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“Halo 4” review: Entertainment, Pg. 4

THE NEWSPAPER OF SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY SINCE 1913 VOLUME 99, ISSUE 45

WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 14, 2012

$2.8 mil supports future scientists

campus

Unique highway signs: Opinion, Pg. 7

Andrea Ciardiello Staff Writer

The Initiative for Maximizing Student Development, which prepares San Diego State graduate students for careers in the sciences, recently received a $2.8 million federal grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences. Since 1992, the SDSU program has provided financial support to biomedical and behavioral science students from diverse backgrounds. With the funding from the NIH grant, it will continue to assist students through 2017. Program director and SDSU chemistry professor William Tong explains the importance of the IMSD program, “This intensive program prepares junior and senior-level students for competitive doctoral, research and leadership careers in the biomedical and behavioral science fields.” Tong, a distinguished professional in the scientific community, has been awarded several research grants for a variety of projects and programs that have led to critical developments in the

I expected to see neon signage Las Vegas’ gaudiest casino could be proud of. I was somewhat dissapointed...

antonio zaragoza , editor in chief

Keynote speakers sit on a Q&A panel to discuss new possibilities. The $2.8 million federal grant from the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute of General Medical Sciences will aid SDSU biomedical and behavioral science students.

scientific community. Program codirector and SDSU biology professor Sanford Bernstein also received praise from his colleagues for his collaborative efforts in national research.

Through the year-round guidance of acknowledged researchers Tong and Bernstein, the 30 SDSU students that the program currently supports are able to improve and continue their

On-campus preaching gets loud

studies. Part of the support these students receive is being mentored by SDSU’s finest scientific experts. Students in the program also participate in internships, scientific seminars and conferences.

Bilingual brain activity researched

BILINGUAL continued on page 2

PANDORA continued on page 6

Utilizing head-mounting, eyetracking technology, the School of Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences at San Diego State is conducting high-end research on English and Spanish-speaking bilinguals. By measuring pupil dilation, researchers are able to decipher when a person is concentrating more than usual on a cognitive task. When participants struggle with one of the many audio-visual tasks provided by researchers, their brain tends to work harder. The extra concentration forces them to fixate their eye focus, which causes pupil dilation that is then observed by repaige nelson , photo editor

Religious protestors on campus express and preach their beliefs to San Diego State students in front of Love Library. Most of the religious preachers on campus came from off-campus Christian groups and the SDSU InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.

We’re not yelling because we’re upset or angry ... We’re lifting up our voice because we don’t have amplification. Anthony English New Life Presbyterian Church of La Mesa member place, but this semester, off-campus Christian groups continue to

in busy areas between buildings, shouting the gospel at anyone

T

PREACHERS continued on page 2

Staff Writer

A bustling campus of approximately 30,000 students, San Diego State is far from being a quiet

Staff Columnist

Henrike Blumenfeld SDSU Bilingual and Cognition Laboratory Director searchers. According to SDSU’s Bilingualism and Cognition Laboratory Director Henrike Blumenfeld, the pupil dilation may suggest low proficiency in the language being tested. Other variables that may affect results are also considered. For instance, participants are asked if they

Arturo Garcia

add to the commotion with fervent and often confrontational demonstrations. Some come armed with signs, crosses and pamphlets, which warn of damnation. Others stand

Madison Hopkins

willing to listen. Their argumentative style draws strong reactions from students. Anthony English, a member of New Life Presbyterian Church of La Mesa, preached last Tuesday on campus and said there is a good reason groups like his are perceived by students to be shouting rather than presenting their message. “We’re not yelling because we’re upset or angry,” English said. “We’re lifting up our voice because we don’t have amplification.” “For the most part, I’d say it’s

campus

Contributor

opinion

he modern music experience centers around the customer. Gone are the days when the household radio provided the main source of entertainment and listeners could only hope and wait for their favorite song to finally come on the air. Now, not only do people have the ability to instantly stream any song online, websites can also create specialized playlists based off personal preferences. Progress in the industry moved traditional radio closer to irrelevance, replacing it with technological innovations appealing to a younger, larger demographic. Unfortunately because of excessive fees, the current status of online radio as the vanguard of the modern-day music experience may cease to exist as we know it. Pandora Internet Radio, an online company that creates userspecific music stations, sued the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers for more reasonable licensing fees. Currently, Pandora pays music publishers and songwriters more than twice as much as traditional and satellite radio stations do for the same rights to the same music. Earlier this year, ASCAP negotiated a more practical deal with the Radio Music License Committee, which oversees most traditional radio stations, as well as one of Pandora’s top competitors: Clear Channel Communications Inc. online system, iHeartRadio. ASCAP argues against granting Pandora the same deal it has made with similar online radios, placing it at a financial disadvantage.

campus

Declan Desmond

Pandora owed for fair license fees

Eye movement is very subconscious, we read the direction the eye goes.


2

NEWS

Wednesday November 14, 2012 The Daily Aztec

from PREACHERS page 1

pretty awkward and annoying,” marketing junior Joey Zarate said about one of the preachers’ abrasive approach. Groups seeking to hold on-campus events involving amplification or equipment such as tables and canopies must first gain permission from SDSU’s Student Life & Leadership. Religious organizations are free to preach on university grounds without permits as long as these rules are not violated. According to the SDSU Police Department, the preachers are also within their First Amendment rights to hold events anywhere on campus, as long as they do not impede the academic process. English acknowledged his group’s message may be offensive

