Friday, January 31, 2003

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

The Daily Gazette
Swarthmore College
Friday, January 31, 2003
Volume 7, Number 75

Write to us!:
Photo of the day:

Tell a Friend:


1) “About a Boy” Point-Counterpoint: Above Average Rom-Com or Just
Every Other Hugh Grant Movie You’ve Ever Seen?

2) Weekend roundup

3) World news roundup

4) Campus events


1) Swat badminton sweeps Bryn Athen, learns lessons

2) Upcoming contests


Today: Cloudy with a high of 37.
It’s good to see the Swat Plague’s tapering off.

Tonight: More clouds, with a 50% chance of rain. Low of 33.
Personally, I blame Sharples for the whole debacle.

Saturday: Overcast with temperatures in the 30s and 40s.
Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions and being a bit too harsh on the ol’ cafe.

Sunday: Partly cloudy with temperatures in the 30s and 40s.
But then I remember “Corn Pudding” Night, and I feel strangely justified.


Lunch: Tortellini di fiesoli, lattice cut French fries, Cajun black beans,
spinach, corn, wrap bar

Dinner: Veal parmesan, pasta, eggplant parmesan, greens and white beans
saute, zucchini Italiano, broccoli, potato


1) “About a Boy” Point-Counterpoint: Above Average Rom-Com or
Every Other
Hugh Grant Movie You’ve Ever Seen?

by Pei Pei Liu (Point) and Jeremy Schifeling (Counterpoint)


I enjoyed “About a Boy” largely because it was entirely different from what
I expected. Instead of your typical romantic comedy with your typical
bumblingly charming Hugh Grant character, “About a Boy” is darkly comic,
with humor that makes you catch yourself even as you laugh. A recurring
joke about the dead duck that appears early in the film becomes
simultaneously funny and sad because of the events associated with that
day. And although the final outcome is rather predictable and wraps up just
a little too nicely, there were enough plot twists along the way to keep me
entertained and unsuspecting of what was coming next. Adapted from the
novel by Nick Hornby, the writing is spare but effective, treating the
characters sensitively but never getting bogged down in sentiment. The
acting is also very good: Golden Globe nominee Hugh Grant, building off the
sleazy character he played in “Bridget Jones’ Diary”; the always excellent
Toni Collette as a suicidal single mom; Rachel Weisz in a bit part; and an
impressive 12-year-old Nicholas Hoult as Collette’s son. “About a Boy” is
far from perfect, but it’s got more brains and heart than most films I saw
this summer.


OK, first of all, a minor confession: I have not actually seen this movie.
I have, however, seen other Hugh Grant movies in my life. And as such, I
have no reason to believe that this one is any different. Why? Because as
everyone knows, each of Hugh’s films (we’re kinda on a first-name basis) is
exactly identical to every one of his other films. For instance, I defy
anyone to tell me how his character in “Notting Hill” is significantly
different from his character in “Nine Months,” or even the gangster
“comedy,” “Mickey Blue Eyes,” for that matter. In other words, he’s
essentially the male Julia Roberts.

But perhaps I generalize a tad too much. After all, Pei Pei tells you that,
unlike other Grant-ian epics, this one has literary merit, being based on
Nick Hornsby’s book of the same name. However, having never heard of the
book nor this alleged “author,” I asked my trusted friend and literary
critic Brett Klukan ’03 for his expert opinion. Klukan not only blasted the
movie as grossly inferior to the book; he also admitted to not having seen
or read either!

So there you have it, folks. For those of you who are open-minded and
tolerant of new experiences (read: losers!), this may be your film. But for
the rest of us, avoid this cinematic disaster like the plague. After all,
your minds are already made up.

“About a Boy” is playing on campus tonight and tomorrow night at 7:30 and
10:00 p.m. So check it out and let us know what you think!


2) Weekend roundup

by Evelyn Khoo
Living & Arts Editor

Swarthmore wants you to get out and part-ay!

Do you miss the good old 90s? Head off-campus to Bryn Mawr and relive the
past decade at a tri-co dance party, “Ice, Ice Baby, Party like it’s 1990!”
10:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. at the Campus Center.

On Saturday, you can’t afford to miss the first Olde Club show of the
semester, and possibly one of few, due to the vandalism of Olde Club last
semester. So head down to catch bands, Dalek (featuring a swat alum!),
Oddatee and King of Prussia in action.

Come Sunday, work off your remaining adrenaline by watching “The Recruit,”
a new thriller about the CIA starring Colin Farrell, Al Pacino and Ashley
Judd. Opens in theaters such as AMC Marple, AMC Granite Run and The Bridge
in University City.


3) World news roundup

* Chief U.N. Weapons Inspector Hans Blix announced Thursday that he has
seen no evidence to substantiate Iraq’s promise of increased cooperation.
Iraq has asked Blix and Mohammed ElBaradei, the chief of the International
Atomic Energy Agency, to come back to Baghdad and discuss the situation.
Blix reported that he is still deciding whether or not to do so, but in
either case he must once again report to the security council on February
10. Meanwhile Bush notified the world that war would happen in weeks not

* Richard Reid has been sentenced to life in prison. Reid is known as the
shoe bomber who unsuccessfully tried to blow up a Paris-Miami flight in
December 2002. After being sentenced, Reid had to be wrestled out of the
courtroom as he continually yelled at the judge.

