TechNews - IIT Archives - Illinois Institute of Technology


TechNews - IIT Archives - Illinois Institute of Technology
February 17, 2009
Student newspaper of Illinois Institute of Technology since 1897
What’s wrong with the
stimulus package?
Cars, cars, cars, cars, cars,
cars, cars, cars, cars, cars,
cars, cars, cars, cars, cars,
cars, cars!
page 4
Volume 166 • Issue 4
If you like Demetri Martin so much, why don’t
you marry him?
page 8-9
page 14
Opinion 2-5
Campus 6-10
Technology 11
A&E 12-14
The Slipstick 15
Sports 16
New study area at Galvin Career Fair
By Mike Z
By Chris Roberts
The Galvin Library had an Open House on February
11 to showcase its new group study rooms and computer
equipment. Attendees included library staff and numerous
The rooms, located at the back of Galvin’s ground floor,
are made available to groups of students numbering four or
more. Group study rooms may be reserved in advance online
or same-day in person; each reservation is for two hours.
Rooms can be reserved up to 14 days in advance through
the library’s website,, under “Services.”
According to the site, “Group study rooms that are not
reserved are available for use on a first-come, first-serve
The smallest room can accommodate four to six students;
two other rooms are for six to eight people; and the Schmidt
Group Study Room in intended to comfortably seat 10-16.
There are also two large conference rooms which can
seat 20. These rooms are for large groups, such as student
organizations and gatherings of more than a dozen people.
Each of the study rooms features wall-mounted, widescreen TVs. With equipment provided at the circulation desk,
these TVs can be connected to laptops to give presentations,
among other uses. Galvin has ten laptops which students can
borrow for this purpose.
In an open area near the study rooms are six computer
stations: three PCs and three Macs. Additionally, two scanners
and a printer are available.
Another significant change at Galvin was to the
interactive, language-learning software, Rosetta Stone.
Previously, the software was on laptops which were loaned to
students. Rosetta Stone is now available on three PCs (more
may be added) located just past the group study rooms.
The languages currently available are Arabic, Chinese
(Mandarin), English, French, and Spanish. According to John
Dorr, Head of Reference at Galvin, German and Portuguese
will be added soon. Students are encouraged to make
recommendations for additional languages to be offered.
Students will need to bring a microphone to use the speech
recognition features of the software.
Pattie Piotrowski, Assistant Dean for Public Services,
commented that with the opening of the study rooms “the
upstairs [of Galvin] will be a quiet zone.” Students who wish
to study and talk in a group will be encouraged to use the new
study area downstairs. Piotrowski added, “We built it for the
students…we want it to be comfortable for [them].”
The improvements showcased in the Open House were
Photos by Chris Roberts
planned since the Academic Resource Center moved out of
Galvin in the spring of 2008. Piotrowski said that the project
took inspiration from similar study areas at Loyola University
and Northwestern.
Let it snow, let it snow
By Anna Teixidor Ribas
Think of a Nordic Warrior in 2000 BC
Yes, skiing.
The concept of Skiing is over 4000 years
old. Early versions of skis have been discovered in
Scandinavia that date back to this time. The name
comes from the Old Norse word skíð that means
‘a stick of wood’.
Ski has been included in the Winter Olympics
since they began in Chamonix, France in 1924 and
more modalities have been incorporated with
the evolution in the practice of the sport. On the
other hand, snowboarding debuted as an official
discipline in the Olympics in Nagano, Japan,
It doesn’t take much to figure out that
snowboarding was inspired by a combination of
surfing, skateboarding and skiing. Originally it was
not considered an adult-worthy sport and started
off as a toy for kids, called ‘Snurfer’. It developed
as a sport in the 60’s in the United States.
Skiing and Snowboarding have gained in
popularity in the modern world, firmly taking their
place in the hearts of Extreme Sports Enthusiasts,
Winter-Lovers and modern media. Tarzan’s slick
moves on the branches, vines and other forms of
vegetation in the Disney movie of the same name
were inspired by Snowboarding moves. You’ll also
find references to the winter wonderland of skiing
and snowboarding in songs by obscure bands such
as Toto (“Dave’s Gone Skiing”), Undeclinable
Ambuscade (“Snowboard”) and Bernoulli’s Pants
(“Cookie Dough Snowboard”).
Until recently this year we’ve had a really
cold and snowy winter. Not so good for people
with an affinity for the sniffles, but a pretty good
opportunity for practicing your art of balance
on a couple of fiberglass boards. Chicago has
experienced a maximum of 44 inches of snow, so
now might be a good time to evolve from snowball
fights and snow angels to actual activity.
Our Student Union Board is hosting a Ski/
Snowboarding Trip, which will include a full day
at Devil’s Head Resort in Wisconsin on February
28th, which is a Saturday (and before Midterms).
Tickets will be sold on the MTCC Bridge at a
date to be announced soon on the UB Website
(, for $30 including equipment. If you
can’t beat the winter…embrace it. Come along
and ski your heart out: the best way to enjoy the
end of the winter!
Who knows…they might have Cookie
Dough Snowboards.
Just in case you missed the career fair last Thursday,
well, you didn’t really miss anything. This year’s career
fair seems much smaller compare to the previous ones.
Maybe due to the major decline of the economy, companies
are not really in the mood of hiring any new employees.
Perhaps some of the companies are already starting to lay
people off.
Not surprisingly, there were just as many students as
the previous career fairs if not more. Squeezing between
the SIB (Students In Black) with very serious looks on
their face, I was trying to at least be able to hand out a few
resumes to some employers. As expected, the companies
looking for programmers had a line all the way to the other
end of the hall. I am certain that lots of our students from
the computer science department were in that line.
As I glance through the company name index, it seems
like we are missing some big names such as Microsoft,
Motorola, Nokia or Apple. Not that there weren’t any
decent companies here, but it just looks a little too light.
Also, by looking over these companies, I somewhat felt
bad for the biology or BME students. There are barely
any companies that seem to have a use for BME students.
That’s the way the market is going, so if you’re a freshman
BME student, consider changing your major - there’s still
Aside from Toyota, Siemens or Air Force, Marines,
Army, IIT also brought up a few tables. I guess it’s a pretty
good deal to try to get the students to work for their own
school. Lots of these employers left early with a sign that
reads: “Leave your resume on the table please.” I wonder
if the resumes will actually go to that company or just end
up in the newly deployed IIT recycle trash stations. From
what I’ve heard, some of these companies are not hiring
people at the moment. Some of you might wonder why
the hell they are here at the career fair. Well, it is because
they signed up for this event three month ago, and they’ve
saturated their employment status within the next three
month. That is most likely why some of them don’t even
care about being there and looking over our resumes.
To my surprise, some companies sent former IIT
students to the career fair. As I was wondering in the
Alumni lounge, the two sitting at F.H. Paschen, S.N. Nielse
looked very familiar. As it turns out, they were my friends
who graduated from IIT a few years ago. I guess it was
nice to see people you know once in a while in a different
setting other than in the classroom.
A Night of One Acts returns
By Clayton Shive
Heralded by Sir Charles Barkley as “a terribly
great way to spend an evening,” ‘A Night of One
Acts’, 33rd Street Productions’ biannual event,
returns to the MTCC auditorium this weekend,
February 20th and 21st. The show starts at 8 PM
but if you show up early, you can have the pleasure
of watching the “World’s Worst Improv” group do
some improv sketches to get the night started.
Theatrical delights of the night include a short
but sweet biographical piece about the complexities
involved in exchanging money for teeth. “Tooth
Fairies” is directed by Faraz Hussain and stars
Shimer College’s Sara Hall and Universitat
Politècnica de Catalunya’s Anna Teixidor Ribas.
Also being performed is the Ronnie John’s comedy
sketch “Underground.” This look into the scene life
is adapted, directed, and performed by Christina
Goudy and Stephanie Marx.
Another treat will be the performance of two
one acts written by Cassandra Rose, a sophomore
playwright major from Columbia College. The
first is the one act “Freudian Slip,” directed
by Celeste Wegrzyn. This piece, staring Chris
Roberts, Christina Goudy, and Stephanie Marx,
is about what happens when we let ourselves get
the best of us. The second of Miss Rose’s one
acts is entitled “Webster,” a comedy about the
struggles some college students must face in order
to attend the school of their dreams. Erik Johnson
and Clayton Shive co-direct and co-star in this
one act, with a cameo appearance by Christina
Goudy. “I’m in this one,” said third-year aerospace
engineering student Clayton Shive after informing
everyone around him that he was in fact going to
be in “Webster.”
The final one act of A Night of One Acts
is an adaptation of the Monty Python’s Flying
Circus sketch “Self-Defense Against Fresh Fruit.”
Originally airing on October 26th, 1969, this sketch
was included in the fourth episode of one of Great
Britain’s most widely know and longest lasting
television programs. “It is a serious tale about the
hardships and fears that often obstruct the goals of
our lives. If we give in to the unfortunate events
the universe manifests, we bring about our own
destruction,” said director Robert Williams III.
“I believe the audience will really see how we
captured this struggle in play form.”
Admission to ‘A Night of One Acts’ is
totally free, so it’s a perfect event for a cheap-butfun date or a memorable guys’/girls’ night out.
There are sure to be many surprises and special
guests each night, so don’t miss it. Coordinator
Kevin Ragauskis promises that it is “sure to be
a laugh-making, thought-provoking, high-fiving
kind of night.”
paul spears, ediTOr
Apartments: to
live or to die?
By Brigid Strait
House-shopping, for me, is like shoeshopping for most people. I don’t think my
family has ever lived in one zip code for
three consecutive years, much less stayed
in one house for that long.
Nonetheless, as I begin my search
for my first apartment, I am intimidated.
In addition to all the normal things to
consider when picking a place to live,
Chicago has 228 named neighborhoods to
choose between!
There are so many options it’s hard to
pick just one. Some are safe, some are not;
some are pricey, some are less so. After
safety and price, though, the first factor I
have to look at is distance.
I work up north, I’m a Shimer student,
and my church is halfway in-between.
I’m happy to spend 45 minutes on a train,
although it’d be nice to be close to one of
those. Interestingly, I’ve figured out that
it’s more of a problem for me to be far
from a grocery store than it is for me to
have a long commute to my day-to-day
places. I’ll get myself to class even if it’s
a bother, but I can’t guarantee I’ll eat if it’s
that much of a hassle.
Each neighborhood has a different
feel to it. There’s one near Devon and
Western that I like, where every window
display would make Bollywood proud and
naan is advertised by every restaurant.
It’s quite probably as different from my
hometown as any place could be, but it
still gives me that warm fuzzy feeling of
familiarity. I’m not sure why.
After the neighborhood is picked,
the time consuming part begins. I cannot
count the hours I’ve spent on Craigslist
skimming apartment listings. It can be
interesting, I suppose, but only for the first
few weeks. Then cardboard boxes begin to
seem like appealing living-spaces, for their
convenience if nothing else.
But sometimes an ad will catch my
eye. Once it was because the building
was on Shakespeare street. One was near
a Gamestop. Another allowed large dogs.
And off I went to visit.
This, for me, is dessert. I adore the
details in apartments, the little things that
the ads rarely show. The carvings in the
wood trim above the doorways. The view
from the fire escape. Or, in one case, the
shadowbox former tenants had installed in
the transom above the back door.
Perhaps I place too much emphasis
on aesthetics, but I feel as if living in an
ugly apartment or even neighborhood
would mean a slow death for my soul. For
another person, price or convenience or
some other factor might take precedence.
But I need beauty.
I also would like a place with working
(provided) appliances, inexpensive utilities,
and in-building laundry.
Anyway. Apartment-shopping is
frustrating. It’s like looking for a magic
mustard seed in a box of peanuts. And,
yes, I do find it intimidating--what if I
accidentally sign a year-long lease on
a rotten peanut? But I like challenges,
and the reward will be a peaceful place
to live.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
[email protected]
What does P stand for?
By Adam Kadzban
I just read Vlada’s “What V stands for”
article from last week’s TechNews. If you
didn’t catch it, I’ll give you the run down: V
stands for Vagina. “V-Day” is a holiday of sorts
(though Vagina Day is not to be confused with
Valentine’s Day), where money is raised for
organizations fighting for women’s rights and
stopping abuse. It’s usually held in conjuncture
with readings of The Vagina Monologues,
which are monologues about, well, vaginas.
After reading the article though, I felt only
one emotion: rage! I mean, come on! Vagina
Day? I feel as though any self-respecting
male would protest to this day. Seriously, why
do vaginas get their own day? What about
penises? I feel as though I should act as an
ambassador for the unfairer sex (guys, that’s us),
and demand the creation of a day celebrating
us: Penis Day.
Penis Day will be all about the penises.
As a believer in gender equality, I suggest
that P-Day has basically the same activities as
V-Day, however altered somewhat (obviously).
If V-Day events can sell various flavors of
chocolate vaginas, P-Day events will sell
various flavors of chocolate penises. We
will celebrate our gender by eating them, just
as females do on V-Day. We will replace
The Vagina Monologues with The Penis
Monologues, stories about men and their
sexual experiences. We will rewrite certain
Monologues to suit our needs: My Angry
Vagina will become My Angry Penis; Because
He Liked To Look At It will become Because
She Liked To Look At It. Though I suppose that
one could say “He,” if we wanted to represent
all orientations of men. P-day will also involve
some extra activities celebrating manliness. We
will have a barbecue and cook copious amounts
of meat. We will watch movies like Rocky,
Die Hard, and Braveheart. We may even go to
the gym and lift weights, because nothing says
manliness like building muscles.
At this point, you may be saying to
yourself, “That sounds great, Adam, but where
will the money we raise go?” Well, dear reader,
that is an excellent question. However, I have
an equally excellent selection of organizations
that are fighting for mens rights. There is the
Handy Man Society, which encourages all
members to fix everything themselves. There is
also the Midlife-Crisis Counseling Center, who
help men during their mid-life crises by helping
them find new sports-cars to buy. Lastly, there’s
my personal favorite, the So What If I Haven’t
Shaved Today Foundation, which runs support
groups for all men who want to grow facial hair,
but are discouraged from doing so by females
in their lives.
Well, there you have it, men. I’ve outlined
the basics for our very own Penis Day, but
obviously it could use a little work. Rome
wasn’t built in a day, and this holiday can’t get
off the ground without a little grunt work. So
I’m leaving it to you, all the men out there, to
get this day going.
...returns next week
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Speaking of IIT
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Paul Spears, Editor
[email protected]
Thoughts on religion
By Linda Goldstein
By Eduardo Berrocal
It’s still my sixth semester
at IIT, but this is the first time in
all those semesters that I’ve had
a fierce head cold for Valentine’s
Day. My nose is dripping like a
half-frozen waterfall, since the
unseasonably warm weather
has unfortunately passed.
To add insult to injury, this
past Thursday night the only
women’s restroom in E1 was
out of anything that could be
used as nasal tissue. Having
a night class in a computer
lab is okay; running out of
tissue-oid substances during it
is not. Also, I really hope that
someone disinfects the mice
and keyboards in that computer
Speaking of computer
labs, I crawled out of one this
Saturday and went rock climbing
with the IIT Rock Climbing
club. We took the Metra down
to Homewood, where there’s a
place called Climb On. Fifteen or so of us
put on harnesses, learned how to tie all the
right knots, and climbed vertical walls (and
sometimes overhangs) with small plastic
rocks bolted to them. Then we had a late
lunch at a nearby place with great fried rice.
It was a fun upper-body workout, but it left
my hands almost too sore to type.
Speaking of being sore, I was a little
annoyed at one of the things that Alderman
Pat Dowell said the other night when she
was speaking in the Pritzker Club. “You need
to give back to the community,” she said. I
disagree. As students, we need to pay our
tuition, and then get a job and pay off our
loans, our rent, our grocery bills- and maybe
start a wine cellar or a sailboat collection.
All that the community around IIT has done
for me personally is to occasionally hold
my peers at knife-point. I understand that
the university, as a large employer, has a
certain ethical duty to help the community
in which it is situated; I just think that this
is an unkind burden to hold over the head of
individual students. I’m willing to show up
for the Day of Service, willing to play bingo
at nursing homes, pick up trash at parks,
willing to spend my money at Unique for
clothes and Pancho’s for tacos and Maxwell
Street for hot dogs. But for me, giving back
to my community means participating in the
Student Government Association, not giving
my credit cards to deserving youth at the Red
Line station.
Speaking of architecture, the night of
the 13th I was inspecting the architecture
of an Irish pub in Downers Grove known
as Ballydoyle’s. The Elders, a Celtic rock
band, was playing. They play at Ballydoyle’s
regularly when they’re not touring Ireland.
I love the combination of drums, guitars,
drum-and-bones, singing, fiddle, flute, and
Speaking of really awesome jobs that I
don’t have, the IIT Spring Career Fair was
this past Thursday. it had the usual dress code,
and as usual some people slipped by in jeansbut not many, thank God. Professionalism
is important. The Career Fair featured 85
awesome companies, most of which were
recruiting people with various kinds of
engineering or computer science majors.
Many tables had long lines of students at
them. Some lines were five students long;
some had more than a dozen students in them,
each awaiting a chance to pitch their resume
to the man behind the table. Some tables
were empty- some companies obviously
reconsidered their decision to hire in this
economy, while perhaps some came late or
left early.
Speaking of IIT, I have a friend (a
I am impressed with how religion
is expressed here in United States. My
impression is that religion here is something
stronger than in Spain (and maybe Europe).
Strong in the way that people who believe
in any god or religion do that in an integral
manner, while in Europe it is something
more cultural. In Spain, almost all parents
used to baptize their children, and not
because they have strong faith, but because
it is something that everybody has done
generation after generation for hundreds
of years.
I still remember one of the first
conversations I had with my father about
God and religion. Imagine the typical
questions of a ten-year-old child about God:
How do you know that god exists? Why is
this done one way and not the other? etc. He
told me that religion now is more cultural
than something people really believe word
for word. Some moral and cultural rules that
help people understand society, live with
other beings, and have some expectations
of what you are going to see out there. In
other words, religion is something that
serves as a base to build a society. It does
not really matter if Jesus Christ was actually
the “son of God,” if he really resurrected
or if he were able to divide the bread and
fish. What really matters is the idea of a
society based on that: Love the others,
learn to forgive, live with modesty, etc. And
the most important thing of all is the idea
that it was God who told us how to live. It
is important because the idea of a God is
something very powerful, something that
cannot be questioned, changed or replaced.
You can admit that something does not have
the same credibility whether it is said by a
mortal being (like a human) or by a superior
being (like a God). An example: Can you
imagine a religion based on Communism?
The ideas of Communism do not have the
same validity as the ideas of Christianity,
because those are human ideas, which
can be questioned and replaced. There is
not a “red God” out there that can punish
you if you do not follow the Communist
Almost everyone I know in Spain is
Catholic. The Vatican – which has a registry
of all the Catholics around the world – says
that more than 94.1% of the population
in Spain is Catholic. But I don’t know
anybody, who has told me that what the
Bible says is literally truth. Not my teachers,
not my family, not my friends... nobody.
And this is the difference. Here, in United
States, those who believe in God, believe
word for word, and those who do not believe
in God, do not believe at all. Extremes, 1
or 0. But, why? I have some ideas about
why this could happen in the United States
and not in Spain, and they are related to
what I was saying before. Religion treated
like something cultural. While in Spain
the religion has been something cultural
(there are always exceptions, of course)
in the way that everybody has belonged to
the same religion for hundreds of years, in
the United States it is something private.
In Spain, religion is stuck to our language,
sayings, parties, rituals (almost everybody,
believers or not, want to be married in a
Church by the Catholic ritual), etc. The
United States, because of all the different
freshman in Biology) who got an email
telling him that he was on the Dean’s list...
for Architecture.
Now this is unrelated, but I had a crazy
idea/nightmare on the evening of February
thirteenth. It was obviously inspired by my
dread of Singles Awareness Day, where my
friends are either unbearably
A. Cute
B. Bitter
C. Mature.
Naturally, my subconscious dragged up
a recurring fear of mine; sentient weapons
of mass destruction. Obviously influenced
by my through review of the archives of the
webcomic Ctrl-Alt-Del, this dream featured
two android robots, both carrying nuclear
bombs in their bellies (which is not actually
practical). The two robots met at a diplomatic
reception, fell in love, and- due to poor
orbital dynamics calculations- impacted with
sufficient force to cause them both to explode
and wipe out sentient life on Earth. This is
the kind of pre-Valentines Day nightmare
that I have.
Here’s a crazy idea: hold blood drives
on Sunday morning behind the pews during
church sermons. It has a bizarre rationality;
many churches emphasize community
service and helping your fellow man, and
giving blood achieves these ends. Here’s
another crazy idea; this one is somewhat
geekier. First, assume that you have a
netbook which is running some reasonable
distribution of Linux; then invent a new
application: a text box that knows what’s on
your google calendar. Assume that you have
your netbook with you during class and that
you’re being studious, but that you don’t
have the time or inclination to pull up your
complexly organized tree of folders which
will let your type your class notes in the
right file. Also, sorting notes after the fact
is a boring, if perhaps not entirely a waste
of time. So the text box will automatically
dump all the notes typed in it between 3:05
and 4:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays into the
file for the class that you have in that time
slot. Assume that your netbook doesn’t have
enough room to store lots of files locally;
design the application to automatically
remote-access your desktop and dump the
files to your home box- or to your Google
Documents, or to both- and then to erase
them from your netbook from the bottom up
as space becomes scarce.
This week, I feel really pleased with
the extracurricular opportunities that IIT
provides, but not so thrilled with my gdb
debugger lab. Next week, I’ll feel like
writing another “Speaking of IIT” about stuff
that happens at IIT.
religions and cultures that have had to live
together during all its history, has developed a
“meta-culture,” leaving all the rest to privacy.
The modern version of this “meta-culture” is
what we know as “globalization.” According to
Wikipedia: “Globalization (globalisation) in its
literal sense is the process of transformation of
local or regional phenomena into global ones.
It can be described as a process by which the
people of the world are unified into a single
society and function together.” Bingo! This
single society is not based on any religion, but
instead on what I called “meta-culture.” The
United States is a parallel to globalization,
because it is based on the same “meta-culture”
phenomenon, which could one day make the
world into one single society.
Nowadays people do not have the necessity
to be part of any religion to live in society. The
“meta-culture” allows us to be independent of
that. The people who believe in God and follow
a religion do so because they really believe in
God. But why does religion continue being
very powerful? Why does the government
continue doing free propaganda of religion?
Why do the dollar bills have “In god we trust”
printed on them, if religion is independent
from government? That’s because religion is
still very useful. We believe that we are very
intelligent beings, but we are really very limited
in the sense that we cannot develop certain
moral and social rules to build a culture. Think
about that. What is the “meta-culture” about?
Money, money and money. Your are what you
have. Music and movies that tell you what you
need to buy to be cool, that present to you a
truncated reality and that tell you how to act in
certain situations, how to dress, etc. The only
way one can have certain moral values without
religion is with good education.
We do not need God if we develop strong
moral rules. I don’t think that’s utopia. I do not
believe in God and I consider myself much
more educated and with stronger moral rules
than a lot of believers. But education has two
important problems that we can not solve: The
first one is that education is expensive (not
only in terms of money, but also time). The
second is that it is very difficult to establish
those rules (what is good or bad) in society,
due to its human nature. As I said above, I
can (and I always will) question all those
rules. So, the result is that religion can fix that
for a while. And I do not have any problem
with it, if religion can help people be happy. I
have problems when it is imposed on others,
preventing them from being happy. I refer,
for example, to the homosexual people, who
cannot be happy due to stupids laws (based
on religion) that do not allow them to marry. I
refer to a fourteen-year-old girl that was raped
and cannot get an abortion due to stupids laws
(based on religion). It’s funny that those who go
against abortion are normally the same people
supporting wars, where a lot of children die.
My recommendation is try to develop your
own moral rules and be a good person just by
being. We do not really need this unbelievable
story to be able to live in society and be good
people. And if you follow any religion, think
of it as a mix of history and culture, and do not
believe word for word. Think that a lot of things
came from a past when nobody had culture or
education, and religious officials were almost
the only ones able to read. A period when
religion was the only way to control people
with fear. And do not forget that some of the
most horrible episodes of our history have been
made in the name of religion or God.
Anyone can write for
Devil’s advocate: our economic climate
By Carlito E. Cabada, Jr.
When elections were just around the corner, a co-worker
of mine said, “Fixing a broken plate takes much longer than
the process of actually breaking it.” Of course,
he was referring to the state that former president
George W. Bush left the economy and the task
that the next president had ahead of him. President
Obama is still picking up the pieces of the previous
administration, but he is fixing a plate prone to slip
out of his hands immediately. I am not going to
sugarcoat my thoughts on the matter: An economic
stimulus package is a horrible idea and our federal
government should be ashamed of itself.
The $789 billion package includes a number
of extraneous items scathingly dubbed “pork.”
Upon closer inspection, it’s as if the Democrats
made an wishlist and hastily
clicked the checkout button. $282 billion of the
package will go towards tax relief with the rest
going towards government spending. Honestly,
how many of you out there know where your tax
money is going? I’ll tell you that it’s going straight down the
Congressional toilet.
The original House-approved package (roughly $820
billion) dedicated a majority of spending towards education
including secondary school improvements and Medicaid
Paul Spears, Editor
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
[email protected]
provisions. Through basic math skills, anyone can see there’s
a $31 billion difference after negotiations were made to trim
down costs. Unfortunately, $16 billion allotted to school
construction and health insurance for the unemployed was
part of the “pork” trimming. My question: What was so damn
important that education and health had to be compromised?
Let’s see, $9.3 billion of the package are going towards a
high-speed railway in California (Note: the Senate originally
proposed $8.4 billion). Well, that’s great news for California!
Seriously, as a working American, I want my money back,
and I want it now. It’s fine if the government wants to support
public transportation, but I think the money should be more
widespread than it currently is. Hard working citizens, most of
which probably don’t live in California, are fueling a
project that won’t affect them at all. This is just one
of many terrible decisions that litter the horrendous
“stimulus” package.
The nation’s citizens stepped into the voting
booth thinking they were voting for a change.
Instead, they’re getting an increase in deficit that
the public is unaware of. “Oh, a ‘stimulus package’?
That sounds just like something our nation needs!”
“$789 billion! My, that’s relief!” If these words
don’t sound familiar, you’re in denial. Even smart,
college-going students like you are wandering
aimlessly and oblivious to the mess we’ll need to
clean up in the future.
Throwing money at this nation’s festering
wounds won’t solve anything. This abundant
spending is like taking a fire extinguisher and
throwing it in a fire. The United States of America
was founded on principles that would benefit all its citizens,
and it’s a shame to see those beliefs go up in flames. If you
disagree with me, go ahead and spout your ideals of “change”
and “necessary sacrifice” as much as you want; you’re the
problem, not the solution.
By Erik Johnson
Look at what you can do with Student Self-Service!
health insurers and other organizations
were sent to your student lenders
Q View your enrollment history
student loans
How to Access FREE Student Self-Service:
1. Log into your myIIT account
2. Click on the Academics tab
3. In the Enrollment Verification channel, click on the
National Student Clearinghouse logo
4. Select and print the letter. Or save the letter as a
pdfÀOHDQGemail it.
with a valid Social Security number. International
students without a valid SSN should contact the
I always get excited about new foods –
there really isn’t anything like it. My favorite
is perusing the pretty menu pictures. There are
always so many options! I practically drool
all over myself as I walk through the queue to
where I receive my food. As I take my tray to a
table, the anticipation is excruciating. To some,
it may sound strange, but to me, I’ve got an
adventure on a plate. And that’s awesome.
Now, some might say I’m setting myself
up to be disappointed. I don’t think I am
at all. I’m going into the upcoming food
experience happy and optimistic, open to a
new experience. Truly, I’m the epitome of
open-mindedness. In the right mood, I’d eat
anything from churros to escargot to fried goat
testicles. Where some step into a food journey
cautiously, perhaps even cynically (like many
seasoned food critics out there), I dive in with
joy. I’m ready to introduce my tongue to a
new friend!
When I heard that IIT was going to bring
in an Einstein Bros. I was overjoyed. Einstein
Bros. is one of those places I’d always wanted
to visit but I’d never gotten around to it. It was
one of those, “Oh, let’s go grab some Einstein
Bros. Hurm, wait, the comic book store closes
in thirty minutes…” But now, hooray! I’d
have a reason to go! Not to mention, I’d be
able to use bonus points! It was as if an angel
descended from the heavens, lightly touched
my arm, and invited me to get a bagel.
My first experience was less than stellar,
but it was partly my fault. I didn’t look closely
at the prices, and instead purchased solely
based on pictures. I ended up accidently buying
a $7.00 breakfast burrito. Whatever, my bad.
The rest of it, however, was not my fault. It
took forever to receive said burrito. Now,
I’m not culinary Jedi, but I don’t think it’s too
difficult to make a breakfast burrito. All you
have to do is get tasty breakfast munchies and
toss them into a bready wrapping.
My other experiences have been similar.
Every meal takes ages to receive. It’s like
walking into a time warp or something. The
employees drift slowly, slightly out of phase
with reality. Even worse, each time I’ve had
food there, they’ve been unpleasant and
unhappy. I hate ordering food from unhappy
folks. The Einstein Bros. employees should
perhaps shadow Maurice or Doris in the
MTCC for a day, to see how to be pleasant
and fun.
I’m still optimistic. Perhaps someday
I shall be served my bagel with a smile, like
Maurice serves sandwiches in the commons.
Seriously. Someone give Maurice an award.
That guy is awesome.
Abortion, a defendable idea?
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
By Orekoya Moyosoreoluwa
It’s been a very long time since I wrote
for TechNews, probably because I have
been trying to settle down this semester to
academics and friends. So yesterday, over a
meal of Thai food and a PS3 game, a friendly
but heated argument broke out between myself
and my friends. We ratiocinated on hot topics
like freedom of speech and whether it should
be restricted or not. We also talked about gay
marriage and how it affects us. But what really
caught my mind by the intellectual answers
given, was the abortion question that I had
raised. A good number of us in the room
were pro choice, and some were pro life. The
discussion is what I would like to present.
