The Trump-Pence Administration Attempts to “Gag” Human Rights, Again.

This past Friday the Trump-Pence Administrations divulged that the US Department of Health and Human Services’ revised Title X regulations. The new version of Title X is intended to improve transparency in regard to program reporting and the direction of fund allocations while simultaneously improving preventative measures taken towards sexual abuse, incest, rape, child abuse, child molestation and intimate partner violence. Unfortunately, while economic transparency will be established, doctor-patient transparency, honesty and trust will be deeply obscured. The alterations to Title X impose regulations that prevent patients from receiving care at publicly funded family planning providers an

Old Films

I am currently taking a film class that is also a sociology class. I didn’t think it was going to be mostly analyzing old documentaries but that’s what we do for most of class. I am not a film buff, nor have I watched a decent amount of movies before the 1970s; it’s not my area of interest. But, in the class all we watch are movies pre-color, pre-decent film, and pre-entertainment ( at least I think so ). The problem with that is that the professor, and a decent amount of my classmates, are loving the movies. They rave about the minor details that would not be caught on a first watch and hidden meanings behind actions that would also be very hard for the average viewer to catch. We have seen

Kanji? What is it?

Japanese writing is made up of three scripts. Hiragana, which is used for native Japanese words, has 46 basic characters and about 50 more combination characters. That's almost 4 times more than the English Alphabet's 26 letters. Thankfully, Katakana, which is used for non-Japanese words, is phonetically equivalent. You just write it differently with a few exceptions here and there. Certainly, it's a challenge to adjust to so many characters, but frankly, even casually studying, the two scripts or Kana as it's collectively called, can be learned in a month or less. Kanji on the other hand, oh boy. Kanji are basically Chinese characters that the Japanese borrowed for their writing system some

Mind Over Mat(t)er-ial

In some sense, we are always competing. There seems to be an instilled hierarchy of majors, with STEM students ranking at the top, and all other disciplines falling somewhere below. I really cannot say whether this break-up is based on the difficulty of classes, future employability, or some other devised construct. However, I can say with certainty that no major is any “better” than another. Each one comes with its own difficulties, just as students come with respective skills. Some students are gifted in Chemistry, but cannot write a cohesive five page paper. It all comes down to the individual, not the department into which they fall. The other harsh reality is that we bicker over majors

Surviving Graduation Season

A few days ago, my Instagram feed exploded with students at Virginia Tech who realized that they have less than 100 days until graduation. Most took this as an excuse to spend the night at TOTS, but I decided to explore exactly how to survive this hectic season. Being someone that is graduating in May, I need all the help I can get before the “real-world” punches me straight in the nose… Photo Courtesy of Virginia Tech Get things done early. Graduation is exciting and anxiety-producing. It’s perfectly acceptable to let the excitement and early-onset FOMO motivate you in your last few months, but be proactive! Run to the bookstore to grab your cap and gown (make sure you have the correct tass

3 Foolproof Ways to Survive a Blacksburg Winter

So, it’s that time of year again…where it burns your eyes to step outside and you’re constantly fearful of being blown over by these blizzard-like winds. Here are a few of our favorite tips to making it through these dangerous Blacksburg winters: Photo Courtesy of Betsy Knapp Go ahead and invest in a snow brush. Let’s face it, no one is going to want to walk or take the bus to class when it involves waiting and walking in 20-degree weather. I made the mistake of thinking that I was strong enough to clear the snow off my car with my hands once. It left me soaking wet, freezing cold, and awkwardly mounting my trunk to get to the top of my car. Learn from my mistakes, people. Layers, Layers, La

The Worst Super Bowl Halftime Show Ever?

Like many (maybe?) others, I was only interested in the Super Bowl because of the halftime show. But, this year, the show was not what I was hoping for. In years past, we have had amazing performances from Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and even last year, Justin Timberlake was amazing. This year, when Adam Levine started to sing his first song, I knew it was not going to go down as one of the best performances. He was off pitch and not very entertaining. The most exciting part was when he tore off his shirt. I was hoping to have more of a ‘wow’ factor like Lady Gaga had when she jumped off the stadium or the choreography Beyonce had. Personally, I thought the best part of the show was when Spongebob’s

"True Musical Genius"

I’m not much of a football fan so the prestigious Superbowl was very much not on my radar until I heard the possible inclusion of SpongeBob in the conversation. Some months before, SpongeBob’s creator, Stephen Hillenburg had passed away from ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, a neurodegenerative disease affecting brain and spinal nerve cells. Hillenburg was 57. A petition was made by mourning fans on requesting that the famous SpongeBob song “Sweet Victory” be performed at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show. It received over 1 million signatures and even instigated social media responses from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the hosting stadium, and the ever-enduring pop group, Maroon 5, wh

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