Archive for February, 2012

Local Pizzeria Revamped by New Owner, Menu


FEB. 27, 2012

ITHACA, NY – In a strategic business move, Hesham Oulida has expanded the menu of what was previously known as Ameritalia Pizzeria of the Ithaca Commons to include Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant is now called Casa Blanca Pizzeria and Mediterranean Cuisine.

“We decided to change the menu and remodel the place, and put our recipes on [the menu] to bring Mediterranean cuisine up to Ithaca,” said Oulida.

Casa Blanca is one of two Mediterranean restaurants in the Ithaca Commons.

Oulida, former manager of Ameritalia, recently bought the business from its previous owners and renamed, remodeled, and revamped the restaurant during the past two months.

New additions to the menu include falafels, kabobs, and shawarama. Overall, Oulida has found that customers are enjoying the change.

“I like the addition of Mediterranean food, and the pizza is still the same,” said Mark Rudovic, a former Ameritalia regular and student at Ithaca College.

Oulida has chosen to keep the “Ameritalia” sign in front of the pizzeria in order to help retain customers during the transition.

“The name change didn’t discourage me from continuing to come to Ameritalia; the food is still as good as it was before,” said Ivana Milutin, an Urban Outfitters employee.

Casa Blanca has adjusted its menu to include Mediterranean cuisine. Above, staff assembles salad dressing containers.

According to Oulida, Casa Blanca has seen an approximate 20 percent profit increase since the change. He is currently working on advertising with Ithaca College students and also hopes to extend his customer base to Cornell University.

Oulida became interested in Mediterranean cuisine while watching his mother cook during his childhood in Morocco. The restaurant is named after the city where Oulida was born, Casa Blanca, and is now one of two Mediterranean restaurants in the Ithaca Commons.


Leave a comment

Local Mexican Restaurant Relying on Customer Base as Chipotle Moves In


FEB. 20, 2012

ITHACA, N.Y. – Popular, international restaurant chain, Chipotle Mexican Grill, will open its newest location in Ithaca on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Local Mexican restaurant Téllez Mexican Grill and Catering is confident that Chipotle will not impact their business because of their authentic Mexican taste.

Salvador and Ana Gabriela Téllez recently opened their Mexican grill in the Commons after starting a catering business from their home in Corning, N.Y. The Téllez family first began catering for small parties and events at Cornell University before opening in the Commons.

Téllez Mexican Grill is a small family owned business and their only employees are Salvador and Ana Gabriela‘s three children. When they are catering at Cornell events, Salvador said that the organizations provide student volunteers, while other members of the family tend to the restaurant.

“A lot of students and staff asked, ‘Where are you located? We love your food.’ We started looking for a place and that’s why we came to the Center at Ithaca,” Salvador said.

Salvador Téllez said they are different from most Mexican restaurants, in that they prepare their meals in front of the customer, using only fresh ingredients.

Chipotle and Viva Taqueria were not able to comment at this time.

“We are offering homemade food, so it’s different from our competition,” said Ana Gabriela. “I try to cook our food like I cook at home.”

Salvador does not anticipate losing any profits after the opening of Chipotle because of their authentic Mexican taste and the customer base they have already built.

“We have customers who come back two or three times a week,” said Salvador. “They tell us they are addicted.”

Leave a comment

Reaction: As Web Challenges French Leaders, They Push Back

The article As Web Challenges French Leaders, They Push Back, written by Scott Sayare, addresses a key issue regarding freedom of speech in one of the founding countries of democracy, France.

The article begins with an anecdote of Ms. Broueilh, a 50 year old housewife who left a response on a video of French politician Nadine Morano claiming she attended a political conference in 2007.  The comment left by Broueilh read, “Oh the liar.”  According to the Sayare, Ms. Broueilh’s Internet address was eventually subpoenaed by Morano in order to obtain her identity.  A lawsuit was then brought against Broueilh for “public insult toward a member of the ministry.”  The maximum fine for such an offense, $18,000.

There has been a surge of viral videos of French politicians caught saying things they might later regret.  French President Nicolas Sarkozy was filmed saying to a French citizen “get out of here – idiot,” after refusing to shake the President’s hand. In another incident, President Sarkozy and interior minister, Éric Besson, can be seen laughing and making a racist joke towards a member of their audience.

