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Dear back\slash,

Bear Pong is the shit... I ordered one after I saw the ad in your last issue, and [now] we whip it out for every party we have! I wish we had thought of that, such a simple idea, but it’s sick. - Jeremy Nolan FSU Jeremy

I'm sure the guys over at Bear Pong will love to hear that. They're young entrepreneurs; the founder's name is Eric Dankewicz and he's only in his twenties. He graduated from the Maine Maritime Academy and is the captain of a tugboat in Baltimore. Look for an article about their team sometime in the future. - The backslash Team Dear back\slash,

Dear back\slash,

Nicki Minaj blows. I don't get why you put her on the cover; what does she have to do with college? She's a wacko... - Terell Anonymous

In your winter issue you had an article about a guy named Nicholas Goroff who had started the Absurdest Revolutionary Political Party – he was running for county attorney of Hillsborough County. My question isn't whether or not he won, but whether or not that was a serious article? I never heard anything about it, aside from in back\slash, so I was wondering what's up with that new political party – cuz I want in. - Andrew Jacobs, FIU


We featured Nicki for one reason: Love her or hate her the girl has talent. She's blowingup, and regardless of whether you like her music or not, we thought you should know more about her. Also, she may seem "wacko" because of the fact that she's taken on three personas (rapping under the names Nicki, Roman, and Onika Maraj) but that's what helped her stand-out in an age of watered down, commercialized female hip-hop.


- The backslash Team

- The backslash Team


Yes, that was a serious article. The guy really did make an effort to spark a new political party in the US; and he actually did run for County Attorney without being an actual lawyer. Needless to say, he lost... but the idea for the new political party lives on. If you want in on Nicholas's movement, why don't you try contacting him on facebook?

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Dear back\slash,

I picked up a copy of back\slash in the Atlanta airport; I was flying from NY to LA, and my layover was in ATL. First of all, I gotta say you guys’ magazine is sick. I wish we had something like this at Columbia (where I go to grad school now). Even my undergrad school, UCLA, had nothing like this. The mag is raw! Are you ever planning on expanding to NY? If so, drop me a line and maybe I could help you guys out. - Aaron Thompson, Columbia Aaron

Thanks for the feedback. Glad you got a copy. As for NY expansion, the answer is YES. We're adding NY in August of this year, and will be circulating on campus at Columbia and a few of the NYU campuses. We'll reach out when the time gets closer, and maybe you can help us somehow. Peace. - The backslash Team Dear back\slash,

Last year I picked up a copy of a special edition called Green Entrepreneurs and A New Generation, the 420 Issue. I'm a member of NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), and I was curious if you guys are doing another 420 issue this year. If so, would it be possible to get an article about our group in that issue? Let me know. - Prefers to remain Anonymous, School in SoFla Dear Anonymous,

Yes, this year's "Summer" Issue drops on April 17th, right before 420. Although the entire issue will not be centered on the topic of marijuana, we'll be happy to cover your group. Just send us some more info. - The backslash Team




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Editorial Department Allison banko, UF BRENDAN MACKESY, UM Stephanie Long, FIU Nelson Hernandez, FIU Ivan Flores, FIU Lauren camar UM, Katie binns um, Stephanie Long CUNY, darryl heslop CORNELl, lara marsman cuny, Tyler Merbler UM, lester hussie um, Lauren Netske UM, Kerri Finazzo UCF, chef lou ramirez j&w, IVAN FLOREZ FIU, Joseph Rogers, UCF, Alex Malbin UM, Jeremy hill usf Intern Writers Alexandra L. Blaney UM, Antonio Velez FAMU, Cassandra Gonzalez Emory, Earlena Boswell Also find back\slash on FAMU, Joanna Sanchez FIU, Marjua G. Estevez FAMU, Monique Rodriguez FIU, Moya Johnson FAMU, Peter Fong UM, Raghav Suri FIU, Theresa Woods USF, Courtney Ward Emory

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Poli sci


students are rising Up By Lauren Camar, UMiami

Shit you should know

us protests Over 100 events in 30 cities took place on the National Day of Action to Defend Public Education. University of California protests in 2009 resulted in over 200 students being arrested. Classrooms were taken over and sit-ins were held. Protests at University of Connecticut in 2010 were credited with limiting a tuition increase to 5.6% instead of the proposed 7.5%.

government response In 1970, at Kent State, the National Guard opened fire on students protesting the occupation of Cambodia and the Vietnam War, killing four and wounding nine. Law enforcement has responded to recent demonstrations by making routine arrests and utilizing a slew of non-lethal riot response gear.

Underemployment Over 317,000 restaurant servers have bachelor’s degrees. Almost 500,000 customer service representatives have bachelor’s degrees.


As college students, we are bombarded by a plethora of activism groups itching for us to stand up with them. Whatever our affiliations may be, there is a good chance we can find a like-minded organization on campus. We can champion to save the innocent animals trapped in the Bio lab; we can protest outside the dining hall because we “must know what that laxative-like substance is in the food”; hell, we can even fight to make the library clothing-optional if that’s what we’re passionate about. uch over-stimulation has historically caused activism amongst college students to be narrowly segmented across a range of small, interest-based campaigns; and as a result, in the past three decades, the impact of student activism has been minor at best. But if recent protests are any indication, the college demographic is starting to organize its efforts towards causes that affect it as a whole (such as widespread unemployment post-graduation, unprecedented underemployment of those with college degrees, yearly tuition hikes, and high-interest student loans). If it can overcome a few obstacles and join forces, this group could create a powerful movement that would drastically impact higher education; it would be revolutionary.

Rising Up Against Tuition Hikes

The most heated response to tuition hikes so far occurred across the Atlantic when the decision was made to increase university tuition by 300% in the United Kingdom. Before the votes were even cast, thousands of college protesters

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had descended upon Westminster. The demonstrations got so intense that campuses were shut down, roads were blocked, and riots erupted. The day’s events culminated when a vehicle carrying Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was attacked by an angry mob. Paint was thrown at it and a window was shattered. While the violence of the protests is being condemned, the reasoning behind the 50,000 person assembly is sound. Many are concerned the hikes will make higher education unaffordable (and therefore unattainable). Hopefully students in Britain will find a more peaceful outlet to air their frustrations that will be equally as effective and continue the momentum of the movement they have begun. We’ve yet to see the impact that the British protests will have on like-minded students stateside, but the unsettled collegiate community is sure to be paying attention

Unrest in the U.S.

March 4th, 2010 was the National Day of Action to Defend Public Education. This was one of the most widespread demonstrations of teach-


ers, students, and other supporters in recent U.S. history. The event sparked multi-state rallies, but was particularly intense in California due to the fact that UC had just increased its fees by 30%. Police arrested more than 150 people after they marched onto Interstate 880 in Oakland, shutting down the freeway for over an hour. Some other notable events from the day include: • At UC Davis, close to 300 students attempted to block the entrance ramp to a highway and it took 75 police officers to quell the crowd. • It was the instructors who took a stand at the University of Illinois. Over 200 faculty members marched across campus in opposition to pay cuts for educators. • In New York, student walk outs were staged at the New School and New York University. • Over 100 people protested a 5.4% raise in tuition at UT Austin.

It’s More Than Just Higher Tuition

The current economic conditions are the worst those currently in college (or recently graduated) have faced in their lifetime. This is one reason this group may be shedding its laissez-faire attitude. Throughout the recession, students have become less cushioned from the harsh realities of the real world and have realized how adversely a weak economy can affect one’s lifestyle. The unemployment rate for those with bachelor’s degrees remains at right around 5%. But,

an even bigger (and much more frightening trend) is the underemployment of this demographic and how it will impact its future. Underemployment includes those with high skill levels employed in low wage jobs and workers who would like to have a full time schedule but can only attain a part time position. According to Richard Vedder of The Cynical Economist, “17,000,000 Americans with college degrees are doing jobs that the BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] says require less than the skill levels associated with bachelor’s degrees.” He goes on to hypothesize that this is creating less of a return on investment for a college education. Student loans have ballooned in the past few decades, prompting Business Insider to deem higher education “The Great College Education Scam.” Student loan debt has now surpassed national credit card debt in the United States – to the tune of $875 billion. Combine this with unemployment/underemployment and the fact that 85% of college seniors intend to move back in with their parents after graduation and you have a recipe for widespread discontent. These factors have also caused the maturation of this generation (both emotionally and financially) to occur at a much slower pace than that of past generations. The world is still waiting to see if students have the ability to consolidate their influence. But, the sheer mass of organization amongst British students is encouraging. Outlets such as facebook and Twitter have allowed messages of protest to spread quickly to the masses. Recently,



social networks were credited with fueling the spread of protests in Egypt, Tunisia, and the Sudan. Social media has knocked down communication barriers of the past and collegiate movements now have the opportunity to spread rapidly and exponentially.

