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Magann: Call It What It Is

(04/19/18 6:15am)

The desert outside Deir ez-Zour is full of bones. They tumble out of hillsides, thousands of weathered skulls and femurs covered in dust. Up north, in Ras al-Ain, farmers plow through a mass grave, growing their crops amid fields of bones. In Deir ez-Zour itself, some of the remains lay respectfully under the floor of a church — or they did, until the Islamic State occupied the city and blasted the memorial apart. These are the bones of women and children. The men, after all, were often killed where they stood, leaving their families to endure the forced marches out to the extermination sites. 

Bartlett: A Shameful Conflict

(04/17/18 6:05am)

The saga of President Donald Trump vs. former FBI Director James Comey never fails to entertain. In what may be the most outspoken and belligerent case of a high-profile “he said, she said” in years, the two political elites continue to trade blow after blow with one another. For Trump, this obviously takes the form of Twitter-born diatribes. For Comey, his sentiment takes the form of subtle jabs and incendiary claims within his memoir, “A Higher Loyalty.”

Chin: Netflix and Chill: Digital Intimacies

(04/13/18 6:05am)

I used to pride myself on never reading digital copies of books, carrying multiple tote bags to the library in addition to my large backpack full of all the readings I needed for final papers. Over the course of several terms of traveling to and from Dartmouth between off-terms and breaks, I realized that it wasn’t practical to have a personal library on campus of over 80 books that needed to be stored in a giant rolling duffle bag. Instead, I took an approach of compromise, purchasing hard copies of only my favorite books, movies and music, and began cultivating my laptop’s online digital library. As somewhat of a Luddite who still believes in the value of art in hard copy, I learned to appreciate the minimalism of digitization. However, the potential in digitizing art that is consumed on a daily basis, like films, music and literature, goes beyond minimalism.

Magann: Let Us Vote

(04/12/18 6:10am)

I live in New Hampshire. I may have grown up in Massachusetts, but I spend the majority of my time in this state –– for most of the year, it’s my home. New Hampshire’s policies affect me and its politicians represent me, regardless of the “student” label affixed to my name. That label doesn’t make me, or any other New Hampshire resident, less entitled to basic democratic rights.

Bartlett: The Gilded Age

(04/12/18 6:05am)

I remember an era — albeit barely — in which superhero movies used to be the spectacle. This was a time when even the most iconic titans like Batman or Iron Man would very seldom (if ever) make their way to the silver screen. At the theater, suffering through uncomfortably itchy and deformed seating was the price to pay to bear witness to the spectacle. Today, in light of the upcoming release of “Avengers: Infinity War,” I realize that this reality around superhero films hardly seems to hold true anymore. The superhero genre –– Marvel in particular –– has, in large part, been devalued by the rate at which the films are released.

Shah: The New Generation

(04/12/18 6:00am)

“[It] is about connecting with the world and our friends. It’s where stories are made and legends created.” This is a quote from the September/October 2015 issue of the New Hampshire Wildlife Journal. With its emphasis on camaraderie, outdoor enthusiasm, and lifelong memories, the description could easily apply to the Dartmouth experience. But it’s not; the quote is from a hunting publication. Fellowship is one of the main motivations for hunting. Environmental philosopher Gary Varner claims that there are three main reasons for — and thus types of — hunting: subsistence, therapeutic (killing one species to protect an ecosystem), and sport. However, certain hunting practices cannot be explained by either animal or environmental ethics; sport and trophy hunting are neither ethical nor practical.

Szuhaj: More Tech Isn’t Always Better

(04/10/18 6:10am)

7:54 p.m.: My race would start at eight. It was time to take off my bulky Garmin GPS watch, which I wear everywhere: it tracks the distance and pace of my runs, the number of steps I take each day, how restful my never-quite-eight-hours-of-sleep are. The model I had before this one even tracked my heart rate continuously through an optical sensor beneath the watch face. The model I have now ditched the optical sensor for a goofy Tron-esque chest strap that is not only more accurate in terms of heart rate, but also measures “cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time.” You know, all those things nobody really needs but that Garmin added to make this model seem better than the last.

Truong: Buzz Cuts, Buzz Words

(04/10/18 5:15am)

It’s a powerful image: 18-year-old Emma González, standing resolutely at a podium, teardrops streaming down her face. She wears her hair closely cropped to her head and has small silver ball earrings adorning her ears. Over a white March for Our Lives t-shirt, she wears an olive green bomber jacket emblazoned with iron-on patches and pins displaying slogans such as “I Will Vote” and “We Call BS.” Combined, it makes for a modern, militant look — González is, after all, a general of sorts in the war against gun violence. 

