Archive for August, 2014

August 19, 2014

“O Captain! My Captain!”- A Call for Media Sensitivity

theater_masks copy

We all walked with mournful tread on Monday as news of Robin Williams’ death swept through news outlets. News paraded across television screens and plastered itself on newspaper headlines. The actor had tragically taken his own life last Monday, imposing grief into the lives of all those he had touched throughout his career – myself included. I still remember watching Dead Poets Society for the first time. I’ve always loved books, poetry, and writing. Robin Williams’ performance as John Keating, a word-loving, passionate English teacher inspiring his students to “make their lives extraordinary”, resonated deeply within me. In one of my favorite scenes, Keating huddles his students together and says: “Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” It is heartbreaking that despite being loved by family, friends, and fans, Williams fell victim to depression, and later, tragically, to suicide. The media did not delay in sharing such news, sparking both grief over his death and outrage over its coverage.

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August 19, 2014

Copycat Suicide Awareness

rip-robin-williamsAccording to the National Association of Suicidology, there were 39,518 suicides reported in 2011, which equates to 108.3 suicides per day in the United States. A 2012 SAMHSA study reported 987,950 annual suicide attempts in the United States, which translates to one every 32 seconds. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention pointed out that “90% of people who die by suicide have a potentially treatable mental disorder at the time of their death – a disorder that often has gone unrecognized and untreated.”  Depression affects more than 350 million people of all ages and is one of the most common disorders. This included the famous comedian and actor, Robin Williams, who committed suicide in his California home on August 11, 2014.

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August 18, 2014

New Laws Provide Protection for Orcas Without Dooming SeaWorld

Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 7.01.29 PMIn recent years, SeaWorld has made a regular appearance in the media following a nation-wide backlash against its treatment of captive killer whales.  The company came under fire after the powerful documentary Blackfish, was released.  The film graphically demonstrated the fatal consequences of the captivity and mistreatment of orcas at SeaWorld to a massive audience, which in turn, caused outrage and concern among the public.  After SeaWorld’s recent announcement of the whopping 33% drop in stock last week, they have taken the stage yet again, headlining all over the media across the country. 

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August 18, 2014

#Icebucketchallenge: Another Example of “Slacktivism”?

Log in to your Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and no doubt you will find your news feed full of videos of people dumping buckice-bucketets of ice water over their heads. What is the point of this ice bucket challenge? Why? After digging a little deeper I found that the ice bucket challenge is a viral movement that is daring people to spread amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) awareness. Facebook reports to TIME magazine that 1.2 million unique videos related to the ice bucket challenge have been posted and a total of 15 million people have discussed the ice bucket challenge on Facebook via video postings and status updates between June 1 and August 13 of 2014.

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August 18, 2014

Excessive Use Of Force By Police

Ever since Michael Brown, an unarmed African American teenager, was fatally shot by a Caucasian police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, local outrage has been escalating. Protesters are furious at their police department. Several arrests have been made during confrontations with protesters. Police officers and protesters are being injured, stores have been vandalized and looted. The police department is fighting to protect the city of Ferguson and their people, while the protesters are fighting against police brutality and racism. This is a war between citizens and the police department for justice and fair treatment.

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August 18, 2014

Online Piracy Kills Your Digital Storage, Not the Entertainment Industry

imagesIn the United States, new movies are typically released in theaters every week. Some are great box office hits, while others are just plain terrible. Yet, who is to blame when a movie that did well in its prequels falls $10 million short of initial projections in its most recent debut? There are several different factors that can be considered. For one, maybe the movie trailer did not spark enough curiosity from its audience. Maybe it was just bad timing because of keen competition with other movies that had the same release date. However, the more popular suspect that will get the most attention is piracy.

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August 18, 2014

Hunting in Loxahatchee Refuge: The Reason it is Justified

alligatorHaving balance in the environment is the key to a well-functioning world. In Florida, the people have to find a balance in living with the American alligator population that has been steadily growing over the years. One way that the state has decided to balance out the population is to establish a season for hunting the alligators. Since 1988 hunting alligators has been legal; and today the cost of a permit for an instate resident to hunt is $272 with others having to pay $1,002. Recently, despite some people strongly protesting the decision, the state has approved to offer licenses to eleven hunters so that they may hunt for alligators in the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. Despite the negative reaction that activist have towards the decision, this is a good way to combat the fast growing population.

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August 18, 2014

The Right to Donate

gayflagImagine for a moment that you are the parent of a gay child who has tragically taken their own life due to the discrimination and hatred of others.  Adding to your heartbreak and dismay, you find out that your child is still being discriminated against even after their death.  Sadly, this has become the harsh reality that Iowa mother, Sheryl Moore, must face.  Moore told the Des Moines Register that her son, Alexander Betts’s, death is “the most painful thing I have ever been through in my entire life…I would not wish that on my worst enemy.”  She said that her son, “spent his entire life trying to make people feel good.”

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August 18, 2014

The Facts of Living Together

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My boyfriend and I just celebrated our five year anniversary last month, and I can thankfully say that we are happy together. We began dating in high school, and held together a long distance relationship for the first three years of college. Last year I took a leap of faith and decided to transfer to UH Manoa because that is where he had been attending. When I was getting ready to move to Hawaii, all of my friends were grilling me with the details of my living situation with my boyfriend. As a strong, independent, morally correct woman, I pledged that I would not be living with my boyfriend because I wanted to to live by my self and I didn’t believe that we should live together before we got married. To make a long story short, I changed my mind and moved in with him after two weeks of living in Hawaii. By doing this, I received much skepticism and criticism from my family and friends, however I can honestly say that is the best thing I ever did for my relationship. In the media I see the pros and cons of this topic coming up more and more, however by examining the facts,  it will become obvious why living together before marriage is the key to determining the future of a relationship.

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August 18, 2014

ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria): New Threat to the USA?

20140811_iraq_yazidi_2 Last month, the militant group ISIS ( Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) declared their jihad (holy war) against the minorities of Iraq which included the dwindling population of  Middle Eastern Christians, Yazidi sects and Kurds. Little was known that the situation would worsen to such a great extent. According to an opinion article published in the New York Times, it was an image out of the eighth century: bearded Islamist marauders abruptly executing unbelievers, prowling as they went.

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