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NYU’s Daily Student Newspaper

washington square news Vol. 39, No. 46

Thursday, December 1, 2011

nyunews.com

Study finds merit behind RateMy Professors By Eric Benson NYU professor Anthony Reynolds says RateMyProfessors.com has made him a better instructor. “Help comes in a lot of surprising forms, after all, when it comes to learning and teaching,” he said. Reynolds, who has an overall quality score of 3.6 on the popular website, finds the comments useful, though he does not rely on them. But according to a recent study conducted by researchers from University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, RateMyProfessors.com may be more of a reliable resource for college students than its reputation suggests. Analyzing the ratings of more than 350 instructors with more than 10 comments, researchers found that student ratings remained largely consistent for professors and that students were able to distinguish between quality

R RATE continued on PG. 3

In a field of eight performers, Steinhardt sophomore Veronica Choi took home first place with a rendition of Sara Bareilles’ “Gravity.” STORY ON PAGE 8

NYU alum redefines green transport By Hannah Borenstein When Eric Bruenner graduated from NYU in 2009 with a degree in English, he faced the post-graduate reality crisis experienced by many recent graduates. But the abysmal nature of the economic recession at the time proved to be even more nerve-racking — until he joined a startup that’s redefining twowheeled travel in the city.

GLORIa lee/wsn

Asian American Idol

Bruenner is the business development executive at FlyKly, a company that produces what it argues is one of the most energy-efficient modes of transportation. The FlyKly bike is electrically charged by a lithium-ion battery that is placed in the seat of the vehicle. When fully charged, the bike can travel up to 40 miles without emitting any harmful gases. “Our products are not just

VIA flykly.com

Flykly bikes can travel 40 miles without emitting harmful gases.

green, they are beautiful,” Bruenner said. “They come in two different styles — modern and vintage — and we believe they will appeal to communities in New York that are in favor of electrically powered vehicles.” FlyKly follows federal bicycle conditions, which state that the bike cannot exceed a speed of 20 mph and must use motors under 750 W. Thus, the $1,990 purchase cost is all you need to pay — no license, registration or insurance — and you are granted the freedom to roam Manhattan through bike lanes, bridges and streets. “The phase of New Urbanism that took place post World War II was when city planning took a turn to become autocentric,” Bruenner said. “This was detrimental for the sense of community. In a city dense like New York, we envision FlyKlys to be a universal tool for navigation.” The members of the startup

R FLYKLY continued on PG. 4

Gordon-Levitt’s ‘Tiny Stories’ lacks focus By Clio McConnell

have made. This is more like our studio. We come here to make things together.” There is a large community of contributors — writers, musicians, illustrators and all kinds of other artists — whose works are published on the website. As of 2011, about six years after the inception, if you will, of hitRECord, RegularJOE snagged a three-book deal with HarperCollins, and some of these contributions have been made into “The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories: Volume I.” Featuring the work of 67 of the 8,569 artists who submitted work online, this four-by-six-inch, 87-page tome is, well, pretty out there. Funny, punny, dark and sad, “Tiny Book” is a ragtag assortment of words and pictures, pitched together at odd angles. Some entries are rhymed and metered poems; others are pick-

These days, we all love Joseph Gordon-Levitt. How could we not? Since his days in “Third Rock from the Sun” and “Ten Things I Hate About You,” Gordon-Levitt has made it big, starring in hits like “(500) Days of Summer” and “Inception.” He’s cute, he’s funny and he seems to have some serious acting chops. And while avid Gordon-Levitt followers may have heard of hitRECord.org, this side project will come as news to most fans. In brief, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (web alias RegularJOE) founded and directed hitRECord, an “open-collaborative production company” that lives, for the most part, online. In a description of the concept, Gordon-Levitt explains: “Think of this website less as an exhibition space ... where people come to show what they R TINY continued on PG. 6


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Washington Square news | thursday, december 1, 2011 | nyunews.com

on the side

Compiled by the

WSN staff

Weekend agenda THURSDAY

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CAS Scholars Lecture Series

Covering the Casey Anthony Trial

The New Salon: Poets in Conversation

5 to 6 p.m. | Silver Center, Room 101

Economics professor Raquel Fernández will present a lectured titled “Culture and Economics” and discuss the role of women’s economics in society.

6 to 8 p.m. | 20 Cooper Sq., Seventh Floor

Author Robyn Walensky will read a portion of her new book “Beautiful Life?” The book focuses on the forensic evidence behind the Casey Anthony trial. A book signing will follow the reading.

Washington Square News

FRIDAY

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7 p.m. | 58 W. 10th St.

Matthew Rohrer and Deborah Landau will present and read from Rohrer’s new book, “Destroyer and Preserver.” The event is co-sponsored by the Poetry Society of America.

The DSK Scandal: Transatlantic Reflections on Sex, Law and Politics

1:30 to 4 p.m. | La Maison Francaise, 16 Washington Mews

Join this talk on the role of sex in democracy. Admission is free and no reservations are required.

Editor-in-Chief JAYWON ERIC CHOE Managing Editor

KELSEY DESIDERIO Deputy Managing Editor

RUSSELL STEINBERG Assistant Managing Editor

KIRSTEN CHANG Creative Director

TERKA CICELOVA

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Emerging Writers Reading Series 7 p.m. | KGB Bar (85 E. Fourth St.)

SATURDAY

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Grey Art Gallery: Fluxus Exhibit

Concert Band Winter Concert

All day | 100 Washington Square East Saturday is the last day to view the incredible Fluxus Exhibit showing at NYU’s own Grey Art Gallery. Admission is free with an NYU ID.

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The Emerging Writers Reading showcases the work of NYU Creative Writing Program graduates and features established writer Jim Shepard as a special guest.

3 8 p.m. | Frederick Loewe Theatre (35 W. Fourth St.)

university JAEWON KANG city/state AMY ZHANG arts CHARLES MAHONEY features AMANDA RANDONE sports JAMES LANNING multimedia LAUREN STRAUSSER enterprise ARIELLE MILKMAN special issues FRANCIS POON brownstone JAKE FLANAGIN copy jack brooks senior editors elizabeth gyori,

amanda shih

Hear NYU’s concert band perform their winter concert. Student and senior citizen admission is $5. Adult admission is $10.

deputy staff

university gentry brown, julie

devito, susannaH griffee city/state hanqing chen, brian

tam, emily yang

A Glass Blast

music parker bruce film/books stefan Melnyk entertainment jonathon

8 p.m. | Frederick Loewe Theatre (35 W. Fourth St.)

dornbush

NYU Steinhardt’s percussion ensemble will perform a program in percussion studies featuring Philip Glass’s “Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists.” Admission is free.

SUNDAY

senior staff

1 Liszt Festival: Dance with the Devil

12 p.m. | Provincetown Playhouse (133 MacDougal St.)

The screening of a new film will be followed by a conversation with pianistturned-filmmaker Ophra Yerushalmi. Admission is free.

theater ERIC SHETHAR features EMILY MCDERMOTT dining SARAH KAMENETZ fashion CARRIE COUROGEN sports SANCHAY JAIN, DANIEL

HINTON production MERYLL PREPOSI multimedia DAVID LIN copy MAXIMILÍANO DURÓN,

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JESSICA LITTMAN

NYU Jazz Sunday Brunch 12:30 p.m. | Blue Note Jazz Club (131 W. Third St.)

