where and when the best local deals happen
a struggle for equal rights?
photo essay of recent anti-discrimination protests
the real project runway designer trends by vcuâ€™s finest
Vol. 2 No. 4 April 2010
ink staff SARA D’EUGENIO EDITOR-IN-CHIEF CHRISTINE ERICKSON MANAGING EDITOR PATRICE DALESANDRO + MELISSA TABLANTE CREATIVE DIRECTORS AMY JOYCE + TENOIYA CARTER COPY EDITORS JAIME BARNETT ARTS + CULTURE EDITOR COURTNEY MANNION VISUAL STAFF MATT SCHMIDT VISUAL STAFF JOSH LEWIS GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER KERRY MCDONELL GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER ASHLEIGH HOBSON GUEST PHOTOGRAPHER DENA SPRUILL FASHION COORDINATOR MEREDITH RIGSBY STAFF WRITER TEDDY GREGSON STAFF WRITER CHRISTINE STODDARD STAFF WRITER SANTIA NANCE AD SALES MARLEIGH CULVER CHRIS LEWIS CASSIE MULHERON ASHLEY SELBE MICHAEL SKATTUM CONTRIBUTORS
table of contents campus life
Fun classes to fill boring requirements General education classes can be frustratingly boring, but they don’t have to be. VCU offers some unique and fun classes that will help catch your interest.
The big move (back home) Never thought you’d live with your parents again after college? Neither did we. But for some students the less than ideal job market is forcing them to consider an ugly option: living at home… again.
MCV hospital EMT: student profile Michael Ny is making his career goals become a reality—not without hard work of course.
Internet 2 Could we say goodbye to Internet freedom in the name of cybersecurity?
Richmond summers Sticky heat, hanging by the river and sharing beers with friends. Sure sounds like a summer in Richmond to me.
Texting and the death of dating Making a phone call to your crush can feel a little awkward, thanks to our generation’s obsession with texting and technology.
10 Cutting back on education College students aren’t the only ones feeling the strain of the poor economy. A surprisingly high number of education departments at VCU are having funds cut.
12 Happy hour: food and drinks Your official guide to the best happy hour deals in the city!
Smells like green spirit Global warming, going green and the US’s preoccupation with the environmental revolution: which facts are the truth and which are far from it? Protesting for equal rights: why in 2010 is there a struggle? A photo essay that speaks of the reality of equal rights in today’s age and the issues that have come to the forefront.
Carra Sykes: graphic artist Being techno-savvy and creative are just some of the talents necessary to become a graphic artist like the one we’ve featured this issue.
Chhoti Maa: The Spanish R&B rapper Vreni Spitting sick rhymes with some added spice, our featured musician knows how to keep the attention of her audience.
DIY Book-making and its uses Books are known primarily for reading, but there are many other ways to make good use of your favorite novel.
Internet blogging: etiquette and advice What goes online stays online. We’ve included essential facts as well as hints to help you decide what is appropriate for the world to see and what should be kept private when diving into the world of social networking sites.
Video gaming year in review A look at which games had you camping outside Game Stop at ridiculous hours of the morning and which ones were just plain duds.
Apps: the best and the worst Facebook, iPhone and Blackberry all offer applications for your enjoyment, but some strike VCU students’ fancy more than others.
Fashion department end of the year designs They slave over sewing machines and fabric samples; VCU’s fashion department reveals their innovative and cutting edge garments that are sure to inspire new trends around campus.
Couchsurfing We’re surfin’ USA, we’re surfin’ all over the world! Pick your couch and head to your destination!
34 INK MAGAZINE CONTACT US VCU STUDENT MEDIA CENTER 817 W. Broad St. Richmond, VA 23220 804.828.1058 (receptionist)
arts + culture
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CORRECTIONS FOR ISSUE 3: Misspelling of our featured artist’s name Mari Fray Foster in the table of contents. We apologize for our mistake.
Cover by Carra Sykes
exciting classes for boring requirements Readings in Literature: Vampire Literature Courtney Mannion Illustration Mike Skattum
Have you got a bunch of unappealing general education credits that need filling, and nothing in the class bulletins seem to catch your fancy? Or maybe you have a ton of empty elective credits and have no idea
Professor: Brinegar Pre-requisite? No Don’t think this class is all glitter and Edward Cullen. The semester covers a variety of vampire tales, including the very first recorded vampire narrative, aptly titled The Vampyre by John Polidori.
what classes to fill them with. We’ve rounded up several
classes that will make filling your various requirements a breeze (and maybe a little fun as well)!
Creative Writing: Poetry Professor: Graber Pre-requisite? Yes -- ENGL 200 and 3 credits in a 200-level literature course (or equivalent (see also: Creative Writing: Fiction) Trying to woo that cute girl you saw in the Commons? Check out this class and write her a book of sonnets!
Topic: Prison Writing Professor: Coogan Pre-requisite? Yes -- 3 credits in a 200-level literature course (or equivalent) What could be more interesting than reading and writing about the lives of inmates? The new perspective you gain after the class.
Topic: Reading Counterculture, 1950-Present Professor: Rosatelli Pre-requisite? Yes -- 3 credits in a 200-level literature course (or equivalent)
Topic: Documentary Professor: Browder Pre-requisite? No For the budding documentarian, this class examines the documentary through various media, including photography and film. Students even get to create their own documentary for the class.
Topic: Horror, Film and Society (Winter Intercession) Professor: McKendrey Pre-requisite? No Survey the creepy, kooky, mysterious, and spooky in a class all about horror. Learn how the Cold War spawned your favorite outer space fiends.
Topic: Urban Fantasy (Summer Intercession) Professor: Danvers Pre-requisite? No Contemporary literature with a focus on extraordinary things happening in ordinary places this class includes film tie-ins such as Donnie Darko and Being John Malkovich.
Introduction to Entrepreneurship Professor: Brittle Pre-requisite? Yes â€“ junior-standing If youâ€™ve ever dreamed of owning your own business, this is the class for you. Discover the ins and outs of owning a small business and how to get your own up and running.
Art and Language
Death: Myth & Reality
Professor: Adair Pre-requisite? Yes -enrollment in School of the Arts Students will learn to own their words and mean what they say by understanding language and its uses.
Professor: Spiro Pre-requisite? No Explore the way death has been viewed throughout history, and how those views have changed in our modern times. Note: This class can be very emotionally trying.
Critical Game Workshop: Play Culture
History of the Motion Picture
Professor: Ryu & Witten Pre-requisite? Yes -enrollment in School of the Arts Look into the gaming phenomena and even create your own game!
Professor: Nicholas Pre-requisite? No This class has two parts early cinema and modern cinema, taught in the fall and spring semesters, respectively. Watch some influential cinema and learn their impact on contemporary cinema. Now maybe you can show that cute movie buff that you know your stuff, too!
Topic: Artist Book Professor: Zevenbergen Pre-requisite? Yes -enrollment in School of the Arts Tired of shelling out the big bucks for those cute little notebooks decorated with kittens and rainbows and unicorns? Now you can learn how to make your own! Try your hand at creating unique notebooks, sketchpads, or photo albums!
