<![CDATA[Ball State Daily RSS Feed]]> Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:18:23 -0400 Mon, 19 Aug 2019 11:18:23 -0400 SNworks CEO 2019 The Ball State Daily <![CDATA[Welcome Back Cardinals!]]>

We hope you had a relaxing summer break! As we kick off the new academic year, we here at The Daily wanted to let you all know about some great opportunities for new and returning students to campus.

Roll Call

Roll Call is the first edition of the Daily News for this academic year. This special edition gets students up to date with what has happened at Ball State over the summer and what is coming up in the fall. For freshman, this edition not only introduces you to Ball State, but your name will also appear in Roll Call. So grab a copy, find your name, and show your Cardinal Pride!

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<![CDATA[Ball State, Muncie community join nationwide 'Recess Rally']]> Holding signs protesting against gun violence and for gun reforms, people in and around Muncie joined the nationwide August Recess Rally.

Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, two organizations campaigning against gun violence, hosted a rally calling for common sense gun reform 11 a.m. Saturday near the steps of the David Owsley Museum of Art facing the Quad.

Moore said this rally is in conjunction with a targeted ad campaign directed all at senators to return and pass common sense gun reforms - specifically a federal red flag law and closing background check loopholes through House Resolution 8 - Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.

H.R. 8 is a bill that establishes new background check requirements for firearm transfers between private parties which specifically prohibits a firearm transfer between private parties unless a licensed gun dealer, manufacturer, or importer first takes possession of the firearm to conduct a background check.

The bill passed the U.S. House 240-190 Feb. 27 and has reached the U.S. Senate and has thus far been read twice and placed on its legislative calendar.

Moore said Moms Demand Action calls for senators to end their August recess early and return to the Senate.

"I think that we have experienced a lot of gun violence locally," Moore said, giving the Noblesville Middle School shooting, the incident outside Muncie Central High School and the house party shooting incident over the summer as examples.

She said with most of the university population not at Ball State in the summer, it is easy to think these incidents happen elsewhere.

Moore said she was optimistic about the two legislations passing successfully.

"It used to be they didn't want to take a position because it would hurt them politically. I think not taking a position now hurts them politically," Moore said.

Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler said his biggest fear is a child being afraid to attend school one day.

He questioned how it was possible to expect children, especially special needs and special education children, to attend school, relax and learn when schools are equipped with metal detectors and armed security.

Tyler said he didn't believe the suspects in the two recent shooting incidents in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, were mentally ill, adding that the suspect in the El Paso incident "had a plan that was full of hate and racism."

"Our country is being overrun with racism and gun violence," Tyler said. "Changes have to come."

He said there was no litmus test to determine if someone was mentally ill, adding that mental illness was not the issue.

"The issue is there's too darn many guns," Tyler said.

State Rep. Sue Errington (D-Muncie) said despite calls of "do something" from people about gun reforms, "we're not doing something as a country."

"Now is the time to change that and you being here is starting to change that," Errington said. "Words thoughts and prayers - they're good, but they're not enough. It's time to take action."

She said since legislators are up for re-election next year, "it's not too early to start asking legislators 'where do you stand?'" adding that she stands with the people gathered at the rally.

Olivia Carlstedt, president of Students Demand Action, said her younger brother and sister were among those who were at school during the Noblesville Middle School shooting incident in 2018.

Carlstedt said it terrifies her that an incident like that would happen in a place like Noblesville.

"It's a generally nice place, but the fact that it's now marred by a shooting like that is absolutely horrendous," she said.

Jorgena Watson, a Ball State '76 alumna, and her husband Mark Watson, a '75 alumnus and former faculty member at the Indiana Academy, came down from New Castle, Indiana, to be present at the rally.

"What happens with gun legislation in this state and at the federal level are very important," Jorgena said. "It has to do with kids and I taught for 38 years and that concern doesn't change."

She said back when she was in college, people owned guns but hunted with them, but that isn't the case with society today.

"This is not about hunting except it's about hunting people many times," Jorgena said. "Society has changed and their attitude about guns has really gotten quite radical."

Mark said he was convinced that "bullets punch holes into people," adding some of the firearms today are designed as "weapons of war" to do the same.

The rally included speeches and a poem from other members of the organizations impacted by gun violence and concluded with a rally chant.

Contact Sophie Carson with comments at secarson@bsu.edu. Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

People gather with their signs before the rally Aug. 17, 2019, near the steps of the David Owsley Museum of Art in the Quad. The rally was organized by Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, two organizations campaigning against gun violence. Rohith Rao, DN

<![CDATA[Hypnotist Dan Larosa performs for students at Ball State]]> With a click of his fingers, or a "poof" sound he made on the mic, student volunteers on stage began dancing, singing, sleeping and more.

Dan Larosa, a hypnotist, returned to Ball State and performed his hypnosis act in front of students Friday night at Emens Auditorium as part of the Welcome Week events.

"The skits are designed to be entertaining and not to hurt anybody and make sure that everyone has fun," Larosa said. "It's all about making sure that everyone has a good time."

He said the message in his shows are inspiring, motivating, positive and fun, and that he has been performing at Ball State for over 30 years and has hypnotized over 40,000 people.

"I've never had anyone say they felt embarrassed or humiliated or angry for being in my show," Larosa said. "That's my high standard."

Hypnosis can be used one of two ways Larosa said - therapeutic and entertaining.

At his home office in Connecticut, he said he helps people overcome anxiety and stress, and helps them become motivated or disciplined to be better at things or overcome phobias.

The entertaining side of hypnosis, which was performed Friday, involved him giving instructions and suggestions to volunteers and having them perform those things on stage.

He said many of his friends call him "The Doctor of Dreams" because at the end of every show he asks his volunteers to think of something sports, school or self-confidence oriented they want to be better at.

Larosa said years ago what he used to do with people skeptical about hypnosis after a show was to instantly hypnotize them, after which they would become a fan.

"What I say to people who generally are afraid or skeptical is 'it's ok.' If they want to be hypnotized I explain to them that all hypnosis is self hypnosis," he said. "If I say to someone you're getting sleepy then they have to allow it to happen. They are always in control. They let me use their imagination, but they are always in control."

Larosa said it was similar to the first time anyone tries something new and are apprehensive at first. He said he helps them overcome that when he works with people privately.

His philosophy behind hypnosis comes from the motto of an Indian spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba - "Love all. Serve All," Larosa said.

"If anyone has ever disassociated before, it's about what it felt like. Like I was present, but I didn't feel in control," said Sean Britton, one of the volunteers who forgot his last name and sang opera on stage among other things as part of Larosa's show. "I have disassociated before. It wasn't bad this time which is a nice change."

Britton, freshman theatre creation major, said it wasn't his place and not within his ability to make a judgement on whether he believes hypnosis does or doesn't exist.

Darrin Sims, sophomore theatre creation major and Britton's friend, said he really liked the part where Larosa made him be an opera singer because Britton can sing.

"It was honestly a little better than what I had heard before, but it was just great to see him do that," Sims said. "I'm not a huge believe in hypnotism, honestly, but to see [Sean's] confidence was really cool because I don't want to say he's shy at all because I don't really know him too too well, but it's just great to see that self confidence in him especially around then."

Brittania Rogers, freshman nursing major who also volunteered to be on stage, said the experience was fun and exciting. Rogers said she did believe in hypnosis.

"I believe, if you believe in it it will work and that's the whole thing, that's the whole point. If you don't believe in it, it won't," Rogers said.

Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

Dan Larosa instructs students in the audience to watch their hands closely Aug. 16, 2019, at his hypnosis show at Emens Auditorium. Larosa said he has performed at Ball State for over 30 years. Rohith Rao, DN

<![CDATA[President, provost reflect on past year at Ball State's Fall Convocation]]> Editor's note: A previous version of the article misspelled the names of some of the award recipients. A correction has been made to reflect the correct spellings.

A review of past achievements and goals for the future was the focus of the 2019 Fall Convocation.

President Geoffrey Mearns and Provost Susana Rivera-Mills addressed Ball State's faculty members at the convocation Friday at Emens Auditorium.

Rivera-Mills, who completed one year at Ball State in July, began her speech to faculty members by recounting her experience at the university.

During her time as provost, she said she had the opportunity to travel across Indiana where she met students, alumni and friends of the university "who never failed to welcome me and more importantly, share with me their pride in our university and gratitude for what we accomplished."

