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Katy Kuei earns grant


September 30, 2011


Solyndra bankrupt

By Angie Wang Graphics Editor In 2009, Science Teacher Katy Kuei received a grant from Lockheed Martin and Industrial Initiates for Math and Science Education to encourage student assembly of solar cells made entirely from scratch. Since then, Kuei has been polishing and simplifying the process, in preparation for student use of the equipment. The grant provides Kuei with the opportunity to buy materials such as titanium dioxide, conductive glass plates, and other chemicals that are essential to the construction of solar cells the laboratory. “I know my students will benefit from this hands-on activity,” Kuei says. “They will realize that knowledge is power, and they too can harness the sun’s renewable energy right in front of their eyes.” Kuei felt the need to empower her students. Because of budget cuts, students are often reduced to textbook learning that fails to effectively mimic the experiences of per-

graphics editor angie wang

Kuei received a grant from Lockheed Martin to teach students about solar cells

forming a hands-on experiment in the laboratory. While Kuei was working for a solar physics lab in Palo Alto in 2006, she learned about the sun, solar wind, and its interaction with the Earth. “There was no better way to explore solar power than to build an actual solar cell,” Kuei recalls. When she performed the lab for the first time during a summer program, Kuei remembers her students’ enthusiasm as they experimented to find the most efficient pigment to use in their solar cells. “I will continue to run these amazing labs because I love seeing the excitement and energy the students invest in their education.” In 2010, Applied Materials awarded Kuei with yet another grant, this time providing her with the resources with which her students could create hydrogen fuel cells. “A good proposal and evident, measurable success are both key to a good grant application,” says Kuei. Companies

See KUEI, NEWS Page 3

Nonviolence in India By Aishwarya Thakur Staff Writer

Solyndra, Fremont’s resident solar panel company, recently filed for bankruptcy despite much support and attention from the Obama administration in its beginning stages.

By Vishal Bajpai and Nihar Parikh Staff Writers On Aug. 31, 2011, Fremont solar panel powerhouse Solyndra filed for bankruptcy, laying off 1,100 workers immediately. The action marked the third US-backed solar company that has filed for bankruptcy in August alone. Solyndra’s case was especially ironic to the nation’s green movement as the company was branded as President Barack Obama’s “poster child” for his vision of the alternative energy industry. After visiting the company headquarters in May 2010, he and the Department of Energy were optimistic about its future and positive effect on the US economy and decided to grant it a $535 million loan. It was the first of around 40 companies to receive money from the Department of Energy’s slice from the 2009 economic stimulus package. The two other solar companies, Evergreen Solar and SpectraWatt, fell due to increased competition from Chinese firms, but Solyndra’s downfall is harder to explain. In their statement on August 31, they announced they had run into trouble because of difficult business conditions,

Obama visits Solyndra in May 2010, branding the company as his “poster-child” for the alternative green energy industry.

September 30 • Senior Transcript Day, C120, Period 6

September 30 • Hookslide Concert, 7 pm, Little Theatre

including the slowing demand for solar panels, and the increase of competitors worldwide. The claims are plausible. The solar industry is expected to produce 26 percent more panels than it can sell through 2013. The Chinese government is also trying to create a monopoly on the industry by subsidizing their firms’ costs quite heavily. Consequently, the prices for panels have fallen 46 percent after December 2010. But reports suggest there is more to Solyndra’s problems than just the emergence of Chinese manufacturers. Many experts agree that the company’s unique designs, which were expensive to make, were to blame for its failure. “It was a specialty product that could be used in certain applications, that would be very attractive for those applications, but wouldn’t be generally useful for large fields or even [all] rooftops,” Ken Zweibel, director of the Solar Institute at George Washington University, said to the New York Times. “They have misunderstood the marketplace.” The Solyndra bankruptcy could have tremendous political fall-out that has the potential of becoming one of Obama’s weakest points during his 2012 re-election bid. The Department of Energy has been subpoenaed, and findings suggest that the Department of Energy had invested in at least five companies which were bound to fail, and not meeting the requirements for government investment. Republican senator Cliff Stearns from Florida has launched a probe into the White House to learn how much Obama had already known about Solyndra’s situation and if the funds allocated to Solyndra were actually a token of appreciation to supporters of the Obama campaign. George Kaiser, who was a key investor in Solyndra, was also an influential donator who hosted fundraisers for Obama. House Republicans have already subpoenaed White House

India has been ranked at a corruption index of 3.3 on a scale of 0 to 10—with 0 being highly corrupt by Transparency International, an organization that releases annual reports to raise awareness on corruption around the world. Black money, under-the-table dealings, bribery, and many other such practices are the most common, easiest, and fastest way to get both menial and important work done in India. A frustrated yet determined man named Anna Hazare started a nonviolent movement one April day and India took a drastic turn towards the path of anticorruption. Hazare, previously part of the Indian Army, retired at the age of 39 and returned to his rural village, Ralegan Siddhi, Mahararashtra. There he worked towards establishing a functional irrigation, electrical, and educational system, which earned him the Padma Bhushan Award, the third highest civilian award for service to the nation, and made his village a “model village” for others to follow. On April 5, 2011, when Hazare, now 74, started a hunger strike in order to exert pressure on the government to form

Anna Hazare has started a non-violent movement toward ending political corruption in India.

anti-corruption laws, the nation showed its support. Hazare wanted the Indian government to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill, or the Citizen’s Ombudsman Bill. This bill would create a “lokpal” committee that would act as a liaison between the government and the people of the nation. This committee would assess corruption cases and try the particular case within a year. The corrupt person, if found guilty, would go to jail within two years and all the illegal money would be returned to the respective owners. This process in India would have originally taken as many as ten years to get settled or would never have gone to court at all; the corrupt per-

See SOLYNDRA, NEWS Page 3 October 3, 4, and 5 • Junior PSAT sign-ups

See PROTEST, NEWS Page 4 October 6 and 7 • Sophomore PSAT sign-ups

October 15 • PSAT

2 News

News in Brief Sub-atomic particles possibly faster than light On Sep. 22, 2011, an international team of scientists in Geneva recorded neutrinos, sub-atomic particles, traveling faster than the speed of light. These particles traveled from Geneva to Gran Sassso, Italy in a matter of 60 nanoseconds. Spokesman Antonio Ereditato said that the scientists are confident in their findings and wish for colleagues to confirm their results separately. This discovery, if proven true, may overturn Einstein’s theory of special relativity and bring a whole new set of speculations into time travel.

The CERN dome in Geneva, Switzerland. The international organization was involved in the experiment.

Facebook begins more changes On Thursday, September 22, Facebook began introducing a series of major changes to its site. The redesign of the user profiles, called Timeline, allows users to create a something akin to virtual scrapbook of their activities. Users will be able to post information such as books they’ve read, or significant events that occurred. Other new features include a sidebar on the home page that shows a live feed of all activities of your friends, and the “Listen” option, which allows you to see and listen to music a friend is listening to.

Washington Hospital recives distinction Washington Hospital has recently been honored for its nursing program and has achieved “magnate status” from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The nursing program at the hospital, allows nurses to conduct original research. For example, nurses developed innovative ideas on how to treat patients with fast moving infections. This distinction places Washington Hospital in the top seven percent of hospitals nationwide, and makes it the fifth hospital in the Bay Area to receive this status.

Fremont’s Washington Hospital receives “magnet recognition” from the ANCC. COMPILED BY STAFF WRITERS SAI CHILAKAPATI, SONALI TOPPUR, AND SHERRY XIAO

The Smoke Signal

Friday, September 30,2011

Comparison: Irene and Katrina

By Frank Chen Centerspread Editor

Hurricanes Irene and Katrina were both powerful Atlantic tropical cyclones that struck the US. As Irene swept over the East Coast, the American public made many comparisons about the two natural disasters. Storm Paths Irene Journeying through the Caribbean, Irene struck Puerto Rico on Aug. 22, 2011, and continued northwest across the Gulf of Mexico. Irene approached North Carolina, its first landfall, on August 27. Then, it moved in and out of the Atlantic Ocean, moving into New Jersey, and finally into the area of Brooklyn, in New York City, on August 28. Irene then continued as a post-tropical storm northward, where it eventually died out into the Labrador Sea in Canada on Aug. 29, 2011. Katrina Formed in the Bahamas on Aug. 23, 2005, Katrina struck Florida on

August 25 before quickly weakening and moving into the Gulf of Mexico. Then, Katrina spontaneously intensified over the Gulf and made its way towards Louisiana. Katrina continued maintaining its strength while on the Mississippi border before finally degrading into a depression in Tennessee. It moved northward before disintegrating in the Great Lakes region on Aug. 31, 2005. Size & Intensity Irene Compared to Katrina, Irene had the larger overall size. At its pinnacle, Irene reached a size of about 600 miles in diameter. Although Irene was considered a huge hurricane due to its massive size, its intensity did not go past category 3 and its wind speeds were less than 130 mph. Katrina While Irene had the larger area, Katrina had the larger intensity. While in the Gulf of Mexico, Katrina grew into a category 5 storm, the highest category a hurricane can attain. Its maximum wind speed was

around 173 mph. Destruction Irene Irene brought intense precipitation in the East Coast that caused flooding, electrical outage, and damage to trees as well as power lines. Inundation was extensive in coastal areas, where local business, housing, and public buildings all suffered structural damage. Currently, there have been reports of at least 45 deaths and estimates of up to $1.5 billion in disaster relief. Katrina Despite its overall destruction, Irene was nowhere close to that of Katrina. The cyclone deluged the coasts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, causing critical economical and environmental harm. Thousands of residents in the affected areas became unemployed, contributing to the financial downturn that took place in the aftermath of the storm. Along with the deaths of more than 1800 residents, Katrina caused about $125 billion in damage.

Evacuation/Preparation Irene Remembering the disaster brought by Katrina six years ago, the US took Hurricane Irene very seriously. In most parts of the East Coast, states of emergency were declared and storm shelters were prepared well before the storm made landfall. Governors in the Southeast as well as the Mid Atlantic called for mandatory evacuations well ahead of time, ensuring the safety of thousands of citizens. Katrina The city of New Orleans was the prime victim of Katrina. On the evening of Aug. 27, 2005, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin called for a voluntary evacuation. The next day, Nagin issued a mandatory evacuation, 18 hours before Katrina hit Louisiana. While about 80 percent of the population managed to evacuate via motor vehicles, the elderly, disabled, or those without cars had few provisions and were not evacuated in time. ▪,,

From left: The storm path of Hurricane Irene, the extreme flooding caused by Hurricane Irene, the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina, and the storm path of Hurricane Katrina.

Academic Challenge on hold for a year By Courtney Tam Opinon Editor

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced changes to Facebook, including the Timeline feature.

