UTC Hosts Chattanooga’s Best Dance Crew Competition

By: Louise Elliott

Chattanooga (UTC/TheLoop) – UTC’s Alpha Kappa Psi Professional Business Fraternity hosted the first annual Chattanooga’s Best Dance Crew Competition at the University Center Auditorium.

Five crews participated in the competition including, The Untouchables, Tennessee Rockaz, C@ution Crew, Final Destination, and Retro Swag. The crews consisted of members from Chattanooga, Nashville, Memphis, and Atlanta. Two of the crews, The Untouchables and Final Destination, included UTC students as members.

The Final Destination crew were the night’s winners. They walked away with a $1000 cash prize.

“The event was very successful,” said Porscha Boyd, one of the event coordinators. “It brought out a diverse crowd and we were very pleased.”

A canned food item donation was requested from those who attended the dance competition. Boyd said a substantial amount of food was donated to the Chattanooga Food Bank.

“I felt for our first dance competition, the show was well organized and was successful,” said Johnny Lester, a coordinator from Alpha Kappa Psi.  “I am pleased with all the performances and I look forward to seeing everyone back for Chattanooga’s Best Dance Crew 2010.”

Financial sponsors of the event included Dr. Victor Blake & Morehouse School of Medicine, Eric Buchanan & Assoicates, and the Alpha Kappa Psi chapter.

UTC’s Panhellenic Conference Contributes to Neighborhood House’s Toy Drive

By Linda Elliott

Chattanooga (UTC/TheLoop) – UTC’s Panhellenic Conference, which consists of Kappa Delta, Sigma Kappa, Chi Omega, and Alpha Delta Pi, participated in a Christmas toy drive for Chattanooga’s Northside Neighborhood House‘s Santa’s Workshop program.

The Christmas Tree brings holiday cheer to the Neighborhood House

The Christmas Tree brings holiday cheer to the Neighborhood House

“It was truly a blessing to get the support of the UTC Panhellenic group this year,” says Rachel Gammon, Executive Director of the Neighborhood House.

The Northside Neighborhood House is a branch of United Way which serves the North Chattanooga area.  The Neighborhood House offers services such as bill pay assistance to those who have disconnected utilities, adult education, and a thrift store located next door.

The Neighborhood House holds a yearly toy drive to provide Christmas gifts to area children.  According to Gammon, this year’s Santa’s Workshop program will provide toys to between 400 and 450 children.

“One of the obstacles of providing toys for children is finding the toys,” says Gammon.  “So, we contacted UTC’s Panhellenic group and they decided to take that on as their project.”

Gammon says the Neighborhood does a Santa’s Workshop style program because it is more beneficial both to the parents and children participating.

“The parents get to come in and shop for their children,” says Gammon.  “It gives the parents a sense of ownership when they are struggling or having hard times because they can come in and pick out what their child would like.”

Children play on the playground at the Neighborhood House's afterschol program

Children play on the playground at the Neighborhood House's afterschol program

Christina Sjoberg, Community Service Chair for the Panhellenic Conference, says being able to give back to the community is a big part of why the group took on the toy drive.

“I have been involved in some sort of toy drive every year,” Sjoberg says.   “Being able to give back to my community makes me feel like I’ve made some sort of change, no matter how small it is.”

According to its mission statement, the Panhellenic Conference,  “Exists to promote the values of and to serve as an advocate for its member groups in collaboration with those members, campuses and communities.”

Staying true to the community service aspect of their mission statement is important to Sjoberg.

Toys wait to be part of the Santa's Workshop program.

Toys wait to be part of the Santa's Workshop program.

“Community Service is one of my passions and to be able to help families in need have a wonderful Christmas for their children makes me have a wonderful Christmas as well,” she says.  “I want to see every child have the best Christmas they’ve ever had.”

Click here to see a related story about giving on UTC’s campus.

UTC Rowing Crew Participates in the Head of the Hooch Regatta

The UTC rowing crew recently participated in the Head of the Hooch Regatta.  The regatta, which is one of the largest head races in the southeast, had approximately 8,000 participants.

A Musical History of the White House

White House (AP/THELOOP)-

MELANCHOLY BALLAD

The first East Room concert for an invited audience took place on Feb. 23, 1883, when Chester Arthur had more than 100 guests hear members of Her Majesty’s Opera Company sing Mozart, Verdi and Wagner. The star of the evening was famed Canadian soprano Emma Albani, who sang “Robin Adair” as her final selection. The song had special meaning for Arthur, whose late wife Ellen had sung the Irish ballad many times at Arthur’s request.