* Four U.S. soldiers were reported dead on Thursday. The soldiers were
traveling in a Black hawk helicopter that crashed in Eastern Afghanistan.
The deaths marked the first large incident in Afghanistan since March 4,
2002 when seven soldiers were killed and 11 wounded by remnants of Taliban
and Al-Qaeda forces.


4) Campus events


Physics and Astronomy Colloquium
Dupont 133, 4:15 p.m.

Immersion  Creative Writing and Drawing
Parrish Parlor East, 5:00 p.m.

Shabbat Services and Dinner
Bond Memorial Hall, 5:30 p.m.

Italian Wine Tasting
Kohlberg Sheuer Room, 7:00 p.m.

SQU Movie: “Kissing Jessica Stein”
Intercultural Center, 7:30 p.m.

Movie: “About a Boy”
LPAC Cinema, 7:30 and 10:00 p.m.

Mjumbe Distribution Party and Open Mic Nite
Black Cultural Center, 8:00 p.m.

Engin Motivation Party, sponsored by SWE
Paces, 10:00 p.m.


Movie: “About a Boy”
LPAC Cinema, 7:30 and 10:00 p.m.

Deuces Wild party, sponsored by Delta Upsilon
Delta Upsilon house, 10:00 p.m.

Dalek, Oddatee, King of Prussia
Olde Club, 10:00 p.m.

Reggae party, sponsored by WSRN
Paces, 10:00 p.m.


Breakfast and Meeting for Worship
Friends Meeting House, 9:30 and 10:00 a.m.

IM Frozen Foot Race
Clothier Track, 10:00 a.m.

Celebration of Mass
Bond Memorial Hall, 11:00 a.m.

Walter Blass ’51 business workshop
Scheuer Room, 2:00 p.m.

Young Friends Meeting for Worship
Bond Common Worship Room, 5:00 p.m.

Piano Recital: Students of Marcantonio Barone
Lang Concert Hall, 7:00 p.m.

On February 3 in the Scheuer Room, Professor Randall Exon, Department of
Art, will present a faculty lecture entitled “Transparent Color and the
Landscape of Ireland.” Professor Exon will show slides and talk about his
most recent paintings from Ireland. While on leave from the college in
2001-2002 Exon returned to paint in Ballycastle, a small coastal village in
County Mayo. He will discuss what he believes to be unique about the color
and light in this part of the world. The lecture will begin at 4:30 and
will be preceded by a reception from 4-4:30. All are welcome.



1) Swat badminton sweeps Bryn Athen, learns lessons

by Sarah Hilding
Gazette Reporter

The Swarthmore badminton team swept Bryn Athen tonight, winning all but one
match by default.

With only one player on their women’s rooster, Bryn Athen was forced to
forfeit the remaining matches. Jessica Larson ’06 played the lone woman and
won in two sets. The rest of the Swarthmore players took on the Bryn Athen
men’s team in exhibition matches and finished pleased with their
performances. Surbhi Gupta ’04 and Ay-Jy Phoun ’04 both won their singles
matches, Gupta in two sets and Phoun in three. The doubles teams were not
as successful; however, the team remained upbeat, viewing the night as a
new challenge and valuable learning experience.

Liz Leininger ’04 noted that “it’s a different game when you play
adjustment is necessary.” She added that tonight’s match was a good
preparation for the Conference Championships on Saturday.

In contrast to other Swarthmore sports, badminton competes in their
conference championship early on in the season, and then continues with a
series of conference and non-conference matches finishing with Nationals in
late April.

See a picture from the game at


2) Upcoming contests

There are no contests today.

Track and Field at Franklin & Marshall, 10:00 a.m.
Men’s basketball at Gettysburg, 2:00 p.m.
Swimming at Gettysburg, 2:00 p.m.
Women’s basketball at Gettysburg , 4:00 p.m.

Men’s tennis hosts Richmond, 10:00 a.m.


“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you
want to live to be a hundred.”
–Woody Allen

Interested in reporting or writing for the Gazette?
Got a news or sports tip for us?
Just want to tell us what you think?

Contact the staff at

Managing Editors: Pei Pei Liu
Jeremy Schifeling
News Editor: Alexis Reedy
Living & Arts Editor: Evelyn Khoo
News Reporters: Charlie Buffie
Mary Harrison
Lola Irele
Ben Kligfield
Greg Leiserson
Megan Mills
Nelson Pavlosky
Kent Qian
Aude Scheuer
Siyuan Xie
Roxanne Yaghoubi
Sports Writers: Jenna Adelberg
Saurav Dhital
Sarah Hilding
Holice Kil
Pat Quinn
Photographers: David Bing
Liz Bada
Elizabeth Buckner
Casey Reed
Webmaster: Jeremy Schifeling
World News: Roxanne Yaghoubi
Campus Sports: Megan Mills

The Daily Gazette is published Monday through Friday by an independent
group of Swarthmore College students. The Daily Gazette Web Site is updated
regularly, as news happens. Technical support from the Swarthmore College
Computer Society is gratefully acknowledged.

Our world news roundup is compiled daily, using a variety of sources, most
notably the Associated Press (,
Reuters (, CNN
(, and The New York Times (
Our campus sports
summaries are derived from information provided by the Swat Athletics Department

To subscribe to the Gazette, free of charge, or to cancel a subscription,
go to our subscriptions page on the web at

Back issues are available on the web at:

This concludes today’s report.