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American University’s student voice since 1925

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INSIDE: TOP RANTS / A FAREWELL TO AU / HOLIDAY GUIDE

December 7, 2010 Volume 85 – Issue 13


December 7, 2010

IN THIS ISSUE NEWS ANC update

Index 2

theEAGLE

CORRECTIONS FOR NOV. 23, 2010 4

HOLIDAY GUIDE 5 OPINION 7 Fending off nosy relatives, Where to eat, Save the campus from rats

In “Delays stall faculty grievance process,” the role of the Faculty Senate was misstated. The grievance committee, once it agrees to consider an appeal, hears it and writes a report about the case. The report is then sent to President Neil Kerwin. The Faculty Senate is not involved. In “AU to allow ROTC new privileges,” the rank of retired Army Lt. Col. J.K. Morningstar was misstated as a lieutenant commander, which is not an Army rank. The Eagle regrets these errors.

Stubel, Snowman coloring contest, Next great pundit

SCENE

Scene guide to the best gadgets, TV, movies, music of 2010

American University’s Student Voice

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theEAGLE

Scan the QR code to visit The Eagle Online: http://eagl.us/adUrcu

MISSION

Editor in Chief

The Eagle, a student-run newspaper at the American University, serves the community by reporting news involving the campus community and surrounding areas. The Eagle strives to be impartial in its reporting and believes firmly in its First Amendment rights. SUBMISSION AND EDITORIAL POLICIES

All submissions become the property of The Eagle. Unsigned letters will not be published. The Eagle reserves the right to edit letters and guest columns for length and clarity. Letters and columns may be published in print or online. Letters and columns are the opinion of the writer and not the newspaper. n

The Eagle has a commitment to accuracy and clarity and will print any corrections or clarifications. To report a mistake, call the editor in chief at (202) 8851402 or e-mail editor@theeagleonline.com.

n

TOP TWEETS “American University’s new brand...the WONK... does a brand work if no one knows what it means?

@Melanieb2422o, Aug. 26. “Am I the only concerned with the mysterious disappearance of the wood eagle in from of the lib? Where’d it go?! @AmericanU @TheEagleOnline”

@maccracken, Oct. 8

Editor in Chief

202-885-1402

top STORIES of fall 2010

1. Kogod Professor Sue Marcum found dead in apparent homicide (Oct. 25) 2. AU debuts new branding effort, but will ‘wonk’ work? (Aug. 23)

@steph90j, Oct. 10

News

@colincjcampbell, Oct. 30 “Off to vote, partly b/c it’s a civic duty but also because I’m pretty sure @AmericanU will take my diploma away if I don’t”

@SarahHolmanJ, Nov. 2 “The chairs in my biology lab at @AmericanU are torture. Meanwhile SIS has eames, kogod has steelcase thinks and library has #aeron”

Senior Editor and Managing Editor for Web

Ethan Klapper

Managing Editor for News

Stefanie Dazio

Managing Editor for The Scene

Michael Richardson

Design Editor

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Ana Santos

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Lauren Landau

Administration and Local News Editor

Leigh Giangreco

News Assistant

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Sports Editor

Sam Lindauer

Sports Assistants

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Editorial Page Editor

Linda Barnhart

Arts and Entertainment Editor

Yohana Desta

Music Editor

Stephan Cho

Scene Assistants

Maggie Hollander Kelly Holliday

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News@theeagleonline.com

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Sports

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Editorial & Opinion

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Rocio Gonzalez Marissa Cetin

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“In lieu of the #rally4sanity I propose the candidates for ANC seat 3D-@TylerSadonis & Tom Smith-host a cuddlefest! @ TheEagleOnline @AVoice4U”

Charlie Szold

Editor@theeagleonline.com

EdPage@theeagleonline.com

“Two fire alarms in less than 24 hours. Welcome to South Side. #AmericanU”

EDITORIAL STAFF

Public Relations Coordinator Ad Rep

Kasturi Puntambekar Jonathon Gaynes

252 Mary Graydon Center 4400 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. Washington, D.C. 20016

@kaydenh, Nov. 9

3. Preliminary autopsy report: Marcum died of asphyxia and blunt force trauma (Oct. 27)

“’take a redbull’ words of wisdom from a professor @ AmericanU to a sleeping student in class.”

NEXT PAPER

@A_Panda_Monium, Nov. 11

4. Provost approves changes to class time (Nov. 8) 5. Letter to the editor: AU official responds to ‘wonk’ campaign criticism (Aug. 25)

“The musical theatre kids at #AmericanU are singing Age of Aquarius in the Katzen rotunda. #ilovemyschool”

@SilverShoelaces, Nov. 18 “season 1 ep. 6 of Psych: Gus is referred to as a wonk. @ AmericanU” @cat_litten, Nov. 21 “got $1200 from one parent at phonathon tonight. damn i’m charming - all the parents love me.” @_catbaker, Nov. 22

Front page photo credit: Ana Santos

JAN. 11 (Happy winter!)


December 7, 2010

News 3

theEAGLE

TOP EAGLE RANTS OF FALL 2010 TOP RANT OF THE YEAR: n To rant or not to rant, that is the question. Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous college fortune, or to take arms against the sling of troubles, and by ranting, end them. To die, to rant, no more. And by a rant to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that freshman are heir to, ‘tis a consummation devoutly to be wished. To rant, to sleep, to rant perchance to dream. Aye, there’s the rant. n To the person who has had sex in the library, you are a pig. Go back to whereever you come from and have sex in your own goddam library. n To whoever found my wallet on the bus and actually turned it in without stealing my cash, I love you. n Ok, I get adding new things to the Tavern menu but why take away some of the more popular items? There are no more chicken quesadillas, bacon cheese burgers, or southwest sauce. SHAME AU. SHAME. n Yo, Eagle Ranters, I’m real happy for you and I’ma let you finish, but…wait a minute. Are we still doing this? It’s been, like, a year. Isn’t that the limit?

I’m falling hard for you. I’m too scared to tell you how I feel. And I know that I’m eventually going to spill the beans about my secret whilst drunk. So bye bye alcohol, forever… n

If one more Rat runs across my path while walking around campus… I’m going to stab it in the face, rip its head off, and eat the little bastard. Then I’m going to put its head on a stake in the middle the quad to serve as an example for all those other little S.O.B’s.

need time to sober up before I go to class. Nice try calling me from a blocked number so that I would pick up. Stalker. I’m not that stupid. And I ignore you for a reason. n

Dear pre-frat friend, I miss the old you sincerely, a fan of the non-sucky you n

Dear Person I Met at a Frat Party, Let’s not make this awkward by avoiding eye contact when we walk through TDR. We met. We conversed. Let’s be actual friends. Sincerely, Tired of having to pretend like I smiled at the person behind you. n People who whisper in the second floor of the library: it is a SILENT FLOOR, not a whispering floor, not a lower voice floor, but SILENT! That means I only want to hear the typing of keyboard and my own thoughts. So please, if you’re in a group or just feel a need to talk and laugh while studying just go to the third floor and let me study in peace. -Annoyed second floor loner n Maybe it’s just me, or the fact that I’ve been out of AU for three years, but the students at AU seem to complain a lot more about trivial shit. When I was at AU, we bitched about real problems, like the president embezzling a money and then having AU jack up tuition rates to pay off his golden parachute.

n

Dear Provost Bass: Are you crazy? 7:30 a.m.? I

n I’s sick of these mother@#$!$$# rats, on this mother@#%#@#% campus!

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We need more nudity!

