Archive for March, 2011


We’ve Moved!

Blue & Whitin’ has now moved to a separate location! The Blue & White blog and homepage have merged to a newer, bigger and better website. Thank you to all of our readers for your constant support and interest in the magazine. Click HERE to see the latest posts on the Blue & Whitin’ blog and continue reading what our writers have to say!

-The Blue & Whitin’ staff

Nurturing Creativity

In a TED Talk titled “Nurturing Creativity,” Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat Pray Love, explores the creative process.  She also explores the word genius.  We usually associate that word with a rare person who is somehow marginalized from society and set under a profound light.  However, Gilbert argues that instead of being a genius, we all have a genius that inspires us.

This genius is a type of muse, which was commonly referred to among ancient Greeks.  A muse can be a spirit, a goddess, or even a real person.  A muse is a source of knowledge or insight. Gilbert mentions that Socrates, the great philosopher, had a “daemon” that occasionally popped by to lend some inspiration.

American poet and author Ruth Stone uses a beautiful metaphor to describe the creative process.  An idea is like a storm, rolling over the hills and heading toward the first writer it sees. If the writer can get to a pen and paper fast enough, the storm will run right through her and spill onto the paper.  If the writer doesn’t get there fast enough, the storm will swell through the writer and search for the next one.

That storm is the muse.  From time to time, the muse enters us suddenly.  We have to use these moments to our advantage and let the muse conduct the writing.  This inspiration is precious and unseen.  It sneaks up on you and it is your job to be ready to use it. When the muse decides to take a leave of absence, or even hibernate, the writer still has a duty to show up for work.  (This “genius” is known for being flaky).

This should ease some writers’ doubt and anxiety.  A common fear among writers is that their work is not as good as former work, or that it is not original.  Now you have an excuse.  Just tell yourself that the muse was absent a lot.  The muse is there to praise but also to blame.  So just keep writing. You will produce some “bad” writing and then you will have surges of great writing, and you have to appreciate those moments.  You have to filter out the bad to get the good.  If you lose inspiration, just remember the muse will come around.  Just be patient.

-Sarah Diedrick

Tar Heels in the MLS

At the beginning of the year, six players from the UNC-Chapel Hill men’s soccer team were awarded the opportunity to play for Major League Soccer, the United States’ professional soccer league.

“It’s a tremendous reward for our players. They deserve it,” assistant coach Carlos Somoano says.

Four players were selected in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft in Baltimore, Md. in January. Senior defender Jalil Anibaba was taken ninth overall by the Chicago Fire. “I was very excited because the draft is a very stressful time,” Anibaba says. “It’s a dream come true, and it’s a moment I’ve been waiting for my whole life.”

Anibaba, who will join a team captained by former Tar Heel Logan Pause, was named MVP of the 2011 pre-draft PlayerCombine. “It was an honor to be seen as the MVP when you’re participating in an event with such great players,” he says. “It’s humbling.”

Eddie Ababio, a senior outside defender, was selected 18th overall by the Colorado Rapids, the defending MLS Cup champions. Anibaba and Ababio are the eighth and ninth Tar Heels ever picked in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft.

Michael Farfan was taken 24th overall, by the Philadelphia Union. The back-to-back All-American midfielder will join former Tar Heel Sheanon Williams with the Union.

Stephen McCarthy, also a midfielder, was selected immediately after Farfan by the New England Revolution. Despite being one of the four Tar Heels selected in the draft, McCarthy did not enjoy the draft experience. “It was terrible,” he says. “For guys that go top 10, it was probably a great experience. For me, it was a pretty nerve-wracking experience.”

However, McCarthy isn’t intimidated by being the first Tar Heel drafted by the Revolution and has not felt any extra pressure. “I just try to do the best I can,” he says.

In order to perform at his best, McCarthy has had to make adjustments to the higher standard of professional play. “It’s been pretty nuts,” McCarthy says. “It’s a whole new level of intensity. After practice, all I want to do is sleep.”

Somano says the Carolina program is known for creating great players. “We have a tradition here of pushing our guys to be great. When you create an environment like (Carolina), players will become great,” Somoano says.

Two other Tar Heels were added to MLS rosters following the SuperDraft. Senior midfielder Dustin McCarthy was selected by the Los Angeles Galaxy in the 2011 MLS Supplemental Draft, a secondary draft held after the SuperDraft. A day later, Alex Dixon, a junior midfielder, signed a contract with the Houston Dynamo.

Carolina is now tied for the fourth-most players drafted in MLS history, with McCarthy as the 33rd Tar Heel ever selected in the MLS SuperDraft.  “There’s a tradition (at Carolina) consistent in winning and producing professional soccer players,” assistant coach Jeff Negalha says.

