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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]

Students Should Give in to Sweet Temptation This Valentine's Day

Chocolate is one of the most luxurious and craved foods in the world. A true chocaholic knows that just the mention of chocolate will evoke pleasurable thoughts. The average American consumes 11.5 pounds of chocolate per year, whereas the Swiss consume twice this amount. According to www.onhealth.com, 40 percent of women and 15 percent of men admit to regular chocolate cravings. Who says that something that tastes so good is bad for your health? In fact, studies have shown that chocolate can actually have positive effects. So grab a bar of chocolate, read this article and realize you’re doing something good for your body. Chocolate is derived from the cocoa tree threobroma cacao, which is native to Central and South America. Today, these beans are cultivated around the equator and can be found in the Caribbean, Africa, Southeast Asia and even in the Pacific islands of Samoa and New Guinea. At the time, cocoa beans were used as the local currency and they were recognized as among the many treasures stolen from the Aztecs. When the Spaniards took the chocolate back to Europe, they used it as a drink. This drink was a luxury not many could afford. Afterward, when the Spaniards monopolized chocolate, the French, English and Dutch began to cultivate chocolate as well. Increased production reduced the prices of cocoa and soon the masses in Europe and America were enjoying what once was considered a delicacy. In 1828, chocolate maker Conrad J. van Houten patented an inexpensive way of pulverizing the beans into powder, which later facilitated making chocolate drinks and solids as well. Let’s now dispel some myths about chocolate. Here’s a list of the ingredients in chocolate: minerals, caffeine, saturated fat, threobromine, phenylethlamine, anandamide, sugar and flavonols. Explaining these components individually will further our understanding of chocolate. Minerals such as copper and magnesium are present in chocolate. Of course, people need these every day. The amount of caffeine in chocolate is insignificant comparable to the amount in a cup of decaffeinated coffee. There are about 10 milligrams of caffeine per average 1.65-ounce bar, compared with about 80 milligrams in a cup of coffee. One would have to be extremely sensitive to caffeine to fear eating a feeble chocolate bar. People often worry about saturated fat because it clogs arteries, restricts blood flow to the heart and causes heart attacks. About one-third of dark chocolate is naturally-produced cocoa butter, which is a form of saturated fat. However, medical researchers have found that not all saturated fats are the same and that cocoa butter does not raise cholesterol levels in the body. As a matter of fact, one report even points out that “”exaggerated consumption”” will actually lower cholesterol. That is to say, much of the cocoa butter consumed is not absorbed as it passes through our bodies. According to a report by www.onhealth.com, chocolate may actually raise the good form of cholesterol, HDL, and reduce a bad form of fat, triglycerides, due to the high content of stearic acid in the cocoa butter. Now consider threobromine, defined as a bitter, volatile alkaloid resembling caffeine in its chemical structure, but with a mild effect on humans. Horses and dogs are very sensitive to threobromine, and that is why chocolate can be harmful to them. Phenylethylamine is an amphetamine-like psychoactive drug with an effect that is said to resemble that of ecstasy, the feeling of being in love. There is phenylethylamine in chocolate, but there is a far richer source of it in salami. There are no reports of the feeling of falling in love after salami, so chocolate cannot be blamed for mimicking false amorous feelings. Another drug present in chocolate is anandamide, which is a naturally-occurring chemical in our brains that mimics the effects of eating or smoking marijuana. However, to fully have that effect, one must consume at least 20-30 pounds of chocolate in one sitting. That’s twice as much chocolate as the average American eats in a year. The sugar in chocolate is usually table sugar, which isn’t as bad as the high fructose corn syrup that sweetens almost everything else in our grocery stores. Besides that, cocoa is packed full of a surprising number of antioxidants, compounds that can protect living tissue from chemical damage. Chocolate contains the same level of the antioxidant, flavonol, found in a glass of red wine. There are other antioxidants that are vital to the body. Catechin helps to fight cardiovascular disease and cancer. There are four times the levels of catechins in chocolate than in black tea. In addition, procyanidins have the ability to relax blood vessels, possibly decreasing internal arterial wall damage. There are many myths that associate chocolate with acne, migraine headaches and tooth decay. Two studies done by the Pennsylvania School of Medicine and U.S. Naval Academy show that eating chocolate does not produce any significant changes in acne conditions. These results are further backed by research that shows that acne is not primarily linked to diet. Though it does contain some tyramine, a common migraine trigger, a well-controlled 1997 study from the University of Pittsburgh did not link chocolate consumption with headaches. As for studies that say chocolate causes cavities or tooth decay, there are indications that the cocoa butter in the chocolate coats the teeth and may help protect them by preventing plaque from forming. The sugar in chocolate is the only thing that contributes to cavities. Before stocking up on chocolate, realize that there are downsides. Chocolate can increase stomach acid reflux and irritable bowel symptoms, as well as cause allergic reactions, weight gain and dental cavities. However, that’s only when eaten in excess. This Valentine’s Day, don’t stash away all that chocolate. Realize that chocolate can be good for you, too! ...