from BILINGUAL page 1

are video game enthusiasts or if they know American Sign Language because, according to Blumenfeld, the practice of such language improves peripheral vision, which might give an advantage in eye-tracking tests. Blumenfeld also takes the participant’s weariness during testing into consideration. “It might depend on how tired you are,” journalism junior and research participant Natalia Sevilla said. “I go to the studies after school when I am sleepy and can’t really stare at the screen.” Another factor analyzed is at the speed which monolinguals and bilinguals make the conscious relation between a spoken word and its symbolic counterpart, which is measured by gaze movement. “Eye movement is very subconscious,” Blumenfeld said. “We read the direction the eye goes.” Blumenfeld said the speed difference found between bilinguals and monolinguals has been subtle, especially among young adults. The difference is more apparent with young children or the elderly. Language and cognitive interaction during aging is one of Blumenfeld’s scholarly areas. Blumenfeld said research suggests the onset of Alzheimer’s might come later for bilingual patients,

to some people. “When you go out there to share the Gospel, there’s going to be some kind of confrontation,” English said. SDSU InterVarsity Christian Fellowship staff member Jackie Andrade said she noticed an increase in Christian demonstrators since she joined InterVarsity earlier this year. Each Tuesday, InterVarsity sets up a tent near Hepner Hall to speak with students and share information about its ministry. The off-campus preachers often appear at the same time. “We’re not affiliated with each other,” Andrade said, also expressing concern regarding such groups giving people the wrong idea about Christians. “They just push … one side of what Christianity is, and it’s the scary side,” she said. a delay of approximately four years. If they have this pathology, they can cope longer, having the brain work around it. Additionally, findings have suggested the second language learned is at a higher risk of being lost because Alzheimer’s will typically attack those memories first. Declarative memory, the episodic type of memory housing day-to-day activities as well as autobiographical memory, is more prone to being lost to Alzheimer’s. Implicit memory, which stores familiar and somewhat automatic tasks, is the storage unit of the first language and is rarely vulnerable to Alzheimer’s. Blumenfeld said the truly balanced bilingual—a person equally proficient in two languages—is very rare. Bilinguals retain language in patch work, learning different concepts in each language. Because they use one language in a set of situations and the other in a unique environment, it is difficult for a bilingual person to speak and comprehend both languages equally. Blumenfeld is looking for English-German bilinguals for her upcoming research and can be reached at hblumenf@mail. sdsu.edu.

STAFF MEMBERS 2012

Marijuana loses its high

world

mct campus

Stephanie Saccente Staff Writer

Medical marijuana researchers in Israel have created a new strain of medical marijuana, which can alleviate symptoms of several diseases without giving patients a “high” feeling common when using marijuana. By removing the tetrahydrocannabinol and increasing the levels of CBD cannabidiol found in medical marijuana, patients are able to fight their disease and live an average life. According to Wired Science, in Israel approximately 9,000 patients hold governmental medical marijuana licenses to treat ailments such as glaucoma and chronic pain. Patients use it as an appetite stimulant while undergoing chemotherapy. Those in favor of the new strain argue that it works as a painkiller and also helps to eliminate nausea caused by chemotherapy. On the other hand, by taking this version of medical marijuana,

The Daily Aztec is an independent, student-run newspaper published regularly Monday through Thursday, when classes are in session, and distributed on the campus of San Diego State.

Antonio Zaragoza......................Editor-in-Chief Email: editor@thedailyaztec.com

Leonardo Castaneda..........Opinion Editor

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Tara Millspaugh..............................News Editor

Julie Aeilts .................................. Copy Chief

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Kevin Smead......................Entertainment Editor

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Ryan Schuler...................................Sports Editor

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Edward Henderson..................Features Editor

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patients are more likely to suffer from memory loss and psychosis and progress to more serious drug use, according to CBS News Currently, U.S. federal law considers THC, CBD and the entire

... Doctors say the number of people interested in taking it increases daily. marijuana plant to be illegal. Since 1993, Israeli patients suffering from intense pains because of illnesses have been able to take the new medical marijuana strain legally. Currently, 10,000 patients

have benefited from taking the new medical marijuana strand and doctors say the number of people interested in taking it increases daily. This is not the first altered marijuana medical treatment. In 1985, the Food and Drug Administration approved two pills, Marinol and Cesamet, containing synthetic THC to help reduce the side effects brought upon by chemotherapy, according to CBS News. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration does not support the use of marijuana as medicine and says it could be dangerous for patients. “Smoked marijuana has not withstood the rigors of science—it is not medicine, and it is not safe.” Israel is one of the few countries in the world to allow the use of medical marijuana.

World Beat CIA scandal Handing in his resignation last Thursday, 4-star general David Petraeus stepped down as director of the Central Intelligence Agency, acknowledging an extramarital affair and saying he showed “extremely poor judgment.” Petraeus is considered one of the most highly regarded post9/11 generals in the United States. FBI uncovered the relationship between Petraeus and his biographer Paula Broadwell after investigating threatening emails sent by Broadwell to a female CIA employee. “Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours,” Petraeus wrote in an email to CIA staff.   Syrian opposition groups agree on new coalition In Qatar, Syrian opposition groups signed an initial deal for forming a new coalition to oppose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.  The new body will be called the National Coalition for Syrian

Revolutionary and Oppostion Forces. It will include an assembly of 55-60 members alongside a military council, with a leadership that will seek to obtain international recognition as the voice of the Syrian people. Delegates said the body would carry representation for ethnic Kurds, Christians, Alawites and women. The Syrian unrest, beginning with anti-Assad protests 20 months ago, cost more than 38,000 lives and threatens bordering countries. Israel Firing “Warning Shot” After a Syrian mortar shell hit an Israeli military post, Israel fired warning shots into the neighboring country. An Israeli military complaint filed through United Nations forces stated “fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is “closely monitoring” the border with Syria and is “ready for any development.” Compiled by Contributor Christopher B. Keller


