• Community Profiles,  VR

    Albany, Ohio: Virtual Reality Community Profile

    Albany, Ohio, is a place of food, football and family, and one stoplight. Located 11 miles southwest of Athens, Albany’s population is just 907 people. It is the Alexander School District home to the Spartans and the most educated school in southeastern Ohio. For this virtual reality project, we focused on local sites that give the village much of its charm. Albany Cafe is a staple for after-church lunch and a place to just gather with friends, located in the old Alexander Consolidated School on Washington Road. Deputy’s Pizza is claimed to be the “best pizza on earth” as described by our interviewees, and the Spartans’ football field is where…

  • Community Stories,  VR

    Experience new band 90’S KIDS and their genre busting music

    After interviewing local Athens band, 90’S KIDS, the only word I can come up to describe them is humble. Consisting of three members, Corey Mouch, Robby MacAskill, and Matt King, they ooze a sense of casual confidence. 90’S KIDS brings a sense of nostalgia for any kids born in the 1990s but goes beyond stereotypical imagery and references. From incorporating inspiration from their own family and friends, the band’s lyrics are actually relatable and far from the angsty grunge that seemed to dominate the ’90s decade. “Instead of playing video games, and doing stuff like that, we get to do band things,” MacAskill said. “Looking at it as less of…

  • Community Stories,  VR

    Beads (and Things) in Athens’ Backyard

    When other little girls were playing with dolls, Jo Merkle played with beads. “They all have stories, and they all have memories,” she said. “People have adorned themselves since they walked on two legs.” In 1990, Merkle turned her passion into profit and opened what is quite possibly the most culturally diverse craft store in Appalachia: Beads & Things. At first glance, the store is an explosion of color: beads and stones of every shape, size and shade hang from display racks, sit in baskets on the floor, and in small bowls on every available surface. As dazzling as it is, the true emphasis is on the “things,” as there…

  • Community Stories,  VR

    Ohio University Professor Uses Virtual Reality to Help Athletes Back to Sport

    ATHENS, Ohio – Virtual reality is leading to better ACL recovery, researchers at Ohio University say. Associate professor Dustin Grooms , who specializes in biomechanics, has researched how an athlete’s brain changes after a ligament injury during sport. With goggles, cameras, two plates and a six-inch drop-off, Grooms can measure a lot what the eye can’t see. “(The plates) take advantage of Newton’s Third Law of Motion, which is based on if you hit the ground, you get an equal and opposite reaction force that comes and hits you,” Grooms explained. “So we actually measure the force that the ground hits you with, but you hit the ground with the…

  • Community Stories,  VR

    The Athens Farmers Market, a Community Experience

    Ironically set between a chain steakhouse and a movie theater on East State Street, the Athens Farmers Market has developed into a community staple and a destination for foodies throughout Appalachia. When the market opened in the early 1970s, it was comprised of only three farmers. Since then, it has grown tremendously. Click HERE for a virtual representation of the farmer market with interviews of vendors A study conducted by the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs perfectly portrays the popularity of the market. When the study took place, the population of Athens was 23,832, and the average Saturday attendance to the farmers market was over 2,500 people. The…

  • Community Stories,  VR

    Ohio U Builds Pilot Community with its Graduates

    “I can’t see doing anything else,” Ohio University Aviation Instructor Eric Lee said, “I love it.” Lee, 34, grew up in Athens, Ohio, and after dabbling around in a few other occupations, fell in love with flying. The university and its aviation program seemed like an easy fit, and he doesn’t see himself leaving anytime soon. Many aviation graduates instruct to accumulate flight hours toward being certified to fly commercially, but Lee enjoys instructing. “I like passing on knowledge and the thought of building the next group of pilots,” he said.   Kevin Farrell, 29, is an OU aviation student from Dayton, Ohio. He bounced between careers before choosing aviation.…