USA Presidential Debate | Op-Ed

Although I am Canadian, I cannot help but be intrigued by the American Presidential debate. As the last round of debates took place, I was able to make some observations that I can’t help but vocalize. When a presidential election takes place in a country as large, developed, and internationally integrated as the United States, the interest in the election is drawn from audiences around the globe. Attending lectures at my university following the first two debates, I noticed the buzz around campus. The conversation led to the latest memes that have been created and opinions as to whom was a stronger candidate for the position of President.

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I have watched all three Presidential debates and I was taken back by the amount of blaming back and forth not so much the candidate’s policies and goals as much as their personal self. What I was hoping to see was greater insight into valid solutions and a course of action for pending problems in the economy, security, healthcare, etc. After all, the future of the United States dictates where Canada (whose only geographic neighbour is the United States) will be heading. Although it would be idealistic to think that a debate has the potential to sway the opinions of those who are already committed to a leader, this series of debates will most certainly go down in history for swaying the electoral body tremendously.

Therefore, the Presidential debate was not a very effective way of displaying where each candidate was hoping to lead the United States as it was overshadowed by allegations. Going back to the first question of the second round of debates, no, the debates are not very appropriate for children to watch and learn from. The questions posed by the moderator dealt with core issues such as cyber security, human rights, the healthcare system, migration, the economy, and political/economic alliances, which hit on the key areas that the future leader should foresee. I think the questions were spot on and equally challenged each candidate.

As a university student, I was hoping to see more attention dedicated to student debt and the lack of student employment, something which was not discussed in its entirety. The issue comes from the falling voter turnout from lack on interest in politics. How can an issue be of priority if those effected by the outcome do not vote or knowledge themselves. It is wonderful to see how celebrities are promoting that youth vote because the voice of youth does help shape the political agenda. With voter turnout falling, student solutions are not becoming priorities for the future leader. This means that it is time to think of viable solutions in order to encourage groups to cast their ballots. Greater social media involvement and publicity from celebrities is a great start.


Keeping up with recent events in the United States, I am looking forward to the elections in the United States on November 8th.

~Kisses, Kvitka~

 

 

 

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Types of Pokemon Goers + Questions


Although I was going to be a “hipster” and avoid the “Pokemon Go” craze, I decided to cave in and download it onto my iPhone anyways. Although it crashed on me the minute I logged in, I am determined to learn the ropes ASAP. I haven’t experienced this app addiction yet but it reminds me of the time “Flappy Bird” made the news globally and I am little hesitant to try “Pokemon Go” for this exact reason. However, I will stop being Debby Downer and instead entertain you with some hilarious types of Pokemon Goers (which I have personally encountered).

#1 The Lost Boyfriend: this one is still my favourite. While waiting in line at a small convenience store I can tell that the couple in front of me is “pokemoning” its way towards the cash register. Long story short, the disappearing boyfriend made his way into a park 5 minutes away from the store while his girlfriend frantically searched for him. It was not a happy phone convo.

#2 The Lost and Found: while at work, I cannot help but notice the small crowds gathering around High Park. With phones in all sorts of contortionist positions, it is hilarious watching people stare at their phones while navigating in circles and triangles around trees and bushes.

#3 Presidential Palace: Yes Indonesia, yes to banning workers in your presidential palace from playing “Pokemon Go” during working hours. Hmm, drafting laws and policies or looking for Pokemon?


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Alright but in all seriousness, I have some questions about “Pokemon Go.”Pardom moi but I might be going on a rant here. I will have to be a bummer after all but I am wondering about the way that our GPS is being tracked. With cameras installed and location identification on, this is a global phenomenon that tracks the where abouts of every individual logged into the game. Although it is cool to see Pokemon pop up in a real life environment (believe me, I used to be obsessed in elementary school), what is the information tracked about us being used for and by whom?

Now let’s address the lack of interaction between people. Although “Pokemon Go” is getting people outside and moving, I also have not seen so many people blindly starring into their phones and avoiding social interaction. Now what about safety concerns as people are bound to be less cognizant of their surroundings, leading to accidents or walking into restricted areas in search of Pokemon. Honestly “DON’T POKEMON AND DRIVE/WALK” should be a thing.

If you have any questions of your own or answers to mine along with hilarious stories about your “Pokemon Go” adventures, leave them in the comments. We would love to hear your thoughts! 

