Features

Long-form investigative articles covering people, events and issues that affect the student body. If you have an idea for us to cover, contact us at [email protected]

A Pointless Rant About Various Things Going on Both at Home and Abroad

Take a look around and you will notice that spring has finally graced us with its presence. The skies are clearing, the temperatures are rising, the rabbits are humping and, my personal favorite, girls are starting to wear less and less. This is truly my favorite season. I don’t know what it is, but there is something about spring quarter that puts me in a genuinely good mood. I think that it must have something to do with the fact that summer is rapidly approaching. The thought of a three-month break from school just gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling inside. Since I’m in such a good mood, I don’t really have one big issue to rant and rave about in this soapbox. I know that all of you are disappointed, since you love it when I get pissed off and write pages about random stuff. To you, I apologize. I do, however, have a few small things that have been bugging me for the past few days. So, here comes a series of mini-rants that will hopefully tide y’all over until I get really pissed off about something in the future. First off, I have to say a few words about our president, Dubya. Wow, has he done a bang-up job as pres-o-dent so far, or what? I am truly impressed. Not only has he made up enough words to comprise a new dictionary, but he has also bombed Iraq and managed to anger the Chinese, the one real threat to America. All of that aside, I have a suggestion for our new president. Dubya, for the love of all that is good and holy, please get some sleep! When Clinton displayed the luggage under his eyes, it was like, “”I stayed up all night working hard for you, the American people.”” The bags under Dubya’s eyes only tell me one thing: “”I was up all night snortin’ coke, drinkin’ a 40 of O.E. and makin’ words up!”” Along those lines, I wonder how Dubya feels about being the first president in history to have a Comedy Central sitcom dedicated to making fun of him. That must suck. I also have to say that my heart truly goes out to the American pilots in China right now. They are being used by the Chinese to test the waters with our new president. They were just doing their job when Chinese aircraft were stupid enough to get in their way and take them down. They did everything they were supposed to except for torching the plane. I only hope that Bush can rise above his third-grade reading level and negotiate the pilots’ return quickly and smoothly. On the home front, I am truly disturbed by the recent incidents of school violence. Maybe it’s just me, but I cannot even fathom what was going through the minds of these kids as they strolled through the halls and shot at people. I’ll grant them that kids can be cruel with the things that they say, but why shoot innocent people? What good does that do? Personally, I was glad to see the attitudes of some of the students from Granite Hills High School. Some who were interviewed did not say that they were sad and distraught over the incident. Instead they lamented feelings of anger that someone would do something like that at their school. I think that it is about time that the students realize that this shouldn’t be tolerated and keep each other in check. If they hear about the possibility of a shooting, they should react swiftly and harshly to discourage it, instead of egging the person on as was the case in the Santana shooting. The media should take the alarming incidents of school violence that have been springing up with a dangerous frequency as a wake-up call. If they continue to glamorize these events by stretching them out and reporting on every aspect of the shootings, then these kids will continue to get ideas to go on killing sprees. Do you really think that it’s necessary to interview one of the victim’s fourth cousins? This is an exaggeration, but it’s not far from the truth. I agree that the media has a responsibility to report these things, but at the same time, they shouldn’t glamorize it. Simply reporting the facts and moving on would suffice. If anything, they are just making things harder for the students who are trying to put the incidents behind them. ...

Meet the Positions

With A.S. elections finally upon us, one can’t help but wonder if it is going to be another year of apathy, or if this is finally the year that UCSD students will come together and make their collective voice heard. Sky Frostenson Guardian Apathy has plagued UCSD from the trying times of the voting booth — ask any Dade County resident how hard that can be — to the current, convenient method of computer voting. One reason students might not be so eager to go out and vote is that they don’t know what they are actually voting for. Sure, they see the fancy titles on the ballots, but do the students really know what these people’s responsibilities are once they get elected? It is doubtful. With that in mind, here is a crash course in A.S. positions that should come in handy when considering whom to vote for in this year’s election. President The school’s top spot is not too different from our nation’s president, if you really think about it. True, the A.S. president doesn’t have a hoard of sexually frustrated interns to choose from, but there are many similarities. The A.S. president serves as the chief executive officer of the A.S. Council and is the official representative of the undergraduate body. He prepares and submits an annual operating budget. The president also has veto power over any item passed by the A.S. Council. Vice Presidents Unlike the federal government, A.S. Council breaks the job of the vice president into three separate jobs: the vice president internal, the vice president external and the vice president finance. The vice president internal is the second in command in A.S. Council. He is the acting A.S. president in the president’s absence. He runs the council meetings, appoints student representatives to campuswide committees and also oversees the internal affairs of the A.S. Council, such as policies, procedures and administrative council matters. The vice president external is in charge of lobbying for student issues on a state and national level. He is also in charge of organizing the campuswide voter registration campaign. In addition, the vice president external serves as UCSD’s representative to both the University of California Student Association and the United States Student Association. Finally, the vice president finance is the local guru of everything budgetary at the school. He advises the president and the council on all budgetary matters and is in charge of enforcing all A.S. policies on expenditures of the activity fee. The vice president finance also assists the development of all student organization budgets, organizes the quarterly Student Organization Funding Advisory Board and reviews expenditures of student activity funds. Commissioner of Student Advocacy The commissioner of student advocacy, while not one of the more publicized positions, is one of the most important in terms of direct involvement with the students. This person informs, advises and represents students when conflicts with the university arise. He also acts as the A.S. Council’s liaison to the Office of Student Policies and Judicial Affairs. Commissioner of Communications Whoever takes this spot in the election will be in charge of all the A.S.-funded student media on campus, including newspapers, magazines, television and radio. He is also in charge of all media funding, including budgeting and allocation. Programmer The programmer is the most important position on campus to students interested in campus events and concerts. Whoever fills this position will be in charge of all campus events, including concerts, speakers, comedians and activities. He also provides the entertainment for events such as Late Nite at RIMAC and all-campus dances. The programmer is in charge of coordinating popular events such as FallFest, WinterFest and the all-important Sun God Festival. In addition, the programmer is responsible for researching up-and-coming talent to bring to the campus and acts as the student liaison between A.S. Council and music industry professionals. Commissioner of Academic Affairs The commissioner of academic affairs is in charge of establishing and maintaining the lines of communication between the Academic Affairs office and all related undergraduate academic programs. He is also in charge of providing periodic polls and surveys that assess students’ concerns. Commissioner of Student Services and Enterprises This position is in charge of budgets and the operation of A.S. services and enterprises such as Soft Reserves, Lecture Notes, Grove Caffe, SRTV, KSDT, U.S. Grants, Volunteer Connection and the A.S. Internship office. The commissioner of student services and enterprises is also the A.S. representative to the Co-op Oversight Committee. College Senators These positions are elected from the individual colleges. A sophomore, junior and senior is elected from each college. These people serve as representatives of the interests and needs of students in their college and respective class. All information obtained from A.S. Web site, located at http://asucsd.-ucsd.edu ...

