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Daily Herald the Brown

vol. cxliv, no. 61 | Thursday, September 10, 2009 | Serving the community daily since 1891

In ‘horrendous’ year, endowment fell $740m By Nicole Friedman Senior Staf f Writer

The University’s endowment lost $740 million in the 12 months ending with June 30, falling to just over $2 billion, President Ruth Simmons said at a faculty meeting on Wednesday. But the discouraging endowment picture was tempered by relatively robust fundraising, Simmons said. In fiscal year 2009, the endowment lost 26.6 percent of its market value. During that period, the endowment paid out $132 million and the University received $44 million in endowment gifts, Simmons said. On June 30, the endowment was worth $2.038 billion. The endowment’s real asset investments, such as real estate and commodities, fared worst, falling almost 40 percent in the year, Simmons said. In contrast, the endowment’s fixed income investments increased 7 percent. “I’m happy to say that things are going ver y well,” Simmons told the faculty, adding that worstcase economic scenarios had been avoided, both worldwide and for the University. “We did not have to cancel (faculty) searches or do some of the more

draconian things being done” at peer institutions, Simmons said. The endowment’s value at the end of June roughly matches the administration’s “working assumption,” announced in January, that the once-$2.8 billion endowment would be worth roughly $2 billion when the turbulent fiscal year was over. Administrators will meet with members of the Corporation’s committee on the financial crisis on Friday “to get their advice about the next steps,” Simmons told the faculty. “We’ll keep you informed and involved as much as we can.” Kim Perley / Herald

Fundraising strong in down year The “odd thing,” Simmons said, is that “in spite of a horrendous year otherwise” for the University’s finances, the school raised $193.4 million — an all-time record for total cash giving. The Campaign for Academic Enrichment also reached a landmark in 2009, exceeding its $1.4 billion goal more than a year ahead of schedule. The drive had raised $1.421 billion as of August 28, according to the campaign’s Web site.

Members of the class of 2013 lined up to undertake a Brown rite of passage. After a procession through the Van Wickle Gates, President Ruth Simmons and Professor of Biology Johanna Schmitt welcomed new students.

Simmons welcomes class of 2013 By Heeyoung Min Staff Writer

President Ruth Simmons officially opened the University’s 246th year Wednesday afternoon, formally welcoming new members of the Brown community. Following tradition, incoming students marched through the Van Wickle Gates to the Main Green as

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No anger, just let-down at the new Blue Room


News.....1-4 Metro........5-6 Spor ts...7 Editorial..10 Opinion...11 Today........12

“This year, the fallout of the financial crisis will continue,” President Simmons said. But while University services may be slower and events “less lavish,” Simmons said, the University will preserve “things of greater value.” For example, last year a donor contributed $30 million in support continued on page 4

U. eyes purchase of former highway land By Lauren Fedor Senior Staff Writer

By Ellen Cushing Senior Staff Writer

With Faunce House under construction all year, the Blue Room has reopened in temporary quarters in the old mailroom. But students say it’s just not the same. “Two years without focaccia (expletive) sandwiches?” asked Carolyn Brown ’11, who visited the new cafe recently but didn’t make a purchase. “That’s just wrong.” In fact, if all goes according to plan, the popular eatery will have a new permanent home one year from now, President Ruth Simmons announced in her Convocation welcome Tuesday. For the interim, the Blue Room settled into its new space and officially reopened Aug. 31. The cafe will have slightly shorter hours — opening at 7 a.m. and closing at 4

parents equipped with camcorders and cameras joined other onlookers cheering from the sidelines. The class of 2013, in turn, forwarded the ovation to faculty members sporting colorful robes as they walked down the aisle to take their seats. The ceremony took a mirthful tone, but President Simmons’s speech did not overlook the realities of the economic times.

Kim Perley / Herald

The Blue Room, in its temporary location, has a limited food selection.

p.m., rather than 5 p.m. The new version is smaller and has different equipment, so it will not be carrying any food that needs to be prepared on-site — including soup, freshly made breakfast sandwiches, or the focaccia sandwiches for which it was famous. (The new cafe does not have an industrial-size oven on site for making fresh bread and muffins.) Instead, the new cafe will have

a wider selection of pre-made sandwiches, wraps and salads, as well as the pastries and bagels offered in previous years. Students said they were disappointed by the lack of focaccia sandwiches in particular. “I wish they made sandwiches like last year — the foccacia things,” said William Streckercontinued on page 2

The University will have the opportunity to acquire up to 36 acres of land in Providence in coming years, according to a report released last week by the governor’s office, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation, the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation and the city. And the University has expressed interest in doing just that. The report, “Rhode Island Interstate 195 Relocation Surplus Land: Redevelopment and Marketing Analysis,” cited the University as a potential buyer of new lands that will be opened as part of the state’s ongoing “Iway” project to relocate the junction of I-95 and I-195 downtown. The Iway project will be complete and the reclaimed land will be ready for use by the end of 2012, according to the Department of Transportation Web site. Prepared by a team of consul-

tants, the report identified more than 20 parcels of land that will be made available for sale. The parcels comprise 36 acres of newly cleared land in the Jewelry District, Old Harbor, Fox Point and College Hill, according to a press release from the Department of Transportation. The state’s Economic Development Corporation will manage the disposition, or sale, of the land, according to the release. The report highlighted three objectives that officials hope will come from the re-use of the land: increased tax revenue, economic development — which will draw industries and jobs to the area — and urban revitalization. The report pointed to both Brown and Johnson and Wales University as prospective buyers of the land, suggesting that allowing the institutions to expand would support a “knowledge-based” economy in the area. continued on page 5

Metro, 5

Sports, 7

Opinions, 11

Assault at Fish Co. Bar shut down for three days in August following assaults and an arrest

Youth Movement The men’s soccer team may be young, but they have a taste for success

Unhealthy haste Ivy Chang ’10 urges caution in the rush to vaccinate against swine flu

195 Angell Street, Providence, Rhode Island

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C ampus N EWS

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kim Perley / Herald

Where aisles of mailboxes once stood, the Blue Room has made a temporary home. The new space offers more space but no kitchen, and the resulting loss of certain favorite menu items has frustrated some students.

New Blue Room gets mixed reviews continued from page 1 Kellogg ’10. Molly Cousins ’11 was saddened by the disappearance of fresh soup. Even the absence of full kitchen amenities should not be an obstacle to fresh, delicious soup, Cousins said. “I think it would be reasonable to get a hot plate for soup,” she said. Nanaho Kamei ’10, a supervisor at the Blue Room, said the lack of custom-made sandwiches had disappointed some people, noting that workers can’t accommodate requests for special condiments or vegetarian versions of sandwiches. “There’s been no anger per se, but a lot of frustration and disap-

pointment,” Kamei said. Kamei also said there has been a bit of confusion as student workers and professional staff get used to the new setup. “A lot of us are trying to orient ourselves,” she said. Aaron Zick ’11, another supervisor, agreed. “Things are going to be less efficient while supervisors figure everything out,” he said. There do appear, however, to be some upsides to the new setup. Kamei said the new muffin tins are shallower and wider, resulting in pastries with a higher proportion of the much-loved muffin top. Zick said he had tried one of the new sandwiches and was satisfied with it. “The pre-made sandwiches are pretty good,” he said, noting that they are made fresh every day by

Brown Dining Services. Kamei also said the new Blue Room’s space — a sun-filled and spacious multipurpose room with an outdoor patio — was better than the location administrators originally targeted as a temporary headquarters, the lobby of the Salomon Center. “It’s a lot better than Salomon lobby,” she said. “We actually have space and aren’t on top of each other.” “It’s a poor alternative, but it could have been much worse,” she added. Allie Gips ’10 said she was happy the new space had room for seating. “I’m pleased they managed to preserve a space on campus for people to come together — a community space.”


