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Archive for the 'World' Category

South Africa celebrating record breaking rhino poaching year.

November 3rd, 2011 by Spencer Madison

The BBC reports that although an impressive 333 rhinos were poached illegally last year, this year enterprising criminals have already killed an all-time record topping 341 of the critically endangered creatures. Whether or not they will continue darting them and sawing off their horns for black market export is yet to be determined, but it would be safe to assume that given the profitability of the deed and their desire to make 2011 a real record holder, it will go on. Rhino horn is used for a lot of pseudo-science nonsense, be it bullshit medical cures in Vietnam, trendy ornamental daggers in Yemen, or simply using it instead of a damn Aspirin in Chinese Traditional Medicine. Still, the demand for what is basically just fingernails continues to skyrocket. While South Africa may have the largest black and white rhino population on Earth, rhinos are slow to reproduce and populations tend to respond poorly to being left to bleed to death. South Africa’s government has started a study to find out whether or not legalizing the trade could help bring down poaching… you know, by making the killings not technically poaching. This solution should really help save not rhinos, but South Africa’s credibility in the face of being completely unable to protect one of the greatest parts of their country’s biodiversity and basically the only tourism draw they will likely ever have.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15571678

Dead Gaddafi for Halloween

October 22nd, 2011 by Kellie B.

I am thinking of dressing as dead Muammar Gaddafi for Halloween. But I want your opinion. Would it be too soon? What about dressing as slutty dead Muammar Gaddafi?

The voices told me to…

October 14th, 2011 by Ethan Bendau

In a move that experts are calling “totally fucking awesome,” a man in Viareggio, Italy was hospitalized Monday after suddenly and unexpectedly ripping out his own eyes in the middle of church. In true hardcore-as-fuck style, Aldo Bianchini, the man among men in question, was totally chill when the medics arrived at the scene, lying in a massive pool of his own goddamned blood and acting perfectly “calm and lucid.”

Many of the 300 mass-goers left in horror, knowing they could never hope to attain such a high level of kick-ass brutality. After emergency responders picked up the eyeballs from the floor, the reverend dusted his shoulders off and continued to celebrate mass like it was no biggie. Bianchini reported that he “heard voices” telling him to commit the act, a feat his surgeons claimed would have required “superhuman strength.” Despite deserving a medal made of bear pelts and fire for excellence in the field of badassery, the surgeons were unable to reattach the eyes and said that Bianchini would never see again.

In the Bible, Jesus says, “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee” (Matthew 18:9). Bianchini must have seen some awesome shit, like three chicks doing it or something.

CDC releases zombie survival guide, OC rejoices

May 19th, 2011 by Ben Maras

The Center for Disease control wants you to be safe in the case of all possible. Including cannibalistic undead uprising. On Monday the CDC released “Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse,” urging Americans to think of the safety of themselves and their loved ones in the unlikely case of a ghoul situation.

There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency.

Whether one calls them ghouls, zombies or just “the infected” is a matter of semantics, of course. As the article points out, the term “zombie” originally came from Haitian / voodou origins, and referred to a reanimated corpse brought back by some form of necromancer to follow the evil priest’s will. But realistically, that isn’t the sort of zombie you’ll be up against in the case of undead infestation. More likely, it’d be Night of the Living Dead-style ‘ghouls’: slow, stumbly groaning monsters with a penchant for human flesh. (more…)

Feds uncover Bin Laden porn stash

May 14th, 2011 by Ben Maras

American officials have uncovered what appears to be Osama Bin Laden’s porn stash in his Abbottabad compound, and it’s “fairly extensive” according to Reuters. While the contents of the hard drive haven’t been leaked by Wikileaks / Anonymous yet, an unnamed source told the news organization that the collection consisted mostly of modern, digitally recorded videos. This, despite the fact that he lived devoid of wired Internet and phone connection to the outside world, and relied on flash drives and Internet cafes to send messages (and, apparently, collect porn).

There’s no word yet on where in the house it was found, or which rooms were wired for viewing pleasure, so there are a lot of questions remaining. Was it his personal collection, or a shared spank bank to help quell insurrection and improve morale of the troops? Avi, or Mpeg? What sort of porn is a fundamentalist nutjob in to, anyway?  The world may never know / care.

What we do know, is that it’s only a matter of time until someone starts blaming he evil porn that corrupted his mind and drove him to jihad.