I found an entire rat in my TDR cobb salad. n

n As I was sitting in my room one lovely Tuesday evening, I heard a familiar sound erupting from the street. It was a transport! Then it dawned on me ... “wonk” is the exact sound the ambulances make. And boy, does AU have tons of transport wonks.

to you. Save me! n When did all the Eagle rants get so emo? Write that stuff in your diaries everyone, seriously. n Eagle rants is not an advice column. Eagle rants is not a relationship column. EAGLE RANTS IS NOT FOR SOLACE, IT’S HERE TO PUNCH YOU IN THE FACE.

n

To the AU Alum hating on Phonathon: Why are you on Eagle Rants?!? Do you really have that much free time on your hands that you can find the time to complain about the phone calls you’re getting? Get a real job and stop complaining about ours ... at least we’re making money! Best wishes, your student caller from AU

n

There is a deeper circle of hell for the alumni who hang up on Phonathon callers n

n

being passive-aggressive and let others know if they are -a terrible roommate -making too much noise in the library -a slow mover in food lines, etc. What may be so blindingly obvious to you may never have crossed their minds! Stop grinding your teeth in frustration and just talk it out

Ok, I know we just had a big rally for reasonable political discourse but I’m still PRETTY DAMN SURE that Tom Smith is Hitler. n Sometimes I search my own name on CollegeACB. There’s always a mixture of disappointment and relief when it yields no results.

Maybe I would stop playing Dolphin Olympics if I weren’t SO FREAKING GOOD AT IT n

n I demand fancier toilet paper!

n Students who vomit on the shuttle or any other form of public transportation should have to stay until they clean it up and deodorize it themselves. Keep your chunks to yourself. n Due to aptitude testing, my likely career will be serial killer bait. n REALLY?!?! You’re going to spam the entire SIS Listserv to say you have a crockpot for sale? Like we don’t get enough junk in our inbox daily. So not cool.

Dear Hot guy that drove me to the frat party Saturday night, The way you handled your car was so sexy it gave me the shivers. We had such a great conversation about our mutual secret love for watching iCarly. When will you finally get the nerve to accept my iCarly date request? n

n If you and your harem block the goddamn sidewalk one more goddamn time, I’m pushing you aside so that (somewhat) polite people can use it.

EAGLE RAVES 4EVA!!! except its a lot easier to think of things I want to complain about than things I’m happy about but I’m willing to give it a shot: I’m a huge fan of ...... nope I got nothing!! Sorry. n

n If you’re going to try to pick up a girl at the library, at least make it cute and help her pick out a book from a particularly tall shelf. Not while everyone is sitting around trying to do homework.

Come on rude boy can you get up n

Cause I wonk wonk wonk What you wonk wonk wonk n You have broken my heart. I am numb inside and can only stare blankly at the sea of faces I come across. I am dead inside now thanks

n I never thought I would be another person complaining in the library but this is ridiculous. Girl sits next to me on the quiet floor, and chews LOUDER than I can think. I’ve never wanted a bagel to be out of my life so quickly. I’m pretty sure this girl has an unnatural amount of saliva in her mouth cause I can hear EVERYTHING going on in there. FML n Do you remember that time I got drunk, and wrestled a panda bear, and made out with you, and skydived, and dressed in drag? Yeah. Me neither. n Reading over the lengthy E.R. column from 11/12 I noticed that about 60% of all the rants could have been solved at the time of occurrence. Please people, stop

n Because I had just a little JD left over from thirsty Thursday, I decided to attempt the famed Ke$ha ‘before I leave brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack’.... now my mouth feels kinda dirty and I smell like an alcoholic in my 9:55.

Dear Pasty White Ass, Please refrain from having sex in the study rooms with the doors unlocked. Many thanks! n

I like that the Tavern workers are mean to me. I am a white male with an unnecessarily large scholarship, great family and great friends, life has given me every opportunity. Being yelled at when asking for dressing for my 10 dollar salad makes me feel like I am finally feeling just a little bit of injustice. Thank you Tavern, you make me feel alive. n

n

... with a girlfriend. WTF?!? Fail sauce.

I miss my boyfriend. Is there a such thing as cuddleporn I can watch? n

n I AM FREAKING OUT HENCE THE INORDINATE USE OF CAPITAL LETTERS AND THE UNNESSECARY RUN ON OF MY SPELLING AND THE REDICULOUSLY STRANGELY SADLY HORRIBOLE SPEELLING ERRORS AND ALSOE, FURTHERMORE, HENCEFORTH THE USE OF ADVERBS AND EQUALLY ODD WORDS THAT MOREOVER DON’T BELONG IN. n No, roomie, I will NOT have a threesome with you and your creepy BF. n MAKE ME A SANDWICH, NEIL KERWIN.

I want candy corn all day everyday n

n Seriously, the AU contingency in Prague is furious with the recent developments at the Tavern. No cheese or chicken quesadillas? No Southwestern sauce? No Bacon Cheeseburgers? Explanations and changes need to be delivered by Spring semester.

Out of all the gay boys at AU, I fall for a straight one n

n Oh hey, thanks for vomiting in a McDonalds bag. And thanks for not chewing your pasta at all. And extra thanks for dropping your McDonalds bag of unchewed vomit-pasta right outside my room. n I could have sworn that WONK was a sexual position ... If not, I’m making it one. n To the boy who said “You’re welcome” when I thanked you for showing me your ID at the front desk this morning, you made my day! I may have acted like it was no big deal, but nobody ever replies! n The anti-WVAU rant made me sick. I’m a DJ and I’ve found that, basically, the only quality people on this campus are involved with the radio. So I really couldn’t care less about the kids who hate on us, because I would never in a million years want anything to do with you anyway. Have a nice life, Imbecile Wonk. n Why can’t we get information from the AUCC on how much clubs apply for and why clubs are granted x amount of dollars?

BORED AT HOME? WE’RE HERE FOR YOU. RANT ONLINE AT WWW.THEEAGLEONLINE.COM


December 7, 2010

theEAGLE

News 4

Deon Jones wins South side ANC seat, Tom Smith defeats Tyler Sadonis for North side By STEFANIE DAZIO Eagle Staff Writer Deon Jones may have just won a seat on an Advisory Neighborhood Commission, but that’s not enough for him. The freshman has his sights set on the Oval Office next. As a write-in candidate, Jones will fill the vacant ANC 3D 07 seat, which represents the South side of campus. Jones received 17 write-in votes. Jones said one of his dreams is to be president, so that he can help reform the public education system in places like his hometown of Atlanta. But for now, he has to settle for reading zoning laws as part of his homework. Freshman Tyler Sadonis, also a write-in candi-

date, lost against incumbent Commissioner Tom Smith for the ANC 3D 02 seat, which represents the North side. Smith received 228 votes. Sadonis and Smith are planning an AU town hall meeting for next semester. Community relations AV4U’s campaign strategy “mirrored the worst of the current American political system,” Smith said. The elections’ effect on the neighborhood will take a long time to heal, he said. But AV4U members and the candidates said the election improved AU’s neighborhood relations. “There was no intention with this campaign to divide the community,” said Sadonis, who will become

the Student Government’s Director of Community Relations next semester. “The number one priority was to unite it.” This is the first step toward building a better relationship between AU and local residents, said AV4U Finance Director Ed Levandoski. “It’s not just a one-time thing,” he said. But Campaign Manager Bharat Krishnan said the fact that the election was so local, showed him “just how nasty city politics” could be. “The smaller a campaign gets, the more personal it gets and so the opportunity for personal vendettas grows bigger and bigger,” he said. Finance complaint against

Sadonis, AV4U dismissed Smith filed two formal complaints against Sadonis, the A Voice 4 U campaign and its public relations firm, Eagle Communications. One complaint claimed campaign finance laws were violated. D.C.’s Office of Campaign Finance held a hearing and found that several violations had occurred, but all charges were ultimately dismissed. All candidates must file financial statements with the Office of Campaign Finance by Jan. 31. There is some money leftover in AV4U’s account, according to Levandoski. He is not sure what will happen with it in n

see ANC on page 9

ANA SANTOS / THE EAGLE

FOR THE WIN — Freshman Deon Jones won a seat on Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3D as a write-in candidate. Jones will represent South side residents when he takes office in January.


