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Features

Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)

Excess Harvesting of Oceanic Wildlife

“We are in the situation where 40 years down the line, we effectively are out of fish,” Pavan Sukhdev of the United Nations Environment Programme said. In recent years, scientists and conservationists much like Sukhdev have been witnessing what they call “overexploitation.” 

According to the National Wildlife Federation, overexploitation is the “over use of wildlife and plant species by people for food, clothing, pets, medicine, sport and many other purposes.” Of all the animals in existence, the most overexploited belong to the ocean.

Whales are the earliest example of overexploitation in our history. During the early 1800’s, humans began to eagerly hunt whales for their blubber. Depending on the species, a whale’s blubber can be anywhere between one and eleven inches. 

During that time period, whale blubber was considered of high value because of the oil it contains. More often than not, the oil used in oil lamps could be traced back to a whale’s blubber, however, the blubber also served as ingredients for soap, paint, and even margarine. 

Once whalers were faced with a high demand, the sadistic trend of slaughter only continued to grow. In 1970, an estimated 39,000 whales were being killed per year. According to a report published in 2011 by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), over hunting has caused some whale breeds to wane to five percent of their original population number.

In an article published by the New York Times, the IWC estimates that 300,000 whales, dolphins, and porpoises die each year due to entanglement in fishing gear alone. Although the IWC was created with the intention to protect whales from extinction, they have made little gain towards this mission. This is largely in part due to certain loopholes created in 1966. 

Once founded, the IWC allowed Japan, Norway, and Iceland to continue whaling only for scientific reasons. Unfortunately, Iceland continues to be the only country who abides by this rule. Advisor to Japanese whaling association, Shigeko Misaki, justifies his countries continuous hunting of whales by saying if it were not for the Japanese whalers, many species of whales would become overpopulated. 

Furthermore, Misaki defended his position by stating that there were “no whale stocks that had been driven to extinction in the 20th century.”

I hate to discredit any human, but Misaki’s utterance reflects only lies. In the 18th  century, there were 1.5 million humpback whales. At the end of the 19th century, the number of whales in the ocean had declined to an astonishing 100,000 humpback whales. By the end of the 20th century, the number was 20,000. While humpback whales are not technically extinct, their population is certainly diminishing. 

Fortunately, the whalers have taken note of this and have since decreased their hunting of the humpback whale, however, they have set their sights on a new whale. Only in recent decades have minke whales been hunted by whalers as before they were deemed too small to be a worthwhile catch. But as the larger whale species became depleted, the whalers began to hunt the minke as a replacement.

This overexploitation is also seen in the shark industry. According to the Ocean Conservancy, “millions of sharks are brutally killed through the practice of shark finning every year. This practice involves chopping off the shark’s fins and throwing the shark back into the sea, left to die.” 

Fishermen have found the fins of sharks to be much more valuable than the entire shark and often dump the shark back into the ocean in order to save space on their boat. Once back in the ocean, the sharks die a painful death as they are unable to swim and bleed profusely.  

One of these sharks is the oceanic whitetip. An article written by Nick Collins of the Telegraph wrote that shark finning has caused a 70 percent decline in the whitetip population between 1969 and 2003. According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), all 14 shark species that are hunted for their fins are considered endangered.

Overexploitation is not limited to big marine wildlife such as whales and sharks; this grim trend exists among smaller populations of fish as well. According to Save Our Seas, three-fourths of the world’s fish are being harvested faster than they can reproduce, thus placing many on the endangered species and even extinction. 

In fact, the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) predicts the Atlantic bluefin tuna, one of the most popular fish used in sushi, will be extinct within the next three years. Many of these smaller wildlife caught tend to be discarded and cast overboard, but not until they are dying. Save Our Seas estimates that 27 million tons of fish are dismissed annually. 

The most common industry to discard their catch is the shrimping industry. Most shrimp are caught using a bottom-trawl system. This is when the fishermen scrape the sea level floor with a net. Not only do these shrimping companies throw back most of their catches, but their bottom trawl tactic destroys the marine ecosystem. The United Nations say the damage can even be seen from space.

The question now posed is what can be done to stop overexploitation. The simplest way to save these marine species from extinction is to stop buying the products. Overfishing is a supply and demand industry; with less demand, there will be less supply. Do not think one person executing one action will neglect to make an impact. If everyone thought this way, there would be no gains in fighting overexploitation. Feel empowered and stop the demand. 

Tattoos Can Still Leave a Mark on Job Opportunities

tattoosNo longer are tattoos associated with burly men glowering from atop their Harley Davidson’s. An art form once seen as taboo, tattoos are now far more common in society, starting with sixteen year olds and working their way through age bracket. 

