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									The Doctor’s Notes
              Volume Fourteen,
                     Issue Two,
                  January 2010

Happy New Year, Allied!
                      Photo Courtesy of

                The Doctor’s Notes    
    the Doc tor ’s                                                          Letter
      Notes                                                              From The
 Letter From the Editor                      3

 VITAL SIGNS                                 4                                 Editor
 “The Pill” For Men                          4
 Burned Out Surgeons                         4

 Modern Evolution                           5-6              inter is now well upon us, as is a new year
 The 2009 American Music Awards               6              and decade. The three weeks we have thus far
                                                             experienced of 2010 represent a new begin-
                                                             ning, a chance to right the wrongs or con-
 PULSE                                       7    tinue the good fortunes of the previous year. Many of
 The 2009 Holiday Lectures on Science        7    the ambitious resolutions written zealously at the end
                                                  of the year – “I will lose weight,” “I won’t procrasti-
                                                  nate,” “I’ll get better grades” – might already be start-
 DIAGNOSIS                                   8    ing to seem difficult to achieve. However, as often
 Music Review: Big Bang                      8
                                                  happens in life, soon after one new beginning comes
                                                  another. Finals, the end of our semester classes, and
 Theater Review: Bye Bye Birdie              9
                                                  the beginning of the spring semester have come upon
 To Go or Not To Go: That is the Question   10    us. Perhaps this time will serve as a second chance to
                                                  renew those resolutions, to make another fresh start,
                                                  or to try something new just to make a change.
 SECOND OPINIONS                            11
                                                  F or seniors, this particular year is very special: it is a
 Taking the Christmas Out of...Christmas?    11
                                                  label that has been put on them since middle school,
 The Art of Opinion                          12   the year of their high school graduation. As the last
                                                  of college applications are submitted, admission deci-
                                                  sions trickle in, and choices are made, we balance our
 EXTRAS                                     13    current high school lives with the college years we en-
 Winter Word Search                          13
                                                  vision. In this balancing act, we must be careful that
                                                  we don’t get so caught up with the future that we lose
 Solution Key                                14
                                                  touch with the present. It’s a busy, stressful, sad, and
                                                  exciting time, and it’s up to us to make the most of it.
  ADVISOR:  C.R. Oberlin                          Enjoy this winter issue of The Doctor’s Notes , filled
  EDITOR IN CHIEF: Deepa Manjunath                with blasts from our 2009 past and previews into our
  COPY EDITOR: Charlotte Csuri                    2010 future. As with our last issue, we can be found on-
  VITAL SIGNS EDITOR: Anthony Linfante            line at, so please check us out!
  PULSE EDITOR: Rebecca Alpert

  DIAGNOSIS EDITOR: Norman Rozenberg

  LAYOUT TEAM: Mariette Dorobis, Eliza-
                                                    Deepa Manjunath
  beth Sharp, and Charlotte Csuri                   Editor in Chief
  PHOTOGRAPHERS: Norman Rozenberg
  and LeeAnn Giordiano

The Doctor’s Notes                
                                    Vital                                                                     Burned Out Surgeons
                                    Signs                        Buzz and Breakthroughs
                                                                                                                                                 Ariel Zunger

