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Wrestlers grapple with problems in, out of ring

December 6, 2009 1 comment

Article

Another professional wrestling star died recently giving rise to more scrutiny on the industry. What exactly is going on that leads to these athletes dying at such a young age. World Wrestling Entertainment star Edward Fatu, more popularly known as Umaga, died of an apparent heart attack at the age of 36. He was recently released from his contract after violating the organizations wellness policy and refusing to enter rehab. This is just another case in a long line of deaths related to substance abuse. The industry encourages super-human physics, rigorous travel schedules, and intense physical punishment. These things combined lead to many of the athletes to turn to substances like steroids, pain-killers, and stimulants to maintain their careers. Popular culture tends to turn a blind eye to what is going on with professional wrestling but this is something that needs to change fast. If these types of things were happening in professional football, baseball, and basketball there would be tremendous public outrage. Organizations like the WWE must also find more ways to combat the problems seen with its stars. They have wellness programs and medical procedures, but obviously the status quo is not enough. The WWE does not even provide its wrestlers with health care coverage. When will we see someone step in and say enough is enough? We saw the government step in with the steroid scandal in professional baseball on the basis of skewed statistics and history. Professional wrestlers are dying and families are being ripped apart, however it doesn’t seem that it is important enough to draw media attention.

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Perservation Hall rounds up Waits, Seeger, Bird, & James for benefit comp

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Article

This article highlights the historic Preservation Hall Jazz Band of New Orleans and a forthcoming album release that will go to benefit the band’s outreach program. The album is a collection of music recorded over the past year that includes collaborations of some of the most talented musicians in the United States. The artists involved in the project include Tom Waits, Pete Seeger, Merle Haggard, My Morning Jacket/Monster of Folk’s Jim James, Andrew Bird, Ani DiFranco, Steve Earle, Richie Havens, Jason Isbell, Angelique Kidjo, Amy LaVere, Del McCoury, Budy Miller, and Paolo Nutini. The Preservation Hall has a history of community outreach through their music. This is also beneficial because of the rich history of New Orleans music and diverse background. These type of albums show how music doesn’t just have to be all about business. Music can reach people in a way that other mediums can’t. Will we see more of this type of compilations in the future? Time will be the ultimate deciding factor; however this shows a step in the right direction.

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Louisianians Watches Native Land Sinking Into Sea

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Article

In what could be the United States first climate refugees, a tiny Native American tribe that have lived on a tiny island named Isle de Jean Charles for over 170 years, are close to being forced away from their homes. The waters that have given the people food and fertile land are threatening to overtake what is now left of their native lands. Located between the Gulf of Mexico and the Louisiana Bayou, with each passing storm the water level rises and engulfs the area where the people live. “About a football field worth of land in the region is lost every half-hour to erosion, storms and to rising seas — a relentless process that is expected to worsen with climate change.” The floods have also distributed massive amounts of salt-water across the island, making it nearly impossible to farm. Only 25 families remain and the infrastructure of the town is nearly vanished. The Army Corps of Engineers have proposed a $900 million system of levees and walls that could protect areas like this one; however the plan does not cover this particular area because of the limited amount of people living there. This is the unfortunate truth that faces the people of Isle de Jean Charles. It just isn’t economical to spend that type of money to save the area inhabited by fewer than 100 people. You must look at the overall good of everyone over the good for a select few.

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A Tale of Two Cultures: Amanda Knox Case Reveals a Stark Divide

December 6, 2009 1 comment

Article

When American college student Amanda Knox was recently convicted of murder, many in the United States felt that she was handed the results on the basis of Italian bias. American analysis met the verdict with immediate criticism as Italian and British media supported the outcome. This has sparked controversy between Americans and Italians for the criticisms seen on both sides. The Italian consensus is that Americans have asserted an arrogant attitude by questioning their justice system. Much like hidden racial attitudes in the United States this shows that there also may be negative attitudes on both sides of European and American society. How do you feel this case reflects attitudes that people have about the two cultures? I believe there is definitely negative cultural attitudes on both sides that are sometimes put aside because of common interests. Hopefully these types of things can be put to rest with continued relations between both sides. It also seems to me that many countries have a negative view of the United States and its people and situations such as this one tend to bring out such attitudes.

