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Sunday, October 24, 2021



How to combat mental health stigmas

When you picture an asylum, what comes to mind? For many people, it’ll be a prison-like building with white walls and barred windows. Maybe even a “Shutter Island”-esque ocean lockup filled with unknown or unspeakable horrors. I think it’s telling that just googling ‘psychiatric asylum’ brings up images meant to invoke fear: walls with writing scratched into them and patients confined to straitjackets. But is this really the way we should be depicting mental illness, something that 1 in 5 adults will struggle with yearly?


Taxation is theft: the fundamentals of libertarian political philosophy

The phrase “taxation is theft” can be a meme, or a serious political position, depending on who you ask. While it’s easy to dismiss the idea as the deranged babbling of an adamant free marketeer, I’d like to explain the underlying politics that the phrase rests on and defend the idea that taxation is state-sponsored theft. To reach such a conclusion, there are only two premises you must accept: The Non-Aggression Principle is valid, and all laws are ultimately only enforceable by violence. Let’s examine both assumptions.


The cost of beauty shouldn’t be the environment

People love makeup. More than a third of Americans aged between 18 and 29 wear makeup on a daily basis, and another third use makeup several times per week. Even men have taken an interest in keeping up their appearances with beauty products, according to CNN. While I enjoy dismantling toxic masculinity and being able to express myself creatively, I can’t help but become frustrated with the amount of waste we’re producing that is harming our environment. 


Be kind to the weather person

During discussions of hurricane tracks, forecasts and cones of uncertainty, I’ve heard mention of how the meteorologists discussing these forecasts “always” get it wrong or make mistakes. While I can understand why people feel this way, such comments detract from the important work that meteorologists do.


The psychedelic renaissance is a welcome change

Once upon a time, psychedelic drugs were mysterious tools of experimental psychology and psychiatry being seriously investigated for their potential applications. Studies like the Harvard Psilocybin Project and the CIA’s attempts to use LSD as a mind-control agent in its secretive MK Ultra project drew plenty of attention. But before psychedelics could gain any considerable momentum or have their effects fully understood, the federal government outlawed them by making them Schedule I drugs in the 1960s 一 substances that have “no currently accepted medical use” and a “high potential for abuse” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). For the next several decades, research was scarce. 


Why La Casita matters

Arriving in Gainesville from Miami left me with a massive culture shock. As a freshman, I was overwhelmed by the feeling I had sacrificed so much of what defined my life until then. From a Cuban coffee in the morning to a shared “buen provecho” at dinner, a lifetime of Hispanic and Latinx traditions were lost to me. There was a comfortable sense of familiarity in hearing Spanish regularly and visiting my local panadería every other day — a routine I never realized the significance of until it was gone. In its place was a town that I first characterized as unfamiliar and unwelcoming. 


Darts and Laurels

You arrive to class 15 minutes early Thursday morning. You feel strong, confident and beautiful. When the professor calls for the assignments to be passed forward, you pull out your paper and take a moment to relish your excellent work. Even the staple in the corner is gleaming. You took advantage of the hurricane closings to read ahead in the material. During the lecture, you raise your hand multiple times to contribute, earning several good points from the professor. Today is just the start. The entire semester is going to be like this. It is finally your time to shi— BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP! You peel open your eyes. Ugh. Make it stop. You flop your hand around until it connects with your phone. Darn it. It was a dream. DARN IT. WHAT TIME IS IT?! You roll off the couch and scramble around trying to pull together clothes. There’s drool all over your cheek and chin. You trip over trash on the floor. You flip open your Mac and pull up the paper that you fully intended to write days ago but only started around dawn. You send it to the printer. Something smells and you’re pretty sure it’s you. You grab the pages and rush out the door. You finally get to class. Everyone has already handed in their assignments and you do your best to inconspicuously add yours to the pile. It’s a little crumpled and held together by a folded corner. You aren’t optimistic about your grade. Is it too late to drop the class? You sink into your seat and notice something written on the board. In big, dry erase block letters it reads


Running from our problems: beginner exercises to help you destress

From a marketing perspective, I think that exercise has been criminally mismanaged. If there were a drug that could do for human health everything that exercise can, it would likely be the most valuable pharmaceutical ever developed. The problem comes from the idea that exercise must be really taxing and time-consuming to be effective. While I’m not suggesting that you’ll be an Olympian by doing 30 minutes of exercise every other day, I think most people would be surprised by just how beneficial a few movements can be, not just physically but mentally. 


Unsolicited advice from a 1L survivor.

Full disclosure: I pick my column topics based on how easy they are to write. A piece about my academic struggles? I can crank that out in an hour. Topics about the law school culture at UF, a more in-depth think piece on some political topic or (heaven forbid) a nuanced look at the student organization funding “crisis”? We’ll save those for a week when I’m not already procrastinating on my class assignments.


Don’t kick celebrities out of politics

In today’s political climate, celebrities are more vocal about their political beliefs than ever before. It’s not uncommon to flick through a celebrity’s Instagram story and see them proclaiming their support or opposition to a position. You might even scroll past posts of one posing next to political candidates. Some believe that celebrities are getting “too political” or should “stay in their lanes.” However, is it really that much of an issue for celebrities to bring awareness to political issues? 


The Mouse and the Spider

In the expansive gallery of Marvel’s superheroes, there are few characters that even come close to the level of name recognition and reputability as Spider-Man. In the year 2018, he got an Academy Award-winning animated film, a game that set the record for sales of a third party game from Sony at 3.3 million copies and a role in the fifth highest-grossing film in the history of the world. It would be an understatement to say that the year 2018 was kind to his brand. Far From Home, which was released early last month, has even surpassed Skyfall to become Sony’s highest-grossing film of all time. It seemed like the property of Spider-Man had a bright future under the guidance of Sony and Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe – so it was a surprise to many when reports surfaced in late August detailing Sony and Disney’s disputes which would land it in very uncertain waters.


The social media oligarchy banished Alex Jones. Who’s next?

Few tales are more perplexing than the Alex Jones saga. The eccentric, conspiratorial host of InfoWars seems to be at the center of virtually every controversy, from insinuating that the mass shooting at Sandy Hook was staged (and subsequently being sued for it) to sending child pornography, supposedly unknowingly, to the plaintiffs in a defamation lawsuit. 


How to get more culture in a primarily white university

UF isn’t exactly known for its diversity, but one would expect a bit more from the nation’s eighth best public university. With recognition across the country and students from all over the world, it would make sense that a school of this quality would represent the whole country. Unfortunately, the Gator Nation is not as culturally diverse as one would hope.

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