ENTERTAINMENT

Wednesday November 14, 2012 the daily aztec

3

343 Industries ushers in the ‘Halo’ renaissance

aztec gaming

Cody Franklin Head of Aztec Gaming

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s that time again. Master Chief is back once again in “Halo 4,” but Bungie is no longer at the helm. A lot of people worried brand-new studio 343 Industries wouldn’t do the franchise justice. They were wrong—so very wrong. “Halo 4” completely demolished my expectations, and I’m still reeling from the aftermath. To say the story of “Halo 4” is on par with previous games is an understatement. Though it only took seven hours to complete, it destroyed my preconceived notions about short games lacking strong stories. Not once did I find myself bored. Not once did I feel what I was doing was simply filler. What I expected to take place throughout three games, 343 Industries fit into one. The end will leave many Halo fans in tears, but I promise, it is a good pain. One caveat, however, is unless gamers spend some time reading backstories outside the game first, they might find themselves rather lost. For example, the nature of the Covenant you fight is never explained in the game. Outside knowledge of the series is practically a requirement. Likewise, the story of the Forerunners is a little confusing until players watch the Terminal videos, after they’ve completed the game. I’d recommend a little research before starting the campaign. Gameplay wise, it is still the same Halo we all know and love. The Covenant is just as fun to gun down as ever and the Forerunners introduce some very interesting mechanics to spice things up. For those who are fans of weapons from the previous games, you might have some problems. Ammo is very scarce for everything you encounter, which makes using Forerunner weapons a requirement. Sadly, the Forerunner guns are rather lackluster, making their forced usage painful at times. Graphically, “Halo 4” is absolutely radiant. Several times in the game I found myself stopping and looking at the scenery in awe. The pre-rendered CGI cutscenes were some of the best I’ve seen; I thought Halsey in the opening

courtesy of

cut scene was an actor until halfway through. The Xbox 360 is definitely showing its age, but “Halo 4” managed to rip every bit of graphical fidelity from it. I highly doubt better looking games will come out during this generation. As the old saying goes, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and this is very true for the multiplayer. Every bit of carnage from the previous games is here, with a few tweaks adding to the fun. Obliterating my fellow Spartans in the new Mantis is the highlight of my time so far, though the irony of having a man in an armored robotic suit get into a bigger armored robotic suit isn’t lost on me. I can’t wait to see what the community does with the updated Forge; as past games showed, the mods players make are almost worth the price of the game alone. If fighting other gamers isn’t your fancy, Spartan Ops introduces a slew of four-player co-op missions to tackle. Each week new missions will be released and a continuous story will unfold throughout time. Unlike the rest of the game, Spartan Ops seems to fall short.

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Players can go through all five starting missions in about an hour, even on Legendary difficulty. The missions share the same bland formula of “kill 50 dudes, push/ destroy x, kill another 50 dudes, push/destroy y, evacuate.” I’m excited to see where this side story goes, but it is definitely the Achilles’ heel of “Halo 4.”

Overall, I couldn’t be more impressed by “Halo 4.” The few complaints I can make pale in comparison to how incredible the rest of the game is. 343 Industries didn’t fail Halo in any way. I’ve never been more excited for another Halo game; I’ll just have to play this masterpiece while I wait. Thank you, 343 Industries, for not letting Halo fans down.

343 industries and microsoft

REVIEW game: halo 4 Developers: 343 industries Release Date: nov. 6 Rating:


4

NEWS

Wednesday November 14, 2012 The Daily Aztec

THE DAILY AZTEC IS REPRINTING THE CORRECTED, COMPLETED VERSIONS OF THE FOLLOWING STORIES.

Retired Marine shares insights after service Tara Millspaugh News Editor

“I’m happy now. This is where I’m supposed to be,” retired Marine Corps First Sergeant and history senior Todd Kennedy said. Kennedy dedicated 22 years of his life to the Marine Corps when he served in the Gulf War, Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. Immediately after Kennedy turned in his retirement papers, he called San Diego State his new home in fall 2011. Kennedy was specially admitted through SDSU President’s Military Admission Program, which delegates five seats every fall semester for service men and women leaving the Marine Corps and Navy. The transition from military to school may seem difficult to most, but Kennedy excelled in all aspects of his collegiate life. But before starting school, he said he went through transitional training. “I had to be reminded … don’t yell at people, talk to people. Don’t come across aggressive, come across persuasive,” Kennedy said. At the age of 40, Kennedy worried he would be the oldest student sitting in 100-level classes. When he realized this was true, he used his past experience to further enhance the learning of his fellow classmates. As Kennedy sat in history

class learning about U.S. wars, other students turned to him for explanations of what it was like to be in battle. “The student has another student who was there; they have walking history in their classroom,” Kennedy said. Besides adjusting quickly to classroom life, Kennedy said he also felt overwhelmingly accepted on campus because of the large veteran population. “From day one, I got involved with the Student Veteran Organization,” he said. With Kennedy’s leadership experience from being in charge of companies ranging from 75 to 400 Marines, he was nominated and elected the president of SVO. Kennedy, who recently stepped down as president, is now the Veterans Coordinator for the Joan and Art Barron Veterans Center on campus. “After so long in the military, I wouldn’t have been able to just hang up the uniform. I’ve always got to be doing something,” Kennedy said in regards to being active on campus. Although Kennedy is excelling as a civilian in school with a 3.95 GPA, he always remembers those who didn’t come back. “It’s not just one situation—it’s all of them who we weren’t able to bring home,” Kennedy said. “I don’t wake up screaming, I’m just making sure

paige nelson , photo editor

Todd Kennedy speaking at the 16th Annual War Memorial Ceremony. Kennedy dedicated 22 years of his life to the Marine Corps and is now the Veterans Coordinator for the Joan and Art Barron Veteran Center at San Diego State University.

the ones who did go, who made the ultimate sacrifice, are remembered.” In honor of those fallen soldiers, Kennedy bears tattoos on both of his forearms. The tattoos are a journal entry from Army Major Michael O’Donnell, who was killed in the Vietnam War in 1970. Kennedy said he stumbled upon the entry while reading a book on duty.

