A Godless Campus - Page 5
LIFESTYLES Dorm Dishes 101 - Page 14
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Wearing the Cause for Diversity
Volume 104 No. 23
Melissa Traynor News / Managing Editor If students would like to express their disdain for acts of prejudice and ignorance on this campus, they don’t have to scream, “I don’t approve of it!”; they can simply wear it on their shirt. Through efforts of the design department, materials have been created to inspire diversity around campus, with quotes such as “All that is necessary for prejudice to triumph is for good people to do nothing.” The design class, DES 439 or Central Design, provided the ideas for the posters, pins and table tents and designed them so that pins can be distributed in The Recorder and worn on clothing or accessories; table tents can be displayed in places such as the Devils Den and posters hung around campus. With the placement of such things, Dr. Susan Vial, chair of the design department, hopes that community members will be able to look at them and be able to have a healthy discussion about diversity. Vial said that the project is a way for the campus to commit to equality. “A university is the last place in the world to be intolerant…and we are actively in support of this being a free and open campus,” she said. One of the goals of this diversity project concerning the buttons is to provide a method of personal expression that can send a message of quiet support for a diverse and civil community as well as demonstrate solidarity between students, faculty, staff and administrators. Vial explained that the impetus for the diversity projects, including the efforts by the design department, originated in the Dean’s office in the School of Arts & Sciences. The Dean, Dr. Susan Pease, made it available for faculty to propose a project to secure funds for diversity initiatives, and this grant has
See Diversity Page 3
Edward Gaug / The Recorder
Mass Notification System to be Initiated This Summer Melissa Traynor News / Managing Editor
Starting today, posters such as this one will be distributed around campus.
Stephanie Bergeron / The Recorder
The Cambridge Debates: To Ridicule or to Respect? Justin Kloczko Editor-in-Chief
Stephanie Bergeron / The Recorder
Kyle Zarotney rounds the bases on Saturday, where the Blue Devils played the first of two doubleheaders over the weekend.
Blue Devils Complete Four-Game Sweep of Quinnipiac on Sunday See Four-Game Sweep Page 6
A robust discussion took place about the “Right to Ridicule” for the annual Cambridge Debates that landed at CCSU last Thursday night, with the proposition team prevailing in the name of free speech. “We say that ridicule is a very effective method of searching for truth and provoking discussion and persuading a large audience very quickly,” said Richard Lau, who delivered his argument on behalf of the proposition. “This House Believes in the Right to Ridicule” consisted of a formal debate procedure that attempted to define the vague and alwayschanging lines of speech. The proposition team argued that subjecting people and institutions to mockery or scorn is the best method to initiate discussion and change. The team consisted of Cambridge students Lau and Olga Polunina, in addition to CCSU student Matthew Barnes. The opposition team consisted of Cambridge students Netan Dogra and Jo Box, coupled with CCSU student Carlos Brantley. They argued that civil discussion should take place without ridicule.
According to Lau, there are three notable benefits of being able to ridicule others. He said ridicule can serve as a check against establishment and accepted beliefs, noting that “nothing should be considered sacred beyond question.” “It exposes errors in the most effective manner. Political satire is a very good way of exposing when, say, officials are accidentally found in prostitution rings,” Lau said, referring to the onslaught of criticism and derailment on former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer. “Humor is one of the [easiest] ways to handle everything life throws at you and a useful substitute to say, strangling people,” added Lau. Dogra rebutted Lau’s argument on behalf of the opposition, saying that it is good to ridicule, but a line must be drawn somewhere and done in good taste. “We believe absolutely information should be spread, we should discuss ideas, but there are some ways of doing it which are actually so offensive that the harms they create outweigh the benefits,” Dogra said. Lau stated that the issue of whether or not something is offensive is not something they can be the um-
See Debates Page 3
CCSU Police Chief Jason Powell addressed the Student Government Association meeting last Wednesday to give an update on campus security and the new installation of the Whelen Mass Notification System. “We’re looking at six to seven weeks for the installation of the Whelen system. Though I don’t expect it to be fully implemented by early to mid-summer,” said Powell in his brief. The new system, which was recently donated to Central by an alumnus, features speakers that will be strategically placed around campus. It will allow the CCSU police to issue a siren or tone, relate a prerecorded message or use a microphone to warn the campus of a situation. “It would have to be a short message; for example: ‘There is a campus emergency, please check the Web site for more information,’” Powell said in regards to the messages controlled by a console in the police department. CCSU is the only Connecticut State University campus to have the Whelen system. The MIR-3 is another notification system that CCSU is working with to alert community members of potential emergency situations. Powell said that the MIR-3 system supports an unlimited number of devices for each recipient of a warning message, across all anticipated methods of communication. The MIR-3 is also a two-way method of communication that allows recipients to reply to inquiries. It provides the best interface to allow Information Technology to synchronize notification recipient data with the university information, which means that the system can easily adapt to contact information for students, faculty, staff and administration. There is concern, however, that even with multiple notification systems working to deliver alerts to the campus, 100 percent effectiveness isn’t possible. Through text messaging, phone calls, e-mails or siren and messages coming from the Whelen system, Powell said that there would always be people who will not receive the message, depending on enrollment or the probability that an intended recipient cannot be reached. He said that the best methods of notification are still in development.
See Mass Notification Page 3
2 THE RECORDER Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Get Arrested on April 17
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Staff Editor-in-Chief Justin Kloczko Art Director Jamie Paakkonen Associate Layout Editor Stephen Meszaros Copy Editor Samantha Sullivan Photo Editor Stephanie Bergeron Lifestyles Editor Karyn Danforth Sports Editor Peter Collin Entertainment Editor Edward Gaug Opinion Editor Dan Ivers News/Managing Editor Melissa Traynor Assistant News Editor Amanda Ciccatelli Web Editor John Vignali Illustrator Sean Kinne Comics Mike Golschneider
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T he pur pose of T he Recorder is to approach and def ine issues of impor tance to the st udents of Centra l Connecticut State Universit y.
Amanda Ciccatelli Assistant News Editor A community-friendly event for a good cause will be hosted by law enforcement and Phi Delta Beta to raise money for the Special Olympics on April 17. CCSU’s “Jail ‘N Bail” fundraiser will take place on Central’s campus to arrest members of the CCSU community all day between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. CCSU Police Department’s Detective Christine Jameson explained the process, starting with filling out a warrant for arrest. Fake warrants are printed out and dispersed conveniently all around the school. Students can then fill out a warrant with a friend, faculty or staff ’s information on it with a $15 donation that goes directly to the Special Olympics. Once a person has a warrant out for their arrest, on April 17 that person will be tracked down, whether they are in class or in their dorm. Phi Delta Beta members, along with a member of the CCSU police, will find the person, put them in handcuffs and transport them in a police cruiser to jail. There will be a fake jail cell set up outside the student center if the weather cooperates; otherwise
the student will be transported to a jail cell in Semesters. As in real life, Jameson explained, the “arrested” will then go in front of a judge to set bail. Sprint, a sponsor of the program, will provide the person with a cell phone with which they are permitted to make a few calls for help paying bail. If a person living off-campus cannot come to CCSU in order to bail out their friend or family member, they can go onto the Special Olympics of Connecticut Web site and pay bail with a credit card. The CCSU Police and a Central fraternity have combined forces to make this event possible. In spring 2007 the event took place for the first time, raising $4,600 towards the Special Olympics. After being a success, the fraternity and the police thought this year would be a hit as well. “We involve the entire CCSU community,” said Detective Jameson. After participating in the past, she urges students to get involved in Jail ‘N Bail because they will be having
fun for a good cause. She said that everybody who is a member of the CCSU community, even police officers, is eligible for this fun event. After raising money last spring, CCSU hopes to top that and more on April 17, especially after Southern Connecticut State University’s $14, 000, which was raised in the same year. “We are hoping we will out-pass them,” said Jameson, who is enthusiastic about the event because of the success that CCSU has had with it in the past. Art student and participant in Jail ‘N Bail Christian Ayala made artwork for t-shirts and standup paintings at the event. Detective Jameson knew Ayala was an art student and tracked him down to create a simple design to signify the Jail ‘N Bail event. Along with designing t-shirts, Ayala also designed a standup of a “jail devil.” His vision was to have people stand behind it with a hole for their heads to peek through. Although it took long days and nights to finish, he said it was enjoyable to work toward a noble cause. Ayala holds an appreciation toward fundraisers for the Special Olympics because he has a niece with an intellectual disability. He is enthusiastic about the benefits that the Special Olympics provide for children like her. “When I heard there would be a fundraiser for Special Olympics, I was all for it,” he said. In order to make the Jail ‘N Bail Fundraiser for the Special Olympics possible, Sprint, Tony’s Pizza, Tom’s Pizza and Elmer’s all sponsor the event.
Besides Jail ‘N Bail on April 17, there are also many other Special Olympics fundraising events throughout the year. The events begin April 9 and proceed until October 29 all over the state of Connecticut. Throughout the whole year, the Law Enforcement Torch Run is the largest grass-roots fundraiser for the Special Olympics. The International Torch Run Program raised over $30 million in the summer of 2007 for Special Olympics. Across 50 states and 35 countries, over 85,000 law enforcement officers carried the “Flame of Hope” last year to raise money and awareness for the Special Olympics. At the Torch Run, athletes and police officers run holding the Special Olympics “flame.” Within the Torch Run are other fundraising events, such as t-shirt or merchandise sales, donations for runners in the Torch Run, corporate donations and special events like Penguin Plunges, Tip-a-Cop and golf tournaments. The Special Olympics Torch Run has been going on in Connecticut since 1986, when it first took place at the University of Connecticut campus at Storrs. In the summer of 2008, the Torch Run will be held in 100 towns in Connecticut with approximately 1,500 law enforcement officers and Special Olympics athletes. For more information on the Torch Run, Jail ‘N Bail fundraiser or any of the Special Olympic summer events of 2008, visit the Web site http://www. soct.org/torch/.
Seniors Awarded for Thorough Research Amanda Ciccatelli Assistant News Editor
Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day senior prizes and the Elihu Burrit Library undergraduate research awards were presented to honor the hard work and determination of CCSU’s most prided students last Friday. Provost Carl Lovitt began the day by acknowledging the range and depth of each student’s research to be as good as a Master’s thesis or doctoral dissertation. “Students move from looking for the answers from their professors
to getting the answers to their own questions. What a credit to the students,” he said. URCAD students were invited to summarize their thesis in a twenty-minute speech and PowerPoint presentation. Arts and Humanities URCAD award winner Lauren Eddy was first to present her research on “The Beginning of Women’s Athletics in the United States, 1850-1920, and the Battle against Victorian Hegemony.” Her thesis included the constant battle of how women should act as athletes, which in time helped change the perception of women
overall. Eddy wanted to study the roots of women’s sports, so she focused on their history, specifically the Victorian age, which, she explained, separated men and women in two very different spheres. “Victorians ideolized femininity,” Eddy said. They thought women should be the weaker sex in order to conserve their energy for reproduction and birthing children. Since women lived unhealthy and stationary lifestyles, Victorian women felt they needed to change their way of life by adding athletics. When women began enrolling in college, they wanted the challenge of sports, Eddy said. By the 1920s, tennis, swimming and cycling became increasingly popular. “Women were becoming much more liberated,” Eddy said. “[These changes] embodied a new sense of femininity that women could still be active and healthy.” “Exceptionally rigorous and well-written,” were a professor’s words to describe another senior thesis given by Jennifer Stowe. It was titled, “No Child Left Behind and Special Education Students.” Stowe is an English and education major who feels strongly about proposing change after the negative consequences of No Child Left Behind. “The law attempted to solve some of the problems in education systems, but it has failed to accommodate students,” she said. Stowe discussed Bush’s decision to implement the law after elected in office in 2000. No Child Left Behind says that states must measure student progress through standardized testing. “This can cause harsh consequences,” said Stowe. Both students and schools worry about the possibility of having the government take a corrective action on their school system. She explained that these actions could mean replacing all staff members or changing the entire curriculum of the school.
No matter how No Child Left Behind is implemented, Stowe said it is bound to leave special education students behind. “It is unrealistic that all students can perform at the same level,” said Stowe. She sympathized with the special education students who are not able to handle the duration of an exam. Stowe explained that No Child Left Behind does have accommodations, but they are not large enough, nor are there enough of them to aid special education students in their journey through school. “It is a passive system. There is no leeway,” Stowe said in reiteration of her point. She believes that it is important to have standards in education, but the government must take different approaches to accommodate special education students. Presenting the Elihu Burritt Library undergraduate research award, Susan Slaga awarded Jean Messersmith and Amanda E. Johnson for their excellence in library research. Messersmith, a history major, researched immigration to the United States during WWI and titled her paper, “The Good American Citizen: The Americanization during the WW1 Era.” “The immigrants had to give up their life to be American. They even had to brush their teeth like Americans,” she explained. English and education major Johnson researched the ways children are taught to read. Her paper was titled, “Reading Instruction and Political Agendas.” “I recognize the child’s rights to learn to read,” she said. “I felt I wanted to strive for a change of how we teach our children to read.” “We received many excellent submissions,” Slaga said of the 12 candidates.