~Kisses, Kvitka~

Highlights of the Week

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This week has been very sad in so many ways. I woke up on Monday to depressing weather, news about Brussels, a death in a close friend’s family and Rob Ford’s passing. Read on for my Highlights of the Week!

Brussels: By now the whole world has heard of the bombings in Brussels. As I’m typing this, Brussels police are carrying out anti-terror raids and I believe they’ve captured one of the three Daesh bombers. It’s hard not be afraid for your own communities and families when you hear news like this. But the truth is that fear and recognition is precisely what Daesh wants and that’s something we should never give them. Feel terrible for the innocent who were attacked but go out, live your life and don’t be bogged down by anger because that just leads to hate: something the world needs less of with Trump in the west and Daesh in the east.

Rob Ford: He’s a little hard to talk about because I’ve most of the time he’s been in the spotlight, ridiculing his policies and disagreeing with the man’s ideals. But when I heard he died I realised how sad I was because he died at 46 of cancer which in 2016 is all too common. He has little kids and family who miss him and love him. Cancer sucks and no matter how much I disliked the man, it was sad to hear of his passing.

Jian Ghomeshi: I’ve always defended our law system and political system simply because I’ve seen first hand that it works better than other countries I’ve lived in. But with the results of this trial, I’m sorely tempted to throw in the towel. The trial had less to do with his guilt and more to to do with tearing apart the victims credibility. The justice system failed and it’s set a bad precedent for future cases.

Onto more nostalgic news:

Hannah Montana: Why am I talking about HM?? Because yesterday was the ten year anniversary of the show! Can you believe how time has flown? I really was a huge fan of the show and I still really like Miley Cyrus for ‘doing her own thang’: don’t judge me!

Lastly,

Persuasion: I re-read Persuasion by Austen all of this week. Fell in love (again) and now I’m going on a binge reading sesh in the middle of exam season.

And that’s all my news of the week! Have comments or opinions? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!


Until next time,

Rochelle

 

Highlights of the Week

Morning everyone! Since it’s Friday I thought I’d share my top 5 favourite things this week (in no particular order). Sit back, enjoy a cup of tea; point & laugh or comment & share if you like this post!

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#1 Pro-gun Mum shot by her 4 year (non-fatal): I’ll admit I laughed my head off at the library at which I was studying. Frankly, leaving a fully loaded weapon in the backseat with your toddler, with the safety off, is the height of idiocy no matter how well you’ve taught your kid to shoot. To top it off, the woman had bragged about her kid’s skills on the gun range the shooting. You can read Daily Mail’s report on the incident here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3484064/Pro-gun-poster-girl-shot-four-year-old-son-driving-Florida-boy-pistol-seat-truck.html!

#2 Michigan felt the Bern: Bernie Sanders trumped Hillary Clinton in the Michigan primary! This is pretty epic because in the test polls, Clinton was always on top with at least a 20 or more lead. Sanders win was a huge upset and shock to the essentially everyone (including the Bern’s party I think)!

#3 International Women’s Day: As you already know, Kvitka and I collaborated with Kaye (Always, Kaye) for IWD! Honestly, it was one of my favourite experiences of this year. The #BeingAWoman was empowering and it made me seriously reflect on the question itself. It had me stumped for over an hour. I had to research in order to formulate my thoughts and all in all, the project did exactly what it was meant to: make us all evaluate our thoughts on feminism in our lives.

#4 Sony might drop Dr. Luke (Rumours): I read several articles by Forbes, Vanity Fair, The Verge and Entertainment Weekly over the last few days that announced that Sony was looking to drop Dr. Luke after the huge #FreeKesha movement. This made me really happy because I support Kesha and firmly believe that no one should be forced to work with someone who allegedly harmed them. Kesha makes music and she has the right to back out of a contract that forces her to work with her alleged assaulter. Unfortunately, Dr. Luke’s attorney has claimed that nothing of the sort has occurred.

#5 Trubama: Buzzfeed says it all actually. There’s apparently a bromance brewing and it is as epic as it sounds. And yes, shipping people together results in fanfiction. If you do Google “Trubama fanfic” please don’t blame me for what you find.


 

And that’s it for this week’s highlights! I’m thinking of making this a regular series–what do you think? Opinions are always welcome in the comments below!

Until next time,

Rochelle

5 Things Media Stops Reporting

This week Grammys stole the show as everyone waited with anticipation for the winners to be announced. However, the Grammys already got enough press this week. I want to talk about the dilemma we are facing in real time and that is ‘report and forget’.


