Top Stories

After two-month trial period, ‘Weeknights in the Huddle’ survey reveals mixed results, paves way for tentative spring plan

SARAH KOCHER

sakocher12@ole.augie.edu

After a trial period that went two times longer than the original three-week December plan, Dining Services, the Augustana Student Association (ASA) and the Center for Campus Life have come to several conclusions. One such conclusion? 

Students love their chicken nuggets.

December saw the trio changing the Huddle experience as part of an experiment intended, among other outcomes, to rebrand the Huddle and, ultimately, “drive toward some sort of identity,” Director of Campus Life Corey Kopp said. Continue Reading…

A statistical ode to the men’s basketball team

JACOB BELGUM

jbbelgum13@ole.augie.edu

As good as last year’s 31-win team was, statistics suggest that the 2015-16 edition of Augustana men’s basketball is even better halfway through its season.

Through 16 games (a tally that does not include this weekend’s), the No. 2 Vikings sport a plus-24.2 point differential, meaning that they’ve outscored their opponents by an average of 24.2 points per game. They lead the 16-team Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) in points scored and points allowed. 

For comparison, last year’s three-loss team outscored its opponents by “only” 16.1 points per game. This year’s squad is scoring more, allowing less and doing it more efficiently on both ends. Continue Reading…

Political polarization, religious extremism test Bangladesh’s founding values

MATTHEW HOUSIAUX

mjhousiaux12@ole.augie.edu

On paper, Bangladesh, a country of 60 million people with world’s third largest Muslim population, would appear to be a model of successful development.

Its list of recent accomplishments is indeed impressive. Rates of poverty, though still widespread, have plummeted. The government, despite escalating pressure from far-right Islamists, remains secular and (nominally) democratic. Religious tolerance has long been the norm; even Muslims regularly celebrate religious festivals of the country’s Hindu minority. Though Bangladeshi society remains conservative and largely male-dominated, the country has had not one, but two female prime ministers—Sheikh Hasina, leader of the ruling Awami League, and Khaleda Zia, leader of the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) opposition.

In 1991, Zia became the second woman ever elected to lead a democracy in the Muslim World (after Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto). Since then, she and Hasina have traded turns in office. Continue Reading…

 

Tile gadget helps the lost get found

ERIN MAIROSE

elmairose13@ole.augie.edu

Technology today can just about solve any problem (or at least try): losing your keys between couch cushions, accidently dropping your ID somewhere on campus, or even just forgetting where the TV remote went. Now the Tile, a small square gadget slightly larger than a quarter, allows any iOS devices to track all of these things.

After syncing Tile to your device, the app can show you on a map where the item is located using Bluetooth. If you have multiple tiles, each can be labeled things like “purse” or “laptop” so you can track each individually. If the labeled tile is in a close range, such as in your house or dorm room, the alarm goes off until you have successfully found it. But leave the keys with the tile in someone’s car or drop it outside somewhere and you may have more of a problem, as the tile only has a range of about 50-150 feet.

In this case, Tile suggests retracing your steps until the missing item comes into range. Tile does keep track of when the item was last in contact with Bluetooth and the location. Sort of helpful, sort of not. Continue Reading…

 

‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ actors, effects a force to be reckoned with

KAYLYN DEITER

kkdeiter13@ole.augie.edu

There’s been an awakening, and moviegoers across the galaxy are feeling it thanks to director J.J. Abrams’ long-awaited reboot of a beloved space saga. Star Wars: The Force Awakens marks the seventh chapter of a mythology that began with one George Lucas’ high hopes in the summer of 1977, spawning a generation of super-fans and inevitably giving us a trilogy of disjointed prequels 20 years later that failed to live up to the hype of the first.

We’ll just pretend those didn’t happen.

Abrams’ episode VII comes 30 years after Lucas’ Return of the Jedi left that galaxy far, far away in a relative state of peace. Lucky for “Star Wars” fans everywhere, peace is hard to sustain. Cue ominous opening credits crawl. Continue Reading…

 

SOAPBOX: This year, let’s do stuff

SAM WILLIAMS

sbwilliams13@ole.augie.edu

Have you ever been motivated by a cat meme? How about an article on BuzzFeed or Facebook? Maybe a song about living life to the fullest (probably Feat. Pitbull)?

I spend too much online because people are scary, so I often feel surrounded by this kind of garbage. If it’s an especially well-done example it might make me consider chasing a dream for a minute or so before I remember how easy it is to eat crackers and watch an episode of Seinfeld I’ve seen six times instead. In my defense, I’m pretty sure it’s not just me, and for a couple reasons.

First, I’ve never heard a person I admire credit their success to being constantly told what percentage of the shots they don’t take they’re liable to miss. Second, if these motivational pieces worked, there wouldn’t be so many different ones for us to look at—we’d all be too busy carpe-ing our diems to dink around in the vapid cesspools of wasted time that produce these awful memes and think pieces, and they would die for want of demand. Continue Reading…