The Hopeful Promise of Braves Baseball

By Darrell Puckett

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Braves fans have been in shambles for many Octobers because of late season heartbreak. They have been disheartened with consistent mediocre September play. It’s hard for any fan base to consistently see their team disappoint them every season, and having other people judge the fan base’s integrity based off sporting success. I’m here to say that the Atlanta Braves are back and will be more competitive this postseason.

Fredi Gonzalez, the manager of the Braves, has a ’13 record of 95-66. They have scored 676 runs while only giving up 543. Their team ERA is 3.17 and batting average total is at .300. The Braves are leading by nine games over Washington in what is normally a tight Eastern Division.

Everything from a statistical proposition looks promising, but can they finally seal the deal for fans?

Wanting to see what the local Braves faithful had to say and I talked to one particular fan about his opinion going into October. “The Braves nation feels like it’s finally our year and we’re going to seal the deal. But of course if we don’t, I might lose my mind,” Jeff Jones said.

Jones has been an avid Braves fan his entire life and devotes many days awaiting a World Series championship. “I love baseball and everything that comes from taking a trip to Turner Field, but it’s time for my Braves to take one home,” Jones said.

As a Braves fan, I believe that it’s possible to at least make the deep venture into October baseball playoffs. The greatest thing about being a fan of any sporting team is the elusiveness and thrill of competing for national recognition. It can make a grown man cry or even give them something to be proud of.

The magical moments that the game of baseball can provide is breathtaking and will linger around the minds of youthful hopefuls forever. If you’re a Braves fan this fall, there is hope in the air.

Never give up or allow others to demoralize your team’s dream during this October run. For me, I’m rooting for the Bravos to turn up their steam and make a playoff push. Good luck to all.

Contact the writer: dpucket1@aum.edu

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10 Surprising Banned Books

By Jessica Klinner

This week (September 22-28) marked the 31st anniversary of Banned Books Week.  Starting in 1982, the week was established to recognize books that have been censored, challenged, and banned in libraries and school throughout the country. The week is also a time to celebrate the freedom to read. Over the years, many books have been banned for their violent and sexual content as well as offensive language. Since the start of Banned Books Week, over 11,300 books have been banned. Some of the most culturally important books have been banned due to their true depictions of the world at the time they were written. Upon reading why some books were banned, I wanted to pull my hair out because of the ignorance in this world. The dictionary has even been banned, for crying out loud!  If you’re interested, just research reasons why books are banned and you’ll understand what I’m saying. Here are 10 surprising classic and modern banned books.

 1.       Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

orig-11091641Growing up in the Harry Potter generation, it’s hard to understand why someone would want to ban these fantastic works of literature. It’s even harder when you find out that these books have been challenged since their creation. Most challenges and bans on the series have arisen because of their “satanic content.” When I read the books as an adolescent, I got nothing of the sort from them. If anything, these books promote leadership, teamwork, and the fight to overcome evil in the world. Anyone who gets anything negative from the series must be reading into them too much.

 2.       The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

the_perks_of_being_a_wallflower_book_cover_drawing_by_pigwigeon-d5j78elReminiscent of J.D Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye, Chbosky’s novel tackles the struggle of adolescence through the letters of Charlie to an anonymous recipient. The book has been withdrawn from several libraries in the U.S. and repeatedly appears on lists of challenged books because of its references to homosexuality, drug use, and abuse. If anything, this book only relates to teenagers who are more than likely experiencing the same kinds of troubles as Charlie. I would look at Perks as being more of a book of guidelines than a threat to readers.

 3.       The Catcher In The Rye by J.D Salinger

Rye_catcherBetween 1966 and 1975, Salinger’s coming of age novel was the most censored, banned, and challenged book for it’s sexual content and moral issues. During this time, the “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll” lifestyle was very prominent. Many people thought this book only provoked morally wrong behavior in young readers. The end of the banning didn’t stop after this era, though. It continues to be challenged and banned across the country to this day for the same reasons.

