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Volume 48, Issue 6

Four men were caught as they allegedly tried to steal computer equipment from the I-wing computer lab at 3 a.m. on Sunday. After the suspected burglars set off a silent alarm, multiple police vehicles arrived on the scene. At least one of the men reportedly resisted arrest, and the officers gave chase. Every suspect was located and taken into custody, according to sheriff ’s deputies. Two were caught on the scene, another was caught in the American River Parkway attempting to flee over the levee. A third was tracked down in the Rio Linda area on information from one of the men apprehended. “I counted at least 12 (police cars) and two department vehicles,” said Tom Nelson, a local resident who works at Rio. “Police dogs were called to assist in locating other suspects as well.”

The fire department also arrived in order to treat injuries sustained when the suspects resisted arrest. Nelson was given his information by an officer on the scene. When Nelson approached room A–10 he saw blood on the sidewalk, where the struggle between the arresting officers and suspects. However, that was not the location of the break-in. The actual break in occurred in room I–4. There the men broke the window and entered the room, which is the center room for the Iwing and has access to rooms I–1, I–2, and I–5. Vice principal Vanessa Adolphson was called to the scene to possibly identify the criminals as Rio students. But the suspects had not attended Rio. She did mention that one of them had a bloodied face. Seven new iMac computers were removed from I-5 as well as two cameras from I-4, but all of the equipment was recovered.

Custodian Michael Sidebotham inspects repairs to the window damaged during Sunday’s breakin. Four men were caught allegedly attempting to steal computers from the computer lab.

ED MAHON Mirada Staff

Rick Loomis/Los Angeles Times/MCT

Campus responds to disaster In response to last week’s catastrophic earthquake, members of faculty and the student body are mobilizing to send aid to the battered nation of Haiti. The quake, which peaked at 7.0 on the Richter scale, has left the nation’s capital city, Port au Prince, in chaos. Those without basic necessities are beginning to steal what they cannot salvage. Others are receiving care from overstressed and improperly equipped to deal with the scope of the destruction. Officials believe that over three million people were affected by the quake and its aftershocks.

This Issue Combo band chosen to play in NYC

French teacher Alec Hodgins heard about the tragedy on the news, and turned a terrible disaster into a learning experience. “I thought, ‘hey, this is a teachable moment’,” he said. “Coincidentally, my lesson on that day happened to be on the Carribean.” Hodgins also felt the effects of the quake on a more personal level. His best friend, Patrick Celestin, owner of downtown restaurant Celestin’s, lost two family members in the disaster. After discussing the scope of the destruction and gathering information from various internet sources, Hodgins let his class decide what would happen next.

Pregnancy panel holds class discussion Refuge: Open forum for self-expression

See page 5

Haiti Earthquake

Haitian men carry an empty coffin through the ravaged capital on Jan. 14. The American Red Cross estimates that the death toll will rise beyond 200,000.

By ALEX MCFALL Editor-in-Chief

See page 4

January 22, 2010

Rio Americano High School • Sacramento, CA

Computer lab burglary foiled By TANDENA NELSON Mirada Staff

CENTER Take a look at the best and worst of 2009 and the decade! Pages 11-12

See page 16

Avatar: Don’t miss our full review

See page 20

“By asking a lot of questions, [the students] came to their own solutions” he said. “Kids here are always looking for a way to get involved in something larger than themselves. They have the energy and the desire to respond to the tragedy.” The students have developed diverse ways which students and families can use to donate, including a benefit concert. Senior Nathan Swedlow is organizing the event. “More than any other disaster I’ve heard of, this one really struck me,” Swedlow said. “Something hast to be done quick, so they can get back on See QUAKE page 4

Online Read and comment on this issue of The Mirada and view our photo galleries at


Page 2 • The Mirada

Friday, January 22, 2010

Rio wins mayor’s service award By ALEX KLEEMAN Mirada Staff

At a meeting commemorating Martin Luther King and rounding up his 2009 Volunteer Challenge, Mayor Kevin Johnson announced that Rio Americano High School won the three-month high school challenge with 6,250 hours of community service. Senior John Butterfield received the award on behalf of the high school. Butterfield took on the challenge of rounding up the students hours, scrambling to round them up just minutes before the deadline. "I gave forms to all the teachers, talked to service clubs, and lots of seniors did really cool projects," Butterfield said, regarding his preparation for the competition. The school was honored at a small ceremony at the Sheraton Grand on Monday along with other projects from the year of service. "Rio does lots of community service already, and we care about our community; we have driven students," Butterfield said. Another one of Rio's students was honored at the event. Junior Heaven Edwards won first place in Intel's spoken word/speech competition which commemorated Martin Luther King and inspired listeners to do commu-

nity service. "My speech was in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and everything he stood for," Edwards said. Heaven gave her winning speech at the ceremony at the Sheraton. "Speaking at Mayor Kevin Johnson's event was an amazing experience," Edwards said. "He is so driven to improve our community, and meeting him, let alone speaking at his event, is definitely something I won't soon forget." Butterfield won second place in the speech competition, meaning both first and second place came from Rio. Edward's firmly believes in Dr. King's ideas on volunteering. "Volunteering is the great link between people. It bridges social barriers and strengthens communities," Edwards said. "Dr. King believed the power of service is matched and I have to agree with this conviction." Students definitely had a "day on" this year's Martin Luther King Day.

Courtesy of Heaven Edwards

A Service Sampling Students participated in Run to Feed the Hungry in Nov. Kayloni Medina held a fundraising dinner for Effie Yaw Marrisa Ruxin organized a Sat. morning river trash cleanup The Annual AVID toy drive donated holiday gifts to kids

Junior Heaven Edwards poses with mayor Kevin Johnson at the closing ceremony for the Volunteer Sacramento Service Challenge on Monday. Rio was named top school in the region for community service hours and Edwards won the speech competition.

French student to live overseas for semester By ALEXIS SHEN Editor-in-Chief

Next Monday, junior Annie Breault will embark on a life-changing voyage. She will spend a semester studying in France. After researching a program she learned about from a friend last summer, she decided that she would spend her spring semester abroad. “My friend is in Spain right now, and he got me interested in studying abroad,” Breault said. “Another reason I decided to go was because I was friends with two exchange students last year.” Through the American Field Service (AFS), Breault will live with a family in MICHAEL MAHONEY/Mirada Staff Malemort-Sur-Correze outJunior Annie Breault starts packing for her side of Brive until Jul. 11. trip to France. She will leave on Jan. 25. For now, Breault is preparing herself for new long-run, Breault views her approachsurroundings, a different school, and ing experience as one that will not a language barrier. only give her a new point of view but Another concern is that it’s her will also help her in the future. “junior year which is supposed to be “Living with total strangers will the hardest year,” Breault said. help me adapt to new people,” Breault “Since I’m missing the entire secsaid. “I will have already gone through ond semester, I’ll have to make up a a college-like experience.” semester of U.S. History and English.” As she prepares for her trip, she But those are just short-term states that she will miss her family, her impediments, easily resolvable. In the friends and, of course, peanut butter.

ALEX MCFALL/Mirada Staff

Patrick Celestin discusses his Haitian heritage with seniors Nathan Swedlow, Ben Egan and sophomore Dylan Cartier during a fundraiser at Celestin’s restaurant downtown Tuesday.

Quake: Benefit concert planned From QUAKE, page 1

their feet as soon as possible.” Swedlow is coordinating a multi-band show that showcases local talent while simultaneously increasing awareness of the disaster and gathering funds, which will be forwarded to the Red Cross. “I’m trying to get representatives of the Red Cross to come,” he said. “So students can feel like their money is really going somewhere.” In addition to live music, Swedlow plans to invite local artists to sell their wares, with a portion of the proceeds going to Haitian relief. The show, slated near the end of Feb., will most likely be free. “But remember,” Swedlow said,

“this is a concert to benefit the country, so donation is strongly recommended.” Student activism comes at an appropriate time. The number of victims and lack of adequate facilities puts strong pressure upon aid workers, pressure which the campus’ efforts will help mitigate as soon as possible. Further donations will likely assist in the rebuilding of the tattered Haitian infrastructure. Many key locations, including the Presidential Palace and the National Cathedral, were destroyed, along with the main Parliament building, tax headquarters, and prison. “As much as possible should be done to help,” Swedlow said.

Neon dance preview It's time for the second casual dance of the year... and they're bringing back the neon! The Neon Dance is today, January 22, in the small gym from 8-11 p.m. "This dance is basically put on by the sophomore class as a general fundraiser," sophomore Publicity Officer Macey Peterson said. "It's gonna be bumpin'." There will be black lights all over the gym as there were at the Jack Scott Rally. It will be the first black light dance Rio has ever had. "It's going to be a super fun casual dance with awesome lights and glow in the dark decorations," sophomore class President Abby Malan said. Not only should the gym be decorated, but everyone who attends is encouraged to dress to the theme as well. "Everyone should come dressed up in neon or white so they can glow on the dance floor," Malan said. Student government will even be handing out glow sticks at the door. The music will be provided by Matt Doichman, the same DJ who did the Aloha Dance. "If you enjoyed Aloha then you will enjoy this dance," Peterson said. What better way to have fun and support your fellow peers? Let's "Let it Glow!" -Danielle Arbios

Action against UC tuition Students at the nine campuses of the University of California are taking action to fight the 32 percent increase in tuition. Over the past few months, mass demonstrations and protests have been held on UC campuses such as Davis, Berkeley, Los Angeles and Santa Cruz. Students marched on their own time, skipping classes to join the force to preserve what has been, since the 1960’s, a low cost, quality education. Many students devoted their December holiday to collecting signatures in support of an initiative that would liberate the State Legislature from its two-thirds vote requirement on budget and revenue issues. The initiative needs to have enough signatures by Apr. 15 for it to appear on the ballot for Nov. 2010. If it passes, it would become state law in the form of the California Democracy Act, which would implement a simple majority in the state Legislature to pass a budget and raise revenues. This would allow the University of California to receive more money from the state, which would prevent student fees from increasing again. In addition to this initiative, there is popular support among the campuses for a proposed bill by Assembly Majority Leader Alberto Torrico that would provide another way that UC and state universities could garner state money by taxing the oil companies for every barrel of oil that they extract in the state. The students will show that they truly mean business in early March when they will come to Sacramento to protest at the capitol.

-Abbie Jennings


Friday, January 22, 2010

Page 3 • The Mirada

Class assists English language learners By ELISE MARSH Mirada Staff

Imagine arriving in the United States, your future ahead of you. There are so many opportunities awaiting you, yet you barely speak English. Students from Nepal, Indonesia, the Philippines and Mexico who are working to make up this deficiency in Joshua Locke's English Language Learners Class. The year-long elective class is dedicated to providing students with additional support in the English language to become confident speakers, readers, and writers. "They learn the basic building blocks of English like phonetics and grammar," teacher Joshua Locke said. "They get a better grasp of the language and it helps them understand what's going on in their mainstream classes." The class meets everyday first period in Locke's room, A-9. In the class, grade level varies. Skill level also ranges from those just learning English to those who are fluent speakers, who gain extra assistance with reading and writing assignments from their regular English classes.

While there are currently only seven students in the class, there is a large number of students classified as English Language Learner students. "I know there is a large enough population to warrant the creation of another class," Locke said. But the students enrolled in the class find the English Language Learn-

We are here to support them and make sure they have a successful high school experience.

-Teacher Joshua Locke ers Program helpful. Locke said, "We have the opportunity to work on homework and projects one on one." On a typical day, students will read and analyze two-page stories from a textbook series called Edge or work on homework from their regular English classes. Regardless of how well the students speak English, they are all required to take a full course load like any other student.

