Tag Archives: Esmi Careaga

Digital Foreplay: The Truth About Online Dating

Online dating is changing the way people create and develop relationships.

Many people, whether they are young or old, are using online dating sites to build relationships. A Pew Research study says more than three quarters of Americans have tried online dating. Apps like Tinder, and Plenty of Fish, and online sites like EHarmony have made online dating easier, and less of a taboo subject.

“It used to be where online dating was just for people that were a little socially challenged, and it was easier to be able to communicate behind a keyboard,” cyber dating expert Julie Spira said. “Because of Facebook being so multi-generational, you’re seeing grandparents, that are going on dating sites when they lose their spouse or to divorce, and you’re also seeing college students that are flocking to the mobile dating apps.”

These online sites offer an easy way for users to create online profiles, and add photos and plenty of other types of information that one normally wouldn’t get from an encounter in person. The dating sites are a way for people who are hesitant, to gain some info about a potential relationship beforehand.

“You know in the real world we have to interact, we have to engage,” Marriage and Family therapist Allison Cohen said. “But you can go online and you find out stats, hobbies, important information instantly.”

CSUN Psychology professor Luciana Lagana says these online profiles can be both revealing and deceptive.

“It’s different because you don’t really have to reveal much about yourself,” Lagana said. ” You don’t have to give off any vibes that let anybody know you’re nervous. You can pretend you’re very cool, so deception is involved.”

“The guys that aren’t tall will actually add two to three inches to their height,” Spira said. “Women tend to lie about their weight, and men tend to lie about other things, for example, financial means, and having a job.”

People want relationships that are both successful and fun, without too much risk. With the new online dating sites, and the ability to check out mobile apps, the resources available are making the process easier and increasing people’s chances of success.

“You need to have a profile on more than one dating site, and be diligent about it, just like you would if you were looking for a job,” Spira said. “Understand it’s a numbers game, and get back out there and go on more dates, because the more dates you go on, the better dater you become.”


Moderator: Aleksandar Milojkovich

Anchor and Reporter: Evanne Robinson

Digital Content Editors: Esmi Careaga, Dylan Connolly and Natalie Palacios

Producer: Jennifer Rufer



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Ready For Lyft-Off: Transportation is Changing


Taxis, buses, and light-rails have always dominated public transportation. However, two companies are now beginning to change the landscape.

Uber and Lyft are the companies behind the new ride-sharing services trend. Many think they represent a cheaper, quicker, and easier way to travel. Uber and Lyft are more of a control hub rather then a transportation company. The drivers sign up online, and then receive phones, and information in order to get started.

“There’s a lot of money to make in ridesharing, and I love it,” said Uber driver Terry Jones. Jones said drivers can get rated by their passengers, which can either help or hurt them. He said he shares his profits with the company. “They (Uber) take 20 percent the first month, then after that it’s only five percent so there’s actually a lot of money. The first month is only 20 percent because you’re paying for the phone they give you.”

For the passenger, the process is even simpler. Users download the app,  request a driver who is close, and then make  payments through the app. Drivers are supposed to arrive for pick-up within 15 minutes. The rating system also applies to the passengers, as the driver may rate them.

As great as the new service sounds, there is still plenty of opposition to it. Taxi drivers across California and the country continue to oppose the new service.

“Taxi cab drivers make money through fares and tips,” former cab driver Wallace Zane said. Zane is now a professor of anthropology at CSUN. He said taxi cab drivers pay money in rent or leases to their companies every night or once a week, which means the drivers have to earn enough money from fares and tips to cover the lease and gas. “Being a cab driver is a tough job, and I always feel sorry for them,” Zane said.

It is obvious that public transportation is beginning to change, and Uber and Lyft are two companies at the top of this new wave.

“There is driving everywhere and gridlock everywhere and we have limited public transportation services in addition to the traffic systems,” CSUN Urban Studies Professor Mintesnot Woldeamanuel said. “Having this new system is giving another option to consumers. It’s changing travel.”


Moderator: Jennifer Rufer

Anchor: Alex Milojkovich

Reporters: Evanne Robinson and Jennifer Rufer

Producer: Natalie Palacios

Social Media Editors: Dylan Connolly and Esmeralda Careaga

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There Will Be Blood

Stephen Sondheim’s blood-dripping and murderous tale of the vengeful barber Sweeney Todd is coming to Cal State Northridge.