My bet is for Pat Robertson.

 

HAHA- girls in the library shouldn’t have their boobs hanging out

March 14th, 2011 by Melissa Haskin

This guy had the best response to the aforementioned racist UCLA video

p.s. Thanks to the both of you (Wallace and the guy above) for giving us all something to laugh about during finals week.

“Hi, in America we don’t talk on our cell phones in the library”

March 14th, 2011 by Melissa Haskin

You would think that people would be smart enough not to post racist videos on the internet, or to at least know that prefacing something with “I’m not the most politically correct person, so don’t take this offensively” doesn’t exonerate what you’re about to say- but people are stupid.

The alleged student in the video above, Alexandra Wallace (I found evidence in her enrollment at UCLA but after half an hour of searching could not find the original source of the video or anything solidly linking her to it) not only exhibited a lack of cultural sensitivity but also a level of ignorance that is almost hilarious.

While I have never been to UCLA, here in Oregon non-American’s aren’t the only people who talk on their phones in the library. Here at UO, this is mainly curtailed by the lack of cell-service in the library but that’s not the case at OSU and you can ask anyone at OSU and they’ll tell you that everyone talks in the library, all the time, even in the quiet sections.

Perhaps what’s most amusing is that Wallace talks about how her mama raised her to be a “nice polite American girl.” I wasn’t aware that polite and racism were synonyms, silly me and I’m absolutely sure that her parents are very proud of her for making the above video. In fact, right now they’re probably holding a dinner party in her honor and showing all their friends.

Wallace offered offhanded condolences to those affected by the tsunami while noting that they should take their phone calls elsewhere. Yes, talking in the library can be rude but in the wake of everything that has happened this weekend I would presume getting a hold of family is hard and if these students manage to get a hold of their family while studying in the library they damn well deserve to talk to their family. Yeah, maybe they should move outside, but they’re probably caught up in the moment and quite frankly, I would be too.

Final exams can be stressful and people shouldn’t be talking in the library but neither is an excuse for racism.

Note: As the original source has been allegedly deleted, this video could have been taken out of context (it could for example be a part of a film project or a joke). I have attempted to contact Ms. Wallace to clear up this matter and will update you if I get anymore information.

(more…)

Sex Week: Advice from An Tae Sik

February 14th, 2011 by An Tae Sik

Editor’s note: This is part of  the Commentator’s Sex Week, to commemorate the release of the Sex Issue. Originally, this was supposed to be written by our regular advice columnist Kellie Bramstone, but we have begun to suspect that Kellie is dead. In her place, our news editor An Tae Sik agreed to step into the breach.

For those who don’t know, Tae Sik is a transfer student from Kim Il Sung University in Pyongyang, North Korea. Though he was exiled from his native country, he still maintains a distinct affinity for its political culture and sees much of the world through a unique, North Korea-tinted perspective. This is the first letter he will be answering this week.

Mugshot for An Tae Sik

An Tae Sik

Dear Commentator,

Last February, us bros at the Chi Omega Chi Sigma fraternity had a raging party. Unfortunately by the end of the night, most of the girls had left with guys who WEREN’T FROM OUR HOUSE. How do we get the optimum female quota and keep them from going home with other dudes? That’s not cool. And if you came to our party and you’re from SAE, you’re officially on our blacklist.

— Chi Omega Chi

Dear COC,

The Dear Leader leaves nothing to chance. If he wants someone, be it a movie director, sexual partner, or sushi chef, he takes measures to ensure that person’s presence. You need to take the same measures.
And the good news for you is you don’t even need to spend money on hiring your own shadowy network of kidnappers to do it! You’ve got one ready-made. Just learn to think of yourself and your brothers as a little death squad of your very own!

Think about it: you’ve already got a uniform in the form of your fraternity’s spirit wear and you already have a dungeon in the form of your house’s basement. Just get the biggest SUV you’ve got and cruise the streets a couple of hours before your party stalking actresses from Japan and south Korea. Chloroform and/or a blackjack can come in handy, but that’s probably in your house’s manual already.

Want Tae Sik to answer your questions about sex? E-mail us at editor@oregoncommentator.com or send it to our office. We reserve the right to edit material we find obscene, libelous, inappropriate or lengthy. We are not obliged to print anything that does not suit us. Unsolicited material will not be returned unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Submission constitutes testimony as to the accuracy. E-mails sent to individual authors that are directly related to the Oregon Commentator may be reused by the Commentator as it sees fit.

