Archive for Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Heard on the Hill: Love is in the air for really old insects, too; Obama’s budget reflects increases in many higher ed programs; those against the “woo” in Rock Chalk Chant appear to be gaining ground

February 14, 2012


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Your happy Valentine’s Day edition of news, notes and links from around Kansas University.

• Nothing says Valentine’s Day like insects in love. And a KU professor has helped use really old insect fossils to help resurrect a love song from the Jurassic period.

Michael Engel, KU’s entomology curator, has recreated the mating call of the insect. The researchers were able to look closely at the wing structure to determine how they might have sounded when rubbed together.

You can hear it here.

The research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The really old cricket song has even inspired a YouTube duet with some nice, angst-y lyrics. A sample below, along with the video:

“oh you ancient cricket

where ever you are

i'm reaching out to from the future

i know your lonely heart”

I don’t know if that will make any Valentine’s Day cards, but there you have it.


Jurassic cricket duet

• Here’s a quick look at who got Happy Valentine’s Day cards in President Barack Obama’s 2013 fiscal year budget, according to Inside Higher Ed.

Pell Grant maximums would go up to $5,635, an $85 increase. There’s the $1 billion “Race to the Top” fund to reward colleges that keep prices down and value high.

More money, too, for federal work study ($1.1 billion), and the Perkins Loan Program (from $1 billion to $8 billion). But the formula for the programs, as Inside Higher Ed reports, would be reworked to reward colleges who graduate students who get jobs and pay off their loans while keeping net tuition low.

Research also got a nice Valentine’s Day smooch in the budget, as the National Institutes of Health got no net funding increase, but new policies would increase the money available for research grants by 7 percent (surely good news for KU’s Cancer Center, which is looking for some of that grant money this year in the form of National Cancer Institute designation).

The National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Standards and Technology Laboratories and the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, would all see increased budgets in Obama’s plan.

Republicans in Congress will still have a say, though, before anything is settled.

• One group who’s definitely feeling more loved these days are the legion of basketball fans who have campaigned against the “woo” in the Rock Chalk Chant.

I’ve been keeping up on the posts in the Facebook group (which now boasts more than 1,100 members), and they seem to indicate that the “woo” was nearly non-existent at the Oklahoma State game.

They’re close to declaring victory, it seems. The effort got quite a bit of media attention (after Heard on the Hill mentioned it, of course), and, while I haven’t heard it myself recently, it seems as if students might be agreeing with the anti-woo crowd.

• I’ll be your Valentine if you submit a tip for Heard on the Hill to


scarletbhound 6 years, 2 months ago

Saturday's game against Okie State was a great reminder of what the "woo" controversy is all about -- tradition. Seeing the championship team of 1952, the retro jerseys and the cheerleader outfits was wonderful. KU basketball is about tradition, legacy and respecting the school's remarkable basketball heritage. Trashing the Rock Chalk chant with the "woo" violates that basic principle. Let's hope the "wooers" understand why so many people are upset about their effort to damage the history that is KU basketball. And thanks to the terrific people who are defending the classic Rock Chalk chant.

grahambailey 6 years, 2 months ago

My sister-in-law visited a KU game for the first time last year. Her first experience in the Phog. She called the Rock Chalk chant the most eerily haunting thing she had ever heard, actually thought they "were going to sacrifice a virgin." She had to have a Beware of the Phog t-shirt to wear back to San Diego. Not quite as scary when a bunch of people top it off with "Wooooooo". Good work, ditch it"

classclown 6 years, 2 months ago

Get rid of that dusty old chant and replace it with something snazzy. Something with some cowbell. And more woo. This is the 21st century. Let's have 21st century chants.

JackMcKee 6 years, 2 months ago

Where is that dumb lady that said she was going to woo no matter who was offended? Something about expressing emotion or some nonsense. I hope she was banned from AFH.

JackMcKee 6 years, 2 months ago

if gas is at $5 a gallon the world economy is going to going gang busters and Obama is going to cruising to an easy 150 electoral vote victory. Woo on that.

JackMcKee 6 years, 2 months ago

By the way, the other troglodyte KSU fans hang out

<--------- that away

Matt Schwartz 6 years, 2 months ago

Retro jerseys? If those things were retro, the shorts would have been a lot smaller, and Withey would be exposed. woo.

Clara Westphal 6 years, 2 months ago

KU administrators might as well forget about Traditions night. Apparently some of the people new to campus don't care or understand what traditions are.

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