Last updateWed, 17 Apr 2019 4pm


H2Oh No

Imagine having to worry everyday if you and your family were going to die from dehydration. Imagine having to drink from a contaminated river because you did not have access to safe drinking water. This is a reality for billions of people today.

For most of us, this would be pretty difficult to picture but that is because we live in a developed country with an abundance of available clean drinking water.

Developed nations such as the United States often take for granted the fact that we have clean accessible water at our fingertips. The thought of not being able to have safe water to drink has not ever occurred to most of us. If only every person in this world was this lucky.

Roughly 3.4 million people lose their lives from firsthand consumption of unsafe water or diseases infected by organisms living in polluted water.

Each year nearly 2.2 million die of diarrhea, 17,000 from intestinal worms, 1.1 million from malaria and 15,000 from fever. This is especially common in the developing nations because there is a large abundance of impoverished people that greatly rely on biodiversity.

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Calling All Gagas and Beyonces

Calling All GagasEveryone knows why women buy super high heels, right? It’s because they are drop-dead gorgeous, and as an added bonus, they make our legs look awesome. Taking this into account, we add the factor of walking in super-mega-high heels on campus; the sum of this equation just spells “ouch.” College girls always wear high heels when they go out, and some may even wear them to class. Girls need to have at least two solid pairs of high heels...or maybe eight. I guess it all depends. But in college, heels go with outfits like Oreos go with peanut butter (Parent Trap reference intended).

We see super high heels everywhere on TV, in the magazines, and on the movie screen.  They’re impossible to ignore. All of our mouths drop as soon as we see Lady Gaga walking in 12 inch heels, that are fantastically covered with glitter (or whatever crazy thing Lady Gaga wants to put on her shoes), walking on the red carpet.

Now, let me just say that she can walk in those heels flawlessly. I’m sure that I can speak for some people when I say I can barely walk without wearing any heels at all. Like really, I can’t even walk straight let alone walk straight in high heels. Yet, even though I can barely walk in high heels, I continue to wear them because they make my legs look good.

I know some of you reading this are probably thinking, “Rachel, they are just high heels. Anybody can walk in them.” And to that I say, “Really? Well then I guess I have achy foot syndrome.” Listen, I have absolutely nothing against high heels, I wear them, but I just can’t imagine myself walking around campus having my feet screaming at me.

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Cabs Are Here!

default article imageEvery weekend the University parking lots turn into a regular cab depot. A person could easily count over 10 cabs residing in the parking lots whether they are picking up students or dropping them off. The cab service is primarily used for transporting students to parties in the area, but they are also used for transportation for students who do not have their own car on campus. These cabs have become a staple on our college campus, which would make their absence peculiar.

According to student allegations floating around the University, the MUPD would not find it too peculiar if the cabs suddenly became absent. Apparently, the University police department is not very fond of the cabs that are coming to campus. The amount of cabs coming through our parking lots is definitely excessive, but isn’t choosing a cab a necessary and smart decision in many situations associated with campus life?

Freshman Lindsay Redfern, said, “It is a safer decision to call a cab. Would the police rather have students make the wrong decision or keep allowing them to make the right one?” Even though this is one perspective, Redferns’ opinion accurately demonstrates the reactions that I received when I inquired about the cab rumors to many other students.

An overall consensus of students living on campus was that the cabs were a necessity and  offer a safe alternative to transportation around the surrounding area.

These cabs are preventing students from multiple unsafe situations, such as drunk driving and walking to a destination. I am not saying it is unsafe to walk around the neighborhoods of West Long Branch, but as in any town and community, you never know the dangers that lurk around every corner.

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The Truth About Technology

The Truth About TechnologyIf someone told you that our technologies are fueling a war, you would probably laugh it off, look at your Blackberry and go on with your highly dependent technological life. The deep dark reality of this is that we as consumers are responsible for the suffering of innocent people in the Congo.

That’s Africa right? Miles and miles away, yet somehow we are controlling a rebel nation over natural minerals that are used to create our phones, cameras, computers and televisions. These minerals have now become conflict minerals, but that is naming it nicely.

Leading companies are paying rebel groups in the Congo to get their hands on these needed minerals. These rebel groups have corrupted the government and are controlling citizens through scare tactics of murder, rape, brutal weapon usage, and drug and gang cartels. So back to the question, how is this our fault?

Companies like Mac, Dell, and Playstation for instance, all keep what goes into their products extremely hush hush, but what is not so silent are the cries of innocent children losing their lives, and the beatings of mothers and fathers in a world so far from ours, over minerals like Tantalum, Tin and Tungsten. We all saw Blood Diamond with the stunning Leonardo DiCaprio, but why weren’t people moved then to do anything to protect these people?

According to the Enough Project, ran by John Prendergast and actor George Clooney, about 5.4 million people have died since the start of this war in 1998. This is known to be the deadliest conflict since World War II. About 47 percent of deaths are young children. Because of these unlivable and cruel conditions, about 1.5 million citizens have been displaced and categorized as refugees. Approximately 45,000 Congolese citizens will continue to die each month.

