Alright, it is time to face the music. A lot of my readers have been asking why I have not written about the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement. Let me tell you, it is not because I do not want to, I do want to. I have faced two problems whenever I sit down to write about this whole situation.
Just to clarify, this is not the article I have been trying to work on, these are just my thoughts because I felt like I had to get it out. Here we go:
My first problem is that I have so much I want to say that I don't know where to start or where to end. It kind of leaves me speechless, how ironic. Like should I write about police brutality? If so, how? Should I go in the same direction I did with my Sexual Harassment/Assault article, that white people are also killed by cops but the rate at which it happens to black people is way higher? Should I write about George Floyd? Breonna Taylor? What about Elijah McClain? Should I write about systematic racism in general? If so, what part? Education? Healthcare? Should I make this into a series so I can write about everything? I just do not know. All of this is literally just my thoughts at the moment and I bet if I started REALLY researching, I would find a lot more to talk about. Even with one article, this is taking A LOT of research. If I did a series, an article would not come out for a while since I do have school, work, trying to be active at the gym, and everything else I do in my day to day life.
The second problem I face is trying not to offend anyone. Truthfully, I will offend the racists of the world and I am okay with that. But I am not okay with offending the people I am trying to help. I mean, I don't even know how to refer to the black community. From what I have seen, some people like to be called African American and others prefer black. And this morning, my father sent me an article about the argument between capitalizing black or leaving it lower case. How am I supposed to write something if I don't even know how to refer to the people I want to write about. Trust me, if it were up to me, I would refer to them as just people, but I feel like for the sake of my readers, I would have to differentiate between whites and blacks. So again, I am stuck and I don't know what to do. I would love to hear from my readers about everything I have mentioned above.
Just a little reminder, black lives still matter. Keep fighting. Keep protesting. Keep signing petitions. Keep donating. When there is NO JUSTICE for the people, there shall be NO PEACE for the government.
Stay safe, everyone.
Five years ago today on June 26th, 2015, the Supreme Court said in a 5-4 ruling that same-sex marriage is constitutional and should be recognized by all 50 states. But how did we get here? And where have we gone since then? In this article, we are going to take a dive in some of the biggest milestones in LGBTQ+ history.
I want to highlight the fact that LGBTQ+ history goes way further than where I am going to begin but this is what I was able to find documented. I will also be focusing on the United States history of the LGBTQ+ community and not a worldwide history.
Let's start all the way back to 1649, Sarah White Norman was charged with "lewd behavior" with Mary Vincent Hammon in Massachusetts. Making this the first known conviction for lesbian activity in North America. And in 1779, Thomas Jefferson revised Virginia law and made sodomy punishable by mutilation instead of death.
The next documented milestone does not come for another 145 years, in 1924, Henry Gerber forms the Society for Human Rights in Chicago. This became the first gay group in the United States, even though it was quickly shut down due to political pressure. In 1925, blues singer Ma Rainey is arrested at her house in Harlem for having a lesbian gathering. According to the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network (GLSEN), Rainey was part of an extensive lesbian and bisexual African American women group in Harlem.
In 1948, Alfred Kinsey, a biologist and sex researcher, published the "Sexual Behavior in the Human Male," which found that homosexual behavior was not restricted to people who identify themselves as gay and that 37% of men have experienced homosexual activity at least once. Keep in mind, during this time, homosexuality was still considered an illness so this was very controversial back in the day.
November 11, 1950, the first lasting gay organization is formed by activist Harry Hay in Los Angeles, California. It is called the Mattachine Society and aims to "eliminate discrimination, derision, prejudice, and bigotry" and to assimilate homosexuals into mainstream society.
In 1952, The American Psychiatric Association listed homosexuality as a sociopathic personality disturbance. During that same year, Christine Jorgensen is the first American to come forward about being transgender and her experiences with gender confirmation surgery and hormone replacement therapy. She is, considered by many, the first visible transgender person in the media since it caused an international media sensation.
April 27, 1953, President Dwight Eisenhower signs Executive Order 10450, which bans homosexuals from working in the federal government or any of its private contractors. The Order says homosexuals are a security risk, along with alcoholics. Just 2 years later in 1955, the Daughters of Bilitis (DOB) is founded by Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon in San Francisco. DOB is considered to be the first lesbian rights organization and set out to make this a social alternative to lesbian bars, which at the time were considered illegal.
In 1956, Evelyn Hooker shares her paper "The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual" at the American Psychological Association Convention in Chicago. In her research, Hooker found that heterosexuals and homosexuals do not differ significantly causing clinical change in perceptions of homosexuality.
January 13, 1958, marks the first day in history that the Supreme Court rules in favor of homosexuals. In the case of One, Inc. v. Olesen, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the First Amendment rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender magazine called "One: The Homosexual Magazine."
In 1966, Compton Cafeteria Riot broke out when transgender women were denied service and arrested for breaking gendered clothing laws. And just 3 years later, police try to raid the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 28th, it was a popular gay bar at the time and it was frequently raided by police. This lead to a struggle between police and LGBTQ+ people for four straight days, these riots birthed the modern LGBTQ+ movement.
In 1973, the board of American Psychiatric Association votes 13-0 to remove homosexuality from the list of psychiatric disorders, the DSM-II. Although it is still listed as a Sexual Orientation Disturbance in the DSM-II and then as Egodystonic Homosexuality in the DSM-III. Sexual orientation is only fully removed in the revised version of DSM-III in 1987. In 1973, Maryland became the first state to ban same-sex marriage and, during that same time, Lambda Legal becomes the first legal organization established to fight for LGBTQ+ equal rights.
January 9, 1978, Harvey Milk is inaugurated as city supervisor for San Francisco, becoming the first openly gay man to be elected in California. In November, Milk and Mayor George Moscone are murdered by Dan White. Later that year, Gilbert Baker, inspired by Milk to develop a symbol of pride and hope for the LGBTQ+ community, designs and stitches the first ever rainbow flag.
October 14, 1979, the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights draws an estimate of 75,000 to 125,000 individuals fighting for LGBTQ+ rights. One year later in 1980, Democrats are the first political party to add "gay rights" to their platform.
In 1982, nearly 800 people are infected with GRID (Gay-Related Immunodeficiency Disorder). When the disorder is also found outside of the gay community, biologist Bruce Voeller successfully lobbies to change the name to AIDS. Many events related to the AIDS crisis happened in the coming years, too many to go into detail but here are some highlights: People v. West 12 Tenants Corp. (first HIV/AIDS discrimination lawsuit), National March on Washington (demand that President Reagan address the AIDS crisis), Ryan White Care Act (federally funded program for people living with AIDS), and ACT UP is founded (LGBTQ+ Community Center to bring attention to AIDS-related issues).
November 30, 1993, President Bill Clinton signs the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. It is a military policy banning openly gay and lesbian Americans from serving in the military, but also prohibits the harassment of closeted homosexuals. Just a year later in 1996, President Clinton also signed the Defense of Marriage Act, banning federal recognition of same-sex marriage. He defined marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife."
In 2002, New York Times expands its definition of "gender" to protect transgender and gender non-conforming people in employment, housing, and public accommodations. In May 17th, 2004, the first legal same-sex marriage in the United States takes place in Massachusetts between Marcia Kadish and Tanya McCloskey. In 2006, Kim Coco Iwamoto is the first openly transgender person to be elected to a state level office in the United States, she was elected to be in the Board of Education in Hawaii.