So What Does This All Mean?

If students from coast to coast unite in protest, how would law enforcement and the government react? Would such an uprising intimidate those in control and cause them to jump to their defenses? Would it incite the public to support the plights of collegiate contemporaries? Would it encourage legislators to reject the status quo and make lasting changes to the education system? Or, could large scale demonstrations result in violence? Regardless of the outcome, it is important for students to express their opinions about policies that will directly affect their future. Those who want to rally for a cause should be able to do so peacefully under the right of free assembly without fear of negative repercussions. They also should be cognizant that protests can quickly escalate and take the proper precautions to prevent violence. It seems as though the college demographic is making a long-awaited attempt to wield its political influence. Whether or not college campuses are breeding grounds for significant change has yet to be determined, but it is undeniable that recent headlines have screamed: collegiate revolution.

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Collegiate Entrepreneurs : those who never stop grindin'

The End designs

Founded by Danny Gallegos and Leandro Hernandez


Florida State and The Miami Art Institute

Founded by Camiel Canters, Tim Tully and Michael Gonzalez

2 Stetson Graduates and 1 Stetson Undergraduate

(And, The Relief Foundation) Founded by Peter Groverman

Close Friends since middle school, Danny Gallegos and Leandro Hernandez are the brains behind The End Designs, a Miami based clothing company. Leandro founded it during high school, where they started by designing and selling their products to their peers. As time went on, Danny and Leandro started educating themselves on all the aspects of running a business. The End Designs began to expand, and eventually they opened an office in Miami. As time passed, the company was able to establish their brand name and improve upon their customer base. Leandro feels that what separates The End Designs from other clothing companies, is that their designs are more artistic. They do not include brand names or logos; rather they include a plethora of original and quality artwork. From a small company started in high school, The End Designs is now slowly but surely growing into one of the more unique fashion companies in the country with locations opening up on Collins Avenue in Miami as well as another location in Los Angeles.

Camiel Canters is pursuing his MBA at Stetson. Passionate about surfing, Camiel and his friends realized that though surfing was, and still is, popular in Florida, no major surfing companies were based in the state. This gave them the idea to create their own surfing fashion company to cater to the needs of Florida surfers, leading to the birth of Flomotion. While Camiel admits that the clothing industry is “cut throat,” he and his team are able to remain persistent. At a Surf Expo in Orlando, many attendees, including some who work for surfing companies, expressed interest and praise for Flomotion. Camiel says that one of the biggest struggles that Flomotion faces is to remain persistent and committed to their vision. However, with encouragement from others, the team at Flomotion has no difficulty being able to continue growing and developing the company. The most important advice Camiel could give to a student who dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, is to find their niche. “You’re going to be successful if you find a niche market,” Camiel states. Flomotion also plans on expanding into the skateboarding culture.

Peter Groverman, a law graduate from Villanova University, is the founder of Tapinko, an online marketplace for the advertising industry. The site facilitates the process between advertisers and publications, making it easier, quicker, and less costly for businesses to advertise in print, while also empowering publishers. Peter is also passionate about philanthropy, and as a result, founded The Relief Foundation, which recently went to Haiti after the earthquake and helped the victims of the tragedy. Peter says that the most important thing that every student who wants to have their own business should know is to be original. Another important factor is to have a strong network and surround yourself with intelligent, like-minded people. Peter embraces the entrepreneurial spirit that we cannot help but admire. He says that the greatest part of being an entrepreneur is being self-employed, answering to no one but yourself. He says that though this may keep him very busy, it is a lifestyle he truly enjoys, and allows him to do what he loves. His plans for the future are to get involved with politics.


it will prepare you as you move into the work force and begin dealing with more financial institutions and making more financial decisions. It is never too early to begin organizing your finances and saving money. If you aren't motivated to start now, you will reach a point where you no longer have a choice. If you reach this level, gaining control of your finances will be like trying to build a puzzle without all the pieces. If you are working, and your income is not exhausted on the necessities of living (such as tuition, rent, food, and utilities) you should be saving a portion of each paycheck, and not using the funds in this account unless it is an emergency. This strategy will get you in the habit of becoming a better saver by the time you graduate. It also provides peace of mind to have a reserve fund to cover expenses in

case you cannot go to work. Analyze how much you spend per month. There are great web tools and phone applications for just this purpose. Take note of where every dollar is going, and determine if your money is being used in the most efficient way possible. Monitoring your spending habits will also give you an idea of how much money you should be saving. With financial decisions, it is very difficult to get all the information in order to make the best choice. But, there are many financial advisers out there, who will consult with you. They have many tools to help you with organization and cash flow, and should be able to set you on the right path. It is also important to explore every financial option thoroughly. Always revisit your financial decisions at least once a year, preferably more often.


College provides us with a unique opportunity to lay the foundation for a financially stable future. At a time when our financial decisions are still relatively simple, now is the chance to become financially organized before a whirlwind of financial decisions pop-up post-graduation. What many fail to realize is that being in a state of disorganization forces us to make financial decisions on the fly. This is like having blinders on, and keeps us from seeing the bigger picture. A broader viewpoint shows that every decision we make will affect another part of our financial world and these decisions can have a major impact on our future lifestyles. If you can grasp this concept today,


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collegiate Entrepreneurs : continued

3 Second receipts Founded by Bradley Ericson Drexel University

A student of the career focused Drexel University, Bradley Ericson is a quintessential example of an innovative entrepreneur. He is the founder and CEO of 3 Second Receipts, which provides businesses with resources to use digital receipts, rather than print. They currently provide the system to college retailers, and the company is planning to expand to retailers both domestically as well as internationally. As a tribute to his success, Bradley feels that the unique and supportive environment at Drexel, which includes internships as part of the curriculum, allowed him to gain the experience he needed to launch his company. Also, Bradley was able to establish a network of like-minded individuals to help him with his business, through his elder brother. It wasn’t easy for him at first, as his young age and niche idea caused investors to be rather skeptical. However, with support from Drexel and his friends, Bradley was able to continue pursuing his dream and is in the process of successfully developing his company. His biggest advice to college students hoping to start their own business is to not be afraid to share their ideas with others, reminding us, "Those people you share ideas with may end up helping you turn your dream into a reality." Founded by Nick Anonymous

All written By Raghav Suri, FIU

Undergraduate at a Private School in Florida

Inspired by the FML concept, Nick started his own version: The Dirty Sheets. After hearing crazy hookup stories from his friends, Nick got the idea to create a forum where people from all over could share their stories and have them published online. The Dirty Sheets is now filled with a variety of different stories from different people, some lame, some dirty and some just plain disgusting.

