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NORTHFIELD, Minn. - Justin Pahl and Sterling Nielsen had 15 points each as St. Olaf held off Gustavus 66-53 in the semifinal round of the MIAC men's basketball playoffs on Friday night at Skoglund Center.
NORTHFIELD, Minn. - St. Olaf defeated Concordia-Moorhead 5-3 in the quarterfinal round of the MIAC playoffs on Friday night at Northfield Ice Arena.
Carleton College invites the public to celebrate the musical heritage of Mali with a performance by Trio Da Kali on Monday, March 3 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Great Hall. These three acclaimed musicians hail from the Mande culture of Mali, descended from a long time of distinguished ‘griots,’ or specialist hereditary musical artisans. This performance is free and open to the public.
Carleton College will host a special screening of the acclaimed documentary film, “The Girls In The Band,” on Tuesday, March 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Weitz Center for Creativity. The film tells the fascinating and inspiring stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their groundbreaking journeys from the 1930s to present day. This event is free and open to the public.
The Carleton College Orchestra will present their winter concert on Friday, March 7 from 8 to 9:30 p.m. in the Concert Hall. Directed by Hector Valdivia, the program will feature Britten’s Four Sea Interludes and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5 in E flat. This event is free and open to the public.
The St. Olaf men’s track and field team hosted the Tostrud Open on Feb. 22 at Tostrud Center. The team competed strongly against MIAC rivals such as St. Thomas University and Carleton College, as well as against numerous non-conference competitors.
Aaron Stets ’16 won the 60-meter dash in a time of 7.12 seconds. Not content with that performance, Stets finished the 200-meter event in 22.58 seconds, claiming second place.
The Oles dominated the 400-meter event, with several runners placing at the top of the standings. James McFarlin ’16 was first with 50.17 seconds, followed closely by Kevin Skrip ’16 (50.98) in third and Anton Hesse ’15 (52.61) in fourth.
JB Tut ’14 also produced strong performances, finishing first in the 600-meter event (1:23.12) and second in the high jump (1.88m). Jacob Eggers ’17 was first in the 800-meter run with a time of 1:58.66.
Other victories came in the mile, where Grant Wintheiser ’15 finished first with a time of 4:11.98, and in the 3000-meter race, where Jake Campbell ’16 took the top spot in 8:39.12.
The team will compete again at home on Feb. 28 in the Ole Open Qualifier before turning their attention to the MIAC Indoor Championships. The Championships will be held in Collegeville, Minn. on March 6-8. The Oles finished the 2013 Indoor Championships in second place – the best finish for St. Olaf since 2005.
The Ole Open Qualifier will take place in Tostrud Center on Feb. 28 beginning at 4 p.m.
This Saturday, KSTO, St. Olaf’s student-run radio station, will host a live in-studio session with folk acoustic trio The Ballroom Thieves. DJ Haley Olson ’16 will moderate the show, which will feature sampling from the band’s diverse repertoire and will be broadcast live at 10 a.m. on 93.1 FM and streamed on the station’s website. The in-studio session will precede a Music Entertainment Committee-sponsored concert at 8 p.m. in the Lair.
The in-studio session marks another high point in what has been a successful streak of development for KSTO, which underwent extensive renovation in the summer of 2012. Part of the renovation updated the studio to accommodate on-air sessions, a move which inspired KSTO Station Manager Carolyn Bernhardt ’14 to schedule more live music programming over the past two years.
“A lot of DJs play acoustic stuff on air, or bring in friends to do so, and we’ve hosted one other band before,” Bernhardt said, “but we’re looking forward to doing a live on-air session again of this magnitude.”
The Ballroom Thieves reached out to Bernhardt about the potential for a live session or interview, and the studio immediately jumped at the chance to work not only with the band but also in closer collaboration with MEC.
“We’re glad to have a role in The Ballroom Thieves’ visit to St. Olaf, and we’re honored they reached out to us,” said Bernhardt, “But we especially love the collaboration with MEC that this opportunity presents to us. We’ve been building a relationship between the two organizations all year, and it’s been working out great” (Last fall, KSTO hosted the band Miracles of Modern Science, an event that MEC was heavily involved with in terms of publicity and organization).
No stranger to college radio sessions, The Ballroom Thieves expect their performance at KSTO to be honest and approachable, allowing them to get a better feel for the St. Olaf community before their live performance in the evening.
