THE STONY BROOK
SEP 10 2013 VOL XXXV ISSUE 1
TABLE OF CONTENTS EDITORIALS Itâ€™s Getting Better
NEWS All the news you missed
FEATURES Stony Brook Alumni Letters From Turkey
CULTURE The Pull-list
Nostalgia Goggles Saints Row Only God Forgives Game of Thrones Top 10 On-campus Weeds
12 14 16 17 18 20 21
COMICS OPINION Syria Edward Snowden
THE STONY BROOK PRESS EXECUTIVE EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR BUSINESS MANAGER ART DIRECTOR PRODUCTION MANAGER NEWS EDITOR FEATURES EDITOR CULTURE EDITOR SPORTS EDITOR WEB EDITOR OPINION EDITOR PHOTO EDITOR COPY EDITOR COPY EDITOR MINISTER OF ARCHIVES DISTRIBUTION MANAGER OMBUDSMAN
JODIE MANN NICK BATSON REBECCA TAPIO TOM JOHNSON JESSE CHANG JOHN FISCHER JASMINE HAEFNER BUSHRA MOLLICK BEATRICE VANTAPOOL HOWIE NEWSBERKMAN OLIVIA BURNE DAINE TAYLOR OLIVIA BURNE STEVEN YOUNG SEAN FISCHER GIL GAMESH ANDREW CARRIERI EVAN GOLDAPER
STAFF SURAIYA AFRINA JESSICA BEEBE TERICHI BELLINGER NICOLE BREMS SIOBHAN CASSIDY ARIELLE DOLLINGER ALEKS GILBERT-PETROVIC BRYAN GUTHY
BRIAN JOHNSON PRISCILA KORB DEVIN LEWIS SAMUEL LIEBRAND BRIANA LIONETTI MARK McCLEAN TEENA NAWABI VANESSA OGLE
The Stony Brook Press is published fortnightly during the academic year and twice during summer session by The Stony Brook Press, a student-run non-profit organization funded by the Student Activity Fee. The opinions expressed in letters, articles and viewpoints do not necessarily reflect those of The Stony Brook Press as a whole. Advertising policy does not necessarily reflect editorial policy. Staff meetings are held Wednesdays at 1:00 p.m. First copy free. For additional copies contact the Business Manager.
HAYLEY PARR CHRIS PRIORE ANDY POLHAMUS MATT WILLEMAIN
The Stony Brook Press Suites 060&061 Student Union SUNY at Stony Brook Stony Brook, NY 11794-3200 Email: email@example.com
Every recent freshman class in recent years has complained about how crappy our university is. What each of those classes fails to see is where we came from the year before. This type of ignorance is to be expected, and is the fault of no one. But, it should be said that as an organization that has both a past and a future here, we’ve seen it get it getting better. The Press has consistently been as critical of organizations such as the University Police, campus administration, and especially the Undergraduate Student Government as many incoming freshman have. We never waste time in finding fault or catching error. In hindsight, we have been justified in the majority of our statements to the campus community about these organizations and the events they have put on. However, what we all too often fail to acknowledge is that Stony Brook University as a whole, and the Undergraduate Student Government, are getting better. As a group of students no older than those they lead, they are constantly taking in feedback and attempting, however condescendingly, to put on events that we will like. While attending The Cataracs and Mac Miller concert over the weekend, an SB Press alum said that when he was freshman in 2008, the university would have never even attempted to put on events of that magnitude in such an uncontrolled space. Last year was the first ever Back to the Brook concert, featuring Reel Big Fish. This year’s concert appealed to an even wider fan-base. Our university and leadership also failed to draw artists as successful as Mac Miller, who while having a very specific fan base, managed to have a number one album from an independent label. A feat that’s almost unheard of. The reasons the university has been resistant to hosting events on the Staller Steps previously became very apparent
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during the Mac Miller concert, when a stampede of students broke out towards the stage. We do not pretend to be experts on crowd control or security procedures, but even a layman can see how having six 3-feet cement drop-offs compiled with approximately a thousand students could turn in to an exceedingly dangerous situation in seconds. It is very easy to attend a concert and flip the bird to USG and other organizers who are trying to push back students and put up an extra safety barrier. Clearly there was a mistake made by organizers when setting up the event that day. But what should be understood is the effort and work that predicated that day. The type of discussions and litigation that USG had to go through with the university and police to even make that spot a possibility were immense. There were mistakes made at the concert, USG should not deny that. Such as failing to provide water stations inside of the barriers, forcing students to either stay in the barriers waterless for upwards of four hours or leave and wait in line to re-enter. Attempting to feed upwards of a thousand students through a single check-point, which caused a line to extend beyond the gap between and Psych and the SAC also seems like poor planning. Even with these mistakes, as a campus we ended up with a concert that won’t be forgotten for quite some time. By the end of Mac Miller’s set, even the crowd on the top step were waving their hands in unison. The energy of those who chose to wait the forty minutes between acts was overwhelming compared to the Reel Big Fish performance a year ago. So Stony, stop fighting against an enemy that isn’t there and help USG out once in a blue moon. Stony Brook has and is getting better.
THE STONY BROOK PRESS
OPEN HOUSE SEPTEMBER 18 AT 1 PM UNION 060
NEWS BLURBZ by Jasmine Haefner and Rebecca Tapio Whether you’re a returning student who spent the last few months avoiding thinking about Fall classes or a freshmang searching desperately for the Social and Behavioral Sciences building, you’re part of an internationally-renowned university making strides on the daily that have brought it to the attention of everyone from your nana to The New York Times. So here are some baller news updates to kick-start your brain after its successful atrophication: Dinosaur or the Egg The evolution of the necessary brainpower to achieve flight occurred much earlier in non-avian dinosaurs than was previously thought, according to “Evolutionary origins of the avian brain,” a study led by Amy Balanoff, a Research Instructor in the Department of Anatomical Sciences, which is a division of the Stony Brook University School of Medicine. Researchers used computed tomographic (CT) scans to examine the braincases of more than two-dozen specimens. They found that the evolutionary trait that led to flight was not found exclusively in the earliest known birds, Archaeopteryx, but in several different species whose brains were proportionally larger in comparison to their body mass. Essentially, if you have a big head don’t worry about it. You could hold the key/mutation necessary for humans to fly.