Itâ€™s just about dinnertime at the Bensley-Bermuda station in Chester, Va., and the Volunteer Rescue Squad
Christine Erickson Photo Christine Erickson Photo Josh Lewis page right
gathers around the table, joining hands to say grace. As soon as the prayer is complete, the squad prepares to dig in to their home-cooked meal, but the second they pick up their utensils, the phone rings. Emergency Dispatch Communications lets them know their station is closest to the scene, and so the squad drops their forks, gets up from the table, and leaves their untouched meal to go to the callerâ€™s rescue.
the station: "We had just gotten in from a call, so it was around 9 a.m. and the squad was sleeping. I woke up to heavy banging on the door, thinking it was one of my crewmates, until I got closer and heard someone screaming 'Help me!' After running back to wake some of the others up, we opened the door and a 45 year-old man falls on his knees on the floor, with blood on his face, pants, armseverywhere, and there was an 8 to 10 inch laceration across his face. The man was on a ladder, cutting tree branches with a chainsaw, and when he lost his balance and fell, the chainsaw fell with him. If he didn't have safety glasses on, he would have lost an eye." But the job is not all physical: it also requires a lot of emotional stability. Each
year more than 300,000 Americans experience sudden cardiac arrest, and a large majority of them die within minutes, according to the American Heart Association. "Because we encounter it so much, you can't invest that much energy and emotion on every patient," Michael said. "You just can't help some things; it's just the nature of the field." Michael is now a certified EMT, and this is his third year as president. The junior squad has grown significantly since then. "I want kids exposed to this,” he said. “Someone could make good grades but not know anything about medicine. I want to raise more awareness about what you're getting into, and help decide if medicine is right for you."
With all the bad things happening, I’d never felt more right at that point in my life.
his is a very common scenario for Michael Ny, VCU student and president of the junior squad for Bensley-Bermuda Volunteer Rescue. Although he is not currently in VCU's paramedic program, he will begin either this summer or fall. In the mean time, Ny has been training to be an Emergency Medical Technician since his junior year of high school. "I always knew I wanted to do something with medicine, but what did it for me was when my dad got sick, and had a stroke twice," he said. "Then my mother was diagnosed with CML leukemia. I didn't know what to make of it." After enrolling in an EMT course, Michael immediately began to find things falling into place. "With all the bad things happening, I'd never felt more right at that point in my life." Emergency Medical Technicians are instructed to treat, stabilize and transport patients until they can recieve hospital care. Training begins with the basic skills necessary to provide medical care. It's important that these skills are mastered before any advanced life support program. "It's called practice for a reason because every time you're out there, you learn something new," he said. Every other Saturday, Michael volunteers at one of their three stations, anticipating anywhere from one to ten calls, ranging from 15 minutes to four hours. "I like the idea of unknown," he said, "that mentality of not knowing keeps you sharp." While some calls are non-emergency issues such as checking blood pressure or taking temperature, not every day is so easy. In fact, on one of the most exasperating days, he never even left
FAMILIAR AND LESS FAMILIAR Teddy Gregson Photo Courtney Mannion While recently going through clothing, I stumbled upon a well-worn pair of frayed jean cut-offs. I hesitated slightly and then came to my five senses with a full-blown hit of fresh Belle Isle around me. I was suddenly back in the summer months in Richmond; when the air hugs you with a blanket of warmth and the sun glistens off your skin with a slight glowing effect. Those new to Richmond and veterans concur on the same nature parks in the area. These are just a few of my favorite spots in the area to bask in the sun.
Many Richmonders will agree that wasting away at Belle Isle is a great way to spend a summer day. If you have yet to visit Belle Isle, it is a 54-acre island with plenty of trails, beaches, and best of all, boulders to climb and explore. Besides beautiful scenery and hiking opportunities, there is the James River, great for swimming, rafting or kayaking. The animals and people live in tandem and on a good day a blue heron may be visible on the beach. For history buffs, the island has an interesting past. John Smith originally explored the Isle in the 17th century, the site housed a nail factory in the 18th century, and later a village with a general store and school. It was also home to a Civil War prison camp for captured Union soldiers. A visit can be a pleasurable experience for ghost enthusiasts and history lovers alike.
Richmond also offers the North Bank Park at the edge South Randolph. Better known as Texas Beach, though barely enough beach to consider it that, the trails follow the train tracks behind the beautiful Maymont Park and leads into Riverview Cemetery. This park is known for great mountain biking as well as hiking trails. Warning: the trails are long and it will wear you out by the end. Also, be sure to wear comfortable shoes with some traction because most of the trails are uneven and rocky.
HOLLYWOOD CEMETERY This is one of my all-time favorite spots in Richmond. Nothing else as serene and beautiful exists in all of the city. This cemetery, located just off of Cherry St. a few blocks from campus in Oregon Hill, is surprisingly never crowded like other locations such as Bell Isle or North Bank Park. This cemetery is known specifically for its gothic landscape and graves. A 90-foot pyramid made of granite to commemorate fallen Confederate soldiers stands erect within the depths of the cemetery. Also, while exploring the different paths, be sure to see the mysterious statue of a black dog watching over a young girlâ€™s grave.
MAYMONT Maymont is overflowing with outdoor opportunities. Located at the edge of Byrd Park, this was the 100-acre Victorian country estate of James Henry Dooley. A petting zoo, Japanese gardens, a nature center and hay rides are a few of the many benefits of such a well-preserved Richmond city property. Increase the enjoyment of future Maymont trips by visiting the Romanesque mansion, built by the Dooleys. Three decades were spent filling the interior with art and goods from around the world. There are tours offered from 1 p.m. -5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
PONY PASTURE RAPIDS
MEADOW FARM MUSEUM
Just 10 minutes out of the city, there are great alternatives for the beach over the summer. Pony Pasture Rapids might rival any other bathing locations on the river because of the rushing water that creates small pockets similar to jet streams from a Jacuzzi. If you enjoy bird watching, this is also a great spot to hide behind a pair of binoculars. Visitors occasionally get a glimpse of a Bald Eagle perched amidst the scenery. Rafting, kayaking and fishing are just some activities you may consider while traversing the rapids.
If you’re a real go-getter, there are great spots for outdoor exploration in Henrico County and Glenn Allen. One of my favorites growing up was the Meadow Farm Museum and Crump Park including an historic farmhouse and museum that facilitates many exhibits and activities throughout the year. Volunteer opportunities are available in the organized Agricultural Guild, and meet weekly to tend to the gardens and crops abounding in the park.
THREE LAKES 400 Sausiluta Drive Henrico, VA 23227 Three Lakes is a great aquarium and nature center that claims to combine the “worlds of air, water and land” with a variety of exhibits demonstrating the plant and animal life in the area as well as a 50,000 gallon aquarium.
