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The Observer

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Volume 75 | Issue 16



January 19, 2011

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One year after earthquake, slow progress in Haiti


Inaccuracies in census due to low participation p. 2

OPINION Hundreds of thousands of Haitians are still residing in “tent cities” even after a year has passed since the earthquake had occurred. Photo by Marco Dormino of Orlando Sentinel.

Congresswoman recovering after Tucson shooting Why are textbooks so expensive?! p. 3


Tumblr: perfect blend of blogging and social networking p. 5


ast week National Public Radio reported that democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, representing the 8th Congressional district of Arizona, had died after being shot in the head by a gunman who had been one of many visiting the Congresswoman during a meeting with her constituents. However, NPR had been wrong. Giffords is alive and six others have died as a result of the fatal shooting. According to an Associated Press article, Giffords had been conducting an informal meeting outside a grocery store, when Jared Lee Loughner, pulled out a gun and started shooting, killing six and wounding nineteen. Those fatally injured include Federal Judge John Rolls, 63, Gabe Zimmerman, 30, Giffords’ Community Outreach Director, who was recently engaged, and Christina Taylor Green, a nine-year old girl who was born on Sept. 11, 2001, and had an interest in Democracy. Green had just been elected president of her elementary school’s student council. Also dead are Dorwin Stoddard, 76, Dorothy Murray, 76, and Phyllis Scheck, 79.

Jets trash talk their way to AFC championship game p. 7

Giffords had been rushed to the University Medical Center in Tucson, where doctors treated her for a bullet wound that passed through her forehead and out the back of the head. She is expected to survive and has been recovering faster than doctors predicted. According to an Associated Press article published last Wednesday, Giffords was “making small movements, tugging on her hospital gown and touching her wounds.” Despite this glimmer of hope, doctors say they are unsure of how Giffords will progress in long-term recovery. Giffords’ surgeon Dr. Rhee says that he is unsure whether Giffords will be as functional as before, but that he is hopeful that she will be. Giffords’ fellow Congressmen from around the United States have also been providing their condolences and well wishes. Representatives from Millburn Township as well as Donald Payne, the Congressman of the 10th district of New Jersey, which includes Newark, have all expressed a hope that Congressman Giffords has a successful recovery.

See GIFFORDS, Page 2

utgers-Newark was silent on January 12, the one year anniversary of the Haiti earthquake. An impending snowstorm forced a campus closure, but ultimately only a few inches of snow fell on the region. Even if there was a major snowstorm, it would pale in comparison to the devastation in the aftermath of the 7.0 magnitude Haitian quake, which left over 230,000 people dead and over 1.5 million homeless, according to government numbers. One year later, many Haitians are residing in ‘tent cities,’ which are temporary tents that were hastily set up by the residents themselves to live in after the quake. For many living in the tent cities, little more than the clothes on their backs were salvaged from their homes that were destroyed in the quake, which also leveled the prestigious Presidential Palace in Portau-Prince. Some are living in the tent cities without their children. Some without parents. Seven-year old Ti-Me-me-nme was one of thousands of children left orphaned after the earthquake; Haiti already having an estimated 380,000 orphans before the earthquake, according to 2007 UNICEF estimates. For five months after the quake, TiMe-me-nme walked the streets of Haiti alone, unsure of the fate of both her mother and father, according to an October article in Rutgers-New Brunswick’s Daily Targum. Haitian-American missionaries Marc and Renette Attis took in Ti-Me-menme in their South Haiti home. Marc and Renette’s daughter, Marie Attis, is a Health Education Specialist here at Rutgers-Newark. It’s not clear if Ti-Me-me-nme ever found her real parents. A message left on Marie Attis’s voicemail seeking comment was not returned at press time. A visit to her Blumenthal Hall office Friday afternoon was unfruitful as well. Attis, however, was compelled to start her own project to help children affected by the earthquake like Ti-Me-me-nme, according to the Targum article.

See HAITI, Page 2

Governor to Newark universities: prepare to merge



By Allison Baldwin Executive editor

By LaQuay Weekes Staff writer

By Joshua Hoyos News Editor

commission formed by Governor Chris Christie to analyze the state’s public universities recommended that Rutgers should increase funding to Rutgers-Newark and Rutgers University should merge with the University of Medicine and Dentistry’s (UMDNJ) Robert Wood Medical School. In addition, Christie wants to remove the cap on tuition he placed last year. The commission headed by former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean was formed May of last year and released its 140-page report in which recommendations were made to improve the efficiently and effectiveness of state public universities. The commission recommended that Rutgers should increase the resources it provides to Rutgers-Newark and that Rutgers should prepare to merge with UMDNJ’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and School of Public Health to establish a university-based health science center. Richard McCormick, the President

of Rutgers University said in a statement, “report makes bold recommendations in areas ranging from governance to financing and affordability to economic growth.” McCormick also stated his believed that the report “calls particular attention to the demanding responsibilities placed on Rutgers.” In a statement, Christie announced his approval of the commission recommendations asserting he is “prepared to take these recommendations into consideration as we determine what change to the system can happen now, considering the serious fiscal constraints facing our State, while also looking toward the future.” In a message to members of the Rutgers family, McCormick stressed one key part to the Task Force’s report; the integration of Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Rutgers. “Reuniting these world-class institutions can be easily achieved – providing an immediate boost to New Jersey’s national profile in teaching and research,” said McCormick. McCormick spelt out the long lasting legacy of Rutgers and the medical

school which dates to 1961 when the university formed the Medical School that later became a part of UMDNJ. After that announcement, Christie spoke to New Jersey Press Media, and expressed his opinion that the slashing of $173 million in higher education funding and more importantly the 4% cap placed on tuition at 4-year state colleges and universities might have been a mistake. “I wonder whether I did the right thing there or not,” said Christie. Christie also added the university presidents should be allowed to charge as much as they want in accordance to market prices. Jake Stillwell, a spokesman for the U.S. Student Association, an organization that lobbies on and tracks education legislation and policy rejects Christie’s belief of the free market value. “To talk about using market prices for tuition is misunderstanding that higher education doesn’t operate like a traditional market,” said Stillwell.



