Classic Video Game Review: Ristar

By Matt Estes

ristar bannerI want you to try out a video game you’ve never played before. Most people have never played “Ristar.” That needs to change.

“Ristar” is a colorful and creative game released on the Sega Genesis in 1995, but you wouldn’t know it because the game looks gorgeous. While most Genesis games can only render limited graphics, “Ristar” takes that rule and tosses it off the nearest planet.

You take control of, of all things, a star. This star maneuvers by stretching his arms and grabbing objects in the varying worlds. The fun is in the experience of tactically getting past enemies and through levels. The creators find interesting ways to craft the environment in every round.

One of the standout features of this game, besides having the best graphics on the Genesis, is the music. The tunes pop with atmospheric energy. There is not one track in the game that is not pleasing to the ear. It’s exactly the style modern dance music DJ’s shoot for when making rhythms.

I won’t lie to you, this game is very difficult. You will not beat it on your first play, no matter how good you are at platform games.

If you have a Genesis console, track down a copy online or find one at a local thrift store. It’s also available on the Wii Virtual Console or on “Sonic’s Ultimate Genesis Collection” on the PlayStation 3.

[Edited by Darrell Puckett 10/30/13]

 

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Wellness Blog: Zumba

By Nikki Headley

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Imagine being in a world filled with humdrum exercises, doing the same things every week. There would be no spice or fun. Who says exercise has to be boring? This is why you should do Zumba.

1. The time goes by quickly.

Zumba is a series of very fast-paced dance exercises. The class I attend twice a week at the Wellness Center is an hour long. This may seem like a long time to be dancing, but it always flies by. You will look at the clock once you begin dancing. You will look back at the clock what feels like five minutes later and it will be time to go. This class is all about having fun, and you don’t tend to worry about the time when you’re having a blast.

2. You don’t have to be a good dancer.

Don’t be concerned if you don’t have the best dance moves. That is the last thing you need to think about. I have never been able to dance well in general, but when I tried Zumba for the first time I loved it. It’s such a great workout because it strengthens all of the muscles in your body. I don’t care about what other people think of my dancing abilities. You won’t care either because Zumba is judgment-free.

3. It’s fun for all ages.

Zumba is open to anyone, regardless of age or physical condition. I have seen teens, middle-aged adults and people who are my grandmother’s age in this class. Zumba is as easy or as grueling as you make it, depending on the type of workout you want. Age is unimportant when it comes to Zumba. Just know your limitations and forget your age.

So have I convinced you yet? Zumba is fast paced, judgment-free, and open to all ages. Get out there and shake your booty. If you feel like you look stupid just laugh and remember that everyone else probably feels the same way.

[Edited by Jade Curtis - 10/28/13]

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2013 World Series Analysis

By Darrell Puckett

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The World Series is what makes the month of October so magical for MLB fans around this country.  There’s nothing better than the feeling of a crisp fall evening, while sitting back watching the two best teams in baseball battle it out.  America’s pastime meets the present day as a new world champion is crowned.  The St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox’s meet in this year’s World Series seeking to bring their fans another championship.

I’ve been an avid baseball fan for the majority of my life and this year’s World Series is something special to me.  Watching Boston players like David Ortiz and Jon Lester have always been a personal favorite for me because of their enthusiasm for the game. The atmosphere of playoff baseball even at a high school level brings out this certain joy that gets me feeling crazy.  A non-baseball fan couldn’t understand what it means to see your team reach the month of October and succeed.  It’s an adrenaline rush like no other.

Red Sox vs. Cardinals just sounds good, doesn’t it?  The series hasn’t disappointed either with three games decided by two runs or less.  A series complied of phenomenal pitching and clutch hitting describes perfection.

The keys of success for Boston will be how productive their pitching can be during a seven game stretch and if their bullpen can effectively hold off St. Louis’s offensive attack.   Carlos Beltran has been on a tear so far in this series, so Red Sox pitchers must throw to perfection.  Likewise, the Cardinals have always proved me wrong, and they usually produce consistently every year too.

