Elsewhere in the university system: Barack Obama, grand pianos, broken penises, spontaneous combustion and Bill Murray

Every once in a while we like to check in on other state schools, just to see what they’re up to. Sometimes, for example, they’re spending half a million dollars on 32 Steinway pianos, and other times they’re doing research on the most common causes of penile fractures (it’s infidelity, and yes, there is an “audible crack.”)

This week in particular has seen some considerable action in the university system. On Saturday, the Obama family attended a Towson University basketball game — and rooted against Towson. The Baltimore Sun has a photo gallery from the evening that you should check out; our editors tell us “stealing wire service photos for blog posts” is against the rules, but here’s a hint at ONE of the better pictures:

CLICK. CLICK ON THE LINK.

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Footage discovered showing UMD actually winning football games

In a breakthrough effort that spans 477 reels of footage dating back as far as 1946, the University Archives have unearthed and digitized evidence that the Terps football team has, in fact, won a football game.

The library system’s Digital Collections now includes film of games from between the end of World War II and 1979, in addition to some footage from the 80s in which Terps not only won, but smacked down the amazing, spectacular, dirty rotten Miami Hurricanes in spectacular fashion.

It was Nov. 10, 1984. The Terps were in their first season after the graduation of star quarterback Boomer Esiason, and they were down 31-0 by halftime against the Hurricanes. Starting QB Stan Gelbaugh was replaced by Frank Reich, who proceeded to complete 12 of 15 passes for 260 yards in what became a 42-40 victory that was at the time the largest comeback in NCAA history.

The History Channel has a thrilling post about the game that includes an awesome, unsourced anecdote about how angry the team was:

In the first two quarters of the game, Miami out-gained the Terps 328 yards to 57 and ran up their 31-point lead–but they didn’t do it graciously. “The comeback never would’ve happened if it had not been for the attitude of the Miami Hurricanes,” one Maryland player remembered. “No question about it. Those guys were the biggest cheap-shot, trash-talking, classless outfit of football players I’ve ever seen in my life.” He added: “You can almost take getting beat if a team is kicking your butts and they’re doing it cleanly. And there was no question that they were kicking our butts in the first half. But that team made us mad, and it gave us a little extra incentive.” And the Terps dug in their heels.

(The unnamed player was kicker Jess Atkinson, speaking to the Washington Post several years after the game.)

The University Archives has all the footage (disregard the incorrect date):

To see the rest of the videos, university archivist Anne Turkos says to search for “football,” “bowl” and “film” in the “University AlbUM.” Included in the list is a September 1950 game that, in addition to being the first one played in Byrd Stadium, has some crazy footage of the empty fields that North Campus used to be.

Blog wisdom from the woman who ran across the country

Over the weekend, while you were still sleeping off your pumpkin pie coma, College Park had a fleeting encounter with an unusual human being — a human being who, rather than floating around, drifting according to the whims of fate, has decided to find fate, wrestle it to the ground and strangle it to death. She is a Maker of Gestures. A Doer of Things.

Her name is Sarah Emoto. She graduated from college in the spring. Sarah ran to College Park — from the Pacific Ocean. She has recently been running well more than a marathon per day on her trek, “dedicated to the brave men and women who selflessly serve our country: the law enforcement officers, members of the Armed Forces, and firefighters.”

And, luckily for us, she’s got a blog. We wrote about her earlier today, but in many ways her own words tell the story in a way we can’t. So here are some of the most interesting bits from her road dispatches since the journey started months ago:

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College grad faces unemployment, runs across country instead

By Leah Villanueva
Staff writer

Some people graduate from college with no idea what their next endeavor will be. That wasn’t the case for Sarah Emoto, who decided to run across the country. For fun.

Emoto, who graduated from the University of Redlands in California last spring, ran through College Park along Route 1 Saturday afternoon, marking day 125 of her coast-to-coast run from California to New York.

“Life’s short, I don’t have time to think about whether or not I have time to take a few months and run to New York.  It’s a no-brainer.  Plus I don’t exactly have a better plan,” she wrote on her blog in June. “Running 3,000 miles seems like a good use of time for my college-educated, unemployed self.  The bad economy, the competitive job market, the ‘what do I want to DO with my life’ question, they’ll all still be there when I’m done.  Right now I might as well lace up my shoes and live a little.”

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Occupy Wall Street protesters walk 200 miles, eat at Co-op

A traveling contingent of Occupy Wall Street protesters came through the campus yesterday as part of their two-week odyssey from New York City to Washington, D.C., stopping at the Maryland Food Co-Op to eat and spend time speaking with students from this university.

The 25 “Occupy the Highway” marchers were cobbled together from various protests on the 200-plus mile trek from Zuccotti Park, the now-famous square in Manhattan’s Financial District that played host to the genesis of the grassroots anti-corporatism movement that has now spread across the country. Two students joined the group at the Co-op and continued on with them.

“I find it really amazing that they would take the energy — it’s a logistical nightmare to walk over 230 miles,” said sophomore geography major Jordan Tessler, a member of Occupy UMD. “Especially in the middle of November, it’s just really inspiring.”

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Would you like a fugitive with your shooting and three robberies?

Accused murderer Frederick Lawrence Scott was allowed to walk out of a Prince George's County jail Nov. 10.

It wasn’t a great week in Prince George’s County for anyone without a set of chain-mail pajamas: First, two men were robbed outside of Cornerstone Grill and Loft. Then, a 19-year-old student was robbed at knife-point on the campus. Then, there was an armed robbery on Route 1 in what police are saying turned out to be a drug deal gone awry.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there — an early-morning argument at the College Park Days Inn ended in gunfire Sunday, and then police announced the big, scary icing on the terrifying cake of mayhem and destruction: They accidentally released an accused murderer from jail. Continue reading

TXTual Healing, oh baby, makes me feel so fine

By Laura Blasey
For The Diamondback

(Photo by Charlie Deboyace/The Diamondback)

Whoever “ryan ben and amer” are, the Art-Sociology Building wished them a happy birthday yesterday.

The side of the building was given a voice by Chicago artist Paul Notzold, who brought his “TXTual Healing” project to the campus last night. The event was organized by the Digital Cultures and Creativity program in the university’s Honors College and Professor Jason Farman’s mobile media culture class.

Since 2005, Notzold has been touring the country with his TXTual Healing exhibition, in which speech bubbles and images are projected onto the sides of buildings and on-lookers are encouraged to respond by sending a text message to a phone number revealed at the event. At last night’s event, the speech bubbles were filled with everything from Saturday Night Live quotations to cephalopod-related “Occupy” protest puns to sentences that began with “In Soviet Russia…” Continue reading