News Briefs


teve Jobs, Apple Founder and CEO, announced he is taking a medical leave a year and a half after having a liver transplant.

etween Sunday night and Monday morning, Newark was rattled by three homicides. Two of the victims were aged 29 and 20 years old respectively. The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office released a statement stating that the homicides were under investigation.


ev. Al Sharpton announced that the newest chapter of his National Action Network, a non-profit, civil rights organization, would be located at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Newark he principal, vice principal and athletic director of Lincoln High School in Jersey City were removed after accusations that the grades of athletes were changed in order to keep some students eligible for their football and basketball teams. They were reassigned to the district office pending an investigation.


hris Matlosz, a police officer in Lakewood New Jersey, was shot and killed on Jan. 14 after making a routine stop. Maltosz stopped a pedestrian who then took out a handgun and opened fire three times. eton Hall University hired A. Gabriel Esteban, a former provost of the university, as its first non-clergy president in more than two decades. n a recent interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie reiterated his belief that he is not prepared to be the President of the United States. fter almost a week of voting, Southern Sudan is on the verge of separating itself from the northern half of the nation. This idea has been supported by President Barack Obama and leaders from around the world as an attempt to create a stable nation and one separated from the region of Darfur, an area that is marred by its ongoing genocide.

All news briefs come from and

Police Blotter Bail Jumping Willie F. Charles IV jumped bail on Jan. 5 after being stopped in his vehicle on 249 University Avenue by police. Charles was found to be a suspended driver with three outstanding warrants. Robbery Jamal R. Thomas and January Aaron were arrested on Jan. 11 after being charged with robbery and unlawful possession on 155 University Avenue. Thomas was charged with robbery, unlawful possession of a handgun, and terroristic threats. Aaron was arrested on charges of unlawful possession of a handgun. Contempt of Court Johnathan Brea was found in contempt of court on Jan. 9 after being stopped by police near Washington Street and Washington Place. The suspect was found to be a suspended driver with three outstanding warrants. Defiant Trespassing Nana Y. Kwadade was arrested on Jan. 9 for trespassing at 360 MLK Blvd. A recent record check revealed an outstanding warrant.

Correction: The photos from WRNU’s relaunch party should have been credited to Dana Kandic.

January 19, 2011

Fear of use of Census data leads to low participation among some in Newark it is harder for them to understand the importance of the Census.” Multimedia Editor The second would be the language, a problem Paul faced while he Census is important for gathering information in some areas the people of New Jersey, particularly for those who in the city of Newark. Specifically in reside in the city of Newark. the Ironbound area, which is populated Yet, the experiences of some Census with Portuguese, Brazilian and Ecuadorian immigrants. workers have caused By Christian Torres-Rossi


more frustration than a true sense of accomplishment. The participation rate within the state of New Jersey is on average 74 percent for the 2010 Census, but the city of Newark has a lower figure. With Census participation at only 55 percent, the city of Newark has one of the lowest participation rates in the state of New Jersey. However, this statistic is up three percent from the 2000 Census. B e c a u s e some citizens do not participate and or give false information, the U.S. Census Bureau has inaccuracies. According to an article on the National Public Radio website titled Census: Texas Gains 4 House Seats; Ohio, NY lose two a piece, New Jersey will be losing one house seat while New York will lose two. According to Laurie Paul, a member of the American Society of Public Administration (ASPA) and a supervisor for the 2010 Census, there are four reasons why many people in Newark never take the census. Paul shared that “Newark is a complacent community where the level of ignorance has crippled the city.” Paul also says that she knows very well the consequences if the citizens of Newark don’t get actively involved in their community. “There are so many cases where people have been living on public assistance programs for generations;

“With Latino people, it was very difficult to explain the difference between race and place of origin... in the end our goal was to help them understand the questions, without prolonging our stay in that particular area.” Tino Mocreia, the 40-year old owner of Portugalia Sales, a store located in the Ironbound section of Newark, has been part of this community for over 15 years. Mocreia feels the negative response has more implications than just race. “It’s like getting an official letter from the IRS (regarding the census form), people get scared thinking this might be a trick to have them deported.” Mocreia moved from Portugal with his family when he was only three years of age. He feels that people should be more understanding and approachable if they want their voices to be heard.

Immigration status has influenced the level of participation amongst the Latino population. Paul believes that “Some members of the Newark community are scared of deportation and feel their information will do anything but help their legal situation.” The Census Bureau needs your racial background to meet legislative redistricting requirements and federal programs, however cannot legally administer any type of information to other federal agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Internal Revenue Service. Luz Villalta is a cashier at a music store in Newark. The 57 year old thinks there is nothing wrong with the census form or its intentions. “To tell you the truth I asked my daughter to help me understand certain questions, other than that there wasn’t a problem with us,” Villalta said. Paul felt quite differently when approaching some of the Latino people. “Many people saw me differently,” she said. “While interviewing some members of the Latino community, they never saw me as one of their own or as a person who would help them complete their Census form.” Perhaps, the most frustrating part for Paul happened when facing the ‘No snitching rule’. In some neighborhoods in Newark, drug dealers are in control, making it impossible for people like Paul to gather information accurately. Latino immigrants had similar reactions. “People will not divulge their source of income or the amount of people who live there in fear the police will come,” Paul said.

Injured LeGrand makes progress By Joshua Hoyos


gest fear that I got because I couldn’t

News Editor

t has been nearly three months since Eric LeGrand, a 20-year old Rutgers defensive tackle, was paralyzed from the neck down during a football game against Army. As the Rutgers community has surrounded him, good news has come out about his injury. In an interview with ESPN’s SportsCenter, LeGrand announced that he has now regained sensation throughout his entire body and is making progress in his rehabilitation. During the interview, LeGrand stated that death was his greatest fear. “Fear of death, that’s the big-

GIFFORDS continued from Page 1 In an article posted on, Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen of the 11th district stated that Gabby was always enthusiastic about everything and that his hopes and prayers were with her. He also sent his prayers to members of her family, her staff, and “the people she represents so well in Arizona.” Congressman Donald Payne said that he knew of representative Giffords, but that they represented different political circles. As a result of the shooting lawmakers have been focusing on creating better security for Congressional officials. According to a Jan. 11 article in The Washington Post titled

HAITI continued from Page 1 Here on campus, Attis helped to organize “Stand Up for Haiti,” a trio of fundraisers held on October 30 in the Golden Dome and Robeson that consisted of a basketball tournament, a symposium about the effects of the Haiti earthquake and a masquerade party. The event was also sponsored by the Alpha Alpha Lambda chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity,

breathe the way I was breathing and I couldn’t move. Laying out on the ground, motionless, not being able to breathe was the hardest part in thinking, can I die here?” said LeGrand. Greg Schiano, Rutgers football coach, was hopeful about the progress LeGrand has made but cites the long recovery track LeGrand is on. “These are all positive things, but it is still going to be a long road,” said Schiano. But for LeGrand, he is steadfast in his belief that he will recover. “I believe that I will walk one day, I believe it. God has a plan for me and I know it’s not to be sitting here all the time. I know he has something planned better for me.”

Giffords shooting prompts security concerns from lawmakers on Capitol Hill and in their home districts, lawmakers are considering asking Capitol Hill Police to visit district offices in order to determine whether extra security measures need to be taken. One new precaution may include the installation of silent alarms that would alert local police when activated. Other concerns include changes to gun control laws. However, some Rutgers students believe that changing the gun control law might not be the right thing to do. Senior, political science major Cabo Granato says that he thinks better enforcement of the current laws as well as stricter background checks on people may be the answer. “If I had 500 dollars right now I am sure that I could get a firearm within the hour,” he said. “I think we need to enforce the current laws and do more background checks.”

West Side High School and the Haitian Association of students. All proceeds for the fundraiser went to Doctors Without Borders, an organization that provides medical relief to countries in need and ‘Yele Haiti,’ singer and former Haiti presidential hopeful Wyclef Jean’s charity. For the Haitian Association of Students at Rutgers (HASAR)’s part, they hope to “excite, enrich, educate, and empower our Haitian people not only at Rutgers-Newark, not only in our surrounding

communities, not only in our state, but we hope to make an impact that will be felt in our sweet land of Haiti,” according to their mission statement. HASAR held several fundraisers of their own following the quake. One year later, there are still more than 800,000 people homeless in Haiti.





January 19, 2010

Welcome back

very New Year is an opportunity to improve one’s self. Whether it is improving your physical health by creating new exercises habits, or your mental health by avoiding negativity, those small changes help the individual evolve and become a better person. At the Observer we are taking advantage of the opening of 2011 to continue developing and advancing the standard of our publication. Last semester, our goal was to redesign the physical appearance of the newspaper and reestablish the Observer’s credibility on campus. We experienced some success last semester and we hope to build on that progress this year. In order to do this, our goal is to make the Observer more accessible to, and reflective of, the Rutgers-Newark community. In order to achieve that goal we

are asking for more involvement from the students, staff and faculty. That involvement can take many forms. For example, if you read something in the Observer that compels you to respond, please don’t hesitate to send us a “letter to the editor” or to comment on our website. This feedback is an invaluable way to help us improve the quality of our paper. Another way to get involved is by acting as our “eyes and ears.” This means that if you see or hear a newsworthy event or occurrence, in the classroom or on campus, reach out to us and let us know. Admittedly, we won’t always be able to cover every story, but we’ll make an effort, especially if it involves your safety, well-being, or pocket. Last semester, we launched our new website www.therutgersobserver. com. Through our website we launched


video content for the first time, and thanks to, we were able to deliver our newspaper on a digital publishing platform, expanding our reach, while reducing paper waste. This semester we also hope to extend our on-line presence with enhanced video coverage and photography. Last but far from least, we are determined to improve the quality of our writing. Therefore, our staff will be attending weekly in-house workshops to enhance our reporting, interviewing, and story-generating skills. Yes, we are setting lofty goals for ourselves, but I believe they are reasonable, too. As usual, our meetings will be every Monday at 11:30 am in Robeson 316. Every one is invited. Sincerely, Diego M. Ortiz Editor-in-Chief