The live music event will feature NYU Jazz Studies artists, faculty and students. Cost of the event is $24.50 and includes brunch.

opinion page

opinion editor JOHN SURICO deputy opinion editors ATTICUS

BRIGHAM, MARIA MICHALOS

advertising business manager

REBECCA RIBEIRO sales manager

Stefanie Yotka

SNAPSHOT

ON THE WIRE

Barking mad

A distraught UCSD student who lost her chihuahua declared she will neither clothe nor feed herself until her dog comes home. After contacting a pet psychic and the pound in an attempt to locate her pooch, Arlene Coronoa took to the streets of La Jolla in only a red, white and blue bikini — both for the troops and for her dog’s safe return. She stood in the 50 degree weather at a busy intersection in San Diego with a poster filled with pictures of her small dog. A maintenance man in her building reported he saw another woman take the dog. — NBC

circulation manager

MEagan Driver

university sales coordinator

Emilia Mironovici sales representatives

Kaitlyn O’Brien, MICHAEL RYAN, Melissa Ynegas

advising DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

MICHAEL SUMMERS editorial adviser

keith leighty Tufts University

Admissions launches fresh new website, magazine — The Tufts Daily

Skaters glide along the rink against a backdrop of Central Park’s fall foliage.

PHOTO BY FELICITY WILBERG

GOT SOMETHING TO SHARE? EMAIL US AT TIPS@NYUNEWS.COM

Pennsylvania State University

Bear roaming State College borough — The Daily Collegian

EDITOR-AT-LARGE

KATIE THOMPSON About WSN: Washington Square News (ISSN 15499389) is the student newspaper of New York University. WSN is published Monday through Thursday during NYU’s academic year, except for university holidays, vacations and exam periods. Corrections: WSN is committed to accurate reporting. When we make errors, we do our best to correct them as quickly as possible. If you believe we have erred, contact managing editor Kelsey Desiderio at managing@nyunews. com or at 212.998.4302.

nyunews.com


nyunews.com | Thursday, december 1, 2011 | Washington Square news

Star talent on display at NYU’s Asian American Idol By Dan Dao

Last night, the Eisner and Lubin Auditorium was filled with Asian American pride and talent in honor of the Asian Cultural Union’s 40th anniversary. The event, popularly known as Asian American Idol, attracted more than 100 attendees. This year’s organizers opted for a more polished and performance-driven event, instead of the usual on-thespot, karaoke-style performances that took place in prior years. Contestants auditioned on Monday and were notified on Tuesday if they would get the chance to compete among the final eight contestants. “We decided that we wanted to turn AAI into a bigger event this year and the highlight of the celebration of our 40-year anniversary,” CAS junior and ACU co-president Sidrah Syed said. “There was no better way to do that than to turn it into a fully fledged show requiring auditions in order to participate.” This year’s judges included Nickelodeon actress and College of Nursing freshman Ashley Argota, Tisch vocal instructor Carolyn Paulus and NYU President John Sexton. “NYU students are amazingly talented,” Sexton said. “I see it all the time in class, but to see them performing just because they’re passionate about it is very special.” A group of ACU freshmen kicked off the show with a performance of Nicki Minaj’s “Super Bass.” The competition continued

with a performance by the 2010 AAI winner, Gallatin junior Justin Kim. He performed a mashup of “Wedding Dress” by Taeyang, “Grenade” by Bruno Mars and “Fall for You” by Secondhand Serenade, which Paulus praised for its “change in tempo” and Kim’s “emotional attachment to the song.” “I first sang for a crowd at Asian American Idol last year, and through this event I was able to find a new passion in singing for people,” Kim said. Steinhardt sophomore Veronica Choi ended the show with her rendition of “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles, and Argota praised the quality of her voice. Guest performers included the Synchronic Dance Crew, NYU VoCollision and a surprise act by Argota herself, who performed Adele’s “Someone Like You.” After finalizing the decisions, the judges announced the winners of the competition — Veronica Choi won first place, Justin Kim earned second and Milton Koh earned third. All three walked away with gift cards to various stores, including Superdry, H&M, Uniqlo and Max Brenner’s. Steinhardt sophomore Travis Tan said he enjoyed each of the performances immensely. “I thought the event showcased the talent of the Asian community at NYU in a different way,” Tan said.

NY districts present stimulus fund plans By Emily Yang Ten councils representing different regions of New York State presented their plans for a share of the $200 million in stimulus funds in Albany this week. In July, Cuomo set up 10 councils that would each represent a New York state region and form a fiveyear economic plan that would aim to create jobs and stimulate the economy in their respective districts. Each council submitted its plans last Monday and is competing for a share of $200 million that will fund the plans. Four of the councils will be granted $40 million each, and the rest will split up the remaining $40 million. “The work has been diligent, and [the councils have] done enormous work in a short period of time hosting workshops, building a consensus and drafting a plan,” said Cesar Perales, New York secretary of state and chairman of the judging committee, at a livestreamed press conference. “These plans are really impressive.” Many of the plans include similar components, such as improvements in energy sustainability, innovation with local universities and research centers and rebuilding and expanding infrastructure. For instance, the Finger Lakes

region in northwestern New York will promote collaboration between the University of Rochester and IBM for a genetics research project as part of its plan, as well as investments in a renewable energy plant. Similarly, the Long Island council’s plans consist of developing innovative industry clusters, facilitating the commercialization of research and investing in students, the workforce and infrastructure improvement. The proposal set forth by New York City’s regional council intends to create more blue-collar jobs. The Hunt’s Point Produce Market in the South Bronx will allegedly create 7,000 new jobs, the Brooklyn Navy Yard will be transformed into a green manufacturing center, the Harlem Tasty Bakery factory will be converted into a place for small businesses, and the Green District on Staten Island will also be zoned for green manufacturing. The City’s council also hopes to rezone economically distressed areas and build upon resources in universities and colleges. Hofstra professor of economics Constantine Alexandrakis said he sees the regional councils’ plans as a step in the right direction. “If this money was spent in one year and mostly on goods and services produced in New York it

would result in an immediate increase in the state’s GDP by 17 percent,” Alexandrakis said. But Joseph Foudy, a professor of economics and management at Stern, said that, despite liking the idea of the regional councils program, he has modest expectations of this program’s outcome. “The city’s economy is so large and so tied to finance and international economic trends that there is so little the city can do at all to move its economy in any direction,” Foudy said. “There are limits with what the government can do, especially at a state level. New York is a $1.1 trillion economy and it’s naïve to expect that any government program, no matter how well thought out, is going to have a large impact.” Foudy added that these plans will have more of an effect on upstate universities, which can create partnerships with regional technology centers and less of an impact on New York universities like NYU and Columbia, which are already well-established. Cuomo is expected to announce the winners on Dec. 8. Emily Yang is a deputy city/state editor. Email her at eyang@nyunews.com.

UVL finalist hits right note with GameBoys By Jeremy Grossman

Dan Dao is a contributing writer. Email him at university@nyunews.com.

