The Independent

Student Spotlight: Mimi and Me

October 17, 2012


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By Jon-Paul Kreatsoulas - Staff Writer When one thinks of a musical duo, the instrument choice and the arrangements that follow are considered by the standard each musician sets. Their interests and perceptions shine through the music in a more dynamic manner. What will the duo sound like if one individual blows on a kazoo while the other tings joyfully on a dangling triangle? Or, in the case of Mimi and Me, a duo comprised of N.E.I.U.’s own Michelle Cross and Aaron Leiva, what would  Cross’ theatrically brooding vocals and piano work sound like when layered with Leiva’s acoustic guitar chord progressions and folky southern twanged articulations? Imagine Bob Dylan as the Phantom of the opera. After a meet and greet with both Mimi and Aaron and a sensational, yet not so minimalistic approached cover of The Beatles’ “Come Together” later, an attempt to cut into the meat of what it means to be a local performing musician was made. Cross’ interest in music was identified while living in her motherland of Japan with a recognition with classical piano and the philosophy that in order for one to play music passionately, the individual must observe and absorb their instrument with the physicality of a lover. Leiva started out with the piano too at a young age, but in spite of parents’ typical reservation of their children jumping from one “fad” or “phase” to another, he suggested the guitar instead so he could “rock out” a little harder at the young and budding age of a high school freshman. Through the years and gaining the bearings that a musician seeks, Cross has traversed away from her home and traveled between the east and west coasts in order to find the right fit of people in her professional music life. She says that the “music [business] has its own high school.” This leads one to believe that in order for a passionate musician to make any kind of recognizable contribution or dent in the biz, they’re bound to start by scraping along some reptilian-like scales of the music world’s underbelly, an experience that is wise to avoid repeating a second time. Cross has recorded an E.P. (extended play) and a full length album in her time of performing and has gigged in several Chicago venues like The Beat Kitchen and Elbo Room. From a more local vantage point, Leiva has addressed his love for music by teaming up with the occasional metal band from his high school days and by reasserting his influences in the patches of dirt and grass that is folk music. Leiva has recorded and gigged on his own in nearby Chicago suburbs as well as the city itself in such joints as Silvie’ Lounge, Underground Lounge and Penny Road Pub. But it took an off chance arrangement for Mimi Cross and Aaron Leiva to form what is now known as Mimi and Me. A seed was planted early in the summer of 2012 when N.E.I.U.’s English department was showcasing an event and was looking for a musical appearance. A happy accident joined the piano keys of Cross and the acoustic guitar strings of Leiva and the rest and rising ambitions are soon to come as Leiva states with sly remark and a vague smirk, “something’s a’ brewin’....

Seven Psychopaths

October 17, 2012


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By Matthew Greenberg – Sports Editor Brilliantly written and directed by Martin McDonagh, Seven Psychopaths exemplifies the best of comedy, action, thriller, and philosophical genres. Set in Los Angeles, the film focuses on Marty, played by Colin Farrell, an alcoholic scriptwriter who is struggling with his ideas for his newest script, Seven Psychopaths. Offering him some backhanded assistance is Marty’s best friend, Billy, played by Sam Rockwell, who makes a living kidnapping dogs and collecting the reward for returning them. Billy’s partner in crime is Hans, played by Christopher Walken, an old-timer who religiously visits his cancer-stricken wife every single day in the hospital. Things go awry for this odd trio when Billy kidnaps the dog of Charlie, played by Woody Harrelson, a psychotic gang leader whose mental instability overloads from the disappearance of his precious companion. The movie begins rapidly as we follow Charlie on the hunt for his lost dog, and the subsequent fleeing of Marty, Billy, and Hans as they attempt to avoid the business end of the ruthless killer’s gun (which may or may not fire when the trigger is pulled). Thrown into the mix is the Jack of Diamonds, a serial killer who focuses most of his attention on “middle to upper level members of the Italian crime syndicate” and is named for the playing card he leaves on his victims’ corpses, and Zachariah, another serial killer who travels the country serial killing serial killers, all the while with his pet bunny. As if the audience didn’t have enough to keep track of, we are also shown clips from Marty’s movie as he searches for and develops his seven psychopaths. Jeff Meyers of the Metro Times writes, “It's about what you'd expect from the filmmaker whose first feature, In Bruges, featured a coke-addled dwarf pontificating about the impending race riots to a pair of Belgian hookers.” McDonagh brings slick dialogue and spit-take worthy comedy to the screen in a manner that seems to combine the styles of Guy Ritchie with Quentin Tarantino, and it works perfectly. Add in fantastic acting, particularly by Walken and Rockwell, plenty of philosophical musings that will keep an audience thinking long after they leave the theater, and a fair share of exploding heads, Seven Psychopaths does everything that is asked of it and more. Make sure not to leave the theater too soon—just because the credits start rolling doesn’t mean McDonagh is finished throwing the audience for a loop one last time....