T E G D U B TS: U C VCU’s Most Vicious Predator Christine Stoddard
If you spot a coin glimmering on a sidewalk near campus, don’t bother picking it up. It’s probably
just a figment of your imagination. Currently, money is an endangered species in VCU’s departments and programs. Budget cuts are on the prowl. I witness it firsthand in my home territories—and, as a double-major and double-minor in different schools, I have several habitats. 10
he cinema department is one of the most fortunate on campus, but it still faces hunger on the savannah. It cannot pay a T.A. to man the computer lab more than a few paltry hours a week. Pouting, I head to Cabell library’s MRS stations after the cinema lab closes. Unfortunately, those computers don’t offer the full range of applications I need, but I cope with the available resources. White-tail deer, after all, have been known to eat salmon in extreme cases. I also have to swallow and deal in the English department, where my second major and creative writing minor lie. This semester, I have a whopping 50 students in my 300-level, discussionbased literature class, with just one professor and no T.A. Luckily, I have an entertaining, knowledgeable teacher and several articulate, well-read classmates. But still... 50 people. I anticipate bookheaving herds in my literature courses next semester, too. When I asked the English professor in charge of the VCU Glasgow Artist and Writer Workshop if the English department was offering scholarships for the summer program, he laughed. Then his face quickly assumed a helpless and pitiful expression. How could the answer not be ”no”? In my French minor, I know I only have a chance at enrolling in the classes I need because of priority registration (Thank you, Honors College). One of my friends, a declared French major since her freshman year, was not able to sign up for a single French class for two consecutive semesters. There were simply too few classes available. Before I enrolled in the Honors College, all active students received a $500 stipend for studying abroad. That, too, is as dead as a dinosaur now. At least they haven’t removed the 20-student cap on Honors classes yet. But does that also lie in the near future? This is not just a weakling’s whine-a-thon, however. Everybody, in every department, graduate and undergraduate, is suffering at least a tad right now.
Bola Hanson is a student who belongs to the interdisciplinary studies program, which allows students to design their own majors if VCU does not already offer a similar program. “B.I.S [majors] already have the problem of not belonging to the majors of the classes we register for,” she said. “We end [up] having to get overrides. With fewer classes, it takes us B.I.S degree-seeking students even longer to graduate.” Hilary Stallings, a theatre major, said, “The budget cuts [have] a major impact on the theatre department. We had to use a track for Ain’t Misbehavin’ as opposed to a live band, which completely changes the atmosphere. It was still a great show, but it would’ve been better with a live band. Thankfully, we get to use a live band for Tommy, but they were talking about using a track for that, too. And they’ve cut back on the number of shows [we perform]. I have a feeling the reason we’re collaborating with Barksdale [Theatre] on The Grapes of Wrath is because that’s the only way we could get enough funding to [perform it].” That’s proof, then, that I’m not the only one frowning at the near-empty waterhole. From here on out, it’s just ”survival of the fittest.”
, in every department, graduate and undergraduate, is suffering at least a tad right now.
happy Richmondâ€™s Cheap Eats
Elizabeth Remick Photos Courtney Mannion As college students, we all have our own financial problems these days, but who says you have to spend a lot of money or wait until the weekend to have some fun? Many locally-owned Richmond restaurants offer awesome food deals on a weekly basis, and drink deals for those of us who can legally imbibe. So take some friends out and share the wealth of information, but keep that extra money in your pocket! 12
Mojo’s www.mojotogo.com 733 W. Cary St. If you’re still craving tacos but it’s not Monday, hit up Mojo’s and quell your craving! Right down the street from the Cary Street Gym, Mojo’s offers dollar tacos on Wednesdays as well as $4 7-inch cheesesteaks. If you come in on a Thursday, you can receive 10% off your entire order from 4 p.m. until closing time. Yeah, baby!
Cous Cous www.couscous900.com 900 W. Franklin St. Had enough Shafer for the week? Head right down Shafer St. to Cous Cous! Located in the same building as the Virginia Book Company, this Mediterranean restaurant has some awesome weekly specials, including vegetarian dishes every Wednesday and “Facebook Group” dinner specials every Tuesday, where deals vary weekly for their online friends. Come to Cous Cous on Mondays for Mystery Beer Night: a different beer for $1!
Europa www.europaricmond.com 1409 E. Cary St. Europa is a relaxed Italian café/bar located in Shockoe Bottom
with a tapas menu featuring over 30 selections. Tapas are small, appetizer-sized dishes served together to make up an entire
www.littlemexicova.com 1328 W. Cary St. Located five blocks from Monroe Park campus, this unique restaurant provides a fun atmosphere along with weekly taco and enchilada specials. Mondays are dollar taco days, and every Wednesday you can head into Little Mexico for dollar enchiladas and PBRs. Eat up!
Sticky Rice www.ilovestickyrice.com 2232 W. Main St. Sticky Rice is a cool, urban sushi restaurant right down Main Street. This popular spot offers half-price sushi during “Sushi Heaven” from 10:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. Seats fill up pretty quickly, so you definitely want to get there early!
meal, and they’re incredibly fun to order with friends! Come in on Sunday for tapas night and get half-off all tapas. On Monday night, all pasta dishes are $9. On Tuesday, take a date out for a three-course dinner for $16 per person, and for another $16, share a bottle of wine. And on Thursday nights, ladies, starting at 5 p.m., get your girls together for a night out. Buon Apetito!
Strawberry Street Café www.strawberrystcafe.com 421 Strawberry St. Tucked in the heart of the Fan, this cute café offers classic American fare and the best buffets. Come in on a Monday for half-off burgers and quiche. College students and professors can meet up (yeah, right!) on Tuesdays, and with a flash of your VCU ID, get 20% off the entire check! And don’t miss the bathtub salad bar! It sounds strange but for only $8.95, you get endless salad, soup, fresh fruits and veggies daily.
Capital Ale House www.capitalalehouse.com 623 E. Main St. This original pub is located right in downtown Richmond, and offers a variety of beer from their “beer garden” and pub-style fare for reasonable prices. Head in on a Monday for a deal that can’t be beat: dollar burgers (really!) starting at 5 p.m., and free parking after 4 p.m. at the 6th and Cary St. parking deck. Can’t get much better than that!
Curbside Café www.curbsiderichmond.com 2525 Hanover Ave. Become a regular at this cozy neighborhood grill and café. Located in the Fan, this locally owned restaurant offers weekly specials to die for. Monday night offers provides 35-cent wings and half-price quesadillas. Sick of tacos yet? Is that even a valid question? Hop on in on a Tuesday for 75-cent tacos! Wednesday is burger night, where you can chow down on a half-price burger. On Saturdays and Sundays, you can order an appetizer for halfprice. All specials are offered from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m., and drink specials are served every day from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
flocking back to the nest:
the big move Many post-grads are facing the recession
head-on by participating in “the big move.” No, this isn’t the move to a college dorm or even a new apartment in Manhattan. This is the move back into their childhood bedroom. For this reason, we’re called “the Boomerang Generation.” Some dread it, but regardless, the transition can be a smooth one if made right. Truth is, many of us are graduating at one of the hardest economic times, so finding a job is difficult, to say the least. The time between “occupation: student” and “occupation: dream job” is going to be longer than we may have planned. Moving back home just might be the best solution. According to the Census Bureau’s American Housing Survey conducted in 2003, post-grads and persons over the age of 18 living at home has risen to approximately 16 million families. The benefits in many ways do outweigh the drawbacks, depending on how one looks at it. Moving home is a good way to save money, and a great way to start paying back the debt of college loans, which begin to haunt grads after the hat toss at graduation. Students nearing graduation as well as post-grads keep hearing it, and there are even dozens of websites dedicated to it: networking is the key to employment. But networking takes time, and having a familiar support system to help you out can make it that much easier. It’ll be easier to settle back into your old community, and you never know: someone back home might just be well-connected.
