Fall into fashionable footwear

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Aug 312011
Authors: Erin Nalli

Fall officially begins on Sept. 23. Before we know it, the leaves on the trees will begin to change colors, and we will have to choose our ensembles more carefully as the air begins to chill.

Common to the past, the fall season brings about an annual tradition of unpacking the boots that have been safely tucked away in boxes all summer. The layers start piling on as we notice that sundresses, shorts and our metallic sandals are no longer fulfilling our clothing needs for the year.

Cold weather sets in, and our wardrobes must reflect the changes on the outside.

Boots are a timeless piece, and I hope everyone has at least one go-to pair they can rely on for creating functional, yet fashionable, fall outfits.

Whether you are the type who tucks their skinny-leg jeans into the tops of their leather boots, wears oversized shirts and sweaters with leggings and monochromatic boots or pairs sleek boots with feminine skirts or dresses and leggings, they are a staple item to any closet.

Boots this year are seemingly taking one of two trends: either a tall and sleek equestrian style or a short, trendy fun boot that will add attention to any fall-fitted ensemble.

The equestrian boot is tall and should be shown off. Many times they include special details such as buckles, straps and zippers that can be displayed as fashion statements and attention to detail. Likewise, many short boots have sleek heels, laces or visually interesting edging that should be worn to show off as well.

Nearly all of the boots this fall are rich neutrals like camel, chocolate and charcoal. Boots in such colors can be easily matched with a variety of clothing; so, they are reliable enough to get you through the whole season and quite possible through seasons to come.

Every major shoe brand from Steve Madden to Aldo to Jimmy Choo has a variety of both of the fall 2011 trend-inspired styles available online. Take a little bit of time to search through the fall 2011 shoe supply that different fashion names have available and decide on the style, color or designer you are particularly attracted to.

As a personal owner of five pairs of boots, I can testify by saying I could not get through the fall season without them. They instantly add trendy style to any outfit, and they are an easy piece to formulate an entire ensemble around.

This season, take a stab at delving into the world of fall fashion. Purchase one pair of high quality boots that fit your style and personality, and see where you can make them go over the next few months.

Fashion columnist Erin Nalli can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 3:16 pm

I tried to write, but nothing came of it

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Aug 312011
Authors: Justin Goodfellow

_Editor’s Note: This is the second installment of the fiction story “Inside the Hollow Sun,” which will appear every week in Verve throughout the semester. _

I stood waiting. Knock knock. I started muttering, “One Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi…” Knock knock. Silence filled the space around my knocking. The hallway was dimly lit, and I counted out another three seconds. Knock knock.

“Harrison?” I heard Greg call behind his apartment door.

“Yeah,” I called back, “it’s me, Greg.” I heard locks turn before Greg cracked open his door and poked his head out.

“Hey, sorry about that. Never hurts to double check.” Greg proceeded to shut and lock the door after I walked through. His desk lamp was on, and I could see papers spread out under its light.

“Did you draw today?” I asked as I walked up to the desk.

“Tried to,” said Greg. He came up and stood next to me. “My hand started getting bad again.”

I examined the drawings on top of the pile. The lines were shaky and sporadic. They looked like sketches that would come out of an elementary school classroom. I shuffled them aside and looked at the drawings underneath. Smoother lines occupied the comic strip boxes on these pages. Some even had color already, but most of the dialogue boxes were blank. Greg liked me to proofread his lines before he wrote them down.
“I tried writing this afternoon.”

Greg turned toward me with raised eyebrows, “Really?”

“Yeah,” I said, “but nothing really came out of it. I was just in the mood to see what would happen today.” I walked over to the couch and laid down. “Have you got anything to drink?”

“I’m not sure if we finished off that wine yesterday,” he said. “I’ll go check.” Greg went into the kitchen and started opening cabinets. The afternoon sun squeezed into the apartment through a small window. The living room had been tidied since I’d left this morning. I looked up at the dozens of “Peanuts” comic strips hanging on the walls. A majority of them had Charlie Brown trying to kick the football and as usual, ending up on the ground. “Sorry, Harrison,” called Greg, “looks like we’re out of luck.”