A Guide to College Relationships

I have to be honest with you. I’m not a psychologist. I’m not a marriage counselor. So why am I giving advice on college relationships? Kenrick Leung Guardian It’s because I’ve had my share of experiences that have taught me a lot. In addition to my relationships, I have also seen many close friends go through the difficulties of college relationships. My hope is that others can learn from our mistakes, as well as our triumphs, by reading this article. That said, here are my humble offerings of advice about life and love in college. A Whole New World The first thing you must realize is that you aren’t in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. College relationships are on an entirely different plane of existence than high school relationships. While many college relationships fall short in magnitude when compared to post-college relationships, they are much more serious than your typical high school relationship. Gone are the weeks on end when all you see of your so-called significant other is the 15 minutes between math and science. Since not everyone has the same schedule in college, it takes some effort to actually see your boyfriend or girlfriend. This means that you two might actually have to go on a date, a foreign concept to many high school students. The dating world can be a lot different in college as well. Whereas trips to the movie theater with a large group of friends passed for dating in high school, the majority of college women expect dinner along with the movie. You can also forget about the mob of friends there for moral support. Most college dates, especially the first ones, are just the guy and the girl, or at least they should be. Dating An interesting feature of college relationships is that they can serve as a springboard into post-college relationships. Prior to college, if two people went out to a movie together, they were most likely “”together.”” The concept of a date in high school was virtually nonexistent, save a select few seniors at every high school. Dating can be a great thing if done right. On the other hand, it can also be the gateway to hell. Let me explain. The purpose of dating is to get to know another person. Ideally, two people who didn’t quite know each other could go out and have a good time talking about their lives and their dreams. They could share what kind of person they are with each other. By the end of a few dates, the two people have, ideally, learned enough about each other to make an educated decision as to whether or not they wanted to pursue a relationship. Unfortunately, things don’t always work like that. One of the drawbacks to dating is that the two people are usually too worried about making a good impression on the other person that they completely forget to be themselves. As a result, each person is left with a vague idea of who the other is. Often times, people take this information to heart and enter into a relationship, not knowing too much about the other. The inevitable conclusion is that the hidden quirks come to fruition once the person’s guard is down. These quirks can come as a shock to the other person and can get on their nerves. This can lead to ugly fights and even breakups. The one cure for this unsightly outcome is to be honest from the start. If the other person doesn’t like you for who you are, then that person probably isn’t the right person for you in the first place. This sounds like pure common sense, but you would be surprised how many people do not follow this advice. Presents Aplenty Once a relationship has been established, there is nothing like presents to make that special someone feel much more loved. Oftentimes, a bouquet of flowers when they are not expected can bring a big smile to a girl’s face. Even a single flower can do the trick. The thing that most guys don’t realize is that it is not how much you spend on the gift (unless the girl is a gold-digger, in which case the guy should cut anchor and set sail), but rather the thought that truly counts. Some might argue that such things look good on greeting cards but have no place in college relationships. However, my collective experience has taught me that this is not the case. All a girl really wants is to know that she is in her boyfriend’s thoughts. Sometimes a simple gift can do that better than anything. After all, actions really do speak louder than words. A common misconception among girls is that they shouldn’t buy their boyfriend a gift. Do you ladies actually think that guys don’t like getting confirmation that you’re thinking about us? Now, it doesn’t have to be flowers or a little teddy bear, but a small gift every now and then might be nice, even if that gift is a simple massage after a long week; just something to reassure your boyfriend that you still care. Those Three Little Words No combination of words has ever had such a dynamic effect on relationships as the famous trio, “”I love you.”” These words have made and broken millions of relationships. When the words are said and both people involved truly mean it, then it is a wonderful occurrence. However, if those words are uttered and only half of the pair is committed to their meaning, then nothing can be more frightening. I have found that the main problem behind those three words is their various meanings. “”I love you”” can mean anything from “”I like you a whole lot”” to “”I am in love with you.”” Depending on its use, these words can cause a lot of unnecessary friction within a couple. For example, two people can say “”I love you”” to each other, and one of them means that they are in love with the other, and the other only means that they like the other person. If this is not clarified, the one who is really in love can really be hurt. My advice: Don’t say it unless you mean it. Simply uttering the words can be more damaging than being honest about not feeling that strongly regarding the relationship. A side note to the whole issue of “”I love you”” is that those words should not be uttered in the heat of passion. Many have been scared away by someone screaming “”I love you”” during, or in close proximity to, sex. The fact is that hormones and emotions are raging while people do their thing, so it’s not a good idea to say “”I love you”” for the first time during sex. I would recommend not saying it for an hour after sex, kind of like eating and swimming. That way you get a chance to calm your emotions and figure out if you really mean it. Getting Physical Taking this step in the relationship is different for everybody, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time dwelling on the subject. My advice on getting physical is to simply wait until both people feel completely comfortable with it. Rushing into it before one of the partners is ready can lead to unnecessary tension in the relationship. The same goes for pressuring a partner to go further. If you truly care about the person, then you will wait until your partner is ready as well. A side note on purely physical relationships: It has been my experience that these never turn out well. When two people say that they are just in it for the physical aspect and they don’t want a relationship, things usually don’t turn out the way you would like. Inevitably, somebody starts to get feelings for the other. It’s just not worth it, at least in my experience. Problems No matter how close two people are, there are always going to be problems in a relationship. I have yet to encounter a couple that has gone out for longer than a couple of months that hasn’t had at least one argument. The key to getting through problems in a relationship is honesty. I am convinced that this is all that is needed. The real problems come when people bottle up their emotions and then unleash their fury in one epic argument, leading to more serious problems than if they had simply been honest in the first place. If you are completely honest with your partner, then things will turn out the way they should. If you two find that you are truly different people, then it is better to be honest about it than to drag out the relationship. It may hurt, but it is the right thing to do. The Breakup This is always the worst part of the relationship. Nobody likes breaking up. If they do, then they are sick bastards in need of therapy. There is nothing that I hate more than having to break up with a girl, but at the same time, I realize that it is something that needs to be done. For me, I can’t stay in a relationship if I know in my heart that it doesn’t work for me. If I find myself doing things that aren’t “”me”” just to stay in a relationship, then I have a decent idea that things aren’t working out. Relationships are two-way streets and one person shouldn’t be the one always making the compromises. What I hate more than anything about breaking up is when it is used as an ultimatum by someone who doesn’t mean it. That is something that can tear at the fiber of a relationship. The threat of a breakup can leave people very defensive, which can lead to escalated fights and a bigger problem than the one that started the argument. The breakup should be a last resort, used only when all other options have been exhausted. Getting Back in the Game While breaking up is tough, it is a part of life. After all, you’re going to break up with everyone that you go out with except the person that you marry. But even your spouse isn’t immune to the breakup, as recent figures on divorce will confirm. The important thing is that you don’t give up on relationships. If someone breaks up with you, then you should move on. I’m not saying you have to go out on a date the very next day, but you should get out there eventually. There will be an inevitable grieving period. The length of it will vary based on the length of the relationship, the kind of person you are, as well as the kind of person that your ex is. A good way to get through it is to surround yourself with friends, and realize that life goes on. ...