 4.       To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To_Kill_a_MockingbirdAs a Southerner, especially in Alabama, it’s easy to see how this work would frequent the banned books list.  Banned for sexual and social content, Lee’s only published novel deals with racial issues she encountered while growing up in Monroeville, Alabama.  Lee’s ability to portray such accurate depictions of her characters brings the story to life and enables readers to be transported into her scenes. The banning this book only promotes ignorance among readers about the conditions in the South during the time it was written.

 5.       The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Gatsby_1925_jacketAs popular as this book is today, it’s strange to think that it was not publically acclaimed until after Fitzgerald’s death in 1940. The novel takes place during the Roaring Twenties, a time of decadence and indulgence in the United States. Like many other books appearing on this list, The Great Gatsby has been banned for sexual content and explicit language. Honestly, compared to the content of television shows available for young adults these days, a few curse words here and there is nothing.

 6.       Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

fahrenheit-451Even a book about the censorship and burning of books cannot escape being censored. The title itself refers to the degree at which paper burns. The book has been challenged due to “questionable themes.” The story tells of a time in the not so distant future when intelligent thoughts and the books that provoke them are banned. Firemen are hired to burn books and the places that contain them. With bans being placed on every other book published these days, this reality doesn’t seem so outlandish.

 7.       Looking For Alaska by John Green

41r-sKjJ61LThe critically acclaimed novel by John Green was banned most recently in Sumner County, Tennessee for it’s “pornographic content.” Green even took to his YouTube channel, shared with brother Hank Green, to address the matter in a video entitled “I Am Not A Pornographer.” Honestly, if this book is considered to be pornographic, then the world must be more corrupt than we think. There’s nothing in this novel that a young adult reading it wouldn’t encounter while watching television or surfing the Internet. Seriously challengers, get ahold of yourselves!

 8.        The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Hunger_gamesFirst appearing on the banned books list in 2010, The Hunger Games has continued to be a controversial novel. Set in a future world where children are picked to play in a fight-to-the-death arena game, it has been banned for being violent, satanic, anti-family, and anti-ethnic. The book, like Brave New World and Farenheit 451, speak out about future worlds and conditions with the government. So pretty much, if a book challenges the government or provokes thought about the future of the world, it’s going to end up on the banned books list.

 9.       Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

tumblr_mapfvq2fIu1ql87amTo me, this was the most surprising book to find on the banned books list. The book was banned for sexual content and its overall tragic nature.  While the content may be graphic at times, it is the most accurate representation we have of what life was like for a Jewish civilian during World War II. Anne’s diary shows the honest thoughts and opinions of a young girl in hiding. I believe it to be one of the greatest pieces of literature from the WWII era.

 10.   Lord of the Flies by William Golding

LordOfTheFliesBookCoverThe road to publishing for Lord of the Flies was long and disheartening, being turned down by 20 different publishers before finally being picked up in 1954. Despite the fact that it was a bestseller, the book was banned on terms of “excessive language and violence,” but I think we all know it just doesn’t sit well because it focuses on a group of boys who create their own civilization. It seems that only the best books get challenged and that goes double for Lord of the Flies. For his work, Golding was given a Nobel Prize for literature and was also knighted.

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Making an Impression at AUM’s Career Fair

By Lisa Ranieri

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AUM’s Career Development Center hosted its Career Job Fair in the Taylor Center on Thursday where 27 employers attended.

Even Curtiss, AUM's mascot, is interested in career choices.
Even Curtiss, AUM’s mascot, is interested in career choices.

For some AUM students, it’s almost time to graduate and find a job to begin a career. Others are scoping out a future job and networking with future employers.

Within the first 30 minutes of the career fair opening to students, there were 100 to 115 students talking and networking with these companies. This shows that students are thinking about their career and are taking charge. As students, we want to meet our “dream jobs” or continue to have opportunities that help us reach our goals not only for our college career but for our future.

Keith Cullen, Associate Director of the Career Development Center, says, “Relationships you build between candidates and employers is how you find a job … The real key is to building rapport. The Career Fair is how you can do that.” He explains that the “job market is still depressed and students have to work harder, longer, and faster … It’s not an employer’s market but a job seekers market.”