The cursive quotes are written outward, so when Kennedy turns his arms palms-up, someone can easily read them. He said he didn’t face the quotes toward him because he will always remember, but wants everyone else to be able to remember and understand as well. “Save them a place inside of you and save one backward glance when

you are leaving for the places they can no longer go. And in that time when men decide and feel safe to call the war insane, take one moment to embrace those gentle heroes you left behind.” Kennedy looked down at his arms for a while. “It’s a memorial for everybody,” he said, raising his head.

unemployment rate for female nonveterans is 8.2 percent. Minorities also had high unemployment rates compared to nonveterans of the same race. Gulf War-era I Latino or Hispanic veterans had an unemployment rate of 7.5 percent, more than doubling for Gulf War-era II Latino or Hispanic veterans at 17 percent. Asian Gulf War II-era veterans had a rate of 7.1 percent, while blacks 18 years and older had an unemployment rate of 14.3 percent.

works with many veterans who have firsthand experiences in combat zones. She said veterans returning from tours overseas struggled to readjust back into their old lives and reconnect with loved ones because of the physical and mental stresses and injuries from combat. “Many veterans don’t even know that anything’s wrong with them,” Banko said. “Men and women who didn’t drink before they went to combat drink daily now since they’ve returned. They’re depressed and many have guilt and hidden rage that often leads to suicidal thoughts.” Banko said many veterans uphold a prevailing sense of denial that anything is wrong with them. Often, many individuals go months and sometimes years without being properly diagnosed and treated. As a result of feeling isolated and alone, many of these veterans slowly begin to detach from their social networks. For these individuals, finding jobs and keeping them becomes a great challenge. The RAND study also determined one reason veterans with PTSD, TBI or severe depression don’t seek medical attention is because doing so often results in a delay returning home from service. Service members often deny having symptoms and forego treatment. In 2006, the Government Accountability Office conducted a study, which showed 23-40 percent of combat veterans identified with PTSD, TBI or depression sought treatment. Since the drawdown of operations in Iraq, the Department of Defense and the VA “have come under congressional and public scrutiny regarding their capacity to address PTSD and TBI,” according to the

RAND study. The sheer number of veterans (1.63 million Gulf War-era II) causes severe difficulties in creating systems to diagnose and treat mental injuries. To date, there is no concrete data on how this issue affects longterm individual and societal costs. Veterans often face a reduced quality of life, lost productivity, homelessness, domestic violence and events of suicide associated with PTSD and TBI. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the total cost to treat Gulf War-era II veterans ranges from $69 billion and $85 billion. This amount, which represents 2010 dollars, is adjusted for inflation and increased medical treatment costs to 2020. Troops to College advocate and Texas businessman Ed Blessing believes one way to curb high unemployment rates for veterans is to bring them into some type of education system. He said once there, the VA healthcare system should partner with the educational institutions and provide ongoing psychological services when needed. “The economy is slowly rebounding, but not fast enough to incorporate the hundreds of thousands of men and women leaving the various services,” Blessing said. “We need to create viable partnerships between educational systems and the military to get them into school and off the unemployment rolls.” Many young veterans struggle with finding work because of their age and lack of job skills. As President Barack Obama ends the war in Afghanistan, the nation should create systems to identify the needs of veterans and work to provide them with appropriate job training and educational programs.

Young veterans experience battlefield back at home Antonio Zaragoza Editor in Chief

Gulf War-era II veterans prone to higher unemployment rates Veterans who served on active duty since September 2001 have higher unemployment rates than veterans from previous wars, according to a report from the United Bureau of Labor Statistics. These veterans, referred to as “Gulf War-era II veterans” by the U.S. Department of Labor, had a 12.1 percent overall unemployment rate as of March 2012, disregarding gender, race and age. This figure sits above the average national rate as well as the 7.9 percent average unemployment rate for all veterans. 26 percent of Gulf War-era II veterans have serviceconnected disabilities—almost twice as large as the national average for all veterans, which is 14 percent. One of the key findings in the report was the significant increase in unemployment rates among younger veterans. White Gulf War-era II veterans between 1824 years old faced an unemployment rate of 29.1 percent, more than three times the national average. Other demographics report even higher rates of unemployment. Black veterans of various age groups were twice as likely to be unemployed compared to white veterans of corresponding age groups. Defining the current veteran populations: females and minorities As of 2011, 21.6 million men and women make up the veteran population. About half of the total veteran population, 10.4 million people, consists of veterans from

WWII as well as the Korean and Vietnam wars. Of this group, most were men typically older than nonveterans. A total of 5.3 million veterans served during the 1990 Gulf War. An additional 2.4 million men and women served after September 2001. Women served in much higher rates post 9/11 than any previous conflict in American history. There are currently 1.8 million female veterans in the U.S., making up 17 percent of Gulf War-era II veterans. This is an increase from 3 percent in WWII, Korean and Vietnam eras. Half of female service members who served after September 2001 are between the ages of 25 and 34. During WWII and Korea, women’s roles differed from recent conflicts such as the Gulf wars. During WWII for example, women took on secretarial or administrative jobs in the military or worked as nurses and caregivers to the wounded. Other roles closer to combat operations included supply, logistics and food preparation. Recent Gulf War conflicts placed women in more forward positions on the battlefield than ever in history. For the first time, women found themselves working directly in hostile “combat” environments. Many women working in military police units or units directly supporting other combat units performed tasks that would otherwise only be carried out by men in combat units. Following the first Gulf War, which spanned two years, women leaving active duty had a 6.3 percent unemployment rate. During WWII, Korea and Vietnam wars, the average was 7.9 percent. Gulf War II-era female veterans faced an even higher rate of 12.4 percent. The current

