The Last Word in Astrology

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Jan 201970
 
Authors: Eugenia Last

ARIES (March 21-April 19): Your ability to utilize your talents and your past connections will serve you well now. Your proactive manner will result in greater confidence. Advancement is within reach. 5 stars

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): Negotiate all you can for the best deal possible in business or in your personal endeavors. Take an upfront approach to all that you do and you will be taken seriously. Love may cost you if you aren’t willing to say no to unreasonable requests. 3 stars

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Take advantage of any professional challenge that can help you prove your talent and ability to handle whatever comes your way. Don’t let a lover hold you ransom or accountable for something that he or she is responsible for. 3 stars

CANCER (June 21-July 22): Everything you do should be based on partnerships and how well you get along with the people involved. If you can feel comfortable, you will do a better job. Friendly interaction will lead to advancement. 3 stars

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Keep things in perspective and honest and you will find a way to get what you want. A partnership may undergo a change but it will be beneficial to you in the end. Long distance relationships or dealing with people from different backgrounds will present a challenge. 5 stars

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): A change of plans or feelings will cause you grief. Focus on the here-and-now and forget about what emotional games are being played. Step outside the melodrama and put your efforts into something concrete that will lead to your advancement. 2 stars

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Avoid anyone who is on the rampage or looking for a fight. Stay calm and reasonable and concentrate on the projects and people that inspire you the most. Be open to what others are doing but do what works best for you. 4 stars

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Favors will be granted. Get out and present what you have to offer. Don’t let friends or relatives take advantage of you. It’s the people you don’t know that well who will recognize what you have to offer. Love is on the rise. 3 stars

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Look back at your past performance and your true talents will be clear. A new concept or service may be in the works. Added responsibilities at home will set you back emotionally and financially. 3 stars

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Someone from your past will need help. By offering assistance, you will get something important to you in return. Love is showing some interesting twists and turns. Plan a passionate evening for two. A commitment can be made. 3 stars

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): You can position yourself for the future if you talk to those who can contribute to your professional ideas. Get on top of any paperwork that needs to be taken care of. Think big but don’t spend big. 4 stars

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Don’t let idle chatter, rumors and gossip ruin your day. If you get involved in such nonsense you will end up being blamed by someone you care about. Stick to accomplishing your goals and helping others. 2 stars

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The geeks are inheriting the Earth

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Jan 201970
 
Authors: Brian Lancaster

Hey everybody, welcome back to the spring semester here at Colorado State University! I hope that your classes and activities are everything you thought they would be and more.

But more importantly, I’d like to extend to you a welcome that you may not have known you would be getting.

I’d like to welcome you all to the Age of the Nerd.

That’s right: Nerds rule. This is the dawning of a new era, and the geeks are the cream of the crop.

Big companies, movie studios and entertainment executives are no longer catering their tastes toward romantic comedies or epic war films. Instead, the comic book and the science fiction movie, are attracting the big-name stars and talent.

In the year 2008, the movie industry made $3.7 billion from ticket sales, and $2.5 billion of those ticket sales came from science fiction, comic book-based or other geeky movies, according to CastaBlasta, a very well-researched and entertaining podcast produced by the fine gentlemen of Jupiter Broadcasting. Nerds, look it up. You’ll enjoy it.

Three of the top four grossing movies of 2008 were movies about superheroes — “The Dark Night,” “Iron Man,” and “Hancock” — and the fifth top grossing movie of 2008 was “Wall-E,” a movie about a robot, which lands it squarely in the sci-fi category.

Computers and video game consoles are more accessible than ever, and they’re only getting better.

The new Games for Windows experience is a huge initiative sponsored by Microsoft to make PC gaming more accessible and also more fun than ever by promoting the quality, compatibility, safety features and playing ease of PC games. And the participation of software developers shows that big-name companies are willing to cater to the needs of gaming nerds more and more, along with their devotion to the word processing and spreadsheet power.

One of the most popular sports in South Korea is Starcraft, a computer game that was first released over 10 years ago, and the Wrath of the Lich King, the second expansion to World of Warcraft, sold 2.8 million copies in the first 24 hours of its release, making it the fastest selling PC game ever (beating the record of 2.4 million copies set by the Burning Crusade, the first expansion pack of World of Warcraft).