People Should be Aware of the Harsh Reality of the Death Penalty

By JEFFREY WHITE Copy Editor Currently up for review by the U.S. Supreme Court is the constitutionality of carrying out the death sentence on mentally retarded killers. Again at the forefront of this legal battle is convicted rapist and murderer John Paul Penry, who has an IQ somewhere between 51 and 63, and who has, according to his lawyer, the intellect of a 7-year-old. As you probably remember, back in 1989 the Supreme Court used Penry’s case to rule that the execution of mentally retarded murderers is not a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Well, it seems Penry is going to get another shot at it, as the nation’s highest court has agreed to reconsider his case. Personally, I don’t see why Penry or any mentally retarded convict on death row should be treated differently because of his lack of intelligence. If anything, that would make the punishment more humane, as mentally inferior convicts would not fully understand the process and would probably not be so anxious or afraid. Thus, in a sense, it could be argued that it would actually be slightly more morally palatable to execute someone who lacks the brainpower to really comprehend what is happening. Also, if the court upholds its prior decision to allow mentally retarded murderers to be executed, it sends out a message to all would-be felons that our justice system does not tolerate such heinous crimes as murder and rape, meaning capital punishment would remain intact as a deterrent to such activities. However, the death penalty is not a deterrent as it is currently administered. Study after study has shown this to be the case. One thing that certainly does not help the death penalty to be the deterrent that it could is the fact that very few actually know what goes on when a person is executed in an electric chair, gas chamber or by lethal injection. Even educated people have a difficult time actually grasping the concept of death. However, seeing it with one’s own eyes would certainly help a person understand the gravity of being put to death. This is why I think that executions should be televised. Like C-SPAN, which televises the proceedings taking place on Capitol Hill, I think there should be a channel that airs executions. This way, we get more bang for our buck when we kill one of our prisoners. Ideally, much like C-SPAN, this channel would be free, even if you forget to pay that cable bill. If you saw what actually happens when someone is electrocuted to death in the electric chair, or when a human dies of asphyxiation in the gas chamber, that would be a pretty powerful experience — possibly powerful enough to make you think twice before committing that violent crime. This may seem like a somewhat radical proposition, but really, it is not. Public executions were commonplace worldwide for centuries, even in this country, until relatively recently. We shouldn’t be ashamed of what our government has relegated to private, behind-closed-doors sessions, and instead make it as public as possible, which would be to televise all government-sanctioned executions. This way, the death penalty will finally be given the chance to be an effective deterrent to capital crimes. It is true; some parents may not want their children to see real death on television. Well, that’s what that box in the corner of the screen is for that says “”TV-MA.”” And frankly, parents should be in control of what programs their children watch, anyway. However, children are already exposed to so much death in the media and in television shows, it would be somewhat pointless not to allow them to watch the executions. The only difference between waching an execution and the countless other shows in which people are killed would be that parents would have to explain to their children that these are real people actually being killed for crimes they have committed. In fact, parents should make it very clear to their children exactly who is executing these people; that it is in fact mommy and daddy killing them. Or maybe mommy and daddy don’t even realize that fact. Fortunately, I have another proposition: execution duty. Execution duty would be the equivalent of jury duty, except that U.S. citizens would be chosen at random to “”throw the switch”” for all executions. It is true that this would create a huge amount of bureaucracy and probably some moral objections as well. But really, we are all “”throwing the switch”” already, as we more than tolerate — in fact, overwhelmingly support — the death penalty in this country. So really, it wouldn’t be any different if we physically killed the prisoners ourselves. People would just be more aware of what they have been doing all along. That can’t be a bad thing. I want to throw the switch myself. I want to see, with my own two eyes, that convicted felon die as his body is electrocuted or poisoned. I want the reality that I already kill on a regular basis to be real in my mind, for that fact to be concrete and tangible. This doesn’t make me crazy. It’s already what I’m doing. It’s already what you’re doing. Face it: You have blood on your hands — though unfortunately not literally, since the government we’ve elected is so good at keeping our murders out of sight, therefore out of mind. That’s why it should be on television. That’s why we should be forced to throw the switch ourselves. That’s why we should have to tell our little children that mommy and daddy kill people. Maybe then we will actually realize what we are doing. And once we do, maybe then we will actually be in a position to decide whether we approve of capital punishment. I agree with what former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall once said: “”The question with which we must deal is not whether a substantial proportion of American citizens would today, if polled, opine that capital punishment is barbarously cruel, but whether they would find it to be so in light of all information presently available.”” So get all the information presently available, so you can at the very least put yourself in a better position to make that decision. ...