Due to instances of unsportsmanlike behavior at several team events last year, the club Academic Challenge will not be participating in any offsite competitions as it normally does, such as National Science Bowl, National Ocean Sciences Bowl, Wondercup, Quizbowl, National History Bowl, and the TV Show Quiz Kids for the 2011-12 school year. The situation was serious enough for a ban on all offsite competitions for Academic Challenge to be enforced. Administrators and club advisors hope that the yearlong suspension on off-campus competitions will be didactic for Academic Challenge club members by reinforcing the importance of sportsmanship and respect for opponents. They also hope that the hiatus will strengthen the club members’ sense of gratitude for the all-expenses paid trips to events such as National Science Bowl (held in Washington, DC and sponsored by the Department of Energy) and National Ocean Sciences Bowl (held at various colleges in the US and sponsored by the National Oceanographic Partnership Program). Though Academic Challenge will not be participating in offsite competitions this year, the club hopes to hold onsite competitions and in-school tournaments so that it maintains its competitive edge while retaining the joy derived from participating in contests.

The club has not been disbanded and is still active, holding regular weekly meetings on Mondays at lunch and Tuesdays after school in C12. Club members are practicing with advisors to prepare for future competitions. Academic Challenge President Jo Melville said, “Academic Challenge will keep doing what it’s doing…practice and lots of textbooks as usual.” Academic Challenge Advisor Peter Geschke is confident that after this year of learning, the club will surely return to offsite tournaments with grace and “every attempt to be competitive again”. ▪

NSPA rates Smoke Signal ‘First Class’ By Andrew Han Editor-in-Chief

The Smoke Signal earned a “First Class” commendation for the 201011 school year from the National Scholastic Press Association, an organization specializing in contest reviews of high school publications. The NSPA judged the Smoke Signal on coverage and content, writing and editing, photography and graphics, layout and design, and leadership. With a total score of 3,545 points (out of 3,700) and two marks of distinction (out of five) in coverage/content and student leadership, the Smoke Signal scored well above the threshold of 3,200 points for “First Class.” In the NSPA’s closing comments, they said, “Overall, the Smoke Signal staff produces a high quality student publication that they should be proud of. … Most colleges and small towns should be as lucky to

have a publication of this caliber.” In addition to the newspaper review, the NSPA also critiqued the Smoke Signal’s website on coverage and content, interactivity with the community, breaking news, design and website navigation, and rich media. The website,, scored 3,830 points (out of 4,000) and four marks of distinction (out of five), making it an “All-American” website, the highest possible ranking awarded by the NSPA. When asked about her thoughts on the award and the future of the Smoke Signal, Smoke Signal advisor Sandra Cohen said “This award represents a lot of hard work and focus on the part of the staff… Coming from an organization like NSPA, it’s that much more meaningful. As far as the future, I just see us continuing to improve on all our products, print and online.” ▪, &

Academic Challenge will not be participating in offsite competitions such as the above for one year.

editor-in-chief diya roy

The Smoke Signal’s 2010-11 editors-in-chief, Alyssa Gwynn and Elisa Ting

Friday, Sepetember 30, 2011

The Smoke Signal

SOLYNDRA | solar goes dark continued from page 1 teams to ascertain the alleged relationship of those donations with Obama’s choice to give Solyndra such a generous loan. On September 8, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents searched Solyndra’s headquarters to find possible evidence that Solyndra executives withheld information from Obama and the Department of Energy when the loan was approved. “The FBI raid further underscores that Solyndra was a bad bet from the beginning and put taxpayers at unnecessary risk,” Representative Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican who heads the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said Thursday in a statement to the San Francisco Chronicle. “President Obama’s signature

green jobs program went from a darling of the administration, to bankruptcy, to now the subject of an FBI raid in a matter of days.” Whether there is significant reason to doubt Solyndra’s management is unknown, but Solyndra will undoubtedly make a return in the election where Obama will be asked why he gave up $535 million to a doomed company. Economically, Solyndra’s bankruptcy is making American investors in green energy nervous. Chinese imports (which are cheaper but not as lasting) have been taking out a large market share from US companies. Along with the subpoena of the Department of Energy, the US solar industry is under pressure to withstand fierce competition from global markets in the future. ▪

The FBI searched Solyndra headquarters on September 8 for evidence that executives withheld information when the Obama administration and the Department of Energy approved the loan.

California Supreme Court appoints Goodwin Liu By Andrew Han Editor-in-Chief On Sep. 1, 2011, UC Berkeley professor Goodwin Liu was sworn in as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California, replacing Associate Justice Carlos Moreno. His appointment was unanimously approved by the state’s commission on Judicial Appointments after extensive commendations from several witnesses praising the Yale Law school graduate’s credentials. This appointment took place after a prolonged political and ultimately fruitless process regarding an appointment to a federal court seat. Born in Georgia to Taiwanese physicians who emigrated from Taiwan, Liu and his family moved to Sacramento, California in the late 1970s. In addition to Yale, Liu also holds degrees from Stanford and Oxford. Liu is recognized for his work in constitutional law, education policy, civil rights, and the Supreme Court. Before becoming a professor of law at UC Berkeley, Liu was a litigator, Supreme Court clerk, and widely published legal writer, among other notable political and governmental achievements. Despite his qualifications, however, President Obama’s nomination of Liu in late February to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, a top echelon of the federal court system, was blocked by Republican filibuster in the Senate. Criticism from the right was mainly directed at Liu’s predominantly liberal views. Shortly afterwards, on May 25, Liu sent a letter to Presi-

KUEI | MSJ teacher receives grant continued from page 1 like Lockheed Martin and Applied Materials look to give grants to teachers who can inspire their students’ interest in science. “Funds for Innovation grants seek good proposals that are unique and have potential to strongly impact student education.” Though such grants are extremely competitive, Kuei never fails to apply for those that will effectively

complement her teaching. Resources are scarce, but any funds that are set aside for scientific recognition and education will be put to good use. “Personally, I love to learn and I hope I can inspire students here at MSJ to be lifelong learners,” says Kuei. With hands-on labs and experiments, Kuei provides her students with the opportunity to find interests in scientific fields. Kuei is able to effectively motivate her students, one solar cell at a time. ▪

schools who enter the program. Semifinalists, the top one percent around 15,000 students, are chosen from over a pool of 1.5 million entrants. Then, they have to compete for Merit Scholarship Awards and complete other requirements to be recognized as a Finalist, where 94 percent of Semifinalists become Finalists and over half of them re-

Goodwin Liu shakes hands with California Attorney General, Kamala Harris.

dent Obama, withdrawing his nomination. “With no possibility of an up-or-down vote on the horizon, my family and I have decided that it is time for us to regain the ability to make plans for the future,” he wrote. Two months after this, Liu became California Governor Jerry Brown’s first nominee to the California Supreme Court. Brown expressed much faith in Liu’s abilities to serve and said that criticism of Liu has been made mainly by “fanatical Republicans.” Despite the much more expedient nature of the state court nomination, Liu did not avoid continued Republican opposition. State Republican Chairman Tom Del Becarro called Liu’s nomination a “predictable but bad pick” that “sends yet another signal that California is not a safe place for employers or jobs.” With fervent backing from ten respected witnesses, however, Liu’s nomination to the California

Supreme Court went far smoother than his nomination to the Ninth Circuit. After Liu’s confirmation to the state Supreme Court, the sevenmember court had the first majority of Asian justices in history. In his first public comments since his Ninth Circuit nomination, Liu said “I never thought the words nomination and confirmation could be separated by a mere 36 days... It has been a long journey for my family and me.” ▪

Goodwin Liu takes the oath of office as the new associate justice.

MSJ students launch iFUSD By Edward Nguyen Feature Editor

courtesy katy kuei

A student at Kuei’s summer program builds a solar cell.

MSJ earns accolades for National Merit Scholarship By Jonathon Teng Staff Writer This year, the MSJ Class of 2012 had 88 Semifinalists, a huge increase from the 65 Semifinalists from last year. Janet Aldinger, MSJ’s career center specialist, said, “In the past few years, the National Merit Finalist number has progressively gone up. This year, our number of Semifinalists is a substantial increase from last year, and I anticipate our Finalist numbers to be higher from past years.” The National Merit Scholarship program is a US academic scholarship competition administered by the National Merit Scholarship Corporation (NMSC). NMSC uses the PSAT/NMSQT as the preliminary screen for the 1.5 million juniors in some 22,000 high

News 3

ceive scholarships. To become a Finalist, one must maintain an outstanding academic record throughout high school and be endorsed or recommended by the high school principal. National Merit Scholarship winners of 2012 will be announced in news releases between April and July and join more than 283,000 other Merit Scholars. ▪

On Sep. 14, 2011, FUSD became the first school district in California to release an iPhone app. Once released, this app, which is available to the public, allows students and parents to access information from the FUSD website very easily. MSJ Seniors Andrew Han and Sumukh Sridhara, who first developed and launched an iPhone app. for The Smoke Signal had approached Superintendent James Morris in Spring 2011. They proposed the idea of creating an iPhone Application for FUSD. The Superintendent contacted the two students and after some questions were exchanged, he approved the idea. FUSD Director of Technology John Krull and Diya IT Solutions employee Rajan Barma, have been working with Han, product manager, and Sridhara, developer, to complete this project. The application, named iFUSD, has features such as information about News, a Calendar, Board of Education, Schools (with maps and a calling function), and Emergency Information. Push notifications will also alert users about important up-

courtesy andrew han

dates in the schools they choose to follow. “After talking to the superintendent, I found that the FUSD was really receptive to what we could offer, and after getting the ball rolling on that, things just took off,” said Han. The iFUSD application launched on Wednesday, Sep. 14, 2011 at 7 pm at the FUSD education center board room. Representatives from Apple, the media, and community were invited to the launch event where Sridhara and Han presented the application and its features. During the presentation both students got the chance to be interviewed by news stations and talked with Morris and the trustees. ▪

The MSJ Class of 2012 had 88 Semifinalists in the National Merit Scholarship program.