RATE continued from PG. 1

Study finds merit behind RateMyProfessors.com and easiness. “Even among the easiest third of instructors, students show tremendous consensus about which of those instructors are high quality and strong consensus about which of those instructors are low quality,” professor of psychology at Eau Claire and study co-author April Bleske-Rechek said. With over 13 million professor ratings ranging across over 7,500 schools, the site categorizes professors’ by their easiness, helpfulness and clarity. An overall score out of five is assigned to the professor based on the average of helpfulness and clarity ratings. The site also provides a comments section for students to elaborate on their choice in ratings.  But Ron Rainey, a master teacher in LSP with the overall quality score of 3.0, thinks that the site does not provide a useful rating of professors. “RateMyProfessors.com is more of a popularity contest than anything

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else,” Rainey said. “And the most popular professors are not always the best. For example, the very fact that students can post a red-hotchili-pepper to rate the sexiness of their professor suggests the circus atmosphere and lack of seriousness of that survey.” Scott Korb, a Gallatin professor with an overall quality score of 4.8, checks himself on the site every semester. Though he thinks students can be helped by the site, he said the best and most common way to find professors is through word of mouth. “Obivously students talk about classes and teachers,” he said. “Professors should and do, too.” Still, CAS freshman Stacy Suh said she depends on the website when registering for her classes. “It ends up being that lectures for a professor that is rated poorly by the students are open and the rest are closed,” Suh said. “I usually believe the ratings and end up agreeing with them 85 to 90 percent of the time.”  Eric Benson is a staff writer. Email him at university@nyunews.com.

Tate Gregor, the winner of Brittany Hall’s Ultra Violet Live preliminary competition, battled his way to the top with the help of his trusty GameBoys.   The Steinhardt freshman took the stage with two 1989 GameBoys, each armed with four channels of sound. With a computer program called Little Sound DJ, Gregor was able to create his own musical masterpiece of chip music.  Gregor has been involved with music since the age of seven, when he began studying the piano. Though he was passionate about his music as a child, he was also devoted to video games.  “I grew up with Nintendo consoles in my house,” Gregor said. “I love Mario. Zelda. Skyrim. I’m a huge gamer.”  When Gregor discovered chip music a year and a half ago at an annual chip music festival, he was blown away by the style of music. It was the perfect way to combine his two passions.  When Gregor made the lastminute decision to enter the competition, he said he didn’t expect to win. “I just went up there and did it,” Gregor said. “The audience was really supportive. They were into it the whole time.” Steinhardt freshman Noah Lemen said he, too, wasn’t sure if the audience would receive the performance of his fellow band member. The two are in a band called

COURTESY OF CANYUN ZHANG

Gregor gave a winning performance with his chiptune music. Flashcard, which uses chip music in addition to electric violin, piano, guitars and vocals. “UVL was really good. There were a lot of great acts,” Lemen said. “Chip music is an obscure thing, but it was perceived really well.” For Gregor, who went to high school in the Upper West Side, winning Brittany’s UVL preliminaries was just one the many excitements that have come with attending NYU. He has found living in Greenwich Village to be a different but rewarding experience. CAS freshman Martin Charboneau, Gregor’s roommate and a musician himself, recalled that meeting Gregor for the first time

was an influential experience. “It was cool moving in day one and seeing all the synthesizers,” Charbeoneau said. “I’d never heard of chip music. But now I’ve even started messing with LSDJ.”  With UVL coming up in February, Gregor is not sure what song he will perform. But he said it will likely be something very different from the one he played back in October. “Writing the songs on the GameBoy takes a long time,” Gregor said. “I have five unfinished songs right now.” Jeremy Grossman is a staff writer. Email him at university@nyunews.com.


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Washington Square news | thursday, december 1, 2011 | nyunews.com

FEATURES FLYKLY continued from PG. 1

Alum redefines sustainable transportation

edited by AMANDA RANDONE features@nyunews.com

Halloween not yet over at the High Line

By Jessica Littman

Halloween may be over, but you can still get a good scare at the

High Line this week. Sue de Beer’s art installation “Haunt Room,” on the 14th Street Corridor of the High Line, is meant to incite feel-

began work in June when they launched a pop-up shop on Kenmare Street, where all of their stock sold out within three weeks. They took bikes out to showcase them on the West Coast and have received positive feedback. “Our business plans change every day,” Bruenner said. “Starting a company is like jumping off a cliff and building a parachute as you go. The way you survive is by continuously testing out new strategies.” Hannah Borenstein is a staff writer. Email her at features@nyunews.com.

TESSA GAFFNEY FOR WSN

The Haunt Room will be open until this weekend only.

Indulge your decadent cravings at the city’s top doughnut shops

via desserttruck.wordpress.com

via donutpub.com

DessertTruck Works 6 Clinton St.

The Donut Pub 203 W. 14th St.

The famous Dessert Truck now has a trendy restaurant in the Lower East Side, which serves their classic brioche donut square with warm Nutella and sugar (aka Da Bomb). Though a little pricey (the brioche option is $6), DessertTruck Works is sure to hit the spot as a late-night snack or as a sweet treat with your significant other.

If you are looking for a classic 24-hour diner with an old-fashioned doughnut, The Donut Pub will be your new favorite hangout. This shop was started in 1964 and is still running, thanks in part to the fresh doughnuts baked daily on the premises. They run out of their red velvet and boston cream doughnuts by the end of the morning, so wake up early for a super cheap breakfast ($1.10/doughnut).

via doughnutplant.com

Doughnut Plant 379 Grand St. (Between Essex and Norfolk streets) With a second location on 23rd Street, this doughnut joint is worthy of all the rave reviews. The yeast-risen, eggless doughnuts are huge and extremely soft, while the combinations of flavors, icings and fillings are endless. The most famous is the crème brulee donut, which is tiny but delightfully delicious. Each is individually hand-torched with caramel and filled with creamy custard. The doughnuts are pretty pricey, ranging from $2.25 to $3, but you know you’re getting the best when the flavors change according to the seasonal fruits of the East Coast.

ings of dread and fear. Located on the out-of-use, elevated train tracks in Chelsea, the Haunt Room is based on the idea that the presence of low-tone sounds triggers the feeling many get in supposedly haunted buildings. Speakers behind the walls of the building play these noises, known as infrasound, in alternating tones that are inaudible but that have been proven to cause feelings of anxiety and dread. The Haunt Room is a small space with 14 wall segments. The walls are white and have lights behind them that create a soft glow, enhancing the otherworldly atmosphere. Visitors to the exhibit can expect to feel dizzy and light-headed, and some may feel inner ear pressure. But CAS freshman Tessa Gaffney, who said she attended the exhibit skeptically, did not come away feeling spooked. For her, all the people wandering in and out of the room as they walked along the High Line disturbed any ten-

sion she felt. “I think the ambience was broken by the people who kept coming in, but it was interesting,” Gaffney said. The smoke-colored glass on the outside and the glow within the room creates an environment that is very different from the rest of the High Line. Outside, visitors relax and explore the park, while inside the Haunt Room, people may be experiencing intense dread or fear. “It created the sense of disconnect between what was going on in the room and what was going on outside it,” Gaffney said. “You were aware that other things were going on outside of the room but you couldn’t really associate yourself with them.”

“Haunt Room” is open seven days a week from 12 – 6 p.m. through Dec. 4. Jessica Littman is a staff writer. Email her at jlittman@nyunews.com.

By Michelle Lim New York City is famous for its beautifully crafted cupcakes and todie-for cookies, but what about the all-American classic, the doughnut? Well lucky for you, there are several doughnut shops in the city that can satisfy your cravings.

via holeycreamnyc.com

via babycakesnyc.com

Holey Cream 796 Ninth Ave.

Babycakes 248 Broome St.