Unveiling the Feminine Mystique

The true concept of feminism is a foreign one to most people. For some, feminism is equated with hoards of bra burners hell-bent on fighting all that is phallic and male in our society. Others may have images of privileged white women going off on a first-wave feminist rant, failing to include the majority of the population of women who don’t consider the ability to work a luxury. It is this baseless cry of the ignorant that the members of the undergraduate academic group Women Inciting Social Change wish to dispel with their April 11 conference titled “”Exploring ‘Feminine’ Bodies.”” It is also one of the first conferences at UCSD to be organized exclusively by undergraduate students. Conception For many in the critical gender studies department, the extensive focus on theory can be frustrating, because it doesn’t necessarily lead to action or to solutions. WISC members felt that by organizing the conference, they would be creating a practical application of their knowledge. WISC is composed of four UCSD undergraduate women and two alumni CGS majors. The conference idea was originally conceptualized by Cindy Wu, a recent graduate of UCSD who attended a conference and wanted to bring the information that she had learned to UCSD. “”I wanted to accomplish two things with this conference,”” Wu said. “”First, I wanted to learn how to organize a conference, and second, I wanted to really explore the ideas and concepts that we have learned in this major and share them with UCSD students who may not have access to feminist theory classes.”” She organized her information and took it to professor Rosemary George, head of the CGS department, who felt that Wu’s idea was sound. Together with Nancy Hatch, the department coordinator, they organized a 198-person class that took place last fall quarter that was designed to facilitate the organization of the conference. In this way, students had a disciplined way to organize the structure of the conference and issues they wanted to discuss, and were able to receive academic credit for their endeavors. The group WISC, was developed in the class as a way to get financial support from the university. It was developed around the idea of the conference, but has turned into something more. According to its constitution, WISC is a student-run organization composed of UCSD students with a common mission to promote critical thinking and activism on issues of gender, race, class and sexuality. However, the members have found that they have learned more than just how to organize a conference. Together, by personally engaging the theories presented to them in class, they have learned a lot more in their classes. Additionally, the support that they provide to each other in study sessions for classes has made this year truly educational. According to Patricia Cordozo, who was the co-director of finance and fundraising for this event, George’s vision of the potential of the group was a key element to their success. “”We would have been lost without professor George,”” Cordozo said. “”She really gave us 100 percent support the whole time. Before this, we were complete novices. Her confidence in us is really what allowed us to pull this whole thing off.”” According to the university, the CGS department has fewer than 30 students in the major, but according to Landy Spencer, co-director of programming, the small size of the department is part of its appeal. In this case, it allowed for increased support from the faculty, which was instrumental for WISC members’ success. “”We were really excited about the support we received from the faculty,”” Spencer said. “”Those who are participating are really going out of their way, despite personal inconvenience. Their support has really made this a positive learning experience that I hope to translate into my future activities.”” Goals According to Heidi Saman, co-director of programming, several departments offer courses that encourage a deeper evaluation of established labels, however not all students have access to these classes. WISC members felt that women and men’s bodies are the site of most subjective identities, and that here would be the best place to start exploring social constructions of race, gender and sexuality. Here, the concept of “”Exploring ‘Feminine’ Bodies”” was designed. “”We see a void in students awareness of critical issues regarding gender, racial and sexual categories,”” Saman said. “”Some fail to prioritize these classes in their rigorous academic schedules, and therefore never take the opportunity to sample the incredible resources that UCSD offers in the academic study of these issues.”” Departments such as critical gender studies are interdisciplinary by design. This allows students to sample classes from a variety of different departments and to explore the important issue of gender from a variety of different perspectives. “”By taking gendered perspectives into account in a variety of different disciplines, we discover exactly how pervasive perceptions of gender are in influencing social behavior,”” Cardozo said. “”We wanted to create a conference that allowed students to explore the discipline of gender studies and develop a greater understanding of how the issues in the major affect everyone. This increased understanding and awareness will allow for greater sensitivity of UCSD students who are entering the world as prospective participants in institutionalized and socialized behavior.”” The founders of WISC envision a conference where the intersection of race, class and sexuality are explored through and against ideologies of gender. According to Wu, their hope for this conference is to enlighten participants to new conceptualizations of feminine bodies. They also hope that the diversity of the speakers will allow people to explore the issues on their own, and will also challenge the ideology that certain groups are not touched by race or gender, and encourage a deeper understanding of supposedly invisible categories. “”This conference would allow students easy access to information that they may not otherwise come into contact with,”” Spencer said. “”By giving students access to the incredible professors that UCSD has working in this department, we promote a greater understanding of social issues colored by a gendered lens, and the importance and significance of this area of study. The Speakers According to Saman, the group invited the professors whom they felt best embodied the ideas that the group wanted to share. She feels that the group has been very fortunate that the UCSD professors whom they asked to participate have all been enthusiastic supporters of the students. “”We were really lucky that the UCSD professors who we asked to participate were able to take time out of their busy schedules to participate,”” Saman said. “”I’ve been working with them for the last few months and everyone is so wonderful. The talks are going to be really exciting.”” The keynote speaker, professor Judith Halberstam of the literature department, is a universal favorite among critical gender studies majors and members of the literature department. Her talk will highlight new lesbian subcultures, including dyke punk bands, slam poets and drag kings. Her talk, entitled “”Female Masculinity: The Body in Question”” will include music and video clips and will focus on four basic ideas including the significance of the categories queer and female on this subgroup. The structure of the conference has Halberstam speaking first, followed by two concurrent sessions that will be in the San Francisco/Santa Cruz Room and the Santa Barbara/Los Angeles Room. One of the concurrent sessions will feature professor George Lipsitz, a prominent faculty member in the ethnic studies department of UCSD, and professor Kathleen Jones, a faculty member at SDSU. The topic of this session will be “”Working Bodies and the Economics of Gender.”” Lipsitz’s presentation will focus on the organizations of work and its influences on all aspects of our existence, including the sexual and gender identities that we inhabit and envision. Jones will concentrate on mapping women’s social locations in formal and informal economies. She will also explore contexts for understanding the political economy of gender and the impact of this political economy on the individual and collective strategies of survival and resistance. The other concurrent session will focus on racialized bodies and will feature professors Daphne Brooks and Lisa Yoneyama, who are members of the literature department. Brooks will focus on a paper titled “”‘It Needs A Bottom’: (Re) Covering the Black Female Body in the Works of Suzan-Lori Parks.”” She will engage the various topics brought up in the paper about the politics of black feminist representations. WISC members anticipate that Yoneyama will focus on issues surrounding Asian-American race and sexuality. A Fine Evening For anyone who has ever been remotely interested in finding out more about gender studies, this evening promises to be both entertaining and informative. The several speakers who have been secured for the conference bring a refreshing blend of knowledge and experience that are sure to bring provocative thoughts to the table throughout the evening. “”Exploring ‘Feminine’ Bodies”” on Wednesday, April 11 will be open to the general public and will be free of charge. Registration, which is not mandatory, will begin at 4:45 p.m. in Price Center Ballroom B. Introduction to the conference will be done by professor Rosemary George at 5:15 p.m. Halberstam’s talk will run from 5:30 p.m. until 6:45 p.m. in Ballroom B. The two concurrent sessions will run from 7 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Professors Kathleen Jones and George Lipsitz will speak in the San Francisco/Santa Cruz Room, and professors Lisa Yoneyama and Daphne Brooks will speak in the Santa Barbara/Los Angeles Room. ...

