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Spring 2012 UF Honors Program




Table of Contents


You Know You’re in the UF Honors Program When... You are reading this article and secretly smirking


Honors Without Borders: The name we have all heard, but do you know who they are or what they do?


Student Spotlights:

Meet your fellow honors students


Get Crafty on a College Budget: DYI Projects, cook cheap, and the real way to coupon



No time for reading during the semester? Here are the books that are worth waiting to read over those lazy summer days

Stay updated with Florida’s politics with these new pieces of legislation

Books to Put Off:


Study Abroad Map:

Ready to travel the world? Here’s a map to start you off


World Events Broken Down:

Do those complicated news stories about current economics and politics confuse you? Here are the stories broken down in easy-tounderstand terms


Country Spotlight:


How much do you know about Austria? A lot, after you read this article

Can you figure it out?




Downtown Lights:

We’ve already scoped out the good places for you to go


Summer Calendar:

Bored over the summer? Here’s what you could be doing

Things You’re Not Doing: On-campus events you put on your calendar


Grandpa Ron:

The live changing experience of one of your fellow honors students


From KSA to USA

A true international experience: what it is like coming to the States from abroad


Bonjour de Paris!

Thinking about study abroad? Here is Christy Dumpit’s, Hume Hall East’s RA from last semester, experience in her new home


We Didn’t Start the Fire:

Sound familiar? Here’s one honors student’s take on why you should become involved with politics today

Current FL Legislation:


The Recombination Conversation:

Interested in gene therapy? Andrew Kolarich will walk you through the process and the new innovations taking place today


The Internet Should Remain Unrestricted

Freaked out by the blackout at the beginning of this year? Zachary Peterson shares your concern in his commentary on these recent developments


Buying E-readers on Textbooks: Yes or No?

Don’t jump for your parents credit card without first going through the pros and cons of this new technology


Apps You Need:

All of the necessities, from homework organizers, to the finding the nearest restroom

Smartphones Getting Smarter:

Read about the new NFC technology that could make your smartphone the only thing left in your pocket


Geeks Like Us:

Technology is changing the world - make sure you’re keeping up!

8 Movies Worth Seeing:

You may not have heard of them, but read these reviews and you’ll want to watch them

Sections: Campus Life, The Arts - a Portrait of Life Outside of Honors, World, and Science and Technology

Letter From the Editor By Lexy Khella Freshmen, Political Science major

Why prism?

Why prism? We’ve all heard the jokes from our friends about being an honors student – what “nerds” we are, right? Clearly, we bury ourselves in our books all day long, live in the Hume study lounge and think that midtown is the UF Bookstore. Contrary to what many people may think or tease us about, the true definition of an honors student resides under a thicker surface. Smart, hardworking, and motivated are often the adjectives that define us. While this is true, these descriptions only scratch the surface of who an honors student is and what the UF Honors Program is like. An honors student is not one type of student. Within each of us are complex personalities, talents and interests, some of which you might not expect or gather from a first impression. That “science person” down the hall is not just a science student. Don’t let that long title for engineering hide what may turn out to be a passion for writing and literature. A prism reflects light by separating white light into a spectrum of colors; this magazine reflects the many facets of an honors student, from the arts, to the sciences and everything in between. This issue of Prism is the first of many for the new UF Honors Magazine. Its goal is to showcase the spectrum of UF honors students’ interests, stories and insight. Prism is about and for the honors students. Sincerely, Lexy Khella Editor-In-Chief

Editors and Staff Faculty Sponsor: Dr. Kevin Knudson, Dean of the Honors Program Editors

Editor-in-Chief: Lexy Khella Graphic Design Editor: Jason McDade Photography Editor: Michele Dobin Arts Editor: Megan Jones Technology Editor: Corey Flayman Copy Editor: Alexandra Gonzalez Campus Life Section Editor: Alexa Gedigian Arts Section Editor: Samantha Paedae World Section Editor: Elliot Levy Science and Technology Section Editors: Andrew Kolarich and Corey Flayman

Staff Ishani Patel Cheyenne Conrad Leslie Gaynor Shruti Shah Sama Imran ILyas Panagiotes Mamangakis Victoria Zacka Zackary Peterson Contribution Writers T.J. Anderson Ginny Hamrick Madison Surdyke Jonathan Burnett

Thank you to Katie Burns in your assistance with P.R.

Contact Us: E-mail us with comments, questions, and suggestions at “Like” us on Facebook and look for news about how to get involved with Prism next fall!




You Know You’re in the UF Honors Program When... Compiled by Alexa Gedigan Sophomore, Journalism major, Leadership minor

You may live in Tolbert, Mallory or Broward, but we all know you’re a “Humie” at heart. There are some things only Honors students can relate to or appreciate that the rest of the UF student body will never understand. We curl up in cozy armchairs in the common room, and it’s clear why we’re all here. Who else can appreciate your limited edition Harry Potter book set or the dog-eared copy of Jane Eyre you keep with you at all times? Who else knows why you want to watch re-runs of “The Big Bang Theory” or “House” on a Saturday night – because you understand the shows better than the average viewer? Honors students do. We really, really do. So what makes an Honors student – besides stellar test scores and an obsession with challenging themselves – a “Humie?” Well, you know you’re in the UF Honors Program when…

• • • • • • • •

Opening your dryer and finding your laundry to be actually dry is an occasion worth celebrating. The number of National Merit Scholars you know is bigger than your graduating class. You schedule time for fun. Everyone is a freshman by year, but a junior by credits. You finish your homework early enough to take a nap. You understand everything Sheldon says in “The Big Bang Theory.” Everyone proudly announces which Hogwarts house they belong to. You’ve gotten college credit for taking a class about Starcraft, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” origami or Gregorian chants. You have that one person on your floor who doesn’t exist until floor meetings, and then is never seen again. • You’ve designed a contraption to unlock your bathroom door in case your suitemates lock you out. • You tape “Please unlock the bathroom door” to your suitemate’s side of the bathroom. • Your intramural team loses the football game but wins trivia night. • When you meet someone, they ask if you’re pre-med or an engineering major. • Something breaks, and you call an engineer to solve the problem. • You walk into your common room at 2 a.m. to find people playing Smash, Settlers of Catan or Pokémon.

• • • •

• • • • • • • • •

You have a study room in your residence area. You get excited to study because you nabbed the big study room… all to yourself! Said study room is packed all day, every day. You go to the study room and run into your friends, which completely destroys your brilliant plans to study. It’s after midnight, and there are still 20 or more people in the study room. Dr. Mitchell makes a chemistry joke during lecture, and you’re the only who A) gets the joke B) thought it was funny and C) literally laughed out loud You can’t listen to James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” without thinking of courtly love and Dante’s relationship with Beatrice. You feel really great about your SAT/ACT scores…until you meet the people on your floor. You can’t get enough of those oh SHO funny event names. Everyone seems to be taking either Calculus III, Chemistry I or Intro to Engineering. Discussing your favorite Pokémon is totally normal, and the only acceptable answers are from the first generation. You have dragged that decrepit vacuum cleaner down your hall. You read the “The New York Times” or “Wall Street Journal” on the bus instead of listening to your iPod. You clean for Thursday cleaning. Near and Far are legitimate distinctions. Your non-Honors friends ask if there are “normal” people on your floor. Thank you to the students who provided the bulk of these responses when I asked what constitutes a UF Honors Student!

an Jones Graphics by Meg

By Cheyenne Conrad Freshman, Psychology major with Family Youth Community and Musical Performance minors How many people have told you they want to make a difference in the community? How many have actually done it? Well, the members of Honors Without Borders have. The student organization, whose tagline is “Who we are is what we do,” was officially registered in January 2011 to focus on tangible, humanitarian work. The organization recently partnered with Liz Kazungu, an advisor at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to aid her village of Gotani in Mombasa, Kenya. Kazungu wanted to increase access to clean water, help local men become farmers by loaning them cattle and develop a better education system in the village. Honors Without Borders was happy to help. “We were struggling with what direction to go in,” Carleigh said. There are so many ways to help the world, so many problems to combat and so many different interests and backgrounds between us that finding a focus was quite a feat.” The project with Kazungu changed the organization’s initial mission. The founders of Honors Without Borders met through Honors Adviser Melissa Johnson when they took her class, Honors Professional Development. Carleigh, now vice president of Honors Without Borders, met with Johnson and expressed her desire to help her community and start a nonprofit organization in the future. Johnson introduced Carleigh to other students who had the same goals, and the organization was born. “We’ve structured our club with each month of the academic year focusing on a different social problem: health, human rights, environment, disaster relief, poverty and education,” said Carleigh. Honors Without Borders hosted a human rights walk on April 15. “We’re celebrating the good that we’ve accomplished over the past year and a half. The proceeds are going to the Hamara School in Goa, a safe place for the children of the disadvantaged village,” Carleigh said. If you are interested in learning more or joining Honors without Borders:

Honors without Borders

Photographs and graphic contributed by Honors Without Borders




Compiled by Ishani Patel Freshman, Exploratory major


Meet the Honors Students

Meet Mary Ishola, a future doctor. She is a first year microbiology major from Lithia, Florida. She chose microbiology because in 10 years, she sees herself finishing her residency in pediatrics. In the future, she would like to live outside of Florida. She has great passion for her studies, but outside of school, she is a member of Gator Christian Life and Campus Kitchen. She looks up to Ben Carson, the man who performed the first hemispherectomy. Her hobbies include reading, singing, dancing, baking, and eating chicken! Her favorite cereal is Honey Nut Cheerios, and one of her favorite books is “The Host.” She balked when asked what sort of kitchen utensil she would be, but acquiesced to the suggestion that she should be a spatula, so she could scrape the grime from the frying pan of humanity. In the past she had a fear of singing in public, but she faced this fear when she competed in a vocal competition. Her personal motto is, “Go Sketch or Go Home,” though she says it’s really more of a suggestion than a phrase to live by. By Samantha Paedae While nearly every other student hustles to do everything, Nick Mills, a freshman Economics major, found the needed time in his schedule to do what everyone else envies: relax. Throughout high school, no subject ever seemed to fit until he took macro and microeconomics, which he immediately took a liking to. In 10 years, he aspires to be a part of a company that combines technology and business. In his free time, Nick plays League and Legends and fishes, a hobby he took up in middle school with his friends. His favorite fishing spot is on the Sunshine Skyway Pier and his favorite fish to catch is the largemouth bass. However, ironically, he doesn’t eat seafood . By Megan Jones

Sleep is a rare privilege for Andrew Silverman. Between

ills research, leadership, sports, and Greek life, how could he find the kM

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time? Silverman, a freshman Food Science and Human Nutrition major with a Communication Studies minor, is from Boca Raton and is involved in many different organizations on campus. As a pre-med student, he is a member of AMSA, he volunteers at Shands in the General Radiology Department, and conducts research in the Fiber Study. He also is an Assistant Director of Jewish Awareness Month, a brother of the Alpha Epsilon Pi social fraternity, and the Alpha Zeta honor fraternity. He plays the cello and helped start a nonprofit orchestra in high school. In the little free time that he has,

Silverman likes to play soccer and basketball, work out, and go to the beach. “I enjoy being challenged on a daily basis, said Silverman. “Whether it is playing sports with my fraternity brothers or putting together a research proposal, I’m never bored.” By Corey Flayman

Alanna Miller might just appear to be a simple freshman Finance major, but her life seems to leap her to unique experiences. She and her roommate, Sammie Solaski, are foster caring for rabbits. After calling and applying to become a future “parent” to the Gainesville Rabbit rescue, they received a cage, toys, hay, food and all supplies needed to take care of a rabbit. Every six weeks Alanna and Sammie take their current rabbit to adoption events. After one is adopted, the Rescue gives the foster owners another rabbit until that one is adopted, repeating the cycle until the foster owners don’t want more rabbits. They have already had one rabbit, Nico, adopted. Their newest rabbit is named Ranger. Additionally, Alanna is involved with Catholic Gators and over spring break [went] on a mission trip to the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico. Alanna also plays softball, basketball and volleyball with the Catholic Gator’s intramural team. By Megan Jones

Feel like you are always busy on campus? Ashley Papagno knows the feeling. Papagno, a freshman from Coconut Creek majoring in Industrial and Systems Engineering, is involved in a variety of organizations. She’s a member of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and was the Community College Coordinator for the Engineering and Science Fair. She’s also a sister of the Chi Omega sorority, where she participates in Dance Marathon and plays intramural tennis and softball. Papagno is the UF Co-Manager of Rent The Runway, a website where girls can rent designer dresses for up to 90% off. She is also A a Junior Panhellenic Delegate, a Gator Raider, and a volunteer shley Pap at the Children’s Home Society. Papagno still finds time between agn o all of these activities to go out with friends. “I love just living life to the fullest, being involved with as many things that interest me as possible, meeting new people, and doing new things,” she said. By Corey Flayman Try saying this three times fast: Katie Willis is sophomore, double-majoring in Economics and Spanish, from Wenatchee, Washington, who is involved in Greek life, sports, music, clubs, and who plans to attend law school. She chose an Economics major because she wants to become a corporate lawyer in the future and has been greatly inspired by her uncle. Katie is a member of the philanthropy committee in the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and a member of Phi Alpha Delta Pre-law Fraternity, for which she participates in mock trials. She is on the social committee for the Florida Leadership Academy, a prestigious business organization, and will be studying abroad in Madrid this summer to help her become bilingual and to increase her cultural competency. Additionally, Katie plays tennis on UF’s club tennis team and has played piano since the fourth grade. She has interned at a medical malpractice law firm in her hometown and is very passionate about giving back to the community. She enjoys working with children and affirms that her family is the most important thing to her. Ideally, she would travel often—especially to Italy, because of her Italian descent and desire to connect with her roots—and own a beach house in the future. Katie’s favorite authors are Tucker Max and Chelsea Handler, and her favorite movies include Fight Club and Clueless. She loves listening to country music and her favorite song is Blake Shelton’s “God gave me you.” By Shruti Shah

