UNIVERSITY OF ST. THOMAS
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
VOLUME 6, ISSUE 6
Raise in the minimum wage? With experts and politicians debating the proposed raise in minimum wage bill, is there a future for a high paycheck?
» PAGE 9
The Summa Coming back with hat in hand Fast food: Cheap eats at high cost Pharrell responds to the “Blurred Lines”
controversy with his new album G I R L which, That quick burger might be cheap and in Pharrell’s words, celebrates women easy to get, but getting rid of it is harder.
» PAGE 12
Students Show SolidarityWithVenezuela Venezuelan Violence and Protests for Peace prompt UST to make a stand of support
Courtesy Photo / Sofia Castillo
n order to display their solidarity for the opposition, students gathered on the university seal during activity period on Feb. 18. Venezuela has experienced a state of unrest during the month of February, due to the
recent protests and government retaliation. At the beginning of the month, students in Caracas, Venezuela began peaceful protests to show their opposition to President Nicolás Maduro. Events escalated on Feb. 12 when several protesters
were injured or killed; the most recent confirmed death toll is 18, according to a Reuters March 4 report. This event sparked global outrage and enhanced media coverage of the protests. The University of St. Thomas community has
become involved in a variety of ways in order to show support for the Venezuelan anti-Maduro protesters, more commonly known as the opposition. Students at UST wore white and made signs featuring the hashtags “#SOSVENEZUELA”
“#PRAYFORVENEZUELA” a n d “ # I M Y O U RV O I C E VENEZUELA.” The signs also displayed the students’ names and where they were from. Sofia Castillo, a UST
VENEZUELA, Page 6
Got Talent? Guinan Does “I Had No Idea,” Eating Disorder Awareness A closer look at the residence halls annual talent show
onderful We d n e s d a y took Feb. 19 when Guinan residence hall hosted Guinan’s Got Talent. This event featured a variety of events from several performers. Many acts were musically based; however, there were a few acts that surpassed this trend. The acts that stepped out of the musical norm included storytelling, and one student caught food in their mouth from across a stage. The talent show was well attended and almost every seat in the house was filled. The audience was enthused and even the people who rarely leave their rooms attended.
All of the performers were extremely talented and knew how to showcase their skills in a fun and creative way. “I thought that everyone did a really nice job,” Jasmine Webb said. “I think my favorite performance would have to be Johnny, because he is just so talented. I mean he played the guitar behind his head. That is ridiculously awesome.” Webb said He is a natural entertainer, even though some funny instances happened during his performance.” Alex Hoang, a freshman, also attended Guinan’s Got Talent and perceived it as being very similar to UST Idol due to the large amount of musical
TALENT, Page 3
Counseling and Disability Services turn National Eating Disorder Awareness Week into an opportunity for support and information
he Center for Counseling and Disabilities Services hosted a week of events devoted to raising awareness for eating disorders in connection with the National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, which began on Feb. 24. This year’s theme was, “I Had No Idea,” and highlighted the fact that people can be unaware and oblivious to the victims of an eating disorder. Counseling and Disability Services shared how UST participated in the week of awareness. “We set up booths
and handed out flyers and pamphlets in Crooker Center to inform students about eating disorders, and to offer help to those who may need it,” said Rose Signorello, executive director of Counseling Services. “The wall across the cafeteria in Crooker Center is slowly filling up with words of advice and messages of support as a part of an interactive poster the Counseling and Disabilities Services set up.” A campaign by the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) stresses the idea that everyone is somehow connected to an eating disorder. According to annual statistics published by
the association, “20 million women and 10 million men suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder at some time in their life, including anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, or an eating disorder not otherwise specified.” Additionally, four out of ten Americans become victim to these eating disorders, which kill more people than any other type of mental illness. The Counseling and Disabilities Services used their awareness week events to help students recognize and understand victims and their struggles, in order to help people know how to better
AWARENESS, Page 2
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
What else is your tuition buying you? The hidden benefits of going to UST and having a UST ID
or many students here at UST, the full extent of what their tuition buys is unknown. Most know that there is free food and UST paraphernalia at the semi-annual club fair and that you can use the very well-equipped gym over in Jerabeck. You might even know that Hughes House has the best coffee on campus or that the Psychology department always keeps food around. However, there are many benefits to attending UST that are not as well known, to say the least. For starters, there is a multitude of events here at UST completely free to students such as home games for the Celts, any concert put on by the music department or their guests, and lectures from highly qualified and deeply engaging speakers. Just this semester, the music department has 22 scheduled concerts and the
campus is scheduled to host 14 lectures from local and visiting speakers. The drama department will put on 12 performances of their two anticipated shows, Spoon River Anthology and The Miracle Worker, to which the UST campus has a discounted rate. Additionally, your
UST ID gets you discounts at nearby restaurants and entertainment such as the Black Lab, Niko Niko’s, Cafe Express, Alamo Drafthouse, the Houston Zoo, the Museum of Fine Arts as well as others. If that was not enough, certain classes and clubs also get you discounts or even free tickets to the Houston Symphony,
the Houston Ballet and the Opera. Students in Intro to Music class, for example, will be watching Tchaikovsky performed by the Symphony on March 6 and 9 while the French club will be seeing Carmen for free in May. All of this is not even mentioning travel opportunities provided by the UST.
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DIEGO FRIAS Features Editor
AWARENESS Continued... recognize and prevent eating disorders and body image issues. “We wanted to focus on having a healthy body imagine,” said Tiffany Devereaux from the Counseling and Disabilities Services. “We put up this poster board, and it was an open ended question to see what kind of responses they
Study abroad programs to all over the globe usually come at a price not much higher than what tuition would normally cost a student. These are not only quality trips, fun times and useful resume builders, but an invaluable once-in-a-lifetime experience for anyone interested. Apart from traveling the globe, UST also offers opportunities to travel all over the United States in conferences, rallies and conventions. These trips range from academic to religious purposes and happen more often than you would expect. So whether you are a freshman who just walked in or a veteran senior just waiting to walk the stage, take advantage of what you have already bought with those tuition costs and keep looking for ways to get more juice out of your UST ID card that keeps on giving.
could get. And so we did get a lot of people who said ‘accepting your body as it is,’ ‘having hope,’ and ‘having confidence.’” Direct outreach is often the most effective way to help any who might be suffering, especially outreach to college students, the office of Counseling and Disabilities worked to reach out to
students in order to pass along literature and information different issues concerning eating disorders. Signorello encourages students to call 713-572-2169 if they have any concerns regarding eating disorders.
HAWA PATEL Staff Writer
CRIME REPORT OCTOBER Jan. 9
CRIMINAL TRESPASS LOCATION: 3909 Graustark, Student Life Mall
Jan. 17 NON-FORCABLE FONDLING/ASSAULT LOCATION: 3800 Montrose Blvd., Link Lee
Jan. 20 PUBLIC INTOXICATION LOCATION: 1100 W. Main, Doherty Library
Jan. 27 THEFT LOCATION: 4000 Mt. Vernon, Jerabeck Athletic Center
After Spring Break, at the elections, names will be entered into a drawing to receive a free parking pass for the upcoming fall semester. There will be 30 passes awarded.
Feb. 15 THEFT LOCATION: 4004 Yoakum, Bicycle Rack
Feb. 16 THEFT LOCATION: 1100 W. Main, Bicycle Rack
In the fall, students can apply for a $200 grant to reimburse book costs. This will be student run and separate from the financial aid department. There will be 25 grants available.
