, and DNA packaging within cells. Dr. Matthew State, chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, believes that the most important thing to take away from the studies is a new knowledge base. Instead of focusing on environmental factors, he says these studies are focusing on what happens inside of the brain.

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