The Independent

The Halloween Blackout

October 31, 2012


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By Christos Liardakis – Opinions Editor Halloween is the perfect holiday for overindulgence with treats of many kinds being freely distributed. While children are going door to door to ask for candy this Halloween, adults and college students will be “Trick or Drinking” and getting drunk. Donning a costume protects the wearer’s identity and the added anonymity helps lower inhibitions against overindulgence in a social psychology mechanism known as “deindividuation,” according to National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). The advice given by experts such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) takes into account the expectation of alcohol abstinence as unrealistic among young adults. The CDC recommends all people drink in moderation, with the definition of moderate drinking being 1 drink a day or less for women and 2 drinks a day or less for men. More than those amounts is considered heavy drinking by the CDC and can significantly increase the risk of cancer, stroke and liver diease. Consumption of more than 4 or 5 drinks during a period of two hours is considered binge drinking and can cause serious health and social problems. The CDC stresses that all forms, and strengths, of alcohol must be considered a drug; as it is a central nervous system depressant. Dr. Terrence Puryear of  the Biology Department at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU)  described alcohol acting much as a cleaning detergent does, removing stains by dissolving proteins and lipids. A lipid is the scientific way of describing fats such as the membrane around our cells. The myelin sheaths that protect vital parts of our brain cells or neurons are also made of lipids. When a person drinks, the alcohol inside of their body slowly eats away at this sheath, allowing the ions responsible for transferring messages via electrical charge to and from our neurons to move erratically. Puryear described the affect of alcohol akin to damaging the cord to an electrical appliance. The appliance is made vulnerable to surges and malfunctions. These malfunctions due to myelin sheath damage lead to impairment in a person’s cognitive process, and then to disruptions in motor skills, such as difficulty in walking or talking. Continued or binge drinking results in greater impairment, causing losses in memory and blackouts. Excessive amounts of alcohol can even cause a complete breakdown in the signal relay between the brain and vital organs such as the heart and lungs, potentially causing cardiac arrest and respiratory failure because the brain can no longer tell the heart and lungs to keep a person alive. Studies from NCBI also show that chronic alcohol ingestion and acute alcoholic ingestion (drinking alcohol on a regular basis, as well as over consumption of alcohol at any given time) can lead to livier damage, cancer, and muscle deterioration due to the alcohol denaturing the proteins in muscle cells and leading to premature apoptosis. Apoptosis is the body’s natural mechanism of cell death when cells get too old and are simply not efficient or functional anymore. The good news is that the myelin sheath does slowly regenerate, so no one should become a vegetable after a few years of responsible drinking. But the effects should be taken seriously, and can be viewed first-hand by performing a very simple experiment at home. Break an egg (and toss in bacon if you are feeling hungry) into a cup of vodka. The alcohol will cook the proteins in both the egg and bacon to the point of edibility. Just imagine that happening to your neurons and liver, and you should have no problem being responsible with your drinking....

Talking About Good and Bad Hair

October 31, 2012


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By Jasmine Smith – Staff Writer As part of the Love Your Body Day celebration The Women’s Resource Center and The African and African American Resource center, located in the Pedroso Center, held a discussion on the “Politics of Black Hair.” Four panelists, Dwan Buetow, Olivia Perlow, Tracy Barfield and Shantez Tolbut discussed their “hair stories” and talked about issues in the black community with body image and the pressure that the media puts on black women to look a certain way. In order to get the reasons behind the issues that come up for black women and their hair one would need to go back into history and take a look at the significance hair has held. In African cultures the way one wears their hair may be a reflection of one’s status, gender, personal taste, etc. For example, infants of both sexes had their heads shaved, save a few tufts of hair in the front to protect the fontanel. Asante priests were allowed to grow their hair into long matted locks into a style known as mpesempese (sometimes translated as I don’t like it), uncut hair was usually seen as a sign of dangerous behavior. This was also a hairstyle worn by madmen and royal executioners. It was also customary to only have ones hair done by a trusted friend or relative. Letting an enemy or a stranger do one’s hair could result in them using it in a charm or spell that was meant to harm the owner. As time went on, hair styles evolved with the times. Hair was an amazing way to express oneself and hairstyle shaming was rare. When Africans were brought to the Americas to work, a lot of the slave owners divided the slave up by not only by skin color but also hair texture; darker-skinned tougher-haired slaves worked in the fields, while the lighter-skinned smoother-haired slaves worked in the house. When slavery ended, African Americans started trying to emulate white people. The standard for beauty was a white woman, which meant straightening their hair to be as smooth as a white woman’s hair. These biases influence how African Americans style and view their hair even today. The division of slaves by hair texture has continued through putting down those that have what has been dubbed “slave hair” and dark skin. Being lighter with straighter, more manageable hair is seen as the highest form of beauty there is. Similar to many African cultures, if one wears their hair in a wild manner then they are considered mad. Certain hair styles might even be seen as unprofessional. Panelist Dwan Buetow’s “hair story” detailed the pressure she felt to change her hair to fit in with that of her mostly white colleagues in the corporate world. “Out with the afro, in with the hot comb,” Buetow said. Buetow also said that when African braids were all the rage, her colleagues would ask “Who would respect someone with hair like that?” as though one’s hair defined the measure of respect one gets and gives. “I am not defined by my hair, but I’ll do what I want with my hair,” Buetow said in response. The unrealistic standards of beauty started to cause rifts within the Black community. Shantez Tolbut said in her “hair story,” “My friends and I would go get a new weave every few weeks. It was rough.” However, while on YouTube Tolbut found a Natural Hair community. “I realized that I could look nice with just my natural hair, so I decided to try it out.” Tolbut continued by saying, “My mother and my grandmother were not happy when I cut my hair and started going natural, ‘That’s the only thing you have left!’ they said. But I have found a new confidence in myself and that is something that I own that nobody can take from me.” When asked how it made her feel when people treated her differently because of her hair, Olivia Perlow stated, “It makes me feel enslaved. I should be able to wear my hair how I want but can’t because of the Eurocentric beauty standard…We must negate the standard.” The panelists all agreed that they had overcome one of the greatest challenges that a woman faces; to love herself for who she is. The women concluded by saying they now try do make sure that all women know how beautiful they are....

SACNAS Advancing Science and Students

October 31, 2012


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By Luis Badillo – Staff Writer SACNAS winners Andrew and Will All photos Courtesy of the Student Center for Science Engagement The NEIU chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans (SACNAS) is working hard to unite and promote collaboration between students of science, math and technology. SACNAS was founded in 1973 to support the efforts of people of both Hispanic and indigenous decent achieve more in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields. These days, SACNAS welcomes members of all ethnicities. But their mission to aid students of STEM majors remains the same. What the NEIU chapter of SACNAS hopes to accomplish is to “bring science to the forefront," according to Dr. Joseph Hibdon, who works with the Student Center for Science Engagement, located in Bernard J. Brommel Hall (BBH) 214. Hibdon  is focusing on trying to establish a sense of community for the STEM majors of Northeastern "A lot of the students come here, take classes and leave," he said. That commuter college nature works against the most students who are trying to find like-minded folk to interact with. As an entirely student-run organization, SACNAS hopes to bring together the school's STEM majors in an effort to promote the visibility of the maths and sciences as well as engagement in those subjects throughout the campus. With that in mind, SACNAS is looking to achieve this haven for student scientists in several ways. SACNAS is seeking professionals who are working in the STEM fields to come and speak to the members of the organization to provide insight as to the trail one might follow to have a successful career as an engineer, research scientist, mathematician or any possible trade a STEM major may try after graduation. SACNAS is a nationally recognized organization; the NEIU chapter of SACNAS will contact and collaborate with the SACNAS chapters of other Chicagoland Universities. The NEIU chapter and the DePaul chapter were able to network over in a gathering of young scientists and pizza. SACNAS will also be visible throughout campus through any number of volunteer capacities. The NEIU campus isn't the only place that SACNAS is making waves. The annual SACNAS National Conference is held every year to gather students and have a majority of them present research projects they have participated in as well as interact with fellow student scientists from across the country. Every year since 2009, NEIU has walked away from the conference with an award if not multiple awards. During this year's conference NEIU was represented by 49 students, 22 of which were presenters. The conference hosted over 1,300 presenters. Other schools from Illinois included Northwestern University, DePaul University, Illinois State University, University of Illinois at Chicago, and University of Chicago. NEIU won three poster awards due to the work of students Dayvis Blasini, William Freyman, Kevin Gallagher and were the only undergraduates in Illinois to win awards. All these are of great benefit to any STEM major attending NEIU but Hibdon says that there is one aspect of SACNAS that trumps them all."The biggest thing and the nicest thing about SACNAS is the development of a network and also having mentors. That's really important," said Hibdon.  Many of the more senior members of SACNAS have past experience in working in research. "They're there to help" he said, pointing out the value of connecting these more experienced students with ones that are barely starting out. The next SACNAS meeting will be on November 13th, and will be hosted in BBH. For more information, visit the Student Center for science Engagement located in room 235 in the BBH. All students majoring in any science, math, or technology degree are encouraged to come out and see what opportunities may find them there....

Roky Erickson, Lost Leader of Psychedelic and Horror Rock

October 31, 2012


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By Patrick McIntyre-Staff Writer Songs detailed with the everlasting charm of two-headed dogs, aliens and demons in love are simply to be respected. Roky Erickson, with his thick tufts of matted hair and increasingly rotund build, is currently living a life nothing short of a blessing to his former self. The proclaimed pioneer of psychedelic rock, with his wildly influential first band The 13th Floor Elevators, was always a man lost in a mainstream pop culture too mild for his tastes.  Tumultuous years of manic drug consumption left Roky bruised and bloodied to the extent his songs often depict.  But as Roky currently performs at 65 and tours the world, when 35 once looked like his peak, his indelible mark on rock now extends well into his golden years. Born in Texas, Roky exemplified the acid era of the ‘60s with the 13th Floor Elevators, championing a raspy and transcendent voice for a group that left numerous treasures for the rock world, including the classic song “You’re Gonna Miss Me.”  With wailing vocals and intense, personal lyrics, the songs Roky delivered felt like nothing else, rightfully earning his recognition in the psychedelic rock genre. A born eccentric, Roky’s mental stability progressively came into question, exasperated by an abundant consumption of marijuana and LSD, and was soon diagnosed as a schizophrenic.  By 1969, a single joint became the elusive beginning to a seemingly endless bout with struggles for Roky.  Faced with a decade-long sentence resulting from the marijuana charge, Roky pleaded not guilty for reasons of insanity to avoid prison.  He spent several years in the state’s Hospital for the Criminally Insane and endured involuntary shock treatment.  The mishandling and useless damage done to Roky resulting from this was tragic at best.  His life would later spiral into madness, with endless stretches of seclusion entombed by ruthless poverty. Released from the hospital in 1974, Roky continued to make music for a time with his backing band the Aliens and forged deeper into the macabre with lyrics delving into monsters and demonic figures, often layering his songs with deep political and social issues—many were simply the incantations of a man put through shock-treatment.  This blend of horror-rock is often the most admired of his entire musical repertoire.  Songs like “Two-Headed Dog” and “Creature with the Atom Brain” perfectly capture Roky’s voice howling about terrifying monsters backed by crunchy guitars.  By the ‘80s, seclusion and instability became deeply entrenched in his life.  Roky rarely produced music, never toured, and utilized the static from television sets to sleep and cope with his descending mental stability.  In 1982, Roky declared publicly his assertion that a Martian had inhabited his body, officially cementing his tenure with madness. Largely absent from public view through the ‘90s, the 2005 documentary You’re Gonna Miss Me reintroduced Roky to a new generation.  It chronicled his life, focusing on his attempts of rebuilding a fractured life and salvaging lost dreams, strongly assisted by the help of family and friends.  By 2007, Roky began touring again, and in 2010 released a new album for the first time in close to more than 20 years.  With the help of Okkervil River as his backing band, Goodbye Sweet Dreams may be Roky’s most intimate portrait of his life and family, with songs focusing on faded dreams and coping with insurmountable hardships.  During a period in his life that it was difficult to believe he doesn’t treasure every moment of, Roky’s voice, and the incredibly influential mark he’s made on rock, resonates deeper and stronger with every passing day. Roky Erickson will be performing Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave. Five Roky Erickson songs for Halloween Night: I Walked with a Zombie Mine Mine Mind Bloody Hammer I Think Up Demons Don’t Shake Me Lucifer...

Revising Views on Atheism

October 31, 2012


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By Hiram Crespo – Contributing Writer The public discourse on the role of religion in our daily lives too often lacks the voice of atheists, and mass media further silences atheists when it persistently upholds the tenet that an atheist would never be able to win the presidency in our country, in spite of the fact that recent polls by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life indicate that about a fifth of the US population identifies as non-religious and that it's the largest growing segment of society. “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful” said Roman philosopher Seneca the Younger (3 BC - 65 AD). The claim that belief in God is universal is bogus, and to presume that the collective hypnosis of belief in deity has something to do with evidence for God or with the moral superiority of credulity is misuse of logic. The majority of humanity believed the Earth was flat before this was proven false by people who sought empirical ways to verify the claim. Consensus has nothing to do with truth or evidence or with ethics, as any survivor of the holocaust would testify.  A mob does not accurately dictate what is morally superior or right. People in deeply religious societies are oftentimes routinely denied basic human rights.  Saudi Arabia denies women even the right to drive.  Uganda almost passed a Kill the Gays bill recently.  Afghani and Pakistani girls who attend schools have to fear for their lives.  An atheist should expect to be executed in many Muslim lands.  Nigeria is plagued daily by the most barbaric and obscene Christian-Muslim conflict, as well as burnings of witches and slaying of children by their own Christian parents and pastors for witchcraft.  In heavily secularized and peaceful Sweden, a recent wave of rapes is tied to recent Muslim immigrants who feel that if women aren't modestly dressed, they deserve to be raped. Atheists are happier and saner than theists.  A report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found that Danish people, the majority of whom are atheists, are the happiest among 40 countries that were studied.  Other developed countries with high standards of living exhibit similar rates of disbelief, including Sweden where only 23 percent of the citizens say they positively believe in a God. The statistical link between prevalence of religion and societal dysfunction in human societies is more than demonstrated in census data.  Gregory Paul has published several peer-reviewed papers on this, including The Chronic Dependence of Popular Religiosity upon Dysfunctional Psychosociological Conditions (Evolutionary Psychology Journal) and his brilliant, Cross-National Correlations of Quantifiable Societal Health with Popular Religiosity and Secularism in the Prosperous Democracies, which was published in the Journal of Religion and Society.  In it, he found: “... high rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy, and abortion in prosperous democracies.  Higher rates of non-theism and acceptance of human evolution usually correlate with lower rates of dysfunction,and the least theistic nations are usually the least dysfunctional.” The Global Peace Index (GPI) measures nations' levels of peacefulness or violence.  Statistical data related to the U.S. states reveal similar correlations between religiosity and high crime rates, teen pregnancy rates, school dropout rates, etc. where the more secular states invariably exhibit more societal health than the more religious states.  Prison and divorce statistics also shed light on the prevalence of societal dysfunction in religious communities.  Atheists are much less likely to divorce than Christians and Jews. Perhaps the association of religion and poverty can be linked to lack of access, at times even hostility, to traditional education among religious groups.  In heavily-atheistic Denmark, citizens can become doctors, courtesy of the state, thanks to free universal education up to college level whereas in the more religious U.S.A. anyone wanting to become a doctor would have to acquire tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.  93 percent of the members of the Academy of the Sciences --some of our most brilliant minds-- are atheists. Furthermore, to generalize when speaking about atheists is always a mistake.  The great minds of both the right and left spectrum of politics, from Marx to Ayn Rand, were atheists also: they shared a superior intellect, but in the service of opposing worldviews.  Buddhism is an atheistic religion and the Dalai Lama does not believe in a personal god. Of all the mainstream religions, Buddhism has historically also been among the least violent. Some theists claim that the burden of proof lies with the atheists.  This is an absurd claim.  It's hard to begin to imagine what scientific experiment one would have to carry out to prove the infantile and imaginative events in the book of Genesis: would a scientist have to breathe into a man made out of mud in a lab and document whether it comes to life?  Create a woman out of a man's rib?  If a woman could be cloned from a man's rib, would that constitute proof of God? Atheists have nothing to prove, it is the many flavors of theists who are proposing a hypothesis that does, indeed, require extraordinary evidence, aggravated by the fact that their supernatural claims are all mutually contradictory. Hindus believe in reincarnation, Christians believe in heaven but only if you believe in Christ, Muslims only if you believe in Allah, and then Mormons believe they're getting their own planet with multiple wives in the afterlife ... and that God is a human who lives in planet Kolob.  They cannot all be true, and if they all have been used by good people to perform good deeds ,then this only proves that 1) the wrong belief may inspire good and bad deeds and 2) good deeds have nothing to do with the right belief. The idea that religion is what keeps people moral is not only false but it's also dangerous as long as society continues assuming that religious leaders and institutions are above reproach, that we are not to require transparency of them as we do of other people and institutions.  It's this assertion that has allowed Catholic priests to rape and later silence thousands of innocent children over generations while their followers and even authorities try to not see what is going on under their noses, afraid to insult the sensitivities of deeply sincere Catholics. It is here that the role of atheists in the public discourse on the role of religion in our society becomes more crucial.  Atheists argue that it's not only fair, but imperative, to require transparency from religious leaders, that people do not have to be docile and fear religious authorities, that people can raise objections if necessary, that this is healthy.  Lack of visibility for atheists and prevalence of deference to religious authorities has contributed to a generally passive and docile attitude that is too often mistaken for humility and for a virtue.  This false humility, and the false arrogance that atheists are often accused of, reveal a system of values that has little respect for empirical and scientific evidence and too much undeserved respect for religions that are ostentatious about a moral superiority that they sorely lack. Studies suggest that people's bias against atheists, who according to recent studies are the most distrusted and hated minority in America, invariably have to do with the people that have the bias and their unconscious unresolved issues, not with the atheists.  When theists assume their own moral superiority, it's quite insulting for non-religious people, it's tired and it's baseless.  Seneca was right.  Credulity is not a virtue.  It's dehumanizing and it's no facsimile for true ethics....