The millennial generation who grew up seeing tattoos as scary and looked down upon, now get them etched into their skin with confidence. According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of young adults who say they, or someone in their home, has a tattoo has increased from 21 percent in 1999, to 40 percent today. 

In an age when everything is expressed to the world, via Facebook status, Snapchat post, or Instagram photo, tattoos are another way for young adults to express themselves to the world. While the young adults of America have become more tattoo friendly, the employers are still not the biggest fans of the body art.

“Regardless of whether you like them or not, does a visible tattoo influence your opinion of the person wearing it? Sure it does. It’s why we wear a suit, shine our shoe and spend extra time on our hair for a job interview. Our appearance in the workplace says a lot. And tattoos can say much more.” 

Frank Bocchino, a digital marketing consultant, summed up the stigma against tattoos in the workplace perfectly. There has always been a trend of employers skipping through the application of the tattooed individual. As more and more people get tattoos, they also find ways to hide them from the employer. Easily concealable tattoos have become the trend among teens and young adults. 

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When Caring Too Much Becomes Too Much

caringcoupleStarting a relationship or friendship at any age is an exciting time in a person’s life. You get to meet a new person, find common interests, and get to know someone for who they really are. Of course, the two are very different in some ways, but a main factor of both relationships and friendships is that you have a companion there for you through thick and thin.  

This can apply to the people you have had in your life for years as well. They could be friends or a partner, which you have made memories and had fun times to last a lifetime. These people have been there for you through tough times, through happy times, when you are angry or upset. A good friend or partner should care for and appreciate you for who you are, and you should do the same for them.

All relationships and friendships rely on multiple factors, but a few important ones are love, trust, and caring about the other person. Man or woman, you can admit that you love your friends (and hopefully your significant other) and appreciate them for all that they do for you. Both friends and partners are there to make you laugh, to help you when you’re feeling down, or to listen to you when you have to complain. But, as much as you can love and care about this special person, can caring too much cause trouble in paradise? 

Robert Scott, a specialist professor of communication, said, “Caring too much has not been a problem for me personally, but I would imagine for some people it might become an issue of their time.”

Scott used an example of this by explaining that it could hurt a person in the end if they put someone elses needs before their own, whether it be a friend or a partner.

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Self-Balancing: Being an Introvert in an Extroverted Society

introvertvsextrovertIn order to succeed, people need to network and interact with each other. Social skills and being able to approach people are necessary for furthering yourself and advancing your own causes. If you can’t, then you may very well be doomed to not achieve as much as you could have if you could just talk to people without becoming exasperated. 

But some people just aren’t like that. Talking to people naturally is a skill that has to be learned, just like a language or a trade. If you’re less social or extroverted than others, how can you better yourself or achieve your dreams?

“It’s a challenge at times because I have to force myself to be social and place myself in uncomfortable situations,” said Malia Padalino, a freshman English student. “I do like keeping to myself at times because I find it hard to relate to others and fit in. I have friends but I tend to stick with a small group rather than a large crowd,” Padalino added. 

Being an introvert affects how you deal with other people and is different for every person. But it’s not always a bad thing; spending less time in a large group can give students more time to think about themselves and thereby gauge their own strengths and weaknesses. 

“It kind of gives me time to just relax and think about things. Since we do live in such an extroverted society, everything is very rushed. Being introverted allows me to take a step back from the craziness,” said Tianna Gabriel, a freshman communication student. 

It’s sort of an “outside looking in” scenario: introverted people can observe groups from a distance, usually while keeping to themselves. It’s all about finding a balance within oneself in order to balance real-life relationships and networking. Although people don’t always need to view their personalities as black and white, sometimes it’s more evened out, while favoring a specific side. 

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The Lowdown on the Local Monmouth Bar Scene

JohnnyMacsOnce a student enters college an important countdown begins. It’s not how long until they graduate; no one wants to think about that. It’s not even how long until the closest break, though that’s always a nice countdown to have in the back of your mind. It’s how long until they turn 21, a birthday that many people have been thinking about since high school.

Being 21 opens a lot of doors for people, and by doors I mean bar doors. Sure, you’ve technically been an adult since 18, but you’re not really an adult until you turn 21. Twenty-one means you can do a lot of what you want, mostly meaning that you can legally drink. Many people have been waiting for years, and let’s be honest here, many people have been doing this for years.

In reality, how many of us can really consider ourselves adults right now? When not at school, I live with my parents, they pay for my bills, and they feed me. I know I could do all of these things myself, but…why? And more importantly, I don’t have enough money to support myself, not too many people I know do. But whatever money I do scrounge up for the week goes to two places: food and the weekend outings to local bars. Sorry Mom and Dad.