Horoscopes

Aries (March 21-April 19) Romantic passions will now steadily increase, Aries. Early Tuesday, expect lovers and close family members to openly reveal their feelings. For the next three weeks, a desire to further enter into intimate relationships will be difficult to resist. Late Friday, watch for unexpected financial or workplace information. Carefully clarify all new instructions. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Fast career inroads and new social contacts will bring valuable opportunities in the coming weeks, Taurus. After Wednesday, expect key officials to search out your expertise or offer unique partnership proposals. Thursday through Sunday, loved ones will present new romantic ideas or rare flirtations. Private romantic encounters are now rewarding, Taurus: Stay open to cosy, seductive invitations. Gemini (May 21-June 21) Someone close may now offer unclear communications. For many Geminis, especially those born late in May, emotional confusion will mostly be experienced in family relationships. After Wednesday, however, close friends or new lovers will also avoid difficult subjects and firm promises. Revitalized passion will slowly return after mid-April. A demanding week, Gem: Stay sharp. Cancer (June 22-July 22) Key officials may be scattered or emotionally distant this week, Cancer. Before Thursday, expect important policy issues to distract colleagues and authority figures. Don’t push for quick decisions. Late Friday, watch also for co-workers, lovers or close friends to make obvious public mistakes or rely on incomplete information. Stay balanced, Cancer: Facts, dates and figures are temporarily unreliable. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Short-term agreements and temporary work assignments will be finalized this week. Some Leos, especially those born between 1976 and 1983, will now experience increasingly demanding daily schedules. After Thursday, a rare invitation from a previously distant friend may arrive. Past social promises are now accented: Expect long withheld passions to soon resurface. A complex week, Leo: Stay alert. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Past family obligations or ongoing social stress between loved ones will fade early this week, Virgo. After Tuesday, yesterday’s power struggles will no longer play a key role in close relationships. Expect emotions to slowly but permanently shift, Virgo: Loved ones will soon begin a new phase of positive thinking and fresh social optimism. Wednesday through Saturday, listen to friends for subtle messages: Relocation, travel plans or unique job changes may be on the agenda. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) Long trusted lovers or close relatives will now demand obvious and steady commitments, Libra. Even though your attention has been squarely focused on relationships, others may still wish for emotional or romantic promises to proceed more rapidly. Much of this looks happy and enjoyable, Libra: so not to worry. Do, however, avoid dismissing your own needs and goals. At present, many Librans may too easily give away valuable time, energy and emotional resources. Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21) Family duties and emotional home discussions are accented early this week, Scorp. Over the next few days, watch for a close relative or long-term friend to ask for added emotional support. Stand your ground, Scorp: This is not a good time to let others dictate your schedule, daily habits or commitments. After Friday, romantic passions are compelling: Expect a previously subtle attraction to soon demand action. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Early this week, Sage, past financial or educational records may become briefly problematic. For many Sagittarians, outstanding paperwork from the past will need to be finalized before progress is available. Don’t hesitate to actively probe for answers: Hidden information or newly reveal facts are also accented. Late Saturday, a social gathering may provide disappointment: Watch for unexpected cancellations. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Rest, relaxation and inner contemplation will be rewarding this week, Cap. Before Thursday, delayed work duties will allow extra time for subtle romantic decisions and social breakthroughs. Some Capricorns may experience this period of calm reflection as a precursor to intense romantic development. After Friday, check financial records for obvious mistakes: Changed deadlines may soon be bothersome. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Before midweek, Aquarius, a close friend or work mate may reveal unexpected romantic information. New attractions or private office passions may soon trigger fast emotional changes in your social circle. After Friday, group involvement, increased social gossip or suddenly passionate proposals are accented. Go slow, Aquarius: Serious intentions are involved. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) Business and social events may now lead to positive workplace gains, Pisces. Over the next few weeks, watch closely for unusual opportunities in the areas of property management, financial counseling, corporate advancement or accounting. After Thursday, a rare romantic flirtation may be both unexpected and delightfully seductive, Pisces: Enjoy! If Your Birthday is this Week: Group relationships and social demands will be complex over the next nine weeks. Many Aries natives will now experience a brief but intense period of conflicted social information and personality struggles in business relationships. Aries: Planetary alignments suggest that your words, actions and suggestions will do little to improve the opinions of the bold, willful types. By mid-June, a 14-month period of home progress, family decisions and new romantic commitments arrives. ...

