http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix a multi-media journal of public affairs and popular culture produced by students at Hunter College Sat, 14 Sep 2013 13:58:19 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.0.4 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=528 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=528#comments Wed, 11 Sep 2013 19:57:00 +0000 Joel Aybar http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=528 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=528 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=502 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=502#comments Fri, 09 Aug 2013 15:34:24 +0000 Kevin Bruno http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=502 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=502 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=505 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=505#comments Thu, 08 Aug 2013 20:06:10 +0000 Anna Norum-Gross http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=505
In an interview with CNN Health, Dr. Michael Picco, a consultant on gastroenterology at the Mayo Clinic, said that cleansing did not have any real benefits. “The whole basis to this cleansing business is that people say it can help things like the immune system, fatigue and depression, and it can clean the toxins out of the colon, and it can aid in losing weight. There is really no evidence to that at all. Sometimes those cleanses could actually be quite harmful, too.”
Kat Olin, who is now doing the BluePrint Cleanse for the second time, says she wasn’t impressed the first time around and wants to give it another chance. “Basically, I think people expect an epiphany, expect to feel the toxins leaving their body,” she says. Because she did not find the cleanse to be difficult to maintain, she is trying it again, hoping to “make up for” the fact that she has not been keeping a healthy diet lately; with a full-time job at a law firm and three young children, she doesn’t have time to prepare many of her meals.
The BluePrint Cleanse website does seem to be aimed at people like Olin who want to consume healthy things but simply don’t have the time. “I know what whole foods are, and I’ve seen people buying them. I would too, but I’m too busy to be choosy,” states the site. Average people with busy lives are meant to relate to this sentiment.
The BluePrint Cleanse juices contain nutrients many of us do not get in our daily meals; they include things like kale, beets and cashews. According to Olin, it is questionable as to whether the BluePrint Cleanse will “trigger your body to cleanse and detox,” as the website states, but she thinks it’s a good way for her to get some of the nutrients she hasn’t been consuming lately.
But can a juice cleanse help with weight loss? If someone replaces all three meals with a low-calorie juice for up to several weeks, they most likely will shed some pounds. But will it last? Joanna Bak, a recent graduate from Tulane University says, “Anyone who has taken a basic nutrition course can tell you juice cleanses do more harm than good. And any weight you lose will be gained back once you go back to your normal diet.”
According to Dr. Picco, “Any weight loss you get is not real. It’s due to loss of fluid and waste and it is potentially harmful. Weight loss needs to be done with diet and exercise.”
“People don’t want to hear that the best way to lose weight and maintain it is to diet and exercise. It’s hard, and it takes a long time. People want shortcuts,” says Sarah Liana, a 27-year-old nanny. “Remember those things that were in infomercials a few years back that you put on your stomach…[that] supposedly worked out your muscles for you so you didn’t have to go to the trouble of doing actual sit-ups?”
As you might have suspected, it is not healthy to eat little to no food for an extended period of time. In fact, in some cases, doctors link eating disorders with juice cleanses.
Dr. Pauline Powers, who leads the scientific advisory committee for the Global Foundation for Eating Disorders, was quoted in an article in Marie Claire describing juice cleanses as “the perfect pathway to disordered eating, with a great power to lead otherwise healthy women down the path of disordered eating.” Last year, the University of North Carolina Center for Excellence for Eating Disorders added juice fasts to the list of topics addressed with patients.
Perhaps juice cleanses shouldn’t be condemned altogether. Some provide vitamins and nutrients we often neglect to consume. But many juice cleanse diets mislead clients, selling them the idea that the diet will “cleanse their system,” discouraging them from eating entire food groups, such as protein and carbohydrates, for extended periods of time, which can have adverse effects on the body.
Moreover, these kinds of cleanses can be especially dangerous for people who are predisposed to body-image issues. As Courtney Rubin wrote in a 2011 article for Marie Claire, “It’s society’s most accepted form of eating disorder.”]]> http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=505 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=493 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=493#comments Tue, 06 Aug 2013 12:06:02 +0000 Jude Buenaseda http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=493
The community of longboarders continues to expand every year in New York. There are many events around the city hosted by many different companies, and each year attendance increases.
