Articles by: benjamin

  • New age cyberbullying: Next generation of torment or total nonsense?

    Editorials April 5, 2010 at 1:07 pm Comments are Disabled

    By Justin Lalputan, Staff Writer There have been many fabulous technological advancements in the last two decades. We have iPods, personal computers and have made fantastic use of the Internet. However, along with these improvements, there are a few inevitable downsides. One such is the practice known as cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is when one person bullies another over the Internet. This can be done through any format: instant messaging, message boards or even online video games. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of cyberbullying occurs between students in middle and high school. This practice has been the cause of numerous incidents in which students have been traumatized or have even caused physical harm to themselves. “Cyberbullies” post mean, derogatory comments about other individuals or spread malicious rumors with the intention of making others feel bad. Cyberbullying gets more serious when people start posting pictures and videos of others on the Internet. I feel that when this happens, the offense can no longer be considered simple cyberbullying — it becomes harassment, which is a different matter altogether. Personally, I cannot believe that this is a problem in today’s society. I can understand why, if it is intense enough, regular bullying can make students […]

  • The U.N. and its role in the world: How it affects and shapes our modern politics

    Editorials March 29, 2010 at 12:34 pm Comments are Disabled

    By Justin Lalputan, Staff Writer A few years back, when I first watched Hotel Rwanda, I was completely shocked and horrified. I was just finishing the 8th grade, and while I’d heard of the Holocaust and cases like it, this movie was raw to me. One of the scenes in the movie that got to me was when a news reporter was talking about apathy. People actually knew that this was taking place, but there was no intervention by the United Nations to save the people who were being killed, and as a result, thousands died. One of the goals of the U.N. is to keep peace. Well, how can you claim to be keeping peace if there are people killing each other left and right in some places of the world? Take the situation in Darfur for example: innocent women and children are raped every day, and nobody comes to help them. Even with the attention that many celebrities have brought to Darfur, still nobody has come to help these innocent people. Sure organizations and individuals send aid such as food and water, but will that make any difference in people’s lives? Speaking in the short term, yes, it […]

  • Enough on Global Warming: Opinion Editor Wishes for Something More

    Editorials March 25, 2010 at 10:08 am Comments are Disabled

    By William Curtis, Opinion Editor It boggles my mind how much information I have read on global warming, and having read about it from so many writers in past issues of Broadside, as well as this one, it has left me with one question: Is global warming the only item we have to discuss? While going through my e-mails just the other day, I stumbled upon a Letter to the Editor that piqued my interest. The letter was written by Jason Von-Kundra and can be found in this issue on page seven. When I read this piece, it made me realize that we really have been debating the existence of global warming for far too long. There are more important questions we should be asking ourselves. Is health care reform really going to happen, and if it does, will it benefit us all or make us hate the systems we put in place even more? Should Ken Cuccinelli continue to deny anti-discrimination laws for homosexuals in Virginia? And if you are ignorant and foolish enough to believe that global warming isn’t real, then you too are denying the facts and the evidence that is right in front of all of […]

  • No Seats for the Obese? In Some Cases, Passengers Should Purchase Two Seats

    Editorials March 1, 2010 at 2:34 pm Comments are Disabled

    Justin Lalputan, Staff Writer Obesity is a problem that many Americans face today. However, the other day, I heard a story about famed director Kevin Smith, who is widely known for his role as Silent Bob in the Clerks films, being removed from a Southwest Airlines flight because he was too fat to fit into a seat. At first this astounded me; I never knew someone could actually be kicked off a flight due to body size. So I did more research on the story and learned that he was not ejected due only to his weight, but also because the flight was at capacity, he didn’t have the option to purchase an additional seat. I researched the matter further and discovered that this is not only a common problem for airlines, but also for movie theaters. It seems that larger airline passengers and moviegoers alike are sometimes required to buy an extra seat to accomodate their size. My first reaction was that this was ridiculous. How can someone be discriminated against just because of their size? On top of that, I’ve also read that, in some cases, people cannot help being obese, but that is another story entirely. Then […]

  • A Student’s Lessons Learned: Finding Wisdom From Past Mistakes

    Editorials March 1, 2010 at 2:32 pm Comments are Disabled

    Stephanie Tran, Staff Writer It all started with the required reading book Walden Two written by psychologist B. F. Skinner. The book described an idyllic, utopian commune that flourishes in post-World War II America, in a community where the subject of History is not taught. When the founder, Frazier, is confronted with this fact, he replies that history has no use, because it is full of mistakes and human recording error. His conclusion is that there is nothing to learn from the past when one can study and modify behavior in the present and future. Nothing to learn from the past? As a wise person once said, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” Just a quick glance at the current economy, the Great Depression and a trip to Google indicates that the U.S., like other capitalistic countries, seems to follow a cycle of economic growth and decay, otherwise known as the 50-60 year-long Kondratiev Wave. While the person who coined the term, Nikolai Kondratiev, is often mocked for his theory, it still successfully predicted the Great Depression of the 1930s and seemed to describe the U.S. economy in November 2008. You could also look […]