"Ball State is a university deeply committed to student success, academic excellence and community engagement," Rivera-Mills said. "In one word, we are about impact."

She praised the work of last year's strategic plan and the work ethic of her fellow administrators and faculty, who were then recognized in an awards ceremony. Recipients of each award were as follows:

  • Lawhead Award: Jagdish Khubchandani
  • Rawlings Outstanding Business Education Teaching Award: Jennifer Palilonis
  • Excellence in Teaching Award: Amy Leitze, Kristin Cipollone
  • Outstanding Diversity Advocate: Patricia Lang
  • Outstanding Junior Faculty: Emily Rutter
  • Outstanding Faculty: Jackie McKinney
  • Outstanding Research: Maoyong Fan
  • Outstanding Teaching: Mellisa Holtzman
  • Outstanding Administrator: Laura Helms
  • Outstanding Faculty Service: Tarek Mahfouz
  • Outstanding Creative Endeavor: Jill Christman
  • Outstanding Advisor: Barry Umansky

When Mearns took the podium, he shared some personal anecdotes and reflections on the university's achievements over the past year.

He laid out plans for the next academic year, but also acknowledged Ball State's shortcomings, speaking specifically in the area of undergraduate retention, which he said has declined over the last years.

Ball State's retention rates have been dropping every year for the past five years - 81.7 percent in the 2014-15 academic year to 78.3 percent in the 2018-19 academic year, according to Ball State common data set.

"We are not serving some of our undergraduate students as well as we can, and that's disappointing," Mearns said. "That's also having an adverse impact on our operating budget, and I believe this declining metric is a blemish on our otherwise sterling institutional reputation."

To combat the issue, Mearns announced that he had tasked the provost and Vice President of student affairs Ro-Anne Royer Engle to lead a task force that would create a strategy to improve the rate.

Mearns also highlighted the accomplishments of the previous year adding that the progress the university has made "simply increases expectations."

"It raises the bar for me and for all of us, and I believe we will meet and exceed those expectations by continuing to implement imperatives and our new strategic plan," he said.

Mearns spoke about both last year's successes and the next steps the university will take in during the second year of "Spreading Our Wings" - the consultative process of the strategic plan.

One example he gave of engaging and impacting the community was when the Muncie Community Schools (MCS) board approved giving recurring raises to MCS employees, the first raise MCS employees have received in eight years.

Mearns concluded his speech by asking for continued support of the plan.

"I ask that you continue to join, to join me on our flight path to that bright future, to a bright future as we continue to elevate this excellent university into an extraordinary one," Mearns said. "Now, let's go to work."

Contact John Lynch with comments at jplynch@bsu.edu or on Twitter @WritesLynch.

President Geoffrey Mearns addresses the faculty at the Fall Convocation August 16, 2019, at Emens Auditorium. Apart from undergraduate retention rates, Mearns reflected positively on the Ball State's past year. John Lynch, DN

<![CDATA[Slipknot's 'We Are Not Your Kind' is a dark and exhilarating return]]> Twenty years have passed since Slipknot's debut album, Slipknot. Since then, the band has released five successful records and played hundreds of huge bombastic live shows. Slipknot became one of the biggest names in metal throughout the past 20 years with their nine members, unique sound, and pure rage and aggression. Five years have passed since their last album, .5 the Gray Chapter, and during that time, longtime percussionist Chris Fehn left the group due to a legal dispute earlier this year. All of the troubles the band have been through resonate perfectly through the record. The aggression and brutality returned along with the band's experimental side working together perfectly. Slipknot used the same producer from the last record, Greg Fidelman. However, We Are Not Your Kind (WANYK) has a rougher edge to the production that .5 the Gray Chapter was missing. The songwriting is as strong as ever, the songs are heavy, and the album actually feels as if it were made by the entire band.

A full band effort

One of the biggest issues many people have with Slipknot is the confusion on where some of the members are in the mix. They have a DJ, two extra percussionists, and a samples/synth player along with the drums, guitars, and vocals. The first two records found their contributions necessary, but the last three…not so much. WANYK finds all the members at the top of their game. "Red Flag" shows off the tight riffs and strong percussion; but it also features ambient noises, turntable screeches, and a full percussive sound. Most of the songs on the record have those features and really show the full potential of having nine members. "Birth of the Cruel" is another great example. The song starts with an eerie sample that cuts right into a tribal sounding drum beat that could've been found on the band's debut. "Spiders" also finds the band playing off each other well, with the creepy piano melody, weird samples, and a thumping bass and guitar riff. A criticism of albums past is that only five members of the band could really be heard, but on WANYK, the band digs deep and shows off each member's contribution in a way that hasn't been done in over a decade.

The strongest set of songs in years

There will never be another album like Iowa. Slipknot cannot go back and recreate a sound that was determined by their own personal lives at the time and I don't think any group could ever do that. However, almost every single song on WANYK is strong enough to stand side-by-side with Iowa. "Nero Forte" (a soon-to-be fan favorite), "Orphan" and "Critical Darling" all contain the classic aspects of a Slipknot song. However, the band flips those aspects upside down with unconventional song structures and the presence of all nine members. "A Liar's Funeral" is a really special track from the bunch. It goes from slow acoustic sounds, to heavy chugging, to a medley of both making it the perfect all-around Slipknot song.

The flow of the album is outstanding. The songs never get tiring or overstay their welcome, there aren't any redundant tracks, and there aren't any tracks that simply don't belong. Each song has its place. Even the experimental tracks like "Spiders" and "My Pain" are extraordinary and do the job of portraying the emotions of the band. But nothing on the album compares to the second single and album closer, "Solway Firth." It is a harrowing song that encapsulates all of singer Corey Taylor's pain from divorce. The song structure is off-kilter and unlike any Slipknot single before. The song acts as an amazing closer and a truly emotional song. But the real blow comes from the last line of the album, "You want a real smile? / I haven't smiled in years."

The performances from the band really pop and make the songs what they are. The melodies and lyrics would not be as good if it wasn't Taylor singing them and the instrumentals would not be anything without the rest of the group. The riffs are played with speed and aggression from Mick Thompson, the melodic notes pop from Jim Root. But the real talent here is Jay Weinberg, the band's newer drummer. He delivered on all fronts for WANYK, creating thrashing drum beats that never get old. The passion can be heard in the performances of the band.

Some minor nitpicks

The album is still not perfect, unfortunately. The first single and song on the album "Unsainted" sticks out like a sore thumb. The song is the catchy radio hit like "Before I Forget," "Duality," and "Dead Memories." It feels as if the band made it because they had to. The riff and percussion feel generic and it, of course, has a big catchy chorus that Slipknot have done a million times before. It certainly is not a bad song, but it is definitely Slipknot treading old water. Another tiny problem is that some parts aren't as memorable as others. "Not Long for This World" has a great chorus, but the rest of the song isn't very memorable. Again, very minor nitpicks.

Top Tracks:

Solway Firth

A Liar's Funeral


Recommended if you like:


System of a Down

Lamb of God

Featured Image: Kerrang

For more entertainment related content, visit us at Byte BSU!

<![CDATA[Lowery's Candies: Muncie's Sweet Spot]]>

Lowery's Candies is celebrating 78 years of business and continues still to hand dip each piece of the over 100 varieties of chocolate items they sell.

Located at 6255 W. Kilgore Avenue in Muncie, this unique chocolate shop has a large selection of candies, and even larger hearted, home service. Vicki Brown and her son, Charles Joseph, are the second- and third-generation owners of the family-owned business.

Lowery's offers a large selection of chocolates, including cremes, nuts and cherries, their special Dark Secrets, assortments, fudge, and unique holiday and occasion packages. All of Lowery's candies are made homemade and handcrafted. Making candy this way takes longer, requires skills learned and practiced over decades, but it's the only way to make candy as good as Lowery's!

"Old-fashioned Quality." It's a phrase often heard. At Lowery's, it's a reality. And they promise to do their best to keep it that way. Lowery's begun in 1941 and has been a local treat since Muncie locals and Ball State students can remember.

Over the years, Lowery's has done their best to keep things traditional with their:

  • Jealously guarded recipes
  • Search for only the freshest, finest ingredients
  • Absolute commitment to quality

Visit their website or Facebook page to learn more, and pick up a Cardinal Coupon Book to find Lowery's coupon for a free candy bar when you show your Ball State student ID.

