Samsung to Release a Smartphone Without Internet

Question time: What is the reason why you have a smartphone?  Most people would answer: “internet.”  And while most of us need our phones, the internet can and will distract us from doing things which is why Samsung has found a solution.

Samsung’s Galaxy J2 Pro is the bare necessitites when it comes to a phone nowadays. This version of the Galaxy allows to call, text and to take photos with 8 megapixal rear camera and 5 megapixal front camera but the selling point of the phone is that the phone has no internet service at all (no WIFI or data).

The phone is only going to be sold in South Korea since students (high school seniors) down there, are getting ready for the toughest test of their lives called suneung, a test that will essentially determine the rest of their lives and that’s not a exaggeration. Unlike in America where there’s multiple factors that play into getting into college,  South Korea students have had the idea of suneung being the deciding point of their lives.

The phone comes in only two colors, black and gold, and it will cost around 200,000 won, or around $190.

The best part about the phone is not the specs but the promotion that Samsung is running. Once students are done with the exhausting test, they can trade in the phone for a new Samsung Galaxy S or an A-series phone released after 2018 and have the cost of the J2 reimbursed.

The Galaxy J2 Pro will most likely never be released outside of South Korea since most countries don’t take testing as serious as South Korea does but nevertheless, this phone is unlike no other phone released today. It can take you to a time where phones were not used for internet but for only calling and texting

Oh, how the times have changed and they just keep changing

 

Saving Lives, Bad for Business?

Recently a report has been published by Goldman Sachs analysts exploring the question “Is curing patients a sustainable business model?” The idea behind it being that as “one-shot cures” rid more and more people of their disease and/or medical condition, the need for that particular medicine will go down, as there fewer people to spread it. The report cited a study about treatments for Hepatitis C that have more than a 90 percent cure rate. As a result of that effective treatment, the need for that treatment decreased significantly, as did the profits from it. All of this begs the question, what in the world is wrong with medical companies?

It would seem that profit is the greater concern over improving lives and saving lives. This report appears to suggest that medical companies developing treatments and cures for sick people should focus their efforts on diseases that can and will appear on their own, without the need for carrier. It suggests that the research should focus more on disease like cancer or medical conditions like asthma not because they should try to cure it, but because it has a more sustainable business profit. That is to say, because people will always have to deal with these conditions, and therefore they can continue to profit off of the sick. And as for the people will curable or potentially curable disease or conditions? It seems they are just going to get ignore and be left to suffer. It is apparently a bad thing that so many people got treated for Hepatitis C.

What sort of world do we live in were profit is put above improving and saving lives? It is understandable that companies need to make a profit so they continue to fund medical research, but it should never be taken so as to even consider placing profit over the lives of their patients. If this is how things are going to go, how until we hear from our doctors that our illnesses are curable, but that they will not cure it because it would mean less money for them and the medical companies?

 

Photo from the Wall Street Journal

Graveyard Shift – Part 2

The ancient looking hand opens, slowly, and drops a bag of Peanut M&M’s onto the counter.

“Oh,” Mickey says, “Okay. That’ll be $2.25”

There’s a loud thump behind her as, presumably, Sid faints and hits the linoleum. Just as slowly, the front-most hooded figure pulls a five-dollar bill from somewhere on their person and retrieves the M&Ms. The hissing sound gets louder, and as they float back out the door Mickey takes it to mean, “Keep the change.”

Mickey turns to check on Sid, who has since come to. He rises slowly his feet, staring intently at her for a long moment before he gathers up the courage to actually speak.

“H-how long have you worked here, again?” Sid asks.

“About 15 years,” Mickey tells him.

“Right. Great. Please please please tell me that was the weirdest shit you’ve ever seen in here.”

“Oh, not even close,” Mickey leans back against the counter, “Welcome to the graveyard shift, kid.”

 

Famed Gaming Champion Loses Records for “Cheating”

One of gaming’s most famous figures, Billy Mitchell has been stripped of all of his records that he has held for decades.

Mitchell, 52, had held the title of being the first person to have scored one million points on the arcade game “Donkey Kong.”  The decision comes after many years of allegations of cheating towards Mitchell which he has denied many times.