Sara D’Eugenio Photos Ashley Selbe
Don’t expect living at home to be just like it was before you left. Everyone – including health insurance companies – consider you an official adult, and it’s time to start acting like one. In the short time you’ve been away, you’ve all changed. Consider living with your parents to be the same as it would be with any other roommate. Offer to help around the house or with younger siblings. Be polite and respectful. If you are living there for free, be sure to discuss some ground rules to get off to the right start. Discuss things like guests, bills and how long you plan to stay. If your parents are asking for rent money, discuss exactly what that entails. Does paying rent allow you to throw parties in their basement every Saturday night? There are sample rental contracts available online that you and your family can use to create one together. Most of all, try not to be bitter about having to pay rent in your own home. After all, you could be paying a lot more. A one-bedroom apartment in Northern Virginia is somewhere between $900 per month and higher. In Norfolk, prices are less expensive, but rarely below $700 per month. Whether you flock back to the nest or risk it on your own, know that you probably have a safe place to land postgraduation and that most likely, your family will be excited to have you back home. Above all else, don’t look at it as a failure.Rather, view it is as transitioning to the rest of your life.
internet 2 and you Matt Schmidt Illustration Matt Schmidt Could we say goodbye to Internet freedom in the name of cybersecurity? There has been a lot of discussion from the U.N. and Internet providers about net neutrality and a greater control of cybersecurity. In late February, CNN ran a television special on cyber security, threatening that our nation could lose everything from transportation to electricity if one of our power grids were to fail. Outside America, other countries have already implemented tactics on cyber security. Italy has implemented Internet licenses to upload video content, while Australia is currently setting up a licensing system for the Internet. Additionally, they are filtering websites, such as Wikileaks, a website that anonymously publishes sensitive governmental, corporate, organizational and religious documents for a limited time. Back in 2008, when the U.K. was complaining about China’s web censorship, London’s St. Pancras International, one of the biggest transport hubs in the West, blocked a large majority of mildly politically-alternative websites such as thinkprogressive.com. So, what’s happening in the United States? There are many figureheads calling for Internet licenses in order to get online, such as Time Magazine, the New York Times, the United Nations, and even Bill Gates. Near the end of January, Bill Gates supported China’s web censorship. Also, the Head Technology officer at Microsoft,
during the Davos conference and UN meetings, agreed with UN’s suggestion to sign in with an Internet ID. With these licenses, “Internet2,” a new network, would be created. One would obtain a subdomain with a major carrier, and the new carrier would be able to shut down websites whenever it wanted. Essentially, it’s like YouTube or Facebook, where one can register an account, but the site may delete the profile or videos that one has uploaded. In addition to the licenses issued from Internet2, the U.S. Congress is voting to pass a cybersecurity bill that could affect citizens’ Internet freedom. With more than 400 votes for the cyber security bill in the House of Representatives, only five members were opposed to the bill. These five members were also the only ones to read the bill in its entirety. At opencongress.com, where the cybersecurity bill can be read in its entirety, 94% of the public has voted against it, which clearly isn’t representative of what Congress has expressed. As for what the bill specifically proposes, it gives the president of the United States the ability to “declare a cybersecurity emergency,” and limit or even completely shut down Internet traffic in any “critical” information network “in the interest of national security.” The bill does not define a critical information network or a cybersecurity emergency. That definition is left to the president’s discretion. The bill also states that the FCC (Federal Communications Commission)
and NIST (National Institute of Standards in Technology) would be in charge of this new Internet. All software would be regulated through NIST standards. It also states the Department of Homeland Security would recruit students, from kindergarten to college, to join their “Federal Cyber Scholarship for Service” program to train the next generation of federal information and security managers. In this program, students would be certified in meeting federal information workforce standards, and would track American blogs and websites to filter disinformation and monitor all Internet activity. What information might children consider disinformation? In 2008, Cass Sunstein, President Obama’s Advisor of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote in a paper that our government might ban conspiracy theories or impose a tax on conspiracy theorists. He stated multiple conspiracy theories such as “man-made global warming is a fraud.” Even though a majority of the people are realizing global warming has lost its validity, may they still be labeled as “conspiracy theorists”? I thought the Internet was about free speech no matter what your beliefs are. Although the government created the Internet, we pay enough taxes to use it freely. The government is slowly taking the Internet away from us by introducing these draconian laws. To learn more, research groups like “Save the Internet,” which have been protesting this bill for a while. It’s time to save net neutrality.
the death of dating
citizens of a new age Dena Spruill Photo Jaime Barnett Once upon a time, there was a custom called dating. When Cupid’s arrow hit two unsuspecting souls, the ritual began. A male suitor would call on a young woman and ask her on a date. The typical rendezvous might involve a night on the town complete with dinner and a movie, or maybe even a night of dancing. Then, if all went well, the night would conclude with the goodnight kiss. Success! The dreaded first date is complete. However, it’s been my experience that this is becoming a non-existent occurrence in today’s society. Dating, as we perhaps never truly knew it, is becoming extinct. In its place, we’re left with the hook-up culture. Collegiate hook-up culture is rampant. It used to be that you met someone you liked, and then went on a few dates to get to know them. Now you hook-up first, and maybe go on a few dates afterward. Does anyone else see this as a little backwards? It seems we’ve lost the ability to simply ask someone out and get to know them. So what’s the cause of the dating culture’s slow demise? A writer for the New York Times attributed it to “the collapse of advanced planning, lopsided gender ratios on campus, delaying marriage, relaxing values and sheer momentum,” all of which make for significant contributing factors. However, the writer failed to factor in the effects technology has also had on this phenomenon. One of the major contributing factors in the growth of this new social norm is the technology that we love and hold so dear: Facebook, Twitter, SMS messaging… all of these forms of social media and communication provide us with more and more ways to disconnect from personal contact. We are thus gifted the inability to deal with life face-to-face. Don’t get me wrong, I text just as much as the next person, but using this as the main means of communication with
a few tips for proper texting etiquette Asking Someone Out: So, you met someone at Friday night’s art gallery show, you exchanged numbers, and now you’re thinking it’s time to ask for a date. It may be easier on the nerves to shoot someone a request via text, but oftentimes, this just sends out the wrong message. Save the date plans for those traditional phone conversations that we seem to increasingly avoid. Cancellation: Texting is not an excuse to be rude. If you don’t want to see someone, call them to cancel plans.