Daily Herald the Brown

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The Brown Daily Herald (USPS 067.740) is an independent newspaper serving the Brown University community daily since 1891. It is published Monday through Friday during the academic year, excluding vacations, once during Commencement, once during Orientation and once in July by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Single copy free for members of the community. POSTMASTER please send corrections to P.O. Box 2538, Providence, RI 02906. Periodicals postage paid at Providence, R.I. Offices are located at 195 Angell St., Providence, R.I. E-mail World Wide Web: Subscription prices: $319 one year daily, $139 one semester daily. Copyright 2009 by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009


C ampus N EWS

“It’s like living in the stone age.” — Gabe Paley ’12, on coping with the Mocha outage Tuesday night

Creators at a loss to explain Mocha outage By Brigitta Greene Senior Staf f Writer

The night before classes began brought even more stress than usual. Mocha — the student-developed Web alternative to the University’s online course catalogue — suffered technical difficulties and was unavailable to students for much of the evening, causing widespread frustration as hundreds tried to access the site to plan the first day of shopping period. The service, which is hosted by an outside company, went down early Tuesday afternoon and began working again at some point Wednesday morning, said Daniel Leventhal ’07, one of the four original creators of the service. He said the problem resolved itself after they restarted the ser ver, though it is still unclear precisely what went wrong. “It happens,” he said. “It has gone down in the past. In this case, we don’t really know what’s

going on.” But students looking for lastminute course and scheduling information were not so equanimous. Angr y Facebook statuses and tweets across campus told tales of frustration and confusion. “It was the single most important day for Brown students to have Mocha,” said Gabe Paley ’12, who tried unsuccessfully to access the Web site as early as 3 p.m. on Tuesday. He said he used the hard copy of the course announcement to plan out his classes, costing him time and scheduling confusion. “It’s like living in the stone age,” he said. Mocha was created in 2006 by undergraduates in the Depar tment of Computer Science. It is not supported by the University and is still maintained independently by its creators, Leventhal said. The site allows students to plot out their course schedule visually and provides reading lists, professor information and further course details.

“It happens. It has gone down in the past. In this case, we don’t really know what’s going on.” Daniel Leventhal ’07 Mocha co-founder Although Brown does of fer Banner — its own online course registration and catalogue site — “Mocha is much more user friendly,” said Haley Kossek ’13. She added that freshman are unaccustomed to both ser vices and were less frustrated by Mocha’s absence. Leventhal said he did not think any problems were related to Mocha’s heavy usage before the start of classes, noting that Mocha has sur vived many other registration periods. He said he does not expect a similar crash to happen again.

Service month engages staff in local aid By Caitlin Trujillo Staf f Writer

As students return to classes, University faculty and staff are heading to walkathons , farms and food banks as part of a new program to get them more involved in the community. As part of the “Brown Gives 30 Days of Service” program, volunteers will log community service hours in the Providence area from Sept. 12 to Oct. 11. Amy Umstadter, the chair of the President’s Staff Advisory Committee, said the committee arranged to send volunteers to organizations that were particularly in need of help. For example, said Umstadter, when the SAC learned that the Rhode Island Community Food Bank was facing low food reserves, the food bank led the SAC to the Community Farm Group and to farms in need of volunteers. Volunteers will also paint fences, help run a walkathon for Hasbro Children’s Hospital, hold a campusbased food drive and work in the garden at School One, an independent Providence high school. Umstadter, the assistant direc-

tor of stewardship and events in the Office of Biomedical Development, said she did not know how many people have signed up for volunteer activities so far. Though the farms and School One all requested a set number of volunteers, the walkathon and the food drive both lack volunteer caps. “Our goal is just as many people as possible,” Umstadter said, adding that the group would report numbers at the charge’s conclusion. The initiative, she said, was born of the current economic crisis. President Ruth Simmons and the SAC created “Brown Gives” as a way to help the local community. A sur vey conducted in June showed that many faculty and staff members expressed an interest in service work. Umstadter said they believed people would be more likely to volunteer if a channel for service opportunities existed. The SAC began organizing with service providers while publicizing the event to faculty and staff in Brown Morning Mail, including links to sign-up pages.

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The initiative was not open to students this year, Umstadter said, because other opportunities are available to them through the Swearer Center. Transportation considerations were also a factor, she added. “We’ll see if next year, if we get a really overwhelming response, if we might open it up to students,” Umstadter said. The SAC may also collaborate with other Brown committees in the future to organize community ser vice. The SAC has worked with Serve Rhode Island to encourage Brown community members to sign up for ser vice opportunities with Ser ve Rhode Island, particularly if they are unable to par ticipate in the “Brown Gives” initiative directly, Umstadter said. For now, however, Umstadter views the initiative as a chance for University faculty and staff to help forge a stronger connection to the community around them. “People should take this opportunity to connect with each other and the community in which we live,” she said.

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C ampus N EWS

Thursday, September 10, 2009

“Ruth looked like a baller in her hat and robe.” — Max Potkin ’13

Big losses tempered with fundraising Recession, selection themes continued from page 1 Though new gifts and pledges to the campaign dropped 25 percent from last year, Brown still fared better than its peers. New gifts and pledges fell an average of 33 percent among peer schools,

Marisa Quinn, vice president for public affairs and University relations, wrote in an e-mail. The Brown Annual Fund finished the fiscal year with nearly $35 million, 0.4 percent below last year’s total. The Parents Annual Fund’s total was 48 percent greater

than its total last year. “One wonders where we would be if not for the campaign,” Simmons said. Wednesday’s faculty meeting was the first for Professor of Physics Chung-I Tan as the new chair of the Faculty Executive

for Convocation speeches continued from page 1 of financial aid, she said. Simmons also cited current and upcoming construction projects as evidence that the Brown community had rallied in the face of economic challenge and that campus progress has not abated. Following President Simmons, Professor of Biology Johanna Schmitt marked the year of Darwin’s 200th birthday by invoking a variety of evolutionary metaphors to welcome new students to campus. Schmitt drew on her expertise in evolutionary ecology for the subject of her keynote speech, entitled “Natural Selection in an Age of Global Change.” Although 245 classes have preceded this year’s freshmen, Schmitt told the first-years that they had arrived at Brown in an “extraordinary year.” Beyond the historically poor economic climate, Schmitt said this year was special because of Darwin’s birthday. Schmitt told the class of 2013 that while there is “overwhelming” evidence and consensus within the scientific community in favor of evolution, the theory remains a “social controversy,” especially in religious circles. She prompted students to accept or reject the theory of evolution, or any theory they encounter during their college careers, by examining the evidence with a critical eye. Schmitt also addressed Dar-

win’s theory of natural selection in a contemporary context. Describing Darwin’s original theory that the essence of evolution is pure life-or-death competition between individuals as “overly simplistic,” she implored students to work collaboratively, cautioning that selfish behavior may only have “short-term benefits.” “Cooperation and altruistic behavior will benefit you as well as the people around you,” she said. “So think about that during organic chemistry.” Schmitt jokingly promised “gratuitous” advice at the start of her speech, and she kept her word. “Structure your niche at Brown,” she encouraged the new students. “I challenge you to evolve into the person you want to be.” Several students said that, while they found Schmitt to be passionate about her field, they had difficulty personally connecting with her speech. “I am not a science person so it didn’t resonate with me,” Maya Harjo ’13 said. All students interviewed, however, were enthused by President Simmons’ presence. “Ruth looked like a baller in her hat and robe. She just looks awesome up there. I’m a fan thus far,” said Max Potkin ’13. “I got more excited for Brown after hearing her speech.”

