LO CA L
Read about Nelly Cheboi and her TechLit Africa dream
How are you supposed to read comics anyway?
A multitude of poetry and puzzles!
TUESDAY, AUGUST 27, 2019 Volume 192 | Issue 1 technewsiit.com
OPINION 2 LOCAL 3 A&E 4-5 SLIPSTICK 6-8
Student newspaper of Illinois Institute of Technology since 1928
Five senses in a summer at Illinois Tech Dan Marten (He/him) COPY EDITOR Sight: As it turns out, Chicago looks a lot less depressing during the summer! By the time I moved back onto campus for my summer research in late May, the trees were finally glowing bright and green (with a couple of pink plants still blooming, too). The lake was no longer a dirty, windy grey but a deep, clear blue. Strolling along the riverwalk downtown, the sharp glare of the sunlight off the glass skyscrapers was almost welcome after a long and dark spring semester. More than anything, just seeing people smiling while walking about campus or along State Street did more to take away the desolate air of last semester than anything else. Touch: Just about everything this summer was felt through the cold sterilized latex of my lab gloves (from the on-campus
research position I was lucky enough to get this summer). For about 30 hours a week, I got used to the hard plastic pipettes and cold glass bottles full of chemicals that kinda burn your nose if you accidentally get a sniff (not that it ever happened to me, of course). Smell: Staying in my room at Delts over the summer was a mistake, both for my sense of smell and my sanity. The odors from people forgetting to do their housekeeping chores or take out their garbage (or more than likely just choosing to be an objectively bad person and not do them) were not welcome, to say the least. It got bad. Those same people also refused to do their dishes. Ever. You ever wonder what a sink full of week-old food smells like? Taste: Yet again, I burned my mouth on a 7-Eleven coffee, this time while cramming for an exam in my summer biochemistry class. I couldn’t taste the energy drinks or Flaming
Hot Cheetos I got as “study fuel” after that, so that particular study session was a little bland. Smell, Continued: Don’t forget that almost half of your ability to taste comes from your sense of smell! Having an extended chance to practice my cooking skills while staying at Delts over the summer was phenomenal, however. Cooking chicken in a lemonpepper marinade or baking apple pies with an egregious amount of cinnamon (almost) made up for the rest of the experience of living in the house. Hearing: The Anderson .Paak concert at Northerly Island was one of the best live pieces of music that I’ve heard in ages, even if “Malibu” isn’t my favorite album of all time. The band he tours with, The Free Nationals, absolutely killed it with their backup singers, guitars, drums, keyboard, brass section, and any other supporting instrument imaginable. Afterwards, I retreated back to Museum Cam-
pus with the close friend I went to the concert with, just to hear the sound of the waves lapping against the concrete sea wall in front of Shedd Aquarium, a much-needed come-down after an exhilarating live show. There, we met up with a mutual friend-or-acquaintance from high school, where the pitter-patter and awkward cadence of high school small talk filled the air late into the night. Hearing, Continued: Oh, and I saw Car Seat Headrest live a couple of weeks after that, for free in Millenium Park! Hearing the odd harmony of every sad hip teen in the greater Chicago area shouting the chorus to “Bodys” in unison was an amazing experience.
What's in store for TechNews this semester? Alexandra Detweiler (She/her) EDITOR-IN-CHIEF With my predecessor Ethan Castro reduced to ash, you may be wondering what’s in store for TechNews this semester. Our assistant editor, Quinn Castaneda, will remain in the position she held last semester, her passion for AP style and high editing standards remaining a constant for the paper. Our webmaster, keeper of the website and wizard of all things web, will be Estlin Mendez-- well known for their frequent crosswords and title of TechNews “puzzlemaster” for the last academic year. Ryan Mendoza, a long-time writer for TechNews and dearly beloved by all, will be our distribution manager. The newly filled
position of business manager will be held by Dhruvit Savla, who is bravely stepping into a position that has existed on paper but not in practice for a long while. With TechNews being entirely student-run, every fall there will be a focus on recruiting students from all disciplines on campus to come be a part of our paper, and this fall is no different. Making the paper showcase as many diverse opinions and talents as possible is a big passion of mine; specifically, I’d like to focus on gaining more involvement from VanderCook students as well as those who are interested in contributing to the paper in nonwritten ways. While finding student writers is important, there are a multitude of different skills that go into each issue. Graphic designers are essential to the creation of the actual is-
sue in InDesign, and non-written content such as photographs, comics, puzzles, and creative writing add a depth to the paper that I value very highly. One thing we’ll be experimenting with this semester is how to best make use of the back page. To mix things up and be more efficient with our space, we’ll no longer be making use of the image that used to grace the back page every week. Take a peek at the back page of this issue to see the beginnings of our thought process on this topic! If you yourself have a suggestion, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. A less striking change we’d like to implement is the addition of two new sections: “local” and “world.” Previously there was no well-fitting place for articles concerning local
or international news, usually placed under opinion even when strictly fact-based, and these new additions aim to remedy that problem. The addition of sections will generally be something we’re thinking about this semester, so you may see more new ones as the year progresses. If you’re a student reading this and would like to get more involved in the paper, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! With such a multitude of skills needed to produce each issue, there’s a place for everyone. Feel free to attend our writers’ meetings every Wednesday from 1-1:40 p.m. in MTCC 221, or reach out to me personally at email@example.com.
