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Ann Arbor, Michigan


Week of events to recognize body image VIRGINIA LOZANO/Daily

LSA junior Haley Pfeil, LSA seniors Mara Rubin and Mark Byron play with Johntez Williamson at Dance Marathon. The event raised money to improve the quality of life for children with disabilities at the Indoor Track and Field Building Saturday.

Over 17 years, $5M raised Dance Marathon participants stand for 30 hours for charity By EMILIE PLESSET Daily Staff Reporter

For 30 hours this weekend, University students busted a move. The University’s Dance Marathon held a two-day party this weekend at the Indoor Track Building, where 700 students stood on their feet for charity. Dance Marathon is the larg-

est student-run nonprofit organization in Michigan, with over 1,000 student participants throughout the year. With 17 years on campus, the organization raises money and promotes awareness for rehabilitation therapies at the University’s C.S. Mott Children’s and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital and Beaumont Children’s Hospital in Royal Oak. Throughout the year, and over the course of the 30-hour event, Dance Marathon members raised $446,399.57, which was less than last year’s $516,701.13 total. Last year, the event took place in April, giving the organization more time to raise funds.

However, this year the group reached its all-time goal of raising $5 million throughout its 17 years at the University. “The goal is to establish a solidarity between the participants of our organization to really show our support for the kids that we stand for, who maybe can’t stand for themselves, while putting ourselves as much as we can in their shoes,” LSA senior Molly VandenBerg, Dance Marathon communications chair, said. Many dancers form Marathon teams with various other organizations on campus. Teams raise money and earn team points by participating in

Marathon events throughout the year, including a pumpkin carving event and a charity ball, where participants interact with the families and kids benefiting from the organization. While many other universities hold Dance Marathons, the University’s Marathon maintains a tradition of standing for 30 hours. Northwestern University’s marathon also lasts 30 hours, and the University of California, Los Angeles’ event lasts 26. Brownstown Township resident Laura Calvin, whose family benefited from the funds raised from the Marathon, said See MARATHON, Page 3A

Body-Peace Corps creates Eating Disorder Week to raise awareness By SHOHAM GEVA Daily Staff Reporter

The Body-Peace Corps, a student-run organization, along with MBody and University Health Services, kicked off this year’s Eating Disorder Awareness Week with a Valentine’s Day-themed event on the Diag Friday, and a Twitter campaign Sunday. The campaign for awareness comes a week before National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, which is Feb. 23 to March 1. It also falls during a larger month-long push — February is Eating Disorders Awareness Month. On campus, the week has

been held consistently for the past decade, though its sponsors have changed from year to year. In the past, it’s been run through Counseling and Psychological Services and the University. LSA sophomore India Peterson, Body-Peace Corps event chair, said the week is necessary at the University because it helps remove some of the stigma surrounding eating disorders and helps students form more positive body images. “It’s really important because a lot of people have the wrong view of eating disorders and they don’t know all the facts,” Peterson said. “It’s just important to promote positive body image because I know that especially with the media, especially on college campuses, a lot of people struggle with having a positive image.” The Valentine’s Day event, called “Trash Your Trash Talk,” was sponsored in partnership See BODY-PEACE, Page 5A



3D printing business opens in Ann Arbor

Transplant recipients set world record

By RACHEL PREMACK Daily News Editor

Most 3D printing businesses cater to engineers, hobbyists and other tech-savvy folks with thick wallets. However, this is not the case at the recently opened Thingsmiths. Owner Owen Tien said he opened the State Street business last month to cater to anyone with an interest in 3D printing. “It doesn’t matter if it’s sketched on a napkin,” Tien said. “We’ll do our best to make sure it’s good for our customer.” Napkin-sourced designs are not hypothetical. Art & Design sophomore Rachel Snyder, who assists with 3D modeling at Thingsmiths, said she recently helped a customer produce his napkin schemes in two weeks. “I find it actually really exciting,” Snyder said. “I think the big responsibility that I


HI: 34 LO: 25

have as a designer is to make someone’s creative idea a reality and help them make exactly what they wanted, exactly what they envisioned.” Few 3D printing stores exist to serve the average consumer. Even fewer exist in brick-and-mortar forms. Thingsmiths fulfills both of those rarities. Thingsmiths opened last month and joined what Tien estimated to be fewer than 50 physical 3D printing shops in the United States. Tien said the Ann Arbor location was ideal for attracting tech-aware customers. He also considered Bloomfield Hills and Grand Rapids as potential locations. Most 3D printing shops are online. They won’t explain how the 3D printing process works, how to submit your ideas in the requisite computer-aided design format or a host of other techie complications. There are barriers for the Average Joe to explore the much-hyped world of 3D printing. “It seemed to me that there See PRINTING, Page 5A


Ann Arbor residents William and Sarah Dodds watch the newly opened Snake vs. Dinosaur exhibit at the Museum of Natural History Sunday.

Ancient fossils from India on display in ‘U’ museum 67 million-year-old specimens include primitive snakes By TOM MCBRIEN Daily Staff Reporter

A young dinosaur pokes out from its shell, only to be met by an 11.5-foot-long snake rearing back to devour it. Just at the climax, both are almost instantaneously covered by a mudslide, preserving them for millions of years. This may sound like a B-movie plot summary, but

thanks to a University paleontologist’s discovery, it was an actual event that happened 67 million years ago. Jeffrey Wilson, associate professor of earth and environmental sciences, delivered the William R. Farrand Memorial Lecture, this year titled “India before the Himalayas: When snakes ate dinosaurs” about his fossil discovery, which is now a permanent exhibit at the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History. The exhibit includes a lifesize model of the scene by artist Tyler Keillor, who reconstructs

paleontological items, and a touchable cast of the fossil slab. The fossil’s journey to the University was a long one. Wilson’s colleague, Dhananjay Mohabey, discovered the fossil in western India in 1981 but did not realize that snake bones were present. Decades later, Wilson heard about the piece and, upon examining it in 2001, was the first to notice the distinctive snake spine bones. “From this time in history, we only have about five examples of snakes with bodies, and this is going to be the sixth,” See FOSSILS, Page 5A

A Badgering day

Another dimension

Wolverines rally in second half but fall to Wisconsin 75-62 » INSIDE

3D printing finds a home on State Street INSIDE

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Highest number of heart beneficiaries honor American Heart Month By KAITLIN ZURDOSKY Daily Staff Reporter

More than 100 heart transplant recipients set the Guinness World Record Friday for the most heart transplant recipients gathered together. The University of Michigan Health System partnered with Donate Life Coalition of Michigan to assemble the 132 recipients, transplant staff and families at Art Moran Buick GMC in Southfield, Mich. The date was set in observance of American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day. “It’s a great way for us to share with the world how positive organ donation can be,” said Sherry Johnson, director of the gathering and volunteer at See TRANSPLANTS, Page 5A


Local store to appeal to needs of residents, students

NEW ON MICHIGANDAILY.COM Arctic Monkeys impress with mix of material MICHIGANDAILY.COM/BLOGS


Vol. CXXIV, No. 69 ©2014 The Michigan Daily

NEWS......................... 2A SUDOKU.....................2A OPINION.....................4A

CL ASSIFIEDS...............6A A R T S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7A S P O R T S M O N DAY. . . . . . . . . .1 B


2A — Monday, February 17th, 2014

MONDAY: This Week in History

TUESDAY: Professor Profiles

WEDNESDAY: In Other Ivory Towers

THURSDAY: Alumni Profiles

Michigan Yellow Cards replaced 24 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK (FEB. 21, 1990)

10 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK (Feb. 20, 2004)

After a vote among graduate students defeated a call to strike sponsored by the Graduate Employees’ Organization, the group elected to seek recognition as a union representing teaching fellows, research assistants and staff assistants. The strike was intended to help GEO members negotiate with the University on financial and fringe benefits for graduate student instructors. The GEO’s conversion to a union ensured recognition the Michigan Employment Relations Commission and permit negotiations with the University.

The University began issuing non-transferable photo IDs that also served as real cards. The new system served as a response to a number of problems with University yellow cards, including the problem of theft. The new cards were modeled after yellow cards and combined the functions of those used in the College of Engineering and the Ross School of Business. The cards included a magnetic strip that allowed students to purchase meals in dining halls, check out books from the library and enter laboratories and other University facilities.

Supporters of the Lecturers’ Employee Organization rallied in front of the Fleming Administration Building before the weekly scheduled University’s Board of Regents meeting of the week. The rally’s goal was to highlight support for increased benefits and job security for non-tenure track faculty at the University. Other concerns included higher wages and increased representation in University policy-making.



LSA freshman Samantha Newton has a Valentine’s Day date with Art & Design seniors Callie Stewart and Tara Ellis on the Diag Friday.

Career advice seminar

Inequality lecture

WHAT: Frequently asked student questions about academics and careers will be addressed. WHO: The Career Center WHEN: Today from 10 to 11:30 a.m. WHERE: Comprehensive Studies Office, Angell Hall

WHAT: University professors will discuss how college systematically maintains inequality for women. WHO: Institue for Research on Women and Gender WHEN: Today at 4 p.m. WHERE: Lane Hall

WHERE: Campus Safety Services WHEN: Friday at about 8:40 p.m. WHAT: A warrant was canceled for a subject after he was arrested for failure to appear after driving with a suspended license, University police reported.

WHERE: Noble House, 615 Oxford Street WHEN: Saturday at about 2:40 a.m. WHAT: A suspect reported medical injury after recovering from a fall, University police reported. The extent of their injuries is unknown at this time.