                                                                                                              Between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die in
                                                                                                              hospitals each year due to preventable medical
                                                      “The Pill” for Men                                      errors. A new study shows that surgeons that are
                                                                                                              tired, depressed, and in an overall bad state have
                                                                                      Anthony Linfante        a higher chance of performing major errors while
                                                                                                              working. Of course, this isn’t a shocking fact, be-
                                                      A December 2009 publication in the FASEB Jour-
                                                                                                              cause everyone performs better well rested and
                                                      nal reported that one day, men could have the
                                                                                                              happy. The discovery indicates that these mis-
                                                      control over their fertility that women have had
                                                                                                              takes are not just caused by the long hours that the
                                                      since the 1960s. Scientists have discovered how
                                                                                                              surgeons are required to work. Mistakes are most
                                                      androgenic hormones work in the testis to control
                                                                                                              often caused by surgeons that are “burned out”
                                                      normal sperm production and male fertility which
                                                                                                              or depressed. The study shows that nine percent
                                                      presents many options regarding “the pill” for men.
                                                                                                              of the 7,905 surgeons surveyed by the American
                                                                                                              College of Surgeons admitted they have made
                                                      Not only will this discovery help to prevent
                                                                                                              a major medical error in their careers. Forty per-
                                                      unwanted pregnancies, but it can also be
                                                                                                              cent of those said they were “burned out,” a term
                                                      used to treat male infertility due to low sperm
                                                                                                              that was classified by “emotional exhaustion, de-
                                                      count. The research was conducted in mice,
                                                                                                              personalization and personal accomplishment.”
                                                      but a similar effect is expected in humans.
                                                                                                              Researchers are aware of the restraints of self-
                                                      “This study provides a new opportunity to identify
                                                                                                              reporting surveys, so they have stated that
                                                      how androgens control sperm production, which
                                                                                                              they can not tell “whether burnout and depres-
                                                      could provide new insight for the development of
                                                                                                              sion led to more medical errors or whether
                                                      new treatments for male infertility and perhaps new
                                                                                                              medical errors triggered burnout and depres-
                                                      male contraceptives,” said Michelle Welsh, Ph.D.,
                                                                                                              sion among the surgeons who made mistakes.”
                                                      co-author of the study, from the Centre for Repro-
                                                      ductive Biology at The Queen’s Medical Research
                                                                                                              “The most important thing for those of us who
                                                      Institute in Edinburgh, UK. Welsh and colleagues
                                                                                                              work with other surgeons who do not appear well
                                                      performed studies in two groups of mice. The first
                                                                                                              is to address it with them so that they can get
                                                      group was normal, but the second was missing a
                                                                                                              the help they need,” says Julie A. Freischlag,
                                                      gene from the peritubular myoid cells in the testis.
                                                                                                              M.D., chair of the Department of Surgery at the
                                                      The missing gene codes for the androgen hor-
                                                                                                              Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
                                                      mone receptor. When absent, sperm production
                                                      is significantly decreased, resulting in infertility.

                                                      Although these discoveries do not directly point
                                                      to a way to create a contraceptive, the knowl-
Photos Coutesy of Nomad and BIGMON (

                                                      edge of where and how the androgenic on and
                                                      off switches work will provide a means to create a
                                                      hormone blocker that will essentially stop sperm
                                                                                                                                                                         Photos Coutesy of


                                                                                                                                      The Doctor’s Notes             
                                                  4                                                     4
                                                     Modern Evolution
                                                                                          Arielle Kaplan