Twin Galaxies, which tracks video game records believes that Mitchell’s scores were achieved with the use of emulator, a computer program that replicates an arcade or console machine.  They presented their findings to Jeremy Young, a Donkey Kong forum operator who after seeing pictures of Mitchell’s gameplay, says that “those scores were impossible to achieve without a emulator.”

After Twin Galaxies did their own investigation, they concluded that Mitchell had indeed used a emulator and with the evidence posted on their page, they decided to ban all of Mitchell’s scores which include the first perfect score (3,333,360 points) in the original Pac-Man game and to ban all future scores of Mitchell’s (if he were to continue to play for records).

Twin Galaxies also reported their findings to Guinness World Records who also decided to remove Mitchell’s records from the Guinness Book of World Records.

Now, the record holder for the first person to have scored one million points on Donkey Kong is Mitchell’s rival, Steve Wiebe, who no longer competes for records. Wiebe is currently a math teacher in Washington (the state).

Mitchell has not respond to the stripping of his records and as of now, he may not speak ever but this could not be more embarrssing for the former “best gamer in the world.”

Well, a popular cartoon show, Regular Show had a character on the show called Garrett Bobby Ferguson (GBF) who looked like Mitchell. Mitchell sued the show trying to ruin his image and the case got thrown out of court. The character’s main trait and the reason why Mitchell sued the show… GBF was a villian who cheated at video games.

Well then, it looks like Regular Show has predicted time just like the Simpsons have done for decades.

Trump Rants on Twitter… Again

Once again, Trump has taken to Twitter to address his grievances with the latest debacles, news, and world affairs concerning him. No surprise there, as this seems to occur on an almost weekly basis, which is something we should talk about. For now, let us ignore the specific subject matter of Trump’s latest Tweets, though they do merit attention and consideration, and concentrate on the fact that this is how Trump deals with any backlash or negative criticism.

Donald Trump is, unfortunately, our president, and he should act like it. This man is meant to be the figurehead of our nation, and the singular person that the rest of the world looks to and sees America, and what do they see? An angry man that response to every piece of negative criticism like a child. This man is supposed to be running our country, yet he appears to spend too much of his time concerning himself with the opinions of others, and rushing to Twitter so he can bash and decry those he does not like. This is a man that resorts to, essentially, pointing his finger, calling someone names, and saying they are a liar. He is doing precisely that to James Comey, who is releasing a book on April. 17 that details his (poor) experiences with Trump and had an interview on the 15th about this same book. Given the numerous issues and problems facing the government and America as a whole, not to mention the recent missile strike in Syria (which should be mention), Trump has better things to do with his time than concern himself with a book.

Frankly, Trump only seems to really care about his image. This is not news, by any means, but it bears repeating. His actions seem like that of a desperate man doing his best to discredit any who oppose him for fear that people might actually realize what a horrendous job Trump has been doing. This man may be the President, but he does not act like one or seem to hold much, if any, respect or regard for the position. Simply put, Trump is president in name only.

Line of Gemini – Part 11

The cold night air took away Tod’s breath as the woman hauled him through the sky, toward the stars. “Hey, wait,” he tried to say, but the words wouldn’t form in his throat, and even if they had, he knew they wouldn’t have made a difference. They climbed higher and higher until Tod saw a gleam of gold below them – their planet. He could see the mountains from here.

“You know we can’t get through the barrier,” he said. “Not without Eli.” The only way he and Eli could go back in the first place was if they combined their energy and called for the other Gemini to help them. Tod going through alone – it would disturb the balance and their universe would fight against it. Without Eli, Tod was little more than a human.

The woman scoffed. “Well, guess you finally got lucky, Tadraz. I found a loophole.”

Tadraz. My real name. He grimaced. Her fingers latched onto his.

“Wait, what?” He tried to pull away. “What are you doing?”

He could feel her power coursing through his body. “No. No!” He tried to struggle, but she was much too strong. In a moment, she had merged with him and Tod was gone, seeing the world through her eyes, battling with her thoughts. It wasn’t long before her power overcame his and he blacked out.

***

Her name was Isolde and she was going to bring peace to the world. Well, that was the plan anyway. She pulled her hood down, watching Tod as he lay there on the floor. She crouched by his side, pushing his sweaty hair away from his forehead. “Poor baby,” she said.