Have you ever wanted to design your own doughnut, with your choice of icing and toppings? Then head over to Holey Cream to test your hand at making doughnuts and doughnut ice cream sandwiches. With its groovy atmosphere and the infinite combinations of ice cream, frozen yogurt and sprinkles, this place is a must-try. The doughnuts literally melt in your mouth since they are heated every 20 seconds to accomodate the frequent customers. This dessert eatery is open late, so grab some friends for a midnight treat you well deserve (or order delivery).

The word “adorable” does not do justice to this cute, ’50sthemed bakery. And Babycakes satisfies all with their vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free options. Their heavenly, all-natural and organic doughnuts range in three different sizes (mini, little guy, big guy) and several flavors, with such popular options as cinnamon sugar, salted caramel and cookie crunch. Michelle Lim is a contributing writer. Email her at dining@nyunews.com.


nyunews.com | thursday, december 1, 2011 | Washington Square news

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Features

edited by AMANDA RANDONE features@nyunews.com

Top spots to soothe your head after a night on the town

By Jessica Littman While modern science has yet to solve the hangover epidemic among college students, New York is full of excellent eateries that can help take the edge off a night of partying. There is no surefire cure for hangovers, but carbohydrates, protein and caffeine can help reduce the common symptoms of headache and upset stomach. While your best option is to avoid drinking altogether, try some of these spots for the best food after a rough night.

The Grey Dog 90 University Pl.

2 Bros Pizza 32 St. Mark’s Pl.

Pommes Frites 123 Second Ave.

Veselka 144 Second Ave.

Crepeaway 31 Waverly Pl.

Though a bit pricey, this cafe offers some of the best hangover foods around. Go for an omelet with a side of toast: The protein in the eggs will give you energy to get over your morning (or afternoon) lethargy, and toast will settle your stomach. Some of The Grey Dog’s amazing orange juice can replenish nutrients that a night of drinking may have depleted.

A slice of pizza for a dollar: Hangover food doesn’t really get better than that. Many people find that greasy food, like this bang-for-the-buck pizza, helps reduce their symptoms. And the pizza is surprisingly good for the very low price.

This hole-in-the-wall shop has become well-known for its huge paper cones of Belgian French fries topped with various sauces ranging from the mild to the deliciously bizarre (have you ever heard of smoked eggplant mayo?). Like pizza, the greasiness of the fries can be a miracle cure for some people. The shop stays open late, and taking a risk on a strange-sounding sauce may pay off.

This Ukrainian diner is open 24 hours a day, but that’s not even the best part for the hungover (or still slightly drunk) diner. Veselka offers everything from traditional diner options like burgers, soups and omelets to traditional Ukrainian fare, which tends to be heavy on the meat and cheese. This is a good spot to go with your friends because it has a hangover food option for everyone.

Crepeaway is open late into the night and is located in the middle of campus on Waverly Place. The menu boasts a vast selection of savory crepes, but the cheeseand meat-filled options are best if your need some delicious grease to settle your stomach. If you have more of a sweet tooth after a long night, try the Carlyn, which contains Nutella, marshmallows and Oreo cookie bits. Jessica Littman is a staff writer. Email her at features@nyunews.com.

NYU senior looks to improve race relations

By Erin Kim

Living in one of the most ethnically and economically diverse cities in the world, CAS senior Dylan Anderson knows that there is still much to be done to improve race relations. He hopes to do just that. Anderson came to NYU hoping to alleviate racial tensions in society through political communication. Being at NYU has put him in “an environment where you can see racial and class differences all around you,” he said, and he appreciates “being able to take that in and talking through these problems with people that are right here.” Anderson said his drive to create change stems from his experience at an inner-city public school infused with racial tensions in Fitchburg, Mass. Anderson pointed out that despite his fair skin, light hair and a last name that appears “pretty white,” he is actually half Latino. Witnessing the racism directed toward his darker-skinned sister awakened Anderson’s awareness of bias from a young age. In his high school, Anderson said classes became noticeably whiter as

the difficulty increased. Anderson channeled his aggravations into action and initiated a plan with his high school library to extend after school hours and began an AP testing fund his senior year. The fund would help cover the costs of AP tests for students who could not afford them. And Anderson continues to pursue his aspirations while at NYU. His career began as a research department intern for Michael Bloomberg’s campaign in 2009. From there, Anderson became the deputy research director for Andrew Cuomo’s campaign and participated in the prestigious CAS University Leadership Honors course. This put him in touch with high-profile leaders such as Maria Bartiromo, Gordon Brown and David Patterson. “[Anderson is] thoughtful, diligent, insightful, inquisitive and enthusiastic,” said Diane Yu, director of the University Leadership Honors course and NYU chief of staff and deputy to the president. “His positive energy and intelligence contributed significantly to the overall dynamic and quality of the class.” Already Anderson has been rewarded for his work. As an NYU Martin Luther King Jr. Scholar

and program assistant, an Evan Chesler Prelaw Scholarship recipient and a third-year Dean’s Honors List student, Anderson already has a long and accomplished résumé. He is majoring in political communication and double minoring in social and public policy and Russian and Slavic studies. Through these areas of study, he is looking at how political communication systems

function as institutions and interact with racial demographics. Ultimately, Anderson said he wants to improve race relations and fight racism. Anderson said he hopes to pursue law in the future. He said he wants to impact the world and race relations in some way throughout his career. He defines success as having had enough of an influence in his field to be

able to testify in front of Congress and being able to retire as an adjunct professor. “If I see there’s something that I really want to do, a situation that could be beneficial, I’ll go after it,” he said. “[I don’t take] no for an answer.”

Erin Kim is a staff writer. Email her at features@nyunews.com.

erin kim/wsn

CAS senior Anderson hopes to attend law school after graudation to fight for equality.


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Washington Square news | thursday, december 1, 2011 | nyunews.com

ARTS

edited by CHARLES MAHONEY ARTS@nyunews.com

Four releases that defined gaming this year

courtesy of supergiant games

By Jonathon Dornbush You should be dozens of hours into “Skyrim” by now. You’ll have chosen a side in the “Call of Duty” vs. “Battlefield” debate, and you’ve picked up your console exclusives. Developers and publishers packed this year with a number of great titles to deliver one of the best gaming years of this generation — arguably one of the best years ever. Here are a few of the best.

“Bastion”

“Portal 2”

A few downloadable games saved this year’s summer from turning into a complete drought, but “Bastion” stands above the rest. With a beautiful art design reminiscent of a stained glass window and a varied and catchy soundtrack, you’ll be humming for days. And the gameplay complements the world you venture through. A fun hack-and-slash system mixed with RPG elements allows you to customize your weapon and item loadouts, enticing players to try out every combination and level up their armories. And the pitch-perfect narration is icing on the cake that lends an edgy, fairy-tale vibe to the game’s proceedings.