Han, Barma, and Sridhara at the September 14 iFUSD launch

courtesy roger chen

4 News

The Smoke Signal

Friday, September 30,2011

PROTEST | Hazare fights corruption in India continued from page 1 son would have bribed his way out of the unfavorable situation. Hazare, an avid Gandhi follower, said that he would not eat until the Ombudsman Bill was passed—a nonviolent method of action to pressure the government. He ended his fast after the government relented under the pressure of the 150 people fasting with Hazare, the movements rapidly growing across the country, and the media. The government agreed to form a committee of a government-elected, politician chairman, a non-politician co-chairman, and five governmentelected as well as five non-politician elected members. As a result, Hazare ended his fast on April 9, only to start another protest once again when the government didn’t meet his demands. In a letter to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, on July 18, Hazare said that he would start an indefinite fast once again on August 16. The Ombudsman Bill that the gov-

ernment had drafted did not meet many of Hazare’s demands and was a weak version of what Hazare and his fellow activists had suggested. This time, Hazare was also fighting for the freedom to protest and freedom of speech. The government had not given him permission to congregate and start another indefinite fast, and for this the police jailed Hazare mere hours before he had planned on beginning his movement. However, he and his followers vigilantly continued the fast in jail as a protest against the basic rights the government was taking away from the civilians. When he was released four days later, he continued fasting at Ramlila Ground (a ground reserved for major festivals, political rallies, and meetings). On August 28, 13 days after Hazare started the fast, the government agreed to amend to the bill. During this period, Hazare lost 16.5 pounds and afterwards doctors closely monitored him so he could regain his health. However, Hazare said, “I will not rest until all the changes that I

look to see are achieved.” He was also especially happy that the “mass movement which was carried out for 13 days was peaceful and nonviolent”. Although this was a big step in strengthening Indian democracy, corruption will continue to be an issue that India must deal with in the future. As Santosh Hegde, a former Indian Supreme Court judge who helped draft the bill said, “It’s not something you can expect today, tomorrow or next month.” However, with more people becoming aware of these issues, India is one step closer to becoming a corruption-free nation. ▪

Hazare amidst supporters

A crowd cheers Hazare as he leaves Tihar Jail.

Dress code changes

By Mekala Neelakantan News Editor

Waving the flag of India, protestors call attention to the corruption in the Indian government.

India unites to support Hazare.

This year, the administration has decided to implement a stricter dress code and overall school policy. In addition to the yearly dress code, hats will be impounded for 30 days if displaying graphics other than the MSJ logo, girls wearing shorts or skirts that end above their extended fingertips will be instructed to change into their PE shorts,

and boys wearing sagging pants will be asked to secure their pants with zipties. Students may not wear sunglasses in class. Campus Supervisor Brandi Speier said “Dress code is priority this year.” In addition to the stricter dress code implementation, the parking lot will be closely monitored; the lot is off-limits during passing periods. As for the lost-andfound policy, there will be a gift certificate program for students who find lost items and turn them in. ▪

5 Opinion


of Courts!

Smoke Signal

Mission San Jose High School Est. 1964 Vol. 47, No. 1 | September 30, 2011

Editors-in-Chief Andrew Han, Diya Roy News Allan Ko, Mekala Neelakantan Opinion Anthony Chen, Courtney Tam Feature Sida Lu, Edward Nguyen Centerspread Frank Chen, Alice Zalan A&E Alekya Rajanala,

Maya Ramachandran

Sports Omar El-Sadany, Sanjna Shukla Graphics Angie Wang, Kevin Zhai Web Aishwarya Thakur, Jonathon Teng Tech Sai Chilakapati, Vipin Dulam Business Rachel Choi Circulation Connor Williams Ads Ditha Balaji, Jade Shi Events Nihar Parikh, Sherry Xiao Writers & Photographers Vishal Bajpai, Leland Bernstein, Jason Chen, Matt Farberov, Brandon Fuhs, Jaynelle Gao, Kevin He, Catherine Ho, Kenny Jacoby, Vivian Jair, Anjali Kanthilal, Avery Kruger, Vishak Menon, Jin Peng, Kyle Qian, Tanya Raja, Anusha Rijhsinghani, Hannah Shih, Sonali Toppur, Grace Wu, Kerrie Wu, Supriya Yelimeli, Anna Zeng, Lindy Zeng

Advisor Sandra Cohen Send letters to the editor to opinion@the Letters under 300 words may be considered for publication and must include a full name and school affiliation. The Smoke Signal reserves the right to edit for clarity and length.

To advertise in the Smoke Signal, e-mail Advertising that is included on the pages of, or carried within, the Smoke Signal, is paid advertising, and as such is independent of the news and feature content.

The Smoke Signal’s right to freedom of speech and press is protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

My niece Emma is the most adorable baby you’ll ever meet. With a heart-melting smile and giant, doll-like eyes full of wonder and a slight hint of mischief, Emma is the epitome of childlike innocence, youth, and naïveté: a stark comparison to me, her auntie entering her senior year of high school. Even though I’m just a teenager, I can’t help but feel just a tad bit old whenever I’m around her. As a baby, Emma’s days are filled with new experiences and encounters with everything and everyone around her, all firsts for her. After partaking in a multitude of lengthy discussions about college with my parents and making decisions about my future, I was on the brink of becoming an adult, an idea I was, frankly, quite excited about because I could feel the independence so often associated with age taking over. When I was babysitting her during the summer, her unwavering dependence on me meant that essentially, she was my cherubic, pint-sized boss. Her inability to walk or stand for more than two seconds by herself, speak (at least intelligibly, all she can say so far is “ba ba ba”), and obtain her own food meant that every time she pointed at something, I got it for her. If she was hungry, I fed her the only two things she would eat: corn and bananas, with a side of apple juice. If she wanted to play with my iPod, I gave it to her and watched as she unsuccessfully endeavored to eat it and subsequently played with her for hours on end until we both erupted in massive peals of laughter. If she wanted to go from point A to point B,

Friday, September 30, 2011

In With the New By Anthony Chen

By Courtney Tam Opinion Editor

The Smoke Signal


A Year of Firsts

41717 Palm Ave. Fremont, CA 94539 (510) 657-3600

I carried her back and forth until she was satisfied enough to eagerly clap her hands. This constant back and forth interaction only reinforced the idea that Emma, not me, was the child and dependent. I was suddenly an adult. For seniors, that notion is reinforced ubiquitously. After all, we’re on the verge of becoming adults—about to leave the comfortable haven of the homes and town we have grown up and lived in, the people we have known for all our lives, and for college in less than a year. We’re not yet legally of age, but are no longer trapped in the frilly innocence of our younger selves. As we embark on our “year of lasts”, we are about to experience our last high school Homecoming, last Multicultural Week, last cycle of high school dances, and the last of everything unique to the high school experience. But it really shouldn’t be called the year of lasts—there are so many firsts: the first time taking senior portraits, the first time wearing red at Homecoming, the first time not taking the STAR test, and the first time doing anything with the word “senior” involved. Being in the twelfth grade almost instantaneously equates to being responsible and mature, making it easy to forget that this last year of high

school is only the beginning of our adventures into an entirely new world. So don’t let this be your year of lasts—be like Emma and let it be your year of firsts. ▪ Send letters to the editor to

Opinion Editor The first month of school is always an awkward time, mostly because of you. Yes, you. If you simply didn’t care at all, there would be no need for an acclimation period, but no one’s like that. We are all human. “To err is human,” as the saying goes, but that doesn’t save some people from unfortunate lapses in memory. “Hey, how was your summer?! It’s great to see you! I’m sooooooo glad I have a class with you this year! It’s been, like, what…two years?” “…I sat right behind you in math last year…” Oops. Cue profuse apologies. Truth be told, if this happened to you then you probably didn’t know the person that well anyway. Or you’re just a terrible friend, or perhaps your mind is on more practical matters than what you see as trivial social interaction, useless blithering, or an exercise in coming up with as many different greetings as possible. Perhaps you need to find the closest bathroom. Freshmen, take note: there is no Ewing bathroom for girls. As trivial as it may seem, not all bathrooms are created equal. You need to find the one. The pit stop. It becomes your stomping grounds for five minutes a day, a detour between second and third period when you check to see if your hair still looks like it did at seven in the morning and ask the friend that you always see there if the Spanish quiz was hard. It was, and the homework was graded really strictly too. You mentally adjust the “effort level” of the class in your head, and remind yourself to use more adjectives next time. This brings up a very important point if you care at

all about your grades. Some teachers are more lenient, and some are true believers in the merits of rigorous and meticulous homework. There’s really nothing you can do about it except find out which category your teachers belong in and adapt accordingly. You were dealt a hand of cards. Play them. Navigating from class to class is another whole host of choices you must make. If you need to see this guy, avoid that guy, chat with this girl, hide yourself from that girl, switch textbooks at your locker, and make a pit stop, you need to plan your trek well. Trial and error, my friend. Unique to this year is also the adjustment to the new bell schedule. Truth be told, I still get up at 7 am like I did in previous years. I just eat breakfast now. Perhaps you may have adjusted your internal biological clock twenty minutes forward, and are enjoying a tad bit more sun when you crack open your eyelids. Each to their own. What I have noticed, though, is that we have a normal lunchtime now. You know, normal as in we have a lunch time like everyone else does. Yay? Not quite, because lines are longer in various food shops. Chadbourne Elementary also ends class at around the same time we do, thereby creating a flood of little tikes in the area around Plymouth Avenue and a potential lawsuit in the making. Drive safely. Once you settle in, hang on for the ride. High school can be both enlightening and fun, if you choose to make it so. Cheers to a new school year, and good luck. ▪ Send letters to the editor to

Politicians misguided By Matt Farberov Staff Writer

As the economy takes a dip for the worst, stocks are falling, markets are crashing, defaults are looming, and a devastating credit downgrade is already on the books; our politicians are scrambling to fix our problems, just not those listed above. With the 2012 election drawing closer, it seems as though our House Representatives and Senators are too busy fundraising for their campaigns to worry about issues that plague our nation today. This is to be expected however, as they won’t allow their plans to spend the next four years doing nothing be ruined by a slumping economy or a credit downgrade. Several analysts have accused our government of focusing too much on international issues while leaving domestic topics at the bottom of the agenda. According to a recent Gallup poll, six in ten Americans believe that President Obama has spent too little time on the economy. How could he not with Gaddhafi’s, Mubarak’s, and Al-Bashar’s being overthrown by pro-democracy rebels which clearly threatens our national security and stability? After all, golf with Speaker of the House John Boehner absolutely takes precedence over dealing with the pending complaint against the Speaker issued only a day before by a prominent Washington ethics group. For the President, Tee-time is Me-time. Nothing could disturb his putt. This past summer has revealed serious holes in our government’s everyday functioning. As columnist Caroline Baum described, Obama is playing “chicken with a default.” Though this may have gone over the head of many Ameri-

cans, the U.S. has never been this close to defaulting on payments. What may seem like a small concern in the grand scheme of issues we all deal with, a default would throw the economy into an irreversible downward spiral inevitably leading to the next Great Depression. However, the President is not the only one to blame for the narrowly avoided economic catastrophe. Washington’s brinksmanship has taken its toll on the legislature, and everyday citizens who depend on a stable economy. With a Senate controlled by Republicans effectively blocking all measures proposed by the Democrat-held House of Representatives, Congress has effectively deemed itself useless. July’s largescale game of “nose-goes” brought the U.S. closer than ever to disaster. Republicans seem to be vetoing anything that smells of liberalism and Democrats are too busy pointing fingers to seek compromise. With no end in sight to the juvenile bickering in Washington, the voters are left to hold on for the ride. Americans are beginning to learn the harsh reality that no problem has any one universal solution. However, as our domestic woes carry on, one thing is certain; our politicians must be held accountable. After all, officials are elected to office to serve their constituents, not themselves. As Warren Buffet cleverly said, “I could solve the deficit in five minutes. You just pass a law that says anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP all sitting members of congress are ineligible for reelection.” As clever as that attempt may be, it would inevitably fail in Congress, just like anything else that would help the United States. ▪

