November 2009
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Day November 3, 2009

SAVE YOUR ENERGY

In 2006, the overwhelming majority of emissions on campus came from heating and electricity, creating 39,649 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents. This figure is equal to 87,412,096 pounds, or the amount of greenhouse gases generated by 7,625 cars in an average year. What can be taken from these statistics? The simple act of turning out the lights when leaving a room or shutting down a computer when logging off will have marked positive effects on our college’s contribution to curbing climate change. While this may seem obvious, an evening stroll through campus or a visit to a deserted computer lab reveals that many individuals are not cognizant of the benefits of reducing energy use. Lights can be seen shining from windows every night and throughout the weekend in empty academic buildings and barren residential common rooms. Additionally, it is an anomaly to sit down to a computer that has to actually be turned on, even early in the morning when presumably no one has used it all night. After a recent Saturday visit to three of Holman Hall’s computer labs, I found that only two of the sixty-one computers not in use had been shut down. Not surprisingly, the lights were on in two labs with no occupants. Judging by the energy usage in Holman, one would think there was a band of ghostly graphic designers in the building, working furiously to meet otherworldly deadlines. With the pressing need to act promptly to halt climate change, it is not much to ask to switch off lights and shut down computers.

A DARKER SHADE OF GREEN

By JILLIAN STARK

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – the environmental ethos that has been etched into our minds since elementary school. More recently, these words or other derivatives have been appearing on t-shirts, cosmetics, and even coffee cups. But how much thought is actually given to the actions that they purport to suggest? Does the mass production of “environmentally-friendly” t-shirts realistically help to reduce over-consumption? Are cosmetic companies actually putting reusable shampoo bottles on the market? Is 10% of that Starbucks cup really post-consumer recycled material?

AN ANONYMOUS AAA INVOCATION

On September 23, 2009, torrential rains slammed the Philippines, as Typhoon Ketsana ravaged the small island country. Hundreds were left dead or injured. Not even a week after Ketsana dissipated, Typhoon Parma formed and struck the same area. Still reeling from the first shock, hundreds more fell victim. Many organizations have helped the Philippines in its time of need. Celebrities, too, have done their part.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, & THE THIRD PARTY


Boris Spektor Illustration of Three New Jersey Gubernatorial Candidates

Illustration by Boris Spektor

As New Jersey’s gubernatorial contest draws to a long-anticipated close, there are lessons to be learned from what has been another nauseating campaign season. We are not terribly surprised that the two major candidates, Jon Corzine and Chris Christie, have been relentless with their asinine attack ads and trivial barb-throwing. But we are surprised at how low they have stooped, and the extent to which they have disillusioned the New Jersey electorate.

WHISTLE (WHILE YOU WEB BROWSE)

“You know how to whistle, don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.” Lauren Bacall crooned this to Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not in 1944, and although the same instructions would likely still apply, perhaps now no one would be listening to them. The act of whistling doesn’t seem to have aged as well as the film. In fact, whistling seems to have all but disappeared from modern society, particularly among our generation.

whistle cartoon

HOMECOMING

RoscoeROSCOE WOULD BE PROUD

By SCOOTER

Once a year, the inhabitants of suburban New Jersey gather together in celebration of that most joyous of autumnal days: Homecoming. On drizzly fall afternoons, as birds warble and leaves float gently to the grass, in the distance the sound of revving engines and pumping subwoofers disturbs the bucolic atmosphere, announcing the arrival of the Homecomers.

A long caravan of every imaginable sport utility vehicle emerges, each equipped with infinite trunk space and a sturdy tailgate, for it is known that on this day no man shall be without these essentials.

The wagons purr to a stop and their brood spills out, busying themselves with tent poles and hammers. Within moments, a canvas city is erected and the day’s festivities can begin. In play, children scramble through mud while their parents spit-roast the heartiest of Oscar Meyers. It is reminiscent of a renaissance fair.

During this charming harvest festival, the people share all manner of delicacies painfully acquired through a season’s toil. The revelers usher in the colder months, enjoying the last of their summer bounty before winter’s frost makes Cheetos and Miller Lite scarce.

Yes, the onlookers eagerly stuff themselves with meat and mead in anticipation of the day’s sporting events. A pastime whose spectators can gorge themselves while watching others exercise is a great pastime indeed.

The day’s climax manifests in the crowning of the Homecoming king and queen, figureheads of fruitful farming. Both are perfect physical specimens, the best the human race has to offer, and were selected using the same process as prizewinning pumpkins. The attendees feel secure knowing the fate of the human race is saved with the pairing of these two thoroughbreds.

As the day winds down, the steel caravans head back to their homesteads. They leave in their wake muddy lawns, a plethora of refuse, and happy memories of living the American Dream.

SFB: A UTILITARIAN CRITIQUE

By JACK MECCIA

$209 per person – it’s the current student activity fee. The figure that, every semester, funds undergraduate entertainment and extracurriculars. If the number is aggregated, there’s certainly a hefty sum of money to allocate and manage. Sure, it costs $209 on average to pay for all these expenditures, but let’s make things interesting by examining another aspect of that number’s meaning; namely, the benefit. Weigh this consideration in a practical sense: if you had the choice, would you pay $209 (excluding ticket prices, etc.) for the overall value the student activity fee provides?

I suspect that, in many cases, the response will be yes. For the typical student, clubs and school-funded activities are probably worth it. Understand, however, that whether or not you would give that $209 to the Student Finance Board is an entirely separate question. There’s a compelling alternative here that needs to be explored.

FIVE GOOD MINUTES WITH NAT SOWINSKI

By KYLE TOMALIN

Nat Sowinski

So what made you pick those glasses?
This may sound ironic, but I got them out of irony. I also want to look as punchable as I can – and I think I’m succeeding.

I think you’re failing. People seem to like you. Why do you go by Nat and not Natalie?
I’m not sure. That’s how it’s always been.

Can you give a funnier answer than that?
Nat sounds manlier.

So you’re intentionally manly?
Ever since I asked for GI Joes and bacon for Christmas when I was five. True story.

To make things even, does your boyfriend try to keep it girly?
My boyfriend IS the girly one. We balance each other out.

Boxers or briefs?
His boxers are the manliest thing about him. Then again, I’ve known some pretty manly men who wore briefs.

I was asking about you.
Boxers. Boxers with bacon on them.

SEPARATE BUT EQUAL?

By SARAH K. BURDICK

Take a stroll through the Brower Student Center this time of year, and an array of colorful flags and flyers will more than likely meet your gaze, signifying that the ever-frivolous season of Homecoming has begun for fraternities and sororities. In total, there are 31 Greek organizations recognized on campus: 16 sororities, 14 fraternities, and one co-ed organization. Together, they comprise the TCNJ Inter-Greek Council, whose mission statement professes to “strive to exude and abide by the values of fairness, integrity, and loyalty so as to enable growth and for the betterment of the community.” Yet amongst the Greek letter artwork displayed throughout the Student Center, there is a noticeable absence of any advertisement of the multicultural fraternal organizations, of which there are 14 out of the total 31.

HEALTHCARE SHENANIGANS

By DAVID B. MICHELSON

In the ongoing debate over national healthcare, it is of utmost importance that we reject the speechcraft of politicians and focus instead on the merits of the programs they would impose upon us. The argument put forth by the White House is that America’s current healthcare system is broken. Any opposition to the president’s healthcare agenda may therefore be dismissed as irrational support for the status quo. I reject the premise of this argument for reasons I hope to make plain.

SHAKES THE DOG


Advancing towards the beige house at Four Bittersweet Road in Ewing, I received two warm greetings. The first was from Mike Bottino, brother of TCNJ’s Phi Tau chapter; the second was from the fraternity’s newest and only non-human member, a playful Jack Russell Terrier mix named Shakes. The dog’s story, I have heard, is one of trial and triumph. I was ushered inside with Shakes in tow and, as instructed, “popped a squat” on one of the large, extraordinarily squishy pleather couches in the upstairs living room. Not a bad place to live for a dog, or for anyone else. After a few exchanged pleasantries and some more of Shakes’ own salutations, Mike began telling the fortuitous canine’s tale.