Another Setback for Apple?

There have been complaints that Apple’s new iPhone 6 bends easily in people’s pockets. Apple claims that only 9 customers have complained about such an incident. They assure the public that the phones have passed all the required tests to check the strength and durability of the phone. One of the tests was the “sit test” where a person had to sit with the phone in their back pocket. Several tests like these were conducted in different positions. Over the past week, there have been several videos circulating in which people are bending their iPhone 6. Despite several videos confirming this, orders for the iPhone have continued to fly in. Any new orders will take a month to arrive.

Apple managed to sell 10 million units of the new iPhone in its first weekend despite shortages.Even Apple’s new software update proved to be disappointing because they were forced to pull it out after there were complaints that people weren’t able to make calls. Apple later apologized and released a new update to fix all the issues and the bugs. In the past, Apple has refused to give in to any complaints. When the iPhone 4 released, there were complaints about the antenna design but Steve Jobs claimed that the situation was being exaggerated.

This constant obsessions with a new iPhone is nothing new but it is surprising that despite these complaints customers are still desperate waiting to get their hands on the new product. The new cycle of tests that all the iPhones go through should be enough to prevent any further cases. Despite a few shortcomings the new iPhone is sure to be appealing to most customers who have always wanted one with a bigger screen.


Internet Personalities and Pedestals

Fame defines power and power too often equates to abuse. Countless internet personalities have been placed upon a pedestal in today’s generation, and we tend to hold eCelebs at a high esteem, idolizing their every move. Admiration turns to obsession which leads to an unhealthy infatuation. Rooting from this obsession, most celebrities, aware of their immense power over their naive fans, manipulate them for personal gain.

We rarely tend to realize it, but the majority of our life is influenced by the actions of celebrities. Unknowingly, every aspect of our lives is exploited by these “influential” figures. Whether it be the video games we buy dictated by game plays conducted by Pewdiepie, or the new chic- retro styles inspired by Bethany Mota, we’re constantly driven into schemes that have us enraptured in the lives of everyone but ourselves.

Employing their fame, celebrities often have their actions overlooked,  their misdoings in fact bolstering their fame and reputation. Whether it be concocting a plan to gain notoriety by taking part in vulgar videos or victimizing their own fans for attention, the concept of limits is far beyond them. After all, fame has created these monstrosities – hiding behind a facade of charities, using their money and global popularity as a layer of protection. The sense of superiority that comes alongside being famous leads to the sponsorship, eventually cultivating into a widespread epidemic amongst desperate fans, vying to emulate them.

However, internet sensations seem to be categorized differently. As vloggers and bloggers use increasingly interactive ways of rising to stardom, they attempt to seek a way to relate to the common teenager. Portraying themselves in their ordinary lives through Youtube and Instagram, its easy to believe that they’re just like us, and incapable of taking advantage of anyone. On your daily dosage of Youtube videos and Facebook feeds, you witness these stars attain more and more followers by the second, another “Directioner”, “Belieber”, or “Mota-vator” that’s been added to the list of the millions of glorifying fans. A name that wouldn’t have brought up any results when googled a few years ago now displays thousands of fan pages and merchandise- and yet the world loves them because they’re “normal people”, compelling teenagers to follow, like, retweet, and share.

Not to fall under their illusion, it is important to keep in mind that they are not without their flaws. Constantly advertising without the knowledge of their viewers, they aim to appeal to the subconscious mind. Paid to wear or comment on certain products in a video or blog entry, they use us to make money. By promoting items to sell to their unaware fans, they market themselves, self benefit driving them to misuse their fans.

It’s ordinary to be intrigued, but only until that interest turns into obsessive fascination. Fans go to the extent of deifying and building shrines for their favorite celebrities, worshipping their every move. Demanding the precise clothing, makeup and accessories their favorite vlogger has, they strive to follow suit. It is imperative to remember to exercise caution and avoid placing these personalities at such a high stature. Most internet celebrities are capable of hiding behind the screen, only sharing with the world what they would like to. This enables them to appear perfect, making it harder to believe that they would take advantage of their fans. Being aware and understanding that what the screen displays is not necessarily real, and every aspect of it is dictated by the author of the post leads to the understanding of the fact that most, if not all, internet celebrities have exploited their fans.