Feb. 19 THEFT LOCATION: 1303 Sul Ross, Guinan Hall
THEFT LOCATION: 1100 W. Main, Bicycle Rack
Freshman from Caracas, Venezuela helped to coordinate the protest efforts on the seal. The day of the student solidarity event, she painted a small Venezuelan flag on her face to raise awareness about the state of civil unrest in Venezuela, and donned a baseball cap with the yellow, red, blue and stars of the Venezuelan flag. “They [the protestors] are a part of it, but it is very difficult because they know that the country is tearing apart,” Castillo said. “There is no food in the super markets, [and] inflation [is] increasing. Students have no rights. The people have no rights. The government censors everything. They are very affected by it and by everything that is going on. That is why they are at the protests: [they are] trying to fight for everything and for their country.” Castillo said that if she still lived in Venezuela, she would be a part of the protest despite of the brutality inflicted upon college students by the police. “Absolutely, all day, all night. Every single step of it, I would be there,” Castillo said. Fellow UST freshman, Maria Smith, also from Caracas, responded that she would participate in the protests if she still lived in Venezuela. “Yes, I need to show my support. It is my country, it is my future. It is the place where I am going to live when I am
old.”The Venezuelan protests have been led by opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. Lopez was wanted by the government for accusations of inciting violence and conspiring against the government. Lopez came out of hiding, and turned himself in to government officials. “Lopez said that he doesn’t fear going to jail to defend his constitutional right to peacefully protest against President Nicolas Maduro,” according to a Feb. 18 Associated Press report. UST students have shown their support for Lopez during the “Wear White for Venezuela” demonstration. Castillo, like many Venezuelans living abroad, greatly supports Leopoldo Lopez. “He is the epitome of courage,” said Castillo, during the Feb. 18 event at UST. “Actually just now, a couple of seconds ago, the National Guard took him and he is being taken into a cell,” Castillo said, keeping herself updated on the situation through news converge in Venezuela. “And the last thing he said was that if this is worth the people uprising, than it is worth it.” The ongoing conflict has drawn the viral attention of the internet. A Buzzfeed February photo article shows photos from places including Shanghai, Mexico, England and Holland, all waving the Venezuelan flag in an international show of solidarity with the Maduro protesters. The Twitter hashtag #sosvenezuela shows thousands of photos on Instagram and Twitter. While
Campus Racquetball Event
o provide an opportunity to play and get tips from professional racquetball players, students, faculty and staff can come to the Racquetball Demo Event Friday, March 21 at 12 p.m. at the courts at Jerabeck for no admission cost. The event is sponsored by XK Sports, a company promoting racquetball. Owner of the company, professional player and inventor of the XK Racquetball Feeder, the first machine that dispenses balls for the player to hit for practicing without a partner, Xia Yang will be present at the event. “I am really excited because I am a small business owner and I need a lot of help to promote,” Yang said. Yang also said that it would be an opportunity for
UST students, faculty and staff will be able to learn about racquetball and her product while getting tips from her and professional racquetball player Ken Woodfin. Those present can also enter to win door prizes such as movie tickets have their picture taken with Yang and Woodfin. UST student Kasey Smith who may be taking pictures at the event and expressed her enthusiasm for the event. “I think it’s great that this sport is getting so much attention now at UST,” Smith said. Professor John Story, a racquetball player, hopes to attend the event. “It sounds like a great opportunity for faculty and staff,” Story said.
the populist support has been of great importance, policy makers in the U.S. may soon begin taking action to make the Maduro government accountable for its actions. Venezuela is the 4th supplier of crude oil to the U.S., after Canada, Saudi Arabia and Mexico. The Venezuelan oil company, Petróleos de Venezuela, is state-owned; some have argued that the U.S. is enabling the Maduro government by purchasing their oil. On Feb. 18, Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (RFL) and Eliot Engel (D-NY) proposed a cutback by 10 percent of oil imports from Venezuela. More recently, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) has called for sanctions against those officials in the Maduro government responsible for the violent oppression of protesters, according to a Feb. 27 Foreign Policy Magazine article. Regardless of policy decision by the U.S., the people of the world and Venezuelans away from their homeland will continue to show solidarity. The conflict in Venezuela has many people concerned, particularly Venezuelans living abroad who are watching the place of their birth erupt into violence. “I really hope that Venezuela overcomes this moment,” Castillo said. “Because it is a really good country full of really good people that deserve better than what is happening right now.
UPCOMING EVENTS MARCH
THURSDAY, March 6
Doing Sleep Right Workshop 12:30 - 1:30 p.m. Crooker Center
FRIDAY, March 7
Wind Ensemble Concert 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Cullen Hall
March 10 -14 Spring Break
MONDAY, March 17
Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration 10:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Chapel of St. Basil and Jerabeck
FRIDAY, March 21 SAB Bingo 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. TBA
FRIDAY, March 21
First Generation Student Group 12:30 - 2:00 p.m. Ahern Room, Crooker Center
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
March 31 - April 2
Deans’ Conference on Business Ethics All Day TBA
WEDNESDAY, April 9 Solo and Ensemble Recital 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. Cullen Hall
TALENT Continued... performances. Hoang wished that there had been a wider variety of talents displayed in the show. “I wish I would have seen something as diverse as juggling,” Hoang said. Despite the show not being terribly diverse in its array of acts in general, it provided musical diversity. Guinan’s Got Talent featured an acoustic guitar duet, several vocal soloists, a violinist and an electric guitarist. One of the vocal soloists, freshman Tamara Esparza sang a combination of Patsy Cline’s “Walkin’ After Midnight” and Adele’s “Rumor Has It” for the show. “I think it was really fun,” Esparza said. “I mean I did it just for the fun of it because I have
been doing talent shows all throughout high school. I saw this opportunity and I was just thinking, ‘Hmm, this is a time to show my talent.”’ However, performing was not as easy as she made it look. “I told everyone that I was nervous the whole time I am up there”, Esparza said. “I was shaking the whole time. I think I was more nervous because I see these people all of the time. I was thinking ‘I wonder what they think, they are going to bring it up again.’ I felt like this talent show’s audience was more accepting [than high school talent show audiences] and that is why I liked it more.” Guinan’s Got Talent was a great experience and a wellcoordinated effort. However, Webb had a few suggestions about how she would improve Guinan’s Got Talent. “If I had to change
something about Guinan’s Got Talent, I would probably change how they do the prizes,” Webb said. “If we are going to let outside people participate, there should be some kind of consolation. I mean there is, every participant gets a prize, but I still feel like to only let residents win puts out a lot of commuters and they probably don’t want to participate as much.” Guinan’s Got Talent featured a cornucopia of talent, especially musical talent. The audience was greatly entertained and the competitors displayed good sportsmanship while showcasing their talents. “Everyone did really well. I am glad for all of the winners they did fabulous. It was a great event to be a part of and I would like to do it next year too.”
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
From The Science Fiction World To Your Wrist
he smart watch is in. If you do not yet know what that is, prepare to have your life changed. At its most basic level, a smart watch is a watch that will let you know when you get a notification such as a call or a text, among other things. Of course, different companies pack it with other
A Diagnosis of The Latest Digital Device useful bells and whistles. With the introduction of the Galaxy Gear last year, smart watches in science fiction television became a thing of the past. Samsung’s TV advertisement was proof of this as it showed most of the high tech wrist gadgetry worn by cartoon and Star Trek characters as a new reality.
