By Shivani Patel, Staff Writer
This past Monday marked the 15th anniversary of the shootings that took place in Littleton, Colorado at Columbine High School. Two high school students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, opened fire on their school, killing twelve people and wounding over twenty. They then committed suicide in the school, leaving the tragedy that is Columbine behind them.
Since then, a total of 29 notable shootings in schools have occurred across the country from 1999 to 2012.
Let that sink in for a moment.
These 29 shootings span 13 years — U.S. citizens have witnessed this many tragedies.
The ages of the shooters themselves range, but what I find incredibly disheartening and tragic is that one shooting (although less fatal than some) involved a six-year-old boy shooting one of his classmates.
There are two sides to the issue of gun control. There are those for increased restrictions on gun usage, and there are those against adding restrictions to gun usage. The latter is spearheaded by the National Rifle Association (NRA).
With recent shootings, like the one that took place just last year at Sandy Hook Elementary, the NRA has been criticized for its support of the use of firearms. In their defense, they claim that in pushing for more gun control, the Second Amendment right to bear arms will be put in danger.
According to their website, the NRA has implemented programs such as the “Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program,” which is designed to train kids from K-6 to not touch a firearm if unsupervised and to alert an adult immediately, or the “Refuse To Be A Victim” seminar, designed to teach anyone how to attain personal safety at all times.
Remember that six-year-old boy I mentioned earlier? He did the exact opposite of what the program preached, and the boy’s relatives were convicted of leaving a firearm where it was easily accessible for children. With this situation in mind, it is difficult to trust the effectiveness of the program, when it has proven not to reach its entire intended audience.
At the same time, by instituting gun control laws, the purpose of a firearm for use of self-defense is defeated when there are so many rules and regulations.
I find the debate interesting, but with the ever-increasing worry about future shootings, it is necessary for both sides to come together and figure out a solution before the situation becomes even worse.
By Robin Ngai, Staff Writer
As a California native, I’ve had my fair share of good and bad burritos. However, when I’m away from home, I’m a pretty big fan of Chipotle. It’s a five minute walk from my dorm room and to have a full delicious meal for under ten bucks is a pretty sweet deal.
This might not be the case anymore: for the first time in three years, Chipotle is hiking up its prices. They are said to go into effect in the next three to six months, and as a loyal customer (and broke college student), this saddens me.
The reason for the price hike is that their food products are rising in price. Avocados are just one of the many products that have risen dramatically in the past few years. With Chipotle’s promise to using fresh foods and having healthier options, it is hard for the chain not to add a couple dollars for their meals.
This may be the point where customers ask, “why doesn’t their owner McDonald’s just save them?” Despite the popular belief that McDonald’s is the parent of Chipotle, Chipotle actually has no ties with the fast food chain. Briefly in 1998, McDonald’s took a minority stake in the business but decided to quit soon after, predicting that the burrito chain would not make it big.
Oh, how wrong they were. People have grown to love the fast food burrito chain so much that it is predicted to still make sales even if the prices rise (watch this guy inhale four of them in three minutes).
I for one, will still be a customer to Chipotle. If the price hikes scare you, just use these handy tips that will make your trip (and extra bucks) worthwhile. Me and my roommates have created a tradition since freshman year to go there once a week, and it’s something that we won’t be giving up any time soon.
By Kyra Louie, Staff Writer
Have you ever wondered what your favorite Disney characters would look like as the opposite sex? Well, look no further!
Sakimi Chan is a Canadian digital artist who “loves to draw fantasy, sci-fi and gender bending.” Her works include characters from Disney, anime and original content. She also does commissions for avatars from the popular forum and social network Gaia Online.
In case you didn’t know, “gender-bending” is when an artist switches a character’s gender. A bad example would be if Spongebob were made to have more feminine qualities. A better example would be to portray Nintendo’s Mario and Luigi as females and Princess Daisy and Peach as males. Most genderbent characters are very attractive and reflect the original almost spot on, but it’s weird to think how characters would act or be treated if they were the opposite gender.
Some people have attempted to gender-bend Disney characters using screenshots and Photoshopping the characters’ physical features to look more masculine or feminine, but Chan drew her pieces with the original personalities in mind, creating something more true to character.