“If one person hears us play on their favorite college radio station and then comes to the show that night, it’s totally worth it to us,” said Martin Earley, the band’s guitarist. “We get to rehearse in a live setting and meet some of the students and faculty who help shape that college or university’s musical culture, all while promoting our own music – it all just makes too much sense to ignore.”
The Ballroom Thieves features Earley on guitar and vocals, Devin Mauch on drums and vocals and Calin Peters on cello and vocals. Self-described as a “high-energy rock trio performing under the guise of a well-crafted, emotionally sincere folk group,” the Boston-based group has released two EPs since forming three years ago.
“We’ve all got so many different influences, and our musical backgrounds are so varied, ranging from Upstate New York’s hardcore scene to hip hop and classical and making a few well-documented stops in-between,” Earley said.
The in-studio session will allow the band to sample these various musical inspirations and introduce St. Olaf to their unique sound.
“We can’t wait to show this campus what the medium of radio is all about,” Bernhardt said. “It’s versatile! Whether it’s news, talk, sports coverage, music or live performances, radio really has a lot to offer. We’re going to show Oles that KSTO is capable of providing them with that kind of variety.”
Photo courtesy of The Ballroom Thieves
Over the last two weeks, it seems that everyone has been watching House of Cards on Netflix. Admit it. You have too. And why not? It is a great show, beautifully shot and artfully acted. It intelligently reflects on political maneuvering and power in our nation’s capital. But its appeal runs even deeper than that. House of Cards expresses some of the fears and hopes that Americans have about our current government.
The show’s relevance is due in large part to its dark portrayal of the government. Look at Washington D.C. right now. Congress seems allergic to getting anything meaningful done and had an all-time low approval rating of nine percent this fall. This was after Congress refused to fund the government, causing it to shut down and bringing pain and frustration to many ordinary Americans. President Obama’s approval rating is higher, but the hopeful message of change on which he campaigned in 2008 now seems completely unrealistic.
House of Cards appeared in this gloomy political atmosphere as a sign of the times. It shows our nation’s capital as a dark place, full of backroom deals and political scheming. The main character – and anti-hero – is Frank Underwood, House Majority Whip and soon to be Vice President. Underwood has no principles, no ideals and an intense desire to acquire power. He constantly forms temporary alliances and plays his opponents off each other for his own personal gain. This is a world that American citizens never see but suspect exists. House of Cards is the perfect show for our current political climate.
But the show is complicated. It not only gives expression to our nation’s gloom about government, but it also bears witness to some of our secret hopes.
It is true that Frank Underwood is a power-hungry, homicidal antihero. This should not disguise the fact that he is a very talented legislator who actually gets things done. An education bill. Entitlement reform. Americans only dream about this type of legislative action. Yes, he is immoral and manipulative, but he gets results, and that is the one thing that it seems Congress has repeatedly failed to provide over the past few years.
In Episode 13 of Season 1, Underwood addresses the camera while seated at his desk. On his desk is a biography of Lyndon B. Johnson by Robert Caro. This is no coincidence. Johnson was the Senate Democratic Leader before he became President, and he was famously successful at gathering votes by whatever means necessary.
Underwood shares Johnson’s willingness to get his hands dirty in behind-the-scenes political maneuvering. LBJ didn’t kill to get what he wanted, but he was willing to manipulate, cajole and threaten. He traded favors and called in debts, all for the sake of getting it done.
House of Cards portrays Washington as a place devoid of hope. And while this is a pessimistic view of America’s current political atmosphere, it sure makes for some entertaining television. So I say, keep watching.
Nick Bowlin ’16 (firstname.lastname@example.org) is from Princeton, N.J. He majors in political science and history.
Throughout this past weekend, students had the opportunity to engage in St. Olaf’s Social Science Conference, focusing on promoting human rights. The conference, which ran from Thursday, Feb. 20 to Saturday, Feb. 22, aimed to bring together scholars, activists and anyone interested in creating concrete solutions to critical human rights issues through lectures, films and workshops.
“We are living in a time of global challenges that can lead to people feeling overwhelmed and powerless,” said Kris Thalhammer, professor of political science. “We wanted to create a forum that would not ignore the serious nature of injustices around the world, but also would give people hope and a sense of empowerment.”
The conference featured visits from prominent speakers, including Douglas Johnson, director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Harvard Professor of Political Science Kathryn Sikkink.
“We wanted to bring in some speakers who use research and a wide range of talent and skills to have a positive impact on the world and to have them converse with people who could also contribute to promoting human rights,” Thalhammer said.
