ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Death of a Legend

By Matt Phillips

On August 13, Lester William Polsfuss, better known as “Les Paul,” passed away.  Over the past several years, he had been moving in and out of hospitals for various medical conditions.  At a hospital in White Plains, New York, the world famous musician and inventor succumbed to complications of pneumonia.  He died surrounded by his friends and family, including his four children.  He was 94.

While Les Paul was a talented musician, he was most well known for his work in the creation of the solid-body electric guitar.  Unsatisfied with early acoustic-electric efforts, he set out to design an amplified instrument with more sustain and less feedback.  Les Paul’s original experiments were nothing more than pieces of lumber with a guitar neck, strings, and electronic pickups attached.  He called these test guitars versions of “The Log.”  Les Paul tinkered with these designs for several years before finally pitching his ideas to the Gibson Guitar Corporation.  In the early 1950s, Gibson built a solid-body guitar based on his blueprints and christened it the “Gibson Les Paul” in his honor.  Since then, the Les Paul guitar has been a standard in modern music, making genres such as rock, pop, and country possible.

Les Paul was born on June 9, 1915, in Waukesha, Wisconsin.  At age eight, he picked up his first instrument, a harmonica.  Soon after, he started learning guitar, and built one of the first neck-brace harmonica holders, allowing him to play both instruments at the same time.  By age 13, Les Paul was already an actively performing country musician.  In 1934, Les Paul moved to Chicago and started playing on the radio under the name “Rhubarb Red.”  It wasn’t long after that he adopted the stage name “Les Paul” and moved to a more blues orientated style of playing.

Aside from his work on the solid-body electric guitar, Les Paul was also a pioneer in the field of modern recording.  He was one of the first to experiment in multi-track recording, a technique employed by practically every musician alive now.  Les Paul would record himself playing a guitar lick, then play the lick back and record himself playing guitar with the first track in the backdrop.  The result was a recording with both the initial track, and a second line of playing added over the top.  Les Paul used this system to create complex, layered pieces.  Nowadays, recording software and computers make such a technique simple, but back then, this was a big achievement in the history of recorded music.

Les Paul also developed a system of sound-on-sound overdubbing, and experimented with guitar effects including phase shifting and delay.

Les Paul survived several other near-death experiences throughout his lifetime.  In 1940, Les Paul was electrocuted while experimenting in his apartment.  He underwent two years of recuperation afterwards.  In 1948, Les Paul was in a car accident.  The accident shattered his right arm so badly that doctors were unable to fix the bone in such a way that would allow for movement; whatever position they fixed his arm at would be the position it stayed.  Les Paul asked them to set his arm at a sharp angle.  Though the position would likely interfere with other daily tasks, it would still allow him to play guitar.

Among other honors, Les Paul was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, the National Inventors Hall of Fame, the National Broadcasters Hall of Fame, and of course, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where he is one of the few musicians to have a permanent, stand-along exhibit.

Upon hearing of his death, many famous musicians came forward and voiced their regret and grief, including B.B. King, Slash, Joe Satriani, Keith Richards, Brian May, and Tom Morello.  Though Les Paul has passed from this would, his spirit and innovation will continue to influence modern music and musicians for years to come.

Feelin’ Bored?

By Kara Livingston

Even though it’s unlikely that you have all of your homework done ahead of time, and it’s even more unlikely that you’ve actually tried to clean the warzone that your dorm room has become, you may have some free time here and there in which you’d like to escape. For our new freshmen, there is still a world of possibilities for you to discover on and off campus until you can truly say that you are bored. For upper-classman, I know that we have exhausted a lot of new opportunities here in Loudonville, NY, but there are always the townhouses.

For those of you who have a free minute or even an afternoon, and want to escape the gated Siena community, here are some ideas for you:

-Dairy Freeze and mini-golf: It’s right on Route 9 just a few miles from Siena. Not only do they have amazing ice cream and a fantastic selection, they also have fried dough! Also, make a whole Saturday afternoon out of it and go to the indoor mini-golf and arcade. The mini-golf is glow-in-the-dark and a lot of fun. Try to compete with your friends to see who has to pay for the outing.

-Latham Bowl: Keep driving down Route 9 until you come to the Latham Circle where you bear a right and you will find the classic, Latham Bowl. Play a few rounds with a group of friends. This is a fun and competitive activity that will distract you for a few hours at least. For some extended fun, whoever loses has to walk back to Siena.

-’76 Diner: Late night craving? So it’s a Thursday night and you really want to put off your paper for a few more hours? Go to the ’76 Diner and have breakfast late at night. Pass the time chatting with your friends. You may not make any progress on your paper, but you won’t be bored and your stomach will be filled.

-Dunkin’ Donuts: The Dunkin’ Donuts (also on Route 9) is open 24 hours a day and is located right next to Burger King. If you are struggling through a long night of hard work, relieve yourself with a tall iced coffee or a Boston Crème Donut. Bring a friend so you don’t feel so bad about eating junk-food that late at night.

-Wolf Road: There are plenty of things to do on Wolf Road. Take Maxwell Road and follow it all the way down and you’ll practically be there. There’s a Moe’s, an Olive Garden, a Red Lobster, a Panera, and of course, Colonie Center Mall. If you don’t feel like going out to eat, then definitely check out the relatively new movie theater at Colonie Center Mall. The arm-rests lift up! Also, there are plenty of stores to go shopping there. Check out American Eagle, Express, the Gap, and more…

-Apple-picking: Now that it’s the fall, it’s a great time to go apple-picking on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon with a big group of friends or even on a date. There a few orchards relatively close to Siena. Check out Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont, NY or Bowman Orchards in Rexford, NY. It may be a little bit of a drive, but make friends with an upper-classmen and maybe they will drive you there.

Siena Professor’s Radiant Art Showcase

By: Jennifer Harvey

A Siena College professor displayed a radiant showcase of abstract art in the Yates Gallery of the J.Spencer and Patricia Standish Library. Stephen J. Tyson proudly displayed his “Sound in Structure” showcase to students, fans, and family on September 17th. His art works displayed on the walls of the gallery were full of life and color. There was no artwork that did not take an onlooker’s eyes and mind for a journey through movement.

Previously a drawing instructor at Siena College, Tyson is now a Foundations lecturer. He graduated from the High School of Music and Art, attended the Rhode Island School of Design, earned his BFA from Manhattanville College, and his MFA from the City College of New York. He has taught at several other colleges such as The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown, Schenectady Community College, and UAlbany.

His evolving outlook on life is inspired mainly by music. Artists such as Tuvan Throat Singers, Miles Davis, and King Sunny Ade are inspirations to his artwork patterns. He has no favorite painting and no specific time limit to how long each will take. The intriguing showcase also inspired students. Samantha Donahue attended the event and said it was “inspirational and moving to see a teacher display their passions to their students.”

Tyson was “delighted to share with everyone in the creative moment in his artistic journey” and onlookers were delighted to share it back with him. His family from Westchester came up for the event and looked mutually delighted to share the showcase with him. Tyson’s ability to “feel linked to the mysterious blend of past and present cultures, sight and sound, nature, science, and spirituality” are all evident in his work. Siena is proud to have such a talented artist work and experience life with us every day here on campus.

Spring Green Festival

from April 30, 2009 issue

By Lindsay Rubin

Spring has arrived at Siena, and its warm weather has brought us all out of our cooped up dorm rooms and onto Padua Beach. It is the perfect time for the Siena Spring Green Festival. During the week of April 12th to 22nd, Siena hosted the event to promote the awareness of healthy treatment of our environment. Directed by Brian and Denise Massman, the environmentally friendly event included a creative arts production titled Earth, Humans, and other Humans, which set the overall tone for the Green Festival, along with a nature hike with Professor Breen, a recycled clothing fashion show, and the annual spring concert.

Sponsored by the Creative Arts department, Stage III, and overall supporters of the Siena Community, all events were centered on the concept of Earth Day and focused on the saving and revival of our environment. During free period on April 16th, the Spring Green “Green Expo”, sponsored by SIFE, took place. Tables in Sarazen were run by companies invited by Siena that incorporate green, environmentally friendly methods in the running of their businesses. One table displayed environmentally friendly aspects of the Price Chopper we all know and love. What you might not have known is that Price Chopper has been building their newest branches with energy efficient methods, using maximum amounts of sunlight and recycled materials. Price Chopper now offers what they call “Green Cuisine” which advertises food produced in the world’s first green frozen-food manufacturing plant. The term “green” refers to the greenhouse effect and the overabundance of gasses related to global warming. The food manufacturing industry makes up for a massive 80 percent of industrial energy and emissions.

One table showcased environmentally safe and energy efficient products from Walgreens, while another table displayed water over usage and had pamphlets on simple ways to conserve water. At another table, Dr. Todaro and Michael O’Brien represented the Siena Chemistry department with a display demonstrating their effort towards making the chemistry lab greener. Dr. Todaro has begun to substitute harsh chemicals with “less nasty” ones such as aspirin and vanilla extract. According to Dr. Todaro, making the chemistry lab entirely environmentally healthy is “a process,” and they are working on getting more members of the science department on board. The latest experiment in the chemistry lab takes grease from our very own Saga kitchen and turns it into biodiesel. That’s right – they’re turning the grease from your French fries into productive gas for cars. All it takes is a little science and the will to help the environment. The bright idea for this experiment was thought up three years ago by O’Brien, a Siena graduate of 2008. Within their “five-year plan,” the pair aims to create the biodiesel using a timely chemical reaction and ship the product to industries for usage.

Siena surely seems to be doing its part to help the environment, and the Spring Green festival was an excellent display of our school’s will to be greener. From the new Saga cups made out of corn, to vanilla extract in the chemistry lab, Siena will symbolically be seeing more and more of its favorite color in the near future.

Lost in the Shuffle

from April, 30 2009 issue

By Leah Antil

It’s the sweet feeling that fills your chest when you’re in the library late and plugged into your iPod. You just heard NSync’s “I Want You back” (your favorite song from the seventh grade, admit it or not) and you immediately segue into Chamillionaire’s “Ridin’ Dirty” (which you played every time you entered a vehicle the summer after freshman year). No, this is not a playlist, it’s Shuffle. The elation of the shuffle juxtapositions of your favorite songs has now been captured by a band that has haunted Foy Hall theatre for two whole semesters. The band is Shuffle, and they have brought their diverse talents to Musical Mayhem and beyond.

The band consists of five members, all playing multiple instruments. Dave Olek, whom many of you remember from Best Talent at Mr. Siena, is a senior who plays the Congo drums, sextuplets (…ladies) and various other drum sets. Kevin Murphy, senior and Open Mic Night extraordinaire, incorporates the piano and drum set into the band. Paul Sensik-Clee, a junior, plays bass and ukulele on which he has developed an incredible talent (see his facebook for videos). Dan Racioppo, a senior, plays guitar, and Clarissa Cupero, a freshman, croons on vocals and plays electric acoustic guitar. All of these artists have made their mark at Siena through Expose, Fall Fusion, Mr. Siena or Open Mic Night and have come together in a pentagon of, well, musical mayhem.

Olek, who has been on percussion since 5th grade and participated in Marching Band/Drum Core since 10th grade, spearheaded Shuffle, bringing the band together for the love of playing, and then developed it into an organized, goal driven group. Shuffle boasts a truly wide range of songs dipping into such genres as Spanish (Clarissa is a Spanish major), Indie, Pop Punk and Alternative. Most of their songs consist of covers with their own spin, and a ukulele. What really makes this band dynamic is the wide range of sounds and instruments they have managed to incorporate.

They have all committed themselves to stepping outside the box and trying new things—and as Kevin, who has dazzled hundreds with classic piano concerts, pointed out, “Each of us are practicing songs that we have never been really good at.” Dave adds, “We’re trying things outside our element.”

Having sat in on a practice in the empty Foy Hall theatre, I walked into a pretty loud affair and a song I instantly recognized as Blink 182’s “First Date”. The memories of high school and speeding tickets (long story) nearly floored me, or it might have been how cool they all looked. As I am sure you all remember from Mr. Siena and Expose, Dave was rocking the sextuplets (…ladies.) and Paul was perched on an amp looking suave behind his bass guitar. Dan looked as sweet as always in his usual crooning position echoed in various Open Mic Nights and Mr. Siena. Kevin shed his lab coat and goggles to take up a drum set. Clarissa belted out in a soulful, passionate voice that wowed audiences at Fall Fusion and the Language Café where she performed a few Russian songs as well.

Shuffle practices two to three times a week, and has made notable progress in developing their musical skills. Siena has helped to foster the talents of some truly amazing individuals who rocked Sienafest and will continue to leave their mark on the Siena College campus. The only growing concern I have is what is going to happen when Dave Olek leaves Albany to attend Med school and the threat of Rita Repulsa’s giant space monsters threaten the city? Paul, Clarissa? You may want to try on the power ranger helmet…

Beijing Coma:A Scathing Indictment of China’s Past, Present, and Future

from April 30, 2009 issue

By: Brian Hicks

Avant-garde author Ma Jian’s latest book places the corrupt and brutal Chinese Communist government on literary trial. This sweeping epic is told from the point-of-view of Dai Wei, a college student who participated in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989. He was struck by a bullet and sank into a ten-year coma. Dai Wei is regardless cognizant of the events and people around him and he narrates his tumultuous past before, during, and after his incapacitation.

The China Dai Wei knows and understands is a barbarous and cruel place where appalling things can and do happen to good people. Even as China introduces sweeping economic reforms under Deng Xiaoping, the country remains backward, and corruption reigns supreme. While on vacation, for instance, Dai Wei stops over in Shandong province to visit family and friends, only to learn they had been killed and—because they were enemies of the great Chairman Mao—had been killed by people they had previously considered friends and cannibalized. A proper burial was considered far too good for those labeled Mao’s enemies in this particular area.

Dai Wei also has a cousin whose wife violated China’s infamous One Child Policy and was punished severely for it. Local doctors ambushed her while she was still pregnant with her second child, held her down, cut open her belly, pulled the still-developing fetus from her womb, and drowned it in alcohol. The cousin’s wife was rendered permanently insane afterward, screaming she “wants to meet the emperor” and “make a complaint.” His cousin has to keep her locked up in a room at his home, as no clinic will accept her. Dai Wei has a similar problem, as no mainstream clinic will treat a hooligan who defied the government without suffering repercussions from the government. His weary and broke mother is left to care for him alone in their increasingly shabby Beijing apartment for the entire duration of his coma.

China today keeps events like Tiananmen Square suppressed and refuses to acknowledge that many students congregated there to peacefully plead for democratic changes and governmental reforms benefiting the people as opposed to merely benefiting itself at the expense of everyone. The government would rather forget the event took place entirely. The events leading up to the crackdown at Tiananmen are of central focus in this book, from the students dealing with frequent squabbling and break-ups amongst their organizations, to bands of criminals who impersonate policemen and corner troublemakers to extort “hush money” from them, to the unveiling of the famous Goddess of Democracy statue directly in front of Mao’s gigantic portrait as a counterpart of goodness to his villainy. The reader is given a magnificent telescope and then placed on a high mountain to observe the acts unfold from their shaky beginning to their shocking and violent end.

This book is highly recommended to all who enjoy studying history and to anyone curious about why China functions today the way it does. Beijing Coma is a landmark and a guaranteed future classic that brilliantly exposes an event generally ignored in the western world and forgotten in China.

Gods Behaving Badly, or:
The Gods are Truly Crazy

from April 2, 2009 issue

By:
Brian Hicks

Marie Phillips’s debut novel Gods Behaving Badly is a modern-day retelling of the classical myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, set in contemporary London. The hapless protagonists, however, are nothing like their heroic counterparts-Neil is an engineer who can’t carry a tune to “Happy Birthday” while Alice, would-be girlfriend, is rather mousey and mild-mannered. The couple leads perfectly average lives free from strife and quarrel…until the day the Greek gods interceded.

The legendary ancient Greek pantheon, due to their status as immortals, continue to exist albeit in devalued states owing to the total lack of belief among the mortals who used to actively fear, worship, and obey them in the glorious days of ancient Greece. The many gods are crammed into a dilapidated home in central London and are despondent over their unenviable circumstances. Apollo, the sun god, makes a living as the host of a cheap psychic show host on television by day and by night seduces anyone with a pulse-the usual fare for the lustful god-but void of any real passion or satisfaction. Artemis, Apollo’s twin sister and the goddess of chastity, is a frustrated dog walker yearning to encounter a wild dog to take as her hunting companion. And she’s the most level-headed member of Zeus’s large brood.

Alice and Neil, oblivious to the plot brewing around them, attend one of Apollo’s bogus psychic episodes as guests. Alice is unknowingly the unwitting victim in one of Aphrodite’s plots of revenge on Apollo for a past slight. Under his mother’s tight thumb, her son Eros shoots Alice with one of his lead arrows, causing Apollo to fall madly in love with Alice at first sight but ensuring that she will never reciprocate his feelings.

Alice, who makes a living as a maid, later arrives at the gods’ home seeking employment and becomes the source of Apollo’s unwanted and increasingly aggressive affections. Neil is jealous over his macho rival’s fondness for Alice, leading to a rift in their relationship.

Apollo views Alice’s rejection of him as a suitor and lover as a grievous insult and impels his father, Zeus, to strike her dead for desecrating the gods’ residence. Alice resigns herself to eternity in Hades. On earth, however, Artemis rouses Neil to action: both to return his beloved from the Underworld and to stop a cataclysmic event threatening every human life unfolding above.

Gods Behaving Badly is an original, irreverent, and darkly humorous book sure to titillate and thrill its reader.

Who Watches the Watchmen?

from March 19, 2009 issue

By Alexander Walker

The answer to the title question is fifty-million dollars worth of movie goers in its first weekend alone, followed by about sixty-seven percent less in its second weekend. This was an either love it or hate it film, or for few of us very indifferent. To its credit this film looks amazing. It looks like it is taken directly from the comic. This however does not always translate into a great film. The running time is two hours and forty five minutes, so if you’re like me, and sitting for two hours straight drives you crazy, this will not be for you. However it is definitely worth the price.

If you have read the comic then you have seen the movie. The Dark Knight which is compared to this film goes beyond the comic book story as only a film can. Watchmen gets lost in translation and loses the power had by the comic book. The actors are amazing, and credit goes to the casting director, because they didn’t go for big names but rather for actors and actresses that fit the roles. Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach is absolutely amazing. If they had made a film completely about his character I would still have watched it despite losing the other few stories that make up this epic film.

This film will not go down in history as a great movie, but when they describe the director as visionary they have it right. He can make his visuals look amazing, but structure is lacking. If you like superhero films then this one is worth seeing. It is no The Dark Knight and also falls short of director Zack Snyder’s last film 300. However despite these faults the film looks good and the long beginning and middle definitely pay out in the last thirty minutes. It is definitely worth the admission price and maybe even the extra few dollars to see it in Imax.

The Lonely Island

from March 19, 2009 issue

By Gary DeRusso

The Lonely Island

Incredibad
Universal Records
Release Date: February 10, 2009

On the December 17, 2005 episode of the ageless sketch comedy show that is Saturday Night Live, Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell unleashed a force to be reckoned with onto the unsuspecting audience that night: The SNL Digital Short known as “Lazy Sunday”. At this point, the SNL Digital Short was a new, unproven commodity, with “Lazy Sunday” being just the second short premiered. However, there would be many, many more to come, partially because of the unprecedented success of “Lazy Sunday”, with its mammoth amount of YouTube views and iTunes downloads. The success is well-deserved: The clip was a breath of hilarious fresh air for SNL, which, in general, had been flat and underwhelming for several seasons. Unbeknownst to many at the time, the creative powerhouse behind the nerdcore hip-hop was none other than the triforce of The Lonely Island, who finally released a full album of truly hysterical pseudo-hip-hop joints.

Aided by the likes of Justin Timberlake, T-Pain, Norah Jones, Natalie Portman, Julian Casablancas from The Strokes and Jack Black, The Lonely Island master the synthesis of comedy and hip-hop on almost every track of their debut album, Incredibad. It is not just parody but also homage, as each song showcases a different, well-known aspect of many popular hip-hop and rap songs. The T-Pain collaboration of “I’m on a Boat” is a perfect example, as it parodies the ongoing abuse of AutoTune in many rap and R&B songs, all the while repeating the simple fact that they are, indeed, on a boat. Like many of the songs on the album, the beats are surprisingly legitimate. In fact, if any rapper utilized them and put out a “real” rap song, it would not be discordant at all. The hilarity ensues, therefore, with the contrast of beat and lyrics. On the surface, “Lazy Sunday” sounds like a brutal gangster rap song. Additionally, the delivery of the rhymes is fittingly fierce and intense. However, in actuality, it’s just about two guys going to see The Chronicles of Narnia on an otherwise uneventful Sunday afternoon. The Lonely Island effectively uses stark contrasts like this on the entire album. “Natalie’s Rap” showcases the “true” side of actress Natalie Portman, as she vulgarly and hilariously details who she really is.

The Lonely Island use popular hip-hop and comedic motifs and meld them together with great success. Simple things like repetition elicit many laughs without getting old. Case in point: “Like A Boss” details an average day in the life of “the boss” Andy Samberg, which starts out typical, but soon gets more and more exaggerated and, thus, funny. The repetition sets in because every single thing that is listed is followed by the descriptor “like a boss:” “Micromanage / Like a boss! / Promote synergy / Like a boss!” Hip-hop mainstays like product placement are emphasized in “Dreamgirl”, whereas the popular inclusion of space-filling skits and interludes are also present and, like their hip-hop counterparts, are not very funny.

