Tag Archive: Kuuku De-Graft Duncan

Don't Forget to Like The Whatever Blog on Facebook

In the quest to establish a strong hold on the social media and networking era. Kuuku’s Whatever Blog is proud to announce its official launch as a Facebook page.

But you probably couldn’t give a flying rat’s ass about my blog so why should you care? Well, it’s like those Geico commercials where one guy saves a bunch of money on car insurance and the other is left looking like an idiot.  In this case, I’m the one who saved a bunch of money by creating a Facebook page for my blog.

While others are living as the bottom-feeders in this saturated world of social online media- I’m talking about the group of losers following celebrities on Twitter, watching pointless videos on Youtube and  ‘Liking’ too many pages on Facebook.

Well I’m still part of that group but I’m working my way up the latter. Now that I have completely branded my online presence with a signature blog and a Facebook page, I’m definitely sharpshooting to the top of the social media network cesspool. Creating my own wave of influence among others.

Forgive me if I sound like one of those ‘I’m-so-important-because-I-have-a-blog-and-everybody-should-listen-to-what-I-have-to-say’ elites. That’s not the point.

The main point of all of this is that social media and networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and various blogging sites (such as this one) are extremely powerful tools of influence. They have completely shaped the way we communicate and share information online these days. Videos, tweets and all that online stuff can go viral within a heartbeat.

Recently, one of my friends posted  a song called “They” by pop artist Jem on her blog. Coincidentally, this was the song I faintly heard once but could not remember for the life of me since 2004 . Who would have thought I’d discover a song I couldn’t remember forever on a freaking blog. It’s a miracle that’s what.

Another benefit we all gain from these Web sites is that they promote whatever talents or services we have to offer to other users. For example, companies around the world are using Facebook  as extensions of their businesses in order to drive growth, engagement and customer traffic.

Pandora, the popular Internet radio company, creates personalized radio stations for its listeners where they simply enter a favorite artist or song. More than 50 million listeners have registered for Pandora to date and now have an additional tool with which they can share their personalized radio stations and musical discoveries via Facebook. This makes it easier than ever for listeners to build stations, connect with friends, share music discoveries, and make their Pandora experience bigger according to the Facebook Platform Showcase.

In my case, I didn’t create a blog just to blab about what I had for breakfast or journal about my non-existent love life. As a Journalism major, I created this blog to use an as online portfolio and springboard to a potential career in writing.

I want to showcase what I do well and brand myself to potential employers so they gain a strong sense of what I am about. I want to inform others about  what’s going on in the world. I want to share funny stories, good music and other cool stuff through this blog.

And the good news is that we all can do the same, you can take charge and rise on top of all this social media network madness. Like it or not it’s all about keeping up with the Joneses so I challenge you. If you’re an aspiring musician, you have the opportunity to share your songs on your own MySpace music page and be discovered like Mike Posner or become the next YouTube sensation like the Auto the News crew that struck a TV deal with Comedy Central.

Remember, the social media network is your online playground don’t be reluctant to take a swing through it.

Arsenal lifted the Emirates Cup once again on August 1, 2010

A 3-2 win over Celtic FC at Emirates Stadium secured the trophy for the third time in four years with Carlos Vela, Bacary Sagna and Samir Nasri all on the scoresheet. However, Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere won man of the match.

The major pots are Arsenal’s priority of course and they would no doubt swap the Emirates Cup for the Premier League or Champions League next May.

But it’s nice to win any trophy and Arsenal enjoyed the moment after the final whistle blew.

What was first known as a grassroots movement to limit the role of government and promote states right is now being a labeled a racist organization- The Tea Party.

The Tea Party made head-waves in late 2009 through organized protests against federal laws. In my eyes, they have become a political force to be reckoned with but with the current controversy that has surfaced, the may hinder their own progress to impact the political system.

The NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) is pointing fingers at the Tea Party for harboring racist elements within its political agendas and has asked them to renounce “ultra-nationalist and racist factions within the organization,” according to NAACP President Ben Jealous.

“For more than a year we’ve watched as Tea Party members have called congressmen the N-word, have called congressmen the F-word. We see them carry racist signs and whenever it happens, the membership tries to shirk responsibility,” Jealous said.

“If the Tea Party wants to be respected and wants to be part of the mainstream in this country, they have to take responsibility.”