Kathryn Sikkink, Saturday’s keynote speaker, examined a recent move in the international community to more individual criminal accountability for human rights violators. Her book, “The Justice Cascade: How Human Rights Prosecutions are Changing World Politics,” explicates domestic and international prosecution methods that together form the “justice cascade.” Sikkink’s talk tied the book’s ideas to current human rights crises.
“[The question is] whether the justice cascade has any relevance at all for complex and intractable problems like the conflict in Syria today,” she said.
To answer that question, Sikkink shared a study comparing rates of repression with countries’ levels of individual criminal accountability for offenders. The study found fewer human rights violations in areas with higher prosecution rates. In short, enforcing international human rights law works. Sikkink put that claim in the Syrian context.
“The one option for accountability in Syria is a Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court,” she said.
Sikkink discussed how delayed jurisdiction could act as a deterrent in Syria while keeping all sides at the negotiating table. Her ideas drew a flurry of questions from the audience, covering everything from the crisis in South Sudan to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The conference also included workshops that focused on taking “specific action both locally and globally [that] will further assist participants in developing their own place in promoting human rights,” according to the event description.
“Overall I think the conference got the campus talking and thinking, and I hope it will inspire some of us to take action,” Thalhammer said. “It also allowed for some networking and recruiting by our great student groups that are already working for justice, including Amnesty International, St. Olaf Leaders Aboloshing Slavery (SOLAS), Oles for Justice in Palestine, the Edward Said House and others.”
SOLAS was one of the student groups presenting during the breakout sessions on Saturday. Several members gave a session on conscious consumerism, where they explained how Oles can learn about the ethical practices of companies and make smart decisions as buyers.
Many attendees expressed surprise at which companies had the most and least ethical practices. Used clothing stores, for example, were deemed the most ethical outlets for purchasing clothing.
Participants were also dismayed to learn that one organization’s website gave Malt-O-Meal a “C” grade on ethical consciousness. While the data was daunting, SOLAS members emphasized that many methods exist for resisting unethical practices.
“Something we want to emphasize with our campaign is educating people on what they can buy that’s Fair Trade,” said SOLAS member Madison Goering ’15.
Even if consumers cannot afford more expensive Fair Trade goods, Goering said, they can take other measures like promoting brands that engage in good practices and educating their fellow consumers about ethical business practices and Fair Trade goods.
With the 86th Academy Awards just around the corner (Sunday, March 2), Musicology Now recently published an essay by associate professor of music Andrew Flory about Best Documentary nominee, "20 Feet From Stardom." An audience favorite around the globe, the film, directed by veteran filmmaker Morgan Neville, tells the "untold story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century." Flory's essay, "20 Feet From Stardom: Entertainment or History?," offers an insightful and balanced view of the film, questioning the fine line between history and entertainment in modern day depictions of popular music history.
By Olivia Slack ’15, PAC Political Outreach Coordinator (Abroad in Washington, DC)
I just turned 21 last week. Most people consider this a watershed moment in a person’s life, because it is! It’s when you finally become an adult, after 21 years of dependency on parents and other trusted adults. This entrance into adulthood is often fraught with concern about paying your own taxes, finding a job, and doing other things that “real” adults do. But what if there was one less “real” adult thing you had to do? What if you didn’t have to worry about health insurance, for instance?
Well, under the Affordable Care Act, you don’t (at least not until you’re 26)! The ACA covers young adults under their parents’ insurance until they are 26 years old, offering life-saving insurance to young adults like myself. Since I’m graduating in the next year, health insurance would have been something additional to worry about prior to 2012; now, I can focus on other things that require my attention as a responsible adult.
Beyond the peace of mind that the ACA gives me as an insured young adult until age 26, it is also a positive improvement for the larger community and our nation as a whole in the field of healthcare because health plans have to be better under the ACA. Health insurance companies now can’t deny me when I do turn 26 for a preexisting condition or charge me a higher premium just because I am a woman. There is now a certain standard of minimum coverage that health plans must offer, focused on preventive care to decrease costs down the road. The U.S. spends a larger percentage of its GDP on healthcare than any other developed nation—the ACA will help decrease costs so that money can be spent elsewhere.
Did you know that only 64% of young adults had health coverage in 2010? The 36% that didn’t (one of the highest uninsured rates in the country) mostly couldn’t because of prohibitive costs, losing their parents’ coverage, or suffering from discrimination due to preexisting conditions. This is dangerous for our country’s future and also just plain wrong. In my opinion, healthcare coverage is a right, not a privilege, and by privileging those with the resources to pay high costs for low quality care, inequality in the United States increases. The ACA attempts to reduce inequality by providing opportunities for even young adults to access healthcare.
