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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, June 24, 2024

Columns

The Setonian
Columns

Zach Drucker and Chris Poldoian | Bad Samaritans

Nowadays, virtually all films are based on a prior story — whether it's a book, graphic novel, Broadway show or an "amazingly true" tale. Movie executives are desperate for ideas and, in their search to find original concepts, they have turned to the video game industry.


The Setonian
Columns

Griffin Pepper | Eight Girls and a Guy

I've received mixed reviews about my last article not because it addressed a delicate subject but because I mentioned my large nipples. My friends have approached me in the past week and tried to reassure me that they're totally normal. And even though I still see budding breasts on my chest, I appreciate the support. But it got me thinking about another aspect of self-image that guys never have to deal with: boobs.


The Setonian
Columns

Teddy Minch | Off Mic

It took hours of political wrangling and arm-twisting, but at 11:07 p.m. on Saturday night, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi rapped her gavel and the Obama administration's sweeping health care bill — HR 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act — was passed in the House of Representatives by a slim 220-215 margin: 219 Democrats and 1 Republican for, 176 Republicans and 39 Democrats against. The House Democrats had less than 12 hours to recover before the obligatory rounds of Sunday talk shows, but this pales in comparison to the political storm awaiting Senate Democrats in the coming days and weeks.


The Setonian
Columns

Rebecca Goldberg | Abroadway

I guess I'm glad I was in LA instead of Boston for the MLB playoffs this year. I got to hear mutterings of a Dodgers-Angels "freeway series" (yeah, dream on, but sorry, this ain't New York). And that the Angels-Yankees series was kind of a squeaker, huh? Dodgers fans are almost like Red Sox fans and that is saying something. (You decide what.)


The Setonian
Columns

Teddy Minch | Off Mic

The Obama administration foresaw two potential outcomes of last month's nullification of a purported election victory for the incumbent President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai. President Obama and top foreign policy brass hoped for a runoff election or some form of power-sharing agreement between Karzai and his opponent, former Afghanistan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah. The United States ultimately wanted an Afghan leadership that was not only popularly elected, but also seen as legitimate in the eyes of the people, as this would best combat the Afghan insurgency. Abdullah and Karzai both agreed to a runoff on Nov. 7 and all seemed well. But the United States never foresaw what lurked behind door number three.


The Setonian
Columns

Alex Prewitt | Live from Mudville

There are some acts that simply should not be done by certain people. Lactose-intolerant individuals should avoid ice cream sundaes. Alex Rodriguez should pass on those tic-tacs. Are you Albus Dumbledore? Stay away from Snape. But all of these examples pale in comparison to what Orlando Magic sharpshooter J.J. Redick announced on Thursday.



The Setonian
Columns

Derek Schlom | I Blame Pop Culture

This has been an extremely emotional week for me, but I think that I have gathered enough strength due to the kindness and support of family and friends to retell my story with composure.



The Setonian
Columns

Jessie Borkan | College Is As College Does

This weekend I found myself celebrating the last Halloween of my college career and I don't know what was scarier: swine flu or the prospect of (not) finding a job. I receive e-mails nearly every day concerning both of them: from Tufts, from my mom, from my friends — all admonishing me to wash my hands, buy a suit, avoid sharing drinks and network. My everyday conversations are suddenly peppered with news of which fortunate souls have been recruited, and which unfortunate ones have come down with the infamous H1N1, as well as who took the LSATs out of sheer desperation and who has the vague and mysterious "ILI." It seems no one is safe. Why? Unemployment might not be as contagious as the dreaded swine, but sensationalism definitely is, and I see it infecting Tufts.


The Setonian
Columns

Charles Laubacher | Ears Open

I remember an argument that I had with a somewhat thickheaded friend from high school: He tried to argue that women were inherently unable to rock as hard as their male counterparts. While it is true that notable female figures have been conspicuously absent from the history of rock n' roll, I don't think this is the result of women having an inherent predisposition not to rock, but rather the result of the culture that surrounds the music industry. In order to change my friend's mind, I directed him to check out one Miss Brody Dalle, then of the punk band The Distillers.


The Setonian
Columns

Teddy Minch | Off Mic

Exactly a year ago, the U.S. presidential election cycle was in its final days. Emotions ran high in both the Barack Obama and John McCain camps. McCain unleashed a final, furious wave of allegations against Obama — chief among them was the notion that Obama, if elected, would act on his purportedly steadfast commitment to the redistribution of wealth in American society and cause a dramatic, socialist political shift.


The Setonian
Columns

Derek Schlom | I Blame Pop Culture

The purpose of this column, ostensibly, is for me to vent through the lens of pop culture about my problems and neuroses. But my issues don't hold a candle to those of Larry Gopnik, the protagonist of "A Serious Man" (2009), the hilarious, moving, odd and deeply puzzling new film from Joel and Ethan Coen.


The Setonian
Columns

Alex Prewitt | Live from Mudville

Everyone has his or her own specific way of attempting to predict the future. The Mayans have their calendar, Tom Hanks had the Zoltar Machine and Nostradamus had his patented Magic 8 Ball.


The Setonian
Columns

Emily Maretsky | Nice Shoes, Let's Date

Admit it or not, most of us stress over and debate about relationship issues, whether it be through whispering during TDC rehearsals, getting advice from roommates or "doing work" in Tisch.


The Setonian
Columns

Teddy Minch | Off Mic

The leader of Afghanistan since his appointment as chairman of the transitional administration in December 2001, Hamid Karzai is the face of the American democracy-building experiment in the middle eastern nation. Over the course of the past eight years, he has served as the constant presence American policymakers have needed to ensure some sort of stability for rebuilding and security efforts.



The Setonian
Columns

Jessie Borkan | College Is As College Does

It had been almost two months, and I still had faith that I was going to get the hang of Pilates ... and then came the giant bouncy balls. Like Goldilocks, I went through three sizes of these inflatable spheres of humiliation, but never found that just-right ball. Instead, I spent most of class sunk into a partially deflated globe, knees to my chest and rolling off every five to seven minutes.


The Setonian
Columns

Alex Prewitt | Live from Mudville

Every fall is a little different. We get older, Halloween costumes get a little more slutty, and the Washington Redskins find a way to suck a little bit more. But for me at least, one thing has always remained constant during the autumn months: fantasy football.


The Setonian
Columns

Derek Schlom | I Blame Pop Culture

In the words of Jack Donaghy on last week's episode of "30 Rock," "I'm a big ol' liar." To my three or four loyal readers: Don't have a conniption. I've been completely honest with you in my previous columns. I did sob at a Grizzly Bear concert, I do think that Kanye West and Serena Williams were in the right, and I am, in fact, absolutely nothing like Jason Schwartzman.    When I say "lies," I'm not talking about outright, Balloon Boy-style fabrications.


The Setonian
Columns

Ethan Frigon | The Beard Abides

College football polls: They're the scourge of diehard pigskin fans the nation over. (Well, except for the Northeast, where few seem to care about the beautiful game. Fools.) Fans love nothing more than to angrily rag on a pollster who ranked their team precisely seven spots too low, or who had the audacity to accidentally slot them below a team their team beat in Week 3. Normally, you would have to dismiss these as merely the rantings of supremely biased fans with way too much time on their hands to spend arguing anonymously in online fan forums and on sports talk radio.     In this case, though, it pains me to admit that these fans have got a pretty legitimate beef. College football polls are the only instance in sports in which what you actually did on the field takes a backseat to media perceptions — and this never fails to generate controversy on an annual basis.     Every professional league obviously has a coherent playoff system. College basketball has polls, too, but they hold much less sway than those in football, and the 64-team playoff gives every halfway decent team a shot at winning the championship. College football, on the other hand, has created a delightful little cartel known as the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), mainly to keep its lucrative partners happy. And, it seems, to piss off the viewing public. This system creates a two-team playoff every year, slotting a national championship game and nothing else.     The BCS standings, derived from a formula that at various points has included such variables as quality wins, strength of schedule and a Standardized Co-ed Attractiveness System, is now relatively simple: one-third Harris poll, one-third coaches' poll, one-third the average of six computer formulas. So basically, you have got three groups of people not playing football deciding which two teams play for the national championship.     Adding to the problem is the fact that the most respected and best poll, the Associated Press', is no longer part of the formula. The AP withdrew after controversy consumed the end of the 2004 season, when five teams finished undefeated (obviously, only two can play for the championship). This led the BCS to begin its own replacement poll, the Harris poll, made up mainly of obscure media figures and former college football players. The Harris poll is almost blandly similar to the coaches' poll on a week-to-week basis.     Especially in comparison with the AP poll, both of these polls are notoriously static, with little change on a weekly basis. Both polls also generally seem resistant to moving non-BCS conference teams up, even after wins or losses by teams above them.     Most embarrassing of all, however, is the basic idea of the coaches' poll. Who thought it was a good idea for coaches to vote on their own teams and the teams they're playing against?  Could they have come up with a group that would be more obviously biased than the men whose jobs literally depend on what these polls say about them and their competitors?     There's a direct incentive to not only over-rank their own teams, but also teams in their own conference, to make themselves look better by comparison. Also, is there another group that more obviously isn't watching college football on Saturday? That's kind of their biggest day of the week, so, yeah: they might have other things on their mind than that poll they have to fill out by Sunday morning.     It's one of the worst-kept secrets in sports that just about every coach has their sports information director or some other low-level flunky in the athletic department fill their poll out for them. So, come on, college football powers-that-be, take some of the power away from the polls. Give us a playoff, and let teams decide the national championship on the field instead of in a sportswriter's office. At the very least, get rid of the idiotic coaches' poll.


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