O’Colly Articles

Student uses solar energy to power personal devices

Nov. 5, 2017

Jacob Wilmoth, mechanical and aerospace engineering senior, bought two solar panels

Jacob Wilmoth’s solar energy device set up on his balcony, courtesy of Maddy Jones

and a battery this past summer.

“I wanted to play around with solar panels and batteries, so I started off with a solar panel kit off of Amazon,” Wilmoth said.

Wilmoth is from Moore and during tornado season, he said it was nice to have a battery backup during storms to keep his room powered and his devices charged.

“I liked the idea of having battery backup power as opposed to a loud, gas powered generator,” Wilmoth said.

Wilmoth is a self-described electric vehicle enthusiast.

“I can’t afford an electric vehicle at the moment,” Wilmoth said. “So, to show my enthusiasm for EVs and a greener future, I looked into making my own little solar power plant.”

Wilmoth isn’t using his solar panels to save money. He’s using them to tell other people about solar energy and to prove that it works, even with a small setup.

“My little solar power plant starts off with two 200-watt solar panels for a total of 400-watts when the sun is at its optimal position in the sky and there are no clouds,” he said.

The power runs into a solar charge controller which is connected to the batteries. The controller’s job is to make the solar panels output safe for charging the batteries.

Wilmoth uses 12-volt, deep-cycle lead acid batteries, similar to batteries used for Barbie Jeeps and Power Wheels cars for children. Connected to those batteries is the 1500-watt inverter. The inverter turns the 12-volt DC power into usable power for Wilmoth’s lamps, computers and phone chargers, which is 120-volt AC.

All of these items, except the panels, are held inside a plastic container to keep the equipment from getting weathered or damaged. Wilmoth added ventilation to the container to help the batteries stay cool in the summer.

“The solar panels are mounted to the outside of the rail on my balcony using a plethora of zip-ties and some wooden stakes that are counter-balanced with the heavy batteries,” Wilmoth said. “It is vital that the solar panels be mounted on the outside of the balcony so that they could gather all the sun they could without any columns or roofs in their way.”

With his current setup, Wilmoth saves about 2800-watt hours.

“On a clear day the solar panels would take a full 400-watts for about 5 hours, and then they would take in less power for the remainder of the day as the sun rose and set,” Wilmoth said. “I am not using the power during the day, so the batteries charge to full and then the rest of day’s sun energy isn’t collected.

“For how small my setup is, I’m really not saving any money, but that is besides the point,” Wilmoth said. “I receive joy from telling people that my phone, or watch, or computer, or battery brick, is charged from the sun.”

The only drawbacks from this experience is the maintenance it takes for the batteries charge to not drop too low.

“If there is a long period, like three days or more, of cloudy, rainy weather, I might have to switch off the inverter so the batteries don’t drain too low,” Wilmoth said. “This would mean I would have to plug my things into a wall outlet.

“It makes me more aware of my power usage though. I have to remember to turn my monitor off when I leave so it’s not wasting energy.”

Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla and Space X, is Wilmoth’s inspiration behind the solar panels.

“He built an entire car company to make the world a better place, not to make money,” he said. “When everyone asks about my solar panels, they ask how much money I am saving, and I never care for that because that’s not the point.

“The point is that I am able to power my devices with the sun.”

College Bar hosts weekly trivia

Sept. 14, 2017

If there’s anything College Bar tries to do, it’s to be different, owner Javier Cervantes said.

college bar
courtesy of Devin Wilber/ O’Colly


Bar trivia is a Wednesday night pursuit of booze-filled fun at College Bar on Washington Street.

“We wanted to do something that was not only educational but fun while you’re out with your friends,” Cervantes said.

Groups crowd around tables and benches to put their brains together looking for answers to pop culture questions as well as questions about science and sports.

“People are way more into their groups and are focused,” Sam Stratton, a senior biosystems engineering major, said.

“We make sure that it’s a trivia that’s not just questions but questions relevant to the student,” Cervantes said. “It’s multiple choice. It’s a test type format, something that they’re used to but it’s a little more entertaining than a test you would take at school.

College Bar has a several game nights including bingo on Mondays, Mario Kart races on Tuesdays, trivia on Wednesdays and Foosball Tournaments as well as watching Rick and Morty on Sundays.

“Trivia night is always free and always a good time,” Cervantes said.

