Stories for May 2005


Monday, May 30

Darkroom poetry

Words and images by LHS students

In the darkroom, images appear on paper that was white just moments before. The same is true for writing. But neither photos nor words materialize magically; both require the vision of a creator. In this case, the artists were photography and creative writing students at Lawrence High School.

Sunday, May 29

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Review: Raze's Hell - Xbox

Gamer's Hell would be more accurate

Absolutely no aspect of the game is particularly impressive. Graphics are extremely bland and uninteresting, and the sound effects sound like they came off a "101 Action Sounds!" CD.

British band bends toward ROCK sound

Stereophonics' tune changes with latest album

Just when you have a fix of where the British rock trio Stereophonics is headed musically, the band pulls a surprise out of the bag - and a very rewarding one at that. After exploring a varied sound that included brass, orchestral, country jazz dashes and heavy blues elements on its past two albums, the Stereophonics discarded much of its sonic baggage for a sharper rock focus on its fifth and latest album, "Language. Sex. Violence. Other?" (V2 Records).

Digging the spirit

Former fossil finder crafts religious icons from dinosaur bones and 'bling bling'

Behold "Jurassic Jesus." The 500-pound sculpture is an example of Alan Detrich's latest passion: crafting religious icons from dinosaur bones, precious metals and tiny transistor parts.

Poet's Showcase


Saturday, May 28

A vicious revolution

British export Kasabian gets 'honest about the world'

Pregnant isn't a word one often uses to describe the current state of a rock band. It is perhaps fitting, though, when it comes to England's latest export, Kasabian. The name derives from Charles Manson's expecting getaway driver, Linda Kasabian. Yet that's not the reason lead singer Tom Meighan declares, "We're pregnant!"

Friday, May 27

Director moves from Kansas to 'Madagascar'

As a child growing up in Prairie Village, Eric Darnell woke at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday mornings even though the cartoons didn't start for another half hour. He sat with a bowl of Cheerios watching "Farm Report," eagerly awaiting the animated toons. Now his childhood love of cartoons has led to a career as an animation director.

Choir takes show on road

Acclaimed youth singing group to visit Lawrence's sister city in Germany

Lydia Long can't wait to be an international ambassador for her hometown of Lawrence. Lydia, a home-schooled seventh-grader, will join about 65 other members of the Lawrence Children's Choir next week on a tour to Germany, including two concerts in Eutin, one of Lawrence's sister cities.

Van Go

Waka Wagon finds unique way to spread the word about Lawrence festival

They don't chase ghosts or share snacks with a talking Great Dane, but they do drive the most distinctive van since the Mystery Machine. They are David and John Barrett - aka Team B.

Film takes wild look at zoo animals

The animals at the Central Park Zoo appear to have a bad gig. They are stuck in the middle of America's most overcrowded city, surrounded by skyscrapers that block out the sun and stars. Instead of frolicking in grasslands and splashing in waterfalls, they are bombarded by the noises of street traffic and drunk Yankees fans.

Thursday, May 26

KU professor has designs on $200M auto dream

Le Mans museum proposal gets go-ahead from race officials

Le Mans auto race officials have approved his design for a new museum. Now all Kansas University professor Dennis Sander needs to do is raise the $200 million to build it.

Wednesday, May 25

Legacy in arts

Longtime KU professor steps down

When Peter Thompson pulled into Lawrence in 1965, he thought his new position as a painting and drawing instructor at Kansas University would be temporary - a mere pit stop in his academic career.

KU theater and film students honored

Lawrence students grabbed the top awards at ceremonies to honor Kansas University theater and film students.

K.C. rapper one of two found dead at Las Vegas construction site

Authorities on Tuesday identified two men who were found dead at a housing tract under construction in a southwest neighborhood, including a Kansas City, Mo., rapper who had been considered a person of interest in last year's shooting death of a San Francisco Bay Area rapper.

Tuesday, May 24

The week that was

Wherein we peruse the news that was new last week...

'Cinderella Man' is a patronizing movie that you will likely not like

Ron Howard has huge balls. His latest movie - Cinderella Man - starts off with this line: "The story of James J. Braddock is the best human interest story in the history of the sport of boxing."

Boom! Whack!

Experimental instruments are thumping a happy tune in classrooms nationwide

All right, children, take out your musical instruments. Now slam them on the floor. Use them as weapons in a saber fight. Ride them like a hobbyhorse. Hit them hard against your head.