Portal’s short but stellar campaign stands as one of the best surprises of the generation. So when Valve announced that a full sequel was in the works, fans worried that the game’s charm, humor and mind-bending puzzles would strain over a longer campaign. “Portal 2,” released in April, destroyed those worries from the moment its hilarious opening reintroduced you to the “Portal” world. GlaDOS is as bitingly funny as her last appearance, and Stephen Merchant’s Wheatley exudes wonderful British wit and comedic timing. J.K. Simmons’s Cave Johnson rounds out a fantastic voice cast that will have you laughing as much as the game’s puzzles will test your intellect. “Portal 2” never felt overly difficult, but the challenge was always there. It may be longer than its predecessor, but it still only barely satiates us until “Portal 3.”

courtesy of valve corporation

“Batman: Arkham City”

courtesy of rocksteady studios

I loved what Rocksteady did in its predecessor, “Arkham Asylum,” but they managed to exceed lofty expectations to deliver one of the best games of the year. I felt like Batman even more this time around, and it’s difficult not to. Grappling from roof to roof, running into villain after villain, deftly flowing through conflicts with a refined combat system or hunting Riddler trophies, it’s easy to get lost in the world of “Arkham.” The main story isn’t long, but it’s a well-spun tale from beginning to end that may even have longtime Bat fans shedding a tear. And the sheer number of sidequests, challenge rooms, collectible trophies and the New Game Plus will have you feeling like a superhero for quite a while.

‘Hung’ co-creator talks inspiration By Anna Robertson

we had to be very careful not to be sordid,” Burson said. “We While HBO’s “Hung” may have want the female viewer to an unusual premise — poor high want to buy Ray. For women, school basketball coach Ray sex is psychological, and we Drecker decides to use his large had a window that we had to male appendage to become a hit. He’s earnest. He’s trying reprostitute — creators and hus- ally hard.” The role of Ray went to Thomband-and-wife team Dmitry Lipkin and Colette Burson say that as Jane, who brings a unique it actually came about from ca- sensibility to the show. “[With] any television show sual conversation. “Actually, he was inspired built around an actor, after a in part by someone I knew in certain period of time the actor invariably begins to influence high school,” Burson said. Creating the right tone for what you’re writing,” she said. Both Burson and Lipkin are such a potentially unsavory topic was a major concern for alumni of NYU’s dramatic writboth the writers and the pro- ing graduate program, and ducers and proved to be more they were introduced by NYU of a challenge than coming up professor Janet Maprus. “It’s very funny because it was with the idea for the show. “We were very conscious of my first year of school and I was the tone we wanted to hit — very lonely, and I couldn’t find anyone to date,” Burson said with a laugh. “I went into her office and she told me she would take care of it. In the fall she called me and said, ‘He’s here. His name is Dmitry. He’s very cute. Come pick him up when you’re ready,’ and courtesy of HBO then she passed the Thomas Jane has helped shape phone to him.” Burson has taken both his character and the series.

the lessons she learned from NYU and the TV writing industry and advised those interested in writing for television to find ways to always keep writing. “You have to be fearless and keep on writing and not be disappointed if one script doesn’t work out,” she said. “Commitment is what makes a writer.” Burson also stressed the value of an NYU degree. She said she appreciates her staff, which is made up largely of NYU students, for its originality. “It took me a long time to realize that what you sell in Hollywood is original thought,” she said. “That’s what the town is built on. If you have an original mind and you are fearless, you will make it.” As for the future of “Hung,” Burson said she thinks the show will go on as long as Ray’s character continues to evolve. “[HBO] has a lot of shows and not enough slots,” she said. “I think it’s a question mark because of logistics. In terms of Ray the character, I think that there’s still so many women and worlds for him to explore. From a creative point of view, I think Ray keeps on going.” Anna Robertson is a staff writer. Email her at arts@nyunews.com.

“Rayman: Origins” I grew up with 2D platforms, so I’ve been disappointed by how marginalized the genre has become. Ubisoft took a gamble and decided to release “Rayman: Origins” in the retail market. And the game certainly deserves it. The game’s vibrant art style constantly brings across the game’s madcap sense of humor, which can quite literally devolve into slapstick. It’s the perfect kind of nostalgia, reminding us of the past while taking those memories to the next level. courtesy of ubisoft

Jonathon Dornbush is entertainment editor. Email him at jdornbush@nyunews.com.

TINY continued from PG. 1

Gordon-Levitt’s ‘Tiny Stories’ lacks focus, but is visually stunning up lines (“you can’t sleep?/ me either./ let’s can’t sleep together”) paired with somewhat suggestive illustrations. Several of the contributions read like the beginnings of intriguing short stories or children’s books. On the whole, though, RegularJOE has left us in the lurch. This is a collection of less-than-40-word contributions that are in no way connected to one another, and the constant changes of pace can be jarring. While it seems clear that Gordon-Levitt has an eye for art — many of these Tweetlength stories are delightful, and several of the illustrations are stunning — it is less clear what he thought he was doing by splicing these various snippets together and trying to meld them into a coherent volume. The sad truth is that it may just have been a pet project. GordonLevitt has said that he’s always been interested in “making things other than just the ones and zeroes and the digital ... making something tangible you can put your hands on, put on a shelf or under your pillow.” But this project never needed to

courtesy of hitrecord

be made into a tangible product — this art could just as easily have stayed in the digital realm. Yes, the book is pretty, and yes, it will make money (half of which will go to hitRECord and half to the contributing artists), so that RegularJOE and company can continue producing their art. But beyond that, it’s just a waste of toner. Clio McConnell is a staff writer. Email her at books@nyunews.com.


nyunews.com | thursday, december 1, 2011 | Washington Square news

ARTS

edited by CHARLES MAHONEY ARTS@nyunews.com

‘Sleeping Beauty’ far from a fairy tale

she is assured that she will be never forced to have sex, the audience is exposed early on to her unsettling and psychologically revealing path. The film’s opening scene shows Lucy participating in a clinical study, presumably for money, where tubing is being forced down her throat. Her sputtering and gagging, though uncomfortable to watch, sets the tone for the rest of the film. The camera is unflinching and the editing is done in a minimal, true-tolife manner. We witness three courtesy of ifc films of Lucy’s sexual encounters, Browning’s performance shows each disturbing in a different fashion — violent, sad and incredible emotional range. just plain strange. The filmmaker’s decisions to use a By Anna Robertson minimal score and subdued color “Sleeping Beauty,” the hypnotic palette give the film a numbing and disturbing directorial debut of effect. By the end, the audience is screenwriter Julia Leigh, seems to almost desensitized to the distastebe an exercise in making the audi- ful acts occurring on screen. Browning’s unflinching perforence uncomfortable. The film tells the story of Lucy (Emily Browning), mance is both brave and admirable. a university student working sev- The role requires copious amounts eral jobs to make ends meet. Lucy of nudity as well as the ability to takes a job at an upscale brothel, communicate deeply concealed where she is drugged so that clients emotions. The actress posesses an can have their way with her while intriguing element of beauty, and she remains unconscious. Though her screen presence greatly lends

7

to the film’s mesmerizing quality. She proves that she has come a long way since starring as Violet in 2004’s “A Series of Unfortunate Events.” Rachael Blake also gives a notably chilling performance as Clara, the manger of the brothel. Her expression is constantly cold and calculating, completely devoid of emotion as she assigns the other girls a number of degrading tasks. Lucy is maddeningly passive, leaving the narrative feeling slightly slow and pointless. At the end of the film, her character’s story arc seems uneven, not following the natural progression of events. The film’s pacing is a tad sluggish, and several of the scenes feel completely unnecessary as they do not relate to any other element of the narrative. These were probably intended to lend a more realistic feel to the film, but they only impede the film’s momentum and obscure the filmmaker’s message. This film will interest those who enjoy experimental films. But those expecting either an exploitative skin flick or a girl woken from a long nap by Prince Charming will be sorely disappointed. Anna Robertson is a staff writer. Email her at film@nyunews.com.