Horoscopes

Aries (March 21-April 19) New friendships and business partnerships will now bring a noticeable rise in confidence, Aries. Before mid-week your mental focus, workplace determination and ability to attract new relationships will be particularly attractive to others. Many Aries natives will experience this in business relationships but some, especially those born early in April, may also find that friendships and romance are strongly affected. Express your ideas, Aries; potential friends are listening. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Early this week, Taurus, a work official may offer your services or time to others. Business triangles and quickly changing schedules may be a theme over the next few days. Remain diplomatic: This is not a good time to publicly doubt the expertise or decisions of authority figures. Later this week, a new romantic attraction may be surprisingly seductive. Watch for quick flirtations or unexpected invitations in the workplace. Trust your instincts, Taurus: complex social ethics may be at issue. Gemini (May 21-June 21) Pay close attention to old documents or past business agreements this week, Gem. Aspects indicate that a work official or financial authority figure may now demand detailed explanations of old debts, statements and records. After mid-week, some Gemini may also experience powerful memories or the return of yesterday’s romantic passions. Key issues involve outdated love affairs or forgotten friends. An oddly moody few days, Gem: Stay balanced and watch for returning emotions. Cancer (June 22-July 22) Work officials or long-term business partners may be particularly critical of your actions and decisions this week. Key issues involve recently broken contracts or failed financial proposals. Long-term effects will be minimal, Cancer, so not to worry. Do, however, expect fellow workers to be temporarily self absorbed and moody. Later this week, a friend or workmate may cancel recent plans. Be receptive to new ideas or schedules: Before mid-March, loved ones will find it difficult to choose social priorities. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Daily routines will simplify early this week, Leo. Recent misunderstandings with authority figures or annoying changes to paperwork will no longer be an issue in working relationships. By mid-week, expect business officials or key colleagues to clearly focus on creative ideas, new procedures or future growth. Later this week, a close friend may be particularly sensitive to social criticism. Pay close attention to private issues of romantic disappointment, lost love or failed attractions. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Before mid-week, Virgo, a work official or key business figure may announce new or unusual workplace procedures. Watch records, calculations or inventory for unexpected errors. Respond quickly and pay close attention to small details: Bothersome mistakes will soon prove costly. Late Thursday romance and sensuality will be difficult to resist: expect lovers or close friends to openly express love or admit to private attractions. Go slow, Virgo: Long withheld desires are involved. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) Home-based business opportunities or short-term investments will be particularly rewarding over the next few days. After Tuesday, watch for new financial proposals or unique business openings to arrive. Some Librans will now rely strongly on past or forgotten ideas to fulfill their work ambitions. Later this week, avoid serious discussions with a close friend or lover: Social information or family news will be misleading. A delicate week, Libra: Pace yourself and watch for complex changes. Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21) Business or financial communications may be subtle and complex this week. For the next few days, expect work officials and colleagues to be overly focused on small amounts, unusual errors or short term contractual limitations. Much of this may involve past power struggles, Scorp: Expect ongoing emotional politics and workplace intrigue. After mid-week creative ideas, fast suggestions and new sources of income will cause excitement: Remain open to late -arriving proposals. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Expect comments on your appearance or public reputation this week, Sage. Late Tuesday afternoon, both work co-workers and friends will openly express new ideas, minor criticisms and unique business suggestions. Many Sagittarians will soon adopt a more public role in working relationships and social gatherings. For the time being, however, loved ones and important business colleagues may feel isolated or misunderstood: Be supportive and wait for new information. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Unusual complications may now arise in key friendships, Cap. Early this week, watch for a long-term friend to object to recent plans or express disappointment concerning a mutual acquaintance. There may be more involved than is apparent, Cap: Avoid being drawn into subtle emotional battles. Late Thursday, your energy and optimism begin returning: plan new social gatherings or group events. By early next week all returns to normal: Remain patient and watch for emotional improvement. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Publicly state your needs to business officials and work partners this week, Aquarius. Over the next few days an unusual emotional triangle at work may cause a quick shuffle of assignments or schedules. Be assertive and refuse to be marginalized. Many Aquarius will now need to rely heavily on their own workplace skills to solve problems. After Wednesday, social energy returns: Before next week new interests or hobbies will again be pleasing. A demanding week, Aquarius: Stay sharp. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) This week is an excellent time to state your workplace ideas, intentions or ambitions. Over the next three to four days, both officials and colleagues will be receptive to your influence and financial wisdom. Ask for favors, Pisces: You may be surprised by how quickly a response is offered. Late this week watch also for minor social confusion over conflicting events or invitations. Friends will be competitive and mildly jealous: Avoid emotional politics or unnecessary triangles. Birthdays This Week If your birthday is this week … important romantic choices will arrive over the next 11 months. By early February, long-term relationships will begin a brief but intense phase of home decisions and new family planning. Romantic commitment, living arrangements and new home proposals are accented this year: Watch for intimacy and shared ambitions to soon be an ongoing theme. Single Aquarians can expect a sharp increase in flirtation, new attractions and private invitations for the next four months. Later this year a surprising financial proposal is also on the agenda: Expect greatly expanded business partnerships or revised workplace roles by mid- to late July. ...

Students Are So Busy Getting Good Grades, They Forget to Learn

I go to school, I study and I sleep. This repetitious loop races on every day of my life. I say to myself that tomorrow is going to be a new day. Is it ever? Not since I’ve been at UCSD. I often hear complaints of the lack of time that we as students have to do something meaningful in our lives. “”I’m too busy studying”” or “”I have so much to do”” are some of the phrases we say to legitimize not having the extra time to go out and make a difference not only in our lives, but also in our society. There is no problem with working and studying constantly, but by doing so, we deprive ourselves of what is rightfully ours — our lives. I know this much from going to this beacon of “”higher learning”” that we call UCSD. As at many top universities, we are trained to study so that we can excel and succeed later in our professional lives. Mark Twain said, “”I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”” Today, we have confused our schooling with our education, in scholastic aptitude and in our daily existence. It’s too bad they don’t teach anything important about life. We are so wrapped up in our academic success that it takes a toll on our emotional well-being. It’s a sprint not only to graduate soon, but also to finish the race on top by a wide margin. In the process, we miss all the stuff that makes life grand. Nobody seems interested in the actual learning, but rather the grade at the end of the quarter. There is such an obsession with studying that all our emotions are blown away by the wind. Educating, tranquility and gratification are all replaced by schooling, necessity and competition. I’m not saying that organic chemistry or econometrics isn’t going to help us in the future, but I do see the fact that we are schooled not to become enlightened thinkers, but rather synonymous robots. We have become a society that values performance in class over actually learning what is being taught. When a student receives a graded midterm, there are only two things in his mind: The first is, “”what’s my grade?”” and the second is, “”what’s the average?”” We fight for every single point so that our grades can be a fraction higher. Grades are important, but knowledge is even more so. Does it really matter what another person gets? Performance should be measured by one standard. Who cares if the class did better or worse? It ultimately comes down to one person: you. Nevertheless, in a university where we are not taught to be our own thinkers, it is a necessity that we do better than the person sitting next to us. Your neighbor is your enemy; you must do better than him if you want to do well in a course. But does it really matter 20 years from now what you got on your second midterm in your bio class? We measure one’s intelligence based on how well he studies or crams. In my years at UCSD, I do not look back upon the great wonders of writing, reading, calculus, chemistry nor anything related to academia. All I remember is a constant feeling of having made certain that I was above the average and that my grade was good. We live in a competitive arena that makes learning no longer a passion, but rather, a blood sport, a sport in which only the strongest survive and everyone else must die. This competitiveness is not only evident in class, but everywhere in our daily lives. Once we graduate, grades are no longer the main objective in our lives. We aim for a higher and nobler purpose: money. This train of thought from college to work hard to be better than anyone else now appears in the workplace. We all think that money is the great equalizer, as if it was the single force in our lives that can fix all our problems and all our miseries. It is as if cash can burn away all our troubles the way it can burn so quickly from our accounts. Having that new luxury car may be nice, but is it justifiable to work night and day for the rest of your life without rest. We know money is a problem, yet we continue to find new ways to have more of it. Money is similar to grades as it defines how successful you are in your endeavors. In a way, it really has no mark on who you are as an individual. Society is not judged by its happiness, but rather its wealth, fame and fortune. Money and grades just state how well you work or study. They have no inherent value except for enabling the purchase of mass quantities of goods. Yet, we continue every day of our lives trying to be better than everyone else. We say that by sacrificing some of our time now, we will receive the benefits later in life. If we are not going to live our life now, when are we? Sixty-five sounds a little too old for me to party all night long. No amount of money can ever replace the years spent at college. College is more than just a time to study and learn, it is an opportunity for understanding, growth and freedom. A wise man by the name of Ferris Bueller once said, “”Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it.”” Our lives are becoming increasingly complicated and hurried without an end in sight. College, unfortunately, makes us race through every day of our existence. If you were to ask me where I’d be in such a race, you won’t see me sprinting along with everyone else. I’ll just be moseying along and enjoying the view. ...