THE RECORDER / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / NEWS
Texting May Be Harmful to Your Health Rachel Leamon The Daily Free Press (Boston University) (U-WIRE) -- One in five Britons has suffered an injury while simultaneously walking and text messaging in the last year, according to a British study. However, SMS snafus are also popping up stateside on sidewalks and behind the wheel. Last week, a British information directory launched a pilot project to protect people who were texting while walking by installing bumper guards on lampposts. The large white bumper guards call attention to the text-and-transportation problem that causes injuries ranging from bruises to broken noses, said Lucy Abell, spokeswoman for Living Streets, a British charity that focuses on reducing traffic and keeping the streets clean and safe. “There are no plans by local councils to permanently put bumpers on the streets – it was more to highlight the issue,” Abell said. Across the pond, Washington and New Jersey passed laws that prohibit handheld cell phone use while driving last year and 16 other states, including Massachusetts, are considering similar legislation. A US News article cited a Nationwide Insurance study, which estimated that 20 percent of drivers send or receive text messages behind the wheel. Among 18-to-24-yearolds, 66 percent admitted to texting while driving, the study states. Melanie Brown, a senior at Harvey High School in Harvey Station, New Brunswick, said she lost a classmate in a car accident last September because he was texting while driving. “I have a small graduating class of 45 so everyone knew him and it hit us really hard,” she said. Brown said she hopes spreading awareness of the dangers of texting through a Facebook group advocating against texting while driving so that others will realize how serious the issue is. “It’s not a game,” she said. “By doing this you could take your own life or the lives of innocent people.” In November, the Etiquette and Leadership Institute sponsored a national “Teens Don’t Text and Drive Week.” Institute founder Debra Lassiter said students understand how dangerous the practice can be. “Many of the students I talked to have been involved in or had friends involved in accidents while texting and driving, so they understand how dangerous it can be,” she said. College of Communication freshman Lori Schmon said drivers who focus on their cell phone screen and not the road are irresponsible. “I’m not just concerned with the issue of driving and texting, but the general recklessness of drivers these days makes me angry,” she said.
Continued from page 1 made it possible for the design department to carry out its project. Pease said that from the Arts & Sciences budget, she offered $3,000 for diversity initiatives. “I wanted those funds to be there for faculty who have ideas on diversity,” Pease said. “I always be-
Mass Notification Continued from page 1
lieve that the best ideas come from faculty and their students.” In order to receive that money, the design department wrote a proposal pointing out their plans for the diversity projects. “The idea is to place positive pro-active messages in obvious, yet casual everyday places to encourage
respectful intellectual discussion and action on issues related to diversity,” the abstract explained of the materials. “[They] would contain inspirational messages that support awareness of diversity issues [and] promote positive attitude and interaction,” ac-
cording to the abstract for the proposal. Among the other diversity projects taking place in the School of Arts & Sciences is an exhibit planned by the art department for artists of color, a poetry reading organized by the English department and a lecture by the modern languages department.
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SGA President Alexander Estrom asked Powell where the university is in terms of security and the progress made since one year ago. “I do think we’re making progress,” Powell said. “Colleges tend to think internally, but we forget that we also have outside resources.” Powell discussed several precautions the university has taken to research and provide safety, including seeking the help of the New Britain Police and Fire Departments if needed. He said that there is a shared responsibility and that public safety is in the realm of the major stakeholders. For example, Residence Life has an obligation to determine student conduct standards and the use of the residence halls, and Facilities Management has the responsibility to design and maintain sound buildings. “And you can be advocates for whatever polices you think are appropriate,” Powell said to the SGA senators. He said that CCSU has also hired the help of Dr. Marisa Randazzo, who is an internationally known threat assessment expert. She has provided insight into crisis situations and has stressed the importance of prevention. 99215 “While it is appropriate to have Central CT police respond to emergencies, it shouldn’t be at the expense of 2 doing col x 5” research to keep it from getting to kc that point,” Powell said.
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Continued from page 1 pires of. “It is objective; it’s arbitrary; it’s difficult to judge,” he explained. Dogra turned the issue around, saying it isn’t about pushing controversial ideas, but about the right to be racist, homophobic, sexist or to cause offense. The right to ridicule was not something that specifically targeted minorities, the proposition said, but as an equalizer to everyone being open to ridicule. “They said it was okay to criticize dictators, majority groups and people who aren’t funny, but it wasn’t okay to criticize or ridicule minorities,” said Polunina. Barnes said minority groups, too, could use ridicule to get their message across. He noted the court case Hustler v. Falwell where Hustler magazine portrayed former Rev. Jerry Falwell sleeping with his mother. “Ridicule can be used as a weapon and a tool for change, showing that the church is not above the ordinary citizen, and therefore is subject to the same criticisms as you and me,” Barnes said. Ultimately, though, both teams talked about drawing the line. The proposition team felt that ridicule inciting violence was the limit, but the opposition team felt the line had to be drawn before that. In the end, the state had the power to make those decisions, according to the opposition. “By just excluding speech that incites violence we think you miss out on a lot of things. Racial hatred is quite dangerous,” said Box. In the end, Lau said the debate was an exercise in contrasting different styles and issues Americans and British hold. “In America they appreciate style a lot more,” he said. “This House Believes in the Right to Ridicule” was presented by The Student Union Living Room Lecture Series. After three rounds of debating, ballots cast by the audience selected the winning proposition team.
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4 THE RECORDER Wednesday, April 9, 2008
The recent scary and potentially violent occurrences here on Central’s campus and in the surrounding area have highlighted the need for certain services to provide students with more protection and security. The abduction, report of a violent threat made against a student and horrifying home invasion in New Britain have increased students’ awareness of their surroundings, and many undoubtedly wish to feel a bit safer. Fortunately (or so one would think), we have people who are paid to “serve and protect” the CCSU population. A search of the university’s Student Information Web page will lead one to a section on Public Safety, where it states that “police officers or other employees of the CCSU Police Department provide either a ride or a walking escort for students.” This is only right, as those whose job it is to be the upholders of the law should provide a frightened student peace of mind, knowing that they will not be the victim of a crime. It is not detailed in the Public Safety Information available to students just where someone may not be escorted to. A call to
the CCSU police department made Monday uncovered the information that the police escort service is primarily to be provided for those walking to and from on-campus destinations. CCSU police will not escort students to the popular off-campus apartment building Essex Place—and other nearby residences are also in question—as a follow-up phone call was not returned. A subsequent phone call to the New Britain police found that they, too, cannot escort a student from campus to an off-campus residence, or vice versa. The New Britain police stated that they can only provide an escort if it is ordered by a court of law. While CCSU does have high percentages of commuters and on-campus residents, much of the population also chooses to live off-campus in nearby housing. While a lot of these students may still enjoy the privilege of driving to and from school, others do not.The Recorder has become aware of this issue through the accounts of students who have been refused the service that seems to be offered on the university Web site. It is apparent that many students feel unsafe walking alone on and
around campus after dark, and justifiably so. Their requests should be met without the resistance they have received. Does it not fall within the responsibility of the police who preside over this campus, or the larger town, to meet student’s request for this kind of service? Given the recent incidents of violence, shouldn’t this seemingly flawed policy be reexamined? The current selectivity of where to grant escorts seems to be without particular reason, and seems negligent toward a significant portion of the student population. The purpose of police is not only to respond to crimes, but to make an effort to prevent them in the first place. This, ideally, would create an environment that students could at least feel safe in. No one can effectively stop any and all crime, but anything less than a maximum effort is negligent and unacceptable.
Lucrative Grim Repo Man is Product of Economic Recession Marissa Blaszko Staff Writer The phrase “mortgage crisis” has been a staple in newspaper headlines for months, as have “economy,” “recession” and “job market,” in no particular order. But it’s not all bad news—at least, if you’re in the market to buy. With an economy grinding to a halt, thousands of homes are being repossessed nationwide and being sold for half of their former listed prices. So why is this good for real estate agents? After all, if the price of a house was less, one would imagine they’re making only a fraction of the money they would before last year’s real estate bubble burst. Cesar Dias, a Californian real estate agent, dove on what he saw as an opportunity—a weak market— and has been making headlines nationwide since he introduced a novelty idea: repo tours. Every Saturday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Dias takes three sold-out fullsized buses of future homeowners on a tour of all of the repossessed homes in and around Stockton, Ca. Since he started his mostly Internet-based business, RepoHomeTour.com has grown to include offices throughout California and even a couple tours in housing hot spots like Vegas, Dallas and Palm Beach. His business is “the darling of the industry right now,” he told Recordnet.com. On the Fox Business Channel, a panel of three industry professionals praised Dias’ brainchild. “This is America,” said one. “I love it!” (Clearly, the producers over at Fox missed the irony in the statement.)
Between tours, Dias has also made time to make money off of other real estate agents, helping them to set up tours of their own. For a mere five thousand dollar consulting fee, dozens of agents are flocking to Dias to learn if they should rent or buy a bus and get listed on his Web site. But is the Grim Repo Man, described by several news organizations as a “vulture,” simply preying upon the weak? With oil at an all-time high and the U.S. job market at its lowest point in years, the working class seems to be at the forefront of an allout economic war. Considering airline bankruptcies and the threat of trucker strikes, the question is no longer whether or not we are entering a recession but how bad it will be and how long it will last. So what does Dias have to do with all of this? Is he simply an independently-spirited entrepreneur, or a living symbol of capitalism in America? It’s hard for anyone other than the mainstream media to imagine Dias as Robin Hood – even though he recently claimed on CNN that he was putting families in homes that they couldn’t have afforded before the mortgage meltdown. No matter what Dias may be doing, what he is showing is that in this great country, it’s not hard to make money off of struggling workers – after all, isn’t that what banks and oil tycoons do for a living? The solution isn’t going to be tax cuts, which will save foreclosure victims pennies and real estate kings thousands, nor will it come from a couple of Democratic Band-Aids. Because in the midst of the Housing and Urban Development Secretary’s resignation (rumors have it scheduled for
Monday, April 18), there are real people in the real world with real problems who need real help. While it’s impossible to say that buying a repossessed home is immoral, or to call Dias anything more than a businessman, claiming that our current economic status is a total
train wreck is, apparently, fair game. If there’s any upside to this year’s recession, it will hopefully get people thinking about the government’s role in the economy. So when we leave school and are forced to find ourselves jobs and houses among the poor, maybe we’ll start to think about
what the government should be doing, versus what they are doing. And maybe, we’ll actually find ourselves caring about what the words “economic recession” really mean.
Bewildered Society: Facebook 2.0 Makes Stalking Even Easier David Studinski The Ball State Daily News (Ball State) (U-WIRE) -- Stalk team, assemble. Facebook is currently experimenting with a redesign that will add some radical changes to profile pages as we know them. Via Facebook Pages account the company is taking user feedback on screenshots of the redesigned profiles expected to launch this spring, according to the group. The screenshots depict a tabular profile, with the first tab showing the improved Wall feature, as well as a tab for “About” and “Photos” for example. Other deserving applications can have a tab if you so choose, the screenshot caption said. To further our need for social circle hierarchy, screenshots depict the potential addition of a “Best Friends” application to the about me page, an evitable rip of MySpace’s “Top Friends” area. We all know we need more time to play God with the social standing of our friends. Now Facebook can make it easier and sanctioned! This biggest change is the merger of the Mini-Feed and Wall into the “new ‘Wall.’” Just
what we needed: even more comprehensive stalking capability. The layout encourages posting to someone’s wall after seeing an item in his or her Mini-Feed. Given your friendship with both people posting, the Wall will also show Wall-toWall interaction without having to click to a new page, a screenshot caption said. The purpose, Facebook said, is storytelling. “You’ll now see a progression of posts that should tell a more complete story,” an update to fans of the pages account said. “All of this information is in the same place, so it makes it easier to find and read. The goal is to make a cleaner, more relevant Wall that compiles the most relevant information about the people you care about.” It’s all a matter of voyeurism, completely trivial knowledge we obsess over on a daily basis. We like to know about us. Way to go, us selfindulgent pricks! I’m amused when people say they cruise celebrity gossip blogs and similar entertainment sites well before they visit actual news sites. Interestingly enough, statistics back that. Much like our television sets there’s a division between what males and females are
clicking, unless it’s Facebook. The site topped the top 10 Web sites among 18 to 24-yea-olds, according to a Youth Trends survey published by eMarketer earlier last month. The numbers vary within that number one slot, as 60 percent of males cited Facebook as their favorite site, 14 percent fewer than females. Here’s a look at the top 10 for men and women, as reported by the survey: Females: 2. YouTube; 3. Google; 4. Perez Hilton (“OMG!”); 5. CNN; 6. MySpace; 7. Yahoo!; 8. School’s site; 9. AOL; 10. PostSecret. Males: 2. ESPN; 3. YouTube; 4. Google; 5. CollegeHumor (“Dude, check this out ...”); 6. Yahoo!; 7. Weather.com; 8. Break; 9. Digg; 10. Wikipedia. Wikipedia? Way to reaffirm our intelligence there, men. Notice the Perez Hilton and PostSecret adds in the female column, granting me the ability to further perpetuate the stereotype that all women are gossipy. Oh, hush. It was a joke. Men are obviously more obsessed with the world of athletics, but the research also shows that awkwardly shot videos of people throwing up or getting hit in the groin holds an
important place in the male Web surfing lifestyle. There’s nothing new here demographically. These are all pretty familiar stereotypes of our gender roles. With that understanding, though, it’s easier to see why Facebook is changing. Notice on the whole – news about world events is pretty low. News/gossip about people (including the ability to backstab and stalk) is up high. In journalism there’s a label for stories revolving around what someone is doing. You’ll typically see these in feature sections or as profiles of athletes, either way they’re called “human interest.” It’s a double meaning when you think about it. The story is about a human’s interest, which easily becomes in the interest of other humans. People have been aggregating this content for years in newspapers, yearbooks and magazines (see: Cosmo’s Va-jay-jays), now technology is allowing us to do it for ourselves. Actually, now technology is doing it for us whether we want it to or not. And as long as it keeps us on the site longer, it’s irrelevant to Facebook what information it’s digging up.
