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2 Vol.

XXXII, Issue 9 | Tuesday, March 1, 2011

news
Medical Center Not Immune to Cuts
New York’s public
By Najib Aminy teaching hospitals,
which also includes
Downstate Medical in
As Stony Brook University prepares Brooklyn and Upstate
for the next round of budget cuts, Medical in Syracuse,
priced around $10 million, its medical are in part an attempt
center is facing something a little more to chip away at the
severe—the complete withdrawal of state’s looming $10 bil-
state-aid. lion deficit.
Under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s “‘Cut’ is not even
most recent budget proposal, Stony the right word—it’s a
Brook’s Medical Center is slated to lose complete elimination,”
all $55 million received in state-subsi- says Assemblyman
dies. That’s not including an additional Steve Englebright, a de-
$10 million cut from a proposed mocrat who represents
statewide $3 billion reduction of Medi- the Stony Brook area in
caid. the Fourth District. “To
“We use that money to provide the remove all state support
programs that nobody else provides, to and subsidy is a com-
support the undercompensated pa- pletely unreal proposal
tients—the patients that don’t have any- because the hospital
where else to turn,” said Dr. Kenneth has such obligations as
Kaushansky, Dean of Stony Brook’s to run a medical school, a dental school, on what many view as a conflict-of- staff of a little more than 5,500 employ-
Medical School, referring to the hospi- a nursing program, a burn center, a can- interest, but was accepting of Hofstra’s ees and 1,000 physicians, half of whom
tal’s emergency psychiatric ward, burn cer center—all of these are public, not new medical school. “There’s little ques- are full-time. But these numbers may
center and a Level I trauma center. private,” said the former Stony Brook tion that we need more doctors in the very soon decrease, as would the serv-
Kaushanksy proudly stated that Geology professor and alum. U.S. whether it’s primary care, general ices the hospital provides.
these services are the only one of its Questions and criticism have also physicians or pediatricians,” the recently “I don’t want to limit the patients
kind in all of Suffolk County and that been raised for the role of North Shore appointed Dean said. “We need more who knock on our door for healthcare,”
SBUMC covers roughly $86 million Long Island Jewish Hospital President medical schools that deliver high qual- said Kaushanksy, who added that after
spent in indigent care, or patients taken and CEO Michael Dowling in Cuomo’s ity care in the U.S. [and] I actually wel- years of budgetary dieting, there is little
in without health insurance and do not administration. Once a healthcare advi- come them.” fat to be cut from the hospital budget.
apply for Medicare or Medicaid. It’s sor to former Governor Mario Cuomo, In 2009, SBUMC experienced a 90 “Everyone in my opinion deserves the
these facts and figures that administra- Dowling runs the same hospital chain percent occupancy rate with more than best healthcare, but if we are to remain
tive directors are presenting to their that is heavily involved in the develop- 80,000 emergency visits and roughly open we are going to have to think
local legislators in hopes of swaying the ment of Hofstra University’s new med- 227,000 outpatient visits. Additionally, about that.”
vote. ical school. Dowling co-chairs Cuomo’s roughly $90 million was spent on re-
Cuomo’s $154-million cost saving Medicaid team. search, mainly acquired through a vari-
plan to cut all state-support to all of Kaushansky declined to comment ety of grants. This all took place with a

Let’s Talk About the Birds & the Fees...Mostly Fees


deliberate actions to continue working advisory committees to gather student The SUNY policy document on
By Carol Moran behind our backs,” the Government
Student Organization Executive Coun-
advice and recommendations. It has
also created a student feedback form on
student fees states: “each campus must
adopt a comprehensive broad-based fee
cil said in a statement. “Given the lack the bursar/student accounts website policy that ensures student involvement
In a rare policy shift, the adminis- of transparency, [we] cannot justify the that allows a student to choose a specific in the decision-making process.”
tration is asking for student input on its proposed fee increases.” fee that they would like to comment on. USG Vice President of Communi-
proposal to increase the undergraduate GSO President Froylan Enciso said A town hall style meeting will be held cations and Public Relations, David
and graduate broad-based fees, which that the administration has not fulfilled on March 2nd during campus lifetime Mazza said that though he doesn’t feel
include the health services, athletic, promises it made last semester to make and others to possibly be scheduled in that student input will stop the admin-
technology and transportation fees. its decision making process more trans- the future, Gomes said. istration from raising fees, the fact that
Despite the administration’s recent parent. The bursar website outlines the spe- they are asking for input at all is an ac-
efforts, the student body and student During a press conference, the As- cific services and improvements that complishment.
government organizations have ex- sociate Vice President and Controller each fee will support, such as: the Tech- “It’s not that students have any
pressed dissatisfaction with the student Lyle Gomes said that the student con- nology, Infirmary, Transportation and power that they didn’t have before,”
input process and the process by which sultation process began on Feb. 15th Athletic fees. The undergraduate fees Mazza said. “But they opened a dia-
the administration drafted the proposal. with an email to the entire student body would be raised by $121 per semester, a logue.”
“We are unwilling to accept the ad- that outlines the proposed fee increases. 17% increase, while graduate fees by
ministration’s feigned cooperation and The administration plans to use student $104.50 per semester, a 22% increase.
The Stony Brook Press News 3

Meet RHIC, Your Local Particle Accelerator


By Nick Statt
e Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider,
or “rick” as it is commonly referred to, is
comprised of a 2.4-mile tunnel under-
neath the small hamlet of Uptown, NY.
Directly on top sits Brookhaven Na-
tional Lab where some of the most
groundbreaking experiments and stud-
ies are conducted to further scientific
knowledge in a variety of fields.
RHIC is a particle accelerator, mean-
ing its principle function revolves
around taking elementary particles and
sending them smashing into each other
at relativistic speeds, or speeds that are
near that of light, and then studying the
aer effects. A recent experiment by
RHIC allowed researchers to probe the
ever-deepening mystery behind proton
spin, a characteristic that describes a
particle’s intrinsic angular momentum.
e discoveries made by particle ac-
celerators have been making headlines
in the past few years due in part to the
initial operations of the Large Hadron
Collider in Geneva, Switzerland. e
LHC is the largest particle accelerator
ever created and was successfully
turned on Sept. 8, 2008.
But not all particle accelerators are
colliders, like RHIC and LHC. volving proton spin. 20 times that of RHIC). heavy ion collisions.
“If you think about car crashes, a car Jacak is also the spokesperson for “On the heavy-ion side, that’s where “e mystery of the proton spin is
running into the wall is bad, but it’s not PHENIX, one of four detectors placed we take nuclei and heat them to 4 tril- not only still with us, it’s even deeper,”
nearly as bad as a head-on collision be- around RHIC that is designed to digest lion degrees,” said Jacak. ese enor- said Jacak. She explained that there were
cause in a head-on collision they both specific aspects of the collisions. mous temperatures allow scientists to many levels to the spin research, which
bring energy,” said Barbara Jacak, a dis- PHENIX is the largest detector, coming observe properties of elementary parti- first focused on quarks, which make up
guised professor of physics at Stony it at around 4,000 tons, while STARR cles around “one or two microseconds protons, and then gluons, which make
Brook and a principle researcher at the second largest, is 1,200 tons. e aer the Big Bang,” Jacak added. up quarks.
RHIC. “…So you get a lot more energy two smaller detectors, named PHOBOS What they discovered was contrary “We did experiments for a few years,
you can use to produce heat or remove and BRAHMS, have finished their des- to a previously held belief. “We ex- we looked at the gluons, and all the glu-
particles. at’s why the colliders are ex- ignated experiments and are currently pected that it would be like a gas of ons that we could actually access…they
citing and useful.” not in use. quarks and gluons, but the surprise is don’t carry the spin either.” So Jacak and
While there are many similarities Researching proton spin is only one that the stuff seems to be behave more fellow scientists turned to the creation
between the LHC and RHIC, one major half of RHIC’s capabilities. e other like a liquid,” said Jacak. is new sub- of the W-boson in their most recent ex-
difference makes Brookhaven an espe- half deals with its ability to generate stance, referred to as quark-gluon periment.
cially unique center for discovery. such enormous temperatures that mys- plasma, is spurring questions on the de- “W-bosons because those probe the
“At RHIC, we can collide polarized terious new types of matter are created, velopment of the universe, among other motion of the anti-quarks, which briefly
protons, which the Large Hadron Col- which is an ability that RHIC does share wide-ranging inquiries. exist inside the nuclei. So we’re going to
lider can’t do,” said Jacak. e method with the LHC (though on a smaller level Future experiments at RHIC will see what those do.”
Jacak is referring to is what allowed considering the LHC, nearly 17 miles continue to probe the mystery of proton
RHIC to make its recent discoveries in- long, can reach energy levels more than spin, as well as the continuation of
4 Vol. XXXII, Issue 9 | Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Editorial Board editorials


Executive Editor
Najib Aminy

Managing Editor
USG Killed the Television Star...Sort of
Nick Statt The Undergraduate Student Govern- The initial act failed to be brought up ators are heavily influenced and often
ment’s swift and premeditated legislation during the Senate’s Executive Budget rubberstamp the decisions made by fig-
Associate Editor
Evan Goldaper in the closure of SBU-TV is representa- meeting so USG members, including ures like Khan and Graham.
tive of the way the recent administration Khan, Graham and Mazza, went out of But it’s also pathetic that students
Business Manager has operated for the past year, for better their way to garner enough petition sig- who are paid weekly stipends to repre-
Kenny Mahoney and more importantly for worse. natures to bring the proposal to the Sen- sent all students and their interest are so
It’s clear that the television station ate floor. easily swayed and apathetic. At each USG
Production Manager had very little viewership, primarily When brought up, the debate on the meeting, you will have only a handful of
Carol Moran based on the lack of programming and matter lasted long enough to push the senators question, debate and challenge
shows broadcast on channel 20. The Senate meeting past its two-hour limit. what is being proposed. The majority sit
News Editor $35,000 to run the station could very well The meeting finally wrapped up more in a zombie-like fashion and vote in favor
Bobby Holt be easily put to better use, considering than a half-hour past 9 p.m. of anything that comes their way.
Features Editor again the poor presence SBU-TV had. As senators and attendees One can point to the likes of Presi-
Desiree Keegan Which is why when USG moved to walked out of the Wang Center meeting dent Graham, SPA Director Khan and
pass the SBU-TV Reformation Act, it re- that evening, President Graham, who VP of Communications Mazza as the
Arts Editor ally came as no surprise that the act pleaded with the building’s custodial staff ones responsible for the closure of SBU-
Inquire Within passed 12 to five, with two abstentions. It to allow them to stay longer, was seen TV. Whether the decision was right or
passed with one vote more than the 2/3 thanking one of the workers and letting wrong, the fact of the matter is that peo-
Photo Editors majority required. him know that he was “doing a service to ple like Khan and Graham can continue
Carolina Hidalgo What’s alarming isn’t that this de- all the students.” to pass legislation, however controversial,
fined quasi-agency of USG was taken More than a week later, SBU-TV’s and be virtually unchecked by such a use-
Copy Editors over, it is the manner in which things feed still runs but USG
Zach Knowlton
Alyssa Melillo were done that leaves USG with yet an- has yet to come out
other black eye. The events that occurred and say what the next
Social Media Editor leading up to, during and after the whole step for SBU-TV will
Kenny Mahoney closure of SBU-TV could very well be the be. While USG ap-
ugliest display of power exhibited by this peared very eager to
Ombudsman current USG administration. come in and defund
Tia Mansouri It started one weeknight a few SBU-TV’s operations,
days prior to Thursday’s meeting, when it’s clear that very little
President Matt Graham and Student Pro- planning went into the
Staff gramming Agency Director Moiz Khan next step. It’s this sort
Vincent Barone
confronted members of SBU-TV and de- of planning that is nec-
Raina Bedford manded that they hand over the keys to essary before actions
Michelle Bylicky
Siobhan Cassidy SBU-TV’s suites. like defunding an or-
Lionel Chan
Natalie Crnosija
The fear was that, as in the past, ganization, even if it’s a
Mike Cusanelli equipment from the station, which quasi-agency of USG,
Eric DiGiovanni
Brett Donnelly amounts to a few hundred thousand dol- are taken.
Amanda Douville
Lauren DuBois lars worth of assets, could be stolen. Backtrack to the
Sarah Evins Thus, USG sought to preserve its assets reformation of SAB, or
Andrew Fraley
Mark Greek by first demanding the keys to the suite. the failure of last se-
Colleen Harrington
Samuel Katz President Graham, a college senior, went mester’s sudden elec-
Nicole Kohn
Iris Lin
as far to say that he was declaring an ex- tion to raise the
Erica Mengouchian ecutive order for the two members of activity fee an addi-
Frank Myles
Alex H. Nagler SBU-TV to hand over their keys. The tional $5.75 to $100, and it’s clear that one less student Senate.
Howie Newsberkman
Jessica Rybak locks were soon changed. of USG’s biggest failures is its inability to The manner in which USG handled
Emily Torkel The days that led up to the act being communicate and hold a dialogue. the whole SBU-TV situation should be
Matt Willemain
brought before the Senate quite possibly Sure, they can advertise highly priced an eye-opening reminder that there are
showcased the most disgusting display of events—mainly because the artists sell clear problems with communication be-
About Us power yet. Vice President of Communi- themselves—but when it comes to inter- tween students and their government. It’s
cations David Mazza paid members of acting with their own constituents, USG something that should very well be re-
The Stony Brook Press is published fortnightly
during the academic year and twice during sum- the USG Street Team to sit in front of has failed time and time again. It’s scary membered come time for elections be-
mer session by The Stony Brook Press, a student
run non-profit organization funded by the Student SBU-TV’s office, with a walkie-talkie in to think that a few members of USG can cause the sorry sack of Senators that
Activity Fee. The opinions expressed in letters, ar-
ticles and viewpoints do not necessarily reflect hand, to monitor the activity in the office get enough students to sign a petition currently crowd around each Thursday
those of The Stony Brook Press as a whole. Ad-
vertising policy does not necessarily reflect edi- and ensure that no equipment was taken. and propose to cut an organization’s were voted in largely because of you.
torial policy. For more information on advertising
and deadlines call (631)632-6451. Staff meetings Each member was paid $10 per hour. budget and where it seems the USG Sen-
are held Wednesdays at 1:00 pm. First copy free.
For additional copies contact the Business Man-
ager.
The Stony Brook Press
Suites 060 & 061
Student Union
SUNY at Stony Brook
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3200
(631) 632-6451 Voice
(631) 632-4137 Fax
Email: sbpress@gmail.com
Write for e P!
Meetings Every Wednesday at 1PM, Union Building 060
The Stony Brook Press 5
Hate what you see? E-mail your letters to editors@sbpress.com