Records Were Meant to be Broken

October 17, 2012


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By Matthew Greenberg – Sports Editor The stage was set for history to be made. Sunday Night Football has become a staple of primetime football and the stars were in place for a showdown. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers were set for what was sure to be a fantastic shootout on the Sunday Night stage. Brees was one game away from breaking Johnny Unitas’ long-standing record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass. Unitas has held the record since 1960, achieving an unprecedented 47 straight games with a passing touchdown. Now, just over 50 years later, Brees has tied Unitas and was searching for the magic 48th in a row that would break the record. The evening was one that finally seemed to overshadow the controversy surrounding the Saints organization this year. With key members of their coaching staff, including Head Coach Sean Payton, suspended pending the NFL’s investigation of the bounty system, the Saints have been struggling this season, to say the least. Coming into week 5, the Saints had a dismal 0-4 record. Even though Brees has been playing like his normal superstar self, the Saints defense was ranked last in the league, and the high-powered offense had not been able to compensate for the team’s defensive shortcomings. Brees put in a special request to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to allow Payton and a few other members of the suspended staff to attend the game. Also in attendance was Joe Unitas, son of the aforementioned legendary quarterback, who said, “Records didn't matter to my dad. Winning is all that mattered. He was very black and white. No gray area with him. You're either right or you're wrong. You won or you lost. You did, or you didn't.” There was no question about whether Brees did or didn’t. He did. As the first quarter was winding down Brees threw a rocket to Devery Henderson for a 40-yard touchdown pass, successfully achieving his 48th consecutive game with a passing touchdown, and officially passing Unitas’ longstanding record. It was a picture-perfect situation. Brees led the Saints back from a 10-point deficit to defeat the Chargers 31-24, throwing for 370 yards and 4 touchdowns (including the record breaker). “My father always said that records were meant to be broken,” said Joe Unitas in a letter to Brees. After decimating Dan Marino’s record for single-season passing yards last year, Brees has solidified himself in yet another way as one of the NFL’s all-time great quarterbacks....