In 2009, President Obama signs the Matthew Shepard Act into law. This expands the 1969 definition of hate-crime to include crimes motivated by a victims sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. This was the first federal law to include protections for transgender people. In 2011, the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy officially ends. This allowed gays, lesbians, and bisexuals to openly serve in the military, although this does not include transgender people.
October 4, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court denies to review five different marriage cases and allowing lower court rulings to stand. Therefore allowing same-sex marriage in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana, and Wisconsin. This opens doors for Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Wyoming to allow for the right of same-sex couples to marry.
FINALLY, on June 26th, exactly five years ago in 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states cannot ban same-sex marriage. This 5-4 ruling made same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states. On June 24th, 2016, President Obama announces the designation of The Stonewall National Monument, which is the first national monument for LGBTQ+ rights.
June 30, 2016, Secretary of Defense Carter announces the Pentagon will be lifting the ban on transgender people serving openly in the military. And a year later in 2017, the District of Columbia allows their residents to choose a gender-neutral option on their driver's license or identification cards.
It looked for a second that things were getting better, but we all know what happened in 2016: the Era of Trump began. On June 30th, 2017, the US department of Defense announced a 6 month delay in allowing transgender people to serve in the military and a month later, Donald Trump took to Twitter to announce that the "United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US Military..."
February 26, 2018, the Pentagon announced that the first transgender person has signed a contract to join the US military. In March of that same year, the Trump administration announces a new policy that bans most transgender people from serving in the military. The Supreme Court allowed the policy to go into effect in January of 2019.
June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that federal law protects LGBTQ+ workers from discrimination. A big slap to the face to the Trump administration who argued that discrimination based on sex did not extend to claims of gender identity and sexual orientation.
As you can see, the LGBTQ+ history is filled with 2 steps forward, 1 step back or even 1 step forward, 2 steps back. Do not give up. Keep fighting for your rights. Happy Pride Month, everyone.
Alright, it is time to face the music. I've had a lot of my readers ask why I have not written an article about the Black Lives Matter (BLM) Movement. Let me just start by saying, it is NOT because I don't want to. Trust me, I do. I have been trying to write one ever since the protests began but honestly I have faced two big problems every time I have sat down to write the article. First, I have so much I want to say that I feel like I would have to do a series. And second, I don't want to offend anyone or to get any details wrong.
(This is not the article I am working on, these are just my thoughts so you guys understand why I have been taking so long with this)
Here is what I mean by problem number one. Although I do feel like I have a lot to say, I am honestly at a loss for words and I don't even know where to begin. Should I talk about police brutality? If so, how? Maybe go in the same direction I went with the Sexual Harassment/Assault article, making a point that white people are also killed by cops but the rate at which it happens to people of the black community is way higher? Should I talk about George Floyd? Breonna Taylor? What about Elijah McClain? Should I talk about systematic racism in general? If so, what part? Schooling? Housing? Healthcare? I just have no idea where to start or where to finish. There is so much more to what the people in these communities experience than police brutality that I feel it would be unfair to just talk about that. But then I think of the victims and their families and I want to write about every single one of them. I just don't know and these are literally just the thoughts that are going through my head right at this moment, I have approximately 200 pictures on my phone of things I have found online that I want to research and write about in relation to the BLM Movement. My head has been spinning and I am going to try my hardest to put something together for you guys but I have to figure out how I am going to do it, what I am going to say, and what exactly I want to touch on.
My second problem is that I really do not want to offend anyone. I mean, what if I write about the victims and the families don't like what I have to say? I highly doubt that they would come across the article but it is on the internet and anyone has access to it. What if I write something that black people don't like? I mean, I don't even know how to refer to black people because if it were up to me, I would refer to them as people but for the sake of my readers I have to differentiate between white and black. And just this morning, my father sent me an article about whether to call them African Americans, black, or Black. I DON'T KNOW! And I don't want to offend anyone but from what I have seen, some people prefer to be called African American and others black. And if they do prefer to be called black, should I capitalize it or leave it lower-cased? Again, I have no idea. I know I am going to offend people no matter what I say but honestly my goal is to offend the racists and make them uncomfortable. Make them realize what is going on is wrong. I do not, in any way, want to offend the people I am trying to help.
I know that when I am working as a journalist, I won't have the luxury of time and that sucks. But while I do, I would like to take the most time I can when it comes to sensitive subjects like this. I hope you guys understand.
Just a little reminder while I still have you here: black lives still matter even if your Instagram feed has gone back to normal! Do not stop talking! Do not stop donating! Do not stop signing petitions! Do not stop protesting! Just remember: NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE!
Disclaimer: This article includes facts, statistics, and personal anecdotes from anonymous sources about sexual harassment and sexual assault. If these topics make you uncomfortable, please stop reading now.
Before discussing serious topics like this, it is important to understand a few things.
A lot of people think that sexual harassment has to be something as aggressive as rape, but the truth is sexual harassment can be something as little as cat-calling someone on the street.
Sexual harassment is defined as behavior characterized by the making of unwelcome and inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances in a workplace or other professional or social situation.
Those inappropriate comments you made to your coworker? Sexual harassment. Those unsolicited nudes you sent to your classmate? Sexual harassment. Touching someone without their consent even if it did not seem inappropriate? Sexual. Harassment.
While there is a clear definition of sexual harassment, the same cannot be said about sexual assault as it is defined differently in every state. However, sexual assault usually refers to sexual contact or behavior, often physical, that occurs without the consent of the victim.
Therefore, sexual harassment is any unwelcome or inappropriate advances or remarks, while sexual assault is non-consensual sexual contact or behavior.
Now that we got that straight, let's start with sexual harassment:
It is very difficult to give exact statistics of sexual harassment because the law does not protect against simple teasing or isolated incidents. Sexual harassment is only punishable by law if it is very serious, occurs frequently, or in the context of employment.
However, a survey launched in January of 2018, by the nonprofit organization Stop Street Harassment, found that 81% of women report experiencing some sort of sexual harassment in their lifetime.
Most sexual harassment cases are mild and not illegal. Still, these situations happen so often that some women, at least myself and most of the women I talk to, can't even tell the difference between a guy with good intentions, oppose to, bad intentions.
"When I first started college, I decided to download Tinder. Most of the conversations went nowhere, but if I liked talking to a guy enough, I would give them my Snapchat to continue talking. I had to delete Tinder after a while because even if they seemed nice beforehand, the first thing most guys would do when I gave them my Snapchat is send a dick pic."
Sexual harassment isn't just cat-calling or unwanted explicit photos, many things are considered to be sexual harassment.
Requests for sexual favors, jokes about sexual acts or sexual orientation, pressuring someone to engage in sexual activity, unwelcome sexual advances, and unwanted touching are all examples of sexual harassment as well.
"One time, I was in a college bar with my friends. We were dancing and having a good time when I felt a hand slap my ass very hard to the point that my butt was stinging a little bit afterward. When I turned around to look at who it was, I saw this guy that I didn't even know smiling at me. I asked him 'What do you think you are doing?' All he said before walking away is 'Don't pretend you didn't like it.'"
Sexual harassment and sexual assault usually get lumped together into one, because some forms of sexual harassment overlap with sexual assault.
Something important to understand about sexual assault is that, like sexual harassment, it can occur without clothes ever being removed. Some types of sexual assault include sexual touching, pinching, groping, and attempted rape.
