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Street Food

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legal vs. Illegal No Time to Fold

Table of Contents 4 Eating Around the World


Martinez Restaurant Dynasty

Street Food


Critics Gone Wild

The Salt Lick


Stars of Austin

Asian Dramas Going Down Celebrity Uncle


Harry Potter Downloading: Legal v. Illegal


The Future of Reporting

No Time to Fold

Tammy C

Biographies Tammy C. is an intellectual. Having thought her way out of many a dire situation wit her her intellect, Tammy is an expeditionary force into the unknown all by herself. Despite her extraordinary academic accomplishments, Tammy keeps her ties to her homeland, Taiwan. She considers herself an expert on Taiwanese movies, music and dramas.

Sam M Sam M. was born and raised in the ATX. He has emotional attachments to the Phillies and in his spare time, he likes to wrestle bears. Unfortunately he always loses. Sam isn’t a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. Actually he hates them. His favorite movie is Saving Private Ryan and Audioslave is his favorite band. Sam is a food enthusiast and soul food “you know like food with soul” is his favorite kind.

Sydney P

Sydney P., a freshman at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy (LASA), is a hardworking, clever, and creative designer who is willing to contribute to the group work at all times. Soccer has been part of her life since she was fouryears-old and she is currently playing for the LBJ girls soccer team. She is a pretty easy-going person, except at the times when she is late and she doesn’t appreciate it when people touch her knees. Her favorite movie is 27 dresses. She likes and listens to all kinds of music except country music. Her favorite food is barbeque and Italian.


4 Martinez Restaurant


The Martinez Family has been a household name in Austin for over 80 years, now Cathy Kreitz weighs in on her experiences as part of a restaurant empire. Cathy Kreitz was born into the restaurant business. The daughter of Matt Martinez sr., founder of Matt’s El Rancho, she was raised in the fires of the food industry. Years later, Cathy now holds the reins to the family business with her siblings. Running one of Austin’s most iconic restaurants is a labor of love for Kreitz. She is in charge of marketing, advertising, consumer relations, and quality control. In an economy going through a recession, Kreitz knows exactly what it’s like trying to stay afloat. “It’s very important to have a good management team. Fortunately right now we have a really good management team,” Kreitz said. “But we have seen a bit of slowdown, probably something like 3 percent.” Though hundreds pass through Matt’s El Rancho everyday, few outside the Kreitz clan know how much goes into keeping it going. This July Matt’s will celebrate its 57th anniversary, and its no mistake that it’s lasted so long. Cathy and her siblings make changes as

necessary to make sure that their father’s legacy will never die. “Right now the cost of food is really expensive, and so we have to make some adjustments,” Kreitz said. “We have to raise the prices, such as on beef

neighborhood. When my dad decided to sell our property on East 1st so they could build the Four Seasons all the bankers in town, all the businessman that dad associated with, all his friends told my dad not to do it because he wasn’t going to make it,” Kreitz said. “But my dad knew it was a good idea, and so he did it.” Matt’s location isn’t all that’s changed either. As Austin has grown and evolved, so too has its businesses. Austin has become a highly hip and cultural city, as well as extremely diverse. The University of Texas brings in young people from around the country, and these students need a photo by rherring place to dine. or cheese, to maintain a “We try to switch profit.” things up to attract The history of different segments of Matt’s, however, has not the population, like I’m always been rock steady. thinking about advertising When Matt sr. decided to on co-op radio,” Kreitz move the restaurant from said. “Possibly because st East 1 st. to its current of the nature of most of location on south Lamar, our managers, right now many said he wouldn’t last. in their mid to late 20s “The neighborhood and early 30s and our wait that we’re in now staff are a lot of college was a pretty desolate students, but we are

The Family 1925- Delphino and Maria Martinez open El Original Matt Martinez sr. sells Tamales as a child, while helping out at El original 1952- Matt Martinez sr. opens Matt’s el Rancho on East 1st St. 1975-76- Matt Martinez jr. serves as president of the Austin Restaurant association 1986- Matt sr. inducted into Texas Restaurant Hall of Honor, Matt jr. inducted in 2000

attracting a lot of younger professional types, which we’re happy about.” There are some things about Matt’s that have been the same over the years. The warm, family atmosphere seems well suited for most of the one hundred employees at Matt’s. One waiter has even made Mat’s his career. “Matt’s is the only job he’s ever had,” Kreitz said. “He was 13 or 14 when he started working here as a bus boy, and he’s been a

waiter and supported his family since he graduated from high school.” It would seem that this waiter has worked at Matt’s for a longer continuous period of time than Cathy herself. Cathy was not always a part of her family’s restaurant, and even made a foray into fashion. She spent time in New York to this end, but would eventually find where here true passion was; back on the home front at Matt’s. “Once I found out

it wasn’t my passion I started waiting tables in New York, then I did some management, and I worked on very diverse types of restaurants and got served different types of cuisine,” Kreitz said. “I learned more than I had ever known about the restaurant business.” Kreitz says fashion isn’t the only career she considered, other that the restaurant business. She has a passion for helping people, and wanted to join a nonprofit charitable organiza-

tion. This path also did not pan out, but it did lead to a startling realization, and helped her find what she truly loves about running her father’s restaurant. “I wanted to do good in the world, and I wanted to help people,” Kreitz said. “With an old, longstanding restaurant like Matt’s, people find companionship, and a sense of family, so I feel like I help people everyday.”

by Sam M

Eating Around the World A more filling meal I’ve never had. If you plan on going, eat no more than one meal before, so you can truly enjoy this carnivore buffet. Try to sample a little of everything while you’re there, from beef tenderloin, to pork ribs, to chicken.