NHL Lockout to Effect Regular Hawks Season

October 17, 2012


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By Katie Kelly – Staff Writer As the leaves begin to fall off the trees, hockey pucks typically drop on the ice. However, thanks to the NHL lockout it doesn’t look like it will happen this fall. With no end in sight, the players and their fans are getting discouraged about the current season. The NHL and the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) cannot figure out away to divide $3.3 million in past years revenue. The lockout went into effect Sept. 16, at 12:01 a.m. The central issue in this standoff is how to divide the league’s revenues. According to ESPN, players currently receive 57% of hockey-related revenues. The NHL’s proposal would decrease the number to 47% by the end of a six-year term. It is a choice by the owners that the league is on lockout. The NHLPA believes that games could have been played and negotiations could have taken place on the side. They could have figured out this economic issue without effecting the season. Not only are fans and players upset about the lockout, but the NHL is reported to be missing out on over $100 million in revenue from the missed pre-season games. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly claims, “We remain committed to doing everything in our power to forge an agreement that is fair to the players, fair to the teams, and good for our fans. This is not about ‘winning’ or ‘loosing’ a negotiation. This is about finding a solution that preserves the long-term health and stability of the league and the game. We are committed to getting this done”. As of Oct. 4, the season has been canceled up until games scheduled through Oct. 24, which is when the unions hope to have the lockout finalized. According to Don Fehr, Union executive director, “The definition of ‘no progress’ that comes out of the NHL offices seems to be: ‘They didn’t give us what we want yet.” The NHLPA created a YouTube video with a few players that expressed their thoughts about the lockout. James Reimer, goalie of the Toronto Maple Leafs says, “We love the game, we love to play…we don’t want a lockout, we want to play. This isn’t where we want to be. We would much rather be on the ice that’s for sure.” Jonathan Toews, the captain of our Chicago Blackhawks, agrees with fellow player Reimer and also adds in, “We’re working hard where we are tying to get to that point, like I said things will be more simple and we can just get back to playing hockey and doing what we do best. To see the complete video, search A Message from the Players to the Fans about the NHL Lockout on YouTube. There is no end in sight for the lockout. No comments have been made whether or not the lost games will be re-scheduled and made up. The typical 82 games that make up a season may be cut in half if the NHL and NHLPA don’t reach an agreement soon. Both the NHL and NHLPA are hoping to avoid another 04-05 season where the whole season was canceled due to a lockout. It was the first time since 1919 that the Stanley Cup was not awarded. Anyone who was lucky enough to get tickets to the Hawks opening night on Oct. 13 will be able to exchange them for the new opening night, if and when it takes place. All other tickets for this season will be refunded. Visit Blackhawks.com for more information....

NFL Fines: A Question of Ridiculousness

October 17, 2012


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By Greg Adler – Staff Writer Ever wonder why players in the NFL make the heaping piles of money that they do? A main reason is to offset the amount they pay in fines. The NFL big-wigs have determined that putting their physical bodies on the line game in and game out is not enough. Tarell Brown, San Francisco 49ers cornerback was recently fined $5,250 in regards to a uniform snafu, he wore red sleeves. The purpose of the longer sleeves was to stay loose and warm. The NFL rule states that “players must wear NFL sponsored gear for ninety minutes of each game.” According to yahoo.com, NFL officials are placed randomly outside of the locker room in order to inform and deter players from violating any uniform regulations. The Chicago Bears are just as dastardly as that 49ers trouble maker. In 2011, Bears receiver Earl Bennett was fined not once, but twice for wearing orange shoes. After the first fine, Bennett intended to follow the dress code. “They say they will double the fine, so, it would be 10 grand,” Bennett said. “And I don’t think my wife would like that.” He was subsequently fined again after the next game for wearing the same shoes. The kicker was that they matched the orange alternative game jersey the team was wearing that day. Bennett was fined a whopping $10,000. Add that to the $5,250 he had paid the previous game and his fines totaled to $15,250 for orange shoes. This is not to say there aren’t fines that have purpose in the NFL, particularly regarding fighting, un-sportsman like conduct, and even being arrested by a local, state, or federal municipality. These are rational fines in place to preserve the overall reputation of the NFL as good old American entertainment. When Michael Vick was indicted back in 2007 for the famed dog fighting scandal, not only did he have answer to the courts, but he also had to answer to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, creating a bit of double jeopardy. In addition to the previous two categories of fines, the NFL has also put in place fines relating to how players play the game. In 2010 New York Jets linebacker Bart Scott was fined $20,000 for playing without his helmet’s chinstrap secured. This fine makes sense as it is in place to accent the importance of playing the game safely. The NFL has even taken measures to fine players $15,000 for helmet to helmet tackles/hits which was put in place to reduce the frequency of concussions the players endure. For more information on fines in the NFL, check out justfines.com According to NBCSports.com, the grand total in “on the field fines” in 2010 totaled $2.9 million which was then distributed to several different NFL charities. NFL Charities include PLAY60, Heads-up, the NFL Player Care Foundation, the Brian Piccolo Memorial Fund, and Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center. Certain fines have a place in the NFL in order to protect the players and preserve the integrity of both the game and the league, but then there are those that make you scratch your head and ask, “Really? $10,000 for orange shoes?” Honestly though, at the end of the day if that money is truly going to help childhood obesity, cancer research, and concussion prevention research, well, those fines are fine with me....