The textbooks are too damn high party ter I bought my shoes, because to my horror, the list of books actually cost exactly two dollars more then what s an undergraduate student, I made. I knew that I could not affinding any kind of part-time ford the shoes and the books without employment, that doesn’t asking my parents to help me out, but take away from academ- books have been the one thing I’ve ics, with no experience, references, or been purchasing with my previous even a decent resume is a living hell. low-income, seasonal employment At that point, the opportunity to earn pay checks. Did I really want to resort to runa steady income of minimum wage ning back to my mommy just to own checks is absolutely amazing. So after finding out what the a pretty pair of shoes? Would those small number on my paycheck was shoes still feel as amazing on my feet, going to be, I began dreaming of the knowing that my parent’s hard earned beautiful pair of Coach shoes I was go- money went into buying them, instead of mine? ing to spoil myself with. No. This luxury item was someMy head was spinning with dePhotos by Diego M. Ortiz light at the thought of clicking through thing I had to buy myself. Even Alyssa Lopez shopping for a math textbook. online catalogues, finding just the right though it pained me to wait another pair, but that dream soon came to an uncertain time period, whenever my end when I decided that I should prob- next paycheck came in, I knew that an excellent idea because why would a ably purchase my books for the com- they would look amazing on my feet science major ever need to refer back ing semester before squandering the after they were earned. Maybe after to a book on the history of the Middle reinvesting in my education, I would Ages? entire paycheck on shoes. It’s great that not everyone has This was a mistake. I shouldn’t later be able to enjoy the fruit of my been having my horrible luck with even have looked at the list until af- labor to the full extent. Other students have been books. “I returned my books and got feeling the same pressure with book expenses. “So far, 75 percent back, which is more then I they’re a little bit expensive, thought,” said sophomore Demetrios this used book is $100,” said Xarhoulakos. By the time you realize how Maria Morales, a junior in the business school, pointing to much of your paycheck went toward books, it’s easy to get mad at the small her book. Maybe renting could businesses selling the books. It’s easy have saved me a couple of to get upset and claim that they’re ripbucks to get a cute pair of ping all students off when, in actuality, a bigger industry might be trying to rip flats. “The book I’m getting students off. New Jersey Books, Inc Vice now is only $10, renting,” said freshmen Alyssa Lopez. President Thomas M Ebert said, “pubLopez also mentioned that she lishers set the prices and 25 percent are Demetrious Xarhoulakos using his iPhone to look up rents books that don’t pertain gross margins on books to pay for rent, his course number. He is taking six credits this semesto her major, which seems like salaries, and utilities”. ter and estimates spending $300 on textbooks. By Zarna Patel Staff writer


Gov. plans to lift tuition cap By Nadia Kadri


Staff writer

hen the National Bureau of Economic Research declared in Sept. 2010 that the “Great Recession,” was over, many snickered. This declaration meant little because recovery was not felt by Americans, including New Jerseyans. For the new year, Governor Christie says his top concerns are fiscal discipline, fixing pension/healthcare systems and reforming schools. During the wake of education reform, Gov. Christie said he may have made a mistake when he imposed a 4% tuition cap on four-year state colleges. “College presidents should be free to seek market prices and have more autonomy over the universities and if we have competent people, it should not be the governor’s job to manage them.” he stated It may be nice to know that our Governor can admit when he feels he’s made a mistake, but while this is relief for college presidents, we are still stuck in a rut. Tuition caps may have saved families from increased financial troubles. As students, we saw a rise in

tuition upon returning for the Fall semester and many have seen a decrease in financial aid. Since prices of colleges in New Jersey are already higher than the national average, the fear that college will become simply an industry is growing. When asked R-N student, junior, marketing major Maeghan Pami, said, “If tuition continues to go up with no restrictions, upcoming students might now go out of state. Those who don’t will graduate with larger debt to payoff, which will be hard with a weak economy. It’s definite and unfortunate.” For college officials, the removal of the tuition cap is necessary. When asked for his response to the removal, R-N Chancellor Steven Diner said, “Given the realities, it is inappropriate for the State to set tuition caps; it interferes with the balanced budget that the school strives for.” If Gov. Christie reduces funding provided to universities and puts a cap on their tuition increases, he is making funding even more difficult. “No university likes to increase tuition but we try to keep it as balanced as possible, while paying the bills, and that balance is difficult to do.” said Chancellor Diner.

Given the issues of both the paying families and the colleges who are struggling for funds, the problem is clear: we are stuck in a domino effect that will only change with the economy. When jobs are scarce in a recession, people may enroll in college. Since incomes are falling, higher education needs not less, but more funding in order to keep tuition affordable. To reform education, Gov. Christie must decide what kind of reform he wishes to develop for NJ’s colleges. “The governor must definitely rethink funding for New Jersey public institutions. The way he is headed now, with less and less state funding and no caps on tuition, it seems he wants to turn the public system into a private system and that will definitely have consequences for educating New Jersey students of all economic backgrounds.” said Julia Schwenkenberg, Economics Professor at R-N. Since these problems have grown over a period of time, their solutions will take just as long. Until then, we must keep an eye on Gov. Christie’s budget for fiscal year 2012, releasing in February, making sure the education reform we need is in it.

