Putin meets with NATO leaders and algaculture

4 04 2008

ArticlesI personally have nothing against the University of Cincinnati’s newspaper, The News Record, but seriously…

On the front page of the April 3, 2008 issue, there is a headline above a picture reading Solar-power alternative. The picture depicts a field in front of one of the college buildings covered with pinwheels. Then beneath that is the caption for the photograph, which reads, “Pinwheels in the ground on McMicken Commons represented the 1,000 people that die from some form of terminal cancer every day.”


I am now absolutely lost on the intended meaning of the photo.

Perhaps the headline is implying that, because solar-power is not a worthwhile endeavor, we should offer our resources to some alternative cause, such as curing cancer. The irony, of course, would be that the pinwheels imitate sources of wind power, which is an alternative to solar-power. But what then does wind power have to do with terminal cancer? I would really like to know.

Or perhaps the the headline implies that a good alternative to solar power is wasting resources. Solar power is usually tagged when speaking of alternative forms of energy and environmental causes, but here there is none of that at all. All I see is a magnificent waste of plastic, in the form of pinwheels, promoting ideas completely contrary to those usually related to solar power. What else are we to believe other than that the university does not support environmental causes?

That last possibility is that someone wished to tag a photograph with a completely irrelevant headline to make it appear as if the University has some sort of relationship with alternative energy research that is most easily disseminated subliminally. If this is the case, I recommend insert random keywords like green, conservation, and algaculture into headlines whenever possible. Nothing sends subliminal messages like “Ethnic Unrest Continues in China and Algaculture.”

Springing in the rain

6 02 2008

ObservationsI was walking across my university’s campus today beneath cloudy skies and a slight drizzle. Suddenly I heard a trickling of water that definitely was not natural. The source was a drinking fountain, found unnaturally just off the path in the middle of the green area of campus. I always wondered why they put it there, but it never really bothered me. This time, however, it was running, causing a full spout of water to be flowing out. The button was not pushed at all. I thought about thinking that it was an awful waste of water, but remembered first that the university probably wastes thousands of times that amount of water constantly elsewhere on campus.


I knew I wasn’t imagining it due to perceiving it with two senses. When simply hearing, smelling, or feeling something, it can be difficult to discern whether or not the event actually occurred. When both hearing and seeing, as I did, one can be fairly confident it actually happened. And, of course, that is also the best time for yet another curveball to be thrown. Glancing back just for a moment because I had witnessed something unnatural, I saw that, lo and behold, the drinking fountain was not running anymore.

I have concluded that the drinking fountain, for whatever reason, wanted me to drink from it. It clearly had no motion detection device but found a way to turn on and off while I was near. If not the drinking fountain itself, then the spirit of the drinking fountain, a guardian ghost of the fountain wanted me to drink from it. Unfortunately, people tend not to drink from water fountains when it’s raining, maybe because it’s simply ironic to pull water up from the ground to drink when it is dumping in bucketloads on your head. Regardless, I will reflect on this event and decide whether or not I should venture near the possessed drinking fountain again.