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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

Swine flu viewed as worldwide epidemic due to uses of modern communication

As you read this, dinosaurs are attacking the White House. The Associated Press is reporting dinosaur sightings across Virginia and Washington, with rumors that the creatures have spread as far as New York. Scientists fear a massive dinosaur migration toward Houston once they realize how delicious fat people are. The government has issued orders to ground all airplanes because Americans got tired of hearing about reptiles on planes about three years ago. I realize now that half of my readers are probably already running toward Seattle in an effort to lose weight and escape the dinosaur menace. I realize that the other half of you probably stopped reading because you realized how dumb this column and its author are. But if anyone is still around, I must admit that I was a little hasty in my opening remarks. I saw ‘Jurassic Park’ on TV and mistook it for a live news feed for a moment. How did they get those dinosaurs to act, anyway? But the truth is, I’m not the only one getting carried away in baseless fear mongering these days. According to CNN, people are spreading all sorts of misinformation about swine flu over Twitter. Finally, spreading bad information isn’t just for the government and H.G. Wells radio broadcasts anymore. With the latest technology, everyday people like you and me can propagate bullshit to millions of people, just like the pros do. As of the moment I’m writing this, swine flu has killed a staggering zero people in the U.S. I say this is staggering because, according to a Nielsen Online report, 2 percent of all Twitter posts Monday related to the swine flu. When one out of every 50 posts is about an illness, I would expect it to be the plague or the T-Virus. It’s especially ridiculous when you consider that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 36,000 people die every year in the U.S. alone from normal flu-related symptoms. Even including Mexico, the amount of swine flu deaths is less than 1 percent of that number. But your average run of the mill flu isn’t exciting enough for the average Joe the Plumber to get worked up about, no matter how deadly it may be. A few years ago bird flu was supposed to kill us all, and a few years before that it was Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS. When CBS broadcast ‘War of the Worlds’ over the radio in 1938, people panicked when they misinterpreted the fictional emergency news broadcast for a real one. But 40 minutes into the program, there was a message letting viewers know that what they were hearing was fictional, and yet another message at the end. Anyone who was actually paying attention would have quickly had his or her fears assuaged. But even so, over the next few months, newspapers wrote more than 12,000 articles about the incident, making it seem like the panic was bigger than it truly was. I’m not sure how many posts are made on Twitter each day, but if the numbers from Monday keep up for even a few more days, that’s surely more than 12,000 posts about swine flu. But the fact is, you and I will still be alive tomorrow, next week and probably next year. I would go post on Twitter right now about how I’m still alive and how everyone in the country is still alive, but unfortunately, 100 percent of people who can read are alive, meaning that this news is shocking to no one. But I’m pretty sure I hear a dinosaur outside my window right now, so I think I’ll go Twitter about that.

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