Will Halicks


Fellowship and reflection

For freshman Scott Neidich, today marks a special occasion. Neidich, a Charlotte native, will celebrate his first Rosh Hashana - the Jewish holiday that begins tonight and lasts through Friday. Neidich, who is half Jewish, wasn't raised practicing the faith but chose to convert. He said he was influenced by his brother's switch to Judaism. "I just really want to experience what it's all about and get a feel for my Jewish roots," Neidich said. "Right now that's one of the biggest things that's important to me."

Facebook status in limbo

For sophomore Ellie Hanna, Facebook has become as vital to her daily routine as breakfast or personal hygiene. "I knew it was bad when I would be on Facebook.com and I would say, 'All right, time to do something else,' and I would type Facebook in the search bar," she said. Her loyalty runs so deep, in fact, that if the service crashed, she said she wouldn't turn to a similar one - even if it meant going back to what she called "normal" methods of communication. "I would never, ever do MySpace," she said.

Sharing genes and one room

For the Formeister twins, the notion of being identical transcends appearance. Sure, their physical resemblance is undeniable: They're both stocky and broad-shouldered, and they have the same propensity for telling long stories that trail off into ringing laughter. But for the second year in a row, Marc and Eric will share something more - living space. And the Formeisters aren't alone. Marc and Eric are just one set of twins living together at the University this year. "Being an identical twin is a different kind of bond," Marc Formeister said.

Comedy puts the 'Fuzz' in action

Movie Review Hot Fuzz 4 stars When Simon Pegg and Nick Frost unleashed "Shaun of the Dead" on unsuspecting theater audiences in 2004, it was one of the funniest movies in recent memory. Years later, there's good news for Pegg and Frost. The new funniest movie in recent memory is "Hot Fuzz." The snarky British duo is back with another irresistible blockbuster - and they might have outdone even themselves this time.

'300' anything but Spartan in visual flair

MOVIEREVIEW 300 3.5 stars Sure, "300" goes too far at times. It spills enough blood and bares enough breasts to make Quentin Tarantino jealous, and historical content is hardly more than a footnote. But when King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) and his Spartan vanguard are hacking through yet another wave of Persians, electric guitars raging in the background, these issues suddenly seem negligible. That's because the film incarnation of Frank Miller's graphic novel is breathtaking. Like "Sin City," another Miller adaptation, "300" has a look all its own.

"Hannibal Rising" lacks context, quality

MOVIEREVIEW "Hannibal Rising" 1.5 Stars Like a recent space trilogy set in a galaxy far, far away, "Hannibal Rising" proves a back story is the last thing a perfect movie villain needs. Sure, the film's sumptuous shots of the European countryside make it beautiful to watch. And sure, it explains why Hannibal kills people and then eats them afterward. But the road to these revelations winds through a maze of cinematic clich

Get to know your art galleries

Art doesn't require a television screen. Artists still practice their craft all across North Carolina, and it's easy to spend an afternoon browsing the galleries that exhibit their work. The Triangle teems with artists, and galleries are everywhere. With a little detective work, you can find anything - metalworkers, painters, pottery-makers and more. There are still pictures made without pixels, and they're closer than you might think. Animation & Fine Art Galleries Where: University Mall, 201 S. Estes Drive, Chapel Hill

Ghost Stories' latest decent, but not dynamic

MUSICREVIEW Ghost Stories Quixoticism 3 stars The music on Quixoticism is as straightforward and palatable as its title is vague and exotic. Although it isn't monumental, it's catchy in places and often charming. The instrumentals on the album sound unusually polished. Ron Lewis, who plays everything except for a few guest parts, appears to have a good idea of what he's doing and what he wants out of his music.

Sweater Weather offers warming set

CONCERTREVIEW Scourge of the Sea w/ Sweater Weather and Petticoat Petticoat Wetlands Thursday, Jan. 11 There was a lot of empty standing room at the Wetlands Thursday night, but the meager turnout didn't dim the enthusiasm of the three bands who took the stage.

'Perfume' a sensory thriller

MOVIEREVIEW Perfume: The Story of a Murderer 3 stars At times beautiful and at times bizarre, "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" is a gripping, well-conceived foray into the mind of a young perfumer obsessed with finding the perfect scent. An adaptation of "Das Parfum," a novel by Patrick S