Punk rock fest

Vans Warped on the road again

The Vans Warped tour has become a venerable traveling punk rock circus as it heads into its 11th year, with a lineup of more than 85 bands on six stages that includes The Offspring, Fall Out Boy and even the veteran punk rocker Billy Idol on select dates.

Monday, May 23

My Big Fat Cheap Wedding

Local couples save money and stress with non-traditional weddings

No two marriages are ever alike. From Catholic churches to county courthouses to five-star resorts - the only constants are the bonds (hopefully) remaining after multiple weeks of madness. Throughout the years, however, one technique has endured as the ultimate pill for nuptial-induced stress: Improvisation.

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Kruizin' for a cause

Hot-rod and rockabilly festival to benefit local charities

Big Daddy Cadillac is about to live up to his name. The owner of the downtown tattoo parlor - real name Stacy Daugherty - is roping in 200 of the nation's finest hot rods for this weekend's "Kruizin' the Heartland" car show and rockabilly fest. The main event takes place Saturday at the Pow Wow Grounds of Haskell Indian Nations University, where the car show will be flanked by a live music stage and BBQ vendors.

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Solagget, "The Delivery"

Wichita is on the rise. The scene known for the last 10 years mostly for yielding Split Lip Rayfield, is fielding some damn good bands lately: Ricky Fitts, Pink Nasty, and - today's shocker - Solagget.

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The Pomonas, "Jubilation" EP

Singer/songwriter Justin Ripley is the brains and shaggy hair behind The Pomonas, a new local outfit that also includes brother Brandon Ripley, Ryan Laird (also of Chemical Ali), and Andy Gassaway - a quartet of multi-instrumentalists.

Sunday, May 22

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Review: Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones - GBA

Deep, colorful and vast, Stones enhances the series like it should

The game does everything you would want from a video game: it has depth, strategic thinking, the story immerses you into the world and the characters are unique and just as deep as the gameplay.

Poet's Showcase


Books create safe place for youths

Three Coretta Scott King illustrator honorees bring their talents to books that speak directly to the human spirit. Although the issue of color is hardly absent from these books, the emphasis is more general, focused on what makes children comfortable with themselves.

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Aiming low

Big boys who dunk on short goals say there's no shame in their game

Grant Randall isn't an imposing guy. At 5 feet 8 inches tall and 160 pounds, he'd be no match for Wayne Simien, battling under the net against Kansas University's former big man. During his four years as a KU undergraduate, Randall never stood a chance of stepping into the spotlight during a Jayhawk game at Allen Fieldhouse and hearing the roar of the crowd as he sank a basket.

Saturday, May 21

Lied Center, artist to be honored

Governor's Arts Awards winners will be recognized today

A celebrated Lawrence artist and a local venue that draws performers from the far reaches of the world will be recognized today with Kansas Governor's Arts Awards.

Friday, May 20

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Pimpin rides

Lawrence's Art Tougeau parade is a colorful, kooky non sequitur on wheels

The Art Tougeau Parade is a Lawrence rarity - a community happening that's neither a fund-raiser for a worthy cause nor a political statement. It's done for the sheer joy of pursuing wackiness for its own sake. Call it what you like - words like silly, inspired and hilarious come to mind. The colorful, kooky parade is a non sequitur on wheels.

KU playwright earns Daytime Emmy nod for 'Paz'

Although playwright James Still has explored the dark depths of the soul in his plays "And Then They Came for Me" and "The Velocity of Gary," he has received the most widespread attention for fathering a talking penguin puppet. Still, a Pomona native and 1982 Kansas University theater graduate, is the creator of "Paz."

Keeping Score

'Renaissance man' Karl Ramberg combines love of art and music for solo exhibition

When Karl Ramberg is jamming in his front room on his electric guitar, he's not thinking about notes on a page. He's just feeling the music, working out his moods in melodies. After about 10 minutes of improv, he heads to his drawing studio, plays back what he just recorded and riffs off the tune with charcoal, pastels and pencil.

Lawrence fan indulges 'Star Wars' fixation as 'fem trooper'

George Lucas created "Star Wars" as a movie for kids. More than two decades after the release of the first film, those kids haven't exactly gotten too big for the universe.

Generations of area fans cherish 'Star Wars'

It's not just 12-year-olds buying lightsaber toys and standing in ticket lines for hours to get a peek at the latest "Star Wars" flick. It's college students, moms, dads, grandpas and grandmas.