Combat stress related injuries affect veterans Gulf War-era II veterans served more time in combat areas than any other veteran group in history. A total of 38 percent of this group served in combat operation in Iraq, Afghanistan and in many cases, both. On average, a soldier fighting in WWII served two years on active duty. During the Korean and Vietnam wars, the average combat tour was one year. Gulf war-era II veterans serve an average of three years, with some serving as many as five combat tours. The stresses from prolonged periods in combat zones have had a toll on individuals deployed in combat zones, subjecting them to serious mental health issues. In April 2007, the RAND Corp. conducted a study exploring the high levels of post-traumatic stress disorders and traumatic brain injury instances for combat veterans. The study, called “Invisible Wounds of War,” found instances of severe depression, PTSD and TBI were “disproportionately high compared with the physical injuries of combat.” Former Marine sergeant and social work graduate student Teresa Banko


FEATURES

Wednesday November 14, 2012 the daily aztec

5

Aztecs adventure to Joshua Tree National Park

travel

& adventure

April Stefanik Staff Writer

It’s 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 4. I huddle with campers around an Aztec Adventure van in the Aztec Recreation Center turnaround, eager to begin our rock-climbing trip. My group is equipped with our own interpretation of hiking shoes, JanSport backpacks, kooky straw hats and cold water bottles. We quietly introduce ourselves to each other as we throw our bags and gear atop the van. Our destination? Joshua Tree National Park—the desert refuge for misled anarchists, hippie children, rambunctious rock climbers, hungry hikers and venturous Aztec Adventure students. The group is led by a spritely character, aptly named Forresst— two s’s to be exact. His name presumably given to him by his father after a happy smoke with a good ol’ chap named Forest. Forresst had large, blue eyes and a faintly carrot colored yet majestic beard. Our leader, while thin, was full of energy. “Joshua Tree!” he yells to us as he pulls the van out of the parking lot.

The car ride is a three-hour drive north on Interstate 15. It begins on the busy highway, crowded by cars, overreaching outlets and barbarous billboards which compete for attention with subliminal sexual innuendos. As the van passes a massive Skechers factory, I think to myself, “So this is where they are making our shoes, in the middle of the desert?” Slowly, the urban chaos of Southern California begins to fade as the van approaches wind farms. Their turbines resemble hundreds of white toothpicks dotting the desert, mesmerizingly spinning in subtle unison. The desert swallows us like the ocean; we are just a small ant-like van crawling our way into its greatness. The land is accented with sparse brush and the isolated, strong Joshua trees. Turning onto Indian Cove, the van makes its way into the park. Beautiful boulders sit peacefully on top of each other, as delicately placed as any stone in a Japanese garden. The van bumps through to the campgrounds, the tires slowly churning over the gravel and children play amongst the rocks, galloping and bellowing like miniature mountain goats.

We reach our campsite, which is nestled between boulders. Everyone unloads and dashes to the outhouse. A pleasant, simple outhouse: One toilet, one toiletpaper dispenser. The toilet hole, though, is dark and chilling. “I have to sit my bare butt over this dark oblivion?” I thought to myself. After unpacking the van and putting up the tents, it’s dinnertime. Hungry campers gather around the picnic table and are delegated orders to cook. The sun begins to set and the stars emerge. There is something beautiful in preparing a meal this way. It is a communal effort, a simple practice. But is this practice leaving us? When was the last time I made dinner with a group? I no longer prepare my food—I order fast-food. We have taken eating, which is so important and changed it into a nuisance. I give myself $5 to spend on dinner and five minutes to eat it. Workers hand me food like a prepackaged present—I devour, unconscious of what is in the food, how the food was prepared and how it will end up after. But none of this bothers me

thinkstock

thinkstock

We twist our way through the path already laid out by previous hungry climbers, brushing past spiked plants snagging our shirts like children vying for attention. at the camp. Dinner is made from simple ingredients and preparation. The meal is hearty and vegetarian—a delicious chili topped with corn bread and cheese. Like dogs, we grab our food and wander off to our own nooks around the campfire; satisfied and happy. Food tastes better out there in the cold. The food is necessary. It is essential for warmth energy and survival. We each clean our dishes and pick up our trash, embodying the “leave no trace” principle at its finest: nothing can be forgotten. The food waste will be put into compost, the recyclable articles will be recycled. We flatten cans with rocks to preserve recycled space. It is a seemingly primitive act. I pick up a big rock, I smash the big rock to ground. We huddle into our sleeping bags, packing clothes in the creases to keep us warm. The moon shines as bright as a headlight in the sky. I wake up the next morning with a soft nudge from Eddie, the coleader. He is soft-spoken with an aptitude for English accents and witty humor. A bonanza of good breakfast items sits on the picnic table as the campers emerge from their cocoons. We eat and are off

to the first day of climbing. With our gear loaded on our backs, we begin walking to the face of the cliff. We twist our way through the path already laid out by previous hungry climbers, brushing past spiked plants snagging our shirts like children vying for attention. We arrive at a rock and Forresst sets up the ropes. Layla—who could have been Eric Clapton’s inspiration—makes her first ascent. I hold the rope tight as she grasps the rock, her chalked hands search desperately for a gracious crack, while her feet smear the wall for one fruitful foot chip. She successfully latches on as tight as a sticky-handed lizard to a twig and pulls herself up the rock. Patience, strength and balance are key elements in rock climbing. It requires all the energy and focus your body has focused completely on one aspect. It’s just you and the rock. This is just one day in the life of Aztec Adventure’s Joshua Tree trip. I went on the trip with no expectations, but left with a stronger sense of what is good: food, people and fun outside on the rocks under the sun and the stars.

