By Kyra Louie, Staff Writer
It seems like the leading social media network has finally caught on to the fact that gender identity isn’t just about male or female anymore. Facebook added more than 50 new gender options for people who do not strictly identify as male or female Thursday, Feb. 13.
Some of the new options include (but are not exclusive to): transgender, cisgender, gender fluid, gender queer and intersex. Facebook even goes so far as to let users choose whether they want to use female, male or neutral pronouns.
For those who are confused about the difference between sex and gender: sex is a biological term, which refers to anatomy and hormones. Gender, on the other hand, refers to society’s constructs of gender roles and behaviors.
There are many people who are against Facebook’s new feature, like Fox News Contributor Todd Starnes.
In my opinion, it is highly insensitive, disturbing and unacceptable to state that being a trans person is the same as identifying with a “pine cone or a chicken or a weed whacker,” as Starnes claims. It is sickening that there are people in this world who can even think those kinds of thoughts.
In this day and age, Society celebrates the ability to conform to the boxes and roles, but that should not be the case. A human being should be celebrated, no matter who they are or how they identify themselves. Humans are smart. We can change with time and effort.
These new gender options may not apply to some people, but to the ones that it does affect, it makes a difference.
The Daily Beast even has a detailed glossary of most of Facebook’s new gender options.
The bottom line: We should respect all humans, in all forms. People are people, and we are all beautiful. We should all be celebrated and given the same respect as everyone else. If we want to change society, we must first change ourselves. And this is a step in the right direction. Thank you, Facebook.
By Ann Singer, Staff Writer
Housing, much like opinions on politics or the best Girl Scout cookie, can be a sensitive topic. Drama can arise out of just about any situation from whose rooming with who, why this person doesn’t want to live with that person, where the best place to live is and about a thousand other issues.
Luckily, there is a way to avoid the drama, and many are finding the solution in the form of a single, or the now trending super single (a room big enough for two yet used by one).
An Atlantic article released Tuesday discusses how many colleges, in competition to provide the most comfort and convenience on campus, are accommodating a rising demand for single rooms. College of Arts and Sciences freshman Disha Wagh chose a single to avoid being put with a random roommate.
“I was really worried at first because my sister kept telling me, ‘you’re not going to make friends, everyone’s going to hang out with their roommates,’ but then I really like it because I can have my own space,” Wagh said. “if I want to hang out with everyone else there’s always the common room, but if I need to do my own work or Skype people I have my own room to go to.”
But is being in a single really as nice as it seems? College of Communication freshman Alex Siracusa isn’t sure.
“I hate my roommate. I’m living with roommates next year, but I prefer to live alone,” Siracusa said.
So why bother with roommates if he prefers his space?
“You just gotta do it. A part of it is money, but another part is in a lot of dorms a single would be too lonely,” Siracusa said.
Some find it fine to live in their own space and seek out others when feeling social, while others find the prospect of going back to a room every day to a party of one too secluded. But does the singles dispute really come down to a matter of personal space versus human interaction?
College of Communication junior Linsay Kopit thinks it may be the constantly changing trend in living situations.
“With the increasing use of social media and talking to others online, people are much more afraid of face-to-face, interpersonal interactions,” she said.
With the number of people per household dwindling and the increasing role of technology in everyday life, the need for personal space may just be another side effect of 21st century advancements. However, some basic life lessons — like how to deal with other people — are a learn-by-experience deal, no matter what century you live in.
Housing really is a deal that differs person to person. But whether the trend of singles continues on its way or not, the general consensus seems to be that roommates, good or bad, are a helpful learning experience for becoming socially acceptable, suitably tolerant human beings. And that’s something to seriously consider when debating what to do next year.
After all, isn’t college supposed to be a boot camp for the “real world”?
By Kyra Louie, Staff Writer
Woosh, woosh, woosh, ding, woosh, woosh, ding, woosh, thwack, incoherent screaming.
I’m sure that we’ve all heard this, or have been through this, at least once in the past few weeks. This, my friends, is none other than the sound of Flappy Bird.
The popular, yet frustrating app was taken down Sunday at noon by the app’s creator, Dong Nguyen, and there’s a lot of speculation as to his motives behind the move. Some believe that he received death threats from unhappy customers, others said that the game was ruining his life, as well as the lives of the players.
