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Sophie Kruse - Gamer Girl

Gamer Girl: Tech-based gifts for the holidays

It’s that time of year again, my friends. While you hang your stockings and drink your hot cocoa, it’s time to prepare your holiday wish list. Last week, I let you all in on the games that I’ve been lusting over. This week, for my final column of the semester, I’m going to share my tech-y wish list for this holiday season (I hope you’re reading, Mom.)The first thing on my Christmas list is a renewed subscription to Sirius XM radio. While this isn’t the most exciting item on my list, it’s sadly become a necessity to me. My trial subscription was up in October and since then, I’ve been struggling. I usually try to seek solace with either some Spotify playlists, a mix CD (I’m a little old school) or an audiobook (I’m also a super nerd). Sometimes I just want to make it easy on myself and be able to surf through the hundreds of commercial-free stations.I’d also like to upgrade my iPad to an iPad mini. I was an early adopter, so my first-generation iPad is pretty much out of commission — I can’t update the software, no more apps are suited for it’s system and it’s pretty darn slow. I’ve grown accustomed to not using my tablet much anymore, but one day I want to update it and use it for everything I could.The largest thing on my long-term wish list is a new console. Even though I’ve mentioned this before, I’d really love to get my hands on a Playstation 4. I still dearly love my Xbox 360, but the things that the PS4 has is much better than that on the Xbox One. However, a new console is something I could definitely wait on until it becomes hard to get any games for the older consoles.While that’s it for my personal list, there are a few other things that have caught my eye that would be perfect for other tech lovers in your life. For those that love to share videos or stream music, Chromecast is perfect and is less than $50. By plugging it into your TV, you can share YouTube videos or Netflix or a variety of other media from your phone right to your TV.There’s also a ton of cool smart watches out that can do lots of different things. While I’m old school and like to keep my watch simple, they are perfect for anyone who’s into tech. There’s a lot of cool fitness-based ones too. While this isn’t a gadget, I always think the perfect gift is a subscription to something online. Netflix and Hulu are perfect for movie and TV lovers. Music fans would definitely appreciate a subscription to Spotify or Google Music. While I haven’t tried it out, I’ve heard Oyster is the “Netflix for books.” It would be perfect for those that love their Kindles.Happy Holidays techies, and I hope you get everything you wish for.Sophie Kruse is a junior studying journalism. What’s on your Christmas list? Email her at or tweet her at @kruseco.

Jordan Williams - The Good-isms

The Good-isms: Activism is accessible to celebrities and everyday students

Most activists choose one cause to support during their lifetime, but a select few go above and beyond to make the world a better place. After over 20 years in both the music and film industry, Jared Leto has risen to the public eye as one of the most passionate and versatile performers of our generation and as someone who uses his talents to bring justice to people, animals and the planet.

Everyday Wellness

Everyday Wellness: All fats aren’t created equal

Fats are one of the most misunderstood nutrients, and understandably so. Fats used to be synonymous with two groups of foods: commercially baked goods — which includes pastries, pies, and cookies — and fast food staples, like hamburgers and french fries. What became apparent over time was that these fats, while tasty, are also deadly. Research showed that excessive consumption led to an increased incidence of obesity, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and cancer. So these foods were placed on the highest of pedestals, all the way up on the tip top of the food pyramid, with advisement from health officials to only to be enjoyed on occasion.But things have changed. Now, certain “fats” can be regarded as health foods, and are actually the mainstays of some of the most popular diet crazes out there, including the Paleo and Mediterranean diets. To understand how some fats can be beneficial while others are deleterious, you must delve deeper into the realm of biochemistry. What you see is dietary lipids are actually made up of complex conformations of fatty acids, and it is the arrangement and the amount of double bonds in these fatty acids that largely differentiates a “good” fat from a “bad” fat.“Bad” fats are made up of trans or saturated fatty acids, particularly solid fats. Foods high in trans fatty acids (such as the commercially produced baked goods) are inexpensive to produce and have long shelf lives. Also, anytime you see the term “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredient listing, you know that trans fats are included. Saturated fats largely come from animal sources, which includes fatty meats and dairy products. “Good” fats are polyunsaturated fats (meaning that chemically, they have more than one double bond.) These can be further broken down into omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids are plant and seafood-derived while omega-6 fatty acids are commonly found in poultry, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds.One reason foods high in trans and saturated fatty acids are bad and foods rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are good has to do with the effects these fatty acids have on our cholesterol levels. Diets high in trans and saturated fats will lead to elevated LDL cholesterol, which will promote increased plaque and clot formation in one’s blood vessels leading to increased risk of heart disease and strokes. On the other hand, diets high in polyunsaturated fatty acids can also have positive anti-inflammatory effects and can lead to an elevation in one’s HDL cholesterol, which is cardioprotective and decreases one’s risk of heart disease and stroke. I encourage you to be aware of your own dietary fat consumption. My recommendation for fat intake is simple: Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats. Replace solid fats with oils when possible. Limit foods that contain synthetic sources of trans fatty acids (such as hydrogenated oils) and keep total trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible. And finally, eat fish because it is rich in omega-3 fats. If you’re interested in assessing your cholesterol level, ask your doctor to run a lipid panel and determine if your LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol are within the recommended ranges. And remember, it’s important to consider not just the quantity of fat in your diet but also the quality of fat.Mark Gottschlich is a medical student at the Ohio University Heritage College of Medicine. Contact him at