THE RECORDER / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / OPINION
A Godless Campus
Angela Macala Staff Writer A recent article in USA Today explored the question of whether God is fading from college campuses. Some say God’s presence is dwindling, while others say he’s as prominent as ever. I ask, why do people care what way it goes? Those who fear a divine presence is fading from campuses don’t exactly hold a positive view of colleges in the first place. As the USA Today article put it, “America’s campuses are viewed by many as bastions of liberal secularism, the places where religious faith goes to die.” Hang on a minute! I don’t know about the rest of my fellow CCSU students, but I enrolled to obtain a degree and a better professional life
Dissent to Be an
than waiting tables. Since when did forgetting about God become part of the equation? Everyone’s probably noticed the Bible Studies fliers tacked up in every building on campus and, if you walk by Alumni Hall in the Student Center, the people sitting at a table with a big banner behind their heads and another hiding their feet. Central is one campus where God is still quite visible. Religious clubs are sound. So are classes that explore religious history and theology. But a college mission to make sure students’ lives center around some invisible man? Not sound. I don’t see any atheist club fliers overlapping the Bible Studies ones, or a “Devil Worshipper” club trying to scare other clubs out of the student center. CCSU has never sent me any stationary or e-mail telling me to question my beliefs or ditch God altogether. Heck, I’ve never had a class where the teacher’s sole
focus was to sway students in one direction or the other. Not one of them has even asked what my stance is. So, where’s all this religious paranoia coming from? I have one theory: people beyond the clergy are getting an education. Backtrack millennia and God sufficed as the explanation for everything – everything! The wrath of nature fascinated and intimidated our ancestors to the point where they believed only something bigger, stronger and more powerful could be causing earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, thunder storms, etc. Perhaps, somewhere along the way, inquisitive minds set out to find God and discovered logical explanations instead. They began the foundations of research and the scientific method, which denounced the “wrath of God.” Religious authorities didn’t like having to let go of all the mysticism. Many still don’t, in-
cluding their followers. Putting all that aside a moment, what happened to separation of church and state? The state leaves churches alone, however the church refuses to leave the state alone. And then the church gets angry when the state tries to keep things simple and separate, along with respecting the fact that America houses many different religious practices nowadays. The church goes so far to accuse that the elimination of religion in colleges is “hostile to the rights and dignities of religious students.” Who’s actually complaining here, religious students or the clergy? Someone needs to take the time and do a poll asking who wants religious teachings to be more prominent on public campuses. And the church needs to ask itself what the whole point of college is, along with research whether a college education correlates with loss of faith or not.
and What It Means Lots of Handshakes, Little Results:
Brian Morache Staff Writer
While it is one thing to ridicule someone to the point of damaging his or her psyche, it is quite another when one ridicules the government. That kind is called dissent and, despite what many neo-conservatives will tell you, it is one of the foundations of America. There are those who will say that dissent is unpatriotic, that it provides fodder for our enemies and is a sign of weakness. This argument is pretty weak if one considers that if the American colonists hadn’t had the courage to stand upon their right to ridicule Great Britain, well, then we’d all still be English. Dissent is one of the foundations of the United States, and, rather than being a sign of weakness, it is one of the greatest signs of courage. Dissent in the United States provides a fine example of the strength of our nation – to be able to have debate and dissenting opinions and at the end of the day remain united as Americans. Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and one of this nation’s Founding Fathers, believed that revolution was not only a good thing but also necessary to a healthy democracy. A look at American history clearly shows that he was right; for while this nation has not always had armed revolts, it has had numerous revolutions that have often transformed the way people look at the United States. Consider the fight for Civil Rights in the ’60s. For many Americans it meant standing up to not only the status quo of society but also to the Jim Crow laws of the government. Segregation was the law of the land, yet Americans stood upon their right to ridicule the government for their policy of “Separate but Equal.” Were these dissenters demonstrating American weakness in ridiculing their government? Most recently, Americans have stood on their right to ridicule in opposing the war in Iraq. Because of this ridicule, the Bush Administration has been forced to answer difficult questions regarding how the nation got into the war and how it has been conducted. If those people had remained silent, or, as some conservatives would see it, remained patriotic, then not only would the truth about the Iraq
war still be hidden in the shadows, but the American public would still be forced to accept the lies fed to us by the administration. Consider a speech made in the film “The American President”: “As Americans, we often speak of the right of free speech, and we proudly celebrate ‘The land of the free.’ Being an American isn’t easy, my friends; it is advanced citizenship and it’s going to test you. It means listening to someone advocate at the top of their lungs what you would spend a lifetime opposing. Celebrate that in schools; be proud of that and then claim to be ‘the land of the free. Yes, be proud to be an American, but not at the expense of the values and ideals that make this country what it is.” As Jefferson once said, a little revolution every now and then is a good thing. Anyone disagree?
The Endless Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks Dan Ivers Opinon Editor
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recently set out on yet another trip to Israel to help mediate peace talks between Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Olmert and Palestinians in the country, led by President Mahmoud Abbas. As most of us know, the two ethnic groups in the West Bank region harbor deep hatred and resentment of one another, and violence between them has been almost constant since the formation of Israel in 1948. While Rice admitted that actual peace is a long way off, she was quoted in the media as saying “It is a start. It is not the end of what must be done, but it is a start.” Really? This is a start, in 2008? Ever since I first began to comprehend the news as a child, I can remember talk about peace discussions between Palestinians and Israelis, and it never seems to have too great an effect. An endless, revolving cast of players that have taken part come to mind, including Madeleine Albright, former President Clinton, Benjamin Netanyahu, Yasir Arafat, President Bush, Rice, Abbas and Olmert. It seems that all these bigwigs have been trying to get the same thing accomplished for approximately the past 15 years, and while I may be too young to remember who was doing it before then, I can be pretty sure somebody was. Just the sight of a news story with a headline like “Rice says Mideast peace talks progressing” is enough to induce a hearty groan. There seems to be a well of hope for this situation that just never dries up. Call me pessimistic, but it seems like there’s an awful lot of disingenuous handshakes going on and not a lot of results being achieved. While Olmert and Abbas periodically meet to try to somehow convince the people they don’t hate each other
so much, Israel is continuing to isolate Palestinians economically and anger them by furthering commercial and residential development on the West Bank. Just this past Friday, an aide to the Israeli public security minister was shot and wounded by a Palestinian gunman. Militant groups like Hamas regularly exchange rockets and air strikes with Israel. It seems as though the lip service of politicians doesn’t do much to change the feelings of the general populations, and it’s not hard to see why. The United States has a considerable amount of influence internationally, but it is hardly our place to play the mediator between Israel and Palestine. Israel is one of our most important allies, with one of the world’s most formidable armies and an extremely strategically important position in the Middle East. Furthermore, the United States was instrumental in Israel’s creation (largely as a reaction to the Nazi crimes against Jews), which angered Palestinians. While peace would be nice, it’s clear that U.S. interest is Israeli interest, and our involvement in peace negotiations is less than neutral. And while Palestinian violence against Israelis cannot be condoned, try to imagine how violated you might feel if another country, backed by a world superpower, tried to usurp Connecticut in the name of granting one ethnic group sanctuary. At this point, it’s hard to see what benefit the never-ending peace talks in the Gaza Strip have had. While giving up may seem irresponsible or pessimistic, there are other situations in the world that could use our help; ones that just might meet with some success. The deep-seated tensions in the region will be incredibly difficult to overcome, and the peace needs to resonate with the common citizens of the region. It certainly doesn’t seem that it will be achieved through peace talks filled with false smiles and handshakes.
6 THE RECORDER Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Blue Devils Complete Four-Game Sweep of Quinnipiac on Sunday ccsubluedevils.com Senior righty John Tesseyman pitched a compete-game three-hitter in the second game on Sunday’s doubleheader to give Central Connecticut a four-game sweep over Quinnipiac this weekend. The Blue Devils won the first game 5-3 and the second 6-1 to earn the sweep of the weekend series. In the first game junior lefty Ken Kerski picked up the win allowing only two runs in seven innings of work. CCSU is now 4-0 to begin Northeast Conference play this season. The Bobcats wasted little time getting on the board scoring a single run in the top of the first. After Blue Devil starter Ken Kerski retired the first two batters on three pitches he walked John Delaney and Pete Kummerfeldt doubled to deep right center to give the Bobcats the 1-0 lead. The Blue Devils tied it up with a single run in the bottom of the first inning. Sean Miller-Jones and Casey Walko singled to lead off the inning and went to second and third on a wild pitch. With one out Jak Kidd singled in Miller-Jones to tie the game at 1-1. Central Connecticut added three runs in the bottom of the second inning when Quinnipiac starter Tyler Brett walked four and hit a batter, leading to all three Blue Devil runs. Miller-Jones, Walko and Anthony Scialdone each had an RBI to give CCSU the 4-1 lead. The Bobcats cut the lead to 4-2 with a run in the top of the second. John Delaney’s single through the left side scored Ben Farina, who had walked with one out in the inning.
Solid Pitching Guides Blue Devils to Saturday Sweep Kyle Dorau Staff Writer The Central Connecticut State University baseball team swept a doubleheader with Quinnipiac on Saturday, by way of a 3-2 comeback victory in 11 innings, and hanging on to a 5-2 victory in the nightcap. Game one was a pitching clinic, as CCSU starter Derek Roberts faced the minimum through four innings. He got some help, thanks to a double play turned by the middle infield, a steal attempt thwarted by Blue Devils catcher Sean Parker and a highlight reel diving grab by left fielder Casey Walko. In the bottom of the fourth, CCSU shortstop Anthony Scialdone started the inning with a single off Quinnipiac starter Andy Mayer. After a groundout advanced Scialdone to second and a Tommy Meade strikeout, center fielder Kyle Zarotney laced a base hit to left field. It went under the glove of the Bobcats’ Brian Farina and rolled to the warning track. Farina’s error allowed Scialdone to score easily, making it 1-0 Blue Devils. Quinnipiac struck right back, as Roberts had his only poor inning of the game in the top half of the fifth. He surrendered a pair of hits to Pete Kummerfeldt and Joe Poletsky of the Bobcats to lead off the frame. After a sacrifice bunt and a strikeout, Quinnipiac designated hitter Michael
Quinnipiac cut the lead to one with an unearned run in the top of the sixth. With two outs in the inning Michael Marmo singled and went to second on an error in the outfield. He scored on a single to right by Mike Bartlett to make it 4-3 in favor of the Blue Devils. Central Connecticut added a run in the bottom of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Scialdone, his second RBI of the game, to make it 5-3. Kerski picked up his first win of the season for the Blue Devils, pitching all seven innings and allowing three runs, scattering 10 hits and striking out two. In the second game the Blue Devils got on the board first with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning. First baseman Tommy Meade singled to center field scoring Miller-Jones and Scialdone giving the home team the 2-0 edge. Central Connecticut added another unearned run in the second inning when Miller-Jones doubled home catcher Sean Parker with two outs in the inning, upping the lead to 3-0. The lead reached 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning when Scialdone led off the inning with a double and then scored on an RBI single by Kidd. Two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning gave the Blue Devils a 6-0 lead. Two runners reached on errors and both were driven home on a Casey Walko single to center field with two outs in the inning. The Bobcats scored a single unearned run in the ninth to make the final score 6-1. Blue Devil starter John Tesseyman was perfect through three innings before allowing his first hit to the first batter in the fourth inning. A double play erased the runner and Tesseyman retired the final batter of
Amanti drove both runners in with a base hit to put them ahead 2-1. The game would remain 2-1 thanks in large part to the pitching of Mayer and Roberts. The Bobcats dodged a bullet when Scialdone led off the eighth with what appeared to be a double down the line, but was tagged out because he did not touch first base. CCSU was one out away from losing the game in the bottom of the ninth, but with runners on the corners and two out, Parker came to the dish and plated Meade with a gametying base hit. Roberts, who had kept a low pitch count, trotted out to the mound in the tenth inning and held the Bobcats down further. Roberts’ last inning may have been his best, as he tallied two more of his nine strikeouts on the game. Meade scored on a two-out infield hit by Parker, winning the game for CCSU in the eleventh inning. Donny White pitched a scoreless eleventh for the Blue Devils to earn the victory. Eric Bretscher, who relieved Mayer for Quinnipiac, took the loss. In the nightcap, Matt Gianini got the complete game victory as he went the full seven innings, allowing just two runs and striking out three batters. Walko powered the offense, going 2 for 2 with a run scored and two driven in.
Game 1 Blue Devils Quinnipiac
Game 2 Blue Devils Quinnipiac
the inning. He faced only 15 batters through the first five innings. Tesseyman finished the game allowing only three hits and faced only two batters over the minimum. The lone run the Bobcats scored in the ninth inning was unearned. He moves to 2-3 on the season with the victory. He faced only three batters in seven of the nine innings.
Photos by Stephanie Bergeron / The Recorder
Secondbaseman Sean Miller-Jones goes to bat for the Blue Devils on Sunday. He laced an RBI double in the second inning.
Game 1 Blue Devils Quinnipiac
Game 2 5 3
Blue Devils Quinnipiac
Starter Derek Roberts struck out nine in almost ten innings pitched on Saturday.
Upcoming Baseball Games Date
Tue, Apr 08
Fri, Apr 11
Mount St. Mary’s *
at Emmitsburg, MD
Sat, Apr 12
Mount St. Mary’s (DH) *
at Emmitsburg, MD
Sun, Apr 13
Mount St. Mary’s *
at Emmitsburg, MD
Tue, Apr 15
at Worcester, MA
Fri, Apr 18
Long Island *
Bristol, CT (Muzzy Field)
Sat, Apr 19
Long Island (DH) *
Bristol, CT (Muzzy Field)
Sun, Apr 20
Long Island *
Bristol, CT (Muzzy Field)
Tue, Apr 22
at Amherst, MA
Fri, Apr 25
Bristol, CT (Muzzy Field)
Sat, Apr 26
Monmouth (DH) *
Bristol, CT (Muzzy Field)
Sun, Apr 27
Bristol, CT (Muzzy Field)
Wed, Apr 30
at Storrs, CT
Fri, May 02
Sacred Heart *
at Fairfield, CT
THE RECORDER / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / SPORTS
Less is More for NFL Rule Changes Michael Luchene Staff Writer While sports like baseball find pride in maintaining the traditional values of the game, the National Football League has never shied away from the opportunity to evolve. Sometimes it’s for the best, but more often the adjustments are unnecessary and only serve in making the game more confusing to fans. NFL owners voted on a number of potential rule changes during the league’s annual meeting last week in Palm Beach, Fla. Among the proposals that passed was the elimination of the force-out ruling. Previously, a referee could grant a receiver a catch if he determined that he would have landed with two feet in bounds had it not been for the defender pushing him out while still in the air. The new ruling is that the player must come down in the field of play no matter what. The line of thinking here is that it eliminates the referee’s judgment. That’s understandable, but owners also voted to do away with the five-yard facemask penalty. Starting in 2008, a defender can grab a player by his protective shield without being penalized. If it’s severe enough it’ll still be a personal foul, but it will otherwise be discarded. This puts more emphasis on the official’s judgment. This year’s annual “screw up the fans and make their brains explode while they’re trying to enjoy a
game” rule reads like this: “A direct snap from center that goes backward will now be treated as a fumble.” What? Other talk centered around reseeding playoff teams to allow wild cards the possibility of playing home games and mandating that a player’s hair not cover the nameplate on the back of his jersey. These two ridiculous proposals were tabled for further discussion, but are thankfully not expected to pass. What happened to overturning the ruling where coaches can call timeout? Week after week, coaches tried to call timeout just before the snap of the ball on game winning field goal attempts. With this allowance in place, there is no way for fans at home to be able to tell whether or not the timeout came before the kick. Why hasn’t the been mentioned over this past week? There are a couple of alterations made every season that do make sense. These are usually nobrainers but, nonetheless, welcome additions. This year, it was determined that field goals that pinball around the goal posts can be reviewed by instant replay. It’s difficult to find a reason for opposing this, but it would have been nice if kicks that soar over the top of the post were included. The biggest slam dunk was allowing coaches the option of deferring until the second half when they win the coin toss. Basically this means a team can elect to get the ball first in the second half. Genius.