"I had a friend who was 14 and she was dating a guy that was 18. I think that should have been the first warning sign. Either way, we all became friends, and one day he asked me to come to the gym in my building. I said okay. We were on the stairs and out of nowhere he pushed me against the wall. He was way stronger than me because I was a skinny 14-year-old and he was a muscular 18-year-old. I kept telling him to stop, and he kept telling me that I would like it and that I should let myself go. When he tried to get into my pants, I took the chance to escape. Eventually, I told my friend and she left him."
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 1 in every 5 women report experiencing some sort of sexual assault. Other forms of sexual assault include physical violence, sexual fondling, forcible sodomy, and, of course, rape.
"This [is about] one guy I met at school the day after I crashed my car. I was overthinking and he came to ask me if I was okay. He seemed like a nice guy, and I just said I had no one to lean on because I have no friends here. He said he would be my friend. We exchanged numbers and started talking on a friend basis until he asked me to go eat somewhere. In the restaurant, he started getting into 'How's your life?' 'How's your love life?' 'Why aren't you with someone? You are so beautiful.' We left the restaurant and he wanted to continue talking in his car. When we were in his car, he started taking my pants off. I told him I don't want to while holding onto my pants. He ended up eating me out and fingering me."
Sexual assault can have lasting effects on the victim. The Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network (RAINN) reports that 94% of women who are raped experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) 2 weeks after the rape and 30% of women report symptoms of PTSD 9 months after the rape.
RAINN also reported that 33% of women who are raped contemplate suicide and 13% actually attempt suicide.
"It feels like a never-ending cycle. I felt like a different person while it was happening. I felt so powerless and I remember telling myself 'if I enjoy it, it is not rape.'"
A huge misconception about sexual assault is that only men commit sexual assault, that is the opposite of the truth. Although men are indeed more likely to commit sexual assault, the results may surprise you.
The National Crime Victimization Survey, conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, found that female perpetrators were reported in 34.7% of rape or sexual assault cases with male victims and 4.2% with female victims.
Another survey, the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, found that women were more likely to experience abuse from male perpetrators, as were males who reported being penetrated without consent. But, when it came to other types of sexual victimization, 68.6% of male victims reported female perpetrators.
"When we were like five or six, my sister and I went to daycare while our parents went to work. It was more of a house where they would take care of kids, but it was right across my parent's office. My parents trusted them since they were all women. They had a 14 or 15-year-old family member that would take care of the kids too. She would kiss us, touch us inappropriately, and would even try to get us to touch her. I knew it was wrong because she would do it in hidden places so I told someone else in the house and we never went back."
The biggest misconception out there about sexual assault is that it only happens to women, at least that is what the media and general public seem to focus on.
Now, I know that in this article, I tend to focus a lot more on the women's side of things but that's because the fact is, yes, women are way more likely to be sexually assaulted than men. According to RAINN, 90% of adult rape victims are female, but that does not mean there are not male victims out there as well.
Earlier in the article, it was mentioned that 81% of women experience sexual harassment in their lifetime. Although the number is almost cut in half, that same survey found that 43% of men report experiencing sexual harassment in their lifetime.
Statistics collected by RAINN also show, although the numbers vary a little in other surveys, that 1 in every 33 men will report experiencing attempted or completed rape, while 1 in every 6 women report experiencing attempted or completed rape.
Furthermore, as of 1998, an estimate of 17.7 million women and 2.78 million men reported being victims of attempted or completed rape.
The reality is that women ARE far more likely to experience sexual harassment/assault, but that does NOT give the public or the media the right to simply ignore the male victims who are also experiencing this.
The heart of the matter is that every 73 seconds an American is sexually assaulted. Not male or female, not white or black. An American.
And that is the real problem that we should be focusing on.
If you or someone you know has suffered or is suffering from sexual harassment or sexual assault, please call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline (800-656-4673) to speak to a trained staff member or visit hotline.rainn.org/online to talk to a trained staff member online.
Chatterjee, Rhitu. “A New Survey Finds 81 Percent Of Women Have Experienced Sexual Harassment.” NPR, NPR, 22 Feb. 2018, www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2018/02/21/587671849/a-new-survey-finds-eighty-percent-of-women-have-experienced-sexual-harassment.
“Statistics.” National Sexual Violence Resource Center, www.nsvrc.org/statistics.
Stemple, Lara, et al. “Sexual Victimization Perpetrated by Women: Federal Data Reveal Surprising Prevalence.” Aggression and Violent Behavior, Pergamon, 28 Sept. 2016, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359178916301446.
“Victims of Sexual Violence: Statistics.” RAINN, www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence
I will address that this article was written on March 20th, 2020. Meaning that the information in this article is only accurate up to that date. This is important because, with viruses and pandemics, things change every day and new information may be discovered at any moment.
With everything that is going on, I have decided to postpone or just completely botch my previous promised articles and write about the current national issue, aka the Coronavirus pandemic. I know you all may be tired of hearing about the virus at this point, but there is a lot of misinformation going around (shame on you fellow journalists spreading fear) so I mostly wanted to address why we should all be staying inside and avoiding big crowds as much as possible, but I will also be touching a little bit on where to get your information from, tips to protect yourself, and ideas of things to do during quarantine/social distancing.
A lot of people, especially Spring Breakers, have not been listening to the recommended “social distancing” put out by the government since the virus hasn’t been “that bad” here in the United States, but the reason the government has been taking these measures now is because, during a pandemic, it really is better to be safe than sorry. What the government is trying to do, some of you may have heard of it already, is something called “flattening the curve” (example image attached below). The curve is the amount of people who get sick at a time versus the amount of days after the initial breakout, by flattening the curve we avoid overwhelming our health system, like what is happening in Italy right now. Italy did not take many precautions to the Coronavirus and so everyone got sick at the same time, thus overwhelming their health systems and hospitals. Doctors had to make the incredibly hard decision of who lives and who dies based on who was more probable to survive. They did not have enough beds, resources, or even doctors to be able to take care of everyone at once. Because of this, they have even surpassed the amount of deaths in China, where the virus first started spreading. The reason we are all being recommended to stay inside as much as possible is because by avoiding contact with other people, we avoid spreading the virus, and therefore avoid overwhelming our hospitals, this is what flattening the curve is all about and we have seen it work before! When the Spanish Flu started spreading in America in the early 1900s, the states didn’t know what to do. We saw it go two ways: Philadelphia and St. Louis. Philadelphia decided to hold a parade even with multiple cases of the Spanish Flu, two thousand people were dead just a week later. St. Louis took a completely different route: even before their first case was reported, they were already warning people to avoid large crowds. When there was the first outbreak, they closed the schools, public places (movie theaters, public pools, etc...), and cancelled all public events. By doing this, they were able to flatten the curve and keep the epidemic from exploding in one night. As a result, they suffered half the casualties Philadelphia did.
(The red curve would represent Philadelphia and the blue curve would represent St. Louis from the previous example).
It is almost unavoidable that most of us will get sick, experts are predicting 70% of Americans will catch the Coronavirus. But by staying inside and avoiding contact with other people, we can lower the amount of people that get sick at the same time and hospitals will not be overwhelmed. Hopefully by doing this and taking such precautions as the government has taken, our hospitals can take care of every patient and, untimely, end up saving more lives.
