Saturday, February 27, 2010


Published: February 28, 2010
A growing number of conservative Christians are acknowledging that to be “pro-life” must mean more than opposing abortion.
My view:
I love opinion editorial articles. Especially NY Times OP-ED articles. The author really connects with the reader. Talks to the reader with their words, as if they are expressing their views at the dinner table. I can find meaning in what Kristof says and agree with his view because the article is like a conversation.

Hard News

Published: February 27, 2010
The earthquake ripped apart buildings and bridges across Chile, and more than 300 people had died.
My view:
Sometimes I wonder how important a catchy headline is for hard news. People will pay attention to an article about another earthquake on the front page. I also wonder if the word 'deadly' is even needed for an 8.8-magnitude earthquake.
I think hard news should be treated delicately, in case someone has a relation to the event.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wow, just Wow.

Scotty, the Warp Drive Needs Some Dilithium Crystals
Published: February 20, 2010
Star Trek Online, a massively multiplayer computer game, adopts the trappings of its namesake franchise without ever coming close to evoking the “Star Trek” sensibility.
And not "wow" in the popular online roleplaying game WoW. Wow, because this review is like a media version of Star Wars, Media Wars.
First, the writer talks about his 30-something year-old friend, then talks about how his friend likes Star Trek, then talks about how his friend like the Star Wars Online game, then goes on to say this:
"In other words, he perfectly fits the narrow yet potentially deep demographic that Star Trek Online aims to appeal to. That is, Trekkies who are willing to overlook brain-lockingly repetitive gameplay, unvaried design, thin storytelling, buggy client software and an almost complete dearth of meaningful social interaction in favor of a mildly diverting, moderately attractive, cleverly episodic collection of simple combat encounters among spaceships and soldiers."
What a sucky friend.

First Person

Published: February 21, 2010
Known as flightseeing, tours via small, sturdy aircraft capable of landing in uneven terrain help open up Alaska to the average traveler.
The reason I love Travel articles is because the writers use the "first-person" tense and it makes me apart of the story. A writer has so much freedom when they can say "I".
I love this article. What an amazing job that writer has.


Published: February 19, 2010
Malaria courses relentlessly through narratives of history and literature — and is expected to kill 700,000 children this year.
I do not love malaria, however, I do love articles that show the writer was not afraid to delve into the vast realms of history. A story that informs the reader that malaria is in fact, so old that its earliest known records are from the time of Attila the Hun.
A great story with a photo reel also does wonders.

Poor Poor People

Published: February 21, 2010
The social safety net was built for short-term gaps between jobs, but work may be scarce for years, even as the American economy shows signs of a rebound.
Another story about the recession. The lead leaves a lot to be desired.
What does it mean when the writer says, "Even as the American economy shows tentative signs of a rebound, the human toll of the recession continues to mount". Isn't the economy and the "human toll" all encompassed in one large package? We all effect each other.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hey, it works.

The fashion world has always been some sort of underground party that looks glamorous in photographs but makes me wonder if it is all that spectacular. Celebrities (whom most likely barely know each other) grasp at each others waists and buckle down in laughter, clutching their skinny glasses of champagne.

I bet most of them sit their awkwardly, just like a lot of us do at an event where we don't know anyone. The people that do know people cling to each other in desperation.

'Don't leave me with these people,' they would sometimes whisper, tilting their sunglasses that they refuse to take off indoors, pulling at their waist high skirts and ruffled tops.

I don't think Lady Gaga has fashion sense. I don't think she is bold or daring. I think she gets paid a lot of money to wear those outfits, designed by the kookiest designers all in an attempt to gain a little fame. It works though.

Published: February 12, 2010
At fashion shows, V.I.P. status is defined downward, and fashion is not amused.

I Can't Even Remember

I understand that people are concerned about what children today learn in school, but we have to face the facts, children are being bombarded with too much information. I can barely remember anything I learned in elementary and middle school.

Columbus sailed the ocean blue? Sometime in 1642? Harriet Tubman helped slaves onto a railroad built underground so that they could escape the mean white people? There was a Holocaust in Germany and many Jewish people died? Hitler was a vegetarian? Something about Salinger and biology?

I'm being a little sarcastic. Seriously, I thought there was an actual railroad underground and my little 7-year-old self was so impressed with the advancements of technology back in the 1800's.

Published: February 14, 2010
Conservative activists on the Texas Board of Education say that the authors of the Constitution intended the United States to be a Christian nation. And they want America’s history textbooks to say so.
This article doesn't even get to the point made in the title after several paragraphs. I understand it is from a magazine, but aren't magazines still required to keep their readers' attention?

It Is What They Love

If writing had the potential to kill me, I still would do it. I'd still sit at this laptop, my fingers typing away. I might get carpel tunnel in the future. That won't kill me. Maybe I will type in the rain, that would kill me, if the laptop was hooked up to an electrical outlet. I don't want to die, but I want to do what I love.