“But Pro-choice is not Pro-Abortion…”
This was one of the objections raised, but
the term “pro-choice” should really cover all of
the “pro” positions on every issue; it shouldn’t
just define one opinion. When someone refers
to themselves as pro-choice, they refer to the
choice of abortion. So what they are saying is
that they believe it is fine for someone to have
an abortion, which makes them pro-abortion.
The word choice shows that it is all about the
reproach of being called pro-abortion; why is
there an odium if there is nothing wrong with
abortion? Why would people be so opposed to
being referred to as pro-abortion if abortion
is perfectly fine? To answer that we have to
determine what abortion in itself is. Is abortion
just the termination of a pregnancy? Is
abortion just a surgical operation that removes
cells from a body, like liposuction or a cancer
surgery? The answer is a clear no! Abortion
is the termination of a pregnancy, but what is
a pregnancy? The Random House dictionary
definition of pregnant reads: having a child
or other offspring developing in the body;
Paul Spears, Editor
[email protected]
with child or young, as a woman or female
mammal. We can try to make the words or
context sound more presentable but it does
not change what it really is. So my first
unanswered question is why do pro-choice
people not like being called pro-abortion,
and why? Is it because they see it abortion
as wrong?
“But the fetus is not human…”
This was one of the objections raised by
my friends, but in reality, does that justify
murder. Because someone does not look like
us, does that give a legitimate reason to kill
them? Is being a human being, a look-a-like
issue? If it were, why do we not kill Siamese
twins, why do we not kill the “elephant
man”? What of John Foppe? Why do we not
kill anyone that does not look like us? Then
does that not introduce the same concept that
ravaged the minds of barbaric slave traders?
The question I feel should be, “Do fetuses
have the same inalienable rights as black
people?” When slave traders were fighting to
have a choice in dealing with black people as
slaves, and some people were fighting against
the notion, whose ground do you consider
higher, in morality bases, the pro choice or the
pro freedom for black people? You see what
makes one a human is the fact that it is an
offspring of humans. I asked a question to the
“Pro-choicers.” Do they think it is alright to
have an abortion when the pregnancy is eight
months? They responded with a resounding
no, so I asked a simple question which was
–when do we draw the line? If we agree that
it should be six weeks, do we then say that
if a baby is then weeks and one day, then it
should not be aborted, or when it is six weeks
and one second then it shouldn’t be aborted?
It remains unanswered.
“But there might be a reason for
If abortion is not bad, why need a
reason? Think of it if abortion is based
solely on the mother’s choice, why need
a reason to approve the abortion? For
all she cares, she might want to commit
abortion to see what a fetus looks like,
and that cannot be considered immoral
since abortion is not immoral. Except you
want to start drawing lines again. Would
you consider a woman as wicked if she
commits abortion just to see how a fetus
looks like, or because her pet dogs are
hungry? Most of us would say yes, why?
Is it because the child has a right to life
or because of what exactly?
“…but it is the woman’s body”
“..It’s my body and I can do anything
I want with it.”
A statement heard one too many.
False on two counts though. Even if I
agreed that we are only talking about one
woman’s body, the law does not allow you
to do whatever you want with your body.
Secondly, an unborn child can have a
penis and women don’t have penises. That
is proof that there is a separate individual
human being involved.
“..I doubt if the baby feels pain.”
Now that’s an interesting aspect on
the subject. It has been shown that at
about eight weeks the thalamus is needed
and is all that is required to feel pain. And
this part of the baby is fully grown in
eight weeks. “The fetus within this time
frame of gestation, 20 weeks and beyond,
is fully capable of experiencing pain.
Without doubt a partial birth abortion is
a dreadfully painful experience for any
infant.” R. White, Dir. Neurosurgery &
Brain Research, Case Western Univ.
unexpected of him, the media is again taking
pleasure in either defaming this sports star and
profiting of it, or trying to feed negative news
to the American public to profit. The bottom
line, of course, is the profit. There is not a sense
of responsibility.
‘Responsibility?’ you ask, that which
Phelps himself did not display? Let me take
your thought process about two steps beyond
what the American media takes you through.
Michael Phelps was presumable caught
smoking some presumably banned substance
in a party in the state of South Carolina. A news
media outlet gained access to this photograph,
which could have been doctored, and the 24
hour news media got hold of it and abused it.
For the next few days, Phelps was paraded in
the media and was forced to apologize. The
same companies that gave him marketing
contracts were now taking them away. And
who has Phelps got to thank for this, it’s the
24 hour news media.
If 24 hour news channels really have 24
hours of news that can be shown, why not
pursue more ‘socially-responsible’ goals?
Yes, what Michael Phelps [presumably] has
done is wrong, but it happens more blatantly
in many places across the country. Why can’t
the media help law enforcers by doing it’s part
in uncovering drug dealers, outlets, and gang
related crimes? Why should they use a sports
star to show the ill-effects of drugs? How
long can the media act irresponsible just
for the sake of money, profits and TV ad
The other bone I want to pick with the
news media on this ‘irresponsibility issue’
is their lack of will to pursue something
of value. The bailout issue has been big
for the last few weeks. All the media
has been focusing on is that President
Barack Obama is aiming for bipartisan
unity in voting for the bailout. The media
has failed to educate the ‘average Joe
six-pack’ about what the bailout actually
means to him/her and instead focused on
‘Joe the plumber’ and his opinions which
are as worthy as a penny in a dollar store.
They have failed to educate adequately
the responsibility of the tax payer and
how their futures could be at stake with
these bailout packages. Instead, they
again focused on trivial, ADHD-type
news events like a baseball player using
performance-enhancing drugs and about
some silly R&B singer physically fighting
for a Grammy.
It is time the news media acted a little
more mature. Its time to let go of the purely
profit driven news and a time for ‘change’
in the way CNN, Fox and MSNBC news
operate. That’s my opinion.
Media, leave Phelps alone
By Abhishek Gundugurti
I believe it took me two weeks too much
to put my opinion here. Michael Phelps,
America’s sports hero, sweetheart, idol has had
a tough time the past few weeks. The moment
the news came out, I thought it was a fleeting
moment in the attention deficit national news
media and I thought it would pass by quietly.
But I am always surprised by how the big wigs
at CNN, Fox, and MSNBC can keep dragging
news for so long.
Michael Phelps spent summer of last year
being at his best; worked as hard as humanly
possible and gave America eight gold medals
on his own. He helped his team get a few
more. The sport of swimming and athletes
respected him for his better-than-Mark-Spitz
performance. He was welcomed back a hero.
The national media poured praise on him like
they had an excess supply of praise. Mark Spitz
himself shared some limelight by praising
him as well. Even President Bush was at the
swimming event to cheer him on and see his
With all the limelight Phelps was receiving
due to his own hard work, the media just made
it easy on themselves to cover his story and
bring in the buck for themselves. And last
week, when Phelps was photographed by one
of his ‘friends’ at a party doing something
TechNews Writers Meetings happen every
Wednesday between 1:10pm and 1:40pm in
the TechNews office in the MTCC which is
room 221 in the student activities area and
we want you to come, we really really do.
Vis-à-vis: the
good, the bad,
and the funny
By Vladilena Gaisina
Dear readers,
This week, I
wanted to bring you
a more light-hearted
issue for a change,
so I hope you enjoy
it and treat it with an
appropriate attitude.
Some of what is listed below is meant to
provoke thought, but the overall purpose of
this article is your entertainment.
So, when it comes to…
Thumbs-down: Barack Obama. We know
that when your daughters tell you they did their
homework, it is actually true. Not everyone is
that honest.
Thumbs-up: Rod Blagojevich. Thanks for
helping us expose all those crooks.
Thumbs-down: “The Lady Is a Tramp”
Sinatra’s singing talent made this a classic,
but perhaps it is the creators of this song, who
have set precedent for today’s misogynist rap
and hip-hop lyrics. It is not hard to go from
“tramp” to “ho” to “slut” to… well, you make
the connection.
Thumbs-up: “Got Money” Obama is not
the only one that can dispense insightful advice
in this economic downturn. T-Pain and Lil’
Wayne tells us to stimulate the economy by
spending: “If you got money and you know it,
take it out your pocket and show it and throw
it… this-a-way, that-a-way.”
Thumbs-down: Iceland. Electing a gay
prime minister will not help your birthrates.
Thumbs-up: Iraq, for erecting a giant
shoe statue. Anyone throwing footwear at
our favorite U.S. ex-president should be
Thumbs-up: SWE Engineering week. If
students can’t get real jobs, at least we can
still have fun and show off our engineering
skills by building things out of cardboard and
poking around in broken electronics. We might
even get a prize.
Thumbs-down: No day off on President’s
Thumbs-up: Warm temperature. It’s like
spring is finally here!
Thumbs-down: Freezing temperature. …
except it’s not.
Sex Positions
Just kidding, I’m not going ‘there’.
Thumbs-up: Construction at Main
Building. At this point, we can’t even tell
whether it’s being fixed or demolished.
Thumbs-down: Midterms. Four weeks in
is not the middle of the term.
Thumbs-up: Michael Phelps. Now that
Kellogg’s wants nothing to do with the star
athlete, he should talk to the pot industry. After
all, he did them a big advertising favor.
Thumbs-down: The City of Chicago’s plan
for 2016 Olympics. Hey, let’s all invest other
people’s money in a financially questionable
enterprise… oh wait, that’s what stock brokers
are for.
Thumbs-up: House Bunny. Never has
Greek life been depicted “truer” in a movie.
Thumbs-down: Revolutionary Road.
However tragic the ending of “Titanic” was,
everyone could still have their own idea of
what Jack and Rose’s happily ever after would
look like. Thanks for taking that away, Sam
Thank you for your attention.
The author can be reached at vlada.
[email protected]
University Calendar
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Lindsay Drabek, Editor
[email protected]
IIT 4 Dummies:
Office of Student Life
By Lory Mishra
Tuesday, February 17
IIT vs. Moody Bible Institute
Keating Hall, 7pm
Ever wonder how student organizations get started,
where the service learning activities come from, and how
can students organize campus events so easily? The answer
lies within the MTCC, with the professional and student
staff at the Office of Student Life (previously known as the
Office of Student Activities and Orientation). Working under
the Dean of Students Doug Geiger, the Office of Student
Life is led by Director Erin Gray and Coordinator Fabio
Buffa. The OSL also has help from five Student Assistants
and two Service Learning Interns, all of whom are usually
found diligently working in the MTCC offices.
The primary purpose of the OSL is to assist students in
realizing their ideas in the creation of student organizations
and the coordination of events for themselves and their
peers. Students who have an idea or interest for an
organization (and at least 10 people who are willing to join
them in the venture) can come to the OSL and the staff’s
job is to help these students in officially establishing their
interest. Once they have been approved by the SGA Senate,
the OSL comes into the picture when the members of the
organization have to plan events, conferences, ticket sales,
fundraisers, etc. The OSL helps these organizations handle
paperwork ranging from contracts to paying the vendors.
Additionally, the OSL helps student organizations woo new
members at the Student Org Fair every semester, where
the orgs have an opportunity to display their purpose and
accomplishments to the rest of the student body.
The OSL staff is also responsible for coordinating
student orientations for the Fall and Spring semesters and
familiarizing new undergraduate and graduate students with
the ins and outs of IIT. For each orientation season, a group
of student orientation counselors are selected to help these
new students in the assimilation process.
The Service Learning branch of the OSL is responsible
for organizing the various Days of Service, which
accommodate about 60 students, depending on the time
of the year. The Service Learning branch strives to give
the student body an opportunity to participate in service
activities that help others, while also partaking in a process
of self-discovery. The Service Learning branch also
organizes the Service Fair each semester, where campus,
student, and community organizations have the opportunity
to display their service learning accomplishments, along
with future opportunities.
Even if you’re not exactly interested in student
organizations or service learning activities, but just have
a question while you’re walking through the MTCC, the
friendly OSL staff can probably point you in the appropriate
The Office of Student Life is open M-F, 9am to 5pm.
Study Abroad Info Session
Electronics Scavenger Hunt
MTCC Bridge, 12:50-1:40pm
Come out and support our Men’s Thinking about studying abroad? Come
Basketball team as they face off against learn the application process and ask any
Moody Bible Institute. Scarlet Fever questions you may have.
will be there giving out free stuff to
those with the most school spirit.
E1 121, 12:50-1:40pm
Come look at things you use every day
in a completely new light! Play with
circuit boards you would ordinarily
never see! Lunch is provided. Prizes
for the winners! Organized by SWE
and IEEE.
Wednesday, February 18
TechNews Writers Meeting
Plastic Airplane Building
Come out and support our Men’s
Basketball team as they face off against
Moody Bible Institute. Scarlet Fever
will be there giving out free stuff to
those with the most school spirit.
Come show your skills by building
the little plastic airplane that could.
Free lunch and prizes for the top
three winners. Organized by SWE and
MTCC 221, 1:10-1:40pm
E1 121, 12:50-1:40pm
Thursday, February 19
Baron Vaughn/Big Dog Eat Child Skinny Williams
The BOG, 7:15pm
Sketch comedy troupe Big Dog Eat
Child and stand-up comedian Baron
Vaughn both perform. This Camras
weekend event is brought to you by
Union Board.
Make Your Own Ice Cream
The BOG, 5-7pm
E1 121, 12:50-1:40pm
Saxophonist Skinny Williams plays Celebrate E-Week by joining AIChE and
Jazz in the BOG. Free refreshments will SWE and make YOUR OWN ice cream.
be served. Presented by the Office of Lunch and prizes provided by AIChE!
Multicultural Student Services
Friday, February 20
Chemistry Colloquium
Open Mic Night
Women’s Basketball vs Taylor
Jay M. Gehlhausen of the Laboratory
Corporation of America presents a
colloquium entitled “Current Trends in
Analytical Toxicology: New Methods for
Detecting Drugs of Abuse in Alternate
The Office of Multicultural Student
Services presents an Open Mic/Karaoke/
Poetry night in honor of Black History
Kick off the weekend by watching the
womens basketball team go up against
Taylor University. Presented by Scarlet
LS111, 11:25am
The BOG, 7-10pm
Hermann Hall, 7pm
Saturday, February 21
February Day of Service
TechNews Articles Due
Sign up today to volunteer at one of 4, 11:59pm
locations all over Chicago! To sign up, Want to get an article into the February
24 edition of TechNews? Do it now!
WISER Formula Hybrid Team spotlight
By Abhishek Gundugurti
This week’s WISER Formula Hybrid
Team spotlight shines on the drive train system
of WISER’s optimized “series-parallel” car.
Last year, under the name of ACE I, the
car finished in an impressive 3rd place in
the competition, besting heavy-weights
Dartmouth, Yale, and U.W.-Madison.
ACE I is a parallel hybrid system,
powered by a 250cc Yamaha engine (40HP)
along with a 77V permanent-magnet DC
motor (20HP) and a 14kW generator. This
car utilizes state of the art Lithium phosphate
battery technology to power its electric motor
and gasoline for its engine. One of the vital
aspects of this design is the efficient way in
which both these power systems can be used
to generate power and transfer that power to
the road. In series mode, the vehicle is driven
electrically, with the engine and generator
working together to generate electricity. In
parallel mode, both the engine and electric
motor are torque-coupled to deliver traction
power to the wheels.