MORE ONLINE Love Crime Notes?

Get more online at Wire

Dance performance WHAT: University Dance Department students attending the American College Dance Association’s regional conference will perform a preview of the works they are performing at the event. WHO: School of Music, Theatre, & Dance WHEN: Today at 4:15 p.m. WHERE: Dance Building, Studio A


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SENIOR NEWS EDITORS: Ian Dillingham, Sam Gringlas, Will Greenberg, Rachel Premack and Stephanie Shenouda ASSISTANT NEWS EDITORS: Allana Akhtar, Yardain Amron, Hillary Crawford, Amia Davis, Shoham Geva, Amabel Karoub, Thomas McBrien, Emilie Plesset, Max Radwin and Michael Sugerman

League larceny In a scrape

Obstruction of Did they yell justice Timber?

Editor in Chief Business Manager 734-418-4115 ext. 1251 734-418-4115 ext. 1241

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WHERE: Church Street carport WHEN: Friday at about 3 a.m. WHAT: A car was found with deliberate scratches on the sides,University police reported. It is said to have occurred between 7 p.m. and 3 a.m. There are currently no suspects.

420 Maynard St. Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1327 PETER SHAHIN KIRBY VOIGTMAN



WHERE: The Michigan League WHEN: Thursday at about 9:10 a.m. WHAT: A subject was reportedly disrupting ongoing events and possibly attempting to steal property, University police reported. He was given a warning and released.

FRIDAY: Photos of the Week



40 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK (FEB. 21, 1974)

The Michigan Daily —

History recital WHAT: Students and faculty will perform a musical history of the Star Spangled Banner. WHO: School of Music, Theatre, & Dance WHEN: Today at 8 p.m. WHERE: Stamps Auditorium, Walgreen Center CORRECTIONS l Please report any error in the Daily to



An inmate escaped from a prison in Florence, Ariz. to be with his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day Friday, CNN reported. The prisoner, Joseph Andrew Dekenipp was taken back into custody three hours after his escape.


The No. 15 Michigan men’s basketball lost to No. 21 Wisconsin Sunday. Forward Frank Kaminsky led the Badgers with 25 points and 11 rebounds. >> FOR MORE, SEE SPORTSMONDAY


In a speech Friday at a conference for LGBTQ youth, actress Ellen Page announced that she is gay, CNN reported. Page said in the speech that she was inspired to come out by fellow actress Laverne Cox and football player Michael Sam.

Megan McDonald and Daniel Wang Editorial Page Editors

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BUSINESS STAFF Amal Muzaffar Digital Accounts Manager Doug Solomon University Accounts Manager Leah Louis-Prescott Classified Manager Lexi Derasmo Local Accounts Manager Hillary Wang National Accounts Manager Ellen Wolbert and Sophie Greenbaum Production Managers Nolan Loh Special Projects Coordinator Nana Kikuchi Finance Manager Olivia Jones Layout Manager The Michigan Daily (ISSN 0745-967) is published Monday through Friday during the fall and winter terms by students at the University of Michigan. One copy is available free of charge to all readers. Additional copies may be picked up at the Daily’s office for $2. Subscriptions for fall term, starting in September, via U.S. mail are $110. Winter term (January through April) is $115, yearlong (September through April) is $195. University affiliates are subject to a reduced subscription rate. On-campus subscriptions for fall term are $35. Subscriptions must be prepaid. The Michigan Daily is a member of The Associated Press and The Associated Collegiate Press.

Recent Florida verdict revisits self-defence issue Like Zimmerman, Dunn is charged with the murder of a black teen

that count. The verdict is a far cry from one delivered in the Zimmerman case, when he was acquitted in July in the shooting death of 17-yearold Martin in Sanford, about 125 miles south of Jacksonville. Like Zimmerman, Dunn said he felt his life was in danger when JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — he fired the shots. But the verdict A verdict in the city of Jackson- suggested the jury struggled to ville is again raising the issue of see it that way. self-defense and race in Florida, Following an argument over just seven months after George loud music coming from the car Zimmerman was acquitted in that Davis was in, Dunn said the shooting of a black teenager, he shot at the car with his 9mm Trayvon Martin. handgun — he said he was afraid Michael Dunn, a white and thought he saw a shotgun in 47-year-old software developer, the car. could face 60 years in prison Legal experts say it’s likely that following his conviction at least one member of the jury Saturday on multiple counts of believed Dunn’s story — about attempted murder for shooting being scared, pulling a gun in into a carful of teenagers outside self-defense and firing the first a Jacksonville convenience store few shots, which killed Davis. in 2012. Jordan Davis, a black After more than 30 hours of 17 year old, was killed in the deliberations over four days, the shooting, but the jury couldn’t jury couldn’t agree on the firstreach a verdict on the first- degree murder charge. degree murder charge against “Although I don’t think the eviDunn. A mistrial was declared on dence supports this, it is possible

that the jury felt that Dunn was proper to stand his ground as to Davis, but his shooting of the others in the car was excessive,” said Kenneth Nunn, a law professor at the University of Florida. Nunn and other experts said Sunday that it’s possible the jury was confused regarding first-degree murder and the concept that it must be “premeditated.” Another area of confusion for the general public is Florida’s stand your ground defense law, which was a flashpoint during the Zimmerman case and, to a lesser degree, in this case. Zimmerman told police he shot Martin only after the AfricanAmerican teenager physically attacked him. Martin’s family and supporters say Zimmerman, who identifies himself as Hispanic, marked Martin as a potential criminal because he was black. In both the Dunn and Zimmerman trials, lawyers decided not to pursue a pretrial immunity hearing allowed by Florida’s stand-your-ground law. But in each case, jurors were told by the judges that they should acquit if they found the defendant had no duty to retreat and had the right to “stand his ground.” That phrase is part of standard instructions given jurors when they weigh a case involving a claim of self-defense. But the state’s stand your ground law was technically not part of either trial. “Dunn’s attorney argued selfdefense, which has been around forever,” said Miami defense lawyer and former assistant U.S. Attorney David Weinstein. “I think people will say that because some of the language from the stand your ground statute gets embedded into the jury instructions, that stand your ground has an effect.” Judge Russell L. Healey could impose a 60-year sentence — state statutes call for a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years on each second-degree attempted murder conviction. But the Florida Supreme Court could reduce the total sentence to 20 years if it decides that consecutive sentences are not appropriate when the sentences arise from one criminal episode, said Weinstein.


A rescuer carries a child to a truck for evacuation following an eruption of Mount Kelud, in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, Saturday. The powerful volcanic eruption on Indonesia’s most populous island blasted debris 18 kilometers into the air Friday.

Indonesian volcano brings death and economic benefit Eruption debris is used as a valuable construction addititive

caved in under the weight of ash. More than 100,000 people were evacuated to temporary shelters. On Saturday, scientists said Kelud’s activities were dying down, in line with its reputation as a mountain that blows its top dramatically but then quickly settles down for another 10 years SIDOMULYO, Indonesia (AP) or so. But authorities warned — The ash and debris that Indo- that water from its crater, along nesia’s Mount Kelud blasted from with rain, could bring deadly its belly brought death and mis- landslides of fresh ash and rocks ery, and disrupted international down river beds into villages and air traffic. But for many of the mil- valleys. lions of people cleaning up in the Army troops enforced a wake of the explosive eruption, ban on people returning to it was also a money earner and a houses within 10 kilometers shot of life for their crops. (6 miles) of the volcano, but “This is a blessing of the many people sneaked back to disaster,” said Imam Choiri, a check on livestock and clean up. farmer who was scraping up Authorities were finding it hard the ash from the road to use as to prevent people from returning, fertilizer on his small vegetable given the money farmers stand plot a few kilometers from the to lose by staying away, and said crater of the rumbling mountain. about 56,000 people remained in Choiri said locals believe the ash 89 shelters. helps drive away pests from crops. “Our cows need to be milked. The eruption of the 1,731-meter If they aren’t, they can get sick (5,680-foot) -high mountain on and die,” said Marjito, who was Java island late Thursday was riding on a motorbike with his one of the most dramatic to hit wife to his village around 5 kiloIndonesia in recent years, with meters (3 miles) from the crater. ash falling as far as 600 kilometers “We have so much work to do, (370 miles) away. including running and hiding Four people, including a from security officers,” said his 97-year-old woman, were killed wife, Dinayah. Like many Indowhen the roofs of their homes nesians, both go by a single name.

Volcanic ash and debris are also prized in the building industry because they make especially strong cement, and sand diggers can charge almost twice as much per load than they can for regular sand. Scores of diggers were collecting the fresh, easy-to-dig sand, packing the windfall into bags or onto trucks. “Kelud is a valuable source of livelihood to me and my family,” Harjito Huda, a sand miner from Ngancar village, said. Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang Ervan said that the Juanda international airport in the country’s secondlargest city, Surabaya, resumed operation late Saturday along with three others in Malang, Semarang and Cilacap. A total of seven airports on Java — Indonesia’s most densely populated island and home to more than half of the country’s 240 million people — had been closed because of ash on the runway and on planes. Three other airports in Bandung, Solo and Yogyakarta are scheduled to reopen later Sunday or Tuesday at the latest, Ervan said. The Darwin, Australia-based Volcanic Ash Advisory Center informed that the conditions in Indonesia are safe for airlines, he said.


3A — Monday, February 17, 2014

The Michigan Daily —

Dancing the night away 1



(1 ,2, 5, 6 and 7) Students at the Dance Marathon stand for 30 hours to raise money to improve the quality of life for children with disabilities Saturday. 3) LSA junior Alexandra Soos hula hoops Saturday at the Indoor Track and Field Building. (4) LSA sophomore Allison Mayer dances with Mott’s hospital patient at Dance Marathon.