(In Austin)

Good, traditional Italian food is often hard to come by in Austin, but Gypsy does it, and does it well. Don’t expect Pasta galore, Head Chef Shawn Gamble graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, prides himself on Classical Northern Italian.

One of the few true African themed restaurants in Austin, Aster’s offers traditional dishes such as doro watt and tibbs. This is the only Ethiopian establishment you’re likely to find close to downtown, so give it a shot.

Gypsy, Italian Bistro

Aster’s Ethiopian, traditonal Ethiopian Fogo de Chão, Brazilian Steakhouse

Uchi offers up traditional and modern Japanese food, with sushi, sashimi, and “tastings.” Diners are expected to order many dishes off the menu, each dish offers modest portions and pricing. Worth the wait.

Uchi, Japanese Fusion


Critics Gone R

estaurant reviewers as a whole have become cynical and rambling writers, trying too hard to impress

is a real culinary opinion, but it takes such a back seat to the writer’s ego that I walk away with no useful information. I think somewhere

d l i W

started writing more fluff and less about food. Frank Bruni, Restaurant Critic for the New York Times, had this to say about Animal, a popular

be called the carniwhore school.” You could count the syllables in that sentence, but I won’t. It should also be noted that Animal

“Animal isn’t a great restaurant, or at least it wasn’t when I tried it. But it’s the epitome of a promiscuously meaty approach to cooking that might well be called the carniwhore school.” - Frank Bruni, Restaurant Critic New York Times their readers. When I look at the newspaper, or a website like www., I’m looking for a good place to get some munchies. Unfortunately, all I find is a reviewer so full of himself that he has declared food to be beneath him. It’s unworthy. And then the long list of the restaurant’s shortcomings usually follows. At the heart of the problem is reviewers’ tendency to drone on more about the “experience” than the food. They love to go on about the furniture, wait staff, curtains, lighting, noise level, etc. Somewhere buried in there

along the way food critics became jealous of their colleagues. While their fellow writers were reporting on the real news, food critics were limited to, simply, food. And so these critics

restaurant in Los Angeles. “Animal isn’t a great restaurant, or at least it wasn’t when I tried it. But it’s the epitome of a promiscuously meaty approach to cooking that might well

is known for their fried food, not a style generally favored by these genius restaurant critics. Critics like Bruni ultimately favor “higher end” restaurants, which provide them the opportunity to go off Frank Bruni has been the Restaurant Critic for the New York Times since 2004. Jeffery Chodorow, owner of 29 restaurants across the country, banned Bruni from all his restaurants after an “unfavorable review.”

Left: Iron Works, my vote for best BBQ in Austin

spent on myself at the Driskill. Plus I get to wear shorts and a T-shirt without looking out of place. Having lived and enjoyed food in Austin for 15 years, I’ve found a number of places that I will always look forward to eating at. Just a few of these are Chuys, P. Terry’s, Giovanni’s Pizza, and Hog Island Deli. None of these (excluding Chuys) try to wow you with their setting, but all will satisfy my cravings any day of the week, and for under 10$ to boot. I hope that in the near future critics will pull their heads out of their butts and start talking straight up food. What I would really like to see is some reviewers to extend their fabled star, fork, whatever system to more casual restaurants. Why isn’t Hog Island Deli eligible to receive a 3, 4, 5 star review? Is there something inherently inferior about restaurants that charge less than $10 for an entrée, or serve their food on a tray rather than china? Having eaten countless cheese steaks at Hog Island I can say for a fact there isn’t. I understand some folks actually care about their dining

experience, so why don’t we have some categories? Maybe rate food, atmosphere, wine, and service with separate scores. And do this for ALL restaurants, trailers, etc., not just those deemed worthy. Admittedly, there are a few wise individuals out there doing this, and I applaud them. Sadly, though, most of their colleagues are still dragging on with the same fluff I’ve come to expect. When crit-

ics can be consistent and get back to the food I’ll listen, but until then I’m going to have to venture out into the unknown and make my own opinions about all the new restaurants out there.

by Sam M.

Alan Richman has been a contributing writer for GQ Magazine since 1986. He has won twelve James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards for food writing, as well as a National Magazine Award. Richman is now the Dean of Food Journalism at the French Culinary Institute.

photo by Tod Seelie

Photo by Kim Novak

on a tangent about the atmosphere, and interior design. Why talk about appetizers when you can compliment the curtains? As Alan Richman, former critic for GQ said, “It’s become too much about being pristine and not enough about being tasty. They don’t always go hand in hand. There has to be a certain exuberance to food, too. Clear doesn’t have to be dull.” In Austin, one of the best-reviewed restaurants is the Driskill Grill, located in the posh Driskill Hotel. It’s lauded for its exquisite dining room, and fantastic service. Having been there myself, I can say it is as fancy as they would have you believe, for better or worse, and I also immensely enjoyed the food. All of this added up for at least a $40 meal just for me alone. A few blocks away is Iron Works Barbeque, located in a tiny wooden shack sitting in the shadow of the Convention Center. With godly pork ribs, and delicious smoky brisket, Iron Works has given me many a good meal that easily rivals my experience at the Driskill. The real difference is I could feed my whole family at Iron Works with half of what I

photo by Heathervilla

Right: Drikill Hotel and resaurant, very fancy, very expensive


Street Food

photo by Stefan Hubner

In a tight economy everyone is looking to downsize, including restaurants. Here are my top three food trailers in Austin, as well as a few others worth your time.


