By Carly Guise
Feminism. One word, four syllables, meaning the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. One would think that it is a simple concept that’s easy to digest, yet so many seem to misinterpret what feminism actually is.
I am a feminist in every sense. That being said, I am not a misandrist (man-hater). I do not want women to overpower men and take over the world in a sudden rage of PMS. I do not want to burn my bras and anything else that has to do with patriarchy. My actions are not outrageous and unjustified just because I am not afraid to label myself with the f-word.
By Julia Adams
In 2014, a single occurrence of measles turned into over 300 unvaccinated people catching the disease, the biggest outbreak of measles in 20 years.
Many parents around the U.S. have been deciding not to vaccinate their children. It is believed that the reliability of the vaccines in comparison to their possible side effects isn’t proportional. It’s also believed that such diseases that vaccines protect against don’t exist anymore and that being vaccinated isn’t necessary.
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.
By Taylor Bosley
This past December, Sony was set to release “The Interview,” a “comedy” surrounding the assassination of North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, featuring Seth Rogen and James Franco. After a group who calls themselves “The Guardians of Peace” threatened the movie theaters that intended to play the movie, many theaters pulled the movie and it could only be found online and in select theaters. Many Americans viewed the pulling of the movie due to the threats a violation of the First Amendment and cried out the infamous phrase “freedom of speech.”
The attention surrounding “The Interview” has no ties to freedom of speech, it ‘s an issue of human decency, or rather a lack there-of.
Early in the movie there is a scene where Rogen and Franco are driving through the city and ask about the “speculated” starvation of the North Korean people. They are pointed to a “grocery store” and then an overweight boy to dismiss the allegations. An overweight kid eating candy is hilarious, right? Maybe it would be if it was not found by the United Nations that one fourth of children in North Korea suffer from chronic malnutrition. That means 25% of all kids living there do not receive enough food to grow properly, which often leads to stunted growth.
Besides the staggering 25% malnutrition rate, the UN also found that two thirds of all North Koreans are unaware if they will even have a “next meal.” To make a movie that centers jokes surrounding an issue like starvation will desensitize viewers to the actual hardships the North Korean people face each and every day.
When there is a land of people ruled by a power hungry leader who dictates almost all aspects of life, including the haircuts of the citizens, there is not much room for laughter. While Kim Jong Un does not deserve any support, the people he rules over do. To make a mockery of the struggles they face is indecent.
The use of satire, as “The Interview” is said to use, is an important aspect of media. Although when that “satire” desensitizes others to the starvation and complete dictatorship a land faces, not much good can come from it.
By Zachary Rhine
The Keystone State decided it was ready for a change. This came in the form of a new governor being elected.
The 2014 General Elections took place on November 2nd. While it was recorded to be a Republican landslide, Pennsylvania was one of the states that said goodbye to their Republican Governor and hello to a Democratic one.
Enter Thomas Wolf. A former CEO of one America’s largest supplier of kitchen cabinetry turned politician, Tom Wolf confirmed the statistics that he would be victorious in the November election.
Wolf was formerly a Secretary of Revenue under Governor Ed Rendell in the early 2000’s. Going into the race, Wolf also had the support of fellow democrats Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.
Having won his new position as Governor, Wolf has certain goals and ideas that he assumes will benefit Pennsylvania as a state.
Some of these ideas include the desire to build a stronger middle class and the intent to restore money to the education system. Wolf wants to increase the minimum wage to 10.10 dollars an hour. He also plans on restoring the one billion dollar budget cut made by former governor Tom Corbett.
Wolf is also an advocate for equal pay and other women’s rights. “Equal pay for equal work,” Wolf says on his Website, www.wolfforpa.com. “We want to end discrimination,” continued Wolf.
In addition, he is also a supporter of LGBT.
By Helen Zeidman
Communication in the classroom has evolved from the caveman drawing with rocks, to the classic passing of notes, to today’s methods of texting, Snapchatting, and Instagraming. We need to figure out how to avoid the addictive realm of cell phones or else our lives will be consumed.
Regardless of the methods, using cell phones during class is detrimental to students’ success. If students are paying attention to their phones, then they are not listening to the lesson.
In a study done by the University of New Hampshire, it was discovered that 52% of students admitted to using cell phones during class. They also confessed their cell phones affected their concentration and the amount of information they learn.
Teachers are fighting a battle against cell phones in their classrooms. Although cell phones can be an asset in for quick research, they are more often a nuisance.
“There is a time and place for cell phones, but during my class is normally not one of them,” said Mrs. Repanshek, a Spanish teacher at the high school. “Too many times, the students who use their cell phones during my class are the ones with low grades.”
When students multitask by using their phones during class, their attention is divided and not really focused on learning. Unfortunately, multitasking is not as efficient as having your full attention on one task.
According to researchers at Stanford, multitaskers have shorter attention spans and less control over their memory when compared to people who do not multitask.
Even though cell phones were created to help people communicate, they are also negatively affecting our social lives. Physical activity and face-to-face conversations have decreased.
Honestly, talking to a screen is not the same as talking to a person in real life.
Scientists are thinking that excessive use of your cell phone could result in an addiction. They even have a name for it: nomophobia. It is the fear of being without your mobile phone. The fact that this word even exists shows the seriousness of the situation.
Believe it or not, there is a world outside of the screen of your cell phone. Close the apps and turn your phone off and you will be able to discover the wonders of living.
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