From clavichord to piano

Pianist demonstrates a variety of keyboard music on different historical pianos

Fumi Nishikori-Nakayama performs on various pianos     COURTESY OF UW-PARKSIDE


On Friday, Feb. 8 at 12:00 p.m., the UW-Parkside Music Department and the College of Arts and Humanities collaborated to put on the first Noon Concert Series of the semester entitled: “Clavichord to Piano: Keyboard Music through the Ages”. The event was led by Fumi Nishikori-Nakayama, an adjunct faculty member of both the Carthage Music Department and the UW-Parkside Music Department. The event was designed to both show different examples of keyboard music ranging from the 17th century to the 19th century and showing the differences in sound between the original instruments they were written for and a modern-day piano.

Instruments and pieces

Nakayama started the event with showing a piece written for clavichord by William Byrd entitled “All in a Garden Grine”. The clavichord is a striking instrument, making it the “grandfather of the modern piano,” as Nakayama described. The clavichord and the next instrument she showed, the Harpsichord, are both instruments used during the Middle Ages. One major difference between the two instruments, however, is that harpsichord is a plucking instrument instead of a striking instrument. Additionally, the clavichord is not designed for projecting its sound for an entire concert hall like the harpsichord.

The other two keyboards that were shown were the fortepiano and the piano. The fortepiano came into usage in the early 18th century and was used until the 19th century. Compositions by Beethoven and Schubert that were originally made for the fortepiano were played on it to give an insight into how it would have closer sounded for the time period. When discussing the sound of the fortepiano, one member in the audience, Patricia Fish, a piano performance major at UW-Parkside, described that “the fortepiano sounds like you’re listening to a piano in a sewer.” What Patricia was specifically referring to when she said this the tone of the reverb of the fortepiano compared to the piano.

This particular entry in the Noon Concert Series allowed for people to be introduced to pieces of music that they may not normally listen to as a way to possibly expand their taste in music. In addition, playing these pieces on their original instruments let the audience get an idea of what the compositions would have sounded like when there originally written.

Come to the Noon Concert series to support artists, to preserve these musical pieces in the modern moment, and to embrace a musical culture that doesn’t usually get the spotlight.

“Bad Genius”: High risk, high reward

Foreign Film Series hits of spring semester with thrill and high action…about good grades


Listen up bitches courtesy of imdb
Lynn explains her final plan to Pat and Grace     COURTESY OF IMDB

Cheating. Most students have either thought of, or actually have cheated on some test at some point in their lives. Those slick enough to get away with it can live freely in anonymity, silently gloating at their success. However, those who are caught are not so lucky. Every few years some college board is under fire for recycling test answers, or having too lax of security measures in their testing rooms. Students who get caught up in these scandals have their test results nullified, are punished by their schools and branded with the moniker of “cheater”. Surprising as it may be, organized cheating rings in Asian countries taking advantage of recycled test forms is a constant issue. “Bad Genius” tackles the strange world of Asian cheating rings in an intense, two hour long, heist-style film.

The heist

Teen genius, Lynn (Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying), aids her best friend Grace (Eisaya Hosuwan) in cheating on a test so her grades will be high enough to audition for the school play. Simple enough, and done with good intentions. A one time thing, right? Unfortunately, things get complicated when Grace brings in her boyfriend, who brings in five friends, who all bring in their friends. Suddenly, Lynn is not only one of the two smartest students in school, but she is revered as something of a crime boss, with dozens of students hanging onto her every word and handsomely paying her for her “tutoring” lessons. But what happens when Lynn takes on more “students”? What happens when the tests get harder, the security stricter, the stakes higher?

Not your typical action flick

Unlike many popular heist-style movies, Lynn is the singular mastermind behind the various plots in the film, making her seem unrealistically intelligent, but she is not the only one. Every single one of the people involved in the cheating ring eventually go to pretty extreme lengths to keep from getting caught, though that can partially be explained by how much is on the line for these students.