Chan doesn’t always gender-bend in her art. Her other works include portrayals of characters like Jack Frost, Wonder Woman, Princess Mononoke and Link, as well as characters from the animated television show “Adventure Time.”
Personally, I love looking at gender-bent characters. It transforms my interpretation of the character and lets my imagination wander to what they would be like as the other gender. My favorite character out of the entire Disney set was gender-bent Hades. She is beautifully crafted and is on point with the original Hades. She is, in my eyes, perfect.
By Jacob Carter, Staff Writer
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the 1964 New York World’s Fair. The event introduced a number of technological innovations to the general public. It is interesting to see how several inventions acted as precursors to today’s technology, while others are still the objects of science fiction.
One device that made a notable debut at the fair was the “picturephone,” developed by Bell System. As the name suggests, this groundbreaking item allowed people to call individuals and see the party on the other line. Though it was not well-received initially, the “picturephone” is clearly an ancestor to modern video communication services such as Skype.
Another device that proved to be revolutionary, arguably even more than the “picturephone,” was the personal computer. While the idea was nascent at the time, it is hard to believe that such a crucial modern invention materialized only half a century ago.
Of course, far more interesting than remarking on the innovations of the World’s Fair is laughing at its failures. For example, according to the “Futurama 2” ride presented by General Motors, people were clearly ambitious in terms of where humanity’s new frontiers were located. The company presented images of people colonizing the moon and living underwater, two environments that remain just as inhospitable now as they were then.
And no future speculation would be complete without the discussion of jet packs. Constantly touted as the hallmark of technological advancement, these devices also made an appearance at the event, apparently complete with actual flying demonstrations. Sadly, humans have yet to adopt this method of travel, and popular use of the jet pack exists as a reality only in the worlds of James Bond and science fiction.
Despite being a breeding ground for some eccentric ideas, the 1964’s World Fair was still an environment for revolutionary modernizations. As mentioned, some of these devices matured into what are now essential inventions, and their evolution is an indicator of just how fast and complex technology continues to grow.
Jet packs and underwater colonies may still seem laughable today, but as evidenced by the “picturephone,” one cannot even prepare to imagine how the world will transform in another fifty years. With that in mind, I think I’ll go ahead and put my name on the moon colony waiting list.
By Robin Ngai, Staff Writer
If you were a true 90s child, then “Boy Meets World” was something that you watched every day when you came home from school. As the years went on, you grew up with Cory, Topanga, Shawn, Eric, and Mr. Feeny. From their young and awkward middle school days to their angst filled high school years and finally to college and eventual marriage, you stuck with them through thick and thin.
Now, after almost 14 years, it’s back (and with a teaser trailer to prove it). Your favorite gang has come together once again, and this time it’s to inspire a new generation of preteens (but let’s be honest, a large amount of twenty-somethings will be tuning in as well).
“Girl Meets World” is a spin-off that is centered around Cory and Topanga’s daughter, Riley, and their son, Auggie. Though it will be centered around their lives, guest stars of the original show are rumored to appear as well.
Personally, I’m looking forward to a Cory and Shawn reunion and an appearance from the one and only Mr. Feeny. I could not have imagined my childhood without this show and for them to be reuniting is a dream come true. I’m pretty sure I’ve learned a majority of my life lessons from “Boy Meets World” (and also “Full House”), and I’m hoping that “Girl Meets World” will continue the legacy.
Check out the teaser trailer below:
By Ann Singer, Staff Writer
For most of us, life as a nine month old consisted of crawling around and learning that ‘no’ really meant no. This is no different for little Musa Khan, hailing from the slums of Lahore, Pakistan. Well, except that he was also charged with attempted murder.
Wait, what? Can this be true?
I’m afraid to admit that something so absurd like this can actually happen. Most news outlets are reporting that bill collectors came to the Khan home to collect money or turn off their gas. The family opposed this, though it’s not clear whether they did so peacefully or by stoning (as the police report in question states). Family members, including Musa, were then charged with attempting to murder the gas company workers and the police, and were booked and fingerprinted.
Pakistani lawyers say it is common for whole families to be punished in an incident, just one example of how the corrupt criminal justice system, full of underpaid and incompetent workers, functions.
Pakistan has a penal code that states children under the age of seven cannot be considered to have committed a criminal offense. Yet, Musa was only granted bail and now he and his whole family are in hiding due to pressure from the police.