Molly’s Cupcakes and Cookies and Brownies and More!

October 17, 2012


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By Christos Liardakis – Opinions Editor Students and Boystown residents will be greatly pleased when they visit Molly’s Cupcakes at 2536 N. Clark Street. Although they are best known for their cupcakes, they are more than just a one trick pony, Molly’s serves cookies, pies, cheesecakes, homemade ice cream and other sweets to satiate that sweet tooth. With a homey décor and a warm friendly atmosphere, one can’t help but smile at the first sign on the door that reads, “Lost children get an espresso and a free puppy.” A corner filled with board games allows anyone visiting Molly’s to get some sweets and just hang out while playing Taboo or Trouble. During a visit, the staff served a ginger molasses cookie that was literally bigger than the dessert plate it was served on. This seems to be a theme with all their sweets: big, sweet and tasty. With a variety of flavors such as the peach cobbler cupcake (with real peach cobbler inside) and the birthday-cake cupcake full of cake batter, there are so many choices. Apart from cookies and cupcakes, Molly’s Cupcakes also serves phenomenal homemade ice cream along with brownies, pies and cheesecake. Most cupcakes made with a different filling, each individual cupcake has a unique richness within every flavor, from the Cookie Monster Cupcake filled with cookie dough with vanilla frosting and yellow cake, to the Ron Benington, a chocolate cake and frosting cupcake with crumbled butterfingers sprinkling the top with a peanut butter filling. Customers also have the option to create their own cupcake, which includes options such as vegan chocolate, vanilla cake, and your choice of frosting. Despite its child-friendly atmosphere, the bakery itself is kept in immaculate condition. All the plates and cutlery were spotless and the staff was phenomenal. The vibrant décor goes great with the delicious cupcakes. This is a must visit for anyone with a sweet tooth, or just looking to try something new. If that’s not enough, they have a variety of winter and summer cupcakes that are released according to the season. During the winter they feature their pumpkin spice, cranberry orange, and mint chocolate center fillings, while in summertime Molly’s Cupcakes serves strawberry shortcake, lemon meringue, and rainbow sherbet fillings. The prices are a bit high, starting at $3.25 for the cheapest cupcake, but well worth it considering one or two cupcakes with a glass of milk can easily make up a full meal for anyone. Molly’s Cupcakes also donates cupcakes to school functions and fundraisers by student, teacher, or principal requests....

Looper

October 17, 2012


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By Christos Liardakis Rian Johnson’s newest film Looper, is a mix of futuristic sci-fi and action. The most unique part about this movie is how time travel is integrated into the story line and actually works. With a great cast that features Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis, combined with Rian Johnson’s brilliant directing, Looper provides its audience with a mind-blowing experience. The story takes place in 2044 Kansas, where the U.S. has fallen into a horrible recession and 10 percent of the population has been born with telekinetic powers (TK). At first, everyone thinks these abilities will lead to super heroes and a better future, but most people can do nothing more than levitate a quarter. With no hope left, people turn to the mafia, leading to a booming underworld full of drugs, prostitution and murder. Jumping forward to 2074, the mafia essentially rules the world from behind the scenes under the hand of the Rainmaker, a powerful TK whose abilities put all others to shame. Time travel is finally invented, but immediately outlawed by the government. This leads to a new method of murder, and with advanced tracking devices there is no corpse that can’t be found. So for the mafia to get the job done they send their target to the past to be executed by a “looper”. No corpse, no evidence and as far as the past is concerned, the given person is still alive. Joseph Gordon Levitt plays a looper named Joe Simmons, who makes his living doing just that, until it is time for him to “close his loop.” This refers to when a looper must finally terminate his future self in exchange for a huge reward and a 30 year retirement. Unfortunately all this goes horribly wrong as Joe’s future-self, played by Bruce Willis, escapes in an attempt to change the future and eliminate the Rainmaker before he becomes an adult. With the mafia chasing down both Joes, and the younger Joe hunting for his future self to set things straight, it is only a matter of time before everything turns into chaos. The movie heavily symbolizes the mafia as a futuristic Illuminati force, manipulating government and basically everyone’s daily lives. Meanwhile, time travel plays a prevalent theme in the entire movie, questioning the existence of one single time line but also challenges it with different parallel worlds. Do they all lead to the same place at the end? Or can different parallel worlds lead to an infinite number of different results? Rian Johnson pulls out all the stops for the time traveling theme, unabashed by paradoxes or contradiction since after all, time travel itself should bring up just such paradoxes and contradictions. With a great, well thought out plot and an amazing cast, Looper will leave the audience scratching their heads while the credits roll, still trying to figure out if the Rainmaker will ever come to exist among other questions....

