The Dire State of Our Environment

On November 23rd, the U.S Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released the Fourth National Climate Assessment, a Congressionally-mandated report about global warming and related issues.  The document detailed the findings of more than 300 scientists, with input from 13 federal agencies, concluding that the planet is getting warmer, humans are greatly contributing to that warming, and without mitigation efforts, the effects will be devastating.  With warnings concerning an overall decrease in the American quality of life and substantial damage to the U.S. economy and human health, it is a severe…

A Culture of Ignorance: How Humans Are Bringing About Their Own Demise

We hear the word “climate change” thrown around a lot today, but when asked to define it, few can speak beyond “global warming, right?” In reality, climate change is far more complex. The phrase refers to the alteration of aggregated patterns of weather, meaning averages, extremes, timing, and spatial distributions of what we consider the different aspects of weather. The reason global warming is most people’s immediate go-to on the subject is that global average temperature is one way to check the state of the holistic climate. Climate change accelerated…

Social Media Mental Health Crisis: Its Potential Politicization

Social media have political utility; as feeds of information and news, as instruments for connectivity and organization, and even as weapons of civil oppression. Between Facebook’s role in disseminating spurious political news during the 2016 election; Turkey’s recent mass arrest of 1,600 dissident social media users; and even Twitter’s facilitation (though only partial) of protest during the Arab Spring, the political dimensions of social media are ever apparent. But what can be said about the recreational users of social media? The people who routinely check their Instagram or Facebook or Snapchat…

President Trump’s Climate Change Apathy Threatens the Global Community

President Donald Trump isn’t exactly a champion of environmentalism. To this day, he has made no indication, either in word or action, that he supports the goals of environmentalists in any way.  During his campaign, he made great waves by claiming that  climate change was a “hoax” created by the Chineseㅡan unabashed declaration of his disbelief in the scientifically-proven phenomenon. It became clear that Trump was not making idle threats about his opposition to climate change regulation once he assumed office, where he began to put into motion several relevant…

The Cultural Dichotomy: In Defense of Marijuana Legalization

Last week, Paul Ingrassia wrote an article reflecting upon the social impacts associated with the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. While he did acknowledge that there are numerous economic benefits resulting from legalization, even conceding that the war on drugs was a failure, he portends that cannabis is a threat to public health and safety. We would, however, be remiss to look at this as a debate on the economic, medical, or social benefits of marijuana. His opposition highlights a larger battle in the U.S., a cultural dichotomy between conservatives…

The Case Against Legalizing Marijuana

A general trend within recent years has been that around this time a new poll comes out suggesting more Americans than ever to be in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational use. This year was no different: according to a recent CBS poll, sixty-one percent of the public now believes cannabis should be legalized, up by five percentage points from last year. In addition, nearly 9 out of 10 Americans feel medicinal marijuana should be made legal, with higher reported figures among younger generations. These changing attitudes have brought about…

The Global Gag Rule: An Impediment To Women’s Health

Donald Trump’s recent reinstallation and expansion of the Global Gag Rule intrinsically hurts women on a global scale. Although the Global Gag Rule’s intention is to decrease abortion rates worldwide, it has historically had far vaster implications, including devastating women in impoverished nations. Without a shift in policy implementation, politicians will continue to play politics at the detriment of women in need of reproductive care. Approximately 830 women died every day in 2015 as a result of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. The majority of these deaths took place in…

Playstation VR Review

A few days ago, I finally convinced myself that the hefty $600 price tag for Playstation VR (and its related accessories like the motion sensors and camera) was worth it. I’ve written plenty in the past about disruptive technology in general (including VR), but trying it hands-on was something entirely different. Unboxing the system was simple enough. The set-up is straightforward – mostly rewiring connections with HDMI cables through a virtual reality processor given to you by Sony that powers the new technology. I have to confess that, throughout the…