Generator Supermarket Founded by Alejandro Novoa Florida International University

Alejandro Novoa is a student at Florida International University studying Finance. He is one of the founders of Generator Supermarket, a company that focuses on facilitating the process of purchasing, transporting and installing large scale power plants for governments as well as private manufacturers. The concept for the Generator Supermarket was born from Alejandro’s prior experience in the world of real estate, where brokers make each transaction much easier. His idea was simple: “we should spend more time producing and less time in transition.” One of the overwhelming struggles in this business is maintaining positive cash flow; and the founders (including Alejandro) have part time jobs to cover their expenses. The stress can be overwhelming at times, but his refusal to let down his partners and his motivation helps him to remain persistent. In the future, Alejandro hopes that his company will continue to grow and become the best in its industry. He is currently working with a partner in Asia to provide the Government of Bangladesh with a power plant. He hopes to finish this project in the near future. With all of the successes that Alejandro and his company have attained, there is no doubt he has a shot at making it big, so watch out for him in Forbes one day. Founded by Ricky Yean Stanford University

Ricky Yean graduated from Stanford University, and helped start Crowdbooster. This innovative company enables businesses to increase their presence on the web through the use of a wide range of social media tools. The site also enables young professionals to use social media to their advantage. Ricky believes that social media is not (and has never been) a fad; and instead believes that it is here to stay – and that social media is still a rapidly growing technology. Ricky sees an opportunity. Crowdbooster helps businesses achieve an effective presence on social networks, using analytics that aren't based on abstract scores but numbers that are connected to their client's businesses and social media strategies: impressions, total reach, engagement, and more. They then give their clients the tools and recommendations they need to take action and improve each one of these metrics. The company has garnered support from a strong team of financial investors and already has a decent base of clients who enjoy the services of Crowdbooster. For the future, Rickey Yean hopes that Crowdbooster will be the “go-to” company for social media advice and analysis. Ricky’s best advice to an aspiring entrepreneur is “Just do it!”

At first, things were a little slow. Nick’s website was getting few hits, and was relatively unknown. Though he felt discouraged at times, Nick remembered this quote from Thomas Edison: “The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” This kept Nick going and kept his dream alive. Through promoting the website via social media outlets such as facebook and Twitter as well as through word of mouth, The Dirty Sheets quickly gained popularity.

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Regionally relevant campus NEWS : straight from students

Prescription Painkiller Abuse Plagues University of SOUTH Florida Theresa Woods, student University of South Florida

Gender neutral housing at emory Cassandra Gonzalez, student Emory University

SGA under fire at florida international

Monique Rodriguez, student Florida International University

Remembering the revolutionaries from famu

Moya Johnson, student FAMU


With no state agency to monitor prescriptions, it’s no wonder that Tampa Bay has become a hotbed for prescription drug abuse. This deadly epidemic has reached into the University of South Florida community, where several students admitted to undercover officers that they had been illegally abusing prescription painkillers to alleviate collegiate stress. This practice is dangerous. Fatal oxycodone overdoses killed more than 1,000 Floridians last year, and more than 300 of those deaths were in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties alone. Oxycodone and similar opiate-based painkillers quickly turn users into addicts at a rate that rivals heroin. And, the process of quitting opiates

is a painful one: riddled with relapses, expensive treatment, debilitating depression, and possible life-long cravings. “It’s so sad,” says Farzana Shaik, a biochemistry major at USF, “watching other students ruin their lives over pills they shouldn’t have [ever been able to get in the first place].” With “Pill Mill” pain clinics dotting the Bay Area atmosphere and easy access to prescription drugs via the Internet, students are finding it easier than ever to find an escape through pain killers. At what cost though, does this escape come? Just a few dollars? Or, a person’s entire life and future?

In the January 18 edition of the student newspaper, The Wheel, Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. announced that it will be offering a pilot program for gender-neutral housing open to juniors and seniors during the 2011–2012 academic year. Frank Gaertner, director of Emory's Clairmont Campus upperclassmen housing facility explained that Dr. Andy Wilson, Director of Residence Life, had the idea after numerous student injuries and seeing policy changes at schools similar to Emory.

"We felt like this policy was responsive to changing student needs and issues," explains Gaertner. T his year's Residence Life and Housing survey indicated that 61 percent of respondents had some interest in living with someone of a different biological sex. The department worked with the Student Government Association and the Residence Hall Association to organize it. Emory joins Ohio University, Beloit College, SUNY Stony Brook and Ramapo College as some of the most recent schools to begin offering genderneutral housing.

The Student Government Association at FIU has recently lost two key members of its Cabinet due to underage drinking at a schoolfunded event. The former Vice President and Intern Coordinator were found drinking alongside SGA Interns during the Intern Retreat in Boca Raton last October, all of them being underage. Although both council members initially strongly denied all allegations, the situation created a great amount of tension and division within the council, leading to an investigation

carried out by the administration. During the judicial review process (through the Student Conduct Committee) both members admitted to their actions and were removed from their leadership positions immediately. The decision has stirred mixed emotions from the students and faculty alike, who question whether the students should be the only ones held accountable for the incident. Apparently having faculty members chaperoning an event is equivalent to having none present in the first place.

Almost forty-five years ago, Florida A&M University students protested against racial segregation that existed in state and local policies. Those students were subsequently arrested. In response, Harriet Louise Adderley and 200 other people from the FAMU community came to the defense of the jailed students, and assembled outside the Leon county jail in Tallahassee, Florida. According to media, the protesting group was asked by the jail custodian to leave, and they were warned that they were trespassing on county property. Continuing to protest, 107 of the demonstrators were arrested for "trespassing with a mali-

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cious and mischievous intent." Quickly, thirty-two of the jailed students petitioned against Florida trespass statute, saying it violated their freedom of speech, assembly, petition and due process of law. The case was taken to the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1960s, in what blossomed to become the famous Adderly v. Florida case. However, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the arrests, and determined that the officers were within their rights to arrest the students. The vote was 5-4. No matter the outcome, those students should remind us of the sacrifices for equality, as we embark on Black History Month.


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Regionally relevant campus NEWS : straight from students

university of central florida's defensive coordinator says peace out Kerri Finazzo, student University of Central Florida

Umiami Ignoring the risk of students being hit by cars walking to campus Alexandra Blaney, student University of Miami


Dave Huxtable is known as a leader and an instrumental member of University of Central Florida’s football team. He was the Defensive Coordinator for the last three years and prior to that he was UCF’s Linebackers Coach for four years. Now, Huxtable (who lead UCF’s Football team to victory over Georgia in the 2010 Auto Zone Liberty Bowl) is leaving UCF. Before his big W over Georgia in 2010, Huxtable lead UCF to three other bowl games. And, in 2008 the Defensive squad ranked first in rushing defense, pass efficiency, and tackles for loss. Huxtable left his position as Defensive Coordinator for UCF to become the Linebackers Coach for the University of Wisconsin.The position at UW opened up after the departure of Dave Dorren who left at the end of last year’s season to become the Head Coach at Northern Illinois University. Dorren’s departure from UW has prompted UW coach Bret Bielema to promote Defensive Backs coach Chris Ash and Defensive Line coach Charlie Partridge to Co-Coordinators. The departure of Huxtable may be a devastating blow to UCF football. On top of Huxtable’s departure, Senior Defensive End Bruce Miller has also left UCF football to pursue a career in the NFL (although he is yet to be drafted). The Knights have promoted Linebackers Coach, John Skladany, to the position of Defensive Coordinator. He previously served in the position in 2007. They have hired Al Seamonson of Maryland to fill the Linebackers Coach position. Over the past semester (Fall 2010) there were two tragic University of Miami student pedestrian deaths. In the past few years, there has been a steady rise in number of UM students injured or fatally killed while walking the perimeter of UM's campus. Since 1990, there have been a total of six students hit crossing Ponce de Leon and US-1 alone, and three of those incidents were fatal. Miami-Dade County has been continuously voted one of the most dangerous places for pedestrians and cyclists. Is there anything to be done to reverse this scary trend? A proposal for a pedestrian bridge across US-1 was made in 2005, but according to UM's newspaper, The Miami Hurricane, in 2010 all plans were called off due to the recession and the county's financial state. Unfortunately, students will continue to cross dangerous roads like US-1, Ponce de Leon and Red Road to reach campus everyday and it doesn't look like safety will improve any time soon.

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by posting the word backslash on the Barnard Nut Company facebook Wall Nuts About Florida & The Nuts About Florida Logo are registered trademarks of the Barnard Nut Company. © 2011 Barnard Nut Company. All rights reserved.


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1 – Weezer

Rock | Many Weezer fans have wanted to tell Rivers Cuomo that it’s about time the guys hang up their angst-ridden attitudes since the release of Make Believe back in 2005, and I can honestly admit I am one of them. But that didn’t stop me from giving 2010’s Hurley a good listen. And…wait for it…the album is genius. I haven’t enjoyed an album of theirs since The Green Album from 2001. There are only two songs on the album that Cuomo wrote solo, and “Unspoken” is one of them. Its gruff honesty borders on pathetic, but the stamina in its prediction of loss is devastating. “Hang On” and “Brave New World” keep the energy level going while “Run Away”, co-written by Ryan Adams, is reminiscent of a love ballad from the 1980s but stays true to Weezer’s signature sound from back in the days of The Blue Album. Well done, boys.

