Listening in Limbo: Phantogram’s latest equivocates on style, never coalesces ARTS
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Thursday, February 11, 2010
Martin defends UW primate research ethics lorenzo zemella/the daily cardinal
Several Madison Metro bus drivers earned over $100,000 in a recent budget review, representing the highest-paid government workers for the city of Madison.
Extensive overtime hours raise Madison Metro safety concerns By Ariel Shapiro The Daily Cardinal
A Madison bus driver who worked overtime was the highest paid city government employee of 2009, raising questions as to how safe and fiscally responsible the practice of allowing unlimited overtime is. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, bus driver John Nelson earned $159,258 in 2009, with overtime and other pay accounting for $109,892 of that amount. Metro Transit General Manager Chuck Kamp said there were six other drivers who earned over $100,000 for the year. Ald. Mike Verveer, District 4, said the figures are cause for concern “on a couple of different levels.” “First and foremost is safety,”
Verveer said. “On a practical level, it seems crazy that you have somebody driving a large bus that many hours in a week. The secondary concern is a fiscal one.” Kamp said the current rules of scheduling require a break of at least 10 hours between shifts, but employees can waive that provision at their discretion. However, Kamp said Metro riders have no reason to worry about how many hours their drivers may be working. “Collectively, they had about 170 years of safe driving during their careers,” Kamp said of Nelson and the other $100,000-plus earners. “That’s pretty compelling data. If for some reason the data were to change, we would take another look at it.”
ASM approves campaign to help increase work-study pay By Daniel Tollefson The Daily Cardinal
The Associated Students of Madison created an informationgathering campaign at a Student Council meeting Wednesday, focusing on financial aid for UW-Madison students on campus, specifically with regard for workstudy employment programs. Carl Fergus, UW-Madison senior, said the work-study campaign intends to make up for a growing tendency of the U.S. government to withhold money entitled to students qualified to receive financial aid through work-study programs and guaranteed by FAFSA. Fergus, who will lead the campaign, said he hopes it will eventually increase the base rate of pay provided by the university in work-study jobs to help compen-
sate for the government’s absence. “It’s great for the U.S. government to say we give this much money in aid to the student, but the sad thing is, students don’t really get the aid … my personal amount is $1,200 for this year from the government that I’m not getting,” he said. Fergus said he recognizes the fact that while the campaign has high aspirations, it will not be able to provide immediate results. He said for the spring semester the newly enacted financial aid campaign will aim to investigate some fundamental points concerning students who are eligible for work-study programs on campus. “We want to figure out how many students are actually in the student council page 3
The amount of spending in overtime in 2009 was greater than the personal wage savings could make up for, and it is the budget, not safety issues, that city officials find most concerning. “For us it is not the issue of these particular drivers so much, the issue is really overall overtime,” Rachel Strauch-Nelson, spokesperson for Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, said. “We do need to take a look at that and we are in the process of doing that to make sure Metro does not exceed its overtime budget in the future.” Kamp said labor contract negotiations will provide an opportunity to possibly revise the system, but said overtime and personal wage savings balanced out in the last few years; 2009 may have been an exception.
Chancellor Biddy Martin wrote a response Wednesday to the members of the Dane County Board of Supervisors, who have recently expressed concerns with the ethics of primate research at UW-Madison. The Board’s members sent a letter to Martin last week claiming the All-Campus Animal Care and Use Committee could not issue a fair ruling on whether the UW-Madison primate research is ethical. Many members said they believe that the salaried A-CACUC members were acting in the UW’s interest when making their decision that the UW-Madison primate research is ethical. Martin said in her response that some members of the board are community members with no association to UW-Madison. She added that the committee members who are UW-Madison employees were “selected on the basis of their expertise, experience and willing-
ness to participate in the timeconsuming and complex process of overseeing and evaluating our animal programs.” Eric Sandgren, UW-Madison Research Animal Resource Center director, also said in a statement that primate research on campus has to meet certain ethics protocols before it can begin. “UW-Madison Animal Care and Use Committee answer the question of whether experimenting on primates, or any animal, is ethical,” he said in a statement. “Just as for experiments involving humans, only if the answer is ‘yes’ will an animal study be allowed to proceed.” The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued several violations in December regarding UW-Madison’s animal facilities, including sanitation and ventilation concerns. In January, however, the USDA cleared UW-Madison of all these violations. —Kelsey Gunderson
Harvard graduate encourages activism By Estephany Escobar The Daily Cardinal
Derrick Ashong, Harvard graduate, musician, actor and political activist, discussed the importance of activism in bringing positive change to the country at the Distinguished Lecture Series Wednesday. In his presentation, Ashong said to change the country’s political
and economic situation, everyone needs to be involved in this process, not only politicians. He said he believes young people can have a large impact on social change and encouraged students to get involved in their community. “Our generation in particular and those following thereafter need speaker page 3
Let me see that tong-tah-tong-tong-tong
patrick shipe/the daily cardinal
UW-Madison students gather at the ASM Kickoff Meeting Wednesday night to enjoy roasted pig.
