Thursday, Sept 9 2010
Vol. 96, Issue 8
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Thursday, September 9, 2010
The Daily Aztec
Professor contributes to NASA telescope SARAH KOVASH A S S I S TA N T N E W S E D I T O R
Not many have had the opportunity to work for NASA, but San Diego State astronomy professor Bill Welsh is doing just that. About a year and a half ago, NASA launched the Kepler telescope, partly to find planets similar to Earth. Welsh was a part of the Kepler science team that worked with data from Kepler. In layman’s terms, Kepler is looking for planets that are similar to Earth in terms of radius and temperature and if those planets are rare. Welsh, who, has worked at SDSU for 10 years, can be found in the Physics building. His door is covered with photos taken from the Kepler telescope, similar to someone who has posters of their favorite celebrity adorning their walls. There he is eager to talk about all of Kepler’s discoveries so far. “We are getting data that are so much better than anything we’ve ever seen before,” Welsh said. The three-year mission is in its second year and Welsh is currently still involved with the project. This semester, he is using grant money from NASA to pay his salary back to the university, so that he can forgo teaching classes and spend time researching Kepler. Only once did Welsh travel to Cape Canaveral for the initial launch of Kepler, but occasionally he travels to NASA Ames near Silicon Valley to attend team meetings. Welsh will be back to teach classes in the spring. It is then that he can share the information he has gathered throughout the last
year and a half with his students. “It strongly influences how I teach my classes,” Welsh said. In particular, the information obtained from the Kepler mission will directly impact the students in his astrobiology course. “It ties in very well with that course,” Welsh said. “And we spend a considerable amount of time talking about planets around other stars and this is a mission to do exactly that.” His students will gain insight into what is happening behind the scenes of the Kepler mission and put the information into context. One of the main features of the Kepler telescope is the quality of the data it collects. “That’s just remarkable that when you see data of such quality, everything you look at suddenly becomes interesting,” Welsh said. According to Welsh, although many astronomy departments at other universities use information from various NASA missions, such as the Hubble Telescope, it isn’t quite as common for professors to be directly involved in the mission itself. At SDSU, there are three professors and several students in the astronomy department who are using Kepler data. “That fraction is pretty damn high,” Welsh said. The chair of the astronomy department, Dr. Allen Shafter, feels that the work Welsh and others are doing with the Kepler mission is significant to the astronomy department as well. “In addition to bringing international recognition to the SDSU astronomy program, Welsh’s connection with the project also provides numerous opportunities for SDSU students to become involved in this cutting-edge field of astronomy,” Shafter
David J. Olender / Photo Editor
Astronomy professor Bill Welch is a part of NASA’s Kepler team that searches for planets similar to Earth.
said in an e-mail. Although Welsh is thrilled about much of the information received so far from the Kepler telescope, he knows there is still much more information forthcoming.
“It’s hard because the mission’s ongoing,” Welsh said. “We can’t really say much about the results yet, because we’re not expecting to find planets like Earth for at least three years.”
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The Daily Aztec
Thursday, September 9, 2010
FORECASTING THE MOUNTAIN
Preston to face first real test on Saturday
Editor’s note: Each week, The Daily Aztec will pick the winners of every Mountain West Conference game.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 11 San Diego State at New Mexico State, Air Force vs. BYU, Colorado State at Nevada, New Mexico vs.Texas Tech,TCU vs.Tennessee Tech, UNLV at Utah,Wyoming at Texas
NAME: Edward Lewis (7-2) TITLE: Sports Editor PREDICTION: SDSU, BYU, Nevada,Texas Tech,TCU, Utah,Texas QUOTABLE: “I had respect for Dan as a journalist until he picked Northwestern State last week. Get used to the bottom, buddy.”
NAME: Matt McClanahan (7-2) TITLE: Staff Columnist PREDICTION: SDSU, BYU, Nevada,Texas Tech,TCU, Utah,Texas QUOTABLE: “Damn it. I was really hoping to see Agustin run around campus in only a sombrero (no homo).”
