Best & worst of 2009
Fall sports highlights
» Page 8
» Page 16
Voices gets critical with the past year.
Picking our favorite moments from the fall sports seasons.
DECEMBER 1, 2009
VOLUME 121 ISSUE 17
The student newspaper of the University of Chicago since 1892
University to drop printed course catalog
Protesters call for gefilte fish at Latke-Hamantash Debate
Online-only catalog will save money, link schedules and evaluations By Tiffany Young News Contributor The University plans to get rid of the hard copy of the course catalog next fall in favor of an online version. The course catalog is currently available online in PDF format, while time schedules and add/drop are each on separate sites. The new online catalog will link course descriptions, time schedules, and add/drop into one streamlined site, according to Michael Jones, associate dean of the college. “We’re prepared to give up the convenience of flipping through the paper if we can have this better online linking of all the information,” Jones said. “Eventually, we’d hope that a student could click on a course in time schedules and get a course description and course evaluations.” “The catalog was out of date before it even hit the press,” University registrar Gabriel Olszewski said. “Students were going online to get their information and I kept hearing feedback that students wanted a good, online course site.” “Tens of thousands of dollars” were spent printing hard copies, Jones said, even after the decision six years ago to publish every two years instead of annually. Olszewski said he received opinions from Student Government leaders, students, and NSIT staff who were largely in favor of better online access to course information, including second-year Annie Considine, who said, “It would be good to know if a profes-
sor drops a class right away, instead of planning for it the whole year.” Others don’t want to see the catalog go, however. “It makes me a little sad. I remember getting this brick of a thing when I was just a first-year coming to the school and it was really exciting to have this material object to look through,” third-year Alex Dulchinos said. For college advisors, a refurbished online system would be convenient on a day-to-day basis in addition to providing dynamic, frequently updated content. “It would be easy to send a link via e-mail to one of my students, or to cut and paste a piece of text,” adviser Brian Want said. Olszewski said the University has considered ending production of hard copies of the University course catalog for years, as various divisions began moving courses online. “Historically, there were seven different announcements on campus, for the college, for the graduate divisions, and for the different professional programs. But now most all of them have made separate decisions to transition to the Web,” he said. Olszewski said the “Course Combo Suite Project” is underway; he has been in several meetings, including ones with online catalog vendors, to facilitate a more efficient, greener way to access catalog information. But connecting the separate time schedule, registration, bidding, and evaluations sites will be a challenge, Olszewski said. “Because we’re redeveloping six different Web sites, we know it has to be a phased implementation, but we hope to get new feedback from students early next year.”
Fourth-year Eli Albert protests on stage during the 63rd Annual Latke-Hamantash Debate in Mandel Hall Tuesday. DARREN LEOW/MAROON
By Asher Klein News Editor Third parties overran the LatkeHamantash Debate in Mandel Hall Tuesday, with gefilte fish protesters and a honey-baked ham advocate arguing in favor of a more diverse Debate over the merits of various Jewish foods. The Debate was more formally held in honor of Charles Darwin, whose 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species were celebrated on campus last month. The Newberger Hillel Center presented the Debate, which was moderated by philoso-
phy professor Ted Cohen. Held annually since 1946, the Debate features professors arguing over whether the Jewish potato pancake or the Jewish cookie is the superior snack through their own fields of research. In his opening remarks, Newberger Hillel Director Daniel Libenson tried to use a number of Jewish biblical analyses to uncover whether either latkes or hamentashen were superior. He pointed out that the last Darwin celebration, held 50 years ago, fell 13 years after the first Latke-Hamantash Debate, making that year its bar mitzvah. In a parody of rabbinic tradition, Libenson tried
to determine whether the confluence of those events was a coincidence, but his analysis proved fruitless. Libenson brought in Abraham Lincoln, as well, who was born on the same day as Darwin. He argued that Lincoln’s hat looks like a latke when viewed from above, while Darwin’s beard is triangular like a hamantash, but the results of that analysis were inconclusive. Harris School Professor Ethan Bueno de Mesquita (B.A. ’96) took his speaking time as an opportunity to vent a frustration he said he’s felt over the course of attending the event four times as an undergrad.
LATKE continued on page 4
Rise in alcohol-related hospitalizations spurs admin action
Grads win Rhodes and Marshall scholarships, third-year wins math prize
By Burke Frank Associate News Editor Three to four times as many students were sent to the emergency room this quarter for excessive alcohol consumption than last fall quarter, according to Dean of Students in the College Susan Art, prompting University administrators to send an e-mail to the community warning of the dangers of alcohol use last week. Art said that while fewer than 20 students had been sent to the ER because alcohol had rendered them unresponsive, the small number belies the seriousness of the situation. “We thought it was worth flagging for everyone because it is so potentially lethal,” Art said. Art and Kim Goff-Crews, vice president for campus life, cited anecdotal evidence from housing and custodial staff and noted the higher
numbers of ER visits. “That doesn’t mean that all these people are alcoholics. It means they’re drinking too much,” said Dr. Doug Culbert, a psychologist at the SCRS who specializes in counseling students with alcohol. “Acute intoxication can be as dangerous as chronic intoxication.” The e-mail pointed out the positive role students and staff can play in cases of alcohol abuse, citing the “guidance and support” of community members. In spite of the spike in ER visits due to alcohol poisoning, Art said the University’s alcohol policies encourage responsibility in students. She contrasted University policy with more punitive measures taken by other schools, which she said “make[s] it harder for people to step forward and get help.” “Our focus is on student health rather than enforcement of the drinking age,” Art said. “I feel
that we have a very sensible policy.” Art said it isn’t clear why there has been such a spike in ER visits due to alcohol poisoning this year, and Culbert said it’s too early in the year to compare the data with the numbers from other schools. But Art said that most of the students who have been sent to the hospital are first-years who didn’t have experience with alcohol use in the past. “First-years are just away from home and experimenting, and that’s understandable, a certain amount of that needs to go on in college,” Art said. The amount and severity of alcohol use have surprised Art and she plans to launch more preventative efforts with the Student Counseling and Resource Service (SCRS). “There are a lot of ways students
DRINKING continued on page 4
By Ella Christoph and Christina Pillsbury News Editor and News Staff Three U of C students received prestigious awards in the past month for research in human development, human rights, and mathematics. Stephanie Bell (B.A. ’08) received a Rhodes Scholarship, fourth-year Amol Naik received a Marshall Scholarship, and third-year Hannah Alpert received the Alice T. Schafer Prize for excellence in mathematics. Bell will study at the University of Oxford as one of 32 American recipients of the 2009-2010 Rhodes Scholarship. She will pursue a master’s of philosophy in Development Studies and ultimately hopes to use her experience at both universities to advocate for social justice, focusing on Africa and victims of HIV/AIDS. “Anthropologists are crucial to devising ways in which Western medicine isn’t a challenge to local
understandings of medicine or broader local value and religious systems,” said Bell, an anthropology and gender studies major, in a press release. “It’s important that those anthropological insights can be communicated across development policy teams, which are often dominated by economists, statisticians, and political scientists.” While at the University, Bell served as a student marshal, a school representative position appointed by the president to students who excel academically and in extracurricular activities. Bell was also named a Truman Scholar, a national honor given to 65 college juniors committed to public service. Bell was chosen from among 805 applicants who were endorsed by 326 different colleges and universities for this award, which will pay her tuition and living expenses for up to three years of study in Oxford.
AWARDS continued on page 4
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CHICAGO MAROON | NEWS | December 1, 2009
With a fantasy land she designed, one student makes very real money By Sonia Hinson News Staff On this Web site, users age 16 and up collect Japanese-style cartoon pets including dogs, birds, cats, and insects by exploring different regions of a mythical land. No, it’s not Neopets; it’s Aywas.com, and it’s run by a U of C student. Julie Kossler, a fourth-year public policy major, is the administrator and owner of the Web site, which she said has been extremely profitable since it started at the beginning of October. Kossler said her hobby is online programming. Aywas was not her first Web site, but the many others she’s had in the past all eventually failed. “I had an idea, but I was not familiar with the mechanics of programming,” she said. But with the success of Aywas, she is thinking about making it a career, creating a limited liability company and developing more games under that umbrella. Awyas raked in $15,000 in its first month, funded by its 1,670 users. In spite of the success of her site, Kossler said she didn’t know of any U of C users. “The first month always makes the most money, but there is no guarantee it is going to make the same amount of revenue in the following months,” Kossler said. “The second month we will probably make $10,000. December is also a high revenue month, but
then in January everyone has spent all their money so it drops down again.” Once Aywas users are registered and approved by an admin, they can play games, chat with users in the forums, and earn “Blue Paws,” the game’s online currency. But you don’t have to win a lot to become a powerful player on Aywas; for one “real-world” dollar, players can buy one “Gold Paw” (GP), and discounts are given for bulk purchases. Kossler’s job includes writing posts on the Web site detailing news and pet descriptions, working with artists to design the new pets and items for the pets, and deciding when to release them on the Web site. She earns money through the purchase of GP. “It’s all about instant gratification; you can find [the GP items] throughout the game,” she said. Users who buy GP can immediately receive virtual items that Kossler said can “enhance their gaming experience” by advancing them to the next level instead of leaving users in search of free items in the Aywas world. Items include pet housing, the ability to customize one’s pet, and access to special edition pets. Kossler said increasing a person’s pet collection motivates many users to play Aywas and spend money on the game. “There are six types of pets, and people might want all of a certain type of pet, or they are constantly moving to get all 300 pets,” she said.