The lawsuit against Ms. Broueilh is not the only case brought against French citizens by their own government.  Cases are so common that Sarkozy receives a nightly report outlining the online conversation about the French government.  French Internet sites are monitored by the government via in-house surveillance teams.

The practice of monitoring the Internet by the French government stands against everything democracy is supposed to represent.  Journalism is a profession founded upon the principle of checks and balances for those in power.  How are journalists, and citizens alike, supposed to carry out this principle if they know they may be punished for their actions?  As journalists, it is our duty to stand by this principle.  But what about average citizens like Ms. Broueilh, who might be scared to express their opinions for fear of consequence?

But who is more scared, citizens, or the government elected to represent them?

“We now have politicians who are scared,” said Frédéric Dabi, a French commentator for the polling agency Ifop.

In a democratic society, no one should be scared to speak freely and express their opinion, whether it be government officials, media outlets, or citizens.  After all, if we don’t have our voice, then what do we have?

Vive la liberté.

Leave a comment

New Cornell-Developed 3D Printer to Cost $1,000


FEB. 13, 2012

ITHACA, NY- Hod Lipson, director of Cornell University‘s Creative Mechanics Lab, is giving the final touches to Model 3 Fab at Home a 3D printer that will cost around $1,000.  Professor Lipson began developing the first 3D printer in 2001.  Jeffrey Lipton, a PhD. student,  helped develop the newest model.

The printer can print everything from food to human ears and heart valves.

Lipton demonstratres how the newest 3D printer will work

“One day the story goes, that you’ll walk into a hospital completely healthy and get a back up copy of yourself made.  They’ll take samples of your cells and a blueprint copy of what you should look like internally.  Then, when you get injured they’ll just print back the missing parts,” Lipton said.

According to Lipton, in 2001, former graduate student Evan Malone created the first 3D printer, which cost over $30,000 to build.

“Evan and Hod came up with the idea to create a cheaper machine that undergrads would be comfortable using.  So they created Fab at Home 1, which won the popular mechanical break through award, and cost around $3,000 when it came out in 2007,” said Lipton.  “The Fab at Home 2 printer was designed and created entirely by undergrads and master students,” he added.
[Click hereto view a

A printout of a 3D face, printed from the Internet.

slideshow of Hod Lipson’s engineering lab.]
Lipton has worked in the lab with professor Lipson for four years.

“I was working in the particle accelerator and I thought that was the coolest job on campus. Then one of my fraternity brothers said, ‘hey come work with me in Hod’s lab, its like a toy shop.’ So I came in one day and said that’s it, I have to work here, and I’ve been here ever since,” said Lipton.

Professor Lipson chose not to patent the 3D printer in 2001 and has put the blueprints for all his models online. According to the professor, the release of Model 3 will help 3D printing become commercial.

“You are already seeing plastic printers out there that people could buy which is nice, but no one has really found the right application for it,” said Lipton.  “We think printing food and living tissue will be the two killer applications of the 3D printer.”

Another one of professor Lipson’s projects is to create Fab at School, a program that will help elementary students with science and math. He is pursuing it with the University of Virginia.  Lipton hopes the newest 3D printer will inspire children to perform well in math and sciences.

“If you look at how computers were used in the classroom, it was poorly.  They were such a waste for so many years and we wanted to avoid that with 3D printing. So we’re working with people at UVA to figure what will make 3D printing viable to both the students and the teachers,” he added.

1 Comment

Spring in February


FEB. 8, 2012

Click the link below to view an audio slideshow produced for an in-class exercise.

Spring in February

Leave a comment

Super Mash Bros. Present: Mile(y) High Club


FEB. 8, 2012

Popular music mash-up artists, the Super Mash Bros., are not your typical musical group.  The ‘bros’ are made up of two men, DJs Dick Fink and Nicholas Fenmore, who mix songs together to create their own music.  The duo just released their newest mixtape titled, Mile(y) High Club, on Feb. 2, 2012.

