Category Archives: Edge

OPUS rocks Bosco Student Plaza

The 28th annual OPUS Battle of the Bands Competition, hosted by the Union Program Council, took place last Friday evening in Bosco Student Plaza.

Rocking K-State since 1986, OPUS provides a chance for local artists to gain recognition, cash prizes and an opportunity to record at Chapman Studios located in Kansas City, Missouri. Bands are judged in four categories: originality of music, vocal ability, instrumental ability and overall musical appeal. The seven bands that competed revealed the best in Manhattan’s local music scene.

“OPUS is a great way to kick off the semester and bring local bands in the community together,” Zach Bailey, junior in entrepreneurship and UPC music co-chair, said.

Featured acts were wide-ranging in genre and performance styles, providing an exciting four-hour concert. The OPUS experience includes rock, rap and the ever popular experimental sounds of local bands.

The soulful and smooth Whooligans garnered a strong reaction from the crowd with their bluesy tune “Favorite Color.” The song had a smooth groove and was easy on the ears, just like their entire performance.

“It’s about that guy that never let’s you know what’s up,” lead singer Aliyah Leana said, giving insight into the song. “Everyone relates to it.”

The only rap act of the night, John Deterding as “Whyte Lyte,” stood out with his unapologetic positivity and crowd-pleasing rendition of B.O.B. and Paramore’s “Airplanes.”

K-State alumna Hope Burke made the trip back to campus to see the newest local acts in Manhattan.

“OPUS is always a great time,” Burke said. “I was lucky enough to be in town and couldn’t miss it.”

The vocal prowess of Jade Archetype stood out with a voice that was never difficult to listen to, even when lead singer Alexa Sharp branched off into a short rap verse. Their performance put them up against the soulful vocals of the Whooligans.

As Parallel Path took the stage, they immediately became a force to be reckoned with. At the end of the night, they walked away with a well-deserved third place. Their evolving sound throughout their performance included a saxophone on a Spanish jam performed by Bondy Valdovinos-Kaye (another K-State alumnus who performed in local Joshua Jay and the Nighthawks in last years OPUS) had a closing atmospheric rock song that showed off their musical skills.

Wax Eye was a main contender with a performance that took second place, ahead of Parallel Path. Wax Eye was an obvious favorite with a sound that moved the crowd and elicited the most engagement from the local music fans at Bosco Plaza.

Vick G. Trio took first place and rightfully so. Their performance was solid from start to finish with lead Vik Govindarajan’s mastery of the piano intriguing the audience and forcing them to move to Trio’s soulful sound. Bassist Andrew Shaw and drummer Danny Peete, senior in marketing, were each impressive in their own right, but as a unit they commanded a musical prowess that stole the show.

Slightly sarcastic horoscopes from Madame LoCoco

Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22):

When going out with friends, choose an outfit that says something about who you are, such as, “My entire personality is a tacky dumpster of cliches.”

Scorpio (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21):

You could be taken aback by a situation that pops up unexpectedly. Have a talk with your roommate about not buying those gross unfrosted PopTarts.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 21):

Tensions arise in your personal life. Try yoga to relax.

Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19):

You could feel strange about demands that are being made of you. Avoid downward dog and a visibly distraught Sagittarius.

Aquarius (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18):

If you choose to take a backseat, be sure to check the cab driver’s license.

Pisces (Feb. 19 – March 20):

Let go of what is no longer working for you. If the horse is dead, dismount. Or at the very least, beat it hard enough that its incessant twitching might have a shot at imitating life.

Aries (March 21 – April 19):

You might want to check over your official enrollment a little more carefully, Aries. Your major is listed as, “American History” not, “Embarrassing Histrionics,” though the latter might be a bit better suited to your faculties.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20):

You often practice turning the other cheek when others do you wrong, but only because your intended comeback was too cruel and you’ve decided to let them live … for now.