The series is tied up 2-2 going into game five, and it seems that both teams are evenly matched up.   Hopefully a game seven will appear and give the baseball faithful some extra-innings!

It’s going to be an incredible last few games to watch, so make sure you check in before the series is over.

Contact the writer: dpucket1@aum.edu

[Edited by Silvia Giagnoni 10/28/13]

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10 Essential Songs for a Halloween Playlist

If you’ve been reading these lists the last couple of weeks, you’ve probably noticed an ongoing trend of Halloween themes. I am sad to say that this week will be the last Halloween themed list. I’d like to end this series of lists on a high note. If you’re searching for some tunes to be the soundtrack of your Halloween festivities, look no further! I have compiled a list of songs that will prepare you for a great Halloween night.

1. Time Warp from The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Time Warp is the Cupid Shuffle of Halloween parties. Throw this song on and everyone within earshot will be dancing along and having a grand ole time! If you’ve never heard of the song, simply search for it online and you’ll be addicted in no time. The dance is easy to learn and makes anyone look like they know what they’re doing.

2. Monster Mash- Bobby “Boris” Pickett & The Crypt Kickers

“Monster Mash” is another great song to get everyone moving. It’s a bit slower than the Time Warp, but don’t let that stop you from busting a move. The song tells a story of various monsters dancing, which gives us a lovely image not often associated with creatures like vampires and werewolves.

3. Superstition- Stevie Wonder

No Halloween playlist would be complete without Stevie Wonder’s hit song, “Superstition.” When Wonder wrote this song in 1973, I don’t think he ever expected it to become such a timeless tune. Yet, here I am placing it on this list in 2013. This song brings out the soulful side all of us possess somewhere deep inside ourselves and makes for a great addition to the playlist.

 4. This Is Halloween from The Nightmare Before Christmas

If Halloween had a theme song, this would be the obvious choice. The catchy tune reminds us of all the great things about Halloween like pumpkins and things that go bump in the night. It is the perfect song to set the mood for a spooktacular night!

5. Double Trouble from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Combining lyrics from Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the pitch perfect vocals of the Hogwarts Frog Choir, “Double Trouble” will chill your bones and prepare you for the Halloween festivities. It even lists the ingredients for a magic potion, so if you’ve got some eye of newt and toe of frog lying around your house, this song might serve a greater purpose.

6. I Put A Spell On You from Hocus Pocus

Even though the song was originally sung by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Hocus Pocus gave it new life. Performed by the bewitching Sanderson sisters, “I Put A Spell On You” will have everyone singing along. In the movie, Bette Midler’s character captivated a huge party with this song and has continued to do so to this day.

7. Thriller- Michael Jackson

michael_jackson_thriller_2I think the song speaks for itself. It should be a crime to leave it off of a Halloween playlist. It’s a universally acclaimed song that everyone seems to know the moves to. Once this tune hits the ears of your guests, the party will hit a new level of excitement.

8. Ghostbusters- Ray Parker Jr.

Who are you gonna call when looking for a good Halloween party song? Well, the obvious answer should be Ray Parker Jr. His song “Ghostbusters” defined the cinematic masterpiece by the same name. This classic theme song will make everyone feel nostalgic and unified while chanting, “Who you gonna call?”

9. Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Radio Edit)- Yeah Yeah Yeahs

If the title doesn’t make you want to put this song on your Halloween playlist, the infectious beat will make you rethink the decision. If you’re looking for a good song to get the party moving, look no further! “Heads Will Roll” is a great dance song to keep everyone movin’ and groovin’.

10. Ghouls Gone Wild- Alice Cooper

“Ghouls Gone Wild” sounds more calm and collected than most of Alice Cooper’s releases. This will be a perfect addition to your playlist because of its dance-along melody. Also, Cooper is playing a show on Halloween right here in Montgomery! Instead of adding this song to your playlist, why not go see it performed live?

[Edited by Darrel Puckett and Silvia Giagnoni 10/28/13]

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Q & A With Darrell Puckett

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We sat down to ask a few questions to the AUMnibus sportswriter Darrell Puckett.