Valentine’s Day: Can’t you find a better excuse to get laid?

February 14th, 2011 by Kayla Heffner

Editor’s note: This article was originally written for our Sex Issue. However, with St. Valentine’s Day looming, we elected to lovingly delay its eventual release until context could assist us in working you into a state of excitement. Was that an effective sexual metaphor? Please let us know.

Inveterate Douche and womanizer ... probably

Well, it’s Feb. 14, and significant others everywhere have just finished stressing about what to get their loved ones in this time of economic recession. In a rush, it’s off to the store to find something “special” for him or her. Credit cards everywhere are maxing out. The store shelves are overstocked with pink, red and purple. Walking up and down the aisles, it is so hard to decide which bear hugging a heart to purchase (Ed. note: I like the marriage-related symbolism here). Time to consider other options. Roses? Too expensive. Candlelit dinner? Way too expensive (Ed. note: it’s not that expensive to get together a couple of candles and some Easy Mac. You don’t even need another person.). Shitty-ass card? Just right. (more…)

Another Reason You Shouldn’t Forget Your Cellphone (as if I need to remind you)

January 18th, 2011 by Melissa Haskin

I swear, lately the slew of Starbucks headlines in the NYT have been akin to a 13-year old girls twitter posts- logo changes, protests and bigger cups. Now, in a pinnacle of (superfluous) modernity, Starbucks will be accepting payment via select cell phones.

At more than 7,500 U.S. locations, customers will be able to pay by using their Blackberrys, iPhones and iPods. Customers will be able to scan their phones after they download an app and add money to their Starbucks account.

According to the vice president for the Starbucks card and brand loyalty, the goal of this new service is to allow customers to pay in the fastest way possible. In order for this to benefit the stores as well, they will have to install expensive scanners.

I love Starbucks, I really do, but I question the practicality of using ones cell phone as a method of payment. It seems to me that since I don’t own a Mary Poppins style purse (and I would, if they were made!), fetching my credit/debit card is just as quick as digging my phone out. Further, adding money to my Starbucks card requires that I must either think ahead or waste time at the register. Both options seem inconvenient and time consuming. So, if the goal of this initiative is to save me time, how much time am I really saving?

Moreover, I worry that this will cause unnecessary problems in the event that a cell phone is stolen. Not only will the owner be losing a phone, they will be losing money as well. And, in the case that someone leaves their phone at work, at home, in the car, at a party or anywhere else, then that individual will be forced to use money they hadn’t already allocated for coffee, or go without.

The technological advances that have occurred in my lifetime amaze me, but there comes a point where improvements heed small benefits and efficiency flatlines.

Lies, judges with DUI’s, and other fun news

January 17th, 2011 by Melissa Haskin

The effectiveness of this judge won’t be influenced by his recent lapse in judgment.

Starbucks is introducing 31 ounce drinks- I’d discuss this further but I’m otherwise engaged writing an enthused letter to Starbucks outlining my disappointment in the lack of 64 oz cups.

Doin’ it right: If you’re going to do something wrong, you might as well do it thoroughly wrong, right? Disney seems to think so- their reusable shopping bags aren’t just over the federal limit for lead, but 15 times the federal limit! YAY (props also go to Safeway for distribution and Advanced Publisher for manufacturing), congratulations seem to be in order for their epic failure.

And, just because I want to ruin your day and leave you in an identity crisis- everything you know about astrology is a lie! Now that we’ve all come to that realization, we can use cool words like “Ophiuchus.”

Goddamn fucking swine flu

December 13th, 2010 by Melissa Haskin

It’s back. Someone might want to tell the World Health Organization, since they officially claimed the pandemic was over in August.

Pope Benedict XVI Stirs the Pot

November 29th, 2010 by Melissa Haskin

In a bold and unorthodox move, Pope Benedict XVI expressly acknowledged that in some situations condoms might be acceptable. Though he did not change the official stance of the Catholic Church, he opened the door for debate. In indicating that condoms help prevent disease, the Pope seemed to advocate safety over morals.

Earlier this week, the Pope released a book, Light of the World, wherein he reasoned that, while condoms aren’t a moral solution, they exude responsibility and a step in the right (moral) direction. As reported by the New York Times, the statements were ambiguous and when questioned, Benedict  retorted with a smile. Specific examples the pope cited include prostitutes, which in itself is amusing since the church doesn’t quite advocate for prostitution. It was clear in Benedict’s message that the use should be to avoid disease, not pregnancy. However, contraception does tend to prevent conception, which is also against Catholic doctrine.