If Noa Marks wants something, she finds a way to get it. A Freshman Accounting major from Tampa, Florida, Noa would one day like to go to Law school, but chose accounting because she wants options if she ever changes her mind. Noa enjoys singing, writing, musical theatre and song writing. She is also a big fan of 2D animation. Her big passion is theatre of all kinds and would eventually love to live in Manhattan. Ten years from now, Noa would like to be a tax lawyer and have enough money to open up a scholarship fund for children who cannot afford to go to college. If she were to ever win an award for her efforts, she would thank her mother for always trusting and believing in her when no one else did and for pushing her to be a better version of herself. Before graduating from the University of Florida, Noa would like to see the Student Party win the executive seat. By Ishani Patel

a No

Aishwarya Potdar is a first year exploratory science major, still experimenting with the different sciences to find the field that suits her best. Born in India and then bounced around the United States, she calls Tampa her hometown. Her favorite activity is relaxing and hanging out with friends, and she loves to watch White Collar. If she could change one thing in her life, it would be to move her extended family closer, since they all still live in India. She would love to live the story line from Harry Potter so that she can “experience all the magic.” s ark By Michele Dobin

At one in the morning during a study session, Nick Fields reaches for a Rocky Mountain Hemp Bar, THC free, of course. Fields is a Freshman Physical Therapy major from Middleburg, Florida. He chose physical therapy because of an interest in physiology and a desire to help people. Nick’s hobbies include meditating, studying and longing for his girlfriend. If he could be doing anything right now, he would be letting go of a rope swing. He is passionate about the human condition. If someone were to make a soundtrack to his life, it would be with the song, “Soundtrack to My Life,” by Kid Cudi. Out of all the classes he’s taken at UF so far, his favorite is Developmental Psychology. What does no one know about Nick? He takes freezing cold showers . By Alexa Gedigian

Crazy things tend to happen to Sasha Camenkar , a Freshman English major from Apopka, Florida. She chose her major because she has always wanted to be an English teacher. Watching shows and movies like “The Magic School Bus” and “Dead Poets’ So- N ciety,” has only made her desire grow. In fact, when asked where ick F ield s she wants to be in 10 years, she stated that nothing would make her happier than to be taking her class on a field trip and seeing bright smiles on all of her students’ faces. Sasha’s hobbies include going on adventures, playing the guitar, taking bike rides, and reading and writing poetry. If she were to ever win an award, she would thank her parents, her friends, and Lee Finkelstein for always believing in her. Before graduating from the University of Florida, Sasha would like to take her and her three or four best friends and go on an awesome road trip. Her personal motto is “The ledge itself invents the leap.” By Ishani Patel


Photographs by Michele Dobin



Get CRAFTY on a College Budget

Do it Yourself __Projects__

By Alexa Gedigian Sophomore, Journalism major, Leadership minor

The prospect of moving in to an apartment this fall after spending two years on campus is exhilarating. No more sharing showers, ovens, sinks, televisions and couches with up to 20 people. My future roomie and I have been planning since we signed in November. I’m talking color schemes, room décor and door wreaths. Since neither of us has an unlimited budget, we’ve been doing some serious Internet searching for easy do-it-yourself projects to make decorating creative and inexpensive. So how can college students amp up their portion of a dorm room or apartment without breaking the bank? Well, you don’t have to be really crafty or even artistic (although it helps) for these three fun projects.

Photograph by Alexa Gedigian

Crayon Melting Art Tumblr, Facebook and Pinterest are all obsessed with it. You should be too. Crayon melting art has become popular this year, and it’s surprisingly easy to do. Over winter break, my best friend and I decided to test out the crayon melting project with materials I found squirrelled away in my house. It was such a success and adds a pop of color to those dreary cinderblock walls. Materials: Do It Yourself: Assorted crayons 1. Choose the backing for your artwork. You Poster board, cardboard, or can use scrap cardboard, poster board or a small canvas canvas, if you’re feeling really artsy. A white Glue background is preferable. If you do use Hairdryer poster board, as I did, it’s best to double- Newspaper up and glue two pieces together so that it’s sturdier. 2. Glue crayons in a straight line across the top of your background. This is where you can get really creative and make various patterns. Placing your crayons in rainbow order is always a good idea, but you can also use only warm colors, only cool colors, black to white or a mix of your favorite colors. It looks best if done in a spectrum, so jumping from blue to orange might not melt nicely together. 3. After the crayons are firmly glued to your background, spread the newspapers on the ground and place your background on top. It’s best if your background is propped upright so that the wax can melt down. 4. Use the hair dryer on high heat to melt the crayons. It takes a little trial and error to get the flow of wax to look the way you want it to, but I had the best luck holding the end of my hair dryer directly in

front of the labels on the crayons. Want to try something different? Place the crayons in the shape of a heart, or try and manipulate the melting wax into cool patterns, like a city skyline. Frame Dry Erase Board It happens to everyone: you wake up in the middle of the night and scribble down a hasty reminder to yourself in the hopes that you’ll remember it in the morning. Instead of using countless Post-It® notes, go green and make your own dry erase board for practically nothing. For pictures, visit www. Materials: Picture frame Do It Yourself: 1. The best part about this project is that it is in- Paint credibly easy. You can either scavenge around Scrapbook paper your house, apartment or dorm room for an old picture frame, or get one for dirt-cheap at a dollar store or Goodwill. 2. Take the glass out and paint the frame a color of your choice. I would suggest white, for a clean look, or a color that matches your décor. You can also distress the paint by rubbing sandpaper over your frame once it’s dry to give it a weathered look. 3. Place a piece of scrapbook paper in the frame and replace the glass. Try to use a piece of paper that is a solid color or has a simple pattern because you want to be able to read your messages. Your dry erase board is now ready to go. 5.

Table-top Terrarium I love terrariums and desperately want to make one for my apartment next year. It can get so dreary in an apartment or dorm without any life, with the exception of whatever your floormates leave in the kitchen for too long…. Add your own terrarium into the mix! They are cute and can be made with whatever plants you find pleasing and in whatever container you prefer. The best part? The plants we’ll use are low-maintenance and don’t need to be watered very often. For pictures, visit Do It Yourself: 1. Using a spoon, scoop the pot- Materials: ting soil into the bottom of the Glass fishbowl, jar or other container glass container and fill it up Tiny succulents or cacti about a third of the way. Cactus/succulent potting soil 2. Carefully place your tiny plants Gravel or decorative stones into the soil. You can add a bit Spoon more soil around them if your layer is too shallow. 3. Gently add the layer of gravel around the plants. There is a lot of artistic license for this project. You can use as many plants as you wish and add as much of any kind of gravel or stones. The ones pictured here used stones from a family vacation, but you can use whatever appeals to you.



Clip Coupons to Clip Costs By Michele Dobin Freshman, Information Systems major

Let’s face it: College is expensive. There are few things about college that are cheap, whether it be housing, books, classes or food. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Although books and tuition are on the rise, there’s a simple solution – clip coupons to clip grocery costs. The best place to find coupons is usually the Sunday paper. However, college students don’t often receive this for free and are not usually willing to buy it, when online news is so easy to access. Therefore, the Internet becomes the most reliable source for coupons. Websites such as, and all publish most of the coupons in the Sunday paper. These coupons often coincide with sales at popular stores like Publix. Some brands even have Facebook pages that reward users with coupons as an incentive for “liking” their page. Another great way to get coupons, and often the best way to get great coupons, is to contact the company directly. What companies want almost as much as your money is your opinion of their product. They can use your opinion to gain a larger market and higher sales. Have you eaten the same cereal for breakfast for years? If you were stranded on a desert island, would you bring that cereal with you? Then tell the company how much you love their product! By doing this, you are not only complementing the product and the company, but you have now earned a spot on their coupon mailing list, if they have one, as well as some sweet coupons from the manufacturer for potentially free items.

Cooking By Victoria Zacka Freshman, Psychology major

Only 4,056 UF students have a meal plane, which means more than 45,000 student do not. Finding ways to cook cost-effective, healthy, and tasty meals can be a challenge. Here is a day of recipes that are not only cheap, but taste oh SHO good. You can find more delicious and affordable recipes online at Breakfast: Eggs in a Frame (or basket) Ingredients: One slice of bread, one egg, veggies of choice. Price: Loaf of bread: $1.79 Carton of eggs $1.25 Roasted Red Pepper: $3.00 Total cost: $6.04

Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly Bread: Previously bought Peanut butter $2.77 Jelly $2.22 Total cost: $4.99

Dinner: Vegetarian Lasagna Prince Lasagna Noodles $1.99 Bag of shredded mozzarella cheese 8 ounces $1.99 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese $0.24 1 egg $0.13 Ricotta cheese 15 ounces $2.39 Can of plain tomato sauce 28 ounces $1.19 2 organic carrots grated $0.19 Total cost: $8.12 Dessert: Apples and Cinnamon A healthy delicious and inexpensive dessert can be made with sliced apples

Using Coupons Effectively While just having and using coupons is enough for some, others wish for more. Using coupons effectively requires time and effort.

1. Read the sale circulars As previously mentioned, oftentimes coupons match up with sales at Publix. Every Thursday, sales change at Publix and their circular can be found online at Check for sales that coincide with the Publix circular 2. Make a list By making and following a list, you limit yourself to what you need versus impulse buys, as well as allowing you to plan out what coupons are needed. 3. Use sales to double up on coupons If something is buy one, get one free, then you can use both coupons even though the price is only based on one item. If you have a free item coupon and the item frequently goes on sale for buy one, get one free, save the coupon for when the item is on sale to get both items for free. Coupons have the ability to make your life as a college student much cheaper, but they require some effort. It will all pay off in the end when you see the savings stacking up on your receipt at the store. Smart shopping to all!

and cinnamon or cinnamon sugar. Cut up and skin and apples and add the cinnamon sugar. Bake in the oven. You can even buy the apple crumb mix at Publix and add any fruit to it for a delicious cobbler. It in inexpensive and will last all week. For more recipes go to: All of this food can feed you for at least a week at extremely affordable prices. Unknown Vegetarian options on campus. UF was voted one of the top 10 vegan friendly campuses by PETA this year, but where are all the vegetarian options? Here are a few I found that we veggies may not know about. Subway: Subway has a veggie patty sandwich that is oh so delicious. You can add vegetables, condiments, and cheese. Ask for a cup of water, and this meal only costs $5 for a footlong. Subway also offers two kinds of soup at $2 a cup: broccoli cheddar and vegetable minestrone. Moes: Moes has a great vegetarian menu, and you can use tofu in place of meat in every meal option. Order a tofu rice bowl with veggies, salsa, and other toppings. Moe’s also has a number of salad options. Convenience Stores: Convenience stores like P.O.D, Graham Oasis, and Beatty Market sell vegetarian microwavable meals, vegetable sushi, and other veggie-friendly options. Jamba Juice: Jamba juice has a delicious all-veggie Mediterranean flat-bread and a tomato and cheese flat bread as well as fruit smoothies.