                                                     Look all around you: evolution is happening now.
                                                     It may seem as if it has stopped because, due
                                                     to better living conditions, surival of the fittest no
                                                     longer seems to apply. This is not true, however.        have grown accustomed to are those that al-
                                                     Now, natural selection takes its course through          low people to digest milk or resist malaria and
                                                     the fertility of men, women, and cultural factors.       others that govern brain development. Not all
                                                                                                              evolutionary changes make sense, though.
                                                     Men used to father children with numerous                Since the Industrial Revolution, modern hu-
                                                     women at an older age, so their sperm held               mans have grown taller and stronger, so one
                                                     a much higher chance of carrying an error or             might assume that evolution is making humans
                                                     mutation than an egg. But now, men tend to               fitter. On the contrary, according to anthropolo-
                                                     only have children with one wife at a younger            gist Peter McAllister, the present-day male has
                                                     age. This trend has had a major effect on the            evolved, at least physically, into “the sorriest
                                                     rate of mutation and has reduced the amount              cohort of masculine Homo sapiens to ever walk
                                                     of new diversity, slowing down evolution.                the planet.” Thanks to genetic variation, an aver-
                                                                                                              age Neanderthal woman, McAllister says, could
                                                     To chart the progress of evolution, scientists in        have easily beaten Arnold Schwarzenegger at
                                                     Framingham, Massachusetts looked for connec-             his muscular peak in an arm-wrestling match,
                                                     tions between women’s physical characteristics,          and prehistoric Australian Aborigines, could
                                                     including height, weight, blood pressure, and            have easily beaten Usain Bolt in a 100-m dash.
                                                     cholesterol levels, and the number of offspring
                                                     they produced. This study, started in 1948,              “We are more different genetically from people
                                                     found that stout, slightly plump (but not obese)         living 5,000 years ago than they were different
                                                     women with lower blood pressure and choles-              from Neanderthals” says John Hawks, an anthro-
                                                     terol levels tended to have more children as op-         pologist at the University of Wisconsin. Besides
                                                     posed to women with very low body fat. This              losing strength, modern humans have experi-
                                                     is because women with minimal body fat don’t             enced other evolutionary changes that are not as
                                                     produce enough hormones to ovulate. Scientists           embarrassing. Humans are born with Jacobson’s
                                                     crunched the data and came up with a few pre-            organ, located in the nose. It is a special olfacto-
                                                     dictions. They hypothesized that it is likely that       ry organ that detects pheromones, or chemicals
                                                     in 2409, Framingham women will be two centi-             that trigger sexual desire, alarm, or information
                                                     meters shorter and one kilogram heavier than             about food trails. It is this organ that allows some
                                                     they would have been without natural selection.          animals to track others for mating and to know of
                                                                                                              potential dangers. Although we are born with this
                                                     Some other examples of mutations that we                 organ, humans only used it to locate mates when
                                                                                                              communication was not possible. Now, dating,
Photos Coutesy of

                                                                                                              chat rooms, and bars have taken their place in
                                                                                                              the process of human mate-seeking. However,
                                                                                                              when a woman is ovulating, she is sensitive to
                                                                                                              male pheromones. This is the only time of the
                                                                                                              month that she is able to sense a man’s sweat
                                                                                                              and decide whether or not she is attracted to him
                                                                                                              without looking at him. Studies show that phero-
                                                                                                              mones may also play a role in chemistry, or the
                                                                                                              instant attraction a person feels for another when
                                                                                                              first meeting him or her. Going for love at first
                                                   The Doctor’s Notes          
    sight? Try leaving the house without deodorant.      Another unforgettable performance was Adam
                                                         Lambert’s routine of the title track from his new
    The plantaris muscle, located at the bottom          album, For Your Entertainment. Some people be-
    of the foot, is used by animals to grip and ma-      lieve Lambert’s performance included some inap-
    nipulate objects with their feet. Humans have        propriate conduct with a member of his band, some
    this muscle as well, but it is so underdeveloped     female dancers, and also with two leather-clad
    that doctors often taken it out for use in recon-    men that he led across the stage on leashes. How-
    struction of other parts of the body. The muscle     ever, the performance was enjoyable to listen to.
    is so unimportant to the human body that nine
    percent of humans are now born without it.           Lady Gaga had an astonishing performance sing-
                                                         ing “Bad Romance” and “Speechless” from her
    Have you had your wisdom teeth pulled to make        new album, The Fame Monster. Whitney Hous-
    room for your other teeth? You’d be jealous of       ton performed her new song “I Didn’t Know My
    some populations now, which have ceased              Own Strength” from the album I Look to You. She
    growing them. As evolution made its selections,      dedicated her International Award of Excellence
    our diets changed and our jaws grew smaller          to her daughter and everyone who supports her.
    so our third molars became useless. Early hu-
    mans needed wisdom teeth to eat quickly              Even thought the AMAs are focused mainly on
    and obtain all nutrients necessary to the body.      artists receiving awards for their excellence in
                                                         music and talents, there were more performanc-
    Evolution is not something you only read about       es than awards presented. Other performances
    in a science book. The effects are all around        by popular artists included, Black Eyed Peas’ “I
    us and happening faster than ever. In 500            Gotta Feeling” and “Boom Boom Pow,” Rihanna’s
    years, who knows what humans will look like?         “Wait Your Turn” and “Hard,” both from her new
                                                         album Rated R, and Janet Jackson’s hit songs
                                                         that are going to appear in Number Ones. Jay
    The 2009 American                                    Z and Alicia Keys sang their duet “Empire State
                                                         of Mind,” Kelly Clarkson sang a stripped down
    Music Awards                                         version of “Already Gone,” Shakira introduced
                                      Sindhu Para        her single “Give It Up to Me,” and Jennifer Lo-
                                                         pez added some interesting boxing moves to
    The 2009 American Music Awards (AMAs) in-            her “Louboutins” performance, which ended in
    cluded many amazing performances by top mu-          her slipping, falling, and landing on her derriere.
    sic artists such as Taylor Swift, Adam Lambert,
    Beyonce, Janet Jackson, and Jay Z. There were        Overall, the 2009 American Music Awards in-
    many incredible artists present and many were        cluded many new singles by popular artists and
    given awards for their talents. A great number       awards given to talented and deserving musicians.
    of unexpected and interesting events occurred,
    resulting in a truly spectacular award ceremony.