Educating America's Youth

Dance culture has seeped inescapably into mainstream culture over the last decade. Whether it’s a commercial trying to sell a Ford Focus by making allusions to Detroit techno, or “”60 Minutes”” covering drug use at raves, the national focus has turned toward the analysis — and sometimes the deprecation — of dance culture and everything remotely connected with it. As the media sounds a cacophony over all things rave, some work in the background to ensure that those in the middle of the tug-of-war get the information they need to make informed decisions. DanceSafe answers to that description. DanceSafe is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to harm reduction and education in the rave and club scene. Its members distribute potentially life-saving information at parties, giving partygoers an objective and nonjudgmental source to which they can turn for assistance. Headed by a national office in Oakland, Calif., DanceSafe chapters around the United States and Canada establish their presence in various cities, working to make the rave scene safer for people who choose to compliment their experience with substances. DanceSafe representatives go to parties and clubs, handing out free information and resources ranging from substance information and earplugs to candy bracelets and condoms. The emphasis is on peer support and education, and all work is done by volunteers. Though DanceSafe has been notorious in the recent media for its pill-testing services, members of the organization do much more than spend all night at raves telling 16-year-olds what their pills contain. However, DanceSafe has ridden to phenomenal success based upon the usefulness of this service, especially since MDMA, a psychotropic substance commonly known as ecstasy, has shot into popular use, and the fact that it is the first truly nationwide organization that effectively provides harm-reduction education to people. New chapters spring up all the time. According to the organization’s Web site, http://www.dancesafe.org, chapters have recently opened in New York City, Philadelphia and Calgary. Last summer, DanceSafe gave its name to a chapter in San Diego. The chapter began as an organization called San Diego RaveSmart, covering its first event in July. In October, the group received approval to carry the DanceSafe name. Since its inception, the San Diego chapter has met with success and positive reactions at every turn. Director Melissa Martin attributes this triumph to the chapter’s warm reception from the rave community and law enforcement. “”The rave community in San Diego has opened [its] arms and embraced us,”” Martin said. “”We have become an integral part of the rave scene in San Diego. Out of all the chapter directors that I’ve spoken with around the country, we have had the most welcoming and easiest time of it. We’re so grateful to the rave community in San Diego for that.”” Law enforcement, too, has been welcoming to the group, showing temperance in spite of the recent hyperbolic media frenzy over the rave scene, particularly concerning substance use at parties. “”Law enforcement has been nothing but supportive of DanceSafe, and we have not had any negative experiences with them [in San Diego],”” Martin said. “”They understand that we’re on their side. We’re there to help them do their job.”” The San Diego chapter covered its first event last July after approaching a rave promoter, who responded favorably to the idea of having a DanceSafe booth present at the event. Subsequent DanceSafe coverage has been prompted at the request of the promoters themselves. “”We have to be invited,”” said San Diego chapter Event Coordinator Lance Kett. “”We can’t just go to a party and say ‘Hi, we’re San Diego DanceSafe. We’re going to set up now.’ The promoter has to want us there.”” The chapter typically covers one or two events per week, but its activity level depends on the activity level of the San Diego rave scene at any given time. “”It really depends on how the rave scene is going,”” Kett said. “”Sometimes you’ll get a lot of raves going on, sometimes none for three weeks.”” In its busiest weekend to date, Kett said, the chapter covered four parties on four consecutive nights. The challenges in maintaining a successful DanceSafe chapter, both in San Diego and nationally, have come in trying to eradicate stereotypes and misconceptions associated with the work that DanceSafe does. In the last two weeks alone, “”The New York Times Magazine”” and “”U.S. News & World Report”” have run lengthy pieces dealing with ecstasy usage, and tangentially, the rave scene. In the last six months, “”60 Minutes,”” “”48 Hours”” and MTV have covered the rising trends of the use of ecstasy. The media has promoted awareness and misunderstanding alike. Due to heightened interest in the trends surrounding ecstasy use — U.S. Customs officials seized 2.1 million tablets in Los Angeles last summer in a highly publicized bust — more heads are turning and more fingers are being pointed. As an organization squarely in the middle of some of the most heated controversy, DanceSafe has had to clarify its position on more than one occasion, due to false impressions spread by the media. “”There are a lot of misconceptions about DanceSafe out there, like that we condone drug use, that we enable drug use, that we even promote drug use,”” Martin said. “”We don’t. We are a public health education organization. We are there because we’re the only ones around who are giving kids the information they need. Not only do we give them the information they need and want, we give it to them at the place where they need it the most — a party or a club — at a time when they’re most willing to listen.”” DanceSafe volunteers place emphasis on the fact that they educate the public, but they are not there to make decisions for people. Volunteers will test pills for substances, but they will not tell pill owners what they ought to do with that information. “”We’re not there to tell them, ‘Don’t take drugs, they’re bad,'”” Kett said. Martin addressed the common controversy that surrounds the organization. “”The controversy comes in the fact that we give the pills back prior to doing the test,”” Martin said. This action ultimately leaves the discretion with the pill owners, who can decide whether to take the pill — ecstasy-like or not — based on the results of the tests and their own judgment. In fact, testing methods are not specific enough to reveal many aspects of a pill’s composition. Testing will determine whether a pill has an ecstasy-like substance, but these also include MDMA’s cousins MDE, MDA and MDEA. Testing will not reveal how pure a pill is, nor whether it is safe to take. DanceSafe volunteers can tell people the facts about their pills, but they cannot decide for anyone whether to take the pill. Pill testing has put DanceSafe at the forefront of a media storm, especially due to recent deaths across the United States associated with people who took a pill they thought contained an ecstasy-like substance but which was, in fact, something else. Two common adulterants include DXM, a constituent of cough syrup, and PMA. Though some people enjoy the highs these drugs can provide, those who take them and expect an ecstasy-like reaction can run into difficulties taking care of themselves. The body’s reaction to these drugs is different than that of MDMA, and an unknowing user may face dangers such as heat stroke. Even more dangerous is the ingestion of MDMA and one of these substances simultaneously. Pill testing can help determine whether a pill contains a drug like PMA or DXM. For those who do not venture out into the rave scene but who stand to benefit from the information DanceSafe provides, its Web site is a wealth of nonjudgmental assistance. Sheets decorated to look like flyers, available on the site, give factual information about the effects and legality of many substances, legal and illicit. These include substances from the commonly available on upward, such as MDMA, alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, GHB, ‘shrooms, LSD, nitrous oxide, speed and cocaine. Information is also available detailing the effects of drugs marketed as ecstasy, such as DXM and PMA. DanceSafe sponsors a nation-wide pill testing service. Users can mail in a pill anonymously and legally, and it will be tested by a Drug Enforcement Agency-approved laboratory. The results of these tests, which include a photograph, pill dimensions and substance content, are regularly posted to the Web site. For a donation of $25 or more, visitors can have a pill testing kit mailed to them. ...