Around Campus App now available The Around Campus app is now available to download free of charge. The app provides on-the-go coupons directed towards students on more than 180 campuses nation-wide. The app provides coupons to both on and off campus businesses, including the Charles B Wang Center, the ironically named barbershop A Kut with Klass, and student favorite, Bagels ‘N’ A Hole Lot More. Coupons from Around Campus are also available in the 20132014 student planner and at AroundCampus.com
Updated CCTV system The University Police Department has completed its update on SBU’s CCTV system. On top of installing security cameras in many new locations across campus, they have updated the system to include high-definition IP cameras. UPD states that new cameras have already been used to successfully solve crimes across campus, and that they’re “a great tool for use during large events,” according to the May 2013 UPD newsletter. Who knows, perhaps UPD will finally be able to catch the hooligan who keeps stealing the gender-specific bathroom signs in the basement of the union. artwork by Arielle Dollinger 6
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Inbred Flounder, Aren’t We All? According to research led by scientists from the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, local populations of winter flounder in six bays of Long Island are inbred and the effective number of breeders in each bay now numbers below 500 fish. The study, “Severe inbreeding and small effective number of breeders in a formerly abundant marine fish,” is one of the first that indicates the occurrence of inbreeding in a marine fish. This condition can lead to lower survival and reproductive rates, along with lower resistance to disease and environmental stress. It’s pretty much why marrying your cousin is frowned upon in all but 20 states, most of which, surprisingly, are not located in the South. Myth busted, kiddies.
West Side Dining now open! A full semester behind schedule, West Side Dining opened for students this fall. After a delay, caused in part by a compromised roof after snowstorm Nemo, West Side Dining will serve students from Kelly Quad, Roosevelt Quad and West Apartments, taking over the space where the lower-level Kelly Café used to be and the new building addition. The new dining facility includes new dining stations, such as Bobs BBQ as well as old stand-bys. West Side will be open from 7am to 3am Monday-Friday, and 8:30am to 3am on weekends during the fall term. For those worrying that they’ll miss the loud, engorged, neon-orange monster that is Stony Brook’s perpetual construction, fear not! The western-most portion of the building, where the old Kelly Dining used to reside, will be undergoing construction starting this semester and continuing through the school year. Award-Winning Heart Savior The Chief of the Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine was recently awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the American Heart Association (AHA) for his work to improve the heart health of Long Islanders. James R. Taylor Jr., MD, who is also a professor and CoDirector of Stony Brook University Heart Institute, has been performing cardiothoracic surgery for more than 20 years on Long Island. He was named one of New York’s “Best Doctors” by New York magazine, and has surgical experience that includes coronary artery disease, valvular heart disease, thoracic aortic disease, and minimally invasive cardiac surgery. You could say he’s the go-to. VOL XXXV Issue 1
ALUMNI by John Fischer
Freshmen on move-in day and alumni on their graduation day have a lot of the same questions on their mind with no exact answers: Where will I go from here? What will I do? Will I be successful? But despite these unanswered questions, they do have the answer to one: “What’s a seawolf?” So what is the answer? Alia Sabur knew it was, “I am,” at the age of 10 when she began her college career at Stony Brook University with the same questions on her mind. Joe Nathan knew the answer when he began his career as a major league baseball player. Scott Higham knew the answer when he accepted a Pulitzer Prize. The Stony Brook Alumni have found success in fields ranging from costume design to the Republican Party and with Macintosh. Sabur, one of the most notable of Stony Brook’s graduates, holds the record for being the youngest college professor in the world at 18. Showing signs of superior intelligence from a young age, Sabur started taking college-level courses after her school district found it was unable to meet her academic needs. “I was pretty scared at the time,” she said. “I thought college was more grown-up.” She credits her professors and the classes she took in helping her adjust to higher-level education and for playing a big role in her decision to study applied mathematics. “Get to know your professors,” she says. “They’re really on your side… take advantage of the vast array of courses.” Completing her undergraduate career in 2003 at the age of 14, Sabur went on to obtain a Masters and then PhD in Material Science and Engineering from Drexel University. She began her teaching career in 2008, working for the Southern University at New Orleans and later, as an SBU research liaison at Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea. She left the position in 2009, according to her website. Now 24, with a degree from George Washington University 8
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Law School, Sabur is working for the United States Patent and Trademark Office as a patent examiner, overseeing the rights that a government grants to an inventor regarding his or her product. She says she is “glad” remembering her time at George Washington “in addition to that non-traditional experience [Stony Brook].” Sabur is just one of many SBU alumni who have gone on to lead successful careers, ranging from performers and writers to scientists and politicians. Executive Director Matthew Colson of the Alumni Association stresses that student-alumni relations are important because they can lead to internship and job opportunities, and create networks for students both before and after graduation. “The Stony Brook Alumni Association seeks to foster a lifelong intellectual and emotional connection between the University and its graduates, and to provide the University with goodwill and support,” said Colson in an email. “The Association is also here to help students make the most of their experience at Stony Brook.” But SBU graduates are not just academics, they come in all shapes and sizes. Joe Nathan, for example, a 1997 SBU graduate, currently a pitcher for The Texas Rangers. Nathan credits his high school baseball coach for encouraging him to apply to Stony Brook. “In high school, I wasn’t a player that many colleges were interested in,” he said. “[Stony Brook] allowed me to grow as a person and a player.” Nathan played shortstop for the then division three team before switching to pitcher. After taking some time off to play minor league baseball for the Bellingham Giants, Nathan returned to Stony Brook and graduated with a degree in business management. Following graduation he played another two-year stint with Bellingham before being called up to the San Francisco Giants, a major league
