Brandi Miller
Staff Writer

A new club has recently formed on the IU South Bend campus. The Chinese Friendship and Culture Organization (CFCO) was founded by Zhibin (Daisy) Tian, a communications major who emigrated here from China. Tian, along with three officers and faculty advisor, Dr. Ying Li of the Business Department, will be hosting a Cultural Exhibition in the Quiet Lounge next to The Grille on March 29 from noon to 1 p.m.

At the exhibition they will talk about traditional Chinese dance, which will include video clips. They will also discuss the Chinese traditional holidays and festivals. The exhibition will celebrate the Chinese New Year, which is different from the American New Year because the Chinese go by a lunar calendar instead of the traditional American calendar.

The next exhibition, The Mid-Autumn Festival, will be held in September.

According to Tian, she started the CFCO because she “feels that Chinese students here are very lonely. They are all away from their friends and family and because we do not celebrate Christmas we wanted to be able to get together and make friends.”

The purpose of the group, according Tian, to is to provide friendships to students at IUSB and to introduce Chinese culture to everyone. Membership is free and the group hopes to meet once a month

They are looking for a volunteer to build their website, and are always recruiting new members.

If interested, contact Zhibin Tian at atztian@iusb.edu.

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Andy Hostetter
Entertainment Editor

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This past week, Umphrey’s McGee keyboardist/vocalist Joel Cummins took time out of his busy touring schedule to talk to the Preface about his South Bend roots, life on the road, and returning to the Morris.

Preface: Did the people of South Bend think Umphrey’s McGee would ever get to where they are today?

Cummins: I think only after six or seven drinks did they see our potential. No, we were definitely hard-working, I’ll say that much; it certainly took us a while to get the ball rolling. We never had any big honors like winning Battle of the Bands or anything.

Preface: Are you proud of coming from a small town in Indiana or do people think you’re all a bunch of hicks?

Cummins: We would never let that happen; we’re pretty tough about our heritage. We’re very proud of Michiana.

Preface: Is South Bend a good place to start a band?

Cummins: That’s interesting; I think it’s a good place to start. We had to move, but it was good for us in the sense that there weren’t any distractions once we got going. It was a place where you could really work and practice. We went to Notre Dame so we spent a couple years waiting for our drummer to graduate. It forced us to buckle down a little bit and work on stuff. By the time we moved to Chicago, I think we were a lot more ready than if we would have moved there in 1998.

Preface: Does your album title Local Band Does Ok give direct tribute to South Bend?

Cummins: One of the guys (in the band) was in a bar in South Bend, and I think he mentioned that he was in the band, and somebody in the bar said something like, “oh, what is that local band does good.” We’re always a little self-deprecating, so we thought it would be a little bit humorous to make us just “ok.” We try to entertain people with our humor, but we definitely try to take the music serious but not take ourselves too serious.

Preface: Was the Morris ever a venue that during the beginning of the group you dreamed of playing?

Cummins: It’s a great venue. We’ve done two shows there in 2001; it took us a while to get back. We were just always waiting for the right time to get back to such a tremendous place, and we’re thrilled to be going back there. I saw that we’ve already sold like half the tickets for it, and it’s still a month away so it’s going to be really cool to come back a play a full house at the Morris.

Preface: Do you see Umphrey’s live show podcast series as the bootleg of the future?

Cummins: Yeah, the more music we can get out the more music we want to put out. Every single show of ours is available as a download, or you can buy hardcopies. These podcasts are like a greatest hits from our live moments that happen each month. I think they’re a really cool way to reach out to fans and to give them something for free.

The band will be playing at the Morris Civic March 17. Adrian Belew, former member of King Crimson, will be opening the show for the band.  