As with all advertising, sponsored content does not necessarily reflect the views and choices of the employees of Unified Media. Unified Media will ensure the treatment and design of advertising and sponsor content is clearly differentiated from its editorial content. Unified Media reserves the right to refuse publication of such content that, in its own judgment, would undermine the intellectual integrity, authority, and character of our enterprise. Consistent with the foregoing General Advertising Guidelines, Unified Media may reject or remove any sponsored content at any time that contains false, deceptive, misleading, or illegal content; is inconsistent with or may tend to bring disparagement, harm to reputation, or other damage to Unified Media's brand.
<![CDATA['Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' is worth seeing, but not Tarantino's best]]> As an avid Quentin Tarantino fan who hadn't gotten anything new from him in about four years, I was naturally very excited when I saw trailers popping up for his new film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The film, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt as a 1960s Hollywood actor and stunt double duo, seemed to promise a very different, more intimately emotional type of movie than is typical of Tarantino. In that aspect, it delivered.

On the other hand, less than a day after its release, critics were heralding the film as "Tarantino's masterpiece" and claiming it to be his best work to date. Having seen most of Tarantino's films (including this one, of course), I can say with a good deal of certainty that at least to the typical Tarantino fan, this is not his best film. However, it's by no means a bad film, and certainly worth seeing.

Tarantino in a new realm

What makes this film most interesting is seeing how Tarantino works with stepping away from the action and going into a more straightforward dramedy. He does a fantastic job of keeping his style and transitioning it to a new genre rather than trying to start over and erase his personal touch completely. Thus, many of the stylistic elements Tarantino has become known for are still present, most notably his habit of changing history (a la Inglorious Basterds or Django Unchained) and his gory violence (although, in this case, most of the violence is saved for the end of the film, which actually makes it all the more shocking, humorous, and ultimately satisfying).

However, one element that most of Tarantino's films that felt blatantly diminished and even absent throughout much of this film is his masterfully stylized dialogue. Like most fans, I have come to expect dialogue that is naturalistic, yet rhythmic and witty. However, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood really did not meet my expectations for that; much of the dialogue didn't really feel like Tarantino's writing. There were, of course, a couple of scenes that proved to be exceptions (for example, in the very end when Rick Dalton is talking to Jay Sebring in his driveway), but on the whole, the dialogue was rather disappointing stylistically.

Pacing problems

One of the most notable issues with this film was definitely that the pacing seemed to drag, which is particularly detrimental for a film that already stands at run-time of two hours and 45 minutes. These issues with pacing seemed to stem from the fact that Tarantino was essentially presenting three separate storylines, and every time that one would start to pick up in pace, the film would switch to another and the pacing would slow right back down again. It was also hard to keep consistent with so much going on. Every time the storyline would switch, the viewer would have to consciously take a moment to switch their brain over, which naturally created a lull in the pacing every time it happened (which was a lot, because again, there were three separate storylines).

Welcome to the Sixties

While I haven't been entirely complementary of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood thus far, I want to make it clear that this is not a bad movie by any means. One thing Tarantino really could not have done any better is to capture the feel of the Sixties and really transport the viewer there. The commercials and ads, from the Bounty Law opening to the post-credits Red Apple cigarette commercial perfectly fit the time period and put the audience in the mental space of old-school Hollywood. Additionally, portrayals of real historical Hollywood figures like Steven McQueen (Damian Lewis), Bruce Lee (Mike Moh), and of course, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) provide extra historical context for the viewer. Pair that with an absolutely perfect Sixties soundtrack that features recognizable tunes and less recognizable ones that still fit the period and atmosphere, and you've got a world that truly transports the viewer.

Of course, once the viewer is in the world of the film, it is the job of the actors to keep them there by delivering believable, true-to-life performances, and boy, do they ever. DiCaprio and Pitt (Cliff Booth) are phenomenal together, and their scenes were truly the glue that bound the multi-plotline story together. It's a shame they didn't have more screen time together, as their scenes were some of the most memorable and I constantly looked forward to the next time they'd be on screen together.

I want to especially highlight DiCaprio's performance; although his character is not the most likable, he makes you truly feel the humanity and the struggle of what he was going through to the point of actively sympathizing with his character. Child actress Julia Butters (Trudi) absolutely nails her role and is just the right combination of adorable and opinionated to play perfectly off of DiCaprio.

I was a little disappointed in Margot Robbie's performance, not because of anything she did, but because she was actually given so little to do. Although she was one of the principal characters, she had very little dialogue and mostly just smiled, danced, and sat around. I can understand that because she was portraying a historical figure, the filmmakers probably wanted to be careful with how they portrayed her, but at the same time, if you feel you can't properly represent someone, you probably should not make them a lead character in your film.

Overall, this was a quality film from Tarantino and I am glad to see him branching out. Sure, the interwovenness of plotlines was weak at times, and there were some obvious flaws, but this was Tarantino's love letter to Hollywood and to the industry, and it serves that purpose and is beautiful in the specific context of said purpose. However, that being said, if you want the Tarantino experience, you're much better off going with Pulp Fiction or one of the Kill Bill movies.

Images: IMDb

Featured Image: IMDb

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<![CDATA['Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw' is a dumb, but entertaining joyride]]> The 'Fast and the Furious' franchise has had fuel in its tank since 2001, having seen the release of eight feature films. The series began rather simply, with the first film depicting Vin Diesel and Paul Walker at odds with one another over illegal drag races. This tradition continued for the next three films, before switching gears into a more action-heavy series with 'Fast Five' in 2011. This change has proven to be a beneficial one, as audiences had grown attracted to the ludicrous fare that this series has given them. Recent installments such as 'Furious 7' and 'The Fate of the Furious' have also grossed over a billion dollars worldwide.

That leads us to this newest film: 'Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw.' This one acts as the ninth overall installment of the franchise, but as a spin-off, not a sequel to 'The Fate of the Furious.' 'Hobbs and Shaw' brings back franchise veterans Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Jason Statham as Luke Hobbs and Deckard Shaw, respectively. The duo finds themselves having to team up to prevent a virus from being unleashed upon the world. As per the typical 'Fast and Furious' film, there is exhilarating action, goofy one-liners, a dash of stupidity, and a working engine present.

It takes two (or three) to make a 2018 McLaren 720S Coupe go right

The best element of 'Hobbs and Shaw' by far is the palpable chemistry between Johnson and Statham. While we got a mere glimpse into their dynamic back in 'The Fate of the Furious,' this film goes all in. For pretty much the entire duration of the film, the titular duo constantly berate one another while fighting the bad guys and trying to save the world. While the consistent banter between the two is quite entertaining-and even funny at times-at around the film's halfway point, the shtick starts to grow a bit stale. Unfortunately, it became obvious that the same jokes and insults were going to be recycled over and over again, and you just have to sit there and push through them.

Despite that, the addition of Vanessa Kirby, who plays Deckard's sister Hattie, helps to keep the dynamic a bit fresh. When compared to Johnson and Statham, Kirby takes things a bit more seriously, which added some much needed urgency to the story at hand. Not only that, but the relationship that Kirby and Statham's characters share as siblings revealed some interesting aspects of their past, such as how they have clever maneuvers for robbing people. However, the film tries its hardest to force Kirby into a relationship with Johnson, which was detrimental since the two of them shared little chemistry.

Mr. Elba, you were going well past the speed limit

The main villain of the film is criminal mastermind Brixton Lore (yes, that is his actual name), who was played by Idris Elba. The character was advertised as being a soldier equipped with biomechanical upgrades that gave him enhanced durability, super strength, and an internal computer system that allowed him to analyze his enemies. Such upgrades caused Brixton to dub himself "Black Superman" (although he's more of a Cyborg or a black Captain America, but I digress). His goal throughout the film was to help the secretive organization known as Eteon, whose goal was to prevent humanity's extinction through augmenting the strong in order to eliminate the weak (this is real, I am not joking), and the virus I mentioned earlier would help in completing that goal.

