Kobe Bryant announces this will be his last season in the NBA


The end of the regular 2015-16 NBA season will also mark the end of an era. Last night, Kobe Bryant announced that he will retire once the Lakers’ season has ended.

Bryant, a 20-season veteran has played all of his games as a Los Angeles Laker, after being drafted out of Lower Merion High School in Philadelphia in 1996 by the Charlotte Hornets and traded to the Lakers on draft night.

Continue reading Kobe Bryant announces this will be his last season in the NBA

Street Art on Physics Building Brings UMD a Nasally Surprise


“Guess what it is,” they said.

“I don’t know, a boat?”

They flipped over the massive structure composed of wires, wood and paper mache.

It was a nearly 6-foot-tall nose.

Yes, you read that right. A nose.

And they were planning to hang it on an academic building, they explained.

For three weeks, the artists plotted and strategically organized the nasal exhibition.

And in the early hours of the morning on November 18, while the rest of the campus was asleep, the team of students put it up.

Source: file footage

The structure was only hung on the physics building for a few hours before it was taken down, but the street art was prominently featured for any passers-by who happened to look up.

Source: file footage

While the anonymous artists wouldn’t share their exact message, or even if there was a message, they did say that they wanted people to notice the seemingly random art.

They simply hoped the display would be “a delightful oddity for those who look up from their phones and at the world around them,” one contributor said.

If you didn’t get the chance to pass under the enormous nostrils on your way to class (or if you did and didn’t notice), here’s your chance to marvel at the exhibit. Enjoy.

Source: file footage


A Nuclear Scavenger Hunt: START uses students to test new radiation detecting technology

by Tristan Madden

On November 20, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, or START, hosted an unusual scavenger hunt, asking students to use specialized devices to map out hot spots of natural radiation on campus.

Students lined up in front of a table outside of STAMP to receive a device that, at first glance, looks like an every day smartphone. But this device, the Kromek D3S, doesn’t make calls or take pictures; it detects radiation.

Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz
Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz
The Kromek D3S Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz
The Kromek D3S
Tristan Madden/ Pulsefeedz


Students also received a sheet of paper with a series of cryptic clues written on it, each one directing them to a natural and benign source of radiation on campus. The goal for the scavenger hunt participants was to use the Kromek D3S to map out the natural radiation present across the University of Maryland campus, according to the proctor of the scavenger hunt Gary Ackerman. Students who managed to do this quickly and effectively won prizes such as IPads and Kindle Fire tablets.

But START, a research center at the University of Maryland sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security, wasn’t simply letting students play around with expensive technology. The goal of the scavenger hunt was to test the efficacy of the Kromek. By putting it into the hands of a couple dozen students, START hoped to see how this brand new technology performed in the field.

Because of its primary function, one might assume the Kromek is like a Geiger counter, but that is not a fair comparison. Ackerman said, “If a Geiger counter is like one of those old bulky cell phones from the 90’s, the Kromek is a smart phone.”Ackerman explained that a Geiger counter can only detect very high levels of radiation, but the Kromek is capable of identifying even the most minute traces of radiation in a given area.

A Geiger counter Courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org
A Geiger counter
Courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org

Michael Egnoto, the supervisor of the scavenger hunt, said that aside from evaluating new technology, mapping out this natural radiation helps START better understand how radiation is distributed around us, which he said has long term benefits for society.

“Long term, this helps us improve technologies that may be sensitive to certain types of radiation. Some electronics for instance, can become unreliable when around even naturally occurring levels of radiation.”

Hundreds of Thousands to Participate in Global Climate March


This weekend, hundreds of thousands of people are marching all over the world to represent a movement for climate justice.

On Nov. 29, the eve of the UN Climate Summit in Paris, groups will gather in major cities across the globe to participate in the People’s Climate March.

The UN conference is expected to be the largest and most crucial global climate summit of this decade. During the two-week meeting, leaders hope to reach a deal on how to prevent global warming.

Despite the recent tragedies in Paris, city officials insisted the attacks would not impact the conference itself, which more than 140 major world leaders are expected to attend.

“What powerful rebuke to the terrorists it will be when the world stands as one and shows that we will not be deterred from building a better future for our children,” President Obama said at a joint White House news conference with French president Francois Hollande.

However, French authorities have banned the portion of the march to take place in Paris, citing concerns stemming from heightened security measures taking place throughout the city.

Environmentalists were preparing for more than 200,000 activists to participate in the Paris march. Some of those participants are preparing to defy the ban, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

The organizers of the Paris march have spoken out about the necessity of the ban and urged global participants to march “on behalf of those who can’t”.

In last year’s People’s Climate March, 700,000 people worldwide took to the streets to advocate for swift action in response to climate change. This year, the number of people involved is expected to exceed that number.

In fact, an organized march will take place Sunday afternoon in Prince George’s County.

Organizers expressed a desire to show solidarity with the global movement, while acknowledging the enormous task at hand.