MARATHON From Page 1A the events held throughout the year allowed students to personally interact with the charity’s recipients. “They get an idea what the kids go through, especially my son,” Calvin said. “This is a good way to see how he would feel even after maybe a sixhour day and how he gets exhausted.” Many students and parents visited participants throughout the event to show the dancers support. “We want people to see what we do,” VandenBerg said. “We find that that is more meaningful and helps

inspire them to donate.” In addition to-last minute donations by visitors, participants were encouraged to use social media to share a donation website link. Some students on the Marathon leadership team also stood on street corners during the event to collect more donations. Over varying intervals of time, Marathon leaders taught participants parts of a line dance that encompassed multiple songs from artists including One Direction, Dream Street, Grease and Luke Bryan, which they would perform in the last hour of the event. In addition to learning the line dance, dancers spent the 30 hours

interacting with the families by playing basketball, soccer, video games and earning points with their teams. At night when the families left, the Marathon threw a rave to boost morale and energize dancers after a long day on their feet. “There was a rough patch but the rave built me back up,” LSA senior Kallie Alpiner said. “You hit a wall but the rave pushes you over it and everyone is supporting. It’s for the kids.” Toward the end of the marathon, participants began to feel the pain of standing all night. Many students brought tennis balls and PVC pipes to roll


over their feet. “You just keep persevering,” LSA junior Erin Figley said. “You have to look at the kids who struggle with these things and take into account everything they have to go through and overcome.” In the final hour of the event, participants performed the line dance they learned throughout the 30 hours. Many dancers cried and hugged each other when the total amount of money that had been raised was announced. “Watching all the families and all this hard work we’ve been doing is culminating in this event,” LSA freshman Wendy Wismer said. “It’s amazing.”





4A — Monday, February 17, 2014

The Michigan Daily —

The failure of emergency management

Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan since 1890. 420 Maynard St. Ann Arbor, MI 48109 PETER SHAHIN EDITOR IN CHIEF



Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily’s editorial board. All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.


A SMART(er) option Michigan should pass bill for a more affordable student loan plan


ast Tuesday, state Sen. Jim Ananich (D–Flint) and state Rep. David Knezek (D– Dearborn Heights) introduced a proposal that may lift the burden off some low- and middle-income Michigan college students. The proposal, called the Smarter Michigan and Retaining Talent Tuition Program, would provide college students interest-free loans if they agree to pay a small percentage of their income back after graduation. Michigan legislators should work to pass SMART because it provides a more reasonable approach to paying student loans and could make college more accessible. SMART will begin as a five-year pilot program with $2 million of loan funding. The loans will be given to 200 in-state students whose adjusted gross income is less than $250,000. Half of the students awarded would attend an in-state public university, while the other half would attend an in-state community college. If more than 200 eligible students apply, then students will be randomly chosen out of a lottery. Loans will not exceed the cost of tuition. For every year a student receives the loan, they will have to pay back five years’ worth of payments. If the student went to a community college, they will have to pay 2 percent of their adjusted gross income, while a public university student would pay 4 percent. Community college students can’t take out more than three years’ worth of loans, and public university students can’t take out more than five. Since these rates are fixed, and the repayments stop after 15 or 25 years depending on the school type, this means some students would pay less than they took out, and others would pay more, depending on their postgraduation income. The program requires that all awarded students must maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average, which ensures that students spend their time in classes instead of juggling multiple jobs. This forward-thinking plan will benefit college students and the state economy because it prevents lifelong debt by capping the number of years a student will have to pay back the state. As of 2013, 62 percent of Michigan students graduated with an average amount of $28,840 in debt. This becomes even more problematic

for students who continue their education, or have a reasonable gap between graduation and their first job. Unlike normal loans, repayments for this loan will start once the student starts a job and earns an adjusted gross income above the federal poverty level. This makes it much more feasible for a recent graduate to pay back a large sum of money right after they enter their first full-time job. College could become more accessible to lower-income students with this program, and has proven to do so in other countries. With a degree, students will be able to go into higherpaying fields and pay back into the system, making it self-sustaining over time. Countries like the United Kingdom and Australia have student repayment programs in place for their entire country. In Australia, the payment repayment program has been very successful, as “it has financed expanded access to higher education, contained tuition subsidy costs to taxpayers and managed risk for students and graduates. There is no such thing as student loan default in Australia.” Students should not be discouraged from obtaining a college education because of the price. Michigan should pass this proposal while putting forward even more legislation that makes college more accessible and less of a debt trap. While the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act passed under Obama’s administration has the ability to help many students and control student debt, state legislators need to do their part to provide their students with more opportunities for an affordable college education.

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS Barry Belmont, Nivedita Karki, Jacob Karafa, Jordyn Kay, Kellie Halushka, Aarica Marsh, Megan McDonald, Victoria Noble, Michael Schramm, Matthew Seligman, Paul Sherman, Allison Raeck, Daniel Wang, Derek Wolfe

unfairly portrayed as negligent and incompetent. “Anything that we do is the result of our mismanagement, and our dysfunctional politics,” Majewski said. “‘We can’t govern ourselves’ is the narrative that’s been put out to the people and I think that’s been accepted.” Despite dramatic revenue decline, especially in hard-hit cities like Hamtramck, citizens still expect the same quality of services. When those services aren’t provided, little consideration is given to local leaders’ condensed toolkit — and rightfully so. Additionally, Majewski suggested that emergency managers are, at least theoretically, responsible for correcting these perceived failings. In other words, the EFM instructs, obstructs or nannies — depending on your view — municipal officials to prevent the reoccurrence of past mistakes once governance is reverted to local control. “If this narrative is that local government is incapable of managing itself, then in theory the emergency manager comes in and is our trainer, right?” Majewski said. “But in reality those decisions are made and those cuts are made, or those budgets are made — essentially all decisions are made … without the engagement at any level of elected officials. … In reality on the ground that mentoring and that engagement does not happen. So it really is a dictatorship.” In an interview with the Daily last Thursday, Majewski provided her specific frustrations. Simple communication with Square has even been difficult. “Emergency managers don’t have to answer in any way to the elected officials,” Majewski said. “Since (Square) came in on July 1st, we have seen not one single number — no budget information at all has been given to us.” Similar issues have arisen in other cities. Emergency managers in Pontiac, for example, ultimately cut part-time city councilmembers’ pay to zero, and never restored their salaries, citing the council’s lack of cooperation. Financial managers similarly reduced Flint City Councilmembers’ annual pay from $20,000 to $7,500. In practice, how can any mentoring relationship develop when an obvious antagonism permeates city hall? Of course, local officials — usurped by Lansing in their own eyes — are frequently reluctant to work with state appointees. But that isn’t always true. Hamtramck City Council actually requested emergency management, hoping the appointee would use their broad powers to put the city on better fiscal footing. Regardless, any instruction from financial managers isn’t translating into sustained success. Two Michigan cities have departed a state of financial emergency and then have later re-succumbed to emergency management — Hamtramck last year and Flint in 2011. A third’s return,

Highland Park, seems inevitable. So how do we make emergency managers under Public Act 436 more accountable to citizens’ long-term benefit? Fortunately, barriers to improving the existing law are simple. For one, locally elected officials should have more say in their emergency manager appointment — increasing the likelihood of creating a positive working relationship with local officials. Along those lines, it might be more palatable at times to temporarily grant local mayors themselves — still responsible to voters — with the powers of financial managers. As Majewski pointed out, emergency managers oftentimes have never run a city. Second, the governor needs to mandate regular reporting to local officials — entirely nonexistent currently — to facilitate some level of mentorship and a smooth transition back to local government. “One would hope that the emergency manager would be working toward a seamless transition — so that when she walks out the door, you’re already up and rolling,” Majewski said. “But that doesn’t have to happen. … We could do such a better job if we were informed and part of the decision-making process.” And shouldn’t that be the point? Ultimately local control will be restored, ideally on better fiscal footing. Anything less is an unquestionable affront to democracy. But even that’s been uncertain at times. In Pontiac, for example, emergency management ended last August, but oversight persisted from the “receivership-transition advisory board” with the authority to approve all municipal contracts, hiring and spending. One member of that board is Pontiac’s former antagonistic emergency manager Louis Schimmel. Critics contend that this constitutes nothing more than continued state control — without the supposed legitimacy of financial emergency. But what are our alternatives? Peck and Majewski think they have the answer. Bailout. And though the word has developed a negative connotation in our lexicon, we previously used other words to describe the same phenomenon — revenue-sharing key among them. “Our revenue-sharing has been cut to the degree that the narrative now has become absolutely one of bailout,” Majewski said at Peck’s presentation. “Promises that were made to municipalities decades ago and then slowly clawed back — there’s no recognition that those promises were ever made. Now in order for us to reclaim those promises, we’re coming begging and our requests are delegitimized.” “The austerity is the new norm.” — Alexander Hermann can be reached at



