Election trumps paralysis advancement


The development of a wireless connection between the brain and spinal cord has enabled monkeys with paralysis in one leg to walk again without being hooked up to a computer, scientists reported Wednesday.

Though the information must still be processed in a computer, the new technology has made the device wearable.

This scientific achievement shows great promise for future treatments for paralysis in humans that could potentially extend beyond paralysis of merely one leg.

The discovery is by no means a miracle cure for paralysis but is a key development in the rehabilitation process due to its strengthening of the remaining connections between the injured limb and spinal cord.

David Borton, of Brown University, developed the wireless sensor with colleagues while doing doctoral work, according to James Gorman’s article in The New York Times.

This advancement is pivotal in the treatment of spinal cord injuries, so why isn’t it front-page news?

The simple answer: Donald Trump was elected president of the United States.

After scrolling through several pages of articles, this one barely caught my attention because of the small headline and haphazard placement. A discovery that could improve millions of lives in the future was trumped (pun intended) by the sensationalized concerns of today.

Many Americans are thrilled by Trump’s election, but others fear for the nation’s future. If Americans are so concerned about the future, why isn’t an article with potentially life-changing results given more attention.

Out of all the major news organization, excluding scientific journals, The New York Times and CBC News were the only organization to cover this story so far.

News media should spend more time covering medical discoveries and developments that are constantly progressing and advancing rather than dwelling on circumstances that cannot be changed.

Yes, a presidential election is an important historical event that should be covered in the news. However, it should not dominate news to the point where other important stories are ignored almost entirely.

Sports figures avoid election drama


After Donald Trump’s shocking victory over Hillary Clinton in Tuesday’s presidential election, several major sports figures expressed apathy toward the result.

Nick Saban, head football coach of the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, said that he was unaware of the election.

“It was so important to me that I didn’t even know it was happening,” Saban said. “We’re focused on other things here.”

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, a long-time friend of Donald Trump, sent a letter of congratulations to the president-elect, but asserted that the letter was not politically motivated.

“I have multiple friendships that are important to me and that’s what that was about.” Belichick said. “So, it’s not about politics. It’s about football.”

Even San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, an outspoken supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, said that the result of the election was irrelevant to him.

“I’ve been very disconnected from the systematic oppression as a whole,” Kaepernick said. “So, for me, it’s another face that’s going to be the face of that system of oppression.”

Kaepernick, who has received death threats for kneeling during the national anthem, has not shied away from the political spotlight in the past. Kaepernick’s apathy is surprising considering Clinton’s support of Black Lives Matter and Trump’s support of police.

However, athletes and coaches are constantly under intense scrutiny by fans and the sports media, so it makes sense that they would avoid increased criticism for their political opinions.

As the nation recovers from a divisive election season, the sports world will act as both as a distraction and as a unifying tool.

Protesters: ‘Trump is not my president’


The results of the presidential election were shocking and painful to many people across the country, especially because Clinton won the popular vote.

Feelings of anger, fear and utter disbelief culminated last night as thousands of protesters took to the streets in cities reaching from New York to Los Angeles. According to NBC New York, at least 60 people in Manhattan were arrested during the protests.

Fox News reported that protesters’ signs said things like, “Trump’s a racist,” “Impeach Trump,” and “Abolish Electoral College.”

It seems that if any good can come of this situation, it is the uniting of minorities and oppressed peoples across the board. While broadcasting at a protest in New York, a Fox News reporter stated, “There’s a hodgepodge of so many different groups here.” Though their races, sexual orientations, ages, sexes and religions differed, the protesters’ message was the same: “Trump is not my president.”

I have noticed that people tend to protest the injustices that directly impact themselves. As a result, most of the Black Lives Matter activists are black, most of the LGBTQ supports are non-heterosexual individuals, and so forth.

On one level, this phenomenon is understandable, even expected. But on another level, this phenomenon is inexcusable. As Martin Luther King, Jr., once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Minorities should support other minority causes just as readily as they support their own.