NAME: Agustin Gonzalez (6-3) TITLE: Assistant Sports Editor PREDICTION: SDSU, BYU, Nevada,Texas Tech,TCU, Utah,Texas
David J. Olender / Photo Editor
EDWARD LEWIS SPORTS EDITOR
Nearly every day for the past six months, fans and media members have watched Andrew Preston transition from linebacker to Aztec with a huge magnifying glass. They had their doubts when he struggled to cover San Diego State superstar receiver Vincent Brown in the spring. They questioned his weight and maybe his speed. But during the summer, they became believers.
“I didn’t get as much action as I wanted. I wasn’t in on as many plays as I think I should have.” — Andrew Preston defensive back Preston dropped about 10 pounds and made plays almost every day in camp. Big hits. Pick-sixes. Forced fumbles. He did it all. Until Saturday night. “I didn’t get as much action as I wanted,” Preston, a senior, said. “I wasn’t in on as many plays as I think I should have.” His name was only called twice. Once in the first quarter when he tackled Nicholls State running back Brandon Johnson after a three-yard gain and once in the third quarter when he brought down Colonel running back Jesse Turner after a 16-yard pass reception. And that was it.
There were no big hits, fumbles or INTs. But that was more of a reflection of how well SDSU’s defensive line and linebacking group played, Preston said. “I really think our defensive line and linebackers did a great job last week and they really bottled a lot of things up,” he said. “A lot of things didn’t get back to me.” Still, Preston’s a playmaker. He knows he’s going to need to make plays if the Aztecs want to beat Football Bowl Subdivision teams this season. “Coach (Rocky) Long coached me up on some things that I need to work on,” Preston said. “And next week, hopefully, I can show some more things.” SDSU takes on New Mexico State at 5 p.m. on Saturday night in Las Cruces, N.M. Unlike last week, the Aztecs will be playing an offense that might actually threaten to throw the football. That news had Preston excited at SDSU’s press conference on Tuesday. “We weren’t really tested that much, the (Nicholls State) quarterback didn’t throw the ball down field,” Preston said. “We’re just looking forward to showing what we’ve been working for (this week).”
AT A GLANCE
W H E N : 5 p.m., Saturday W H E R E : Las Cruces, N.M. T V : ESPN3.com, Channel 4 San
WHY TO WATCH:
The Aztecs will try to improve their record to 2-0 for the first time in 16 years.
SDSU ‘felt right’ for frosh BEAU BEARDEN S E N I O R S TA F F W R I T E R
There were a number of other schools Raegan Shelton could have played for, but joining the San Diego State volleyball team just “felt right.” Kansas State, Boston College and Tulsa all wanted her. But she ultimately decided on SDSU. “I loved all the coaches,” the freshman outside hitter said. “It’s beautiful out here in San Diego and the team was awesome.” Shelton’s path to where she is today started when she was 6 years old. She was playing with her dad when she discovered her love for volleyball. She began participating in basketball and softball soon after, but volleyball was always her passion. She would play for the Young Guns Volleyball Club in Amarillo, Texas for seven years. While playing there, she was also a member of the volleyball and basketball teams during
her freshman and sophomore years at Hereford High School. As a senior, she attended Randall High School and helped lead the Raiders to a 42-1 record and a state title. While Shelton may have known joining the Aztecs was the right fit, she had no idea she would be jumping into a starting role. She has started in each of SDSU’s six matches and has been on the court for 17 of the 21 sets. But there’s a reason Shelton has been getting so much playing time — she currently ranks second on the Aztecs with 59 kills. She will have an opportunity to get even better this weekend when SDSU travels to the Honolulu Advertiser Volleyball Challenge to face off against No. 6 Hawaii at 7 p.m. H.T. tomorrow at the Stan Sheriff Center. The Aztecs will also play Saint Mary’s and UC Irvine in a trip that is sure to mean something to head coach Deitre Collins-Parker, considering the Rainbow Wahine are her Alma Mater. With this in consideration, SDSU (5-1) will have plenty of motivation to pick up some wins.
QUOTABLE: “When are Padres fans going to accept that the Giants will win the NL West?!”
NAME: Dan Perez (5-4) TITLE: Senior Staff Writer PREDICTION: SDSU, Air Force, Nevada,Texas Tech,TCU, Utah,Texas QUOTABLE:
“I’m not picking BYU the entire season on principle, because BYU can go to hell.”