– What’s your major?

My major is sports journalism with a minor in photography.

– What are you trying to accomplish at AUM?

I’m trying to accomplish the incredible. Not many people can make it through college and then actually get a successful job afterwards. I want to make people get excited when they see my article or sports blog.

– What are some of your career goals?

To write Auburn recruiting or bass fishing would be ideal, but other than that, I’d love to be a journalist/photographer for a sports website. Heck, I might even start my own sports website!

– What is your dream job?

I’d love to talk sports on the radio and be a professional journalist with inside perks. I guess my hero of sports talk would be Colin Cowheard. If I could accomplish anything like Cowheard did, then life would be great!

– What do you enjoy about writing sports for the AUMnibus?

I enjoy having my own weekly sports column. That’s something I’ve always wanted and it’s literally a dream come true at this level of my journalism career. I love writing SEC sports and fishing columns.

– Favorite Movie?

That’s a tough one, but I’d have to go with “Old School.” Will Ferrell and Vince Vaughn do one incredible job!

– Favorite Food?

Unfortunately, it’s pizza. I kill myself every single week with cheap Little Czar’s pizzas!

– Favorite Sport?

My favorite sport would be baseball. It’s America’s pastime and the history is so rich. I’d like to argue with someone about the great history of baseball over any other sport! I grew up an avid Yankees and Reds fan, but love the Braves too.

– Do you have any advice for people just starting college?

Just breathe. Don’t try to graduate in your first few weeks of college and get frustrated with how difficult it really is. Also, remember that this experience will change your life and the direction you want it to go. Trust me on this one, I didn’t start out having my own sport’s column, it took a few years to establish myself. Live a little and laugh a lot are the keys to success while attending college your freshman year!

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Seaquence

seaquence

 

Anyone can be a musician with this unique internet app. Arrange music using the graphical representation of sea creatures swimming in the ocean. After you make the sounds and tones, set the creatures free to move around the sound source. This produces organic sounds that can never be duplicated. Record them, and you’ll look like a musical genius.

Check out Seaquence by clicking this link.

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Improve Your Running

By Nikki Headley

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You feel the sweat pouring down your body. Your calf muscles feel as if they are about to explode. And you feel as though your lungs are going to give out at any moment. You want to stop running towards a seemingly never-ending goal. As your body comes to a stop you realize that you have barely run a half-mile. This unfortunately happens to the best of runners. So how do you continue when you want to stop? I am going to bring up four ways to improve your running.

1. Push yourself. That burning in your calf muscles and that cramped feeling in your stomach will eventually go away. You have to make the effort to continue despite all of the issues that you are experiencing.  Push yourself to become the runner that you want to become. You may have to start out slower than your friend who has been running for three years. Start off with a half-mile a day and improve from there.

2. Take your mind somewhere else. While you are running don’t continually think that you hate running. You aren’t going to get very far with that attitude? Listen to music while running or think about what you have to do after. Reminisce on some old memories or think about making some new ones. There are plenty of things to think about other than having a negative attitude.

3. Location. Location is very important to a runner. Some people enjoy the treadmill, some a track or some the outdoors.  No matter where you decide to run it needs to be in a place that you feel comfortable. Each location has its benefits and drawbacks. Going outside could allow you to see the beauties that nature has to offer, but weather and terrain could cause you to slow down. The treadmill is a quick way to get your run out of the way, but can be boring. The track could help your distance be accurately measured by laps, but often has the obstacle of high traffic.

4. Don’t overdo it. If you are tired after a run drink plenty of water and stretch. If your muscles feel like they are at risk of being pulled, take a break or walk the next day. You can also apply ice to the sore spots on your legs to heal your muscles more quickly. If you are a new runner you will need to learn your limits. You know when your body has had too much.

Running is a great way to relieve your stress. Try some of these tips, and they will surely help you to become a more successful runner.

[Edited by Silvia Gaignoni - 10/22/13]

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Johnny Who?