Metro The Brown Daily Herald

“I want to cater to everybody.” — David Douros, owner of Baja’s Thursday, September 10, 2009 | Page 5

Fish Co. assault leads to alum’s arrest, three-day shutdown By George Miller Metro Editor

photo / Herald

New restaurants, including Shark Sushi Bar and Grille, above, opened on Thayer Street this summer.

Sharks, sneakers headline Thayer summer openings By Sara Sunshine Senior Staf f Writer

As a new fall semester begins, new restaurants and stores have begun to pop up on Thayer Street, though some shuttered windows remain. Shark Sushi Bar and Grill, at 275 Thayer, opened about two months ago and has enjoyed “excellent” business, said owner Ray Hugh. The restaurant, which prominently houses a tank with a five-foot shark, sees customers from “all walks of

life,” including many students, Hugh said. Next door, Baja’s, serving TexMex cuisine as well as Philly cheesesteaks, opened recently next door. Owner David Douros, who has four other restaurants near the University of Rhode Island’s campus, said he is accustomed to serving a student population. “I want to cater to everybody,” Douros said. “People come in with continued on page 6

Report: U. targeted as buyer for newly vacant ‘I-way’ land continued from page 1 The University has already expressed interest in purchasing many of the parcels, said Richard Spies, executive vice president for planning and senior adviser to President Ruth Simmons, in an interview Wednesday. “Brown has had an interest in this area for some time,” he said. “When the study was underway and the consultants were going around and talking to people, we said we would definitely be interested.” Spies added that the University has taken a particular interest in property in the city’s Jewelry District, where the University already owns—and plans to renovate—an existing building for use by the Alpert Medical School. “We identified some parcels that are most adjacent to the property we already owned,” he explained. But Spies added that the University’s interest in the land is not necessarily related to an expansion of the Med School. “It is a space where the University can expand, that’s valuable to the University over time,” he said of the area. “What would actually happen there would depend on the needs and opportunities as they

arise over time.” And in light of the University’s current financial situation — many previously planned construction projects have been modified, postponed and in some cases cancelled — Spies said the Corporation and other University officials would be obligated to seriously consider the costs of acquiring the additional land. “Those constraints are very real,” he said of the University’s finances. “It would certainly be part of the discussion, and those are issues we will have to wrestle with if and when we get to that point.” Spies pointed out that, though discussions about land acquisition are ongoing, no definitive decisions have been made about any of the parcels. “It is yet to be determined whether we will acquire any of that property at all,” he said. “There are a lot of unknowns.” But despite these unknowns, Spies said there is reason to be optimistic about the possibility of purchasing the land. “If we were to go forward, it really would be an investment in the future,” he said. “The hurdle is real, but I think there’s reason to be optimistic.”

The popular off-campus nightspot Fish Company shut its doors for three days last month as punishment after altercations at an April party sent two patrons to the hospital, including one who was punched by a bouncer. The bouncer, former Brown football player David Howard ’09, was charged with simple assault by police after escorting Paul Lilley, of Southborough, Mass., outside and allegedly punching him several times in the face, according to a police report. The report says Lilley and a witness identified Howard as the attacker. Another victim, Thomas Kass, was beaten unconscious by an older white male whom police could not locate. continued on page 6

Kim Perley / Herald

Popular student nightspot Fish Co. was closed for three days in August after a bouncer, a former Brown football player, was charged with simple assault.

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M etro


“One person will say they want a healthy vegetarian burrito and the other will say, ‘I want something with meat.’” — David Douros, owner of Baja’s Restaurant

Fish Co. assault shuts down clubs for 3 days continued from page 5 The bar was filled with Br yant University party-goers who had paid $20 for tickets that offered “all they could eat and drink,” as attendees told the police. Howard removed Lilley from the bar after he complained about being told to pay for drinks. When police arrived, they found Kass on the ground and both Kass and Lilley, who were seniors at Br yant at the time, bleeding from the face. Both were taken to Rhode Island Hospital. Police shut down the party after deciding the club was overcrowded and some patrons appeared to be underage. The club, located at 515 S. Water St., is responsible for the conduct of its patrons inside and outside the building, said Maxford Foster, assistant solicitor for the city, who represented police at the August hearing at which Fish Co. agreed to close for three days. That oversight did not happen in this case, he added. The city law department and police met with Fish Co. to work

Thursday, September 10, 2009

out the agreement, said Andrew Annaldo, who chairs the Board of Licenses, under whose pur view the hearing took place. The board agreed that the three-day closure was an appropriate punishment, he said. The city will soon adopt “more stringent requirements” regulating bouncers, including registration, training and background checks, Annaldo said. The changes, which must be approved by the City Council, are not a response to any particular incident but an “overall effort to improve how establishments handle nightlife,” he said. Jay Kern, the owner of Fish Co., did not respond to phone messages requesting comment. The Providence Journal reported in August that Kern told the Board of Licenses that he admitted to the facts in the police report, saying that the situation got out of control when many more patrons than expected showed up. Howard, the bouncer, pleaded not guilty to one charge of simple assault, the Journal reported on Aug. 21, and his case was pending in court.

Restaurants abound on new-look Thayer continued from page 5 their friends … and one person will say they want a healthy vegetarian burrito and the other will say, ‘I want something with meat.’” Baja’s unusual combination of cuisines was inspired by the economy, Douros said. Having two operations under one roof reduces overhead and expands the client base, he said. Baja’s also offers soft-serve ice cream and frozen yogurt — for post-dinner snacks, according to Douros. Meanwhile, at 290 Thayer, Beadworks has relocated and been replaced by Sneaker Junkies, which opened Aug. 1. The shoe store, which also has a downtown location, chose to expand to Thayer because of its “good traffic,” said owner Maher Najjar. Sneaker Junkies brings a “different look to Thayer Street … adding a little variety for the average shopper,” Najjar said. Down the road at 215 and 217 Thayer, workers will soon begin constructing the interior of the Better Burger Company, said owner Andy Mitrelis. The sandwich

Kim Perley / Herald

Baja’s offers “Tex” and “Mex” to cater to a wide audience.

shop should open in a couple of months, he said. Not all Thayer businesses have fared so well. The storefront on the corner of Thayer and Angell

Street that formerly housed Roba Dolce remains boarded up, after the Italian cafe was evicted last spring for apparently getting behind on its rent.