Aztecs set to face SJSU and No. 1 UNC ELI BALDRIGE CONTRIBUTOR
The San Diego State women’s soccer team is young. There are 12 freshmen and sophomores on SDSU’s squad and only five seniors. Seven underclassmen start for the Aztecs. So of course, this is not the same team that had a magical run last year winning the Mountain West Conference Championship and advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. But it could be. This weekend SDSU will look to turn its season around when it plays host to San Jose State tomorrow and No. 1 North Carolina on Sunday. Last year, this same weekend was when the Aztecs were able to swing momentum in their favor after a mediocre start to the season and go on a 16-game unbeaten streak. But in order for SDSU to start winning, they need leadership to guide the young team. Senior midfielder Cat Walker, a captain on the team, has been battling a knee injury and has not seen action yet this year. Another captain, Megan McQueeny, was limited to only 20 minutes of play on Sunday in a disappointing double overtime draw to Utah State. One key player also decided to leave the team two weeks before the season started.
“It’s tough to get leadership when our captains aren’t playing,” head coach Mike Friesen said. If the Aztecs can get leadership, they have the talent to play with anyone. Their new freshmen are extremely talented and have been some of the leading contributors on the team, which has already put up a good fight against the No. 7 and 8 teams in the country. “We just need to make a few changes,” Friesen said. “We need to start growing up.” SDSU invites two solid teams to the SDSU Sports Deck this weekend. San Jose State has lost several close games to start the season and is coming off a 2-1 win against Cal State Bakersfield. The Spartans are another young team, only having three seniors on its roster. The Aztecs have been successful against SJSU in the past, and lead the all-time series 5-1. SDSU hopes to get a win before it plays one of the most dominant teams in college sports later in the weekend. The UNC Tar Heels have won 21 national championships, including the last one, and have only lost 18 games in the last decade. They will face the Aztecs at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday at the SDSU Sports Deck. If SDSU does indeed need to grow up, it better do so quickly.
AT A GLANCE
W H E N : 1:30 p.m., Sunday W H E R E : SDSU Sports Deck W H Y T O W A T C H : The Aztecs will try to get a win tomorrow against
SJSU at 11 a.m. at the SDSU Sports Deck and carry momentum into Sunday when they play No. 1 North Carolina.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
LIVE AND DANGEROUS
The Daily Aztec
Heavy metal festival soon to cause ‘Uproar’ in SD UPROAR SCHEDULE Signings
Vittoria Picone / Staff Photographer
New Jersey band lives up to name MAGGIE PEHANICK E N T E R TA I N M E N T E D I T O R
After waiting patiently for the tardy first act Titus Andronicus to take the stage, the audience welcomed the New Jersey foursome to the Belly Up Tavern on Sunday night. The crowd graciously swayed and mimicked the spastic dancing of lead singer Patrick Stickles, while a small margin of the audience lip-synced to the tunes. Finally, as the designated 45-minute marker approached, the audience prepared for headliner Free Energy, which was about the time Stickles, veins popping and strutting a style that was patently Joaquin Phoenix, said “And now, we’re going to play you a song from my first album, it’s 14 minutes long.” Sigh. A solid 40 minutes later, Free Energy emerged to Kenny Loggin’s hit, “Danger Zone,” a subtle nod to “Top Gun,” which was filmed in San Diego. And, with the way the Joaquinwannabe was caressing the microphone, one can only hope it was sanitized between sets. Despite the band’s relative newness to the scene — the group formed in 2008 — the members appeared poised, in sync with one another and genuinely happy to be performing. Beginning with its title hit, “Free Energy,” the band performed almost every track from its new album, “Stuck on Nothing.” Lead singer Paul Sprangers exuded a look and an attitude
that was deceptively Ocean Beach-esque, especially considering the band hails from Pennsylvania. Half the members appeared tailored and preppy while the other half rocked a distinctly unwashed grunge look. This mix of styles was reflected in their music, as they churned out tune after catchy tune of summery melodies that would appeal to just about every casual radio listener. Each track was laden with optimistic lyrics that promoted seizing the moment with a laidback mentality. The pop harmonies encouraged so much dancing that they seemed more fit for the background of a prom scene in an ABC Family Original Movie than at the Solana Beach venue. Whether it was the members’ sweeter-than-candy smiles or the band’s willingness to take audience requests that charmed the crowd remains to be seen. However, by the end of the onehour set (which included an encore) the unified audience appeared to be in a sincerely better mood than when the band first came onstage. One prepared audience member had even brought his own cowbell to the performance. Overall, it was one heck of a show. “Stuck on Nothing” is a terrifically sunny album, ideal for bouncing around the house and even better to watch performed in person. For more information about Free Energy, visit its website at freeenergymusic.com.
