Turnstyle News

Rants and Raves: Raiding the Lost Ark

Feb 9, 2012
Image by Jamie Benning

By: Beth Accommando

Once again George Lucas cannot leave well enough alone and we shall be assaulted by a 3D version of “The Phantom Menace” in theaters this weekend. But movie geek Jamie Benning has been toiling away on a series of fan-made documentaries that remind us why we fell in love with Lucas’ films in the first place.

Yes. I am a “Star Wars” geek. And I have a love/hate relationship with George Lucas. Take Jar Jar Binks… Please. (Apologies to Rodney Dangerfield and his wife.)

Photo courtesy of Facebook

The build up to the most anticipated tech initial public offering (IPO) since Google hit the market has officially begun after years of speculation and hype. On Wedensday, Facebook filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in their documents a lengthy letter to potential investors from founder Mark Zuckerberg that reads in places more like a hacker manifesto from a mildly Disneyfied William Gibson novel than it does from a cut-throat businessman:

A Shadow Of Acceptance: Growing Up Overweight

Feb 6, 2012
Photo courtesy of Turnstyle News

By: Derek Williams

I’m so bowlegged that my older brother says I look like I’ve been riding a bull since the day I was born. I stand five foot seven and weigh 380 pounds.

Some days when my knees are giving me a lot of pain I’ll look over at my shadow doing a slow pigeon toed wobble down the street, and I just think to myself how gross and unhealthy I look.

Greg Niemeyer creates new music for a new problem

Feb 1, 2012
Photo courtesy of http://www.sevenairs.com/data.html

What does the phrase “emotional science” mean to you? For some, it implies psychology. For Greg Niemeyer, a tenured associate professor in UC Berkeley’s department in New Media, “emotional science” means science that stimulates and engages. Niemeyer is also the director of the Data and Democracy Initiative at CITRIS, The Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, which looks to utilize technology and science to help individuals makes democratic and conscious decisions about the world around them.

Photo courtesy of http://www.youthbreakout.org/

Last week BreakOut!, a New Orleans based LGBTQ organization that focuses specifically on youth impacted by the juvenile justice system, began the first of their anti-discrimination training seminars for the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). The training comes as a result of an investigation and subsequent consent decree by the United States Department of Justice mandating sweeping reforms and trainings throughout NOPD.

We made our way to the 2012 Sundance Film Festival this past week in Park City, Utah to get a sense of where the state of independent cinema is going this year. What films we will be talking about? What issues are on the forefront of documentarians’ minds?

What follows are five lessons we learned while slogging through snow, striking up conversations with strangers on the shuttle busses, talking with filmmakers and seeing every film they’d let us.

The State of Independent Cinema is Strong



President Barack Obama gave education a fair share of attention during the State of the Union address last night.

The talking points:

Photo by Fereshteh Toosi

Fereshteh Toosi is an interdisciplinary, Chicago-based artist who works with art you can interact with. While designing a community garden accesible to people with disabilities, she began her latest project: Garlic & Greens. Inspired by her interest in growing food and cultural migration, Garlic & Greens aims to capture soul food stories in Chicago.  She also teaches art at Columbia College Chicago. Turnstyle contributor Whitney Henry-Lester spoke to Toosi about her new project and the documentation of soul food.

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/photos/danielsphotography/3513199260/

All eyes are on Park City this week as the 2012 Sundance Film Festival gets underway. In the midst of the snow and stars scores of films will be screened, many looking to get picked up for distribution after an arduous road to the festival. In an earlier era hot buzz at the festival led to multi-million dollar bidding wars. But in this age of Netflix, Video On Demand, and recessionary caution those deals are thought to be a thing of the past.

Photo courtesy of http://www.flickr.com/people/djlan


Martin Luther, also known as Martin Luther McCoy, captured the hearts of audiences worldwide back in the early 2000s at the height of the Neo-Soul era. But now, while mainstream R&B pulls its influence from electronic club music, Martin Luther remains rooted in soul, funk and live instrumentation.


Could being on the high school football team prepare you just as well for the workplace as taking an advanced placement class? By forcing all students onto a college-bound track, we ignore the fact that there are other trajectories towards success and gainful employment, according to Russell Rumberger, who currently serves as provost in the Office of the President at the University of California, and director of the California Dropout Research Project.

Courtesy of Consumer Electronics Show Press

Conspicuous, thoughtless consumption just isn’t cool anymore.

The most buzzed-about thing to come out of the Consumer Electronics Show this week? A lurid, Hunter S. Thomspon-esque “fever dream” by Gizmodo writer Mat Honan that captures the disorienting nature of a big trade show, CES being just about the biggest.

Photo by Jesse Gardner

Where does the U.S. stand in terms of education compared to the rest of the world? What should the U.S. be doing to measure up to countries that outperform us academically?

Education Week just released their annual publication, QualityCounts 2012, that analyzes important issues facing American schools, and this year’s edition is focused on how the U.S. compares to international systems.

Photo by Vanessa Bahmani

Vanessa Bahmani, a 31 year-old freelance photographer and artist in Brooklyn, is attempting to capture the faces and messages of the Occupy Wall Street movement in a series of black and white portraits. She launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $17,000 to cover the cost of equipment, photo-processing, and travel between New York and the Bay Area — the two regions she wants to focus on. Turnstyle spoke with Bahmani about the stories she’s heard and her inspiration for the project.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user dbking

Kwame Brown, Chairman of Washington DC’s City Council, is the youngest chairman in the history of the city. As a result, Brown says he’s constantly surrounded by young people. And it shows. Brown has spearheaded the development of multiple vocational high schools in D.C. and even leads college tours for young people. But this last week, Brown proposed a law that has the power to make him either wildly popular or unpopular among that same crowd. The College Preparatory Plan Act would require public high school seniors in Wash., D.C.

The Shifting Beliefs Of New Hampshire’s Young Voters

Jan 10, 2012
Photo courtesy of www.turnstylenews.com

Since the general election in 1998, youth voters (18-34) in New Hampshire have been more active than their peers around the country. In fact, according to a recent study by the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), the youth turnout in New Hampshire reached an impressive 43% percent in 2008.

Photo by Robyn Gee


Iowa caucus results are in, and Ron Paul managed to come in third place with 21 percent of the votes. Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney tied for first with 25 percent each.

But at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Ron Paul dominated the Republican caucus votes, taking 117 out of 179 votes. The majority of people at the caucus were young, including the three people who spoke on behalf of candidates. The caucus took all of 25 minutes, from start to finish. Latecomers who arrived at 7:20pm were turned away, unable to cast their votes.

You Can Lead A Kid To Water

Jan 4, 2012
Brett Myers/Youth Radio

State and federal governments are implementing new policies requiring schools to provide free drinking water in cafeterias at lunchtime, to promote health and fight obesity. Ideally, schools install “hydration stations” where students fill up reusable bottles with chilled, filtered water.


Could bolstering the Latino teacher workforce have an impact on the widening achievement gap between Latino students and their white and black peers in America?