utLook STUDENT PRESS Vol. 43 Issue 7 November 8, 2010 Outlookpress.org
Features 5 “Chairs and beds remain in place, where they were left. It appears as if the place had been immediately abandoned.” Lindsay Buteux, Student
Letchworth Village has a history that is sordid and still mostly secret.
Ariella Chamish / Outlook Student Press
OPINION 10 “It seems that Supreme Court Justices are confirmed as political entities, ones tasked with specific agendas.” Josh Blachorsky, Student
Justices should be interpreting the law, not serving political agendas.
Students continue to smoke around campus, especially outside the Child Fun and Learn Center, located right next to Academic I and II.
Lighting Up Outside Child Care Center Susanna Perlov
Tech 14 “Internet users generally enjoy the same page load rate regardless of site, but this principle is being threatened.” Peter Vey, Student
Net neutrality is the central concept of digital democracy.
In light of increased enforcement in popular smoking areas, the areas adjoining the Campus Fun and Learn Child Development Center, located
near the Academic I parking lot, have recently become a popular spot for students to smoke. In an effort to avoid Public Safety, students have resorted to lighting up next to the childcare center playground, close to the Center’s infant care area—putting children at risk of exposure to secondhand smoke. “I do it because it’s the closest place to smoke to the campus,”
said student Molly Lukins, when asked why she smokes near the childcare center. Although Lukins’ answer is a common solution for many smoking students, College faculty and administrators say convenience is not an excuse for compromising the health of children on campus. Jonathan Barnwell, the official responsible for dealing
with infractions of the smoking policy, discussed how the Board of Trustees has been lenient in terms of penalties for smoking violations, but that this may change. “Students are allowed to smoke in their cars and in the parking lots,” Barnwell pointed out. “However, public safety SEE SMOKING PAGE 2
Water Justice Alliance Wins Backing of SUNY Assembly James Borchers
Special to Outlook
The Student Assembly of the State University of New York, meeting at SUNY Binghamton, agreed to adopt a resolution in
recognition and support of the Water Justice Alliance (WJA). The unusually quick response from SUNY officially puts the resources of 64 campuses and 469,000 students behind the WJA, which began last year here at SUNY Rockland.
“We have an opportunity to work alongside international friends that we’ve made, and through these peers, the ability and access to directly impact and help their families and communities tremendously with this initiative,” says Co-
Chair Marvin Mathew of SUNY Rockland. This year WJA has decided to focus their work on communities in Haiti and Latin America, specifically those of several SEE WJA PAGE 2
November 8, 2010
“N*gger Wetb*ck Ch*nk” Comes to RCC
Dionysio Basco, Rafael Agustin and Jackson McQueen of Speak Theater Arts perform in the Cultural Arts Theater.
Bright lights and colored checkerboard backdrop that spelled out “N-W-C” were the first things the audience saw, before the actors took their places on stage and began the show with loud racist chants. The Rockland Community College Cultural Arts Center on Oct. 25, hosted the play “Nigger Wetback Chink (NWC),” a play about racial intolerance and cultural identity. The play poked fun at racial stereotypes and slurs to attempt to sway the audience towards acceptance. The show was a major hit, enlightening the audience with the realities
>> WJA CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 students from RCC’s former Cooperative Association of States for Scholarship program (CASS). The WJA’s target goal is to provide Purifiers of Water (PUR) disinfection kits and systems to several of the communities represented by the College’s former CASS students, by Spring 2011. This would provide 57,000 gallons of clean drinking water to those in need. “It is an ambitious goal, but one that all of
>> SMOKING CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 can fine students for smoking on grounds if they wanted, but those penalties have not been enforced.” According to Barnwell, since the beginning of the semester, 88 students have been given a warning for violating the no smoking policy, but only three were reprimanded for committing a second offense. The majority of students seem to believe that if the children are not visible at the moment, the smoke will not affect them. “When there are children outside, I won’t smoke near there,” said student Frank Scalla.
Noe Hernandez / Outlook Student Press
Panel after performance discusses racism on campus
of race prejudice through the actors’ own personal experiences. The next day, in the Student Union Building, there was a panel discussion on race on campus. “They [the performers] make you realize injustice by making it funny, so it sticks with you,” remarked student Dalem Arsa Artha. Jackson McQueen, an actor who participated in the show, described his emotions and thoughts of what the show mean to him on a personal level. “As an actor, I wanted to get through it flawlessly. I didn’t realize how powerful it was until I did it the first time,” McQueen recalled. “I remember after the first show, a Latino woman came up to me in tears, and told me how great it was to hear someone else
talk about her culture in a positive way… It’s a project that I’m not investing in,” he also added. The main theme of the show exemplified that there is only one race, the human race, and that everyone is a human being and should be treated as an individual, regardless of racial background. Writer and actor Rafael Agustin hoped that “by telling their very personal stories the audience could relate.” On that very same note, RCC hosted a panel on the issue of race and racism on campus where five students on the panel shared stories and ideas on the subject. “The discussion was very important because it helped with understanding and
awareness around campus,” remarked panelist Zehra Sheikh. Also at the panel were representatives of the Asian American, Hispanic, African American, and Caucasian communities. Sheikh, who represented the Muslim community on campus, said that she personally has experienced racism. The experiences of the actors motivated the them to put on a production that would touch all people of all races. The show attempted to combat the very issues of racial intolerance and discrimination. It attempted to instill within the audience the concept that the world consists of one human race, and envisioned the ideal of a world without racism.
us are working hard to achieve every day,” says Co-Chair Stan Morodokhin of SUNY Rockland. The WJA began last year at RCC as a pilot program designed for students with an active interest in improving access to water in many countries. Since then, the WJA has partnered with students at Georgetown University and the University of Miami to raise awareness of this issue and to provide water purification services to communities in need around the world.
The recognition and support of the SUNY Assembly, is a notable step, members say, and an unusually rapid one given the size and sometimes contentious nature of SUNY proceedings. The issue of water purity and access is becoming an increasingly urgent one around the world. National Geographic estimates that 1.1 billion people, or 20 percent of the world’s population, lack access to safe drinking water. In addition, the publication states that a child dies from waterborne diseases, primarily diarrhea, every 20
seconds. Additionally, 1.5 million children under the age of five die each year due to water pollution and a lack of sanitation infrastructure. Such can be seen in Haiti, where a recent outbreak of cholera was attributed to dirty drinking water. “We are trying, as human beings, to do our part and provide others with this essential component of life,” founding Co-Chair Mark Svensson of Georgetown University said. “No one should be deprived of the basic right to life,” Morodokhin added.
However, the Campus Fun and Learning Center’s Director, Kyle Miller, pointed out that the smoke is constantly affecting the children, whether or not they’re outside. “There is a wall of smoke that moves over the playground when students smoke near the gate,” Miller stated. “I don’t think they realize that they’re affecting children three years old and under.” Miller stressed that the infant care room lies directly opposite to where students have been gathering to smoke, and that if the windows to the room are open, the smoke enters there. The dangers of secondhand smoke have
been widely noted. The 2006 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, stated that on average children are exposed to more secondhand smoke than adults. Second hand smoke is toxic even at low levels. Growing and developing children are put at risk of later suffering from severe respiratory diseases, and hindered lung growth, because of the smoke. Additionally, Miller noted that she has asked students to move away from the Center, and while some have respected her requests, others have responded “with an attitude.” Even though the smokers hide behind the childcare center to avoid Public Safety,
Barnwell said that Public Safety knows all of the hidden spots on campus, and eventually, those students will be found. Currently, faculty are told to report sightings of smoking on campus to Public Safety, but by the time they arrive, the perpetrators may be gone. For smokers who feel that their right to smoke is being unreasonably restricted, they can attend the Board of Trustees meetings, which are open to the public, to discuss their perspective on the matter. “Whatever new rules they come up with for smoking need to be enforced,” Miller said.
