The Ultimate Coachella Survival Guide

Hey, Aztecs! Excited for weekend two of Coachella 2017? Before you go out and make new memories, be sure to follow my personal “do’s and don’t’s” for Coachella 2017 for the optimal time of your life.

Don’t be afraid to wear whatever you want.
I hear people say, “Coachella is turning into more of a fashion show than a music festival,” (or something along those lines) all the time. My response to that? Wear whatever you want. If you want to dress boho chic? Go for it. Want to wear your heels? It might be a little painful if you’re standing all day, but if you really want to wear them, go for it! Dress for yourself, and don’t think twice about what others think.

Just keep in mind that it’s going to be really warm (especially when you’re deep inside a crowd of hundreds of people), and that there will be a lot of walking, standing around and dancing!

Create a meet-up spot for you and your friends.
Do you and your friends want to see different sets that are happening at the same time? Before you split up and head to your respective stages, create a meet-up place. Whether it be at different art installations, bathrooms or some other area, this will help reunite the group without any worries. It’ll also save you a lot of battery on your phone because you won’t have to constantly check up on everyone. Just simply arrange to meet somewhere at a specific time.

Being present in the moment is better than being on your phone.
As much as I love being on my social media accounts, I always follow this one rule: don’t drown everyone in excessive concert postings. I find it best to limit yourself to a couple posts a day, so that you can be present and really enjoy the festival. It’s better to become entranced in the different music, light shows and awesome surroundings that Coachella provides. I’d also like to add that people spend $400 on a ticket, and should really take in every little moment.

Create a game-plan for each day – but break that plan too.
To really get the most out of the three days of Coachella, it’s best to figure out in the morning (or night before) what sets you want to see, and plan out which stages you’re going to. However, Coachella’s about relaxing, having fun and spontaneity. If you’re passing by an artist or band who has an appealing sound, check them out! You never know what new music you might discover. It’s Coachella – just go with the flow.

Chill out at the Do Lab.

An incredibly underrated stage, being at the Do Lab is possibly the best memory I have of Coachella. If you’re tired, exhausted, hot, and in dire need of some fresh air… head on over to the Do Lab. Not only does the Do Lab feature weird characters spraying you with these strange, misting guns (pictured above), but they also have great music from underground DJs. For example, I was cooling down at the Do Lab when I discovered Tokimonsta, in 2015. Tokimonsta brought out Anderson .Paak, and then I realized how awesome Anderson .Paak was. The moral of the story is that you can discover a lot of new music. And, the Do Lab is a pretty spacious place compared to the other stages, which can only mean one thing: more dancing!

That’s all I have for today, Aztecs! Be sure to wear your sunscreen, charge your phones and bring your own toilet paper and seat covers!

Ashley Bajet,
signing out.

Featured Image: The Odyssey


Splitting the Skies of San Diego: The 2017 Red Bull Air Race

It’s a beautiful, mild day in the San Diego bay.  The bay itself is full of boaters and kayakers, and there are innumerable people at the water’s edge taking in the atmosphere.  The day seems like any other – but something’s different.  Everyone’s necks are craned back, eyes glued to the sky. A smoke belching plane drops from the skies at breakneck speeds.  Fortunately, this is no air emergency; this is the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championships.  The air races came to town last Saturday and Sunday, continuing on from where the Abu Dhabi races left off.

Pilots from all over the world have come to compete in some of the most intense displays of piloting skill that the world has to offer.  Not only do the pilots have to complete the physically demanding course as fast as possible, they also have to obey the strict rules and regulations, lest they lose precious seconds – which may be the difference between first and failing to even qualify.  The planes that the pilots fly come from a handful of different manufacturers, but most follow the same basic principles:

  1. The planes must be light, but strong.  To this end, most of the aircraft used in the races have either partial or full composite constructions, utilizing materials like carbon fiber to bring the weight down, but still allow the plane to make extreme maneuvers without failing.  These planes are so lithe, the pilot can make up 10 to 15 percent of the plane’s total weight.
  2. The planes must be extremely agile.  These planes are built from the ground-up to be some of the most agile planes to ever grace the sky.  Years of research and development have resulted in aircraft that can execute a full aileron roll (often incorrectly called a barrel roll) in less than a second.  To put that in context, the MX MXS, a commonly used aircraft in the races, boasts a roll rate of 420° per second.  This, depending on the data you’re reading, puts it on par with, or even exceeding, the roll rates of many modern military jet fighters!
  3. They must all use the same engine.  While there is still room for the pilot and crews to individually tune their aircraft, they’re more limited than in other racing sports.  The planes must all use the standardized Lycoming AEIO-540-EXP engine:  a roughly 400 pound engine from 1957 that creates about 300hp.  Compared to the rest of the plane, these engines are practically dinosaurs. However, they’re safe, consistent and allow for a more level playing field.

The pilots have also done a lot of training in preparation for the events.  Not only do these pilots have tremendous backgrounds in aviation, but they also train a great deal in the the days before the events.  Even with specialized flight suits that help to keep their blood from flowing away from the brain and into their legs during extreme maneuvers, it takes a great deal of training to pull off maneuvers that go up to 11 Gs of force without entering G-LOC (g-force induced loss of consciousness) and crashing.  The degree of precision with which these pilots execute their maneuvers is almost super-human. For example, pilots cannot exceed 200 knots (230 mph) during their initial sprint across the starting line, or else they’ll be immediately labelled DNF (did not finish).  With that, Yoshihide Muroya of Japan (the winner of the San Diego Master Class Races) crossed the starting line at, if I’m remembering correctly, 199.8 knots during his winning run.  