December 7, 2010

5

Holiday Guide

Keep the creatures from stirring and the rodents from ruling Tips for getting rid of the rats on campus (with help from “The Nutcracker”) By MICHAEL RICHARDSON Eagle Staff Writer

ANA SANTOS / THE EAGLE

AVOIDING HOLIDAY BLUES — Keep the peace this holiday season with The Eagle’s helpful hints for extended family encounters. Remember, blood is thicker than water (and holiday punch).

How to fend off questions from your nosy family By MICHAEL RICHARDSON Eagle Staff Writer The Question: How’s school? The Correct Answer: Runs the gamut from “fine” to “good.” If they push it further, it’s a trap. Don’t play into their devious game, just change the conversation. Compliment their lovely decorations, or if not applicable, pretend to choke. People rarely make idle conversation with choking victims. The Question: What do you major in again? The Correct Answer: A major that will not imme-

diately result in the follow up, “What are you going to do with that?” Good: Business, Chemistry. Bad: Art History, Journalism. In a pinch, say you’re undecided. You can make this work until two months into your last semester, if you’re dedicated and sell your story. The Question: Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? The Correct Answer: Don’t use the word “F***buddy.” The correct phrasing is, “I do, but I forget his or her last name.” The Question: What do you want to do after you graduate? (For freshmen and sophomores)

The Correct Answer: You may say that you haven’t quite figured it out. Perhaps charity work for the Peace Corps or Teach for America. The world is your oyster, and hopefully there’s a pearl inside.

The Rat is clearly more evolved than us. While we huddle in our dorm rooms next to whatever bottle of liquor we still have stored for winter, desperately trying to avoid stepping out into the frozen tundra, they will somehow survive and thrive, coming out to meet us next spring with a hope that this season will bring a bountiful harvest of garbage. Now is the time to stamp them out, before they consolidate power. Our best weapon against them? The Nutcracker, the famous ballet that I assume is the first musical based on a tool we use to feed ourselves (“Mac the Knife” of course is the second). Here are the recommendations:

By KELLY HOLLIDAY

The Correct Answer: Just don’t cry. mrichardson@ theeagleonline.com

Winter in D.C. always brings the promise of crisp air, fluffy snow and frosted windows. But don’t let the chilly Washington weather get you down, the best comfort food is just around the corner. If you’re hanging around town this December or January, be sure to check out these cozy comfort food stars and the best cup of hot chocolate in the city. Bistro Du Coin

That’s a worse strategy than the Surge. Unless the gingerbread has rat poison in it, in which case it’s genius. Why didn’t the Nutcracker think of that? This ballet is full of plot holes. Know when to retreat After the Nutcracker defeats the Mouse King, the soldiers retreat to their own castle, which is apparently filled with candy and sweet tea and a boat pulled by dolphins. Honestly, you probably won’t find that on campus. The closest thing would be to go back to huddling in your dorm room with the bottle of liquor. For dolphins, I suggest Animal Planet. mrichardson@ theeagleonline.com

Do NOT use Edible Soldiers They tried to fight rats with gingerbread soldiers.

D.C. winter treats and where to eat Eagle Staff Writer

The Question: What do you want to do after you graduate? (For seniors)

Eliminate the Monarchy Apparently the leader of the mice in the ballet is the Mouse King. Honestly, I don’t know why the mice resorted to an autocratic regime. I’m not even sure how a mouse would justify his dominion. Perhaps he is the divine providence of the Mouse God, who I assume looks like Mickey. But that’s not important. What is important is taking down a king, and history has taught us many ways to accomplish this. We could read them the Constitution — I’m sure the College Republicans would chomp at the bit for the chance — or possibly construct a tiny mouse Magna Carta. Admit it, you’re thinking about it and it’s adorable.

WHERE: 1738 Connecticut Ave. NW METRO: Dupont Circle (red line) PRICE: $8 for a steaming cup of French onion soup and $17 for a large portion of steamed mussels The traditional French fare includes Coq au Vin, steak and frites and Moules Provençales (steamed mussels with white wine, tomato and Provençal herbs). Be sure to try the boeuf bourguignon, a beef stew with red wine and mushrooms, and the tartine Parisienne, a delicious open-

faced sandwich with French ham, melted Gruyère cheese and a creamy Béchamel sauce. The Diner WHERE: 2453 18th St. NW METRO: Woodley Park– Zoo/Adams Morgan (red line) PRICE: $5 for an original grilled cheese sandwich and $6 for a stack of three fluffy pancakes While The Eagle has sung the praises of this Adams Morgan gem before, The Diner has to be mentioned when it comes to comfort food. Open 24 hours, seven days a week, The Diner offers the best breakfast, burgers n

see FOOD on page 6


December 7, 2010

Holiday Guide 6

theEAGLE

from FOOD on page 5 and milkshakes in town. Cozy up to a breakfast sampler like the Diner Royale or the Original Deluxe grilled cheese sandwich, with cheddar, tomato and crispy bacon. n

theEAGLE Have something you want to donate? Salvation Army 7505 New Hampshire Ave. Takoma Park, Md. 20912 (301) 431-0042 Schedule pick-up service by calling 1-800-SA-TRUCK.

Loeb’s Deli WHERE: 1712 I St. NW METRO: Farragut West (blue and orange lines) PRICE: Between $6 and $9 for a classic New York deli sandwich

Goodwill Retail Store and Donation Center 2200 South Dakota Ave. NE Washington D.C., 20018 (202) 715-2658 Call Salvation Army:

For a soup and sandwich lover, Loeb’s Deli is a prime lunch spot on a windy day. When it opens again in its new location in late December, be sure to try a steaming cup of Matzo ball soup and the Madison Avenue sandwich, piled high with roast beef, Munster cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing. Ooh’s and Aah’s WHERE: 1005 U St. NW METRO: U St./AfricanAmerican Civil War Memorial/Cardozo (green and yellow lines) PRICE: $5 for a large portion of macaroni and cheese and $4 for a slice of homemade peach cobbler While Georgia Browns may be better known for its upscale take on soul food, Ooh’s and Aah’s offers the cheapest and best southern comfort food in DC. Much like Ben’s Chili Bowl, Ooh’s and Aah’s is the epitome of a dive. Don’t let that hold you back, though, and order that catfish sandwich with a side of collard greens and macaroni and cheese. Churreria Madrid WHERE: 2505 Champlain St. NW METRO: Woodley Park–Zoo/ Adams Morgan (red line) PRICE: $3 for a dozen churros and one great cup of hot chocolate It was particularly difficult for this writer to narrow down to just one pick for the best hot chocolate in D.C., but Churreria Madrid takes home the prize for its incredible churros and hot chocolate. The churros are piping hot, covered in sugar and cinnamon, and pair perfectly with a cup of rich, steaming hot chocolate. Trust us, this is one calorie-fest that you must experience while living in Washington. kholliday@theeagleonline. com

Call Goodwill Retail Store and Donation Center:

ANA SANTOS / THE EAGLE

TRASH TO TREASURE — Always getting gifts that just aren’t your style? Don’t dump your presents unceremoniously in the garbage this holiday season – donate them to local charities like the Salvation Army and Goodwill.

AU is pretty great for people seeking to learn more about foreign countries.

Presents of Christmas past: Giving bad gifts a new life

If you’re planning on studying abroad in Bulgaria and want to learn more about the country as a whole, there’s a club for that.