FTL: Faster Than Light Review

October 17, 2012


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By Luis Badillo – Staff Writer Faster Than Light(FTL) is a strategy/role playing game/space simulator, developed by Sunset studios. FTL sets the player up as the captain of their very own starship, fully equipped with weapons, shields and a loyal crew. The task is to deliver data to the other side of the galaxy that may be vital to ending a galactic civil war. With the enemy armada hunting for the data the whole way, rogue artificial intelligences, friendly and hostile aliens, space pirates and slave traders or any other crisis typical to interstellar travel. Along these galactic errands, new crew members are picked up, hull damage is repaired and the ship can be upgraded. This game is what is known as a rogue-like, a style of game that implements a "permadeath" mechanic. That means that once a ship is destroyed, the player has to start from scratch. This is where FTL's true nature reveals itself, as the galaxy that is being explored will randomly rearrange at the restart of the journey. Though it typically takes about an hour and a half in play time to reach the end, a few players will have trouble getting past the first battle they encounter. This may sound frustrating, but FTL achieves the difficult by not framing death as a failure, but more as a learning experience. Since the galaxy is randomly populated once a player dies, each new play-through is an opportunity to see something completely new. Each encounter presents countless possibilities and ways for the player to react. Each space battle is a volley of missiles and lasers each with a specific purpose. Will the player target the enemy's shields with missiles to ensure victory by force? Or, perhaps disable the enemy’s weaponry, which can buy the player enough time to make a getaway. The enemy may also teleport aboard the player’s ship in the middle of a battle. In this case one can send a newly acquired alien Rockman crew member to defend the ship or use that defense robot that was purchased from a black market dealer. The player may open up the airlocks and allow the vacuum of space to fill the invaded room, resulting in the boarding party's defeat via asphyxiation. After the enemy is defeated the player is rewarded. The earned scrap can be used as a currency to repair or upgrade the player’s ship, hire new alien crew members, purchase new weapons or even bribe potential enemies. No two encounters will ever play out exactly the same, the players have to be on their toes at all times and test their resolve as a captain. Encounters usually do not last longer than five minutes, leading to a "just one more before I'm done" flow to the game. The player may boot up the game, knock out an encounter or two and before they know it, they have spent an hour exploring the cosmos. Though the imagery being described here lends itself to epic space battles of which the likes would be depicted in Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica, the game has a more simplistic style. The view of the player’s ship is from a top-down perspective. The player watches from above as they click out the commands for their crew members, and direct which weapons fire at what, all the while managing power systems in the middle of a fight. Though the game's 2D art style isn't flashy, the characters, ship and environment designs are colorful and visually interesting. The simple style allows FTL to run smoothly on most laptops, including Macs. The occasionally frantic firefights, though chaotic are easily manageable with this art direction. FTLisn't for everyone. Its difficulty may frustrate some newer players; however the gameplay of FTL encourages experimentation. Discovering how to deal with each little crisis as one sees fit is genuinely rewarding. At the price of $10 on the game's website, ftlgame.com, this is value that's hard to beat. Even if FTL: Faster Than Light sounds a bit daunting, rest assured; if one allows themselves to play this game, it will take them out of this world....