Sno Beach

The king of snow cones in Austin, Sno Beach is one of the original trailers in central Austin. Long before the recent trailer trend, Sno Beach has been serving up their fluffy, sweet concoctions to Barton Springs goers for many years. During Austin’s scorching summers there is nothing more refreshing than true blue shaved ice.

2 3

Giovanni’s Pizza Stand Giovanni’s has caught on recently with residents in Barton Hills. Contrary to what you might believe, the owner’s real name is Julio, but he thought that people were more likely to buy from “Giovanni’s.” As it turns out, Julio is as capapble as any Italian. His pizzas

Torchy’s Tacos

Tacos to please the masses, Torchy’s offers something for everyone. Fried chicken, pulled pork, beef, avocado, Torchy’s boasts a greater variety than any other taco joint I’ve ever been to. Beyond the quantity, all tacos are a blend of delicious flavors and ingredients.


here’s something charming about homelessness. Or maybe not. At the very least, Austinites seem to think so when it comes to their food. Food trailers across town have been whole heartedly embraced by Austin residents for their convenience, charm, and overall creativity. More and more Austinites have come to recognize that these trailers offer something that is missing from traditional restaurants. Whether it’s “Damn good tacos,” at Torchy’s, or a trailer with the name “Kebabalicious,” the personalities behind these food trailers are often as vibrant as the food itself. With the global conflicts of recent years Austinites are more inclined than ever to donate their livelihood to charity. Conveniently enough, every time they hand over some cash at Sno Beach, or Giovanni’s pizza, they feel like they’re helping out someone in need. Though these trailer employees are likely not impoverished, their outward appearance can give that illusion. Ironically, trailers are becoming more reliable than restaurants for a good meal. They have reduced food service down to its very core, simply food minus all the bull snuff. Only those truly dedicated to food could run a business out of a trailer. These are not struggling food pedlers, but food artisans. by Sam M.

9 Hey Cupcake!

Sitting in a row of several trailers on South Congress, Hey Cupcake offers something no other trailer in Austin

does, and they do it well. Owner Wes Hurt says he always wanted to start a business that allowed him to have unlimited freedom and creativity. He’s finally found it.

Chris’ Little Chicago True blue chicago style hot dogs are usually hard find outside of... Chicago. Chris’ does the dog justice, and is a great snack or meal on

the go. If hot dogs are not your thing (what the hell is wrong with you?) then get the Italian Beef sandwich.

The Mighty Cone

to include shrip, chicken, and avocado cones, as well as sliders an veggie sliders (in a cone).

This spin-off of Hudson’s on the Bend first popularized their hot and crunchy cones at ACL. Now in their own trailer, the menu has expanded

Flip Happy Crepes Flip Happy occupies one of the most obscure locations in Austin. Smashed between a nursery and construction site, Flip Happy offers both savory

Kebabalicious p ho t o b y d i a b lo c h a n


Love Turkish things, but getting tired of eating Gyros all the time? Kebabalicious offers Turkish kebabs

and sweet crepes, satisfying the cravings of all customers. nuttella and banana crepes are highly recommended.

ranging from beef to falafel. All kebabs are available in either regular or king size (8 or 12”).


The Salt Lick

By: Sydney P.

“ “ “

The Salt Lick is a BBQ restaurant that was founded in 1969. Thurman Roberts, Sr. and his wife Hisako T. Roberts started the business on the ranch where Thurman Roberts Sr. was born. The Salt Lick is located on 1826, which is just South of Austin. The “Family Style” is all-you-can-eat of most of The Salt Licks best food, and it comes with pork ribs, brisket, sausage, potato salad, cole slaw, beans, pickles, onions, and bread. The Salt Lick has received many rewards including the Austin Chronicle’s “Best Barbecue” award in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002.

” ” ”


Stars of Austin


Robert Rodriguez- Film Director What was the movie that made Robert Rodriguez want to become a film maker? a. Escape from New York b. Raiders of the Lost Ark c. Superman II

How did Robert Rodriguez pay for his movie El Mariachi? a. Work at Mr. Gatti’s b. Finding spare change on the street c. Experimental drug testing

What was the 1998 movie that Robert Rodriguez originally assigned to direct? a. Babe: Pig in the City b. The Mask of Zorro c. The X-Files

Sandra Bullock- Actress What is Sandra Bullock allergic to? a. Lizards b. Cats c. Horses

Sandra Bullock designed seat-belts for her pet dogs. What are their names? a. Ruby and Poppy b. Gus Gus and Lulu c. Chewie and Buddy

Sandra Bullock has a scar on her head because she . a. Ran into a pole b. Fell backwards out of a chair c. Fell into a lake and cut her head on a rock

Matthew McConaughey- Actor Matthew McConaughey is afraid of . a. Elevators b. Revolving doors c. Clowns

What was Matthew McConaughey’s first professional job? a. Beer commercial b. Diaper rash commercial c. Barney

What does Matthew McConaughey not wear? a. Deoderant b. Underwear c. Socks Answers: 1. a 2. c 3. b 4. c 5. a 6. c 7. b 8. a 9. a

By: Sydney P.