Steve Lotter

Staff Writer
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If you haven’t been introduced to Ricky Gervais yet, please allow me the honor of doing so.First, there was The Office. Not the one with Steve Carrell, but the original cubicle comedy set in jolly old England. Gervais played David Brent, the boss from hell, precursor to Carrell’s own bad boss, Michael Scott. The show was a hit internationally garnering media attention and Golden Globe wins for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy (Ricky Gervais) and Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy.
 
The show lasted two seasons worth of 12 episodes and a Christmas Special. Rather than milk the concept for all it was worth, Gervais, instead, decided to ship the show to America. Since then, Gervais has been acting as executive producer for the American version, writing episodes of The Simpsons and creating buzz of his own for his latest journey into the realm of comedy, the aptly titled Extras.
 
In Extras, Gervais adapts his middleman approach to comedic style to portray the lovable loser, Andy Millman, an out-of-work film actor who settles for coveted roles such as “guard #3” and “henchman #5.” You get it right? He’s an extra or as the show’s tag line puts it “a man with small parts.”
 
Although funny, Gervais never reaches that level of awkwardness that made him famous in The Office, but then again this show is not a lame attempt to recapture the spirit of his former show either. Gervais is joined by a new cast of talented British comedic actors including Ashley Jensen who plays Andy’s friend who’s also an extra and Stephen Merchant who plays Andy’s bumbling agent who can’t seem to find Andy his break in the business.
 
The show’s bread and butter come from the multiple guest stars that play themselves and have fun parodying their own celebrity. In the first season of Extras, you get Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Stiller, Patrick Stewart, Kate Winslet, Les Dennis, and Ross Kemp. In the Ben Stiller episode, Stiller plays himself as a maniacal film director who unleashes a classic tongue lashing on Gervais’ character that has to be seen to believe.
 
The program’s debut on DVD is welcomed as it received critical acclaim following its first season on HBO. In the set, you get all six half hour long episodes and extra features including deleted scenes, outtakes, and behind the scenes documentaries. 
If you temper your expectations a bit, you might be pleasantly surprised with Extras. I definitely recommend renting it first if you aren’t already a fan of Gervais’ work or just checking out the second season now airing on HBO every Sunday at 10 p.m.

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America Returns

March 26, 2007

Val Schweisberger
Staff Writer

If someone would’ve told me that, one day, Ryan Adams and Ben Kweller would be collaborating with 1970s soft rock group America, I would have laughed out loud.

Obscure minds like these have no business working with those responsible for “Sister Golden Hair” and “A Horse with No Name,” or so I’d have thought.

Then I heard about Here and Now, America’s 2007 comeback album that includes collaborations with alternative minds like James Iha and Adam Schlesinger, according to Stephen Thomas Erlewine of All Music Guide. The album includes fresh America material as well as covers by contemporary bands. It is comprised of 2 discs of easy, melodic, soft rock that will please fans of the band’s early work and new listeners accustomed to the music of Kweller and Adams. 

America, consisting of Dewey Bunnell, Dan Peek, and Gerry Beckley, has won a Grammy and gone platinum several times over. Their music helped shape the 70s, and influenced some truly great minds. Their latest effort is not a departure from their classic material.

Songs like “Chasing the Rainbow” and “Always Love” evoke feelings of familiarity in olds fans, and tend to please audiences more than critics. However, Here and Now is of the same quality as America’s early work. It’s no better, it’s no worse. The only real difference is the input from unexpected artists, and even that sounds familiar.

All in all, Here and Now is worth a listen. It sounds good and gets stuck your head, just like the old stuff. America is as good as they always were, and this time they get some help from great contemporary minds. What else can you ask for?

Fitness Classes

March 26, 2007

Terrie Phillips
Staff Writer

As one of the most popular things people talk about, weight loss seems to be among them. With media bombarding us with ads telling us to be skinny, and others telling us to be us, movies like To Be Fat Like Me airing on Lifetime and magazines promising us 10-minute weight loss solutions, it seems hard not to have weight on the mind.
 