team, in 1999. He was traded in 2003 to the Minnesota Twins and continued on with them until 2011 when he was traded to the Texas Rangers. “Picking a field of interest is of the utmost importance,” Nathan said of the college experience. “Whatever field it is, make sure you’re having fun with it and can become the best that you can be.” He honored his Alma Mater in 2009 by donating $500,000 to the Stony Brook Athletics Department for a new baseball field. The university opened it in 2011, naming it The Joe Nathan Field. SBU alumni are also well known for their creative achievements with many going on to win academy awards, Pulitzers and Nobel prizes. Investigative reporter Scott Higham, who writes for The Washington Post, is one example. Writing for the paper since 2000, Higham was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting in 2002 alongside journalists Sari Horwitz and Sarah Cohen. The trio helped expose the neglect and deaths of over 200 children in the foster care program of the District of Columbia, which led to reforms within the D.C. welfare system. Higham has also written on the subjects of homeland security, the Abu Ghraib Prison investigation and
the 2001 disappearance of D.C. intern, Chandra Levy, on which he co-authored a book, Finding Chandra: A True Washington Murder Mystery, according to The Washington Post’s website. Graduating with a history degree in 1982, Higham began his career at the Allentown Morning Call in Pennsyvania, eventually going to work for the Miami Herald in Baltimore Sun before landing a job at The Washington Post. He attributes his decision to go into journalism to his time spent at The Stony Brook Press where he served as editor of the paper. “I love the camaraderie of the place,” he said, joking that it was also the reason why he neglected his grades. “I did just enough to get B’s. I probably could have gotten A’s, but I was more concerned about my work at The Stony Brook Press.” Despite this, Higham commends the school on its diversity and academic reputation. “It’s become a very good school,” he said. “It will help when it comes time to look for jobs and graduate school.” These are just three of many former students who have graced the halls of Stony Brook University and gone on to lead successful and impressive careers. And who knows? Maybe someone reading this will be among them in the future.
OTHER NOTABLE ALUMS Richard Gelfond - 1976 - Co-Chairman and Co-CEO of IMAX CorporationChristine Goerke – 1994 – Singer for the Metropolitan Opera Company; Winner of the 2003 Grammy Award for Best Classical Recording and Best Choral Performance Patricia S. Cowings – 1970 – Director of the Pyschophysiological Research at NASA’s Ames Research Center; First American Woman to be trained in the Astronaut Program (though she never went into space) Mark Bridges – 1983 - Film costume designer; Winner of the 2012 Academy Award for best achievement in costume design for the film The Artist John Hennessey – 1977 - 10th President of Stanford University; Elected in 2000 Craig Allen - 1979 - Chief meteorologist CBS “This Morning” and WCBS Newsradio 88 Ron Nehring – 1992 - Most recent Former Chairman of the California Republican Party Jef Raskin - 1964 - Started the Macintosh project for Apple Computer in the late 1970s Steven K. Galson – 1978 - Surgeon General of the United States from 2007 to 2009
VOL XXXV Issue 1
LETTERS FROM TURKEY by Maggy Kilroy
Approximately three months ago Istanbul, Turkey, was the focus of the spotlight for news outlets across the country. Images of men, women and animals battered and beaten by police brutality littered newspapers and blogs everywhere. Much like the Occupy movement worldwide, Occupy Gezi began as a peaceful protest. About 50 environmentalists gathered to stop Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development party (AKP) from reconstructing the “Topçu Kışlası” or the Ottoman-era Taksim Military Barracks in one of the few green spaces left on the European side of Istanbul. Not only was this an environmental issue, but Taksim was the headquarters of Islamic rebels who were supporting the Ottoman government against Mustafa Kemal Atatürk’s new Turkish Republic. Since the Erdogan and the AKP won the election in 2002, they have sought a religious authoritarian regime. “Statistics say 99% of Turkey is Muslim but that is because they write ‘Muslim’ to your ID when you are born—even if people have different beliefs.,” said Orkun Soyak, who grew up in Istanbul in the midst of Erdogan’s rule. Within the year Türkiye Cumhuriyeti (TC), or the Republic of Turkey, has moved away from a republican mindset. After legislation was pushed through by Erdogan to end rights to abortion, limit alcohol consumption and even criminalize public displays of affection, the people had finally had enough. Riots quickly escalated into violent encounters between the police and protesters. “[The] police were not people. They weren’t even looking for negotiation,” said Soyak. “It was like they were enjoying beating and hurting people. They used unnecessary force against people. For example, 10 policemen beat a single girl. After she collapsed to the floor, they kicked her again and again.” The riots lasted 64 days across the country. Europe protested in support of their neighbor. Social media has played a large role in preventing the loss of their country as the Turkish people continue to stand up to Erdogan. Social media also spread the word nationally and internationally as news organizations loyal to the AKP downgraded the protests. The Guardian quoted Erdogan as saying, “’There is now a 10 Sept 11 2013
menace which is called Twitter. The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society.’” Facebook and Twitter buzzed as citizens of Turkey rushed to the aid of their countrymen. Fans of three rival football clubs stood side-by-side, holding posters that read: “Istanbul United. Since 31 May 2013.” Finally, on July 3, 2013, Reuters reported that, “a Turkish court has cancelled an Istanbul building project backed by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan which provided the trigger for nationwide anti-government demonstrations last month, a copy of the court decision showed.” Although this backpedaling theoretically ended the protests in Istanbul, the people of Turkey have showed the entire world that they do not stand with their Prime Minister. “We have local and general elections in the coming two years so all we can do is to vote and wait and see what’s going to happen,” said Soyak. During the Occupy Gezi riots in Istanbul, Syria’s Information Minister Omran Zoabi was quoted by Syrian television according to Reuters saying, “The demands of the Turkish people don’t deserve all this violence. If Erdogan is unable to pursue nonviolent means, he should resign… “Erdogan’s repression of peaceful protest ... shows how detached he is from reality.” In light of the Syrian attacks, the Turks reacted to their “beloved” leader eagerly willing to join any potential alliance against Syria. “No one in Turkey wants a war against Syria,” said Soyak. “But the government may consider going into war because our Prime Minister [Erdogan] is considered as Obama’s pawn. “I’m sure people will riot again if government goes into war.” On September 1, Gezi Park was once again visited by protesters and riot police. Once again, the police blocked the park to the nearly 1,000 protestors shouting, “United States, killers, stay out of Syria,” according to The Daily Star Lebanon. The rage of Turkish people is once again brewing as Erdogan publicizes his support for protests in Syria and Egypt. Turks across the country are asking why he cares about the unrest in other nations while he continues to hurt his own.