THE LION SHINES

Theodore Roosevelt’s White House was the first to feature a Steinway piano, and great pianists soon followed. Ignacy Jan Paderewski’s first appearance at the White House in April 1902 was recounted by portrait painter Cecilia Beaux, who wrote: “The yellow head of the Lion shone gloriously against the satin of the Blue Room. … I think it may have been better than hearing Chopin himself.” Paderewski described the president’s reaction: “The president listened with charming interest and applauded vociferously and always shouted out ‘Bravo! Bravo! Fine! Splendid! — even during the performance.”

NO THANKS

Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt brought in professional dancers to the White House for the first time. They featured black vocal artists, the first staged opera, women’s organizations, ethnic groups and an array of American folk singers and players never before seen in the mansion. Offers to perform in the Roosevelt White House came in at the rate of 250 a season during the 1930s. Some who never made it: a young man who demonstrated the “Theremin Wave — a scientific musical mystery,” a woman who played the piano wearing mittens, and an 18-month-old baby who directed music in perfect time.

SONG OF AN EXILE

Famed Spanish cellist Pablo Casals played in Theodore Roosevelt’s White House in 1904, but he stopped making American appearances in 1938 because the United States had recognized the Franco dictatorship. Casals lived in exile, vowing not to return to Spain until democracy was restored. When President John Kennedy sent him a letter inviting him to play for a November 1961 state dinner, Casals accepted because of his admiration for the president. The hour-long concert was serious, featuring works by Mendelssohn, Robert Schumann, and Francois Couperin, and closed with a powerful encore. “You might know this song,” Casals said, almost weeping. “It’s a Catalan folk song, ‘The Song of the Birds’ — but to me, it’s the song of the exile.”

KENNEDY’S CUES

Kennedy was caught more than once clapping at the wrong time during classical numbers, and sometimes was uncertain when a concert was finally over. Social secretary Letitia Baldrige worked out a secret signal to cue him on when to clap. “As the last piece was almost finished, I was to open the central door of the East Room from the outside about two inches — enough for him to glimpse the prominent Baldrige nose structure in the crack. It worked beautifully that night and for all future concerts,” Baldrige said.

NIXON’S BLUES

Five months before Richard Nixon resigned in disgrace, he hosted governors in March 1974 at the White House, where blues great Pearl Bailey provided after-dinner entertainment. Bailey persuaded Nixon to play the piano, telling the president he could choose any number he wanted. But when Nixon began playing “Home on the Range,” Bailey complained, “Mr. President, I want to sing a song, not ride a horse.” Then the two of them had trouble finding the same key. “I don’t know whether I’m finding him, or he’s finding me,” Bailey said. Vice President Gerald Ford said he’d never laughed so hard. Nixon said: “I just want to say to our distinguished guests that this piano will never be the same again and neither will I.”

SALT PEANUTS

The Carters loved classical music, but also wanted to showcase ethnic and folk traditions as well. In June 1978, the White House hosted a jazz concert on the South Lawn in honor of the 25th anniversary of the Newport Jazz Festival. The concert featured nine decades of jazz performers, including 95-year-old Eubie Blake, Herbie Hancock, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Getz and others. Carter, sitting on the lawn in his shirt sleeves, asked Gillespie to play “Salt Peanuts” and joined in with repeated chants of “salt peanuts” in the breaks.

CLOSE CALL

Frank Sinatra didn’t have much time to rehearse when the Reagan White House asked him to perform for a state dinner for Sri Lanka in 1984. Security at the White House was tightened in the aftermath of the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, and so bomb-sniffing dogs had to check out everything coming into the mansion, including musical instruments. On the day of the dinner, the dogs became too exhausted to work anymore, and Sinatra’s instruments were stranded outside the East Gate until replacement dogs could be called in.

VELVET UNDERGROUND

When the Clinton White House welcomed Czech President Vaclav Havel for a state dinner in 1998, the former playwright made a special request for entertainment by rocker Lou Reed, a founding member of the former rock group Velvet Underground. The group had helped inspire Havel’s leadership of the “Velvet Revolution” that brought democracy to the Czech Republic. In halting English, Havel told about getting his first earful of Reed’s music during a visit to Greenwich Village in 1968, and said, “I’ve been listening to it for 30 years.” Reed’s band for the White House gig included Milan Hlavsa, a bass player from the Czech Republic whose music was inspired in part by Reed.

___

Sources:

—”Musical Highlights from the White House,” by Elise K. Kirk.

—”Entertaining at the White House with Nancy Reagan,” by Peter Schifando and J. Jonathan Joseph.

—AP files

A Sea of Pink Floods UTC’s Chamberlain Field

Chattanooga (UTC/TheLoop) – Thousands of UTC students and breast cancer awareness supporters gathered on UTC’s Chamberlain Field recently in an attempt to form the world’s largest human awareness ribbon.

An attempt at the world's largest human awareness ribbon.

An attempt at the world's largest human awareness ribbon.

“We are trying to break the Guinness World Record, which is currently held by Germany at around 3600 people,” said Carol Oglesby, Coordinator of Student Civic Engagement and Physical Health Education and Promotion at UTC.  “We thought we’d bring that record back across the ocean and put it here at UTC.”

According to a press release for the event, supporters include Komen for the Cure, Breast Cancer Network of Strength, UTC Wellness Committe, and UTC Women’s Action Council.

Following the ribbon event, presentations, breast health demonstrations, and a panel lecture was held at the University Center.

UTC students Jessica Thomas, Michelle Trivet, and Tia Buford participate in the ribbon event.

UTC students Jessica Thomas, Michelle Trivet, and Tia Buford participate in the ribbon event.

Among those involved in the panel discussion was Liz Cooper, who was present on behalf of Breast Cancer Network.

Cooper, who is a breast cancer survivor, said it is always important for people to be aware of the disease because it can affect practically anyone.  Cooper also said she is excited that so many UTC students were involved in the event.

“I think its great that UTC is getting involved,” said Cooper.  “I haven’t known a college or university to do something like this before.”

Chuck Cantrell, Assistant Vice Chancellor for University Relations said UTC is proud to hold events such as this.

“It’s a good way for our students, faculty, and staff to come together in a fun way but also about something important,” Cantrell said.  “This generation could be the one to actually cure cancer, so it’s important to get involved.”

Students cheer as their photo is taken from the air.

Students cheer as their photo is taken from the air.

Dusty Helton, a freshman from Seveirville, Tenn., said he has been involved with the American Cancer Society since high school.

Helton added, “Having this event at UTC represents the school really well and it shows that UTC has its heart in the right place as far as cancer awareness goes.”

Video 1: Anthropology Tribal Pot Smashing

By Louise Elliott
Chattanooga (UTC/TheLoop) – Students in Dr. Lyn Miles’ anthropology class re-enact a tribal dance celebration.  The students, dressed in tribal colors and masks, dance to drum beats and flute melodies.  The climax of the event is the smashing of a large clay pot, which was donated by Southeastern Salvage.  After the smashing, students attempt to piece the pot back together.

Related Story: Caveman days make a comeback

Michigan Attempts to Outlaw Dueling and Forced Marriage

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Dueling has become less common over the past couple centuries. Likewise, the concern about prizefights.

Both those activities, along with taking a women against her will and forcing her to marry, would no longer be specifically outlawed in Michigan under measures a legislative committee approved Tuesday and sent to the full Senate. The bills will go to the House for consideration once the Senate votes.

“There may have been a time in our history that there was a need for these particular statutes, but I think that time has passed,” said Livingston County Prosecutor David Morse.

The state has no need to keep such laws — dating back to Michigan’s 1931 penal code — on the books because it already is a crime to kidnap, kill or hurt someone, Morse said.

After hearing brief testimony, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bills 5-0.

Republican Sen. Bruce Patterson of Wayne County’s Canton Township jokingly asked if it was wise to lift the specific ban on dueling, given the animosity inside the Capitol at present over resolving a $2.8 billion budget deficit. Much of state government is running on a one-month budget because of the standstill.

Morse replied in jest that if lawmakers had pistol duels, the state could “reserve Spartan Stadium and you could sell some tickets.”

The bid to scrub the books of laws that no longer apply comes up from time to time. Legislators ask the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan if the state has obsolete crimes or crimes covered by other laws. Prosecutors submit a list, and lawmakers occasionally get around to their suggestions.

