Athlete of the Quarter: Honorable Mention

Junior Elizabeth Datino had one of the most memorable seasons in UC Davis lacrosse history. In the midst of the first round of the NCAA tournament, Datino shared the lead for total points in all of the country. Her 54 goals and school record 47 assists racked up to 101 total points in the season. She was the only player in the nation to rank in the top 10 for both goals and assists in the NCAA Division I this year. The steady attacker from Centennial, Colo. had a total of 12 hat tricks this year while also being named to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association All-West/Midwest Region second team. Datino tied the school record with eight assists against St. Mary’s last year and now she is five assists away from breaking the all-time school record currently held by Christina Corsa. — Jason Min ...

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Column: Symphony of sages

There are some things in life that take a while to digest. Sometimes things happen too fast. Other times the context of a situation, or the perception of it, changes. Then there are the times when your brain was turned off and it takes concentration to figure out what the hell happened. I had a night recently where all these things occurred at once. It was a week ago and I’m still chewing on it. No, this wasn’t a night of reflection where I bathed in self-loathing and drowned in memories of my college years wondering what could have been, where I sat abhorring the loss of freedom that awaits me when I receive my diploma, a one-way ticket on a Willy Wonka elevator out of this wonderfully protective snow globe we call UC Davis. So if you’re looking for the traditional I’m-a-Senior-here’s-my-farewell-advice-column, you’re out of luck because 1) I don’t have any, 2) I swore to my editor I’d avoid clichés and 3) this night reads like a story... ...

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Students get the grade without the effort

We all have those friends who flaunt their “free time” at us, claiming they never go to class and still manage to maintain a competitive grade-point average. As you examine the dent in your nose from falling asleep on your textbook, that soon-to-be-enemy-of-a-friend thumbs his or her perfectly undented nose right back. It is quite the mystery how these oversleeping, bright-faced know-it-alls successfully complete college by attending a fraction of their lectures. What’s most surprising about these students is that they are not at all shy about admitting their tricks of this special academic trade. “I have literally only gone to [Nutrition 10 once] before the midterm. I got an A. Not only do they tell you everything on the exam, but they also don’t change tests year to year and section to section. Teachers don’t really teach you. They put everything on a PowerPoint,” said Antonia McKee, a sophomore sociology major. Maureen Clemons, a sophomore human development major, noted that her method is a selective one, where she will... ...

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The gridiron abroad

Football has taken hold in the high schools and colleges in the U.S., but lacks popularity beyond our borders. For UC Davis athletes of the late 1990s, though, European shores were a landing place for those who could not make it in the NFL. Football with the Mermaids After graduating from UC Davis in 1998 with a degree in economics, Aggie cornerback Desi Barbour wanted to continue his professional career. Barbour had several stints with the minor leagues in the United States and then decided to take his chances playing in Europe. Barbour made his way into the Danish American Football Federation, Denmark’s top American football league. Like many European players, Barbour was given a contract that featured more than just monetary incentives. He was provided a place to live and a transportation pass to ride the bus or train around the country, in addition to a stipend. Still, adjusting to Danish life was not necessarily simple. Barbour recalls an instance during his first week in Denmark when he had... ...

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Freshman of the Quarter…

Elizabeth Landry has won the Freshman of the Quarter Award from The Aggie for her exemplary contribution to the women’s lacrosse team. Landry, who made the All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation first team, also collected the league’s Newcomer of the Year award. “I think that staying motivated and committed to getting better throughout the whole year was a key to my success,” Landry said. The freshman midfielder from Lafayette was all over the field chasing down attackers while leading the charge on the offensive side. Landry led the Aggies in ground balls (37), draw controls (72) and caused turnovers (31). She also broke the season and single-game records for draw controls in her first year of play. Landry showed her versatile talents in the final game of the year where she scored six goals, caused four turnovers and won five ground balls in the 24-10 blowout of St. Mary’s. — Jason Min ...

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Column: A toast to life

Every time I’m on an airplane, just as it’s about to leave the runway and enter the open air, I send a little prayer to God. I thank him for the life I have and ask him to protect the pilot and passengers and to deliver me safely to my destination. Even though a person is more likely to die from a car accident than from a flight gone awry, there’s something about exchanging the security of the ground under my feet for the uncertain, mysterious skies that brings my mortality to the forefront of my mind. This past Sunday, a flight carrying 153 people from the city of Abuja to the city of Lagos in Nigeria crashed into a building as it was approaching the airport. There are no survivors. In an instant, due to unforeseen circumstances, 153 individual life journeys came to an abrupt end. These were people with pasts, friends and families, and aspirations for the future. They’re gone. I can’t help but be shaken up by... ...

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Athlete of the quarter…

While it seemed that the women’s track and field team was stealing the headlines every week, one of the Aggies’ most impressive contributors this year was from the men’s team. Junior pole vaulter Ethan Ostrom had a 2012 season that will go down in UC Davis history. After becoming just the third Aggie in history to top the 5.2-meter mark in 2011, Ostrom continued to soar to new heights this season. The Cottonwood, Calif. native finished first on three occasions this season, including at the Causeway Classic and the Hornet Invitational. He also took second at the Big West Conference finals with a height of 5.25 meters, just three inches better than teammate junior Mike Peterson, who took third. Ostrom’s season ended in bittersweet fashion at the NCAA Regional at Texas, where he broke the UC Davis pole vaulting record with a height of 5.35 meters, beating Tom Moore’s mark set in 2001, but came up short of advancing to the NCAA Finals in a jump-off. Despite the frustrating end... ...

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Change will allow alumni to keep student e-mail

Since 2008, students at UC Davis have enjoyed the convenience of a centralized Google e-mail account through the campus “DavisMail” Google Apps service. However, the ever-increasing amount of students currently holding a “ucdavis.edu” address has led to an unforeseen problem: The university will soon run out of the allotted amount of e-mail accounts provided to them by Google. Subsequently, the fate of an Aggie’s e-mail account after graduation has been the subject of much speculation. The standing policy has allowed previous graduates to keep their student e-mail addresses for private use.  A new plan is currently being discussed that will solve the growing shortage of available accounts. “Our current plans are to automatically provide students with an option,” said Gabe Youtsey, Program manager for the Cloud and Collaborative Technologies with UC Davis. “In addition to keeping your DavisMail account upon graduation, students can opt to forward their mail to another address. When all the changes have been made, student e-mail accounts will transition from an ‘@ucdavis.edu’ to an ‘@alumni.ucdavis.edu’, so... ...

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Colorful butterflies share traits by crossbreeding

While studying the genome of the Heliconius genus of butterflies, researchers at UC Irvine found information not only relating to their abilities to smell and taste, but also the unusual source of their colorful wings. Different species of the Heliconius genus, a brightly colorful family, are able to acquire superior wing colors through crossbreeding. By studying the way these butterflies use crossbreeding to acquire superior wing colors, researchers hope to learn more about hybridization. Hybridization, which is considered extremely rare in the wild, occurs when members of different species interbreed. “This study is important because it now suggests that hybridization may be much more widespread than we thought and that it provides a much faster way for species to adapt than by evolving similar traits from scratch,” said Adriana Briscoe, UC Irvine associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and study co-author. “The study might prompt other investigators to look for evidence of trait-sharing in other species.” According to Arthur M. Shapiro, UC Davis professor of evolution and ecology, hybridization... ...

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Column: Education and indoctrination

*Author’s note: While writing this column, I realize that I make many statements against religion that may offend individuals who identify as strongly religious.  I do not wish to offend anyone, and I am merely using evangelical religion as an example of a concept. What determines whether a child will speak English, Chinese or Spanish?  What determines whether that child will be Democratic, Republican, or Libertarian? Jewish or Christian or Muslim? The brain of a newborn child is a blank slate just waiting to be filled with knowledge and culture.  An infant has no language, no political party and no religion.  Parents have a huge amount of influence over what their children learn, and what cultural or social phenomena they are exposed to.  But where do we draw the line between education, and indoctrination? To be clear, I am talking about indoctrination in the pejorative sense of the word, different from education in that individuals are expected to never question or critically examine what they are being told.  While parents... ...

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‘Helping Janet’ uses social media to save a life

When UCLA student Janet Liang was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in 2009, she, her family and the doctors were the only people who knew about it. According to the National Marrow Donor Program, ALL is a cancer of the white blood cells. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell used by the body to fight infections, and bone marrow makes blasts – uniformed cells – that usually develop into these lymphocytes. However, the disease inhibits the development of normal blasts and, thus, the combat of infections. After a year and a half in remission and a tragic relapse in 2011, Liang decided to tell others about her situation. While still in the hospital, Liang filmed and uploaded  a video recording her plea for help to YouTube. “I am scared of dying because of everything that I will leave behind,” Liang said in the video. “I don’t know if I’ll ever find my bone marrow match in time.” The video went viral. Now, people all around the world... ...

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Athlete of the Quarter: Honorable Mention

Junior Paul Politi’s season ended with a 10-game hitting streak intact, topped off with an All-Big West Conference second team selection. The Los Gatos native manned the hot corner all year for UC Davis, and was the only Aggie to start all 57 games. The third baseman hit a team-leading .345 for the season – good enough to place him eighth in the Big West – and amassed another team-leading 79 hits on the year, which ranked third in the conference. Politi also led UC Davis with 32 RBIs, second on the team with 13 doubles, and blasted three home runs. His single in the bottom of the 11th against Big West rival Cal Poly provided the walk-off RBI on May 4. His 4-6 performance that day was just one of many highlights in this season of offensive explosion. Politi will return next year for the Aggies and will look to add to his already impressive batting statistics. RUSSELL EISENMAN can be reached at sports@theaggie.org. ...

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Phishing scam hits UC Davis e-mails

UC Davis students and faculty have recently been hit by a web e-mail hoax that reads “Update Your UC Davis Webmail Account.” The e-mail was directed to .ucdavis.edu Google-based e-mail accounts, and required respondents to click on a fraudulent web address link. Instead of updating your UC Davis webmail account, the link requires users to enter both their UC Davis username and password used to login to their UC Davis webmail account. Subsequently, the account becomes compromised; as a result, the user must reset both their passphrase and challenge questions used to secure the account. To prevent students from being victimized by phishing incidents like this one, UC Davis IT Security Coordinator Robert Ono refers students to anti-phishing information located, on the UC Davis Information and Education Technology (IET) web page. UC Davis will never ask you for your passphrase via e-mail, telephone or non-campus website, according to the IET web page. “I don’t believe it’s so much a problem of internet security as it is with students’ lack of... ...

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Parkour presents pleasurable pastime

If you remember watching action-packed cartoons as a kid, like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dragon Ball Z, you might also remember feeling that you wish you could do the stunts that the characters performed so effortlessly. Parkour enthusiasts Kyle Turner and Matt Jian agree that their love for the physical art form stems from an early childhood desire to watch cartoons and climb around their environments. “When I was younger, I never really stopped climbing on stuff. So it’s like a continuation of what children do naturally,” first-year biomedical engineering major Turner said. “Then one day, a few of my friends went online and found a video of people doing parkour and I thought, ‘Wow, so this has an actual name.’” Parkour is a physical discipline that emphasizes the ability to efficiently move around obstacles in an environment. In recent years, parkour swept the nation via an internet craze. Turner describes parkour as “the art of movement.” “I wouldn’t really call it a sport; it’s more of an art... ...

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Newspapers demand names of officers involved in pepper spraying incident

On May 25, the Sacramento Bee and Los Angeles Times filed a lawsuit against the University of California Board of Regents. The suit demands that the UC Regents comply with the California Public Records Act with the release of the police officers’ names that were removed from the Reynoso Task Force Report on the controversial pepper spraying of UC Davis students. The lawsuit declares that the UC Regents violated the public’s right of access after redacting all of the names but two of the UC Davis officers involved in the operation that lead to the pepper spraying on Nov. 18, 2011. “[The L.A. Times and Sacramento Bee] allege that The Regents have failed to represent the interests of the press and public, leaving [the newspapers] with no choice but to bring this Petition to protect the public’s right of access to this important information,” the lawsuit states. In March, the Federated University Police Officer’s Association (FUPOA) filed a lawsuit against the UC Regents declaring that the names of the police... ...

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