Having a birthday five days before the end of August, I am pretty young for my grade. This only affected me twice: once at 16, when all my friends were turning 17 and driving and one at 20, when all my friends were 21 and going out to places I couldn’t get into. Alas, I was stuck at basement parties all of my junior year of college while my friends were going to bars and posting Instagram pictures to prove it. I was very over it by then, (I’m sorry freshman, but you’ll know what I mean in a year or two) and I would usually just stand in a corner and judge the youngsters around me. 

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Her Song: The Girl Behind The Ukulele

ukeleFor those of you with a particularly strong imagination, you might be able to recall warm weather. While walking around campus, you might have seen a girl casually strumming her ukulele as she herself walked to her destination. Though enigmatic and a delight to see, it’s natural to wonder about this student that everyone knows, yet no one “really” knows.

“One day I was just walking past the quad and this girl was just kinda walking along, playing a ukulele! I was taken a little off guard, but I thought it was pretty cool. Like, go her,” said Liz Roderick, a freshman psychology major. Many students were curious as to this mysterious musician’s true identity, but very few actually knew her personally. Well, I decided to track them down to see the person behind the music, as it will. 

Her name is Cassandra Larrosa, a freshman at the University. A music education major who plays 11 instruments, Cassandra is clearly cut out for her actions. First impressions showed her to be bright, happy, and cheerful, like the strum of her infamous instrument. 

“I actually walked around with a ukulele in high school all the time, nobody thought it was that weird,” said Larrossa. “When I did it here people started to stare and be really impressed or something.” Cassandra is friendly and creative, and it shows in her social circles. While interviewing her over lunch, a friend of hers, Alice Soubasis, decided to interject and shared her thoughts on Cassandra. 

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An American Horror Story: Waitress Addition

waitress“Uhhh, Miss! Yeah, refill on the Pepsi and extra bleu cheese!” aggravatingly stated, scratch that, demanded, the hippopotomaus-esque creature sitting over at table 103 with hot sauce smeared all over her primitive face, after the fifth time of interrupting me as I was attentively taking the orders of actual civilized customers. 

That’s right, the animal over in the corner has returned to her watering hole of Buffalo Wild Wings. She was reclaiming her territory. Unlike the humans over at 102 and 104, this monstrosity sprawling out along the booth against the wall with her three-year-old calf have been harassing me for the past half-hour. 

Baby beast, for the record, has been chucking crayons all over the restaurant and ripping up napkins as if he was the direct spawn of not only his beast of a mother (who has been savagely whipping her tongue around her mouth in an effort to conquer every last drop of bleu cheese hidden under her tusks), but a paper shredder and a confetti gun, too. What terrible genetics. I guess the whole idea of evolution just sort of skipped their entire family line. 

“You heard me say extra bleu cheese, right?” roared the woman, as I was pacing back to the kitchen, debating whether or not I should dive headfirst into a fryer to momentarily escape this hell.

If Dante Alighieri were to write Dante’s Inferno today, his depiction of Satan would most certainly include Judas, Cassius, Brutus, and this brute over at table 103 just chewing away at the souls of every innocent server.  

“Yes, you foul excuse for a human, I hear you,” I mocked in my head. 

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Rocky Start for Rock N’ Raise

rock n raise setMy nose dripped snot as I pounded nails into a wooden frame. My spine ached from hunching and my fingers felt splintered. I was tired, cold, and hadn’t eaten a thing in hours, except for my words. “Just hand me a hammer and nails and I’ll make it happen,” I assured those who heard about the set design idea. 

Everybody expressed severe doubt when I explained what we were trying to build: wooden frames to resemble the shape of a doorway. I somehow needed to construct six of them. Even the male employees at Home Depot questioned us. It was as if women’s brains fell out of their heads as soon as they step foot into a home improvement store.

It was not that we didn’t need help. We just didn’t want any help. We wanted these sets to be amazing. Amazing and built by us. My producers and I headed toward the lumber section unaccompanied. We strutted past scattered men in bright orange vests and tool belts who looked at us with perplexed faces. The men were like lions ready to pounce at the sight of us, as if we were a feeble group of antelope. We snubbed their offer to assist and quickly found ourselves in aisle ten. 

We stared at the wall lined with two-by-fours pretending like we knew exactly what we were looking for. There was a man down the same aisle standing a few feet away from us. We resisted the urge to ask him if he knew what premium standard lumber meant. So we picked the cheapest one and grabbed nine of them.