“…the great state University of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found.”
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Thursday, February 11, 2010
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JOE SPIKE academic misjonduct Editor’s Note: Jon is out this week with frostbite on his lower extremities after trying to go streaking at Camp Randall’s Outdoor Hockey Classic. Replacing him this week will be his deadbeat twin brother, Joe. Hello, friends. I always relish the opportunity to enlighten the campus when my brother is unavailable to write his column. It’s a rare chance for me to let the student body know of potential dangers to their wellbeing, and today is no different. I’ve collected the top 25 reasons you should avoid friending my two-timing brother on Facebook. You’re welcome. 1) Frequently ﬁles your pictures away in the folder on his desktop called “People whose skin would make great lampshades.” 2) Pokes you an unnecessary amount of times... Seriously, upwards of 300 times. 3) He joins groups such as “Largest Facebook group EVER SERIOUSLY GUYZ GUINNESS WORLD RECORD PEOPLE
relationship status to “single.” 13) Has actively petitioned Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg to NOT allow people to track who has viewed their page the most, citing that it will destroy his reputation among the majority of his female friends, and perhaps even some of his more attractive male friends. 14) Sometimes comments multiple times on his own status so others see the large number of comments and believe people care about what he says. 15) Sends relationship requests to numerous girls, hoping one of them actually mis-clicks and accidentally agrees to be “in a relationship” with him via Facebook. 16) Legitimately believes Facebook marriages are legally binding contracts. 17) Became a fan of “Becoming a fan of things on Facebook.” 18) Already has 4,987 friends on Facebook... over 4,710 of which are fake Facebook proﬁles Jon created one lonely afternoon and friended later on. 19) You know that eerie feeling you get when you think someone is going through each and every one of your tagged pictures on Facebook? Yeah, that’s him and yes, he’s only wearing sweatpants while
doing it. 20) Seriously, he’s devoted over 300 hours to his “Farmville” crops. Something is wrong here. 21) Dressed up as a Facebook page for Halloween last year. That was now the ﬁfth year in a row he’s gone as a Facebook page. It wasn’t clever the ﬁrst time, either. 22) Joined both “Team Conan” and “Team Leno” Facebook groups just so he could use either as a way to strike up Facebook chats with random girls. 23) All of the listings under his “favorite quotes” are from Jon describing how dateable he is, or how easy it would be to slip something in his drink and make out with him. Seriously, he wouldn’t even notice ladies! 24) Frequently ruins episodes of “Lost” by posting spoilers about major plot points in his status. Also ruined the last three Harry Potter books after reading leaked Internet copies. All in all, a really good guy. 25) Posts links to every single Page Two column he writes every week. Not one has been the least bit funny. Want Jon to take a permanent leave of absence so Joe can write the remainder of his columns? Let him know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sierra Nevada Glissade You would think we’re raising chickens around here at New Beer, because all we’ve heard in the last few weeks is “bock-bock-bock!” If you enjoy a good bock (and a terrible chicken joke), then Sierra Nevada’s Glissade is worth a try. However, it doesn’t have any real standout qualities that push it from “good” to “great.” The beer is a nice golden brown, and unlike the recent New Glarus Log Cabin Honey Bock we reviewed, Glissade’s sweet taste is not present upon first smell. Once you’ve had a sip or so, however, the sweet wheat becomes the dominant flavor. The beer almost seems bland at first, with very little hops flavor and only a hint of malt. However, as the beer progresses, the separate ingredients become noticeable, with
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ARE ON THE PHONE W/ ME RIGHT NOW” and “If 1,000,000 people join this group I will fellate a hot dog.” 4) Created a Facebook profile for his ex-girlfriend Sherry’s lingerie drawer. 5) Changes his birthday to whatever day it currently is so people will actually write on his wall and make him feel cool for once. 6) Has been blocked by over 3,756 Facebook users, not counting females (scientists are still attempting to quantify the number, described as “somehow larger than inﬁnity.”) 7) Often updates status with play-by-play of his life... strangely enough, the play-by-plays usually include information about how his privates are chaﬁng. 8) Always seems to invite the police to Facebook events that involve underage drinking. 9) Has joined a shockingly large amount of 9/11 conspiracy theory Facebook groups. 10) Actively tends to his crops on “Farmville.” 11) Constantly writes on people’s walls about their intimate secrets, accidentally mistaking it for a private Facebook message. 12) Keeps obnoxiously “liking” statuses when girls change their
New Beer Thursday
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each representing a portion of the sip. When the beer hits the tongue the sweet wheat is most apparent, but mid-taste the malt bleeds through, before finally fading into an after-taste that finally reveals a pleasant hops aroma. At 6.4 percent alcohol by volume, Glissade is a bit on the high side, but it doesn’t show. In fact, Glissade’s weakness is that it doesn’t really show anything as a defining quality. The beer is perfectly fine, with no obvious flaw; but once finished, the beer is instantly forgettable. If Sierra Nevada wants the beer to find a niche, it may want to consider tweaking one of the ingredients to make it stand out among bocks. At only $7.99 for a sixpack, Glissade is reasonably priced, and could be worth a
try if you’ve exhausted your other new beer options. But unless trying new beers is your job—like us lucky guys—there are plenty of other new brews on the shelf that should be sampled before it.