By Lexy Khella Freshman, Political Science Major day, sometimes joining in with a melding of the inexperiIn the background stand the walls of the enced and the experienced. elite’s home. Those who pretend to be green reptiles are While the soundtrack to Notgnilrut encourpraised for victory when they steal what looks like a ages harmony among the people, Notgnilrut is also dark brown ostrich’s egg and run back and forth in cashome to an enduring and unresolvable conflict. There tle’s greens. On the other side, the masses congregate in are two groups at battle with one another, in a relentless the Americas, where it is customary to eat food served struggle for the loyalty of all other inhabitants. They do from large bins on the grass and listen to the thumps not compete with traditional tactics of warfare. They are of drums and chanting. In the middle lies Notgnilrut. identified by color – one, orange, and the other, blue. Many pass through on their way to another destination, During war, Notgnilrut becomes a sea of blue soldiers but for some it is their endpoint. For few is a trip to swarming over the grounds, trying to identify the unNotgnilrut a rare occasion; for most inhabitants, it is a identified natives with stickers. These blue masses – the part of their daily life. blue army – engulf Notgnilrut. They are versed in the art Notgnilrut lies next to the Americas by geoof oration and flirtation, equipped with stickers, pencils graphic terms, but when it comes to comparisons, there and fliers in hand. The majority of soldiers have been is nothing alike. Notgnilrut is infamous for its surreal drafted and only recite the limited information dictated vegetation. The people there tell fantasy stories about to them, enticing the hungry natives with the prospect Jack and his giant beanstalk, yet they casually walk by of a new breakfast option in Notgnilrut in exchange for an oversized potato that is likely another one of Jack’s support. Now search closely and you will find spots of seeds, lying in the midst of the frenzy. The people walk orange weaving in and our of the dominating blue army. around this potato, scoping out a good spot. Once they The soldiers wearing orange try to capture the attenlocate the cleanest place on the bench that circles the tion of those not already branded with a blue sticker potato, they drop their luggage and rest. Their bags are with oversized pieces of paper and large instruments either dropped to the ground or thrown next to them that amplify their voices. Even more surprising was both while they open a text of some sort and block out all armies’ use of other species in war. They outfitted animals distractions. in their uniform and paraded them around Notgnilrut Most of the surrounding lands are simply filled as another strategy. It is no longer a battle of humans with the noises of interaction: whispering, shouting or against humans; it has become a war of all species. But talking into machines. But Notgnilrut is often imbued in the middle of this war, you may happen to glance with various tunes. The music that fills the air changes over at the right time and notice a quick ceasefire. The daily and cannot be predicted. One day, Notgnilrut opposing blue and orange leaders put aside their politiwas invaded by humanoid figures from another world. cal allegiances as they high five, passing by the other to Stationed in front of the potato, they took over Notgnilreach unclaimed corners of the land and resume military rut with their native music, which they blasted through campaigning. the airwaves. It was a fast, charged beat with rhythmic Notgnilrut stirs with a different scene every pounding that had a strange effect on all of the natives day, as natives walk by in the morning with signature walking by. Everyone stopped, thumped their foot or cups. At night, those cups reappear with a refilled drink. bobbed their head and smiled at this foreign invasion. All the natives have the same green image printed on the Taking turns with shifts, these android figures comcup, which holds a brown fluid that infuses energy into posed a remixed symphony of electric beats that echoed their bodies. But as the day disappears and night arises, in the ears of all the natives. The people graciously Notgnilrut is at peace for a few hours, before it is awoken welcomed these visitors by occasionally embracing them again by the livelihood and craziness that fills it every and using the portable machinery attached to their bodday. ies to take photographs. Other times, different spirits Green reptiles, clashes of orange and blue, unexwill occupy the mood. For instance, a saucy and spicy pected jam sessions and a giant potato – sound familiar? flavor defined Notgnilrut for the day. The norm was shifted again as a new melody floated through the air. It was full of fast upbeat rhythms that flowed through the long loose dresses of the women moving their bodies to the music. It appeared that these songs dictated specific, choreographic routines. Again, this foreign invasion did not disturb or alarm the natives, but rather, they embraced the new culture that inhabited their land for the Photograph by Lexy Khella





Photographs by Lexy Khella



Downtown Lights

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By Leslie Gaynor

THE ARTS Restaurants Flacos You might have checked your reflection in the Flacos window on your way past, but if you haven’t been inside, you’re missing out. Flacos is a Cuban bakery and coffee shop right in the middle of downtown’s nightclub district. It serves authentic Cuban food that’s made right in front of you—a nice change from the stale, microwave food in most chain restaurants. There aren’t many places where you can get authentic, affordable Cuban food. A popular menu item, the Cuban sandwich, is $7, while most other items cost less. Flacos is also open late, which makes it a great pit stop for midnight snacks after dancing with friends.

Farmers Market If you’re looking for local flair or somewhere to go with friends during a slow class day, head to Union Street. Every Wednesday from 4 PM to 7 PM local vendors flock the Bo Diddley Community Plaza to sell their produce. The selection changes each week, but most weeks offer a variety of organic vegetables and fruits, baked goods, flowers and other locally made goods. My personal favorite was the stand of sunflowers from Swallowtail Farms. Not only is this a healthy alternative to eating at the Hub, but it’s a great opportunity to enjoy the sunshine. Spring is a wonderful time to take a stroll, smell the flowers and talk to some of Gainesville’s most active and friendly locals.

Dragonfly Sushi If you’re looking for something a little more sophisticated, or if your parents have offered to treat you and your friends, check out Dragonfly Sushi and Sake. Dragonfly is all about atmosphere. From the food to the low-lit tables and dark modern décor, you really do get what you pay for: rich, savory dishes and elegant dining. For those over 21, it also has a full Sake bar. It’s one of my more expensive recommendations—the average dinner can range from $10 to $13—but you can save money by dining between 5 PM and 7 PM Sunday through Thursday, for $6 happy hour on some of their best items. Don’t forget to make reservations; this place is popular.

Dessert Spots Karma Cream Karma Cream is an organic ice cream café on University Avenue. Photograph by Michele Dobin Home to 30 organic dairy flavors and over 25 organic vegan flavors, Karma Cream is the perfect dessert place for everyone. The ice cream is packed with as much flavor as popular brands, but without additives or artificial flavors and colors. Karma Cream also serves organic baked goods, including delicious marshmallow squares. Decorations cover the walls and tables, and there is an extra eating area in the back. At Karma Cream, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with $3 to $6, which means your wallet doesn’t have to suffer. Added bonus: all of their bowls are 100% compostable, and there’s free Wi-Fi

Downtown Specialties Hear Again Music and Movies When you’re leaving Dragonfly or a show at the Hippodrome, you might hear music pouring out the doors of Hear Again Music and Movies. You might even stop as you pass, looking at the layers of posters littering the windows and front door. But you’d be making a mistake not to step inside. The store itself is small, but the room is covered in string-lined shelves filled with records, CDs, DVDs and Bluray discs. Posters cover any extra inch of wall space: You’ll find some for sale in a catalog book at the checkout counter. The store has an electric atmosphere, and it’s easy to catch yourself sitting crosslegged on the floor ogling a pile of old movies and CD cases you thought you’d never see again. Even if you’re not interested in purchasing one, don’t skip over the records. The store has records from every artist you could imagine, from Bob Marley to Bon Iver, and their covers are beautiful. Though you may not have much use for a record, they make for great gifts for your dad’s record collection or your musical friend from out of town. Photograph by Michele Dobin

Sarkara Sweets Cafe Sarkara’s used to be a lesserknown gem on the same road as the Hippodrome. But now that its cute treats are offered in the Reitz’s P.O.D. Market and Graham Oasis, business has spiked. Sarkara is Gainesville’s only cupcake shop, and it’s worth a trip downtown. Sarkara offers a variety of premade cupcakes—Red Velvet, Key Lime, Caramel Coffee—all for $3. For only 50 cents more, you can create your own cupcake! This means choosing your own cake, icing, filling and topping from a long list of tempting options, building a cupcake that is perfect for you. And, yes— they’re also vegan. Make sure you plan your trip to Sarkara with care, because its most popular cake flavors often sell out around 6 p.m. If you get there at a decent time, find some seating inside – the store has a large room full of plush seating in cupcake-perfect light blues and reds. If you’re not convinced or you need a quick study break, head over to Graham and try a cupcake . I’m sure you’ll find they’re a great reason to visit downtown and a unique way to satisfy your sweet tooth.






Summer Calendar 2012 Grandpa Ron By Madison Surdyke Freshman, Exploratory major

Compiled by Megan Jones Freshman, Accounting major

May 1 – Music Album Releases: B.oB, Norah Jones, Carrie Underwood 4 – UF: Commencement Movie: The Avengers 6 – UF: General Commencement 7 – Music @ Orlando 11 – Movies: The Dictator 13 – Music: Straight No Chaser @ UF 14 – UF: Summer A and C Classes Begin 18 – Movie: Battleship 21 – TV: House Series Finale 25 – Movie: Men in Black III 28 – Memorial Day, No Classes

June 1 – Movie: Snow White and the Huntsman 2 – Time McGraw & Kenny Chesney @ Tampa 4 – Music: Colbie Calliat @ Busch Gardens 8 – Movie: Madagascar 3 9 – Event: Star Wars Weekend @ Disney 12 – Childish Gambino (a.k.a. Donald Glover) @ Orlando 15 – Movie: Rock of Ages 16 – Event: MetroCon @ Tampa 22 – UF: Summer A class end; Movies Brave, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter 23 – Music: LMFAO @ Orlando 25-29 – No Classes 28 – Music: Coldplay @ Tampa 30 – Event: St. Augustine Classical Music Festival

Things You’re Not Doing By Alexandra Gonzalez Junior, Journalism major, Spanish minor In the midst of sports games, final exams and roommate problems, UF students often forget about the arts culture at their university. A campus that is home to more than 50,000 students offers countless opportunities for those interested in the arts. There are organizations you can join, hobbies you can start and shows you can attend. Whether you’re looking for arts and crafts, music or theatre, UF has

July 1 – Music: Ringo Starr @ Tampa 2 – UF: Summer B Classes Begin 3 – Movie: The Amazing Spiderman 4 – Independence, No class 13 – Movie: Ice Age 4 16 – Music: Drake @ Universal Studios 18 – Music: Dave Matthew’s Band @ Tampa 20 – Movie: The Dark Knight Rises 21 – Event: Celebrity Mascot Games @ Orlando 29 – Music: Vans Warped Tour @ St. Pete

something to offer. MUSIC The University of Florida Performing Arts organizes all kinds of interesting shows that are open to the public. UF students receive a discount when they buy a ticket with their Gator 1, which means you have no excuse not to soak up one of these incredible performances. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 352-392-2787, ordering them online at http://performingarts. or buying them in person at the Phillips Center Box Office. Gainesville Chamber Orchestra: Latin Fiesta, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. The Gainesville Chamber Orchestra brings a new kind of music and vibe to this performance. Location: Phillips Center Reserved seats: $35. Students with ID: $15 Straight No Chaser, May 13 at 2 p.m. Straight No Chaser is all-male and composed of 10 members. This performance will be given in honor of Mother’s Day. Location: Phillips Center

Growing up, I always treasured the exciting days when my adventurous Grandpa Ron babysat me. I never anticipated that I, as a teenager, would help babysit him, a grown man. Gramps was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, a progressive, degenerative disease of the brain that leads to memory loss and an inability to function. This experience is how I came to believe in caring for those who can’t care for themselves. Gramps was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2000. He moved in with my family in 2005 so we could look after him. When Gramps forgot memories of our adventures together or simple words, he would look embarrassed, frustrated or hopeless. He’d say, “Look at that little chicken!” when he’d see a cat, or “Where’s the lawnmower, so I can clip my fingernails.” I comforted him when he apologized for failing to remember something or for being unable to carry on a conversation. Because Gramps adored being outside and loved to ride bikes, we would go bike riding almost every day. Despite the troubles he was facing, he’d sit down at the dock and pray. This gave him the stamina to carry on with such a debilitating disease. Comforting Gramps and guiding him on bike rides were my first responsibilities. As the disease progressed, his ability to care for himself steadily declined, and he could no longer go on rejuvenating bike rides without getting lost. As time went on, my responsibilities grew. Gramps’ disease got worse, and my growth and progress as a person mirrored his decline. The later stages of Alzheimer’s made him lose control over his bodily functions. Changing his diaper became an unavoidable, frequent task for my dad. One day, I came home from school and found my mom in a panic. Gramps had gone to the bathroom in his pants and was throwing up. She had no idea what to do because my dad was at work. As I looked at Gramps, helplessly standing on the driveway, innocently staring into space, I reminded myself of what I had to do. Like my dad always says, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” It may be

cliché, but this saying became a powerful motivational force in my life as I found myself in these challenging situations. I reached out to Gramps, took his hand and with his Photograph contributed by Madison Surdyke fingers gripped around mine, I led him into the bathroom. I showered him, changed his diaper and cleaned up his vomit. These were all things I never pictured myself doing, but I did them – for Gramps. From then on, I knew that I would always have a special bond with Gramps. Taking care of Gramps was no longer something I did for my parents or for anyone else, but something I was happy to do for Gramps and for myself. Six years of caring for him in our house gave me immense joy and a deep sense of pride. I felt that I conquered something most people would have deemed impossible. At times, I became frustrated, but not once did I question whether or not I was doing the right thing. My caring hand and growing maturity during those years molded me into a strong young woman. While my friends went out, I was usually at home, taking care of my wonderful grandfather. This experience gave me a beautiful perspective on life, and it’s one I can be proud of. The most heart-wrenching moment of care came when we had to accept that Gramps needed to be put in a home. Although it was difficult to let someone else take care of him, it allowed my family to pass on our belief in caring for those who can’t care for themselves.

Things You’re Not Doing Continued________________________________________________________________________________

Tickets range from $25-$40 and vary with seating. UF students: $12. If you’re interested in learning a new instrument, the Reitz Union offers Leisure Courses for beginners. UF students receive a discount on classes, which usually last about two months. Check the Leisure Program’s website for summer courses: THEATRE For students who can’t afford a trip to see Broadway in New York City – which, let’s face it, is probably most of us – Broadway is coming to UF! On April 23, Rodgers & Ham-


merstein’s South Pacific will be performed at the Phillips Center. This famous musical is based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning book. Tickets range from $40-$60 and vary with seating. UF students can buy tickets for $20. To learn more about the show, visit: ARTS AND CRAFTS The Reitz Union Arts and Crafts Center offers “make it and take it” projects, which are often quick and easy. Students can also paint-a-pot. The center is open Monday-Thursday from 1-10 p.m., Fridays from 1-8:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 12-5 p.m. Hours may vary during the summer, so make sure to check the Reitz Union website at ProgramsArtsLeisure/ArtsCraftsCenter!




8 Movies Worth Seeing Donnie Darko It’s hard to pin down what kind of movie cult classic Donnie Darko is. If you’re looking for an easygoing teen flick, you’d better seek lighter fare; Donnie Darko requires more thinking than Inception to understand. The film is a potent mix of time travel, supernatural forces, questions of sanity—a la Shutter Island—and a 6-foot talking bunny rabbit that is anything but cuddly. Donnie Darko requires a lot of thought and involvement from its audience, but delivers a work of genius that’s entertaining and disturbing.

Children of Men Children of Men is one of the most underrated films of the past decade. A sleek blend of dystopian drama and action movie, it takes place in Britain circa 2027, where no child has been born since 2009. Examining a society slowly corroding from 20 years of global infertility, Children of Men effortlessly jumps from its bleak premise to a pulse-pounding, realistic action thriller. The film boasts one of Clive Owen’s best performances as well as two now-famous action sequences delivered in single, uninterrupted takes. If you’re looking for an action movie that’s smart, exciting and delivers an important message, Children of Men is an excellent choice.

By Paul Mamangakis Freshman, English major When the time comes to discuss movies with friends, especially in college, chances are some titles are going to come up more than others. (Yes, we’ve all seen Fight Club by now. You can talk about the ending.) Unfortunately, there are too many great movies out there that go unnoticed, probably because your buddies don’t quote them as much as they do The Dark Knight. This list names just a few, but each of these films packs quite a punch—and deserves more mention from kids on campus.

The Big Lebowski The Big Lebowski has attracted a large cult following over the past decade, and with good reason. One of the greatest comedies in recent years, the filmmaking duo Joel and Ethan Coen engineer the perfect slacker movie in The Big Lebowski. It tells the strange story of “the Dude” (immortalized by Jeff Bridges), an aging pothead whose main interests are going with the flow and bowling. When he is caught up in a case of mistaken identity, the Dude is thrown into a muddled conflict of kidnapping and intrigue. The interplay between Bridges and co-stars John Goodman and Steve Buscemi is priceless. Brilliant, memorable, and absolutely hysterical, The Big Lebowski is an instant classic.

The Royal Tenenbaums Pretty much every film by writer and director Wes Anderson belongs on this list. Though his films tend to lack the popularity of conventional blockbusters, each is a cinematic gem in its own right. The Royal Tenenbaums is one of Anderson’s most poignant comedy-dramas. An estranged family of child prodigies, fractured and separated, is reunited when their father announces that he is terminally ill. The story’s dry humor is genuine, and its heartfelt moments are more than convincing. Charming and emotional, The Royal Tenenbaums explores the connections between family and lovers, friends and enemies.

Amélie* In contrast to Donnie Darko, Amélie is about life’s simple pleasures. A French—very French—story of a young woman in Paris, Amélie is a window into the odd, compelling life of its titular character. Full of spunk and delightfully quirky, Amélie is an instantly lovable character who manages to find depth and wonder in a mundane world. Refreshingly simplistic, yet surprisingly deep, Amélie is sure to charm even the most hard-hearted of viewers.

Staff Recommended Movie List · The Green mile · Shawshank Redemption · The Illusionist · Death at a Funeral · The Graduate – Zack · Garden State · That Thing You Do · The Matrix · Rocky Horror Picture Show · Rear Window · No Country For Old Men · Rocky 4 · Into the Wild

Pan’s Labyrinth Mexican director Guillermo del Toro presents his magnum opus in Pan’s Labyrinth. Set in fascist Spain during the 1940s, Pan’s Labyrinth focuses on Ofelia, the stepdaughter of a cruel military officer. When she discovers fantastic creatures in the ruins near her new home, the line between fiction and reality becomes blurred. Often described as “a fairy tale for adults,” this film masterfully balances enchanting scenes of magic with dark, sometimes graphic realism. Winner of three Academy Awards (Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, and Best Art Direction), Pan’s Labyrinth is both a riveting political drama and a deep, disturbing fantasy.

*Note: Pan’s Labyrinth and Amélie are both foreign-language films and will require subtitles for most American viewers.

Reservoir Dogs

Quentin Tarantino’s first major motion picture as director is often one of his more overlooked. Reservoir Dogs is a heist film far removed from the slick glamour of Ocean’s Eleven. Six strangers are hired by a mob boss to rob a jewelry store when the job goes wrong, the men realize there is a traitor in their midst—and violence erupts in classic Tarantino style. Reservoir Dogs is a brutal, unflinching, and well-told story, and an underexposed crime classic of the 1990s. The driven plot and riveting performances by Harvey Keitel, Tim Rot, and Steve Buscemi make Reservoir Dogs a must-see.

Mary and Max

A little-known animated film from Australia, Mary and Max is claymation at its finest. It tells the story of the unlikely connection between an insecure Australian schoolgirl and her randomly chosen pet pal: socially inept, morbidly obese Max Horovitz. Quirky, charming, tragic, and moving, Mary and Max retains more emotional depth than a lot of live-action classics. Although at times it’s almost overwhelmingly dark (especially for an animated movie), Mary and Max is a touching, entertaining ride that will leave few viewers dry-eyed.






Books to Put Off By Ginny Hamrick Freshman,Telecommunications major, History minor Beneath my history and psychology textbooks sat the novels I packed for my first semester at UF, collecting dust. I studied and made time to do everything else but read. I crammed my favorite dog-eared books, classics and recently recommended novels into my bookshelf, thinking I’d have plenty of time to read in college. To my surprise, I read only one book for fun. Over Christmas vacation, I flew through book after book I put off in the fall. Harry Bernstein’s “The Invisible Wall” was one of my favorite books I read over break; I could not put it down! “The Invisible Wall” grabbed my attention and heart. When author Harry Bernstein passed away last June, his historical fiction novel “The Invisible Wall” was released, which commemorates his life and literary legacy. My mom bought me a copy, and although I had it all semester, I didn’t read it until the Christmas morning drive to my aunt and uncle’s house. I’m usually anxious to get out of the car, but this time I wanted to keep reading. Bernstein depicts life in England before World War I, when an invisible wall separates Jews and Christians. The simplicity and honesty of Bernstein’s writing created a realistic picture and brought tears to my eyes. Bernstein’s family, like most, is dysfunctional. Harry’s mother worked endlessly to make ends meet, but was ridiculed by wealthy shopkeepers while grocery shopping. Harry’s father saves only a few coins for his wife, wasting most of his income on liquor. Lily, Bernstein’s sister, has a relationship with a Christian, which infuriates her family. Her father drags her from the Christian grammar school to work one morning. Her mother forbids her from socializing with any Christians.

Through a story of star-crossed lovers, Bernstein evinces the religious segregation in England. The juxtaposition of ill-fated lovers and everyday life creates a captivating story. At UF, I met students from across Florida and America. Some are “Wonder Bread,” like me, while others are from Cuban, Indian and Filipino homes. I met students who observe Ramadan, Hanukkah and Advent. Reading “The Invisible Wall” made me grateful to go school with various represented religions co-existing. When I walk through the Plaza of the Americas past Hare Krishna lunch, Jewish, Universalists and Christian groups tabling, I appreciate UF’s religious diversity. Unlike Bernstein’s small mill town, different faiths are tolerated and embraced here. Put off this book until the lazy summer days, when you can enjoy it, and embrace the diverse world we experience as students today.

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Staff Recommended Book List The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Fault in Our Stars by John Green Cloud Atlas by David Mitchel Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Paper Towns by John Green A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin The Road by Cormack McGarthy Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch Change of Heart by Jodie Picoult Time to Kill by John Grisham The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace Steve Jobs by Walter Iassacson Perfume by Patrick Suskind The Wind Up Bird Chron by Haruki Murakami The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger A Prayer for Owen Miney by John Irving Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams Forgotten Garden by Morton Bossy Pants by Tina Fey Goose Girl by Shannon Hale Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway Born Free series by Joy Adamson Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro


UF in Salzburg – Political Science Internship and European Studies/Music

Takes place in Summer C (May 9 – June 16 (without internship), May 9 – August 11 (with internship))*; the Undergraduate program fee is $9,145† This program offers dual benefits: students will not only take classes in Music or European Studies for the first five weeks, but can also complete an internship for up to 10 credit hours, including six hours of coursework in learning German to prepare students for the Austrian work environment. Students can also opt out of the internship aspect of the program.

ABROAD UF in Berlin – English and Fine Arts

Takes place during Summer A*; the Undergraduate program price is $5,040† Students can earn up to seven credits while studying in metropolitan Berlin. They will live in a furnished, three-bedroom apartment with other students, be visited regularly by Berlin-based filmmakers and artists, and will learn cultural, studio and historic content from experts in the field.

By Shruti Shah Freshman, Management major with Spanish minor

UF in Florence – Global Environment and Resource Issues UF in Fez – Arabic Language

Occurs during Summer C (May 28 to July 27)*; the Undergraduate Program fee is $4,702† Students will have the opportunity to live with a Moroccan family while learning Arabic at a beginning, intermediate, or advanced level with a small number of students. Students will earn up to 10 transfer credits from the Arabic Language Institute (ALIF), a prominent institution for teaching Arabic as a second language, as well as one credit for a “Culture through Movies” class.

Occurs during the Spring semester (February 2 – April 27)*; the Undergraduate program fee is $10,535† Located in central Italy, only a day trip away from Rome and Venice, Florence is a popular study destination. Students can earn up to 14 credits by taking agricultural and life sciences taught by a team of UF and international faculty in English while experience Italian life and culture. Students can even earn credit for taking walking tours of Florence.

UF in Beijing – Chinese Language

Occurs during Summer C (May 14-August 3)*; Undergraduate program fee is $6,998† Study in one of the top universities in China and learn Mandarin, an increasingly important language for business. Earn 12 to 16 credits, up to 10 credits for a full-year equivalency of Intermediate Chinese or six credits for a full-year equivalency of Advanced Chinese. Additionally, earn three credits in a Beijing History and Culture course and three credits that can be applied to all majors and minors in that discipline. Furthermore, students will take excursions to the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, and Tiananmen Square.

UF in Belize - Sustainability Studies

Occurs during Summer A (May 6-May 21)*; Undergraduate program fee is $3,429† Earn 3 credits while learning about and exploring the ecosystem of Belize, Mayan culture and history, and the sociocultural, economic, and environmental effects of tourism on the country.

UF in India – NGOs and Development

UF in El Salvador – Health and Culture

Takes place during Summer B (July 5 – August 9)*; Undergraduate program fee is $7,521† For those striving to work with NGOs (Non-governmental Organizations) in the future, this program will provide excellent experience with the booming NGO sector of India. Students will travel to three different Indian cities (Chennai, Jaipur, and New Delhi) and several rural areas surrounding them to explore the operations and impact of NGOs on the improvement of communities in developing nations.

Spend Spring Break in El Salvador (3/3/2012 – 3/10/2012)*; Undergraduate program fee is $574† Students studying anthropology, health professions, public health, and allied health fields will enjoy the opportunity to work in the village of “El Limon,” where they will take health and environmental assessments of the community, meet with local, regional, and national health policy-makers, and learn about the health concerns of rural communities.

UF in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania UF in Rio – Business in Brazil

Occurs during Summer A (May 28 - June 22)*; Undergraduate program fee is $4795† Students who are interested in gaining business experience and familiarizing themselves with the growing economy of Brazil while learning some Portuguese will find this program rewarding. Students will live with Brazilian families while earning three credits in a Business in Brazil course taught in English, and three credits in a Portuguese language learning course. Knowledge of Portuguese is encouraged but not required.

Takes place during the Fall semester or during the entire academic year; the Undergraduate Program fee is $7,500 (Fall) and $15,000 (year) Students will have the opportunity to choose from a full spectrum of course offerings from all six colleges (Arts and Social Sciences, Commerce and Management, Education, Engineering, Law, and Science) at the University, all of which are taught in English. In addition, students will take a four week course in intensive Swahili before the beginning of classes and will be able to take excursions to Zanzibar, Arusha, Bagamoyo, and Morogoro.

WHAT’S IN THE HONORS BUDGET? By: Alexandra Gonzalez Is the idea of studying abroad tugging at your heartstrings? What about your purse strings? The costs of study abroad programs can prevent students from taking life-changing, rewarding trips. But the Honors College offers two scholarships that help lower the cost of study abroad, which means you can finally take that trip to Prague you’ve been bugging your mom about. Both scholarships are for current undergraduate Honors students. Freshmen and sophomores who have never studied abroad are given preference in the selection process.

UF Honors Program Summer Study Abroad Scholarship

For: Honors students, summer programs • Worth: $1,000 • Recipients: at least six students • Deadline: early February

*These were the dates for the 2012 calendar year. Please only use them as reference for the tentative dates for upcoming years. †Please note that this fee does not include airfare, passport/visa, books and supplies, and other related expenses. The programs chosen are UF-sponsored programs due to their inherent convenience in terms of planning, lodging, and credit transfer, but the International Center offers a variety of non-UF-sponsored programs as well. For further information about study abroad, please visit the UF International Center’s website: and choose “Study Abroad Students” underneath the “For Students” header Also, if you are interested in reading experiences of UF students who have studied abroad or are currently studying abroad, visit the UF International Center’s Blog from Abroad:

Keith R. Legg Honors Program Academic Year Scholarship

For: Honors students, year-long programs • Worth: $2,000 • Recipients: one student • Deadline: March 1st Apply through UFIC, the University of Florida International Center. More information can be found at and





The “Arab Spring”: From Autocracy to Democracy

By Elliot Levy Freshman, Public Relations major

Fifteen months ago, numerous Arab countries like Tunisia, Egypt and Libya were governed by autocratic dictators who had been in power for decades. Some of these dictators had used military force and propaganda to exert control over their citizens. During the winter of 2010 and the spring of 2011, a period often referred to as the ‘Arab Spring,’ protesters took to the streets to demand change. These citizens were frustrated by government corruption, crushing poverty and lack of prospects for future generations. Today, as a result of these protests, numerous dictators have been toppled and replaced with transitional governments that may pave the way for new democracies. This poses a challenge for Arab countries: the establishment of inclusive governments after long periods of repressive rule. Most foreign policy analysts agree that the ‘Arab Spring’ began on December 17, 2010, in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia. Attention was drawn to this small North African nation when a street merchant named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire. According to Time Magazine, Bouazizi had been selling vegetables when a female police officer approached his cart and demanded he pay a 10-dinar, or $7, fine for selling goods without a license. After Bouazizi attempted to pay the fine, the policewoman “allegedly slapped the scrawny young man, spat in his face and insulted his dead father.” About one hour later, after unsuccessfully attempting to meet with municipal officials to plead his case, Bouazizi attempted suicide through self-immolation. He was hospitalized from December 17 until his death on January 4, 2011. The incident garnered international attention, especially when longtime dictator of Tunisia, President Zine El Abedine Ben Ali, visited Bouazizi in the hospital on December 28. Bouazizi’s self-immolation was a tragic and brutal example of desperation in a country plagued by poverty and severe political repression. His death led to a series of protests by Tunisian citizens, who sympathized with Bouazizi’s struggle to provide for his family under the repressive government. The protests began peacefully, but escalated into violent confrontation with members of the Tunisian military and security forces. Mounting pressure on Tunisian political leadership by the United States and other global powers led to the resignation of President Zine El Abedine Ben Ali on January 14, 2011 and the end of his 24-year reign. On October 27, 2011, in the first Tunisian election in over two decades, citizens elected 217 members to an assembly tasked with drafting a new constitution. The populist fervor that inspired the Tunisian revolution spread to Egypt, where former President Hosni Mubarak had held autocratic power for over 30 years. Beginning on January 25, 2011, hundreds of thousands of disgruntled citizens organized demonstrations in Tahrir (“Liberation”) Square in downtown Cairo. Many of the citizens involved were college students, and smaller protests were held all across Egypt. The protests are generally believed to have stemmed from a Facebook page created by Wael Ghonim, a young Egyptian Google executive who sought to organize action against the Mubarak regime. Mubarak’s government shut down many of the country’s Internet connections in an attempt to prevent the organization of protests via social media websites. However, the regime

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was unable to prevent the protesters from remaining organized and resolute. Mubarak stepped down on February 11, 2011, just 18 days after the protests began. The overthrow of Mubarak represents a regime change highly significant to the interests of the United States. Mubarak’s government was highly repressive and antidemocratic, but it was credited with preserving the landmark peace treaty that Egypt negotiated in 1979 with Israel, an important American ally in the Middle East. Leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, a multi-national theocratic political movement whose Freedom and Justice Party leads the ruling coalition in the new Egyptian parliament, have stated in the past that the peace treaty may be reevaluated. However, in an interview with CBS News, Dr. Mahmoud Ezzat, the deputy leader of the Egyptian branch of the Brotherhood, said recently that the treaty would remain in place provided that “Israel shows real progress on improving the lot of the Palestinians.” Many analysts argue that the Egyptian government will maintain its focus on domestic economic and social issues to ensure political stability, and that heightened tensions with Israel would detract from those efforts. The most violent of last year’s successful revolutions in the Arab world occurred in Libya, where Colonel Muammar Gaddafi had held power for over 40 years after the country’s first bloodless coup in 1969. Protests over poor living conditions began on January 14, 2011, and grew violent over the next month, by which time rebel fighters captured Benghazi, the country’s second largest city. The violence of these protests drew the attention of the international community. The United Nations imposed a ‘no-fly zone’ over Libyan airspace, which led to a bombing campaign by France, the United Kingdom and the United States against Gaddafi’s forces. For four months, rebel and coalition forces fought against government troops to protect the city of Misrata from an ongoing siege, which was finally broken in mid-May. In August, control of Tripoli, Libya’s capital, was wrested from government loyalists. Finally, on October 20, rebel forces overtook the city of Sirte, where they captured and executed Muammar Gaddafi. Videos of Gaddafi’s capture and death quickly surfaced, and investigations by the UN and other organizations seeking to determine the identities of his killers are still ongoing. Some human rights groups have advocated that Gaddafi’s killers, if apprehended, should face war crimes charges for committing an extrajudicial execution. In February 2012, the first democratic elections since the beginning of Gaddafi’s rule were held in Misrata to elect city council members, and other regional and national elections are scheduled to take place later this year. The uprisings of the ‘Arab Spring’ have significantly altered the political landscape of the Arab world. Millions of Tunisians, Egyptians and Libyans have the chance to influence their governments for the first time in decades. These revolutions may require the United States and other global powers to adjust their foreign policies in coming years. The ‘Arab Spring’ protests may have inspired similar political activism in other economically troubled countries like Spain and Greece, and may also have helped give rise to the Occupy Wall Street movement in the United States. Though the long-term impact of the ‘Arab Spring’ on any of these countries is difficult to predict, it is undeniable that the people of these Arab nations are eager for greater political freedoms and economic opportunities.

The European Debt Crisis T.J. Anderson Freshman, Economics major In the shadow of the mighty acropolis in Athens, Greece, once the center of culture in the Classical world, abandoned storefronts are shuttered and covered with graffiti. Clashes between riot police and Greek citizens have become a constant reality. Austerity measures and economic uncertainty have provoked unbridled outrage from the Greek public as they look to their government for answers. For over a year now, the financial world has been watching in despair as Greece and other European countries have slowly fallen into economic disrepair. But while Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke and other experts offer their technical analyses on MSNBC, everyone without a degree in economics is left scratching their heads, wondering how Greece and the rest of the Eurozone have come to the brink of implosion. Lets see if we can’t break down a few of the major issues into more manageable terms. Perhaps at the forefront of the issue in the media is government debt. As early as 1992, the members of the European Union pledged to limit deficit spending, expenditures that fall outside the government budget, in order to minimize government debt. Upon the creation of the Euro in 1999, the EU established a set of target rates for the ratio of government debt to total Gross Domestic Product or GDP. In other words, the leaders of the EU wanted to ensure that its members did not spend more than they produced. But Germany and France, two of the largest economies in the Eurozone, soon broke the target debt rates. The floodgates had been opened. Countries such as Italy and Greece followed, sidestepping the agreement by using a complex set of credit derivatives, a tool that transfers the risk of a loan from the original lender to a third party. Following the economic slowdown in the early 2000’s and the recession in 2008, debt levels in many countries skyrocketed beyond the target rates. By 2010, says the International Monetary Fund, Greek public debt had risen to over 142 percent of its GDP while Italian public debt rose to 119 percent of GDP. Some experts have attributed these levels of debt to irresponsible government spending in so-called welfare states, countries whose major goal is to achieve economic equality through programs including wealth redistribution and state funded healthcare. Economist Paul Krugman contests this view, promoting that the welfare state is still a viable economic model. He argues that only Greece has suffered from over spending in their model. Other countries whose welfare structures are even more intensive than that of Greece (namely Sweden, Norway, and Denmark) had a debt ratio below 50 percent. As Krugman says, there must be some other factors at work. Central to a country’s survival in a global economy is its ability to create a balanced trade network. The goal of international trade is to maintain a balance between the amount of goods imported and the amount of goods exported. In order to maintain a balanced budget, a country does not want to spend more on imports than it makes from exports. Of course, the reality is far more complicated compelling many countries (such as the United States) to run significant trade deficits. Recently, countries such as Greece, Spain and Italy have accumulated huge trade deficits with other members of the EU. Economists such as Martin Wolf argue that the European crisis is really the result of such trade practices within the European Union. This escaped public scrutiny for some time because the deficits derived from commerce within the EU itself using the same currency. To explain the problem with this situation, lets compare the European Union to the United States. Greece and Germany can trade with one another using the Euro- the currency of the European Union- just as New York and Florida can trade using the U.S. dollar. Both sets of countries can accumulate trade deficits and surpluses with one another. However, Florida and New York are states of a single country that controls both its fiscal and monetary policy. In other words, the United States government can use government expenditures, tax policies, and manipulation of the money

supply to regulate the economy. Greece and Germany are distinct countries that have different fiscal policies but use the same currency with the same monetary policy. Their governments can control their expenditures and tax policy as individual countries but cannot control the money supply to meet their individual needs. This discrepancy leads to an issue that goes beyond trade deficits to strike at a major weakness in the European monetary union- monetary inflexibility. As monetary union establishes a single currency and monetary policy for all members, affiliate states can no longer act independently. In times of economic growth, this monetary union can bring a stable currency to both large and small economies while providing a stable business environment to promote investment. But during crises, the monetary union can be detrimental. Greece has enormous public debt and a sizeable trade deficit. If Greece was not part of the European Union, it could devalue its currency by increasing the money supply- in other words by printing more money. A devalued currency would make Greek exports cheaper and more competitive on the world market, addressing the unfavorable trade balance. More currency and a positive trade balance would allow Greece to repay and reduce its public debts. However, because Greece belongs to the European Union, it cannot take these measures. Germany, for example, whose strong economy is now enjoying a positive trade balance would never allow a significant devaluation of the Euro for the sake of Greece. This puts the politicians in Athens in an awkward situation. Greek debt has become so large that it can barely cover the interest payments on the loans- let alone the loans themselves! The government is forced to continue taking out loans from whatever creditor is willing to entertain them. But confidence in the Greek government’s ability to pay back these loans has tumbled. To account for the perceived risk in lending to Greece, creditors are demanding higher rates of interest on loans while bond holders, individuals who loan money to the government on a fixed time frame, want higher bond yields. As a result, borrowing money has become much more expensive for Greece. Unfortunately, the problem does not end with Greece. The global marketplace creates a deep network of credit and debt that exists among developed counties. Greek debt is owned by a number of creditor nations and a significant portion by Italy. If Greece suddenly defaulted on their loans, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund have determined that they can offer the Greek economy a “bailout.” But if Italian banks fail as a result of the Greek, the issue becomes more complicated. If we compare the overall output of each economy, or GDP, Greece produces $310 billion while Italy produces $1.8 trillion. Can the European Central Bank afford to help Italy or any other country of that size? So where does this leave Greece and the rest of Europe? The protesters in the streets of Athens are driven by spending cuts called austerity measures imposed by the Greek government and international community. In February of this year, the International Monetary Fund granted Greece its second large “bailout” loan under the assumption that even harsher austerity measures would be implemented. Earlier in 2011, there had been talk of Greece departing from the EU and returning to its old currency after riots threatened the political stability of the country. However, experts determined that a return to an independent currency would simply create more political and economic instability. The present outlook for the future of the region is positive. Many analysts predict that 2012 will be a strong year for business that will help to lift the global economy out of its long-standing slump and quell fears of a second recession. However, the European Debt Crisis has highlighted a fundamental weaknesses in the monetary union. If not effectively addressed, the same issues will likely reappear and have severe consequences for the world economy.





Country Profile:

AUSTRIA By Shruti Shah Freshman, Management major, Spanish minor Imagine a country where traditional balls are held every year, where medieval buildings still stand, and where picturesque landscapes surround you. You have pictured Austria offers all of this and more. The Republic of Austria, an eastern European country slightly smaller than Maine, is inhabited by approximately 8.4 million people. According to the U.S. Department of State, most of its citizens are Roman Catholic, and the population includes Germans, Turks, Serbs, Croats, Slovenes and Bosnians. Austria’s capital is Vienna. Other notable cities include Salzburg, Innsbruck, and Graz. Its chief language is German, which is spoken by 90% of the population. Known for its natural beauty—its landscape is 64% alpine—, Austria is an ideal skiing and hiking destination. The country is also a cultural hub of classical music and traditional ballroom dancing.

