By Yasamin Beitollahi, Contributor

Love is The Promise’s stock in trade. Set during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, this historical romance features epic, emotional stories — captured in 72 days across 20 locations throughout Spain, Malta, Portugal and New York — all set against the backdrop of the Armenian genocide. “Along with this heavy topic, we’ve created a very moving and emotional love quadrangle that carries us through the film,” says Terry George (Hotel Rwanda), the film’s director and co-writer. “We set out to create something that would appeal to a broader audience. This is a big, old-fashioned love story that takes place during a very dark period in history.”

Not only does the film deal frankly with the mass killings of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1922, it is also one of the most expensive independently financed films ever made — nearly $100 million. Bringing the story to the masses was a mission for Kirk Kerkorian, an Armenian businessman who once owned Metro-Goldwyn Mayer (MGM). He died in 2015 as the film was going into production. “One thing I would like to mention is that the proceeds of our film are all being donated to non-profit organizations,” says Eric Esrailian, one of the film’s producers. “That’s an unprecedented occurrence in a film of this scale, and it’s all thanks to the generosity of Kirk Kerkorian, who wanted us to not only tell the story but to give back to the world. Besides, just loving the story Terry had written, everyone involved with the film felt a connection to the bigger, altruistic mission.”

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OSA 10


In Team ONYX’s dorm room, Xandir was messing around with his hair, trying to make it look good with his suit. Tonight was the night of the dance, and he was nervous. And excited. He had happily agreed to go with Iduma, and was eager to have fun. But first, he just needed his hair to look right. “Come on… I don’t know what looks best with this outfit.”

“You look fine,” Odelia said as she came over to stand in front of him, holding her dress to her chest. “You used to wear a suit every night to formal dinners back home. You know how to carry yourself. Now zip me.” When she boy grabbed her zipper, she leaned forward and started applying red lipstick to her pouted lips and fixing her own hair. “Everything will be fine. You actually have a real date.”

“That’s what I mean.” he said as he zipped her dress. “What if my hair looks bad around him? What if he doesn’t like it?”

She grinned a little as she help onto his shoulder, slipping on her heels. “Xandir, he sees you every day. When your hair is a crazy mess from training. When it’s all messed up because you fin your fingers through it when you’re nervous. I don’t think he’s gonna thing you look bad with it actually nice.” She handed him her necklace, pulling her hair up. “I don’t think he noticed this type of thing.”

Right away, Xandir stood behind her, bringing the necklace around her neck and closing it into its loop. “I guess you’re right.” he smiled. “Well hey, at least you look great.” he said with a small chuckle.

The girl put her hands on her hip. “You’re right. I do. Too bad I’m wasting it on nothing.” She let out a little sigh and leaned against the wall by the full length mirror. “Are you nervous? Are you sure you’re ready for this? People are gonna see you two together.”

“I know.” he said. “But I’m ready. We’re both ready.” He smirked. “He’s probably more ready than I am. He’s always prepared for anything, that guy. I just…” He sighed a little bit, running his fingers through his hair again. “I don’t want to disappoint him.”

“Stop touching your hair,” she scolded as she heard a knock on the door. “You’ll mess it up and I’ll pick on you all night.” She went over and opened the door, giving the boy on the other side a little smile. “Hi, Iduma.” She turned back into the room. “Xandir, your carriage awaits.”

Xandir looked over to see Iduma. “Oh. Hi.” He walked over and smiled.

“Hey.” Iduma said, almost nervously. This whole situation was very foreign to him. But he smiled back at his date. “Ready?”

“Absolutely.” He looked at Odelia. “See you there, Ode.” And with that, he went off with Iduma to go to the dance.

Meanwhile, Kenneth and Yasamin were waiting outside the ballroom for their friends to arrive. The boy’s usually messy viridian was smoother for the occasion, and he couldn’t help but run his fingers through it. He stopped, however, when Yasamin swatted his hand. He chuckled. “How is it that someone so gorgeous can still maintain their sassy attitude at a formal dance? I’ve always wondered.”



Yasamin knocked gently on the door of Team SKIE’s bedroom. Iduma was lounging on his bed reading and Kenneth was at the desk doing homework, something he wouldn’t have been doing without being forced just a few months ago. “Hey guys,” she said with a little wave. “Mind if I come in?”

Yasamine, 24

“My style is inspired by classic looks, interesting silhouettes, and culture from all eras. I also love dressing in a way that compliments the weather and the season. I find pieces I like here and there, but putting them together in different combinations is where the fun of a wardrobe exists.”

Nov 1, 2014 ∙ Temescal, Oakland

How Wi-Fi Can Give Us X-ray Vision

An earthquake strikes a major city, a large building collapses and people are trapped inside. How can rescuers know how many people are trapped and where they are? A UC Santa Barbara researcher may have a solution using something that’s around us all the time: Wi-Fi.

If you’ve ever tried to connect to the internet when there’s distance and walls between you and your router, Wi-Fi signals are affected by the environment. They lose energy as they pass through objects, like light through a lampshade, and they can bounce off of objects, like light off a mirror. 

“Our first interest was x-ray vision with Wi-Fi,” said UC Santa Barbara’s Yasamin Mostofi. “We basically wanted to see if we can see behind walls with Wi-Fi signals.” 

And if that doesn’t sound fantastic enough, Mostofi decided to throw some robots into the mix. 

“We’re also interested in robots. We wanted to see if we can give x-ray vision to unmanned vehicles with only Wi-Fi signals.” To test the system, Mostofi and her lab constructed a tall, square enclosure out of brick on the UCSB campus. In the middle, they placed objects: a barrel, two barrels, a graduate student. 

To peek through the wall, two remote vehicles passed around the enclosure. 

“One robot transmits, and that transmission goes through the object,” explained Mostofi. “The objects interact with it, depending on their material property and their location.” 

The objects leave a signature on the Wi-Fi signal. Once the other robot receives the signal, the trick is to then reconstruct what the signal passed through.