In the November 17 issue, the Voices article “U of C Alum Aims for National Book Award” incorrectly identified what year Hayden Carruth (A.M. ’47) won the National Book Award. Carruth won the award in 1996. Two other U of C alumni have also won the award—Susan Sontag (A.B. ’51) won the fiction award in 2000 and Phillip Roth (A.M. ’55) for fiction in 1960. In the November 17 issue, the News article “Weekend Downtown Shuttle Takes Off” did not describe the Transportation Student Advisory Board’s (TSAB) advisory role in the shuttle process. The Prospective Students Advisory Board (PSAC) was not involved. In the November 20 issue, the News article “Ivy Plus Helps Alums Find Plus-Ones” incorrectly identified the year Jennifer Anderson (J.D. ’04) graduated from the U of C Law School. The MAROON is committed to correcting mistakes for the record. If you suspect the MAROON has made an error, please alert the newspaper by e-mailing chicagomaroon@
BY CHRISTINA PILLSBURY
» November 30, 3:42 p.m. Two men approached a 15-year-old boy on the 5000 block of Blackstone Avenue and asked to borrow the teenager’s phone. One of the men struck the teen in the face while the other struck him from behind and told him to empty his pockets. The victim surrendered his cell phone, cash, and an iPod. The suspects ran north. The suspects were both described as black, 16 to 17 years old, and wearing blue jeans, with one wearing a brown hooded sweatshirt and the other a black hooded sweatshirt.
» November 25, 7:10 p.m. A 22-year-old woman walking on 53rd Street and Greenwood Avenue passed four teenage girls, who yelled at her. The woman kept walking but was pushed to the ground by one of the girls. The offenders took her backpack, cellphone, and wallet. All of the suspects were described as between 16 and 18 years old. One was described as black, 4 foot 11 and about 100 pounds; another was described as 5 foot 5 and about 140 pounds. All four suspects ran north on Greenwood Avenue.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS! From all of us here at the MAROON ON
COURTESY OF AYWAS.COM
So far, there are 14 species to choose from and 44,020 pets. There have been 76,595 visits since October 1, averaging 2,470 visits a day, with users staying on the site an average 31 minutes and 39 seconds. Sara Williams, an Aywas user and student at Northwest Arkansas Community College, was in Chicago recently to meet Kossler. She said that she hasn’t bought GP yet because her budget didn’t allow it. The fact that she has never bought GP does not discourage her from playing. “I collect pets that best match my character and personality. I have never been really into
collecting all of them,” Williams said. Kossler said another reason people have more pets and money is “the idea of Internet popularity. The richer you are, the more popular you are. You’re seen as a higher quality user.” Kossler shared a piece of advice for students who are interested in starting up their own Web site: “A Web site can be cheap, good, or fast, but it can only be two of them.” An updated beta version of Aywas.com will be released in December, according to the Web site.
Fourth-year Julie Kossler designs collectible pets on her Web site Aywas.com. Members can buy or capture pets and explore wild lands Kossler created.
Grad student to attend Climate Conference in Copenhagen By Nathalie Gorman Senior News Staff Kyle Gracey, a Ph.D. student in the Harris School of Public Policy and the Physical Sciences Department, will attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen along with 25 other SustainUS delegates. Gracey is chair of SustainUS, a nationwide youth environmental group. Gracey, who wrote an October 27 review of Super Freakonomics for the Maroon’s Voices section criticizing the book’s approach to global warming, is concerned about the inaction of the U.S. government on climate issues. “I think that the U.S. has a really big stake in the negotiations, and I think we have a lot to gain by getting invested in the negotiations and creating a clean energy economy,” he said. SustainUS focuses on giving youth, students, and young professionals ages 13—26 a voice in discussions on climate change. “Our generation [was] potentially going to miss out on our future,” Gracey said. Gracey seemed cautiously optimistic about the possibility of making progress at the summit. “The U.S. is a big roadblock in the process because
everyone is waiting for clarity on whether the U.S. will have a climate law or not,” Gracey said. “But at the same time there is potential for progress. Almost all other countries who are big emitters are starting to put commitments on the table.” At the conference, Gracey and the other SustainUS delegates will spend their time lobbying, networking, and trying to get more information for youth about the conference and the issues at stake in the negotiations. “It’ll be a combination of lobbying and talking to government officials, members of Congress, senators, representatives, and doing a lot of policy analysis where we actually sit in the negotiations and try to transmit the facts to a lot of the youth who will be there,” Gracey said. Rachel Butler, SustainUS’s climate program director, expressed her confidence that Gracey would be an effective advocate for new policy. “Kyle is quite experienced with the international policy process and has been to at least one of these international negotiations in the past so that set him up as a good candidate with experience,” she said. Butler also emphasized the importance of the involvement of young people in climate negotiations. “Our future is on the table and our future is not negotiable,” she said.
Art gallery and thrift store open, for a month, on 55th Street By Carolanne Fried Senior News Staff A temporary gallery for “art, ideas, thoughts, and concerns,” called the Opportunity Shop, or Op Shop, opened on 55th Street and Lake Park Avenue last Friday, and will close at the end of the month. The owners hope it will be the th first of many temporary galleries. Operating out of a vacant storefront owned by b MAC Property Management, Op Shop is the first location in what Hyde Park residents and gallery owners Laura Schaeffer and d Andrew Nord plan to be a long-term project. A “The Op Shop is dedicated to creating alter“ native sites of exchange around art in vacant n
urban spaces,” according to the shop’s Web site. The Opportunity Shop’s location is not the only thing that will change over time. The gallery’s displays will constantly evolve and the submission deadline for artwork is rolling. The Op Shop space houses a thrift store in the back and is available to host events in the evenings. The gallery will close with a party on Saturday, December 31 from 6-10 p.m. The Op Shop is the latest in a recent trend of informal art in unconventional places in Chicago. Three temporary art galleries recently cropped up in vacant storefronts in the Loop, according to a November 27 article in the Chicago Reader.
CHICAGO MAROON | NEWS | December 1, 2009
Math isn’t just for boys, Association for Women in Mathematics prize winner says AWARDS continued from front page Amol Naik (B.A. ’09) received a Marshall Scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in human rights and the history of international relations at the London School of Economics. Naik has a special interest in reforming the American criminal justice system. “What I hope to bring back to the United States are the tools necessary to bring a human rights framework to bear on the inequalities in the U.S. justice system,” said Naik, a political science and history major. During his time at the University, Naik was also a student marshal and helped found the Chicago Justice Initiative, an RSO that aims to educate about inequalities in the U.S. justice system. Naik currently works as a research fellow at the Urban Education Institute to better the
conditions of low-income area charter schools. The inspiration for his interests, he said, came from seeing extreme poverty at a young age in his father’s medical clinic on the South Side of Chicago. “The legal system is the one institution that we depend on to be fair, but when we look at American prisons and justice policies, we are disproportionately punishing people from poor communities,” Naik said. “It breeds institutional distrust and tears the fabric of civil society.” Third-year Hannah Alpert won the 2010 Alice T. Schafer Prize for excellence in mathematics by an undergraduate woman from The Association for Women in Mathematics. Alpert, a mathematics major, was well on her way to math research even before college,
Bueno de Mequita: Honeyed-ham may be solution to 63 years of debate LATKE continued from front page There is “a dark conspiracy at the heart of the Latke-Hamentash Debate” meant to keep Ashkenazi foods, or items favored in the Northern and Eastern Jewish tradition, in power, he said. “If there are Jewish conspiracies, they are not about power, they are not about money. At root they are culinary.” Bueno de Mesquita, a Sephardic, or southern European, Jew, pointed to the similarity between the words kosher, meaning “dietary laws,” and kesher, meaning “connection” or “conspiracy.” “This system has never been allowed to evolve!” he said. Bueno de Mesquita advocated for the introduction of Sephardic foods to the Debate, like honey-baked ham, which he said is “both deliciously sweet and deliciously savory,” combining the best of both latkes and hamantashen, hypothetically satisfying any Jewish eater’s palate—and settling the Debate once-and-for-all. Bueno de Mesquita’s speech mimicked protestors who railed against the nonrepresentation of gefilte fish while attendees waited in line, and again during the warm-up acts before the Debate. One protester unaffiliated with the University, Max Handelman, said, “There’s a big, wide world out there of Jewish side dishes. Latkes and hamantashen are not the end of the line.” Richards, one of the world’s foremost experts on Darwin, claimed the biologist ate a latke-like potato pancake on the H.M.S. Beagle to cure his seasickness. Richards claimed a student of his found a new set of correspondences between
Darwin and his sister in an English chemist’s drawer that detailed Darwin’s introduction to the “oleaginous” cure by a “lost tribe” in South America. According to the letters, which Richards read aloud, Darwin had a troubled relationship with his father, and the latkes, which he came to rely on, caused him to hallucinate his father’s face on animals he saw. Richards said Darwin’s seminal work, The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, was originally entitled, The Origin of the Father Figure by Means of Natural Confection. He said Darwin had changed the name when he thought the public wouldn’t be ready for such a controversial theory. Peggy Mason, professor and chair of neurobiology, asked, “What Would Darwin Say?” and found that the Beagle stopped at all the world’s potato growing hotspots as it circumnavigated the globe. She also said interneurons look like latkes, and since a high presence of interneurons indicates intelligence, latkes are evolutionarily the better food. Mason said she intended to test which food would do best when fed to wild animals, as Darwin would have done, but both were “too tasty” to make it to the experimental stage—she and her partner ate them. Salikoko Mufwene, professor of linguistics, went through the etymology and evolution of both foods with a slide show but could not come up with a conclusive reading of which is preferable. He concluded in his speech, as the Latke-Hamantash Debate invariably does each year, “de gustibus non est disputandum,” or there’s no arguing about taste—and “thank God evolution does not eliminate variation.”
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coauthoring a paper on topological graph theory before matriculating to the U of C. A summer program at Hampshire College jump-started Alpert’s research. At the program, she met sarah-marie belcastro, a research associate at Smith College and a visiting assistant professor at Mount Holyoke College. “I really liked her class because we as students got to conjecture and prove the theorems ourselves, in class. We ran up and started drawing on the board a lot,” Alpert said in an e-mail interview. Since then, Alpert has written or coauthored five papers, she said. This spring, Alpert was awarded the Barry M. Goldwater scholarship. Her paper “Obstacle Numbers of Graphs,” co-authored with Christina Koch of St. Olaf College, also received the 2009
Link between recent rise in sexual assaults and alcohol abuse unclear, says Dean Art DRINKING continued from front page can learn to drink more safely: tracking their drinking, looking out for their friends,” Culbert said. “There are always ways they can be more safe.” “We just want to alert people that this can be a very dangerous thing,” Art said. Goff-Crews plans on bringing alcohol use up at the next meeting of College Council, and hopes that student leaders will make alcohol safety a priority. Art and Goff-Crews also noted a higherthan-normal numb er of sexual ass ault reports in their e-mail, but Art said it’s hard to tell if there’s a connection between the sexual assaults referred to in the e-mail and alcohol abuse. Students should nevertheless be aware of the role of alcohol use in some cases of sexual assault, Art said. “Alcohol use has a significant role in the things that come to the attention of the sexual assault dean on call. It’s part of the picture. Any case of sexual assault is one too many for us.” In spite of the recent increase in alcohol hospitalizations, Art said U of C students aren’t as vulnerable to alcohol abuse as those at other schools. “I’ve always felt that we were lucky in the sense that our students are very serious about being students,” she said. “They don’t want to be hung over and missing class. I don’t feel like we have the same problems that other schools do in terms of the chronic drinking and partying that goes on.”
Undergraduate Poster Session Prize from the Mathematical Association of America. That paper explores topographical graph theory, which Alpert described as placing people and obstacles in a grassy field so that some people are able to see each other and others are blocked by the obstacles. “In the math version, the people are points in the plane, and the obstacles are polygons,” she said. Alpert said she hopes to inspire young women to pursue mathematics, pointing to belcastro as her own role model. “One thing that stops girls from studying math seriously is that they think math is for other people, that it’s for the boys they perceive to be more experienced,” she said. —Additional reporting by Asher Klein
Undergrad to tour across China with World Orchestra By Victoria H. Lee News Contributor Third-year double bass player Kirsten Paige will tour with the World Orchestra in China over winter break. Paige, a music major at the University, will join 99 other musicians between 18 and 28 years old from more than 40 countries to rehearse and tour China for almost a month. “It is definitely challenging to manage everything, but I’m really excited that I have this opportunity to travel around 10 different cities and meet a lot of people,” Paige said. Since the age of 10, Paige has played double bass as a hobby. Her father, who plays jazz piano, encouraged her to take up an instrument. “My sister plays guitar, so we sometimes play as a family, which is really cool. We don’t really play classical music together, but it’s really fun,” Paige said. Before attending the U of C, Paige attended a program for high school students at Julliard School of the Arts. This experience provided her with opportunities to work with students and professors from all over the country, she said. “I heard about [the World Orchestra] because my former music teacher at Julliard has talked about it,” she said. In January 2009, Paige auditioned by video and received an acceptance letter in March. “I like collaborating with people, and I think the idea of producing something together is really awesome,” she said. “I have talked to a few bass players who are from Serbia and Spain. I really hope that we get 10 basses from 10 different countries,” Paige said. Paige will rehearse in China with the World Orchestra from December 6 to December 15, and tour until January 3, 2010.
| VIEWPOINTS | December 1, 2009
EDITORIAL & OP-ED DECEMBER 1, 2009
Scrapping paper CHICAGO MAROON
The student newspaper of the University of Chicago since 1892
SUPRIYA SINHABABU, Editor-in-Chief TOM TIAN, Managing Editor ELLA CHRISTOPH, News Editor ASHER KLEIN, News Editor MICHAEL LIPKIN, News Editor CLAIRE McNEAR, Viewpoints Editor HAYLEY LAMBERSON, Voices Editor BEN SIGRIST, Voices Editor
University made right decision in eliminating hard copies of course catalog Some undergrads may fondly remember the day they received their hefty course catalogs in the mail, along with other admissions material. But just as many can remember the frustration they felt when the out-ofdate catalog proved virtually useless. Both a tremendous waste of money and a sustainability concern, hardcopy course catalogs are finally being phased out. Now, the University should take steps to make its online course catalog easier to navigate. The hard-copy catalogs cost tens of thousands of dollars and used
a huge amount of paper, yet were out-of-date virtually before they were printed. This held especially true since the University stopped annual printing six years ago in favor of biennial publication. By 2008, the course information in the 2006-2008 catalog was essentially useless. Moreover, the distribution of catalogs was astonishingly gratuitous—students received copies both after enrolling and after arriving on campus. And, of course, copies were always freely available at the advising desk. It’s encouraging, then, that the
University is following through on its commitment to sustainability and ending this unnecessary practice. Unfortunately, the online-only catalog—the only alternative now that the print version has been scrapped— remains somewhat outdated. Adding a search function would be a major improvement that would allow students to search the course catalog more easily, by professor or general topic, for example. In addition, the online catalog is available in PDF format only, an annoyance for those trying to easily scroll through course
options. These changes would make it easier for students to select classes. It’s a good thing the University has reduced its printing costs and environmental impact by phasing out the hard-copy catalog. But there’s always room for improvement: Administrators should cap this achievement by making the online version more user-friendly. — The MAROON Editorial Board consists of the Editor-in-Chief, Viewpoints Editors, and two additional Editorial Board members .
JORDAN HOLLIDAY, Sports Editor MATT BARNUM, Editorial Board Member BEN ROSSI, Editorial Board Member
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Back to the future
Case for objectivism mistakenly assumes concrete truth
DANI BRECHER, Head Copy Editor SHAHZAD AHSAN, Photo Editor JEREMY MARTIN, Photo Editor HEATHER LEWIS, Head Designer ABRAHAM NEBEN, Web Editor BURKE FRANK, Associate News Editor CHRIS BOOTS, Associate Viewpoints Editor RYAN TRYZBIAK, Associate Sports Editor
An ambitious, large-scale science program could reap benefits for the U.S.
ERIC GUO, Associate Photo Editor CAMILLE VAN HORNE, Assoc. Photo Editor JUDY MARCINIAK, Business Manager
By Liat Spiro Viewpoints Staff
JACK DiMASSIMO, Designer IVY PEREZ, Designer JESSICA SHEFT-ASON, Designer NAKUL SINGH, Designer CLAIRE ZHOU, Designer MATT TYNDALE, Designer ANDREW GREEN, Designer ANNA AKERS-PECHT, Copy Editor JORDAN FRANKLIN, Copy Editor DANIELLE GLAZER, Copy Editor MONIKA LAGAARD, Copy Editor HOLLY LAWSON, Copy Editor MIRANDA LI, Copy Editor LAUREN MAKHOLM, Copy Editor ROBERT TINKLE, Copy Editor LILY YE, Copy Editor WENJIA DOREEN ZHAO, Copy Editor
The CHICAGO MAROON is published twice weekly during autumn, winter, and spring quarters. Circulation: 6,500 The opinions expressed in the Viewpoints section are not necessarily those of the MAROON.
Out of political urgencies and pure panache, John F. Kennedy famously declared in 1962, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” Aware of the risks of this tight deadline, top scientists questioned the president’s judgment. Was it necessary to send a man to the moon in the next eight years? We could have sent machines, or simply technologically one-upped the Soviets, who were still many stages away from reaching the moon. There certainly was no need to publicly set a deadline so near in the future. Yet Kennedy’s seemingly brazen P.R. stunt laid the groundwork for the technological world we enjoy today. One could even argue that it directly contributed to the ’90s economic boom.
Sending men to the moon in a mere eight years required that the government reach out extensively to the private sector and invest heavily in future technology. When Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were 13 and 14 years old, respectively. Steve Wozniak was 18. Undoubtedly, the Apollo missions provided meaningful inspiration. But inspiration aside, these icons of our computer age benefitted concretely from innovations and policies pioneered by and for NASA. Starting in eighth grade, Gates cut his teeth on an ASR-33 teletype terminal and a G.E. computer financed by his private school’s Mothers Club. The rapid development of these very machines correlated with the size, power, and speed specifications necessitated by NASA missions. Requiring huge advancements in integrated circuitry, Apollo’s guidance computer exemplified this trend.
©2009 CHICAGO MAROON, Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 East 59th Street, Chicago, IL 60637
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Burying the evidence
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Yet the holistic ideology of “great leaps” meant investment in other areas as well. Prior to Apollo funding cuts, NASA had plans for at least three more lunar missions. However, these missions were increasingly intended for career scientists, not test pilots. Then, as now, science education came to the forefront of our national consciousness. Jobs and Wozniak, who attended public schools, surely experienced the impact of doubled government expenditures on K-12 education between 1960 and 1970. So, perhaps all three’s eventual dropping out of college had already been offset by some good STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education and inspiration. Today, President Obama is reaching out to nonprofits and the private sector to improve STEM education. Marshaling the forces of the Discovery Channel and Sony to con-
SCIENCE continued on page 6
Obama strays from campaign ideals with decreasing transparency
By Jasmine Heiss Viewpoints Contributor I cried on November 4, 2008, when Barack Obama was elected president. Like so many other people, I was swept up in the giddy enthusiasm of his campaign: the bold graphics, the rousing speeches, and the iconic words “hope” and “change.” Now, just over a year later, my honeymoon period with Obama has come to an end. Like many Americans, my heady enthusiasm has been replaced with a sort of cynical optimism—we still fervently hope things can get better, but
only with the caveat: “We can only expect so much.” Even the words “hope” and “change” seem to mean so much that they don’t mean anything at all. With Obama’s recent decision to pass a law barring the release of photographs from Guantanamo Bay, my disenchantment has soured to disgust. The Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act of 2009, which our president signed last month, grants Defense Secretary Robert Gates the power to duck the Freedom of Information Act and withhold photographs depicting detainee abuse. The justification for
such an action? In order to withhold the photographs, “public disclosure of these photographs would endanger citizens of the United States, members of the United States Armed Forces, or employees of the United States Government deployed outside the United States.” Given that the mere existence of Guantanamo incites enough antiAmerican sentiment to endanger all three of those groups, that premise seems shaky at best. Furthermore, it seems patently obvious that the restriction of information from the American public
OBAMA continued on page 6
“To realize one’s Personal Legend is a person’s only real obligation.” Paulo Coehlo’s bold words could likely be deconstructed in any number of ways in an intellectual environment such as ours. In the process, though, great wisdom would be reduced to just another opinion. George Saad’s piece on relativism (“It’s All Relative,” 11/17/09) cut to the heart of this issue. I agree with his assessment that treating all matters of importance as mere matters of opinion leads to isolation and, I would argue, meaninglessness. However, I would also challenge some of his points. First, the way he describes objective truth makes it sound concrete and immutable, a stone tablet on which are engraved clear commandments to live by. Unfortunately (or rather, fortunately) the universe is rarely so static. My other quarrel is with Saad’s portrayal of the purpose of education: to help one “mature into a career buttressed by the understanding [one has] gained.” Unfortunately, he treats a career as the main course, garnished only by a deeper understanding of great truths. In truth, the purpose of education should be to explore great wisdom and to understand its meaning for one’s own life—to discover, in Coehlo’s words, one’s Personal Legend. These truths are not a buttress, but the foundation for one’s life. Further (and this is the part that makes some scholars uneasy), while intellect and reason are often helpful in this pursuit, they are not always the only, or even the best, tools. Daryl Mortensen Dugas Comparative Human Development
Saltarelli right about lack of school spirit Mr. Saltarelli—read your essay on the lack of school spirit (“Smells Like School Spirit”, 11/17/09) and I couldn’t agree more. My son is a firstyear and plays football and we have been appalled at the lack of interest on a campus with such a rich football tra-
LETTERS continued on page 6
| VIEWPOINTS | December 1, 2009
Failing to release Gitmo photos reverts to Bush-era doctrines
Apollo-style undertaking could revitalize economy
OBAMA continued from page 5
SCIENCE continued from page 5
does far more endangering than protecting. To see the corrosive effects of the suppression of such evidence, one need only look at history— during Argentina’s dirty war, for example, the government’s concealment of its own wrongdoing was so successful that countless civilians disappeared, were tortured, and were killed without the knowledge of vast sectors of society. Until recently, it seemed as if Obama was solidly on the same page about the indispensability of government transparency. On his first day in office, he issued a number of executive orders meant to combat the secrecy of the Bush administration, proclaiming to the American public that such measures “mark[ed] the beginning of a new era of openness in our country. And I will, I hope, do something to make government trustworthy in the eyes of the American people in the days and weeks, months and years to come.” That may have been true. It seems, however, that regardless of auspicious beginnings, the Obama administration has wound up in very familiar territory⎯territory that reeks of the Bush era. Ultimately, however, it is our voices that are crucial in bringing Obama back onto the right track. Because the youth voted, we became a substantial part of the force that carried Obama into power. Furthermore, as a trip to the 55th Street Walgreens will attest, Hyde Park is the heartland of our Obama nation. As both an age group and a community, we need to be as instrumental in bringing Obama back on track as we were in putting him in power, and to do so we need to make our voices heard. At the end of the day, I want to believe in hope and change with the same enthusiastic idealism that I felt just over a year ago.
nect science and entertainment is no small feat; however, compared to the sheer emotive force the Apollo missions created, the President’s engagement of these companies falls short. Sesame Street programming, National Lab Day, and educational video games are not enough. Obama needs to unite all of these disparate, thoughtful, intelligent measures under one banner. This means undertaking a large-scale project that is highly visible and in many ways accessible to all. We could pursue manned voyages to Mars or the total conversion of a major city to renewable energy sources. No, you counter, we can’t do that. At least not now; we don’t have the money. The very same argument spelled the end of the Apollo program— but, by no fault of 1970s legislators, we were ignorant back then. The Apollo missions’ gifts to this country’s civilian population had not yet been felt. Now, we know them as the technological staples of our daily lives. Innovations in communications and computing power have led to unparalleled economic growth. Off Wall Street, they have enriched our quality of life. Then-Senator Walter Mondale wanted to cut NASA funding so that he could feed every family in America. Some of the technologies engineered for Apollo have created whole new industries, enabling families to feed themselves. Politics both created and destroyed the Apollo Program. Yet, thanks to the many lives and dollars devoted to NASA during those years, we have reaped enormous technological, economic, and educational rewards for decades. If Obama wants to improve STEM education, it’s time to initiate a new cycle of wide-eyed imagining and feverish working, scientific competition and human solidarity. It’s time to go back to the future.
— Jasmine Heiss is a fourth-year in the College majoring in Anthropology and Visual Arts.
— Liat Spiro is a second-year in the College.
Letters to the editor, continued LETTERS continued from page 4 dition. I, too, recently spent a football weekend, this at the University of Notre Dame, and it made me wonder why the U of C can’t have some of the same spirit, albeit on a smaller scale. The “stands” at U of C games are regularly filled with parents of the players and visiting fans, but very few students. The facilities are third-rate at best, despite the U of C probably having graduated as many billionaires as any school in the nation. I obviously do not have the answer except to note, as you do, that the lack of campus-wide events does not promote any good feelings about the school. It seems that the student body is focused more on simply getting the U of C diploma than enjoying what I would consider much of the point of going to college—experiencing things beyond the classroom. Thanks for an interesting article.
nature, nobody is pretending that abortion should be regarded among other medically commonplace procedures. Furthermore, even medically commonplace events can be traumatic. In sum, pro-choicers don’t want women to avoid getting abortions after becoming accidentally pregnant; they want women to avoid becoming accidentally pregnant. Efforts to decrease the number of abortions would be an unproductive, bottom-up approach to this effect. Until the unlikely event that a 100 percent-accurate method of birth control—not abstinence, and not even abstinence works in cases of rape—is invented, abortions will always be necessary. Barnum’s failure to distinguish between the universal desire to avoid accidental pregnancies and the pro-life desire to prevent accidentally pregnant women from obtaining abortions is a large oversight. This is a mistaken assertion of hypocrisy among pro-choicers.