Jesus Ramos / The Summa
Some might say that Samsung’s wearable tech began the smart watch race when it boasted a 4GB RAM, CPU power of 800 MHz, a touch display and a 1.9MP camera with 720p recording, but Samsung’s wonder watch was not the first of its kind. Sony began its line of smart watches before Samsung did and is now selling a second version to compete with the Galaxy Gear. Although not as impressive, Sony’s SmartWatch 2 certainly comes packed with its own extra features, featuring its aluminum dust and water resistant build with an amazing display and battery life that can last for almost a week; Samsung’s current smartwatch has to be charged on a daily basis. There have also been smaller and mostly independent companies that developed their own designs, but most never became popular like the Pebble.
Pebble, shown on the picture, began as a Kickstarter project and is popular. Unlike the delicate build of the Galaxy Gear and SmartWatch 2, Pebble’s durable design is ideal to fit the needs of just about anyone, whether you like to go run, go to the beach, or would just like to impress people with a cool piece of technology. It is waterproof, has an e-paper display, lets you fully customize your watch face and has its own app store. Unlike its main competitors, the Pebble also lets you use it on pretty much any smartphone, so you iPhone people do not need to feel left out. One of the great benefits of Pebble is that it is about $150, which is $100 less expensive than the Galaxy Gear and $50 less expensive that the SmartWatch 2, Pebble at its base price is $150. But what about Apple? According to an interview with Apple CEO Tim Cook
last year, Cook said that Apple will not be making any wearable products because he did not see a future with those products. Now that Apple’s competitors have had success with their wearable products, it seems that Apple will be announcing the release of their own watch sometime later this year. Do you need a smart watch? Probably not. Should you get one? Definitely. The success these companies have had in producing a comfortable extension to your phone shows that not only is it useful for viewing your text messages without taking out your phone, but it also adds a sense of style and personality to your boring self; and the cool part about it is that you do not have to cash in your bonds and mortgage your house to get one. JESUS RAMOS
Energy Drinks Pose Health Threats To Its Users
nergy drinks are a growing trend among college students, who use its stimulating properties during times of insufficient sleep, to boost energy while exercising or mix it with alcoholic beverages at parties. However, energy drinks can have negative health impacts with dangerous effects on blood pressure, heart rate, and brain function according to Mayo Clinic. Monster, RedBull, Rockstar and 5-hour Energy are some of the most well known and sold energy drink brands. The large traces of caffeine in these drinks are what boost mental and physical stimulation. While caffeine in small doses does not pose a lifethreatening risk, it can be lethal if consumed at a high dosage. The Substance Abuse
Is that boost of energy worth the health risk? and Mental Health Services Administration reported a rise from 10,068 emergency room visits related to energy drinks in 2007 to 20,783 in 2011. Additionally in 2012, the Food and Drug Administration received five reports of people dying after consuming energy drinks. This includes a 14-yearold girl from Maryland who went into cardiac arrest after drinking two, 24-ounce cans of Monster drinks within a 24hour period. Monster denied that the girl’s death was due to caffeine overdose, claiming there is not enough evidence to prove this. “Caffeine is being treated as a flavoring agent, not a drug,” Kevin A. Clauson, Pharm.D. at Nova Southeastern University said. “The average healthy person who consumes one serving of an energy drink is unlikely to encounter difficulty.” However, moderation
is key. Clauson also stated that people most at risk for health issues are those who overindulge and those with an underlying heart condition. According to Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, higher doses of caffeine ranging from 250 to 500 milligrams can lead to feelings of nervousness, insomnia, mild tremors or generalized restlessness. To understand the dangers that energy drinks pose, it is important to be aware of its caffeine content. A cup of tea, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, ranges from zero to 47 milligrams of caffeine. A cup of coffee has around 95 milligrams of caffeine, while a Monster Energy has 92 milligrams per eight fluid ounces. One can of Monster X-presso has 221 milligrams.
However, a tall Starbucks brewed coffee,12 fluid ounces, tops all of these beverages with 260 milligrams. Cleveland Clinic cardiac surgeon Dr. Marc Gillinov recommends that people do not consume more than 400 to 500 milligrams of caffeine per day. While energy drinks can be a helpful source of energy for pulling all-nighters or getting a boost of energy to help get through the day, it is important to be mindful of what you are putting in your body and to know your limits. “Sleep, exercise and a healthy diet rather than stimulants in a beverage are the keys to quality performance, sustained success and overall wellness,” SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde said. HANNAH VERGULT
Health Editor Claire Logue / The Summa
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
Hangover? Advice for when the sunglasses have to come off Tip and Tricks for getting through the day after a night out
f hangovers are a weekly or daily occurrence for you, reading this article may not offer much insight on how to cure your routine malady. I will say that if you seek a cure for a weekly hangover, it may be advisable to cut back on the drinking to once or twice a month, or every other month. The remedies and advice presented in this article are presented by a person who does not regularly seek counseling or truth at the bottom of a beer can - or whiskey bottle - but of the occasional drinker. Drinking lots of water before or in-between drinks can help you flush out the alcohol from your system a little bit easier. Alcohol is a diuretic, which is one reason why our bodies react so horribly when it is consumed in large qualities. If you do not drink water in between shots, try drinking at least 10 ounces before passing out, if you are
capable of doing so. Coconut water is a healthy alternative to the commonly recommended Gatorade, because it is a natural source of electrolytes and sugars. Yes, it is a little pricier than a good ol’ bottle of Gatorade, but the benefits are worth it, as it will help ease the headache and the shakiness that can accompany a hangover. Also, drinking as much coffee as your stomach will allow without irritation will ease the hangover headache, which can often feel like your head is being cleaved in two. Hydration and coffee restore the ability to function as a normal human being, instead of wallowing in a pain-filled cubbyhole of blankets and wasting the day away. After all, you did choose to drink, but letting that drag you down the next day is not worth the time lost. A hangover cure starts with preventative measures: eating a lot before drinking
alcohol may be the best preemptive cure. If you didn’t have a full day’s worth of meals, or at least a carb-andprotein portioned dinner, you might find yourself reenacting your own version of The Hangover. Your memory will likely be impaired, and the night’s events will pinwheel in your head as disconnected images. Not to mention the feeling like you had a stomach bug for a week. If you want to remember the good times that you hopefully had, eat well right before going out. Even if you are on some kind of diet, consume as much protein and healthy carbs as possible. Forget about reaching for aspirin or ibuprofen to ease the pains. According to a Discovery Health article, over the counter remedies can cause more harm than good, because “aspirin is a blood thinner. Mix alcohol and aspirin, together and you have a potentially dangerous combo in the off
chance that you actually need your blood to coagulate (like if you cut yourself).” Waking up after a hard night of drinking is an experience most college students will have gone through at some point. If you are an exceedingly busy student, this might also mean going to work, regardless of how horrible you might feel. Usually letting your stomach settle and run its course helps get through the oh-god-I’m-gonna-die hangover phase to the barely functioning phase. Water and plain foods are the way to go, because your body needs the calories to get through the day and the hydration to replace what the alcohol has stripped away from your body. Also, keep in mind that your weight really can affect how much you are able to consume before getting “buzzed” or inebriated beyond