TheVoice VoiceofofRutgers-Newark Rutgers-Newark The Rutgers, The The State State University University of Rutgers, of New New Jersey Jersey PaulRobeson RobesonCampus CampusCenter Center Paul 350 Dr. Martin Luther King, 350 Dr. Martin Luther King,Blvd. Blvd. Newark, Newark, New New Jersey Jersey 07102-1898 07102-1898 Main office: (973) 353-5023

Editor-in-Chief Diego M. Ortiz Editor-in-Chief ExecutiveM. Editor Diego Ortiz Allison Baldwin managing editor managing Thomaseditor Hahn Thomas Hahn LAYOUT DESIGN Editor LAYOUT DESIGN Monica DeEditor Leon Monica De Leon news editor news Allisoneditor Baldwin Joshua Hoyos sports editor sports editor Camilo Brun Camilo Brun opinion editor opinions editor Halema Wali Zarna Patel life & Leisure editor life & Leisure editor Caroline McLaughlin Caroline McLaughlin multiMedia Editor multiMedia Editor Christian Torres-Rossi Christian Torres-Rossi business manager business Omarmanager Khan Omar Khan staff staffwriters writers Alvin Anarah Laquay Weekes Desiree Hadley Calvin Okwuego Enzo Domingo Mauricio Moreno Farbod Rajaei Ramona Alcantara Gabriela Barkho Hassan Muhammad Hassan Muhammad Frances Perez Kelvin Pau Tricia Serrantonio LaQuay Weekes Breanne McCarthy Luis Mercado Bimpe Fageyimbo Matthew Rozsa Rodolfo Cardenas Nadia Kadri Farbod Rajai Naina Kamath Joshua Hoyos Patricia Serrantonio Rudy Cardenas Contributors Shashwat Dave Steven Albano Yaroslav Imshenetsky advisor George Garneau advisor George Garneau

Letters to the editor Letters the editor andtoOpinions: and Opinions: observercopy@ observeropinions@ News desk: News desk: observernews@ observernews@ To advertise with ToThe advertise with Observer The Observer please contact please contact Omar Khan Omarat Khan at observerbiz@ observerbiz@gmail. com The views expressed in the

TheOpinion goal of The Observer editorial section, with expages is to of present diversity of ception the the main Editoviews all not the R-N community, esperial,of do necessarily reflect cially students fees the theviews of whose The student Observer. support this newspaper, on timely and relevant topics. Letters (50-100 words) and essays (600-800 words) are accepted for publication at the discretion of the editor and/or his/her designees. Unsolicited manuscripts are not returned. Editors reserve the right to edit for space and clarity.



January 19, 2011

Life & Leisure

Life & Leisure

January 19, 2011


Inside this section: 5 Creative Space 6 Sudoku and Crossword....................page6

‘Mushishi’: A romantic ghost story without false scares By Kelvin Pau



rom the beginning notes of the opening theme, I knew I was in for a treat with this anime. Calming, restful, and subtle, Mushishi is set in a world where spirits are real, and a travelling spirit doctor, or Mushishi, named Ginko, must solve a spirit caused problem in every episode. Popular depictions of spiritual trouble like Paranormal Activity or Poltergeist might dissuade you from the show. But Mushishi is a ghost series that for once, eschews all the horror-blargh-ghost-gonna-get-ya crap. It’s not like the show is never scary or focused on horror. But most of the time, the anime is focused on the more mundane problems. A village might be falling under what appears to be a curse on their hearing, and become almost completely deaf for no natural reason. A girl might be unable to see at all because any light burns her eyes. These may not seem as interesting as other supernatural “mystery” series, but ultimately I promise that the show makes the crazed paranormal killers of The X-Files seem rather rote and dull. The show explores an enormous range of possibilities, with Ginko acting as the doctor in all cases. He’s kind of like a mix between House and Mulder, only Mulder really is right in this case and House is stoned. No matter what happens, Ginko is usually on

top of the matter and has done his homework on the issue at hand and any paths related. The art in this show suits it well. It’s subtle, but you’ll find majesty there if you look. Mostly depicting nature, such as lush forests and misty mountains, the style of the animation is very organic. In the end though, the strength of the series lies in the personal feeling that the show instills in you. Mushishi moves at a slow but not lagging pace, allowing the viewer to feel a sense of wonder and mystique in the world. The atmosphere is peaceful, but filled with a sense of meaning that the audience must extract from the episode. And when Ginko finishes his job and “cures” the patient, he always has a piece of advice to help in nonspiritual matters as well. Ultimately, Mushishi is a series about appreciating the ordinary things as much as it is about coming into understanding with the extraordinary. People learn to appreciate the sound of their heartbeat, and come to terms with the nature of their life. If you’re looking for an understated but profound series about life as filtered through spiritual illness, you should check out Mushishi.

No shame in liking ‘Shameless’