Blue Devils Split Series Against Sacred Heart ccsubluedevils.com Junior Rachel Brenneman captured her third win of the season to lead the Blue Devils in a game one win, 2-1, against Sacred Heart, while dropping a game two decision 5-2. Brenneman started the game pitching seven innings for CCSU, fanning seven Pioneer batters. The Cheshire, CT native allowed six hits in the contest. Senior Melissa Pelletier compiled three hits for the Blue Devils in the series. In game one Sacred Heart was first to score, when senior Megan Spehar knocked a Brenneman pitch out of the park to grab an early 1-0 advantage in the second inning. The Blue Devils tied the game at 1-1 when Pelletier drove in classmate Melissa Caron in the fifth inning. In the bottom of the sixth CCSU took the lead 2-1 when Pelletier scored from second off freshman Erin Kelley’s single to centerfield. In game two the teams played the first three innings scoreless. The Pioneers scored the first runs of the game in the fourth off a Blue Devil fielding error, taking a 5-0 lead. In the bottom of the fifth the Blue Devils posted their first run when sophomore Sara Budrick crossed the plate off freshman Kendall Sours’ ground out to third. Senior Jessica Caron drove in the Blue Devils’ second run, driving in Kelley from second base. At the end of six innings CCSU trailed 5-2. In the bottom of the seventh the Blue Devils loaded the bases but could not get a runner across. Sacred Heart freshman Jen Russell threw seven innings, striking
Sophomore Jaclyn Logan, #00, hit in the DH spot both games. out four, allowing two Blue Devil runs to capture the win. Freshman Liz Montemurro went 3 2/3 innings for CCSU allowing four hits, striking out three batters in the loss. Senior Samantha Keltos came in to relieve the freshman to close out the fourth. Keltos went on to pitch the final 3 1/3 innings, not allowing a run while posting one strike out. Next up the Blue Devils will take to the field in a non-conference double-header against Fairfield on April 9 at 3:00 p.m. The games will be played at Fairfield University, but will be a home game for the Blue Devils.
Photo by Conrad Akier / The Recorder
Game 1 Blue Devils Sacred Heart
Game 2 Blue Devils Sacred Heart
THE RECORDER / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / SPORTS
Tools of the Trade: Six Weapons Used by Two of the Blue Devils Top Hurlers Peter Collin Sports Editor Matt Gianini and Ken Kerski currently have four total wins for the Blue Devils this season, including one a piece from this weekend’s four game sweep of Quinnipiac. They have combined to strike out 26 batters on the season. Both pitchers like to work off their fastballs. Here are those, plus some other tricks of the trade: 4-Seam Fastball The 4-seam fastball is the bread and butter of the average pitcher. Though it travels in a relatively straight trajectory, it moves with tremendous speed and easily has the most velocity in any pitcher’s repertoire. Curveball The curveball has existed in baseball for nearly as long as the fastball. It is a deceptive pitch that travels at a much slower velocity than a fastball and drops straight down on its route to the catcher’s mitt. Its degree of break is often likened to the numbers on a clock. A pure curveball, which Gianini throws, will rise to all the way to 12 before dropping down to the 6, creating a 12-6 curveball. Other variations of the pitch have a smaller break, but slight increases in velocity like Kerski’s 11-7 curveball that only reaches the height of the 11 before falling to the 7.
Change-Splitter Like a curveball, this hybrid pitch will travel slower than a fastball but it is used to look like a fastball. It is released from the pitcher’s hand and appears to move straight, but the grip allows for the same arm speed of the fastball with diminished velocity allowing the ball to drop right before it reaches the batter.
Gianini’s 4-Seam Fastball
Gianini and Kerski’s Curveball
Kerski’s 2-Seam Fastball
2-Seam Fastball The 2-seam fastball comes in at number two in the race to the plate. This modified grip of the standard 4-seam fastball lets the ball deviate from its straight path to the plate but at the cost of a couple of miles per hour. The usual benefit of the 2-seamer is the likelihood of a soft groundout or double-play. Circle Change Up With more horizontal movement, the circle change also relies on deceiving the batter into thinking a fastball is on the way. But it is that horizontal movement that kicks in late as the ball approaches the plate that leads to most hitters beating balls into the ground, or just flat out missing the ball altogether. Splitter Popularized in the ‘80s, the splitter follows the same modus operandi of other breaking pitches. It starts out looking like a fastball as the pitcher releases the ball with the same arm speed. But the splitter is slightly slower and drops precipitously immediately before the plate, inducing the pitcher’s best friend: the groundball, or a swing and a miss.
Kerski’s Circle Change Up
Kerski’s Splitter Edward Gaug / The Recorder
WhirlyBall: Best Sports Hybrid Since Baseketball Aril Grain Staff Writer What do you get when you cross basketball, jai alai and polo, then throw in some bumper cars for good measure? The most awesome sport ever, that’s what. It’s okay if you’ve never heard of WhirlyBall before; I hadn’t either until I played it, but now I am most certainly hooked. Although I admit it is a little challenging to describe WhirlyBall to someone who has never had the pleasure of experiencing it, I will do my level best. Located on Route 5 in South Windsor and called “The World’s Only Totally Mechanized Team Sport,” the rules of WhirlyBall are relatively simple: there are two teams of five people, each equipped with a bumper car-like vehicle called a “Whirly Bug” and a plastic scoop racquet. On either side of the 4,000-square foot court are hung two backboards with circular Plexiglas targets. The goal is to launch a softball-sized whiff le ball at the target with your scoop in order to score points for your team.
The Religion of New England Peter Decoteau Staff Writer Ok, first thing’s first: I have to throw out condolences to the resident Mets fans around the state. Not only do you have to put up with obnoxiously condescending Yankees and Red Sox fans throughout the entire regular season, but last season you had to suffer through one of the most monumentally embarrassing choke jobs in MLB history as your team blew their division lead more thoroughly than Paris Hilton blows, well, everyone. The fact that I called up ev-
Hitting the target is worth two points and will set off a buzzer to alert players of a score. A referee looks down on the game from a booth above the court, keeping score and watching for penalties, such as hitting the opposing team with your racquet or ramming an opponent head-on with your Whirly Bug. Whereas the rules may be simple, what’s not so easy is figuring out how to drive the Whirly Bugs. Powered by alternating metal strips on the f loor, the Bugs are actually nothing like a conventional bumper car. Instead of a steering wheel, the driver maneuvers their Bug with a crank handle that allows for a sharper turning radius and driving in reverse, and it frees up a hand for using the scoop to pick up, pass and shoot the ball. As a first-timer, there were several instances throughout the fifteen-minute game intervals in which I found myself unable to move my vehicle. Thankfully, the nine other people I was with had never played before either, so we all ran into the same problem and Whirly Bug pile-ups were frequent.
It was also challenging to properly deal with the racquet. It was easy to chase after the ball and scoop it up, but numerous times after capturing the ball, I’d turn around only to be cornered by a f leet of Whirly Bugs and unable to make it back to my team’s goal. At this point, I would try to pass the ball to a teammate and only succeed in slamming the ball into the ceiling. The few times that I had an open shot at the goal, I found it hard to remember what I was told at the beginning of the game: the shot is all in the wrist, and I would miss the backboard completely. After our hour was up—the court is rented out in 60 minute blocks—and after I had assessed the few bruises I had sustained from being boxed around by the other Whirly Bugs, I was curious what genius had come up with such a fantastic game. As it turns out, in 1962, Stan Mangum, a Salt Lake City automotive shop owner, came up with the idea after he had watched his son play a kind of hockey with a tin can and a golf cart. Mangum’s realization was that although similar
sports had been played on horseback, on skates and on foot, never had such a game been played while riding a machine. He then began work on the unique design of the Whirly Bugs. The first WhirlyBall court was opened in Detroit, Mich. in 1980. As of 2006, there were 34 courts in the United States and Canada, although the South Windsor location is the only one in New England. After we got our WhirlyBall history lesson, our group hung out in the parking lot for a moment, in awe of our experience and planning our next tournament. I wasn’t the only one who was hooked. Rental times are available by reservation only, preferably a week in advance, and require a minimum of ten players. The fee for one hour is $180.20, tax included, Sunday through Thursday and $201.40 Friday and Saturday. Tipping your referee is expected. Also, did I mention they serve beer? I told you this game is awesome.
ery Mets fan I know to rub their faces in it doesn’t mean I don’t feel bad for them…it just means I’m a bad person. Don’t give up on baseball yet, though. With the new season just getting started Mets fans can rejoice in the clean slate provided them until October, when the team falls apart again. More importantly, the inevitable Sox-Yanks rivalry is just a week or two away from sweeping in like some monstrous hurricane, ready to pound you with excessive drinking, missed classes, subsequent failing grades and insane arguments between best friends over who’s more deserving of a monumental man-crush (Jeter or Beckett?), who’s the real ugliest first base player in baseball (Youkilis or Giambi?) and, of course, who’s just straight up more badass (Papelbon or Joba the Hut?).
Also, the ongoing mysteries of baseball will surely turn up again, ready to perplex us with events and questions no simple-minded fan can answer (and, seriously, we’re all pretty simple-minded), such as the neverending puzzle of why Hideki Matsui’s hat can’t simply stay on his head when he runs down a ball in left field; whether or not Joe Torre is actually still alive or being propped up in the dugout ala “Weekend at Bernie’s” (it should be fun to watch him bake in the California sun); and just how high Manny is getting when he disappears into the “Green Monster.” I myself am preparing for an altogether different season of Sox support. Living in Boston behind Fenway for the past few years has skewed my fragile perception of the universe into a Red Sox love-fest where Papi is God, Fenway is church and championships are actually won. It was a magical
world of cute girls in Sox apparel that become exponentially less attractive the more they open their mouths to let out a word with an “r” in it; where an unreasonably intense obsession for a sports team was not only tolerated but encouraged, like a group of friends who actually want you to call your girlfriend ten times a day and spend your available time either with her or talking about her (which, of course, is ridiculous, because it would never happen). We hugged strangers and drank beer in the streets and savored the sweet smell of Italian sausages that gently wafted through our open windows on game days, waiting for the sound of a perfectly contented crowd cheer-on their beloved baseball team. Okay, so maybe the last part was a bit over the top. The strangers usually stunk of sweat and old “Fenway Franks,” the beer was stale
To bone up on your knowledge before you play, here are a few WhirlyBall buzzwords: Whirlic: a goal scored, worth two points. Power Shot: Comparable to a lay-up in basketball. Scooping: Hitting an opponent’s scoop while going for the ball, a two-point penalty. Wall Bouncing: Running into the wall and spinning around to advance yourself or lose and opponent. Bounce Passing: Bouncing the ball off the floor while passing it to a teammate. and warm and the cheers were coming from wealthy pseudo-fans who could actually afford to go to the games. Nevertheless, my exaggerated memories exemplify what we all love about the beginning of baseball season: the pure ideology of the sport; the meticulous cut and color of the grass; the smell of a fan-filled stadium; the feeling of watching a weekend afternoon game with a few friends and a thirty-pack. These are things we all get to soak in again, as if for the first time. Most importantly for us Connecticut residents, a new season means that the Mets haven’t bombed yet. The Steinbrenners haven’t completely sucked the fun out of it yet. And the Red Sox, well, they get to enjoy the sweet taste of a championship trophy, but they know that they haven’t won it this year. Yet.
Edward Gaug Entertainment Editor While you have read his or his company’s name in previous issues of The Recorder, most of you don’t know who “Manic” Mark Nussbaum is or what exactly he does in the scheme of the Connecticut music scene. Recently, he announced that Manic Productions, along with WXCI 91.7, will be putting together a two-day festival, which headlines with Cursive and Dead Meadow. Along with the two headliners, there are a dozen or so local and national acts. If you would like more information on Manic Productions or to see their list of upcoming events, you can check out their Web site at www.manicproductions.org Edward Gaug: Can you give us the short history of Manic Productions and how it came to the position it is in now?
who they were. It’s great, they are doing two last shows in Jersey where they’re from one last show in Connecticut because it feels like a second home for them.
Mark Nussbaum: Sure, originally I was the [merchandise] person for the Flaming Tsunamis and I would help them out at shows, selling their merch and then some of the dudes in the band started Kill Normal Records, which I’m sure you are somewhat familiar with. I started helping Andy and Ethan book those shows and promote those shows. Eventually, I got interested in trying my own thing out. It just kind of snowballed from that, booking more and more shows, trying to book bands I’m really interested in.