Interview with Drive train designer –
Donald Ruffatto
This system was design and fabricated
by team member Donald Ruffatto (BS ME
’09). Don has been part of the IIT Formula
Hybrid team from the beginning (2006) and
was primarily responsible for the drive train
system for the 2008 car. His work ethic and
skill are exemplary.
Q1) Having read the above, is there
something that hasn’t been mentioned about
the drive train for the 2008 ACE I car?
DR: Well, what is intriguing about the
system that we came up with is that even
though it is primarily a parallel system it is
also capable of running as a series hybrid.
We often refer to it as a series-parallel hybrid
since it has the capability to dynamically
switch drive modes, depending on current
power requirements. This ability allows
the drive system to react to the situation by
providing maximum power or fuel efficiency
when needed. This also is where we plan on
making the biggest improvements this year:
the control strategy. By improving upon
the control strategy for the drive system we
plan to unleash its full potential this year
at the competition, which should be very
Q2) Regarding the drive train design,
was there a method you followed during your
design process? Did your MMAE classes help
you in this?
DR:Well, I followed the same method
I take for most design projects I encounter.
First, you have to identify the criteria or goals
you want the device to meet. In this case we
wanted the car to be a parallel hybrid system
and utilize the chassis and drive components
that were selected the year before. This gave
me a baseline for what had to be fit into
the given space in the chassis. In fact, that
was the biggest obstacle, just getting all the
components fit within the chassis. The entire
drive system was modeled in Pro/Engineer
which greatly assisted in developing the
support structure for all of the components
and making sure all the chains cleared.
Q3) Why did you choose the drive train
area of the car?
DR:When I started working on the
project they had already built the chassis and
selected all the major drive components but
did not have anyone that was really working
on the drive system. It immediately sparked
my interest as it fit in perfectly with me
previous design and machining experience. I
just sort of ran with it and it has turned into
my area or expertise on the car.
Q4) What sparked your interest in this
Formula Hybrid competition? What purpose
do you see for this competition and your
involvement in it?
DR: After a year or two in college, I
really wanted to get involved in some kind of
meaningful project and preferable something
that was for a competition. While I was
moving into the dorms one year I saw fliers
about joining IIT’s Formula Hybrid team. I
decided to get involved and soon found it to
be a great experience. I have learned many
different aspects of engineering through hands
on experience that just cannot be taught in a
classroom. My hope is the in the end working
on the project will help me become a much
more rounded engineer and have some fun
in the process.
Q5) You have been in the team a long
time, what do you find most interesting?
Design work, or the actually fabrication of
the car’s components?
DR: Well that is very difficult choice, as I
find both the design and fabrication phases of
the vehicle extremely interesting. If I had to
pick one though I would have say the design
work as that is where you can really come up
with some new or interesting ideas.
Q6) What is your aim for the 2009
competition? Do you think the team’s car will
be highly competitive?
DR: Well my aim for the 2009 competition
is the same as almost everyone else on the
team, to have our two cars battle it out for
1st and 2nd. While that may seem a little bold
I truly feel that both of our vehicles will be
highly competitive. I am extremely excited
about the newest car being developed this year
but you will have wait for a future article to
get all the details.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Student and Senior
Lindsay Drabek, Editor
WIIT DJ Profile:
Under the Influence
[email protected]
leaders meet and greet
By Brian Kibbe
Weeks of planning and coordination culminated
with the heads of the IIT Administration and the members
of the SGA Senate acquainting themselves with one
another. Last Tuesday, these two groups of leaders
met prior to the Senate meeting to forge new bonds of
The slow trickle of senators mingled with Heads,
Vice Presidents, and Deans; even the Provost, Dr. Allan
Cramb, and President John Anderson graced the room
with friendly conversation. Once all attendees had taken
some time to learn the names and positions of the others
present, President Anderson called everyone to take a seat.
He gracefully introduced the evening as an opportunity
for students to make connections with university
decision-makers and also as a stage for presenting some
of his general plans for IIT’s future. Following President
Anderson, all those in attendance formally introduced
themselves, including the students.
President Anderson then proceeded to present
By Brian Kibbe
Hello again my friends! As promised, I have another fascinating, inside
look at the world of WIIT! This week: the myths behind the legend of “Under
the Influence”. Please take time to tune in online ( and
give Brandon and Hannah some love!
1. What is your name?
Brandon Lee and Hannah Greenfield
2. What is the name of your show?
Under the Influence, it took us awhile to find a good name.
3. Why did you pick that name? Does it mean anything?
Well, you see, the thing But we like to think of our show
as Under the Influence of “music.”
4. What kind of music do you play? / What do you talk about?
What kind of music do we not play? That’s the real question. Right
now we’re doing a “alphabetical program.” For instance, last week was the
letter “C”
so we played country, classical, Coldplay, etc. Then the next week is
“D”...get it? And what do we talk about? You never know...we sing more
than we talk actually.
5. How did you get interested in doing a radio show?
Well we walked past the radio station on August 20th and saw the sign
to become a DJ, and said “Eh, why not?”
6. How many people do you think listen to your show?
Somewhere between three and five, discounting Hannah’s mom.
7. What is your favorite thing about having a radio show?
Definitely all the stares that we get from the janitorial staff when they
see us doing “Single Ladies” in the studio...that pretty much sums it up
right there.
8. When is your show?
Monday nights from 9-11pm.
Also, check out our Facebook page. Just search for WIIT and you will
find our entire schedule of radio programming.
some ideas of how IIT will be making strides toward
moving the school into a place of prominence and respect
internationally. The complexities of these goals were
indeed daunting, but Anderson and his staff seemed
well prepared to tackle all the smaller tasks that this will
require with the precision and accuracy of a true engineer.
The details were a bit cryptic, but pending some approval
from the board of trustees, the new strategic plan looks
promising for current and future students, staff, faculty,
investors, and alumni.
The President then fielded a handful of questions
about the plan, the economy, and other topics. Afterward
students generally felt more at ease and started to
approach the senior administrators about topics that
concerned them. Greeks probed about Rush Week and
housing policies, while others speculated about life as an
alumnus looking to give back to the school.
Overall, at this pre-senate gathering student leaders
had the opportunity to see into the future of IIT and
to see how their current work will contribute to that
broader vision.
Be a part of the Kern Academy
By Zach Hench
The Kern Family Foundation has awarded a grant to
the Entrepreneurship Program at IIT. Under the leadership
of Dr. David Pistrui, Director of Entrepreneurship
and Innovation and Coleman Foundation Chair in
Entrepreneurship, this grant will be used to create and
support a student-centered flagship curriculum, the Kern
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Academy (KIEA).
Up to 25 undergraduate engineering students will
be chosen for the KIEA program. As this is at minimum
a two-year program, we are only considering students
that will be sophomores or juniors during the 2009-10
school year.
Students selected for this prestigious program
• Earn a minor in entrepreneurship
• Participate in a yearly field trip
• Have the potential to earn up to $4500 in
• Gain access to resources including faculty
mentoring, the Jules F. Knapp
Entrepreneurship Center, the University Technology
Park, and entrepreneurial
• Be part of a select network of entrepreneurs, CEOs,
and civic leaders
• Drive innovation, and ultimately change the world
for the better
In return, these students will have to:
• Complete a minor in entrepreneurship
• Maintain an appropriately high GPA
• Serve on the KIEA Leadership Council and take
on co-curricular responsibilities
• Develop an EnPRO proposal
• Participate in various events sponsored by the
Entrepreneurship Program at IIT
• Promote entrepreneurship and innovation across
campus, in the community, and
around the globe
The Entrepreneurship Program at IIT is now
accepting applications for the Kern Innovation and
Entrepreneurship Academy. The application form can
be downloaded from and
must be submitted, along with a current resume and
a letter of recommendation from a professor, to Jodi
Houlihan ([email protected]) no later than Friday, March
27, 2009.
The Kern Family Foundation builds the future
through values, education, and innovation. Its initiatives
are intended to increase the quality and quantity of US
engineering talent. The Kern Entrepreneurship Education
Network was created to help colleges develop technical
leaders with the entrepreneurial skills to build commerce
in their communities. The Entrepreneurship Program at
IIT strives to foster an entrepreneurial mindset among
the students, faculty, alumni, and business and civic
organizations that make up the Illinois Institute of
Technology community.
Japanese Christians reach out to IIT Dietitian
By Hannah Rosenthal
I timidly approached my sushi, covered
it with a teaspoon of the green sauce that
resembled guacamole and plopped it in my
mouth. Within an instant, my sinuses were
cleared and my tongue was burning – eating
had never brought me pain like this before.
The thought of an allergic reaction crossed my
mind, but as I turned to my friend sitting next to
me, drooling for water and fanning my mouth,
she informed me that I had just eaten a large
quantity of wasabi, a green Japanese horseradish
known for its strong spicy flavor. I’ve never
been one for spice, but after recovering from
the experience, I was glad I had tried it. You
never know whether or not you like something
until you try it.
This is one of many lessons I learned last
Thursday evening, as I sat among 150 students
in the MTCC ballroom to experience Japanese
wasabi, among other delicious entrees, and
watch various performances portraying God’s
culture in Japan. Hosted by IIT’s Heaven and
Me Club, the Japanese guests demonstrated
the ancient martial arts of karate and kendo,
beautifully dressed women modeled traditional
kimonos, a young man played a snake-skinned
banjo-like instrument, dancers performed a
traditional summer festival dance and an a
cappella group sang “Shine Jesus, Shine.”
Throughout the evening various performers
also shared testimonies of what God was doing
in their lives and in Japan. One young woman
shared how Jesus revealed himself to her in a
dream. Within her dream, Jesus brought her in
front of a door that many people were in line
to open. He told her over and over again that
it was very simple to open and that He could
not do it for her. When she awoke she prayed,
asking Jesus to be her savior, and has since
been following Him closely. A young man later
informed the audience that less than 1% of the
Japanese population believes in Jesus, which
is a striking contrast to the United States of
America, where nearly 60% of our generation
alone claim Jesus as their Savior.
Why did this small group of Japanese
Christians come to America? Chicago? IIT?
Tony Parillo, an IIT graduate, who helped make
this event a reality, informed me that the group
felt that the God of the nations is moving on
our campus and in our city through numerous
people, church organizations, and campus
ministries, and they wanted to help spread
His love by sharing the beautiful culture He
gave them. God powerfully used this event to
encourage IIT students with the stories of what
He is doing in Japan and through fellowship
with other believers on campus, many of which
were international students from all over the
The group who hosted the event, the
Heaven and Me club, is one of many ministries
actively seeking to spread God’s love at IIT and
offering students opportunities to grow closer
to God. The mission statement of this budding
organization is to “help students/faculty live
their lives according to the will of God, the
inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and ultimately
receive salvation through Jesus Christ by
teaching God’s Words through the Bible and
sharing the love of God through our action in
everyday life.” If you are interested in growing
in your faith by getting involved with a group
Bible study through the Heaven and Me club,
please e-mail [email protected]
If you have questions about this article or
would like a specific topic regarding Jesus or
Christianity to be addressed in a future article,
please e-mail [email protected]
returns to
By Eddie Skidmore
Back again by popular demand!
On Friday, February 20th during
lunch at the Commons a dietitian will
be available for questions and concerns
regarding nutrition and healthy eating.
Sponsored by Sodexo, the dietitian can
assist students to map out a healthy
eating plan while dining at IIT. The
dietitian will be positioned outside of
the Commons Cafeteria in the MTCC
during lunch and is available for anyone
with questions.
Questions? please contact Eddie
Skidmore at 312-567-3094
2009 Chicago
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
The Big Three brings out their big guns
By Abhishek Gundugurti
With the economy slowing down and auto sales taking a
hit, the Chicago Auto Show 2009 came back to town with the
usual pomp and fair but a somewhat watered-down version of
last year’s 100th Auto Show. The McCormick place was filled
with auto-journalists from around the world as they joined the
opening breakfast sponsored by Midwest Automotive Media
Association and Hyundai Motors USA. The breakfast kicked
off the show with the first few presentations and car launches
from Ford Motor Corp, General Motors and Chrysler Corp.
The Chief Executive Officer of Hyundai, John Krafcik,
gave the opening speech as he talked about the current
economic situation and how the automotive industry might
change their methods in these times of reduced car sales. He
is a successful BS ME from Stanford and he finished his MBA
with MIT’s Sloan School of Business. In his opening lines,
he quoted President Thomas Jefferson who said “If we create
a Government big enough to give what you want, it is also
strong enough to take it all away.” Talking indirectly about
the bailouts the federal government is offering, he said the
automotive industry needs revolutionary changes to happen
in the United States to get through this tough economical
situation. A mixture of political and economic revolution is
about to happen, he added, and also a spending revolution,
which he calls a great opportunity. He said that for next few
years, the automotive industry needs to focus on consumer
behavior, safety of their vehicles, increasing fuel economy
of the entire range of vehicles and introduction of hybrid
After the opening speech, the journalists all headed to
the Ford Motors exhibit for the first car launch of the day.
Ford Motors Vice President of Communications took the
stage by arriving on the Ford F-150 Harley Davidson limited
edition truck. He gave an introduction to the first car they
were about to launch, the Ford Transit Connect, the awardwinning commercial vehicle for small businesses. The second
car launched was the Ford Taurus SHO, the sixth generation
sports sedan. The creation of the design involved SHO fans and
previous designers in the process. The car features a 3.5-liter
direct-injected twin-turbo EcoBoost V6 engine, developing
365hp with a six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission.
There is also the paddle-activated manual mode, like a Ferrari
sports car. Visually, the car is subtly different from the regular
Taurus, and sports a dark gray grille.
General Motors featured an entire range of new cars,
straight from the movie set “Transformers: The revenge of the
fallen.” The movie features their future line of concept cars,
the Stingray (main character), the Camaro (bumblebee) and
the Jolt (Chevy Volt), Skids (Chevy Beat/Spark) and Mudflap
(Chevy Trax). The Stingray, according to the many autojournalists, could give the design cues for the Chevy Corvette
Z07, the next generation ‘Vette. These cars feature a lot of
horsepower under the hood; the Camaro, production of which
starts in March ‘09, is likely to feature between 400-422hp
with a 6-liter V-8 engine available with a 6-speed automatic
or manual transmission. The Camaro convertible, according to
a Chevy General Manager, “is bound to make your heat beat
faster.” The Chevy Camaro also won the award “Vehicle that
redefines the auto industry” by the Detroit Free Press.
Chrysler launched a new electric vehicle under the
Dodge brand called “The Circuit EV.” It is a zero gasoline
consumption, zero tailpipe emissions car, which is said to
have a range between 150-200 miles. The ENVI drive train
can power it up to 268hp (200kW), using electric motors to
drive the wheels. The energy is stored in advanced lithium-ion
battery system. The recharging is simple and can be plugged
into an 110V household outlet or a 220V appliance power
outlet. The Circuit features a crosshair grille - signature of
the Dodge brand - and has a low hood, deep scallops and
functional rear-brake air ducts. The car is two-door, two-seater,
with premium leather on the interior.
