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The State Press

WWII book author visits Auburn

Thursday afternoon, Pulitzer Prize nominated author Jack Sacco spoke at the Auburn Public Library. Sacco spoke to promote his book, "Where the Birds Never Sing."Sacco, a native of Birmingham, has traveled around the world to endorse his book. He said he was invited to Vienna to speak in front of the royal family."Where the Birds Never Sing" tells the true story of an American liberator in World War II. The story told through the eyes of his father, Joe Sacco, who spent his time at the Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany. Sacco served his country and is responsible for the freeing of Holocaust prisoners. Sacco said his friends encouraged him to write the book.


The Auburn Plainsman

University student struck on Magnolia Avenue

Drunken driving was behind the car accident that sent a University student to Columbus Regional Medical Center Friday night, according to police officials.Shouju Chen, 35, one of the University's visiting exchange scholars, received life-threatening injuries after she was struck by Thomas Latham, a pre-business sophomore.

The Auburn Plainsman

Barbie Receives Ethnic Makeover

Mattel has launched a new black Barbie doll line in an attempt to make the doll's appearance a more realistic representation of a black woman.The "So In Style" dolls were made to celebrate the diversity of black girls and send a positive message, according to a Barbie Media press release.Although the new doll's aesthetics have roused some controversy, there are those who agree the new line is a positive change for the Barbie Industry.The dolls feature fuller lips, a wider nose, more distinctive cheek bones and curlier hair than the previous "Christie" doll."The 'So In Style' line features 'Grace,' 'Kara' and 'Trichelle' dolls," according to the Barbie Media press release.

The Auburn Plainsman

Alabama MADD Chapter Gets Help

Alabama Mothers Against Drunk Driving received a $27,645 grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs to aid victims of drunken drivers in Alabama."We're just excited that we have received funding to keep our services at no charge to victims," said Peggy Batey, executive director for Alabama MADD.An estimated 11,773 people died in vehicle crashes involving intoxicated drivers in 2008, according to MADD's Web site.That represents 31.6 percent of all driving-related fatalities over that period."(The grant) is strictly used to provide services at no cost to victims of drunk driving crashes," Batey said.More specifically, the funds will go to services such as payment for parole hearings, access to important resources, travel for MADD representatives and the organizations 24-hour hotline, 1-877-MADD-HELP."Victims of drunken drivers and the families of victims often face a long and hard recovery," Gov.

The Auburn Plainsman

Christmas Comes Early to Auburn

Auburn Arts Association is planning an exhibition called "ArTrees" in December.The exhibition will feature Christmas trees decorated by Auburn residents and artists.The Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center on Drake Avenue is making artificial trees approximately 2-feet tall available for free now to those who want to decorate the trees."We are hoping to make this an annual event that will become one of our more popular shows," said Sara Hand, cultural arts director for the Auburn Parks and Recreation Department.

The Auburn Plainsman

Violence Against Women Increases on TV

A study by the Parents Television Council found that TV violence against women has increased by 120 percent since 2004, while TV violence in general has only increased 2 percent during the same time period.PTC analysts reviewed hundreds of hours of videotapes, observing trends in prime-time television from February 2004 to May 2009.Most major networks, such as CBS, NBC and Fox, showed dramatic increase in violence against women, 92 percent of which was graphically depicted instead of described or implied.ABC was the only network that did not show a significant increase in violence against women during the last five years.Although most female victims were adults, the depiction of teen girls as victims increased 400 percent on all networks.Melissa Henson, PTC's senior director of programs, said she thinks these findings were unsurprising."We did a study from 1998 to 2006 that showed there had already been a huge jump in violence on TV," Henson said.Henson said she thinks the sudden increase in violence could be the result of a general migration of TV programs away from the traditional 30-minute shows toward longer-lasting, higher-intensity reality shows and dramas.Advances in technology and special effects make it more appealing to implement violence into TV shows, Henson said."They are including more violence because they're able to take advantage of these technologies," Henson said.