Sierra Nevada Glissade Golden Bock $7.99 at Riley’s Wines of the World
Twitter? I hardly knew her! Riley’s now offers wine tote bags for customers purchasing 6 bottles, or more, of any wine we have in stock! They are durable, reusable, and
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Legislators say new job bill may be costly By Alison Dirr The Daily Cardinal
Three state representatives are asking Gov. Jim Doyle for a cost estimate for his proposed Clean Energy Jobs Act, which aims to curb global warming in Wisconsin. Doyle said in his State of the State Address that he hopes to generate 25 percent of Wisconsin’s energy from renewable sources by 2025, reduce energy consumption by 2 percent by 2015 and create more than 15,000 clean energy jobs in Wisconsin. State Rep. Mike Huebsch, R-West Salem, state Rep. Phil Montgomery, R-Green Bay, and state Rep. Scott Gunderson, R-Waterford, said Doyle has yet to provide answers to a series of fiscal questions submitted two weeks ago. Montgomery said he did not expect the cost estimates soon. “When you do the cost-benefit analysis of this, the numbers are so horrific and so burdensome to the [tax] payers of Wisconsin that they would say no,” Montgomery said. “That is why [Doyle’s committee] is doing this in a smoke-filled backroom.” Adam Collins, Doyle’s spokesperson, said accusations about backroom dealing are not true. “This has been a very open discussion,” Collins said. “The Clean Energy Jobs Act was created based on the recommendation of the taskforce on climate change.” According to Collins, this taskforce included manufacturers, business leaders, industry experts, and Republican and Democratic lawmakers. The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, a conservative-leaning
student council from page 1 work-study program, how much money they’re receiving and the effect it has on the university budget,” he said. ASM members unanimously voted to pass the financial aid campaign, possibly indicating a general sentiment that workstudy programs on campus need to be re-evaluated. The Student Council also reviewed the Student Judiciary budget and will continue other budget hearings at the Feb. 24 meeting.
polling group, reported that moving to 25 percent reliance on renewable energy by 2025 would cost the state between $13.9 billion and $16.2 billion. Republican lawmakers cited statistics from the WPRI report claiming this legislation would compromise 43,000 Wisconsin jobs. Collins said these findings are inaccurate. “There is something that was put out there a few months ago that makes this claim that [state Rep. Jeff ] Fitzgerald [R-Horicon] references, but that is not based on elements that are even in this legislation,” Collins said. “It has been widely discredited.” Collins said the WPRI numbers are based on national legislation, not the proposals in Doyle’s bill. Despite some opposition, Collins said he hopes the legislation passes before Doyle’s final term as governor ends.
speaker from page 1 to take a more proactive role and a leadership place in society, move beyond PlayStation.” Ashong said. “Start exercising power prePh.D., before the Nobel Prize, whether you carry a flag or not, be a leader.” According to Ashong, if Americans continue living an “unsustainable lifestyle,” people will either “run into a brick wall” or be forced to change. “When the poison pill comes to pass, we will all swallow it without a choice and you don’t have to worry
Thursday, February 11, 2010 about the government mandating change, the change will happen in it on itself, it would just be more difficult to deal with,” he said. In order to be a leader and provide solutions to the current situation, Ashong said the public needs to engage in a different level of commitment. “Some of that means that we have to take a little bit of the faith that we put in our leaders and start placing it in ourselves and each other and trying to find out what’s really going on,” he said. Ashong said it is important to be educated and hold conversa-
tions with others, even if they do not share the same views. “If we could start to teach ourselves as citizens to have better dialogue with one another … we would be in a much better position,” he said. UW-Madison junior and DLS committee member Ana Maria Vascan said she felt Ashong’s narrative style was inspirational. “I’m starting to realize how big the world is and how much depends on what story we tell and what story we listen to and so what I think he does a lot of this,” she said.
UW student remembered by friends, family “Dedicated” is the word friends and family use to describe Jeffrey Slosarczyk, a UW-Madison senior who passed away Feb. 5. Julie Hansbury, Slosarczyk’s sister, said he will be missed by “many students, friends, and of course, family members.” “His great passion for learning influenced so many others to model his devotion and dedication, and
will leave a lasting impression,” she said in a statement. The 23-year-old chemistry student was passionate about research, baseball and religion. During his time at UW-Madison, Slosarczyk worked as a researcher with The McMahon Group in the chemistry department and later interned with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Slosarczyk graduated from East Troy High School in 2005 and attended UW-Milwaukee for two years. A memorial service will be held Feb. 11 from 3 to 6 p.m. at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in East Troy, Wis. Those wishing to attend the service or contact Slosarczyk’s family are encouraged to call Legacy Funeral Home at 262-642-5057.