someone we’re interested in dating is probably not the best idea. We’ve become too addicted to put the phone down! In 2008, Vibes Media, a company that helps businesses market themselves through SMS, reported that since 2001, the number of text messages sent in the United States has risen from about a million a month to 75 billion. While texting has become an extremely useful tool, SMS can be impersonal and leaves way too much room for misinterpretation. Think about it. Can you really get to know someone through a text message? Granted, texting has its advantages in relationships. It’s useful for flirting and connecting when you really can’t talk. It’s great for making plans, quick confirmations, and great for throwing out a short message to someone. Nevertheless, when this form of communication is abused, it mostly just gets in the way. Whereas we used to “drunk dial”, there is now the “drunk text,” and in place of the “booty call” we have late-night “booty texts.” And due to the difficulty of interpreting a person’s tone through text, it can be hard to tell who’s looking to get to know you and who’s just looking to get some. Be classy in your approach. Texting is all about short conversations; it’s not a total replacement for phone conversations. When it comes time to setup a date, be brave. Pick up the phone and call! Dating in this new age is a complex process, arguably even more difficult than in the past. With all the games we play and all the ways we can communicate, the dating realm can be a murky, thorny underworld of confusion. However, one thing is for sure. In our society where constant contact is a necessity, texting as a form of communication is here to stay. But don’t throw your love life out the window by inadvertently showing that you’re uneducated in the sphere of texting.
Date Etiquette: You’re hanging out with someone you’re interested in, and you’re so excited you decide to text your friend every detail of your date. It should go without saying, this is a big no-no. Never text while you’re on a date if you want the person to think you’re interested! And even if you’re not interested, don’t be rude. At least run off to the restroom and text privately! Playing It Safe: Texting is one of the most widely misinterpreted forms of communication out there. It’s hard to decipher the tone of someone’s message through simply reading words on a screen. To be safe, save the jokes for face-to-face interaction. Constant Contact: Ever had someone blow up your phone
with text messages all day long that have no real significance? Do not text every facet of your day to someone you’re dating, or anyone for that matter. Keep your texts to a minimum. Patiently Waiting: So, you’ve been engaging in a text-a-thon with that new girl you met on Saturday. She stopped texting you mid-conversation and now it’s Thursday and you’re still waiting for a reply. Just because you text someone, it doesn’t mean they’re going to reply. Not
everyone keeps constant track of their text messages. Sometimes, there are simply not enough hours in the day (something college students should be well aware of). Left in the Dark: If you haven’t heard from someone you texted in a few days, don’t immediately panic. They may have forgotten to text you back in the midst of late-night studying for final exams. Instead of pondering why you haven’t heard from them, pick up the phone and give them
a call! Whatever the reason, you’ll get your answer, allowing you and your friends to rest from worrying. All in Your Feelings: As much as you may feel the need to gush about your inner-most feelings through SMS, leave the heart-to-heart conversation for face-to-face contact (or at least ear-to-ear). And the Number One Rule: Break-ups are hard, uncomfortable, and messy. If the time has come to end
a relationship, be classy about your approach. Texting is not an avenue for breaking up with someone! It’s cowardly. The same goes for email, Facebook messages and Twitter tweets. None of these methods will passably end ties with someone. As much as we may not want to, sometimes we’ve got to swallow that grown-up pill and do the right thing.
Smells like Green Spirit… and Deceit Matt Schmidt Illustration Matt Schmidt
With one of the coldest winters upon us in 25 years, more people have become very skeptic about the “science” behind global warming.
n Nov. 19 2009, two hackers obtained thousands of emails and documents from the Climate Research Unit at East Anglia University in Norwich, England. Several emails exposed that the scientists had cooked the numbers to show an extreme incline in temperature since the Industrial Revolution. Phil Jones, director of the Climate Research Unit (CRU) and a professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia, wrote an email to his colleague which stated: “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick
of adding in the real temps (sic) to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” Another email describes the CRU’s effort to hide other scientific research inconclusive to global warming trends: “We will keep [skeptics’ research] out somehow—even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is!” The exposure of these emails is also the smoking gun for the many criminal attempts to fix temperature trends. Some may remember Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” graph, shown in Al Gore’s
film An Inconvenient Truth. The graph depicted a strong increase in temperature beginning in the mid-1800s. However, the “hockey stick” formed on this graph by the increase is dwarfed when presented with the greater temperatures of the “Medieval Warming Period” from around 850 – 1200 A.D. With 31,000 scientists or more who oppose global warming, people can no longer deny that this email scandal has brought to light the global warming hoax. Why would they attempt to make up this hoax? The United Nations documents and
the Club of Rome documents from 1991 state a private group of banks, including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan and others are financing this movement. In the mid 90’s, Ken Lay of ENRON and Al Gore came up with a new form of derivatives based on carbon credits. By creating a system of carbon credits, a global treaty would essentially place a 2% tax on every country’s gross domestic product (GDP). On Jan. 24 2010, the Daily Mail published an interview with Dr. Murari Lal, the coordinating lead author of the report’s chapter on Asia. The interview proved the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) had lied about global
warming predictions to put political pressure on world leaders. Dr. Lal said: “It related to several countries in this region and their water sources. We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.” Recently, Jones admitted there hasn’t been a significant increase in temperatures to prove global warming since 1995. Declared by the U.N. as “the most important meeting in history,” leaders gathered at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in early December
of 2009. Secretary General of the U.N., Ban Ki Moon, said this meeting would establish “global governance.” Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, referring to climate change, proclaimed, “It is the awareness itself that will drive the change. And, one of the ways it will drive the change is through global governance.” Even though nothing concrete was decided at the conference, the leaders of the world all believe that we must form a global governance structure to help our planet Earth.
protesting for equal rights A profile of VCU’s recent anti-descrimination rally: Why in 2010 is there still a debate over equality? Photos Cassie Mulheron
Photo essay continued to page 20.