Good job! Either you have too much time on your hands, you stalk these people, or you are a really good guesser. Well anyways good job! Average. This wasn’t your best quiz (I’m guessing) but now you know some random (not useless) facts about these Austinites. Wow. That’s all I have to say. It is almost like you would have to try to do this badly. I mean chances are that you would get at least 33% (or 3 questions) right if you didn’t know any of the answers to the questions. Good job.


Asian Dramas

Then, the guy will kiss the girl…now, a car accident. Wow, how amazing is this drama? Hmm…alright, next channel. What? There’s a car accident in this one too? This is boring.” This is the conclusion I always find recently after a long time of channel surfing on a TV in Taiwan. Asian TV dramas are all predictable. Goodlooking actresses and actors, love, fortune, complicated relationships, rich guy, poor girl, and tragedies. Every single one of them has at least some of these features involved in the stories because those are the main components that make a drama fits its definition. It is true that if these dramatic incidents are completely eradicated from the dramas, the dramas wouldn’t be dramas anymore. However, the point here is to think of new ideas or add new things to the current ideas so that the dramas wouldn’t be so uninteresting to watch. Other dramas such as American dramas, don’t follow these certain rules, so even though many parts of the stories are also predictable, they have more diverse plots and the viewers wouldn’t be bored while watching them. I am getting tired of these similar and stereotypical characteristics and a change is needed. This is a call to action for every single TV drama producer in Asia and it is important to do it right as soon as possible.

Generally speaking, this trend of unrealistic dramatic scenes originated from Japan, starting from the first Japanese drama “The Tokyo Love Story”, which had a huge impact on the media and entertainment market in 1991. This drama contained most of the common dramatic events stated above and quickly influenced the TV drama production companies and expanded to the other Asian countries. Although some researchers say that the origin of Asian dramas was from TV series showed in the Philippines and India, “The Tokyo Love Story” was the first one that was popularly recognized by the general public. Asian dramas like the Japanese drama “Hana-Yori Dango”, Taiwanese drama “The Prince Who Turns into a Frog”, and Korean drama

“Full House” were successful because they provided dreams for ordinary girls around the world and they were designed to tell stories that could possibly seem to happen in everyday life. People were amazed and liked the new and fresh ideas the dramas showed. Now, after almost 20 years, the TV drama production companies are facing some obstacles. I certainly want new and interesting plots, not just the ones I can write by myself at home due to the repetitive and predictable dramas on TV. I know that there are still many dramas being produced and showed on TV right now, so they shouldn’t be as bad as I’m describing them. But the statistics don’t lie. The average audience rating in Taiwan for the dramas from 20 years ago is

Going Down

The famous Taiwanese drama “The Prince Who Turns into a Frog”

about 6 percent out of the people who own a TV, while 2 percent now is considered as a success. From the data comparison taken by the ACNielsen Marketing Research Company in Taiwan, we can tell that the dramas are losing their popularity and market, so it is necessary to raise their standards to produce more quality and realistic works. Also, there are currently too many dramas showing on TV at the same time due to the competition the production companies are having with each other. Each of them wants to present a drama with the highest audience rating because it will provide them with popularity and money. “The most important for us,

13 the TV production companies, is the audience rating. We need the audiences to support us in order to make money.” Said Yu Lin Shen, a famous Taiwanese TV producer, on the Taiwanese show “Kang Xi Lai Le”. For example, there are four major TV stations and TV drama production companies in Taiwan, and they all produce about two to three dramas at the same time. This proliferation of Asian dramas on the entertainment market is overwhelming the audiences. The drama producers need to realize that this is not the right way to make money because eventually the dramas will become so boring that no one will be willing to watch them. To prevent this devastating outcome to occur, the future path of the dramas should be reconsidered and discussed thoroughly before any of the current dull dramas are being produced again. Almost every single Asian drama follows the same formula. They all start with some sort of natural and fortuitous first sight of the two main characters. For example, in the romantic comedy Taiwanese drama “Fated to Love You”, the rich guy and the poor girl met coincidentally on a ship, when Chen Xin Yi (the girl) went by mistake into Ji Cun Xi’s (the guy) room. Also, in the Korean drama “Full House”, the girl met the guy when they sat next to each other on an airplane. Then, the two main characters will meet again and start to develop close relationships. In “Fated to Love You”, a few weeks after the trip, Chen Xin Yi found out that she was pregnant with Ji Cun Xi’s