CONCERT CALENDAR Thursday, Sept. 9
Saturday, Sept. 11
Who: Israel Vibration with Cualli and DJ Carlos Culture When: 9 p.m.
Who: “An Evening with” Tainted Love When: 9 p.m.
House of Blues
Who: Sheryl Crow When: 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 10
Who: Lights — The Premier Tribute to Journey with Ramshackle When: 8:30 p.m.
House of Blues
Who: Le Castle Vani a & 12th Planet When: 7 p.m.
Who: Air Supply When: 8 p.m.
Sports Arena Humphrey’s Who: The Beach Boys When: 7:30 p.m.
Who: Abstract Festival featuring Major Lazer When: 8 p.m.
Stone Sour: 5:30 p.m. @ Best Buy tent with pre-order of “Audio Secrecy” Airbourne: 6:20 p.m. @ Best Buy tent with purchase of “No Guts. No Glory” Hail The V i l l a i n : 4:20 p.m. @ Best Buy Tent Halestorm: 4:50 p.m. @ Best Buy Tent Hellyeah: 7:10 p.m. @ Best Buy Tent Courtesy of Ashton-Magnuson Media
Disturbed, Avenged Sevenfold and Stone Sour will headline ALLIE DAUGHERTY MANAGING EDITOR
The Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival is coming Sept. 18 to Chula Vista’s Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre. The festival’s headliners are metal gurus Disturbed and Avenged Sevenfold. Stone Sour and Halestorm will be supporting. Doors open at 2:45 p.m. The main stage performances begin at 6:35 p.m. but patrons are encouraged to come earlier to enjoy
the vendor village and hear sidestage performances from Mower, Hail The Villain, New Medicine, Airbourne and Hellyeah. Those who bring an empty Rockstar Energy Drink can receive VIP early entrance to the festival area. Non-professional cameras will also be allowed into the venue. The Uproar Festival marks the first tour for Avenged Sevenfold since the death of its drummer last December. It is also Stone Sour’s first tour since supporting its 2006 album “Come What(ever) May.” The band includes Corey Taylor and Jim Root, both of whom also perform in the band Slipknot. General admission pit tickets are $69, reserved seats range from $29 to $49 and lawn seats $15 to $20. For more information, go to rock staruproar.com.
New Medicine: TBD @ Rockstar Energy Drink Tent
Jägermeister Side Stage Radio Band: 2:55 p.m. M o w e r : 3:20 p.m. Hail The V i l l a i n : 3:55 p.m. N e w M e d i c i n e : 4:35 p.m. A i r b o u r n e : 5:15 p.m. Hellyeah: 6:00 p.m.
Rockstar Main Stage H a l e s t o r m : 6:35 p.m. Stone Sour: 7:25 p.m. Avenged Sevenfold: 8:35 p.m. Disturbed: 9:55 p.m.
The Daily Aztec
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Auto showdown: the best college econo cars The most popular vehicles for students battle it out to be the best in their class AHMANIELLE HALL CONTRIBUTOR
Toyotas, Nissans and Hondas – oh my! Not as threatening as jungle beasts, but they are quite the force to be reckoned with when it comes to producing some of the most popular cars among college students. Of the top 10 college cars for this year according to autotropolis.com , these three companies held six spots. Now, whether students buy these cars for reliability, safety, speed or style, by doing comparisons, students can see which cars offer the most brawl for their buck.