Did the NFL drop the ball?

Before continuing to read this article, I would request that you watch the following video:

The above event took place on Feb. 15, 2014, and the perpetrator  is confirmed to be Baltimore Ravens’ pro-football player Ray Rice, who  committed this act of violence on his fiancee – as she was then – Janay Palmer. Rice and Palmer had an argument, and then Rice, a man who can bench press 400 pounds, smacked her. He smacked her hard enough for her to hit the side of the elevator and be knocked unconscious. In the video he seemed to show no remorse or delicacy in how he handled her afterwards; at one point, he even used his feet to adjust her prone position, and at another point, he stopped to pick up her shoe – rather than fully devote himself to taking care of her. On Feb. 19, a video was released of Rice dragging Palmer out of the elevator. In that video there was no incriminating evidence that linked Rice to the state Palmer was in – when she came out of that elevator.

Rice and Palmer got married on March 28th in a ceremony closed to the public. The marriage was ahead of their plans for a wedding in the summer; no explanation was provided. The timing of the ceremony seemed more strategic than romantic.

On May 23rd, Rice and Palmer held a press conference, at which time Rice attempted to apologize for his actions. Below in the bibliography, you can find the full recording and transcript of the conference.
To begin, Mr. Rice stated that:

“I want to first off apologize to [owner] Steve Bisciotti, [general manager and executive vice president] Ozzie Newsome and [head] coach [John] Harbaugh, and I also want to apologize to my fans, to the kids, to everyone who was affected by this situation that me and my wife were in.”

His first priority was to apologize to his superiors, and he even offered a blanket apology to “everyone who was affected by this situation that me and my wife were in,” yet at no point directly apologizes to his wife. At several points throughout his apology, he had to refer to his phone, explaining himself with “sorry, just want to hit on everything,” and reminding us all that this was a prepared speech, not a truly heartfelt message. He even had the callousness to refer to what happened as “this thing [that] happened with me and my wife.” Smacking a person you love into a wall so hard that they black out should not be referred to as an everyday “thing.”

On July 24th, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell served Rice a two game suspension. On August 27th, in a separate incident, Cleveland Browns player Josh Gorden was suspended for a year* for smoking marijuana. Now, consider that each NFL team plays 16 games in a season. According to the NFL policy of that time, Rice knocking his fiance out stone cold was 1/8th, just  a mere 12.5%, the crime that Gordon committed in smoking a substance while not causing another person any harm.
Fortunately, the NFL has revised its domestic violence policies, with first time offenders being banned from 6 games, and second time offenders being banned for life; however, a player can apply for re-reinstatement after a year. On Sept. 8, the full video of the incident was released. The Ravens immediately terminated their contract with Rice, and afterwards, Commissioner Goodell suspended Rice indefinitely from the NFL. Commissioner Goodell has asserted that the NFL had not seen the video until the public saw it on that date. Now, an investigation has been launched to determine the validity of the Goodell’s statement; of all things, the NFL should definitely have seen the video prior to deciding on the light punishment for Rice.

*Josh Gordon’s suspension has now been reduced to 10 games.

Among all this, Janay has come to Ray’s defense, and this statement from her on Instagram evokes some shame upon my part for seemingly interfering in their family matter. Yet, the fact that they are public figures who acted in public domain, will not change the fact that Ray’s behavior was not legal and should not be tolerated. No words from Janay will alter the actions that Ray took in a public setting, nor that he is a public figure who should leading by example.

