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Monday, June 17, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Christopher DiMatteo


OPINION

Adieu

As the ice over Lake LaSalle melted and last winter turned into the spring, reality set in. I was almost in my senior year of college.


ARTS

Guy gives his all

A diverse crowd of blues fans filled the Center For the Arts on Wednesday to see blues guitar legend Buddy Guy. To start the evening off, Buffalo native Tom Hambridge warmed up the crowd. Less was more with Hambridge's performance, as the only instruments used during the performance were a keyboard, played by Guy's pianist Marty Sammon, and Hambridge's single drum, with improvised percussion on microphone stands. The singer/songwriter/producer began with a song that he wrote for George Thorogood, "The Fixer." A few songs in, Hambridge slowed things down with "Shoebox," a song the audience requested. One of Hambridge's last songs, before he gave the stage to the headlining guitar virtuoso, was "I Got Your Country Right Here" – a song Hambridge wrote, but has gotten Gretchen Wilson some radio airtime. Guy's band gave him a booming introduction, and the crowd's welcome was just as loud. Not a second was wasted; Guy began playing the lightening-quick licks he is known for as soon as he hit the stage. Once Guy began to play, two things became evident: why he is a legend and the impact he's had on artists like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn. The band rocked out to fan favorite "Nobody Understands Me But My Guitar," before giving a great performance of the blues standard "Hoochie Coochie Man," which had Guy and backup guitarist Ric Hall trading licks. In honor of the less than pleasant weather, the band played the beautiful blues ballad "It Feels Like Rain." The weathered musician let the audience know how much he loves the city of Buffalo, and that he has been coming here since 1968. Guy told fans to be on the lookout for his next album, but he was unsure when it would be out because of the way his genre is treated. "You don't hear blues on the radio anymore, but if you call me I'll come play it for you," Guy said. Guy then graced the audience with a little history and blues lesson, saying that bluesmen had been playing songs that people loved for years after the British invasion. He also said that blues musicians used the same type of provocative lyrics as hip-hop long before the latter genre was around. Continuing the lesson, Guy played samples of different blues styles, ranging from John Lee Hooker's "Boom Boom" to Eric Clapton's "Strange Brew" to a number by B.B. King, which he travelled into the audience for. Before ending the night on a high note, Guy thanked the audience. "I love every one of you; you couldn't make me dislike you no matter what you do," said Guy. Rounding out the end of the night, Guy played the blues/rock classic "Voodoo Child" into "Sunshine of Your Love." Although the musician has had 73 laps around the block, he sounds just as good as ever. His guitar playing is better than ever and his voice has the same powerful, smoky sound that his fans love. Guy gave an amazing performance and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon. E-mail: arts@ubspectrum.com


NEWS

White House honors UB researchers

UB researchers are proud to announce that they have discovered a previously unknown species. Those involved revealed their findings to President John B. Simpson, as well as the President of the United States, in a special ceremony on Sunday at the White House. Through the combined efforts of the Department of Anthropology and the Department of Biological Sciences, the university has made an astounding impact on not only the scientific world, but also the history of the world. The species discovered was an earlier form of modern day humans, and seems to be a "missing link" of sorts. This particular species seems to connect Homo sapiens with the species known as Homo hedielbergensis, which lived around 400,000 years ago. Although remains of the species were found in Western New York, it is believed that if the species survived conditions in the area, they lived in many other areas as well. Stephen Fraudman, biology professor and head genetic researcher on the project, explained how the team of researchers was able to trace the species's DNA to modern humans. "Mitochondrial DNA is passed from the mother to child," Fraudman said. "By examining this form of DNA from the remains of a member of the species, we were able to see that there were minor changes between this group and modern humans." The team was even able to find living people that are distant relatives of the skeleton. The ancient group had a similar diet to modern Homo sapiens, and was able to live a relatively long life. Their long lives are especially shocking after observing how much members of the group drank and used tobacco. The species, which will be named Homo B. Simpsonious in honor of the school's president, is believed to have lived as long as 50 years ago. When contacted about being related to a past species, Daniel Fakely, a 46-year-old Buffalo resident, had very little to say. "Why did they dig up my great-grandmother?" Fakely asked. "She died when I was a 6-year-old. There is nothing groundbreaking about that." After further examination, the team found out that the Simpsonious' genetic makeup is no closer to the hedielbergensis than modern day humans'. E-mail: arts@ubspectrum.com