Where’s Steve when you need him? To escape the grip of a crocodile’s jaws, push your thumbs into its eyeballs. It will let you go instantly...Well, it should. dailycardinal.com/comics
Thursday, February 11, 2010
By Caitlin Kirihara firstname.lastname@example.org
© Puzzles by Pappocom
Ludicrous Linguistics Classic
By Celia Donnelly email@example.com
Solution, tips and computer program available at www.sudoku.com.
Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9.
Sid and Phil Classic
By Alex Lewein firstname.lastname@example.org
Today’s Crossword Puzzle
Charlie and Boomer
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By Natasha Soglin firstname.lastname@example.org
Answer key available at www.dailycardinal.com Band Practice ACROSS
1 Attack with a beak 5 Fighting fish 10 Domestic squabble 14 Decorative needle case 15 Asian nannies 16 Clerical clothing 17 Add to a message board 18 Sphere of influence 19 Used to be 20 “Carrie” actress 23 Body art, briefly 24 Omit in pronunciation 25 Certain apothecary weights (Var.) 27 Brave opponent 28 Basic unit for the elements 32 Pointer’s word 33 Apple pie order 36 Winged god of love 37 Large, white, sleek swimmer 40 “Brady Bunch” name 41 Deviation from the norm 42 Print made using stone, briefly 44 Like blushing cheeks 45 Moo ___ pork 48 Act just like
51 Fruity-smelling compound 53 Do damage to 54 Beach burrower 58 A proper partner? 60 Piano teacher’s command 61 Ecclesiastical court 62 Having a batless belfry? 63 Backward-looking, in fashion 64 Yemeni gulf city 65 MIT grad, perhaps 66 Geometry calculations 67 A ___ pittance DOWN
1 It may have gone through the mill 2 Star, in Paris 3 Pointed tooth 4 Passed bad checks 5 Semitic f ertility god 6 Avenger Peel 7 “Forbidden” perfume brand 8 It may be rounded on a diamond 9 Showing signs of life 10 Carpenter’s cutter 11 Abundance 12 Atlantic Records co-founder Herb
13 Dangerous African flies 21 Kingdom 22 End a fast 26 Like taffy 29 Acapulco appetizer 30 Prophetic sign 31 V-8, but not the drink 33 A zero 34 Test-driver’s car 35 Big Band and others 37 Three-hulled sailboat 38 Getting a gold watch, perhaps 39 More underhanded (Var.) 40 Quick peek 43 Big ox 45 Walked firmly 46 Furnace, e.g. 47 Refined and polished 49 Beauty pageant winner’s crown 50 It’s used on the border 52 “Hit the road!” 55 Carbon-14 estimate 56 Coin no longer being minted 57 Sonny on “The Dukes of Hazzard” 59 Mal de ___ (seasickness)
Washington and the Bear
By Derek Sandberg email@example.com
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Reading foreign ﬁlms, with or without subtitles DAN SULLIVAN sullivan’s travels
I PHOTO COURTESY BARSUK RECORDS
Phantogram have a hard time ﬁnding their niche on Eyelid Movies, which leads to a significant lack of aesthetic cohesiveness.
Phantogram dilute sound By Justin Stephani
ered vocals and guitar in the background, it makes the culmination of A large part of making either suc- the ﬁnal chorus yet another epiphany, cessful or appealing music today is bringing to life the simple lines with ﬁguring out how far away you want sincerity: “I could have been easier on to keep listeners while still providing you / I should have been / A little bit them with empathetic emotion or easier on you.” sentiment to grasp. From ambience “As Far as I Can See” picks up to pop, today’s music requires either a trip-hop feel, representing the hidden, artistic accessibility or trans- peak of their affectations. A slightly parent pop sensibilities. Phantogram unnatural beat mixes with samples can be seen as hanging in perfect that feel pieced together, layering to balance between an open sound like create distance between the underlyChairlift or the xx and the abrasive, ing sentiments. It has the simplest sometimes confusing sounds of Hot lyrics and most consistent accessibilChip or of Montreal. ity as everything blends together in Phantogram an inexplicable harCD REVIEW often give off a mony reminiscent vibe that they are of the disjointedjust playing around ness of Bitte Orca, with different making it the most sounds and riffs. memorable track Whether or not on the album. this is to show off Maybe only how adept they are because it’s recent, Eyelid Movies or if it’s just because but Teen Dream Phantogram they are that good, stands out as a close it has both positive comparison, and and negative effects. The lead vocals while that record is deﬁnitely more polﬁnd themselves swimming aimless- ished and practiced than Eyelid Movies, ly in swirling production on “You the lofty comparison is not unwarAre The Ocean,” but appropriately ranted. The problem for Phantogram enough, the climax feels vibrant after is that they never ﬁnd their own niche. different levels are done interacting. The eccentricity of indie electropop This becomes symptomatic of many like of Montreal and the accessibility songs on Eyelid Movies, which makes of Chairlift ﬂank Phantogram, leavthem both frustrating and rewarding. ing them hopeful to ﬁnd a middling Each song employs different lines of group of lost listeners. Yet if they’re production that interact on various aspiring for any sound, it’s of the xx or levels—often to unfulﬁlling ends— Beach House. However, their sound is before Phantogram decide to turn not as cohesive and singular. them all loose and unveil the vivid Instead, touches of trip hop and imagery and emotion that built up. dubstep hide their accessibility behind “Mouthful of Diamonds” carries walls