Pathos for philanthropy

“Sign up for the bone marrow registry, it only takes five minutes!” For a week I stood eagerly beside Be The Match’s table in Mason Hall promoting the organization’s bone marrow registry. As people walked by, some smiled, most ignored me and some shuddered at the misconceived notion that I was going to strap them down and give them a spinal tap. Most people don’t know what our bone marrow registry is or are stuck on false misinterpretations about it from watching too much “House” or “Grey’s Anatomy.” When students approach the table, I tell them that bone marrow transplants are potential lifesavers for people with leukemia, lymphoma or other blood-borne diseases, used often as a last resort. Registering is as simple as filling out a form and having a quick cheek swab, and the information is saved on a database until you are 61 years old. If they find that you are a match, which is pretty rare, there is a new donating procedure that is just as easy as giving blood, used far more frequently nowadays. Even people familiar with bone marrow will be surprised about how easy and painless new technology has made donating. I find that because of this new technology, registering for, and if possible, donating bone marrow, is the easiest way to help save someone’s life. However, in order to have someone sign up and help, they have to feel emotionally drawn to the cause. They have to hear someone’s story or feel the grave importance of signing up. To expand the registry, we rely on our most effective technique: education. Once people hear about the new procedure, they are likely to sign up, but getting them to listen to my spiel remains difficult. Recently, Michigan won a battle against Ohio State University by signing up more people for the registry. We collected 300 names and though this is an amazing victory, the number could be so much higher. Education and raising awareness comes with its own challenges of being active and assertive in public. During the drives, I feel


espite the controversy surrounding Public Act 436 — better known as Michigan’s latest rendition of the emergency manager law — there’s an intuitive appeal to state-financial oversight for many citizens. Local leaders, even more than ALEXANDER their federal and HERMANN state counterparts, are incapable of fiscal responsibility — whether for political reasons or general incompetence. Or at least that’s the dominant narrative. However, according to Jamie Peck and local leaders across the state, there’s another story worth telling. Peck, a professor from the University of British Columbia, delivered an insightful presentation sponsored by the Detroit School of Urban Studies on Jan. 31 regarding the decentralization of austerity policies in the wake of the United States’ most recent financial crisis in 2007-2008. The Detroit School, a graduate-student group at the University, facilitates dialogues focused on the shared problems of Detroit and other rust-belt cities. To Peck, though all sectors in society have paid a price for the “Great Recession,” none has footed the bill quite like local governments. Facing declining tax revenues and pressures to tighten budgets, coinciding with simultaneous reductions in revenue sharing, local officials have been forced to utilize extreme measures. This reality arguably holds most true in Michigan than anywhere else in the country. Here, seven cities across the state have been placed under emergency management since 2009. Currently, Michigan’s state treasurer Kevin Clinton is also reviewing three additional cities’ finances — Highland Park, Lincoln Park and Royal Oak Township. One audience member attending Peck’s talk lent considerable credibility, direct experience and additional perspective to his claims. Karen Majewski — mayor of Hamtramck since 2005 — has as much experience as anyone working with state-appointed emergency financial managers. When Cathy Square took over as financial manager of Hamtramck last summer, it became the second time the city has entered emergency management since 2000. Majewski’s stint as mayor coincides with both crises. “We’re stuck between a rock and a hard place,” Majewski said from the audience. “We have no room to maneuver. The forces that are controlling our financial possibilities come dictated from above.” Majewski highlighted the sentiment that local officials are

like a saleswoman, reading the body language of the listener and knowing what to say to make them feel the importance of the cause. I thrive off the rush when someone signs up, knowing I’ve made a tangible difference. It feels even better when someone comes to the table to inform me that they’ve been called to be someone’s match. Volunteering through education doesn’t feel like raising money, where the donor often doesn’t know exactly where their money is going or how it will be used. Of course, fundraising is an excellent way to make a difference — nothing would advance without a financial push — but talking with people from the community is a more direct effort to help those in need. Personally, I feel invested in a cause once I know more about it. Through education, I realize the potential to make a direct impact on someone else’s life. It is a different type of commitment than merely buying a cookie at a bake sale and forgetting about the cause 10 minutes later. Bone marrow registry members turn off their apathy and invest themselves in knowledge. Because they stop to listen, they become larger than a dollar in a cash box — they strengthen their empathetic fibers for the good of humanity. Every swab increases the chance of saving someone’s life and, because finding a match is so rare, there is a potential for a special, deep connection with the possible recipient. Education doesn’t only come through standing at a table and being aggressive to passersby. Next semester we are planning on having a panel discussion and bringing speakers who have donated or received donations. We are also planning to possibly reach out to high school students so people can be aware from an earlier age. There are so many creative ways in which to spread awareness. You just have to be creative enough to get people to listen. Education is the gateway to developing passion and getting those philanthropic results. Karin Lavie is an LSA senior.

No more excuses Quick! When was the last time that the University of Michigan had a 10-percent Black student enrollment? That was a trick question: the answer is “never.” But many may answer “before Proposal 2,” which reflects the mainstream University narrative on the current crisis in minority enrollment. The Proposal 2 narrative champions the University and attributes major setbacks in minority recruitment to the passing of the 2006 ballot initiative, which effectively banned race-based affirmative action in Michigan public institutions. For example, according to a recent article on the #BBUM demands, President Coleman claimed that the administration has “both hands tied behind (its) back” and will “wait for the Supreme Court.” Proposal 2 has acted as an excuse for the administration to shield its poor record on diversity. This narrative paints the administration as hamstrung by law and therefore unable to successfully create a diverse and inclusive campus. It spotlights the University’s Supreme Court affirmative action cases to portray the University as a leader in diversity rather than a place which has consistently lagged behind its so-called “peer institutions.” Thus, this narrative depicts decreased minority enrollment as a new problem rather than a historical and enduring reality. What has been framed as a singular cause and effect is actually a longer, two-part process: an initial drop in enrollment of underrepresented minorities from 1997-2006 and a second decline from the time of Proposal 2 to the present. While Black enrollment did drop significantly in

the years immediately after Proposal 2 — from nearly 7 percent to under 5 percent in 2010, where it has remained ever since — it was preceded by an extenuated drop in the years prior. When President Bollinger arrived, Black enrollment under former President Duderstadt’s Michigan Mandate had reached an institutional high of nearly 9 percent. This was the closest Michigan has ever come to the elusive 10 percent demand of the Black Action Movement in 1970. But as the institutional commitment to diversity waned, minority enrollment followed suit. As Proposal 2 came into effect, the nearly 9 percent high point of 1996 had already dropped to 6.8 percent in 2007, suggesting that changes before the implementation of Proposal 2 caused this initial drop. Since then, the University has proclaimed itself a warrior for affirmative action: In Provost Pollack’s university-wide e-mail, she reiterated that “Michigan has a proud history of fighting for social justice, including taking the fight to promote diversity all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.” But again, this relies on the nearsighted, myopic view. There are ways in which Proposal 2 has had devastating effects on underrepresented minority enrollment. Latin@ enrollment has been a neglected topic because enrollment numbers have not noticeably dropped. However, its steadiness appears less reassuring when we take Latin@ state and national population growth into account. Between 2000 and 2010, Michigan’s population remained relatively constant, while the Latin@ population in the state grew nearly

35 percent. Yet that rise has yet to be reflected in admissions figures. Perhaps the most silenced narrative of all is the one regarding Native American enrollment, where Proposal 2’s effects are most devastating. In 2009, 254 Native American students were enrolled at the University, a number that would face a 71-percent decrease over the three following years. In 2006, Native Americans comprised 1 percent of the total enrollment, 0.7 percent in 2009, and a mere 0.2 percent ever since 2010. As both of these examples show, Proposal 2 did have devastating effects on all underrepresented minorities, a side of the story that is often obscured by the mainstream narrative. Immediately after the passage of Proposal 2 in 2006, President Coleman assured the 2,000 activists gathered on the Diag: “I will do everything that’s legal to help us attract minority students. But it’s already having a chilling effect.” In reality, that “chill” was nearly a decade old then, and now approaches two decades. So when Provost Martha Pollack admitted that the “percentage of underrepresented minority students on campus has fallen noticeably in the last few years,” we must ask ourselves: “Are they recycling the old Proposal 2 narrative of recent decline and a willing, but hampered, administration?” It has been nearly 20 years since the University made a true institutional commitment to diversity. It is time to move beyond equivocations. This article was written by members of the United Coalition for Racial Justice.


5A — Monday, February 17, 2014


The Thing-O-Matic, an experimental 3D printer used before the 3D printing lab came into being, sits as a museum piece in the 3D printing lab in the Duderstadt center. It is suitable for hobbyists and was used to experiment with the idea of using 3D printing for practical uses.

A 3D plaster model of Bo Schembechler sits in a glass case in the 3D printing lab at the Duderstadt center, courtesy of artist John Thomas.

3D PRINTING: A new endeavor open to the Average Joe

Digital fabrication specialist Shawn O’Grady demonstrates how to use a handheld An object is printed for a team club in a robotics competition in the 3D printing lab Digital fabrication specialist Shawn O’Grady examines a functioning model solar laser scanner, which is used to create 3D computer models of various objects in in the Duderstadt center. panel that was made in the 3D printing lab in the Duderstadt center. the 3D printing lab in the Duderstadt center.

PRINTING From Page 1A should be a process where someone with no experience with 3D printing or no experience with the CAD stuff could walk in and have a conversation with someone and discuss what they want to have,” Tien said. Located on State Street, Thingsmiths is in a small room above Five Guys. Printed objects sit on shelves around the room – a multicolored rocket, a tiny, detailed Eiffel Tower and even a small bust of a Thingsmiths volunteer. With a printer running, the smell of a glue gun lingers and it sounds vaguely like a Clintonera Ethernet connection.