Then we maneuvered our way to tools and hardware. We were faced with an entire aisle of metal. We needed to find nails that were large enough to withstand layers of strung yarn, but small enough not to split the wood. Unfortunately, we didn’t know a single thing about what we had already bought. So we caved and asked one of the men with an orange vest.

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A Modern-Day Debate: The Instant Text Back

waitingfortextIn our modern age of instant connection, it’s easy to see how we’ve become so accustomed to being able to instantly get in touch with and hear back from anyone we choose. But adjustment is a far cry from obsession, which some people today seem to be infringing on with their devices and conversations. 

A major reason behind this is the lack of wait times between responses. Anyone can text or message back instantly, so it’s created this world of impatience and need to keep up the flow of virtual conversation. But does this society of “text-backs” really disrupt communication, or is it just a story of the new definition of communicating today? 

Before we think of whether instant responses are a bonus or detractor of communication, let’s think of all the good the technology has done for us and our conversations.

“I think it’s more effortless because it’s faster and easier than talking on the phone. Also, as far as communication goes I think it almost helps. We have group chats that help us stay in touch and talk as a group, which is something we wouldn’t be able to do just over the phone,” said Katharine Dix, a freshman political science major. 

Our phones and computers have us all connected in this metaphorical (and kind of literal) web, and that brings just as many benefits as it does problems. People like to be connected with other people, that’s the real truth here. Communication as a concept comes after the acknowledgement of the fact that texting back and instantaneous messages are one of the best things to happen to communication in history.

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What Does Your Pet Say About Your Personality?

dogvscatThere are many age old debates out there: tomayto or tomahto? Ketchup or mustard? Crust or no crust? Gryffindor or Slytherin? One battle stands out in particular that resonates with everyone: Are you a dog person or a cat person? And what exactly does your answer say about you? 

Research presented by the Association for Psychological Science explained that there are distinct personality differences for dog people and cat people. Dog lovers were shown to be more outgoing, energetic, and more likely to follow rules. Fans of cats were introverted, sensitive, non-conformist when it came to rule following, and had higher intelligence scores. These personality tropes are polar opposites, and from what I found, it seems that Monmouth students lean more towards loving dogs.

As someone who has experienced the joys and hardships of having both cats and dogs, I’d say having a dog is a more fun experience. A question like this, though, is not black and white. Many students at Monmouth have both cats and dogs, and their personalities are a combination of both. So while sometimes I love to walk my dog through the park and say hello to everyone I see, I also don’t mind relaxing at home by myself with my cat,Tommy, nearby.

Denise Guastello, an associate professor of psychology at Carroll University Wisconsin, agreed that pet preference does have a strong link to personality.

“It makes sense that a dog person is going to be livelier, because they’re going to want to be out there, outside, talking to people, bringing their dog… Whereas, if you’re more introverted, and sensitive, maybe you’re more at home reading a book, and your cat doesn’t need to go outside for a walk,” explained Guastello.

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How to Stop This Generation of Music Shamers

musicshamingA few weeks ago, I read an article about “Music Shaming,” and thought, what are we, 10? Who makes fun of people for what kind of music they listen to, especially at this age? 

But as I started thinking back to middle school and high school, everyone always had something to say about other peoples music taste. The emo kids with their heavy metal music were called weird. The popular kids with their catchy radio pop music were told they didn’t know anything about music. If people listened to rap music, they didn’t know “real rap.” If people listened to classic rock, they “weren’t even alive to hear these bands, so, like what’s the point?” Yet no one was interested in anything but what they liked.

But is this really fair? Music, in my eyes at least, is one of the few things on earth that everyone can enjoy, no matter what it sounds like. In every song, a lyric can be appreciated, understood, and talked about. People can dance to anything if they put their minds to it. They can introduce their friends to underground bands, and to new songs that aren’t overplayed on the radio. 

Yet many people in this generation do the opposite. They hide what they like, most of the time just to fit in. They listen to what their friends listen to, instead of embracing the fact that they like boy bands or rock out to classical music while doing their homework. No one wants to be shamed for anything they like, especially music. But why should people hide something that makes them happy?

Michelle Levash, a senior English and education major, sees this generation as being heavily involved in the electric dance music, or “EDM” scene. “I feel like while at college I’ve realized it’s a weird mix of students liking edm or country, and that’s pretty much it. I’ve only met a few people who like anything besides the two.”

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Contact Information

CAMPUS LOCATION
The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication
and Instructional Technology (CCIT)
Room 260, 2nd floor

MAILING ADDRESS
The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey
07764

Phone: (732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151
Email: outlook@monmouth.edu