NEWS

Cravens exhibit creates center of excellence

UB's Anderson Gallery opened the Cravens World exhibit Sunday, which offers students and the public the chance to see a collection of priceless artifacts from worlds over. With over 1,100 objects dating as far back as 4,500 B.C., the exhibit will draw people from all around the world interested in studying cultural material to the university. Annette Cravens obtained the collection over a 40-year period travelling the world, and donated it to the College of Arts and Sciences in 1998. Cravens has difficulty accepting that her name is attached to such an incredible exhibit, but gave the school the collection so that the public could grasp how incredible the objects are. "What I really wanted to do for the public … is to teach people to see," Cravens said. "Instead of getting it out of a book or off of television is that people will come and see it and really experience it, because half the time you get a picture and you don't know what size it is." Bruce McCombe, the dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, made Peter Biehl, associate professor of archaeology, the director of the project in December 2008. Since then, Biehl has been working with other students and faculty at the university to bring the project together. "I came to this university three years ago, and discovered that we have all this talent out there and I just contacted them. I invited them to raise money via research projects, and really and truly interdisciplinary project came together," Biehl said. "All work was exclusively done by UB faculty and students, and that is what we are proud." Currently only the first phase of the project is complete. Phase two will involve renovating a room east of the main exhibit, and creating a research room west of the main exhibit that will be the home to world-class studies. "In the research room we will have a top notch laboratory where people from all over the world, who are specializing and interested in this collection, will come and study the objects," Biehl said. Beginning next semester Biehl will begin a seminar series on artifacts from the Near East and Europe that will result with each student writing up 100 pages to be published in a scientific catalog on the collection. Students will also create their own exhibits using artifacts from the collection, explaining all they have learned but also giving them public exposure. Following Biehl's series other professors will do the same process over a three-year period, at the end of which the university will have a full-fledged scientific catalog on the collection. Another important aspect of the project is the Outreach Program, which is headed by Sarah Robert, assistant professor in the graduate school of education. This program will teach students from surrounding school districts about social studies through the collection. A unique part of the program is that it enhances learning through a hands-on experience. "Around the building [visitors] will see some of the objects are out of the collection… so that people can pick them up carefully and learn about museum handling of precious objects and also experience what it is like to hold an artifact," Robert said. The first students to learn from the exhibit will be a group of Cheektowaga central schools middle and high school students, but Robert hopes students from many other districts will follow. Students will come to the gallery as a part of their social studies classes for a field day, a day of research – just as a social scientist would. Robert believes the experience will elevate social studies to more than just textbook learning, and create a learning space for students to enhance what they gain in the classroom. This different type of learning is a change that has been taking place throughout the teaching world. "Picking up an object here that is 1,000 years old and being asked to think about where it is from, who made it, what meaning did this have for those people and what we can learn about human experience from this object, that is the direction that social studies education is taking," Robert said. Mark Goff is one of the four graduate students that helped design ways to teach students using the artifacts. The future teacher feels that getting students away from textbooks and seeing things will help augment their learning experience. "It is getting kids to process, getting them to think critically. It is more than just telling them Pearl Harbor happened December 7, 1941, it is getting kids to think more than about dates," Goff said. Students at the gallery's opening welcomed the new learning experience. "I got to see the [artifact] and how if feels rather than just look at a picture of it," said Jordan Summers, a local sixth grade student. The way the collection is displayed is another aspect of the exhibit that makes it more than exceptional. A transparent case, housing 126 objects, is in the center of the exhibit, while another 451 artifacts are displayed in wall-cabinets and drawers, all the while geographically organizing the collection. Designed by Mehrdad Hadighi, chair of the Department of Architecture, and department adjunct instructors Christopher Romano and Jose Chang, the display is truly remarkable. The team had to organize the diversity of the collection, but also find a way to show it all. "This idea of open storage, which is a common storage system for museums… tends to be more storage than display," Hadighi said. "We were trying to work in a way that we could accommodate the storage of the objects, but at the same time have an inventive way of displaying them so that the separation between display and storage was not so radical that all of that could happen at the same time." Hadighi believes the exhibit will receive acclaim not only because of the incredible artifacts on display, but also because it is a unique environment to display the objects and what the exhibit does for the community. The architect also thinks it is important to note that the project is a collaboration between lots of different facets of the university. "There are a lot of people in the university that have been involved and that is the interesting part of it… It is one of the advantages of being in the university," Hadighi said. Those who visited the exhibit also appreciated how accessible the artifacts were. Noting that the Buffalo Museum of Science has great cultural artifacts but doesn't display them, viewers enjoyed the fact that a great collection of everyday pieces is on display right here in Buffalo. "This collection shows things that are not just the famous big master works, that people may find hard to access. They are things that were used by people in their daily lives, so they are more accessible to the viewer perhaps than say a statue of a Roman emperor or a sarcophagus from ancient Egypt," said Daniel Reiff, a Kenmore resident viewing the exhibit. "These are things that people can have a closer intimacy with." There are many great aspects to the exhibit, but Biehl feels one thing is more important than anything else. "It is for the university, and makes it a center of excellence in cultural heritage and material culture studies," Biehl said. "[It] will bring people from across the United States and world together, [but] most importantly it is for students to learn about authentic artifacts, about history and the past and that they learn everything from A-Z." E-mail: arts@ubspectrum.com