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6

OPINION

Wednesday November 14, 2012 The Daily Aztec

from PANDORA page 1

The push for equal licensing fees isn’t exclusive to this lawsuit. Pandora is employing a two-pronged approach with the second battle being fought in Congress. The Internet Radio Fairness Act of 2012, introduced in Congress in September, would grant Internet radio stations fair licensing agreements equivalent to those of satellite radio stations. All Pandora is asking for is to be treated equally to its competitors and be given a fair chance to succeed. It seems rather than welcoming and improving technology, ASCAP condemned this specific online radio provider for its rejection of traditional media. Innovation is being hindered by the targeted charging of large fees to institutions moving media toward the future of music entertainment. There is no reason to penalize the invention of new and improved services simply for the sake of keeping older methods in the game. Songwriters Guild of America President Rick Carnes responded to the lawsuit, saying Pandora’s ambitions are based off pure greed and “to suggest that paying those creators 4 percent of their revenue is still too much should be an embarrassment.” In reality, Pandora’s attempt at equal licensing fees could be based more on

self-sustainment than unreasonable ambition. In the first half of this year, Pandora reported losses of almost $26 million. This is only part of the $105 million losses during the past five fiscal years. The reason for this huge financial downturn is Pandora’s current business model. The more successful the company becomes—as in the more listeners it acquires—the more expensive fees become. Obviously, Pandora cannot continue to expand at its current rate and hope to remain financially viable for listeners. As for the financial rights of the songwriters, many would say Pandora is already doing more than enough. Although it only accounts for about 6.5 percent of U.S. radio listeners, Pandora pays some top artists as much as $3 million annually each for the rights to their music. Even significantly lesser-known artists take in more than $100,000. Despite anyone’s opinion about the correct monetary contribution to artists and songwriters, Pandora still pays more than twice as much as most traditional radio stations. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to claim Pandora is in some way placing monetary greed before its moral obligation to the creators of the product it provides.

If both the lawsuit and legislation fail to provide online radio stations any relief, the obligation may fall on the listeners. Already, it seems commercials can dominate the listening experience, but that’s only the beginning. For those who cannot afford the common $1.29 per song cost on iTunes to actually own music, online streaming is the

next best alternative. However, if groups such as Pandora cannot find a financially sustainable business model, advertising and user-based payments will have to make up the difference. Pandora is a one-of–a-kind experience provider, promoting music entertainment on an entirely different level. While other websites allow for instant

streaming of specific songs, Pandora creates stations specifically targeted for the individual. We are in an age of technological advancement in practically every area imaginable, which clearly includes radio. In order to continue progressing, it’s necessary to even the playing field for everyone and end ridiculous prejudices against the ways of the future.

daily aztec production staff

Students must explore health care options

health care

T

he weather is getting colder, students are starting to wear sweatshirts and Starbucks is selling its holiday specialty drinks. However, cold weather does have its downsides. One of the most notorious is the dreaded sound of somebody coughing viciously while studying in San Diego State’s Love Library. Flu season is here and college students need to get their vaccinations. This addresses the underlying question of what health care plan is suitable for college students. The main problem with all health care plans is cost. Premiums for young, healthy adults can be as low as $600 for individual insurance plans, but the co-payments can quickly add up for repeat visits. Colleges offer school-sponsored plans, but many of those only handle minor medical procedures, such as immunizations, and don’t cover major medical problems. SDSU’s Student Health Services focuses mainly on the spread of contagious diseases, such as the flu and meningitis. SHS outsources major health problems it cannot treat to local hospitals. This is problematic because students may not be covered in case of an emergency at these hospitals. According to USA Today, more than two-thirds of students na-

Tomas Nieto Staff Columnist

tion-wide are covered by their parents’ employer-provided health care plans. This is a great option for students to get coverage. However, students who are not from Southern California might not be in their parents’ plan network. This could result in higher deductibles and co-insurances. All of these are good reasons to take a closer look at what is covered in a student’s health insurance. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, is controversial. However, it does serve a vital purpose: To provide health care for everyone, including college students. Obamacare has its problems. Fox News reports Guilford College in Greensboro, N.C. raised its health insurance from $668 to more than $1,000. However, students are not forced to use school-sponsored health insurance, but can instead shop around for other, more cost-effective options better suited for their needs. Obamacare also requires insurers to extend the coverage to children in their parents’ health care plan until they are 26 years old. This allows many students to have health insurance they are familiar with until they find work

health care plans of their own. Disease and accidents aren’t the only health concern for college students. Many freshmen are concerned with the so-called “freshmen 15,” the rumored number of pounds students gain during their first year in college. The unexpected weight gain can come from a new environment, stress and lack of nutritious meals. However, recent statistics show the trend of youth obesity in the U.S. is slowing. In 2006, 27.4 percent of students were considered obese and by last year, 29.2 percent of students were considered obese. This is only a small increase compared to the ones seen in previous years. This shows the push for healthy behavior from public icons, such as Michelle Obama, are beginning to show results. If this trend continues, preexisting conditions of obesity and weight issues—which currently lead to higher insurance costs—could be reduced later in life. It is important for students to exercise regularly and monitor their eating habits. This affects the overall well being of an individual and consequently the amount of medical attention and health care he or she needs. College students should explore their health care options to find the plan suited to their needs.

It’s not always best to stay on a parent’s plan if it costs extra and doesn’t extend to San Diego. It’s also not ideal to be on a college’s health insurance plan if it doesn’t cater to a student’s individual medical needs. Students should be informed about their health insurance and be sure they will be covered in an emergency.