centerspread editor frank chen

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Smoke Signal

EDITORIAL: Pilot Laptop Program The Opinion of the Smoke Signal Editorial Board Darned if you do, darned if you don’t. After a year of deliberating and debating, MSJ has decided to implement a pilot laptop program. The Anatomy and Physiology class students will be required to bring their laptop to school every day and the laptop will serve as the class’s main learning tool. For those who don’t have access to a laptop, the school will be responsible for providing students with netbooks. Even though the idea seems groundbreaking and innovative, we are skeptical. Thirty something students, one teacher. How will the teacher monitor each student to ensure that they are on task? It isn’t a secret that in the past, students at our school have gotten around restricted websites at either the school’s computers or their own laptops. Even though websites are restricted, people can find a way to get around the roadblock and may goof off in class. It is evident that in the past, students have not only the motivation, but also the ability to outdo the system for their own entertainment. Students will have less motivation to pay attention to what the teacher is saying and may take advantage of the laptop in front of them. More importantly, a laptop program could affect the teacher’s ability to keep their students engaged. Instead of lecturing, teachers will be instructing students to read things online. Some will argue that this takes away from the real learning experience. Always having a laptop will reduce teacher-student interaction and students will be more inclined to avoid asking teachers questions. Many people learn hands on, and

reading things online leaves too many opportunities to go off task. One aspect that the Anatomy class is debating is whether to have virtual dissections or real dissections. A virtual dissection will be cleaner and can potentially save us money, but it takes away from the experience. No matter how putrid the smell of a dead cat can be, it is a class experience that shouldn’t be traded in for a virtual experience. Nowadays, students spend enough time on the computer outside of school. We would be missing out on a hands-on experience that can increase our understanding of the lesson. The whole object of the dissection is to expose students to a specimen’s organs to demonstrate its parallels with human anatomy. Seeing it online will prevent us from probing around for the liver, and thus trying to understand how it’s related to everything else. However, many high schools in other districts and states already have a laptop program. Considering we don’t have one, it puts us behind on the “technologically-advanced” scale. Many teachers are pulling for the laptop program because it allows the teacher to have access to a lot more resources. If he or she wants the students to look up something, it can be done right then and there. The administration has weighed the benefits and the disadvantages and has come to the conclusion that it’s worth a try. After an assessment of the pilot program, they will decide whether or not it’s beneficial. Even though it’s just a pilot program, there are plenty of reasons for us to be on our guard. Students will be both motivated and tempted to go off task. Also, the laptops can potentially take away from the learning experience. Only time will tell if the program is for better, or for worse. ▪

Opinion 6

Money doesn’t talk By Vishal Bajpai Staff Writer

Censorship—the word is automatically connected with Orwellian thoughts. You automatically jump to conclusions of state run organizations suppressing the press and discarding embarrassing facts down memory holes. Frighteningly, however, censorship is no longer so simple and can occur organically within corporate media agencies. Obama’s uncle was arrested for a DUI this August. Although sources do claim that Onyango Obama had a Massachusetts driver’s license and a Social Security card at the time of his arrest, his immigration status remains unknown. To the vast majority of Americans, the incident remains unknown. The media in America totally ignored the story; the story was in fact originally broken by an Australian paper. Go back even further to the News of the World scandal, where it was proven that the English tabloid News of the World had hacked the voicemails of thousands of people including 9/11 victims, soldiers, and murdered children. The story spread pretty fast as Scotland Yard officials resigned and the original journalist that broke the story died; one news agency, however, absolutely refused to touch the story: Fox News. I couldn’t say I was surprised; Fox is owned by Rupert Mur-

doch, owner of News of the World before it closed down. Clearly censorship does occur in America, and as scary as it seems, the government doesn’t have to do it. Instead corporations do not release news that is harmful to their interests. News that would offend an advertiser or harm a friendly candidate’s chances would never be run by a network. It is obvious that we rely on the media to inform us of what happens around the world and to investigate the wrong doings of institutions. But it becomes increasingly more obvious that corporate media entities are not real news agencies, but instead propaganda outlets. The media plays a large part in how we see the world by what it chooses to report. If day after day CNN reported about how much it would actually cost to go to Hogwarts or how the new Spider-man main character being a minority graphics editor kevin zhai

is a hot issue, we might forget about the three wars that we are currently embroiled in (CNN actually has reported on both those “stories”). We see the world through the lens the media provides, trusting that this lens is unbiased and focused on the truth. By selectively choosing and then spinning news to fit their agendas, advanced corporate media outlets are becoming pawns of the bigger corporate machine that seeks out nothing more than the bottom line. ▪

Too pretty or too petty? By Mekala Neelakantan News Editor

This year, in the midst of global problems, natural disasters, and continuing economic downturn, clothing store JC Penny seems to have given our tumultuous society yet another issue to worry about. The clothing company recently released a back-to-school cotton t-shirt with the slogan “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me.” These shirts, available for online purchase before their petitioned recall, have caused such an outrage that it is, frankly, outrageous. The press is crawling all over it, social networking comments are flying, but I say stop fueling the fire. This is a 21st century world where such a product can only be taken as a joke or as an embarrassing testament to JC Penny’s design reviewing process. We should not be overreacting to the issue and giving it this amount of press time. It would have been more prudent to allow such an illconceived and poorly thought-out product to fail on its own. Leave it to the consumers to kill the shirt; we are too busy to be picking and prodding at such silly stunts. Furthermore, such a spotlight on the subject is only bringing more and more unwarranted attention to JC Penny’s otherwise famous current trends and fashion. The real outrage is that we do not have enough trust in ourselves to laugh at the slogan, make a biting remark about

the clothing store’s choice of shirts for a back-to-school line, and imagine a teenage girl ever entering class wearing such an article of clothing. Women are stronger today than ever before, and if one single shirt can bring us to reminisce about the

1950’s, we have a real problem. Yes, the shirt is rude and, truthfully, irritating, but what about Abercrombie and Fitch’s racist clothing line of 2002? I doubt it even rings a bell. The well-known clothing chain pointed rac-

ist remarks and caricatures regarding the Chinese on a clothing line that quickly gained attention due to ensuing boycotts. Many were angry, about the controversial depictions, appealing to store managers to publicly apologize and pull the shirts off of the shelves. The year before, the same company received criticism for sexually suggestive advertising campaigns. Yet, how many teenagers continue to shop at the store? I am not saying that Abercrombie and Fitch’s actions and infamous JC Penny shirt should be condoned; I am saying that it is a waste of energy to argue and be angered over products that are so obviously outmoded, not funny, and, for lack of a better word, simply “uncool.” Instead, we should rejoice in the fact that today’s female population has the ability, the confidence, and the strength to laugh in the face of shirts like these. Women are company heads, engineers, lawyers, and more; a silly shirt cannot take away the evidence that women are more than capable of doing their own homework. Besides, I would much rather do my work and gain the knowledge, the education, and the success that would allow me to make cynical remarks about the idiocy of this matter than be unable to lift a perfectly manicured finger in order to make a mark in the world. And that’s coming from a teenage girl. ▪

7 Feature

Technique#1: Behind Enemy Lines It’s passing period and students are bustling about the campus, going to their lockers and rushing to their classes like every other day. Suddenly, you see this really cute girl and you just know she’s the one for you…yet you are unable to get to know her better because you two lack mutual friends. Enter, the wingman! The wingman can go “behind enemy lines” and get to know her friends for you, establishing a connection so you can hang around her without appearing to be a “creeper.”

Technique #4: Icebreaker If all the above techniques haven’t worked and your dream girl can only be described as “icy,” it is time for your wingman to utilize Icebreaker. Everyone has seen the scene in the movies where the cute girl just happens to drop everything she has ever owned on the ground and the guy who really likes her helps her pick everything up. Unfortunately for you, this almost never happens in real life—which is why your wingman needs to create a little magic by shoving you into your dream girl and “literally” breaking her icy demeanor all the while shouting, “Meet Sida! He’s a really great guy, get to know him!” Then you can take your time apologizing and helping her up, all the while painting yourself as a much better guy than your wingman.

The Smoke Signal

Friday, September 30, 2011

By Leland Bernstein & Sida Lu Staff Writer & Feature Editor

Technique#2: Ride the Tricycle Before the Bicycle Once your wingman has helped you “infiltrate” your dream girl’s friend group, he can move on to Technique #2 and initiate the Tricycle. One of the biggest obstacles in getting to know a girl is spending non-awkward alone time with her right off the bat. The wingman can “third-wheel” along for a while to fight off the awkwardness until you and your dream girl are comfortable enough to hang out as a “bicycle.”

Technique #3: Propaganda Sometimes your best qualities (read: extremely good looks) may not be obvious to the naked eye right away. Never fear, for your wingman should be sufficiently trained in Propaganda. He can mention all your strong points in casual conversation. (“Hey, isn’t the weather nice today? Oh by the way, Leland’s so cute and funny and amazing!”) and drop flattering pictures of you all around your dream girl.

Technique#5: Stop (Him) in the Name of Love Sometimes the best action is inaction and it’s the wingman’s job to make sure you don’t say anything you’ll regret later—like pickup lines. Its the wingman’s job to make sure that lines like “Is your dad a baker? ‘Cause you got some nice buns!” permanently stays in the movies. It’s also the wingman’s job to make sure you don’t brag too much or reveal nasty details about yourself before your dream girl is ready to accept everything you are. (You are a deep and multilayered person you know!) graphics by centerspread editor frank chen

8 Feature

Math Teacher Iulia Rusu

The Smoke Signal

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Look at Ne

By Edward Nguyen, Aleky Feature Editor, A&E Ed

I teach Algebra 2/Trigonometry and Geometry. I graduated from UCLA with a Bachelors and Masters in Electrical Engineering, specializing in Semiconductor Electronics. I have a diverse family, in which we speak three languages daily: English, Romanian, and Tamil. My class mission is for everyone to learn to enjoy the beauty and challenge of Mathematics. Many kids tend to shy away from Math if they don’t understand it at their first exposure to a concept. I would feel accomplished at MSJ if I was able to inculcate in all my students the love for knowledge, the desire to be successful in class and the work ethic necessary to achieve it. I am my daughter's full time chauffeur and have the pleasure of driving her to all her extracurricular classes. It is a privilege, an honor, and a tremendous responsibility to be a teacher and I LOVE IT! Last advice for students: always stay open to learning. It is your greatest asset, one you can't ever lose. Enjoy the mental exercise, just as you would a physical one. You will get rewarded in so many ways.