‘Shame’ a cathartic look at sex addiction

courtesy of fox searchlight pictures

Fassbender gives an erie performance as a troubled sex addict. By Alex Greenberger Within the first fifteen minutes of “Shame,” Michael Fassbender walks around fully nude, urinates and masturbates — and it only gets more explicit from there. But even though this is a deeply sexual movie, it is never sexy and, most importantly, never gratuitous. Steve R. McQueen’s follow-up to his 2008 debut “Hunger” is another gripping character study so well-shot, well-acted and wellwritten that it seems impossible that such talent could come out of just one film. McQueen never holds back visually, thematically or otherwise, and the result is amazing. With McQueen’s help, Fassbender sheds every bit of his personality and pride to play Brandon, a sex addict living in New York City. Fassbender does not act as Brandon; he becomes him in a raw and searing performance. He plays brilliantly off of Carey Mulligan, who plays his emotionally unstable sister, Cissy. Together, Mulligan and Fassbender give a pair of physically and emotionally naked performances. Yet the movie is truly defined by McQueen’s beautiful direction. He famously created one of the longest unbroken shots in cinematic history with a 17-minute conversation in “Hunger,” but he ups the ante even more with “Shame.” His direction, like his material, is seductive, creating an odd form of beauty for an ugly topic like sexual addiction. In the middle of the film, for example, there is a repulsive threesome involving Brandon

and two prostitutes. McQueen films it so that it’s both hard to watch and equally impossible to turn away from. The scene is absolutely gorgeous: Played against the sounds of high-pitched violins, images of writhing bodies and orgasmic expressions are edited together in jump cuts. It’s a dangerous but well-shot scene, carefully buttressing the theme of the film. In “Shame,” New York City is not portrayed as dank or muddled. Instead, it is depressed, often shown with some sort of haze over its skyscrapers. McQueen’s obsession with New York is fully realized through a long, somber sequence in which Cissy sings Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” at a club. McQueen films this without frills. For most of the scene, the shot stays uncomfortably, though purposefully, close to Mulligan’s face. Despite the discomfort, it’s still jaw-dropping. Furthermore, through shots of actual subway stations, McQueen places his characters in a real-life melodrama. “Shame” succeeds magnificently because it has its own clear style. It’s notably quieter than other films about addiction, such as the twitchy nervousness of “Requiem for a Dream” or the hallucinatory “The Lost Weekend.” “Shame” is instead something very different: sobering, sad and elegiac. With brutally realistic performances and striking visuals, “Shame” is art in its highest form — a catharsis, and a mind-boggling good one at that. Alex Greenberger is a staff writer. Email him at film@nyunews.com


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Washington Square news | thursday, december 1, 2011 | nyunews.com

Read us online nyunews.com

“DRAWS COMPARISONS TO BERTOLUCCI’S MARLON BRANDO CLASSIC ‘LAST TANGO IN PARIS.’” “Driven by a brilliant, ferocious performance by Michael Fassbender, ‘Shame’ is a real walk on the wild side. A cinematic jolt that is bracing to experience, as jolting as a strong whiff of ammonia.” “Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan give dynamite performances in this terrific film that echoes ‘Midnight Cowboy.’” “Quite simply, Michael Fassbender is brilliant in this haunting tale of urban loneliness.”

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nyunews.com | thursday, december 1, 2011 | Washington Square news

9

SPORTS

edited by JAMES LANNING SPORTS@nyunews.com

With lockout over, Knicks and Nets look to fill holes By Cole Riley

With the NBA season set to start on Christmas Day, the focus can finally shift from mediation and bickering lawyers to the impending free agent frenzy. The market is full of interesting players, and the New York Knicks and New Jersey Nets will certainly be very busy filling out their rosters until the season’s first tip-off. Three questions must be addressed for each team before the start of the season.

New York Knicks 1. Who’s playing center? Shelden Williams, Shawne Williams and Jared Jeffries are all free agents, leaving Ronny Turiaf as the lone option at center. The Knicks will have to delve into the free agent market to pick up a big man that can complement Amar’e Stoudemire and make up for his defensive woes. Since Marc Gasol, Tyson Chandler and Nene Hilario will cost big bucks, a realistic pickup is Samuel Dalembert, who would probably be content playing on a one-year deal in New York. Dalembert is a 6-foot-11 monster who blocks and rebounds — exactly what the Knickerbockers need. 2. Who’s playing defense? We know Stoudemire can’t play a lick of defense, and Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups are far from being lockdown

defenders. So who will step up and be the hybrid roamer who can guard both bigs and 2s? Appealing defenders available are Shane Battier, Josh Howard and Marcus Thorton. Although he’s coming off a few major knee surgeries, Howard seems like the most likely candidate for the Knicks. As the first guy off the bench, he’s a perfect low-risk, high-reward player that can back Anthony up, defend guards and forwards and occasionally put up a few points.

3. Who’s the alpha dog? Having two alpha dogs on the same squad can spell danger for team chemistry and cohesiveness. Anthony must take over the team and be the go-to option this season. For much of last year, Stoudemire posted MVP numbers on a nightly basis and had Madison Square Garden rocking despite a stagnant .500 record. With Anthony’s arrival, two personalities became conjoined at the hip. In their first full season — or rather, shortened full season — together, Anthony must take up the reins for the Knicks, and Stoudemire must be comfortable as the second option.

New Jersey Nets 1. Who will complement Brook Lopez down in the paint? The Nets are an intriguing team and possibly a sleeper this year,

if General Manager Billy King managed to pull a few strings. One huge hole for the Nets is at power forward. They can go a few different routes: convert Lopez to power forward and sign either Tyson Chandler or Nene; sign David West fresh off his ACL injury to a predictable long-term, team crippling contract; or sack Kris Humphries. A combo of Lopez and Chandler would be perfect for this team. They both could notch double-digit rebound figures each night, take on some of the league’s top big men and potentially put up 35 points together. 2. Who’s playing small forward? With the amnesty clause, the Nets will probably (and thankfully) waive Travis Outlaw. Assuming head coach Avery Johnson doesn’t want to enter the season with Stephen Graham at the 3, let’s again assess the market. One name that pops out is that of former Utah Jazz star Andrei Kirelenko. How could Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov pass up a fellow countryman? Besides, AK47 is a versatile, lengthy defender who can steal, block, share the ball and be an appealing player. Let’s just hope he doesn’t get overpaid like Outlaw did. 3. Can the Nets lock down Deron Williams for the long term?

Giants-Packers headline action-filled weekend 1. Pittsburgh Penguins versus Washington Capitals (Thursday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m., NHLNET)

2. No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels versus No. 1 Kentucky Wildcats (Saturday, Dec. 3, 12 p.m., CBS)

For the first time since the 2011 Winter Classic, the two biggest hockey stars on the planet — Pens center Sidney Crosby and Caps left-winger Alexander Ovechkin — will be on the same ice at the same time. During their last match-up, Crosby had to leave in the second period after suffering the first of two hits to the head that would force him out of the game for 10 months. The Capitals have won their past four meetings against the Penguins, winning their first this season, 3-2 in overtime on Oct. 13. That victory was also Washington’s third of their seven-game win streak to begin the season. But the team has been falling apart since, as they have won only five of their last 16 games, culminating in the firing of head coach Bruce Boudreau. As for Pittsburgh, they are in first place in the Atlantic division and have arguably the best two-way game in hockey. Also, Crosby has averaged over two points per game since returning on November 21.

