Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Men's volleyball splits matches

After losing a tough match against California Baptist on Jan. 16, the Tritons bounced back to upset the University of Southern Cal on Jan. 17 in four games.

At Cal Baptist in Riverside, Calif., UCSD came out with a strong 30-25 first game.

The Tritons had game point at 29-28 in the second game, threatening to open up a daunting 2-0 lead against a team they hadn¹t beaten in four previous attempts away from San Diego. However, two straight points and a Triton hitting error evened up the match at one game apiece, and Cal Baptist didn¹t look back the rest of the match. Final game scores were 25-30, 31-29, 30-25 and 30-20.

Senior opposite Jim Waller paced the Tritons with a match-high 22 kills. He also pitched in nine digs and five blocks. The two outside hitters, sophomore Jeff Urton and junior Adam Toren, recorded 12 kills apiece. Toren and senior middle blocker Andy Rupp joined Waller with the match high of five blocks. Junior Dickens Tai had a match high 12 digs, with junior setter Nate Jones contributing 43 assists.

The Tritons put the loss behind them and prepared for their Mountain Pacific Sports Federation league opener against USC. Toren led the way for UCSD in the second game of the weekend with 21 kills to lead all players. Senior middle Kevin Keyser had 13 kills and only one hitting error, yielding a team leading .480 percentage. Jones had 57 assists and Tai had nine digs, both match highs.

UCSD trailed in the first game 23-22 before calling a timeout. Out of the timeout, the Tritons scored the next three points and eventually lead 28-25, marking the first time either team had opened a lead of more than two points in the tightly contested game. UCSD finished off the game with two kills from Urton.

USC seemed to be in control of the second game with a 17-13 advantage. The Tritons, however, scored five straight points to take the lead, four of which came off of Waller¹s serves. The Trojans cruised into the third game and looked to steal the momentum from UCSD in the fourth, blazing out to a 9-2 lead. But again, USC was unable to keep its advantage and squandered the lead to a surging Triton team. Consecutive kills by Keyser and junior outside hitter John Daze finally put the match away.

The victory opened up MPSF conference play for UCSD with a 1-0 start, matching the amount of conference wins the Tritons had all of last year. Their win in 2003 also came against USC in Los Angeles.

UCSD is 2-1 overall and faces a daunting schedule ahead. The team returns to La Jolla for a three-match homestand, opening with conference foes Pacific and Stanford on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24, respectively. The Tritons round out the weekend with a nonconference match against Princeton on Jan. 26.

Briefly

--Madeleine Albright to speak at UCSD on Feb. 13

Madeleine K. Albright, secretary of state in the Clinton administration, will visit UCSD for a foreign policy discussion at the Institute of the Americas Auditorium on Feb. 13 at 2 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Susan Shirk, professor of political science at the Graduate School of International Relations/Pacific Studies, and Jeffrey Davidow, president of the Institute of the Americas, will participate in the discussion with Albright.

Albright, who served for four years of the second Clinton administration from 1996-2000, was the first female secretary of state and the highest-ranking woman in the history of the U.S. government.

Prior to her appointment, Albright served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and other high-ranking positions in foreign relations on Capitol Hill and in the Carter administration.

She published ""Madame Secretary"" in 2003 and is currently president of the global strategy firm, Albright Group.

Shirk and Davidow both previously served in the State Department, partly under Albright's tenure. Shirk served as deputy assistant secretary for China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, while Davidow served as ambassador to Mexico from 1998 to 2002.

The conversation with Albright is co-sponsored by the IR/PS and the Institute of the Americas.

--Nobel Prize winner to join chemistry department

Nobel Prize-winning chemist and professor Mario J. Molina will join UCSD's chemistry department and Scripps Institution of Oceanography on July 1.

Molina is currently a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1995, he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his role in elucidating the threat of chlorofluorocarbon gases to the Earth's ozone layer.

Molina will be UCSD's 16th faculty member to win the Nobel Prize. He will join a group of leading atmospheric chemists at UCSD, including Paul Crutzen, with whom Molina shared the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Molina has recently focused his research on the chemistry of air pollution in the lower atmosphere, collaborating with colleagues in other countries, notably in Mexico City.

Molina was born in Mexico City and received a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the Universidad AutÛnoma de MÈxico in 1965, a postgraduate degree in physical chemistry from the University of Freiburg in West Germany in 1967, and a doctorate in physical chemistry from UC Berkeley in 1972.