Rather than focusing on this specific incidence, we should pay attention to the problem beyond Rice. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline,

“1 in 4 women (24.3%) and 1 in 7 men (13.8%) aged 18 and older in the United States have been the victim of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime”

Contrast this with the fact that 1 in 8 is “the chance of a woman having invasive breast cancer during her life,” according to People go out of their way to beat twice as many women as the number of women that contract breast cancer. Instead of hosting the fundraisers, wearing the ribbons and having the awareness runs that we do for breast cancer, as a society, we send messages like these for victims of domestic violence:

“I think the message is: take the stairs.”
“The message is, when you are in an elevator, there is a camera.”
– Fox Host Brian Kilmeade, and  Co-host Steve Doocey

Furthermore, we promote messages such as:

Janay Rice says she deeply regrets the role that she played the night of the incident.
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) May 23, 2014

The Ravens twitter account live-tweeted the message during the May 23rd conference, which has now since been taken down.

Domestic violence is an issue that we can’t brush aside. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline,

“Immediately following the release of video [of Ray Rice]… the Hotline’s call volume increased by 84% and has remained higher than normal with spikes happening after each new report about domestic violence charges against NFL players. As the controversies continue, the Hotline has been unable to answer nearly 50 percent of the calls, chats and texts.”

Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey has introduced a bill, which he states will “help ensure that victims of domestic violence have the resources they need to break away from abusers and begin rebuilding their lives,” by seeking to rid the NFL and other sports leagues of their tax exempt statuses, and to use the taxes collected from them (the taxes collected from the NFL’s offices alone could be to the tune of $100 million) to fund domestic violence awareness programs. However, this bill seeks to deal with the aftermath of incidences; we need to work to prevent domestic violence in the first place. If schools can have the mandatory D.A.R.E. program for awareness of using drugs, and the growing up program to allow kids to understand the transition of adolescence, then schools should have programs to teach kids what domestic violence is, and why it is wrong. The take-away from this should not be that we should be by-standers in this matter; we should not be members of the crowd cheering on this behavior. As a public, and for our future generations, we must address this problem not only with reform in our policy, but awareness in our community, as well as support for organizations and public figures taking a stand in this matter.

“Ray Rice’s Full Press Conference .” News RSS. N.p., 23 May 2014. Web. 26 Sept. 2014. <>.

“Ray Rice Press Conference Transcript .”News RSS. N.p., 23 May 2014. Web. 26 Sept. 2014. <>.

Bien, Louis. “A complete timeline of the Ray Rice assault case.” N.p., 15 Sept. 2014. Web. 26 Sept. 2014. <>.

“How many women get breast cancer?.”How many women get breast cancer?. N.p., 17 Sept. 2013. Web. 26 Sept. 2014. <>.

“Domestic Violence Statistics.” The National Domestic Violence Hotline RSS2. N.p., 19 Sept. 2014. Web. 24 Sept. 2014. <>.

Perez, A.J.. “Cory Booker among two U.S. Senators seeking to yank the NFL’s tax-exempt status.” N.p., 16 Sept. 2014. Web. 26 Sept. 2014. <>.

The Ebola Outbreak

The 2014 Ebola outbreak has been the largest Ebola outbreak in history. This fatal virus has mainly been affecting West Africa in countries such as Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, and DR Congo.


Ebola is a virus that is originally hosted by wild animals mainly fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family, but also monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees. You can get this disease through close contact with blood or exchange of bodily fluids with these infected animals. Once a human is infected, the virus can spread with any kind of physical contact. Scientists say that it takes about 2 to 21 days for the symptoms to become more significant. It often starts with fevers, muscle pain, headaches, and a sore throat, eventually leading into more severe cases of vomiting, diarrhea, and hemorrhage.

Till this day, there is no FDA approved vaccine for Ebola. Many sources show that people who are infected have a 50 – 80 percent chance of dying, however there have been people who have not died. Even if cured, the person who was contaminated could still have the virus in his semen for around 30 days. Luckily Ebola isn’t an airborne disease. The three main types of this disease are Zaire, Bundibugyo, and Sudan. The epidemic in West Africa is mostly caused by the Zaire species.

Today’s news shows the mind blowing yet horrifying number of possible fatalities since January, 1.4 million! So far 20,000 people are affected just in the western part of Africa, and the numbers are gradually increasing. In countries like Guinea, the total case count is a 1,008 people with a total death toll of 632. Similarly, in Liberia the total case count is a 3,022 people with a total death toll of 1,578.