By LAUREN LANDAU

If you get set up on a blind date and all you know about the person is that they’re from Taiwan and you want to learn more Taiwanese culture, there’s a club for that.

If your best friend invited you to spend winter break at their brother’s friend’s girlfriend’s cousin’s house in Lebanon and you want to know what sites you should make sure to check out while you’re there, there’s even a club for that.

Yup, there’s a club for just about anything. Only at AU.

For more information, contact the AU Club Council at aucc@american.edu

Eagle Staff Writer ‘Tis the season for re-gifting! In a few weeks the holidays will be over, and all that will remain of your Hanukkah candles and meticulously decorated Christmas tree will be melted wax and a pile of sticky pine needles. The carefully wrapped presents with their satin bows will fade into memory as you kick through a mountain of wrapping paper confetti. Inevitably, some of that paper decorated at least one gift you didn’t want. So what do you do with that heinous reindeer sweater from Great-Aunt Mildred? Assuming none of your hipster friends want it, you can either bury it in the back of your closet or give it to someone who will wear it. Goodwill and the Salvation Army accept clothing donations. If your aunt ever asks why you don’t wear the sweater, just say it was stolen from your dorm’s laundry room. Jewelry-making kits, Star Wars action figures — which

are totally dolls, despite what defensive collectors say — and K’nex make excellent gifts for kids but not for college students. If your relatives perpetually mistake you for an 8 year old, you can expect unwanted children’s gifts. If you stopped being a Toys ‘R’ Us kid when Clinton was president, you probably don’t want those G.I. Joe walkie-talkies or iCarly electronic diary. Rather than stashing those unwanted toys in the basement, donate them to Toys for Tots, which distributes Christmas presents to underprivileged children in the community. This holiday season, remember that one student’s trash is another person’s treasure. Don’t throw away your unwanted gifts or banish them to the back of the closet — donate them! You’ll be happy to get rid of those presents, and somewhere a needy child or adult will be thankful to receive them — even if that sweater really is atrocious. llandau@theeagleonline.com


December 7, 2010

OPINION

Think you can do better? Prove it Want your opinion heard next semester? Dear readers of the Editorial Page, I’ve read your comments. And your letters. And emails. (There’s a lot more of the first kind — you do realize the best way to reach me is at edpage@theeagleonline. com, right?) I’ve read them all, and I have something to say to you all: You want “better” columnists? Fine. Do it yourself. How, you may ask? Starting in January, we here at The Eagle are launching our version of the Washington Post’s “America’s Next Great Pundit” contest. I encourage

those of you have enough time to comment, critique, or just plain criticize our content now to try your hand column writing yourselves. It’s not the easiest task, but for those of you that are super opinionated out there (and I know for a fact that there’s a good amount of you), it’s a great outlet for all your frustrations with the world. (Or just another place to say your piece without having your friends remind you that it’s the fifth time you’ve ranted on that particular subject.) We’ll kick the contest off

A farewell to American U. GIVE ME LIBERTY

MICHAEL STUBEL This will be my final column as an opinion writer for The Eagle. In this space, I’ve argued for drug liberalization, urban renewal projects, and a greater focus on our long-term fiscal health. I discussed the importance of living within one’s means, lamented our dysfunctional political system, and criticized our incoherent foreign policy. What I never wrote much about was American University, and for that, I’m

sorry. I know that I wasn’t your first, second, or even third destination when you wanted to read a view of the political scene. I also apologize to those who were looking for more partisanship and found my writing muddled in the middle. Actually, I take that back. I can’t stand fringe politics, Left or Right. Ideological polarization is tearing this country apart. Regardless, if you ever stumbled across my column, I do hope that you found my thoughts insightful, temperate, and, above all, reasonable. However, I want to devote my parting words not to opinion or policy, but to everyone and everything that made American Uni-

next semester — by that point, we’ll have great topics and great judges at the ready to help us find the next great AU pundit. There will also be a code of conduct, just to ensure fair play, no plagiarism, no personal attacks, no yapping your head off without any facts to back up your arguments. You want more content? You want better columnists? Well now I’m putting the ball back in your court. Have a fantastic winter break, come back here in January, and then let the games begin.

7 SNOWMAN COLORING CONTEST

Color in the snowman and drop it off at The Eagle office (MGC 252) by January 9th. We’ll print the most creative one in the next issue!

Sincerely, Your beleaguered editorial page editor, Linda Barnhart

Happy holidays!

theEAGLE versity special during my years here. When I submit my senior thesis next week, I will conclude a journey that began in August 2007. Less than three and a half years later, I can proudly say that I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world.

for all the nonsense and the endless laughter. To the Terrace Dining Room, where I’m an endangered species: a senior in a sea of freshmen and sophomores. To the most underrated cafeteria on campus, thank you for feeding me.

watch this campus develop since 2007. The new SIS building and the Kogod School of Business addition are helping to put this university on the map. It will be interesting to see how the administration transforms the Nebraska Parking Lot in the coming decade.

So here’s to you, AU: To the Letts third floor of 2007-2008, where I spent countless nights in the South side lounge and started friendships that will last a lifetime. To Letts’ sixth floor sky lounge, where residents know not to enter if the lights are off and the two couches are pushed together. Trust me, stay away. To Centennial Hall, where sophomores go to pretend that they are moving up in the world and where I fell in love. To the four knuckleheads that I chose as roommates for the last few years, thanks

To the men’s basketball team, for winning back-toback Patriot League crowns in 2008 and 2009. Facing the fourth-seeded Villanova Wildcats in the opening round of the 2009 NCAA tournament, the 13-seeded Eagles played unconscious basketball for more than half of the game. AU led by as many as 14 and held a 10-point lead with under 13 minutes to play. It was some of most inspired basketball I’ve ever seen. Somewhere, Garrison Carr is still knocking down 25-foot jumpers. To the now-defunct School of International Service pit, I miss your character and sheer depth. In all seriousness, it’s been exciting to

TALK BACK: E-MAIL EDITOR@THEEAGLEONLINE.COM

To Professor Cynthia Bair Van Dam, whose College Writing Seminar on the Politics of Education drove me to be a better writer. To Professor Robert Johnson, who showed me the distressing reality of our prison system and altered my stance on the death penalty. To Professor Alan Kraut, whose masterful lectures on the Civil War made me want to put down my pen and just listen. His oratory skills were that powerful. To three School of Communication professors, Rick Horowitz, Lynne Perri, and Rodger Streitmatter, who

deepened my passion for journalism and media studies. To Professor Leonard Steinhorn, my Honors Capstone advisor, whose tremendous insight and guidance have proven invaluable. To everyone at the American University Career Center, from Elaine Salisbury to Bridget O’Connell to Lara Ferraiolo to Chris Hughes to Susan Gordon—you’ve all been integral parts of my professional growth and career exploration process. It’s going to be hard to let go. To The Eagle, thank you for giving me a voice and granting me a platform. Farewell, AU. I couldn’t have asked for anything more. Michael Stubel is a senior in the School of Public Affairs and the School of Communication and a moderate Republican columnist.


December 7, 2010

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Steve Luptak dribbles past a defender in the men’s 67-48 loss to the University of Florida Gators Sunday. http://eagl.us/dGcPVV

RACHEL DEVOR / THE EAGLE

Turkey Handprint TRENDING TOPICS Coloring Contest s winner announced

to holiday spirit. As you can see, we’re all about it here at The Eagle. And once finals are over, we feel that most people will be too.

A CELEBRATION! — Noel Klingler’s bold, tri-color turkey won The Eagle’s first ever Turkey Handprint Coloring Contest. Mr. Klingler said he used three dry-erase markers to design the turkey, but that if he could do it all over again he would have gotten more supplies.