So, what’s next for these Tar Heels?

“As a rookie, you have to be open to anything, including playing new positions. I just want to do whatever I can to help the team,” Anibaba says.

Left to right: Jalil Anibaba, Defender; Eddie Ababio, Defender/Forward; Michael Farfan, Midfielder; Stephen McCarthy, Midfielder

-Will Rimer

Photo Source: tarheelblue.com

Music, Consensus, and Rock Greats

With rock greats like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones dominating lists of the best musicians of the past century, I’ve often come to wonder who will remain relevant in the decades from now. The other day, I read an old article written by journalist and author Chuck Klosterman about comedian and late night TV legend Johnny Carson after the celebrity’s death. He said that Carson was a funny person, but his true significance and importance lies in the fact that he was basically the last great cultural icon.

The connection between these two ideas may seem far-fetched, but trust me, they are more related than you’d think. I think what Klosterman was getting at is that there was once this sense of a shared, collective culture and a perceived consensus, probably because of limited media sources.  As he said, “There will never again be cultural knowledge that everybody shares, mostly because there is just too much culture.”

Back in the ‘60s, we are led to believe that everyone in America was watching when the Beatles performed “I Want To Hold Your Hand” on the Ed Sullivan Show. This is probably somewhat likely. Back in the days of limited television channels and definitely no internet in sight, the outlets through which popular music was transmitted were limited, at least compared to today. Magazines such as Rolling Stone would put rock stars like Jim Morrison on its cover and tell us that he was worth caring about. The majority seems to have listened.

Today, we have an infinite number of choices, which is an idea that Klosterman also draws on. With blogs, social media sites and the like telling us about this band and that band, this obscure singer and that under-the-radar rapper, it’s hard to keep up. I’m not saying that there aren’t cultural figures that many of us seem to know and agree on and that there were in the past. After all, I think that the passage of time definitely explains why many of us can stand back and say that Jimi Hendrix was an amazing guitarist or that Led Zeppelin led the way for many metal bands that were to follow.

I think, however, that the idea of a consensus is harder to believe when two-way communication dominates our interactions with the media. Today, there are millions of blogs and sites like Pitchfork or Live Music Guide devoted solely to music and reviews – individual listeners can argue back against mainstream expressions. So what if many magazines named Kanye West’s recent album the best of 2010? We don’t have to listen. With a click of the mouse and flickering of our fingers across the keyboard, we can tell the world that we disagree or agree or are completely confused or that, frankly, we could care less. The media is still telling us what to believe, but we can just as easily drown their messages out with our own opinions and voices. Now, we are the media.

It’s hard to compare the current cultural and music environment of our time to that of the ‘60s and ‘70s. It can be argued that rock ‘n’ roll basically dominated much of those decades, basking in its newness and unfamiliarity. Today, the assortment of genres and subgenres that receive radio airplay have vastly increased – hip hop and pop are more likely to reach number one on top 40 charts than rock. In that vein, however, we don’t even need to listen to the radio. We have Pandora, GrooveShark, etc. We can choose what we want to listen to and when we want to listen to it.

Perhaps these are some reasons why the idea of the “greats of yesteryear” seems unattainable for our generation. To some extent I have always believed there was somewhat of a consensus about great musicians of all time, even if I personally disagreed with the choices. For example, even if I used to be a little less than crazy about Queen (don’t worry – I have since reformed), I feel like I understood their place in rock cultural history. I knew better than to expect that every single person liked every single popular band, but still. So, here’s the question: years from now will a list of the great rockers of right now (the future past, if you know what I mean) develop? Or is our cultural identity becoming less and less homogeneous by the day, to the extent that a consensus will be as ancient as cassette players? It may be a little clichéd, but only time will tell.

-Margot Pien

Are You Too Chicken?

Most people say “ew” to soy before they even try it.  They think soy meat is gross tasting and weird, but I would say that factory farmed meat is gross and weird.  I try to convince people that veggie burgers taste just like meat, but they don’t believe me.  I recently just started buying Quorn meatless, soyless chicken products and trust me when I say this—it tastes like chicken! But Quorn isn’t even made out of soy; it is made from mycoprotein, the main ingredient in all Quorn products.  Made from the same family that mushrooms and truffles come from, mycoprotein is high in dietary fiber and has essential amino acids and no trans fat whatsoever.  Plus, you get all the protein of real meat without the fat, cholesterol, and other unknown products that can find its way into the meat during factory production. In addition, since it has no soy in it, you don’t have to worry about stomach problems, which can happen if you aren’t used to eating soy.

