Leora Friedman ’14 Invited to VMAs to Honor her Charity Work


Friedman, founder of the non-profit organization called Music is Medicine, was recently recognized by mtvU’s Random Acts for her expansion of music to impact the lives of others. Music is Medicine brings music to pediatric patients who are gravely ill and attempts to raise money for their treatment.

The organization’s most recent initiative is called “Donate a Song” which seeks to pair up a famous artist with a patient. The artist will write a song for the patient and, by releasing it,  raise awareness about the disease afflicting the patient.

Courtesy of mtvu.com

Courtesy of mtvu.com


Glee star Darren Criss, on behalf of mtvU, surprised Leora during an interview and invited her to be his date to the Video Music Awards on Sunday, August 25th.  In mtvU’s promotional clip which was published today, Criss said that while he and Friedman walk down the red carpet together, they can promote and raise awareness about her charitable work.

MtvU also gave Friedman a $1000 grant to continue to expand the Music is Medicine initiative.

See The Daily Princetonian’s coverage of Friedman’s nonprofit here.

INTERSECTIONS: Film Review – ‘Lost Child – Sayon’s Journey’


Staff Writer

How much do we really know about the Cambodian genocide of the 1970s? We know of the Khmer Rouge, the communist guerrilla organization responsible for the deaths of over two million Cambodian lives. We know of Pol Pot, the party’s cruel leader. But we know very little about how that tragedy is still affecting Cambodians today. How do former child soldiers in the Khmer Rouge cope with the experiences of their past?

Princeton-area filmmaker Janet Gardner explores this hidden side of history in her new documentary film entitled Lost Child – Sayon’s Journey, co-produced by Sopheap Theam. Hit the jump for a full review of the film.  Continue reading

INTERSECTIONS: Interview – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros


Senior Writer

B.O.B., Far East Movement, Wiz Khalifa…Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros?  USG has certainly taken a bold step with this year’s selection for the Lawnparties headliner, breaking its steady tradition of hiring rising rap and/or electronic artists in favor of an established indie presence.  This choice was sure to cause some sort of reaction – responses on my Facebook newsfeed ranged from elated to horrified, with many expressing confusion at the selection of a band whose catalog doesn’t quite fit the definition of “pump up music.”  Nevertheless, I’m excited for a breath of fresh air—I believe it’s quite possible to have a great time listening to music that you don’t have to jump up and down to—but we’ll see how the set turns out.  I interviewed Christian Letts, a guitarist and vocalist in the (decidedly large) group about how the group is preparing for Sunday, and what they feel their music is about.  You can catch Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros at Quad at 2:30 on Sunday. Continue reading

A Big Dunk to Silence Critics

While spring athletes are focused on Ivy championships and the rest of us are focused on Lawnparties, here’s proof that junior guard T.J. Bray is still hard at work. One of the team’s leading scorers this winter, Bray may have a few new tricks up his sleeves when he hits Jadwin next year, if this video is any indication.
Of course, there will probably be more people trying to stop from dunking on him when he takes the court for his senior season, but hey, he managed to leave the guys watching him speechless. Or maybe they just didn’t react much because it’s routine for him by now.
According to the caption, Bray posted the video because a friend asked him to, and “for all the people that say I don’t have bounce.” I can’t figure out who that would be exactly, but maybe Harvard’s Siyani Chambers said something to Bray this season?

Prox Opinion: When Freedom of Speech Becomes About Volume


It seems the First Amendment gets thrown around quite a bit today, between demonstrations for and against gay marriage, the Westboro Baptist Church and an increased attention to political correctness or a lack thereof. People tote even unpopular views for all to see, taking refuge under the solace of that little phrase, “freedom of speech.”

And the amendment makes sense, of course. We want conversation. We want open dialogues and impassioned discourse. In theory, how can I not support freedom of speech? As a writer (more specifically an Opinion writer), those three words let me say what I want to say, the things I sometimes feel need to be said. But when we shed light on the amendment’s darker side—the side that protects insulting or hateful speech—things become tricky. I’m a lot less apt to champion the Constitution when homophobic, racial and other slurs of the like make their way into the conversation. Thus after reading The Daily Princetonian’s “The night a preacher hit the Street,” I remain unsure who is right.