2 – Zion I

I Am... World Tour Documentary | What was recorded for Beyoncé’s I Am… World Tour is more than just a concert, more than just an experience, and even more than just a documentary – it is a personal diary that illustrates the life of both a superstar and an everyday human being – Sasha Fierce, to whom fans were introduced with the I Am… album, and Beyoncé. One second we’re bedazzled by the awe-inducing glitz and glamour of stage lights and live music, and the next we’re offstage where the world-renowned icon is seen in a more demure state, strong yet delicate, in her most intimate form. From shredding the stage to pieces with #1 hits to being stricken with homesickness and missing her beau, Beyoncé is captured giving us her entire self “Flaws and All” through tears, laughter and late-night munchies as she works hard and puts on one of the best tours for her fans yet.


underground electric hip-hop | West Coast hip-hop heroes Zion I have been making beats since 1997, and their seventh studio album, Atomic Clock, shows they have no plans of stopping. “We didn’t want to just recreate what we did last album. Art is not about living in the past,” said MC Zumbi of the release. If you’ve ever seen this duo live, you know they’re all about having fun and keeping it light, but Atomic Clock strives to go deeper. It isn’t difficult to imagine some silly stage choreography put together for “Polarity,” but in “Signs of Light” the collaboration between Amp Live and Ben Yonas produces one smooth, sexy beat. Guest emcee Rebelution appears on reggae-licious “Many Stylez,” while Martin Luther brings the heat on “Girls.” Standout track, “The Sun Come Out,” mixes Zumbi’s fast-talking talents with soulful samples and deep bass beats. Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride with Zion I.

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3 – Daft Punk

ACID HOUSE | How could anyone have done the soundtrack to the sequel of Tron justice better than Daft Punk? Sitting pretty at #6 on the Billboard Album Chart, this is Daft Punk’s first Top 10 release in the states. Wendy Carlos, composer of the original Tron score, was a major inspiration to the French electronic duo, while L.A.-based composer Joseph Trapanese collaborated with them for two years, assisting in the striking electronic instrumentation. The movement within the score’s twentytwo tracks is forceful and consistent with an 85-piece orchestra, and several of the songs could easily stand on their own. “The Game Has Changed” encompasses the anticipation and emotion brought about by the movie before the beauty of Daft Punk’s vision is expressed through “The Son of Flynn.” The high-energy, sonic sound in “Derezzed” stands out while the string arrangement in “Adagio for TRON” is heart-breaking yet hopeful as is the movie’s message.

4 – Shad

HIP-HOP | Canadian rapper Shad only just now made it onto my radar with his third release, TSOL. As for what TSOL stands for, Shad has said, “‘The Struggle of Love’ or ‘The Stuff of Legends,” but he really wants it to be left open-ended for fans to define themselves. This is one of those albums one can listen to straight through on repeat for hours (at least I do), but there are a few standout gems. “Rose Garden” highlights Shad’s rhyming skills atop a classic hook while the heart in “Lucky 1’s” beats with determination to take control of one’s destiny: “Not even in control of what we must become / But not far so I guess we are the lucky ones.” Where many of Shad’s tracks sound born of back-in-the-day sound, “Yaa I Get It” bridges the gap between hip-hop’s heyday and today. Hip-hop definitely isn’t dead.

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5 – rules according to jwoww

book | "Men may be from Mars and women from Venus, but I'm from the Jersey Shore." This is the tag line for the first book from Jersey Shore infamous party girl and hot head Jennifer “JWoWW” Farley. Her new book Rules According to JWoWW, offers the rules of dating from the viewpoint of a Jersey Shore princess. This is Farley’s writing debut and she is said to have follow-ups coming soon after this one hits the shelves. In the book, Farley gives advice on how she has learned and lived by smushing, smack downs, and standing up for herself. This book will be a great addition to the blowups and break-downs experienced by Jenny’s reality-TV persona. And, Jersey Shore viewers are sure to appreciate Jenny’s familiar antics in print. Rules According to JWoWW hit shelves on February 8th, offering up unique ways to maintain a secure relationship. (And perhaps some tips on how to prevent an ex from publishing those embarrassing photos and the most effective way to pull out someone else’s weave).

6 – The Historian

book | Elizabeth Kostova’s mammoth tome The Historian is a book unlike many of those lining the shelves of today’s bookstores. It is a vampire novel, yes, but it is told in letters and flashbacks in sprawling, eloquent and accessible prose. The tale follows an unnamed heroine into whose shoes the reader steps upon reading the first page as she follows after her father, a man whose entire life has been intertwined with the myth (or reality) of Vlad the Impaler – Dracula himself. Our heroine treks across Eastern Europe into the heart of the history her father protected her from, aided by an inquisitive mind and letters from the past. Dusted with vicious vampires and steeped in history, The Historian is a must-read for any fantasy lover who misses the sense that there is still, in fact, something in the dark watching.




7 – The guide to getting down

Still Relevant | Winner of 5 independent film awards in 2006, The Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down is a clever and biting satire of Los Angeles night life. It is segmented into 15 chapters, including an overview, preparation for the big night out, and what goes down the morning after. Written in a way that combines a narrative story and a documentary-style “how to” guide for “getting down”, there has never been a movie like it and it’s a must see for any student arriving in a new city, or for party veterans who want to have a good laugh at their own expense. Follow a bunch of young adults as they roam from bar to party to club to after party, trying to have fun and get laid. Among other things, this guide will show you how to score free drinks, get into the hottest clubs, proper drug purchasing etiquette, and how to get rid of an unwanted guest the next morning. Cool graphics give the film a unique look and make the comically brilliant charts that punctuate the plot fun and engaging; finally understand the relationship between drug dealer time and human time, and check the acceptability graph to see if you are drunk enough to go home with the heavyset girl in the corner. The film also contains observations from a “research laboratory” giving the conclusions drawn some “scientific credibility.” Completely politically incorrect, this is a truly original independent film. It pulls no punches and is balls out funny. No big stars, but plenty of tits, ass, booze, drugs, and laughs. It was shot entirely on location in Hollywood. Paul Sapiano, the director and co-writer, is also rumored to be working a a sequel with a focus on the college lifestyle. You can rent The Boys and Girls Guide to Getting Down on iTunes or stream it at WRITER CREDITS: 1-4: Lara Marsman (CUNY); 5- Earlena Boswell (FAMU); 6: Theresa Woods (USF) Documentaries: Stephanie Long (CUNY); Board Game: Lauren Netzke (UMiami)

The edge of dreaming

Documentary | When Scottish filmmaker Amy Hardie predicts the death of her horse via a dream, she initially brushes it off as being a sheer coincidence. But when her world is turned upside down after having yet another dream in which her deceased ex-husband tells her that she is going to die at age 48 (the average life expectancy of humans just 100 years ago), Amy sets off looking for answers. Edge of Dreaming is the chronicle of her investigation during the year which could very questionably be her last. Capturing moments with leading biologist Professor Irving Weisman of Stanford, neuroscientists and even a shaman, this is a documentary that seamlessly blends just enough science to enlighten with a style of poetic storytelling that grabs attention in the manner of a feature film. Viewers will find themselves mesmerized from beginning to end by this enchanting exploration of dreams and the human mind.


Board Game Pimp City is a hilarious alternative to Monopoly, perfect for your next drunken gathering. Become a pimp and manage up to 10 “whores” (with names such as Sweet Mary The Catholic School Girl Escapee) as they move around the board. Avoid negatives such as “Caught an STD” by paying out Big Daddy or participating in a randy round of Truth or Dare. But don’t go broke or else you’ll have to face Big Pimp Daddy (the banker) who states, “If a whore runs out of money, well tough luck bitch. Pimp Daddy's cold. Ain't no such thang as a handout.” Available on Amazon.

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Why in the hell do they Do it? what are their motives?

Somebody Something Olympic Athlete Works 15 hours per day "I do it because I am addicted to improvement, and right now, I'm hooked on improving the way mproving the way mproving the way I dive."


