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Nathan Desai

Film review: “The Giver”

Released just over 20 years ago, Lois Lowry’s dystopian novel “The Giver” quickly found success to such a large extent that now it is used in many middle-school literature curricula. A few years after the book’s release, talks began to make a film adaptation. And 18 years after those rumors started, “The Giver” has finally found its way to the big screen. The film follows a young man named Jonas (Brenton Thwaites), who lives in a seemingly utopian society. The futuristic community has no emotion, no color and no differences. Jonas has a rare ability referred to as “the capacity to see beyond,” which in turn gets him selected to be the new Receiver of Memory. He works with the prior Receiver (Jeff Bridges) — who is now referred to as The Giver — who passes down memories from past generations and Jonas experiences all the things, from sledding to war, that have been removed from his society. And as he begins to act out with his newfound knowledge, he finds himself in trouble with The Elders.

Theater review: “The Pirates of Penzance” comes to San Francisco and Livermore this month

From Captain Jack Sparrow to Captain Hook, pirates have found their niche in the modern arts. But before “Pirates of the Caribbean” and even before “Peter Pan,” there was “The Pirates of Penzance,” which premiered in New York in 1879 to critical acclaim. Now, after almost 135 years, the Lamplighters Music Theatre is presenting its interpretation of the classic comedy opera throughout the Bay Area. Having already made stops in Walnut Creek and Mountain View, the show will go to San Francisco on August 14-17 and Livermore on August 23-24. The Gilbert & Sullivan show follows a young pirate named Frederic (Samuel Faustine) who falls for Mabel (Kaia Richards), the daughter of Major-General Stanley (F. Lawrence Ewing). The Major-General and the Pirate King (Charles Martin) obviously do not get along, as one protects the sea and the other ravages it. Frederic plans to abandon his life of piracy as he is allowed to leave his apprenticeship on his 21st birthday, but he learns that he was born on February 29, which thus creates a loophole.

A report on Stanford football alums at 49ers training camp

In 2006, the Stanford football team won just one game. After finishing dead last in the Pac-10, it was time for a change. Head coach Walt Harris was fired after his second season, and was replaced with the head coach from the University of San Diego: Jim Harbaugh. In his four seasons with the Cardinal,…

Weekly Stanford baseball alums MLB roundup

With the school strikeout record and a National Pitcher of the Year Award under his belt, Stanford alumnus Mark Appel ‘13 has been proclaimed by many to be a future MLB star. It is apparent why the Houston Astros selected him with the first overall pick in the 2013 draft. Over a year has passed…

Weekly Stanford baseball alums MLB roundup

In 2009, the Washington Nationals lost more than 100 games. It was a low point that signified that the franchise was ready to begin a massive rebuilding process. Over the following few seasons, the Nationals drafted numerous top prospects such as Bryce Harper and Stephen Strasburg in hopes of bringing consistent success to the nation’s…

Weekly Stanford baseball alums MLB roundup

With a 58-34 record, the Oakland Athletics currently possess the best record in Major League Baseball. With Oakland on pace to finish the season with over 100 wins, the “Moneyball” tactics may have the A’s en route to an American League pennant and a World Series berth. One of the Athletics in particular has been performing…

Film Review: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” is a very human story

From the monkey suits in the 1968 classic “Planet of the Apes” to the CGI in the 2014 blockbuster “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” it’s clear that much like the primates in the newest “Apes” trilogy, special effects have evolved through time. Sure, the apes in “Dawn” don’t have the societal organization that the apes in the original film did, but they have adopted the incredibly intelligent Caesar (Andy Serkis) as their leader. And in the 10 years since the end of the film’s predecessor, “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” they’ve developed their own home — albeit a primitive one — in the woods. With a basic language and structure, the society of apes actually displays many parallels to early human civilization. Even shown using guns and mounted on horses, the primates see themselves traveling on a similar evolutionary track as we humans have.

Desai: On Gareth Bale and sample sizes

Let’s play a quick game of blind resume. Player A is 24 years old, has accumulated 60 goals in his career and is yet to win a trophy. Player B is 22 years old, has scored 63 goals and has assisted on 68 others, while winning three different trophies in his career. Player A costs you $150 million, whereas Player B costs $50 million.

Desai: The MLB’s system rewards cheaters

When I was a kid, my favorite baseball player was Barry Bonds. My fandom was mostly due to the fact that he was the best player on the planet and he played for my favorite team. I even attended the game during which he passed Babe Ruth by hitting his 715th home run. Bonds eventually went on to hit 47 more, passing Hank Aaron’s record and finishing his career with 762 home runs.

Desai: Prominence for the MLS is fast approaching

Even though football is currently in its offseason, Stanford Stadium is definitely not. Last weekend, the local San Jose Earthquakes hosted the rival Los Angeles Galaxy at the home field of the Cardinal in the most exciting Major League Soccer match of the season.
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