Also unlike other heist movies, the various characters of “Bad Genius” do not have the familial relationships that many American viewers are used to seeing in films like “Ocean’s Eleven”, “Mission Impossible” or “Fast and Furious 5”. Their relationship is less akin to friendship and is actually closer to a cut and dry business transaction. They remain loyal to each other under threat of getting caught and, not because they genuinely care for one another.

While many of the characters possess more adult attributes, they are still, at their core, relatable teenagers. The teens of “Bad Genius” are rash, self-centered, self-serving, and manipulative in ways that no teen would ever want to admit they are, and yet it is not hard to see oneself in them. There are students all over the world that would go to extreme lengths to get good grades, be accepted to a good school and prove to the adult world that they are no longer just a “kid”. However unlikely as the specific events of this movie may be, it speaks to something that lies deep within most every young adult: the bad genius we all want to be.

Pat and Grace celebrate passing their test courtesy of imdb
Pat and Grace celebrate passing the STIC      COURTESY OF IMDB

Critical acclaim

The film received much critical acclaim, winning seventeen of its twenty-seven award nominations at various national film festivals, and it is not hard to see why.  The film was largely awarded for the stellar acting of the main cast, as well as the direction and editing of the film. Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying (playing Lynn), is a fashion model making her debut to the big screen in “Bad Genius”, and by her performance it is difficult to believe that she is not a well seasoned actress. Likewise, the rest of the cast is relatively new to the feature film seen, but they all present such riveting performances that one wouldn’t notice at first glance.

“Bad Genius” is an adrenaline packed ride of bad decisions and over-complicated schemes from start to finish and a must-see for any lover of thrilling heists or despiser of standardized tests.

Atrazine: A natural born weapon

Biologist aims to relate and change his surroundings


Tyrone Hayes, a professor at the University of California-Berkley, stopped at UW Parkside on Wednesday, February 13, to give a presentation on the state of frogs for UW-Parkside’s Science Night. Titling his slideshow “A Tale of Two Toads”, Hayes goes in on chemical usage, the biological damage these chemicals do to animals and why this is important for humans to watch out for.

A boy who loved frogs

Hayes aimed to tell a story through his presentation, so he relies on the catchphrase, “as a boy who loved frogs”, to describe his lifelong process and research. Starting his experiments as early as 19, he and his colleagues made a hypothesis: since female and male frogs have different colored skin, does dipping them in testosterone and estrogen chance their color?

After extensive research, Hayes and his collaborators found that this does work for frogs, as Male frogs change skin color when left in estrogen for periods of time. They next tried Atrazine, a chemical used as an herbicide, to see the effects. He found here that this actually makes frogs Hermaphroditic. Furthermore, he tested these hermaphroditic frogs having children with female frogs by putting them in a set box for a set amount of time. Based on his findings, he concluded that frogs exposed to Atrazine don’t have enough testosterone to have a sex drive, or aren’t able to produce sperm.

More effects lurking

These weren’t the only conclusions his research dug up, either. Based on similar testing, he confirmed that the chemical HGC makes Xenopus frogs lay eggs, and that Atrazine makes Aromatase, which transforms testosterone into estrogen.

At this point, Hayes decided to look into other animals, such as fish and rats, for testing on the topic, as some have had similar chemical testing results as humans. From testing Aromatase on rats, Hayes concluded that the chemical can cause breast cancer. He stated this is because Aromatase overproduces estrogen cells, which can turn into tumors. He found that the solution is Letrozole, which cuts down the amount of Atrazine, and thus the amount of Aromatase.

It is during this point in the presentation where Hayes became the most confrontational. He admits to having a forceful and fierce personality when it comes to his field, but backs up his evidence with clear and concise reason. A main example for him is the company Syngenta, and how they have a pipe that pumps 1.2 million pounds of Atrazine into the Gulf of Mexico every year. He believes this is extremely important for people to take note of, as he sees this as raising cancer rates throughout the country.