Alas, the album as a whole does its job of making hip-hop songs with side-splitting lyrics and atypical topics. The closing title track has the trio asking a thankful alien (yeah, you’re going to have to hear that one on your own to find out why) to be “the greatest fake MCs on earth”. The Lonely Island know better than to take themselves seriously, yet they finely filter the basic tenets of comedy and hip-hop music, and the end result is Incredibad, a highly replayable, surprisingly infectious and of course hilarious album from beginning to end.

Seriously Sirsy: Music for the Soul

from March 19, 2009 issue

By Leah Antil

Now that spring has (nearly) arrived it is time to emerge from winter’s shell like a flower blooming toward a welcoming sun. That means dorm windows open to invite in the fresh air, rooms cleaned and dusted and a little change of pace in your monotonous musical play list from winter. It’s a new season so why not listen to some new jams?

I’m here to deliver.

The band is called Sirsy (pronounced Sir- See) and is an up-and-coming indie sensation with a truly individual sound. Their website (www.sirsy.com) boasts a their sound as a “fiery, sultry, and soulful indie pop that rocks” and after a few songs you’ll find the voice of the band’s lead singer, Melanie Krahmer giving you goosebumps (the good, first date “this is so cool” kind of goosebumps of course). Sirsy’s only other member Rich Libutti compliments Melanie’s vocals, drums, flute, melodic and bass (with a stick) with his very own unique combination of guitar, bass, and piano (and being able to play the bass and snare drums with his feet). Together this duo has wowed the college radio circuit being played on over 350 college radio stations nationally, including Siena’s own 88.3 The Saint as well as SUNY Albany and RPI.

Now I know what you may be thinking… “But Leah, I don’t want to stray from the mainstream of what I know and love and be assaulted with an emotional confrontation on the eve of spring!” Don’t be silly Siena College! Sirsy has opened for and toured with numerous mainstream bands, such as: Lifehouse, Maroon 5, Collective Soul, Cheap Trick, Blues Traveler, Vertical Horizon, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Lez Zeppelin Fuel, and Third Eye Blind… so you need not worry.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Melanie about Sirsy and why her group is a pleasant change from the ordinary speculation surrounding indie bands. She explains that the songs that Sirsy performs are timeless, and don’t follow the in-and-out fads that tend to try and dictate what “good” music is and what is considered a “hit”. This can certainly be emphasized with the variety of groups that Sirsy has performed alongside. Melanie elaborates: “Our songs are not novelties; they’re unique, but relatable at the same time”. The music is passionate and raw and has a soulful edge because of Melanie’s distinctive voice, described as “stunning and capable of a lion’s roar and a floaty whisper” and as coming from a girl “with the lungs of a teenage athlete and the growl of a sixty-something blues singer”. Melanie points out that Sirsy’s music crosses genres, allowing for a mass appeal and several different types of music fans.

Sirsy performs over 250 shows per year all over the country, and has a truly electric performance devoid of any pre-recorded concert accompaniments as smaller bands typically do. Melanie and Rich simply “musically multi-task” (hence Rich playing the bass and snare drum with his feet and Melanie playing bass with a stick). It makes for a dynamic new way to experience a concert, especially when Melanie insists that she “feels empowered when they play, it is a rush like no other”, and although she may be insecure, when she performs, she feels a sense of freedom and strength. Concerts by Sirsy show may indicate Melanie as a musician is more powerful than Melanie as a person, and for her, looking at people moved by your work at performances and then sharing with her profound her songs and lyrics have been in the lives of audience members is the ultimate compliment as a songwriter. Who would not want to be a part of that type of experience?

Which brings me to my next point: Sirsy is playing a show at Revolution Hall in Troy NY on March 28th at 8:00 pm. Tickets are half price, that is to say $5, with a valid student ID (finally those Saint cards get you more than Wrap Shop food and swipe access to your glamorous dormitory). Revolution Hall is an amazing venue within walking distance of I Love NY Pizza, thus solidifying the removal of all choice in the matter. Saturday night, we’re all going to break out of the winter blues boxed boredom in music and check out Sirsy and then get Buffalo Chicken pizza at I Love’s. Hope to see you there!

Coraline:
A Visit to a Not-So Perfect World

from March 19, 2009 issue

By Brian Hicks

Henry Selick, the director of the holiday classic The Nightmare Before Christmas, invites you to spend a few days in the life of Coraline Jones (voiced by Dakota Fanning), a headstrong and imaginative little girl yearning for a better life. Coraline has just moved to a decrepit Victorian in the country and already misses her life in Detroit, where all of her old friends live. At home, she is ignored and often chastised by her self-involved and neglectful parents (John Hodgman and Teri Hatcher). Her only friend is a know-it-all named Wybie (Robert Bailey, Jr.) whose grandmother owns the house Coraline lives in.

One day, Coraline discovers a secret door behind the crumbling plaster in her room and nags her mother to open it, only to discover a solid brick wall. Later, a door mysteriously appears and Coraline walks through it to discover an eerie kind of parallel world and a set of “Other Parents” (Hodgman and Hatcher), who look like Coraline’s mother and father but with one notable difference: both have buttons for eyes. The Other Parents are warm, kind, and loving to Coraline and offer her all the attention she has always yearned for. This dream world seems entirely too good to be true.

Coraline, with the help of a nameless cat capable of human speech in the Other World (Keith David), soon discovers that the world is a trap and her Other Mother has sinister designs for her, which includes sewing buttons over her eyes if she wishes to stay. The Other Mother’s true nature soon reveals its ugly face, and in order to remain in her world, Coraline must prove her worth as a “loving daughter”. Eventually, her parents’ lives are endangered and Coraline must summon every ounce of courage, cleverness, and resourcefulness she possesses in order to save their lives-and hers, too.

Coraline at its core is a fun and poignant film about the hardships children in today’s society deal with, namely neglect at the hands of busy parents and the disheartening notion that no one really notices them or hears them in times of trouble. The film also examines the fine line between fantasy and reality and just how far a child will go to procure the perfect home life he or she has always dreamed of. The film is heartily recommended to adults and children alike.

Underground Artist of the Week: El Ten Eleven

from March 5, 2009 issue

By Nicholas Gerli

El Ten Eleven is a Los Angeles-based post rock outfit that is fueled by the musical ingenuity of the group’s only two members; guitarist/bassist Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty. Dunn works a double neck guitar/fretless bass, allowing him to tap his heart out while pumping killer bass grooves to Fogarty’s conventional yet effective drum beats. Make no mistake, Dunn’s guitar and bass work is the focal point of the band, and is especially prevalent on El Ten Eleven’s 2004 self-titled debut. “Sorry About Your Irony”, “My Only Swerving”, and “Connie” each strike a balance between atmospheric chillness and catchy instrumentation, serving as an ideal outlet for Dunn’s whimsical tap-mania. In 2007, El Ten Eleven released Every Direction Is North, an album that expanded on their accessibility with foot-stomping songs like “Hot Cakes” while remaining true to the ethereal nature of their original work with songs like the title track “Every Direction Is North”. 2008’s These Promises Are Being Videotaped represents a vast departure from the post-rock styling the band was originally known for, instead favoring a much more bass-intensive and rhythmic sound. Whereas one could view their 2004 self-titled as easy listening material for a long car ride or flight, These Promises Are Being Videotaped inspires thoughts of club raves and dance parties. On the whole, El Ten Eleven should be accessible to many, namely to those who like bands such as Tortoise, Minus the Bear, and recent work from Death From Above 1979.

Pavilion Plays with Perfection

from March 5, 2009 issue

By Gary DeRusso

Animal Collective have been indie darlings for a majority of the decade, transcending through many experimental fields without taking up permanent residence in any of them. To encapsulate the band in a few words would be an injustice, as each of their albums consistently finds the band reinventing and tweaking how songs sound while still maintaining their undeniable uniqueness. Merriweather Post Pavilion, their incredibly hyped follow-up to 2007’s stunning Strawberry Jam, seems to mesh all of their core elements together into a cohesive, intensely immersing experience.
The aforementioned hype began when two tracks, “Brother Sport” and “My Girls”, leaked late in 2008. The songs were both stunningly crafted sonic wonderlands, leaving many fans yearning for more. Needless to say, Pavilion provides the goods and thrusts the listener into a truly psychedelic world. Most of all, each song is irresistibly poppy without sounding like anything close to a retread of the endless, derivative pop songs before it. Layered and varied, each song leaves its own indelible impression begging to be listened to time and time again. Opener “In the Flowers” has a lulling, psychedelic start reminiscent of Pink Floyd, yet the song continues with a brooding sense of climax. Lead singer Avey Tare describes wanting to dance with a girl he misses sorely, and the song explodes into a frenzied euphoria, evoking that very imagery in a big field somewhere alone. However, it is only a dream and not a reality, and the bombast soon ceases. “My Girls” begins with a shimmering fragility that drives forward on the strength of marvelous melody, booming bass, harmonious handclaps, and a spine-tingling scream to beautifully punctuate the chorus about only wanting the simple things in life (“I don’t mean / To seem like I care about material things / Like a social status / I just want / Four walls and adobe slabs for my girls.”) The album rolls on through, with track after track of oddly satisfying electro-pop gems. “Summertime Clothes” starts off with a stressful sound, as the narrator is suffering from the heat of the summer. However, the greatness seeps through, as the painfully simple “I want to walk around with you,” chorus kicks in amid the poppy paradise suddenly synthesized. The frivolous feel of “Lion in a Coma” is inescapable, with a bouncy English Trump beat and Avey Tare’s melodic vocals. In fact, Avey Tare and Panda Bear’s wonderful voices both complement and feed off of each other, further adding to the powerful pop aesthetic of the album. They master melody so well that they sound strongly resemble The Beach Boys at times. The album concludes with a pinnacle poppy treat, “Brother Sport”, which sports an Afro-tinged beat and sugary yet sonic synths. Panda Bear tries to console his brother Matt after their father’s death and despite the seemingly morbid subject matter, the song is irresistible and concludes on the perfect pop note, as the words are repeated ad nauseum behind the on-again-off-again beat.
The album does little wrong, as the few low moments of the album just further accentuate the numerous majestic highs. Animal Collective create amazing, diverse atmospheres with each of their songs, which is only aided by the matured lyrics and harmonious crooning of Avey Tare and Panda Bear. So much hype surrounded this album that it has already been called “The Best Album of 2009” and “This Generation’s Pet Sounds,” The Beach Boys’ definitive work. While it would be disingenuous to bestow either of those titles to this album so prematurely, Merriweather Post Pavilion is certainly a constantly thrilling, highly engaging experience from beginning to end. Expect it to be one of the highest-reviewed albums of 2009.

Bollywood Takes Over Hollywood

from March 5, 2009 issue

By Kayla Grant

Anyone who watched The Oscars, the news, or simply glanced at the headline on their homepage knows that Slumdog Millionaire blew American movie-goers away. The film, released in 2008 by director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Sunshine), won eight Academy Awards and four Golden Globes. The story told is one of heartache, courage, and determination. The lead male, Jamal Malik, is a young man from the slums of Mumbai who is appearing on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire. As he works his way through each question, the audience is given a glimpse into the harsh reality of life in the slums. We journey with Jamal, his older brother, Salim, and his soul-mate, Latika through their troubled childhood, to their painful adolescence, right up to present day.

This movie truly makes you stop and think. While you lounge in reclining chairs at the climate controlled movie theater and dine on popcorn and Coke, you watch skin-and-bones five year olds picking through garbage heaps for their next meal. What is most striking is that the actors portraying these children are truly from the slums. After filming, they returned to the very life that they so accurately showed Americans while on the big screen. Perhaps this is what made Slumdog Millionaire the best film of the year. The acting was superb and believable. The story was gripping and moving. The soundtrack, setting, and costuming accurate and effective. If you haven’t experienced Slumdog Millionaire yet, put this paper down and go to the nearest theater immediately because this is definitely the must see movie of the year!

Twilight Madness

from February 12, 2009 issue

By Jennifer Harvey

If you aren’t a diehard fan of the Twilight series, then chances are one of your roommates or hall mates is. It’s difficult not to wonder what the story is all about with a top-selling series and a hit movie. The vampire romance novel written by Stephenie Meyer is popular among young adults worldwide.

The romantic, fantasy writer Meyer is often compared to popular series writer J.K. Rowling. The plot of her series follows the life of Isabella “Bella” Swan, a teenager, who finds herself in love with a mysterious, handsome vampire. The books are written in first person through Bella’s point of view. The story explores the unorthodox romance between a human and a vampire, as well as other love triangles. She constantly struggles to keep her two intervening lives in order by keeping her vampire romance a secret. Her dramatic adventures are told throughout a series of four books all set in Forks, Washington (which has now become a tourist area because of the book).

It is recommended by fans of the series that you read the books first before seeing the movie. Although fans can agree upon Meyer’s writings, they are torn individually between conflicting characters. A fifth book was supposed to be released; however it has definitely been put on hold by the author due to a leakage of it over the internet. Keep your eyes peeled for the release and, while you’re waiting, head over to the mall and get a copy of this wonderful series.

Top Nine Upcoming Movies of 2009

from February 12, 2009 issue

By Alexander Walker

Here is the breakdown of the top nine movies everyone should see in ’09.

9.) I Love You, Man. (March 20)

This is a comedy starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segal. Every film Paul Rudd has been in for the last four years has been great. After Forgetting Sarah Marshall Jason Segal can do no wrong. These two will definitely make for a hilarious comedy.

8.) The International (February 13)

This thriller stars Clive Owen. It’s an interesting take on the thriller genre, and makes you really question, what does the bank do with your money? Watch this one and find out.

7.) Terminator Salvation (May 22)

I won’t lie: The only reason this one made it to the list was because it stars Christian Bale and is scored by Danny Elfman. The last Terminator was a disappointment, but this time around Christian Bale is playing John Connor. Maybe the war against technology won’t be hopeless.

6.) X-Men Origins: Wolverine (May 1)

This is definitely an X-Men film to see. The third one, another let down, just ruined the first two. Hopefully this, the fourth installment, will bring Hugh Jackman and X-Men back on top.

5.) Inglorious Bastards (August 21)

Brad Pitt as a Jewish Nazi Hunter? If you’re shaking your head, then by now you’ll probably realize this is a Quentin Tarantino film. Brad Pitt has played a wide range of characters, but this is a first. This one looks great. It’s finally a different kind of WWII movie instead of the same old one every year.

4.) The Soloist (April 24)

Jamie Fox and Robert Downy Jr. star in this musical drama. Jamie Fox is always amazing, as is the new Robert Downy Jr., who was nominated for an Oscar in a movie that clearly makes fun of the Academy Awards. It will be great to see him put his acting chops to the test in this serious film.

3.) The Wrestler (January 16)

I know this film has already come out, but it is by far the best movie this year. If you get a chance to see this in theaters, you should take it. Mickey Rourke is amazing as a beaten up old wrestler who can’t let go of his past. This is what a film should be. It is an amazing story without all the extra unnecessary items that go into a big budget film.

2.) Watchmen (March 6)

In less than a month this film will come out, a film I have been waiting three years to see. They said it was an un-filmable comic book, but they managed. Zach Snyder, the visionary director of 300, is bringing this comic to life, and I can’t wait.

1.) Public Enemies (July 1)

Michael Mann directs this crime drama starring Johnny Depp as a gangster and Christian Bale as an FBI agent. This is my pick for the best film of 2009 and I will bet it wins the Oscar for the 2009 films. The film looks amazing; it’s all about American history and a time in the world where Prohibition led to the prominence of gangsters-and no matter what, people will always love gangsters.

Show Someone You Care

from February 12, 2009 issue

By Kara Livingston

Surprisingly enough, Valentine’s Day does not have to entail going out to a five star restaurant and dropping a lot of money on the bill, or buying and receiving a dozen overpriced red roses. Although to some, this might seem like an easy way to spend little to no money on your Valentine’s Day date, there are plenty of creative things one can do to express their love for that special someone. These cute and creative ideas can mean a lot more to someone than the generic dinner and a movie date (although dinner and a movie is still a very nice gesture).

Instead of focusing on dinner and a movie or finding the ‘perfect’ gift for your special someone, try brainstorming about something both of you can enjoy together. For example, my roommate and fellow sophomore, Elise Siggia, and her boyfriend are going for a couple’s massage around Valentine’s Day. This is a gift that both guy and girl can enjoy, without worrying about finding the perfect gift.

If on this Valentine’s Day, you are so broke that you can barely afford to pay for weekend festivities (this probably applies to all), try thinking outside the box. Try making a hand-made card, or baking something sweet that your special someone would really like. If you don’t have the money or transportation to go out somewhere for the night, stay in and watch a movie that you both enjoy. If you know your sweetheart relatively well, try to personalize the evening by playing their favorite board game, making an effort to watch their favorite TV show, or even by eating a “romantic” dinner in your dorm room (chatting over Taco Bell can be just as fun as going out to eat!).

Regardless of whether you want to use the classic dinner-and-a-movie approach, or you want to spice up Valentine’s Day with unique ideas of your own, just be sure to show your significant other that you care. This is very easy to do, even though it has become tradition to avoid Valentine’s Day like the plague.

The Fashion Files

from February 12, 2009 issue

By Kaitlin Milliot and Sam Chiafolo

The Perfect V-Day Outfit:

On Easter avoid the bonnets, and on Christmas ditch that holiday sweater, but this Valentine’s Day do not forget your pink or red! We are not suggesting you wear head-to-toe pink frills or even a bright red top. You can be festive without going overboard. This Valentine’s Day use accessories to show you’re in support for the work Cupid does year round.

If you’re doing something formal, such as going to a nice restaurant with your boyfriend, do an L.B.D. with a pair of red patent-leather or suede, round-toe pumps. Another way to turn a simple L.B.D. into the perfect Valentine’s night date outfit is to add a red belt cinched at the waist. Plus, this look can be pulled off by almost anyone–it can accentuate one’s curves by highlighting the smallest part of the female form.

If you’re looking for the perfect outfit for spending the night out with the girls, try a red tiered, ruffled top, or check out a similar top in black or white paired with a red headband or even a heart pendant.

Maybe you don’t have any plans this Valentine’s Day, which is fine because all you cynics out there know this holiday was invented by Hallmark. If you don’t have any plans for the day or night, but still want to be festive, try a pink cardigan or a fun graphic tee.

No matter what you wear this Valentine’s Day, remember: there is no Valentine’s Day handbook and there is no rule that says you MUST wear red. Also, there are tons of shades of red and pink so go crazy-wear maroon or even magenta! And most of all, HAVE FUN!

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas:

Looking for the perfect gift for your longtime love, brand new boo, or best friend? Whether you need the perfect present or a silly gag gift, there are tons out there so don’t worry! Here’s a list of some fun, inexpensive gifts and some other great gift ideas:

1. Breakfast in bed: This gift is not only inexpensive, but is also universally beloved. Pick up some heart egg-shapers and an “I Love You” toast stamp (both available at Perpetualkid.com), and you can make a delicious, creative and expressive breakfast!

2. Jewelry is an obvious option, but don’t just grab whatever Kay Jewelers is advertising-be original. Get personal. Go to imprintonmyheart.com where you and your boo can make fingerprint-personal jewellery!

3. Lego speakers: These teeny-tiny speakers attach to almost any iPod and can instantly spread the joy of your favorite iPod playlist to your significant other without sharing headphones.

4. Go for the cheesy classic: Valentines themed boxer shorts for your man. Target’s got a selection for $5 a pair.

5. Dating a beer lover? Check out amazingbeerclub.com where you can sign up for a microbrew of the month club!

The Queen of Bedlam

from February 12, 2009 issue

By Brian Hicks

Robert McCammon’s latest novel, The Queen of Bedlam, is an historical thriller set in New York City in the early 1700s, at the time a fledgling “cow town” as compared to its older and greater sister city of London. However, New York City still has a lot of potential, and its increasingly fast-paced and diverse nature has not failed to attract the attention and ambitions of several of Europe’s influential, profit-driven characters-good and evil alike.

Enter into the growing sprawl of New York City one Matthew Corbett, the novel’s plucky, young, headstrong protagonist and aspiring lawyer. Corbett, formerly an orphan, is on a mission to bring to justice the brutal headmaster of the vile almshouse where he was raised. Unfortunately for Matthew, there is a mysterious villain prowling the dirty streets of New York and delivering his own brand of justice to the city’s fouler residents. Dubbed “The Masker” by the local tabloid, the fiend carves his victims’ faces to resemble Venetian masks seen at Carnevale celebrations.

It isn’t long before Matthew finds himself drawn into a mystery that he can’t help but solve, despite the deadly surprises awaiting him around every labyrinthine twist and turn in the growing maze of lies, deception, and backstabbing. His desire to discover the connection between The Masker and the prominent men he kills leads him to an unlikely source for information. In a New Jersey asylum, a literal queen of Bedlam awaits, an old and silent woman who refuses to speak to anyone until she receives a sufficient answer to the question, “Has the King replied yet?”
From the back alleys of New York, to the beautiful farms and estates of upstate New York; from harrowing chases trailing the Masker in the city’s less reputable areas to a walk down a budding Broadway, The Queen of Bedlam is a non-stop, action-adventure romp sure to please.