Sadly, everything involving Brixton and Eteon were the weakest elements of the film. Even by usual 'Fast and Furious' standards, these elements were a bit too ridiculous, and even generic. There have been many films in the past in which the main antagonist would believe that humanity needed to be wiped out or augmented or culled or what have you in order to save the planet, and Eteon was no exception. The ridiculousness comes in through Brixton himself, as his augmentations made him almost out-of-place, feeling more like the villain out of a 'Kingsman' film. Despite that, Brixton's character could've actually benefited from a more outlandish personality, as Elba played him too straight-faced. There were little moments where Elba did try to go the extra mile, but he frequently held it back.

Green means go

Thankfully, 'Hobbs and Shaw' delivers on its action scenes. This comes as no surprise since David Leitch, the director of 'Deadpool 2' and 'Atomic Blonde,' directed this film. While the seemingly contractually obligated car chase sequences were borderline insane-particularly one that occurs near the end of the film-they were very entertaining to watch. The best of these sequences involved Hobbs and the Shaw siblings driving through the streets of London in order to escape Brixton and several Eteon operatives. It was frantic and exhilarating, containing a neat little trick that Brixton did with his motorcycle that I won't spoil here.

On the whole, the hand-to-hand combat scenes were far better. The weight and impact of each hit was evident, and these scenes were notable highlights. One involving Statham fighting Eteon operatives in an apartment immediately comes to mind.

You get a car, and you get a car, and you get a car!

Much like how Oprah surprised her audience that fateful day with a car for each of them, 'Hobbs and Shaw' delivers some surprises of its own. For starters, there are several celebrity cameos in the film that are played entirely for comedy. The cameos actually happen several times throughout the film by the same actors, and the pacing tended to grind to a halt when these occurred. The other surprise that was present was the inclusion of some backstory for Hobbs, as more information about his family is given. Unfortunately, that backstory is cliched and generic, as it uses the tired "sibling is angry with main character for abandoning family years ago" plot point.

Images: IMDb

Featured Image: IMDb

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<![CDATA[Ball State student awarded Fulbright scholarship for medical research in Australia]]> It started with a high schooler caring for a child impacted by a disease. The high schooler, now a Ball State graduate, will be traveling abroad to help with research into the same disease.

Hannah Fluhler, a Ball State nursing graduate, was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to work for 10 months at a medical research institute in Melbourne, Australia.

Fluhler, will be working in the Genome Stability Unit at St. Vincent's Institute for Medical Research with a 12-member team under Andrew Deans, the head of the unit. She will be working on Fanconi Anemia (FA) research.

According to the National Institute of Health, FA is a condition that affects many parts of the body. People with this condition may have bone marrow failure, physical abnormalities, organ defects, and an increased risk of certain cancers.

FA is a rare disease that causes eventual bone marrow failure and cancer, a disease which impacted Aria Gatzlaff, a child who Fluhler provided respite care for, when she worked in child watch at the YMCA in Yorktown, Indiana, as a high schooler.

"I met [Aria] and instantly fell in love with her," Fluhler said.

Aria's Life:

Aria, born Jan. 12, 2011, was blind, deaf, was missing both her thumbs and had other physical anomalies, or as her father, Kevin Gatzlaff, associate professor of insurance, puts it, "all the textbook Fanconi Anemia symptoms."

Gatzlaff said Immediately upon Aria's birth she was admitted in the newborn intensive care unit for over a month. While he and his wife knew before her birth that Aria was going to have medical problems, she was almost two years old when she was diagnosed with FA.

According to the National Institute of Health, more than half of people with Fanconi anemia have physical abnormalities.

"We were on the far end of that spectrum, where pretty much everything that could go wrong does go wrong," Gatzlaff said.

He said there were constant and long hospital visits, where the same pattern would keep happening - they'd bring her in, nobody would know what to do, eventually she would get better and they would send her back home.

"We just got used to that and that was our life," Gatzlaff said. "It was a milestone when we were able to stay three months out [of the hospital]. That was a big deal."

Toward the end of Aria's life, he said a lot of blood transfusions had to be done due to the disease and when it even that wasn't going to help, he and his wife decided to take her to hospice care in 2015.

"It's hard to find a babysitter that you trust and it's more than a babysitter. You've got to have somebody who's going to be able to deal with some of the things," Gatzalff said.

Things like a G-tube or a gastronomy tube, which Aria had in her stomach through which she had to be fed all her medicines, he said.

"It's not difficult, but that's just not something that the average person can just walk in and do," he said. "You have to be willing to pay attention and there's definitely a little bit of skill that goes on to it."

It was a lot to expect from somebody who was going to watch their kids for a short period of time," he said.

When Hannah met Aria:

Aria's mom Rachel Alaniz used to occasionally drop her off at child watch at the Yorktown YMCA.

"What she found was when she dropped off the kids, because Aria was so different, people were afraid," Gatzlaff said. "A lot of times when you dropped off the kids in childcare, [Aria] would be in the exact same spot that she left her in."

It was there Alaniz noticed how Fluhler interacted with and looked after Aria. Fluhler would take the time to learn how to put Aria's hearing aid on and how to teach Aria object cues that were used to communicate with her.

"Hannah was doing all these kinds of things where most of the childcare workers were maybe a little intimidated and weren't really doing it then," Gatzlaff said. "Noticing that made her say that this was somebody who could probably ask to watch her on a more regular basis."

Alaniz said Fluhler, as a teenager, would ask them to show her how to use things like the G-tube that was connected to Aria's body and learn how to do it herself.

"Hannah really made a choice to connect with her and she made a choice to love her, and that was such a cool thing to see from a young person," Alaniz said. "She's just like a compassionate soul."

Memories of Aria:

Eventually, Aria died Sept. 20, 2015.

RELATED: Daughter's death inspires professor, student organization to help others

"Aria was such a cool, such a unique kid," Alaniz said. "When she died that was so hard because for five years I didn't realize that my whole identity was being Aria's mom. I was her eyes, I was her ears, I was her voice and I was her biggest advocate."

Alaniz said she went all over the country to get the medical care necessary for Aria.

"It was also the worst possible thing for me to leave her and for our family because she was amazing," she said. "She had a really tough life. I'm thankful that she is free from all that she had going on."

Gatzlaff said one of his most fond memories of Aria was being able to play loud music on his guitar because she couldn't hear very well.

"In the basement I'd be able to turn the amps up the way I like to play and just really have a good time down there, and she'd be bouncing around and she could feel it and she could hear it. That was really cool," he said.

Hannah's goals:

"We had a day where we let people come and say goodbye to Aria. I remember standing in my garage and Hannah saying, 'I'm going to do something about this.' She wasn't even in college yet," Alaniz said.

Fluhler too said the reason she was interested in Fanconi Anemia research was because of Aria.

Fluhler will be working in Melbourne from September through June. There she will also help with planning the Fanconi Anemia family day for Australia and New Zealand.

When she returns, she hopes to work as a nurse in the natal intensive care unit to gain experience with newborn children and then reapply to medical school for either an MD. PhD or a Doctor of Nursing Practice PhD.

Her goal is to help give diagnosis treatment methods as a future healthcare provider especially in the newborn population.

"One thing we always said was Aria was good in bringing out the best in people that we knew," Gatzlaff said. "That was really good to see."

People with disabilities:

Alaniz said she worked for a state disability advocacy organization, worked on state legislation with the National Organization for Rare Disorder's state liaison and has also built a connection with Be The Match organization.

She said she has helped guide families through things like advocating for their kids and helping them with healthcare financing

Alaniz said she always tells people to not shy away from people with disabilities and be open to asking them questions if they have any.

"I've never been annoyed when somebody asks a question. I've never been annoyed when a kid made a comment about my kid or asked a question about my kid," Alaniz said. "I have been annoyed when their moms told them to hush and not do that, or say that, and don't look at that person because we all look at people. We shouldn't not look at people with disabilities."

She said the more society helps make buildings, activities, schooling and other regular places and tasks more accessible for people with disabilities, "the more we can learn from them."

"People with disabilities are just people and I think when you define a person by their disability, you're doing yourself and them a real disservice," Alaniz said "I think the more that we can make buildings more accessible, activities more accessible, schooling more accessible, the more we can all learn from each other."

She said she always tells people to not shy away from people with disabilities and be open to asking them questions if they have any.

"I've never been annoyed when somebody asks a question. I've never been annoyed when a kid made a comment about my kid or asked a question about my kid. I have been annoyed when their moms told them to hush and not do that, or say that, and don't look at that person because we all look at people. We shouldn't not look at people with disabilities."

Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

Hannah Fluhler, a nursing graduate from 2019, used to provide a respite care for Aria as a teenager. In September, Fluhler will be traveling to Melbourne, Australia, to research Fanconi Anemia, the disease which impacted Aria. Hannah Fluhler, Photo Provided

<![CDATA[Senator, superintendent of public instruction speak on public education]]> Education was one of the primary topics of discussion at the Muncie Community Conversation event with Sen. Eddie Melton (D-Gary) and Jennifer McCormick, superintendent of public instruction.

Melton, who has formed a gubernatorial exploratory committee, and McCormick, a Ball State alumna, held the event Wednesday at the Courtyard by Marriott as part of a statewide listening tour called Hoosier Community Conversations. The event was originally scheduled to be held at the Art and Journalism Building at Ball State.

Democratic Indiana legislators from the Muncie-area also took part in the discussion including Sen. Tim Lanane, Rep. Sue Errington and Rep. Melanie Wright.

One of the education-related topics that was discussed was college affordability and student debt.

"We have to address that nationally as well, but we can't wait, as states, to just wait on the federal government to give us a model," Melton said.

He spoke about looking into subjects like free college tuition, freezing college tuition and other models followed elsewhere with a focus on finding feasible and effective ways to aid those who are just starting out.

Melton said an issue he sees at the statehouse is legislators "lightly touching subjects and not diving deep into the issues, how to solve these problems," adding people will continue to leave Indiana.

It's important to figure out how to attract and retain talent to avoid societies in Indiana from becoming "older, fewer and poorer," he said.

McCormick said the problem was "systemic."

"Many of our high schools are doing a great job of making sure kids are leaving with several college credits to help eliminate years that you are sitting and accumulating all that debt," she said. "Can we do more? Yes."

She said there were several proven models around the nation that were possible to apply to Indiana and leadership needs to be willing to look at the available data and talk with a lot of different people across the board.

She said while there are a lot of different pieces going on, mentioning Ball State's Brain Gain efforts, it's going to take leadership to have hard conversations and ask the right questions.

"There are solutions to it," McCormick said. "You have to have leadership willing to listen."

Other topics discussed include teacher pay, charter schools, gerrymandering and the Republican supermajority in the Indiana General Assembly.

"I'm a student in class when I'm with Dr. McCormick," Melton said. "I've learnt a lot about what's happening behind the scenes in our education system."

McCormick said while that's how Melton operates, people shouldn't assume that elected officials do the same because that isn't the norm in the statehouse.

"That piece - having the admission to say, 'I don't have all the answers' - that's huge," McCormick said.

In his conclusion, Melton said, "this is not about one individual. This is not about me pursuing office. This is about how can we as a collective change the narrative of the state and seek government that's about every single Hoosier."

He said if people focused on the issues that matter "I think we can have some true conversations and work towards policy that's going to improve the quality of life for folks."

Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

Sen. Eddie Melton (D-Gary) speaks to people gathered Aug. 15, 2019, at a Courtyard by Marriott hotel conference room as Jennifer McCormick, superintendent of public instruction, looks on. The discussion was part of their statewide tour called Hoosier Community Conversations focused on public education. Rohith Rao, DN

<![CDATA[Your New Nest: The Haven]]>

There are a few things in life we are certain of: summer is hot, Ball State is the Harvard of Muncie, and The Haven is the apartment complex for you.

You heard us right.

Start - and end - your apartment search with The Haven.

The Haven won Best Apartment Complex of Ball State for one simple reason - we care about our residents. We know that without you we wouldn't be here, so we make sure to do what we can to make you happy. This is what makes The Haven the premier apartment community in Muncie.

The Haven offers quality in-home amenities for its residents including washers and dryers, wood-style flooring and plush carpeting, free Internet, private bedrooms and bathrooms, and a 48" Smart TV. We can even furnish the apartment for you, so you don't have to worry about a thing! In addition to these amenities, we also welcome pets, because we know that having your furry friend with you turns your apartment into a true home.

Amenities don't stop at what's provided in individual apartments. Community amenities include a 24-hour fitness gym, a tanning bed, a basketball court, on-site maintenance, a sauna, a swimming pool, a TV lounge and a video gaming lounge.

With every thing we offer, we make it easy for you to stay relaxed and happy both during the summer and the school year.

If you think our amenities are great, our next point will shock you: free stuff. That's right. In addition to great amenities, The Haven also hosts a variety of events throughout the year (think Grocery Bingo) as well as several contests throughout the year - and who doesn't love free stuff?

Still not convinced? Katelynn D. said that, "The staff if very friendly, and when [she] had some issues in the apartment, maintenance was able to take care of it in a timely manner." Stay with us and you can be one of the residents who leaves an honest review on our website to let others know what's happening at The Haven!

With everything The Haven is willing - and excited - to do for you, why would you live anywhere else? Stop overthinking it. Visit us at havenapts.com to virtually chat with a leasing agent. It's time to make The Haven your new nest.

As with all advertising, sponsored content does not necessarily reflect the views and choices of the employees of Unified Media. Unified Media will ensure the treatment and design of advertising and sponsor content is clearly differentiated from its editorial content. Unified Media reserves the right to refuse publication of such content that, in its own judgment, would undermine the intellectual integrity, authority, and character of our enterprise. Consistent with the foregoing General Advertising Guidelines, Unified Media may reject or remove any sponsored content at any time that contains false, deceptive, misleading, or illegal content; is inconsistent with or may tend to bring disparagement, harm to reputation, or other damage to Unified Media's brand.
<![CDATA[Gunman wounds at least 6 Philadelphia police; 2 others freed]]> By CHRISTINA PACIOLLA and CLAUDIA LAUER

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - At least one gunman opened fire on police Wednesday as they were serving a drug warrant in Philadelphia, wounding six officers and triggering a standoff that extended into the night, authorities said.

Two other officers were trapped inside the house for about five hours after the shooting broke out but were freed by a SWAT team well after darkness fell on the residential neighborhood.

None of the officers' injuries was considered life-threatening and they were being treated at hospitals, Philadelphia police Sgt. Eric Gripp said.

The shooting began around 4:30 p.m. as officers went to a home in a north Philadelphia neighborhood of brick and stone rowhomes to serve a narcotics warrant in an operation "that went awry almost immediately," Police Commissioner Richard Ross said.

"I was just coming off the train and I was walking upstairs and there were people running back downstairs who said that there was someone up there shooting cops," said Abdul Rahman Muhammad, 21, an off-duty medic. "There was just a lot of screaming and chaos."

Many officers "had to escape through windows and doors to get (away) from a barrage of bullets," Ross said.

Shots were still being fired three hours later, police said, and officers returned fire.

"It's nothing short of a miracle that we don't have multiple officers killed today," the commissioner said.

Around 9:30 p.m., police said, a SWAT team freed the two officers who had been trapped inside, along with three people identified as prisoners, but the gunman remained barricaded.

Police were imploring him to surrender, at one point patching in his lawyer on the phone with him to try to persuade him to give up, Ross said.

"We're doing everything within our power to get him to come out," Ross said, adding: "He has the highest assurance he's not going to be harmed when he comes out."

Temple University locked down part of its campus, and several children and staff were trapped for some time in a nearby day care.

Police tried to push crowds of onlookers and residents back from the scene. In police radio broadcasts, officers could be heard calling for backup as reports of officers getting shot poured in.

Dozens of officers on foot lined the streets. Others were in cars and some on horses.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said its agents responded to the scene to assist Philadelphia police.

President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr were briefed on the shooting, officials said.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said he was thankful that officers' injuries weren't life-threatening.

"I'm a little angry about someone having all that weaponry and all that firepower, but we'll get to that another day," Kenney said.


Associated Press writers Ron Todt in Philadelphia, Michael Balsamo in Washington, Caleb Jones in Honolulu and Michael Rubinkam in Allentown, Pennsylvania, contributed to this report.

A massive police presence is set up outside a house as they investigate an active shooting situation, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, in the Nicetown neighborhood of Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

<![CDATA[Ball State community reflects on first day of move in]]> On a hot and sunny Wednesday at Ball State, students officially began moving into their respective residence halls.

Commencing with Ball State's Welcome Week, students under the premium plan - students who agree to stay in the residence halls for two years - moved in to their residence halls starting at 9 a.m.