One thing I hate the most about this whole situation is the misinformation and panic people are spreading. A lot of people read the news or media outlets for information on the Coronavirus but the only places you should be getting your information from are the CDC, WHO, and verified health professionals! I see news outlets asking celebrities what they think about the virus as if they are professionals on the subject. Most of the information I gathered for this article, and someone I 100% recommend to everyone, is from Dr. Mike on YouTube. He is an actual doctor putting out very informational content every week while also keeping it fun. He has been doing updates on the Coronavirus and addressing common misinformation being spread, anything he talks about in his videos can also be found through the CDC and WHO (which is where he gets the information for his videos). One of the reasons I’m not one of those panic buyers at Walmart getting toilet paper is because his videos actually subdued my fears about the Coronavirus. Please start educating yourselves from the right sources and let’s stop spreading panic! Something that Dr. Mike always says is “be alert, not anxious.” Basically, take the right precautions to protect yourself, because it is ultimately up to us to protect ourselves from this virus, and don’t panic. Panicking is the worst thing we can all do at the moment as there is nothing we can do about the virus other than washing our hands, staying inside, and stopping the spread.
I’m going to give you guys a list of things Dr. Mike and some of my teachers at UCF have recommended to stay safe:
1. Wash your hands as much as possible. Hand sanitizer works as well but washing your hands is the best you can do.
2. Do your best to stay at home. ESPECIALLY if you are sick. The best thing we can do for this situation is staying inside and stopping the spread.
3. Avoid large crowds. The government says to avoid crowds larger than 10, but limiting your contact with as many people as you can is the goal.
4. Avoid commonly touched areas with your finger tips, like doorknobs. If possible use your elbows or another part of your body as those don’t touch your face.
5. Try to avoid misinformation. Like I mentioned above the only information you should be reading should come from the CDC, WHO, and verified health professionals.
And now, here are a couple of tips of things to do while staying home:
1. At home exercises: many fitness professionals on Instagram and YouTube have started showing at home fitness workouts on their platforms. Have been putting off the gym? Well, now you got nothing but time hehe
2. Read a book: I have a lot of books I’ve been putting off reading in my bookshelf, and I know you guys do too.
3. Watch that series you’ve always wanted to: I have given myself a goal to finish all the Marvel and Star War movies/TV shows on Disney+, what’s your goal?
4. Group FaceTime your friends: You may not be able to hang out in person, but that is why cellphones exist (sorry Non-iPhone users).
5. Apparently Google has lifted its censors and below you will find a list of things to search that, according to Instagram, will blow your mind.
(Creds to Sarha for posting this on her Snapchat)
7. Spend time with your pets (if you have any): I’ve been spending extra time with my ferret hehe
8. Do your homework: we all still have school and using the “I didn’t have time” excuse just won’t cut it anymore (sorry friends).
9. Get informed about random things: I don’t know about you guys but I love researching/learning random things. During the quarantine, I want to read more about Abnormal Psychology and the Psychology of Colors (future article as you may know). Just because I am a journalism major, doesn’t mean I can’t learn about psychology!
10. Learn to cook: I know many supermarkets ran out of food but I personally can’t cook and when they go back into stock, I intend on learning. Wish me luck (hope I don’t burn the house down).
Anyways everyone, I hope you guys enjoyed. I know this was a little different than my previous articles but I feel like there has been so much negativity that I wanted to have a part that was serious and one that was light-hearted. Let me know what you thought! Stay safe everyone <3
I know it has been a little while but I have had a busy past couple of weeks. I recently started studying at the University of Central Florida (go Knights, charge on hehe) at their Journalism program in the electronic track, which is broadcast journalism. I have been trying to get adjusted to this exciting new phase of my life but now that things have calmed down a little, I am back! I know, you all missed me very much ;)
So here are some articles that I will be working on/posting in the next few weeks:
1) Tips on how to study for midterms
2) How to stay safe and environmentally friendly during spring break at Las Olas, Fort Lauderdale
3) The Psychology of Colors
4) University of Central Florida: a History
Hope you are all excited for these as much as I am!
Glad to be back,
Clara Melo de Paula
With the year coming to a close, I like to look back and reflect on my accomplishments and everything that has happened this past year. But since that is a little personal and it is the end of the decade, I want to write about everything that has happened world wide throughout this decade. The good, the bad, and the dirty. Let's get into it.
One of the biggest things about this decade is the progress in technology that we have made. In 2010, phones changed forever. Smartphones were nothing new but this decade has put limitless amount of information and entertainment at the tip of our fingers. Phones went from being something people used to communicate to so much more, with games and applications and endless information from the web. Don't know something? Google it. In another country? Translate it. It became as easy as that.
Many apps that were released this decade have changed how we live our lives. Uber altered how we get around, Airbnb changed where we stay, Netflix reshaped what we watch and when, and Amazon transformed retail in the biggest way possible.
With phones came social media, that allowed people to express themselves and women to speak out, such as with the Me Too Movement. This movement allowed women to talk about their sexual assault stories and opened people's eyes about the abuse in Hollywood. Hollywood also recognized the under representation of people of color in award shows such as the Oscars. Furthermore, more female artists, such as Beyonce and Taylor Swift, found themselves on the top charts this decade and the media has also helped artists from around the world to find their fan base, such as K-pop and Latin artists. I mean, Despacito is the most watched video of all time on YouTube.
NONE of that would have happened without social media.
But, of course, with the good comes the bad. Social media became a place for bullying and harassment. Although people try to monitor those things, it is still a big problem especially for kids who are cyber bullied from people they know at school or even strangers. And many retail stores became victims of modern commerce, such as Toys R Us that went bankrupt and had to close down all their stores nationwide, and thousands of people lost their jobs with no warning.
Social media also allowed us to open our eyes about the natural disasters happening, scientists have warned us about global warming for decades but social media and the internet really helped get the research out there. Natural disasters are happening more frequently and are now taken as evidence of climate change. Wildfires are occurring more and more all over the world, from California to the Amazon in Brazil. Coastal communities are on edge as sea levels rise and hurricanes bring in more and more water. Not to the mention, THE POLAR BEARS *insert sad face*. It is still not clear what the nations will do to combat climate change and unfortunately not much has been done this decade.
Many countries fell into despair these past few years. Syria collapsed into civil war and untold suffering, hundreds of thousands were killed and millions displaced in the process. ISIS and other terrorist groups started enlisting willing victims and killing those who disagreed with their ideals. Full grown extremism spread hate and attacks all over the world, killing innocent civilians in France and United Kingdom. Moreover, this was another decade with countless mass killings, from Muslims to American school children. In China, more than 3 million Muslims are being held in concentration camps and are being subjected to a regime of surveillance and old-fashioned torture.
Writer's thoughts: Can I just say how crazy it is that basically Holocaust part 2 is happening in China and NO ONE is talking about it? Okay, back to the article.
This decade we also saw a big swing in American politics, going from the first African American president who stood for diversity and social justice to a president under whom race relations soured and attitudes towards immigrants hardened (sorry not sorry Trump supporters). In contrast to America, Canada stood as a bastion for moderation and diversity. Syrian refugees were welcomed with open arms and even others who claimed asylum at our borders. Canada also added gender identity in the Human Rights Act, which many transgender people have waited a long time for, and became the first major economy to legalize pot.
There were many tragedies that broke our hearts in Canada as well, like the train disaster at Lac Megantic, the nursing home fire in Quebec, and the opioid epidemic that quietly claimed 14,000 Canadian lives in the last four years.
This was also a decade to celebrate sports, with over three winter olympics and more women athletes attaining global stature. I don't really keep up with sports so I will just leave this one to the experts.