November 8, 2010
Ian Mauro / Outlook Student Press
“Day of Understanding” Showcases Lenape Tribe
The Lenape tribe performed a traditional Native American “Welcoming Song” and inter-tribal dance, inviting the audience to join.
As a part of Native American History Month, Rockland Community College recently celebrated its first ever Day of Understanding with the RamapoughLenape Tribe, in a program with an information session, live dance performance, and prayer service . “Let today be a new day of understanding for all of us,” declared RCC President Dr. Cliff Wood in his opening remarks. Dr. Wood described the importance of mutual understanding, and how it is the key to solving most of our community’s problems. Dwayne Perry, the chief of the Ramapough Tribe, gave the audience
an overview of Ramapough-Lenape history from “before time” to the present, highlighting the origin of the tribe as well as their current method of living. One audience member in the Q&A session after Perry’s remarks, asked, “What can we do to help the RamapoughLenape tribe?” Perry explained how the state of New Jersey refuses to recognize open-air prayer as legitimate, forcing the tribe to pay $3,000 annually in taxes for a place of worship that, Perry says, should be tax-deductible.Perry then asked the audience to practice religious acceptance. “What do you think of teams that use Indians or Indian-related things as mascots?” another audience member asked. Chief Perry described the use of such mascots as “disparaging,” because of the stereotypical message that they send to
children about Native Americans. In addition to Perry’s speech, the tribe performed a traditional Native American “Welcoming Song” and inter-tribal dance. Audience members were invited to join, as everyone circled around the drummers, dancing to the beat. “I really enjoyed listening to the music that the tribe played,” commented student and attendee Jahaira Rodriguez. “It seemed like the beat of the drums was the heart beat of the community. It was very moving.” The final segment of the program was the tobacco ceremony. Members of the audience came up to the stage and stood in a circle around the sacred ornaments. Each person went to the middle, and received a piece of tobacco. After that, they stood in front of the audience, said a prayer, and put
their piece of tobacco into a leaf-shaped dish. “The smoke will rise to the Heavens and the prayers ascend with it,” Perry said. The program enabled the audience to appreciate the diversity of RCC and America, as well as discover the traditions and history of the Ramapough-Lenape tribe. “I loved it,” said student Gina Duncan. “The culture was just beautiful.” RCC’s celebration and recognition of Native American culture continues through the winter, with a new exhibit called “Indivisible,” coming to the College this February. The exhibition, which will be on campus in time for African American History Month, will feature people of mixed Native American and African American Heritage.
The country went to the polls on Nov. 4, byt many RCC students stayed home. Many RCC students did not vote for reasons ranging from not registering to being tired to a lack of transportation. Others just didn’t know whom to trust. “For every one ad that features the candidate there are five ads that attack him. The information just isn’t getting out…the distortion of information makes hard to really discover who the candidate really is,” commented one student. In the election, the Republican Party won control of the House of Representatives from the Democratic Party. In one of the biggest upheavals in national history, the Democrats lost over 60 seats in the House. “The reason that we had such a big
switch is because of the economy. I don’t think that Obama has done anything wrong; I think that he has done rather well for a freshman president,” remarked Professor of Economics, Dr. Tranter Stanley. “But the unemployment rate is about 10% and the economy is still rather bleak,” he added. The Republicans also gained many of the groups that voted democratic in 2008: women, college-educated people, and suburbanites. However, the Democrats managed to maintain control of the Senate. Although the race appears to be a Republican victory, others see it differently. “There are so many ways you could interpret the election. What happened is not altogether clear at this point,” said political science professor, Dr. Karen Sunshine. The Tea Party, and upstart conservative group, was a major influence in this
election, winning 22 seats in the House. The midterm election campaign this year was the most costly in U.S. history, costing around $4 billion with most of the funds coming from undisclosed donors. In New York, Democrat Andrew Cuomo won the governor’s race over the Tea Party backed Republican, Carl Paladino. Eric Shneiderman, another Democrat, won the race for Attorney General. Incumbent New York Senators, Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand both kept their Senate seats. Locally, David Carlucci, an RCC alum current Town of Clarkstown Clerk, defeated Scott Vanderhoef for the Rockland State Senate seat. Notably, New York used optical ballots for the first time in a general election. Some counties had already used the ballots for primaries in September. There were some glitches in the system, such as scanner-breakdowns, ballot-losses,
Town of Clarkstown
New Faces in Office as Election Shifts Balance of Power
RCC alumnus David Carlucci heads to the State Senate after a strong win.
and over-voting, or filling out more than one oval for one position, but overall the transition went smoothly. “Even though the new system seemed complicated at first, it was simpler than I thought,” one voter remarked.
November 8, 2010
Intercultural Festival Makes Return Performance Ian Mauro
The Performing Arts Department kicked off the Intercultural Arts Festival with an international parade performance showcasing student talent and diversity. Representing 15 nations from across the world, the student demonstrations provided an ethnic variety resembling that of the RCC campus. Nearly all the acts were done by students of the performing arts program, which they themselves submitted for the parade.
An Albanian sword dance performed by Memli Nepola was followed by a poetry reading, and a song from the musical Miss Saigon sung by Dan Ansaldo, was preceded by the Israeli national anthem, performed by Pinchas Lunger. “[It was] a celebration of the rich diversity in the RCC community through a common language of performance,” said department chair Patricia MaloneyTitland, who hlped to organize the event with instructor Chris Plummer. “It was fairly easy for us to tap [into] a department with such a diverse background,” Plummer said. The intercultural parade has just
recently returned to RCC. In previous years, a procession of costumed individuals adorned in traditional or cultural garb took place, but that had been removed from the festival for some time. The international parade was a way to present the theme of celebrating diversity in an all inclusive manner, a unification by performance, to showcase the talent and diversity at the college, Professor Maloney-Titland said. According to the International Student Service Office, over 250 international students are enrolled each year. Adding that to the significant racial diversity of the student body and staff, RCC is
Jennifer Joseph, Memli Nepola, and Kaoru Miyauchi (l to r) perform at the Intercultural Festival.
abundant with different nationalities, not all of which are able to supply performing arts students. “Kimberlyn Frost, who performed an Italian aria, doesn’t have a single Italian bone in her body,” Maloney-Titland said, commenting on how other students could represent cultures, that weren’t their own in spirit of the event. The plethora of student-generated material was a successful portrayal of the variety of students found at RCC. “I didn’t even know the words [to the anthem] when I applied, but I wanted to make sure it was done. It’s about everyone,” Pinchas Lunger said.
Photos by Ian Mauro / Outlook Student Press
November 8, 2010
Letchworth: The Village of Secrets
Photos by Lindsay Buteux/ Outlook Student Press
The abandoned “village for the feeble minded” left human wreckage in its wake
The buildings at Letchworth lie in ruins. A rotting interior (above); dense overgrowth covers the exteriors and grounds (below).
