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Joel Hulsey

Know ALL the memes

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 March 28, 2012 By Joel Hulsey | Ranger Reporter The internet is home to many bizarre things, from Shake Weights to Rick Astley, “The Game” to “Don’t Taze Me, Bro!” As the popularity of Internet-exclusive oddity and hilarity climbs, the lives of Internet users are controlled by running jokes that rarely are understood by the average person. These running jokes are called memes. While some meme coinsurers debate what constitutes a “real meme,” it comes down to one broad definition: in short, an Internet meme is a gathering of an idea or concept by a group of people that is quickly spread through the Internet. Memes carry obscure beginnings. Though sites such as The Daily Meme, KnowYourMeme and QuickMeme strive to trace each meme’s origin, most sites agree that memes began around 2006 and became an Internet phenomenon by 2008. Traditional memes known as “rage faces” came from Rage Comics, a four-panel Web comic using purposefully poor animation that began in 2008 on 4chan. “Classic memes” that followed shortly after the arrival of Rage Comics include favorites such as “Oh crap,” “rage face,” “derp” and “derpina.” Each rage face has sub-faces, each with a slightly different meaning and use. This popular style spread to Reddit in 2009, and a new subreddit, /r/f7u12, was created in its honor. Perhaps the most popular rage face, “Trollface,” has become the subject of many 9gag and Facebook posts and multiple Twitter and Tumblr accounts. Other famous rage faces include “Me Gusta,” “‘Not Bad’ Obama face,” “True Story” and “Dumb B----.” Memes are not restricted to poorly drawn cartoons, however, with “True story,” “Are you serious,” “Watch out, we’ve got a badass over here,” “you don’t say,” “Awww yea’” and “If you know what I mean,” all based on celebrities. Not even civilians are exempt from becoming memes. “Good Guy Greg,” “Scumbag Read more [...]

What’s in your backpack?

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Graphic by Danie Clawson | The Ranger
March 12, 2012 By JOEL HULSEY | Ranger Reporter    To a wild animal, hiding is means of survival. To a group of zombie-survivor-wannabes, staying smart is the key to survival. To a group of lost hikers stuck on a mountain, with the abominable snowman following their trails, sticking together is their chance at survival. For a college student, however, backpacks not only serve as a survival kit, but also as a safe haven. From schoolbooks to pens and laptops to iPods, the typical college student heavily relies on a sole piece of fabric that can carry a semester’s worth of stress and craziness. “I sometimes put my phone in my backpack to create less of a distraction,” said Tony Chavez, a radiology major. “I carry a few things from my class, pens, pencils and a highlighter,” said Zach Stebbins, a general studies major. Stebbins said he also carries magazines and his daily planner with him. “It’d be hard holding all the books in one hand,” he said. Most students believe that if their backpacks were taken away during a week of classes, college life survival would be near impossible. “If I had classes like my brother is taking, no,” said Andrew Boybrochers, a general studies major. “I’d have to be organized.” Despite the rough wear-and-tear a backpack goes through, AC students seem to carry a high reputation of keeping the same backpack for months to years. “I’ve been using this one for about six months, “ Shi-Shu said, a pharmacy tech major. “I’ve only had one backpack and it carried me throughout high school,“ Boybrochers said. While textbooks and basic writing utensils are a chunk of the population of a backpack, items such as cellphones, laptops, fandom pens and wildlife have been known to sit in the mix. “I’ve carried a R2D2 pen before,” said a student who wished to remain anonymous. “I actually have the pen with me now.” Stebbins carries many Arabic chick tracts with Read more [...]

College offers more than financial help to students in need

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Illustration By Danie Clawson | The Ranger
February 8,2012 By Joel Hulsey |Ranger Reporter AMARILLO COLLEGE is stepping up this semester to help students who live in poverty. With the rising number of poverty-line students enrolled at AC this semester, the board of regents is doing everything possible to make college life a positive experience. Earlier this semester, AC became the first college in the nation to be named a No Excuses campus. No Excuses is a program created by Achieving the Dream, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to boosting student success. The movement was launched at AC last semester, supported by pre-existing and new programs designed to help students from all backgrounds succeed. The program focuses on providing aid to low-income students and improving student retention and graduation rates, according to AC’s pledge at www.achievingthedream.org. The No Excuses Specialty Coaches program was added this semester to the list of services already offered to help students living in poverty. “Ideally, it will work in a way for students,” said Robert Austin, vice president of student affairs. Using a brand new management model that specializes in providing online help, students will be able to visit a No Excuses coach and use any resources available to help fix problems at hand. One major goal the college is aiming for is to solve transportation issues. “How are students supposed to go to school without transportation?” Austin said. “If a student were to have a brake light go out and have no money available to fix the problem, the No Excuses coach would simply enter the information on the new management model and the student would be directed to whichever group at one of Amarillo College’s multiple campuses or in the community that could help solve the issue.” Because the new model uses the community in addition to on-campus help, Austin said he believes it is a step in the right direction to help students who are struggling financially. “It’s Read more [...]

