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Mike Gregory

Currently eight months away from a degree in communication Journalism. Using the GI Bill from my time in the Marines to pay for school. Would really like to start my own organic food company. Playing guitar, playing with my kids, spending time with my wife.

Roommate Horror Stories

Reddit’s Collection of Horrors

        An enjoyable part of college life is your roommates. Often stuck together with no prior knowledge of each other, you’ll either learn to become friends or you’ll learn to hate each other. While scouring Reddit’s college subject matter, there was a question asked of Reddit’s users, “What are your college roommate horror stories?”

         If you are set to begin college this year, prepare yourself, it could get messy! It could be your new roommate who will do something strange, be obnoxious, and perhaps it could be you. Be afraid, be very afraid. Here are some quotes from the best stories on the Reddit board.

From EpicNarwhals: A friend had a roommate who would pee in his own trashcan. My friend confronted him, asked him to stop, and shortly after that he began to pee in my friends trashcan.

From Gumshooo: My roommate was a pretty shy dude, he eventually got his first girlfriend, and they had a weird way of showing intimacy. One day I walked into the living room and he covered up his junk quickly, with a pillow. I thought I’d walked in on a handjob, so I told them I was sorry and that I’d leave shortly. His girlfriend quickly spoke up and said “No, it’s not what you think. I was just trimming his pubes. Seriously, he doesn’t even have a boner.”

From figgy_puddin: Apparently, during our first night, my new roommate was still awake, lying in bed and playing on his phone, I did something to scare him; I sat forward in bed, slowly rotated my head in his direction, and just shrieked my lungs out for a few seconds, then flopped back down and was silent.

From do_right_now: We checked on our drunk roommate. She is sleeping in her bed, and has proceeded to shit herself, in her bed, and then rolled around in it in the night. Oh yes and she is wearing a thong, so that was even better. We spent the whole day airing out the apt and she attempted to clean her bed and sheets without vomiting.

From ajnack: He woke me up at 3am. He dropped his pants to the ground and said “Tom Cruise was right about everything.” He then, with his pants still at his ankles, bunny-hopped back to his bed and fell asleep.

From scribbling_des: A girl I knew in college went to an all-girls Christian school and was very sheltered. In art history one day, she was shown Michelangelo’s David. After class she had this look of absolute shock on her face. I asked her what was wrong and she just looked at me and said. “The balls! I didn’t know about the balls!”

From frawgster: My roommate masturbated all the time. He did it while standing in front of the TV watching a Hitler documentary, he did it sitting on his bed while my GF and I sat on my bed watching TV, and once when someone set off as stink-bomb outside the door.

Two Police Officers Shot as Chaos in Ferguson Continues

Witnesses Say the Shots Did Not Come From Group of Protestors

Ferguson, MO: Police are still searching for the attacker or attackers, who shot two Ferguson Police officers early this morning. A 32-year-old officer sustained a gunshot wound to the face, while a 41-year-old officer was shot in the shoulder. Both were taken to a local hospital where both are reportedly conscious.  Their conditions are listed as very serious injuries but not life-threatening.

New protests are beginning after the resignation the town’s Chief of Police, Thomas Jackson. Ferguson has had continuous clashes and protests since the August 9th, 2014, shooting-death of 18-year-old Michael Brown last summer. Brown was killed by Ferguson Police officer Darren Wilson, who has since resigned. Ferguson, a suburb of St. Luis has made headlines throughout the US and abroad.

A week ago, the Justice department released a report claiming that the Ferguson Police Department was discriminating against members of the African American community, raising racial tensions to an all-time high. In their report, The Justice Department found that 68% black residents in the area are less likely to have their case dismissed by a municipal court judge. Also stated by an official is that from April 2014 to September 2014, almost 95% of those arrested and kept in the city jail for more than two nights were African Americans.

St. Louis Police Chief Jon Belmar had this to say about the recent police shooting, “These police officers were standing there and they were shot, just because they were police officers.” Belmar also said, “I have said all along, that we cannot sustain this forever without problems.” The demonstration started peacefully on Wednesday night, but when about two dozen officers, clad in riot gear faced off with some of the protesters, at least two people were arrested, and tensions within the crowd rose.