The Eagle is proud to announce that Noel Klingler is the winner of our first ever Turkey Handprint Coloring Contest. Klingler beat out approximately zero other submissions with his inspired tricolor turkey. Klingler also added a wing, a face and a hat to the turkey, creative additions that clinched the win. The Eagle had originally hoped that the Turkey Handprint Coloring Contest would generate at least 20 to 30 creative submissions. Instead, an Eagle staffer was forced to drunkenly accost Mr. Klingler and demand that he color in a turkey. Klingler said he used three colors because there were only three different colored dry-erase markers available at the time he was accosted.

If he could do it all over again, he said he would try to use more colors and even go to a craftstore. Faced with a shortage of materials, Klingler opted for a minimalist design that used bold, alternating colors in the feathers and a vibrant red for the turkey’s body. The Eagle staff is very disappointed that there weren’t more submissions to choose from for the Turkey Coloring Contest. However, we are very grateful for Mr. Klingler’s participation and think we probably would have chosen his turkey no matter what other turkeys were submitted. design@theeagleonline.com

t

to the weather. Seriously, if it’s going to be this damned cold and windy, there’d better be some snow coming down. That way it would at least look pretty outside.

s

to coffee and Campus Food. Without either of these wonderful entities, we would be asleep and hungry instead of sleep-deprived and barely subsisting through finals.

t

to the song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Clearly, Andy Williams never felt the pain and suffering we currently are.

s

to the holiday movie season. We’ve already gotten “Harry Potter,” “Tangled,” and Jake Gyllenhaal. Bring on the rest!


from ANC on page 4

the future, but all debts have been paid off. Board of Elections and Ethics changes As a result of Sadonis and Jones’ campaigns, the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics changed some paperwork before this election, according to spokeswoman Alysoun McLaughlin. The Board expected students’ voter registrations to be challenged, and changed the documents to make the challenge process clearer. In the past 10 years, there have not been any ballots challenged at the Metropolitan Memorial United Methodist Church polls on Nebraska Avenue, according to Precinct 9 Captain Lawrence Williams, The Eagle previously reported. But this year, about 35 votes, mostly from students, were challenged, Williams said. This race was the first time D.C. residents were allowed to register at the polls on Election Day for ANC races. Same-day registration was implemented for the first time during the Sept. 14 primary election, but there were no ANC elections then. AU lawyers unable to further pursue voter intimidation claims AU lawyers said they heard “unsubstantiated” rumors of complaints concerning possible student voter intimidation on Election Day, but will not do anything further because there is not enough evidence. The two signed statements they received did not detail first-hand intimidation, according to Bethany Bridgham, an AU attorney. One statement described two incidents where the author believed voter intimidation had occurred, but not to them. The other statement described a general feeling of hostility, but did not have an actual allegation of intimidation.

DEC. 7 – JAN. 1

DEC. 8 – DEC. 26

DEC. 9

DEC. 31

Norwegian Model Train Display Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday, noon – 6 p.m. WHERE: Union Station METRO: Union Station (red line) COST: Free

Septime Webre’s “The Nutcracker” 1:30 – 3 p.m. WHERE: Warner Theatre, 513 13th St. NW METRO: Metro Center (Red, Orange and Blue lines) COST: $31-89

National Christmas Tree Lighting 5 p.m. WHERE: The Ellipse METRO: Metro Center (Red, Orange and Blue lines) COST: Free

New Year’s Eve Celebration 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. WHERE: D.C. Improv Comedy Club/RestaurantMETRO: Farragut North (red line) COST: $35-75

Visit the Norwegian Embassy’s class train display in the West Hall of Union Station, featuring miniature farms, villages, churches and a ski jump.

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See this classic Christmas tale of fantasy and spectacle performed by the Washington Ballet. Showtimes can be found at www.warnertheatre.com.

Presented by the National Park Service, the 87th Annual National Christmas Tree Lighting is a landmark event in D.C. There will be performances by B.B. King, Maroon 5, Sara Bareilles, Jackie Evancho and Jim Jones, hosted by actor and hip-hop artist Common.

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Start the New Year laughing with Erin Jackson, from “Last Comic Standing 6,” Comedy Central and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $65 and include a full dinner and a pass to a future show or $35 for just the show and pass to a future show. Tickets for the 10:15 p.m show are $75 and include cocktails and hors-d’oeuvres.

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VISIT THE INCUBATOR

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December 7, 2010

(Satire — All content courtesy of “Eagle Droppings”)

Martians angry over ‘universal’ health care OLYMPUS MONS, MARS — Martian leaders are outraged over the use of the term “universal” in the U.S. health care debate. The reason being, Martians are not covered under any of the proposed health care legislation. “If we’re not going to be covered, it shouldn’t be called ‘universal’ health care,” said Uzxyz Nbnaknfp, leader of the Martian Policy Institute or MPI, a generic Martian think tank. “We’re lobbying hard to make health care truly universal. We are legal aliens, too and we deserve to be heard.” One big hurdle to including Martians in the health care debate is the relative inexperience of American doctors with Martian anatomy. “Every time we try to get a medical condition covered under the law, we’re always told it’s a ‘pre-existing’ condition,” Nbnaknfp said. A spokesman for United Healthcare replied, “Many of the common Martian diseases are indeed pre-existing and shouldn’t be the financial responsibility of an insurance company.” An outraged Nbnaknfp snapped, “Tell that to a Martian who’s been working in the flurgen mines for 30 years.” To settle the debate, Eagle Droppings made an effort to reach California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been to Mars. Schwarzenegger had no comment but he did refer us to a strange character named “Kuato.” In commenting on the health care debate, Mr. Kuato only replied, “Sss sssssssssssssstaaaaart the reeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaactooooooooor!”

“EAGLE DROPPINGS” IS AMERICAN UNIVERSITY’S NEW SATIRE PUBLICATION. WANT TO WRITE FOR IT? AMERICAN.EAGLEDROPPINGS@GMAIL.COM

Santa Claus coming to Wasilla this Christmas

Photo by JAAP BUITENDIJK

THIS IS PIE — TDR will be adding anthrax to all meals after a positive student reaction to mustard gas.

Bon Appétit staffer confuses mustard gas for mustard sauce By GREG HANDELSMAN WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week a new TDR chef made the grave error of mistaking the World War I weapon of choice for one of America’s favorite condiments. She claims she was walking behind campus near the children’s playground when she found one of the deadly canisters lying in the ground. “I looked closer and it had the word ‘Mustard’ printed on it. There was another word too, but I couldn’t make it out,” the chef said. The other word was ‘Gas.’ “I was thinking, gee, why would anyone leave a perfectly good can of mustard lying in a child’s playground? I better bring it back to TDR for the kids.” The chef then proceeded to add the poisonous chemicals to beef stockpiles in the TDR kitchen. She stated, “it

did burn my skin a bit but I just said, hell, kids love it hot and spicy these days!” When we asked a student, JP Rollands, how he felt about the deadly gas being put into select TDR foods he said, “Mustard Gas? Really? When?” “I was just telling my friends how great the food was this week!” Rollands said. “That chef is either a genius or an idiot!” The Army Corps of Engineers responsible for digging up the canisters buried on the campus after World War I declined to comment on the issue. No students have been reportedly harmed from consuming the mustard gas but all have noted an increase in the food’s flavor and quality. [UPDATE] – Due to such a positive response, TDR plans to add Anthrax as a new menu option in the upcoming Spring semester.