Applied math student organizations hold “How to Succeed in College Math” event On Wednesday, August 21, the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM), Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and the American Statistical Association (AmStats) co-hosted an event entitled “How to Succeed in College Math.” This event featured a talk given by applied mathematics faculty member Professor Kiah Ong, which highlighted some of the main differences between high school math and college math, along with pointing out of key pieces of advice for students who are new to college-level mathematics. First, he spoke on some expectations of what college might be like and then mentioned some facts of what it really is (longer class periods, less instructional periods per week). One of the main points he emphasized was that in college, more is left to the students to figure out on their own. The professor will lecture, but in order for the students to fully understand and apply the material, they also need to do some outside learning on their own (reading the text, doing the homework). Specifically related to math, he then discussed how college math is more abstract than high school math. College math involves proofs and more abstract ways of thinking than high school math. In fact, students in Victoria Belotti (She/her) TECHNEWS WRITER
Photo by Victoria Belotti (She/her)
MATH 151 - Calculus I, are expected to be able to write proofs on their final exam, which is something the calculus class I took in high school never would have touched on or mentioned. He showed a sample calculus question that contained a concept I had not seen until earlier that day in my real analysis class (for reference, it was Riemann’s definition). A main point conveyed in this talk was that in college math, simply memorizing content will not work. Math requires you to consider things in a more conceptual and general way, and you need to truly understand
the logic and mechanics behind a theorem or proof to be able to truly understand it and apply it as needed on an assessment. Some main advice he gave to new students for all classes (not just math), which I agree with, are that forming study groups and making friends in your classes is good and to develop a growth mindset of grit and perseverance (when a math problem gets tough, don’t give up!). He then went on to explain how math is very precise, math is deductive whereas science is inductive (science constantly evolves, but when a math theorem gets proven,
it gets proven forever). And also, of course, he said actually coming to class, taking good notes, and doing the homework are all also good practices. He described it as “math is not a spectator sport,” which, as an applied math major, I find to be extremely accurate. Math requires an active level of learning in order to properly grasp it; I personally find that I learn math the most when I am doing the homework for it. Following the talk, Emily Piszczek (the president of AWM), Somya Mittal (the president of AmStats), Quinn Stratton (the vice president of SIAM), and myself (the current president of SIAM) sat on a student panel and took questions. We spoke on matters such as what we thought was most different between high school and college math, along with general advice we had for new students, with respect to succeeding in college-level math. Overall, I think Professor Ong’s talk was extremely informative and valuable, even as a second-year applied math major, I still feel like I got something out of it. I hope the students in the audience also found it to be informative, useful, and helpful advice and guidance for their first semester of college math.
TechNews | Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Why We Care: A Story about Student Mental Health and Wellness Access to mental health services has always been a plus for most college students. It’s commonly agreed that college can wear on one’s mental state of mind. Even without having to worry about exams and future careers, students can have numerous reasons for needing assistance from a counselor or therapist. Whatever the case, the mental health services provided by the Student Health and Wellness Center (SHWC) are always hotly sought after. I myself checked into mental health services during the 2019 spring semester, and the experience has been very eye opening to me. Ryan Mendoza (He/him) DISTRIBUTION MANAGER
STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF ILLINOIS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY SINCE 1928
McCormick Tribune Campus Center Room 221 3201 South State Street Chicago, Illinois 60616 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: http://www.technewsiit.com
TechNews STAFF Editor-in-Chief
Alexandra Detweiler (She/her)
Quinn Castaneda (She/her)
Estlin Mendez (They/them)
David Sobel (He/him) Dan Marten (He/him)
Moid Ali (He/him)
Distribution Manager Ryan Mendoza (He/him) Financial Advisor
Patrick Fina (He/him)
Gregory Pulliam (He/him)
MISSION STATEMENT Our mission is to promote student discussion and bolster the IIT community by providing a newspaper that is highly accessible, a stalwart of journalistic integrity, and a student forum. TechNews is a dedicated to the belief that a strong campus newspaper is essential to a strong campus community.
GENERAL INFORMATION TechNews is written, managed, and edited by the students of, and funded in part by, Illinois Institute of Technolog y. The mater ial herein does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Illinois Institute of Technology or the editors, staff, and advisor of TechNews. There will be no censorship of TechNews publication by the faculty or staff of IIT. Sole authority and responsibility for publication and adherence to the values set forth in this policy rests with the TechNews staff. This paper seeks to bring together the various segments of the Illinois Tech community and strives through balance and content to achieve a position of respect and excellence. TechNews strives for professionalism with due respect to the intellectual values of the university and its community. All material submitted becomes the property of TechNews, and is subject to any editorial decisions deemed necessary.
SUBMISSIONS TechNews is published on the Tuesday of each week of the academic year. Deadline for all submissions and announcements is 11:59 p.m. on the Friday prior to publication. Articles, photos, and illustrations must be submitted electronically to the TechNews website at technewsiit.com.
EDITORIAL POLICY The editors reserve the right to determine if submitted material meets TechNews’ policy and standards. For more information about our editorial standards, please email email@example.com.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Letters to the editor may be submitted by anyone, but are subject to review by the Editor-in-Chief. All letters-to-the-editor become the property of TechNews upon submission. TechNews does not accept or publish anonymous letters or stories.
ADVERTISING Legitimate paid advertisements, from within or outside the IIT community, which serve to produce income for the paper, are accommodated. Te c h N e w s h o l d s t h e r i g h t t o d e n y a n y advertisement unsuitable for publication. Media Kits are available upon request. Ad space is limited and is taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. Contact the Business Manager at business@ technewsiit.com for more information.