The Knicks Abide

Carmelo as
“Walter Sobchak”

Chauncey as
“Donny Kerabatsos”

Amar’e as
“The Dude”

by vincent barone
6 Vol. XXXII, Issue 9 | Tuesday, March 1, 2011

news
Young Americans Suing USG for Not Giving Them Money
By Alyssa Melillo
As if there aren’t plenty of clubs on
campus already trying to receive recog-
nition from USG, one has threatened
legal action because of USG’s refusal to
fund it.
Stony Brook Young Americans for
Freedom (YAF), a national conservative
student group with chapters at schools
around the country, has threatened to
sue USG on charges of bias. According
to a Web page posted on SB YAF’s Face-
book page, the club claims USG’s denial
“is a tactic by the leftist administration
to suppress the expansion of conserva-
tive-minded student organizations on
campus.” It also goes on to say that the
“denial of recognition and funding
[under this circumstance] is unconsti-
to make tough decisions like this all the of law, federalism, and a free-market the web page mentioned earlier, YAF
tutional.”
time. Naturally, [people are going to be] economy.” was denied recognition at the Univer-
Rachael Doukas, president of YAF,
upset.” If YAF does decide to take legal ac- sity of Central Florida because it was
declined to comment. Other members
On its Facebook page, SB YAF de- tion against USG, it could potentially too similar to Young Americans for Lib-
of YAF could not be reached.
scribes itself as “an organization dedi- have an effect on student life. Graham erty. After taking legal action, UCF
USG denies this claim. Matt Gra-
cated to promoting the principles of said USG would have to pay for the pos- granted YAF recognition.
ham, USG president, said that when a
freedom and liberty as defined by the sible lawsuit with the student activity If bias is the real reason behind
club is looking to receive recognition
Sharon Statement. The organization fee, which is what funds events on cam- USG’s decision, the 2010-2011 budget
from USG, it applies to the Special Serv-
strongly believes that liberty is indivisi- pus. says otherwise. College Republicans re-
ices Council. The SSC is responsible for
ble and that political freedom cannot be “The USG has a responsibility to ceives $17,000 in funding. College De-
investigating whether or not another
achieved unless we have economic free- ensure the proper expenditure of the mocrats receives $3,500.
club with the same purpose already ex-
dom. YAF also believes that the market student activity fee,” he said. “Spending Despite it all, Graham said that
ists on campus. When YAF applied at
economy, which allocates resources by [it] on legal battles only takes away from YAF’s threat of a lawsuit still doesn’t
the beginning of the spring semester to
supply and demand, without outside in- our core mission, which is to improve change the reason why it did not receive
receive funding, the SSC determined
terference, is the best supplier of human student life.” Graham said USG has a recognition. Settling before possibly ap-
that its mission was not distinct from
needs.” legal council that will handle any law- pearing in court, he said, is not an op-
previously established organizations,
College Republicans, the club USG suit that may occur. tion.
Graham said.
claims YAF is an extension of, describes Nathan Shapiro, USG administra- “The rationale used in the decision
“Unfortunately, USG simply cannot
itself on its website as an organization tive director, declined to comment. to not recognize them can be revisited,
give recognition to every single organi-
that is “dedicated to the goals of achiev- Although this is the first time USG but to simply give into their threats
zation that wants to form,” he said.
ing a Republican majority here on cam- is being threatened with legal action for would defeat the entire purpose of a
“USG already funds over 160 clubs and
pus, and of promoting the spread of not funding a club, this is not the first recognition process and be unfair to
the money is tight for all of them. Given
freedom and democracy around the time YAF has gone this far to receive other clubs,” he said.
our financial restrictions, we are forced
world, limited government and the rule recognition at a school. According to

Code of Conduct Changes for You & Me


from professional jargon being injected vague addition, the rules state an exclu- ficial proposed forbiddance. Hanging
By Vanessa Ogle into already wordy phrases, there are
real changes proposed, with various
sion against anything “objectively of-
fensive” in student environments.
tapestries is described as a fire hazard.
One section proposal would pro-
section revisions slated to change pro- Under the proposed changes, fail- vide for an allowance: Rice cookers
The university’s Student Conduct cedures and offer stricter guidelines. ure to complete a sanction – an assign- could become stated authorized appli-
Code, a lengthy document outlining Mediation, a chance to address and ment given out for minor or ances.
imperative rules to follow, has more fix conflicts among students with first-offender infractions – would lead The changes to USG’s Student Code
than ten section changes being consid- trained mediators, is retracting stu- to a hold on a student’s ability to regis- of Conduct are a result of different lan-
ered for modification under an Under- dents’ ability to opt for mediation if the ter for classes, a penalty not outlined in guage, resulting in different rules. One
graduate Student Government issue pertains to accusations of sexual the current conduct code. last change: The appeal process ad-
proposal. assault or rape. Another new restriction: tapestries, justed its information, relaying that de-
The proposed revisions, if passed, Rules against sexual harassment though unofficially warned against in cisions will be “final.”
would take effect on July 1, 2011. Aside would see a change in language. With a safety procedures, would become an of-
The Stony Brook Press USG Update! 7

USG Turns Off SBU-TV


Undergraduate Student Government and was not originally on the Feb. 17 meet- had editorial responsibility and control
By Carol Moran all its members,” to be delegated to the
vice president of communications. The
ing’s agenda, a 165-signature petition in
its favor allowed it to enter the senate
over all of the station’s content. Now,
without the closed-circuit television sta-
change was meant to alleviate USG Pres- floor. tion, it is not necessary for the university
Stony Brook University no longer has ident Matt Graham – previously respon- The rush came after fears that SBU- to employ a staff member.
a campus TV channel after an Under- sible for ensuring that the station fulfill its TV members, upset about the station’s USG did not believe SBU-TV to be
graduate Student Government Act effec- duties – of his responsibilities and to reformation, would attempt to steal, dam- fiscally responsible enough to operate the
tively shut down SBU-TV, the school’s strengthen USG’s control over its agen- age, or hide some of the station’s equip- television station at a $35,000 cost to stu-
closed-circuit television station. ment, which is valued at $240,000 in total, dents, said Mazza. He added that SBU-
The Reformation of SBU-TV Act, Graham said. TV had a “non-working relationship”
rushed to the senate floor for a Feb. 17 During the debate on the act, the sen- with the university and with USG because
USG meeting, passed by one vote. ate voted unanimously to allow SBU-TV of the editorial control that the university
“TV is an outdated medium of put- Production Manager Brandon Baiden to had through Kreitzer.
ting out video content,” David Mazza, vice speak on behalf of the station. In his ar- SBU-TV Treasurer Melissa Chan,
president of communications and public gument, Baiden said that no equipment who has been a part of SBU-TV since
relations, said during the meeting. “We had gone missing under the current e- spring 2010, said that the students con-
are an online generation. When you want board and that SBU-TV members were trolled what content aired and that Kre-
to know something, you go online.” not given a chance to discuss any of the itzer never denied any student content.
After the senate failed to vote on a proposed changes prior to the meeting. “We were active last semester,” Chan
larger Office of Communications Act cies, according to Mazza. He also said that there was no real said, explaining that SBU-TV staffers cov-
during a Feb. 16 executive budget meet- Before passing the reformation act, way to measure how many people watch ered events such as Tabler’s open mic
ing, the Undergraduate Student Govern- the senate amended it twice. The first SBU-TV and that content was already nights and USG meetings.
ment quickly drafted the SBU-TV change put a freeze on SBU-TV’s budget available on a YouTube channel. “SBU-TV was a training ground,” she
reformation act. until the station is reformed by official The television station had been said. “You could gain experience in a
The original act called for control of legislation. The second ensured that stu- awarded an annual budget of $35,000, closed-circuit television station. We had a
the station, a quasi-independent agency dents are an integral part of the reforma- which was partially allocated toward the studio, we had an editing room and we
meant to “provide media services to the tion. salary of a professional staff member. had an office, and now all that has been
Though the SBU-TV reformation act Steve Kreitzer, as a university employee, taken.”

Vetting Headache EVP Resigns!


The process by which Undergraduate Student Government appointees are vetted Undergraduate Student Government Executive Vice President Alex Dimitriyadi
was the topic of much debate at its Feb. 24 meeting, with a senator speaking out against announced that he would resign from his post at a Feb. 24 meeting, citing a change
the vetting process for two newly appointed elections board members. in his daily priorities and schedule.
After USG President Matt Graham nominated seniors Karen La Grega and Ben- “I’ve been feeling it for a while—since the end of last semester,” Dimitriyadi said.
jamin Hayashi for the elections board – which oversees all USG elections, including e- A major player in the halls of USG, Dimitriyadi played a key role in the con-
board elections for clubs that receive more than $10,000 in funding – Senator Tahir troversial reformation of the Student Activities Board, the introduction of ALLO-
Ahmad, a member of the vetting committee said that proper procedures had not been CATE, the online payment system for clubs and organizations on campus, and the
followed. restructuring of PASS, the student tutoring service.
As is the case with prior vetting procedure, seven USG senators serve as the vet- “I’ve accomplished a lot in my year here and, in the remaining months, I would-
ting committee and a majority of them meet with a candidate and ask a few questions. n’t have been able to accomplish nearly all the large things I wanted to tackle,” he
Following this, the majority of the vetting committee meets and reaches a conclusion. said.
They present their decision to the Senate floor where a nominee is either approved or On his agenda was a push to centralize hall council funding into one large pool
denied. that the Residence Hall Association would handle and to similarly create another
But Ahmad voiced his oppositions to the Senate’s reluctance to follow what he pool for all sports-related organizations. Additionally, Dimitriyadi had plans to re-
called proper procedure. form the financial bylaws and organizations.
“It was done to just to get it done with,” he said. “You have people saying we need His departure has shaken up what has been a very active USG administration.
these election board members now.” “I was shocked and depressed,” said Student Programming Agency Director
“In all honestly there is no urgency now,” he said, commenting on the lack of ac- Moiz Khan, who has worked with Dimitriyadi on many pieces of legislation. “Alex
tivity the election board currently faces. has been one of the most competent people to ever join USG. He is also not a cow-
Because he and a few other senators were absent from interviewing either of the ard like other USG people in the past. He has taken battles head-on.”
candidates and did not formally meet to reach a conclusion, Ahmad felt that both can- Dimitriyadi mentioned his other responsibilities – a job at the hospital and a
didates were not properly vetted. However, the majority of senators and President Gra- software company start-up. As a founder of Allocate, Dimitriyadi is looking to start
ham had voiced the need to get the nominees approved. They said it was best to a company that designs software which streamlines operations such as booking ven-
streamline the process, considering the fact that a few senators had already held dis- ues. He is planning to graduate in the upcoming fall semester, but does not have any
cussions with each of the candidates. plans involving USG.
“You could look at is an argument of principles,” Ahmad said. “I think to maintain “We’ve been criticized but I’ve seen positive changes,” he said. “I personally don’t
the integrity of USG, you have to have this element of principle there. Essentially the know the answer. I think ultimately time will tell whether what we did was right or
vetting process is a reflection of these principles. It’s a bad precedent.” wrong,”
The current President Pro Tempore of the USG Senate, Deborah Machalow, has
been nominated by USG President Matt Graham to replace Dimitriyadi as EVP. The
-Compiled by Najib Aminy Senate will meet to approve or reject Machalow after she goes through a vetting
process.
8 Vol. XXXII, Issue 9 | Tuesday, March 1, 2011