WASILLA, ALASKA — The mythical man of Christmas spirit and gifts will be making a special pit stop in Wasilla, Alaska this Christmas. This is according to Former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. “Oh yeah! This Christmas is going to be something special don’tcha know? Mr. Kris Kringle told me himself that he looks forward to bringing the people of Alaska the best snow machines,” Palin said. Mrs. Palin insists that Santa Claus is not mythical and that by believing in him she is not worshiping a false deity or believing in magic, which would be against her Christian beliefs.

“You see the secret is, Mr. Santa and God are one in the same. No one knows that but me and, because, you know, he whispered it in my ear one night.” When asked to provide evidence that could in any way provide credibility to this statement Mrs. Palin stated, “Well, you know, when the Lord returns he will bring about the apocalypse and that is definitely happening right now in front of our eyes. Obama and the liberal media are evidence of that.” Not getting very far in the conversation, we decided to stoop down to her level. We asked her how she felt global warming would affect Santa’s travels. She responded, “Oh well, I don’t believe in global

warming — it’s completely made up! But if I did I might worry that his reindeer may not be able to levitate normally!” We told Mrs. Palin not to worry, because Tea Party candidate Chrstine O’Donnell would be able to make them levitate using her witchcraft. Mrs. Palin breathed a sigh of relief but then quickly remembered she is against magic. Sources say, after stopping in Wasilla, Santa plans to compete in the next season of Dancing with the Stars. But these sources are likely inaccurate. We know this because Mrs. Palin scribbled this on a napkin and handed it to us.


December 7, 2010

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Bethesda’s New NY Style Jewish Deli Bagels, Cheesecake, Bialys ,Egg Creams, Huge sandwiches, Matzo Ball Soup, Rugelach, Black and White Cookies, Salads, Dr Browns Sodas, Breakfast, Lunch, Catering and More! “Ess Till You Plotz”

UPTOWN DELI 7905 Norfolk Ave Bethesda MD 20814 301-961-5787 www.uptowndelibethesda.com AU Students receive a free 16oz soda with a valid student ID and purchase of any sandwich over $5.99 Offer good through 1-31-11 Not combined with any other offers. Must show valid ID

MAKE YOUR SPRING BREAK MEANINGFUL Volunteer in Israel with JNF

Shaping Israel’s Future Today For more information and to REGISTER visit www.jnf.org/springbreak or contact us at asb@jnf.org or 212-879-9305 x245

Jewish National Fund

ANA SANTOS / THE EAGLE

DON’T WATCH YOUR TIME FLY AWAY — The Eagle’s New Year’s resolutions will help you better manage your busy schedule, so you still have time to hit the gym (another one of your resolutions).

Revolutionizing New Year’s resolutions: The AU edition By SARAH PARNASS Eagle Staff Writer Every Jan. 1, Americans type up, write down or simply make a mental note of the changes they want to make in their lives for the coming year. For college students, it usually goes something like this: go to the gym more and get wasted less, spend more time on homework and less time on Facebook, invest in a more professional wardrobe and get rid of the unnecessary crap filling up the drawers of your parents’ house. These resolutions last approximately 10 to 72 hours, according to The Eagle’s completely unscientific calculations. For 2011, try these more realistic resolutions — and maybe you’ll actually keep them going into February. Take the long way It’s hardly probable that you’ll get your bum into Bender after the first snowflake hits the ground, but that doesn’t mean you can’t

work towards a healthier, less blob-like body this semester. Just by adding some distance to your normal walk to campus or class, you can burn extra calories and get your metabolism going. If you normally take the shuttle to or from Tenley, try walking. It might mean getting up 15 minutes earlier, but the walk will give you an extra boost of energy with every gust of wind. Substituting stairs for elevators and walking up the escalator — rather than huddling on the right — will also get your blood pumping. Increased cardio will help your waistline in the short term and keep your heart healthier in the long run. Stay on schedule Keeping a running monthly, weekly or even daily todo list will help you stay focused during the downtime between classes. During that hour you would normally spend flipping between Facebook and Texts from Last Night, go to your list instead, and try to get something accomplished. You can be as detailed as

you like; sometimes checking off things like “shower” or “eat lunch” can empower you to get through the rest of the day. Keep your list in a prominent place — say your desk or computer desktop (the Stickies application is great for Mac users) — so that it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle. Avoid the Tavern, Salsa, ZBurger, etc. Though TDR takes longer than grabbing ‘tenders,’ their salad and sandwich bars offer some infinitely healthier options. If you have Eaglebucks, even a veggie sub from Subway will be kinder to your gut than a beef burrito loaded with rice, black beans, cheese and sour cream. Still looking to save time? Buy prepackaged salad and a low-fat dressing from Whole Foods the next time you’re in Tenley and bring your own lunch in a bag. It’s fine to splurge every once in a while, but for late night cram sessions, greasy food will just slow you down. sparnass@theeagleonline. com


Eagle Staff Writer Something wicked this way comes — it lurks in our skies, awaiting the return of innocent college students from winter break. It will drop around the beginning of February, wreaking havoc not only upon Washington, but the rest of the East Coast as well. People will rush to the grocery stores and Terrace Dining Room, which will run out of food within a week. The Metro system will shut down and cars will be inoperable, making the only viable mode of transportation cross-country skiing. Classes will be canceled day after day, while a civil war breaks out at Dupont Circle. Civilization as we know it will cease to exist and D.C. will descend into chaos, buried under a thick blanket of fluffy, white snow. Snowpocalypse 2011 is coming — are you prepared? Heed The Eagle’s warning and use this guide to start a survival kit before it’s too late. Powdered milk Since the Eagle’s Nest and

local stores will face a milk shortage, be sure to pick up at least five industrial-size boxes of powdered milk. Even if the pipes freeze, use the abundance of snow outside to your advantage and mix it in for a truly ice-cold drink. Hot Pockets Stockpile as many frozen entrees as will fit in your freezer. Hot Pockets are the best bet because of their nutritional superiority and tendency to make you too nauseous to eat more. Not only will you have enough food to last through the crisis, but you’ll gain some extra padding against the bitterness of winter as well. 10-layer cake Celebrate the impending end of the world by eating one layer of cake for each day of being trapped on campus. For more creative types, you can decorate each layer with the circles of Hell as you descend further into cabin fever. Alaskan dog sled Though snowshoes and cross-country skis will work for a while, save your legs

and invest in an Alaskan dog sled with a few strong Huskies. It’s fast, fun and furry — and you’ll look that much cooler arriving at the 2,000-person Dupont Circle snowball fight on a wintry chariot. Well-stocked entertainment system Nothing fends off boredom like a five-day Mario Kart tournament. Pit Democrats against Republicans, East Coast natives against West Coast natives, School of International Service majors against School of Public Affairs majors — you get the idea — for the title of Snowpocalypse King. If holding such an event off campus, don’t hesitate to include alcohol to make each game truly warm, fuzzy and much more memorable. Remember that Snowpocalypse 2011 is deadly in many ways — do not, under any circumstances, walk under campus buildings that seem to be in danger of collapsing. And please, enjoy battling the Snowpocalypse responsibly. rkaras@theeagleonline.com

TOP POLICE BLOTTERS FROM FALL 2010 Aug. 23 Graffiti of a sexual nature was discovered on a dry erase board in a study lounge in Anderson Hall. The board was erased. Aug. 25 Public Safety observed an individual urinating at the corner of Congressional Hall by Nebraska Avenue. The individual fled as the officer approached. Sept. 7 As a shuttle bus was being refueled at a gas station in the 4800 block of Massachusetts Avenue, another vehicle entered the station and struck the rear bumper of the bus. There were no passengers on the bus. No injuries were reported. Sept. 17 Public Safety responded to a report of an altercation and met two students outside of the Ward Circle building. The female was very irate and crying. Reportedly, she became upset at the male, “her boyfriend,” when he spoke of another female being invited to a party. She threw books around, struck herself on the arms and legs, scratched her neck and face, and scratched him on the hand. He did not wish to pursue the matter. Sept. 18 During routine patrol, Public Safety discovered two students sitting on the grass outside of Katzen Arts Center surrounded with drug paraphernalia, alcohol and suspected marijuana. Student #1 indicated he and Student #2 were smoking marijuana. The following was recovered: One 50 mLbottle of JB, one 50 mL bottle of Jack Daniels, suspected marijuana (tested positive for marijuana), vaporizer, grinder, rolling papers, pipe and plastic tubing.