son and they were forced to have a marriage. Similarly, in “Full House”, the girl met the guy again because he bought her house, which made her his maid/wife. Next, just when the two main characters begin to notice that they care for each other, a tragedy such as car accident, cancer, and parent disapproval, happens. In “Fated to Love You”, Chen Xin Yi got into a tragic car accident and lost the baby when Ji Cun Xi started to realize the importance of Chen Xin Yi in his heart. Although there wasn’t any major tragedy that happened in “Full House”, they had to experience complicated relationships with a third person involved throughout the second half of the story. Even though these problems seem to get in the way of their relationship, both of the dramas ended happily without any of the problems remained. The producers also should try to find some professional actors and actresses. Currently, they tend to find upcoming stars that are good looking whom have never been trained to act, so they produce low quality work and it is hard for them to make the dramas touching for the viewers due to the unnatural acting. A perfect example for this would be the Taiwanese drama “Brown Sugar Macchiato”. All the main actors and actresses in this drama are from the famous boy and girl band groups, Lollipop and Hey Girl. They were singers and celebrities that only appeared in talk shows before this drama, so they’ve never had any experience with dramatic acting, except for some small clips they


perform for their shows. wrights from “Brown Sugar The average audience ratMacchiato” should all start ing for this drama was 1.44 taking people’s opinions into percent, which is relatively consideration in order to low compared to 7.45 percent rekindle the success of Asian for the drama “Fated to Love dramas. The first few dramas You.” Chen Qiao En and were surprising and the ideas Ethan Ruan, the main actress expressed through them were and actor in “Fated to Love fresh, which was the main You” both focused on acting reason why they were so popfor their celebrity careers and ular and well accepted by the performed in many differpublic. Now, it is necessary ent dramas before this one. to develop some new ideas Both dramas basically follow due to the fact that most of the same formula and even the audiences are bored with though the only major differ- the non-changing events and ence is the work experiences old plots. A change needs to of the actors and actresses, be made as soon as possible the audiences’ response to in order to bring back the each of them was significant- memories and feelings people ly different. Most importantly, had when the dramas first this isn’t just happening in came out. One of my hobAsia, but with other countries bies is to watch dramas all day in the world as well. So the and do nothing else, but now solution to this problem will that is becoming more like have a worldwide impact on a torture rather than a fun the media market, which can activity. I need the dramatic possibly raise the quality of dramas back! By Tammy C. works to the next level. A tragic and saddening Japanese Drama filmmakers drama “One Litre of Tears” like the directors and play-




t was just another ordinary and boring day during the summer of 2008. I was home, in Taiwan, lying on my couch, and trying to plan something interesting for the day. Then the phone rang, disrupting the silence in the house, I picked it up and heard Jessie’s, my cousin, voice. “Hey, Ah Ben is at my house right now, do you want to come over? He’s here in Taichung for a music video he is in, and he just wanted to see us.” The first word that popped in my head after the phone conversation with Jessie was “WHAT???”. Ah Ben or Weng Rui Di is a singer/actor/dancer/rapper/host who debuted from a famous show called “Mou Fan Bang Bang Tang” in Taiwan. Why would HE be at my cousin’s house? I have been watching every single episode of the show “Mou Fan Bang Bang Tang” since August 14, 2006, which was when it started appear-

ing on TV. There are many different young teenage guys in the show, and Ah Ben was one of my favorites out of the all. It didn’t seem real that I was just about to meet my idol. I couldn’t resist myself to keep on thinking all the things I know about him and how I’m going to act appropriately around him. Just when my mom and I were about 10 minutes away from Jessie’s house, my mom started to tell me about a shocking story that I would have never imagined. She told me, “Ah Ben is you uncle, and he’s your grandfather’s sister’s son. His mom and I were pretty good friends when we were young.” I couldn’t believe what I had heard; it wasn’t the kind of thing that would happen in my normal and unexciting life. It was surprising to know that a person whom I have been watching on TV for almost two years is actually one of my close relatives. We


arrived at the metal front door of Jessie’s house before I could fully digest the new information in my mind. “Hey, come on in, Ah Ben is sleeping now due to the massive amount of work he had to do in the past few days. He will wake up after awhile; you can just hang around our house for now.” Said Jessie’s mom when my mom and I stepped into the hallway of the house. We ate some fruits and drank some sodas in the kitchen. The waiting time seemed like it was going to last forever. I walked around the house and passed by the room where Ah Ben was sleeping in numerous times for two hours, and he still didn’t wake up. Just when I was about to sit down on a couch and read a magazine, someone turned the doorknob of the room and Ah Ben walked out from it. I was staring at him with a blank mind when his eyes met

my eyes. Then I quickly turned my head away and pretended to be reading a magazine on the table immediately after he nodded at me. “Hello, you are the other niece they were talking about, right?” Ah Ben’s question scared me. “Yes, nice to meet you.” I said while trying to act normal. “Okay, that’s cool.” He said as he walked into the restroom. I then walked into the kitchen and sat beside Jessie. “Oh, did Ah Ben wake up?” Asked my mom. “Yeah, he’s in the restroom right now.” I replied. Ah Ben came into the kitchen about five minutes later, sat on a chair, and smiled at us. I was so nervous that I couldn’t even look at him in the eyes. He looked exactly the same as he was on TV. Although he’s always talkative and energetic on the show, he’s really quiet and somewhat shy in person. I pulled out a notebook