of what are just layers of timidity, the xx feel, only not as wispy or which is the product of Phantogram’s intimate. The beat is busy but not willingness to try too hard to make overzealous, and when the melody more conventional approaches hip comes in after each chorus evolves in and groovy. This dilutes their sound frustration, it gives the slightly dub- and leaves behind most of the aesstep beat taken from the introduction thetic cohesiveness that they establish a full assault of color, as if lead singer through the unique ingredients they Sarah Barthel just landed in Oz. do throw in. When they are subject “When I’m Small” represents one to so many recent peer comparisons, of the few ﬁller songs with layered cohesiveness is essential to setting a progressions, an uninspired beat with band apart and reminding listeners underlying sexual connotations that something unique is offered in return. leave it appropriately small in stature. But as they stand on Eyelid Movies, But “Turn it Off” allows that sound they are a lonely, attractive marble to grow by grasping at extremes. left in the middle of the board in the It hits a deep register with a whole expansive game of Hungry Hungry note bass line, and along with an Hippos that indie music acceptance unconventional beat and hazy, lay- can represent at times.
THE DAILY CARDINAL
t’s been almost a month now since the renowned French ﬁlmmaker Eric Rohmer died. Rohmer’s legacy is more or less uncontested: The consensus opinion is that he was responsible for some of the smartest, subtlest and, above all else, talkiest ﬁlms ever made. Many have taken the occasion of Rohmer’s death as motivation to revisit his oeuvre, myself included. Each decade of his career featured no fewer than two or three outright masterpieces. 1970’s “Claire’s Knee” remains the most satisfying movie ever made on the subjects of sexual temptation and monogamist willpower. 1981’s “The Aviator’s Wife” is as good, honest and anxious an image of young love as you’ll ﬁnd. A couple of weeks ago I screened Rohmer’s nearly ﬂawless comedy of manners (or lack thereof), “La collectionneuse,” for my roommate. I was struck by the extent to which Rohmer’s work—particularly his 1960s and 1980s ﬁlms—communicates directly with young people. Much of this resonance has to do with what some call the “literary” qualities of his ﬁlms: the ways in which the movies unfold more like works of literature than works of cinema. Indeed, Rohmer’s work contains the seeds for the implausibly rational personas residing in the Fitzgeraldesque ﬁlms of directors like Whit Stillman (it’s uncontroversial to suggest that without Rohmer there’d be neither “Metropolitan” nor “The Last
Days of Disco”). A prototypically Rohmerian character is a hyper-articulate, hyper-intelligent and hyperbourgeois armchair philosopher: She’s so adept at presenting and pleading her own case that it effectively calls attention to the fact that everything she says was written rather than improvised. Unsurprisingly, Rohmer published a novel in 1946 before becoming a critic for the inﬂuential French ﬁlm magazine Cahiers du cinéma in the 1950s and a director in the 1960s. But is this literariness good or bad? Does the fact that these ﬁlms behave so much like novels make them aesthetically impure? Are these ﬁlms properly cinematic or are they something else? If you’re the sort who easily gets hung up on so-called “realism,” you might ﬁnd Rohmer’s heartfelt investigations into self-consciousness and everyday ethics kind of silly or, as Gene Hackman’s character in “Night Moves” famously argues, boring. Indeed, the matter of whether Rohmer’s work is dull (which, for the record, it certainly isn’t) points toward another question connected to the entire notion of literary cinema: Do we watch foreign language ﬁlms or do we read them? I should clarify what I mean when I say that one “reads” a ﬁlm. When critics and/or scholars refer to a “reading” of a ﬁlm, “reading” is usually synonymous with “interpretation;” the word “read” therefore implies that a ﬁlm is a text, a wide-open assemblage of signs that can yield any number of legitimate interpretations depending on the viewer’s intellectual sensibility. But I mean “read” in a more literal sense: If a movie has subtitles (and Rohmer’s ﬁlms have plenty of
subtitles), the viewer inevitably spends a lot of time paying attention to only the bottom section of the screen, for fear of losing track of whatever’s going on in the narrative. The consequences of this literariness are unclear. How much of a ﬁlm does one miss by paying strict attention to a single part of the frame? The great critic Manny Farber wrote of the ﬁlm frame as if it were a canvas, a sprawling space abounding with visual intrigue. He was right: The ﬁlm frame is deﬁnitely loaded with things worth seeing, whether they’re massively spectacular or discreetly understated. Finding objects to look at and engaging with them is essentially what the viewer does. But in cinema we’re presented with things in a state of becoming, of unceasing change. If painting, like photography, offers us images of objects in relatively ﬁxed and therefore easily observed states, cinema shows us objects as they appear both inside and outside the gallery: as processes, as things in ﬂux. Thus, it makes sense that if a viewer’s gaze is forced to stick to one part of the frame, there’s a great deal of stuff that she’ll necessarily miss. Subtitles are magnets attracting our attention away from the rest of the image as it develops dynamically. Although it’s a necessary chore, we might as well acknowledge the effect that reading subtitles has on ﬁlm-viewing. There’s a lot to like about literary cinema, especially that of Eric Rohmer; but is it possible that we must watch these ﬁlms twice in order to say that we’ve truly seen them—once for the language and once for the images? Do you give foreign films that second viewing? Let Dan know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
