By Jacob Carter, Staff Writer
For those of you who text and drive, I have some advice for you: beware.
In San Francisco, several local drivers were publicly humiliated when billboards were unveiled showing them on their phones while behind the wheel of their cars. The images were captured by a local graphic artist, Bryan Singer, who paid for the billboards with his own money in order to spread awareness of the dangers caused by distracted driving.
“It’s not so much about shaming an individual as it is about making people think twice,” said Singer to a local news affiliate.
For the time being, this type of PSA is limited to the San Francisco area. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if other cities adopted the campaign soon enough. There are numerous statistical reports that illustrate how Americans are in far more vehicular accidents than other areas of the world, and distracted driving figures into nearly a quarter of these crashes.
I admire Singer for attempting a radical method in order to curb these statistics, especially considering the many accidents that still occur and stern warnings have done little to make an effective impact.
There are, however, a few weaknesses with his campaign.
For one thing, the images on the billboard appear too dark to be seen clearly from the road. Mixed with their elevated position and the glare of the sun, I can understand how numerous drivers would be unable perceive the full content of the photograph. The images themselves convey an important message, and I hate to think about the irony of people getting into a car accident because they were distracted by the billboard telling them not to get distracted while driving.
Unfortunately, I don’t think there will never be enough billboard space in the world to make drivers wary of their actions. The odds of being one of those foolish people caught in the act are simply too small to strike an appropriate amount of fear into the hearts of the nation’s most shameless offenders. In their minds, texting and driving seems harmless, and it is because of this ignorance that those statistics will most likely remain constant.
By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
With Thanksgiving coming up next week, the holiday season is already in full gear. Kids all over the world are prepping their gift lists, attempting to be on their best behavior and asking their parents, “Is it Christmas yet?”
Last week, the Make-A-Wish Foundation put many of us into the holiday spirit by making a young cancer patient’s dream of becoming Batman come true.
Miles Scott, a 5-year-old from Northern California, was diagnosed with leukemia at just 18 months old and, after undergoing years of chemotherapy, is now in remission. The non-profit organization, along with the people of San Francisco, rallied together to transform the city into Marvel’s Gotham City and allowed the little man to roam the streets as Batkid.
Police Chief Greg Suhr called on Batkid do what Batman does best: fight crime. Batkid foiled the Riddler’s plans to rob a bank, rescued a damsel in distress from being struck by a cable car, and saved the San Francisco Giants’ mascot from being captured by the Penguin. But he wasn’t fighting crime alone: a Batman impersonator accompanied him on his crime fighting spree.
The day ended with the young cancer survivor receiving a key to the city from the San Francisco mayor, Edwin M. Lee, and a $10,000 check donated by an anonymous clothing company. Miles even got a shout-out from President Obama. And The San Francisco Chronicle circulated a special “Gotham City Gazette” edition in honor of Batkid’s heroics.
What an amazing day it was for both Miles and the city! The tireless work of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the support of the city of San Francisco both prove that something good can come out of something bad and together we can make the seemingly impossible possible.
By Lindsey Cantey, Staff Writer
Thanks to business-review sites like Yelp, every decision we make as consumers can be well-researched. These days, we, as consumers rarely need to buy a new product, visit a new restaurant, or plan a vacation to a new place without becoming acquainted first with the level of quality it possesses.
This is where Yelp comes in. Anything remotely foreign, whether product or place, is typed into the search box. The results are cataloged and potential customers can view scores given and reviews written by past customers. Yelp can also tell you whether or not a place is open or closed, how far away the location of a place is in proximity to where the potential customer is, and is customized to a person’s specific location (i.e., Yelp in Boston, Yelp in San Francisco, etc.)
The peer-review model employed by Yelp works so well with influencing everyday purchase decisions. It is only logical it would be useful for other life experiences as well. Even life experiences such as prison. Yep, you read right. Yelp even has reviews for prisons. In an article by ABC, there are reviews on Yelp for prisons. Each review is composed of evaluations written by inmates, visitors and even lawyers.
Yelp prison reviews can be a useful and comical tool for those that have a choice. Through Yelp, one can virtually experience life in prison regardless of what side of the bars you may be on. Just like a restaurant or a salon.
So, in the event that you may be visiting a prison, I would highly suggest going to Yelp first. At least you get a sense of what you’re getting into. Sort of.
By Gregory Davis, Sports Editor
In a game that many will refer to as the “Blackout Bowl” for years to come, the Baltimore Ravens came just a few yards away from surrendering the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history, but the San Francisco 49ers were unable to complete the job with a final score of 34–31. Just in case you tuned out at the blackout (or before) here’s a recap.
It was all Ravens from the very start of the first half. Joe Flacco was firing on all cylinders while Colin Kaepernick was struggling to put a substantial drive together. The Ravens drove 51 yards on six plays and Flacco found Anquan Boldin in the end zone to get Baltimore on the scoreboard first.
While the 49ers settled for just two field goals in the first half, Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes, including a 56-yard bomb to Jacoby Jones. The teams went to their respective locker rooms with the Ravens in the lead 21–6.
All hopes of a 49er comeback seemed thwarted when Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones opened up the second half with a 108-yard kick return for a touchdown. But after a half-hour delay due to a power outage in the Mercedes Super Dome, the tide quickly turned.
After Kaepernick was unable to convert on a 3rdand long, the 49ers’ defense looked better than it did all game, stopping the Ravens’ drive before it got started. Kaepernick then drove his team 80 yards in 7 plays and topped off the drive with a momentum swinging 31-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree.
The 49ers followed that up with a 6-yard touchdown run from Frank Gore and a 34-yard field goal from David Akers to cut the once 22-point deficit to just five.
But Joe Flacco did not allow his team to fold under the pressure of potentially watching its 22-point lead become a deficit. He led his team 71 yards down the field to set up a 19-yard chip shot from Justin Tucker to put the Ravens up by 8.
After Kaepernick responded with a 15-yard touchdown run of his own — accompanied by a missed 2-point conversion — to bring the 49ers back within 2, Flacco led his team on a clutch drive once again that ended in a field goal.
The stage was set; a 5-point game with 4:19 remaining in the Super Bowl. It was up to Colin Kaepernick to take his team downfield for a touchdown to take the lead.
With clutch passes, well-timed rushes and a crucial completion to Michael Crabtree, Kaepernick got his team inside the 10-yard line. After a rush for a short gain and three incomplete passes — one of which was accompanied by a debatable defensive holding that the referees did not call — the 49ers’ offense could not punch it in.
As miraculous as the 49ers’ resilience and near comeback was, it was not enough to give them the honor of hoisting the Lombardi trophy. Instead, the silver statue belongs to the Baltimore Ravens, who were just yards away from the worst Super Bowl meltdown of all time.