The Post

Between The Lines: Photo policy rubs reporter the wrong way

On Sunday, Ohio University accidentally did not prorate student flex meal plans to realize the fact that there are only two days of school this week. Students should have had only five “swipes” for the two-day week for a 14 flex-meal plan. When The Post learned about that mistake, we began reporting.

Amplified Observations

Amplified Observations: Big Boi less appreciated member of legendary hip-hop group, Outkast

I have yet to meet someone who disproves my theory that Outkast is universally loved. Even my parents, musical luddites from the 1980s’ hair-metal scene, admit their acceptance of the now-legendary duo. Whenever the first piano-laden bars of “Roses” comes on at a party, it’s nearly impossible for all in attendance not to scream “Caroline!” in the next few seconds. Simply put, everyone loves Outkast.

Sophie Kruse - Gamer Girl

Gamer Girl: Video game releases prove to be tempting

In the past few weeks, a variety of popular video games have been released. None of which, may I say, I’ve purchased. I’ve been trying to put myself on a spending ban, which is considerably hard this time of the year. Here are the recent releases I’m itching to check out: Even though I played it for the Xbox 360, I want to check out Grand Theft Auto V for the next-gen consoles. From what I’ve read, there will be more first-player options and other features not in the original version.I’m a huge fan of the Assassin’s Creed series. Assassin’s Creed Unitywas plagued with problems after it was released — something pretty common for Ubisoft games — but the overall plot seems interesting. The game is set in Paris during the French Revolution.I also love the Call of Duty franchise — it’s my guilty pleasure video game. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the 11th primary installment of the series. While I don’t know about all the changes the series has made, I’ve heard many Call of Duty fans say it’s one of their favorite titles from the game (at least recently) and that it’s worth checking out.I’m a little sad to admit that I’ve never played any of the Far Cry games, but I plan on picking up Far Cry 4. I also want to check out Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor. I’ve never been a Lord of the Rings fan, but the game seems interesting and I’m a big fan of open-world games, so it would probably work really well for this title.Embarrassingly, I’m not a big Super Smash Bros. fan, but I’ll probably check out the new 3DS version of the game. I’m a big fan of the new Mario Kart 8 so it’s only fair to check this one out too. I still haven’t even invested in a next-gen console, but I’ve been considering it for a long time, and if I ever do, which is inevitable, it’ll be the PS4. I love my Xbox 360, but the PS4 shows more promise and the exclusives are more appealing for me. I also like that the network is free and you don’t need to purchase a membership just in order to connect to Netflix on the device. Sophie Kruse is a junior studying journalism. What games do you want to check out? Email her at or find her on Twitter at @kruseco

Grant Stover

Nurturing OUr Nature: Bottle ban could enact change

A new student-led campaign will be officially launching next semester to help spread awareness about the current state of the environment. Environmentally conscious Ohio University students Christie McFarland and Leah Wilson have been working on their Take Back The Tap campaign this semester. The campaign started in their SOUL Environmental Studies 4900 class and is dedicated to keeping water a public service rather than a corporate commodity. As outlined in McFarland and Wilson’s proposal, they want to ban water bottle sales on OU’s campus by first targeting campus markets, Baker University Center and vending machines.TBTT joined Food & Water Watch, a non-profit organization of environmental activists and advocates for social justice that has worked with 60 universities across the country to try to end plastic water bottle sales. Food & Water Watch helped set up a stipend for McFarland and Wilson to use each semester for supplies to help organize and educate other students interested in the campaign.“They’ve taught me how to organize a campaign and how to be in contact with administration, and to work with the university on our project,” McFarland said about the training she’s done with Food & Water Watch.According to an article from Business Insider, water bottle sales in 2012 reached $11.8 billion in the United States. Food & Water Watch has stated that in 2009, 48.7 percent of bottled water was actually municipal tap water. McFarland said that fact “is ironic because you’re paying for water provided to you, and the companies selling it advertise that it is safer than tap water. Worldwide sales total over $100 billion per year, which is more than enough to provide every person in the world with clean water.”“It would be a big statement for the university to ban the sales of bottles,” McFarland said, adding that 90 college campuses have banned bottles in one form or another. Not only does this issue have an environmental impact, but it also delves into social justice with how water has turned into a product instead of a right for people. It is estimated to cost $0.02 to provide water for every person.TBTT will officially launch next semester and hopes to gather more students to further awareness of this issue at OU. McFarland and Wilson plan to have screenings for documentary films, including Tapped and Flow, while continuing to table and petition to students outside of Baker Center. They also plan to have water taste tests to show the lack of difference between the taste of bottled water and tap water.“Mindlessly consuming things affects not only one single person, and through buying water bottles, we treat water as a privilege instead of a basic human right,” McFarland said.McFarland and Wilson both demonstrate what it takes to be an activist and I wish them the best of luck with their campaign.Grant Stover is a sophomore studying English and a concerned environmentalist. Email him at

Cassie Fait

AfterTASTE: Gendered dining etiquette should no longer be the standard

For women, eating out in public was once considered indecent. Only men could experience the thrill of eating in restaurants. But then the rules slowly relaxed in many areas globally. Women could dine in Paris with an escort and never alone with a man that was not family or her husband. It was considered a thrill to be seen in society.

Adam Wonderly

AFC North Nation: Solid running backs essential for teams to succeed in NFL

The Cincinnati Bengals are a testament to just how important a running back can be in the NFL. When Bengals running back Giovani Bernard went out with an injury to his hip, rookie running back Jeremy Hill stepped in and made an immediate impact. He was only seeing limited playing time because Bernard had been so good, but now it’s apparent to what the Bengals have in the backfield.Teams are constantly looking for that one guy who can carry the workload of an entire NFL season and do it on a consistent basis. Now, the Bengals have two of those guys, and it’s a great problem to have. With the inconsistency of quarterback Andy Dalton, running the ball has been more important than ever.The Bengals have been lucky, drafting two guys in two years that made an immediate positive impact. Some teams in the AFC North have gone elsewhere to try and bring in someone who has already established themselves in the NFL.The Cleveland Browns picked up running back Ben Tate from the Houston Texans and added him to their three-headed monster in the backfield, which consists of Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West. Once Crowell and West get the green light that they will be getting more carries, Tate is out the window. Tate signed a two-year $6.2 million deal with the Browns in the offseason, and it seems the team has already decided it isn’t going to work out.The Browns are no strangers to making surprising deals when it comes to the running back position. Last year, the Browns traded Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts for a few draft picks because they didn’t feel like he was the right guy for them.The Browns aren’t alone in releasing running backs this week. The Pittsburgh Steelers have also joined in on the fun. The Steelers cut Legarrette Blount, who they recently picked up from the New England Patriots. People might remember when Blount got in trouble at the beginning of the year when police found illegal drugs in his car.Fellow Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell was in the car with Blount, but neither was given a suspension by the NFL or the Steelers organization. Bell has had a much better year for the Steelers than Blount, and I’m assuming that’s why Blount was let go, not because of previous encounters. It just goes to show that if you’re having a great year in the NFL, helping your teams win games and putting butts in the seats, then you have a little more pull in the organization.Running backs are a rare commodity in the NFL — there are a lot of guys that can get you two or three yards by just being brute force guys. But it’s hard to find a guy that can make home-run plays for you on a consistent basis. For Browns and Steelers fans, let’s hope the organizations have a plan to keep these teams in the race for the division.Adam Wondrely is a senior studying creative writing and journalism. Who do you have finishing in first place in the AFC North? Email him at

In the Know with Meg O

In The Know With Meg O: Social media presence can hurt your future career

Thanksgiving season has a different meaning for students. For some, Thanksgiving is the light at the end of the tunnel after a long semester. It might be a time to remember what you are especially thankful for. Or perhaps it’s the start of crunch time to get applications in for coveted internships or even — dare I say it — jobs.

