Should Lebron Return to Cleveland?

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On July 8, 2010 Lebron James’ notorious Espn television special “The Decision” had shocked the sports world as he left his hometown Cleveland and joined the Miami Heat. Lebron’s desire to win a championship was strong and that is why … Continue reading

Newtown Survivors Can’t Forget; And Neither Should We

Photo Credit to NorthEndWaterfront on FlickrJust a little over a year ago, 26 people were killed in a shooting that took place in Newtown, CT, at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But more than 26 people have been damaged mentally forever. Innocence would never return to them.

Early morning on December 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his mother, Nancy Lanza with a gun at her home. He then drove the Sandy Hook Elementary School, and at 9:30 am, Lanza opened gunfire at SHES.

Lanza went inside classrooms filled with 6 and 7 year olds, killing almost all of them. Warnings that an intruder was in the school were broadcasted over the announcement system. Teachers tried to hide students in closets and bathrooms attempting to protect themselves and the children. The children and teachers were terrified, screaming and crying. The announcement system made it worse; the children could hear the gunshots being fired, and other children screaming.  In one classroom, two boys ran past Lanza and saw broken glass, their dead teachers, and dead classmates lying on the floor.

Lanza fired about 154 shots in just over 5 minutes before hearing the sirens of first responders.

At 9:40 am, the sounds of the police caused Lanza to take his own life.

The Newtown Police Department arrived at the scene, and escorted the traumatized students, teachers and parents to the fire station. The police made the survivors close their eyes and hold on to each other to avoid the sights of their deceased teachers and classmates. Later that night, the fire station became a place for parents to gather to grieve once they realized their child was gone. Many survivors and parents were in shock; the parents, trying to figure out how to console their children, and the children, having to figure out how they were going to live their lives from here on out.

In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune, parent David Posey discussed how his son, who was involved in the incident, was doing. A few days after the shooting, Posey heard his son (who has not been named due to psychiatric reasons) pounding on the floor in his room. His son then told his father, “ I know where the bad guy is. I’m beating him up”.  The “bad guy” was Adam Lanza. Even though he (Lanza) was gone, he still haunted this little boy.

Posey’s son is one of the many that experiences nightmares, feelings of apprehension, and feelings of anxiety. Posey’s son is probably not any older than 7, and was put at gunpoint by a strange man. Lanza has destroyed the image of innocence for children that are just starting to learn how to write, read, and draw pictures. These children are now experiencing emotions and flashbacks that even a grown adult cannot handle.

Many parents have reported that their children have frequent nightmares, sometimes with Lanza appearing in them. Fire alarms, a clap of thunder, and the sound of an intercom can even trigger flashbacks or feelings of panic. Some of the survivors today panic when they hear intercoms or announcement speakers turn on.  Imagine what hearing another gunshot or maybe even a firework would do. Not only have children been affected, but a police officer that reported to the scene that day has been experiencing PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

All of the parents of the survivors were given $20,000 from a Newtown Charity Fund, but therapists say that this will not even begin to cover the years of therapy that the children will need to receive. Each parent that had a child die that day was given $281,000 by the same Newtown Charity Fund, even though their children have passed on. This hardly seems fair to me.

David Posey’s son is beginning to heal; he plays sports and was excited to return to school again this fall. Hujo Rojas’s son is in therapy, but like Posey’s son, he is doing better. Rojas’s son was also excited to return to school, but very apprehensive at the same time. Many other students are doing better, but like I said before, flashbacks are frequent.

Each year, as the anniversary of 12/14 passes, we gather to grieve as a nation, and to remember and honor ones that have passed. Even though this tragedy happened, we should not forget the survivors. They are the ones that need the most help; most of them still struggle. We might not know their names, but we should give them the same attention that we give the ones that have died.

Bad Boy Becomes Mean Man.

Just like his song ‘’Not All Bad” says, Justin Bieber is a caring person that’s been making a lot of mistakes. Justin started his singing career in 2009 when he released a popular single on iTunes after being barely recognized on YouTube. Now 19, Bieber has unsatisfactory behavior. A lot of fans are disappointed in him because he continues to let them down.

On March 5th, Bieber was extremely disappointing. He enraged fans when he showed up two hours late for a concert. At his next concert on March 7th, he passed out during the show and was forced to go to medical services where he posted a string of shirtless “selfies” on Instagram. Not only did he show up late to one concert, he left early at the next.

