Author

Ronny Reyes

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On a March Saturday of raw winds and below-freezing temperatures, Dennis Dapuzzo  loads cases of low-fat yogurt, whole-grain Honey Scooters cereal and juice boxes that are high in calcium and vitamin C into his recycled hotdog truck. The cold makes its way inside the truck, which helps keep the juice boxes cool but forces Dapuzzo to keep his jacket on as he drives toward a food pantry in Brentwood.  He knows that as bad as the weather can be, Long Islanders are still depending on him to deliver food.   Dapuzzo arrives near the intersection of Caleb’s and Joshua’s Path at a small food pantry a little before 9:30 a.m. People immediately recognize the yellow truck with a crocodile caricature on it, and they line up with their heavy winter jackets to get breakfast for the weekend.   “You know that the people who come out on cold mornings like…

Ever since I was a child, I could see the damned at the bottom of the ocean. If you ever preyed upon your fellow human being, if you betrayed the one person whom you promised your loyalty to, if the pain of the innocent was the only thing that brought you joy, then you were condemned and thrown into the ocean, where the weight of all your sins would drag you to the very bottom of the black ocean floor. Without light, the condemned lost what little humanity they had, and the sinners became beasts who fed on each other. And I could see it all. No matter how deep the ocean floor was, my eyes could pierce through the darkness of the cold, blue waters and bear witness to the actions of these monsters of the deep, these Wicked Ones. Before he died, the old shaman told me that…

I was only four-years-old when I first met the rug of black sun. My parents came across it somehow and decided to take it home, thinking that it would fill our living room with a sense of intercontinental culture. It was a simple rug, one with a striped pattern in both horizontal and vertical directions. The horizontal stripes were colored a dark brown, and the vertical stripes were simply white. Triangles, squares, and circles found themselves littered across the rug, each of varying size and shades of grey. Such an accessory would definitely make one’s family glow with culture, the type of culture that let others know that the owners of such a rug had traveled throughout the world and picked out that specific rug because of its rarity and worth. Truth be told, my parents just found the old rug lying somewhere in a bodega, collecting dust and providing…

In the last two years, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has continued to expand the affordable housing program throughout the five boroughs. Ensuring that the housing units produced are sustainable and aligned with the needs of the city’s changing demographics is a key feature to his Housing New York: A Five Borough, Ten Year Plan. Brooklyn and Queens find themselves with greater opportunities for development on an island where the average price for a single-family home is nearly $380,000, according to a 2015 article published by the Long Island Index, a research group that records and studies the changing demographics on Long Island. But the values of the homes and the payments that come with them can vary substantially throughout Long Island, with prices ranging so high that a home can become unaffordable for all but a few. “From all the different stages of life—a young person looking…

It’s been well over a decade since I last step foot on my hometown’s soil. From the peaceful suburbs of Long Island, I now find myself standing once again amid the middle of the world, the country named after the equator itself, Ecuador. It’s not quite the third world anymore as it now embraces things like smartphones, Wi-Fi and cable, but the roosters who serve as alarm clocks, the stray dogs who litter the streets in droves and the lack of warm water baths label Ecuador as a developing nation. To be in a developing nation as someone spoiled by the first world’s commodities, you can’t help but feel annoyed at not having certain things like an ice-cold beverage at any given time. And you feel like an ass when you find out your presumptions were wrong and they do in fact have certain other things like the previously mentioned…

The future will be digitized, and music is going to be a part of it. But it’ll be more than just the drum loops and auto-tune that we’re used to. The future is bringing us a new partner, machines that will jam out with us and understand the sound we’re going for. Alexander Nodeland, a 20-year-old applied mathematics and statistics undergraduate student at Stony Brook University, is bringing together math, music, and computers to create intelligent products that will break down the current barriers surrounding music making. “People don’t realize that music is data processing. It’s a digital process, which brings things to the next level,” he explained. Computers and musicians have already been doing the type of thing Nodeland is talking about in the form of effects pedals, which are devices that alter audio, and synthesizers, which imitate instruments or create original sounds. Although Nodeland worked with these type…

Fuck! I’ve done it again, and, chances are, you’re guilty of doing it too. Nearly everyone procrastinates. We put off chores, homework and studying. We even put off watching TV shows and movies, things that are meant to help us procrastinate. And despite the consequences that we’ve faced time and time again, we still do it. Hell, I procrastinated on writing this article. But maybe procrastination isn’t all bad? It may even have its merits? In an interview with Smithsonian Magazine, Professor Frank Partnoy of the University of San Diego, argues that our tendency to procrastinate is all too human, and that the negative connotations of the practice were created during Puritan sermons in the 1500s. “The question is not whether we are procrastinating, it is whether we are procrastinating well,” he said.   In his book, “Wait: The Art and Science of Delay,” Partnoy says that waiting until the…

The last good cartoons I remember watching on Nickelodeon were Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra, which blew away all the normal conventions of children’s cartoons to produce something uniquely entertaining. Now it just seems like Nickelodeon has stopped caring. Instead of thinking outside the box, the geniuses over at Nick have grabbed their shovels and pickaxes and turned over every grave of old Nicktoons to air weeknights from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on Teen Nick. This segment, known as The Splat, has been airing for a few weeks now, and it’s already as old as the cartoons they hope we’ll watch again. We may have loved Angry Beavers, Rugrats, Rocket Power, Hey Arnold and Rocko’s Modern Life, but a modern life doesn’t ask you to watch old cartoons in the middle of the night when you have school and work to worry about the next…

Assassin’s Creed is a lot like real-estate: it’s all about location. They’re selling us the same game with a different venue. But are there enough differences here to make Syndicate worthwhile?    Players find themselves in London at the cusp of the Industrial Revolution, playing as Evie and Jacob Frye, twin assassins on a mission to find a piece of Eden and free the oppressed working class. Evie is the first assassin in a while to actually act like an assassin. She’s tough yet calculating, fights with a badass cane, which reminds me of Daredevil whenever brawls occur in the rain, and uses great stealth mechanics. Jacob serves as a good balance to his sister, a charismatic brawler with smooth combos that are reminiscent of one of my favorite assassins, Ezio Auditore da Firenze. The characters themselves are a great improvement from Unity’s protagonist, Arno Dorian, because they can actually…