Horoscopes

Aries (March 21-April 19) This week, Aries, a friend or relative may ask for detailed explanations of yesterday’s relationships and social promises. Before Wednesday, expect loved ones to focus on past discussions and delicate social events. Don’t shy away from difficult questions, Aries: Before next week both friends and lovers will rely on your honest reactions. After Thursday avoid new debts and large purchases: Resources may be low. Taurus (April 20-May 20) New social plans or fresh forms of entertainment will bring increased physical and emotional energy this week, Taurus. Some Taureans may also encounter a series of workplace flirtations or inappropriate attractions. If so, Taurus, take all as a compliment: Although flattering, new romantic proposals should be carefully considered. Gemini (May 21-June 21) Work routines or daily habits may now need revision, Gem: Before midweek expect a sudden flurry of messages, errands and small details. Use this time to outline your priorities and make important schedule changes: For the next 11 days authority figures will push for fast results. Offer your wisdom, Gem; your emotional input and social insight are accurate. Cancer (June 22-July 22) Try to avoid boastful moments this week, Cancer: Even though confidence is high, others may not be receptive to proud displays. Before midweek many Cancerians may also find that romantic partners or close friends are silent and emotionally withdrawn. Let others have extra time to reflect or gather insight, Cancer: Soon relationships will again move rapidly forward. After Thursday attend to parent/child relationships: Loved ones may now require your daily dedication. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Friends and relatives may be self-involved this week, Leo. Early Tuesday watch for loved ones to be overly focused on past disappointments and distant relationships. Some Leos may also experience the return of an old friend or colleague. After Friday watch also for fast financial changes or newly amended records: Research and small money matters may be in error. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Romantic energy is high this week, Virgo, but it may also be confusing. Before Thursday expect a friend or lover to introduce a new acquaintance. Over the next few days a temporary division of loyalties may be bothersome: Expect social or romantic triangles to be difficult to avoid. No long-lasting or serious overtones can be expected here, but do watch for brief social conflicts and inappropriate flirtations. Wait for clarity: New romantic passions will calm by early next week. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) Lovers or family members may present unusual past information or make contact with an old friend this week, Libra. Unfinished emotions, nostalgia and incomplete relationships will have a tendency to resurface over the next few days. Use this time to release unwanted fears or address long-standing differences with loved ones. Pace yourself and wait for valuable insights. Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21) Thoroughly discuss new projects and research findings with others this week, Scorp: For the next eight days, work information, facts and figures can easily be mistaken or lost. Some Scorpios may also find that intense romantic flirtations now cause an ongoing distraction. If so, plan for social invitations to sharply increase: New attractions will bring unusual romantic choices before early April. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Heavy or negative social obligations will now fade, Sage. Over the last few days many Sagittarians have felt restricted by the emotional demands of another or frustrated by a lack of time for personal relationships. All of this now changes: Early Wednesday expect friends, loved ones and colleagues to adopt a more cheerful and optimistic outlook. Social and workplace atmospheres will soon improve, Sage: By early next week expect new group instructions and rare social introductions. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Relationships from the past will now begin to make sense, Cap. Much of this will directly affect outdated love affairs and lingering memories: Expect the past actions or words of loved ones to no longer be distracting. Subtle emotions are at work this week, Cap: Watch for intense dreams, key adjustments in present relationships and a newfound bond with loved ones. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Let others handle their own problems this week, Aquarius. Now, a new social and romantic era arrives: after Wednesday expect others to briefly admit their mistakes or offer unique explanations. Trust your instincts, Aquarius: Long-standing differences will not easily fade. Late Thursday a colleague may require extra time to complete an important task: Be patient. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) Before midweek, Pisces, a colleague may request your daily assistance or guidance. Over the next three days many Pisceans may feel pressured to adopt the role of instructor, group facilitator or public mentor. Offer support but protect your own ideas, Pisces; at the moment friends and younger colleagues may be highly stressed and limited in their skills. If Your Birthday is this Week: Physical and emotional energy will return in the coming five to six weeks, Pisces: Watch for a four- to five-month period of daily social and romantic challenges to now steadily fade. Many Pisceans will now begin a serious effort to improve home relationships and bring greater intimacy into their lives. Romance will gain momentum by early June, Pisces: Remain patient and watch for a variety of new invitations and social opportunities to trigger important emotional decisions. Later this year, group investments, team assignments or fast workplace changes will bring much excitement: By late September a unique career proposal will require serious consideration. ...