Jealous specifically pointed to signs at rallies portraying President Obama as a witch doctor, and to claims made by Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., and Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., that Tea Party protesters opposing health care reform hurled racial slurs at them according to an online news post from ABC.

“They need to be unequivocal and they need to be responsible and get the bigots out of their organization. It’s that simple,” Jealous added.

Tea Party leaders have denied allegations of racism and argue that there is no proof to support the NAACP’s claims. Conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart even offered $100,000 to anyone who could produce an audio recording or video footage of the “N-word” being hurled at Rep. Lewis and other members of Congress.

The St. Louis Tea Party coalition passed a resolution of its own condemning the NAACP for “hypocritically engaging in the very conduct it purports to oppose.” The resolution calls on the NAACP to withdraw its resolution. It even urges the IRS to reconsider its tax-exempt status of the NAACP because of what the Tea Party coalition dubbed the organization’s “habitual partisan political behavior.”

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin also weighed on the issue and stepped in to protect the Tea Party’s integrity.

“The charge that Tea Party Americans judge people by the color of their skin is false, appalling, and is  a regressive and diversionary tactic,” according to a statement Sarah Palin on Facebook. As a result she has asked Barack Obama to “refudiate” such racist claims.

Organizer of the Tea Party Express Mark Williams discredited the NAACP and accused them of being racist themselves. He also went as far as to write a satirical letter on a blog post that ridiculed the NAACP.

It was purportedly written to Abraham Lincoln by “colored people,” saying in part: “We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!”

Williams meant to make a satirical point but the letter was deemed  offensive because it made sweeping generalizations that African-Americans are lazy and ignorant. As a result,  Williams was expelled from the National Tea Party Federation led by Co-Founder of the New York City Tea Party David Webb. However, Webb stated the letter was offensive but not racist.

Webb also stated NAACP’s claims are agenda based and that the Tea Party can not be responsible for all its members’ beliefs.

“I think the NAACP in its march toward irrelevancy as an organization, needs an enemy to maintain its power base,” Webb said.

Webb was then asked about the signs and posters that compared Barack Obama to monkeys and brandish the N-word in several Tea Party rallies.

“They are offensive, they don’t belong there but there will also be fringe elements,” Webb said on CNN before he expelled Williams from the National Tea Party Federation on July 18, 2010.

In all fairness to the Tea Party I haven’t actually seen signs from protesters that have specifically used the N-word. In addition there have been no video or audio showing Tea Party members hurling the N-word at John Lewis. In truth I haven’t seen much enthusiasm from the NAACP to battle the racist statements from the New Black Panther Party to “kill crackers and their white babies,” so the NAACP could be guilty of partisan claims.

As a result, everybody organization needs to fold up their sleeves and take responsibility. The NAACP should also go to all lengths to condemn all acts of racism not only when it affects African-Americans. There have been too many instances where they get criticized for a selective bashing of racism and that is racist in a sense.

In addition just because Tea Party leaders say they haven’t witnessed any racial elements within their groups does not make it dismissible.  The fact is there have been signs that have racial slurs and ignorant messages. Some include “Send Obama back to Kenya,”  “Obama’s Plan: White Slavery” and “The American Taxpayers are the Jews for Obama’s ovens,”

Note, the Tea Party is not a racist movement but I believe the Tea Party is more at fault. The fact is there are racist elements within the Tea Party, and all Tea Party leaders should address that. Like it or not the Tea Party has moved from a grassroots movement to a notable and well respected organization and they have a social responsibility to maintain a positive image. It would be in their bests interests to take such action if they want to have a strong influence in the upcoming elections in November. If they want to get back to the important issues involving health care and limited government they need to deal with the internal problems that they are having. Who will take them seriously when they have bigots among themselves putting up extreme posters that compare Barack Obama to a monkey and make threats to hang congress members? Personally, I don’t think they have heard of the saying one bad apple spoils the bunch.

Teeaage Pregnancy

Teenage Pregnancy

In Oct. 2009, a high school principal and city developers planned to turn a ramshackle crack house into a day care center in Chicago. From the sound of that, it seems admirable and a positive thing to do but there is one problem with this picture here. The day care center is being built for kids that are having kids.

In Robeson High School, there are 115 teenage girls that are either pregnant or already given birth. That means in each classroom, it is probable to find one in seven girls with a protruding stomach or a baby carrier.