Many protestors at the scene claim that the shots did not come from the group of protestors, while witness/activist DeRay McKesson took to social media to spread his account of the incident. On his Twitter account he wrote, “The shooter was not with the protesters. The shooter was atop the hill.” He also stated that the shots came from at least 500 feet away.

Creepy Unsolved College Mysteries

        Every year, someone graduates high school and gets their chance to gain independence. College; it is a defining moment, you are your own person, free to come and go as you please, and now your parents are a nervous wreck. You’ll tell them that you are doing fine and all is well. Sometimes things aren’t as simple though, the real world is a scary place, a place where nothing is guaranteed and sometimes bad things happen to good people, people just like you. And remember, every once in a while a parent’s worst fear becomes a reality. Things aren’t always well, and things aren’t always fine.

Here are several unsolved mysteries from around the country that took place on or very near to a college campus. These cases have never been solved, and the events surrounding them are just a little creepy.

1.) Betsy Aardsma: Penn State University

At Penn State University in 1969, a Michigan native, Betsy Aardsma was doing some afternoon English research in the Pattee Library on campus, when someone in the dimly lit library stabbed Betsy in the chest with a hunting knife. She fell to the floor, pulling down books with her, and then her attacker pulled the knife back out of her body and fled. Although nearly 40 Pennsylvania State Troopers worked the murder case, interviewing dozens of students, and following numerous leads, the case went cold .

What makes this so unusual is that there were nearly 9 people within 70 feet of where the attack occurred, and yet no one saw a thing. Although there were several suspects, the case still remains unsolved. Betsy’s ghost is now said to haunt the library.

2.) Arlis Perry: Stanford University

A security guard found the body of Arlis Perry at the back of the Stanford Memorial Church in October of 1974. The 19 year old was the wife of a sophomore attending the Stanford and after an argument with her husband over car troubles, she’d went to the church, alone, to pray. When medical examiners examined her body, they found that she’d been stabbed in the back of the head with an icepick, beaten, raped, and brutally assaulted with a 3 foot candlestick.

There is a possibility and rumors that the murder could have been carried out by a satanic cult. Serial killer David “Son of Sam” Berkowitz is said to have even known of it. In 1979, he sent a book to law authorities in North Dakota (Arlis’ home-state) and in the margin of the book he’d written “Arlis Perry, hunted, stalked, slain, followed to California, Stanford Univ.” Though there was a palm print found on the candle, and DNA found on and around her body, California investigators never found her killer.

3.) Paula Jean Welden: Bennington College

In December of 1946, 18-year-old Paula Jean Walden, a sophomore at Vermont’s Bennington College, had just finished working her shift at the dining hall and had decided to take a hike after returning to her dormitory. She told her roommate that she was going to hike, and even asked other students if they’d like to go with her. None of her offers were accepted, so Paula hitchhiked to a long trail near Glastenbury Mountain, alone. Although several witnesses saw her along the trail, even stopping one to ask him how much longer the trail was, she disappeared without a trace.

After fellow student noticed her absence, she was reported missing and though she was tracked up until asking the witness about the remaining distance of the trail, no trace of Paula Jean was ever found. What is even creepier is that between 1945 and 1950, five people went missing in a similar manner on the exact same trail. It is now dubbed the “Bennington Triangle”.

4.) Sigrid Stevenson: Trenton State College

The people that knew Sigrid would tell you that her only passion in life was the piano. The 25- year-old was known as a free spirit, hitchhiking through much of Canada and the US, she was now studying at Trenton State College, with hopes of earning her Master’s in music. She’d snuck into the college’s basement auditorium the night of September 4th, 1977 to play the piano, and that is where she would be found dead around midnight.

Her body had been concealed by the piano cover, a pool of blood under her body. It was gruesome, blood and gore spattered the piano and sheet music. And although she was found nude, she’d not been raped according to the medical examiner. Her face had been so traumatized that she was only able to be identified by her hair. Like the rest of the stories, the case of Sigrid Stevenson remains unsolved.

Walk of Shame Has a Story to Tell

        Set to premier on March 18th at 9p.m., “Walk of Shame” is a VH1 reality show that gives viewers a look into the lives of college students and others, who talk about their sexual exploits from the previous night. Both men and women are asked about their adventures in the “Hookup Culture”, and to some, their confessions may surprise you.