So, as I look forward to a future of “real” adult things, I know there’s one thing that I won’t have to worry about: healthcare. Thank you ACA!
Olivia Slack ’15 is a Political Science major from Scottsdale, Arizona. She is spending this semester in Washington, DC at American University. Contact her at email@example.com.
NORTHFIELD, Minn. - St. Olaf will host Concordia-Moorhead on Friday night in the quarterfinal round of the MIAC men's hockey playoffs at 7:30 p.m.
NORTHFIELD, Minn. - St. Olaf will host Gustavus Adolphus College on Friday night in the semifinal round of the MIAC men's basketball playoffs.
The Carleton College softball squad lifted the lid on the 2014 campaign by splitting a pair of non-conference games, defeating University of Wisconsin-Superior, 8-1, before falling to Bemidji State University—a NCAA Division II program—by an 8-7 tally in extra innings.
Winter is a busy time for the entertainment industry. With new movies and albums coming out left and right and awards season kicking off, there is a lot to look at, listen to and write about. Since we left you in December, Miley kicked off her shiny new Bangerz tour, Pete Seeger passed away, J-Biebs caused all kinds of mischief and 115 million people tuned into the Super Bowl halftime performance featuring Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I imagine you saw most of that, but have you seen the hat Pharrell Williams wore to the Grammys? It caused quite a stir.
Not a stranger to controversy, Williams wears a lot of “hats” in his professional career. A producer, performer and composer, 40-year-old Williams contributes to the music industry in numerous ways, and people are taking notice. With four new miniature gramophones to add to his collection (bringing his total number of Grammy awards to seven), as well as a single approaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100, Williams’s name is becoming more and more difficult to ignore in the music business.
Williams’s skyrocketing career caught the public’s eye last summer when his contributions to Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky” helped land the titles the number one and two spots (respectively) on the Billboard Hot 100, making him the first musician since the Black Eyed Peas in 2009 to do so. Since then, his single “Happy” has jumped quickly up the list to number two, competing with Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” which has held the title of most popular song in the U.S. for three weeks and counting.
This is not the first time Williams has gained national attention, though his first experience with publicity came as a result of his role in the The Neptunes (a production company). His connections with artists such as Kelis, Britney Spears, Nelly, Jay-Z and Daft Punk gave him and Neptunes production partner Chad Hugo the opportunity to produce hits that include Spears’s “I’m A Slave 4 U” and Nelly’s “Hot in Herre.” The duo won their first two Grammys in 2004, one of which was for Producer of the Year, an award Williams won again this year for his solo work.
Today Williams is not only a well-known producer but also a rising artist himself. While Williams has been performing for nearly 15 years, his name and voice have only recently become part of the mainstream media. However, in 2006, Williams released a studio Hip-Hop/Rap album called “In My Mind,” which reached number three on the Billboard 200. If you remember listening to this album, congratulations – you may be a hipster!
Perhaps one of Williams’s most unusual endeavors is that of composer for 2012’s Academy Awards, both “Despicable Me” movies and the upcoming “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” If you keep up with this column, you know all about the transition of popular artists into film scores (if not, take a look back – it’s a trend you will want to be on the lookout for).
So what else is Pharrell Williams up to today? The short answer (given my limited space on this page) is: a lot. At home, Williams is likely busy enjoying the honeymoon phase of his recent marriage to Helen Lasichanh, the mother of his five-year-old son Rocket Man. At work, he is as busy as ever. Williams just finished his 24-hour music video for “Happy,” the first of its kind, which can be found at 24hoursofhappy.com. His next steps include performing at the Oscars on March 2, where he is nominated for “Best Original Song,” and producing his second studio album, to be released sometime this year. If you just cannot wait that long, Major Lazer will release an EP on Feb. 25 that features Williams on a song called “Aerosol Can.”
So what does this have to do with his hat? To be honest, not much. But the hat is just one more example of Williams’s newfound and ever-growing fame. It even has its own Twitter account: @Pharrellhat. Not only that, but my Twitter search for “pharrell hat” has generated 45 new results since I started writing this article – and I’m just in the “Top” field. That isn’t even close to all of them. So hats off, everyone (except you Pharrell, your hat is fabulous), and let us give a nod to one of the fastest-growing musical artists of our time.