Repulsion (1965) – A True Psychological Horror Classic

October 31, 2012


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By Syed Ahad Hussain – Senior Staff Writer 5 STARS In an era of “found footage,” “ghosts caught on tape” and movies like the Paranormal Activity series that bore a datable ‘scary movie’ tag, nobody is taking the horror genre seriously. In 2012, not only filmmakers, but audiences have taken this once fascinating genre for granted. If one wants a true, disturbing and real horror film experience, watch the movie Repulsion. How would someone act if their deepest fear came alive and grew closer to them? Have they ever fascinated over and felt terrified about something at the same time? Repulsion boldly and exceptionally attempts to answer these unusual and frightening questions individuals might ask themselves. This underrated film by one of the finest directors in the world, Roman Polanski, (Rosemary’s Baby, the Ghost Writer) which also happens to be his first English language film, tells the story of Carol Ledoux (Catherine Deneuve in her most brilliant role), a Belgian manicurist, who is afraid of  but also fascinated with men and sexuality. The film follows Carol as she slowly ascends into madness. Neurotic, shy and naïve, Carol lives with her sister, Helen, in a 1965 London apartment. Carol daydreams constantly about losing her virginity, but never finds the courage to find the right man. Her first date with a handsome rich man named Colin goes awry, and to make matters worse, her sister Helen can’t get enough of her boyfriend Michael. Carol grows extremely jealous of her sister’s healthy and perfect sexual life with Michael and becomes frightened of the couple’s frequent sexual encounters. Helen left with Michael for a vacation in Italy. Carol’s sexual frustrations and loneliness slowly begin to drive her crazy. She becomes unable to concentrate on work, becoming a reckloose. Her mental state severely deteriorates for the worst as she begins to hallucinate about getting raped and envisioning unpleasant, often violent encounters with random men. In an unpredictable and frightening scenario, she picks a rabbit and butchers it brutally while rotting its skin. Carol’s brutal psychological trauma and paranoia eventually leads to a shocking and unpredictable climax. The film’s black and white cinematography set in Carol’s dark and dreary apartment parallels her deteriorating mental state so effectively that viewers feel Carol’s fear, becoming as mentally disturbed and frightened as she is. Not many films are capable of scaring the viewer without showing any gore, ghosts and/or supernatural elements. Sometimes what one doesn’t see is scarier. Repulsion is a one-of-a-kind film that scares viewers from the inside and gives off a genuinely frightening, unsettling and psychologically disturbing motion picture experience. Repulsion sets the basis for Polanski to create the essence of his later horror masterpiece Rosemary’s Baby, which also deals with a woman descending into madness. It is remarkable that despite Repulsion being made way back in the ‘60s, it is still capable of creating scream out loud moments. Movie fans have seen a centipede made out of humans, a masked wielding tumor-ridden sadistic man playing pointlessly painful and gory games and creating ‘jigsaw’ puzzle pieces with human flesh, two nutcase scientists experimenting with teenagers hiding in their cabin in the woods, a former U.S. president slaying vampires and people recording nuisances in their apartments at night with a digital camera. But none of these so-called “horror” films create real psychological damage by generating deep tension inside viewers’ minds like Repulsion ought to do with the aforementioned cheap and gory tactics. If readers rent it for a Halloween movie night, they will not be disappointed....

National Nontraditional Student Recognition Week—Peggy Valdes

October 31, 2012


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By Jennifer Blair – Contributing Writer Peggy Valdes is an exemplary undergraduate student and scholar, but returning to college as an adult presented her with a number of challenges.  It was the Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (BAIS) Program and Nontraditional Degree Programs that provided her with a path forward. It would have been a loss to the Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) community had Valdes not enrolled; she has emerged as a leader among her peers, highly respected by faculty and students alike. “If it wasn't for Nontraditonal Degree Programs… I would have had a harder time envisioning myself as a college student,” Valdes said. “I thought because I had missed the boat after high school, it was going to be even harder to get in. The info session helped me see myself as an adult college student for the first time. I've since found out that nontraditional students make up more than 75 percent of all the students matriculated in higher education.” Valdes double majors in Interdisciplinary Studies and Sociology and has achieved a 3.87 grade point average.  She is an avid learner, committed to her academic and career goals, and receptive to guidance from advisers and mentors.  Her research, conducted under the guidance of her McNair Faculty Mentor Dr. Brett Stockdill, investigates the factors contributing to the academic success of first-generation college students. In November, Valdes will present her research project at the University of Wisconsin National McNair Research Conference.  Her most recent honor is acceptance into the distinguished ENLACE Fellows Program as she begins her graduate scholarship. As a Latina, Valdes is a member of a group historically underrepresented in graduate education. Her goals are to achieve a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration and to become a higher education administrator. In this capacity, she hopes to contribute to efforts to support the academic success of first-generation Latino college students. When asked if she has any advice for NEIU students, Valdes responded, “There is an incredible amount of community wealth at NEIU. From sympathetic faculty who are themselves first-generation college students, to capable staff that will lend an ear and offer help if you take the time to ask for it. Another unrecognized resource at NEIU is the students. I've learned as much from them as I have from my text books and I've received support from students who know the challenges you face with a school load, work, and family obligations.” Nontraditional Student Recognition Week is a national celebration held in the first week of November each year sponsored by the Association for Non-Traditional Students in Higher Education (ANTSHE).  It is a chance for member schools to recognize the support many campus departments provide and to celebrate nontraditional student success.  As a part of National Nontraditional Student Recognition Week, NEIU’s Nontraditional Degree Programs is proud to highlight the accomplishments of this excellent student, Peggy Valdes....

Music’s Purgatory: An Album

October 31, 2012


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By Jacklyn Nowotnik – Managing Editor 5 STARS When one thinks of Halloween, images of pumpkins, vampires, candy, and colors of orange and black come to mind. Who would ever think to think of purgatory? Luckily Purgatorio: Wrathful Ashes by Righteous Ones gives music lovers a reason to want to be in music limbo. Righteous Ones should be a recognizable name on Northeastern Illinois University’s (NEIU) campus as they have performed for Que Ondee Sola and Union for Puerto Rican Students’ Que la Que Hay event in 2009 and NEIU’s Hip Hop for Haiti event in 2010. Back then Righteous Ones consisted of a few band members that incorporated the live sounds of drums, guitars and vocals into a type of music that combined many elements of different genres.  Although Righteous Ones still incorporates many different genres and stays true to its signature sound, Righteous Ones now consists of lyrical flows by band member Righteous. Although it is now a solo act, Righteous says he kept the name Righteous Ones as a tribute to his old band members. It’s been two years since Righteous Ones’ last album, and while the wait seemed to last like an eternity in music purgatory, music lovers can now go to heaven.  Purgatorio: Wrathful Ashes has an overall dark sound to most its music, but there are a few songs that tickle your funny bone and pull at the heart strings. In track three, “What’s Wrong,” Righteous definitely expresses his dislike for the slaughter of his love of music.  He pokes fun at rappers such as Gucci Mane, Chief Keef, and Waka Flocka, but to really understand the humor you have to listen carefully to the lyrics and the effects on his voice. In track five, “Loving Hate,” Righteous talks about a relationship that many know too well, a relationship that wants to wants to grow in its love but is constantly fighting doubts. Interestingly enough track ten, “LIP,” seems to pay a tribute to NEIU’s Latinas In Power (LIP) organization. Righteous uses slick rhyme and rhythm to address issues of beauty, self esteem and a sense of pride all of which affect the Latina identity. If those songs weren’t enough, the track 16, “Just a Dream (Remix),” is a song that can appeal to anyone as it is about accomplishing one’s dream regardless of the obstacles and doubts. Purgatorio: Wrathful Ashes takes the listener on a wild ride that deals with identity, personal struggle, and musical satire. It combines the musical influences of Midwest rap, rock, jazz, freestyle and club all into one for a sound unlike any other.  Instead asking for tricks or treats this year and hoping for that giant candy bar, treat yourself to the sounds of Purgatorio.  The album will be released on Oct. 31,2012 for seven dollars. For more information, visit www.deafeq.com...

Meet the Man Behind the Boxing Plan

October 31, 2012


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By Desiree Dylong-Copy Editor Returned student Israel Gonzalez’s 16 years of experience in boxing and seven years of self-defense  kickboxing started with self-determination. It began in his basement when he started training himself by watching videos of his favorite fighters and following their movements. In his twenties, he stepped into a gym and later went on to compete in the Golden Gloves and fought national fighters. Israel had hopes of being a champion, but that changed after being in an accident.  After his accident, Israel realized that his talent could be used to help others, “Before my accident I had the idea and the drive to become the champion of the world. After my accident, I realized that my gift was used to become a champion for the world.” In 2008, Israel joined with campus recreation and later went on to form the NEIU Boxing Club as it is today. The centerpiece of NEIU boxing is Izzy Duz it Fitness (I.D.I.F.), a boxing fitness program that was created by Israel. Today, NEIU campus recreation contracts Izzy Duz it Fitness to lead students toward better health and wellness. Izzy Duz it Fitness is based on group workouts with a strong focus on teamwork. The program is a place where each individual is able to meet their personal goals. Whether those goals are to relieve stress, get toned, or lose weight, I.D.I.F is designed to help people of all levels accomplish success. As for the demographic of fighters, the boxing club is not strictly male. Female students have taken on a strong role, “the trophies you see out there, 70 percent are women who won those fights”, Israel said when talking of the boxing trophies at the P.E. Complex. Besides training in the gym, NEIU boxing is encouraging its members to take their work ethic into the community. Beyond the Walls, a program that promotes leadership and volunteerism teaches students the value of being involved in the community. “We’re not limited to Northeastern just because we’re here,” Israel said. “We spider webbed Northeastern into the community”. NEIU boxing has experienced recent success by becoming a licensed boxing gym and will be able to put on NEIU’s first ever boxing show on Nov. 16th 2012. It will not only be a boxing show, but will also feature comedians and present Spin Box, a program that meshes spin and boxing into one workout. Doors will open at five and the show starts at 6 p.m. As for the future, Israel also has goals of creating a scholarship program that will promote health, wellness and leadership skills. Encouraging these traits in future students and creating leaders that embody healthy living for future generations is part of NEIU boxing’s mission. Israel’s motto “Motivation, Dedication, Graduation” lies at the core of the way he leads the program. For Israel, it’s not only about physical fitness, but also preparing students to take what they’ve learned inside of the gym, and applying it to their everyday lives. Israel is also a part of bike4life, a non -for-profit organization that promotes health through cardio fitness programs. For more information about Izzy Duz it Fitness go to IzzyduzitFitness.com. To purchase tickets for the Nov. 16th show, go to the Northeastern box office or purchase online at bike4lifechicago.org....