Caravan for Peace At NEIU

October 17, 2012


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By Hiram Crespo – Contributing Writer Photo by Hiram Crespo Photo by Hiram Crespo Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) was visited Sept. 4, 2012 by the Caravan for Peace, a collective of thousands of Mexican mothers, siblings, fathers and other family members who accidentally became activists after having lost loved ones in the drug war. Their presence on campus helped humanize and personalize the difficult problems related to drug and arms traffic between the two countries.  The illicit nature of these markets makes it difficult to accurately track how profitable they are but, if statistics are any indication, the exchange of arms and drugs between the US and Mexico seems to work like a well-oiled machine and represents a significant portion of the economy in both countries.  Estimates for how many people have died over the last six years in crimes related to the drug wars range from 47,500 (The Telegraph) to 50,000 (The Atlantic) with more victims being uncovered daily, but some Caravan members cited figures as high as 70,000. There is ample conviction among victims' families that the war on drugs that has been conducted by the US and Mexico for decades is a policy failure.  One caravan member explained how drugs are not the actual problem, that it's US-led militarization of the problem and drug prohibition that causes the turf war.  "40 years of this war policy has turned us into criminals.  There are more deaths from the violence than from drug addiction.  Mexico provides the drugs, the US provides the arms, and our people provide the dead".  According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, the US spends nearly $700 billion in military expenses - a full 20% of our federal budget - and is responsible for 35% of global arms export. One mother said,"It's not the ones who die, but the families, who live at the mercy of those who take the liberty to kill".  Another mother said "My son, it's as if the Earth swallowed him.  What prohibition has done is to create an illicit market that finances organized crime.  I ask the US to change its policy to one of security and human development". Several of the mothers who gave testimony had journeyed numerous Mexican and American states in search for their lost sons, whom they were never able to bury. The possibility that their sons may still be alive left them emotionally broken, in a state of perpetual agony and lack of closure.  They reiterate that the Mexican authorities are so corrupt that they're completely unreliable in the process of investigating and solving these crimes. Lucia Baca, whose 34 year old son remains missing, mentioned that they've "heard difficult declarations where they say that they get rid of the bodies with acid.  We don't want anyone else to live through this.  It's young people that they're killing."  She said her son was a wholesome student and a systems engineer who worked for IBM Mexico.  His friend, Braulio, who was with him also, remains missing.  Braulio's mother lacks the means to join the Caravan and look for her son. Another grieving mother gave a speech where she told the audience "this has no name. When you lose a father or mother, you're an orphan.  When you lose a spouse, you're a widow.  But when you lose a child, this is a pain for which there is no name.  We are dying from this pain." Indigenous leader Zacario, from the state of Chiapas, said "We are defending our Mother Earth from the multinational companies that want to exploit her.  Let there be no pollution of the land.  We want to leave the land wholesome for the children, for everyone". Zacario then went on to note that rampant government corruption is at the heart of Mexico's problems and that many local leaders had been persecuted, imprisoned or killed by the authorities after speaking up against so-called 'development' projects that negatively impact human safety, public health and the environment.  He went on to explain that their "movement is non-violent in the tradition of Ghandi and other leaders who also struggled and were killed." A Salvadorian mother also spoke about the experiences of Central Americans who travel through Mexico in the hopes of attaining the American dream and die while en route. "Sometimes they travel on the roof of the train, they're so exhausted that they fall asleep, they fall and la Bestia kills them or cuts their legs or body parts".  La Bestia is their name for the trans-continental train that Central Americans use to reach the US border.  They call it "the Beast" because it kills or wounds so many of them annually. One Caravan member said "Media is an obstacle to be able to reach you, but social media helps us".  It's possible that the violence will garner more media attention as it continues to spill over into US territory. For more personal stories and information about the Caravan, visit http://www.caravanforpeace.org/....