As a researcher at UC Irvine in 1974, he co-authored (with Nobel Prize winner F. Sherwood Rowland, who shared the Nobel Prize with Molina and Crutzen) a paper in the journal Nature detailing their research on the threat of CFCs, which were at the time widely used as propellants in spray cans and as refrigerants in refrigerators.

Molina taught at UC Irvine, the Universidad Nacional AutÛnoma de MÈxico and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at California Institute of Technology before arriving at MIT in 1989.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. He has also served on the U.S. President's Committee of Advisors in Science and Technology, the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, National Research Council Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, and on the board of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation of Science.

--'Intuition and Understanding' to explore music and arts

A six-part lecture series will explore the role of music and the arts in a research university beginning on Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. and continuing on the successive Wednesday evenings into mid-March.

The free series, titled ""Intuition and Understanding: Creativity, Research and the Arts at UCSD"" and sponsored by the UCSD Center for the Humanities, will feature UCSD artists and professors.

The new series is designed to showcase UCSD's accomplishments in music and art.

The first three installments will take place at the Institute of the Americas Copley Auditorium.

The first installment, on Feb. 11, is titled ""Beyond Illusion ó Alternative Theatre in the USA,"" and will feature Theodore Shank, a professor emeritus of theatre and dance.

The second, on Feb. 18, is titled ""Uneasy Dreams ó A Percussionist and His Changing Body,"" and will feature Steven Schick, a percussionist and professor of music.

The third, on Feb. 25, is titled ""Resident Alien in Secondary Inspection,"" and will feature Ruben Ortiz Torres, an associate professor of visual arts.

For a complete schedule, visit http://humctr.ucsd.edu.

Briefly

UCSD Cares campaign hits campus March 1

Organizations will showcase service projects and recruit volunteers for community service projects on Library Walk from March 1 to March 5 for the third annual UCSD Cares campaign. Sponsored by Associated Students, Student Organizations & Leadership Opportunities and UCSD Bookstore, student organizations will be tabling to have volunteer sign-ups and to ask for donations for local charities.

Some of the services that students can join include Habitat for Humanity and UCSD Student Life, which are asking students to donate 10 inches of hair to benefit Locks of Love, a program aimed at helping children with rare hair loss syndromes. Stylists will also be available all week for free to cut and style hair.

The Premedical Association Students for Services is asking for toiletries, canned food and clothes to be donated to various charities. International House Cares will try to raise money for a trip to a Tijuana orphanage and supplies that they can donate to the children. There will also be a dunk tank where students can dunk their resident dean and resident advisors.

Students Against Animal Suffering will also have an information table on Seeds for Change Humane Education and additional information on animal protection issues. Other organizations asking for donations include the Alumni Association, who is holding its second annual Kiss the Pig fundraiser where prominent students and administrators will kiss a pig for every $25 the organization receives for diabetes research.

Students can also round their purchases to the nearest dollar at UCSD Bookstore, and the change will go to local charities. UCSD Bookstore will also have a window display for food and clothing donations throughout the week.

The campaign week first began in 2001 after Sept. 11 when the UCSD community rallied to give to local charities. Last year, over 40 student organizations were able to raise more than $3,000 for various charities in addition to clothing, food and other donated items.

A list of activities planned by participating organizations is available at http://as.ucsd.edu/ucsdcares.

Students can cast ballots at Price Center on March 2

A polling site will be set up at Galleries A and B at Price Center on March 2 for students to cast their vote in the state primary.

Voters will be voting on presidential primary candidates as well as U.S. senator, U.S. representative, state senators, state assembly members and local offices. State and local propositions will also be on the ballot. The poll will be open from 7:30 a.m. to approximately 8 p.m.

The Registrar of Voters is providing information for each party in one sample ballot pamphlet which will include samples of official ballots for each of the parties and nonpartisan contests that all voters are eligible to vote on.

Sample ballots will be available at poll locations for those who registered between Feb. 3 and Feb. 17.

For sample ballots and additional voter information including a list of all candidates, visit the Registrar of Voters Web site for San Diego County at http://wwwsdvote.com/election/march2004.html. Election results will also be available at the Web site after the polls close.

UCSD to commemorate Dr. Seuss on March 2

To mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of Theodor Seuss Geisel, also known as Dr. Seuss, there will be free birthday cake and punch for students on March 2 at 11 a.m. at Geisel Library.

One thousand slices of cake will be served to the first 1,000 attendees.

