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Not the Same Old Jets

October 26, 2010

These New York Jets aren’t the Jets you’re used to seeing every Sunday. They’re not the same Jets that former coach Eric Mangini once knew. To use a common quote known around the NFL, these are not the “Same Old Jets.”

Today’s Jets, the stars of the HBO Hard-Knocks series and the NFL leaders in trash-talking, cannot be compared to any New York Jets team of the past. Under the previous regime of Eric Mangini, the Jets were a very quiet, secretive, and bland team. Mangini didn’t reveal any injuries that occurred in practice, and he didn’t like speaking to the media. The “Same Old Jets” led by Mangini wouldn’t go for it on fourth and short, as very few gambles were ever taken during the course of a game. The “Same Old Jets” could look great for the first half of a game, but not be able to seal the deal and get a win. Fans became frustrated as year after year, the Jets always disappointed.

But forget about those Jets. There is a new era of New York Jets football. Instead of being led by an extremely private head coach, the Jets are now being managed by the most outspoken and loudmouthed coach in the NFL. That’s Rex Ryan. This talkative and controversial coach was the star of the HBO Hard-Knocks series, which covered the New York Jets team in training camp. The foul-mouthed coach has easily become the most popular New York Jet since his arrival in 2009 because he has no filter, and he says exactly what’s on his mind.

To start the 2010 season, the Jets opened up the New Meadowlands Stadium against the Baltimore Ravens on Monday Night Football. This widely anticipated game was important for the Jets as many players on the team, as well as Ryan, were confident that this was the year that the Jets were getting back to the Super Bowl.

The Jets had been trash-talking all during training camp, saying that they were the best team in the league, and that the NFL should watch out for them. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie was quoted as saying that, “We are the Miami Heat of football.”

But when the bright lights were put on the Jets as they took the field against the Ravens, they did not look like a Super Bowl team by any means. The Jets struggled to get first downs, recording only six for the entire game. They also had a total of 14 penalties for the game, and allowed the Ravens to convert a majority of third down conversions (11/19). The Jets ended up losing 10-9 in a game which made you think that these were in fact, the “Same Old Jets.”

But they are not because the “Same Old Jets” wouldn’t have rebounded the next week against the division-rival New England Patriots and be able to win in dominating fashion 28-14. The leash was taken off quarterback Mark Sanchez, as he looked like the quarterback the Jets traded up to draft number five overall in 2009, and not like the lost and mistake-prone rookie last season.

Coach Rex Ryan and General Manager Mike Tannenbaum have been extremely active and aggressive in putting together a cohesive unit that knows how to win football games. In two controversial off-season signings, the Jets acquired wide receiver Santonio Holmes from the Pittsburgh Steelers, as well as cornerback Antonio Cromartie from the San Diego Chargers. Both of these players have had off-the-field issues. Holmes failed a drug test violating the substance abuse policy, and Cromartie has off-field issues, he’s a father to eight children with six women living in five different states. Both of these acquisitions were seen as risky, but both have paid off thus far as Holmes has proved to be another weapon for Sanchez to use on offense, and Cromartie has been a shut-down corner keeping up with any receiver he is told to cover.

The “Same Old Jets” found every way to lose a game. The Jets today, have found every way to win a game. Whether it’s a strong defense, a solid running game fueled by the reenergized LaDainian Tomlinson, or playmaking abilities of all the Jets receivers, Mark Sanchez and the Jets look like a Super Bowl contending team.

The Jets have a record of 5-1 through week seven, and are tied for the best record in the league thus far. Their next game is Sunday, October 31st at home versus the Green Bay Packers.

These are not your “Same Old Jets,” and according to Coach Rex Ryan, these New York Jets are the “soon to be Champs!”

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College Obsession

October 26, 2010

“Ugh, Mike poked me again last night,” Lauren complained to her English education classmate Kristyn.  “Should I poke him back?”  Now, before you take this question out of context, let’s start from the beginning.  What is a poke? It was once a reference to sticking your finger into someone’s side, but now it has come to develop a whole new cyber meaning.  In the world of social networking, a poke means that someone is trying to get your attention and college students are poking each other all the time.  3.5 million college students use Facebook., which is the most popular social networking site in the world.[NE1]

In 2004, Mark Zuckerberg, an undergraduate Harvard student invented Facebook.  His college roommates, Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes also aided in producing the website.  Zuckerberg intended Facebook to be an online community for students at Harvard University.  However, it quickly spread to other nearby Boston colleges and eventually was reaching campuses worldwide.  Now any high school student is allowed to have a Facebook profile, or anyone over the age of 13 for that matter.

In a recent pole by TechCrunch.com, 85% of college students have a Facebook profile and 60% of these users log onto their page daily.  “I’ve tried to wean off of the whole Facebook thing,” says Patty Ury, a sophomore Earth Science education major.  “I usually just go on it once a day now.”  Other people say they can’t stay off of it.  “I’m on it all the time,” admits Katie Crowley, a Political Science major at Post.  “I have a Blackberry so I get my notifications right away.”

For those students who do have the Facebook app on their Blackberry or iPhone, they are more susceptible to continuously checking their online profile.  “I get so bored in class,” says Kimberly Matos, a freshman Psychology major.  “So I just go on Facebook on my Blackberry to occupy myself.”

Why is it that everyone is so obsessed with Facebook?  In a survey of 20 Post students, all of them used the social network.  Sixteen of them use the website to stay in touch with distant family and friends.  The other four students said Facebook was more of a fun, “extra-curricular” activity they like to engage in.

“I think people are addicted to the fact that they can legit stalk their friends and classmates on Facebook,” says Caitlin Bishop, a senior Education major.  “It’s like when me and my friends go out on the weekend, we take pictures and can’t wait to put them up on Facebook.  We go home anticipating those notifications to pop up that we were tagged in our friend’s photo album.”

Not to mention, people can post a “status.”  This allows others to track you even further because now they can know where you are or what you’re doing at that exact moment.  You can even post a lyric or quote from a TV show or movie you enjoy.  “Statuses like that attract and draw people to Facebook, just out of pure curiosity,” says Britta Naro, a Criminal Justice major.

College students also enjoy being in their peers’ business.  “Watching someone’s relationship status go from ‘single’ to ‘it’s complicated’ creates a lot of drama,” says Kristyn, a senior at Post.  “Others want to know what happened and why ‘it’s complicated’ all of a sudden.”

There are countless probable and possible answers as to why college students are so addicted to Facebook.  For example, David Lazer, a professor at Harvard University, posed this question to his class.  They answered that people have a desire for social contact and a simple curiosity about other people.  Lazer continued to explain other reasons, like, that we see ourselves through the eyes of others who we’ve received responses from in the past.  This allows people to feel the need to constantly put themselves out there and publicize their every move.

“No, definitely don’t poke him back,” replied Kristyn.  “He’s annoying and he’s just trying to get your attention.”


[NE1]For some reason this sounds strange to me. Not sure why though.

Letter to readers – Week of 10/27

October 26, 2010

Dear readers,

I’d like to welcome you to the second edition of the magazine this semester. As November sneaks up on us, everything seems to be dwindling down.  We’re slowly falling into the autumn season (pun intended); our clocks will be set back within another week or so, midterms are finishing up and I think it’s safe to say everybody wants (or rather needs) a break.  If you think about it, we haven’t gotten a break for quite some time now.  I mean, seriously, what happened to all of those Jewish holidays we got off in the past?  Now we’re not even getting all the American holidays off; Columbus Day, Veterans Day.  All I can say is, thank you to all of those politicians in the U.S. because we actually get Election Day off.

So next Tuesday, November 2nd, just relax for the day.  Or if you want to get your mind off of school or anything Post related, the Post Bottom Line has suggested a few things to do on your day off.  Why not go somewhere haunted…right here on the island?!  This issue includes the 10 scariest places on Long Island.  Our center spread also includes the top 50 things to know about New York City.  So if you’re up for visiting the “Big Apple” next week, try something on our list!

Or you could take the Post Bottom Line and the Pioneer’s advice as we have informed you of the midterm elections, go out and VOTE! Take a ballot and vote for your state senator, I mean, it is Election Day after all.

Summer To-Do List

April 27, 2010

The weather is amazingly warm, so everyone should head down to the beach and soak up some sun.  Although it seems that is the only thing people think they can do during the summer, but boy are they wrong.  It’s time to get a move on and figure out what you need to accomplish for the next few months.  Besides checking your facebook every hour, twittering or just sitting on your couch eating a pint of ice cream, here are some productive ways to stay busy over the summer break.

Find a JOB or Summer Internship.  Granted, there are millions of other people looking for jobs right now, but if you could score one that would be excellent and will most definitely occupy your time.

Take a summer class and get ahead.  Go check out some of the classes C.W post is offering or go check out a college near your hometown.

Plan out next years class schedule.

Hang out and get to know your roommate for next year, so it won’t be HELL when you have to live with each other for seven months.

De-clutter your life.  What better time to sort out all your paper work.  Keep your essays and lecture notes- they could come in use again.

Join a gym.  Don’t you want to keep your body in shape all summer long?

Spend time with family and friends.  Go to the movies, play mini-golf or paint ball.

Get out and lie in the sun, it’s good for you, but don’t abuse it and wear some sunscreen (scratch that- wear LOTS of sunscreen.

Read a book.  Finally, you can choose what you want to read and not the shit your professors assigned all semester.

Find a hobby-particularly one outside.

Maybe go camping.  It’s cheap and fun-as long as you close your tent properly, you never know what will wonder into your tent at night.

Become an early riser.  Get the things you need done in the morning, so you can enjoy your evenings.

Volunteer in your home city, the city where your school is, or somewhere you’ve never been.  You can volunteer for a non-profit organization such as Habitat-for-Humanity.  The options are endless! (Visit http://www.habitat.org)

Have a little fun in a summer rainstorm.  Getting drenched in the rain could be tones of fun.  You’ve seen it in the movies where the couple is in the rain have a romantic kiss that normally follows that juicy love scene.  Still loving Nicholas Spark’s The Notebook.

Go watch Twilight saga: Eclipse on June 30th.

See the world, we all need a relaxing, fun break from our own backyard.  Take a road trip or go on a cruise with some friends.

Have fun.  Head to the beach, go to parties, BBQs, have friends over.

Go to a free concert.  Check out NBC today show, Central Park, Jones Beach or Long Beach for some concert schedules.

Take a stroll along the beach or at the park.  Whether it’s with your summer love or taking your dog for a walk.  Get out and enjoy the sand between your toes.

Do not party too much; alcohol and hot weather do not mix.  Dehydration isn’t fun, so drink plenty of water!

Before long, we will all be asking where summer went.  Do something worthwhile this summer, take the time to relax, and make it a summer that you’ll always remember.  Don’t put things off because you might never get a chance again like this one- free time and a lack of responsibility.  Your only young once, so take advantage of it.

A Movie to Runaway From

April 27, 2010

The Runaways hit theaters April 9th and the buzz surrounding the dramatic movie could have been downplayed.  It was disappointing to the highly anxious audience awaiting its release. The all-star cast included Twilight’s very own Kristen Stewart and Hollywood’s blossoming little star, Dakota Fanning. Fans were enthusiastic to see how this duo would mesh together. After rushing to the theater a couple of days after its release, no words were needed from the audience- all you had to do was look at the bored and upset expressions on their faces.

Based on the true story of the actual band, The Runaways, the movie shows how one day you can be on top of the world and the next day have no one even remember who you are or who you have become. The film takes place in the 1970’s in fame-driven California following two young teenage girls, Cherie Currie and Joan Jett. Although they were from very different walks of life, the one thing they had in common was their passion for music. Cliche as it may sound, the two singers meet at a club, form an unbelievable friendship, and decide to take on the world together and start a rock band.

Cherie (played by the already sweet and innocent actress, Dakota Fanning) is fragile and beautiful – robbing the hearts of millions of fans. Cherie always knew she wanted to be a star, and a star she truly became. Joan Jett, played by Kristen Stewart, is the one with the drive, for she truly has all the motivation in the world. She is the glue that keeps the group together.

Music was everything to these two girls, but in the midst of it all, music was what seemed to be lost. These girls grew to share an unusually close bond, depending on each other more than they both even realized was possible. Joan took Cherie under her wing to take care of her and it was in those moments you realized how lost they really were.  This was the only sincere and good part of the movie.

This film was extremely disturbing in graphics. Not only did you see how and why Joan and Cherie used drugs, but you also saw the short and long-term effects it had on them. Unfortunately there was not a clear cut order of events. The movie seemed choppy and jumped all over the place. The characters and events were extremely unorganized. If you were not paying close attention you would definitely miss something and even if you were paying close attention (which I was) you would still not fully understand it.

The only message the audience could possibly receive is that The Runaways was a rock group filled with potential that never got its big break. Partial blame went to their manager who seemed to work both for and against them. Drugs became the band’s escape, while music took the backseat.  And as expected, the band broke up.  This movie does do a good job at showing the downfall of famous people…but that’s really it.

I think this movie will do well in the box office mainly because of the expectations movie fans have on these two well-known actresses. However, as far as personal enjoyment, the audience left the theater feeling they not only wasted two hours of their time, but 10 dollars as well. As someone who already saw the movie, please take my advice and wait until it comes out on DVD. It is a movie that would be more enjoyable when you can pause and play it at your convenience.

Agree to Disagree

April 27, 2010
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Reading reviews has never been a natural tendency of mine. Most reviews that I have read in newspapers seemed like highly opinionated ambiguity mixed with more hype for a film than it’s own marketing campaign invested in. Roger Ebert is one of the most famous people for this.

After reading his reviews of “Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland” and “Hot Tub Time Machine”, I felt more frustrated than informed. His reviews consist of a structured beginning, middle and end where three constants parallel; his unidentifiable opinion, tangents that fill the review’s word count, and even if he catches himself, the inevitable spoiling of the plot.

In both reviews, Ebert’s plot summaries seem to compliment the current movie trailer structure.  In all seriousness, they’re too long and have too much information. If the goal is to review the film on a figurative or even somewhat literal standpoint without ruining the film for a potential viewer, he fails on crucial points.  His review of “Alice in Wonderland” jumps from his memories of the Lewis Carroll book to the Disney version to the Tim Burton version and fails to compare any of them on an intimate level. Even with a paragraph of reflection, volumes of comparison could have been made between the Disney cartoon and the current blockbuster. Sadly, Ebert fails to see this as an opportunity at any stage of the review other than a short note that superficially compares the iconic use of the Cheshire cat’s tree branch and the caterpillar’s hookah in the Disney film and it’s lack thereof in the Tim Burton version…as if that’s something to be cherished.

He also scrutinizes the use of 3D as a medium by comparing it to 2D, but then betrays his own opinion in trying to elevate this film that was highly dependent on computer animation. He states that “Alice in Wonderland” had a rather closed minded and rudimentary landscape designer, above that of a Disney hand-drawn animation that gave more depth to insane characters than Tim Burton’s half-assed childish idea that “if they’re constantly throwing shit, they must be insane”.

Ebert’s review of “Hot Tub Time Machine” is even worse in respect to “choosing a side” and once again spoiling the plot. Personally, I want to see this film for myself. My dilemma is, I can’t begin to finish paragraphs in this review without putting my hands over my eyes to prevent being told the majority of the film’s plot. His reviews, and definitely this one, all have the right start to a non-spoiling reaction to the film. His description of the type and his reference to another film are on the right track, but after two paragraphs it starts to get way too specific and frustrating to read.

His opinion of films like “Hot Tub Time Machine” describe them as “wretched excesses” but then he contradicts himself and praises the film for its “success beyond expectations.” This demonstrates a duality of opinion that self-contradicts and loses credibility for Ebert as a reviewer. Basically, he did no reviewing other than saying it was “contriving more or less of every possible problem or paradox…” and then further ruins the film by giving away too many specific examples of moments supporting this, rather obvious, observation that sum up the movie.

Perhaps the majority of American filmgoers are comfortable with the whole start of a movie being told blow by blow, but I don’t see the value in it. If Ebert can’t describe a movie in more eloquently vague terms, then reading his work and simply going to the movie are both one in the same.

Spinning But Never Out of Control

April 27, 2010

Over the course of the past year, the sports world has seen champion’s crowned, stunning upsets, and dramatic conclusions to tumultuous seasons. The one thing that is for certain about the sports world is that it never stops spinning.

Off the field news grabs headlines just as much as post-game reports now. Just ask Tiger Woods who recently came back after a short time of dealing with marital infidelity to play in the Masters in which he ended up tying for fourth place. Not quite the comeback some had foreseen happening but the reality remains – Tiger is back.

Speaking of coming back, the 2010 Major League Baseball season is now in full swing, pun intended. The reigning World Series Champion, the New York Yankees, have gotten off to a sizzling start taking each of the first four series they’ve played in. Robinson Cano now moved to the fifth spot in the batting order.  He has fit in nicely, batting .355 with four homeruns and nine RBI’s in 45 at bats. Yankees pitching has also been superb, number one starter C.C. Sabathia flirted with a no-hitter against Tampa Bay in the first weekend series of the season. Sabathia surrendered one hit over 7 and 2/3 innings picking up his first win of the season. The New York Mets on the other hand had a tough time adjusting their roster with pre-season injuries to first baseman Daniel Murphy and shortstop Jose Reyes. The Mets starting pitching is just as suspect with no clear winner other than ace Johan Santana, however, if Mike Pelfrey, John Maine and/or Oliver Perez pitch like their agents say they can, the Mets could make the National League East division more interesting.

In hockey, both New York teams failed to make the playoffs, the Rangers coming on the last day of the season coming down to a heart-wrenching shootout loss against the Philadelphia Flyers. It seems that big free-agent sharpshooter Marian Gaborik, who did lead the team with 86 points, couldn’t help them enough to get into the playoffs. On the contrary, the Islanders secured the fifth spot in the 2010 NHL draft in the lottery drawing by finishing the season with 79 points -tied for fourth lowest in the league. This isn’t or shouldn’t be a surprise to any Islander fan whose team is amidst a rebuilding process for the past three years. Rookie and number one draft pick in last years draft, John Tavares, had a superb first year leading the team in points with 54. Time will only tell whether the Islanders make the jump from doormat to contender.

In basketball much of the past decade has been spent the same. Now with the regular season over and as the off season of 2010 begins, the New York Knicks will wait patiently on superstar and soon to be free agent Lebron James as he tries to capture a championship title with his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers. Many speculate that the Knicks don’t have a good shot at landing James but one consensus is that they will try very hard for his services regardless.

And lastly, football, which has been quiet for the past few months since the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl against the Indianapolis Colts in Miami, has started to make some headlines. The New York Jets have had a busy off-season thus far, trading for cornerback Antonio Cromartie, a move that solidifies both sides of the field defensively. The Jets also signed veteran running back LaDainian Tomlinson and recently traded for former Super Bowl MVP wide out Santonio Holmes. The Giants, have remained under the radar after finishing what could only be counted as a disappointing season.

And so the clock keeps ticking. Soon the baseball playoffs will be looming and the start of the NBA and NHL seasons will be underway. Free-agents will be signed, veterans will be cut, draft picks will be chosen and the sports world will continue to turn.