Nearing the end of windy Call Hollow Road, there is a wide path dividing thick woodland. It appears to lead to nowhere, but anyone who ventures down this lonely trail will stumble upon a peculiar sight. In the midst of towering trees and overgrown woods lies a clearing. An immense memorial stone bears the words “THOSE WHO SHALL NOT BE FORGOTTEN” and a list of hundreds of names. Behind this memorial, sunrays illuminate a slope abundant with T-shaped markers bearing numbers. Here lie hundreds of nameless persons who died in Letchworth Village. The cemetery lays half of a mile away from the institution named Letchworth Village, in Thiells, N.Y., in north Rockland County. Built on thousands of acres of rolling fields and
dense woods, Letchworth opened in 1911 to care for mentally handicapped individuals. The village’s fieldstone, neoclassic buildings consisted of small dormitories, a hospital, dining halls, and housing for the staff. Closed in 1996, most of the structures remain desolate, weathering away with time. The poison ivy covering the facades has transformed into deep reds and gold with the coming of autumn. The once impressive arched windows are smashed, the panes rotting into mere splinters. “No Trespassing” is painted on boarded up windows and planks that bar entrance. Peeking inside windows of rusted doors reveals chairs and beds remaining where they were left. It appears as if the place had been immediately abandoned. Letchworth was described as an ideal center for the mentally challenged, praised by the state as a significant advance from the almshouses. Yet, rumors about atrocities such as the mistreatment of patients and horrific
experimenting continue to circulate long after its closing. What secrets have been buried with the sleeping bodies of previous patients? Behind a grove of thick twisting branches, the grandiose columns of the administrative building hold a roof bearing the name of Dr. Charles Little. As the first Superintendant of Letchworth, he stated the purposes of this institution in a document titled “Letchworth Village: The Newest State Institution For The Feeble-minded And Epileptic,” dated 1912. One founding purpose was to train those who were not severely handicapped to perform manual labor on the premises. “It has been abundantly shown in older institutions that the wise teaching of the feebleminded has been a profitable investment for the state from an economic point of view,” Little stated. The truth that patients were merely viewed as chattel was disguised behind flowery explanations of how beneficial the education was for the “feeble-minded.” In the 13th
A disturbing realization upon a review of Little’s reports is that many of his patients were young children. In 1921, the 13th Annual Report lists the number of patients admitted that year. Out of 506 people, 317 were between the ages of 5 and 16, and 11 were under the age of 5 years. A section of the Thirteenth Annual Report, which briefly describes the aptitudes of the children, reveals that many of the children were able to complete schoolwork for their age group, just at a slower pace. It is too heart wrenching to imagine how terrifying it must have been for those children when their families left them in this strange place. An occupational coach, Nancy Yarsinski, started her job at Letchworth in 1970. She remembers seeing the condition of the children that were placed there. “Some were very bright,” she recalls, “but they picked up behaviors and habits from the actual retarded children around them.” She says that many of
there was a scarcity of food, water, and other necessary supplies. David Corcoran’s 1991 article in The New York Times disclosed shocking realities concerning Letchworth. By the 1950’s, the Village was overflowing with 4,000 inhabitants. Quoting a spokesman for the State Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Corcoran confirmed that families abandoned their relatives there. The old grave markers reveal only the numbers that the dead patients had been given, because families refused to allow their names to be known. Corcoran explained that archives from Letchworth Village are withheld from the public. These perhaps despicable family secrets have been well hidden. In order to obtain information on Letchworth, I called the Developmental Disabilities Service Organization (DDSO) located in some restored buildings of the Village. Because it is a state run facility, I
Annual Report of the Board of Managers of Letchworth Village written in 1921, the various jobs that were assigned to the male patients are listed. They loaded thousands of tons of coal into storage facilities, built roads, and were expected to farm acres of land. Another shocking fact Dr. Little presented in his reports was that this institution should be used for laboratory purposes. He did not go into detail on how experiments would be conducted, but perhaps his ideas meant that experiments on actual patients would be performed. They were, after all, the subjects being studied. Dr. Little in his report explained that there were three categories of “feeble-mindedness”: the “moron” group, the “imbecile” group, and the “idiot” group. The last of these categories is the one that could not be trained, Dr. Little said, and so they should not be taken into Letchworth Village, because they were unable to “benefit the state.”
the children had no reason to be placed there. Parents had abandoned them, she says. An ongoing issue for the early years of Letchworth was the lack of fiscal support from the state. The Inspector of State Charitable Institutions, H.M. Lechtrecker, writes in the Report that the Village Hospital was extremely inadequate for treating tuberculosis or delivering babies. Workers received a pitiful salary and many doctors refused to take jobs at Letchworth. Patients were forced to dwell in cramped dormitories, because the state would not complete the construction of more buildings. Barely ten years after being constructed, Letchworth’s buildings were already grossly overpopulated, cramming 70 beds into the tiny dormitories. Nearly 1,200 patients were present during 1921. Visitors observed that the children were malnourished and looked sick. The Letchworth staff claimed in the Report that
called the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. I also contacted the Town of Stony Point, which partly encircles Letchworth. Messages were not returned and clerks could not provide any information. Just as Corcoran was inhibited from viewing archives nearly twenty years ago, I also was prevented from doing so. Letchworth was closed in 1996, leaving the buildings to decay. Many who worked at the Village refuse to speak of their experiences. If the decrepit walls could speak, would horror stories of what sometimes occurred inside, be whispered? The cracked windows still seem to reflect myriad faced that had gazed out beyond the walls of a place into which a prejudiced society had forced them. An eerie shadow lies heavy over the macabre landscape, an aura of mystery and guilt about what society allowed to occur.
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November 8, 2010
Mali Slams RCC with Poetry From Harlem to Rockland, students gather to watch innovative poet
Applause rippled throughout the Student Union as Tayor Mali, the well known and accomplished slam poet, finished his performance. Mali, also a teacher in math, English and history, entertained a crowd that included RCC students, faculty, alumni, and students from the Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts school. He recited his poems with eloquence, charisma, and humor, engaging the crowd. “Taylor Mali understands his audience in such detail he makes it so easy to relate to him. He knows who he’s talking to and what his audience wants from his performance,” student Dena Kopolovich said. Mali recited high energy, multi-voiced poems, and beat box incorporations, such as “Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog.” This poem has been read at over two hundred weddings. It states, “When you’re walking down the street late at night and you have a leash on love, ain’t nobody going to mess with you.” His metaphoric lesson of love is easily comprehended. The students of the Harbor Conservatory for Performing Arts traveled from Harlem in order to watch Mali perform. Their teacher asked Mali “What can you tell my students in order to boost confidence and reassurance when completing an assignment?” His answer was simply to
Marcy Rosa / Outlook Student Press
Taylor Mali performs his work in the Student Union.
speak and write with conviction. Mali stressed the importance of articulating one’s words. “Because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to simply question authority. You have to speak with it, too.” On his website Tayormali.com, Mali writes,“I don’t see the world in a particularly unique way. People tell me I do, but I don’t think they’re being honest with themselves; I think I see the world just like everyone else, I just have the audacity to know that
people will be entertained by an eloquent articulation of their own vision.” Yoni Kamensky, a former student, first contacted Mali, who agreed to perform at the college in April 2010. And since it was a success the first time, Student Activities Coordinator John Marra brought him back. Some students who have seen Mali’s first performance felt this performance was weaker. “I love poetry and love his poetry but he did not perform as well as the first time. He seemed as if he was trying too hard
to connect with the crowd, that his poems felt forced, said student Laura Duran. Mali often performs at several poetry slam venues in New York City. The Urbana Poetry Slam is held every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.- 10:00 p.m. at the Bowery Poetry Club, 308 Bowery, between Houston & Bleeker. The Nuyorican Poets Café, on 236 East 3rd St between Avenues B & C, holds an open mic every Friday at 10 p.m. Nuyorican Poets Café was the first slam venue in New York.
FIT: A Place Like No Other, Yet So Familiar Tyana Soto
The Fashion Institute of Technology. A place filled with knowledge, opportunity, swarms of girls, and flamboyant men. FIT should definitely be a college you want to consider if you are looking for an “atypical” college experience. What perhaps is the most obvious difference between FIT and other schools is that there is almost an illegal amount of estrogen walking around. The ratio of guys to girls is about five or more females to every male. That leaves a small population of either very lucky or very scared guys that have swarms of girls following and harassing them, all hoping to have some male interaction. Basically, if you’re straight, all the girls will know you by name and constantly search for you. Not a bad thing, but not necessarily a good thing. What is good about FIT is that there are people from all across the country and world. This and the fact that it has been narrowed down to art students leads you to meet people of the utmost uniqueness, like girls who change their accents from day to day, guys who claim they don’t like to laugh, and men who will pull stilettos out of their black leather purses and ask you to hold it. Just think, if you come here you could have the opportunity to experience all of this and more. Maybe meet every girl from Long Island or Jersey who only talk about clubbing and the Jersey Shore. Magical!
