By Julia Adams
Most people have at one point been told that cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States. It has been proven that it accounts for more than 480,000 deaths per year, which is equivalent to 1 in 5 deaths being related to cigarette use.
This topic has been discussed so many times that it seems to have watered down the concept.
Many people are hearing about this dilemma over and over again, and it soon becomes old news.
Along the lines of the over-saturated information about smoking, cigarettes contain carcinogens that can cause cancer. This is part of the reason why smoking causes more deaths than HIV, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, motor vehicle injuries and firearm-related incidents combined.
The discussion of smoking has become merely an echo whenever it is brought up in this day and age. The best way to understand the true effect of this issue is reality and there is plenty of reality when it comes to a situation like this.
My grandfather, who had smoked since he was young, had a stroke a few years back. He was lucky that the effects of it were not as serious as they could be. During his recovery, he was forced to quit smoking, as he couldn’t walk well enough to get outside by himself.
A few years later, he was hospitalized after he was sick and didn’t get better. The doctors never could confirm for certain what he had, as the procedure to test what they thought he had would be too much for him, but they believed strongly that he had myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a condition in which both red and white blood cells struggle to be replaced.
My mom and I drove up every day for two months to be with him as he moved from place to place. I watched as his health declined more and more gradually throughout the process.
He began to struggle to even breathe and it was hard to watch him in such a miserable state. He eventually passed away at the age of 85. He was extremely lucky to have lived that long for all the years he smoked.
Eighteen months later, my grandmother was hospitalized for stomach pains and a urinary tract infection. She was found to have a tumor in her abdomen. There was no way they could find out if it was cancerous or not, but it was highly suspected.
She, too, suffered tremendously, and it was similarly as brutal. She wanted to live to 100, as old as her mother, but she died at 86.
She might not have suffered this way if it were not for the decades of secondhand smoke. Smoking doesn’t just affect the smoker, but the people around them as well.
These accounts help to expose the true nature of smoking. Facts and statistics only show part of the story. The reality is that smoking takes so much from the quality of one’s life.
Luckily, this problem is beginning to subside. According to reports from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the percentage of adults in the U.S. that smoke has reduced by 20.9 percent. This shows that the popular discussion does in fact have somewhat of an influence. But this issue isn’t over yet.
It is imperative that campaigns against smoking be taken seriously. The problem of smoking is not a light topic in the least. Smoking takes up so much of one’s life and it even causes serious damage to their health. It is hard to understand until it comes down to witnessing a loved one suffer from the effects that smoking creates.
The ever-growing popularity of streaming services such as Netflix could threaten already established forms of media such as cable television.
By Zachary Rhine
News and Feature Editor
In 1900 the word “television” was coined and added to the dictionary. In the 1930’s the first television networks such as ABC and NBC began experimenting with national broadcasting programs. By the late 1950’s, televisions were in the homes of over half of all Americans.
Because technology has been so readily available to our generation ever since we first learned to walk and talk, we often forget just how new of a form of media it is.
But media is constantly changing, expanding, and evolving. Dials on the TV were replaced by remotes. Soundless, colorless movies were replaced by action-packed blockbusters.
But sometimes what is new isn’t always for the best. As human beings we often get distracted by the new, shiny toys and forget how enjoyable our old ones are.
In 1997 a small company was founded that would later go on to colonize the modern on-the-go streaming services. This company would become known as Netflix.
Netflix is a DVD rental and internet-based video-on-demand service provider that has grown increasingly popular in the 2010’s.
Last year a study found that 6.5% of Americans canceled their cable; all while Netflix hit an all time high in the number of their subscriptions; ending the year with 75 million subscribers, according to CNN.
The Huffington Post contributes this to the fact that while more people are moving away from the traditional cable television outlets, providers are still increasing the cost of their bills.
I, like many people that I know, have both cable and Netflix. Both provide something that the other does not, and both excel in areas that the other struggles in.
Netflix is nice for “binge-watching” old TV shows I’ve never seen or need to catch up on. But cable TV has live events such as the SuperBowl and award shows.
The question we must ask ourselves now is: Is Netflix worth losing a part of this culture we as millennials have created?
By Alex Zelger
Bethesda Softworks knows how to handle the release of a franchise game. On June 3, 2015, Fallout 4 was announced out of the blue. After being developed secretly for nearly 7 years, the bigger shock to fans was that the game was almost complete with the release date November 10, only 4 months away.
The game takes place 272 years in the future in the nuclear wreckage of Boston after a great nuclear war. Wandering through the wasteland, several famous landmarks like Fenway Park, Freedom Trail, Paul Revere’ house, the USS Constitution, and Bunker Hill can be found and explored. Not only is the wasteland full of historical monuments, it also houses creatures such as super mutants, zombie like radiated humans called “ghouls”, giant roaches, mutated bears, scorpions, lobsters and so on. If that sounds like your cup of tea, you will be happy to know that is not even half of the ridiculous creatures you are able to encounter.