20130926_105610I spoke with two professionals about what they are looking for from AUM students.

Tom Case, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), was at the Career Fair and is looking for quality candidates. There are many Business students that are graduating this upcoming spring of 2014 that the FDIC is looking for. He assured me working at the FDIC is a “stable work environment.”

Montgomery Police Department (MPD) was there as well. They are always accepting applications. A range of students, from freshmen beginning college to seniors about to graduate, can always apply. Corporal Fike, MPD officer, stated “It’s a never ending cycle. People retire … there are always open applications.”

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Classic Game Review: Super Mario Bros.

By Matthew Estes

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It’s hard to imagine that there is any other fictional character more recognizable to the world’s cultural consciousness than Mario. It all started with this game, the Nintendo Entertainment System classic Super Mario Bros. 

Put simply, this game introduced the world to everything it knows about modern video gaming. The objective is simply: control Mario, avoid the obstacles, get to the end of the level, and move on to the next one. The influence of this game for the entire video game industry cannot be overstated. While modern games continue to expand and improve in scale and graphics, this title remains at the core of everything we know of video gaming.

Everything about this game is memorable. I’ll bet no matter how long ago you played this game, you still remember the first seven notes of the first stage’s music. Here, let me help:
duh duh duh  duh duh  dum  duh. The sound effects are catchy. The graphics are bright. The controls are simple. Everyone knows the story is to rescue the princess.

To be honest, it’s very difficult to levy any criticism at a game that defined a genre. You could say that it’s too hard, but that was the nature of almost all games from that time period. You could say the story was too simple, but that is missing the point of the game.

This is the best selling (non-bundled) video game of all time, selling over 40 million copies. If you still have it, go break out the old NES and play Super Mario Bros. Perhaps you still know the first few levels by memory. Or, if you don’t have an NES, the are many other ways to play it. It’s available on the Wii Virtual Console and the 3DS shop.

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The Pay for Play Analysis

By Darrell Puckett

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Every morning I wake up and go to work expecting for a pay check on Friday, but the controversy surrounding college athletics is if they should get paid for their efforts. I have composed two different perspectives about payment of college athletes that will challenge the individual thought process. Each one gives certain aspects according to my own opinion, and comments are encouraged.

The first perspective involves the reality of being an outstanding high school athlete and being recruited for your abilities on a field. All college’s have a certain number of scholarships to give each recruiting season, so with that being said, they are paying for that person’s college tuition. Using football as the example in college, there’s only so much an institution is supposed to provide. Full tuition should meet those expectations, but college athletes think they’re entitled to more.

Why take extra benefits that other teammates aren’t taking? It’s not fair or logical, and other kids are happy with a free education, so why can’t that player be content? Unfair benefits can bring NCAA sanctions to a college and possibly danger the programs reputation. If a person accepts the scholarship, then they should know everything that’s guaranteed. Read the fine print before committing and signing.

Expecting more than what’s guaranteed is foolish and irresponsible for these highly coveted high school athletes. It’s hard to show sympathy towards an athlete when his schooling, food and board is being paid for. It’s time for these unappreciative athletes to grow up and realize how great their opportunity is.

The second perspective describes the difficulty of college life. For every student athlete the life of managing studies and sports can be difficult, so why is it a big deal to have extra help? Why not accept certain cash benefits to help out with that little extra bit that the college doesn’t supply? It’s hard to argue with certain athletes that perform well on the field about accepting some side help, but there’s still a problem with it. The problem originates from what’s fair or not.

The average time spent on the football practice field totals 43 hours a week, which is more than most people work per week. Playing sports is equivalent to working a full-time job. Plus, add keeping a certain GPA for eligibility each and every week while you’re enrolled. The incentive for extra benefits is real and lives inside all colleges.

As a currently enrolled college student, I know that trying to fend for yourself is difficult and any help provided is much appreciated. Trying to handle any other activities beyond academics provide additional stress, but college is about learning how the world works. Figuring out how to juggle several things at one time describes exactly what the college experience is all about.