As for human achievements, we begun to edit human genomes in the fight against disease, we've witnessed human courage in the front lines against Ebola, and we saw human spirit in the rescue of a Thai soccer team.
This year was also a big win for human curiosity of the universe. We took a look at our first black hole, searched for organic molecules in Saturn's orbit, and even found organic molecules on Mars! We have been close to Pluto and the Voyager Spacecraft left our Solar System. We have seen planets from far away that look similar to our own and the idea of aliens has become more widely accepted. Not to mention, the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle and gravitational waves that help explain physics of cosmos, confirming theories 100 years after Einstein came up with them (talk about a man ahead of his time).
Canada's most accomplished astronaut, Chris Hadfield, flew his final mission as did the US space shuttle program. China has gone to the moon, the European sent a spacecraft to land on a comet, and NASA's osiris-rex went to an asteroid and is bringing back samples. And, of course, Elon Musk's private company, SpaceX, is revolutionizing space transportation and doing it with reusable rockets. Who knows what we will learn about the universe in the next 10 years?
Just like any decade, this one had it's ups and downs. Like I said above, with the good comes the bad. That is just how life is, but we can hope right? We can hope that we will get better and do better. Well readers, here are my hopes for the decade to come: I hope people will become more inclusive, I hope women continue to thrive and speak up, I hope school shootings stop, I hope someone does something about the Muslims in China, I hope that we can fight climate change, and I hope that we can spread more love than hate. I know, it's a lot to ask but that's why they call it hope, right?
Happy New Years and I hope you all have the greatest 2020 ever!
New post coming tomorrow!
For now, enjoy these pictures from my trip to Punta Cana!
Happy Holidays everyone!
Punta Cana is the easternmost part of the Dominican Republic, it is mostly known for it's 20 miles of beaches and clear waters.
Two weeks ago, I took a short little trip there through the company Club Med, known for their all inclusive resort experiences around the world. All-inclusive food, drinks, and (mostly) all-inclusive activities so you have something to do every hour of the day.
I honestly have no complaints about Club Med. Usually with resorts that are all inclusive food, the buffet isn't really that great. The food is usually mediocre, but at Club Med everything that I ate was absolutely delicious, from breakfast to dinner. And there were so many fun activities to do, I felt like we barely had time to sit down and relax.
Honestly, there aren't words to describe how fun this trip was soooo... I put together two short videos so you guys can see it for yourselves.
Click the videos down below to watch! Enjoyyyyyy :)
Shane Dawson is a YouTuber who has been on the platform since 2008 and was one of the first YouTubers to rise to fame, accumulating over half a million views by 2010. Shane started his career by making comedy sketches, moved into conspiracy and food videos for a little while, and now Shane makes docu-series, where he follows creators such as Jake Paul, Tana Mongeau, and Jeffree Star.
Shane now has over 23 million subscribers, making him one of the top 100 subscribed channels, and has over 5 billion views.
In his first docu-series with Jeffree Star, Jeffree suggests that Shane should create a makeup collection and his most recent series came to life. For the past year, Shane and Jeffree have been working hard on their "Conspiracy Collection" which contains 23 separate products, including 2 palettes, 6 lipsticks, bags, and more.
Writer's Note: you can follow the journey of the creation of the collection on Shane Dawson's YouTube channel, shane, in his most recent docu-series "The Beautiful World of Jeffree Star". I will also only be reviewing the items that I purchased and not the entire collection (the Conspiracy Palette, the Mini Controversy Palette, the 6 lipsticks, the black Pig Mirror, the Shane Glossing lip gloss, and the lip balm).
One thing I will say before reviewing each product individually is that Shane also made this palette personal to him by naming all the eye shadow and lipstick shades after his friends and favorite things. For example, there is a lip stick named after his fiance, Ryland Adams, and an eye shadow named after one of his longest friends, Trisha. Which, for me, just makes these products even more special.
Okay, let's start with the Conspiracy Palette and the Mini Controversy Palette. From the get go, the palette boxes are just beautiful, the Conspiracy Palette follows a black hypnotic spiral theme while the Mini Controversy Palette follows a static theme (pictures of the products and swatches will be down below).
At first, I was a little wary to buy the palettes because they don't really follow a color scheme and have a lot of colors that I don't usually use. But here's the kicker, that is what makes these palettes special. Before I bought these palettes, I would never even think of wearing pink, green, yellow, etc... eye shadow but these palettes pushed me to play around with colors and try new things. Ever since it arrived, I've used different colors more than I have ever had in my entire life.
Everything is also great quality and that can be seen in the swatches down below. The colors just really stick and what you see is what you get on your eyes, whereas many palettes I've bought in the past the colors fade.
One bad thing about one of the eye shadows is that Trisha stains a little bit and your eyes will most likely be a little pink the day after.
The lipsticks, however, I am not a big fan of. I love the "Are you filming?" and "I gotta go" but I did not like how 3 out of the 6 lipsticks are pink. I personally do not like how pink lipstick looks against my skin and I wish they had made maybe a brown or just a darker color for people with tanned skin like me. I should've just bought the two lipsticks I like because I do not think I will ever be using the pink ones.
On the other hand, like everything else in this collection, the quality of the lipsticks are to die for. The colors are very vibrant and the lipsticks do not bleed, which is always my main concern when buying lipsticks.
There is not much to say about the black Pig Mirror other than it is iconic because Shane's symbol is a pig and that it was much bigger than what I expected it to be. I actually stopped using my old mirror and only use the Pig Mirror now.
The Shane Glossing lip gloss and lip balm are also amazing. The packaging, the quality, everything about these two is just amazing. With other lip balms, I actually feel like I have to apply it many times throughout the day whereas Shane's lip balm I apply it maybe once or twice and it lasts the whole day, same with the lip gloss. Although I do not like the smell of it because it is supposed to smell like Diet Root Beer, Shane's favorite drink, it still feels amazing on the lips and would definitely recommend.
Now, let's talk about launch day because it. was. crazy.
Shane Dawson's and Jeffree Star's Conspiracy Collection came out on November 1st and several minutes before the products even launched Beautylish, one of Jeffree Star's biggest online retailers, website crashed and Beautybay, another one of Jeffree's online retailers, also crashed seconds before the launch. And it only got worst from there.
On Shopify, the e-commerce website Jeffree Star Cosmetics uses, they were the #1 top store 60 seconds before the products launched over all the 500,000 other websites that use Shopify. But all the products couldn't even upload on the website because of how much traffic there was, with over 2 million people trying to buy the Conspiracy Collection on Jeffree Star Cosmetics.
As you can imagine, Jeffree's website crashed as well for several hours and everyone was put in an online line because the website could not handle having everyone check out at the same time. I personally was waiting in line for 2 hours and a half, with a few moments in between when I was able to add some products to my cart.
Overall, the Conspiracy Collection was sold out everywhere selling over 1 million palettes in the first 30 minutes. Unfortunately the whole collection will not restock until March of 2020 but the YouTubers did a pre-order restock of the Conspiracy and the Mini Controversy palette with 60,000 units available (Mini Controversy can still be purchased on Jeffree's website).
Furthermore, Shane Dawson and Jeffree Star broke every sales record on both the Jeffree Star Cosmetics website and Morphe stores making this one of the biggest, if not the biggest, makeup launch in history.
Having been a fan of Shane for a little under 6 years now, I can only say that I am super proud of him and that I know there are many more amazing things he will do with his life. Congratulations to both of you for breaking the internet and breaking all those sale records. The collection is absolutely amazing and I wish you both the best of luck with your future endeavors.