LOCAL & NATIONAL ADVERTISERS To place an ad, contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Halfway through my first semester of college, the death of a very close family member rocked my family. It quickly became incredibly stressful having to deal with adjusting to college, working with grief, and figuring out new family dynamics. By the time second semester started, I was not in the best state of mind. In those dark moments, I found the strength to walk over to the SHWC to get treatment. Over the next few months, I worked with a therapist who helped me with my grief and other problems. I am thankful for the services provided by the SHWC. Thanks to them, I got the care I needed to be successful. All this to say, it is assuring to know that we have such a resource readily available on campus for the students. If you find yourself
in need of mental health services, there is no shame in seeking help. In the end, the people you hold dear will thank you, but most importantly, you will thank yourself for taking that first step. Unfortunately, due to recent circumstances, their team has been left understaffed, and many students are now on a waitlist for treatment. The situation has left many students wondering what’s going on. For now, TechNews does not have anything to report, but contact has been made with a member from the SHWC to find out more. Don’t let this information deter you from seeking treatment, however. Being in line to get help is better than getting no help at all. Until next time, be safe, dear readers.
The Road to Internship Part 1: Applications and Rejections Tarang Vaidya (He/him)
It’s the start of a new fall semester, and everyone is glad to be back at school. Or are they really? This conflicting thought, I believe, hits everyone’s mind after they complete their summer internship. Like most of the students here I, or rather I would say, we secured an internship for the summer semester. The road leading to an internship was not a smooth one. Having heard from everyone over the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters that in order to secure a summer internship, you should start applying from the months of November and December 2018. I used to believe: Why rush into this process so soon since we have five more months to start the internship? But come Spring 2019, things were changing pretty quickly. Apart from completing our courses, there is always a thought at the back of the mind about whether we would secure an internship or not. To be frank with you all, this TECHNEWS WRITER
thought scares you the most. Being an international student, there are more requirements that have to be satisfied before applying for an internship. Don't forget about the documentation that goes into the process before starting the internship! So, here I was in the process of applying for various opportunities at different companies over the Spring 2019 semester. Wherever the positions matched, when applied to via LinkedIn or various other portals, it was a lengthy process of filling in the details as specific as possible for the company. Applying through Handshake was sometimes a better option since we all had the option of "Quick Apply" for companies. In this phase, I would really commend the Career Services Center who were there for everyone, guiding us at all stages of how to construct a resume. We cannot forget the role of the International Center, who were always ready to help whenever we had to get our queries sorted. There were a lot of hiccups on the way until the internship actually commenced. Managing courses and at the same time think-
ing about whether I would secure an internship was an everyday fight in my mind. A lot of companies I applied to sent me rejection emails; some at the start of the day while some at night as well. I believe everyone goes through that rejection phase!!! I knew it was not going to be a smooth journey until I actually land upon an internship. Without losing hope, I kept on applying and also reached a phase where I had thought to myself, “What if I don’t get one?” But as it is rightly said, there is light at the end of a dark tunnel; literally, some sort of instance of this happened with us as well. As exams came to an end and results were displayed, one of the companies got in touch with us and there we had it, a eureka moment for us! After multiple applications and a large number of rejections, we landed an internship opportunity in the Chicagoland area. Would it be like the one that we had thought of? Would it be a great learning affair for us all? Only time would tell.
Is our tryst with technology igniting the clashes between society? TECHNEWS WRITER Those were the days when people used to gather and discuss the forms of art, agriculture, entertainment, etc. Everyone in that group was well recognized and had a clarity of thoughts for their careers. They were passionate and happy about their goals. But as time flew into 21st century, these group of people, their passion and clarity in thoughts started bending towards a very curious world named Technology. Soon they realized that technology will become the new era for mankind. As technology expanded, it captured human attention so much that people thought their carriers are meant only to be in technolDiksha Agrawal (She/her)
ogy! People started setting their standards on the basis of expertise in the tech domain. There’s no ground where technology has not established its roots. We are so advanced as a human race that we have digitalized every aspect of our lives. It's hard to separate technology from our consciousness because we have made our lives reliable on it. We have never looked back and thought about how the things were initiated or why they were created. Instead of doing this, we have just codified our lives. Although it’s necessary to get acquainted with the drive of the tech world, we need to realize the importance of other domains of this society. It's important to recognize the progress made by another set of talent and the human brain. It is equally important to
understand the fundamentals of life and how we have evolved as a human race. The key to understanding this is to consider every human as a different creature with a different level of intellect. We need to understand the fact that technology has evolved from these different levels of intellect. Though technology has played an immense role in the upbringing of non-technical talent, we still forget to appreciate the efforts made by the people for their non-technical skills. Consciously or sub-consciously there is a war of dominance between tech-savvy and a non-tech person. This advancement of technology is indeed a boon for the human race, but it is also impeding the broadness of our emotions, thoughts, actions, and values.
