Review Category : Opinion

Spread knowledge, not disease

The happiest place on earth hasn’t been living up to its name in the last few weeks. As of Jan. 26, the California Department of Public Health has confirmed a total of 73 cases in nine counties throughout California including San Mateo, Santa Clara, San Bernardino, Riverside, Orange, Los Angeles, Alameda and Ventura. Of the total, 50 cases can be epidemiologically linked to Disneyland. Furthermore, the CDPH have linked 19 cases outside of California to Disney. The outbreak has brought to light the severe public-health consequence of choosing not to get vaccines — especially when it comes to completely preventable diseases like the measles. Out of 42 patients with a known vaccination status, 34 were found to be unvaccinated. The patients were between the ages of 7 months to 70 years. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) between 2000-2013 there were between 37 and 220 verified cases of the measles per year. However, in recent years there has been an increase in individuals infected with measles... ...

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The UCD Files: Real World Horror Stories: The Lecture Hall

The first installment of Real World Horror Stories involves a place we all go to, or at least tell our parents we go to. It does not matter whether you are a science major, art history major, or aspiring double major in College Dropout and Safeway bagger. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a plan at all, because in the your words at that holiday party to all of the adults, “[You’ve] got time.” Regardless, you are a student at this enormous university, and thus cannot possibly avoid the UC Davis Lecture Halls. You probably aren’t trying to avoid them, because it is a nice change from the 30 person classes you took all throughout your life. Going into college, you thought the lecture hall would be a great thing. In Algebra 2, or any other class you took in high school, some things are inevitable; you absolutely cannot hide from a teacher, send love notes, skip class, and in my case in the Pleasanton Unified School District, wear... ...

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Psyches & Serpents: Elevate Your Mental Pt. 2

You’ve got a body, right? You can put something good into that body and expect good results — and vice versa. A carrot can be good for your body. It can provide some positive utility. But it won’t elevate you out of the unhealthy habits that have you seeking refuge in the goodness of a carrot. To rise above these habits requires a change in mindset. You might think there’s a pill for that (there are many). But taking a pill for your mind is no better that taking a carrot for your body. In my conclusion last week, I said that I’d have to stop being an amateur if I wanted true mental health. This is an idea that’s been recently imparted on me by Stephen Pressfield’s book Turning Pro. What is the opposite of an amateur? A professional. The idea of practice came from that same book as well. If you “need something to change your mind,” as David Byrne tells off of Fear of Music, you have... ...

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Flick Chick: Are We Resourceful? Or Desperate?

If you’re college-aged, you are most likely an expert at finding your favorite show or movie online. You have discovered the ability to online stream, on many different sites and use your own specific ways to set up a video resolution, speaker system and order of what shows you will watch. This means you’re a rebel and nothing can stop you. Congratulations. When I wanted to watch “Gone Girl” (2014) this weekend, I found myself in limbo, where I was too late to see the movie in theaters since it came out in October and, of course, the DVD and Blu-ray won’t come out until I retire. Since there was absolutely no way for me to find the movie due to both my procrastination for going to see movies in theaters when they’re actually out as well as my chronic impatience, I decided to find it online somewhere — wherever I could get it. There, I paid with my blood, sweat and tears instead, trying to find a good website... ...

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Sustainability in the built environment: The spectrum of renewable energy

Currently, it seems like every business model is to go green. The motivation for businesses to go green is simple — money.  Businesses will invest in alternative energies only if they will see a return on their initial investment within a reasonable time frame. From this notion derives the increasingly popular business term “green is green,” which, in layman’s terms, states that green (green engineering) will yield businesses more green (money). This opens up a can of worms between the businesses and environmentalists. Obviously, businesses will choose the alternative energy source that will return the most capital in the shortest amount of time (most of the time that energy source is non-renewable). Businesses only have two variables — monetary return and time. Environmentalists, in contrast, will choose the alternative energy source that reduces fossil fuel dependency by the highest percentage while subsequently reducing ecological impact. The environmentalists have many variables to consider, but the main choices are based on non-renewable energy reduction and environmental health. So, where on the spectrum... ...

