Tagged: Kristina Saliba

Groundhog Punxsutawney Phil sued for wrongly predicting early spring

By Kristina Saliba, Staff Writer

Punxsutawney Phil 'predicts' the end of winter in this photo from the spring of 2012/ PHOTO VIA www.huffingtonpost.com

Punxsutawney Phil ‘predicts’ the end of winter in this photo from the spring of 2012/ PHOTO VIA http://www.huffingtonpost.com

This March I grew extremely tired of opening my yellow Warren Tower curtains only to see more snow falling down on Comm Ave. Every day before those snowfalls, I would be foolishly led on by the melting snow on the sidewalks, mistakenly led to believe that maybe…just maybe…this time it would be gone for good.

But no.

I blamed everyone from Mother Nature to my roommate and random passersby. But I never thought to take it as far as the Ohio prosecutor who “light-heartedly” filed a criminal indictment against the man truly responsible for it all: Punxsutawney Phil, Pennsylvania’s groundhog.

Coming from someone who was overjoyed to hear that the groundhog’s forecast called for an early spring, this indictment of an animal seemed weirdly appropriate to me. However, The Huffington Post has recently reported that though Phil was the one indicted, Bill Deely, the groundhog’s handler and President of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club’s Inner Circle, was going to take the blame.

The Huffington Post reports Deely heroically claiming, “I’m the guy that did it; I’ll be the fall guy. It’s not Phil’s fault.”

I personally don’t believe that I would do the same, especially because this is apparently the second year in a row that Phil’s forecast has been “misinterpreted.” Maybe Phil should be a little bit clearer. Maybe Phil should be a little bit more considerate towards those who have been opening up their curtains every morning with anxiety.

Recently, however, The Associated Press has released an updated article reporting that the Ohio prosecutor, who had filed this “tongue-in-cheek” indictment, dropped the charges this Tuesday, March 26. If Phil was worried before, which I’m sure he was, he has no criminal record to worry about now.

Normally, I would be bothered that Phil was let off so easy, but these past few mornings I’ve been opening up those white Warren curtains to find blue skies and an actual sun. I think I will let myself start hoping this time, but if it snows, I’m happy I know who I can definitely blame now.

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Curvy mannequins cause controversy

By Kristina Saliba, Staff Writer

Too big or too small? The Swedish mannequins are not the first to stir up controversy over size/ PHOTO BY Flickr user Maneul W.

A flood of reactions has recently surfaced due to rather curvy mannequins being displayed in a Swedish store called Åhléns, the Huffington Post reports. A photo of these uncharacteristically heavier mannequins, sporting lingerie, went viral on a Facebook group called Women’s Rights News. The caption under the photo reads, “Store mannequins in Sweden. They look like real women. The US should invest in some of these.”

There were some agreements with this statement, and of course, some disagreements. The many people who embraced the realistic quality of the mannequins commented similarly to a Facebook user who wrote in a comment on the photo, “Gorgeous and feminine” and another who commented, “Yes, now this is the normal body – show the world, change it.” Of course there were negative comments that were not so enthusiastic,  like “Skinny women are real women too” and that the mannequins were “Just another excuse to be fat.”

We’ve all heard about the studies that have recently explored the effects that media has on how people perceive their bodies. Ever since we were little, we’ve been exposed to completely unrealistic expectations of how a person should look like, from Barbie’s tiny waste to the airbrushed models on magazine covers. I think it’s great that a store took the conscious effort not to advertise “skinny” as much as most stores do. According to a 2011 article by the Washington Post, a few years ago, clothing store G.A.P came under scrutiny because of how skinny their own mannequins were.

Perhaps the heavier mannequins are a response to the recurring issue of emaciated models (real and otherwise) in the fashion world. Either way, I think it is most certainly a breath of fresh air to see an attempt at showing a different side of things.

Random acts of kindness

By Kristina Saliba, Staff Writer

When you pass a homeless person on the street, though you may think to drop in some of your spare change, not many of you would put in $16,000 into that battered Styrofoam cup.

Sarah Darling did not exactly mean to do that when she passed Billy Ray Harris, a homeless man on the streets of Kansas City, and accidently dropped her engagement ring in with the quarters, nickels and dimes, according to Kansas City Television in a story released earlier this month.

Darling realized what she had done, and returned to Harris the next day asking if he still had her ring. He readily handed it over and in turn, Darling’s fiancé set up a website publicizing this “act of kindness” and has raised over $100,000 for Harris from donations.

These random acts of kindness seem to have been rampant recently.

In the past few months there have been quite a few instances of benevolence, from a woman doing 37 kind things for strangers on her 37th birthday out of her pure appreciation for just being alive, to the recent act of kindness inspired by the holiday spirit, where people in a Starbuck’s drive-through line paid for the person in the car behind them, creating a domino effect of generosity.

So why are people so shocked when someone does something kind for them? Why are people donating $100 to the Billy Ray Harris fund out of appreciation for something that any good person would do? I think Harris himself describes it best when he says in an interview with KTNV-TV, “What I actually feel like is, what has the world come to when a person returns something that don’t belong to them and all of this happens?”

And I agree with him. What has the world come to? While Harris is bemused and somewhat confused with all the money someone can get for simply returning “something that don’t belong to them”, I am genuinely concerned. Harris is a good man, for sure – he didn’t make easy cash by selling the ring, and didn’t lie when Darling asked if he still had it. Little could Harris have known that returning the ring would get him so much more in return, so my best guess is that he simply did just do a kind thing– he had no ulterior motives. Do we expect less from someone who is homeless? Maybe the Billy Ray Harris fund is proof that we do, and is therefore evidence that we need to change this pessimistic thinking. In my opinion, people not only can be good, they  usually want to be. And more often than not, they are.

The original Bille Ray Harris story: