Author Archives: Alexander Conover

Los Angeles Times Boycotts Disney

On November 3 Disney decided to stop conducting business with the Los Angeles Times for their “unfair business” reviews in the city of Anaheim, banning the publication from private screenings for the movie Thor Ragnarok.

According to the article published by the Los Angeles Times in September, Disney has not been paying their fair share to the city of Anaheim for Disneyland Park. The city of Anaheim has granted various bonds, rebates and tax shield to the park for years.

Disney supports and funds various aspects of Anaheim, including funding for the local police department. Even so, employees of the Disneyland Resort and the residents of Anaheim share the same concerns that Disney isn’t doing enough for the city.

After the article had been published, Disney stopped contacting the Los Angeles Times and banning them from private screenings of Disney’s recent box office hit, Thor Ragnarok. Despite this, the review was published on time.

Shortly after, many critics came out in support of the Los Angeles Times, including the LA Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Society of Film Critics and Ava DuVernay, who directed A Wrinkle in Time for Disney earlier this year. They all declined private screenings by Disney unless the ban was lifted and removed any Disney films from any of their year-end awards.

On November 7, Disney lifted the ban due to pressure from critics. The Los Angeles Times released a statement in the aftermath of the ban being lifted. “A powerful company punishing a news organization for a story they do not like is meant to have a chilling effect. This is a dangerous precedent and not at all in the public interest.

A packed main floor when opened to the public

Day of the Devs 2017

A packed main floor when opened to the public

Packed Main Floor

Day of the Devs is an annual gathering of independent developers and the gaming public to try out Independent games that are yet to be released. Independent developer Double Fine has been hosting Day of the Devs since 2012. Developers come from around the world to show their games to the public, to share their vision with hundreds of people.
In a small building in the Warehouse district of San Francisco, people stand in lines to try out games they’ve been waiting for, with developers on standby waiting to answer questions and see how people play their game. Among these many games, there will be ones that stand out, such as Harry Halibut, a game created entirely out of clay figures and settings scanned from actual 3D models.
Game Designer and composer, Onat Hekimoglu spoke with us about his game. “Our inspirations come from a lot of places. If you ask us, it came from many 1990s adventure games, but also stop-motion films that inspired us to go for this style. When we started, we experimented with various techniques including real stop motion animation. It was one of the biggest obstacles, but from that point on once we had all that set up everything went well.”
Main Hallway

Main Hallway

Another game teaches people that it is OK to be shy, to take a look inside themselves. Developer Pale Room looks to explore more of this concept.
Gabrielle told us about her inspiration for Small Talk, a surreal game that deals with exploring and understanding your inner self. “I was reading a lot of David Foster Wallace books, and I loved that idea of making games that are a part of you, and you can actually see yourself, and you’re actually changed a bit by it. Games don’t make themselves, you have to make them, and it’s putting enough time aside to get through it. I lucked out because you have to find people that are really dedicated to a specific vision. I want people to see a little bit more inside of themselves.”
Friendship and cooperation are another important theme. Pode is one such game. Based in Norway, developer Henchmen and Goon set out to make a likable cooperative game that can be played by anyone.
Game Designer Yngvill Hopen talked about her inspiration for Pode. “I wanted to make a game to play with my three-year-old son. You could have one person do all the difficult puzzles while the other explores. The setting of the game is based on Norwegian folk art, just Norwegian nature. Our obstacle was being able to balance the game for a single player and cooperation and making everything work and making a game fun for a three-year-old child as well as an adult. It’s been a lot of work to make everything look right. I want to teach people to work together and be friends. It’s very focused on emphasizing positive actions.”
Games like Pode can teach others about friendship and fun for all ages. The people at Sunset Division say otherwise, by creating a game isolating the player on an abandoned mining rig on an unknown planet leaving you to your own devices. The Rig is a virtual reality experience which puts players in the shoes of a travel agent in search of his lost sister-in-law. This haunting experience will keep them on their toes. Local San Francisco developer Sunset Division wanted to make a virtual reality game that was like the old adventure games of the 90s.
Artist and Filmmaker Abe Deekman detailed why making virtual reality games are so difficult. “The biggest obstacle was virtual reality, that’s all brand-new for us, and it’s very different in ways I never expected from making a traditional 2D game. Things you would think that would normally work no longer work at all. For example, moving around, you want to lessen the impact and how it plays. It’s hard to move really quickly because people will get sick really quickly. We have teleporting to solve that.”

From left to right: Planet Alpha, Runner3, Hello Neighbor

Bit Trip Runner 3, by Choice Provisions, has the wacky fun people are looking for. Weird imagery, a bouncy soundtrack, and a challenge. Game designer Dant Rambo and his team had a love for the older Classic Atari games as well as rhythm games. They made the first Bit Trip Runner game out of passion and kept with it, making sequels. He hopes to teach people that games can be more than just shooters and gritty adventure games. The games industry is dominated by a wide range of individuals looking to express their visions to the world, and this is just the start.

P. Diddy to Brother Love and Back Again

P Diddy, also known as Sean Combs, has decided once again to change his name. This time, he has decided to be called “Brother Love”, sparking confusion among his fans, annoyance among people who use common sense and outrage among the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) fan base.
On November 6, he announced in a Twitter video that he would no longer be answering to the many other names he has been come to be known by, but instead “Love aka Brother Love.” In his video, he explained further, saying that he feels like a different person. “I’m just not who I am before, I’m something different.”
Unfortunately, this new nickname has caught the attention of fans of the WWE, as it is the same nickname for Bruce Prichard, manager and producer for the WWE. Bruce was not pleased with the rapper’s latest name change.
Due to this, Sean Combs has gone back on his new nickname in another Twitter video, “Due to an overwhelming response from the media and due to not wanting there to be any confusion … I was only joking. It was just one of my alter-egos, one of my alter-egos is Love.”
People have also pointed out that a musician from Nashville also shares the same nickname. Larry Florman, an independent artist, has had the nickname since 2001.
Names changes happen often in the rap industry, such as when Snoop Dogg changed to reggae music, and gave himself the new nickname, Snoop Lion.
Sean Combs currently goes by Diddy, P Diddy and Puff.

Holiday Shopping Shenanigans

The holiday season is here, and everyone is getting in on the holiday spirit. You’ll notice every department store putting up decorations as well as multiple neighbors. Planning the ever important Thanksgiving and Christmas gathering gives way to good times and bad times, but the time we spend with family and friends are memories to cherish forever.

Things can get crazy during the holiday season, especially in food stores around Thanksgiving. Turkeys are the main food item to have when preparing for these dinners.

Hayward resident and FoodMaxx employee Walter Carrasco recalled a rather odd situation involving turkeys. “Two years ago during the week of Thanksgiving, a man was trying to sneak two big turkeys in his pants. It was so obvious that my boss was just standing there in front of him probably thinking ‘Are you kidding me?’ It was hilarious when he tried to run out the door. He didn’t get the turkeys. They fell out of his pants the second he moved.”

Mark Conover, a self-employed locksmith, remembers what he considers to be a “time-honored tradition” from his childhood. “We would have Thanksgiving at my Aunt’s house in San Francisco. I would sneak out of the house with the other kids and go over to the shopping district to dumpster dive behind department stores like Sears and JCPenny to find toys that were thrown away.”

The holidays can be busy for schoolteachers as well. Ginger Clark, a teacher at California High School in San Ramon, recalled her tradition as a child of transforming coins on New Year’s Eve. “An unusual family celebration tradition was when I was about 10, my grandfather and grandmother believed if we put out pennies on New Year’s Eve, they would all be turned into nickels and quarters.

This time of year other big events are celebrated, such as Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Sometimes, the results can be pretty silly. Hayward resident Helene Adams remembers celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas, as well as teaching her son the Hava Nagila, a Jewish song to be sung on Hanukkah nights. “When I was a little girl, between 5 and 8, I lived in a very conservative Jewish household. Christmas used to fall in the middle of Hanukkah. We celebrated Christmas with presents and Hanukkah with money. Jewish kids in the neighborhood also got presents twice, which was very nice.”

“When I got married and had two children, the youngest stayed with us. We taught him as much as we could about the Jewish religion. While trying to teach him the Hava Nagila in Yiddish, he finally learned to sing it, but the only way he could sing it was by standing on the edge of the couch and holding on to the front door knob. It was very funny, and we took lots of pictures.”

While reading about these memories of holidays past, it is important to remember to make memories of your own. The holidays are meant to be spent with family, to have conversations, bond with relatives and have amazing food. Make sure to think of the family this holiday season and the good times you’ll spend with them.

Balcony Culture

The upper floor of the Chabot Cafeteria could be viewed as another space to converse with friends and eat good food. It is more than that. It is a space where people meet up every day to talk, play games and relax, as well as having a fantastic view of the entire Cafeteria floor. The Student Center Balcony is here for you.

People often bring their television setups and consoles, hook them up and play with their friends for hours on end. This is a unique place to share their interests with other like-minded people. They will also bring in decks from their favorite card games, set up a table and play to their heart’s content.

The space also contains walled-off areas in which groups of people can achieve some privacy and hang out for hours. Students also use the space to study for important tests when the balcony is mostly empty.

Even after class hours, the Student Center Balcony will always remain open so that anyone can come and relax. If you want a space that has almost everything you’ve ever dreamed of, this is the place to be.

The Student Center Balcony is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Disabled Students Resource Center

Chabot College is full of diverse students. Each has their own personality, their own mind and their own ways of studying and learning. People use their notepads, maybe physically writing things down helps them remember the information. Unfortunately, there are also others who have trouble learning, some who don’t learn the same way. It takes the extra effort to learn the same material, but there is one place on campus that can help with that.

The Disabled Students Resource Center can help these students through what could have been a difficult semester by offering the services they need to aid them throughout the semester and beyond. At the DSRC, tutors are also available to help students understand the material, as well as a “High-tech center,” adaptive technologies for students with disabilities. The services include text to braille converters, computers for students with low vision and scanners.

The DSRC also hosts events to raise awareness around disabilities and the struggle of daily life. The Able-Disabled Club exists to aid students by planning social gatherings, as well as providing campus awareness for students with disabilities. Every year they host a Disability Awareness Day during the spring season to help all kinds of students understand and cope with disabilities, as well as provide food and host sports events.

The Disabled Students Resource Center is committed to providing all the help a student needs to get through their semester. If you would like to help these students, you can sign up as a tutor at the DSRC in Building 2400. If you would like more information about the DSRC, you can pick up a copy of the DSRC Disabled Students Resource Center Magazine at Building 2400, or you can find it online on the Chabot College website. You can also see one of the many counselors at the DSRC is you have any more questions.

Napa Fire Covers the Bay in Smoke

On October 8, the Atlas wildfire in Napa County had grown in size and became dangerous to many homes and businesses near it.

Unfortunately, winds carrying the smoke across the Bay Area, left many to face the clouds of smoke.

The brown haze of heavy smoke from the wildfires in the North Bay brought about many air quality warnings from the Bay Area Air Quality Management. Their report on October 9 warned the public to stay indoors and to avoid unnecessary exposure and to reduce the amount of smoky air indoors by keeping the windows and doors closed.

By Wednesday, October 11, the harmful smoke had made its way to Hayward, creating a layer of toxic air. It prompted many at Chabot College to get face-masks from the Health Center to protect them from the smoke.

Chabot student Lisette Donaire recalled the day after, on October 12, when the air quality was still bad, “I was on campus October 12. I have asthma, like severe asthma to the point where I frequently have to go to the doctor. I used my inhaler about five times that day.”

Beatriz Saravia, a worker at Grocery Outlet in Oakland, was one of many people who had to evacuate as the fire neared her home in Solano County. “I heard about the fire on the TV news. We were told to evacuate Monday night (October 9) around 11 p.m.” She evacuated to her mother’s home in San Pablo.

By October 11, over 100 people had died, leaving many injured.

As of Thursday, October 12, smoke could still be seen to the north of Hayward, and the layer of smoke had moved south, affecting Fremont and San Jose.

Meanwhile, the Santa Rosa Fire destroyed 3,000 homes, including the home of Peanuts creator Charles Schulz, and killed 15 people with hundreds still missing. PG&E has worked on trying to restore power for many customers affected by the wildfire.

The fire raged into the weekend of October 13, with daily efforts to put out the fire. It looked like it would be a while until the fire would end. On October 16, it rained over the area where the fire was and brought some relief to the fight.

By October 20, once the fire had died down, residents were allowed back into their homes.

Many buildings were destroyed, and many people are still missing. With relief efforts underway, the community hopes to rebuild as soon as possible.

