I've been buying a lot of plants this summer, and they've livened up my living space drastically. They are something I love to look at and collect more of, so here are some plants I've found to be particularly easy for beginners to take care of.
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This is me taking a break from being cynical and imagining how the world could be one day.
By now, people are probably sick of hearing me talk about myself, so I’m changing it up this week. In keeping with the subject of my J-Term class, I’m asking myself a political what-if question. What if we could create a sovereign global government firmly grounded in justice that could actually adjudicate Earth’s many disparate nation-states into one unified world government?
I should confess up front that I have a vision of the world as it appears in the universe of the Star Trek franchise. The Earth of the Star Trek universe has unified the entire world under one unitary governing body, and war, famine, disease, and conflict are things of the past. The human race in general has evolved to a higher moral standard that obviates greed, envy, and other harmful impulses. This collective dedication to the betterment of the human condition fosters fantastic technological progress that allows humanity to explore the galaxy that we have thus far only been able to contemplate philosophically.
Right away, I acknowledge that there are many, many issues with the question that I have just posed. Perhaps the foremost objection to this question is that such a government would never be practical or feasible. The picture I’ve just painted is a fanciful, pie-in the sky, pipe dream that deserves only derision. After all, the world is wracked with nations of implacable enemies engaged in centuries-old disputes that seem intractable.
However, since this is not an academic paper, but an article where I have much greater creative freedom, I will defer addressing the many logistical concerns with bringing such a dream about. Instead, I’ll focus on a few choice hypotheticals that I think would bring today’s world a little closer to the one I described above. I realize that these suggestions range from merely impractical to borderline ludicrous. However, mankind has achieved things thought to be ludicrous before, and I think that given enough time and incentive, we could do so again.
The U.N. takes its proper place as a sovereign world government. If the United Nations were actually to wield the power that Woodrow Wilson envisioned for it at one point, then perhaps a united front of nations prepared to use armed resistance against Adolf Hitler might have prevented, or at least delayed, WWII. Unfortunately, the League’s structure and mandate prevented much productive agreement on issues because of both the required unanimous vote to enact policy and the inherent aversion of member countries to support any policy that did not suit its own interests. Perhaps a sovereign U.N. government with power to settle disputes both diplomatic and military could prevent a WWIII.
Failing the prevention of such a conflict, I believe (and hope) that a third world war would force a collective reevaluation of human morality. Such an examination of conscience would require the many nations to reprioritize the interests of others, sometimes ahead of their own. This would be not only a revision to government policy but to morality and philosophy at both the personal and global levels. Basically, better government would be served by better people.
Another thing tied in to the revision of human morality is the death of money. Were the idea of money to go the way of the dinosaur, acquisition and greed would no longer be the driving forces in our lives, and we would have to dedicate ourselves to new, healthier pursuits (in theory, at least.) Maybe the creation of a new world economy with some kind of barter system would replace our current fascination with currency.Once again, I want to emphasize that these ideas are all merely my own flights of fancy. They represent what I think the world could be like, maybe in a thousand years or just ten. Who knows?
Procrastination Nation, unite.
- Watch a movie
- Take a nap
- Have a dance party
- Eat ice cream
- Bake a cake
- Cry just a little bit
- Knit a blanket
- Learn to ride a bike
- Build a crib
- Watch a hockey game
- Watch any game
- Play with my hair
- Dye my hair
- Go grocery shopping
- Learn to crochet
- Do 50 jumping jacks
- Drive cross country
- Take a bubble bath
- Squeeze lemons for lemonade
- Sell the lemonade
- Make heart-shaped ice cubes
- Moisturize my knees
- Paint my nails
- Find the cure for cancer
- Run a marathon
- Just kidding, run down the hall
- Squat my bodyweight
- Eat my bodyweight in French fries
- Hibernate until Christmas
- Cuddle my body pillow (unless you have a boo)
- Think about all the work I’m not doing
- Wash my bed sheets
- Vacuum my apartment
- Play mini golf
- Go swimming
- Tan in this Texas heat
- Sing like I’m about to win American Idol
- Blow up balloons
- Pop the balloons
- Make lists
- Write an Odyssey article
- Pet a puppy
- Adopt a puppy
- Pay my rent
- Order a pizza
- Start a garden
- Cook a turkey
- Find new music
- Clean my waffle iron
- Learn to make jam
- Jam to music
- Play scrabble
- Volunteer anywhere
- Celebrate a birthday
- Watch a makeup tutorial I’ll never use
- Go through old pictures on my phone
- Make a playlist
- Take a shower
- Clean my room
- Curl my hair