College battles high student poverty rate

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Illustration By Danie Clawson
By Joel Hulsey Ranger Reporter THE NUMBER of Amarillo College students living at or below the poverty line continues to increase. In 2010, 42 percent of students actively enrolled received a Pell Grant. “When you talk poverty line, there are federal definitions for it,” said Danita McAnally, chief of planning and advancement. “At the college-level, the best definition is if a person has qualified for Pell.” Last semester, 40 percent of AC students who applied for financial aid were accepted to receive a federal Pell Grant. Another 45 percent received some sort of need-based award. Eighty-five percent of the student body – 9, 825 students – was granted need-based financial aid last semester. “When we look at our students as a cohort – a group of students that enter college at the same time – we find that our rates are closer to 60 percent to first time in college students which are receiving Pell,” said Kara Larkan-Skinner, director of institutional research and institutional effectiveness. “That is our indicator for poverty.” Some courses are significant to the possibility of graduating or transferring for students on Pell Grants. In 2010, 61.6 percent of Pell-students passed a gateway class - a class or classes taken for a specific major - compared to a 64.5 percent passing rate for non-Pell students. The persistence rate in 2009 was 78.9 percent for students on Pell compared to 64.5 percent for non-Pell students. “What we try to do at AC is put a complete wrap-around on them in every way possible,” McAnally said. “First, we’re dealing with, ‘Have they received everything possible that they could receive?’” A new, AC-only service is available to every poverty line student. Students can visit the financial aid office and request to have their information entered to receive additional help from a benefit bank. Students can learn what they are eligible for so they can automatically receive awards. Texas Read more [...]

Hardback Cafe offers great coffee, food, and warm atmostphere

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Review by Joel Hulsey Coffee, whether in the midst of late-night studying or in the middle of a snooze-class, is a common thing today, and while Starbucks brought something new to the table with its great blends, a lesser-known local favorite has been bringing both heavy competition and great refreshments. Hardback Coffee Cafe, a Hastings-owned coffee shop, brings a new blend of taste to sip, discover and share with others. Carrying a chilled, easy-going atmosphere, along with either a mix of Coldplay or Jack Johnson in the background, Hardback Coffee Cafe is a great place to study, hang out and relax. With its mix of amazing drinks offered, such as espressos, teas, smoothies and hot chocolate, among others, there is something for even the pickiest of eaters and drinkers. There is a daily happy hour from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. For the college student who wants to experience great coffee for a cheap price, be sure to visit during those hours. Like Starbucks, Hardback offers a selection of season-only drinks. This fall, it offers a Pumpkin Pie Frappe, Autumn Harvest Brave and Pumpkin Pie Latte. Depending on the season, Hardback will offer anything from mint mochas to strawberry banana smoothies or apple cider with a touch of cinnamon. Hardback Coffee Cafe not only offers refreshments, but food, too. They are your stereotypical coffee shop foods but are available only in small quantities at a time. Bagels, scones, cinnamon rolls, muffins and the occasional sandwich do, however, carry a better-tasting experience with locally made freshness and authenticity. The baristas carry a high knowledge of what is being ordered, how to make and prepare it, and they know the just-perfect amount of whipped cream to put on top of your order – all with a smile. With a welcoming "Hello!" from the barista as soon as you enter through the cafe doors, they are ready to serve you and make sure you enjoy your time at the coffee shop. With its selection of great Read more [...]

Amarillo College launches new email system

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Google intends to make student life easier By Joel Hulsey What started as a simple search engine in 1996 now is synonymous with the Internet. This giant owns Blogger, YouTube and the email provider that connects Amarillo College faculty, students and staff. Google, along with MyAccount, has changed the way students and faculty schedule their work. Amarillo College started using MyAC in 1999, said Chief Information Officer Lee Colaw. "The college did a new contract to renew MyAC for three more years," Colaw said. "At that time, it appeared very few people were using MyAC." The decision to get rid of MyAC came after the college conducted surveys that showed students and faculty were not using it. "Sometimes, good ideas don't happen," Colaw said. Only 9 percent to 13 percent of students were using MyAC. "We looked at either the Hotmail solution or the Google solution," Colaw said. "Google is by far the No. 1 in the world. We're the first school in the entire Panhandle of Texas to go Google. It just felt like the right decision." "MyAccount has updated my life," said David Byrd, a respiratory care major. "It has kept me in sync consistently with my classes." Gmail is accessible from MyAccount. It carries 7GB of storage, something no other email service currently provides. Included in a Gmail account is Google Voice, located at the bottom of the account, which for the remainder of 2011 lets you call any phone number free. Voice is helpful for those who might be having phone troubles. For the student on the go without a word processor, there is Google Docs. An Internet connection and a keyboard are all that are needed. Docs has a group feature that allows anyone from anywhere in a specified group to edit one document. MyAccount began for AC students in November 2010. Almost a year later, nothing but positive feedback can be heard campuswide. For more information about Google, MyAC or other AC computer or Internet questions, call Read more [...]
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