It’s hip to be square: Scion xB vs. Nissan Cube When it comes to thinking inside the box, these two box-shaped cars have lots to offer college students. They are spacious yet compact, which is perfect for when in a tight spot, especially financially. The Nissan Cube is offered at a base price of $13,990, and the Scion xB is offered at a base price of $16,720. Although the Cube is cheaper, its Zen-inspired style has not been as popular with students as the Scion. However, its fuel economy makes it a worthy opponent. The Cube gets 24 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway, while the xB gets 22 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway. As far as safety is concerned, both base models offer com-
parable safety features, but the Cube was named one of the 2010 Top Safety Picks by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. So if safety is a student’s main concern, the Cube may be the right box to choose. “Nissan’s been around longer than Scion. The Nissan name and warranty stand behind the Cube,” Andrew Holifield, a Santa Monica Nissan sales professional, said. “It’s pretty popular because it’s an urban peoplemover, and it’s great for the city.” Both vehicles are iPod compatible, so utilizing personalized playlists for cruising around town is no problem. Also, the Cube and the xB offer cargo space to help with moving all those residence hall essentials at the beginning and end of the school year, so if more room is needed, these cube-shaped cars may be the perfect fit. The Cube’s multicolored light show under the feet of the driver and front passenger is also an interesting feature for college car buyers to consider, but at base value both the Cube and the xB make it hip to be square.
Coupe chic: Honda Civic vs. Scion tC For those with a need for speed, both the Honda Civic Coupe and the Scion tC are reliable and ready to take down the highway. The Honda Civic’s pricing begins at $15,455, but its basic model lacks certain features that come standard on a Scion tC basic model, which starts at $17,100. College students who love the Civic’s style but want a moonroof would have to upgrade twice from the DX to the EX model, which starts at $19,455. In the Scion tC, the dual moon roof comes standard,
along with 21 other features, while the basic Honda Civic DX has 15. But don’t sell the Civic short, because its features boast safety while the Scion’s boast showmanship. “I would pick the Scion tC because it looks better. The Civic is more of an economy car,” Izaac Dorn, a student at El Camino College and a prospective consumer, said. “The Civic gets better gas mileage, but you’ll get more for your money with the Scion.” For students looking for fuel economy, the Civic beats the tC with 25 mpg in the
city and 36 on the highway, even though the tC’s 21 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway make it a tough competitor. Whatever a student’s style, Scion, Nissan and Honda are all triple threats when it comes to providing style, reliability and safety for college students. Regardless of side-by-side comparisons, it all comes down to finding what vehicle fits the student best, and whatever it may be, it’s important to make sure that after tax and license, they’ve bought the best vehicle for their buck.
The Daily Aztec
Thursday, September 9, 2010
TOP FIVE: WAYS TO MAINTAIN THE FAMILY CAR AT SCHOOL Students who are granted the use of the family car might consider themselves lucky. They should have fun driving their friends to Golden Spoon every other day, but keep in mind, cars are high maintenance machines. Here are some upkeeps to remember. The Daily Aztec has compiled a userfriendly list of tips that every driver should take note of. These should save mucho dinero, which will be needed for frozen yogurt.
Change the oil Thinkstock
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Frequency needed: Every three to five months or 3,000 to 5,000 miles Ave r a ge cost: $30 – $45 To prevent the car’s engine filter from becoming clogged with contaminants, keep up with oil changes. This easy step is vital to keep everything running smoothly. Oil changes are quick and shouldn’t generate a giant bill.
Rotate the tires F r eq u e n c y n e e d e d : Every 3,000 to 5,000 miles Ave r a ge cost: $15 to $30 Tire rotation is not a big deal (it is even provided at Walmart) but it is necessary to keep the tires from wearing unevenly. If tires aren’t rotated, chances are the traction will decrease and the car’s performance will be affected. A sign that it might be time to find a mechanic is if the car starts vibrating around turns, or loses traction too easily when accelerating or braking. Wear indicators are also located on each tire, and the driver should be able to tell just by inspection.
Buy new wiper blades Frequency needed: Every six months
Ave r a ge cost : $15 to $40 All right, so San Diego is one of the sunniest climates in the world, but it still rains here every once in a while. Don’t get caught in the drizzle only to have the wipers do that awkward stutter dance across the windshield. Replacement wiper blades are not hard to find. They can be found at any auto shop such as Pep Boys or Sears. Just ask the sales clerk for help installing them, if need be.
