`Cramming’ Costs College Students More Money, Not Sleep

By Kim Kirschenheiter The Lantern

(U-WIRE) COLUMBUS, Ohio – Mention “cramming” to a college student and images of grueling, all-night study sessions instantly come to mind.

What more students – especially those living off-campus – need to be aware of is another form of cramming. This form may loosen their wallets.

“Cramming” also refers to the practice of adding charges to a bill which the customer did not specifically want or ask for.

Unfortunately, cramming is a practice not many students are aware of.

Mike Sowko, an Ohio State University senior in atmospheric science, has been a victim of cramming in the past.

“The problem is, there are so many little charges that it’s hard to even tell what’s legitimate,” he said.

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has identified many examples of cramming on utility bills, include adding features such as voice mail and caller ID, which are not requested by the consumer to phone bills, charging higher rates than promised or agreed upon and charging numerous fees not agreed to by the consumer.

Sowko cites his phone bill as a past problem, but says he was often able to settle the situation directly with the phone company.

In the wake of the dishonest and unfair practice of cramming, the state of Ohio is taking notice. A bill introduced Aug. 28 by Representative David Goodman, R-Bexley, would disallow cramming of consumer utility bills as well as require the PUCO to actively investigate all claims against cramming.

“The cramming bill says the PUCO can adopt rules that would define an unauthorized charge, standards for continuing utility service in light of a disputed charge and verification procedures for the addition of new charges,” Gerber said.

Gerber said the bill allows for fines from $1,000 per day per offense, to up to $5,000 per day per offense if the cramming is a pattern; the legislation also provides for a criminal penalty of a third degree misdemeanor for repeat offenders. Gerber warns that the bill will come down hard on deliberate fraud.

Kathy Wise, project director with the Student Housing Legal Clinic, said that although she has not received complaints about cramming from off-campus residents, students who have questions or think they are victims of illegal cramming can contact the office to receive free legal assistance.

Use of Hangover Pill Questioned at Univerisity of Mich.

By C. Price Jones Michigan Daily

(U-WIRE) ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Rather than suffer the throbbing pain, nausea and loopy detachment during or after drinking alcohol, taking a pill will relieve these hangover symptoms, at least according to manufacturers of “anti-hangover” pills.

But students say the pill may not be the cure-all it’s advertised to be.

Categorized as a dietary supplement, one pill – dubbed “Chaser” – is touted as “completely effective on wine, beer, spirits and cocktails.”

Chaser’s ingredients include calcium carbonate, or chalk, and vegetable carbon, or charcoal, which attract and bind to the substances that produce hangover symptoms.

The suggested dose is two pills during the first hour of drinking increases to two extra pills after six drinks and another two pills after three or four hours of drinking.

The makers of Chaser, Living Essentials of Walled Lake in Oakland County, suggest not drinking more than six drinks.

Also, the pill must be ingested before drinking, so immediate relief for hangovers isn’t guaranteed by the medicine.

“Two radio stations, 96.3 and 88.7, have been advertising it all summer,” LSA senior Trevor King said. “I was the advocate for it to all my friends, but all the buzz about it fizzled.”

“Two capsules work for up to six drinks. I wouldn’t have a hangover if I just had six drinks,” one LSA student said.

“And I wouldn’t want to take pills every three or four hours. Besides, I think I know what works best for me.”

“I tried an orange, `buzzer’ drink that helped my headache a little bit, but I could still feel the hangover,” a business junior added. “And the pill did the same thing.”

These students did not want their names used in this article because they are under 21.

Since Chaser is a dietary supplement, clinical tests to prove its effectiveness were not required of its producer, which asserts that 15 years of development for the pill confirm its efficacy.

Since many doctors have not heard about the over-the-counter solution, the pill’s true benefits aren’t certain.

“Even if it works, it promotes further drinking,” said Dr. Robert Winfield, interim director and internal medicine specialist at University Health Services.

“When drinking excessively, the harm to oneself can include liver damage.”

Winfield expressed his concern for students’ taking the pills as a means to continue drinking.

“I wouldn’t try a pill that isn’t shown to be helpful. I’ll stay with taking Advil with lots of water,” said one Kinesiology student.

U. of Connecticut Professor Discovers Time Travel Method

By Andrew Chemistruck & Courtney Hickson The Daily Campus

(U-WIRE) STORRS, Conn. – A University of Connecticut theoretical physics professor is working on the key to traveling back in time. According to Ronald Mallett, the solution is simpler than traveling through a rotating black hole or an unstable wormhole.

“I have been focused on creating a time machine ever since I was 10 years old, when my father died from a heart attack at the age of 33,” Mallett said. “Ever since then, it has been my goal to construct a time machine to go back and warn my father of what is about to happen to him.”

Mallett’s theory uses laser light that is forced to circulate in one continuous loop by using mirrors or fiber optics. In the center a single spinning particle would be placed, such as a neutron.

The particle would be dragged around in empty space and moving it away from the center could send it into the past.

“The theory is that when the machine is turned on and runs for a day, a person can step into the machine and return to the day before,” Mallett said. “Hence, a person can travel back from the future to any time in the past, but not past before the time machine was turned on.”

“[Mallett’s theory] is perfectly consistent [with Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity], but if someone will be able to do it experimentally is another thing. It could be too hard to do. It could only work in physics or chemistry labs, but not on a life-size level, which is often the case,” David arkowitz, a physics professor, said.

“The bottom line is that Mallett has found an exact solution to Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. He and others are trying to understand the consequences of his theory and I am trying to understand it myself,” Winthrop Smith, a physics professor, said.

According to William Stwalley, the head of the physics department, members of the Ultracold research group have been able to slow light down to the speed of a bike, which could make development of a Mallett device more practical than before.

“No experiments are definitely planned for this year, but I would not be surprised that there would be one by the end of the year,” Stwalley said.

Under the currently defined rules of the universe, Mallett cannot travel back in time to save his father. He will continue to search for a way to travel through time, and the physics staff and students at UConn will be controlling the research for this new theory.

“I find all this new work quite exciting,” Mallet said. “Being able to alter the past is a powerful tool and there are severe moral implications related to changing the past. I wonder if the people of the future will use time travel to alter their past, our present.”

Harvard `Survivor’ Contestant

By Nick Josefowitz Harvard Crimson

(U-WIRE) CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Linda L. Spencer, an assistant director at the Office of Career Services at Harvard University, will be trying to out-survive 15 other contestants and win the $1 million bounty in the third installment of the wildly popular reality CBS television show, “Survivor: Africa.”

Spencer, 44, was selected from more than 50,000 applicants to spend this summer in the Shaba Reserve, Kenya.

The show will premiere Oct. 11.

Spencer declined to comment, and CBS publicist Michelle Hooper said contestants were forbidden from giving interviews before the show airs.

Hooper did say that the contestants trained for three days with bush experts, being taught “how to make a fire … what kind of food you can or can’t eat and how to prepare water.”

The contestants range in age from 22 to 57, and their occupations vary from a goat and cattle farmer to a behavior research analyst.

“It’s a really diverse and interesting set of people,” Hooper said.

Spencer describes herself as “adventurous, competitive and determined,” in her CBS biography.

“Survivors” are not new to Harvard. Nick Brown, a student at the law school, participated in “Survivor: Outback” last year, surviving 10 rounds before finally being voted off the show. He cautioned, “If you’re going to apply for Survivor 3, make sure you’re ready, because surviving out here is real.”

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