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UNM playwright explores memory, love and loss in debut work

At this year’s Linnell Festival of New Plays at the University of New Mexico, graduate student Julia Storch debuted her first staged play, “Smokebox.” The play explores the vulnerability of humans in all their imperfect perfection. “Smokebox” is about a queer couple who meet again many years after their high school relationship ended — one of them has a form of dementia, and memories and present-day become mixed within the play. The complications of the central relationship are what appealed to Rhiannon Frazier, director of the “Smokebox” inaugural staging.

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UNM memoirist imitates life through art

University of New Mexico student Meg Vlaun is no stranger to hard work; a writer and mother of two with a job tutoring at Central New Mexico Community College and two master's degrees and aspirations for a third in tow, she possesses that rare quality which separates a good writer from the greats — drive and determination. Vlaun splits her time between her numerous commitments, including a new volunteer position as an editor on “Limina: UNM Nonfiction Review.” Through determination, she’s thrived across the board in her work.

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REVIEW: ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ will make you witch for a better movie

As you make your way through October, you may find yourself seeking out movies and Halloween specials from your favorite TV shows to get you in the mood for spooky season. An all-time favorite of Halloween lovers is the 1993 film “Hocus Pocus.” While for many years this film has been a Halloween staple with a conclusive and relatively satisfying ending, it, like many other classic films, has fallen victim to the dreaded sequel. On Sept. 30, “Hocus Pocus 2” was released on Disney+, and many fans flocked to the streaming service to see the Sanderson sisters resurrected once again. Unfortunately, the film does not live up to its predecessor, and it’s difficult to imagine it becoming nearly as popular.

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UNM Students react to upcoming gubernatorial election

With governor elections coming up on Nov. 8, students at the University of New Mexico are preparing to make their voices heard by exercising their right to vote. To many students on both sides of the aisle, this election is crucial in determining the future of the state. As of the time of publication, polls have Democrat incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham with a 6.1 point lead over Republican opponent Mark Ronchetti — but this still could be anyone’s election. Exercising the right to vote is the best way to ensure that we elect people who are willing to fight for our rights, according to Marcela Johnson, a third-year journalism and communications major.

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REVIEW: ‘Werewolf by Night’ makes for decent Howl-ween fare

With this year’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness,” Marvel proved they weren’t too afraid to conjure up a film that leans heavy into the horror genre. Now, with their first special presentation “Werewolf by Night,” Marvel is doubling down on the creepier side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe — so long as it is still identifiably Marvel.

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OPINION: Weekend Watches: What to watch (and avoid) this weekend

With the fall movie season nearly in full swing, you might find yourself spending more time deciding what movie to watch than actually watching. But don’t you worry, darling — The Daily Lobo is here with a guide on the most notable films coming to theaters or streaming on Friday, Oct. 7, to hopefully save you from hours of indecision.

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Champion South Dakotan balloonist flies at Balloon Fiesta

Balloonists from all across the nation gather yearly to fly their hot air balloons at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which runs until Sunday, Oct. 9. One such balloonist this year is Kelli Keller — originally from South Dakota and winner of the U.S. Women's National Balloon Championship. The black hills of South Dakota, where Keller hails from, are home to the Stratobowl: a rectangular limestone canyon that shields balloons from the wind, creating good conditions to launch. The legacy of ballooning in the Stratobowl is strong — this was the location of the first hot air balloon flight by Army Air Corps Capt. Albert W. Stevenson, his second attempt, according to the South Dakota Department of Tourism.

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Balloon pilot carries on family tradition at Balloon Fiesta

Laurie Chavez has been involved with the International Balloon Fiesta since childhood. A pilot at the 50th Fiesta this year, she and her family have been participating since it began back in 1972, joining due to connections with Sid Cutter, one of the founding members of the Fiesta. Now, she carries on the family legacy as pilot of balloon “Jesse’s Girl Too.”


REVIEW: 'Avatar' rereleased: good or bad?

Listen, I get it: Blue cat-people, Unobtanium, Sam Worthington and hair sex, if you watch the extended edition. James Cameron’s “Avatar,” released in 2009, is inherently a little bit bad. But watching the re-release in IMAX 3D this week, I can’t help but find myself completely bought in anyway — visually stunning, emotionally compelling and technologically impressive, I hate to say that “Avatar” is kind of good. It’s December 2009. “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas is dominating the radio. The economy is in shambles. People still can’t get enough of the most recent “Twilight” movie that just came out the month before. But you — all you are thinking about as you take your seat in a surprisingly crowded moviehouse with your 3D glasses is the film you are about to watch, a film that is about to become the highest-grossing movie of all time. Wait, sorry, I’m having trouble recalling the title … Oh! James Cameron’s “Avatar.”

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UNM Theatre department previews fall shows

With their fall 2022 season, the University of New Mexico Department of Theatre & Dance has prepared a lineup of several plays for local audiences to enjoy, including “Frankenstein,” “The Season of La Llorona” and the bi-annual departmental Linnell Festival of New Plays. In this year's production of “The Season of La Llorona,” an overarching theme of the two non-Linnell Festival plays is the idea of monsters, and how we define them culturally, according to Manuel Lopez Ainza, an actor in the show.