Spreading to the USA

Have you ever thought about how the infected people in Africa can affect people in the USA? The most common place of exchange of Ebola is in hospitals and clinics where the virus is actually trying to be treated! Recently, two American missionaries, Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol went to Liberia to help the infected people, but unfortunately contracted the fatal disease. Both patients were brought to New York to be treated by a cocktail of antibiotics, and fortunately reporters say that they are responding slowly, but positively.

Under Pressure and Nowhere to Go…

On Wednesday the 24th of September 2014, Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, addressed pressures that are rising within the Middle East and around the world at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly. Ban Ki Moon, a respected official in the United Nations, stated that the world is entering into a crisis due to an Arab Spring that has gone horribly wrong and that Cold War-style rivalries are springing up which are threatening the lives of the innocent. As more and more people are being killed by the infamous ISIS and the deadly Ebola disease, the call for the 69th session of the UN General Assembly is perfectly timed. The assembly is meant to create a plan for the next 15 years in the future which deals with the primary problems in the world including climate change, Ebola outbreaks, and post-2015 development efforts. At the conference sits 193 UN member states along with observing states and a delegate for the European Union who are meant to discuss the primary issues of the world at their annual conference that ends on September 30th.

In the opening statements that began the conference, the president of the General Assembly said their goal for this conference was to improve the livelihoods of people around the world who were suffering from a worsening state of affairs due to unprecedented thwarts to their security and safety; for example, ISIS and Ebola. On the contrary, many efforts have been taken in order to improve the livelihoods of most people. The United Nations has accomplished quite a lot on their Millennium Development Goals like lowering poverty rates, bringing better access to drinking water, and achieving gender equality in primary schools. However, the problems of deadly diseases, rampant terrorism, poor infrastructure, and child labor are still quite prevalent. This conference hopes to restore a sense of order to what countries must participate in to bring about a better world for everyone.

The topics that will be discussed at the annual meeting will include: terrorist organizations in and around the Middle East and Africa, human rights and refugee services, climate change- which is receiving the greatest amount of attention than ever before, inequality and instability in Asia, Ukraine, and Africa, and many more issues that are of paramount importance.

No matter the instability and the crises that are occurring in these countries today, Secretary General Ban Ki Moon states that “leadership is precisely about finding the seeds of hope and nurturing them into something bigger.” The world has not entered an irreversible state, and it is now up to the leaders of the world who are attending the conference at the United Nations to resolve the issues and bring about peace to a world that is slowly being corrupted.


“U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon prescribes hope for a world in crisis.” – MarketWatch. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2014. <;.
“U.N. chief seeks ‘seeds of hope’ in a world seeming to fall apart.” The Salt Lake Tribune. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2014. <;.
“UN General Assembly starts its annual debate.” – Xinhua. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2014. <;.

Girl Power…2014???

On September 20, 2014, as part of the discussions of UN week, goodwill ambassador Emma Watson launched the UN Women Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality (He For She) with a galvanizing speech. In the speech, she discusses the need to rid gender inequality and clarifies the meaning of “feminism” not as “man-hating,” as what many people have previously believed. She also described that during her own childhood, many of her female friends began to drop out of sports for fears of being too “muscly”  and many of her male friends were unable to express their feelings freely. She then goes on to point out that feminism does not pertain only to women. She has seen the pressures of her father being less valued as a parent while she still needed him as much as her mother. She points out the pressure men feel yet cannot express their true fears for fear of seeming less “manly.”

Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive. Both men and women should feel free to be strong… It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum not as two opposing sets of ideals.

– See more at: [ ]

In turn, men and women can become more freedom. Men to shed their former patriarchal standards set by society and women shed their former domestic roles. For if we do not react, it may take as long as half a century to a century before all women will be able to receive secondary education, let alone gender equality.

Therefore, that “Harry Potter girl,” Emma Watson, has spoken. Be the He for She. Make gender equality as important as gay rights and abortion rights. Make 50.8% of the US population truly be heard; make the majority population of the world truly be heard. We must bash our stances of the feminine cult of domesticity. We must embrace all people, all genders, under the same eyes. Hence, may America elect its first democratic female president.