“Isolde!” a voice echoed in her ear and she heard the familiar clomp of hooves. Smiling, Isolde leaped to her feet to see her father coming her way.

“Daddy,” she said, rushing over to him. “Look.” She pointed at Tod’s body.

Her father laughed. “I’m proud of you.” He kissed her forehead, then stooped lower to look at Tod, his muscles creaking with age. “What is he wearing? You can’t expect to march to the palace with him looking like that.”

She eyed Tod’s strange outfit. “Dad, you know the humans have weird superstitions. Obviously, those plastic things don’t work against us.” She pointed at Tod’s necklace.  

Her father was a Taurus, since the line of Cassiopeia was all female. Horns sprouted from his head and tattoos burned into his skin flickered in the light.

“Certainly not.” He chuckled, running a hand over his beard. “So, did someone else get Eli?”

“I don’t know yet, but I’m sure they will.”

“Well, I’m proud of you. You’re going to be queen.”

“Finally. We worked so hard.” She felt the warm light getting steadily warmer inside her and the smile on her face grew brighter. She’d tell her father later. He’d be so happy.

***  

“Tod’s gone?” Sunny yelled. She couldn’t believe it. She shook her head. “You were supposed to be watching out for each other.” Her voice trembled.

“I know – I know. It just happened so fast. I’ll find him, don’t worry,” Eli said. Better than anyone, he knew that was what he had to do.

“I’ll come,” Sunny said.

“No,” Eli said. “No, you go back home. You can’t come. You’re a human and you’ll die on our planet.”

“But you can’t even get home without Tod,” she protested.

“I’ll find a way,” Eli said, pushing past her.

Sunny ran after him. “But wait, you can’t just leave me – ”

He didn’t answer, slamming the door. Sunny wanted to run after him, but she knew he was right. There was nothing she could do – she was a human. She’d never hated being a human so much before. It always seemed like it was a gift – make a mistake, well, you’re only human. But now it was what was preventing her from helping her friends.

She checked the time. It was three o’clock in the morning. How worse could this trip get? She’d have to go home, tell her parents what happened. She just imagined how that would go.

“So the boys we adopted, they’re actually aliens from another planet. On the way to Nashville, we got attacked by this woman, who’s also from that planet, but they killed her, so it’s all good, right? But then another came to our hotel and kidnapped Tod. Of course I can’t do anything, so Eli left to go after him. And I didn’t even get to see the solar eclipse. That’s what I’m really bummed about.” Sunny burst into tears. She knew her parents wouldn’t believe her. Her dad would probably say something like, “Cocaine is a hell of a drug,” and her mom would think she was crazy.

Hey, even she thought she was crazy. She remembered that she hadn’t called her parents to tell them that they’d gotten here all right but she figured it was too late now. She lay back on her bed and rubbed her eyes, inhaling shakily. It would be fine. She’d go home, she’d make up a story, say that they found another family – it didn’t matter.

She’d just forget about them.

But she knew that wasn’t going to happen.

Let Me Out

I recently watched a movie called ‘Let Me In’ on Netflix. It’s a sorrowful tale of a young boy growing up isolated, alone and afraid. Bullied at school and suffering through the divorce of his parents at home, his only solace comes when a girl, Abby, moves in with her father, Thomas, next door. He is instantly intrigued by her; she is aloof and reluctant, for reasons that are explained later. But they nevertheless find themselves drawn to one another and are able to bond over a mutual love of puzzles.

The tale unfolds in one sense as a Peter Pan fable. There are elements of eternal youth depicted in the character of Abby, who is revealed to be a vampire. In a more traditional take on the vampire myth, she must be invited into a house like in vampire legends of old. She burns in the sun and is only seen at night. And while it is unknown if religious artifacts have an adverse effect on her, there are numerous religious overtones displayed in the character of Owen’s mother who listens several times throughout the movie to late night sermons on T.V., a habit that is hinted to have contributed to the dissolution of her marriage. Abby is also super-strong, and seems to revert to a more animal state with glowing eyes when feeding.

