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‘Moving’ Towards the Future

A man paralyzed from the waist down wiggling his toes.A man paralyzed from the waist down is wiggling his toes.

Movement is one thing that the majority of people seem to take for granted every day. Sure there is a plentiful amount of reasons for one to be grateful, such as being happy, receiving that promotion, or scoring a date with your crush. But what about your ability to move your arms, adjust your legs, snap your fingers, or wiggle your toes? These things are so common place to most of us that we rarely give these gifts a second-thought. Sadly, there are individuals in the world who do not have the ability to move their limbs due to unfortunate circumstances. These are the people that never take what they have for granted and these are the people who may be fortunate enough to gain movement through advancements in modern technology.

Three years ago, Claudia Angeli from the Kentucky Spinal Cord Research Center and her team were able help a man paralyzed from the neck down experience movement through sending electricity through the man’s spinal cord (by having a device surgically implanted into the lower back). The man was able to wiggle his toes and stand. Now in the present, this team’s study has proven to be far from a fluke. Angeli and her colleagues have implemented the same electrical technique to three other paralyzed men and they all were able to demonstrate a certain amount of movement. Besides from providing movement to four different cases of paralyzed individuals, the true benchmark for this study is that electricity has been able to allow these patients to move parts of their limbs that experts theorized would never be able to move.

While this study has received praise, experts have warned that this treatment should not be considered a cure, since the movement is only temporary. But the mere possibility that a paralyzed individual could actually have a chance to move is certainly a notion to behold. While this may be the first baby-step in the right direction of research, the joy that Angeli and her team provide is astounding. One of the handicapped individuals, Dustin Shillcox, experienced a horrific car crash in 2010 that left him paralyzed. But the hope that he felt when the electrical device implanted in him allowed him to move made him experience a great deal of emotion, giving him the chance to believe that moving again would be a very plausible future. Even though this not an immediate cure, let’s keep our fingers crossed that we may live to see the handicapped receive the gift of movement.

Vick’s Doggone Summer

Apparently Vick cannot get a break from his ties with animal cruelty. On the website Change.org, anti-Vick fans are calling for a petition to prevent the controversial player from setting foot on SUNY Cortland’s campus for the Jet’s summer training camp. As a reminder, Michael Vick served a 19-month prison sentence for his role in dogfighting back in 2007. For his cruelty towards animals, both residents of Cortland and other people have organized a petition that already has about 1,500 signatures. Those that signed the petition feel that if Michael Vick is part of the Jets summer training camp, they would be “complicit with his crimes”. The Jets have yet to comment on this petition.

Personally, I feel that Michael Vick should be ashamed of his dog fighting past. But just because I feel what Michael Vick did in 2007 was horrendously wrong does not mean that he should be banned from training, based solely on those grounds. The dog fighting does not reflect on the sport of football or possess any sort of connection with the sport. If Michael Vick did anything wrong under football standards, then I would imagine that the NFL would take care of the situation. But the fact is that Michael Vick did penance for his illegal action and should only face public scrutiny rather than literal actions. People have the right to express themselves, but this petition to ban Michael Vick for an action not related to football seems a bit too extreme.

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Honey Maid Takes Political Stance

In March of 2014, Honey Maid released an ad titled This is Wholesome. The commercial features different families, most prominently featuring two dads and their two children. Other families include a mixed race couple, a single dad, a tattooed ‘rocker’ family, and a military couple. Overlaying clips of these families laughing and sharing Nabisco snacks is the tagline of the ad: “No matter how things change, what makes us wholesome never will. Honey Maid. Everyday wholesome snacks for every wholesome family. This is wholesome.”

Honey Maid: This is Wholesome

This 30 second commercial spurred a storm of response and reaction. Leading the charge of voices against Honey Maid is the conservative activism group One Million Moms. The organization released a statement titled Honey Maid Offends Conservatives, stating Nabisco “should be ashamed of themselves” for their “attempt to normalize sin”. One Million Moms concluded the statement with a call to action: “Please send U.S. key executives for Honey Maid and Nabisco (owned by Mondelez International) an email urging them to pull this liberal commercial immediately and remain neutral in the culture war.”

Nabisco’s response to the conservative backlash their commercial received came last week. On April 3rd, Honey Maid: Love was released on YouTube.

Honey Maid: Love

In less than a week, the video has reached over 3 million views.

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