As a journalism student, I know better than to include my personal thoughts in any article, but as something that plagues hundreds of thousands of people and increasingly in adolescents and something that I have struggled with for the past 10 years of my life, I have decided to make this article a little more personal, more an editorial if you will. 
 
Weight loss is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions people make and probably one of the first that is not followed through with. It is hard, especially for busy college students; they work, study, and eat junk food, because, lets face it, junk food is fast, easy, and most of the time cheaper than to buy organic or non-processed foods. 
 
Weight loss is a very hot issue today. It has become a huge industry, with the 48-hour miracle diet to hard core weight loss pills to gyms offering specials for joining now and weight loss specialists letting you lose weight by buying their food and coming to their meetings and charging only so much per week plus the cost of food. There seems to be no end to the many solutions to weight loss; each one easier and faster than the one before them. But what does this mean for you, the consumer? And better yet, you the college student – don’t have all the money in the world – consumer? 
 
There are many things we could do to get in better shape. Eating better is one way, but I am not going to talk about healthier eating habits, because everyone knows that eating cheese fries is not a healthy way to get your vegetables and dairy. We all should know the food pyramid by now, and if we don’t, we have various resources to find out what we should and shouldn’t eat. One solution I have participated in, and am forcing myself to continue, is the exercising portion of losing weight and staying healthy.} 
 
The Student Activity Center offers many resources for the student to lose weight. One such solution is the Group Fitness Classes. 
“They are variety-type classes; you are doing it with a group and instructor. They [each class] all hit different areas of exercise: cardio vascular, strength, and flexibility,” said Amy Henkelman, Assistant Director of Recreational Programs,

“The classes are not huge, ranging anywhere from three to 15. It is kind of like having a personal trainer. The instructors adjust the workout to individual abilities,”   Henkelman said.

There are 15 total classes and nine different classes, according to Henkelman. Classes are $2 each or $35 per the semester. The semester pass allows the owner to partake in any class for that semester for as many classes as they want. Something to keep in mind is at the beginning of each semester, the first two weeks are free for all fitness classes.   

For more information on Group Fitness Classes, visit iusb.edu/~sbsac/groupfitness.shtml or go to the front desk located in the SAC.

The SAC also has Weight Room Orientation. “The Weight Room Orientations are meant to teach students how to use the equipment properly, learn what muscles the equipment works, and how to get the best work out without getting hurt,” said Henkelman.

The orientations also inform students of proper weight room etiquette and dress code. The dress code includes wearing gym shoes, wearing non-restrictive clothing like blue jeans (including shorts and pants), and having the torso covered at all times (meaning women must wear something other than a sports bra and men can have cut -off sleeve shirts but cannot show the torso from the side).

If there are any questions about the orientations or the dress code, call the SAC at 520-4100 or ask at the front desk.

The Buxfer Stops Here

March 26, 2007

Free Social Networking Site Keeps track of Shared Debt

Jason Cytacki
Editor-in-Chief

Having trouble keeping track of who owes who what?  Want to be sure your roommate knows, (and remembers to pay) their share of the rent? 

A new online networking site created by several Carnegie Mellon University computer science graduate students may have the solution.  Buxfer.com, short for “bucks transfer” allows users to create groups of friends or housemates to keep track of who owes what for rent, utility bills, groceries and whatever other expenses you can think of. 

The idea of the site is to keep track of shared expenses over a long period of time.  The site uses a system of “credits.” For example, say you pay for you and your friend’s dinner one night.  This action will earn you credits to which you can in turn deduct from another bill, all compiled and organized online. 

The Buxfer website promises to “get rid of pesky IOU notes or bits of paper on your refrigerator.”

According to the Washington Post, the site has grown to over 3,000 members since its creation. 

The site makes it easy for the busy college student to keep track of all expenses and finances in a central location, while allowing for reminders via e-mail. 

In addition the site works with common internet ID’s, such as Yahoo, Google, and Facebook.  The creators hope to add ways to pay bills in the future by partnering with sites such as eBay and PayPal. 

Best of all, the website is free, with no hidden costs….except that you might have to own up to paying for your share of those 8 large pepperoni pizzas.

To learn more about Buxfer, find it on the web at www.buxfer.com

Titan Events

March 26, 2007

Adam Gallippo, Student Life Editor

 This semester, Titan Productions hopes to pull students in by offering an alternative form of entertainment. “What Titan Productions tries to do is have a variety of things to do so any student could find something interesting to do whether they’re young or old,” said Marvin Rasch, Faculty Advisor to Titan Productions. Events like the Acoustic Café, Family Movie Night, and Open Mic Night are sure to bring in various crowds. All the while, students can take advantage of our student activity fees.  “All our events this semester are free,” said Rasch, “except the Alternative Spring Break trip to Mississippi.”  

The trip Rasch is talking about is a continuation of last year’s trip to Biloxi, MS to assist in post Katrina clean up. The trip will last from March 10-18 and, according to Rasch, will cost $150 per person and includes transportation, room, and board.  For more information on the Alternative Spring Break, please check the IUSB Bulletin Board.

  Here’s the list of events this semester along with time and location.

1/24: Open Mic Night featuring Cornell Bass in the Courtside Café at 6PM2/01: Acoustic Café featuring Jesse Veeder in the Courtside Café at noon

2/24: Family Movie Night presents “Happy Feet” in DW1001 at 4PM2/28: Open Mic Night featuring Nathaniel (Lune) in the Courtside Café at 6PM

2/06: Acoustic Café featuring Phyllis Heitjan in the Courtside Café at noon3/10 – 3/18: Alternative Spring Break Trip to Mississippi3/21: Open Mic Night featuring Paul Decker in the Courtside Café at 6PM

3/24: Family Video Night presents “Charlotte’s Web” in DW1001 at 4PM

4/17: Acoustic Café featuring Syd in the Courtside Café at noon

4/23 – 4/25: Final Showdown TBA

Jason Overholt
Staff Witer

The honor, the glory, the vomit. This is Beer Pong, and if the ancient athletes of Greece could somehow look up through the ages, they would surely nod their heads in approval, oil up, and hold a celebratory wrestling match.
 
Ok, maybe not, but it’s still a great game. It’s also wildly popular. If you type “Beer Pong” into a search engine, you will find numerous associations devoted to the game. There are national tournaments, and local tournaments usually held in bars. Of course, there are also the house party games.
 
Any dingus can look it up on Wikipedia, but I decided to head out to a party to see it for myself (plus the Wikipedia entry is so long and uninteresting that by the end I really needed a drink).
 
I found a house that’s known for its weekend tournaments. The game itself was held in a crowded, dirty garage where some of the people sat in lawn chairs or squeezed themselves onto what was probably the ugliest couch I have ever seen. That’s not the point, though; the point is that most of the people were crowded around the table in the center of the room. A game was in progress.
 
Of course, out of a sense of journalistic integrity, I limited my drinking to somewhere between 2 and 18 beers, so I picked up on the rules fairly fast. There are many variations, but the basic idea stays the same: Each group faces off across a table in an attempt to plunk a table tennis ball into the opposing team’s formation of cups. That opposing team then has to drink the beer out of whatever cup the ball falls into. Run out of beer-filled cups and you lose.
 
Usually, a player tries to throw the ball straight into the cup, but in some versions it’s ok to bounce the ball before it goes in. This is harder, because it reduces the predictability of what the ball is going to do, but when bouncing is allowed it usually counts for more than a straight toss.
 
Did I mention that you can bounce the ball off of whatever you want? In one case, it was the other guy’s face, and for a second I thought I was going to come back with a better story than Beer Pong.
 
Actually, there is a certain amount of etiquette followed in the game. Before making a shot, it’s polite to wash the ball off in a cup filled with water. It’s a nice gesture, but my sanitary concerns will forever make me a sideline cheerleader. Plus, I don’t need to play a game to drink beer.
 
