Tag Archives: issues

More Trouble From Apple iPhone

The new Apple iPhone X – photo from Apple.com

Apple has just recently announced their latest and “greatest” iPhone, the iPhone X. Why they called it the iPhone X and not just the iPhone 10 (be consistent, at the very least) is the first and the least of many baffling decisions that the Apple Company has made with their newest product.

With the iPhone X, you do get their latest and most impressive technology, including a bigger screen with better resolution, improved camera functions, and the A11 bionic chip. You also get a price tag that is well over a thousand dollars. And in terms of function, you could get the same thing from the iPhone 8 for half the price (literally). The iPhone 8 has the same A11 bionic chip as the iPhone X does. So really all you are paying for is a prettier screen. Not to mention, with the glass screen extending all the way to the very edge of the iPhone X, and with the phone’s glass back, it is much easier to break or damage the screen. And with the Apple insurance plan jumping roughly seventy dollars, that’s even more money out of your pocket.

The iPhone X is also seeing the loss of the home button and thumbprint identification in favor of new finger swipes to navigate the device and face identification to unlock the phone. Needless to say, this is going to make using the phone much more difficult and it will require some practice and memorization to actually use (aren’t upgrades supposed to make things easier to use?). With the face ID software, there has already been a number of problems for people with darker skin (i.e. not white), which makes using the phone more difficult than it already is. There could also be issues if you try to unlock your phone in low lighting (a lot of people play on their phone in bed at night) or if you make any major changes to your appearance. What if you grow a beard or have to start wearing glasses or get a scar? And if it all does work properly, what if you get arrested and the police take your phone and simply use the face ID software to unlock it and look through it? You aren’t legally required to unlock your phone for the police and they aren’t allowed to look through your phone. There seem to be a number of issues and potential issues that go along with the iPhone X, including its price tag. Instead, you could get the cheaper, more reliable iPhone 8. Or switch over to a different type of phone entirely and leave Apple behind.


Translocal is a documentary that I’m creating about transgender individuals around and in the area of Montgomery county, areas such as Blacksburg, Radford, and Christiansburg. It contains a variety of different people, from trans youth, ages of 16 to 20, and older trans people, ages 21 to 30. The people I’ve interviewed and plan to interview have, or intend to, transition from male to female or female to male. This experience, so far, as truly opened my eyes to trans culture, what it means to be trans, and how gender is fluid, and sometimes can’t be separated into strictly male and female.

The transgender flag with the title of my documentary over top of it. Graphic designed by Molly Mattox


As of now, I have interviewed one trans individual, Anat. I knew Ana in high school. I wouldn’t say we were close, but we were friends during sophomore year. She was kind of a loner, didn’t have many friends, and from what I saw, people weren’t very nice to her. I was basically her only friend, but at that time I didn’t know she was transgender. I wasn’t able to help her through that struggle because she never told me. I understand, now, why she didn’t. She grew up in a very religious household, a house where she was told that any changes to her body, no matter how necessary or small, were against what God had intended for her. Growing up, Ana had an overbite, one that was very extreme and she needed surgery for it. Her parents allowed her to have the surgery, but told her that God made her the way she was and that her surgery was against his plan. Hearing words like that over and over again makes it understandable that she couldn’t accept herself, let alone tell other people about her struggle.

While interviewing her, she told me that her parents don’t accept her, in fact, they think that she has a mental illness, that she’s going through a phase, and she needs help. She said that her father went as far as calling the board of medicine, filing a complaint about her physician because they support her and her transition. He attempted to ruin a doctor’s career as well as his daughter’s life because he can’t find it within himself to accept her unconditionally. These are the kinds of issues that need to brought to attention. The safety of transgender individuals is not a joke, and some people wish to harm them simply because of who they are. Transgender people are being beaten and murdered everyday because other people don’t understand people who are different from what society deems “normal.” This documentary will teach people that all trans individuals want is respect and to be treated just like everyone else, because they are.



Prove yourself

When it comes to transgender issues, the number one “problem” a transgender person shouldn’t have to deal with is proving themselves to other people. My little brother is going through these experiences right now, having to prove and explain himself to every other person and their brother because in order to get what you want as a transgender person, you have to prove that the transition is really what you want.

“What person would lie about being transgender? What benefits does that type of person receive? “

A couple weeks ago, my family and I went to an endocrinologist, a doctor who deals with hormones, and is the doctor that approves or denies the distribution of HRT, or hormone replacement therapy. It’s a drug that, depending on one’s situation, will lower the rate at which testosterone or estrogen is expelled throughout the body. In order to begin this processes, my little brother has to prove himself to the doctor, has to explain and make her believe that he is truly transgender, that he isn’t mentally unstable or lying about what he wants. What person would lie about being transgender? What benefits does that type of person receive? Obviously, it’s a serious worry that doctors have but I find it hard to believe that it occurs regularly.

I understand that doctors and specialists want to be cautious about moving forward with a treatment that is potentially irreversible; however, at some point, it gets condescending and inappropriate when continuously questioning someone’s authentic self.

I’m sure it makes it harder to come out because you’re immediately hit with questions implying that you don’t know what you want, that “you have to be extremely sure about this” before moving forward. Don’t you think that a transgender person would be sure about themselves before even telling anyone in the first place?