Records for console and PC game sales are being broken more and more often, meaning more games are being produced and purchased.

Entertainment executives are catering to the needs of the geek world.

This is the greatest news imaginable. The geeks are rising to power, and we are going to take it and wield it like the hammer of justice (+56 strength, +112 stamina!) that it is. Our vengeance shall be swift and fierce.

Or maybe we’ll be merciful. Who knows. This is going to be an interesting age, where the geeks take control of how money is used, what movies are created, and the way that people around the world view the upper class.

So, this may be the perfect opportunity for those of you who aren’t geeks to jump on the bandwagon. Start playing video games, reading comic books and leveling up your warrior on the World of Warcraft. Or at least start sucking up to geeks that you know.

It seems as though sooner, rather than later, the geek shall inherit.

Brian Lancaster is a senior English major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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Our View – Get to Work

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Jan 201970
 
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

Barack Hussein Obama has been called a rock star. He’s been likened to Abraham Lincoln and some have even called him a messiah.

Certainly, as it’s been reported over and over again, this man — now officially the 44th President of our United States — has captured the hearts and dreams of many Americans.

His ability to speak with controlled passion and influence giant throngs of people all around the world, even groups of so-called “apathetic” youth, has been lauded.

His historic travel on the road to the White House has been celebrated by impassioned people around the globe, and the media has documented his every move —- from the great puppy debate to his family vacation in his birth state of Hawaii.

Tuesday in Washington, D.C., Barack Obama recited a 40-word oath that states his will to faithfully execute his duties as President and his commitment to defend the Constitution, with a little divinely-invocated help.

Today, after the parade, after the celebrations, after all the pomp and circumstance and after many very-high expectations have been set for our president, now we shall see his true character, now we shall see if he deserves to be thought of as a savior of our great, but struggling, nation.

As we move deeper into this new year that will be wrought with trials on every level, from local to global, we would encourage you to hold onto the hope that our newest president has brought with him, but do not let sweet words lull you into a sense of comfort we have not yet earned. Our nation still has enormous challenges to face and overcome.

Obama, as great as he has been made out to be, still has everything to prove. We ask that you remain vigilant as American citizens and help us to keep this new president and his administration in check to ensure they fulfill their promises.

Congratulations, Mr. President. Now let’s see you get to work, please.

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Retracting a minor Apocalypse-themed prediction

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Jan 201970
 
Authors: Ryan Nowell

Well, we aren’t as bad off as I thought we would be.

Like most liberal alarmists, when Bush got re-elected, I envisioned his second term ending around 2019 after being delayed by a handful of convenient declarations of martial law and a few Bin Laden tapes (one illicit), the event itself wreathed in more flames and bloodshed than a pagan laser orgy (which I thought, also incorrectly, would be a thing by now. I was hitting the Robitussin pretty hard back then).

I figured most of the western U.S. would be a vast nuclear wasteland presided over by warring clans of Australian dune-buggy hooligans, and we would all be receiving our degrees from Dean Master Blaster.

I suppose this is why alarmists, liberal or conservative, are rightfully viewed as idiots, though that doesn’t stop a lot of us from talking like a pack of ranting sandwich-board men every four or so years when an election doesn’t go our way.

Right now there’s a sizeable contingent out there convinced that President Obama is the Antichrist, on the cusp of plunging this country down a nightmarish jet luge of wanton carnality and godless progressivism (see aforementioned pagan laser orgy).

This is partly because slander and panic just suit our political system better than well-adjusted reasoning.

The news media, no longer the watchdog there to filter misinformation, instead reports whatever will draw ratings. As long as they tell us it’s hard-hitting, informative journalism (which they do every commercial break, at the top of the hour and when the ticker rolls over), they’re assuring us that we’re staying on top of things.

Little by little, we see political observations that aren’t really bright, rational, or plausible enough to warrant national airtime slowly pollute the general discourse, until a reasonable response just seems kind of boring compared to all the encroaching-apocalypse talk.

And I’ll fess up, I clearly Chicken Littled Bush’s last term.

