University professor accused of impersonating that guy from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Business school students probably recognize business professor Peter Morici by his dated bow ties and large wire-framed glasses. He even graced cable TV over the summer as a spokesman for Kyocera-brand copy machines and printers, sporting his signature look.
But unfortunately for Kyocera, the economist’s fashion flair provoked the wrath of Ben Stein, the monotone  economics teacher from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Stein — whose slew of other credits include America’s Most Smartest Model, Game Show Moments Gone Bananas and Clear Eyes commercials — sued Kyocera earlier this month, alleging the “impersonation” breached his own contract with the company and caused emotional distress, according to Reuters. Stein apparently alleged that Kyocera executives replaced him in the ad because of his views on global warming.

According to his university biography, Morici directed the U.S. International Trade Commission’s  Office of Economics and penned 18 books and monographs — scholarly articles on a single topic, in wonk-terms.

But that credibility is little match for Stein, who starred “in a famous scene in a famous movie and really is an economist,” the lawsuit states. Stein is seeking $300,000 — the price tag for his original contract — in addition to “attorney fees, court costs and punitive damages,” Reuters reports.

Although Morici declined to comment on the case or his acting chops, he said he didn’t receive a makeover before appearing on screen.

“Let me just say, I look in the commercial as I have on TV for many years (bow tie and all),” he wrote in an email. “You need only do a google video search to verify.”

— Rebecca Lurye

From the stacks: Comedian Mitch Hedberg died two weeks after performing on the campus

Student fans of comedian Mitch Hedberg likely know many of his jokes by heart — “I do not know my AA-BB-CC’s. God God dammit dammit” — but one fact is less well-known: Hedberg performed on this campus just two weeks before he died.

In this week’s edition of From The Stacks, where Campus Drive takes you back to some of the most absurd and hilarious articles printed in The Diamondback over the last 102 years, former staff writers Michael Barnett and Megan Watzin talk to students about Hedberg’s second-to-last performance in March 2005.

Comedian Mitch Hedberg, who performed at the university about two weeks ago, died Wednesday in a New Jersey motel.

His performance to a sold-out crowd of 1,000 in the Grand Ballroom was the second-to-last venue he performed at before failing to appear multiple times at a comedy club in Richmond, Va. He was scheduled to perform through this weekend at the Baltimore Improv.

Media outlets across the country reported that he suffered a heart attack Wednesday night, but the cause of the heart attack was unknown.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that his rushed performance at the university, where he read from notes and wrote jokes down on note cards, was indicative of a larger problem concerning his erratic touring schedule, though some students argue that it was part of his routine.

Others noticed something seemed off.

“I thought he was faster than normal with his delivery,” said Brian Klenk, a freshman education major. “He was my favorite comic — he brought something very different to the stage.”

Linah Lubin, a spokeswoman for Student Entertainment Events, which arranged for Hedberg to come, recalls meeting Hedberg after his show on the campus.

“We had a meet and greet after the show,” said Lubin. “ I had actually met him at a show before several years ago, and I think the way that he talks while he is on stage delivering his jokes and the way he acts in person are very similar.”

Hedberg was known for his quick one-liners and observational humor. He had appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman 10 times, frequently on The Howard Stern Show and was labeled the “next Seinfeld” by Time magazine.

He was open about drug use in his acts, saying “I used to do drugs. I still do drugs. But I used to, too.”

Hedberg is survived by his wife, comedienne Lynn Shawcroft.

Check Campus Drive next Sunday for another post From The Stacks.

–Lauren Redding

Former SGA president refuses to leave

Former SGA President Steve Glickman just can’t seem to leave the campus.

Glickman, who served as president from 2009-2010 and 2010-2011, graduated last spring with a degree in political science. It seemed after two years of hearing his name everywhere, Glick was finally moving on to bigger and better things.

Apparently, he wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye.

Glickman is back on the campus for a second semester pursuing a master’s degree in public policy, economics and international security studies. He’s also completing his Graduate Assistantship with University Police, handling their social media and vamping up student outreach.

It’s a little strange University Police have entrusted him with a position focusing on student relations, given Glickman’s strained relations with students after he gave priority tickets to a men’s basketball game against Duke to some members of the SGA. The tickets were intended for die-hard Terp fans who wait in line hours before a game. Glickman was later seen on ESPN, cheering from the front row of Comcast Center at the most anticipated game of the season.

