Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday

By Jordan Klingler

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is one of the most anticipated days of the year by Christmas shoppers simply because people get some outrageous deals on products they otherwise would not be able to afford.  Many people gear up in the early morning ready to attack the stores.  Some people are even ready to attack other shoppers if they want something bad enough. 

Personally, I will not be traveling out to the stores on Black Friday.  I will just wait for Cyber Monday, where I know I am safe while still getting awesome deals. 

According to, in 2011, 226 million Americans traveled out on Black Friday and spent around $52 billion on merchandise.  People spend weeks trying to find the best deals and planning out what stores they are going to hit.  Many people do not realize that most stores only get a limited quantity of items, therefore if you are not first in line you are more than likely not going to get the item you want.  If you want tips on Black Friday shopping go to Google and search, “Black Friday Shopping tips.”  There you will get all of the information you will need to have a successful day of shopping.

Art of the Interview

By Tim Tedesco

Recently, I had the pleasure of watching legendary baseball analyst and radio talk show host Ed Randall interview Omar Minaya, the current Senior Vice President of baseball operations for the San Diego Padres. Minaya is known the New York/ New Jersey area for being the assistant general manager, as well as the general manager a few years later for the New York Mets. Minaya was born in the Dominican Republic but moved to Queens with his family at a very young age, where he lived out his childhood.

The interview, conducted before an audience at St. Thomas Aquinas College in a program called "Art of the Interview," started with Minaya’s background, his short lived playing days, how he got into the front office of organizations, his time with the Mets, and his time with the Expos, as well as his current position with the Padres. Minaya talked about his experiences and hardships he faced as a young general manager with the Texas Rangers, saying that the baseball business can be the most rewarding, satisfying, enjoyable thing you could possibly do, but at the same time it is the hardest business to get into and will chew you up and spit you out if you’re not putting the work in.

He faced the inevitable question of steroids, his opinion on the matter, along with specific players in regards to their alleged use. He said he was obviously against them, and wished they were never discovered. “It’s unfortunate that you young people grew up in such an era. An era that has become known as “the steroid era” . it’s a terrible thing, and a tremendous black eye for such a great game” ,he said. This coming from the man who brought Sammy Sosa, one of the most controversial players in “the steroid era” to America. Minaya signed Sammy Sosa was Sosa was just sixteen years old for the price of 3,000 dollars.

He talked about the 2006,2007,2008 seasons with the New York Mets, saying they were the most enjoyable, devastating, and heart wrenching seasons in that order. He explained that the 2006 season was so perfect because of the acquisition of Hall Of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez. He felt without signing Martinez, players like outfielder Carlos Beltran, first baseman Carlos Delgado, and closer Billy Wagner would not have come to the Mets. Pairing these perennial all-stars with the young electric talent of David Wright and Jose Reyes, it was a perfect match. Though the infamous collapse of 2007, losing a 7 game lead with just 17 games to play, still weighs heavy on Minaya and Met fans across the nation.

Minaya showed no regrets about his time with the team, and admits to still rooting for the Mets. “I root for the Mets and follow the Mets because I am a New Yorker at heart," he said. "I was raised in Queens, I rode my bike to Shea Stadium with my friends, I pretended to be Tug McGraw, and Tom Seaver while playing stickball in the street with my friends. I left the Mets because it was time for a change, but I still love New York and would absolutely love to go back before I retire.”

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The World of Shoenice22

By Michael Benedetto
“Get on your mark, get set, Shoenice.” These are the famous words of  of YouTube sensation Christopher Schewe, better known as Shoenice22. He dreams of one day ending world hunger as well as winning a Emmy Award in what he refers to as a “field in comedy.”

His first YouTube video was published on April 11, 2008, called Shoenice22's First YouTube Video, where he talks in depth about his family of “pot heads.”

Schewe was born May 30, 1969 in Denver, Colorado, where he earned his fame around his small suburban town by eating non edible objects as well as chugging large quantities of alcohol in seconds, enough to kill someone. “When I was young I would eat grass and then it progressed to eating baking soda and eating all the ingredients in my home economics classes, the teachers always knew my group would never finish because I always ate the ingredients,” he stated.

Over a decade later, at the age of 27 Schewe found himself coping with an emotional divorce and was forced to move out of his home where he lost custody of his son. “The hardest part of it all was knowing I wasn't going to tuck my son in at night,” explained Schewe. He was then injured during a construction project that left him unemployed and unable to work. “I was bored sitting around my apartment all day with nothing to do,” he explained. “So I decided it was worth trying to make money with this talent that I have.”

“Basically I have built a very high tolerance for alcohol over many years,” said Schewe. “My stomach can go through anything.”