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Today we have the benefit of instant news coverage where you are no longer waiting for the morning paper to learn that Taylor Swift had a dashing Grammys outfit. Something that I can’t help but notice though is that while we report news instantly, they become “old news” just as rapidly or don’t receive any coverage at all. Let me give you some examples.

#1 Famine in South Sudan: personally I have not heard of this much on the media. Mass starvation (4 million people) ensued after two years of civil war causing resources to become scarce.

# 2 Crisis in Ukraine: in my classes the extent of people’s knowledge is the annexation of Crimea. What the media has lacked to report is the bloody war that ensued in eastern Ukraine shortly after, taking the lives of ~9,000.

#3 Lebanon on the brink of civil war: the Syrian crisis has made headlines globally. However, its neighbours are not getting nearly enough coverage despite the repercussions their potential civil wars will have on global affairs.

#4 Cambodia sex trafficking: this is a destination for peadophiles due to the lax laws surrounding prostitution which have been linked to a boost in tourism.

# 5 Zika virus: although we are aware of the epidemic, there are not enough questions being asked in the media. Currently we are curious to learn if Zika can be passed on from one adult to another? How can you distinguish the flue from Zika symptoms? Once the symptoms pass, are you able to return to full health?

With this post I hope to raise your awareness about the importance of reading the news critically and always asking questions. Our curiosity will lead to top notch reporting.

Q&A: What news stories do you think are not getting enough media attention?

~Kisses, Kvitka~

Highlights of the Week!

Beyoncé: The singer was hot topic this week after releasing her new single Formation on Saturday, performing said song during halftime at the Super Bowl on Sunday and announcing a world tour right after. Formation raised eyebrows but it is an inspirational song for many black women who relate to the message the song sent out. My favorite article on the song is Beyonce as Conjure Woman reclaiming the magic of Black Lives that Matter by Prof. Janell Hobson. I’m personally not a huge fan of Beyoncé but I love her message of female power and beauty. You can watch the artsy video right here: 

Trump and Bernie: Two days ago Trump and Sanders won at the New Hampshire primary! As the NY Times stated, “For the Democrats, Mr. Sanders’s popularity with liberals, young people, and some women and working-class white men has underscored potential vulnerabilities for Mrs. Clinton in the nominating contests ahead. She is now under enormous pressure to prove that her message can inspire and rally voters”. The Republican candidates are a little less predictable with the election moving on to South Carolina and it seems like Cruz and Trump are leading the pack with CRuz’s win in Iowa.

A. Einstein: As usual, Einstein is right! His theory on gravitational waves was proved right yesterday when scientists painstakingly dicovered tiny gravitational waves which could ultimately lead to evidence of the Big Bang! You can read the full article here at BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-35524440

Movies: Deadpool is getting released today in Canada and I’ve been waiting for this film since last year. Let me know in the comments below if you watched it and if you loved/hated it! No spoilers because I can’t watch it until next week. I watched PP and Zombies on Tuesday and I have to say, it was my third favorite rendition of PP (right the Colin Firth one and Lizzie Bennet Diaries). It had touching moments, shocking ones, wasn’t predictable at all and was completely (intentionally and unintentionally) hilarious!


Until next time,

Rochelle

 

Flatulence and Global Warming

Here’s something no one ever talks about: farts. Why talk about it now? Because studies over the past eight years have proved that gas from cattle actually makes a big impact on global warming. Whether you believe in global warming or not, you have to admit that the impact of cattle breeding over the years is extremely significant. Most humans love meat and dairy. The food industry, obviously, reflects those choices. 


The Scientific American reports that “according to a 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), our diets and, specifically, the meat in them cause more greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and the like to spew into the atmosphere than either transportation or industry“. Obviously it isn’t just gas that is the contributing factor to global warming. In fact, the pastures and land the livestock take up has increased over the years in response to an ever increasing population and demand for meat. Reports over the years have discussed the conditions cattle have been raised in and the diets they are fed. Many of these reports have been uncomplimentary.

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However, this isn’t an article to dissuade the eating of dairy products and meat. In fact, farmers and their livelihoods are extremely important. But with the new Paris Climate  Conference’s goal of keeping temperature below 2 degrees (Celsius), preferably at 1.5 degrees, discussing the primary causes of climate change is necessary. If it is indeed us who influence the food industry with our choices, then is it not up to us to influence the food industry in a way that promotes sustainable choices?