English & Yearbook Teacher Jean Dotson I have been teaching since I turned 50. Before that I was in the computer industry and busy being a mom. I love this job. Some people have accused me of being a really old teenager and they are kind of right. I like to be here for the kids who aren’t stress cases about going to higher echelon colleges, and who know how to have fun. I’m at school at least one day a weekend.While I was hanging around doing nothing in Oklahoma, I became a knitter and really miss it now that I have no life and never have time to knit. I love the subject, can talk about Romantic poets for hours. I love the kids, they are so entertaining. I can’t imagine doing something where I had to deal with grownups all the time.

Digital Imaging Teacher Lynne Ginsberg I have a background working as an art director, designer and illustrator for advertising agencies and companies in New York and San Francisco. My goal is to teach tools of Illustrator and Photoshop in my Digital Imaging 1 classes and create projects in advertising, marketing, and design that will provide opportunities to learn about professional design. I enjoy visiting art galleries and museums as well as sketching. My favorite subjects to draw are my family, friends and the beautiful natural environment of the Bay Area when I go hiking. My favorite place to photograph is New York City. I have worked with Illustrator and Photoshop for over 15 years. My experience includes traditional and digital art for television, print and online media. I enjoy teaching – sharing ideas and techniques with others. I believe everyone has an artist within them. When artists work together creatively, it is truly inspiring.

English Teacher Kevin Snyder I attended college at CSU, Chico where I majored in journalism and minored in history. Prior to entering the teaching profession, I worked for several Bay Area public relations agencies whose clientele consisted of high tech local businesses. I'm an avid fan of the Atlanta Braves and I try to watch as many of their games as humanly possible. At MSJ I hope to Secure world peace, fix the economy, develop an alternative to fossil fuels, reverse global warming, and win a Nobel Prize. And that’s only in the first half of the year! In my free time, besides the occasional game of tennis or batting cage session, I usually spend my afternoons watching Braves games and making lesson plans. Lastly, I love interacting with the students and exposing them to new ideas and concepts.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Smoke Signal

Feature 9

ew Teachers

ya Rajanala, Angie Wang ditor, & Graphics Editor

Gov./Econ. & History Teacher Belinda Eugster I grew up in Newark and Fremont 100 years ago...I love science fiction, fantasy and mysteries. I prefer outside to sunsets and sunrises ha ha ha..Have classes that urge students to THINK, it’s not illegal yet, [laughs]..Provide a framework where students can form their own intelligent opinions and discuss. Play the sax in a jazz band, CHOPS, on a little break Taught in South Central LA, CSUEB, WHS and IHS. Worked in Sales and Marketing Management for 12 years in the Office Products industry...think the show “The Office” scarily realistic! Opened a wholesale hardware business with my husband 8 years ago. Started a private tutoring company based in Los Angeles. The interaction with the students teaches me something new every day. Thank you all for the very warm welcome from everyone at MSJ! From the students, teachers, and administration.

Special Education Stacy Davis I’ve been a special education teacher for ten years. [I have] previous work experience at Seneca Center in Concord and San Francisco. I did my undergrad at Penn State University, and Master’s Degree in education from Sacramento State University. I have a four and a half year old daughter and a two year old son who take up most of my free time! I enjoy camping and going to new places and am very excited to be at MSJHS!

Geography Teacher Joshua Hunter I have been a teacher for three years and have taught and subbed all over the FUSD. I have subbed at all of the high schools and taught at American and Washington before coming here. I hope to provide students with some fun and entertainment while still teaching them new and interesting things. Free time, what is that? I got married in June and am loving married life. I like to play video games and read books in my spare time. But I really don't have any interesting hobbies. I like getting to help students develop skills that they will use throughout their lives, skills like critical thinking, public speaking and a myriad of others. I may be a Husky at heart (I graduated from Washington in 2002) but I am proud to call myself a Warrior as well.

English Teacher Parvaneh Javid I have a masters degree in English from Iran, an English credential, and a multi-lingual subject. I have been a teacher for 10 years, mostly as an English teacher, also worked at an adult school. I enjoy cooking, reading, traveling, and family time. I am excited about helping students become successful, and want to serve them. I am also bilingual.

staff writers leland bernstein, vishal bajpaj connor williams, & graphics editor angie wang



The Smoke Signal

Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Smoke Signal

Centerspread 11

A Day That Will Live in Infamy By Matt Farberov Staff Writer

When Lee Adler, a computer designer for Cantor Fitzgerald, awoke early on September 11th, 2001, he went to work at the World Trade Center in New York, not shying from his daily routine. That day, Adler, along with nearly 3,000 Americans died in the worst attack on the United States in its history. Four large passenger planes were hijacked by Islamic Extremists in midair. Three of them eventually hit their targets of the World Trade Centers and the Pentagon. Only United Flight 93 missed its intended target, the White House, thanks to the heroic efforts of passengers aboard who fought the hijackers. The plane crashed in an open field near Shanksville, PA. All onboard were killed. Through the devastation and destruction of the 9/11 attacks, The United States has grown stronger, closer, and worked together to overcome the tragedy. The lives lost serve as a humble reminder of our shared sacrifice and duty to protect this nation and each other. As Americans we owe it to the survivors, the victims, and the heroes of 9/11. ▪

A Place to Remember By Diya Roy Editor-in-Chief

“The past 10 years have been hard for this country as a whole but I think it brought us closer.”

The plot of land where the World Trade Center once stood has been transformed. The area, formerly known as “the pile,” “the pit,” and most commonly “ground zero” became open to the public this past 9/11 for the first time since the tragic day ten years ago.

–Assistant Principal Carli Kim


This area has been converted into a memorial for the 2,977 people who died that day due to the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington DC, and Pennsylvania. The memorial consists of two giant square pits and reflecting pools that sit in the footprints of the former two towers. The waterfalls which cascade down the four walls of each fountain are the largest such fountains in North America.

By Aishwarya Thakur Staff Writer

The Events of 9-11 By Allan Ko News Editor

“After that tragic event, the unity we felt as a country… it would be nice if that lasted longer. We could renew that. When we were all on the same side and backed the same things, we overcame a lot.” - Officer Pipp

"When I first saw 9/11 on T.V., I thought it was like a crazy movie, but it shocked me when I realized that it wasn’t Hollywood and that real people were dying." -Charles Nguyen 11

On Sep. 11, 2001, 19 men from the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda took control of four airplanes and crashed one into each of the New York City World Trade Center (WTC) twin towers, one into the Pentagon, and one in a field in Pennsylvania. These attacks killed over 3000 people and started a string of US anti-terrorism initiatives in following years. The attackers were reportedly funded by Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda, and acting in retaliation of US involvement in the Persian Gulf War, its military presence in the Middle East, and its support of Israel. They chose flights bound for California so that the airplanes would be full of fuel and hijacked the planes shortly after takeoff. At 8:45 AM, the first airplane crashed into the north tower of the WTC. It was followed by the second airplane 18 minutes later, which collided with the south tower. Both towers collapsed by 10:30. Meanwhile, the third airplane struck the west side of the Pentagon building near Washington, D.C. at 9:45, causing a portion of the structure to collapse. The last hijacked airplane had been delayed taking off and passengers on board soon learned of the other crashes after speaking to families and friends.

Passengers and flight attendants intervened, broke into the cockpit, and kept this flight from its intended target, thought to be Washington D.C. Flight 93 crashed into a rural field in Pennsylvania at 10:10. “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundaton of America,” said President George Bush in a televised speech that night. In the following weeks, the government began taking anti-terrorism actions. The FBI declared its focus on counterterrorism and shifted resources from other activities, such as drug law enforcement. On October 7, Operation Enduring Freedom began, commencing a US-led international battle in Afghanistan to destroy both the Taliban regime and bin Laden’s terrorist network. On October 26, Bush signed the USA PATRIOT Act into effect, reducing restrictions for law enforcement officials to search telephone lines, email communications, medical records, and other personal information. The Act also enabled immigration officers to detain anyone they judged to be potentially involved with terrorists. ▪

The 10th anniversary of 9/11 brought back memories of the bombing that occurred exactly ten years ago. Many events took place around the country to honor and remember this prominent day in American history. Freedom Tower (New York City, NY): At the site of the previous World Trade Center Towers, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation is currently building the Freedom Tower which will stand tall at 1,776 feet. The Freedom Tower is simpler than the previous towers, but aspects of the previous towers will still be incorporated. The base of the Freedom Tower has the same dimensions as the World Center Towers, which were 200 feet square. A glass parapet will be placed at 1,368 feet—the height of the World Trade Center Tower One—and the observation deck will be built at 1,362 feet—the height of World Trade Center Tower Two. This tower "will serve as a beacon of freedom, and demonstrate the resolve of the United States, and the people of New York City," according to the New York City Freedom Tower website. Construction began in 2006 and is proposed to be completed and accessible by 2013.

These pools are surrounded by the names of the nearly 3,000 deceased chiseled in bronze. The memorial is designed so visitors are allowed to walk among the white oak trees on the eight-acre site and run their fingers over the names. There is also an electronic directory with a “Find a Name” option to help people locate their loved ones.

Newseum (Washington, DC): The Newseum, a museum dedicated to specifically news and journalism, featured an exhibit regarding the FBI’s role in investigating and fighting terrorism both before and after September 11. On September 10 and 11, the Newseum offered free admission into the museum, where they also featured a 31 foot section of the broadcast antenna that was originally on top of the World Trade Center's north tower, a piece of the Pentagon, and a twisted piece of the Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

However, not all of the construction is complete. There is still a museum pavilion as well as a tilting structure scheduled to open next year. The tilting structure represents the sections of the trade center which remained standing after the towers fell.

Washington National Cathedral (Washington, DC): From September 9th to 11th, the National Cathedral hosted a variety of events to honor and give condolescences to, not only the families affected by September 11, but also to all Americans. On September 11 the Cathedral’s 12-ton funeral bell rang at the exact time the airplanes crashed into the World Trade Center. President Barack Obama was also a speaker at the event with performances by Denyce Graves, Alan Jackson, and Patti LaBelle afterwards. ▪

The cost of the memorial and museum are estimated at around $700 million. However, over half of this money has been raised by a nonprofit organization which runs the project. They are currently seeking private funds so entry to the memorial and museum complex may be free of charge. Although the tragedy occurred over ten years ago, this memorial is just one of the many memorials already erected to show that 9/11 has not faded from the memories of Americans. This memorial will serve as a reminder of the enormity and tragedy of September 11, 2001 for decades to come. ▪

“We have made some progress, in terms of security domestically and procedurally.” -Science Teacher Peter Geschke “I remember coming home and seeing my mom watching the replays of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center for just a couple of seconds.” “ 9/11 is day of unity. A day to remember with quiet dignity those that lost their lives. It’s just a tough situation.” –Campus Supervisor Brandi Speier

-Arjun Sarkar, 11,, &

12 Photo

The Smoke Signal

Friday, September 30, 2011

photos by staff writers jade shi & sherry xiao, editor-in-chief andrew han, & graphics editors angie wang & kevin zhai.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Smoke Signal

Feature 13

Feathers By Ditha Balaji Staff Writer

As we emerge out of summer and fit into the school year, most of us wish for a way to spice up our regular school day outfits. Check out this guide to accessories to add that extra spark to your regular apparel.


