The US Represented Weekly Update

dolphin 2Hello USR members and guests,

This has been our busiest week ever, as you’re about to see. You might want to grab some popcorn and something to drink. OK, here we go. Eric Stephenson’sNew Beginnings” captures Easter in a unique way while honoring Gabriel García Márquez and magical realism. In “The Ivywild School: Grand Old Tradition, Brand New Persective,” DeLyn Martineau demonstrates how the Ivywild School in Colorado Springs “is a perfect example of the way a building’s history should be preserved while at the same time function as a community-driven collection of businesses.” In “Shoes: The Best First Impression,” Daneal Liller describes a simple strategy for evaluating people: “The first thing I look for, and really the only evidence for or against the person I need, is his or her shoes. And nine times out of ten, my first impression is correct based on this strategy.” In “gamer giirlz,” Amanda Fox explores the dynamics of a robust women’s gamer market but notes that “most gaming companies focus more on appeasing the vocal male gamers rather than pander to the female consumers who buy and play these games as well. Even though it’s their money, they have to pay for games everyone else wants.” Amber Sagapolu’sPutting Every Child at Risk” points out that “vaccination rates in America have been cut because of scary rumors involving vaccinations and incurable diseases like autism. Without having an active immunization program for all children, a chain of preventable deaths will continue to occur all over the globe, causing a serious epidemic.”

Damian Bedford’s “Tales of Corporate Greed, Episode I: Nestlé” takes a major company to task, stating, “Some companies have skeletons in the closet and some companies have rocky moral footing, but rarely do we find a company like Nestlé that, through careful technical lawyering and political persuasion, so nonchalantly and legally causes so much needless suffering in literally every facet of their business.” In “Justin Bieber: Just another Kid with Dumb Tattoos,” Sam Schoenecker argues that despite Justin Bieber’s questionable behavior, “his buffoonery and irresponsibility are really just the norm for a kid his age.” In “Slut Shaming: Who’s the Real Slut?” Sami Kear notes, “The act of slut shaming [the act of making a person feel inferior due to her choice of sexual acts] has taken double standards to a new level. A man can have sex with all the women he desires and is praised. A woman has sex with two men and is called a whore.” Devon Berry’s “Ringing True: Why Diamond Engagement Rings Are Extravagant Junk” questions the value of engagement rings. She says, “If you want to make a grand gesture to symbolize the everlasting love between two people, there are options outside of emptying your account for the benefit of big diamond companies.”

Jennifer Lucero’s “If You Have Eyes to ‘See'” studies Blood Moon Tetrads and notes that “religious leaders analyzed eclipse history from NASA and made uncanny comparisons between Blood Moon Tetrads and scripture in the Holy Bible. They believe that these special celestial events actually fulfill prophecies, particularly regarding the Messiah.” In “The Big Bang and the Bible: Not a Competition?” McKenzie Bartels argues that “the Big Bang is just a physical expression of the same creation story found in Genesis.” Lindsey Kellen’sFlames on 3, Family on 6!” describes one of the most dedicated and community friendly semi-pro football teams in the country. Erin Nace’s “Serenity Springs Wildlife Center: A New Future for Adopted Wildlife” discusses a park that adopts and cares for animals others often forget. The park “is now 20 years old and houses more than 120 residents, mostly non-domestic felines, though there are other types of wild animals such as a binturong, some baby bears, and two coatimundis.” In her poem “Rednecks and Bluebloods,” Dana Zimbleman contemplates her fascination for aristocratic and NASCAR dynastic families, which, despite appearances to the contrary, share a number of intriguing similarities.

In “A New Definition of ‘Community,'” Magnolia Cook argues that technology through social media and networking is creating and expanding community, not fracturing it. She notes, “As a society, we must respect that technology does not inhibit community, it liberates community to encompass a broad range of modes, compositions, and goals. Accepting this will open a world of potential.” In this Friday’s installment of Emily Badovinac’s novel Deep Red: Chapter Four, Marlo washes away her recent past, but, in turn, discovers a distant past that was stolen from her. Janele Johnson’s “Invocation” captures the splendor of moonlit spring nights. Here, the days are just an interim (“Send me serene across / hostile afternoons to break / through on the other side”) between the much anticipated evenings, where “the yellow voice / of the quickening earth will / whisper cattail-soft.” Gina McBroom’s “Removing Toxins from Your Body and Getting Healthy” explains why “implementing a detox regiment holds value for any type of person and can help with many different ailments or problems, proving especially useful in our diverse, constantly changing American society.”

We’ll also be populating the Visual Arts area with some work over the next few weeks and running a Visual Arts contest (I know, we keep saying that, but we’re getting there). Until next time, please keep being who you are. Our community is diverse, strong, engaged, and interesting, and we’re growing fast. We’ll talk to you soon.

The USR Staff