“Whatever,” I sighed, “I’ll grab some more on Monday when we get our checks.”

“Are you already out again?” asked Greg from the kitchen. I usually had trouble holding onto my welfare money past Wednesdays. No one was willing to hire people like Greg and I anymore, but at least they didn’t give us a hard time about registering for a disability claim. The only condition was attending therapy every weekday. That’s what gets me into Dr. Clermont’s office week after week.

“Yeah,” I replied.

“What did you spend it all on this time?” I didn’t respond. Greg walked into the living room and stared at me before sitting at the table. I started scratching the scabs on my wrists. “I’ve still got 80 left if you want to go to the store.”

“All right,” I said, standing up. I felt something stream down my arm and over my hand.
“Is that blood?” I heard Greg say.

_Fiction writer Justin Goodfellow can be reached at news@collegian.com. _

 Posted by at 3:14 pm

Ryan Reynolds vs. Ryan Gosling

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Aug 312011
Authors: Erin Udell, Allison Sylte, Courtney Riley, Colleen McSweeney

The females on the Collegian editorial board are currently at war. It’s a well-known fact that there are two types of women: Women who love “The Proposal” star Ryan Reynolds and those who love “The Notebook” hottie Ryan Gosling.

Here is the debate:

Allison Sylte (Team Gosling): Ever since I first saw his beautiful face in “Remember the Titans,” I knew I was smitten. I was 10 years old. I knew what I wanted, and it was his kind face, loving eyes and strong arms to hold me as I fall asleep.

Courtney Riley (Team Reynolds): I completely understand the basis of Gosling’s appeal. Everyone knows he’s hot, and who didn’t want to jump on him in “The Notebook,” (until he grew his unkempt beard)? However, Reynolds has a much more handsome face. His boyish looks and suggestive smile are just too good to be true.

Colleen McSweeney (Team Gosling): OK, Courtney, no. Gosling is not the type of man whom one “jumps.” That’s reserved for Chip N’ Dales dancer, dirty frat boy Reynolds. Ew. Gosling, with his sultry, sensitive eyes and flawless, poetry-inspiring body, is a man far too good for your shallow physical objectivity.

Erin Udell (Team Reynolds): Oh HELL no, Colleen. You did not just call Reynolds a “dirty frat boy.” You may like Gosling (a lot of people do), but I’m a Reynolds girl at heart. He may have a cute smile, but it’s his sense of humor and range of comedic emotion that makes him not only sexy, but loveable as well.

AS: Yes Erin, as anyone who has seen the “hilarious” and “Academy Award winning” film “Just Friends” can attest, Reynolds is funny, and can act. NOT. Gosling is a man of substance. He has Oscar nominations and a history of critical adoration. Gosling is the thinking woman’s man.

Reynolds adorns bedroom walls of 13-year-olds everywhere (hint, hint: Erin, Courtney and Rebecca Black.)
CR: Ali, everyone knows that “Just Friends” was a low quality movie. We’re not debating the quality of films here; please stay on task. Reynolds has proved to be a humorous individual in such performances as “Definitely, Maybe,” “Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle” and “Van Wilder.” He’s not ashamed to play silly roles in “dumb” movies. You should be praising him for his high self-esteem. And because of his funny nature and charm, he’s the epitome of the “All-American boy,” and can you honestly tell me that you would choose anything other than that? No.

CM: You know what’s the opposite of an “All-American boy,” Courtney? A divorced Canadian.

While I can’t fault the man for being unlucky in love with that buxom harlot Scarlett Johansson, the only thing “All-American” about Reynolds is Sandra Bullock … and his ability to shotgun a Keystone Light. Ryan “Sweet Cheeks” Gosling, on the other hand, is a wordly, god-among-men who has the sensitivity of Mother Theresa but the raw, irresistible masculinity of Zeus. He’s sensitive, he’s beautiful and … he’s the best thing any woman (or man) could ever ask for.

EU: I don’t care what anyone says. Reynolds is the kind of guy who is permanently shirtless throwing a football on the beach. Gosling is that douchebag who would take you to a poetry reading at a coffee shop and asks pretentious questions about prose. I much prefer the former: a cute, down-to-earth divorced Canadian (way to kick him while he’s down, Colleen McHeartless) over a guy who looks so serious all the time.