Which reminds me that no one really loses in Beer Pong. Losing just means that you had to drink all of the cups of alcohol on your side. Winners usually get to stay for the next game, and this repeats until they are defeated.
 
By the end of the night, aiming accuracy is mostly dictated by things like wind speed and seismic activity. It seemed like there were a lot of people by then who were so drunk they couldn’t hit the toilet, so questions of when to end seemed to resolve themselves. 
 
Eventually the house’s owner (who had spent the entire night either playing the game or circling around the group like some kind of Tyler Durden wannabe) decided that he would take a little nap on the floor. After he was put into the recovery position, the game ended, and everyone left. No one cleaned up.

Open Mic Night: Lune

March 7, 2007

 

Kevin Butts
Staff Writer

Music is an idea that many of us hold close to our hearts. It is an emotional release of our minds and of our souls, and is oftentimes taken for granted – except by the artists themselves who express it directly in their songwriting.
 
Nathaniel South and Josh Meert, a pair of local musicians from Elkhart, graced the SAC Lounge with their musical talents Wednesday night. 

The two have an electrifying presence together and seem to complement each other well musically. The two, who together form the band Lune, headlined Open Mic Night February 28 sponsored by Titan Productions.

“Opposites attract,” said Meert. “Me not willing to sing works out well between us because I can focus on instruments while Nathaniel carries us lyrically.”

That term, opposites attract, couldn’t be more truthful. If you were to glance at them, you would think they have nothing in common. However, musically, the two are a dynamic duo.

“For me, I see Josh as a blessing. He takes my raw ideas and finds things with them to make them better and fills in the holes,” South said.
 
South and Meert look at music as a way to speak about the problems of the world today and to try to make a difference, something that is rare in music these days.

“I have a deep-seeded belief that things aren’t alright. I look at the world and see a lot of things are messed up. I think music is a powerful tool to communicate and connect with people who feel the same,” said South.

In music, it is often said that you’re a musician or you can play. Distinguishing between the two is often tough, though. Is it a hobby, or is it a career? The choice can be difficult, though both men know what music means to them.

“It’s way more than a hobby for me,” South said, “and I want to give back to music what it has given to me. I want to influence and I want to leave my mark on music.” Meert, on the other hand, takes a more laid-back, easygoing approach to his music career. “Music for me doesn’t have to take me to a specific destination as long as it’s something that I’m always involved in.”

With guitars in hand, the two showed the small crowd in the lounge those ideas in music form. “Being an acoustic artist, most people expect our music to be sappy love songs, but it’s quite the opposite,” said South. “Music touches us. None of us know why music is what it is to us or why it touches us like it does, it just does… music is the most powerful tool to touch the human spirit.”

If you want to experience the duo’s music for yourself, you can find them online at myspace.com/lunetheband or take the opportunity to see them live at any number of local venues.

Morey’s Party House

February 28, 2007

Scott Schroeder
Staff Writer

The Lucky Stiffs and Squared Off make their return to South Bend to play an all-ages show.

On Sunday afternoon, March 4, there will be a local show at Morey’s Party House featuring The Lucky Stiffs from San Francisco and Squared Off from Chicago.

The Lucky Stiffs played here a few months ago and they put on a very good live show. I personally thought the live set sounded better than the album cuts.

Squared Off has played here numerous times in the last two years, and they are known to do a great cover of the 80s pop hit “Safety Dance” by Men Without Hats.

This show will also be the last for South Bend band Couldn’t Care Less. Whiskey Riot, Love Muffin, and Squee-Jay and the Hampster Band are the other local bands on the roster.
 
There will be a $7 cover charge and the doors open at 1:00 p.m. Morey’s Party House is located at 1621 Eldora Ct. right across the street from the Wooden Indian. For more information, check myspace.com/whiskeyriot.