Check tires’ pressure levels Frequency needed: Every month Ave r a ge cost : $3 to $25 Pressure-checking instruments are generally inexpensive and they often come in handy. Some cars come equipped with one, but if not, purchasing one is usually cheap and easy. To check the tire pressure, simply unscrew the cap sticking out of the tire and fasten it onto the gauge. Record the number and check it with the information printed on the inside of the driver’s door. If it doesn’t match up, it’s time to refill the air.
Change the brake pads Frequency needed: Varies by vehicle make and model Ave r a ge cost : $200 to $400 This is pricey, but it can be one of the most dangerous tasks to forget. If the car makes a squealing or dull groaning sound when braking, take it to a mechanic immediately. This may mean the brake pads are wearing down and need to be replaced. Failing to replace the brake pads can result in disastrous consequences.
—Compiled by Entertainment Editor, Maggie Pehanick
Thursday, September 9, 2010
The Daily Aztec
Protecting brake pads and bank accounts
Stephen Finlayson / Staff Photographer
When it comes to getting a good deal, many trips to the local auto shop have been known to raise concerns. Thankfully, store pricing lists and websites such as repairpal.com are supposed to ease the driver’s doubts.
Going to the shop to get a car repair doesn’t have to end in bankruptcy DAINA YOUSIF S TA F F W R I T E R
It sometimes seems that a driver’s ignorance can result in a mechanic’s bliss. Many individuals go to mechanic shops in need of minor maintenance and come out spending much more than they had anticipated. Whether it is the outrageous cost of the initial service or the additional repairs mechanics suggest, drivers are often paying a lot of money for something they don’t know very much about. This leaves many drivers frustrated, often causing them to wonder what the repairs the
all-knowing mechanic suggested should actually cost. One would assume that, as with other products and services, he or she could go into a local repair shop such as Pep Boys or Evans Tire and learn the average pricing for maintenance or repair. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. For example, at the Evans Tire in El Cajon, prices are listed, but only for labor. According to one mechanic who works there, in order to get a real idea of how much a part costs, customers need to know what make and year the car is. He also said that in order to give an accurate price for the labor and parts, a free inspection would need to be done to fully understand the work needed. At Pep Boys in El Cajon, a list of prices does not even exist. What it has is a chalkboard in the waiting area that lists its starting prices against competitor’s starting prices for services such as brake work or oil
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changes. Yet again, a repairman from Pep Boys stated those are simply starting prices and that true prices depend on the extent of the work needed and the type of vehicle being worked with. However, there were a couple of services that had set rates. According to a Pep Boys employee, any car could receive a good oil change at the shop for about $30, and the same was posted at Evans Tire. Still, many find it difficult to go into a repair shop and get a good deal without fully understanding actual costs, or whether the service or repair is even needed. There are tools and tips to help drivers become more aware. Drivers can shop around. Shops such as Pep Boys and Evans Tire will do free inspections and give drivers the exact price of the repair or service. Therefore, drivers can get estimates and decide what shop and price
works best for them. Second, it never hurts to get a second opinion. If a shop discovers an issue with a driver’s vehicle, he or she can take the car to a different shop to have an inspection performed as well. The second inspection will either confirm the previous mechanic’s assessment or prove otherwise. Also, there is a website called repairpal.com that assists drivers in the mechanic-searching process. The site asks drivers to enter what kind of vehicle they drive, what year and what service he or she is looking to have done. Once information is entered, different local repair shops are listed and a price range for each is shown. With tools such as repairpal.com and by obtaining second opinions, drivers can have more control concerning their vehicle repairs and no longer need to fear for their bank accounts.
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Thursday September 9, 2010
The Daily Aztec
HUGE CHURCH RUMMAGE SALE, TIERRASANTA, SAT., SEPT 11, 7am to noon. Bargain prices on furniture, electronics, household items, linens, sporting goods, clothing and more. I-15 south, exit Clairemont Mesa Blvd. east 2 miles to Tierrasanta Lutheran Church, 11240 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
Male volunteers (18-35) needed to donate small skin biopsies from shoulder area for research studies of sweat glands in the department of pediatrics at UCSD. Paul Quinton PhD, Principle investigator $100 compensation requires less than one hour. Please call 619-543-6935 to volunteer.