Tumblr makes blogging and networking beautifully streamlined By Hassan Muhammad


By Steven Albano



he Gallaghers are not your ordinary family. Frank Gallagher (William H. Macy) is the father of this obscenely dysfunctional family, and he is only a father in the sense that his visits home are accompanied by a blackout and an overnight stay on the floor where his adolescent daughter, Debbie (Emma Kenney), places a pink pillow underneath him where he passes out. The eldest sister, Fiona (Emma Rossum), is the glue that holds this family together. She is mother, father, and mentor to these children, and it is a very heavy burden to hold. We witness Fiona struggle at breakfast as she tries attempts to get the entire house downstairs and sit at the table to eat as a family. Her two teenage brothers, Lip (Jeremy White) and Ian (Cameron Monaghan), playfully banter as the rest of the other children venture downstairs. Debbie brings down toddler, Liam, and is joined by her younger brother, Carl (Ethan Cutkosky). There is not a lot of food present at the broken down table, and Fiona fills up a nearly empty gallon of milk so everyone has enough to drink. Today, everyone is talking about how they are going to earn money and who is going to watch after Liam as they all go on with their day, and it is probably safe to assume that this is a conversation that takes place every morning. Debbie makes a joke towards Carl as she is strapping baby Liam to her chest to bring to school for show-n-tell, “You almost nine. It’s time to start pulling your weight.” Showtime’s Shameless is an American remake of the British show of the same name. It chronicles the life of a family that needs an extraordinary amount

of perseverance and dedication to stay strong. The family is poor, but none of them complain or even seem to care. They embrace their lifestyle; it would seem that the hardships that they constantly endure would destroy most families but is instead a foundation for theirs. This show is, down to its roots, about being a family. The situations that these characters face could have easily been groan inducing or cliché ridden on a lesser show, but Shameless’s realistic writing makes these situations new again. One brother discovers the gay porn stash of another hidden behind a dresser, and the confrontations following are honestly brutal and heartwarming. Fiona encounters a suitor one night at a club, and this could easily have been a “damsel in distress” encounter, but Steve (Just Chatwin) turns out to be much more than your ordinary knight. Then there is a sexually adventurous and eccentric couple a couple houses down, Kev (Steve Howley) and Veronica (Shanola Hampton), and instead of being seemingly forced into the Gallagher family, they are integrated with such finesse that the viewer cannot even imagine the family without these rowdy neighbors. The show does not avoid controversy and is very explicit with its portrayal of nudity, violence, and language. The camera does not shy away from the grittiness or mess that is where they live and what they live through; it is as though the viewer is actually there witnessing the complete brutality of the lives of this family. Shameless wants you to not feel burdened by your deficiencies and peculiarities, it wants you to embrace them as uniquely your own. Only you have survived your own trials, and for that you should be most proud.


fter months of searching, I believe I’ve found it, a genuine replacement to endless hours wasted in the depths of Facebook: Tumblr, a relatively flourishing social media platform. After recently coming to a realization that Facebook is awfully becoming increasingly like Myspace, via a growing number of middle schoolers, default photos taken with the help of a mirror (with flash turned on of course), and fake names such as $neak Balla, I decided to deactivate it. Everyone’s emotional and sexist statuses were getting annoying anyway. Tumblr, a website launched by two men, almost four years ago is quickly becoming an internet sensation. Already hosting over 12 million blogs, with nearly 3 billion posts, Tumblr is a slick and versatile microblogging host that helps people instantly share their ideas and interests with the world. The concept of Tumblr is to be basic; a user simply posts text, photos, video, music, quotes, etc (sort of a more dynamic Twitter), and people with similar tastes eventually end up seeing it either through search or on their dashboard. Each post can be reblogged by another user so it appears on their profile as well which gives you an even bigger audience, an easy way for something of your creation to become viral!

My favorite feature of Tumblr is the fully customizable profile which truly reveals the owner’s individuality. A user can choose from over a thousand themes and then even edit them; and for more advanced users they can directly edit their profile using HTML and CSS coding. Also, the lack of advertisements on Tumblr (zero.) really makes the website streamlined. In comparison to the outdated Facebook, the more innovative Tumblr allows actual networking without the hassle of “social drama”. There is no “omg I cant believe she followed ME!” or “wow he had the nerve to post that?!” or even “John is now single.” I personally believe Tumblr holds a more intellectual group of users: in my first two weeks of using it, I learned so much and saw so many intriguing, interesting, and stimulating things, whereas in two weeks of Facebook, I would have seen a couple breakups, drunk photos, and cheesy quotes. Furthermore, you can follow anybody without being dubbed a stalker, a definite plus. Other interesting features include the meetups organized by the website itself. Users organize places to meet and spend time with the people they follow and blog with all over the world, usually held in local hipster hotspots such as cafes and lounges. I highly recommend Tumblr to any avid internet user looking to waste time in a meaningful way.

Hip House stands out as a new combo genre By Luis Mercado



oming off the successful release of his first single “Tap It, Drill It” New Jersey’s own DJ Spinking released his mixtape to the streets last week titled Hip House. The mixtape offers guest appearances from some of the most popular artists from New York and New Jersey, including Maino, Diggy Simmons, Fatman Scoop & Jae Millz. House music is becoming the signature sound of New Jersey, and Hip House proves that blending both house and hip-hop genres could grow to become a successful sound for Jersey in the mainstream. The best track on the mixtape is given to the son of hip hop pioneer Rev Run, Diggy Simmons, on the song “S550”. On the track he shows his promise as a rising star with both his flow and rhymes. Some other songs to look out for are Newark’s own Chad B on “Fade”, “Now or Later” featuring Fatman

Scoop, and Wepa (Tilt Your Head Back) featuring Sensato from Black Point. If you’re into the club scene then this mixtape is perfect for you as the high energy will keep you dancing throughout the whole cd. Fusing hip hop lyrics into house beats was a perfect marriage and I would not be surprised to hear some of these tracks on the radio soon.