By Kevin Zhai Graphics Editor

Sitting in class, doing nothing.


junior silvia zannetti showing off her newest feather extensions

graphics editor angie wang

Feathers: Feathers are the perfect way to add that color to a lackluster outfit. Either as an extension in your hair, a necklace, or earrings, feathers are a trendy, yet, simple way to perk up that outfit. Visit stores such as Forever 21 or Claire’s to purchase feather-themed jewelry. If you want to splurge and create your own feather jewelry, visit, to assemble a unique article for roughly $12 per feather.

Infinity Scarves: These circular wrap-around shawls have made themselves a staple in any closet. Ranging in sizes from a small cuff shape to a large, looping oval, infinity scarves are the perfect accessory to add that final touch on an outfit. Purchase these at Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, or most other women’s fashion stores. Oxfords: These unmistakably vintage shoes add the perfect amount of character to any outfit. After gaining popularity on the Oxford University scene in the 1800s, this clog-like footwear re-entered the fashion scene early last year. Its iconic rounded tip, with narrow heels, and characteristic shoelaces show off your inner intellectual. Headbands: Another way to spruce up your hairstyle is by adding a simple leather braided headband. It brings a fab 70’s feel to any outfit. Add it to a loose-fitted tank with a pair of neutral-colored shorts for a hip look. They are typically found online for around $2-3 or at Forever 21, Charlotte Russe, or Urban Outfitters. ▪

@OnwardtoHarvard Teacher’s phone rings in class #fail @OnwardtoHarvard

Teacher left for bathroom #Impendin@OnwardtoHarvard gAnarchy @OnwardtoHarvard

Surfing YouTube on netbooks. We’re so bad! #TechMasters @OnwardtoHarvard

Some people are talking about leaving class to say hi to teachers. We’re so bad! @OnwardtoHarvard

Oh no! They’re taking the tennis balls off the chairs! #taxdollars @OnwardtoHarvard

Whoa…sudden earthquake? Tennis balls rolling everywhere. #CaliLife


What’s up with the A/C? #climatechange @OnwardtoHarvard

@OhloneZomboni taking off stretchy book covers, using as Batman masks. #TheDarkNut @OnwardtoHarvard

Aftershocks!? #shakeandbake





Silence…#AllQuietOnWesternFront @OnwardtoHarvard

Teacher’s back… sleeves singed? #firearm @OnwardtoHarvard

Teacher’s bringing down the hammer #LawAndOrder restored. @OnwardtoHarvard

Sitting in class doing nothing

14 Ad

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Friday, September 30, 2011

The Smoke Signal

Summer Recap

Fall Preview

By Alekya Rajanala A&E Editor

Friends with Benefits ( July 22) Publicized as the must-see romantic comedy of the summer, Friends with Benefits follows the clichéd story of Dylan ( Justin Timberlake) and Jamie (Mila Kunis), friends who complicate their relationship with sex. However, the plot was criticized for being similar to February’s No Strings Attached starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher. This slightly raunchy flick fared decently well at the box office, garnering interest from younger moviegoers. Captain America: The First Avenger ( July 22) Continuing the summer’s superhero movie trend started by X-Men: First Class, action film Captain America focuses on Seth Rogers who volunteers for a top-secret project which turns him into the Super Soldier called Captain America. Rogers dedicates himself to “defending America’s ideals” by battling against the evil villain Red Skull. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ( July 15) Arguably one of the most anticipated mov-

Arts & Entertainment 15

By Connor Williams Staff Writer

ies of the summer, the final installation in the beloved Harry Potter film series certainly upheld its undeniably high expectations. Critics and fans alike lauded movie producers for sticking (mostly) faithfully to the book’s storyline, and indeed bringing the franchise to a wholly satisfying conclusion. The Help (August 10) Starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, and Octavia Spencer, this 1960s-set drama centers upon the lives of three Mississippi women whose creation of a secret writing breaks society’s rules and results in a very unusual sisterhood. Although the movie does gloss over its heavier racial themes, the actors’ performances are striking enough to carry the film. The Rise of the Planet of the Apes (August 5) A reboot of the original Planet of the Apes series, The Rise of the Planet of the Apes is a science fiction thriller about genetically enhanced chimpanzees attacking humans on a rampage. The film received critical acclaim, with critics calling it “the year’s finest action movie.”

The Ides of March (October 7) This film is an unusual take on the usual presidential-candidacy movies that arrive as we near presidential election season. Stephan Myers (Ryan Gosling) is a new staff member on the presidential campaign for Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney). After a couple of mistakes, Myers is unwillingly forced into the world of dirty politics and corruption. Paranormal Activity 3 (October 21) The third installment in the “moc-umentary” style franchise will be coming out just in time for Halloween.This movie follows the paths of two young girls who have been experiencing sinister premonitions caused by an unknown demonic presence who feeds on fear. In Time (October 23) In this futuristic movie people have developed a way to stop aging at 25, but earning more time comes at a price. Will Salas ( Justin Timberlake) suddenly finds himself with

more time than he could ever need, which makes him a target for the corrupted upper class. A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (November 4) You know them, you love them, and they’re back. Harold and Kumar have returned to celebrate Christmas the right way, by shooting Santa with a shot gun, and burning down Harold’s new father-in-law’s Christmas tree. And so they embark on an epic quest for a new tree. Breaking Dawn: Part One (November 18) Yes, ladies, the first installment of the final book of the most monumental tween romance novel ever is here. By now Bella has finally convinced Edward to marry her, leading to their half-human, half-vampire baby. This baby is a threat to both vampire and werewolf societies, and therefore Bella and Edward have to fight to protect their baby from harm. ▪,,,

In Da House By Anthony Chen Opinion Editor

A genre of club music, more formally categorized as house music, is invading the US. With the increasing radio play of artists like David Guetta and Afrojack, and the pervading influence of the house style in pop songs, it is evident that the future will bring much more dance music to local radio stations. Recent songs from Britney Spears, the Black Eyed Peas, Pitbull, LMFAO, and many other mainstream artists are considered to be house music. Some recent, commonly played songs are “Party Rock Anthem” and “Sexy and I Know It,” both by LMFAO, “Hello” by Martin Solveig, “Give Me Everything” by Pitbull (and produced by Afrojack), “I Wanna Go” by Britney Spears, “You Make Me Feel” by Cobra Starship, and “Mr. Saxobeat” by Alexandra Stan. House music is, however, a very broad label; most of what is commonly heard in the US is considered to be more progressive house. Here are some artists to check out.

Swedish House Mafia


David Guetta David Guetta, a 43-year-old French DJ, has gotten the most radio play out of the European house artists. His style is mainstream, is characterized more by progressive house than traditional house, and frequently features mainstream US artists. Some older songs by Guetta played on the radio include “Where Them Girls At (feat. Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj),” “Sexy Chick (feat. Akon),” and “Who’s That Chick (feat. Rihanna),” all runaway successes. Guetta is also featured in Flo Rida’s song “Club Can’t Handle Me.” David Guetta recently came out with a new album entitled “Nothing but the Beat” which features future club hits such as “Little Bad Girl (feat. Taio Cruz and Ludacris),” “Crank It Up (feat. Akon),” “Night of Your Life (feat. Jennifer Hudson),” “Titanium (feat. Sia),” and “Sunshine (feat. Avicii)”. “Sunshine” has a distinct combination of synths, leaning much more toward the sound of European house than US mainstream pop because of Avicii.

Avicii, also known as Tim Berg or Tom Hangs, is a 22-year-old DJ hailing from Sweden who, despite not having yet gotten much coverage in the US, has experienced phenomenal success in the past year, regularly placing very high on the download charts at, an online music store specializing in electronic dance music. A recent Avicii hit is “Levels” (formerly known as “ID”), a more traditional house song with massive buildups and a focus on synth, not vocals. Others include “Fade into Darkness” (formerly known as “Penguin”), a more relaxed track, “Don’t Give Up On Us,” and “Seek Bromance,” released under the moniker Tim Berg, which reached number one on the Beatport international chart. Great remixes by Avicii include “Rapture (Avicii Remix),” “Drowning (Avicii Remix),” “Derezzed (Avicii Remix),” and “Blessed (Avicii Remix).

Afrojack Afrojack is a 24-year-old Grammy Award-winning DJ from the Netherlands. Afrojack has had some radio coverage in the US – “Give Me Everything” and “Take Over Control” are two popular songs. Many of Afrojack’s other songs, however, incorporate a style known as Dirty Dutch, which involves a much harsher electronic sound and beat. These types of songs are much more effective in a club setting than played out of, say, car speakers. Some include “No Beef,” “Replica,” “Doing It Right,” “Selecta,” and “Bangduck.” Afrojack has also released many remixes, including “Collide (Afrojack Remix),” “Alejandro (Afrojack Remix),” “Techno Fan (Afrojack Remix),” and “Kickstarts (Afrojack Remix).”

Swedish House Mafia consists of three DJs: Axwell, Steve Angello, and Sebastian Ingrosso, respectively number ten, number fourteen, and number sixteen on the 2010 DJ Magazine Top 100 DJ Poll. Their newest single “Save the World” has received radio play in the US, but there’s so much more to the group, whose songs really show their skilled production technique. A taste of their amazing original mixes includes “One,” “Miami 2 Ibiza,” and “Leave the World Behind.” The group also makes great remixes; one such example is “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall (Swedish House Mafia Remix).” Be sure to check out the individual DJs of Swedish House Mafia, who release music under their own names too.