Finding a Middle Ground

By now, every UCSD student is aware of the complaints. Upon arrival, most students are almost immediately disappointed to find that our campus is a little different than others. The whole college-town feel that characterizes colleges of myth just does not seem relevant within our cozy locale of La Jolla. Mike Coggins Guardian Meaning “”the jewel”” in Spanish, La Jolla continues to dazzle newcomers and students alike with its natural beauty. It is not uncommon to hear it described as “”the most beautiful place in the world.”” UCSD is lucky to have such a delightful place as its backyard. Unfortunately, while many students are very content with the academic climate of UCSD, they still manage to be considerably discontent with our college’s social environment. The complaints about nothing to do on campus are rampant and indeed, unjustifiable. However, the community surrounding UCSD is another issue altogether. Ask almost any student what they know about the “”city”” they attend school in nine months out of the year, and nearly everyone would give you limited information, at best. Or even worse, many students simply subscribe to the most popular stereotypes about La Jollans. A group of rich, snobby, uncooperative people is probably what your average UCSD student would have to say about them. But exactly how true is this statement? What are the residents really like and how has it affected the social dynamics of UCSD? Read further to find out … A Community of San Diegans Officially, La Jolla is not even a city, although most students are probably unaware of this. According to Barry Benintende, an editor of The La Jolla Light and unofficial expert on all things La Jollan, La Jolla is actually a township. “”It’s a community of San Diegans; very rich San Diegans,”” Benintende said. Benintende added that La Jolla has representation in the San Diego city council and carries out its civic functions in the form of multiple councils and committees. The history of UCSD is a good place to start when trying to understand why the campus is set up the way it is. As for the complaints that there are not enough things that cater to college students, the origins of the university are an appropriate avenue to explore, also. La Jolla was a very well-established community before Roger Revelle first presented to UC regents in 1959, the idea for a university on land that previously belonged to the U.S. military. Residents initially feared the great change that the then proposed UC La Jolla could possibly inflict on their small community. Although over the decades, La Jollans have adapted to the change, and indeed in some cases, residents have embraced the university, some things have never changed. “”There is a comfort level in [La Jollans] lives that they don’t want a lot of change,”” Benintende said. “”It’s not that the people here are snobbish it’s just that they may not reach out to UCSD students as a whole as much as they could.”” For him, however, it could be a two-way street. Students should be just as involved with the community if they have complaints, he said. If the students want to be more involved, he added, they should do more volunteer work and get in touch with the community. According to him, most students might be surprised to find how responsive the La Jolla community would be if they made an effort to reach out. “”Most residents, I would figure, are very receptive to students because most of them have children,”” Benintende said. “”The supposition that La Jolla is anti-college may be true in some cases, but I think most of the residents are reasonable to know that there’s something to be gained from embracing the students. I’d say it’s a 50-50 mix as far as people that really look at UCSD students as assets and who realize that the university is here to stay.”” The dot-com boom in recent years has caused a surge in the number of young millionaires moving into the area, according to Benintende. The Residents “”I would venture to say that [newcomers] want to provide for their families,”” Benintende said. “”A lot of La Jollans are family people, while a huge chunk is the senior citizen population. If you factor in the senior citizens and students, that’s the high and low end of the age bracket. The more sympathetic crowd toward college students tend to be the small bracket of young adults who might be just out of college.”” La Jolla is no stranger to “”new money”” and newcomers from all over the country continually move into the area because of the allure La Jolla offers, particularly for new families raising children. The Scarbroughs, who just arrived from Utah less than a year ago with their infant son, described how warm and friendly La Jollans have been to them. “”I think they’re pretty friendly, actually; quite outgoing and very laid back,”” said Nicole Scarbrough. “”[They are] very helpful, usually quite thoughtful which is nice.”” Most students have the idea that a typical La Jollan would be almost impossible to approach. The wealth many of these residents possess is almost enough of an intimidation factor to stop even the bravest students from striking up a spontaneous conversation with an average resident. Out-of-towners like Jared Scarbrough think the situation is not as black and white, however, especially in comparison to other parts of the country. “”I think in Utah it’s easier to get to know people and make a connection,”” he said. “”But I think here once you make the connection it’s a stronger connection [because] they’re more friendly, helpful and more genuine. Once you break down that initial barrier they’re very open and kind people but I think on the outside, there’s that barrier that you need to break through.”” Ralph Nedelkoff, a resident of La Jolla for only 6 months, originally from New Jersey, has found the community very welcoming. “”It’s a wonderful community,”” he said. “”Everybody I’ve met, whether they’re students or not students.”” Newcomers from around the world are also common within the community of La Jolla. Fresh from St. Andrews, Scotland, is young couple Tom and Sharon Henley. According to the two, the social climate of La Jolla is not entirely unique. “”Probably Scotland would be a wee bit more warm and people who moved in next door would have you come around or say hello,”” Tom Henley said. “”I guess it’s like any big city really; London would be the same — you wouldn’t know your next-door neighbors.”” Why No College Town? An all-too-familiar complaint is that we lack a college town or any semblance of a college-town community. The most popular comparisons would have to be universities such as UCLA, UC Berkeley and SDSU. True as it may be that each of those colleges might have an edge over ours in terms of more college-friendly establishments surrounding their campuses, some would argue that