Another positive note about FIT is that even if you were the President of the United States you still wouldn’t be allowed into any building without an ID. The dorm situation is even better, as you can’t have guests past midnight and just signing them in or out is an ordeal in and of itself. I guess this promotes safety and such, but it doesn’t matter because you can’t use the Wi-Fi or get service in your room anyway, one of the big reasons why people stay in the dorms. That’s another thing FIT is good at: making your day when the internet works for a long period of time then suddenly stops working and
you realize you have 3 missed calls and 5 texts from an hour ago because the service was down as well. It’s a great feeling. The cafeteria’s service is probably a little bit better, but never seems to work as you are always waiting on long lines to get food. It can get frustrating when the lines reach almost to the end of the room and they don’t designate lines for meal plan and non meal plan so you always have to wait. FIT also claims to have healthy options but it’s really hard to see through the fries, burgers, pizza, and paninis. Being in the cafeteria every day has led me to believe that there is almost an underground code
of sorts, because they claim to only have certain options on the menu but then you see people with so much more. Hey, they have a Starbucks though. If anything that should make you a little happier when you’re swamped with work. Overall though, FIT is a good school. It has a lot of opportunities in the art and fashion field, and has teachers who have decades of experience. It’s cheap, and is in the heart of Manhattan. As long as you can stand gaggles of girls talking about the latest Marc Jacobs bag and guys who strut through the streets like they are walking on a runway, you will be fine.
Style and Entertainment
November 8, 2010
An ongoing trend of American entertainment: borrowing plots lines from UK shows Elizabeth Maze
If you flip through the TV guide or look through the movie listings you will see a slew of new TV shows and movies, unfortunately they are not all new ideas. Many of today’s biggest hits are rehashes of old ideas or borrowed from other countries. This leads many to wonder: has America run out of ideas? “The Office” has given every working American the chance to laugh at their stapler and paper clipped work routine with all the subtle hilarity and splendor that our bland cubicles fail to give us. With its documentary style footage and the ridiculous antics of the workers, “The Office” became a huge hit in the U.S. As its popularity continues to grow with the show now in its seventh season, viewers and fans alike should know the truthit’s British. The show actually began in the United Kingdom in 2001 with
The Social Network is the kind of movie that you are bursting to discuss once you get out of the movie theater. It is a drama directed by David Fincher about the founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, and how the social networking site came to exist. The plot jumps back and forth between the actual creation of the website and the two lawsuits following its creation. Zuckerberg, played by Jesse Eisenberg, is portrayed as an arrogant
the hilarious and sharp-tongued Ricky Gervais playing the role that Steve Carell currently holds as office manager. The show, complete with accents and British slang, was a hit in the U.K. before getting the American treatment and a new cult following. Though the U.K.’s version ended in 2003 with its third season, “The Office” got a complete makeover full of comedic quirks and amusing storylines that was entertaining for every cubicle dwelling, copy making American employee. Packed with drama, sex, drugs, and family issues, Skins has everything a teenager thinks about complete with unnecessary angst and bitterness. With its premiere coming up in January on MTV, “Skins” is ready to garner its own cult of hard-partying, drama-loving teens. Since its original air date in 2007 in the U.K., “Skins” gained a lot of attention for its gritty story lines, heavy swears, and little censorship. Most fans of the original series are dreading the switch to the U.S. public, despite the nearly identical plot lines and the same overboard high school situations.
Even though the show is basically a carbon copy of its predecessor minus the accents and the colorful swears, loyal viewers of the British series already feel disappointed. Hopefully the decision to keep the original father-son writing team, made up by Bryan Elsley and Jamie Brittain, will keep the grime and drama that each viewer craves. Needless to say, the final judgment on the shows fate will be decided in January when the clothes come off, the kegs are brought out, and the epic fights begin. This Halloween’s run away hit “Let Me In” originally came from the land of Lego bricks and candy fish but under a different title. “Let the Right One In,”as it was called in Sweden, is known as one of the quintessential horror films of the decade, and the American version wasn’t too shabby either. The film capitalized on the vampire craze by actually scaring people instead of making people fall in love with them. This has not been the first time that horror movies have been remade for American audiences though, Japan has been a seemingly endless
supply of horror films such as: “The Grudge”, “The Eye”, “The Ring” and so on and so forth. The onslaught of foreign shows and movies doesn’t look like it’s going to slow down any time either with MTV just buying the U.S rights to the British comedy “The Inbetweeners.” It has also been rumored that the worlds most watched show “Top Gear” may be getting the American treatment as well. Plus a slew of other fairly obscure shows and movies that are all jockeying for a spot in the American market. Though it may wound the American ego that we are not as creative as we’d like to think, just keep telling yourself that we created “Sixteen and Pregnant” and “Teen Mom,” so technically we’re ahead of the learning curve. Hopefully the presence of Europe in your favorite television programs will not ruin the enjoyment of mindless hours of box staring, and that these shows will continue to make you laugh at the awkwardness and squeal at the drama.
Harvard student who is too smart for his own good. He is not popular and is viewed as a jerk by female students. After breaking up with his girlfriend, he consumes a few drinks and then, with the help of an algorithm his best friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield) comes up with, creates a web page where male students can pick which female student they find most attractive. He gets into trouble for hacking into Harvard files and crashing their network, but he realizes something from the experience. The guys did not like their site because they could only see pictures of hot girls they already knew. This gets him in contact with the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer and Josh Pence), who want to hire him to create a dating network for Harvard students. Zuckerberg accepts, but instead of working on the dating network he starts working on his own social network site, which develops into Facebook by “taking the entire social experience of college and putting it online,” the movie Zuckerberg tells us. It is fascinating
to see how, bit by bit, the social networking site we are all too familiar with takes shape; to see how one simple idea, such as posting your relationship status, becomes part of what makes Facebook appealing to use. The story line is not chronological, but shifts from the time when Facebook was created to the lawsuits following the creation. After seeing an event concerning the creation, the story jumps forward and shows how the particular event played a part in the lawsuits. For example, when the Winklevoss twins asks him to create a dating network, the story shortly after jumps forward to the lawsuit where they are suing him for stealing their idea. The story is interesting in itself, but this adds an edge to it. It shows directly how actions in the past that may not seem like a big deal at the time, can have a huge effect in the future. The plot offers many points of view other than just Zuckerberg’s. You see each character’s version of the Facebook story. There is not one character that you
completely love or completely hate. They all have their good and bad sides, and none of them is completely right or completely wrong. In the lawsuit where Zuckerberg’s best friend is suing him, you see how neither is completely innocent. Jealousy and betrayal play a big role in how they got themselves into that situation. “The Social Network” is a movie that I definitely recommend seeing to anyone. Both to Facebook users, so they know where the network they are using is coming from, and to non-Facebook users, so they can get an idea of what they are missing out on.
November 8, 2010
Style & Entertainment
Yes, They Still Make Music
Artists who are no longer in the pop zeitgeist, but still make music Vinny Murphy
For a moment, an artist seems to be invincible with several arena tours and millions of devoted fans. They are on every news broadcast and work their way into the critical arguments of Rolling Stone. Then sometimes, they simply disappear. No more arena tours, barely any fans and certainly no more top 10 records. This leads to the question: is there life after MTV? Michelle Branch Branch was all over your radio in 2001 to 2003 with her three hit singles “Everywhere”, “All You Wanted” and “Goodbye To You.” After a second, less successful album was released in 2003 and briefly selling her soul to the underwhelming team-up rocker Santana, Branch seemingly disappeared out of the limelight. In truth she released a critically acclaimed country crossover album with her touring back up singer under The Wreckers. This album warranted both CMA and Grammy nominations. After a three year hiatus, Branch released a six track EP and a single with Hip Hop “It” man Timbaland. In 2011, Branch will release a full album called A Different Kind of Country, which if history can predict to us the future, will generate at least one hit single and one Santana teamup.