These girls also make up the 4.2 percent increase in teenage pregnancy in the U.S. this month alone according to CNN.

The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialized world. One-third of girls get pregnant before the age of 20 according to the Center for Disease control. There are 750,000 teen pregnancies annually. Eight in ten of these pregnancies are unintended and 81 percent are to unmarried teens according to Teenpregnancy.org, a site managed by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy (NCPUP).

So why are there 115 teenage mothers in high school? Certainly, no high school should fail its student body by not educating teenagers well enough on sex and how to avoid teenage pregnancy.

No high school should resort to building day care centers for pregnant teens and their offspring just because there is a pregnancy surge. It is sending out the wrong message.

“Pinning down the reasons that rates have increased so widely isn’t easy. Some blame a more sexualized culture and greater acceptance of births to unmarried women. Others say abstinence-only sex education and a possible de-emphasis on birth control may play a part,” according to USA Today.

These problems that are causing teenage pregnancy need to be addressed or revisited.

First off, Congress needs to look at a way of buffing up George W. Bush’s absolute abstinence-only policy plan. It is a really good plan the only problem is that it does not work effectively.

“On one point, however, experts agree when it comes to teenage births, the United States is backsliding. Between 1991 and 2005 the teenage birth rate declined by 34 percent. Between 2005 and 2007, it crept up five percent,” according to the National Centre for Health Statistics.

The policy plan is anti-sex education, anti-birth control and anti-family planning. That is like having a Plan A without a Plan B.

It is good most high schools are teaching abstinence as a way to avoid pre-marital sex and teenage pregnancy. Primarily and foremost that is what all schools and other institutions should teach teens. However, to teach a teen or young person abstinence is to also teach them sexual morality, integrity and a commitment to be like Christ. That is where the problem lies, not every young person will choose to commit to be sexually moral. Some teenagers will unfortunately give in to the urge and pressures to have sex then get pregnant or pick up an STD.

            In addition to the abstinence plan, schools should be able to teach sex-education and the use of contraceptives to prevent teen pregnancy with the given consent of parents. Schools need to teach and stress this but only as the next best alternative if teens decide not to abstain from sex. It could be the emergency cushion that protects teenagers from the hard blow of teenage pregnancy and STDS if they miss the high abstinent mark.

Another thing that does not help teen pregnancy in the U.S. is the newfound culture that perpetuates teen pregnancy to be part of the social norm. You have movies and TV shows that glorify teen pregnancy. In the movie Juno, a 16-year-old gets pregnant but it all works out in the end because she has the full support of her family, puts the baby up for adoption and goes back to having sex with her boyfriend. This is very unrealistic.

“Less than two percent of teens place their babies up for adoption. The vast majority keep them. We have large numbers of teen mothers, whereas in an earlier time, we had large numbers of married teen mothers, Most teens giving birth now are single,” CEO of NCPUP Sarah Brown said.

“Research on teen mothers shows that their children often are raised in poverty because teenage mothers are less educated and likely to have fewer job skills. Most of them will be and remain single parents as well,” according to LiveStrong’s online magazine.

That is far from the easy-going and rising popular trend that is associated with teen pregnancy these days.

Overall, abstinence is the key and safest way to avoid teenage pregnancy but all other options should be available as well even if that means sex-education and contraceptive education because prevention is always better than cure. Sometimes unwanted pregnancies can lead to desperate abortions.

Parents should actively talk to their children and warn them about the dangers of teenage pregnancy. Parents also need to take a step forward and reverse this cultural mentality that getting pregnant during teenage years is socially acceptable.

Seriously, whatever happened to the good old days when a parent sat with his or her kid and said “If you ever get pregnant, I will kill you?”

He's got a big ego...

If you got Kanye West and MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) in the same sentence, be aware it’s a recipe for disaster. If Kanye West had a middle name it would be controversy.

 One of hip-hop’s attention-grabbing and biggest icons is at it again and has the media in a frenzy. It seems as if Mr. West has dug a grave for himself and his music but he’s definitely up to something. This is another one of those moments West could add to his collection of overly sensational outbursts.  

On September 13, Taylor Swift had won her very first award at the 2009 MTV VMAs. It was an incredibly special moment for the talented country pop singer but it was short-lived. Swift’s graceful acceptance speech was disrupted as West stormed the stage and  snatched the mic from the debutant winner. Then all hell broke loose.

