I'm somewhat new to tumblr. It seems like a website version of those e-mails you get from your grandparents or coworkers. Is the sleek web2.0 feel what makes the concept suddenly hip?
Reblogged from stfuconservatives
Right now, the U.S. Congress is sneaking in a new law that gives them big brother spy powers over the entire web — and they’re hoping the world won’t notice. We helped stop their Net attack last time, let’s do it again.
Over 100 Members of Congress are backing a bill (CISPA) that would give private companies and the US government the right to spy on any of us at any time for as long as they want without a warrant. This is the third time the US Congress has tried to attack our Internet freedom. But we helped beat SOPA, and PIPA — and now we can beat this new Big Brother law.
Our global outcry has played a leading role in protecting the Internet from governments eager to monitor and control what we do online. Let’s stand together once again — and beat this law for good. Sign the petition then forward to everyone who uses the Internet! [Click]
Or contact your representatives through EFF.
Reblogged from messageharbor
There’s a girl across the Student Union with marble-white skin and hair the colour of sunrise. She doesn’t see me, but senses something is off. Her eyes change like a suspicious deer, a renewed martyr of the patriarchy. I look away and my spirit churns, grating against the lining in my heart. The promenade is scattered with prides and bevies of young adults: the businessman, the gender student, the greasy fedora—pieces of a naïve and ambitious puzzle.
“I’m a super-senior”, someone says at a party. She laughs it off but her grin betrays her nerves. So then what am I? A 26-year old reprising the gamut at Year 7, who’s transferred, switched majors, and failed classes enough to doubt his intellect and make undergrad seem a life choice. I’ve vaulted beyond their social stratus; a blight on the shibboleth. My small talk feels lecherous.
Fall is come, littering the university with leaves and midterms. It totes winter like a barge, bound and coupled in solar matrimony. My mind is a rusty scalpel that I grind against textbooks and chalkboards, incising instruction and retrieving information. Class discussions invoke last night’s student think tank where the very nature of ergative grammar in Proto-Iranian was debated while I look down at my graded assignment to read PLEASE BE MORE THOROUGH written and circled in red ink. Red ink is what runs through my veins; it flows into every ungodly inch of my body. My stewardship of this fleshen vessel is smeared in corrective annotation so that I myself am become red. It permeates through me like a stained flag, fluttering like hastened breath.
I exhale, and watch the air freeze and ascend like a cloud. Final exams and assignments line up less like a queue and more like a firing squad, every one holding the shortest straw. Day and night collide in a sleepless haze, word count dictating study schedules and meal breaks. I drag my tired body from one examination to the next, crawling into the Stampede like it’s a medevac, praying mantra to my God, “please please please please please please…”
Down- and out-of-staters will tell you that Buffalo is a hinterland, America’s concrete tundra; but the Cold Miser has forsaken our city. Frost crops the grass and glazes the cars parked along the side streets of the Heights. I soon abandon her for home, travelling eight hours to a comparatively warmer New Jersey for Winter Break. I spend it walking the dog and defending my scholastic convictions to my grandmother and parents, to whom I’ve re-gifted an empty nest. I explain how my friends are already graduating Masters, and their siblings as Baccalaureates. “I’m a Bizarro Van Wilder,” I say, “It’s pathetic.” But in hindsight, I don’t think they’ve seen the film.
A reminder of my $3,000 delinquency in tuition creeps into view as I peruse the HUB to find the final grades for the semester. Beside an A, everything else seems to swirl along the bottom end, pulling a whopping 0.25 increase in GPA—not exactly enough to ask for more financial aid when I’m already on probation. Every bank I apply to sends back a polite response that they are unable to help. I search my hard drive for a picture of me in an oversized suit wringing a flat cap to send as my reply. It’s to no avail and I buckle to my last resort, crawling down the hall to squeeze the last dimes from my parents’ threadbare pockets.
The day after payment I call the Financial Aid Office to make sure everything is cleared up. “Yes, thank you for making your payment,” the advisor responds. I ask about removing check stops and she recommends I call the Registrar, “but remember that Federal Aid won’t be covering you for the next semester for anything over three credit hours”. I’ve reached my maximum attempted credits for aid, she says, but I could always shell out the $9,000 myself.
Something beyond rage and despair crashes down upon my heart. Amidst the rubble of the Tower of Babel, my voice cries out in the wilderness. That night I stake out the local crossroads, but midnight leaves me lonesome. Perhaps even the Devil isn’t immune from this Recession. Returning north to fulfil my lease and tie up loose ends, my flatmates inform me that they’ve found new apartments and want to turn off utilities as soon as possible.
I collapse into bed and dream I’m waiting for the elevator in Hochstetter Hall, overlooking North Campus. The winter sky blankets the complex in an opaque hue, and what once seemed like a city of learning is now my necropolis. Among her denizens I was an artefact, but now I am a spectre banished beyond her walls.
Something I wrote for UB’s Generation magazine and featured as a Message Harbor SOS.