The Auburn Plainsman

SenseCam Records Daily Life

Those for whom MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr are not sufficient to divulge the minutiae of their lives to the world, there is now the Microsoft SenseCam.A device developed by the Microsoft lab in Cambridge, England, the SenseCam takes pictures documenting one's life throughout the day."You can in fact, recall your whole day," said Gordon Bell, principle researcher for Microsoft.

The Auburn Plainsman

Auburn Students Consider 'Enjoyable' Classes

For students looking to take a break from sitting through boring class after boring class, Auburn offers several courses that, gasp, may be considered fun.Classes such as vegetable production, bowling and self-defense have become popular electives that students take in order to have variety in their schedule."There's just so many classes that people are required to take that you have to sit through and suck it up," said Katie Britt, senior in history.

The Auburn Plainsman

Netflix Begins Streaming on PS3

Gamers will never need to leave their dens to go to the mailbox again now that Netflix and PlayStation 3 have partnered to allow Netflix to be streamed to TVs through the gaming system.As long as they are Netflix members, all owners of PlayStation 3 gaming systems will be able to instantly stream movies and TV episodes to their TVs and computers through their PS3s starting in November.Seth Paskert, freshman in computer and electrical engineering, and Trent Carroll, sophomore in aerospace engineering, said they both have friends who have used the new streaming capabilities of the PS3 systems."(My friend) said it worked well," Paskert said.

The Auburn Plainsman

Local organizations take donations at Ninth Annual Trick-or-Treat Downtown event.

On one of Auburn's spookiest nights, an assortment of ghosts, goblins and princesses lined the streets of downtown Auburn with their moms and dads Thursday, Oct. 29, for the city's Ninth Annual Trick-or-Treat Downtown event.The Trick-or-Treat festivities were available for children ages 12 and younger and included entertainment form Auburn University's steel drum band who also dressed in their ghoulish fare.Parents and trick-or-treaters walked along the shops and restaurants in the downtown area as participating merchants handed out candy from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Auburn Plainsman

Syrup Sopping Day and the Lee County Historical Society Fair Stick to Visitors in Loachapoka

The smell of sausage biscuits smothered in sugarcane syrup and sweet and salty kettle corn exploding in a cauldron saturated the air at the Loachapoka Syrup Sopping Day Saturday.Scarlet candied apples contrasted the overcast morning as parents took their turns paying $2 for their youngsters to sit atop a mule as it plodded in a circle to power a sugarcane mill.

The Auburn Plainsman

SGA Proposes Textbook Checkout

Textbooks may soon become more affordable for students.SGA and the Library Student Advisory Council are partnering to establish a textbook checkout program."The plan is to place the books on reserve so students can check a book out for a limited time," said Bonnie MacEwan, dean of Auburn University Libraries.

The Auburn Plainsman

Auburn Area Ranks Top 20

The Auburn-Opelika area is ranked No. 16 on cnnmoney.com's list of best small places to launch a business.The list, which included cities from across the country, cited the University and muted effects of the recession as key factors contributing to the area's high ranking."There are three key factors that we recognize every time," said Mayor Bill Ham.

The Auburn Plainsman

Darkness, Silence Cause Hallucinations

The results of a study conducted at University College London said when a group of people are placed in a dark, silent room, many start hallucinating after just a few minutes.The study, which was published in the "Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease," attempted to differentiate the subjective experience of different people undergoing sensory deprivation, depending on how predisposed they were to hallucinating.Celia Morgan, a research fellow at the university, described the process of the investigation.Morgan said participants were first given a questionnaire to determine psychotic personality expressions and other unusual perceptions.From the results of the questionnaire, researchers selected two groups, those who were more prone to hallucinations in daily life and those who were not.

The Auburn Plainsman

Soot Problem for Birmingham

A study by the Southern Environmental Law Center reported Birmingham has the most soot-filled air in the South."Birmingham has been under the shroud of air pollution for far too long," said Kat McCue, senior communication manger for the SELC.