Siena Opera

from Jan. 29, 2009

By Kara Livingston

Have you ever had any interest in going to the MET to view opera performances such as Doctor Atomic and Madame Butterfly, or just want to learn more about this type of drama? If so, it was surprising to hear that Siena College offers students the opportunity to learn about this style of performing through the Siena Opera Club.
According to the Siena Opera Club’s website, the club was founded by Peter Haley in 1975, due to students’ adoration for an Opera Survey course that was offered. Now the club has expanded to over 400 members, who regularly travel to view operas and to learn more about them through club seminars.
For those interested in opera, the club offers many benefits to its members. The site lists some of these benefits: “…Preferred seating at the Metropolitan Opera series and premiere performances…Complete travel arrangements and ticketing for approximately any of 20 scheduled performances per year…Monthly educational seminars from October through April.” Also, other benefits would be an invitation to travel to beautiful places to view opera. In fact, there is a trip to Sante Fe offered in August 2009 in order to view their performances. So, if you are an opera aficionado or are enthusiastic to learn about this genre of performing, there are plenty of opportunities to do so after joining Siena’s Opera Club. For more information, go to Siena Opera Club’s website: http://www.sienaopera.org/index.html.

Oh, Oscar!

from Jan. 29, 2009

By Leah Antil

It’s that time of the year again for Directors, Actresses and Actors to jump on the award-winning bandwagon of, well, winning awards. Missed the Golden Globes? Did your famous sweetheart get robbed? Never fear! There is another chance, for the Oscars are now underway! What exactly are the Oscars you ask, scratching your head blithely… well; they are only the biggest film award… in the WORLD! The hold the coveted standard of the most prestigious awards anyone in the film business can win-ever.

The Oscars were set up by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, known as ‘the Academy’ in 1929-and they have been held annually ever since. This year marks the 81st anniversary, which I believe is the canary diamond anniversary, prepare accordingly. (I actually just made that up– just watch them on television…)

The Academy is comprised of professional people in the film business, established in 1927 with 36 original members, and now an astounding 6,000 members 82 years later. Academy members do the actual voting for the Oscars, and everyone who wins an Oscar is automatically asked to be an Academy member. As you can imagine, it’s kind of a big deal.

Now, the award is a little golden statue of a ripped looking dude… why is that representation called an Oscar? No one is quite sure why, but it’s rumored to be because one of the Academy members thought the statue looked a bit like her Uncle Oscar. I kind of wish that was my Uncle…

So, ultimately, besides being the greatest film award in the universe, how does this help winners? It’s a great career launcher for any actor or actress. Once he or she has the shiny golden man on the mantle, they will often be offered more work, better roles and A-list films. They are now taken seriously… and I mean super cereal. Also, all those cutesy little artsy films that haven’t done so well at the box office are launched into a din of popularity they could have never dreamed. Ah… trampoline to the stars!

The various categories for the Oscars are strangely akin to the Golden Globe categories with exception that the Oscars don’t fool around in television… it’s all movies baby. The 24 different categories are: Actor and Actress in a Leading Role, Actor and Actress in a Supporting Role, Animated Feature Film, Art Direction, Cinematography, Costume Design, Directing, Documentary Feature and Short Subject, Film Editing, Writing (Original and Adapted Screenplay), Visual Effects, Sound and Sound Editing, Short Film – Live Action and Animated, Best Picture (the MOST prestigious), Music (Song and Score), Makeup and Foreign Language Film.

This year promises to shape up as another sparkling year on the red carpet. In our increasing desire to evaluate individuals based upon their fashion choices, what the stars wear to the Oscars has become almost as important as the awards themselves. Although the decision has been made for who acted with the most quality and passion already, actresses can still compete for the most amazing dress and will slip the name of their top designer in whenever they can. Who can forget the year our favorite Reykjakian spunky singer Bjork showing up wearing a swan (or at least a dress that looked like one)? And what about Cher’s see through dress? No secrets on the red carpet there!

Be sure to exercise your Google talent to check out this year’s batch of nominees! Maybe we could set up our own fantasy Oscar league! (I call Dark Knight! Best Picture in the bag!) The 2009 nominees will be revealed on January 20th-as if we didn’t already have enough going on! The awards ceremony will be held in Hollywood at the Kodak Theatre on February 22, 2009 on ABC at 8 PM ET and hosted by High Jackman. I guess he was in this movie called Australia and was the Sexiest Man of the Year or something…

And Now: Fun Facts!

– Walt Disney has won more Oscars than anyone else. He was nominated for 64, and won 26!

– During World War II, the winners were given Oscar statues made of plaster instead of the usual golden ones, to mark the war effort

– The most Oscars ever won by a single film is 11. That’s happened three times, with Ben Hur, Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

– The Return of the King is the only film ever to have won every single Oscar it was nominated for.

Happy 4709!

from Jan. 29, 2009 issue

By Jennifer Harvey

While you most likely rang in the 2009 New Year on December 31st, the Chinese will be ringing in theirs this January 26. It is year 4709 according to Chinese Calendars. Chinese months are based on the lunar calendar. Each month begins on the darkest day. The New Year is the longest and most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. However, the celebration doesn’t involve a ball dropping in Times Square but is focused more on family reunions.
Many Chinese take the day off from work to enjoy food with family and friends. Traditional meals are served for resemblances. Food such as dumplings and pineapples are served for their likeness to Chinese currency, spring rolls resemble gold bars, whole fish and chickens resemble abundance, and a rice pudding is to help people prosper. Although the New Year is focused on family, they still ring it in with parades. The parades involve elaborate, colorful, larger than life dragons. In hopes of a prosperous year there is also a lion in the parade. The lion “eats” lettuce and oranges from local merchants, who give the lion red envelopes filled with money. New York City is scheduled to host two parades: one on January 31st in Flushing, Queens and on February 1st. The parade also consists of live performances of martial arts, dancers, and live bands on board the decorated floats. And on January 26, the city sets off more than 400,000 fireworks over Manhattan’s Roosevelt Park. The celebrations bring together the different cultures in the areas.
Cities around the world will be celebrating the Chinese New Year in many similar ways. The public celebrations are usually hosted in areas of significant Chinese populations. Many Chinese host parties at their homes for their family, friends, and neighborhoods. However the holiday is celebrated, it is an important day for Chinese everywhere. Happy 4709!

Fashion Files

from Jan. 29, 2009 issue

By Sam Chiafalo and Kait Milliot

When the clock struck midnight on New Years, after the kisses and champagne, what resolutions did you vouch to have for 2009? If you’re like us, and most college kids, you may have thought about getting in shape and shedding some of the weight you’ve gained from Saga food and late night munchies. But getting into the work out routine is hard for some of us, so we need a little motivation. We can’t afford one of those sexy personal trainers to kick us into gear, so we’re hitting the stores to search for clothes that make us look and feel good at the gym!

At Walmart, you’ll be blown away by the prices of Danskin pieces. Danskin’s been around forever. We used to wear Danskin to ballet class as kids, so you know there’s reliability in the pieces and you’ll get more than what you pay for. Tank tops start at $3 and these cropped pants are $15! Also try Old Navy for basic, inexpensive yoga pants.

To really get you going, maybe you’d like to splurge on Adidas by Stella McCartney. Her pieces are pricey, but beautifully unique and comfortable. Perfect for dancers and girls who want to look good at the gym (even if people are sure to look and make comments about getting dressed up to sweat; whatever, do what you need to do to motivate yourself!) This long sleeve dance top is $110 and shorts run about $80, maybe without paying for a gym membership off campus is a good excuse to splurge.

Most importantly, some new sneakers are sure to get you in the exercise groove. The new Nike Zoom Sister pair comes in a variety of colors, including blue with yellow laces and logo. The flashy kicks are featured in an amazingly creative commercial featuring Taylor Momsen, from Gossip Girl, escaping from the paparazzi in her Nike Zoom’s. Check it out on Youtube.

Who knows, wrapped in some new gear you might surprise yourself and actually enjoy hitting the gym!

PS- Don’t forget “Confessions of a Shopaholic” hits theaters on February 13th!

The Top Ten for Christmas Movies

from Dec. 4, 2008 issue

By Alexander Walker

This is our last issue for the semester and soon, we will all head home for our winter vacations. I know those who celebrate Christmas will be looking forward to their favorite Christmas movies. Here is a list of my all time favorite Christmas movies that I hope you’ll enjoy too.

10.) Jingle All the Way (1996)

There is nothing like watching California’s Governor run amok to get you in the holiday spirit. This makes the list because who could forget the Christmas battle between Arnold and Sinbad.

9.) Home Alone (1990)

A kid left by himself on Christmas outsmarts two thieves. Only hilarity can ensue, right?

8.) Scrooged (1988)

This is an updated version of the classic Dickens story. A pretty scary version, but the moral still holds true. Don’t be a Scrooge, get into the Christmas spirit.

7.) It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Who can’t help to smile (or as I do, cringe) when the line “every time a bell rings an angel gets it’s wings” is recited. Either way, after watching this classic you will be feeling the holiday spirit.

6.) The Santa Claus (1994)

Tim Allen as Santa Claus makes for a great movie anytime of the year, especially around the holiday season.

5.) National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid, electrocuted cats, greased up saucers, and dry turkeys make the holiday worth while.

4.) How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

This classic Dr. Seuss story will make your heart grow three times it’s size.

3.) A Christmas Story (1983)

Who can’t help but love this Christmas story. It’s so great that they play it for 24 hours straight!

2.) Elf (2003)

Will Ferrell plays a human elf who just wants to meet his father. This funny, sweet film is sure to become a Christmas classic.

1.) The Nightmare before Christmas (1993)

Yes, this movie also made my Halloween list, but it is just that great! It blurs the lines between the holidays. Jack Skellington really knows how to celebrate Christmas.

Lauren Johnson Thinks Outside the Box

from Dec. 4, 2008 issue

By Kara Livingston

laura-johnson

Living in a 9 by 7 foot space may seem like a punishment, but Lauren Johnson, Siena student and Times Union dorm decorating contest winner, seems to disagree. Johnson welcomes living in a small space, “I like having a small space. I am still a roommate in the quad so my desk is in there and I usually hang out downstairs. The rest of the house is really homey so I really like to hang out down there. I basically sleep upstairs and use it to get changed etc.”
Johnson, who lives in townhouse ten in an alcove at the top of the stairs, also welcomes her decision to room in such a place to express her creativity. “I chose it because one of my friends two years ago lived there and I thought I could do some really creative things with it myself. I was the last one to move in so when I got to the quad I didn’t think I would have enough room to fit all my stuff.” Based on the restrictions, she designed a “room” that would catch the attention of others. Johnson explained that she had a lot of fun decorating the space with black and white photos, a curtain, and other crafty items that she purchased at Bed Bath & Beyond and Ikea. She also bought storage bins that fit great with the dimensions of her room. Johnson said, “My favorite part of my room is my leaning shelf! I really like how much storage it provides and the way it looks in my room. The space is large enough to put my bed one way only because it is roughly 9 feet by 7 feet. ”
The Siena student always realized that living in a 9 by 7 foot space was a little out of the ordinary, and her mother encouraged her to enter into the Times Union Dorm Decorating contest because of this. At first, Johnson was uneasy, “My mom first told me about the contest and I was reluctant to enter because I don’t actually live in a dorm, but I saw that some of the other contestants were town house residents so I decided to.” It was a good idea that she did enter, because the innovative Siena student ended up winning $100 to Dunkin’ Donuts and $100 to Colonie Center. Besides her material prizes, Johnson also received a lot of media attention she never expected. “It was so weird seeing myself on the front page, especially how big it was! I have had so many people from the Loudonville community comment about the article. I went into CVS to pick up a prescription and the pharmacist recognized me from the article which was so strange since I’m from Connecticut!”
Overall, Johnson has been very happy with the outcome of her spontaneous entry into the contest. She explains, “I thought it was really cool to win the contest since I never thought I had a chance.”

Holiday Joy for Movie Buffs

from Dec. 4, 2008 issue

By Jennifer Harvey

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Especially for movie lovers! With all the free time over the holiday breaks, it’s definitely a good time to catch some new movies. Here’s a list of just a few anticipated ones this season:
four-christmases
Four Christmases – Staring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon. This holiday comedy is a story about a couple not being able to celebrate in peace for the season. Upon missing an air flight, the two have to visit both of their crazy divorced families. Awkward moments, unpredictable situations, and big laughs are in the looks for this film.
Release Date: November 26th!

Cadillac Records – This 1950 music based movie explores the life of an influential Chicago record company executive Leonard Chess (Adrien Brody). Beyonce will be playing as the famous blues singer, Etta James. If you enjoyed Dreamgirls and Ray this should be on your list of must-sees!
Release Date: December 5th!

Milk – Rumors of an Oscar are already spreading about this movie. The plot is based on the election of the country’s first openly gay official, Harvey Milk (Sean Penn). It also focuses on Proposition 6 (ban on gay teachers), and the historical fight against it.
Release Date: November 26th!

The Reader – Starring Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes, the drama based plot is post-WWII. Winslet plays a former Nazi and has to defend herself in court for war crimes. Fiennes plays the younger version of the man with whom she had an affair.
Release Date: December 10th!

Punisher: War Zone – Finally, there is an action movie this holiday season. This one is starring Ray Stevenson as Rob Zombie. This character is indestructible and out to punish the evil citizens. However, there will be competition in doing so by fighting someone a bit crazier than he.
Release Date: December 5th!

Fashion Files: Holiday Shopping Edition

from Dec. 4, 2008 issue

By Samantha Chiafalo and Kaitlin Milliot

fashion-filesIn case you hadn’t noticed, the world economy is in the toilet. I don’t claim to be any sort of expert when it comes to the economy. I’ve never taken an economics course, but I it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that while gas prices may be down, the American public is still struggling. Home foreclosures are on the rise; the stock market isn’t stable and millions are out of work.

Fashion is the last thing on the mind of the average consumer. When the economy goes south the consumer heads in the opposite direction of their local mall. No one can afford frivolous expenditures, but with the holiday shopping season upon us consumers are going to have to hit the stores. However, they are not picking up the big ticket items like flat screens or $3,000 purses. The result is suffering retailers and many out-of-business stores.

What does this mean for the members of our materialistic society? Well for one thing there are several stores you won’t want to buy your mom or dad a gift from. Linens and Things and The Sharper Image will be closing their doors indefinitely. While neither is a major fashion house, or even a clothing store for that matter, they are great places to find gifts for family. The plus side is many of these struggling stores are still open and are offering great pre-black Friday holiday sales. Just make sure the gift you purchase won’t be something they’ll want to return!

Okay so you’re thinking, “I couldn’t care less about those two stores,” but what about store closings in your local mall. Your favorite store to shop for gifts may be scaling back. This is why this season you shouldn’t give gift cards! (Finally an excuse not to give the most thoughtless gift ever!) You don’t want your best friend from home to get a gift card that they have to travel an hour to use!

If you want to save money this holiday season remember these tips:

  1. Make a list and stick to it. Not only will this help you put thought into your gifts it will keep you from picking up those point of purchase items that you don’t need. Remember boys and girls, even Santa has a list that he sticks to.
  2. Don’t dare leave your house without coupons! Check out your local newspaper. There are tons of great buys advertised as well as coupons. Try not to fall for the first gimmick you see. “Sale price” doesn’t equal the “best price” so be sure to shop around!
  3. Make a budget and avoid using your credit card so you can keep a close eye on your cash flow.
  4. Don’t buy yourself gifts! Try not to forget you’ll probably be on the receiving end of the season’s giving come Christmas morning.
  5. Take a friend in case you need a second opinion and make sure it’s someone that can talk you down when your about to make an unnecessary purchase.

Happy Holidays and Happy Shopping!

The Da Vinci Code:
Cracking Codes to Unlock the Truth of the Sacred Feminine

from Dec. 4, 2008 issue

By Brian Hicksdavinci

Dan Brown’s internationally celebrated and controversial bestseller The Da Vinci Code is a guaranteed page-turner.

It all starts in Paris at The Louvre after its curator, Jacques Sauniere, is shot and killed one night after hours. Shortly thereafter, a Harvard symbologist named Robert Langdon with a slight connection to Sauniere is called in by the French police who suspect his tie to the curator is more than it seems. What follows is a daring escape and a race against time to clear Langdon’s name while following a paper trail of riddles left at the scene of the crime that will unlock the secret location of the Holy Grail and a shocking historical revelation.

Langdon is aided and abetted by Sophie Neveu, Sauniere’s estranged granddaughter and a cryptologist employed by the French FBI. Neveu has a secret agenda all her own and may know more than she initially lets on. Another ally is Leigh Teabing, a wealthy British nobleman and an expert on da Vinci’s paintings who proves indispensable to the duo in their search.

All the while, the trio find themselves stalked by a fearsome albino monk known as Silas, who is under the authority of an omnipotent and mysterious villain known only as “The Teacher.” The Teacher’s goal in finding the Holy Grail is to ostensibly assist the Catholic Church in keeping its darkest secrets permanently hidden from the world. Soon, a deadly game of cat-and-mouse develops between the good characters seeking knowledge and the evil characters seeking profit and fame.

Reading The Da Vinci Code is like unraveling a multi-layered patchwork quilt. The book itself is like a rich tapestry with lies, truths, adventure, heroism, villainy and greed all overlapping one another yet woven together seamlessly at the same time. For those of you with no travel plans for the Christmas break, the illustrated hardcover version is recommended, as it will directly include you in a fantastic action/adventure thriller in two gorgeous European cities: Paris and London.

A Different Kind of Role Model

from Nov. 13, 2008 issue

By Alexander Walker

When I think of a role model Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott do not come to mind. However, they play the part very well in their new film “Role Models.” It opened Friday November 7th, directed by David Wain, with this being his third feature film. It’s obvious the director is a comedian, because with every line of dialogue, you’ll at least crack a grin. You will get a laugh even in the most sincerest and heartfelt moments.
The acting is excellent. Just when I thought Sean William Scott had disappeared off of the face of the earth after the American Pie series, he comes into his own as Wheeler, the womanizer “best friend” of Paul Rudd’s character, Danny. The chemistry between he and his mentored child, Ronnie, played by Bobb’e J. Thompson, will have you laughing every moment they share the screen. It is a different story for Danny and his not so little, little, Augie. Augie Farks, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse, or better known as McLovin from Super Bad, is a teenage nerd into L.A.I.R.E, or Live Action Interactive Role-Playing Explorers. Their relationship is awkward at first, however they grow on each other. This leads to the ultimate L.A.I.R.E. battle in which everyone joins in on the fun. Augie is a great character, timid in the “real” world, but mighty in his own world. He really shows everyone what it means to go for what you really enjoy in life and that no one should stop you from achieving that. The acting by the supporting cast is all outstanding. You’ll recognize many from movies that Paul Rudd shared the screen with.
This has a feeling of a Judd Apatow movie, but he isn’t even involved in it. This is one Paul Rudd can call his own as he comes through as a leading actor. He has a special scene that is void in any other comedy like this that really makes it stand out among the rest. Danny is a character that hates everything, but he will experience life through a different perspective in this film. The film is riddled with scenes that seemingly will end badly, yet leave you laughing. This is truly a comedy that will separate it self from the likes of Zach and Miri, a raunchy Kevin Smith comedy. This is because at its core and surface it really is a feel good movie. There is no need to go above and beyond to shock people. All this comedy does is show reality, and what is funnier than the life we all can share.
I enjoyed the movie from beginning to end. I hope others can to, because this is a feel good movie about friends, and who can’t relate to that. So if you’re looking for a good time then this one is worth the ticket price, and be sure to bring a friend.

A Touch with Fame

from Nov. 13, 2008 issue

By Lisa Dussault

In everyone’s life, they always hope to have some sort of interaction with a famous person they admire, whether it is a view from a distance or actually speaking with them. On Monday, November 3rd, from 3:00 – 4:00 PM, a selection of college students from across the country had the opportunity to speak with an up and coming star during a conference call. Who was this famous person, you ask? It was Robert Pattinson, the main star of the new movie, Twilight, where he plays Edward Cullen, the suave and handsome vampire who falls in love with a human (Bella), based on the book by Stephanie Meyer. It is coming to theatres this month on November 21st, 2008. I was lucky enough to be the reporter who got to listen in on the call and even ask him a few questions myself.

For some background info on Robert Pattinson, he has also been in a number of other movies and shows before his big debut in Twilight. He was born on May 13th, 1986 in London, England and started acting in amateur plays when he was 15. He was also played a supporting part in the television film, Ring of the Nibelungs. His first main role that many of us would be familiar with is the character of Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2005. In this he played a competitor to Harry Potter at their school, Hogwarts. He is also a very excellent musician; he has played the piano for his entire life and the guitar since he was twelve years old. He has even written a couple songs that will be on the soundtrack for Twilight, one that is called Never Think, where he wrote the music and sings in it as well. He has several other projects he is working on right now, such as his role as Salvador Dali in Little Ashes, which will be released in England in 2009.