International Halloween Haunts

October 31, 2012


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By Juan Gonzalez – Distribution Manager Around the world, multiple books have documented different myths about relatively unknown monsters. This Halloween season, as one gets ready to share scary stories around the campfire, here are some weird and sometimes funny stories about some ghouls, goblins and spirits unfamiliar to many. A work entitled “Yaokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide” documents strange creatures and basic information about them. One of those aforementioned creatures, or yokai,  the Neko-Mata or “The Forked Cat,” is a creature said to be four times bigger than an average cat and plays into the western culture’s myth about cats being able to take the breath of babies away. However, instead of taking lives, the Neko-Mata is believed to possess the ability to give dead bodies their life back. Among their somewhat scary mystical powers is the cat’s ability to devour an individual just because it feels it has been wronged. Another monster from Japan is the Onibaba, or the Demon Hag, that was once a working mother who had the honor of working for a wealthy family. The employers of the mother had given birth to a child who, at the age of five, had never uttered a sound or even a cry, and so they set out to find some of the finest doctors, but to no avail. Finally, they found a well-known fortune teller who knew the cure. If the family wanted their child to speak they were to feed their child the liver of a fetus. Having worked with the family for years, the parents placed their nanny in charge of finding the unsuspecting victim that would cure their child. The nanny, having a young girl about the same age as her employer’s child left her daughter adorned with an amulet which was said to have brought good luck. Many years after the woman had first set out onto her journey to find the fetus liver,she came across a pregnant traveler. After welcoming the woman into the cave that she called home, she attacked her and killed her unborn child to retrieve its liver.  Wrapped around the young woman’s neck was the exact amulet she had left her daughter with years before. Driven mad by the realization that she murdered her daughter and her unborn grandchild ,she now stalks areas looking for human flesh  and scrapes off the bones of her victims with the same knife that she killed her daughter with. Another strange monster from the area of Japan is the Nure Onna or the Dragon Lady. This yokai is very similar to the Greek mythological figure Medusa, except the effects of its ability to turn people into stone is psychological. Unlike Medusa, it also has the ability to consume its victims, luring them into the water by stretching its neck out so that fishermen see a person in distress. Folklore believes that this woman, although as big and long as an anaconda, can wear itself so thin that it can hide in even the shallowest of lakes and streams, so next time someone is near a body of water, be careful or the Nure Onna may just trick you into walking into her fang-filled mouth. Some monsters around the world can be lethal only to animals but others can be just as deadly to humans. Some “monsters,” as some might call them from around the world, such as El Chupacabra, or the spotted bat-wolf hybrid, of many Latin American countries devours livestock and is easily comparable to Big Foot. Another Latin American “monster” is La Llorona, once believed to be a mother who went mad and drowned her two children in the river and disposed of their bodies by cutting them up into tiny pieces and burying them. Legend tells that people can hear her lamenting for her children wherever there is water. Even if the water is in a cup on someone’s windowsill, she is said to search all bodies of water looking to find her children. There are many more stories which can be told such as the terrifying story of the Clap-Cans which comes from Lancaster, England or the sweet story of the Clay Mother, or  the Clim, an imp who yells at naughty children. So this Halloween season spend the days not only being careful of where you  walk,  but also looking for some more strange stories to tell others....