Schewe currently has over 100 uploaded videos on YouTube, each video has over a million views. He came very close to earning the title “King of the Web” through his amazing ability to eat and drink almost anything. “I have videos of me eating crayons, rubber cement, rolls of toilet paper, tampons, pencils, deodorant, condoms, I drink full bottles of liquor in 15 seconds or less; I basically can eat or drink anything without dying,” he said excitedly. “Not a single video is fake.”

Schewe calls himself “the professional idiot.” He makes money from all the videos he has uploaded. “I basically have people sending me free bottles of liquor and checks from YouTube, many people are jealous of me and my talent and wish they could sit in their house doing what I do,” he said.

One angry fan started a rumor that he died from ingesting rat poison. “Shoenice can't die,” Schewe said with a strong sense of confidence.

In 2011 Schewe was banned from uploading any videos and his YouTube account was deactivated by YouTube. It was reported that he was insisting that in order to be accepted as his Friend on Facebook, individuals had to pay 10 dollars. It was also believed that Schewe was trying to persuade fans to wire him large amounts of money. “All that is bull shit, I didn't do any of that,” said Schewe. “I get lots of money from my videos, Shoenice ain’t like that,” he stated in a funny voice. 

Schewe hopes to move to New York City within the year to host his very own television show. “I am done with entertaining people on Youtube, I wanna move on to bigger and better things; I was made for  TV, I want to do stand up comedy, and win a f****ing Emmy,” Schewe shouted. “It's not about the money, it's about ending world hunger doing what I do best,” and that is the legacy Schewe wants to be remembered for.

Perils of Indifference

By Chelsea Broughton

The word indifference is defined as “lack of interest or concern,” but on April 12, 1999, Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel brought a deeper meaning to the word and how dangerous it can be to be indifferent. His speech was part of the Millennium Lecture series that was hosted by President Bill Clinton at the White House.

Wiesel is most well known for his many books that he has authored, especially Night, which is a memoir about his time as a Jewish teenager during the Holocaust. He was the only one of his immediate family members who survived the Nazi camps and was eventually freed by American troops.

Wiesel starts out his speech by addressing the President and the company he is in and goes right into his last experience of the Holocaust, which is when he was rescued by American soldiers and expresses his gratitude. He says, “Gratitude is a word that I cherish. Gratitude is what defines the humanity of the human being.”

Wiesel then begins to question what the legacy for the passing millennium will be as the world enters a new one. He lists all the horrible wars and tragedies that identify with the 1900’s, such as the World Wars, the assassinations of people like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., and all of the violence. This is where he brings in the word “indifference,” saying “so much violence, so much indifference.”

Wiesel explains that being indifferent to something tragic is supporting that tragedy: “indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor -- never his victim,” he states. This is because ignoring a problem just makes it larger. In his speech Wiesel addresses the fact that indifference is obviously the easy choice, but it is what allows horrible things, such as the Holocaust, to occur and continue occurring. The fact that the world was indifferent to the Holocaust for so long has affected Wiesel’s life tremendously.

He started this speech by saying that gratitude is what makes us human, but then later says that indifference is what makes us inhuman. The speech is called “The Perils of Indifference.” Perils means dangers and he explains that “Indifference, after all, is more dangerous than anger and hatred. Anger can at times be creative […] Even hatred at times may elicit a response. You fight it. You denounce it. You disarm it. Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response.”

This speech is basically to persuade the audience and people everywhere that indifference is not the answer when something is going wrong. He asks Americans and those around the world to refrain from indifference and let the new millennium be a time where we help others and do not allow horrible things to continue on once we know about them.

This was a very compelling speech by an extremely intelligent man. Those who were there to hear it in person and the people who still read it today must feel obligated to take action when something goes wrong instead of ignoring it, which is the natural and easy response.

He ends the speech by saying, “And so, once again, I think of the young Jewish boy from the Carpathian Mountains. He has accompanied the old man I have become throughout these years of quest and struggle. And together we walk towards the new millennium, carried by profound fear and extraordinary hope.” Wiesel has hope for a brighter future and a millennium with a more positive legacy, one without indifference.

Art and Mindfulness

By Angela Marchese

An Art Therapy Conference was held in the Romano Center at St. Thomas Aquinas College on Wednesday, November 6. A professional art therapist, Dr. K, spoke to students about her experience and how we can apply her techniques to our studies as well as our everyday life. 

She began the conference with an exercise. She had us practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is focusing your awareness on the present moment while you try and acknowledge your feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. We all had to walk up to the front of the room and grab a piece of paper while practicing mindfulness. She made us become aware of our feet hitting the floor and how the paper felt when we grabbed it. For many, this was a tough challenge. In our fast-paced society we don’t have the time to be aware of our surroundings. For us be calm and aware is not part of our comfort zone.

She then asked us if being mindful was something we practiced in our everyday life; out of the 30 people that were there only one person practiced it. This person happened to be a therapist as well. We practiced some more on being mindful, but this time we using breathing techniques.

Breathing comes natural to us so we never stop and ask ourselves, “Am I breathing?” She had us close our eyes and breath in when she said ”one” and breath out when she said ”one” again and the same thing until we got to 10. The group of people was very diverse in age. The students had a harder time with this breathing technique because of how quickly they get distracted, while the adults were a lot more focused. She proceeded to ask us why the students and even some of the older people got distracted. The most common answer was because we felt embarrassed and uncomfortable breathing very hard in front of new people.

This feeling of being embarrassed and uncomfortable led into our final project of the night. We got to work hands-on with clay and other tactile material to create the voice inside our head that makes us feel uncomfortable or makes us do things we aren’t supposed to do. For the next 20 minutes we sculpted our little creations, but in silence. We were not allowed to talk, that way the voice inside our head would come out and be expressed through the clay.

Some people did not want to focus on the bad voice inside their head so they made something happy to try and distract from the bad voice. We closed the night by going around talking about our voice inside of our head. This art exercise was part of teaching us that by practicing mindfulness daily we can over-power that voice and come out stronger, so we can get a lot more done and feel better about ourselves. 

Two Ways of Reporting

By Kiera Farley

Lillian Ross and Ross Markman both are journalists; however, they fit into two separate classifications of reporting. Lillian Ross has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and reports on people, situations, and events that she finds appealing. Ross Markman reports for the Havre Daily News in Montana and focuses on reporting news that meets a tight deadline. These two journalists have vastly different reporting methods and each have specific strategies that fit the needs of their particular approach.

Throughout her years of journalism, Lillian Ross has created her own set of techniques that guide her through all of her newsgathering. Ross has an interesting way of generating her stories. In her memoir, Reporting Back: Notes on Journalism, she explains, “when I write my stories, it feels a bit like creating a short story, but it’s more difficult because I’m working with facts.”

Conforming to Lillian Ross’s ideas, this type of reporting is a lot more than merely getting the information and putting it into words; it’s more of taking this reported information, visualizing the scenes and stitching them together to create a story.  Ross instills a lot of heart and effort into all of her pieces, she forms a friendship with the person she is reporting, giving them the comfort to open up to her and trust in her to present them genuinely.

In the article “Real Reporter: Ross Markman” in Newswriting on Deadline, Ross Markman gives many informative tips on municipal reporting. He depicts a variety of approaches that are helpful to a reporter in meeting a tight deadline. Markman believes that you have to determine what is newsworthy in order to get a good amount of information into a report that people find interesting. He explains, “if you are writing on deadline, get background material ahead of time on the issues being discussed.”

This is a good strategy when it comes to municipal reporting, because you will already have the source information of the story arranged so you won’t have to worry about getting it in while working on the remainder of the story. Markman was willing to take on every challenge that came his way. He also has experience in writing up to ten articles a week. Markman emphasizes that work experience benefits a person in attaining a job even more than a degree does. Experience aids you with knowing how to put these particular skills to the test and improve your ability in doing so, which I feel is very important for acquiring a job.

Lillian Ross and Ross Markman do two very different types of journalism and each employ their own techniques that help them with their newsgathering. Through years of experience, they have come up with their own personal steps in achieving their journalism goals successfully. Every person has their individual method that enables them to be efficient in whatever they are doing. Ross and Markman have set out effective guidelines to assist fellow journalists to accomplish their projects.

Aftermath of a Super Storm

By Jordan Klingler

Hurricane Sandy hit the tri-state area about this time last year.  The storm touched down in Cuba and worked its way up toward the US and as it made its way up it only became bigger and stronger.  The storm was 1,100 miles long and was one of the most destructive storms in a long time.  Hurricane Sandy hit 24 states, including every single one along the eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine.  Sandy was first declared a hurricane, but soon became known as a superstorm, which was the largest storm to ever touch the Atlantic coast.  The damage totaled $68 billion and we still see a lot of the damage a year later.  Many people were stranded in their homes,  did not have power for weeks if not longer, and many lost their homes.

My grandparents who live in Long Beach Island, New Jersey, were very afraid that their home would be destroyed by the hurricane.  They were told to evacuate the barrier island because if they stayed they might be stuck there for a long time with no help or access to help.  Thankfully, their home survived and only had three feet of water in their basement/garage.  Other homes in Long Beach Island were not so lucky.  For instance, many homes along the shore line were swepped off of the pilings and washed into the ocean.  As you drive down the boulevard in Long Beach Island, you can see where homes used to be because all that is left are the pilings which the houses sat upon.

