Tag Archives: benefits

NSA surveillance: protection or violation?

The National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) claims that the “NSA/CSS exists to protect the Nation”.

In 2013, a federal U.S. judge ruled that the National Security Agency phone surveillance program was lawful. The agency, however, is known to break the law on a large scale and lie about it.

If you’ve never heard the name Edward Snowden uttered in any political debate or in the news, you should probably learn the importance of his name. Edward Snowden is a former Intelligence Community officer and has been called anywhere from a hero, a whistleblower, a patriot, or a traitor. In May 2013, he revealed documents that provided a look into the NSA and its secret mass surveillance programs and capabilities.

The documents disclosed that the NSA was operating without public oversight and outside the limits of the US Constitution. Snowden was charged with theft of government property, and two charges under the 1917 Espionage Act. The revelations that Snowden divulged led to attention around the world on privacy intrusions and digital security, and now the issue is a global debate.

In an interview with The Guardian, Edward Snowden said, “I don’t want to live in a world where everything I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity and love or friendship is recorded.”

Do any of us wants to live in a society that does these things? And even further with no hint of probable cause, and no sham of due process. The NSA has been thoughtlessly and carelessly forcing violence against freedom, ever since the agency was founded on November 4, 1952.

“To live with the benefits of technology, should we also have to deal with the consequences as well?” Graphic from quickmeme.com

The NSA surveillance that invades our privacy because of “national security” was a complete secret before Edward Snowden blew the “freedom” whistle. The phone surveillance violates the fourth amendment in respect to Americans’ privacy rights, and it also violates our natural sense of personal privacy.

Concerning these issues, the government is the one in violation of the laws and should be held accountable, right? But Edward Snowden was the one who was charged and seen as the traitor and as the criminal, for doing the right thing and letting us know that we’re being watched. The government is just hiding its own abusive power, and saving themselves.

To live with the benefits of technology, should we also have to deal with the consequences as well?

Benjamin Franklin, a radical defender of freedom once said, “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” This quote has been used by anti-war protestors, and for protests against the National Security Agency’s surveillance program.

The quote has many variations, and has been taken out of context multiple times and is originally “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” However, despite the lack of context and the more-modern form of the quote, believe that Benjamin Franklin would agree with what the quote has been modernized to illustrate.

The Benefits of Movie Sundays

On Sunday, everyone seems to be lazy and struggling to get their homework and school assignments done for the upcoming week. Part of this is probably because of Saturday night but either way it can be hard to motivate yourself on Sunday. Another factor would be the idea of watching movies all day on Sundays. This is my favorite part of the weekend when it’s a Sunday and I can put on endless movies to relax and eventually get some work done. It’s definitely better than doing homework in silence or getting stressed out about what’s due and all the work you have to get done in one day.

It's Sunday! Break out the DVDs! Graphic from
It’s Sunday! Break out the DVDs! Graphic from Ryan Nallen

The benefit of movie Sundays is that you are going to be home all day so you have no excuse not to at least examine what you have to do for this next week approaching quicker than you prefer. This way you can determine how much time you need to spend actually working on everything in order to get it done and turned in on time. Sundays are also the day people realize they have procrastinated too much.

While watching movies all day there’s plenty of time to catch up on all of the work you’ve been putting off. If you don’t end up having homework it’s an even better movie Sunday. You can order food or make some and pick any movie or movies you want to watch and worry about nothing the entire day. This would be the ultimate movie Sunday however, because of being at school there’s probably going to be a little bit of homework involved.

I get excited about watching movies on Sundays with all of my friends and talking about what happened the whole weekend or reminiscing on what happened just the night before. It’s a nice bonding time with my close friends and we all enjoy ourselves with the food, the movies, the gossip, and even the homework. If you haven’t had a movie Sunday with your close friends at school,  it’s definitely something worth trying out.

The Benefits of Spending Valentine’s Day Alone

Couples all around the world celebrate Valentine’s Day together and know the day to be a time of appreciation for their significant other. A lot of money is spent on flowers, chocolates, and jewelry…unless you don’t have a significant other. If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, some people may feel themselves getting sad as the day nears and they know they will be spending the day alone. However, just because you are not in a relationship doesn’t mean the day has to be miserable and full of sadness for you.

Going out alone could be preferable. Graphic from The Guardian
Spending Valentine’s day alone could be preferable. Graphic from The Guardian

There are multiple benefits of being alone on this holiday, which include not having to spend money, not having to impress anybody, and simply appreciating yourself. When you’re alone on Valentine’s Day you won’t have to worry about what to buy someone or whether or not they will like it. You don’t have to spend hours stressing out over which flower arrangement or what type of chocolate to buy, or if you should get jewelry. You don’t have to spend money on anything if you don’t want to.

If for some reason you do want to spend money or just treat yourself, this would be a great day to do so.  Appreciate yourself for a day, dedicate it to your achievements and all you have accomplished and what you are proud of. Go to dinner, order take out, rent a movie, buy yourself chocolates. Whatever it is you think you deserve you should get for yourself.  Especially if you are not one to ever treat yourself you should enjoy the day to yourself and remember how great you are and how much you’ve done in life.

Another benefit of being alone on Valentine’s Day is that you don’t have to impress anyone. You won’t be going out on a fancy date where you have to squeeze into an uncomfortable but classy dress and wear heels that give you blisters all night. You can sit on your couch with your well deserved takeout and enjoy the day in your pajamas with no makeup on and your hair in a messy bun. Whatever you are doing on your Valentine’s Day, just remember that if you are single embrace it and appreciate and reward yourself!