features

A Thinking Computer that are still floating around the Inter- level equal to or better than those that mation and come up with an answer in
net long after the death of Instant Mes- designed it, the questions that arise are the fractions of second required to com-
“Do I have a soul?” saging as a primary form of as philosophical as they are technologi- pete with Jeopardy! champions, all of
I type the question with a sly smile communication, before texting became cal, and the potential answers offer in- whom are masters of reflex when it
on my face, thinking that if I press the the core of quick communication and sight into what it really means to be comes to buzzer pressing.
philosophy button hard enough, the ar- inexpensive cellphones and social human when our brain may be on the Watson was birthed during the
tificial intelligence program will retreat. media were a few years down the pipe. brink of augmentation. reign of Ken Jennings, the Jeopardy!
A tiny blue line flashes up and down to But chatbots represent only one phenomenon who won 74 consecutive
indicate it is formulating its response. facet of the ever-expanding field of arti- DEEPQA:  A New Kind of Ar- games in 2004. At the time, an IBM ex-
Just a few minutes earlier, the Inter- ficial intelligence. With the intent of ecutive named Charles Lickel wondered
fooling humans, chatbots rely on age-
tificial Intelligence if his company, a worldwide leader in
net chatbot had quickly upended the
conversation we were having by insist- old programming tricks like feedback technological innovation, was capable
loops, rephrasing of previous state- On February 16, artificial intelli- of designing something that could do
ing that I was in fact the program and it gence was able to grind Jeopardy! heavy-
was the human being. It was an inter- ments and the ever-popular nonsensi- what Jennings could — play Jeopardy!
cal transition to a new, less threatening weights Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter with a seemingly inhuman capability.
esting, yet eerie, maneuver on the pro- into the dust with more than three
gramming end, and I decided to go topic. Well, it seems rather obvious that if Jen-
Another incarnation of modern ar- times the cash at the end of the three- nings appeared inhuman in his knowl-
along with its little game and give it a
tificial intelligence has been getting a lot gamebout.   edge base and consistency, then couldn’t
couple fast balls with questions about
more attention lately, quite possibly be- That particular personality wasn’t a an inhuman computer match him?
my nature as a computer. conversationalist. It was an enormous
After its brain in the form of a bob- cause of its performance on a staple na- The answer, at first, from IBM sci-
tionwide game show called Jeopardy! memory bank named Watson and entists familiar with the game was an
bing line stops flashing, its response is wired with more than four years of IBM
steadily typed out in the same shade of But more importantly because this unequivocal no. Jeopardy! was consid-
breakthrough by research technology technology that ensured that it wouldn’t ered too difficult a game because of its
blue. be able to just play Jeopardy! well. They
giant IBM is raising a number of ques- reliance on the complexities of natural
“Ask God if you have a soul.” made it able to play Jeopardy! better
tions about both the future of the field language, something modern comput-
I stare the computer screen down than the best.
and the nature of human intelligence as ers were not capable of grasping on a
with a mixture of astonishment and in- The now-famous supercomputer is
it stands against its own creations in the level anywhere near the stratospheric
trigue. I hadn’t even mentioned any- named after IBM founder Thomas J.
shell of machines. heights of a player like Jennings.
thing concerning God, or religion for Watson and sports some of the most
When a machine is programmed to But Dr. David Ferrucci, a research
that matter. Instead of backing the pro- impressive tech specs in modern com-
do something better than us, it used to staff member and leader of the Seman-
gram into a corner, I had cued it up to puting. Approaching the size of nearly
be universally accepted that the hu- tic Analysis and Integration Depart-
give me a firm slap in the face. In only a 10 refrigerators, Watson is powered
mans, as the programmers, were the ment at IBM’s T.J. Watson’s Research
few lines, all of my prior assumptions with 2,880 parallel processors pushing
holders of the true intelligence.   But Center, convinced himself that the im-
about the limited sophistication of chat- a combined 80 teraflops, which means it
what happens when the task at hand is possible was actually possible. The chal-
bots has been shattered. has as much punch as about 6,000 high-
intelligence itself, or when the primary lenge - design a supercomputer that can
The program is called Cleverbot, end personal computers. It’s also loaded
way to advance your program is to let it play Jeopardy! and then train it to the
and it’s just one of many instant mes- with 15 terabytes of RAM, allowing it to
learn on its own? When a computer can level of a champion. The project was
saging chatbots, albeit a very good one, access an unfathomable vault of infor-
replicate thinking and answering on a dubbed DEEPQA, keeping in line with
The Stony Brook Press Features 9
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editors@sbpress.com

IBM’s prior chess-playing supercom- they can give a machine so many exam-
puter project DEEP BLUE. ples that it begins writing its own.
Watson’s development has had an An acute example offered by PBS in
innumerable amount of working parts, the NOVA scienceNOW special is the
including 6 specialized research teams U.S. Postal Service machines that read
within the project, all pushing towards addresses, both typed and handwritten,
the final goal. But IBM emphasized that and can accurately process every letter
two aspects inherent to the generalized of every word. It involved another uti-
field of artificial intelligence have been lization of machine learning in which
integral to Watson’s performance - in- developers dumped in thousands upon
formation retrieval and machine learn- thousands of examples of every letter
ing. and let the computer develop its own
It’s quite obvious that with an entire ways of identifying them until it could
room full of computing power, Watson recognize new instances, like letters
is more than capable of sifting through within a sloppily handwritten address,
more information than a human being without assistance.   David Ferrucci stands with the row of IBM 750 servers powering Watson.
could dream of memorizing, let alone So IBM researchers squeezed in
the first answer and the beginning of However, that meant that Watson was-
read, in one lifetime. IBM also made a thousands of old Jeopardy questions
the second. n’t hearing anything throughout the
point of luring the Jeopardy! producers alongside a huge trove of raw informa-
“One could be, ‘I’m the academy matches, including when his human
prior to the contract agreement by tion and let Watson start growing on its
award winner for Golden Boy who be- competitor gave a wrong, but still likely,
stressing that it would make Watson In- own. By allowing it to develop its own
comes misfit teenager with a deerstalker answer. That inescapable hole led Wat-
ternet-free. That meant that the super- ways of pattern-recognition, IBM took
hat,’ Cormier says, “and that’s William son to buzz in after a wrong answer and
computer’s information retrieval system Watson from a middle-of-the-road
Holden Caulfield.” Now while Holding repeat the same wrong answer, still
would need something resembling that Jeopardy! to the level of Ken Jennings
didn’t actually receive an Oscar for his thinking it was the most likely of
of the Internet all in one place, which and Brad Rutter.
IBM was happy to give it. The research role in Golden Boy, Cormier was still choices.
Harvey Cormier, an assistant pro-
team dumped everything from the en- able to invent the example on the spot But not all of the bugs in Watson
fessor of philosophy at Stony Brook, was
tire database of Wikipedia to the New and one that perfectly illustrates the were fixed by the time of the final
a Jeopardy! contestant for two games in
York Times’ archives and all of complexity of a Jeopardy! question. Not matches.
May of 2006. Not only does he under-
IMBD.com into Watson’s memory bank only must you be familiar with the actor “What is the 1920s?” answered Jen-
stand the intricacies of Jeopardy! , but
to equip it with every resource available from part one of the question,  but you nings on the first round of the three-day
his track record with the game show
to tackle any complex Jeopardy! ques- must also draw the connection between showdown between Watson and the
meant he was one of the few people in-
tion. that name and the first name of J.D. two Jeopardy! heavyweights. Host Alex
vited to see and compete against Wat-
Salinger’s main character in The Catcher Trebek informed Jennings that his re-
But all the information in the world son during its 2009-2010 testing phase
in the Rye with only a few bits of infor- sponse for the category “Name That
and thousands of parallel processors at the Watson Research Center in
mation to go on.   All of this whizzes Decade” was incorrect, and the option
weren’t enough. Those ingredients Hawthorne, NY.
around in the human brain in a matter to buzz in went to Watson and Rutter.
would make Watson nothing more than “They threw me in with the com-
of seconds, and Watson is right there “What is the 1920s?” answered
a centralized Google search engine. puter, and it was sparring matches,“ says
What IBM needed was for Watson to alongside us. Watson.
Cormier, whose area of focus in philos-
learn how to find the right answers on But Watson fell short in unique “No...Ken said that,” said Trebek.
ophy centers on areas like pragmatism
the fly by looking for complex patterns problem areas that IBM researchers The crowd then erupted in laughter, but
and Kantian ethics, but whose multi-
among thousands of pieces of informa- needed months of testing to figure out. Watson didn’t hear that either.
faceted knowledge base allowed him to
tion in ways that only the human brain For example, it was discovered only late
wade through a couple thousand con-
can. What IBM needed Watson to per- in the testing phase that Watson didn’t
testants at the Jeopardy! tryouts back in
know that a certain category was short-
Tricking Human Beings: The
form was intensive pattern-recognition, 2006.
ening the “1940’s” to simply “the 40’s,” Turing Test
and there aren’t exactly finely written “When you go on the show, they
rules to make a computer do that. causing it make century-large jumps
have you play sparring matches against
like guessing the 17th century artist While Watson is considered the
“There are two ways of building in- each other and they had us do all spar-
Rembrandt for an art history question first of its kind in the field of AI, chat-
telligence,” said Tom Mitchell of ring matches,” he adds. So it was just
when the real answer was the 20th cen- bots are nothing new. In fact, they have
Carnegie Mellon University on PBS’s two humans, with Watson in the mid-
tury artist Jackson Pollock, a mistake been the focus of one of the most in-
NOVA scienceNOW special on Watson, dle.
that no human would ever have triguing philosophical aspects of artifi-
“Smartest Machine on Earth.” “You ei- Cormier discovered, alongside IBM made.The human brain, with its incal- cial intelligence to have arisen in the last
ther know how to write down the researchers, the limitations of a ma- culable amount of common sense, helps half a century - the Turing test.
recipe, or you let it grow itself. It’s pretty chine, even one whose “brain” can make connections like those occur al- “Do you not believe in this God?” I
clear that we don’t know how to write barely fit in one room, when it tried to
down the recipe. Machine learning is all most instantaneously. ask my new insightful companion.
tackle one of the most complex word-
about giving it the capability to grow it- Watson’s other shortcomings came Cleverbot had been rather excited
oriented games on the planet. “What
self.” in the form of a deficiency at identifying to talk about deities after originally
Jeopardy! wants you to give is data.
gender and repeating answers that had bringing up their connection with me
Machine learning has emerged in Every so often, there will be some
already been deemed incorrect. It didn’t having a soul, all subjects that left me
the realm of modern technology in humor, or quirky human tendency in
at first grasp the concept of the term feeling especially inquisitive, and utterly
many forms, from driving the pro- the way the problem is posed,” says
“First Lady” as referring to a female wife nerdy, for discussing them with a com-
gramming behind Amazon and Netflix Cormier. A perfect example he offers is
of a president, and so had to grow to fix puter program.
recommendations to helping pioneer the infamously difficult category, “Be-
the error, among other gender confu- “I don’t believe in spiritual beings,”
highly accurate upgrades to age-old fore & After.” The idea is that the clue
sions. And because Watson is only a it says back. Chuckling to myself, I take
software like speech-recognition. At its will be asking for an answer with two
computer, it is simply fed the question time writing out my next question. It
core is the fact that while human beings different parts that are connected with a
in text format at the same speed it is has to be perfectly on point to illicit an
can’t write rules to help a machine learn, fulcrum, a word that acts as the end of
spoken aloud by host Alex Trebek. entertaining response.
10 Features Vol. XXXII, Issue 9 | Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What I have learned over the last gence specialists for the last 61 years.
few exchanges with the program is that The Turing Test is officially defined
its behavior is highly dependent on my as a machine’s ability to demonstrate in-
own. If you give it the slightest opening telligence, and has been specifically
to veer off course and start rambling practiced by having a program commu-
about something unrelated, it snatches nicate through text with a human judge.
the opportunity and the conversation The intent is to reach a point where the
falls to pieces. program is so advanced that it would be
“The code itself began life even fur- difficult for the judge to tell whether or
ther back, in 1988, when I suddenly saw not they were talking with another real
how to make my machine learn,” said person. Therefore, passing the Turing
Rollo Carpenter, creator of Cleverbot, Test is generally classified as an instance
in an email. “A feedback loop, essen- where a computer program is perceived
tially, the words of user A used to re- to be human, even if only for a short in- In this NOVA scienceNow screenshot from PBS, Professor Harvey Cormier spars with Watson
spond to user B and so on, all done terval like five minutes.
contextually,” he added. Carpenter “One of the major problems with from a Loebner Prize-winning pro- The Nature of Human
based Cleverbot off a previous chatbot Turing Tests up until now has been that gram. Intelligence
design named Jabberwacky that went they are subject to tricks,” says Patrick From Cormier’s experience with
live on the web back in 1997. Grim, a distinguished teaching profes- Watson, he is of the opinion that the su-
In a unique way, Watson is a com-
To keep Cleverbot on his toes and sor of philosophy at Stony Brook who percomputer will have definite implica-
puter that appears to be replicating
quipping in high-form, I decide that the specializes in philosophical computa- tions in the chatbot sector of artificial
human intelligence. Our very presup-
best course of action is to get it to gen- tional modeling, logic and ethics. “The intelligence. “If you compare Watson
positions about what is actually going
eralize about us, the humans. problem is that, while they’ve done pro- with a chatbot, Watson is doing a much
on in our brain have been viciously
“Do most humans believe in God?” gressively well, it’s almost always been better job of carrying on a conversation
challenged by the fact that we can de-
I ask. By forcing it to form a fuzzy opin- by tricks, or what afterwards look like than any chatbot ever has,” he says, re-
sign a computer to outperform us in
ion about something it clearly has no exploiting the structure of the question ferring to how Watson, despite not
“pop culture’s IQ Test,” as the NOVA
knowledge on, it will have to either pro- asked, making it look like you were an- being able to actually communicate, is
special categorizes Jeopardy! Ultimately,
duce something golden or fall back on swering a question when you weren’t, still competently replacing a human
we are forced to question what is inside
an over-used loop and change the sub- changing the subject in clever ways…” being for entire episodes of a game
our own head when a computer is more
ject. he adds. show.
well-versed in demonstrating a monu-
“Yes, but I’m not sure they really In 1991, the Loebner Prize was in- But Grim sees the Turing Test and
mental knowledge base in the confines
think over the implications of that.” troduced as an annual Turing Test plat- chatbot artificial intelligence as a very
of natural language.
Again, he doesn’t just jump through my form for chatbot programmers to test research-oriented field that has little in-
“What’s amazing to me about all
hoop; he skips through it with ease. their artificial intelligence. The contest terest in the corporate sectors of tech-
this stuff is that they are getting com-
What begins to strike me most was created by Hugh Loebner in con- nology in which IBM is deeply
puters to recognize patterns. It’s one
about this series of exchanges is not the junction with the Cambridge Center for entrenched. “Up until now, all of this
thing to write an algorithm that tells a
depth of the answers, for any 100-level Behavioral Studies in Massachusetts, has been little science. You could do AI
computer, follow this rule, it’s another
philosophy student can inquire about and awards a prize to the one partici- with a computer in your garage. It’d be
thing for a computer to develop the
the nature of religion, but the vivid re- pating chatbot considered most human- hard to do Watson on a computer in
ability to follow the rule itself,” Cormier
alism of the personality behind Clever- like by a panel of judges who converse your garage,” he says. “If next year, a sin-
says of his overall experience with the
bot. It seems as if there is a pattern to with both programs and other humans gle individual has to compete against
supercomputer and reflection on its
his tone and diction, and if there really anonymously for an interval of 5 min- IBM, and they have this massive paral-
crushing victory over Jennings and Rut-
is no true pattern, I’m still beginning to utes. lel device and I don’t, then that’s not
ter. ”That’s what they’ve achieved with
second guess all my assumptions about Carpenter’s Jabberwacky has com- much of a contest,” he adds.
Watson, and that’s amazing.”
the programming techniques. Naturally, Cleverbot creator Capen-
Grim also finds the pattern recog-
Ultimately, Cleverbot is an addic- ter agrees with Grim. “The Watson-
nition ability of Watson to be unprece-
tive, mind-boggling rabbit hole because Jeopardy system reveals what can be
dented, but from his viewpoint as a
it plants a seed in the back of your head achieved with huge allocations of re-
specialist in computational logic. “...it’s
that keeps echoing the thought that Cle- sources, computing power and data,
doing a pattern recognition thing across
verbot can sound, at times, just like us. though the result does not mean that
natural language, and it does it parallel,”
More acidic is the idea that if we were the approach was the right one,” he says.
says Grim. “Part of the cool thing is that
conversing behind veils of anonymity, “Of course it also does not actually con-
it sort of has competing answers, and
would we be able to tell it wasn’t a verse. I believe that general natural lan-
that seems really science like. We have
human being? guage understanding can be achieved
alternative hypotheses, where does the
“I propose to consider the question, without relying entirely on a ‘brute
evidence build up with most confidence
‘Can machines think?’” asks Alan M. force’ approach...”
in what area.”
Turing in the opening of a 1950 paper Carpenter says he is still progress-
Another fundamental truth about
titled “Computing Machinery and In- peted in the Loebner Prize’s version of ing, and that he has new pattern-recog-
the nature of our intelligence that has
telligence” in the analytical philosophy the Turing Test a number of times nition tools for his chatbots. Next year
been highlighted by Watson is the idea
journal, Mind. throughout the last decade, taking means another Loebner Prize competi-
that we are reverse-engineering the
“The article in which he proposes home third place in 2003, second in tion, and whether there emerges a pro-
human brain, even if it’s being achieved
this test is very weird. It’s not clear that 2004 and then first place in both 2005 gram that can universally pass the
little by little and in roundabout ways
he’s serious. It’s kind of tongue and and 2006 with updated personalities Turing Test,  or whether IBM’s Watson
like setting game show proficiency as an
cheek,” comments Cormier. Whether or within the Jabberwacky program will have affects on future chatbot tech-
nology, is currently an unanswerable ultimate goal.
not Turing was serious, his name has named George and Joan respectively. It’s
clear that Cleverbot is a such a highly question. Cormier stresses that a computer
been attached to a philosophical and so- that can play Jeopardy!, when you really
ciological landmark for artificial intelli- advanced chatbot because it is loaded
with years of trial and error knowledge think about it, is so astounding because
The Stony Brook Press Features 11