Somebody Something Olympic Athlete Works 15 hours per day "I do it because I am addicted to improvement, and right now, I'm hooked on improving the way mproving the way mproving the way I dive."

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Somebody Something Olympic Athlete Works 15 hours per day "I do it because I am addicted to improvement, and right now, I'm hooked on improving the way mproving the way mproving the way I dive."

Somebody Something Olympic Athlete Works 15 hours per day "I do it because I am addicted to improvement, and right now, I'm hooked on improving the way mproving the way mproving the way I dive."




REVIEWS : beer reviews 8


Beer reviews written By Chef Lou Ramirez of Lou's Beer Garden Miami

8 – Bell's Oberon

The Long Awaited and yet to be released...By Stephanie Long, CUNY



10 – Hennepin

American Pale wheat ale | 6 % Alcohol Brewed in: Michigan Appearance: Bell's Oberon is golden in color, with a hint of orange. It has a head of about one finger. The Ale's unfiltered bits cause a cloudy look. Aroma: Great aroma. Light citrus, either orange or tangerine, but awesome. The wheat also comes through in the smell. There is very little, if any bitterness, and the carbonation is mild. Mouth Feel: The mouth feel is good. You can taste some of the filaments, but that adds to the character of the beer and is quite tasty. Slightly thick compared to other beers of this style, but it shouldn't fill you up too quick. In Short: All in all, Bell's Oberon is a highly drinkable and fun Ale. I have mad respect for those bastards in Michigan; after a brutal winter, to be able to perfect this beer. This is a seasonal brew, so enjoy it while you have the chance, it should be off shelves by May.

Session/Farmhouse Ale | 8 % Alcohol Brewed in: NY, NY Appearance: Hennepin pours with a hazy and golden orange color. Its thick white head has a sizzling sound like soda. It's fluffy and light, with great carbonation streaming off the bottom of the glass. Aroma: The aroma is fantastic: the smell of clean Belgian yeast, right up front. The earthy, clove-like aroma is wonderful. Mouth Feel: The first taste is clean and earthy. There is a flavor of banana clove in the front of the palate. Towards the back of the palate is a funky earthy flavor, but not an off putting flavor at all. Hennepin is a crisp, clean, and very nicely built beer. I personally love the flavors and the subtle Belgian funk. In Short: Just as the great explorer Hennepin himself once did, drink this beer to explore your inner child and flash back to the adventure days when drinking a beer was a celebration every time.

9 – Brooklyn Summer Ale

11 – Wells and Young’s Banana Bread

English Pale Ale | 5 % Alcohol Brewed in: Brooklyn, NY Appearance: Brooklyn Summer Ale has a crystal clear, sunny orange color to it, with a soft bubbly white head that makes me salivate every time I pour one. Aroma: The aroma is very citrusy, but not overwhelmingly so, and I sense hints of summer fruits, grass, and if I'm not mistaken... freshly cut wood. Mouth Feel: It makes my mouth taste malty. There are traces of grapefruit and possibly pineapple lurking in the background. In Short: Think of the greasy dirty streets of New York in the summer time, what better way to wash away those dirty thoughts than with a glass of an ale brewed by those who know the big city better than anyone.

Vegetable and Fruit Beer | 5 % Alcohol Brewed in: United Kingdom Appearance: Wells and Young's Banana Bread Beer sounds crazy. The beer has a nice light amber color to it after you pour it, but it has very poor head retention. Aroma: It smells like bananas (as you should have already imagined by the name) and you will go bananas over it. Mouth Feel: This beer has a strong taste of banana, but it isn't overwhelming, and it also has a nice hint of vanilla. Although it may sound as though it is way too sweet, it is not... which is a definite plus. It's very crisp, with low carbonation, but delightful and very easy to drink In Short: Grab a six pack of these, and maybe your girlfriend will finally come to enjoy the banana in her mouth.

2011 marks a brand new year and if you’ve been dragging your feet and have yet to start off fresh, it’s not too late. You have a lot to look forward to this spring. At The Office, it’s out with Steve Carrell and in with Will Ferrell (for four episodes, at least). How I Met Your Mother fans will be excited to see another pop-star cameo when Katy Perry stops by and hopefully we'll get another taste of "slap bet." On the big screen, don’t miss Sanctum aka “James Cameron’s magnum opus to follow Avatar.” It came out on February 4th, but even if you’ve already seen it in theatres, check it out in IMAX 3D for an unforgettable R-rated cave-diving experience. Those who snuck into Scream 1, 2, and 3 can reminisce with Scream 4, (with all three original main characters!) to be released on April 15th. And if you love Matt Damon, look for him with Emily Blunt in The Adjustment Bureau, which comes out on March 4th. Two new facebook games will provide a nostalgic distraction: The Oregon Trail and Where in the World? (is Carmen San Diego) will both be available on facebook in February. On the music front, Chaz Bundick ups the momentum for his follow-up to 2010’s Causers of This on February 22nd with Toro y Moi’s Underneath the Pine. Swedish pop singer Lykke Li releases Wounded Rhymes on March 1st, taking a dark turn from the gentle coo of Youth Novels. And, Lupe Fiasco’s longawaited third solo album, Lasers, finally hits retailers on March 8th. For country fans, Brad Paisley will release This is Country Music the day before 420, and Sarah Evans drops Stronger on March 8th. And, last but most importantly, the 420 issue of back\slash drops in April.

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Feat ure


Julian Assange

You Don’t Get to a Million Leaks Without Becoming the Enemy

By Anna Gaidaenko, UMiami and the back\slash editorial team


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\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ It was 2009, and Julian Assange had stepped on stage to accept the prestigious UK Media Award from Amnesty International. The year before, he had been awarded the top honor in The Economist’s Index on Censorship. s he stood on stage, he had no idea that within a week, publications from The Atlantic to The New York Times would be hailing his work as being bold, ground-breaking, and revolutionary. WikiLeaks was said to have already sparked a new age of transparency. Assange, it seemed, was on his way to the top of the world. But then came July of 2010, when WikiLeaks aired Uncle Sam’s dirty laundry, and all hell broke loose. First it was the Afghan files... then, Cablegate... In the summer of 2010, the chaos began. Following Cablegate (which involved the release of 251,000+ leaked U.S. State Department cables), Julian Assange went from being an underground hacker to a controversial, polarizing household name, either beloved or despised the world over. Recently, WikiLeaks’ floodgate of secrets opened to epic proportions, releasing U.S. and International leaks on an ongoing basis. How did this happen? How did Assange go from being a middle-class Australian to a selfproclaimed international freedom fighter in less than four years? How has he reached a point where he can actually expose government secrets and corruption across the globe – even taking on the U.S. Government in the process? The story began, like many great stories, below the equator.

The Man Who Wanted to Know Too Much

Julian Assange was born to a single mother in Australia in 1971. Assange’s childhood was unstable and nomadic; he moved roughly thirty times and transferred schools often. With an

insatiable appetite for knowledge, young Julian was driven to pursue the study of the (then still developing) Internet. By the age of 20, he had become a reputable hacker, operating under the alias Mendax. Breaking into government and company databases, Assange’s intent was never to disrupt or alter anything, but rather to gain access to information he believed should be available to the public. Somehow the authorities managed to catch the sly hacker, and Assange and his group of international subversives were eventually charged and brought to stand trial in Australia. But, the ruling judge chose to forego sentencing Assange criminally and instead only ordered him to pay a fine, finding “no evidence that there was anything other than [a] sort of intelligent inquisitiveness.” While continuing his underground life as a hacker, Julian Assange still made time to marry and have a son. Ironically, it was his relationship with his soon to be ex-wife that set him on the path to launching WikiLeaks. As his marriage was ending with an epic knock-down-drag-out custody proceeding, Assange and his mother came to fully understand the lack of transparency and access to public records within Health and Community Resources (HCR), Australia’s child protection agency. In order to make the agency more transparent, thereby helping other parents struggling in custody battles, Assange and his mother formed PIICP (Parent Inquiry Into Child Protection), through which they were able to motivate social workers to come forward with information regarding the HCR on a confidential basis. He thus began compiling a digital database of otherwise unattainable legal documents to empower parents facing similar custody situations.