Now my gut says that Michael Stockwell, the preacher who shouted words of warning to students making their way to and from the Eating Clubs, shouldn’t be able to tell people that “drinking and fornication” are sinful and they should repent in order to be saved. I am a firm believer in letting people lead their lives as they so choose. I don’t mind differing opinions as long as views aren’t forced on another. The bottom line is that one’s personal beliefs shouldn’t dictate the life of someone else. I would like to go enjoy the Street without being told I am damned. If that be the case, let me make my mistakes.

On the other hand, Stockwell wasn’t forcing anyone to stand before him and listen. He wasn’t forcing anyone to believe in what he said. The main charge against him was the violation of the noise ordinance (as he was using an amplifier and microphone without a permit) – not excessive preaching.

Nevertheless, the case makes me uneasy. If it hadn’t been about religion, would the case be so heated? Or if he had been preaching a sentiment I agree with, would it bother me at all? I’m afraid the answer is “No.” And with that I feel like I have to fall on the side of the Constitution. I don’t like it, not at all, but I suppose to put the good words—the uplifting, the encouraging, the progressive—into the world then we must be willing to also allow the offensive or hurtful.

The detriment is that it becomes a battle of who can speak the loudest. My fear is that we will all end up shouting over one another and freedom of speech becomes freedom of an incoherent roar. Without open discussion and respectful conversation, we are left with only incompatible views that become white noise until nothing gets heard at all.

Who Wears Short Jorts?


Freshman Fred Vystavel settled on a women’s size 10 “faded glory” pair of jeans that might make you feel as though you are back in the 1990s. Sophomore RJ Johnston went with a tight-fitting bright pink pair, which, while certainly being a more vibrant choice, seems to make walking just slightly more challenging than it should be. Senior Allan Amico is keeping things simple with a solid beige colored pair.

“It’s not about color,” Amico said. “I’ve done white jeans; I’ve done regular. In the end, the real competition is who will cut them the shortest.”

The heavyweight men’s crew “jorts” tradition began on Monday and will continue throughout the week, ending with a photo shoot prior to Lawnparties on Sunday. Each day, the team cuts off a little more of their jeans. By Sunday, most members have gone about as far as they can with the scissors.

The idea started back in 2006 when some of the seniors on the team came up with the idea. It happened after seeing a Tobias Fünke Halloween costume from the Fox TV show “Arrested Development.” Fünke claims to be a “never-nude,” which, as the name implies, means he is never fully derobed. Instead, he is always wearing a pair of cutoff jeans, even while showering and sleeping.

As the days go on, shorter lengths of pants correspond to different themed looks: On Monday, the team leaves the pants at normal length. By Tuesday, a few inches are snipped as they go for a “Huck Finn” look, just slightly above the ankle. The inches continue to fall on Wednesday and Thursday as the team eases into an imitation of ’70s American band REO Speedwagon, whose music may have been forgotten but apparently whose knee-length jeans still live on. Friday’s “Top Gun” theme starts creeping into the realm of the uncomfortable, as Saturday’s “never-nude” day marks the complete crossing of that line. The week culminates as the Daisy Dukes look pervades campus throughout Lawnparties. It is unclear whether Edward and the Magnetic Zeros will be more alarmed at some of our scarcely dressed classmates or the Princeton student body when we wait, for the second time in one year, in Quad’s backyard for the band to play the one song whose lyrics we can sing along to.

While there is no clear winner for the week, it’s not hard to find out who cut their pants the shortest or whose outfit was most attention-grabbing. Much of the team is divided, in fact, between sticking to the traditional jean look that stays true to the fashion in which the tradition began and the neon colors and animal print styles that are sure to be fan favorites.

Regardless, it’s a fun week for all as some extra flare makes its way to the Princeton campus. With a big race against Brown this Saturday, hopefully light spirits will prove for a relaxed but focused squad come the weekend.