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Wait, This Isn’t the iPhone 5?

default article imageOops! Apple did it again! As it has been posted just about everywhere, the new iPhone 4s has recently been released. People have been lining up and waiting hours to get this brand new device. It seems that this has become a ritual every year when Apple creates a new product. As an iPhone user myself, I understand why the phone is so desirable. You can play music, search the web during a phone conversation, play games, and even video chat.

So what’s the big difference between the iPhone 4 and 4s? Well, for the most part it is essentially the same design with a few tweaks and improvements, but it’s really the new settings for the phone this time that is making waves. The new operating system has been set up with some newly developed applications that are convenient if you are on the go and make life easier.

The new iPhone does have some new features that are helpful and honestly just plain awesome. There is a new coating to prevent smudging and fingerprints, new camera features, and a new operating system that you can use to plan out almost anything. The new camera has face recognition to take crisp pictures, and shoots in 1080p HD for video.

It even has a feature that let’s you print wirelessly from your phone! Imagine the convenience of writing a paper and simply pushing an app to print it while answering a text and checking Facebook. Even though these new features are amazing, it really is the new updated operating system that has stolen the show.

With the new iOS 5 software, the 4s has a back-up system called iCloud. This basically saves everything on the phone from music to photos to your text messages. Also, if a person owns multiple Apple devices, the iCloud syncs  all the devices, so there is no need to rebuy apps for every device.

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Life After Steve Jobs

Steve JobThe world is no stranger to the accomplishments of famous innovators such as Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Thomas Edison, to name a few. One man, who has often been compared to these historical greats, has joined the ranks of famous innovators. From the original desktop computer to the sleek iPad tablet, Steve Jobs has single-handedly changed the way we see electronics. After the recent passing of Jobs, the world has been left grieving and wondering what is going to happen to technology as we know it.

As an adopted child and college dropout, Jobs has opened the door for unique individuals, like himself, to strive for their dreams without fear of failure. He encouraged the community to embody his ideal of “thinking different” in order to accomplish their dreams, because this had proved to be extremely successful for him. While Jobs was not condoning dropping out of college as the answer, his actions prove that he has always taken the unconventional route in order to reach his goals.

By the age of 21, Jobs and three friends established Apple Inc. The start to Apple was a long and difficult road. Jobs and his colleagues attempted to create personal computers that would rival the top electronic companies of the time, but their attempts proved unsuccessful. After several failed attempts and a partnership with rival company Microsoft, Jobs managed to keep Apple afloat, bringing Apple to what it is known as today.

Jobs, as acting CEO in 1997, introduced unique products under the Apple logo that have set the bar for all Apple products today. He introduced the Apple Online Store, which later became iTunes, and began a whole new line of desktop computers. The failing company soon saw their stocks rising slowly, which gave Jobs more breathing room in development. This breathing room gave way to the first iBook, but the company was not in the clear yet. Apple was still far behind its competitors, but Jobs never gave up. After perfecting the personal computer, Jobs and Apple unleashed its most profitable handheld electronic, the iPod, along with its own music selling technology through iTunes.

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Does High School Prepare You for College?

default article imageThe four years spent in high school are meant to be a period of preparation for what is to come in college. However, in recent times, high school seems less and less like a time for preparation and more like a period of years used to occupy students until they are mature enough to enter college.

It is unfortunate that students no longer have to work hard to make it through high school. The best way to get good grades and strong recommendations is to know how to “play the game.” All it takes is for students to befriend the right teachers and get involved with enough pep-rallies to catch the eye of the principal as a well-rounded and highly school spirited student, and the rest is gravy.

The minds of students are not being challenged enough to the point where they are exposed to what collegiate academics are like. Instead of teaching their students the best way to take notes in a lecture, how to read and absorb a textbook, or even how to stay organized and manage their time well, high school teachers are spending time watching movies (sometimes instead of reading the books), excusing students from class so that they can help paint posters to advertise homecoming, and spoon feeding students everything they need to know for exams. In college, professors expect their students to follow their syllabus, come to class prepared with notes, have already read the material, and reach out on their own if they need help. Unlike high school, glancing over the material 10 minutes before class, hoping that enough information stuck in your mind for you to get your “gold star” for participation for the day does not work in college.

The worst aspect of high school academics is the students’ method of padding their grade point averages. Instead of taking challenging courses that could help expand the way they think, but might render a B on their transcript, some students would rather have that A+, even if it was in woodshop and they intend to be chemistry majors in college.

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Do You Feel Safe?

default article imageThe University Police Department does its part in keeping our campus safe. Officers patrol on foot and by truck during the day and through the night. However, I can’t help but feel that more security should be enforced at the University.

During the day, officers can be found throughout campus walking around or driving in official police trucks. If a student needs help and can’t find an officer, the Police Department is located next to Woods Theatre and emergency boxes are all over campus. Most students don’t think they have to be cautious during the day because it’s light outside and they feel safe. I beg to differ.

