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Opinion: ‘Charlie Hebdo’ teaches that even the most offensive free speech should be protected

January 13, 2015
The sentiment that spending time abroad as part of your college experience is a grand, perspective-shifting experience isn’t unique. Rather, it verges on cliché: We’ve all heard this story before. Faculty and staff extol the benefits of studying abroad as part of a holistic education; peers rave of the unique Dionysian blisses one savors in countries beyond one’s own. The charm — both real and exaggerated — of travel is understood. And in buying in to this dream of the transformational journey of the American abroad and all the virtues thereof, I signed up for a short-term trip to Paris over winter break. Of course, this was a big deal.… Read more

Opinion: Selfies reach presidential level upon Biden’s presence on Instagram

April 17, 2014
Guys, I told you: selfies weren’t going anywhere. Joe Biden — THE Joe Biden, vice president of the United States of America — made an Instagram account Wednesday. Unsurprisingly, this launched the Internet into a frenzy. “Seriously, his first post is utter perfection,” “Time” pop culture reporter Samantha Grossman wrote Wednesday. The shot — which features Biden in the background reading over something that I probably don’t have the clearance level to touch, and, in the foreground, his iconic Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses — promised a future filled with pictures of one of Pennsylvania’s best exports and his stylish eyewear. And the future is now: In true Instagram fashion — seriously,… Read more

George Takei to lead Columbus Pride parade

April 15, 2014
Since coming out in 2005, “Star Trek’s” George Takei has been an example to the LGBT community on how to “live long and prosper.” Now the actor, author, activist and “Star Trek” alumnus is set to serve as the grand marshal of the 2014 Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival and Parade, which is to have the theme of “created equal.” The festival, which is set to take place June 20-21 at Goodale Park, is sponsored by Stonewall Columbus, a local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender support organization. Takei is set to lead the parade June 21 and attend the closing brunch June 22. How Takei spends the rest of the festival… Read more

Opinion: Michael Jackson post-mortem release reads as ‘corporate money grab’

April 6, 2014
His life might be over, but MJ’s still singing. Kind of. Ostensibly, humans are the only species who contemplate their own inevitable march toward mortality, and it has become part of the human condition to rail against the temporal finiteness of our existence. As such, our fascination with resurrecting dead pop stars isn’t a surprise. First we brought back Tupac  as a hologram in 2012; now we’re releasing a posthumous record from the King of Pop. The new album, titled “Xscape,” is set to be released in May — nearly five years after Michael Jackson’s death — and will feature eight songs that weren’t released when he was alive. Color… Read more

Opinion: Selfies go through various trends, ultimately here to stay

April 2, 2014
When those crafty wordsmiths and perennial gatekeepers of the English lexicon assembled last year to honor a new word as the word of the year, they chose something remarkably more banal than one would ever dream of associating with those paragons of linguistic virtue. They picked the word “selfie.” The word wasn’t new to 2013, but it hadn’t until then been granted status as a proper, bona fide word. Ostensibly, it was coined circa 2002 in Australia while some anonymous person regaled an Internet chatroom with the story of a drunken mishap that resulted in both said person’s teeth protruding through said person’s lip and a low-quality picture taken of… Read more

Opinion: #CancelColbert a parody of its own cause, not activism

March 30, 2014
Should we cancel Stephen Colbert’s show? In a word, no. On Thursday, the account for Colbert’s show, “The Colbert Report,” tweeted what has, when removed from the context of the fully developed joke it punchlined, become a rather incendiary remark. “I am willing to show the #Asian community I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever,” the now-deleted tweet read from the show’s account, @ColbertReport. In context, it was part of a bit satirizing efforts of Dan Snyder, the owner of the Washington Redskins, to eliminate criticism of his team’s name by starting a foundation for Native Americans. To paraphrase James Poniewozik of “Time,”… Read more

Restaurant review: Taco Bell proves it can do first meal as well as fourth

March 27, 2014
It was 8 a.m. on a Wednesday and I was sitting in a Taco Bell. Normally, that’s not a good beginning to a story: For many, Taco Bell evokes imagery of drunks, fresh off their orgiastic tour of the local bars, sloppily devouring Cheesy Gordita Crunches at 4 a.m. But I was brought to the Taco Bell near South Campus at 1525 N. High St. that morning by something a bit more wholesome, and the company is hoping mornings at Taco Bell will soon become more mainstream. Starting Thursday, Taco Bell stores around the country began serving breakfast “with a Taco Bell twist,” said Will Peterson, the area coach for… Read more

Opinion: Courtney Love plays detective, Warren Buffett promotes March’s madness

March 19, 2014
This is part of a weekly series called “Pop Opinions” where The Lantern offers its take on the week’s pop culture news. Courtney Love, Super Sleuth A flight carrying 239 people went missing March 8 — and the search is still ongoing. Theories have spread wildly as to what happened to Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: A hijacking, a malfunction, an alien abduction — you name it, someone’s put together a conspiracy theory on it (even though it looks as though it might have been an intentional turn off path now). Thankfully, one of the super-est sleuths of a generation is investigating: Courtney Love is on the case. With just a… Read more

Review: Recreation of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ makes for great scenery, passable performance

March 8, 2014
How does one introduce “The Phantom of the Opera”? It’s a cultural juggernaut; it’s ubiquitous – and it’s been reimagined. In some incarnation, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Phantom of the Opera” has been around for what seems forever: With more than 10,000 performances spanning more than 25 years, it’s the longest running show on Broadway, and it’s been playing in London for a few years more. But though the production that came to Columbus Friday night shared a name with Lloyd Weber’s magnum opus, it was, in many ways, billed as a different show. The story is the same: A malformed musical prodigy, the show’s namesake (played by Cooper Gordin),… Read more

Prank calls turn educational in Ohio State students’ new website

March 3, 2014
When you think of pranks children might pull, some classics probably come to mind: throwing toilet paper over a neighbor’s house, for example, or making prank calls. Prank calls might have been set back by the adoption of caller ID, but now four second-year computer science students at Ohio State have reimagined the classic prank with a new web app. Abby Benedict, Jeff Casavant, Max Buck and Erik Thiem are the minds behind, a website they developed at BoilerMake, a “hackathon” at Purdue University. BoilerMake is a contest where independent teams come together to develop web, mobile, desktop or hardware projects. The premise of the web app is simple:… Read more