protesting for equal rights
Meredith Rigsby Traveling is a common venture among young adults and college students. What poses a problem in most instances is a lack funds to support such adventures. A project known as Couchsurfing can help ease the struggle. Couchsurfing is a worldwide network of people offering their homes, and couches, for travelers to stay the night. Stays are generally only for a day or two. While it is possible to “couchsurf,” unofficially joining the couchsurfing website, www.couchsurfing.org,, opens up a world of possibilities. “I hosted this kid who was backpacking without any money, and he spent eight months going across country,” said Adam Tremper, a VCU junior. “Literally, he started in Wisconsin and went all the way down to Florida, California, [and] all the way to Alaska. [H]e was gone for so long and he spent no money. “We [also] hosted a kid from Thailand who was coming to look at schools, and he just didn’t have money to stay in a hotel,
so he just stayed with us.” The site provides each member with a profile not unlike the types of profiles seen on blog pages, with pictures and contact information displayed at the members’ discretion. People who have hosted others or have been hosted can also leave their friends recommendations, which gives others reassurance when requesting to stay over. “Everybody that I’ve met, like the girl I stayed with first in Baltimore, most of her friends were couchsurfers as well,” said Leigh Rawls, a VCU cinema major. “So I ended up … getting to know them.I just didn’t expect everyone to be so nice and welcoming.” To get references when first beginning the couchsurfing adventure, it’s a good idea to sign up with a friend and join the network together, then write each other references. This will make other members more likely to request your couch. To provide members with an added sense of security, the website offers members the chance to become “verified.” This means that the member
has made a monetary donation, the minimum being $25, and has requested that their location is confirmed. The member is then sent a postcard with a code on it. Going to the couchsurfing website and typing in the given code allows the member to become officially verified. Don’t fret if traveling plans are made in haste! Many couchsurfing
a drink. There is however, and emergency board available on the website in the case of unreliable people. “When I decided to go to Rome, I found this guy who was an ambassador and a tour guide for the Vatican … he had hundreds and hundreds of references,”said Brittany Fulk, a VCU junior. “So I went to Rome and I figured he would answer his
Couchsurfing is a worldwide network of people offering their homes, and couches, for travelers to stay the night. hosts don’t mind short notification. A simple message the day before arrival is often enough notice. Oftentimes, those traveling will contact more than one person in their destination to ensure that they’ll have a place to stay for the night. However, it’s not uncommon to get a couchsurfing request, and then not hear back from the individual. Some ‘surfers might just want to meet up for coffee or
phone, [but] he never did.” For those antsy to travel the States or even the world, couchsurfing can be a useful tool to help curb costs, as well as meeting all sorts of friends along the way. Get connected: www.couchsurfing.com
Carra Sykes Jaime Burnett Type Illustration Melissa Tablante Major/Concentration Graphic Design How did you start and discover that you wanted be a designer? As a kid my imagination led me to making and designing things, so going to school for design was a natural reaction after grade school. I had originally gone to school for fashion design in Raleigh, N.C. but then soon realized I wanted to get into graphic
design. I had heard about a non-profit called To Write Love On Her Arms and the design was a really strong voice for the organization. Knowing what graphic design can do for non-profits really pushed my heart to go into it as my major. What kind of work do you plan to pursue with your skills? I would love to help out nonprofits as much as I can as well as pursue some more hands on kind of design. I would enjoy working for a company or firm with the
same interests as mine and perhaps do some personal art on the side. I want to travel and live in new places. There are so many options, I just have to break through the limitations, you know? Adventures are ahead!
school. Boredom seems to push creativity in my life. I make sure there are creative outlets outside of school so I have places to get rid of stress. There usually isnâ€™t too much extra outlet time, but it does happen.
How do you keep your creative life when youâ€™re working under pressure? My imagination still runs wild with me, and I enjoy being a kid at 22. Pressure is constantly around with deadlines and I think itâ€™s what pushes the need for creativity with general projects and
What are your favorite sources of inspiration? Jesus, child-like faith, Ireland, colors, patterns, warriors, fashion, forts What other advice can you give to prospective students thinking about an education and career in graphic design?
Allow room for exploration and adventures. Dude, have fun! Because sometimes there are days where you will be burnt out, and there has to be something to spark inspiration and remind you why you chose to dive into design as your education and future career. Donâ€™t limit yourself to projects that will please your professors and make the grade. Take risks!
SHE IS DAZZLING, A LYRICAL MAESTRO, AND ABSOLUTELY STUNNING. LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, I PRESENT: Omid Khanzadeh Photos Courtney Mannion When I met up with 21-year old Vreni Michelini, I thought to myself, “How come there aren’t more Mexican female hip-hop artists?” Artistically, Vreni is simply one of the best Richmond has right now. Musically, she is simply flawless. Vreni’s passion and her soulful approach remind me of a young Lauryn Hill, while her beautiful voice is reminiscent of Gonjasufi. And with the abilities to make wonderful beats and to hype up any audience, Vreni has found herself one of the top musicians in Richmond. Vreni
Richmond, she’s worked with
My name is Vreni Michelini,
Where did the name Chhoti Maa come from, and was it your first choice as your stage name?
the likes of Marble Mummy,
and I am a senior in the PA &
Chhoti Maa is Hindi for “little
Sparkz and Valone.
PR department at VCU. I am
mother,” or in Spanish, mamacita .
originally from Guanajuato,
It has multiple meanings. It wasn’t
Mexico, [but I’ve lived in] El
my first stage name. I’ve gone
Who in particular influenced you in making music and rapping? Who are you currently listening to?
Paso and Dallas, Texas; Albany,
through a couple of really bad
I listen to a lot, so it’s hard for
Georgia; Harrisonburg, Virginia
ones: Vrenimaa and Tryptich,
me to tell you that only a certain
and now Richmond. I got into
artist or a style influenced me.
has already collaborated with Richmond’s Annu, Rasul, Millz, and Chino, and outside of
Listen to music and stay up to date with future performances by Chhoti Maa at www.myspace.com/ chhotimaa.
Can you introduce yourself, and tell everyone how you got into making music?
am, and reconnecting with Pachamama .
The artists that come to mind
music when I was pretty young.
are my grandma Abi, Lauryn
they were students I got to take
What are the topics you mostly talk about in your music?
piano, wooden flute lessons
The pieces in Spanish are like
Chavez, the Roots, Bjork, Billie
and chorus all for free. Later,
the ones in English. They deal
Holiday, Portishead, Destiny’s
when I moved to Georgia,
with a range of subjects, like the
Child, RL Burnside, Clara Smith,
I was in the high school chorus.
corruption in the government
Maria Dolores Pradera, Chopin,
Three years ago, I started
and politics, the mistreatment
the Moldy Peaches, Manu Chao,
rapping, so the mixture of all
between human beings,
Jedi Mind Tricks, Caetano Veloso,
those experiences developed
specifically towards children
Georgia Anne Muldrow, Mary J.
into the sounds I do now.
and women, faulty educational
Blige, Intocable, Chavela Vargas
system[s], the complexity of
and many others. Right now
Both my parents were finishing school in Mexico, and because
identity and cultures, who I
Hill, Mala Rodriguez, Princesa, Orishas, Erykah Badu, Oscar
I’m really into Oumou Sangare, J-Lo, Abdul Aliim, Sharon Jones, Thomas “Fats” Waller, Digable Planets, Abdullah Ibrahim and Recodo. My grandma was a poet, and I remember every New Year she always recited the same poem, and it really influenced me … It was my grandma who I was most close to, and she really helped me practice a lot.
Do you bother with classifying your music, or any music for that matter? Or is your music just progressing sounds? I don’t want to, but I do. Music is music. But
Maa it comes from a specific
background. The music I make
is a family of hip-hop, soul, roots
And I consider the performance,
music, tribal, and experimental.
“Latch On,” both art and music .
Many roots of different genres,
Can you give us some insight on your L.P. you have coming out soon?
Locker 50B (3rd floor of the Fine
It is my first L.P. I’ve been working
com Additionally, I have a couple
on it for a year now, and I have
of house shows coming up, a
twenty tracks that I’m trying
collaboration with a Richmond
to cut down to ten, which will
musician, as well as my first L.P.
now. Considering what is rap on
What direction do you think music now-a-days is going towards, and where do you see yourself in this movement?
the radio and television, I wouldn’t
Well, because of technology
So now I’m just tweaking it. I just
consider myself [a rapper].
and the internet, there is space
really want it to be perfect, and
for a lot of people. The music
when I’m done, I’m going to put it
Does your art influence your music, and does it go the other way around as well?
movement is more democratic.
on the internet for free download.