AS: Erin Udell makes Michele Bachmann seem in touch with reality. Remember that shot of Gosling in just a towel in “Crazy, Stupid, Love?” Yes ladies, I rest my case.

CR: Um, remember the scene of Reynolds stripping on his balcony in “The Proposal?” Yes, you do. No one can resist that. You know you’d give anything to be Sandra Bullock in that particular scenario.

CM: Alright, palease. I not only can “resist” that, Courtney, but I had a little trouble not being repulsed by the falsity of it. His head was obviously computer generated, post-production onto the body of Gosling.

EU: Oh really, Colleen. Now we have been reduced to LIES? I see what this has come to. I’m out, bitches.

_This in no way reflects the intellectual capacity of the Collegian Ed Board. If you would like, for some reason, to join in on the debate, Allison, Courtney, Colleen and Erin can be reached at letters@collegian.com. Hopefully this column will never appear again. _

 Posted by at 3:10 pm

Hating on our poor

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Aug 312011
Authors: Collegian Editorial Board

In an economic landscape populated by greedy banks, evil corporations and a debt crisis, the GOP has found an even mightier adversary: Poor people.

After all, they say, these low-lifers are using our parks, driving on our roads and putting unnecessary stress on America’s hardworking corporations, all while not contributing a dime of tax money to the federal government.

For too long the rich have shouldered the burden of America’s poor, and now it’s time for the lower and middle classes to pay and earn their keep in this great country, geniuses like Tea Party presidential candidates Michelle Bachmann and Rick Perry have said.

Policies like this show how absurdly moronic and shortsighted the GOP is, even if their counterparts to the left aren’t necessarily offering better solutions.

For one thing, while it’s true that almost half of Americans don’t pay federal income tax (something that Michelle Bachmann has repeatedly hammered home on the campaign trail), it doesn’t mean that these Americans are simply freeloaders.

They still pay payroll taxes and state and local taxes, and contribute to Medicare and Social Security. According to an Aug. 30 “New York Times,” editorial, the poorest fifth paid an average of 16.3 percent of income in taxes in 2010.

More disturbing than the factual errors that permeate GOP tax policy arguments are the moral ones.

What does it say about our country if we think there’s something wrong with multi-million dollar corporations and the wealthy taking some burden off of people who struggle to put food on the table?

As election season nears and candidates on both parties spew economically minded rhetoric, ask yourself one thing: Does the American dream really include coddling the rich?

 Posted by at 3:07 pm

Campaigns, promises and Christmas wish-lists

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Aug 312011
Authors: Jesse Benn

I never did well with disappointment. On Christmas, if I didn’t get what I expected, I found it difficult to be grateful for what I did get (just ask my dad). And while I’m not proud of this ungrateful trait, at least I’m aware of it.

In 2008, after Obama was elected, I was expecting a great “Political Christmas.”

My wish-list was long: Universal health care, closing Guantanamo, ending Bush’s tax cuts for top earners. Deep down I knew better; Santa isn’t real. But I’d been good. I’d put up with eight years of George W. Bush and Obama Claus promised to deliver.

So, you can only imagine my disappointment when Christmas never came.

Now, here we are again. It’s campaign season, and next week the Obama administration will release its bright, shiny new jobs plan to try to hype everyone up.

And if you’ve listened to any of the buzz from the left in the last week or two, it seems like this is working.

Sure, Obama could present a bold jobs plan. He could come to the table with a progressive, fact-based plan and then negotiate for it with some conviction (imagine that, a Democrat showing some backbone!).

He could. He should. And maybe he will. But don’t be fooled –– it’s just campaign season.

And I, for one, am not buying it this time.

In some ways, I’m excited to see the Obama we got during the campaign of 2008, to see him speak for the progressive cause and to rally his base. But at the end of the day, no matter what he proposes with his jobs plan, or how hard he pretends to fight for it, for me, it’s too little too late.

I mean really, what has Obama done for the left? His base –– the people who ran the phone banks –– registered the voters, convinced our friends and marched door to door. They’re the ones who got him elected in the first place.

