"I can go the distance," said Herc.

"I can go the distance," said Herc.

Friday, April 29, 2011

I saw the sign... A lot of them, actually.

I have a thing for signs, and taking pictures of them. You can convey so much on a sign--and it's really funny when they get messed up.

I saw this one while driving through Salt Lake one rainy afternoon. I know it's not quite a sign, but it still made me laugh.

My neighbors last year had this up on their front door. I'm not sure if Santa delivered, though.

Oh those Tea Party rallies. -I wasn't there to rally with them, just to report. In case you were getting any ideas. ;)

MASH!






I loved the answers people put to this. It was randomly posted on the message board outside the library cafe.












This is after I actually did fall in one of the pools of water. Turns out that rocks really ARE slippery when wet.


What, exactly is ahead? I do not know.




There didn't look like much to recreate in.




A sign Lindsey made for Elise's birthday.



Monday, April 25, 2011

Show a little gratitude

Last week I had the amazingly rare opportunity to interview a young Libyan woman who is studying at USU. Abeer already turned me down once, and then finally I got her to agree to meet with me to talk about an important story that is getting very little press except on the university level.

Her story touched me deeply. A young woman trying to take care of her family who is here with her in the United States, she is hard at work on her master's degree. Abeer can only work 20 hours a week on campus, according to her visa. Her husband's visa, however, does not allow him to work at all. And unless something changes by the end of May, she will have to find some way other than her scholarship to support her family.

At the end of February, the United States froze all Libyan assets in this country. The EU and UN did the same. That indirectly impacted the Libyan students, whose scholarships come from the Libyan government.

Regardless of whether the 2,500 students studying in the United States and Canada support Gadhafi or not, they need assistance. They are basically stuck in this country, and their scholarships--funded by the Libyan government--have no more money after May. These scholarships typically cover everything--food, housing, tuition, books, fees, and medical insurance.

As a journalist, I'm not allowed to be very active politically, so I'm asking for your help. Please contact your congressman and let him/her know how you feel about this issue.

It took Abeer a lot of courage to agree to talk to me. She already turned down a Salt Lake reporter in February, when the conflict in Libya started, but by now she is reaching the end of her rope. There are very few places she can turn to for help.

Here's a link to the article on the Utah Statesman's website:
http://www.usustatesman.com/organization-pulls-scholarship-funds-from-libyan-usu-students-1.2551457

Friday, April 8, 2011

If the gov. shuts down, do I still have to turn in my taxes?

Courtesy of kaystreet.wordpress.com

We are hours away from a potential government shutdown, and I have one big question. If they close their doors, do I still have to turn in my taxes by April 18? Or will they give me a few extra days?

According to a CNN article posted earlier today, no. Dang it, though I honestly don't think I'll have to pay anything--I'm a young, poor college student. What more can they take? However, it's an interesting thought. What WILL be shut down, and what will stay open in the event the House cannot decide on a budget by midnight tonight?

Some of the things that will be shut down:

  1. National Parks
  2. Veterans clinics
  3. Certain government websites (Sadly, not the one owned by the IRS. I can still e-file!)
  4. The White House visitor center (That's okay. I'm sure it's pretty tense over there right now, what with Obama railing on Congress and war breaking out all over and more natural disasters and all that jazz.)
  5. 800,000 federal government employees get an unpaid vacation.
So in short, all those federal employees won't be paid, and they can't even visit the lovely national parks or tour the White House while on vacation. 

But don't worry, because the president and members of Congress--who are causing this shut down in the first place because they can't agree on anything--will still get a paycheck. Just not our troops overseas. Who have to keep fighting if they want to stay alive because we sent them out there. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

Courtesty of usnews.com
But come on, would the government honestly shut down? It can, and it has before: 1996. Obama has warned that if a shut down occurs, it could plunge us back in the recession. Greeeeaaaaaaaat. Now, not only will I be unable to camp in national parks or get a passport to leave the country, the whole recession thing will come back and that's all I will read about in my newspaper for the next 18 months. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Flat soda and Zombies

Over the last few years, I've come to a strange conclusion, and that is that I like my soda flat. I'll even drink it warm. I also have a thing for diet, and not because it's more healthy, either. It just tastes better. I've heard that the sugar substitutes in diet soda give you cancer, but everything gives you cancer anyway.
As for the flat soda, I'm pretty sure I am in the minority. I did a search on Google for it and found many pages where people declared their love for flat soda, but they are a relatively small number. 

Why do I enjoy popping the cap off the top, and leaving it in the open air until it's no longer fizzy? Well...
  1. I can taste the flavor of the soda a lot more.
  2. It doesn't burn my throat.
  3. My teeth don't feel like they are being burned with acid (just sugar). 
I cannot even begin to explain the reason why I like diet soda. It probably has something to do with all those cancerous chemicals.

Rule #2: Beware of Bathrooms

I've entered Zombieland
This week at USU is the Human vs. Zombies game. This is me, putting on my human bandanna, armed with Nerf gun and extra ammo, about to leave the bathroom of a building to face the hungry zombies outside. I was so scared! It's really all in fun, though. It's like a game of tag, only on an enormous scale. I give myself 24 hours before I get tagged and join the zombie hoards that roam the campus looking for survivors. It's pretty intense. I saw this one girl being chased by a whole group of zombies today, and then watched an epic battle break out with Nerf darts flying by Richards hall. Luckily, off campus is a safe zone, because one of my roommates is now a zombie. That may not stop me from sleeping with my Nerf gun tonight, though!