I can call 'Flappy Bird' is a success of mine. But it also ruins my simple life. So now I hate it.—
Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 08, 2014
It is not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it anymore.—
Dong Nguyen (@dongatory) February 08, 2014
Nguyen received $50,000 a day from ad revenue on Flappy Bird, yet he still took it down.
If you’ve ever tried the game, you would know that it is very difficult (and incredibly frustrating) for most people. Some love it, some hate it. College of Communication sophomore Jacqlene Boening has a high score of 22 points.
“I think Flappy Bird is a really great game and people who think that it’s impossible to win just haven’t strategized or tried hard enough,” she said.
My high score is 38, and I’m not sure if it will ever get higher than that. But, somehow, this game draws me in like a magnet, and before I know it, two hours have passed. I really do like this game because it’s challenging.
But that’s also what makes people like College of Arts and Sciences freshman Andre Orlando hate it.
“Flappy Bird is a boring person’s idea of fun, along with BuzzFeed and the show Scandal,” he said.
But for all the hate that this app has gotten, its absence has taken a toll on many, and some have even resorted to selling phones with Flappy Bird installed on Ebay for thousands of dollars. There have been many apps made as spinoffs of Flappy Bird, but they will never receive the same kind of popularity that Flappy Bird has gotten over the past few weeks.
“It’s embarrassing that our society is obsessed with this kind of stuff,” says Hayley McNutt, a sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences who refused to download the app while it was still on the market.
But there is good news for those of us who desperately want Flappy Bird back in our lives. On Monday, Nguyen told the world that he is not finished yet. So beware, users, there may be an equally (if not more) addicting game out sometime in the future.
In the meantaime, here’s a good way to stop that urge to play:
By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
Anyone who’s been watching the Olympics knows from endless P&G “Thank You, Mom” commercials that it takes an incredible amount of talent, parental support, time, hard work and dedication to make it to the Olympic Games.
But what we tend to forget is that the cost of actually getting to the Games can be exponential. For many young athletes, their parents finance their children’s coaching, equipment, training facilities and travel expenses to various competitions around the world.
17-year-old figure skater Michael Christian Martinez, the only athlete representing the Philippines in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, is a prime example.
In an interview, his mother Maria Theresa Martinez revealed that the family had to mortgage their house in order to send Martinez all the way to Sochi.
She had allegedly written to Filipino President Benigno Aquino III asking for financial support but had not received a response and was forced to mortgage their house.
In an email his mother sent to CNN, she said, “the family patched together donations from a local shopping mall ice rink, friends and his skating club. The family’s life saving has been depleted and their family’s farm in Luzon province has been damaged by typhoons last year. If [he] hadn’t qualified for the Olympics in 2013, he would’ve had to quit competitive skating because [they] couldn’t afford it.”
His tale is an inspirational one, for sure. Martinez first began skating at the age of eight, despite having had asthma attacks from dabbling in other sports, and often had to train in skating rinks inside shopping malls.
The Philippines has never before medaled in the Winter Games, but on Feb. 13 Martinez qualified in the men’s short program to compete in the free skate program, making him eligible to contend for a medal and make history.
The Martinez family isn’t the only one to have suffered financially from sending their young athletes to the Olympics. The families of U.S. gold medalists Gabby Douglas (gymnastics) and Ryan Lochte (swimming), two stars of the London 2012 Olympics, have also filed for bankruptcy and faced foreclosure, respectively.
Though Douglas and Lochte are now both earning enough to fund their own training expenses through endorsements and other deals from sponsors, there is no doubt that their parents had to have sacrificed plenty of money along the way to even get them to reach the high levels they are currently at in their athletic careers.
It’s easy to get caught up in the glamour and prestige of the Olympics and even feel inspired from Proctor & Gamble’s heartwarming “Raising an Olympian” series, but we often forget about how much parents really have to give up in order to support their children.
It takes much more than encouragement from mom and dad and a tough mindset with the determination to make it. Hopefully these successful Olympians are finding ways to give back to their families for all their years of support.
By Jacob Carter, Staff Writer
Amazon recently released a list compiled by the website’s book editors entitled 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime. According to the editor, they wanted it to encompass “all stages of a life” and provide a guide to a reader’s most essential literary endeavors. Their effort is admirable — I just have one question: Whose lifetime are they referring to?