The musical, presented by CSUN’s Department of Theatre, will be at Nordhoff Hall’s Campus Theatre starting March 28.

“Sweeney Todd is my favorite musical of all time,” Musical Director and CSUN Music Professor David Aks said. “I think it’s the greatest musical ever written. I’ve always wanted to do it here.”

Stephen Sondheim wrote the music and the lyrics.

“He’s really considered the greatest musical theatre composer of our generation,” Aks said. “He led musical theatre in a direction and really no one followed him, because it’s so sophisticated and so complex and he’s such a genius. He’s kind of in a world by himself.”

The musical was first produced on Broadway in 1979. It won eight Tony Awards. Movie director Tim Burton made a film version in 2007, starring Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter.

“I’ve referred to all the different productions,” director Ken Sawyer said. But he said he wanted to do the play in a way that had not been done before, and he told the actors he wanted them to try and come up with their own style. “I have really challenged them to use it as background, but make it your own. Really personalize all of this and bring what you have to it.”

Aks said that the leading role of Sweeney Todd is a particularly difficult role to play. “It’s a big, huge part for a bass baritone, who’s got to have great singing chops and great acting chops and gravitas,” he said. “…We did stumble across someone, Robert Collins…As soon as I heard him, I said ‘I think it’s time to do Sweeney Todd.'”

Theatre major Carina Sapiro is playing Todd’s conniving partner, Mrs. Lovett.

“I cast {Carina} in Cabaret several years ago as a member of the chorus,” Sawyer said. “…and she’s turning into this really amazing actress in those three years. And then she came in and auditioned for this.”

Sapiro said she is excited to play Mrs. Lovett. “She’s a very practical lady, and she’s also completely enamored with the lead character of Sweeney Todd,” Sapiro said. “Without giving too much away, I will just say that. She’s very much kind of icy, and like a humorous side, but still very dark.”

“People go to the theatre not to see the ordinary and the mundane, but to see the bizarre and the wicked and the strange, and the things they don’t see anywhere else in life,” Aks said. “And this is definitely bizarre, wicked and strange.”


Producer: Evanne Robinson

Moderator: Natalie Palacios

Anchor: Esmi Careaga

Reporters: Dylan Connolly, Alex Milojkovich and Jennifer Rufer



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Flu Shot: Believe Us or Not

Body pain, runny nose, fever and coughing  — that’s how most Americans describe the flu to their bosses and their teachers when they are calling in sick.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the flu virus can start as early as October, hit its peak around January, and last until May.

Experts report that just this year alone, some 200 Californians have died due to the N1H1 virus, and about 36,000 Americans total die from the flu each year. Still, for some reason people hesitate when it comes to getting a flu vaccine.

“The vaccine works by triggering your antibodies’ response,” said Professor Jack Sahl, from UCLA’s Department of Epidemiology. “The vaccine pre-primes the pump, if you would, so that your body is able to respond when faced with the actual disease.”

Every flu season requires a different vaccine, said CSUN Health Sciences Professor Sloane Burke. “Basically a team of researchers looks at the top viruses and they can predict what will be the top virus that needs to go into that vaccine.”

The flu vaccination causes that year’s antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after a person gets vaccinated. Those antibodies then provide protection against that year’s influenza infection.

The most common misconception holding people back from rolling up their sleeves to get the shot, is that the vaccine itself will make them sick.

“It’s actually entirely a myth,” Burke said. “Now, you may have a different strain of the flu, or you may have a different bacterial infection all together,” but the doctors agree that any symptoms people feel after getting a flu shot are a coincidence.

“You go in and say, hey I’m going to get the flu vaccine,” Sahl said, “and then you get the flu vaccine, and now you are really focused on signs and symptoms, and you may just have a runny nose or other types of infection, but in your mind you’ve added the two things together.”

Sahl added that if someone already has the flu, getting the flu shot will not help, but both doctors said it was not too late to get a shot to protect against this year’s virus.

The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for anyone age six months and older.

“We are all susceptible to the flu,” Burke said. “Even a younger, healthy, thriving population is susceptible.”

CSUN’s Klotz Health Center provides vaccinations to students, and the CDC offers a free application for finding the closest flu vaccination center.

Producer: Jennifer Rufer

Moderator: Dylan Connolly

Anchor: Evanne Robinson

Reporters: Esmi Careaga, Alex Milojkovich and Natalie Palacios

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