The gameplay features a single player first person shooter that has over 100 hours of gameplay. Roaming the wasteland will lead you to different factions looking for you to complete quests for them, along with many other insignificant characters handing out side-quests. Occasionally you can find a character that wants to tag along and assist you with your journey.
Fallout 4 is riddled with new features like weapon and armor customization, base building, and a major rework of the character upgrade menu, just to name a few. Base building, in which your character can build defenses at settlements to fend off bandits and raiders is easily one of my favorite additions to the series.
Overall, the game plays and feels great. The clunkiness of the gameplay from previous Fallouts have been almost completely removed. I even tried to go back and play a little bit of Fallout 3 and it almost felt unbearable to play after getting used to Fallout 4 changes. With that being said, Fallout 4 gets a 9/10 and is easily my 2015 game of the year.
By Isaiah Workinger
Prior to the release of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, EA DICE has released Star Wars Battlefront, a first person shooter game that puts you right in the middle of the fight between the Empire and the Rebels.
Star Wars Battlefront includes everyone’s favorite characters such as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Darth Vader. The weapons and gear are accurate to the movies, too, which helps to bring a legitimate feel to the game, and that is what a lot of the games buyers are looking for.
This game was designed for Star Wars fans. This is why the game hasn’t gotten the 10/10 reviews you see with other first person shooter games. You almost have to like Star Wars to have an appreciation for the game. If you’re a person who doesn’t like Star Wars, you most likely would not purchase the game.
This is what sets it apart from games like Call Of Duty. Battlefront involves lots of things you see in the movies which does not allow for as much diversity and you could put in other first person shooter games that can do whatever they want.
The audio and visual effects in this game are exactly what you would expect them to be like. It feels like you’re in the movies. Though the game doesn’t have a story mode like the movies, it has the same characters and maps to play on.
If you’re not a fan of the Star Wars saga you might be a little let down with this new game. The fact that there is no serious solo player action like a story mode lets down a lot of gamers. A campaign is what a lot of COD players like and look for in first person shooter kinds of games.
On the overall appeal of the game the graphics are completely amazing. Every explosion looks legit and the maps are huge and have great concepts.
If you are a gamer looking for online gameplay this game fits right in for you. There is a huge 20 vs. 20 player game mode that allows for huge battles. The diversity of the game modes is also an advantage of this game because of all of the different ways you can play.
All of these things add up to Star Wars Battlefront being a great game. No matter who you are you can pick up a controller and have a ton of fun.
While cell phones have become such a major part of modern culture, they also have a much deadlier side.
By Carly Guise
Cell phones: they’re great, nice and convenient for sending a text to a friend saying that you’ll be there in 10 minutes. They’re great when you need to let your mom know that you’re on your way home from soccer practice. They’re great when you have to make a quick call to let your boss know that traffic’s crazy and you’re going to be a few minutes late to work.
They’re great until they force you to take your eyes off the road for five seconds. They’re great until you swerve into the lane next to you, almost taking someone else out. They’re great until you don’t come home. They’re great until you can’t remember that the little block of metal resting in your hand is the reason why your car ended up flipped over in a ditch on the side of a deserted road.
The reality is, while it may not happen to you, texting while driving makes a crash up to four times more likely. Also, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institution reported that driving distracted is actually six times more likely to cause a crash than driving intoxicated.
While 97% of teens agree that texting while driving is dangerous, 43% “do it anyway,” according to AT&T’s Teen Driver Survey.
But those who “do it anyway” may not realize just how costly their actions can be. Every day, 11 teens die because of texting and driving. Every year, cell phones are involved in 1.6 million auto crashes, causing half a million injuries and 6,000 completely preventable deaths, as reported by the United States Department of Transportation.
The situation is so serious that many states are trying to put an end to texting while behind the wheel all together. The Governor’s Highway Safety Administration reported that 46 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands all ban text messaging for all drivers of every age. 37 states, including Pennsylvania, ban cell phone use in its entirety for both novice and teen drivers.
But while states are certainly making steps in the right direction, there needs to be a full-out ban on cell phone use for everyone behind the wheel, not just teenagers.
Up to 48% of kids age 12-17 have reported being in a car where the driver had been texting or talking on a cell phone while driving. 15% of teen drivers have said that they have seen their parents text while driving, and 27% of adults admitted to having sent or received text messages while driving (www.textinganddrivingsafety.com).
Children have always followed the examples that their parents set, so why are we giving them a chance to set a dangerous one?
Texting while driving is dangerous, we know this. There are countless statistics and facts to back this statement up. But there are some that still choose to do it, and we need that to be stopped immediately, before someone’s son doesn’t come home ever again, before someone’s daughter is only known for how she ultimately met her end.
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