Down below is a video compilation of some of the looks I have done with the Conspiracy and Mini Controversy. I am no makeup guru and I really only do one style of eye shadow (light color over the eyelid, darker color in the corner of my eyes, and eyeliner done with eye shadow).
Smallville is a show following the story of Clark Kent, more commonly known as Superman. However this show is not a normal Superman story, it actually follows his path to becoming Superman. So basically Superman before Superman.
Just like any other Superman story, the origins are the same: a baby, Kal-El, is sent to Earth by his parents, Jar-El and Lara-El, to escape a doomed planet called Krypton through a meteor shower. The baby is found by farm owning couple, Jonathan and Martha Kent, in Smallville, Kansas. He is then raised among humans with special abilities, some (but definitely not all) of which include super-speed, super-strength, super-hearing, laser-vision, and X-ray vision. And he can only be hurt by one thing: Kryptonite.
Authors Note: I will try to review this show without giving away any spoilers as I know that some of my audience is currently watching the show. Yes, I am talking to you Daniel, finish season one already. And if there are any spoilers, there will be a spoiler alert along with where to pick up.
Smallville was released on October 16, 2001 and is composed of 10 seasons and 217 episodes total. Throughout seasons 1-4, Clark is in high school battling what they call “Meteor Freaks”, aka people infected by Kryptonite, that came with Clark when he was sent to Earth, and were given special abilities. Seasons 5-7 is mostly him learning more about his Kryptonion heritage and his destiny on Earth. And seasons 8-10 are about him working at the Daily Planet with Lois Lane.
Now, before I finished the show, I had a major problem with one thing: how long they took to make him Superman. I was going to rant about that in this review until I watched the last episode of the show. Throughout the seasons, we see Clark save many people, from strangers to friends to enemies. And his fathers interactive conscious in the Fortress of Solitude, something brought with Clark to help guide him through his quest, puts him through many trials to make him the hero he is destined to become.
Spoiler Alert! Skip the next paragraph if you haven’t finished the show.
Butttt... in the last episode, we find out that what Clark perceived as Jar-Els “trials” weren’t really the trials he needed to face at all. His trials were the people he saved and the situations he was put in. Although I do think they didn’t make him Superman in the tv show because of legal reasons, they still made it work very well because, like I said in the beginning, this story is supposed to be about HOW Clark Kent became Superman, not him BEING Superman. And everything that Clark went through in all 10 seasons made him the hero we know and love. So they actually had a reason not to make him Superman in the tv show, which I really appreciated because I, and probably other fans, was wondering why he was not wearing his iconic outfit and was called "The Blur" instead of "Superman"
However, one thing I think the show didn’t do very well in the first few seasons is the storyline. Most of seasons 1-5 are him facing a different villain every episode and the only episodes that really mattered to the story were the first and last few episodes of the season, everything else was just filler to achieve the amount of episodes they needed.
They basically avoided the actual storyline until the last episodes of the season instead of doing what most tv shows do which is have those obstacles while also telling a story at the same time.
After season 6, they fixed that a little bit and the show actually got much better. The storyline was continuous throughout the whole season while he also faced different villains and different scenarios. The fight scenes got better and the plot twists were a little predictable but still very shocking to see.
Overall, the show is really good for the time it came from and it actually became one of my favorite superhero shows. I would recommend this show for the people that watch Arrow, Flash, etc... on the CW because it is very similar to how those shows are.
And although the show is over, you can still catch Tom Welling reviving his role as Clark Kent in this years CW superhero cross-over episodes titled "Crisis on Infinite Earths". It is confirmed that the following superheros will appear: 3 Supermans (Tom Welling, Brandon Routh, and Tyler Hoechlin), Lucifer Morningstar (Tom Ellis), Arrow (Stephen Amell), Flash (Grant Gustin), Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), Batwoman (Ruby Rose), and all the Legends of Tomorrow heroes (Caity Lotz, Brandon Routh, Dominic Purcell, Maisie Richardson-Sellers, Nick Zano, Tasla Ashe, and Matt Ryan).
As a child, trick-or-treating was always my favorite part of Halloween, I mean free candy DUH! But I was always warned to check my candy for any open wrappers, suspicious looking ones, and to pay attention to the people handing out the candy for specifically one reason: candy laced with drugs.
Now, to some, drug laced candy is something of a myth. I mean why would someone lace candy with drugs if drugs cost so much money? And to others, it is taken very seriously. Someone would hand out drug laced candy for the same reason someone would put drugs in a persons drink: put them at a disadvantage to take advantage.
But is there any actual evidence backing each side?
After doing much research and reading the evidence collected by Joel Best, Ph.D., author and professor in the University of Delaware’s Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, I have found there is no actual evidence of candy being laced with drugs on Halloween night.
Don't get me wrong, I cannot say it has NEVER happened before, there was a case about a father who drugged his own kids candy for the insurance money, but from what I have read it is really not that common. The evidence mostly suggests that something scary and drug related happens in September and the fear carries out through Halloween.
For example September 25th, 2014, two men were arrested in Eugene, Oregon, for carrying nearly 3 pounds of candy laced with ecstasy. The two men were detained and charged before they could do any harm. And although it was still a month away from Halloween, authorities warned people to keep a look out on Halloween day.
Another very popular example happened a little while back but it inspired copycats throughout the years, the Tylenol murders. For those not familiar with the case, the Tylenol murders in happened in late September and early October of 1982 in Chicago. It killed 7 people and the person responsible was never found.
However, although your kids candy may not be laced with meth and ecstasy, the DEA's biggest concern this year is candy laced with THC, the main component of marijuana, since it has gained legality in some states.
I am a very "better safe than sorry" type of person and I do not like to take these things lightly! Although it may not happen often, it could happen to you. Most people go through life thinking "oh that will never happen to me" but the truth is it could happen to anyone!
Stay safe and have a great Halloween!
Whether you are dressing up for a party or for trick-or-treating, Halloween is one of the most celebrated holidays in America. I mean, who doesn't want to be someone else for a night, am I right? However, when Halloween first started it was nothing like it is today. Most scholars agree that Halloween started 2,000 years ago but it was a festival celebrated by the Celtic people called Samhain, where they celebrated the end of the harvest and start of a new year. So how did Halloween become what it is today?
The Celtic people not only celebrated the end of the harvest, but it is also believed that Samhain was a time to communicate with the dead and light big bonfires to honor them. When the Romans took over most Celtic territory by 43 A.D., they brought their own fall festival called Feralia, which was also to celebrate those who passed away.
There wasn't any drastic changes as to how it was celebrated until 1,000 A.D. when Christian popes tried to replace these Non-Christian holidays (Samhain and Feralia) and created their own holiday named All Souls' Day, which was celebrated November 2nd, and All Saints' Day, celebrated November 1st. All Souls' Day was a day for the living to pray for the dead and All Saints' Day was to honor the saints. However, All Saints' Day was also called All Hallows, making October 31st All Hallows Eve, and later on Halloween.
Regardless of the religious efforts by the popes, the English people still associated it with the wandering of the dead. People would set out gifts for the spirits and as time went on people started to practice "mumming", which is similar to trick-or-treating where people dress up in scary costumes for treats.
The first similar celebration to Halloween in America started in the South. People would tell each other ghosts stories, fortunes, and celebrate the harvest, but this was called "play parties" and not Halloween just yet.
In the 1700s and 1800s, women started using Halloween to find husbands. They would competitively bob for apples because the winner would marry first and throw apple peels over their shoulders hoping their husbands initials would appear. Believe it or not, women would also stand in a dark room with only one candle lit in front of a mirror in hopes their husbands face would show up.
The holiday became really popular in the middle of the 19th century when many Irish people migrated to other countries because of the potato famine. With their migration also came their superstitions and beliefs, such as the jack-o-lanterns to ward off evil spirits. Although kids were still not trick-or-treating, they were playing pranks for the mischief making traditions.
As time went on, people started pushing for safer celebrations of Halloween that did not involve witchcraft and mischief. That is when the Americanization of the holiday started, people would throw parties that involved games, fall food, and costumes. Trick-or-treating rose to popularity around the 1950s, when Halloween became a national holiday.
Today, over 179 million Americans celebrate Halloween and spend about $9.1 billion dollars per year for decorations, costumes, and candy. What are you going to do for Halloween this year?
Down below are just some pictures of my early Halloween celebration!
Halloween Horror Nights (HHN) is one of the biggest Halloween events of the year occurring at Universal Studios theme parks in Florida, California, Singapore, and Japan. HHN has been going on since 1991 and it was nothing like the HHN we know today. The event actually started out as "Fright Nights", it was only held for 3 nights of October and it had just 1 haunted house. It was officially renamed to Halloween Horror Nights in 1992, this time it ran for 5 nights and had 2 haunted houses.
Throughout the years, HHN has only gotten bigger and bigger. In recent years, it has had as many as 10 haunted houses, live entertainment, scare zones, and it runs for most of September and October. But does bigger actually mean better?
Writer's Note: this is purely my opinion from my past and present experiences. Furthermore, I did not get to go to 5 of the houses so I will only be speaking about the following haunted houses: Stranger Things, Us, Universal Monsters, Ghostbusters, and Killer Klowns from Outer Space.
In my opinion, Halloween Horror Nights 2019 was not the best. For someone who has gone multiple times (I went to HHN 2016, 2018, and 2019), it has gotten a little bit old. Every year, the haunted houses may be themed differently but the jump scares are always in the same place so people who have gone multiple times know exactly what to expect and when to expect it. And although they may scare you once or twice throughout the house, when I was walking through it I kept thinking "there will be a jump scare there" and, lo and behold, there was.
The scariest part of the whole event is actually the scare zones. The only reason they are scary, however, is because we do not know what to expect when it comes to the actors. The actors have more freedom of where they go, who to scare, and how to do it. So every time you walk through one of these parts, you will get a different experience. On the other hand, the scare zones are fairly similar every year. Just like the houses, they are themed differently but basically have the same scares all the time. People with scary makeup, chainsaws, fake knifes, etc etc. Basically, it is the same as every other year but it is still a little scary because of the freedom that the actors get.
From best to worst, I would rank the houses I went to as the following: Us, Killer Klowns, Stranger Things, Universal Monsters, and Ghostbusters. Us was definitely the best house by far, although it wasn't scary, it was very creepy. People who looked like the characters would follow you around with scissors and since they don't talk in the movie, all they could do is creep around everyone. I put Killer Klowns as second mainly because I am very afraid of clowns (don't judge, clowns are scary), but also because it was the house with the most surprising/unpredictable jump scares. Stranger Things was not scary (because it was predictable) but it was very accurate to the tv show and, as a fan, I can appreciate that. Universal Monsters was still scarier than Ghostbusters but both were very predictable and I felt like Ghostbusters didn't even have jump scares.
Now, don't get me wrong, I still had a lot of fun. I got to drink my butterbeer and laugh at my friends (and me) getting scared, and I definitely plan on going next year again. But knowing how much work goes into Halloween Horror Nights and how many people put in their time and effort into all of it, I wish they would get more creative on how to scare people. I think they need to keep in mind that a lot of people go every year to HHN and after a while, it gets very predictable on how they do things.
I still very much recommend for people to go and check it out for themselves, I always find Halloween Horror Nights to be a fun and (sometimes) scary experience! Check out some pictures below!
The Mona Lisa is a worldwide famous painting by Leonardo da Vinci, also referred to as Portrait of Lisa Gherardini, La Gioconda in Italian, or La Joconde in French. It was painted somewhere between 1503 and 1519, when Leonardo was living in Florence and it is now in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France. But why is this painting so famous? Well, mainly for two reasons: the mysterious smile on the woman's face and who the woman is.
Many historians and scholars have different theories of who it was that Leonardo painted. One such theory is that it is Lisa del Giocondo, wife of Francesco di Bartolomeo del Giocondo, hence the alternative name La Gioconda. This was first suggested by Giorgio Vasari, an artist biographer. Another theory put forth by Sigmund Freud suggests that it is Leonardo's mother, Caterina, and that Mona Lisa's mysterious smile came from a memory of Caterina's smile.
My favorite theory, however, is that the painting is actually a self portrait of Leonardo himself. Some scholars suggested this because of the resemblance between the Mona Lisa and the artist's facial features. Furthermore, it is believed that disguising himself as a woman was the artist's riddle intended for the painting.
Scientists have tried everything to figure out who the Mona Lisa is, they even tried to find DNA around the painting itself. Despite all their efforts, however, they came up empty handed. Personally, I am okay with that. One of the beauties of the Mona Lisa is the mystery behind it and it is what drives people to go see it in the first place, some mysteries are just better left unsolved.
What is your favorite theory?
Author's Note: This is the last of my Paris trip series, I hope you all enjoyed it! I am already working on some new ideas, photoshoots, and more for you guys! So stay tuned :))))
Last, but definitely not least, the museum holding one of the most famous paintings across the world: the Louvre Museum.
The Louvre museum wasn't always a museum, it was actually first built as a fortress and in the 16th century turned into a royal palace. Throughout the years of royal residency, almost every monarch expanded the Louvre and as a result it now covers 652,300 square feet.
In 1793, it was opened as a museum and held 537 royal paintings along with confiscated church property. However, because of structural problems, the museum closed just three years later. In 1801, Napoleon increased the collection in the Louvre and the museum was then renamed Musee Napoleon (Napoleon Museum). Furthermore, after Napoleon's abdication many works were seized and returned to their original owners.
During the reigns of Charles X and Louis XVIII, and during the Second French Empire the museum increased, obtaining approximately 20,000 pieces. And to this day displays 35,000 works of art throughout the entire museum. One of those works being the Mona Lisa, more on that on my next post ;)
During the 19th century, two buildings were established on the site of the future Orsay station: the Calvary barracks and the Palais d'Orsay. But during the violent uproar known as the Paris Commune in 1871, the whole neighborhood was burnt down and the ruins of the Palais d'Orsay would stay as a reminder of the Civil War.
In the 1900s, the French government sold the land to the Orleans railroad company and determined that a central terminus station was to be built in the ruins of the Palais d'Orsay. From 1900 to 1939, the Gare d'Orsay was the head of the French railroad network. Unfortunately, its glory days ended in 1939 as the platforms became too short for the modern trains and therefore could only serve the suburbs.
Throughout the years, the station served many different purposes: appearing in movies, sending letters to prisoners of the Second World War, etc... But in 1975, the Direction of Museums of France were already considering building a museum in place of the station, in which all of the works of art from the second half of the 19th century would be on display. The building was considered a Historical Monument in 1978 and a committee was made to oversee the construction of the museum. The d'Orsay Museum was officially opened to the public on December 9th, 1986.
