The art of the jack-o-lantern

Tue, 10/29/2013

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Charles Linn
School of Architecture, Design & Planning
785-864-4336

LAWRENCE – It isn’t so unusual to see “knife-wielding zombies” in Marvin Hall. Usually they’re just sleep-deprived architecture and design students intent on finishing their projects before deadline.

However, Oct. 30, something more fiendish may be afoot, when the American Institute of Architecture Students hosts its annual pumpkin-carving contest.

Halloween pumpkin carving has been a traditional activity for KU architecture and design students dating back decades. That’s because the day before All Hallows Eve, it is only natural for ghouls to grasp their blades and go looking for trouble.

Sounds dreadful, but event organizer and AIAS president Austin Griffis opines that KU’s architecture and design students are inclined to slash gently, in a kind and creative way that he promises will not involve chainsaws of any kind, or the Department of Architecture’s precision laser cutter.

“The pumpkins will delight and dazzle spectators, and the work will be judged on the same criteria that is used for diamonds: cut, color and clarity,” said Griffis.

All are welcome to attend the event at 6 p.m. Oct. 30 in 216 Marvin Hall. AIAS members will have the first crack at the orange orbs, donated by Hy-Vee, but others are welcome to bring their own. The event will also serve as a kickoff for the AIAS’s annual canned food drive.



This past week, new Jayhawks moved in and started their first semester at KU. Madisen Pool, a freshman in computer engineering, captured one of his first sunrises on the Hill. With a fresh start, and a feeling of accomplishment for starting college, Pool thought this view was a great reminder to enjoy life. We asked Pool what his advice would be to his fellow new Jayhawks and he said, "make your time here at the university memorable. Have fun, do something you’ve always wanted to do, meet new people, and most importantly get the most out of your experience and shape your life the way you want it to be. Rock Chalk!" We couldn't agree more. Rock Chalk, Madisen! Show us your new experiences with the hashtag, #exploreKU.

KU student tricks monkey flower into growing protective ‘hair’ Thanks to a KU Undergraduate Research Award (see more at http://ugresearch.ku.edu/student/fund/ugra), Sukhindervir Sandhu, a KU junior in biochemistry, figured out which genetic button to push to get a monkey flower, or Mimulus guttatus, to grow protective trichomes, or plant hair. Sandhu was able to track it down to a gene called SKP-1. By silencing SKP-1, he discovered that gene regulates plant hair growth in monkey flowers.


One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually
1 of 9 public universities with outstanding study abroad programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
46 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
—ALA
$260.5 million in externally funded research expenditures
23rd nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets," Military Times