It’s clear that the police system desperately requires reform, a general consensus by everyone from the Khan family lawyer to Shaukat Javed, the former Punjab police chief.
Because of the growing attention to the case, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has demanded the police suspend the officer who filed the report and open an investigation into the incident. Nevertheless, the Pakistani police force still has a long ways to go before it can be considered legitimate and fair.
Check out the video below:
By Kyra Louie, Staff Writer
Paulina Gretzky, fiancée to Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) tour winner Dustin Johnson and daughter of a hockey superstar, has landed a solo spot on the cover of this month’s Golf Digest. The American model and pop singer surely fits the criteria for the cover, right?
May’s cover of Golf Digest portrays Paulina Gretzky in tight capris and a revealing sports bra holding an iron. In the article, Gretzky recounts how she once missed a ball in front of 30 people while playing in her dad’s tournament. It also features different exercises to improve one’s golf game.
Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA) golfers have only appeared solo on Golf Digest’s covers 11 times since 1969. The most recent LPGA player to land the cover was Lorena Ochoa in August 2008.
“If a magazine called Golf Digest is interested in showcasing females in the game, yet consistently steers away from the true superstars who’ve made history over the last few years, something is clearly wrong,” said Mike Whan, the LPGA Tour Commissioner. “’Growing the game’ means a need for more role models and in these exciting times for women’s golf, the LPGA is overflowing with them.”
It’s time to give credit where credit is due. Yet the last issue featuring an LPGA Tour winner was six years ago, and in total the LPGA has only had 11 covers in the past 45 years.
“It’s frustrating for female golfers,” third-ranked player Stacy Lewis said in an interview with the New York Times. “It’s kind of the state of where we’ve always been. We don’t get respect for being the golfers that we are. Obviously, Golf Digest is trying to sell magazines. But at the same time you’d like to see a little respect for the women’s game.”
Last time I checked, the Waspy stereotype that golf still holds would never allow someone in Gretzky’s outfit anywhere near the clubhouse, let alone the course. There is no reason for this to be the face of Golf Digest if the figure isn’t wearing something that would be deemed appropriate, not to mention she has nothing to do with the game.
Juli Inkster, a seven-time winner and a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, as well as one of the 11 women to appear alone on Golf Digest’s covers, doesn’t appreciate the magazine’s choice in Gretzky either.
“What do you have to do to get a little respect? I’m guaranteeing you right now, it was not a woman editor who chose that cover,” said Inkster in an interview with the New York Times.
She’s probably right. Golf Digest’s editor in chief, Jerry Tarde, released a statement to the commotion surrounding this month’s cover.
“Sports figures, celebrities and models have appeared on Golf Digest covers since the magazine’s beginning,” said Tarde. “Paulina ranks at the high end of the golf celebrity scene today, and she has a compelling story to tell. She also might get some new people interested in the game.”
As a golfer, this cover is a slap in the face. I went to the 2009 U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship, and I remember getting my hat signed by almost every player I could find. These women pride themselves on integrity, honor, dignity and respect. All of which are not portrayed on this month’s cover. The women of the LPGA are my role models, on and off the course. We faced struggles left and right to gain our “equality” in this sport. And now that we have it, we’re still faced with the same prejudice as before. I can name 15 people off the top of my head that would be better suited in that cover spot, and they’re all members of the LPGA.
By Jacob Carter, Staff Writer
A new study conducted by Cornell University proves that the placement and presentation of cereal intended for youth in grocery stores can affect product sales. According to the researchers, whether or not a child is enticed by a particular cereal is dependent on the orientation of the brand’s mascot.
Walking into a store, it’s easy to see that children’s cereal is placed on lower shelves than the adult’s. This makes sense, as the companies attempt to appeal to a younger, shorter demographic.
But the most interesting aspect of the study places focus on the angle of a mascot’s eyes on a kid’s cereal box.
The study explains that 57 of the 86 different mascots observed possessed a downward gaze of 9.67 degrees. The effect of this particular angle leads to the characters making direct eye contact with passing children.
Using this information, the researchers asked 63 people which of two boxes of cereal they would buy, one with the mascot staring straight ahead and the other with it looking down with the trademark angle. They discovered that the trust in a particular cereal is 16 percent higher if the mascot is looking down and making eye contact.