Cultural Sites and Natural Wonders: Innsbruck’s 800-year-old Old Town exhibits colorful, quaint buildings built in the medieval times. The most captivating are the Imperial Palace, the Imperial Chapel, and the Folk Art Museum. Austria’s National Tourist website states that an important landmark is the Golden Roof overlooking the square, which was constructed with 2,738 tiles for Emperor Maximilian I in the early 15th century so he could observe the tournaments taking place on the square. Salzburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the birthplace of Mozart and, as Austria’s most bike-friendly town, offers bicycling tours of the city. Some of Salzburg’s beautiful landmarks include the sparkling and majestic Swarovski Crystal Worlds and the seven kilometer-long Zirbenweg Trail, which runs through the largest pine forest of the Alps. Just outside Salzburg are the largest ice caves in the world, The Eisriesenwelt Werfen, which are almost 30 miles in length. The area with the largest ice growth, the Great Ice Embankment, rises to over 75 feet. Music and Dance: A variety of festivals, operas, and balls solidify Austria’s claim on classical music and ballroom dancing. The Salzburg Festival, which began in 1920 showcases the highest quality opera, drama, and concerts in Europe, and is sure to delight classical music aficionados. Themed tours of The Sound of Music, which was filmed in and around Salzburg, are offered by city tour companies. According to the Austrian National Tourist website, these tours are the chief attraction for over 70% of overseas visitors. Dance lovers will enjoy the 400 lavish, traditional balls held in Vienna every winter that attract over 300,000 people, says the Austrian National Tourist website. The balls maintain traditional Austrian customs, including an opening fanfare, the entrance of debutants and debutantes and a strict dress code.

Sources: Article: “Background Note: Austria.” U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State. Web. 14 Mar. 2012. <> “Unique Experiences for Your Trip to Austria.” Austrian National Tourist Office. Web. 13 Mar. 2012. <>. “Per Capita Personal Income U.S. and All States.” Bureau of Business and Economic Research UNM, 28 Mar. 2012. Web. 20 Mar. 2012. <>. “Unemployment Statistics.” Unemployment Statistics - Statistics Explained. European Commission, 2 Apr. 2012. Web. 15 Mar. 2012. <

Government and Economy: Austria’s government is a federal parliamentary democracy, where the dominant political party chooses the chancellor, who is the head of government. Executive branch: president, chancellor and cabinet President: Heinz Fischer Chancellor: Werner Faymann Legislative branch: The Federal Assembly, or parliament, comprised of the National Council and the Federal Council Judicial branch: Constitutional Court, Administrative Court and Supreme Court Political parties: Social Democratic Party, People’s Party, Freedom Party and Greens Party Voting age: 16 years Austria became a member of the European Union in 1995 and adopted the Euro in 2002. As stated by the U.S. Department of State, Austrians enjoy a high standard of living: the per capita income in 2010 was $45,188 in Austria, $5,243 more than in the United States, according to the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of New Mexico. Austria suffered from a recession after the global financial crisis of 2008, but recovered by 2010. Its 2010 Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $379.07 billion, and its debt to GDP was 72.3 percent as stated by the U.S. Department of State. According to the European Commission, Austria’s unemployment rate is currently 4 percent, one of the lowest in the European Union. Interested in studying abroad in Austria? The International Center offers several UF-sponsored programs in Salzburg with classes in art, business internship, European studies and music. Students can also study abroad with a political science internship. There are a variety of non-UF sponsored programs for the cities of Vienna or Weiner Neustadt. Unemployment_statistics>. Pictures: Map of Austria: s1600/austria_hungary_1911.jpg The Golden Roof: Swarovski Crystal World: Salzburg Music Festival: Venetian Masks:





From KSA to USA

Bonjour de Paris!

By Sama Imran Ilyas Freshman, Biology major, Disabilities in Society minor

six colleges in Canada, five in the UK, four in the US and probably a few in various other countries. I was discouraged by the four percent international acceptance rate that UF advertised, and it seemed likely “America? Why would you ever move there? They eat McDon- that I would not be admitted. On a Saturday morning as I was waking alds every day, are practically glued to their television sets and don’t even up to get ready for school, (weekends in Saudi Arabia are Thursdays and know basic geography. And don’t let me get started on the racism you’ll Fridays), I received my acceptance letter and spent the rest of the school face…” year preparing to move to Gainesville. I can’t say I haven’t sometimes These were the tidbits of ‘advice’ I was given from some of my regretted moving, but often it is the little things that remind me why I best friends when I moved from overseas seven months ago. Despite moved here in the first place. I was extremely fortunate to find an amazsome initial dissuading that I managed to evade, I moved away from my ing roommate and friends, and I have met wonderful and inspirational comfort zone and my home, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It took me people in my dorm and classes. However, the pinnacle of my UF expemonths to get adapted, but I can finally say that I am enjoying my life rience so far came during my participation in the Gatorship program. in America. Gatorship is a leadership retreat sponsored by the Division of I have moved throughout the world quite a “We may have different religions, Multicultural and Diversity Student Affairs at UF. In bit. Although I identify Riyadh, the capital of Saudi just one weekend, you experience rapid learning and Arabia, as my home, I was born to Pakistani parents different languages, different colored growth. I had always prided myself for being appreciain England. I completed most of my schooling in skin, but we all belong to one human tive of diversity due to my experiences with people of Arabia, where I attended the American International race.” so many different cultures, but Gatorship exposed me School of Riyadh. We had few native Saudis at our to new aspects of diversity, such as the discrepancies - Kofi Annan school and most of the students were just like me: between socioeconomic classes and the LGBTQ comwe were the expat community. Our K-12 campus consisted of just over munity. I made wonderful new friends at Gatorship and I believe that it a thousand students, encompassing fifty-two different nationalities. is a worthwhile experience from which any Gator can benefit. Gatorship Having been born in England, I am a “balanced bilingual,” a term that employs the contact hypothesis, a psychological theory which states that refers to a person who learned two languages simultaneously in their if you bring together different people through one-on-one contact, they childhood. A common misconception I face is that I learned English will eventually become more accepting of each other. After my insightfairly recently. While I am definitely flattered (though sometimes conful experience, I now realize the irony in the ‘advice’ which my friends fused) by remarks such as “your English is so good!” I have to admit that gave me before I left for America: in describing the supposed tendency my fluency is not all that notable, because English was one of my first of Americans to view foreigners stereotypically, they themselves were languages. In addition, I was educated in English my entire life. Many stereotyping. Gatorship has taught me to try and appreciate each indipeople who come to America from different countries learn English vidual for who they are and not make preemptive judgments, and to early in their lives. There are many international schools across the encourage others to do the same. It is true that Saudi Arabia is a conservative society. Women globes that harvest young children with Western speaking backgrounds. Because of the school I attended, my parents once told me that I have can’t drive and they have to wear aabayas, black cloaks to cover their Just imagine how boring life would be if we bodies. However, Arab society is adaptive and ever never seen the “real Saudi Arabia,” since my school was almost as modern as the environwere all the same. My idea of a perfect changing. Yes, I have had some experiences that you ment I see here. This makes me wonder if I world is one in which we really appreci- might expect to hear from a female living in a very would have actually liked the city if I was living country. I have been told off for not covated each other’s differences: Short, tall; conservative in it as a local. ering my hair in malls by religious police, and I have I once heard of a book called Girls Democrat, Republican; black, white; gay, been harassed by the locals, but Saudi Arabia is my of Riyadh and was so eager to read it that I ran straight--a world in which all of us are home and it always will be. We have two skyscrapers out to the bookstore, bought it, and read it equal, but definitely not the same. and some of the largest malls in the world. We have within a week. I thought the girls in it would European and American stores. We have food galore - Barbra Streisand mirror my life and I would chuckle and nod in and multinational cuisines everywhere you look. We a shared understanding, but I never did. When I found myself unable have the beauty of Arab culture embedded into our lives. It is a truly to identify with any of the stories portrayed by the four protagonists, I great and unique world of our own. There is not a day where I do not realized how sheltered my life really was and felt a desire to get out into miss the familiarity of home. Change is hard, but it is for the best. If I the “real world.” I was living a protected life in Riyadh, and was not had never left Saudi Arabia, I would have never learned and grown as experiencing a fully Arabian life or a fully Western life, but I loved it the much as I have in the last seven months. That growth would have been way it was. The peers at my IB world school were beyond intelligent. nearly impossible to achieve without the help of my roommate, friends Being highly competitive, there were weeks that we went to school and peers. all seven days. School was my life because that was my view of Saudi My experiences at UF have taught me to always be open to Arabia: home (family, friends and compound life) and school (academmeeting new people, because everyone has an incredible story to tell ics and clubs). We immersed ourselves in clubs and academics and didn’t and something to teach you. Moving here gave me some of the biggest think much about our surroundings. The protective bubble we lived in, shocks of my life. I had never been exposed to members of certain relihowever, soon burst. The end of senior year arrived and my classmates gions or nationalities, socioeconomic classes or the LGBTQ community. and I dispersed across the world, traveling to countries as far as Canada In order to be active citizens and leaders in our society, we must strive and Australia. towards tolerance, acceptance and appreciation of the uniqueness of Unlike most of my friends who had specified a continent every individual. they would move to, I had no idea where I would end up. I applied to

By Christy Dumpit Senior, Political Science major with speciality in International Relations, French and International Human Assistance minors

The realization of being away from my friends, family, and everything I once knew for five months did not hit me until I looked down at the rising sunrise and the pilot announced in French, “Good morning, we will land in France in about twenty minutes.” Suddenly, panic struck me. My mind was racing and I felt a spectrum of emotions. I was excited, nervous, and anxious all at the same time. This was my first time leaving the United States. As a study abroad student, going to Paris, France has been one of my greatest endeavors. I had no idea what to expect. The first thing that I experienced was culture shock. When I got off of the plane to meet my advisers, no one spoke English at first. Once I found my adviser, she directed me to a taxi driver who would take me to my dorm. I remembered saying “Bonjour monsier!” As I began to talk to him in English, he interrupted me and said, “Je ne comprends pas anglais.” He said that he could not understand English, so I was forced to talk in French. After 10 minutes of French conversation, his cell phone rang. He picked up his phone and started to speak English. This offended me, but it was my first French learning experience. The French take great pride in their language. In order to communicate with Parisians, one must try to speak French at first contact. If they realize a foreigner will not try to adapt to their language, most Parisians will refuse to communicate with them and possibly walk away. This forced me to practice my French as much as possible. Also, in order to survive in France, I knew that I did not just have to speak their language, but I also had to adapt to their culture. For instance, when I went to the metro, everyone was wearing black, no one spoke, and everyone looked miserable. So, I had to mimic their habits to try to blend in. My advisers told us to act and dress like a Parisian as much as possible because we did not want to be “targeted” as foreigners; we would be susceptible to pick pocketing, being approached by homeless people, and given unfair deals. But, the best part of Paris is everything else: the museums, this history, the architecture, and most importantly, the food. For one moment, things will seem normal, but then I will see the Eiffel Tour and am reminded that I am in Paris once again. In fact, every day I pass the Notre Dame and the Hotel de Ville when I go to school. It still surprises me that I can ask a friend, “Hey, do you want to meet up at the Louvre for lunch?” After being in Paris for one month, I believed that I surpassed any expectation I once had. Studying abroad is the epitome of removing yourself from your comfort zone and entering into an environment that is entirely different from your own. From this experience, I believe that one can truly find themselves and admire the beauty of a culture different from your own. ntrib

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Photograph contributed by Joseph DiPaolo

We Didn’t Start the Fire

By Joseph DiPaolo Freshman, Economics and Statistics major In late February, radio host, Rush Limbaugh, referred to a Georgetown law student as a ‘slut’ for having too much sex. Many in the public were outraged, and President Obama even called the student to make sure she was okay. The Democrats called Limbaugh, ‘insensitive’, while the Republicans called the President a ‘campaigner-in-chief ’. During the weeks-long controversy that followed Limbaugh’s statement, the real issue, insurance companies covering contraception, was completely forgotten. I get it - the drama is annoying. Worst of all, it discourages citizens from engaging in the political process. But remember, behind the politics lie real issues of real importance to everyone. No matter what party is the majority in government, new legislation still impacts our lives. Although we go through life wishing for change, few of us take action. Don’t wait for your city council to renovate the park. Don’t expect your school board to increase spending on science education. Abstaining from political participation doesn’t fix any problems. Without prompting from its citizens, the government can act any way it chooses. Did we start the fire? No, but we can stop it. Depending on your reading speed, by the time you finish this article, our federal government will have accumulated another $2 million to $6 million in debt. Reading this means you are part of the 75% of students who can read with some proficiency. Reading deficiencies like those experienced by the other 25% of students, cost the health care industry an estimated $73 million a year. This adds an additional financial burden to health care providers and the 49.9 million Americans. These uninsured Americans receive one-third of their income from the government, which borrows 40 cents out of every dollar to pay for those entitlements. Entitlements comprise 60% of our annual federal budget, which is experiencing a shortfall of $1.3 trillion. As negative as these numbers appear, our problems can be solved if we act immediately. Strategists may run campaigns, but they rely on us to decide elections. Action doesn’t require 24-7 phone banking

and neighborhood canvassing. Action is as easy as going to the ballot box. The greatest instrument for change in this country is a vote, and with the convenience of early voting and absentee ballots, we all should speak out. Our most recent student government presidential election was decided by just 114 votes. The 2012 Republican primary in Iowa was decided by 20 votes. In both cases, a single volunteer knocking door-to-door for a full day could change the outcome of both elections. Instead of wondering what could have been, ensure the future and be the change. The greatest part of engaging in the political process is the knowledge that your community and country are better places because of your efforts. In 2010, when I was a junior in high school, I volunteered for my first campaign. My time was limited, but I made over 2,000 phone calls and secured hundreds of votes the final month before elections. I bore the grunt work because I understood the importance of this election in the national political landscape and to Floridian constituents, who were experiencing tough economic times. On election night, I felt great because my efforts made my state and country a better place. The fire has burned for a while, and the flames have changed. We need to put aside our past reservations and restart. Let’s restore political civility, enthusiasm, and efficacy to this country so we have reason to believe again. The greatest obstacle facing this country isn’t a financial collapse or foreign threat; it is complacency. As honors students and as future leaders, we have the responsibility to set a strong example for the rest of our peers. We all have passions we want to pursue in life, from medicine to law. The fact that we are free to choose says a lot about our freedom, and we owe our posterity the same opportunities afforded to us by our families. As we grow, our generation slowly takes the political reins. We now have the opportunity to make our country better. We will succeed if we remember to stay informed on the issues, involved in the community, and inspired by what possibilities lie ahead.