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Pondering life after college
’ve been thinking about my career path. The time is closing in, and I’ll graduate soon so I thought it’d be wise to starting thinking about what I want to do. Two things have been bouncing around in my head: I could either get a job or be homeless. Let’s compare these two objectively. I’ll start with having a job. Let’s not kid ourselves — all jobs are the same, basically. It really depends on the company you keep. For example, working at a competitive law firm and bringing home a hefty paycheck could be equal to working at a farm extracting horse semen and making minimum wage. Your job at the law firm could amount to crap when considering that you could be working with a bunch of money whores with personalities comparable to planks of wood. On the other hand, working on a farm pulling on animals could prove satisfying, as long as you get to drink beer on the job and shoot guns with your cousin Jethro during downtime. And then there’s the task of getting the job, which is a very pleasant experience. It’s almost as pleasant as drinking fermented goat urine or rubbing Tabasco sauce in my eyes. Sheer joy. This one time I applied to a pet store, and the boss told me straight up that I wasn’t qualified for the job. I looked over his shoulder and saw a crosseyed employee smiling at me. A series of chills descended my spine, and it was then and there that I felt completely and hopelessly incompetent. The last time I went job searching was last month. I sprung out of bed like a winner, took a shower, shaved and pointed to myself in the mirror, nod-
a question as to which path to senility I choose. I can’t argue with the free food and sleeping in. That’s definitely a plus. Fine bum cuisine might be hard to come by, but then again, I am an executive member at Costco and a certified pro at disguising my lust for its freshly cooked samples by making friendly banter with the old ladies behind the counter. All you have to do is look them in the eye and nod while they give their whole “These Lil Smokies are on sale and have been prepared with the finest marinade” spiel, and stealthily pocket five or six when they’re not looking. The great part is that these ladies are so decrepit they never remember you when you come back for seconds. Pros of being homeless: Every day is casual; I could be my own boss; I’d always be lean and fit; I’d be able to stroll in the park wearing only underwear (it’d be breezy and nice); I could adopt pigeons and orchestrate my very own off-Broadway pigeon adaptation of “West Side Story.” Cons: predatory alpha bums. After careful deliberation I think I’m going to choose getting a job. I’ll just have to see where my English degree gets me after graduation — probably working for the cleanest, most upscale Del Taco in the greater San Diego area. But a job is a job, nonetheless. And like I said, it’s all about the company you keep. And I’ve always had a thing for Mexican women. So Del Taco, humbly await my arrival. I’ll be there soon enough.
NOAH HENRY S TA F F W R I T E R
ding. “You’re bad,” I said, and I went to my room and put on interview clothing. I was motivated. I left my apartment with a winning gait, a winning smile and my winning chin up in the air. Then I realized I didn’t have a car or any work experience. So I went back inside and watched TV for the rest of the day.
... working on a farm pulling on animals could prove satisfying, as long as you get to drink a beer on the job and shoot guns ... Which brings us to my next topic: being homeless. When I was a small child, I actually thought homeless people were cool. I wanted to be one. While other kids dreamed of becoming star athletes or accountants, I dreamed of one day being able to soil myself in public with utter disregard for the sensibilities of others. They were soulful and free. When it comes down to it, I could A: Rot in a corporate setting like a banana peel for 40 years until I get laid off for reasons my boss might describe as “slipping into bitter senility,” or B: Slip into happy senility as a benevolent hobo. I guess it’s just
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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY (9/9/10) Your favorite person faces big challenges this year. Get ideas from all group members for problem solving.Your attitude helps to lift spirits and maintain a more optimistic perspective.You still have time to pursue your own goals with flair. ARIES (March 21 - April 19) - Today is a 6 Someone close to you experiences a depressing moment.To shift the mood, offer alternative plans of action that they are blind to. TAURUS (April 20 - May 20) - Today is a 7 Someone begins the day in a funk.You can shift that by providing independent activities that emphasize personal strengths. GEMINI (May 21 - June 21) - Today is a 7 Today's actions take place in your mind's eye.The variety of possibilities seems endless. Come down to earth tomorrow after a night of dreams. CANCER (June 22 - July 22) - Today is a 6 Your imagination carries you away, and that's all right.Today you hatch new plans and wait until later to put them into action. Enjoy the process. LEO (July 23 - Aug. 22) - Today is a 9 Recall a dream or create one today as you seek excitement in a relationship. Doubt falls away as you move closer. Generate and amplify the energy to build it up. VIRGO (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22) - Today is a 6 Where relationships are concerned, you're
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on a roll this week. Continue that trend by working to balance your urge for independence with passion. LIBRA (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22) - Today is a 9 You begin to wonder what you were thinking when you started out. Don't be disheartened: just re-examine the logic to get back on track. SCORPIO (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21) - Today is a 9 - You will have safe travels wherever you go today. A stranger will offer sound advice during a time of need. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21) - Today is a 7 - Emails or calls leave you wondering if you want to be part of the group. Define the structure and plan first.Then make your decisions. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19) - Today is a 6 - Your imagination has been working overtime.You may have felt a bit depressed, but now your thoughts move ahead toward logical, harmonious outcomes. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18) - Today is a 7 - Urgent travel requires multiple changes of plans. Act with compassion, and take care of business. Handle crucial details yourself. PISCES (Feb. 19 - March 20) - Today is a 5 After a few moments of pondering financial news, you shift into an imaginative sphere to create more expansive possibilities.Tell your partner. © 2010,TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES INC.