The Spectrum
NEWS

Love lost

Losing a friend at an early age is one of the most painful experiences one can go through, but one thing I have certainly learned throughout the past four years of my life is that it is inevitable. Like little mementos meant to reopen old wounds, I have a stack of prayer cards from the wakes of the many people I have lost throughout recent years. Three distinct cards stick out in my mind as being particularly painful. These three men were only 24, 21 and 19 years old when they lost their lives. One life was lost due to icy roads, another to driving too fast and the last to a drug addiction. It is always said about someone when he or she passes away, but each of these three guys was really incredible. Joey was one of the funniest kids I had ever met and you were guaranteed to have fun anytime you were around him. If Luke had one thing, it was integrity; he was a standup guy that was extremely loyal and trustworthy. Mike was one of the most talented piano players I have ever heard. When he played, it sounded like he should have had an orchestra accompanying him. Now Moe. At the young age of 24, my friend and colleague at The Spectrum lost his life to pneumonia. As anyone who knew him would say, he was one of a kind. He was always happy, never had a bad thing to say about anyone and just enjoyed life. 'God loves me, so it's only right I share some of that love with you!' That is a quote from Moe, which is probably the best way to sum up his outlook on life. He accepted anyone with an open mind and heart, and left the impact of his huge personality everywhere he went. Coming from a small community that mourned the loss of young lives together, I morbidly thought as a freshman that the death of a student at UB would go unnoticed. But I soon learned how wrong I was. As unfortunate as the deaths of UB students have been, losing kids like Jonah Dreskin, Javon Jackson and Nick Orrange brought the UB community together. Seeing people unite in a time of sorrow puts a face and heart to what is usually seen as a cold bureaucratic system. The reactions of students, faculty, staff and alumni to the deaths of students shows those who attend UB that they are not just a number; rather, they are a part of our school and therefore our lives. Moe was no longer attending our school and was at graduate school in Florida when he perished, but we here at The Spectrum have still received many condolences for the loss of our friend. Those who knew him and heard of his death had many kind words, and just showed how members of the UB community do not let the loss of one of their own go by with no attention. Despite the pain that being reminded of our lost friends brings or how much we just want to stop everything, we want to ask why. Why did we have to lose our friends? We must go on; I am sure that is what Moe would want. As difficult as it is, and as many questions as could be asked, what is important is honoring their memory and never forgetting what they have done for others. If there are students that have passed away during my time here that I failed to mention, I am sorry and hope that their loved ones are not too upset. For the many students at our university that have lost other friends during their time here, just remember that you are not alone. It will get better. E-mail: chris.dimatteo@ubspectrum.com