Stay Updated: Current Florida State Legislation

By Michele Dobin Freshman, Information Systems major


While everyone’s focused on the presidential election and GOP nominations, we thought you should know what’s going on in state government. The following information is available on the State Library and Archives of Florida website. Visit www. to learn more.

Senate Bill No. 344

The bill amends the already existing statute on animal cruelty to explicitly define sexual activities involving animals. Effective May 26, 2011

Senate Bill No. 2144

Medicaid-related act that reduces the minimum staff requirements for nursing facilities, allowing for less time to be spent with each patient. It eliminates the limit to services for pregnant women and children younger than age 21 and requires Medicaid to assign recipients with HIV/AIDS in certain counties to a specific managed-care plan. Effective July 1, 2011.

Committee Substitute for Bill No. 1127

A bill related to abortion, requiring that an ultrasound be performed on a woman obtaining an abortion . The ultrasound must be reviewed with the patient before the woman gives consent for the abortion procedure, which stipulates that the woman was not coerced into an abortion and sought the procedure of her own free will. The bill does not apply to women who are victims of rape, incest, domestic violence or human trafficking or to women who have serious medical conditions that require an abortion. Effective July 1, 2011.

Committee Substitute for Committee Substitute for House Bill No. 75

A bill that defines sexting as a minor “using a computer, or any other device capable of electronic data transmission or distribution, to transmit or distribute to another minor any photograph or video of any person which depicts nudity and is harmful to minors.” The bill makes sending or possessing any sexting material illegal with criminal and noncriminal penalties. On the bright side, if you did not solicit the sexting, you’re off the hook. Effective October 1, 2011.

House Bill No. 4121

Clove cigarettes are no longer banned effective June 2, 2011.

House Bill No. 1085

Creates the “Kelly Smith Gynecologic and Ovarian Cancer Education and Awareness Act,” requiring the Department of Health to display information regarding gynecologic cancers, which kills 1,700 Florida women every year.

House Bill No. 4019

The bill repeals a former bill that prohibited a motor vehicle from coasting on a downgrade. Effective April 27, 2011. And something to look out for:

Academic and Research Excellence and National Preeminence Act

Passed by the Florida House of Representatives, this act allows public universities with high “academic and research achievements” to raise tuition and fees once every academic year to maintain their status as a high profile research facility. The schools must meet 11 of the 14 pre-determined academic and research standards. The act also allows the universities to require first-year students to take nine to 12 academic credits determined by the individual university. State research universities that substantially meet the stipulations of the bill must maintain their fees at an appropriate level to meet all debt obligations, which means college prices are going to increase if the governor signs this bill.





The Recombination Conversation: Gene Therapy By Andrew Kolarich Freshman, Microbiology and Cell Science major

A recent $5 million donation to the University of Florida1 combined with greater private and federal funding over the years suggests that watching the developments in gene therapy occurring around the Ben Hill Griffin Jr. Biomedical Research Pavilion might be more exciting than those occurring in the stadium over the next twenty years. A basic understanding of what gene therapy is – and is not – is certainly an appropriate starting point. The human genome consists of 46 chromosomes, each of which carries the units of heredity, called genes. A gene encodes instructions for the production of specific proteins through transcription and translation, and it is these proteins which perform functions necessary to life. If a gene is mutated or missing the proteins are either not manufactured or manufactured to a small extent, which can cause debilitating effects. For example, Sanfilippo Syndrome results from the absence of a lysosomal enzyme responsible for the degradation of heparan sulfate which can cause severe mental deterioration and progressive loss of hearing, balance, and vision in children2. Completion of the Human Genome Project in 2003 and advances in technology have allowed researchers to track a number of diseases back to mutations or inherited abnormalities in human chromosomes3. These discoveries help create animal models and gene specific therapies for disease treatment. These novel therapies provide the opportunity to circumvent genetically caused biochemical irregularities by targeting the faulty gene and not just the protein interactions that arise from it. Gene therapy techniques involve correcting the defective gene in a number of ways, the most common involving a non-specific insertion into the genome to replace the non-functioning gene so that the cell can produce the missing protein4. Gene therapy may replace to some extent current enzyme-replacement therapies and traditional drug therapies that are a heavy financial burden to the healthcare system5, not to mention an emotional burden to families and patients affected by inherited disorders. But how do these genes get into the cells once they are created? Researchers insert a missing gene into a modified virus which is then introduced to the host by injection. In theory, the target viruses infect a cell and integrate the inserted DNA into the cell’s chromosomes. Adeno-associated viruses (AAV’s) are single stranded DNA plasmids that insert on a specific site on chromosome 19, and because they are non-pathogenic should not initiate immune responses in their host4. AAV’s are increasingly being utilized in to treat eye, muscle, and even brain diseases because of their ability to infect dividing cells and non-dividing cells such as neurons6. The status of gene therapy translational cures are optimistic, but have not reached final completion. There is currently no FDA approved gene therapy product available 4. A few critical problems have prevented wider access to gene therapy. Different viruses and subspecies of viruses exhibit unique tropisms, or favorability for their distribution within the human body, which will require more study. For example, many AAV seroReferences 1. Dooley, Karen. “$5 Million Gift from Miami Couple to Boost Gene Therapy Research at the University of Florida.” $5 Million Gift from Miami Couple to Boost Gene Therapy Research at the University of Florida » Health Science Center News & Communications. UF Health Science Center, 22 Feb. 2012. Web. 26 Feb. 2012. 2. Nidiffer FD, Kelly TE. Developmental and degenerative patterns associated with cognitive, behavioural and motor difficulties in the Sanfilippo syndrome: an epidemiological study. J Ment Defic Res. 1983;27 (Pt 3):185-203. 3. “Human Genome Project Information.” Oak Ridge National Laboratory. U.S. Department of Energy Genome Programs, 25 July 2011. Web. 26 Feb. 2012. <>. 4. “Gene Therapy.” Oak Ridge National Laboratory. U.S. Department of Energy Genome Programs, 24 Aug. 2011. Web. 26 Feb. 2012. <>. 5. Connock M, Juarez-Garcia A, Frew E, Mans A, Dretzke J, Fry-Smith A, Moore D. A systematic review of the clinical effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of enzyme replacement therapies for Fabry’s disease and mucopolysaccharidosis type 1. Health Technol Assess. 2006 Jun; 10(20):iii-iv, ix-113. 6. “Gene Therapy Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) Vectors Explained.” Gene Therapy Net. Gene Therapy Net, 2012. Web.

types have difficulty crossing the blood brain barrier, proving ineffective for reaching the brain unless introduced intracranially7. However, AAV serotype 9 shows a promising ability to cross the blood brain barrier, and could be used to develop a more realistic and favorable treatment for widespread central nervous system use8. In some cases, viral vectors introduced in large quantities have been reported to induce immune responses that can severely injure the body while trying to attack the foreign vector9. Other challenges involve making the therapeutic DNA stable and long-lasting within the host and creating therapies that can affect multiple genes10. Despite these obstacles, there have been significant gains in gene therapy which have even led to clinical trials. In February 2012, researchers from the University of Florida’s Department of Pediatrics published a gene therapy technique for epilepsy in a rat model. The therapy stopped seizures by increasing levels of the hormone somatostatin using modified viral vectors11. A clinical trial involving Leber congenital amaurosis, a form of congenital blindness, led by University of Florida and University of Pennsylvania researchers in 2008 also suggests that gene therapies may be used for treatment of blindness. The researchers used gene transfer surgery to inject a missing gene responsible for processing Vitamin A behind the retina of affected patients, improving some patients’ day vision 50-fold. Although there is still much to accomplish before gene therapy becomes widely accessible, developments like these continue to move gene therapy research out of the laboratory and into more widespread use. There is no doubt that the University of Florida will continue to innovate and introduce novel gene therapy treatments, which will fundamentally alter not only the future of medicine but the way disease is treated and perceived.

Pictured is a computerized model of a gene insertion created using SerialCloner 2.5. The first map shows a standard plasmid backbone (in this case a Puc-57 backbone). The second shows a generic gene insertion within the backbone, which increases the plasmid’s size by 2,399 base pairs. Researchers can insert multiple genes in a vector, which allows them to manipulate the vectors in a wide variety of applications.

Pictured is a computerized model of a gene insertion created using SerialCloner 2.5. The first map shows a standard plasmid backbone (in this case a Puc-57 backbone). The second shows a generic gene insertion within the backbone, which increases the plasmid’s size by 2,399 base pairs. Researchers can insert multiple genes in a vector, which allows them to manipulate the vectors in a wide variety of applications.

Andrew Kolarich is the Science Editor of Prism. For more information on undergraduate research opportunities, check out the Undergraduate Research Database located on the Honors Program website. 26 Feb. 2012. 7. Foust, KD, Poirier, A, Pacak, CA, Mandel, RJ and Flotte, TR (2008). Neonatal intraperitoneal or intravenous injections of recombinant adeno-associated virus type 8 transduce dorsal root ganglia and lower motor neurons. Hum Gene Ther 19: 61–70. 8. Manfredsson, FP, Rising, AC and Mandel, RJ (2009). AAV9: a potential bloodbrain barrier buster. Mol Ther 17: 403–405. 9.Kass-Eisler A, Leinwand L, Gall J, Bloom B, Falck-Pedersen E. Circumventing the immune response to adenovirusmediated gene therapy. 10. X Verma I. M., Somia N. (1997) Gene therapy promises, problems and prospects. Nature 389:239–242. 11. Birdwell, April F. “Health Science CenterNews & Communications.” Gene Therapy for Epilepsy Could Stop Seizures, UF Researchers Say » Health Science Center News & Communications. UF Health Science Center, 14 Feb. 2012. Web. 26 Feb. 2012. 12. Manning, Anita. “The Gene Therapy Journey: From Bench to Bedside.” , Gene Therapy for Childhood Blindness [NEI]. National Eye Institute, 2009. Web. 27 Feb. 2012

Graphics by Andrew Kolarich Photograph on page 33 contributed by Andrew Kolarich








By Zachary Peterson Freshman, Journalism major Google is well known for the creative illustrations on its homepage. If it’s Christmas, you’ll see jolly Saint Nick crawling around your computer screen, and on Halloween, a glowing jack-olantern lights up the screen.

On January 18, 2012, Google’s banner had nothing.

It was a black bar that stretched across the screen. There was no design, no barrel roll sensation to be shared on Facebook, no intelligent use of code to gawk at.

It wasn’t flashy, gaudy, lucrative.

It was a symbol of those united against a common enemy. Along with Reddit, tumblr, Wikipedia and a number of popular websites, Google “blacked out” its page in protest of the SOPA and PIPA acts, pieces of legislation that focused on protecting intellectual property, acts that housed the potential to shut down websites accused of infringing upon copyrighted material. Despite the Department of Justices shutdown of Megaload – a large file-sharing website – the Internet “won.” Briefly.

an international treaty negotiated between Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and the United States, among others. ACTA, which mirrors SOPA and PIPA in its desire to protect intellectual property, frightens proponents of a free web with its implied use of criminal punishment for those who do violate copyright agreements. Combined with what has been deemed ‘closed door’ planning of the bill by public citizens and its potent consequences, boiling protests have escalated because of ACTA. People are frightened of ACTA. No one is certain of what lies within the legislation and in Europe, the act is gaining momentum. Without what they feel is appropriate involvement, many citizens are wary of the act. Under ACTA, Internet users could theoretically be limited in what they can post online. Bloggers may find themselves in a sticky situation should they recirculate a demeaning political article that’s gathered scandalous steam. Even a simple school project that consists of creating a power point and providing pictures and music to accompany the slides could be permissibly considered a negligent use of the Internets intellectual property if the material is unoriginal or copyrighted.

The PIPA and SOPA acts themselves lost steam and were never passed, but the ideas they supported were not lost on anyone.