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What can you do? 

Option 1. Give up eating meat… (Lol, like that’s going to happen. Mama loves her burgers and wine/cheese nights).

Option 2. Cut down eating meat to a reasonable amount. Personally, I’m all for this plan. The Global Citizen recently published this poll to estimate how many people would be down to pay a tax on meat. A surprising 80% of people would be okay with meat taxation!

Option 3. Make eco-conscious choices. This option can be take with Option 2 because being healthy and intelligent can indeed go hand in hand.

In the end, we’re all striving for a sustainable world where we all get what we want and live happily ever after. I highly recommend making good decisions and understanding the consequences of the choices you make!


Opinions/comments? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Until next time,

Rochelle

The Dark side of Coffee

Lets talk coffee. It’s everywhere. With the world’s advancement in technology, it seems only reasonable that our coffee machines have improved. No longer must you mix in a teaspoon of instant coffee, or use that time consuming coffee press or wait forever to brew a pot of coffee. Instead of hiking a block to your nearest coffee shop, you can simply brew a cup of joe within minutes in the comfort of your houses. K-Cups have taken the world by storm. Fast, delicious, convenient: the three words every consumer loves. But is everything as it seems?


Turns out, these magical cups/capsules are ridiculously hard to recycle. Specifically, a K-Cup is composed of #7 plastic, aluminium, paper filters and coffee grinds. The plastic itself needs to withstand the heat and pressure of the coffee machine so it needs to be very strong. Which explains why it would be difficult to recycle.

Here’s a little Keurig video explaining the problem and providing a solution:

Seems easy enough. Buy the Recycle a Cup for $12.99 and rest easy for the rest of your life? Not a lot of people are aware of the environmental concerns of these coffee cups. In fact, the increase in popularity of K-Cups and increase in demand over the past few years, coupled with the lack of knowledge has led to people throwing their cups into the recycling. And since Keurig lost its patent on those cups, we’ve seen an increase on these capsules in the market which means more cups clogging up landfills. Yay!

Yes, to be fair to Keurig, these K-Cups are recyclable. But only if you as a consumer care enough to separate them into different sections and dispose of them individually. I can’t see a lot of people adding ‘Break apart your K-Cup” to their morning routine. Another option Keurig provides is to simply ship your used and separated cups to their Recycle A Cup Cutter Team.

Why do you as a consumer need to care? Because you cannot wait until 2020 for Keurig to manufacture a recyclable K-Cup. Because nearly 30% of US households own a single serve brewer, almost 20 billion pods will be consumed this year, most will wind up in landfills and that’s enough waste to circle the earth over 12 times.

Essentially, all you need to do is separate your coffee pods before recycling and do some research. Take a another look at your next cup of coffee!


Until next time,

Rochelle

Canadian Federal Election 2015, Your Voice Matters

As taught in numerous political science courses world wide, elections are a product of democratic societies. Although many countries exercise this right, it is often fraud, something that I learned first hand while living in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution. However, in Canada, this is a safe and honest privilege that 40% of youth don’t take advantage off simply by not casting their votes. This year, Rochelle and I had the privilege of working with Elections Canada. During my time working the advanced polls, I made a significant observation– the lack of youth coming out to vote. 


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Trying to dig a little bit deeper, we asked some of our friends and fellow students at university if they would be voting this year. Despite an overwhelming yes majority, they were skeptical of the power their voice had in the country saying, “[Federal politicians] wont be able to change anything anyways” or my personal favourite “If I don’t vote, it wont matter, its just one vote.”

The first issue which I have observed is the lack of advertisement to encourage youth to vote and the ways to get registered. There are no brochures or presenters at schools to educate young adults about the importance of voting and participating in the political life. After all, your life in Canada is greatly dependent on the individuals sitting in the House of Commons and the Senate, it only makes sense that you influence who will be sitting there.

Most importantly, all  sectors of society help influence what goes on the political party’s agenda. If the significant majority of students are absent from this equation, so are their issues and demands– we simply loose priority. Therefore, participation in the operation of one’s country either by reading the news, writing to your MP, or the easiest one yet– spending 15min to vote, will be enough of a contribution.

