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The Controversy of Banned Books

Staff Writer, Chris Bennett

For the past 25 years, the United States has exhibited an event known as Banned Book Week. Often held the last week of September, this event calls attention to the banning and challenging of books, books facing these circumstances, and helps raise awareness of the freedom to read. The event was started in 1982, following a spike in the challenging of various works of literature, and was founded in an attempt to stop the banning of books. So what does it mean to ban a book? And how is it different from challenging a book?

Banned books are novels which have been removed from a place for one or multiple reasons. The severity of a ban can range from the novel in question being banned from one school or library, to being banned completely in a state, or even nationwide. A challenged book is one that has not been banned, but has been labeled as offensive by a person or group and thus faces the threat of becoming banned. If a novel is or has been frequently challenged, or challenged in excess, the book may eventually be banned.

Why are certain books challenged and banned?

In many cases, banned and challenged books contain inappropriate content, discuss a controversial topic, or are highly offensive to a certain ethnicity, religion, or political group. In recent years, the most challenged books have been ones deemed “sexually explicit” or “racist”, books with excessive profanity, and books viewed as inappropriate for their target audience. For example, children’s books depicting homosexuality and/or transgenderism have recently come under fire, as it has been argued these issues are too advanced for the mind of a young child to grasp.

There are several opinions on the subject of banning controversial material, with different arguments for each. Several people interviewed, and presumably a majority of the population, argue against the censorship of books, claiming that censoring material of any kind is a violation of the First amendment right to free speech (especially for the author), and causes people to become ignorant of certain opinions and ideas. Presumably, others argue that schools, libraries, and governments should have the right to ban books, arguing that some material is just too extreme or inappropriate for the public to be exposed to, and can be harmful to society. A majority interviewed, and likely a high percentage of the general public, have an opinion somewhere in the middle, arguing that while most books shouldn’t be banned, there are several notable exceptions when it becomes necessary to censor material. An example of a middle opinion is that of sophomore Amani Abumais, who commented “I think banning books is wrong. The authors have the right of free expression. But if an author has bad intentions for a book, or is using it to promote hate towards a certain group, it should be banned.

What are the pros and cons of banning books?

While the censorship of specific literature has little benefit, there are a few prominent positives. The biggest positive of being able to ban questionable or offense books is that doing so can prevent children from discovering more adult issues before they are ready to handle and understand them. This pro-book banning argument was put into terms by freshman Liam Holder, who commented “Banning books shields kids from the the horror of reality.” Banning books that are racist or insulting can be a good thing too, as it can prevent the groups targeted from becoming offended, and helps keep community relations strong.

However, these few benefits are greatly outweighed by the many negative consequences this practice presents. The biggest con is that banning books, in many instances, is a direct violation of the First Amendment right to free speech and expression, and is the very definition of censorship. This especially impacts the authors of these books, as their stories and opinions can no longer be heard, and they can no longer profit from the particular book or books banned. Even worse, the author’s whole reputation, or even career, can be tarnished if one of their works is banned, as this causes people to view the author unfavorably. Also, the censoring of books also often means the loss of history and ideas. As Sophomore, Luke Thomasson, commented, “If people censor books, they risk forgetting history; or repeating it.” Many people also argue that if someone is offended by a book, they should just leave it on the shelf and not try to have it banned for everyone else. Teacher, Justin Ingram, summarized the argument stating, “Once you start to censor things, you have to draw the lines, which is confusing and difficult. If you’re offended by a book, just don’t read it.”

While the efforts of librarians, teachers, and students have prevented the banning of many books, hundreds of challenges are still issued every year by various groups against several novels, with 10% of all books challenged eventually becoming banned. Some books even face the possibility of becoming banned nearly every year, as they are challenged dozens, or even hundreds of times. Worst of all, it is no longer just controversial material being banned and challenged. Some of the greatest books and book series in literary history now face the threat of being banned, or experiencing a much greater ban. Books like Harry Potter, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and even the Holy Bible have come under fire in recent years. Even the series Captain Underpants has become targeted, being the most challenged book in both 2012 and 2013, and receiving even more challenges than books with profanity and sexual content like Fifty Shades of Grey.

What should be done about book banning and challenging?

Those interviewed suggested petitioning governments and other organizations to prevent the banning of books, or creating something that will cause people to reconsider their choice. The American Library Association (ALA) website also has a page where those wanting to “stand for the banned,” where people can submit videos of themselves talking about the issues of censorship, or arguing for the unbanning of specific books. If people want to stop book banning they have to take action. In order to prevent the silence of censorship, people will have to speak out.

