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Monthly Archives: October 2013

Fight Tacoma: The top three local fight gyms

What is it about brain damage that attracts the traditionally well-mannered IPA-drinking Pacific NorthWesterner to the ring? It may be because of Washington’s trading relationship with the East, as we’ve always had a martial arts presence here. And just as martial arts has evolved into a Brazillian-Japanese-Thai- stir fry, so have the local fight schools. Having trained since the 1990s in various Korean Dojangs, Hilltop Djangos, Japanese Dojos, Gong fu, Muay Thai, and then a brief stint of haphazard competition in Bangkok, I’ve come to learn a bit about some of the best schools in town. Each school is great in different areas, and can certainly be a kick in the butt in others. So choose wisely and don’t be afraid to buy a day pass to try them out. Disclaimer: Beforehand, be sure and procure an athletic cup, a mouthguard, and always remember that the other guy wants to hurt you. It’s not personal. MABJJ: Marcelo Alonso Brazillian Jiu-Jitzu- By far the most well-rounded fight school ..

Do they know this is Halloween?

By Andrew Crew Halloween is nearly upon us, but I feel antsy for another reason. Yes, people are getting nice and excited for all the mazes, parties, and inebriation rituals, per usual. But there’s something missing. The movie I’ve always had an odd mix of respect and disinclination toward is 20 years old this year, but the fanfare I expected is somehow absent. Now there’s nothing wrong with the 1993 movie “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” It’s just that I am a 6-foot-5 skinny kid with a love for gunfire-,loud achromatic pinstripe suits ,and a knack for scaring people easily – not to mention the fact that popular consensus can describe my best bud as a shy, red-haired lady with a penchant for sewing and worrying over my outlandish schemes. This all makes me feel a little awkward watching the film. And musicals are hardly ever my bag. Still, it annoys me that I see so little happening for the movie’s twentieth anniversary. A quick search online reveals that Hollywood’s El Capitan T..

The end of patriarchy?

Two weeks ago Hanna Rosin, famed journalist controversial for claiming that patriarchy is dead, came to UWT to give a lecture on her new book “The End of Men: And the Rise of Women.” In the book, Rosin paints a picture of gender relations in America, claiming that we are living in a time when patriarchy is diminishing and women are coming out on top. Back in September, Rosin published “Patriarchy is Dead,” which may have been her most controversial article to date. The piece, which was published in Slate, criticizes feminist writers and successful women such as Stephanie Coontz (who penned an op-ed in the The New York Times about “The Myth of Male Decline”) for “bean counting.” By spending so much time hunting down every occurrence of misogyny, big or small, these feminists have missed the big picture: paradigms are shifting and patriarchy is dying. Rosin is a journalist whose theories are supported by solid evidence. For example, women comprise almost half of the workforce and earn..

Why I feel I need a gun

By Russ Davis In March of this year, Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton, stood up in the Colorado legislative chambers and gave his reason for why he supported a bill banning concealed carry on college campuses: “[Y]ou don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped… you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be.” Salazar recommended that women who feel threatened on campus rely on call boxes and rape whistles instead. After all, those will really deter potential attackers. Then, in August, Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews that, unless someone is threatening you with a gun, you have no right to defend yourself with your own gun. This means that if a guy comes after someone with an ax, they should “talk or fight with their fists… You fight. You run away. You deescalate the situation.” I wonder what Mr. Glaze could tell people about “deescalating” a violent person with an ax. Salazar and Glaze’s sentiments are abstract in this..

Activists fight for farmworkers’ rights in Skagit County

By Brittany Hale When people think of worker exploitation, chances are their minds would immediately direct them to some faraway, third world country. However, on Oct. 11, 2013 Familias Unidas por la Justicia visited University of Washington Tacoma’s campus and opened student’s eyes to exploitation happening right under our noses. In Skagit County. Familias Unidas por la Justicia, or Families United for Justice, is an organization consisting of farm workers at Sakuma Bros. Farms in Burlington. In all, there are over three hundred workers, most of whom work side by side with family members. These workers, led by President Ramon Torres, have recently begun boycotting Sakuma Bros. Farms in an effort to negotiate a contract for fair working wages and health insurance. It all started in July, when workers began a strike against Sakuma Farms in response to the firing of a co-worker who had the courage to ask for better wages. In some cases, Torres explained during the presentation on campu..