Gemini (May 21 – June 20):

You display an unusual knack for identifying people who may become mean and nasty under pressure. The mean and nasty can always readily identify the meaner and nastier, after all.

Cancer (June 21 – July 22):

You may need to clear the air with a specific person or possibly a group of people. Apologize for eating all that Thai food yesterday.

Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22):

Your new gig as a nude art model might not go as smoothly planned, primarily because you were never invited, but also because it’s a pottery class and they’re making ceramic coffee mugs.

Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22):

You may aid in a scientific discovery this week when a team of research biologists cordons off your apartment to investigate an old Tupperware container in your fridge for evidence.

(Sahil Arora | The Collegian)

Identity crisis in the Ville

You know you’re in the Aggieville when even the restaurants have multiple TVs, all featuring sports. Upon entering the Dancing Ganesha, located at 712 N. Manhattan Ave., I thought I accidentally walked into another nondescript bar found in the area. Aside from the tables in the front, the Indian restaurant features a large bar in the back.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the necessity of serving alcohol in a bar district. However, if the food stands so well on its own, it’s a shame to think it might not take precedence over the liquor. It came as a shock to me just how satisfying their offerings are.

I visited on a quiet Sunday afternoon, a time when the normal Aggieville crowd is at home nursing hangovers from the night before. The restaurant offers separate lunch and dinner menus, each one with a diverse selection.

The interior of the restaurant features contemporary decor. Dim lighting contributes to the ambiance, though I did find it a little disconcerting as I was seated at the bar. I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting much from an Indian restaurant in Aggieville – besides a quick trip to the restroom immediately after the meal. Plus, I know how terrible most bar food is. Would I be served the equivalent here?

For those who have never had Indian cuisine, a lot of dishes make use of thick sauces made from yogurt or cream. Staple foods include vegetarian options and the use of curries, a combination of spices sometimes used to bring spicy heat to a meal.

A true test of any Indian restaurant is chicken tikka masala. The dish, a staple of any Indian restaurant, can be made in a number of different ways. I found their version to be Americanized, mild yet pleasant with a number of spices that accent the flavor rather than overpower it.

Two slices of naan, a crispy yet chewy flatbread, are served with meals. Although the naan was satisfying on its own, it was perfect when dipped in sauce. My only complaint is the small portions of naan served with a meal. I found myself wanting a lot more naan and less of the basmati long-grain rice.

The other dish sampled was the shrimp mango curry. Large prawns and slices of onions filled the bowl, swimming in a thick, sweet and spicy sauce. The concoction was phenomenal. The obvious sweetness of the mango was contained by the mild heat of the curry. A couple seconds after the tongue tasted the mango, the aftertaste consisted of spicy goodness that combined with the lingering sugary sauce.

Perhaps the biggest surprise was the quality of their mango pudding. Generous pieces of mango are submerged in a light, uncongealed sweet pudding, leading to a natural sweetness that wasn’t overpowering. The prices are fairly reasonable as well. For a lunch for two, the bill came to just a little more than $22.

I highly recommend the Dancing Ganesha. If you have ever been there and never tried the food, you’re only cheating yourself out of a great experience.

Jon Parton is a junior in mass communications.

Behind the scenes with UPC’s OPUS

Each year, the Union Program Council plans over 180 events on campus for students and community members alike, featuring entertainment ranging from the annual Rocky Horror Picture Show to the recent and hugely popular Lindsey Stirling concert.

One such UPC event is the OPUS Band Competition, where local K-State student bands have a chance to showcase their original art.

OPUS is organized and executed each year by UPC’s music committee made up of three student co-chairs, each responsible for the success or failure of the event.

When planning each event, the students have to manage the budget, brainstorm promotional ideas, reserve the appropriate spaces and equipment, as well as fulfill other various tasks that may pop up.

In the case of OPUS, these factors prove to be no easy task. Frequently, event planning starts months in advance.