SARAH PARNASS / THE EAGLE

LOST IN A SEA OF WHITE — Meg Fowler, The Eagle’s managing editor for news this semester, stands knee-deep in snow on the quad during last year’s Snowpocalypse.

Sept. 19 Reportedly, at approximately 6 a.m., a student walked into Public Safety and spoke with a dispatcher. The student was locked out of his room. The dispatcher told the student to stand by while necessary information was gathered. The student

appeared agitated and paced in the main lobby. The student walked into the vending area and struck a computer monitor, damaging it. Later, a resident director and Public Safety questioned him about the damage. Public Safety detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage on the student’s breath. The student stated he punched the computer because he was intoxicated and frustrated about being locked out of the room. The incident will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct. Sept. 23 Facilities Management reported discovering damage to the floor of the School of International Service building at the main entrance. A student reported an unidentified contractor drove a cherry picker through the main entrance to conduct work inside the building at approximately 10 p.m. Oct. 23 A resident assistant saw two suspects near a vending machine in Capital Hall. He did not recognize the suspects. The resident assistant continued to his destination. Upon his return to the area, the resident assistant noticed the suspects had left, and the vending machine door was open. Snacks were still in the machine and 73 cents were on the floor. The coin container was still intact. The area of the machine that appeared to house the container for dollar bills was missing. It appeared a pry tool was used to open the machine. Public Safety took custody of the coin container and snacks. Oct. 31 Two resident assistants reported smelling a strong odor of marijuana coming from a room in McDowell Hall while conducting their rounds. Two resident directors arrived and contacted three occupants of the room. When a resident director mentioned taking administrative action, student #1 produced a bag containing a green leafy substance and swallowed it. The resident directors noticed a plastic bag had been placed over

the smoke detector and a towel had been placed at the bottom of the door. A bottle of Febreze was nearby. Student #1 denied smoking or eating marijuana. Student #2 denied anyone smoked in her room. A resident director searched the room and recovered some drug paraphernalia, including a pipe. Confiscated residue tested positive for marijuana. Occupant #3’s father was notified. Nov. 15 A resident reported Nov. 15 an unidentified suspect entered her locked room on Nov. 6 at 5:30 a.m. while she was sleeping. Reportedly, the suspect crawled on the floor towards her laptop. She screamed and the suspect ran from her room.

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Snowpocalypse the sequel: A winter survival guide By RACHEL KARAS

Holiday Guide 12

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December 7, 2010


December 7, 2010

theSCENE

13

Scene Picks The Scene offers up our favorite albums, films, television shows and gadgets from this past year. If a non-denominational gift-bringer delivers one of these to you this holiday season, thank us. We told them.

Amazon Kindle As a student, I find the newest Kindle to be of indispensable convenience. It’s sleek, extremely portable and can store all of my files and favorite books. It has an incredible capacity for battery power, and can access all of my favorite online periodicals at once. I invariably receive some menacing looks from a number of self-professed bookworms when I say I use an e-reader. But it’s something I just can’t do without if I’m expected to be away from home for a while and can’t lug all of my books with me at once. — Stephan Cho

Courtesy of AMAZON.COM

Amazon Kindle Even at this point in the school year where reading has turned from a fun leisure activity to a Sisyphean struggle, I’m still impressed by the Amazon Kindle and the ramifications it has for readers. I’ll admit I was skeptical at first — “There’s nothing more portable than a book already!” I raved to uninterested friends — but after having some time to play around with one, I am willing to hand myself over the to e-reader. It may not have the functionality of the iPad, but the Kindle is perfect if you want to get something done rather than be endlessly distracted. New improvements this year means that pages turn more smoothly, notes and texts can be shared more easily between reader and computer and reading the newspaper doesn’t require ink-stained hands or a password I can never remember. And when I can fit magazines, biographies, textbooks and novels into one light machine, it makes for easier travel and easier enjoyment. You win this time, technology. Courtesy of APPLE.COM

— Michael W. Richardson

Courtesy of AMAZON.COM

Canon S95 Camera Not all cameras are created equal and Canon just happens to be a cut above the rest. It seems like every time you turn around, Canon has a new digital camera on the market. The new S95 is a step above the average point-and-shoot camera. It’s sleek and slim, and promises blur-free pictures and a professional-style control ring for maximum manual control. It’s great for those who want to take quality pictures, without having to lug around their chunky DSLR cameras everywhere. Since the holidays are so close, you might want to go ahead and put this at the top of your wish list. — Yohana Desta

Apple iPhone 4 Apple is known for creating revolutionary hardware, so it should come as no surprise that the company has created perhaps the most innovative and game-changing phone ever with their newest gadget, the iPhone 4. With a sleeker design, longer battery life and better coverage, the iPhone 4 is a cell phone that puts all other smart phones to shame (ahem, Droid). While the device has flaws, the newest features make up for them: the screen now has a “Retina Display,” with higher resolution and pixel density than the 3G model, and the built in HD camera lets you make video calls and talk face-to-face with a new feature, FaceTime. You can now upload and edit videos on the phone with iMovie, plus read the latest bestseller with iBooks, making the iPhone 4 the smallest e-reader in the world. — Kelly Holliday

Courtesy of AMAZON.COM


December 7, 2010

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Music

Titus Andronicus — “The Monitor” XL Recordings

Titus Andronicus’ second album sounds ridiculous on paper — a concept album about the Civil War that samples speeches from Lincoln, the poetry of Walt Whitman and battle songs of the Union army, along with bit of Bruce Springsteen (practically a must for any band emerging from Jersey these days). But bandleader Patrick Stickles uses his earnestness to overcome the sly jokes about such a pretentious concept, and has put together an album that fuses his angryyoung-man posturing with a new and welcome maturity. Stickles mixes the highbrow Shakespeare references with his own stories of drinking his time away in suburban New Jersey and his difficulty of leaving behind a place he has always had mixed feelings towards (and for my money, it’s more observant than the similarly-themed “The Suburbs” from the Arcade Fire this year). He howls his disappointments in vicious tracks like “Richard II” and “A More Perfect Union.” The Civil War is simply a backdrop for his own angst, a counterpoint to the smallness of growing up and the danger of the world beyond. Listen again and again; it begs to be unpacked. — Michael W. Richardson

The Dead Weather — “Sea of Cowards” Warner Bros. Since there were far too many great rap albums to choose from this year — like Kid Cudi’s “Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager,” Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,” Nicki Minaj’s “Pink Friday” and Wiz Khalifa’s mixtape “Kush and Orange Juice”— it was easier to stick with the rock album that put all other rock albums to shame. As any fan of alterna-rock will tell you, Jack White is already a living legend. Thus, any side project he does without Meg White, his double bass counterpart in the White Stripes, is still bound to be incredible. His latest supergroup — comprised of Alison Mosshart (The Kills, Discount) on vocals, J.L. Lawrence (The Raconteurs) on bass, Dean Fertita (Queens of the Stone Age) on lead guitar, and White himself on drum, vocals and occasional guitar duty — released their sophomore album, “Sea of Cowards,” in late May. The album is an amalgam of gothic techno, riff heavy choruses and shredding electric guitars. And, while White is the biggest name on the bill, it’s singer Alison Mosshart that truly shines on this album. Her voice ranges from low and enticing to loud and harsh, singing lyrics that bark and shriek, dripping with rock’n’roll fury. Everything comes together on the bluesy single “Die by the Drop.” — Yohana Desta