15 Biography

English name: Ben, Aben Chinese name: Weng Rui Di Birth date: June 11, 1982 Birthplace: Taiwan Height: 172 cm Weight: 60 kg Level of Education: Graduate School of the National Chengchi University from my bag and handed over to Ah Ben. “Can you sign it for me?” I asked. “Sure.” Then, he signed his name on the page, which became my first celebrity autograph. Afterwards, Ah Ben said that he had to leave for the show. So, we took some pictures with him before he

Debut year: 2006 Profession: Actor, singer, comedian, host Boy band group: Bang Bang Tang, Muo Fan 7 Bang Talent/skill: rap, sing, dance Ah Ben is currently one of the hosts for ten shows and a member of Mou Fan 7 Bang. He has performed in three TV dramas, three TV commercials, and one movie so far. He recorded two albums, one for his first TV drama and one with Mou Fan 7 Bang.

left and watched him leave in a cab. I’ve only experienced the positive effects of having a celebrity uncle so far. Most of the people were just simply amazed that I have a close relationship with a celebrity and wanted to know more about the life of the celebrities. I haven’t really started develop-

ing a friendship between Ah Ben and I, but I hope that my dream will come true in the future and he could show me to my other idols in the entertainment world.

By: Tammy C.


Ha r r y Po t t e r : Pros and Cons of Books vs. Movies

Movies Pros


The movies can show the adventurous scenes in a more realistic way for the audience. It creates the images that the readers had to imagine in their heads visually, which gives the readers a chance to actually see what kind of images are being expressed through the author’s words. Lenim num quat. Re veniat. Dui ese veliquisi tionsequat. Dui tat lam velit iriurem el dolorero dolessequat loreros nos delit amcommy nons autet, quamcommy nostie dipit nis nos nis niam, suscing erillam

Time Limit: many small but crucial de tails were either skipped or skimmed through with a few scenes. The movies only focused on the main theme, so some of the small charac ters that didn’t help the story move forward smoothly were not shown. It’s hard for them to successfully show the emotional scenes because it all de pend on the viewers’ own interpreta tions of the actors/actresses’ acting. The scenes the movies show are the director’s interpretation of the book, so it doesn’t necessary fit some people’s opinions.

Books Pros


The author not only describes the life of Harry Potter, but also the things/people around him. This allows the readers to completely fall into the magical world while reading the books. The readers have a lot of room for imagination and nothing could be wrong in their imaginations of the book.

The books are too thick, so they are not as convenient as the movies to people who don’t enjoy reading. The words the author uses to express her ideas and thoughts don’t always pass on to the readers’ minds. Sometimes, the false image can be transported to the readers if the readers and the author have two different thinking systems.

By: Tammy C.


Downloading: l a g e l l I . v l a g Le


his is the story of a girl, Who cried a river and drowned the whole world, And while she looked so sad in photographs, I absolutely love her, When she smiles… In the car the radio plays the song and Ellen and Brooke look at

about all how much money I have. I like to look around and find all of the different music that I want. It isn’t hard to find music for free and most of my friends do it anyways,” Ellen said. Illegal sites appeal to

each other as if they thought the same thing. When they get home, they both go on the Web to find the song. Brooke pulls up an iTunes window while Ellen opens up Frostwire, a file sharing site. According to the Recording Institute of America, more than half of college students illegally download music and movies from the Internet. With all the music out there today, it can become expensive for Ellen Alvarez, a freshman at McNeal High School, to buy all of her music from the iTunes store. That is why Ellen downloads music illegally off of Frostwire. She doesn’t feel like she is doing anything wrong; however, Brooke McCalley, a freshman at Bowie High School, doesn’t agree. “When I am on the Internet, I don’t want to think

Ellen and others because they don’t have to pay for the music that they want. Brooke looks at downloading music illegally as stealing music from the artist that makes the songs because they don’t pay for them. On p2p downloading sites, if Ellen gets a soundtrack, the chances are that 100s of people have already downloaded it, and then the artists lose money that they could have made if Ellen and the other people would have gone out and bought the song. “If I didn’t, I would be wasting a bunch of money on music. I probably wouldn’t be able to have all of the music that I have today… I don’t think I am stealing from the artists because I am getting it from someone else,” Ellen said. “If the song

“I have over 1,000 songs on my iPod. I really like music and I want to be able to afford all of the music that I want.”

that I want isn’t on Frostwire, then I will go and buy it on iTunes. It just costs too much to do that for every song.” Legal sites require Brooke to pay for her music. Even with music easily available illegally and free, Brooke still obeys the law and purchases her music from iTunes. This proves that at least one person is paying for her music. Since the songs are only 99 cents apiece, Brooke doesn’t mind paying. Brooke judges people like Ellen who download music illegally because Brooke thinks that the way that someone downloads music is a judge of their character. “I would always feel bad if I downloaded music illegally. Plus it’s only around a dollar for a song and that is cheaper than you can get it at the regular store,” Brooke

said. There was almost an edge to her voice when she talked about other people getting songs illegally. Sometimes Ellen isn’t getting them off of these sites just for the free music. She could already own the music, but she wanted to listen to it in various locations. If she watched a movie that she owned and she really liked the music, then she might download the music off of an illegal music sharing site. She still owns the movie, but getting the music this way makes it more convenient than having to buy the soundtrack or skipping to that part of the movie to listen to the song. “There are times where I get music that I heard from a DVD that Photo by: gurl020_2007