But Locke described his students as motivated, "There are some days when I don't have to give them directions; they are already working on their own." For some students, learning English is especially important. "For those students very new to the country, they are very eager to learn because for them, language is the way for the to assimilate into the culture," Locke said. "We are here to support them and make sure they have a successful high school experience." The English Language Learners Program also prepares motivated individuals for educational opportunities after high school. "Many junior colleges have support programs so students can go through the two-year experience with that support," Locke said. "Then students have the ability to transfer from a two-year college into a four-year college after completing the requirements." Nevertheless, Locke finds the class rewarding. "They are very eager to learn, which makes it so much fun," he said.


Teacher Joshua Locke aids refugee student with his school work. This class is designed to help students learn the English language. The English Language Learners Program also makes students more successful in other classes as well.

Bhutanese refugees adjust to life in Carmichael An immigrant trying to become enrolled in public “Everyone wants to come here,” seschool here can typnior Kapilmohi Adhikari said. ically begin within Even though Adhiakari is new to 20 to 30 days after the school, he wasn’t talking about arrival. Rio. However, they Adhikari and his family, including must first complete three brothers and four sisters, imand English Placemigrated to the United States three ment Test and enmonths ago. sure immunizations Before coming here to escape reliare updated. gious persecution, Adhikari spent 17 Kapilmohi Adhikari and Yadhap Adhikari-Nepal are students from BhuLau said becomyears, almost his entire life, in a refu- tan who are in the English Language Learners Program. They are striving enrolled is, “A ing to learn English so they can be successful in their new country. gee camp in Nepal after his family fled normal process as if their farm in Bhutan, a small and isothey moved to a new employment opportunities, obtaining Social lated nation in southern Asia. district.” Hindus were forced to leave their farms Security numbers, getting the children into The English Language Learners class has in the Bhutanese mountains and settle else- school, and providing other forms of support helped Adhikari with his full course schedule. where; Adhikari’s family chose Nepal, a near- within the first six months of arrival. He gives two thumbs up fo teacher Joshua Resettlement Director of the International Locke, saying, “He teaches clearly; he’s good. by Asian country that is home to people of Rescue Committee, Rachel Lau said, “They Mr. Locke helps a lot.” diverse religions and cultures. Another Bhutanese refugee, freshman Yad- could no longer stay in their countries of oriFreshman Adhikari-Nepal found the envihap Adhikari-Nepal describes the world of the gin. They are coming here and rebuilding their ronment fascinating as soon as he first arrived lives.” refugee camp as difficult but not unbearable. in Sacramento. During a phone interview from her office “Some people are bad like here,” he said. Since then, he has enjoyed living here, but in San Jose, Lau continued to elaborate on a his family is finding it difficult to cope with the “Some people, not all.” While living in the camp with his fam- refugee’s experience when integrating into the new surroundings, he said. ily, including two sisters and one brother, culture. Likewise, Adhikari said he is happy he and “Adjustment can be very difficult and at the his family came here. Adhikari-Nepal witnessed arsonists set fire to same time very positive,” she said. neighbor’s houses. Adhikari explained his goals for his life in Even something as minor as sitting in a the United States. The environment was unstable, yet both chair can be difficult when you’ve been used to families persevered and survived. “In the next seasons, I want to get a chance Life changed for the families when they sitting on the floor. And a modern apartment to read here and go to college,” he said. “I wajoined 400 Bhutanese immigrants who came in Carmichael is not home when it doesn’t nat to be a family doctor.” have the security and tradition of a bamboo to live in Sacramento this past year. Adhikari is enthusiastic about his educaWhen immigrants arrive, the International dwelling in Nepal. tion; he feels “ready to learn.” He sees a bright But some changes are tasty, like soda pop, future ahead of him. Rescue Committee helps them resettle in California. The agency assists these refugees and stimulating, such as moving from class to by picking the family up at the airport, finding class throughout the day. By ELISE MARSH Mirada Staff

Political Situation in Bhutan

In 1988 Bhutan evicted many Lhotsampas, or Nepalese speaking residents. Though the actual number is unknown, Bhutanese reports claim 5,000 while refugee reports claim 100,000 These people were forced to move to refugee camps in Nepal and Sikkim. The number of people increased rapidly as the camps accepted anyone who claimed to be from Bhutan without further investigation. The United States offered to resettle 60,000 - 107,000 Bhutanese refugees that are now living in southeastern Nepal refugee camps. Australia, Canada, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark, and New Zealand have also volunteered to resettle these immigrants

Page 4 • The Mirada

New site plan to be put in action By DAYNA ISAACS Mirada Staff

A new“strategic site plan” is to be implemented . The goal? “Educating and inspiring each student to succeed and meet the challenges of the future through innovative programs and college preparatory curriculum,” Principal Brian Ginter said. Recently, 25 students, administrations, parents and community members met for a two day retreat to address goals and tactics for our school for the next four years. Objectives for the next four years include inspiring students to work harder in school and to acquire 21st century skills, like critical thinking and problem solving, collaboration and leadership and agility and adaptability. Fourteen different schools, including elementary and middle schools,

are participating in the program. Four action teams will be created and meet in Feburary through April to address how we are accomplishing the goals. Focus groups will also be established to check to ensure we are progressing toward our objectives. If students wish to get involved, they must contact Mr. Judge. Students could possibly become a part of an action team or focus group. Principal Brian Ginter is enthusiastic about our strategic site plan. He believes that the program will help bring students closer to the school community, allowing students to feel safer and more connected to teachers, thus, allowing them to perform better in school. “It’s a good idea for any organization or school to create a plan. Setting goals helps push you forward,” Ginter said.

Mission Rio Americano, a high school with proven academic excellence, will educate and inspire each student to succeed and meet the challenges of the future through innovative programs and college preparatory curriculum. Objectives

1. All students will acquire and apply 21st century skills by their graduation date.

2. Within three years we will increase by 15 percent the number of students in all subgroups who have completed A through G required courses.

3. Within three years there will be a 10 percent increase in the


The do-nothing summit Students see the threat of global climate change speeding toward them. Many of the world’s leaders do not. They were not prepared to make meaningful changes. For example, their proposals to reduce the carbon dioxide level would have actually increased it to 770 parts per million. The safe concentration is 350, and the level is currently 390. Much meaningful progress was hindered because of undemocratic tactics, such as excluding leaders of NGOs, according to Nnimmo Bassey, a prominent Nigerian environmentalist, and chair of Friends of the Earth International. He was invited to the conference and had the proper credentials, but security suddenly ordered him to leave, even though he had not made any disturbance, according to “Democracy Now!” on December 21, 2009. Furthermore, the attendees only

number of students who graduate with college credit.

4. All students will develop a sense of belonging to the Rio Americano community and will demonstrate character traits necessary to become contributing, responsible, and caring citizens.

5. We will increase the number of students earning grades of C or better by 10 percent per year. managed a mediocre non-binding agreement that the global temperature increase should be less than two degrees Celsius. However, they did not specify targets for cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The Copenhagen Accord is only a 12 page, initial, vague agreement to make global improvements with no specific instructions as to when and how they will take place. Only 27 countries made actual pledges to restrict their carbon dioxide emissions while the big industrialized countries, such as China, Britain and the U.S., made no such pledges. This is disappointing to some leaders because the world’s safety, particularly countries in lower latitudes, depends upon responsible leadership. As a result, the deadline for conclusion of the talks has been extended. They meet again in February in Mexico City and it is hoped the countries will come up with realistic proposals that will actually cut their greenhouse emissions. Some leaders doubt that this objective will ever be completed. There is fear that enthusiasm will die, and the necessary action will never take place.


Friday, January 22, 2010

Combo to compete in NYC

ALEX MCFALL/Mirada Staff

From left to right: juniors Jarett Tracy and Victor San Pedro, seniors Nathan Swedlow, Zach Darf and Zach Giberson and junior David Williams, members of Spaghett! strike a pose before they embark to New York City for the Mingus High School Jazz Competition.

By SARAH VAIRA Mirada Staff

The Jazz combo sextet Spaghett! will be packing their bags, and instruments, and heading to New York City for the 2010 Mingus High School Jazz Competition beginning on Feb. 14. Spaghett! features AM Jazz students Victor San Pedro on the guitar, David Williams on the piano, Jarrett Tracy on the drums, Zach Giberson on the alto sax, Zach Darf on the tener sax, and Nathan Swedlow on the bass. They have all played together and this year decided to team up and form a combo. The band is extremely excited and honored to be one of the three combo bands in the nation selected to compete. Apart from the compettion being located across the country, this jazz contest is different than anything they have ever played in before. "The competittion is all Mingus songs,” Victor San Pedro said, “with the spirit of Mingus, which is being innovative and adding your own style.” Charles Mingus was an influen-

tial twentieth century jazz muscian, bandleader, and composer. Mingus' syle of music is defined by spontaneity and improv. Competing bands and combos play not only Mingus' songs, but also are expected to add their own improvisition. "It's all about not having everything prepared but living in the spirit of the moment" San Pedro said Spaghett! plans to perform their own versions of Mingus’ songs, “Fables of Faubus”, “Goodbye PorkPie Hat” and “Oscar Pettiford.” “It’s controlled chaos,” San Pedro said. So how do you prepare for a competiton about not being prepared? "We learn to play off each other," Zach Giberson said, "not just the page." In order to play in this competition the band had to submit an admission tape. “Our band director said it would be a presitgious opportunity,” Giberson said, “We’ve been learning about Charles Mingus so it seemed

appropriate for us.” Although the Spaghett! participates in school festivals, they operate completly on their own, practing at least once a week for this upcoming competition.

Meet Spaghett! Victor San Pedro 11 -Guitar David Williams 11 -Piano Jarrett Tracy 11 -Percussion Zach Giberson 12 -Alto Sax Zach Darf 12 -Tener Sax Nathan Swedlow 12 -Bass

Friday, January 22, 2010


Page 5 • The Mirada

Pregnancy panel visits health class All About

By SARAH VAIRA Mirada Staff

Students of Nicole Brashear’s health class were given the insight of what it’s truly like to be 16 and pregnant. Classes were visited by the Teen Pregnancy Panel Prevention Program from Sierra Nueva High School, an alternative high school for teen parents. The panel was made up of three teen mothers who shared their stories about the difficulties and realities of being pregnant, giving birth and most importantly being a parent. One of the panel members, Brittiny Mann 18, spoke about her horrific three day labor while Sabrina Rasmunssen 17, another panel member, described how she hid her pregnancy from her family. No matter how different these stories were, the three girls shared the same message. “To wait to have kids until you’re ready,” Rasmunssen said, “and to make sure you have someone that will stay by your side.” “And use protection.” Kaysdria Johnson said. “Wait to have sex, and be on birth control as a back up.” Brittiny Mann said.

The panel travels to different middle and high schools in the Sacramento area hoping to spread community awareness of the realities of teen pregnancy and parenting. Ultimately they want others to learn from their situations. “I like being able to have an impact on peoples’ lives,” Johnson said, “Hopefully they’ll listen.” Apart from making a difference, they also warn on the difficulties of caring for a child. “I like to help realize that having babies young is hard.” Rasmunssen said. During their visit some students eagerly asked questions about the whole experience of being and becoming parents. Others asked about how they are maintaining their social life and getting an education. “My life pretty much revolves around taking care of my son, and taking care of me,” Mann said. Most girls commented on the differences between their lives with and without having a child. “I used to go out with my friends and party, but now I don’t have much of a social life anymore,” Rasmunssen said. The demands of being a teen par-

Sierra Nueva Continuation High School Established in 1975 in order to provide expectan and parenting students and opportunity to continue their education in a supportive enviornment.