Quorn tastes like the good old chicken nuggets you had as a kid.  And since most of us worry about our weight and nutrition more than we did as kids, it’s a good thing that Quorn is a lot healthier than regular chicken nuggets.  Four Quorn chicken nuggets has 180 calories, 8 grams of fat, 1 gram of saturated fat and no cholesterol. On the other hand, Tyson chicken nuggets’ serving size of five has 270 calories, 17 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat and 40 mg of cholesterol.

For some extra protein in my lunch, I usually top my salads with Quorn chicken nuggets.  Instead of defrosting them, I just place the frozen chicken nuggets in a container, and by the time I eat lunch (about two to three hours later) they are fully thawed and ready to put on top of my salad.  Because they are meatless, I don’t have to worry about the meat getting all funky if it sits out in tupperware for a few hours.  It is nice to have that same chicken taste on my salad without worrying about health scares.

I dare you to try these chicken nuggets out, along with all other Quorn products: meatless meatballs, chicken patties, garlic and herb chicken cutlets, turkey burgers, chicken tenders, turkey roast and cranberry and goat cheese chicken cutlets.  All meatless, soyless, low calorie and low fat.  I even served my friends these chicken nuggets and didn’t tell them they were meatless.  They thought they were real chicken nuggets and loved them. When I told them what they were, they said they were definitely buying those from now on instead of the Tyson nuggets.  Hopefully this will convince others out there to try this great chicken nugget alternative!

Die Besucherin

Die Besucherin is a great example of how you can modify prefixes and suffixes in German words to create nouns or verbs. With the stem of Besuch, which means simply “visit,” you can create the verb by adding an -en at the end of the stem or -er at the end to describe a person, so Besucher means “visitor.” However, German makes you reference the gender of the person most of the time when you talk about him or her and, in this case, adding -in to the end of the word. Besucher specifies that the person who visited me was female.

My friend since 10th grade, Carmen, decided to  take some time off of school and travel this semester, which included the mandatory Eurotrip. What better starting point than at my place in Berlin?

So, after not seeing each other for more than six months, I got several calls from pay phones on my cell phone after work on Monday. Mind you, Carmen had to rebook her flight because of visa complications, so she wasn’t really sure when she was going to get into Berlin and she didn’t have a stable Internet connection. I ran to the Hauptbahnhof, the main train station  (and, by “ran,” I mean I got into a train and impatiently pushed the green button to open the door when we arrived at my station), which is four stories of trains. Carmen had told me to meet her at the Dunkin’ Donuts she was at, not realizing that there are, like, six of them in the station.

After working up a nice sweat in my business clothes, I finally found her at the Dunkin’ Donuts. Being the awesome person she is, she presented me with a rose her boyfriend had bought from a bum that weekend and a bottle of Kahlua she found at Duty-Free (it was Valentine’s Day when I picked her up). We trudged to my apartment and she unloaded her stuff before we met with some other female interns for delicious drinks made with Polish vodka. Needless to say, we were tired and went to bed relatively early on Monday. Unfortunately, I still had to work every morning, so Carmen was forced to entertain herself during the day. I think she Skyped and slept a lot, and on Wednesday I invited some interns over to  eat chicken cacciatore for dinner, which Carmen had spent all day cooking.

We had a slow week at work though, so I took Thursday off to show her around the city. We walked from my apartment all the way to Charlottenburg, the expensive Southern district of Berlin. It’s always interesting to walk around Berlin with non-Germans, because I’ve stopped noticing the weird little habits German have that I picked up. For instance, drinking in public is legal, and many people will walk around the train stations with an open beer in their hand. So I thought nothing about cracking open a beer after we went grocery shopping and drinking it on the train with Carmen, who may have been a little shocked. I also put my empty beer bottle down on the sidewalk after I finished drinking it, which kind of weirded her out. In Germany, you get money back when you return bottles. Beer bottles will get you eight cents and so it’s not uncommon to see people digging through public trash cans for the bottles to bring back for money and it makes setting beer bottles down in public acceptable.

Carmen was also introduced to the junk food of Germany, which is the Turkish Doener. I realize I write about that a lot, but I absolutely love Turkish food here. Moving on, we decided to check out my district and walk around for her last night before we went back to my place and fell asleep. Sadly, Carmen was going to Switzerland over the weekend, so she left me early on Friday morning. We parted at the train station on my way to work and she somehow made it to the main train station in fifteen minutes, which is quite a feat. Luckily she’ll be coming again in March and so until then I have to say “Bis bald!”

-Miranda Murray