• Literature to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day

    The end of spring break has finally arrived (sadly), and we’re forced to return to reality. However, we’re fortunate to have one more holiday to celebrate, hopefully before getting back to classes. It’s St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday celebrated with kegs of beer, leprechaun outfits and strands of green and gold beads.

    It’s all tons of fun, but I am not the biggest partier in the world. A “Marie” party, especially on a Monday, consists of nerdy, homey pleasures. Books, more books, and a little bit of history. History, which I often discover in books. I’m sensing a trend here. see more


    March 17, 2014 at 10:37 am

  • Stepping out into the Universe

    Travel blogging, travel journals, books, movies — all of them extol the benefits of traveling. They’re quick to tell you how much you benefit from it and why everyone should do it, but they only mention why the whole experience is worth it.

    No one wants to talk about how travel is a struggle. There is nothing more difficult than removing yourself from the lives of your family and friends in order to travel. You have to be okay with people growing up and maybe growing away from you.

    Travel requires you to open yourself to people, to places, and changes of heart. You are vulnerable while traveling in ways that you will never be while still at home. Actively searching for peace or companionship becomes a priority during travel. There isn’t just one person who you can turn to when you start feeling stretched beyond comprehension. see more


    March 17, 2014 at 12:00 am

  • If It Ain’t Baroque, Don’t Fix It: Part 2

    Continuing on from my last post, we’ll finally wrap up the rest of Baroque. During the 17th century, England was having a pretty rough time. For the most part, England imported their painters. But now, for the first time, England was able to produce talented native artists. My ultimate favorite is Gainsborough. Gainsborough’s paintings have an informal feel to them. He loved nature and believed it to be worthy subject matter for art, so he incorporated natural landscapes as the backdrop for his portraitures. He mastered the elongation of the human form to make his figures look regal. He offset this regality with natural, casual poses and contemporary dress. This is seen in Gainsborough’s “Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan.” He paints the woman among the landscape in such a natural and beautiful way. She is dressed informally, no aristocratic garb, and sits very naturally. There is no pomp and circumstance. She isn’t stylized to look like a goddess and there is certainly no usage of props. The English Baroque style is definitely characterized as a restrained elegance. “Mrs. Richard Brinsley Sheridan” by Gainsborough

    Now we have the Spanish Baroque. The most famous Spanish Baroque artist is Diego Velazquez. Velazquez was so loved that he became King Philip IV’s royal court painter. Velazquez was a master in the visual realism. But, what set him apart from many of the other masters, was the way he painted. He used fluid brushstrokes. Velazquez created images with the usage of colors and light as opposed to lines, like many of his predecessors and contemporaries. He favored simplicity in his art; he always depicted the world. Velazquez always presented his subjects realistically with a sense of dignity and took away all the fussiness that is associated with court paintings. We see this in “Las Meninas.” Here, the princess is attended to by her ladies in waiting. She is in a completely natural state.

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    March 6, 2014 at 7:00 am

  • Musical Dating: Could it work?

    I was in my Business and Future of Journalism class last week when we were given a group project. The idea was pretty simple: We were supposed to invent something people needed. Ideas largely included apps (hello, 2014) with innovative and funny concepts. One of them in particular struck me as interesting. It was a dating website that matched you up with your dream significant other according to your taste in music. Country two-steppers and hipster snobs could now be provided with almost effortless means to snagging that perfect first date. Not a bad idea—admittedly better than my group’s sad attempt at some “get back at your ex-boyfriend” app that referenced Ryan Gosling. It left me wondering: Is that what we’ve come to as a people, and, would it work?

    Facebook likes, hashtags, pins on Pinterest… these are things that define and simplify the complexity of human nature and the functioning mind. It’s true that when I’ve been interested in someone in the past, I’d immediately do the standard Facebook creep and scan breakdowns of liked interests. When I think about the romantic relationships I’ve tried and failed in the past five or so years, I have to laugh. For the most part, I’ve had slim to nothing in common with these men I’d established a connection to. In one case, the only trait I did share with someone was taste in music. It crashed before my eyes into a fiery, explosive, relationship fiasco.

    Was I really wearing music blinds in front of my eyes the whole time? Music-themed, rose-tinted glasses? That seems like a bit of a stretch. However, this proposed dating website and my own experiences with love make me believe this: Interests matter, but they don’t define our ideal partners. see more


    March 6, 2014 at 12:00 am

  • Seven tips for a safe spring break

    The spring break experience is like the senior prom of high school — except you get four of them. It’s a week of shenanigans, beaches and friends. Spring break is basically a free for all for kids to get buck-wild and be carefree.

    With that much excitement, we need to be proactive about our safety and be aware of the situations we put ourselves in.

    The carefree attitude of students everywhere is wonderful to see because it means that people are living their lives to the fullest. But “YOLO” is as dangerous as it is fundamental. Young adults suffer from the “I am invincible” mentality. see more


    March 5, 2014 at 11:40 am

  • Discover the power of Nazi propaganda at Burton Barr

    Burton Barr Central Library encourages us to critically consider the messages we receive today with the exhibit “State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda“. This is a traveling exhibit with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, rooted in Washington D.C. (my second home).

    The library hosts guided tours as well as a self-guided tour through text messages. Receiving texts about the exhibit as you walk through the exhibit is a truly unique experience.

    Mosey on over to the second floor of the library and take a stroll through the exhibit. In a world of social media and a constant stream of messages, the exhibit has a special relevance in our current society. see more


    March 5, 2014 at 9:46 am

  • If It Ain’t Baroque, Don’t Fix It

    Baroque (1600-1750) was an art movement that came after the Renaissance. It took techniques like realism and chiaroscuro and combined them with the intense drama and emotion of the Mannerists (a group of artists that chose to deviate from the harmony and perfection of the Renaissance). Because Baroque combines Renaissance and the Mannerist ideals, it yielded some of the most ostentatious and ornate pieces of art. Art became more of a way of life during the 17th century. The point of Baroque art was to elicit an emotional response. To do so, artist perfected the use of chiaroscuro and became masters of light. Technically, the Baroque era began in Rome around the 1600s. Then it spread to France and to the rest of Europe. In this post we will be focusing on Italian, Flemish and Dutch Baroque, and in the next post we will finish the entire time period with English, Spanish and French Baroque. This will give you a little taste of what the Baroque era had to offer and how each country and artist took their own spin on the Baroque style.

    As mentioned previously, Rome is where the Baroque style started. The skills of artists were at an unprecedented level. They were able to portray the human form accurately from complex perspectives and angles. It was inevitable that artists would begin experimenting with emotion and drama. In fact, Baroque art is characterized by their emphasis on emotion and dynamism—straying away from the rationality of the Renaissance masters. The best example of an artist who took realism to a whole different level is Caravaggio. Caravaggio paints in an astonishingly vivid and real manner. He played with light and shadows to produce intense and dramatic pieces of work. Below is Caravaggio’s “The Conversion of St. Paul.” His radical portrayal of a holy man as a commoner in sharp contrasts between light and dark changed European art.

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    March 5, 2014 at 9:40 am

  • Admiral Stavridis promotes literature as essential tool for social development

    ASU’s School of Philosophy hosted Adm. James G. Stavridis this month in a lecture called “Life, Literature, and Leadership.” He is a retired four-star admiral, and the current Dean of Tufts’ Fletcher School of International Affairs. He attended the Naval Academy in Annapolis where he studied… literature.

    It’s as counterintuitive as walking into the lecture on Thursday night behind a long line of ROTC students in uniform. It was a happy juxtaposition to experience. A cross-breed of military science and literature. Photo by Marie Rabusa

    The largest lesson to take away from Adm. Stavridis’ presentation was to create bridges, where we may otherwise build walls and barriers. The room, where we sat and learned of books and their impact on the world, was symbolic of this message. see more


    March 4, 2014 at 2:00 pm

  • Don’t spring break your bank account

    There is nothing quite like spring break.

    Fall break tries, but it’s usually at the tail end of October, and that’s when the cold weather rears its ugly head and people are gearing up for Halloween shenanigans.

    Spring break rests in the transition period between the end of winter and the start of spring. It’s usually the perfect time for bathing suits, pool-side iced tea and TV shows starting to hit the high points of their seasons. see more


    March 3, 2014 at 10:46 am

  • Thoughts on “Another Story” and SB 1062

    Music videos are kind of hit-or-miss for me. Sometimes they leave me unaffected, but more often than not, I’m either floored or underwhelmed. The worst is when the vision I had for a song gets crushed by a video interpretation that doesn’t fit. This might come off as irrelevant to the music or even selfish, but I think there’s usually a heavy dose of meaning for artists in the videos they piece together for songs. To not resonate with a video feels much like not resonating with the artist, their initial vision and the music itself.

    This was an exciting week. The Head and the Heart released a new video, which proved to be a fantastic, moving new addition to their collective book of musical successes.

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    February 27, 2014 at 3:46 pm