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We know the threat. Republican Party frontrunner Donald Trump, has denounced Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers. He’s called for the forcible deportation of millions of undocumented immigrants and for revoking their U.S.-born children’s birthright citizenship. This would amount to a 21st century-style Trail of Tears. It would require a massive population transfer akin to the worst chapters of the last century. The arms and manpower raids necessitated by this ethnic cleansing would push the country toward a civil war, as Al-Jazeera’s Malcolm Harris wrote last September. The New Yorker’s Evan Osnos in his recent essay, “The Fearful and the Frustrated,” has documented the wide appeal Trump has garnered amongst Klansmen, neo-Nazis, “paleo-conservatives” and other outright white supremacists who’ve grown in numbers ever since Obama was elected. And they’re itching for a fight.
The days get colder, the nights get longer, and I, for one, end up cuddled up to my Apple products. It doesn’t feel the slightest bit strange to me, but a Mac is resting on my lap while an iPhone is propped up on my bed. Could we be any more intimate? No, actually, and that might be a problem.
A month ago, after a long day in an undergraduate life filled with academics, extracurriculars and organizational work, I arrived home late at night, plopped on my bed and went through my online dating account on “Her,” a relatively new app for queer identifying women. I’ve gone through a string of online dating apps, albeit not having much luck. But I thought this app was a little different from the rest, so maybe I’d find someone I could connect with. However, in some supernatural way, I looked at my profile pictures with a different lens. A thought came into my mind, “this girl doesn’t love herself.” Flooded with emotional realizations on my lack of self-esteem and body-positivity, I googled for answers. A quote from Bell Hook’s book “All About Love” emphasized the definition of love as “the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth,” according to M. Scott Peck’s “The Road Less Traveled.”
Walking with mild content on Wednesday, Oct. 21, I was leaving my philosophy class and heading toward the student center on College Ave. Piercing through the average drone traffic by Brower, I crested the steps to look down upon two groups of students in stark opposition of each other, both literally and physically. The tension sat heavy in the air, murky in all perceptions but sight, and cast before me were signs with many Palestinian names, all in a foreign tongue. Crossing the street toward the opposing camp, I was greeted by an old friend, a member of the Rutgers’ Jewish community. I knew better than to entertain any arguments in such a setting, and despite having friendly acquaintances with both camps, I am generally sympathetic with the Palestinians. However, I have never been able to fully engage this issue with endorsement on either side because there never seems to be a clear moral agent in operation. Political deception, world theatrics, heavenly justification — where does one begin to take root and make a stance?
Instagram isn’t just for artsy pics and punny captions. Scroll through the popular page on your Instagram feed at any given time and you’ll probably gloss over at least one weight loss fitness account. Many feature photos of “before and after” weight loss, healthy food and motivational quotes. Today, thousands of Instagram accounts are dedicated to those trying to lose weight or just maintain a lifestyle. With the ability to post pictures with the click of a button, people are using the app to update the Instagram community on their weight loss journey and hold themselves accountable to their fitness goals. Although these accounts often receive a lot of hate, they’re a great way to motivate someone to achieve their fitness goal.
Playboy Magazine is a household name and publication that focuses on nude women, particularly those with very large breasts and butts. Hugh Hefner is the ringleader, and the Playboy bunnies — the girls who are always by his side — are technically his followers. Playboy’s art director reportedly designed the Playboy logo in about 10 minutes, and today it is one of the most recognized trademarks in the world. The first ever Playboy issue was published in December 1953, Marilyn Monroe was on the cover and it sold 5,000 copies. Anyone who knows about or has looked at an edition of Playboy would never have guessed that getting rid of nudity is the latest marketing change. How does a magazine that was so well-known for their nudes, now sell a magazine without nudes? Who is the new demographic, and why?
An explosion of noise so deafening that, even when expected, it can jolt your heart — cannons firing, fireworks exploding, people screaming hysterically. Sounds resembling a scene from War of the Worlds. Mass chaos. Pure joy. A moment so consuming that for a couple of seconds, nothing else in the world seemed to matter. A culmination of years and years of countless seasons and months of pain and tears, that in the past appeared worthless but in the moment presented itself as so obliging. A taboo of sorts, where no one is sure exactly how this moment contributes to any greater good in our world, but everyone agrees that it was worth the wait. Sort of like when you buy the new iPhone 25 even though you just bought the still new iPhone 24S that came out two months ago. You can’t exactly put your finger on what particularly excites you about the new version of the phone besides its 36-inch display and eye scanning unlock feature, but you and everyone standing outside of the Apple Store for the last 24 hours share the same sentiment for one moment. I mean in a few weeks the charger is going to fray and the screen is going to crack a little and then later on crack some more, forcing you to spend money to fix it or buy another phone. These moments seem to repeat themselves over and over in our first-world lives, but nonetheless bring the same grandeur to our everyday monotony.
We are more than one-fourth of the way through the NFL season and still have six unbeaten teams: the New England Patriots, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers and Cincinnati Bengals. When you have so many undefeated teams, you wonder if they can keep up their great play and make a run in the playoffs? It’s hard to tell. The schedule really dictates where some of the teams are right now.
So the best time of the year is rolling around, yeah, you guessed it! It's Halloween time. Cue the candy, the movies on ABC, the candy, the creepy decorations and the candy. But what's the best thing about Halloween? You guessed again, the costumes. This is the time of year where you get to be whatever you want, whoever you want, wherever you want.