After the first few singles Justin released, he set high expectations that he has failed to match this past year. Because of the songs he produced at 16, a majority of his “Beliebers” are young – elementary school aged. This is why his songs’ meanings can be too grown up for his fans. I have heard an eight year old singing a song he is featured in called “Lolly”. This song has an inappropriate meaning that the 4th grader did not understand. Unfortunately, the adults in the room understood and did not appreciate the lyrics on a Sunday morning. Justin used to sing about how he would be polite to girls. In “Lolly” he is disrespectful and disgusting while he demeans women.

Justin regrets words he spoke just like any other person. When you are in the public eye you have to be more careful. Another example of Bieber being rude is when he has been quoted saying “Are you from Hawaii, because you look like a beached whale” to a perfectly fit woman while she was sunbathing. He needs to be more thoughtful. What is she was a fan? She would be more offended having an idol tell her that that an ordinary person. He also used the N word in his song, “Breakup Song”.

 Along with displeasing song lyrics,  Justin Bieber has become a poor example. He would not want to see his fans smoking marijuana and drinking excessively but we all know about leading by example. Justin is rude and takes advantage of his fame. Grabbing a fan’s breast in a meet and greet picture is a perfect example what he is exposing his self as. He even took advantage of his fame by making his staff carry him up the Great Wall of China.

Just like his speech skills, Bieber has poor driving habits. The young star has gotten complaints from angry neighbors. While he tries to show off in his cars, he crashes them and is caught speeding. When he came back to California from his concert in Poland he was automatically in trouble with the police. He got in a small fight with a neighbor who said that he was threatened and hit by Bieber, says different television programs, magazines, TMZ or Entertainment Weekly.

 Although Justin is college aged and it’s common for people his age to misbehave, he has young fans looking up to him. I would enjoy if we could see the old Bieber more than we do.  Hopefully Justin Drew Bieber will gain his reputation back, stop getting into trouble and just enjoy music with the passion he used to show in his work.

The Actual Pain Behind that Grade.

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It’s Midnight. Lily is still flipping through her science textbook. Five other books are stacked in a tower to her right. Worry floods her heart. Whenever she stares at this colossal pile of books, she loses more hope. Just like Lily, many teenagers suffer from the effects of chronic stress.From my personal experience, it is easy for me to say that I can relate to her about the workload that teachers give. There have been times where I have gone to sleep in the early morning hours just so I could finish an essay. Imagine sitting in a sea of books trying to finish homework with tears running down your eyes. No one should be in this situation.

According to challengesuccess.org, 28% of children spend more than six hours with after school commitments (including homework). This is a lot of time. Children would definitely be stressed and tired after six hours of after school activities. Stress is a problem that children should not be dealing with. According to a blog on academic stress, 64% of teenagers ages 13-17 report that the stress from homework and activities for them is serious. This number seems fake. I mean, aren’t children supposed to be enjoying youth? This just seems preposterous. If more than half of all teenagers have serious stress, then it is time for teachers to make a change.

Teachers, lower the amount of homework you give. A low amount of homework can help children relieve the stress they have. I am not saying that you should stop giving homework. I am just saying that everything has its limits and I can say that homework should have its limit aswell. Homework should be given in appropriate proportions. It should be enough to keep students busy, but not make them stay up all night.

If children are staying up all night, then they are lacking one of the most important activities in their whole life: sleep. A lack of sleep because of stress can cause many problems. According to sleepfoundation.org, teenagers need 9 ¼ hours of sleep. However, according to nationwidechildrens.org, teens only get around 7 hours of sleep. If teens don’t get sleep, this will make them susceptible to illnesses which is not good for health. If a child’s health is affected by homework, then is it right to give homework?

Teachers, homework is a great way to help children reinforce their concepts. However, if homework is interfering into a child’s health and personal life, then there should be a change. I will stand up for the children. They should not be kept awake for the sake of school. They should not be constantly worried about the amount of homework they have the next day. Childhood only lasts for sometime. Help children fill their youth with happiness and not stress.

Star Struck

Columbus Day weekend of 2013, I was vacationing in Miami.  Some know that Miami is home to the Kardashian sisters store DASH.  I, along with others, enjoy watching the Kardashians “not so real” reality TV show, for entertainment.  Enjoying the show, I decided to visit the store – DASH.  It was a big let down.  I realize that watching celebrities lives on TV or following them on Twitter or other social media can be fun, and entertaining.  It can also appear as though someone has an obsession but in reality most people are not actually “obsessed”.

People cannot get enough of the gritty details of celebrities’ lives.  There is an increasing number of us, for whom fascination in celebrities lives overpowers the fascination in our own lives.