Hyundai is one of the few global car companies that
unveiled its Genesis Coupe sports car, inspired by its Genesis
sedan. On hand at the unveiling was the CEO of Hyundai
America and also Formula Drift racing car driver who put the
Coupe through its paces. Honda Motor Corp had on display
the new Honda Insight Hybrid, a competitor to the successful
Toyota Prius. Toyota themselves displayed a new Toyota Prius
for the 2010 model year. On display in the German part of the
Auto show, the regular lineup of sports and executive cars from
Audi, BMW, and Volkswagen were on display. Mercedes-Benz
had on display the SL and the AMG-tuned SL 63. SMART, the
micro car America is beginning to embrace, had on display
their lineup of coupe and cabriolet cars.
All in all, the 2009 Chicago Auto Show is a fun weekend
trip for both the auto enthusiast and the regular Joe six-pack
and everyone in between, if they have the $10 to spare for
the ticket.
Photos by Celeste Wegryzn
Auto Show
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Cars, cars, cars
By Celeste Wegrzyn
Thanks to a good friend of mine, I was able
to attend the 2009 Chicago Auto Show on a media
pass and capture some excellent images of the
many cars there. This article will present to you
some of my show favorites.
Most of us have a favorite make or model of
car, and we know exactly what we want to do to
it in order to make it our ride of choice. But (for
now at least) there are always those unattainable
cars that make us drool just a little bit when we
see someone else driving them down the road. So
here are my three favorite “dream cars.” (Anything
that does not come in a manual transmission was
immediately rejected from this category.)
1. Spyker C8 Laviolette
My first choice is a lovely little car with a 4.2
liter V8 engine, 400 Horse-Power and 354ft lbs
of torque. Its top speed is 187mph and it books it
from 0-60 in 4.5s. The exposed gearbox is what
made me drool. Starts at $209,990.
2. Chevrolet Corvette Stingray
Of course, a Transformers car! It plays
the part of Sideswipe, and I don’t think I could
find a more gorgeous car. Chevy knows how to
make ‘em. The typical Corvette has a 6.2 liter
supercharged V8 with 633Horse-Power and a
6-speed- who could say no? (Of course, the
14/20 MPG (mile per gallon) would make me
think twice.) Standard price? $102,450. But
don’t expect it to look like the Stingray (which is
a concept car).
3. 2009 Nissan GT-R
First, I have to say: a coupe with all-wheel
drive and an independent rear-mounted trans-axle!
Heaven! The engine is a 3.8 liter 480Horse-Power
Twin Turbo V6, and the transmission is a 6-speed
dual-clutch automatic. Zero to 60 in under 3.5
seconds, with a top speed of 193mph. These are
all custom-made, start at just under $80,000 and
debut in March. (Technically not a manual, but it
has more control than an automatic.)
The next section has the three coolest
concept cars. Electric, corn-fed, or good oldfashioned petrol. Some of these were really quite
1. Dodge Circuit
A lithium-ion battery electric vehicle for two
passengers. From 0-60 in under five seconds, and
a top speed of over 120mph. The battery range is
150-200 miles. Not much more information was
available about it, but I would say that it’s quite a
novel idea, and it certainly gives good mileage!
2. Chevrolet Camaro “Black”
With a 3.6 liter, 300Horse-Power engine
getting 27 highway MPG with a 6-speed manual
transmission, that’s not what makes this concept
car striking - no, this car’s a looker. Although not
a true concept car, I couldn’t resist a car described
by the company that makes it as “slightly sinister
and almost menacing.” All in all the 2010 Camaro
has indeed begun to “redefine the auto industry.”
Sitting in the “lower-model” car on the floor, I tried
out everything; the feel of the shift knob in my hand
was heavenly (and it was pure bliss to shift). (It
starts at $22,995; concept extras not included.)
3. Chevrolet Beat Concept
Not much to say about this one, but it has
great fuel economy and it looks terribly fun to
And lastly, we have a list of what I would
call “daily drivers.” Great all-purpose cars for
everyday driving. Again, I tend to shy away
from any cars not available in manual, but that’s
a personal preference. Interestingly, these all cost
more than the starting price of the Camaro.
1. 2009 Honda Civic
I have a soft spot for Honda. The ‘09 Civic
has a 197Horse-Power 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine
with a 6-speed manual, which gets up to 30MPG.
MSRP is $24,105. If you’re looking for something
less expensive, the Accord is a good bet.
2. 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
With this car you have a choice of engine: a
turbocharged 2.0 liter 4-cylinder rated at 212HP
and 217 ft lbs of torque, and a 3.8 liter V6 rated at
306 Horse-Power and 263 ft lbs of torque. Even
the V6 gets from 0-60 in under 6.0 seconds. Starts
at about $35,000 (official pricing hasn’t been
released yet).
3. 2009 Pontiac G8 Sedan
A 6.2 liter V8 engine that produces over 400
Horse-Power and over 400 ft lbs of torque would,
of course, have a 0-60 time of under 5 seconds.
It only gets an average of 24MPG, but remains a
sports coupe that is both sexy and safe. MSRP is
$28,935. The more affordable (and economical)
G6 is also available.
Finally, the car that I wish came in a manual
Mercedes-Benz SLR Classic McLaren
Another sexy car. 5.5 liter supercharged V8
with 617 Horse-Power and 575 ft lbs of torque.
Top speed, 206mph; 0-60 in 3.8s and 0-124 in
10.9s (seriously, they tested this). Take a gander at
the MSRP. No, really. Give up? $495,000. And
that’s the starting value.
It was difficult to choose between so many
amazing cars (and to think last year’s auto show
was larger). The 2009 Chicago Auto Show will
run through February 21, and yes, military gets in
free (so bring your ROTC friends).
Mustang a whole new car
By Mike Z
Spring 2009 is approaching, which means
that the 2010 Mustang will be released soon.
Unlike the 2005 through 2009 Ford Mustang,
the 2010 Mustang is a whole new car with
new styling and new engine. This includes an
upgraded interior and more V8 power. The 2010
Ford Mustang comes with 3 roofing options:
glass roof, convertibles and coupe. They are also
available with V6 and V8 engines. Base versions
have a 210-hp 4.0-liter V6. GTs have a 315-hp
4.6-liter V8, which is 15 more horse-power from
the 2009 Mustang GTs. Both V6 and GT models
are available in base or Premium trims. All are
available with manual or automatic transmission.
Also returning is the high-performance Shelby
GT500. It has a 540-hp supercharged 5.4-liter
V8 and mandatory 6-speed manual transmission.
The Shelby GT500 is also offered as a coupe
or convertible. Available safety features include
ABS, traction control, new for 2010 antiskid
system, and front side airbags. Newly standard is
a capless fuel filler. Other new for 2010 available
features include ambient interior lighting and a
rear-view camera. Ford’s Sync, which offers voice
control for cell phones and MP3 players, is also
available. The navigation system now includes
real-time traffic updates.
The styling upgrade is quite noticeable.
A new head lamp is installed on all Mustangs.
The fender is shaped differently. The grill looks
like it’s been compressed and it aids the cooling
of the engine and makes the car run quitter. The
tail side has been completely redesigned, with a
more modern and stylish look: the 2010 Mustang
comes with 3 LED sequenced tail lights. When
the turn signal is used, the corresponding tail light
will light from the inside towards the outside in
sequence. The wheels are one inch larger than the
previous models.
As for the interior, the instrument panel is
completely redone, which looks more grown up,
and Ford’s latest Sync technology is an additional
option for the 2010 Mustangs at extra cost. The
rear seats still don’t get a whole lot of rating for
the small space. Oh well, do you want to drive a
Mustang or a Honda Accord? The “My Color”
option was continued from the 2005 Mustangs, so
users can customize the instrument panel lighting
color. A trunk release button is said to be installed
on the new Mustangs, since there wasn’t one on
the 2005 models.
The new Mustang does have a tough
competitor since 2002. The 2010 Chevy Camaro
will also be released soon. Just a personal opinion,
the 2010 beats the Camaro in quite a few aspects.
For 45 years, Ford Mustang has been America’s
favorite sports car; Ford must have done something
right to keep that pony on the road. As 9 million
Mustangs have been sold so far, the 2010 Mustang
should give a new twist to its fans.
Lindsay Drabek, Editor
Public Safety
Incident Reports
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
[email protected]
Incident Type:
Date/Time Reported:
2/8/2009 06:46 PM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/8/2009 06:45 PM and 2/8/2009 06:46 PM
Case #:
Int. Ref. #:
Incident Type:
Incident Type:
Date/Time Reported:
2/6/2009 08:25 AM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/6/2009 08:10 AM and 2/6/2009 08:20 AM
Date/Time Reported:
2/9/2009 11:30 AM
Incident Occurred Between:
1/30/2009 05:00 PM and 2/6/2009 09:00 AM
Case #:
Int. Ref. #:
Case #:
Int. Ref. #:
Incident Type:
Incident Type:
Date/Time Reported:
2/6/2009 12:58 PM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/6/2009 12:50 PM and 2/6/2009 12:55 PM
Date/Time Reported:
2/9/2009 07:49 PM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/9/2009 07:49 PM and 2/9/2009 07:49 PM
Case #:
Int. Ref. #:
Case #:
Int. Ref. #:
Incident Type:
Incident Type:
Date/Time Reported:
2/6/2009 02:02 PM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/6/2009 01:40 PM and 2/6/2009 01:55 PM
Date/Time Reported:
2/10/2009 12:06 PM
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Int. Ref. #:
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Incident Occurred Between:
2/10/2009 12:06 PM and 2/10/2009 12:06 PM
Int. Ref. #:
Incident Type:
Incident Type:
W 35TH
Date/Time Reported:
2/6/2009 03:01 PM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/6/2009 02:45 PM and 2/6/2009 03:00 PM
Date/Time Reported:
2/10/2009 03:00 PM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/10/2009 03:00 PM and 2/10/2009 03:00 PM
Case #:
Int. Ref. #:
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Incident Type:
Incident Type:
W 35TH
Date/Time Reported:
2/6/2009 05:00 PM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/6/2009 04:00 PM and 2/6/2009 04:45 PM
Date/Time Reported:
2/10/2009 06:15 PM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/10/2009 12:15 PM and 2/10/2009 02:00 PM
Case #:
Int. Ref. #:
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Incident Type:
Incident Type:
W 35TH
W 35TH
Date/Time Reported:
2/6/2009 08:34 PM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/6/2009 08:34 PM and 2/6/2009 08:40 PM
Date/Time Reported:
2/10/2009 07:00 PM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/10/2009 07:00 PM and 2/10/2009 07:00 PM
Case #:
Int. Ref. #:
Case #:
Int. Ref. #:
Incident Type:
Incident Type:
Date/Time Reported:
2/7/2009 08:40 AM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/7/2009 08:40 AM and 2/7/2009 08:40 AM
Date/Time Reported:
2/11/2009 08:47 PM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/11/2009 08:47 PM and 2/11/2009 08:47 PM
Case #:
Int. Ref. #:
Case #:
Int. Ref. #:
Incident Type:
Incident Type:
Date/Time Reported:
2/8/2009 10:12 AM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/8/2009 10:12 AM and 2/8/2009 10:12 AM
Date/Time Reported:
2/11/2009 10:13 PM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/11/2009 10:13 PM and 2/11/2009 10:13 PM
Case #:
Int. Ref. #:
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Incident Type:
Incident Type:
Date/Time Reported:
2/8/2009 02:16 PM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/8/2009 02:16 PM and 2/8/2009 02:16 PM
Date/Time Reported:
2/12/2009 08:12 PM
Incident Occurred Between:
2/12/2009 08:12 PM and 2/12/2009 08:12 PM
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Call Of Duty: World at War does more
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
By Jonathan Mikesell
Platform: PC, Playstation 3, Wii, Xbox 360
. Genre: First-Person Shooter. The Rundown.
In the fifth title in the Call of Duty
franchise, you play a variety of servicemen
during World War 2, including an American
marine during the invasions of Peleliu and
Okinawa, a Soviet infantryman in Stalingrad
and Berlin, an aircrew gunner, and a tank
commander. Along the way you stumble
across a who’s who of period armaments and
either show enough valor under fire to earn a
large box of medals and/or die
Graphics: The game uses the
same engine as the previous title,
allowing for detailed character
models and environments. The
look of the mission briefings is
also impressive, blending together
real footage and 1940s styled
maps, art, and text. Gore has been
stepped up, and now beautifully
messy dismemberment and blood
sprays are possible.
Unfortunately, the design
team made most of the objects
and buildings a faded shade
of tan or gray, which both
makes otherwise impressive
environments look flat and boring
and interferes with distinguishing
between friendly and enemy
Sound: Guns crack loudly
and appropriately, which is a
welcome change in a genre
dominated by rifles that boom
as deeply as heavy artillery. The
grenade sound effects seem to
have been lifted from the last
game, which is well enough as
those were the best I had ever
heard up to that time.
The designers got big
budget voice actors for recurring
ally characters, but seems to
have skimped elsewhere: Gary
Oldman’s work in this area is
great, Kiefer Sutherland does a
mediocre job, and most of the
rest are bad-to-terrible.
Gameplay:The single player
campaign is a linear romp through Europe and
the Pacific Islands which mainly involves you
charging ahead and both weathering the bulk of
the enemy fire while your allies stand back and
die, being moronic and unable to hit enemies
beyond point blank range despite the fact that
their weapons should be accurate to double the
Kamakshi Palakodety, Editor 11
[email protected]
distance of any firefight in the game. They give
the impression that their deaths don’t matter,
though, since more reinforcements will come to
replace their fallen (but almost never to increase
the number of troops to above starting levels).
Enemies are somewhat smarter and more
accurate, and are capable of throwing waves of
grenades which always land uncooked directly
at your feet for you to throw back. It does have
its moments: In one refreshing atypical mission,
you instead operate the guns on a flying boat,
wreaking a horrendously oversized swath of
destruction on the Japanese Navy and Co., and
but also is in many ways unrealistic. In the last
game, you played as special forces and logically
had your pick of the armory; this is much less
true in World War 2 and, while this does not
sound like a big problem, it becomes one when
all of the Japanese and American snipers in
multiplayer use rare Soviet anti-tank rifles.
Knives are issued to all players and allow
for instant point blank kills regardless of the
location hit, which was already an inaccuracy
in the last game and is even worse here when
many troops were not well-trained in handto-hand combat and were not issued combat
in another you snipe a general. That pretty much
sums up single-player: dull and frustrating for
the most part, occasionally punctuated by welldone and enjoyable sequences.
The designers lifted much of the game
straight from its predecessor, an if-it-ain’t-broke
approach that ensures solid multiplayer play
knives. Reconnaissance planes function exactly
as UAVs did in the last game, which makes no
sense whatsoever as recon planes could not see
through cover as some modern scanners can
and could not relay individual troop positions
to ground troops in real time.
The designers attempted to apply the
time-honored formula for shooter weapons:
a bolt-action does more damage than a semiautomatic, which in turn does more damage
than an automatic; this is proven quite asinine
when comparing the browning .30 MG, BAR,
springfield, and garand which all fired exactly
the same round but have significantly different
Most likely, this was for balancing, but
I do not see how a game that lets you hip-fire
MG 42s and Browning MGs effectively or
shoulder-fire an anti-tank rifle weighing 44 lbs
accurately for instant kills is balanced. Further,
when the actual characteristics
of the weapons are ignored
for balance you might as well
be playing counter-strike with
different weapon skins.
There are a number of new
elements to the game, some of
which are a welcome addition
and others which only serve to
muck up the experience. You
can now drive tanks, albeit
abnormally slow tanks with one
or two fewer machine guns than
they should have.
Flamethrowers make an
appearance, with the usual
reduction to ridiculously short
range for balance and historical
inaccuracy, violently explosive
fuel, and no napalm spatter/
coating; yet, they are still fun.
Helicopters have been removed,
and replaced with super death
dogs which unerringly find the
enemy and inflict near-deadly
damage by mere contact, a move
which I found annoying.
CoD: WaW is packed full
of game modes, most of which
are quite good. Capture the flag,
Area Control, Bomb Planting,
and even a Zombie-Survival
mode that plays like a stripped
version of Left 4 Dead.
A new-player/basic weapon
only deathmatch was also
included to help novices get
started, which is a good idea,but
somehow high rank players
with heavy machine guns and
anti-tank rifles manage to enter
it illegally and ruin it for everyone else.
Overall: More action movie than
reenactment, Call of Duty: World at War has
a lot to offer. It’s not revolutionary, but it does
way more than CoD 4, albeit in most cases not
quite as well.
Final Verdict: 4 of 5
Power of Fusion-io astounds many and all
By Frank Lockom
Lets have a crude look at where hardware
stands as of recent years. Multi-cored processors,
reaching speeds in excess of 3Ghz, DRAM
transferring above 5GB/s responding in several
nano-seconds, fiber-optic networks in the TB/s
area, and then there are hard disk drives(HDD),
mechanically grinding out data in the 100MB/s
area and spending several milliseconds to
The solution for the sluggishness
of HDD is to create multi-tiered Storage
Area Networks(SANs), which combine the
performance of hundreds of HDD together to see
acceptable performance. It is hard to exaggerate
the complexity of these systems, all having the
fundamental problems of HDD at their core.
I n 1 9 8 9 To s h i b a i n t r o d u c e d t h e
NAND(flash) persistent storage medium that
offered much improved speed and increased
simplicity over mechanical HDD. However,
flash storage has a few drawbacks, which have
kept it from use as a primary storage medium;
particularly, high cost, limited capacity, and
device wear out.
Fusion-io was founded in 2006 and has to overcome these shortcomings. Wear leveling
since put together a flash storage solution aimed refers to the idea that if the erase-write cycles
at replacing large enterprise storage systems. are spread out uniformly across the device,
This comes in the form of three PCI-Express the integrity of the device will degrade at a
cards called ioDrives, with capacities of 80GB, predictable rate. Bad block management employs
160GB, and 320GB. The information in this error-correcting codes ECC to determine if and
when certain blocks have become unusable and
article pertains to the 160GB version.
Here is a quick comparison in performance so quarantines these blocks. The ioDrive is said
of the ioDrive vs. a typical high-performance to be sustainable for 48 years, with 5TB of writeHDD. These are rough numbers, meant erase per day. Fusion-io states a design target
simply for a surface comparison. Input/Output of 1 in 1020 probability of uncorrectable data
Operations Per
to 1 in 1016
is generally
100,000 667x
the main
Bandwidth (read/write) 100MB/s 650MB/s 6.5x
factor in the
by HDD
of a storage
Seagate. It
should be
As mentioned before, one of the reasons noted that this is a one-to-one comparison.
flash storage has not been incorporated as a main Therefore it might be argued that the probability
storage technology is because of device wear out. of bad data is greater with a single ioDrive
This refers to the fact that flash memory has a compared to a SAN.
When looking at storage technologies at
finite number of erase-write cycles, which ends
up causing loss of integrity of the specific block. the enterprise scale, performance is not the only
A key function of the ioDrive is the fact that it consideration. In 2006 the EPA estimated that
uses wear leveling and bad block management data centers consumed 61 billion kilowatt-hours
of electricity. This accounts for 1.5% of total
electricity consumption in the US, summing up
to a cost of around $4.5 billion. This number
is more than double of what it was in 2000.
Much of the energy consumed can be attributed
to the large volume of HDD used in SANs.
HDD by their mechanical nature produce a lot
of heat, which must be dissipated by complex
cooling systems. Cooling infrastructure accounts
for about 50% of energy used in large data
Clearly, there is potential for significant
power savings in using the ioDrive, but what
about the cost of the drive itself? The 160GB
version of the ioDrive MSRP is $7200. This
price point is very competitive with the kind of
HDD solutions that yield similar performance.
The downside is that at $45/GB the ioDrive is not
acceptable for systems requiring large volumes
of storage, for which HDD can be acquired at
around $0.25/GB.
It is clear that HDD will soon be extinct.
How soon however, is questionable. With the
decline of prices on flash devices, and the rise
of alternative persistent storage technologies,
the CPU-storage performance gap is finally
Lory Mishra, Editor Tuesday, February 17, 2009
[email protected]
Writing: a constant and unending journey
By Udayan Das
March 14th is the deadline for the next issue of LiiT,
so now would be a good time to get on with the writing
(submissions should be sent to [email protected]).
Winter is a good time to write, since there’s a lot less to do
outdoors, it gives you time to think and expand on themes and
ideas that you may have been carrying around for some time.
Winter gives you pause to lay them out, to set them to the open
page, with a warm of cup of something for company.
Great writers speak of keeping at it despite everything,
making a steady schedule, writing regularly. A Hemingway
wrote at least an hour every day, with dogged determination,
whether the stuff coming out was great writing or was great
crap. It’s hard to imagine how this could be so, how great
writing can simply be a result of sticking with the program.
Well, actually it isn’t. But what these writers mean, what they
know is something that you very likely will never learn unless
you force yourself to write.
You know, it’s reasonable to think that the best writing
will happen when one feels like it. But consider how often
we are forced to write (not necessarily creatively) to meet
deadlines. And how often this forced writing turns out to be
pretty good (at least within the context, or demands of the
course in question). We are lucky in the sense that we do have
to deal with so many deadlines that we a) are forced to write
from time to time and b) know that forced writing can end
up being something useful.
The reason that that happens is largely because writing,
literally, gets done on the page. So that even if you have
a great idea, or a wonderful image in your mind, you still
need to flesh it out and actually make it work on the page.
In fiction, maybe you have this one incident in mind, which
you then have to supply a context for a setup. Maybe you
have a character in mind, whom you then have to supply
with an appropriate story line, perhaps some history, and a
background. So writing then becomes this process of filling
the page (see my article elsewhere in this issue about story
peaks and fillers). How else are you going to fill the page than
by physically filling it?
Of course, it may very well turn out that the thing
just doesn’t work on the page. Even when it doesn’t work,
there’s still a lot you can take away from it. Perhaps there
is a wonderful passage of description, perhaps the character
that you thought of was a good one but didn’t work in this
particular story, perhaps you’ve discovered something about
your writing (positive or negative) that you may never have
known until you wrote it (in a sense the gap between what we
imagined to what is actually in front of us, gives us an idea of
how much improvement is needed), apart from the obvious
fact that this particular experiment (maybe a particular style)
didn’t work.
But the times that it does work, it almost feels magical,
because as before there is a gap between the imagined and
the real thing, but in this case the gap is a wonderful one, a
kind of leap outside of yourself. The thing is, that a lot of
things, ideas, impressions, will occur to you when you are
writing. As if, once the membrane of the subconscious has
been breached one can go deeper and deeper. This is what
great writers know: that the so called muse visits most often
when you are in the middle of the act itself.
The other thing that happens, is a different kind of peak.
This incredible high that one feels, a sense of accomplishment,
a sense of being in another place. It is hard to mirror that
feeling with anything else, any form of entertainment. The
only thing that does it is to go back and re-experience it
through writing.
The thing about writing is that once you are done you may
feel incredible for a while, but that feeling ultimately vanishes
(in fact, you are bound to go through a phase of: pooh what
I originally thought was all wrong, this is really bad). If you
wrote something wonderful someone else can derive pleasure
from reading it, but not you. A stage performer can always go
back for another performance, to make it better, re-experience
it. For the writer, the writing is the performance.
So write!
Retro Game rewinds the
gaming clock to 1984
By Carlito E. Cabada, Jr.
[email protected]?F
•%76::F7<5;´@3?.;[email protected][email protected][email protected]?C21
Being born in 1989, I never experienced the 8-bit era of
gaming. While my collection consists of classics from Bionic
Commando to Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out, I never had the
pleasure of walking into a store and buying a brand new NES
game. I could preach about the Super Nintendo’s excellence all
day, but the aesthetics of 8-bit games are undeniably charming
and refreshingly archaic. Thankfully, the release of Retro
Game Challenge on the Nintendo DS was more than enough
old-fashioned goodness for my appetite.
The premise of the game is quite simple; Arino, a
Japanese man tired of next-generation multiplayer games,
decided to become a retro game master and becomes a
digitized entity in a Nintendo DS game. Through a series of
senseless events, Arino changed my character into a kid and
thrust him back to the year 1984. In order to go back to the
present, my character was tasked with completing a gauntlet
of eight games with four challenges each.
Since Retro Game Challenge is a localized version of
Game Center CX, a game based off of a Japanese TV show
of the same name, I was willing to forgo the weird premise.
More importantly, it did not detract from the gameplay or the
feeling of being a child of the 8-bit era. Most of the game’s
appeal comes from its ability to emulate the retro days of old.
Honestly, I felt like a seven-year-old kid again, and that’s a
good thing.
The developers held back no punches when it came to the
nostalgia factor. Staples like cheat codes, magazine strategies
and even turbo controllers make an appearance in some form.
The games all played great (I’ll get to those eventually), but
I absolutely loved leafing through the in-game magazines
and reviews from parodies of my favorite Electronic Gaming
Monthly editors. The little touches like those make the
experience go above and beyond the actual gameplay.
However, the retro touches are just a side dish to the
main course of eight individual 8-bit games. Rather than
describe each game in great detail, I’ll list them below with
a one-sentence depiction.
Cosmic Gate: A space shooter similar to Namco’s
Ninja Robot Haggle Man: A platformer using aspects
from Jaleco’s Ninja Jajamaru Kun.
Rally King: An off-road racing game like Konami’s
Road Fighter.
Star Prince: Another space shooter resembling Hudson’s
Star Soldier series.
Ninja Robot Haggle Man 2: A sequel to the original,
featuring larger levels and harder enemies.
Rally King SP: An upgraded version of Rally King with
harder courses.
Guadia Quest: A turn-based role-playing game similar
to Enix’s Dragon Quest.
Ninja Robot Haggle Man 3: An improved take on the
Haggle Man series combining elements from Tecmo’s Ninja
Gaiden, Konami’s Castlevania and Nintendo’s Metroid.
Each of these is stupidly simple and satisfactory across
various situations. Cosmic Gate and Star Prince kept me
occupied on train rides, while Guadia Quest was a game I
looked to for a more wholesome experience. Other design
choices, like the ability to pause and check in-game manuals,
help streamline the whole ordeal. Additionally, the challenges
require very little skill and, as a result, minimize frustrations.
Right from the start, it seems the focus is enjoying the ride
and not beating the various objectives.
Retro Game Challenge gets a bit repetitive at points,
but given the nature of 8-bit gaming, it’s a minor blemish on
an otherwise excellent package. The developers did a highquality job of capturing the essence of 1980’s gaming, and it’s
a welcome sight in my eyes. It’s a smart take on nostalgia and
I can easily recommend this to anyone with a Nintendo DS.
The hipster’s dilemma Pierre and
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Lory Mishra, Editor By Lory Mishra
This article started as a review of the
PBS documentary Helvetica; and that was
two weeks ago. Various things hindered its
progress, but those two weeks did allow
me to articulate in my mind a greater
problem. Namely, the Hipster’s Dilemma.
Before we proceed any further, let’s define
a few key terms.
1. A hipster is usually a 20-something,
urban city dweller characterized by
his/her incredible snobbery. Hipsters
listen to obscure music, read existential
and/or foreign literature, and are more
enlightened about everything that you will
ever be. They are usually politically left,
prefer bicycles over cars, and practically
live in coffee shops. On the downside,
they are usually from over-privileged
families, which allows them to pursue
all of their expensive counterculture
interests and contribute to things like
gentrification in large cities. They are
primarily concerned with image over the
true counterculture.
2. Indie Kids reject of the typical
hipster and are slightly more openminded. Indie Kids are more critical
consumers of information and there is
usually an explanation behind their likes
and dislikes, in contrast to the hipster who
mindlessly follows trends. Indie Kids have
not yet lost sight of the purpose of the
counter-culture and are probably better
people (mostly because I classify myself
as one).
3. A dilemma is an issue with two or
more solutions, where neither solution is
particularly desirable.
Now, the Hipster’s Dilemma arises
when an Indie Kid is participating in
a hipster activity for the right reasons
(furthering a legitimate interest, as
opposed to just looking cool) and is
confronted with the reality of the fact
that this interest simply perpetuates
ill-informed elitism and is unimportant
when compared to real issues (you
know, like poverty and racism). The
Hipster’s Dilemma also creates a state of
cognitive dissonance where the victim is
appreciating something that could prove
to be detrimental to the causes of the
Allow me to illustrate with an
Helvetica is a PBS documentary that
tracks the history of the font Helvetica,
which is perhaps the most widely used
sans-serif typeface. The CTA, American
Airlines, BMW and Microsoft all use
Helvetica for their logos. From street
signs to federal tax forms, Helvetica
is everywhere and this documentary
chronicles the birth and growth of this
type-face. Coming out of Switzerland
(Helvetica means ‘from Switzerland’),
this type-face became synonymous with
modern and minimalistic. Its greatest
feature perhaps was its lack of a character,
allowing graphic designers to give it the
personality that they so desired (at least
that’s what Robert LaRue tells me, and
he’s pretty artsy).
In terms of technique and the quality
of the documentary, it was really very
well-made. The story was consistently
engaging and informative, even for those
who knew nothing about type-faces. It
presents two sides of the Helvetica debate:
one side claims that it is a boon to all of
mankind and the other claims that that it
marked the end of creativity in design. As
I was watching this documentary, I found
myself taking sides, laughing, and doing
all those other things that are characteristic
of an audience engrossed in a good film.
But as we neared the end of the film and
moved on to the discussion panel (led
by four really awkward typographers), a
nagging feeling began to envelop me.
First of all, to think that people have
such strong opinions about typefaces and
are able to track the development of the
modern world through a single font was
a little unsettling. It does not speak very
highly of our priorities. Of course, this
criticism applies to countless disciplines
and not everyone can go out and be a
social worker so it’s not a very good claim
against the film. My second criticism
centers around the subtle jabs at less
developed countries and the inherently
elitist attitude towards them.
All the characters in the film, the
audience and the panel agreed that
Helvetica was reflective of progress,
industrialization, and modernity. It marked
the coming of a chic lifestyle, however
monolithic in nature. The countries that
had adopted this approach were zooming
past all others who were still developing,
who were still not as impressive. In
espousing its views about what Helvetica
represents, the film also made it clear what
a lack of Helvetica means: backwardness
and slow development. It was upsetting to
see that in their effort to create modernity,
they had forgotten the beauty of diversity.
They had forgotten that the Western view
of industry and progress is perhaps not
shared by every other culture and thus, it
does not mean that they are less developed
and more primitive. All those interviewed
for the documentary were of American or
Western European origin; the glaring lack
of diversity almost seemed like a subtle
attack on the rest of the world for its lack
of a “matured” aesthetic.
Now as a Indie Kid, I was upset
at myself for liking a film that is also
detrimental to a more diverse world view.
As someone who claims to care about
issues of social justice and diversity, I was
in a pickle. If I had been a hipster, perhaps
my ignorance and lack of critical thinking
would have made it easier to reconcile my
conflicting feelings. I guess this is price
you have to pay for being better than
everyone else.
White Tiger in globalized India
By Agnel Antony
It might be a little late to talk about a book which got the Man
Booker Prize for 2008. Usually, I don’t like reading a Booker Prize
winning books. The only one I read before was ‘The God of Small
Things’ written by Arundhathi Roy, which made an impression on
me towards a different type of storytelling.
This book is about a journey of an illiterate
named Balram Halwai alias Munna from
a village (he named as Darkness) in the
northeastern part of India to become a self
made entrepreneur in Bangalore at the
end. It was a little boring at the beginning,
slowly it takes the fast pace as the author
turn on the bright light on the hidden
darkness of contemporary India. The way
the author Aravind Adiga tells the story
is certainly peculiar in the sees the world
around the protagonist. Possibly, this
might be one of the prominent reasons that
helped the book to be selected.
The storytelling is a protagonist
narrative style throughout the book. It
starts with seven letters to Premier of
China from Balram over seven nights
as he narrates through the story. As he
started explicating the experiences and
the encounters of his life, literally, it
depicts a brief other side of contemporary
India. In one chapter he says that “In old
days there were one thousand castes and
destinies in India. But, these days there
are two castes: Men with big Bellies and
Men with Small Bellies.” I personally
think, to certain extent this is the blatant truth in this globalized
India. Perhaps, one could say that the story of Balram is how he
became one of those big bellies from the rest of those small bellies.
As the author portrays, Balram was an innocent, hardworking, poor,
illiterate who wants make a successful living by any means. The
travel towards his success embarks as a waiter, driver (chauffeur),
servant, and finally a man who runs a professional cab contracting
company for the call centers in Bangalore. Since, he mentioned he
was a murderer turned entrepreneur, the story became predictable
most of the time.
In this 21st century world economy, one cannot stop
considering the boom of China and India economy in an enormous
way. But, the media often fail to
illustrate is that how these economies
are being made in the free market. It
is evident that India has become the
call center of the world these days.
Whether or not one likes it, he has to
talk with an Indian guy in Delhi or
Bangalore for his electronic gadget
customer support. I wondered, why
China hasn’t had this happened in their
home country as they have the largest
human labor force, instead of India.
But, it was not a surprise why India
could make this happen, because most
of the people attend English instruction,
since their kindergarten for past couple
of decades. This would be the most
important reason why China couldn’t
make this happen, whereas India made
it in an effortless way. The author
talks about everything which most of
the people don’t want to talk about,
through a naive servant to the world.
He didn’t want to exclude the most
volatile issues of India. To be more
specific, he talks about corruption, the
cruelty nature of the landlords on the
servants, different caste discrimination
and the caste respective jobs, the adulterated Ganges, the way the
largest democratic and politics works, piracy, the call centers of
Bangalore…etc., and what not. It was certainly a thrilling ride
through the life of an ordinary Indian which is often failed to be
noticed by the world or the world to the rest of the Indians live as
usually, oblivious to the everything go on around.
[email protected]
Jean wow
By Udayan Das
There is a passage in Pierre and Jean, where
Pierre walks out in the evening to contemplate the
things that have just happened. He has recently
discovered that his brother Jean has gained an
inheritance from an old friend of their parents. He
finds this somewhat strange, and obviously the fact
that his brother was chosen to get the inheritance
instead of him makes him feel all the worst for it.
He feels jealousy, perhaps, among other things. We
have been told thus far that Pierre has a mercurial
temperament, and is not too happy about the fact
that the local newly widowed Mme. Rosémilly is
showering more attention on Jean.
So he walks out into the streets of Le Havre
(the Normandy coastal town, where the novel is set)
to think about this latest development, to sort things
out in his head. He meets people, chats, but mostly
walks and thinks.
Gradually, as the evening progresses into night
and then moves towards dawn, Pierre comes to a
realization as to what must have happened. What is
phenomenal about this entire passage is that not only
does Maupassant show us how and why Pierre slowly
reaches his conclusion, he also paints a wonderful
picture of Le Havre and what it looks like. We are
privy not only to the internal workings of Pierre’s
mind, but also to what Pierre is seeing. The way
Maupassant has blended the two things together is
magical, and highlights one of the most interesting
aspects of the novel.
In a lot of works of fiction, the setting of a novel
is used as a kind of shorthand. Set a novel in New
York, or in London, and you’ve done away with the
need for a lot of description, since it is assumed the
reader already has a mental picture in his/her mind.
It is used so often that we barely notice it.
In Pierre and Jean, although Maupassant has
used the setting of Le Havre, the writing is such that
we have a clear picture of what the town looks and
feels like. In a way, it is good if you have been to Le
Havre and are well aware of its environs -- you will
appreciate the recall and the nostalgic quality of the
writing. On the other hand, if you are like most of
us (especially in this century), who have never seen
Le Havre as Maupassant has seen it, then we can
marvel at the quality of description. A cliched thing
to say would be that it is a picture in words (or many
pictures), but it would still be right. Maupassant
is nostalgic about the things he has seen along the
Normandy coast, and not afraid to share it. And boy,
are we glad that he did.
Simply on that level, it is a wonderful read,
certainly worth the very first time. Maupassant then
brings in his usual flair for story-telling by giving
us a closely observed long tale. The story is simple
enough, and I do not need to get into plot details since
it is so widely available these days.
What is worth mentioning is Maupassant’s
treatment of this story. One could choose to follow
Pierre’s point of view throughout, and that is almost
what Maupassant does. Except that he throws in a
passage where we follow Jean’s point of view. This
passage is short compared with the time given to
Pierre, but that is not so surprising once you get to
know the ways the minds of these two brothers work.
And knowing this, where this passage takes place
isn’t surprising either.
Pierre and Jean is possibly one of the easiest
reads, when one considers the classics (the first time
I read it, it took me a little less than three hours to
finish it). The way that Maupassant eases us through
the process of reading is by supplying us with
witticisms, acute observation of his characters and
that marvelous depiction of the beloved Le Havre.
A smile a page, I say, is a hallmark of great writing.
Either because something funny has been said, or
because of the author’s wit, or because of a moment
of recognition, or because of a virtuoso moment, a
moment of perfectly lucid description, a moment of
poetry. They just keep coming.
Lory Mishra, Editor Tuesday, February 17, 2009
[email protected]
Tuning into new tunes proves looney tooney
By Karl Rybaltowski
Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You
Back in the heady days of 2006,
Lily Allen – soft-voiced and loud-mouthed,
clever and crude, charming and utterly
shameless, with sweet songs about crass
things, backed by bouncy, retro-meetsska rhythms – appeared on the scene, and
immediately, copycats started coming out of
the woodwork. Though most – Kate Nash,
Duffy, and so on – were distinctly British, we
even got some attempts here across the pond
(Katy Perry, anyone?). So it would not be a
stretch to assert that the novelty of this new
style of pop songstress is wearing thin, and
it’s beginning to feel a little mundane. It’s
not surprising, then, that between the large
amount of imitators and the Lily Allen has
decided to distance herself from the pack she
led by taking things in a new direction with
It’s Not Me, It’s You. The results, as could
be expected, are somewhat mixed, though I
was surprised at the fact that it still manages
to be a solid release.
The differences between this new album
and Allen’s debut are immediately noticeable
with the opening track, “Everyone’s At It,”
a venomous diatribe of hypocritical drug
use. Allen’s cheeky delivery is still present,
but it’s now backed by expansive electropop. Incidentally, the album is produced
by Greg Kurstin (one half of The Bird And
The Bee), and it shows from the electronic
influences that stretch from Europop-esque
tunes (the break-up song “I Could Say”) to
outright country (“Not Fair,” a lamenting of
a boyfriend’s lack of endowment). The music
is most definitely a departure from the sunny
backings of Alright, Still. Though there’s
a bit more texture to it, the music doesn’t
have quite the hook-laden punch of the
former album, and doesn’t always jibe with
Allen’s vocal stylings too well. The social
critiques are also a point of uncertainty –
while it’s clear Allen has had much to make
her grow up from her party-filled days
(including an unfortunate miscarriage), her
still-present snark can get cringe-worthy at
times, especially in the middle of some of
her more personal songs. “F*** You” is a
perfect example; in a sugary-sweet singsong voice, Allen launches a bald-faced and
somewhat superficial attack on George W.
Bush. Yes, the timing is not impeccable. The
previously mentioned “Everyone’s At It,”
while a catchy tune, also feels a little preachy
– what societal insights can a 23-year-old
pop star really impart to an average listener?
It’s when Allen turns into a social critic
that she is at her weakest, it seems, even
while trashy throwbacks to Alright, Still or
disarmingly intimate songs lend the album
some strength.
It’s Not Me, It’s You is not an outstanding
album. All I can say with certainty is
that I had rather low expectations before
listening, and these were exceeded by a
fair amount. Allen hasn’t quite yet reached
maturity, as much as she would like us to
believe on parts of this album, but she’s
definitely leaving her trashy past behind.
Titus Andronicus – The Airing of
When this album got its limited release in
May of last year, I was somewhat interested.
I had no idea who Titus Andronicus were,
and when I heard they’d be performing at the
Pitchfork Music Festival, I decided to add
them to the list of bands I needed to check
out. Unfortunately, when I got the album, I
listened to just under a minute of the first
track, hearing only slow, gentle, lo-fi indie
pop, and decided it was just not worth my
time. Had I kept listening for a few more
seconds, I would have ascertained its true
nature. Not having done this over half a year
ago is one of my biggest (musical) regrets,
and if it weren’t for the fact that the album
has just been re-released on a bigger label
(XL, to be precise), I would have forgotten
about this band entirely. As it were, I decided
to give them a proper listen this time around,
and am now a firm fan.
Titus Andronicus’ sound is an interesting
one. If Bruce Springsteen and the E Street
Band were run through the punk machine,
you’d have an approximation of the musical
arrangements. The singer’s voice evokes the
punk bands of the ‘70s, with less attention
paid to talent and more to brashness,
enthusiasm, and full-on yelling. And it’s
this arrangement that transforms the lyrical
content of The Airing of Grievances from a
collection of tired melodramatic clichés into
really entertaining material. The lyrics are
all extremely depressing and nihilistic on
paper, and it would not be a stretch to call
them ‘emo,’ but their enthusiastic delivery
and the raucous music accompanying them
belie their supposed histrionics – one gets
the feeling the band is in on the joke, even
as they’re playing and singing their hearts
out. This dichotomy is evident in other things
– the band’s name is that of Shakespeare’s
bloodiest tragedy, while the album’s title is
a reference to Seinfeld.
This is typified on the anthemic track
“Titus Andronicus,” where the lead singer
envisions a nightmarish world of becoming
just another normal person, with no more
cigarettes, sex or alcohol. The song turns
into a rousing shout-along chorus of “your
life is over,” which is delivered with such
sheer energy that one can’t help but join
in – even while pondering the implications
of the words. The album opener, “Fear And
Loathing In Mahwah, NJ,” which I had
such trouble getting through initially, turns
into an intense rock number after the gentle
opening is suddenly broken by a yelled
obscenity. It then fades into a reading from
the Shakespearean play the band is named
after. “Joset of Nazareth’s Blues” is where
the E Street vibe is most evident, with a
moment of true vulnerability by singer
Patrick Stickles turning into a panoply of
sound topped off with a harmonica for effect.
There’s plenty of variety within these songs,
and they are packed with big finishes, strong
build-ups, emphatic screams and plenty of
other rock hallmarks.
The Airing of Grievances is, in a way,
a beacon of what rock music should be.
There’s no shortage of sheer exuberance,
plenty of moments perfect for audience
participation, and even a certain slyness
within the band members, perhaps because
they are not taking themselves particularly
seriously. It could have been one of the
best albums of the past year, but thanks to
the efforts of XL records and the continued
buzz surrounding the band, I can now say
it’s gotten 2009 off to a great start.
Say it ain’t so, Demetri! Fanboys: It’s good
By Lory Mishra
I am the self-proclaimed Demetri Martin
expert at IIT. I don’t care how well you think
you can reference him in your daily life,
because I know I can do it better. I apologize
for the belligerent tone of my previous
sentence, but I can’t help but be in love with
his genius. Be it his interesting background,
his intellectual prowess, or his obscure but
true observations, Demetri Martin is my hero.
Did you know that
he used to study law
at Yale and dropped
out to pursue standup comedy? Well, it’s
the primary reason
I want to attend law
school and then drop
out to pursue stand-up
comedy. Just kidding.
The point is, as a
devoted fan, I had been
counting down the days
to the premiere of his
Comedy Central show,
“Important Things”;
and I am sad to say,
it’s probably going to get canceled fairly
soon. The show takes a theme and shows
clips of his stand-up, mixed in with some
relevant sketches based around the theme.
The first episode tackled “Timing” and
while there were a few classic examples of
Martin’s comedy, it was mostly choppy and
ill-executed. Oftentimes, I found his jokes
too drawn-out (as with the Diamond Ring
commercial) or just plain unimaginative.
As a show that precedes the winning
Stewart-Colbert lineup, “Important Thing”
is pressured to set the stage for an hour and
a half of comedy. Based on the first episode,
it just felt as though he was unable to find a
balance between his quirky sense of humor
and his need to keep the attention of the
typical Comedy Central viewer. Perhaps the
most disappointing turn the show took was
the appeal to sexist stereotypes, as he did
with the “Time-Traveling Gigolo” sketch. To
sum it up, a man comes across a time machine
and uses it to sleep with women from various
parts in history, because that’s clearly the
only thing a man could conceive of doing
with a time machine. Among other things,
this particular sketch was an appeal to the
average viewer with low expectations, but at
the same time, it was strange enough to drive
away that same viewer. Unfortunately, his
attempts to appeal to this new demographic
are also disappointing his base (i.e. me),
because it’s clear that
he is selling out at
least a little bit and
compromising some
basic things that make
Martin the genius he
is. Of course, the show
wasn’t all bad. My
favorite segment was
perhaps at the end,
when he attempts to
play four instruments
and flip a large sketch
pad of his drawings
at the same time. It
was very reminiscent
of his classic wit, his
inexplicable decision to play all those
instruments simultaneously, and his ability
to communicate comedy without any words
at all. From the perspective of someone who
just happened to come across his show that
night, however, he appeared no more than
a crazy person and our viewer most likely
decided to change the channel. Demetri
Martin is known for his one-liners and he
is not one for story-telling. The unique
challenge a sketch presents is the creation of
a mini-story with enough plot to adequately
communicate the comedy in a few minutes.
