By Jasmine Ferrell, Staff Writer
Not every “conflict” is worth suing over, let’s just be up front about that. Through the years there have been so many outlandish lawsuits to supply a never-ending list. I even found a top ten most ridiculous “lawsuits of the month” list. That is roughly one third of the month taken over by nonsense lawsuits. Now, I am here to provide some direct proof that sometimes we shouldn’t take advantage of our right to sue.
1) A Time Magazine article recently wrote about a man who won $1.6 million in a lawsuit over frogs. This man has a frog phobia stemming from his time spent on his parents vineyard, and after a construction project had been diverting water (turning his property into a wetland), he has not been able to even leave his home due to swarms of frogs.
2) An online list provides 25 of some of the very best lawsuits, one being a family of a victim versus Sea World. Now the fact that it involves a victim is concerning until you know just how it happened. Daniel Duke managed to stay in Sea World after closing and was discovered the next day at the bottom of the killer whale tank. Why the lawsuit? Apparently Sea World did not clarify how dangerous “killer” whales are.
3) On the same list is yet another dumbfounding case, this time between Richard Overton and a beer company, Anheuser-Busch. Overton is suing the beer makers after the lack of beautiful women despite how many beers he had.
4) Another unbelievable lawsuit was RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) v. Everyone. This is a constant battle against illegal downloading, which is a just cause, but sometimes they overstep their boundaries. For instance, one case was against 83-year-old Gertrud Walton, who had not only never owned a computer but also died the previous year.
5) Some lawsuits live entirely in the tech world, such as the case provided by MSN’s tech news page. One case was a woman suing against a driver who hit her while crossing the street. It seems pretty justified but then you consider she was walking in the dead of the night on a busy highway. How is this technology related? Well she’s also suing Google Maps, as it was their walking directions that lead her to walk there.
By Devon Delfino, Staff Writer
Last week’s American Airlines computer snafu , which caused the cancellation of over four hundred flights, served as a disturbing reminder of how reliant we have become on technology, and how easily it can fail us.
Smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc. We now have countless ways to stay connected. And with every month, it seems, we are introduced to faster and smaller versions of technologies we probably already own. Not to mention the countless apps at our disposal.
Have a sudden desire to become a priest? There’s an app for that, according to an article on CNN’s Belief Blog. Need to find the nearest Starbucks? There’s an app for that. Need someone to shame you into going to the gym? There’s an app for that, too. There are so many apps that my phone can barely stay charged.
While riding the bus to work the other day, I suddenly looked up from my phone and realized that every single person around me was on some sort of mobile device, avoiding eye contact at any cost, as if it were unnatural. And who can blame them? We all do it.
Technology has become a way of distancing ourselves from others; even under the guise of “social media,” we still use our phones and iPods and tablets to avoid human interaction, whether it’s on the bus, or simply walking to class.
Our reliance on technology is particularly clear in those moments when it fails us. We expect so much of our phones and tablets and laptops, and we tend to freak out when it takes forever to download that new game, or when the touch screen on our phone decides it’s not working right now. It’s incredibly frustrating.
We are wired in nearly twenty-four hours a day, googling our every whim, yet we still need more. We demand faster processors, smaller phones, and better screen resolution.
So ask yourself when the last time was that you went a whole day without using the internet; it’s probably not a bad idea to unplug every once in a while.
By Devon Delfino, Staff Writer
According to a recent article in the New York Times, a federal court judge ruled that Plan B, also known as the morning-after pill, should be available without a prescription to women of all ages. Currently, sixteen-year-olds and younger are required to obtain a prescription in order to be given the drug. As reactions pour in, it’s easy to be swayed to either end of the political spectrum.
Conservatives certainly make an understandable case: allowing extremely young girls access to such a drug might send the wrong message, has the potential for misuse and alienates the rights of the parents.
It’s a little scary to think that an eleven-year-old could soon go into a drug-store and purchase Plan B, with no questions asked and no parental notification necessary.
But what affect does this drug have on young girls? In his ruling, Judge Korman acknowledged the lack of research into the affects of Plan B on very young girls, as presented in the case. However, he concluded that, “Neither drug has any known serious or longterm side effects, though they may have some mild short-term side effects, such as nausea, fatigue, and headache.”