SARAH VAIRA/Mirada Staff

The panel talks to Ms. Brashear’s health classes about preventing teen pregnancy.

ent became apparent when the girls had to leave the panel discussion in sixth period early in order to pick up their children from the child care center at their school. However after the panel left, their presence was still felt. Students commented on the impact of talking to people their age that carried the responsibility of another life. “It’s hard to believe the life they used to have and how everything now is surrounded around their baby,” Mattie Doani, sophomore said. Others admired the girls’ strength,

maturity, and willingness to talk and take questions about an experience that could be considered by society as shameful. “It’s really kind of brave of them to open up,” Ms. Brashear, health teacher said. Ultimately the panel’s message of prevention was sent out loud and clear. “I learned how to make smart choices,” Emily Ramazzini, sophomore said.

Newpapers look to uncertain future By ABBIE JENNINGS Mirada Staff

Problem: Newspapers are going belly up. Subscriptions are declining, and most of the revenue is spent on printing and delivery, not on journalists. Solution: On-line newspapers. Because most newspapers now have websites where the public can read them for free, subscriptions have declined. This results in fewer ads, which results in less revenue, and many newspapers have downsized or gone out of business. In the media world, therefore, the rush is on for e-newspapers. But what about the school newspaper in the Rio community? There is no question that Rio Raiders are loyal to their own printed newspaper. Take Sara Dunn, Rio’s high school secretary, for example. She believes that having a printed version of the paper is essential for students. “I think it’s a really great tool to get across what our school community is about. Sitting (at my desk) I don’t get a global picture (of Rio..)” Dunn, a faithful reader of the printed version, has never accessed the online Mirada. Furthermore, she would not support an e-paper, a complete online version. But a real techie, like teacher Curt Casazza, does not entirely object to

The online Mirada, seen in a screen shot from, does not draw as many readers as the print edition.

regular online reading. Casazza believes he would like the idea of an online Mirada better in one way: he could avoid the distraction of the large advertisements. But the general consensus of students is that they like to hold and look at the school newspaper right when it comes out. As senior Allie Jennings observes, “The Mirada would not really be a school newspaper if it was only online. A school newspaper is meant to be read at school so you can talk to your

friends and teachers about the articles as soon as they come out. Only faculty and staff would be able to read the online paper at school.” But it is not just Mirada readers that prefer a printed school paper. Senior Alex Reinnoldt, an editor-in-chief and website editor of the paper agrees. “(The online Mirada) has the potential to reach more people. Not all students bring the paper home, (so) parents can go online. (But) I don’t think as many people would read (The Mirada) if it was just online. Person-

ally, I like turning the pages and having something printed.” But as costs go up and subscriptions down, an on-line only newspaper “may certainly be in the future” for local papers, like the Sacramento Bee, says Scott Lebar, assistant managing editor for the “Our Region” section. But even though it’s cheaper, if people don’t read it, then there will still not be enough money to hire independent journalists, the quality of the paper will go down, there will be even fewer readers, and eventually even an e-paper could disappear. Lebar’s real concern is for the community itself. The local paper is the “connective tissue” that brings the fragmented society together, opines Lebar. The daily paper publishes the press releases of its local organizations to let people know, not only what their leaders are doing, but what their own neighbors are planning and shaping. It publishes letters to the editor, so that ordinary, literate people can discuss the issues and share unique perspectives. Without a local paper, people will not only be unable to make informed decisions, they will become less civilized, cautions Lebar. He is not too worried yet though. The light still burns at The Bee--as it does at The Mirada.

The school provides students with regular academic classes as well as expectant/parenting education. Students attend Sierra Nueva six periods per day, A child care center is an integral part of the school providing infant/toddler care and parenting experience for the students. However due to district wide budget cuts this school will be closing at the end of this school year.

Would you read the Mirada if it were only on line?

Marissa Ruxin, 12 “I wouldn’t be as tempted to read articles if The Mirada was just online.”

Fugi Tang, 10 “Nobody bothers to go online. I would not like just an online Mirada.”

Madison Lisle, 11 “I like having the newspaper at school because you can hear other students’ opinions about different articles.”


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Friday, January 22, 2010

Page 7 • The Mirada

Beauty and the beastly morning routine Reporter takes own make-up exam: Why do girls spend so much time, money on their appearance? By JESSICA DYATLOV Mirada Staff

Miranda wakes up 6 a.m. and chooses her outfit for the day, which typically this time of year is yoga pants, Uggs, a thermal tee and a sweater. It only takes a few minutes to get dressed. However, doing her hair and makeup is another story. In an interview, Miranda (who asked that her real name not be used) revealed that she spends about 30 minutes straightening her hair, and 20 minutes putting on makeup such as mascara, eye-liner, foundation, powder, bronzer and blush. Based on a non-scientific survey of 60 girls (15 from each class) at Rio Americano, Miranda is a typical example of how much time girls spend on makeup. When I started researching this article I thought about my own makeup. Like the girls I interviewed, I couldn’t really say why I wear makeup. It takes up so much time and money for what I have considered to be a necessity of mine for a few years now. So I decided to go around school and ask 60 girls how much time they spend putting makeup on and getting dressed for school, and asked why they felt the need to put so much effort into their looks. Only 15 percent of the 60 surveyed girls claimed not to wear makeup. Some, if not most of the answers, were shocking. Beauty preparation time ranged from 10 minutes to an hour and a half. The average amount of time spent getting ready was 30 minutes. At the end of the school week, that is two and a half hours solely dedicated to getting ready for school. Time that could have been spent doing other things, such as sleeping in. The prices of the make-up used were also researched. Prices ranged from $10-$65 per month. The average was approximately $30 per person. That however, only covers the cost of powder. It does not include primer, foundation, mascara, eyeliner, bronzer, blush, eye shadow and other things that may not be replenished every month. Thirty minutes a day and expensive make-up might seem outrageous to some, yet most girls view it as a necessity.

with themselves without all that stuff.” About 130 hours a year to get ready for the day is an awful lot of time to be unsure of what my real motive for all that effort is really for. So I started to wonder if I took all this time because there is so much pressure from society to be considered “pretty.” In search of the answer for my troubling question, I decided to go to someone who had much more experience in the field of makeup and appearances for society. Leah Grogan writes about fashion, including make up, for the Sacramento Bee. “I’m 52, and I wasn’t even close to worrying about makeup and hair when I was in high school,” she said. “Yes, it was more than 30 years ago, but I believe [this generation] is influenced greatly by what we’re exposed to. That includes TV, pop culture, magazines, celebrities, etc. As for young women, you’d have to live in a cave not to be exposed to all of it - and be influenced by it.” But a women who makes a living writing Courtesy of Kate Lucas/MCT about fashion also didn’t think girls should igthey look. If a girl was known only for being really really nore“Ihow don’t think it’s wrong to worry about your attractive just because of her make-up, everyappearance,” Grogan said. “It’s about taking care of yourself. I wish I knew 30 years ago what I thing she has going for her can be washed know now about using sunscreen, eating better, away. getting plenty of sleep and exercise. Good skin, good hair comes from a healthy lifestyle, not a — Michael Whiting, 12 bottle of makeup.” After all my work, I decided that using makeup is probably always going to be a factor in my However when some teenage girls were pre- who they are. Make-up doesn’t make one smart- life and overall, I think it’s okay to use makeup as sented with the statistics and asked why they er, funnier, nicer, etc. long it’s for the right reasons. Even cheerleaders, who have to live up to wear make-up, most drew a blank just like I did Not to attract guys, not to make impressions, and could not really come up with an answer for ridiculous stereotypes, would still be great per- and not to feed society’s pressures that drive peoformers without their bronzer and mascara. a few minutes. ple insane over their appearances. “I don’t think girls need as much make-up as “I don’t know, I guess I like to have certain I want to use makeup for one person-me. So features, like my eyes, pop out,” freshman Katey they use,” senior Michael Whiting said. “If a girl when I go out I can feel good about the fact I was known only for being really really attractive take care of myself and don’t feel as lazy as I look Purcell said. “It doesn’t make me look so plain.” I know how Katey feels. But I sometimes just because of her make-up, everything she has when I roll out of bed at the early mornings of going for her can be washed away.” wonder why does it matter to me how I look? school days. Then I thought that even if wearing makeup Is it to impress someone? To out-do my felHowever, it shouldn’t require sacrificing was just to get a guy to like me for my appear- hours of sleep and should be balanced with exerlow peers? Some of the people we see everyday will ances, I obviously would only be attracting the cise and healthy food. never see us again after we leave school. And the wrong guy. From now on, I’ll sleep in the extra 15 minWhy would I want to attract guys who only utes and only take as much time as I personally people we see at a school of 1800 students will only remember us by our yearbook picture in less look for if I’m hot or not? think I need. “Part of the problem with girls wearing a lot than five years. Regardless the reason, the fact is, make-up of make-up is it objectifies women and adds to their degradation,” senior Zach Darf said. “Perdoes not really change a person. With or without make-up, girls will still be sonally, I appreciate girls that are comfortable

Page 8 • The Mirada


Friday, January 22, 2010

A day at the mountains, great for boarders and skiers alike


ake up at 6 a.m. In the Mercury Mountaineer by 6:15. Drive for an hour and a half. Put on all my gear, get the tickets at Sierra At Tahoe as quickly as possible, and hop on the first lift of the day. This is a typical morning for me when I go snowboarding. After only minimal sleep the night before, the long car ride feels like it lasts for days instead of hours. My family and I get through Placerville, and then I know the trek up the mountain will soon begin. I try to keep my eyes shut and focus on relaxing so I don't get too motion sick--"Hopefully I won't throw up like last time," I think to myself. Finally we've made it to the right turn into the resort without any puking, and I couldn't be any happier. I start gathering my things to put in my jacket and wake myself up for an amazing day. The snow looks absolutely perfect, like a thick, glittering white blanket over all of Sierra At Tahoe. I lace up my boots, put on my helmet, jacket, goggles, and gloves, grab my snowboard and I'm already off to the chair lift. I see skiers hobbling by me as I walk quickly past, and think to myself, "Thank God I snowboard and don't have to wear those awful boots anymore!" I love how my boots actually move with my feet, instead of staying in the same rigid position all the time. Riding down the first run of the day after a big storm had just hit the night before, I can't help but feel I'm floating on air. I make turns down the hill, the only person leaving my mark in the freshly lain powder. As I make my way down to the bottom of the lift, the sun starts to peek through the thin grey clouds, and I know it will be an even greater day. Snowboarding, which has been an all-time favorite pastime of mine for a while now, is something I've been doing age 11. I skied before that, starting at age four. However, snowboarding has obviously taken reign over skiing. Though the falls are harder, and I have to unstrap and re-strap every time I go up and down the mountain, it's worth it. Skiers, unfortunately, don't get the same effect when they ski in powder as snow boarders do. When you board, you glide on the snow like you're flying; you can fall and make turns on the steepest slopes on your board that you normally couldn't. It's a feeling you can only get when you've experienced it. I’ve worked hard this morning, snowboarding since 8 a.m., so it's time to take an early lunch. I ravenously eat my cheeseburger and french fries, down my Gatorade, and head straight to the lifts again. The lines are shorter, just like I hoped they would be, because everyone is just beginning their lunch break now. Though many of the slopes have cut up powder on them, it's still possible to go on the far sides of the run and get those last few feet of powder that no one has ridden through yet. I keep making my turns, savoring this flawless day. After a mid-afternoon break and more boarding until Sierra closes at 4 p.m., I'm extremely tired and I collapse in the car once my family and I start making our way back home. A good day of snowboarding like this is something I won't forget for a long time.