opinion SCIENCE EDUCATION IN AMERICA 6
Thursday, February 11, 2010
What education needs is more Bill Nye MARK BENNETT opinion columnist
s we take a week to reﬂect on science education in America, I’d like to take a look back at my fondest memories of my personal science education. They don’t include a physics lecture in Chamberlin Hall (and hopefully never will). It wasn’t when I dissected that frog in high school biology, or the week I built a bridge in physics. I’m not thinking about when we made cellular models with PlayDoh and gumdrops in third grade, although that was pretty awesome. No, my fondest memories of science, the times when I learned the most and enjoyed that learning, took place in front of a television. Whether I realized it then or not, my childhood television viewing habits revolved around PBS. Almost every day was ﬁlled with the literary wonders of “Wishbone” and “Reading Rainbow,” and the scientiﬁc marvels of “The Magic School Bus” and “Bill Nye the Science Guy.” To me, they were simply fun shows to watch. Little did I know I was learning the basics of plate tectonics, gravity, static electricity and evolution. Through someone’s brilliant imagination and creation, a crazed animated elementary school teacher and her talking bus became a better educational tool than any textbook could ever be. PBS was founded on the principle that society needed a source for programming we weren’t even aware of. However, this had to come in the form of entertainment as well. Through these shows, PBS accom-
plished early education, without sacriﬁcing entertainment. Now, while I wouldn’t object to an episode of “Bill Nye” today, I like to believe that I’ve moved on to more advanced television. Yet, the principles have remained the same. While I’ll admit that a large amount of my current viewing habits involve mind-numbing and useless television, entertainment still mixes with education. I would say that shows like the History Channel’s “Modern Marvels” or the Discovery Channel’s “Mythbusters” trick me into learning about science, but the word “trick” would imply a negative opinion. The amount of information and advanced knowledge these shows present is astounding. Yet, more amazingly, they’re still entertaining. Watching a dummy thrown 200 feet into the air from an explosion exponentially outpaces the entertainment level of any chemistry textbook. Additionally, I’m far more likely to remember exactly why that dummy’s head exploded upon ground impact than anything found in a book. Today, science has simply become too far removed from society. The gap continues to widen between those who investigate and research, and those who seek to understand. Yet with tools such as television, the boundary has been lowered. To continue bridging the gap, educators need to begin using more engaging education techniques in their classrooms, especially in science. If you were to simply read the rules of football, you probably wouldn’t ﬁnd much interest in the sport and you would certainly have difﬁculty understanding it. Yet, when you watch football, the ideas become not only a reality, but enjoyable. The same applies for those learning science, whether in elementary school
or a university. Educators might have a difﬁcult time explaining digestion to younger children, but when the students are able to see an engaging episode in which fun, animated characters travel inside the human body, the ideas suddenly become much more attainable. Similarly, while Newton’s laws might make sense to high school physics students, a short ﬁlm or television episode on roller coasters suddenly makes those laws very real and applicable. Yet, the standards of science education in America still rely heavily on books and lectures. There’s a stigma in society to standardize education, yet by striving for this uniformality, education loses its personal touch. When we begin to make science fun and accessible again, interest in the study is bound to expand. This is evident in those who are far removed from any formal classrooms. The Discovery Channel thrives because it creates shows that entertain and educate simultaneously. They make science accessible and create excitement for innovation and experimentation at all age levels. Unfortunately for me, I am far beyond PBS cartoons, but what about today’s younger generations? Will the education system relax and allow these children to learn through engaging activities, such as the occasional Discovery Kids show or continue to restrict curriculum to textbooks, choking out any future interest in science because of the boredom of textbooks and lectures? As for those who have moved on from the classroom, it’s time to rediscover the wonder and amazement of science, because science is where we live. It’s what we do. It’s who we are. Mark Bennett is a freshman intending to major in journalism. Please send all feedback to email@example.com.