Anthony Brizzolara Phoebe Heyman Class of 2010
Barnum mischaracterizes pro-choice standpoint Matt Barnum (“Not a Numbers Game”, 11/20/09) offers the statistic that 65 percent of Americans support reducing the number of abortions as proof of widespread disapproval for abortion. Barnum implies that even among those who are nominally pro-choice, many are uncomfortable with the high rate at which women have abortions. Barnum commits a large oversight with this implication: Those who are pro-choice, yet want to decrease the overall number of abortions, almost certainly do not want to simply decrease the ratio of abortions per conceptions. Rather, they want to decrease the number of accidental conceptions, thereby also decreasing abortions. Most importantly, pro-choicers do not want to decrease the number of abortions because abortion is “immoral,” but because having an abortion is (almost always) upsetting and traumatic to some degree. Despite its statistically quotidian
Communist system can’t be forced In his analogy comparing capitalism to a traffic jam and communism to a smoothly functioning railway, Greg Gabrellas (“Commuting for Communism,” 11/20/09) does a terrific job illustrating the inefficiency that the uncoordinated, free actions of a capitalist system will inevitably produce. “If only,” he writes, “all the drivers gathered together to build a train, they could get to their destination faster, and stop wasting their lives in traffic.” Yes, if only. But who will force them? Comrade Gabrellas, perhaps? And when I refuse to board the train because I like my car, thank you, he can send me to the gulag because I am too…inefficient. Nathan Bloom A.B. ’09
First Prize $1500 Become a
Second prize $500
In the University House System Resident Heads live in the College Houses to provide guidance, advice and direction to members of the undergraduate House communities. Advanced graduate students are encouraged to apply. Single, domestic-partnered, or married persons who are at least 25 years of age can apply. Children are welcome.
Compensation is valued at approximately $18,000 for a single person. For married persons, the value is increased by the meals and health benefits provided for spouses and children and has been estimated to be as high as $32,000. Compensation consists of a cash stipend, furnished apartment for 12 months of the year, meals when the College is in session, and University student medical insurance for full-time registered students and their dependents.
After November 20, application materials and additional information will be available on the Office of Undergraduate Student Housing website at http://housing.uchicago.edu
Information Sessions about this position and the selection process will be held on Monday January 11 and Wednesday January 13 at 7:00 PM in Burton-Judson Courts Residence Hall ~ 1005 E. 60th Street and Thursday January 21 at 7:00 PM ~ 5710 S. Woodlawn. Attendance at one of these sessions is required for all applicants.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 25, 2010
Submission deadline: April 5, 2010
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CHICAGO MAROON | Voices | December 1, 2009
Worst Fashion Trends
By Michelle Welch
1 - Inglourious Basterds Quentin Tarantino’s supposedly unmarketable World War II Jewish revenge fantasy surpassed expectations. Not only is it a certifiable blockbuster and Tarantno’s first film to gross over $100 million, it also marked Tarantino’s return as an auteur. Basterds, whose script was in the works for eight years, rewrote some history and became a wet dream of sorts for Jews everywhere. Grounded by a wonderfully charismatic performance from Austrian actor Christoph Waltz as the deliciously effeminate Nazi Colonel Hans Landa, Basterds is Tarantino’s most self-reflexive work: an ode to the magic of the cinema that also examines the role of violence in film.
2 - Away We Go Sam Mendes’s little summer indie is all kinds of things: heartwarming, heartbreaking, adorable, brash, clever, absurd, mature, and hilarious. Featuring earnest, lived-in performances from John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph as an expecting 30-something couple in search of an American city to set up home in, Away We Go was a pleasant surprise that stirred up a whole range of feelings. Screenwriting husband-and-wife team David Eggers and Vendela Vida eschew pathos for moments of soulful contemplation and play black comedy to the hilt.
3 - The Fantastic Mr. Fox Jerky, absurd stop-motion animation compliments Wes Anderson’s directing style, well, fantastically. With spellbinding visuals and a charming voice cast including George Clooney, Meryl
By Mitch Montoya
1 - Harem Pants
Streep, Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe, and Michael Gambon, Anderson has made an adorable composite of understated humor, environmentalism, and existential crisis. Is a fox without a tail still a fox? There is typical Anderson, with his close-ups, pans, and an impromptu song performance by a character named Petey, voiced by former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker—but this is a lighthearted Anderson having fun in a kids’ movie playground.
Popularized by MC Hammer in his famous “Can’t Touch This” video, these pants made a not-so-triumphant return to the runway during this year’s winter and spring seasons. While one can appreciate its new take on the female silhouette, these particular slacks do not flatter even the best of bodies. The low crotch and wide middle area of the pants make most people that wear them a little disheveled and heavier than they actually are. For these pants, it may be best to take MC Hammer’s advice—you can’t and shouldn’t touch them.
4- Up in the Air Jason Reitman is preoccupied with growing up. With Up in the Air, he posits that maybe we never do. George Clooney faces a mirror as Ryan Bingham, a man disinterested in marriage who lives by the seat of his pants, collecting frequent flier miles and VIP upgrades as he travels the world firing people for a living. Up in the Air is Reitman’s arrival at mature directing, gracefully mixing a road trip buddy comedy with unbridled pathos and a sprinkling of politically relevant undertones.
2 - Pleather Leggings
5 - Star Trek There is no other way to say this: This film really friggin’ rocked. Star Trek was the joyride gem of the summer movie season. A fine film by JJ Abrams, it boasts explosive effects, eye-popping action set pieces, a delightful cast led by Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto, and a clever storytelling compromise, allowing Abrams and his writing team to play around within the Star Trek canon without ever stepping on the toes of protective fans. Who cares if it’s not high art; it was the most fun I’ve had in a theater all year.
Pet rocks were one fad no one ever expected to make a comeback. But Obama’s marketability and the obvious pun waiting to be exploited inspired one company to try. These “real river rocks” feature Obama’s profile and are marketed as “a way to hold onto hope.” According to the store display, even McCain has one, but you can be sure those pet rock revivals won’t be found anywhere near the Walgreens on 55th Street. I would love to see an accompanying Biden pet rock, but his name just does not have the zing that makes the “Barock” so successful.
2 - Dancing Teddy Bear wearing an Obama t-shirt There were all sorts of Obama stuffed animals and dolls on Walgreens’s shelves, but this bear really stood out. Nothing represents drugstore merchandise better than a stuffed animal that dances to a famous song. Having your own dancing automaton is a sure signifier of Elvis-levels of fame. This particular bear wears a T-shirt emblazoned with Shepard Fairey’s iconic red, white, and blue image of Obama and when you squeeze its paw, it starts dancing to James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good).”
3 - Obama Inauguration EcoFriendly Reusable Totes Today you can find totes that have anything from your favorite sport team’s logo to The Wizard of Oz characters printed them. These special Obama
These pens make great stocking stuffers. Not only do the red, white, and blue pens show your support for the president (his name is emblazoned across it), they can inspire you with an excerpt from an Obama speech with just a simple click. Walgreens is now stocking Part II in the series, with pens that play clips from his inaugural address. Warning: Do not test out the talking function in the store unless you are willing to face the wrath of other shoppers, because the clip is loud and seems to go on forever.
5 - Obama Shot Glasses and Mugs Take a shot of both Hope and Change with these double shot glasses. Each features an image that includes an American flag, the White House, and Obama’s Official Senate picture. Shot glasses and mugs are traditional American souvenirs and I am sure you could find similar ones in Washington, DC, but a true fan would only own an Obama shot glass from “Barack Obama Headquarters” (that’s what the Walgreens calls itself on its LED sign) in Hyde Park.
Since American Apparel and Urban Outfitters introduced the super low V-neck to the general public, boys have taken up the opportunity to show that women are not the only ones that can show off their chests. Unfortunately, most men wearing these types of shirts are not hitting up
In 2008, the “nerd glasses” made a wonderful and innovative appearance into the fashion world. But in 2009 these specs became overdone when people all over the world starting wearing them, even if they didn’t need prescription glasses. Celebrities, reality stars, and everyday fashionistas began to embody their inner nerd. But instead of looking alternative, they looked contrived. If you don’t actually need glasses or can’t name the 50th decimal place of pi, it’s best to leave these glasses alone.
5 - Ed Hardy In 2004, Christian Audigier developed a line of hats, T-shirts, and other clothing as a tribute to famed tattoo artist Ed Hardy. Five years later, the Ed Hardy line saw a huge increase in popularity due to celebrity interest. While Mr. Audigier’s gesture was very nice, the clothing that emerged is gaudy and an overall insult to Hardy’s work. Most of the shirt designs look like a tattoo someone decided to get while wandering Vegas in a drunken stupor rather than one of Hardy’s inventive vintage-inspired designs.
By Hayley Lamberson
1 - “If U Seek Amy” Britney Spears
totes, which come with a choice of several different designs featuring the inauguration, are especially great because they allow the user to celebrate Obama and be “green” at the same time. For the environmentally conscious, it might be more fitting to carry one with Al Gore’s gallant visage, but the environmental crusader may have to step up his game to release his own line.
