The independent news organization of Duke University

The Best Around

Spend a little bit of time at Duke-much shorter than four years, a smidge longer than a PFrosh-and you'll meet some interesting people.

They're not interesting in that whole sex, drugs and rock n' roll way. They probably won't wow you with their beer pong skills or their stories about what they did last night.

But 30 years from now, when you're telling your friends about the big shots that you knew way back when they were undergrads, these are probably the people that are going to come to mind.

They're the twister-theory-studying, cancer-curing, Dante-translating, 50-digits-of-pi-reciting Rhodes and Marshall scholar candidates. In this issue, Sarah Ball is going to introduce them to you, and show you what it takes to be like them. Surprise, surprise-you don't have to possess a hot-shot A.B. Duke pedigree.

Of course, for every overachiever there's an overachieving slacker-the kid who spends countless hours on ACES every semester looking for Duke's easiest four classes. Believe it or not, the University's top administrators think there's a place in the curriculum for these less-challenging classes-so long as they're not too easy. Seyward Darby and Emily Rotberg go behind-the-scenes to find out where easy classes come from and where they go when it becomes clear that they're just not hard enough.

As important as academics sometimes seem, the characters outside the East Campus wall are fascinating in their own right. Neil Donnelly, the bouncer at Charlie's Pub and Grille, does magic when he's not blocking underage students at the bar's door. Former Duke basketball player Brian Davis, 36 years old and one of the owners of West Village, became the NBA's youngest majority owner when his group of investors bought the Memphis Grizzlies. Senior Jason Strasser has risen to the top of the online poker world, winning almost half a million bucks in a single tournament. He shares some of the lessons he's learned in our back page column.

And the ladies at Frisky Business-an adult toy boutique-are teaching Duke students and Durham residents how to make their sex lives just a little more exciting.

It's an interesting world out there-and down the hall-you've just got to look a little deeper.


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