He didn’t fight for us when it was time to argue for a public option. Instead, he opted for the despised (and rightly so) individual mandate.

He raised troop levels in Afghanistan by some 50,000 and then had the nerve to brag about bringing 30,000 home.

He failed to close Guantanamo, if you could say he ever even tried. He extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. He caved on all fronts during the unprecedented debt ceiling negotiations… Really, the list could go on.

As for his list of accomplishments for the left, well, it’s much shorter. In fact, it’s so short I must have misplaced it because I can’t find the damn thing anywhere. I’m told by optimists on the left that there is some good stuff on it, though.

So why, if he hasn’t done anything he promised the first time around, would we vote for him the second?

I should have a good answer to this. But I don’t. And the whole lesser of two evils thing doesn’t count. Even though, at the end of the day, that’s probably why I’ll actually cast my vote for Obama. It’s still not a good reason.

Fortunately for Obama, I was born into a political world of disappointment and futility, conditioning me to understand just how little my vote matters. Not quite old enough to vote in 2000, I watched hopelessly as the Supreme Court handed the election to George W. Bush.

In 2004, my first presidential election as a voter, I watched in despair as my vote was thrown overboard with a thoroughly swift-boated John Kerry and “Dubya” won re-election. (At least this time he actually got more votes than the other guy.)

Now, of course I’ll vote in the 2012 elections. I’m just that kind of guy –– I couldn’t not vote.

But for that generation right behind me –– the voters who excitedly cast their first vote for Obama thinking that real change was taking place, that their votes actually mattered –– who can blame them when they don’t vote this next time around?

Hell, I already knew there was no Santa and I still got let down.

And while he can count on my vote, you can bet I won’t be sending Obama my $50. I won’t be at the phone banks or knocking on doors. And something tells me, I’m not the only one.

Maybe all those independents he’s been trying to appease will take our place.

_Jesse Benn is a senior political science major who still has his dad’s car keys. His column appears on Thursdays in the Collegian. He can be reached at letters@collegian.com. _

 Posted by at 3:04 pm

Finding opportunities in disaster

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Aug 312011
Authors: Lydia Jorden

Sitting in my basement with my family while waiting for a tornado to pass was one of the scariest moments of my life. During that time, I wasn’t thinking about anything going on around me, but I was consumed in short-term thoughts of “what ifs.”

Natural disasters carry widespread panic among businesses and the community. However, these events are a time to improve a reputation and find the opportunity in a frightening experience.

Mass advertising of ordinary safety products such as flashlights, batteries, radios and bottled water have always been a source of income for retailers. However, ads highlighting these products have become more frequent due to the rise of natural disaster emergencies.

A few nights ago, I read an article in “Advertising Age” reminding consumers that Wal-Mart is extending hours in some locations, specifically the east coast, for those in need of purchasing supplies in preparation of Hurricane Irene. In the same article, AdAge noted that Home Depot is replenishing their store by utilizing 300 trucks to aid in inventory.

These companies took the opportunity of a disaster and demonstrated a positive response through their actions. However, capitalizing on a natural disaster seems inhumane in a multitude of ways. When people’s lives are at risk, it is questionable if retailers should take advantage of the situation by making “hurricane checklists” and prompting people to purchase from their store.

Retailers are benefiting from natural disasters by promoting their products using Twitter and Facebook as main channels of communication.

For example, Home Depot is taking efforts to protect their Twitter followers by posting frequent “Hurricane Safety Tips” while Wal-Mart is doing the same by posting well wishes to employees and all those at risk of being in the path of Irene. Stores are even releasing lists of most purchased products so others can follow in the footsteps of those that are most prepared for the event.

Of course, the issue of ethics comes up when these businesses are doing things to promote their stores during times of extreme anxiety and fear. It is clear that many companies have good intentions, despite utilizing a natural disaster to endorse their finest safety gear. Many industries are working hard to inform their consumers in an effort to keep them safe, thus creating customer loyalty and improving the name of the business.

Profit-seeking companies are criticized for only looking to increase their bottom line. However, being a well-known company during a natural disaster allows the opportunity to make decisions to influence the way consumers view and shop at various retailers.