        The show’s creator Kellyann Wargo is a University of Michigan graduate and the premise of the show is based off of her college days when she says that she always got calls from friends, all of the time, usually early morning, looking to get a ride home from a recent late-night romp. She got so many calls that she thought that this would be an excellent way to make some cash on the side, so she got her chauffer’s license, a ride, and turned it into a business. For $5.00, a passenger could get a ride home, a bottle of water, and a high-five.

        Though filmed in California now, she’d initially posted a video about her business from her University of Michigan stomping grounds on YouTube. The video went viral, prompting entertainment officials to come calling, and now she is the face of her own reality series. Wargo stated in a news interview, “They’re hung over, tired, and maybe a little regretful.” Wargo says that her job as a driver is to cheer them up, get them to open up about the experience, and let them know that they made it through the night and got laid.

         Some critics have rushed in, claiming that the show makes light on a behavior that is neither healthy, nor helpful and that the show may make young viewers feel bad about themselves. Wargo, however, states that she believes the walk of shame is a common part of the college experience and should be explored on TV. She insisted, “We’re not trying to embarrass or make fun of anyone. People sleep with each other. It happens.”

Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke Ordered to Pay $7.4 Million to Children of Marvin Gaye

        On March 4th, artist Pharrell Williams left the Los Angeles Federal Court, a few pounds lighter in his pocket. An eight-person panel has found that singers Robin Thicke and Williams copied Marvin Gaye’s hit “Got to Give it Up” and used it to create their 2013 hit “Blurred Lines”.

        Both Thicke and Williams reportedly gained $7 million apiece for their song. Gaye’s children were awarded $7.4 million in the lawsuit. Gaye’s daughter Nona Gaye was seen weeping and was comforted by her lawyer as the verdict was read.

        The verdict has the possibility of affecting Williams negatively, as he is the recipient of several Grammy Awards, known as a reliable song writer, and for his involvement with NBC’s music competition show “The Voice”. Williams and Thicke were quick to issue a statement through their lawyers, stating that the recent verdict could impact the future of musical creativity. Their statement came issued by the duo’s lawyer and Williams’ publicist, stating “While we respect the judicial process, we are extremely disappointed in the ruling made today, which sets a horrible precedent for music and creativity going forward, Pharrell created ‘Blurred Lines’ from his heart, mind and soul and the song was not taken from anyone or anywhere else. We are reviewing the decision, considering our options and you will hear more from us soon about this matter.”

        The late Marvin Gaye’s children, Frankie and Marvin Gaye III, argued that Gaye’s protected sheet music was infringed upon when Pharrell Williams wrote the song in question “Blurred Lines”, in an hour in mid-2012 and then recorded it with Robin Thicke in one day. Williams also testified about the song and his creation process, telling the panel of five women and three men that “Blurred Lines” brings about “that ’70s feeling” and that he highly respected and looked up to Marvin Gaye, and that what he created isn’t copyright infringement. “The last thing you want to do as a creator is take something of someone else’s when you love him,” said Williams.

Murder By Death Releases Big Dark Love

A Review of Big Dark Love

Murder By Death is a phenomenal indie-rock/alt-country band from Bloomington Indiana that was formed in 2000. Signed to Bloodshot Records, the energetic five piece band blends a unique mix of instruments to include guitars, bass, drums, mandolin, the trumpet, cello, piano, and even an accordion. Top all of this off with singer/guitarist Adam Turla’s crisp, soulful vocals, and you have a recipe for awesome!

I’ve recently had the fortune of reviewing the newly released Murder By Death album, and I got to say that I am really impressed by the sound of Big Dark Love. This album is a bit different from some of their previous releases, in that it has a unique mix of the Murder By Death sound that fans have come to love, yet it contains an almost evolutionary twist to their indie-rock sound.

Big Dark Love’s tracks are all very good and its refreshing songs like the ebullient Natural Pearl, which will have you stomping your feet and humming along right from the very start. The first track of the album, I Shot An Arrow, is very catchy, and from the moment Turla sings “Tires burnin’ in the backyard, smoke risin’ on the plains” hit your ears, you’ll be hooked.