Big Boi — “Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty “

Courtesy of AMAZON.COM

“A longtime favorite with literature lovers and cafe-goers, this Dupont Circle institution combines a well-stocked bookstore with a bar and restaurant.” –Michelin Washington DC

“... one of the city’s most beloved independent booksellers... [committed] to the idea that in a world of chains, an independent, literary way of life is still possible.” –Fearless Critic Washington DC

Warner Bros. Big Boi is talented, and as the beefier half of Georgia’s OutKast, he has the Grammy awards to prove it. His newest solo album — if you aren’t counting Speakerboxxx — is just so much fun to listen to not only because it’s so painstakingly well-produced, but also because each song is so different from the one before it without making the album too jarring. When listening to the vibrant nuances of tracks like “Night Night,” “You Ain’t No DJ,” and of course, “Shutterbugg,” with their clever lyrics, infectious beats and impressive addition of guest vocals, you get a sense of just how seriously Big Boi takes his music. And in consideration of this fact, it’s really no wonder that this album was years in the making. — Stephan Cho

Cee-Lo Green — “The Lady Killer” Elektra Records With the release of the hysterically catchy single “F--- You,” Cee-Lo Green cemented his status as one of the best artists of the summer. And with the release of his third solo album, “The Lady Killer,” this November, Green is poised to become one of the best artists and entertainers of the year. While “F--- You” and its PG radio edit “Forget You” brought a splash of hip-hop to brighten up the summer months, the rest of the album cools down with a combination of retro soul and bubbly Motown. The creative Atlanta-born Gnarls Barkley singer is consistent in blending haunting lyrics (“Bodies”) with poppy style (“Bright Lights City Limits,” “Satisfied”) on the record, far different than his earlier efforts. While The Lady Killer is far more dramatic, cinematic and light compared to his more gritty albums, Cee-Lo still makes a splash with a bubblegum and wit-infused record. — Kelly Holliday

BEST BOOKSTORE –Washington City Paper, Washington Blade

INDEPENDENT UNIQUE LOCAL

BOOKSTORE CAFE • BAR BREAKFAST LUNCH • DINNER

“Dupont Circle’s Grand Central for browsing, cruising, or schmoozing.” –Insight Guides Washington DC

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December 7, 2010

“The Social Network”

Movies

Ok, let’s get this out of the way. It’s not the new “Citizen Kane.” It doesn’t have its “finger on the pulse of a generation” or any other clichéd reviewer talk. In fact, to say that the film is so grounded in the technological era that it only represents our generation would be reductive. “The Social Network” manages tell a riveting tale of the rise of the Facebook phenomenon through subtle storytelling and character work that can hold up to future viewings, thanks in part to its excellent lead in Jesse Eisenberg and a compelling script by Aaron Sorkin. Eisenberg plays the role of Mark Zuckerberg with a demeanor that’s equal parts robotic and paranoid, driven not only by the promise of success but also deeper personal issues. He’s more Daniel Plainview than Gordon Gekko, but with an inner thoughtfulness that creates sympathy for a character who might easily fall into the trap of parody. Throw in some striking visuals from Director David Fincher and Sorkin’s machine-gun dialogue, and we have a film that is modern in subject matter but timeless in concept. — Michael W. Richardson

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“Inception”

“Toy Story 3”

Christopher Nolan is, in essence, a classy Michael Bay. After revamping the tired “Batman” film series into a bonafide, Oscar-winning, blockbuster smash, Nolan set out to amaze audiences again with his action packed think film, “Inception.” The film boasts an incredible cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page and Michael Caine. The film follows Dom Cobb (DiCaprio), a spy that ventures into people’s minds once they are asleep and steals information from their subconscious. And from there, things get insane. Sure, maybe the plot doesn’t exactly “make sense” but when there are so many amazing stunts and special effects to keep you entertained — not to mention a rather dapper Joseph Gordon Levitt — who really cares?

It’s almost redundant at this point to label the newest Pixar film a masterpiece, but Toy Story 3 is quite literally, a perfect film. For millennials, who at the tender age of five watched frenemies Woody and Buzz become best friends, Toy Story 3 is particularly meaningful. The third and likely final installment of this beloved franchise marked the end of not just Andy’s childhood, but ours too. We grew up right along side of Andy, and as he transitioned from high school to college, and from child to adult, we did too. Though poignant for our generation, Toy Story 3 is truly a film made for anyone who’s ever had a friend, who’s ever felt abandoned or lonely, and anyone who’s ever felt that familiar pressure in their throat once they’ve said goodbye. The final moments of the film are not just about Andy’s final moments with the toys he’s grown up with, but about having the courage to say goodbye and let go. It was a perfect, bittersweet close to a film series we never really wanted, or want to end.

— Yohana Desta and Stephan Cho

— Kelly Holliday

Television

“Parenthood” — Tuesdays at 10 p.m. (NBC) Perhaps the most underrated show on air today, NBC’s “Parenthood” is one hour of television that every child and parent should be watching. The show, based on the 1989 Ron Howard film of the same name, follows the Braverman family as they deal with the struggles of marriage, children, racism, heartbreak, social disorders, betrayal and above all, parenting. Despite the heavy issues it discusses, “Parenthood” perfectly balances comedy, drama and sentimentalism without the cheese factor. Adam (Peter Krause), who juggles a neurotic wife and autistic son, and Sarah (Lauren Graham, perfect in her post-“Gilmore Girls” role as the scatterbrained unemployed mother of two teenagers), lead the show as the two oldest Braverman siblings, wonderfully blending sarcasm and sincerity to create too-real insight into the lives of parents. Compared to shows like “Teen Mom” and the campy “Brothers and Sisters,” “Parenthood” is an eerily honest portrayal of everyday family life that’s all too rare on television these days. — Kelly Holliday

“Community” — Thursdays at 8 p.m. (NBC) JUSTIN LUBIN/ NBC

ALL IN THE FAMILY — NBC’s “Parenthood” is one of the most underrated shows on TV. Themes of racism, heartbreak, social disorders, betrayal and parenting are balanced with comedy and sentimentalism. Don’t miss the show Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

“It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” — Thursdays at 10 p.m. (FX) Admittedly, I don’t watch a whole lot of television shows, especially during their regular timeslots (thank you, Hulu). But whenever I get the chance, I’m in the mood for something that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Something crude, pithy and funny — which is exactly how I would describe “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” The hilarity of this show is just how outrageous the characters are as well as the impossibility of their situations. It takes multiple viewings to get used to a cast that’s so unlikeable, but it’s all so worth it.

A lot of television shows fetishize the history of television and films, drawing influences and in-jokes from obscure trivia that only the devotees of pop culture would know. For that reason alone, “Community” has more to offer pop-culture addicts than the average television consumer. But at it’s best, Dan Harmon’s newest show can create the most engaging deconstructions of movie genres and still manage to wrap them around a cast of characters that you can care about. Though the show is set in the pedestrian setting of Greendale Community College, it has created elaborate parodies of the mobster genre (in which a character sets up a black market for delicious chicken fingers, complete with Henry Hill-esque voiceovers) zombie films, and its greatest achievement, an elaborate send-up of war movies involving a paint-ball match gone horribly wrong (I’ll risk hyperbole and say that this episode, “Modern Warfare” may be one of the best episodes of any show in a decade). But these parodies are wrapped around a cast of solid characters who are more fully human than any other sitcom is willing to sketch. — Michael W. Richardson

— Yohana Desta


December 7, 2010

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