Cyndi Lauper Singer. Songwriter. Producer. Actress. Activist. Professional Wrestling Manager. There are probably less roles that Cyndi Lauper hasn’t taken on. Though originally debuting with some niche success in new wave act Blue Angel, Lauper’s true debut came as a solo artist with 1983’s She’s So Unusual. Generating five hit singles and backing her Grammy win for best New Artist, Unusual is, to this day, Lauper’s most recognizable work.. In 1986, she released True Colors, which also generated five singles of its own. And that is where Cyndi Lauper seemingly lost relevance. Truth be told, her third record (A Night To Remember) generated such low sales that the planned national tour was cancelled. But this was not the end of her career. Lauper saw a brief spike of popularity in 1995 with the release of her greatest hits album 12 Deadly Cyns and an Emmy award for her guest appearances on Mad About You. Since then, she has continued to act, tour, and even worked as an LGBT activist. Matt Sharp While the name may not immediately jump out at you, you do know his work. Sharp was the original bassist of rock radio regulars Weezer, co-writing much of their revered first two records. He even had some success with another band, The Rentals, whose single “Friends Of P” charted at 92 on the Billboard Hot
100. And that was when Billboard wasn’t a joke. Sharp left Weezer in 1998 during their three-year hiatus, but would release a second Rentals record in 1998. Though the record was not incredibly well received by the public, it was well liked by critics and fans. He continued releasing material under his name and with the band Goldenboy, eventually announcing a return of The Rentals in 2006 and joined up with indie artists Tegan and Sara. Since then, he has released two further Rentals records and has toured f requently both with and without bands and was reportedly invited by Weezer to rejoin the fold as a keyboardist shortly before the release of their Red Album in 2007. I guess there is life after pop.
Is That Real?
Fake purses that can pass off as designer bags Nicole Hoffman
Why buy fake? Many want the look of status and luxury, because it makes them feel better. Some want it because everyone has one, real or fake. Most want a real Louis, but until we win the lottery that dream is out of reach. The knockoffs are generally more attainable, and a good copy passes as the real thing. Although some think buying a fake supports child labor and other “frowned upon” ideas, it can be useful and save a lot of money. On the flip side, the quality is usually not as good as the real thing. To buy or not to buy, that is the question. The choice is yours, but here is some useful information for whatever you decide.
Where to buy fake? Several salons outside the city sell fakes for the price of a small real designer bag! Do not purchase an overpriced purse that might not make it through the month. Your best bet is to take a trip into the city, Canal Street specifically. Don’t brush off the copies on the street stands as unworthy as those are designed to look like poor knockoffs. The vendors put out unrecognizable bags for their own legal protection. The copies that resemble the real deal are usually in the back of a store or basement. It’s not uncommon for there to be secrecy and walkie talkies involved. They’ll sometimes take you to the room with many bags and it’s your job to bargain. They’re always going to offer a high price. A good tactic is to bring a $20 and tell them that’s all you have. Never feel pressured to buy, after all it is your money!
How to spot a (bad) fake? Look at the stitching, if it’s sloppy then it’s not going to be a good purchase. Study the real designers styles and colors offered and what they come with. Do your research before you go shopping as it can be overwhelming. Simply looking on the brand’s website before you make the trip will facilitate a swifter shopping experience. The most common fake is Louis Vuitton, which has seen it’s better and worse knockoffs. Word of advice, the mult icolored logo bags, real or fake, l o o k fake. Just saying.
Beware of these things that automatically signal a bad fake LV: Faux-suede lining which was never present in the real deal The little yellow card with the logo A dustbag with anything more than the Basic advice: Go with your gut and common sense. If the leather is really stiff or super flimsy, then it will not hold up. Do go for the less seen bags though. Prada and Fendi are copied almost as much as Louis Vuitton and whenever one sees the label, they instantly wonder whether it’s fake or not. However, if you buy a fake of a lesser known brand, the odds are it will pass as the real deal and you might even get compliments!
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Genuine Symbolism, or Another Arm Accessory? Behind the “I love boobies” bracelets
Outlook Student Press is published every other week except during exam periods and summer. It is an independent newspaper and public forum produced by students and paid for by advertising revenue and student activities fees. Outlook Student Press invites you to submit your opinions and ideas for publication. We strongly encourage letters to the editor. Content does not necessarily reflect the views of the Outlook editors or staff. Submissions may be edited for clarity, length, style, and taste. Outlook does not accept anonymous submissions.
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November 8, 2010
Support has become more than a friendly high five when a teammate scores a long awaited goal. It’s grown to be a way of life for so many individuals, whether it regards to race, religion, sexual orientation, or even a life threatening disease. However, I can’t help but question, do people really support all they say they do, or maybe it’s that they strive for the attention they get by “supporting” these causes? Let’s talk about breast cancer awareness month. Do you really think that everyone who wears an “I love boobies” bracelet really fully supports breast cancer victims? Of course, everyone supports finding cures for cancer, but why does this particular cancer have more of a status than any other type? People want to have some sense of charity and concern, so they slap on a popular bracelet to illustrate their so called alarming distress. These bracelets cost only $3.95, but have raised almost 1.9 million dollars in the past two years towards funding for breast cancer. It is a clever and contemporary way to assist
the cause by the Keep a Breast Foundation. The numbers are staggering, according to the Center for Disease Control, 40,820 US women died from breast cancer in 2006. We are faking support in order to conform. I’ve seen kids as young as nine or ten wearing the breast cancer bracelets. I think these kids are just exceptionally eager to wear something that actually has the word “boobies” on it. To them, wearing such a slogan is their idea of rebellion and a way to make themselves feel older. These kids are completely unaware of the fact that the proceeds are going to a cause; they just think they are buying into another trend. Teenagers wear them, sometimes several, and nearly cut off their circulation. A lot of the participators in this fad wear them the same way they wear silly bands; for looks and for comments. Recently, I asked a peer who was wearing the bracelet if he truly supported finding a cure for breast cancer. My assumptions were confirmed when he raised his wrist and responded “duh.” I asked him if he knew anyone who was or is a victim of the disease, and he responded with a “No, why?” “Just wondering”, I answered. Wearing that bracelet utterly exhibits their full on, keen support, right?
The Supreme Court: A Political Tool? We Welcome Early Admits, but Justices should be interpreting the law, not serving the political agenda of others Josh Blachorsky
Controversial issues and decisions have become a staple of the Supreme Court of the United States. From Marbury v. Madison and Dred Scott v. Sanford, to Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka and Roe v. Wade, the highest court in the land has not shied away from controversy. In the past however, the Court was largely unified on these issues (all the aforementioned cases were either decided by a unanimous or 7-2 vote.) Now, however, it seems that the Court has become a highly politicized and polarized body. It appears that on every single major vote, justices will vote along party lines, that is to say, they will have the same vote as every other justice nominated by a president from the same party. Sure, different justices are allowed to have their own interpretations of the Constitution, and will see eye-to-eye with similar minded justices, but the amount of politics coming from a supposedly apolitical body is staggering. Most people are familiar with the divisive case of Bush v. Gore, the Supreme Court case that all but gave George W. Bush the presidency in 2000. In it, the majority conservative Court, sided with the Republican candidate. It is interesting to note however, that most legal scholars agree that the conservatives used mainly liberal arguments in their decisions, while the liberals used conservative ones. This trend of hyper-partisanship has continued. For example, in the recent case of Citizens United v. Federal Election
Commission, the Court sided in favor of Citizens United in a highly divisive 5-4 vote. This decision essentially rewrote years of legal precedent and allows corporations to limitlessly spend money on political ads. This decision drew the wrath of pundits and legal scholars everywhere, with many decrying the outcome as a product of political maneuvering, particularly on the part of the Republican Party, as many conservative lobbyists had been involved in its arguments. In times past, the confirmation of Justices in the Senate used to be a unanimous vote, or one very near to it. In fact, every single sitting justice confirmed before 1990 had fewer than 10 votes against him or her. Every Justice since has had a sizable opposition, with the yea and nay votes going along party lines. These votes show a worrying trend. It used to be Justices were confirmed based on their intellectual capacity to interpret the Constitution, now it seems that they are confirmed as political entities, ones tasked with specific agendas, or they risk confirmation from the majority party. This is a serious issue. While many Americans either don’t know or don’t care much about the Supreme Court, the highest court in the land has a great amount of power. All throughout American history, the Court has been the body that has brought about the most change. From desegregation to abortion rights, and Miranda rights to flag burning, it’s the Supreme Court that has brought upon the change. Such a powerful body should be populated with America’s brightest minds, not ones that are influenced by political entities.