- Danielle Arbios


y alarm clock buzzes at 11:00 a.m. I roll out of bed, eager to spend the remainder of the day on the slopes. Staying for the weekend in Tahoe has its undeniable advantages. After scarfing down a package of Pop Tarts and throwing on my snow gear, I am ready for a half-day at the Squaw Valley Ski Resort. The forecast? Fifty-five degrees and sunny, which means I'll need sunscreen to avoid getting fried. I apply some SPF 30 to my face and snatch my skis, leaving my snowboard behind. My family and I take the fifteen-minute drive to Squaw Valley. Then comes the hardest part of the day: waddling in my ski boots for a good quarter-mile, skis and poles cradled in my arms. I am relieved when I finally reach the lift ticket sensors. With my season pass in my pocket, I step beside the sensor and the beeping turnstile automatically lets me through. I have reached the Funitel, a mini-gondola, that I must take in order to reach the chair lifts at the top of the mountain. Soon enough, I am waddling once more out of the building until I am able to drop my skis flat into the snow. I step toe-first into my bindings until I hear the click, meaning my boots are locked in place on my skis. I simply place my poles in both of my hands, too lazy to wrap the black straps around, and race downward to the lift. It's noon, and I am able to soar through the empty lift line with the majority of skiers and boarders gone at lunch. The roaring high-speed lift sounds like a wind tunnel, as it detaches itself to slow in order to make loading and unloading easier. I am almost at the top of the hill, but the lift slowly eases into a stop. Great. A twelve-yearold boy on the chair in front of me has fallen head-first into the snow the second he stood up from the chair lift. I painfully wait for two minutes until the lift re-starts, just ten feet away from the top of the run. The boy begins fastening his board, right in the middle of the unloading area, though the chair lift employee is quick to tell him to do so elsewhere. He crawls out of the way on his hands and knees. The Squaw employee restarts the lift, and my chair finally inches toward the summit. I glide off the lift, making a sharp right to avoid the obstacle course of other fallen snow boarders. Whizzing past the boarders, I feel powerful on my skis; my continuous pattern of quick carving down the hill and shooting to the front of the lift line never has to be interrupted by the fastening and unfastening of my boot. I am relieved to have chosen skiing on this warm day; I feel sorry for the sweaty boarders, working hard to learn how to turn and also having to cope with the constant falling. As I carve down the freshly-groomed mountain, the edges of my skis slice through the snow. The whoosh sounds I create are a consistent rhythm, sounding like a basketball swishing through a net. I see my sister already at the bottom of the hill. I put my skis together in the "french fry" position and ski straight down the end of the run. I make an instant "hockey stop" before the lift line, spraying my irritated sister with a shower of snow. After four straight hours of skiing and about ten runs, I notice a Squaw chair lift employee placing the sign "LIFT CLOSED" at the front of the line. It's 4:00 p.m. It's time to hop back into the car, eat, and repeat for tomorrow.

- Dayna Isaacs

Illustration by Alex Kleemann Photos courtesy of Derek Sup


Friday, January 22, 2009

Page 9 • The Mirada

Rio alumni to play for Philly soccer team By EUGENE KWON Mirada Staff

Though many students dream to become professional athletes, few succeed in obtaining this goal. Among those many dreamers, Rio Americano 2009 graduate Amobi Okugo was recently drafted as the 6th pick to play soccer professionally for The Philadelphia Union soccer team. Okugo aspired to become a professional soccer player for years and is ecstatic that he reached his goal so quickly after high school as a freshman at UCLA. Although his skill as a mid-fielder is incomparable, he did not realize he was going to become a professional athlete so quickly. He has been playing since he was just three years old, and was first recognized at a young age playing for his competitive and Olympic Development Program. As a sophomore, Okugo was invited to the Under 17 National Residency Program, a soccer development program specialized for young elite athletes. He spent his sophomore and part of his junior year involved in this

program. "Living in Florida was chill. We played soccer everyday and it was fun meeting new friends and playing the sport I love," Okugo said. This recruitment should not come as a surprise, Okugo's good fortune isn't anything new. He was a three time National Soccer Coaches Association(NSCAA)All-American and got recruited by UCLA, Santa Clara, and Stanford to name a few. He ended up at UCLA with a full ride scholarship. Amid Okugo's recent fortune, he and his family were skeptical of what was happening. "At first my family was hesitant, but afterward when everything was settled, they were really excited," Okugo said. Now, Amobi Okugo is a nationally recognized soccer athlete. Okugo, who was originally a transfer student from Jesuit High School, currently attends UCLA. Although he attended Rio Americano for his senior year, he did not play for Rio's team, but for the National U19 Team, frequently traveling abroad for games. "My favorite thing is that I get to travel all around the world playing the sport that I love," Okugo said. Receiving overwhelming support from friends and family, Okugo is now leaving UCLA to play soccer in Philadelphia. Despite his departure from UCLA, Okugo will be taking online classes supervised by his academic counselor from UCLA. In addition, his contract from the Philadelphia Union will pay for his college tuition when he decides to return to finish school. In addition to his incomparable soc-


cer skills, Okugo is also quite the scholar, and is pursuing a future in economics and business. Okugo states that this will be his backup plan when he cannot play soccer anymore, which he also states will never happen. Although Okugo is now a professional soccer athlete, he does realize his new responsibilities. "I will have to live on my own and pay taxes (just a part of growing up I guess)," Okugo said. As well to Okugo's fortune, he is also sponsored by Adidas, taking part in their 12-player Generation adidais program for 2010. Okugo, who was once the Captain of the U.S. National U19s and now the U20s team, has many aspirations to move forward in his career as a professional athlete. It is clear that his hard work and steadfast love for the sport has made his dreams of becoming a professional athlete come true. Regarding the future, Okugo plans to pursue his goal of competing on the National American team for the FIFA World Cup. -Sarah Vaira and Alex Kleemann contributed to this article.

Courtesy of UCLA BRUINS media guide

Rio alumni Amobi Okugo dribbles the soccer ball down the field for his college team, the Bruins.

Varsity boys rebound from Jesuit loss with strong league play By JESSICA OBERT Mirada Staff

The basketball season is slowly coming to a close, and though the team has dealt with some losses, they are still maintaining a positive outlook for the rest of the season. Despite the fact that they lost, they had one of the toughest pre-season schedules in the section. “I think that we have done pretty well so far,” junior Kevin Barlow said. “I think we were ranked with like the 8th toughest schedule or something, and we have played respectably.” Looking back on the season, the Varsity team has done well, winning 11 out of their 17 games (as of Jan. 20), while also taking into consideration that they are such a young team with 7 out of their 11 players being juniors. “Regarding the Jesuit game, I think we played very well,” Barlow said. “Jesuit was supposedly the best team in the area, and we weren’t even ranked in the top 20. To lose by 2 was a great accomplishment by us. I still feel we could’ve won, as we made some mis-

takes like in every other game. The Jack Scott tourney didn’t go as well as they would have liked. “In regards to the Jack Scott tournament, I think we should’ve played better,” Barlow said. “I think we only were able to get third place because it was so early in the season, and we are such a young team. We went up against more experienced teams, and we weren’t quite ready for them unfortunately.” With the season ending mid-Feb. they are hoping to get a home game in play-offs. “We really want to make it to sections and play on Arco,” senior Masson Prowse said. “But first our main thing is just winning league, then taking it game by game in playoffs to get to that point.” “We are hoping to go undefeated in league that way we can get at least one home game in playoffs,” Barlow said. Not only was the Jesuit game memorable, but the Rocklin game was also important as well. “I would say the most memorable moment was the Rocklin game. Rock-

lin was in the top 10 teams in the area and we still weren’t ranked,” Barlow said. “As a team, we played very well, and everything was flowing. The buzzer beater shot to win the game was an extreme thrill and definitely added to the fuel that our team has.” Also, for the rest of the season, some of the most anticipated games include El Camino and Del Campo. “I’m looking forward to the El Camino game since we haven’t beat El Camino in six years,” junior David Deloney said. “Every game is important as they are all league games,” Coach Chris Jones said. “We haven’t won league since 2001-2002, so Del Campo and Bella Vista at home, coming up, will be big.” With goals of improvement and making the playoffs on their minds, they are hoping for a good end to the season and the support from the Rowdy Raiders and student body. MOLLY INGRAM/Mirada Staff

Senior Masson Prowse drives the basketball to the basket in the Jack Scott Tournament.

s d r a w A e c i o h C Rio Best and Worst of the Decade 1. ARTIST OF THE DECADE Beyonce. She has the best music video ever. Of all time. 2. MOVIE SERIES OF THE DECADE The Harry Potter series. Not as exciting as the newest novel release, but the midnight showings were filled with magic. 3. INVENTION OF THE DECADE iPod/iPhone. Now there isn’t any reason why you can’t talk, text, listen to music and play Scrabble with your friends all from the same device. 4. TV SHOW OF THE DECADE Friends. I’ll be there for you. 5. FAIL OF THE DECADE George Bush. You get the idea. 6. ATHLETE OF THE DECADE Michael Phelps. Even though he’s been caught using illegal substances, we still love him anyways. 7. KINGS PLAYER OF THE DECADE Chris Webber. If he didn’t hurt his knee, he would’ve been a super star. 8. MOST SIGNIFICANT EVENT OF THE DECADE The September 11 terrorist attacks. The nationwide tragedy that marked the beginning of the war against the terrorist groups of Afghanistan.









Best and Worst of 2009


3 15


16 12

8. BEST MOVIE The Hangover. Four friends on the bachelor trip of a lifetime get more than they bargain for in this hilarious flick. 9. BEST FAIL Kanye West. “Ima let you finish.” 10. HOTTEST MALE CELEBRITY Taylor Lautner. This New Moon hottie had everyone switching to Jacob’s team. 11. HOTTEST FEMALE CELEBRITY Jessica Alba. Known for her beach body and talent on the big screen, Alba defeated Transformers star Megan Fox for Rio’s hottest female celeb. 12. FAVORITE JONAS NONE. We hate all of them. 13. BEST SONG Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok”. The song started out as an iTunes free New Music Tuesday download and climbed to the top of the charts. 14. BEST TELEVISION SERIES The Office. This witty series makes a genre of its own with documentary-style comedy. 15. BREAKOUT OF THE YEAR Lady Gaga. ‘Just Dance’ to her popular songs like “Bad Romance” and “Poker Face”. She’s captured people’s attention with her unforgettable outfits and talent. 16. SOMEONE WE ALL LOVE TO HATE Miley Cyrus. How do you move your hips like “yeah”? Her split personality isn’t really the best of both worlds. 17. BEST SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE Facebook. We all ‘like’ this website. 18. BEST FASHION TREND Uggs/moccasins. Going into a classroom, you can often see at least half the girls wearing these warm and trendy shoes. 19. WORST FASHION TREND Crocs. They’re just a no-no. 20. NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION To actually do a new year’s resolution. Just like schoolwork, we procrastinate on this too. 21. YOUR FAVORITE WAY TO CHAT WITH SOMEONE Texting. It beat out talking in person. Ouch. 22. BEST WAY TO PROCRASTINATE FROM HOMEWORK Sleeping. You can never get too many zzzzz...

Page 12 • The Mirada


Friday, January 22, 2010


4540 American River Dr. Sacramento, CA 95864 (916) 971-8921 ext. 80 Editors-in-Chief Alex Reinnoldt Molly Ingram Alexis Shen Alex McFall News Editors Sarah Vaira Abigail Jennings Opinion Editors Jessie Shapiro Alex Chan Sports Editors Alex Kleemann Jessica Obert Features Editors Christian Oldham Tate Rountree Photo Editor Alex McFall Staff Writers Suzanna Akins Danielle Arbios Riva Ballis Jesse Bartels Brendan Cabe Dylan Cartier Lindsay Dehm Jessica Dyatlov Gina Garibaldi Jarett Hartman Thomas Hemington Alli Henderson Dayna Isaacs Evan Kubicki Eugene Kwon Scott MacDonald Elise Marsh Tandena Nelson Rohith Sachdeva Rebecca Sanford Cady West Business Manager Molly Ingram Adviser Michael Mahoney The Mirada is the independent voice of the students and a forum for diverse ideas published by Rio Americano’s newspaper class. The Mirada welcomes story ideas, comics, letters to the editor and opinion pieces. Submit articles and letters to the box in A3 or the main office. Unsigned editorials represent the views of the Mirada editorial board. Opinion articles and letters to the editor are the views of the individual writer and not necessarily the views of the Mirada or Rio Americano High School. We welcome advertising, but reserve the right to refuse any ad.

Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/MCT In the Petionville neighborhood, men look for lost family in the rubble of their home in earthquake-ravaged Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Thursday, January 14, 2010.

DESPERATION DRIVES DONATIONS Buildings shattering to the ground. Families tearing apart. Orphaned children searching desperately for their mothers. Siblings watching in agony as rescue workers lift their brothers from the rubble of a catastrophe. This is the scene occurring in Haiti right now. We Americans are sitting at home, enjoying the luxuries of a warm cup of hot chocolate after a delicious, home-cooked meal. Haitian families are roaming the streets, seeking any help they can find after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake demolished the capital city of Port au Prince. Relief workers have arrived from every corner of the world, offering assistance to the ailing Haitian community. Celebrities, nonprofit organizations, and doctors are sending everything they can, from money to medical supplies. Yet somehow, this is not enough. Experts estimate that the death toll in Haiti will reach an astounding 200,000 people. In a country where nearly two-thirds of the

OUR VIEW people are unemployed, local Haitians are struggling to cope with both the physical and emotional damages of the earthquake. Whether or not you believe our government donating money in a time of American economic crisis, we can all agree that Haiti needs help. If you’re sitting at home and joining a Facebook group that “supports the victims of the earthquake” while promising to wear red on a certain day, realize that as nice as these actions may make you feel, you aren’t rebuilding Haiti. We can guarantee you that the afflicted, distraught people of Haiti aren’t “liking your status,” nor are they interested in the red socks you’ve hidden beneath your Uggs. Right now, Haiti needs more than just publicity; it needs every single person moved by their tragedy to try and make an actual difference. However, the struggling Haitians do not expect

you to know exactly how to help, but that’s where we come in. If you’re looking for a quick way to donate money without even the purchase of a stamp, you can text “Haiti” to the Red Cross at 90999 to contribute $10 to the International Relief Fund. You can also share the items at home that you take for granted. UNICEF is accepting donations of blankets, toothpaste, canned food and other basic products you’d find anywhere from your local drug store to your own pantry. You can even donate right here at school. On Friday February 27, senior Nathan Swedlow is hosting a benefit concert in support of Haiti in order to collect as many donations as possible. But most importantly, don’t forget that the crisis in Haiti won’t disappear within a few months. Like Hurricane Katrina and other natural disasters before it, it will take years to recover after a devastating tragedy. Do as much as you can now and in the years to come to help a small country overcome such a largescale loss.

We’ve taken initiative! KayKay Witherow, 9 “I’m donating money through my French class.”

Ellie Hund, 10 “I texted the Red Cross number and donated 10 dollars to help buy supplies for the people who need medical supplies.”

Emily Hsu, 11 “Recently when I went to Raley’s to buy donuts, I noticed a small box on the cashier counter that donates money to Haiti! So every time I buy my donuts I donate my left over change.”

Aaron Soskin, 12 “I recently informed my Jewish Youth Group about what is going on in Haiti in order to help spread awareness.”


Friday, January 22, 2010 SCOTT MACDONALD

Lil Wayne: a horrible musician or a secret genius?


he answer is... both. The rampant popularity of “rapper” Lil Wayne can most definitely be attributed to the mass-media manipulation of the exceedingly palpable minds of the hebetudinous public. He knows that all of the “music” he grunts out is absolutely terrible, but that doesn’t seem to stop hordes of people from buying his CDs; 4.5 million of them. For those happy few of you who are unacquainted with the aural atrocities he has inflicted on the general public since 1997, here’s an example of one of his lyrics, “Who dat one dat do dat boy y’all knew dat true dat swallow.” It just doesn’t make sense. It’s like a dyslexic chimp with no eyes was let loose on a keyboard, coming up with complete gibberish. Another typical Wayneism is “I wear red like roses, Go against me and you be dead like roses, Spittin’ at yo head for the bread like toasters”. That’s right. He just rhymed “roses” with “roses”. Fail. And yet, Lil Wayne continues to become more prevalent in popular culture as he can be heard in tracks with other pop icons like Taylor Swift, Beyoncé, and Ludacris. Decent rappers, like Atmosphere, who actually write well-thought out, meaningful lyrics, a feat which “Weezy” seems completely unable to accomplish, are rare these days. Until recently, Lil Wayne was addicted to a substance known to him as “Purple Drank”, or, cough syrup. The influence of cough syrup can be seen in his older lyrics, although it is unknown at this point whether lasting syrupinflicted brain damage is causing his current mental state. How stupid does Lil Wayne think we are? Will the “waynification” of society continue unchecked? How can this charlatan be worth between 55 and 75 million dollars? Oh, also, you, that’s right, you, read the raider quiz. I hear it’s mildly amusing. So I guess in the end, what I’m trying to say is: He’s terrible. He knows he’s terrible. He thinks it’s funny people actually buy his albums. But he’s still filthy rich. I’d call that a win on his part.

Page 13 • The Mirada

2012: World’s end or mental trend? By GINA GARIBALDI & THOMAS HEMINGTON Mirada Staff

Earthquakes, buildings crumbling; mankind as we know it, gone. This is the overview for one of the latest blockbusters “2012.” Directed by Roland Emmerich. “2012” is not a typical disaster story. The Earth begins to change scientifically stirring havoc among the human race, where only the fittest survive. Although this seems to follow a common plot line, it arises the question, will or could this ever happen? Similar to many cliche “end of the world” theories, there are writings and myths that give basis to support this prediction, however them being legitimate facts is in question. “I’ve heard of the Mayans predicting things about 2012,” said junior Madi Burton, “But I’ve never believed them.” The Mayan civilization was VANESSA LOGSDON/Guest Artist

known for their skills in astrology, mathematics, as well as their uncanny ability to measure exact time. Creating an intricate and extremely accurate calendar which predicted many events throughout history, the Mayan Calendar ends on December 12, 2012. Although people speak of this day to be the end of everything, the Mayans never actually predicted any ending. Just an end to their calendar. Though this may suggest an “ending”, there are no substantial facts to support this crazy notion. “I think it’s total malarky,” said junior Christian Haugen. “How could the world all just go poof?” There may be instead, a big change, and so do many other people. The world has been here for over four billion years, why would we end now? It’s ridicu-

lous to think this is true. Not only have we been more alert about what we’re doing to our environment, but as a whole we’ve taken a lot more steps to protect it than in the past. We’re actually taking care of our world, less carbon dioxide, and waste. The world is a lot more technologically advanced, where we can measure the heat of the Earth and know what’s going on in our atmosphere. So far, we haven’t got word of any “danger” coming our way in 2012. No asteroids, black holes, or major upsets in the Earths core. However, contrary to us “non-believers” some are actually preparing for this catastrophe. “I’m so prepared that I’ve already built a fort in my backyard for the end of the world,” said senior Alan Eyster.

ALEX MCFALL/Mirada Staff The senior bathroom is a picture of destruction after school on Monday, Dec. 14. Paper towels miss the trash can and end up on the floor. The lack of hot water in the sinks has students rubbing their hands together for hours to keep warm during the chilly winter mornings.

Danger: beware of the horrific bathrooms By ELENA TOWNSEND Guest Writer

There is always that one class at the end of the day where you are bouncing in your seat because you have to pee so badly. When you finally get the chance to go, you prepare yourself for a wild adventure. As you first walk into the bathroom, you pull your sleeve over your hand, preparing for the awful smell of hundreds of people going in and out everyday, or the scent of perfume masking the toxic smell of cigarettes that loom. I know I’m not the only one who experienced this, yet it seems that ev-

ery time you have to “go,” you walk into the bathroom and push every door open, looking to find the cleanest stall; one with no pee on the seat, a roll of toilet paper, and a flushed toilet. It hasn’t even been a year since the bathrooms have been remodeled, and the locks on the doors are already broken. Once you find that one good stall you looking around for a toilet seat cover, but heaven forbid there are none because the administration says we don’t have these privileges. Apparently students use too many toilet seat covers and use them to clog the toilet. So you use strips of toilet paper instead. Honestly, we are high-schoolers.

We act like adults. We flush the toilet, use one seat cover, not 10. We wipe the seat off when we’re done. After you’re finished doing your business you walk out and prepare yourself for the watered down soap and freezing water. The district is trying to prevent swine flu, yet they are making us use watered down soap. I doubt that’s going to protect us. So you wash you’re hands as fast as you can because you can hardly stand the cold water and you reach over to the towel dispenser, where there are no towels. You walk over with you’re drip-

ping wet hands to the other dispenser where there’s only so much paper left and finally dry your hands. Finally the worst is over, until you walk out and the temperature outside is so low that your already cold hands get even colder. And in the end, you wish you had waited until you got home to go to the bathroom. Do people treat their own bathrooms like this? Is there something about a public restroom that makes you turn into an animal? Honestly, why don’t you just have some courtesy for your fellow students, and keep the bathrooms clean. Is it really that hard?


Page 14 • The Mirada

Friday, January 22, 2010


Irked by Urban Outfitters



Individualizing English into an Elective By TANDENA NELSON Mirada Staff

In high school we are preparing for our future lives. At least, that is what we are supposed to be doing. We aren’t identical, and the choice of classes in high school should reflect that. What is easy for one student may be a nightmare for another, and what one student finds interesting may put another to sleep. Not everyone should have to take AP Biology, Calculus, Graphic Art 4 or French 4. Most of the classes are already like this: Math is optional after Algebra 2, History changes the subject material each year, Science is divided into three areas, and of course electives are, well, elective. English stands out for not having many options. Why does every student have to take four years of English, when every year the curriculum is so very similar? After looking at the English standards I was amazed at how so much in the descriptions was repeated between years. I know that many students get tired of the same types of prompts, and doubt whether the English they are currently learning is actually going to ever be useful. Because students question whether it’s worth it, their grades go down, which students and teachers alike

want to avoid. If students could take the courses in English that they find most interesting, most relevant to their future goals, or that they want the most help in, they could regain some of the sense of purpose. Everyone has experienced assignments that they brushed off because they just didn’t care about it. Varying and relevant course material raises scores as students are willing to spend more time learning it. However, course material that is neither, especially if it has been taught multiple times before, will most likely be con-

Although they might get less experience in persuasive writing, forcing a student to learn something they hate rarely works in the first place. It is not required that students take all of the science subjects either. Similarly studying literature might be an interesting class for some students, especially if they realize the importance of recognizing allusions to classical works and enjoy reading anyway. Future artists, writers, historians, and politicians may find the analysis of theme and tone in novels relevant to their future, but it’s highly unlikely that someone who has the

We aren’t identical, and the choice of classes in high school should reflect that. sidered a waste of time by students and it will show in their work. Or lack thereof. The three study areas that English could be divided into are Information, Persuasion, and Literature. Persuasion is an important tool for students interested in political, community, and business related studies, but its not very important to the student who are interested in becoming an artist, scientist, or novelist. If someone really hated persuasive writing they could take the other courses and still get English credit.