Perhaps Martin is still getting used to the
format and is struggling to create stories
that are as engaging and hilarious as his
one-liners. The only trouble is, if he does
not get used to this format and does not learn
to balance his strangeness with his need to
appeal to the masses quickly, we most likely
won’t be seeing much of him in the future.
to be a Star Wars fan
By Erik Johnson
Fanboys is one of those movies that
many worried would never quite get released.
From when the trailer
first debuted at various
conventions to its final
(unfortunately limited)
release, it had nothing but
problems making its way
to the theater.
I still remember the
day the first re-shoots
were announced. Tons
of people were eagerly
anticipating new trailers
and other exciting
announcements, and when
it was stated that the film
was going to be postponed
because there were to be
re-shoots, the internet
was devastated. Luckily,
the re-shoots were a good
thing – the crew had received a higher budget
and was able to improve previously filmed
segments of the film. Unfortunately, this was
not the only delay. It was pushed back further
when the re-shoots themselves were delayed.
However, it was only until later that the film
met with some major controversy.
Fanboys was re-cut to appeal to a Superbad
loving mainstream audience – all sorts of crude
humor, none of the heart that drove the original
film. The original cut centered around a group
of Star Wars loving friends, trying to steal an
early cut of Star Wars: Episode I before their
terminally ill friend became “one with the
Force.” The Weinstein Company, the film’s
distributor, decided that this was too dark, and
they’d lose their beer swilling frat boy audience.
Various test audiences screened both cuts, and
most fans preferred the “heart” version over the
“beer” version. As word of the re-cut spread,
Star Wars fans campaigned across the internet
to get Weinstein to change it back to the original.
After much internet harassment, the film was
changed back to the original version.
The movie has finally seen limited release,
and is playing in three
theaters across Chicago,
and according to the
Fanboys website, if the
film is successful, their
maybe be an expanded
I went to see it on
opening night, with a
few Star Wars fan friends
– and we all enjoyed it
immensely. The film
is a fairly standard
road trip flick, lots of
wacky shenanigans are
involuntarily thrust open
our heroes as they attempt
to drive cross country
to break into Skywalker
Ranch. Of course, all of
these forced pit stops are in some way Star Wars
related, and are all pleasing much moreso than
the average “flat tire in the middle of the desert”
disaster. The sci-fi references are frequent
and funny, and the Trekkie hate is hilariously
through the roof.
Perhaps one of the most exciting parts
of the film were the various celebrity cameos.
Billy Dee Williams, Kevin Smith, Jason
Mewes, William Shatner, Ray Park, Seth
Rogen and a very old looking Carrie Fisher
all make appearances. The support of all these
celebrities loved by nerds is awesome, though
I’m surprised that Mark Hamill didn’t show.
It is definitely worth making your way to a
theatre and paying the steep ticket prices to see,
and though Star Wars fans will get the most out
of it, those only casually exposed will be able
to enjoy the story of friendship and adventure
created by fanboys doing what they love.
The Slipstick
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
xkcd by randall munroe across
1. Gray wolf
7. Jolly Roger feature
10. Expected
11. Trading center
12. Some votes
13. 16th century
18. Frat letter
19. Mai ___
20. Hockey’s
21. Wild blue yonder
22. Combat
24. Petition
25. U.S. 101, e.g.
27. Director Sydney
29. Rotted
32. The “I” in T.G.I.F.
33. ___ de plume
34. Tahiti’s capital
37. New England
house style
39. Lee of “Brokeback
40. Scooby-___
41. Keats piece
42. Sharp humor
43. 007 creator
45. Chat room abbr.
47. Rat’s place
49. Music genre
53. Buckeye State
54. Charged particles
55. Resistance
56. Realizes
57. Brings to a close
Word Warlord: so you
screwed up Valentine’s day
Knowledge is power. Words convey knowledge.
Thus, words lead to power, and knowledge about words
is extra, extra powerful. So read this column and take over
the world!
So your Valentine’s plans went to hell in a handbasket,
and you screwed everything up with your Truly Beloved,
and now you want to know where you went wrong. Well,
you should have come to me beforehand, minions!
But all right, let’s see if I can fix the mess you’ve
made of your life. You answer these questions, and then I’ll
tell you the words you should have used to impress your
Valentine. Nothing makes a heart go pitter-patter more than
a love speech filled with atticisms. (Stay with me, minion: an
atticism is a well-put, witty, or elegant comment.)
Answer all questions as you would have before you
mucked it all up.
Question 1: You see your Valentine. How do you
A. Twitterpated
B. Happified
C. Nauseated
D. Feelings? What are these “feelings”?
Question 2: You get rejected by your Valentine.
A. Sob for a few hours while rereading the last love
letter you wrote him/her
B. Complain like a cat in a monsoon
C. Puke
D. Burn them in effigy
Question 3: You find a new Valentine and ask him or
her on a date. Where to?
A. A dance
B. A box social
C. I mostly just watch him/her from a distance....
D. An evening watching explosions
Question 4: Your ideal evening with said Valentine
would be...
A. Comfy and pleasant
B. Bunkumsquint
C. A...whole...evening? With them? As in, within thirty
yards of them? Oh, dear....
D. Is it possible to play checkers, but with all the
pieces as Daleks that blow up opposing checkers instead of
capturing them? Life size, preferably.
Answer Key:
A. “Enamored” is a classic, mature way to rephrase
that, invented by Disney.
B. “Delighted” is a perfectly good word. You must
have heard of it, so why would you ever... I’m not speaking
to you.
C. Ew. Make sure your stomach has settled before
you tell him/her anything. Stammering is occasionally cute.
Throwing up on his/her shoes is not.
D. Good point.
A. Oh dear God. “Tristful” is appropriate, although
at the rate you’re going you might as well compose a
“threnody”--aka requiem.
B. “Pile on the agony” seems an appropriate phrase
C. Pepto. Bismol. Until you conquer your love
sickness, you should not be saying anything to anyone.
D. Appropriate response. I don’t think you need to
rephrase that.
A. Ask him/her if she’d like to “show off her skills in
saltation.” Then you get points for using a fancy word for
dancing, plus extra points for alliteration.
B. No. Find a new date idea. I’d say take him/her to a
wine tasting, but you’d probably turn that into a moonshinechugging party.
C. Oh dear God...just ask him/her to watch a few
Winnie the Pooh movies. You’re as empty-headed as the
bear, so maybe thinking fondly of that stuffed-with-fluff toy
will get your date thinking fondly of you, too.
D. “Care for a picnic? I hear there may be deflagrations
on the horizon.”
A. Gemütlich: It’s a German word that English
appropriated––because our language is a parasite––meaning
cozy, delightful, warm, and friendly all rolled up into a ball
of fluff. You disgust me, minion. You’re too... cute.
B. “Excellent” that word may mean, but you’d be
better off saying, well, anything else. Try “Elysian” instead;
it means blissful.
C. Yes.
D. “Facinorous” means evil, but in this case it’s a
compliment. Will you marry me?
Mostly A’s: You are an astonishingly mawkish
person. And pathetic, for that matter, but mawkish means
“overflowing with vomit-inducing sentimentality.”
Mostly B’s: Where are you from? Your vocabulary is
as odd as huckleberry chowder. Do you know why none of
your “huzzlecoo” is working? BECAUSE YOU SHOULD
learn more sophisticated words, or you’ll be jizzicked.
Mostly C’s: Do you know why you have to admire your
Valentines from afar? Because you are a proctalgia. No one
wants to date a whiny pain in the ass. Take an anti-emetic,
go memorize some poetry and recite it for him/her. That way
you don’t have to think up your own sentences, and you’re
less likely to vomit on his/her shoes.
Mostly D’s: A warlord after my own heart! Keep
reading your dictionary and thesaurus, and you will go far
in life. Now go shoot the first three, will you?
Here are some tips for next Valentine’s day, assuming
you live that long.
* Never call a girl “hot.” She is not a casserole. Instead
try a more svelte compliment. If she’s tall and voluptuous, try
telling her she’s “Junoesque.” If she’s slender and graceful,
then she’s a “sylph.” Or if you’re really classy, compliment
her on her personality. “Virago” is an excellent word for a
strong and courageous woman.
* Were you impressed by something? You could call
the restaurant first-class, but if you’re stuck for conversation
try a more interesting word like “pukka.” If you want
to sound first-class as you describe its excellency, use
“eximious” instead.
* Did you have a good time? Let him know! “What
a galluptious date!” Or, for a Lewis Carroll reference, “O
frabjous day!”
This concludes your first lesson. Go out, practice, and
email [email protected] with all your etymological
27. Daddy-o
28. Time zone
30. Bambi’s aunt
31. Carried out
35. Flag-waver
36. “Giant” author Ferber
37. Winter woe
38. Quartet member
42. Not right
44. Where Goodyear is headquartered
46. Comet’s path
48. Foundation
50. Klutz’s cry
51. Buzz’s moonmate
52. Queue
1. Madagascan primate
2. Farmstead night bird
3. “I’m ___ your tricks!”
4. Microsoft system
5. One of the Simpsons
6. Big dos
7. Sweetheart
8. Amazing adventure
9. Test format
14. Tactical
15. Insurer’s calculation
16. Home paper
17. Venetian explorer
23. Non-earthling
26. Domesticated
pulverizes Lady
Match Report:
Manchester United
defeats West Ham
By Vishal Jain
Manchester United continued their great run in the
Premier League with a 1-0 win over West Ham. United
looked unlikely to score the goal until Ryan Giggs stepped
inside Carlton Cole, burst into the box and thrashed home
a right-footed goal, which was enough to get United their
8th consecutive win. The 62nd minute strike ensured that
the Red Devils will be at the top of the premier league.
Meanwhile, ManUnited goalkeeper Edwin Van Der Sar
never looked in serious trouble as he claimed his 13th
consecutive clean sheet. This is a British record that has
now extended to 1,212 minutes. On the 33rd minute, Van
Der Sar surpassed this record, set by old Aberdeen stalwart
Bobby Clark. He went 1,155 minutes on the field without
conceding a goal during the 1970-71 campaign. After the
match, Hammers’ manager Gianfranco Zola stated “It’s a
good sign that it’s been a close game - our goalkeeper (Robert
Green) made only one save. But that’s the difference when
you play the best team in the world - make one mistake and
it’s costly. I’m very happy with the performance from my
players - Manchester United defended very well. We had
problems on the sides sometimes, but a big advantage in
the middle with more players. I don’t just see the defeat; I
see the way the team played. We stood up to the best team
in the world and played as well as them.” Meanwhile, Sir
Alex was happy with his team’s performance. He said that
he is proud of Edwin. United’s next match is a FA Cup
clash against Derby.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Antonette Brotman, Sports Editor [email protected]
Hawks basketball, 60-82
By Jonathan Mikesell
In a game against Olivet Nazarene
last Tuesday, the lady hawks dug a hole
for themselves early on with a string of
air balls, while their considerably more
accurate opponents sank both threepointers and shots from below the hoop.
In fact, the only scoring IIT managed
in the first quarter was a set of two free
throws after a shooting foul; at which
point Olivet’s score neared 30.
IIT then started to rally, and scored
several baskets to which the opponents
did not answer.
Apparently revitalized, the team
then went toe-to-toe with the visitors,
nearly matching them offensively and
defending better than before, but no
My theory
about sports
Photo by Mike Z
By Antonette Brotman
It’s all in the mascot. If you have a big scary mascot,
you win. My thoughts were confirmed today.
I watched some of the Super Bowl this year. I don’t
know why, I had no real intent on doing so, but I still
found myself sitting and observing the Bowl, at least
the beginning.
My superficial impression (and that’s all it could
ever be, because I know nothing about sports) is the
Steelers (whoever, wherever), a giant silver shark-like
knife versus the Cardinals (whatever, who cares?), a
festive red bird.
Yeah, I knew who was going to win. So I left on
to other trollies, meaning I stopped watching the game,
glancing over it only once again later that night in a
different spot.
Is it me?
And that second encounter didn’t even count. I payed
no attention to the TV, while background thoughts of
chicken toast, flaming birds and victorious metalheads
danced in my head.
And I was shocked to hear about the Cardinals in
the lead. But I showed no fear. I don’t watch this stuff
anyways. Nonetheless, I was thinking... could they
possibly win?
I never did find out who won it that night. Not until
the next day’s mid-afternoon did I finally crack.
The Steelers won. Right. Like they’d lose to some
Now look at the Chicago Cubs. They never win. Is
it a curse? A curse to be Cute?
You need to ask yourself one question. Are you
afraid of teddy bears?
Because the Cubs remind me of warm soft cozy
things like teddy grahams, hot chocolate milk, chicken
noodle soup, childhood, children’s sized hoods, small
shoes, snow boots, snowmen... The Cubs are a case of
cuteness. They are not strong or intimidating.
I had forgotten who won the Super Bowl just a
moment ago for two reasons. Maybe because the winners
played a crap game messing around with peacocks, and
actually losing at one point to a flock of feathers. Huge
fins and sharp teeth are no match for big beaks. But, I’m
not pointing fingers. Or maybe because I didn’t watch the
full game, or even see the end. I only saw some of the
beginning, right after that clown came out and sang.
But I did see a full game once. The Cubs. They
longer decreasing the opponents’ lead.
As a result, at the half Olivet nearly
doubled IIT in points. During the second
half, the hawks began fouling their
opponents repetitively, which worked
to their disadvantage, as the Olivet team
very rarely missed free throws, and also
on several occasions managed to make
the shot during which the foul was called
for added scoring opportunities. The
Tigers also fouled more, but not as much
as the Hawks and with less ill effect per
capita, as the Hawks shot more poorly.
This pattern continued until the last few
minutes, when the Hawks had their last
hurrah, but their streak was too little, too
late, and they fell 60-82.
Part of the reason why IIT shot so
poorly is probably that they attempted
many shots from the outside flanks. They
had to, as they were unable to penetrate
deeply early on in the game, and were
taking these difficult shots while under
pressure from the shot clock and a tough
It is noteworthy that much of the
responsibility for a variation from this
pattern lies with 6’1” Valerie Zulevic,
who many times proved that she can
reliably score underneath, and who even
managed to score a three-pointer while
being fouled.
Men’s basketball falls to
Olivet Nazarene, 58-81
By Jonathan Mikesell
Late last Tuesday, the IIT Men’s
Basketball team faced Olivet.
The Tigers ran away with the
game in the beginning, consistently
outscoring IIT 2:1 to the half. Both
sides incurred a number of fouls in
the first, although Coach Loyd must
have felt some of the calls were
unjustified, and, via his exasperated
protest, he brought on a technical
So it was that the second half
began with successful Olivet free
throws. In the third quarter, the
Tigers then had an even more
impressive scoring streak, putting
them up by 29.
That would not last, as the
referees’ foul calls now (ironically)
mostly benefited the Hawks and
it was impossible to maintain
momentum with all the pauses for
free throws (IIT went to the line 17
times in the game, most of them
during this time). Still, Olivet would
not be stopped, and they managed
to hold on to their lead, delivering
a 58-81 loss to IIT.
Photo by Mike Z

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