The Tar Heels entered the season at the top of every national list, and the Wildcats were right behind them at No. 2. Now, the rankings are reversed. Undefeated Kentucky is on top, while North Carolina sits at No. 5 after losing to UNLV, 90-80 in the Las Vegas Invitational Championship on Saturday. In fact, that defeat is the earliest loss for a top-ranked team since 2006. Led by senior forward Tyler Zeller and junior forward John Henson, the Tar Heels are blessed with two versatile, athletic big men. As for the Wildcats, their roster includes sophomore guard Doron Lamb, who is one of the most productive and efficient guards in the game, and freshman forward Anthony Davis, who leads the team in rebounds and has the second-highest blocks per game average in the nation.

VIA FLICKR.COM

The Knicks must shore up their defense to succeed this season. Last year, New Jersey traded Devin Harris, Derrick Favors­ — two first-round picks — and cash to the Jazz for Williams and the 1.5 years left on his contract. It is absolutely vital to lock up Williams long-term when assessing the future picks given up and the transition to Brooklyn. Two factors will determine whether Williams stays: money and stability. The cash won’t be a problem, but sur-

rounding Williams with enough talent to compete is tricky. A trade for Dwight Howard? Signing Chandler and watching Anthony Morrow blossom? Acquiring West and having him return to form? Something needs to happen to keep Williams in a New Jersey (and Brooklyn) Nets jersey. Cole Riley is a staff writer. Email him at sports@nyunews.com.

By Daniel Hinton

The start of December brings with it a weekend full of sports from coast to coast. Here are the weekend’s biggest events.

3. The Ultimate Fighter 14 Season Finale (Saturday, Dec. 3, 8 p.m., Spike TV) The reality series that propelled mixed martial arts to mainstream success will end its last season on Spike TV this Saturday at Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. The season 14 finale will feature matches between the finalists from Team Bisping and Team Miller in the featherweight and bantamweight classes. Season 13 winner Tony Ferguson will fight veteran Yves Edwards in a lightweight bout. For the main event, season 14 team captains Michael Bisping and Jason Miller will fight each other in a middleweight bout. Whether you were a MMA fan prior to the series premiere in 2005 or were drawn to the sport by the show, Saturday will be a special night.

4. Green Bay Packers versus New York Giants (Sunday, Dec. 4, 4:15 p.m., FOX) Every week, the Giants seem to play their so-called biggest game of the season, and the Packers face a team that has the potential to end their perfect season. This week, however, both may be true, as the reigning champions travel to the Meadowlands. After Dallas’ fourth consecutive win and the Giants’ third consecutive loss, New York is now one game behind in the NFC East and is in the race for the NFC wild card. Another loss could be the end of the line. The Packers, on the other hand, are led by soon-to-be-MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay is the first team to go 11-0 since the 2007 New England Patriots — and we know how that ended. Daniel Hinton is a deputy sports editor. Email him at dhinton@nyunews.com.


The New York Times Syndication Sales Corporation

500 Seventh Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10018 The new times crossword & daily sudoku For Information york Call: 1-800-972-3550 For Release Thursday, December 01, 2011

Edited by Will Shortz Across 1 Visibly scared out of one’s wits 9 “You’re ___ trouble!” 14 Alternative to a home meal 15 “___ Fall in Love” (1961 hit by the Lettermen) 16 Got comfortable with 17 1957-91 king of Norway 18 Food-stamping org. 19 Opposite of flushed 21 Dundee denial 22 Classic 1921 play set partly in a factory 25 Atlanta-based cable channel 26 In ___ (undisturbed) 27 Helps for autobiographers 31 Make available 33 Spooky sound 34 For two

36 Up 37 Befuddle 38 Having spirit? 40 Olympic entrant: Abbr. 41 “A Passage to India” woman 43 Cut back 44 Contest in which the rules must be followed to the letter? 45 1990 title role for Gérard Depardieu 47 Fictional character who says “I wear the chain I forged in life” 49 Caesar’s “these” 50 Tuna type 52 On the other hand 53 Ritual garment 54 X-File subj. 55 One of the Castros

ANSWER TO PREVIOUS PUZZLE A S S O C

G O T T A

H I L L

O N U S

A P A R

M I C A

A L O O P O C C U P A N C Y

P E O S P P E X T A I A F T H A O R R E E O A U M P N A C H I L A I E N

A D D I N V E R S E

D R O S S E C O

R O N G M E I T

Z E A E S S R N A P E A W D I M E A M S R A E T C H A S A T S H E Q U A R A F N I C K D E E A O N

G A N G S I G N S

A C N E

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59 Cubbies, e.g. 61 Tibetan terrier 66 Altoids alternative 67 “Most certainly!” 68 Stage direction 69 1984 film whose soundtrack had a #1 hit with the same title Down 1 Brake parts 2 Slightly 3 Italy’s ___ Islands 4 Certain M.D. 5 Senesce 6 Lay turf on 7 Self: Prefix 8 Result of a boom and bust, maybe 9 Lucky lottery player’s cry 10 Senator’s org. 11 Toy collectible of the late ’90s 12 Enamors 13 Cash in one’s chips 14 Glace, after thawing 20 Fed. bureau 23 Jazz fan, probably 24 The scarlet letter 25 Something of earth-shaking concern? 26 Part of a band’s performance 27 Tiny possibility 28 Who wrote “It’s not that I’m afraid to die, I just don’t want to be there when it happens”

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Puzzle by Kurt Mueller

29 “Life Itself: A Memoir” autobiographer, 2011 30 Start another tour 32 Make by interlacing

42 Fond du ___, Wis.

58 City near BenGurion Airport

46 Buffoon

60 Artery: Abbr.

48 Major discount brokerage 51 Trinity member 54 Cold war inits.

35 Additional, in ads 56 Copycat 39 Mysterious: Var.

57 Plays for a fool

62 New Test. book 63 The Sun Devils, for short 64 Auntie, to Dad 65 Word with black, red or white

For answers, call 1-900-285-5656, $1.49 a minute; or, with a credit card, 1-800-814-5554. Annual subscriptions are available for the best of Sunday crosswords from the last 50 years: 1-888-7-ACROSS. AT&T users: Text NYTX to 386 to download puzzles, or visit nytimes.com/mobilexword for more information. Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 2,000 past puzzles, nytimes.com/crosswords ($39.95 a year). Share tips: nytimes.com/wordplay. Crosswords for young solvers: nytimes.com/learning/xwords.


nyunews.com | thursday, december 1, 2011 | Washington Square news

11

OPINION

edited by JOHN SURICO opinion@nyunews.com

table talk

Revolutions in Middle East likely to lead to civil war By Raquel Woodruff We’ve been hearing about it since the beginning — the moment in January when longtime Tunisian President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali back was driven out by a mass of protesters and a series of demonstrations demanding basic political freedoms, liberties and an overall better quality of life. And we’re still hearing it. Ever since a domino effect had characterized the wake of revolutions rising throughout the Middle East, Americans have supported the Arab youths who have bravely stood up to military forces in the streets to fight for the end of the tyrannies that have for so long stifled their voices and kept them from recognizing their full capabilities. These rebellions are inspiring. But while the United States has given (and should give) its moral support to the young Syrians and Egyptians now trying to end the regimes of the Assad dynasty and the Egyptian military, the prolonged fighting in Syria and Egypt suggests less and less the possibility of a stable democracy but rather points to a dissipation into civil war. And Yemen, poverty-stricken and deeply divided, has remained in chaos since months of protests pushed for the resignation of President Ali