The list is meant to cover the most vital books to read from childhood to maturity, and it is true that the editors are successful in balancing the list with everything from children’s classics such as “Charlotte’s Web” to indelible masterworks such as “Pride and Prejudice.” But what strikes me most as I peruse the selections is the sheer amount of recent bestsellers that are on display.
If I am meant to take this list to my grave, should there be so many titles that solely represent today’s cultural climate?
My specific issue is directed at the books meant to represent the category of young adult fiction. Such inclusions compromise both Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” and J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” and the “Sorcerer’s Stone.” While it is true that these books ignited an immense cultural phenomenon, it is not unfounded to think that their popularity will decrease in a matter of a few years.
Youth culture is always driven by a desire for the new and innovative. With each new generation, adolescents strive for their own cultural identity. While the adventures of Harry, Ron and Hermione may have enraptured their parents, it is safe to assume that children of the future will take hold of a new literary outlet.
To a lesser degree, I am also skeptical toward the presence of such selections as Rebecca Skloot’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and Erik Larson’s “The Devil in the White City.”
I will fully admit that I have never read either of these books. However, I single them out because their existence on the list is due to the fact that they are recent bestsellers. Before decade’s end, they will most likely fade from the public consciousness, replaced by another slew of acclaimed prose.
Popular culture is in a constant state of fluctuation. Attempting to bring any sort of definitive representation is impossible. Perhaps “100 Books to Read At This Moment” would be a more accurate description of the list they’ve compiled.
Of course, you can’t count out the real reason they assembled the list: to spread the love of reading to all generations. I admire them for that.
And who knows? Perhaps 60 years from now children will still hold Katniss and Harry dear to their hearts.
By Robin Ngai, Staff Writer
Once again, it’s that time of the year again when chalk-tasting Sweethearts are back on shelves, heart decals are plastered on dorm windows, and couples seem to increase by the dozens.
Yes ladies and gents, it’s Valentine’s day, that holiday where we define love by the amounts of chocolates or flowers we get from our significant others and the sappy e-cards our parents send to us. It makes us question what love really is, and whether it even exists.
There’s a lot of deep thoughts going on about love, and sometimes they may even create some existential crises.
But this Valentine’s day I won’t be so focused on a single pity party. Instead, I see it as the time of year to celebrate Galentine’s day. As Amy Poehler states it’s a day for “ladies celebrating ladies.”
Usually Galentine’s day is celebrated the day before Valentine’s day, but for all us single ladies out there, we might as well make it a two day extravaganza! From going out to dinner with some of your favorite gals to making voodoo dolls of ex-boyfriends (I’m kidding, I promise), there are many great ways to celebrate.
Boston also has some fun events planned for the next week in celebration of Valentine’s/Galentine’s day. You can volunteer with animals (who doesn’t love kittens and puppies) or attend a glass-blowing class (after all, nothing says love more than glass-blowing).
Closer to campus, there are a variety of dating games going on. Here are just a few put on by different student groups:
So whether you’re spending this weekend with your significant other or significant gals, love is in the air.
By Heather Goldin, Multimedia Editor
Trident Booksellers and Café is the ideal location for a literary magazine launch party. Lined with shelves upon shelves of colorful books, the Newbury Street bookstore’s dim lighting is perfect for a poetry reading, and their menu has everything a college student needs to convince their friends to show up (namely beer and Trident’s deluxe grilled cheese).
Boston University’s Literary Society came to the same conclusion when they decided to book Trident for the launch of their lit mag, “Coup de’Etat.” BU Literary Society President Abigail Clauhs explained that the lit mag title translates to “overthrow of the government.” Putting a creative spin on the French motto, Clauhs said that they chose the title to symbolize an “overthrow of literary forms and traditions.”
The lit mag’s message comes across loud and clear, the logo of their lit mag featuring a grenade topped with the head of a fountain pen.
At the launch party, Clauhs introduced several contributors from near and far, without which the publication would be nothing but blank white pages. Several of the contributors — including a man from Michigan— took turns reading excerpts from “Coup de’Etat,” from humorous prose to heartfelt poetry.
Although it is hard to pinpoint my favorite contribution, one of the most entertaining entries had to be a prose piece submitted by Graduate College of Arts and Sciences student Kyle Jepson. His fictional story involved an enraged man who lost his love to someone else, a knife and a picnic (I know, I wanted to know what the ending was too). Sadly, Jepson stopped reading just when it was getting good, and everyone in the room was left wondering what would happen next.
