Friday, October 31, 2008

Pirates Once Again a Factor

When you think of pirates, do you think they still exist? Well if your answer was like mine, thinking absolutely not, then you would be surprised by recent acts of piracy. Pirates attacked a French ship off the coast of Cameroon, taking 10 of the 15 member crew hostage. Previously in the week a band of Somali pirates captured a Turkish freighter.
Now some of you may be asking, why would you consider this a story to coincide with college students? The answer is simple because the time of year. It is halloween and once again college students will be dressing up all around the world. Chances are that some of these students will be dressing up as pirates.
Although these costumes may match pirates attires of the past, they are outdated. Pirates currently dress like average everyday people of the sea, no longer equiped with eye patches or parrots or even swords. So instead of being a throwback pirate, stay up to date with the current trends of the pirate world!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

French Man's Arm Gets Stuck in Toilet

This is the perfect example of why you should not talk on your cell phone while you are using the facility!

A 26- year- old French passenger on a high speed train traveling between La Rochelle and Paris got his arm stuck in a toilet after trying to fish out his cell phone which had fell into the giant, white bowl.

The train had to stop for two hours as firemen were called in to rescue the man. They had to saw off the toilet from the train. The man was taken off the train on a stretcher with part of the toilet still on his arm.

So you may be pondering as to how exactly this relates to college students? Well, we all know college students do some dumb things in their college days...and nights, of course. Basically, talk on your cell phone when you're NOT in the bathroom. You do not want to end up like this guy. Can you think of something more embarrassing than coming off of a train on a stretcher with a toilet bowl on your arm?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

World's Heaviest Man gets hitched

The biggest concern I have is the thought that this may not be the last time a groom or bride is transported to their wedding on a flatbed truck. With the growing obesity epidemic in the United States, my fear is that this story may no longer be unique in a couple years. That being said, I have to acknowledge the love and emotional element that makes this such a heartwarming story. Obviously Manuel and his wife have married for the right reasons - an emotional, social bond that goes beyond physical appearance.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Woman Stoned to Death in Somalia

A woman in Somalia pleaded guilty to adultery and received the death penalty. After being buried to her neck, she was pelted with rocks until she died.

It is easy to forget how different the rest of the world is, and how far they have to come, when sitting in the comfort of your home in the United States.

I feel lucky to know that soon I will be graduating and able to go out and figure out what I want to do with my life, where I want to go, and what job I have with out worry about pre-conditions or laws prohibiting me from living my life. I think it's important to remember the simple liberties that we have as young Americans. Seeing something this drastic happening to another woman somewhere in the world only makes it that much easier.

Friday, October 24, 2008

American Student in Iran Prision

Esha Momeni, a student at California State University, was jailed in Iran on October 15th. She was doing research on Iranian rights of women through a California branch of the Iranian women's rights group, Change For Equality. Iranian officials say that she was detained after a traffic stop, but her computer and other information dealing with the group were taken away from her family's home. She is now in Evin Prison, a place that is well known for holding political prisoners. The thesis advisor at the college stated that Esha knew the risks of her research in Iran. Esha decided that no matter the risk, it was worth taking to expand the knowledge of Iranian women's rights to Americans.

Esha took a giant risk in spreading knowledge to Americans. She is a college student who knew the importance of increasing people's prespectives and went all out to do so. Do you think you could do the same and take the same risks she did?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Remember to Vote!

Madame Tussaud Wax Museum in London has made clay mold heads of Presidential Candidates John McCain and Barack Obama.

How does this relate to college students? Because YOU NEED TO VOTE! I know you have heard this many times, I am sure of it. But this is one of the most important, financial elections ever! Your voice needs to be heard! So please vote on NOVEMBER 4, 2008!

Picture courtesy of

Wine Dining in Canada

Do Brockport students take constant trips to Canada to see the falls? Do they go there to for a mini vacation to get away from their studies? Or do they go there because the drinking age is 19? It seems like many students take the hour trip to Canada from Brockport for a little wine dining.

A survey shows that Canada is making quite a profit off of alchohol. The stats show the truth behind why so many college students head up that way.

By the end of March 2007, the total amount of beer and wine sales was $18 billion. There were 2.3 million liters of beer purchased in that year as well. Whiskey, Scotch, and Bourbon are among the most popular liquors purchased in 2007.

A single Canadian, who drinks ovbiously, spent an average of $667 on alcohol alone!

Even though we do not live in Canada, we are near it. And as I said before, many students take the trip up there just to drink. This blog is not trying to persuade you to go to Canada to drink. It is simply a way of showing how much alcohol is truly consumed. There is more in Canada than drinking. But just remember, if you do decide to take a trip up there, make sure you have your birth certificate!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

And the award for "Most Paranoid Country" goes to...

...Iran. By Far. Here's why:

Iranian officials recently arrested two pigeons for spying. Let me stop right there for a second. Let that just kind of sink into your brain for a moment...

They arrested two pigeons. Seriously. When I hear the word "arrested" I immediately flash to a scene similar to this...

Now picture that scene with a pigeon in place of the guy being led into the cop car.

Apparently one pigeon was detained near Iran's uranium enrichment facility, while the other was apprehended beside a rose water production plant. The uranium facility has long created controversy between the Iranian government and Western countries, for obvious suspicion of foul nuclear activity. According to sources, both pigeons were described as having metal rings and invisible string attached to their bodies.

Alright, so I can understand why Iranian officials would be suspicious. I can understand their concern. But what is the point in arresting the pigeons? Are they planning on questioning them to find out if they were, in fact, sent on a top-secret spy mission by a rival or opposing country?

Ironically, this isn't the first time animals have been arrested for spying in Iran. In July 2007, 14 squirrels were arrested near the Iranian border for apparent espionage.

Honestly, if I was the leader of a country, I'd call upon my most dependable squirrels to execute my most important reconnaissance missions.

All kidding aside, this story shows the level of security and paranoia surrounding nuclear activity not only in Iran, but across the globe. As college students in America, we can only hope that this tension never escalates to anything more than what it is now, which is simple paranoia.

I just hope I never have to look over my shoulder to make sure I'm not being followed by a pigeon or squirrel working for Iran...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Investigation of Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan Increases Tensions

Afghan authorities are looking in to the deaths of 17 civilians that were recently killed after a clash between NATO forces and militants in the southern part of Afghanistan Thursday.
The problem involving civilian casualties with the involvement of foreign troops has made waves between the Afghan President Hamid Karzai and the United States
The increase of violence in Afghanistan is a real problem. It has been said time and time again that there needs to be more troops sent to Afghanistan where violence is escalating. I may feel a little biased to this point of view because my brother is stationed in Afghanistan right now and tells me about the attacks to his base on a daily basis. He mentions the increase in violence in the past few months, and that no matter what they do to restore a little stability, they can't do much without more help.
There needs to be a resolution to what is happening overseas. So how is this going to happen and why should college students care? November 4th. The future of our country and the people in it, like my brother, can change with the results of the presidential election in November. For most college students it is their first time being able to vote for a presidential election. So do all you can to stay informed about foreign policy and issues with United States involvement. Just because you aren't directly involved, doesn't mean that you won't be later or know someone who is. You have the ability to change the course of the future by voting. So stay informed, and vote on November 4th.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sex on the Beach... Not This Vacation

Two Britons were recently fined and jailed for having sex on a Dubai beach. The two were sentenced up to three months in jail and were also fined 1,000 dirhams ($272). The two still plead not guilty to the incident but do admit to an alcohol related offense.

Now some may wonder why this would be reported on a blog that is supposed to relate international news to college students but this has tons to do with college students. Not only do college students frequently use alcohol and do things otherwise not ordinarily in their behavior; but college students also go to other countries participating in study abroad courses or just for spring break. This is a great example of why travelers should be aware of the laws set up in places they are going to travel to. It is possible that these two Britons did not actually participate in sexual intercourse however the United Arab Emirates strictly prohibits public display of affection as well as acts of homosexuality.

So when you go on vacation next time, especially to other countries be sure to be aware of laws purtaining to that specific area.

Do you have any stories of run ins with the law in foreign countries?

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Keeping It Clean

What is one of the utmost grossest thing to find in a college dorm?; old, dirty laundry, a cup filled with last weeks milk, or water bottles filled with unknown substances? These things may be completely disgusting, but what tops the list, is mold and GERMS! Germs are everywhere and are especially prevalent in college bathrooms, dorms, window sills, etc. So what does this have to do with the world?

South Asia has declared October 15, Global Handwashing Day (in fact, 2008 is the International Year of Sanitation). It is the United Nations attempt to show children throughout South Asia to wash their hands and help stay germ free. 120 million children in 70 countries are expected to participate in this cleaning extravaganza.