“I’m sorry, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time, one of the best videos of all time!” as the rapper obnoxiously projected out onto the stage. There’s no doubt that West’s crazy stunt on stage was disrespectful, disgusting and inexcusable. 

However, West couldn’t care less if Beyoncé won or not because there is a hidden agenda in all of this. To tell the truth, I’m not surprised at all. In one single moment, West stole Swift’s deserved spotlight and diverged all the attention away from MTV’s award show which was also a tribute to the late Michael Jackson (Gosh, how many more tributes could there possibly be?)

As a result, West catapulted himself to the top of the latest events. As of now, he’s become one of the leading trend topics on Twitter and there are countless status updates bashing and praising West on Facebook. He’s the one making headlines, not Taylor Swift and that is exactly what he wants. 

West already issued an apology to Swift but  the damage has been already done. This is not the first time that West has done something like this. Anything this shocking  is usually an attempt to promote his work and flaunt his over-sized ego.

On November 14, 2004, the hip-hop artist hijacked the stage in similar fashion at the American Music Awards (AMAs) claiming he should have won the Best New Artist,  

“Upon hearing he has lost the Best New Artist award to ‘redneck woman’ Gretchen Wilson, West storms out of the AMAs in a show of protest. He later tells reporters, ‘I felt like I was definitely robbed, and I refused to give any politically correct bullsh–ass comment … I was the best new artist this year,'”  according to an article from MTV.com.

It’s a clear sign that West has a sore-loser complex. He will parade on any other artist’s accomplishment any chance he gets, forcing all the focus onto himself and his music.

After hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the Red Cross organized a fundraiser for Hurricane Relief. It was going well until West opened his mouth that caused more chaos on an already critical event.

“Back in 2005, the rapper felt entitled to the best album award at the Grammys, so he issued a very brazen warning during a pre-show interview. Then in 2006, Kanye had an onstage outburst when he didn’t win at the MTV Europe Music Awards. But, the incident that may top them all is Kanye’s outburst during a 2005 Hurricane Katrina fundraiser concert, when he stated that ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people,’”  Mashable.com reported.

No doubt the rapper was entitled to his opinion but I feel as if that controversial statement somehow overshadowed the good intentions the Red Cross had.  Once again all eyes were on Kanye West and he wouldn’t have it any other way.

 In September 2007, Kanye West staged a rivalry with friend and fellow rapper 50 Cent prior to the simultaneous release of their respective albums in a desperate attempt to boost marketing sales. They aggressively used the media to their advantage. They taunted each other on late-night shows and acted out their “beef”  on award shows National Public Radio reporter Christopher Johnson reported.

I  think I’ve figured it out. An already established artist like Kanye West is so obsessed with the attention from the media. He has an insatiable urge to constantly be on top and doesn’t care who he offends or hurts to get there.  

He may be an obnoxious  and an inconsiderate rapper  but know that is typical Kanye West. Either love  him or hate him. After all, he’s got a big “uh uh huh egoooooooo.”

Swine Flu!

Swine Flu!

This is definitely one of the tritest topics to date and I feel like shooting myself for bringing it up. Generally speaking, there is not a lot that no one knows about this crisis.

Nevertheless, it is an issue that is significantly current and one that has been antagonizing  America for awhile now. I just want to address some serious misconceptions and ignorant attitudes that have surfaced.

Meet H1N1 Influenza but it’d rather go by the infamous name of swine flu. The new menace that’s been making headlines along with other sore issues like health care reform. Not to worry though, at least there is a more rational and long-term solution for swine flu than health care reform.

The only problem is some people are not aware of the urgency or the need to control this new pandemic. It is not about propaganda or trying to have people living in fear. It may have the same patterns and symptoms as the regular flu but if anyone thinks that that’s all it is, they should seriously reconsider. This is the flu reloaded, coming back in its biggest and “baddest” state waging another war against mankind and the scary part is that it could win.

Swine flu is a mixture of the avian and human virus that causes a new strain in an infected pig. The new strain is the result of the avian and human viruses mixing with each other’s RNA. Once the new strain is formed, it can be transmitted from a pig to a person.