Not to Our Athletic Teams
Early admits are motivated, capable, and intelligent individuals, why can’t they play? Katherine O’Neill Staff Writer
As students, we have all been bombarded throughout the years with the importance of getting involved in extracurricular activities. Joining clubs and teams has endless physical and emotional benefits. So I was shocked to discover that early admit students do not have the privilege of playing on an RCC sports team until they have earned their high school diploma. As an early admit student myself, I find this restriction uncalled for and unjust. There is no reason to exclude early admits from participating in sports. The official reasoning behind this rule is that the players must hold a high school diploma. This excludes those students who are currently completing their senior year at RCC or those who have a GED. An athlete’s main priority should be academics and if poor grades are a concern, it is a valid rule to prohibit the player from partaking in team events. But how does this rule really apply to early admits? Early admits are not accepted into the college without a minimum grade point average of 2.6 or higher. The students who choose to come to RCC in advance are generally motivated, capable, and intelligent individuals. This constraint has nothing to do with grades, and is unwarranted. The sports available at the college include men’s basketball, bowling, soccer, tennis, baseball, and golf. The women’s teams available are basketball, bowling, soccer, tennis, and volleyball. All are Division III athletics, with the exception of the baseball and golf teams, which are Division II. In addition
to academics, having the opportunity to play and perform well at SUNY Rockland could jumpstart a promising athlete’s career. This privilege should not be kept from a qualified early admit student. Students who wish to apply to the college for early admission are choosing to spend their senior year at RCC instead of at their respective high school. This change of scenery is a big adjustment for the student. I know for myself, I really wanted to get involved with extracurricular activities at college. Whether it is by joining a club or committee, or in this case sports, participation leads to making new friends and ultimately feeling like a part of your new school. A core benefit of playing sports is the unity and companionship that emerges. Most of my peers agreed that it was easier to immerse yourself in college life than to try and juggle both worlds. Running back and forth to the high school was not only time consuming, but also confusing. Technically, early admits can still play for their high school sports teams. For example, a friend of mine was committed to playing for her high school field hockey team because she was a returning captain. She would occasionally express how difficult this was for her, having to ensure that her classes and commitments at the college did not interfere with her commitments at the high school. By denying a student from participating in sports, you are preventing the student from feeling like an integral part of the school community. I hope to see this regulation changed in the future, in the hope that every deserving student, no matter how old, will have the opportunity to play on a school sports team.
November 8, 2010
Is There Any Justification for Cheating? Some students believe it’s the only way to move forward Julie Kaufman
Cheating has always been a contentious issue on college campuses nationwide. Some students claim that cheating is a personal failure because it signals an inability to attain individual success. Other students feel that in certain circumstances, such as during times of familial troubles, cheating may be necessary. While acknowledging that taking credit for work that is not one’s own is dishonest, they argue that capable people can often fall behind due to extenuating circumstances, and must cheat to stay caught up. In difficult periods, should students uphold moral standards and ruin their grades or can they cut corners? “Cheating is outright wrong,” asserts student Ariella Chamish. “Other people spent a lot of time and effort studying to get a good grade, while a person who cheats reaps the same benefits without the slightest effort.” Children are taught that cheating is always morally wrong. If a person cheats, then he or she will be penalized, so cheating must be wrong. A 1999 survey in the U.S. News and World Report found that 75% of college students admitted to cheating and 90% of college students didn’t believe cheaters would be caught. This seems to indicate that college students are corrupt, but there
could be another explanation. In certain situations some people feel that cheating on schoolwork is justified. “A person should do what is necessary to succeed if he is able to justify what he did,” says student Roxy Moskowits. It begins with a measly homework assignment that may have been forgotten
until the day it is due. In a desperate act to save a grade, the student finds an old assignment done by a sibling and hands it in. When the student receives a perfect A+ on the assignment that did not require any work, the student begins to cheat on tests and more important academic pieces. The phenomenon grows as more people get away
with the crime. Many students seem to believe that because cheating is prevalent, it is acceptable. However, the fact that cheating is so widespread hardly justifies dishonesty. Even if one does not get caught for cheating right away, in the long run the crime of cheating can catch up to you later in life.
Science & Health
November 8, 2010
To keep the winter blues away, keep your mind and body out of the flu’s way Julia Claire Webber Staff Writer
The onset of winter brings along the flu season. People already are coming down with colds and stomachaches, causing them to miss classes or infect others around them when they do come to class. At this time of the year eating healthy, getting enough sleep, staying warm, and not over stressing, are important ways to help prevent getting the flu. A healthy diet is always important, especially when the seasons start changing. Pigging out on junk food is not going to help anyone, particularly during the winter. On the other hand, soups and tea not only keep you warm inside, but they also are a healthy bonus to your body and make for good eating. The traditional chicken soup is one of nature’s best flu and cold fighting remedies. The fact that it makes us sleepy and warm helps keep our morale higher and the immune system stronger. Other soups such as lentil, split pea, mushroom, and black-bean soup are also very healthy and delicious. Chamomile caffeine free herbal tea is a great natural drink that can really help a stuffy nose in cold weather. For those who think herbal tea tastes like boiled grass, trying mixing a spoonful of honey or a little milk into your mug. Many students do not get enough sleep due to copious amounts of homework, social obligations, and early morning classes. The recommended average amount of sleep is between six to eight hours, but everyone
is different with their own sleep needs. Eight hours of sleep or more is usually ideal, because your body is fully rested and your mind will work better and faster. Additionally, with eight hours no one will be falling asleep in class. It is always important to stay warm when the temperature starts to drop and the sun sets earlier. Sometimes it’s nice to just throw on some sweatpants and a sweatshirt, but they don’t always cut it when it’s windy out. Jeans are the ever-present, go-to unisex pants when it comes to venturing outside the house. Put on some knee-high boots, which acts as a second layer over your lower leg. Uggs or a similar boot are also a great way of keeping your feet warm, especially if they’re accompanied by fluffy socks. Now for guys, it is a lot easier to stay warm in winter considering most wear sneakers, jeans, coats or hoodies, and hats. Mittens and gloves are another good idea, especially if your jacket does not have any pockets. Stuffing hands in jeans pockets does not work very well. With all the homework, tests, and extracurricular activities stress can become hard to manage. This will not only exhaust your body, but also your immune system, making it easier to become sick. Time management is the key to success and good health, so try working out a schedule that helps you keep everything on track so there is no need to procrastinate and stress. Give yourself a little relaxation time by the fireplace or snuggled up on the couch with a good book. Taking a hot bath can be very relaxing and good for the body; the steam can also help clear up a stuffy nose.
It is always important to check the expiration date on everything in your medicine cabinet before it comes time for when you really need it. Moreover, do not forget to stock up on tissues. Cold medicine, nasal spray, and other everyday cold and flu medicine can be found the pharmacy, along with anything else one might need. If you have a sore throat, a good idea, as weird and gross as it sounds, is to gargle with warm salt water. It will actually sooth your throat for awhile, and coughing will be less painful. It is a good idea to be prepared, so if you brave the way to class while you’re sick be sure to bring a bottle of water and some tissues. Wi nter is fast approaching and it is important to take care of yourself both mentally and physically. So while you are having a snowball fight, skiing, or reading by the fire make sure to also keep your body in mind.
