Monday, December 14, 2015

English Final: 9/11's Most Controversial Photo

Taken on the most devastating day in recent history, Thomas Hoepker's photo of the five teenagers relaxing by the blue waters has caused mass controversy between millions of people. Why? Because even after all these years, this photo still iconic because of what the teens are doing, or what they aren't doing. The blazing flames of The Twin Towers are right behind them in the horizon but they either don't notice or don't care about the thousands of people behind them. Frank Rich wrote in the New York Times, "The young people in Mr. Hoepker's photo aren't necessarily callous, they're just American." The picture troubled many Americans as they noticed that their kids just don't care about many things or are just simple "Americans". They are not conforming to what many of us think is reasonable or what we think we should do when thousands of people are dying right behind us. What "normal" people think is reasonable is the shocked and horrified faces of the teenagers looking at the towers. Instead, they have five teenagers doing the opposite of that, just chilling by the river talking with each other.

 The most horrifying thing about this was that this photo was released five years after the 9/11 attacks. Many people would think that they would do the same thing instead of doing the "reasonable" thing. After fourteen years, there will still be people who will not conform and do the "reasonable" thing. The whole country was distraught by the event and five people who were the closest to it didn't care? That is what most people would think about the people in the picture but to me, there should not be judgment or any opinion going around, there will always be people who do not conform to society's "reasonable" actions and that is not always a bad thing. Many people do not conform to the ideals of other people but actually conform to themselves and what they believe is right and standard to their beliefs. But, what is fact is that on that day, thousands of people died because of the 9/11 attacks. People should be more focused on that component of that day, not judging the people in the photo.
Link to article

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Unemployment

         As you may know, this past week has been a week of turmoil and torment for countless people all around the world as the stock markets dipped down dramatically. From America to China, people's stocks started dropping at the start of the week. In China, it was especially bad because usually the Chinese government steps and closes the market down if there is a major dip in that day's stocks. This time though, the Chinese government did not step in to close the market causing many countries' stocks to dip 5-6 percent which doesn't seem too big for us but, for stock brokers and hedge funders is huge because that could be a loss in the millions for them.
         This is similar to the stock market crash in 1929 and caused what we now know as the Great Depression. The US stock market crashed caused the world economy to dip dramatically. The US was lending money to many nations such as France and Germany to boost their economy but as soon as the US economy dipped, they wanted their money back which caused foreign countries' economy to drop. The US then had a 25% unemployment rate which compared to today, is almost five times higher and people still consider our unemployment rate high.

Stock Market crash

          Wages has been in the world as long as the human race can remember and with those wages come unjust wages for many people. For example, in a study conducted by the US Census Bureau, it was found that African-Americans had the least amount of income per household with around 34,000 dollars while Asian families generally had almost double that amount at 67,000 dollars per family. Caucasians were also on this list at about 58,000 dollars which is still a lot more money than African-Americans. This discrepancy shows us the general picture of the wages for households as non-black people get more money than the black Americans. I believe that this is unfair to many people as jobs should be equal to the work you do, not to the race you are.

         There was another study which show the differences in wages between male and the female worker. The White House says that women make about seventy-eight percent of what their male counterparts make. Just like race discrimination, gender discrimination should not be a thing in the United States. Just look at the top companies and their CEO's, how many are female? You could probably think of about zero. Although there are women at high positions in top companies, there are not many CEO's you can think of that are female.

Rise of eSports

   Just this past summer, there was an event that many people would not know about. KeyArena, in Seattle, Washington hosted the International Dota 2 Championships. The arena has a capacity of over seventeen thousand people and was the home of the former NBA team, Seattle Supersonics. For those who aren’t familiar with Dota 2, it is a MOBA (Multiplayer online battle arena) game that is played on the PC. Ten people are placed into teams of five to destroy the other team’s ancient, the main structure of each team. This Dota event was the largest in eSports history with a prize pool of over eighteen million dollars, well over the previous record of eleven million. The winning team of five people took over six million dollars and are some of the richest eSports athletes. To put this amount of money into reference, the US Golf Masters has a prize pool of ten million to spread out over the whole year.

                The growth of competitive gaming is both beneficial and harmful to the players. Ten years ago, to think of making a living and supporting a family with playing video games was one of the most absurd ideas you could probably have for making a living. Now, there is more support behind aspiring professional players with even scholarships offered for high schoolers from colleges. Even some colleges having eSports classes offered as a minor class. However, just like regular athletes, eSports athletes have a limited time before they have to retire. Fear, a player for the team Evil Geniuses, has already had to take many breaks from Dota 2 because of using his arm too much and almost had to have surgery despite being only 26. 


Sunday, October 11, 2015

Apple vs. Android

            This past week Apple hosted an event that revealed many improvements to products they had been developing recently such as the new iPhone 6s and the iPad Pro. They also released new products such as the as the Apple Pencil, a new keyboard for the iPad, as well as completely revamping the apple TV, saying that it is the future of television watching. Similarly to every other year, I am not as excited for this release of Apple products as I am for similar android products. This is because every year, there are so many similar things at the event.Apple generally has a positive connotation of having the best quality, design, and especially mind blowing people with new products or features. Looking back on their latest features and products, Apple has used old technology and made it sound more appealing to the general public like us. Adding many similar products to the google products already existing such as the new keyboard they released last week. The keyboard strangely looks the same as the keyboard of Microsoft’s Surface Pro with very similar design features. The magnet and slim keys are basically the same as the Surface's keys. 
  On the contrary, I enjoy the Android release events much more than Apple ones. This is because of the new products that they release is technology we haven’t seen yet or something drastically different from last year’s product. Take Motorola for example, their newest phone, The Moto X is very different than last year’s product. The specs are completely redone and the design is also completely different than the older one. Android also comes out with new products faster. Apple comes out with new products in their series in at least 1 year maybe even more. The iPod touch series took three years to update it, with changing just the internals and changing nothing new on the outside.