The provisions have only been loosely defined to such a degree that no one can quite predict the uniformity of its punishments. These harmless aforementioned acts could be considered worthy of criminal punishment.

In the past couple of months people have urgently pointed out the dangers of ACTA, The Anti-Counterfeit Trade Agreement,

The problem with ACTA lies in its implementation, and by extension, where the boundary lies.

Right now, the act looms large and unaddressed, but it’s capable of a massive paradigm shift. Like any movement, the ideas never flame out swiftly. Instead they undergo an aberration of appearance and manifest themselves various into schools of thought. Once it starts, it can’t be stopped. And more importantly, it opens the door to a whole new field of ideas. It’s easy to mentally retreat to a dystopian Big Brother world and envision that catastrophe. Canada’s new C-30 bill deals with a push for more intensive control of surveillance companies, and ACTA threatens to instigate criminal detainment for copyright violations. Where does it end? Will we rot in jail cells ten years from now for posting tiredout memes that are too crude? Overall, the Internet is based on sharing, and like any young, living organism, needs help with that growth. What I think many people forget is that its only been commercialized since the mid-90s. For many of us, we’ve been alive longer than the commercialized Internet. In approximately 15 years the Internet has grown not only into a necessary tool for checking e-mail, finding music and keeping in contact with friends throughout the world, but exists also as a cultural icon and a way to immerse culture. We’ve learned to define ourselves in this era by our Internet interaction – by the jokes we take away from the vast World Wide Web, the things we find funny, and what we choose to share with friends on social networking sites.

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La Quadrature du Net, a French advocacy group dedicated to endorsing free individual activity on the Internet finds ACTA as “one more offensive against the sharing of culture on the Internet.” And each country, as the group advocates, is different respective to their culture. What a boy in Italy might share, someone in Australia might otherwise gag at. In one respect this gives us the ability to learn from one another. We learn to communicate, to absorb new ideas, to open up to new possibilities, to create something new. The Internet is filled with new information everyday because it is unrestricted, and everyone is prolific within his or her own facets of it. If its come this far since its commercialization, imagine where it can take us. The possibilities are endless, and I believe more benefits can be reaped than suffered. But the possibilities become dramatically slashed when potential threats exist like ACTA, SOPA and PIPA. What the world needs is an international icon – a way for all of us to identify with one another, stand up for our right to innovate and share independently of the government and rise together under unified opposition to ACTA and other infringement-restricting bills in the future. We can’t stop politicians from circulating these ideas, but we can stop them from enacting them. As citizens, I believe we can, and as lovers of liberty, I believe we should.

To 37



Or Not To

Buy? Buying Textbooks on

E-readers: Yes or No?

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY By Samantha Paedae Freshman, Applied Physiology and Kinesiology major, Classics minor With potentially rising tuition costs and stiff competition for scholarships, many college students are looking for ways to cut spending. In the 2011-2012 year the national average cost of books and supplies was $1,168 (the cost for University of Florida students fell slightly below average, at $1,070). One way of slicing this cost many of us may have not considered is to buy textbooks on e-readers. However, there are many topics to consider before opting for paperless textbooks.

The Cost of an E-reader The cost of popular e-readers, such as Barnes and Noble’s Nook and Amazon’s Kindle, usually runs from around $100 to $380 when new (sometimes as low as $80 with special offers), depending on the features you want. For example, the colorless model with only Wi-Fi access is the least expensive, with touch screens, 3G, and color options increasing costs. Tablets with other features in addition to supporting e-books, are even pricier. However, e-books can also be read from a laptop. One might ask, “Why buy an e-reader at all? I already have a laptop.” Battery Life, Portability, and Capacity The battery life of an e-reader is significantly longer than that of a laptop, and even longer with the wireless capability disabled. Readers that use eInk (Kindle, Nook, and a few others) use power only to turn a page or change a screen image. Most e-readers last for 5,000-8,000 pages, meaning you will probably only need to recharge them every few weeks. E-readers weigh just a few ounces and most can hold over 1,500 books, making them much lighter than toting a laptop or a few textbooks. Useful Features E-readers have many useful features, including a built in dictionary, adjustable text size, ability to lend books, highlighting and bookmarking. However, the efficacy of some of these features needs to be examined in more detail. For Nook and Kindle, the “Lend” feature requires an Internet connection, and lends a single book for a 14 day period, during which the owner cannot access it. The highlighting and note-taking features tend to be cumbersome than the old-fashioned way. If you are the type that likes to turn a book into a neon sign and change the margins into

your own personal notebook, paper text is the best option for you. What is reading a textbook on an e-reader actually like? Generally, reading on an e-reader is not very different from reading from a printed page. In fact, because text can be resized, it may actually be easier. However, it’s important to keep in mind that most screens average about seven by five inches without color, which can make reading textbooks fraught with diagrams, tables, and captions more difficult than reading from a paper textbook. Important things to remember E-books are typically less expensive than paper books, and if you enjoy reading as a hobby, an e-reader can save you a lot of money in the long run. Many booksellers offer promotions on popular items and free book downloads. However, once you buy an e-book it cannot be returned or sold. If you don’t think you will need your book past the end of the semester, buying or renting used textbooks may be cheaper. Some textbooks are not available as e-books, depending on the publisher. As popularity increases, this is sure to change over time. Between the costs and availability of e-books, you are going to have to do some research before making a purchase to decide if an e-reader is the best option for you. Sources “Kindle.” Kindle E-Reader. Web. 26 Feb. 2012. < com/dp/B0051QVESA/?tag=mh0b-20>. “” College Search. Web. 26 Feb. 2012. <http://> “Cost of College.” Collegeboard. Web. 26 Feb. 2012. <http://www.>.





Apps You Need By Cheyenne Conrad Freshman, Pscyhology major, Family Youth Community and Musical Performance minors Let’s face it, our iPhones are our best friends. They are there when no one else is, they always listen and they can give the best advice. As a poor college student, it is important to get the best value in what we have. Here is a list of apps every college student should have.

What’s in Your Phone? Graphic by Lexy Khella

School apps: Sparky: allows you to access Sparknotes to read summaries and analysis of popular books and plays Gflash: gives you the ability to create your own flashcards to study in any subject you need iTranslator: allows you translate from many languages quickly without needing the internet Organization apps: Organizer lite: several organizer options including calendars, contacts, and birthdays let you stay organized by keeping everything in one place Mysticky lite: allows you to tack reminders on your wallpaper so you never forget anything again Myhomework: list homework, projects and test schedules to stay on top of your classes News apps: BBC reader: read international news from this popular news organization on your smartphone

Huffington post: provides alternative takes on headlines in the news so you get a holistic understanding of popular topics NPR addict: access interesting stories outside mainstream news including in depth and unique pieces Food/ local apps: Pizza!: find the closest pizza places in your area with contact information and directions Fast food: locate the nearest fast food restaurant and directions to get there Have2p: search for the closest bathroom and find the fastest route there Health apps: Myfitness pal: keep track of the food you eat, learn what nutrients you have eaten and what you lack along with exercise and diet goals Sleepdiary : keeps track of how long you sleep and when you fall asleep and wake up so you can wake up at the optimal time Natural cures : find natural cures to things like headaches, head colds and stomach aches Unique apps you haven’t heard of: Hand warmer app- runs the iPhone so it starts heating up- not over heating, and warms your hands Bump free- gently bump your phones together and share photos, apps, message, contacts and more Glow app- The app can receive, decode, and show Morse code signals as text (iPhone 4 only) *All apps are free!

Smartphones Getting Smarter

By Corey Flayman Freshman, Telecommunication major

Will that be cash or credit? Pretty soon, you might be able to answer that question with your smartphone. Near Field Communication, also known as NFC, is a short-range radio communication technology created over the last 10 years. NFC allows users to communicate and exchange data between two NFC-enabled devices or between one device and a small NFC chip, known as a ‘tag’ The devices, or the device and the tag, need to be held within a 1.5-inch range of each other. NFC technology is currently being used and developed primarily for smartphones. There are a number of phones on the market that already include the technology. These phones come from nearly every phone manufacturer, except Apple. More retailers are beginning to place NFC receivers at their registers, like common MasterCard PayPass scanners, which allow you to make payments by holding your credit card near the scanner. The most prevalent use for NFC technology is quick and easy payments. Google Wallet is an application, released last May, that allows users to pay for retail store purchases using an Android phone and a PayPass receiver. The app allows us to store gift cards, loyalty card, and discount offers. When Using the app, customers simply hold their phone up to a receiver, and the payment will be made wirelessly. The app requires a PIN, which makes it more secure than a traditional wallet. Although Google Wallet is only available for the Nexus S 4G, Google plans to expand the application to more phones. The app will also feature more functionality for tickets, transit card, and more, in the hopes of making physical wallets unnecessary and obsolete.

NFC can unlock even more possibilities With the possibility of Facebook integrations. Imagine arriving at a location or event and tapping your phone to an NFC scanner. Instantly, you’ve checked in and have started blowing up your friends’ news feeds. Instead of giving retailers your contact information for newsletters, update, and information, you can swipe your phone and instantly send them your e-mail address or Facebook profile. If you meet someone new, whether at a club or a corporate meeting, you can bump phones to swap business card information or send them a friend request in hopes of Facebook stalking. This easy transfer of information would be beneficial to college students. “I think it could be really cool to give out your information all from one device,” said UF freshman Jack Christmas. NFC could also be used to unlock the door to your residence hall instead of jumping pocket-first to scan your card, you’ll just have to wait an extra second to read that text. To the chagrin of college students, NFC scanning could be used to verify people’s IDs at bars and on RTS buses. This technology is spreading quickly, and as more enabled smartphones and receivers are created, more apps are developed, and more companies support the technology. Most of the major cell phone manufacturers, service provider, and payment services are interested in NFC’s development, with many of them working on their own new innovations. Rumors swirled about the inclusion of NFC in the iPhone 4S and the new iPad, but 2012 may be the year when Apple embraces this emerging technology, jumpstarting the trend for other devices and services. Your next phone might have NFC technology inside. Pretty soon, our smartphones will be smarter than us.





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By Jonathan Burnett Freshman, Computer Science major

Geeks Like US

I know who you are. Sitting there, reading this magazine, laptop within reach and smartphone in pocket. You have at least two ways to get on the internet on your person at all times. I know there are lots of you that are like me, so let’s drop the pretense that it’s weird and address the matter at hand: technology is changing our society, and that’s changing what technology needs. We’re living in a world where you can no longer hope to be successful if you’re ignorant about technology. Technology is no longer just for nerds—it’s social, it’s hip, and it might even be cool. The people in my computer science classes certainly aren’t all nerds, if that says anything. Making technology a career is normal now, and in a sort of virtuous cycle, the new cool kids of technology are taking tech even more mainstream. Can you even remember party invites before Facebook? People who don’t get invited because they’re not on Facebook are an acceptable loss—it’s the way of the world. In fact, our generation is defined—perhaps more than any before it—by the tools we use. Facebook, Youtube and Twitter are the key elements of a revolution that is defining our generation, with new democracy in the Middle East to show for it already. Smartphones are akin to the protest signs of the 70’s: we use them to make our voices heard. I guess that also means hipsters are the new hippies. But this isn’t about style—it’s about culture. Whether you like it or not, the vast majority of your peers have iPhones and have 296 followers on Instagram and if you don’t know what that is, well then you must live under a rock. I carry around a device the size of my palm that’s like a digital Swiss army knife, with a camera and a flashlight and the whole world wide web, and if you don’t carry one, don’t expect me to slow down for you. Don’t even ask. I don’t respond to e-mails any more—they’re too slow to keep up. As I see it, tools have been around since the time of the cavemen, only now we’re less hairy and we insult each other

digitally instead of clubbing each other over the head. Embracing technology is the pinnacle of modern society. It’s like discovering fire: sure someone got burned, but it worked out for the best. Evolution will take its toll on those who don’t adapt. The best part about this rush of new opportunities in technology is that it’s flipping the perceived social hierarchy on its head. Being interested in these things is no longer weird—it’s vital to your success. If you know enough about technology to be dangerous and you’re not a nerd, then you’re a geek like me—and let me tell you: it’s the best place you can be today! No offense to the nerds, because we’ll always need you—to be programmers and fix servers and root Android and stuff like that—but nerds don’t really get it. The ones who really get it are us geeks, the ones who want to make technology easier for normal people; who think technology should be intuitive; who want to convince grandma she can handle Facebook; who apply their people skills to humanizing technology, able to put themselves in the user’s shoes and see how daunting computers seem to some. If this describes you, then you could make a difference. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no better way to make a dent in the universe. If you buy into anything I’ve said here, then you must know that. If you’re smart, and obviously you are if you’re reading this magazine, then you have a choice to make. Choosing a career helping people as a doctor is one option, but defining our society is another. We need smart, forward thinking people to invent the future, and the best part about it is that anyone can change the status quo—you don’t have to go through some advanced degree program to start the next big thing. I for one look forward to you all joining me—perhaps together we can evolve Isis out of existence, or at least take a crack at fixing Sakai. Small steps here, people. Your future is bright. Get to it.

Photographs by Lexy Khella




Prism Spring Issue 2012  
Prism Spring Issue 2012