Canadians, we hope that you are able to make it to the October 19th elections! Your voice matters and you are the future of change and growth in Canada: http://www.elections.ca/home.aspx


We hope you enjoyed this article. If you have some comments you would like to share, we will gladly read them all in the comments. In the mean time, subscribe to our mailing list to stay in touch with future posts. 

~Kisses, Kvitka~

The photos and video found in this post are property of Elections Canada, they were not created by A Lipstick Trilogy. To find the photos and video, visit the Elections Canada website by clicking this link: http://www.elections.ca/home.aspx

Water on Mars– Possible Life?

Life in outer space has been the theme for countless Hollywood blockbusters; however, what if it wasn’t all fiction? The perpetual debate about life in space is inching closer to potentially finding some answers. The New York Times has recently published about NASA’s discovery of water on Mars and the research we can expect ahead. What does this all mean?


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NASA has discovered streaks of water on Mars which are believed to have formed during the warmer months on the planet. Although the source of water is still I know, looking at images, the darker shades of rock indicate the route in which the water has traveled before disappearing during the colder months. With water as the basis for survival comes the potential for life and the discovery of potential habitable regions on Mars. The possibilities seem countless when you are putting your best sci-fi thinking caps on.

This discovery may be the piece to complete the puzzle in answering the question many have pondered– are we truly alone in space? I am currently wondering what the next step would be if life is discovered on Mars. Rovers will be sent in 2020 states the New York Times to observe these streams and if possible, collect samples without contaminating the region.

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Some of my conclusions are as farfetched as Mars being transformed into a habitable 2.0 version of Earth. However, on a more realistic note, I strongly believe that the search for life in space will be excelled now that water has been discovered and previous theories about Mars have been proven otherwise. Looking far ahead, I think the search for life and possible habitability can lead to future experimentation with speicies survival and adjustment in secluded, greenhouse like shuttles. A lot more debate is to come surrounding the controversial question of life in outer space such as, should we be more preoccupied with sustainability of life on Earth or quite the contrary, should the search for water reserves on Mars continue which might end up allowing us to learn more about Earth itself. 

What do you hope we discover on Mars?

A. Life: further research should be conducted

B. Nothing: it may be water with no traces of life

C. mars can one day be habitable for humans

D. you don’t support this research

E. Other suggestions


Did you enjoy this read? Leave your comments down below. In the meantime, if you wish to stay in touch with future posts, make sure to subscribe to our mailing list. 

~Kisses, Kvitka~

This post was inspired by the article, "NASA Confirms Signs of Water Flowing on Mars, Possible Niches for Life" from the New York Times. All the photos in this post were not taken by A Lipstick Trilogy and are property of the New York Times. You can read thearticle at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/29/science/space/mars-life-liquid-water.html?action=click&contentCollection=Magazine&module=MostPopularFB&version=Full®ion=Marginalia&src=me&pgtype=article

Eco-terrorism, females, and the Australian government

If you’ve watched the news today or picked up your newspaper, you’ve probably already heard about Australian government’s massive mistake this week and the public outcry that followed in ways that were both hilarious and poignant.This anti-environment protest case study, published by the Australian government has caused many to shake their heads and many to take to social media using the hashtag #FreeKaren to criticize their government’s stance on freedom of speech when it comes to the environment. You can take a look at the hilarious tweets posted by many disgruntled in this BBC news article


In response to radicalization and its surge over the last few months, Michael Keenan (Australian anti-terror minister) released an anti-radicalization kit. The Radicalization Awareness Kit was as good as you’d expect, with an invented case study on a woman named Karen. The case study begins with Karen’s loving childhood and her introduction to “the alternative music scene, student politics and left-wing activism”. After participating in a”fun” and”exhilarating” environmental protest Karen proceeds to live in a forest camp which disappoints her family who cut her off financially. After a few years of protests and getting arrested on trespass charges, Karen goes on to work for an eco org that causes a “painful transition out of radical activism, where Karen struggle[s] to recover, define her identity and her role in society”. You can read the full case study below:

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This case study, though hilarious, sends the message that Karen, by going to university, listening to alt music, and participating in protests has somehow overstepped her bounds and became an eco terrorist. It teaches kids (re: girls) to tone down their views, not be that passionate about music and the environment and cause change by quietly influencing the government through its faulty legal system. If the word ‘ridiculous’ comes to mind right now, you’re not alone! I can identify with half the things on that lists by simply being female, listening to alt-music, and writing for a blog that if not afraid to voice its opinion.