During the conference call, students were allowed to ask him questions pertaining to the movie, Twilight and his role in other films. People asked him a variety of questions about his life, career and ambitions for the future. Some wondered about his opinion on playing the character of Edward Cullen and if he had trouble portraying him since he has become such a popular figure. He said that there was “a good balance” to playing him. On the one hand, there was pressure since he had to live up to certain expectations people had about the book and then on the other hand, the pressure was off because no matter what, people would already love the character. He was also asked whether or not it was hard bringing a literary character to life from a book. He said he tried to “ignore the large implications” that Edward had and tried to play him through Bella’s perspective since the story is told by her. Bella’s character gives such a vivid portrayal of him that he thought it best to abide by her descriptions. He complimented his costar, Kristen Stewart (who plays Bella) by saying that she was a “good choice for the character” since she had a depth to her that was similar to Bella’s in the book.

Separate from questions about his role in Twilight, he was also asked about his personal life. When inquired what he liked to do outside of film and music, he said he did not do much else and that he only has two best friends that he spends most of his time with. He also said that his favorite actor is Jack Nicholson and that he strives to be just like him and would love to work with him in a future film. He also discussed his musical career as well. Even though he has a couple of songs on the soundtrack for Twilight, he said that was not interested in “having a successful career” as a musician. He maybe would like to record an album one day or even own a recording studio, but that he has no big plans in the music industry.

Robert was also asked other questions about his music and future career path. He seemed like a very likeable, down-to-earth guy who truly enjoyed answering our questions. It is no wonder as to why he is such a heart-throb among young and even older girls. His looks are definitely part of it, but his obvious funny personality and insightful character has a lot to do with it as well! It would be completely worth it to see him in one of his new upcoming films; they seem to be promising hits in the box office!

Capote:
The Man, The Myth, and The Masterpiece

from Nov. 13, 2008 issue

By Brian Hicks

The film “Capote,” titled after one of the most famous authors of the twentieth century, won actor Philip Seymour Hoffman a well-deserved Oscar for Best Actor at the 2006 Academy Awards. Hoffman portrayed the effeminate, sociable, and haunted Truman Capote, a brilliant and successful writer and the toast of high society. Capote, outside of the boozy parties which comprise his active night life, is also a good friend of Harper Lee (Katherine Keener), acclaimed author of “To Kill a Mockingbird,” who is Capote’s former childhood neighbor, confidante, and moral compass throughout the film.

“Capote” is based on the five years it took the author to compose his self-proclaimed masterpiece, the true crime novel “In Cold Blood:” the last work the author ever completed. Roused by a single newspaper article detailing the gruesome murder of a wealthy Kansas farming family, Capote begins a thorough investigation of the crime for his latest work, even developing a close relationship with the crime’s evil perpetrators, Perry Smith (an equally haunted figure played to perfection by Clifton Collins, Jr.) and Dick Hickok (Mark Pellegrino), but especially with Smith, as his troubled childhood and quiet intelligence reminds Capote so much of his own. At one point, he even begins to fall in love with the quiet and intense criminal (Capote was a homosexual in real life). Soon, Capote’s worldview is irreversibly altered. Troubled with the impending executions of the men who came to trust Capote and gave him valuable insight to the criminal mind, Capote sinks into a deep depression, turning to the bottle to take his mind off of his troubles.

“Capote” is a clear and moving film about a brilliant man who deserved better. Hoffman, who takes on the character with masterful form, portrays Capote to perfection. His dynamic character shifts from the affable joker, at the fancy shindigs where he was a veritable fixture, to an all-too-human flawed individual with the severe moral dilemmas and deep sensitivity common among gifted individuals.

The DVD features several specials, including a 15-minute documentary on the author which offers a special glimpse in the life of Truman Capote, a two-part behind the scenes bonus, and interviews with the screenwriter (Dan Futterman), director (Bennett Miller), and all the chief players. “Capote” is recommended to those with an interest in the author and his works, or the curious folk wishing to know the techniques and strategies employed by writers in gaining material for their stories.

Fashion Files

from Nov. 13, 2008 issue

By Samantha Chiafalo and Kaitlin Milliot

Fall Trends 2008:

  1. Belle Curves: This Fall the 1940s peplum look has made a comeback. Peplum refers to a ruffled attachment on the waist of a garment. Designers, such as Chanel, Prada and Bottega Veneta, are using this technique in jackets, dresses and skirts this fall.
  2. Country Life: Fall ’08 led designers to go mad for plaid and created an unyielding need for tweed. Pairings of tweeds and plaids with velvet, shearling and fur have been seen in collections by famous designers Carolina Herrera and Michael Kors.
  3. The Long View: LEAN AND MEAN! This look can be either mid-calf or floor grazing. The looks shown on the runway layered these outfits, pairing long tops with even longer bottoms. Marc Jacobs’s love of this trend shows in his rail thin coat design.
  4. Minimalist: Think parsed and precise, architectural and stark. This look is seen in collections by Calvin Klein, Jil Sander and the ever popular, Prada.
  5. Superhero Worship: So heels aren’t exactly ideal for fighting crime but they do look hot paired with a futuristic Balenciaga dress or a superhero inspired cape jacket. These looks may also include a fun fur collar or tough-looking leather.
  6. Winter Garden: Who said florals were for the Spring? This Fall, designers are keen on green and foliage inspired prints as well as blooms and feathers.
  7. Black: Are these trends a little much for your tastes? Just remember: this Fall, black is the new black!

Indecision 2008

from October 30, 2008 issue

By Leah Antil

So, you’ve been patrolling the classics: CNN, MSNBC, Reuters and, if you’re desperate for a “fair and balanced” perspective, Fox News, for word on the elections this November. You’ve watched the debates, (stealing as many Snickers bars and Fruit Roll-Ups as you can) and now, a week away-there really isn’t anything that can change your mind when you go to cast your vote on November 4th… right?

I think we are all entitled to a well-deserved break. There have been so many ups and downs the past year with unlikely candidates, crazy pastors, a narrowing GOP, and the fuzzy gray area that seems to have replaced the once well defined Republican and Democrat fundamentals of partisan politics. The debates have been repetitive, scripted little sound-bite chunks providing few revelations of the real issues. Let’s see, oh, and in the midst of all this Cirque du Soleil acrobatics-the stock market crashed and our economy committed fiscal suicide. That’s a lot to take, not to mention the slander, rumors and watching Governor Sarah Palin actually be herself. We’re exhausted, really.

Well let me offer you that well deserved break, and a treat of sorts that will expose you to the song of satire and a new look on the political issues that have so distracted you from your everyday activities-like studying or homework. Indecision 2008 presents the election, and all the lovely bandwagon goodies that come along with, from a new, comedic angle that everyone can appreciate.

With the slogan, “Something approximating: election news with something approximating honesty”-you know it’s going to be good. Comedy Central sponsors the site and the main players are Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. The site is divided up into different pages where visitors can watch politicians like John McCain and Barack Obama, who have gone on the Daily Show or the Colbert Report, give their interviews and opinions (I hope John Stewart gets Sarah Palin on next, you betcha!).

The site also features a Blog, in which the Onion has a featured voice, with recent news and opinions from various site managers and Daily Show/Colbert Report writers. The stuff on there is actually really funny as it entertains the cynicism, sarcasm and wittiness that we college students love so much. Example: “Republicans Beat Democrats 7-1 Among Late-Night Talk Show Hosts”

There is also a Games section where you can de-stress from all of this campaign hullabaloo. Interactive games include: Joe the Plumber: Layin’ Pipe, An Inconvenient Webgame, Kung Fu Election, Pander-monium and Border Security, just to name a few. There are also challenges like: McCain Photoshop Chudlenge, Headline Anagrams, Caption Challenge, and There Ought to be a Word. They also feature a great section of Party Games (for the sake of my college journalism career, I will let you discover the detail of these games for yourselves– I hoped you TiVOed the Debates!).

The videos page offers clips from the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, and some of the funnier election coverage clips from our favorite, “Senior Political Analysts” like Samantha Bee and John Oliver plus the night’s Word. The Issues page has everything from Civil Rights, Values, Energy and Oil, Science and Technology and even Accessories (because these guys have to look good).

There is also an opportunity to participate in the “Addictionary,” where you can find meanings to words you never knew existed, because, well, they don’t. Example: knumchuckling- noun, A preemptive announcement of your exoneration, with a high margin for error, based upon the overwhelming evidence of your guilt. (These get quite creative.)

Indecision 2008 is not really a liberal or conservative website. It makes fun of Barack Obama and Co. as well as the McCain-Palin machine equally and without bias. The material is hilarious, and if you appreciate watching the Daily Show and the Colbert Report, you will certainly find a special place in your heart for this website. It’s been a long campaign trail-so sit back, relax and laugh at the expense of those that would like to lead our country.

iPresident

from October 30, 2008 issue

By Gary DeRusso

While it would be absolutely ludicrous to vote for someone based solely on musical taste, it certainly is interesting to see what the two current presidential candidates enjoy listening to on the campaign trail. Blender magazine asked both Senator McCain and Senator Obama what their ten favorite songs were, and as expected, their lists are quite different. McCain listed classics such as sporting event and drunken sing-along favorite “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond. The optimistic Louis Armstrong standard “What a Wonderful World” also made his top ten. Obama, on the other hand, included a diverse selection of songs. He had his share of older music, such as the well-known The Rolling Stone’s staple “Gimme Shelter” from Let it Bleed and “What’s Going On,” arguably Marvin Gaye’s biggest and best single (Rolling Stone listed the song as the fourth greatest song of all-time). Obama is also somewhat in touch with the current musical landscape, citing the U2 single “City of Blinding Lights” from the 2004 release How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. In addition, he enjoys hip-hop from the likes of the MTV-proclaimed “Hottest MC in the Game” Kanye West (“Touch the Sky” was Obama’s choice cut from the critically-acclaimed rapper) and the now-defunct hip-hop powerhouse, The Fugees (their Enya-sampling “Ready or Not” made the list). The biggest surprise was McCain listing not one but two songs by Swedish pop group ABBA: “Take a Chance with Me” and the ever-popular “Dancing Queen” both cracked the Arizona senator’s top ten. While it may seem that the two senators cannot see eye to eye even on the music that they listen to, they do share one artist on both of their lists: Ol’ Blue Eyes. Frank Sinatra’s cover of Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” was represented on McCain’s list, while “You’d Be So Easy to Love” made Obama’s top ten. In addition to what he listens to, Rolling Stone pried Obama’s brain to see how he listens to his music: his trusty iPod. Indeed, just like a multitude of Americans, Obama relies on the ubiquitous MP3 player to spin all of his favorite tracks, which also include the likes of Bob Dylan, Jay-Z and Bruce Springsteen. While it is not certain whether McCain uses an iPod or not, he is self-admittedly “computer-illiterate” (insert phonograph joke here). While not a deciding factor used in voting, it is certainly interesting to compare music with a potential president of the United States.

Macabre Halloween Gems: “Horrifying” Book Reviews

from October 30, 2008 issue

By Brian Hicks

Are you in the mood to crack open a good book in anticipation of Halloween this year? Look no further than horror author Bentley Little’s anthology of short stories aptly entitled The Collection. This is a chilling series of short stories sure to send shivers up the spines of any and all of its curious readers, including “The Man in the Passenger Seat,” a story about a man who reluctantly aids and abets the monstrous carjacker seeking shelter in his car. “The Roommate” concerns a hapless man looking for a new roommate to share his apartment with only to wind up with a variety of freaks arriving at his door. “Bob,” meanwhile, is a memorable tale of mistaken identity.

For those of you looking for a dash of gore, look no further than Clive Barker. The Hellbound Heart is a novella following the misadventures of Frank Cotton, a listless and decadent man yearning to possess carnal knowledge of a more supernatural persuasion-only to find that his newfound “pleasure” may be too much of a good thing. Mister B. Gone, a grisly analysis of humanity from the point of view of an angry demon who possesses the very pages you read, is a guaranteed page-turner.

Robert R. McCammon’s, The Wolf’s Hour, is an action-packed spy romp set in World War II. Its suave protagonist is a werewolf who can change between a man and a wolf at will. The Wolf’s Hour also features a plethora of viscerally memorable scenes.

Stephen King is hailed by many as the reigning king of horror and his reputation-for those who have read his books-is definitely deserved. His short story collection Skeleton Crew features excellent tales, including “Gramma,” about a young boy terrified of giving his grandmother the hug he’s always denied her, and “The Mist,” about a sinister fog overtaking people in a grocery store.

These are just a few books aimed at helping you get into the Halloween spirit. If you read these books in the dead of night and your flesh doesn’t crawl, you’re wearing it too tight.

Avalon is a State of Mind

from October 16, 2008 issue

Dave Cappadona

When Anthony Green was asked about his first solo album, Avalon he answered, “I think what’s important for people to realize is this isn’t a bunch of dudes trying to put out hit singles.” Anthony Green is the fantastic voice behind bands like Saosin and Circa Survive, and his first solo album is for the most part a departure from the ambient sound and dense arrangements of those bands, in favor of a more stripped-down feeling.

It almost seems like after Avalon, Anthony Green isn’t expecting to release any more solo material. Not only are you buying the album Avalon, you also get the 4-song High & Driving EP and 5 demos. Several are just alternate versions of songs from the album itself, but as a free bonus it’s a nice touch.

The record opens with “She Loves Me So.” The organic feeling of a simple drum beat with acoustic guitar and Green’s beautiful vocals make for an incredibly enjoyable listen. The simple-yet-honest lyrics of the track make it even stronger. The first single, “Dear Child (I’ve Been Tying To Reach You),” is a familiar number and is the only song to not come out of the eight-day recording session in Avalon, N.J. that spawned the rest of the album. “Dear Child” has a much higher production value than the rest of the album and is most similar to songs that Green has created in the past especially with Circa Survive. Though it is one of the best songs on the album, it’s more polished sound sticks out and somewhat takes away from the flow of the album. Tracks like “Drug Dealer” and “Miracle Sun” do the best at capturing the simple, acoustic vibe of the record. Green’s vocals never fail to impress and are constantly reaching notable levels. Green tackles alt-country with “Stonehearted Man” and channels his inner Bob Dylan on the harmonica infused “Slowing Down (Long Time Coming).” Both tracks work very well.

His finest moment is a little number called “Devil’s Song.” It’s a devastating, winding epic, a blues song without sounding bluesy. Its depth is confounding for an artist as young as Green, akin to hearing an 18-year-old Bobby Plant crow about matters far beyond his years. This is a timeless song, something that stands up to anything on Astral Weeks or even Highway 61 Revisited. Indeed, big words for a big song. The lyrical cadence is equally as grand, a fable wherein the protagonist releases a trapped demon in exchange for his name. The melody of the chorus is impossible to forget, Green testifying “this feels like a nightmare,” as the backing vocals chant “we’re all in the same spot.” They’re vague though universal sentiments sung with such conviction that the song is destined to serve as a staple in Green’s live repertoire.

Ultimately, this is an album that Anthony Green had to make. Not only for his fans to be able to hear his take on the acoustic genre, but more importantly for himself. Backed by the band Good Old War, the simplistic sounds of “Avalon” accompany Green’s high-pitched-yet-soothing vocals perfectly. Avalon features the most personal lyrics Green has written to date and the acoustic environment he has expressed them in is a wonderful fit.

Dear Science Dazzles Senses

from October 16, 2008 issue

By Gary DeRusso

New York City art-rockers TV on the Radio follow-up their critically acclaimed sophomore effort, Return to Cookie Mountain, with an even more impressive offering in Dear Science, an album rife with a melancholy and political agenda coupled with an uncharacteristically infectious sound. On the surface, the album is a musical accomplishment, creating layers of sound ranging from a bouncy synth-created beat to a wistful horn section. Vivacious verses and catchy choruses abound on this album, right from the get-go on opener “Halfway Home,” featuring a driving, reverberated drum beat to go along with handclaps and frontman Tunde Adebimpe’s opening “ba ba ba ba ba.” “Dancing Choose” speeds along as a social commentary against unoriginality and frivolity in today’s world, all with a funky, fast-paced feel. “Golden Age” evokes the days of innovators, Prince and Bowie, painting a portrait of a utopia, riding on a mix of funk-pop and a killer strings section. In addition to songs that call to mind the unlikely combination of dancing and thought, the album has some touching songs like, “Family Tree,” a well-orchestrated ballad about forbidden love because of an archaic familial belief. The album features some subtle, politically-charged rockers like “DLZ” and “Red Dress,” and the latter openly denounces the meaninglessness of war. Every song is so packed with intensity and invigoration that each one implies an unforgettable and varied experience. TV on the Radio wants to start a revolution and make you think, but want you to get your groove on in the process. Dear Science is the complete package and one of the finest albums of the year.

Fall Fun in the Capital Region

from October 16, 2008

By Kayla Grant

As the leaves begin to change color, Albany comes alive with fun fall activities. Here are just a few of the things to do in our area to break away from midterm madness.

Oktoberfest – Empire State Plaza – October 16th at 10 AM – German food, drunk, music, dancing, arts, crafts and more!

Apple Picking at Altamont Orchards, 342 Altamont Rd Altamont NY, 12009

Pumpkin Picking at Ellm’s Farm in Ballston Spa – Pumpkin patch, corn maze, hayrides and more!

Check out http://www.albany.com for more events and get out and enjoy the changing seasons!

Fashion Files

from October 16, 2008 issue

By: Samantha Chiafalo and Kaitlin Milliot

Back to Black:

You know why we love this time of year? Black is back! Summer is so complicated; bright colors and patterns can make re-wearing an outfit difficult and, for some, painful. We hate looking into are closet and feeling as if we have nothing to wear and making a Forever 21 trip every Friday can get expensive.

Fall is the perfect time to conserve your funds. Why? Because, fall is all about solids and dark colors. Essentially, you can wear the same top several times, but easily make it feel new every time! When clothes are solid colors they pair easier with other pieces and, without the bold prints, accessories don’t seem too busy. Bags, belts, jewelry, shoes, scarves and headwear are all awesome ways to breathe new life into an old outfit. Plus, if you do need to make a trip to the mall, accessories are usually cheaper, so you can get more for you money. With the right accessories you can make a fitted black t-shirt and a pair of dark jeans look runway, or at least worthy of Landing Zone on a Friday night. Can’t afford a trip to the mall? Get creative by going through your closet and trying new outfit combos. Also, living in a dorm is like having a celebrity size closet. Borrow! Mix and match your clothes with a friend’s. If you have fun and take your time with an outfit you’re going to love the way you look.

Easy Tips:

Go Gold: gold is a warm tone and great for fall. Pair a black top with a chunky gold necklace and simple gold earrings.

Belt it: a funky belt will bring life to any outfit. Remember, if the belt is super funky don’t over do it with other accessories.

Scarf: a scarf will not only keep you warm it will make your outfit appear chicer.

Headwear: crazy headbands are all the rage; check out headbands in fun colors, with feathers, bows, or flowers.

Jewelry: when your outfit is simple go chunky. When you’re wearing dark or solid colors wear something bold that will pop and bring color into your outfit.

Hope your midterm grades are as fabulous as your sense of style!

SC&KM

Proctor’s Theatre is the Place to Be!

from October 16, 2008 issue

By Jen Harvey

Looking for something new to do on the weekend with your friends? If so, check out Proctors theatre this month! There are a few fun events scheduled for this October that are definitely worth checking out! NBC’s Last Comic Standing Live Tour is visiting the capital region Thursday, October 23 at 8:00 PM. The hilarious winner of the TV show, Iliza Shlesinger, will be performing along with Marcus Jess Dye Ron G (filing in for Louis Ramey) and Jim Tavare. Whether you followed the hit TV show or not, the performance is sure to be a fun choice before a night out on the town. If you can’t make that show, check out the world’s number one: Mamma Mia! The popular play/movie will be at Proctors October 28-November 2nd. If you’ve seen the movie, you must see the play! It’s a totally different experience seeing the play. Live music and dancing is always a great way to start a night. Tickets are on sale for both performances now. You can order them online at http://www.ticketmaster.com and at http://www.proctors.org. Break away from your regular Thursday night routines and go do something new! Both shows will definitely be worth your money and time.

Ratatouille: Serving up a Heap of Trouble in the City of Lights

from October 16, 2008 issue

By Brian Hicks

Brad Bird’s wonderful film, Ratatouille, dishes up comedy with a pinch of romance and a whole lot of irony-the perfect ingredients for an enjoyable animated classic!

Remy (Patton Oswalt), is the protagonist in this film. He’s young, brilliant, and has his heart set on being a five-star chef. One problem-he’s a rat! Regarded by humans as a pestilence, he’s traditionally dealt with by the business end of a broom or a mousetrap. His determination to get ahead in the world of cooking, and actually give back something to humans, overrides his common sense and his own instincts, according to his stern father, Django (Brian Dennehy), the powerful leader of Remy’s colony.

Through a quirk of fate, Remy finds himself separated from his family and all alone in Paris. He is initially alarmed and desponded. However, spirit of recently deceased chef Auguste Gusteau (voiced by Brad Bird, the director of the film), Remy’s human mentor, guides his protégé to his famous restaurant to begin a new life. There, through a stroke of genius, he pounces on his first opportunity to serve up a delectable meal for customers by cleaning up after the inept garbage boy, Linguini’s, (Lou Romano) culinary blunder.

Soon, Remy and Linguini are partners in a symbiotic alliance: Remy, carefully hidden, guides his hapless host to whip up first-rate dishes that quickly put Gusteau’s restaurant back on the map while Linguini takes the credit to build up his reputation. But there are still big problems to face, including Gusteau’s violent and paranoid successor Skinner (Ian Holm), who is convinced Linguini is hiding something. The management also faces renewed antagonism from cruel food critic Anton Ego (Peter O’Toole), whose negative review of Gusteau’s resulted in the chef’s death by broke heart.