Myspace and Tumblrs are good
I’ll also be selling them [and
[resources], and can be shared
those copies] would include some
throughout the web, and it’s
of my artwork inside.
I would have to say … part of the
super-exciting to see the different
same, just different forms. I had
sounds on the Internet. I don’t
a performance piece where I was
watch television or listen to the
in a glass case and I made music
radio [for music], because I’m not
What can we expect in the future from Chhoti Maa?
inside of it. I had both music
really interested in it. It’s boring,
I am going to have an exhibit for
and art in it. For the last hour
and mostly formula music. I’d
the Senior PA & PR show, which
and a half, I began to freestyle,
rather be surprised.
will run from April 13 to 20. I
but stuck to one specific one. I would say I am a rapper. I use rapping as a form of communication. I wouldn’t say though that I’m a rapper right
Arts Building). and that work will be featured on iconomagazine.
feature Annu, Marble Mummy and possibly a producer from Mexico.
and I began making beats while
have a solo show coming up in
banging my fists on the ground.
April 20 running until May 4 in
DIY PHOTO JOURNAL
This quick and easy project is the perfect solution to killing an hour on a Saturday afternoon. You can create a simple and creative notebook that can be totally personalized and used for a variety of purposes. Find a couple of your favorite photographs and get inspired!
What you will need: Scissors Two photographs; 3.5x5”, 4x6”, 5x7”, whatever you please! 25 - 75 pieces of scrap paper, cut to the size of your photos White glue A strip of craft paper, cardstock, etc. Paintbrush Clothespins
Steps: Gather the papers and covers and make sure they are aligned to the left side. If the pages are not cut perfectly, that’s okay! Let the right side of the journal stick out or in a little bit. Once everything is lined up, attach two clothespins to both ends to hold everything in place. Paint a few thin layers of glue along the edge, allowing a few minutes of dry time between each coat. While it’s drying, cut the binding strip to size. Apply a layer of glue to the binding strip and carefully attach to the journal. Use light pressure to create crease lines and smooth out any air pockets. Grab your clothespins and attach them along the edge to make sure everything dry evenly. Make it your own! I suggest making one to throw in your purse, bag, car, etc. Write down quotes you overhear, doodle a picture of your lunch for a week, make a lovebook for your S.O. with your favorite photographs of each other on the cover or start a novel!
Thrift List: Fan Tastic Thrift 1914 W. Main St. The Love of Jesus Thrift Store 5503 Midlothian Tnpk. Diversity Thrift 1407 Sherwood Ave. Good Samaritan Thrift Store 4680 W. Southside Plaza St. Salvation Army 2601 Hermitage Rd. Goodwill 6202 W. Broad St.
}}} Blogging Etiquette Dena Spruill Illustration Marleigh Culver
The blogging craze has been growing and evolving for some years now. Everyone’s got one these days, from the personal diaries to the portfolios. Blogs are everywhere, which is causing the blogosphere to become jumbled, crowded, and packed full of the inner ramblings of millions. But what are the rules? And where does one begin? The first step, if you haven’t already taken it, is to just start one! It doesn’t matter if you’re not totally sure of a direction yet, andit may take a while to find your voice. I incessantly chewed over the idea of starting a blog for quite some time, endlessly researching other people’s blogs until finally, one night out of sheer boredom I created my own little spot in the grand blogosphere of the World Wide Web. There are a number of easy-to-use blogging platforms out there, such as blogger.com, sugar.com, and tumblr.com. Once you’ve found the right one for you, you’ve got to ask yourself, why are you blogging? Are you looking for a place to showcase your portfolio, salaciously gossip about the stars like the nouveau Perez Hilton, or is your goal perhaps to simply house a place for your inspirations? Figuring out what you want will help you get the most out of the experience.
There’s a wide variety of opportunities awaiting the successful blogger. According to trade journal Women’s Wear Daily, “The new celebrities are the fashion bloggers, who are courted, coddled and charmed like never before.” A few years ago, bloggers were ignored by the fashion industry, but Fall 2010 runway shows invited bloggers to any shows they wanted to attend. New York Fashion week even held two conferences discussing the evolving influence of bloggers on the fashion world. This is solid evidence that the world of blogging is truly evolving. Once you’ve found your voice, keep writing! Blogging is a never-ending process. Be on the lookout for new ideas everyday! And don’t forget to participate in the community. After all, blogging is a form of social media, so leave a comment on your favorite blog spots or write an email to someone’s blog that inspires you. Great content and social networking are the surest ways to blog success. If you’re simply using your blog as a home for your inspirations, then have at it! However, if you’re using your spot as a career portfolio for either your writing skills or artwork, keep a few things in mind: PHOTOS YOU CAN USE Photos taken yourself are, of course, fine to use. However, when using photos from other places, you have a few options. You can ask for press photos, use public domain photos (which can be found in places such as Flickr’s The Commons), or you can use stock images from sites such as The Stock Exchange (http://www.sxc.hu/). If all else fails, you can credit where you got the picture from. However, keep in mind that copyright laws do apply to bloggers. REPORT THE FACTS You’re not at libel for reporting the truth. However spreading rumors can get you in to trouble. Trust me, you don’t want to go there. Remember, you’re writing for a global audience, whether your blog is personal or not.
KEEP IT REAL Don’t steal other people’s content! This is an obvious no-no. If you want to reference someone else’s work, credit your source and provide a link. WHAT’S YOUR NICHE? You may not be sure of what you want to write about at first. Eventually, you’ll need to find your niche. Write about something specific. No one wants to read about what you had for dinner or when you decided to take a nap in the middle of class. Writing for a specific topic (or even a few) will give you an audience. If you want to keep a diary, buy a blank book from Barnes & Nobles and have at it. BE OPINIONATED Don’t be afraid to lend a voice to your opinions! Your opinions may make your blog more interesting. However, beware of simply trashing others on your blog. This makes you look bad, and might stifle your opportunities from a possible employer. BE REGULAR, DEAR No one wants to visit a blog that’s updated only every couple of months. Try to add new content once a week to keep readers coming back for more.
PROTECT YOUR REP Keep in mind that blogs are not dispensable. You never know, someone might just be able to dig up that embarrassing photo from your drunken night at the local frat house. BE GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT It may be hard if you’re a busy bee, but read through your postings after publishing them and make sure they read well. Improper spellings and run-on sentences make you appear less credible, and ruin it for your readers. FORGET THE NUMBERS Don’t be discouraged by poor readership! Plenty of the best blogs out there are undiscovered gems floating through cyber space. Be proud to be an underground web blog. If you post distinctive, original content, the followers will come. Quality, not quantity, is the key.
DO IT FOR YOURSELF Make your blog a place for your emotional, visual, and intellectual inspirations. Paint your canvas with pictures, video, articles, and links. But above all, publish what’s important to you!