    Taylor Swift was extremely popular this year, win-
    ning more awards than any other artist that night.
    The talented 19-year-old singer received the
    show’s top award, “Entertainer of the Year,” beat-
                                                                                                                   Photo Courtesy of

    ing Michael Jackson, who received four awards to
    Taylor’s five. She stated, “To even be mentioned
    in a category with Michael Jackson, who we will
    miss and love forever, is an unimaginable honor.”
    Her performance of “White Horse” was stunning.

                                                                                  The Doctor’s Notes           

Pulse                   STUDENT LIFE                      es to spend time showing these lectures to
                                                          his senior students because the topics have
If someone could take the blood pressure of our           prevalent applications in the biomedical field,
school what would it be? Would it be boiling?             a field that many Allied students will encoun-
It would be a medical miracle if we could pass            ter in the future. Mr. Tempsick also takes ad-
through these halls without getting stuck to each         vantage of the aforementioned free DVDs
other like a bunch of platelets. Either way, whenev-      and uses past lectures to teach certain con-
er a problem pops up we stick together to remedy          cepts in both his freshman and senior classes.
the situation.
                                                          The 2009 lecture series was entitled “Exploring
                                                          Biodiversity: The Search for New Medicine.”
    The 2009                                              Baldomero M. Olivera, Ph.D. (bottom left),
                                                          distinguished biology professor at the Univer-

    Holiday Lectures                                      sity of Utah, presented the first and third lec-
                                                          tures. Dr. Olivera spoke on his work with the
                                                          venom of the cone snail. Though this venom is
    on Science                                            deadly to many creatures, including humans,
                                                          its unique properties make it an excellent re-
                                      Jacob Persily       search tool and an even better candidate for
                                                          use in medication to treat neurological disease.
     The 2009 Holiday Lectures on Science were
     held on December 3rd and 4th. Sponsored              Bonnie L. Blasser, Ph.D. (bottom right), direc-
     by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, they         tor of graduate studies in molecular biology
     were are a series of four lectures presented in      at Princeton University, presented the sec-
     front of an audience of high school students at      ond and fourth lectures. Dr. Blasser spoke on
     the Institute’s home base in Maryland. The lec-      her work with bacteria, specifically discuss-
     tures were filmed and webcasted live to high         ing an exciting phenomenon called quorum
     schools across the country. This is how the          sensing. Bacteria that reach a certain con-
     Allied seniors were able to experience them.         centration in an area communicate with each
                                                          other through molecular signals and simul-
     The Holiday Lectures are a part of the Institute’s   taneously produce a combined effect. It is
     ongoing dedication to science education. The         demonstrated by bioluminescence in squid.
     live webcasts are available free of charge to any
     school with the technical capabilities of showing    For more information on the Holiday Lec-
     them. A few months after each year’s presen-         tures, or to order DVDs of or view past
     tation, the lectures are produced on DVD and         lectures,   visit
     made freely available via internet download.