THE PULL LIST by Sean Fischer
Avengers A.I. #3 Sam Humphries André Lima Araújo After a lackluster run on The Ultimates that was marred by his involvement in the anticlimactic ending of Jonathan Hickman’s
The Star Wars #1 J.W. Rinzler Mike Mayhew There is a common misassumption that Star Wars was the singular vision of creator George Lucas rather than it being the culmination of collaborative efforts between the directors, concept artists, screen-writers and actors of the series. In this respect, it’s been a point of curiosity to consider what would have resulted if Lucas’ original vision remained intact. The Star Wars is an adaptation of Lucas’ original draft of the same name, that was eventually shaped into the series we know today. Rinzler and Mayhew adhere closely to Lucas’ draft while creating designs that Lucas himself approves. This accordance to Lucas’ original imagining is concurrently the work’s strongest and weakest aspect. It becomes obvious after reading this issue why The Star Wars remained a draft. While Mayhew’s art and science-fantasy serial designs are absolutely gorgeous, the plot jumps around often and creates a sense of tonal dissonance and the overemphasis on intergalactic feudal politics seems overly convoluted and lacks any real impact. Ultimately, the context of the work is far more interesting than its content, but is worth reading if only because it makes one consider what would have happened if The Star Wars had made it to theaters. Superman #23.1 Sholly Fisch Jeff Johnson To prepare for Forever Evil, the next major DC Comics event that revolves around the villains of the DCU, the next few issue of every book under the imprint is having a series of issues dedicated to a different villain. In this issue, we have a retelling of Bizarro’s creation. Fisch’s version doesn’t deviate from the Post-Crisis of the additional casualties in the name of Luthor’s experiment to create his own complacent superhuman vanguards. The story doesn’t do anything remarkable, or truly original, but perhaps more importantly it is a serviceable jumping on point for people who want to get into the universe. Johnson’s art manages to absurdity of Luthor’s insistence to create a superman in his own image considering the discouraging outcome seen in this issue.
Avengers A.I. that maintain a certain humanity and humor. Araújo’s art can be a bit lacking when it comes to depicting character’s faces, however detailed. It’s also fortunate to see characters like Victor Mancha being utilized in a more effective manner than the other characters from Runaways who are being used more or less as cannon fodder in Avengers Arena. The one weakness of the book is that it can feel somewhat derivative to anyone familiar with Rick Remender’s Secret Avengers well. The question of allegiance posed to one of the characters at the end of this issue is very similar to the original Human Torch’s situation in Remender’s work. This said, it’s at least worth continuing to read to see if the story winds up going in a different direction than expected. Satellite Sam # 3 Matt Fraction Howard Chaykin The highly anticipated crime-thriller about the death of a There are some improvements in this issue by way of Fraction using a handful of characters as opposed to cramming the entire underdeveloped cast into the issue. Beyond the work’s lack of focus, Satellite Sam’s are particularly engaging. Fraction’s knowledge of early television engineering and production is impressive to say the least, but it hardly makes for compelling material story-wise. Despite the fact that there’s some moments of interaction between characters and backstories explored, most of them remain barely relatable. The sexual aspects of the story aren’t so much a cheap way of keeping a male reader’s attention, but a reminder that these people are indeed human beings, as opposed to talking cliches. By putting the spotlight on some of these characters, it becomes clear how several by Chaykin’s lazy artwork, which looks like a rough sketch as from each other. The book is massively frustrating and muddled in its writing and artwork and despite improving scarcely this issue, it’s not enough to warrant reading further.
VOL XXXV Issue 1
by Tom Johnson, John Fischer
I’ve heard it’s common for tastes and preferences to change over time. Now, eight-year-old me hated Final Fantasy VII, so armed with a digital copy and a rarely used PlayStation Vita, I set off to give it another shot. The passage of time didn’t help the game, both technically and considering that I’m far more aware then I was as a child. Sure, it looks like ass. That’s to be expected. It’s a big title from the period of early polygonal games. However, the fact that the art style changes a good 4 times between scenes doesn’t help at all. What turns out to be my biggest issue is that I’m being forced to empathize for the main protagonists, who are, for all intents and purposes, terrorists in the purest forms. I don’t give a fuck how good your intentions are, when you’re blowing shit up with wanton disregard for anything, I lose interest and can’t empathize with you. Sorry Avalanche bros. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter. People will view it with the same rose-tinted glasses they do for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time because it was one of the first epic-scale games of the polygonal era, and care fuck all about logic and reason, and that Final Fantasy VI is by far the best in the series and genre, but hey, whatever. The game’s still bullshit. No amount of sad cosplayers and fan fiction will change that.