McCormick Student Village Fire Safety Tips Jack Hamilton (He/him) TECHNEWS WRITER Every year, fire alarms persist as one of the biggest downsides to life in McCormick Student Village (MSV). They’re annoying, inconvenient, and way too frequent. The 20182019 school year had something on the order of 60 fire alarms, on a low-ball estimate. So here are some tips to make sure you're not that idiot who's making everyone wait outside. -However long the box says you should cook it for, cook one minute less. If not hot enough, 15 second intervals until desired temperature is reached. -Never cook anything for more than five minutes, no matter what you think is right. -Popcorn, two minutes. Ramen, three minutes. Burrito, two minutes. Mac n’ Cheese, three minutes. Soup, two minutes. Reheating anything, one minute. Defrosting something, 10-15 seconds. -Always wait and watch what you have in the microwave. It doesn’t matter if
someone else is there in the room, stay there and watch it. If whatever you have in the microwave begins to boil or overflow, take it out immediately. -Seriously, watch what you have in the microwave. Don't go back to your room and come get it later, watch it. -Do not press the popcorn button for cooking popcorn. Or the beverage button for beverages. Or the frozen pizza button for frozen pizza. -Do not heat food in an airtight container. Make sure it is properly ventilated before heating. -Take food out of the packaging before heating. Do not heat a burrito in its plastic bag. -If what you're microwaving begins to smoke, immediately open all the windows and the door to the lounge. Fan the smoke away from the fire alarm. -Always make sure there is no silverware or metal in the dishes you put in the microwave. Putting metal in the microwave for
just a second or two does not work. -Make sure your containers are microwave safe before using them. -For longer cook times, stop halfway through and allow to cool, then continue. -Do. Not. Smoke. Inside. Just go out in the courtyard. Or the tables outside MTCC. Just not inside MSV. -Do not hotbox your room. It's just a bad idea in general, and opening the windows will not stop the fire alarm from going off. -Watch curling irons, hair dryers, and other heating appliances carefully. Make sure everything is completely dry before use. -Make sure your electronics are completely plugged into the outlet, and regularly check your wires for fraying and wear & tear. -If you have a lighter or matches, keep them in a non-flammable container or at least on a non-flammable surface. Use common sense. Common sense people, it's not that hard. Just don't be an idiot.
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 | TechNews
Remarkable People in Chicago: Nelly Cheboi and her TechLit Africa dream, Part One Arushi Rai (She/her) TECHNEWS WRITER Nelly Cheboi is a remarkable person I met while attending StartupWorldCup 2019 at 1871, a startup incubator in Chicago that hosts free events that all Illinois Tech students have access to. Cheboi stood out to me from the first time I met her, since it was very rare that I found a woman in backend software development that was passionate about it outside of work. The more I talked to her, I realized her passions were deeper than just software development, as she’s a key player in increasing technology accessibility and education in Kenya. I’m going to spend the next few issues covering her story and her non-profit, TechLit Africa (https://techlitafrica.org). This first part introduces her backstory which is essential in establishing what this venture means to her. Part One: The Backstory Nelly Cheboi first put her hands on a computer keyboard when she was 18 years old. Why? To apply to colleges in the United States. Nelly Cheboi is a young immigrant from a rural village in Mogotio, Kenya. From her childhood, she is no stranger to struggle. “Growing up, it was abject poverty. We’ll go for days without food. The roof will leak during rainy seasons, and the roof will be blown away during windy seasons,” Cheboi said. The
Place your own ad in TechNews!
importance of education was ingrained in her head as her mother worked long hours to raise money for her two older sister’s high school tuition. This left her worrying about food and raising her younger sister as young child. She knew her only way out was to study. In Kenya, the education system works as a filter system, weeding out those who struggle. The byprod-
Photo courtesy Nelly Cheboi
uct is a good work ethic and the knowledge to acquire education if you pass, but it fails in actually educating every child. It was simply a system trying to fail and break children, rather than cultivate their natural curiosity, educating them.
As a kid, her eyes were always on the prize. She studied incredibly hard and was successful in her exams. As a result, she got placed into an elite high school, three hours away from her house. Here she had access to many resources, like laboratory equipment. Essentially, it acts as feeder into the best universities. However, this is not where her struggles ended. Her life was even harder as she was constantly sent back home to her village because she couldn’t make the tuition payments in time. She was missing many classes, but despite these difficulties, she did well in the month long cumulative exam at the end of high school. What happened if you didn't do well? Mediocre score and there's no way to achieve your dreams if you're poor. Doing well in her exams, doors opened for her. She joined a prestigious program, Zawadi Africa, which prepares students to apply to American colleges. It was through this program she first used a keyboard and applied to over 20 colleges. And one of these colleges offered her a full scholarship to continue her education. In the next issue, I’ll cover what she did in college, which I hope will inspire you too, to look around you and utilize the problem solving ability all of you have. If you know a remarkable person in Chicago, contact me! I’d love to hear their story and cover their efforts.