Much laughter, mayhem, and chaos ensue in this beautiful gem of a film, sure to surprise, entertain, and touch even the most jaded viewers.

The Grippe of October: A Review

from October 16, 2008 issue

By Melissa Rao

This past month I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to volunteer as Assistant Stage Manager for a Stage III production of The Grippe of October. It was truly a unique experience to be a part of. Because I got involved so early, I was able to see this show go from auditions to opening night in just three short weeks. I saw this play, written by a local playwright, grow from just lines and stage directions on paper to something meaningful, relevant and real.

The Grippe follows the story of a young girl, Alice, from Pine Hills in Albany in 1918, to the end of World War I. Not only is the war going on in Europe, but an epidemic of influenza is hitting Albany without mercy. She learns from her experiences on the home front that war and disease can turn lives upside down. The message of this play is simple, and best described by Alice in the last scene of the show: “Somehow, we all have to take care of each other.” In times of crisis, whether it is war, disease, famine, or even an economic crisis, we all have to work together and look out for one another.

This play was written by John P. McEneny, a Siena alumnus. His sister, Maeve McEneny, who is also a Siena alum, directed the show. As natives of Albany’s Pine Hills neighborhood, this show featured many of the childhood settings (granted it was a bit different in 1918 than when they were children). This show premiered on April 15, 2008 in Brooklyn, at the middle school where Mr. McEneny teaches. The play then toured Elgin, Scotland and was preformed at The Gordonstoun School on April 22 and 23.

Overall, I think this show was a success, especially in getting people talking and debating about the issues that were raised during the show. And the actors were amazing! Though it didn’t always cooperate, the media was great and really added a lot to the production. I did find that some scenes seemed to lag on, but many of the others were interesting and captured my attention. My personal favorite was the letter scene, when the characters were reciting letters they had written. I especially loved the background music in that scene.

I had a great time doing this production. It was a lot of work but if I could, I would do it all over again– no questions asked.

It’s a Wiki-World!

from October 16, 2008 issue

By Leah Antil

Remember a few years ago when ‘Wikipedia’ emerged on the scene? It was heaven on earth for all of the last minute crunch times when you needed information ASAP. Just look it up on Wikipedia, and BAM! You were graced with conveniently organized pages of information so you could write that paper on Shakespeare, or Uganda or really anything at all. There was even a bibliography at the end– Saints be praised!

Of course, Wikipedia is still around, and bigger and better than ever, in over 200 languages with nearly 7 million articles. It’s still growing too! Providing internet users with the biggest and arguably the best free encyclopedia on the web, or anywhere. But Wikipedia isn’t just a ‘website’ anymore-it’s a methodology and a communication tool that’s being adopted by more and more organizations every day.

‘Wiki’ comes from the Hawaiian word for ‘quickly,’ and is defined as a medium for collaboration that allows many people to participate in the production of a long-term knowledge repository or database. It is more often than not devoted to a specific subject or field of interest, allowing for cooperation between those with common shares of knowledge or information.

The internet seems to be moving quickly in the direction of wikis, as it expands and encompasses the billions of people that are connected. Knowledge is no longer exclusive and shared equally between audiences. This notion reinforces Thomas Friedman’s idea that the world is shrinking, and flattening (by the way: I CAN’T WAIT until I get my hands on Hot, Flat, and Crowded!). He is a journalist and financial analyst who writes about globalization and insists that wikis are the natural trend of information-sharing that will enhance the internet and world as we know it. Maybe he’s right. Recently Siena has jumped on the Wiki bandwagon, or at least some professors have, to establish wikis for their courses.

Dr. Mathew Johnson, a Sociology professor has created a wiki for his two classes, Social Theory and Wealth and Power in Contemporary Society (as well as the VISTA Fellows and Bonner Leaders). They are not simply run by Dr. Johnson, but run by the class. There are different pages to each wiki, for example, in Wealth and Power there is a page for the course description, and another for the course policies. Then there is a calendar with the expected course readings and assignments. Essentially, the syllabus is right online where it can be accessed (kind of reminiscent of Blackboard). However, here is where the bomb drops. There are also two pages, Daily Wiki Entries and Common Reading Wiki which involve students making entries on what they discussed in class. Notes, thoughts, questions and observations are all fair game, and when an epiphany is posted the entire class can read it and offer their thoughts and reactions by posting something else, or pondering it on their own.

The Common Reading Wiki is where students in the class can post readings, articles or anything of relevant interest to the class that they would like to share. This enhances the overall knowledge sharing between classes, extending it beyond the classroom, right onto the PC (or Mac). It can be especially helpful when page number six, Take Home Test 1, pops up and you’d like to get some verifiable information fast. The way the wiki is set up allows for student to add, or edit what others write, if perhaps their information could be corrected or expanded upon. It creates a communal atmosphere, in and out of the classroom, that allows students to take part in a class-wide project.

Now, of course, this is still a relatively new concept in Siena classrooms and therefore it may take some getting use to before maximal involvement is reached, but there’s hope on the horizon as more and more campus are going the way of the web. It started with Blackboard, and perhaps we will see the growing trend toward wikis in the future-because it brings to life the stagnant “Discussion” page that no one ever uses on Blackboard. For now however, it’s still not quite kosher to cite Wikipedia in a bibliography, sorry guys— maybe one day.

Modern Guilt

from October 2, 2008 issue

By Gary DeRusso

Beck’s follow up to his 2006 release The Information is an inventive, expressive and compact album that should please both longtime fans and Beck novices alike. Modern Guilt, released on Interscope Records on July 8th, 2008, his eighth major-label full-length release, includes just ten songs and clocks in at a sparse 33 minutes, but Beck has a way of making every second count. The album’s overall mood is much more serious than the past; the stream-of-consciousness hilarity of “Loser” and the infectious pseudo-techno of single-only release “Timebomb” are not quite as present as before. Rather, the album, with the collaboration of new producer Danger Mouse (better known as one-half of the odd couple Gnarls Barkley and producer of the Gorillaz sophomore effort Demon Days in 2005) combines unlikely mixtures of catchy, genre-blurring beats and lyrics alluding to paranoia in modern times and self-doubt. “Gamma Ray” sounds like something out of a beach party, but with a message of ecological concern. The jittery, electronic feel of “Replica” sounds like a Radiohead cut as it discusses living another life that is not one’s own. “Chemtrails” is a woozy, psychedelic and welcoming departure from typical Beck fare. “Soul of a Man” has a killer anthem rock feel, what with its crunchy guitar riff and hand claps interspersed throughout the track. The concluding song “Volcano” is an apt one, as it unifies music and lyrics into a well done, touching personal reflection of his own troubles. The use of the volcano metaphor may reference Scientology and Beck’s struggle with it, but all Beck songs are open to a bevy of interpretations that could be vastly different than the superficial, obvious interpretation. With the help of Danger Mouse, Beck does an admirable job of making a relatively fresh album with great, varied musical styles and interesting, thought-provoking lyrical implications.

Dorm Decorating Follow-Up

from October 2, 2008 issue

By: Kara Livingston

Now that everyone seems to be settled into their dorm rooms, I was curious to see how all of the freshmen were adjusting to their new living spaces. I started out by going to my old room from last year and I was shocked to see how different it looked since I left it. As I said before, my room from last year was a disaster, but shockingly this year it is cleaner than ever. This is all thanks to Laura Luzzi, one of the current residents, who explained that in order to keep her room organized she keeps bins in her closet and under her bed. Also, to save a lot of space in her room, the two beds are set up in the classic “L shape,” which leaves a lot of space for supplies and furniture on another wall. Laura and her roommate also have a lot of pictures hung up on the walls to make them feel at home. Laura thoroughly enjoys dorm life and even mentions, “I like always having people around. I’ve been having a lot of fun.”

After visiting my old room, I made my way to another dorm room that featured a beach theme. Tara Kelly, a freshman who lives there, hung up posters of beach scenery and also of Yankee Stadium. She decorated her room with a bright green comforter that went well with her roommate’s bed and along with the overall paradise theme. Tara mentioned that it has been easy for her to keep her room clean. She explained, “I try to clean it before class every morning.” Tara and her roommate also have a lot of bins for shoes, towels, and books, and keep a lot of junk food on their shelves.

To mix things up, I went to the second floor of Ryan Hall and saw some more masculine set-ups (I still feel like the room I saw was cleaner than mine last year). Terrance Logan and Justin Devendorf, both freshmen, keep their room extremely organized. They hung up posters of Scarface and the Red Hot Chili Peppers on their wall, and hung expander organizers in their closets to make more space. Overall, it was a job well done on their part. The boys expressed their love of dorm life, and Terrance concluded by saying, “What I love the most about dorm life would be the fact that friends are only two feet away.”

Greys Anatomy is Finally Back!

from October 2, 2008 issue

By Jen Harvey

The wait is finally over! The highly anticipated wait of the hit TV drama series Greys Anatomy aired this past week. Eager fans looked forward to the shows return for a fifth season. The comedy/romance/drama series is based on the personal and professional lives of five surgical doctors. The doctors of Seattle Grace Hospital rely on each other in life and death operations. They also count on each other for support and reassurance in their friendly and intimate relationships.

The last episode showed left viewers anxiously waiting to see where Callie Torres and Dr. Hahn will take their relationship, and whether McDreamy and Meredith’s love will continue. One fan of the show Meagan Greiger predicts that the kind hearted intern, George will let go of his past and be able to fall in love with Meredith’s half-sister Lexi. The excitement builds as devoted fans such as Meagan have already marked off the night for the shows return.

If you aren’t caught up on the show or haven’t seen an episode of it yet, you can still catch all the seasons online at www.abc.com.

Concerts for less Cash

from October 2, 2008 issue

By Dave Cappadona

Everyone loves a concert here and there. No one loves to shell out a lot of cash for a ticket or gas for a road trip. No need to worry, there are a bunch of concerts right around us that will leave you with enough cash to get by this semester.

Jillians is featuring a bunch of bands and for only five bucks you really can’t beat it.

Gravity is poppy smooth rock band who has basically the typical “bar band” sound.

The Schmooze is more of a power-pop band who has catchy guitar riffs and does a great cover of Sublime’s “What I Got.”

Valentines is hosting such bands as the Brookyln Natives, hardcore band SkarHead and the mellow indie band, We are Scientists.

If you’re willing to spend a little bit more than $5.00 then I’d suggest checking out The Washington Armory who’s going to have Rise Against with The Alkaline Trio, Thrice, and The Gaslight Anthem. Also Northern Lights is going to be jamming on October 9th with Umphrey’s McGee. The very next day the crowd will be skanking to New Jersey’s finest, Streetlight Manifesto.

Not Even Casper Would Stay in this Ghost Town

from October 2, 2008 issue

By Alexander Walker

In the new Ricky Gervais Comedy Ghost Town New York City has been filled with the dead wandering the streets looking for a little help. This movie needs a lot of help. At times it is sincere, but is mostly riddled with clichés. The performances are bland as with most films Greg Kinnear is in. It is a sentimental piece of film, yet beyond that it is nothing more.

Ricky Gervais plays a Dentist from the Upper East-Side of Manhattan. He’s originally from London so he plays a fish out of water. Now he’s not your average leading man which gives this film some credit. However, his humor is dry and at most times he’s awkward. He is the definition of anti-social and this comes into play when he dies for seven minutes during a routine procedure, and the dead of N.Y.C. come back to talk to him. Now being the exact opposite of a people person you can see how this leads to trouble for a portly hero. This is when Greg Kinnear’s businessman comes into the story. He’s dead but he can’t move on. He figures it’s because his wife is going to be marrying a jerk. So he and the rest of the dead seek out the only one who can help them. Bertram Pincus the only one who wants nothing to do with them. It all sounds so familiar. That’s because it is. It’s a romantic comedy with stale romance and dry humor. It uses the lively N.Y.C. as a backdrop yet makes it seem like a miserable place to be.

There are a few positives that come out of this one is that it’s ok to see once, but wait for it to come out to DVD. There are a few scenes that will tug at your heartstrings, but that’s exactly what they are suppose to do and are just a manipulation of your emotions. A montage of good deeds and the film is trying to justify itself. However, it barely gets by. This film isn’t quite like pulling teeth, but it’s not entirely pleasant either.

If you enjoy romantic comedies then this is worth seeing, if not then you don’t want to go to this Ghost Town.

iOrganize with iGoogle

from October 2, 2008 issue

By Leah Antil

As I am sure you are all aware, a new word was added to English vernacular, and is certainly incorporated into everyday conversation around the Siena College campus: Google. “Why don’t you Google it?”-“I Googled myself and came up with some interesting facts… strangely enough things that were new to me.” Not only is Google a number and a noun, but now has achieved verb status among people all over the world.

It’s true that the power of the Google search engine should never be underestimated or discounted in the digital world, for what other search engine do you know that would cleverly animate the G-O-O-G-L-E to accommodate every holiday on the calendar?( Did you see all those cute animations during the Beijing Olympics?) Google has pervaded every aspect of the internet community and expanded to become the ultimate personal planning network.

It’s called iGoogle. It’s your personal Google page that you create to tailor your specific interests, and it rules. All you have to do is create a Google account which you can do if you go to www.google.com. If you have a Gmail account, you already have the power to customize your iGoogle page at your fingertips. Breathe in the power, feels good doesn’t it?

But what exactly is an iGoogle page? It’s only the most customizable page ever! You can choose from thousands of themes that will serve as colors and backgrounds for your page. For example, my iGoogle theme is called Earth-Light, and is a satellite picture of the earth and the position of the sun, illuminating those parts of the earth in the daylight and those in darkness. It corresponds with real time, so it’s always moving, albeit slowly. If I ever forget what time it is, or indeed whether it is night or day, all I have to do is look at my iGoogle page. Assuming one of those pandemic emergencies pop up and I am trapped underground without access to the sun, well, assuming the magic of wireless reaches me in my cozy cavern-I know precisely where the sun is at all times. But you could also choose something a little less intense, like the beach or a jungle, some fish perhaps, the possibilities are pretty extensive.

Your iGoogle page gives you choices of tabs, of which you can add at any time. On my iGoogle I have a tab that is “Home” which provides me with quick links to my Siena Email account, Facebook, VKontakte (the Russian Facebook, yeah, I’m cool like that) and my Blogs (Yes, I have more than one.) I also added links to the Bonner Leader wiki and a wiki for my Wealth and Power in Contemporary Society class. It also shows me the weather for the next four days in beautiful Loudonville New York and time and date down to the millisecond. In addition, I have a selection of the top three news stories of the day.

Next to the Home tab is my Gmail tab so I can read my email without all that “Loading” business, and next to that I have my two Google Calendars, recreation and academic. (If you must know, the recreation calendar is green and the academic calendar is blue.) I also have an extended news tab which links me to the top UN WIRE (see last issue) stories and several other stories from Reuters, Google News, CNN, MSNBC and USA Today, to name a few. I can personalize my tabs, choosing from a plethora of different options: my Google Documents, Blogs, Reader, my Website (also made through Google) and my photos… I can even have a tab that links me directly to YouTube.

Now, I am sure you’re all wondering what exactly is so great about iGoogle, what makes this a good option? In my opinion, iGoogling your life is not only easy, but it will keep you organized to the nines, (I guarantee you’ll be surprised at your own ingenuity and creativity). It’s also one simple tool, one sign in and one account, so you’re not constantly being badgered with requests to remember passwords to computers. Even if you log on to iGoogle in a library or school computer, it will remain so that you truly do have iGoogle everywhere. You can add and edit information efficiently and from the same place while managing different areas of your exciting college lives.

I’m certainly not knocking planners by any means-and I am a fully fledged supporter of those nifty little books home to homework assignments and doodle-hearts, but you must admit, when you have pop-up reminders about really important events and appointments, like a Pendragon meeting for example, flashing importantly at you from your Calendar tab… well, you’re kind of a big deal. So become a big deal, and try out iGoogle for all your organizational needs.

Catch the Grippe

from October 2, 2008 issue

By Kayla Grant

This week, venture over to the Beaudoin Theatre in Foy Hall and take a trip back in time to Albany in 1918. The Grippe of October, directed by Siena alumni Maeve McEneny, tells the story of Alice, a young girl from Pine Hills in Albany who finds her whole world is shattered in by World War One and the influenza epidemic of 1918. It shows the struggles of her family, friends, and neighbors during this trying time in our nation and our city’s history. There will be a free preview of the show at 8 pm on Thursday October 2nd. The play will open on Friday October 3rd at 8 pm and will show on Saturday October 4th at 8 pm and Sunday October 5th at 2 pm. The cost is $3 but is free to students and members of the Siena community. This show is going to be amazing so be sure to come out and support your school’s theatre!

Better than Radio

from October 2, 2008 issue

By Gary DeRusso

Last.fm is a great social music website that unites listeners from literally across the globe. Everyone gets their own page that displays every single track that is played on your computer. After a while, the site will create more charts than one would know what to do with using the songs that were played. There are also charts that display the listening habits of the entire community. The site recommends lots of artists that are actually similar to the bands you listen to, making it a useful tool to learn new music that you’ll actually like. It’s also a community, with lots of groups and posts on literally every song and band you can imagine. Certainly, it is interesting to see what the world has to say about whatever your favorite song may be. You can even compare musical tastes with anyone that has a last.fm page, which is a cool little feature. Check it out and start “scrobbling” (as they call it) your library today!

Beijing Coma:

A Scathing Indictment of China’s Past, Present, and Future

from September 18, 2008 issue

By: Brian Hicks

Avant-garde author Ma Jian’s latest book places the corrupt and brutal Chinese Communist government on literary trial. This sweeping epic is told from the point-of-view of Dai Wei, a college student who participated in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989. He was struck by a bullet and sank into a ten-year coma. Regardless, Dai Wei is cognizant of the events and people around him and he narrates his tumultuous past before, during, and after his incapacitation.

The China Dai Wei knows and understands is a barbarous and cruel place where appalling things can and do happen to good people. Even as China introduced sweeping economic reforms under Deng Xiaoping, the country remains backward and corruption reigns supreme. While on vacation, for instance, Dai Wei stops over in Shandong province to visit family friends, only to learn they had been killed and-because they were enemies of the great Chairman Mao-had been killed by people they had previously considered friends and cannibalized. A proper burial was considered far too good for those labeled Mao’s enemies in this particular area.

Dai Wei also has a cousin whose wife violated China’s infamous One Child Policy and was punished severely for it. Local doctors ambushed her while she was still pregnant with her second child, held her down, cut open her belly, pulled the still-developing fetus from her womb, and drowned it in alcohol. The cousin was rendered permanently insane afterward, screaming she “wants to meet the emperor” and “make a complaint.” His cousin has to keep her locked up in a room at his home, as no clinic will accept her. Dai Wei has a similar problem, as no mainstream clinic will treat a hooligan who defied the government without suffering repercussions from the government. His weary and broke mother is left to care for him alone in their increasingly shabby Beijing apartment for the entire duration of his coma.

China today keeps events like Tiananmen Square suppressed and refuses to acknowledge that many students congregated here to peacefully plead for democratic changes and governmental reforms benefiting the people as opposed to merely benefiting itself at the expense of everyone. The government would rather forget the event took place entirely. The events leading up to the crackdown at Tiananmen are of central focus in this book, from the students dealing with frequent squabbling and break-ups amongst their organizations, to bands of criminals who impersonate policemen and corner troublemakers to extort “hush money” from them, to the unveiling of the famous Goddess of Democracy statue directly in front of Mao’s gigantic portrait as a counterpart of goodness to his villainy. The reader is given a magnificent telescope and then placed on a high mountain to observe the acts unfold from its shaky beginning to its shocking and violent end.

This book is highly recommended to all who enjoy studying history and to anyone curious about why China functions today the way it does. Beijing Coma is a landmark and a guaranteed future classic that brilliantly exposes an event generally ignored in the western world and forgotten in China.

Fashion Files:

from September 18, 2008 issue

The Rundown on the Runway:

While the tents are no longer up in Manhattan’s Bryant Park, the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week buzz lives on. Last week top designers debuted their Spring 2009 collections. Celebrities and “commoners” alike poured in to the tents to see what they will be wearing this coming Spring. (Not to mention what knock-offs most of us will be pulling off the racks at Forever 21).

A Few Favs:

  1. Anna Sui: Anna Sui’s collection is proof that fashion is an art. The collection is full of color, structure, and awesome geometric accessories. The clothing is wearable and adorable yet beautiful.
  2. Abaete: This collection is full of feminine pastels and flirty designs; however there are some structural pieces as well.
  3. Diane Von Furstenberg: This hippy chic collection featured some headbands that at first seem questionable; however they added dramatic flare, a necessity at any runway show. Some of the looks in the collection paired flowing floral prints with studded belts and metallic jackets. It encompasses nearly everything: black, white, color, flow, and structure. Everyone can find something they like in this collection.
  4. Herve Leger by Max Azria: This collection designed by the one and only Max Azria (head designer of BCBG) is innovative and skin tight. Max Azria is the pioneer designer by the popular bandage dresses. The bandage dress promises to create curves and smooth any imperfections. According to Joyce Chang, of People Style Watch, this trend is “surprisingly easy to pull off.” Wearing one of these dresses is like wearing full body Spanx! However, a Herve Leger bandage dress runs close to $1,250!