     With the rare exception of schools like Allied,
     where science is the main focus, most high
     schools tend to concentrate their monetary
     funds on programs such as sports and art,
     leaving little for science education. The wide
     availability of these lectures allows for every
     science teacher to incorporate the topics into
     their classes without breaking the budget.

     Mr. Tempsick, senior biology teacher, choos-
 The Doctor’s Notes           
    Diagnosis                           Multimedia Reviews

    Music Review:
                                                        such as “Day by Day,” “Heaven,” “Lady,” and “Oh
                                                        My Friend” were made. In Big Bang’s third live
                                                        concert, they added songs from their most recent

    Big Bang
                                                        album, Remember. With such success, Big Bang
                                                        was able to move a step forward to a visit to Ja-
                                                        pan with their #1 single “Number 1.”
      Minseo Kwak
    Big Bang is a Korean boy band that is striving      Recently, after making Lollipop with their new-
    to work its way up in the music world.It consists   est female Big Bang group “2NE1,” Big Bang has
    of five singers: G-Dragon (their leader), TOP,      returned to Japan with hit songs such as “Gara
    Taeyang, Daesung, and Seungri, the young-           Gara Go,” “Top of the World,” “So Beautiful,” and
    est. Similar to Nsync and the Backstreet Boys       “Stylish.” Currently, while they tour Japan with
    (but with a more modern flair), they sing a mix     another album, Bringing You Love, they are cre-
    of Korean hip pop, mainstream, dance, a little      ating their third album, Memories, and working on
    R&B, bit of rock, and electronica music. Their      solo albums. So far, the leader, G-Dragon, who
    preferred dance styles are are free style, street   is a talented rapper, has released his solo work
    dancing, and break dancing.                         Heartbreaker.

    Big Bang entered the Korean music scene with        Big Bang has come a long way since its humble
    a remake of Macroon 5’s single “This Love.”         beginnings and is known as one of the best mu-
    They later covered many other popular songs         sic groups in Korea. Unlike many other Korean
    such as “We Belong Together” and “La La La.”        singers, Big Bang’s unique and engaging live
    After debuting in their first live concert, Big     concerts, numerous addicting songs, and even
    Bang was only moderately popular.                   their urban hip-up clothing style (skinny jeans and
                                                        high tops) have made them a favorite through-
    However, during the last two years, Big Bang        out Korea. As Big Bang branches out into Japan,
    had made their breakthrough by changing their       the band’s dream for the future is to perform and
    initial “cute” image. As they moved onto elec-      spread their music in America, eventually becom-
    tronica music, songs such as “Lies” and “Last       ing one of the few Korean music groups to be
    Farewell” made it onto the top charts. Their        accepted in the United States. As there are con-
    popularity skyrocketed, and it was rumored that     tinuing rumors that Big Bang planning on coming
    tickets to their second live concert sold out in    to the United States in the next few years, there
    just ten minutes. Following that performance,       may be possibility that their dreams may soon
    Big Bang moved on to record more songs              come true.