control. Being petite and slender means you are more likely to begin losing control over your mental faculties around shot number five or six. If you are taller or of healthier weight, your tolerance is likely to be higher. Does this mean you should drink more? The answer to the question is always no. Never drink more. Is it possible to have fun without drinking? Yes, it is. Will it save you money in the long run? Most likely. There are few instances that drinking heavily can be justified. If you are drinking at Okra Charity Bar on Main St, where, after a vote is taken, all money from drink sales goes towards charity organizations then maybe it is ok, if you are drinking for a cause. But less is definitely better when it comes to alcohol consumption. STEPHANIE HERNANDEZ
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
Bystrictin Promises Revolutionary Results A new dieting pill claims it can suppress hunger
fairly new weight-loss product out on the market called Bystrictin has been receiving mixed reviews. The product, which appears to be sold only online from several different websites, comes in a can and is a flavored powder that is then blended to make a shake. According to its official website, bystrictin. secureweboffer.com, it is “a natural alternative for
blocking hunger without surgery or diet pills.” Instead, it aims to help with weight loss by blocking the feeling of hunger in order to feel full for several hours. The website explains that Bystrictin contains an all-natural complex of mixed fibers called Bariaxin. Once the consumer drinks the shake followed by a glass of water, the water absorbs the fiber complex, which then expands into a blocking gel inside
the stomach. Thus, hunger is suppressed. This allows the consumer to feel satisfied “without the jittery stimulants or harmful side effects,” the official website states. While this claim seems legitimate, and the product has been publicized on various networks and magazines, it still leaves some answers in the shadows for those wanting to know more about it. The fiber complex Bariaxin is not known outside
Photo Courtesy / Luca Cavallari
of being used in Bystrictin. Additionally, it is this complex that is said to use Gastric Fill Technology to produce the same effects as if one were to undergo bariatric surgery. The surgical procedure consists of removing parts of the small intestines and stomach to help with weight loss. It may seem a bit extreme to compare Bystrictin to surgery, but it is a safer alternative. No further information is available on the “revolutionary” Gastric Fill Technology. Furthermore, Bystrictin is doctor approved and recommended by Dr. Karen Vieira who has a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences. Although she endorses the weight-loss product, there are no other peer reviews or research that validate her approval. As for public reviews on Bystrictin, some consumers share their positive experience of feeling more full and eating smaller meals, giving them visible results within a week. Others express their dissatisfaction with the weight loss claim and even the price. The canister, which comes
with a mixing bottle and a free online weight tracker program as well, costs around $70. For an extra $10 buyers get double the package. There are also other reviews by non-consumers that go into detail about Bystrictin and the ingredients it contains. For those interested in trying Bystrictin, it is important to keep in mind that you must exercise caution if planning to use this product. Like other weightloss products sold online and in stores, there is a possibility of dangerous side effects, and it might not work the same for everyone. Also, be aware of the risks of not eating correctly or not eating enough because depriving the body of essential nutrients can be harmful. Remember to get at least a moderate amount of exercise and to eat a variety of healthy foods if planning to use weight loss products. Information used in this article as well as a detailed analysis of Bystrictin can be found on dietpillswatchdog. com.
MARIELA GARCIA Staff Writer
Dieting’s Dangerous effects on the body
Dieting is a common trend, but many are unaware of its impacts
veryone throughout their life, at least once, has been on a diet, but how many have actually succeeded in their diets? Whenever someone finds themselves gaining a lot of weight and not knowing what to do, often they resort to going on a diet. Eating less than normally or not at all puts them in danger of serious eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia. Sandra Aamodt, an author and neuroscientist, said that when it comes to weight management, a diet is probably the worst thing you can do for your body. The moment you start eating less than normally your body goes into a state wherein any food taken will become stored energy. Any food that goes in will convert more quickly into fat, you will be hungry more often and the moment you stop the diet, your body will gain all that weight back that it lost. According to neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt, this is due to a set-point of
weight everyone has. The point is really more of range that goes anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds and usually a person’s weight will usually hover around those 10 to 15 pounds. In a way, the brain works like a thermostat. There’s a set temperature to a house and the AC or furnace turn on accordingly. You can try to open up a window in the winter only to find the furnace turned on. Your brain will always try to return to what it considers normal. If you lose a lot of weight and go outside of the set-point, the brain will assume you’re starving. Fat or thin, your brain will act exactly the same. Dr. Rudolph Leibel of Columbia University has found that people who have lost 10 percent of their body weight and burned 250-400 calories less because their metabolism is suppressed. Aamodt also stated that evolutionarily speaking this makes sense, because our ancestors’ survival depended on this. When food was scarce, any food would make them
gain weight and excess food would do the same in case of another food shortage. Unfortunately because of this, set-points can go up, but they very rarely go down. Successful dieting does not lower the set point. Even if you have managed to hold the weight off for 10 years, your brain will still want to gain that weight back. Instead of trying to combat obesity with dieting we instead must change the culture and environment of eating. The bad news is that a temporary gain as opposed to temporary loss is more likely to be accepted as the new set point by the hypothalamus. Several studies conducted by the University of Columbia have shown that girls who diet in their early teenage years are three times more likely to become overweight five years later even if they started at an average weight. Another statistic shows that five years after a diet most people have regained their weight with 40 percent
Photo Courtesy / Bahrain Personal Fitness
of people gaining more than their previous weight before the diet. So what really one must do is not diet but rather be mindful of eating. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. Think about how certain foods make you feel after you eat it and eat healthy. This technique probably will not make you lose weight
unless you often eat when you are not hungry. Even then, doctors do not really know of any approach that makes significant weight loss in a lot of people. Let us face it. If diets worked, we would all be thin already.
ADALBERTO TOLEDO Copy Editor
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
The Undeservedly Controversial Word: Socialism ADALBERTO TOLEDO Copy Editor
ince the end of the Cold War and the profits gained from the Reagan administration, culture of deregulation as well as the ‘90s dot com boom, we’ve seen an increase in fundamental misunderstandings of the actual tenets of socialism. Socialism is not a political system of government, as are republicanism and monarchism, but is rather an economic system in which the state -the people- owns and operates the means of production. The common definition among people now is the Marxist view of socialism, which is a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism. In other words, they see any socialist principle as attached to Marxist thought. With the ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s The Social Contract and the Industrial Revolution, workers began to protest and act toward the creation of unions and workers’ rights. This eventually led to the establishment of the Socialist Party backed by the Socialist International.