The Broadway Bomb race is one of these events and has the largest number of attendees. While it’s a competitive race, the majority of people go just for the experience. The event started in 2006 with just about 12 skaters. At last year’s event, in 2012, over 1,000 people from all over the world attended the race. The race starts from the Upper West Side near Columbia University and finishes downtown near Wall Street.
“It keeps people positive and healthy. I have awesome friends and met awesome people through longboarding,” says Pepaj, who has attended the Broadway Bomb for the past two years.
Like many other hobbies and sports, longboarding has characteristics that attracts certain types of people. “I started skating because I liked how you didn’t need a team or anyone else to do it. I was bad at playing with others anyway so it appealed to me,” says Edward Nieves, a sponsored rider for Earthwing Skateboards. “Skateboarding, to me, is a cheap, easily accessible means of freedom for anyone who seeks it out.”
Nobody knows when exactly skateboards were invented because they appeared in different places around the same time. But the unofficial birthplace was California around the mid 1900s. Skateboards provided surfers an alternative when the ocean waves were flat. Skateboarding was initially confined to city streets and sidewalks, but by the 1970s it evolved into a much more technically oriented sport. Tricks were invented and skate parks were built to make it a competitive sport. It was then that skateboarding split into two main disciplines, trick skateboarding and longboarding.
What makes a longboard unique are its wheels and manageability. In contrast to a trick-oriented skateboard, a longboard has smooth soft wheels and can mimic the moves of a surfboard slashing through waves — they’re not called longboards for nothing; the average longboard is around 40 inches or longer, but range anywhere from 24 to 60 inches.
There are two main longboard companies based in New York, Earthwing Skateboards and Bustin Boards, both based in Brooklyn.
Earthwing Skateboards focuses on the discipline of tech sliding, a form of skateboarding where a skater starts from the top of a hill and does sliding maneuvers all the way down the hill. Earthwing also experiments with different types of materials and stepping out of the industry norm of using 7-ply wood, experimenting with different kinds of fibers in its boards.
Bustin Boards’ longboards are composed entirely of wood, but they have many different shapes and styles. The company focuses on cruising and, more recently, the sport of downhill skateboarding – where usually four to six guys line up on top of a hill and race down to see who crosses the finish line first.
Both companies hold weekly events for riders to meet up and ride together. From beginners to professionals, the skill range of riders tends to be wide. Newcomers are encouraged to participate in these events, as this is how the New York community was first established.
Earthwing holds an event called the Friday Rip every Friday between 8 and 11pm. The event is held in Prospect Park on a hill off the park’s main loop. Riders meet up, skate, watch others, or just talk about their new favorite board.
Bustin’s event is every Sunday around 2pm. The Bustin crew leads the group around Central Park’s six-mile loop starting in the 59th street entrance at Columbus Circle.
The community is like a tight-knit family. Once you know a few of your local riders, you easily expand your network to riders from other places around the city and even the tri-state area.
“One of my closest current friends is named Ricky, and I wouldn’t have ever met him had I not been into skating. He’s the person I skate with the most in the city,” says Sami Hakim, who picked up longboarding through his high school friends.
Various forms of social media also help to foster the growth of the community. From Facebook groups to online forums such as Silverfish Longboarding, riders are able freely to discuss their love of longboarding.
“Longboarding is a way to meet people, a way to have fun, a way to try new things, and personally, it has become my favorite pastime,” Hakim says. “I’ve chosen this as my hobby, and it’s something I can’t stop doing.”]]> http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=493 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=487 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=487#comments Tue, 06 Aug 2013 11:41:00 +0000 Jamal Swift http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=487 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=487 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=481 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=481#comments Tue, 11 Jun 2013 21:35:44 +0000 Diana Pesantez http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=481 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=481 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=475 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=475#comments Tue, 11 Jun 2013 21:09:12 +0000 Yevgeniya Ivanyutenko http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=475
Sakkman isn’t the only one who likes zombies for their fringe, outcast quality. Until fairly recently, horror movies have been largely dismissed as low-brow, gory, and lacking any redeeming value by society at large. Now, Sakkman is considered a pioneer in a fast-growing trend, as zombies have seen a huge resurgence in entertainment and popular culture. They’ve inspired several movies, television shows, comic books, and even an amusement park. Even the federally-regulated Center for Disease Control website features a tongue-in-cheek “Zombie Preparedness” tip sheet.
Writer Robert Kirkman struck gold in 2003 and quickly gained critical acclaim for his comic The Walking Dead. AMC chomped at the bit to develop this award-winning comic into a show and even pre-ordered the entire series just based on how strong the source material was. By the time the pilot script was written, they were hooked. The show continues to be a ratings behemoth with some of the strongest ratings ever seen on basic cable.
A student from Hunter College, Mosfekur Khan, started reading The Walking Dead after he saw the television show. He admires Kirkman for not being afraid to kill off his favorite characters, which is a driving force behind the show’s consistent ratings.
The fascination with the undead can be traced back to ancient Haitian folklore. In Haiti, it was believed that sorcerers had the ability to resurrect the dead and control their bodies using a mystic “zombie powder.” In the 1980s, ethnobotanist Wade Davis hypothesized that eating certain fauna or flora and subsequently being buried resulted in zombification. The potent neurotoxin known as TTX was believed to be a key ingredient in the zombie powder made by Haitian sorcerers, who gathered it from pufferfish and other ocean life.
While attempts to study zombification through biology proved fruitless, the origin of this cultural fascination still taunts intellectuals. What is different in our world today that zombies have this strangle-hold over our entertainment choices?
Sakkman points to media consolidation. Currently, the vast majority of media, whether print, television or movies, can be rooted to less than six parent companies. “Ninety percent” of what we see and hear is controlled by the same six companies, says Sakkman, which often results in a severely limited and often stifled exposure to a variety of perspectives. This profit-seeking attitude is dangerous to society at large, he explains. Not only does this smother creativity of the public at large, it also limits our knowledge only to messages that only a few people at the top have control of. This limits the opportunity of gaining various perspectives, resulting in inaccurate and limited perceptions.
He claims that the somewhat recent zombie fascination in popular culture is mostly an extension of profit-seeking executives seeking a new genre guaranteed to bring in an audience; this can be seen in the vampire genre with movies like Dark Shadows and Twilight. In this way, zombies are simply the next logical progression in this trend of creative exploitation. Sakkman acknowledges the fact that zombies have been an integral part of American culture for decades, yet is quick to point out that consumer media has simply discovered a way to exploit the trend for its own gains. The formula is commonly referred to as the Three B’s: “blood, boobs, and beasts.” The massive success of many recent zombie movies proves the formula works.
Hunter College’s Professor Stephen Gorelick doesn’t believe it’s that simple. He reminds us of the hidden emotional baggage we carry every day – the fears and anxieties – that often “remain latent until some social context comes along in which they are ignited.”
Sarah Lauro, a professor at Clemson University, has written extensively on this topic, claiming that the popular fascination with zombies often correlates with increased periods of societal dissatisfaction. Possible roots of this dissatisfaction include the media, the government, war, and a general move away from empathy and community values.
One of Sakkman’s recent movies, “Punk Rock Holocaust,” plays into this theme. In the film, an evil record executive turns kids into zombies by the pop punk music that he forces them to listen to, controlling not only the music festival known as Warped Tour, but also their minds, turning them into monsters in doing so.
According to Sakkman, zombies are a “metaphor for what the mainstream has done to us.” In a way, he believes that “we’ve become zombies,” accepting what is “fed to us” with open arms. And the more we gravitate toward sites like YouTube and Google, the more we are exposed to these companies’ messages.
Stephen Gorelick provides an alternate explanation. He claims that this trend “reflects a basic human anxiety and concern that we can see in literature and art since antiquity.” Gorelick believes that our fascination with fictional characters who aren’t completely dead often reveals much about our fears of being dead in a final way.
It is through entertainment that we create a comfortable venue for explaining, and coping with, these fears and anxieties. Gorelick cites the example of the most popular board game of the 19th century: the Ouija board. This was a game that allowed people to imagine communicating with the dead, during a time when death was so common.
This need for a way to cope with death often comes about in times when death is most apparent. Night of the Living Dead, one of the first modern zombie movies, was released in the most fatal year for American soldiers during the Vietnam War.
Gorelick cites a correlation between mainstream zombie fascination and a post-9/11 climate of fear. “There’s been a lot of dying going on,” he explains. “And I don’t necessarily mean statistically more. There’s been a lot of dying in the public sphere: war dying, terrorism deaths.”
With death ingrained into every fiber of the American subconscious, the zombie apocalypse allows a fantasy of total escapism – government, authority, basic societal responsibilities and expectations, all disappearing into thin air in an instant.
In such a scenario, survival becomes your sole object. Yet survival provides total escape from the ubiquitously mundane lifestyle of modern society. Dangerous predators, guns, violence, all of the aspects that stimulate your peripheral nervous system on the most primitive levels, suddenly become part of the reality. It’s a subtle fantasy world marked with blood and adrenaline.
To many who have not been exposed to the genre until now, it may appear strange that one would find enjoyment in the idea of slaughtering fellow humans in mass numbers. Some films, such as Zombieland, have even gone so far as to turn the act of killing zombies into a competitive sport. Within this form of entertainment, there appears to be a theme of violent brutality and a blatant disregard for fellow human pain and suffering. Recently, this has entered the public debate, with some claiming that the trend is symptomatic of a greater societal vulnerability towards cruelty, and an inability to feel empathy.
However, Gorelick veers away from this conception, believing the zombie fascination simply “allows us to express quintessentially human feelings and anxieties.” In this way, indulging in the fantasy of a world inhabited by flesh-eating zombies is simply a way to express our deepest fears in the healthiest way possible. To Gorelick, “enjoy[ing] fantasy, even bizarre fantasy, is fully human. My mother taught me to never be ashamed of something that is so fully human, that it’s just who you are.”]]> http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=475 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=472 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=472#comments Wed, 28 Nov 2012 18:52:41 +0000 Thomas Wengler http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=472 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=472 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=463 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=463#comments Fri, 23 Nov 2012 13:47:40 +0000 Kanwal Pervaz http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=463 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=463 0 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=457 http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=457#comments Fri, 23 Nov 2012 13:28:25 +0000 Kristin Tablang http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?p=457
Many other Brookdale residents shared Salam’s belief that the effects of Sandy would not last more than a day or two. Eleven days later, however, Brookdale’s doors remain closed as efforts to repair the extensive water damage endured by its phone, fire, and electrical systems slowly unfold.
“I’ve been couch-hopping this entire week,” said Chevon Christie, a senior majoring in computer science. He has lived at the dorms every semester—summers included—since freshman year, heavily relying on its convenient Manhattan location to commute to school and work. “I’m not digging the nomadic lifestyle,” he said. “It’s made me so tired lately that sometimes, I even forget to eat.”
Albina Khayrulina, another student who has lived in Brookdale since her freshman year, was forced to move back into her parents’ home in Staten Island due to the evacuation. “The commute—which costs twice as much—has definitely negatively impacted my academic performance,” she said. “I wake up almost three hours before class to get [to Hunter] on time. By the time I get home I am tired, it is late, and I am in no state to study.”
Salam, who is now staying with his family in Queens, also voiced difficulties concentrating on schoolwork due to being displaced. “I can’t study at home because there are too many distractions,” he said. “Especially since my bedroom doesn’t have a door.”
The unexpected move has gravely impacted the social lives of Brookdale residents as well. “At the dorms, [my friends and I] would see each other every day. We would study together, eat together,” Khayrulina said. “Nowadays, we have to sneak in time between classes to see one another.”
Some Brookdale residents who do not possess the option of bunking with a friend or relative were fortunate enough to find shelter at other CUNY affiliated facilities, such as CCNY’s dormitories and the student residence halls on 92nd and 97th Streets, courtesy of Hunter’s emergency housing services. In fact, the college’s main campus was used as a temporary shelter for approximately 250 city residents immediately before and after the storm. Repeat requests for interviews with Hunter administrators and personnel were not answered.
James Davis, a fifth-year student, was able to secure housing at the 97th Street residence hall. “I’m luckier than a lot of other students out there,” he said. “At least I don’t have to deal with the ridiculous commute.”
For now, Brookdale’s status remains a mystery to its struggling residents. “The least [Hunter] can do is let us know how long it’s going to be until we can move back,” said Salam. “Being kept in the dark just makes things even worse.”]]> http://fmfaculty.hunter.cuny.edu/~6mix/?feed=rss2&p=457 0
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