Even in the wake of an ebola pandemic that threatened tens of thousands while terrifying billions throughout the world, Africa is making huge strides in eradicating malaria permanently. The effectiveness of programs implemented currently can be compared in scope only to the near-eradication of polio, or even smallpox — keep in mind that the latter of the two was responsible for several billion deaths. Needless to say, the implications of success in this case are huge. Not only does the eradication of malaria foreshadow a significantly brighter future for the worst-affected areas, but the successful programs developed in the process can be applied elsewhere to assist with the elimination of diseases that are similarly endemic and deadly in nature.
Do black lives matter in Israel? Earlier this year, the Israeli government took a harder line against African refugees and asylum-seekers, compelling them to either go back to Africa, where they’d surely again face poverty, war and genocide, or prison. Tens of thousands of overwhelmingly Eritrean and Sudanese refugees have the option of accepting $3,500 in cash within a month and a one-way ticket to a third country like Uganda, Rwanda or elsewhere in Africa — or end up in the desert prison of Saharonim. They’ve been routinely referred to by right-wing state officials like Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “infiltrators,” despite the fact that around a half country’s hotel employees are African refugees, providing much-needed low-wage labor in the second-most unequal economy in the industrialized world, according to the O.E.C.D. When Israel, a country about as small as New Jersey, erected a fence on the Egyptian border, Netanyahu declared that such a measure would maintain Israel’s identity as a “Jewish and democratic state.”
Talking about online anonymity is a lot like talking about Brendan Fraser’s career after “George of the Jungle,” or most low-calorie snacks: They’re falling apart, quite literally.
As Rutgers students, staff and faculty members anticipate the 250th anniversary celebration of the University's founding, one catch-phrase stands: “Revolutionary for 250 years.” I saw this phrase as a background of an image of a group of white-wigged revolutionary men plastered on a giant poster as I walked along the river dorms on George Street. As I pondered longer about this phrase, I cannot help but be flooded with thoughts of irony.
On the topic of intolerance, I find in Henry Grabbe’s letter to the editor and concerns about his religion to be misplaced and laughable. He purports that, “Followers of all religions have been called irrational, bigoted, hypocritical and gender-biased — all in one week.” Speaking as one of the “loud minority” he mentions, I would like to remind Grabbe that I criticize ideas generally, such as religion, in the same way I would in other realm of ideas, such as politics. Had one read my article on Pope Francis, one would have noticed my concern is that Francis is not making good on his claims. While my goal is to never belittle or cause harm to anyone, the religion has no special rights with regards to criticism and portrayal. There is no need to feel isolated or to ask for tolerance when one’s organized belief system is the majority, not just on campus, but nationwide.
Rutgers University is a school filled with intelligent, curious and diverse thinkers. It’s the home of future inventors, doctors, authors and anything else you can think of. Because of our great accomplishments, and even greater students, Snapchat has added the Rutgers campus story, so now everyone is just a few clicks away from seeing and learning about the amazing people we have here. In the past, we were excited with just a simple geotag, but our own story is bigger news. For of those who don’t know, this is a public, live Snapchat feed that anyone around a University campus can view. Snapchat has hired someone, somewhere to receive all of our snaps and sift through hundreds (and maybe even thousands) of pictures and videos for our viewing pleasure. Not only does this give everyone a chance at their 15 minutes of fame, but it allows University students to see what is happening on campus, while also allowing students create a narrative for our University.
Planned Parenthood has been in the news a lot lately, but what exactly is going on? While most of the talk surrounds funding, something else is going on. It has been said that there is a video including footage circulating of a “fully formed fetus on the table, its heart beating, its legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain.” The group who supposedly released this video is called the Center for Medical Progress.
A woman yells at a bear, “Do not break my kayak, bear.”
As a youngster, before my biggest aspiration became driving to class and finding a parking spot that would successfully evade my friends at Rutgers parking enforcement, I had more modest dreams. In my youth, I possessed a more-than-vivid imagination that enabled me to be anyone from Simba from “The Lion King” to Barney, the singing, dancing purple dinosaur. Every day after school was just a race to get home so I could conjure up the next character to become until my mom called me to the kitchen to eat dinner. It was a great time. But as anyone that has ever developed this type of imagination knows, there are two sides to all the fun. My fantasies and bliss wouldn’t be complete without an equally impressive tormentor. My oppressor came in the form of a Ken doll. Yes, Barbie’s faithful companion who was known for his remarkable fashion sense and for dating the most famous doll to ever hit the shelves of Toys "R" Us. With the help of older siblings and cousins, the Ken doll adopted the name “Man Doll” and haunted my dreams. I was told terrible stories about how if I didn’t eat my vegetables or listen to my elders, Man Doll would mystically come to life and scare me in my sleep. These rumblings forced me to imagine the type of things he was capable of doing if he ever got a hold of me. That thing was 12 inches of fashion-forward terror.
The other day, my roommates and I were making plans for going on Spring Break. Beyond my excitement about the warm and sunny beach, horseback riding in the water (it’s a thing) and having dinner in a cave (also a thing), I suddenly found myself thinking about our trip in a series of Instagram posts, which really got me thinking.
Many of my peers on Cook campus, which is dominated by students studying biotechnology and agriculture, often find it difficult to accommodate the two commonly held viewpoints with regard to genetically modified organisms and organic food. On one hand, there is the earthy-crunchy outlook that assumes GMOs damage the environment and are bad for human health. On the other hand, there is the viewpoint that the manipulation of organisms using modern biotechnology can significantly benefit society. Crunchy scientists (I’ll admit I am one) then have a problem: Where does our loyalty lie?