Thursday, July 22, 2010

Monday, April 27, 2009

Amy Winehouse

Currently, in Health class, we're learning about drugs. I had to do a project on a celebrity and their history with drug use, so naturally, I chose Amy Winehouse. Most teenagers today are aware of the different types of drugs, their overall effects, and unfortunately, how to get them. I had no idea I would learn so much new information as I was researching about Amy's drugs. I learned the most about heroin. For example, I always thought heroin could only be injected. Apparently, most people inject it because it produces a high faster than any other method, such as smoking it or "chasing the dragon". This brings me to another fun fact, heroin is so strong that it can be heated up and inhaled, producing the same high, which is known as "chasing the dragon". Also, some of the pictures I found were pretty traumatizing. Someone I knew actually died recently of a heroin overdose. My uncle's nephew, who I'm related to by marriage, got so addicted to shooting up heroin, that he became dependent on it. He shut out everyone in his life, and it was almost like everyone was just waiting for something to happen to him. He was only 19 years old, and it's sad. Drugs are an epidemic that are taking over our youth, and honestly, something needs to be done about it.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

What would you do?

"What would you do if I.. uh.. totally.. uh.. trotted to that door?" says Kyle Cease in one of his funnier and more recent comedy routines. Now, I love a good laugh just like anyone else, but I'm also very into stand-up comedy. I must say, though, that Kyle Cease really pulled ahead in the race. He isn't as well known as Dane Cook, but he's definitely a rising star. His talent extends further than just writing jokes and standing on a stage reciting them. He incorporates facial expressions, movement, and jokes on the spot. Depending on how the audience reacts, he can immediately come up with a quick and hilarious response. I can honestly say that when I'm feeling down, I know immediately who to go to. My friends and I recite Kyle Cease jokes again and again, and they never become old or overused. The best part about him is that his comedy relates to his audience on a personal level. Most of what he talks about is applicable to an average person's everyday life. At the same time, his jokes are incredibly unique and his humor is slightly different from standard humor which makes him that much better. Kyle Cease is a gem, but don't just take my word for it. Here's a clip of his "what would you do" joke, and don't say you weren't warned. Enjoy.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Really Blagojevich?

Alright, first of all, I just want to know... Rod Blagojevich, what were you thinking? I think everyone with any common sense in Illinois knew how corrupt Governor Blagojevich has been in office. For some reason, he believes he can do whatever he'd like, whenever he'd like without getting in trouble.

Let me tell you, Rod, you're seriously mistaken. He tried to sell Obama's chair in Senate? Really? How much money does one man need? He's already taking all of ours and doing nothing with it.

Part of the reason he was elected in the first place was because of his plans for inner city education reforms. Has he done anything? Absolutely not. I couldn't be more ecstatic that his phone was tapped. Now he faces conspiracy charges, and he will hopefully be removed from office. He's already gotten away with more than he deserved to, but being as naive and ignorant as he's proven to be, he assumed he would never be caught. As the article states, "Levenson, a former federal prosecutor, says Blagojevich's own words may be difficult to explain away. "He needs more of a magician than a criminal defense lawyer," she says" (Johnson 1).

Frankly, I find it ridiculous his criminal acts hadn't been discovered sooner. Isn't it a bit obvious when Illinois' sales taxes are significantly higher than any other state? And it isn't being used to provide any significant reforms to the state? Next time we vote, let's think it through thoroughly.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Growing Up

At a family dinner the other day, I spent some time conversing with my grandparents. As always, I got another "back in the day" story followed by a "you don't know how lucky you are". It's crazy to think about the differences in growing up now and growing up back when my grandparents did. It seems to me that as time goes on, it becomes easier and easier to get older, and people take longer and longer to grow up (mentally).

When my grandpa was slightly older than I am now, he was back in Russia, at war. He lost his sister and his father in the war, and his mother died soon after from disease. I realized that he was forced to grow up and become entirely independent at the age my brother had gone off to college to party and prepare for his adult life. It really makes me think about the "you don't know how lucky you are" statement. My problems and stressers as a kid now are nothing compared to the obstacles my grandparents and even my parents had to overcome. They were Jews in Europe during World War II. They had to fight to survive, which is significantly more strenuous than getting a bad grade on a test. Obviously, some of their problems I can relate to because they're human nature, and they carry on generation after generation. As I'm growing up, I realize that it's necessary to keep an open mind and look at the world from a variety of perspectives. As I learned in brain studies, every individual perceives information differently, so stepping into their shoes isn't the worst idea to try to understand where they're coming from.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Somber Topic

Poverty. It's a topic so often discussed, yet never really understood. In almost all parts of Africa, there is ongoing poverty and living conditions are brutal. Of course, it exists almost in all other places as well, but it seems to be the worst there. When I see a homeless person on the streets in America, my heart extends out to them, but watching movies such as Hotel Rwanda or Last King Of Scotland really makes me wonder if American poverty can truly be considered poverty. Yes, life is difficult for all poor people, but do the people in America live anywhere near the level of poverty seen in Kenya or Ghana?

Both sides of the argument have valid support, but I believe that if one is educated about Africa, they will soon realize that American poverty is nothing compared to that. In America, the percentage of unemployment and homelessness are minuscule compared to Africa's. People there have no choice, their government is corrupt, and any aid we may send them will get intercepted and taken away by the "African Big Men". Here, those individuals suffering from poverty have the choice of applying for a job, even if it's minimum wage. Most of the people we see on the streets are either dropouts who chose not to receive a minimal education, or people that already don't have much money, and spend all he/she has drinking or smoking his/her lives away. Especially now, with the American economy, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, it's going to be difficult for these people to find jobs, but it seems to me that they are the ones responsible for their even greater oncoming troubles.

Obviously, I think poverty needs to be looked into more than it already is, because there are people all over the world, living on the dirty, unsanitary streets. In the past year, my high school has gotten a new fitness center, new wings added onto the school, plasma TV's in the student center, a much more modernized cafeteria, etc. while some high schools in the inner city of Chicago don't have simple items such as books or desks. Isn't there something wrong with this picture? The government isn't playing its part in distributing money evenly to provide a decent education for students everywhere. The more educated we make our young people, the more efficient of a generation they will become. Poverty in America, I believe, could easily be resolved if those experiencing it would be willing to put in some effort. Africa, on the other hand, will take much longer to stabilize.