     “The pigs are important, but they’re a little bit of — if you’ll excuse the expression, a red herring because this particular virus is not a pure swine virus. It’s one-third human virus, one-third bird virus and one-third pig virus. And the ability of this virus to make itself into new shapes — it kind of shuffles itself like a pack of cards with different viruses — is what causes new viruses to emerge, and that’s what starts pandemics,” according to epidemiologist Dr. Susan P. Fisher-Hoch from the University of Texas School of Public Health.

There’s no doubt that swine flu has had a major impact in the U.S. There are many cases of schools closing down, a friend or roommate that had to be quarantined and children dying.

Another reason why swine flu raises massive concern all over the world is because our relentless army of scientists can’t really pinpoint or come up with a strategy to defeat the virus.  That is why it’s such a big deal because they are yet to predict the strain of the flu. There are mixed theories and calculations that the virus may mutate or remain stable. Ultimately, they are frantically trying to solve a pandemic puzzle.

“A single person gets infected with more than one virus at the same time. Those two viruses — which are quite different — get into the same cell. Each virus has eight little pieces of its genome … and when it gets in a cell it takes it coats off, and out pops its eight little pieces. Well if you’ve got two viruses in a cell, now you imagine yourself sixteen little pieces … eight little matching pairs, and then shuffle it like a pack of cards, and you come out with eight and eight, and you will see that you’ve got some different combinations.” Fisher-Hoch said.

Basically, the virus has made a shift in influenza. This happens every year with a “drift” which are tiny changes in the virus that require a new vaccine every year. However, the virus has taken a completely different shape which is called a shift.

“A shift results in a pandemic, and that’s what we … haven’t seen since 1967, so we were kind of overdue for this — it used to happen every ten years or so, and we haven’t had one for 30 years, so we really are overdue.” Fisher-Hoch added.

No kidding, swine flu has been planning and waiting for a long time to carry out its evil plot and is doing so with a vengeance. 

As of Sept. 4, 2009, there have been 33,902 cases and 593 deaths in the U.S. and more than 254,206 cases and at least 2,837 deaths worldwide due to the H1N1 virus according to a report from the World Health Organization (WHO.)

In July 2009, Federal health officials told Congress would be available to produce a vaccine if necessary. It’s nothing to think twice about, the vaccine is necessary.

“ One choice already is made: The U.S. government has spent $1.15 billion to buy enough vaccine to immunize the entire U.S. population against the new flu. If the government makes the decision to go ahead with a full-scale vaccination program, it would be the largest, fastest vaccination program in world history,” an article from WebMD

This is no joke. This is not just another casual and regular flu season. The U.S. government and various medical organizations around the globe are constantly working hard and breaking serious bank to keep this  dangerous  menace at bay. If anybody happens to be exhibiting symptoms of the flu during this season, chances are that they might be prone to or carry swine flu. No need to freak out though. The virus is easy to avoid or survive if common sense and preventive measures are taken.

There’s no need to go into detail what those preventive measures are. After all, swine flu is not a lot that nobody knows about, right?

No, not again, how can this possibly be? It is too hard to grasp and nobody can actually explain why a very dark cloud suddenly reigns over Blacksburg, VA wrecking havoc with the most unimaginable tragedies. It is almost as if these tragedies happen in a routine pattern desperately trying to break the spirit of the Hokies.

             It all started with a seriously troubled and delinquent Cho Seung Hui, a Virginia Tech (VT) student who massacred 32 people with a 9mm and .22-caliber semi-automatic pistol. Then in January 2009, VT student Xin Yang had her head slowly cut off with a kitchen knife at the Au Bon Pain student café. The culprit was none other than her fellow student and close friend Haiyang Zhu. This shocking news had VT reliving the mass nightmare that happened on April 16, 2007.

“Once again we are challenged as a community to offer support to one another as we process this recent event. Once again we will rise to the occasion,” VT President Charles Steger said in a public address.

Active Campus Crusade for Christ students Heidi Childs, 18, and David Metzler, 19, are now the latest victims of the unfortunate events that have struck heartache once again in VT.

            They were shot to death 15 miles from campus at the Jefferson National Forest according to a police report. Adding insult to injury, investigators also claimed that the shooting was random and no suspects had been named according to an article from the Roanoke Times.