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SportsThursday The Brown Daily Herald

Youth movement sparks men’s soccer By Katie Wood Assistant Sports Editor

With 17 underclassmen on a roster of 28, the men’s soccer team knew it would be young and inexperienced coming into the 2009 season. But the past four years have been among the most successful in the team’s history, and the team’s returning players are used to experiencing success. Brown soccer fans will see a number of new faces on the field this year. Many sophomores gained valuable experience as the Bears battled through injuries last season, turning to freshmen to make an immediate impact. The same goes for the current freshman class, which already put together a solid performance on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball in the team’s opening 1-1 double-overtime tie against Lehigh on Sunday. “They’ve incorporated themselves into the system here at Brown,” said Head Coach Mike Noonan. “They complement the team very well, and we expect them to continue to make a strong contribution throughout the season.” Dylan Remick ’13 and Ryan McDuff ’13 have helped fill the hole in the defense left by the departures of Rhett Bernstein ’09 and Stephen Sawyer ’09. Starting defender Ian Smith ’11 is also out for the next several weeks with a broken foot, but he has high hopes for the defense. “We have a talented freshman class and

everyone is feeding off of their energy,” Smith said. “The new defenders are going to have a huge presence on the team and will have to be at the top of their game in order for us to win close games.” Evan Coleman ’12 and Sean McGrath ’11 will also add depth to a defense that will need to step up in the absence of key players. Co-captain David Walls ’11 remains as the most seasoned defender on the back line. Walls played the most minutes on the team last year and has started all but one game in his collegiate career. The Bears lost forwards Dylan Sheehan ’09 and Darren Howerton ’09 to graduation, but they return Jon Okafor ’11 and TJ Thompson ’10 up front. Sophomores Sean Rosa and Austin Mandel will also look to contribute on the offensive side of the ball. Co-captain Thomas Thunell ’10 will anchor the midfield along with 2008 All-Ivy selection Nick Elenz-Martin ’10. Rob Medairos ’12 and Taylor Gorman ’12 will benefit from the playing time they earned last season as they look to make a contribution to the team. In goal, the Bears lost Jarrett Leech ’09, whose 0.87 goals against average was near the top of the Ivy League. This year, Paul Grandstrand ’11, Jarod Schlenker ’10 and Sam Kernan-Schloss ’13 are all capable of stepping into the goal and finding success, according to Smith. The biggest contribution of the underclassmen is overall depth and competitiveness. Over the summer, Noonan set the bar high for the team’s physical fitness. Every

freshman came to Brown in top shape and passed the preseason fitness test, one of the first times they have all passed, according to Smith. In the Lehigh game, Smith said the team passed the ball with precision and created a lot of scoring opportunities that did not come as easily last season. “We’re running a faster paced offense with more combination play,” Smith said. “We’re clicking on all cylinders right now, but we need to add the finishing aspect in order to do well this year.” The Bears outshot the Mountain Hawks 27-8 in the game, but only converted on one of the opportunities, when Okafor scored off a pass from Rosa with under two minutes remaining in regulation. Lehigh goalkeeper Jonathan Nydell recorded nine saves in 110 minutes of play, which Smith called the “game of his life.” Noonan also commended Lehigh’s superb defense. “It was a game where we would have liked to score on our chances, but it came down to the goalkeeper and the defense more so than us converting,” Noonan said. “We played well, but the defense was good.” The Bears open up the Adidas-Brown Classic on Friday at Stevenson Field against Southern Methodist at 7:30 p.m. They close the Classic with a 2:30 p.m. match against Adelphi on Sunday. “We picked up a lot of things from the Lehigh game, including working on finishing our chances,” Noonan said. “We’re going to work hard to get better every day.”

Thursday, September 10, 2009 | Page 7

Women’s soccer drops season opener By Han Cui Assistant Sports Editor

The women’s soccer team lost its season opener to Boston College for the second straight year Sept. 4, falling by a 5-0 score. The Eagles, ranked No. 16 in the nation, dominated offensively, outshooting the Bears 31-8, while their defense kept Brown off the board. Boston College struck quickly after the first whistle blew. Just two minutes into the game, Eagles forward Victoria DiMartino found a pass off the rebound from a teammate and shot it past Bears’ goalkeeper Brenna Hogue ’10 into the net. DiMartino scored another goal, unassisted, twenty minutes later to put the Eagles in a comfortable position with a 2-0 lead. The Bears had some chances in the second half, but could not deliver a goal. In the 61st minute, Sylvia Stone ’11 ran with a loose ball into the Eagles’ box, but she shot high. Another forward, Erika Lum ’11, narrowly missed a scoring opportunity when her shot from outside the box hit the goal’s crossbar. The Eagles never eased their offense, as they notched three more goals during the second half. Steffi Yellin ’10 replaced Hogue, who saved seven shots in the first half, after halftime and notched six saves of her own. The Bears will look for their first win of the season this weekend at the Arizona Classic. They will face off against host Arizona on Friday night and the University of San Diego on Sunday afternoon.

World & Nation The Brown Daily Herald

Wolf hunt can go forward, judge rules By Kim Murphy Los Angeles Times

SEATTLE — With four gray wolves having been killed in Idaho since Sept. 1, a federal judge has cleared the way for legal hunting of the onceendangered predators to proceed. U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy found there would be no irreparable harm if the limited hunt in Idaho and Montana were allowed to go forward. But in continuing to list Wyoming wolves under the Endangered Species Act, the judge wrote, “the (Fish and Wildlife) Service has distinguished a natural population of wolves based on a political line, not the best available science.” That finding suggested a coalition of conservation groups would have a good chance of prevailing when its argument against delisting the wolves gets a full hearing later. Twelve of the predators were killed in Wyoming between April and July of 2008, when the law allowed hunters and ranchers to shoot them on sight, chase them down with snow machines and target them near elk feeding stations. That law prompted U.S. officials to retain endangered species status for

the roughly 300 predators residing there. “It was basically just a free-fire, more than a hunt,” said Louisa Willcox of the Natural Resources Defense Council in Montana. “We’re disappointed, of course, that the wolf hunts are proceeding” in Idaho and Montana, she said Wednesday, “but in the big picture, we are optimistic about the prospects.” Conservationists’ big fear is that -— although only 295 of the region’s 1,650 wolves can be targeted by hunters this year — new federal regulations allow the total number of wolves to drop as low as 300. Typically, large numbers of wolves are killed every year as a result of poaching, accidents and conflicts with livestock. Molloy did not address that issue. But he did find that the overall population of wolves in the region can sustain a year’s harvest “in excess of 30 percent,” which is greater than the number targeted for this year. Legal wolf hunting opened in two areas of Idaho on Sept. 1 and will expand to most of the state by the end of the month.

Thursday, September 10, 2009 | Page 8

Apple’s Jobs makes surprise appearance By Dan Fost and Alex Pham Los Angeles T imes

SAN FRANCISCO — It was supposed to be about Apple Inc.’s dazzling new products. Instead, the company’s news conference on Wednesday was about the man. Grinning like a kid in a toy store, Apple’s Chief Executive Steve Jobs stole the spotlight with his first official public appearance in nearly a year. He received a liver transplant about five months ago and returned to work part time at the end of June. Hundreds greeted Jobs’ surprise attendance with a standing ovation at Apple’s product unveiling event at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. “I have the liver of a 20-something person who died in a car crash, and who was generous enough to donate their organs,” said Jobs, 54, who appeared markedly thin and spoke in a scratchy voice. “I wouldn’t be here without such generosity, so I hope all of us can be as generous and elect to be organ donors.” The intense focus on Jobs’ health underscores his importance to the Cupertino, Calif., technology company that he co-founded in 1976

with Steve Wozniak. Jobs departed in 1985, ousted by then-CEO John Sculley, but returned in 1997 to help the ailing company return to profitability. But in 2004, Jobs announced he had pancreatic cancer. On Jan. 5, Jobs said he had a “hormonal imbalance” and that the remedy would be “relatively simple and straightforward.” On Jan. 14, Jobs said his health issues were “more complex than I originally thought” and that he would take a five-month medical leave. Apple’s shares fell $2.38 that day, down 2.7 percent to $85.33. Days later, the Securities and Exchange Commission started an inquiry into whether Apple appropriately disclosed the nature of his illness. SEC has not commented on the probe. Jobs’ return to the public eye signaled that the company’s chief impresario was back in charge. “It was a little moving for many of us,” said Tom Conrad, chief technology officer for Pandora, an Internet radio company that makes one of the most popular applications for Apple’s iPhone. “He certainly has played a critical role in designing the future, and to see him back talking about products is good for the industry.” Jobs, filling his familiar role as master of ceremonies, unveiled several improvements to the lineup of iPods, a product that helped to cement Apple’s place among the decade’s most influential technology companies. Since launching the digital music device in October 2001, Apple has sold more than 220 million iP-