The event, which will be held at the forum level of the library, will also feature speakers including Audrey Geisel, the widow of Theodor Geisel. She will unveil the Seuss Memorial, a life-size bronze sculpture of the author with the “Cat in the Hat” standing on his shoulder. The sculpture was created by Rancho Santa Fe artist Lark Grey Dimond-Cates, daughter of Audrey Geisel.

Additionally, U.S. Postal Service dignitaries will be unveiling a commemorative stamp designed by a Carlsbad artist.

Acting Chancellor Marsha Chandler and university librarian Brian E. C. Schottlaender will also speak at the event.

Ex-ambassador visits UCSD

Former Venezuelan ambassador to the United Nations Milos Alcalay visited UCSD on March 30 and March 31 to speak about human rights violations and the politics in Venezuela.

Alcalay, who resigned his post to protest human rights violations, addressed students and faculty and participated in a televised interview, conducted by Institute of the Americas president Jeffrey Davidow, at the IOA. The Conflict and Security Studies Organization at the IOA, who organized Alcalay’s visit, held a smaller question-and-answer session with Alcalay on March 30, which approximately 40 IOA students attended.

Alcalay resigned his post on March 4 at the United Nations’ Washington, D.C., offices because, according to him, human rights violations, repression by the government and an overall lack of democracy in Venezuela left him unable to represent his country. In the days leading up to his resignation, media reports from Venezuela revealed increasing brutality and torture against those protesting President Hugo Chavez, who accuse Chavez of unlawfully preventing a recall vote. Clashes between protesters and government troops have closed businesses and schools across the country in recent months.

“Venezuela did not meet the needs of a new democracy, but it went back to the worst situation … violation of human rights, corruption and a militarization of power,” Alcalay said. “That is why, as a diplomat for democracy, I had to resign my job.”

Alcalay described the gruesome scenes he witnessed in Venezuela.

“Protesters were shot, men were put in prison with very repressive actions that recall very much … the military time in Latin America,” Alcalay said. “So I said … I cannot serve, not only loyally, but I have to cry very loudly to say, ‘Look what is happening to Venezuela. Look what is happening to a country that was an island of democracy on the continent.’”

Alcalay spoke for the needs of a referendum to let Venezuelans vote whether or not they want to keep Chavez, who Alcalay said is impeding efforts to run a referendum.

Alcalay said Chavez was a “very good seller of dreams,” and it is how Chavez has maintained support despite of “broken promises.”

“But his dreams are not dreams but a nightmare,” he said. “People, especially the poorer, want to dream.”

Asked whether or not he thought the United States had a hand in the coup that ousted Chavez for 48 hours, Alcalay responded that he did not personally believe so.

“On the contrary, I think the U.S. has been very cautious with Chavez,” he said.

CSSO president Jorge Garcia commended Alcalay’s continued efforts to resolve the conflict and end the violence in Venezuela.

“I think one of the things you have to really respect with the ambassador is his willingness to continue the dialogue,” Garcia said. “He recognizes that there needs to be a bridge between those that are pro-Chavez and the opposition. The willingness to bridge that gap is critical for Venezuela.”

Since his resignation, Alcalay has been touring universities in order to raise awareness about the conflict in Venezuela. In the past month, Alcalay has spoken at UC Berkeley and New York University.

Garcia was pleased that Alcalay was able to visit UCSD and hopes to invite other similar speakers in the future.

“I think it’s critical that speakers like [Alcalay] come to the university and expose some of the problems in different parts of the world to students, faculty and members of the community,” Garcia said.

Alcalay previously served as Venezuela’s deputy foreign minister and ambassador to Brazil and was preparing to assume the post of ambassador to Great Britain. Alcalay had served Venezuela as a diplomat for 34 years before his resignation.

The talk was televised on UC-TV and will be re-run daily between April 12 and April 18.

— Additional reporting by Gaëlle Faure

Letters to the Editor

April Fool’s prank hurt journalistic integrity

The student paper at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh fired a cartoonist who ran a racially derogatory cartoon in the April Fool’s Day edition.

At UCSD, the April Fool’s Day edition of our primary campus paper, The Guardian, allied with The Koala — a student organization humor publication notoriously regarded for its liberal use of racist, sexist, and anti-gay epithets — to produce a four-page humor section. Past publicity acts included the wide distribution of a Muslim-hate paper titled “Jizzlam,” which included illustrations of Muslim women getting raped. I was recently bombarded by a member of the Koala staff repeatedly messaging me the text “nigger” and wallowing in their manipulative use of student funds.