What to do with this discovery is a bit of a mystery. The study concludes by stating that if companies want to improve sales for healthy kid’s cereals, then those companies should make sure that the characters on those cereal boxes are engaging in a staring contest with potential buyers.
This isn’t out of the question, but the results of the experiment appear too slight to be taken seriously. After all, only 63 people were surveyed, and the results indicate that there was only a 16 percent increase in buyer trust. It looks like the correlation in this study is fleeting at best.
Besides, children are most heavily attracted to the sweetest of cereals. Therefore, even if kids are able to make eye contact with the jaunty sun-mascot on the Raisin Bran box, I am still inclined to think that they will lead themselves to more sugary pastures.
Indeed, the only success I can find in this study is that next time I walk down the breakfast aisle in CVS, I won’t be able to shake the feeling that I’m being watched.
By Robin Ngai, Staff Writer
On Thursday, Hillary Clinton spoke at the Women in the World conference in New York. There, she boldly stated that there is a double standard for women which is created by the media. Clinton claimed that the media should be more aware of how they present women in the media, and despite the progress women have made, this double standard still exists.
Clinton’s statement can surely be backed up with reliable evidence. Recently, the Women’s Media Center released their annual report on women and their impact on the media. Time collected the nine most depressing facts from the study, and it shows that Clinton’s claims are right.
Just a couple standout facts is that women are barely represented in newsrooms (in fact it’s gotten even worse over time) and women have had fewer speaking roles in movies in 2012 than any other year since 2007.
I find this is absolutely absurd.
It concerns me to see that women are being so misrepresented in the media. The media controls what information the public has access to and shapes their views, and to have these views be dominated by one race and gender is highly detrimental to society. As a society we need to strive to have a more equal representation and the first step to do so is to change the way media perceives and treats women. We need to have more women in advertising, television, film, and news. We must see the change in order to make it.
I understand that women have made great strides in the past few decades. There are many things to be celebrated, but there is still much to be worked on. The Representation Project produced a video titled, “How the Media Failed Women in 2013,” which documents a few great moments for women in the media. It echoes the fact that there isn’t enough progress being made.
There is no quick way to fix this problem. Instead, we must strive to have the media incorporate women in a positive light in order for this double standard to slowly recede and hopefully one day, no longer exist.
Check out the Representation Project’s video below:
By Kyra Louie, Staff Writer
When we were little, we could name all 151 original Pokemon without fail, and cast a plethora of spells (for those who aren’t muggles). Today, we gawk excitedly about “Doctor Who,” anime and comics, among other things. That’s right. We are nerds.
At Denver Comic Con last year, Wil Wheaton, best known for his role of Wesley Crusher from Star Trek: The Next Generation, was asked by 7-year-old Mia how to deal with being called a nerd.
It’s unfortunate that it has taken a full year for this video to go viral, but it’s a good thing that it did, because Wheaton’s response is absolutely wonderful.
“When a person makes fun of you, when a person is cruel to you, it has nothing to do with you. It’s not about what you said. It’s not about what you did. It’s not about what you love. It’s about them feeling bad about themselves.” Wheaton said.
He continued the analogy by comparing the way another person loves tether-ball is the same intense way that nerds love “Doctor Who”.
A few days ago Mia’s mother told Reddit that her daughter took Wheaton’s message to heart, and has made amends with the bully and has gone so far as to protect other children who are bullied.
John Green, a famous author and YouTube personality made a few videos on nerds back in the day, and he makes the clear distinction that being called a nerd isn’t a bad thing.
“Nerds are allowed to love stuff. Like jump-up-and-down-in-your-chair love it. When people call people nerds, mostly what they’re saying is, ‘You like stuff,’ which is just not a good insult at all,” concludes Green.
Nerds come in all shapes, sizes and backgrounds. Two people can nerd out about the football game last night, and two people could also nerd out about the “Sherlock” season finale. In fact, being a nerd is so great that there is a show about being the biggest nerd.
Nerds are also some of the most passionate people I’ve ever met. All of my friends here at Boston University are nerds. Whether it’s their favorite band, or a TV series, every person has something that they love, and love to express their love for it. This is coming from the woman who received a Star Trek science officer onesie for her birthday this year.
Trust me, it’s not so bad to be a nerd. In fact, it’s pretty cool.