interests of a doctor, mechanic, or ambassador will. Although English seems like it isn’t easily divisible into neat categories, I believe that is simply because it has never been considered seriously before. For example, each of the science subjects overlap a great deal, but they are still separated into Biology, Chemistry, and Physics, and I think that English could be divided into three subject areas as well. Literature, to summarize the course, would focus on analysis of

multiple author’s works and include class discussion as well as assignments on an author’s use of characters, tone, symbolism, and other literary devices to make a piece both memorable and well written. Persuasion would consider all the different types of persuasive writing, ranging from satire to how to write a letter to your congressman. It would focus on successful author’s methods for evoking reactions and the appropriate ways to approach a persuasive paper depending on the issue. The English class called Information would be primarily about improving research skills and presentation of various types of information. Learning how to write and organize a factual paper, learning how to write an effective memo, make a memorable presentation, or a polished resume. The course material could also include how to take good notes and would be most relevant to student’s whose futures will involve compiling material and using appropriate data to reach a conclusion. Each of these classes would make it so that students learn what is most important to them, and their classwork would reflect that. Right now English is one of the only classes that has few to no options, and the course material barely changes between years, and that helps no one.

f beauty is in the eye of the beholder, then whoever manages the window advertisements for Urban Outfitters must be blind. The last time I went shopping at the Arden Fair Mall, I was appalled by one of the pictures displayed in the back window of the store. Up for the entire mall to see was a large photograph of the bony back of a model, wearing a flimsy, zip-up tank top. The hilarious part was, the photograph didn’t really display the top itself, but the frighteningly skeletonlike model’s body instead. Although Urban Outfitters has been one of my favorite stores even before it reached Sacramento, I don’t support their blatant preference for stick-thin models. Because in actuality, how many people can function in the world when they don’t weigh the proper amount for their height? While I understand that the use of attractive, albeit thin models is necessary to sell a product, having emaciated clothing models doesn’t inspire me to buy a dress, no matter how pretty it is. The majority of the clothing Urban Outfitters advertises looks like the model is drowning in fabric because they’re insanely thin, making Nicole Richie seem obese. Perhaps some of the models selected for Urban Outfitters may have a naturally skinny physique, but it wouldn’t be entirely far-fetched to assume that many of them are mentally and physically troubled with eating disorders. It’s not as if the concept of eating disorders is new, but it’s at times like this that people feel more compelled to stick to a strict weight loss regime, dismissing it as simply their New Year’s resolution. And just because it isn’t new doesn’t mean it still isn’t an important issue. According to Medical News Today, about one fifth of all teenagers have some type of eating disorder, whether it be anorexia nervosa or bulimia. While I may like the merchandise offered at Urban Outfitters, I’m less likely to shop there simply because I don’t agree with their advertising tactics, particularly because of the disturbing imagery of unhealthy models mounted throughout the store’s walls. Plus, many of the clothing items offered can be purchased from boutiques such as Fred Flare for a significantly cheaper price. Nevertheless, the image that Urban Outfitters presents isn’t healthy. Next time I’m at the mall, I’ll think twice about supporting a company that supports body image insecurity.


Friday, January 22, 2010


Keeping the Dream Alive On January 18, 2010, we took a day out of our lives to honor the man who changed race relations in our country forever, Martin Luther King Jr. In honor of his legacy, senior Rachel Tochterman uses King’s infamous speechmaking style to express dreams of her own.


As a junior at our fine learning institution, I have perused millions (give or take a few) of school newspapers. I consider it a great honor to have the priviledge of reading such an excellent piece of literature such as the Mirada every month. However, one thing I think would make a great addition to the Mirada are reviews of local restaurants and other various places of dining. You could include categories such as the quality of food, affordability, and of course, customer service. Thank you sir/ma’am for taking the time to consider my humble request. - Tanner Bond, 11

3 Cheers for Chess

I feel that the newspaper does an adequate job of covering a wide range of topics and issues. For the next issue, the Mirada could add a page of student opinions regarding important school issues that need to be addressed. Another option could be to include a small chess column, to help promote the game at Rio and in the community. - Nicholas Karas, 11

Sports Section Should Shine

The newspaper has always been great. The stories and layouts continuously catch my eye. But, being an athlete, I would want the sports section to be a little more lively. Updates about players, records, and national standings would be a great addition to the section. And of course, a TON of pictures! This would make the newspaper more appealing to the athletes of Rio Americano. - Emma Severson, 11

Thanks for the Ideas

We Have More to Say!

Food for Thought

I enjoy reading the Mirada because all the articles apply to students and are interesting. My favorite articles to read are about school events and people’s opinions. I think it would be interesting if there was a page where students wrote their comments about major school games or dances and how they could be improved because their beliefs could be shared in the newspaper. Another one of my favorites is the Bachelor and Bachelorette sections because it is short and funny. I would love to see another part of the newspaper with brief student interviews on other topics. Thanks for such a great school newspaper! -Gabrielle Ruxin, 10

Admirable Extra Effort

I appreciate all the time you guys spend putting this paper together, especially when you have to come to school during non-school hours. It would be really hard to stay here, and I appreciate it. Anyway, I enjoy all your informative articles and clever graphics! You guys never fail to bring me up to speed with current events in our community—the effort put into each piece really shows. I’m looking forward to the next issue. Keep up the good work! -Laila Rashid, 11

Doing Great, Dudes!

“I wonder what the most intelligent thing ever said was that started with the word ‘dude.’ ‘Dude, these are isotopes.’ ‘Dude, we removed your kidney. You’re gonna be fine.’ ‘Dude, I am so stoked to win this Nobel Prize. I just wanna thank Kevin, and Turtle, and all my homies.’” – Demetri Martin Dude, this newspaper is awesome. Enough said. -Aaron Kravitz, 11

I really enjoy looking through the Mirada as soon as it comes out. You’re doing a great job writing articles on topics that we care about and including lots of variety in the paper. The suggestions of activities for winter break from the last issue was a creative addition! Keep up the good work! -Erica Gutmann, 11



Page 15 • The Mirada

I have a dream that one day my four little children will one day live in a nation, where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character.” These words and his leadership still echo through our minds and actions today. I have a dream too. I have a dream that one day my aunts will be allowed to marry, one day my family in Israel will know a time without war, one day I will not have to fear Anti-Semitism in my own home in Sacramento, one day the persecution of innocent human beings will end. Our greatest weapon against ignorance and terror is knowledge. Sadly this weapon is often forgotten. The only way for us as a society and as people to move forward, is to look back and learn from our past. The everyday teacher is quite extraordinary, teaching the minds of tomorrow’s leaders is not an easy task. We can help by soaking up all the knowledge around us. Have you ever been to the other side of town? Ever walked a mile in someone else’s shoes? I encourage you to broaden your horizons. Start small, Talk to the old man across the street, learn what life was like 40, maybe 50, years ago. Go to the local shelter and see how the less fortunate live, learn their struggles, make their struggles your struggles? Is your cup half empty or half full? Do you look at the world today only to see destruction and say to yourself we’re all going to hell? Or do you look at the miracle of life as beautiful, and can approach the world’s

Submit your letters with your name and grade online at

EUGENE KWON/Mirada Staff

problems thinking, I can fix that. It’s up to all of us, If everyone helps to improve their own well being, and then their neighbors and then their communities,

we would have a much brighter future for everyone. The only way to build character is through education and service. Never is anyone to young or old to become a better human being. I have a dream too. Let’s all share it together.



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Friday, January 22, 2010


Youth find outlet for musical talent By JARETT HARTMAN Mirada Staff

In the heart of midtown lies one of Sacramento’s most intimate music venues for up-and-coming performers in the Sacramento region. Coming from all corners of the region, a selected group of four or five bands meets every other Friday night to put on a great night of live music. The Refuge, “an all-ages-venue,” allows amateur bands and musicians the opportunity to gain experience on the stage while earning money to further pursue their musical careers. The venue boasts superior musical equipment and staff, which allows the bands to perform at their very best for their audience.

The Refuge is operated by St. John’s Lutheran Church, a non-profit entity in the Sacramento area. According to the official MySpace page of the Refuge, “almost all of the youth and adults who help run the Refuge are volunteers.” The Refuge’s main goal is to “create a safe place to spend time and listen to music.” The Refuge was started as a way to allow local musicians to spread their name within the Sacramento community. Over time however, bands from all corners of the Sacramento region and beyond have ventured to play at the Refuge. The venue has a cozy, intimate

atmosphere which makes performances very personal. It’s not a rare occurrence to see total strangers talking to one another, whether it be with other fans or even members of the bands playing that night. But what sets the Refuge apart from the other venues in the area is the variety of musicians and genres of music the club hosts. Bands play anything from power-pop to classic rock to heavy metal to punk and everything in between. Band members can be anywhere from middle-school aged to college aged, with all different musical dreams and aspirations. For example, Hotwire is one of the younger bands that has played at

the Refuge, with sixth and seventh grade students from Davis, CA. Hotwire has been together for the last seven or eight months. The band plays mostly power-pop focused music, with influences such as “ACDC, Green Day, the Who, and things like that.” Despite their age, the band has been busy in the studio, plans to release an album on iTunes sometime this year, and has goals to “be accepted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.” Another example of the Refuge’s performers is The Prestige. Coming from Lincoln, CA. The Prestige has been performing together officially under their

current band name for the past year now. The band specializes in a “smooth blend of jazz, funk, and soul with a pinch of blues,” and lists influences as John Mayer and Maroon 5. Like Hotwire, the band has been in the studio lately and is focused on circulating demos of their songs. They plan to release an EP sometime this year. So whether you’ve got nothing to do on a Friday night or just wanting to get your daily dose of live music, the Refuge is a great, cheap way to have some fun to kick off your weekend. If you want to hear some local, unique bands with a great live sound, the Refuge is the place to be.

Friday, January 22, 2010


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Recent Records

‘Sensuous’ follows through with sound exploration

80s ‘slow and low’ strong in Washed Out

that sets him apart from other acts around. The opening and title track of the album starts with calming wind chimes that eventually become accompanied by guitar. As the sound of the guitar bounces around from left to right, once in a while a note will have high resonance and leave what sounds like a sparkling trail of light. Another thing about Cornelius is that he is not afraid of covering another musicians song and completely changing it, as seen in his extremely loose cover of George Benson’s “Breezin’.” “Toner” is another song that is very interesting because it combines the sounds of a printer with piano, two things that may sound dissonant but are in fact very consonant. “Omstart” is a quiet piece that uses guitar, long vocal holds, and the sound of glass and metal clinks to create a drifting, dreamlike piece. This quiet song eventually fades into the more upbeat “Beep it” which is a somewhat simple repeating arrpegiator from a synthesizer that sounds like a Minimoog. The danceable song then fades into the bizarre “Like a Rolling Stone” which sounds like a spoon moving around in a bowl with weird synth pads fading from left to right. Overall “Sensuous” is another great album by Cornelius that explores more strange sounds and audio experimentation that he is well known for. If you are interested in this release then it is highly recommended that you listen to his previous album “Point,” released in 2003 as it is seen as his best work. Cornelius takes risks with his songs and they almost always pay off, this album is no exception. -Christian Oldham

that it has a very cinematic sound. Songs like “Hold Out”, with its heavy drums and arpeggiated synth bassline, is as close to “happy” as the album gets. My personal favorite out of this EP is “Feel It All Around”, a song that begins with a electronic bassline that echoes Daft Punk, followed by harmonious, velvety vocals mixed with tinkling notes and an almost guitar-like melody track. It’s absolutely lovely, as if silk was put to music. Ernest Greene’s voice is whispery but powerful, and he has several vocal overdubs in order to harmonize with himself, which ends up sounding fantastic. As I said earlier, echo is heavy on this album, which makes his vocals sound thick and blurry, like listening to someone talk while being underwater. He nearly perfectly replicates the singing style of English 80s synth-pop bands like ABC and “Avalon”-era Roxy Music. However, the album isn’t perfect. Some of the songs run together and are hard to distinguish, but the main problem with the album is that, being an EP, it’s simply too short! It leaves you wanting more, and I certainly can’t wait for a full release from this amazingly talented singer-songwriter. If you’ve been looking for depressing synth-pop you’ll have struck the gold mine with Washed Out. -Jesse Bartels

“Sensuous” Cornelius “Sensuous” is the newest album from Cornelius, a musician who flip flops in between art rock and harmonious experimentation. Often I find that his sound is extremely exploratory and often incorporating of unmusical elements right next to more pleasing sounds. “Sensuous” is exactly what the title suggests. Each and every song on the album produces sounds that gratify the senses and have strong sensory appeal. As usual, Cornelius pays great attention to detail as to where music “is” in the song. In every song there are sounds, whether it be guitar, keyboards, or whatever else that bounce from left to right, giving the song a feeling that it is alive and moving around. This is one trait that really makes me love Cornelius’ music because it’s just one of the things

Ke$ha continues heavy stream of bad pop

“Animal” Ke$ha “Wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy...” Ke$ha’s catchy single “Tik Tok” has climbed to the top of the billboard charts, and more success is already on the way from her recently-dropped debut album, “Animal.” She is a strong singer, unlike many of the current artists on the radio whose flat voices must be auto-tuned. Nonetheless, Ke$ha does not showcase her voice on her album tracks, sticking to a narrow vocal range. She does, however, have potential as a more versatile artist with more genuine songs. “Animal’s” catchy tracks will have fans, but will also have many haters against her artificiality.