With all this stated, my personal opinion is split down the middle. I like both sides, but this article is intended to make the reader think. Compose your own thoughts and comment. There’s no correct answer. This issue has been debated for years, so don’t be discouraged by my own two perspectives.  Be encouraged to comment and display your honest opinion for the AUMnibus community to read.

Contact the writer: dpucket1@aum.edu

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Montgomery’s 10 Best Kept Secrets

By Jessica Klinner

Having lived in Montgomery my entire life, I will be the first person to complain about how boring it is, but if you look hard enough, you’ll find that Montgomery isn’t all that terrible. The city is filled with historical monuments and museums, delicious locally owned restaurants and cafés, and fun, entertaining nightlife. You’re probably thinking, “Are you really talking about Montgomery?” and my answer to you would be, “Yes!” Even though Montgomery is not the most exciting place in the world to live, it definitely has its quirks and charms that make living here a unique experience. Below are 10 of Montgomery’s Best Kept Secrets.

1.     F. Scott Fitzgerald Museum

Photo from visitingmontgomery.com
Photo from visitingmontgomery.com

As an English major and all around literature junkie, I was ecstatic to find out about the Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald Museum. Located in downtown Montgomery, it is the only museum dedicated to the famous couple.  The museum hosts several events every year dedicated to the life and works of the Fitzgeralds. The museum lies within the Fitzgerald house, where the couple and their daughter Scottie lived from 1931 to 1932. Saved from demolition in 1986, the house is the only remaining residence of the couple in Montgomery. This is a must visit for any literature nerd or anyone interested in learning about the history surrounding Montgomery.

 

 

2.     Café Louisa

I stumbled across Café Louisa a few years ago while eating at a restaurant nearby. This locally owned café is a much better alternative to Starbucks. They serve lunch, bakery items, and of course, coffee! If you’re a coffee connoisseur, you will love this place.  The owner of the café also owns Tomatino’s Pizza and Louisa’s Bakery, both of which are connected to the café. It’s a quiet, quaint place to escape from the daily annoyances of life.

3.     Hank Williams Museum

Hank Williams began and ended his career in Montgomery so it was only right to build a museum dedicated to him. As one of the pioneers of country music, Williams’ death brought nearly 25,000 people to Montgomery for his burial ceremony. His remains are buried about a mile from the museum in Oakwood Cemetery. The museum attracts thousands of loyal country music fans from all walks of life and all parts of the country.

4.     Rosa Parks Museum

In my opinion, one of the coolest things about Montgomery is its rich history involving the Civil Rights Movement. There are several memorials and tourist attractions dedicated to the movement in downtown Montgomery, but the Rosa Parks Museum is the most well-known and visited. The museum tour transports visitors back in time to the day when Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to white passengers. We have all heard the story a thousand times, but the museum brings a new perspective to the events of that day and the days that followed.

5.     Civil Rights Memorial

If you haven’t figured it out yet, Montgomery is rich with civil rights history. The Civil Rights Memorial is located downtown adjacent to the Civil Rights Memorial Center. The monument was built to honor those who lost their lives during the Civil Rights Movement between the years of 1954 and 1968. It is free and open to the public 24 hours a day. The most exceptional thing about the monument is the artist, Maya Lin, who also created the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.  It’s such a simple monument, but it means so much and reminds us of a significant time in our city and nation’s history.

6.     Capri Theater

The Capri is by far one of my favorite places to go in Montgomery. Beneath all the hustle and bustle of the boring city life, sits this small, intimate theater. The Capri plays mostly indie films and old films you can’t see anywhere else. Conveniently located in Old Cloverdale next to Sinclair’s and across the street from Café Louisa, it’s the perfect spot for a date night. There’s just something about this theater that makes seeing a movie more fun and exciting than at a multiplex.

7.     El Rey Burrito Lounge

Located directly next to the Capri Theater lies the best Mexican restaurant in Montgomery. El Rey’s serves only hormone-free meat and vegetables from local farms along with vegan and vegetarian options. The atmosphere is refreshing and relaxing. It’s a great place to go when you want to hang out with friends, eat good food, and enjoy some refreshing adult beverages (their beer selection is the most extensive I’ve ever seen!). If guilt free Mexican food exists, you’ll find it at El Rey’s.

