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Political activism is an important student trait

(09/08/11 12:00am)

My second grade teacher, Ms. Clark, once told me that I could have a full conversation with a brick wall. In fact, those who know me are, for better of worse, aware of my ability to talk for long lengths of time about even the most asinine topic. Lately however, I have been having a harder and harder time discussing one of my favorite topics, politics.




Student responsibility necessary in 2011

(08/25/11 12:00am)

Rice student life is mainly contingent on three things: the academics, the colleges and the relationship between the administration and the students. The first two of these items are as strong as ever, but last year we saw several major challenges to the third. Before first semester even began last year, the administration sold the KTRU radio tower in a manner that, no matter your opinion on the eclectic radio station, demonstrated a complete disregard to students.



Summer movie recaps: Sci-Fi movies out now that guarantee to distract you from academic woes

(08/21/11 12:00am)

As the summer of 2011 reaches an end, our minds naturally turn to the idea of escape. The economy is more volatile and unpredictable than freshmen dating patterns and soon we must mercilessly defend our GPAs. Fortunately, three science fiction summer blockbusters in theaters now offer the chance to leave our studious world for a little while so we can retain some sanity as Rice begins to take it all away.




Not your typical grandmother: Babushka film

(05/17/11 12:00am)

Last year, when I first heard of Wiess sophomore Gabi Chennisi's intention to visit Kazakhstan to produce a film about babushkas (elderly women residing in former USSR states) I thought she was joking. In fact, despite her insistence, I remained incredulous until I saw the announcement that she had won the Brotzen Summer Travel Award and Parish Grant and was indeed going to the "old country" with her high school peer, Harvard sophomore ?Abigail Hook.


Predictions: Which summer flicks will be blockbusters, which will just flop

(05/17/11 12:00am)

Has anyone seen the academy award winning movie The Hurt Locker twice? What about The Dark Knight or Inception? The truth is, that while some films may have awards, it is the summer blockbusters that stay with us. Unlike the films of the Oscar season, these aim not to win awards but to entertain. Yes, there are films like this throughout the year, but summer blockbusters actually succeed in their goal every once in a while. I have complied a list of what look to be the biggest films coming out this summer based off hype, the people involved, some interesting premises and, of course, my own invaluable opinion.




A Sucker Punch to common sense, decency, taste

(04/08/11 12:00am)

In Zack Snyder's (300) newest film Sucker Punch, blonde bombshell Baby Doll (Emily Browning, Ghost Ship) and her posse of attractive young friends need five items to escape their wrongful incarceration in a draconian insane asylum. Similarly, five elements are key in accomplishing the seemingly impossible task of earning zero stars for a movie involving beautiful women clad in schoolgirl outfits wielding machine guns.




The Kid's Table: My Date with the President's Daughter

(03/11/11 12:00am)

Today, anger, malaise and fatalism pervade American politics. Listening to our leaders' speakers, one might infer that our very way of life is under constant threat. For those in need of some good old-fashioned American optimism, I recommend viewing the 1998 Disney Channel Original Movie, My Date with the President's Daughter, a film not only about fashion, blooming sexuality and fatherhood but also about a government by and for the American people. The movie covers one night of madcap hijinks and romantic tension between the president's 16-year-old daughter, Hallie Richmond (Elisabeth Harnois, Ten Inch Hero), and the longhaired Duncan (Will Freidle, "Boy Meets World"). The two meet in a local mall after Hallie runs away from one of her father's (Dabney Coleman, You've Got Mail) cliché-ridden campaign events to go live life as a regular teenager. Ignorant of her important stature and desperate to prove to his friends that he can get girls, Duncan asks Hallie to the local school dance. Duncan then steals his father's (Jay Thomas, Mr. Holland's Opus) BMW and in one of the greatest scenes of the film, realizes that 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is no regular house. The two then embark on their date, quickly ditching the Secret Service at a movie theater, and run amok and unsupervised along the streets of Washington, D.C., forcing President Richmond and Duncan's father to join forces to locate the wayward teenagers, as the Secret Service proves inept.


Adjustment Bureau needs a tweak

(03/11/11 12:00am)

My high school cross-country coach once said that there was no greater insult then for someone to say, "you have great potential." It meant that you were doing something wrong, that you could be great but weren't there yet. That said, The Adjustment Bureau, directed by George Nolfi (The Bourne Ultimatum), only had great potential despite an intriguing premise and talented actors.The movie begins with New York congressman David Norris (Matt Damon, Inside Job) meeting Elise Sellas (Emily Blunt, The Devil Wears Prada), the girl of his dreams, on a bus and striking up one of those flirtatious and witty conversations that only occur in movies. Soon we learn that this seemingly innocuous event was not meant to happen. Harry Mitchell (Anthony Mackie, We Are Marshall), a member of the Adjustment Bureau, an assortment of fedora clad figures that ensure mortals follow the "plan" of the godlike chairman, was supposed to spill Norris' coffee to prevent him from getting on the bus. Mitchell attempts to fix the problem by pausing time to tweak the situation, but in another snafu, Norris remains in real time and notices this. This forces the senior member of the adjusters who is in charge of the congressman's case, Richardson (John Slattery, Iron Man 2), to explain to Norris (and the audience) the existence of the bureau. This knowledge comes with a tremendous caveat: if Norris tells anyone else he will be subject to legitimization. Furthermore, he can never see the girl. This sets the action for Norris to fight the agents of fate itself to be with the girl.


Newspaper availability minimal on campus

(03/11/11 12:00am)

If you are reading this article, chances are you are pretty smart. While visiting a public party might point to the contrary, as Rice students, we are part of selective group of intelligent people. Just listen to the conversations around you, the casual musing about fluid dynamics or discussing the nuances of 19th Century feminist Chinese Literature. Yet, despite this genius and brilliance, many of us are woefully uneducated and ignorant of the world in which we live. Can you name three headlines from last week's national news? How about three congressmen, Supreme Court Justices or cabinet members? To some of you, these questions may be easy, but many Rice students can't even name the Secretary of Defense despite our country being at war. These do not just include the more science-based majors. I personally know an art history major who was surprised that there was an election last year.


Pigging out at Feast

(02/25/11 12:00am)

We all remember falling in love for the first time: the rush of blood to the heart, the feeling of excitement, the sense that the world is right. This past weekend I fell in love at first sight and my life will never be the same. I have eaten a Chicken Onion and there is no turning back.My romantic tale happened at Feast, a truly unique restaurant at 219 Westheimer. You can tell that Feast is different the moment you walk in the door. The wood paneling and intimate positioning of the tables give the sense of a home more then a restaurant. However, the vast watercolor still-lifes of food and dining remind you of the business that is at hand.


I Am Number Four worth only two

(02/18/11 12:00am)

Of all the myriad film genres, none is more awkward than the teen action movie. The new film by director D.J. Caruso (Eagle Eye), I Am Number Four serves as an exemplar of a film where the enormous concerns of a high school crush and the fate of the world weigh equally on the protagonist's mind. While the film has a few glimmering moments, it ends up transforming a relatively strong premise into a ridiculous tale that the audience is more likely to laugh at than connect to. The story focuses on teenager and alien John Smith (Alex Pettyfer, Tormented), the fourth in a group of nine extraterrestrials sent to Earth as infants for an unknown greater purpose involving their superhuman abilities. The evil Mogadorians pursue the nine, in order of their numbers, so they can conquer and decimate our fair planet.