Gee Whizz

first_imgMeet Irene Tracy, Professor of PainHaving a title that sounds like a breakaway hip-hop act from the early nineties is not exactly what you’d expect from the world of scientific research. Explaining her line of work at dinner parties must be torture, because Irene Tracy is The Professor of Pain.Tracey’s extended, and less catchy, title is Head of the Pain Imaging Neuroscience Group at the Department of Human Anatomy and Genetics at the FMRIB centre in Oxford. She is also a fellow of Christ Church, where they’re all a little sadistic.Speaking professionally, she says ‘Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional (conscious) experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage.’ Unpleasant? Is that it? I can imagine her during one of the experiments: ‘Now, just sit back, relax and I’m going to gently puncture your eardrum with this extremely large and dangerous looking syringe. All I want you to do is tell me when it feels unpleasant.’ Err…now.20% of the adult population suffers from chronic pain, which makes it one of the largest medical health problems in the developing world. But until recent technological advances, it has been near impossible to obtain objective information from willing (and crazy) volunteers. A GP would have been more likely to diagnose you as a chronic whiner than a chronic sufferer. Tracey and her researchers are focused on determining the brain’s response to nociceptive (i.e. painful) stimuli and how anxiety, attention, distraction and anticipation affect pain perception. What exactly that entails in practice I hate to think. I was extremely excited when I saw a link saying ‘Photo Gallery’ on the official research website. Expecting images of people being hung from the ceiling by their nipples, you can imagine my disappointment when it was only pictures of the researchers taking a group tour to a secluded, undisclosed location. Actually, perhaps that’s more sinister.Whatever the exact details of the experiments themselves we know that the team is, completely ethically, working towards finding both prescription and non-pharmacological (what you don’t know can’t hurt you) treatments for pain alleviation. Whoever said you don’t get what you want if you make a fuss?by Roland Singer-Kingsmithlast_img read more

Watch If/Then Star Idina Menzel Talk Men Being a ‘Mess’

first_imgIdina Menzel just received a Tony nom, is prepping for Radio City, takes her son to school in the morning, and she still has time to do talk shows? Maybe it’s easier when you can lead two lives simultaneously. The If/Then star stopped by Live on May 2 to chat with Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan about how lucky she is to be “embraced by a beautiful show” and how men react when they see the new musical. Also watch her blush as Ripa calls her “Broadway royalty.” Did you hear that cackle? Was that Elphaba?! Take a look below! View Comments Idina Menzel Star Files Show Closed This production ended its run on March 22, 2015 If/Then Related Showslast_img

Students reestablish Phi Kappa Tau fraternity after 30-year hiatus

first_imgNow entering its second operating semester, Phi Kappa Tau is promoting a staunch policy against hazing, since numerous fraternities have lost recognition due to hazing violations in recent years.  After a 30-year hiatus, Phi Kappa Tau fraternity was officially approved by the University last year to return to Greek Row. Over the past year, the fraternity has grown and now marks USC’s largest Greek expansion in five years.  After experiencing financial troubles in 1988 that led to its eventual dissolution, students reestablished the fraternity with a focus on anti-hazing policies and strengthening community relationships. Additionally, Novosel received the award for Emerging Greek Leader of the Year for his efforts in coordinating the expansion. “Our founding was predicated upon a similar [anti-hazing] circumstance. [The founding members] saw that as an opportunity to change [hazing culture]” Thompson said of the USC chapter. Phi Kappa Tau fraternity returned to Greek Row, marking the largest expansion at USC in the past five years. (Krystal Gallegos | Daily Trojan) The Daily Trojan regrets this error. Phi Kappa Tau, which was established as USC’s fourth fraternity in 1918, gained 30 members at the end of the 2018-19 school year. Novosel said IFC and the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Leadership and Development worked together to assess the organization’s proposal. Once the proposal was approved last October, the national organization began recruitment for leadership positions within the chapter as part of the reestablishment process. According to Phi Kappa Tau Vice President of Alumni Relations Beau Classen, many alumni continued the organization’s traditions throughout the chapter’s 30-year hiatus. Novosel, a senior majoring in business administration, said the fraternity’s Chairman of the Board of Governors Rick Rice hosted weekly tailgates for alumni and was a major player in advocating for the chapter’s reestablishment.  “The membership that they were able to achieve in their first semester on campus is nothing short of impressive,” Mendoza said. “I think it’s a testament to the strength of Greek life that they’re already seeing so much success.” According to Novosel, the summer-long recruitment process required in-person visits with members of the national organization, speeches outlining their qualifications and phone interviews with higher-ranked staff at the national headquarters in Oxford, Ohio.  “Our chapter was always in good standing and was never kicked off for hazing or anything like that,” Phi Kappa Tau president Seth Novosel said. Phi Kappa Tau’s progress was also recognized at the IFC’s awards ceremony. The fraternity was recognized with the Rise of Troy award for its excellence in recruitment.  “I think they just wanted their fraternity back [and] they just wanted kids to have the same bond they did,” said Classen, a senior majoring in communication.  The national organization also had to get approval from the Interfraternity Council to reestablish the chapter, IFC President Matteo Mendoza said.  According to Novosel, the University previously restricted Greek life to its 23 fraternities. He said Phi Kappa Tau waited for an opening to reestablish their chapter, which came when several hazing allegations resulted in some fraternities losing recognition on campus in the last five years. Novosel said he is proud of the efforts the IFC is making to move away from a supposed hazing culture. “I think Matteo has done a fantastic job of really making a change on this culture and I think this year we are really going to notice that change,” Novosel said. The University officially opened expansion opportunities in 2016, Novosel said. Alongside Rice and other alumni, Phi Kappa Tau’s national organization approached USC about restarting their chapter. Darryl Thompson, associate director of organizational growth, said the national chapter met with USC in spring 2016 to consider bringing the chapter back to campus. This article was updated at 8:43 a.m. on Aug. 29. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Phi Kappa Tau was officially reestablished in Spring 2019. The fraternity was officially reestablished in Fall 2018.last_img read more