Despite this, she remains very much a child. In describing her plight to Owen, she self-describes as being “…12. But I’ve been 12 for a long time.” She is inquisitive, laughs, and engages at every turn with Owen for all the world like a 12-year old girl would. She doesn’t really hint that she knows why she has to be invited in to a house beyond knowing that it eventually causes blood to pour from her eyes, nose, and mouth. She knows that she must not be in the sun, and that she needs blood to live. And that is all that is given.

In another sense, this makes Owen and Abby’s infatuation all the more tragic. While being an otherwise very stereotypical childhood crush, the revelation that Abby is a vampire, combined with the discovery that her father is not in fact her father but the last boy she fell in love with, gives rise to the implication that Thomas’ fate is what is in store for Owen.

Owen, like Thomas, will grow old and die in service to a childhood love that cannot grow old with him, in addition to his already ravaged childhood, torn asunder by the divorce of his parents and, towards the end, his near death at the hands of his bullies. This spells depressingly cruel consequences for Owen that two children, one immortal and the other merely troubled, could never be adult enough to foresee. Thomas, it is shown, commits several acts of murder just to collect blood for Abby to survive.

During overheard conversations between Abby and Thomas, it is shown that decades of such murders begin catching up to him as an old man. In the end, after botching a second attack and about to be captured, he douses himself with acid to obscure his identity and, thus, his connection to Abby, protecting her. When she comes to visit him at the hospital, he is unable to invite her in due to the acid damage to his vocal cords. Lastly, unable to speak, he offers himself to Abby, who feeds from him before allowing his body to fall from his tenth floor room. On a police tablet, left by an officer near his bedside should he wish to confess, is scrawled a single line: “I’m sorry Abby.”

By the end of ‘Let Me In’ I was shouting internally ‘Let Me Out’ as I tried to imagine any way in which the ending of such of a path could ever be thought of as romantic or good.

Organ Donation

Organ donation is a long and incredibly difficult process. It can be very difficult to get on an organ donation list, and they may not get the organs they need due to the short supply. People can only donate a few organs while they are still alive, so organ donation after death can be extremely helpful for sick people with conditions like heart defects.

There is also the issue of getting a compatible organ. You have to get an organ that matches with your body in order to get the transplant. There is no guarantee that the one organ available will be compatible with a person. Even a blood relative might not have an organ that is compatible. So the more people who become organ donors, the better the chance there is for another person to live.

Organ donors do not have to be the healthiest individuals; anyone can donate parts of their body even if other parts are not in the best shape. A heavy smoker could still donate something like their eyes or even the bones after their death. Every part of the human body can potentially be used to help a person in need. The skin, for example, can be used to help burn victims if doctors get to the deceased fast enough.

In your will, or by proxy after you die, you can still dictate what parts of your body are available for use. If a person wishes to hold on to specific parts of their body, they can. An organ donor still has a certain level of control over their body.

The community still needs organ donors; they are in great demand. While scientists are working toward creating organs in labs to help save lives, they have not yet reached a point where they can keep up with the demand of organs.

Immortal

Through cold eyes I gaze upon perfection,

And yet a sigh would deign to cloud my view.

How could such stagnant silver bear a god’s reflection

And yet still hold its burnished glow anew?

 

How could it capture once the me that was,

To throw before me now that which I’ve seen?

How could it bend most adamant of laws

And toss His plan to ravens while I preen?

 

The question’s pull grows dull once more,

The face of Heaven’s beauty drawn and droll.

For in this silver portrait of my core

I see a canvas more of paint than soul.

China Has Declared War on Mosquitoes

One of the greatest threats that mankind faces today is mosquitoes. These pesky little bugs have claimed more human lives than any war has, and now China is entering the battlefield.

According to a senior scientist involved in a Chinese Government project, China is developing a super-sensitive radar that can detect a mosquito’s wing-flapping from 1.2 miles away.

Currently, a prototype of the device is being tested at the Beijing Institute Technology (BIT). The scientist, who declined to be named since this project involves technology used in China’s missile defense system, said that “identifying and tracking individual, mosquito-sized targets is no longer science fiction.”

According to the World Health Organization, at least 1 million people die each year from mosquito-related bites. Mosquitos are the hosts to many diseases like Malaria and Zika.

Controlling the pest is a challenge itself, as they can pass by someone almost without a trace unless they are close by and you can hear that familiar buzzing.

