Monthly Archives: September 2017

“Mother!” Movie Review

By: Tyler Chu, Entertainment Editor

Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! Released into theaters this past weekend, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem as a husband and wife whose lives are constantly disrupted by the arrival of many unwanted guests.


Close your eyes and think of someone you really try to avoid talking to. Someone you see on-campus sometimes and go out of your way to make sure they don’t see you, or maybe someone you dread working a shift with at work. Imagine, for a moment, a vivid dream in which this person (or persons) show up at your house and constantly bother you, while your partner (roommate, boyfriend, wife, etc.) is constantly appeasing them. An average nightmare, right? The worst people imaginable, constantly annoying you, and you can’t escape them, regardless of what you try. An awful, awful experience. Continue reading

State of Missouri vs Jason Stockley

By: Danielle Sheahan, Features Writer

Protests have become a common occurrence in St. Louis and this past weekend was a prime example. It affected the whole city but it also accomplished the protesters’ goal of bringing national attention to the Jason Stockley case.

This weekend I was supposed to go to St. Louis get my car fixed and go to the U2 concert. Neither of those items were completed but I did get to go visit my uncle on Saturday afternoon, who is a firefighter at firehouse one on Jefferson. The muffler shop where I was going to get my car fixed was closed due to the possible violence that might accompany the protests, and U2 cancelled their show due to the lack of protection for the audience. I did get to see my uncle but he was on an emergency riot watch the whole time. I will not complain though; the firehouse always has the best food. When I went to see him, not only was there more than one shift of firefighters on duty, but also a group of National Guardsmen there. They were in complete uniform, guns in hand with an armored vehicle. Everyone was a lot more relaxed during the day. Most of the firefighters were sleeping after being up for most of Friday night including the chief who was taking a nap in his office. Thankfully during the time I was present there were not any calls, because during the day the protests were civil, but this does not reflect what happened once the sun had set. Continue reading

The Automation of Chess

By: Michael Pellham, Features Writer

Having a Terminator like being, a machine with no morals, no emotions, only cold calculations being trained in how to most effectively destroy you sounds like it should stay in the movies, however that is what Garry Kasparov, Grandmaster Chess Player must have felt as he sat across from the hunk of metal known as Deep Blue that beat him 3.5 – 2.5 in a six game chess match. The match was heavily promoted, and while there were some dispute over whether the conditions Kasparov played under were fair, this would be the turning point in the battle between man and machine in the chess world.

Deep Blue was created by IBM, and the version that faced Kasparov in 1997 had about one-tenth of the power found in an iPhone. Even being this technologically weak compared to today’s standards, Deep Blue was able to see about 7 moves ahead depending on the layout of the board, and contained a vast opening moves catalog to pull from. The algorithm used to determine the most effective move was dependent on a variety of factors including material; the value of pieces compared to the other side, position; how well your material is placed, king safety; since the loss of the king is the loss of the game, and tempo; the “speed” at which you can move your pieces. Also important to note is what Deep Blue and other computers lack. They do not fluster from an unexpected move, they do not experience exhaustion (professional chess games can last up to 6 hours or more), and they do not become nervous in a tournament setting. These factors can have huge impacts in a high stress chess game.
Continue reading

Cleveland Indians historic win streak come to a close

By: Nicholas Jacquin, Sports Writer


As the Major League Baseball regular season comes to an end, contending teams are looking to get on a run heading towards the postseason.  One team’s run may have started a little early, but it was impressive and record breaking nonetheless.  The longest winning streak in American League history ended last Friday night as the Cleveland Indians lost to the Kansas City Royals after winning 22 games in a row.

While the streak may not be the longest winning streak in MLB history, some argue that it is the longest and most impressive.  The 1916 New York Giants won an impressive 26 games in a row, but there was a tie in the middle of the steak, bringing some baseball fans to believe it was not legit.  However, their streak of 26 games remains the record. Continue reading

Kareem Hunt leads Chiefs to second win

By: Doran Grieshaber, Sports Writer


As week two of the NFL season wraps up, the Kansas City Chiefs are one of seven teams with a record of 2-0. The team has had major contributions from expected players such as Alex Smith and Travis Kelce, but a notable reason for their success is rookie running back Kareem Hunt. Hunt has put up huge numbers over his first few games, giving him one of the best career starts in NFL history. With multiple offensive and defensive weapons, the Chiefs look like a legitimate threat in the league this season.

In the first game of the season, the Chiefs took on the defending Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots and defeated them 42-27. Kareem Hunt, making his rookie debut, rushed for 148 yards and a touchdown. Hunt added to this with 98 receiving yards and two receiving touchdowns, including a 78 yard reception. Hunt’s 246 total yards from scrimmage were the most by a player in a debut since the NFL’s merger in 1970. Continue reading

