Articles by: style

  • Daisy Doesn’t Disappoint: Brand New Returns with Latest Offering

    Lifestyle October 1, 2009 at 2:54 pm Comments are Disabled

    Patrick Wall, Style Editor Brand New has spent the better part of their career challenging listeners. Like Pearl Jam before them, the Long Island quintuplet has never stayed satisfied with legions of fans more than willing to follow along. With Daisy, Brand New has created one of their best and most challenging albums. Brand New has never been a band to stay in one musical head space for very long. Each album sounds vastly different than its predecessor and Daisy is no exception. The whining pop punk of Your Favorite Weapon now a distant memory, Brand New continues to experiment with new sounds and textures. Daisy is, in a word, dense. Much like the band’s last release, 2006’s The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me, this new album is difficult to approach. In truth, it’s a very coarse record that feels almost grimy at first listen. But in true Brand New style, the patient listener is rewarded with an album that is solid from start to finish. Anger and frustration have always been central to the mystique of Brand New, and that doesn’t change on Daisy. The lead single, “At the Bottom,” still broods and explodes like many of […]

  • Stories from Solitary: Robert Hillary King Fights for the Angola Three

    Lifestyle October 1, 2009 at 2:50 pm Comments are Disabled

    Pras Gustanto, Staff Writer Picture a typical George Mason University dorm room. Now split the room in half and imagine how uncomfortable and agonizing it would be to live in that space for 30 years. As incredible as it sounds, solitary confinement has been the reality for Robert Hillary King, who spent three decades of his life locked in a small, six-by-nine prison cell. King visited Mason last Thursday to discuss his experiences in prison. King is part of the Angola Three, the name given to three men who had been incarcerated in Angola Prison, La., for starting a movement against the prison administration’s unethical practices. At the time, the prison was known for being the most brutal and discriminatory prison in the U.S. According to King, violence was a routine occurrence. Inmates were often forced into homosexuality and forms of prisoner prostitution. His experience is common. According to the documentary The Farm, 85 percent of the inmates who are sent to Angola will die there. For the past three decades King, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox were placed in solitary confinement for their actions. King was released in 2001, but Wallace and Woodfox remain sentenced. According to King, the […]

  • Covering the President: Three Authors Weigh in on the Obama Presidency

    Lifestyle October 1, 2009 at 2:46 pm Comments are Disabled

    Deena Smith, Staff Writer The election of President Barack Obama will remain a milestone in American history. After his election, however, questions about the future of the country have been plentiful. Many of these questions were discussed during last Wednesday’s Fall for the Book presentation, “Understanding Obama.” Each of the three authors attending presented unique and engaging perspectives on the Obama presidency. The first speaker, Niall Stanage, author of Redemption Song: An Irish Reporter Insider the Obama Campaign, said the perception of the United States has increased favorably since Obama entered the presidential election. According to Stanage, the Global Attitudes Project’s most recent statistics in 2006 showed that favorability of the U.S. jumped in Germany from 37 to 64 percent and in Spain from 23 to 58 percent. In France, the favorability almost doubled from 39 to 75 percent. Stanage said reasons for this increase could be because Obama is a Democrat and the Republicans lost respect because of former President George W. Bush, but also because Obama gave back the “mythic sense of America.” Stanage said Obama restored some of the founding principles of our country, such as a sense of possibility and a policy of zero tolerance on […]

  • From the Silver Screen to the Director’s Chair: Ten of the Best Actors Turned Directors of All Time

    Lifestyle October 1, 2009 at 2:44 pm Comments are Disabled

    Ross Bonaime, Staff Writer In the next few weeks, many famous actors will be going behind the camera to try their hands at directorial debuts. In honor of this, I present the greatest actors turned directors: 10. George Clooney He may have started off as Dr. Ross on ER, but now George Clooney is also known for his exceptional directing. Good Night and Good Luck earned him an Oscar nomination for best director, and even though his other films Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and Leatherheads haven’t been as good, he shows a style that beckons back to the golden age of film. 9. Mel Gibson Say what you will about the man, but Mel Gibson can direct. With 1995’s Braveheart, which won Best Picture, and controversial choices like The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto, Gibson isn’t afraid to tackle unusual topics and come out surprising the audience with what he can do. 8. Ben Stiller Ben Stiller has directed three of the most famous cult comedies in recent years: Reality Bites, The Cable Guy and Zoolander. However last summer’s Tropic Thunder showed Stiller’s range, from the fake trailers at the beginning to the action-heavy comedy, Stiller announced himself […]

  • In Bed with Billy: Experience and Reason: The Age of Enlightenment

    Lifestyle October 1, 2009 at 2:39 pm Comments are Disabled

    Billy Curtis, Sex Columnist In the earlier years, many philosophers believed that in order to find the absolute truth in this world one had to doubt everything, question everything, and eventually a person would—through experience and reason—find the pure truth they were looking for. This way of thinking can also be applied to dating. Let’s face it. As years progress and time continues to slip away, we can see the people around us continuing to lose faith in their search for happiness. So many times we have been hurt, shed unnecessary tears and overthought every aspect of our past relationships in the hopes that something we missed or misunderstood would bring more light to our lost causes. We continue our search for love, but as time goes on, after every ache and pain, we lose more and more of ourselves in the hope that someday something new or better will come along and save us from the prison we have entrapped ourselves in. I bring this topic up, because I have a very dear friend who has for all intense and purpose given up hope for her happiness. Marie was an intelligent, beautiful and hilarious woman in her mid 20s. […]

  • The Best is Yet to Come: The Year is Drawing to a Close, But There Are Still at Least 10 Films to see in 2009

    Lifestyle September 22, 2009 at 2:18 pm Comments are Disabled

    Ross Bonaime Staff Writer This year has already been a good one for movies. We’ve already seen some Watchmen, another great Pixar film and some basterds who were pretty inglourious. With the year coming to a close, here are 10 of the best films still to come. 10. A Serious Man With A Serious Man, the Coen brothers return to the dark comedy style that made them famous with movies like Fargo and The Big Lebowski. The film, whose cast is made of relative unknowns, is about a Jewish professor who has every aspect of his life fall apart. The Coens should once again show their understanding of small town living and the intricacies that make life interesting. 9. Precious Sundance Film Festival and last week’s Toronto International Film Festival were buzzing about Precious. The film’s namesake is an overweight and illiterate teenager who has been sexually abused and is now pregnant with her second child. She tries to better herself by getting a higher education while trying to avoid her mother’s hurtful remarks. The portrayal of the mother, played by comedian Mo’Nique, is already garnering Oscar buzz. Precious could be one of the big Oscar contenders this year. 8. […]

  • Headed to the Big Apple: Artsbus Unites NYC and Students

    Lifestyle September 22, 2009 at 2:12 pm Comments are Disabled

    Patrick Wall Style Editor George Mason University prides itself on being a university that verses its students in culture. From the Patriot Center – which has welcomed acts like The Cure and New Kids on the Block – to the Center for the Arts, Mason has been successful in bringing culture to its students. But one of the most valuable programs offered is the Department of Art and Visual Technology’s annual Artsbus trips. Founded in 1987 by Mason professor Jerry Clapsaddle, the Artsbus takes students and community members alike to New York City to visit some of the city’s most prestigious museums. The program originally traveled to the city once a year. In the two decades since, it has expanded to offer 14 trips per year, bringing over 1,000 people to New York City per year. The program has expanded and is now a large part of the department’s curriculum. For students, the event represents an opportunity to visit some of the most prestigious museums in the world. “For non-art students, the trip is expensive,” said senior  Pujita Venkat, who is in the conservation studies program. “But it was a great experience.” Each semester Artsbus makes three day trips to […]

  • Customer Critique: P’s and Q’s at the Checkout Counter

    Lifestyle September 22, 2009 at 2:09 pm Comments are Disabled

    Heather Gioia Broadside Correspondent When you were young your parents probably told you to only “speak when you are spoken to.” You might have been the child that rambled on about everything and nothing, or possibly the child who said nothing whatsoever, even when someone spoke to you. Even if you were five years old when your parents told you this, the theory still holds: Speak when you are spoken to. When you place your items on the counter at the grocery store, maybe even pushing them towards the cashier, and your cashier says, “Hi! How are you today?” do not hesitate to answer. If, by chance, you miss this greeting and your cashier insists on being friendly and again, smiles and says, “Hi! How are you today?” you should respond. There is no excuse for not responding to a simple friendly greeting. This is especially true if your cashier insists on greeting you twice, thus giving you the benefit of the doubt that you didn’t hear them over the noise in the store. If you are a people person or up for conversation, this is your chance to make it known before your cashier dives into a conversation about […]

  • ‘That’s Not What I Ordered’: Getting Lost in Translation at the Dining Hall

    Lifestyle September 22, 2009 at 2:07 pm Comments are Disabled

    Evan Benton Staff Writer Working in the food industry is hard work. It’s complicated, what with concentrating on both efficiency and excellence, all the while under the scrutinizing, often unfair eyes of the customer. Campus dining, if successful, must be characterized by either exceptionally fast service or large buffet-style choices. Failure at efficiency creates long lines of dissatisfied, angry customers. To combat this, particular George Mason University dining facilities like Sub Connection, Taco Bell and the popular new Burrito Del Rey have an assembly line method of service to enhance efficiency. However, this often thrusts both worker and consumer into disorganized chaos. The effect of this assembly line is most obvious at Sub Connection, Mason’s answer to Subway, in the Johnson Center atrium. Three predominantly Latina workers stand in line. The first takes care of the bread, meat, cheese and the most important question, “toasted?” The second handles the toasting, and the third plants the vegetables, pours the condiments and wraps the sandwich. Pretty good system, right? Well, make the line 15 people long (with more on the way), make anything below a shout nearly impossible to hear—like it is any weekday at noon in the JC—and problems begin. To […]

  • An Ode to the ‘Greatest Generation’

    Lifestyle September 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm Comments are Disabled

    Patrick Wall Style Editor Legendary journalist Tom Brokaw called them the “Greatest Generation.” Countless Americans call them heroes. But for the veterans of World War II, the most fitting term might just be “brother” or “sister.” On Monday, George Mason University will host Never Forget: WWII Veterans. According to the group’s mission statement, the event aims to “provide George Mason students the opportunity to play a role in our American and global memory.” At 2 p.m., the Johnson Center Cinema will be showing the first two episodes of Band of Brothers, the popular HBO miniseries based on the experiences of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. Mason history professor Harry Butowsky will give opening remarks. Butowsky teaches courses on World War I as well as the European and Pacific theaters of World War II. At 7 p.m., Mason will welcome four veterans to Harris Theater for a panel discussion. During the discussion, the four veterans will answer questions from the Mason community, as well as community members. The panel will be moderated by military history professor Christopher Hamner. Hamner is a specialist in the changing combat experiences of American soldiers from the eighteenth to twentieth centuries. The event is organized by […]