It took decades before military radars could pick up the echoes of small objects at an impressive distance. For example, The U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s sea-based X-band radar can detect a baseball-sized object from over 2 miles away.

Liu Xingyue, a professor at the China Agricultural University in Beijing, has very high expectations for the radar. He says that it will be a “precision-guided weapon in our war against the deadliest creature on Earth.”

While it seems that China has great intentions, we do not know for sure how this technology will be used. We can only hope that this radar will be used for good reasons, not unnecessary ones.

Is Online Gaming Going to be Affected by the Net Neutrality Repeal?

Most of us remember a few months ago when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was hearing the case for and against “net neutrality.” Now, we are slowly hearing about the repercussions of repealing net neutrality.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a video game industry lobby group, has decided to join in the lawsuit against the FCC, joining a mix of Democratic state attorney generals, tech companies like Mozilla (Firefox), and many more.

The ESA noted that its members will be harmed by the repeal and it would hurt online gaming the most. In a statement, the ESA said this was “because the FCC’s order permits ISP’s to take actions that could jeopardize the fast, reliable, and low-latency connections that are critical to the video game industry.”

Net neutrality is a very controversial topic in politics. The rules prohibit Internet service providers from blocking or throttling lawful Internet traffic and prevent extra-charges for people looking to get better access. These rules are crucial to the video game industry according to an ESA brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the DC Circuit.

Also in the brief, it was noted that while music and movie streaming providers can use buffering to account for network problems, the ESA noted that their clients can’t do the same.

The ESA is also very worried about the downloads of large games and how these games can be “slowed down” due to the loss of net neutrality.

Big names in the video game industry that are represented by ESA include Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Disney.

ESA’s case will be under the name of Mozilla Corporation v. Federal Communications Commission and the United States of America. 

 

Line of Gemini – Part 10

Tod and Eli didn’t talk for a while. Eli stayed inside, and Tod stayed on the balcony railing, resting his arms on it. Tod, especially, was tired of talking. The same old arguments, going around in circles. Same old Eli. And same old Tod. He ran a hand over his face, staring out at the buildings, glowing orange lights, river, stars sparkling in the water. He closed his eyes, remembering his home.

There were mountains, not like where Sunny lived, but sharp jutting ones made of black rock. Their planet was home to nearly five hundred active volcanoes. There were lava flows too, rivers of it. Deadly to a human, of course, but not to him. Since he was part of the Line of Gemini, they lived in the palace, made of gold and white stone. He remembered the giant glass doors and the covered entrance way, glowing with the heat of a thousand suns. Huge man-eating plants to his left – Tod hated those things. Eli had threatened to feed him to the plants more than a few times. Getting fed to one of those plants would be better than this current situation. Anything would be.

He nearly leaped out of his clothes when a voice said, “You’re thinking about home.”

Taking a breath, and hurrying to calm his panicking heart, Tod turned around to face Eli, barely illuminated by the stars above.   

“Don’t sneak up on me like that. You should know better.”

Eli didn’t answer.

“But yeah, I’m thinking about home. It’s pretty. And not as cold.” He really hated the cold.

Eli set his jaw. “Also, our people really need your help.”

“Me? And all of a sudden you’re leaving yourself out of the equation? That’s not like you.”

Eli made an awkward sound. He wasn’t sure what to make of Tod’s sass sometimes. “No, obviously, they need me too – but…” He sighed. “We need a balance. You…you provide that.”

Tod narrowed his eyes. “I don’t trust you.” When Eli rolled his eyes, he snapped, “Can you blame me? You tried to kill me.” He remembered the cold all too well. The flickering in his body, weak and tired, about to go out. All his strength was spent creating his human form. He couldn’t be a Setareh on Earth, just a human, and that body was dying, too cold, too beat up from the fall.

He owed Sunny and her family his entire worthless life.

“Don’t think that I’m going to forget that. Don’t just act like we can go back to normal – ”

Eli shook his head. “You’re turning into a human. I cannot believe you.”

Tod clenched his fists, anger pulsing through him. He would have punched Eli’s face in if it wasn’t for his ounce of self-control. Turning into a human – did he really think that he was turning into one because he had feelings all of a sudden? What a concept. “You don’t understand me. And you’re not even trying to, because all you care about is yourself!” Tod snapped.