                                                                                                                  Photo Courtesy of

                                                                                 The Doctor’s Notes           
  Theater Review:
  Bye Bye Birdie
   Mariette Dorobis
   On Thursday, September 10th 2009, the first ever             plays Rose Alvarez. Gershon was featured in way,
   revival of Bye Bye Birdie began previewing on Broad-         way, too many numbers, and within seconds faded
   way. The original production starred legends Dick Van        into the woodwork when she performed with
   Dyke, Chita Rivera, and Paul Lynde, so this produc-          others (such as in the number “What Did I Ever
   tion had pretty big shoes to fill. The plot of the play is   See in Him?” sung alongside Allie Trimm). One
   simple enough. In the 1950s, a rock star named Con-          of her songs “Spanish Rose,” a song taunting
   rad Birdie (Nolan Gerard Funk), a character modeled          Albert’s mother, is commonly known as the most
   after Elvis Presley of the same era, has been drafted        hilarious number in the show, but Gershon’s version
   into the army, much to the dismay of his eternally ador-     ended up being incredibly bland. She too was pitchy
   ing female fans. His manager, Albert Peterson (John          that night, but of course that may have been because
   Stamos), is quite upset at the news because his career       it was the first preview.
   is sure to plummet. His fiancée Rose Alvarez (Gina
   Gershon), however, comes up with a plan: the idea of         Despite these two actors, the show still has a con-
   Conrad singing a song called “One Last Kiss” before          siderable amount going for it. Possibly the biggest
   he leaves for the army and giving one lucky fan, Kim         redeeming quality of the entire production is the co-
   MacAfee (Allie Trimm), a kiss goodbye. Other charac-         medic genius Bill Irwin, who portrays Harry MacAfee,
   ters include Albert’s overbearing mother, Mae Peterson       the uptight father of the MacAfee household. Irwin is
   (Jayne Houdyshell), who doesn’t think Rose is good           completely hilarious in the role, and every time he is
   enough for her son, and Kim’s jealous boyfriend, Hugo        on stage, someone is always laughing.
   Peabody (Matt Doyle), who isn’t happy about his girl
   kissing a hotshot.                                           Another asset of the show is the younger section
                                                                of the cast, including Allie Trimm as Kim MacAfee,
   Though the show is clearly a vehicle to showcase             the lucky girl chosen to be kissed by Conrad Birdie.
   John Stamos, his performance was one of the weaker           Ms. Trimm, 15 years old, plays the part perfectly.
   aspects of the show. He acted well but seemed to lack        Her voice is absolutely beautiful, she has an amaz-
   some of the more subtle aspects of Albert’s character.       ing stage presence, and she perfectly captures the
   His singing was often flat, and his dancing was medio-       character of a girl who is so sure she’s ready to grow
   cre. However, despite all these flaws, it is very evident    up. Nolan Gerard Funk, who plays the rock star, is
   why Stamos is so popular on both the small screen and        perfectly cast and has much improved since his last
   the stage. The man has an undeniable charisma about          gig (a movie called Spectacular on Nickelodeon).
   him, even if you cannot look at him without thinking         Other standouts are Matt Doyle who plays Hugo and
   “Uncle Jesse.”                                               Brynn Williams who plays Kim’s best friend, Ursula.
                                                                The teenage ensemble as a whole is also awesome.
   However, an even weaker link than Mr. Stamos (and            The “Telephone Hour,” a number performed by all
   one who lacks his charisma) is Gina Gershon, who             the teenagers, is the most entertaining and well-cho-
                                                                reographed number in the show. Every one of them
                                                                were spot on in terms of dancing, singing, and all the
                                                                little acting bits they had to do.

                                                                Sure, Bye Bye Birdie is no Wicked or Spring Awaken-
                                                                ing. But it is a cute, funny, and heartwarming show. If
                                                                you’re in the city at any point in the near future, stop
                                                                by Bye Bye Birdie. And hurry up, because the show,
                                                                as it is a Roundabout Theatre Company production,
                                                                has a limited run and will be closing January 24th.

The Doctor’s Notes          
     To Go or Not to Go: That is the
     Kevin Eisenfrats

     As the seats fill patiently, the audience waits
     for the curtains to open. Those who have read
     Hamlet expect the sudden emergence of the
     guards, but the audience does not receive this
     exhilarating entrance. Instead, it is presented
     with a calmer, more morose situation—Jude
     Law, as Hamlet, resting upon a bare stage.
     The producer has replaced the preconceived
     plot with a new, unrivalled story.