Kitchens on Wheels

So you’re looking for a bite to eat on campus, but the usual snacks, drinks and food aren’t cutting it. You’re looking for something different without walking very far. Look no further, the food trucks arrive every week, around noon. These local traveling kitchens of deliciousness park themselves in between the 1300 and 1600 buildings.

There are three food trucks that take turns serving students every other day. On Monday and Wednesday, Mae Mae’s Kitchen rolls onto campus with a helpful serving of southern charm. Stuff My Waffle takes over on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They combine waffles with other food items for a “Waffle Sandwich.” Island Gourmet brings you the best of Filipino cuisine all in an amazingly mobile service station.

Stuff My Waffle is the go-to truck if you want your waffle fix. Stuffing can include Cheese, strawberry jam, bacon, banana slices and more. Their menu is a cluster of crazy edible foods stuffed in between many types of waffles, including buttermilk. If you are feeling quite bold, Stuff My Waffle’s menu contains many crazy combinations.

The “Banana-Fana” contains Nutella, banana slices and bacon stuffed between two chocolate chip buttermilk waffles. If you ever wanted fried chicken on your waffle, then the “Chick-In-My-Waffle” has you covered, with Jalapeño jam, fried chicken and butter between two whole wheat waffles.

If you are not too bold on the whole “Waffle-Burger” idea, then the menu at Mae Mae’s Kitchen has you covered. From hot wings, hot dogs, chicken strips and cheeseburgers, Mae Mae’s kitchen can be your destination for good old homestyle cooking. One student stated the chicken nuggets were “Very good.”

Perhaps another culture’s cuisine might suit your taste. The Filipino cuisine of Island Gourmet brings the deliciousness on the go. Pancit, Chicken and Pork Adobo, this truck brings out the best of Filipino cuisine straight to your hands. Food trucks will arrive on campus throughout the week, serving students from 9 a.m. to Noon.

Wifi That Works

During the Summer 2017 semester, students were surprised to find a new “splash page” when connecting to any of the Wi-Fi hot spots around campus. Students were greeted with a page that had an accept button. This initiative was meant to clear up bandwidth for many of the hot spots around campus, meaning students could actively choose whether to connect to the hot spots.

The new “splash page” went into effect on May 30, during the summer semester at both Chabot and Las Positas campuses to give students a choice to access the Wi-Fi, hopefully freeing up much-needed bandwidth. The Student Senate of Chabot College and the Information Technology department collaborated on the change, with the Student Senate proposing this new page. Chabot and Las Positas staff both approved and supported the change. Before this change had occurred, students could automatically connect to the hot spots at any time without encountering the splash page

After the summer semester, it seems the splash page has been disabled and has not been implemented for the Fall 2017 semester, but a number of new hot spots have been added to outside areas to improve connectivity. These areas include Cesar Chavez Plaza and the Grand Court, in front of the Library. Now students traveling to and from places can use the campus Wi-Fi efficiently without suffering from being too far from the hot spot.

Total Eclipse of the Sun

The Eclipse, this past month, dazzled millions of people around the world as the moon overshadowed the sun. People gathered along the path of totality in various states to watch the amazingly weird event in style. While many were either outside, with eclipse glasses, others were watching various streams over the internet. Totality was achieved for just under 3 minutes, leaving many in awe of the sight, with the path of totality occurring from Oregon to South Carolina.

Many scientists, astrologists, and astrophysicists came out in droves to witness the solar eclipse, even famed astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, who was not afraid to let people know that he was not to be disturbed during the eclipse. NASA was out in full force, with an online stream set up featuring many scientists working in the field as well as a crowd excited for the inevitable totality. Many also took to social to share their amazement, opinions and “freak-outs.”

The last time a total solar eclipse had appeared in the United States was July 11th, 1991, in which the path of the eclipse made its way from Hawaii to the eastern end of South America. Unfortunately, Hawaii was experiencing heavy cloud cover. While many left disappointed, others made their way to Baja, California to catch the eclipse and found themselves with an amazing view. The 1991 eclipse lasted for 7 minutes.

Now, people wait in anticipation for the next solar eclipse. It will appear partially over the United States, Canada, Alaska and South America on February 15, 2018 at 11 a.m. PST. The next total solar eclipse will appear over the United States at 4 p.m. PST on August 12th, 2044, totality being seen from Alaska, Canada and Minnesota.