Ke$ha, therefore, is no heartfelt Taylor Swift. Her music can be classified as a guilty pleasure. It is bubblegum pop, complete with repetitive beats, vulgar lyrics, and computerized vocals. Additionally, her songs are superficial and are mainly about drinking and partying. “Hungover” and “Party At a Rich Dude’s House” address these unsophisticated themes with mindless lyrics, as one can tell by simply reading the titles. “Your Love Is My Drug” and “Take It Off ” are the first tracks of the album with addicting melodies; one of these will surely become another radio hit for Ke$ha. “Blah Blah Blah” (featuring 3OH!3) has already become Ke$ha’s second single, having a similar nature to the fast beat and “rapping” of “TiK ToK.” The closings songs of the CD are slightly slower, including “Animal.” This song has a smooth, catchy, beat, and the electronic undertones make the song worthy of being played in Abercrombie & Fitch. So, if you’re a fan of true, meaningful music, “Animal” would unquestionably be a good album to skip over. But if you’re just looking for a few fun songs like the hit single “TiK ToK” to blast in your car, add to your party playlist, or possibly even to ridicule, Ke$ha’s new CD would be worth a look. -Dayna Isaacs

“Life of Leisure” Washed Out Ernest Greene’s one-man band Washed Out is from Georgia, but listening to his debut EP, “Life of Leisure”, you would never guess that. Washed Out sounds more like a mid-80s synth-pop band from England, reaching out from the past. The overall sound of the album is melancholic; dreamy melodies are augmented with thumping synthesizers and echoing vocals. It’s like having a very sad dream that you can just barely remember, or like glancing at an old grainy photograph. The album is alternately depressing and beautiful; most of the time synth music is very cold and chilly, but the songs on this album are so lush and full of echo and emotional singing

‘Esperanto’ unites musicians and listeners

“Esperanto” Ryuichi Sakamoto Ryuichi Sakamoto is a member of Yellow Magic Orchestra and has released nearly 100 separate albums, singles, extended plays, and collaborations over his 32 year career. The moment I got interested in Sakamoto I acquired several of his albums to see what was so good about this Japanese keyboardist. I soon learned why the man was held in such high regard. He was an innovator, not only with his keyboard work in Yellow Magic Orchestra, but also in his solo material. His album, “Illustrated Musical Encyclopedia,” garnered international attention due to its forward thinking and fearlessness when it came to embracing any and all genres and sounds. Sakamoto’s “Esperanto,” does not peter away when it comes to new sounds and tech-

niques, in fact the whole album itself is a concept piece made for a dance performance by New York choreographer Melissa Fenley. The very name of the album, “Esperanto,” was actually a language created by Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof. The idea behind creating it was to foster harmony between people of different countries and backgrounds by having one common language. The common language of this project is music; created by people of different cultures. While Sakamoto composed the entire piece, he enlists the hands of internationally known percussionist, Yas-Kaz, and guitar virtuoso Arto Lindsay. The album opens with “A Wongga Dance Song” which uses bizarre sound clips and sampling of ethnic instruments to create something incredibly interesting and fresh. The sounds change enormously from song to song as seen in “A Rain Song” which features a repeating downward playing synthesizer arrpegiator mixed with off-tempo drums and percussion creating a drifting and lightweight song which eventually fades into another masterpiece. “Dolphins” is a slow piece featuring only chopped speech, a piano and minimalist percussion, creating what sounds like a very, very early precursor to M83 or Gang Gang Dance. All songs on “Esperanto,” are extremely different from one another but inspire wonder in the listener due to the sheer genius of the compositions and pure ingeniousness. -Christian Oldham


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Friday, January 22, 2010

‘Youth in Revolt’ : funny and creative, yet slightly disappointing By ALEX KLEEMANN Mirada Staff

Tired of being overly nice? Polite to your elders? Law-abiding? Don’t worry. Your foreign, mysterious, ultra bad, mustached alter ego has you covered. “It’s time to rebel, it’s time to be bad!” Michael Cera stars as Nick Twisp, a goody-two-shoes, 16-year-old boy, living in Oakland between his divorced parents and their steamy love lives. Needless to say, he’s a virgin, and like all teens boys, all he thinks about is sex, sex, sex, and mainly the fact that he’s not getting any. On a summer vacation to a trailer park in Ukaia with his ditsy blond mother, Estelle ( Jean Smart) and her chubby truck driver boyfriend, Jerry, (Zach Galifianakis). There, he meets Sheeni (Portia Doubleday), a lover of all things French, Nick’s first true love, and the inspiration for Francois Dillinger (Michael Cera). The movie’s plot parallels with past Cera films, with their always

virgin and always pathetic, yearning puppy-dog-like, teen boy personalities. However, in this film Cera brings something more to the table with Nick’s alter ego, Francois. Francois Dillinger is a man of action. Bold, contemptuous of authority, and irresistible to women. Youth in Revolt is the first quintessential teen movie of 2010 with a new twist. Rebellion to the extreme makes this a clever and refreshing comedy. Nick and his alter-ego, Francois, divulge in much more than innocent teenage rebellion. I agree with Cinema Spy’s comment that though the movie’s first 45 minutes are wonderful, the plot peaks a little early. After a little innocent fun flushing moms jewels down the towelette, smoking at breakfast, and sicking a group of angry sailors on Jerry, Nick and Francois get into some serious trouble. Half-way through, they are already wanted for arson and contem-

MOVIE REVIEW plating faking their own death causing it to go downhill from there. I would have loved to see a little more bad boy and a little less running. Francois goes too far too fast, about 15 minutes after we meet him, he’s already lit a building on fire.

Electronic pioneers are truly ‘Magic’ CHRISTIAN OLDHAM ON EDGE In 1969 Haruomi “Harry” Hosono had attention brought on him as the bass player of the psychedelic rock band Apryl Fool. After the dissolution of the band, some of the members, including Hosono moved on to form an influential folk-rock band called Happy End. Deciding to explore “exotica,” Hosono formed Tin Pan Alley. In 1978, Hosono wanted to expand on the genre of exotica fusing it with modern electronics. He hired two extremely capable musician to back him up while in the studio. Ryuichi Sakamoto, who played keyboards, and Yukihiro Takahashi, who not only made his own album, but also had been a member of the Sadistic Mika Band (a well known Japanese art-rock export in the early 70s). This band was called Yellow Magic Orchestra, and proved to be an extremely successful group. The group released their first album entitled “Yellow Magic Orchestra.” The album was not a mega hit but it was enough to put Yellow Magic Orchestra on the map, nonetheless it was an influential release because it combined some very different ideas. The album opens with what sounds like music from the ‘70s arcade game “Circus.” As the track progresses, drums eventually chime in and towards the very end, the song melds into an electronic cover of “Firecracker,” originally performed by Martin Denny, who was seen as the

father of exotica music. Yellow Magic Orchestra’s next move turned them famous. The release of their most successful album “Solid State Survivor,” propelled them into fame, not only in Japan, but also to a degree in the United States, this is mostly because Eric Clapton covered their song, “Behind the Mask.” “Solid State Survivor” won the 1980 Best Album award in the Japan Record Awards, shooting the album up to the #1 spot.

Hosono , Takahashi and Sakamoto, all three musical geniuses and incredibly ahead of their time.

The album is the one that defined the Yellow Magic Orchestra as a group that was looking towards the future and always made use of whatever new technology they could get their hands on. The sci-fi themed lyrics, written by Chris Mosdell, depicted a human race alienated by the dystopic futures. This theme was similar to the rising movement known as “cyberpunk,” a new type of fiction that featured high technology coupled with a breakdown or radical change in social order. After making seven albums, the group decided to take a break in

1984 and focus on their solo projects. Ryuichi Sakamoto, keyboardist for YMO went on to release over a dozen albums while on hiatus from Yellow Magic Orchestra. Sakamoto approached each album differently by giving each album a concept, thus producing radically different end results each time around. Drummer Yukihiro Takahashi, although known as the drummer of the art-rock group Sadistic Mika Band, his solo project turned out to be quite down tempo and reserved synth-pop music. Band leader Haruomi Hosono dove into the world of electronic, ambient, and even world music as he worked on his own projects. Come to the beginning of the 21st century and Hosono and Takahashi have a new band called Sketch Show, in which Sakamoto makes appearances. In August 2007 the group finally decided to form once again, with all members either being near or already over the age of 60. Yellow Magic Orchestra, although relatively unknown today in the United States, has made a great impact on artists today. The sounds heard on “Solid State Survivor,” are echoed today by modern electronic artists proving that Yellow Magic Orchestra really were ahead of their time. Immediate artists who echo the attitude of Yellow Magic Orchestra include Japanese artist Cornelius who uses spatial relativity in music, a common element in many YMO songs. Cornelius even collaborated with Sakamoto and Takahashi separately on different projects. Yellow Magic Orchestra is one of those bands who may be forgotten at the moment but are ones who have changed the way electronic music is made leaving an indelible mark in the history of music.

The previews of the film make Francois seem ultra devious and entertaining, which he is, but we see just about as much of him in the film as we do in the preview. Just as the plot starts to slow down, bad boy Francois peters out of the picture. It’s unfortunate that they didn’t take the foreign bad boy deeper into the plot. In addition, Sheeni’s perfect, preppy boyfriend and Nick’s nemesis, Trent ( Jonathan Bradford Wright) shows up in the film about twice, though he’s mentioned about a thousand times. You want to hate Trent, but their not enough character development for you to do so. In addition, it never seems like Sheeni is that in love with Trent, so its easy to find yourself wondering why Nick has to fight so hard for her. It seemed like he had Sheeni from the start, and Trent was little more than a bump in the road. Doubleday could have worked a lot harder to

make Sheeni a little more hard to get. In addition, the heroine and object of Nick’s desire, Sheeni is incredibly lacking in character development. All we know is that she likes old-fashioned French films and wants Nick to be bad, as to why, there is no explanation. Otherwise, Cera was wonderful, and his performance along with the wonderful cast of “adults”, including comedy greats such as Fred Williard, Steve Buscemi, and Justin Long, is worth heading to the theaters for. But the plot had a little something missing. They needed to give more time to bad boy, Francois, and a little less time to Nick, who was constantly running from the police. Also, Nick needed something a little harder to fight for; Sheeni was a bit too easy (in more ways than one). Overall, I definitely recommend it. Though it has its faults, its strengths outweigh them.