With such reaffirming scientific evidence supporting Korman’s ruling, it’s also easy to understand a liberal perspective.
This ruling can also be construed a great leap forward in women’s rights; equal access grants young women the right to be protected from an unwanted pregnancy when other birth-control methods fail.
It also creates a safer environment for these young women obtain the medication without a prescription or parental involvement. Some girls need this type of environment to seek out such a drug, for fear of backlash at home or other adverse reactions.
I think this case can best be summed up in the words of Judge Korman: “This case is not about the potential misuse of Plan B by 11-year-olds. These emergency contraceptives would be among the safest drugs sold over-the-counter, the number of 11 year-olds using these drugs is likely to be miniscule…Instead, the invocation of the adverse effect of Plan B on 11-year-olds is an excuse to deprive the overwhelming majority of women of their right to obtain contraceptives without unjustified and burdensome restrictions.”
By Danielle Cantey, Staff Writer
We all know someone who is obsessed with their furry, four-legged canine companion— the type of owner to carry their pooch around in a purse and dress them in the latest canine fashions. I myself am guilty of occasionally dressing my pups in sweaters during the winter. Well, look out there’s a new canine fashion trend dominating social networking sites like Instagram and Tumblr tagged “pups in pantyhose.” The viral trend was popularized by Chinese social networking site Weibo, according to an article on Refinery29.com, and features pictures of dogs dressed pantyhose and in some cases, shoes. This trend makes these canine companions look almost human, if not in a creepy way. It has even gotten attention from Boston’s Channel 7. Of course, some people are saying it’s animal cruelty, some are saying it’s humiliating, and some just think it’s downright funny. Whatever your take on the issue, it’s worth a look!
By Samantha Wong, Staff Writer
According to an AP article featured on USA Today’s website, in Times Square, this month, an apparently disturbed Cookie Monster pushed a two-year old and shouted obscenities at his mother for not charitably handing over $2. Earlier this year, an anti-Semitic Elmo pleaded guilty for disorderly conduct and a Super Mario was charged with sexually harassing a woman.
Nearly everyone has had his or her fair share of creepers. Usually, they are not dressed up as your favorite childhood game and TV show characters, which makes them significantly less, well, creepy. Nevertheless, “creepers” feature a broad range of people (i.e., creepers on the internet, creepers in day-to-day life, etc.) Creepers on the street, however, are more comfortable with confrontation than their predecessors.
How to distinguish said creeper? Here are a few tells:
- Inability to take “no” for an answer
- Shadowing even after you express disinterest
- Inability to take “no” for an answer (otherwise known as persistence. Or harassment.)
With experience however, dealing with creeps is relatively easy. To deal with creeps appropriately, there are a couple of steps:
- The first thing to do is to effortlessly avoid them by either (a) pulling out a social network device or (b) pretending to be absolutely engrossed by something in hand.
- If ‘Step 1’ cannot be completed, do not give the creep too much acknowledgement; give a terse response that could otherwise be given to a stranger asking for directions.
- End all attempts to further conversation.
- If creep persists, humor the creep if you must, but be cautious as not to encourage the creep to entreat you for some kind of compensation.
On the whole, maintain a semblance of cool. This is to make as seamless as an experience possible with the creep. Further, if creep oversteps normal social boundaries, either (a) run away or (b) get some help if you cannot (a).
By Maya Devereaux, Staff Writer
Sequels often have a way of being, to put it nicely, horrible. (Think, “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde,” “Grease 2,” “Dumb and Dumberer,” I could go on forever). Fortunately, we have Pixar to raise the standard as the animation studio’s sequels continue to impress audiences that includes people over the age of eight (the whole Toy Story franchise, DUH?). With “Monsters University,” the sequel to “Monsters Inc.,” out this June, next on the line up is …(drumroll please) “Finding Dory!”
According to an article on Reuters.com, there will be a sequel to the much-acclaimed “Finding Nemo.” The Pixar film, released in 2003, amassed four Academy Awards and a 99 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. That kind of sets the bar high for its sequel, if you ask me. But with Ellen DeGeneres reprising her role as Dory, the film should be in good hands. Going off of the title, hopefully you have gotten the idea that it will be Dory, the fun loving pacific regal blue tang fish, who gets lost this time around.