TRANSPLANT From Page 1A Donate Life Coalition of Michigan. Recipients, 58 of whom received heart transplants from the University, hailed from many transplant centers. Other facilities present included Cleveland Clinic Transplant

FOSSILS From Page 1A Smith said, explaining the rarity of the fossil. Wilson and Mohabey named the snake Sanajeh indicus, meaning “ancient gape from India.” This name comes from the fact that the snake had its jaw

BODY-PEACE From Page 1A with student organization Do Random Acts of Kindness. It encouraged students to build a more positive self-image through writing negative thoughts and feelings about their bodies on pieces of paper and then crumpling them up and throwing them away. Volunteers also handed out free flowers with inspirational quotes attached.

Those printers, Tien said, are similar to industrial models – minus a few hundred thousand dollars. Nevertheless, he said the printers have 90 percent of the capability of the arm-and-a-leg ones. “A lot of it is a difference in volume and a difference in precision,” Tien said. “If you’re prototyping an automotive engine, you need the accuracy to be down to 10 microns and you need to be able to print a 250-pound piece. The average consumer is not gonna do that.” The low-cost printers allow the products to remain relatively cheap. For instance, a custombuilt iPhone case costs about $10. That’s one thing the average customer might like from a 3D

printer. Custom-made cookie cutters, jewelry and figurines are other options. Most prominent is the potential 3D printers have for fixing or tinkering with household objects. Tien said custom-made fixes for a broken or off-kilter object is where he sees 3D printing integrating itself most prominently in the typical consumer’s life. “The end target is the average person on the street,” Tien said. “They’ll say, ‘I broke this part, I need it fixed by tomorrow. I could order it through Amazon and maybe have it in a day, or I could have it in an hour.’” Synder added that 3D printing could help eliminate the custom of tossing broken objects. Along with making it easier to fix broken

objects, Synder said 3D printing can make objects more personalized, more sentimental and more likely to not end up in America’s growing landfills. “You can throw away your blender because it’s a blender,” Synder said. “It doesn’t work, why would you fix it? But you’d never throw away that treasured stuffed animal.” Allowing people to select their color and monogram their products will ensure they will hold on to them, which is possible with 3D printed products. “Creating more personalization in the manufacturing business, getting people to be really attached to their appliances or new technology, they’re gonna wanna fix them more often

instead of just throwing them away,” Snyder said. “3D modelling offers a really new exciting possibility in that field because you can personalize products.” However, 3D printing is still relatively unknown. That lack of awareness, Tien said, is his business’ key issue. He said he became interested in it in his early adulthood, during his college years at Grand Valley State University and running a coffee shop in Midland. “I mean it is cool, right?” Tien said. “I’ll be honest, I like shiny new things. I just am one of those people.” He chuckled and added that he was also inspired by Robohand, a 3D-printed medical advancement that’s helped over 200 people globally.

“It’s one of those great examples where the average guy has a problem, collaborates with someone across the world online and comes up with a solution that’s being spread around the world and actually helping people,” Tien said. “It’s hard not to fall in love with that sort of narrative.” That echoes the story that Snyder has seen in her time at Thingsmiths. She said 3D printing is enabling people who lack manufacturing or design training like her and her peers. “I think to some extent every person is a creator is a designer,” Snyder said. “Realizing that we all have that responsibility and thinking of smarter solutions working with everyone can really make that difference.”

Center, Henry Ford Hospital, William Beaumont Hospital, DMC Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Spectrum Health and Cincinnati Transplant Center. This accomplishment was also a tribute to American Heart Month, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year after being signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson in

1964. Setting the record required detailed criteria requested by the Guinness World Record organization including medical proof from each recipient and representatives from each center. Official counts were made in a specific manner to ensure that the world record was broken. “We want to show how

important is to get people involved in signing up on the registry and making their wishes known,” Johnson said. As a representative of Donate Life Coalition of Michigan, Johnson’s goal was to spread organ donor registry awareness as a result of the gathering. Currently, there are 3,000 people in Michigan waiting for an organ transplant. One organ

donor can save the lives of eight people, and with eyes and tissue donations, one person can improve the lives of up to 50 people. “If we can make people aware of how important it is to sign up

to donate, we can do something with these numbers and help these numbers diminish for sure,” Johnson said. Donor registry is open at and

hinge in front of its neck, instead of behind the head as many modern snakes do. As a result, it could not open its mouth as wide. Wilson added that not many people realize that dinosaurs could be prey for other types of animals. This specific dinosaur, a sauropod, would likely have grown to be about 70 feet in length. However, at the time of its

death, it was only 19.6 inches long. This research fits into Wilson’s larger question about how India’s migration across the world affected its biodiversity. At the time that this fossil was created, India was likely a solitary island just north of the equator. By studying fossils from different time periods, Wilson and other paleontologists can

compare the animals to their counterparts in Asia and North America, among other continents, to infer evolutionary relationships hundreds of millions of years ago. The new exhibit comes as part of the current LSA theme semester, “India in the World.” The Museum of Natural history will have another exhibit opening March 15 called “Wild India.”

Peterson estimated that about 700 flowers were handed out throughout the day, and said that most participants had a positive reaction to the event. “Almost every person that participated in the ‘Trash Your Trash Talk’ activity commented on how much they enjoyed it, and what a good idea it was,” she said. On Sunday evening, the group moved their efforts into the virtual sphere, starting a Twitter campaign for students

to tweet messages of hope and inspiration, as well as personal experiences about eating disorders and eating disorder recovery, under the hashtag #EDUM —Eating Disorders at the University of Michigan. Peterson said the group chose to add a virtual component to the week because of the amount of time college students spend online. The Body-Peace Corps, along with MBody and the University Health Service, will continue

to host events through Friday. Planned activities include workshops on mindful eating, a documentary screening and a crafting night. The groups will conclude the week with the implementation of Operation Beautiful, a project that encourages students to write positive post-it notes. “People can look out for inspirational uplifting messages that we’re going to be posting all around campus,” Peterson said.


6A — Monday, February 17, 2014

The Michigan Daily —

Snake-handling pastor dies from reptile bite Man refused medical treatment after bitten during church service

MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (AP) — Jamie Coots, a snake-handling Kentucky pastor who appeared on the National Geographic television reality show “Snake Salvation,” died Saturday after being bitten by a snake. Coots was handling a rattlesnake during a Saturday night service at his Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro when he was bit, another preacher, Cody Winn, told WBIR-TV. “Jamie went across the floor. He had one of the rattlers in his hand, he came over and he was standing beside me. It was plain view, it just turned its head and bit him in the back of the hand ... within a second,” Winn said. When an ambulance arrived at

the church at 8:30 p.m., they were told Coots had gone home, the Middlesboro Police Department said in a news release. Contacted at his house, Coots refused medical treatment. Emergency workers left about 9:10 p.m. When they returned about an hour later, Coots was dead from a venomous snake bite, police said. In January 2013, Coots was caught transporting three rattlesnakes and two copperheads through Knoxville, Tenn. Wildlife officials confiscated the snakes, and Coots pleaded guilty to illegally wildlife possession. He was given one year of unsupervised probation. Coots said then he needed the snakes for religious reasons, citing a Bible passage in the book of Mark that reads, in part: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink

any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” Coots said he took the passage at face value. “We literally believe they want us to take up snakes,” Coots told The Associated Press in February 2013. “We’ve been serpent handling for the past 20 or 21 years.” After he was bitten Saturday night, Coots dropped the snakes, but then picked them back up and continued on. Within minutes, Winn said Coots headed to the bathroom. His son, Cody, told the television station his dad had been bit eight times before, but never had such a severe reaction. Cody Coots said he thought the bite would be just like all the others. “We’re going to go home, he’s going to lay on the couch, he’s going to hurt, he’s going to pray for a while and he’s going to get better. That’s what happened every other time, except this time was just so quick and it was crazy, it was really crazy,” Cody Coots said.

Four South Korean tourists killed in Sinai bus bombing First visitor attack in a decade may be linked to al-Qaida CAIRO (AP) — An explosion tore through a bus filled with South Korean sightseers in the Sinai Peninsula on Sunday, killing at least four people and raising fears that Islamic militants have renewed a bloody campaign to wreck Egypt’s tourism industry. The bombing near the tip of the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba was the first attack against tourists in Sinai in nearly a decade. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. But the blast bore the hallmarks of attacks blamed on the al-Qaida-linked militant groups that have been battling government forces in Sinai’s restive north for years.

At least three South Korean tourists were killed and 12 seriously wounded, according to Egyptian security officials. The Egyptian bus driver was also among the dead, the officials said. “I am deeply saddened by the incident,” Tourism Minister Hesham Zazou told state TV. The Egyptian presidency called the attack a “despicable act of cowardice” and vowed to bring the culprits to justice. Egypt’s vital tourism sector, which normally accounts for about 11 percent of the economy and 20 percent of all foreign currency revenue, has been badly hit by the deadly turmoil that has roiled the country since the 2011 revolt that overthrew ruler Hosni Mubarak. Sunday’s blast came as signs of a slow recovery in the industry were emerging, especially at Red Sea resorts in Sinai like Sharm el-Sheik.

“The sad consequence for Egypt is that this takes the tourism industry and devastates it for years into the future,” said Jon Alterman, director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. Egyptian security officials said they believe the blast was caused by either a car bomb or a roadside bomb that was detonated by remote control. Rescue workers found the remains of four and perhaps five people, according to Khaled Abu Hashem, the head of ambulance services in southern Sinai. In Seoul, the foreign ministry said in a text message that 31 passengers from a church in Jincheon were being led by a South Korean tour guide. Two of its citizens were killed and nine wounded, the ministry added.

Classifieds RELEASE DATE– Monday, February 17, 2014

Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left and Israeli Labor party lawmaker Hilik Bar attend a meeting with a delegation of mostly Israeli university students and activists at the presidential headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Sunday.