The misconceptions began to arise at the beginning of the 20th century since socialism was unfortunately associated with anarchism. Anarchism and socialism were both born from the many revolutions in France after the Napoleonic wars, specifically after the Franco-Prussian War. Americans seem to still retain the idea of socialism as being closely related to communism and anarchism, as the Americans of the early 20th century believed. Socialism is very distinct from communism. Whereas communism stresses total class warfare as well as the complete eradication of the private sector and private property, socialism advocates the economic control over utilities for the common good, but retains private sector for consumer goods. This is evident in the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Sweden and Denmark, United Kingdom and most notably France. To say that the United States is not influenced or should not be influenced by socialist policies would be ignoring the very present welfare state in order to combat
the Great Depression. Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted policy that would place higher value in social advancement, public sector jobs and a higher emphasis on the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. Unfortunately, the United States has always fallen behind in comparison to other Western welfare states. The United States is one of the only Western countries without socialized health care, and the only country that did not enter the Great Depression with social insurance policies. Social-Democratic welfare states, such as Sweden, Norway and Denmark have policies where the government provides for the well-being of their citizens so that they may never rely on family or the market in order to have a high standard of living. According to the Human Development Index, Norway currently has the world’s best standard of living. Not only are socialist states more likely to have higher standards of living, but they also have happier citizens. According to the World
Happiness Report of 2012, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden are first, second, third and seventh respectively. Recently, when it came to the debate of Obamacare, many were troubled by its overly “socialist” policies and many others said that we would have socialized health care because of it. This is far from the truth. If anything, Obamacare could have been more socialist and provided the United States’ citizens with a single-payer system similar to those of other socialist countries in Europe. The United States would do well to partake in socialist policies as these countries have. Not only are these people happier, but they live better and enjoy a higher standard of living than the United States. Americans have always viewed socialism as a bad word, yet reaped the benefits of it since the ‘30s. Instead of criticizing and bashing socialism, we must instead fight for equal opportunity so that we may enjoy that which our western counterparts have been enjoying for decades.
What Men and the Media Want in a Woman
few words in the Google search bar is all it takes for hundreds of posts, lists and Youtube videos concerning what guys want and expect from girls’ appearances. These posts cover advice on fashion, cosmetics, body figure, personality and everything in-between. Similarly, the media dictates what it expects and thinks of girls through countless movies with females serving as damsels in distress and magazine covers that Photoshop ladies beyond belief. The pressure put on young ladies in a constant struggle to be good enough for societies standards. Is it healthy? And whose opinion actually matters in this struggle? Ask yourself this - why is it that there are countless highly-publicized remakes of Batman, James Bond,
RAGAD NAWWAB Staff Writer Superman and Spiderman and not a single Superwoman movie? In these superhero movies, the heroine is probably one of the two or three other females in the movies and she serves as some sort of mission the hero must fulfill. This is the message the media sends to girls: what we want for you is to stand on the sideline until a guy comes to sweep you along. Furthermore, we want you to look dazzling while you’re at it. Take actress Kristen Stewart for example, who is always being criticized by the media for not smiling enough. The Nice Girl Syndrome: smile and look pretty - this is what you’re worth. Meanwhile, the media never complains about men looking broody. This is yet another double standard that applies to women while men escape the criticism. On the other hand, guys’ opinion of what they want from
girls differs. They want a pretty girl, but she doesn’t have to be too pretty. There is no need for her to use too much make up. She doesn’t need to work out too much. Not too skinny. Not too fat. There is no need for a girl to feel as if she constantly needs to go out and party; laid back works well enough. Guys’ needs are a much more toned down version of what the media presents. The media displays an exaggerated model that girls look up to and follow, but the guys sweep in and say that it’s too much. The hypothetical guy might say something along the lines of: “We are understanding fellows when it comes to girls, what we want in a woman is achievable.” This is a tug-of-war that is unhealthy for girls. It causes them to spin in circles trying to please the world on standards they think actually matter before realizing that reality
is different. Guys just want normal. How terrific! Does it really matter what guys think? The answer is no and it should always be no. There is only one individual who should strive to please and that is you. Men certainly have pressures and expectations set by the media and the general female population as well, but they are not at the level of the pressures that are put on girls today. What guys, the media and society want are all different things, and they are valid opinions to consider if one wants. Whether you’re a girl or a guy, your own wants should be at the top of your priority list, because chasing the approval of everyone else while living with the pressure of the media and society is an unhealthy road full of false expectation. Being comfortable with your own body and life is ultimately the most important goal.
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
Head to Head: U.S. aid to 3rd world countries Does the United States do too much or too little to help 3rd world countries?
Too Much Foreign Aid SYDNEY KELLER
t first glance, people may believe that prioritizing aid to third world countries should be applauded. However, there are too many problems that the United States needs to first fix within its own borders before it can engage in helping other countries. Just as airline safety videos instruct flyers on how to put on their air mask before helping fellow passages with theirs, the United States needs to first “put on its mask,” and ensure air to its people, before helping third world countries. Little progress can occur when a country has a purely altruistic attitude about foreign affairs. Firstly, the United States has too many people within its borders struggling with poverty and hunger to be aiding third world countries. According to feedingamerica.org, one in six Americans struggle with hunger. I understand that many people in third world countries are struggling with hunger and starving on a much greater magnitude, but if America doesn’t
Opinion Editor focus on its peoples’ hunger first, then the conditions will only get worse. The technique of helping other countries’ people before our own causes us to suffer greatly and thus hinders further aid that the U.S. could potentially provide in the future. Furthermore, according to the Texas Food Bank Network, in 2010 through 2012 18.4 percent of Texan households were food insecure meaning that “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.” Many people may feel sympathy for the starving children that they see on television; however, equal sympathy should be given to the starving children here. According to feedingamerica.org, one in four children in more than 1,000 U.S. counties are at risk for hunger. Hunger is a global issue, and America is not exempt from it. In addition to hunger, many people in the United States also face homelessness and poverty. The United States Census Bureau
reports that in 2012 15 percent of Americans lived in poverty. Also in 2012, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development stated that approximately 633,782 Americans were homeless. Keep in mind that this number is under representative of the actual homeless population, due to difficulty in tracking the homeless, especially the transitional homeless. The problems of poverty and lack of shelter needs to be fixed in America. Homeless shelters are overcrowded and primarily focus on women and children. This leaves many men without homes and difficulty receiving help. Instead of America sending incorrect Super Bowl “Broncos Won” shirts to third world countries, they should be given to the poor here whose clothes mildew due to lack of washing or struggle with cold due to lack of clothing. A second major problem with United States foreign aid is that some of the aid doesn’t even
get to the intended targets or serve the purposes that most Americans think it is serving. International aid primarily comes in the forms of food, commodities, advice, training and debt relief. According to a CNN article, food aid “destroys local markets and harms local farmers.” This means that despite the beneficial intentions of aid, it actually causes greater harm than good. Some aid from developed countries never actually leaves the donating country. Instead the aid is used to pay off refugee’s housing, food and possibly student loans. I find it ludicrous that countries are using aid to pay for refugees’ student loans, when many students within their own country cannot afford higher education. Once America has conquered hunger and homelessness within its borders, it can reach out and help those beyond. Until that day, American aid efforts to third world countries should be viewed as counterproductive and harmful to the needy back home.
