Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Bus Drivers Feel Awkward about Protests in Brazil




Rio de Janeiro- “Well, this is awkward.”

This was the official statement issued by Operadores de ônibus associação do Brasil (Bus Operators Association of Brazil) in response to Monday and Tuesday’s country-wide protests against the government. The protests began initially as a response to increased bus fares by the Brazilian government but has since bloomed into protests targeting government corruption and lack of proper healthcare and infrastructure systems.

The 20 cent hike in bus fares was in fact proposed by the association itself. “Yeah, we actually asked the government to increase the bus fare, because of…inflation you know,” said Don Carvahol, a 40-year old public bus driver in Rio de Janeiro, who also happens to have a wife and two young children. “A lot of us have kids, and everything’s really expensive nowadays, you know? So we figured we’d increase prices so we could have more money to buy food and send our kids to school and stuff.”

“We feel really bad that we started all of this. Please don’t come after us.”

Iran’s new president leads country into the Golden Age



Tehran,Iran- Cheers erupted last Friday evening as Iran’s presidential election ended with Hassan Rouhani becoming the 2013 president-elect of Iran. “I’m just so happy right know, I’m not even sure what I’m doing here!” said a drunken partygoer celebrating on the streets after the election results were announced.

During his inaugural speech, Rouhani promised Iranians sweeping country-wide reforms in order to turn Iran from a downtrodden Muslim ghetto into a global economic powerhouse, much like the United States. He outlined his plans to improve the Iranian economy, which consist of expanding its semi-fledgling nuclear program as well as releasing Christians from federal prisons sending them back home.

Supporters likened the reforms to the next Golden Age for the country. Abdullah Khamenei, a campaign supporter, told us in an exclusive interview that “30 years ago, this country was just a simple desert nation with people living in ramshackle adobe houses and the streets being plagued  by rogue terrorist earth benders from Iraq. The reforms he promised us will be like the Golden Age for us. Who knows, in 1 to 2 years, I’ll finally get a job and be able to afford a flushing toilet!”

In a news conference on Monday, Rouhani also expressed his desire to improve relations with the United States. “As much as I feel this country needs them as an ally, they just need to stop being all up in our business. It’s kind of like opening the door while someone else is using the bathroom. I need to take care of business to improve my country, and they need to GTFO while I use the bathroom.”

White House officials expressed their concerns over Rouhani’s election. “I mean, he seems like a really nice guy, but we just don’t feel comfortable knowing there’s another country out there that has nuclear technology at its fingertips. We have a responsibility as a first world country to police other countries’ business you know.”

Meanwhile, Hooshang Amirahmadi , an Iranian-born American who also ran for president, returns to his measly low-paying teaching job at Rutgers because, it was in fact, “the longest of longshots”.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Back on Campus

It's been a long two weeks for me! I went to band camp for college and came back two days ago, and then I moved into my dorm yesterday night! It's been a crazy hectic week. Band camp was awful (yet bearable) as usual: marching, learning show work for color guard and dealing with aching feet and limbs. Then I came back home and showered (properly!) did laundry, and finished packing, stayed the night at home, and then came back to the campus.

I'm kind of glad I live so close to the state university. If I'd gotten my way and gone to an out-of-state university, I'd have a harder time with transportation and getting items I need! It's so easy for me because if I know I left something at home, I can always ask my parents to come drive down here and drop it off for me! :)

Marching band begins full swing on Monday with a 3 hour afternoon/evening rehearsal. It's going to be so hot! It's hot enough in my dorm room already. I'm just sitting here on my computer and I'm sweating! Thank goodness my roommate brought a fan. Smart thinking! :O

Classes start on Tuesday and I have a band performance on Wednesday and a football game to go to on Saturday! It's going to be a busy semester all right! Phew!

Credit: boo21190 on deviantart!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Band Camp

I do colorguard in Marching Band for my university, and tomorrow, I'll be heading off to band camp at 7am in the morning!