BY THE MEPHAM GROUP
Instructions: Complete the grid so each row, column and 3-by-3 box (in bold borders) contains every digit 1 to 9. For strategies on how to solve Sudoku, visit www.sudoku.org.uk.
—This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Daily Aztec.
BY LINDA C. BLACK, TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES
—Noah Henry is an English senior.
Calling all writers! The Back Page has started publishing occasional creative, fictional stories.To submit one of your own, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Stories should be between 500 and 700 words.
C O N T AC T
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Solution available online at www.TheDailyAztec.com © 2010 The Mepham Group. Distributed by Tribune Media Services. All rights reserved.
CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 “__ the Line”: Johnny Cash hit 6 Beatles beat provider 11 “Gosh!” 14 Trailer follower 15 She played Adrian in “Rocky” 16 Cellular transmitter 17 Excessive pride in one’s china? 19 A storm might delay it: Abbr. 20 Sailor’s rear 21 Sorrowful comment 22 Congo neighbor 24 Coveted role 26 Brawl during a game of musical chairs? 29 Relevant, in law 31 Tuxedos, often 32 Power source size 34 Bolt, e.g. 35 Acquire 36 What Winfrey couldn’t do during a noted couchjumping episode? 41 Case, for instance: Abbr. 42 Apt. ad spec 43 Middle-earth monster 44 Followed, as an impulse 47 Respectful refusal 51 Zorro’s chamois? 55 Chihuahua child 56 B on a table 57 High, to Henri 59 Sheet with beats, for short 60 Filmmaker Lee 61 Cassette deck feature, and a hint to this puzzle’s theme
EDITED BY RICH NORRIS AND JOYCE LEWIS
Solution available online at www.TheDailyAztec.com 65 Ball-bearing device 66 Queen’s mate 67 Reason for a raise 68 Marshall Plan pres. 69 Sighted 70 Thicke and Rickman
8 “Float like a butterfly” boxer 9 Accel.’s opposite, in music 10 Flash Gordon weapon 11 Random assortments 12 Course taker 13 Not kidding 18 It drops with fog: DOWN Abbr. 1 Savanna leaper 23 Tsp. or tbsp. 2 Gobbled 25 Jerry’s comedy 3 2009 James partner Cameron block- 27 __ II razor buster 28 Fashionably dated 4 Burning 30 Gym safety item 5 Medieval castle 33 Feathered flier tower 34 Trains overhead 6 Clinton’s depart- 36 Twisters ment 37 In line with the 7 Tucker of country goal
38 Defunct sci-fi magazine 39 Vase relative 40 Clickable pic 41 Day of rest 45 Fishing village that became Tokyo 46 “Gracias” response 48 High chain 49 Finalizes, as a cel 50 Word-for-word reference? 52 Cellular transmitter 53 Like cornstalks 54 Wish one hadn’t 58 Adult cable rating 62 Alleged spoonbender Geller 63 Jerry’s partner 64 Sushi fish