Celebrity worship is a recognizable mental problem for some.  According to the British Journal of Psychology a study with more than 600 people, ⅓ qualified for celebrity worship syndrome – worship has become the central figure in their lives.

“Like most things there’s a dimensional approach here; there are some who are fascinated by celebrities lives, but also involved in meaningful activities and relationships in their own lives, and for these people star watching is usually a harmless diversion,” says Eric Hollander, M.D., professor of psychiatry and director of the Compulsive, Impulsive and Anxiety Disorders program at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

Just because you are a fan does not make you dysfunctional, but there is a risk.

“A lot of those people who fall deeply into celebrity worship are just an abnormal pathology waiting to happen.  The fact that is comes out in the form of idolization of a particular celebrity is less important than recognizing the pathology was there all along.  And if it was not focused on a celebrity it would be focused on something else, but it would still be there,” says Long Island, N.Y., psychologist Abby Aronowitz.

Parents say TV fries your brain, and teachers tell you to watch the news so we learn what is going on in our world today.  Parents and teachers like to believe that we pay too much attention to the social media’s latest rumors and gossip.

Talking to your friends about the new juicy details of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s relationship is completely normal.  But, when you go and get plastic surgery to look like Kim, that’s a little out of the ordinary, and personally I would say it’s weird.

Celebrity worship can be unhealthy, as shown in studies.  But for most of us experts say it is just a harmless diversion.

It’s not all bad.  As long as people keep in mind the needed focus on their own lives they won’t suffer from the documented problems such as depression, anxiety, and decrease in self-esteem.  Celebrities are fun to follow and listen to the interesting details of their lives.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy watching “E!” TV myself.

“If you idolize someone for their accomplishments, and those accomplishments spurn you on to make gains in your life, than admiring a celebrity can have a positive influence on your ambition, or even your mental health,” says Aronowitz.

Some believe that certain people take it too far when it comes to celebrity worship, like your friends saying “OMG your obsessed with Justin Bieber!”, because you listen to his music all the time and hang posters of him all over your room.  Again, most people are not really “obsessed”.

In the end it, all comes down to celebrity worship being OK.  It is in our DNA to find an idol and follow him or her.  As long as people are using and watching celebrities for entertainment, and not as a way to make themselves feel bad, progressing to unhealthy obsessions.  Like the Kardashians – they are entertaining to watch on TV and follow on twitter, but are not as great as they appear to be.

Men vs. Women in the Media

Miley Cyrus has been under the spotlight ever since her “scandalous” VMA performance, but barely anyone is talking about Robin Thicke. I don’t know if you’ve really listened to the lyrics of Blurred Lines or seen the music video, but I think a song with naked women in the video and lyrics that could easily be interpreted as a song about rape is worse than Miley’s VMA performance.

The lyrics of Robin Thicke’s song objectify women to no end. Some lyrics in his songs are phrases that rapists actually say to their victims.  In his song he sings, “I’ll give you something to tear your a** in two.” This is clearly suggesting violent sodomy. Another example is, “Do it like it hurt, do it like it hurt, what you don’t like work?” This insinuates that women are supposed to enjoy the pain during non-consensual sex.

So the question is, why is it acceptable for Robin Thicke to objectify women and it is totally inappropriate for Miley Cyrus to twerk and wear things that expose her body?

The answer: double standards. If you aren’t familiar with the term, according to the Oxford Dictionary, it is a rule or principle that is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups.

The double standard we’re dealing with here is, men vs. women in the media.

It is totally unacceptable that a man can do whatever he wants and dance with whoever he wants. But if a woman does it she is branded a “slut”.  This is exactly what happened with Miley! She twerked on Robin Thicke and she is called a whore. But Robin Thicke doesn’t get any of the blame.

Cyrus says to Rolling Stone, “No one is talking about the man behind the a**. It was a lot of ‘Miley twerks on Robin Thicke,’ but never, ‘Robin Thicke grinds up on Miley.’ They’re only talking about the one that bent over. So obviously there’s a double standard.”

Not only is nobody talking about “the man behind the a**” but also nobody is talking about how he is singing a song about rape! Is Miley really the person we want to be tearing apart here? It’s time to leave Miley alone and realize the real problem is Robin Thicke.

How can we love Robin Thicke’s disgusting song so much that it was number one for 16 weeks on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs. So many people have listen to this song and loving it without realizing the utterly horrible meaning behind the song.

Rape needs to start being treated as a serious thing and not a topic you can write a song about. Maybe instead wasting your time hating on Miley for acting her age you could time of singing a song about rape and virtually promoting it, you could start a campaign to raise awareness.