Other notable tracks on the album include the dramatic, and distinctive Send Me Home, which has the most beautiful cello work within its core, and title track Big Dark Love is a dark and gothic track, and it has become one of my personal favorites.

Murder By Death has produced something refreshing and new with Big Dark Love, not only in the outstanding quality of their writing, but also the richness of their sound.

Murder By Death is currently on tour and if you’d like to see their schedule, learn more about this astounding band, or to buy Big Dark Love, please check out

www.bloodshotrecords.com/artist/murder-death

Puerto Vallarta Gearing Up For Spring Break

        Preparations for Spring Break have begun in Puerto Vallarta. Located on Mexico’s west coast, it offers an assortment of beaches, with various options for fun, relaxation and recreation. Surrounded by the Sierra Madre Mountains, Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s most popular destinations because of its outstanding infrastructure and genuine Mexican atmosphere.

        US & World News Report, as well as About.com’s Gay Travel site have listed Puerto Vallarta as a top contender for spring break destinations in the world. Travel season in Puerto Vallarta starts on March 1st and it is estimated that nearly 8,000 students will visit this Mexican paradise in 2015.

        With parts of Mexico in turmoil, you’ll not have to worry about danger in Puerto Vallarta; it is currently listed as one of Mexico’s safest destinations and has no travel alerts from the US or Canada. This sentiment is shared by many former travelers to this exotic location and Puerto Vallarta has received various consumer-awards to include “Most Romantic Mexican Destination”, “Favorite Mexican Beach” from the readers of About.com and also voted as Mexico’s second best destination in 2014, by Trip Advisor’s Traveler’s Choice.

        Air access to Puerto Vallarta handled by Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport, which handles over 1 million people yearly. There are over 22,000 hotel rooms to choose from in Puerto Vallarta, with over half of these anemities rated as 4-star-plus. There are also an array of gay-friendly resorts and properties available as an option.
 

        Wondering what to do with your Puerto Vallarta vacation? Fear not, there are plenty of outdoor activities to attend to while you are there; watersports such as snorkeling, diving, swimming with dolphins, and water skiing are available, and land activities such as horseback riding, island hopping, Los Arcos National Marine Park, site seeing, and canopy tours of the lush Sierra Madre Mountains are available.

        For the Spring Breakers looking for the nightlife in this Mexican utopia, you can enjoy night clubs and dancing at Puerto Vallarta’s various late-night venues, each offering their own unique music, drinks and décor. Along this three-block stretch lies sports bars, live music, and gay-friendly dance clubs. The legal drinking age in Mexico is 18, and most bars serve alcohol until 2am while the dance clubs will usually stay open till 4am.

For more information on this exotic destination, please go to www.visitpuertovallarta.com or www.cantovallarta.com

Phiaton BT 220 NC Headphones Overview

        I recently received a set of Phiaton BT 220 NC earphones to review. Being a person who is not the most tech savvy type, I wanted to write this review in a simple style so that other less tech savvy types, like myself, could follow along. The package came to me this weekend, and I set about opening up everything and looking it over to determine what I was working with.

       Upon initial inspection, the Phiaton BT 220 NC earphones came with three different sets of rubber ear inserts, one foam-like material set of ear inserts, one 1/8 inch to micro-USB cable, one USB to micro-USB cable for charging, a lanyard, instruction book, a carrying case, a booklet explaining the warranty, and finally the Phiaton BT 220 NC headphones.

        The Phiaton website states that the noise cancellation blocks 95% ambient background noise, provides the ability use with or without Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless/wired options, apt-X technology for digital streaming efficiency, long battery life, which boasts 16 hours calling time, 17 hours of music listening time, and a whopping 300 hours of standby time.

The Results:

        At first glance, the BT 220 NC unit is very nicely assembled. It has a sturdy, metal clip to attach to your shirt, or coat pocket, which I can see as a potential downfall due to its short length (roughly two foot long), but some may appreciate the shorter length. I turned it on and connected it to my iPod mini. I listened to three songs of different genres, Chicago blues, Metal, and country. The sound quality for all three is excellent. It’s like having speakers in your skull. The music controls are top-notch and it allows for you to mute your music so that you can hear what is going on around you without actually taking the earphones out. This would be an advantage at the gym, at work, or while jogging.