The Evolution of Alcohol

The Romans had Dionysus, the god of wine. College students have John, the porcelain god. Both are mythical figures that people have prayed to while intoxicated. Alice Lin Guardian By most accounts, alcohol consumption has been around since nearly the beginning of the human race. While it may have begun with some primitive people eating rotten fruit and getting a slight high, it has evolved into a raging social phenomenon that has many people spending their lives in an alcoholic haze. While alcohol has become widely popular, its origins and distinguished history have remained widely unknown to many of those who partake in its many wonders. What is Alcohol? Alcohol is a depressant drug that affects the brain and causes reduced social inhibitions and relaxes the body, according to an Area 51 alcohol information Web site located at http://area51.upsu.plym.ac.uk/ ~harl/graphical/grphalc.html Alcohol is produced when sugars come into contact with airborne yeast and ferment. This process most commonly occurs in fruits, vegetables and grain; however, alcohol can be produced from just about any fermentable material, including flowers, honey, the sap of trees, milk and almost any plant or animal substance that contains carbohydrates or sugar, according to an article called “”The History of Alcohol, Part I”” at http://get.theinfo.org/alcohol1 While there are several different types of alcohol, the types most commonly used in alcoholic drinks are ethynol and ethyl alcohol. History Alcohol consumption is thought to date back to prehistoric man. Some modern-day animals have been observed to consume fermented fruits and enjoy the slight high that it brings, so it is thought that early man also experimented with the intoxicating effects of fermented fruits. One of the earliest mentions of wine making comes from an Egyptian papyrus that dates back to 3500 B.C., according to the British alcohol information site mentioned above. Paintings on ancient walls revealed that the Egyptians were also accomplished beer makers as well, according to “”A History of Beer and Alcohol,”” located at http://wy.essortment.com/beeralcoholhis_rueh.htm These wall paintings showed models of breweries and descriptions of the types of beer that were made. According to the Web site, the Egyptians made three different types of beer. Red beer was the most common, made by mixing undercooked loaves of barley or wheat bread with water and crushed wheat and allowing it to ferment in the sun. The liquid was then drained and stored. This beer is still made in Sudan and parts of Egypt. Sweet beer and black beer were also made by the Egyptians. Once people discovered that alcohol could be produced by fermenting sugar, it was being “”manufactured”” around the world. In tropical areas, it was common to use the sap of palm trees and cactus. In the far East and Europe, honey and milk were used to produce alcohol. In the early days of the United States, it was common to use corn, barley, wheat, sugar cane, potatoes and other plants to make alcohol, according to “”The History of Alcohol, Part I.”” According to the article, alcohol soon became a large part of many tribal and religious ceremonies. Two Dutch colonists were the first to establish a private brewery in America in 1612, according to “”A History of Beer and Alcohol.”” The brewery was located on the tip of Manhattan Island, where the first Dutch-American child was born, a site thought to be good luck by many of the settlers. According to the same Web site, the first public brewery was opened in the United States in 1622 in New Amsterdam. Beer making was a struggle for early settlers due to a lack of grains and hops, necessary to make the beer. Even today, there are only three states that grow hops: Idaho, Washington and Oregon. Its Affects The main attraction of alcoholic drinks is their ability to produce a state of intoxication. According to the Area 51 Web site, alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream anywhere from five to 10 minutes from its ingestion. It then travels through the blood stream and delivers the alcohol throughout the body. The result is a relaxation of the muscles, which can lead to poor coordination. Increased amounts of alcohol in the system can lead to slurred speech, double vision, loss of balance and nausea. If enough alcohol is ingested, the results can be deadly. Since alcohol is a toxic agent, the body will respond to it by trying to get rid of it. Initially, the body will attempt to do so through urination. If there is still an excess amount of alcohol in the system, the body may induce vomiting in an attempt to expel the toxin. If there is still a lot of alcohol in the system, the body will shut down and the person will lose consciousness. If not treated properly, this can lead to death. This is called alcohol poisoning. The Laws Throughout American history, alcohol has been the target of the law. While some may think that life before Prohibition was one big alcoholic haze, even the early colonists had strict laws against alcohol consumption. In 1633, Plymouth Plantation prohibited the sale of spirits “”more than two pence worth to anyone except strangers just arrived,”” according to a paper prepared by Jane Lang McGrew, an attorney from Washington, D.C. In 1637, Massachusetts ordered that no person should remain in a tavern “”longer than necessary occasions.”” While such laws were common in the colonies, there was no attempt to prohibit the sale of alcohol prior to the 18th century. Even then, there was no widespread prohibition, at least not until the 20th century. In 1920, the United States ratified the 18th amendment to the Constitution of the United States. This amendment prohibited the sale of alcohol in the United States. As it turns out, the amendment did not eradicate the use of alcohol in the United States. In fact, it opened the door for mobsters and criminals to brew their own alcohol and become rich off its illegal sales. With the realization that the amendment was doing more harm than good, the amendment was repealed on Dec. 5, 1933, legalizing the sale of alcohol in the United States once again. The current law in the United States is that nobody under the age of 21 is allowed to purchase alcohol. Additionally, there are laws against drinking and driving. While the blood alcohol content necessary for conviction on this offense vary from state to state, California’s legal limit is 0.08. ...

Approaching graduation causes long hours of contemplation on years past

One more quarter. That’s what I keep telling myself as I huddle in the corner of my room in a fetal position. OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but this is true enough: The pressure is building, and boy, can I feel it weighing me down. For me, and hundreds of others who will be graduating in June, this is a culmination of four years’ worth (some longer) of blood, sweat and tears. I am starting to feel the expectations of family, friends and even myself. My parents expect me to find a good job after graduating. Friends from back home, most of whom are still in city colleges or attending state colleges, expect the same: that I succeed, that I make loads of cash. Needless to say, I expect the same of myself, or at least the “”finding a good job”” part. This is, after all, the ultimate reason we are forking out $15,000 a year to attend UCSD. Graduating. I never thought I would be saying — well, typing — that word in this regard. Not to sound macho or anything, but there are few things that freak me out; truthfully, this is one of the few things that does. I’m placed in a situation that I’m sure most graduating seniors are in: limbo. We’re caught between the memories of the past and the possibilities of the future at the same time. I’ve had some great memories of college and a few bad ones. So what, then, is there for me to fear now that I’m nearing the end of another chapter in my life? Allow me to explain. Lately, I’ve been pondering this question: Have I been successful in my tour of duty here at UCSD? Success can be measured in different ways, particularly in a university environment. Getting A’s in every single class is certainly successful (no, I’m am definitely not talking about myself). Attending every frat or sorority party is pretty impressive too (not me), as is hooking up with an Alpha Zeta Phi girl (I wish it were me). So is being editor of the opinon section. In my opinion, having a successful college career involves attaining experience. A question we should all ask ourselves from time to time is: “”Have I experienced enough?”” This is a question that I ask myself, as it leads to the answer to the first question regarding success. Experience, as the wise man would confess, comes with age. Experience comes from exposure; it comes from how willing a person is to set himself up for the risk. It comes from the glory of victory and the agony of defeat. It comes from merely living and, more importantly, being able to recognize it. After all, it is quite pointless to have something if you don’t know what it’s for. Have I experienced a lot since I first stepped foot into V Building in the Marshall residence halls? At the very least, I can give a laundry list of the things that I’ve done in my time, but that would be pointless. However, I do still have my regrets. They’re not just petty ones about relationships or classes. “”Have I experienced enough?”” is again the question. And perhaps my trepidation about graduating revolves more around this than even the possibility of not being able to find a job afterwards. I’m afraid that, despite the multitude of things that I’ve been through and accomplished, it’s still not enough. Have I made the most of my time here in college? After talking with a friend, Caroline, I realized how much I had missed out. You see, she’s been to 13 countries and me, well, the farthest place I’ve been is Las Vegas. This is, perhaps, the biggest regret I have about college: not studying abroad. Of course, it was an initial consideration of mine, but I never put the effort behind it. I was thinking about Sweden, actually, as strange as it would seem for an Asian to consider. Hockey is great over there during the winter. But, unfortunately, I didn’t take the opportunity. Here’s some advice to the underclassmen: Go abroad! Though I didn’t, I can assure you it will be the one of the best experiences you will have not only in college but also in life. I’ve been told enough stories from friends who have traveled to know. If you don’t go, you’ll be writing about your regret of not going (maybe even in the school newspaper). That’s where I am now. Don’t get me wrong; college has been thoroughly enjoyable, even though there are some lingering regrets about certain missed opportunities, and I am not referring solely to studying abroad. This takes me to the future and the possibilities in store. For once in my life, I am truly clueless about what will happen in the future. When I was younger, the choices were simple: I’d continue on with school; one grade leads to the next. After high school, I knew I would attend UCSD. But now, things are different. I’ve reached another chasm to cross and all I can do for now is look out into the horizon. There are a dozen bridges that I can cross and it’s nearly impossible to choose between them. Maybe this is where the fear comes from. It’s not from the unwillingness to graduate. Trust me, I’m ready to leave. It’s not the fear of committing myself to an 8-to-5 job. It’s the initial step onto one of the creaky bridges. It’s forcing oneself to take that important step. And there are no nets. Do we, do I, have the experience to choose correctly? Ultimately, there is only one way to find out and that is to take the initial step. And quite a big step it is indeed, but I have the confidence to take it. I’ve gone through a great deal since I came here, both good and bad experiences, but experiences nonetheless. And with each came a lesson and memory to remember. Four years’ worth of hard work and great times leads to this and the pressure is building to show that all that I’ve worked for wasn’t for naught. I’m ready to get the hell out of here, but that doesn’t mean that I’m not scared. ...

