The Daily Update: Friday, April 15

April 15, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Why are people in Japan receiving compensations? What damages were caused by the storm last night? And see how SMU is celebrating its 100 anniversary! All this and more on your Daily Update!

The Daily Update: Friday, April 1

April 2, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Texas roadways didn’t do well on their report card, Ranger’s ticket prices have sky rocketed and Kate Middleton won’t be putting a ring on it. All this and more on your Daily Update.

The Daily Update: Friday, April 1 from on Vimeo.

Senate Report: Tuesday, Feb. 22

February 22, 2011 by · Comments Off 

By Andy Garcia

Find out what legislation was passed today and what is on slate for next week, senate might see a debate for a new seat very soon. All this on your Senate Report.

Senate Report: Tuesday, Feb. 22 from on Vimeo.

VIDEO: Student Senate Report

February 8, 2011 by · Comments Off 

Video and Editing by Andy Garcia

Southern Methodist University’s student senate passed two new pieces of legislation today while President Jake Torres reported on what SMU might possibly due to make up for last week’s closures.

Student Senate Recap: Tuesday, Feb. 8 from on Vimeo.

TEDxSMU: Virtual Paint Exhibit

October 16, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted By Aida Ahmed

While we were on the sixth floor of the Wyly Theatre we came across an interesting exhibit set up for guests of TEDxSMU. Robert Davidson of Dallas Makerspace showed Andy Garcia how to use a virtual paint canvas, a creation of the inventors at the local laboratory.

Dallas Makerspace is similiar to a hackerspace. The community workshop and laboratory is comprised of local artists, engineers, makers and creators that work together to collect tools and resources for individual and community projects in order to promote science and technology.

The way the canvas works is the “artist” dunks a large paintbrush into a virtual can of paint and begins to draw on the canvas. Check out Andy’s demonstration of the exhibit.

VIDEO: TEDxSMU Dallas Makerspace Exhibit from on Vimeo.

Dean Godzilla Talks Monsters

October 6, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

By Andy Garcia

A projector screen lights up with the black and white scene of a titanic reptilian monster rampaging through a cityscape. Mobs of people run mindlessly trying to escape the ensuring carnage, their efforts in vain.

The camera angle shifts to a full shot of the monster as it exhales a blast of atomic energy and a blood curling scream.

Godzilla continues with his destruction of Tokyo, while the 1956 “Godzilla, King of the Monsters” trailer capitalizes on the film’s “dynamic violence,” resulting in laughter from the 21st century audience.

A published authority on Japanese culture Dedman College Dean Dr. William Tsutsui spoke about the significance of Godzilla, to nearly 150 people in McCord Auditorium Tuesday night.

“Godzilla films can provide us valuable insights into Japanese culture since World War II,” Tsutsui said.

Dean William Tsutsui explains that Godzilla is one of the most recognizable Japanese figures amongst the world during his lecture Tuesday night on Godzilla and Japanese Culture. (PHOTO BY MARISSA BELSKE / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

According to Tsutsui the 28 films in the Godzilla series have developed around major issues like nuclear weapons, pollution, and corporate greed.

SMU sophomore Kelsey Pearson was surprised to learn how Godzilla is more than just an action movie franchise.

“I thought it was really interesting when he described all the ways Godzilla was used,” Pearson said. “I guess I had never thought before about how Godzilla could be interpreted.”

"Godzilla On My Mind" is the book William Tsutsui wrote on the impact of Godzilla on Japanese culture. (PHOTO BY MARISSA BELSKE / SMU DAILY MUSTANG)

In his lecture Tsutui keyed in on the theme of anti-American sentiment prevalent amongst the films. The first Godzilla film, “Gojria,” provides an example. The film was released less than ten years after the U.S. defeat of Japan in World War II and uses “memories of the past war and fears of a coming war seemingly intertwined, always with an unspoken antagonism towards America” Tstutsui said.

“It was interesting to learn how Godzilla was in some way a symbol of anti-Americanism and hostility towards America,” Pearson said.

The pinnacle of the hostility towards the U.S. can be seen in “King Kong vs. Godzilla” which Tsutsui said is billed as a showdown between America and Japan, ending with a tie between the two monsters in the hope of a sequel that never materialized.

For those in the audience not familiar with the films, Tsutsui provided a background on Godzilla. While speaking about the orignal film Tsutsui explained how Godzilla’s name originated from the merging of the Japanese words for whale and gorilla and their translation into English.

“It is tempting to think that somehow the people who were coming up with the name, were thinking of God and this kind of a deity like nature for the monster,” Tsutsui said. “In fact, that was simply just how Japanese was Anglicized back in the day.”

Merry Nadler, who watched the original American film “Godzilla, King of the Monsters” in the theater, was impressed with Tsutsui’s enthusiasm for the topic.

Known around the Southern Methodist University campus as “Dean Godzilla,” Tsutsui’s love for the monster goes back to his youth when he was looking for a Japanese icon. Even now Tsutsui’s office in Dallas Hall is filled with Godzilla toys and posters.

Tsutsui shared his passion for all things Godzilla when he described seeing a major prop from the first movie as “the greatest day of my life.”

VIDEO: CEO and Editor In Chief of Texas Tribune talks to Future Journalists

September 30, 2010 by · Comments Off 

Posted by Andy Garcia

Evan Smith, the CEO and Editor In Chief of The Texas Tribune, spoke to journalism students on campus today. Smith talked about how student reporters have the opportunity now more than ever to prepare themselves for the changing world of media.