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Saturdays were always the same. Eat breakfast, help my dad mow the lawn, play with my friends, eat dinner, and begin my weekly ritual of two hours of t.v. before a bit of homework and lights out. I only ever watched channel 33, more popularly known to the kids in my area as Nickelodeon. The shows were hilarious. All-That, Keenan and Kell and Rugrats were always favorites, but the show of the night was always the same: The Amanda Show, starring the cute and highly-talented Amanda Bynes. The sketches were comedic genius. The dialogue was incredibly funny. And don’t get me started about the cast. Every time that Judge Trudy gave a harsh (and now that I think about it, somewhat violent) sentence to unsuspecting parents, I would think, “how do I file a complaint against my parents in her court.” Or whenever I watched a sketch of “The Girl’s Room”, I would look on with bulging eyes, just waiting for the mean one to give some dumbass who insulted them a good old-fashioned swirly. And who could forget Amanda’s number one fan (and alter-ego), Penelope Tate. I laughed. I cried. I jumped up and down. I was eight. Nobody wants to grow up, but we all do. And with growing up, comes change…change in times, change in idols and change in taste. I’m 21, and looking back at my youth, I cherish the times that The Amanda Show brought laughter and happiness to what I considered, my dull and uneventful life. Sadly, the same cannot be said now.
When watching reruns of it, a few thoughts come to mind. Firstly, poor Amanda Bynes. She was so sweet and innocent back then and could make any child shriek with laughter, all with just one funny face. Now, Bynes who retired from acting last year for a career in fashion in New York City has ended up at the UCLA Medical Center in California where she is being treated for schizophrenia, a disorder characterized by severe disturbances within the brain that affect normal speech and behavioral patterns. Bynes remains at the facility as part of a court mandate after a string of bizarre behavior which concluded with her pouring gasoline on to a random driveway and then igniting it. The court also granted her parents, Lynn and Rick Bynes, a temporary conservatorship, giving them full control over their daughters Overall, the warm feelings and bursts of laughter that once ran ramped through my veins when watching the Amanda show have been replaced by an ehh feeling of “yeah, that’s funny, but still cool? The answer is yes…if you’re parents still pack you lunch and you burst into laughter at the sight of milk squirting out someone’s nose. Sorry Amanda
VOL XXXV Issue 1
It’s been a really good 40+ year run, video games. I mean, sure, there was that setback in the 80s what with the arcade crash and all that, but overall, it really has been a good run. Unfortunately, now that Saints Row IV is out there for all to enjoy, the game appears to be over. Everyone can now pack up and go home, because the medium appears to have reached its zenith. I can honestly say, with one hundred percent certainty, that Saints Row IV is everything I’ve ever wanted in a game. Right out the gate, it takes the madness from the previous game and takes it to the next (I guess somewhat) logical step. The game opens with a Middle East manhunt for the previous game’s antagonist in a terrorist stronghold in a very blatant homage to last year’s Zero Dark Thirty. From there, you find yourself climbing and disarming a nuclear warhead in flight, and landing yourself the baller new position of President of the United States. During a press briefing, the White House comes under attack by an alien race known as the Zin. You and several members of your crew end up captured by their leader, Zinyak, and are imprisoned in a Matrix-esque computer simulation. With your antagonist solidified, the Third Street Saints have a clear target and start to take down the simulation to get to said target. It should be noted that all of this occurs within the first 45 minutes or so. After Saints Row: The Third, I had wondered how they could out-crazy the shit that went down in a sequel, and I had serious concerns as if it were even possible. As it happens, having the game primarily set inside what is essentially the Matrix gave the developers carte blanche to cast off any logical constraints, however loose said constraints were, and dive headfirst into balls
out insanity. Want superpowers? A whole 16-bit sequence that is a direct homage to Streets of Rage? A text adventure? More Tron levels? A whole mission that is essentially a Metal Gear Solid level? They’ve got you covered, dawg. The biggest and most apparent addition gameplay-wise is undoubtedly the introduction of superpowers. As you progress you’re quickly given the ability jump over buildings, wield telekenisis, fire and ice powers, as well as run so fast that the framerate on consoles sometimes can’t keep up. It turns out that the addition of gliding, super speed and super jumping makes traversal an incredibly fun activity unto itself. I’ve spent several hours over the course of my 15+ hour playthrough just running/jumping/gliding around the city collecting a lot of the game’s 1200+ data clusters, objects similar to the “agility orbs” in Crackdown and can be cashed in to improve your powers and abilities. With all the powers it ends up feeling like what is essentially the purest of power fantasies. Combat isn’t hard by any stretch of the imagination, as you can very easily clear out an entire enemy stronghold in less than a minute if you use your powers right, yet somehow, it doesn’t detract from the experience at all, and actually manages to make it more fun. The map is littered with side activities like hacking minigames, races, combat scenarios and mile-high towers to climb. It’s not uncommon for these types of activities to wear out their welcome quickly. I’ve found that there’s just so much different stuff to do that whenever I found myself becoming bored with something there were five or six other things I could do instead.