4 - The Obama Talking Pen
3 - Low V-Necks
4 - Square, Thick-Rimmed Glasses
Guilty Pleasure Songs
By Kate Shepherd
1 - The “Barock”
A few years ago designers gave girls all over the world the gift of leggings and, since then, they have been stylishly incorporated into great outfits—that is, until pleather entered the equation. In 2009, girls began wearing leather, or in most cases faux leather, leggings with oversized T-shirts and dresses. While this look may have worked with the more common wool or cotton leggings, the pleather type looks slightly uncomfortable and a bit like bondage wear. Ladies, for 2010, leave the leather to biker chicks and dominatrixes and stick with what you know.
the gym or shaving often enough. Without a smooth chest and pecs of steel, most men that take this plunge look like they have a national forest growing out of a slouchy T-shirt.
ou may believe that 2009 was a year of horrible disaster and paralyzing uncertainty, but remember: 2012 draws closer and closer. Our imminent destruction via apocalyptic flames
looms on the horizon. We should be grateful for the relative peace and tranquility afforded us by the yearly releases of Twilight and Harry Potter films. With our impending doom so near, what lessons can we draw from the past year? Well, as the end times approach, we now know that Buddy Holly glasses aren’t so chic and would not be appropriate attire for meeting our maker. Clutching our official “Barocks” close to our chests and realizing that Hope and Change are meaningless in the face of ancient Mayan fury, we will be thankful for Miley Cyrus’s infectious “Party in the U.S.A.” while we sink into the dark abyss. So 2009...imma let you finish, but 2012 is definitely going to be the best year of all time.
Oh, Britney. It's a shame to put you on this list, but this song really is terrible. It loosely revolves around the hokey premise that the phrase “If you seek Amy” sounds kind of like “F.U.C.K me.” How clever! But that's really all the song has going for it. The actual lyrics don't make much sense (“All the boys and all the girls are begging to if you seek Amy”), and Britney's voice is so amped up and auto-tuned that it starts to sound grating quickly. Of course, that doesn't stop me from singing along and basking in its bawdy, nonsensical glory. It's Britney, bitch. How can I not love it?
2 - “Blame It” Jamie Foxx What, exactly, should I be blaming on the ahah-ah-ah-ah-alcohol? Well, I suppose the fact that Jamie Foxx got some girl drunk enough to lower her inhibitions and have sex with him. With lyrics like, “Fill another cup up, feeling on your butt what/ You don't even care now, I was unaware/ How fine you was before,” the song makes anyone who sings along sound like a total creep. Plus, if you disregard the chorus, the minimal, repetitive beats make for a rather boring four minutes. Damn, though, that chorus is catchy.
3 - “I 'm On a Boat” The Lonely Island It's easy to forget that The Lonely Island is a novelty band, more akin to Weird Al than the AllAmerican Rejects. This hip-hop parody is almost too well done. People play it at parties right
next to the latest songs about going to the club and getting high/drunk/laid and probably don't think twice about it. Yet despite its auto-tuned and T-Pained veneer, this song is simply about being on a boat and how that's really awesome. There's nothing wrong with the fact that it's funny and off-color, but really, telling people you love this song is like admitting you enjoy listening to “Amish Paradise,” and who's actually willing to admit that?
4 - “Don't Trust Me” 3OH!3 The lyrics are tasteless (Helen Keller, really?), and the lead singer's croaky, throaty voice combined with the chorus's nearly off-key falsetto are by no means easy on the ears. Not to mention that the song is almost painfully repetitive. Basically, it has no redeeming qualities. But, like Twilight or Sarah Palin, there's something charming about its idiocy. The song is mysteriously attractive, and there's no denying that it's fun to dance to.
5 - “Party in the USA” Miley Cyrus The only problem with this song is that it's by Miley Cyrus. Besides that, it's utter pop brilliance; There are abundant hooks, name droppings, and even dancing instructions (nodding one's head, moving one's hips). The fact still remains that this is a song by a Disney star, and not just any star—it's Hannah Montana, the ruling Disney queen. And it is on this basis alone that anyone over the age of 13 should—and probably does—feel ashamed for loving this song.
CHICAGO MAROON | VOICES | December 1, 2009
TOP 5 2009
Movie Trailers By Ben Sigrist and Elisabeth Sanders
COURTESY OF WARNER BROTHERS
1 - WATCHMEN It begins with slow, thumping, vaguely industrial-sounding music. Then a man tra p p e d i n a s m a l l ro o m a s l i g hte ning flickers behind him. "IN 2009," the titl e s cre e n re a d s , " E VE RY TH I NG W E KNOW WILL CHANGE." So far, nothing exceptional. Most action trailers at one point will boldly inform us that everything we know will change. S aid man explodes into a burst of lightning, and then, a bl ack screen. Then things get awesome. A weird spaceship! A scantily clad hot chick! Superheroes! Explosions! Violence! Hell, there's even a man with a flamethrower! Another dramatic pause so th at we can as k ours elves: " W h at i s th i s m ovi e eve n a b o ut? A n d m o re importantly, do we even care? " Thirty more seconds of slow-motion and special effects and then: WATCHMEN. Take note th at there are onl y two l ines of
dialogue in the whole thing. This trailer isn' t about exposition; if you want to know wh a t h a p p e ns , re a d th e co m ic book. It's about spectacle and director Zack Snyder's hyper-stylized vision. And slow-motion. Lots of slow-motion.
2 - WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE Traditionally, trailers are just a collection of interesting shots, compelling dialogue, and titles set to music. The trailer for Where the Wild Things Are is no exception, but it does its job exceedingly well. It gives you the gist of the film without revealing the whole plot (but was there one, really?), and the shots are grouped thematically instead of chronologically to illustrate the film’s different moods: “Inside of all of us is...ADVENTURE” it tells us, and "Inside of all of us is... FEAR." I can even forgive it, barely, for "Inside of all of us is...HOPE." Yet, that moment of corni-
ness is dwarfed by the sincerity and— must I say it?—childlike wonder of the events transpiring on screen.
3 - DISTRICT 9 It starts out like a trailer for a documentary, something about refugees or racism or whatever it is they make documentaries about thes e d a ys . It l ooks like it could be good, but who watches documentaries, anyway? You're about to stop paying attention, and then: Bam! A l i e n s ! T h i s tra i l e r d o e s th e s wi tch genres-halfway-through gimmick better than almost any trailer I’ve seen. Plus, the shameless name-dropping of Peter J a ck s o n g ive s th e f il m i n s ta nt s ci-f i credibility that luckily turned out to be well-deserved.
4 - NINE It begins and ends with the marvelous
E xp l o s i o n s , ro b o ts , a n d M e g a n Fox . W h at more do you need? It ’s actionpacked, exciting, and, well, like I said, it has Megan Fox. The trailer was just like the movie, except shor ter and minus the cra cke d-out pl ot. J us t th ink , you could have saved your 10 doll ars and gotten the same thrill in less than three minutes.
AUGUST TYE, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
N U T C DVENT ESPERS R T HERE S TOOD AN A NGEL A A seasonal concert with music for SUNDAY, DECEMBER 6 C brass and choir featuring music both 5 ancient and modern. Rockefeller Chapel Choir K Millar Brass Free. Donations gratefully Thomas Weisflog, organ accepted E James Kallembach, director Rockefeller Chapel 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave. R Chicago AT
5 - TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN
HYDE PARK SCHOOL OF DANCE
Judi Dench, and the rest is all song and dance. And the superstars keep on coming—Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Fergie, Marion Cotillard, Kate Hudson, and—is that Sophia Loren? By God, it is! With simplicity and someth i n g I ca n o n l y d e s cr i b e a s razzl e dazzle, and a lot of classiness thrown in for good measure, this trailer is a little cryptic and a lot intriguing.
A holiday ballet filled with life-sized dolls, marauding mice, shimmering snowflakes, a giant Mother Ginger, an enchanting Sugar Plum Fairy, and festive dances from faraway lands.
December 12 at 2:00pm & 7:00pm December 13 at 2:00pm Mandel Hall 1131 E. 57th St. (57th St. and University Ave.)
Adults: $17 Students and Seniors: $7 Children under 5: Free
Sugar Plum Tea Party December 13 at 3:30pm
$35 for Adults|$20 for Seniors and Students Join us for festive holiday revels. Enjoy delicious goodies catered by Blue Plate, and meet some of your favorite Nutcracker stars.
Music of early Baroque master Giovanni Gabrielli
North American premiere of Robert Moran’s haunting ...da enstünde ein Engel...
Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata for double brass choir, organ, and choir. T H E
U N I V E R S I T Y
C H I C A G O
Tickets may be purchased at the door, or in advance. Group discounts available. For more information please call us or visit our website.
5650 S. Woodlawn Avenue Chicago, IL 60637 773-493-8498 www.hydeparkdance.org
CHICAGO MAROON | VOICES | December 1, 2009
COLLEGE KIDS . s v VAMPIRES Handel’s
MESSIAH with the
University Chorus, Motet Choir, and Grande Prairie Singers James Kallembach, Conductor
Friday, December 4 • 8 pm Rockefeller Memorial Chapel 5850 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Tickets: $35 chancel/$25 nave/$20 general/$10 students *Please note that unclaimed front nave seating will open to general admission at 7:55 pm.
ticket hotline: 773.702.9075 • music.uchicago.edu Persons with a disability who need assistance should call 773.702.8484.
All Night Long! All Night Study Open Friday & Saturday, Too
In addition to its regular hours (1-8 a.m, MondayFriday), the All-Night Study on Regenstein’s A-Level will be open the weekend of December 4-5 to help you prepare for your exams.