The races themselves were pretty intense. Of the Challenger Class (the lower-level races), Florian Bergér of Germany put out an incredible performance – which is expected of the reigning champ.  His performance gave him a healthy 8 point lead that the other Challenger Class pilots may struggle to close at future events.  The Master Class races were even more intense.  Muroya’s win brought him from 0 points to 15, bringing him from effectively tied for last to third place in the standings.

This puts him only 5 points behind Czech pilot Martin Sonka’s 21 point first place, and only 1 point behind last year’s Master Class champ, Germany’s Matthias Dolderer, who earned 16 points.

The end of the San Diego races marks the end of the second round of the 2017 races. Up next is round three in Chiba, Japan.  Muroya is going to be on home turf, and if he can duplicate his run in the San Diego races, he’ll be a strong contender to win this year.  However, at this point, it’s still too early to tell exactly who has the best chance to win. We’ll just have to look forward to Chiba in June, and see how the season develops from there.

Check out KCR’s video coverage of the event.


All images by James Lawrence. 

Aztec Baseball Looks to Continue Remarkable Turnaround

Tyler Adkison of SDSU baseball swings away (

The Aztecs came into this season after a disappointing 2016 campaign in which they finished 21-38. This year’s Aztec squad has returned with renewed vigor and a determination to reclaim their place at the top of the Mountain West. It is in stark contrast to the poor play of the 2016 season, as the Aztecs find themselves at 24-10 heading into Thursday night’s game at UNLV. This turnaround cannot be attributed to one player, for it has been the success of players in all three phases of the game: pitching, defense, and offense.

The starting pitching has been the start of it all, with Brett Seeburger enjoying a bounceback season (6-1, 2.65 ERA) along with Dominic Purpura (5-0, 3.06 ERA). This excellent starting pitching has given a key bridge to what has been a very effective bullpen. The SDSU bullpen this season has featured breakout performances from junior Jacob Erickson (1.50 ERA), freshman Logan Boyer (0.79 ERA), as well as Adrian Mardueno (2.77 ERA). These bullpen pieces have provided solid relief pitching appearances, giving way to standout closer CJ Saylor (1.80 ERA), who has 9 saves on the season. Despite these impressive players, the pitching has only been the start of the Aztecs’ success.

The Aztec defense has also contributed to the team’s success, especially on the infield. Last season Alan Trejo struggled at shortstop, perhaps contributing to his offensive dip; however, with the move to second base this season, he is enjoying a breakout year. The addition of Danny Sheehan at shortstop, who the Aztecs dearly missed last season, has provided great defense and important veteran leadership. This formidable combination up the middle has given the Aztecs’ pitching staff a reliable defense to count on. Third baseman Andrew Brown and first baseman Jordan Verdon have also contributed solid play at both corners. The outfield remains solid, as Chase Calabuig, Tyler Adkison, and Julian Escobedo have proved to be a speedy outfield unit. The catching platoon which includes Dean Nevarez and Hunter Stratton have provided good pitch calling and defense behind the plate. Even freshman catcher Ryan Orr has had a breakout performance against UCLA, throwing out 3 would-be base stealers.

Perhaps the biggest component to the Aztecs’ turnaround has been the offense. The SDSU lineup has become an offensive juggernaut, with standouts Adkison (.402 BA), Brown (.340 BA), Trejo (.315), and Sheehan (.328 BA) leading the way. While these players catch the eye, the lineup has been productive one through nine. Trejo has been the catalyst at the top of the order, getting on base for the likes of Brown and Sheehan. Adkison has provided the power with a team-leading nine home runs on the season. Even the bottom of the order has produced, as DH Andrew Martinez has contributed four home runs to go along with a .320 BA. Nevarez has contributed to the hit parade as well, adding .273 BA as well as three home runs.

We are witnessing a truly great college baseball team with fantastic performances at every position. The Aztecs are looking to continue this exciting turnaround as we head towards the close of the regular season.

Getting To Know Sonia Quintero

Sonia Quintero is a current freshman here at SDSU. She wants to major in international business, with an emphasis in Italian and Western European studies. In her spare time,  she loves going biking and going to different coffee shops around downtown. She also likes to take pictures and post them on her Instagram account, which has a total of 23,800 followers!

When I asked her what made her start taking pictures, Sonia answered, “I really like traveling, and I always wanted to make sure I remembered where I went, so I would take pictures.”

Sonia prefers to take pictures of landscapes – sunsets and cities are her favorite. Having grown up and lived in San Diego all her life, Sonia identifies the city’s beauty as her main inspiration.

“San Diego inspires me because everything is so beautiful, and we have so many beautiful things to see – yet people always fixate on Los Angeles and New York.”

Although still a few years away, Sonia expressed that after college, she hopes to incorporate photography into her future career.

Sonia’s favorite pictures are:

#arrastrada💡👌🏼 #vscocam

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can't even think of a pun smh #VSCOcam

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And, after looking through all of her pictures myself, I’ve picked some of my favorites:

guau la montaña magica

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blurred faces #vscocam

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The rest of her pictures are all just as amazing! I highly encourage you to check out her Instagram.