With this in mind, it seems that standing up against Trump and his racist, homophobic, Islamophobic and misogynistic beliefs is today’s biggest opportunity for all minorities and marginalized groups to come together and form the most expansive civil rights movement yet.

Trump and the Supreme Court


With Justice Scalia’s seat vacant, it will certainly be filled by a conservative nominee next year. The court will now be tilted right, as it has been for decades.

The choice of the U.S. Supreme Court justice will soon belong to President-elect Trump, which supports Republican senators’ refusal to allow President Obama to choose Garland to Scalia’s seat.

Some liberals hope that even if the court is dominantly conservative, it could still hinder Trumps’s ambitions.

“Given that many of the conservatives on his list are more in the traditional conservative mold than Trump himself, they might not simply write him a blank check when it comes to actions and policies that threaten constitutional structure,” said Elizabeth Wydra, president of the Constitutional Accountability Center.

The news media would cover a story like this because Trump’s presidency is not a good thing for liberals. Many are worried about what comes next at the Supreme Court. They almost had a liberal-leaning Supreme Court for the first time in decades and now they have to deal with yet another right-leaning court and liberals feeling overshadowed and nearly disappearing in the Supreme Court. This election is one of the most important and controversial elections there has ever been, so it is important for the news media to cover it and for the public to stay on top of what happens next.

In March, public-sector unions were threatened, but this could soon reach the court again, and this time, the challengers are likely to gain a fifth vote.

Trump is likely to undo what Obama’s approaches were to climate change, transgender rights, and abortion issues. A Supreme Court controlled by conservatives is likely to further secure gun rights and resume the deregulation of campaign finance.

The candidates on Trump’s list of possible nominees are almost all working judges and several served as law assistants to conservative Supreme Court justices. Many have judicial track records hostile to federal power, abortion rights and gay marriage, so it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Can AA exist in social media era?


Alcoholics Anonymous, the program for those who have an alcohol addiction, is supposed to be a safe place for the addicts to discuss their experiences with alcohol always worked in the past because the participants were able to comfortably not identify themselves while becoming close with their group.

The rule in AA is that when you speak you state your name, but only your first name.  This prevents people from finding out too much information about the person and possibly exposing others who may want to keep it a secret.

There are, however, people in the groups who get close enough to become not only a support system for one another but good friends.

Today, in 2016, it is not only common, but expected to friend or follow those you are close to, on social media.  And the way social media outlets such as Facebook work is mutual friends pop up on other news feeds.

Therefore, there is potential to distribute personal information that was never supposed to be revealed.

Some people in the program don’t mind because their family and friends know, but there are some people who want to keep it a secret from everyone they know.

One AA member, Caitlin, has been in the program for 23 years. She says “I do see a change with AA co-existing with social media.  I don’t see a problem with it, but I understand why some people do.”

Those who are comfortable with discussing it and don’t hide their addiction even follow the Alcoholics Anonymous Facebook page.

These people feel that it gives them another outlet with people who are going through the same experience they are.  This Facebook page acts as another support group.

Others who are in the program have deleted their social media accounts or changed their name to ensure their anonymous program stays that way.

Linda, another member of AA, is a mother and a wife.  She joined the program six years ago and no one in her family knows.

“I was friends with my husband and kids on Facebook, when my AA sponsor and friends started friend requesting me, I deleted my Facebook (account).  Some of these people write about AA on their walls and I don’t want my family asking questions as to why I have so many friends in AA,” she said.

Playmate prosecuted in privacy case


Dani Mathers, Playboy’s 2015 Playmate of the Year, has been fired from her job, banned from all LA Fitness gyms and is now being hit with legal penalties after posting a nude locker room photo of a stranger to her Snapchat account.

Mathers is being accused of posting a photo of a naked 70-year-old woman in the shower area of a Los Angeles fitness center, with the caption, “If I cant unsee this then you can’t either,” sparking immediate backlash and, on Friday, criminal charges.