19 I have at my house. When I download like this, I especially don’t look at it as stealing. The artists had a contract and made money from the movie. In that case I have already paid them, so there is no reason to buy

are shared, that is when they become unlawful. “I have over 1,000 songs on my iPod. I really like music and I want to be able to afford all of the music that I want,” Ellen said. “When I hear a song, I like to be able to go home and get the song almost instantly for free.”

it. Radiohead hasn’t released the amount of money that they made off of the album, but according to Wired, the profit from In Rainbows is estimated to be from $2.4 million to $10 million on an album that could have made no money. “When the music is free, I am more willing to download it and listen to

was the Patti Santangelo v. RIAA. This lawsuit has just now reached a tentative settlement; however, this lawsuit has been going on since 2005. “I feel bad for the artists that lose money. Not all artists are millionaires and people downloading their music illegally are taking

Photo by: fr33d0m2008

it again,” Ellen said. The earliest file sharing systems on the Internet have been around since 1989, but the average person did not know of them. In 1999, Napster was cre-

Since online music has become so popular, legal music sites have been created. Napster 2.0 and iTunes are examples of legal music downloading sites. iTunes was created

ated and that was the first major illegal downloading site, but in 2001, Napster had to shut down due to lawsuits that were filed against it. Since Napster, numerous illegal music-downloading sites have formed. Limewire is the most recognized illegal music downloading website. Limewire is a p2p (peer-to-peer) file sharing system where people can share their music files with other people. The reason that these sites haven’t been shut down like Napster is because having these files on the Internet is not illegal but once they

in 2001 and Napster 2.0 was launched in late 2003. These sites are considered “legal” because people like Brooke purchase the music and a portion of the profit goes to the artists and the record producing companies. “I like how iTunes keeps its prices down and a portion of the profits go to other places. It feels like I am always getting a song on sale when I buy it on iTunes,” said Brooke. Radiohead decided to release their album In Rainbows online and the downloader got to decide how much they wanted to pay for

“I love finding new songs that I have never heard of before...”

it. I think bands get more exposure when their music is free… I love finding new songs that I have never heard of before. There are a bunch of songs that I wouldn’t have ever heard if I didn’t download music from Frostwire,” Ellen said. Brooke feels that downloading music illegally can violate the music artist’s rights. Artists copy right their music so that people don’t steal their work. There are many different lawsuits going on about this topic. On Monday September 9, 2003, hundreds of people were sued for sharing music files illegally. Among them was 12 year-old Brianna LaHara. The 12 year-old ended up paying $2000 about $2 per song that she shared. Another large case Photo by: FranksDog

away their money,” Brooke said. She looked down at her hands while she said this, as if to say that it isn’t fair that these people are robbing from the artists. People listen to music. Joggers, bikers, people driving in their cars, and even at home, someone is listening to music. The way that Ellen and Brooke get their music, the prices of songs, and current lawsuits will pave the way for how this industry is going to deal with illegal downloading.

By: Sydney P.

20 The Future of

Reporting Photo by: Tim Harrison

Ron Olivera (left-center) and Judy Maggio (left) read though the 5pm rundown before the broadcast. Bob Ballou (right) talks with Emily Graham (right-center), the producer for the night-time broadcast. Newsrooms, both print and broadcast are dealing with online competition.


ewspapers have been around for over 400 years, but their circulation is

dropping. They are a great way to inform the public about what is going on in the world, as well as what

our own government is doing, but the fact is that journalism is changing. The Internet continues to

grow rapidly as a medium for reporting and journalists have an opportunity to present their information

in a more appealing fashion to the largest audience. Journalists need to embrace the change and make the transition as simple as possible. News needs to adapt and work with what is easy and convenient for people. At the 2008 International Symposium on Online Journalism, James Moroney III said, “If you’re in the newspaper business, you’re in the business of managing decline. Now, however, if you are in the news and information business, if you’re in the news and information business, then I think there is a very healthy future ahead of you.” Newspapers can stay because there are still instances where they are important. At the moment, they are the main way to get money for the reporting business because of the ads that are shown in the papers. Without the newspapers as a source of income, there won’t be any money to pay the journalists and then there won’t be a reliable news source. It is time to find a way to make money and stay current with the advances of technology. In his article Crooks won’t cry when newspapers die, Leonard Pitts Jr. tries to express that it will be the end of the world when newspapers “die”. He says that TV and the Internet don’t report the news like papers do. The Internet focuses on what is happening right at that moment instead of looking at the whole picture and connecting stories together. Maybe they don’t

report the news like papers at the moment, but that is changing. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, newspaper circulation is down and is continuing to decline. Some newspaper circulation is down over 10 percent from the previous year, and even the third most circulated newspaper, The New York Times, is down 3.6 percent on weekly circulation and 4.1 percent on their Sunday issues. There needs to be a solution to the money problem in the journalism world.