Not Enough Foreign Aid STEPHANIE HERNANDEZ
n times of fiscal austerity, there are those who argue that the United States contributes too much to programs fighting global poverty. How much of our annual budget is used towards foreign aid? 10 percent? 12 percent? Very few students would be able to successfully guess a correct estimate: 0.5 percent of our total annual budget for the 2012 fiscal year was used for foreign aid. That 0.5 percent of foreign aid amounts to about $30 per American in tax dollars yearly. In 1984, that number was 4.8 percent, and in 2002, 2 percent of our annual budget. Contrary to the often-cited myth, the majority of foreign assistance monies does not go towards military aid. Since 1990, there has been a steady decrease in money allocations for military aid, with only 12 percent of the 2010 fiscal year used for military purposes; in 1984, that number was 42 percent, according to the 2011 Congressional Research Office on Foreign Assistance
News Editor Report. A popular argument for decreasing U.S. aid is that it will simply go into the hands of corrupt governments or somehow funnel into terrorist groups. While those statements are debatable, it must also be acknowledged that in the past aid from the United States has directly contributed to a decrease in a number of poverty variables, such as infant mortality polio and maternal deaths. It has also contributed to an increase of women’s equality, girls’ education and other women’s issues. Various organizations within the USAID office are charged with overseeing these programs and the disbursement of funds to ensure that money intended for humanitarian purposes is used for that. It is important to understand the different types of programs which our taxes fund. According to the 2011 Congressional Research Report on Foreign Assistance, the main programs are humanitarian assistance, in which the money
goes towards emergency situations (Haiti, Typhoon Haiyan, etc) and food aid organizations. There is also multilateral development assistance, such as UNICEF, and bilateral development assistance. The money is aimed at investing in people, with 83 percent going towards health programs to fight malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS, in addition to programs to decrease maternal deaths, infant mortality rates and family planning programs. A case study for success of these programs is a combination of African states, where these health problems have been prevalent. According to numbers by the Bill Gates Annual Letter on Foreign Aid, polio has been decreased 350,000 annually since 1988, and close to 300 million children will have been immunized by 2015. These programs have made the difference between life and death for many people in these countries. By looking at how aid from the United States has directly impacted the decrease in these
numbers, the answer cannot be to decrease or eliminate the forms of aid that do exist. True, we are in fiscally tough times right now, but that is why legislation such as the 2014 Food Aid Reform is of such critical importance. The reforms will use American taxpayer dollars more effectively by purchasing the food from local farmers closer to the areas that need the food. The proposed reforms for the 2014 fiscal year will not increase funding, but instead it will enable the money used for food aid to reach two million more people each year. In light of these revelations of global inequality and the prevalent poverty that continues to plague countries - even countries whose economies are growing, such as Brazil and Mexico - it is evident that the United States has made progress with foreign aid, but it is not enough. The goal should be to restructure, such as with food aid reform, not to reduce funding any more than it has been.
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
Raising Minimum Wage: An Issue of Maximum Importance A quick look at the money you could be earning DIEGO FRIAS
ith the Democrats hard at work to make the raising of minimum wage a major point of discussion for the midterms and hundreds of polls coming out on the subject, it is essential, if not easy, to get a grasp of what exactly is going on. Firstly, the proposed bill is certainly popular nationwide. A poll run by Hart Research Associates found that 80 percent of Americans want the minimum wage to be brought up to $10.10. The poll went on to break the numbers by political ideology, with 92 percent of Democrats, 80 percent of Independents and 62 percent of Republicans supporting it. Additionally, raising minimum wage from $7.25 is not a new concept. Washington State, Oregon and California have all recently raised their
Features Editor minimum wages just to name a few states ahead of the curve when it comes to the subject of wages. As of Jan. 1, Washington State currently holds the title for highest minimum wage with $9.32; Oregon comes in second with $9.10 and California takes third with a recent bump to $9.00 an hour. Today, we have an alarmingly low minimum wage in comparison to past minimum wages. In fact, if we keep the 1968 minimum wage and adjust for inflation, people would be cashing checks for $10.75 an hour. That’s $3.50 more than what people are earning now. To put that into perspective, $3.50 in a 40 hour week times 40 weeks a year amounts to a whopping $5,600 dollars that minimum wage workers could be earning on top of what they already earn. Another important question that comes to mind
is the nature of the impact that raising minimum wage to the proposed $10.10 would bring. Experts are, for the most part, quite divided on the issue. A report from the Congressional Budget Office had Republicans pointing at the estimated 500,000 jobs lost and Democrats gesturing towards the 900,000 Americans estimated to be brought out of poverty by the proposed bill. A poll led by Initiative on Global Markets found that experts on the American economy were divided 34 percent to 32 percent, with the rest being undecided, on whether raising minimum wage to $9 would make it significantly harder for unskilled workers to find jobs. That same poll, however, continued on to assert that when the experts were asked to do a cost benefit analysis on the effect that raising minimum
wage will have on said unskilled workers, 52 percent said it would be beneficial, 23 percent were uncertain and only 10 percent thought the negative effects would be too much. With seemingly conflicted answers on the same poll, it’s no wonder that most Americans are confused on the topic. As well they should be in my opinion, nobody really knows exactly how things will go if the proposed Fair Minimum Wage Act passes. However, one thing is certain; Change is needed. With Americans struggling as it is in this recovering economy, an income boost would be an incredibly welcome and much needed break. Although raising minimum wage is not going to be a complete solution to the economic problem faced by the entire nation today, it certainly is a huge start for those currently earning $7.25 an hour.
Jesus Ramos / The Summa
The Summa University of St. Thomas Student Newspaper 3800 Montrose Blvd. • Houston, TX 77006 • 713.525.3579 The Summa is the official newspaper of The University of St. Thomas in Houston, Texas. It has a circulation of 2,000 copies. The Summa is a student run organization, whose purpose is to inform, comment, and interpret events of local, national, and worldwide importance. This paper serves as an open forum of student expression and welcomes letters from the UST community. All submitted materials are due by the last Friday of the month. The Summa is dedicated to serving as a model of ethical journalism, acting with honesty, objectivity, and integrity.
Jeremy Heallen • Faculty Advisor Claire Logue, Sarah Oyarce • Editors-in-Chief Claire Logue • Design Editor Stephanie Hernandez • News Editor Sydney Keller • Opinion Editor Sarah Oyarce • Entertainment Editor Diego Frias • Features Editor Hannah Vergult • Health Editor Jesús Ramos • Photography Editor Melanie Solomon • Social Correspondent
Staff Writers & Photographers Madi Bonnette • Diego Frias Mariela Garcia • Stephanie Hernandez Sydney Keller • Ragad Nawweb Sarah Oyarce • Hawa Patel Jesus Ramos • Adalberto Toledo Hannah Vergult
Design Team Sydney Keller Claire Logue Sarah Oyarce Hannah Vergult
Copy Editors Madison Bonnette Bianca Gomez Adalberto Toledo
Distribution Hannah Vergult
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
Noteworthy artists set to drop new albums this year
After a little time off, artists like Frank Ocean, Ed Sheeran, Joey Bada$$, Lana Del Rey and many others are anticipated to release new projects
n 2013, Kanye West proclaimed himself Yeezus, New Zealand teenager Lorde was in heavy rotation on American radio, Justin Timberlake gave us two experiences, Chance the Rapper acid rapped, Drake said Nothing Was the Same and the crown jewel of 2013, BEYONCÉ. The “Flawless” Queen Bey broke records as she managed to sell over 800,000 albums in only a weekend’s time with no press nor promotion. It was indeed a great year and now we can only anticipate amazing new music in 2014. In the realm of singersongwriters, there are two people that I will be looking
out for - Frank Ocean and Ed Sheeran. Ocean blessed us two summers ago with the beautiful channel ORANGE. His debut album was critically loved and earned him a golden gramophone at the 2013 Grammys. Boasting love songs such as “Thinkin’ Bout You,” “Forrest Gump” and “Bad Religion,” this album was sure to get you feeling some type of way. Ocean hardly does any press, so we have very little news on the status of his next album, supposedly titled Summer Remains. In a February 2013 interview with Zane Lowe of UK’s BBC Radio 1, Ocean revealed he was 10 or 11 songs into his next project. Rumors are that his album is set to drop
we still don’t have much information about is the new Lana Del Rey project UltraViolence. She revealed the album title at the premiere of her short film Tropico and accidentally let her album release date of May 1 slip. It is rumored that the album will feature singer The Weeknd, and according to NME, may be entirely produced by The Black Keys’s Dan Auerbach. As for the world of hiphop, there are many upcoming projects to be excited about. Firstly, Brooklyn native Joey Bada$$ will drop his next album sometime this year with his debut album B4.DA.$$. Bada$$ has released two critically acclaimed mix tapes - 1999 and Summer
this summer. Fingers crossed. Ed Sheeran is also gearing up to drop his own project soon. He has tweeted various times that he was in the studio or writing a new song. Sheeran has also Instagrammed photos of him in the studio with rappers Game and Rick Ross. Sheeran is making good on his tweet that his new project will have more of a “hip-hop” sound. Sheeran is no stranger to rap as he has a track on his debut album titled, “You Need Me, I Don’t Need You” in which he impressively raps. Like Ocean, Sheeran is also known for his love songs, including his songwriting connection with Taylor Swift, which we hope to hear more of in this project. Another project that
Knights. Compton’s Kendrick Lamar, who was shut out for a Grammy this year, will also release new music. His first album good kid, m.A.A.d. city was a commercial and critical success, but in interviews Lamar has said that he stopped working on the album when his mentor Dr. Dre told him to stop because it was already a “classic.” Lastly, New Orlean’s own Lil’ Wayne will put out Tha Carter V. These mentions are only scratching the surface on the albums to be released this year. We can only imagine what other artists are preparing for end of the year releases.