I have many friends who are passionate about the environment (especially here in Canada) and while I am not as opinionated/knowledgable as they are, I recognize that the world needs passionate people who influence change. Violence and radicalization are obviously wrong but the Australian government needs to find a better way to voice that message to kids just starting to learn about the world.

What are your views on the above case study? Read any other ridiculous things this week? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Until next time,

Rochelle

You can read the case study and the rest of the 
Radicalization Awareness Kit at https://www.livingsafetogether.gov.au/informationadvice/Documents/preventing-violent-extremism-and-radicalisation-in-australia.pdf

No limits- changing the definition of beauty

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Social media, its a blessing and a curse, wouldn’t you agree? From viral hits to distraction, social media, we can all agree is here to stay and will continue shaping the 21st century. This time around, I will be praising social media for bringing the courageous and beautiful Madeline Stuart to our attention. Stuart (18) was born with Down syndrome and recently won over the public’s heart as she rocked the catwalk in New York’s Fashion Week. 


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In the past decade, there has been a strong push towards acceptance and redefining the meaning of the word “normal.” Particular to the fashion and beauty industry, we have spotted changes to the traditional modes of advertisement and publicity, now starting to advocate for real women with all their perfections as well as imperfections. Stuart is a heroine who has brought us one step closer of being able to acknowledge ourselves with confidence.
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After visiting Stuart’s website, it became clear that Madeline is an aspiring young model who has taught all of us a lesson or two about perseverance and dedication. Her debut is not over though as her website states,

“[Stuart] has become the face of a cosmetic company called Glossigirl, which makes her the first model with a disability to ever do this. She is now known as the first professional adult model with Down syndrome in the world and is actually supporting herself doing it. She also has a bag named after her called ‘The Madeline” by a handbag company called EverMaya which donates it’s sales to National Down Syndrome Society.”  – http://www.madelinestuartmodel.com/ – 

We can’t wait to hear more about Stuart’s endeavors and achievements. Social media has proven to be a powerful tool in bringing Stuart to the world’s attention and raising awareness.


I hope you were inspired by this post and make sure to leave your comments. Subscribe to our mailing list to stay in touch with future posts.

~ Kisses, Kvitka ~

The photos in this post were not taken by A Lipstick Trilogy. These photos are property of Madeline Stuart Modeling and can be found on their webpage: http://www.madelinestuartmodel.com/

A memorial for the dead

This weekend I was privileged enough to be able to make a trip to NYC for the first time. You might have caught that from the sudden overflow of love our Instagram account suddenly displayed toward the city. But it wasn’t the Empire State building, Central Park (and Perk) that drew my attention but rather the memorial for the 9/11 attacks. Today being the anniversary for that tragic day, I thought it appropriate to discuss my emotions upon seeing the World Trade Centre Memorial. 


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The memorial itself is two huge pools of cascading water that replaces the actual locations of either building. For those of you who haven’t yet seen the site, I really do believe it captures the sorrow and tragedy of the event.

The tourists are mostly respectful and the security patrolling the area carefully ensure that visitors are respectful. There are many who come to visit their loved ones’ names engraved upon the black stone that forms the perimeter around the pool and they often leave a mark of their visit through a single rose stuck into their loved ones’ names.

I was five years old in 2001 and unfortunately, the real travesty behind 9/11 had not fully been comprehended by yours truly until a few years ago upon my arrival in North America. Even then I did not realise how much of an impact the attack had upon the world, perhaps because I was already used to a world where states guarded their borders zealously with layers of security measures. The ripples of the attack are still felt 14 years later and can be seen through the tightened border security and talks about building a physical wall between the world’s largest unprotected borderline, Canada and the United States.  

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There are no words to describe how how heartbreaking it is to see the roses left behind in the names upon the black marble around the pools. Today, on the anniversary of one of the world’s most senseless and horrific attacks, I’d like to pay my respects the heroic and innocent who died needlessly. Remembering sadness is difficult to do on a daily basis but for one day I think we can use the past to influence and move toward creating positive change in the world.

If you’d like to share your personal experiences, please do so in the comments below. But please remember to remain respectful!


Until next time,

Rochelle

Chapter 6: The Martian; Movie and Book

I’m a big believer in reading the book before the movie. Last week, I spent an entire day devouring The Martian by Andy Weir and holy crap, I loved it so much! The adventure, the thrill, the intelligence, the sheer enormity of Mark Whatney’s situation had me engrossed from start to finish.