According to the United Nations, just washing your hands is not enough. There must be soap involved. It is vital. And according to UNICEF, washing with soap can lessen diarrhoeal disease by 40% and respiratory infections by 30%. These are the main causes of death for children in India.

To watch a video on how to properly wash your hands, click on this:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Obama receives support from unlikely source

Typically, the U.S. presidential election draws major attention from not only everyone in America, but also influential governments across the globe. Sometimes, however, attention and support comes from the most unlikely of places.

Dorothy Polley, a Paris-based artist and owner of her own gallery, is using her artistic style to salute Barack Obama. After watching the Democratic National Convention last summer, Polley felt so moved by Obama that much of her work has since centered around generating support and awareness of the presidential candidate. To check out the original article detailing her efforts, click here. To check out Dorothy's website and gallery, click here.

After hearing so much about the importance of being educated on candidates and key topics, I was really impressed with the efforts of Dorothy. Putting all political bias to the side, think about this - instead of performing radical protests or publicly speaking out for or against a candidate, Dorothy is simply letting art do the talking. It reminds me somewhat of a peaceful protest. She is educating people through the common interest of art, in the most unlikely of places. I think college students (and ultimately everyone in America) can learn something from the efforts of Dorothy Polley.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

North Korea to Denuclearize

A major movement towards America and North Korea diminishing their animosity towards one another was achieved when North Korea agreed to continue disabling their plutonium plant and allow inspections. The move was considered so groundbreaking by the Bush administration that it actually led to North Korea being removed from the terror list. American President George W. Bush once refered to North Korea as an "axis of evil." American Presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama said that this was a sign of modest progress however were not as optimistic saying that the plans had yet to be executed and until North Korea had fulfilled its promise would not get overly excited until North Korea put its actions where its mouth is.

American college students must take note because with this news America has possibly stopped a future war because North Korea's situation parralelled that of Iraq. Instead of possibly sending troops over to North Korea and getting into another altercation and forfitting billions of tax payers dollars, America is making progress towards squashing America's biggest disagreement with North Korea.

For more information:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Food Crisis

The recent scare of milk in China has left its mark worldwide as all food from foreign countries are being examined much more thoroughly. Foreign milk has been on hold since the incidents leaked from China. Babies in China have lost their lives or become sick due to a chemical called melamine.

Many Americans are now facing the reprocussions and have been forced to investigate their own food intake. College students must also take note considering that they rarely ever look into what the ingredients are in the food they eat. It is common to go to the dining halls at college and never think twice about what is in the food you eat unless that is you are allergic to a certain type of food. It would be a good idea for all college students to take a nutritional course in order to better understand the process of food intake and what our bodies really require in order to function at its optimum.

China Gets Pollution in Gear by Getting Cars Off the Road

Many of you may have heard about the amount of pollution that was in China when they were preparing for the Olympic games. Athletes were worried about the effect it would have on their performance. China then worked out a system to ban half the amount of cars out on the road in one day.

The idea stuck with the Chinese government and they are beginning to enforce the same rule now. When the air pollution index reaches above 300, then the time is right to enforce the rules again. Cars will be limited on daily rotations depending on odd or even license plates and work cites that have high pollution will be postponed as well.

Pollution and the environment are not just a popular topic in China, but the world as a whole. Seeing the way that this government enforces laws to protect the environment, ideas and examples can be used in other countries to try and do the same thing.

With the presidential election coming up close in the United States, it is important for college voters to know all they can about the topics being debated about and how the future president will deal with these issues. Having a greater world knowledge of how things work can shape the way in which someone views their future in the country by who they vote for.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

UK versus US

Theres comes a point in every college students life where they need to get away from school. For most people, this involves bars, house parties, or any aspect of the "night life".

Have you ever wondered what colleges in other countries consider "partying?"Are there opinions on the topic the same as the United States? Have you ever considered what UK freshman go through compared to US freshman? It is good to take the time to look at what colleges in the UK say about partying.

TIMESONLINE, an online newspaper in the UK, has a few pointers about partying in college. When going to a house party, they suggest that you actually know who the host of the party is. It will be too scary and awkward if you go there not knowing a soul. How do Brockport students feel about this? Is the college community so tiny that everyone knows everyone? To get more on the UK's opinion of this, check out the actual article.