Yes that is right, Los Angeles city prosecutors have charged Mathers with a misdemeanor invasion of privacy, with the Los Angeles Times calling it a “pioneering prosecution against body-shaming.”

An article appearing in the Washington Post on July 18 written by Rachel Premack outlined the legalities of the case, noting the act is illegal under California law. A 2014 revised section of the California penal code notes that it is a misdemeanor to look “with the intent to invade the privacy of a person” into places like a changing room, where a person has “a reasonable expectation of privacy,” with a camera. Under this law, it’s illegal generally to distribute an image of the “intimate body part or parts” of another person “without the consent of or knowledge of that other person.”

As a result, Mathers has been banned from all LA Fitness centers across the United States, and has been indefinitely suspended from her job as a host on “The Heidi and Frank Show” on 95.5 KLOS in Los Angeles, TMZ reported.

Phil McCausland of NBC News, stated that the case could send “legal shockwaves,” noting that this is one of the first times someone has been criminally charged for a body-shaming social media post.

While body-shaming in itself is not a crime, it is important to note that there are circumstances in which invading or violating ones privacy to do so can be deemed as a crime.

In the midst of the social media frenzy, Dani Mathers issued a public apology via her Twitter account, saying, “I’m sorry for what I did … I need to take some time to myself now to reflect on why I did this horrible thing.”

Whether sincere or not, courts do not recognize apologies and, according to NBC News, if convicted, Mathers could face up to six months of jail time and a $1,000 fine.

The arraignment is schedule for Nov. 28.

Obama endorses Stockton candidate


Stockton, Calif., mayoral candidate Michael Tubbs received a huge endorsement Wednesday.

It didn’t come from a union or a well-known local resident. No, it came from a much higher source.

President Barack Obama, in fact, was the endorser. The highest source of all one might contend.

Here is President Obama’s full statement:

“I am proud to endorse Michael Tubbs in his bid to become Stockton’s next mayor. Michael’s service as a Councilmember illustrates that he understands the need for every Stocktonian to have safer neighborhoods, stronger schools, and a voice in the political process. His story is the American story, and Michael will work tirelessly to ensure that Stockton reaches its full potential.”

How did the local news media cover news of the endorsement?

The Record, Stockton’s regional newspaper, had an article in their Wednesday edition. Staff writer Roger Phillips provided the coverage.

Phillips offered that it might be “a rare and possibly singular occurrence in Stockton political history.”

If that’s the case, it may prove enough for Tubbs to displace current Mayor Anthony Silva. Tubbs received less-than a majority of the votes in June’s primary, but a higher percentage than Silva. This resulted in a run-off, and Stockton will vote for their next mayor on Tuesday.

Tubbs was part of a four-month internship at the White House in 2010, according to Phillips. I can’t help but wonder what kind of impact Tubbs had over the course of his internship, and if any impressions he made during that time led to this endorsement.

Also of note, Tubbs gave a speech at my high school graduation in 2012.

Several other local news outlets had stories published on their respective websites, including CBS Local, FOX 40, and ABC 10.

Trump cuts into Clinton’s lead


With Election Day four days away, the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has tightened significantly.

According to FiveThirtyEight, Clinton now has a 66 percent chance of winning the presidency, down from 86 percent in the middle of October.

Trump’s resurgence can be attributed to FBI Director James Comey, who wrote a letter to Congress indicating that the FBI was reviewing more of Clinton’s emails. Comey wrote that, while the investigation has been reopened, it is unknown whether or not the emails contain any relevant information.

Comey was chastised by the news media, Democrats and even some Republicans for interfering with the presidential race so close to Election Day.

Daniel Richman, an adviser to Comey, criticized the news media for blowing the letter out of proportion. Richman argued that the letter explicitly expressed the uncertainty of the case and that the news media took the information out of context.