Recently, some friends of mine told me that VT is a terrible place and is cursed. They blamed security for the mass shooting and speculated that a lot of VT students must have an urgent concern for their safety now. I don’t blame my friends for saying such things. I also thought that VT was a haven for tragedy and that it had some major security issues.

However, I realized the tragic events have nothing to do with security actually. I believe these tragedies stem from individual cases of deteriorating mental health.  

Cho Seung Hui was a ticking bomb waiting to go off during his time at VT. It was inevitable the mental wires in his head short-fused.

Fellow students and professors from the VT English Department were aware of Cho’s sinister and anti-social behavior. They also noticed the overly dark and violent material evident in his work.

“Cho, who has been described by classmates and teachers as brooding, withdrawn and silent, also left a rambling, angry, multi-page document in his dorm room. He wrote at least one bomb threat that police found, as well as a novel and some disturbing poems and plays,” according to an article from the Washington Post.

In addition to that, Cho had to undergo mental health counseling for his disturbing plays and the reported cases of stalking two girls against him. Don’t forget the infamous video he sent to NBC. Cho tried to justify his motive for killing by depicting himself as a modern martyr. With the image of a pistol in each hand held high serving as his instruments of judgment. Somewhere along those lines, it is clear Cho had been mentally unstable for a long time.

I’m also certain that Haiyang Zhu must have lost it big time when he decapitated Xin Yang. Zhu wrote on a Chinese-language blog that he had been so frustrated over stock losses and other problems that he contemplated suicide or murdering someone according to Sky News. So frustrated, that he hacked off Yang’s head with a kitchen knife. If that’s not mentally twisted, I don’t know what is.

Now someone has murdered Childs and Metzler, two people who devoted their lives to follow Christ and tried to make a difference in other people’s lives at VT. They were good kids and the death of this innocent couple is hard to fathom.

VT was unlucky to suffer at the hands of normal individuals who became mentally unstable and were a danger to society. Therefore, security is not at total fault and can’t be necessarily blamed. In fact,

  “Many colleges and universities in California, and around the nation, are forcefully tackling issues of security and mental health during summer orientation seminars and greet-the-frosh gatherings with parents and new students before regular classes begin.” The LA Times reported.

 Most colleges and universities now have new emergency notification systems such as the text-based notifications Liberty faculty and students receive on their cell phones and e-mail. They also offer extensive mental health and counseling programs.

On a higher note, VT are reunited more than ever, people continue to show support for one another and are doing everything they can to help its student body recover from these horrific tragedies. My condolences and prayers go out to the Childs and Metzler family.

Stop! Take a break! Facebook, texting, World of Warcraft, and the post-technology media are taking over our society. I came to a self-realization and admitted I was another statistic and victim of video game addiction. My family told me if they could send me to rehab for addicts like me, it would be the first thing they ever do.

 Agreed, Internet and gaming addiction is real and has become an ever-present stigma among a technology-saturated generation in America. People are too attached, dependent and need to instill some control and discipline; and for $14,500, people will now be able to break away from that addiction and go to rehab. It sounds absurd but it is a necessary resolution.

              On Aug. 27, 2009, an online/video game and Internet rehab center officially opened up in Fall City, WA and took in its first 19-year-old patient who was struggling to quit World of War Craft. The reStart Internet Addiction Recovery Program helps overly-dependent gamers, texters and Internet users kick their technological habit to the curb with a 45-day recovery program. Similar to a 12-step program for alcoholics and smokers, the tech-junkies partake in activities such as psychotherapy, counseling, fitness programs, and “high adventure outings” around the facilities according to a news article from Game Spot.

“Anywhere from 6-10 percent of the online population is dependent on one or more aspects of cyber technology and the internet. Among gamers, those playing multi-user games (like World of Warcraft) appear to be addicted at much higher levels,” according to the facility’s website.

Such institutions first opened in Japan, China and several countries in Europe and are working on diagnosing gaming addiction as a health issue. Now that one exists here in the U.S., people who have such addictions can now get help. This is very important because cases from all over the world regarding these addictions are alarming, disturbing, and almost epidemic.

            In Oct. 2008, creator Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. announced that World of Warcraft had exceeded 11 million subscribed players worldwide according to a blog post from Nick Chester.