        I connected the Phiaton BT 220 NC, via Bluetooth, to my Android powered Droid Mini and the clarity of the earphones was excellent too. Once again, I am not the most tech-savvy person but for all intents and purposes, I find the BT 220 NC to be an excellent choice for anyone who is actively looking for a good, quality set of noise cancelling earphones. The earphones retail for $189.99 but you can find them for a much better price by doing an on-line search.

         You can learn more about the Phiaton BT 220 NC headphones, and Phiaton’s other line of excellent sound products by visiting www.phiaton.com

11 Interesting College Mascots

        We’ve all had mascots to represent our schools and colleges, and for the most part they are normal creatures, people, or objects that our places of higher education see as a representative. Here are 11 mascots that are a little different than your run of the mill eagle, bear, or wildcat.

Sammy the Slug – Sammy the Slug is the mascot for UC Santa Cruz. He is bright yellow, just like the real banana slug, found on the Redwood forest floor, for which Sammy is based off of. Originally he was an unofficial mascot for the school, and after the students refused to embrace the Sea Lion that was originally the school’s official mascot, they voted Sammy in as the school’s new official mascot in 1986.

The Fighting Pickle – The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) has an interesting mascot to represent their school, The Fighting Pickle. The name was chosen in 1972 via student contest, and The Fighting Pickle was declared the winner.

Fighting Okra – Though Delta State University’s athletics do not embrace this unofficial mascot, the students do. Disregarding their official mascot, The Statesmen, students adopted The Fighting Okra in the late 1980’s. Even though the majority of students there would like to see The Fighting Okra officiated, the university refuses to do so.

Geoducks – Even though Evergreen State College’s mascot has a strange name that suggests that this character is a duck spliced with a geode, it is not. The name itself is not pronounced how it looks, it is actually pronounced “gooey-duck“, and is based off of the Geoduck, an actual clam living in the ocean eco-system of the Pacific Northwest. His most recent costume transformation has had him being referred to as the “Pickle Taco”.

Gompei the Goat – The Worcester Polytechnic Institute mascot/coveted statue has an interesting history. A goat who raised and cared for by a Japanese student named Gompei Kuwada, starting in 1891. The goat was a gift of the class of 1893, but the animal soon was entirely too difficult to maintain. So they did the only thing that seemed to make sense in those days and they beheaded and mounted the thing! Eventually, due to it degrading over the years, it was cast in bronze and mounted on a disproportionately small body.

Charlie Choker – The Grays Harbor College mascot is not based on an individual who is prone to violence, though the name would suggest that he is. The name actually comes from a choke-setter, which is wrapped around a fallen log and then used to pull the log back up steep mountain slopes. So Charlie is just a hefty dude who wraps chokers around logs all day.

Artie the Artichoke –Created by the Scottsdale Community College during a period of student unrest in the early 1970s, Artie the Artichoke was adopted as the school’s mascot as a means express a difference of opinion concerning school budget priorities. Although Artie was started as a source of embarrassment, the school has accepted him and he now holds court as their beloved mascot.

Keggy the Keg – Beer and college? No way! Keggy the Keg is Dartmouth’s unofficial mascot, created in 2003 and debuted at a homecoming football game against Columbia University. The original costume disappeared before the fall term of 2008 and has never been seen or heard from since. His replacement was made and fielded in 2009.

Morty the Eutectic – Although his real name is Mortarmer McPestle, Mort the Eutectic is St. Louis College of Pharmacy’s adored mascot. A common term in Pharmacy, “Eutectic” describes the process of two solids being combined to form a liquid.

 Peter the Anteater – UC Irvine has an interesting mascot, and he is of the ant eating variety. Peter the Anteater is, according to uci.edu, a fifty year old male, who stands 6’9” and is a Sagittarius. Any ladies interested?

Scrotie – For our final look at interesting college mascots, we present you with the oddest yet; Rhode Island School of Design’s mascot is named “Scrotie”. And yes, he looks exactly like you might have thought he would. The Rhode Island School of Design explains that his costume has a bright red color on top blending with royal blue for the testicles.