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Don’t expect A BCS Sunday Suprise

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

With another college football season in the books, we come to the same conclusion that we have seen nearly every year in the past. There is no true answer as to who deserves to play in the national championship game. After a weekend of conference championship games, that is the ultimate ending of a regular season that always leaves more to be desired, we are left with four undefeated teams heading into bowl season. This is a situation that the post season system implemented by the top level of college football, the Bowl Championship Series, has dreaded all year long. It will all end with two traditional powers, Alabama and Texas playing for the National Championship. This leaves out three teams from lower level conferences on the outside looking in with Texas Christian University, Boise State and University of Cincinnati. This is only further reinforcement that a new post season system is needed. How is it right to deny TCU, BSU, and Cincinnati the chance to play for a national championship after an undefeated season. This is not only a direct contradiction of the competition of sport it is also costing those schools left out millions of dollars in revenue. The popular reasoning for leaving out smaller market teams is because of the strength of schedule and lack of fan support. How are these smaller programs expected to compete when they are denied the opportunity to prove themselves and the increased revenue they can see by being in games that give them more exposure to a national audience?

We always come back to the same answer. A playoff system is needed in college football to ensure everyone a fair shot and even playing field. Even current President Barack Obama has chimed in on the topic, calling for a new system to replace the current BCS. The true reason for a lack of a playoff system is the current contracts in place for bowl games. Sponsorships and television contracts are tied in for large amounts of money. Every other sport in the NCAA has a playoff structure in place except for college football and they seem to have no problems. The NCAA must own up to its past mistakes and do the right thing for all involved in college football. In College sports it should not be “All about the Money”.

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Baucus admits he nominated girlfriend for U.S. Attorney

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Article

Democratic Senator Max Baucus of Montana recently admitted to nominating a woman who he had a romantic relationship with, for U.S. Attorney. Melodee Hanes was nominated for U.S. Attorney by Baucus while they were developing the romantic relationship. When it became apparent that a problem could surface because of their increased involvement with one another, Hanes decided it best to withdraw her name for the position. It is worth noting that Hanes resume is filled with a background that made her more than qualified to do the job. Although this is the case, Hanes definitely made the right decision to take her name out of the running. This situation is merely a conflict of interest that could have very easily been avoided had to two taken their professional careers into more consideration before becoming romantically involved. There are too many horror stories involving politics and romantic relationships to risk the positions they have no doubt worked very hard to get to. On the other hand there is also an issue of sexism in this situation. The question must be asked, “Why should a female give up her nomination for a male dominated position merely on the basis of her relationship with another person in the field?” If the shoe were on the other foot would things be any different? I see the issue here, but Hanes is ultimately responsible for putting herself into this predicament.

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Consumer group claims Zhu Zhu Pets unsafe

December 6, 2009 Leave a comment

Article

With the Christmas shopping season upon us, the new hot toy items are jumping off shelves left and right. As child safety has become a more important focus, many of the featured toys this holiday season are coming under scrutiny. One company feeling the heat is Cepia, makers of the popular Zhu Zhu pets. Zhu Zhu pets are robotic hamsters that have recently been found to have high levels of the dangerous chemical antimony. Antimony is a dangerous chemical that can cause cancer as well as lung and heart problems. A consumer group claims to have found 93 to 106 parts per million of the chemical in Zhu Zhu pets. The federal standard is 60 parts per million. Cepia, however, stands by its product claiming that they conduct strict testing on all of their products before releasing them to the public. They also conduct independent testing through one of the world’s leading quality assurance organizations. They claim that ever test has come back with positive results, confirming that their product is up to standards. This is a touchy issue because of the impact it could have on consumers. These toys are being used by children and must be deemed safe to be on the market. If there is any doubt that the product is unsafe, it is the responsibility of the organization to do everything possible to ensure there are no defects. In this case, it appears that Cepia has taken the proper steps to uphold the quality of their product. In my opinion, the first sign of problems associated with the Zhu Zhu toy, Cepia must make a total recall on its product.

TS

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