Having to prove yourself to random strangers is unfair and condescending, but necessary to get what a transgender person wants, which is to be able to be their authentic self, to be who they’ve always known they’ve been inside. In the end, all of the formalities are irrelevant as long as their happiness is retrieved after all of the struggling and heartache. Let people be who they want to be without the hassle.

Anyone trumps Trump

The 2016 race for President is heating up. We’ve had a number of individuals campaigning in the primaries but a select few have been pulling great numbers in polls taken across the country. Though no poll is truly reliable in terms of who will win the primary, they’re an excellent estimate of what’s to come, and what we’re seeing in CNN’s 2016 Presidential election article is that even though the election itself is still over a year away, we’re quickly coming to a head in terms of which candidate will be representing which party. According to this article by CNN, published in mid-August, despite the many candidates that could very well produce a split-vote specifically in the Republican party, there are a few in particular that have been gaining distinct favor, one of them being the infamous billionaire businessman, Donald Trump.

There is no doubt that Trump is popular — though, popularity doesn’t necessarily equate to well-liked — as his poll results show amazing numbers for someone in such a circumstance as going up against fifteen other candidates in the major polls alone. You have to hand it to him; the man has charisma. But does his enthusiasm really do any good when coming from such a prejudiced being?

Immigration is a hot-button issue that many love to give their opinion on, but that few people truly understand. It’s difficult to see all sides of the situation, especially when you can only experience life as an immigrant by actually trying to immigrate.

Each occurrence is one’s own, and there’s no way to really replicate what so many go through every day in an attempt to find safety and solace here in the “Land of the Free”. Whether it’s right or wrong, that’s totally up for debate. What’s not up for debate, however, is the blatant racism that clouds the reasons of some of those who are radically opposed to open borders.

“You have to hand it to him; the man has charisma. But does his enthusiasm really do any good when coming from such a prejudiced being?”

During Trump’s presidential announcement back in early June, it became clear to many just how prejudiced this man is. During his 45 minute speech, he was slow to think and quick to spew nonsense. Rather than giving reasons as to why it would impact the U.S. economically or culturally, he decided to hit the nail on the head and explain, by painting with a broad stroke to say the least, just how terrible Mexican people as a whole were.

“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. [Applause] Thank you. It’s true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Some not being enough, apparently. Despite the obvious positive effects of an influx of diversity, and despite the obvious problems of drug abuse, crime, and rape right here on the home-front, Trump seems to make his beliefs quite clear.

Whether you agree with immigration or not, and whether you support Trump or not, there are issues that will come hand in hand with his presidency if he is elected into office, issues that will impact us all, no matter where we come from.

A new partner for a new year

College in itself is already a frightening experience for upcoming freshman and adding class, work, clubs and a social life can push some over the edge. But what about your roommate? You will spend roughly nine months with a complete stranger, with the exception of those lucky enough to room with someone they already know.

Having a college roommate is equivalent to being in a relationship and the biggest component is communication. Communication is the key ingredient to all the problems you will have and the sooner students realize that the better their new situation will be.

A relationship requires effective communication between the two parties. We can hope you two will become friends, or at least two people sharing a room for nine months and not killing each other; the choice is yours.

It can’t be said enough times: talking will solve a lot more than remaining silent or sulking like a child. We’re all adults here and are fully capable of communicating our feelings, so don’t sit back and allow your RA to take care of it for you.

The RA will always be there when you need help, but instead of running to them first, try sitting down with your roommate and talking about the issues you have. You would be surprised how efficient this little task can be.

Experience has taught me that ignoring the problem won’t always solve it, and sometimes your roommate will have no idea that there was even a problem. Complaining about your roommate to your friends or residence hall won’t get anything done and can cause more problems to arise. Your best bet is to man up and talk!

You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, but wouldn’t it be better if you got along?

Tunnel of Oppression 2010: From Oppression to Enlightenment

Photo by Anna Sacks.

The Tunnel of Oppression is a program that started at the Western Illinois University at Macomb in 1993. Since then the program has spread to college campuses across the United States. The Tunnel’s purpose is to raise awareness about oppressed people and the forms of oppression they endure generated by things like prejudice and discrimination. Radford University has adopted and adapted this program to pertain and relate to the students here at RU.

The program here focuses more on the cognitive effect on its visitors rather than some programs that focus on a more graphic “shock and scar” approach according to DeLoach. The program is presided over by a committee headed by Dave Falletta and Adrien DeLoach. The committee chooses from various topics they’ve brainstormed that Radford students can relate to.

The goal of this particular program is to inform visitors to the exhibit of the challenges their peers with disabilities, which can be invisible to the naked eye, have to face in their regular lives. After choosing the overall theme, the committee chooses what subjects in that theme to address. This year the committee had to choose what disabilities to focus on. They took into account what visitors would find interesting, what challenges members of the community face and what would inspire those in the community to help their peers become successful.

Photo by Anna Sacks.

“We wanted to make it hit closer to home so when students went through they would be more engaged by relating personally to those topics,” Falletta said.

This year’s motto is