Benedict has stirred up a bit of opposition. The New York Times reported that several prominent individuals disagreed with the pope’s actions, going so far as to tell the publisher not to publish the his book. Though Benedict is not changing the church doctrine, one cannot deny the influence his words have on the Catholic community and the world. Perhaps in the future, there will be one less thing to confess for. Perhaps change is on the way.

Choose Your Own Adventure: Now with more boobs.

November 14th, 2010 by Ben Maras


In an attempt to reach out to at-risk partiers, the newest public service announcement from the National Health Service is reaching back to our youth for help. It’s not just the subject matter (use condoms) that makes it more fun and controversial than American ads, nor is it the Euro-chic nonchalance toward sex. The best part about it is that it’s essentially a Choose Your Own Adventure. With boobs.

In the vaguely-NSFW interactive video series, which is viewable on YouTube, you play as an unseen male character who is getting ready to go to a party with some friends, and have to make some tough choices about condoms: mostly whether to buy/use them. Depending which choices you make, you might totally get some, bro. Watch out though! Danger lurks around every corner and you might end up in the STD clinic.

The shaky Handycam saves the videos from being titillating, but they’re racy enough that British government officials can’t watch them at work due to porn filters. Predictably, moral-centric organizations like the Family and Educational Trust are complaining that the videos send a bad message to kids, because just saying no isn’t an option.

Norman Wells, the director of the Family and Education Trust, said the NHS should not be sending out the message that casual sex ‘leaves no regrets’.

He said: “It is grossly irresponsible of the NHS to present a graphic portrayal of unbridled lust in which a young woman is depicted as no more that a sex object and then to tell young men that they have ‘made the right choices’ simply because they have used a condom.”

Whether the objectification factor outweighs the message is debatable, but it’s not all sex and glamor. I’m not sure that sitting in an STD clinic being told you have AIDS/crabs/gonorrhea/etc. is really a regret-free outcome, and he leaves out the fact that — as I discovered — it’s entirely possible to cock-block yourself in the video.

Either way, though, if these stand any chance of getting the attention of the at-risk, they should be supported whole-heartedly. And if you disagree, turn to page 69, and a boulder will fall on your head.

The Foresight of our Fathers

March 10th, 2010 by D

The First Amendment is a delicate subject — surprising given its nature, which is one that protects the opinions and speech of all. Such was the argument of a federal appeals court that dismissed a suit against a group of extremist Christians who picketed the funeral of Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder in 2006.

The protesters (Baptists from Kansas) were holding signs that, “maintain that God hates homosexuality and that the death of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan is God’s way of punishing the United States for its tolerance of it.”

I’m not going to enter the semantic realm of Christians arguing that God punishes evil; that seems an open invitation to interpretation and an unwanted diversion of attention. Instead, what I’d like to point out is the incredible irony that arises out of the situation considering the death was that of a serviceman.

Although I could never do it myself, the burden our military people put on themselves in the line of duty is something I admire in and of itself. Regardless of the conflict, the self-sacrifice–putting yourself in the line of danger for my safety–is something I will never understand, never experience. But I am damn grateful for it.

As a Marine, Lance Cpl. Snyder undoubtedly believed that he was helping to protect our citizens and therefore our Constitution, in some way or another. As such, he actively helped protect the same governing laws that allowed, rightfully, a handful of religious zealots to make light of his death and his sacrifice.

Do I believe the picketers were wrong to protest Lance Cpl. Snyder’s funeral? Yes, but only on moral grounds. Having such disrespect for another human’s life is to be despised, and the grief put upon his family is more than they should have to endure. But as I sit here, with a picture of my grandfather in full Naval uniform staring directly at me, I have to remember that my morals are not solid basis for the policy of this nation’s laws. During WWII, he fought to protect my right to protect myself, to protect my home and my right to speak my mind. There is no doubt that Lance Cpl. Snyder fought to protect those things as well.

That is why when the Supreme Court hears this trial, I hope they will find in favor of the protesters. Not for their sake, and not for their expressed views; those I can live without. Instead, I hope they find in favor of the First Amendment. For all of us. That way, Lance Cpl. Snyder’s service will not have been in vain.