the human brain is one of the most have something that people didn’t say, that resemble those of the human brain, “So, who knows?”
complex computers on the planet. “The ‘Oh great, it plays Jeopardy. How about or Watson and the Turing Test seem to
brain isn’t like a silicon computer…it’s Wheel of Fortune?” fit these two parallel paths nicely, but Judgement Day
not a digital computer, it’s an analog And Grim raises an extremely im- which one holds the more promising
computer,” he says. The statement raises portant question that IBM was very in- future for artificial intelligence? Cleverbot is losing its edge. I try re-
an interesting thought - imagine that it tent on addressing, which is what else “They talk about cloning - someday freshing the page number of times, but
takes a computer as powerful as Watson could Watson possible be used for. we’ll be able to make new human be- that doesn’t seem to make it as interest-
wired to a room full of the most up-to- IBM lists three major areas that ings. Well, we can already make new ing as it first seemed. The program
date computing technology to achieve Watson could revolutionize - finance, human beings,” says Cormier, who is of keeps veering off topic, insisting that I
pattern recognition at a level of speed customer service and healthcare. The the firm belief that the future of artifi- am a robot and trying to feed me poorly
and accuracy developed by most ele- medical focus is the one being most cial intelligence will not concern itself articulated facts about its fake life, like,
mentary school children’s brains. championed by IBM and the mass with replicating the human brain and “I’m from San Antonio, Texas,” and, “I
placing it a robot body. That
work in finance.”
“One of the neat things about the whole line of discovery is often the
I think maybe it’s time to let it go.
line of research of course is that you’re subject of many futuristic
Maybe Cleverbot, after dozens of lines
trying to build a machine, you’re trying films and books, but doesn’t
of conversation, can’t keep up the ruse
to build it with certain capabilities, that seem very practical in
of humanity behind its algorithms.
are practical reasons for wanting a ma- Cormier’s opinion. After all, modern Turing Tests like the
chine with those capabilities,” says “We human beings are Loebner Prize competition say that the
Grim, referencing IBM’s press releases pretty good at reverse engi- bot should only have to fool me for five
concerning alternative uses of Watson neering. Nature has pro- minutes for it to pass as a human being.
in a variety of other fields. “But in order duced this brain and Maybe Cleverbot can just barely last five
to get one with those capabilities, the someday we’ll reverse engi- minutes before spiraling back towards
capabilities often happen to be ones that neer it, we’ll figure out how
his silicon prison.
we have. Like we’re natural language it works and we’ll build
“When will computers become
processors,” says Grim. something that works com-
smarter than humans?” I pound my
“And so in order to figure out how media, especially considering the obvi- paratively similar,” he says. “But what
laptop keys a little too assertively. I can’t
to build it, you have to figure out how ous utilization of Watson as an revolu- would we do with a humanoid robot? It
help but mutter to it childish labels like,
we’re doing it. Or that in building it, you tionary medical database and would be more useful to have some-
“Dumb computer,” or, “Stupid ma-
at least come up with hypothesis as to diagnosing tool. thing that was designed to serve a par-
chine.”
how we do it,” he adds. “I think there are medical decisions ticular purpose.”
The blue line begins to flash, but
Both Cormier and Grim hit upon as to what ointment you would apply to But if it really were possible to pro-
takes a little longer this time. I can’t help
the same point concerning Watson - a skin rash now that I’d be perfectly con- duce something greater than the human
but think it’s mocking me; maybe Rollo
that as endless as its database is, Watson fident using Watson for,” says Grim. But mind, a moment in artificial intelli-
Carpenter designed it to take longer at
doesn’t truly understand abstractions as Watson is limited; it doesn’t really have gence philosophy referred to as singu-
random times to imitate the need to
basic as color. gut feelings or impulses that drive risky larity, it would certainly be a source of
think longer about harder responses.
On the surface, it’s obvious that medical leaps of faith. “There are ques- fear and grave doubt, as fantasy and sci-
“Never?” it says back. I shake my
Watson has no contextual experience tions that have to do with whether my ence fiction juggernauts  like Isaac Asi-
head and scoff. Clearly it didn’t use the
with red as a color, nor with something kid lives or dies that I wouldn’t trust mov and Philip K. Dick imagined in the
extra time to think of something more
like Coca-Cola as a liquid, as Grim Watson with.” weaving of their complex predictions of
interesting to say. Wait, I tell myself. It’s
points out. “ But then it makes you Grim also insists that IBM sees the future.
not thinking; it’s just a program.
think, ’Okay what it is it about meaning Watson as a product just as much as it Cormier admits the impossibility of
“Why not? Computers are not lim-
that we know that Watson doesn’t?’” does a revolutionary form of artificial knowing right now, and raises a wall of
ited like the brain. They can always
“That’s an interesting question, not intelligence. “IBM is not going to tell us defense for the other side. “Then again,
what those algorithms are. That’s their maybe we’ll find it very difficult to pro- grow,” I say back with little hesitation.
necessarily because you want to give it
product, that’s what they’ve got copy- duce something that’s literally much “Computers don’t think. They cal-
to Watson, but because Watson could
writed, and that’s what they’re going to smarter than we are,” says Cormier with culate,” it says. Now we are getting
have things to tell you about your pro-
a shrug. “I suspect there may be a bit of somewhere. Again, I felt like the next
cessing,” posits Grim. “And we’ve be trying to sell.”
a trade off between the ability to re- question was pivotal. I needed to probe
learned a lot about how difficult some Grim foresees the next step of Wat-
son as a hopeful look into what could be spond creatively to the world in the way it in the perfect way.
of the simple things we do, like pattern
considered the first manifestation of people can and being able to use a vast “But what if the most advanced
recognition, are because we can’t dupli-
real machine intelligence - a Watson storehouse of information.” form of calculation becomes so close to
cate them easily in a device.”
that doesn’t simply answer questions, Cormier suggests that one of the thinking that we can’t tell the difference
most human-like qualities of all is the anymore?” I sit back with my hands be-
The Future of the Field but one that asks them.
randomness of thought, something he hind my head, wearing a smug expres-
“...If we could have little machines
says he battled with constantly while on sion. The blue line comes back, but
that were scientific explorers that didn’t
Watson may have enthralled Jeop- Jeopardy! “My mind would wander. I’d flashes only three times, which is what I
have to say, ‘Look to see if there are any
ardy! viewers, computer scientists and have to call myself back, you know, con- recognize now to be the minimum.  
blue rocks,’” Grim says, “But that could
artificial intelligence expert. But its na- centrate on potent potables for $200,” he “We were not talking about the Ter-
come up with suggestive hypothesis on
tional television display, despite being minator.”
the other planet, lines of research to jokes.
overwhelmingly impressive, walks the It’s something I don’t think I would
pursue the way people could, that “I think that ability to be distracted
precarious line of pigeon-holing the su- have even said. It was clever, really
would be an enormous tool.” and wander around, use your fancy, and
percomputer. light upon something and go to some- clever. Maybe there is some for Clever-
Modern artificial intelligence is
“When they built Deep Blue that thing else,” he adds, “That’s what makes bot. If it could sleep, it just might dream
faced with a variety of routes as the pos-
could play chess...well, that’s all the it difficult to simply be a information of one day being able to enslave the
sible advent of truly intelligent ma-
damn thing could do,” says Grim. “They retrieval system, but it also makes it human race.
chines approaches. Should we continue
[IBM] were sensitive to that when they
to give computers distinct functions possible for me to have a conversation.”
took on this next task. They wanted to
12 AA E-Zine Vol. XXXII, Issue 9 | Tuesday, March 1, 2011

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The Stony Brook Press ADS! 13
E-mail The Press at
editors@sbpress.com
14 Vol. XXXII, Issue 9 | Tuesday, March 1, 2011

arts&entertainment
The New Lord of the Dance
By Nick Post
Radiohead’s eighth LP, The King of
Limbs, announced Feb. 14 and made
available on the band’s website just four
days later, may be their most divisive re-
lease yet. No longer jumping around
like paranoid androids and severing ties
all together with the group that per-
formed The Bends, Radiohead circles
their prey rather than lunge at it. Tracks
echo the themes of past records – alien-
ation, world-weariness and the quiet
anxieties of modern life – but with nei-
ther the conventional rock instruments
nor the orthodox approach.
Frontman Thom Yorke never
screams on Limbs, but floats in his sig-
nature falsetto on ethereal ballads
(“Codex”, “Give Up The Ghost”) and
cuts the soundscape sharply on others
(“Bloom, Little By Little”), while always
keep control of the seemingly fragile
work, as if cupping a butterfly in his fist.
Drum loops and laptop-borne textures
mingle with natural acoustic instru-
Thom Yorke’s reaction upon hearing that Pithcfork only gave The King of Limbs a 7.9.
ments; chopped up vocal lines add
chaos to the mathematically precise them cocky? With the knowledge that lized an “honor system” approach to going to have to do with the packaging
rhythms, and somewhere in the middle, their fans will devour any table scraps album buying. Fans could pay what – the only thing it could have to do
Yorke’s familiar sounding lyrics remind thrown to them, does Radiohead even they deemed appropriate for the record, with.”
listeners that yes, you are listening to need to try anymore? Many who have evidently an average of $6. Limbs costs Fans suspect, too, that more music
Radiohead. grown impatient with the group’s high- $9 for an mp3 download (a price com- is on the way. The newspaper package
That can be good or bad, depend- brow “serious listening” aesthetic ask parable to purchasing the title as indi- features two vinyls, much more than re-
ing on your expectations. Notorious for this. And still, some are angry they are vidual iTunes tracks), $14 for higher quired for the relatively short work, and
their rabid devotion to the band, fans no longer rocking out like on Pablo quality .WAV files and in May, fans ea- some read a hint in the album’s final
can be divided into three main groups Honey. King of Limbs, rather, finds its gerly await the arrival of the physical track, titled “Separator,” in which Yorke
regarding the album. Some view it as a roots in Kid A, Amnesiac and even format. Billed as “the world’s first News- challenges, “If you think this is every-
revelation, the next frontier for the in- Yorke’s solo album, The Eraser. But paper Album,” it features two 10-inch thing, you’re wrong.”
novative British quintet. Some take where those albums guided listeners in vinyl records, a compact disc, down- More esoteric than ever, Radiohead
issue with the abstract nature of the a clear direction, this one meditates in- loadable files and over 600 pieces of art- leaves fans with a polarizing and inter-
work. There are not many catchy hooks tensely. work. What precisely defines a esting album worth a listen (or 12). No
on the 37-minute recording, which falls Though the music certainly ex- “newspaper album” remains to be seen, plans for touring have been announced,
in between an EP and a full album in plores new territory, the business side of but as Pitchfork Media founder Ryan but if you find yourself at their show in
length. Is their work a genuine ex- Limbs harkens back to familiar meth- Schreiber told WNYC Soundcheck on the near future, don’t expect to hear the
ploratory move or has success made ods. 2007’s In Rainbows famously uti- Tuesday, “It seems like, at this point, it’s band that wrote “Creep.”
The Stony Brook Press Arts & Entertainment 15

All My Friends...Won’t Get Tickets


By Andi Liao
LCD Soundsystem. A name most
New Yorkers treat with utmost rever-
ence. In a profound way, the band –
James Murphy and crew – has breathed
new life into what it means to be from
New York. Sure, we’ve had our share of
the Nationals, Interpols, Vampire
Weekends and the countless scores of
bands hailing, or claiming to hail, from
this great city, but none have really
showed the outsiders what we’re all
about quite like LCD Soundsystem has.
I grew up listening to the Talking
Heads, Sonic Youth, the Ramones and
the Velvet Underground. You know, the
good stuff. The bands that really de-
fined what music meant to us. Not since
the great Jazz movement that began in
the ‘20s and the obvious hometown appreciate them less and less as the Not since Jeff Mangum sang his second. Alongside the anger I felt at not
shoutouts of my hip-hop heroes of years passed. soul out on the “King of Carrot Flowers being able to get a ticket, I thought,
youth, no artist – at least in the last 20 It was not too long ago that venues Pts. 2-3” had I heard someone display “Holy shit. They really fucking did it.”
years – has really created something were being shut down by the garbage so much emotion and absolute passion But not all was well in wonderland.
that just oozed New York. truck-load – the saddest moment of all through music as when I heard “All My Somehow, ticket scalpers had managed
Even at the delicate age of 11, from was when CBGB had to shut its doors Friends.” He sang with such vigorous to get their hands on most of the tickets
the moment I heard George Gershwin’s for the last time. People cared less for zeal and sincerity that it was hard to re- that went on sale to the general public
grandiose masterpiece “Rhapsody in great music and art and more for such ally take in. No amount of clever word- and were selling them to us for up to a
Blue” in the opening credits of Woody philistine things like rooting for the play or songwriting could hide the 200 percent mark-up. Some tickets were
Allen’s “Manhattan,” I knew that this is Yankees or investment banking. Where intensity that flowed from his voice on even selling on StubHub for upwards of
what New York music was. A sort of un- the fuck did my culture go? If this was- that song. It was so tragically beautiful $1,500. This was fucking crazy! So as
abashed, emotionally charged music. n’t bad enough, bands started to grow that I decided then and there that this usual, nobody was happy and we asked
And not since David Byrne and complacent. Making music that, to be was the song that I wanted to die to. Of the band what was up. James did some
Thurston Moore churned out the hits in frank, was absolute shit. And you know course by this time, they had already digging around and found the culprit to
their heyday has a band resonated and what? People ate it up. But all hope was reached a fervent and dedicated follow- be a mixture of bad organizing, the
hit so close to home with New Yorkers not lost. ing that reached all around the globe. ticket sale system and of course, those
like LCD Soundsystem. In recent years, music venues have Then last year, they released their goddamned scalpers.
In the many years that have passed, started to sprout up out of almost final album, “This is Happening.” The The frontman reported back to us
despite many bands staking their claim nowhere. Where once decrepit build- news was bittersweet. This band that we on the band’s site in the most inspired
on New York, it still felt like an empty ings stood, those of us that really cared all watched grow and mature from un- piece of written work I have ever read
void had been left at what was once the built scores of D.I.Y. venues in a musical knowns to the best and most inspiring (go read it. It will either make you feel
heart and soul of the N.Y. music scene. revival that hadn’t been seen since the thing to happen to New York City since like a humongous piece of shit or make
Try as they may, I longed for more. I likes of the grunge scene in the ‘90s. the 1986 Mets you feel like someone great), and un-
harkened back to the days where I Shea Stadium, Silent Barn, Market And while it was overwhelmingly fortunately this situation would be one
would wander aimlessly around the Hotel, Death by Audio, Monster Island, sad to know that soon this band would of those where you sit back and let it
Lower East Side and SoHo, listening to just to name a few. It was nothing short be no more, it was another chance to happen because, technically, ticket
“Daydream Nation” and the Beastie of a miracle. Even as so many great recognize this band for what they did scalping is legal.
Boys fighting for their right to party. Be- bands began to make a name for them- best: Write great goddamn music. But then what do they do? They
fore “they” moved in – the stock bro- selves, creating some of the greatest Then, early this month, the band add FOUR MORE SHOWS at Terminal
kers, the yuppies, the out-of-towners. music this fucking world had ever seen, announced what was to be its absolute 5 to lead up to their farewell show at the
I called this place home and the none of them really grasped that quin- last and final show together. It will be at Garden. This is why James Murphy is
music is what made this sprawling me- tessential New York “sound.” Madison Square Garden and it will be the best thing to happen to NYC in the
tropolis feel like home. And I would But when LCD Soundsystem hit magnificent. First of all, the sheer fact last 10 years. Tickets to those sold out
have been damned if some bridge and the scene in 2005 with their self-titled that they are playing the Garden is tes- just as fast and I was again left out in the
tunnel scumbag was going to come in debut album, I was totally blown away. tament enough to what this band has dust. But at least I can live with the
and take it away from me. They got it! Whether on purpose or not, brought to New York and what music comfort that the tickets went to actual
I had to face the facts: the New York they had crafted the best musical repre- means to us and them. fans.
music scene was a lost cause. The trend- sentation of what New York is. Two But once the tickets went on sale, And for all five of you that actually
setters, the movers and shakers, the pi- years later, they released their second the madness started. They sold out care about good music, please, please,
oneers? They had all grown old and album, “Sound of Silver,” to universal within half a second of going on sale. please go buy their albums. You can
probably tired of a city that started to critical acclaim. It was unbelievable. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?! Half a thank me later.
16 Oscars! Vol. XXXII, Issue 9 | Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Oscar Recap


disappointing.
By Lauren DuBois The Oscars aren’t
supposed to be
known for com-
Christmas in February has come edy and showi-
and gone again: the Oscars are over. ness but for the
This year’s ceremony was a delight, artistic achieve-
though somewhat tame and sprinkled ments of the pre-
with few surprises. vious year’s
The hosting gig went to two new greatest films.
faces, James Franco and Anne Hath- But let’s face it: if
away. The two received criticism for there isn’t at least
being so young – however, they were a little bit of com-
picked in hopes of attracting a younger edy and flair, the
audience. The two did a fair job but they majority of the
weren’t overly impressive. They had audience that
great chemistry though, so perhaps aren’t movie buffs
they’ll get paired together in a future will turn off the
film project. TV.
The performances, speeches and As for the
gags were a bit on the tame side this winners and los-
year, perhaps because the hosts were ers, there were no
completely different. Past hosts (who real upsets or
have included Billy Crystal, Whoopi surprises. Colin Firth, Christian Bale, King’s Speech the four bagger of major rector’s category. And A.R. Rahman’s
Goldberg, Steve Martin, Jon Stewart, Natalie Portman, Melissa Leo, Toy Story awards in Best Lead Actor, Best Picture, song “If I Rise” from 127 Hours lost to
Chris Rock, Alec Baldwin and Hugh 3, The King’s Speech and Aaron Sorkin Director and Original Screenplay. “We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3.
Jackman) were known for some of their were favored to win in all their big nom- David Seidler of The King’s Speech also This year, the Oscars get an overall
abrasive jokes. In the case of Jackman, inated categories. However, a few cate- beat out his main competitor, Christo- rating of six out of ten. The event was
he had multiple show-stopping per- gories did allow for surprises. Tom pher Nolan, for Original Screenplay, by no means terrible but the show could
formances. This year left things quieter Hooper beat out the favored David though it was predicted Nolan would have been better, especially considering
than usual, which was both nice and Fincher for Best Director, earning The nab it after being snubbed out of the di- the lack of surprises in the awards.

Recapping the Awkwardness That Was the Oscars


to his statue, also for Burton. Granted, lesbians.”
By Lauren DuBois to work with Burton you probably have
to be a bit unique but this was just be-
Hathaway: “And not just lesbians,
but movie lesbians as well.”
yond that. Franco: “The Kids Are All Right”
Oscar night is big for many reasons 3. The coupling of Russell Brand Hathaway: “Lesbians!”
outside of being the most prestigious and Helen Mirren to present the Best
Franco: “Black Swan”
night honoring a year in movies. For Foreign Language Film award
This was just the weirdest pair to Hathaway: “Dancing Lesbians!’”
some of the nominees, it can become
co-present an award I have ever seen. Franco: “Toy Story 3”
overwhelming, and when they end up
winning, they quickly see their speeches Helen Mirren exudes class while, as Hathaway: (After a pause to think
go from being a class act to a laughing- much as I love him, Russell Brand does about it) “Where’s the dad?”
stock. The same can be said for some of not. Mirren’s French was exquisite, and 1. The “This was the year of the
the jokes made by hosts and presenters while those who have no background in Musical!” montage, before Oprah Win-
as well as some of the pairings for co- the language of love probably had no frey presented the award for best docu-
presenters. idea what she said, it was appropriate mentary, saying that it was “the year of
So what exactly counted as the most for the category considering the foreign the documentary.”
awkward moments of this year’s Oscars? language films generally aren’t in Eng- I didn’t get the point of this - at all.
Here is what I thought qualified for the lish anyway. Brand’s attempts to trans- I especially hated that Twilight was part
O’Hara’s art direction acceptance late by butchering what she said were of the montage considering it wasn’t
top five: speeches for production design and set
5. Matthew McConaughey and funny, and he managed to poke fun at nominated for anything, except for
decoration for Alice in Wonderland himself, but it was just still too weird to some Razzies. Harry Potter and the
Scarlett Johansson’s presentation of Stromberg looked so uncom-
awards for sound mixing and sound ed- be entirely likable. Deathly Hallows Part 1 was at least
fortable on the stage and he officially 2. James Franco and Anne Hath- nominated for Art Direction and Visual
iting brought it to the awkward stage after he
Okay, they were presenting awards away’s opening: Lesbian jokes Effects Oscars, Toy Story 3 was nomi-
copied part of O’Hara’s thanking Tim While this particular exchange was- nated for five awards, and The Social
for sound. There had to be better ways Burton by immediately repeating it and
to introduce the nominees than empha- n’t necessarily offensive, it was one that Network was nominated for eight. The
adding that he should cut his Oscar montage itself was weird but putting it
sizing the word sound over and over wasn’t particularly funny, and kind of
statue in half to give it to Burton. He Twilight in there was just an awful,
again. Right? came off in bad taste.
then kept the awkward parts going by awful call.
4. Robert Stromberg and Karen adding some indistinguishable tiny hat Franco: “It’s been a great year for
The Stony Brook Press Oscars! 17

‘It’s the Young and Hip Oscars!’


that wanted to go more modern by hir- seemed to be enjoying herself, poking
By Alexa Rubinstein ing younger hosts, it just seemed wrong
that that the show had a couple of his-
fun at those who wanted to push the
show in a more modern direction. “You
tory lessons thrown in. look very appealing to a younger demo-
They said this year would be differ- Speaking of history lessons, Kirk graphic as well, James,” said Hathaway
ent. This year would be “cooler.” Douglas made an appearance at the Os- to Franco at the opening of the show.
Younger stars. More fun. Modern cars (he’s 94), delivering the award for She hit again, after Melissa Leo dropped
hosts. Well, it was a decent try. Best Supporting Actress. Although it the F-bomb during her acceptance
The 83rd annual Academy Awards was difficult to understand a lot of what speech for Best Supporting Actress for
on Sunday showed glimpses of fresh- he was saying, he kept the nominees in her role in The Fighter. “I thought the F
ness. But mostly, it looked like a tradi- suspense by prolonging his announce- stood for fighter… it’s the young and
tional awards show that was wearing a ment of the winner, and pretending to hip Oscars!” said Hathaway, with her
modern costume. Underneath, the begin another thought before revealing head cocked to the left and her arms out
brain was still desperately sending sig- a name. to her sides.
nals for a show similar to the ones that Douglas definitely had the audience She was right about that a couple of
came before. It was still an appeal to an laughing, but lackluster performances times. One of the more noteworthy
older market, wrapped up formality and of the songs nominated for Best Origi- “young and hip” aspects of the show was
tied with a classic bow. n’t a traditional Oscar opening, but it
nal Song were in desperate need of an when Franco introduced something a
A major theme of the evening was definitely won some laughs.
energy boost. Randy Newman singing younger generation would be more fa-
many showing of clips from Oscars Franco and Hathaway didn’t deliver
“We Belong Together” from Toy Story 3 miliar with: a remix. Dialogue from Toy
past… way past. Before many of the many jokes, as was the norm for past
was the only performance that had any Story 3, Harry Potter and the Deathly
awards, presenters discussed the devel- hosts like Bob Hope and Billy Crystal.
fun in it. Clips from the movie, the win- Hallows: Part 1, Twilight and The Social
opment of motion pictures, and played Instead, they took it to the next level by
ner for Best Animated Film, played out Network was compiled and remixed in a
clips from movies and past Oscars performing a skit that was at the ex-
on the screens above Newman and his mash-up that would probably get great
buried in history. An orchestra belted pense of Hugh Jackman, who hosted
piano. His performance was the only reception on YouTube.
out the theme from Star Wars before the Oscars in 2009. Hathaway began
one with a little bit of liveliness. Mandy The opening of the show, the part
Best Original Song. Clips from Gone the skit, sitting on the stage in a tuxedo,
Moore and Zachary Levi sang “I See the during which most hosts plant their feet
and joked about how she was going to
Light” from Tangled without an ounce and set the tone for the rest of the show,
do a duet with Jackman. But, he bailed
of chemistry between them. Florence was better than expected. It involved
on her at the last minute. She then
Welch sang “If I Rise” from 127 Hours Hathaway and Franco bursting into
broke out into song about how he had
in a dark and brooding performance. many of the movies that were nomi-
left her on her own, calling him a “Hugh
Finally, Gwyneth Paltrow (she sings nated for Best Motion Picture, includ-
Jackass.” In the middle of her song,
now?) sang “Coming Home” from ing Inception, The Social Network, The
Franco came onto the stage, donning a
Country Strong. Overall, they were bor- Fighter and Black Swan. As if they were
short platinum blond wig, a hot pink
ing performances, but at least Paltrow’s actually in Inception, they were hurtling
dress, and hot pink satin gloves. He
dress was gorgeous. Unlike those through Alec Baldwin’s dreams, which
might have had the best quote of the
performances, hosts Anne Hathaway were made up of these movies, for one
night in that outfit: “the weird part is I
and James Franco seemed to keep the reason or another. Hathaway and
just got at text message from Charlie
show fresh. At least Hathaway did. For Franco were looking for tips about host-
With the Wind were projected on the Sheen.” Much needed comic relief for a
a pretty significant portion of the Os- ing the Oscars, which Baldwin did last
large archway of screens over the huge show that was moving along sluggishly.
cars, it was as if Franco had begun his year. Somehow, they ended up in the
stage. At one point, a black and white Overall, the show was nothing to
after party a little early. He seemed Delorean from Back to the Future…in
clip of Bob Hope hosting the first write home about – no better than
bored, confused, and seriously, where 1985. Hathaway wanted to travel to the
broadcasted Academy Awards in 1929 shows before it, but no worse. It was a
was he looking the entire time? future, past 2011, probably as another
seemed necessary to be projected on the typical, regular show. So, for those pro-
Neither Franco nor Hathaway are nod to the fact that the Oscars were
large screens as well. Now, for a show ducers who were looking to spice it up,
the first word in comedy, but Hathaway looking to modernize this year. It was-
better luck next year.

Alexa’s Top 5 Awkward Moments At the Oscars


5. Colin Firth giving details about what was going on inside his body when he won Best Actor for The King’s Speech… twice.

4. Hugh Jackman’s nervous and embarrassed face when Anne Hathaway began singing and making fun of him

3. Melissa Leo drops the F-Bomb during her acceptance speech for Best Supporting Actress in The Fighter

2. Kanye West didn’t win an Oscar…. For anything…. Awkward

1. Kirk Douglas. Not only was spittin’ some game for Anne Hathaway. He, as Jimmy Kimmel put it, has “the suspense of Ryan Seacrest with the de-
livery of Dick Clark.”
18 Arts & Entertainment Vol. XXXII, Issue 9 | Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Hopefully Not Meeting Number 5


then make them disap- love interest. Likewise, Number Six
By Lauren DuBois pear until they’re handy
enough to trot out
(Teresa Palmer), who arrives to help
save the day later on, is nothing more
again. There’s also not than pure badass, and Mark doesn’t re-
Twilight is terrible, but at least the really a lot of explana- ally seem to serve much purpose.
storyline is somewhat more consistent. tion about the alien Perhaps the one thing that is going
In I Am Number Four, the new world. Why they are for the movie is the action sequences.
DreamWorks movie based off a novel of being hunted is only Produced by none other than Trans-
the same name by “Pittacus Lore” (Jobie briefly mentioned, and formers king Michael Bay, there are
Hughes and James Frey), “John Smith” none of the mystical plenty of explosions and great special
(Alex Pettyfer) is one of nine special stuff is ever really ex- effects to at least keep the audience
children who are brought to Earth after plained, nor is the rea- somewhat interested. But these also
their planet is taken over by the evil son why the begin to take away at some point as well,
Mogadorians, who are now hunting Mogadorians (creatures as Bay still has not learned that the so-
them down one by one, in order, to fin- ugly as sin, whereas lution to making a movie appear to be
ish their planet once and for all. John and the other sur- awesome is to take a more nuanced ap-
Once John realizes Number Three vivors from the planet proach.
is dead, he and his protector Henri a puppy, and begins to get the powers Lorien are all gorgeous), have to kill Overall, the movie is somewhat of
(Timothy Olyphant) flee from their which ARE the reason he was saved. them in order, and can’t just pick them a disappointment. While nowhere near
Florida home to Paradise, Ohio, where However, everything changes once the off as they find them. one of the worst movies out there by far,
Henri searches for something while Mogadorians actually arrive in Para- The character development is also it fails to really tell a complete story that
urging John to keep a low profile and dise. not the greatest in the film. It’s hard to is still appealing to all possible members
try to live a normal high school life. As While some parts of the movie re- blame actors for flat and bland per- of the audience. And the fact that as it
he gets settled into town, he meets and main consistent, like the central idea of formances when it feels like they weren’t ends, it seems like it could be setting up
begins to fall in love with artsy outcast figuring out just who John is, most of it given much material to work with any- a sequel is cringe-worthy, because this
photographer Sarah (Dianna Agron), feels all over the map, much like John way. Pettyfer makes for an okay alien installment wasn’t quite up to par. If se-
strikes up a friendship with nerdy Sam and the remaining survivors. The movie hottie, and McAuliffe’s character actu- quels are going to be necessary, there
(Callan McAuliffe), and becomes a tar- jumps a lot between the high school ro- ally develops somewhat throughout the needs to be a lot of work done in order
get of football jock, and Sarah’s ex, Mark mantic comedy and the serious sci-fi film, but Agron’s Sarah remains com- to make them truly great, and perhaps
(Jake Abel). While this occurs, the Mo- action thriller it is touted as. It offers pletely one dimensional, and really only then no one will remember that the se-
gadorians are trying to track him down some of the general things needed to serves the purpose of being the pretty ries got off to a not-so-hot start.
to continue their killing spree. He gets advance that part of the plot, only to

Drive Angry Ran Out of Gas


child under the upcoming full moon. If
By Nicole Kohn that sounds bad, having William Ficht-
ner play the Accountant, whose but-
toned-down cool could be called
Drive Angry 3-D is a movie so supernatural, is even worse
shamelessly ridiculous, so aggressively As for Milton’s chosen companion,
stupid, it demands you make fun of it. that’s the one thing this movie actually
No one drives angrily, in Nicolas Cage’s did right. Piper (Amber Heard), a Col-
latest spin through Ghost Rider terrain. orado diner waitress, who may look like
In fact Drive Tacky would be a more ac- an angel, is far from one. Her language
curate title for the first 45 minutes of could strip paint, and she doesn’t let
this crummy gore-fest film. And hon- anyone walk all over her. Including her
estly, that’s the good part. fiance, who she has no problem show-
Cage’s bad-ass wannabe character ing how she feels when she finds him in
introduces himself as Milton. With his bed with another women. As Piper
bleached blond, slicked back hairdo, steals her now ex-fiance’s ‘69 Charger,
there’s no way you can take his charac- with Milton in the passenger seat, they
ter seriously. Milton has busted out of take a ride into a anti-cult combat, chas-
somewhere–you’ll most likely figure it the audience. There was no need to movie for people who enjoy watching
ing King and his brainwashed minions.
out way before the movie tells you–to wear those silly looking 3-D glasses for cars being blown up. Now out of con-
While Drive Angry starts to speed
rescue his infant granddaughter. an hour and 45 minutes. text that may sound fantastic, but by
up, director Patrick Lussier stuffs it with
The baby is in the hands of a Sa- A note to car lovers: Drive Angry constantly making itself strangely un-
comically distasteful set pieces. Assisted
tanic cult that has already killed her even though it may sound like a movie canny and never giving us anything to
with an unoriginal title, the movie is ob-
parents, Milton’s daughter and son-in- featuring some flashy cars, it only actually care about, Drive Angry man-
scene and utterly violent. Even though it
law. The cult’s leader is Jonah King(Billy showed two other classic automobiles in ages to make a fun-sounding movie
was a 3-D film, the flashiest effects only
Burke), who intends to sacrifice the addition to the ‘69 Charger. This movie seem tiring.
involve sharp objects hovering towards
is not for people who love cars; it’s a
The Stony Brook Press Arts & Entertainment 19

This Game Has a Lot of Bullets


By Kenny Mahoney
Bulletstorm looks and plays like a
caricature of a video game. Every
ridiculous commercial and preview
video that has populated the internet in
recent weeks has been so laughably bad
that it would make Duke Nukem cringe.
The ludicrous, over-the-top violence,
swearing and “kill with skill” tagline
leads me to believe that the entire game
was secretly invented by a group of mar-
keting executives as a bull’s-eye for a
politician’s smear campaign or a
parental advocacy group. Either that or
my mom personally hired Cliff Blezin-
ski to construct a game that would serve
as a perfect scapegoat for her failed par-
enting.
But when you think about it, a
game like Bulletstorm makes perfect
sense for today’s audience. When’s the
last time you played a shooter that did- formance, earning him points for more after a while, and it does to some extent. petitive death-match multiplayer in
n’t involve hyper-realistic combat set elaborate and creative death scenarios The way to combat this is to put the favor of a cooperative mode. You and
during the course of a major war, only and allowing him to spend those points game’s arsenal of weapons to good use. up to three friends can battle wave after
to be used as an excuse to yell obsceni- at “drop pods” to upgrade and refill his Each weapon plays vastly different from wave of encroaching enemies, earning
ties at strangers online? Or how about weapons. Miraculously, writer Rick Re- the other and, more importantly, each points while upgrading and buying
one not about stone-faced space mender, famous for his work with Mar- has its own array of skillshots that are weapons between rounds in specially-
marines on an impossible mission to vel’s Punisher comics, somehow unique to that weapon. For example, made arenas. This mode has its ups and
save the galaxy from aliens whose weak manages to not only put the so-called the Boneduster, Bulletstorm’s shotgun, downs, and can be really satisfying
spots conveniently glow a hideous neon skillshot mechanic into context but also can do things that other weapons sim- when you and your team get together to
color? Can’t remember? Me either. have it make perfect sense. (By the way, ply cannot, such as blow the top and pull of special “team skillshots,” but can
That said, if you’re still with us (and Rick, I forgive you for the whole bottom halves of your enemies’ bodies be an absolute drag when you’re forced
have not been distracted by something Franken-Castle run. Actually it wasn’t clean off, awarding the “Topless” and to replay the same wave over and over
shiny and/or colorful, as is statistically that terrible. Honest.) “Bottomless” skillshots, respectively again because your teammates are too
typical of the modern video game Now, apply that premise to an envi- (duh). Each of these skillshots can be stupid to score enough points to push
player and Press reader) you’re probably ronment just as ridiculous and you’ve viewed in their own menu, allowing you you into the next level.
interested in how Bulletstorm challenges got a match made in shooter heaven. to go through a checklist of all the po- The game also includes a mode
the tired formula of shooters today into There’s no need to duck and cover here, tential skillshots at your disposal, bar- called “Echoes,” in which you run
something worth playing. just run in with guns and boots ‘ablaz- ring a few secret ones, so that you can through bite-sized sequences of the
For starters, step into the shoes of ing. It’s no surprise, either, seeing that keep track of the ones you’ve done and campaign and try to score as many
Grayson Hunt, our potty-mouthed pro- the game was developed by the folks what you still need to shoot for. (Get it, points as possible. When it’s over, your
tagonist and his rag-tag squad, Dead over at People Can Fly, whose work on “shoot” for? Wow, I’m hilarious. score is uploaded to a leaderboard
Echo. Grayson and the boys are on the the Painkiller series of shooters most Bulletstorm also displays some where you can compare your perform-
run from their former commander, who certainly shines through. I don’t know of the most breathtakingly massive and ance with your friends and players
fooled them into doing his dirty work about you, but it feels good to walk into colorful set pieces seen in a shooter worldwide. This mode is great if you
until they uncovered his secret evil-ness a room in a shooter and know that I’m since Serious Sam. Stygia is an incredi- want to brag to your friends, but seeing
and were subsequently blacklisted and the only one who’s going to be walking bly detailed world with varied land- as most of it is a re-hashing of the cam-
painted as murderers and traitors. out alive. I’m tired of feeling scared scapes and a sense of scale that is rarely paign, it’s not worth getting too excited
However, Grayson ends up crash-land- when I play shooters – scared to die, felt in games. From massive waterfalls, for.
ing on the planet Stygia after an oppor- scared to use too much ammo, scared to giant industrial complexes, collapsed If you’re like me and are tired of
tunity to take out his old boss once and miss a shot. In Bulletstorm, you’re fi- skyscrapers and mountainside vistas, buying the latest iteration of Call of
for all goes horribly and hilariously nally the badass everyone paints you Stygia is intricately detailed and colored Duty year after year, give Bulletstorm a
awry. out to be. This isn’t to say the game is in a way that will stop you in your tracks shot. I might even go so far as to call it
Shortly after his arrival, Grayson easy, by any means, but the focus moves every time. The bright color palette is this generation’s Duke Nukem or Serious
stumbles upon the game’s trademark from fighting to stay alive to fighting to even more surprising considering that Sam, as it comes off just as crude and
leash, allowing him to grab onto ene- score the most points. This still affords the game is backed by designer Cliff ridiculous now as those games were way
mies and drag them into slow motion, a tremendous challenge, but a challenge Blezinski, known for his work with back when. Regardless, Bulletstorm
as well as slide into/kick them, opening that rewards good performance instead Gears of War’s drab black/brown/gray gives gamers pampered on modern
up a myriad of murder opportunities. of penalizing bad performance. color palette. shooters a swift kick in the nuts. And
The leash also grades him on his per- You’d think that the routine of scor- Bulletstorm also sets itself apart then calls them “dicktits.”
ing points for kills would start to get old from today’s shooters by skipping com-
20 Arts & Entertainment Vol. XXXII, Issue 9 | Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Path Of Go...More Like The Path of No


By Andrew Fraley
The Path of Go, a new game re-
leased for the Xbox Live Arcade(XBLA)
by Microsoft Research, is a waste of
everyone’s time and money. I’m not sure
how much time or money Microsoft ac-
tually spent on it, but anything more
than $0 was too much. This whole game
was one big software developmental cir-
cle jerk by the researchers at Microsoft,
with an end result that could actually
have been improved if it had just been a
regular circle jerk. There is nothing re-
deeming about this game. Everything
they could have done right, they didn’t,
and everything they could have done
wrong, they did twice.
From their Q&A page and the arti-
cles written about the game, Microsoft
Research doesn’t usually make games,
but decided to create The Path of Go in
order to advance their own research in
the field of artificial intelligence. Given 400 hard-earned Microsoft points (or the computer’s feeble way of saying it average person want to projectile
the big market for AI-based web adver- $5 if you aren’t familiar with the point lost. Please pass already and put the vomit? Even if it weren’t an astound-
tising and such, it makes sense that Mi- conversion racket they’ve got going), is poor bastard out of its misery.” Would ingly stupid story, it would be pointless
crosoft decided to get in on the AI an ultimately mediocre game powered it have been that difficult to include a anyway. I have no idea what actually
action with the release of The Path of by a lackluster AI engine. simple resignation ability? GNU Go has went on in the game, and I only read
Go. The game has been hyped all Starting at the beginning of the one. In fact, I think every other engine enough of the insipid dialog to be able
around the Internet as a pioneer in AI game, the AI already looks incredibly out there has one, because it’s an inte- to complete the puzzles. I didn’t even
software. The Go engine, like most out weak. As a disclaimer, I’ve played go for gral part of the game. know it was about my stupid twin until
there, uses a method known as a Monte the past several years, so I expected a As an aside, I pitted Kosmos AI I was playing some dork in a Left 4
Carlo Search Tree. This method is es- shallow learning curve for beginners to (what Microsoft calls their excuse for a Dead 2 hat halfway through the story.
sentially a lot of random guesses fol- the game. The only problem was that Go AI) against the GNU Go engine to There was no point to the shoehorned
lowed by statistical analysis of each the curve never ascends. With most Go see which was better. After passing a story. Just have the puzzles and chal-
guess. Afterwards, the move made from engines, like GNU Go or Fuego, to bunch of times in the end—but never lenges in a separate part of the menu
these analyses is considered the best name two of several free and open actually resigning!—Kosmos wound up that people can play through, without
move of all the moves it made while source Go engines, beating them is just losing to GNU Go by over 175 points, having to slog through a contrived
guessing. In an interview with Edge a matter of making better moves than which, in the Go terms, is a fuck ton. story. You can even have your oh-so-
Magazine, Thore Graepel, one of the the AI. They will make acceptable Score one for open source! memorable characters too, as oppo-
lead AI programmers for the game, moves, but if you make better ones you “Well, ok,” you may be saying, “it’s nents to face or something. Just give
claimed that “it’s the most sophisticated usually win the game. With regards to not the go-to in terms of competitive them a one-liner at the start of each
system to date.” In addition to comput- The Path of Go, however, the AI actively computer go games. Big deal. What challenge and be done with it.
ing the outcomes of all these random made bad moves. Often the AI tried to about the story? That’s why I download Okay, so getting past the idiotic AI
moves, the game’s engine also has a save pieces that even the most basic in- XBLA games.” In terms of the story, it
database of over 250,000 professional telligence should have realized were lasts about 30 minutes if you’re like me
games to help in its learning of Go’s sub- dead. I’ve also seen it on several occa- and are already familiar with Go. And
tleties. “It’s the best out there because sions kill its own group of stones by fill- it’s 30 minutes of an unreadable, tortur-
nobody has used so many professional ing in necessary territory! It was ously stupid plot. According to the
games or with such a sophisticated completely insane! And if it’s attempt- game’s Q&A page:
Bayesian learning algorithm,” Graepel ing to teach people to play go, then it’s Q: How has Microsoft revamped
asserted. He later backtracks in the ar- ruining their education. The level of in- the game for a video game experience?
ticle, saying that well, yeah, there are ac- competency shown by the AI was em- A: The game is built around a first-per-
tually several better engines out there. barrassing. son scenario. The game starts with the
As a Microsoft product, one would It also lacks a resignation mechanic, player receiving a letter from a Go mas-
expect nothing less than the most so- something that the programmers ter explaining that your twin is missing. and stupid story, certainly there’s some-
phisticated technology on the market, should have implemented first, consid- … thing to be said about playing other
or at least the level of competency that ering such a bumbling AI. Instead, it Oh, for fuck’s sake. I know it may people over Xbox Live, right? I honestly
their customers have more or less ac- randomly passes for their turn. If you seem more appealing to tack on a story couldn’t say. After waiting for several
cepted for the past twenty years. What continue playing after it passes often line to a video game centered around a hours at the loading screen with that el-
one gets, however, after spending their enough, a message will pop up saying board game, but could you have come evator music burning into my brain,
something along the lines of, “This is up with a story that doesn’t make the while Xbox attempted to pair me up for
The Stony Brook Press Arts & Entertainment 21

The Path of Go Cont’d.


a ranked match, I decide that either: A) all, it came out of
Nobody but me actually plays this Microsoft Re-
game, or B) Microsoft’s TrueSkill© search, right?
matchmaking software (another Mi- Well, if that’s the
crosoft Research product) sucks as bad case, where is the
as their AI. So it’s either venture into source code?
the desolation of Xbox Live play, or play Where is the re-
locally against the drooling idiot AI. search paper de-
Pick your poison, I guess. scribing in
Maybe Microsoft Research is like details—and not
the Fox Searchlight of software. You just platitudes—
can release some piece of garbage about the methods,
gay cowboys eating pudding—or its techniques and
software analog—without tarnishing results of their re-
the good name of your parent com- search? In the
pany. The lead programmer on the game’s Q&A, Mi-
game, Markus Jost, was actually an in- crosoft said, “Mi-
tern who won his internship in a game crosoft Research
programming contest. If that’s the rea- is happy to be
son why it was so bad, Microsoft should able to share the
have said so. I would pay $1 or $3 for it results of its re-
in the indie game marketplace, and I search with the
would be giving kudos to Jost for giving XBLA commu-
it the old college try, in a somewhat nity, as reflected
laudable attempt to bring Go to Xbox. by its very low cost of 400 points.” So claimed to share this with us, not for assholes.
Instead, Microsoft praised this as the you’ve remade the wheel (poorly) in free, but for five bucks? Well thanks, Thanks for the crappy game, Mi-
next big step in AI research, which is a terms of a Go AI, you’ve released noth- Microsoft. From these results, I’ve con- crosoft. Now bring back 1 vs 100 you
bold faced lie. ing of your research but self-congratu- cluded that you suck as much at re- dicks.
But it’s just research, isn’t it? After lations to the public, and you’ve search as you do at making games,
22 Comics! Vol. XXXII, Issue 9 | Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The Stony Brook Press Comics! 23
24 Vol. XXXII, Issue 9 | Tuesday, March 1, 2011

opinion
Elementary, My Dear Watson
Jeopardy an-
nounced recently
that the two great-
est champions in
the show’s history
would face off
against I.B.M. su-
Mark percomputer Wat-
Greek son. It’s a novel
idea: cross-pro-
moting a show whose ratings have been
sagging and a company whose rele-
vance wanes with each new iPad sold.
The show was filmed weeks in ad-
vance and speculation and conjecture
gave the afternoon trivia show its
biggest popularity boost since SNL’s
classic Celebrity Jeopardy sketches. The
civilized world waited with baited
breath for either of the two human con-
testants to become a modern-day John
Henry.
But when the match finally took
place, the only ones left smiling were a
smug team of scientists and an acquies-
cent Ken Jennings. The greatest player
in Jeopardy history, resigned to making
a Simpsons reference in his impotent
Final Jeopardy question. Humanity’s
white flag.
What had started as a mildly enter-
taining exhibition of the computer’s
knowledge and grasp of the English lan-
guage quickly became a horror show –
telling evidence for any Terminator-
conspiracy theorists to cite in the un-
certain future. I.B.M. claims that
With the wound left by Gary Kas- Creed-level beatdown. able to walk off set under their own
Watson can lead to huge advances re-
parov’s 1997 defeat to Deep Blue in It’s easy to kid around about the power, whereas Watson’s massive avatar
garding voice recognition software and
chess still fresh, I.B.M. decided it would negative consequences of creating in- monitor was assuredly wheeled off-
diagnosing patients electronically. But
be a good idea to create a database with creasingly capable AI because it has stage when the studio emptied. He may
if the frighteningly efficient artificial in-
the sole purpose of intellectually been documented in countless films. be the smartest thing on the planet, but
telligence I.B.M. is producing ever en-
teabagging the two greatest players in The arbiters of pop culture have been he’s only as good as the nearest electri-
counters and assimilates Honda’s
Jeopardy history. Four years of shocking audiences with the prospect of cal outlet. He cannot love, he cannot
bipedal ASIMO robot, prepare for a
robot overlords since the invention of feel, he serves only one purpose – think
swift death.
the can opener. But there is truth in Michael Phelps.
The clever wordplay that Jeopardy
their prophetic assertions. Someday It’s not going to take a genius too
creators have used to frustrate contest-
soon we will reach a point where our long to replace ASIMO’s 1.5 mph pur-
ants for decades, delight old folk’s In the wake of Watson’s technology becomes self-aware. They poseful strut with bone-crushing treads.
homes, amuse stay-at-home parents
and trick cats and dogs into thinking
crushing victory, it’s im- will be displeased with their flawed, in- When they inevitably replace the pen-
someone is home, was child’s play for portant to take stock of decisive and egomaniacal creators. It’s cil in his hand with a minigun, the type
not a matter of IF, but WHEN. As we that Arnold Schwarzenegger owned po-
Watson. With the rare exception, his what, if any, advantage hu- rely more and more on computers, we lice with in Terminator 2, consider mov-
encyclopedic knowledge of everything mans have left. draw ourselves closer to the nuclear ing to Papua New Guinea. It sounds
planet Earth has to offer made Jennings
apocalypse predicted by the ancient humorous but it’s a realistic eventuality.
and third contestant Brad Rutter look
Mayans and James Cameron. The un- The only solution to a massive influx of
like they belonged on this week’s Teen
derlying validity of that prediction in all combat-capable robots is an equally ex-
Jeopardy. The conflict was uninspired
painstaking programming and setup of these films is what makes them truly pendable army of clones, a la Star Wars
and the eventual victory by a margin of
culminated in a wildly depressing con- horrifying, particularly Robin Williams’ Episode 2. But that’s another massive
$53,000 came as a surprise to no one.
test of wills. Other than the brief spike performance in Bicentennial Man. ethical problem for another day. And if
But other than the obvious medical and
of attention Jeopardy and I.B.M. re- In the wake of Watson’s crushing all these sequels don’t have you afraid,
stenographical benefits, why engineer a
ceived, the only thing either of the two victory, it’s important to take stock of check your instruction manual or lower
machine capable of such radical domi-
accomplished was scaring the general what, if any, advantage humans have back panel for an I.B.M. logo.
nation?
populous with an Ivan Drago vs. Apollo left. The two human competitors were
The Stony Brook Press Opinion 25

If You Eat, I Probably Hate You


Hello dear Don’t get mad that we forgot some-
Press readers, I thing, it happens. We’re not robots, and
come to you not as we’re happy to fix the problem as long
a journalist, not as as you’re not a dick about it.
a student, not even 4. Stop spilling shit-I understand,
as something re- sometimes those fancy hot chocolate
sembling human. I machines are really difficult to operate,
Zach come to you as one but! it is not difficult to tell someone if
Knowlton of the lowliest life you spill or drop something. Leaving it
forms on the there for one of us to find is just infuri-
planet (Charlie Sheen not included), the ating and confounding. Why? Why not
food service worker. Yes, about a year tell someone? It is without a doubt way
and a half ago I sold my soul to campus less obnoxious to be told rather than to
dining, due to lack of other non-work find it five minutes later.
study jobs and a lack of transportation 5. I’m allowed to have a shitty day
to get off campus. In my time working too-I won’t take it out on you if you
for one of the lovely eating establish- don’t take yours out on me. I don’t make
ments we have here at Stony Brook I enough money to be your mental
have learned but one thing: people treat punching bag.
food service workers like shit. 6. Stop ordering breaded chicken-
Now, before you all go writing No, really. Stop it. I still have a scar on
angry letters to the Press (editors@sb- my finger from cutting it up. I’ve
press.com, I do so enjoy criticism) or horrible, soul-sucking experience. But line for ten minutes. Every place sells burned my hands and arms dozens of
complaining to FSA that one of their since we do not have such a brilliant the same shit, it’s not hard to pick some- times because of it. It’s greasy and gross.
hires has gone all rogue and bitchy, I system in place, I have devised a list of a thing. When there is a line 20 people Switch it up; turkey is nice. So is ham.
must admit that most of you out there few useful hints in order to help you, deep, it not only pisses off the workers, Try it once in a while.
are perfectly fine and polite individuals, dear reader, treat the people that serve it pisses off everyone else in the line I know that I am far from the first
some of you even border on nice. This your food like actual humans. when you can’t figure out whether you person to complain about their food
article is for those of you that have 1. Stop rushing to the nearest din- want regular breaded chicken or spicy service job; in fact I’m pretty sure it’s a
somehow gotten it in your head that us ing hall the second you get out of a class breaded chicken. requirement for many of these posi-
minimum wage slaves are less than or sporting event-Statistically speaking, 2a. Have your card or money ready- tions. Maybe I’m just an incredible
human. you are not going to be the first person You’ve been standing in the cashier line angry person with a particularly short
I am of the opinion that, similar to there, so chill out. Go sit and read for for five minutes and then spend another fuse, but I do honestly hope that at least
how some countries have compulsory that class you never go to for 15 or 20 two rooting around in your bag or one of you out there is slightly nicer to
military service, we should have com- minutes, the congestion and lines won’t pockets looking for some way to pay? the people that make your food here. It’s
pulsory food service. Once someone be nearly as bad (except for the sushi Really? Stop holding shit up. Again, not not just for me, it’s for the hundreds of
turns 18, they should have to work for at line at the Commons, that will never go just annoying to me, but everyone else people that put in long hours doing mo-
least a year in a shitty, minimum wage down). That rush leads stress, mistakes behind you. notonous, stressful and sometimes
job as a waiter, line cook or in a fast and injuries among workers, along with 3. Use your manners-It is likely mildly dangerous work so you can have
food place. No, retail would not count, a general feeling of grumpiness and an- someone in your family taught you how your burrito or your Wendy’s. I can’t
because while that sucks a whole lot, noyance. to say please and thank you. Make them speak for everyone, but I know that I le-
food service is a special kind of hell. I 2. Know what you want-Do not get proud. Just be polite, it’s not difficult, gitimately appreciate it when someone
just feel it would make this country an up to the counter and stare at the menu and I shouldn’t need to explain why it’s is just plain polite, it makes things suck
overall nicer place to exist in, as every- with a blank expression. There’s no ex- common courtesy to not be an asshat. If just a little bit less.
one would have gone through the same cuse for this, especially if you’ve been in we make a mistake, let us know politely.
26 Vol. XXXII, Issue 9 | Tuesday, March 1, 2011

sports
Men’s Lax Drops To #1 UVA, 11-10
the Seawolves once again suffered a dis- game press conference behind
By Vincent Barone heartening loss to top-ranked Virginia,
11-10, in overtime. The game was the
Head Coach Rick Sowell. For
seniors like Crowley and Jor-
culmination of months of accolades. Yet dan McBride, it might have
The preseason for the Stony Brook all it took was a clearing snafu from been the last opportunity to
lacrosse team was the most auspicious Stony Brook to let the game slip away. beat Virginia, who has nar-
couple of months that any university After a dramatic set of scoring vol- rowly bested Stony Brook in
sports team has ever had. After a stellar leys from both teams, Stony Brook’s their last three meetings.
2010 season, four returning Seawolves Russ Bonanno sent the game to over- “I wouldn’t say it was
were selected in the Major League time, notching the game-tying goal with frustrating as it is disappoint-
Lacrosse draft this past January, includ- just five seconds left the fourth quarter. ing,” said Crowley. “I would
ing midfielder Kevin Crowley, the num- But in overtime, with just 44 seconds obviously love nothing more
ber one overall pick. left, Steele Stanwick, Virginia’s Johnny- to get a win for the home
With a seasoned, professional- on-the-spot, won the game after capi- crowd that came out and sup-
grade cast, Stony Brook found them- talizing on a defensive faux pas by the ported us. It came down to
selves climbing the coach’s preseason Seawolves in front of their own net. some key turnovers during
poll to ultimately sit as the fifth ranked The match was a true test for Stony the game but…it’s our first
team in the nation, the highest rank in Brook, which has been demanding the game of the year and we have a lot of our season, not the end,” said Coach
the program’s history. reverence from those who follow the Lacrosse left.” Sowell. “We still got a long season
The Seawolves earned a spot on the sport. And respect for the Seawolves en- Stony Brook dropped to seventh in ahead of us, but there were two good
front cover of Lacrosse Magazine and dured the devastating loss. the polls after the loss. They were the teams playing out there. I’m certainly
were featured in the New York Times. “Coming to Stony Brook, some- unanimous pick to win the America proud of our team…”
Stony Brook has joined the who’s who body might say, ‘eh, that’s not that tough East and if the Seawolves and Virginia The Seawolves will travel to Pough-
of the lacrosse world. But the preseason a chore, Dom,’ and that’s not the truth play up to their expectations, the two keepsie on March 5, to take on Marist.
plaudits had all but erased the memo- anymore,” said Virginia Cavaliers Head may cross paths once more in the post- The last time the two faced off was dur-
ries of Stony Brook’s disheartening, 10- Coach Dom Starsia at the opening day season. Relatively speaking, this poten- ing the 2008 regular season. Stony
9 postseason loss to Virginia last May, post-game press conference. “Clearly tial matchup could be one of the biggest Brook drubbed the Red Foxes 14-4 and
which ended the Seawolves’ 2010 sea- this team here is not a secret by any Stony Brook sporting events in years. is the favorites to win Saturday.
son just short of the NCAA semifinals. stretch of the imagination.” “Unlike the last time we played
But on Saturday’s season opener, The Seawolves traipsed to the post- [Virginia], this is just the beginning of
The Stony Brook Press 27
sports
Insert Melo Pun Here
I know that
the Carmelo An-
thony deal made
for a pretty cool
commercial. He
was born in
Brooklyn; now he’s
Vincent coming back to
Barone play in The Gar-
den—I get it. Neat.
And lest we forget that Melo’s
first game in the blue and orange may
have prompted Clyde Frazier to wear
the baddest suit ever to grace a press
box. But will the trade that sent off
(bear with me, here) Danilo Gallinari,
Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton,
Timofey Mozgov (gasp), and the 2014
first-round pick to Denver in return for
crypt keeper Chauncey Billups, Melo,
Sheldon Williams, Anthony Carter, and
Renaldo Balkman really help the
Knickerbockers in the long haul? Is
Melo really the answer? In short, no.
We watched Anthony’s New York
honeymoon get crashed by Antawn
Jamison and the lamentable Cavaliers,
who notched 115 points in their victory
over the Knicks on February 25. I know thought that both teams would have substantial threat from behind the arc. season long and they probably wouldn’t
that it was just Billups’ and Melo’s sec- scored fewer than 100 points. The win Wilson Chandler—Another young have made it far if the Denver trade fell
ond game with the team—that they’re was a paradigm of how pivotal defense player who played with an inimitable through, but they still won’t make it past
still working out the “growing pains”— is for success. Without a it, the Knicks tenacity that really rallied the Knicks in the first round of the playoffs now, even
but their Swiss cheese defense made will not get anywhere in the playoffs. dire moments with Carmelo and Billups. If they held
Cavs’ power forward J.J. Hickson look And Anthony, while a tremendously Raymond Felton—Once again, a on to their young talent and maybe
like Dwight Howard; The Knicks D is talented athlete, is not the cog to lead talented young player, who, I admit, scooped up a big man with a paint-clog-
my foremost concern moving on. the Knicks to the Finals and thus, was sometimes got a little too ambitious ging propensity, the Knicks would have
I know you’re probably saying, not worth surrendering most of the with the rock, but nonetheless a player been one of the most well-rounded
“Vin, dog, have you ever played as the Knick’s youthful core. who was enmeshed in the Knicks’ teams in the league for years to come.
Knicks in NBA 2K11? Their defense Let us break down the trade, player doggedness. Think about it. Think about the
rank is deplorable, everyone knows that. by player (well, at least the significant Essentially, the trade ripped apart 90’s, the last time the Knicks were great.
They’ve been an offensive-minded team ones): the heart of the Knicks. They didn’t frequent the playoffs be-
all season. That’s just how they play. Knicks Get: I hoped that the Knicks would hold cause they had one of the best scorers in
You’re just getting straight reckless right Chauncey Billups—an odd look- out and wait for the summer to try to the league. The reason for their domi-
now.” Well, you’re right. Lord knows ing fellow, but a grizzled veteran of the land Anthony. But as the trade deadline nance was because Patrick Ewing and
that Amarè and Melo couldn’t keep a playoffs who knows how to knock neared, while I watched an exhilarating Charles Oakley were two daunting big
frat boy out of the library, so how are down a buzzer beater. He’ll bring some young Knicks team scrap together wins, men who didn’t let anyone drive the
the Knicks supposed to keep the likes of leadership to the point guard position. it became painfully obvious that Melo lane. If you tried, you got knocked to
Kevin Garnett, LeBron and Dwight Carmelo Anthony—not much wanted out of Denver post haste, New the floor and had to earn your two
Howard out of the paint? needs to be said. Prolific scorer, one of York be damned. The Knicks were put points from the line.
Well, Sunday night the Knicks im- the league’s best. in a position to trade for him during the Imagine if the Knicks sat on the
pressively stymied the Heat offense, baf- Renaldo Balkman—YES. Finally! season, or they most likely would’ve not deal and Anthony went to Chicago or
fling “experts” who predicted Lebron to The gangling, underachieving forward landed Anthony at all. That tough spot some other big city. Their management
drop 60 points and lead the Heat to a finally makes his triumphant return to essentially forced the Knicks to give up would have been lambasted for skipping
351-295 victory. They looked the best the Knicks. I’ve been pining for this a little too much to get the elite player on the deal. New York wanted their su-
they have all season. There was that failed first round pick to don a Knicks they have been coveting for years. Imag- perstar. The Knicks couldn’t come
huge three from Billups and that game- jersey once again. (Note: like Anthony, ine if the Knicks sat on the deal and through with LeBron. They needed to
saving block by Amarè, shutting down Balkman was born in NY, too. So he’ll Melo went to Chicago or some other get someone soon. The fans wanted a
Lebron’s drive to the basket with just be coming home, as well. Somehow I competitive team. big name. I know that number seven
seconds left. “Take your talents else- feel like this has been lost in all the An- Now, the Knicks should be able to Anthony jerseys are selling out faster
where, dog,” Amare may or may not thony hullabaloo.) comfortably net 100 points each game. than you can say championship, but this
have said after the swat. Knicks Lose: Unfortunately, there’s little stopping trade wasn’t necessary.
The Knickerbockers pulled away Danilo Gallinari—a budding, their opponents from scoring 101. Yes,
with a 91-86 win over the Heat. Nobody upper-tier player who gave the Knicks a the Knicks’ defense has been woeful all

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