UCSD and La Jolla needn’t change at all. For instance, Naureen Nayyar, an ex-SDSU student who is now in her second year at Mesa College, is quick to point out the benefits of UCSD being situated in an area like La Jolla. For instance, she points out how she prefers the quiet and peacefulness only La Jolla can provide. In addition, she is more optimistic about UCSD’s social milieu. “”I have a lot of friends who go to UCSD, and they have a lot of fun just partying in their dorms and stuff, too,”” she said. “”I mean, you can make any place happen if you want it. College life is what you make of it. It’s not just about partying — there are people who like to just chill.”” Nayyar went on to express how she feels UCSD students should take more time to appreciate what they already have. “”I think a lot of times when people go, ‘Oh I want it more like a college town,’ they’re not thinking, ‘Oh I want more places for kids to just hang out after 10,'”” she said. “”They’re talking about places to party and stuff, like PB. [In PB], everybody’s just drinking everywhere and it’s so loud, I mean I live in PB right now and sometimes it’s kind of annoying how every day is a party.”” Mandeville Special Collections Library Director Lynda Corey Claassen believes the reason to be mostly circumstantial. The area surrounding UCSD is predominantly residential instead of commercial. It is important to note that UCSD is situated on a hill, conveniently tucked away from the rest of La Jolla. Unlike places like Westwood for UCLA or Berkeley for Cal, UCSD never developed in a student-friendly area that was contiguous to the campus. On top of that, our university is a far younger school and has not had as much time to develop and mature into a thriving college community, in the traditional sense. The culture of La Jolla has managed to remain intact, however. According to Claassen, it is a dynamic mix of art, culture, social events and social interaction. Distance From the Community Perhaps the biggest culprit, as far as UCSD’s distance from the community, is the geography itself. The relationship between UCSD and La Jolla was and is tentative. As a university, it is primarily concerned with the education of students and maintaining a certain standard of excellence. On the other hand, because of their perpetual concern for geography and land, most La Jollans find little in common with the university. Exceptions most definitely exist, but generally speaking, each entity has its own specific interests, and tends to not understand each other. Nancy Groves, director of academic advising at Revelle and a resident of the area for 37 years, mentioned that La Jolla has tried to respond to the location difficulties UCSD students may come across. For instance, La Jolla Village Square only became as student friendly as it is today in recent years because the local businesses realized that providing more services to the massive student population was the only way to survive economically. UCSD Student Perspectives and Making the Most of It UCSD student Shiloh Talley believes La Jolla’s natural splendor to be one of its greatest assets. “”La Jolla is one of the most beautiful places in the United States with the most beautiful people around,”” Talley said. She, like many others, endorses a more proactive approach to alleviate the common complaint that there is nothing to do on campus. “”I think you have to make your own fun, but as UCSD students we’re all capable of doing that. Otherwise we wouldn’t have come here,”” she said. “”We came here for the beauty of it and there’s so many beautiful things to do that we should be satisfied.”” Some students like Revelle sophomore Ben Mayes are hardly concerned with connecting with La Jollans outside the university . Being a student is of utmost priority for students like him. “”Our problem isn’t all that unique, really,”” Mayes said. “”You can’t expect the community to be involved with us. I mean there are variations, some colleges will interact more with the community than others but all in all you kind of don’t expect it because [students and La Jollans] live such different lifestyles.”” UCSD senior Bobby Potruch works at one of the many booths at UTC. Dealing with all sorts of people every day, Potruch attests to the claim that La Jollans are a very diverse group, despite most stereotypical perceptions of them. Like many other students who deal with La Jollans on a regular basis, he remarked how labeling the entire community as one thing would be inaccurate. Potruch maintains that La Jolla, like any community near a big city, is a mix of all ages and types of people who surprisingly are a varied mix even from an economic standpoint. In other words, not everyone is filthy rich, although most are. In response to claims that UCSD or La Jolla lacks a college-town feel, Potruch recites a familiar sentiment shared by many students. According to him, for anyone who’s ever been to a college-town, UCSD is “”definitely no college town.”” As examples, Potruch cited how the conservative nature of UCSD neighbors prevents there from being action such as parties on campus which are not almost immediately broken up. Much like students before him, Potruch remains far more optimistic about the opportunities UCSD has to offer socially. He poses the challenge that all students look within themselves to change their attitudes before whining about how UCSD lacks yet another thing. “”If you’ve ever spoken to mostly anyone, they’re always looking for something outside their town,”” Potruch said. “”Their town is boring, their school is boring, there’s never anything to do; it’s always trying to get out of your local environment. And it seems like the popular thing to say is that there’s nothing to do.”” Instead of blaming the lack of parties, Potruch thinks in many cases, it is the students themselves who never really learned how to have fun because of the academic nature of UCSD. “”It’s a very competitive school where people spent a great deal of time in their high schools worrying about their grades to get into a prestigious school,”” Potruch said. “”Now that they’re in college, they’re looking to party and they don’t know how to do it. They don’t know what it is. They’re partying and they still don’t know they’re partying. They think you have to be at some rager with five kegs where you can’t move and that’s a party; that’s technically a party but also partying is going out with a few of your buddies and hanging out. You don’t have to stay out till 3 a.m. to be classified as a cool person who had a good time.”” Potruch agrees. “”You can bring fun to almost any town,”” Potruch said. “”It’s not that much to search for, you’ll go your whole entire college life searching for it and it was sitting right in front of you the whole time and you never knew it was there.”” ...

Horoscopes

Aries (March 21-April 19) The emphasis is on you Monday and Tuesday. You’re the star of the show, so put on a great performance. Gather information on your next big technical purchase Wednesday. Think about it Thursday, before you buy. A slight financial setback Friday could change your plans and help you make up your mind. You’re in a pensive mood Saturday, and you’ll want to stay close to home Sunday. A favorite meal with family puts everything right. Taurus (April 20-May 20) You may feel like you’re getting pushed around at work on Monday or Tuesday. By Wednesday you’ll be on your feet again, and on Thursday you could be the eloquent spokesperson for your side. The positive impression you’re making could lead to more responsibility, and more pay, on Friday. Don’t take on the former without the latter. Saturday is also good for making money and finding new ways to save it. You’re apt to be late for a date on Sunday, so set a flexible time. Gemini (May 21-June 21) The plans you make with friends on Monday and Tuesday seem more like fantasy than fact, but that’s fine. On Wednesday and Thursday you’ll be applying the final touches and really getting serious. By Friday you can have a proposal to sell that makes sense, both in terms of vision and profitability. Travel looks good on Saturday, but it’s best to reach your destination by early Sunday. It’s not a mechanical breakdown but an emotional one that could disrupt an otherwise pleasant evening. Be compassionate but firm. Cancer (June 22-July 22) Keep most of your comments to yourself on Monday and Tuesday. It’ll be difficult to get a word in anyway; your boss or teacher wants to do most of the talking. Your opinion will be more highly revered on Wednesday, so save it for then. Help your team find a way around a barrier on Thursday. You could take a wrong turn on Friday, so give yourself plenty of time to get where you’re going. Saturday is good for visiting a favorite spot with your sweetheart, and Sunday is best for sorting and filing your paperwork. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Financial worries fade on Monday as the day progresses. Instead of buying a gift you can’t afford, take your sweetheart on an outing Tuesday. Take care of business on Wednesday, because a strong reprimand from the boss awaits you on Thursday if you don’t. Pay attention to what you’re doing on Friday, too, because the person who signs your paycheck is definitely doing that. You’re so popular this weekend, you may have trouble keeping all your commitments. Save the end of Sunday for personal contemplation. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) The better you keep somebody else’s money in order on Monday and Tuesday, the better you look. Don’t get too playful Wednesday, or you’ll forget to do something important. That could lead to trouble on Thursday, when work interferes with your playtime. Don’t let your mate’s remark upset you on Friday. Something your mate believes is too hard will actually be easy for you. Help an older person over the weekend. This won’t bring money or even recognition, but it’s good for you. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) Your mate is very directive on Monday and Tuesday. It’ll be fun, provided you can go along with your partner’s suggestions. However, don’t let your mate spend all of your money on Wednesday or Thursday. You might be enticed into making a commitment Friday around dinnertime. Travel and games both go well over the weekend, but be careful. If you hurry, the job may have to be done over again. Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21) A co-worker’s snide remark could get you agitated on Monday or Tuesday, but don’t despair — it’s going to motivate you. Get a partner to help you solve a tough problem at home on Wednesday or Thursday. This is too complicated for you to deal with all by yourself. If shopping is required, go Friday. With your partner’s help, you can get the very thing you need. Do some of the work yourself this weekend, then go out to dinner to spend what you saved. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) You’d rather stay home and play with your sweetheart on Monday and Tuesday. Do that as much as you can. The work starts pouring in around Wednesday. There will be complications on Wednesday and Thursday. Misunderstandings and haste makes waste on Friday. Your partner may be in an argumentative mood over the weekend. He or she is so cute, it won’t be hard to acquiesce. And if you do, he or she will think you’re pretty cute, too. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) A home-based enterprise could be quite profitable Monday and Tuesday. Devote more time to your sweetheart Wednesday and Thursday. Playtime is important to staying healthy, and it’s also important to keep your priorities straight. Love always takes precedence, as you well know. More work comes in late Friday, and that assignment could last through the weekend. But it might be best not to work on Sunday, when a breakdown could make the job take even longer. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Dig for the information you need on Monday and Tuesday –you’ll find it. Slow down Wednesday and Thursday, take the time to look for errors. The more you find then, the better off you’ll be on Friday, when your work is put to the test. By Friday afternoon the worst is over, so set up a date for that night. Spend time with your sweetheart rather than with a colleague on Saturday. Chores may disrupt your play schedule on Sunday. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) You may be worried about money Monday and Tuesday, but it’s not that you don’t have enough. More likely, you’ve found too many ways to spend it. You’ll make it go a lot further by shopping wisely on Wednesday and Thursday. An item you’ve been seeking for your home becomes available Friday. Fixing up your home is the perfect project for this weekend. Don’t wait for another to do for you. Birthdays This Week Jan. 29: Your energy level is high this year, so use it. You’re extremely smart, so don’t hold back. Jan. 30: Others marvel at your prowess this year. Strut your stuff and don’t hold back. You didn’t get this good by accident; you worked at it. Jan. 31: You’re putting down roots, and it’s about time. A goal you’ve been after for ages can finally be yours. Feb. 1: Something you’ve been putting up with at home could become intolerable. Make the changes you’ve been thinking about for so long. Feb. 2: There’s a conflict between career and family. Look at other options in February, then make up your mind in March. Feb. 3: Your romantic fantasies can come true. It’s not quite by accident, even though the way things turn out might be rather surprising. Feb. 4: You’re looking good, and you attract very interesting people. An argument in March narrows the field. ...

While Chivalry May be Dead in America, It Never Existed in Other Cultures

Chivalry is dead. Living in America, we are constantly told about the historic importance of graciousness, and the defense of decency. What we often fail to understand, however, is that in many non-American cultures, chivalry cannot be dead, because it never existed in the first place. In many of these cultures, including my own Indian culture, chivalry is virtually nonexistent. Chauvinism runs rampant among the people of these societies. Listen up, men and women of UCSD — reading this just may provide you with a different perspective on the way in which you live your life. Perhaps it will make you think twice about any preconceived notions you hold regarding the opposite sex. If not, that’s OK too. At least I would have made my point, and hopefully it will lead some of you to look more closely at your own experiences, to see if this applies to you. Some of you are probably wondering where exactly I am going with this whole spiel. Let me be a little more specific. In our seemingly progressive society, one would assume that both male and female individuals would oppose such a gender-specific typology. Unfortunately, the notion of gender roles still exists today. Forget chivalry, even equality among the sexes is considered nonexistent in many cultures. This has become a source of argument between myself and a male friend of mine, who is also of Indian descent. Upon seeing me and my roommate cooking dinner last year, my friend — who is also a self-proclaimed male chauvinist — uttered the four words that would make any woman’s blood boil. “”That’s a woman’s job,”” he said. He then proceeded to tell me his backward, ludicrous notions that a woman’s place was in the home, and that a woman’s job was to serve her husband. Rather than abiding by our instincts and beating our friend over the head with a frying pan, my roommate and I instead rolled our eyes and told our friend that he needed to update his prehistoric views if he ever wanted to meet a respectable girl. He responded by saying that if he was not able to find a woman in America who possessed the willingness to go along with his definition of a “”dutiful”” wife, then he would simply find his future wife in India. I refuted his comment by telling him that what he wanted was a maid/babysitter/ chef, and not a wife. Later that day, however, I began to think about the statements that my friend had made. I began to wonder if his views were representative of other males my age. All sorts of thoughts began to surface in my mind. “”Did these men still possess such absurd views?”” “”Where did these views originate?”” “”Was I the only one bothered by his comments?”” and “”God … I hope that I am not destined to marry someone who possesses ideas as crazy as my friend’s.”” After talking with some friends of mine who are also of South-Asian descent, I realized that the typical Indian male mentality is alive and quite prevalent today. Perhaps I had been naive to think that just because in my own family “”gender roles”” did not apply, that these labels did not transcend into other minority households. Many of my peers have told me that gender roles are an accepted reality in their own families. One friend, whose parents both hold full time jobs, told me that each evening after returning home from work, her mother is expected to cook dinner for. She is also expected to clean up after the rest of the family while her father enjoys leisure time watching TV or reading. I was shocked to find out that her father had never before washed a single dish or done one load of laundry. While I found this behavior very disturbing, my friend had simply accepted it as a way of life. Her description reminded me more of a business than of a family. Author Lillian Bell put it best when she said, “”It is really asking too much of a woman to expect her to bring up her husband and her children too.”” Although I know of no woman my age who would tolerate this way of life, I also recognize that as long as societies continue to promote and tolerate the idea of gender roles, there will always be men who abide by it, and women who put up with it. Here I was, thinking that the days in which women were considered subordinate to men were long gone. Little did I know that these ideas are still alive and well among males of my own generation. Only by refusing to conform to or partake in these silly, stereotypical gender roles, can we put a stop to this inane way of thinking. The problem lies in the fact that the men who possess such silly notions, do so because of the way they were brought up. Most were the typical “”mama’s boys”” who were never given any responsibilities, and who, even at a young age, were treated like royalty. Welcome to reality, boys. If the only thing you want is someone to clean your house, hire a maid. Well, as a sidenote to my poor, foolish friend who feels that he is going to find the “”perfect woman”” who will be willing to cook, clean and abide by her husband’s every wish, good luck. Any woman that puts up with such dictatorship is badly in need of a crash course in being independent. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not a vindictive person, and my purpose is not to lash out at all men — only those who are foolish enough to believe such silly ideas. And to all you males who still think that a woman’s place is in the home, you’d might as well see bachelorhood as a permanent way of life, because the only place you are going to get “”service with a smile”” is at your local Burger King. ...

Horoscopes

Aries (March 21-April 19) Get an adversary to put in a good word for you to the boss on Monday, but make sure the payback is something you’ll be able to afford. Ask for the raise on Tuesday and reimbursement for past favors. Put the final touches on your plan with teammates Wednesday. Thursday’s stop and go all day, as you find last-minute problems. Get your priorities into order over the weekend, with love, of course, coming first. Taurus (April 20-May 20) Set a practical theme for your travels on Monday and Tuesday. You can make that excursion tax deductible and still have a fabulous time. You can benefit from changes at the top on Wednesday and Thursday if you play your cards carefully. Remind the boss how trustworthy you are and cause your resources, as well as responsibilities, to increase. Everybody wants into your pockets on Friday and Saturday. Save up, instead, for a worthy cause you’ll find on Sunday. Gemini (May 21-June 21) If you brown bag it on Monday and Tuesday, you can save enough for a nice excursion on Wednesday. Let a fascinating foreigner talk you out of your dull routine. You’ll be in the mood to do the same on Thursday and Friday, but there’s almost too much confusion. Work interferes with play, but play triumphs, at home. Don’t go far on Friday, or Saturday, either. Provide what an older person needs, and you’ll be generously rewarded on Sunday. Cancer (June 22-July 22) Your partner’s kind of bossy on Monday and Tuesday, but don’t put up much of a fuss. You could reap heretofore unimagined benefits. Research a likely investment on Wednesday, so you can move quickly when the time is right on Thursday. If you know what you’re doing, you can make a sweet deal. Don’t let a gossip ruin your plans on Friday. Trust your intuition instead. Sleep in on Saturday. Traveling early isn’t a good idea anyway. Postpone your trip until Sunday, and it’ll be much more relaxing. Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) Friends think you’re the best one for the job on Monday and Tuesday, so prove them right. Make plans with your partner on Wednesday, but don’t get rigid. There are bound to be surprises on Thursday and Friday, and not all pleasant. Take them one at a time, and don’t worry. The overall outcome looks positive if you mind your manners. Save your receipts on Saturday. Odds are good you’ll get something you later decide to take back. Sunday you’re more likely to get what you really like, but you don’t mind going into debt then, either. Better take your analytical friend’s advice, instead of following your own whim on that one. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) A romantic connection is worth the trouble to get there, on Monday and/or Tuesday. Sure, the work is piling up, but that’s OK. Wednesday and Thursday are about nothing else, anyway. A project you’ve been anticipating finally starts and stops and starts, in fits and spurts. Schedule a relaxing conversation with your favorite listener for Friday, close to home. Something you thought you had figured out could backfire Saturday, but by Sunday the bugs should all be eradicated. Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) Love beckons on Monday and Tuesday, but you’re not quite ready yet. Finish household chores and decoration, so you can relax on Wednesday. Plans you’re making show great promise then, but difficulties are encountered on Thursday and Friday. Keep talking, and you’ll figure out how to fix just about everything together. You’ll lose patience on Saturday if costs run higher than expected. Keep shopping until Sunday, and you’re more likely to find the perfect thing. Scorpio (Oct. 24-Nov. 21) It’s back to the books for you on Monday and Tuesday, to fix an annoying problem at home. You may be pleased with your success on Wednesday, but don’t gloat. It’s too likely you’ll find more trouble on Thursday. Ignore a minor disagreement with your mate on Friday. Love triumphs quite nicely that day, much to your mutual delight. Be careful on Saturday to not break something expensive. Make playing with your sweetheart the top priority for Sunday. Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Help out a friend and earn a bonus on Monday and Tuesday. Study up on Wednesday for the test that’s coming Thursday. And, don’t believe everything you hear on Friday. Do your own investigation and get more of what you want. You’ve got a mess on your hands Saturday. Don’t avoid it, just do the best you can, and you’ll have a snuggly nest to relax in by Sunday. Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) A friend thinks you can do it on Monday and Tuesday, so let yourself be convinced. The money looks too easy on Wednesday, and the problems start showing up on Thursday and Friday. You’re kept hopping, but you’re up to the challenge. Don’t bother to run errands on Saturday. Save them for Sunday, and you’re more apt to find what you’re seeking. Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) Gather up the resources and information you still need on Monday and Tuesday. By Wednesday you should be almost ready to launch. There will be delays, you can count on that. It could be late Thursday or Friday before you actually get going. This is as it should be, so don’t push. You might break something. You might also get disappointing news late Friday or early Saturday. An older person is making more demands, but that’s also OK. You’ll have a better result when you’re finally done. Use some of that bounty you’ve recently acquired to fix up your place on Sunday. Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) A close friend and a distant one both have good advice on Monday and Tuesday. Listen to them. Don’t completely ignore your inner voices, just don’t be intimidated by them. And, don’t believe Wednesday’s job will be as easy as it looks, either. It gets complicated on Thursday and Friday. Plan carefully and be prepared for just about anything. Complying with an older person’s whims is a whole new challenge Saturday, but the tide’s in your favor. By this weekend, you can be resting in the lap of luxury. Birthdays This Week Jan. 22: The pressure’s on, but it’s your own decision. Push hard to make a fantasy come true. Jan. 23: You’ve got the talent, that’s obvious. Now, prove you’ve also got the common sense. Follow an older person’s advice. Jan. 24: You’re creative, confident and powerful this year! Be compassionate, too, and you’ll take home all the prizes. Jan. 25: You’re facing a few tough puzzles, but don’t even worry. If you didn’t have a challenge or two, you’d get bored! Jan 26: You can win the respect you deserve and the money to go with it. Don’t let a setback stop you; come back with the facts. Jan. 27: Shrewd planning and extensive research are required. Don’t take anything for granted, and success can be yours. Jan. 28: You’re blessed with a combination of mental and emotional energy. You’ll be both analytical and compassionate if you’re wise. ...