“And it’s the same with you,” Eli said. “You won’t even look at it from my point of view.”

“Yeah, because you’re a heartless monster. You don’t care who you end up hurting. You say you need me for a balance, whatever that means, but you would never listen to me in a million years.”

Eli shook his head. “How do you know that? You always exaggerate.”

“Whatever. It’s true,” Tod said, rolling his eyes, though he knew he was exaggerating. He just wanted to hurt Eli, to make him feel the way he had felt. It had been so hard seeing him again for the first time in five years. No, his life with Sunny wasn’t perfect. Yes, it sucked that people were coming after him on Earth, trying to remind him of his duties on his home planet. But he’d rather be on Earth than spend a day in that hell hole again. It was one battle after another, what felt like five different factions complaining and arguing. It would never change.  

“Tod, I understand. You’re scared to rule after being here for so long, but I promise everything will be fine. You’ll get to see Mom and Dad again.”

“Oh goodie. I know they’ll be thrilled.”

Eli paused.

“That’s sarcasm. They always liked you way more. I bet they didn’t shed a single tear.”

Eli swallowed; he didn’t have much of a response for that. The truth was, they hadn’t cried at all and said that it would probably be better for the Setareh anyway. “So?” he managed to say.

Tod struggled for words, a lump gathering in his throat. “So? They hate me.”

“It doesn’t matter if they cried or not. What matters is that your people need you and you’re about to turn your back on them.”

“Yeah. Just like you turned your back on me when you cut me off and threw me down here. I almost died.”

“Tod – get over it,” Eli said, throwing his hands up in the air.

“No. I owe my life to Sunny. Not you.” He gritted his teeth.

“I’m stuck on Earth if you don’t help me.” Eli grabbed Tod by the front of his shirt, pulling him closer to his face. Tod yanked away, his back banging against the railing. He ignored the pain.

“Shouldn’t have tried to kill me.” There was a bitter taste in his throat.

“Look, Sunny’s right about one thing. If people from Cassiopeia are coming after us, trying to take over – we need to stay together. We can’t fight back if we’re in an argument ourselves.”

Tod sighed in annoyance, but Eli had a point. Somehow Cassiopeia must have overheard their plans – he didn’t know how. But they had their ways up there. “Yeah. I know. We have to protect Sunny.”

Eli nodded. “For Sunny.”

There was a long pause before Eli said, “So Sunny doesn’t know you have feelings for her, right?”

Tod shook his head. “No, of course not. That would be like shooting myself in the foot. I’m sure she’d say no. And obviously, I know how you feel about the whole thing, so.” He shrugged. “It’s – ”

He didn’t have time to finish. He saw a woman from Cassiopeia out of the corner of his eye. She hovered above the railing and then smacked Tod hard across the face. Eli yelled his name but he didn’t even have time to grab his hand. The woman picked Tod up, flinging him over her shoulder. Eli grabbed onto the woman’s electric whip, hauling her towards him, even though the cord bit into his flesh, making him wince. The woman was stronger and pulled away from him, and he fell to his knees, watching her vanish. He swore loudly. No. No. This couldn’t be happening. He was so close. It seemed like Tod was maybe, just maybe, starting to become a little less stubborn – if he could have just pushed a little harder, but now –

“What’s going on?” Sunny’s voice rang through the air.

Eli looked up to meet her eyes, at a loss for words.  

Why Sugar is so Hard to Quit and How to Quit It

We all love our different types of chocolate, ice cream, and sodas. They all taste so good, but they also have another thing in common…they all have high amounts of sugar.

Over time, people have used many different methods to lose weight such as juicing, fasting (the worst thing to do to your body), and cleansing. These diets are just the way they sound – they don’t do your body any good. So how does a sugar detox/cleansing do the opposite?

Sugar has been described as a “legal drug.” It doesn’t look much better when according to Robert Lusting, a professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, at least 10% of Americans have a sugar addiction. Research from the National Center of Biotechnology Information found that sugar has traits related to those of addictive drugs.

So, with sugar being more or less, a drug, how can we quit it? According to Brooke Alpert, the co-author of “The Sugar Detox: Lose the Sugar, Lose the Weight — Look and Feel Great (no, this is NOT an advert to buy this book), we should quit sugar… cold turkey.