Lying For Liquor

With over half of UCSD’s student population under the age of 21, fake identification cards are used frequently to purchase alcohol and to get by security at bars and night clubs. Although most minors know that possession of alcohol and the use of a false identity are crimes with heavy penalties, that doesn’t stop the masses of liquor-hungry minors who successfully cheat the law each weekend. In San Diego, which is home to three large universities and many junior colleges, liquor-selling establishments and police officers are on guard for drinking and the use of fake IDs. Minors who use false identification to purchase alcohol should be on guard as well, especially at establishments close to university campuses. Both Ralphs and a local mom-and-pop liquor stores admit that they urge their employees to be suspicious because of the volume of underage shoppers trying to buy alcohol. These establishments have on hand the Alcoholic Beverage Control identification manual, their “”bible,”” said one owner. However, employees do not necessarily have training for spotting false IDs. ABC officer Carl DeWing said that ABC does run a voluntary program called “”Licensee Education on Alcohol and Drugs,”” in which they train employees and employers on how to spot fake IDs, intoxicated people and drugs. Most establishments, however, opt not to participate in the program. When faced with a shopper who looks to be under 30, their guess is as good as yours. Employees who unknowingly sell alcohol to a minor usually lose their jobs. They can be taken to court and can be fined or penalized. The liquor-selling establishment undergoes a different set of penalties. The 1995 ABC Three Strikes Law was passed in California due to the state legislature’s realization that “”a serious problem”” with drinking among minors exists in the state, DeWing said. For a first offense, ABC enforces a 15-day license suspension, substitutable with a fine of 50 percent of an establishment’s total income for 15 days. For the second offense in a three-year period, the establishment’s liquor license is suspended for 25 days with no possibility of a fine. The third offense is a revocation of the liquor license, the equivalant death sentence for a business in a majority of cases. While the ABC deals with the establishment’s penalties for the crime, the local police department handles the criminal aspect for minors. Minors caught buying alcohol with a fake ID will get between 28 and 32 hours of community service, a $250 fine, and may have their driver’s licenses suspended for up to one year. This is a zero-tolerance offense. The charge is possession of alcohol. If the ID used is a California one, both a California vehicle code violation and a business and professional code violation are tacked on. If the ID is out of state, only the latter is charged. According to the San Diego Police Department, there is no difference in penalties between using a fake ID and using someone else’s borrowed ID. However, simply possessing a fake ID does not necessarily come with heavy consequences. Police detained Muir sophomore Philip Miller one night, and they searched his wallet. “”I had an out-of-state ID, a really shitty one that only worked in high school,”” Miller said. “”But they just confiscated it and never said another word about it to me.”” The police department sends undercover officers into liquor-selling establishment to see if they are furnishing alcohol to minors. They also patrol nightclubs and places of high concentration of people for overintoxication, overcrowding, drugs and other activities in the crowd. The local law enforcement also sends minor decoys into establishments to make sure they’re not furnishing alcohol to minors. The decoys are usually police cadets, boy scouts, relatives of police officers or members of the local Boys Club, and are supervised by a police officer. They must reveal their true identity to the employee to avoid entrapment. The Minor Decoy Operation was challenged in 1992, but in 1994 it was proven a valid method, granted that the decoys don’t try to bribe, lie or otherwise induce sale, and that they look over the age of 21. The hesitation and precautions that liquor-selling establishments use when selling to a shopper who looks to be under 30 are well-founded. The owner of a mom-and-pop liquor store near UCSD said that officers come in two to three times a year and hang around the store for 10 to 20 minutes, pretending to read magazines. He cards every shopper because he is near campus and has a lot at stake because the store is a family business. As a result, he said, he has refused sales to up to 20 customers in a weekend. The Ralphs Corporation denies sale to out-of-state ID holders, and although disputes naturally arise, its policy holds fast. Unlike the mom-and-pop store, however, it confiscates suspect identification that does not conform to the ABC handbook. The average confiscations vary from 10 to 15 every few months. Moondoggie’s Restaurant in Pacific Beach confiscates IDs as well. Its policy includes the use of flashlights to check ID cards, and close examination to see if the ID matches its owner. It accepts out-of-state IDs and confiscates one to two IDs per night on average. The restaurant’s owner said that the number of IDs confiscated is larger during spring break and other times of high patronage. Muir sophomore Nicole Caven had her ID taken by Moondoggies on a weekday afternoon. “”The guy was a real asshole,”” Caven said. “”He asked me a lot of questions, my age, when I graduated from high school and ended up confiscating my ID. It cost me 50 bucks.”” Even with these restrictions and the possibility of legal penalty, minors have always found ways to get around the rules. For those who own fake IDs, fraudulently using the state seal is a misdemeanor. However, for those who make fake IDs, illegal reproduction of the California insignia is a felony. A local student and maker of fake IDs said he is aware of these consequences, yet he still does it “”to help people out.”” He makes IDs for underage friends, for those 21 and over with underage significant others, and even for people wanting to reap the financial benefits of youth ski passes. The process is simple. One creates a template from scratch on a computer, then fills in the necessary information and photo. “”All you need is a good scanner and a Photoshop program,”” the student who makes the IDs said. The type of fake ID he makes usually costs between $60 and $100, but he charges $40 because he said he’s not in it for the money. He and his friends only used a few key tools and the smarts they came to school with to create the IDs. He said at universities with students who are smart, driven, underage and who have the desire to purchase alcohol, it is ridiculous for authorities to assume that minors won’t find a way. The Internet is also a growing source for purchasing illegal identification. There are dozens of Internet sites devoted to the sale of fabricated identification. These sites describe their products as “”novelty”” and “”souvenir”” items, and many have disclaimers notifying the buyer of the legal repercussions. IDs can cost up to $100 on these sites but mostly range from $40 to $60. The business is growing and the locations of the sites are difficult to track. Although these sites are illegal, law enforcement would rather spend their time and effort preventing the sale of alcohol to minors than tracking down small-time hackers. Using false identification is a crime commonly committed by minors, especially in university towns. Police will continue to crack down just as minors will continue to rebel. Minors, however, should be aware of the legal penalties for this crime and the hazard it brings to the establishments from which they buy. ...