Business inquiries: email@example.com
TechNews | Tuesday, August 27, 2019
AMID EVIL game review Jack Hamilton (He/him) TECHNEWS WRITER Despite it being a period of relative drought for games releases, I played quite a few noteworthy games over the summer; ArtPlay’s wonderfully realized "Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night" and Devolver Digital's bizarre hit "My Friend Pedro" most notably. But the game that I believe deserves the most attention is one I found soon after having come back to school the week of August 18, that being New Blood Interactive’s "AMID EVIL." "AMID EVIL" stands amongst the likes of "Dark," "The Forest," and "ZombiU," for games with the most boring, generic factory standard names. But one might reasonably observe that another
cannons, "AMID EVIL" has you use a delightfully colorful variety of magical weapons that shoot various flavors of magic. Each one is delightfully creative and feels right in place with the fast paced run & gun of the "DOOM" era. Between a trident that shoots lightning, a mace that shoots a shotgun of enormous crystal spikes that pin enemies to the wall, and a wooden claw that shoots planets, the game has no shortage of creatively devastating weaponry to dispatch the hordes of equally creative cannon fodder the game throws at you. A giant robot that fires a harpoon to reel you in, a Lovecraftian monster encased in armor whose disembodied hearts suicide bomb you after they die, a sun-worshiping knight that looks like evil Solaire who can reflect your projectiles back at you with his shield, and a
game belonging to this club is "Amnesia: The Dark Descent," that might as well have called itself "A Horror Game," but ended up being really good. And like "Amnesia," behind the pretense of a dull, unassuming name, "AMID EVIL" hides an amazing game. With their last game being the kinda forgettable "Dusk," I wasn’t expecting much from New Blood Interactive’s latest release, but looking at the Steam page left me intrigued. "AMID EVIL" is an old, run & gun style first person shooter (FPS) game whose closest comparison is "HeXen," because it is a fantasy FPS, but for those of you who aren’t me who don’t remember "HeXen" and probably never knew what it was in the first place "AMID EVIL" is basically fantasy "DOOM," although in that regard its a bit closer to "Quake." Given that description, one might ask how one can have a fantasy FPS if the principal hallmark of shooters is, naturally, the gun. So instead of shotguns, pistols, rocket launchers and plasma
floating tiki head that vomits fire at you just scratch the surface of the diverse cast of baddies for you to hack, blast, electrocute and atomize. The mechanic unique to "AMID EVIL" is “soul mode,” where every enemy in the game drops a soul pickup, and when enough are collected you can enter soul mode for a limited time. Unlike a lot of other power-up modes, soul mode actually changes the fundamental properties of the weapons, like the starting axe that turns into a propeller. It's a welcome shift from the typical “does 50% more damage” that most mechanics like this in other games do. The game also does a great job at conditioning the player to figure out which weapons to use against which enemies. There's a mage enemy that will roll out of the way of shots, so you need to use the staff that fires homing missiles. Another enemy shoots beams at you that can be destroyed with the sword that fires beams of light. Every weapon has its uses and enemies that it works well against, and the game does
a great job of giving each one ample opportunity to be used to fullest potential, as well as an even mix of enemies and situations that each weapon does well against. The combination of cool, unique fantasy weapons used to slay an interesting variety of well designed enemies of various shapes and sizes boils together to make a delicious mechanics soup that serves as the main course of the gameplay. Complimenting the core game mechanics of murdering dudes are the levels upon which to murder all those dudes. Thankfully, New Blood Interactive learned from "Dusk", whose fatal flaw was terrible level design. To be fair, it's hard to make interesting layouts of nothing but farms, and now that we have locales that range from mountain temples and moonlight chapels to psychedelic nightmare
Photo courtesy of New Blood Interactive
dimensions and arcane libraries suspended in the aether. "AMID EVIL"’s sprawling levels beautifully weave in and out of themselves, navigating you through long chains of murder rooms like walking along a fine silk ribbon. The game does a great job of navigating the player along its convoluted levels through well placed doors and opening paths to lead the player from checkpoint to checkpoint, without actually needing the little flag and a quicksave to do so. There was never a time that I gave up and looked at an FAQ because I couldn't tell where I was supposed to go, and yet backtracking to pick up some health you didn't need earlier reveals just how intricate the level design is, spiraling in on itself with later areas often being right above ones the player passed earlier. It speaks volumes to the care and skill with which the levels are crafted that they can manage to be so complexly woven like a spider’s web and yet still maintain a clear path for the
player to progress. On top of that each level has a vibrant fantasy setting dripping with atmosphere, each with its own charm and palette of baddies fitting its colorful setting. The game is not without its problems, though. There is enough first-person platforming for it to start becoming irritating, and reloading a save can sometimes teleport enemies that were once there into another plane of existence. This is mitigated somewhat by the thankful lack of fall damage, but firstperson platforming just does not work because it's impossible to focus on both where your feet and the platform you're supposed to be landing on is when in first person perspective. And for all the diversity in enemy design and unique features to many of them, a lot of the enemies are still functionally pretty similar. A disposable melee rush enemy that swarms you in groups, the flying ones that shoot blasts from afar, big ones that either shoot giant lines of bullets or bash you up close. Oftentimes the game is way too easy. I powered through the entire thing on hard without too much difficulty, only getting stuck for a short while on a couple bits. Although there is a nice enough curve to how the difficulty progresses, it's overall a little too easy, in contrast to the nailbiting tension of the old run & gun FPS games "AMID EVIL" pays homage to. The story, for its part, is irrelevant. The most there is are a few messages scattered throughout the level and some descriptions of the levels, weapons, and enemies in the pause menu. And for what it’s worth, "AMID EVIL" is more than capable of standing up on its gameplay alone. The story is better realized in the deep atmosphere pervading each level, exemplified by the rainy, dripping forge guarded by hellish automata, the sunset cast upon the vast cathedral spires, and the bobbing of glowing stones suspended upon the arcane expanse. "AMID EVIL" is full of that nice, hard fantasy vibe. Not dark fantasy, where the the protagonists are brooding and the backstories tragic. Hard fantasy, where testosterone-filled warriors hack apart demons with an ancient sword of legend. It's the kind of setting that doesn’t need to try to be cool, it just is cool. In summary, "AMID EVIL" is the kind of game where you can shoot a planet at a tree made of eyeballs before melting a stone colossus throwing meteors with a stream of lightning. Need I say more? Final score: 9/10, one of the best games you’ve never heard of, and it deserves every bit of attention you give it. Great level design, varied enemies and satisfying weapon with a wonderful and diverse selection of settings featured, whats not to love?
"Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game," a brief review Kevin Barrera (He/him) TECHNEWS WRITER In spring 2019, I wrote two articles on the "Scott Pilgrim" franchise - one about the comics, and one about the movie. But there was still one other piece of "Scott Pilgrim" media that escaped me, and that was the tie-in video game. To preface, getting my hands on a copy of the game was a little more frustrating than it should have been. The game has been removed from the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 stores for a couple years now, meaning I was unable to purchase a brand new copy of it. I attempted to emulate the game on my PC, but figured it was too much trouble to try and get it to run properly, so I gave up. Then I remembered that I had an old Xbox 360 buried in storage, so I dug it up, plugged it in and voila! A long forgotten copy of the game on the systems hard drive was sitting there, waiting to be
played. "Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game" is a 16-bit side scrolling beat-em up game with the ability to play 4-player local co-op. The game follows the story of the comics pretty accurately. You get to select between Scott Pilgrim, Kim Pines, Stephen “The Talent” Stills, or Ramona Flowers as your main character as they go on a quest to defeat Gideon Graves, Flowers’ most recent and most evil exboyfriend. Each stage is completed after you fight numerous enemies throughout the level and defeat Flowers’ evil-ex boyfriend at the end. Though the game is relatively short, it’s nothing short of fun. The game has wonderful graphics and fluid animation, with a rocking soundtrack as the levels and bosses go on. Each level progressively gets more and more challenging, as hazards such as moving platforms, spikes, and pits attempt to disrupt your attacks and movement. As you defeat more enemies, you gain experience points to level up your character and gain new moves and combos to
aid you in your quest. You can pick up weapons such as pipes, baseball bats, bricks, or even other players to damage enemies! My favorite part about this game however is that it's very nostalgic feeling. It makes me feel as though I'm playing a re-imagined version of classic beat-em up games such as "Double Dragon" or "Streets of Rage." Though it’s unfortunate that this game will probably never see the light of day again, if you can somehow manage to get the opportunity to play through a copy of the game, go for it! It’s such a unique experience, and an absolute blast to play with a couple of friends. Even nine years later, the game feels incredibly fresh and novel. It’s most certainly a game I aim to revisit soon.
Photo courtesy of Ubisoft
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 | TechNews
How to read American comics for people that have only read manga ASSISTANT EDITOR I’m making the assumption that almost everybody my own age has at some point in their life read manga or watched anime. If that isn’t you, that’s okay; this article is for everybody that’s interested in reading comics (or not), but mainly for people that started out like me; that is, people whose primary exposure to comics was manga (which are simply Japanese comics). Like me, American comics may have seemed daunting. There are so many, most of them are dominated by two extremely large companies, the way they’re released are different, and it feels like you don’t know where to start or what’s the correct way to start. The short answer is (spoiler alert) there is no correct way, but I’ll explain that. For the demographic that this article was written for, you already know how manga works, but for everyone else’s sake, I’ll describe it a little bit. Each chapter is serialized in a magazine, usually either bi-weekly or monthly, and eventually the chapters are collected into a single volume. This cycle keeps going until the author decides to end the story--some are more than 20 years old and still haven’t ended yet. Most of the time they are written and illustrated by the same person, usually in black and white, and a lot of the time end up being adapted into an anime (Japanese word for cartoon) which gives people another alternative if they don’t feel like reading. There are certainly similarities with American comics, but in genQuinn Castaneda (She/her)
eral it isn’t like that. On the surface it seems a lot more confusing, especially on just where to start reading, but worry not. Most American comics are created by a team of people with specific roles. The writer, obviously, writes the story. Occasionally the writer will also illustrate, but it isn’t very common. Then there are the artists. The artists usually consists of a penciller, who sketches, and an inker, who darkens and cleans up the lineart. Sometimes they are the same person, but they don’t have to be. There’s a colorist who takes the artists’ work and adds color (can sometimes be the same person as the artist, but not often) and a letterer who adds all the text to each page. Most independent comic companies publish comics similarly to how manga is published. Each chapter or “issue” is published once a month (or another timescale) and is eventually collected into a single volume and that continues for however long the creator wants. Superhero franchises, namely Marvel Comics and DC Comics, also follow this but start to stray when they get into things like relaunches and renumbering and various titles with the same characters. It gets difficult to keep track of what’s considered the canon storyline and what’s worth reading or what the “correct” order to read is. For the sake of this article, I’m going to use Marvel Comics as the example because they’re the comics I most actively read. Any given Marvel title is published the same way as independent comics, that is, a serialized release of issues that are eventually compiled into a single volume. Every so often
Marvel will choose to relaunch some series and start the numbering again from one. Each relaunch is considered a volume, so for instance the original “Nova” comics from 1976 are considered “Nova Volume 1” and the relaunch in 1994 is “Nova Volume 2,” and so forth. This allows new generations of readers to start at any volume they want, whether it's the most current one or not; most of the old storylines are recapped or retold completely, and readers can catch up on the old ones if they’d like, but it isn’t required to understand the story. It starts to get confusing again when you start to notice that many characters have multiple comic series being published about them at once. What’s considered canon at that point? Well, Marvel made it so that everything is canon in some sense. Marvel introduced the concept of a multiverse within their comics. What that means is basically different parallel universes canonically exist allowing all these stories to take place. A universe could be completely identical except for the fact that a particular storyline takes place. This extends to Marvel’s media that doesn’t include comics as well. Each universe is assigned a name. Marvel’s main universe where most of the stories take place (sometimes referred to as the “Prime Universe”) is Earth-616. I could keep elaborating on how this works, but it isn’t necessary for this article. Having different universes allows for lots of creative freedom with the characters without “ruining” them so to speak. Sometimes the universes even crossover just for fun. The way DC’s multiverse functioned
was similar to Marvel’s, but then they decided to make things unnecessarily more complicated. DC thought that multiple Earths was too difficult to keep track of and decided to merge all the universes together in an event called “Crisis on Infinite Earths” in 1985. This definitely caused some continuity problems and plot holes that needed to be retconned in some titles. The 2015 event “Convergence” retconned some of the story from “Crisis on Infinite Earths” to make it so that multiple timelines can exist now, including multiple multiverses. One of DC’s current publications (at the time of this article’s publishing) called “Doomsday Clock” attempts to explore and explain more about how DC’s multiverse works, already revealing that it’s actually a Metaverse and that each universe reacts to changes in another. I hope that helped clear some things up. The conclusion to all of this: you can start reading any comic you want at any point that you want. Honestly the hardest part is finding one that you like. For me, I first started reading the 2013 “Nova” comics (I highly recommend them), but what really got me hooked was the current run of “The Amazing Spider-Man,” which started in 2018. I’ve been an active comic reader since then. Don’t feel like you have to stick to Marvel or DC. Support independent creators! There’s so many amazing stories and artwork out there for you to discover, so head to your local comic store and enjoy.