If ski cross or snowboarding cross will kill these lovers of snow and sport, they are still going to do it. Why die when doing something you don't love? If you have the opportunity to die doing something you love, something that gives you drive and motivation, something that completes it.

Published: February 14, 2010
Snowboard cross and ski cross, the only new medal sport added for these Olympics, are likely the most dangerous.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I Can't Believe This Is A Job

Thinking of two things that otherwise might not go together and calling up famous chefs, asking them to create a masterpiece and explain how they did it to the NY Times, forever cementing them in the Dining & Wine archives.

It's amazing.

If you are in the NY Times for one day, whether it be a Tuesday or a Sunday, you are famous. And it is some lucky person's job to eat caramel made of molasses and vanilla and write about it. That's what I want to do!

Anyways, here's the article.

Published: February 14, 2010
A 19th-century recipe for simple chocolate caramels made with molasses and vanilla becomes an inspiration for an entirely new dish.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


No, no, no, no, NO!

Click here and you'll see what all the fuss is about.

Have any of these people not read IRobot? Or Ender's Game?

Why not find other solutions to war. Let's spend our money on peace conferences, white flags, and chessboards where leaders can hash it out there.

The 'No emotions' paragraph at the end, really sums up the article.

Death At Any Moment

Ever since the day I tenderly opened my brand new copy of The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, my perspective on death has changed dramatically. I don't think of it as something that will "hurt" me anymore.

When the moment of death comes, you are dead, and that is that. People call it "dying" when you have a disease, or when you are in the ICU, struggling for those few last breaths.

I don't consider that dying. The book explained it as the "final stage, enlightenment", and I like the sound of that more.

Sometimes I have morbid thoughts of what people are thinking when those breaths become harder and harder to form.

I watched my friend Andrew's stepfather's chest rise like a swelling wave and deflate like an old balloon when he was hooked up on drugs and IV's in Tallahassee Memorial. I wondered to myself, "Are you scared, Richard?", and decided that I would not be scared when it was my body's time.

We sang Beatles songs, and I watched Andrew with quiet eyes, my mouth shut, my hands finding places to perch in the dark hospital room. There was a window that overlooked a gray parking lot. I was grateful that Richard had a window, that natural light of the rainy day could reach him.

Care packages lined the cold tile shelves, filled with trail mix and DIY paper airplanes that we built and flew around the room. I thought back to when the "tribe" would gather at Andrew's house, smoke pot, and laugh ourselves silly, while Carol and Richard watched movies in their bedroom.

I thought back to when Richard gave me a stack of papers on environmental law and said, "I want that back, now", and then he died. It had been carefully placed on the seat of my car for six months, and I had glanced over it once, always forgetting to give it back to him. And now I can't.

I was never sad for Richard. I was sad for Andrew and Carol, and their grief.

In my view, death does not have emotions. It IS the final stage of our lives, our own enlightenment.

I started thinking about this because of an article I read... And now I don't even want to post the article anymore.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The New York Times

I wish the NY Times would shut down their site to non-paying people already. I bought a subscription at the beginning of the semester and never, NEVER have time to read the actual newspaper. I'm always on my computer, studying at my desk, moving quickly from class to class, or lying motionless in my bed, spread out like a starfish, my mind blank. It's almost like meditation.

I'm too tired to pick up the paper and ruffle through the large pages, all the while trying to handle a bagel, a cup of coffee, and less than twenty minutes to bike to class.

I recently read that the NY Times was going to only allow paying customers to access their Web site. If they did that, I wouldn't feel so bad about blowing $36 on something I don't even read. I had goals, I thought I was going to, but let's face it: journalism is shifting more and more toward the online department.

And if I may boldly speak my mind: good riddance. Everyone is already polluting the Earth by buying computers, let's not cause destruction anymore by using paper rolls. Let's embrace globalization and move on with it.

Maybe that's too harsh? Maybe someone will agree. All I know is that I need more coffee and have got to stop writing this and start studying German.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Why is it that I find local news so freaking boring? The Gainesville Sun's own business editor wrote a story on a local independent bookstore, and I found myself yawning into my arm. The quotes were basically the same, "We're sad to see the bookstore go" or "Why can't Gainesville support a place like this". Yawn, yawn, yawn!

Why not, "I remember the first book I ever bought here, Howl. It changed my life! I will forever be indebted to the bookstore!". Wow, that would be a great quote.

Those are the questions I always want to ask. Those are the questions that people want to hear. Everyone gets mopey when a local business closes, why would we want to read what we already know?

The Story

Oh, and what's with that black dot at the bottom-left of the picture. I think the photo editor was scared to crop out the purse a little bit, but I think the picture would have still looked fine. The focus is the empty bookshelf, not the student.