     Director Michael Grandage has changed the
     Shakespearean play considerably. The lines
     are the same; in fact, it seems as if no lines
     were removed from the original work. Howev-
     er, the characters, setting, and tone of the play
     have been manipulated. For example, the stage
     consists of one prison-like set that remains un-      laughing at parts I always considered serious,
     changed, despite the scenes’ actual varying           or just to laugh along, as if the change was pur-
     locations in Denmark. The director’s costum-          posely made in order to lighten up the dramatic
     ing decisions distracts the audience’s attention      plot. Polonius’s jocular behavior is not surpris-
     from the actors. Law, who is supposed to be           ing, since the director has cast the part as an
     portraying a firm prince, is attired in pajama-like   extremely short and irritating old man who does
     clothes for much of the play: certainly not the       nothing but overuse his snickering laugh. Even
     norm for princes in Denmark to wear.                  Claudius, originally the “uptight dictator,” is
                                                           sneering during some points. Hamlet’s portrayal,
     Apart from minute distractions, it is safe to         however, is surprising. In this play, Hamlet does
     state that the play revolves around Jude Law          anything and everything to make the audience
     as Hamlet. The slick, attention-grabbing actor        believe he is insane: he screams, talks to him-
     defines the protagonist. Law’s performance is a       self, curses, paces around, plays with audience
     sensation: with his quick and witty remarks, he       members, and at one point, even molests Polo-
     dexterously acts out one of the most fickle char-     nius. If that doesn’t shock the actual readers of
     acters of any drama ever written. Even when           Hamlet, I don’t know what would.
     faced with confusing soliloquies, Law clearly
     articulates every word of Shakespeare’s.              Hamlet is an overall success, considering the
                                                           directors’ interpretation. One cannot always
     Grandage has made a monumental, innovative            expect a perfect rendition of a Shakespearean
     change to Hamlet centered on the play’s dark          work. However, for the budget the director was
     humor. Throughout the entire drama, various           working with, it ended up being a spectacular
     audience members could not hold back their            play. If for nothing else, one should see the play
     laughter. In the theater, I didn’t know whether       to see Jude Law’s performance. Law does not
     to feel embarrassment because some were               play Hamlet; he simply is Hamlet.

                                                                                     The Doctor’s Notes         10
Second                                                     ment store, diligently protesting day and night to
                                                           protect the ears of precious children from being

                                                           exposed to the rapturous tale of Santa’s sleigh the
                                                           Nativity Story. These people deem December 25
                                                           the “Winter Holiday” (or something to that effect),
                          Opinion Editorials               and thoughtfully make the lives of those publicly
                                                           celebrating “Christmas” a stressful time.

                                                           Sounds ludicrous? Very. Christmas is federally
  Taking the Christmas                                     recognized as a national holiday, just like Me-
                                                           morial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day.