Rated “A” for anime… and adult?

Back when I lived in my home state of California, I visited every now and then a national big chain entertainment media store (which shall remain nameless) where I bought my anime. In the same aisle as the anime DVDs were the adult DVDs. I do not lie. The anime was shelved on the wall, and facing the wall where display racks holding the adult DVDs. Placards covered the rows of adult media. For example, placards with the Playboy bunny logo, with its pointed ears and iconic bowtie, shielded the Playboy DVDs. I always hated this arrangement because every time I browsed the anime section I felt the uncomfortable aura of the adult DVDs behind me. My discomfort worsened when children perused the anime wall, looking at the “Pokémon” or “Naruto” DVDs. I always feared their parents would think that I had been looking at the adult section. Fast forward to the present in Washington. Nowadays, I buy my anime at a national big chain electronics store (which shall remain nameless). Fate mocks m..

Squeeze one last drop of summer escapism from Mount Rainier’s Paradise Trail

The sun is dead, long live the night king! Stark said it best: “Winter is coming.” (Boom. That’s how you win over a very specific demographic.) So needless to say, our outdoor options are battling both the daylight and the cold. Fortunately, Mt. Rainier’s Paradise Trail to base camp has never looked more dashing. What to Buy in Preparation– A doughnut, maybe? Don’t let anyone pressure you into only packing protein bars, let alone those sexist Luna bars. That’s right. I took a stance on Luna bars. Anything with carbs will get you to the top, but overpriced energy snacks like Shot Blocks quite literally consisted of nothing but sugar and red food coloring. Bro science. What really matters is that lovely Northface Jacket you specifically bought to help you survive those many adventures. And if you value your life, be sure to wear something warm and breathable underneath topped off by something waterproof. Hell, a garbage bag – a.k.a poncho – works wonders. On The Road– Now that you l..

Review: “Pokemon X/Y”

“Pokémon X and Y” is a product of the same general formula that has served developer Game Freak so well in the past. But that formula has been polished into the shiniest, prettiest formula it’s been in years. I’m a big fan of the “Pokémon” series, and I’m not going to hide my personal biases: If you don’t like “Pokémon” in general, you may not find the game worthwhile. However, if you are remotely interested in the game or have enjoyed any of the earlier iterations, you’ll likely be as impressed as I am. It’s not any one specific improvement or feature that sets this game apart from its predecessors. It is both a culmination of everything good about the franchise over the years combined with several new features that enhance the experience further. Add to that a certain level of top notch design and high production value and we have what may be the best generation of “Pokémon” thus far. It’s a shame that only 70 Pokémon have been added to the universe, as some of the new designs are ..

“Don Jon”: Joseph Gordon-Levitt watches porn

“Don Jon” is “(500) Days of Summers’s” evil twin. And by evil twin, I mean the twin who is the version of you who put on 20 pounds of muscle, womanizes women of the night,” and burns through bandwidth watching porn like a free and unrestricted Wi-Fi signal in downtown Karachi. This is Levitt’s first time directing, but you hardly notice as you will be distractedly smitten with everyone’s “Jersey Shore” accents. Then Tony Danza shows up, roided out, simultaneously answering the question of “Where’s the Beef?” and “where has Tony Danza been since the 1980s?” (should not be crossed out) Other than Gordon-Levitt’s impressive attempt at winning the protein-choice award for 2013, the film does as good a job at being provocative as it does with providing a much needed social commentary on pornography.( should not be crossed out) Much like it’s binary “(500) Days,” both stories feature pretty lovable yet incredibly selfish characters. It’s not until other characters chime in with their side o..

Opportunities for volunteering and more in new UWT partnership with Boys & Girls Club

By Kristin Dellavecchio Tacoma 8 Rotary, who has sponsored UWT’s Rotaract, offers various volunteer programs for students to get involved with, and the club also invites those interested to attend career development seminars. The 8th oldest in the world, Tacoma 8 Rotary has over 300 members, and outnumbers every rotary in its district – and it continues to grow. Vice President of the UWT Rotary Megan Nation said, “I personally adore the UWT Rotaract and those involved within the club and those who support us.” The club’s career development gives members the opportunity to attend seminars that discuss various careers, meet local professionals, develop and expand networking, and much more. The Rotary hosts volunteer programs such as Emergency Food Network Repacks, a monthly program that provides food for those in need. Dining with the Stars is a new program to the UWT Rotaract which provides Thanksgiving dinners for the less fortunate through the Boys & Girls Club of South Puget Soun..

CliffNotes to the government shutdown

By Chelsea Vitone Many people, including the global community, envision the United States as an all-powerful entity, a simply unstoppable juggernaut of political influence. But on October 1, 2013, the government stopped. While many college aged students may be too young to remember, the recent government shutdown was not the first, nor will it likely be the last. In fact, there have been seventeen other shutdowns since 1977 according to the Congressional Research Service. The most recent conflict revolved around the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare.” Congress is responsible for passing spending laws in order to stay under the debt ceiling which the Department of the Treasury defines as “the total amount of money that the United States government is authorized to borrow to meet its existing legal obligations.” If for any reason Congress cannot agree on a bill, it lacks the legal authority to spend any money and shuts down. In 1995, under Clinton’s presidency, Congress submi..

Big Coal, Small Towns: Washington residents debate new coal export terminals

By Chelsea Vitone Longview, Washington of Cowlitz County is the latest in the list of Washington towns being prepped for a new coal terminal. Members of Ambre Energy North America and Arch Coal, along with the city of Longview, are vying for the former Reynolds Aluminum smelter to become a site for coal trains from across the country to export the product to China. The proposed terminal, and surrounding areas, would be a thoroughfare for about 48.5 million tons of coal per year. Spokesperson for the Department of Ecology, Linda Kent, explained that any project that has the potential for negative effects on the environment or humanity must first complete a compulsory environmental impact assessment in order to gauge whether, or how severe, the consequences of the project may be. Kent said that a project of this magnitude is subject to extensive review with several phases which could take a year or two to complete. During the environmental review process, spanning four months from Au..

Trolls and YouTube douchebaggery

They start fights when no one wants to do battle with them. They cry out one-sided arguments, only winning with themselves. Everyone abhors their foul stench, even though they emit no odor. People can detect their presence immediately. I speak of trolls — online trolls. A user of the website UrbanDictionary.com defines “troll” as “[o]ne who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.” I have encountered many trolls throughout my experience as a video game geek. Before, I used to post on the GameSpot forums. Some “troll” topics included the omission of Ryu and Ken from the next “Street Fighter” game, causing an uproar since they have been in the rest of the games. The posters of the topics received many angry replies, most commonly being called “trolls.” The most stupid topic posting I have seen on the GameSpot forums is that Rockstar’s “L.A. Noire” is a racist game. Obviously, the topic post..

Can tablets really replace books?

The world has begun to enthusiastically tout tablets and e-readers as the future of education, abandoning physical texts in favor of digital convenience. Schools are spending millions to provide tablets to their students, and Apple is reaching out to its college audience by upping the number of textbooks available from the iBookstore. Having bought into the hype, I purchased an iPad and loaded the device with all of my textbooks and study materials for this quarter, thereby relieving myself of the massive load that is my backpack. Of course, studying on my iPad came with pitfalls, particularly in the form of major distraction. One push of a button can take me from a textbook to my seemingly endless Twitter feed, and a five minute break can turn into half an hour of reading about every current event that is happening at any given moment. For this reason, I began to consider purchasing real textbooks for the future. Some research, however, led me to discover that studying on an e-read..

Renter’s rights

By Brittany Hale Anyone who has turned on daytime TV to see a “real life” court-drama knows that renting can be messy. Just as renters have obligations that they must fulfill, so do landlords. Although many people are happy with their landlords, many more will have to deal with landlords who simply won’t play by the rules. Thankfully, Washington State law ensures fair treatment for tenants. As long as you are familiar with your rights and the law, you have a fair shot at a good renting experience. When moving into a new place, your landlord must provide you with several items. The first and most important document they must provide is a lease. It is important to read the terms of your lease carefully and always keep a hard copy. If your landlord has you sign an electronic lease, make sure to print it out. Essentially, a lease lays out the terms of your rental. For instance, how long you will be occupying the unit, the monthly rent, and the amount owed to the landlord for deposit. T..

Bad American: Why football bores me

By Russ Davis Right now, autumn is upon us. Ugh. Autumn is, without question, my least favorite season. For one, I associate autumn with going “back to school.” Although I’ve reached the age of 22, I’ve never shaken the dread of “back to school” days. I also hate autumn because of pumpkin-flavored everything. Again, ugh. I hate pumpkin. It looks like the guts of a “Jersey Shore” cast member and tastes just as edible. There are many more things I hate about autumn, but if I listed all of them, I’d run out of ink. But I would like to talk about a big one: football. Now, I don’t hold anything personal against the fans, players, coaches, managers, cheerleaders (especially), etc., in the sport. That said, I hate the sport itself. And autumn, as I’m sure you know, is full of football. This is the season where, on any given Sunday, I’d be sitting on the couch, reading libertarian opinion columns, and a voice will call out: “Aw, man! Why the heck did the Broncos call a draw play at eighth a..

Facebook and codependency

So there I was, eyes peeled upon my iPad, (yeah…I’m one of those.) Facebook stalking my own page after an arguably heated status update I had made minutes before. In retrospect, I was disgusted that I became one of those people who makes emo-posts, then anticipates getting ‘Likes’ and/or validation from my community. Just then, ‘Likes’ started pouring in from the woodwork. I immediately thought, “Man, I wish I could ‘Like’ their ‘Like’.” Like, I wish I could give someone’s ‘Like’ a thumbs up. An upvote would do. My disposition toward these complete strangers, at least by the standards of the non-Facebookish 90s, was an irrationally codependent one. I would totally talk to these people on the street if I saw them, and I totally don’t talk to people on the street, like, ever. Like = Johnny is being ironic. This got me thinking, though. I’ve seen this behavior from others. Mostly youth, but others, nonetheless. Have we, as a society, come to rely on the validation of our Facebook pages t..

Small steps, big wins

By Chelsea Vitone Just as Facebook provides a social network for friends and family to come together, the website myActions.org has created the same forum for the environment, dubbing it “The Social Network for the Planet.” Partnering with the nonprofit organization Net Impact, they have created an engaging way for university students to track environmental responsibility on a smaller scale with an appropriately named contest called Small Steps Big Wins Campus Challenge. The site is structured almost like a game. At the beginning of the profile creation, students can choose from a small list of non-profit organizations such as American Red Cross, Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conservation Fund, Environmental Defense Fund, National Parks Conservation Association, and the World Wildlife Fund that their actions can contribute to, and for each activity, a certain amount of money will be donated to that cause. According to the site, “Actions are organized across four categories: Save ..

253 Collective seeks artists

Are you new to campus or looking for something more to do than go from car to class and back? It might be a good time to check out the cool art collective at the top of the hill, around the corner from Metro Coffee. The 253 Collective’s intimate gallery space features an eclectic mix of pieces on display by passionate artists. There are works created with pastels, photography, etchings, comics, and more. Etching demos are hosted almost daily by artist couple Marily and Butch Renick. You can find more information on the 253 Collective’s calendar on their website, but usually it’s etching demos happen on Tuesday and Wednesday at 11 p.m. to 5 p.m. and also Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The collective hosts a special event for Third Thursday and the gallery is a featured stop for the Third Thursday Art Bus. Carla Gramlich, one of the artists with work on display, describes the gallery as “struggling” and that the collective aims to have around 10 artists on display. Curre..

The Top Five Controversial Novels

“Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov was published in 1955 and was sexually provocative for its time. The story revolves around the love affair between the protagonist, a middle-aged literature professor and hebephile, Humbert Humbert, and 12-year-old Dolores Haze. Humbert marries her mother in order to be closer to the young girl, and gradually he initiates a sexual relationship with Dolores. It was called the “filthiest book I have ever read” by the editor of the British newspaper Sunday Express and in 1955, the Home Office seized all copies of the books on the grounds that it was pornography. Interestingly, it was published in the U.S. without any issues. “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley was published in 1932. This novel is based in the future, specifically speaking 2540 A.D. in the City of London. Issues such as power of authority and the rights of man are heavily acknowledged throughout the novel. It focuses on one man’s fight for survival in a world where technology has begun to reign..