So you’re interested in the bandage look, but you aren’t looking to cough up $1,250? Save some serious cash and check out BeBe’s “Sexy Contrast Ottoman Dress,” for $98 or Ali Ro’s Ponte color-block fitted dress for $200. Ali Ro’s line is available in stores or online at Neiman Marcus.

Can’t get enough of Fashion Week? Check out mbfashionweek.com for videos, pictures and more. And don’t forget September 15th-19th is fashion week in London! Keep your fingers crossed that Kait will be able to sneak in while she’s abroad!

Get Internationally Wired with UN Wire

from September 18, 2008 issue

By Leah Antil

Unfortunately, The Promethean only comes out every two weeks, so where are students going to get their news everyday? Sure, there are those lovely sites like Yahoo, GoogleNews, and MSN that offer a small selection of top stories domestically and internationally-but are three top stories really enough?

Let’s examine this dilemma from an academic standpoint. Say you’re a political science major or a globalization studies minor. You’re going to be enrolled in classes that incorporate current events every time you meet. Part of the core here at Siena is some sort of political science or sociology class, and there are those pesky current events again!

How about wishing to be generally well informed as a student? Even Bio majors need a good dose of what’s going on in the world in order to sleep well at night. We’re all in the prime of our lives, and at a stage where we have a chance to embrace change for the betterment of society. You don’t need to be labeled a Democrat or Republican to understand the power of being educated. That’s why you’re here in college after all!

So I present to you all a tool that will help bring the world to your fingertips and satiate the thirst for the really important stuff that has been going on in the world. That is, not exactly what Britney Spears has been doing with what she calls her life.

UN Wire is a daily email news briefing that covers the United Nations and the world. It provides you with hundreds of stories from top international sources, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Reuters, Financial Times, The Globe and Mail (out of Toronto), as well as The Guardian and The Independent (both out of London). These sources range from moderate and independent to exclusively liberal or conservative-so don’t worry about receiving biased news stories in your mailbox.

There’s a little bit of everything offered in the UN Wire. It’s easy to navigate and divided into categories that will stimulate interest of the worldly reader. United Nations, Development Health and Poverty, Development Energy and Environment, Human Rights and Peace and Security are the different sections of the newsletter and readers will see the headlines of the day’s news as blue links as well as the first few sentences of the story and the source from where it was adopted. By clicking on the title the entire story will pop up in a new window (you may have to enable the “Allow Some Pop-Ups” feature in your upper internet bar). You won’t be prompted to join any other newsletters or sites by this method, you’ll just be able to read the whole story you’re looking for.

You’ll also receive the “Quote of the Day”, “Blog Round-Up” and UN Sources, which is a list of links for further inquiry into the presented stories. Pretty cool, huh?

The UN Wire is the brainchild of the United Nations Foundation which boasts: “Promoting a more peaceful, prosperous, and just world.” It was created
in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. The primary mission is to build and implement public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. It can therefore be classified as a public charity. The UN Foundation and United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP) work closely together in the development of UN Foundation programs, the review of UN Foundation-funded projects, and the monitoring and assessment of project and programmatic activities in order to assure that the betterment of the world is progressing.

So how can you sign up to get this awesome, FREE newsletter that is your daily dose of a) being generally well informed, b) having something to talk about in class and c) becoming more active if you wish to become part of something bigger in the world? Elementary! Simply go to www.smartbrief.com/un_wire/ and you’ll automatically be brought to the sign up site. All you need is your name and email.

I strongly encourage you to sign up for the site, even if you aren’t taking World Politics or International Relations classes. Sign up! This may be your ten minute a day window past the security gates surrounding this Fantasy Land of Siena College. Remember, being informed is the first step to changing something.

LUNA: The Hot New Club in Town

from September 18, 2008 issue

By Leah Antil

Look out Siena College, there’s a new club in town! LUNA, the Latinos Unificando Nuestra America (Latinos Uniting our America), has not just daintily made an appearance on campus, but they’ve come with a BANG! Founded by Shary Fernandez, a psychology major in the class of 2008, LUNA was chartered as an official club on campus on April 29th, at 5:00 pm in the Sarazen Student Union. Judging by the amount of activity they have already shown the college, this is a day that will go down in Siena College history.

The main missions that LUNA holds are: the unification of Latino students on the campus; educating fellow students on the diversity of Latin American culture; encouraging the involvement of all individuals of other races, and religions to enjoy what the club has to offer; and supporting fellow clubs/teams/organizations not based on differences but on one common goal. As if this didn’t fill the plate enough, Co-President Enmanuel Rodriguez hopes that the club promotes an awareness of Hispanic and Latino culture. Last year something was missing, and now LUNA is here to educate the campus. Co-President Franchel Mendoza has a similar take on the aim of LUNA. “We hope to get more people involved in Latino culture. It’s such a rich diverse culture, and it should be shared.” He continues: “LUNA will help promote a more diverse campus, and the college really needs that.”

LUNA is led by three presidents, Enmanuel Rodriguez, Franchel Mendoza and Melissa Infante, with Natalee Gumbs in the Vice Presidential position, Katherine Romero as Treasurer and Jennifer Perry as Secretary. There are also other positions such as Public Relations: Brisa Arias, Spiritual Affairs: Tania Miolan, Educational Affairs: Ruth Banegas, Unitarian Affairs: Nick Mojica and Social Affairs: Wendy Peguero. The faculty advisor to this club is Dmitry Burshteyn, a Psychology professor at Siena.

So what can we expect from LUNA in the coming semesters?

Right now they’re working closely with MSA (Muslim Student Association) on an event, “Latinos Embracing Islam” and they worked with MSA at the club fair where they displayed their red club colors proudly and helped register over 200 students to vote. They are also putting together formalized programs with dance lessons (Meringue, Bachata, Salsa), and Spanish tutoring for those studying the language here at Siena.

We’ve seen what LUNA has done in their short time as an officially recognized club: the Cinco de Mayo “Batalla De Puebla” Presentation/Discussion on the history of Cinco de Mayo last semester on May 5th (delicious Latino food and soda was provided as several members of LUNA gave a power-point presentation and discussed the history of Cinco De Mayo) and the 2nd annual LUNA Big Bash Celebration for Latino Heritage Month (Pre-Albany Latin Heritage Month Parade Celebration) which took place September 12th. So we can all come to expect big things in the future.

So take VP Natalee’s advice, “Get educated, come together and have fun!” and get out to a LUNA meeting or event. The people are fun, the music is awesome and you’ll be glad you did!

Indie Star on the Rise

from September 18, 2008 issue

By Jen Harvey

Indie artist Michael James has been raising attention and stereo volumes quite a bit lately. Hailing from Denver, Colorado, the solo artist has been introducing his new sound, a mix of Death Cab for Cutie and Damien Rice, to people everywhere. According to his MySpace music page, James dropped out of engineering school to live for his music. James’ songs are all personally written and performed by him. His beautifully written music is passionate and inspiring.

If you haven’t heard his name, you more than likely will in the coming months. The independent artist has been chosen to perform with the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA). This is a great accomplishment for solo artists because the chances of being chosen to showcase with the NACA is about 10%. Self-represented artists rarely get such an opportunity. Over 700 applicants in the Northeast region are received each year to showcase with the NACA. Most of those applicants are big time performers such as Leno and Letterman, Last Comic Standing, and Saturday Night Live. NACA is one of the nation’s most well known collegiate organizations for campus activities.

James has been a member of the NACA for three years. This year will be his big break performing at NACA Central on October 6 in Tulsa, OK, and at NACA Northeast on November 6 in Hartford, CT. Unfortunately, Siena College does not collaborate with this organization. With no schedule for us to check him out live, you can check out his MySpace page at www.myspace.com/michaeljamessolo.

Press Play on Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist

from September 18, 2008 issue

By Alexander Walker

Being in film critic Dan DiNicola’s Film Theory and Criticism class, I was among a group of people who got the opportunity to see an advanced screening of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, which arrives in theaters October 3rd. After a struggle to get in, having no pass and only my word, they confiscated my cell phone and searched me with a metal detector before I was finally allowed to enter the theater. I know it was an advanced screening, but with all the trouble, it is needless to say that I arrived with high expectations, hoping the film would be worth it. It definitely was! This film had sincere, hilarious, and stomach churning moments. Not as vulgar as Superbad, and not as indie as Juno, Nick and Nora blended aspects to become a wonderful comedy.

The film, based on the book of the same name by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, takes place over the course of one night in NYC. The film begins with the random meeting of title characters Nick and Norah. As they go out in search of their favorite band and their drunken friend, they find they have a lot in common. The entire movie takes place at night, under the lights of the glowing city. It serves as an excellent setting for this hipster film. However, what audiences will really enjoy are the characters that inhabit this movie world. They are believable high school kids going into college. They are easily representative of anyone that you might know. Everyone is looking to have a good time, in search of what drives him or her.

Each actor did a great job playing their parts. Michael Cera as Nick with his so awkward, but so cool approach and Kat Dennings as Norah with her caring, but fun attitude. There isn’t really much to say about Michael Cera. If you have seen Superbad or Juno, you will understand his character with the exception of his awkwardness, which wasn’t as focused in this film. Kat Dennings was amazing as Norah, the daughter of someone important, that won’t let you know it. She’s caring and reserved, yet outgoing and cool as well. There is much to be said about the many supporting characters. Nick’s homosexual band-mates of “The Jerk Offs,” who often discuss changing their name to something just as crude, are played by Aaron Yoo and Rafi Gavron. These positively portrayed characters are interesting and always there for Cera’s hopelessly lost character. Yoo’s character Thom and his hetero friend Nick have a sincere moment involving the discussion of a popular song and the idea that everyone just wants to hold a hand. As the night goes on, many more moments like this occur.

There are also a few cameos of the up and comers of today’s comedies, so look out for those. A huge advantage of this film was the music. Called the Infinite Playlist, you expect to hear some good tracks and they were delivered, from introductions to new bands, such as the Bishop Allens and the Project Jennys, to classics played to show a love for music. It’s hard not to compare this film to Cera’s others, but you have to consider the character he plays. This one has as many laughs as Superbad and as many sincere moments as Juno. This is why I have no doubts for the success of this film and it receives my approval. There are awkward moments, but who hasn’t had those? At times if you have a weak stomach, you may want to look away. Trust me, you will know when this occurs. It is hard not to enjoy this film. If you are into music and just having a good time, then you’ll enjoy this film. It is reminiscent of all time coming of age films such as Garden State. The scenes toward the end of each even closely resemble each other. All in all this is a film that is definitely worth the time and ten dollars to check out.

Drama, Drama, Drama!

from September 4, 2008 issue

By Kayla Grant

One might wonder, is there a lot of drama at Siena College? The answer is a definite yes, and the source is Stage III, our college’s theatre club. There are a number of ways to get involved in this amazing club. One way is to sign up for our mailing list at the club fair. You can also attend one of the club’s meetings, the first of which should be taking place shortly after the start of the school year. This club puts on four productions each year and you definitely don’t have to act to join. Actors are obviously needed to put on a show, but technicians are, too. We need students to help out with costumes, lighting, set construction, stage managing and sound. Even if you have no prior experience, we have trained professionals and fellow students who would love to show you the ropes and teach you the trade. Not into acting or manual labor? We even need people to help usher and sell tickets during the shows, so whatever your preference, there is a place in Stage III for you. Speaking of shows, this year we will be putting on four shows as usual. Our first production is a play set right here in Albany. Grippe of October takes place in 1918, during the Influenza epidemic. The show will be directed by Stage III alumni, Maeve McEneny and is set to go up in, well, October. In mid-November, we have a variety show about the environment called “It Ain’t Easy Being Green”. This play is unscripted, so not only are we looking for actors and technicians, but we are looking for creative writers, too. Doubt is up next, coming to the stage in mid-March. Set in the Bronx in 1964, Doubt is a play about the conflicting views of a traditional nun and a progressive priest at St. Nicholas Church School. The final show of the season, scheduled to go up in mid-April, is The Green Show which is a more theatre based production about the environment. If any of these shows caught your eye, if you would like to learn and help out around the theatre in any way, or if you just want to have a great time and meet some amazing people, then Stage III is undoubtedly the place for you!

“Watch out Facebook, There’s a New Way to Procrastinate!”

from September 4, 2008 issue

By Leah Antil

Since the semester is starting once again, I feel it is beneficial to present to you, my fellow classmates, a key tool in procrastination. You didn’t think I’d let you endure the semester without some excuse for being in the computer lab at 3 am, when you should have had your paper written by 9 pm, 10 pm latest, did you?

Never fear, there are endless hours of online television shows to be watched!

Siena is including cable in tuition this year, which is good news for all the normal people that have a television and a plethora of cable television shows to watch. For me and a few others however, who have never had a television or such luxury as cable, Hulu.com is the answer. The plus side is you don’t even need a television. Sweet.

What is Hulu? Amazing, that’s what. But it’s also a joint venture company with the slogan: “Watch your favorites. Anytime. For free.” The actual website, Hulu.com, offers free, high quality streaming video of TV shows and movies. Most of the selections are drawn from networks like NBC and Fox, but do not exclude a variety of other cable networks, television studios and movie studios, Comedy Central, PBS, USA, Bravo, Fuel TV, FX, SPEED Channel (whatever that is), Sci Fi, Style, Sundance, E!, G4, Versus and Oxygen. (I know you’re all disappointed that Lifetime didn’t make the list.)

Hulu also incorporates online social networking with the ability for users (after a short and painless registration process not needed to access the TV shows and movies) to post clip videos of their favorite parts of media. Although users cannot upload content, they are free to draw from the wide selection of media available.

Now, I know what you’re all thinking, “Duh, YouTube.” I anticipated that so I have prepared a small comparative anecdote. Say you love The Office. You can’t get enough of the well timed “That’s what she said” line, and your Facebook page currently counts the amount of Schrute Bucks you have to your name. You could look for episodes of The Office on YouTube and find only a small selection of full episodes that you have to watch in three parts, waiting forever for the little red bar to fill so you won’t have a freeze frame right before ‘That’s what she said!’ Hulu offers The Office, with tons of episodes in one shot and in a high quality flash video format, pausing only twice for 12 second commercials. The entire process is smooth and efficient, offering high resolution even when shows and movies are full screen on a laptop. What’s more, shows that are hard to find on YouTube since the writers’ strike are available on Hulu and it’s entirely legal. Imagine watching the Daily Show and Colbert Report every single day, at your leisure and convenience!

Hulu offers full episodes and segments from over 400 different TV shows, some no longer on the air, some in syndication, and many currently shown only in the United States. Aside from The Office, Daily Show and Colbert Report, there are several other programs that are available on Hulu. Such fun favorites include: Family Guy, The Simpsons, American Dad!, Arrested Development, Saturday Night Live, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Psych, Monk, Prison Break and My Name is Earl. Don’t worry, I’ve saved my trump card: Battlestar Galactica and Stargate Atlantis. Yes.

As far as movies go, Hulu offers over 100 motion pictures that range from classic to modern films. Studios such as Universal Pictures, 20th Century Fox, MGM, Lionsgate Entertainment and Sony Pictures are all represented. You can also browse clips and trailers for upcoming movies (Hint Hint: The Watchmen. It’s going to blow us away.) How about some prime examples of mega cool movies offered by Hulu? But of course: Groundhog Day, Requiem for a Dream, The Scorpion King (come on, you know you loved it), The Simpsons Movie, Underworld: Evolution, Bourne Supremacy and all The Fast and the Furious movies.

So when you could go to the library, or you could start that paper a little early, just remember this method of procrastination. Check it out, browse movies, television shows, trailers and popular clips in case you’ve missed it on cable, or just love watching the program. I know you all work better under pressure anyway.

Escape with a Study Break in these Fall Films

from September 4, 2008 issue

By Alexander Walker

The Semester is just starting, and I know almost everyone is already looking forward to their first break. If you’re looking for an escape from all of those hard nights studying then these fall films are your tickets to adventure! Every week there is a new film to grab your attention, and these are just some of the top choices to see this fall:

On September 12th, take a trip to the gym, where a CIA agent left his secret disc, in the Coen Brothers’ Burn After Readin, starring Brad Pitt, George Clooney, and John Malkovich. In their first film since No Country for Old Men, the Coen Brothers return to their dark comedy roots harking back to Fargo. This time they have Pitt playing the imbecile, Clooney playing the womanizer, and Malkovich as the angry and thoughtless CIA agent.

Take a trip to the lovely Lakeview Terrace on September 19th. In this film, Samuel L. Jackson plays a menacing cop who preys on his new neighbors, as they struggle to survive in an unfamiliar environment. This one should be a safe bet for a serious chill.

Go forward in time on September 26th with Eagle Eye, a film which pits Shia Labuaf against the mysterious voice of a terrorist who seems to be everywhere. On the same day, Spike Lee’s new film, Miracle as St. Anna, also hits theatres. This mystery tells the story of a miracle occurred during World War II involving a troop of African American soldiers; it is sure to be an edge-of-your seat thriller!

October is another big month for films. There’s a teen comedy, a video game horror film, and of course another installment of Saw. First up is Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist. Everyone’s favorite chic geek, Michael Cera, returns to the big screen to act as the boyfriend of Kat Dennings. This is a guaranteed good time for a study break.

Meet Max Payne on October 17th in, well, Max Payne. The title character, played by Mark Wahlberg, is a cop on a mission in this video game adaptation. The special effects will be on high gear in this one, making it a must see for any fans of virtual reality.

To finish the film season off, October 24th gives way to next chapter of the Saw series. Saw V is a mystery which seeks to discover how Jigsaw will continue his master plan in this movie. A cop is the only surviving member of Jigsaws devilish game and has to fit together the pieces to make sense of the picture. Horror awaits in this film, out just in time for Halloween.

Things to do in and around Albany

from September 4, 2008 issue

By Megan Liguori

“What do you want to do today?” “I don’t know. What do you want to do?” If your conversations always begin like this, then this article is for you! Siena College is located right outside of Albany, a major city with lots to do. Here is a list of places to go and things to see when you just need a day off campus.

One of the most popular attractions in Albany is the Times Union Center. It hosts many concerts, sports games, and other fun events. It also is the home of the Saints Men’s Basketball team. Some upcoming events include Jeff Dunham’s tour on September 4th, Le Grand Cirque in October, the Reba and Kelly Clarkson tour in early November, and the AVP Beach Volleyball Tournament on January 15th.

The Palace Theatre is another great venue in Albany. You can catch any type of performance here such as rock concerts, orchestra performances, comedian tours, plays, and even movies!

Siena provides free transportation to Crossgates Mall every weekend. The mall has over 250 stores and restaurants, a Bally Total Fitness Center, and a Regal Cinema complex with eighteen theaters. Students can pick up discounted movie tickets at the info desk in the Sarazen Student Union.

Feel like bowling? Spare Time Lanes in Latham is near campus and it is cheap! The cost for one game is $4.00 per person. However, on Monday through Wednesday and Sundays, games are half price at only $2.00 per person! Also, Thursday nights are all you can bowl and all you can eat pizza from 8:30 pm till close for only $12.00 per person.

About thirty miles down Route 9 stands the Malta Drive-In Theatre. It is open from the last weekend in April until September, and the movies usually begin around 8:30 pm. You can choose from one of the two screens, which both play a double feature every night! The movies are always fairly recent, and it costs only $8.00 to get in.

Saratoga is the best place to take a day trip. Downtown Saratoga Springs has tons of quaint shops with New England charm. The Saratoga Racino is a casino that also has simulcast horse racing. Saratoga State Park offers everything from cross country skiing in the winter to swimming in the summer. Also, Saratoga’s racetrack and the Saratoga Performing Arts Center are both open only in the summer, but are great places to visit if you are still in the area.

So now that we have provided you with a list of fun things to do off campus, we better not catch you asking, “So what do you want to do today?”

The Fashion Files

from September 4, 2008 issue

By Samantha Chiafalo and Kaitlin Milliot

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….

Fall! You know what that means? Back to school! “Total drag,” you say? Tisk, tisk! The closing of summer means the opening of our closets to all new trends and style adventures. There’s so much to look forward to this season, and after working our butts off for the past three months, we’re ready to splurge on some must-have pieces. But have no fear, the broke college fashionistas are here! If you found yourself in an unpaid internship (like Kaitlin) there are plenty of places to shop for less and still look top dollar (this whole economic down turn is good for something). Happy shopping!

Our Top 10 Fall Must- Haves

1. Motorcycle leather jacket: Belstaff short sleeve $1,295 or Target faux-leather $30

2. Motorcycle-inspired leather boots: Marc by Marc Jacobs $685 or Coach $398

3. Floral dress: Michael Kors sheath $1,895 or Forever21 maxi $28

4. Pencil skirt (for you business students): BCBG Maxazria $118 or Express $70

5. Full mini skirt: Urban Outfitters $68 or Forever21 $20

6. Tops with ruffles (yes, ruffles!): Rory Beca $231 or Gap $48

7. Suede booties: Fendi $730 or Kenneth Cole $70 (on piperlime.com)

8. Long strap or double handle bag: Treesje “Monaco” $610 or Kohl’s Axcess bags $30

9. Chains, in both belts and multi strand necklaces

10. Black lace tights

#1 Easiest and Cheapest Must-Have: A SCARF! This started out as a questionable trend, but now everyone seems to be rocking one. Tie them any way you know how: a traditional knot in the front or around the back for that messy boho look we love.