India’s MOM becomes first to make a successful maiden voyage to Mars

On Tuesday, September 24, 2014, a mere few hours ago, India became the first nation in the world to launch a successful maiden voyage to Mars as their MOM (Mars Orbiter Mission), or Mangalyaan, Hindi for Mars-craft, entered a successful orbit announced ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization.

A few weeks before MAVEN (Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution) was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, MOM had blasted off from Earth at the India’s Satish Dhawan Space Center in November 2013. Maven entered the Mars orbit just this last Sunday. The crew of the Maven sent a celebratory tweet to the crew of MOM just after they successfully entered orbit. Amazingly, India has accomplished their feat of sending MOM into Mars orbit at a cost of $74 million, a number that is dwarfed even by the making of the film Gravity (budget 100 million). To compare, Maven;s price tag is set at around  $671 million.

MOM (right) next to Maven. Photo taken form Maven's congratulatory Tweet
MOM (right) next to Maven. Photo taken form Maven’s congratulatory Tweet

The two missions both share a goal of unearthing answers to the scientific questions that are brought up with Mars. As they calibrate their positions over the next few weeks to prepare for scientific observations, Maven is set to examine the Red Planet’s upper atmosphere as MOM prepares to monitor the planet’s climate and weather, and photograph the surface and map the planet’s mineral composition.

See Mangalyaan/MOM’s journey to the Mars orbit here!

“Through your achievement, you have honored our forefathers, and inspired our future generations,” said Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, to the mission team. “We Indians are a proud people. Despite our many limitations, we aspire for the best. The success of our space program is a shining symbol of what we are capable of as a nation,” Modi stated in his speech after the live feed of the mission successful orbital entry.

The historic step established India as one of the technological powers of the world that everyone may have overlooked. Previously regarded as having the fifth largest space program, they may even jump to number 3 in the lists.

Questions? Doubts? Suggestions? Please comment below. I will respond!

Repairing Scotland

On September 18th, 2014, Scotland finally voted on the issue of seceding from the United Kingdom. This vote was preceded by a huge amount of press and controversy due to the fact that this has been a long lasting issue between the countries. Tension was rising as a poll showed that 51% of Scotland wanted to secede, causing for Prime Minister David Cameron to urge the people of Scotland to do the contrary. He promised them more independence and self- governing if they remained in the union and the struggle for secession made it the headline for many days, overshadowing the conflict in Ukraine, and the chaos caused by ISIS. The pros and cons were debated and discussed on major news networks and political comedy shows such as The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, and The Colbert Report. Many prominent questions emerged as a result of this vote such as: where would The United Kingdom store its nuclear arsenal? Will Scotland be able to survive as an independent nation? Currently, the United Kingdom receives a large amount of its oil from the coast of Scotland. However, with the division of the two countries, would the UK be able to cope with this loss? Additionally, would Scotland be allowed to use the pound as its national currency? Since this issue has been brought to the public eye, many campaigns emerged such as Yes Scotland, which supported the split, and Better Together, which supported the union to remain intact. However, this was all put to rest on September 18th, when Scotland decided to stay in the union with a vote of  55% to 45%

Now the question arises, how will Scotland recover from the secession? In Glasgow, a pro-union rally turned violent where fights broke out and vandalism occurred. This referendum definitely allowed a great hope and a burning passion for independence to grow, yet this passion will not go away for a long time. Many secessionists are conflicted, and many are frustrated. More political turmoil is about to follow. This referendum allowed a centuries old hatred to become prominent, and if this had not happened it would have eventually gone away. Additionally, this referendum reminded the people of Scotland, and the world, how bitter the ties are between them and the United Kingdom and are just worsening. For now, we can only wait to see what will follow with the conflicts between the UK and Scotland. The citizens of both countries and the world should expect to see many politicians push for secession in the future, and expect to see this become a central topic in the campaign of many.


“Scotland Faces Challenge of Putting Referendum Behind It.” Time. Time, n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2014. <;.