NEWS

Students react to alleged gunman

Students surrounded Lockwood Library on Tuesday, curious about the rumors that they had heard. Once word of an alleged gunman in the library got out, students hit the social networking sites, cell phones and e-mail looking for answers. Many stories circulated, but no one knew what was truly going on in the six-story library. Joe Brennan, vice president for University Communications, stated in a press conference that police became aware of the situation and evacuated the building around 4:30 p.m. Students began spreading word about the evacuation and alleged gunman via social networking Web sites around the same time. There were few police securing the area in the early stages of the incident, as many were evacuating the building and investigating the situation. Students easily walked up the Lockwood Library stairs or through the building's courtyard, but those aware of the situation were worried. 'I walked up in there and asked a cop what was going on. He said that someone [had] a shotgun. There are cops everywhere with M5 rifles,' said Ahmed Attoh, a senior electrical engineering major. Ann Marie Awad, a senior English major, was working in Lockwood's Cybrary at the time of the event. 'One of the pubsite managers came into our office and said, ‘The cops said we got to get out,' ' Awad said. 'We looked outside and everyone was getting their stuff and leaving. They evacuated us into the hallway and then we stood in the hallway for a little bit, and they locked up the Cybrary. Then they told us we had to get out of the building.' Awad was just one of many students sitting in the Baldy walkway near Lockwood with little information about what was going on. A number of the students in the area were waiting to find out when they could get back into the library, while others seemed to be drawn to the area because of the story. The UB alert system sent out a text to students, notifying them that Lockwood was being evacuated at approximately 4:45 p.m. Jennifer Kane, a senior psychology major, was in a class in Clemens Hall when she received that text. 'My teacher didn't know what was happening. We saw the police going to Lockwood and we kind of figured it out,' Kane said. 'We told the teacher and he continued on with class until after everyone knew classes were cancelled. He let us out around 6 p.m.' Although Kane was happy with the action taken to secure the library, she was dissatisfied with how security on the rest of the campus was treated. 'It was good that the police evacuated Lockwood so fast, but it was disconcerting that they didn't come to our class to let us know what was going on,' Kane said. 'We didn't know if we should be evacuated, considering Lockwood is attached to Clemens. No one really knew if we should be let go or if we should be on lockdown, too.' After she became aware of the entire situation, Kane was worried about her safety. 'You never know with something like that,' Kane said. Charles Anzalone of University Communications believed that the regular protocol was followed to alert teachers of the incident. 'I think that the normal emergency alert system went out, so that is probably how they were notified,' Anzalone said. An e-mail was sent to UB employees from the University Communications Division of External Affairs at 4:54 p.m., giving them the same information as the text that was sent out. Students received that same e-mail at 5:16 p.m. The perimeter of Lockwood was tightly secured around 5 p.m., and students outside were told to go indoors or clear the area. Police armed with assault rifles told students they could not leave through the eastern doors of Alfiero Center, as they were holding a position. Inside Alfiero, students' emotions ranged from joking to scared as heaps of students crammed together and waited to see something take place through the second story windows of the library, directly across Putnam Way. At 5:45 p.m., students were informed through an e-mail that classes were canceled. Though the situation and the safety of the area were unknown even to the police at that point, some students thought they should have been told earlier. 'I don't really like the way it was handled. I mean, I get a text from them saying Lockwood is under police lockdown, but they don't explain why. Then I find out there is a possible gunman on campus, but still have to wait a couple more hours before they decide to be done with classes,' said Daniel Kimble, a senior business administration major. Daniel Dimillo, a senior architecture major, was in the Health Sciences Library on South Campus at 6:20 p.m. when someone came over a loudspeaker alerting students to stay away from the North Campus. That same person came back on about 10 minutes later saying that the South Campus library was closing at 7 p.m., as opposed to the regular closing time of midnight. Dimillo arrived on North Campus around 7 p.m. and saw that police were still patrolling the area. 'From what I saw, cops seemed to have it pretty secure, but I saw some people just walking around other buildings,' Dimillo said. 'They had plenty of support there, like Amherst cops and Buffalo cops, but I think I could have walked into any building if I wanted to.' Although Dimillo thought the officers' security was not as strong later in the evening,g he did think that the university successfully alerted students. 'They were pretty vague in their statements, but they did send two e-mails as soon as I started hearing about it,' Dimillo said. 'They were pretty informative.' While the UPD's search of the building determined that the area was secure, it increased patrol and kept Lockwood closed for the remainder of the evening. UB's alert system was tested and students were affected, but ultimately, the school can use this as an opportunity to see where its safety measures can be improved. E-mail: news@ubspectrum.com


NEWS

Orlando Jones in da House

A psychopath, an evil dictator, the smartest man in the world and House himself were all patients this season on Fox's hit show House. However, this week's episode will have a special guest appearance, not in the role of the patient, but as the brother of one of the team members.


NEWS

Bye bye O'Brien?

This meant a 12:05 a.m start for O'Brien, who hosted Late Night for 16 years before taking over The Tonight Show on June 1. This was unprecedented for the show, as it has been at the same time slot for nearly 44 years, which was one of the main reasons for O'Brien's resignation.


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