Life & Leisure


January 19, 2011

Observer Creative Space:

Hello There Ryan Vance

7Events for 2011

The thing that keeps me waking The heart that’s only braking in the night

By Naina Kamath

The prettiest of car crash The sickening the creeping Deadly flight that keeps me bleeding out the right How do you always find me? I try so hard to avoid you And every night I wish this all would end But I only can pretend Where are you? And where’d you come from? Did you enter my life just then to leave? I need someone to hold me And in the darkness Consensually I cry and call your name My roommates they can hear me



wenty-Eleven: it’s a big number because not only does it symbolize the start of a new year, but also of a new decade. To keep you prepared; here are some events that will be happening during the course of this year. Whether you are into sports, technology, fashion or politics, there is something for everyone! 1) NASA’s Space Shuttle will face it’s last scheduled flight on April 1st, after being launched 135 times. The Space Shuttle will be missed, for it has played a huge and dynamic role in history; being the first space vehicle designed to be reused, the Space Shuttle has played many roles, from conducting space science experiments to repairing space stations. 2) Medical brain procedures are likely to get a lot more advanced as ‘optogentics’ evolve. This new technique combines the use of fiberoptics and designer viruses to stimulate neurons in the brain, allowing the creation of implants to replace brain tissue damaged by injury or stroke. 3) For those who are into the game of cricket, the Cricket World Cup will take place from Feb 19 till April 2. What’s interesting is that it will not be held in only one country; this World Cup will be hosted collectively by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. 4) Most girls will get excited as the Spring/

Summer 2011 Fashion Week period rolls around. From Paris to New York, London to Berlin, designers will be showing off their latest do’s for the world to see, setting the standard for the rest of the year. 5) While the girls get happy, the boys might get sad. The 3rd story in the Transformers film series, Transformers : Dark of the Moon will be released on July 1st. However (please hold your breath), Megan Fox will not be a part of it. Oh the horror! She will be replaced by Rosie Hungtington-Whiteley; sure, she’s an English Victoria’s Secret model, but we’ll see if she can compare! 6) Students will finally get a voice as the 1st Parliament of Student Council Leaders is set up in India. Known as ‘Bharatiya Chhatra Sansad’, this program will allow students to meet with prominent figures from all industries all across the world, creating a ‘breeding ground for the young, enthusiastic and bright minds committed to lead society, to effect political changes and to strengthen the democracy’. 7) This last event is one that has been developing for years now, and is likely to make huge jumps forward this year; internet capability. A new range of fiberoptic cables are being released, which will be able to transmit 100 gigabits per seconds (remember, we currently have 10- or 40-gigabits-per-second cabalities). With this new power, we’ll be able to get 15,000 HDTV channels at the same time. Not to mention, no more waiting ages for your Facebook page to load!

Want to see your writing in the next issue of the Observer? Email poems and short stories to observerlife

The things I say in my sleep Catching tears on scars I’ve tried to hide Like the last time I called you I told you happy birthday Please call me and say my name tonight Say my name tonight

SUDOKU & CROSSWORD Rutgers Observer


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Across 1- First name in jazz; 5- Biblical spy; 10- Soft drink; 14- Hero; 15- Preceding, poetically; 16- Amenable; 17- Small blemish; 18Balkan capital; 19- Do followers; 20- Like Einstein’s continuum; 23- Cheerful; 24- Foolish; 25- Canvas shelter; 28- “Hard ___!” (sailor’s yell); 30- Be in front; 31- Allegation; 36- Debussy subject; 37- Ancient city of Lycia; 39- ___ roll; 40- The talus; 42___ impasse; 43- Abba of Israel; 44- Tropical fruit; 46- Fend (off); 49- Writer of lyric poetry; 51- Incompatible; 56- Disgusting; 57Birth-related; 58- “…countrymen, lend me your ____”; 60- Pipe; 61- Large wading bird; 62- Horne solo; 63- Celestial body; 64Acclaim; 65- Monetary unit of South Africa; Down 1- Golfer Ernie; 2- Edges; 3- Coil; 4- Tums, e.g.; 5- Checking out, as before a robbery; 6- In progress; 7- Towering; 8- Ashtabula’s lake; 9- Ray of light; 10- Small crown; 11- Musical drama; 12Geneva’s lake; 13- Old-womanish; 21- Convert into leather; 22- Wharves; 25- ___ mater; 26- “Pure Guava” band; 27- Stool pigeon: var.; 28- 1975 Wimbledon winner; 29- Monetary unit of Romania; 31- Auth. unknown; 32- RR stop; 33- Bit; 34- Son of Judah; 35- Granny; 37- Three-masted ship of the Mediterranean; 38- Attorney’s org.; 41- Demolisher; 42- Aardvark; 44- Provide lodging for; 45- Botanist Gray; 46- Uses a sieve; 47- Freshwater fish; 48- Island off Venezuela; 49- The number system with base 8; 50- Roman goddess of the moon; 52- A single time; 53- Bust maker; 54- Zhivago’s love; 55- “___ Brockovich”; 59- Downcast; Crossword from, Sudoku from



January 19, 2011

Jets backup the trash talking, advance to AFC final


By Shashwat Dave

Staff Writer efore big games, especially against the Patriots, the Jets have seldom failed to take a few jabs at the opposing team. This time around was no different, as almost everybody on the Jets roster, from head coach Rex Ryan to quarterback Mark Sanchez promised vendetta over the New England Patriots after being humiliated 45-3 on Dec. 6. Let’s face it. The Jets are not known for their modesty. The HBO show Hard Knocks provides ample proof for that. What the Jets are known for is their defense; and their defense came up big on Sunday night, as the New York Jets ended the New England Patriots season with a 28-21 victory. After defeating Peyton Manning and the Colts in Indianapolis in the opening round of the NFL playoffs, few expected the Jets to pull off a victory in New England. Coming into last weekend’s game Patriots offense was red-hot, especially their leader QB Tom Brady, who had gone 355 passes, without being intercepted. Brady’s streak ended Sunday night as he was picked off during the opening minutes of the first quarter by David Harris.