It’s equally important to live a healthy lifestyle so medical problems could be minimized now and later in life. It is impossible to predict the future, but having the right health care guarantees students are covered financially and medically.


opinion

Wednesday November 14, 2012 the daily aztec

7

New freeway signs provide better direction

local

D

riving is one of my least favorite things to do. I’m positive the worst drivers in the county have a radar letting them know when I’m on the road so they can torment me with their terrible driving skills. I could attribute part of this to my undiagnosed road rage, but it’s easier to just say, “It’s not me, it’s them.” However, some of the interstate insanity may be caused by subpar road design. Fortunately, the California Department of Transportation is developing a way to alleviate the confusion experienced on some San Diego freeways. If you recently drove east or west on Interstate 8 near Old Town, you may have noticed the freeway shield logos embedded in the pavement. These logos are part of a project initiated by Caltrans in an attempt to reduce the amount of accidents around the I-8 and I-5 junction. The area has been troublesome because drivers are unclear about which lane leads to which freeway, and last-minute lane changes have no doubt contributed to the problem. According to 10News, the interchange holds the highest rate of collision in the region. The problem stems from confusion as well as carelessness. We have all been there, or have at least seen it: Distracted drivers nearly or successfully causing an accident because they are too busy playing with an iPod, eating, texting or doing something other than paying attention to the road. At

Caitlin Johnson Staff Columnist

the last minute, they realize they need to take the approaching exit and quickly swerve across all four lanes, cutting off multiple cars in the process. I shouldn’t have to explain how dangerous this is. Distraction on the freeway does not come from a few plastic logos embedded in the pavement; it’s because many drivers simply aren’t paying attention and end up making rash decisions. The large icons in the middle of the road are quite noticeable and supporters of the project hope they will steer drivers in the right direction (pun intended). However, opposition has already surfaced. Critics claim the logos are not only an eyesore, but a potentially dangerous distraction to drivers. Commenters on 10News. com fear the new signs will be more detrimental than beneficial in the long run. One user wondered if this will pave the way (again, pun intended) for the sale of advertising space directly on the roads. As much as I would love to see the McDonald’s logo every quarter mile when driving to the beach, as of now, there are no such plans in development. I decided to make the drive myself and see what all the fuss was about. After reading the complaints, I expected to see neon signage Las Vegas’ gaudiest casino could be proud of. I was somewhat disappointed; the logos are no

more distracting than the overhead freeway signs or the countless billboards already lining the interstate. The project is the first of its kind in California. I recently spoke with Caltrans’ Public Information Officer Hayden Manning, who said “It has been used in other states and it seems to work.” He explained the logos give drivers more time to know which lane they need to be in and are designed to reduce the amount of collisions in the area caused by confusion from the split. Manning said traffic will be monitored for the next two years to determine the effects of the logos. Manning said the icons cost $20,000, not including labor and freeway closure expenses. This is a relatively small amount of taxpayer dollars funding the solution to a serious issue that needed to be addressed. If successful, the project will be implemented in other accident-heavy parts of the county. With so many drivers and tourists unfamiliar with the area, this new sign will surely prove beneficial in the long run. The next time you or your friends are driving, keep an eye out for the signs. They are there to help. It will not completely prevent driving accidents in the area, but it’s a good start to help direct drivers to where they need to be. Promoting safety on the road begins with us. Practicing awareness and defensive driving will allow us to prevent accidents.

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Backpage

Wednesday November 14, 2012 The Daily Aztec

Pompous opinions begone Mason Schoen

humor

A

lright folks, now that we’re out of election season, we can begin to really address the important issues close to home. While we could begin tackling little issues—such as the U.S. finally clawing itself out of this recession and resuscitating a suffocated education system—let’s instead set our sights on the big issue facing modern America: finding and persecuting the people who write notes in the margins of library books. No longer can we allow this domestic terrorism to run rampant in our universities or counties. Who are these people? Why do they brainwash themselves into thinking their handwriting will be unobtrusive additions to the work at hand? What sort of egomaniacal issues are they dealing with to believe their thoughts on a writer’s work are worthy to grace the same page with such “crystalline thought” and “genius criticism?” Without your assertion on how mirrors in “The Great Gatsby” represent self-evaluation, I never would’ve been able to dissect the protagonist’s identity crisis. Also, your note, “Green light = symbol?” I don’t know what I would’ve done without this landmark to help guide me through the complex workings of the plot. The least you could’ve done is return to the page and write what you’ve so cleverly concluded about the green light to help the rest of us. Where’s the follow-through? The most disappointing thing for

Senior Staff Writer

a reader is to crack open one of John Steinbeck’s novels to find a tangle of black scribbles where blank spaces are supposed to be. What was so ephemeral about the thought “Eden is paradise” that you couldn’t put the book down, find a sheet of paper and write it there? To those of you who aren’t readers, imagine your favorite album. Now, occasionally Ke$ha, Chris Brown and Toby Keith get to interrupt when they please and lay down their own versions of the songs right on top of the original. Yeah. It’s terrible. Here’s the deal. Before you write down your genius brainstorm on the author’s work—a work which, no doubt, took many years of true creative process—take a moment and assess the legitimacy and applicability, the quality of your thought and if it truly needs to be there. I’ll do the work for you: It absolutely does not need to be there. Leave your terrible ideas for your Twitter followers, not the rest of us on campus. Honestly, there has not been one illuminating comment I’ve read in a library book in my seven years at San Diego State, let alone my lifetime. Every time I’m forced to read someone else’s pithy thought, I feel mentally violated. The sense of self-entitlement and wanton vanity these people possess astounds me. I can never decide if the offender doesn’t realize there will be other readers after him or her, or if they just don’t care. And really, the whole loaned-book

issue presents itself as a microcosm for the larger issues our world faces. In life, we often have to deal with people who are wildly apathetic or infuriatingly arrogant. Those who won’t show up to fight for what they believe in, and those who will show up to anything just to fight someone who doesn’t have the same ideals. Whoever these animals are, they need to be hunted down and publicly shamed. Let’s organize a committee—or better yet, a posse. How can we get the attention of the community for new posse members? Social media is too mainstream and canvasing is too anti-green. Instead, we’ll write a note in big permanent markers on the back page of every library book: “New posse! The Defenders of Love Library! Meet down at the turtle pond at 6 p.m. sharp. Bring pitchforks and torches. Oh, and a vegan-friendly dish for the potluck. See you then.” The best punishments out there aren’t the ones that make you think about what you’ve done, but publicly shame you, as my mother always said. That’s why we’ll tattoo offenders with our pithy, critical thoughts about them. If I were an offender, I’d have, “Hairy” “Thinks he’s god’s gift,” and “Disappointingly below average” tatted on me. All true, all so redundantly obvious, there’d be no need to permanently pen them into my skin. So let’s remember there are other people around us. Let’s be considerate of one another, and leave the note-making for the experts.