The Raider Quiz 1. What changes has the New Year wrought upon ye? A. Just ask my alter ego, Mi$tah Moneybaggz. My breakout album “GET MO’ CASH” should be droppin’ some time soon. B. This year is the year I’m finally losing those last ten pounds. Plus the ten pounds I gained after giving up on last year’s diet. C. I finally broke it off with that tree. D. I’m resolved to avoid all New Year’s resolutions. Resolutely. 2. The neon dance is here! What are you wearing? A. Bust out mah suede lederhosen with glow-in-thedark suspenders. B. Hulk hands and glow sticks. C. Solid gold clogs. D. Eight pairs of 3-D glasses; hopefully everything will be in ultimate HD. E. All of the above. 3. Why do you still watch American Idol? A. The large amount of audition failure. B. With judging of such high caliber, who wouldn’t watch? C. My TV is stuck on one channel and won’t turn off. You’d be surprised how many paid programming ads can change your life. D. I’m part of a government study to determine the effect of terrible television on the human brain. E. I don’t. 4. Who dat said dey gonna beat dem Saints? A. Lil’ Wayne. B. A distraught Brett Favre. C. Chris Berman. D. The Red Sox? 5. What are the benefits of late night TV? A. I can see my beloved Billy Mays once again! (For only three easy payments of $19.95.) B. Thanks to paid programming, I’ve changed my life FIFTEEN times in the past 24 hours! C. I can call in the next 20 minutes. All night! D. Thanks to my patented “Anti-Diet” I’ve gained five pounds of what is hopefully muscle. E. I think Vince Offer cured my cancer. -Mi$tah Moneybaggz & D-fall.t


Friday, January 22, 2010

Car of the Issue

Page 19 • The Mirada

Bachelor and Bachelorette

Jonathan Molina, 10 Dani Thompson, 10 What is your ideal date? We would go to Sky High and then maybe dinner.


Alexander Koumis emotionally stands by his car which was given to him after his grandfather passed away. He likes to play dance music to remember his late grandfather.

Alexander Koumis, 12

before I got my license.

How long have you had this car? I’ve had this car for about 5 months.

Describe the interior for me. It’s like a 39 dollar motel. It has some sexy beige leather and you feel slightly violated after you get out.

1994 Mercedes Benz E320

How did you get this car? It was my grandfather’s before he passed away, and it was sitting in my grandparents garage for 4 years

Any special modifications? I replaced the grill because the original was “unknowingly” damaged.

What do you like most about your car? I am now able to perpetuate an ethnic stereotype. What kind of music flows from your speakers? Anything I can fist pump like a champ to. -Rohith Sachdeva

Upcoming Events On Campus

Music & Arts

Neon Dance Friday, Jan. 22 (8-11 P.M.)

Rock the Lights, The Mantles Saturday, Jan. 23, Luigi’s Fungarden, $5, 8:00 P.M.

Folsom Jazz Festival Saturday, Jan. 23 (off campus) Father Daughter Dance Saturday, Feb. 6 (8-11 P.M.) VICCI Junior Interviews Tuesday/Wednesday, Feb. 9-10 (8-3 P.M.) Band Small Ensemble Night Wednesday, Feb. 10

Grass Widow, RANK/XEROX, Vichy Water Sunday, Jan. 24, The Hub, $6, 8:00 P.M. Nothing People, Hi-Nobles, White Hole Saturday, Feb. 6, The Hub, $6, 8:00 P.M. Jack’s Mannequin, Fun., Vedra Thursday, Feb. 11, Sac State University Union Ballroom, $18 advance, $24 door, 7:00 P.M.

What is your ideal date? Just something fun and laid back.

What do you first notice in a guy? Their eyes.

What do you first notice in a guy? If they know how to have fun and if they’re fun to be around.

What is your best pickup line? You know how much a polar bear weighs? Just enough to break the ice.

What is the nicest thing a guy has ever done for you? Bought a necklace for me, haha.

Which celebrity would you go on a date with? Definitely Megan Fox. What do you want to say to all of the single ladies out there? Status: AVAILABLE -Jarett Hartman

Which celebrity would you go on a date with? Channing Tatum, allllll the way. What do you want to say to all of the single guys out there? Can I get’cho numba?! -Jarett Hartman

‘Bones’ only okay and too long By ALLI HENDERSON Mirada Staff

“My name is Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie. I was fourteen when I was murdered.” So begins the greatly-anticipated film, “The Lovely Bones,” an adaptation of Alice Sebold’s bestselling novel.  Susie, played by Saoirse Ronan, is stuck in the “in-between,” a place between heaven and Earth.  Here, she is watching her family’s mourning, wondering if her almost-boyfriend, Ray Singh (Reece Ritchie) will remember her, and agonizing over the fact that her murderer is still walking the streets, unknown.  Susie’s father, Jack Salmon (Mark Walhberg), and younger sister, Lindsey (Rose Mclver), become major characters when they begin an investigation of their own.  Both are extremely suspicious of their creepy neighbor, George Harvey (Stanley Tucci), but cannot get the police to listen.  Tucci definitely stands out as being the best actor in the movie, as he perfectly portrays a disturbing murderer.  However, all of the actors in the movie were exceptionally strong, and the casting could not have been better. Certain scenes in the movie were very intense, and had movie go-ers on the edge of their seats.  But some scenes, on the other hand, seemed extremely dragged-out and to be honest, boring.  Running two hours and 15 minutes, the movie was relatively long and toward the end, I found myself wondering when it was going to be over.   

As with any other adaptation, certain events from the novel had to be cut out. However, I feel that the director, Peter Jackson, who is best known for “Lord of the Rings” and “District 9,” left out a few important scenes, such as Susie’s funeral.       This movie has a little bit of everything: suspense, horror, teenage romance, and comedic relief, courtesy of Grandma Lynn (Susan Sarandon).     As a whole, the movie had great potential, but there was something

MOVIE REVIEW missing from the plot. Maybe certain characters should have had more screen time or maybe the identity of the murderer should have been kept a secret for a while.  Overall though, the movie was enjoyable-- not terrible, but not spectacular.  If you choose to see the movie, make sure you go into it with an open mind and don’t set your expectations too high.

Page 20 • The Mirada


Friday, January 22, 2010


Movie stuns visually, but story is trite


James Cameron is probably one of the best-known and most successful action movie directors of all time. He’s known for “Aliens,” “The Terminator 1 & 2,” and of course, “Titanic,” the most successful movie of all time. So it’s not surprising that his return to directing after 11 years of boring documentaries was heralded as a lifetime event. Everyone kept talking about his new film “Avatar” that was meant to change cinema forever. Well, I saw “Avatar,” and I feel cheated. First, let me get this out of the way: the film is absolutely mind-bendingly beautiful. Reports say that the budget was upwards of $300 million, and it shows. The film showcases some of the best computer-generated imagery I’ve ever seen, and the alien planet that the movie takes place in, “Pandora,” is lush and richly-detailed. The CGI alien models look great and overcome the hurdle of looking too fake or creepy. However, visuals do not a good story make, and “Avatar” is severely lacking in the story department. The story of a paraplegic man who transfers his consciousness into an alien avatar is suspiciously similar to an old science-fiction story by Poul Anderson entitled “Call Me Joe.” But movies can’t be completely original, and mind-transference isn’t exactly a new concept. However, not only does “Avatar” rip off an amazing science fiction story, it also shamelessly rips off “Dune,” “Dances with Wolves” and even “Pocahontas,” not to mention that the story is a painfully obvious retooling of the American Indians and the Colonists. The story, besides the mind-transferring paraplegic, is about a military mission to move the alien species Na’vi from their home so that a corporation that has set up shop on their planet can mine their resources. Jake Sully, the main character, is tasked to learn more about the aliens. Predictably, he goes native and fights back against the humans. In between all of this, he falls in love with a Na’vi princess named Ney’tiri. There is absolutely nothing special or new about this movie. I’m serious, you’ve seen it all before. Jake Sully’s romancing of Ney’tiri is laughable. There was absolutely no chemistry between the two actors, and it didn’t help that 70 percent of the time we were watching two weird, blue CGI things fall for each other. Now, while I said the CGI is some of the best I’ve ever seen, that still doesn’t mean I found it completely convincing. It’s still painfully obvious that almost everything in

the movie is computer-generated, and when the live-action human actors interact with the CGI aliens, there’s a feeling of disconnect because we’ve been in this CGI world for so long, that when we see something actually real it’s creepy and feels uncomfortable. I wasn’t the only one that thought this; in the theater I could hear people laughing or going “Whoa” when the CGI Ney’tiri touched the live-action Jake Sully’s face. The film also gets seriously bogged down with an overly preachy message about the environment. The military is portrayed as a stereotypically evil and greedy organization and the Na’vi are all completely innocent, loving hippies who keep babbling spiritual ishkabibble abut the beauty of nature. Whether or not you agree with this, it still doesn’t change the fact that it feels like someone reading from a speech about why we should drive hybrid cars. I had serious déjà vu; the film reminded me of one of those really bad pro-environment films from the mid-90s, like FernGully. Since this film was supposedly conceived in 1998, I probably shouldn’t be surprised. One other thing: the film is almost three hours long. Now, I always say, you better not have a three-hour-long film unless you have a darn good reason for doing so. Unfortunately, Cameron does not, and so the film plods along, filling us in on details about the alien species that absolutely nobody cares about, while we try our hardest to stay awake. Now, the good things about the film. As

I stated earlier, it’s beautiful to look at, and clearly they spent a lot of time developing the effects. Most of the time I found myself forgetting that the Na’vi were CGI, and the environments are lush and beautiful. They strongly remind me of the jungles in King Kong. The acting was also fairly good across the board considering the awful script and dialogue. Stephen Lang in particular is great as the evil militaristic bad guy, considering that his character was portrayed as so stereotypically evil that I expected mustache-twirling to appear at some point. Everyone does a good job with what they’re given. The exception is Sam Worthington, who is stiff in almost every scene and does almost nothing to emote with his face. The best thing about the movie was its action sequences. I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for the film to pay off, as Cameron expected me to slog through hours of watching two blue aliens frolic in the woods, and finally I got it, in the final 40 minutes of the movie. The standoff between the humans and the aliens is a grand aerial battle that would put “Original Trilogy” George Lucas to shame. It’s amazingly choreographed and so much fun to watch. Unfortunately, to get to the awesome explosions, you have to sit through two hours of terrible storytelling. Whether or not you’ll receive any enjoyment out of the movie depends completely on whether or not you’re willing to

sit through those preceding two hoursof terrible storytelling and awful dialogue. If you somehow do end up making it through, then I salute you, you have the patience of a snail. Frankly, I can’t say I’m looking forward to Cameron’s next film, no matter how “life-changing” it is. Now, if the story of “going native” could have been told in an interesting or new way, then I could have forgiven the shameless ripping off that was going on. However, the dialogue and characterization was so horrendously wooden and awful that I found myself trying supremely hard not to laugh inappropriately. Everyone seems to have a “hilarious” one-liner in this film, and it gets extremely grating when you think “someone spent 300 million dollars and (purportedly) 11 years developing this”. And that’s the thing. This film was supposed to have taken 11 years. After all, Cameron hasn’t worked on a film since the (also lackluster) “Titanic.” This was supposed to be his triumphant return to cinema, this was supposed to change movies, and now that the film has come out, people still seem to genuinely believe that. But I saw the film, and I didn’t see anything life-changing, it all felt completely derivative. I was expecting Mozart and got Britney Spears.