Race to the Top sends students to the bottom JAMIE STARK opinion columnist
resident Barack Obama has plenty of controversial work before him. He is attempting to ﬁnish two expensive wars, pass health insurance reform and end “don’t ask, don’t tell.” In a country with a devastatingly powerful moderate majority, Obama must pick and choose his political battles, pushing for some liberal issues and coasting through with other moderate proposals. Unfortunately, it seems Obama has sacriﬁced education, the issue most central to our future success as a nation, to the side of appeasement. Obama cares about the state of education. Every day, his two young daughters keep him cognizant of the next generation of leaders and their current well-being. But the president’s Race to the Top competition for American schools is a misguided plan, shoddily pieced together from the back burner. Race to the Top’s mastermind, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, has never worked as a teacher or principal. Race to the Top admirably intends to increase teacher accountability and improve our deeply ﬂawed education system, but the plans of implementation are shaky and short-sighted. Improving on No Child Left Behind, Race to the Top actually provides start-up money for new programs. This is a step forward, but only one step. We cannot have a one- step race. This isn’t the Race to the Top of One Stair. Like the stimulus package, whose greatest achievement was saving schools and teachers across the country, Race to the Top can provide a boost of funding to select states. However, much of the funds are for start-up costs, like Madison’s plan to implement four-year-old kindergarten in fall 2011. Race to the Top fails to provide continued funding once the initial goals are achieved. With school districts across the state and the nation facing daunting budget cuts, how can they be expected to assume permanent expenses of new programs? Beneﬁcial programs might shut down, more cuts might be made from other vital departments or state and federal government would be forced to shell out even more to keep programs running. Education is expensive, and the government, along with much of the school-stingy public, needs to acknowledge this. According to Green Bay Education Association President David Harswick, many districts were initially excited to learn about the $4 billion in Race to the Top funds, only
to become confused and worried. “How much of your soul are you willing to sell to obtain money when you were not part of the planning process?” asked Harswick. A better, more long-term strategy could have been designed if the planning process had included educators’ opinions from the beginning. Teachers unions, superintendant associations, and school boards across Wisconsin, three groups who rarely see eye to eye, agree that the state government should have done more to include experienced educators in the process, according to Harswick. Perhaps the scariest piece of Race to the Top is the threat to schools in bad shape. Introducing competition to the funding process makes sense if you coldly consider education a business model, another free market entity subject to the unforgiving rules of capitalism. But schools do not have a bottom line of dollars and cents. In no way should a school district’s primary concern be cutting corners to save taxpayers a few nickels. A school’s bottom line, its reason for existence, is the children it educates and prepares for a successful life. Oversight and accountability must be the primary focus of education reform, not introducing ideas that smack of corporationvocabulary included to appease free market conservatives. True, Wisconsin is eligible for hundreds of millions in Race to the Top funds. But the competition has become which state can comply with the most new federal guidelines. A poor student in Milwaukee doesn’t care whether or not Wisconsin law allows teachers to be evaluated based on test scores. That student needs a better school. Even if Wisconsin is lucky to be one of the states to receive funding, the money may still not be distributed to needy small districts, but instead to districts able to jump through legal hoops. Every level of government must continue to press accountability on educators and school administrators, but through more creative and representative ways than bubble tests. Increased funding must not be onetime-only, doled out to the states and districts able to maneuver the most legal obstacles. Children and school needs are not random or temporary. School funding should not be either. The price of continuing to poorly educate huge numbers of Americans is much more taxing on our economy and our future. We cannot afford to be outdone by rapidly growing powers like India and China. A quality education helps form the foundation of an active democracy, a competitive market economy and engaged international leadership. Let’s think long-term here. Jamie Stark is a sophomore majoring in journalism. Please send all feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, February 11, 2010 7 l
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wisconsin takes on Nebraska at Nielsen By Emma Condon THE DAILY CARDINAL
The Wisconsin men’s tennis team will try to follow up last Saturday’s double victory by tallying another against No. 66 Nebraska Thursday afternoon at the Nielsen Tennis Stadium. “We had a good match with SMU and UIC, and they’re both solid opponents, but the thing that we want to make sure we do is, not only have a tough schedule, but a consistent schedule,” head coach Greg Van Emburgh said. “You don’t want to have too many breaks, too many gaps in your schedule because then things kind of get stale, and when you’re setting high goals, you want to make sure your guys are ready to play at every match.” Less than a week after convincing wins against No. 69 SMU (4-0) and UIC (6-1), the No. 25 Badgers will be up against a fresher Nebraska squad. Even though senior No. 6-ranked Moritz Baumann has not spent much time on the court yet, the Badger lineup has surged up through the ranks. Baumann’s captain No. 20 junior Marek Michalicka has held down the No. 1 singles position convincingly, going 4-0 in his appearances. But Van Emburgh explains that this year’s squad
stacks the talent deep. “Depth is deﬁnitely a plus on our team this year,” Van Emburgh said. “A lot of our guys are really stepping up and doing a great job from singles to doubles, on down our lineup.” Unlike the Badgers’ quick turnaround, the Huskers (3-2) arrive in Madison after more than two weeks of rest. Ranked at No. 66—a number that Van Emburgh and his players do not think reﬂects the team’s skill—the Huskers boast three top-100 players, including No. 30 sophomore Christopher Aumueller and No. 91 senior Francois Van Impe, both of who are undefeated this season. “They’re an aggressive team, and they’re looking to move their ranking up because their really not a 66 team ... and they know that,” senior and co-captain Michael Dierberger said. Nebraska already collected one win against a ranked opponent in No. 56 Radford, but fell in their next two meetings, 4-3 to No. 37 Minnesota and No. 63 Denver. “They lost a couple close matches, and they’re just waiting for their chance to turn one of those matches around,” Van Emburgh said. “Here’s their chance, and I think were going to be well prepared and ready for the battle.”