“It would be really nice if members of the media and members of the public realized that there’s a real possibility that there will be duplicates,” Richman said in an interview with The Huffington Post. “Since they haven’t been checked, the bureau can’t say, but we can guess from the outside.”

Richman’s argument, while logical, ignores the fact that the news media has an obligation to report on issues relevant to the public.

Considering the amount of uncertainty in the case, Comey should have kept the information within the FBI and written the letter after determining whether or not there was significant information. The news media is not to blame; the vague, ambiguous letter is itself misleading to the public.

Comey’s letter and its subsequent coverage has impacted voters who already consider Clinton to be untrustworthy. In addition, it has distracted voters from the sexual harassment allegations that nearly sunk the Trump campaign in October.

Starbucks cups filled with controversy


Starbucks released a new cup on Tuesday to symbolize unity during this election season.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said the cup is meant to remind people of “shared values and the need to be good to each other.”

The newly unveiled cup features an illustration of more than 100 people in one stroke. However, unlike the usual red holiday cups Starbucks hands out around this time, the new cup is green — and people are not happy about it.

Instead of bringing people together, the cups sparked outrage on social media.

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-12-38-48-amLast year, people were equally as upset after Starbucks changed its typically Christmas-themed red cups into more simplistic, religiously inclusive red cups, again taking to social media to express their disappointment.

Clearly, people are serious about the color of the cup their coffee is in and they are not fond of the company messing with it. The #TeamRedCup people have been vocal about their opinions.

Photos of new 2016 red Starbucks cups have been surfacing on social media, as well as shipping boxes in Starbucks stores, labeled “No Peeking Until November 10th.”

The leaked photographs have led to speculation that Starbucks will in fact release the coveted red cups after Election Day.

Maybe the return of the red cup will bring the peace and unity Starbucks was striving for in the first place.

Journalism and social media outlets


In the 21st century, journalists don’t just write articles. These days, they have a very strong presence on social media as well.

Their presence now is on the list of the “Top Ten Things” that can make or break reliability from individual promotion to business promotion, to articles coming from news outlets.

It may seem as though news articles are posted on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn as information is being released. However, that is not necessarily the case.

Yes, all news stations are going to try to get the most recent information out before all others however, there is a calculated method to having an “appropriate” and successful presence on social media.

Businesses and news sites posting on social media is much different than individual posting.

People post on their personal social media accounts as many times a day, week or month as they chose and there is no right or wrong way of doing so.

News outlets however have a strict policy, if it is not followed, they seem unprofessional.

The book The Art of Social Media by Guy Kawasaki explains the rules and reasonings of the social media business method.

For example, the book shows the most successful (social media successful: the most views) businesses post to Facebook about two times a day between four and five days a week, Twitter, everyday at least three times a day, Instagram one time five to seven days a week, and LinkedIn is more flexible.

For LinkedIn, though, one still does not want to post more than two times a week.  And when posting on LinkedIn, all must should be more professional and business oriented than general posting on the other social media outlets.

These general tips allows people, reporters and businesses to gain social media power through out the internet.

Meet baseball’s bounce back boys


The Cubs seemed destined to lose the World Series going into game five. They were trailing three games to one to the Cleveland Indians. However, they pulled off a miracle.

You may be wondering why you should care about any baseball team other than the Red Sox or Yankees, so let me answer that for you.

It has been a considerable amount of years since the Cubs have won a World Series, 108 to be exact, and, to show you how long ago that was, here are a few things that weren’t around when they last won a World Series. Radio or television, super glue, hula-hoops, bar codes, the state of Alaska, credit cards and diet soda, to name a few.

The Cubs came back in this series winning game five, six, and eventually, seven.

History was made last night as the Cubs and Indians were in a tie game going into the 9th inning. The game was still tied 6-6 as the 9th inning ended, requiring extra innings. However, it wasn’t too long after that the Cubs claimed Victory. The Cubs scored two runs in the top of the 10th and left the Indians just one run short.