Thursday, May 19

Chat transcript with Jon Niccum

Film critic discusses Star Wars Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith

Welcome to our online chat with Jon Niccum, Journal-World entertainment editor, about Star Wars. The chat took place on Thursday, May 19, at 1:00 PM and is now closed, but you can read the full transcript on this page.

KU students generate junkyard finds into mobile art

Jon Dubin had it made. The Kansas University freshman from Denver sat back in an old, food-stained recliner and relaxed, surrounded by empty taco wrappers and pizza boxes. He wore a stuffed white T-shirt, which gave him an obese appearance. The T-shirt was covered with ketchup stains and French fries. On his head was an empty chicken bucket.

Wednesday, May 18

'Sith' is actually a pretty kickass movie

Everybody knows how it is going to end. But what "Star Wars" fans are dying to know is precisely how it all unfolds. Or, more specifically, what terrible deeds will Anakin Skywalker carry out on his way to becoming Darth Vader?

Open call for new KU "logo" submissions


Be the best! Send us your version of the new KU logo.

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Review: Forza Motorsport - Xbox

Microsoft scores with its answer to Gran Turismo

It is completely evident where the developers spent the vast majority of their time -- on the cars and physics. These are great places to spend time on a racing game, but it leaves other elements out to dry.

'Star Wars' saga concludes with plunge into dark side

Once considered a bad guy as thematically black as the costume that encases him, Vader has become the dominant figure in the "Star Wars" series. He is its hero; its villain; its centerpiece.

'Star Wars' fans feeling the Force

Expect Wookiee wannabes at midnight showings

For $100 or more, Kyle Billings can help you dress exactly like Darth Vader for tonight's premiere of the sixth and last "Star Wars" movie.

Restaurants offering leftovers for hungry

Shortly after 11 p.m., they come walking down the alley. Rain or shine, warm weather or freezing cold, people appear every night at closing time near the back entrance to Rudy's Pizzeria, 704 Mass. Employees bring out a stack of uneaten pizzas and set them on the brick wall that surrounds the alley trash bin.

Tuesday, May 17

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Review: Wario Ware Twisted! - GBA

Hands down the most addicting Wario Ware title to date

Sure, the main game is short, but the unlockables and sheer addictive quality will make Twisted last longer than any other Wario Ware title to date.

The week that was

Wherein we peruse the news that was new last week...

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Review :: The Esoteric, "With the Sureness of Sleepwalking"

Even if you wouldn't touch metal with a ten foot pole, you still have to bask in amazement all slack-jawed and yokel-eyed when you see The Esoteric play. Because when these guys are on, they are ON. And come to think of it, they're never really off.

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Review: Haunting Ground - PS2

Putting the "survival" back in survival horror

With some tweaks to the puzzle system and some more varied gameplay, I could see Haunting Ground becoming an extremely solid survival horror franchise.

A man of his words

Ex-Jayhawk Watkins making impression as poet

The message is clear, yet hidden. Debatable yet convincing. His 6-foot-4, 290-pound frame only adds to the power in which he tells it. With his mind, his mouth, his emotions and, most of all, his beliefs, Travis Watkins has stayed front-and-center in the spotlight, even though his Kansas University football playing days are done.

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May the Force make this movie not suck

Lifelong Star Wars superfans pray for "Revenge of the Sith" to redeem prodigal franchise

Greg Scott has all the markings of a rational fellow. He holds down a steady job as a host at Free State Brewery; he's a black belt in tae kwon do; he talks in complete sentences and uses five-dollar words like "visceral." But now - as the dawn of a new Episode approaches - Scott's rationality has fallen prey to the Dark Side. In its place: a Star Wars Force FX lightsaber.

Monday, May 16

For the ages

Clubs getting hip to 18-and-over concerts

Marshall Rake knows what it's like to be one of the only teens in a 21-to-enter bar with big black Xs on his hands, signifying that he won't be drinking.

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Review: Psychonauts - Xbox

One of the most refreshing, original titles of the year

In a world filled with rehashes and cheap market cash-ins Psychonauts stands out from the crowd for a number of reasons (unique style, presentation, characters, offbeat humor and story), but none so important as this: it's original.

Generations of Star Wars geeks wanted!

With the premiere of "Star Wars: Episode III The Revenge of the Sith," the finale of the George Lucas saga, set for Thursday, Journal-World entertainment editor Jon Niccum wants to know how the Force has brought generations in your household together.

Sunday, May 15

Former Green Beret shares leadership message in book

Eudora resident reflects on 20-year career

Inside the stifling tent somewhere in the Saudia Arabian desert, the American Green Beret and the Egyptian soldier had been engaged for several minutes in an intense arm wrestling bout.

Friday, May 13

Dancers dazzling in tap-happy '42nd Street'

The touring company of "42nd Street" rocked a sold-out Lied Center on Wednesday evening, giving the enthusiastic audience a pleasant refresher course in the big American musical.

Jane Fonda brings 'Monster-in-Law' to life

A loudmouthed DJ warming up the crowd before an advance screening of "Monster-in-Law" in Kansas City broke the ice with a few questions. "Who's here to see Jennifer Lopez?" Dead silence. "OK. Who's here to see Jane Fonda?" Thunderous applause.

Message in a bottle

Film sparks Lawrence wine interest

The secret's out of the bottle: Lawrence has become a wine lover's town. And, based on interviews with people in the Lawrence restaurant and liquor business, a good deal of the credit for the boom of interest in wine goes to the film "Sideways."

Thursday, May 12

Kicking and Screaming is hilarious

"Kicking and Screaming" is aimed at kids, but adults will enjoy, too. In fact, much of the film's snarky humor may be lost on most children.

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Review: Wrestlemania 21 - Xbox

Wrestlemania titles should feature wrestlers, not bugs.

Wrestlemania 21 may be the most buggy, unfinished and downright unplayable title of this generation of systems. I usually have a lot to say about any game I play, but WM21 almost puts me at a total loss for words.

Band prepares for Independent Music World Series playoffs

While the chances of the Kansas City Royals making the World Series are about as likely as hitting a superfecta ticket at the Kentucky Derby, there is one area team that is heading to a similar finale.

Wednesday, May 11

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Review: Guild Wars - PC

Oh social life, where hath thee gone?

... an enormous campaign that can easily span 100+ hours, a dedicated section that is only player versus player, a vibrant and engaging community right now, no monthly fees, and the promise of more content.

Tuesday, May 10

The week that was

Wherein we peruse the news that was new last week...

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No money, no problems

SoundsGood hits paydirt with 'Biscuits and Gravy'

Contrary to popular belief, Miles Bonny and Joe Good are not millionaires. They financed their new album "Biscuits and Gravy" with hand-to-hand CD sales and day jobs, and they certainly don't have a label like No Limit or Aftermath saturating every street corner with glossy posters of blinged-out booties cruising borrowed Bentleys.

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Wrapped up like a Duft

Conner's frontman dishes the dirt on 'Hello Graphic Missile'

While the rest of the rock world binges on Pro Tools and Prozac, Conner has been holed up in a home studio equipped with tube amps and a smoking-ban ban. Guitarist Tom Wagner's backyard playground (properly known as Underground Sounds) serves as the band's de facto Abbey Road - a place to get lost, watch some "King of Hill" reruns and just maybe make a hit record.

Review: "Spanking the Donkey"

Fear and spanking on the campaign trail

When I learned about Matt Taibbi's new book, "Spanking the Donkey," I wondered what it would take to convince me to revisit my media-heavy fall of 2004. I definitely would not have read a book that recapped my own interpretation of the campaign. Luckily, Taibbi is not very much like me

Monday, May 9

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Pipe dreams

Lawrence skaters organize art show to fundraise for skate park addition

Craig Stucky doesn't know where he'd hang out if it weren't for the skate park at Centennial Park.

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Review: Donkey Konga 2 - Gamecube

Less Nintendo, more TRL makes for a mixed follow-up

I can't help feeling it could be so much more. Konga entirely ignores the rich Nintendo heritage that they played homage to in the original Konga, and replaced it with some very sub-par songs.

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Review: Resident Evil Outbreak File #2 - PS2

Not exactly what Outbreak fans were hoping for

RE is not a run-and-shoot game. If this were the case, I can understand chat not being needed. Hopefully Capcom is saving the game's big leap with a real sequel and not another expansion pack.

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Chained melody

Inmate's introspective song serves as apology, anthem

Essex Sims may have fired the shot that killed a rival gang member. Then again, he may not have. A lot of people were shooting that night.