VIDEO: Evan Smith Talks To Future Journalists from on Vimeo.

The Daily Update: Tuesday, Sept. 28

September 28, 2010 by · Comments Off 

The Daily Update: Tuesday, Sept. 28 from on Vimeo.

Find out what the Venezuelan president wants to start and why some people are concerned.
And some changes Southwest Airlines has made to save you a couple of dollars. All this here on your Daily Update.

UT Student Shoots Himself in Library

September 28, 2010 by · 7 Comments 

For a closer look at what SMU would do in a similar emergency please see Halle Organ’s video report.

By Andy Garcia and Aida Ahmed,

UT students watch coverage of the shooting in a classroom on lockdown while contacting friends and family through Facebook. (PHOTO COURTESY KEALLY HARVIN)

University of Texas police are investigating the suicide of a gunman who shot himself on campus this morning.

At around 8:40 a.m. UT students were informed about an armed suspect on the sixth floor of the Perry-Castañeda Library. Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo has confirmed the suspect was armed with an AK-47.

UT Student Tiffany Leong was on her way to class when she learned about the shooting.

“I was just about to walk to class when I received the emergency text,” Leong said. “Since then I think everyone has been on lock down.”

At 9:13 a.m. the UT emergency information page announced that the suspected shooter is dead and at 10:01 a.m., it updated to say that the campus and surrounding roads are closed.

At 12:28 p.m., university officials gave the “all clear” signal but urged that all faculty, staff and students stay away from the campus, which remains closed as police investigate the shooting.

UT student Connor Landy was in lockdown at the McCombs School of Business across the street from the library after the shooting took place.

“Everyone is isolated in their indiviual classrooms and we got a text saying don’t come on campus today,” Landy said Tuesday morning. “I’m getting word that classes are cancelled for rest of the day.”

At 10:15 a.m. the university cancelled classes for the day. Students were advised to lock their doors and stay away from campus. The lone gunman has been identified as a UT student.

In a press conference held on the campus at around 10:40 a.m., UT Police Chief Robert Dahlstrom said that UT police and the Austin Police Department are still looking for a second suspect.

“We are working the possibility of a second suspect,” Dahlstrom said. “We are setting up a perimeter within the hour from Dean Keeton and Guadalupe to San Jacinto. We’re trying to work and make sure there is no second suspect.”

VIDEO UPDATE – 11:36 a.m.: Sarah Bray spoke with two UT students who were on campus during the shooting. Watch her report for the Daily Mustang on what happened to the students placed on lockdown.

UT Shooting Update from on Vimeo.

SMU Students Volunteer To Help West Dallas Schools

September 20, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

By Andy Garica

Southern Methodist University students, West Dallas schools and 16 non-profit organization came together to host The School Zone: Pep Rally for Education at the Field of Dreams in West Dallas Saturday morning.

The event was the brainchild of SMU alumnus Philip Wise and Regina Nippert of the Dallas Faith Communities Coalition. According to Wise, the pep rally served as a demonstration of how the schools and nonprofit organizations are coming together to help students in West Dallas.

“Part of the idea was just to bring everybody together in a physical location to make it easier for the parents to see all the services that are available in the neighborhood,” Wise said. “And how they can pool different services to help their children.”

SMU Student Senate President Jake Torres was contacted by the DFCC to help provide volunteers for the event. Torres said he was thrilled to see the number of SMU students in attendance.

“We have such a gracious and incredible student body,” Torres said. “I sent out a couple of emails and we had literally dozens of SMU students show up.”

While learning more about the services provided by both the schools and non-profit organizations, attendees were treated to free entertainment with appearances from radio personality Shannon Murphey and the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders and carnival favorites like cotton candy.

At the end of the pep rally families had the opportunity to be driven to SMU and watch the Mustang’s beat Washington State. According to Torres, busses and five hundred game tickets were donated by SMU Bus Brigades.

Lashonda Green, a parent of three elementary school age children, was pleased with the pep rally. She appreciated seeing the different schools and organizations coming together to reach out to the community in a way that was both fun and informative.

Among the number of organizations that participated in the pep rally was Watermark Community Church . Along with participating in the event, WCC has adopted a school in West Dallas.

“We go into C.F. Carr with volunteers every week on a regular basis,” WCC member Steve Owen said. “We work with the administration and the teachers there to really help in whatever capacity they see fit.”

Representatives of The United Way of Metropolitan Dallas were also at the pep rally to promote a service they are offering. According to United Way representative Gayla Trigg, The United Way in partnership with the City of Dallas and the IRS is offering free tax preparation for medium to low income families in the West Dallas area.

Tara Powell, the Communications Coordinator for the DFCC, was pleased with the turnout of the event and said she looks forward to future School Zone events that SMU students can participate it.

“If you get the chance to do something do it,” said Alejandra Aguirre, SMU sophomore and pep rally volunteer. “You could impact someone’s life.”

Some facts from Powell about why initiatives like School Zone and volunteers are needed in Dallas.

In the state of Texas, 73 percent of beginning freshmen will graduate from high school within four years. In West Dallas, only 43 percent will graduate; in 2009-10, 15 percent (14 students) graduated ready for college.

One in three families live in poverty.

Fewer than 35 percent of West Dallas adult residents have a high school diploma.

The average home is valued at less than 25 percent of the median home price for the city of Dallas.

Every night, at least 300 school aged children sleep in a car or on a sofa belonging to a relative or friend.

To learn more about how you can help, email the Dallas Faith Communities Coalition.

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