Questions Regarding Career Choices Often Plague College Students

When I was about 5 years old, I remember filling in some kind of personal survey — the precursor to those that inundate everyone’s e-mail inboxes nowadays — with a variety of questions. The questions were of the sort that one could expect a small child to be able to answer, relating to favorite color, food, animal and so on. The question that sticks in my mind is, however, “”What do you want to be when you grow up?”” I remember printing “”a dentist”” in clumsy capitals that hovered above the line. My response was wholly arbitrary. I don’t ever even recall having any particular interest in dentistry. I likely forgot about my answer soon after I wrote it. I think about the times I’ve pondered my career path since then, and I realize that if I were asked the same question today, my response would probably be just as arbitrary. Unlike many people I have known who have struggled arduously with the prospects of finding a job once they have left college, I am unconcerned with the future because I know I can be content with just about anything I find myself doing. I’ve found that my happiness with a job comes in knowing that it’s a helpful and morally enriching experience, not in worrying about finding enjoyment in the actual tasks I’m completing. I have realized that when it comes to a career, it comes down to this: All work should be useful, productive and honorable. Anything beyond that is just details, and secondary to the importance of the three criteria I have mentioned. As long as I am fulfilling my obligation as far as being useful to others in my occupation, I feel that I can be very happy with whatever I do. This outlook, however, has caused me problems as I try to figure out what I’m going to spend most of my life doing. I’d be just as happy driving a bulldozer as editing the poetry of Seamus Heaney for the next 50 years, as long as someone needed me to do it. It’s not that I cannot find a passion; it is just that I have too many of them. I would just as soon throw myself into archaeology as medicine, and probably with the same amount of gusto. Many of my friends aspire toward very specialized career paths. I’ve never been like them. I admire the drive that spurs them relentlessly on, stomping over all that impedes their pursuits. My best friend has wanted to become a doctor ever since he was small, and he has not lost sight of that desire. Others I know are intent upon law school or graduate study in a particular field. I’ve thought about going to graduate school, but I realized that whatever I might study, it would be because it seemed like it might be something fun and enriching to try — not because I have a driving passion to study a particular field. If I decided to try law, I would go to law school “”for fun,”” taking it in as an interesting experience (much to the horror, I’m sure, of those cooped up every weekend with their LSAT books). I would study medicine because it would be interesting to be able to help people in such a specialized way, not because of a passion I’ve held since childhood. The ambivalence that characterizes my outlook on setting for a lifelong career is equally in force when it comes to the work I do now. I split my time between two realms: the literary and the technological. Neither has ever really held sway over me. I enjoy the editing I do at the Guardian, and I like the computer work that I do at my other job. However, when I picture myself cooped up in a high rise reading newspaper articles all day for mistakes, or spending 70 hours per week in a cubicle in Silicon Valley, I confess I don’t feel a great deal of excitement. Perhaps I have yet to find that one magical thing that will wed me to a particular career path, but I believe instead that everything’s the same to me at the end of the day, as long as it has been helpful. In time, I know I will tire of computers and editing, and it will be time to move on. I’m not pressed for time to decide on what I want to do. I’ll be here at least another year-and-a-half — and I’m toying with the idea of adding another major, which would give me nearly three years before I have to hit the job market or try to sell myself to a graduate school. Somehow, though, I don’t think anything’s going to change in the interim. I can see myself becoming one of those people who spends her life doing a variety of anomalous and varied things. Summer jobs will afford me the opportunity to try new things, but that doesn’t lead me to believe that ardor for a particular career is lurking around the corner. I am pretty sure that I have already found it — not in the choice of a particular pursuit, but in the assurance that whatever I do, I know it will not be a waste of time for others, nor for myself. ...