Though not many details on the project have been revealed to the public yet, we do know that the film will be set along the California coast and will feature Nemo, his father and the fish tank gang, according to Reuters. All other characters are still up in the air as of now, but I know we’re all hoping Bruce the shark and Crush the awesome sea turtle will make an appearance.
Though there are high expectations for Finding Dory, Pixar seems to know what they’re doing and thus far, has not disappointed us. Plus, Ellen Degeneres commented that the script is “fantastic,” which probably means that it is.
Unfortunately, we will have to wait until 2015 for this film, which leaves a ton of time for anticipation. In fact, we have to wait until the end of 2015. Finding Dory is set to be released in November of that year, which in turn means Pixar still has that much time left to make it completely awesome. By that time, I will have graduated college already, but that won’t make me any less eager to go catch it in theaters!
By Samantha Wong, Staff Writer
The Notebook has the ability to reduce people to tears. This holds true even nine years after its release in 2004. Which may or may not have to do with the fact that The Notebook is what I consider to be one of the most celebrated romantic movies of all time. Oh and, of course, Ryan Gosling.
Ryan Gosling stars with Rachel McAdams as the star-crossed lovers Noah and Allie, convincing women everywhere that there is a Noah for all. This impossible standard was only further solidified when Noah (Gosling) begs Ally to stay with him– but only after a romantic kiss in the rain.
Unfortunately, according to an article on Time Magazine’s website, Gosling announced for Gosling fans everywhere, Gosling is taking a hiatus from acting.
Fortunately for women everywhere, BlinkBox, an on-demand British movie site, thought it would be a good idea to create the Gosline. The Gosline, a play on the words ‘Gosling’ and ‘Hotline’, is otherwise known as a help-line for those that need incentive to get through their day. ‘Incentive’ meaning Ryan Gosling.
The hotline works in the following way: the caller dials the number for the Gosline. Once the call is answered, Ryan Gosling gives the caller a motivational monologue.
One such monologue is the following, which can be heard in The Notebook: “It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this every day, but I wanna do that because I want you. I want you. I want all of you, forever, every day. You and me, every day.”
That is one of the more powerful quotes that Ryan Gosling says throughout the movie. Not including what Gosling does that doesn’t include speech (i.e., the Gosling swagger, the intense gaze that he casts at his beloved Allison).
So, for those Gosling fans whose names aren’t Eva Mendez, that need that push to get through the day…this is a formidable alternative if that 5-hour Energy just is not cutting it.
By Danielle Cantey
What if you were just an avatar in your own life and others had the power to dictate the way you live- from the food you eat and the clothes you wear, to who you date? We’re all somewhat familiar with the popular computer game SIMS that allows the gamer to make these very decisions about their computer generated characters’ lives, but according to an article on Wired.com, Mike Merrill has taken this concept from the cyber world into the real world. Merrill, a customer service rep at a Portland, Ore. software company, is a publicly traded person. His company KmikeyM is a virtual stock market that allows people to become shareholders in his life, and in return, shareholders receive a cut of Merrill’s earnings outside of his job. In essence, shareholders are investing in Merrill’s future success. While many startups allow people to invest in entrepreneurs, KmikeyM is different in that shareholders actually get to decide which projects Merrill pursues. Although this project began as a way for Merrill to achieve professional success, the project quickly expanded to including personal life decisions in an effort to gain more investors.
As a result of votes from his shareholders, Merrill has changed his diet, moved in with his girlfriend (shareholder #160) and changed his style of dress. Recent proposals on his site show that shareholders have approved a change to Merrill’s diet that would allow meat back into his diet in an effort to align his lifestyle choices with those his girlfriend. Merrill has also been allowed to expand his fashion horizons. Previously Merrill was limited to only wearing Brooks Brothers clothing, but as a result of a recent business venture with Nike, a proposal was drafted to allow the integration of Nike apparel into his wardrobe. Shareholders are still voting on a proposal that would involve hiring a Public Relations rep to deal with the increased press surrounding Merrill.