CRUDE AND SEXUAL CONTENT, NUDITY, DRUG USE, LANGUAGE AND SOME VIOLENCE
STARTS FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4
CHICAGO MAROON | VOICES | December 1, 2009
TOP 5 2009
Songs By Yusuf Siddiquee
1 - “STILLNESS IS THE MOVE” BY THE DIRTY PROJECTORS (BITTE ORCA) As indie rock’s ode to Mariah Carey and pop royalty, “Stillness is the Move” stresses the lingering emotions from past relationships and packages it into a challenging sing-along that buries itself in your ear for da ys. Vocalists Amber, Angel, and Haley keep perfect syncopation on every harmony without sacrificing an ounce of passion. Any song on the Dirty Projectors’ album (and their collaboration with David Byrne) will show you that their emotional drive is finally on par with their technical proficiency—a trait of very few groups.
2 - “KEEP IT GOIN’ LOUDER” BY MAJOR LAZER FT. RICKY BLAZE AND NINA SKY (GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE, LAZERS DO) Add producers Switch and Diplo to Adult Swim-style animation and you get one of the best ideas of all time. The Major Lazer project definitely has some rough edges, but this masterpiece combines the best of dance pop and the mainstream’s autotune mess. There are vocal harmonies, catchy one-liners and, via the music video, a socially conscious message pointing to an obsession with the female body. It’s the perfect club banger and the perfect “let’s get over this problem set” anthem.
3 - “ WAVIN’ FLAG” BY K’NAAN (TROUBADOUR) Chosen as the official song for the 2010 World Cup (albeit a modified version), K’naan’s inspirational anthem displays a cross-cultural aesthetic we haven’t seen much of since Michael Jackson’s glory days. His squeaky clean voice and broadly scoped aphorisms align well on this track, where we hear just enough about his own experiences in the verse to legitimize his wishes in the chorus. Though he may have been born in Somalia, K’naan’s dream in “Wavin’ Flag” sounds a lot like the purest and most optimistic form of the American Dream.
5 - “DAY’N’NITE (CROOKERS REMIX)” BY KID CUDI (ORIGINAL FROM MAN ON THE MOON: THE END OF DAY) Familiar, catchy, and simple. The Italian DJ duo’s remix of “Day 'n' Night” justifies the existence of the HypeMachine and the infinite number of remixes that come out every single day. When you’re filtering through the 100th mix of “My Girls,” and “1901,” just remember that this one actually outdid the original in every way. Kid Cudi isn’t the most talented emcee, but he and his producer walked down a keyboard and made the most memorable beat of 2009.
COURTESY KID CUDI
4 - “MY GIRLS” BY ANIMAL COLLECTIVE (MERRIWEATHER POST PAVILION) “My Girls” may not strike you as “fusion,” but I would be happy to dance to it in a club. It stresses a disregard for the materialism and social pressures we are all so familiar with, but layers the message over Beach Boys harmonies, arpeggiating synths, and booming bass. What more could you ask for?
Jade Simmons Co-sponsors:
and the University Symphony Orchestra
Journey to the Manger at St. Paul & the Redeemer this Advent and Christmas.
Festival of Lessons & Carols Sunday, Dec. 6 9:15 and 11:15 a.m.
Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Christmas Eve Kid-friendly Liturgy, 5:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Carols & Eucharist, 9:00 p.m. Christmas Day Liturgy, 10:00 a.m.
The Church of St. Paul & the Redeemer 4945 S. Dorchester Ave. in Hyde Park/Kenwood (773) 624-3185 www.sp-r.org email@example.com
Photo credit: Lisa-Marie Mazzucco
Saturday, December 5 8 pm Mandel Hall 1131 E. 57th Street
Barbara Schubert, Conductor Jade Simmons, Guest Pianist Rachmaninoff’s Paganini Rhapsody and Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony
Donations requested: $10 general /$5 students
event hotline: 773.702.8069 • music.uchicago.edu Persons with a disability who need assistance should call 773.702.8484.
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CHICAGO MAROON | SPORTS | December 1, 2009
Can’t-miss Carthage upsets Maroons, delivers first loss of season By Ryan Tryzbiak Associate Sports Editor More than two millennia after the Romans burned the ancient city to the ground, Carthage was on fire again Saturday night—this time in the much more positive, NBA Jam sense of the phrase. Playing against 11th-ranked women’s basketball, Carthage (4–0) shot 63.6 percent from the field in the second half en route to a 64–62 upset of the Maroons (4–1) at Ratner. Despite an early poor showing, Chicago trailed Carthage by only four with 13 seconds left on the clock, and second-year guard Joann Torres made a quick lay-up to cut the deficit to two with eight seconds left. After the ensuing inbounds play, second-year guard Meghan Herrick quickly fouled Carthage guard Katie Klemke. Klemke entered the game having made all of her four free-throw attempts, but failed to convert the front end of the one-andone. Chicago snared the rebound and quickly got the ball to Torres’s hands. Torres dribbled upcourt before finding second-year guard Bryanne Halfhill standing alone in the left corner. Halfhill’s buzzerbeater clanked off the rim, denying the Maroons what would have been a dramatic comeback. Chicago had spent the entire game playing from behind after Carthage opened with an 18–2 run. The Maroons struggled to maintain possession throughout the first half and committed 11 turnovers in the first 20 minutes. When Chicago did manage to get shots off, they had difficulty finding the net, and they shot just 20 percent from the field before halftime. Second-year post Taylor Simpson attributed Chicago’s early mistakes to tough defense by the Lady Reds. “Carthage plays a very aggressive defense, so I think we just made a lot of mental mistakes,”
Simpson said. “We did not take care of the ball well at all, and I think we kind of panicked when they pressured us so hard.” Head coach Aaron Roussell felt that his team lacked their usual intensity early in the contest. “We came out really lethargic. We didn’t have that burst of energy that I felt we started with in the other games”. After trailing 28–16 at the break, Roussell made a tactical adjustment that paid dividends in the second half. “We ended up changing our lineup a little bit. We went a little smaller and played four guards,” Roussell said. “The biggest thing was our kids had their backs up against the wall, and came out fighting.” That fighting spirit bolstered Chicago’s offense in the second half. Herrick led the comeback attempt with 24 second-half points. On the game, Herrick led all scorers with 26 points, a new career high. “[Herrick] was the reason we got back in the game. She put us on her back and carried us, and got us back in the ballgame,” Roussell said. Fourth-year guard Jamie Stinson also chipped in 10 second-half points for Chicago, which shot better than 40 percent from the field and from beyond the arc in the second half. As effective as the Maroons were, the Lady Reds were even better. Carthage nailed four of the seven three-pointers after halftime, and 14 of 22 field goals overall in the half. Nonetheless, Chicago managed to claw its way back into the game thanks in part to superior rebounding. Despite using four guards, the Maroons still out-rebounded the Lady Reds 16–10 in the second half. While disappointed to lose, Roussell was realistic about his team’s performance. “If we would have made that shot at the end, we would have stolen that game. We probably did not deserve to win,” he said.
Grand Opening South Campus Cafe & Convenience Store Located at 6031 S. Ellis on the Northwest Corner of the South Campus Residence Hall December 3, 2009 5:00pm - 7:00pm
First 100 Customers Receive a Free Travel Coffee Mug with Purchase
Meghan Herrick, pictured here against Case last season, scored 24 in the second half of the Carthage game, keying a comeback that nearly gave the Maroons the win. JEREMY MARTIN/MAROON
METROsquash preps students for high school and college admissions METROSQUASH continued from back page high school dropout rate. CPS students average a score of 17 on the ACT, four points lower than the national average, and score below the benchmark score on each of the test’s sections. Working with kids from neighborhood middle and elementary schools Reavis, Kozminski, and Fiske, METROsquash provides a supplemental academic program aimed at helping students succeed in class and gain acceptance into the city’s top high schools. With the program in its fifth year, METROsquash has expanded to include a College Prep program that helps its high school students prepare for college. “We aim for a two-to-one ratio of kids-to-tutors,” Laverty said. “With high school kids a one-to-one ratio. The goal is to get the ratio of students-toteachers as low as possible to serve the kids as best as possible.” And the program is working. Over its five-year history, METROsquash has seen significant gains in its students’ academic achievements. In its first year alone, 95 percent of METROsquash students improved their average grade by one letter or more. Last year, over 50 percent of METROsquash’s first class of eighth graders enrolled in one of Chicago’s selective enrollment high schools, which are designed for “academically advanced” students, according to the CPS web site. METROsquash students also give back to South Side neighborhoods. The participating students averaged 12 hours of community service during the last academic year. METROsquash is not alone in combining squash with academics. It was accepted into the National Urban Squash Education System in 2006, one year after its founding, joining nine sister programs located predominately in East Coast cities. All of the programs offer academic assistance alongside squash instruction, spending roughly half of their time in the classroom and half of their time on the squash courts. Recently, METROsquash has been working with the Order of the C, the varsity lettermen’s
club, to provide even more personalized academic tutoring. With this new assistance, METROsquash has nearly achieved its goal of a one-to-one ratio between students and tutors. “The Order of the C also helps to get the kids to realize there are very smart athletes in college,” Laverty said, calling this a “secret message.” Besides its academic successes, METROsquash also boasts some outstanding athletic achievements. Last year, 10 METROsquash students attained U.S. Squash national rankings. To achieve a national ranking, an athlete must play and perform well in at least four nationally-ranked tournaments during the year. Over the weekend before Thanksgiving, METROsquash hosted an open U.S. Squash National tournament at Henry Crown, a nationally-ranked event featuring athletes from four states, including 15 from METROsquash. At the end of the tournament, eight METROsquash athletes finished within the top four of their age groups. In the U17 Boys division, Christian Williams and Don Hall came in first and second, respectively. Among U15 Boys, Keshawn Idris finished second and Jordan Collins was fourth. Johnathan Montgomery finished second in U13 Boys. Valencia Scaife took second in the U15 Girls competition and Khadijah Mohammed finished third. Kareemah Betts took third in U17 Girls. Throughoutthe year, METROsquash athletes will travel to 10 tournaments, half of which will be outside of Illinois. All of these trips are funded through donations to METROsquash; the athletes themselves incur no expenses. While METROsquash is certainly impressive statistically both on the court and in the classoom, the words of the student athletes are perhaps the best testament to the program’s success. “Since my first day, I loved squash,” Valencia Scaife, a ninth-grader, said. “Squash is the best sport I have ever played; it has helped me with everything. Since I have been in METROsquash, they have helped me with schoolwork and fitness. Now my grades are up.”