No one’s being carted off for compulsory work detail to the Enron/KFC oil flats. Packs of Aussie skinheads aren’t waiting over the next ridge in their dune-buggies, ready to pillage your wares and precious, precious gasoline. And we’ve all come to terms with our dystopian surveillance state surprisingly well, and in record time — the Chinese at least had a few riots before settling into it.

That said, the other reason why alarmist statements are popular is because on the off chance you’re right about something, you suddenly seem prescient, rather than just a jerk. Gloating is your consolation prize. Savor it as you watch your country crumble in twain.

So in that spirit, note that I said “we aren’t as bad off” as I thought we would be. I know you don’t need reminding, but we’re quite bad off.

We seem to be unavoidably shambling toward a recession because our economy is designed for and by grifters with MBAs. The people who will take the brunt of the downswing have little to fall back on because someone went and gutted our infrastructure for the sake of fiscal responsibility, an initiative that somehow ended in a $10 trillion deficit.

We’re facing multiple military quagmires, ailing diplomatic relations and possible war crimes charges because of eight years of flat-wrong ideological policy-making.

We’re still in danger, we’re still looking for the same people, and the only big difference is that we’re looking for them on American cell phones, Web browsers, library cards, e-mail accounts, credit card purchases — pretty much anywhere but a search warrant, since those are so passé.

And what’s George’s legacy now? Keeping us safe?

Without much evidence it’s a little hard to say, the real key information is still under lock and key and will be for years to come. It’s at least a statute of limitations away.

Chicken Little may have been wrong, but crying wolf and keeping us safe isn’t the same thing. Frankly, the hyperbole probably scared off just as many.

Ryan Nowell is a senior English major. His column appears Wednesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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Officials: Reporters need more focus on car crash causes

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Jan 201970
 
Authors: Shelley Woll

A CSU study released last month claims media coverage of car crashes neglects the causes of the accident and instead stresses isolated factors involved in the crash.

The study, headed by Director of the Colorado Injury Control Research Center Lorann Stallones, found that the media tends to portray car accidents as random, unpreventable occurrences, while driving responsibly could reduce crashes.

“The risks of death from motor vehicle crashes can be greatly reduced by use of seatbelts, car safety seats for children, and traveling the appropriate speeds on roads,” Stallones said. “If none of the information on these issues is reported in news reports of crash deaths, the public will assume that each since event is an isolated event that is not likely to happen to them.”

The study, which appears in the National Safety Council’s Journal of Safety Research, examines over 400 car crash-related newspaper articles from 1999 to 2002.

Stallones said she believes health care professionals need to work more with reporters to focus on the factors that cause car crashes more than just the event of a car crash, so that readers are familiar with the risk factor.

“There is a significant amount of information that would inform the public about the important prevention strategies that would reduce the risk of death and serious injuries missing from the reports,” Stallones said in a recent interview.

But some journalism professionals, like assistant journalism professor Pamela Jackson, think that the problem may be harder to resolve than suggested by the study.

“It’s difficult to re-raise the issues of car crash safety every time you cover a news story,” Jackson said. “You’re not going to be doing that unless there’s a timeliness or news value for doing so, such as the role alcohol or text messaging plays in teen car crashes.

“Journalists also tend to focus on the personal angle to stories related to accidents, with the belief that in order to get readers or viewers interested, the story has to have a human angle,” said Journalism Department Chair Greg Luft in an e-mail. “As a result, many of the details with more common elements from one similar accident to the next may be left out.”

Jackson thinks that better communication between the news media and public health care professionals may not solve the problem.

“It’s a great study and news organizations need to look at why they’re covering things the way they do but I think it can’t be as easily resolved as this study calls for. I don’t think that’s going to resolve the problem of episodic coverage because it’s an economic issue.”

Luft said he believed reporters are often rushed to meet deadlines with stories and could be forced to leave out the type of details suggested by Stallones.

“One answer to this problem might be for larger stories that bring together some statistical analysis of factors related to crashes, and then to present the results in an interesting way that doesn’t sound like a ‘lesson’ for readers, which will likely turn off the readers or viewers,” Luft said.

Staff writer Shelley Woll can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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