During this time, Assange is said to have read a book that changed his life: The First Circle by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. After finishing this book he began studying the teachings of Kafka and experimenting with meditation. Although he was becoming a calmer person, Assange was getting drained by the custody proceedings; he started to grey, and almost immediately lost his natural brunette hair. At this point in his life, Assange was beginning to appear burnt out, and by 2006 he withdrew from the Physics program at the University of Melbourne. He was seemingly on the edge of failure, but rather than falling off, Assange began thinking bigger and focusing on what mattered most to him. He immediately finished writing “Conspiracy of Governance." In this essay, Assange presented the argument that “the only way to bring down the rule of an illegitimate government, constructed of collaborative secrecy and working to the detriment of a population, is to cut its line of communication." He claimed that the human struggle was as simple as “the individual versus the institution." And most importantly, Assange concluded that “leaks are the instrument of informational warfare." This was when Assange began his war. Just a few months later he founded WikiLeaks. Since 2006, Assange and his team at WikiLeaks have published an unprecedented number of confidential documents leaked to them by sources across the globe. The site was designed as a safe platform for sources who were willing to share classified information, which could then be presented to the public – an anonymous Wikipedia used to combat corruption and other wrongdoing through public awareness. WikiLeaks seeks accountability through increased transparency and protection for the whistle-blowers who expose confidential information from those in power.


In four short years, the information published on WikiLeaks has effectively ousted a corrupt ruling family in Tunisia; prevented the re-election of a man responsible for extrajudicial killings in Kenya; and exposed toxic dumping on the Ivory Coast. They have

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uncovered government corruption globally, exposed dirty money trails linking Swiss banks to offshore accounts, unveiled discriminating manuals for Scientology, published reports from Guantanamo, and posted video depicting the murder of innocent civilians and reporters in Iraq (who prior to the exposé were labeled by the Pentagon as insurgents). They have released casualty numbers in Afghanistan and Iraq (that the military claimed were never tallied), as well as cables from the U.S. State Department (that exposed orders authorizing spying, turning a blind eye to child prostitution, and expressing disregard for counterparts abroad). And that is just the tip of the ice-burg. WikiLeaks’ new model for handling confidential sources and exposing unethical secrets has made it easier than ever for information to be disclosed and the powers-thatbe to be held accountable. Now, people on the inside, disenfranchised with the status quo and willing to expose (from within) the truth that they feel the public has the right to know, are able to do so anonymously with WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks is a new concept for internal accountability – a legitimate weapon against hypocrisy and government corruption. But every rose has its thorn, and lately it seems the proverbial thorn has started to poke Assange in the ass.

Under Fire

The release of the Afghan Files and Cablegate marked the turning point for U.S. support of WikiLeaks. Assange has not stepped foot on American soil since the spring of 2010, and his paranoia is understandable considering that American politicians have labeled him a 32

cyber-terrorist, accused him of espionage and called for his execution. Staying out of the U.S. has not kept Assange out of trouble though, nor has it kept him out of the sights of U.S. law enforcement. Initial retaliation against WikiLeaks after the release of Cablegate came from an unlikely source – international financial institutions. Paypal was the first institution to stop processing donations to WikiLeaks; MasterCard and Visa soon followed suit. This likely had little real impact on WikiLeaks’ operational abilities since most of the employees were willing to work voluntarily, although it certainly affected Assange’s ability to fund his legal battles and finance his underground lifestyle. (Literally, he has an underground lair; WikiLeaks’ headquarters is in a bunker). In addition to the actions of those financial institutions, Amazon stopped hosting WikiLeaks on their server. But this did not have much of an impact on WikiLeaks because hundreds (thousands, according to Assange) of underground servers (like Pirate Bay, and others) were more than willing to host WikiLeaks for free. So, even without Amazon’s support, the site stayed active. Meanwhile, the U.S. government kept itself busy putting together a powerhouse legal team to conjure up criminal charges that could warrant Assange’s extradition. But, despite being called a traitor (who doesn’t hold any allegiance to the United States) and a terrorist by American leaders, no criminal charges have been issued against Assange in America. Assange’s lawyer, Jennifer Robinson, contends that he cannot be charged under the Espionage Act because “he’s entitled to First Amendment protection as a publisher,” thus making such charges unconstitutional. Further, no journalist or publisher has ever been convicted

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under this statute, and such charges against Assange or WikiLeaks would mean that publications such as The New York Times (who printed the leaked U.S. cables obtained and disseminated by WikiLeaks) would have to face the firing squad as well. This would be truly unprecedented and dangerous, and would potentially inhibit the publication of documents that expose government corruption and wrongdoing by scaring editors into thinking publishing such information could lead to criminal charges. Julian elaborated in an interview with 60 Minutes in February of 2011, “There’s a special set of rules for soldiers. For members of the State Department, who are disclosing classified information. There’s not a special set of rules for publishers to disclose classified information. There is the First Amendment. It covers the case. And there’s been no precedent that I’m aware of in the past 50 years of prosecuting a publisher for espionage. It is just not done. Those are the rules. You do not do it.” He goes on to state, “If we’re talking about creating threats to small publishers to stop them [from] publishing, the U.S. has lost its way. It has abrogated its founding traditions. It has thrown the First Amendment in the bin. Because publishers must be free to publish.” The latest blow to the U.S. government comes from Twitter’s rejection to comply with a subpoena ordering the release of the account information of Assange and other WikiLeaks activists. Now, Uncle Sam’s biggest hope rests on Bradley Manning, the accused leaker and former U.S. Army soldier, who is currently being held under solitary confinement in a military jail in Quantico, Virginia, awaiting charges and further interrogation. If collusion can be proven, the United States can charge Mr. Assange as


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a conspirator, skirting the issue of the First Amendment and leaving other journalists involved unscathed. But, until that can be proven, Sweden is going below the belt in their own battle against Assange.

Swedish Beauties

Julian Assange is currently spending a prolonged holiday under house arrest in England, awaiting an extradition hearing following alleged sexual harassment and rape charges pending in Sweden. Assange says the rape accusations are nothing more than a “successful smear campaign” which have drained his finances, deprived him of time and tarnished his reputation. What began as two scorned mistresses heading to the local police station to demand that Mr. Assange submit to an STD test has ballooned into: (1) rape charges that were dropped the day after they were filed, (2) a reopened molestation and “rape by surprise” case, (3) allegations of rape on account of a broken condom, and (4) probable cause of rape, sexual assault and coercion, filed three months after the initial charges had been made. All of this, it should be noted, comes from two women who apparently had no issues with Assange until discovering his infidelity, one of whom is claimed to have continued to allow him to stay in her residence and bed after the alleged rape incident, and the other who is said to have jokingly sent text messages to a friend after the incident in question. Although the truth may never be known outside of those involved, what is really odd is the fervor and man power with which this case has been pursued by Sweden, a nation

named by Amnesty International as a place where “rapists get impunity.” While Sweden has the highest number of reported rapes per capita in the world (it has quadrupled in the last 20 years), rape convictions in Sweden are steadily decreasing. Currently, less than 13% of cases that get reported actually lead to an investigation, and of those cases almost 90% never make it to court. Though Sweden’s sudden commitment to protecting women should be applauded if legitimate, the fact that Sweden has now enlisted its top prosecutors to go after Assange specifically and issued a warrant for his extradition is beyond its normal protocol and does raise questions.

terrorist or pioneer?

