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Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Super Late Disturbing Info

Ok, so I might be late in finding out about this but I am extremely timely in my discussion of it. The United States Congress will be voting on bills that have to do with the internet, copyright infringement, and generally censorship. These bills are called SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act), and PIPA (PROTECT IP Act). These acts propose to "regulate" copyright infringement on the internet by allowing the Department of Justice to take legal action against sites (even sites outside United States' jurisdiction!!!!) that are infringing on copyright, or enabling/facilitating copyright infringement. After having identified these sites, the Attorney General could ban search engines from displaying results for those sites. THIS IS CENSORSHIP.

These bills, if enacted, could also allow for a maximum prison term of up to 5 years for people who participate in activities such as streaming, and who are caught 10 times in a period of 6 months. These bills will change everyone's daily life if enacted! We ALL engage in copyright infringement at some point or another (for example, if you post pictures, music, or videos on your blog without giving credit for them or paying for them), or we use sites that do. Even if I do not live in the United States it is obvious that I will still be affected since, as I mentioned earlier, they will take legal action against sites OUTSIDE U.S. JURISDICTION.

Sites that oppose these bills, such as Wikipedia, Reddit, icanhascheezburger, Mozilla, etc. will be protesting by holding 24-hour blackouts on January 18, 2012. The United States will vote on whether or not this will be enacted on January 24, 2012. In order to show that you are against these bills, there are several online petitions that can be signed for example https://donate.mozilla.org/page/s/sopa-pipa-petition, and you can just let as many people know about it as you can.

I feel that this is an important matter that concerns us all in a direct way and it cannot be allowed to happen.

Monday, 16 January 2012

First Semester: A Review

Now that I have completed my first semester at McGill I feel compelled to summarize that experience through a list of things that I liked very much and things I didn't like at my new school. Although the experience was overall a positive one and I don't regret my choice of universities at all, there were several things that irked me, as always, throughout the semester. I realize that I frequently make lists on this blog, so in order to mix things up a bit, I'll start with the negative points this time.

Ruby's First Semester Grievances:
-PHIL 210: Intro to Deductive Logic (Ugghhh)
-Arts lounge (preheat lounge to 450 degrees, insert students, commence napping/roasting)
-Campus food exorbitantly expensive (even more than Dawson, COME ON!)
-For McGill students: living in Park Ex=living on Pluto
-Backwards taps in almost EVERY bathroom.
-Annoying children from FACE
-"What rez are you in?"

Ruby's First Semester Positives:
-Passed Logic
-Liberal Arts Reunions
-Ferrier Lounge
-Returning to a life of moderate intellectual stimulus
-Michael Blome-Tillman
-Lots of cozy areas to lurk or sleep

Monday, 2 January 2012

No More Holidays

This is just basically a post acknowledging that Christmas and New Year's have passed and I'm now back to Montreal and thus back to reality. School starts back on the 9th though so I still have a little time to kill. So here is a nice list of the best and worst things about the holidays so that we can all reflect a little. You might notice that there are more "worsts" than "bests". This is because I don't like Christmas and New Year's, the reason for this will soon become clear.

-No homework
-Christmas trees
-Reuniting with family
-Not being at the apartment
-Breathing the fresh air in the country

-Christmas music (except God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman, especially THIS version)
-Christmas food (out of the entire traditional Christmas feast, I basically only eat buns)
-Reuniting with family members (don't pretend you don't know what I mean)
-Throwing up the alcohol you drank
-Reflecting on everything that happened throughout the past year (and if you're like me, you remember mostly negative events)
-Having to make New Year's resolutions
-Having nightmares about the upcoming semester
-Accepting that another year has gone by (!!!)
-Stressing about whether you bought the right gifts
-Realizing that you only have 7 days off left until you go back to school

Oh yeah....Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year to everyone.