HOROSCOPE

by Nancy Black, Tribune Media Services

Today’s Birthday (11/14/12) - This year, make your mark on the world. Consider how to apply your talents in service of making the greatest impact toward a cause that inspires you. Money and attention come naturally. Align head and heart to your purpose. To get the advantage, check the day’s rating: 10 is the easiest day, 0 the most challenging. Aries (March 21 - April 19) - Today is an 8 Watch what you say for the next three weeks. Listening is extra profitable, and actions speak louder than words. You can take new ground. Taurus (April 20 - May 20) - Today is a 6 - Stay in close contact with partners for maximum benefit. Let them know what you need. Go over the paperwork carefully before choosing. Gemini (May 21 - June 21) - Today is an 8 - Your mind is more on enlightenment than work. Streamline procedures for awhile; know exactly what you’re spending. Accept an unusual, lucrative assignment. Cancer (June 22 - July 22) - Today is a 7 Grasp a fast-breaking opportunity; the pace is picking up. You’re exceptionally creative and persuasive. Clean up. Monitor liquid intake. Love finds a way. Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22) - Today is a 9 - Openly state your ideas without sarcastic criticism. Get clear before speaking. Use your network. Let your partner set the schedule. Take another approach. Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22) - Today is a 9

- Your ability to concentrate is enhanced. Get into a good book, or investigate a new invention. Focus on home. There’s genius in the chaos. Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22) - Today is an 8 Concentrate on your studies. Use imagination, not work, to profit. Discuss the situation with a co-worker. For about three weeks, find ways to work smarter. Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21) - Today is a 7 - Take a romantic adventure. Watch your words as you make personal decisions. Gather information, and listen to all considerations. Fill orders and rake in money. Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21) - Today is a 9 - Commune with your inner muse. Don’t abandon an idea just because it’s too expensive. Launching is good. Tone down the celebration. Embrace a surprise. Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19) - Today is a 6 - Your imagination goes wild over the next two days. Take care; it could get expensive. Meet to work out strategy. Intensive team effort is required. Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18) - Today is an 8 - Friends offer comfort and advice. Follow a hunch and dig deeper for an interesting discovery. Explore the possibilities. Choose your path after consideration. Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20) - Today is an 8 - Review the backstory this week. Get organized, and keep track of cash. You’ll gain spiritual understanding for the next three weeks. Social events capture your attention. Follow your intuition. ©2012, TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES INC.

SUDOKU

by The Mepham Group, Tribune Media Services

Difficulty Level: 3 out of 4 Instructions: Complete the grid so each row, column and 3-by-3 box (in bold borders) contains every digit 1 to 9. Solutions available online at www.thedailyaztec.com ©2012, TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES INC.

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Members of the San Diego State Student Veteran Organization march in the 11th annual San Diego Veterans Day Parade.

The views expressed in the written works of this issue do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec. Letters to the editor can be sent to letters@thedailyaztec.com

CROSSWORD Across 1 Harebrained prank 6 Casino freebie 10 Slow-cooked entrée 14 End of a series 15 Away from the breeze 16 The gallbladder is shaped like one 17 Noted storyteller 18 Circulate, as library books 19 Like some borrowed library books 20 Blast cause 21 Good name for a Gateway City gun dealer? 24 Slugging pct., e.g. 25 Be ready (for) 26 Good name for a Windy City nudist festival? 31 Air traffic control device 32 Thing 33 “Holy Toledo!” 36 The Bard’s river 37 Dig (into) 39 Andean capital 40 Actress Harris of “thirtysomething” 41 Stink 42 World Series game 43 Good name for a Motor City butcher shop? 46 Certifiable 49 Civil disturbance 50 Good name for an Empire City comedy club? 53 Geologic time frame 56 Colorless 57 Fall from above 58 Swinelike beast 60 Just sitting around 61 Hamburg’s river 62 Are 63 Didn’t let out of one’s sight 64 They’re below average 65 Floors Down 1 Winter wear 2 “You said it, sister!” 3 Crop threat 4 It might need a boost

by Rich Norris & Joyce Lewis, Tribune Media Services

Solutions available online at www.thedailyaztec.com 5 Andre 3000, for one 6 Beckon 7 Pats on pancakes, maybe 8 Array of choices 9 Dog’s breeding history 10 Impact sounds 11 Result of a sad story? 12 Invitation on a fictional cake 13 Take forcibly 22 Place for a price 23 Appear to be 24 Read quickly 26 Pull an all-nighter, maybe 27 Contain 28 One put on a pedestal 29 Sitcom noncom 30 Off-rd. conveyance 33 User-edited site 34 Broken mirror, say 35 Serious hostilities

37 Dissuaded 38 Racket or rocket extension 39 Booty 41 Gambling town on I-80 42 Schemed 43 Convertible sofa 44 Castle and Cara 45 “Whether __ nobler ...”: Hamlet 46 Many a low-budget film 47 Totally square 48 Low, moist area 51 Leafy veggie 52 Correspond 53 Many a high-budget film 54 Game of world domination 55 Skills 59 Cut from the staff


11-14-2012