The museum shows the disparity of artistic creations in the western world between 1848 and 1914. Further more, the collections of the museum come mainly from three establishments: the Luvre museum, the Musee du Jeu de Paume, and the National Museum of Modern Art.
Now, the museum attracts over 3 million people each year with 3,000 works of art on permanent display. Down below are some pictures from my time there!
Hey readers, I know it's been a month but life has been a little crazy. New post coming soon!! Until then enjoy these pictures from the Big Bus Tour I went in Paris!
The Big Bus Tour is a hop off/hop on trip around the most famous places in Paris. It takes tourist to places such as the Eiffel Tour, The Arc of Triumph, and Louvre Museum. It is available to purchase on many traveling sites or in their office in Paris.
During the 1870s, a war erupted between Germany and France. The Vatican was suspended, the Pope considered himself a prisoner, and German troops had partially occupied France. That was when Alexandre Legentil and Hubert Rohault de Fleury made a promise to build a church dedicated to be a place of penance for sins. They believed that everything that was going on in France was caused by something spiritual and not political.
At the end of 1872, the Archbishop, Cardinal Guibert, approved the vow and by the end of 1873, the French Parliament passed a law saying that the church was in the best interest of the public. The church, however, was built out of donations collected from the citizens of France. Their names were carved in the stone of the church.
In 1875, the construction started. To this day, people go to the church to pray, look around, or just listen. The church also has a beautiful little place to put a lock in with your loved ones. It is a truly amazing place with an even prettier view, pictures are down below!
The Palace of Versailles has been home to many Kings and Queens back in the day, today I am only going to focus on the most significant residents of the Palace. To start off, we are going to focus on the original builder of the house: Louis XIII.
The Palace of Versailles first started as a small hunting lodge for Louis XIII who came to Versailles in 1607 to hunt. He loved the location so much that when he was crowned, he built a small lodge so he could stay overnight at the location, which was only built in 1623. He then decided to rebuild it into the basis of the palace we know today. He lived there till 1638.
The next King we are going to focus on is Louis XIV, who lived in Palace of Versailles from 1638-1715. Louis XIV was first sent there when his father, Louis XIII, sent him and his brother to escape smallpox that had reached the Palace of Saint-Germain-en-Laye in 1641. He was three years old at that time and ended up going back only 10 years later. After his second visit, he often found his way back to the Palace, along side his brother. Furthermore, after his First Minister died, he built many projects around the area until 1715 when he passed away. Some of his most notable projects included: forecourt in 1662, the "Le Vau Envelope" in 1668-1670, the South Wing in 1679-1681, and the Royal Chapel in 1699-1710. The Palace became the official main residence of the French Court in 1672 and went on to house many more Kings who would also put their own spin on the property.
After Louis XIV passed away, the Palace went into a time of neglect. The French Court moved out and from 1715 to 1722, the Palace was only visited twice by the new King. It was not until Louis XV personally requested to move back to finish the work of his great-grandfather. During his time there, the Palace went under major construction: removing the Ambassador's Staircase, remodeling the apartments, and adding a theater called The Royal Opera House. Moreover, Louis XV ended up passing away in 1774 by smallpox. *Fun fact, during this time Mozart performed there as a child prodigy*
Louis XVI spent most of his time in the Palace and played an important role in the War of American Independence. However, they were losing popularity because of the major taxes and Marie Antoinette's big expenses. They eventually had to leave Versailles to their last destination, Paris.
During the French Revolution, Palace of Versailles did not suffer too much damage, as the workers repaired everything while the Royal families did not occupy the place. In 1793, all the sculptures and paintings that belonged to the Crown were moved to the Louvre museum while the sculptures outside remained where they are. Eventually, a law was passed that stated all the contents of the former palaces belonging to the Royal families must be disposed of, except works of arts and science, and were mostly sold off to merchants and citizens in a year.
The Palace eventually became a museum and was opened in 1837. Today, it has around 2,300 rooms and is 63,154 m2 in size attracting 5 million people to the Palace and between 8 to 10 million people to its gardens every year.
The next Paris posts in order will be: Versailles Palace and Garden, Sacre Coeur Basilica (Sacred Heart Basilica), Red Bus Tour and it's attractions, D'Orsay museum, and Luvre Museum.
While you wait, here are some pictures of the view from the top of The Arc of Triumph.
Let's take a break from the French culture and talk about something almost everyone goes through: Graduating. Graduation is one of the most important academic achievements and event a teenager goes through. It is the moment teenagers pray for throughout their school years and it is something to remember for the rest of ones life (at least I will remember it for the rest of my life).
One reason my graduation was so important was because not only did I graduate with my High School diploma but I also graduated with my Associates of Arts degree all by the age of 18. You see, I took part of a program called College Academy. College Academy is a partnership with Broward College (Number 2 in the 2017 Ranking of 50 Best Community Colleges by College Choice #represent) where sophomores in High School are given the opportunity to transfer schools in their junior year to finish their last two years of High School and their first two years of College. Basically I did 4 years in 2, which as you can guess was a little bit of a challenge.
This program gave me an early on idea of how college works and prepared me for when I go to an university. Another good thing about this program is the small environment with a lot of support that the school creates. My first High School there were almost 5,000 students and when I went to College Academy, there were only about 200 students . I actually felt like I could ask for help from my counselors and teachers because they weren't bombarded with a thousand other problems from a thousand other students (obviously an exaggeration but you get the idea).
Although you do miss out on some of the best High School moments (and I got to admit I was a little jealous of my friends sometimes), I got to be 2 years ahead of anyone else my age and I got to attend 2 graduations in 1 year. Down below are some pictures from my Broward College graduation.
The Eiffel Tower is for sure one of the most iconic attractions in Paris, pulling in an astounding 7 million people to it every year. Throughout the years, the Eiffel Tower has become a symbol of heritage for France and Paris. The Tower was only meant to be temporary in the beginning, so no one could've ever imagined it would turn into what it is today. But how did it all start?
The Eiffel Tower was built out of a competition to commemorate the 100 year anniversary of the French Revolution. Out of 107 designs, the one chosen was Gustave Effeil's. He had two engineers to help him, Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier. The construction of the Tower, however, was not welcomed with open arms. Many people voiced their concerns with building an iron tower in the heart of Paris because it would ruin the aesthetic nature of Paris itself. But even though the project had it's many haters, the Tower officially started being built in January 1887 and was inaugurated on March 31, 1889.
The license for the Tower would only last for 20 years and it was meant to be followed by immediate destruction. However, approximately 2 million people visited the Eiffel Tower throughout those years and it became a symbol of the French industrial power. The real nail in the coffin for the Tower to stay was it's usefulness during the First World War, as it was being used as a radio antenna tower. It was first used for the military and then permanently used for radiotelegraphy communications.
The Eiffel Tower has become an iconic symbol for Paris as the yard in front of the tower is filled with people every single day. Back then no one wanted the Eiffel Tower to stay, now a days no one can imagine Paris without it. Pictures of my visit to the Eiffel Tower are below!
About my blog:
This blog is not a weekly or bi weekly blog, I enjoy writing about things when I actually have something to write about! Throughout the posts you will see many different categories! Such as history, photoshoots, and popular topics. You can keep up with my blog by following my social media pages. Which can easily be found at the bottom of the "Home", "About", "Resume", and "Gallery" page!