Abdullah Saleh. But not long after Saleh relinquished power to his vice president last Wednesday, security forces began gunning down protesters, and all-out street battles have erupted throughout the nation’s capital of Sana’a. Unarmed protesters and passersby have now become trapped in a war zone. The sad truth is that a peaceful democratic conversion cannot be attained in the Middle East. At least not anytime soon. As much as the Arab Spring protests remind us of hope for younger generations to divert from the theocracies and deeply rooted Islamic ideals that have dictated the lives of their parents and grandparents, they also remind us of how steep the old order’s struggle for control is. These young people are fighting against the older generations, which have lived with the Salafi ideology (which says you can’t question things or think for yourself), the ancient Olive Tree principles (which justify the need for ongoing factional civil wars between Sunnis and Shiites) and deeply felt sectarianism. But today, Egyptian youth from all different classes and political groups are breaking down the walls between political parties and sects and are coming together to fight for real freedom. The generational divide be-

tween the old and the young — the convictions that have long become obsolete and the convictions driven by the want for modernity and citizen liberties — has left these Middle Eastern states polarized and on rocky soil with a bleak outlook for a democratic order. And, unlike Iraq, these states will not have an outsider to physically implement one. At an enormous cost, the United States played master in Iraq; despite the social contracts made between different Iraqi communities, Iraq is still tumultuous, weak and divided. The nations of Egypt, Syria, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen will not have the United States to guide them through crucial social and political transitions being brought about by the civil resistance of Middle Eastern youth. So while the young Arabs are consummating revolutionary changes in the Middle East, there is still a very dark and winding road ahead. But the genuine yearning behind these youth-led rebellions for personal freedom tells me they may be able to make it on their own. Raquel Woodruff is a columnist. Her column, “Table Talk,” is about international politics and domestic issues and appears every Thursday. Email her at opinion@nyunews.com.

on point

Victoria Secret promotes false image of femininity By Maria Michalos How do you turn $12 million into over $5 billion in just one hour? It’s not that complicated. All you need are several six-foottall women with unfathomable figures, donning wings the size of a New York City borough and flashing baby-oil-doused bodies in over $2 million worth of lingerie. Perhaps the 16th annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was meant to be a lesson in economics — CEO Lori Greeley’s method of showing Congress that raising capital really isn’t all that hard. But that’s unlikely. Still, millions of Americans tuned in to watch the Angels, as they are known, trot down the runway Tuesday evening. And while high-end fashion and beauty may ostensibly be innocuous, the fashion show’s message did have palpable implications for millions of young women. Taking to the runway like rock stars, the supermodels strutted their figures in stiletto heels with tangible self-assurance etched onto their faces. Hyping up the crowd by blowing kisses and sending seductive winks straight into the camera lens, the models — or the company whose directions the models follow — sent an explicit message to its female viewers, one that undoubtedly undermines the very notion of femininity and authentic beauty. While models

could be found confidently sporting sexy underwear with backsides reading, “Unwrap Me,” “Eat Your Heart Out,” “I Love Presents” and “Party with Me,” insecurity levels skyrocketed for anyone wearing Hanes panties with unbrushed hair, and, as my roommate pointed out, unshaven legs. “Adolescence is acknowledged to be the single most stressful and frightening period of human development,” late American novelist David Foster Wallace wrote. It doesn’t help to have images of corporate beauty affecting how we determine what is sexy and what is not, insisting that if we look ridiculous attempting to wink, “meow” and scratch the air all at the same time, we won’t be seen as desirable. Our society has taught young women that to be striking and appealing, they must focus their attention on exuding an image that appears sexy but, in reality, is inherently lackluster. One Victoria’s Secret model gazed into the cameraman’s lens and told viewers that little girls aspire to be Angels. What about aspiring to be strong, empowered and intelligent women? This wouldn’t be so troubling if young women weren’t sending text messages to one another like the one I received right after the CBS production that read, “Why am I alive? Did you see the VS Show ... ugh,

need to a join a gym asap!” The negative comments that appeared in Facebook statuses, text messages and Twitter feeds are the product of such performances, in which women wearing lacy lingerie are revered and thought of as the heroines of our generation. As women, we suffer from eating disorders in an attempt to gain some sense of control and purpose. We undergo surgeries and cosmetic alterations to become more “beautiful.” We ignore the truths that make us who we are, and instead we allow false ideals to take over, diminishing our self worth and eliminating both our potential to contribute to the world around us and to be strong, dignified, beautiful, truly happy individuals. It is utterly and undoubtedly devastating. Women need authentic role models who exude the qualities that will enable their spirits and achievements to thrive. There is only one way to live, and that is to be happy with ourselves, cherishing what we value most, living freely and unencumbered by the unnatural, demeaning demands of a society that, quite frankly, could use an enormous makeover itself. Maria Michalos is a deputy opinion editor. Her column, “On Point,” is about social justice and appears every Thursday. Email her at mmichalos@nyunews.com.

staff editorial

RateMyProfessors.com crucial for course selection

Critics of RateMyProfessors.com, a site used by students to help them decide which professors to take based on peer recommendations, try to downplay this necessity. The WSN Editorial Board feels that RateMyProfessors.com is an invaluable tool for students in search of engaging professors. NYU professor Ron Rainey, who was interviewed by the Washington Square News, criticized the use of RateMyProfessors.com and also suggested that using word-of-mouth is more effective. But this tactic is quite difficult at a school the size of NYU. Students are smart enough to know when to factor out silly comments in need of censoring. When students are paying such a large sum of money to attend a major university like NYU and are in search of quality professors, RateMyProfessors.com is a critical tool to access. Despite some allegations, student do not use this tool so solely determine the sexiness of their future teachers (one area of measurement on the site). They are generally searching for the best academic experience possible — though a professor who is easy on the eyes as well a great teacher is not a bad bargain. Additionally, RateMyProfessors.com is a good tool for teachers to reflect on their curriculum and classroom experience to engage with and react to student feedback. Of course, all opinions need to be taken with a grain of salt. Students know what they are looking for in professors — engaging, helpful, knowledgeable teachers who put teaching first — and RateMyProfessors.com is a tool for navigating a quality academic experience. We believe that the website, though it can have its share of distractions, is a useful tool for students who want clarity and insight before entering the classroom. Email the WSN Editorial Board at editboard@nyunews.com.

Editorial Board: John Surico (Chair), Atticus Brigham (Co-Chair), Maria Michalos (Co-Chair), Emily Franklin, Nicolette Harris, Stephanie Isola, Katie Travers and Lauren Wilfong.

SUBMITTING TO Send mail to: 838 Broadway, fifth floor, New York, NY 10003 or email: opinion@nyunews.com WSN welcomes letters to the editor, opinion pieces and articles relevant to the NYU community, or in response to articles. Letters should be less than 150 words. All submissions must be typed or emailed and must include the author’s name, address and phone number. Members of the NYU community must include a year and school or

job title. WSN does not print unsigned letters or editorials. WSN reserves the right to reject any submission and edit accepted submissions in any and all ways. With the exception of the staff editorial, opinions expressed on the editorial pages are not necessarily those of WSN, and our publication of opinions is not an endorsement of them.


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Washington Square news | thursday, december 1, 2011 | nyunews.com


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