An enthusiastic Camp NaNoWriMo reccomendation Alexandra Detweiler (She/her)
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo or NaNo, is a popular writing event that challenges writers to get 50,000 words out in a single month. The event takes place in November and, with 30 days in that month, that comes down to roughly 1667 words every day. Unless you’re really, really experienced (and even if you are), that’s a lot of words. The summer of my sophomore year, I challenged myself to write 50,000 words during the month of July. I liked the concept of NaNoWriMo but didn’t want to complete it in November due to the fact that it was both during the school year and so close to finals. In addition, I had an extra day that month, 31 days instead of the traditional 30, taking down the daily goal to a mere 1614 words. Easy as pie, right? It wasn’t easy. That month, I delved into an urban fantasy book that I had previously only written perhaps a few hundred words for; most of the book that had existed was only in my head, and even then there was barely any plot and the worldbuilding was sorely lacking. It had actually started accidentally; I had realized after the two first days of July that I had written a lot more than usual for those first two days (the picturesque campus at Northwestern had been particularly inspirational) and I decided to challenge myself to follow this “NaNoWriMo” format I had heard
Photo courtesy of Camp NaNoWriMo
about but never pursued. I told no one. I mostly wrote at night, after work, pushing usually into the early hours of the morning. It ended up being a mostly disjointed mess of details and characters and plot points that didn’t really fit together, but I did it. I wrote 50,000 words, and the world that had only barely existed as a physics-class daydream now had physical form. The summer of 2019, I partici-
pated in NaNo very differently. I realized in June of 2019 that my makeshift “NaNo but in July” was actually an official thing, called Camp NaNoWriMo. To participate more officially, I signed up on the official website (campnanowrimo.org), and with this came so many more resources I hadn’t known existed. The site gave me the opportunity to choose a “cabin” of other writers (in my case, a group of other fantasy and sci-fi writers) whose job it was to keep
each other motivated and excited about their writing. For example, my cabin frequently participated in writing “sprints,” periods where we all competed to see who would write the most words in a set period of time. We would share snippets of our work, help fix each others’ plot holes, and generally be a friend. These “cabins” are a major difference between the better-known November NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo, and not the only one. While the traditional NaNo has a pre-set word goal of 50,000, camp’s goal is far more malleable. Not only can you set a sliding word goal anywhere from 1 to infinity, you can also set a goal in pages, hours, and minutes. Pages are particularly handy for those doing screenplays or comics, and time goals can be handy for those more focused on editing what they’ve already written. My “official” experience with Camp far outweighed my unofficial one. With writing buddies to cheer me on, sprints to get me going, and the site’s fancy progress graph to inspire me, I met and surpassed my goal much more quickly. Not only that, I completed my first draft, something I take great pride in. In general, Camp NaNo is something I’d highly recommend to anyone who’s interested in but intimidated by traditional NaNo or anyone who theoretically wants to start writing but needs the extra kick in the butt to do so. If you want more information, please feel free to contact me at adetweiler@ hawk.iit.edu or check it out yourself at campnanowrimo.org!
see your name in print writers' meetings every Wednesday at 1 p.m. in MTCC 221
TechNews | Tuesday, August 27, 2019
The Domas Uprising: part one Virat Joshi (He/him) TECHNEWS WRITER
Have you ever walked into a situation while focusing on a completely different task and realized this was exactly what you needed? As it turns out, Emory's life had been a series of such situations one after the other. His first memory of himself as a person was travelling to Domas. A wide-eyed four-year-
old gripping the window rails of the train as though his life depended on it. He watched the scenery zoom past him as the train sped up. The vast fields lined with rows of maize in perfect symmetry gradually transcended into an urban backdrop which saddened him but at the same time made him curious. The passengers started moving in a frenzy to get off at the next station. A second of delay would mean them missing their destination as the train would stop for no more than one minute. In this short span, a massive crowd would disembark and alight this train and carry on with their lives as if the exchange never happened.
