Second Life’s Virtual World Proves Useful in Educational Settings

EL PASO, Texas — For several years now, Professor John Dunn has wanted to offer an online graphic design course for his students at The University of Texas at El Paso, but one problem held him back. In a traditional graphic design course, individual student work is displayed and critiqued by their instructor and peers. Recreating this environment online has posed as a challenge for Dunn, until now. Today, students gather at the XSITE art studio in Second Life and meet with Dunn’s avatar, RU12 Rodex. According to, Second Life is a three-dimensional virtual community created entirely by its membership.

John Ross – Mexico is Overripe for Revolution

EL PASO, Texas — It’s well documented that John Ross has made his way into the literary world. A New York City native, Ross destroyed his draft card in 1957 and moved to México, from where he has spent the last 50 years covering Latin American issues. As an American Book Award winner and the winner of the Uptown Sinclair prize, Ross is the author of more than 20 volumes of fiction, non- fiction and poetry books. His latest book, El Monstruo, brings praise to a city known to many as one of the most tainted in Latin America. It has been selected as “book of the year” by the San Antonio Express News.

It Is Always Easier With a Gym Buddy

EL PASO, Texas — I must admit I am a little bit calorie obsessed when it comes to food. I have never been able to blindly shovel food into my mouth without the nagging “How many calories am I eating?” thought in the back of my mind.  I work out as much as I can and warily watch what goes into my mouth. Thinking back, I’d say I would have to blame my health nut parents for my cautious eating habits.  Growing up, my parents worked out religiously and our refrigerator was stocked with only foods labeled “diet,” “low-fat” or “fat-free.” Skim milk, Equal and diet soda were staples in my household, and still are.  Our living room practically doubles as a gym with all of the equipment we own. I enjoy working out and actually find it rather therapeutic but I wasn’t always this way. As much as my family enjoys burning those calories every day, I on the other hand had never lifted a finger to use one of the various machines at our home.

Only the Memories of a Devastated Haiti Remain for El Paso Doctor

EL PASO, Texas — Memories are all that exist for Dr. Frantz Placide in Haiti, a country he once called home, a place where many in his family are now homeless. “It’s all gone, all those places I was at. I have memories there and it doesn’t exist anymore,” said the Haitian-American ophthalmologist. The magnitude seven earthquake that devastated Haiti shortly before 5 p.m. on January 12, killing some 250,000 persons was centered about 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, the Caribbean nation’s capital. Already the poorest nation in the hemisphere with 80 percent of its population living under the poverty line, the earthquake and dozens of aftershocks that stuck Haiti left millions homeless

“We were poor.