"I'm not nervous or anything because I'm rooming with one of my best friends," said Reese Broaddus, freshman business communications major moving into LaFollette Complex. "I really don't know what to expect. I'm just kind of excited about it."

Broaddus' main concern was knowing where his classes were going to be and how close they were to each other. However, he said he was comfortable finding his way around campus because he has visited Ball State several times.

Jack Falejczyk, freshman computer information systems major, arrived earlier to Ball State as part of Accelerate, a program designed for first-time freshmen by Housing and Residence Life to help them succeed at Ball State. Through the program, he said he has gotten to meet people and tour campus.

Since the program was free of cost, he said he was paying with his time volunteering with the move-in process as a greeter outside LaFollette.

Falejczyk, who is completely blind, said while interacting with other students was easy, navigation and getting some work done have some obvious challenges to them. He said his hall director helped him with his scheduled walk around campus and he has many talking gadgets to help him when using computers.

"I'm very excited for Ball State," Falejczyk said. "We all feel welcome here and it's all very very fun."

Kate Bergel, residence hall director for LaFollette, said the most challenging part for the staff helping with move ins was staying cool in the heat.

"We haven't had rain like we had last year and the students are all really excited to be here," Bergel said. "The energy has been really great all day."

She advised incoming freshmen "don't be afraid to get a little bit lost in order to find who you really are here."

Danny Butler, a hall director for Brayton/Clevenger, advised freshmen to get involved on campus.

"It's really easy and there's a lot of people out there," Butler said. "I know some people may feel like they're the only one and they're lonely, but there's so many resources on campus for them to go to."

He said maintaining positive energy for 10 hours a day could sometimes be a challenge for the move-in staff.

"I'm a really energetic person. So, it's pretty easy for me to do, but spirits can sometimes get low in the heat and the rain, but we push through it," Butler said.

Sgt. Michael Lucas from University Police (UPD), who was assisting with the move-in process, said it was going smooth thus far and that people were respectful and compliant with parking regulations.

He said UPD's social media videos on how to move into residence halls at Ball State might have been helpful to people moving in.

Students on the standard plan will begin moving in Thursday and returning students will move in Thursday through Sunday.

Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

<![CDATA[Brothers Bar & Grill: Muncie's Social Hangout]]>

Since we opened in Muncie in 2014, Brothers Bar & Grill has strived to be a food and beverage social hangout for students and families alike.

Located on University Avenue inside the Village Promenade Apartment Complex, we're a modernized throwback to the old Midwestern corner tavern. A clean, relaxed social hangout with a bar stocked full of cold beer and drinks and a kitchen in the back serving up comfortable American food. Food portions are large and juicy, drink prices are good and plenty. A lot of televisions and not a bad seat in the house.

We also have a big bar menu stacked with appetizers for snacking, burgers, salads, sandwiches, wraps, street tacos and other tempting entrées.

We pride ourselves on our hand-battered, beer-battered Wisconsin Cheese Curds (a must). And for our little brothers and sisters, we have a kids menu with all their favorites, from chicken tenders to mac-n-cheese.

We also have great daily food specials like $2 Cheeseburger Tuesdays, .25 Wings every Wednesday night and $2 Street Tacos on Thursdays.

Of course, Muncie has been kind enough to make Brothers a popular late night destination, too. We have plenty of daily and monthly drink specials and we have a wide selection of draft beers to choose from. National, regional and local drafts available. No matter what time you stop in, or whatever your pleasure, it's hard to imagine you won't leave here satisfied.

Brothers Bar is turning 29!

You're invited to our Birthday Party (all three of them). Starting Thursday, Aug. 29 with $8 Brothers Original Long Island Teas and a Beer Pong Tournament. The first 150 people in the door get FREE Mug Club mugs on Friday, Aug. 30 ($4 Vegas Bomb shots all night). $8 Brothers Original Long Islands on Saturday, Aug. 31. DJs, Giveaways, Birthday decorations and $4 Brothers Chocolate Birthday Cake shots each night starting at 9 p.m.

Brothers Bar & Grill is located on 1601 W University Avenue and is open 11A-3A every day of the week. Check out our food and beverage specials on-line at brothersbar.com

As with all advertising, sponsored content does not necessarily reflect the views and choices of the employees of Unified Media. Unified Media will ensure the treatment and design of advertising and sponsor content is clearly differentiated from its editorial content. Unified Media reserves the right to refuse publication of such content that, in its own judgment, would undermine the intellectual integrity, authority, and character of our enterprise. Consistent with the foregoing General Advertising Guidelines, Unified Media may reject or remove any sponsored content at any time that contains false, deceptive, misleading, or illegal content; is inconsistent with or may tend to bring disparagement, harm to reputation, or other damage to Unified Media's brand.
<![CDATA[Welcome Week 2019: Ball State students to begin move in]]> Ball State students begin moving into their respective residence halls Wednesday. To welcome the new college students, Ball State has organized a series of events from Aug. 14-24 for Welcome Week.

These include free events, give aways, information sessions about various majors and services at Ball State, on-campus entertainment and more.

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions' website states these events will connect new students with the campus community and help them transition to college life. It encourages all first-year students to attend these events.

The full schedule of Welcome Week events can be found on the Office of Undergraduate Admissions' website.

Move in for new students under the premium plan is on Aug. 14, whereas those under the standard plan is Aug, 15. Returning students will move in 9 a.m.-6 p.m. from Aug. 15-18. Move-in and hall-specific information can be found on the Housing and Residence Life's website.

Erin Simons moves in during Welcome Week Aug. 18, 2018, at Woodworth Complex. Rebecca Slezak, DN

<![CDATA[Unspoken: Summertime blues]]>

Demi Lawrence is a junior journalism news major and writes "Unspoken" for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Demi at dnlawrence@bsu.edu.

This summer, I decided to go into the great unknown.

I rented a house for the 2018-19 school year, and instead of moving home to Fishers, Indiana for the 2019 summer and moving back to Muncie for the 2019-20 school year, I decided to stay in this house with two other roommates.

It was my first summer alone being a real adult. Paying for my own groceries, cleaning my own house, filling up my own gas tank. And not to mention, living in a place other than the bubble-like town I'd grown up.

This summer, I decided to go into the great unknown, and in all honesty, it sucked. But I learned more than ever that it is the small, redeeming moments you have to latch onto to make the mundane, everyday moments seem a little more worth it.

Black dress pants, a black button up and an alfredo-stained apron is what I spent most of my summer in. I bussed tables at Muncie's Olive Garden as my primary job, then two days a week I worked 8-hour-long shifts at a shoe store in the Muncie Mall. Working two jobs is something I never thought I'd have to do to make ends meet, and these were my first two food and retail jobs ever.

These two jobs made me realize how privileged I grew up. I made $12 an hour last summer doing absolutely nothing in an office job. I was living beyond comfortably in my dad's home, only having to spend money on gas to get me to my job.

This summer, I made minimum wage at one job and around $12 an hour at another, but had to work harder at it than any other job I've ever had.

Many nights this summer I came home from work, most of the time smelling like garlic and pesto, and thought about what my life would be had I lived in Fishers. Even if I was doing the same two jobs, I would probably make twice as much because of how much better off economically Fishers is than Muncie.

But money wasn't the only issue, it was also knowing if I lived at home I'd get to spend more time with my dad and my boyfriend who live there.

My dad is my best friend, and I know I have to grow up eventually and move out and begin my own life, but if I had it my way I'd live with him forever. He was happy I was taking this leap of faith to become a real, functioning adult, but I know it hurt him to not have me around.

I was also haunted every day with the reality that had I chosen to live in Fishers, I'd be five minutes down the road from my boyfriend. Now I am an easy 45-minute-drive on a crappy, construction-ridden interstate.

Though we made it work and stayed strong, so many nights I'd lay awake this summer resenting myself for the decision I had made. I was alone in my bed without another body to keep me company because I wanted to be a grown up so bad.

It seemed like it was my fault and no one else's' that I was lonely and anxious every day. I developed a general anxiety this summer that squawked like an annoying parrot on my shoulder daily. It would say "Are you sure?" and "You can't handle this," and even "You failed."

Even the one thing I thought I was going to be able to hold onto this summer, my college friends living just down the street from me, quickly became a far away wish.