“We started (planning OPUS) out last May, by writing out the applications for bands and creating fliers for the event,” Zach Bailey, junior in entrepreneurship and UPC music co-chair, said. “We reached out to bands over the summer, and once school started we began promoting the event more on campus to students.”

Murphy’s Law, which states, “Anything that can go wrong, will,” frequently prevails when it comes to event planning. Between worrying about potential issues like weather conditions, waiting for emails, filling out the proper paperwork and hoping enough volunteers show up to help at an event, student event planners in UPC learn quickly to adapt to change as it comes.

To Arthur White, junior in marketing and UPC music co-chair, the most difficult part in planning this year’s OPUS was the anticipation for deadlines.

“Many of the bands this year waited until the day applications were due to turn them in, and we were worried no one was going to apply to perform,” White said.

For many students, the challenges of balancing an extracurricular event-planning life with school and work are often burdensome, but are still well worth the effort.

“I like getting the campus to come together as a community and a family,” Lauren Sokolosky, junior in social work and UPC music co-chair said. “K-State prides itself on it’s family atmosphere, and I like being at the heart of it.”

CamScanner is a college student must-have

There are very few apps that I use regularly, and CamScanner is one of them. As the name suggests, CamScanner uses my phone’s built-in camera like a scanner. You photograph a document, then it squares up the edges so the end result doesn’t have the perspective warping problem that a regular photo would have.

I have spent way too much time in the past trying to hover my camera directly above a drawing and aim perpendicularly to get a usable, squarish photo. Now, CamScanner does the work for me.

I’m majoring in architecture, so the use of CamScanner is obvious to me. It helps me quickly save drawings and sketches without the usual perspective problem of a camera. I don’t have to take every single drawing to the library if I want a digital copy. In fact, the night I discovered CamScanner was the night before a studio deadline; I desperately needed to scan a line drawing and put it into Photoshop. But the library was closed for the night, so CamScanner came to my rescue.

Even if your academic field doesn’t require you to draw, CamScanner is great for keeping quick records. If you’ve ever taken a photo of a syllabus, a flyer or a list of phone numbers and email addresses, you can do better than the plain camera.

“I’m really impressed with the interface,” Nick Nelson, graduate student in architecture, said. “It’s obvious that someone put time into making this usable. The app makes a guess for itself, and it usually does a good job, but the corners are wonderfully easy to adjust if it’s a little off.”

I passed my phone around studio for my classmates to try, and no one had any difficulty getting a good scan of our latest project statement or a page from a sketchbook.

“I’m totally going to start digitizing my sketchbook,” Kevin Perks, graduate student in architecture, said. “My scanner is the slowest thing ever, and it’s too much hassle to go to the library every time I draw something, but this is actually easy. How have I never heard of this app?”

CamScanner can’t work magic with a lousy camera. That said, smartphone cameras are getting better all the time. The camera on my old Motorola Droid 4 was good enough to get a clear, readable scan of any 8.5-by-12-inch sheet of paper, and my new Droid Maxx’s camera has already proven itself on ink drawings 18 inches across.

After the initial scan, you also have a few color-enhancing options. “Lighten” and “black and white” work well for line drawings or text, and “magic color” is a generally good, quick enhancer for color drawings if you’re not planning to touch it up in Photoshop. The app also has brightness and contrast sliders, but I would have preferred a few sliders like Photoshop’s levels adjustment tool. Still, the color enhancements get the job done.

Creating multi-page documents is possible, but the way to do it isn’t perfectly intuitive. I sometimes mess it up or accidentally combine multiple scans that I didn’t want to. But once I have a document created, the “share” command makes it easy and convenient to access through email, Dropbox, Google Drive, Cubby, etc.

On the whole, CamScanner is a solid, usable app that I will happily keep around. It’s not a miracle worker, but it’s easy. Anyone who ever needs to save a drawing or graphic will find the app quick and convenient, and any student who scans an assignment for reference will be glad they did.

Brian Hampel is a graduate student in architecture.