The writing and jokes continue to be funny, although some work off an implied knowledge of the events and jokes from the previous game. Even so, there weren’t really any that fell flat for me or made me cringe, which is often the case with attempts at comedy in the medium. It’s also commendable that for how dumb and crude some of the jokes are, the writing continues to be rather sharp. It should be noted that the biggest fault of Saints Row IV also works to directly support it’s greatest strength. While it’s true that almost the entire in-game map and environment is the recycled city of Stillwater from Saints Row: The Third. Fortunately, having the world and assets already made (like cars, for instance) allows them to give you superpowers that enable you to traverse the entire city in a matter of minutes on foot. Granted, I would have loved to see a new environment and city, but considering what they did with it, I really can’t complain too much. It really does seem like something they can only get away with once, however. The console versions also suffer from some pretty bad framerate problems as a result of being able to move so fast
from the environment, as well as jumping high enough to see so much of the city at once. While not a huge issue most of the time, it can make landing and maneuvering with some precision an issue, which can be troublesome when collecting data clusters and whatnot. These problems aren’t present on the PC version, however. It’s really interesting to see that what had once started as an open-world crime game picking up from where Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas left off, has now transcended the genre into something of it’s own. The game actually now has more in common from a gameplay perspective to the likes of Prototype and Crackdown. With a new set of consoles on the horizon and this being the last outing for the Saints as we know them, it is a fitting and fantastic last hurrah. I don’t remember the last time I had such a pure, fun experience and unabashed love for a game. I strongly urge anyone and everyone to give it a go. That is, unless, you don’t like fun. In which case, don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
ONLY GOD FORGIVES by Nick Batson In 2011, Nicolas Winding Refn’s film, Drive, took the movie industry by storm. The gritty crime-drama had just the right amount of action and art to invoke a major commercial success, raking in nearly $78 million in the box office. Over the summer, Refn’s latest GOD film, Only God Forgives was ONLY FORGIVES released. The film stars Ryan Gosling, who plays Julian, a drugdealer by day and fight club owner by night. After his brother Billy is killed out of revenge for his own crimes, his mother Crystal, played by Kristen Scott Thomas, sends Julian out to take revenge on his brother’s killer. According to the production notes, the film centers around a character that goes off to fight God. In this case, God takes the form of Chang, a police chief hell-bent on reforming the criminal underground through his own acts of violent punishment. Ultimately, he is the one who had Julian’s brother killed. As one may imagine, trying to fight God is a futile effort, and Julian will learn this the hard way throughout the film. That’s pretty much the plot of the entire movie, remarkably simple and somewhat paper thin. But what this film may lack in screenplay, it makes up in skill. If I were to count all of the lines of dialogue in OGF, I probably wouldn’t make it out of the double digits. That’s where a lot of critics began to complain. But I commend Refn for relying on the score, produced by Cliff Martinez, and his own visual eye to tell this story. Every single shot is artistic and that’s no over-exaggeration. If one were to take a screenshot of any scene and go hang it on a canvas in the MoMA, it would probably draw more visitors than the “Rain Room” did over the summer. This film echoes the artistic ambitions of a bygone era. One where cheesy dialogue wasn’t the backbone of every film. Back when each shot was composed like it was a work of art, because it was. The film is also entirely absent of any real human emotion, except for rage. It will leave any viewer craving a violent scene (which there are plenty of) just to justify that any of Refn’s characters are human at all. It’s unfair to throw OGF into the same classification as many other modern films. Which is why some may give it a negative review. By going into this film with an open mind and appreciating it for its art, then you’ll be in for a fantastic time. To put it simply: If you’re willing to appreciate film as a form of art, and be entertained by the artistic style, then you’ll have the utmost appreciation for OGF. If you’re simply out to drool over Goslng’s shirtless body, then I’d recommend saving your money and navigating your way to Google Images.
artwork by Jesse Chang
STADIUMS OF S%#T POOPING PRO TIPS by Dan Cashmar
Hey freshmen and other people that aren’t our fucking demographic anymore, Tom (3.95 GPA – Good Poop Average) and I (0.71% FG – Field Goal %) are professional shitters with over 20 years experience on the can. We review bathrooms around campus and over the years I’ve collected some data that I thought may be useful during your next bowel movement. #1 – Avoid Lobby Bathrooms This is probably the most valuable piece of information you’ll ever receive during your short mortal existence on this floating rock: Don’t use the bathrooms on the first floor of any building. They’re easily accessible and by their nature have a lot of traffic. Sometimes the bathrooms on the first floor can actually be quite good providing there is a lobby bathroom that hogs most of the people. #2 – Squatting Humans are not meant to shit sitting down on a chair. Our bodies are designed to excrete from a squatting position so try to find a bathroom that has low toilets. How could I possibly know that, you ask? Well it’s simple; try pooping outside in the forest aka how humans pooped for almost all of our existence. Which position comes naturally to you? #3 – Silent Pooping Are you a gentle soul that couldn’t possibly disturb others with the sound of your turds splashing into the toilet water? Well, place some toilet paper into the water and it will reduce the sound which may be more awkward as you suddenly leave the stall without making any sounds inside of it. #4 – Homestyle Shitting Clearly the best option for those of you with shy bladders or germophobes is to buy a home and shit there. Nothing beats the relaxation of taking a shit in complete solitude with crippling debt. #5 – Dodging the Turd Burglar Something you need to look out for on campus is the Turd Burglar. It sneaks into lonely bathrooms and will say the following phrase verbatim: “Hey, hey buddy, (large sniff), you got anything for me? Hehehe.” Under no circumstances should you respond to this question. Make sure you lift your feet and stay very quiet so it doesn’t know you’re there. God help you if it finds out you’re taking a shit.
STALLER CENTER DMINISTRATIVE BATHROOM by Tom Johnson Whilst wandering the campus on a hot summers day, I felt a familiar thunder down under and the urge to destroy something beautiful. Luckily, an oasis for seasoned poopers like myself lay nearby. Nestled away in the hall of administrative folks on the second floor of the Staller Center of the Arts, just shy of the prestigious “Founder’s Room,” there’s a decent chance it will be locked should you come across it. But should you find it unlocked, you’ll be treated to what I can only describe as a religious experience. Unlike any other bathroom I’ve seen, this one is more like those found in the home of someone who’s done fairly well for themselves in life. As I situated myself on the beige throne, I gazed around in wonderment at the level of comfort that my temporary oasis offered me. Ceramic tile below and mosaic tiling around me on all walls was interrupted only for a pantry-style wooden door that hid the supplies necessary to maintain this paradise, it definitely had a distinct feel that separated it from the rest of the campus’ shit boxes. A shelf next to the pedestal holding the sink offered lavish accommodations such as a box of tissues, hand sanitizer and a can of air freshener. Above the sink, an oval mirror protruded from the tiled wall, adjacent to a full roll of consumer grade paper towels that, as opposed to the sheets of lightly-processed tree bark masquerading as paper towels found in other bathrooms on campus. I strongly urge anyone and everyone reading this to attempt to make a pilgrimage to this holy site at least once during their tenure here, and to savor the opportunity.