Gaug: I’m sure if it’s going to be a huge show when it comes up on the 11th. Nussbaum: Yeah, I think its going to be a really good turn out and we haven’t been to the Knights of Columbus in a long time and it’s a really big room with like 500 people capacity. Gaug: Do you think there is anything you can do personally to make Connecticut and, subsequently New Haven, into a bigger music scene? Are you trying to work with more bands? Book more shows? Because right now you are booking a show almost weekly.
Gaug: Can you remember what the first show you booked by yourself was? Nussbaum: I did a show at the Arts Barn (Madison, Conn.) back in April of 2002 and it was River City Rebels, Grover Dill and this band Slackjaw, another local band. Gaug: More recently you have been doing shows with Chinese Stars and Why? and now you have two bigger bands like Cursive and Dead Meadow as a part of your upcoming Not Brooklyn Festival on April 18 and 19. How has working with bands changed now that you’ve been doing this for almost six years? Nussbaum: It’s much easier talking with bands, ‘cause you have to learn as you’re going. You need to know what you have to do to make bands happy. The experiences are pretty much the same working with a smaller band or a bigger band. They are both on the road trying to play shows. Gaug: Speaking of Not Brooklyn Festival, you have two days of music lined up at Heirloom Arts Theatre in Danbury, how did you get the idea for the festival and what are you hoping to accomplish when all is said and done: is it promoting the locals bands you have playing, promoting the new venue or getting some exposure for the company? Nussbaum: Jay, who owns the venue, told me the radio station (WXCI 91.7 FM) contacted him to put together a day or two of music for what is now a festival. We had done a couple shows there before, like Melt-Banana and No Age and a few others, so he asked me to jump aboard. I have never done
a festival before and what better way to do it than at a new venue and splitting it with someone else, doing it by myself would have been way too much work. I basically started contacting bands that I like and thought would do well here. For accomplishments, we definitely want to get as much exposure as possible to the local bands, that’s why we put a lot of bands from New Haven on, which I’m really excited about. Also, we put some Danbury bands on there because the show is in Danbury. We are trying to get the locals exposure, but it also helps promote our company, it helps promote the venue as well and the radio station has really been helping us out.
side of major markets like Boston and Philly and Brooklyn. Things are going on in Connecticut and we want bands to be aware of it. Even people in Connecticut complain that they always have to travel out of state to see good shows and that’s not always true. People don’t really take the time to do research and that’s why we promote our shows so much, to try to get the word out. There definitely could be more going on around here and that’s what we’re trying to do overall; get things happening in Connecticut. We could definitely move to a bigger city and get more shows, but we really don’t feel the need to. I’ve grown up here my whole life and I want to stay where I’m needed.
Gaug: Earlier, I brought up the name of the festival, Not Brooklyn, and I have been trying to field that question to everyone I talk to about the shows. So what is the actually story with Not Brooklyn?
Gaug: You brought up New Haven a few seconds ago, I’ve noticed recently that the scene there is blowing up in the past five or six months. You can go down there almost every night and find a show being played.
Nussbaum: Well, I was sitting in my living room and my roommates and I were trying to think of a name. We came up with the name Not Brooklyn Fest because I had just lost a few shows to Brooklyn and that’s why we chose Brooklyn. It also goes to show people that things are happening out-
Nussbaum: For sure, and we really want to move most, if not all, of our events to New Haven. We have a 600 capacity church we are working with now.
Gaug: I know recently you did a show at BAR in New Haven, how does it work as a prospective venue for upcoming shows? Nussbaum: BAR is great. They have a really nice looking room, really good pizza and beer. Rick, the booker there, is great but unfortunately he only gets Sundays to do shows there. It’s still great what he does and that was our third show at BAR. Sound is really god there too. Gaug: I know you have Pissed Jeans coming up on Sunday, but the show that catches my eye is the Folly show on Friday the 11th. This is Folly’s last show in Connecticut and I know you have done a lot with them as a band so getting this show was probably pretty easy. Nussbaum: Our third show we booked Folly, because I was still with the Flaming Tsunamis guys and they play a similar hardcore ska as Folly and I remember going to see them at Wesleyan and then I contacted them and asked if they would want to play a show. I just fell in love with them and since then we booked them to at least 14 or 15 shows and we really built them up. Now they will draw 150 or 200 people and before no one knew
Nussbaum: Right now, what we’re doing is working with Yale and trying to get in contact with them to see whom they are bringing in for bands and of course we’re talking to Carlos at Safety Meeting Records who works a lot with Cafe Nine and a lot of the bands he signs are from New Haven. I guess we are just trying to keep in touch with everyone in New Haven and even recently we have been working with people at Wesleyan to get some Wesleyan bands. Bottle Up & Go is a band from Wesleyan who just got signed to Kill Normal Records, which is based out of New Haven as well. We’re just trying to bring everything together. Gaug: If all goes well for Not Brooklyn, do you think there would be a possibility for an outdoor show with summer coming up in a couple months? Nussbaum: Actually, I just started working at The Space this week and basically we were talking about something in their parking lot even. We have explored the idea of doing outdoor festivals sometimes and I’m sure eventually it will happen, but we have to find the right place and the right bands to play and do it. It would definitely be something I’m open to. It’s a really cool idea. Gaug: I know you love Appleseed Cast and book them as often as possible, but if you could book any three bands for a show, who would they be? Nussbaum: Hmm, I would say Envy, Rilo Kiley and Battles.
10 THE RECORDER Wednesday, April 9, 2008
When Tokyo Police Club came out with their EP Smith a while ago, they seemed to have left a dent on the indie scope of music, even with just three songs. Now that they’re all grown up and are touting Elephant Shell, they’re headed for good things. This 11-song album is something rare, namely because it seems like every song is a single or can be; it’s as if Tokyo Police Club fast-forwarded to the point where they can have a “Greatest Hits” compilation. Exhibit A: “Your English Is Good.” The band opens with a “Give us your vote” in chants and from there weaves into the song a percussion beat that sounds like only two drumsticks. It’s a bouncy track that has the potential to grab people with regular instruments and real human talent; sorry, Ed, but it’s kind of refreshing to hear a whole band of people making music better than machines. Some slower beats steady the album and definitely grant depth and the occasionally sentimental song, like “The Harrowing Adventures Of…” There is a certain quality to songs that replace traditional percussion instruments with clapping and stomping, and this song is more dramatic in a subtle way because of it. Though there are drums, the band does this in a few of their other songs to the same great effect. While I’m not a huge fan of Los Campesinos!, I do have to make the comparison between Elephant Shell and the recent Hold On Now, Youngster. The latter is crazier, less organized and slightly annoying, but while the sounds and instruments are similar, TPC shows them up on every angle. They perfect the way an accompanying piano should sound, as heard in the track “Tesselate,” and how not to go overboard with an electric guitar or a xylophone/ glockenspiel-type instrument. The follow-up that this album provides is one that definitely sets up the band for another exceptional album to come. I’d be surprised if Elephant Shell was released to a less than enthusiastic reception. Melissa Traynor / News/Managing Editor
Tokyo Police Club Elephant Shell
Nothing says teenage angst like Anti-Flag. Everyone I knew that listened to punk music in high school had their own separate Anti-Flag stage that got them introduced into right-wing politics, even though most of us weren’t able to vote yet. This stage for me hit just as the 2000 elections were taking place and NoFX and AntiFlag made up most of my mix CDs. Eight years later and the message is pretty much the same for Justin Sane and the other members of this Pittsburgh punk outfit. Politics is the theme that unites all punk rockers, and Anti-Flag rarely strays away from this idea. They love expressing their thoughts on government through their songs, and nothing else is expected from them. The Bright Lights of America has a new mellow feel to it that hasn’t always been apparent on A-F records. Years ago, Sane’s vocals would be loud and thrashy, and now there are more gang choruses and slowed-down singing. After twenty years in the game, Anti-Flag might finally be slowing down, and it’s not hurting their sound at all. Tracks on this album seem catchier than any of their previous offerings, leaving the listener less pissed and more interested in what the band wants to say. There will always be a fan base consisting of younger punks who will be drawn to AntiFlag’s preaching, and this album offers up tracks like “We Are the Lost” and “Smarter Than Bombs” to get this album’s group of teen fans interested in the government that is controlling them. While all their songs remain in the punk genre, they are doubled in time compared to most punk tracks. Bright Lights has most of its tracks clocking in at over four minutes, but due to the speed of the songs they don’t feel it. While I thought I had out-grown AntiFlag and everything they had to offer, I found myself slightly interested in The Bright Lights of America, and it might rekindle my love for punk music, if only for a week or two. Edward Gaug / Entertainment Editor
Anti-Flag The Bright Lights of America
Following up an album like St. Elsewhere with enough new, unique material is difficult to say the least, but to follow it up with an album that totally kills it is just amazing in all aspects. CeeLo and DJ Danger Mouse have combated the sophomore slump with what might be 2008’s hottest album. The Odd Couple brilliantly mixes CeeLo’s smooth, almost bluesy voice with Danger Mouse’s trippy, occasionally lo-fi beats to create an album full of tracks with single potential. While I might not be in tune with recent radio play, I know for sure songs like “Going On” and “Run” will be on heavy rotation in the rock and hip-hop stations. It still amazes me that two low-key guys, who had their own small followings prior to Gnarls Barkley, can go out and make some of the catchiest tracks and completely blur the line separating the rockers with the hip-hop enthusiasts. Usually a band will have to incorporate pieces from each genre to accomplish such tasks, but Gnarls does it with straight hip-hop tunes. The album begins with “Charity Case,” a cymbal and drum heavy track that flows into Cee-Lo’s soulful vocals, laid gently over splash of the cymbals. Danger Mouse’s beats are layered in the background but only become prevalent for a few seconds. “Run,” the album’s first noted single, speeds up Cee-Lo’s vocals, seeming almost rapid-fire even when combined with a sample of children’s voices. Towards the end of the track, a spacey synth line accompanied by whistle blasts tie the music together neatly with the vocals. Compared to their first album, St. Elsewhere, The Odd Couple comes off as being calmer, without the over-the-top dance beats found on the previous record. This isn’t to bash on DM’s beats, but everything seems subdued compared to how upbeat and almost poppy “Gone Daddy Gone” was. While The Odd Couple doesn’t have a stand-out single like “Crazy,” it will have no problem capturing awards by the arm full at the end of the year, including possibly The Recorder’s own “Album of the Year.” Edward Gaug / Entertainment Editor
Gnarls Barkley The Odd Couple
The beauty of the Black Keys’ music has always been in its rugged simplicity. With producer Danger Mouse’s name attached to their new release, Attack and Release, one would be prone to expect a departure from this style into the realm of higher production value and musical complexity that the music just doesn’t need. After all, what the band has always done best is rock. Hard. These additions are, to an extent, evident on the album, as the group’s grainy lo-fi aesthetic has been lessened (but not completely tossed), and their characteristic riff-based garage blues has been mingled with various forms of rock that have appeared, though only briefly, on previous releases. Even as a hard-set fan of their earlier work, I found that this new approach somehow works to create a unique album that sounds just like the Black Keys, but nothing like what they’ve done before. Danger Mouse’s fingerprints are all over the album, but they remain complimentary to the deceptively simple song structure and execution of the Black Keys’ typical tracks. Songs like “I Got Mine” and “Same Old Thing” recall the group at their blues-soaked grittiest, while the country-tinged “All You Ever Wanted” and the R&B inflected “So He Won’t Break” represent a stark progression in their sound. Meanwhile, Danger Mouse tosses in subtleties like a Jethro Tull-esque flute or a simple distortion in drum sound that enhances the songs instead of swallowing them. In its juxtaposition of stomp-rock and soft melody, Attack and Release always threatens to lose momentum. What keeps it together (and typically flies way under the radar) is the track listing. The end of the album seems to mirror the beginning, and the middle tracks even run into each other in different versions of the same
Black Keys Attack and Release
theme (appropriately titled “Remember When [Side A]” and “Remember When [Side B]”). While all of this points to a removal from the distinctive sound that made the Black Keys so memorable to begin with, Attack and Release feels less like a different beast altogether and more like a natural evolution of their sound. I’ll be the first to admit that I miss the dirty southern blues best presented on The Big Come Up and Rubber Factory, but in their new territory they never forgo their classic, down-home feel – they simply extend it to encompass more eclectic styles. Peter Decoteau / Staff Writer In the seventh installment of the Punk Goes… series, pop-punks try to tackle rap music and God. It is pathetic. When I first looked at the album’s lineup, I thought I would at least be humored by Say Anything’s cover of Ol’ Dirty Bastard’s “Baby I Got Your Money,” but even Max Bemis managed to find a way to disappoint me. With artists like Lil Jon, TuPac and Akon on the butcher’s board, their hit songs are ripped apart by bands that know more about tight jeans, studded belts and long, feminine hair. While some of them keep their comedic value, like The Secret Handshake’s cover of Skee-Lo’s early ’90s hit, “I Wish,” others, like Set Your Goals’ murder of Lil Jon’s “Put Yo’ Hood Up” is just plain upsetting. Forever The Sickest Kids didn’t get the memo that Will Smith was never hip-hop, though their cover of “Men in Black” was actually pretty good musically; but it didn’t fit in with the harder songs from Biggie and Big Tymers. My American Heart’s re-up of 2Pac’s “California Love” had all the instrumentals down to a tee, but completely lost it when the vocals came in, making me ashamed to continue listening. The Devil Wears Prada takes their mix of screamo and pop-punk to attempt Big Tymers’ “Stay Fly” and make it their own, even if it isn’t something I would normally listen to. Thank God someone covered “Umbrella.” As much as I loathe the idea of this song, I love every single cover of it, including All Time Low’s try on this album. All Time Low remains as a little secret in my music library—I can’t ignore such catchiness. Four of the biggest songs in hip-hop history wrap up the album. BIG’s “Notorious Thugs,” Snoop’s “Gin and Juice,” Dre’s “Nothin’ But a ‘G’ Thang” and Outkast’s “Hey Ya” are all touched on in the remainder of Punk Goes Crunk. Scary Kids Scaring Kids is one of the few bands to actually leave their comfort zones and rap the lyrics of the song they’re covering. While they don’t hold a candle to Biggie’s original, they tried the hardest of all the bands. The album’s senior members Hot Rod Circuit take on Snoop and possibly the most-covered rap song by punk bands. They do an all right job, but it’s no better than that local high school punk band’s version. While this record might be fun to spin at a party once everyone is trashed and ready to dance, it remains laughable to listen to this thing at any other time. Right now I’m laughing at myself for spending 450 words on it. Edward Gaug / Entertainment Editor