The final score of the game was 8-7.

History was made, tears were shed, and Chicago fans everywhere were happy. Unfortunately, the Indians have another year to wait before making history, again.

Chicago Cubs end 108-year drought


The Chicago Cubs have not won a World Series in 108 years, so winning on Wednesday night was definitely a night to remember for them and their fans.

The Cubs had an exciting win, bringing the World Series all the way to the final seventh game. Not only was it the last game of the series, but they also won the game 8-7 in extra innings.

The Cubs were winning 6-3 going into the eighth inning, but the Cleveland Indians rallied to tie the game by scoring three runs, one being a two-out, two-strike, two-run home run by Rajai Davis off closer Aroldis Chapman.

In the 10th inning, the Cubs scored two runs. Big hits this inning included Ben Zobrist’s double, who was MVP of the Series, and Miguel Montero’s single.

The Cubs had to stay in “game-mode” for the bottom of the 10th. Davis hit a run-scoring single to bring the Indians to only one run behind. Carl Edwards was taken out of the game, and Cubs reliever Mike Montgomery was put in. Montgomery got Michael Martinez to hit a slow roller to third base, which third baseman Kris Bryant scooped up and threw to the first baseman, Anthony Rizzo.

Once the ball finally hit the glove of Rizzo, the stadium shook with excited Chicago fans erupting into screams and cries.

“We’re world champions,” Rizzo said in the Champagne-soaked visitors’ clubhouse. “The Chicago Cubs are world champions. Let that sink in.”

The Cubs can now happily celebrate after extreme let-downs in 1969, 1984 and 2003, and talk of curses of black cats, billy goats and Steve Bartman, the fan who infamously interfered with a foul ball in the playoffs. The “on-the-edge of your seat,” nerve-wracking series along with the 108-year wait, carried with it an additional historical perk. The Cubs became the first team to rally from a three-games-to-one Series deficit since Kansas City did so in 1985 and the first to do it on the road since Pittsburgh in 1979.

The media will cover an event like this because sports are a huge form of entertainment today, especially something as big as a World Series seventh game win, where a championship is on the line. The World Series brings so much revenue to Major League Baseball. Teams play about seven months of games just to get to the World Series, so something this big, especially with a crazy and exhilarating win like this one, is bound to be brought up in the media after the Cubs had have 108 years of upset.

Convergence of news media platforms


Beginning Nov. 14, the Wall Street Journal will debut a new version of its print edition after a decline in print advertising.

The paper will combine different sections due to a reduction in pages.

The Business & Tech and Money & Investing sections will be combined into one section. Likewise, the art, lifestyle, sports and cultural news will be incorporated into a section dubbed Life & Arts. Futhermore, the Greater New York section will be minimized in size.

The Wall Street Journal‘s move is not unlike other print-based news media. The decline in print advertising is affecting newspapers across the nation. Companies are investing more time and energy into digital platforms and less in print publications.

Although there will always be a market for print, it is necessary for print news media to adapt to the trends of the time. Because digital platforms are increasing in popularity, companies need to develop new techniques to deliver stories to their audiences.

The issue with online news, however, is that the editing process can be mitigated. Online news media are published with the immediacy that readers expect, but often not for the better. Although sites can update articles in an instant, the issue of posting inaccurate information increases with digital news media in comparison to print (which is edited thoroughly).

On the other hand, focusing more on digital platform can allow for companies to invest more in content. Page numbers are no longer a problem, cross collaboration happens in an instant and articles can be updated with new information.

As long as news sources continue to produce quality content, investing in online endeavors may be the only thing companies can do to survive in the modern media world.

Trump: American vs. Russian coverage


Donald Trump, who is quickly becoming one of the most controversial presidential candidates to date, is not always represented in a positive light in American news media. However, the Russian news media seem enamored with Trump’s outrageous behavior and unprecedented campaign strategy.