The Benefit of Hands on Learning

Hands-on learning is not the most common method of teaching at any school or through many courses.  When you come across that rare class that doesn’t even have desks in its “classroom”, it’s a refreshing experience. At first, it might seem uncomfortable because instead of sitting at a desk and taking notes while the professor talks for a majority of the class, you’re the one talking and interacting with your classmates and doing things you’ve never done or aren’t familiar with yet. Graphic from Shutterstock

It can be unsettling at first because doing something you aren’t used to doing can be difficult and somewhat awkward, especially if you have to do this around your classmates and professor watching you to see how you are doing and if you’re improving over the period of the course. Having a hands-on learning class is an experience that changes the way you think about school and learning.

Most people spend their college careers stressing over tests and papers but the students who are learning hands-on have to complete tasks such as filming something or putting together projects that are due at the end of the semester. They have room for errors just like other students, but with their error comes more attempts and eventually success because they have physically practiced certain tasks over and over again to perfect their habits.

Most of my classes do not have desks and we are standing up or working physically on what we would be doing after we graduate. It’s nice to be able to graduate and have confidence and knowledge in understanding exactly what you have to do for a certain job. The hands on learning in school helps you to go into the real world with a lot of experience that other people don’t have or won’t have as much of.  Hands-on learning is such a great way to give college students who are about to enter the real world a type of confidence that most recent graduates will not have.



The reality of pedicures

Pedicures– most of us have had at least one in our life. For me, my first real pedicure was over the summer. It was one of the most relaxing experiences I’ve ever had. Before that time, I had always just removed polish that had been there for months, then painted on a fresh new coat of color. I never treated it as anything calming or soothing, I simply did it to improve the appearance of my feet; only after I took a shower to wash all the excess polish I had applied on the rest of my toes.

Pedicures aren’t just for cosmetic beauty. Pedicures can detect problems early. Your manicurist has seen a decent amount of feet and toes and will know when something isn’t right. Regular pedicures can help recognize early signs of corns, bunions and fungal infections, which are easier to treat when they are identified in their early stages.


These relaxing treatments increase the overall health of your nails and feet. Buffing your nails increases blood flow to the region, which supplies nutrients that would otherwise be inaccessible. Exfoliation sloughs off dead skin cells, encourages new cell growth, and prevents the cells from amassing and creating bunions or corns. Moisturized feet are less likely to get blisters, cracks or other foot complications. It is also vital to keep your cuticles moisturized to keep nails from developing ridges or split ends.

Pedicures have proven to be very therapeutic. Stress can worsen and accelerates the symptoms of certain diseases, such as cancer, heart problems and hypertension. Massaging helps promote circulation and aids in relieving tension in the calves and feet. Stimulated blood flow aids tired feet while promoting health. Massage therapy diminishes pain and decreases the chances of developing varicose veins.

The proper way to cut your toenails is to have them cut straight across with square edges. Cutting into the corners will make the nail to grow into the skin and cause ingrown toenails. If left unchecked they can become so bad that you will need minor surgery to remove the nail. Cutting and cleaning your toe nails prevents them from growing inward and causing infection. The elimination of dirt and bacteria from your feet will also help prevent nail diseases and foot odors.

Despite of the health benefits, salons are not impeccably sterile environments, and can be detrimental to your health as well. Know the ways to protect yourself before making your way to the nail salon.

Don’t shave or wax before a pedicure. Removing hair in any way creates very small cuts on your skin that germs and microbes can enter, causing serious infections, like cellulitis. To be safe, wait at least two days after shaving before going in for a pedicure.

If you are healthy and complication free, getting a pedicure doesn’t pose a serious threat. But if you have an infection, ulcer, or a cut, don’t make an appointment

Have your cuticles pushed back instead of clipped off. Cuticles shield your nail bed from bacteria and are crucial for your nail health.

Never let your manicurist turn on the bubbles while you soak your feet. The jets in the whirlpool bath can have bacteria and fungus buildup, which can make you can develop warts and athlete’s foot.

Make sure the metal tools are sterilized after every customer. The tools should never be used for more than one client. To be safe, you can bring your own tools and sterilize them at home.

Most importantly, make sure you know salons are clean and have been accredited by the health department.

Pedicures are good to get at least once a month to guarantee your feet stay in good condition. Just be careful and wary of where you go and how clean the salon is you’re going to.

Online dating: Is it really that bad?

Online dating is an excellent way to meet people outside of Radford University.

Yes, there are plenty of great guys in the area, but sometimes it’s better to go outside the general area to look for your mate. It’s also good if you’re terrible at meeting people in your day-to-day life. Screw the stigma — online dating is an excellent way to meet new people, and it’s more convenient than you’d believe. Continue reading Online dating: Is it really that bad?

Benefits of using neti pots

Spring is finally here, and you know what that means: allergy season.


Neti pots… Who would’ve thought! Photo from Tumblr.com.

Neti pots have been used for thousands of years in Asia, but they’ve only gained popularity in America during the last couple of years. It sounds gross to stick a spout up your nose and flush out everything up in there, but a neti pot has many benefits over using antihistamines, if done correctly. Here are a few you should consider if you’re thinking about using a neti pot. Continue reading Benefits of using neti pots