Companies need to use events that are happening out of their control to find an opportunity to improve themselves and the community.

During Hurricane Katrina, Lowe’s contributed truckloads of supplies to struggling individuals to aid in emergency relief. Lowe’s plans to deliver similar promises by providing products to those affected by Irene.

Because these companies have a long-term obligation to stay in business, they are often the first responders for making these contributions.

A prime example includes Wal-Mart’s efforts during Hurricane Katrina. Many victims looked to the store as a hero for assisting in relief efforts — at many times, more so than federal and local aid — to keep those affected safe.

There are numerous companies that need to take a positive perspective on natural disasters. Major leaders of companies need to recognize that all eyes are on them as they choose their plan of action when responding to dire situations.

It’s difficult to imagine the economic consequences of such devastating tragedies Mother Nature brings; yet, it is almost just as difficult to imagine how selfless even some of the most profit-maximizing firms stay during times of struggle.

Had I thought about the experiences and opportunities others had to make a difference from the experiences I encountered, I may have felt a bit more secure. Like many of these companies, I encourage you to focus on every situation with the mindset that opportunities are almost everywhere — it’s simply a matter of discovering them.

Lydia Jorden is a junior business major. She can be reached at letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:29 am

Community Briefs 8/31/11

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Aug 302011
Authors: Collegian Staff Report

CSU’s Dean of Students and ASCSU President condemn party

The Dean of Students Jody Donovan and ASCSU President Eric Berlinberg spoke out against Saturday’s Rams Pointe pool party yesterday in a letter to students.

“At the end of the day, you as students are responsible for your decisions and your behavior,” the letter says. “If you cross the line, there are consequences both under the law and the student code of conduct.”

The letter paraphrased Monday’s Our View in the Collegian, which advised students to make responsible choices.

Donovan and Berlinberg pointed out that most CSU students did nothing wrong; however videos of people studying or engaging in healthy activities don’t end up on YouTube. The letter mentioned the videos emerging on the Internet of students engaged in illicit activities at the party.

Labor Day closures

In honor of Labor Day, all City offices and facilities will close in Fort Collins on Monday, Sept. 5 with a few exceptions:

City Park Pool: Open 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Paddle Boats at Sheldon Lake: Open 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

The Gardens on Spring Creek: Open 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Northside Aztlan Community Center: Open 6 a.m.-3 p.m.

Senior Center: Open 6 a.m.-3 p.m.

All library branches will be closed and Transfort will not run a normal bus route. Offices, facilities and Transfort will resume regular hours on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

— Collegian Staff Report

 Posted by at 4:11 pm

Post 9-11 assessment sees major security gaps

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Aug 302011

WASHINGTON — Despite the outlay of hundreds of billions of dollars and a vast reorganization of federal agencies since the Sept. 11 attacks, major gaps remain in the government’s ability to prevent and respond to a terrorist strike, according to an assessment by the former heads of the 9/11 Commission.

The report, which will be released Wednesday, warns that the nation’s ability to detect explosives hidden on passengers boarding airplanes “lacks reliability.” It describes emergency communications used by first responders in urban areas as “inadequate.” And it calls efforts to coordinate rescues “a long way from being fully implemented.”

The panel, formally known as the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, was created by Congress in late 2002 as an independent, bipartisan group to investigate the hijackings of four jetliners by al-Qaida operatives. Its final report included numerous recommendations for reforms in the intelligence, law enforcement and domestic security communities.

The new assessment comes from the panel’s onetime chairs, former Republican New Jersey Gov. Thomas H. Kean and former Rep. Lee H. Hamilton, D-Ind..

The committee also faults the Department of Homeland Security and Congress for failing to create a way to track when people leave the country and for not implementing tougher security requirements for identity cards.

“A decade after 9/11, the nation is not yet prepared for a truly catastrophic disaster,” says the report, titled “Tenth Anniversary Report Card: The Status of 9/11 Commission Recommendations.”
“Until some of these things are done, we aren’t going to be as safe as we should be,” Kean said in an interview.

Kean said it was “outrageous” that Congress had not passed a law to allocate new radio spectrum to first responders.

 Posted by at 4:09 pm