After 3 days, an apple should be very sweet to you and you “should” start to lose weight after a few days to a week.

Sugar is very addicting and for those who don’t have a problem with sugar addiction should maybe still look into kicking out sugar from their lives. Your body will thank you with youth and good looks.

PSA: this article does not promote any lifestyles or diet. However, based on different studies, sugar can be compared to an “addictive drug.”

 

Featured Image from the BC Dairy Association

Some Advice with Paper Writing

Everyone in college inevitably has to write a few papers for some of their classes. It is all part of the college experience, especially when you end up writing a paper at 3 in the morning when it is due at 10 that morning. We have all had to pull a few all-nighters to get our work done. Part of the reason for that is always the time getting away from us. We think we have enough time, that the paper is not due for another week, or four days, then suddenly it is the night before it is due and none of us have even made the word document. It would probably work out better if we tried to write a small bit at a time rather than all at once.

There are some pros to writing a paper in a single night. You can spend all of the extra time working on the other homework that piles up. We all end up with an overwhelming amount of work eventually; sometimes the best course of action is to put off that big paper to get other work done, especially when it is due much sooner than the paper. But we could do better with a bit of time management and a willingness to spread the work around.

A more efficient way to go about writing a paper, especially as we near the end of the school semester, is to write small portions of it over the course of the week before it is due. Spend an hour and write an introduction. The next, you can take another hour to make your first body paragraph. Keep up that trend and before you know it, you will have a full and finished paper. Admittedly, this is just one way to go about writing it, and it has its cons too. It can be difficult to start and stop when writing a paper and maintain the same level of quality, but it is just some advice for the upcoming weeks of finals.

Graveyard Shift – Part 1

It’s around 4 AM when the group of cloaked figures wanders into the little backwoods gas station. There are around half a dozen of them, shrouded entirely by heaps of dark fabric, moving in near-perfect unison, and huddled so tightly that Mickey can’t quite get an exact headcount. She clears her throat as they pass by the counter, hoping to get her new co-worker-in-training’s attention. Sid looks up from the stool he has stationed just across from her, in the one corner of the store with decent phone signal, and Mickey nods in the general direction of the group—who, she now notices, are haloed by what looks like a dark haze of shifting fog (or maybe one of them is vaping. It’s honestly difficult to tell.) They seem to float along the ground rather than walk (that one’s a bit harder to justify.)

“What the fuck,” Sid mouths silently. As the figures turn down the snack cake aisle, he shuffles over to her side behind the counter.

“Who—what—the hell is that?” Sid whispers. Well, tries to whisper. He’s only been working there less than a week, but Mickey can tell the kid is jumpy even on a regular night, and now his voice is loud enough to alert the dead.

“Out-of-towners?” Mickey guesses.

Before they can discuss it further, the cloaked figures round the corner again and slowly creep towards the register. Sid ducks behind her, as if she will somehow be able to protect him from whatever horrors lurk underneath those cloaks.

Mickey looks closely at the figure that stands closest to her but can’t see anything like a face in the darkly draped hood. He (Or she? They?) extends a single hand, mottled grey skin stretched tight across a very visible bone structure. The figure, or maybe the whole group of them, makes a low hissing sound like the air is being let out of a tire.

A Queer Life

Gay people have been making more and more strides over the years. The LGBT community has been increasing awareness over the years and has made more progress towards general acceptance. A few years ago, they even got to the point where gay marriage became legal in every state, a landmark occasion that showed years of hard work and support can pay off. Since then, talk of discrimination against people in the LBGT community has dropped significantly; that is to say, many seem to think that gay marriage was the end of it all. Except, it is not over; it just gets swept under the rug more often than not.

Many people still have to deal with the discrimination, and dangers, that come with being queer. Even the word queer in and of itself can cause issues. It was originally used by people of the LBGT community to describe themselves, but over time it became a term of discrimination and hate. But the LBGT community decide to reclaim that word and many are using it to describe themselves, particularly some of the lesser known sexualities and gender identities like pansexual, bisexual, and asexual. That does not stop people from using it as a hateful term, nor does it mean that everyone in the LBGT community likes that as a label. Whatever the case, it is still representative of the conflict that the LGBT community has to face.