VOL XXXV Issue 1
13 WAYS TO NOT TO BE A FRESHMAN by Bushra Mollick #1) You don’t need half the stuff you buy for your dorm room. Invest in a waist high fridge, a small water boiler, and Tide. Wash your sheets kiddies, your rooms aren’t large and airy, and before you know it it’ll start reeking of pizza crusts and nightly sweats. #2) Talk to your roommates. No for real, get to know them. Figure out who these people are, and establish a level of communication. Let them know from the beginning that you like a clean room, or if you don’t mind music being played in the room. If you don’t mention it in person, you’ll have to wait to take action until any problems arise, and by then it’s harder to avoid annoying behavior. #3) Be Prepared: People have sex. Talk to your roommates/ suitemates about this. If you have a significant other, be considerate. Neither of you are paying for a triple. If you want to get freaky, keep your roommate informed and have the decency to keep it quiet for those on the other side of the wall. Play some music and keep your moaning to a minimum. Hear no coitus, see no coitus, speak no coitus? #4) Go to class. College isn’t high school. You can’t just cram everything the night before. The classes meet less often, and are much more difficult than the curriculum you’re used to. If you’re struggling in a class, let the TA (Teaching Assistant) know. If you miss class, you’ll fall behind and stuck explaining your 2.5 GPA to your parents and your loan officer. #5) Tutors are free. There are tutors on campus that will ask you to pay large sums for their services. I can’t claim that their sessions won’t help you, but there are free services all over campus. They’re FREE. Take advantage of them. There’s no reason to pay $60 an hour when you can learn the same material for no money at all.
#6) Be active. Go to homecoming and Roth Regatta and get involved. This is college, a place specifically designed for you to make new friends. The campus offers a range of events every day, but no one is going to come knocking on your door with the word “fun” on their forehead. It’s what you make of it, so do some research and check out a couple of clubs. #7) Greeks are adding you on Facebook for a reason. No, they’re not looking at your status updates. It’s called “rushing.” Fraternity brothers an sorority sisters are probably scrolling through the “Stony Brook Class of 2017” Facebook page right now to see who their next pledge could be. It’s up to you if you want to join or not, but research your options before you settle for any organization. Besides, you can’t pledge your first semester as a freshman (legally.) #8) Party status updates. No one cares if you’re getting wasted at a party. More than half the University is older than you and can buy their own booze. They don’t settle for jungle juice. #9) Don’t die of Alcohol poisoning. People die of alcohol poisoning. It’s real. Don’t think that you’re immune just because you can chug a couple of forties and “seem” okay. If someone is unresponsive do not hesitate to call the University Police Department (631) 632-3333. You won’t be arrested, and the person will be treated at the university hospital. It’s better to be safe than sorry. #10) Take summer classes. Often you’ll find that you will change your major, add a major or possibly retake a class. Not everyone graduates in four years. It’s not a bad thing if you don’t, but if you take classes during summer or winter sessions, you can stay on track. #11) Go to Advising. Want to stay on track with graduation? Go to advising in the Melville Library, Room E-2360. If you want to focus on your major’s courses, contact your department advisor. #12) Enjoy it. These four years will fly. You’ll see. #13) Don’t ever wear your undergraduate key chain ever, even if they match your outfit. Seriously, don’t do it.
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TOP 10: OTHER REVELATIONS BY EDWARD SNOWDEN 10. My Goatee Fetish 9. My Foreign Policy class paid off 8. The location of that spider in your room 7. KFC’s 11 herbs and spices 6. Where you put your car keys when you’re late 5. Santa’s Naughty List 4. The next character to die in The Walking Dead 3. The hot singles in my area 2. The fastest way to a man’s heart 1. Who was phone
VOL XXXI Issue 1
HOW TO FIND WEED ON CAMPUS by Daniel Cashmar
So my Dutch friend Mary Jane has been asking me how to find weed on campus and fortunately I know how to do that so I figured I’d share with all of you as well. First you’ll need to be able to identify the weed and then should you decide to do something with it, I’ll instruct you on how to proceed. If you are vigilant and have good eyes, you’ll find the best weed in no time. Dandelions Dandelions are plants that get to about a foot high and have distinctly yellow flower heads. Others can be identified by their white umbrellas that we all used to blow off into the wind. You can just pull them out of the ground to get rid of them. Crabgrass Crabgrass grows annually only poorly maintained lawns. It looks like rougher grass and isn’t as pleasant to touch. To get rid of them, you can just water your lawn regularly as the typical grass will win in the end that way. Poison Ivy You should be extra careful when interacting with Poison Ivy. It typically has a furry vine with three leaflets. It’s probably best to use a herbicide upon it. Be careful not to touch it with your skin or to burn it. Touching it can cause a severe allergic reaction and burning the leaflets can make the oils that cause the allergic reaction become airborne and inhaled.