Another article from the same online newspaper talked about drinking in general. According to the article, the anxieties girls are facing with a society obcessed with image is making drinking more excessible to them; they are doing it more often, and more than guys. Women are judged harshly too for the way they act in bars or in clubs more often than men. Yet they are less concerned about what is said to be "appropriate". Times are changing thats for sure.
It is very interesting to read perspectives on young people in another countries newspaper, such as the UK. They language is different yet they have similar views and incites about life. It is something worth looking at. I learned quite a bit of new information about college life, esepcially the night life from these articles.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Economic crisis being felt worldwide

To build off of the previous post by K.Stines, I thought I'd discuss an article I stumbled upon in the Australian web edition of "Crikey," an independent newspaper based down under. The article is a collection of recent economic statistics from countries across the world, along with some commentaries from various news outlets. It shows just how global this economic crisis has become, and does a great job of presenting info in short, easy to understand pieces (so for those of you who, like me, can't stand listening to boring economic figures/stats and stock market lingo, you don't have to worry). Check out the article here.

What really worries me about this whole economic problem is the future, and the state of the world economy as a whole in 5 to 10 years. As a current college student, I'd really like to have a positive outlook on my own personal future, and feel confident about getting a "real" job in the near future (sorry McDonald's, but I'd rather not flip burgers for the rest of my life).

Some "pundits" think that the bailout approved by Congress will not ultimately fix anything. If that's the case, what comes next? Complete anarchy? Black Tuesday all over again, only this time on a worldwide scale? The bottom line: thinking positively about the word "economy" is becoming an increasingly difficult task. Will the Congress-approved bailout help the U.S. economy and other world economies? Hopefully. But until then, watching "Billy Madison" and avoiding the Wall Street Journal will keep me from a daily dose of depression.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Americans Not Only Ones Facing Financial Crisis

Germany is experiencing similar crisis to that of Americas with Hypo Real Estate(HRE). The German government had proposed to give $35 million in aid to the company but rejected the notion. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that the financial burdens of a major corporation will not be bailed out by the government. Bad business will not be bailed out by the taxpayers for the simple fact that it is not in their responsibility according to Merkel.

America needs to take note and not just rush to throw money at our problems and hope they solve themselves. Who is to say the money used will actually solve any problems? College students need to take notice, especially those in the business field because obviously if major countries continue to have financial downfalls, something in the business world is in need of change. We need some thinking outside of the box to happen and some blueprints drawn up to guide us to recovery.

For more information on the HRE situation in Germany:

Update: German officials vote to provide some relief efforts for the HRE. For more news:

Friday, October 3, 2008

7 yr old boy kills zoo animals

A 7 year old boy's rampage on an Australian zoo results in little action for discipline. After killing a few lizards and reptiles by bashing their heads with rocks, a little boy in Australia continued to feed the remains of some to the zoo's crocodile. For 20 minutes the boy broke through security barriers and conducted a killing spree throughout the zoo.

Because of the laws in Australia, police officials were unable to charge the boy with anything since he was under the age of 10. Children under age 10 are unable to be charged with criminal offenses. Some zoo officials are pushing to have the boy's parents sued. The zoo lost 13 animals, with a loss of $5,500.

Officials are shocked by the acts, but are more disheartened by the way in which they are not able to receive closure due to the lack of disciplinary actions that are able to be put on the boy. They believe that parents need to take responsibility for their children, and that someone needs to be blamed for the events that took place.

As many college students are focused on careers that involve dealing with children, it is important to see what a child is actually capable of. It is also important to understand that parents don't always have the control over the child as they or you would hope.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

And you think YOU have it hard in school...

Is college hitting hard on you? Research papers, quizzes, chapter tests, etc; is there too much work and not enough time to party? Well, things could be worse. You could be the principle of your college. That means you are in charge of every single person that goes to that particular school. Now imagine having that school collapse. Now what do you do?

Unfortunately, this did really happen. On Wednesday, five female students in the village of Belyayevka, Russia, died after a concrete staircase unexpectedly collapsed on them. Since the accident, no other students have returned to classes. Funerals are expected to be on friday.

Marina Borodina, after hearing of the accident, hanged herself on Thursday. She was 42 years old. She worked in the school, teaching grade 11, and was close with all of the girls killed in the collapse.

So the next time you go to the library and begin your 15 page research paper, don't complain. There are worse things that could happen to you. And this proves it.