People who stayed in their homes on the barrier island say they will evacuate next time and it is not something they ever want to experience again.  A lot of businesses on the island were also very affected.  Many of them will not reopen because the storm destroyed their buildings.  The storm also affected a lot of the summer business, because many people were not able to go to the houses that they rented or they figured that the island was so affected that they went to vacation somewhere else.

As we come up on the year anniversary, many people see the damage that was done.  We can now see how far we have come as well as see how strong the tristate area is because we were able to recover from a superstorm.  Many areas are still recovering and many people have yet to move back into their homes, but the progression that has been made is astronomical.  Hurricane Sandy was a storm nobody will forget and no one wishes to see another one for a very long time.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

STAC Students Get Exclusive Look at Fast Money

By Gregory Cordone

STAC Business and Communication Arts Club members were treated to an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at CNBC’s stock trading talk show "Fast Money."  The trip was organized by Professors Mihall and Kahill, and marked the second trip to the Time Square studio by a St. Thomas Aquinas College group. 

Students arrived on West 42nd Street at 4:15 pm.  After parking and a taking a quick browse through some surrounding streets and stores, the group entered the studio in time for countdown at 5 pm sharp. 

Business-interested students were assured a worthwhile viewing by Senior Producer Lydia Thew, who stated, “Tesla is down…It’s going to be an interesting show.”

Watching Lydia work was good insight for the production-enthused students, as they were able to see her communicate with the control room and floor to control questions, call for graphics on screen, and follow the script to ensure perfect timing in the show’s running length.  The studio floor also demonstrated the six-camera shooting pattern and cutting between them, which created the fluent, professional appearance of the program. 

Intense discussions over serious stock drops in Tesla Motors, which social media stocks to buy and sell, the sinking gas prices, and the fate of the Art market made the trip meaningful to business majors, who got to see professional opinions unfold before them. 

“(We) love getting students, having them tuning in…I wish I started at that age,” said Tim Seymour, Cohost and founder of Triogem Asset Management.

After production ceased, students were brought onto the set for pictures and interviews with the panelists.  Several students inquired about how to become an investor.  “Everyone should put fifty bucks in some stocks with money they can afford to lose,” advised Tim. 

Copies of the day’s script for the program were given to students before leaving.  These served as professional templates for the show’s basic production in the eyes of Communication Arts club members.  The parting gift also helped business students who could assess and study each question and answer the show offered on its finance topics that day.

The trip was rounded off with dinner a short walk away at Heartland Brewery, following the wrap up of the show.  The restaurant is famous for its homemade beers and fountain sodas, as well as gourmet burgers. The STAC van returned to campus around 8 pm.  All nine attendees discussed their unanimous satisfaction with the trip and what they learned as they traversed to their individual cars or dorms. 

For any student interested in stocks and trading, but was unable to attend the club expedition, Guy Adami, a founding "Fast Money" panelist, will be speaking at St. Thomas on Thursday, November 14, at 2:30 pm in Sullivan Theater. All students are welcome to attend and ask questions.  

Bingo at STAC!

By Danielle Pedoto
With the holidays coming up, no one is willing to go out and spend a lot of money. Everyone is going to try and save as much money as possible so they can purchase gifts for their family and friends.  But with the temperatures dropping, everyone is going to want some new winter clothes. What if you were told it was possible to win free stuff? Would you want to try? If so, Saint Thomas Aquinas College is holding bingo on Tuesday, November 19th.

Bingo at STAC, is the perfect opportunity to win free stuff, while at the same time, enjoy a fun night out with your closest friends. You get to sit and relax in the warm Romano Center from 8-9 pm with your friends and enjoy a few fun games of bingo. The prizes that come along with bingo at STAC are great.

You can win anything from a mug to drink hot chocolate in during the winter months, to a warm STAC blanket that you can cuddle up in. The prizes at STAC’s bingo also can be T-shirts, sweatshirts, sweatpants, and hats. All of these items can be given as gifts for your loved ones, so you can save yourself some money on their gifts! You can also of course, keep the prizes for yourself and enjoy them. The other great part about STAC bingo is that if you win something that is not your size, you can take your prize item up to the bookstore and they will exchange the item for one that is in your size.

Even though not everyone wins, it is still worth a try. It is a fun night out with friends and only lasts about an hour. Besides, someone has to win! Who knows, it could be you.  The other good part about STAC bingo is that it usually held every Tuesday at the same time in the Romano Center, so if you cannot make it one week try the next week; just be sure to check STACTIVITIES in your STAC E-Mail to confirm it is happening that night. So, come out on Tuesday night to STAC bingo and give your luck a chance.