Palestinian president shows flexibility on refugee issue Abass said he doesn’t want Israel overwhelmed RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian president on Sunday reassured a group of young Israeli activists visiting his West Bank compound that he has no intention of flooding Israel with Palestinian refugees — his most ambitious attempt yet to directly influence Israeli public opinion over the heads of a largely hard-line Israeli leadership. President Mahmoud Abbas made a series of conciliatory statements on some of the most sensitive issues in peace talks, including alleged Palestinian incitement against Israel and recognition of Jewish suffering in the Holocaust, as he sought to rally support for U.S.-backed peace efforts. Abbas delivered his message at a sensitive time in the peace talks. The sides have been conducting behind-the-scenes negotiations for nearly seven months. With an April target date approaching, there have been no signs of progress. The talks have been marred by finger pointing, with both sides accusing each other of hindering the negotiations with

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ACROSS 1 Tubers rich in beta carotene 5 Wasn’t indecisive 10 Bouillabaisse, e.g. 14 Taken by mouth, as medication 15 Mrs. Gorbachev 16 Dancer-turnedspy Mata 17 Favorite Hall of Famer of the 39th U.S. president? 19 Tablet with a “mini” version 20 Tummy muscles 21 Egyptian cross with a top loop 22 Black belt activity 24 Favorite Hall of Famer of the 7th U.S. president? 27 Opposite of vain 28 “How awful!” 29 Greets with a hand gesture 30 Hook’s sidekick 31 ChapStick target 34 Forewarning 35 Visits the mall 37 Computer support person 38 “__ and Peace” 39 Spring melt 40 Acted without speaking 41 British rule in India 42 “The Bachelorette” contestant, e.g. 44 Favorite Hall of Famer of the 17th and 36th U.S. presidents? 49 Catching some z’s 50 Shed skin 51 Tackle a slope 54 Celebrity 55 Favorite Hall of Famer of the 38th U.S. president? 58 Fill-in worker 59 Greek i’s 60 Revered one 61 Historic times 62 Midterms and finals 63 Tour de France, e.g.

DOWN 1 Discipline using mats 2 Many an Egyptian 3 Red Planet explorer 4 Shifty 5 Borneo primates 6 “Sit!” 7 10 percent church donation 8 Opposite of WNW 9 Period before the Renaissance 10 Avoid, as duty 11 Spanish finger food 12 Verse writer’s muse 13 Add a lane to, as a highway 18 Animal houses 23 Back woe 25 Paradise lost 26 Leap 27 Mother, to baby 29 Bowl over 30 Female pig 31 Bubbly citrus drink

32 Cake decorator 33 Scholar’s deg. 35 Tina Fey attribute 36 Journey to Mecca 37 Longtime Yugoslav president 39 Shade provider 40 Hazy 42 Tried to hit in paintball 43 Except if

44 What haste makes 45 Fall bloomer 46 Andean alpaca kin 47 U. of Maryland team 48 Leaves out 52 Fast food tycoon Ray 53 Vegging out 56 Weed killer 57 39-Down with cones

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rigid demands. Speaking to some 300 Israeli university students and activists, Abbas signaled new flexibility in one of the thorniest issues of the conflict: Palestinian refugees’ “right of return” to lost properties in what is now Israel. “I am not looking to drown Israel with millions of refugees to change its nature,” Abbas said. “We want to put the problem on the table and find a creative solution... you will be satisfied and we will be satisfied.” The fate of the Palestinian refugees is one of the most emotional issues in the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. Some 700,000 Palestinians either fled or were expelled from their homes during the war surrounding Israel’s establishment in 1948. Today, the number of refugees and their descendants number about 5 million people, spread mostly throughout the West Bank, Gaza Strip and neighboring Arab countries. In Israel, there is a broad consensus against accepting a large-scale resettling of these refugees in any future peace deal, fearing they would dilute Israel’s Jewish character. Israeli leaders have long demanded that the Palestinian leadership publicly renounce the right of return, and say refugees should be resettled in a future Palestinian state or offered compensation. In Palestinian society, though, there is an overwhelming demand for refugees to be able to return home. Abbas is himself is a refugee from what is now Safed in northern Israel, though he has said he has no intention of seeking to live there. The refugee issue is one of the Palestinians’ most important cards in the peace talks, and something that is unlikely to be addressed until the final stage of negotiations. Taysir Nasrallah, the head of a committee representing Palestinian refugees, said “no one can concede” their rights and said Abbas’ comments were politically motivated. “We will retain these rights no matter how long it would take us to achieve them,” he said. Kerry is expected back in the region in the coming weeks with a proposed outline of a final peace deal. By hosting the Israeli delegation, Abbas was attempting to reach out to the Israeli public, where skepticism about reaching an agreement remains high. Sitting in front of a large poster of a dove soaring over the ancient walled city of Jerusalem with a Palestinian flag attached to its wings, Abbas ran through a list of oft-repeated Israeli maxims questioning the Palestinians’ readiness to make peace. Addressing a common Israeli notion that the Palestinian leader speaks moderately to Israelis and foreign leaders but takes a tougher tone with his own people, Abbas said, “We don’t have two languages. We speak in one language. we have nothing to hide.” As for the common saying by Israeli leaders that the country does not have a true partner for peace, Abbas said, “I am your partner.” Israeli leaders often accuse the Palestinians of promoting incitement and hatred in textbooks and official media. “This is true. It exists,” Abbas

said regarding incitement, without elaborating as to what kind. But he said Israel refused an offer to establish a joint committee with the Palestinians and the U.S. to address incitement in both Israeli and Palestinian societies. Abbas seeks the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip — territories captured by Israel in 1967 — for a Palestinian state alongside Israel. He has said he would be willing to alter the border with “land swaps” to allow Israel to keep some of the Jewish settlements it has built. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to retain parts of the West Bank and opposes any division of east Jerusalem, home to sensitive religious sites. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005, and Hamas militants subsequently seized control of the area. The Hamas takeover, which was followed by years of rocket attacks on Israel, has raised fears that the West Bank could follow a similar path if Israel withdraws. Abbas said Palestinians seek a demilitarized state, which he said proves Palestinians do not seek violence with Israel. He also rejected claims that a book he published in the 1980s denied the Holocaust. “I know millions of Jews were killed in the Holocaust,” he said. While claiming east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, Abbas said he wants it to function alongside Israel’s capital, keeping Jerusalem as one undivided city. “What is the problem with that? This is coexistence,” Abbas said. As for claims in Israel that he rejected a generous peace offer from former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008, Abbas said peace talks fell through because “Olmert fell” out of power. Olmert resigned amid corruption allegations. “We had to go back to square one,” he said. In a question and answer session, Israelis asked repeatedly if he would be willing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, one of Netanyahu’s key demands. Abbas has rejected the demand, saying it would undercut the rights of refugees and Israel’s own Arab minority. But he said if Israel received such official recognition from the United Nations, he would accept it as well. The audience of young Israelis, mostly affiliated with dovish political parties and coexistence activities, greeted Abbas’ comments with multiple bursts of applause. Israeli Labor party lawmaker Hilik Bar, who organized the event, called the meeting “unprecedented.” It was only a decade ago that the Muqataa, the Palestinian government headquarters where they were visiting, was under siege by the Israeli army. Today, the army keeps Ramallah, the administrative and financial capital of the West Bank, off-limits to Israeli Jewish citizens, making Sunday’s trip a first visit for many of the Israelis, who took photos of themselves next to Palestinian flags inside the Muqataa. “You need to pinch yourself,” Amir Rosenthal, 26, a philosophy and economy student at the University of Haifa, said about meeting Abbas. “It’s real. He’s friendly, he wants peace, and I’m here in Ramallah.”

The Michigan Daily —


Monday, February 17, 2014 — 7A



The bold women of ‘Broad City’




‘Endless Love’ a familiar yet endearing adaptation Clichés abound in Feste’s forbidden love story By ANDREW MCCLURE Daily Arts Writer

One thing’s for sure, “Endless Love” is a 100-minute-long version of what you thought it was going to be: a privileged and virginal C+ Ivy-bound belle with a bad case Endless Love of dickbag daddy issues falls Quality 16 despairingly for and Rave 20 the plain-whiteUniversal tee-to-dinner, working-class tough guy. The non-erect script trips over its pseudo-erection of unneeded subplots, a sappy middle school soundtrack and, really, a love that seems endless only if you unambiguously define “endless” as “eh, er, about two months.” That said, the film still holds some redeeming value in its approach and twists. Jade Butterfield (Gabriella