A government must be accountable to the people it has sworn to serve, and certain information must be made public in order to allow the people to properly determine if the actions being taken by those in charge are appropriate and moral. Governments claim they must harbor secrets to protect their people, but this raises the obvious question: “Who then will protect the people from the government?” For Julian Assange and supporters worldwide, the answer is WikiLeaks. Julian Assange is no saint; he is not a martyr being torn apart by ruthless government watchdogs, (yet); and he is not completely innocent. Many consider several of his leaks to have been detrimental to the well-being of U.S. soldiers and government officials worldwide. He has been accused of double-crossing editors and members of the media, going back on promises, and hiding vital information from sources. He has left numerous ex-WikiLeaks



staff members agitated, and he has scorned some lovers. There are politicians, pundits and leaders from the UK to Japan displeased with the course Assange has chosen and who believe his actions have been irresponsible and condemnable. But to those who feel like he is acting on some kind of a vendetta against the United States, Assange offers this rebuttal in his interview with 60 Minutes: “Our founding values are those of the U.S. revolution. They are those of the people like Jefferson and Madison. And we have a number of Americans in our organization. If you’re a whistleblower and you have material that is important, we will accept it, we will defend you and we will publish it. You can’t turn away material simply because it comes from the United States.” Some say Assange is a staunch defender of free press. Is he a journalist or an unethical editor; a terror threat on par with al-Qaeda or TIME’s Man of the Year; a paranoid muckraker or concerned global citizen? Sarah Palin calls him a terrorist and openly calls for his execution, while Russian President Vladimir Medvedev implies that he deserves the Nobel Prize. He’s even been nominated for the Nobel by a Norwegian lawmaker. A respected figure or erratic anarchist, it cannot be denied that Assange is a revolutionary. Whether he will be remembered as a rogue with blood on his hands or a pioneer who fought in the name of transparency and freedom of speech remains to be seen. But one thing is certain: Julian Assange has created a fight for transparency and accountability that is now bigger than himself, bigger than embarrassed diplomats, and even bigger than WikiLeaks itself.

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the slash


Issue \\ Today In the 1950s – largely regarded as the moment of perfect American society – the limbo period between adolescence and adulthood did not exist. Those who entered their thirties without marriage and children were seen as both strange and tragic, women often went to college in search of a husband, not a career, and children moved out of their parents’ home at eighteen. Today, our collective progression into adulthood takes us through more turbulent waters. People between 20 and 34 take longer to finish their college educations and establish themselves as professionals in the workforce, leaving many financially dependent on their parents throughout their 20s. Many decide to wait to have children and create independent families, and some plan to forgo parenthood altogether, thus creating a limbo period between high school graduation and that moment when one becomes completely and undeniably an adult. Many people question when adulthood starts now. Legally, we gain independence at eighteen, but how many of us truly step away from our childhoods and put on our grown-up hats? Even at twenty-one years old, I have difficulty considering myself an adult. Yes, I live away from the place I call home; yes, I am a student at a University; and yes, I make my own bedtime and dinner. But I also watch Disney movies at the end of a rough week, call my mother every day to complain about how the other kids are mean to me, and habitually, though unintentionally, set off the smoke detector when I make grilled cheese sandwiches. As I sit in the student center tonight, I take a moment to listen to those around me. A young woman sitting near me sighs and mutters a phrase I’ve said many times – “yes, dad.” People pass me, happy that


they’ve just received their financial aid checks and can go out to dinner. To my left, a friend bends over his sketchbook, drawing an intricate picture of a dragon, talking about childhood memories and how, even as a kid, he didn’t think so much about starting a family. “My cousins started their families too young,” he says, fighting with the shading on a wing rather than doing homework. “Do you know how hard it is to bounce back from that?” Indeed, in today’s society it would seem that those who skip the ether of college and choose to become fullfledged adults and earn their stripes as parents are, though traditional, condemned to a far greater struggle in life. Many college students prefer to gain their independence slowly, and usually finances are the last thing they take control over. However, those who attend college are not held above negative statistics, despite continued education’s reputation for “upward mobility.” Studies show that collegiate boys are more likely to commit crimes such as theft than their non-collegiate peers. Since college pushes back the time when people get married, become parents and get full-time jobs, many 20-somethings have an excess of unstructured time, leaving them available to take risks and partake in delinquency, only proving that delaying adulthood may be more fun, but it may also lead to more destructive behavior. So when my parents shake their heads when I pick up the Playstation controls for another round of Kingdom Hearts, we each try to remember something. They try to be grateful that I am not out after class, getting myself into trouble, and I recall that they were not like me – they grew up faster, and likely had far less fun.

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SHITTY \\ Businesses BORDERS Well this one might not be around for too much longer, and thank god for that. Failure to adapt to the digital market, a painfully slow E-reader, horrible customer service, and a business model that makes Twitter's look simple, Borders is most likely on its way out. Besides letting down customers, the company has failed to pay at least one of its vendors, clearly a wise business move on their end as with no vendors there wouldn’t be any pesky customers to stop them from committing business suicide. Long live Barnes and Noble, at least until Amazon gets their hands on them. F.Y.E: For Your UnEmployment The well-known and much despised music and entertainment conglomerate F.Y.E is shutting down 125 of its 690 stores. At its best F.Y.E. is the Marshall's of the multimedia industry. Every F.Y.E I have had the displeasure of walking into has had merchandise on the floor, mislabeled, out of place, or destroyed. And, don’t get me started on the music preview stations that never work or, if they do, reek of body odor. Customer service is non-existent. But to be fair, if I worked at F.Y.E I probably wouldn’t care about customers either, chances are they are only coming into the store to look for the latest movie they are going to go home and pirate. The closures will kill 650 jobs.


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RANT \\ Of the Issue

RELIGION \\ The Church of All Worlds Founded in the 1960s, the Church of All Worlds got its name and inspiration from sci-fi novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. So what kind of religion can stem from fiction? The core values of the Church of All Worlds include “a belief in immanent Divinity, a pluralistic perspective towards religion, living in harmony with Nature, self-actualization, deep friendship and positive sexuality.” CAW members believe that “acceptance of a diversity of belief systems fosters religious freedom and peace within humanity.” Emphasizing freedom of religion within a religion itself, CAW goes on to state that the “religious/spiritual orientations of CAW members may include animistic, polytheistic, monotheistic and monastic concepts.” Church of All Worlds was started by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and combines aspects of mysticism, Greek religions, and a multitude of figures from other religions. They worship The Earth Mother Goddess and believe in Faeries. And, to this day Zell-Ravenheart finds inspiration in fictional realms. He is the founder and headmaster of “The Grey School of Wizardry,” teaching "Magick" to children and adults alike and is known as “the real-life Albus Dumbledore.” So, if you’re up to check out a neo-Pagan religion that joins everything from Greek mythology to Harry Potter, check out or

DRUG \\ Heroin Heroin is an odd drug in our times. Given the variety of ways to get high, it almost seems outdated. But heroin wasn’t always this maligned. In the 19th century, the drug was first derived from poppy plants, and was used as a painkiller (irony comes in later when heroin was used to treat morphine addiction). The drug can be taken pretty much any way one could imagine: inhaled, snorted, swallowed, as a suppository, but the most tried and true method remains injection. Heroin, while immortal within the pop culture realm, is dangerously fucking addictive. Ask John Frusicante, of RHCP fame, who now as no real teeth because of the drug’s degrading qualities. Or any character in Irving Welsh’s classic, Trainspotting. Or, Lou Reed. You get the idea. The drug works by producing a euphoric, full body high, dropping you into a void where nothing matters, a single fuck is nowhere to be given, you are on your own. So skip the risks, this isn’t one we candidly write about with a wink. This shit is rough and totally not worth the lifetime of shit that one innocent experimentation can lead to. Never take drugs recreationally; above article for educational purposes only.

