Archive | March 2012

Hans Zimmer v. Charlie Chaplin

To go hand in hand with Amelia’s shared reading for tomorrow, I have this video to share with you guys. It’s a mix of Chaplin’s speech from The Great Dictator and a Hans Zimmer score from Inception. The speech is awesome and the music in the background adds a bit of intensity. Check it out after you read the speech for tomorrow. 




I hate the SATs. I ended up taking them twice my junior year. The first time, I just remember waking up so so early and sitting in a chair for what felt like ages, answering question after question. I remember them forcing you to go in order, no skipping ahead or behind. Every time I would finish a section early, I would get that nausea-inducing anxiety that I royally f-ed something up. Then, if I would finish too slow, I would get this panicky hate for the proctor writing the diminishing minutes on the board. Finally, after what felt like ages, I got to go home.

Except my friend’s car was dead. Like, dead dead. She had left the light on or something so not even a jump start would help. So after sitting for HOURS taking the worst test in existence, we sat for another two hours. TWO HOURS IN THE RAIN ON THE TOP OF HER CAR WAITING TO TRIPLE A TO COME. Then I ended up going straight to a five hour dance rehearsal, wet and brain fatigued from that awesome day. I don’t even remember the second time I took them. I probably blocked it out due to all the trauma I experienced the first time.

The point I’m getting at, is that I would never want to take them again. I read this article today about a 35 year old man who retook the SATs nearly 20 years later. He took it from a sample test from years passed. He goes through the test, section by section, describing what makes the SAT so tedious. 19 years later, the author ended up doing 190 points better, but not without explaining his distaste for everything about the test. The author is an interesting writer and it ended up being a pretty funny article to read. Unfortunately, it made me relive my terrible, terrible SAT experience.


Cosmetic Procedures…for children

How do you all feel about having medical procedures done for nonmedical purposes? Check out this article and then let me know how you feel about children undergoing these unnecessary procedures. Are there any ethical dilemmas surrounding this issue? If so what are they?


Trayvon Martin

Update: The Huffington Post has a dedicated page with the latest information on the tragedy and the nation’s response. Find it here.

His story has been all over the news lately, and I’m surprised it took so long for the incident to gain so much attention. Here’s an interesting piece in the NYTimes regarding the law that allows Mr. Zimmerman to get away with what he did (for now at least). Florida, among other states, has passed so-called “Stand Your Ground” laws in recent years. They allow someone to murder someone else, claim it was in self-defense, and not be held liable for their actions. Sounds like a very slippery slope to me. Does anyone else find this terrifying?


More ethical to eat meat?

Disclaimer: I am not advocating for one type of diet over another.

The debate between vegetarianism (veganism, pescatarianism, or what have you) and omnivorism among humans has been growing and getting a lot more press in the past few years. I think it largely has to do with the production of movies such as Super Size MeFood Inc., and Earthlings and books like Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore’s Dilemma. All involve many different arguments, but in my mind I think it essentially boils down to three main ones:

1. The impact of mass food production (“factory farming”) on the environment (more info here)

2. The benefits and disadvantages of vegetarian/vegan diets (Bill Clinton’s vegan diet, and well, things like this are just gross)

3. And, perhaps most obviously, the ethical dilemma of eating animals

Well, the Huffington Post has an interesting article regarding this last argument. It’s about the possibility of an “ethical omnivore” diet. Maybe, after all, eating meat can be more ethical than abstaining from animal products entirely? Find it here. It does present an interesting argument, one that even makes me reflect on my own dietary choices.

Here are some clips (if you are interested in watching) of the aforementioned documentaries:

Food, Inc. (a more light-hearted documentary, it’s available for streaming on Netflix)


A very, very powerful and extremely graphic movie that will make you lose all faith in humanity. I have a friend that works for PETA in Los Angeles and they call this video the “vegan maker.” You can watch the trailer and full film online for free here.


Travelling Tired?

 I was checking my email this morning when I found this article. The author writes that the majority of the workforce who are tired on the job tend to be workers responsible for transportation. Some of the professionals listed are truck drivers, bus drivers, cab drivers and worst of all pilots. I’m getting on a plane this weekend for vacation and I think it’s pretty scary that there is a good chance the next time you get on a plane your pilot might not have gotten a good rest due to their demanding schedules. With spring break around the corner make sure you guys get enough rest before getting on the road. Stay safe and have fun.

– Alex

Rocket Power!

Sometime in the next month, NASA is going to be launching rockets off from a site in Virginia. The rockets are being launched for experimental reasons to gather information about a high-altitude jet stream. There is going to be five rockets launched off over a five minute span, and the most awesome part about it is that the rockets will be visible from VA!

The date and time is still TBA but it’s going to happen sometime between March 14th and April 3rd. Here is an article about the launch, explaining some of the details and what you could possibly see. If you want to make sure you don’t miss it, follow NASA Wallops on Twitter as they will be posting when the time is near.

If you want a quick visual of where the rockets will be visible, here is the picture off of the NASA webpage!