A Modern-day 'Romeo and Juliet'
This is not the duplicate of Shakespeare's famous tragedy about love. It does not contain a story about two star-crossed lovers who were caught in the middle of a bitter family feud. It is a story, however, with the same tragic outcome--- that of death. Where the story deviates is n the involvement of the government--- the Iranian government to be exact--- and the extraordinary lengths through which this government will go to always prevail.
The story of Nahal Sahabi,28, and her boyfriend Behnam Ganji, 22, was reported as one in which both victims were driven to commit suicide four weeks apart by their country's regime. Both Sahabi and Ganji were imprisoned for being friends with a human rights activist. Ganji and Sahabi were imprisoned eight and three days, respectively, at Evin prison, Tehran. The activist in question of mutual acquaintance was one Koohyar Goudarzi, 26. Mr, Goudarzi was a member of the committee for Huma Rights, and had registered on the government's radar when he was arrested for protesting the re-election of President Ahmadinejad in 2009. Goudarzi spent a year in prison, and upon release, continued his activism. This led him to sought after once more by the authorities. In their hunt for Goudarzi, the authorities entered his apartment and arrested both him and his roommate Mr. Ganji. Ms. Sahabi (along with Goudarzi's mother) was arrested shortly after.
When Ganji was released from Evin prison, he was said to have come out a broken man. Friends of Ganji told The Times that he was beaten by interrogators and forced to falsely condemn his roommate as member of the MKE (a criminal opposition group). Another friend of Ganji goes so far as to suggest that he and Mr. Goudarzi were raped in front of each other by prison guards. After the horrific encounters at Evin prison, Mr, Ganji became severely depressed. On September 1st, Ganji committed suicide with an overdose of prescription drugs.
Unlike her boyfriend, Ms. Sahabi was said to not be as traumatized after her arrest and release. It is noted, however, that she lived in the constant fear of rape after threats by the guards. When she found out about her boyfriend's death, Sahabi was devastated and blogged, “Hey Behnam. Damn you, what am I supposed to do in your absence?” On Thursday, she was found dead in her room, having overdosed on prescription drugs as well.
It would appear that tyrannical governments with the ideals of a 'Big Brother Is Watching You' slogan are not sole figments of George Orwell's imagination. When the story of Ganji and Sahabi broke, bloggers across Iran wrote of their sympathies and sent out their heart-felt condolences. Perhaps what was most notable and widely alarming about the response to these deaths was the shared feeling that something like this could happen to anyone in Iran. It is easy for us to go about our day, consuming massive amounts of Starbucks and savoring our slices of apple pie, forgetting just how fortunate we are to be living in 'the land of the free and the home of the brave'. It is imperative that we take into consideration that there are those who do not have these privileges and there are those who live their lives in constant fear of tyrannical governments with absolute power. With this in mind, Ganji and Sahabi stood as defiant pillars in a rigid regime, where their inseparability and love for each other, coupled with their acquaintance of an activist, saw their lives come to an unfortunate end. For those standing strong and fighting for change in Iran, their modern-day 'Romeo and Juliet' will never be forgotten.
Article Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2044057/Tragedy-modern-day-Romeo-Juliet-The-lovers-driven-suicide-Iranian-regime.html
Image Source: http://a1.l3-images.myspacecdn.com/images02/97/8ee606f9935e4eb1bd64926fec87d011/l.jpg
A Truly Terrifying Halloween Costume
A portly friend of mine once had a shirt that said “I beat anorexia.” I wasn’t sure if it was a confident, funny statement of self-love and acceptance or a self-deprecating, offensive trivialization of eating disorders. I have no such doubts about a Halloween costume marketed online by the popular costume store Ricky’s. The outfit, called “Anna Rexia”, is a literal interpretation of anorexia nervosa. According to the National Eating Disorders Associated, an estimated 10 million women and 1 million men in America suffer from anorexia or bulimia. And these numbers are surely low, as many individuals with eating disorders will not report them or seek help. The scariest part? Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness: 20% of anorexics will die within 20 years of contracting the illness, and anorexia kills 12 times as many females between 15 and 24 as any other cause of death. I have trouble finding a spot in all this troubling data for good-humored Halloween fun.
The costume, which has apparently been around for a while but only recently found its way to Ricky’s, is a tight black dress picturing a skeletal frame. It includes a heart-shaped name tag with “Anna Rexia” written on it, an adorable bow in the shape of a bone, and a length of measuring tape meant to be looped around the waist and neck. Yes, you can loop the measuring tape around your neck like a noose. The lady in the picture certainly seems happy and comfortable in her outfit, although individuals with eating disorders are known to have depression and be uncomfortable in their own bodies. Plus, this woman is sexy: healthy hair, good skin, breasts pushed so far up and together that it almost looks painful, full hips. Looking at an actual anorexic will show you a different story: hair falling out, yellowing skin, brittle nails, and no sex appeal to speak of. This woman in the picture is what anorexics want to look like, except that if they did look like her they’d still think they were obese and disgusting. It’s horrible to even create an outfit that mocks a fatal illness; to market that illness as sexy adds insult to injury.
But, of course, companies have been marketing anorexia to us for years. Fashion magazines sell us stick-thin female models, movies and TV shows sell us sexy leading men and women, and car commercials sell us beautiful, skinny people who drive BMWs. The argument that our apparent cultural obsession with weight and weight-loss goes hand-in-hand with the media’s portrayal of the ideal human figure has been explored ad nauseam and needs no further support from me. But this costume makes it obvious that, despite the many resources and information available out there, eating disorders are still gravely disregarded, their consequences ignored, and their significance underestimated. Ricky’s pulled the outfit from their website after major backlash from organizations like the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders, but it’s still being sold elsewhere on the internet.
Ladies and gentlemen, have fun this Halloween. Be goofy. Wear a funny outfit. Be sexy if you want to be. But let’s not forget what Halloween is really about: stuffing your face with chocolate. You too, Anna.
Image Source: http://www.boingboing.net/filesroot/200710081256.jpg
As the days draw closer to the supposed end of the world declared by centuries dead cultures, clinically disturbed religious leaders incapable of doing math, small internet shops that want to capitalize on apocalypse merc because they have no original ideas of their own and yes, that one guy in Times Square that cries, “the end is coming!”, it turns out they might be right.
But not how you think. The rare phenomenon is called Venus In Transit. The planet Venus orbits around the sun until it is visible on Earth. As it passes in front of the sun, it will unleash a powerful tidal wave of energy upon the surface of the Earth. Some theories suggest the wave will end the world as we know it: it will knock out and fry any and all electronics. From your toaster to your Mac, kiss them goodbye. We’ll be fine. And hey, at least you’ll have your health, right?
Image Source: http://superk.physics.sunysb.edu/~chiaki/AstroPhotos/VenusTransit.jpg
Article Source: http://magnificent50.com/index.php/entertainment/mayan-apocalypse-island-revealed-on-history-channel/