The Guardian editors are not the most humorous, but at least smart enough to anticipate the reactionary progressive responses to the obviously very political, “not political” choice to piggyback Koala publicity.

Aside from the occasionally useful coupons our primary student paper is understood heavily as an opinion paper with typically an entire third of its content as editorials and opinions. The Guardian is the most powerful campus publication, and the Koala is clearly a politically oppositional student organization. So, don’t be silly. Contrary to what was written in your alleged “apology,” it is not a reader’s “prerogative” to make the Guardian’s choices a political issue — you already have.

The Guardian’s promotion of the Koala has disturbed those who the Koala have pointed clear oppositions to — SAAC, student cultural organizations, anti-racist organizations and media, and anyone opposed to a small group of spoiled children screaming racist and sexist epithets for the sake of indulgent self-promotion.

At first I thought the guys dug into their parents’ pockets and forked out the dough for full page ads. We found out in the following paper, where a few more pages were allocated to the Koala, that it was complicity supported by the Guardian.

It’s pretty shameful to see UCSD’s primary publication further its lack of responsible and credible journalism by resorting to affiliating with the shock tactics of the Koala.

I do not care “how funny” you guys think you are. Please do your job as to respect the diverse range of oppositions and sensibilities at this campus. Be accountable to those who you seek to exclude in promoting your divisive agendas — whether it be promoting for the Koala’s speech or saturating intellectual waste bins of the op-eds.

— Mark Marcelo

Thurgood Marshall college

senior

Kerry rally sounded like an endorsement

The College Democrats’ rally for John Kerry on March 30 left me feeling nothing but disgust for both UCSD administrators and John Kerry’s campaign.

First, UCSD administrators: I have spent two years volunteering with an environmental organization on campus. Occasionally, we wanted to put electric, hybrid or zero-emission vehicles on Library Walk to help ensure that the Air Quality Management District would not roll back their emissions regulations, for Earth Day or simply as a general information day. We were never able to put even one vehicle on Library Walk because it was a “fire hazard.” Yet, at the rally, there were no less than five giant news vans on Library Walk spitting out diesel fumes onto the campus’ central walkway. What happened to fire regulations? Apparently they go out the window when one of the two white men that actually have a chance of being president comes to town.

This university, ostensibly, is supposed to be a place of learning. Yet classes in Price Center were canceled for four hours. Being the first week of classes, most students are scrambling to get books. The line for the Bookstore was a block long as access to the Bookstore was restricted. These are not characteristics of a place of learning. UCSD has, in the past, taken every effort to give the appearance of being nonpartisan. Everything I saw was, at best, one step short of a full endorsement of Kerry. From the giant flag over the Price Center, to the introduction by the A.S. president (I thought this was supposed to be a Campus Democrats event?), to the Regents Lot shuttle being renamed the “John Kerry shuttle.” The campus reeked of endorsement on that day.

On to Kerry: John Kerry is supposed to present an alternative to Bush. However, the platform he chose was centered on low gas prices, as loudly stated by the thirty foot sign, “Low gas prices fuel the economy.” Now, how is that environmental? How is that different from Bush? Despite some discussion of alternative energy sources and a commitment to stay out of ANWR, clearly the take-home message is that we need oil, and lots of it.

Let me make myself clear: I do not want Bush in power. I would, however, hope that the one “liberal” option would be a bit more on the liberal side.

If UCSD worked to bring Kerry here in an effort to promote voting and fight apathy, and had done it in a manner that neither violated fire laws, disrupted class nor endorsed him, then I would applaud their efforts.

But as it is, Kerry wanted something to campaign around — the economy — and saw that San Diego has the highest gas prices in the country. Most likely, a little over a week ago his campaign called UCSD to ask if they could hold a press conference here. The university more than willingly obliged and in their scramble to host him, they ignored everybody else. To make matters worse, Kerry chose a poor platform. How disgusting.

To anybody that cares about the world or your education, I encourage you to speak out. Contact the vice chancellor of student affairs. This November, vote Green. After all, California will go with the Democrat anyway. The only presidential vote wasted is either for a Democrat, or, especially, for a Republican.

— Chris Nodding

Earl Warren College

senior

Letters to the Editor

Anti-Semitism thrives on Library Walk

Editor:

Anyone who opposes bigotry, ignorance and hate should be appalled by the April 26 display on Library Walk. After 6 million Jews were massacred in the Holocaust, the swastika was used once again against the Jewish people during the anti-Zionism display on Library Walk on April 26.

Following such proud displays of solidarity against hate during Take Back the Night and the Day of Silence for the LGBTQIA, one would hope that UCSD would be a community that would not condone hate, discrimination or intimidation for any group. The fact that there was not widespread protesting against the use of Nazi propaganda aimed at the Jewish people and Israel reflects very poorly on the UCSD community as a whole. Before today, I had only seen swastikas being used for political means in old photos, with their captions in German.

In stark contrast to the dreary, morbid display of anti-Semitic propaganda, the Israel Alliance group flew American flags next to Israeli ones to show that the two countries were both progressive democracies that support freedom of religion, speech and thought. Israel offers far more rights for homosexuals and women, for example, than any nation in that region.

In addition to the swastikas, one could also find clearly anti-Semitic political cartoons of Ariel Sharon, which made him look like a character from a Nazi children’s book. There is suffering today in the Middle East the same as there was suffering in Germany in the 1930s. Like the anti-Semitism of yesterday, the fingers are again being pointed at the Jews as the people to blame for the world’s misery. When will we students heed the call of duty from those exterminated by hate, and learn to stand up against hate and bigotry against all people?

It is easy to dismiss what happened here today by convincing yourself that you don’t know enough about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. True, there are many issues to be explored before one could make an educated judgment. But it doesn’t take a genius to observe a swastika being flown at an anti-Zionism rally and put two and two together and realize that anti-Semitism is being perpetuated here at UCSD.

What happened in Germany was incomprehensible to the people at the time, because they felt that in the modern age, such widespread anti-Semitic violence was impossible. Nazism was dismissed as freedom of expression until it had caught Germany by the throat. With synagogues being bombed in Europe, buildings becoming targets in America, and innocent civilians like you and me being torn apart by nail studded bombs in the streets of Jerusalem, it is time for everyone to realize that freedom itself is under attack. Once again the question arises whether the Jewish people, and all people who advocate rights for diversity, can exist. As the banner which displayed the Nazi insignia next to the Jewish star read, “Never again is happening again.” Only this time the enemies aren’t just in Germany.

— Jacob Rupp

President, Union of Jewish Students

Annual event about more than feminism

Editor:

Recent articles, opinions, and letters to the editor in the Guardian have created a controversy over Take Back the Night. By arguing over feminist philosophy in relation to the event, every article has lost sight of the issue at hand. Take Back the Night is not a feminist event. It is not even an event just for women. It is a community event. Sexual assault and domestic violence are community issues. Both men and women are affected when someone is raped and/or beaten.

Had anyone writing these articles been to Take Back the Night, they would have seen that there was a good-sized constituency of men. These men were applauded for helping to break stereotypes and myths that concern these issues. The men were also given the opportunity to share their own experiences, which many did. Men made some of the most powerful statements of the night. This event was created to bring awareness to the UCSD community and perpetuate action to stop crimes against both men and women. It is disheartening to have students come up to you and say, “People are raped here?” Take Back the Night showed me that UCSD is not always apathetic and students here can create a powerful healing environment.

To clear up another issue, the A.S. Women’s Commission is not a feminist organization. The commission is trying to create a safe space on campus for women of all races, religion and political affiliations to voice their opinions. If people like Adam Bronstein and Kelly Gilbert are still offended by what the Women’s Commission is doing, we invite them to get involved, check their facts and put some action behind their empty words.

— Claire Parker

A.S. Women’s Commission

No need for animal cruelty at UCSD

Editor:

I would like to thank Lisa Mak for her article on vivisection because it demands our attention (“Groups protest animal testing,” April 22). Not simply because it is cruel, outdated and unnecessary, but because it is unreliable and dangerous. We know that humans aren’t the same as dogs and are even less similar to mice, a notion lost on UCSD cognitive science professor Andrea Chiba, who reassures us that a large number of animals killed at UCSD are mice. It is no comfort to me that more mice, dogs, rabbits, rats, guinea pigs and birds suffer and die than primates. I’m opposed to caging our closest relatives and giving them diseases that we’re no closer to curing than we were 20 years ago. I’m opposed to testing amphetamines on dogs.

Lab animals experience unalleviated pain: They are poisoned, blinded, shocked, confined and burned, subjected to radiation and chemical and biological weapons, their bones fractured. They endure maternal deprivation experiments and mice, rats and macaque monkeys alone are currently being used in 445 tests on the effects of cocaine.

UCSD receives almost $200 million in federal funds (your tax dollars) for research. If anyone other than white-coated lab technicians treated animals this way, they’d go to jail.

A growing number in the medical profession, such as Physicians’ Committee for Responsible Medicine, are telling us that vivisection is unreliable. By studying human populations, scientists saw a correlation between cigarettes and cancer, but unfortunately for those that continued to die from lung cancer, the labeling of cigarettes as carcinogenic was delayed for years because results from animal tests didn’t come to that conclusion. More people die each year from reactions to legal drugs, found safe in animals, than from all illegal drugs combined. Visit Students Against Animal Suffering at http://saasucsd.tripod.com for information.

It’s callous to claim that inflicting pain on more than 20 million animals in this country each year is helping animals, as if testing on thousands of nameless dogs and cats is justifiable to possibly save others, when there are available alternatives. The leading cause of death in companion animals is human action. We are killing them. If we put a fraction of the money that we dedicate to vivisection into spay/neuter programs, we could actually make an impact on their lives.

If animal experimentation was ever necessary, it no longer is. What diseases we can’t prevent, we can attempt to cure through nonanimal research methods. As Dr. Mark Feinberg, a leading AIDS researcher, said, “What good does it do you to test something in a monkey? You find five or six years from now that it works in the monkey, and then you test it in humans and you realize that humans behave totally differently from monkeys, so you’ve wasted five years.” Let them go. The acts committed against animals are called necessary evils, but they are not necessary, and are diverting attention and money from real progress. Caring about the suffering of the smallest beings among us may not be the most important thing we can do, but they do matter.

— Megan Sewell

Thurgood Marshall College senior

Smoking marijuna makes for good sex

Editor:

Regarding your column “Does smoking marijuana really affect your sexual performance?”: I am a 58-year-old female, married and retired from the nursing profession. My experience (throughout my adult life) with cannabis in the context that you spoke about is not consistent with the arguments you raised. My husband would also not agree that anything like your description is a true picture. Nor would any of the many responsible adult cannabis users that we know.

To the contrary, cannabis can contribute to some of the most profound and loving experiences you can ever have. Thank you for your contribution on this subject. America needs to debate all aspects of our drug policy. Please, keep an open mind. The basis for the views you expressed appeared to me to be limited and not in keeping with the generally understood experience of millions of other people.

— Claudia Little

San Diego

‘La Puta Vida’ is a tragicomic Uruguayan treat

This little gem of a film is the toast of its native Uruguay, and it’s not difficult to see why. All at once, it’s a quirky “working girl” comedy, a strong morality play against corruption and the sex trade in Barcelona, and a gut-wrenching, tragic drama. There’s literally something for everybody in “En La Puta Vida,” — provided, of course, that “everybody” is over 18. You didn’t think that a film whose untranslated title means “In the Life of a Whore” would be without a healthy dose of sex, did you? Actually, there is a surprisingly small amount of sex in “En La Puta Vida,” though it is used as a device for the film’s best laughs in its opening scenes before such small diversions are brushed aside and the drama unfolds.

And it is in this drama where “En La Puta Vida” really succeeds. Based on a true sex scandal that rocked Uruguay in 1992, the film follows the sometimes humorous and often soap-opera tragic adventures of Elisa, a single mother whose dreams of a beauty parlor and food for her children cause her to enter the seedy world of prostitution. Of course, things being what they are, she is soon trapped with abusive pimp/ex-lover Placido in Barcelona as a sex slave with no hope of returning on forged papers.

Newcomer Mariana Santangelo brings a manic intensity to the role of Elisa, single-handedly carrying the film. Santangelo’s Elisa is somewhere halfway between “Amelie” and “Tank Girl,” an incredibly spunky character whose unusually bright outlook and upbeat sensibilities make for a nice contrast to the dreary surroundings and situations she finds herself in throughout the film. Also, soap opera star Silvestre’s depiction of cold, down-to-earth Placido provides a nice foil for Santangelo’s sensibilities. A colorful cast of extras (including the mandatory crowd of prostitutes and a gang of rough Brazilian transvestites) keeps the story interesting.

Using all of these elements, director Beatriz Florez Silva masterfully takes the audience on a torrid journey through the international sex trade, using soap opera-style theatrics to expose the evils committed against women to this day. This is obviously a very personal film for both Silva and Santangelo, for together their attention to detail gives the film an urgent quality, the type of film that incites its audiences to act.

“En La Puta Vida” is only one of the many films playing for “Cinema En Tu Idioma,” a monthly showcase of Spanish-language films sponsored by the San Diego Latino Film Festival. “En La Puta Vida” has a special one-week only engagement from May 14 through May 20 at Madstone Theaters at Hazard Center.

Hudson disappoints in ‘Raising Helen’

If you’re in the mood for a feel-good romantic comedy that numbs the brain with sugar-coated characters, contrived dialogue and elaborately urban settings that would never happen in the most fantastic life, “Raising Helen” is not for you. In the sudden tidal wave of romantic comedies and tween-friendly films this spring, Kate Hudson’s newest wannabe blockbuster leaves the audience desperately searching for something more.

We’ve come to expect more from director Garry Marshall, who garnered his title as master of romantic comedies with “Pretty Woman,” “Runaway Bride” and “The Princess Diaries.” But Marshall delivers a stale-humored film about Helen Harris (played by the effervescent Kate Hudson), who is given custody over her sister’s three children following the untimely death of their parents (Felicity Huffman and Sean O’Bryan).

The catch is that Helen herself hasn’t quite grown up yet. Wait – Kate Hudson playing a character with a glamorous life, trying to be likeable with her slapstick humor? An attempt to pull off slapstick humor with bouncy blonde curls so that she can be more likeable? Andie Anderson of “How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days,” anyone? Hudson’s character is absorbed in her materialistic, glamorous life as a modeling agent who has the knack for discovering beautiful female talent and dating even more beautiful male talent. Helen finds herself having to change her entire life to accommodate the three new lives she is responsible for — starting with moving from her small Manhattan central apartment to a space- and rent-friendly home in less-than-glamorous Queens.

Of course, no gray cloud comes without a silver lining, and this time its in pastor Dan Parker (played by John Corbett, also no stranger to romantic comedy fame), who is in charge of the Lutheran school where Helen decides to place the kids. However, the romance is underplayed as Helen is understandably weirded out about dating a pastor (when her previous date had been on the latest Armani billboard). The romance aspect of the film is appropriately underwritten because the film sells itself as focusing around the life of a woman who has to raise three children without having fully grown up herself, but the chemistry between Corbett and Hudson is flatter than a can of soda that’s been sitting on the kitchen counter for over a week. Perhaps it is because the two incredibly talented actors keep playing the same stock characters instead of creating a character for this specific film. Parker is reminiscent of Corbett’s roles in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and “Sex and the City,” and if Hudson plays another goofy but gorgeous New Yorker, this reviewer will have to gouge her eyes out. It goes to show that not every attractive actress with an ounce of charm can fake it well enough for the silver screen.

What is redeeming about “Raising Helen” is that the plot doesn’t deviate too much from the story of the three children, who are accurately portrayed as angst-ridden and confused elementary, middle school and high school students. Hayden Panettiere plays Audrey, a wild child following Helen’s old footsteps of partying late and dating reckless boys. Henry (Spencer Breslin) and Sarah (Abigail Breslin) both play up the lost little kids aspect when Henry won’t play basketball without his dad and Sarah won’t tie her shoes without her mom. The interaction between Hudson and the children shows the chemistry in their makeshift family, and would make the film more worthwhile, if only it were less cold and manipulating.

Women’s soccer records 1-1 deadlock with Chico State

It was billed to be the epic battle of North vs. South as the UCSD women’s soccer team, the South Division leaders of the California Collegiate Athletic Association, faced off against North Division leaders Chico State in an important conference match on Oct. 15 at RIMAC Field.

It proved to be an even-handed match, with the injury-riddled Tritons playing the Wildcats to a 1-1 tie. The Tritons had to contend with injuries as junior defender Heather Szafraniec played on an ankle she hurt while practicing and senior goalie Jamie Lautenschleger coped with a hand imparement from the previous match.

“We’re the top team in the south and [Chico State] is the top team in the north,” head coach Brian McManus said. “We’ve got a couple of people playing with injuries tonight. Heather Szafraniec at the back was playing [hurt]. But that’s the way it goes. [Chico State] is a good team. They’re more experienced than us, they’re older than us. But I’ll take it. It’s a good result.”

UCSD struck first in the opening half, scoring in the eighth minute. The Tritons had three consecutive corner kicks and capitalized on their third try. Junior defender Kristina De La Rosa sent in the shot that sophomore midfielder Megan Dickey headed home, putting the Tritons ahead, 1-0. UCSD continued to pressure Chico State’s defense, outshooting them 5-2 in the first period.

In the second half, the Wildcats regrouped and scored in the 52nd minute to tie the match at 1-1. Sophomore midfielder Jessica Parker passed the ball to freshman forward Courtney Quan, who beat the last Triton to go one-on-one with Lautenschleger. Quan poked the ball past her to record her first goal of the season.

Play became tighter after the game-tying goal and both teams traded scoring chances, with the Tritons threatening the Wildcats’ defense toward the end. With a few minutes left in the match, UCSD sophomore forward Kelly Cochran flicked the ball with the outside of her foot to onrushing freshman forward Ali Lai, who was chopped down by Wildcat sophomore defender Jennifer Hogans. Hogans was penalized with a yellow card and UCSD was awarded a free kick with less than two minutes remaining, but was unable to score. The Tritons kept things exciting in the final minute when their corner kick was headed out of the way by Chico State, but kicked back by UCSD, causing a mad scramble in the box. The Chico State goalkeeper was knocked down, leaving the net open, but the Wildcats cleared the ball, sending the match into overtime.

Dickey took a free kick for UCSD in the first overtime period that sophomore midfielder Heather Sugg headed wide of the net. A few minutes later, De La Rosa had a free kick at the edge of the box that just sailed over the upper-left corner of the net. Play remained even in double overtime, and the Tritons almost scored the game-winner when Cochran got a shot off that nearly skipped under a diving Wildcat’s goalie with four minutes left. After close calls for both teams, the Tritons and Wildcats settled for a 1-1 tie.

“I think we played really well,” Szafraniec said. “It’s just one of those games where it doesn’t go your way. We tried hard and did almost everything right and just didn’t have the luck.”

McManus was pleased with his team’s efforts and says the team just needs to keep up its play for the next match against Cal State Stanislaus.

“We’re going to bounce back from it,” McManus said. “We just have to keep the ball and capitalize on our chances a little more.”

RIAA, MPAA to sue file sharers

The Motion Picture Association of America has announced that it will begin filing lawsuits against individuals responsible for unlawfully swapping movies on the Internet.

Billy Wong
Guardian

“Illegal movie trafficking represents the greatest threat to the economic basis of moviemaking in its 112-year history,” MPAA President Dan Glickman said, speaking at UCLA during a planned announcement. “People who have been stealing our movies believe they are anonymous on the Internet and wouldn’t be held responsible for their actions. They are wrong.”

In November, the MPAA announced 750 new lawsuits targeting students at 13 university campuses, none of which are in the University of California system. The recent MPAA decision mirrors that of the Recording Industry Association of America, which began suing individuals for illegally downloading music in the fall of last year.

“We began filing lawsuits to help stem the onslaught of piracy that was devastating the record industry,” said Jonathan Lamy, a spokesperson for the RIAA. “Thousands of jobs were being lost; it was having a real impact on the people making music. Record stores were closing.”

The recent crackdown on illegal file sharing has focused, in large part, on university students.

“We felt it was important to extend our efforts to college campuses due to the high levels of illegal file sharing,” Lamy said. “Students need to understand that there is a law, and [there are] consequences for acting against that law.”

In order to file lawsuits against individual students, the RIAA has subpoenaed universities to release the names of those people illegally sharing files through campus Internet connections.

“School is no different than a normal [Internet service provider],” Lamy said. “We know the songs a person has illegally downloaded. Once fixed, we ask to issue a subpoena and the ISP responds with a name and address.”

After acquiring this information, the RIAA issues a letter to the student notifying him or her of the lawsuit.

“The student can then either settle the case or it will be refiled as a named defendant,” Lamy said. “Settlement means that the student not engage in [illegal downloading] again plus pay monetary compensation.”

The average settlement for such a case is approximately $3,000, according to Lamy.

“Universities have been cooperative,” Lamy said. “This litigation is a means to an end … to bring down the level of piracy so legitimate business can compete and flourish.”

Some students have expressed outrage over the lawsuits, however.

“It’s ridiculous,” Thurgood Marshall College senior Kelly Colbin said. “These rich companies shouldn’t be stealing from students. They aren’t going to stop it. The technology is so good that they might need to start making money in other ways.”

Other students have expressed concern regarding their personal privacy in the dorms.

“I find it really unsettling,” Sixth College sophomore Laura Diaz said. “I don’t think the school should monitor our activities or give out our personal information to anybody.”

Current UC policy forbids the downloading of copyrighted materials. Students found violating such rules could face UC disciplinary action, ranging from the permanent loss of their network connection to having their case referred to the Student Judiciary Committee.

Last year, UCLA was among the universities served with a subpoena related to the RIAA suit.