Last, but not least, here are some other artists to explore: Kaskade, Deadmau5, Wolfgang Gartner, Steve Aoki, Alesso, Martin Solveig, Tiesto, Armin Van Buuren, Hook N Sling, Calvin Harris, R3hab, Dirty South, ATB, and MSTRKRFT. ▪,,,

16 Arts & Entertainment

Not So Red Hot Peppers

The Smoke Signal

Kanye, Jay-Z Reign

vocals do not mesh well together, By Alice Zalan causing the song to be an awkward Centerspread Editor jumble of noise. However, the band pulls togethThe Red Hot Chili Peppers are back from a four year hiatus with er in the track “Brendan’s Death their new album, I’m With You, Song.” Klinghoffer’s voice is deep which dropped on August 26 of and rich, lending a sense of conthis year. Striding away from the tentment to the tune. It is more of more rock like music found on their a peaceful song, and as one listens, previous albums, the Red Hot Chili the acoustic guitar shines through Peppers have settled into a softer and really ties the song together. and mellower tone. This is partly “The Adventures Of Rain Dance due to the departure of singer/ Maggie,” the first single to drop, guitarist John Frusciante in 2009 is the closest to the former music whose replacement is guitarist Josh the band made. There are rhythmic Klinghoffer. Klinghoffer is featured beats that are reminiscent of one of on this album and lends his voice their highest performing singles, to many of the tracks. His deep and “Californication.” Fans will not be completely throaty voice adds to the intensity of the songs. Bassist Flea said “… satisfied with this new album, but over time he really revealed him- neither will they be distraught. Yes, self to be just the best person we the addition of Klinghoffer adds a different perspective to the album, could’ve got.” The single “Even You, Brutus” is but the overall quality does not sufone of the more unusual tracks from fer too badly as a result of this new the album, with rhythmic beats change. On this album, the instrublended in with the unexpected ad- ment playing is really the highlight. dition of piano music. The singles However, many will miss the fan“Happiness Loves Company” and tastic guitar playing of Frusciante “Police Station” are also fueled with and his husky voice. All in all, this the sounds of a piano, but the med- album is not quite up to previous ley proves too odd for the group to albums’ standards. ▪ pull off. The melody and the group’s Rating: B-

Failed ‘Abduction’

By Ditha Balaji Staff Writer

The film Abduction, starring Twilight’s Taylor Lautner, depicts the life of a teen who discovers that he had been reported missing when he was younger, which leads him to question everything he once knew to be true. Nathan Price (Taylor Lautner), a quick tempered teenager and Karen Lowell (Lily Collins), the pretty girl next door, are assigned a sociology project, where they have to track the condition of missing children. While doing some research on this assignment, they find a picture that strongly resembles Nathan when he was younger. Intrigued, Na-

than starts to uncover parts of his past while rummaging through his home, and he realizes that the people he believes are his parents might actually be his captors. Nathan then receives a phone call explaing that he was kidnapped when he was younger, and that the people he’s currently living with aren’t his family, but people assigned to protect him from government services. On that same night, two men appear at his front door, murder his “parents,” and attempt to kill him as well. Nathan then embarks on a wild chase where he attempts to uncover his true past. Accompanying Nathan on his perilous quest is Karen, who happened to be coming over. The two somehow seem to follow a path

Friday, September 30, 2011

By Kevin Zhai Graphics Editor

Jay-Z and Kanye West team up, and with their powers combined, they have produced Watch the Throne, an album with a wide variety of influences and guest appearances. The tracks were recorded in locations all around the world, including Hawaii and England. In this collaboration album, the production values are reminiscent of Kanye’s last album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Use of progressive rock, R&B, and even dubstep gets sprinkled into the album. Overall, it’s a grandiose presentation underlined with orchestral strings and synths based off their grandiose lives. The tracks flow smoothly as of “clues” given to them either from the CIA or a group of insiders that happen to be aware of the situation. He finds out that his birth-father possesses a cell phone that holds a list of the most wanted persons in the United States, which not only puts his father in danger, but him as well. Ultimately he realizes how much family means to him. Overall the film was simply lousy. The plot was unorganized with many random sequences that seem to have nothing to do with the actual film. Lily Collin’s performance was transparent and uninspired, with her characters coming off whiny and confused. The story, however, was the biggest letdown. The concept was intelligent, yet it was carried out haphazardly, as if to meet a script-writing deadline. The scenes seemed to literally be thrown together, lacking any sort of flow. The only redeeming quality of the film was its decent cinematography with action shots and chase sequences. This film is not recommended to anyone, other than those who are simply looking for a hilarious night poking fun at stupid movies. The only “A” that can be associated with this abomination of a movie is the first letter of its title, which does not even fit the storyline. ▪ Rating: D+

most break free from the predictable “verse-chorus-verse” format. As is expected nowadays from mainstream hip-hop albums, there are several guest artists including Beyoncé, Kid Cudi, and Mr. Hudson. Listen closely to “No Church in the Wild” for The-Dream’s surprise appearance. Watch the Throne samples from a wide variety of sources. James Brown is sampled several times throughout the album, especially from his song “Don’t Tell a Lie About Me and I Won’t Tell the Truth About You.” Dubstep producer Flux Pavilion steps in for the track “Who Gon Stop Me,” while the hip-hop group Atmosphere is sampled in “Welcome to the Jungle.” Samples are often transitioned and layered throughout

the track, a demonstration of West’s skill and evolving technique. The most unexpected sample is probably a dialogue exchange between Will Ferrell and Jon Heder in their 2007 comedy film Blades of Glory. The themes generally revolve around the success of West and Jay-Z and how they have dealt with their fame and power. The two main players contrast their lives through their lines. Jay-Z is a devoted husband with rags-to-riches origins, while Kanye proves that he is still irresponsible and promiscuous. Kanye acknowledges the damages of his playboy lifestyle and Jay-Z apologizes for the paparazzi that will instantly hound their future sons in the reflective “New Day.” In several tracks both artists consider how their race affects their success. Racism in regards to beauty is criticized in “That’s My B*tch,” and black-on-black killings are told with first-hand experience from both West and Jay-Z, reminding listeners of the grim situations still endured by people in America’s great cities of Chicago and New York. “Made in America” is a patriotic track in which West and Jay-Z give their thanks to all who had helped them succeed. Watch the Throne is a tightlyproduced album with themes that revolve around opulent success in America. It is another milestone that shows how far Jay-Z and Kanye West have come since they broke into the music industry years ago. Although they do their best when talking about what they know (women, wealth, and themselves), it’s nice to see them experimenting with more sentimental issues. ▪ Rating: A

‘Moneyball’ on the Money

By Maya Ramachandran A&E Editor

Not the classic “feel-good” sports movie, Moneyball successfully tells the story of Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland Athetics, and how he revolutionized professional baseball by using mathematics instead of tradition to field a baseball team. The movie begins October 15, 2001, with the A’s season-ending loss to the New York Yankees. To rub salt in the wound, the Yankees have bought three of the A’s best players with their piles of money – money that the A’s cannot compete with. Without much choice, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), general manger

for the A’s, is forced to figure out a way to improve his team on a budget. Beane recruits Peter Brand ( Jonah Hill), a Yale graduate with a major in economics, and the two decide to use a new system of sabermetrics to mathematically field the best team possible. The result is what Beane calls an “island of misfit toys,” or a team that, according to baseball tradition, cannot succeed. Through flashbacks of Beane’s baseball career and confrontations with family, Director Bennett Miller uses Beane’s emotional and professional lives to add gravity to the situation. The witty and surprisingly funny script masterfully intertwines Beane’s emotions with the team’s, showing how much Beane put on the line to change baseball traditions. Jonah Hill is the perfect Peter Brand – pudgy, humorous, and fully invested in the project. With a reputable cast and a well-written script, Moneyball finds an entertaining way to show how Beane’s calculated risk bettered professional baseball forever, and that some things are more important than winning. ▪ Rating: A-

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Smoke Signal

Ad 17

18 Sports

By Sanjna Shukla and Omar El-Sadany Sports Editors

Drawing The Line The lives of professional athletes are filled with many perks and benefits. From the advertisements to the endorsements and sponsorships to the millions of dollars they are paid to play a game, many of these superstars are truly “living the dream”. In return, however, they must always run the risk of facing a severe or possibly a career threatening injury. Coaches, critics, and fans alike will all claim that these setbacks are all a part of the game. But then the question arises: What happens when these injuries turn fatal? Fighting has always been a tradition in the National Hockey League. While there have been a few efforts to limit or possibly even eliminate this brutal aspect of the game, it has become such an established mainstay in the culture of the sport that no serious steps have been taken. The league has been reluctant to act against these brawls because they understand that for many fans it is a vast source of entertainment, and if eliminated, it may alienate many fans. The NHL is a league that has struggled with support in the past, especially in comparison to its football, basketball, and baseball counterparts. The NHL can’t afford to dissatisfy any of its supporters. However, with the abrupt death of three of the league’s most active fighters since May, the league cannot continue to overlook the

The NHL must take action against fighting, a rampant danger in the league.

negative consequences of these skirmishes. Derek Boogaard, Rick Rypien and Wade Belak were all enforcers, (The designated players on each team that participate in these officiated fights) and each participated in hundreds of rows throughout their careers. NHL commissioner Don Fehr commented on the situation, stating, “We are committed to examining, in detail, the factors that may have contributed to these events, and to determining whether concrete steps can be taken to enhance player welfare and minimize the likelihood of such events taking place.” Although the NHL has been in the news recently, the National Football League (NFL) has a history of having life-threatening injuries. Concussions are common, and surgeries take place nearly every week. The most recent surgery that took place was that of Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Peyton Manning. The

The Smoke Signal

face of the franchise, Manning had two neck surgeries that will keep him out of the game for at least half the season. Even though he sustained the injury during the offseason, the strain on his neck from the sport was a big factor. After a 34-7 loss to the Houston Texans, it became clear that the Colts will not be able to compete in the league without their star quarterback. The NFL is also notorious for players filing for bankruptcy after sustaining a careerending injury. Eric Dickerson, most famous for being a Los Angeles Ram, was forced into retirement after various injuries drained him physically. He tried to save himself financially by starting his own businesses, but ended up filing for bankruptcy in 2008. Injuries in sports have long-reaching effects, far more detrimental than just a missed season. Fans are split. Should the league be stricter with regulations, or keep the game intact? If the league decides to add more regulations, it makes the game safer for players. However, critics say that it ruins the original dynamic of the game and that the league would lose money and fans. Leaving the rules as they are can be detrimental to players’ health and career. Eventually a line must be drawn between entertainment and safety. No matter how glamorous an athlete’s life may seem, they have to take risks that we can’t even imagine. Fans get upset at injuries because it puts the team’s record in jeopardy. However, the player’s health and wellbeing are more valuable than a team’s losing season. Leagues are in a dilemma because far-

Friday, September 30, 2011

ther restrictions could result in protest from fans and some players (Hines Ward, cough). It comes down to what’s more important, the player or the game? ▪,,

From top: Derek Boogaard , Rick Rypien, and Wade Belak. The three enforcers all passed away in 2011, raising questions about the role of fighting in hockey.

SEE YOU AT THE GAME upcoming home games:

MSJ football vs. james logan October 8, tak stadium MSJ girls’volleyball vs irvington October 4, msj gym

By Connor Williams Staff Writer

MSJ tennis vs. irvington October 4, msj tennis courts

graphics editor angie -wang

Senior Captains Madison Hirsch and Taneesh Sra have been driving forces behind the team’s success this season.