Hurricanes and wildfires leave planet warmer than desired

By: Hadley Bjerke, News Editor

Hurricanes are tearing up the east coast and the Caribbean’s, wildfires are blazing across the northwest, and Mexico saw its largest earthquake in 85 years with a magnitude of 8.1. This is no time to discuss climate change and deadly hurricanes, Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt argued to CNN last week. Such a conversation would be “insensitive” to hurricane victims, he explained. But that’s bologna. This is the best time to have that discussion. In the wake of devastating Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, Americans desperately want to know whether global warming — something they once regarded as a distant threat involving polar bears and melting glaciers — is a here-and-now part of their daily lives. Irma became the second Atlantic Category 4 hurricane to strike the U.S. in a single season, the first time in 166 years of weather records. As South Florida braced for the storm, the Republican mayor of Miami, Tomas Regalado, said there was no better occasion to understand the threat global warming poses to the region’s future. Pope Francis heralded the twin storms as warnings to mankind. Continue reading

Equifax breach rattles consumers

By: Hadley Bjerke, News Editor

Hackers took advantage of an Equifax security vulnerability two months after an industry group discovered the coding flaw and shared a fix for it, raising questions about why Equifax didn’t update its software successfully when the danger became known. A week after Equifax revealed one of the largest breaches of consumers’ private financial data in history — 143 million consumers and access to the credit-card data of 209,000 — the industry group that manages the open source software in which the hack occurred blamed Equifax. “The Equifax data compromise was due to (Equifax’s) failure to install the security updates provided in a timely manner,” The Apache Foundation, which oversees the widely-used open source software, said in a statement Thursday, September 14.

Equifax mentioned in a report by USA Today late September 13 that the criminals who gained access to its customer data exploited a website application vulnerability known as Apache Struts CVE-2017-5638. The vulnerability was patched on March 7, the same day it was announced, The Apache Foundation said. Cybersecurity professionals who lend their free services to the project of open-source software — code that’s shared by major corporations and that’s tested and modified by developers working at hundreds of firms — had shared their discovery with the industry group, making the risk and fix known to any company using the software. Modifications were made on March 10, according to the National Vulnerability Database. But two months later, hackers took advantage of the vulnerability to enter the credit reporting agency’s systems: Equifax said the unauthorized access began in mid-May. Continue reading

Military to get major economic boost

By: Hadley Bjerke, News Editor

The Senate has overwhelmingly approved a sweeping policy bill that would pump $700 billion into the military, putting the U.S. armed forces on track for a budget greater than at any time during the decade-plus wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Senators passed the legislation by a 89-8 vote Monday, September 18. The measure authorizes $700 billion in military spending for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1, expands U.S. missile defenses in response to North Korea’s growing hostility and refuses to allow excess military bases to be closed.

The 1,215-page measure defies a number of White House objections, but President Trump hasn’t threatened to veto the measure. The bill helps him honor a pledge to rebuild an American military that he said had become depleted on former President Obama’s watch. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and other national security hawks have insisted the military branches are at risk of losing their edge in combat without a dramatic influx of money to repair shortfalls in training and equipment. Congress’ failure to supply adequate budgets is at least partly responsible for a series of deadly ship collisions and helicopter crashes, according to McCain, the Armed Services Committee chairman. Continue reading

SUB and Leach Events

By: Michael Pellham, Features Writer 

Back to school means back to the grind of tests, homework and guzzling coffee to get it all done. Luckily the good people at SUB and Leach Theater have plenty of events lined up to help relax our minds from the stress of deadlines and due dates.

First off are the Friday movie nights hosted by SUB. These free films have often just been released to DVD, and some are even shown before they reach shelves in stores! SUB provides the movie theater staples such as popcorn, candy, and soda all free for students. The next movie SUB will present is the latest DC Superhero movie, Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine, on September 8th at 8PM. Keep an eye out for posters around campus for the location. If you are unable to attend, no worries! As mentioned before SUB will be showing movies all semester such as Baywatch, It Comes at Night, and Spider-Man: Homecoming. Visit the SUB page on Orgsync for the full calendar and schedule of movies. SUB does more than movies however, and will be announcing concerts, comedians, and other events as the semester continues. Continue reading

Katy Trail

By: Michael Pellham, Features Writer

A unique and historic trail runs right through the heart of Missouri. This 237 mile trail is tackled by hikers, cyclists, and even by horseback year round and is called the Katy Trail. In it’s previous life, the Katy Trail was known as the Missouri Kansas Texas Railroad, a railroad that ran throughout Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Missouri from Sedalia to Machen’s. In its rebirth as a hiking trail it now sports the name Katy, a derivation of its full name. For many years the railroad ran, but for the route that runs from Sedalia to Machens the trains stopped running after a devastating flood in 1986 that permanently closed the lines down. Eventually the Missouri Department of Natural Resources acquired the land and turned the whole stretch of rail into a trail, becoming the longest “Rails-to-Trails” in the entire US.

The path follows the notion that railroad construction tries to have the flattest ground, and fewest curves possible, thus it follows the Missouri River for the portion of the trail from St. Charles to Boonville. This area is very flat, however an additional 33 miles of trail from Sedalia to Clinton was appended to the trail in 1991 that contains many steep hills. The trail itself is paved with crushed limestone, which is easier on the legs of runners than asphalt. If you decide to bike, this fine gravel will allow you to ride almost any bike, given that the tires are not excessively skinny like on high grade road bikes. The most suitable bike for the trail would be along the lines of a hybrid/ touring bike with tires rated for gravel or dirt. Continue reading