OSU fraternities to host Waka Flocka Flame at Tumbleweed

Aug. 20, 2017

Rawhide is back, but it has a different name.

courtesy of Abby Ingram/ O’Colly


Still Litty is the renovated title for Rawhide, a concert that features popular hip hop artists. OSU’s Beta Theta Pi, Sigma Nu and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternities brought about this name change.

Waka Flocka Flame is the headliner for Still Litty, which will take place Sept. 8 at Tumbleweed Dancehall.

Tumbleweed event curator Patrick Pshimanga reached out to people to bring Waka Flocka Flame back to Stillwater for the concert.

“Waka is part of my network group,” Pshimanga said. “I know someone who knows someone who knows someone else who knows Waka, and I just went up the chain to get him to Stillwater.”

Waka Flocka Flame will perform with DJ Whoo Kid.

Doors open at 8 p.m., and the show begins at 9:30 p.m.

The event is for anyone who is 18 or older.

Tickets are $30 for general admission and $65 for VIP;, the latter gives access to the after party and a photo shoot as well as a free wristband and faster entry line.

Waka Flocka Flame is known for his hit album “Flockaveli,” which dropped in 2010 and landed at No. 6 on the U.S. Billboard 200.

His newest song “Big Dawg” was released earlier in 2017.

“It’ll be a different vibe than the last time Waka came to town,” Pshimanga said.

Pshimanga has arranged for giveaways, such as fruit snacks, to break out in the middle of the concert.

Corewater will give out free water, and Rockstar Energy will provide free energy drinks.

“We’re also working on giving out free T-shirts,” Pshimanga said.

Multiple phone calls to representatives of Sigma Nu, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Beta Theta Pi were not returned for comment on this story.

Former Flyleaf singer returns to music screaming

Feb. 16, 2016

Former Flyleaf lead singer, Lacey Sturm, takes another swing at Christian rock with her

cover art for “Life Screams”

new Album “Life Screams.” The majority of the songs feature Sturm’s trademark screaming, and she isn’t any less badass than when she was in Flyleaf.


Female screamers are few and far between, and Sturm has always been at the top of her screaming game.

Sturm chose the title “Life Screams” because she wanted to put out something brighter and more optimistic after hearing a plethora of songs about death and pessimistic life values, according to a Blabbermouth article.

The rock album is filled with anthem-worthy rock songs such as “Impossible,” the album’s first track. It features wailing, claps and a message about surviving and living life to its fullest.

The album is full of songs with a message, such as “I’m Not Laughing,” which advocates for ending teasing and judging others for who they are.

“Rot” is an attention-getter. It’s tough to hear because the guitars chug intensely, but it’s not so hardcore it will melt your brain. The lyrics “Deliverance is mine from all this beauty that’ll rot,” describe how people feed into the beauty of others. Sturm sends the message that you still have worth even if you don’t fit into what society deems “beautiful.”

The soft rock songs on this album give you a quick break from Sturm’s screaming. In softer songs such as “You’re Not Alone,” “Faith,” and “Run to You,” Sturm lets you into her head and her religious affiliation without pushing it on listeners.

“You’re Not Alone” is a love song to yourself. It gives a sense of relief because Sturm sings how you’re never truly alone. The lyrics “When you feel like you’re the only one you can trust/when no one else can save you/remember you’re not alone,” have a calming effect on those who feel alone and out of touch with the world.

“Life Screams” is a classic Sturm album—empowering Christian rock music for people of all beliefs and music tastes.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore celebrate Earth Day with Repurposing

April 24, 2016

Earth Day is a special time for Habitat for Humanity ReStore as well as the Multi Arts Center.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore hosted a contest in which Stillwater residents could create art out of used items Friday. There was a silent auction to raise money from the projects.

Proceeds went toward the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Natalie Newman, a biochemistry and molecular biology sophomore, said the ReStore has items that people have donated including metal and aluminum cans.

“We wanted to do something that would bring the community together and encourage them to come out to ReStore and help them see things as art instead of junk,”Newman said.

Jennifer Muret, Habitat for Humanity ReStore manager, said it is promoting recycling and upcycling.

“We want people to be aware of the community and wellness as a whole,” Newman said. “It’s something that really matters to us.”

It started with ReStore’s Customer Appreciation Day, a big celebration typically held in late October or early November. People would bring in suggestions to have on Earth Day and so Habitat ReStore decided on which suggestion to use, Muret said.

“It’s a good opportunity for people to utilize materials and also help keep things out of a land fill,” Muret said.

The projects that were made are showcased at the Multi Arts Center and they are being auctioned off. The proceeds go to the ReStore, she said.

Candy Michalski, a Stillwater resident, was an artist for the event.

“I’m an artist; I make jewelry and [work with] glass,” Michalski said. “I heard of this event from an email sent by the Multi-Arts Center. I went to ReStore and I got inspired.”

Michalski repurposed a sewing bench for the event.

“When I saw the little sewing bench I thought the top would be easy to re-upholster,” Michalski said. “I found the scrub top with the lighthouses at the ReStore and an Atlas. I cut out the states that had a lighthouse and also places that were special to me.”

Inside the bench I put the quote, Michalski put the quote: ‘If traveling was free you’d never see me again.’

“I want to be one of those ones that make the world better than when we came here,” Michalski said.

Support Local Farmers and Buy Locally Grown Pumpkins

Oct. 27, 2015

Monday I went to Rockin’ Star Farm, a local pumpkin patch on Alamo Road near Lake McMurtry. The friends I went with called the business beforehand because it was getting late and we found out the farm was closed, but they allowed us to come to the property anyway and enjoy it.

They only had miniature pumpkins left, but it was still a fun little spot that six college students enjoyed. There were animals to pet, a lasso set-up that we took it upon ourselves to play with, plywood cutouts of animals, truck drivers and even Pistol Pete. There also was a corn maze, but it was getting cold and late, so we didn’t want to venture out there and get lost.

 All in all, the pumpkin patch was a fun place for students to get together and hang out with each other and pick pumpkins. The miniature pumpkins are great for painting.

If you ever want to carve pumpkins, don’t just pick one up from Walmart. Go to a local pumpkin patch and buy them from farmers. Support your community and help people make a living. Going to a pumpkin patch can start a tradition that could continue forever.

Celebrate the Thanksgiving Season by Volunteering

Nov. 5, 2015

Volunteering is the greatest thing for us to do. They say that to have a happy life, you should average 100 volunteer hours a year. There is nothing better than helping build a house with Habitat for Humanity and then seeing it a few months later finished with someone living in it. Volunteering is so fulfilling, and it makes you feel good about yourself.

Some of you probably already volunteer, and that’s really awesome. There are plenty of opportunities in Stillwater if you are not already volunteering. The Humane Society is an easy and fun time where you can play and socialize with cats or walk dogs and teach them tricks. They are located at 1710 S Main St. Another hotspot is Habitat for Humanity or Habitat Restore; which is where you can sort items and clean the warehouse or help build a house for people in need. You can contact them at 505 E 18th Ave. Another fan favorite is working with the elderly at Primrose Retirement Community. You get to play games and just keep them company and it’s a lot of fun. You can contact them at (405) 571-0528.

This time of year is about giving thanks for what you have. You may have more than some because you’re a student at a well-known university, you’re getting an education which will get you a better job and you’re reading this on some device that allows you to get online. We have so much to be thankful for and yet we take so many things for granted. I am a part of a service organization here on campus and I help clean the biking trails at Lake McMurtry. I also, will occasionally go to the Humane Society to get my animal fix. I would always go on mission trips around the country with my church growing up and those memories have become some of my very favorite. I am thankful for the opportunities I get to help people and I want others to share this feeling, too. The greatest way to spend Thanksgiving is to volunteer. You can find a food pantry or soup kitchen and serve people their Thanksgiving meal. Volunteering is a great way to meet people, gain experience and help change the world.

If you do anything this Thanksgiving season, please contact local agencies about volunteering with them and set up a time where you can make a difference in someone’s life.

It’s officially fall, so that means Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back in season

Oct. 1, 2015

Coffee is a staple of life; at least to me it is. I’m not too adventurous in trying out new

courtesy of brandeating.com

coffee flavors, roasts or syrups because I didn’t start to drink coffee until college. How I survived high school without 30 gallons of coffee a week, I will never understand.

Anyway, I always order the same thing: an iced vanilla white mocha. Whenever I take the first sip (or the first gulp in my case) I want to cry happy tears while I drink my money away like every other college student.

The other day I decided to try a new coffee flavor: the pumpkin spice latte. It’s not new to the world, certainly a staple to the fall season, but it was my very first time trying it. Let me tell you, I could taste the spice. I got it from Caribou in the Union for around $5 (don’t get me started) and I kind of regretted it.

It was definitely an experience. I think I got some friend points for letting a group I was meeting with take a sip. One person actually took the whole think off my hands.

Although it didn’t taste like what every stereotypical white girl screams about, I did feel like I was in a world of perpetual fall.

What’s your favorite seasonal coffee?