Other felonies that have been considered for deletion include teaching polygamy, promising to sell grain at a fictitious price and making a false protest on a boat.

Though lawmakers have been in session a lot lately voting on budget bills, legislative leaders are responsible for budget talks — freeing up rank-and-file legislators to work on other issues.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

Take a Magical Mystery Tour with The Beatles: Rock Band

by Louise Elliott

CHATTANOOGA (The Loop/UTC) — The Beatles have reunited and you’re their newest member in The Beatles: Rock Band.

This game is rated T for Teen for Mild Lyrics and Tobacco References.

This latest in the line of Rock Band video games offers players a uniquely rewarding experience by allowing them to be part of the musical journey as a member of the legendary quartet.

Just like other versions of Rock Band, players can perform on drums, guitar, bass, or vocals to a number of full length songs.   The Beatles version however has been revamped to reflect the bands’ musical journey and their establishment as cultural icons.

Songs can be performed with up to three vocalists, whose goal is to master the famous Beatles three-part harmonies.

The play format is also slightly different.  Players can begin their journey as The Beatles did at The Cavern Club, the Liverpool locale where the band was discovered.  The journey then continues to other famous stops along The Beatles’ 10-year career.  Players can perform concerts on The Ed Sullivan Show, Budokan (where The Beatles made their Japanese debut), and even rock out at Shea Stadium.

The game disc includes 45 Beatles songs.  Among some of the best game play moments are “Come Together”, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, which is performed at The Ed Sullivan Theater, and “Revolution”, from the Abbey Road album.  More songs are available through download.

The allowance of The Beatles’ music in video game form may have been a surprise to some, as the owners of the groups’ catalog have been famously reluctant in releasing songs for commercial use.  According to Switch.com, the game was developed with creative input from Apple Corps (the Beatles’ label), along with that of surviving band members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.

  • Released 9/9/09 by developer Electronic Arts
  • The Beatles: Rock Band stand alone version (game disc only) MSRP $59.99
  • Published by MTV games

Beatles fans and gamers alike have been anticipating the release of the game for months.

“I love The Beatles,” said Michael Eubanks, a Memphis senior.  “Their music is awesome.”  Eubanks said he has not yet played the game but is excited to get his hands on it.  He said he thinks “Come Together” would be a fun song to play.  “I just love song,” he said.

Amanda Cook, a sophomore from Nashville said she really wants to play the game too, but thinks it’s too pricey.  “I play Rock Band when I get the chance, it’s just really expensive,” said Cook.  “Beatles songs are well known and normally really good, so I think it would be fun,” she said.

Some students have already played the game, but share the sentiment that the game is overpriced.

“I was happy with it, but it’s expensive to buy the guitar and the game,” said Ben Knuettel, a Chattanooga junior.  “It’s cool because it’s all Beatles songs, but I wish there were more songs on it,” Knuettel said.

Overall, the game offers many strong points and memorable highlights.  The graphics are far more impressive than those of other Rock Band franchise offerings.  The story-telling theme is also a plus as it makes the player feel more a part of the game than other similarly modeled versions have.  Playing this is game is becoming one of “The Fab Four”, as you witness their transformation both musically, visually, and culturally.

The only downfall of this version is that it occasionally exposes the overt simplicity of many of The Beatles best songs.  The drum and guitar parts are sometimes extremely repetitive and would be a bore if it weren’t for the attention grabbing graphics displayed during play mode.  Often times, particularly during the earlier catalog, consecutive songs have the exact same drum beat or guitar rhythm.  This can take away from the challenge that makes music video so appealing to player.

Despite, or perhaps thanks to, its sometimes overly simplistic feel, The Beatles:Rock Band is the perfect party game.

I give this game 8 out of 10 Choo-choo whistles.

Write to Louise Elliott at linda-elliott@utc.edu

Related Story: Beatlemania Returns

Connecticut Psychic Arrested After Accusing Rivals of Attack

GREENWICH, Conn. (AP/THELOOP) — A Connecticut psychic who said she was assaulted in an attack she believed was arranged by rival psychics has been charged with lying about the incident. Greenwich police arrested 35-year-old Janet Lee of Norwalk on Saturday on charges including falsely reporting an incident.

Janet Lee, who calls herself the "foremost psychic in New England" accused rival psychics of beating and harassing her.

Janet Lee, who calls herself the "foremost psychic in New England" accused rival psychics of beating and harassing her.