I'm really excited because I've been home for way to long and I'm itching to get out of the house, be active again, and to see my band friends again. Of course, I'll be learning show work and drill too, but the social aspect is a lot more fun to think about that anticipating standing in the hot sun on a football field. :D

Our first show this year is a Spanish show; we're doing Spanish Fantasy, Malaguena, and Spanish Heart by Chick Corea. Yes, I know Spanish themes for marching bands are wildly overdone, but I've been lucky to have never done one in highschool. I'm actually excited for my first Spanish show since I've never done one before!

I return from camp on Thursday. I'll go to my campus afterwords, pick up my room key for my dorm/hostel, and then move in on Thursday and Friday! Then I'll get to see more non-band friends! Can't wait to return to campus! :)

Pretty flags. :)



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Goodies from the UAE

I did another swap a while back, it's a very well known swap called "Goodies From My Country" ! I sent items from India to my partner living in Japan and I received items from the United Arab Emirates! In my package, I received:
  • 2  brochures, one about Emirati dress code and the other about the Desert landscape/climate
  • 2 tea bags usually used for special occasions
  • 1 magnet/bottle opener with a picture of camels!
  • 1 coaster with a common Persian rug design on it
  • a wonderful letter explaining life in the Emirates as compared to the US (my partner lived in the US before moving to the UAE to teach English)
Here are some of the points mentioned in my letter (I'm not putting them all in here however):
1. Five times every day we hear the Call to Prayer. It is broadcast throughout the city over loud speakers and can start as early as 4:30 am, and last as late as 8:30 or 9pm. After a while you don't really hear it much- you get used to it.
3.  Food is cheap here- as is gas. The government regulates prices, so no matter where you shop Pepsi is about 45 cents. A gallon of gas is about $1.25. Fruits and veggies are so cheap you almost have to eat them- you can buy a bag of potatoes for a dollar.
5. Everyone wears TONS of perfume. Men hold hands and rub noses with other men. Women kiss each other on the cheek as a greeting. BUT, the men don't greet the women.
6. It is very safe to live here. There is almost no crime and not cussing. The dress code is strict- no tank tops or short shorts in public. Everyone knows that if they commit a crime they will be deported. there is a death penalty for a few crimes, which include: rape, murder, adultery (sometimes) and converting from Muslim to another religion. I am free to be Christian, but can't try to convert others to my faith.
7. Mostly I want to say that the Middle East is NOT what American news portrays. Most Muslims don't hate non-Muslims. In fact, they are very friendly and curious about me. They love America here in the United Arab Emirates!

I loved hearing about how the UAE was different from the USA, and gave many thanks to my partner for sending me the items and the letter.

A tiny peek into the UAE.
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Friday, August 17, 2012

WIGS

I've recently discovered a new Youtube channel called WIGS. It stands for "When it gets interesting.". WIGS is a channel that produces deep and thought-provoking series about women and their stories of life, love, jobs, etc. I prefer to think of it as women in situations/professions that the public knows little about.

In WIGS series Blue (starring Julia Stiles), the story follows the life of a high-end prostitute/escort Blue and how she juggles her office day job, her work as an escort, and how she raises her son as a single mom. Now I know for sure that prostitution is an industry in which not many people know about. But what makes this series interesting is that it doesn't focus on her job, it focuses on Blue herself, her emotions, her relationships with others, and her struggles as a single-mom. It's a powerful series and there are many more like it .

There's Jan, the story of a photographer's assistant helping out on her boss's photography book. There's Dakota, the mini-series about a Vegas poker player who struggles financially while also taking care of a young son. Then there's Christine (played by America Ferarra), a young woman attending a speed dating session for reasons that may surprise you!

There are plenty more series by WIGS and I encourage you to check out some of their work!

Here's a link to the youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/wigs

Screenshot from Dakota

Friday, August 10, 2012

New Website

I started a new website called Bored Over Break which is a nice little catalogue of interesting things one can do while on winter/summer or any other break. I created it because this past summer, I was looking forward to doing so many exciting things this summer, but mostly it amounted up to just only a couple of outings! My summer was certainly pretty boring for the most part.

That's why I'm running this new website so when I get to the next break off from school, I can just refer to this website and pick things to do!

It would help immensely if you could check out my new site, comment, and most importantly, share and tell others about this site! It would also be great if you could send your own submissions if you have any ideas!

Thanks! :)