8.     Eastbrook Flea Market

If you’re looking for a fun way to kill a few hours, stop by Eastbrook Flea Market. The three-story building is packed with antiques and interesting finds. A few years ago, my friends and I made this a regular shopping place. It’s a locally owned and operated business, which makes shopping there even more enjoyable. There is something for everyone in this place; it just might take a while to find it.

9.     Street Café

So maybe this isn’t exactly a secret anymore, but I needed to include it in case someone reads this and has never been. It started as a very small Japanese fusion restaurant off Vaughn Road and eventually expanded into the lot next to it.  It’s hard to believe that this restaurant had only 15 tables at one point. Now, it’s a local hot spot. If you’ve never been here before, make a point to go there for your next meal!

10.     The Tipping Point

Located a little way out of the city in Hampstead, this semi-secluded bar/restaurant/café is the perfect place to unwind after a long day, especially if you are more laid back. Sometimes bars can be crowded, loud, and just all around obnoxious, but The Tipping Point offers a great atmosphere for enjoying a few drinks and great food with your friends. I’ve heard nothing but great things about this place and plan to check it out very soon. I suggest you do the same!

Contact the writer: jklinner@aum.edu

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Computers Then and Now

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It’s safe to say computers have come a long way. Check out this article from an AUMnibus issue in 1975. This was back when personal computers were in their infancy.

What do you think? Would you still like to be working with computers like this? Let us know in the comments. A text transcript follows the article.

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Auburn University at Montgomery recently acquired new computer facilities that will expand the learning and administrative capacity of the university, according to Dr. William D. Clark, Chairman of the Division of Business.

The new IBM 1130 system is located in the computer room on the first floor of the administration building adjacent to the office of University Relations.

Clark said the system will be used for administrative tasks as well as for related computer science and business courses in the curriculum.

The system will assist administrative functions such as student registration, campus research and surveys, according to Charles Golden, AUM’s system professor.

The Division of Business awards a degree in data management which includes a two-year certificate in data processing or a four-year degree in data management. 

The 1130 model handles four computer languages, Golden said, and uses a computer and printer which prints 80-150 lines per minute. 

The entire system is being leased from the IBM corporation for $2000 a month, according to Clark.

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CCleaner: Get Your Computer Running Faster

By Matthew Estes

People who know how to work on computers knows the drill by now. They get a call from a friend or a family member complaining about how his or her computer is acting incredibly show. When that call occurs, said computer geek is already reaching for his flash drive equipped with a program called CCleaner.

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CCleaner’s user interface.

CCleaner is a computer optimizing program by Piriform. It’s designed to do the little things that would be too time consuming for a person to do on their own.

CCleaner does the following things:

Corrects Registry Errors. The registry contains the installed references and options to files and programs all over the computer. When a program is uninstalled or a file is changed, sometimes it leaves behind indications in the registry. CCleaner removes the references in the registry that are no longer useful.

Removes Unwanted Files. From files left behind on your system from browsing the internet to the contents of your Recycle Bin, CCleaner removes unwanted files on your system. The options of what to remove are customizable, but there is a good chance the default settings will work for you.

Wipes Hard Drives. You can also use CCleaner to wipe a hard drive or flash drive if necessary. This can be useful for the protection of personal data or reformatting the drive.

The features on this program are easy to use and useful for anyone looking for an easy solution for speeding up a computer. You can download Piriform CCleaner here.

 

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I Forgot My Phone

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Taking a step away from educational videos for a week, today’s video by charstarleneTV is an eye-opening commentary on just how addicted society is to its smartphones. This video’s popularity took off a few weeks ago as people realized this is a realistic visualization of daily life.

I do not have a smartphone, but almost everyone around me does. It becomes difficult to have productive conversations in daily life.

What about you? Do you deal with other people’s addiction of smartphones? Perhaps you are a phone addict? Or maybe you don’t see this as a big problem at all. Let us know how you feel in the comment section below.

 

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