 Several weeks ago, a student told me she was approached by someone on the residential side of campus in the middle of the day. They began to have a casual conversation when he admitted to not being a student at the University and just lived nearby, bored, and wished to kill a little time. Thankfully, he did not seem much of a threat and left campus soon after, but this incident proves how easy it is for anyone to walk in and out of the University at any hour.

At larger schools, gates are located at each parking lot along with safety officers signing people in and checking IDs. The University does not have any gates on any of its parking lots. Adding them will guarantee that anyone who does not belong in the University will not be allowed in. These gates will just add another obstacle in case someone is trying to get in with the intention of causing harm.

Students don’t tend to look over their shoulder during the day, but they should always be a little careful. It is a university’s job to provide students with an education and keep them safe. The University does this but there is always room for improvement.

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The Art of Planking

The Art of PlankingFor quite some time, planking has been a worldwide sensation gone viral. Hundreds of thousands of people have gone out into the world, lied down perfectly flat on their stomachs on a random surface and snapped a photo of them to upload onto the Internet.  Whether they are on important landmarks or on their very own kitchen counters, people just keep on planking.

A website has even been created, www.planking.me, and as the self-proclaimed “official home of planking,” provides anyone with an interest in planking a “how to” guide and the option to “submit plank.”

They also offer a wide variety of planking categories having to do with the location of the plank throughout the world while also offering the unique option of “celebrity planking.” Though the subject sounds tempting, after clicking on the link, no recognizable celebrities were shown in this specific genre.

As far as the guide goes, it simply reiterates the fact that one must be lying perfectly still on their stomach perfectly straight. Nothing states that there must be a specific location as to where one would plank, but usually it consists of various sturdy objects such as walls, counters or even mailboxes. However, the website does warn that anyone who wants to plank should do so safely.

According to the British periodical, The Guardian, one has already faced a fatal end due to his planking excursions. In May 2011, Acton Beale, a 20-year-old Australia native, planked to his death. Seven stories high on an apartment balcony in Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, the young man most likely never suspected his silly pastime to take a toll on his own life. What was supposed to be a night of fun and games with a friend, turned out to be a tragedy.

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“It’s Not You, It’s Me”

Its Not YouRelationships are probably one of the trickiest things to try to prioritize when entering the college realm, especially if you can’t help but be on cloud nine with your significant other. Some people want their relationships from high school and/or summer romance to last through college, but unfortunately, that usually doesn’t work out.

For some it does, but come on ladies- along with the guys who are pretending to not be reading this section right now- relationships require much upkeep. College is a place for new changes for everybody. You meet new people, and you want to try new things. Yet, are you willing to do everything it takes to maintain that long term relationship with the one you fell so in love with?

I thought I could, until the dreaded eight-word phrase made my whole world spiral down. I’m sure that some ladies out there know exactly what I’m talking about.

“Babe, I don’t think this is working out.”

This phrase is the tell-all-end-all of phrases. This little eight-word phrase has the ability to knock you straight out of your cloud nine euphoria and let you plummet heart first to ground zero with no warning signs. Ladies, we all know how this goes, and the first thing that comes into our minds consists of confusion and various amounts of creative curse words.

I know that I can speak for a lot of girls and yes, some major “bros” out there who’ve come up with a similar array of words that they’re surprised (and impressed) with. Who would’ve known, right? Who would’ve thought that this could happen?

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Reality Television is Anything but Reality

Reality TelevisionReality television is beginning to bring Mulholland Drive to a street near you. It’s no surprise that our generation is fixated on instant gratification and the finest return on investment that involves the least amount of work. The old California dream, the leap of faith into the vicious guts of Hollywood are phasing out and giving way to a new and more unrealistic concept of fame.

Keeping up with the Kardashian’s latest drama can be a full time job for its viewers. Being socially linked in via a Twitter account can help us spy on the stars and follow their every move.

It’s exciting to know what they had for breakfast and what their biggest dilemmas of the day are. Reality starlet Kim Kardashian tweeted on September 29, “Every year I pick a wrapping paper theme. Last year was silver & white, the year before burgundy & gold. What should this year be???”

MTV’s “The Hill’s” cast has expensive eyes yet live comfortably in hillside villas overlooking the Pacific Ocean, all while technically unemployed. Paris Hilton apparently “glows” at her VIP table in Las Vegas wearing some sort of make-up containing gold. Meanwhile, kids are skipping school to film YouTube videos in hopes of becoming the next Internet sensation.

According to The New York Post, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is estimated to have grossed almost 10 million dollars from his six-pack flaring antics.     Realistically, people are homeless and dying. A fraction of one episode’s pay for Mr. Sorrentino could help the hard -working American man who comes home with news to his wife that he’s lost his job.

You can be rich and famous for doing absolutely nothing in today’s world, and this message is loud and clear to our generation. “I know you’re so against these reality shows, but if you had the chance to party for a living and get paid, wouldn’t you do it?” asked Brett Oliverio, a Monmouth Alumni. I pretended his question was rhetorical, and didn’t answer.

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Contact Information

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

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

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