Trump’s policies are often overpowered by his cult of personality and American news media end up dedicating more time to covering his contentious antics and rowdy yet fiercely loyal supporters.

With the exception of Fox News, most major news organizations condemn his attitudes toward women, foreigners and Muslims. Since accusations of Trump sexually assaulting women hit the press, U.S. news media have had a difficult time focusing on anything else.

Even student news media at American universities, which typically ensure both liberal and conservative views are equally represented, are swaying from their neutral positions and writing critical pieces on Trump’s bizarre and offensive outbursts.

The Yale Record published a satire, You Dumb Motherfuckers, By James Madison, referring to Trump as a “misogynistic turkey leg that somehow escaped the state fair, fell into a bale of hay, and inexplicably managed to bankrupt six companies,” and shuns the American public for dismantling the safeguards put in place to protect against an “insane demagogue [who] might incite a populist rebellion.”

Even The Miami Hurricane has made the editorial move to officially endorse Hillary Clinton because of Trump’s inability to serve the generation about to enter the job market and shortcomings that are “dangerous, indisputable and increasingly evident.”

“Trump promises to create jobs but built his own career by destroying others’,” TMH editorial board wrote. “He promises to bring jobs back to America, yet his businesses shipped them overseas.”

Russian media, however, praises Trump, particularly his pro-Russia stance. Russian government paper Rossiskaya Gazeta apparently finds his outbursts and offensive dialogue refreshing compared to Clinton’s socially conscious statements, as Steve Rosenberg of BBC News pointed out in Russian media’s love affair with Trump.

“The political coup against him has failed,” Rossiskaya Gazeta wrote. “Trump’s speeches are unpretentious, without the kind of hypocritical political correctness of the conservative establishment.”

In stark contrast to American news media, Russian media presents Trump as the far more sensible candidate in this year’s election.

“I officially declare that Clinton is a cursed witch,” Russian MP Vitaly Milonov said in Komsomolskaya Pravda. “That’s why even a funny guy like Trump looks more reasonable in comparison.”

When public opinion is heavily reliant upon the picture the news media paint of the candidates, this discrepancy could turn into a diplomatic relations disaster, depending on the results of the election.

Media work overtime to stress you out


With the presidential election just a week away, the news media are doing everything they can to make the final days as dramatic as ever. Looking at the list of “Top stories” on CNN’s website, the reader sees a hodgepodge of headlines with “Trump” and “Clinton” sprinkled in as many times as possible:

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-5-48-12-amPutting in “Trump” or “Clinton” does not make automatically make the story newsworthy.  Going down the line, I looked at the first three articles and found myself wondering why they were “Top stories.”

The first article, “Did Trump vote for George W. Bush?” is about a radio interview in 2009 in which Trump denies voting for Bush in 2004, though he stated last January that he did vote for Bush in 2000 and 2004.

The only purpose that this article serves is exemplifying that Trump contradicts himself with lies. This might have been relevant if this same point hadn’t already been proven a hundred times over the past year. Trump has lied excessively throughout his entire campaign, so why is this a “top story?”

In the second article, CNN reveals that John Kasich wrote in John McCain on the election ballot instead of voting for Trump. This fact is not newsworthy!  Many prominent republicans have come out saying that they will not vote for Trump. This story might be have been newsworthy if a significant number of republicans revealed that they too wrote in McCain in some last-minute attempt to unite as a party and elect the senator.  But with the story the way it is, I don’t see why people should care.

Finally, the third article is about Gary Johnson saying the Clinton could be impeached over her email scandal. Over the course of the election, no news station or network, including CNN, has cared what Johnson had to say. About anything. But now, the election is close, and CNN is eagerly quoting him because what he said about Clinton is scandalous and will certainly stir the political pot.

In conclusion, the news media are working overtime to post anything remotely related to Trump and Clinton to sway, excite, and overwhelm voters in the final countdown before all ballots are cast.