Various Artists Punk Goes Crunk
While I used to have many reasons to hate on Las Vegas rockers Panic at the Disco, whether it was the annoying “!” that previously graced their band name, hordes of teeny-bopper fans, or just the overall aura that was given off by the Interpol-esque suitson-stage look, these kids now have a small place in my heart. Their music plays a lot deeper than what I initially heard on their first release, A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out. The tunes grew up just as fast as the members of the band did, shedding their pop-punk skin to make genuinely good music that will still draw the teenage crowd but can be enjoyed by the veteran music fan as well. I know I might take some heat for this pick, but I feel Panic has developed enough talent to warrant
Panic at the Disco Pretty. Odd
all the good press they have been receiving for Pretty. Odd. The album’s second track and first single “Nine in the Afternoon” begins with a quick piano part and moves quickly into a bass drum stomp and Brendon Urie’s strong vocals. His act and voice reminds me a bit of Brandon Flowers of The Killers, but as the record progresses his vocals stand out as something unique, even drawing influence from music far before his time. Guitar lines throughout Pretty. Odd hug the line between garage and classic rock, giving the band the ability to stand on its own feet away from the trendy “emo” scene that they were originally lumped into at the release for their rookie album. “The Green Gentlemen” stands out later in the album as a possible single that uses a formula similar to “Nine in the Afternoon,” drawing influence from your parents’ favorite rock bands instead of the bands that Panic probably grew up admiring. Urie’s vocals are engaging and far more mature than his 20 years would typically show. While it isn’t usually easy for a band to shed your first impression of them, Panic at the Disco has cleared their name and record and have become one of the best-sounding alt-rock bands today. I hope the music industry sees what they did and we can finally let what people are calling “emo” today die its timely death. Edward Gaug / Entertainment Editor Labeling music as experimental has been played out ever since Frank Zappa pioneered the genre in the ’60s and ’70s. The genre has gotten downright annoying. But don’t tell that to Philadelphia fivepiece Man Man. They released their third album, titled Rabbit Habits, on April 8 via Anti- Records. I was obnoxiously skeptical before listening to this album considering Ed wants me to do album reviews of bands I have not heard of before so he doesn’t have to write the entire entertainment section himself. However, upon first listen of Rabbit Habits I found myself pleasantly surprised. Not only was I able to listen to the entire record all the way through, I actually found myself enjoying Man Man’s quirky experimental indie-rock. I may be able to attribute my liking of this album to my father, who used to play Frank Zappa around me all the time when I was just a little tot (to anyone who is a fan of Frank Zappa, that could probably explain why I am so strange now). I am sure that Man Man hears the comparisons to the legendary Zappa all of the time—it was the first thing I thought of when I was only a couple of minutes into listening to Rabbit Habits. The experimental blend of funky vocals, piano interludes, well-placed random instruments such as accordions and saxophones and awkwardly acceptable guitar lines make this album much more fun than I expected. “Top Drawer,” track eight, stands out as the star song to my ears. It has the catchiest vocal and bass lines that I have ever heard. And as much as I will hate to admit it, it will surely be stuck in my head for weeks. The Entertainment editor is now a solid one-for-seven hundred when it comes to giving me a random album that I find myself enjoying, especially in a genre that is tired and worthless. Man Man’s similarities to Frank Zappa struck a chord with my youth—I am sure my father would love this record as well. Pick it up. Nick Viccione / Staff Writer
Man Man Rabbit Habits
Sick of reading album reviews of bands no one has heard of? The Recorder is looking for writers interested in reviewing music in genres not already heavily covered in the newspaper, such as hip-hop, R&B, and electronic. If you’re interested please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE RECORDER / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / ENTERTAINMENT
Five Ways to Kill Time on the InterTubes Edward Gaug Entertainment Editor Every week I find myself spending more and more time online, whether it’s checking my fantasy baseball teams, seeing what’s going on in the world of electronics via Engadget or Gizmodo, or even lowering my IQ with useless YouTube videos. While some things online can be productive or insightful, others are just there for the amusement of people like me. Although this is just a test-run of a column, I would like to try this every week with the new thing I stumble upon in my wanderings through the Internet.
The Rick Roll
Where to find it: YouTube.com
I was searching through consumer-based blogs on April Fool’s Day looking for deals on something I need for the new apartment, and these are the best places to find online deals. I found a small link stating: “Apple: MacBook Air $1299,” so of course as the sucker I am for anything Apple I had to click the link and see if this was legitimate. Indeed, it was not and I got Rick Rolled. For those of you not in the loop on what Rick Rolling is, it’s the new phenomena of posting a link to something and having it send the reader to a YouTube video of Rick Astley’s video for “Never Gonna Give You Up.” While it started off as a joke a few years back, I find the song really catchy and the video is pure ’80s hilarity. If you want to have fun with your friends on AIM, send them a blind link to this video.
Where to find it: catsthatlooklikehitler.com This Web site was brought to my attention at work one day, and I can’t stop snickering at the idea of it. This entire Web site is a place to post pictures of cats resembling Hitler. While some of them just possess a small batch of black fur above their mouths, the best ones actually have black patches of fur on their heads that look like Adolph’s terrible comb-over. While this isn’t the only catbased Web site that I frequent, it’s different and always good for a quick laugh.
Where to find it: digg.com
If you have ever been to a site and saw a small clickable icon saying “Digg It” and were confused, you should check out Digg. How Digg works is that it displays links to news stories from Web sites and blogs and can gain more attention, the more time they are “Dugg.” If you find a particular story uninteresting, you can “Bury It,” and it will fade into Digg oblivion. While it’s not the greatest place to find your news, it is one of the most convenient. I will check Digg almost hourly as the site updates every minute or two. If you don’t feel like searching through the 200 pages of content, you can search via the search bar on top or just look through “Top in all Topics” section on the far right.
Where to find it: failblog.wordpress.com
Horton Hears a Who Dr. Seuss par Excellence
Brian Morache Staff Writer One of the pleasures of having children is that they provide an excellent excuse to see all those kids’ movies that we adults would normally be too “grown up” to see alone. After all, if you’re over 30, going to see Horton Hears a Who is probably not the best first date movie choice. But if you happen to be going with your six-year-old, then Horton Hears a Who is a perfect choice, and not just for your child. The film stars Jim Carey, who is also well known for another Seuss character, the Grinch in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Carey gives a superb performance as
that lovable and devoted elephant, Horton. The story is a familiar one. Dr. Seuss is almost required reading for any child and Horton Hears a Who has been put to the small screen in the past. The big screen adaptation provides an opportunity to go a little deeper into each character, “fleshing” out the story for the entertainment of adults. There are also spoofs of Japanese anime styles that have become popular so recently as well as some not so subtle digs on big government and, in a subtler context, the Bush administration. One has to wonder what else might have inspired the attitude of the Whoville government’s blind eye to all the disasters
happening in their little world as well as their insistence upon having their centennial celebration regardless of any circumstances. All that’s missing is a “Stay the Course” line. While these very subtle digs are there for adults, children just plain old enjoy the story. The narrator, who also hosts the long running CBS show, “Sunday Morning,” is Charles Osgood, and judging from his performance, one would hope that he would consider more narrations. As for whether this film is worth going to see, let me just leave you with the words of my six-year-old daughter and fellow movie critic, “It’s so good you’ll want to see it twice – just like I did!”
Run, Fat Boy, Run for Erectile Dysfunction Samantha Sullivan Copy Editor Before I even talk about the fun stuff in Run, Fat Boy, Run, let me just say this: Screenplay by Michael Ian Black and Simon Pegg, Directed by David Schwimmer. Are you getting an idea in your head? This movie was given all the potential to be great, including an amazing cast – Thandie Newton (Crash), Hank Azaria (Mystery Men); and Dylan Moran (Shaun of the Dead) – and it definitely pulled through on laughs. At one point I even thought I was going to cry – that is, until, something else made me laugh and forget about crying. Dennis (Pegg) left his girlfriend preggers at the altar, and certainly not casually – he ran out on her, quite literally. For the next five years, he spends his time working as a security guard in women’s retail, playing jokes on people in the park with his ador-
able son, Jake, while sitting in a tree and trying to win back the love of his life – Libby (Newton). He begins to lose hope when a man named Whit (Azaria), a rich, successful, attractive, fit businessman who runs marathons for charity, comes into the picture, nearly ruining any chance of earning Libby’s forgiveness. While seemingly a great catch, Whit is otherwise a complete “shithead” and totally wrong for Libby. With a little motivational help from his friend Gordon (Moran) and his upstairs neighbor/landlord (played by Harish Patel), Dennis has just three weeks to show Libby who Whit really is and prove that he can actually finish something…including the Nike River Race marathon. The British humor is all there, marking its territory with jokes about Dennis’ “scrotal zone,” and National Erectile Dysfunction Awareness, but other more subtle jokes are what make the film. In one scene, Dennis
gets a blister on his foot about the diameter of a tennis ball…I’ll try not to give everything away, but the scene ends with someone claiming “That was the second most disgusting fluid I’ve ever had in my eye.” Even little things, like Dennis calling his son “Jake n’ Bake,” add to the pleasure you get from watching this movie. This is a movie I will definitely recommend to family and friends. It isn’t an awkward sexual movie like many other comedies out lately, but there is enough sex (including naked butts, penis references and mannequin-humping) to make it worthwhile. Hell, there’s even a fight scene and someone gets punched in the crotch – who doesn’t laugh when they see that happen? Run, Fat Boy, Run is in theaters everywhere; although it isn’t much of a discount, with your BlueChip ID you pay $9 at the Loews Plainville Theater.
FREE DR. PEPPER FOR ALL…
If Guns N’ Roses Release Chinese Democracy in 2008 Edward Gaug Entertainment Editor For some reason, there is something inherently funny about photos with text on them. I started off with LOLcats and have now progressed to Fail Blog. How Fail Blog works is this: you find a photo of something that looks wrong and you write, “Fail.” on it. Pretty simple right? Well, these photos are great for a laugh if you have nothing better to do, and most likely you will find yourself at the end of the blog before you notice how much time you wasted looking at the pictures. If you think you have some photos that belong in the Fail Blog, they are always taking submissions.
Where to find it: woot.com This happens to be the first site I check every morning. How Woot! works is there is one deal available every day and it refreshes at 1 a.m. Sometimes it is an object such as an HP gaming PC selling for $299, and other days it could be something like a Bluetooth headset for $5. It makes for a great surprise every morning, and it’s always a good deal. The only bad part about Woot! is if something is really popular, it can sell out before you have the chance to buy it. So this was the first installment of “5 Ways.” I hope you enjoy it and find yourself wasting more of your precious study time being distracted by these sites. If you have any suggestions or want one of the sites you check included in this section, e-mail me at email@example.com.
In an announcement last week, the famous soft drink company Dr. Pepper said they would give a free can of the sugary-sweet beverage to “everyone in America” if ’80s rockers Guns N’ Roses were to release their epic project titled Chinese Democracy. Of course, this excludes ex-GNR members Slash and Buckethead. While some people see Chinese Democracy as just a pipe dream that will never come true, Dr. Pepper has enough faith in Axl Rose and feels that they are willing to spend up to $237,900,558 (using the math of 79 cents per can for in the entire population of the United States, which is approximately 301,139,947 people). I know not all 300 million people will be lining up at their local convenience store to get their free drink, but why would Dr. Pepper be willing to lose millions of dollars over an al-
bum that has been rumored to be released for the past decade? “It took a little patience to perfect Dr Pepper’s special mix of 23 ingredients, which our fans have come to know and love,” according to a statement by Dr. Pepper’s director of marketing Jaxie Alt. “So we completely understand and empathize with Axl’s quest for perfection—for something more than the average album. We know once it’s released, people will refer to it as ‘Dr Pepper for the ears’ because it will be such a refreshing blend of rich, bold sounds – an instant classic.” That seems like a pretty bold statement for a niche soda company, if you ask me. If a larger bottler like Pepsi or Coke came out with a statement to this effect I would be less sur-
prised; but since Dr. Pepper is confident in their product, I will have to wait and see if this publicity stunt bankrupts them if Rose finally hits record on the mixing board this year. The last time Chinese Democracy was supposed to hit shelves was March of 2007, but it was silently removed from all release schedules and hasn’t been heard from again. Is this statement going to intimidate Axl Rose to the point that he will release his project to the public, or is this just another marketing ploy that will never pan out, like getting a free taco if the Mir space station landed on a 40-foot floating raft in the Pacific Ocean? I won’t be holding my breath for either Chinese Democracy or my free can of Dr. Pepper.