Question: Rolled “peg-leg” jeans and leather pants…will they actually catch on in the main stream or remain only a celebrity necessity?

Overall impression: With all of the rocker, indie, moto-riding inspirations, we’ll see a lot of tough chicks this fall. It’s another season of independence, with feminine ruffle blouses under sleek leather jackets. The result will be spectacular!

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week

When: September 5-12 (all day, every day)

Where: The Tents of Bryant Park, of course!

Who: Everyone, from Zac Posen to the Project Runway contestants

What: Spring 2009 Collections

-Stay updated and get inspired! Spring 2009 may seem like a world away, but as you book your Spring Break trips, it wouldn’t hurt to be educated on your vacation styles!

-Check it out @ http://www.mercedesbenzfashionweek.com/newyork/. This year’s “Vote Fashion” theme is so appropriate. If fashion were elected President…. Mmm, a girl can dream 😉

This moment’s IT Girl: Peaches Geldof, a British socialite and rocking fashionista. We think she’s a great inspiration for the fall trends. Her sister’s names are Heavenly, Pixie, and Fifi. Come on, with a family like that, you know you want to check her out.

Sites you should stalk

Once a month is not enough for fashion updates from magazines. Even the weekly tabloid magazines can’t handle the constant trend changes! For fashion, it’s all about the blogs! You must keep up on your blog reading to stay as current as possible. So, when you take your ten minute (haha) study breaks this semester, log on and read up! Below is a list of sites worth checking out. Happy stalking!

1. Fashion Indie: Outlandish comments and independent style

2. Refinery 29: Some more indie style

3. Slaves to Fashion (Glamour.com blog): Mainstream, personal, and useful!

4. Who What Wear: We don’t care who you are or if you eat. We only care about what you are wearing”.

5. Nylon Magazine: Edgy and alternative magazine. Young and up to the minute trend alerts.

6. Shop it to Me: A personal sale shopper! Input your favorite designers and items, and they email you weekly update of what’s on sale!

7. blogs.nypost.com/fashion: Obviously, Kaitlin’s favorite!

Excellence for Proctors

from Summer, 2008 issue

By Kayla Grant

A local gem, Proctors Theatre in Schenectady, was recently selected by The Preservation League of New York State to receive the prestigious Excellence in Historic Preservation Award. This award recognizes Proctors for proving their great dedication to the preservation of New York State’s unique and invaluable architectural heritage. President of the Preservation League, Jay DiLorenzo said, “The transformation of a vaudeville-era theatre in serious disrepair – with only one working light bulb – to the linchpin of a revitalized downtown is nothing short of exemplary.” Many corporations throughout Schenectady helped contribute to the success of this endeavor including the Arts Center & Theatre, DBA Proctors, AKW Construction Consulting, Inc., and SRG Architects.

Proctors Theatre, which opened in 1926, was designed by famous theatre architect, Thomas Lamb, and was part of a Vaudeville house chain owned by F.F. Proctor. The Preservation Award was presented at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City on Thursday, May 15th. “Excellence in Preservation Awards are our principal means of honoring the preservation community and educating the public about the important contribution that historic preservation projects make to our quality of life throughout New York State,” said DiLorenzo. “Each year, we are impressed by the number and variety of laudable projects, and this year was no exception. We are delighted to give Proctors the statewide recognition it deserves.” Stay tuned to our section during the school year for information on shows and student discounts offered at Proctors Theatre.

A Bit of Advice over Breakfast

from Summer, 2008 issue

By Vinny DaSilva

Congratulations, high school is over, summer is here and college is starting much sooner than you think. Surreal isn’t it? When you were pulling your hair out over college applications, SAT’s and who you should invite to your graduation party, could you imagine that next step coming? It’s finally here, and it is going to be one of the greatest experiences of your lives!

Not so sure? Relax, we’ve all been there and had the same experience. For the dreamers out there, try thinking of the fall like a story, or perhaps, a movie. One of my favorite movies of all time is The Breakfast Club, and it’s very appropriate given the road you have ahead of you.

The movie plays off of five strangers with nothing in common, except their shared Saturday detention. Before the end of the day, they stood toe to toe with authority, tested themselves, bared their souls, and touched each other in a way they never dreamed possible. Just like you will see and experience, they all had their own story and reason for being there: a unique journey that made them who they are. Their bond was that Saturday detention, and yours is one that will span the next four years of your life.

In the meantime, the best advice I can give to you is relax and enjoy all of the awesome things that summer can bring. Enjoy the present and don’t worry so much about the future, it’ll be here before you know it.

Fall TV 2008

from Summer, 2008 issue

Last year’s writers strike cut the television season drastically short. The TV networks lost millions of dollars and have vowed to make it up to their viewers come this fall. Here is a look at what is happening to some of the most popular shows.

24- The seventh season of 24 will not air until January but there will be a two hour movie prequel to this season airing on Fox November 23rd. The new season gives fans 24’s first female president, and the return of Tony Almeida.

Lost- Lost will also return in January with 17 episodes that will air each week with no repeats. The season will explain what happened to the island and those that were left there.

Heroes- Premieres on Monday, September 22nd, with w three hour episode that will also recap everything that has happened. The writers also promise the answers to many of last season’s cliffhangers, a few new heroes, and a new arch nemesis for Hiro. This new season is entitled “Villains”

Gossip Girl- The second season of Gossip Girl will return in the fall with 24 new episodes. The first episodes will take place in the Hampton’s, while Michelle Trachtenberg may become a series regular.

Grey’s Anatomy- Grey’s will start up again on September 25 at 9pm. The relationship of Dr. Hahn and Callie will be explored more and there have also been hints at a surprise pregnancy for one of the characters.

Summer Movies

from Summer, 2008 issue

The Incredible Hulk

June 13

The Incredible Hulk kicks off an all-new, explosive and action-packed epic of one of the most popular Super Heroes of all time. In this new beginning, scientist Bruce Banner (Edward Norton) desperately hunts for a cure to the gamma radiation that poisoned his cells and unleashes the unbridled force of rage within him: The Hulk.

Living in the shadows-cut off from a life he knew and the woman he loves, Betty Ross (Liv Tyler)-Banner struggles to avoid the obsessive pursuit of his nemesis, General Thunderbolt Ross (William Hurt), and the military machinery that seeks to capture him and brutally exploit his power.

As all three grapple with the secrets that led to The Hulk’s creation, they are confronted with a monstrous new adversary known as The Abomination (Tim Roth), whose destructive strength exceeds even The Hulk’s own.

The Happening

June 13

The movie is a thriller that shows the results of the horrific release of a neurotoxin by plants. When this toxin is inhaled, the victim will attempt suicide by very violent means. The protagonist, a science teacher named Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg), runs for his life together with his estranged wife, Alma Moore (Zooey Deschanel), in order to survive while the world goes into a violent whirlwind of self destruction.

WALL-E

June 27

What if mankind had to leave Earth, and somebody forgot to turn the last robot off? After hundreds of lonely years of doing what he was built for, WALL-E (short for Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class) discovers a new purpose in life (besides collecting knick-knacks) when he meets a sleek search robot named EVE. EVE comes to realize that WALL-E has inadvertently stumbled upon the key to the planet’s future, and races back to space to report her findings to the humans (who have been eagerly awaiting word that it is safe to return home). Meanwhile, WALL-E chases EVE across the galaxy and sets an adventure into motion. Joining WALL-E on his journey across the universe is a cast of characters including a pet cockroach and a heroic team of malfunctioning misfit robots.

Mamma Mia!

July 18

Meryl Streep leads an all-star cast in the feature-film adaptation of the beloved musical that has been seen by more than 30 million people in 160 cities and 8 languages around the world. Bringing the timeless lyrics and melodies of iconic super group ABBA to movie audiences, Summer 2008 is the season for Mamma Mia!

An independent, single mother who owns a small hotel on an idyllic Greek island, Donna (Streep) is about to let go of Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), the spirited daughter she’s raised alone. For Sophie’s wedding, Donna has invited her two lifelong best girlfriends-practical and no-nonsense Rosie (Julie Walters) and wealthy, multi-divorcee Tanya (Christine Baranski)-from her one-time backing band, Donna and the Dynamos. But Sophie has secretly invited three guests of her own.

On a quest to find the identity of her father to walk her down the aisle, she brings back three men from Donna’s past to the Mediterranean paradise they visited 20 years earlier. Over 24 chaotic, magical hours, new love will bloom and old romances will be rekindled on this lush island full of possibilities.

The Dark Knight

July 18

Batman and James Gordon join forces with Gotham’s new District Attorney, Harvey Dent, to take on a psychotic bank robber known as The Joker, whilst other forces plot against them, and Joker’s crimes grow more and more deadly.

Fashion Files

from Summer, 2008 issue

Bold: The summer essential!

Some say history repeats itself; however, we prefer to use the slogan: fashion repeats itself. There are always those select pieces and prints that creep into our spring and summer wardrobes simply because they are fair weather staples. So, when dressing yourself this summer, go for the obvious: bold colors and large floral prints. That infamous 70’s Pucci print with its wild colors and various modern graphic prints, are a definite patterns to look for. Simply put, be daring, be bold, and have fun!

Not into prints? Can’t afford that Pucci mini dress? Don’t feel like sifting through the overstuffed racks at Forever 21 for the perfect knock off? We promise you can still be bold this summer! It’s easier than you may think with some funky, chunky chains. Remember those super popular beaded necklaces from two years ago? The stars are sporting similar ones now; however they’ve upped the ante. These chains have gotten extremely ornate with fun designs and multiple layers. Pair these necklaces with something plain and your outfit will pop!

Bottoms up!

If you’re not opting for a light summer dress, look for graphic print skirts. Express has some great bold prints and florals, as well as office friendly lengths for those of you stuck in a business casual internship this summer. A high waisted print skirt with a solid tank or tee is the perfect outfit for office or play. As for shorts, the options are endless. Trends for shorts include high waisted, sailor, or bow-tied, to name a few. We recently stumbled upon a Manhattan blog answering the question, “Can I wear shorts in the city?” The answer is an absolute YES. Shorts (at an appropriate length) are totally wearable wherever you go. Check out Old Navy for summer sales and shorts now!

Your 2 for $5 flip flops are always easy and comfortable, but try stepping out of the box this summer with amazing sandals! They’ll complete your outfit and make more of a statement than rubber flips. The gladiator trend is back with vengeance. Aldo has every height of the trend, from calf high to simpler ankle straps. And, as usual, flats are the new heel.

Psst…

-Who knows how long these trends will last? Don’t over spend, try Target.com!

-Looking for a quirky tee or accessory; an unorganized day planner? (yeah, seriously, check it out!) We love fredflare.com, its one of a kind.

Finally, ‘Sex’ for 2.5 hours!

“Sex And The City: The Movie:” the one we’ve been waiting for! While it has already received mixed reviews, avid fans (like us) will still be flocking to theaters, hanging on every witty word and decadent outfit change. The New York premiere at Radio City Music Hall was an absolute zoo of female 20-somethings decked out in mini dresses and heels, undoubtedly hoping to feel like a part of the SATC crew for a night. While we’ve heard the movie is a bit too lengthy, it’s what many fans feel they deserve after dedicated thousands of hours of their lives to the sexy stories of Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte. Catch them on the big screen and check out all of their way too expensive and out of this world costumes. God! Would we die to get our hands on those clothes!

Green Fashion Update:

Can’t get enough eco-friendly clothing and accessories? Neither can we! That is why we have been on high alert for eco-friendly fashions and fashionistas!

Here are new examples of how green truly is the new black!

Like Victoria’s Secret, Delia’s has begun carrying 100% organic cotton totes. Pick one up for $19.50, either online or at your local Delia’s location.

Tons of sites are now including organic and eco-friendly sections. Check out uncommongoods.com for all of their wacky accessories and amazing environmentally conscious collections. They re-use everything from cassettes and records, to glass bottles, street signs, boat sails, billboards, and even baseball stadium seats! Uncommon Goods also has many charities it supports through these goods. Look for a blue hand symbol next too a product to contribute to the funds as well. One company at a time, making a difference; we love it!

We cannot say enough about Target. Every time we turn around they have added another GO International designer to their roster. This month Target is featuring a line from Rogan Gregory, a New York based designer whose new line is not only cheap chic, but eco-friendly! The line has everything you could possibly want this summer with fun nature inspired prints!

So you want to support the environment, but you don’t want a bag with a huge recycling symbol on it— we totally get where you’re coming from! Gossip Girl starlet Blake Lively, understands too! She was spotted toting a limited edition Kooba bag made of eco-friendly cotton and cork! Check it out on Barneys.com.

Rent Ends Broadway Bid

from Summer, 2008 issue

By Melissa Rao

Broadway: a name that brings many things to mind. I bet there is one thing that crosses everyone’s mind at least once – that famous Broadway musical, Rent. This beloved rock opera is ending its run on Broadway, which began in 1996 and ends this year on September 7th. This year marks the show’s 12th Anniversary, which is quite a lengthy run in terms of Broadway shows.

Rent is a Pulitzer Prize-winning show written by Jonathan Larson and is about a group of friends living in the modern day East Village of New York. They struggle together through the trials and tribulations of life: love and relationships, the loss of loved ones, and the ever pressing issue of AIDS. It is a very powerful story that captures modern life for many people.

This show will be missed very much because of its powerful message and, of course, the great songs. Anyone who has seen the show, or even the movie for that matter, can agree that the songs stick with you, as does the message. And everyone has their favorite character. (My personal favorite is Angel.) This show is very popular, so I predict that there will be a revival in the future. It could even surpass Phantom of the Opera as the longest running show on Broadway, which, not too long ago, Phantom had exceeded Cats (Andrew Lloyd Webber is fantastic, isn’t he?) as longest running show.

As a special treat for all the Rent-heads out there, members of the original cast, Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp, are set to give a special performance with the current cast at the Nederlander Theatre. The piece will air during the 62nd Annual Tony Awards (broadcasting live from the Radio City Music Hall on June 15th from 8pm-11pm ET on CBS). Any fan of Rent, or any Broadway show, should check it out.

And so, we say to Rent, “Goodbye love.” For now.

Semi-Pro is Semi-Summer DVD Release

from Summer, 2008 issue

By Alexander Walker

It’s not quite summer yet, but the blockbuster season is up and running. With all of these movies hitting theaters, it’s easy to overlook the option of renting some new releases. For example, I didn’t have the chance to see Will Ferrell’s basketball comedy, Semi-Pro in theaters. Watching it at home isn’t quite the same experience, but it was still effective. Released in theaters just in time for the start of the basketball season, it’s DVD and Blu-ray distribution is timed in accordance with the NBA championship. When seeing this movie, you will not be thinking about the NBA championship. Instead, your mind will be on the “Flint Michigan Mega Bowl.” Will Ferrell time travels once again, this time to 1976, to star as basketball player, team owner, and coach. He is not about the X’s and O’s, but rather, the entertainment. The comical actors in this film includes Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, and Will Arnett. Cheerleader jumping and bear wrestling accompany this run of the mill, inspiring sports story. The Flint Michigan Tropics try to reach the NBA by becoming fourth place in the ABA. They are far from the worse team in their league, but they are certainly the underdog. The team hires an outsider to bring their team together. Will Ferrell might not be much of a coach but Harrelson takes the reigns. Comedy ensues and so does dunk after dunk. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, it is definitely worth the rent on a rainy summer day or during those study breaks at the start of the new school year.

Sex in the City: Exactly what we Needed

from Summer, 2008 issue

By Kaitlin Milliot

Lou Lumenick of the NY Post gave it only 1.5 stars, Manohla Dargis of the NY Times said it was a “dumpy big-screen makeover”, and Roger Freidman of Fox News claimed “It’s the Neiman Marcus catalog on steroids”, but I’d call it just plain great! While “Sex and the City: The Movie” has received mixed reviews from critics, it’s getting nothing but praise from true fans.

Notice two of the formerly mentioned critics are males, who obviously were not dedicated fans of the long running HBO hit “Sex and the City”. Such fans were the movie’s target audience. It’s nothing new, we know the characters, and it’s true that the story lines are somewhat predictable, but the movie was still the amazing closure we needed. In two and a half hours, the lives of Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis) are told as they pick up four years after the HBO series finale. While I’ve always loved the witty writing and scandalous situations the foursome gets themselves into, I appreciated the more serious tone that “SATC: The Movie” took on.

As the women are nearing 50, they are all making huge decisions about their lives and finally settling down. An entire year is covered in the 2.5 hours, which although sounds lengthy, was just the amount of time needed to complete the story. I had not expected the full one year storyline, and can’t remember another movie that covered, in detail, such a long span of time. It was completely needed to keep the writing plausible.

Reality is not something that the women of SATC portray in relation to most American women and even New Yorkers, but I don’t see why they should. While many critics went ranting about the continual product placements and name drops, I don’t see any problem with it. It’s what SATC was always all about anyway; a fantasy world of independence, society high life, and labels!

While the London movie premiere attracted many questions of “why”, in the end it took nothing away from the dazzling New York premier on May 27th. Radio City Music Hall, where the showing took place, is only two blocks from where I intern, so I was lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some of the day’s action. Women were lined up from the early morning, wrapping a line around the block and spilling onto the next. Not only did they cause a traffic jam on the sidewalks, they turned lots of heads too. Who can’t help but stare at hundreds of women lined up in their heels and cocktail dresses? These ladies were dressed to the nines! I wasn’t surprised at the turnout or the apparel and it was amazing to see the excitement and buzz. Although I did read some sad stories of broken hearted fans who did not make it into the premier showing, the night was a big hit. Not to mention the ladies of SATC looked fabulous on the red carpet!

So, for a shameless divulgence into the world of women and fashion, “SATC: The Movie” is your best pick. The series and the movie are unlike anything else you’ll ever experience, but don’t expect to enjoy it if you have nothing in common with the characters. Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, and Charlotte are meant to please the fans that devoted countless hours to them for so many years, and nobody else. Do not expect to drag your boyfriend to the film and have him come out with a new found appreciation for Manolo Blahnik’s or Vivienne Westwood or even romance in general. Expect that you will come out of the film though, with a sigh of relief and a feeling of closure. It’s great to know that our female friends have been doing well and will continue to prosper in their emotional roller coaster, fantastical, sexy, and yes, fully labeled, world in the City.

Cartoons

Political Cartoon by Natalie Condon (Feb. 28th issue)
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Political Cartoon By Natalie Condon from Nov. 8th issue

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DORMed by Nick Arnemann dormed-cartoon.jpg

<>DORMed by Nick Arnemanndormed-cartoon-2.jpg

Saints BE Praised by Dave MacDonaldmuter-cartoon.jpg

The Link

from Nov. 8th issue

By Dave Strong

This week: Angelina is shy? Shia get’s arrested and the Spice Girls are back for some reason….

Boys, girls, friars, and other folk who happen to be on campus, I will now enlighten you with information that most could care less about. I will change your lives in the least influential way possible with the magical ways of The Link. Please, if you feel the need to come give me a hug to thank me for this…don’t.
First up on our list of events that those crazy celebrities are involved in is the shocking news that Angelina Jolie is “shy” about appearing nude in movies. She has announced that while filming Beowulf, in which she is naked for most of the movie, she had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that audiences would see more of her than Brad. This is kind of surprising considering the fact that she is playing a lizard-like character that is painted in gold. This is not exactly the most arousing of characters unless you are, in fact, a lizard. Trust me; the audiences won’t really be thinking about what Jolie is looking like. They will be too busy trying to figure out all of the crazy characters whose names begin with either “H” or “Hg” or some other concoction of consonants.
So, it seems like every week I have to report a celebrity who has gotten arrested. This week…nothing has changed. Shia LeBeouf was arrested at a Walgreens for trespassing. However, this was not what LeBeouf did. LeBeouf was told to leave the Walgreens by a police officer who said he looked intoxicated. What did LeBeouf do? What any guy who has a bunch of giant Auto-Bots on his side would do. He refused to leave. The officer arrested LeBeouf on the spot and charged him with trespassing. Wait…you mean LeBeouf’s car didn’t turn into Optimus Prime and save his pretty little butt? Oh yeah, I forgot, this is real life. Way to go Shia!
Finally my friends I have some news which I felt nothing about. The Spice Girls have gotten back together to shoot a music video. The video, titled “Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)” is their first in seven years. That title just about sums it up. The video made headlines and apparently their friendship never ended. That’s so sweet. The reason I feel nothing about this is because I don’t know about you folk but the Spice Girls were the greatest thing in the world while I was in elementary school. In fact, I’m not ashamed to admit that their song “Naked” was life changing for me. Yes, Spice Girls I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want, I really really want you to change my life again. But this time try to do it with some class. If you don’t change it though, I’m sure we will all survive. I still have my MTV!