ods, compared with roughly 180 million Walkman players sold by Sony Corp., according to Daniel Ernst, analyst with Hudson Square Research. But sales of the device has slowed in recent months as consumers opted instead for the iPhone, which does many of the same functions of the iPod in addition to being a mobile phone. Last quarter, sales of the iPod declined 7 percent from the same period a year earlier. “This is one of his babies,” said Tim Bajarin, a longtime Silicon Valley technology analyst who also attended Jobs’ presentation in 2001 when he introduced the first iPod. “He’s saying that iPods are still important.” Aiming squarely at the pocketsized video recorder market dominated by Cisco Systems Inc.’s Flip camcorders, Jobs announced that the new iPod nano would sport a video camera, FM radio tuner, pedometer and 8 gigabytes of memory. Apple also lowered the price of its entry-level iPod Touch, with Jobs highlighting the device as an alternative to Sony’s PlayStation Portable and Nintendo Co.’s DS lines of handheld game consoles. “It was all incremental improvements,” Ernst said. “But those subtle changes keep the company leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.” Despite the rock ’n’ roll theme of the event — which featured pop diva Norah Jones on stage singing two songs — Apple disappointed legions of Beatles fans who had hoped the company would at long last put the Fab Four’s music on the iTunes store.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Page 9

World & Nation Patients offer mixed reviews of plan By Philip Rucker Washington Post

STAFFORD, Va. — The doctors and the patients they treat at a community hospital here in Northern Virginia’s exurban frontier agreed with President Obama’s assertions Wednesday that the national health-care system is broken, and most agreed that all Americans should be covered. But even as Obama presented his ambitious health care reform agenda in his clearest and most urgent terms yet, he failed to win over some people who for months have opposed progressive elements of his reform plan, or who have been uneasy or plain confused about others. “We do need something,” David Varrelman, a longtime police officer from Stafford, said from his hospital bed as he recovered from gall bladder surger y. “But they’ve got to come up with something that’s going to be paid for and that’s not government-controlled.” Earlier in the day, Varrelman, 77, said he could support Obama’s efforts if the president made some bipar tisan compromises, such as abandoning his proposal for a government-run insurance option. Varrelman likened the public option to “a camel with his nose in the tent. If you let the camel’s nose in, before you know it the whole camel’s in the tent, the whole (health-care system) will be government controlled.” The Staf ford Hospital Center opened this Februar y in the heart of Stafford County, a mostly conservative jurisdiction some 45 miles south of Washington populated with suburban commuters and rural farmers. The not-forprofit hospital of fers a prism through which to understand some of the forces still plaguing Obama’s health-care efforts. In Stafford, as in other Northern Virginia exurbs, Obama had

surprising electoral success during last year’s presidential contest, outperforming recent Democratic candidates and attracting nearly as many votes as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. But Obama’s personal appeal in the region has not translated into support for health-care reform, according to an August Washington Post poll showing that voters here mirrored those nationally in their divide on the issue. Overall, 49 percent of residents of Northern Virginia’s outer exurbs called health-care reform a worthy effort, and 48 percent said it would do more harm than good. Yet while a majority of voters here said they were satisfied with their insurance coverage and the quality of health care they receive, Census data show that roughly 15,000 residents of Stafford County, or 13.2 percent of the population, have no health insurance. This fact weighs on doctors at Stafford Hospital Center, which treats a steady flow of uninsured patients in its emergency department. “The national health-care system is already in place, and that is to go to the emergency department,” said Shin Sato, the hospital’s emergency medical director. “A sore throat or bruised ankle could easily be seen by a primarycare physician, but we see them, and it overwhelms the emergency system.” Thomas Ryan, the hospital system’s chief medical officer, said the health-care system is “broken,” but the challenge is fixing it in an affordable way. He said he was encouraged that Obama was including tort reform in his proposal. “We wholeheartedly support universal access to medical care, but we have to determine if it’s an MRI for every time a patient has an ache in their knee or a CAT scan of their head every time they have a headache,” Ryan said. “We cannot take the expectations of to-

day’s health-care system and hand that to 46 million new people.” In the emergency waiting room on Wednesday night, patients had mixed reactions to Obama’s speech. As Obama told stories about people who languished with no health insurance, Maureen Schmied, waiting with her injured teenage son, grew agitated. The 42-year-old mortgage broker said she fears that a government-run system would be more inefficient than the current system. “My blood pressure is up,” Schmied said. “I’m livid. For every story he tells about somebody who does not have insurance, there’s one you can tell about somebody who wouldn’t get treatment because the government wouldn’t allow it. For ever y tic, there’s a tack.” Asked midway through the speech whether she agreed with any elements of Obama’s plan, Schmied shrugged: “Not yet.” “He sounds good and is trying to paint a pretty picture, but it’s not an exact science,” Schmied said later. “How is the country going to pay for it? We’re still knee-deep in the recession. We haven’t fixed the economy, but here we’re going to take on more debt.” Upstairs on the hospital’s second floor, meanwhile, a young couple celebrated the birth of their daughter Makia, but lamented that they rely on Medicaid for coverage. The girl’s father, Aquan Chapman, 18, said he supports Obama’s agenda. “I think about it sometimes,” he said. “If I get in an accident, will somebody pay for it and help me out?” Cecil Nelson, 46, a Staf ford contractor who opposes Obama’s reform efforts, watched Obama’s speech in its entirety as his wife saw a doctor about pain in her side. “He explained a lot of things, yes,” Nelson said. “But as far as changing my mind? Not really.”

Beatlemania 2.0: Fans snap up video games, remastered albums By Randy Lewis Los Angeles T imes

LOS ANGELES — The 2009 version of Beatlemania had no screams, no fainting, and little hysteria. But there were plenty of smiles on a wide range of fans indulging their fondness for the music of the Fab Four as “The Beatles: Rock Band” and a batch of new-and-improved CDs of their complete catalog went on sale Wednesday. The release of the new Beatles products are not only crucial for the beleaguered music industr y, which is in the midst of a longterm decline driven by consum-

ers’ switch to digital downloads, but also the video game business, which has seen its rapid growth of the past few years disappear in the current recession. The game in particular represents a major investment of tens of millions of dollars by Viacom Inc. to boost the fortunes of its money-losing “Rock Band” brand. A spokeswoman for Harmonix, the division of MTV Networks that created the game, said the company won’t release sales figures. But a steady stream of customers at a Los Angeles Best Buy indicated the new products are being greeted enthusiastically. Customers came to Best Buy

stores nationwide in “unprecedented numbers,” said Gar y Arnold, senior entertainment buyer for the chain. Amoeba Music in Hollywood had 90 boxes of the catalog of Beatles albums presented in monaural format that they went through by 1 p.m., after opening early for customers at 10 a.m., and by late afternoon the store had only 40 sets left out of 200 of the stereo box set. Such sales appeared to parallel those of online retail giant Amazon, where at different points during the day, the entire top10 list of best-selling music was Beatles albums.