Magann: Safety Under the Law

(04/06/18 5:55am)

 For decades, the National Rifle Association has advanced a slippery-slope argument. Give an inch on gun policy, the rhetoric goes, and gun control advocates will take a mile. In 1994, then-NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre termed waiting periods on gun purchases “just one more step in the march toward national disarmament.” The NRA similarly denounces most firearm regulation as part of a broader plan to eliminate Second Amendment rights. That argument is both deceptive and untrue. Far from a conspiracy to seize Americans’ guns, sensible gun restrictions are a widely-supported public safety measure.

Richards: Eleuthrism

(04/06/18 6:00am)

Something is rotten in the state of American politics. On both left and right, an old idea is making its way back into vogue. On the right, nationalist and quasi-fascistic politics, the old school us-versus-them thinking that once came neatly packaged in black-and-red armbands over Hugo Boss-designed uniforms worn by goose-stepping soldiers, are back. On the left, socialism, Marxism and associated dogmas are coming back, all with talk of empowerment rather than of gulags and concentration camps. But all of this is essentially one idea: collectivism.

Bartlett: Inhibitive Distributives

(04/05/18 4:15am)

Little in life frustrates me — an ever-proud humanities major — more than the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. It’s hard to place exactly why that is, but I learned early on in life that the path of the scientist was hardly one that I wanted to follow. Sure, I played the game in high school: I padded my college applications with a myriad of AP and Honors STEM courses in the hopes of coming across as more accomplished and well-rounded to college admissions committees. But being able to succeed in a field and actually enjoying the subject matter are vastly different ideas. It’s safe to say that post-high school, I was elated to be finished with what I considered to be naught but tedious means to an end. 

Stanescu-Bellu: Ethics of Data

(04/03/18 5:23am)

Data breaches are not a novelty. They’ve existed ever since humans first started recording data and are an inherent risk of storing information. However, the rise of the digital age has made data breaches much easier to execute. Theoretically, an individual on the opposite side of the world could infiltrate any company’s database, siphon the data of millions of people with some nifty lines of code and sell it, all through a few clicks. Since 2005, there have been over 8,000 data breaches made public, with over ten billion records breached. The recent Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal at first seems like it should be just another unfortunate statistic, but its implications are foreboding for the future of digital privacy.

Malbreaux: My First Gun

(03/29/18 6:00am)

Before writing for The Dartmouth, I was an opinion columnist for The Authored Ascension, my high school’s online-only newspaper. Though I lacked the authority to influence much, I had a clear vision for the paper’s direction. Up until that point, most written pieces were school-specific. News of homecoming events, sports match-ups and the like were the predominant topics for most writers. Few ventured out to tackle national hot-button issues. As a 16-year-old newly equipped with a driver’s license and many opinions, I planned on changing that.

Yuan: Advanced Pace Over Place

(03/29/18 6:00am)

Dartmouth is more difficult than it used to be, and it isn’t because of the professors or the changing student body. Rather, changes to Dartmouth’s Advanced Placement course acceptance policy that were implemented for the Class of 2018 began to truly manifest themselves last year, as the Class of 2017 graduated and the Class of 2018 stepped into their positions for extracurricular and academic activities.

Truong: A Dash of Nash

(03/27/18 4:30am)

I’m going to be honest: I didn’t apply to any colleges in the South not due to a dearth of high-caliber institutions, but because of the labels I had heard about the region. The South is often portrayed as ultra-conservative, uber-religious and relatively poor. Even if I were in an urban area and the college campus were a diverse and inclusive place, I feared the implied racism and sexism that might surface if I were to step off campus or venture out of the city. As a West Coast native, I don’t know a lot about Southern culture. For too long, I’ve relied on stereotypes I had heard from others or seen in movies and other media to form an overall negative and foreign image of the region.

Shah: New Thinking and Possibilities

(03/27/18 4:15am)

When you think of a typical economics major, who comes to mind? One of the predominant stereotypes is the “econ bro.” A glance around an economics classroom during my Dimensions experience last spring provided evidence of a gender imbalance in the major, a suspicion that was reinforced while taking economics courses my freshman fall and winter. Economics is Dartmouth’s most popular undergraduate major. As the gender gap in economics fails to shrink in graduate education and in the workplace, it needs to be addressed at its roots.

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