Between Wisconsin and Nebraska stats are only worth so much as the teams have only faced each other three times, but the Huskers lead the Badgers 2-1. For the Badgers, this is their chance to settle the score, and the players are up for the challenge. They acknowledge that strategy can only carry you so far because it will always come down to the team that pulls out that fourth point. “The doubles point is probably going be huge because then they have a good singles lineup where their top-three are ranked,” Dierberger said. Still more than a month away from the beginning of conference play, the Badgers’ elevated ranking and stunning FSU upset are making waves in collegiate tennis, making them serious contenders of conference championship caliber. The Badgers said they do not concern themselves with that kind of talk yet, as many difﬁcult teams remain to play. “Illinois and Ohio State, they are not as good as last year, but this year they are still great,” junior and captain Marek Michalicka said. “There are other teams, like Minnesota too. We’ll try to play our best, I guess, and we’ll see how it ends up.” Although Van Emburgh acknowledges the goal, he too sees
LORENZO ZEMELLA/CARDINAL FILE PHOTO
Senior Michael Dierberger and No. 25 Wisconsin look to build on their two victories against UIC and SMU last weekend. the season far from set. “That’s been one of the goals of mine in my six years now, but you just got to take it match by match,” he said. “You can’t really look into the future. You never
know what’s going to happen if there’s an injury, or you have bumps in the road, so we just want to take it one match at a time and that starts on Thursday at 4:15 with Nebraska.”
Climate at Camp Randall Classic marred by student section BEN BREINER boom goes the breinamite
hen the over seven-hour experiment of hockey in Camp Randall ﬁnally came to a close, the waves of praise came as quickly as the Badger forwards chasing dumped pucks into the corner. Terms like “overwhelming success” were thrown around while commentators felt the need to wax
poetic about the beauty of the game outdoors, saying it was the way it was meant to be (which is untrue if you ever want people to watch it live). This all too gleaming, goofy, doe-eyed view of the Camp Randall Hockey Classic, however, just shouldn’t fly. It may seem like a haterade bath on that frigid night, but the student section just did not deliver like it should have. Instead of bringing the more sophisticated Kohl Center atmosphere, with its choreographed dances and more intricate chants,
the Wisconsin students lapsed into the chaotic, profane squalor of a football game. There is no slow wave at hockey, there is no “Eat Shit, Fuck You” chant at hockey. It just is not done. So many of the fans seemed unbearably ignorant of how the sport worked and when to cheer. They were just disinterested. As the temperature dropped, the northern sections thinned out like a freshman party after the beer runs out, and perhaps half of the students saw Brendan Smith’s pair of dramatic third period goals.
The Crease Creatures excel at channeling the rampant drunkenness that pervades UW sports, coming up with creative ways to needle the opposition. Saturday saw the football style of fanhood, in which morons spend games calling friends too loudly and freak out because they are A) drunk and B) at a Badger game. Hockey crowds have a special bond with the band, speciﬁcally Mike Leckrone. Songs like “Tequila,” “Space Badger” and “Time Warp” are standard for Kohl Center. Leckrone, in his red blazer,
darts around the aisles like a bee, ﬁnding students who are not dancing and literally pulling them out of their seats. That band, and thus part of the experience, was hardly audible. Dances like the Time Warp, which could have been cool if whole sections could do it, instead bewildered the vast majority of students present. It’s disappointing, really. This was a chance for hockey to take center stage, and alongside it the elements that make Badger games special could have shared the spotlight. But instead, that bright glare revealed fans who showed up because it was the thing to do, and once they arrived, displayed little inclination toward actually getting involved. They appeared to just sit and observe as if the event before them was some kind of fourth grade science project. All you people came in as fans dammit, act like it. Now the Kohl Center students are not exactly skate blade-sharp. They don’t always show up on time and have the bad habit of unleashing ooh’s and ahhh’s when a less-skilled forward flies up the wing with the puck and a scoring chance before completely mishandling it (yes, opponents give those forwards space because they know it won’t hurt them, figure it out). But when compared to the disorganized and oft-disinterested football fans, hockey is miles ahead. Too bad it was not on display for Saturday’s “celebration” of the game. Did you go to the outdoor game and just have an awesome time? Was that because you spent the afternoon pounding Miller Lite and vodka shots before leaving after the second period? If you think this line of questioning is just aimed at belittling you, let Ben know at email@example.com.