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Balloon Fiesta celebrates fifty years in the sky

The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta took flight for the 50th time at the Balloon Fiesta Park on Saturday, Oct. 1st, sending hundreds of hot air balloons up into the sky once again to enchant the thousands of visitors who will gather from the first through the ninth of this month. The Fiesta is an event that attracts both balloonists and visitors from all over the world. The event being hosted in Albuqerque was no matter of chance: the so-called “Albuquerque Box,” a mix of weather patterns and landscape, provides the perfect conditions for flying, according to the Fiesta’s website.

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ABQ Zine Fest showcases ama-zine artists

This past Saturday, Oct. 1 marked the 11th annual ABQ Zine Fest, hosted at the Sanitary Tortilla Factory in downtown Albuquerque. Founded by Mayra Errin Jones, a Master of Fine Arts candidate in dramatic writing at the University of New Mexico, and co-produced by Liza Bley, the event served as a chance for local artists to showcase their handmade crafts amongst a crowd of artistic community members and newcomers alike. The word “zine” comes from a shortening of “magazine,” and can constitute a multitude of different interdisciplinary conceptions. Typically, zines are small booklets of original work created and copied by an artist for distribution.

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5 and Why: 5 ways to de-stress while studying

As we speed through the semester and midterms rapidly approach, it can be difficult to keep up with the grueling workload college brings. Lori Pinedo, a freshman nursing student at the University of New Mexico, has shared five tips for not letting schoolwork get the best of you while studying. Have a small distraction It can be easy to lose your cool when studying dense material, which is why Pinedo suggested keeping a piece of paper to the side to scribble on when you get frustrated by your work. “To not get worked up so fast and frustrated, have a piece of paper or just something to have on your hand,” Pinedo said.

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10th Annual Cine Magnifico festival spotlights Latine filmmakers

The Instituto Cervantes Albuquerque hosted the 10th annual Cine Magnifico Latino Film Festival from Sept. 13-25, showcasing a variety of Latine films, directors and actors. On Friday, Sep. 23, the main program of the festival began with a viewing of “El Sustituto” (The Replacement) by Spanish film director Óscar Aibar and an opening cocktail party. Analy Morales Chavez, a worker at the festival, spoke on the original purpose behind the festival and the importance of hosting the event during Hispanic Heritage Month.

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REVIEW: ‘Don’t Worry Darling:’ Don’t worry about seeing this movie

Most moviegoers had Sept. 23, 2022 marked on their calendars since “Don’t Worry Darling,” writer-director Olivia Wilde’s follow-up to the surprise smash-hit “Booksmart,” was announced in August 2019. Gossip followers may have also had their eyes on that date after a series of reports involving various instances of drama on and off the set. Spitting accusations aside, we can now judge the film for ourselves. Unfortunately, more intriguing and exciting drama can be found surrounding the film rather than in the film itself.

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Graduate student, worker finds community in Union

Elizabeth Solis is a graduate worker at the University of New Mexico pursuing a master’s degree in biology who recently became more involved in the unionization efforts by graduate workers at the University after experiencing discrimination from those in her department. Through the United Graduate Workers at UNM, Solis found support, community and an avenue for change. “Since I started becoming active (in the Union), I then just met a bunch of people who I could relate to. We all share the same goals. We have the same frustrations because of how we're treated but also at the end it's just like, we support each other. And I think that is really the main thing for me,” Solis said.

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5 and why: 5 fab date ideas in Albuquerque

Time to pull out all the tops to woo that special someone. While it can be difficult for some to think up creative dates worthy of the one they love, University of New Mexico junior Will Kane has you covered as he lists his top five favorite date ideas in the Albuquerque area.

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The fearsome femmes of horror advise you to jump off a cliff

This past Friday, Sept. 17, the Bank of America Theater in the National Hispanic Cultural Center welcomed three experienced members of the film industry to speak about their roles as women in horror films as part of this year’s Albuquerque Film and Music Experience conference. This year, AFMX is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a major film festival in New Mexico by holding in-person and virtual events for everyone to enjoy, including a conversation with Dee Wallace, Deborah Voorhees and Monique Candelaria, entitled “Fearsome Femmes of Horror.”

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SHAC celebrates Sexual Health Awareness Month

This September, Student Health and Counseling at the University of New Mexico is doing their part in highlighting Sexual Health Awareness Month in an effort to encourage safe sex in the UNM community. One in four college students have a sexually transmited infection, according to the Health News Hub. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, gonorrhea and syphilis cases have gone up by 10% and 7% respectively since 2019, according to the Center for Disease Control. With students returning to campus for in-person classes, it is important to make sure they have a full understanding of the importance of sexual health, according to Benjamin Furguson, a health educator for SHAC.

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Love letters show change in philosophy through the decades

Over the decades, love letters and poetry have changed and shaped as society evolved, and our ideas on romance and sexuality have shifted as well. However, at their core, they remain about what they have always been about: love. In today’s world, traditional styles of showing love, such as letters or poems, have become less relevant. However, Kathryn Wichelns, an associate professor of English at the University of New Mexico, still believes that poetry and love letters are important for their ability to showcase previously taboo forms of love as well as their unique ability to express certain emotions.

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