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The book is very well written and is chock full of detail. I am unsure about how much of the science can actually put into practice in the real world but wow, does Weir make it seem completely possible! The plot revolves around Mark Whatney getting left on Mars through a complete accident and the goodness in the cooperation of humanity to try to bring him back to planet Earth. The book is full of action and the humour is spot on. I hope it translates well through the movie.


LT Ratings: Overall rating: 10/10 | Comedy: 9.5/10 | Adventure: 10/10 | Awe Factor: 10/10 Must Read/Average/Pass: Must read!


Speaking of the movie, it’s going to premier at TIFF on Sept 11 and I am very excited to be attending the screening. However, I do have one problem with it. Venkat Kapoor is one of the main characters in both the book and the movie and is clearly depicted as a man of Indian descent. However, Chiwetel Ejiofor is the actor who will be playing Kapoor. Ejiofor is of British/Nigerian descent and is an amazing actor who is renowned for his acting in Twelve Years A Slave and many other films.

But in a world where we already have the issue of whitewashing in movies, I am distressed that this is yet another battle we need to fight. Whitewashing is a prevalent issue that made news yet again when Emma Stone was cast to play a character that was partially Hawaiian and Chinese and Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, a Native American.  

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This issue is not whitewashing. Instead it is something else entirely. The message this casting choice sends is: ‘People of colour are interchangeable’. They are not. At a previous point in time I would have cheered that Hollywood decided to allow a man of colour to play a man of colour in the movie but in 2015, I do believe it is not irrational of me to expect an Indian person to play Kapoor in the film. This actually detracts my focus from the book’s overall message of the unity and goodness of humanity and instead makes me question the  progress the world has made.

That being said, I will still be watching this film at TIFF because the book was just that amazing. Read it. I promise you’ll probably be done in two days.


Comment below with your opinions on the casting choice, the book or absolutely anything in the world. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest for more on our (mis)adventures and interests.

Until next time,

Rochelle

All photographs taken from The Martian (book cover 
*Andy Weir) and the film still shots.

Deaths of Alan and Ghalib Kurdi Galvanize the World

Yesterday social media exploded with photos of Alan (Aylan) Kurdi lying face down in the sand, dead. The image captured the world’s attention because it spoke volumes about the urgency and dire need of Syrian refugees.

(*GRAPHIC  CONTENT)

GRAPHIC CONTENT A Turkish police officer stands next to a migrant child's dead body off the shores in Bodrum, southern Turkey, on September 2, 2015 after a boat carrying refugees sank while reaching the Greek island of Kos. Thousands of refugees and migrants arrived in Athens on September 2, as Greek ministers held talks on the crisis, with Europe struggling to cope with the huge influx fleeing war and repression in the Middle East and Africa. AFP PHOTO / DOGAN NEWS AGENCY = TURKEY OUT =STR/AFP/Getty Images

Almost all European countries have opened their borders, including the UK where David Cameron finally announced the opening of the country’s borders to thousands of Syrian refugees. The announcement, though late, has accentuated the pressure the public has put upon their governments in the face of media outrage over Alan Kurdi’s death. The UN high commissioner António Guterres  has already called upon the EU as a whole to host 200,000 refugees.

The recent mass influx of refugees has sparked a huge debate in the global community between those who believe that refugees should be housed in camps in order to one day be able to return home and others who want to offer a haven to those who had to flee their country that has turned against them.

It is very hard to have a rational discussion when the image of a lifeless child provides a constant reiteration of the fact that the crisis is very real and immediate action is needed to help those who need a home. Yes, the root of the problem is ISIS but while the world concentrates its efforts on interventions, something needs to be done to help the refugee crisis.

For those of you (in Canada) aching to do something, the CBC has published an excellent advice article on sponsoring refugees http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/how-to-sponsor-a-refugee-syria-canada-1.3215814. Meanwhile, for those of you as yet unsure of what is happening, I find the BBC to be a great and reliable source of information. Here is a link to its coverage on Alan Kurdi and his family’s tragic deaths http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34141716.


Heartbreaking tragedies often spur immediate action, but in some cases that may not be the best decision. Opinions on how the world should proceed with the refugee situation? Please do comment below, we’d love to hear your opinions on it. 

Rochelle

All photos taken from National Post and BBC. The photo of 
Alan Kurdi was taken by photographer, Nilufer Demir.