- Climb a rock wall
- Get a massage
- Play with Snapchat filters
- Roast a chicken
- Go fishing
- Chug some Snapple
- Ride in a cart around Walmart
- Count the days until the semester is over
- Overthink about my future
- Think of my future baby’s names
- Pin everything on Pinterest
- Text anybody
- Pray about life
- Watch a sunset
- Watch a sunrise
- Have a picnic
- Read a book (that’s not for school)
- Go to a bakery
- Snuggle a bunny
- Clean my apartment
- Wash my dishes
- Rearrange my furniture
- Physically run away from my problems
- Make some meatballs
- Learn to make bread
- Google myself
- Ride a Ferris wheel
- Get stuck on a Ferris wheel (that way, it’s not my fault I’m not studying)
- Wash my car
- Get on a plane to Neverland
- Find Narnia in my closet
- Jump on a trampoline
- Learn to ice skate
- Go rollerblading
- Ride a rollercoaster
- Carve a pumpkin
- Restore water in a third world country
- FaceTime my family
- Hug my mom
- Tell my friends I love them
As the General Assembly convenes, here is the United Nations 101
For an organization that literally unites the nations, it amazes me how little is taught about the United Nations in schools, or at least where I went to school. It wasn't until I went to college and got a higher education that I learned the basics of the United Nations. I believe that every American should know at least the basics of what the United Nations does, especially since our country is one of the 5 permanent members. So here are the main "organs" of the United Nations.
The visual above is a much more complex look at the organs of the United Nations, a more generalized description can be found below.
General Assembly- Each of the states (countries) in the United Nations is a member of the General Assembly. They make important decisions about peace and security. For something to get passed or at least given a second look it must get 2/3 votes.
Security Council- The Security Council is much more powerful than the General Assembly. It is made up of 5 permeant members: China, Soviet Union (now Russia), France, the United Kingdom, the United States, and 10 non-permeant members that are elected every two years from the General Assembly. Each of these 15 states has one vote and the permanent member states can veto any substantive issue.
Economic and Social Council- There are 54 members who are voted in and out by the General Assembly. They vote on all things that involve the world economy and social issues.
Secretary General- They have a five year term, are nominated by the Security Council, and elected by the General Assembly. The Secretary General is elected from states that aren't as powerful so there is proper global representation. Ban Ki-moon, from South Korea is the current Secretary General but his term ends this December, so be on the look out for a new Secretary General very soon.
International Court of Justice- The ICJ is the world court in the UN. There are 15 justices, who each have 9 year terms. They don't have much power, they mostly just advise countries.
The United Nations is a lot more complex than what I've described here, but after reading this you'll know more than the average American about the UN.
How to get through the best Hump Day get together.
What would Wine Wednesdays be without wine? Grab a bottle of red and a bottle of white so that you have some variety. If you feel like splurging, get a bottle of Rosé too.
A DIY craft: One you and your friends can do on your Wine Wednesday is making your own wine glass ID tags. Below are some examples:
(PLEASE do not drink and craft)
Cheese and Meats are a MUST: You can have a pot-luck where everyone brings cheeses, meats and crackers OR you can make a dish of meat and cheese to share with your friends.
Pick out a movie: You have your wine, food and friends. Gather around your television/laptop and pick out a few movies to watch together.
Pick out some music: If you don't want to watch a movie, pick out some songs and dance with your friends to the rhythm of wine.
(Lady Gaga wine costume is optional...)
Just remember that the night is about friends, making memories and enjoying your Wine Wednesday.
Every day of the week is unique, to say the least. Although they don't have to get up for work or go to class on a Monday, dogs truly relate to the struggle we face every day. Here are the days of the week as told by the cutest pups around:
The worst day of them all. Trying to get out of bed is actually the biggest struggle. How many more days until the weekend again?
Okay, getting out of bed on Monday is very hard, but you know what's harder? Staying awake in class on a Tuesday. The weekend is really hitting you now.
HUMP DAY!! So close, yet so far. We all need some serious assistance getting through this day.
Thirsty Thursday, the ultimate tease for the weekend. At this point, it's hard to contain one's excitement.
An accurate representation of everyone submitting their work so that they're free of responsibilities and can start pre-gaming.
Friday was pretty cool, but Saturday night is sure to be better. A full day to yourself without any classes. Where's the party?
Sunday, the day where it is a competition to see who can accomplish the least amount of work. This dog completely understands. No matter how hard someone tries, they will NOT get up. Wake me up when the week is over.
1. Brittany Morgan, National Writer's Society
2. Radhi, SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign