Review Category : Blogs

An interview with new Classics professor Colin Webster

UC Davis Classics professor Colin Webster recently joined the department this year after receiving his doctorate in Classics from Columbia University in June. He is currently researching ancient science, medicine and philosophy. More specifically, he’s researching the way shifts in technology change our explanations of the natural world’s inner-workings. Webster, who has been researching the subject for about 10 years, is planning to create new courses related to his research in the near future. What are you currently researching? I research ancient science and medicine. On one hand I do a lot of research on the medical side of things, and on the other side a lot of mathematics, diagrams and the history of optics. What I’m particularly interested in is the way that shifts in technology produce new assumptions about nature. The big modern analogy for [how we read the technologies around us into our explanations of how the natural world works] is the computer….When the computer [was] invented people immediately [started] thinking of the brain as a computer….Before... ...

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Senate braces itself for critical ICA information

An otherwise routine ASUCD Senate meeting on Thursday saw tensions rise as an appearance of school officials raised more questions about the objectives of both the administration and the athletics program. Dr. Milton Lang, associate vice chancellor of Student Affairs, attended the meeting, followed by four members of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC): Elsie Fullerton, Brandon Greenberg, Sophia Lisaius and Danielle Steffen. SAAC, according to Lisaius, “[provides] a liaison from the athletics faculty members to the student athletes.” The senate had planned to hold a fairly rare closed session, giving the public just the meeting’s description: “Athletics.” “We heard there was something going on with athletics and we figured we needed to step up our involvement with ASUCD,” said Greenberg, a senior on the men’s track and field team. Fullerton, a junior on the women’s water polo team, added that she also would like to see more collaboration with the student government and student-athletes. “We wanted to be available as a resource and open up a line of communication,”... ...

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New Institute for Social Sciences opens

The new Institute for Social Sciences opened Oct. 13 at UC Davis. The institute, which has been in the works since 2011, will focus on interdisciplinary research projects. Vicky Austin, assistant director of the institute, said that it will work to bring together researchers from different academic interests on campus. “We will actively work to connect our researchers with scholars across campus to build bridges between the social sciences and disciplines ranging from education to engineering, medicine to management and law to the liberal arts,” Austin said. Joe Dumit, a UC Davis professor of anthropology and science and technology studies, is the director of the new institute. “I’m really happy to be heading up this new institute to support interdisciplinary research in the social sciences,” Dumit said. According to George R. Mangun, dean of the Division of Social Sciences, Dumit was chosen as director of the new institute from a highly selective group of accomplished individuals. A search committee of faculty and staff reviewed formal applications that were submitted last... ...

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Student Drowns in Rafting Accident

UC Davis student Lisa Sayaka Nakamaru, a 20-year-old third-year political science major from Torrance, CA tragically passed away on Sunday. She had been rafting with a friend on Putah Creek. According to Yolo County Chief Deputy Coroner Gina Moya, the cause of death was drowning with the manner of death being accidental. The two rafters were discovered the same day at around 2:50 p.m. after their raft had hit a rough spot at a popular campsite near Lake Solano County Park and Monticello Dam that holds Lake Berryessa. Nakamaru’s friend whose name and medical condition are not currently disclosed, was transported to Sutter Davis Hospital and released the same evening. At 2 p.m., the Winters Fire Department was dispatched to investigate the scene. Aaron McAlister, Winter’s fire chief called for backup including a helicopter and other specialists among which were the Yolo County Boat Patrol and Vacaville Fire Rescue Water Team. Almost immediately upon arrival, the dispatch team heard a commotion from four men who had seen the the deceased... ...

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‘Sheltered’ inhabits Davis Art Center

New art exhibit to raise animal awareness Among the many charming traits Davis is known for, being an animal-friendly environment often stands out. Soon, the animal compassion the city of Davis is known for will be taken to a whole new level. From Oct. 10 to Nov. 14, the Davis Art Center will be hosting Sheltered, an art exhibit devoted to raising awareness of animal homelessness and organizations in support of bettering animal lives. The nationally-curated project features works by artists throughout Davis as well as the country. There will also be opening and closing celebrations for the exhibit’s run. On opening night, Sheltered will welcome guests to its free reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Scheduled for the opening reception are live tunes, art activities, wine samplings and vegan-friendly treats for both pets and owners alike. The closing reception will feature a talk given by curator Ryann Casey, a Philadelphia-based photograper and art history professor. MUSE connected with Ryann Casey as well as Sheltered organizer and UC Davis alumna... ...

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Hell yes on Yes Means Yes

University sexual assault awareness initiatives a step in the right direction Last year ASUCD passed Senate Bill No. 67, reimplementing the Sexual Assault Awareness & Advocacy Committee (SAAAC) to be comprised of seven voting members, nine ex-officio members and two ASUCD senators. The committee intends to improve the educational programs that address rape culture by collaborating with ASUCD and several campus departments. SB 67 cites personnel issues for their inability to get the committee’s feet off the ground last year, but ASUCD hopes to reinstate the committee in the coming month with some added structural changes. We commend ASUCD for recognizing the urgency of the issue and taking initiative to combat the prevalence of sexual assault. The University of California Student Association (UCSA) kicked off the UConsent campaign this August, encouraging students from all UC campuses to join together to build on President Obama’s recent “It’s On Us” campaign. UC Davis endorsed the national efforts Monday. Gov. Jerry Brown has also begun to tackle the issue on Sept. 28 by... ...

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Associated Student Dining Services increase prices

Starting Sept. 22, much of the food and beverages sold at Associated Student (AS) Dining Services increased in price for the first time in four years. AS Dining Services, made up of the ASUCD Coffee House, CoHo South Café and CoHo-To-Go Convenience Store, last increased prices in 2010. While certain foods, including yogurt and whole fruits, have remained at the same price, other items have become more expensive. This change is largely due to the increase of California’s minimum wage, which has gone from $8 to $9 per hour. Prices generally increased about 30 to 50 cents per item. “We’ve been looking at this, probably for the past year, as something on the horizon we would need to address,” said Darin Schluep, food service director of AS Dining Services. “When we first heard of the plan to increase California’s minimum wage, we knew we would have to react to that.” Schluep says that increasing food prices also played a role in his decision to increase prices at AS Dining Services.... ...

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AggieAngelous

In loving memory of the Resilience & Inclusivity of Maya Angelou   Welcome to the introductory installment of The California Aggie’s first poetry column: AggieAngelous. AggieAngelous is here to display the diversity of Aggie creativity and interest through the beauty of poetry. This column will display poems written by UC Davis students of all majors, years, talents and backgrounds in a variety of styles including free verse, sonnets, haikus, epics, ballads, odes, etc. Every column will feature one to three poems written by Aggie students and a short bio about them. Be sure to check in with AggieAngelous online weekly to read the work of up-and-coming UC Davis writers and get to know your peers in sections of the column entitled “ThePoetry” and “ThePoets&Poetesses.” AggieAngelous welcomes all writers and will offer a glimpse of the poetry scene in Davis. One of the sections of the column, “ThePoetrySlams,” will feature event information about anything poetry related in the city of Davis. This section will be a resource for people interested in seeing... ...

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OK Go’s Tim Nordwind talks optical illusions, new album, upcoming tour

If you’ve been on YouTube anytime in the last decade, you’ve probably experienced the artistic endeavors of alternative rock band OK Go. This Grammy-award winning group is known for their quirky-creative music videos, like the treadmill-choreographed “Here It Goes Again” and the puppy-dominated “White Knuckles”, as well as their innovative dance-inducing alt-rock sound. OK Go recently released their first single “The Writings on the Wall” from their highly-anticipated album, Hungry Ghosts, which is set to drop October 2014. The music video which was released with the song garnered more than one million views within the first day. The band is set to kick off their first tour in three years at Assembly Music Hall in Sacramento on July 15. MUSE spoke with OK Go co-founder and bassist Tim Nordwind about the upcoming tour, Hungry Ghosts and the band’s creative pursuits. MUSE: What kind of sound were you going for with “The Writings on the Wall” and can we expect the same feeling with the rest of the album? Tim: “The... ...

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Mac DeMarco’s “Salad Days” review

The first time I heard the name Mac DeMarco, I was listening to a friend rave about the Canadian musician’s show at Scala in London, last October. DeMarco’s wild enthusiasm and insane genius led to his losing shoes and screaming comedy covers on stage. Previously recording as Makeout Videotape, Salad Days is Mac DeMarco’s second full-length solo album under his own name. The album was released on April 1, 2014 through Captured Tracks and garnered a “Best New Music” accolade from Pitchfork. DeMarco plays and records all the instruments himself in his box room in Brooklyn. DeMarco’s cut and paste style gives him an irreverent appeal. It’s nice to see an artist who isn’t precious about imperfections in his process. DeMarco is the gap-toothed, laid back voice of reason we all need. The title track, “Salad Days,” allows DeMarco to acknowledge his youth from the off. The message lies somewhere between a love ballad and telling everyone to chill out. It’s hard to escape the fluid rhythm and guitar flicks... ...

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Review of Diana Krall’s Mondavi performance

I’m that obnoxious girl that knows every hit single on the radio, has contemplated life to every song by every obscure indie band too mainstream for Coachella and listens to Mozart while doing her homework. Though this is all true, my heart first and foremost belongs to jazz, which is why I am so grateful I got to attend Diana Krall’s performance at the Mondavi Center this past Sunday. Diana Krall is one of today’s most popular traditional jazz vocalists and pianists — a modern-day tribute to the likes of the brilliant Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday. Her current tour features covers from her new album Glad Rag Doll as well as old favorites from past collections. Krall opened her dynamic set with a sassy arrangement of “When the Curtain Comes Down” from her newest project. The song was accompanied by a video of actor Steve Buscemi providing old-timey theatrical asides and dance, setting the show up for a whirlwind of nostalgic repertoire. Krall was accompanied by a jazz combo... ...

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Review of The Wind Rises

Studio Ghibli’s most recent animated production, The Wind Rises, is now showing at Regal Cinemas on G Street in downtown Davis. The film is Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki’s final movie of his career and is perhaps one of his best pieces yet. Miyazaki, writer and director of the Academy Award-winning film Spirited Away, has brought forth themes of love, growing up, feminism, good vs. evil, environmentalism, flight and reality vs. fantasy over the years in all of his movies and The Wind Rises is no exception. The Wind Rises imagines the life of Jiro Horikoshi, a real life aeronautical engineer from the 1950s who designed aircrafts used by the Japanese army in WWII. The film, though based on historical events, is whimsical in quality and invites the viewer into a highly aesthetically appealing experience. The film beautifully intertwines the ideas of flight and love into one in the same for young Horikoshi. It explores the difference between Horikoshi’s ambitions to create beautiful aircrafts and the reality of how his designs... ...

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The Mondavi Center hosts Circa’s “S”

On March 30, The Mondavi Center will host the Australian circus group Circa. Circa will be performing their show “S,” a captivating and raw example of the modern circus. Drawing inspiration from the smooth contours and constantly changing directions of the letter “s,” the cast will explore their physical and emotional limits with organic and powerful acrobatics. The performance is influenced by the simplicity of the letter “S.” With no numbers, acts, props or even elaborate costumes, the ensemble is said to be able to capture a sense of purity and vulnerability with their movement. As a result, Circa’s acrobatics engage the audience’s emotions. According to Yaron Lifschitz, the CEO and Artistic Director of Circa, “S” is a different piece from what he has done in the past. Lifschitz said he was excited about “S” being regarded as something beyond explanation but still moving. “It [“S”] is a place where the body and the artist become a resonant, poetic, theatrical, medium that generates an authentic human connection between the performers... ...

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Judge rules Marsh’s confession as valid, trial to begin April 14

On Friday Feb. 28, a Yolo County Superior Court Judge ruled that Daniel Marsh, the suspected killer of elderly Davis couple Oliver Northup and Claudia Maupin, will go on trial on April 14, the one-year anniversary of the double homicide. Additionally, the judge ruled that Marsh’s alleged confession of the crime to the Davis Police will be used among the evidence presented to the jury. According to the Davis Enterprise, Judge David Reed’s decision came after a closed viewing of Marsh’s recorded interview with the police and an hour long hearing on Feb. 28. “The video of the interview does not support a conclusion that the defendant’s statement was coerced,” Reed said in his ruling. “Under the totality of the circumstances, the defendant’s statements were voluntary and uncoerced, and with knowledge of his right to remain silent.” Marsh is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, along with the special-circumstance allegations and is being tried as an adult. Marsh has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is currently in custody at... ...

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Marsh double homicide trial hearing on Feb. 28

A Yolo County Superior Court Judge is set to rule as to whether Daniel Marsh’s alleged confession of the April 14, 2013 murders of an elderly Davis couple, Oliver Northup and Claudia Maupin, should be part of the upcoming trial process. The motion to suppress the alleged confession was filed by deputy public defenders Ron Johnson and Andrea Pelochino on Feb. 6. They claim that Marsh was taken to the Davis Police Station under false pretenses before being questioned by Davis Police Detective Ariel Pineda and FBI Agent Chris Campion about the murders. Yolo County prosecutors say this bid to get rid of the alleged admission should be denied because law enforcement officers did not use false pretenses or coercion to elicit the confession, according to the Davis Enterprise. “(T)he defendant decided to confess because he believed it was pointless to resist in light of all the evidence against him, not because of any promises of leniency,” said Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney, Michael Cabral in an opposition motion. Marsh was arrested on June 17 and is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, along... ...

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