Lee, who promotes herself the “foremost psychic in New England,” called police on July 11 to report that a man had beaten her outside her Greenwich office. She said she believed rival psychics in town who had left her threatening phone messages were responsible, but she did not know their names.

Greenwich police said there were inconsistencies in Lee’s story, and they believe she may have been assaulted in Norwalk by someone she knew.

Lee’s attorney said his client stands by her story.

 

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

 

Kennedy Successor Selected

By: Louise Elliott

BOSTON (AP/UTC/THELOOP) – Paul G. Kirk Jr. served Edward M. Kennedy as an aide, rooted beside him at Harvard-Yale football games and is the executor of his will. Now, as Kennedy’s replacement in the Senate, he is charged with trying to complete his late friend’s legacy by passing health care reform.

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick tapped the former chairman of the Democratic National Committee on Thursday to hold Kennedy’s seat until a special election Jan. 19. Kirk, 71, said he would not run himself.

The announcement came after the Democratic-dominated Legislature changed the state’s Senate succession law to restore the governor’s power to appoint an interim replacement. Republicans went to court in a last-ditch effort to stop Kirk from being sworn in.

President Barack Obama and his staff lobbied for the change, hoping to regain a 60th Democratic vote that would prevent Senate filibusters from derailing his top legislative priority, a national health care overhaul.

Obama said in a statement: “Paul Kirk is a distinguished leader, whose long collaboration with Sen. Kennedy makes him an excellent, interim choice to carry on his work until the voters make their choice in January.”

Kennedy’s widow and sons had encouraged Patrick to appoint Kirk. Vicki Kennedy and Edward Kennedy Jr. sat in the front row next to Kirk’s wife, Gail, as the governor made his announcement at the Statehouse.

Besides health care, Patrick said Kirk would represent the state’s interests in upcoming debates on the economic recovery, financial regulation and climate change.

“In all these and other ways, Congress is debating our future — right now,” Patrick said. “The issues before the Congress and the nation are simply too important to Massachusetts for us to be one voice short.”

Kennedy died last month of brain cancer. Kirk, who has never held elective office, recalled how his late friend used to say representing Massachusetts in the Senate “was the highest honor he possibly could have imagined.”

“It’s certainly nothing I imagined, but it would be my highest honor as well,” Kirk said.

He is to be sworn in Friday afternoon by Vice President Joe Biden. The Massachusetts Republican Party went to a Boston court seeking an injunction to stop Kirk’s swearing-in, questioning an emergency power the governor invoked in naming him.

In restoring the governor’s power to appoint an interim senator, lawmakers declined to have it go into effect immediately, rather than after the standard 90 days. The governor has the power to put the law into effect if he deems it an emergency; Republicans say this law does not qualify.

State Secretary William F. Galvin said the power to make the immediate appointment is “very clearly available” to governors and was used more than a dozen times by Patrick’s Republican predecessor, Mitt Romney. The court set a hearing for 8 a.m. Friday.

More broadly, Republicans have accused Patrick of a power grab. In 2004, Democrats revoked the governor’s power to appoint an interim senator when Sen. John Kerry was running for president because Romney stood to name his replacement if he won.

The appointment put Kirk’s background under scrutiny.

Federal records show he registered as a lobbyist a decade ago and represented two drugmakers before Congress. He has also held several board positions, including at Hartford Financial Services, which sells life and property insurance.

Kirk pledged to resign all of his current board seats. He noted wryly that he had represented the drug and insurance companies “back at the turn of the century” and said he holds no current conflicts.

The senator-designate graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and served on Kennedy’s staff from 1969 to 1977. He ran the Democratic National Committee during Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis’ unsuccessful run for president in 1988.

Kirk also co-founded the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has sponsored every presidential and vice presidential debate since 1988.

Kennedy’s will, signed three years to the day before he died and filed Thursday in probate court, names Kirk as executor. The will leaves all of Kennedy’s assets to a trust that provides for his family.

Members of the family were quick to praise the appointment. Caroline Kennedy, the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, said in a statement that Kirk’s “wisdom, kindness and integrity mean the world to the entire Kennedy family.”

Vicki Kennedy, stressing that the decision to appoint Kirk was the governor’s, said she had conveyed to Patrick “the high esteem with which the entire Kennedy family held Paul Kirk.”

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press