The mixtape is comprised of 16 songs, but when listening, the mixtape never seems to change tracks.  This is because the 16-song mixtape plays as one, hour-long song.  The seemingly flawless transition from song to song allows its listeners to enjoy the mixtape without pause.  The mixtape is targeted towards college

Mile(y) High Club

students, as evident by many of the titles of each track.  The tracks “Top Fun (Highway To The Rager Zone) is referring to a party, but is also a funny pun on popular Tom Cruise movie, Top Gun.  Other titles include; “Tour de Franzia (From Boxed Wine To The Big Time)”, “Forty Days & FourLoko Nights”, “Blame It On The Adderall”, “The Last Cup Is Always The Hardest”, and “Paranormal Frativity.”

Although geared towards college students, the mixtape samples a variety of different artists, and even a television show.  Phil Collins, Tupac, Lil Wayne, Lady GaGa, Roscoe Dash, Taylor Swift, The Backstreet Boys, Avicii, Ludacris, music from the Broadway show Rent, Buzz Lightyear, and even the theme song from The Rugrats are just a few of the sounds you might hear throughout playback.  The mixtape is unlike any other mixtape produced by the Super Mash Bros., with each song sampling more than just two or three songs, like their previously released music.

With the addition of Mile(y) High Club to their musical collection, the Super Mash Bros. have provided their fans with more free music than before.  If you do not have this mixtape, you are missing out.

Mile(y) High Club is free to download.

1 Comment

Reaction: Why Journalists Aren’t Standing Up for WikiLeaks

The article Why Journalists Aren’t Standing Up for WikiLeaks found on The Daily Beast‘s website discusses a topic critical to not only independent media outlets, but by professional journalists as well.

The discussion at hand is why journalists and other media outlets are not arguing to protect WikiLeaks and founder Julian Assange.  The argument of protection falls on the First Amendment of the United States: Freedom of Speech.  Some media outlets, according to the Daily Beast, have sent letters to The Obama Administration arguing that what Assange has revealed to the world (hundreds of documents exposing the corruption of the government of the United States and its military tactics) should be viewed as freedom of speech and Assange is therefore protected under the Constitution.  Other outlets have yet to reach a decision, or refuse to take one side or another in the whole dilemma.

It is a particularly sticky situation for American media outlets, where a conflict of interest is presented: to protect Assange and the First Amendment and the idea that all that media outlets were originally founded upon (a system of checks and balances for those who hold power), or to protect those the media outlets produce ‘news’ about.

Personally, I do not know enough details of the documents WikiLeaks published, but as an aspiring professional journalist, I believe media outlets need to choose Assange’s side.  The Society of Professional Journalists released a public statement  in December 2010 declaring their members could not reach a consensus of whether or not the research done by WikiLeaks and their employees was ethical journalism.  SPJ is famous for writing its own code of ethics that its members should always abide by.

The four tenets of SPJ’s official code of ethics are as follows:

1.) Seek Truth and Report It

2.) Minimize Harm

3.) Act Independently

4.) Be Accountable

When breaking down these tenets in regards to WikiLeaks, WikiLeaks researched and dug up the truth behind the corruption of the U.S. government and military, and reported it to the Internet world to provide its viewers the opportunity to analyze and make their own informed decision regarding the scandal.  WikiLeaks acted independently in its research, obtaining top secret documents that would have otherwise remained unpublished to mainstream society.  WikiLeaks was also being accountable in its publishings, never once denying the fact that they indeed obtained the documents and published them for all to read.  But in regards to the second tenet, Minimize Harm, was WikiLeaks looking to minimize harm, or expose the truth?  Was WikiLeaks considering who these documents might harm?  Do they harm the American public, the strategy of the U.S. military and the soldiers performing these acts?  Or were the documents published to minimize the harm done to the innocent civillians of the Middle East who the American soldiers were ‘murdering’ (as some might or might not call it).

I do not have the answers to these rhetorical questions, but Assange and WikiLeaks upheld three of four SPJ tenets.  Being the Vice President of the Ithaca College chapter of SPJ and studying journalism at an institution where we are taught to always report the truth, I must side with WikiLeaks.

Assange was simply doing what Daniel Ellsberg and Neil Sheehan did decades before him, exposing the corruption in the actions and decision making of the United States.  40 years after the release of the Pentagon Papers, Daniel Ellsberg is portrayed as a monumental figure in the world of media, both mainstream and independent, setting a precedence never before seen.

In 40 years will Assange be viewed the same way?  Or will he be viewed as the man who unethically exposed the United States government?  Only time will tell.

Leave a comment