Wilde, “The Three Musketeers”) just graduated high school with exceptional marks, exceptional looks and what seems to be an exceptional future at Brown University. The only problem is that she has zero friends. That’s not hyperbole; “zero friends,” as in some classmate asks her at commencement to take a group picture, just without her in it. That sort of “zero friends.” Instead, she spent all four years handholding with her family, whose eldest son passed away a few years prior, and sticking her nose in textbooks. Brunch at the country club is where Jade reveals what she really wants as a graduation gift. As she longingly gazes out the window at the valet dude David (Alex Pettyfer, “Magic Mike”), he softly meets her eyes, and she says, “I want a graduation party, with all of my classmates invited.” Tall order for a girl who knows nobody in her class. Well, guess what, David exercises his social puppeteering and the party’s a huge hit. Love sparks between the two teens and a summer full of quixotic water balloon fights and Abercrombielike hide-and-seek games in

the woods kicks off. Alas, the dickbag dad (Bruce Greenwood, “Star Trek”) will have none of it! “You’ll be a failure, just like your father,” the dad tells David during some “important” scene. Notwithstanding its outward shittiness, like unwarranted plot decisions and lazy, mawkish scripting, the movie softens the histrionic blow via clever character flaws and moments of spellbinding effect. But this effect is both a blessing and a curse — while it adds layers to a thinly veiled script, it also complicates the narrative in a “huh, what the fudge” fashion. In the end, though, certain characters, like the receptive fathers of the two lovers, provide ace performances as men with dark pasts trying to make the future a little brighter. Despite its palpable campiness and the fact that it cutely released on Valentine’s Day, the “Endless Love” films of the world still merit a bookshelf in the library of romantic sensibilities. Unless you’re asexual, a nihilist or just think whatever mom and dad had back in the day was manufactured-by-the-state

bullshit, the idyllic romance titillates us in a way few films can — in an existential, “I know I probably won’t ever have this, but it’s OK to dream” way. These “shitty roms” matter because they say what no other film genre or sensibility has the brass balls to say: We know you all want this, so here’s Exhibit A. Fuck naturalism, this stuff might make you laugh but it also makes you think about what could have been and what could be, whether you’re a romantic or a stone-face pretending not to be a romantic. Filmmaker Shana Feste (“Country Strong”) knows what she’s doing when she decides on a “feel this way” soundtrack, or a romantic climax at the airport, or a punk slugging away at a punching bag in an unfinished garage. She understands that it’s “bad” by commercial, middlebrow standards, but she doesn’t care. Because “Endless Love” isn’t about avoiding derivative plot placement or sexy lensing, it’s about feeling nostalgia at a distance from reality — something supposedly we are too refined or intellectual to experience.


‘RoboCop’ reboot makes a case for itself By SEAN CZARNECKI Daily Arts Writer

This year’s least-desired remake, “RoboCop,” is both underpinned and undermined by its decision to do away Bwith the dark and campy RoboCop touches of the 1987 Paul Ver- Quality 16 hoeven origi- and Rave 20 nal. Director Columbia José Padilha (“Elite Squad: The Enemy Within”) makes his RoboCop sleek. He replaces the original’s jointed movements with agility and realism. He neuters it of ultraviolence. He adds in naturalism, CGI instead of claymation. It was wise on Padhila’s part to understand the impossibility of imitating Verhoeven. Here is a remake admirable in its efforts, competent, oftentimes cerebral and talky, sometimes even great. But for the most part, it lacks a style strong enough to warrant resurrecting a classic, whose unique character had made it so memorable. “RoboCop” is, of course, the futuristic story of a Detroit cop named Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”) who is killed by gangsters and brought back to life through technology. Omnicorp, a multinational corporation, creates an armored suit to which they fuse what’s left of his body and consciousness, a suit that will be a powerful weapon for the police and a political tool for Omnicorp’s monetary gain. Murphy must fight crimeridden Detroit and he must fight for his own humanity and bring justice to the guilty.


Checking errthang like I’m on parole.

For a relatively straightforward plot, “RoboCop” loses its way in Joshua Zetumer’s script (his first). Fastidious conversations account for huge amounts of the 118-minute runtime; often the film feels much longer. The political and philosophical scope of their conversations, wisely disguised in the form of corporate politics, is commendable, tackling everything from invasion of privacy to existentialism to the military industrial complex. As much as I enjoyed watching Samuel L. Jackson’s Pat Novak, a caricaturized conservative TV pundit, which reminds audiences of this prolific actor’s comedic talent just as “Django Unchained” had, “RoboCop” plays out more like the cable culture it skewers so deliciously. Its messages, repeated time and time again, leave little room for interpretation. Said simply: This movie is too cerebral for its own good. Thankfully, there is plenty

of wry humor to balance out the weighty musings of its players. But Padhila and Zetumer add such sentiment and longing to this story. Their most effective scene comes when Murphy asks Dr. Dennett Norton, played by Gary Oldman (“Lawless”) with warmth and earnest idealism, to remove his suit so that he can see his body. The result is stunning and horrific: Piece by piece, machines pull the suit apart to reveal a glass jar of gore and vertebrae, swelling lungs, a severed hand. “Holy Christ,” Murphy says. “Holy Christ, there’s nothing left.” Later, behind closed doors, the men who control Murphy — he’s only a product of Omnicorp — discuss among themselves his humanity; Raymond Sellars, CEO of Omnicorp, (Michael Keeton, “The Other Guys”) reaches the conclusion that this is only a machine who thinks he’s Alex. (Again, this is a long, long conversation.)

Philosophy aside, as an action film, the theatrics and gymnastic gunplay lack the bite, the intensity you’ve been waiting for. And coming from the director of the very R-rated “Elite Squad” series, we expect more. All in all, this film has some moments of true vision. Action takes a backseat to its palpable angst and philosophizing, which is as much a virtue as it is a downfall, since its messages are done with little eloquence. “RoboCop” wants satire, action, intellectualism and humor. Not all these elements blend as seamlessly as they always could. Still, you can’t help but leave the theater feeling that there is real talent behind this film, that Zetumer will one day write a great film, that Padhila will direct a massive blockbuster, that Kinnaman, with his rugged face, full of confidence and pain, will go on to star in similar movie cop roles.

wo of television’s strongest new female characters might not exactly fit the conventional idea of what a “strong female character” should look like. They’re stoners; they’re slackers; they’re fuckups. But Ilana and Abbi KAYLA of Comedy UPADHYAYA Central’s new “Broad City” are lighting up the comedy scene and quickly rising to the top of my favorite ladies list. Ilana and Abbi are the fiery creations of Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson. Real-life Ilana and Abbi are UCB vets who star as their eponymous characters and originally developed and produced “Broad City” as a webseries from 2009 to 2011 before bringing it — with the help of executive producer Amy Poehler — to Comedy Central. Fictional Ilana and Abbi are two best friends clawing and smoking their way through life in New York City. “Millennials in NYC” isn’t exactly a new TV concept, but “Broad City” shouts boldly from its very first episode that it’s fresh and selfconfident. It trashes the realism of HBO’s “Girls” in favor of cartoonish surrealism. In the third episode, Abbi has to travel to a dystopic island on a boat full of twins in order to pick up a package for her neighborcrush from the UPS warehouse manned by a terrifying old woman named “Garol,” who sits at a folding table shoveling Greek yogurt into/on her face and takes U.S. postal rules very seriously. It’s weird, wacky humor that “Broad City” explodes with right out the gate.

Atypical ‘strength.’ But while their world is somewhat dreamlike, Ilana and Abbi seem very, very real. Glazer and Jacobson harness the comedy with a steadfast sense of self-possession. As early as the pilot, Jacobson whips out two of the best moments of physical comedy I’ve seen all year. She literally slinks away in shame after someone asks her if she’s a mom and later, awkwardly maneuvers around Ilana and her dentist/hookup buddy Lincoln (played by stand-up comedian Hannibal Buress, who steals the show pretty much every week) as

they dagger each other on the floor. And every week, Glazer gives a performance that’s equal parts bizarre and brilliant, saying lines in strange cadence for little reason other than it’s hilarious (I could listen to her rendition of “sa-haand-wich sha-hop” on a loop forever). And let’s face it, Comedy Central’s original programming is a pretty dick-centric landscape. “Broad City” — along with Amy Schumer’s wonderfully vulgar “Inside Amy Schumer” — is changing the game. “Broad City” gives us stoner chicks who can get dirty — sometimes, literally, as with the most recent episode “The Lockout,” during which Ilana and Abbi become homeless after a series of unfortunate events that includes bug bombs, a creepy locksmith and a very nice immigrant family armed with Mace. During their bout with homelessness, Ilana eats garbage bagels. Garbage! Bagels! It resonated with my friends and me so much that we actually screamed when Lincoln asked her if she was indeed eating garbage bagels. We see dude characters doing things like this all the time — on “Bored to Death,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” “Workaholics” — but Ilana and Abbi don’t let their femaleness confine them to expected or accepted roles. They certainly aren’t the first female characters to challenge notions of what women can and can’t do in comedy: “Bridesmaids” was hailed as a glass-ceiling-crunching raunch fest (though I found this claim hyperbolic and largely unfounded; the real comedy gender norm challenger came a year later with Leslye Headland’s “Bachelorette.”) But “Broad City” does give us two strong female characters who aren’t role models and never claim to be — two strong female characters who appear at first to embody the Type A Shy Girl and the Unpredictable Party Girl, but who turn out to be much more complex and plural than that, especially when they’re together. Whoever said strong female characters had to be stain free? “Strong” here should mean well-written, honest, magnetic. Ilana and Abbi are all three and more, because female characters shouldn’t have to fit neatly into little stock boxes. They should be able to put weed in their vaginas or debate whether they’d rather have Janet Jackson or Michael Buble go down on them. Also: Garbage bagels. Upadhyaya is enjoying some garbage bagels. To join her, email


8A — Monday, February 17, 2014


The Michigan Daily —



Shoshi 2014.


Something’s amiss.