Aspirations of the Women’s Resource Center

October 17, 2012


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By Syed Ahad Hussain – Senior Staff Writer The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is a place to get answers, help and guidance for all NEIU students regardless of their gender, despite the center’s name. The WRC is in affiliation with the Pedroso Center for Diversity and Intercultural Affairs, and is led by Joanna Snawder and her two student aides; Annett Zlotorzyzki, a senior environmental studies major, and Tracy Barfield, a junior social work major. The staff of the WRC sees themselves as the first point of contact, a clearing house for references and answers for the students, and a friendly office which can act as a bridge for students. WRC is a place to go if students “have a very serious issue, perhaps they got assaulted, or need help finding housing, looking for child care options, or maybe they just want to learn about women’s rights or social justice. So all of these concerns are our concerns so we are here to help by either providing the resource directly to the student or connect them to it,” says Joanna Snawder, “we help students find resources in variety of ways, physical resources, by giving them brochures, handouts, pamphlets of the local organizations. We also help students find [resources] through events and programs, and also, as the director, I serve as the advocate of the students; so if a student does need help to navigate a process here on campus, I can help the student navigate that process.” Joanna Snawder recently came to Chicago from Denver, Colo., with a seven-year background in working in campus-based women’s centers, including one such center in a California Catholic school, and a women’s resource center in Colorado’s Metropolitan University in Denver. Snawder was very excited to take this position because the WRC was new for NEIU, and also because it gave her an opportunity to design the service this campus needed from the ground-up. NEIU has lacked a resource center after the closure of Adult and Women’s Services office in early 2011. Snawder discussed her experiences as the director, and then highlighted how being under that umbrella of inclusion and the guidance of the leadership at the Pedroso Center helped her look at diversity of identities in a very multifaceted way. The WRC’s upcoming events include a gently-used all sizes women’s professional clothing drive event in partnership with the El-Centro campus, which will help female El-Centro students to prepare to dress for job interviews and the work environment. Snawder has also submitted several of innovation grants, one of which will enable the center to offer students a salary negotiation workshop. The center is partnering with the Women’s Studies faculty for a film screening of ‘Pink Ribbons Inc.” about breast cancer awareness. The film is a critique of the pink ribbon products being sold supposedly to benefit breast cancer, and is being shown by the WRC on Oct. 24, at 5:30 pm, location to be announced. The WRC will celebrate ‘Love Your Body Day’ which will focus on body image awareness and acceptance. “This year [the WRC] is taking an unusual angle by focusing on African-American women and the politics of black hair,” said Snawder. “[African-American women] will share their stories about what sort of assumptions get made in the way they choose to wear their hair. However, everybody has a hair story, so everybody is also welcomed and encouraged to come ask questions and share their stories.” “I want women of NEIU to know that they have an advocate, an ally, a space that is theirs. First and foremost the center is about making [students] comfortable and having an inclusive experience here,” says Snawder. “I want them to stay at school and finish their education, I’ve worked with a lot of students in seven and a half years and I understand the reality of not getting some of the needs met. I remember working with a student who was living in a tent and she contacted the center because she wanted some advocacy with a professor and getting some special arrangements with a class. I wanted to encourage her to find a different housing option but she told me that she was fine living in a tent and she wanted to focus on her education because she saw that as a pathway out of her situation, I thought that was very inspiring.” Snawder said NEIU owed it to the students to supply them with as many tools, skills and resources as possible so that they could be successful and finish school self-sufficient and resilient. “We want students to know that the WRC is a non-judgmental safe space so they can bring their issues here,” said student aide Zlotorzyzki. The Women's Resource Center is located in B-130 inside the B-119 suite near the Angelina Pedroso center....