last two years, and the top 50 news sites traffic in 2008 rose 27 percent. All of these numbers show that the focus of receiving news is quickly changing to the Internet. At my house, we don’t subscribe to any newspaper. I usually get the news from Yahoo! or another website. Other ways to get the news are to watch it when it comes on TV, but that can be tiring because the news isn’t always on at the most convenient times and I can’t choose what stories I want

general audience is Internet savvy and capable of getting news from many sources. Getting the paper every morning and searching through it can take up valuable time for people that are already online with their school or job. It is easier for them to get their news while they are on the computer. Also, Internet news can be more interactive, dynamic, and timely than a printed newspaper. Leonard Pitts Jr., along with other people in the newspaper business, argue that news moves too quickly with the Internet and the audience is flooded with information that can’t be digested. It is also easier to send false information and publish stories that aren’t based in fact because many articles on the Internet can come from questionable sources. However, reputable newspapers that use the Internet can control their reporters and verify all of the information just as they would with a printed newspaper. The saying goes, “Old habits die hard.” Newspapers will always have a place in our society, but their circulation will likely decrease as technology continues to advance. Personally, I would rather go onto the Internet and search for the news than flip through a newspaper, and I think that is what most people, at least in the younger generations, are thinking too.

“The web traffic to the top 10 online newspapers grew 16 percent in the last” In the United States alone there are approximately 163 million individual Internet users, and in December 2008 there was about 21 percent news traffic on search engines according to Hitwise, a company that analyzes Internet activity. This means that when people enter items to search in search engines, such as Google and Yahoo!, over 20 percent of the time they are searching to find and look at news stories. The web traffic to the top 10 online newspapers grew 16 percent in the last year says Nielson online. According to, newspaper ad revenues have fallen 23 percent in the last two years, the number of Americans who get their news online jumped 19 percent in the

to hear about. The big stories in the news can be put on the “front page” of the Internet just as well as they are in the paper. The headlines of the most important stories are written in large print on news websites to grab the reader’s attention. If journalists think fast and adapt to the demands, then new opportunities for reporting will present themselves. Journalists need to find the best way to present the news to the largest audience. The function of a journalist is to report the news to the citizens. If the people aren’t reading the news articles in the newspapers, then something needs to be done so that the news is common knowledge. Newspapers are costly to print and aren’t friendly to the environment. The

By: Sydney P.

e to Fold m i T o N S tefan Peierls, a redheaded senior at the Liberal Arts and Science Academy High School dressed in a white t-shirt and jeans, walked into a small room full of music equipment; he sat down behind the drum set and began to play a beat. This is a band called No Time to Fold and it hopes to

and enjoy writing songs,” Stefan said with the drumsticks in his hands. “We want to make as much as possible before the year is over.” Each of the band members has a different role in the band and they were all inspired to create music at young ages. The different kinds of music and

through the tough times at school. Matt and Stefan have been in the school band since freshman year, and it provided them a place to play music while facing the stress from school. The genre of music the band plays is indie rock. The band members enjoy making this kind of music because they like the different sounds of their music and they want to share it with the world. lead people to explore more artists they listened to like The band had composed 11 about the Austin indie rock The Strokes and The Shins songs so far and is planning music by performing and throughout their childhoods on to make their first CD. showing their songs to the served as motivation and “It’s the music we like and public. Last November, Matt were models for them to the music we listen to.” Matt Jukman, the singer and the look up to. They express said. “Our music is more laid guitarist of the band, decided their emotions and feelings back. It’s like nothing you’ve to form a local Austin band through the music they create ever heard before.” with three other high school and it allows other people to The band believes that seniors, the drum player understand what they’re trymany other people around Stefan Peierls, the bass player ing to present to the world. the city appreciate the same Carl Hedman, and the other “Music has always been kind of music as they do, so guitarist Sean Van Hoose. an important part of my life they hope to perform their They all love music and that’s since I was young.” Carl said songs to bring out people’s what brought them together. as he described the other passion toward it. “[We formed the band] main roles music had played They practice individually Because we just love music in their life like helping them everyday at home and with the band every other weekend. Usually, each of them writes a part of their songs and they put the transitions together when they meet each other. “I think the hardest part in writing a song is the process of putting the transitions together,” Stefan said. This is a picture of No Time to Fold after one of their performance at Momo’s. “It’s not easy From left to right: Sean Van Hoose, Stefan Peierls, Carl Hedman, and Matt Jukman. to find a way to (Photo by No Time to Fold) put all the parts

“We want to make as much as possible before the year is over.”

22 together smoothly.” The band just performed at the Osos Peligrosos Showcase in downtown Austin on February 12th. They played three songs and it was their first time performing publicly in front of an audience; they have been writing songs since the band formed so they could be ready for any chance to perform. “We were very excited to show our music,” Sean said after the band got off the stage. “Well, kind of nervous also, but I think we performed well.” People attended the showcase to observe more and listen to the local Austin bands they support. Most of them were high school students and parents and they gave the band their thoughts and feelings after the performance. They thought the passionate sounds of the band’s music showed how much the band members care about music and they were quite impressed by the effort the bands put into their music. “I can tell that they practice often,” Jennifer Hsiao, a parent who was there when the band performed, said. “They seemed serious about the band and their music. It was a fun experience.” Come to hear and observe more about the band No Time to Fold at their shows and their website ( and you will learn more about an Austin local band that hopes to capture people’s emotions through their music.

By Tammy C.

The Austin Hipster  

Hipsters. Are. Cool.