  • Burger King Economics: Attaching Dollar Signs to Everything Doesn’t Bode Well

    Editorials March 1, 2010 at 2:29 pm Comments are Disabled

    Brandon T. Minister, Staff Writer My brother-in-law once said to me, “What I love about economists is the way they can put a dollar figure on everything. They can say, ‘Sitting at one additional traffic light costs a driver $5.37.’” It is nice of him to tell me what he loves about my profession, especially since I’ve never once returned the favor with, “You know what I love about energy traders . . . ?” However, I can’t tell if he means he loves economists like he loves his wife, or if he just loves us like he loves watching Dumb and Dumber. Is what he loves about the cost-benefit analysis-laden world of economics the ridiculousness of it all? It’s true that economists try to attach a dollar figure to everything. The opinions of haughty arts majors aside, this is a helpful practice. Dollars are the universal common denominator, allowing us to compare two unlike things. If a shirt or a painting has no quantifiable value, I can never know how many paintings to give you as compensation for taking one of your shirts. When we turn them both into dollars, we can start trading. Most people don’t have a […]

  • Twitter to the Rescue!: Social Networking Sites Create New Adventures for Amateur Journalists

    Editorials March 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm Comments are Disabled

    Evan Benton, Staff Writer On February 12, 2010, two Metro cars on a six-car train jumped the rail. While there were no serious injuries, over 300 passengers were left stranded, and once again the thousands of people using the D.C. Metro system every day were left wondering: What the hell is going on here? There are many reasons to be alarmed. This is the third such incident since mid-June of last year, when the area experienced the deadliest Metro crash in history: a collision of two trains resulted in nine deaths and over 76 injuries. Since then, two Metro employees were crushed by a runaway utility vehicle on the tracks on January 27th; and now there’s this. Granted, cars jumping the rail is better than cars colliding, and in this case an “automated derailer” threw the trains off the tracks before they could collide with each other. Really? An automatic derailer system? I wasn’t aware that the threat of train collision was so ominous and frequent that a derailer system was even necessary. What’s worse is the fact that actual news stations didn’t pick up the incident until 15 hours after the derailment, leaving the populace ignorant to the event […]

  • The Obamateur Hour; The State of the Union Address Falls Flat

    Editorials February 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm Comments are Disabled

    Alan Moore, Staff Writer Pundits and government officials alike touted President Obama’s State of the Union address prior to its delivery as an opportunity to hit “reset” on the fledgling administration that has consistently been under fire. Not only did Obama fail miserably in that regard, but he continued the incendiary tactics and partisan rancor that sickens Americans on both sides of the aisle. His finger-wagging at the Supreme Court for overturning parts of campaign finance laws that were deemed violations of free speech was atrocious. Not only was it inappropriate to scold the Supreme Court like a hotheaded stepchild during the State of the Union, but Obama’s accusations were undeniably false. He insinuated that foreign companies will be able to contribute money to federal elections in the United States which is a complete misrepresentation of the ruling and is irrefutably wrong. It was so bad that even some of Obama’s allies in the media, like Linda Greenhouse of The New York Times, called him out on this fabrication. The slight was certainly noticed by Justice Alito who took the unprecedented action of a Supreme Court Justice by mouthing “not true” while being lambasted by the president. Republicans were not […]

  • It’s Never About Weather; Ignoring Global Warming Will Not Solve It

    Editorials February 15, 2010 at 2:51 pm Comments are Disabled

    Anandraj Singh, Staff Writer Discussing anything even remotely related to climate change these days is a frustrating endeavor. If it’s not someone shouting, “the weather’s getting colder, so what the scientists say must be wrong,” or “it’s all just a conspiracy,” then it’s some other form of hatred. It’s always a question about what one can do, how things are either being done out of proportion or not being done enough. The lack of consensus on the issue alone is a sore selling point — as is the frustrating branding and marketing of it by both those for and against it. Those against it nearly riot that it’s a conspiracy. Those that are for it either focus too much on condemning the former group, or not enough time to properly explain it to the common man. What both groups fail to realize is that this entire affair with climate change is not about the weather. It’s not about how cold, hot, wet or dry it is wherever you are. It isn’t even about the economy. The entire affair boils down to a simple, succinct little tablet of wisdom that has served to protect our ancestors for generations before they were […]

  • Sailing the Internet: Two Teen Sailors Vie for a Family’s Attention

    Editorials February 2, 2010 at 7:15 pm Comments are Disabled

    Brandon Minster, Staff Writer A few months ago, my family became regular followers of the blog of Jessica Watson, a 16-year-old Australian girl attempting to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world. Jessica was a perfect fit for my family. She appealed to my daughter’s inner sexual liberator, constantly on the lookout for a good girl empowerment story. Jessica also appealed to my inner misanthrope, always open to new tales of those who give society the proverbial mooning and set course for a life of solitude. Just about every day Jessica updates her blog. A content-heavy website features a map showing her current location, typically in the middle of some ocean, and bearing the modern-era disclaimer that the map is not to be used for navigational purposes. Also on the website are periodic video updates. My kids enjoy these the most. My son loves that the start and end of each video is Jessica fiddling around behind the lens, trying to find the camera buttons. Intellectually, he knows she is sailing by herself, but it’s not quite real to him until he realizes she has to be her own camerawoman — then he cracks up. My daughter […]