Preacher is arrested in aborted plane hijacking By Tracy Wilkinson Los Angeles T imes

MEXICO CITY — An evangelical preacher acting on what he said was a divine revelation inspired by Wednesday’s date — the ninth day of the ninth month of the ninth year of the century — attempted to hijack a Mexican airliner from Cancun. But he was quickly arrested after landing here, and all 104 passengers aboard the jet were freed and unharmed. Armed with a Bible and a fake bomb made of juice cans, the wouldbe hijacker threatened to blow up Aeromexico Flight 576 bound for Mexico City unless he could speak to Mexican President Felipe Calderon, a security official said. He wanted to warn Calderon of an earthquake that he said will devastate Mexico, national public security chief Genaro Garcia Luna said. The preacher, identified as Jose Marc Flores Pereira of Santa Cruz, Bolivia, who has lived in Mexico for 17 years, acted alone, contrary to earlier reports, and is now under arrest, Garcia Luna said in a Wednesday evening news conference. “He said he was a preacher, and he said he was a drug addict and alcoholic,” Garcia Luna said. “He will be checked to determine his state of mind.” No one was hurt Wednesday in what turned out to be a brief, bizarre internationally televised incident that mobilized hundreds of Mexican security forces and transfixed media and the public but ended in a bloodless rescue. After the national security chief spoke to a crowd of reporters at an airport hangar, the handcuffed suspect was paraded before TV cameras. He smiled, chewed gum and darted his eyes back and forth ner vously. Flores, 44, attempted to shout something to the reporters, but his heavily armed guards bundled him away. A few minutes later, a government microphone put before him, Flores somewhat breathlessly rambled that “We are living the end of the end” and that he needed to announce to the world that “Christ is coming.” He said his “bomb” was two cans filled with dirt and attached to a small light. “What I wanted was that my words be heard,” he said. Calderon, who delayed a planned flight because of the airport alarm, later described the attempted hijacking as an important “test for us all” and he congratulated security

forces for their swift action. “Scary, no?” he said. About an hour into the early-afternoon flight from the popular beach resort, Flores made his demands known to members of the crew, who radioed the threat ahead to air traffic controllers in Mexico City. He also said he wanted the plane to circle the Mexico City airport seven times before landing. Flores did not cause a ruckus onboard and many passengers, who included Mexican and foreign nationals, later said they had not realized that anything was amiss. The Boeing 737 landed at the Mexico City International Airport and taxied to a remote, secure zone. Hundreds of masked federal police backed by military forces quickly surrounded it, while authorities began negotiating with the assailant, the pilot serving as interlocutor. After about 45 minutes, Flores agreed to allow women and children to disembark, and he too descended. Security forces immediately took him into custody; at that point, he claimed to have three accomplices still on board. That led authorities to inspect all of the male passengers, and lead away seven in handcuffs. The seven, including a local congressman from a leftist political party, were eventually cleared and released. Other passengers were ordered to sit briefly on the tarmac and then taken to hangars for debriefing. Explosive experts detonated Flores’ luggage. Passenger Rodrigo Padilla said he noticed one man onboard wearing a white shirt -- apparently Flores -- who repeatedly rose from his seat and checked his bags. Other than that, he said, everything seemed normal. “There were no weapons, no shots,” he said. “No one threatened us.” Passenger Adriana Romero also noticed the man who kept rising. “He didn’t seem a bad guy,” she said. “He had a nice shirt and a good watch.” Garcia Luna said Flores, once in custody, said he’d had a divine revelation that the world was in trouble after he realized the date was Sept. 9, 2009, or 9-9-9, which, upside down, is 6-6-6, symbol of the devil. “So far, we have no indication that he is involved with any terrorist activity,” Garcia Luna said. “The threat was he had an explosive and was going to blow up the plane...and that he was going to crash the plane if he wasn’t given control of it.”

Want to run a business? Join the business staff! Info sessions next Sun., Tues. and Thurs. all at 8 p.m. at 195 Angell St.

Editorial & Letters The Brown Daily Herald

Page 10 | Thursday, September 10, 2009

Herald info sessions Sunday, Sept. 13 Tuesday, Sept. 15 Thursday, Sept. 17 all at 8 p.m. at 195 Angell St. (between Brook and Thayer) Recruiting for all positions. Stop by and give it a try. Questions?

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e d i to r i a l

College confidential

t h e b r o w n d a i ly h e r a l d Editor-in-Chief Steve DeLucia

Managing Editors Michael Bechek Chaz Firestone

Deputy Managing Editors Nandini Jayakrishna Franklin Kanin Michael Skocpol

editorial Arts & Culture Editor Ben Hyman Rosalind Schonwald Arts & Culture Editor Features Editor Sophia Li Metro Editor George Miller Metro Editor Joanna Wohlmuth News Editor Seth Motel News Editor Jenna Stark Sports Editor Andrew Braca Asst. Sports Editor Han Cui Asst. Sports Editor Alex Mazerov Graphics & Photos Chris Jesu Lee Graphics Editor Stephen Lichenstein Graphics Editor Photo Editor Eunice Hong Kim Perley Photo Editor Jesse Morgan Sports Photo Editor production Ayelet Brinn Copy Desk Chief Rachel Isaacs Copy Desk Chief Marlee Bruning Design Editor Jessica Calihan Design Editor Asst. Design Editor Anna Migliaccio Asst. Design Editor Julien Ouellet Neal Poole Web Editor Post- magazine Arthur Matuszewski Editor-in-Chief Kelly McKowen Editor-in-Chief

Senior Editors Rachel Arndt Isabel Gottlieb Scott Lowenstein

Business General Managers Office Manager Shawn Reilly Alexander Hughes Jonathan Spector Directors Ellen DaSilva Sales Director Claire Kiely Sales Director Phil Maynard Sales Director Katie Koh Finance Director Jilyn Chao Asst. Finance Director Managers Local Sales Kelly Wess National Sales Kathy Bui University Sales Alex Carrere Recruiter Sales Christiana Stephenson Credit and Collections Matt Burrows Opinions Alyssa Ratledge Sarah Rosenthal

Opinions Editor Opinions Editor

Editorial Page Board James Shapiro Editorial Page Editor Matt Aks Board member Nick Bakshi Board member Zack Beauchamp Board member Debbie Lehmann Board member William Martin Board member

Marlee Bruning, Designer Ayelet Brinn, Jordan Mainzer, Copy Editors Sydney Ember, Seth Motel, Night Editors Senior Staff Writers Dan Alexander, Emma Berry, Mitra Anoushiravani, Ellen Cushing, Sydney Ember, Lauren Fedor, Nicole Friedman, Britta Greene, Sarah Husk, Matt Klebanoff, Etienne Ma, Brian Mastroianni, Hannah Moser, Luisa Robledo, Ben Schreckinger, Caroline Sedano, Anne Simons, Anne Speyer, Sara Sunshine, Alex Ulmer, Suzannah Weiss, Kyla Wilkes Staff Writers Zunaira Choudhary, Chris Duffy, Nicole Dungca, Juliana Friend, Cameron Lee, Christian Martell, Heeyoung Min, Seth Motel, Jyotsna Mullur, Lauren Pischel, Leslie Primack, Anne Speyer, Alexandra Ulmer, Kyla Wilkes Senior Business Associates Max Barrows, Jackie Goldman, Margaret Watson, Ben Xiong Business Associates Diahndra Burman, Stassia Chyzhykova, Caroline Dean, Marco deLeon, Katherine Galvin, Bonnie Kim, Maura Lynch, Cathy Li, Allen McGonagill, Liana Nisimova, Thanases Plestis, Agathe Roncey, Corey Schwartz, William Schweitzer, Kenneth So, Evan Sumortin, Haydar Taygun, Anshu Vaish, Webber Xu, Lyndse Yess Design Staff Katerina Dalavurak, Gili Kliger, Jessica Kirschner, Joanna Lee, Maxwell Rosero, John Walsh, Kate Wilson, Qian Yin Photo Staff Qidong Chen, Janine Cheng, Alex DePaoli, Frederic Lu, Quinn Savit, Min Wu Copy Editors Sara Chimene-Weiss, Sydney Ember, Lauren Fedor, Miranda Forman, Casey Gaham, Anna Jouravleva, Geoffrey Kyi, Frederic Lu, Jordan Mainzer, Kelly Mallahan, Madeleine Rosenberg Web Developers Jihan Chao

Brown began assigning summer reading three summers ago at the behest of Dean of the College Katherine Bergeron. All incoming first-years read the same book, “How Proust Can Change Your Life,” and wrote letters to their advisers discussing the book and their academic goals at Brown. Freshmen and their advisers had every right to believe these letters were private correspondence. In reality, the letters were screened, without the students’ knowledge or consent, in order to identify the least proficient writers in the class and encourage them to improve their writing. The way in which the University went about evaluating first-years’ writing was dishonest and counterproductive. A discussion of academic goals — the subject of the letters — might naturally have included sensitive details (about upbringing, learning disabilities or academic background, for example) that students might have omitted had they known about the extra set of readers. As a result, we expect that many students will be less forthcoming with their advisers this year, and with good reason. The University’s decision to inform freshmen about the screening process starting with the class of 2013 strikes us as too little, too late. Bergeron owes the student body an apology and a credible promise that student privacy will be respected in the future. If administrators hope to earn back students’ trust, they should answer the following questions: First, has the University recently intercepted other undergraduate communications without notice or prior warning? Second, under what circumstances are University employees allowed to look at student correspondence? Third, how will Brown hold its employees accountable for divulging a student’s confidential information without her permission? Answering these questions is crucial to restoring

not only first-year faith in the advising system, but also the student body’s belief in the administration’s commitment to their welfare. Spying on someone’s private correspondence is profoundly intrusive and cannot be justified by the need to improve his writing skills. While Bergeron’s tactics were inexcusable, her goal was worthwhile. The writing requirement is, to some extent, at odds with the New Curriculum: The latter is compromised when students are compelled to take writing classes and the former is unenforceable for those students who use the New Curriculum to avoid any course with a written component. Evaluating first-year writing samples is a novel solution to both problems. It ensures that unpracticed writers from all departments receive feedback and also advises students on how to improve their writing before remedial classes become the only option. But dishonesty impeded the program’s effectiveness. The policy — assign a book that many students aren’t interested in reading, add in an essay requirement and remove any predictable consequences for slacking off — was a perfect recipe for sloppy, unrepresentative samples. And indeed, Associate Dean for Writing Kathleen McSharry confirmed that the essays improved after the University disclosed its true intentions. We hope that the fallout from Brown’s covert letter-screening program will serve as a potent reminder that honesty is usually the best policy, and that Brown students should be consulted about important curricular changes, even those that seem like self-evidently good ideas. Editorials are written by The Herald’s editorial page board. Send comments to

C O R R E C T I O N S P olicy The Brown Daily Herald is committed to providing the Brown University community with the most accurate information possible. Corrections may be submitted up to seven calendar days after publication. C ommentary P O L I C Y The editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial page board of The Brown Daily Herald. The editorial viewpoint does not necessarily reflect the views of The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Columns, letters and comics reflect the opinions of their authors only. L etters to the E ditor P olicy Send letters to Include a telephone number with all letters. The Herald reserves the right to edit all letters for length and clarity and cannot assure the publication of any letter. Please limit letters to 250 words. Under special circumstances writers may request anonymity, but no letter will be printed if the author’s identity is unknown to the editors. Announcements of events will not be printed. advertising P olicy The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement at its discretion.

Opinions The Brown Daily Herald

Thursday, September 10, 2009 | Page 11

Balancing facts and fear BY IVY CHANG Opinions Columnist The start of the school year brings with it the usual anxieties about moving in, shopping for classes, meeting roommates and more. This fall, fears of swine flu are added to the mix. To combat a possible epidemic, federal health officials are considering a course of three flu vaccinations — two to combat swine flu in addition to the seasonal flu vaccine. If approved, this plan will be the first in the United States to recommend more than one flu vaccine per year. A recent “Report to the President” about swine flu preparations estimated that about half of the population might be infected by winter, with up to 90,000 swine flu-related deaths. There was also a call to “accelerate production” of the vaccine. So far, the federal government has spent $1.15 billion on 195 million doses of the vaccine and is also considering a $4.8 million promotional campaign. The Department of Health and Human Services has granted legal immunity to private pharmaceutical companies rushing to create and test the vaccine. The European Medicines Agency has even allowed pharmaceutical companies to shorten testing periods in order to start its vaccination program in August. These panicked efforts are eerily reminiscent of the swine flu scare of the 1970s. Due

to worries of a possibly deadly pandemic, 40 million Americans were injected with a vaccine that was rushed through production and safety trials. The feared pandemic did not occur, but hundreds of cases of the inflammatory nerve disorder Guillain-Barré syndrome and 25 deaths cost the government millions of dollars in damages and resulted in a huge public backlash against the “health bureaucracy.” The current health care reform debates do not need to be further exacerbated by a

to officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. The chairmans of the panel variously defended the estimates, saying they were a “dose of reality” at a time of public “complacency.” However, prevention should not be focused only on inciting fear and dependence on a rushed vaccine, but also on letting people know exactly what sort of threat they’re facing. Each year in the United States there are

“The government has a compelling interest to see people vaccinated, but it will be unfair if a glossy media campaign and exaggerated estimates of death rates are all the public has to help decide whether or not to receive the vaccine.” vaccine scandal. The government must act with more caution and deliberation this time around, and also make sure to provide the public with unexaggerated, up-to-date information about H1N1. Hundreds of swine flurelated deaths occurred in Mexico before the Mexican government knew how to react. We cannot afford the slow spread of important new H1N1 information. The White House advisory panel’s alarming 90,000 estimate is “on the high side,” according

about 36,000 deaths from the seasonal flu; the government needs to provide information about how swine flu compares to seasonal flu, how it is transmitted and risk factors for serious illness. Observations of swine flu cases in the Southern Hemisphere have revealed that the pandemic itself is “moderate” according to past WHO estimates. This means that most of the infected recover without medical care and that H1N1 infection levels are similar to

those of regular seasonal flu. But the phrase “moderate pandemic” in and of itself is unsettling if left unexplained. As of now, it seems that all hope for prevention lies in the frantic production of a vaccine, while all the public can do in the interim is rely on hand sanitizer and a vague sense of foreboding. Perhaps a greater fear is that the system of healthcare in the United States will have a very difficult time dealing not only with outbreaks, but with the associated panic as well. Most people rely on mass media for quick information, and the media is often fond of blowing things out of proportion. Will hospitals be able to deal with frightened patients flooding in at the slightest sign of discomfort? The first 40 million doses of the swine flu vaccine will be available by October. The government has a compelling interest to see people vaccinated, but it will be unfair if a glossy media campaign and exaggerated estimates of death rates are all the public has to help decide whether or not to receive the vaccine. To ensure that history does not repeat itself, the vaccine cannot simply be rushed through clinical trials just to make a deadline. We need to take responsibility and do our own research before we get our shots.