Lyrics cover range of regrets

Lyrics to "I Wish I Never Hurt You" by Essex Sims

Sunday, May 8

Bluegrass takes root at Potter Lake

There was no big-name headliner, no huge stage, no hill packed with Kansas University students blowing off finals-week steam.

Saturday, May 7

Grinding it out

Artist's coffee-on-canvas paintings look like sepia photos

Chanisa Arthachinda loves shots of industrial-strength espresso, but not for the usual reasons. It isn't the taste that she craves, nor is she addicted to the energizing jolt of caffeine the stuff instantly delivers to coffee drinkers. Instead, she paints with it.

Friday, May 6

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Review: Area 51 - PS2, Xbox

A better-than-average FPS that delivers a handful of truly memorable moments

Overall, the ten hours of the story mode prove to be full of four or five memorable moments that are totally worth a once-through, if you have the patience to sit through an otherwise average, but polished, shooter.

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Review: Jade Empire - Xbox

Bioware scores with another fun, engaging RPG

Repetitive combat and week-long load times aside, this is an excellent RPG for the casual role-player. While it may lack some of the depth seen in other games of its kind, it is also a much faster paced game. All in all, Jade Empire is one of the last great games for a system whose days are numbered.

Garage sale to feature Burroughs memorabilia

The last time she counted, Patricia Elliott Marvin had about 30 boxes of books, posters, drawings and other assorted leftovers from the Beat Generation. "I want to get down (to) two boxes," Marvin said Thursday while sorting through a pile of William S. Burroughs paperbacks, many of them signed by her good friend, the author.

'Kingdom of Heaven' launches successful crusade

Perhaps the only way for a Hollywood film to diplomatically depict a conflict between Christians and Muslims is by setting the story nearly 1,000 years ago. "Kingdom of Heaven" is about as "fair and balanced" in this respect as one should expect from a post-9/11 release.

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Something cool for the kids

Local songwriters devote grown-up skills to children's music

Matt Pryor has a secret identity. At night, he's the singer-guitarist of The New Amsterdams, a Lawrence pop-rock band that's toured the globe and performed such coveted slots as "The Late Show with David Letterman." By day, he's a mild-mannered dad who composes songs involving owls and chocolate milk.

Wednesday, May 4

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Review: Obscure - PS2, Xbox

Does the budget survival horror come close to its AAA peers?

The biggest problem with the game is that it does not immerse you into the world. You'll end up hating the characters and possibly dying on purpose just so their annoying stereotypical personalities will cease to exist. The story is lame and cliched, so there's no urge in wanting to progress there. The gameplay is not addicting either. Normally for $50 this would be a no brainer, but having the retail price at $20 will turn some heads, as it should. It's a decent bargain for a night of gaming with a friend.

Monday, May 2

Lead voices soar in KU's action-packed 'Candide'

Voltaire's "Candide" came to life once again in Kansas University's Crafton-Preyer Theatre in the form of Leonard Bernstein's 1956 musical. Pirates, Jesuits, singing sheep, slave drivers, randy rulers and a collection of fine voices made the hour and 45 minutes -- without intermission -- pass quickly and enjoyably.

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Review: The Prarie Acre, "Bluegrass Motor Mart"

Not seeking to reinvent the wheel, The Prairie Acre delivers solid bluegrass in the Monroe/Stanley lineage.

The week that was

Wherein we peruse the news that was new last week...

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Review: Scroatbelly, "Daddy's Farm" (Bloodshot Records reissue)

Bloodshot has just rereleased Scroatbelly's classic 1996 release "Daddy's Farm." Then again, "classic" is a matter of taste, and when it comes to anything related to Split Lip Rayfield, "taste" is a matter of how one feels about murder, incest, domestic abuse, excessive drinking and country music.

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Bringing the war home

From Latin America to Lawrence, local activists shoulder the weight of global struggles

"For being such a small town, there's so many people with their hearts in the right places doing a lot of really positive things," Jessop says. You don't just care about women and you don't just care about poverty - you care about women, poverty, the environment and how can you fight all those fronts at once. A lot of people spread themselves very thin."

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Review: Unreal Championship 2: The Liandri Conflict - Xbox

Severe beatings abound!

It has been a lifelong dream of mine (well, more like a dream of mine ever since I played Ninja Gaiden for Xbox ... the "lifelong" thing just makes it sound more dramatic) to be able to switch to third person and put a severe whuppin' on my enemies in a first-person shooter. Behold, Unreal Championship 2: My dream come true.