  Out of...Christmas?                                      However, the government doesn’t force everyone
                                                           to put up a Christmas tree every year, just as it
                                                           doesn’t force you to attend the annual Memorial
  James Kodi                                               Day parade. If someone honestly thinks that the
                                                           colored lights and yellow star on the Rockefeller
  Cookies and milk for Santa, racing downstairs to the     Center Christmas tree are offensive, he or she
  tree in the morning to open your presents: Christmas     has every right not to look at them.
  is always an enjoyable time of the year.
                                                           A poll conducted right here at the Academy of Al-
  Do you find Christmas too joyful and innocent for        lied Health and Science showed that, of the 95
  your taste? Not enough drama? Well, turn on the          students surveyed about whether they preferred
  news when the next Christmas season approaches.          the term “Christmas” or “Winter Holiday”, 87 re-
  Chances are, some parents in Nowhere, New Mex-           plied with “Christmas.” For those without a calcu-
  ico are crying their eyes out because a local school     lator, that is 92 percent.
  teacher chose, nay, dared, to say “Merry Christmas”
  to the children. Or, perhaps, enraged customers are      To those who do not wish to even view the holiday
  burning effigies of Geoffrey Giraffe in front of their   secularly as a celebration of charity to the less for-
  local Toys ‘R’ Us because the sign on the window         tunate and to loved ones, that is their right. Unless
  says “Christmas Sale!” Yes, there is always plenty of    you worship the season of winter, or have a “Holi-
  drama to be found at Christmas time.                     day” in the spring, summer, and fall as well, the
                                                           term “Winter Holiday” doesn’t really seem like the
  One may ask what’s wrong with using the word             best idea. To Bill O’Reilly, it sounds like “part of
  “Christmas” to describe that joyous day of gift-giving   the secular progressive agenda [to] pass secular
  and celebrating. Well, in what’s becoming a tradition    progressive programs like legalization of narcot-
  all of its own, with the arrival of December 25 comes    ics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage.” To
  the campaigning of the “politically correct” and the     me, it sounds like an insecure way of dealing with
  “secularists.” You find them outside the local depart-   the fact that one doesn’t celebrate a holiday that
                                                           others do.

                                                           However, whether it’s Christmas, Winter Holiday,
                                                           Christmahanakwanzika, or Kwijbo, one thing we
                                                           can all agree on is that that eleven-day vacation
                                                           was a welcome break from school.


The Doctor’s Notes        11
The Art of Opinion
Emily DeMarco

A hero is a man who jumps in front of a bus to save
a child. A hero is a woman who spends her day off
feeding the hungry. A hero is a man who risks his life
to create art.

Gao Zhen and Gao Qiang are two such men. They
live in China, where the government restricts what
sort of art is allowed to be displayed.The Gao broth-
ers do not concern themselves with trivialities like law,
however. They sculpt what needs to be said, tearing
down the man who has caused them such pain.
                                                            If the details of these exhibitions were to become
                                                            known to the Chinese police, the art would likely
Much of the brothers’ art focuses on Chairman Mao,
                                                            be confiscated. In fact, their sculpture “To Catch A
whose violent regime brought tragedy to the Gao
                                                            Lady,” a 3D representation of a photograph show-
family. ‘’Our father was persecuted to death during
                                                            ing police raiding a brothel, was removed from an
the Cultural Revolution, and this has left an indelible
                                                            exhibit by Chinese authorities this March.
scar in our hearts,’’ the brothers told inquirers about
their work. After their father’s death the brothers pe-
                                                            Instead of giving up, the Gao brothers hold invita-
titioned the government for compensation; they re-
                                                            tion only “parties” in place of public art shows, the
ceived an undisclosed amount of money.
                                                            locations of which are sent via text messages and
                                                            word of mouth just hours before the events.
Their portrayal of Mao is vastly different from the
small, respectful portraits of him that are so com-
                                                            Is it worth putting so much effort into art that a
mon throughout China. In a live show of their art,
                                                            government has deemed inappropriate? Does the
they once smashed a sculpture of Mao with womanly
                                                            work get the point across to others? Or are these
breasts. They also created a life-sized scene of sev-
                                                            men simply risking everything just to be different? I
eral Maos standing before Jesus, pointing machine
                                                            believe they are taking worthwhile actions against
guns at him. A recent sculpture of the political fig-
                                                            a corrupt system. Even if every one of their sculp-
ure, entitled “Mao’s Guilt,” shows him kneeling, as
                                                            tures, paintings, and photographs are destroyed,
if begging for forgiveness. Because of the statue’s
                                                            they will be remembered by history as incredibly
controversial nature, its removable head is stored in
                                                            brave men, as champions of their cause, as he-
a separate location from the body and only replaced
for exhibitions.



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