The Girls’ Golf team has had a history of success, and this year promises to be no different. Led by captains Madison Hirsch and Taneesh Sra, the team has very talented and experienced leadership, as Sra has been a captain for the past three years and Hirsch is currently being scouted by several colleges. Other than the two captains, there is one other senior, Sarah Rotter competing. Rotter solidly supports their already strong lineup. Also complimenting the team’s talent are several juniors and sophomores. The small team got a large addition of freshman golfers who add fresh talent and potential. Each and every player is dedicated to the sport, and they all have plenty of experience. As a more technical sport, golf requires hours of training and practice. Many of the golfers practice year round with personal coaches in order to stay sharp and competitive. Due to the fact that MVAL does not have an operating girls’ golf league, the team competes in the Hayward Area Athletic League (HAAL). Many of their matches are at Sunol Valley Golf club, which is about ten minutes away from MSJ’s campus. The team starts its season even before the school year begins, and it runs until November. Practice and preseason games

begin during the summer. The season will go all the way into early November. Their first season matches were in the second week of September and the team was more than prepared. In the matches that they have had so far, the team has won all four. The undefeated team is a major threat to the league’s championship title. For the second year in a row, MSJ was crowned champions of the San Leandro Tournament that took place on September 12th. Upcoming matches are against competitors like Amador Valley High School and Arroyo High School that our athletes do not usually get to interact with and compete against. Captain Madison Hirsch says that the team has always had a lot of success competing in NCS, and the team has also had golfers go all the way to the Nor Cal and State tournaments. They also have won preseason tournaments in the last several years, including the notable San Leandro Classic tournament, which they have gone on to win again this year. With such a large pool of younger talent, including Rotter’s and Hirsch’s younger sisters, the captains feel confident that they will have a good base for future success.The team is looking forward to a long and victorious season. ▪

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Smoke Signal

Sports 19

Coaches’ Corner: Girls’ Volleyball By Maya Ramachandran A&E Editor

After a year away from home, Donny Hui has returned to his alma mater to coach the girls’ volleyball team. With an impressive record of three MVAL championships in five years, Hui is excited to work with the team and lead them to another successful season. The Smoke Signal spent some time with the returning head coach as he shared his thoughts.

a&e editor maya ramachandran

Coach Donny Hui returns to MSJ as the Girls’ Vollleyball coach.

Smoke Signal: When did you start coaching volleyball? Donny Hui: I started helping out with the MSJ boys’ program when I was a freshman at Ohlone, just wanting to hold onto to my good ‘ol days as a MSJ varsity player, but I didn’t really start coaching until my sophomore year. I started as an assistant for the MSJ girls during my second year of college in 2005. SS: What prompted you to return to coach the volleyball team after a year?

DH: A combination of things. I originally didn’t plan to return as the head coach because I want to take a break from coaching and grow other areas of my life. By that time, it was June, and MSJ was still looking for suitable coaching candidates since Coach Yang moved on. I did miss the program, and entertained the idea of going through another four year coaching cycle. Finally, I decided to apply for the job and it feels great to be back. SS: What are your goals for the team this season? DH: Our number one goal is always to be the best volleyball players we can be, and common byproducts of that include the MVAL title, and NCS finishes.

SS: How do you plan on achieving these goals with a relatively inexperienced team this year? DH: I’m a very process oriented coach. I emphasize focusing on what we can control, mainly our bodies, voices, attitudes, and efforts. We need to take care of those aspects first before even thinking about performing under pressure, winning matches, and taking championships. I tell my girls that we often worry too much about the ball that we forget that it’s our bodies that control the ball. Be better by focusing on what you can control! SS: Do you like playing or coaching volleyball better? DH: That’s a tough question. I still like playing better because I feel more in control of the outcome. Plus, I only have to deal with myself. Drama gets old very quickly. Interestingly enough, I didn’t start becom-

locked out By Sida Lu Feature Editor

This past summer, two of America’s favorite sports shut down all operations and sat down at the negotiating table. The first lockout of the summer belonged to the National Football League (NFL) as their collective bargaining agreement expired. The collective bargaining agreement is similar to a set of rules that the employer ( the owners) and the employees (the players) agree to. These rules include how money is distributed, the limitations placed on players once they enter free-agency, and various health benefits which were all major negotiation points. Despite the NFL flourishing like never before and signing new multi-billion TV deals, the owners of all 32 NFL franchises voted unanimously to terminate the old collectivebargaining agreement (CBA) as they claimed that they were losing money. Without a collective-bargaining agreement in place, a “lockout” was implemented, where staff affiliated with the team was not allowed to have any contact with the team’s players. The players were also not allowed to use any team facilities during the duration of the lockout. Any violation of these “lockout rules” resulted in heavy fines against the offending parties. The NFL lockout dragged on for much of the summer as there were two main points neither side could agree on: 1.) Number of Games- Owners wanted to increase the number of games in a season which would increase their revenue substantially, but also put more toll on the players body and put them at more risk for injury. 2.) Salary- Owners claimed to be losing money and thus wanted to reduce the league revenue set aside for player salaries by one billion dollars. After lengthy negotiations, a decertified players union, and federal court cases filed,

the players union unanimously voted to ratify a new CBA that gave them more safety and health coverage, while maintaining a fair amount of compensation. Almost immediately after the NFL lockout was lifted, the NBA one began. Many of the arguing points were the same, revolving around players benefits and salaries. Owners are continuing to maintain that salaries have gotten out of control with players like Lakers guard Kobe Bryant controlling upwards of 20 million dollars per season and fringe starters like Rashard Lewis commanding $112 million overall. If the labor disagreements drag on, the 2011-2012 NBA season may be shortened or even canceled altogether, reminiscent of the last lockout-shortened season of 19981999 where only 50 games were played. MSJ students were asked about the ongoing situation and in the words of Senior Shashank Agrawal, “The NBA lockout should end soon; players will have to agree to a deal sooner or later. Once the season is officially postponed, things will speed up because everyone wants to play or watch some basketball games.” ▪

NBA Comissioner David Stern may face the consequences of a locked out season in 2011-12

ing a better player until I started coaching. Coaching forces you to think about what you’re doing, how you do it, and why. SS: What is one of the most rewarding experiences about coaching? DH: Witnessing players carry the hard learned lessons from the MSJ volleyball program into other areas of their lives. You just can’t learn certain things from a textbook. Sometimes, you need to sweat, cry, and bleed in order to really understand and appreciate life. SS: Why did you decide to coach at MSJ, instead of another school? DH: Convenience. Just kidding. It’s my alma mater! I never won a championship as a player, and I can still try to win one as a coach. I feel like I understand the players and the school culture better than coaches who have not been through the MSJ rigors. Also, working under Coach Thomsen, the Athletic Director, PE Teacher, and Wrestling Coach, has been an exceptional experience. He is an incredible leader, community member, educator, and life coach. Coaches need to be coached too! He demonstrates a deep concern for MSJ Athletics, students, and has integrity, which is rare these days. SS: What is one of your favorite quotes? DH: Gosh, I have too many. Often times, my quotes are unscripted, and they just come out. “Your greatest opponent will always be yourself.” SS: Who is your favorite athlete? DH: Karch Kiraly. He won two gold medals with his indoor volleyball team, and one gold

Coach Donny Hui serves up the ball.

courtesy of donny hui

medal in beach volleyball. He’s considered the best player of all time, nicest professional athlete, and an invaluable contributor to the sport of volleyball. Plus, he wears a pink hat like it’s the manliest trend in the world. C’mon, with three gold medals, he can wear whatever he wants. SS: What is one interesting fact about you? DH: I base my coaching philosophy on the following ideal, “The Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”, which is from Galatians 5:22-23 in the Bible. I try to exemplify those characteristics, and instill those values in my players. My daily struggle is knowing how I can demonstrate the Fruit of the Spirit, while still being the way that God created me, which is very intense and competitive. I find so much satisfaction in coaching not just because I love to teach volleyball and influence lives, but it’s a chance to show God’s love to my players. ▪

MSJ Breaks Undefeat- ed Streak Against CSD By Jonathon Teng Staff Wrtier

Coming off a 2-0 record from two wins against De Anza and Emery High School, the Mission San Jose Football Team looked pumped and fresh to capture another win against California School for the Deaf ’s (CSD) football team at Tak Fudenna Stadium on September 17. A huge turnout of MSJ students and an energized atmosphere at MSJ’s first home game greatly supported the MSJ team, but CSD came out on top, capping the game with a 56-7 solid win. During the first quarter, the two teams battled head to head in a gritty fight in hopes of gaining yards on the field. For six minutes, the Warriors team withstood the unrelenting push from the CSD team, but CSD was still able to push MSJ’s defense back into the red zone. Although the Warriors defensive squad held the red zone for three downs, on the fourth, CSD scored a touchdown and converted the extra points to take a 7-0 lead. With one minute left in the quarter, Junior tight end James Gao recovered a fumble at CSD’s 35 yard line, but they were unable to convert before the clock ran out. Right off the bat with one minute into the second quarter, CSD rapidly advanced up the field and their quarterback rushed in for a touchdown. Eager to retaliate, MSJ running back David Kim attacked and ran up to CSD’s 40 yard line. However, on the fourth down, MSJ was unable complete a first down and were forced to turn the ball over, which led to another CSD touchdown. At two minutes, CSD intercepted a pass and converted for a touchdown. Looking to get on the board, Kim ran twenty yards to CSD’s 20 yard line. On the next play, MSJ wide receiver Wilson Zhang caught a pass from MSJ quarterback Chris Donoghue

staff wriiter jonathon teng

MSJ offense pressures CSD on a scoring drive.

for a touchdown with the one-point conversion, making the score 7-28, in favor of CSD. Fresh from the touchdown, junior Matt Eike got an interception but the time limits restrain MSJ from attaining another touchdown. After the half, the revitalized Warriors looked ready to even the score, but CSD simply were able to stop MSJ efforts. With several sloppy plays and moments of defensive breakdowns, the Warriors allowed CSD to score three more touchdowns including the three one-point conversions, allowing CSD to further pull away the score at 7-49. Despite the score, MSJ fought with determination to limit CSD’s offense. However, CSD still pulled off one more touchdown to end the game at 7-56. The Warriors played with great determination, but still came up short in a few offensive and defensive areas. Some notable players were David Kim, who rushed for a total of 82 yards, and Chris Donoghue, who passed for a total 81 yards. Despite the loss, the team has plenty of talent and looks to have a promising season. After the game, Coach Van Deusen said, “California School of the Deaf is a great team and we expected a tough game from them, but this loss will be a good preparation for league matches.” ▪

20 Sports

The Smoke Signal

Friday, September 30, 2011

layout by editor-in-chief diya roy, photos by graphics editors angie wang and kevin zhai

Vol. XLVII, No.1  
Vol. XLVII, No.1  

September 2011