In addition to that, Xfire which is a freeware instant messaging service and game server browser for online gamers recorded that World of Warcraft had 88,926 users per day playing an average of 19,188,204 minutes per day. That is almost four hours a player spends a day playing according to George Walker’s blog aeropause.com. How can anybody afford that much time on their hands in a never-ending battle against sorcerers, trolls, and evil army lords?

            It also gets worse, “The cases most often cited include a South Korean man who collapsed in an Internet cafe after playing Starcraft for 50 hours; a man in China who died after playing online games for 15 days consecutively; a 13-year-old boy from Vietnam who strangled an elderly lady with a piece of rope because he wanted money to buy games; and a number of cases in the United States involving angry teenagers murdering family members over games and consoles.” Game Spot staff writer Laura Parker on an article about game addiction wrote.

Parker also listed more cases especially a disturbing one about U.S. teenager who shot his parents and killed his mother because they seized his copy of Halo 3 in October 2007.

That is really some upsetting stuff because I can relate to it. I remember vividly how I felt when my mother  seized my video games; I felt my nerves twitching agonizingly, my brain smashing itself against my head and suffocating from this unbearable boredom because I had not played video games for a week. I literally ransacked her room trying to find my prized XBOX 360; my “precioussssssss.”

In conclusion, I am really pleased that a rehab center for gaming addicts is now open. It is a sign that America has taken a stand in trying to improve social and mental health. It is a move in the right direction. People now have a chance to break away from the dependency on the Internet and gaming. I strongly urge people who have technology-related addictions to consider turning themselves in to rehab. I would turn myself in too. I just don’t have $14,500.


 The ReStart Internet Addiction Recovery Center

The ReStart Internet Addiction Recovery Center

On August 15, 2009 was the beginning of the 2009/10 season in the English Premier League (EPL). Arsenal‘s season opener was against Everton and they were playing away. But before the season even started, The media and sports critics completely wrote Arsenal off. They were certain of their comments that Arsenal would struggle and they would lose their place in the “Big Four” especially after they lost world-class players like Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure.  Worst of all, Arsenal fans were divided amongst each other. Some were calling for Arsene Wenger’s head because he refused to hastily sign new players, some were fearful that Arsenal would suffer another trophy-less season and some people decided they were not even Arsenal fans anymore. There was no doubt that a dark cloud had come over Emirates Stadium.

So back to the game against Everton; the referee had blown the whistle and the kick-off was a reminder that Arsenal’s make-or-break season was well on its way. Both clubs looked strong in the opening minutes of the game. Suddenly, Arsenal was in the lead with a stunning 25-yard curler from Brazilian midfielder Denilson 26 minutes into the game. Then new signing Thomas Vermaelen scored his debutant goal by sneaking in an uncontested header from a freekick in the 37th minute. Arsenal would then be up by three with a goal from defender William Gallas in the similar pattern four minutes later. I thought that was enough to silence the critics and naysayers about Arsenal, but the trashing did not stop there.

In the second half, Arsenal were just cruising through with the fourth goal. An attack by Everton was cut short and led to a counter attack by Arsenal with a string of passes that found captain Cesc Fabregas breaking through the middle of Everton’s defence to slot it through goalkeeper Tim Howard’s legs. A typical Arsenal goal but I was ecstatic as I did the robot and shouted my head off with joy. Fabregas would later score again in the 70th minute as he casually dribbled the ball just outside Everton’s 18-yard box to blaze it into the back of the net. Five goals to nil. Then it later became six goals by Arsenal as Eduardo tapped in Arshavin‘s unlucky rebound off the goal post. Six goals! Six goals by the team that  supposedly did not have a chance of contending for the championship.

The game ended with an emphatic 6-1 win by Arsenal. The scoreline is nothing short of poetic justice and a big “Fuck You!” to all the critics and all the two-faced Arsenal supporters. The scoreline is an emphatic “Shut up!” to the doubters who opened their mouths with rubbish spewing all over the place before they assesed the what a team like Arsenal is capable of.  

Even though it’s only the first game of the season, it’s a massive confidence boost for the Arsenal squad. It shows that this young team has matured and the team chemistry is coming together. So to the media and the arrogant sports critics that seem to think senseless expenditure of money and big-name signings is the only way to become a championship team should think again. Arsenal is a team that’s being built from the ground up and it’s only a matter of time before we win a trophy or cup title. Which we will. Gunners for life!

Arsenal Demolish Everton

Arsenal Demolish Everton