St Peter’s divided over ball ‘freak show’ plans

first_imgThe possibility of booking a ‘freak show’ for the St Peter’s Ball has caused consternation among the College’s students.The ball committee is divided over whether the entertainment of the so-called ‘Circus of Horrors’, which features acts including a dwarf known as ‘Demon Dan’, and ‘Mongolian Laughing Boy’, who receives shocks in an electric chair, would be appropriate for the event.A number of students at St Peter’s were shocked to hear about the plans, and one branded them “morally questionable”. The ball committee were quick to deny that the performance was a freak show, despite being described on the company website as “The stupendous Carnival of the Bizarre with Doctor Haze and his Freak Show”.Stephen Dunne, one of the ball committee presidents, emphasised that the act was as yet unconfirmed and said, “They are a professional unit, for whom the members choose to work.” He conceded that “you could argue against the ethics of the act”, but that the members “do not ‘humiliate’ themselves during the show”.Some of the acts have been seen as too “gruesome or macabre” to be featured. Roger Sibley, a representative of Carters Entertainment Limited, who help put on the shows, told Cherwell that dwarf Demon Dan’s talents include “stapling playing cards to his face” and “pulling a hoover around with a part of his body that’s not his hands”.He commented, “That’s one for the adult audience”. Natalie Fox, St Peter’s other ball president, said that the committee were free to choose who would perform. She explained, “We’ve decided against some of the worst ones, like this guy who can put kebab skewers through his cheeks.”Fox admitted that, “Some people are unsure about whether they would want to watch it”.Tegan McLeod, an English student at St Peter’s, said, “For me the idea seems voyeuristic and exploitative. It’s exhibiting human oddities for a profit.“Though some may argue it’s a performance art, I think it’s really hard to deny that this type of show is a form of social discrimination.”Nonetheless, the committee currently intend to go ahead and book the Dr Haze’s group for the ball. Dunne defended the decision, saying the College would only book “people who do not self harm or who would not cause any lasting emotional damage to the audience. “They provide a massive spectacle, a great talking point, and are something that will make the St Peter’s Ball truly different to all other balls.”last_img read more

No traffic jams in asthmatic cells

first_imgAn unexpected new discovery—that, in people with asthma, the cells that line the airways in the lungs are unusually shaped and “scramble around like there’s a fire drill going on”—suggests intriguing new avenues both for basic biological research and for therapeutic interventions to fight the disease. The findings could also have important ramifications for research in other areas—notably, cancer—where the same kinds of cells play a major role.Until now, scientists thought that epithelial cells—which line the lung’s airways as well as major cavities of the body and most organs—just sat there motionless like tiles covering the floor, or like cars jammed in traffic, said Jeffrey Fredberg, professor of bioengineering and physiology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and one of the senior authors of the study, which was published online August 3, 2015 in Nature Materials. But the study showed that, in asthma, the opposite is true.The researchers decided to look at the detailed shape and movement of cells from the asthmatic airway because, according to Fredberg, a growing body of research is showing that physical forces change how cells form, grow, and behave. Given this knowledge—and the fact that no one knows what causes asthma, which afflicts more than 300 million people worldwide—it made sense to look at the shape and movement of epithelial cells, which many scientists think play a key role in the disease. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Local students begin final round of competition today

first_imgIndianapolis, In. — Eleven teams of Hoosier high school students will gather today in Indianapolis for the final round of the 2019 Innovate WithIN™ pitch competition, a statewide initiative hosted by the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC), Indiana Department of Education and Ball State University.“Innovate WithIN™ empowers Indiana’s young entrepreneurs to draw upon their creative thinking and problem-solving skills to develop, execute and present an idea for a business, product or venture,” said Elaine Bedel, president of the IEDC. “We’re overwhelmed by the support and encouragement expressed by Hoosier students, parents, school administrators and teachers throughout this process, and can’t wait to watch as our finalists showcase their innovative ideas during the state competition.”After submitting video pitches for the first round of the competition, more than 65 teams were selected to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas at regional competitions across the state. The nine regional finalists, who each received a $1,000 cash prize and qualified for the state competition, are:LyfePack, led by Cameron Klein, Colten Mouzin and James Hancock at Rivet High School in Vincennes, developed a tech-integrated, kevlar backpack that promotes energy efficiency and improves student safety.Region One (Southwest Indiana)Kolt Electronic Solutions, led by Koltan Hauersperger and Brooks Wathen at Jennings County High School in North Vernon, plans to create a power line monitoring system that tracks voltage and detects obstructions and damages.Region Two (Southeast Indiana)Urban Harvest, led by Jesse Kogge at the Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship in Bloomington, plans to utilize indoor hydroponic farms and a vending machine-style distribution system to combat food deserts.Region Three (West Central Indiana – Terre Haute)3D Printing Filament Waste, led by Steven Bass, Austin Robinson and Daniel Joven at Greenfield-Central High School in Greenfield, developed a cost-effective recycling method for polymers used in 3D printing.Region Four (East Central Indiana)Calm Balm, led by Kaleigh Newton and Allison Santa Rita at Noblesville High School in Noblesville, created and marketed all-natural lip balms utilizing essential oils to relieve stress.Region Five (West Central Indiana – Lafayette)RearVue, led by Andrew Romes, Alex Termini and Faith Spencer at Hobart High School in Hobart, seeks to improve bicycle safety through a distance measurement sensor harnessing LED technology to warn cyclists of approaching vehicles.Region Six (Northwest Indiana)Empathy Easel, led by Kristina Rea at Adams High School in South Bend, designed and packaged custom art kits allowing its customers to express their emotions through artwork.Region Seven (North Central Indiana)Millie & Mabel, led by Lillian Herrmann at Manchester Jr.-Sr. High School in North Manchester, created a line of homemade jewelry aimed at empowering Hoosier women and helping boost their confidence.Region Eight (Northeast Indiana)Other Side, led by Kaikeyi Paxton and Karissa Nielsen-Baker at Purdue Polytechnic High School in Indianapolis, developed custom office supplies for left-handed individuals.Region Nine (Central Indiana)New to this year’s program, the runners-up from each region competed in a Wild Card round, which allowed the public to vote for two teams to advance to the state competition. Receiving 2,339 out of the 7,608 total votes, the two Wild Card teams are:Student Services, led by Isabel France, James Booth and Kallen Kelsheimer from Wabash High School in Wabash, started a business specializing in lawn care and other services for homeowners in northeast Indiana.Region Eight (Northeast Indiana)Puma Sips Coffee Shop, led by Zoey Lewis and Dawnyai Jones from Indianapolis Metropolitan High School in Indianapolis, launched an in-school, student-run coffee shop.Region Nine (Central Indiana)last_img read more