By Darrell Puckett

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Johnny Manziel who?  That’s the question that Alabama and Auburn fans have been asking this season after both defeating Texas A&M.  The real question should be, why not Manziel?  Why haven’t you beat the top two teams in Alabama after winning the Heisman trophy as a redshirt freshman?   Can Johnny Football beat the tough SEC teams without a supporting defense?  This week I take a look into Texas A&M football this season and why they’re 5-2.

Manziel has completed 159 of 217 pass attempts for 2,289 yards, 18 touchdowns with 7 interceptions, while completing 73.3 percent of his passes.  Last season he completed 295 of 434 pass attempts for 3,706 yards, 26 touchdowns with nine interceptions, while completing 68.0 percent of his passes.  Through seven games, Manziel has actually outdone his performance from last season thus far, but is experiencing more difficulty this year.

So what’s the deal with Johnny Football?

Alabama has shown its ability to build another championship caliber team, but how about Auburn?  The loss to the Crimson Tide was due to an interception thrown in the second quarter, but how did Manziel lose his composure against an Auburn team that is rebuilding?  It’s simple.  Manziel is putting too much pressure on himself to perform like he did last season.

Of course that’s just a general answer and doesn’t present any insight. Let’s look deeper. Manziel has never experienced adversity in the SEC like this season.  There were a total of five upsets in SEC play this Saturday, so maybe the conference is just better this season.

The A&M defense is 104th overall in points scored against the team, and 27th in rushing.  The offense ranks 5th overall and 4th in points scored, so possibly Manziel feels the pressure of having an inexperienced defense and must put the team on his back.  Let’s take a look into depth on defense.

The Aggies have a total of 18 freshmen, eight sophomore, nine junior, and 15 senior defensive players listed on rosters.  With 15 seniors, why can’t they play defense?  Key injuries have put a toll on the Aggies, but every team deals with injuries.  Something needs to change for Manziel to excel this season.

Despite his struggles this season, Johnny Football is still going to be a first round NFL draft pick.  For everyone criticizing Manziel, he will succeed past the SEC this season.  Hate or love him, there’s no doubt in his big-play ability and winning mentality.

Contact the writer: dpucket1@aum.edu

[Edited by Anne Stanford and Silvia Giagnoni 10/21/13]

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10 Creepiest Scary Movie Characters

By Jessica Klinner    

Throughout the years, Hollywood has produced some of the scariest movies. Our nightmares are brought to life before our eyes. No matter what the movie is about, there is always a creepy antagonist sneaking around waiting to ruin the day. Check out 10 of the creepiest scary movie characters in horror film history.

1. Jigsaw (Saw)

jigsaw-saw-5454125-350-211After a failed suicide attempt, John Kramer, also known as Jigsaw, gains a new respect for life and seeks to force others to appreciate theirs. He kidnaps people he thinks are wasting their lives and administers symbolic death traps to test their will to live through self-sacrifice. He often appears to victims in the form of his puppet, Billy. Interestingly enough, Jigsaw never actually kills anyone in the series. He sets up scenarios where a person’s actions define the outcome. Jigsaw’s interesting story is spread out across the movies, but is hard to keep up with because of the focus on gory scenes.

2. Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare On Elm Street)

Freddy_KruegerA serial killer chasing after you while you’re awake is scary enough, but how about one that continues to chase you in your dreams? His burned skin, razor glove and disgruntled sweater give him the iconic look we all recognize and fear. Seeking revenge against the adults who killed him, Freddy haunts the dreams of their children. Though he may be one of the most terrifying villains in horror movie history, his one-liners before attacking victims give some comic relief to the intense film.

 

 3. Michael Myers (Halloween)

Tyler Mane as Michael Myers in HalloweenAfter fifteen years of being in a mental hospital after killing his sister, Michael Myers is out for revenge. If Myers had a catchphrase, it would be “silent but deadly.” His slow movements, ogre-like demeanor and emotionless mask combine to create the creepiest killer of classic horror films.  His theme music still makes people scan their surroundings just to make sure he isn’t creeping around nearby.