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November 8, 2010
Science & Health
Global Warming: An Inevitable, Destructive Reality Erratic weather patterns will eventually lead to a catastrophic ecological disaster Zehra Sheikh
Science & Health Editor
Snow falling as early as the month of September, springtime arriving later, and later each year, and summer like it never truly arrived. Surely this is a world without global warming. Wrong. Although your first train of thought on global warming heads straight for heat and rising temperatures, it may also cause the Northern Hemisphere to experience an unexpected shift to cooler temperatures. The process is incredibly straightforward. The heat of the sun will cause the polar ice cap to melt creating a surge of fresh water right into the Northern Atlantic. As the Northern Atlantic gradually starts to fill up with this water it will eventually shut down the Gulf Stream. The stream is the ocean current that keeps Europe and Northeastern North America warm. If it were to shutoff the average temperature in those regions could plummet towards temperatures similar to those found in central Canada. The warm summer is due to the ocean currents that cause balmy surface water from the tropic to move towards temperate regions. If this process would stop occurring our summer would become iced. The great conveyor belt of ocean currents (which includes the Gulf Stream) is essential to life in northern regions. It is set in motion by the differences in water temperatures and salt content from the pole to the equator, and brings warm water up the east coast of continents (in
the northern hemisphere). By adding fresh water from ice caps to the ocean the salt concentration is changed. This results in the upset of the ocean current which will not only cause Europe and North America to become colder, but global
precipitation patterns would be drastically altered as well. This could result in droughts and firestorms all over Africa and the eastern United States. If the Gulf Stream were to stop functioning properly today it would lead to a very rapid
and striking outcome. If no action is taken about global warming catastrophic events will start taking place sooner than later. And trust me I think we all want those Brazilian glows on our skin rather than Eskimo hats on our heads!
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In a world ruled by technology, the ability to exchange information instantly appeals to a vast majority of consumers. Over the course of the past two decades, many companies have released programs to make the goal of instant information an evident reality. AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) revolutionized online chat when it was introduced in May 1997. Over the past thirteen years, AIM has grown from a primitive program featuring simplistic capabilities such as person-to-person messaging, chatroom messaging, and peer-to-peer file sharing, to an interactive social experience. Recently, AIM joined forces with the social networking powerhouse Facebook, to allow users to utilize Facebook chat from the AIM window. AIM has also improved its Windows Vista capabilities and improved cell phone integration. AIM’s icons and general appearance have been steadily upgraded over the years. Apple released its own chat client, iChat, in August 2002. iChat runs exclusively on the Mac operating system and allows users to have a more interactive experience by incorporating speech bubbles and pictures into its online chats.
iChat users can logon using MobileMe, AIM, GoogleTalk, Jabber or Bonjour accounts, which allows for chatting over local networks. It also offers users advanced features such as audio conferencing capabilities with up to ten users, video conferencing between four users, iChat Theater for file sharing, interactive backdrops during video conferences, and the ability to work collaboratively on projects between users by using the screen sharing feature. Tabbed chats, animated icons, and use of PhotoBooth effects during live video chats truly create a surreal experience for social media junkies. One of AIM’s weaknesses is its security capabilities. Security weaknesses are an infamous trait of the AIM software. iChat has a lower incidence of virus infection and IP address harvesting. Between AIM’s security issues and iChats superior capabilities, iChat is the clear winner in the instant messaging arena. The only true rebuttal AIM has against iChat is the unfortunate exclusivity of the iChat software. As the Internet revolution exploded, Skype saw an opportunity to take control of a unique corner of the market. In August 2003, it released its own voice overInternet protocol (VoIP) program. The program, known as Skype, gives users the ability to communicate via instant messaging, online
phone calls, and live video conferencing. Skype’s text chatting features include group chats, emoticons, chat history storage, offline messaging, and the ability to edit previous messages. Video conferences can include up to five people, and the service offers various screen modes, such as full screen and screenin-screen. Audio conferences between up to twenty-five people simultaneously, allow Skype users to connect with a large number of users instantly. On October 14, Skype released Facebook Chat capabilities that allow users to call, text message, and chat with their Facebook friends directly from the main news feed. In 2007, ooVoo released its own software in an effort to strike gold in an endlessly expanding market. The program features include video calls with up to six participants while having simultaneous audio conversations with an additional six people, file sharing, video call recording, phone calls over a VoIP network, instant
November 8, 2010
messaging, video messaging, and web chat features similar to those found in iChat and Skype software. While Skype is still the largest international phone carrier, ooVoo is clearly the stronger competitor. A recent poll conducted for the company has found that approximately 80 percent of Skype users prefer the ooVoo program. Skype also has major flaws in the underlying framework of its security software. By requiring no proof of identity from registering users, Skype offers no guarantee of the other user’s true identity. Internal daily and monthly usage caps on “unlimited” accounts have left many Skype users dissatisfied with the service. The overall reliability of Skype has left much to be desired for the many users who have experienced dropped calls and the inability to reconnect to the Skype servers. If Skype continues to disappoint its users, we can easily expect ooVoo to be the new front runner.
The Uncertain Future of Internet Freedom Peter Vey
Internet Service Providers (ISPs,) who manage Internet connections nationwide are in support of a system in which they would have complete control over consumer access to websites, a system that would favor some but leave most at a severe disadvantage. A citizen navigating the Internet would expect that the homepage of a multinational corporation and a personal blog would load at the same rate. This user would, without realizing it, would be trusting in the principle of “net neutrality.” For the most part, Internet users today experience no disturbance in their connection regardless of what website they choose to visit. However, this principle is being threatened by a handful of giant ISPs, such as AT&T and Comcast. The proponents of net neutrality, lead by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Julius Genachowski, on the other hand, argue for unrestricted access to the web for all, which is how the Internet has run since its inception. The enforcement of regulations on the ISPs is essential to maintain the open, democratic nature of the World Wide Web, and uphold the principles of net neutrality. With the backing of two million Americans from the Save the Internet campaign, Genachowski pledged to enforce Network Neutrality under his jurisdiction. However, there have already been violations within the past couple of years by the service providers. For example, the Associated Press exposed Comcast blocking the file sharing application BitTorrent from its users. Following this,
the FCC launched an investigation, and the court ruled in the support of net neutrality. Unfortunately, Comcast appealed and the court decided that the FCC lacked the authority to control such disputes. Without any written rules, net neutrality is appearing hard to maintain. If the Internet continues to be manipulated by the phone conglomerates, a grim future is in store. Currently, the Internet has the most consumer control of the major media outlets,
whereas TV and Radio operate within the limits of consumer choice. In time, if laws are not enforced, media regulations will slowly begin to decline, and the principles of net neutrality will erode. Just as what is shown to the public on TV is restricted by a relatively small number of media companies, so too will the Internet be restricted to a set number of “channels” available for surfing, all owned by giant corporations. In order to establish control over the
Internet before any regulations are created, the telecommunications industry is pouring funding into lobbying against net neutrality .The only thing that can bring about change is if the public demands Internet freedom from their policy makers. An open Internet can be a model for the rest America and the world for freedom of speech and the economy, but that all hinges on whether proper rules are set down to regulate corporate activity.