Amplified Observations

Amplified Observations: The Resurgence of The Saxophone In Pop Music

The second decade of the new millennium has brought many new musical trends. Trap music emerged from the hip-hop underground to prom night dance floors everywhere, and surf rock made a west coast comeback into the hearts and minds of us all ­(e.g. Wavves, Fidlar, No Age, Best Coast, etc). Hell, even Weezer put out a decent album for a change.Yet one of the most fascinating — and seemingly random — sonic trends of the 2010s is the reincorporation of saxophone into chart-topping pop music. Not since the 1980s has the shiny brass instrument picked up so much traction with the cadre of hit-makers in the commercial music industry. Since Jason Derulo could not be reached for comment, I’ll take a crack at explaining this one on my own.Invented in 1840 by Adolphe Sax, the saxophone rose to prominence in classical music and later jazz — a genre most closely associated with the single-reed woodwind. Many jazz greats possessed a mastery of the instrument in between scoring fixes and giving dirty looks at the drummer (“This isn’t experimental timing, Chester!”). Charlie Parker, John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins are some of the best examples of the utilization of the instrument to its artistic zenith. But could you ever imagine any of them playing in an Ariana Grande studio session?It seems pop music is stealing from the 1980s. Today, the genre and its producers — who, let’s face it, are the real people behind the hits — are developing a fond nostalgia for the 1980s when saxophone reigned supreme on the radio.Dozens and dozens of pop standards from the ’80s, such as INXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart,” Men At Work’s “Who Can It Be Now,” LL Cool J’s “Going Back to Cali” and Springsteen’s “Jungleland,” all featured heavy use, the last of which may be the most popular rock song featuring a saxophone ever, giving Pink Floyd’s “Money” a run for its … well, money. Even ’80s punk rock — a deviant’s genre with a great distaste for instrumental deviation — incorporated saxophone with songs like Fear’s “New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones.” Later, punk-act NOFX, which formed in the mid-’80s, would also include saxophone in many of its songs, including 2009’s “I Am an Alcoholic.”Fast-forwarding through the grungy, detuned sound of the ’90s and the bubblegum essence of the early-2000s Britney Spears era, some of this current decade’s biggest songs are using catchy saxophone and saxophone samples to either back their hooks or provide a catchy filler (many times arranged to the style of trap music).Macklemore’s 2012 anti-consumerist hit, “Thrift Shop” was arguably the catalyst to this trend, along with the catalyst to a haircut trend that’s 3edgy5me. The single’s massive success — it went 7x platinum, which is 7x more platinum than I will ever have — most likely led to big-name producers realizing that a single sax sample could tie a whole song together (Big Lebowski, much?). Everyone knows that an older sample can act as the basis to any successful tune but a saxophone sample? It makes people want to dance. It puts the dance back in dance music. The jazzy full spectrum sound is able to stand on its own or be thrown into the mix to give a track that certain brass flavor that makes us endure Ryan Seacrest’s ramblings each Sunday morning.Following the success of “Thrift Shop,” many other artists hopped on the proverbial bandwagon loaded with saxophones down in the baggage hold (along with my cell phone which I accidently left in there when I was packing).Before Macklemore, Lady Gaga made room for a saxophone solo on “Edge of Glory,” played by the late Clarence Clemons of The E Street Band, causing people to start to notice the woodwind before it was poppin’ tags. Katy Perry also used a sax solo pre-Macklemore on 2010’s “Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.),” played by Kenny G. So the reemergence of the instrument had been floating around some time before 2013 and 2014’s saxophone renaissance.Jason Derulo released “Talk Dirty” in late 2013, which featured a lone saxophone as an interlude following the hook — easily the best part of the song. And in 2014, Ariana Grande dropped one of her biggest hits, “Problem,” which features a groovy sax riff.Other recent but lesser-known examples include Childish Gambino’s 2013 song “Worldstar,” and M83’s 2011 late-night-driving jam “Midnight City,” which features a prominent sax solo as an outro.But with all this in mind, the real question is: will saxophone and saxophone samples continue to appear on the radio? Or are they just another musical fad like autotune? And if this trend continues, will musicians in 2030 bring back autotune to get that classic 2010s feel?Despite its extensive use in the past, the future of saxophone in pop music is unknown. Everything in pop culture gets recycled eventually, but nowadays it seems like the process is moving much faster and “15 minutes of fame” has turned into 15 seconds.Only time will tell if the lovable brass instrument claims a permanent place in the pop world or is thrown to the wayside like Robin Thicke or dancehall (I’m looking at you, Sean Paul. You cheated all of us by not making anything as good as “Temperature” and for that, I will never forgive you).Whatever happens, I’m interested to see what other instruments are pushed into stardom. My fingers are crossed for a tuba trap song to drop within the next year. 

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