Sochi’s influence Cold and unfulfilling on social media ‘Winter’s’ adaptation Olympics provide platform for online conversation By EMILY BODDEN Daily Arts Writer

The permeation of the Olympics into all facets of social media should surprise no one. Considering that my friends and I have all live-tweeted, most likely to the chagrin of our followers, every award show this season, this level of cultural obsession makes perfect sense. So much so that my mother keeps sending me links (Mom, I love them. Please continue doing so.) to every cool/ funny/thoughtful article/Tumblr/ tweet/video she sees relating to Sochi 2014. Think about that: my 50-something-year-old mother, who sometimes needs to call me about working our cable box, actively consuming and dispersing social media surrounding the Winter Olympics. What does that say about Generation Y? We are the Kings and Queens of the Interweb. We create, process and respond to posts all day long. And that mentality has resulted in huge amounts of content surrounding the Olympics. There has been some controversy about the use of Twitter — by journalists and athletes alike — with the hashtag #SochiProblems. While some of the posts are more lighthearted, obviously poking fun at the host country’s minor setbacks, others are much more scathing. The question is what the Russian government is going to make of these international criticisms. They draw attention to


every imperfection and broadcast it with avail. While Twitter and similar sites allow for wide dispersal of information, other websites have gone another route. The day after the opening ceremony, an article started popping up on my Facebook timeline. Friends were sharing it with captions of outrage. My curiosity was piqued and I finally read the article. The website publishing the article was one I was unfamiliar with, The Daily Currant . The article, “Man Responsible For Olympic Ring Mishap Found Dead In Sochi,” suggests that one of the technicians during the ceremony was killed with encouragement from the government for a lighting blunder. Thankfully, the article was a farce — much like The Onion, The Daily Currant is a satirical publication. That being said, how many people believed this article without fact or source checking? These pieces demonstrate the potential backlash of increasing globalization. But not everything that has come out during the past two weeks has been negative. Some of the material created surrounding the Olympics has been hilarious, thought-provoking or generally silly. One of the best mash-ups of popular culture and an Olympic sport came from the redubbing of an ice dancing routine. Twitter users started pointing out the obvious: pairs ice dancing could be made even better with one simple addition — Beyoncé. Luckily, BuzzFeed followed through and altered a winning performance by the University’s own Meryl Davis and Charlie White, taking out their music track and replacing it with “Drunk In Love,” a track off

of Beyoncé’s most recent self-titled album. The results are pure magic. I am sure others would agree that there should be a new category in ice skating that only allows the use of Queen Bey’s music. Another great combination of pop culture and Olympians comes in the form of a Tumblr. Shoshi Games 2014 is dedicated to photoshopping the face of Shoshanna Shapiro (of HBO’s popular show “Girls”) onto Olympians’ bodies. It may sound dumb, but for “Girls” and Olympics enthusiasts alike, the results are hilarious. Shoshi Games 2014 fulfills all of the longings I didn’t know existed until I saw the Tumblr. In all honesty, one of my favorite uses of social media is the use of the mobile-app Tinder, and the Olympic athletes have admitted to it being used in the village. Take that in. Olympians are finding other Olympians through the same “dating” app that college kids use to find hook-ups on campus. In combination with the distribution of condoms in Olympic Village, I can only imagine what the direct messages are like. Supposedly the number of Tinderusers has skyrocketed in Sochi since the beginning of the games. Can you really blame people though? Tinder seems way more exciting when you could become a match with the likes of Shaun White or Matteo Guarise instead of simply the kid that lived down the hall from you freshman year. The Olympics don’t end until the Feb. 23rd and surely more gems will come to fruition thanks to the Internet. Sochi 2014 definitely sets a precedent for the Olympic Games to come by way of online interaction across national boundaries.

Daily Arts Writer

It took 31 years for Mark Helprin’s novel “Winter’s Tale” to reach the big screen. The novel — originally published in D1983 — is a masterfully Winter’s articulate commentary on Tale life in New York Quality 16 and City, spanning Rave 20 nearly 100 years and exploring Warner Bros. the cultures of two distinct time periods. It succeeds as a bold love story, an urban tragedy — innovative for both its scope and colloquial charm. The aesthetics of Helprin’s writing are consistent and augment the story’s rich devices. The novel’s function as a poetic, romantic drama, however, is completely ignored in director Akiva Goldsman’s recent cinematic rendition. The film misrepresents or misinterprets nearly every symbolic pillar and instead, strives to depict a fantastical callous love tale. The character relationships consistently fail to invigorate the defunct and exaggerated plot. Peter Lake (Colin Farrell, “Saving Mr. Banks”) is a thief in 19th century New York City under the dictation of Irish gangster Pearly Soames (Russell Crowe, “Man of Steel”). After failing to please the

boss, Lake decides to flee from New York. The last burglary he commits is of a Central Park West mansion, in which dying heiress Beverly Penn (Jessica Brown Findlay, “Downtown Abbey”) awaits her impending demise at the hands of tuberculosis. The two fall in love and Lake resolves to help cure her illness. Weak performances by accomplished actors merely add to the film’s contemptible conjecture. Russell Crowe is a droogcontrolling tyrant that oversees most of the city’s underworking. He is evil, and everyone but Crowe seems to know this. Granted, the role is tricky: he reports to a judge/ devil-type character called Lucifer (played by Will Smith, “After Earth”), who teeters on the verge of clinical insanity and, for some unexplained reason, is unable to leave New York City when Peter Lake flees with Beverly. A mix of unabashed plot holes and character flaws prevent Crowe from delivering a truly powerful menace. What we get instead is a flaky, frustrated mob boss — forever stuck chucking his droogs after a low-level criminal and his doomed love interest. The rampant time shifting is another major component of the film’s gradual collapse. The film employs deus ex machina often, so as to coax the audience into believing that the story is set in another reality, but it can’t explain Peter Lake’s quantum

leaps from New York in the 1890s to New York in 2014. The script offers minimal justification for this phenomenon. It becomes a part of the story that is to be accepted and committed to heart. Many aspects of the film commandeer this same method of demand. Ultimately, many fans of the book will be disappointed with Goldsman’s adaptation. A great part of the novel’s attention to poetic detail was simply lost in the translation. What should be a marvelous story, one complemented by crime, culture, patriotism, history and love, ends up as a shallow spin on unrebutted time travel. Helprin’s New York City is filled with a diversity of characters and experiences — a winter’s tale that rouses compassion. Goldsman’s New York City achieves no such culture. Winter’s stolid frost is often associated with beauty. A scene consisting of a frozen lake, a frosted bridge and a cozy cottage should present some degree of visual splendor. A love story enveloped by this scene should especially invoke warm sentiment among viewers, but much of the film’s chill somehow blows offscreen. Whether by direction, storytelling or confused acting — or a combination of all three — the same unwelcoming cold from “Winter’s Tale” finds its way to the hearts of viewers.


‘Great Beauty’ lives up to name By KARSTEN SMOLINSKI Daily Arts Writer


Visually and aurally charged with a diverse collage of modern Rome’s splendor from the ancient ruins to the nightB+ clubs, “The Great Beauty” The Great relates the common story of Beauty man’s search Michigan for meaning Theater with an uncommon approach. Janus Films Though the plot meanders and drags at points, the sights and sounds of writer/director Paolo Sorrentino’s (“This Must Be the Place”) vision of Rome never grow stale. Jep Gambardella, an aging writer and connoisseur of Rome’s high society nightlife, loves to party. He drinks and dances all night, finally going to bed as the rest of the city awakens. Leaning on the popularity of his only novel, written in his youth, Jeb has spent nearly 40 years this way. However, following shortly after his 65th birthday, news of the death of his first love triggers potent memories of his past and a lack of fulfillment with his hedonistic lifestyle. “The Great Beauty” tells the story of an artist floundering in apathy, unable to create anything he finds meaningful. Surrounded by pseudo-intellectuals, art snobs and has-beens, Jeb feels adrift in a sea of esoteric drivel and absurdity. Toni Servillo (“Il Divo: La Spettacolare Vita di Giulio Andreotti”) plays the jaded writer, perfectly portraying Jeb’s inner turmoil through his long, contemplative gazes and those rare moments when, unable to contain what’s


“Anyway, here’s ‘Wonderwall.’ “

below the surface, his face contorts in agony. The narrative follows him as he attempts to navigate the multitudinous arts and relationships of Rome, searching for meaning to inspire him. The film’s cinematography embodies this search, mimicking the artist’s eye as it picks over the world surrounding Jeb. Oftentimes, it discovers one of the subplots woven throughout the film, such as a friend’s suicidal child or a washed-up, coked-out ex-television star. These details round out Sorrentino’s portrait of absurdity. The camera moves ceaselessly, sometimes sweeping over panoramas of Rome or a gorgeous, turquoise sea, drifting over fine architectural details or shaking with the beat of another glitzy party. The viewer gets the sense that Sorrentino has framed every scene with purpose and meticulously planned every tracking shot. Together, Jeb and the audience scrutinize these displays, digging for purpose. The brilliant soundtrack compliments this examination of art through classical songs that infuse the picture with their tone of wonder and awe. As Jeb surveys Renaissance paintings and sculptures, incred-

ible landscapes and the bodies of nude women, art and the everyday begin to bleed into one another. In one scene, Jeb rehearses the words and actions he will give to a mourning friend as condolence. Even his social interactions have become a performance, showing how a life awash in excessive art gradually sinks into meaninglessness. The messages soon contradict one another and form an irreconcilable sense of absurdity. Lacking in any completely revolutionary ideas, “The Great Beauty” inevitably draws comparisons to the films of Fellini, such as the decadent “La Dolce Vita” or the contemplative “8½.” However, these comparisons come off favorably in the end, evoking the masterful skill of these Italian auteurs. With this film, Paolo Sorrentino deftly uses cinematography and sound to explore every possible facet of art and meaning. By the time the credits role, most viewers will possess very few new answers regarding the purpose of art and life. However, Sorrentino’s focus on capturing the immense power and beauty of this question will restore any audience member’s sense of awe.

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