Those Forgotten by America: Vietnam and Today

I’ve picked up a few books along my travels in Mexico through various book exchanges. Right now, I’m reading a book called Blood on the Risers by John Leppelman who served in Vietnam for three years when he was a young man.

forgotten by america
CC by manhhai via Flickr

His account as a soldier during one of the United States’ most controversial wars sparked my interest in the distrust of the press during that period of American history and its connection (if one exists) to the current level of distrust in the mainstream media in today’s political environment.

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Divided, in Every Sense of the Word

Yesterday, I went to a discussion held by Northeastern’s journalism department called ‘The Day After: Making Sense of the Election and What Lies Ahead’. One of the first things that Professor Dina Kraft, a member of the faculty panel, said was that she expected many of us woke up that morning in an America that we didn’t recognize.

That’s exactly how I felt. I thought about the dashboard of my life, Facebook, and I realized how one-sided my news feed was throughout the election cycle. The majority of what I saw on Facebook was news reports about another one of Trump’s gaffes or outright scandals, articles, many of which were op-eds, mainly in support of Clinton, and peoples’ statuses that were essentially all in support of Hillary Clinton.

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3 Times The Numbers Showed Women Receive Different Treatment Than Men

This weekend, Amazon released a new television series called Good Girls Revolt, and I subsequently watched all 10 episodes (almost) in a row. The show focuses on the story lines of three leading ladies working for the fictitious News of the Week Magazine as they attempt to sue their employer for gender discrimination in 1969. Not only does the show tell a fascinating story, the story is based on the real experiences of writers like Nora Ephron and Lynn Povich at Newsweek Magazine.

As a period piece, the series does its best to dedicate itself to the issues of the time. Though it primarily aims to address the blatant sexism that these women faced in the workplace, it also addresses the many more injustices that plagued women during the period. Some of these include a woman’s birth control and access to abortion, sexual harassment, and being considered a second-class citizen behind her father or husband.

We’ve made a lot of progress since then, women can wear pants and sign the paperwork for our own homes and apartments. But, the question of women’s equality (maybe better, inequality) keeps being raised. One of the most searched terms on Google in this election cycle has been abortion, and in many places, women still don’t have adequate access to reproductive healthcare. While women have certainly become a vital part of the job market today, pay inequality is still a prominent issue.

As I watched the first season of Good Girls Revolt, I started to think about the similarities between the struggles that these women faced and the struggles that women continue to face close to two decades into the 21st century.

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Mapping the Numbers: What Do Maps Add to the Conversation?

Maps are incredibly helpful tools, not just for getting from one place to another, but for understanding data. We’ve all seen maps of the United States being used to show statistical data that was collected across the country, usually by state, and we know that they make the numbers easier to understand. That’s the idea, at least.

us map
Photo (cc) by Geralt via Pixabay

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The 2016 Presidential Election by Google Search Trends

Google Trends
Photo (cc) by Simon via Pixabay

Anybody who’s tried to perform a self-diagnosis by googling their symptoms knows that just because you’re typing something into that search bar, doesn’t mean that you want it.

Nevertheless, trends in Google searches can reveal what people are curious about. Google Trends is an online tool by Google that shows search frequency for phrases and words and organizes trending topics from around the world. The homepage is a fully interactive experience with the 2016 Presidential Election story displayed as a banner across the top of the page with featured insights and trending stories (presumably with more accuracy than Facebook trends) below the banner.

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Examining the Political Split in the Medical Profession

In his paper published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine in 1992, Professor E. Krakauer aims to explore the relationship “between medical management of the human body and governmental management of the body politic.” We know that politics influence the medical care that patients receive because there are laws that regulate the medical profession. The laws and regulations concerning abortion is just one particularly controversial example. Another example is the National Organ Transplant Act from 1984 which saw the creation of a organ transplant system that includes a law banning the exchange of payment for an organ. Dr. Sally Satel talks about this and some of its drawbacks in this segment from NPR. Here, we see the ways that politics affect medical care from above, but what about how politics affect medical care from within?

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Northeastern’s Audience at the Presidential Debate

Live-Tweets from Northeastern During the First Presidential Debate 2016

This evening was the first presidential debate of the 2016 election. My goal was to live tweet the event in addition to the context of the audience in the Northeastern auditorium. All day I spent my breaks setting up my Twitter, following additional relevant accounts, and reading tips for live-tweeting an event for the first time. Among the dozens of tweets from reporters and news outlets about the ’11 possible outcomes of the debate’ and the ‘pre-debate polling numbers,’ was a tweet from with an article questioning the effectiveness of the debates.

The article suggested that rather than doing formal debates, the candidates go through a crisis simulation which would show the true merits of each candidate as a potential president of the United States.

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