Injuries to Key Players Could Decide Fate of Certain Teams

October 31, 2012


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By Greg Adler – Staff Writer “Are you hurt or are you injured?” Anyone who has ever played a sport, any sport, has probably heard this at one time or another. It is simple, injured means medically unable to continue playing, while hurt means rub some dirt on it and get that butt back in the game. At this point in the NFL season coaches of every team in every division are frantically asking this question, with their hopes of hoisting the Lombardi trophy slowly getting closer and further away at the same time. Heading into week eight, it’s that time to take a look at where players and coaches stand on injuries that could very well make or break a season. But before we take on this task let’s go through a breakdown of the terminology of an injury report. The levels are quite simple: “Out” means there is a 0% chance that the player will return, “doubtful” indicates a 25% chance of the player returning to the field, “questionable” means the odds are fifty/fifty for the player’s return, and “probable” shows a 75% chance a favorite or key player will be suiting up to bring their special set of skills to the turf. The Green Bay Packers have suffered the loss of defensive tackle B.J. Raji to an ankle injury while on the other side of the line wide receiver Greg Jennings is out with a groin injury and is scheduled to have surgery. Nothing has been more of an agent of change to the “GO PACK GO” chant to “STOP PACK STOP” than the injury to safety Charles Woodson in the week seven matchup against the St. Louis Rams. Woodson suffered a broken collarbone which will keep him out for six weeks and has definitely hindered the Packers defensively. The defining downside of losing Woodson was that he’s consistently known as a player that can rally the Pack to victory. Players that play are one thing, but players that clearly motivate their teammates to perform better and dig deeper are another. A perfect example of this type of player is the Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis. No. 52 has been with the team since their super bowl win a few years back and is clearly a driving force on and off the field. Add to that big loss cornerback Darius Webb tearing his ACL and the fate of the Ravens no longer lies with their infamous defense, but in the hands of quarterback Joe Flacco, who has been inconsistent at best. With a current record of 5-2 and one of the toughest divisions in the NFL, it is unclear what the final weeks of the season will hold for the Ravens. With the Monsters of the Midway currently having the best defense in the NFL, it is critical that the Chicago Bears stay fit and ready to tackle any opposition in order to maintain their impressive 5-1 record. That being said, it is important that wide receiver and special team dynamo Devin Hester gets back into the swing of things as soon as possible since suffering a strained quad. Quarterback Jay Cutler is also under scrutiny after suffering a debilitating hit to his ribs in the week seven matchup against the Detroit Lions. As if the Bears slowing down weren’t bad enough, it seems that Coach Lovie Smith has made a decision to pull Linebacker Brian Urlacher from practice. With one their defensive leaders out of the mix it is uncertain if the Bears can growl their way to a solid season. The question is simple, “Are you injured or are you hurt?” No matter what team you root for, it can be guaranteed that fans across the country are hoping for the lesser of two evils, and have the response simply be “hurt.”...

Gigantic Winnings for the San Francisco Giants

October 31, 2012


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By Ari Guttman – Staff Writer The San Francisco Giants did something that would “knock the guts out of a baseball”. Like the Boston Red Sox in 2006, the Giants beat the odds and won a spot to compete in the 2012 World Series. The Giants came from behind in a game that was for the makings. Who would know that the Giants would beat the Cardinals in game seven of the National League Championship Series (NLCS) and make it to the World Series?  This is how it all started and ended folks. In game one, the Cardinals beat the Giants 6-4. The save went to Cardinals pitcher, Jason Motte. The Cardinals’ winning pitcher was Edward Mujica and the losing pitcher for the Giants was Madison Bumgarner. The game went to the Cardinals, starting the series record at 0-1. Game two went to the Giants where the score was 7-1. The winning pitcher for the Giants was Ryan Vogelson, and the losing pitcher was the ace for the Cardinals, Chris Carpenter.  The Giant’s win evened the record at 1-1. Game three went to the Cardinals with a score of 3-1. The winning pitcher was the Cardinals’ Kyle Lohse and the losing pitcher was Giant’s pitcher Matt Cain.  The save went to Jason Motte which was his second save against the Giants, leaving the series record at 1-2. Game four went to the Cardinals with the score 8-3. The winning pitcher was Adam Wainwright and the losing pitcher was the Giants’ ace Tim Lincecum. (1-3). People thought the series was going to be over, with the Cardinals only needing one more win to send themselves to the World Series and face the Detroit Tigers. In a surprising turn of events, during the NLCS both aces of the Cardinals and the Giants lost their games. This offered some drama and suspense for baseball fans, since ace pitchers are supposed to be superior weapons for their teams. Things started to change in game five when the Giants slaughtered the Cardinals 5-0. The winning pitcher was Barry Zito and the losing pitcher was Lance Lynn. The series was now at 2-3. In game six the Giants won again 6-1. Ryan Vogelson (2-0) won his second game of the NLCS. The losing pitcher went to the Cardinals’ ace pitcher Chris Carpenter (0-2). The giants had tied the series at 3-3 and forced a high-stakes game seven. The NLCS came down to the final game:  which team was going to make it to the World Series? After their rough start, would the Giants be able to prevail like the Boston Red Sox did in 2006? Or would the Cardinals emerge victorious since they already beat out the Washington Nationals, who were the number one team in the National League going into the playoffs. Game seven went to the Giants who slaughtered the Cardinals 9-0. Yes, slaughtered, 9-0. The winning pitcher was Matt Cain (1-1) and the losing pitcher was Kyle Lohse (1-1), making Matt Cain the MVP for game seven and crowning the Giants the champions of the National League with a 4-3 series spread over the Cardinals. Now the Giants and the Detroit Tigers battle for the World Series Crown....

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