Indie rock survives in oppressive Tehran


The formation of underground music scenes is hardly a novel concept. In the United States, music countercultures have always flourished when political tensions peak and carbon copies of a particular sonic trend flood the airwaves. The rock subgenre of punk pierced the flower-child movement as early as 1967 with harder-edged groups like the Stooges and […]

Stranded in Europe at the mercy of ash


It’s midnight on a Sunday as I write my very last column of the semester from a computer at a hostel in Prague. Only at this time of night can I avoid the dirty looks I’d normally get for commandeering the sole machine with Internet access. On a computer without Microsoft Office, Google Docs has […]

Stallone’s Expendables unites action film elites


There was once a time when action films ruled cinema. But these were not the action films of today, which safely harbor a PG-13 rating. These films glorified their R rating and ushered in as much on-screen violence, sexuality and as many cheesy one-liners as possible. The 1980s showcased these over-the-top action films best. And […]

Hackers break rules to spur progress


The other day I was listening to some friends discuss how to get around USC’s ban on peer-to-peer file-sharing. One advocated simply going off-campus and finding another Internet connection, but the other talked about creating a program to go around USC’s firewalls that would allow him to download songs from the comfort of his dorm […]

To cure what ails you, check out your pantry


When they say you shouldn’t medicate with food, what they really mean is that you shouldn’t medicate with a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia. In reality, your grocery store can be a go-to spot for many common ailments. People have battled hangovers since we discovered hops, and PMS is in no way a […]

Record Store Day spurs vinyl comeback


Saturday, April 17, 6:59 a.m.: A line of bleary-eyed yet eager shoppers snaked along the sidewalk adjacent to Fingerprints, an independently run music shop in the Belmont Shore section of Long Beach. The throng, a shoddy assortment of teenagers and adults donning jeans and sneakers, plaid button-downs and band T-shirts, was a somewhat unusual fixture […]

Notorious serial killer is out of place in modern London


As the familiar neon sign of the Tower Hill Tube station glowed brightly against the backdrop of the setting sun, a male figure loomed ominously in the shadows. He wore a cavernous trench coat and a brown fedora, giving me the distinct impression that it had been lifted straight out of an Indiana Jones movie. […]

Strange Days found couple before Oscars


When it came down to either James Cameron or Kathryn Bigelow for best director at last month’s Academy Awards ceremony, what is usually a formal battle between multiple talented directors became something quite personal. Not only are the two directors former husband and wife, but they have also collaborated on more than one film within […]

Web-based activism seeks to keep e-masses in the know


It always seems the Internet is under attack. Every week some fresh outrage breaks out over something that has appeared online. Sometimes it’s a morality issue stemming from some indecent website or video. This time the website in question is WikiLeaks.org. The site recently leaked footage from 2007 that shows an attack by American helicopters […]

Vegetable co-op takes root at USC


From battered apples to mangled cabbage, Superior Grocers is not a hotspot for great produce. Ralphs has better quality, but woe to the student who doesn’t check the price until the register. For USC students, however, this barren plane of near-campus veggies does not go on forever. Since February, USC has had its own vegetable […]