China’s Optimism And Alibaba’s Success

After analyzing the responses of citizens to the economic conditions of their nation in 2013 and 2014 several trends have been noted. Most people were not satisfied with the economy in the nation and claimed that economic conditions were worsening. Several nations have expressed their views as to whether or not their economy can continue to succeed or in some cases, recover from a disaster.

Those who were highly negative about the economy include the Greeks, Spanish, and the Italians. Nearly 93% of those people were pessimistic about their nation’s economy. Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina have shown a great decline in positive views compared to recent years when most individuals were optimistic.

The United Kingdom and most people from Africa and Asia also hold positive views. The United States is evenly divided in its views. Democrats anticipate improvement while Republicans are not so sure about the future. Nations with advanced economies have been less optimistic than those with developing ones.

China proved to be the most optimistic with nearly 80% agreeing. China’s remarkable expansion and hard work is reflected through their positive responses. A more recent sign of this is Alibaba, China’s largest e-commerce company, who’s IPO (Initial Public Offering) speaks for itself. It’s first trade was at $92.70 and ended at $93.89 giving the company a market value of $231 billion on the first day. This immediate success makes it easier for Alibaba to take part in any product launches and expand to overseas markets.

In fact, the Executive Chairman, Jack Ma, started this company in his apartment 15 years ago. Previously, Jack Ma was an English teacher and today he is one China’s wealthiest billionaires. The market value of Alibaba has transcended that of Facebook and Amazon. Despite, Ma claiming that Alibaba wants to focus on China at the moment there is no doubt that greater overseas expansion will be on his mind.

The Ugly Truth

Foundation. Lipstick. Smile. Stand straight. Be pretty. Be only pretty. The mindset fixed into toddlers from the start. The beauty industry’s ugly side is seldom seen by the public, too often written off as simply a part of the script. Child beauty pageants are bound to have negative effects on both participants and viewers, leading females to be derogatorily objectified and condition them to be helplessly in vain.

Due to the fact that from an early age, young girls are taught that their appearance is of immense value, their own perception of both the world and themselves is defected. Little girls are led to believe that attaining physical beauty is what comprises the essence of a woman, further illusioned by what the media interprets as a “perfect body” demoralizing girls that don’t live up to the standards society holds.

Along with creating false expectations and faulty images, beauty pageants sexualize little children in multiple ways. Dressed in provocative outfits and performing acts to enhance their appeal, girls are losing self-worth. Sheer attire to entice the audience at such a young age creates an unhealthy habit likely to follow them off the show. These “princesses” immerse themselves in a culturally unethical environment where they compete with each other to attract everyone, vying for attention.

Rather than raising intellectual, independent women, society has molded females to deem education as trivial. This seeds from a young age of being subjected to intense physical scrutiny and criticism from being on a beauty pageant show and sprouts into ignorance.  Because intelligence is not a viable factor in children’s beauty pageants, girls are beginning to lack interest in schooling and focusing solely on fashion. Under the impression that beauty surpasses brains, pageant girls are destroying their career choices and dooming themselves to a barren life filled only with hardships.

By limiting girls to a life of pretense and falseness, society is provoking a desire to display perfection. By continually concealing flaws and hiding behind a curtain of impeccability, young girls are too ashamed to show their true selves. Desperately seeking obscurity through makeup and facades, those partaking in beauty pageants have low self esteem. The concept of natural beauty is lost upon this generation, making others evermore fearful of the harsh realities of their bodies.

Child beauty pageants, albeit designed for amusement have altered their route and are now having damaging effects. Setting unrealistic standards for young girls and sexualizing them can guide them into a world of attention seeking which can magnify over time. Because literal beauty is depicted as a quality of utmost vitality, brainpower isn’t even a factor considered by most contestants. Promoted to hide behind their voluminous hair or caked makeup, they are too afraid to show their reality or any flaw. Child beauty pageants are essentially one of the main roots of the current issues of our generation and are doubtlessly harming society and its children.


All for the Crown. Digital image. Devils Foe. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2014.