Inside Today’s Issue


Tribute: Ms. Evans and Ms. Bulgaris - pages 6 & 7

Monday, May 19, 2008 Visit us at

Volume 7

Issue 10

Proud Members of the National Scholastic Press Association

Tribeca Film Festival Arrives at Stuy

The Tribeca Spotlight on War Child
by Robert Colbourn entertainment editor

For seven years now, the month of May has brought about one of the greatest movie premiere events in the country: the Tribeca Film Festival. As New Yorkers, we feel especially blessed because we are able to actually attend and be in the same vicinity as our favorite Hollywood personalities. Normally, one would say that the excitement should be placed on the movies themselves and not the people who happen to

star in them. However, in the case of the documentary “War Child,” we should be excited about the star, Emmanuel Jal, and should listen to his inspiring .story Jal was a child soldier in Southern Sudan during the eighties. The southern Sudanese people were rebelling against the tyrannical government in the North, and wanted to attain an independent Southern Sudan. Jal was on his way to Ethiopia to achieve an education when he willingly joined the southern Sudanese army at the age of

seven. For five years he learned how to use an AK-47 to kill his enemies, he sang songs about war, and he faced trials that threatened his very survival. Now, he is an up-and-coming rap star singing about his quest for peace in Sudan and Darfur. The heart-wrenching story of a child forced into the struggle of his people is an important element in the film, but it is not the main subject. This is a documentary about the quest for peace, which is depicted not only in Jal’s touching words, but also through his music, which is

played throughout. Footage of Jal speaking to everyone from the United Nations down to schoolchildren in Sudan shows firsthand that Jal’s single goal is peace. Storywise, this is a touching documentary and one that can truly further the cause of peace. What this film has in story, however, it lacks in technical achievement. Although not much is to be expected from a
TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL continues on page 10

Photo Credit: Elissa Tam

The Tribeca Film Festival, held in lower Manhattan, attracted numerous guests to its various booths and demonstrations.



May 19, 2008—VOL. 7, No. 10


A Campaign to Change Campaigning
The Executive Board
The new rules are an upgrade from previous sets of rules given to campaigners. These rules clearly spell out what constitutes “internet campaigning”, and the punishments for breaking these rules. Unlike the freshman election in the fall, candidates will have no excuse not to be aware of these rules. Furthermore, the BOE has attempted to force candidates if they choose to run against next year to defend how well they’ve accomplished their platform. The new rules don’t go far enough. The BOE’s goal should be to get as many people involved in selecting student government offices. In Issue 6, 43 percent of students responded that they have no interest in what the SU does. Only 24 percent voted in last year’s presidential election. Only one out of the ten elected officers were identified by the majority of students surveyed. These numbers are simply unacceptable. The Board of Elections must do more than just getting people to vote during history class. The best way to open the election up so that everyone can make an informed choice is through the use of internet campaigning. A good number of Stuyvesant students have Facebook accounts. Allowing campaigns to create groups to promote their platform would spread awareness to the Stuyvesant community. The concern of negative campaigning would easily be eliminated by disabling wall posts as other controversial groups do. If a candidate wanted to take the time to create a website to promote their platform, they should have the complete freedom to do so providing it is in good taste. The internet should be embraces, and candidates should not be disqualified for asking their friends to vote for them through Facebook. Arguing that internet campaigning turns the election into a popularity contest is ironic. The less people that vote, the more likely the person who can get the most friends to the ballot box wins. The more people involved, the more the candidates must address the issues that affect the student body. The Stuyvesant student body deserves the most possible information in order to make their election decisions. The BOE must take steps to prevent this information from being held back. ◙

THE STUYVESANT STANDARD is a non-profit publication produced by the students of Stuyvesant High School. THE STUYVESANT STANDARD distributes 2,000 free copies on a biweekly basis to the students and faculty of Stuyvesant High School and throughout the adjoining neighborhoods of TriBeCa and Battery Park City. THE STUYVESANT STANDARD welcomes letters from its readers. For a letter to be reproduced in print, a name and method of contact must be provided. THE STUYVESANT STANDARD reserves the right to edit any published material. The viewpoints of contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the Standard staff Copyright ©2007 THE STUYVESANT STANDARD

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May 19, 2008—VOL. 7, No. 10



Sean Bell Case Stirs Up Controversy
by Nada Elmansy staff writer

Approximately a year and a half ago, on November 25, 2006, a 23-year-old African American man, Sean Bell, was killed on the day before his wedding by 50 bullets fired by police officers. This police shooting shocked the entire city and on March 26, 2007 the detectives who had fired at Bell were indicted. There has recently been an uproar, however, after all the officers were acquitted by Queens Justice Arthur J. Cooperman on April 26. He decided to disregard testimony from Bell’s witnesses because they often changed their stories on the stand. He also stated that he feels the detectives’ actions were justified, in that Bell and his friends were drunk on the night of the accident and police suspected that they had a gun.

After the judge’s acquittals, the court was quiet, apart from public outrage. Reverend Al Sharpton called for protests against this injustice. Sharpton spoke out about the injustice tied with this specific case, and that he believes that the cops should be punished for their crime. This case seems to not be a racial issue, considering that two of the three charged cops were African American. However, many protesters believe that this brings up the question of how much our lives are of value to the justice system. From the opinion of a Stuyvesant student, the police were wrong no matter how you look at it. Freshman Justin Chan believes that the police “stole Bell’s right to life with each of the 50 shots they fired. They stole his right to a family and a marriage.” Chan also believes that Judge Cooper-

A memorial for Sean Bell at the place of the shooting.

man was wrong about his decision and that “the consequences of taking a life should echo forever.” The Sean Bell case brought outrage in New York City and caused people to question the justice system and whether the deci-

sions taken in similar cases are fair. New Yorkers’ uproar should also emphasize the need for cops to be tried for their crimes in the same manner that anyone else would be. ◙

Iraq Death Toll Reaches a New High
by Nada Elmansy staff writer

The war in Iraq has been going on for years now and as the days progress, the deaths increase. April 2008 was Iraq’s deadliest

month since last August. Both Iraqi civilians and American soldiers have had a difficult month and suffered a high number of deaths throughout the month of April. The excessive fighting in Baghdad’s Sadr City

The World Health Organization and the Iraqi government concluded that about 151,000 Iraqis died from violence in the three years after the United States invaded.

led to the highest death tolls in Iraq since August for civilians and since September for American soldiers. The fighting at Sadr has also reversed what appeared to be a decreasing trend in the number of deaths in Iraq. Iraq’s Health Ministry stated that there were 968 civilian deaths. Just one hospital in Sadr City reports receiving 421 Iraqi bodies and treating 2,400 wounded Iraqis. The deaths of American forces have reached a high as well, with more than 100 soldiers killed last month alone. April was also the first month in which each branch of the army suffered deaths. Sixty-seven soldiers, 50 marines, 5 sailors, 1 airman, and 1 Coast Guardsman were killed. These numbers have helped the American forces realize the change in this war. Pfc. Richard Gonzalez senses the difference in Iraq since his first deployment. According to the WASHINGTON POST, Gonzalez said, “It makes me feel depressed to be in Iraq right now. It’s a whole lot different than last time.” Although the

tolls in Iraq are not as high as the death tolls recorded in 2003, the violence is worsening. As high school students, we may not be affected by this directly. However, this saddening news causes students to think about the world around them. Freshman Victoria Povolotsky feels that the whole world should take action against this ongoing violence. “I think this war has gone too far and something needs to be done about it.” Povolotsky believes that if the situation in Iraq continues, “the death tolls will keep rising for Iraqi civilians and American soldiers.” In a speech on April 10, President Bush stated that “this war is difficult but it is not endless.” He ended his speech by reminding soldiers that the day will come when they return home with pride. However, with the ongoing violence and increasing death tolls, this return seems nonexistent. ◙

Photo Credit: Elissa Tam



May 19, 2008—VOL. 7, No. 10


Stuy Voice Oral History: An Opportunity to Obliterate the Ignorance
by Amna Ahmad opinions editor

On April 30, I found myself in a bit of an unfamiliar position. People were asking me for my autograph. I was at the book launch for “This Is Where I Need to Be: Oral Histories of Muslim Youth in NYC,” a book published by Columbia University’s Student Press Initiative (SPI) at the culmination of over five months of weekend workshops directed and coordinated by Columbia University Teachers College professor Dr. Louis Cristillo. Working with him were Nisrin Elamin, Anne Hawley, and Amina Tawasil, graduate students who mentored a handful of high school students with the vision of producing a completed anthology of oral histories of Muslim youth. My brother and I were privileged enough to be among that group of students. Erick Gordon, the director of the SPI, asked me before the book launch began, “So, is The Standard going to cover this?” I said “Of course.” But, before I begin to describe the details of this publication, this ground-breaking, history-making document, I believe it is necessary for me to first address the question of how familiar the average high school student is with the genre of oral history. In a recent poll of the Stuyvesant community, 71 percent of students reported knowing what an oral history was, whereas 81 percent reported never having read an oral history. This result is disappointing, yet expected, as it is no surprise that typical Stuyvesant High School students would prefer rereading the Harry Potter series to making themselves more aware of the world around them by exploring the subgenres of nonfiction. When asked why she did not bother reading this newspaper, one student responded: “I don’t really care what’s going on outside of Stuy. I just want to hear school news because the other stuff might be important to other people, but it just doesn’t affect me.” From a combination of survey data gathered over the past two years and a number of experiences with students like the one above, it is far too tempting to simply settle on the deduction that students are apathetic individuals, indifferent to the experiences of others, and therefore unlikely to appreciate oral history. Still, the lack of interest in others may not entirely be the fault of the youth itself. Perhaps such students were never quite moved to read oral history, because they were under the impression that others would probably not read their oral history if granted the opportunity, that they would not be listened to in the same respect that they would be listening to others through oral history. I anticipate that this project will help to obliterate that such misconceptions, that certain understanding that only Nobel Peace Prize winners, and government officials should demand the right to offer their own voices to be shared with the world. “This is Where I Need to Be” contains 23 oral histories of ordinary students (including Danielle Lebenson and Mubashir Billah of Stuyvesant High School), students who, one could argue, have done little else but act as themselves in the course of their short lives. They are “ordinary,” and yet their names stand in as the titles of chapters, and their words have been immortalized in print, on the smooth beige pages of a paperback book From this book, this book that was made possible as a result of the whole-hearted and collective effort of Dr. Cristillo, and his team (Nisrin Elamin, Anne Hawley, and Amina Tawasil), and Erick Gordon and his family of contributors (Kerry Mckibbin and Jim Fenner) in addition to the work of the oral historians that worked so very arduously to produce this text, and finally, the interviewees who gave us a group of voices to record, I hope that the reader will take a walk in the shoes of another person. I hope that the reader will humble himself, take a breath, and finally understand the sheer profundity of the spoken word. I hope that the typical high school student will come to realize precisely why it is to their own advantage to step outside of themselves, and exploit the potential of oral history to dissuade themselves from looking at the world through one lens, as though the human were a cow, or a goat, damned with tunnel vision and born to be ignorant. ◙

Omar Ahmad, Professor Dr. Louis Cristillo, and Amna Ahmad at the book launch for This is Where I Need to Be.

Survey: Have You Ever Read An Oral History?
19% 81%
Yes No
The first edition of This is Where I Need to Be was released on April 30th. Information about purchasing the book is available on


May 19, 2008—VOL. 7, No. 10



Neglecting the Humanities
by Marina Tawfik staff writer
Source: Elissa Tam

Stuyvesant High School has always been considered a math, science, and technology high school. Stuyvesant students are expected to excel in math and science, and are therefore offered a wide variety of electives and advanced classes in these subjects. With all this intense focus on the sciences and math, one cannot help but wonder: Has Stuyvesant been neglecting the humanities? At Stuyvesant, students are offered a wide variety of courses in math and science. Aside from the mandated math classes, students can choose to take some of the ten elective math courses or any of the three AP math courses. Science electives are also in abundance. There are twenty biology electives, four environmental science courses, five chemistry electives, twelve physics electives, and seven AP science courses offered. This does not even include computer science. Stuyvesant students are required to take one term of computer science, unlike students at most other public high schools. They can then go on to take AP computer science, which is often followed by one of the four advanced computer science electives. When looking at options available for students who prefer humanities to the sciences, I am deeply disappointed. Freshmen and sophomores are offered few options for their English classes, as sophomores are only able to choose between Classical Literature and European Literature. No English electives can be taken in these years, which can be disappointing to the student who loves reading and writing, but is prevented from pursing those areas of study any further than what is offered by the mandated Stuyvesant curriculum. As juniors and seniors, students do receive a choice of which English class they wish to take, but they cannot easily fit other additional English classes into their schedule as electives. History seems to be in a better situation, but one not drastically different from that of English. Although there are fifteen history electives for students to choose from, students do not tend to take them unless they have a strong passion for history, which is because students are already

mandated to take four years of history. By only mandating that students take three years of math, Stuyvesant allows the students who love math to take a math elective that they are interested in during their senior year. Likewise, by only mandating three core classes of science, and simply setting the fourth year requirement as a science elective, students are encouraged to explore the many options available to them in the sciences. For English and history the system is arguably less convenient. Students wishing to pursue English electives can only take the one selective they choose each year, and since most students consider this to be an elective, they do not choose to take any more English classes. With regards to history, students already have four years of history required of them, so many may consider taking another history course unnecessary. In order to set a fair standard for all of the subjects offered at Stuyvesant, a few changes to the required curriculum must be made. First of all, the history requirements should be made more general. Instead of having four years of core classes that students

Although Stuyvesant is primarily known for its strength in areas such as math and science, the school has also developed a very strong humanities curriculum.

must take, something similar to what is done with the sciences should be put into action. Perhaps mandating three years of core history and one year of history electives would motivate students to think about what courses in history they would like to pursue, and therefore broaden their interests in the subject. Similarly, English classes should be selectives throughout all four years of high school, not only junior and senior

year. Giving students options makes them think more about what they are really interested in. It can be a great way to get students on the early path of figuring out what they will want to do in the years that follow. However, by focusing most of the options students are given on math and science, students are almost forced to neglect the equally important humanities. ◙



May 19, 2008—VOL. 7, No. 10


This is a reprint of an article from the June 13, 2006 issue to commemorate Ms. Bulgaris.

Meet this Teacher: Ms. Bulgaris
by Tim Chang columnist

While many teachers can be nice or friendly, few teachers are described as being “as sweet as a grandmother” as one student describes Ms. Bulgaris. Born in Kaunas, Lithuania, Bulgaris came to the United States in 1949, and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. She graduated third in her high school class, and later came to Fordham University, where she got an M.S. degree in organic chemistry. Bulgaris got her credits for a PhD, but never finished her research, which concerned the study of certain inert yet carcinogenic organic compounds. She did not think it was interesting and she soon decided to become a teacher. With the knowledge and expertise of a PhD student, but without a degree in education, Bulgaris started out teaching at two private schools for a combined five years. After she got her degree in education, she, along with the coercion of her colleagues, decided to go into the more stable New York City public school

Quick Profile: Name: Dalia Regina Bulgaris Subjects Taught: Chemistry Place of Birth: Kaunas, Lithuania Favorite Food: Spicy Food, especially Indian, Chinese, and Mexican Favorite Color: Blue Zodiac Sign: Gemini

system. Bulgaris started teaching at Brooklyn Tech as a substitute, until she was approved as a fulltime teacher. In 1979, she was

transferred to Bryant High School in Queens. One year later, she came to Stuyvesant, where she has been teaching since.

Bulgaris is extremely passionate as a teacher, and truly enjoys what she does. “I organize material in the simplest possible manner,” she says. Chemistry lessons are easy to understand that way, and her students agree. “Instead of dumping all the material on us at the same time like some teachers might she takes it step by step,” says Celeste Ho, sophomore, one of her former students. Bulgaris is currently at the age where she can retire, in fact, several of her friends at her age have already done so. However, Bulgaris loves teaching kids so much, she cannot give up teaching just yet. Bulgaris loves going to the performing arts when she is not grading tests or homework. She especially enjoys opera, ballet and even some plays in the city. She also attends some of the various productions that the Stuyvesant community puts on. When asked how the professional concerts and shows compare to the shows at Stuyvesant, she said “They’re of a very high quality for the high school level… Some of the musicians are extremely talented.”◙

Actions Speak Louder Than Words
By Hui Ting Jiang She walks in the room Quiet and reserved Like a movie actress With poise and grace She carries today's lesson In her black and white marble notebook And waits for order in the room Like an honorable judge She walks up to the chalkboard With her long skirt swishing To commence the day As any other, yet again.

Dear Ms. Bulgaris, I have never met anyone as sweet as you. Always willing to do anything to help a student do better, you always made sure that your students really understood chemistry. Though I have to admit that chemistry is one of my least favorite sciences, you really made the class enjoyable. You were eager to teach the subject even to those that were not so eager to learn. And even when they acted out, you would reprimand them but never raise your voice. With your kindness and your patience, you have truly stood out to me as one of the best that Stuyvesant has to offer. Though I regret that I never really took the chance to say it- thank you, Ms. Bulgaris for everything you have given me and the Stuyvesant community. Sincerely, James Kim


May 19, 2008—VOL. 7, No. 10



The Stuyvesant Standard would like to remember the teachings of Ms. Evans and Ms. Bulgaris.
In Remembrance of Ms. Evans
By Zeeshan Tambra I pulled my ID card out of my pocket and headed towards the correct classroom. I looked up at the number, 337. I had reached my destination, English 3 Classical Literature. I slinked into a seat at the back of the room. I looked over to the teacher. "So this is Ms. Evans," I though to my self. She looked like a nice old lady. I thought she would be one of those teachers who would just be a pain in the neck though. After the first few days we received a copy of Mythology, by Edith Hamilton. I was slightly intrigued having some knowledge about the subject, but being the lazy, uncaring student I was, I ignored my urge to read it the first time. But then the next day in class when the discussion began, I became amazed at the level of debate and conversation that she was leading. It was refreshing to see a teacher interact with the students on the same level. And she was also very courteous questioning the students' views and making them elaborate on their opinions. I began to read the book and soon became involved in the class discussions. I realized then that this would be one of my favorite classes here ate Stuy. From then on I would get to class early and enthusiastically participating. The journals we also did changed from a chore to something I enjoyed doing. Her warm greetings and pleasant good byes made school bearable. I will always remember her class as being one of the most enjoyable experiences. I would have wished that future students had a chance to also have her as a teacher. Rest in Peace Ms. Evans. Dear Ms. Evans, I still remember your English class- third period in room 327. It was there that I came across the works of one of my, now, favorite authors- Oscar Wilde. I realized, throughout the year, that I never really got to thank you for all the hard work you put into for our class. Though my class wasn't the best behaved, we all learned so much not only through literature but also through your patience and kindness. Ms. Evans, you have been such a blessing not only to me as an English teacher but also to Stuyvesant High School as a role model who epitomized goodwill and benevolence. Thank you for all that you have done for us and God bless you. Yours truly, James Kim

Dear Ms. Evans, You were truly one of the most passionate teachers I ever knew. I enjoyed every minute of your class because of that, from the crossword puzzles we did at the beginning of class everyday to the journal entries we did every Friday afternoon. A teacher can always teach what he or she needs to, but it always takes that extra effort to make each class special. Thank you so much for being there for us not only as a teacher, but as a great friend. We will always remember you. Sincerely, Rammiya Nallainathan

Dear Mrs. Evans, You were the most patient and understanding person I know. You knew how to make someone feel better and more confident about themselves. Other than that, you certainly knew how to teach. You always had interesting discussions in class about Greek myths and you knew how to lead a person to lead a person to insightful observations about those myths. Your presence will always be missed in Stuyvesant, and in my life. Thanks for being such a great teacher. Love, Angel Li

Remembering Ms. Bulgaris
By Jennifer Schlesinger Ms. Bulgaris was a teacher who for whom teaching was not just a job, it was a commitment. She taught me chemistry when I was a sophomore. When I did not comprehend a subject, she took the time to answer my questions and meet me after school. Ms. Bulgaris was very observant. When my class participation began to drecrease, she asked me what was wrong. In her class, I was able to truly grasp chemistry. She taught at a slower pace to make sure her student comprehended the subject. I remember how many chemistry problems she put on the board until everyone fully grasped the concept. In lab, she explained concepts instead of having us learn them from our lab books. Walking into Ms. Bulgaris’s class each day I knew there was someone in the school who cared for me. Ms. Bulgaris will be truly missed, yet in memory will live on in the students she taught and the lives she touched.



May 19, 2008—VOL. 7, No. 10


Got Water...Bottles?
by Alexander Van Tuyn staff writer

In a high school classroom, it is apparent that many students either choose to bring or to buy water bottles and drink them throughout the day. However, what these students may not realize is that in recent findings, an unsafe chemical has been discovered in the world of bottled water. This chemical is bisphenol A (BPA), and it is being used in food cans, microwavable food packages, toys, milk container linings, water pipes, and dental sealants. It is also being used in plastic bottles. This chemical is harmful even when exposure is minimal. Just a few parts per trillion can be harmful, and humans are usually exposed to 10 to 100 times this amount. After extensive testing on rodents, scientists have discovered that bisphenol A can cause a host of medical problems, including early onset of puberty, obesity, diabetes, hyperactivity breast cancer, impaired immune function, sperm defects, prostate cancer and disease, and weakened

reproductive development Even with the effects of BPA being so apparent, the government and retailers have been slow to react. Toys “R” Us will phase out bottles and other “baby feeding products” containing BPA by the end of the year, and Wal-Mart will begin early next year. This interest coincidentally revealed itself after Canada proposed a ban on hormone-like chemicals in baby bottles. However, some are skeptical as to the effects of BPA on humans. Rick Locker, an attorney for the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association, noted that the Food and Drug Administration has not found that BPA poses a risk to children and neither have agencies in Europe or Japan. If you are alarmed by the results, however, there are things you can do to keep the chemical out of your water. 1) You can drink from glass bottles or plastic bottles that do not have a number 7 recycling code. It is mainly the number 7 plastics that contain BPA. 2) Don’t heat a liquid in its plastic bottle, because this causes more BPA to leach into the liquid.

Plastic bottles, while widely used, may pose a health threat due to bisphenol.

3) Don’t reuse the same plastic bottle over and over again; the washing process releases more BPA. 4) Try to drink from more recently bought bottles, because the longer the bottle sits the more BPA will leach into the liquid. 5) Buy bottles that are BPA-free; BornFree, Medela, and Adiri bottles are now marketed as BPAfree. Although BPA might not be the most apparent threat facing

consumers, it is still of great significance to the future of product distribution. Even though research on this chemical has begun particularly recently, the findings are alarming. At least there are easy steps to avoid it. As one blogger, wrote “We’ve all been exposed through our lives more and more, but the least we can do is give our children a chance to live without this problem that we have brought upon ourselves.” ◙

The Life of an Escalator
by Alexandros Kaliontzakis staff writer

An essential part of the Stuyvesant High School experience, and a crucial mode of transportation for the Stuyvesant student: the not-always-trustworthy escalator. The very first escalator-like machine was patented on March

9, 1859 by Nathan Ames of Saugus, Massachusetts. Ames called it the revolving stair, and its design was far ahead of its time. Sadly, it was never put into production of any sort due to Nathan Ames’s death only one after he filed his patent. The first functional version of the escalator was patented in 1892 by Jesse W. Reno. It consisted of an inclined conveyor belt composed of grooved wooden slats with rubber cleats. It was powered by an electrical engine, and moved at a speed of 1.5 miles per hour. In 1895, it was used as an amusement park ride at the Old Pier on Coney Island. It was considered a novelty ride by the 75,000 people who rode it during its

The first functional escalator was designed by Jesse Reno and consisted of an inclined conveyer belt.

two week-exhibition. By 1898, Harrods in London installed a Reno “inclined elevator,” complete with a porter at the top to serve brandy to the passengers who felt faint after riding it. For other inhabitants of London, it was possible, for the fare of a single penny, to ride a similar escalator in the Crystal Palace at Sydenham. The invention was even celebrated with a song — W. P. Dempsey’s “Up the Sliding Stairs.” The escalator, as understood in the modern era, is a modification of the original design by Charles Seeberger. Seeberger, along with the Otis Elevator Company, produced the first commercial escalator in 1899 in a factory in Yonkers, New York. The word “escalator” was derived from the Latin “scala,” meaning “stairs.” The newly-modified escalator was first used at the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle in France. In 1902, Jesse Reno founded the Reno Electric Stairways and Conveyors Company. In 1910,

The first escalator in Coney Island.

however, Otis Escalator Company bought the patent rights from Seebeger, and, in 1911, bought the patent rights from Reno as well. Since then, Otis has dominated the escalator and elevator production businesses. Since 1900, the escalator has grown in innovation and design to be used all over the world as a mode of transportation. ◙


May 19, 2008—VOL. 7, No. 10



The Forbidden Kingdom: Review
by Muhammad Tambra staff writer

This April the kung fu thriller was ”The Forbidden Kingdom“ released in the United States. The age-of-movie portrays a coming story as seen in many books and other movies. The protagonist begins his journey as the typical wimpy kid” but, through his“ travels, he gains enough skill to defeat a great evil The movie begins with a great visual effect of the Monkey King (from Chinese mythology) easily outwitting soldiers on top of a mountain range. The film’s main character, Jason (Michael Angarno), then wakes from this dream in his room, which is covered in kung fu movie posters. He then heads to Chinatown to go pick up more kung fu movies and ends up being peer-pressured into robbing the elderly video store owner with whom he is friends. The bullies injure the old man and Jason ends up running away in fear with a staff the old man told him about earlier. As he gets to the roof he realizes he is clearly outnumbered and outmatched. “Luckily” for him he suddenly falls over the edge of the roof and ends up in ancient China. The main draw to the movie is that Jackie Chan and Jet Li are associated with it. However, this is not to be taken as the movie’s only selling point. It very much revolves around the protagonist Jason maturing into an able fighter and person. However the fight between the two stars is mesmerizing and one to be re-

The Forbidden Kingdom is a kung-fu thriller starring Jackie Chan and Jet Li. While the fighting scenes are admirable, the plot is relatively undeveloped..

membered for the ages. The epic fight at the end between the heroes and the Jade Warlord, the antagonist of the movie, is visually thrilling and quite worth seeing. However, apart from the fantastic fight scenes, there is little else that is desirable. The story is a basic training-while-traveling plot. The subplots also are not explored enough and most of the characters remain undeveloped.

The basic story is also very predictable and you never experience a shocking plot twist. It does, however, put humor into an otherwise stale dialogue. The chemistry between the characters is undeniable as seen through the relationship between Jackie Chan and Michael Angarno. Overall, the film had huge entertainment value. It was an enjoyable movie to watch with its brilliant fight scenes and

spectacular special effects; however, the main plot is not nearly as interesting. I would still recommend watching this. The splendidly choreographed fight sequences and some side stories make up for it. It’s recommended that you go check it out or buy the DVD if you can’t go. ◙

The Stuyvesant Standard would like to congratulate Amna Ahmad and Hesham Saleh on becoming Editor in Chief and Managing Editor


TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL continued from page 1

May 19, 2008—VOL. 7, No. 10


documentary’s sound effects, “War Child” was especially lacking in this department. I’m not sure if these will be fixed or not, but it seemed like someone literally fell asleep on the sound mixing board and added a bunch of odd sound effects. Sure, one could say that this was just being creative, but it really seems accidental when they cover up dialogue and disrupt mood. This film in the end does deserve to be commended, and so far it already has been. Throughout the festival, audiences were voting on who would win the Cadillac Award, and the winner is “War Child.” The director, C. Karim Chrobog, will receive $25,000, the art award “Peripheral Drift Illusion,” and another one-of-akind trophy. Hopefully, this will inspire more people to see this amazing portrait of the most important war of all — the war for peace. ◙

Tribeca Film Festival Photos By Elissa Tam

by Robert Stevenson literary editor

NBA PLAYOFFS continued from page 12 but the ball simply bounced their way. There is nothing you can physically do to counteract luck, that’s just how it goes. The Raptors lost a lot of close games and now they will watch the rest of the playoffs from home. However, they can improve themselves by acquiring a veteran leader to complement their young studs such as Chris Bosh. As good as Bosh is, he is not a leader. Either he needs to step up or they have to acquire someone who will. Philadelphia 76ers — The Sixers had an incredible run during the first round, giving the Detroit Pistons a hard run for their money. But in the end the Pistons were the Pistons, and they did what they do best: win. This performance against an elite team should encourage the Sixers to try even harder next year. They have to come out with the mentality that they are an elite team, because, quite frankly, there is no better way for them to improve themselves. In order for them to play at their highest potential, they have to believe that they are a great team. Atlanta Hawks — The most overachieving team that this playoff has seen yet. Forcing the Boston Celtics to seven games is nothing short of extraordinary. The Hawks played their hearts out but they came up short. People say that they did the best that they could do, but I disagree. At the end of the day, no one remembers the losers, no matter how they lost. The Hawks simply need time to grow; they have the talent and the leadership, they just need time. And I would suggest more playing time for A.C. Law. If he can have a good season, the Hawks could be rigorous contenders. Western Conference Houston Rockets — Tracy McGrady can’t catch a break in the first round. But the truth is, his team’s failure in the first round is not all his fault. He played well, but once again he came up short. The Utah Jazz are no easy team to THE SPORTS BEAT continued from page 12 .be the first The next test for the new look Knicks is Donnie Walsh resisting the urge to trade David Lee. Lee is probably the one current Knick who could find a role on the remaining playoff teams. He’s a great rebounder, and hustles in

May 19, 2008—VOL. 7, No. 10



John Smith #5 of the Atlanta Hawks drunks against the Boston Celtics.

beat; they play with tenacity and unrivaled intensity. Year in and year out, injuries have plagued the Rockets and have prevented them from ever achieving the type of success that they should be experiencing. Their main concern should be keeping their players healthy or developing a deeper bench. I think it would be nothing short of stupidity if the Rockets went into next year without having made a move. They can’t just simply expect their players to not get hurt; they have to build a more adaptable team. And T-Mac needs to keep his composure; lots of athletes do stupid things when they don’t get results on the court. He needs to dig down and find more patience. Denver Nuggets — The Nuggets have become the laughing stock of the NBA, being the only team to get swept and losing by double figures in almost every game. Despite having two of the top four scorers in the league and one of the greatest offensive teams in history, they have failed to win a single playoff game. Why? Just ask any analyst or any fan or anyone who knows the slightest bit of basketball. Defense wins champi-

onships, and the Nuggets simply don’t play any. They need to step it up on the defensive end or they will never get anywhere. And one player in particular really has to change himself to get this team to win. That player is Allen Iverson. He has to make the commitment on the defensive end; no one else means more to the team than he does. He brings leadership, athleticism, and points, but what the Nuggets need him to do more than any of those things is play defense. The immediate future of this organization is in his hands; the choice is his. Dallas Mavericks — Avery Johnson must be sitting at home thinking to himself, “Where did I go wrong?” The former coach of the Mavericks was immediately fired after the New Orleans Hornets eliminated his team from the playoffs. In reality, much of what happened in that series was not his fault, but someone had to pay the price. It has been a tough year for the Mavericks, but they have very little to worry about. They lost to a very hot team and they should focus all their efforts onto next season. They are very talented and very balanced; they just need

time to build team chemistry. They have three to four all-stars on their team; they just have to put it all together. Phoenix Suns — The Spurs have done it again. They have broken the hearts of the Phoenix Suns. After going down 3-0 in the series the Suns knew that all was lost. It is absolutely amazing how clutch the Spurs are; such luck should be illegal. It seems as if any player on their team could take a threepointer at the end of the game with his team down by two and it would go in. The Phoenix Suns did not deserve to lose, but they did. No one saw this coming; people expected a competitive series but all they got was four competitive games that resulted in a Spurs win each time. The Suns were the better team, they had everything, but they still lost. That, my friends, is what you call bad luck. How can the Suns improve? I suggest they pray every night before they go to bed that they get some luck too, because other than that there is nothing else they can do. They are the best team in that conference, and when you can’t win when you are the best, is there anything that you can really do? ◙ Brooklyn isn’t scheduled until 2011. Do you think Lebron would want to play for one minute in New Jersey? Throw in the rumor that his shoe deal doubles when he’s playing in a major market, and Lebron James will be leading the New York Knicks to the 2011 NBA Championship. I hope. ◙

every game no matter what the score. Of course, that makes him the most tradable commodity. Donnie Walsh must resist every temptation to include David Lee in a deal for some past-his-prime former all-star (see O’Neal, Jermaine) who might help the team once or twice. David Lee is the type of glue guy that D’Antoni needs.

The Knicks reformation will be complete in 2010. That’s when the King, Lebron James, is eligible for free agency again. Every effort must be made to make the marquee player the star for the Knicks. Yes, he’s best friends with Jay-Z, the part owner of the New Jersey Nets, who will be on their way to Brooklyn at that point. However, the move to



May 19, 2008—VOL. 7, No. 10


NBA Playoff Busts

A New Hope
How long does it take to ruin the marquee franchise in professional basketball? 1579 days. It’s in that stretch of time that Isiah Thomas took a franchise that was over the salary cap and had a massive amount of dead weight and transformed that into a roster filled with an overpriced hodgepodge of awful defenders and mediocre shooters. You could probably write a book about the bad trades (Stephon Marbury, Eddy Curry), bad signings (Jerome James, Jared Jeffries), and bad events (sexual harassment lawsuits, Stephon Marbury going AWOL) that have happened, but there might be hope for the Knicks. The first part of the massive rebuilding plan must come next week at the NBA Draft lottery. The Knicks currently are fifth most likely to be chosen for the top spot. NBA Commissioner David Stern must once again rig the lottery like conspiracy theorists say he did 23 years ago. That time, the Knicks selected franchise center Patrick Ewing out of the University of Georgetown. This time, the Knicks will take freshman point guard Derrick Rose out of Memphis. The key to new coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense is a Steve-Nash-type point guard. Stephon Marbury resembles Steve Nash as much as I resemble Hulk Hogan. Rose would be the floor general for the Knicks for years to come. The next part of the plan involves trading Zach Randolph to the highest Eddy Curry and bidder. Donnie Walsh shouldn’t care if the only offer is a stick of used bubblegum, because that’s all the two of them are worth. The other critical component to a D’Antoni offense is running. The next time Eddy Curry hustles will THE SPORTS BEAT continues on page 11

Allen Iverson and the Denver Nuggets. by Ankit Singh staff writer

The field of 16 has quickly been reduced to eight over the course of the first round and what a first round it has been. Although there were no upsets and only one series went to seven games, there was plenty of drama and spectacular play. Hearts were broken, championship aspirations died, and some the best players in the league were sent home. The NBA commercials do not lie: there can only be one. Now let’s take a look as to why certain teams lost in the first round and what they could do to improve themselves in the off-season: Eastern Conference Washington Wizards — It’s not easy beating King James and his Cleveland Cavaliers, espe-

cially if you are the Washington Wizards. The Wizards went into this series with hopes and aspirations of revenge and victory — things they have not tasted for many years. The reason that they can never get what they want on the court is because they talk too much off it. Their problem is not poor play but poor leadership and lack of selfdiscipline. They have to be able to maintain their composure and their focus throughout the season before they can win anything. And another piece of advice: don’t cross paths with the King, at least not in the first round. Toronto Raptors — Truth be told, the Toronto Raptors did not deserve to lose as quickly as they did. The Orlando Magic are not that much better NBA PLAYOFFS continues on page 11

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