Merrill’s lifestyle is somewhat controversial. Many are understandably disturbed by the idea of strangers controlling their personal lives, and Merrill warns that this lifetstyle is only for a selected few. When asked by Drew Nelles of The Globe and Mail about the controversy associated with being a traded person, Merrill responded by saying: “People hate the idea of giving up control. Everyone wants to think that they are ultimately in control of their lives, and that’s an obvious fallacy. We are a product of our environment.” Leaving your life in someone else’s hands yet alone a thousand investors seems risky. For $13.50 investors can essentially control Merrill’s every move. Yet, that’s what makes KmikeyM so successful. Why live vicariously through a computer-generated avatar, when you can buy a share in publicly traded person Mike Merrill?
By Jasmine Ferrell, Staff Writer
Dear Veniamin Balika of Illinois,
I recently read on Time Magazine’s website that you have stolen $200,000 worth of Wisconsin Muenster cheese, and this greatly disturbs me. Due to my education, I have relocated to the east coast, but my heart has and will always lie in my home state. It truly upsets me to hear that someone could be so cold-hearted as to steal some of our prized dairy products. Now, don’t get me wrong, the entire world knows how amazing our cheese is, so I can’t blame you for wanting so much. But really Sir, was it necessary to trick a kind Wisconsinite into giving you all this edible gold simply to make a profit on the east coast? Perhaps, you’ve felt teased being so close to our kingdom of cheese geographically and thought it was time to take vengeance, or maybe you just had a bad day. But, again, there is no reason valid enough to steal over 42,000 pounds of our cheese.
For your sake, I hope you think about what you have done. Not only did this directly affect one man’s business, but it has left Wisconsin offended. We have been nothing but kind to you, even sharing a border with your home state, and this feels much like a friend stabbing us in the back. Take some personal time Veniamin, and find the real root of outlandish outbursts such as this and try to fix it in a healthy, positive way. I mean, if this anger is all due to the fact that auto-correct constantly wants to change your name to “vitamin,” that is not Wisconsin’s problem. All in all, next time you want cheese that bad, why don’t you just buy some?
Jasmine Ferrell, a Wisconsinite
By Danielle Cantey
Shain Gandee one of the stars of MTV’s wildly popular reality show BUCKWILD , which chronicles the antics of a group of young West Virginians, was found dead along with two others in his truck Monday. The cause of death appears to be a result of mudding (off-roading) gone wrong. Gandee and his companions were found in his wrecked truck with the tailpipe of the truck completely submerged in mud. Reports show that carbon monoxide poisoning from the submerged tailpipe was the cause of death, according to an USA Today article.
Shain, nicknamed “Gandee Candy” for his charm and prankster antics, was a fan favorite on the show. He represented the simple and down-to-earth character. He was the shy, sweet, good- natured member of the BUCKWILD crew. In the premier episode of BUCKWILD, he talked about how he loved rural life in the “holler,” a term he used to refer to the convenient ability to simply yell down the street in order to communicate with neighbors. He was also known for his ability to have a good time and his enthusiasm for trying new stunts. In one episode he rolls down a hill in a giant tire with the gang. He, like many other cast members, enjoyed mudding. In episode eight of the show, he says goodbye to his eighth truck nicknamed “danger ranger” after it breaks down from the strains of constant mudding and rough driving.
The whole cast embodies the fast-paced, care-free, risk-taking attitude that society often associates with youth. In fact, they engaged in so many high risk antics that the show has a disclaimer at the beginning warning that the “wild and crazy behavior” featured in the show could result in “serious personal injury or property damage” viewers are urged against replicating these activities. Because of this, BUCKWILD has faced criticism. While the risky antics portrayed in the show can desensitize us to the dangers of various stunts, tragedies like this one often remind us that we are not invincible.
It is always heartbreaking and unexpected when a life is cut short. It’s especially shocking when it’s someone who is young, like we are. Shain’s death is newsworthy not only because he was on TV, but also because it is jarring when someone who is young dies while doing the same stunts that many people do daily for fun. Taping for season two of BUCKWILD has been suspended; there is currently no word as to when it may resume.