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Visit Middle Earth

(11/05/02 11:00am)

Thank you so much for printing Jessica Skolnick's Oct. 22 article "Hobbits scarce, musicians plentiful at area bar" and photos from her foray up to Bradford, Vermont. I'm so glad a member of the Dartmouth student body has discovered the Middle Earth Music Hall and is spreading the word! I believe your writer is taking owner, joke, and mastermind Chris Jones a bit too seriously, though, in reporting his inspiration for the theme was the free publicity from the "Lord of the Rings" movies. As a member of the greater Bradford community who has long awaited the opening of this wonderful music venue, my understanding is that Chris had been planning the space with a Tolkien theme -- and had maybe even begun building the hall -- long before news of the movie series was available to him or the general public. Chris is a gifted artist and his custom hand woodworking, as well as original artwork by others, is all over the hall. I imagine a night at Middle Earth would be a refreshing, expanding break for any student and I encourage all students to go.

Dewey Defeats Truman!

(11/05/02 11:00am)

Jumping the gun on election forecasting can earn a person eternal infamy, a spot in the Hall of Fame of political embarrassments. That is why this year, with possibly the closest midterm elections in the nation's history, even the most respected political analysts are loathe to put their predictions on the record. I, however, am able to make such predictions without fear of being humiliated on national television. My focus is the Senate, where there are at least eight races that are too close to call. No political prognosticator that I am aware of has been silly enough to think that he or she could pick all 34 winners, but as the great Homer Simpson once said, "Feeling stupid? I know I am!"

At the Polls Today

(11/05/02 11:00am)

New Hampshire voters looking to make informed decisions in this year's major elections got little help from the candidates. Negative campaigning reached a fever pitch this year, until the ideal of informing constituents was buried by mudslinging. If predictions of depressingly low voter turnout prove true, those elected will need to consider whether they are satisfied with a weak mandate from an electorate disenchanted by campaign tactics.

Cyber-threats brought Vatis from Beltway to Hanover

(11/05/02 11:00am)

When a visitor enters Michael Vatis' office at the Institute of Security Technology Studies, he reflexively scans his desk for red-bordered documents -- the government's standard indicator of classified information. While these documents are safely secured, two framed pictures stand out: the first, a Matisse print, the second, a photograph of the Department of Defense.

'Oleander' pleases with top acting, compelling story

(11/04/02 11:00am)

Director Peter Kominsky's sophomore effort in film, "White Oleander," seems to have suffered a fate that is all too common in Hollywood -- its marketing campaign doesn't match the movie itself. While being sold as a standard Lifetime Channel Movie of the Week, this is a film with a compelling story and effective performances, and it is accessible to both men and women.

The Independent Vote

(11/04/02 11:00am)

On the 24th of May in 2001, one man stood at a podium in a hotel ballroom in Burlington, Vt., and drastically changed, for the better, the direction of the federal government in this great nation. And tomorrow, all that was accomplished because of this man's courage will be in danger when voters go to the polls across the country.

Your Vote is Your Voice

(11/04/02 11:00am)

War with Iraq. North Korea's nukes. Suicide bombers in Israel and Bali. Hostages held in Moscow. Anti-American sentiment in Europe and the Middle East. Lately, foreign policy has been dominating newspaper headlines and dinner table conversations. We are thinking constantly about our role and our responsibility in the international community.