SO NOW THAT YOU’VE GOT THE SCOOP, YOU’RE FREE TO JOIN THE BLOGOSPHERE AND MAKE A PLACE FOR YOURSELF. WHILE YOU’RE OUT THERE AMIDST THE GREAT BLOGGERS OF OUR TIMES, CHECK OUT SOME OF THESE VCU BLOG SPOTS: http://dirtyrichmond.tumblr.com http://littlemissfancypants.tumblr.com www.JoshLewisPhotographer.com/blog www.cookingthealphabet.blogspot.com www.despotart.blogspot.com http://www.mademoisellerva.blogspot.com/ http://cassiemulheron-photo.tumblr.com http://krehblelagency.tumblr.com http://noveltyshoes.tumblr.com http://amberfrances.tumblr.com http://azaleafaye.com/
MOST PLAYED AND ANTICIPATED VIDEO GAMES AT VCU OF ‘09 AND ‘10 Charles Couch Illustration Chris Lewis
MOST PLAYED A game called Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has rapidly stormed the consoles and computers of gamers across the USA and the world. Students at Virginia Commonwealth University are no exception to this trendy love for bombs, bullets and blades. Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is played by VCU students more than any other videogame title released since the fall-semester, according to a sample survey taken by Sophie Solomon Resplandy. “Since this school-year, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been the biggest thing to hit the market,” video game retail employee Justin H. said. “It outgrossed every game to date that has ever come out. It has out-sold every game. It’s out-played every other game.”
Modern Warfare 2 has proved to be one of the most played and sold games in the entire video game industry. “Shooters that you can [play] online and play with other people, that was the big thing since students had access to wireless internet living in the dorm. That is what the college population really likes,” Debra B., an employee of an anonymous store, said. The game features a fastpace, cinematic, albeit short, campaign mode, taking place immediately the first Modern Warfare, in which gamers play the perspective of several different soldiers, according to InfinityWard. com. The story thickens, some characters end up facing down a smoking gun-barrel and there are some epic plot-twists. “It was a little explicit, but I enjoyed every second of it,” VCU junior Wallead Ahmadzai. SpecOps is another feature that allows players to gun through scenrio based
missions similar to the Campaign in cooperative mode. It appears to be popular opinion that the most definitive feature of this game is the online multi-player. “It’s addicting,” VCU sophomore Mike B. said. With this, gamers can play with two to 18 players in dozens of different game modes, some adding third-person perspectives to the action. Players are ranked with an experience point system and as they increase ranks they unlock new tactical equipment. With this equipment one can create and adjust a class of soldier, making every players experience unique. “I just like how quick it is and all the new modifications.” VCU sophomore Brendan Slezak said. “It’s a run-and-go game.” Some students believe Modern Warfare to be overrated to some extent, and that the story just doesn’t stand out, VCU junior Joseph Casuccio. “I liked the multi-player. It was good but, the single-player by itself sucked. I feel like for a game to be really good it needs some value in itself,” Casuccio said. However, it is hard to argue with record-breaking sales.
MOST ANTICIPATED Bethesda Game Studios brought love and fear of the nuclearholocaust back into American hearts. It’s not a surprise that the new installment to the series, Fallout: New Vegas, would have VCU students hanging on the edge of their sofas. According to Resplandy’s data, students are excited to play New Vegas out of most of games scheduled to be released during the second half of 2010. “The developers haven’t released much information on it, there have only been the teaser trailer, and a few screens of some missions,” Debra B. said. The game is currently being developed by Obsidian Entertainment and Bethesda Studios. Obsidian is lead by the
developers of the original Fallout, Black Isle Studios, and is responsible for such award winning titles as Neverwinter Nights “It looks very similar even though Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas are being done by two different companies,” Debra B. said. While developers promise similar role-playing style action, New Vegas will not be a sequel, but a stand-alone game featuring no characters from the previous. Not much information has been release about the game since its first trailer debuted depicting a lone robot slowly sifting sand away from a corpse as the video pans out revealing a mass desert graveyard, all while Frank Sinatra’s “Blue Moon” echoes softly from the robot’s speakers. However, one is bound to run into some new guns, faces and mutated monsters while exploring the “treacherous wastes of the Great Southwest.”
“I don’t know how they’re going to top Fallout 3, but I have confidence,” Casuccio said. New Vegas is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2010 on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Games for Windows.
apps app app app app
app app 32
ps ps ps ps ps apps:
the best and the worst
iPHONE* Twitter Urbanspoon Slacker Facebook News Addict Texts from last night Photoshop.com mobile Doodlejump Tap Tap Revenge
27 students 20 students 14 students 12 students 11 students 8 students 4 students 2 students 2 students
BLACKBERRY* Pandora Facebook Poynt Twitter Blackberry messenger News apps Blogging apps Weatherbug Banking apps
31 students 23 students 12 students 11 students 8 students 7 students 5 students 2 students 1 students
FACEBOOK * Photos Events Fan Pages Friend quiz Farmville Bumper Stickers Mafia Wars Compare People Catbook
29 students 26 students 15 students 11 students 6 students 4 students 4 students 3 students 2 students
*out of 100 people surveyed
Red and white windbreaker, yellow graphic tee, and denim from Hollywood Cemetery by Britt Sebastian.
Desig ner Thr eads FROM THE STREETS TO THE RUNWAY
VCU designers unleash looks that work from day to night, drawing inspiration everywhere from the streets of Richmond to the streetwise hipsters of Harujuku. These talented designers are delivering show-stopping creations. Be on the lookout for great things.
Left Page: Insight uneven tank, $38 at need Supply Co. Oatmeal wool flannel pant with button cuff and hooded reversible jacket, by Colby Beck. This Page: On Giola Alternative apparel yoko linen low, $34 at Need Supply Co. Zipper skinny pant with tapered leg, by Mary Rossetti. Garnet jewelry- fantail necklace, $48 at Need Supply Co. On Joshua Black printed zipper top and side panel pant with skull print by Kimberly Knott.
Black printed zipper top and side panel pant with skull print by Kimberly Knott. Red and white windbreaker, yellow graphic tee, and denim from Hollywood Cemetery by Britt Sebastian.
Asymmetrical cotton knit dress with bubble ruffle in Japanese print and crackle patent leather jacket with buckle cuff, by Kimberly Knott.
Black tonal stripe vest, grey jersey tank, grey drop crotch pant, and wine silk scarf by Colby Beck.
On Stephanie Suede motorcycle jacket, zipper tank top with pleated panel, and skinny pant with pleated calf section, by Mary Rossetti.
On Dekota White zip hoodie with black leather straps and black trouser with front top panel and ankle cuff, by Colby Beck.
Fashion Coordinator Dena Spruill
Special thanks to Need Supply Co.
Photographers Kerry McDonnell
+ Ashleigh Hobson Make-up Artist Ashley Collier
The pieces designed by Colby
Hair Stylists Raymona Pyos
beck, Kimberly Knott, and Mary
+ Sierra Qahhar
Rossetti are candidates for VCUâ€™s Annual Juried Fashion show,
Twenty Ten, which will be held
Morgan Powell + Dionne Horne
May 7th at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.