THE RECORDER / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / ENTERTAINMENT
WEEK OF APRIL 9
As a working-class foursome from Allentown, Penn. (the town that inspired the Billy Joel song “Allentown”), Pissed Jeans are a band that vents its frustrations into a bludgeoning midtempo grunge punk sound focused on sexual depression and factory-town hopelessness, doused in a heavy coat of sarcasm and apathy. Opening Bands: Daniel Striped Tiger, Sea Legs
4.8 The Dirtbombs
@ Cafe Nine New Haven, Conn. $10
the music and in their direction. It IS where you are from, and it IS where you are at. And remember Tommy, you can two-step to ska parts, brotha! This is for EVERYONE. Opening Band: Anterrabae, Shallow Water Grave
4.9, 4.10 Flawless
@ Real Art Ways Hartford, Conn. 5:30 p.m. / $6.25
4.11 Finn Riggins, () One of Mick Collins’ many post-Gories projects, for years the Dirtbombs seemed to exist more in concept than in reality. As if in reaction to the bass-less sound of the Gories, the band brought together two drummers, two bass players, and Collins on vocals and guitar. And other than consistently loud volumes and lots of noise, the Dirtbombs actually had a surprisingly diverse sound, composing across a broad spectrum of styles from garage rock, punk, and glam, to classic soul and R&B. They began primarily as a 7” band, putting out five singles before Larry Hardy of In the Red convinced them to record a full-length, 1998’s Horndog Fest. Opening Bands: Kelley Stoltz
4.9 Via Audio
@ UConn Hillel Storrs, Conn. 7 p.m. / FREE
@ Hit Booking House 192 South Rd. Somers, Conn. 6:30 p.m. / $5
movie event. While Peckinpah called his story of six aging outlaws robbing towns on both sides of the Texas border a “simple tale of bad men in changing times,” many found a reflection of the raging Vietnam War in its choreographed bloodbaths. Notorious for its violence and praised for its deconstruction of the good guys/bad guys western, The Wild Bunch in wide screen 70mm is above all a visceral, profoundly visual
ART Through 3.30 Mary Temple
@ Real Art Ways Hartford, Conn. 11 a.m. / $5 Even though Temple is considered a multi-disciplinary artist, her background in painting remains a key part of her sculptural forms. Temple explores the visual qualities of light and shadow in any given room, which displays an uncanny awareness of everyday spaces. Using a single piece of paper, she folds and cuts it to resemble a small room with windows; an exterior source of light is then cast into it. Then, working from memory, Temple paints the places that received light, while at the same time inventing and adding details from an exterior landscape.
5.2 – 5.9 CCSU Capstone
Finn Riggins,() is an art project with several collaborators: sound designers, film and video designers, screen printers, writers, bus mechanics, foosball magicians, air guitar masters, cowboy stuntmen, photographers, dancers, chefs, yoga instructors, bartenders, designers, quilters, ecologists, fly fishermen, triathletes, bakers, mix-tapers, carpenters, knitters, skiers, recyclers, re-users, geologists, mathematicians, and so on. All independent; all DIY.
4.12 Mixel Pixel @ Wesleyan 9 p.m. / FREE
From director Michael Radford comes Flawless, a clever diamond-heist thriller set in swinging 1960s London. Demi Moore plays Laura Quinn, a bright, driven and beautiful executive at the London Diamond Corporation who finds herself frustrated by a glass ceiling after years of faithful employment, as man after man is promoted ahead of her despite her greater experience.
4.9 – 4.12 There Will Be Blood
@ Maloney Hall 2nd Floor, CCSU New Britain, Conn. Opening Reception: Friday, May 2, 4 - 7 p.m. Free wine, appetizers, and other refreshments. Students graduating with a studio art degree exhibit their artwork in a variety of media including ceramics, painting, sculpture, media, printmaking and an installation.
Through 5.4 Cathie Bleck: 13 Years of Artistic Expression
@ New Britain Museum of Modern Art New Britain, Conn. 11 a.m. / FREE
@ Cinestudio Hartford, Conn. 7:30 p.m. / $7
Harmony-rich indie pop quartet Via Audio -drummer Danny Molad, vocalist/guitarist Jessica Martins, guitarist Tom Deis, and bassist David Lizmi -- met each other in 2003 while at college in Boston. Within a year, the New York City-area band was hitting the stage while completing an EP. Via Audio experienced a false start on the recording of a full-length, but with a turn of luck, Jim Eno of Spoon liked what he heard and offered to produce in Austin, TX. The band eventually signed on with the SideCho label, which issued Say Something in September 2007. Opening Band: Luke Temple, Aeroplane 1929, Quiet Life
4.11 Folly LAST SHOW
@ Wallingford Knights of Columbus Wallingford, Conn. 6 p.m. / $10 “Ska and Hardcore? Are you kidding me?” jokes Tommy McHardcorekid to all of his chuckling friends. Well, in order to understand it all, Tommy McIgnorance, you must understand where Folly came from. It has been many, many years in the making and the unfolding of genres over time has proved time and again to show in
Mixel Pixel’s sound palette is dizzying. Their latest outing is a headfirst collision between bourgeois vocal stylings reminiscent of Magnetic Fields and the heavy, unforgiving beats of Chris Clarks Empty the Bones of You. The album somehow sounds like Super Mario strumming Jeff Mangum’s guitar, humming along and bouncing his pixilated little feet to Stereolab and the Postal Service. Otherwise put, Mixel Pixel have crafted an album that dips its toes into just about every hipster-friendly kiddie pool this side of Brooklyn Opening Band: Boy/Crisis
4.13 Pissed Jeans
Set in the early 20th century, the film follows the rise to power of Daniel Plainview -- a charismatic and ruthless oil prospector, driven to succeed by his intense hatred of others and psychological need to see any and all competitors fail. When he learns of oil-rich land in California that can be bought cheaply, he moves his operation there and begins manipulating and exploiting the local landowners into selling him their property.
4.13 – 4.15 The Wild Bunch @ Cinestudio Hartford, Conn. 7:30 p.m. / $7
@ People’s Center New Haven, Conn. 7 p.m. / $8
Bleck is best known for her distinctive scratchboard illustrations, involving a process similar in concept to woodblock printing. Working on clayboard, Bleck carves delicate yet powerful black and white illustrations that have become her trademark.
Through 11.9 Pop to the Present: New Questions, New Responses
@ Wadsworth Atheneum Hartford, Conn. 11 a.m. / $5 Featuring major works from the Atheneum’s extensive collections, this exhibition examines the multiple avenues of artistic exploration from the 1960s to the present. With the explosion of new modes of representation and new artistic, social, and political concerns that became central to the language of art during this time, Pop to the Present will celebrate the amazing varieties of form that proliferated during the last third of the twentieth century and that continue into our own time. Did we miss something? Know of an event we should list here? Contact us at ccsurecorder@ gmail.com.
One of three must-see American films on the Cinestudio flyer (see North by Northwest and Touch of Evil), the 70mm director’s cut of Sam Peckinpah’s mythic western is a certifiable
THE RECORDER Wednesday, April 9, 2008
How to Tie a Tie
No Bake Cookies Samantha Sullivan Copy Editor During my last year in high school, I took a cooking class that turned out to be one of my favorite experiences in my four years there. I was given recipes that ranged in skill levels, from a beginner’s pancake to a more advanced beef and vegetable stir-fry, and it shocked me how tasty everything turned out to be. It was once well-known in my household that when Samantha was baking, you stayed out of the kitchen or you might have been hit with a spatula when the cake came out lopsided or the rice was overcooked. In fairness to myself, though, I didn’t have the proper training then. Some of the recipes I found were so great that I have shared them with friends and family for the past three years. I know how gruesome the food can be at Memorial Hall, so I propose that you eat there only when you have to and use my favorite recipes to really fill your stomach. I’ll give a new recipe each week to try out in the kitchen of any residence hall or apartment, provided there is one, keeping in mind that the average college student doesn’t own a large array of cookware. These “no bake” cookies are incredible, and super easy to make in any kitchen. Obviously they don’t stand as a meal alone, but they can be a nice treat if you need something to hold you over after dinner. All you need is a medium-to-large saucepan, wax paper and a stovetop. 1/4 cup butter (about half of a stick) 3/4 cup white sugar 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/8 teaspoon salt 1/4 cup milk (any kind)
1/4 cup cocoa (this seems like a lot, but the cocoa is what gives the flavor and the color) 1/4 cup peanut butter 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (you can find these at any supermarket – I use Quaker Oats Rolled Oats) 1/4 cup flour (this ingredient is optional; using it gives the cookies a thicker texture) Combine the first six ingredients – butter, white and brown sugar, salt, milk and cocoa – in the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until you see it begin to boil. Let it boil for about a minute, or until the clumps are gone, then remove the saucepan from the burner, shut the stove off and stir in the remaining ingredients. Use a small spoon to scoop out the mixture and drop in rows of one spoonful each on the wax paper. It doesn’t matter how far apart you space them because they won’t expand, and if two or more cookies touch, they separate easily. You can eat the cookies warm, which I love doing, but they will be soft and a bit messy. Let the cookies sit for about five or 10 minutes, which is enough time for them to harden a little and you can lay them out on a tray or platter. If you want to be fancy, you can lightly sprinkle Confectioner’s Sugar over the cookies or cut fresh strawberries into fours and place them around the cookies on the edges of the platter; the strawberries will add color to the dish and give a tart complement to the sweet and peanutbuttery cookies. I guarantee you are going to think it looks like someone went to town on a bowl of oatmeal and crapped on your platter, but they taste so good.
Karyn Danforth Lifestyles Editor Gentlemen, just admit it: even though you’re in your early twenties, you just can’t seem to grasp the concept of the tie. It may even be possible that you don’t even own a tie, let alone use one to go to a nice event, such as a banquet or wedding. When you pull out that invitation that suggests formal attire, don’t panic. Here is the most commonly used method of tying a tie: The Windsor Knot.
1. Start with wide end of the tie on your right and extending a foot below
narrow end, meaning: the thinner side will be drooping higher than the larger side over your shoulders. 2. Cross wide end over narrow and bring up through loop. Pretty selfexplanatory. 3. Bring the wide end down around behind narrow and up on your right. Remember step two? Just do a little underdog with the wide end and bring it to the under right side. 4. Then put down through the top loop and around across narrow, meaning: up, down, and around.
5. Turn and pass up through loop and then the grand ending… 6. Complete by slipping down through the knot in front. Tighten and draw up snug to collar, and flatten out any wrinkles. For a few quick tie etiquette rules, please do not wear a crazy cartoon or light up tie; you’ll completely embarrass your date. And while out on the dance floor, do not tie it around your forehead. I wouldn’t recommend it. Good luck tying!
‘Top Gear’ America Will NBC Botch the Popular BBC Program? Chris Demorro Staff Writer
When I first heard that the British automotive show “Top Gear” was coming to America I was giddy with excitement. The BBC program, hosted by Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May, is as informative as it is funny, pulling off some of the coolest stunts on television (like transversing the English Channel in a pickup truck and racing motor homes) and likewise offering the bitter, sarcastic truth about the pitfalls in every car they review. To steal a line from Clarkson, “Top Gear” is “simply brilliant,” and I have blown off a bunch of school paper meetings to sit at home with some friends and laugh like jackals every Monday night at 8 p.m. on BBC America. In fact, the show is the theme of our annual spring car show (which this year is Sunday, April 27th, in the Student Center parking lot). A few weeks later, rumors surfaced that NBC, the network that
bought the rights to “Top Gear,” had asked the Late Night host Jay Leno to be one of the hosts. If I was giddy before, now I was gushing with excitement. Jay Leno is pretty much the coolest comedic car enthusiast in America, with a car collection spanning the exotic to the bewildering. The man even has a car powered by an M-47 tank engine, pumping out 800 horsepower and enough torque to tear down Vance Hall. In my mind, this would be the only acceptable alternative to actually having the English-accented terrible threesome hosting here in the states. But after reading Leno’s journal on the UK Times Web site, I have some reservations about the whole production. He raises a lot of valid points, and from the sound of the suits handling the case, NBC doesn’t seem to be giving the show the attention it deserves. Leno also points out that since shows in America have corporate sponsors, unlike state-owned BBC, the hosts aren’t going to be able to deal out the level of criticism that
makes BBC such a hit. Leno ends his journal by repeating the old homily, “Don’t make your hobby your job.” With that, Leno declined the hosting position for the future show, which sent NBC to talk with Adam Corolla. I wouldn’t mind seeing Christopher Titus or Jerry Seinfeld as hosts either. Don’t get me wrong; I’m still excited for “Top Gear” coming to America. But I have to hope that NBC grants the show more care than their recent foray into 1980s nostalgia, fishing out a crummy “Knight Rider” made-for-TV movie with wooden acting and a paper-thin-plot that is coming back to television this fall as a series. But it is unlikely that Clarkson would see his show traded off into unworthy hands. It is hard to improve on perfection, and until the show finally makes the leap over the Atlantic and onto our shores, I will continue to enjoy the original and keep my fingers crossed that whoever hosts our version will be able to hold a candle to Clarkson.
Get to Know Your Ombudsperson: Antonio García Lozada Melissa Traynor News/Managing Editor
In response to the last two semesters, both of which have caused a considerable ripple effect in the diversity issues across the CCSU campus, positions such as the University Ombudsperson have taken on new roles and responsibilities in serving the community. For many of the improvements on campus regarding concerns for expanded diversity programs and calls for a greater understanding of the people of this school, administrators like Antonio García Lozada can say that they’ve had a hand in the progress. President Jack Miller reestablished the position of ombudsperson in 2005; it was originally created in 1989 by President Shoemaker, who
thought it was an important position to have. Lozada said that his responsibilities include becoming an open channel of communication and a resource in aiding students, faculty and staff in facing and overcoming problems. “I believe that all members of the institution deserve the right to impartial assistance in resolving issues which affect their work or experience here,” he said. Most visitors are students who come to him with cases regarding racism and sexism. A lot of these cases emerged when the comic in The Recorder was printed in September 2007. He said that about 180 students from different ethnic backgrounds expressed their concerns especially in regards to this comic.
Recently, African American and Latino students in particular, Lozada said, have thanked him for his help in improving the environment of the campus. When some students expressed that they were offended by the comic and the racial slurs written on flyers around campus, they came to him and he was able to suggest to President Miller that he develop resources to accommodate the campus climate. These include diversity events on campus that give minority groups the opportunity to present to the community their culture and contributions to society. Some of these resources included the work of several committees and organizations around campus that were assigned to take on issues of diversity.