IN QUOTES “The BCS is the best format ever devised to match up the nation’s top two teams...”
—From PlayoffProblem.com, a Web site created by the BCS Group to promote the BCS rankings and BCS Championship Game, and respond to detractors who would prefer a playoff-style championship.
With win over Carleton, Chicago reaches 4–0
At METROsquash, students drop shots and raise grades
By Kevin Gunnerson Sports Contributor Men’s basketball put 61 points on the board against the Carleton for the second year running. This year, however, the Maroons were able to pull off the 61–56 victory and earn payback for last year’s 62–61 loss in Minnesota. Last year’s loss to the Knights was one of 12 consecutive losses to start the season for the Maroons. This year, Chicago has had a better start, with four consecutive home wins already. Fourthyear guard Jake Pancratz noted the differences between last year’s squad and the current team. “This year we have been able to pull out wins in close games—something we did not do last year—and I think it is a testament to our defensive work in the preseason and players’ ability to make plays down the stretch,” he said. Pancratz turned in another solid performance, scoring 13 points on three for eight from beyond the arc, and adding four assists and three boards. Chicago’s key player, though, was second-year forward Steve Stefanou, who scored 19 points, hauled down nine
boards, and added four assists. Stefanou’s hustle for loose balls early helped to set the pace for his teammates. After a hot start to take a 7–0 advantage by the 17:10 mark of the first half, the Maroons went into the first of many two-plus-minute scoring slumps. The droughts in scoring for the Maroons allowed the Knights to close the gap and knot the score 27–27 at halftime. The second half got off to an ominous start for Chicago as the Knights scored an easy bucket off a turnover in the back court, giving Carleton a brief two-point lead. The Maroons answered with a lay-up by Stefanou and then a three-point bucket at the 18:32 mark from fourth-year forward John Kinsella, which gave the Maroons a lead they would not relinquish. The Maroons could have easily gotten flustered by some curious calls and non-calls by the officials or the fact that they lost the turnover margin 12–7. However, they stayed poised and pulled out the victory against the Knights to cap an unblemished home stand. Next up for the Maroons will be their first road game of the season. They travel to Wheaton (3–0) tomorrow for a match-up of two undefeated teams.
By Matt Tyndale MAROON Staff
Fourth-year guard Jake Pancratz, pictured here against NYU last season, poured in 13 points as the Maroons held off Carleton 61–56. Chicago was undefeated during its four-game opening homestand. JEREMY MARTIN/MAROON
Usually the stomping ground of baseball players, wrestlers, and track teams, Henry Crown Field House plays host to an entirely different group of athletes three afternoons a week: METROsquash, Chicago’s urban squash and education program. “METROsquash is a nonprofit, urban, youth-enrichment program that combines academic tutoring with squash instruction after school,” METROsquash director Max Laverty said. “We use squash as the hook to get the kids interested in the program; the large goal is to get the kids to realize their academic potential.” It’s no secret that Chicago Public School (CPS) students lag behind much of the country in academic performance. Even though the city has made great strides over the last 10 years—the dropout rate has fallen almost 10 percent— Chicago schools still post a 42.5-percent
METROSQUASH continued on page 15
LOOKING BACK: FALL 2009 With December upon us, MAROON Sports picks out the very best from Chicago’s fall sports seasons.
Volleyball vs. Emory, November 7: Jerry Bruckheimer hasn’t yet optioned the film rights to this five-set epic’s box score, but we won’t be surprised if he does. The ups (the Maroons won the first and third sets) and downs (then lost tantalizingly-close fourth and fifth sets) thrilled the home crowd, and would have no matter who Chicago was playing, or when. But throw in the fact that the Maroons were playing fourth-ranked Emory for a spot in the UAA championship, and this becomes a once-in-a-college-career kind of match. Except maybe not: Sure, in the end it was a loss for Chicago, but with everyone coming back next fall, we prefer to call it a sign of things to come.
Football at Kenyon, September 12: After Kenyon went ahead 30-27 with 26 seconds left to play, there was no way Chicago could win this one. Not a chance, unless, for instance, D Brizzolara could return the ensuing kickoff 43 yards, Marshall Oium could complete a 20-yard pass to Clay Wolff, Jeff Sauer could hit a 37-yard, game-tying field goal as regulation time expired, and the Maroons could stop a two-point conversion in double overtime to win 37–36. As it happened, they could, they did, and Chicago began the season 1–0.
Men’s soccer vs. Rochester, October 16: There’s no way a game that included Stanton Coville’s 12-yard strike with five seconds left in the first overtime—which gave Chicago a 1–0 win over seventh-ranked and otherwise undefeated Rochester—should be only third on this list. It must’ve been a good fall for Chicago sports.
D Brizzolara, football: Brizzolara’s play may have taken Kenyon and Wabash, the Maroons’ first opponents of the year, by surprise. But once UAA play began, Brizzolara wasn’t exactly an unknown quantity—he’d been leading DIII in all-purpose yards for most of the season— and still he averaged better than 200 yards per game in conference. It’s good to be faster than everyone else in the stadium.
Garrett Laird, men’s soccer: A contributor in the midfield from game one, and consistent starter by midseason, Laird was named UAA Rookie of Year. He was also one of the reasons Chicago went from nearly last in the conference in 2008 to sharing the UAA title this fall.
Sam Brown, volleyball: Rack up hundreds of digs, astonish the spectators, and make the All-UAA Second Team as a first-year: That’s what Brown
can do for you.
Marshall Oium, football vs. Denison: On a Homecoming Weekend already steeped in history (see “Milestones”), Oium added a few more lines to the story of Chicago football. In little more than three quarters of play, the quarterback set modern-era records for passing yards (472) and passing touchdowns (five) in a single game.
Drew Marshall, men’s soccer vs. A u r o r a : Wi t h 2 0 seconds left in the game and Chicago down 2–1, Marshall took a break from anchoring the Maroons’ defense, pushed forward, and volleyed a deflected corner kick back on net. The keeper never had a chance; the shot tied the game at two, and got Marshall a well-timed first goal of his career.
Lizzy Bright and Mahmoud Bahrani, cross country at Midwest Regional: It wasn’t always an easy season for cross country, but Bright and Bahrani p i ck e d u p s o m e a c c o l a d e s a t the Midwest Regional. Bahrani finished 27th in the men’s race, Bright was 33rd in the women’s, and both Maroons went home with all-conference honors.
Fourth-year Cory Swaim leads football in celebration after a 24–7 victory over Carnegie, which secured the team’s first winning season since 2005. ERIC GUO/MAROON
Ye a r s s i n c e Chicago revived its varsity football program in 1969. Members of the 1969 team, which finished 2–4, were honored at the Homecoming Game on October 24.
Wins for volleyball, three better than the team goal of 25, and the most by a Chicago volleyball squad since 1992.
Consecutive UAA games—from Emory to Wash U—in which men’s soccer didn’t allow a goal.
Career goals for fourth-year soccer player Brooke Bontz, putting her seventh on the all-time list. Ten of those came this fall, and only Sarah L oh (12 goals) scored more often for the Maroons this year. This is the first time two Maroons have tallied double-digit goals in the same season.
03/05 Where the women’s collegiate four and the men’s collegiate four finished, respectively, at the 2009 Head of the Charles Regatta, one of the world’s largest and most prestigious crew competitions.
Published on Sep 14, 2011
AWARDS By Burke Frank Associate News Editor ACADEMICS DISCOURSE By Asher Klein News Editor STUDENT LIFE By Tiffany Young News Contributor Vo...