By Robin Ngai, Staff Writer
It’s hard to believe that Facebook has been around for a decade! That’s over half my life thus far. To be honest, I can hardly imagine life without Facebook and I’m sure that most college-aged students would agree.
It starts off at the beginning, stating when you joined and then it goes through your first moments (embarrassing photos from middle school), your most liked posts, and the photos you’ve shared. And while this 62 second flashback is happening, nostalgic instrumental music plays in the background.
It’s almost like watching a wedding montage between you and your Facebook profile.
Let’s face it, whether we want to admit it or not, we’ve basically been in a relationship with Facebook for the past few years. We’ve used it to stalk our exes (we’re all guilty of it and we know it), keep in touch with friends back home and get to know our college classmates.
As someone who couldn’t visit Boston University before move-in, Facebook was how I got to know more about on campus groups, academics and campus life in general.
Facebook is used for much more than just personal profiles: political campaigns, fundraising and outreach are all different instances that individuals and companies have used Facebook for something other than connecting with friends.
I’ve seen my friends post links to help disaster relief or raise money to support the fight against cancer. Last April, when the Boston Marathon bombing happened, Facebook was a way for friends and family to reach out to one another. Here is Facebook’s 10 stories that they shared to give users a feel for how Facebook has been changing lives for 10 years.
Though this social media site does not define our generation, it is a reflection of who we are and where we are going.
By Kyra Louie, Staff Writer
With the anything but close game Sunday at Super Bowl XLVIII, it’s only fair to focus on the things that made the Super Bowl interesting. Don’t get me wrong, football is always fun to watch, but with the Seahawks already winning by 22 points going into the third quarter against the Denver Bronocs, the only real entertainment was Bruno Mars, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and the commercials.
So, without further ado, here are my top three commercials from Super Bowl XLVIII (in no particular order.)
Pistachio’s “Wonderful Pistachios” featuring Stephen Colbert:
This string of commercials supremely tops last year’s pistachio commercial. No offense to Psy, but the parody of “Gangnam Style” probably did not have the exact effect the company was looking for.
On a lighter note, Stephen Colbert and the bald eagle were wonderful. The next pistachios commercial 30 seconds after the first was both unexpected and the key part of this commercial’s cleverness and charm. Also, anything involving Stephen Colbert is sure to draw a lot of attention.
Coke’s “America the Beautiful”:
Lately, this commercial has been getting a lot of controversial attention. Personally, this one ties the Coke Polar Bear as my favorite Coke commercial ever. I love that the song is a cappella, but more importantly, I love that it isn’t only in English. The diversity in the song represents America itself, and what better way to broadcast our diversity than at the Super Bowl? Even cooler, Coca Cola put a series up on YouTube interviewing the different singers of their #AmericaisBeautiful ad
Budweiser’s “Puppy Love”:
Budweiser always gets me. Always. Maybe it’s because I have a soft spot in my heart for animals. But come on, Clydesdale horses and golden retrievers make a good mix! What their friendship has to do with beer, I have absolutely no clue. You just really can’t go wrong with horses and puppies.
I salute all the other commercials that didn’t make it into my top three. Everyone loves Doritos, as well as watching David Beckham run around in his briefs, but these three stood out the most. Hopefully next year the game will be half as entertaining as the commercials.
By Danny McCarthy, Staff Writer
There are some videos that beg to be watched, and when you do watch them, an obligatory “Awwwwww” slips out.
Enter Jackson, 4, who is determined to listen to A Great Big World’s “Say Something,” even though it saddens him. Apparently, he is a proponent of the idea that just because something makes you sad, it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the pain.
Jackson is emotionally deeper than I am, and I’m not even mad.
Wearing an adorable pilot’s outfit, complete with a hat and goggles, Jackson is crying from the get-go, but refuses to have the song changed. His dad, who is doing a pretty great job of capturing the moment, makes sure that Jackson is okay.
“If it makes you cry, then I don’t want to play a sad song for you,” his dad reasons, but Jackson is committed. “Give me a thumbs-up that you’re okay,” his dad says, and Jackson’s thumbs go right up.
This video has quickly gone viral, with over a 1.3 million in the past week. And after watching, it’s easy to see why. Jackson’s sweet sensitivity will make your heart hurt in the best way possible. Enjoy!