“DOCTOR” DAN SEZ: LOOKING FOR A QUICK WEIGHT LOSS TIP FOR THE FALL? TRY TAKING OUT YOUR BONES! 20 Sept 11 2013
VOL XXXV Issue 1
THE SYRIAN DECISION by Nick Batson
The United States is almost down to zero-hour for its decision whether to act or not to act in Syria. A few weeks ago, reports began coming in that the Syrian government had carried out a chemical attack in the Ghouta region of Syria, just east of Damascus. A real death toll has yet to be established, the US reports around 1400 killed, while the Damascus Media Office only reports 494 killed. After a more thorough UN report comes out later this week, we’ll probably have more insight into that. Minutes after the alleged attack, Facebook pages in support of the Free Syrian Army began to light up with claims of a chemical attack and describing symptoms of women and children. For the past three years, the United States has managed to turn somewhat of a blind eye to the civil war raging in Syria. Offering limited support for the opposition forces (The Free Syrian Army) and not much else. However, nearly a year ago President Obama made a speech regarding the ongoing conflict, stating that the use of chemical weapons by either side would cross a “red line.” Now it’s becoming more and more clear that the red line has been crossed, possibly on more than one occasion. The fact of the matter is clear: chemical weapons are a serious offense in terms of international law. Despite the fact that Syria is one of the few non-signatory nations of the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention, it does not make the Syrian government immune from international law. The problem isn’t necessarily what decision the United States will reach, it’s that the United States will reach a decision. No matter what President Obama decides to do, there’s no happy ending for the United States. If intervention is shot down by a congressional vote and no action is taken, then any additional chemical strikes carried out in Syria will likely be blamed on the failure of action by the United States and other world powers. If action is taken, no matter how positive the outcome, the United States will likely be criticised for trying to police the world and intervene in conflicts that don’t concern them. Politically, there’s no right answer. Morally, the answer is clear. Action needs to be taken. If this attack is to go unpunished, what will stop Assad from carrying out more? A Syrian-run newspaper has already deemed Obama’s decision to seek the approval of Congress as the “first step in the great American retreat.” After the failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s understandable 22 Sept 11 2013
as to why the American people would be hesitant to support a strike in Syria. But this isn’t an invasion, there’s no chance for American boots to land on Syrian soil according to a deal reached between Obama and Congress. What Obama is asking is for a limited, targeted, military strike using cruise missiles in order to limit the chemical weapons capabilities of Assad’s government. Some may ask, “So what happens when Syria decides to strike back?” That’s a valid question, but lets take a look at some facts. We can pretty much rule out any possibility for a long range attack reaching U.S. soil. As of now, the Syrian Air Force has no long range bombers, nor aircraft carriers. Even if they could by some chance make it into US airspace, they’d have to dodge our own Air Defense systems before carrying out any attack, and with nowhere to refuel, an aerial attack would certainly be a suicide mission. A naval strike is pretty much out of the question, the Syrian Navy is the smallest of its armed forces and only boasts about 4,000 active personnel, and given that during the Yom Kippur War the Israeli Navy was able to cripple the Syrian Navy, it’s highly unlikely they would even attempt to go up against United States Naval power. Without sea or air power, a land invasion is out of the question. A more likely scenario would be a Syrian retaliation against a US ally in the Middle East such as Israel or Jordan. But given how thinly spread the Syrian military currently is, it’s unlikely an attack of that magnitude could be organized, let alone carried out. Allies of Syria have vowed retaliation against U.S. allies in the Middle East, particularly against Israel, but these for the most part appear to be out of anger or frustration and not valid threats. I mean, if I had a nickel for everytime Iran threatened to bomb Israel, I’d probably have a lot of nickels, at least enough to buy a gumball. Something needs to be done to show Assad and the rest of the world that we won’t stand by and allow innocent civilians to be slaughtered through the use of illegal methods of war. A line was drawn in the sand, and it was crossed. Now is the time to act. No matter what decision President Obama ultimately reaches, it’s likely many people will be angry and upset, but sometimes the right thing needs to be done no matter what the consequences. This is one of those times.
THE SUMMER OF SNOWDEN by William Roh Chelsea Manning is now in military prison and will be for at least the next 8 years. Edward Snowden is not. Seeking temporary asylum in Russia, Snowden has managed to evade US authorities who intend to extradite him to the U.S. and prosecute him for disclosing details of top-secret mass surveillance programs facilitated by the U.S. and British governments to the British newspaper The Guardian. He has been charged with violation of the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property. Though Snowden has been largely successful at starting the conversation about where America is going with its civil liberties (and has gotten President Obama to make changes in NSA policies), I find it somewhat ironic that Snowden revealed what he felt were violations of the principles of the U.S., then ran away to a country which violates a lot of civil rights and liberties. By avoiding U.S. authorities and a trial, Snowden has made himself look like a bit of a coward, or at least somebody who does not wholly believe in the cause he is fighting for. While downloading and leaking sensitive information, I am sure Snowden knew – without a shadow of a doubt – that he would be in a world of trouble by disclosing this sensitive information. Snowden himself acknowledged that he understood the consequences and foresaw the coming of his end. This isn’t the way a whistle blower should behave. Martin Luther King went to jail fighting for his cause facing the consequences for what he was fighting for. Going to jail (or at least getting in trouble) “comes with the package” of being a whistle blower. And now that he is avoiding jail, his intentions of whistle blowing have somewhat lost its effect. Though Snowden has violated the law (and will probably be put in prison for a very long time), I believe that the American public will not allow Snowden to be punished easily, or at least will not allow an unfair
trial. He may even avoid a prison sentence, albeit highly unlikely. More importantly if he is imprisoned, I believe the American public will see the true colors of the U.S. government and will be motivated to take action for a change. And if enough people protest the almost certain conviction of Snowden, and the U.S. sticks to its seemingly disappearing mantra of “for the people, by the people,” then Snowden can possibly walk free. Manning was arrested, tried, convicted and is currently being held in disciplinary barracks. Her disclosure of the war logs and videos that the government tried to hide revealed the true brutality of war to Americans. The media coverage of Manning’s arrest and trial attracted a lot of attention from people around the world, and rapidly increased awareness in the United States spawning many campaigns to free Manning. If this much of conversation and debate was created due to someone revealing injustices of war that is fought in another country, imagine how great of a maelstrom a conviction of someone who revealed the wrongdoings of a country that convicted him due to his revelations would generate. Snowden should come back to the US and face the US authorities the same way Manning did. Though Manning didn’t have a choice whether or not she wanted to flee, her imprisonment generated a lot more awareness than if she had not. I do not mind if the government watches my every move: I have nothing to hide. But the act of the U.S. government – founded upon the principles of freedom, civil rights and liberties – facilitating mass surveillance programs makes me feel a bit uneasy. Even if Snowden never returns, I hope there are some serious changes implemented so that the government can serve who it is supposed to serve: the people. VOL XXXV Issue 1