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Psyches & Serpents: Elevate Your Mental Pt. 1

Though I don’t know why I chose to smoke sess I guess that’s the time when I’m not depressed But I’m still depressed and I ask what’s it worth? –   Inspectah Deck I take a drug called Lithium. Yes, that same one Kurt Cobain took. I’ve been prescribed the drug for about four years, but after the first year was through, I secretly stopped taking it for two straight years. I did this because I thought I didn’t need the drug, because I was concerned about side effects, and because I wondered whether the drug was really doing anything. Nothing seemed different those two years, but after coming clean with my psychiatrist I realized that the benefits in the above reasons didn’t seem to me like they outweighed the risks anymore. So I’ve been taking Lithium diligently for a year, but the part of me that wonders whether I’d be fine (or better) without it has not gone away. It’s the same part of me that thinks I can... ...

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The UCD Files

Everybody poops. Everybody eats. Where you poop is a given. Where you eat when you’re sick of the Coffee House Paradox is a whole different story. If I had a dollar for every time my friends and I spent an hour deciding where to eat, I’d have a lot of dollars. The process is a hard one and it has nothing to do with not being able to pick a place. It has to do with picking from too many places. The indecisiveness of our particular group, and likely yours too, goes beyond the food. It includes what show to watch, what shirt to wear to a place no one will even see you, who showers first and how to punctuate a text to a girl who certainly won’t even notice.  But the worst problem of all is the food. Each person has different cravings at different times. Each person has different levels of laziness at different times, making a block-long walk out of the question (we have a strong... ...

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Column: Educate Me?

We come to college to learn. That is our primary reason for being here. And by necessity, when we learn we also teach. Whether we’re telling our roommates something we found out in class or explaining a project to a parent, we teach the things we learn. What is important is that we teach those things in a way that will actually make an impact in others’ minds. Over winter break, I spent time with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while. While I’ve found that many of my friends from high school have different ideologies after spreading out and making new friends, this specific friend and I still have a lot of the same ideas about social justice inequalities. It was refreshing to be able to talk to her and debate on issues we were educated about. Something else we both agreed on was how difficult it can be to explain these topics to someone who is not informed about them. If someone asked a question like, “Are... ...

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Flick Chick: You’re making this movie into an assignment and I hate you

Everyone has had to watch films for class. I don’t care how great your TA was that quarter — they definitely showed you a clip of a movie in an attempt to illustrate the content at least once. Watching a movie in class is a rare but welcomed occurrence that we have often prayed for on days with substitute teachers or after reading the book in English classes. I can claim that I like to watch films in class to complete my understanding of a topic and to soak in information from all types of outlets. That may all be true, but I also just want a nap. In elementary school, the big cart with the television on it was like a second teacher. A few times a week I would see the cart in the classroom and be introduced to new and exciting material by Bill Nye, Ms. Frizzle or the bill from “Schoolhouse Rock.” I was thankful that my teachers would be so generous as to give us... ...

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Sustainability in the Built Environment: Bosco Verticale – The Skyscraper with 600 Trees

In Italian, the phrase “Bosco Verticale” literally translates to “vertical forest.” The two Bosco Verticale Towers, designed by the  Stefano Boeri Architectural Firm, are currently being built in the extremely polluted city of Milan, Italy. These towers are stunning structures that incorporate both structural engineering and landscape architecture disciplines. Littered with various trees, shrubs and plants – over 21,000 total – the towers aim to serve the high-end housing community while simultaneously reducing the city’s alarmingly high carbon dioxide (CO2) levels. On paper this design seems extremely plausible and potentially groundbreaking; but one must ask the question of whether or not we are forcing a notion of “green design” onto our structures. Are we merely trying to disguise the dreadfulness of our man-made structures with a natural façade? Or is this truly a beautiful and necessary fusion of the built environment with natural systems? A good place to start while discussing the Bosco Verticale Towers is the positive impacts of the entire system. Obviously, the decrease in CO2 levels is... ...

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Free Community College

On Jan. 8, President Obama announced a plan to make the first two years of community college (CC) free for students in America who maintain a 2.5 GPA at their CC. This is based off a similar program already in place in Tennessee, called Tennessee Promise, which will begin with the graduating class of 2015. Participating states will offer 25 percent of the total funding to all students attending a community college and the federal government will providing the rest. The Editorial Board looks forward to the prospect of free CC, and believes that if it is implemented correctly, this will be a great opportunity for millions of students in the country to have access to higher education. Amidst the UC tuition increases that were approved last year, it is refreshing to see that the federal government is considering taking action in helping students pay for college. We recognize the potential benefits of this plan. With the first two years of CC free, students could save up to $3,800 in... ...

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The UCD Files: The Coffee House Paradox

You’re a UC Davis student, tired and hungry, so spoiled by the ridiculously close proximity of your dorm or apartment to campus that it’s actually become far. So you’re not going to go on a five-minute bike ride to your room. You don’t want your cup of noodles or some microwavable mac and cheese you bought five months ago on your first and probably last trip to Target (because that is also just way too far now). You’re not going to eat downtown because you don’t make money. You’re not going to cook because you don’t cook. So you’re going to go to the Coffee House, of course. Your true purpose of being there is to get something to eat between Psych 1 and that other class you take, and maybe say hello to that person you might have met one time at a party or class or anywhere or nowhere. You thought this hour break was a good idea during registration, not sure if you wanted to sit through... ...

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Psyches & Serpents: Initiatives on Brains

The American government has several significant achievements in science under its belt. These include the development of the atomic bomb and landing men on the moon. Having seemingly conquered the world outside us, newer efforts have turned to the world inside us. One such project was the mapping the human genome. The trend has continued with the Obama Administration’s BRAIN (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) Initiative, in which a large group of medical doctors and PhDs will utilize $4.6 billion over 12 years toward brain research. Since becoming effective in early 2014, the program has been marching toward its simple goal of mapping every neuron in the human brain. Well, maybe not so simple. Unlike with the Human Genome Project before it, neurons aren’t being mapped with As, Ts, Cs, Gs and Us. What’s being recorded is their activity, which is a hard and in many ways subjective thing to define. Every brain on earth can’t be mapped, so scientists will have to take samples to create the typical... ...

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Sustainability in the Built Environment: The Downfalls of Our Current Wastewater Treatment System

The current wastewater disposal system within the United States is flawed, costly and outdated. The core notions of a wastewater treatment plant — the fact that we, for lack of a more specific word, “dispose” of our waste in perfectly treated, drinkable water, is absurd. Additionally, the fact that we use water, an extremely limited resource, to transport our waste is flawed. There is an extreme necessity to challenge the current system of wastewater treatment processes and additionally propose alternatives to said flawed system. One huge problem introduced via modern wastewater treatment plants is the unnecessary loss of fertilizer feedstock — which is what manufacturers to use to convert solid human waste to specific plant fertilizer. The fact that the waste is mixed with water, sent to the wastewater treatment plant and then stripped of the very waste that was put into it is crazy. From here, the treated water is again sent back to the toilets. This is unnecessary and wastes large amounts of energy used to clean the... ...

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Flick Chick: Dive into the Drive-in, You’ll Sink or Swim

I’ve honestly only been to the drive-in twice in my life. I went for the first time when my college friends decided it was the new cool, exciting, and freezing thing to do on a Saturday night. Enticed by the romantic aspects of going to the movies in the back of a truck, we decided that Seth McFarlane’s A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014) was one of the better movies to spend watching in a dirt field until one in the morning. And I have to tell you, it was pretty awful. However, I could have been biased. For those who have never been, the drive-in is a way of watching films in the middle of the night, in the middle of a parking lot. Playing single and double features until the wee hours of the morning, our local drive-in, the West Wind Sacramento 6, provides an exciting way to watch movies you would usually wait to get on Netflix. Since you bring your own car, park... ...

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