Valentine’s Day Every day should be Valentine’s Day. While I do hold that to be true to some degree, I have to say, the holiday is what you make it. Given the endless opportunities, dinners, engagements, dates, speed dates, “date dates,” the holiday is meaningless. Let me clarify, YOU give it meaning. WE give it a commercialized shine. See that right there? Pronouns are a bitch. Point is, you can make it like every other day, you can make it special, just please don’t propose (that is the only thing I’ll admit I have an issue with, it’s tacky, don’t do it). There are many ways to over think Valentine’s Day (trust me, CVS at 8 p.m. has more red flowing in the aisles and men running around than any one person should be forced to bear). In the end, that ruins it, so I offer these words as an open letter to anyone celebrating the holiday. Ladies and gentlemen, just find someone special. Be it man and woman, woman and woman, man and man and any other combination thereof, just make sure the person is fun. Not your soulmate. Not necessarily life changing. Just fun. That’s still possible without chemical assistance in this day and age. Seriously – it is. Forgive the internal argument that disregards grammar. The point is, America, or better yet, best damn segment of America, don’t buy into the hype this year. Go out, sure, but don’t go for the South Beach mentality, don’t buy into buying in. Just buy into the idea of, well, whatever the hell makes you happy. Rent a movie and cook dinner, go for a bike ride, go skydiving if you really think that’s fun. Not because you saw it in a special, not because you heard it would be great, but dammit, because it’s just fun. Please, take your hand, place it over this hallowed few pages of The Slash and repeat after me: I, person of reasonable standards and intelligence, do solemnly swear that if I be in love, to remain in love, and if I’m looking for it to remain open to it, not hunt it down. I will have fun today. I will not be an asshole. I will be myself and enjoy what is just another day that happens to have hearts and little notes exchanged... There, congratulations and welcome to a normal Valentine’s Day. Now, whadja get me?

volume 3 issue 3 \\ spring \\




\\ \\ november december january \\ volume 3 issue 2 spring \\ -volume 3 issue- 3


STRIKING \\ Statistics

Epic \\ Jokes

the slash


Drink \\ Recipes

Your heart will beat about 3 billion times “I saw a guy wearing a Jesus bracelet during your life. and a Lance Armstrong bracelet, and he went up to this blind kid and rubbed Philip M. Parker has written more books his eyes, and the kid could see. But he than any other living author, totalling wasn't used to the light, 'cause it was 200,000. bright, and he walked into traffic and was killed instantly. Okay, the people 40,000 Americans will die in a car crash that are laughing right now? I'm gonna this year. That’s roughly 104 per day; 4 call you guys half-full. Because you're every hour. focusing on the important part of the story: the bracelets are working.” There are currently 18.2 million college -Daniel Tosh students. Don’t worry, 25% of them will drop out in their freshmen year. (Talking about his drink) "Look at all the limes in this goddamn thing! The average salary of a Fortune 500 This fuckin' thing is tropical! Look company CEO was $9,500,000. at the limes, how they float. That's good news. Next time I'm on a boat Your garbageman makes anywhere from and it capsizes, I will reach for a lime. $19,000 to $36,000. Like I'll be water-skiing without a life preserver, people will say "What There are over 129,864,880 books in the the fuck?" and I will pull out a lime. entire world. Philip Parker wrote most I'm saved by the buoyancy of citrus.” of them. -Mitch Hedberg

Chocolate valentine - 3/4 oz Stoli® Vanil Vodka - 3/4 oz Dark Creme de Cacao - 1/2 oz Cherry Juice - 1 splash Cream - 1 splash Soda Water Shake with ice and strain into a shot glass.

Valentine Punch 3 oz Cherry Instant Jello® 1 cup Boiling Water 6 oz Frozen Lemonade 3 cups Cold Water 1 quart Cranberry Juice 12 oz Ginger Ale Mix ingredients, wait a few, and enjoy

Bizzaro Valentine 2 shots Vodka 5 oz Root Beer 5 oz Mountain Dew® Citrus Soda Combine and pour over ice.

the art \\ Of Dorm Sex


Women’s Studies Scout your campus for the slowest elevator, usually found in older freshman dorms. Hit the "Stop" button. Lock eyes with your partner, with the woman's left foot turned to the side. The woman wraps her arms around his neck, and the man puts his arms around her lower back. The woman places her right foot on his left shoulder, slowly creating the vertical split. Now simply wait to be rescued.

Tombstone Challenge Special thanks to the guys at Sigma Nu for this one. Rent/buy/steal/pirate the movie Tombstone . To play this game you must do a shot each time that Doc Holliday (Val Kilmer) and Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) do a shot. To win this game you have to make it to the end of the credits without puking your brains out. The movie runs for 130 minutes and is sure to give even your most dedicated drinkers a challenge. Around the World Disclaimer: this one can only be done at Disney’s EPCOT. After you enter the most magical place on Earth make a run for the World Show Case, that is the place where all the countries are. Once you get there choose a route: Mexico to Canada or Canada to Mexico (bonus points for Mexico to Canada) Order the traditional drink of each country, 11 in total, and then ride Mission Space on extreme mode. Be sure to get your photo taken and watch out for security! PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY

volume 3 issue 3 \\ spring \\



the slash


Random \\ Idiots

YOU TUBE \\ Gems

WEB \\ Searches

Adrian Lamo - Lamo, a hacker that is featured heavily in Wired magazine and, turned in Private First Class Bradley Manning. Manning is accused of leaking scores of classified documents to the secret spilling website WikiLeaks. Lamo turned Manning in because he thought Manning was a threat to national security. The Pentagon has yet to find any evidence that leaks from WikiLeaks have directly contributed to any deaths. Lamo said he was “heartsick” for the specialist and his family. Manning is currently being held isolated detention at Marine Corps Base Quantico and has yet to be charged.

Don Draper says what. Any Mad Men fan knows that Don Draper says “what”, often. One dedicated fan made a compilation of all the times Don Draper says “what." Now if that shows how dynamic Jon Hamm is as an actor or if it illustrates how static he can be is your call.

that will shock and appall you

FIU VP of Student Affairs: Rosa L. Jones - After an uphill battle at FIU, the non-smokers finally won. FIU is now 100% smoke and tobacco free. However, Jones earns our distinction because of her strategy for implementing this ban. The new policy at FIU is enforced socially, aka students nagging other students into quitting. If you’re caught smoking on campus there are no fines and the police certainly can’t arrest you since it is still legal to smoke outside. Although, Jones does wave a paternal finger at the student body claiming smoking offenses “will result in judicial conduct action following the University Student Code of Conduct.” You’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Pat on the \\ Back Banksey If, as Zizek recently claimed, Julian Assange is the Joker of the 21st Century, then Banksy may very well be the Riddler. At this point, his biggest unsolved riddle is not his true identity, but rather how he will use his "Exit Through The Gift Shop" Oscar nomination to further advance the cause of honorable vandalism.


IBM’s Watson Super computer smokes the competition in a practice round. Not only is the video amazing, the computer has a creepily robotic voice, I wonder how that happened. If you’ve ever seen 2001: A Space Odyssey you’ll not only get to see HAL in action you might actually learn something. Man Gives His Nephew An Old School Azz Whoopin On Webcam For Gangbangin On facebook. I’m glad to see there’s some sense in the world. An uncle beats his nephew and posts it on YouTube after he catches him pretending to gangbang. There’s nothing more gangster than choking back tears as your uncle beats you. Am I right? Natalie Portman Uncensored Rap. In case you missed it, Natalie Portman is a bad bitch. Don’t believe me? Check out the video she made for Saturday Night Live. It’s Portman at her best and in a way I’m sure you’ve never seen before. A “Real” Grad school ad. Considering graduate school or even post-graduate school? Don’t do it until you see this ad for Quendelton University and submit your applications! Because change scares us all shitless. Cat Wash! If you have a minute spend it watching this cat enjoying a nice “spa treatment.” Available at your local PetSmart (your pet is sure to thank you afterwards).

\\ spring \\ volume 3 issue 3

Type in “how can.” If you have the auto complete on, there’s something odd going on. First result, “how can I be taller.” OK, fair enough, even though the poor children who don’t realize that none of the tips will do them any good (or the grown men for that part). Then there’s “how can I keep from singing.” Apparently, Glee fans have turned their lack of social skills into a medical condition. The third result is “how can you get herpes” which, dear readers, if you are at the university level, then you may already have it if you’re googling it. Type in “babies.” OK, now scroll through all the crap you won’t care about until you reach the related searches. “Funny babies” is the first one. Again, not for nothing, children are a 50-50 mix of adorable and disgusting little guys and gals, but this proves once again that Americans only believe children are there for our amusement. Disagree? See: Baby Geniuses, Toddlers in Tiaras and any other production that makes me wish I was a Canadian (for a minute, I hate winter). Type in “sex.” Auto complete will annoy the hell out of you again and prove that as much as the younger generations may think we run the Internet content by our sheer numbers, middle aged housewives do put down their harlequin romance novels and use the google machine once in a while. “Sex and the City” is the first result. It’s bullshit, until you see the next result, “Sex and the City quotes.” Don’t punch your computer just yet. Next comes “sex offender registry” and you’ll quickly realize that as Americans, disturbing sexual juxtapositions and shitty television are all we have to look forward to.


\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ poli–sci \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

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