SARAH OYARCE Editor-in-Chief
OUT AND ABOUT
HOUSTON IN MARCH
March 6: Sick Puppies at the House of Blues Southerland Nights at Warehouse Live Com Truise at Fitzgerald’s March 7: Buddy Guy at the House of Blues
March 8: Newsboys, Lecrae and Tenth Avenue North at the Toyota Center
March 9: Switchfoot at Warehouse Live Yellow Ostrich at Fitzgerald’s
March 11: Bring Me the Horizon and Of Mice and Men at the House of Blues March 13: Hopsin at the House of Blues Animals as Leaders at Fitzgerald’s March 14: 2 Chainz at the Bayou Music Center
March 16: Miley Cyrus at the Toyota Center Bun B at Warehouse Live March 17: Cody ChestnuTT at Warehouse Live March 20: Steve Aoki at Stereo Live Agent Orange at The Scout Bar
March 21: La Dispute at Fitzgerald’s 7
March 23: James Blake at the House of Blues Bert Wills at Dan’s Electro March 24: Cher at the Toyota Center Ellie Goulding at the Bayou Music Center March 25: Tool at the Toyota Center March 26: Mayday at the Bayou Music Center March 27: The Internet at Warehouse Live March 28: Jeezy at the Arena Theatre March 29: Queensryche at the House of Blues March 30: The Grouch & Eligh at the House of Blues
ACROSS 1. Female prophet 3. Red, blue and yellow colors 5. Force that pulls things down 7. “Royals” singer 8. Type of toast we have at breakfast 10. Capital of Canada 12. Star of Home Improvement; Tim
DOWN 1. A type of star that increases in brightness due to an explosion within the star 2. A person who is a little too in love with themselves 4. Branch of government that makes the law 6. A type of woolen fabric 9. Highest point 11. Beverage of one of the most
popular “sports” among college students
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
Academy Award-winning Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki retires With hit films not only in Japan, but all over the world such as Spirited Away and his new Oscar-nominated film The Wind Rises, Miyazaki will retire
apanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki announced his official retirement on Feb. 21. Unlike previous statements of retirement that were soon debunked when he made another film, this announcement is for real. The 73-year-old filmmaker will retire for good, and both film buffs and anime lovers alike will mourn the loss of his talents in filmmaking. Miyazaki’s films, unlike many children’s stories, don’t involve characters that are wholly good or evil: this is not moral relativism, but that, within the context of the story, the film shows two different sides in a clash of wills. The 1997 film Princess Mononoke is perhaps the best example of this. Most of Miyazaki’s films feature magical beings, and Mononoke tells the epic story of the cursed Prince Ashitaka, as he becomes caught up in a struggle between the forest gods and a town
fighting to make a living on the minerals mined from the forest. It sounds like a simple story, but it’s a story that was the highest grossest film in Japan until Titanic’s international release. When the DVD was released in the US, it became the highest grossing anime film. The violent clashes, senseless between humans and magical animals is balanced out by the beautiful animation showing the natural beauty of the forest, and the characters of the film, on both sides of the struggle, display fierce determination to make the world around them into a world they can survive in. Prince Ashitaka is the singularly archetypical aspect of the film on a hero’s journey sent not to save the princess or to defeat the evil overlord, but to accord peace between the battling forces. The majority of his films tell the story of children, as they discover the experiences the world has to offer, often told in the metaphor of entering a
fantastical other-world:2000’s Spirited Away is comparable to Alice in Wonderland, as a little girl must learn to become a more courageous person to save her parents. Castle in the Sky features two children, as they are drawn into the adult world of war over territories and magical treasures, and the fight to save both themselves and their homes from the violence of war. His films have also presented some of the strongest female leads: Princess Naussica of the 1984 Naussica and Princess Mononoke are both princesses who are not saved by a true-love prince, but lead armies into battle and become a voice for justice against the marginalized groups of the film. His films have not only been loved by anime fanatics and Asian cinema fans, but have been recognized by Western film critics. Other films produced by Studio Ghibli’s, such as the 1988’s Grave of the Fireflies, was compared to
AP Photo / Touchstone Pictures
Schilder’s List by Roger Ebert, because of the heartbreaking story it told of two abandoned children living in Japan during World War II. Every one of Miyazaki’s films that were released in the English language in American theaters has been nominated for an Academy Award, with Spirited Away winning the prize. His most recent, and last film, The Wind Rises, could compete against Frozen and Despicable Me 2. Unlike previous Miyazaki films, it tells the very real story of Jiro Hirokoshi, as he grows up in a Japan that is rapidly changing because of World War II. Like his previous films, the theme of flight is very strong, as the true story of Jiro is told with the beautiful animation, and how he works on designing the Japanese fighter planes that were first used at Pearl Harbor. The story is not meant to glorify any of the violence committed
in the war, but tell the true story of one man who revolutionized fighter plane technology, and the struggles he endured in his life. As a filmmaker, his animation was revolutionary: he can be considered the Walt Disney of Japan, and helped establish Studio Ghibli, one of the highest grossing animated films studios in Asia. Miyazakisan has been involved with filmmaking since the ‘60’s, and has made an impact in both the way films are made, and how stories are told: not always as a simple conflict between good and evil, but the greater experience of an evolving world, and the impacts the choices we all make can have upon the environment around us, and the people we connect with. STEPHANIE HERNANDEZ
Strong female actor takes lead inVampire Academy
Vampire Academy follows Rose and Lissa, two vampire best friends
ark Waters, director of the popular Mean Girls, F re a k y Friday and 500 Days of Summer, brings the bestselling, six novel Vampire
Academy series by Richelle Mead to the big screen in a fun, enjoyable adaptation that stays honest to the book. Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters follows two best friends, Rose Hathaway, a half vampire played by Zoey
Weinstein Company / Photo Courtesy
Deutch and Lissa, a royal vampire princess played by Lucy Fry. The two friends run away from their secret academy because they believe their lives are in danger, but are finally caught after a year and return to the academy to train in magic and fighting. The movie takes a humorous approach to the story of a hidden race of vampires, the Moroi, their half vampire guardians, the Dhampirs and the evil undead vampires, the Strigoi, while still remaining somewhat serious. Even when Deutch and Fry’s characters are returned to the safety of the school, danger still follows them and they must uncover who’s behind the schemes to hurt the royal Lissa. Plenty of detail went into ensuring that the special effects were effective and realistic and it paid off, because the setting and fight scenes were excellent and well-made. The movie balanced explosive scenes and humor to guarantee that it never came off too cheesy. The strongest aspect
of Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters is the unapologetic strong main character, Rose Hathaway. Rose is the best friend and guardian of the royal vampire princess Lissa and is willing to do anything for her best friend. Deutch captures Rose’s snark and strong will perfectly, and it translates very well into the big screen. Hathaway is a headstrong girl, willing to put her life on the line for her best friend. Heart-of-gold characters such as these are usually cookie cut, standard Plain Janes, but Rose Hathaway is a deviation from the norm. She is unapologetic regarding every aspect of herself, determined, a breath of fresh air and a muchneeded female lead with a backbone that’s not afraid to fight back. While Deutch could not have played a better role, the same could not be said for some of the other characters of the movie who, unfortunately, were not suited for the character they played. For instance, Lucy Fry as Lissa and Danlia Kozlovsky who plays the Russian guardian
training Rose, were subpar next to Deutch’s excellent performance. However, Dominic Sherwood as Christian Ozra, Lissa’s love interest, and Sarah Hyland as Natalie Dashkov and her father Victor, as Gabriel Byrne all did a good job as their respective characters. Though certainly not the most excellent book-to-movie adaptation, Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters presents a strong female lead that is confident in herself, a rare thing to find in movies, books or TV shows. That, and the positive female friendship in the movie is another hard-tofind gem in books, movies or TV shows. Add in humor and Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters makes for a good, entertaining movie. Whether the sequel book, Frostbite, will be made into a movie is still unclear, but it would be worth it to pick up the book series for an enjoyable read that only gets better with each book.
RAGAD NAWWAB Staff Writer
THURSDAY, MARCH 6, 2014
Pharrell Williams celebrates women with a new album
After waiting eight years for a new Pharrell project, music fans rejoice over singer/rapper/ producer’s new album G I R L which features simple lyrics and groovy instrumentals
harrell Williams’ new album was made available to stream on iTunes radio a week before its release date of March 4. G I R L is Pharrell’s first solo project since his 2006 project In My Mind. The album features duets with singers Justin Timberlake, Miley Cyrus, JoJo, Daft Punk
and Alicia Keys. Pharrell has produced many of the hits we hear on the radio and has also produced for many other artists such as Britney Spears, Miley Cyrus, Usher, Frank Ocean, John Legend, Schoolboy Q, Jay-Z, Gloria Estefan and the list goes on. Most recently, he has produced and written on the Daft Punk album Random
Access Memories, which won the Album of the Year Grammy at the 2014 Grammys. He also produced and co-wrote the controversial song “Blurred Lines” which people criticized for misogynistic lyrics. Maybe this has had an effect on the creation of this new album as Pharrell has said that this album is a celebration of women.
Kevin Mazur / WireImage
The album is characterized by its upbeat, peppy, feel good production displayed by the album’s first single “Happy,” which is also featured in Despicable 2 and was nominated for an Academy Award. Featuring simple lyrics like, “Clap along if you feel that’s what ya wanna do,” this song is perfect for the radio and is sure to be a bigger hit in the summer. Another standout track is “Lost Queen,” particularly the end of the track “Freq” which features JoJo. “Freq” shows Pharrell’s more introspective side with lyrics like, “You’ve got to go inward to experience the outer space that was built for you.” “Freq” and “Lost Queen” are separated by soothing waves crashing which fits the theme of the album perfectly. “Brand New” is probably going to be a single as it features Timberlake and has an infectious beat that you almost feel obligated to dance to. Pharrell and Timberlake complement each other perfectly with their light voices hitting each falsetto. A song that I was surprised by
is the Miley Cyrus assisted “Come Get It Bae.” Although this album is a celebration of women, Pharrell still clearly includes provocative lyrics such as, “You wanna ride it / my motorcycle / You got a license / well you got the right to / Wanna pop a wheelie? / Don’t try to hard to / Take it easy on the clutch cuz girl I like you.” This should automatically tear down anyone’s claim that this is a “feminist” album. Aside from this, this song is simply a jam and changed my mind about Cyrus. The track “Marilyn Monroe” features lyrics for the “different girl.” The chorus belts out names like Marilyn Monroe along with Cleopatra and Joan of Arc which all do not compare to the woman that Pharrell is looking for. Regardless, Pharrell’s G I R L is simply a great album and is a refreshing take on popular music. Pharrell will forever be one of the greatest producers, but this album also certifies him as one of the greatest artists period.
SARAH OYARCE Editor-in-Chief
The Naked and Famous impress at Fitzgerald’s
ans of alternative rock may know of The Naked and Famous, a band from New Zealand that has had a recent growth in popularity worldwide. Their singles “Punching in a Dream,” “Young Blood,” “The Sun” and “Girls like You” have appeared on many TV shows and movies, and the group also brought home many awards from the 2011 New Zealand Music Awards. Though currently on tour with Imagine Dragons as an opening act, the group was very excited to perform their own headlining concert at Houston’s Fitzgerald’s on Feb. 19. Usually occupied by small crowds of local hipsters for little-known bands, Fitzgerald’s was completely sold out for The Naked and Famous. Fans arrived two hours ahead of the listed start time to pack into the small venue. The opening act was a local band called Blshs, pronounced like blushes. The singer
The New Zealand band finds success in the U.S. sounded like a mix of Lana Del Rey and Ellie Goulding, but definitely not in a good way. I’m sure the whiney voices, overly heavy bass and poorly edited electronic sounds would have sounded much better to those under certain influences, but most of the audience was counting the minutes for the ticketed performers to come onstage. After what seemed like an eternity, The Naked and Famous came onstage to roaring applause from the audience. The lead singer, Alisa Xayalith, was incredibly charismatic and beamed during each song. Guitarist and singer Thom Powers also had a very strong presence onstage, and he even called for help from security for an incapacitated audience member. The band performed even more incredibly live than on their album, and delivered one of those rare concerts in which you could feel the emotion with each song. They performed songs from both of their albums, Passive Me, Aggressive You
and In Rolling Waves, with a perfect blend between upbeat and calm songs. Most of the fans sang along with the most popular songs, such as “Hearts like Ours,” “Girls like You” and “Punching in a Dream,” but even the lesser known songs found easy connections among
audience members. The band performed everyone’s favorite, “Young Blood,” as the finale, and it was absolutely amazing. As a band, The Naked and Famous are incredibly talented performers and recording artists. Their work is expertly put together, and the two
vocalists create a unique blend of sound without comparison. Not only are their recorded albums perfect on repeat, but their live performance is even better.
MADI BONNETTE Copy Editor
Brendan Shanley / Lost in Concert