 

 

 4. Pennywise (It)

Pennywise_Evil_GrinClowns have transformed from happy, fun-loving birthday party hosts to terrifying killing machines because of It, based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name.  Pennywise is a creepy clown that lives in the sewers of Maine and eats children. Not only is he terrifying as a clown, but he has the ability to shape shift into any being. Is there anything scarier?

 

 

5. Regan MacNeil (The Exorcist)

245990_1243904947175_fullIf there’s one thing to learn from The Exorcist, it’s to not mess with Ouija boards. Regan MacNeil learned that lesson the hard way when she became possessed by a demon after summoning it through a Ouija board. The head spin scene in this movie could be the weirdest and creepiest scene in horror film history. Though more convincing exorcist movies have been made, this one takes the cake because it’s the original.

 

 6. Jaws

jaws1The scariest movies are those involving real life scenarios. Shark attacks are a frightening thing all together, so why not make a movie about a great white that kills everyone? Thank you Steven Spielberg for making everyone even more afraid to get into the ocean! The theme song is an iconic tune that has been making people check over their shoulders for years whenever they hear it.

 

 

 7. Damien Thorn (The Omen)

2455-309x316He may look sweet and innocent, but Damien Thorn is the devil in disguise. Well actually, he’s just the devil’s son. The demon child is raised in a normal household, but is far from normal himself. After several fatal accidents involving his nannies, Damien’s father begins to wonder what kind of evil looms within his son. Oh boy! He is in for a surprise!

 

 

 8. Chucky (Child’s Play)

Childs-play-chucky-image Dolls are already the creepiest looking toys in existence. A doll possessed by the soul of a serial killer? Now, that’s a scary combination! Chucky has been making people everywhere throw out their old dolls for years. The torture of the doll didn’t end with Child’s Play, though. Chucky has continued to menace children and adults everywhere in various sequels over the years. Unfortunately for us, this deranged doll even got married and had a child.

 

 9. Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

1331065652_Leatherface_004If you ever find yourself stranded on a highway in Texas, don’t get out of your car. Chances are Leatherface is waiting for you to be his next victim. Usually portrayed as mentally retarded or disturbed, Leatherface wears the skin of his victims as a mask. What makes this character even scarier is that he is based on a real life murderer, Ed Gein. Known for his iconic use of a chainsaw to murder his victims, Leatherface remains the godfather of slasher movie serial killers.

 

 10. Dementors (Harry Potter series)

800px-Dementor_Prisoner_of_AzkabanWhile scarier creatures appear throughout the Harry Potter series, the dementors take the crown as the creepiest. They suck the soul out of their victims and leave them in a vegetative state. Dementors are blind and draw near to their victims by sensing positive emotions.  A Dementor’s Kiss, where the creature latches on and sucks out the soul of their victim, is seen as worse than death. This is because the soul is gone but the body remains, destroying the victim’s humanity.

 

[ Edited by Darrell Puckett and Silvia Giagnoni - 10/19/13]

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What is Device Manager?

By Matt Estes

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Let me introduce you to a feature that a typical Windows user doesn’t know about. This is Device Manager, and it’s been at the heart of Windows software since the Windows 95 operating system.

Device Manager is simply a list of all of the hardware in and attached to a computer. Every component associated with a computer is featured in a drop down menu.

If something goes wrong on a computer, this is the first place a professional will look to diagnose a problem. If a device is broken or not attached properly, it will be denoted with a red “X” or an exclamation point. Symbols like these help to determine the extent of the computer problem.

Device Manager is also where the term “driver” comes into play. A driver is a set of software instructions that tells the computer how to use the device that’s been installed. While driver technology has improved over the years, figuring out why a driver is not working can still be one of the most frustrating tasks for a Windows user.

If you have the courage, try exploring Device Manager. You can access it from the control panel on all Windows operating systems. Just be careful. While it’s difficult to cause permanent damage to a computer from Device Manager, it’s not impossible. Do not fiddle with any driver settings, especially in the area of hard drives or system devices.

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