Where the Moose Really Comes From: Abercrombie’s Use of Child Labor

Has anyone really thought about where Abercrombie’s clothes come from? Sure, people know that factories make the fabric and other factories turn them into shirts. Later, they’ll appear on hangers in dark stores blasting music with hefty price tags of over fifty dollars. Most people shop themselves into oblivion, unaware of what really happens “behind the scenes.”

According to Compassion International, one in six children between the ages of 5 and 14 are involved in child labor throughout the world today. Although numbers may not appeal to anybody’s sense of morality, hopefully the image of a six-year old sitting next to a sewing machine wiping sweat and dirt off of his forehead with a bruised arm instead of at a desk learning the times tables will help you put down the shirt in your hand.

Take the Alta Mode factory in the Philippines, once a major producer for Abercrombie and Fitch. The factory is crawling with children working in dank, rat-infested areas with rusty machines bigger than they are. From early in the morning to very late at night, children sit on hard benches with sparse meals of stale bread and dirty water, working under barely one bulb of light.

The International Labour Organization defines child labor as a minor employed in a business or industry and being paid little to nothing, almost similar to slavery. It can cause critical problems to a child’s mental and physical health and growth and tear families apart. According to The Child Labor Education Project, in the long term, a child can end up dropping out of school, having sleep and additional health problems, and even underdevelopment of their body and brain.

The use of child labor goes completely against Abercrombie and Fitch’s Code of Conduct, which requires its factories to follow a set of rules, including a paragraph about child labor: “Abercrombie will not tolerate the use of child labor by its vendors.” It later states the standards of health and safety that their factories must comply with. However, the many instances of violations found linked to Abercrombie, as stated in the IHS article on Child Labor, such as living quarters infested with rodents, broken toilets, and no access to clean drinking water, have followed none of such requirements, leaving innocent children to be deprived of their childhood.

Abercrombie’s attitude toward child labor is enough to repel many people from the store. However, the business continues to thrive despite the many immoralities that have occurred. But why does Abercrombie deserve any business at all? How can you proudly wear the moose symbol across your chest when children slave away each day for hours, earning only a few cents?

There are many ways for Abercrombie to right itself. They can start by removing all factories that involve children in the process of making the clothes and then help improve living and working conditions in those factories. They need to use their money toward something beneficiary, not to increase the boss’s already inflated salary.

To you, the shoppers: By resisting the urge to walk into Abercrombie, you are speaking volumes for those who can’t say anything. You are simply stating that you won’t support the immoralities they are involved with, helping to stop child labor, one store at a time.

And now you know where the moose really comes from.

Global Warming

One of the biggest problems with the environment is global warming. Global warming does many bad things to our environment, such as flooding in some coastal areas and as a result in more powerful storms. Another example is the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect is when the temperature rises because the sun’s heat and light is trapped in the earth’s atmosphere. And as a result, the temperature rises and ice in Antarctica melts which is bad because the animals are use to is and need it to survive. Lastly, global warming can make storms such as hurricanes worse. However, it doesn’t create them but it can make them stronger and more dangerous.

Water Country

There is nothing more refreshing than being at a waterpark on a hot summer day.  In Portsmouth, New Hampshire there is a water park called Water Country.  The park opened in 1984 by the Samuels family until Festival Fun Parks bought out the family in 2000.   Palace Entertainment now owns the water park which contains many slides, waves, rivers, and swimming pools for all ages.

The newest ride to the park is Dr. Von Dark’s Tunnel of Terror.  It will open this season.  In a two person tube, you will sit face to face and take a 40 foot plunge through a twisting totally dark tunnel.  During the ride you will experience a tornado funnel that will make your head spin.  It is the first ride like this in New England.   Another thrilling experience is the Double Geronimo which is a body slide.  You fly down a 58 foot slide that is nearly vertical.

A gentler experience could include the Giant Wave Pool.  It is New England’s largest wave pool containing 700,000 gallons of water.   The adventure river allows you to float for ¼ of a mile through waterfalls, fountains and caves.  In addition, there is an Activity Pool where

for the whole family can relax for open swim.

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Photo Credits: rickpilot_2000

The schedule for Water Country begins in early June and ends on Labor Day.  The park opens at 10:30 am and closes at either 5:00 pm or 6:30 pm depending on the day.  Check weather as the park may alter its hours.  It is usually open if raining but severe weather may close the park.  The single day tickets prices are $37.99 for 48” and taller, $25.99 under 48”, $25.99 for 65 and older.  Children under 2 years are free.  Season passes are available for $65.99.  The contact information is www.watercountry.com on the web or call 1-603-427-1111.