We all were busy; I was working upwards of 35 hours a week, they were also working, taking summer classes and our schedules never matched up. It felt like every time we hung out I was trying to quickly catch them up on everything so we could go back to just being friends who hung out all the time, not distant strangers you have to poke a stick at every so often to wake up.

And I am in no way blaming them or even myself, we all decided on our own to grow up this summer and live away from home, but the fact that my one solace was just a wish upon a star every two weeks or so tore me apart.

Everyone always wishes for summer, I was one of those people. But I was busier, more stressed and lonelier this summer than I ever had been while school was in. It was a rude awakening.

But like I said, this summer taught me to appreciate the little moments.

Indianapolis International Airport is strangely busy at 12:30 a.m. Yet there I was standing, waiting on my best friend to get off her plane after a full 24 hours of traveling. She came through the terminal in her Winnie the Pooh jumper, and I set out for a sprint without even telling my legs what to do. The tears came as I tackled her to the ground, and I pulled away to look into her eyes.

Meeting my best friend for the first time ever in person was one huge, amazing and special moment that amounted to a thousand little moments all in one.

The week she was with me made all the exhaustion of being on my own worth it. With my own place, we could do whatever we wanted without having to ask my dad. Had I lived at home with my dad this summer, her stay in America would have been much different.

Though this summer brought a medley of pain, I became so much more independent; when I was lost, worried, anxious and afraid I picked myself up.

I made my own decisions to eat healthier and save money at the grocery.

It was my gas to fill into my tank.

It was my decision to drive to Fishers last minute to see my boyfriend after work, and it was the pride I had that I was doing this dreadful thing called "adulting" not too badly.

Would my life have been easier had I lived in Fishers this summer? Yes. I would have made more money, been around my family and my boyfriend and lived in comfort.

This summer I lived in a house that I struggled to make feel like home. I worked two jobs and barely made ends meet. I cried at night because my tiny twin bed still felt too big for there to just be me in it. My heart broke with every "Sorry I can't" text from my friends because I knew they couldn't help having lives too.

But it taught me that this life is not always a luxury, and this life is meant to beat you down only to build you back up.

Sometimes it takes the little things to make you see the bigger picture. Sometimes it takes a week off of work with your best friend from London to make you see that life has some semblance of beauty in it.

Other times it takes a weekend getaway with your boyfriend to make you see that love knows no boundaries or distance, and love exists in a crack of a baseball bat at Great American Ballpark and in the first bite of a far too expensive steak in Cincinnati, Ohio.

There are even times it takes just a cheap dinner out with your dad to make you feel safe and okay.

Adulting isn't about how much you make, or where you live or how many hours you work. It's about the moments that make all those mundane things worth it.

I had more hard moments than good ones, but it's about quality not quantity.

As this summer comes to a close and I begin to plan my last half of college, I can definitely say I became an adult this summer and I am proud of myself for all I have done. After all the sweat, tears and garlic-clogged pores after a dinner shift, this summer was a gift.

But I am definitely ready to be back at the frats and distracted by class work again. Adulting sucks.

<![CDATA[Ball State grandparents celebrate granddaughter's commitment to Ball State in adorable video]]> MUNCIE,IN(NewsLink) - When a local Indiana teen finally committed to Ball State University, everyone in her family was excited, especially her grandparents.

Madison Surface, a Ball State freshman studying telecommunications and journalism, committed to the university last friday after getting anxious about her original first choice school.

"I had originally planned to attend the University of Cincinnati up until last week. I began feeling anxious about Cincinnati so I prayed for confirmation that UC was where I was supposed to be. In the days that followed, I started seeing information about Ball State online and getting magazines in the mail with stories about the major I wanted to pursue. Then, this past Friday, I made the choice to attend BSU."

While Surface is glad she made the decision because it will allow her to be closer to her family, she said the main reason she made the choice was for Ball State's Journalism Department. "It's one of the best in the country and speaks for itself, honestly!" Surface said.

When Surface made the switch, she couldn't wait to tell her mom Charity Surface, who graduated from Ball State in 1995. Then, they both decided they needed to call Madison's grandparents, Jill and Mark Surface, to tell them about her decision to switch.

Jill, who graduated from Ball State in 1967, and Mark, who graduated in 1968, celebrated over the phone, but had a bigger celebration planned. The two put on their old Ball State gear, Jill with her cheer sweater and Mark with his football jersey, and performed the fight song on video. Afterwards, they announced their granddaughter as the newest addition to the Ball State family, much to Madison's surprise.

"So, my mom and I called my grandparents to let them know my big news and they celebrated over the phone. I thought that would be it, but that same night I was sitting at home folding my laundry and all of a sudden, my grandparents swing open the door and come through performing the school fight song all out."

Madison then posted the video to Twitter, where it has received over 400 retweets and 6,000 likes. You can watch the video on Madison's Twitter here:


For any comments about this story, contact the author at emharless@bsu.edu.
<![CDATA[Muncie Police arrests student with gun outside Muncie Central High School]]> Muncie Police Department (MPD) officers arrested a student with a loaded handgun Wednesday afternoon outside Muncie Central High School (MCHS).

Chase Winkle, public information officer (PIO) with MPD, in a press conference later that evening, said a 15-year-old student with MCHS was arrested at 2:48 p.m. near the east entrance of the high school on Myrtle and Walnut Streets.

At 2:44 p.m. a call was made to MPD stating there was a subject with a gun along with descriptions. Three minutes after, an MPD officer working the street along with a school resource officer (SRO) from MCHS located the male matching the description.

Winkle said the subject was carrying a small-caliber loaded handgun. Following a brief resistance from the subject and after the gun was located, he was taken into custody at 2:48 p.m. and transported to criminal investigations at 2:58 p.m.

SROs were informed by a third party about the student, Winkle said. He added SROs dealt with the student earlier in the day, when he was at school, for something minor.

"If it would've been something to a higher scale then we would probably have this handled earlier," Winkle said.

He said one of the points MPD would like to make with SROs is "to get to know the students, to get comfortable with the students, so that something like this could be told to them."

Winkle said there will be some preliminary charges and the suspect will be held at the Youth Detention Center.

"This is a situation that I'm sure the investigation will give us some light, but we may never know exactly what the intentions were," Winkle said. "I think that as a father, as a part of the community, this is a prime example of if you see something, you know, tell somebody."

Winkle said he was told the school was not on lockdown given that the incident unfolded "literally in minutes.

He said the timeline of events showed how informing the SROs led to a quick response adding "those quick responses save lives, without a doubt."

Considering the suspect is a juvenile, MPD had to follow certain steps and go through the right processes like having guardians available before questioning the suspect.

"At this point of time, there's still an interview which is a crucial part of it to try to get a little light into what was going to happen, if anything, and then it'll ultimately be up to what we figure out and what the prosecutors decide," Winkle said.

He said even if it had not been a student, but a gun completely unrelated to the school, MPD would have responded similarly to how they did, given the area and students coming out to buses.

"I think that a lot of things went really well to make this end as good as it could've," Winkle said. "I don't have anything that I could release to you to say that there was going to be a school shooting today, but I think the fact that we know for sure it was a student and that he had a handgun, that is not a good sign. I think that a dangerous situation was handled very quickly and as good as it could've."

Winkle said what MPD really wanted to hone in on was that everybody is fine and that people could go to school tomorrow and understand that the situation is handled.

"I think people should have conversations with their kids about stuff like this - that this is not something where you keep it a secret because you don't want to tell on your friend or you don't want to be that person," Winkle said. "That's not something you want to live with, and I think as parents we need to have those conversations with our kids to make sure that they know that that tip alone was what got us to get this guy in custody. Had we not been told by that person, we would have had no idea."

He said having extra patrol at the school would fall on the school district, but added that around 5-6 SROs from MPD and surrounding law enforcement agencies are present at MCHS on any given day.

This story will be updated.

Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

Muncie Police Department arrested a 15-year-old student with a gun August 7, 2019, outside Muncie Central High School. The suspect will be held at the Youth Detention Center. Mara Semon, DN File

<![CDATA[Ball State community dedicates plaque in memory of former employee]]> Friends, family and colleagues gathered on the lawn near Frog Baby to remember a Ball State employee and dedicate a plaque in his honor.

David Powell, 52, died March 6 at Indiana University Ball Memorial Hospital. David graduated from Ball State in 1990 with a bachelor's degree in information system management and worked at the university for nearly 30 years.

"He always shared his knowledge with people," said Wendy Powell, his wife of 28 years. "There was never a stupid question. If you asked him something, he answered you as honestly and as well as he could with the intent of teaching you something."

David's friends and colleagues raised funds for a tree that was planted on June 27 near Bracken Library. On Aug. 6 a plaque was placed in front of the tree to in his memory.

"It just makes me happy because after I lost him, I did think about it, that we didn't have that connection to Ball State anymore," said Wendy who met David when they were students at Ball State in 1986. "To have this here forever is important to me."

In her dedication speech, Wendy noted that David was an avid video game player, particularly of World of Warcraft (WoW). She said he was called Anj by the people he played with because all his characters began with Anj.

"He had this whole group of friends that never met him, but were still good friends," Wendy said. "He just wanted to have a good time. He just wanted to meet people, relax and enjoy himself."

His daughter Emily Powell, will be joining Ball State in the fall to study computer technology. She will also be working in the same location, with some of the same people that he worked with in Bracken Library.

"I'm being inducted into the Ball State family. It feels very good to have the knowledge that these people cared about my dad as much as I did," Emily said.

Like her father, Emily too enjoyed playing WoW.

"It just a way that we bonded," she said. "If I was ever stressed out as a little kid I knew that I could just go into the computer room and watch him play World of Warcraft, relax and just completely destress."

Emily said her father treated people with respect and was cordial with everyone.

"He just wanted to treat everybody with kindness and just implanted that seed into people's minds to just be as nice to people as you possibly can," she said. "I feel like I'm trying to carry on that demeanor."

She said having a memorial of her dad right next to where she will be working and being able to tell people that it is for her dad was "monumental" for her.

Wendy said the most important thing for David was people. She said he would advise them to have a good attitude when responding to people or situations.

"Either you can help the situation or you hurt it and he was always one to help and wanted to help people get along and excel at what they did," she said.

Emily shared an advise her father would give to Ball State students today.

"Just do your best and know your worth. If you know you are good at something then fight to make people know that you are worth everything that can be given to you," she said. "If you are being treated less than that, then you need to find some way around that or find a different place to go to be valued."

Contact Rohith Rao with comments at rprao@bsu.edu or on Twitter @RaoReports.

A plaque dedicated to David Powell, an alumnus and employee at Ball State, was unveiled Aug. 6, 2019, on the lawn near Frog Baby. David died March 6, 2019, at Indiana University Ball Memorial Hospital. Rohith Rao, DN

<![CDATA[Be prepared, 'The Lion King' is a cinematic headache]]> Over the course of my career in analyzing and critiquing film, I would be lying if I said I haven't come across many people who have questioned me and my line of work, specifically in regard to the material I tend to focus on. Questions like, "Do you only review 'big' movies?," "Why do you get angry at kids' movies?," and "Trevor, why are you talking to yourself?!?"

To answer: A. I've reviewed plenty of smaller movies in my time (see my backlog).B. I get angry at these kinds of movies because, more often than not, filmmakers think they can get away with being lazy. It's not hard to assume that the target audience for these films is no smarter than a day-old papaya. Kids are smart, and these movies often leave a lasting impact on who they grow up to be. If you feed a child nothing but trash their whole life, they'll likely go in the bin along with it as they grow older. To say that schlock like Wonder Park is less accountable for criticism than a film like the latest Men In Black retread or a "prestige" film like Room for Rent is to invalidate the efforts of hundreds of legitimate artists and filmmakers, regardless of the final product.And C? It's because of movies like The Lion King (2019).

Our Friend is Doomed

Directed by Iron Man and Jungle Book (2016) alumnus Jon Favreau, The Lion King (2019) is a remake of 1994's The Lion King. The story follows Simba (JD McCrary, Donald Glover), the son of Mufasa (James Earl Jones, the only returning cast member from the original film), who eagerly awaits the day that he can claim his father's title as King of the Pridelands. However, when he gets caught up in the twisted machinations of his uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor)…you get the point.

For many reasons, I was skeptical of this film going in. Whether it's Favreau outright denying in numerous interviews and articles that the film was animated, early footage showing that "realism" meant characters with the emotional range of a ventriloquist's dummy, or the track record of other Disney remakes I've seen (and reviewed), I went in with the lowest possible expectations I could have. However, this film somehow even missed that bar.

Aside from touching on the visual aspect (for now), this movie seems completely determined to not even remotely try to elevate beyond its source material. A prior claim by Favreau that the film isn't a shot-for-shot remake is only true in the barest of senses, with whatever's been added or changed is only 'real' versions of shots from the original or mindless landscape filler seemingly only there to show off what his tech can do. Going even further, the writing of this film is almost wholesale taken from the original film's script (with no credit to any of the original Lion King's crew save for exactly five people who returned for this one), with small exception to the updated comedic stylings of Timon (Billy Eichner) and Pumbaa (Seth Rogen). However, here, their style of comedy is in the vein of something you'd find on late-night TV: broad, timely, and precociously self-aware. Given that their schtick is comprised of reused zingers from the first time around and what can only be line-o-rama improv between Rogen and Eichner until they found something that stuck, it really does not help.

At least with Dumbo (2019), they actually TRIED to switch things up. This is just ridiculous.

Everything the Light Touches…Goes to Hell

If there is any positive to be found with this film, it comes in the form of Favreau's decision to present the film in hyper-realistic CGI and make it look as if the entire production was done in live-action. It's utterly undeniable the effort that has gone into tricking the eye into thinking that what it's seeing is nothing less than real, and I commend the filmmakers for pulling it off.

That is, until the animals start talking.

Beyond the "Circle of Life" sequence at the start of The Lion King (2019), the movie cannonballs straight into the computer-generated depths of the Uncanny Valley and fully expects viewers to be along for the ride. Practically shot-for-shot from the original film with some added eye-candy filler thrown in the middle to turn what could have been a straightforward eighty-eight-minute ride to a bloated two hours, it's utterly ridiculous. The movie is constantly at odds with itself, debating over whether or not it wants to be a cartoon or be the edgy, "real" version of the story it's telling.

There are numerous moments throughout the film where its so-called "devotion" to the original actively hurts the overall quality of the piece. Musical numbers like "Hakuna Matata" and "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" are all but squandered by the practically emotionless characters, coupled with choreography straight out of an Air Buddies sequel and actors that can't sing for their lives (Seth Rogen!). In the case of "Be Prepared," a number nearly cut from the film but kept after fan outcry, it's effectively nothing more than crummy slam poem with Ejiofor kinda singing near the end. However, the most egregious moment in the entire film comes with the murder of Mufasa, where almost every element in play is so flat and artificial that it literally became a meme in the days leading up to the film's US release. Heck, at times during this movie I was praying for the camera to pull back away from the characters and ultimately reveal that this whole charade was just an overblown early Super Bowl ad for the 2020 Hyundai Sonata.

It's through this sheer lack of charm and the inability for the audience to truly empathize with any of the characters that the flaws of the central narrative itself start to bubble up and actively combat against any real attempt to make this film feel like a worthy counterpart, let alone successor, to the original.

Throw the Baby Off the Cliff

To clarify, is there even a point to criticizing The Lion King(2019)? I say this not in jest, but as a legitimate question. Despite all of the severe downgrades made towards what is one of Disney's most iconic films, analysts are predicting this movie to surely join the billion-dollar clean-plate-club that most of Disney's releases manage to hit nowadays, and then some. This story resonates with people on a personal level, and that's not a bad thing! The problem is that this film is effectively a "deluxe" frozen dinner: Sure, it may come with a fancy new tray, Salisbury steak (that isn't made from horses this time!), and space-age pudding that changes colors when you stir it, but that's just what it says on the box. After it comes out of the microwave, you may eat it and feel you got your money's worth, but it doesn't change the fact that it uses ultimately shallow gimmicks to sell you a bland and forgettable version of a legitimate meal.

But why worry? Why should I care? This movie's all-but-guaranteed to beat the Disney movie that just beat that other Disney movie from the company they just bought, so why bother fighting something I can't stop? Timon puts it best: "Life is meaningless," and so is this movie.

Hakuna friggin' Matata. What a wonderful phrase.

Images: IMDb

Featured Image: IMDb

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