He then changed his story to The Diamondback repeatedly, claiming for several days that no SGA members had been given any of the 100 priority tickets. Ironically enough, social media — the very thing Glickman has been charged with handling for University Police — ultimately helped prove he was being less than honest: former SGA Director of Governmental Affairs Summer Raza posted a Facebook picture of herself at the game with a caption that read, “Senior year…Duke Game…Friends…Behind ESPN…Love it!! Best night EVER!!”

 According to Diamondback reporter Erin Egan, who walked around with University Police after this year’s Duke game Wednesday night, Glickman has proven to be an effective assistant, despite his past indiscretions: He live-tweeted the game for the @UMPD Twitter account (clearly, the go-to site for all avid sports fans wanting instant updates); he shook hands with University President Wallace Loh; he charged his phone in Capt. Marc Limansky’s car; and, perhaps most importantly, ate a piece of pizza.

Good to know he’s being put to good use.

–Lauren Redding

Sorority rush pushed back a week

Sorority rush has been pushed back a week, PHA President Marie LaMonica confirmed last night, so members of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority can travel to Massachusetts for a sister’s funeral service this weekend.

Kayla Libby, a sister in AOPi, died last week. A memorial service was held in her honor at the AOPi house on College Avenue Tuesday night. Hundreds of Greek life members and students attended the candlelight vigil.

–Lauren Redding

Got a secret? Time to spill

You may have noticed these flyers on the campus advertising for this anonymous blog. Photo courtesy of terpsecret.wordpress.com

 

Fans of the popular blog PostSecret rejoice — an anonymous university student has started a similar site for Terps to “pour your heart out. Or just talk shit. Whatever works.”

The site, terpsecret.wordpress.com, has its own email system where you can send in your anonymous secrets, which the creator — whoever she (he?) may be — then posts to the main page. So far, the blog has accumulated 734 subscribers since September and its accompanying Twitter account (@terpsecret) has 219 followers.

More than a few students have noticed, posting secrets that range from funny rants to heartbreaking admissions.

“If it weren’t for knowing how it would hurt my parents, I likely would have already committed suicide.”

“I have a cheetah print fetish. I like it when my girlfriend wears nothing but a cheetah print coat, cheetah print heels, and possibly some cheetah print handcuffs… face down ass up…”

“I’m addicted to my own prescription medication, but I don’t think I’ll ever have the courage to tell anyone, because in reality I don’t want to stop. Why should I? I still do everything I’m supposed to do and I’m still me, but sometimes I need something to make me feel… different than the usual. Sometimes I’m bored with myself, and I need
a change. That’s where the meds come in. But it’s our little secret, because I’ll never tell.”

“I need new friends. Mine suck.”

The creator also includes links to various mental health services on the campus and regularly posts funny or interesting pictures from around the campus.

So, got a secret? It’s safe with her.

–Lauren Redding

Medical marijuana legislation introduced in the state

Medical marijuana could be prescribed in the state if legislation passes the General Assembly this session. Photo courtesy of inquisitr.com.

A state bill approving the use of medical marijuana is expected to go before the General Assembly this legislative session, according to Del. Cheryl Glenn (D-Baltimore City).

Glenn said the bill, entitled the Maryland Medical Marijuana Act, would empower doctors to prescribe the drug to patients suffering with severe pain and end-of-life ailments. However, Glenn added such prescriptions will be used when “doctors have exhausted all other resources,” to quell worries of potential drug abuse.

Glenn said the bill’s main focus is to provide an easier access for such patients to acquire the drug at the doctor’s owndiscretion.

“I want people to have safe access,” she said. “I want people to not be relegated to buying drugs on the street.

The bill will go before the Health and Government Operations Committee for review, and Glenn said she expects a bill hearing to take place early next month. Sixteen states and Washington have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana.

According to Westminster Patch, Sen. David R. Brinkley (R-Carroll), who sponsored a similar bill last year, said he plans to introduce a similar Senate bill in the coming weeks.

Check Thursday’s edition of The Diamondback for complete coverage.

— Jim Bach