Welcome to Illinois Tech A great place to study and a great place to have fun,
Emory's eyes dazzled seeing this exchange and he glanced at his mother expectantly as if she would have an explanation for this organized chaos. His mom, however, had different things on her mind. A young mother who had run from a small town to build a family in the city of dreams. The train jolted to a stop and Emory's mom pulled his hand and plunged right into the middle of it while his dad took care of the luggage. As the train left, three people stood on the platform with hope in their eyes and doubt in their hearts not knowing what was in store for them. The family headed to-
wards the exit unaware that a shadow followed them from a distance. The shadow gripped his gun uncomfortably beneath the tuxedo as the crowd pushed him farther from the target. So far he had managed to evade prying eyes but Domas was different. The city had the most advanced surveillance network in the country that could threaten the entire mission. The shadow, however, had an unwavering resolve with only one goal in mind: Emory had to return.
a student-run newspaper needs students to function!
Exploring different avenues and basking in the after-summer sun, A place where thoughts collaborate and are not taciturn, Welcome to Illinois Tech, where challenges would await on every turn. Tarang Vaidya (He/him) TECHNEWS WRITER
Start of a New Semester It’s the end of summer; Gosh! Time just flew,
Another year would commence; It’s the start of a semester new, Let’s hope the first day begins with no rain and dew, Praying for everyone to do their best with problems hardly a few. Tarang Vaidya (He/him)
always looking for: puzzle-makers graphic designers poets and creative writers journalists photographers comic artists anyone looking to practice their writing skills!
A friend I made perfect pure and so dead Smiles bring warmth I wrap around cold skin Crying softly thoughts of ending are near Summer time friend conclude. Cinema fin
But dives from cliffs still lighten complexion From Burlington to Boston’s delights You were in my view for every session Your presences sending my heart in full flight
Knowing that these feelings are not two ways My ideals for us are young fantasy I wish I could hold you and call you bae My only chances are drunk off whisky
Maybe future stories erase my thoughts With the tree of life tearing us apart Samuel Long (He/Him) TECHNEWS WRITER
support our newspaper
contact firstname.lastname@example.org for ad rates!
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 | TechNews
A nonogram from Sam! Rules and Example Each number enclosed in a black blox represents how many adjacent black squares are in the corresponding column/row. Each group of ajacent black squares are separated by at least one white space. Complete the entire puzzle to discover a hidden picture of Sam's creation! Example puzzle:
puzzle by Samuel Long (He/him) TECHNEWS WRITER
The Summoning: a short story EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Lids bit her lip, frowning at the text that she had thought she would have been able to understand no problem. Apparently, as usual, she could not understand it no problem. The issue was that her Latin wasn’t exactly… stellar. She had taken Latin, yes. Of course she had, all students at Alistair’s Academy for Gifted Children were required to take Latin. But she hadn’t exactly learned a lot in that class. There was a knock on the door, startling her from her concentrated squinting. “Olivia!” Joseph’s shrill voice yelled, the word just slurred enough that she recognized that her friend was super drunk. “Aren’t you coming?” Lids had no idea where they were going but did know that she had more important things to do. “I’ll catch up!” She lied, knowing Alexandra Detweiler (She/her)
it was the only response that would convince him to leave without her. While there was a long groan on the other side, she did hear the sound of retreating footsteps a moment later and counted it a success. Setting the book on the ground and taking a breath, Lids surveyed the setup in front of her. She’d fashioned a pentagram out of rose petals, had lit as many candles as she could find (many of which were the flowery scents her roommate kept around, but there was also an AXE body spray one that she had found at a dollar store, which really threw off the scent combination) and had turned her roommate’s hanging cross upside down. Nodding in self-assurance, she looked down at the text, raised her arms, and read the passage. What she lacked in accuracy, she made up for in confidence. She made her voice as loud and booming as she could manage, channeling the old wizard she must have been in a previous life.
When she had finished, she kept her arms raised for a few seconds, the room still. After a couple moments passed in disappointingly normal silence, Lids dropped her arms with a huff. What was she going to do for fun if she couldn’t summon a- All of the candles in the room went out at once. It probably would have been a more dramatic effect if it had left the room pitch black, but as it was, the curtains were still half open and the 5 o’clock sun streamed in unimpeded. As if a spot in her vision slowly gained corporality, a figure seemed to mist into being at the center of her hastily-fashioned pentagram. It was long and slender, far too much of both to be considered human, wearing a cloak of black tendrils made of something like shadow. “Hello,” Lids greeted cheerfully, very happy that she would not have to resort
to attending Joseph’s party in order to stave off boredom tonight. “Mortal,” the hooded figure rasped, extending a long, bony finger at her. “Have you any idea what you have done, toying with these dark magics? Do you know what you have just released upon the world?” Lids blinked. “I was hoping we could just kind of hang out.” The figure was quiet for a few long seconds, shadowy tendrils at the bottom of their cloak moving restlessly against her pink carpet. Lids opened her mouth to elaborate when the figure raised a hand again, this time with the palm down and the fingers splayed wide. “Will there be… nail painting?” It asked slowly. Lids' mouth immediately exploded into a wide grin. “Of course there will be nail painting.”
TechNews | Tuesday, August 27, 2019
The word Sudoku, above, is actually the abbreviation of “Suuji wa dokushin ni kagiru,” meaning “the digits must be single” or “the digits are limited to one occurrence.”
Create and solve your Sudoku puzzles for FREE. Play Sudoku and win prizes at:
prizesudoku.com The Sudoku Source of “TechNews”.
Published on Tuesday, August 27, this is the first issue of TechNews for Illinois Institute of Technology's Fall 2019 semester.