Throughout the game, Brady was hit, sacked and grounded, and the Patriots never really got their offense going. The Jets defense sacked Brady five times. After the Brady interception in the opening drive, the Jets failed to cash in on the opportunity as Folk missed a field goal. New England got the ball back but was restricted to a mere field goal, thanks to two sacks by Shaun Ellis. And it was all Jets from then on. Sanchez threw a short touchdown pass to veteran running back, LaDainian Tomlinson; and followed up with a 37 yard completion to Braylon Edwards, thanks

Maclean fired, Langenbrunner traded: Devils look to re-build after a disappointing season By Shashwat Dave


Staff Writer

he Devils have dwelled in the cellars of the National Hockey league since the opening day of the season and are en route to missing the playoffs for the first time in thirteen years. In such adverse times, the Devils are looking to re-build their once dominant team in hopes of a brighter future. The first step in the re-building process was to fire coach John Maclean. Maclean coached the injury riddled Devils to a league low 9-22-2 record, amassing a meager 20 points over a stretch of 33 games. Maclean was replaced by veteran coach Jacques Lemaire, who came back from retirement last year to see the Devils through for the remainder of this season. However, Lemaire has had little effect on the lowly Devils, as the team has dropped 7 out of their last 10 under the interim coach. The Devils will most likely look for a more stable coaching staff in the near future. The next rebuilding step that the

Devils undertook was to make room for some extra salary cap space. After the signing of Russian superstar Ilya Kovalchuk for a 15 year/ $100 million deal, the Devils were around $3 million over the salary cap set by the NHL. The situation went from bad to worse for the Devils thanks to injuries to regulars such as Defensemen Bryce Salvador and winger Zach Parise. The Devils were in such a tight spot that at one point in the season, they were forced to play with only 15 skaters, three short of the league minimum. As a result the Devils were forced to make some salary cap space and veteran winger Brian Rolston, defenseman Anssi Selmela and long time captain Jamie Langenbrunner were put on waivers. Rolston’s and Selmela’s fate remains unknown still, but Langenbruneer was acquired by his former team, the Dallas Stars in exchange of a third round draft pick. Youngsters Matias Tedneby, David Clarkson, and Rod Pelley are likely to take the load off their veteran forwards in the absence of Langenbrunner. A new captain remains yet to be named.

to a misque by Patriots special teams member Patrick Chung. Meanwhile, the much hyped Jets defense lived up to its hype and shut out Tom Brady in the first half of the game, restricting the Patriots to merely a field goal. The Jets lead the Patriots, 14-3 at the end of the second. In the third quarter, Brady and the Patriots managed to get a touchdown and followed up with the two points and managed to close the gap to 14-11. Sanchez retaliated instantly, and connected with Santonio Holmes for an acrobatic touchdown catch in the corner of the endzone, increasing the Jets lead to 21-11. The Patriots responded with a field goal to cut the game to 21-14. At this point in the game, with less than two minutes remaining, the Patriots opted for an on-side kick, failed and the Jets recovered. In the ensuing drive, Shonn Greene ran for 16 yards to a 28-14 Jets lead. The Patriots followed up with a touchdown by Brady, and with under 1 minute remaining, tried for an on-side kick and failed again, culminating in a 28-21 Jets victory. The New York Jets make the trip to Pittsburg to face Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers for an AFC Championship showdown on Sunday, January 23rd and the trash talk has already begun with Braylon Edwards claiming, “Big Ben is next on our list.”

2011 SEASON: NETS AIMING LOW By Rudy Cardenas


Staff Writer

he soon to be Brooklyn basketball team currently faces one of the worst seasons they ever had. With only a year a left to play in the Prudential Center, the New Jersey Nets are far from proving themselves a worthy playoff candidate. With a record of 10-28 so far midway in the season, things are looking awry for the taciturn players. The team faces possible trades that might relinquish their stars like their point guard Devin Harris in hopes to bring better players like Carmelo Antony and Chauncey Billups from the Denver Nuggets and Richard Hamilton from the Detroit Pistons. The one point loss game in OT against the Phoenix Suns this week shows the Nets cannot control their bearing in games that they should desperately win. At this point, the team faces no great expectations with their current line up and coaching.

This season’s head coach, Avery Johnson, had great hopes of winning the Phoenix game after their previous two losses. He tells the press before the game, “I had a good long talk with them before practice, we pretty much have been hearing rumors since I took over. It’s a different guy every day. Every time we’re supposedly getting close to something…like I told them until we call them up and tell them something happened, we got to get better”. Unfortunately, the winning has not been favorable to the Nets this current season and they really need aid that could turn the team around. Making trades may be a good move for the Nets and could bring the right motivation to win games. Maybe the trades like Anthony and other great players could be the spark they need. Trades like those have helped teams in the past. Who could forget the players like Richard Jefferson, Vince Carter, and of course Jason Kidd who had relentlessly led the Nets to the play-offs.



January 19, 2011

Rutgers Observer Volume 76 Issue 16  
Rutgers Observer Volume 76 Issue 16  

Rutgers Observer January 19, 2011