Baked Cajun Maple Bacon Recipe

October 17, 2012


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By Emily Haddad Ever wake up in the morning and decide that bacon simply isn’t bad enough for you? To remedy that, try this ridiculously tasty recipe that transforms ordinary bacon into a crisp, spicy-sweet taste bud festival. This recipe was inspired by Brazilian Steakhouse Zed451’s legendary Cajun-maple brunch bacon, but takes it a step further by crystallizing the maple sugars directly onto the bacon. Prep time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 20-25 minutes. Ingredients: I package thick-cut bacon (butcher cut recommended) 1 cup pure maple syrup Paprika Black pepper Red pepper Garlic powder Onion powder Salt Materials: Cookie pan with edges Aluminum foil Basting brush Preheat the oven to 425 and completely cover the cooking surface of the cookie pan with aluminum foil or the pan will be destroyed. Lay out the bacon with ½“ between each strip. Liberally sprinkle paprika, black pepper and onion powder onto the bacon. Use care when sprinkling the red pepper (it packs a punch) and sprinkle the garlic and salt sparingly. Pat the mixture gently to help adhere it to the bacon. Use the basting brush to dab syrup onto the bacon, taking care not to wipe the dry rub spices off in the process. Flip the bacon and repeat the entire spicing and maple syrup-ing process with the other side. Bake the bacon for 10 minutes before flipping it over onto the other side. Depending on liking flexible or crisp bacon, bake an additional 10-15 minutes, checking the bacon frequently to prevent sugar burn. The bacon should turn dark reddish brown as the maple sugars caramelize. Let cool for 5 minutes after removing pan from the oven, peel from foil, and enjoy....

A Taste of Hawaii in Chicago

October 17, 2012


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By Emily Haddad – Editor-in-Chief The words ‘Hawaiian Fusion’ bring to mind brightly colored flowered shirts, tiki torches and wicker furniture, but Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine was anything but the expected kitsch and camp. Roy’s is an upscale concept restaurant just off of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile that offers a superior dining experience and a pleasant environment for cocktails and chat. The décor is Madison Avenue, with deep brown tones and champagne accents, abstract art and low mood lighting. The exception to the tastefully dim lighting motif was the open kitchen. The chefs were easily viewed cooking and arranging plates behind the black marble counters, and both the sizzling sounds and smells freely circulated the restaurant, raising the anticipation of the coming meal. The signature drinks are tropically themed, such as the Mango Mojito, Hawaiian Martini, Roy’s Island Mai Tai, and the 1988 – a drink paying tribute to the restaurant’s original opening in Honolulu with a refreshing citrus vodka and tequila mix coupled with lychee. They also have a respectable wine list and full bar service. The friendly and attentive wait-staff at Roy’s are knowledgeable about wine pairings for the entrees and happy to recommend vintages. The majority of the appetizers are fish-based, with the notable exception of mushroom truffle dumplings (gyoza), the Korean flatbread with kim chee and shortrib, and the Lakanilau sushi roll containing tender Waygu beef. A dab of wasabi and the Lakanilau was a dynamic flavor combination of savory beef, mellow asparagus and salty sesame miso. The salads took advantage of the contrast between sweet and salty (goat cheese and candied pecans) or dressed up more traditional vinaigrette offerings with a fusion of Asian ingredients (bok choy and shiitake with a sizzling soy vinaigrette). Entrees at Roy’s pay homage to the restaurant’s Hawaiian origins with offerings of Red Snapper, Mahi Mahi, Ahi Tuna, and various shellfish. The fish is amazingly fresh, lightly seasoned with accommodating ingredients that highlight the fish’s natural flavor, and comes beautifully garnished. Roy’s Blackened Ahi had a spicy mustard sauce that beckons the attention of the taste buds. Also on the menu are offerings from land. While the seafood accents were sharp and piquant, the pork chops, tender beef cuts and styles of chicken took the rich and savory route. The Asian Style Coq Au Vin (chicken in wine sauce) was marinated in Japanese sake rather than wine, and slow-baked with potatoes in a clay crock to seal in the mouth-watering flavors. The crockery and rich gravy lent the dish a comfort food feel. For those who wanted to sample from both land and sea, Roy’s offers several surf and turf options. Roy’s also has a spectacular seasonally changing price fixe menu, an opportunity to have your choice of three complete dinners (starters, entrée, dessert) for just $36.95. Roy’s Hawaiian Fusion Cuisine really lives up to its name by artfully combining Hawaiian flavors with traditionally European cuisine. This restaurant is pricy, but it’s an excellent choice for special events, a special evening with a loved one or family get-togethers....

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