Large scale ramification

Nearing the end of his lecture, he shows examples of what can happen in real life to babies damaged by Atrazine exposure, and settles back into his loose story line about “a boy who loved frogs”. He’s set to continue traveling to different schools, spreading his message of chemical safety and biological research.

His research isn’t just groundbreaking, but also important to us as since we live next to a large body of water. Pollution striking our water is criminal, and should we have a similar company by us, it could be detrimental to our food and health alike.


Black Student Union hosts events for Black History Month


February is Black History month, and the Black Student Union (BSU) will be having a variety of events to celebrate.

BSU has already had three events as of the printing of this edition, including their Kick-Off celebration, a demonstration of head wraps, the history of unknown Civil Rights heroes; along with two speakers, a member of the Milwaukee Black Panther Party and Ricardo Wynn, who gave a presentation on what it means to be black and LGBT+,

Future events

BSU will be hosting three more events before the end of the month, including the MLK Celebration on the 22nd, which will include musical performances by UW-Parkside students; the Essence Ball, which will include a presentation by keynote speaker Shebaniah Muhammad focusing on black excellence in education; and the Pan African Conference, where BSU will be going to Minnesota State University to develop leadership skills and networking based on the theme “Wakanda Forever”.

Support your campus organizations in these events and be sure to pick up the next edition of The Ranger News, where we will be covering these events in further detail.

The Art Department Celebrates 50 years with the Reunion Gallery

Art is Alive on Campus

Krystal Dodge

To commemorate Parkside’s 50 Year Celebration, “Reunion” is an exhibition featuring artwork from Art Department alumni, faculty and retired faculty. This is an unforgettable showcase of generations of the UW-Parkside Art Department family. The gallery opened on Feb. 4 and will be open until Mar. 22, and there will be a reception on Mar. 21.

“Self Portrait – Hand” by Kristina Murphy     COURTESY OF NATALIA HANSEN

The gallery is an eclectic look at five decades of the Art departments history. There are many styles of art and various mediums used. They have paintings, ceramics, wood working, photography, digital art, screenprint, embroidery and mixed media. It is part of Parkside’s history to showcase alumni’s art. The school takes great pride in the Art department and their contribution to the creative community. Art is very much a big part of culture on campus.

Focal Point

The piece that was used to advertise this exhibit was oil on linen self portrait by Kristina Murphy.  This painting was a portrait of a hand that was in homage to Sofonisla Anguissola, an Italian renaissance painter. Anaguissola worked with Michelangelo and many other prestigious people of her time.  Her most well-known works were self-portraits. The portrait show cased a hand in the forefront over a blue dress. There was great detail on the jewelry, that adorned her beautifully painted hand. The painting captured beauty in something most people would not ordinarily classify as such.

“Whatever Happened to Sattler’s Sea Cow” by Lisa Bigalke     COURTESY OF NATALIA HANSEN

Eye Catching

There was such a variety of creative and remarkable pieces. However, there was one piece in particular that grabbed my attention. “Whatever Happened to Sattler’s Sea Cow?” by Lisa Bigalke. I caught myself spending the most time looking at this piece. It was a combination of screenprint and embroidery.  At the center of the picture was an adult and baby sea cow and they are surrounded by a ring of crimson red. There are rings of fishing boats, oil rigs and fishing lures cascading out from the sea cows. The sea cows looked so sad and it really triggered raw emotion, especially with all the concerns we are facing with animal extinction and environmental issues.

This sea cow is actually extinct, but they had inhabited Commander Isles in the Bering Sea. These were massive creatures that could easily reach 8 to 10 tons as adults. It is just hard to understand how something so enormous and magnificent could be eliminated completely.

This exhibit is diverse. The rich culture of the arts is very alive on campus. The exhibit will be up until Mar. 22. In the words of the late Albert Einstein, “creativity is contagious, pass it on”.