In a recent letter e-mailed to the community members of CCSU, President Miller outlined a few noteworthy accomplishments from different areas of the university. “I believe the University community has responded admirably from a number of vantage points,” he wrote. “Progress on the Journalism major; upgrading the Chief Diversity Officer position; surveying the campus climate; increasing monetary investments; sponsoring numerous speakers and consultants; and increasing available resources are some of the interventions.” Lozada also deals with discrimination on an individual level, sometimes between students and their professors. He gave the example of a student who feels that their professor is prejudiced against them or treats
them differently than the other students in class. He also said that foreign students who have thick accents feel uncomfortable at times when their professors may ask them to repeat themselves. He said that his job is to mediate the concerns and, with the student’s permission, talk to the professor and try to work out whatever issue lies between them. Part of his job is to offer options to the professor and simply suggest that the professor and student take a certain course of action. In that specific example, he may suggest that the professor try to avoid particular comments during class. “I have to make it clear that I am not an advocate for either. I’m advocating for fairness,” Lozada said.
THE RECORDER / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / LIFESTYLES
The Green-Eyed Monster Seeks the Vertically Challenged Karyn Danforth Lifestyles Editor
Nobody likes to be “vertically challenged,” whether you’re a male or female. When a person of shorter stature gazes up to look at their taller rivals, chances are they have at least once secretly feigned to be up there with them, or worse: they’re downright jealous. Short man syndrome might sound completely made up, but there has been accurate evidence to show the differences between the short and tall. According to the UK’s Telegraph, scientists have found that smaller men are more jealous lovers than their taller, more at ease counterparts. The same goes for women, who might want the 1970s to return so they could don some platform shoes
to prove that they won’t be affected by heredity. Tall and short women showed signs of the green-eyed-monster more than women who are of average height. The Napoleon complex makes evolutionary sense; just think of Mr. Bonaparte himself, or even in most recent news: Tom Cruise. Could his height be the reason why he must make a big deal out of himself; the reason he completely lost it on Oprah? Let’s get to the point: it’s no secret that taller men and women are more successful; this has always been an example of Darwin’s theory of natural selection. In the animal kingdom, that’s how it works—the stronger, more dominant creatures triumph in fights and are sought out by females to reproduce. Shorter people aren’t dying out, they have just
been plagued with more psychological issues. In the recent study on jealousy between 100 men and women, New Scientist magazine found a linear correlation, with 5-foot-4-inch men scoring an average of 3.75 out of six on a jealousy scale, and the men around 6 feet 6 inches getting 2.25. The results among women were more complex, with those of around average height (5 feet 6 inches) scoring lowest for jealousy, at around three out of six. The shortest women in the study, who measured around 5 feet, scored five on the scale, while the tallest, at 6 feet, got an average of four. Shorter men showed visible characteristics of jealousy when matched up with a strong, rich, tall rival, while women were more jealous to be around socially or physically
powerful rivals. Strangely enough, when faced with very beautiful women, there was less jealousy. Reported from the Telegraph, Professor Abraham Buunk of the University of Groningen in Holland said, “As women of average height tend to be more fertile and healthy, they would be less jealous of women with features signaling fertility and health such as physical attractiveness, but more jealous of women possessing masculine features such as physical dominance and social status.” The green-eyed monster is practically an elementary school idea found in children’s books alike and overall is seen as a very insecure trait, which is why people shouldn’t let others bother them. As Bobby McFerrin sang in the early 1990s, “Don’t worry, be happy.”
Stephanie Bergeron / The Recorder
Orgasmic Selections at Joe Zajac Staff Writer Nestled within the corpulent bosom of the West Hartford shopping district is Cosi, affectionately nicknamed Cosi’s by those in-theknow. It is a different shade of restaurant—a refreshing distraction from other chain monstrosities that I am so accustomed to seeing, though not without its faults. Its very location, if the enterprising reader has ever perused the area, is a veritable maze of different shops and locales, done in the spirit of a bustling metropolis, but retaining none of the charm. Instead, the bland, blasé surroundings do much to invoke the wretched suburban ideal of beauty and, overall, detracts from the image. Nor is the parking situation much brighter, but alas, that
is not the spirit of the big city that I would like to invoke. Upon entering, I was immediately beset by the oppressive atmosphere of pretension and hipness. The dimly lit and poorly organized restaurant produced my first grimace of the night. The main seating section was located towards the back of the restaurant, though there were some tables scattered to the left upon entering. The organization produced no small amount of clutter and confusion, as the initial area was too small to accommodate many people and the absence of a greeter or hostess indeed added to that. Curiously, the restaurant resembled the apartment from Frasier with the lights dimmed. As my guest and I were seated, I couldn’t help but notice the abundance and infestation of hipsters and college students, a combination that
has the potential to ruin any fine dining experience. Conveniently seated near the fire exit, I was treated to perpetual conversations regarding everything from the application of male eyeliner to weekend boozing, to a blinding parade of passing Ugg boots that nearly threatened to ruin my appetite. But in the interest of my audience and this article, I bravely strove on. What the restaurant lacked in aesthetic qualities and feng shui, it more than made up for in the quality of food. My main course, the bacon turkey and cheddar melt, was a heaping dose of tastiness and made even more delicious by its reasonable price. My guest that evening also commented on the particular delight she felt when eating their Caesar salad; she could scarcely muzzle her own ecstasy after every bite. My own salad
was admittedly more pedestrian, but enjoyable nonetheless. Both meals, including drinks, came to under thirty dollars, which, given the location, was cause for both surprise and celebration. A quick scan of the menu revealed the uniformly affordable prices and unique selection of food, which heavily focused on wraps, sandwiches and the like, eschewing more traditional restaurant fare. Drinks, too, were affordably priced, and the wait staff was impeccable and bubbly, charming an extra two dollars right out of my wallet come tip time. If delicious, affordable and orgasmic food appeals to you and, for some bizarre reason and you find yourself in the West Hartford shopping district, maybe because of automobile breakdown, choose Cosi for your dining convenience.
Tech News Marissa Blaszko Staff Writer There is no such thing as a slow day in techno-news. In last week’s gadget news alone, Verizon announced their plan to start production of ‘femtocells,’ tiny boxes that boost cell phone reception in the user’s home; Sprint, in the midst of Mac’s iPhone shortage, is releasing its own Apple-styled touch phone; and Bell Canada is now delivering full episodes of “The Sopranos” to its mobile phone subscribers. For some reason, modern consumers can’t seem to get their hands on enough new toys – whether it’s a laptop that can disappear into a stack of papers or a flash drives that detects wireless Internet. But beside the growing dependence on our Blackberries comes a growing dependence on energy, from coal to oil, because it’s one thing to turn off the lights when you leave the room, or coast up to stop signs, but it’s another to turn your cell phone from ‘Silent’ to ‘Off ’ during class. The latest in energy-saving fads has focused on the little things that, the movement claims, anyone can do. Last year, a pro-green computer consultant out of Boston posted a blog with a rather bold title: “Black Google Would Save 750 Megawatt-hours a Year.” Ecoiron.blogspot.com did the math and Google, which gets about 200 million hits a day, is running for 550,000 hours a day on any one desktop. Several large numbers and a couple of ratios later, Mark Ontkush, who runs the blog, calculated that a black Google would save $75,000 a year, “a godly amount of energy and dollars for changing a few colour codes.” Of course, with Google’s evergrowing popularity, the number is significantly higher now, probably around $150,000 a year. The Black Google post has become one of Internet fame, at least, in the inner blogging circle. It was after the post received over 4,000 Diggs (which is nerd for ‘becoming more popular than your blog could ever hope to be’) that Heap Media took a step in what they viewed was the right direction. Blackle.com is Ontkush’s Black Google; and although it’s not owned by Google, it’s run at least partially by it. Anything searched in Blackle with yield the same results as it would on Google, the only difference being colour choice and a lack of image search. Yes, it would appear that Blackle is doing a noble thing, what with all of the energy they saved! Constantly competing with its Goliath of-a-parent, not to mention Yahoo!, MSN, or Ask, Blackle claims to have saved over 542,800 Watt hours. And although that sounds impressive for a small, unknown site, it has actually saved only 0.0005428 Megawatts – compared to the newly estimated 1500MWh Google uses ever year (converted to kilowatts and multiplied by Ecoiron’s 10 cents / kilowatt estimate). People remain convinced that they can offset their carbon footprint with a three-second Internet search and remain oblivious to the fact that field studies on LCD monitors have showed that on anything under 22,” Blackle’s black light is actually using up more energy. Blackle appears to be yet another marketing ploy, targeting the growing base of green consumers and probably using more energy in programming the site than users save. But in a serious energy crisis, conscious users are looking for serious ways to save energy. The solution could be as simple as dimming your computer screen, letting your screensaver start after two minutes instead of five, or investing in OLED technology – any one of which would save a single consumer more than Blackle has saved the collective mass. Because saving energy isn’t about corporations changing their trademarked homepages, or about a three second Google search, it’s about the consumer, and whether or not we’re willing to change.
THE RECORDER / Wednesday, April 9, 2008 / LIFESTYLES
Drag queen Essence performs with the Spice At Night trio last Wednesday night. Karyn Danforth Lifestyles Editor “Don’t worry, I don’t bite,” said a feminine-looking male in a dress. Prior to the beginning of the show, the Divine Spice went around to seated audience members telling jokes and poking fun at personal appearances. For over four years, CCSU’s student organization Pride has presented a drag queen show of epic proportions by assembling together professional and amateur drag queens/kings, the latter being made up of Central students who are brave enough to strut their stuff as the opposite sex. Audience members sat in anticipation last Wednesday night in Semesters, waiting to see and support their peers, as well as the group of performers from the Hartford Polo Club. “They’ve got to shave everyday,” joked CCSU student Chris Fernandez as he sat and waited with his friends. “That’s an official drag queen.” The show brought onlookers that weren’t even from Central. “They put on a really great show,” said Clint DePalmer, a frequent drag queen supporter. “I’m here to have fun.” As I sat and spoke to individuals within a few feet of my chair, Divine Spice gingerly made her way
over to my friends and I. While she assumed my friend was very young, she correctly guessed my age. Baffled, I gazed up and asked, “How did you know?” “I’ve been doing the bar circuit for 20 years, honey,” she said. This experience with bar patrons would qualify her to work as one of those “Guess your age” carnies, but this diva has more class. Divine Spice, who is really 34-year-old Alex Dibertio, has had a long, remarkable career as a showgirl. “I started doing drag when I was 15 for a local theater company,” Dibertio recalled. “My family has always been in the show business.” For twenty years, Dibertio has traveled to Alaska, San Diego, Canada, Nova Scotia and everywhere in between, showing off his and his co-workers’ eclectic talents and intricate costume designs. Originally from Savannah, Georgia, the former Miss Gay Florida admitted, “I am a southern girl; it takes a while to get acclimated to the North.” Besides working at the Polo Club, he has performed at Eastern, UConn, Trinity and Sacred Heart. Dibertio always looks forward to visiting Central. As I spoke with him, a throng of adoring fans passed through and gave him kisses and hugs, many of whom were Central students who had seen him previously.
“I’ve been a hippo in a tutu for Fantasia, a broom with a water pail chasing Mickey – you name it, I was it,” Dibertio said as he spoke of his six-year career at Disney World. “I did the countdown at Pleasure Island every night and their dance show,” he said, explaining how Pleasure Island had a New Year’s celebration every night. For Dibertio, Disney has always been in his blood. “My mother was the last Snow White at Disneyland before Walt Disney died in 1966,” he said. “She knew his family really well and I knew his wife; she was a wonderful woman. My mother still knows her last living daughter.” After the amateur part of the evening was finished and Divine Spice declared herself an “equal opportunity offender,” the winners walked off stage after being chosen by audience applause. Mystery gifts in bland cardboard boxes were given to two performers who had won over the audience with their charm and elegant runway walks. It was time to see the “real” ladies; to completely forget about gender barriers and just smile and have a good time. Tipping the dancers was encouraged, and no doubt there were going to be plenty of willing audience members vying to get the attention of their favorite performers. Sashaying in a skimpy outfit to Britney Spears, Marita Bonita looked almost just like the “Baby One More Time” star, complete with streamers around her arms scented with perfume. With every whip of her hands, an alluring scent lingered in the air. “The hills are alive with the sound of music,” sang a doe-eyed Electra as she modestly walked out in a nun cape. A few seconds later, she ripped it off and strutted her stuff in a sexy little number to Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music.” Taj De Black, the only drag king on the venue, had some absolutely astounding dance moves that would have rendered Michael
Drag queens Maria Bonita (above) and Divine Spice (right) in dramatic fashion.
Divine Spice proclaims there is a drag Jesus. Jackson useless; Black propelled himself in the air every few seconds. Back-up dancers can be quite sexual, as I learned watching Essence’s performance with the Spice At Night trio, which was quite mimic-able of the artist in which she chose her song: Janet Jackson used to have music videos full of male dancers. It was time for Divine Spice herself to do a little number. Equipped with dazzling costume jewelry and the curliest blond locks of faux hair ever, she ran the runway like a pro and afterwards laid down on it as if she was completely out of breath. After each drag queen had at least 2-3 performances, it was time for the last. The girls walked out in lovely gowns and Divine Spice spoke to the audience. “I wanted everyone to see how beautiful we can be,” she said as they broke out into the final song of the evening. Dibertio, who has continually claimed there is a “Drag Jesus,” simply loves his career. It does, however,
come with plenty of challenges. “It’s a little painful at times being in high heels, and I have to push my armpits together to make them looks like tits; it’s a lot of work but a lot of fun,” he said. “There is a person behind the make-up and spandex.” While Divine Spice may offend and poke fun of audience members, Dibertio reminds us that it’s merely all in fun and that people should not leave upset. “Let’s face it,” he said. “I’m a man in a dress; I’m going to get racy.” Drag queen shows are all about relaxing and letting yourself enjoy what is in front of you, without letting sexual preferences get in the way. “Stereotypes are just really fun to play with,” he admitted. It doesn’t take long for Dibertio to snap back into character; he does so in no time flat. “Just look at me, I’m the lovechild of Mae West and Bette Midler,” he quipped. “I’m not a lady, I’m a broad.”
Photos by Stephanie Bergeron / The Recorder