November 8, 2010
The Drunk Phone Call and You
How to deal with that late night phone call from your belligerent friend Robert Chamberlain
Electronic communication among human beings has become extremely simple. Gone are the days of switchboard operators, rotary dials, and roadside telephone booths. The need for number memorization, manual dexterity, and a pocket full of change are archaic concepts only the oldest of us can recollect. In the year 2010, all that is needed to contact a friend is a cellular phone, a semicharged battery, and the first name (and possibly last initial) of the person you’d like to speak to. This process can be completed in all manners of debilitating physical conditions, most notably while fantastically drunk. For the friend of an active drinker, the drunken phone call can come unexpectedly at any hour of the day. If handled improperly, this can quickly become a lost opportunity for both information acquisition and comedic relief. It is essential for the receiver of drunken phone calls to be prepared at all times. I’d like to briefly clarify the difference between the drunken phone call and the drunken text message. While the drunken text message shares all of the superficial qualities of its aural cousin, it differs in two very important ways. First, the text allows the recipient to react with more patience. He or she will have time to carefully word and then edit any response. Secondly, and more importantly, the text conversation creates
a digital transcript of the exchange for future reference. Whereas the drunken text can be fun for even the most novice of cell phone users, a properly handled drunken phone call requires a certain degree of verbal deft and a rudimentary grasp of improvisation. There are several ways to recognize when a drunken phone call has been initiated. Upon answering the phone, listen for slurred speech, low-grade country or rock music playing in the background, or the sound of friends yelling your name into the receiver from a distance. A drunken dialer may even question how it is that he or she he ended up speaking to you in the first place. This type of short-term memory loss is common among drinkers and should not cause you any undue alarm.
A common error made when receiving a drunken phone call for the first time is a feeling of sympathy for the dialer. You may be overcome with guilt and decide that the conversation should be ended as quickly as possible, thus saving the dialer any unnecessary embarrassment. This feeling is wrong and should be fought at all costs. The drunken phone call may begin as a hastily made decision, but once contact has been established, the sanctity of human conversation should be respected and allowed to flourish. Allow the exchange of thought to occur organically between you and your drunken friend. Do not feel the need to segue from topic to topic. A sufficiently inebriated cell phone user will provide all manner of conversation
options and you can simply ask him or her to elaborate or clarify as the need arises. No topic should be considered taboo and you should encourage the caller to delve as deeply into his/her private thoughts as possible. For instance, you may be enlightened as to with who the caller has a newly kindled sexual interest. Many times the receiver of the drunken phone call is the object of said interest, which is what may have initiated the drunken phone call in the first place. Wherever this conversational merry-goround takes you, it is your responsibility as the more sober cell phone user to commit to memory as many details of the exchange as possible. Keeping a pad of paper and a pen handy when accepting calls is a good way to keep notes, but the more tech-savvy conversationalist may consider a portable electronic voice recorder to be a more reliable and thorough approach. After a while, you may notice the caller’s attention begin to wane or his/her speech pattern becomes unintelligible; this is a good indicator that the communication is reaching its conclusion. At this time, you should ask to hand the phone to a more sober friend to confirm there is a safe ride home waiting for your drunken caller. This will provide piece of mind enough to rest easily, knowing your friend will surely live to drunkenly call you another day. This act of responsibility will also provide you with moral high-ground, which you can cash in the next day after you’ve posted a complete transcript of your conversation on a social networking website of your choosing.
November 8, 2010
Velasquez awarded UFC heavyweight title Christian Dougherty Staff Writer
Former UFC heavyweight champion, Brock Lesnar, put his belt on the line against current champion, Cain Velasquez, at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California on October 23. This fight is considered the best heavyweight bout to occur in UFC history. Both Cain Velasquez and Brock Lesnar were victorious in their last fights. At UFC 110 in Australia, Cain Velasquez knocked out MMA legend, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and at UFC 116, Brock Lesnar submitted a heavyhanded fighter in Shane Carwin. With these great and hard fought victories, both Velasquez and Lesnar were ready to go to war for the heavyweight title. In round one of the fight between the two heavyweights, Brock Lesnar came out very aggressive and surprisingly even charged Velasquez with a flying
Cue the “Imperial March.” Send in the “Man in Black.” Use whatever cliché you feel like. Because it’s time for the start of the NBA season, and with that, time for the Miami Heat debut of “King” LeBron James. Or maybe we should start calling him “Prince.” Ever since his ill-advised television special, “The Decision,” a show where the once-beloved savior of the NBA announced that he “was taking his talents to South Beach,” LeBron has seen his Q-rating drop faster than President Barack Obama’s. It’s gotten so bad, that in Cleveland, the city that LeBron spurned back in July, a local radio talk-show host brought a witch doctor into the studio to put a hex on James. You know what they say, “heavy is the head that wears the crown.” I guess it was too heavy for LeBron. LeBron was once the most beloved figure in all of basketball. He was the ultra-talented heir apparent to Michael Jordan, perhaps the greatest basketball player of all-time, and he was nicknamed “King” of the NBA before even playing a game in the league. He was the savior of basketball in Cleveland, a local kid from nearby Akron, who was going to lead the cursed Cavaliers franchise to the Promised Land. But instead, James may have blasted the Cavaliers into basketball oblivion,
knee. Lesnar managed to take Velasquez down to the mat, but Velasquez’s great wrestling skills allowed him to spring back up. After Velasquez got up from the mat, it seemed that Velasquez had Lesnar in a whole lot of trouble. As soon as Velasquez started to pinpoint his strikes, it looked like Lesnar could no longer handle the stand up of Velasquez. Lesnar was then dropped by Velasquez who landed several punches while Lesnar was trying to cover up. Velasquez then started to land even more punches to the face of Lesnar. It was becoming more evident that Lesnar could not handle Velasquez. Soon after, referee Herb Dean stopped the fight and Cain Velasquez was
choosing instead to play his basketball in Miami with close friends, NBA superstar Dwayne Wade, and wannabe superstar Chris Bosh. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have an issue with LeBron’s decision. If I was a twenty-five year old multimillionaire with the opportunity to play basketball with two of my closest friends, I’d probably choose Miami over Cleveland too. The real issue here is the way he handled the entire situation. Going on national television to announce that you were leaving Cleveland for Miami without first telling the Cavaliers was tantamount to taking your dog out back and shooting him in the head without telling your children why you did it. It was an indefensibly stupid act - just another in a long line of poor decisions made by ego-driven, out of touch athletes. Maybe he didn’t understand what he was doing to the Cavaliers or the city of Cleveland when he went on the air and verbally castrated them in front of millions of people. Maybe it was because he was surrounded by yesmen and hangers-on that were either too afraid or too blind to tell LeBron that was doing was wrong. But it was. Or maybe LeBron knew exactly what he was doing. After all, it’s a lot easier to be the villain than it is to be the hero. It’s a lot easier to be the antichrist than it is to be the messiah.
awarded t h e TKO victory over Lesnar. Velasquez completely demolished Lesnar and showed the entire world that he is the true Heavyweight Champion in MMA with his win over such a tough opponent. Now that Cain Velasquez has the UFC belt, a lot of heavyweights in the UFC division will try and dethrone the current champ. Cain Velasquez’s next fight will be against a dangerous fighter named Junior Dos Santos. He poses a legitimate threat to Velasquez because Dos Santos has great boxing skills and knockout power in his hands.
When you’re the villain nobody cares if you fail. In fact, they root for it to happen. Sure, maybe they’ll bust your chops for a couple of days if you have a bad game, or maybe you’ll have to deal with some overzealous hecklers when you play on the road. But when you’re the villain, there is nobody to disappoint. There’s no pressure to be
perfect, or good,
or right, all the time. You can just go out and play basketball with your buddies and not have to worry about saving a city or saving a franchise, or being a role model. You can just be a man, and maybe that’s all LeBron ever wanted. That’s really the tragedy of it, because LeBron could have been so much more than just a man. He could have been an icon with a legacy that would have lasted for all-time. His could have been the name whispered alongside Jordan, Wilt and Russell. Now, he’ll forever be known as Dwayne Wade’s sidekick, the Robin to Wade’s Batman. Make no mistake, no matter what he does down in South Beach, Miami will always be D-Wade’s town, and the Heat will always be D-Wade’s team. Maybe that’s okay with LeBron, and if he wins a ring or two, or three, I’m sure it will be. Most of us would do almost anything to have our names live on forever, to be immortal. LeBron James had that opportunity, and in the end, he chose to be man, and that is something that we cannot accept.