Ivy Chang ’10 is from Los Angeles, California. She can be reached at

A beak critique BY MICHAEL FITZPATRICK Opinions Columnist This summer, the students of the incoming freshman class were told to read “The Beak of the Finch” by Jonathan Weiner in preparation for their entrance into Brown University. The book tells the story of Rosemary and Peter Grant, evolutionary biologists whose research with Darwin’s finches in the Galapagos Islands has brought a modern understanding of evolutionary theory back to the place where it all began. As a former Perkins resident, I jokingly thought that I could sympathize with the difficulties of working on an island (figuratively speaking). Still, after just reading the summary, one may wonder why “The Beak of the Finch” was chosen for this year’s reading assignment. The Grants did give a lecture here last year, and the book anecdotally references Brown University in chapter 16. But the minor connections between the book and our university are icing on the cake; the book itself tells a story that any freshman in any college across the country could benefit from reading. The book itself is a delightful read. Weiner’s writing is elaborate and richly detailed, whether he’s talking about history, adaptive landscapes or Tribulus mericarps — the spiked seedpods of a plant native to the Galapagos. Each chapter offers a unique viewpoint

on some part of the evolutionary tale: some focus rather intensely on the Grants’ research, while others discuss evolutionary science in a broader scope. These discussions are more than ordinary textbook arguments; they are so frequently injected with historical anecdotes and vivid metaphors that it can become difficult at times to remember where the discussion left off. Yet, it is precisely these tangents that make the story uniquely engaging. Much like the robust Tribulus and its seeds, each

selection in the “existential poker game” (as Professor David Rand so poetically words it) called survival. Weiner concludes his book by contemplating this unique niche that human beings fill in the environment — a reflection that is profoundly summed up in the book’s final chapter, “The Metaphysical Crossbeak.” Even insignificant birds on a remote archipelago in the vast Pacific Ocean can be the inspiration for a captivating and thoughtprovoking tale, one that is particularly appro-

“Even insignificant birds on a remote archipelago in the vast Pacific Ocean can be the inspiration for a captivating and thought-provoking tale.”

anecdote carries an insightful comment or two that makes its inclusion worthwhile. For a book that primarily focuses on evolutionary research for over 200 pages, I was most impressed with the final section of the book — “G.O.D.,” a tongue-in-cheek acronym for “generation of diversity.” This section expands from merely discussing research and history to tackling the consequences of evolution from a philosophical point of view. After all, mankind is more than a casual observer; we are both participants and agents of

priate for incoming college freshmen. Beyond the romanticized retelling of Darwin’s voyage, Weiner reveals the uncertainty and distress that Darwin felt while formulating his radical theory. Underneath the detailed discussion of the Grants’ work, he relates the difficulties and frustrations that can bother even the most dedicated researcher. These accounts teach a lesson in character from which we can all learn. As college students or as scientists, but as Brown students especially, we all share the quality of perse-

verance. We are always pressing forward, in spite of the obstacles and setbacks. Darwin boldly published his theory despite significant self-doubt. Through droughts, storms and mountains of data, the Grants boldly continue their groundbreaking research. As Brown students, we are also reminded to be bold — in our studies, our pursuits and our spirit. Although the general purpose of summer reading is to broaden horizons, provoke thought and provide a common experience through which freshmen can connect, I would like to think that it also sets a theme for the first several weeks of college. As a freshman, I remember my first few weeks as a period of immersion, exploration and discovery, themes that played large roles in my own summer reading book, “The Places in Between” by Rory Stewart. Judging from the sentiments and ideas presented in “The Beak of the Finch,” I predict the fall of 2009 will be a period of struggle and adaptation for some, diversification for others and selfdiscovery for the rest. This fall, a freshman at any other college might see matriculation as simply crossing the threshold into adulthood. I hope that the class of 2013 sees it as leaving the nest.

Michael Fitzpatrick ’12 strongly recommends shopping BIOL 0480: Evolutionary Biology. He can be contacted at

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Today The Brown Daily Herald


to day

to m o r r o w

66 / 56

68 / 58

Mocha on the fritz


Sneakers and sharks on Thayer

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Page 12

t h e n e w s i n i m ag e s

1 i n s i d e to day

tomorrow, september 11

5 p.m. — New Teaching Assistant Orientation, Sharpe Refectory

2 p.m. — Auditions for “Leavittsburg, Ohio,” Stuart Theatre

7 p.m. — Town Hall: Health Care, panel discussion with Professor Anna Aizer, Dr. Richard Besdine and Dr. Jeffrey Borkan, Salomon 001

3 P.M. — “Service & Community: Finding Both at Brown,” Swearer Center


Today, september 10

menu Sharpe Refectory

Verney-Woolley Dining Hall

Lunch — Zucchini and Parmesan Sandwich, Pasta With Eggplant and Olives, Chicken Cutlet Parmesan Sandwich

Lunch — Sloppy Joe Sandwich, Falafel in Pita Bread, Cauliflower au Gratin, Swiss Fudge Cookies


Post- Open House

Fri. 8 p.m.


Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle c r o s s w o r d Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis

DOWN 1 Angry with 2 In flames 3 Talked a blue streak

4 Theatrical travelers 5 Corrosive compound 6 Windshield glare reducer 7 Dash devices 8 Useless 9 Precedes 10 Mideast port on its own gulf 11 Cause of coughs and sniffles 12 Before, of yore 13 Old fast plane: Abbr. 21 Abbr. for people with only two names 22 Prickly case 26 Islam’s God 27 In a foul mood 29 Snitch 30 Moose relative 32 Web site help sect. 33 Second or sixth president 34 Gourmet mushroom 35 “Catch a Falling Star” singer 37 Call a halt to

40 Cul-de-__ 41 One of the Bx. Bombers 42 Not at home 43 One of a reporter’s five W’s 48 Comfy footwear 49 Spellbound 51 Record collector’s platters 52 Serve a sentence

Fri. 5 p.m.

55 Chill-inducing 57 Salvage ship equipment 58 A bit, informally 59 Fencing swords 61 Butterfingers’ cry 62 Abound (with) 63 Memorable Old West lawman 64 NASCAR advertiser 65 As __ instructions

Salomon 101




HM Naqvi Reading Fri. 5 p.m. ● Brown Bookstore


Higher Keys ArchSing Fri. 9 p.m. ● Wayland arch

Alien Weather Forecast | Stephen Lichenstein and Adam Wagner


Kittens and Dick | Jeff Olshan


thurs. 10 p.m.


By Gail Grabowski (c)2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

195 angell St.

Wild Rockstar Party Girls


Smoked Salomon: An A Capella Extravaganza

Dinner — Roast Turkey with Dinner — Cheese Tomato Strata, Sauce, Shells with Broccoli, Mashed Spiced Rubbed ChopsApril 21, 2009 Potatoes, Butternut Apple Bake RELEASE DATE–Pork Tuesday,

ACROSS 1 Shopping center 5 Letter-routing letters 9 Confronts 14 A long way off 15 Firenze farewell 16 Signs of decay 17 “The Flintstones” pet 18 Ruler division 19 Find a new tenant for 20 Nearby, on a country road 23 When prime time ends in Middle Amer. 24 Counterfeit coin 25 Sonoma Valley container 28 Irish homeland 31 Mug shot view 33 Electrical unit, briefly 36 Malty brew 38 Countesses’ spouses 39 Is completely uninformed 44 Impressive grouping 45 “What an idiot I am!” 46 Inclined to avoid the spotlight 47 “Heavens!” 50 Snitched 53 Sneaky 54 Super-duper 56 Deputized group 60 Row house porch 64 Frighten, as horses 66 Field of expertise 67 Memo phrase 68 Arizona State’s city 69 Docking site 70 Chess ending 71 Nonpoetic writing 72 Office fill-in 73 Prominent periods



c a l e n da r

Thursday, September 10, 2009  
Thursday, September 10, 2009  

The September 10, 2009 issue of the Brown Daily Herald