In August, a man in Florida was killed for defending his gay friend. Juan Cruz was at a restaurant with friends when another man at the restaurant became enraged over the fact that one of Cruz’s friends was exchanging numbers with another man. He began yelling hateful speech at the group and threatened to kill all of them several times throughout the night. Once both groups left, this man pulled out a handgun and began to fire at Cruz’s friends. Cruz himself got shot and died at the scene. This was only a few months ago. There are still people out there that are ready, willing, and capable of killing LGBT people just because they are not straight. But no one likes to talk about that. Or about any discrimination, for that matter. Too often, events like this get swept under the rug, and it seems more than strange that no one talks about it and that life just goes on. There is more work that needs to be done, and people cannot act like the fight is over just because some progress has been made.

Giant Solar “Tornadoes” (They Aren’t Actually Tornadoes)

The sun can be a very scary place to be (if it was possible to begin with), with temperatures in the upwards of 5,778 K (9,941 F) and tornadoes that are even bigger than those on Earth. However, scientists have found that those solar tornadoes are not similar to tornadoes on Earth.

Using the Doppler effect to add a 3-D dimension to their data, they were able to measure the speed of the moving plasma of the tornado along with the direction, temperature, and density. Now, after many years of studies, they have come to the conclusion that solar tornadoes don’t rotate.

In a presentation in Liverpool, England, Nicolas Labrosse, the lead scientist, explained that despite the similarities between tornadoes and solar prominences in pictures, the magnetic field is not vertical and the plasma mostly moves horizontally along magnetic fields.

Another scientist involved in the research, Brigitte Schmieder, noted that we shouldn’t be too worried about these tornadoes. However, when we start to see too many of them, that’s when we should start to worry, since space weather can potentially damage power grids, satellites, and communication networks.

Solar tornadoes can last up to a day and ones that are stable may last for several months. Their lengths can also loop hundreds of thousands of miles into space.

We think we know everything about our sun but this research about solar tornadoes shows that we as humans still don’t know all the answers.

I’m Dating a Magician

So I started dating a magician last year. I didn’t know this when I first started dating him. I guess magicians don’t like to advertise what they do; otherwise, people would think they are creepy. They are not wrong. Anyway, because 80 percent of the people in the audience of any magic show are other magicians looking for ideas to steal for their act, I’ve been dragged to about 40 magic shows. I’ve seen a couple of good shows, but I’ve seen way more terrible acts. Along the way, I’ve made a list of my top three favorite magicians. See if you can figure out what they all have in common.

My number one magician is Zabrecky. He performs in the “The Zabrecky Hour.” He looks like Lurch from the Adams family and acts like the Count of Monte Christo. He feels like a character that would perfectly fit into an Edgar Allan Poe story. All of his tricks find a perfect balance between funny and creepy, but he will never understand why the audience is laughing. He has a Sheldon Cooper level of social awkwardness, but once the audience is on his side, he hits that sweet spot of lovably awkward.

My number two magician is Rudy Coby. He performs as the “Labman,” a mad scientist magician. His show captures the best parts of classic 90’s zaniness. Rudy demonstrates his various inventions and creations in a way that just barely works on the supposed shoestring budget of the show. There is also a superhero component to the show, as various supervillains interrupt the show, and force Rudy to do some sort of magic trick to vanquish the villain. It’s the perfect mix of comedy and action. He is also famous for parodying other magicians. His roast of David Copperfield is a must see.

Rounding out the list is my number three magician, Jeff Hobson. Most magicians like to pick a lady volunteer for their tricks because they can’t interact with women in any other context, but Jeff is famous for picking men volunteers. You see, if Jeff were on fire, he would be less flaming than when he is performing. This man has a very openly homosexual personality. He prances about the stage, plays ABBA music while his helper shuffles the cards, and generally does everything he can to push boundaries with his male volunteers. I laugh to the point of screaming watching this man work his magic on the men.

Have you found the link between the acts yet? Here’s a hint. I never told you a single magic trick they did. That’s because the tricks they did were not important. These magicians could have done any trick and still been entertaining. These acts are character driven. The characters are so interesting and fun to watch that they could have done anything on stage and would have been good. That’s the real secret to being a good magician, having a good entertaining character, and then picking tricks that really let the character shine through.