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December 2006

What's going on at Ohio State?

The Center for Automotive Research steps up the university's study of alternative fuel with two vehicles that run on hydrogen. A snake researcher at Ohio State's "Island Campus" hits prime time TV. Ohio State basketball center Greg Oden, considered the No. 1 recruit in the nation, starts his first season. A former basketball player returns to campus to do some good. Ohio State nutritionists offer holiday weight maintenance advice. A professor of communication finds the personality traits behind mystery novel readers. And the Buckeyes finish a perfect season, complete with a Heisman winner.

Fuel of the Future?

To plenty of people, alternative fuel is a relatively new topic. But at Ohio State's Center for Automotive Research (CAR), researchers have a long history of studying energy substitutes for oil.

"CAR has been involved in alternative fuels and energy since the beginning of its life in 1991," says Giorgio Rizzoni, its director.

Recently, the center became home to Ohio's only hydrogen refueling station. Researchers are testing a hydrogen fuel cell golf cart and a short-distance car--the first steps toward vehicles that run on hydrogen.

See the golf cart in action and find out more about the hydrogen fuel.

A Dirty Job

Kristin Stanford has an admirable goal: to get the Lake Erie water snake removed from the endangered species list.

She's willing to put up with a lot to achieve it.

To study the snakes, Stanford--resident researcher at Stone Lab, Ohio State's "Island Campus" on Lake Erie--has to catch them. They're resistant to being handled, so they bite and spray musk and feces. As if that's not enough, Stanford has to induce them to vomit in order to check their diet.

Find out more about Stanford, whose work was recently featured on the Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs series.

Center of Attention

Before freshman Greg Oden set foot on the basketball court as an Ohio State center, he had already been compared to basketball greats LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Insiders are betting that Oden, the Buckeyes' most highly anticipated recruit since the early 1990s, can live up to the hype.

“It probably sounds like hyperbole, but he is the best defensive center I’ve seen in my coaching career at the college level," says ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla, a former Ohio State assistant coach. "Most guys like that would suffer from people’s expectations, but I think Greg is going to live up to people’s expectations."

Read a profile of Oden, from the Ohio State Alumni Magazine.

Off-Court Hero

Former Buckeye basketball star Lawrence Funderburke grew up poor, in a single-parent household in the projects.

So the business grad, now a Chicago Bulls forward, decided it was time to help people in the same situation he'd been in. He has donated $100,000 to the university for scholarships.

Read more about Funderburke's scholarships and sports career.

A Weighty Matter

The holidays are hard on even the strictest dieters: Who can say no to a gingerbread cookie or a mug of eggnog?

Ohio State nutritionists have some advice on how to avoid holiday weight gain--and, should that fail, how to make good on New Year's resolutions to drop some pounds. Plus, they offer tips on what foods to eat to lower your cholesterol.

Whodunit: Self-esteem

Want to determine how your crime novel-reading friends feel about themselves?

Ask them how they like their books to end.

“Personality plays a role in whether a person wants to be confirmed or surprised when they read mysteries,” said Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, an Ohio State professor of communication who recently studied how self-esteem affects what kind of crime and mystery stories readers enjoy.

Find out what readers' preferences say about their personalities.

A Perfect Season

A No. 1 ranking throughout the season. An exciting win over Michigan in the best college football game sports fans can remember. A Heisman win. And a Sports Illustrated cover that declares Ohio State football "The Best. Period."

There's only one thing for the Buckeyes to do now: Capture their second national championship in five years.

Find out what Coach Jim Tressel, Troy Smith, and other players have to say about the January 8 National Championship Game against the Florida Gators.

Before you watch, see a slideshow of pictures from the Ohio State-Michigan game and read about Smith's Heisman and past Ohio State winners.

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