“We have this huge world problem. It’s a metaphysical problem as much as it is a very physical problem, and people don’t necessarily know what activities they can do both small and large to have a measurable impact,” said organizer Kyrke Gaudreau in an interview with the Prince George Citizen.

The participants will march in union with more than 2,400 other marches being conducted this weekend.

“Regardless of what the politicians decide in Paris, this year we, the people, are driving the urgency for action everywhere,” the Global Climate March website states.

You can find the closest event near you here:


Multiple People Dead in Shooting at Colorado Planned Parenthood Clinic


Two individuals and a police officer were killed in a shooting that occurred Friday at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado, according to The New York Times.

The shooting was in Colorado Springs and injured 9 other people. It started at about 1:30 p.m. ET and lasted around six hours in a standoff with police.

People in the nearby buildings were on lockdown for hours, including in a shopping center close by. Police told them to take shelter wherever they were located during the shooting.

The suspect is in custody has been identified as 59-year-old Robert Lewis Dear. His motives are unclear at this time and it is unknown if the clinic was his intended target.

Police are now investigating several objects that the suspect brought into the clinic to see if they are explosives. His car is also being examined.

The police officer killed was identified as Garrett Swasey, who worked on the University of Colorado police force for the past six years.

This event has come soon after a controversy from Planned Parenthood that involved videos of officials from the organization discussing the use of fetal organs for research.

The controversy has led to a bill in Congress that will defund Planned Parenthood for at least the next year. This bill, according to the text, can be cited as the “Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015.” It passed The U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 241 representatives supporting the bill on September 18 of this year. If the bill passes the Senate vote and is signed by the president, it becomes law.

At the moment, police do not know of any connection between the controversy and the shooting.

Click here to see graphics by The New York Times involving the shooting.

College Park City Council works to promote inclusion


The city of College Park recently established a committee to address the growth of diverse communities.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the estimated population in 2010 for College Park was 30,413. This number grew in 2014 to 32,256. Since 2010, the ethnic breakdown in one of Maryland’s biggest college towns has also changed.

Though Caucasians still make up the largest ethnic group in College Park, the African American, Hispanic and Latino populations have also increased. Continue reading College Park City Council works to promote inclusion

Multiple Tragedies Occurred the Day of the Paris Attacks


On the night of Friday, Nov. 13, multiple coordinated attacks occurred in Paris. There were hostages at a concert, suicide bombers near the local soccer stadium and mass shootings at restaurants. However, the Paris attacks overshadowed many other events that occurred on that Friday, and the day before, as well.

In Baghdad there was a funeral bombing the same day of the Paris attacks. It killed at least 18 people and injured 41 others. The funeral was for a pro-government Shi’ite Muslim Fighter, part of the Hashid Shaabi group that helps to fight against the Islamic State, who claimed the attack as one of their own.

Continue reading Multiple Tragedies Occurred the Day of the Paris Attacks

HTGAWM Winter Finale Recap: What Did We Do?


Breathe…just breathe…is what I kept telling myself during the winter finale of How to Get Away with Murder.

That didn’t work at ALL but at least we know who shot Annalise.

Source: Google Images
Source: Google Images

So Wes completely lost his mind and shot Annalise, only after she pushed him over the edge, telling him him the truth about Rebecca. All at once the events from this season came to a head and Annalise ran out of tricks trying to fix the twisted situation.

But lets start from the beginning. Michaela calls Connor over to the Hapstall mansion to help her decide what to do with the gun. Connor doesn’t want any parts of it and Michaela’s only intention is to protect Caleb. They’re still trying to figure out what to do when Catherine walks in and then apparently makes a run for it.

Annalise finds out about Catherine and makes Caleb choose between Catherine and himself. Annalise can’t defend them both and now that they have the murder weapon, Caleb can’t keep trying to protect his sister.

Continue reading HTGAWM Winter Finale Recap: What Did We Do?

Star Wars, Marvin Gaye and a Tribute to Paris: AMAs RECAP


Jennifer Lopez hosted Sunday’s 43rd annual American Music Awards and the result was a balanced mix of both today’s most popular music and this year’s most soul-pressing matter. Here is what you missed:

Continue reading Star Wars, Marvin Gaye and a Tribute to Paris: AMAs RECAP

Are UMD Students Getting Enough Bang for Their Buck?


The cost of a college education has risen in the past few years, causing some to question the true value of their secondary education. According to collegecalc.com, the University of Maryland was ranked 16th of all national universities in Best College Value.

The cost of attendance for 2014-15, including fees, at UMD was approximately $21,290 for in-state students and $41,483 for non-residents of Maryland, and the university’s Board of Regents voted this spring to raise tuition costs for the current academic year by five percent. The board also approved proposals to increase the tuition of students majoring in certain studies such as business, engineering and computer science.

Continue reading Are UMD Students Getting Enough Bang for Their Buck?