FASHION FILES

from Nov. 8th issue

“Style requires smart shopping, not unlimited credit.”- People Magazine

Cheap Chic: Designer Slumming and Knockoffs!
Dress your best– for less! Halfway through the semester and more than halfway through your bank account?? As Yves St Laurent said, fashion fades but “style is eternal.” So don’t waste your mullah if you’re just looking for trends and fashionable things for this season! Take advantage of the many designers that are creating cheaper lines or lending their creative energy to mainstream stores.
Go ahead and step out of American fashion, and into an international world with “GO International Flights of Fashion” lines by Target. The past few seasons have seen huge changes at Target with their addition of juniors’ clothes designed by well respected creators from around the globe. Currently, Alice Temperley is lending her hand with English heritage and countryside inspired pieces. Ranging from $16 to $60 the jackets, tops, and flirty skirts are sure to spice up your wardrobe without breaking the bank. Isaac Mizrahi is also a top-designer-gone-cheap who has found himself a permanent home at Target stores. Mizrahi has everything from shoes and party dresses, to everyday business attire in his made-for-Target line. We like his creations for the much needed basic pieces of a wardrobe, including the slacks and sport coats many of us must wear to a business classes or presentations! Look out for Target’s newest GO designer, Erin Fetherston, whose sneak peek designs look deliciously flirty and fun (and cheap, obvi!)
Newer to the designer slumming scene is Vera Wang. Her line, Simply Vera, is sold at Kohl’s stores nationwide. Although her line is not as affordable as others, paying a bit more may be worth it for her unbeatable designs and functional pieces. We see Simply Vera as made for a more sophisticated crowd, as most pieces are cut out for the office rather than the classroom. H&M, on the other hand, is not so new to the slumming and affordable world of fashion. Roberto Cavalli, undoubtedly one of the most well known names of couture, recently released an exclusive line for men and women at 200 select H&M stores worldwide. Cavalli’s line is also not as affordable as a college girl would hope, but they are timeless, beautiful pieces; who doesn’t want a piece of Cavalli in their closet!?!
Actors gone designers have also found there way to a store near you. Steve & Barry stores recently began carrying lines by two very fashionable ladies, SJP and Amanda Bynes! Bitten by Sarah Jessica Parker is based around the idea that “Fashion is not a Luxury, it’s a Right!” With jeans for $14.98, sweaters for $19.98, and a houndstooth coat for $19.98, Bitten’s prices are unbeatable! Also new to S&B’s is Dear created by Amanda Bynes. Bynes’s creations keep in mind that girls shouldn’t have to break the bank for adorable clothes! The collection is full of tees, jeans and accessories all under $20! With such great values, you can go on a shopping spree and still have money for the weekend!
In case you haven’t heard:
-Forever 21 is being sued by over 20 designers! Forever 21 is known for designer knockoffs and while this may be bad news for designers it is great news for our wallets! Diane von Furstenberg, Chanel, Anna Sui, and Gwen Stefani are a few of the designers that Forever is in trouble with. If the cases actually come to fruition we’ll be out of luck for great knockoffs, so check out the latest designs on the runway and pick through the Forever 21 racks for copies now!
– Baghaus.com and BagBorroworsteal.com are perfect websites for the latest designer bags! Baghaus is like taking a trip to Canal St in NYC without the drive or the creepy back rooms! Their stock of knockoff bags is amazing and of good quality. Bag Borrow or Steal is an extremely unique company which lends out real designer bags at a weekly rate. Sign up as a member, pick your bag, and they’ll ship it to your door! Both websites carry tons of designers from Gucci, to Kooba, to Yves Saint Laurent.

Things you SHOULD consider spending the extra buck on:
– A good winter coat: hello, warmth is a must!
– Boots: classic colors and fit will never go out of style!
– Face crème: your skin is yours for the rest of your life, so treat it right!
– Jeans: the perfect fit that you wear multiple times a week will pay for themselves!
– Black pumps: every girl needs them, they will never go out of style, and standing on your feet in cheap shoes not only hurts, but messes up your posture!

The Second Shepherd’s Play

from Nov. 8th issue

By Tiffany Salonich

The second production from Stage III is The Second Shepherd’s Play. It is a medieval play from England. The production is directed by the Dean of Liberal Arts, Dr. Ralph Blasting. This is his first play directed at Siena College. For those who have taken the Theatre to the Restoration class, this play may be familiar. This is a medieval Christmas play which starts as a comedy and ends with a dramatic, beautiful ending. It is about three shepherds complaining about the weather; when suddenly, one of their sheep is stolen. As a team, the shepherds search for their lost sheep. Will they eventually find their sheep? Why do angels suddenly appear to them in the middle of the night? Find out these answers and more on the shepherd’s quest.
This play is easy and fun to enjoy. The actors speak in rhythm and rhyme, which is easy to follow after a few minutes of listening to their speech. The costumes are colorful and give personality to the characters. The set is simple and designed well to fit the time period of medieval plays. Everyone who is part of the production has worked hard to make it fantastic. The production is about an hour in length filled with laughter, songs, and happiness. Audiences of all ages can enjoy the play and feel the magic brought to life.
The dates of the performance are November 9-10 and 15-17 at 8pm and November 12 at 2pm. The play is being held in the Beaudoin Theatre located in Foy Hall. Adults $10; Non Siena Students and Seniors $8. There is free admission to the Siena Community. Call 518-783-4242 for tickets or visit the Information Desk located in Sarazen Student Union.

Halloween is Still in Style

from Oct. 25th issue

By Kara Livingston

Although it is expected of us, as college students, to act like adults, there is nothing wrong with celebrating Halloween by dressing up, decorating, or even attending events around campus and around the Capital Region! Halloween is coming up fast, so check out some of the following events, or take part in the traditions we loved as kids:
1. Fright Fest ’07 at The Great Escape: You get the best of both worlds at this amusement park. If you hate rides, take a walk through the formidable haunted house. And of course, if you want to be scared out of your mind on rides and in the haunted house, be my guest!
2. Double M Haunted Hayrides: Take a ride through Double M Farm with a tour guide dressed in costume. Be prepared to scream, because you never know what lurks around in the woods. Swing through Nightmare Manor for an extra fun time, and challenge yourself to find your way out of the “new and improved” corn maze.
3. Visit some spooky spots around Albany (without causing any trouble of course), such as Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary on Wolfe Road, or Pierce Hall at the University at Albany.
4. Watch some of the best Halloween movies to date: Halloween, Casper, A Nightmare on Elm Street, The House of Wax, The Ring, The Grudge, A Nightmare Before Christmas, Carrie, and The Shining. 5. Experience a classic tradition:

The Link: October 11th Issue

By Dave Strong

Something horrible happened this week ladies and gentleman. Something that was so bad that my very own faith in humanity has begun to crumble to the ground. It is hard for me even to speak of but I feel it is my duty to all of you to inform you of this horrific event. Here it goes…. “Game Plan”, The Rock’s new movie has beaten out over 8 other major films in the box office. It has grossed over $22.7 million and has beaten the war film, “The Kingdom”. The premise of “Game Plan”, is that The Rock is a famous football player who discovers he has a daughter. Hilarity supposedly ensues as we watch this former wrestler attempt to make his way into father hood. My concern is not so much that the movie was successful, it is more that we are promoting the idea of The Rock as a father. He will kill his child! Punishment for the child will consist of picking the child up and breaking them over his knee. I mean, you do not mess with The Rock. Of course when the child asks what’s for dinner the response will always be, “Do you smell what The Rock is cooking?” I am also saddened by the fact that The Rock is trying to gain respect by being billed as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. It’s like he wants respect as an actor but can’t make it with out the name recognition. It’s just sad.
Other celebrities with child problems include Britney Spears. In a move that would only shock the clueless Spears, a superior court Judge ruled this week that Britney must surrender her children over to their father Kevin Federline. So, the kids are going to be moving from a clueless, drunk, alcoholic mother to a rapper wannabe, partying, bad dancing father. These kids are doomed. “Why did she lose her kids?” the person living under a rock for the past year might ask. Well, it could be the drunk partying she was prone to doing. Or, it might be because she missed one of her mandatory drug tests. Or, it could be because the judge finally realized she is a nut job who needs to not be in possession of anything that can breathe. Then again, the judge did give custody to Kevin Federline, so maybe he doesn’t know a nut job when he sees one.
Some celebrities just thank the fact that they were once children for their physical fitness. Hillary Swank has said that she works out quite often but that in the end she thanks the good genes she got from her father for her well toned body. Evidently exercise is just a small part of it. It’s all about those genes. Making movies like “Million Dollar Baby” and “Elektra” which required much physical training, had nothing to do with it. It’s all thanks to her dad’s genes. Her mom’s genes are worth nothing either. It was all her papa. Hmmmmm…..anyone who finds a problem with this logic, don’t bother pointing it out, that’s my job!
Finally, I would like to take this moment to step away from the normal celebrity news to address the readers of this column. The column was given the title, “The Link” because I couldn’t think of anything better. However, I am open to suggestions for a more creative title for this column. If you have an idea you can send it in via email to either dr06stro@siena.edu or to newspaper@siena.edu.

The Fashion Files: October 11th issue

By Kaitlin Milliot
and Samantha Chiafalo

Quote of the week: “I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little – if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.”- Coco Chanel

I just gotta have my: BOOTS!
This season try to branch out and dump those Uggs and shorts for these hot tends!
Flat boots are a great way to dress up an outfit without a high-heel. They’re simple, easy to wear, and will keep you a bit warmer going into the fall months. Suede or leather flats come in structured or slouchy styles, or even over-the-knee for a dramatic look with a mini! (Delias “Merry” slouchy boot $59)
Booties are a trend some girls are finding hard to wear, but basic black leather booties pairs great with your favorite mini or skinny jeans to add some flare to an outfit.
Sweater boots is a trend we, personally, are not too sure about, but retailers are all about them this season! So if you’re looking for a warm, comfy boot to go with a casual outfit try Ugg or Steve Maddens.
Grey is huge this season, so grab a pair of grey boots rather than your basic black and brown. Don’t limit yourself! Boots are coming down the runway in jewel tones, leathers, and crocodile. When buying the basics though, try chocolate browns or patent leather blacks for a change this season!

What’s up with those
skuzzy sweats?

Walking around campus, it’s obvious that Siena, like most college campuses, is home to some sloppy sweat outfits. Many of you beautiful and talented young ladies (and guys) have been trooping it to class in shapeless, manly sweats! This epidemic seriously begs the question what are you thinking?!? College, while it does offer other more recreational activities, is a place of higher education. While sitting through a long lecture in comfort is important, students need to realize that we still need to look somewhat professional. College is preparing us to enter the “real world” and whether we like it or not that includes dressing appropriately. Don’t get us wrong we love a good boyfriend sweatshirt as much as the next girl; it’s just necessary to realize that there is a time and place for that look, and it isn’t Accounting 101.
As we mentioned earlier, these outfits have left us wondering why, so we’ve been racking our brains and have come up with a few theories. Unfortunately most women our age are in some way insecure, but if you think those baggy grey sweats are going to make you disappear you’re wrong! That extra weight or problem area you’re trying to hide is not looking any better in clothes without structure or shape. And honestly we can’t find a single girl on this campus that has a reason to hide.
We also figured some of you would pull out the “I don’t fit into my cute clothes anymore” card. Like our mothers always told us, if you wear your jeans everyday you won’t gain weight, because unlike those skuzzy sweats, your jeans will make you take notice to even the slightest change in your bodacious bod! So take that into consideration when picking out your outfit for the day; stick with the stuff you brought to school, and if it starts getting tight, its time to watch your diet! (And you don’t want all of those new clothes going to waste!)
To every girl out there who is rolling her eyes as she reads this, here are a couple of things to remember. We aren’t saying sweats are a complete faux pas, we just don’t want you getting lost in a pair of pants big enough for you and your roommate. Wearing something that you love and that fits you well will give you confidence too! We also believe that while a Victoria’s Secret Pink outfit or a classic Juicy Suit are great wardrobe staples, you shouldn’t have a different one for every day of the week. Try to find a pair of comfy denim jeans also, that way when you’re feeling lazy, you don’t have to look like a complete scrub. Take a queue from Mean Girls; try to only wear that cute and comfy outfit once a week and if you’re in the mood, Wednesday’s are a great day for PINK!

Remember, Individuality is always in style…
❤ KM & SC

Love it? Hate it? We’d like to hear from you! Email at newspaper@siena.edu

Siena Professor Creates
Pulitzer Nominated Book

from Oct. 11th issue

By Christopher Hannmann

Twelve years in the making, Dr. Naton Leslie, Professor of English, has just released his eighth book. The book, entitled Emma Saves Her Life, is based upon a series of letters that Dr. Leslie received from his grandmother. “My grandmother wrote me a letter every week when I went away to College” states Leslie, “She had the Victorian notion that when I went away she owed me a letter.” Eventually, the letters that Dr. Leslie received from his grandmother (Emma) became a way for her to document her life. However, it was only through Dr. Leslie’s preservation of the letters that her memories were able to be released.
An appalachian farm woman who lived from 1907- 2001, Emma saw the entire 20th century unfold before her eyes. Through the letters, she was able to express not only herself but the time-period in which she lived.
Leslie, who has been called “the poet of forgotten America,” and “a poet of the working class,” by Chronogram magazine, is the voice that brings his deceased grandmother to life. According to Leslie, the book of poetry is written in two voices. “One strand of the book is in her (Emma’s) voice and includes her own words,” states Leslie. “The other strand (of the book) is written in third person to go along with what she has to say.” Together the two voices tell the story of the life of Emma. However, Leslie does not simply reprint his grandmother’s letters in full, but instead chooses to incorporate excerpts of Emma’s words in the form of poetry.
The book, which has been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, is not your typical book of poetry. Leslie states “This is a different kind of book of poetry. While oftentimes there is not a large market for poetry, this is one that has an appeal. It is so different than anything that has been done before.”
It is so different in fact, that Dr. Kristine Santilli, Professor of English, has added it to her course curriculum this semester. The book will be taught in her Women in Literature course towards the end of this semester. Santilli praises Dr. Leslie’s work, stating “What he (Leslie) tries to capture is his grandmother’s voice. It’s a challenge for a man to capture the voice of a woman, but he does it successfully. He reaches beyond his grandmother’s personal letters so he can communicate to readers who this woman really is.”
Santilli’s selection of Dr. Leslie’s book came from one determining factor. “Much of the literature that I’m reading with my Women’s literature class has been written by women,” Santilli continues, “This book is different because it is about a woman, but it is written by a man.”
Contained in 160 pages, the cover of the book also includes photographs from Emma’s life which aids in telling the story. To design the book’s cover-art, Dr. Leslie turned to Sergio Sericolo, a Professor of Creative Design at Siena.
As far as Dr. Leslie’s future plans for the book, he has scheduled a poetry reading in which five women will read selections from his work. It will take place on November 11th at 3:00pm at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. Additionally, Dr. Leslie is in the working stages to adapt the book to a one-woman stage performance. Leslie comments that while the title of the book is Emma Saves Her Life, “the book itself has truly taken on a life of its’ own.”
Those interested in purchasing the book Emma Saves Her Life, should visit the Siena College bookstore or any other retail outlet where books are sold. The cost of the book is $18.00.

Siena Professors Share Art With College Community

from Sept. 27th issue

By Alex Walker

What is art? The answer to this can be absolutely anything. On September 20th, a group of Siena’s Creative Arts faculty answered with their own art pieces at the opening of the Yates Gallery show, “That Was Then…This Is Now.” Art work adorns the walls of the second level of the Standish Library where any studying student or passer-by can observe. These various works truly show the broad talent that make up the Creative Arts Department.
Each faculty member shows their own interest, influences, and taste through the theme, “That Was Then…This Is Now.” Liz Blum the gallery’s curator as well as contributor to the show describes the theme not as to separate events such as then, and now, yet as a journey from then until now. Each member expresses the theme in their own manor to define what art is, however it will always be left unanswered, and with each showing at the Yates Gallery, various artist will form their own conclusions to this question.
Many various mediums make up this showing, because each Professor’s art piece was unique to their expertise, as well as, style. Professor Denise Massman was first to speak about oil painting of a park which shows her painting background, as then, and now she shows her costume designs and production photos for a stage play. Professor Brian Massman contributed to his wife’s art with his own video edited to show start from finish the process of creating costumes for plays. This was accompanied by his own video showing various film effects. Professor Amanda Ransom who works in many different mediums showed her pieces influenced by the library itself through drawings one would find in a book such as a dictionary.
Professor Sergio Sericolo provided large oil paintings of various layered shapes, and colors. He explains his paintings as having no real sense of place or time, and is greatly influenced by the music he listens to as he works with oils, and turpentine. Professor Greg Zoltowski illustration shows then, and his abstract construction shows now. Each of his pieces shows a different side to his unique abilities in art. Professor Liz Blum shows a transition from then until now through the use of technology to complete her manipulation of photos into unique art pieces. Professor Ed Ticson was unavailable to speak at the opening, yet his paintings on display were realistic representation of various points in his life, explained by his colleague Professor Greg Zoltowski. Each and every piece of art work comes together to form what is a great opening to start off a new year.
One important thing to be taken from this opening is that artists are always collaborating with their influences. An artist is never truly alone. This has held true for the Creative Arts Department in which they all work together to improve the abilities of those around them. The faculty’s artwork can be seen until December 13, 2007 during library hours. The Yates Gallery Opening shows that “That Was Then…This Is Now,” is a great theme for those who are beginning a new year at Siena.

Magician Performs at Late Night Sarazen

from Sept. 27th issue

By Tiffany Salonich

On September 22, Jay Mattioli performed a magic show for Late Night Sarazen at Siena. He likes his show to be high energetic. Although, there were no assistants helping him at the show, his girlfriend sometimes assists when she can. It was gracious of him to perform as it was his 27th birthday.
“I’d rather be here (at Siena) working. I had 26 birthdays and I will have plenty more,” said Mattioli when asked about performing on his birthday.
Mattioli’s family introduced him to magic at his 3rd birthday party with a magician as a performer. He was impressed and inspired to become one when he grew up. . Mattioli has been a professional magician for four years now. At first, his parents were concerned about how he would make a living as a professional magician. After two years they relaxed—he had bought his own house and proved he could support himself.
In all the performances, Mattioli has 95% of it planned; leaving room for spontaneous acts to keep it fun and interesting. His favorite trick is his opening act with his birds because it took the longest to learn and perfect. Each year, he comes up with 3-4 new tricks to perform to the public. His latest ones were shown at Siena: levitation, amputated head trick, and the spike trick. Volunteers were called up during the show as part of the act for all these new tricks and more.
Students had some great things to say about the performance:“It was tremendous!” said Theresa Wojtecki, a sophomore.“He was amazing. We should definitely invite him back next year,” said Derrell Melton, a sophomore.“My favorite trick was the paper flower,” said Sean Figgy, a senior.
Mattioli has traveled outside the United States to perform. He has been to Europe twice and on several cruise lines in the Caribbean. He even shared his experience about performing out of the United States. Jay used to bring his five birds when traveling, but was once charged heavily for not having the right paper work to bring his birds back into the States. Now when he goes to Europe he borrows birds.
Over the past years, he has earned many awards. His latest awards are 1ST PRIZE 2006 Society of American Magician’s International Stage Contest of Magic, 1ST PRIZE 2000 International Brotherhood of Magicians Gold Medal Stage Contest, 1ST PRIZE 2000 Battle of Magicians Stage Contest, 1ST PRIZE 2003 Magi-Fest Adult Stage Contest, and 1ST PRIZE 2001 Spotlight Spectacular Stage Contest and Peoples Choice Awards. He is recognized by the magician societies as an official member and professional.
There is a website where people may learn more about Jay Mattioli or book him for events. The site is http://popmagicians.com/jaymattioli_home.html .

The Link: Sept 27th issue

by Dave Strong

Well folks, this is your friendly neighborhood…well not Spiderman but close enough. Swinging in at speeds equal to that of Britney Spears leaving the courthouse for the neighborhood bar, this is The Link, your completely biased, sarcastic, most of the time factual, and sometimes downright entertaining connection to all that is celebrity related. First up on our list of celebrity news; Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen are going at each other’s throats over the custody of their children…again. Once again, the two former “lovebirds” are at it again, in the legal sense, fighting for who gets control of their two children, one of whom wasn’t even born when Richards filed for divorce from Sheen in 2005. Now come on Denise, just because a man gets naked on the internet, gets drunk a lot, has “relations” with younger women, and stars in really really bad sitcoms, doesn’t mean that he’s going to be a bad father. He’s got all sorts of redeeming qualities. Think about it, I mean he’s got experience being a father in the movies, and he’s….well….he’s experienced being a father in the movies.
Speaking of parents who are getting an A+ in effort, Britney Spears is one heck of a mother. First, she ruins her children’s adult lives by immortalizing their name in connection with that shaved head episode, and then she decides that as soon as she gets out of court she is going to go partying. She does this of course, in spite of the fact that the judge in charge of her case just announced that she had to undergo random testing for controlled substances at least twice a week. Hey Britney, just so you know, “random drug test” does not mean that it’s a drug test performed on random people. It’s always going to be you hun.
Now of course one celebrity couple who never has any problems is everyone’s favorite, Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck. According to Garner one of the reasons their marriage works so well is because they are both “pretty nice”. She says that when they fight it is in a “very loving and adult way”. Of course this just means that when they fight Ben dresses up like Daredevil, Jennifer dresses up like Elektra and the two of them solve it in that manner. Then when they are done they just kiss and make up.
Celebrity parents are fun and all but the rich and famous are just as entertaining and ready to party when they are by themselves. Alicia Silverstone, the Batgirl herself, filmed a commercial for PETA in which she appeared naked. Now of course this move was surprising considering PETA’s only requirement was that she didn’t wear leather. Evidently, the rest was her idea. Makes me wonder, did the pressure of always being second to Batman in fame and glory finally make her snap and become a rebel? Or did she just really, really want to get naked? The world may never know.

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