Works Cited and Further Reading:

(1996). Banned Books. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/advocacy/bbooks

Berry, S. (August 24, 2017) Parents Frightened: Kindergarteners ‘Crying, Shaking’ Over Transgender Book Teacher Read. Retrieved from http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/08/24/parents-frightened-kindergartners-crying-shaking-transgender-book-teacher-read/

Brady, A. (September 22, 2016) The History (and Present) of Banning Books in America. Retrieved from http://lithub.com/the-history-and-present-of-banning-books-in-america/

Banned Books That Shaped America. Retrieved from http://www.bannedbooksweek.org/censorship/bannedbooksthatshapedamerica

(2013) Bannings and Burnings in History. http://www.freedomtoread.ca/links-and-resources/bannings-and-burnings-in-history/#.WdA8oEuGPrf

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Tutti Frutti | Savory Frozen Yogurt

Staff Writer, Chris Bennett

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 7.58.44 AMAre you or your family looking for a new place to eat this evening? Do you enjoy variety, originality, or both? Is a welcoming, pleasant environment important to you when it comes to restaurants? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, visit Tutti Frutti.

Tutti Frutti is a self-serve, pay by weight frozen yogurt store, where customers create their own frozen delight. Clean and well maintained, the eatery offers a peaceful, casual dining experience. The inside is colorful and modern in appearance, and furnished with several tables and booths. For those who enjoy dining outside, there are benches lining the plaza and outdoor tables. Lastly, those who desire dinner before enjoying a savory frozen yogurt can do so, as there are several different restaurants beside Tutti Frutti, making dinner and dessert easy and convenient.

Tutti Frutti’s signature is their frozen yogurt, of which there are many flavors. Beyond classics like chocolate and vanilla, there are dozens of options to satisfy any type of customer. For those that desire something sugary, the chain offers a variety of flavors sweet flavors, including bubble gum, chocolate peanut butter cup, and cheesecake. For those that crave a healthy treat, the restaurant also hosts a wealth of fruit flavored creations. Some of these options include blueberry, strawberry, mango, and original tart, Tutti Frutti’s signature confection. For the adventurous eaters, there are several wild flavors offered, like pistachio, toasted marshmallow, and creamed corn, and the option to combine flavors through the swirl option, or just using multiple different flavors. For the consumer that wants something new, but doesn’t want to fill up a cup right away, sample cups are available upon request, ensuring customers find the right flavor every time. Best of all, flavors alternate daily, meaning there’s always new options at every visit.

The fun doesn’t end with the yogurt either. Tutti Frutti offers a wide variety of toppings to grace frozen treats as lightly or heavily as desired. And as with the yogurt, there’s a topping for everyone. Those who like a simple confection might enjoy whipped cream and hot fudge with a fruit like strawberries or blueberries, or a candy topping, like M&m’s, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, or York Peppermint Patties. Customers can even savor baked goods like brownie pieces, cookie dough bites, or pound cake. Those who like it extravagant can enjoy crazy toppings like gummy bears, marshmallows, kiwi slices, or even Captain Crunch cereal on their sweet treat. For those who don’t like solid toppings, there are also several syrup flavors to utilize, including a variety of chocolate syrups and caramel syrup.

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But what if a customer doesn’t want frozen yogurt? Tutti-Frutti offers as many options for frosty beverages as they do for yogurt. There is a bountiful selection of frappes, lattes, and fruit smoothies on the menu, as well as a multitude of bubble teas, the signature drink at the establishment. There’s even the option of iced coffee or a frozen hot chocolate.

For those that can’t eat frozen yogurt, desire a healthier choice, or just want something different in general, Tutti Frutti also offers a selection of fruit flavored sorbets. These sorbets are both dairy free and a healthier alternative to the yogurt, making them ideal for the health conscious or the lactose intolerant. For those aiming to avoid gluten, the restaurant even has a few options for soy yogurt.

Directions to Tutti Frutti from Voyager Academy: Retrieved from https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Voyager+Academy+High+School,+Ben+Franklin+Boulevard,+Durham,+NC/Tutti+Frutti+Frozen+Yogurt,+3710+Shannon+Rd,+Durham,+NC+27707/

Reviews: Tutti Frutti. Retrieved from https://www.yelp.com/biz/tutti-frutti-durham-3

Photos: Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt. Retrieved from www.tuttifruttify.com

Jessica, M.M. Retrieved from http://www.foodfindsasia.com/tutti-frutti-perfect-for-everybody/

Inside Look:

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt of Durham NC. Retrieved from https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g49092-d4417562-Reviews-Tutti_Frutti_Frozen_Yogurt_of_NC-Durham_North_Carolina.html

Menu and Official Website of Tutti Frutti:

Frozen Yogurt Flavors. Retrieved from http://tfyogurt.com/mhome/flavors-creamy/

 

Climate Change: A Man-Made Hurricane

Staff Writer, Maryn Leonard

Climate change is a problem that is often overlooked by our society. When thinking about pressing political issues climate change isn’t always the first thing to come to mind. The changing climate impacts our lives every day. Recently two giant Hurricanes slammed into the continental United States. It is because of climate change that these big storms are becoming more frequent causing more death and destruction across the globe.

In late August 2017, 33 trillion gallons of water were unloaded by Hurricane Harvey onto the United States. There have been 68 confirmed deaths after the thunderous Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean and Southeast United States. The two storms have caused an estimated $290 billion in damages in the United States alone. Millions are left homeless after the two relentless storms hit less than two weeks apart. So what does this have to do with climate change?

In 2011 38.2 billion tons of carbon dioxide were pumped into the air across the globe. This air pollution traps the sun’s heat inside our atmosphere which leads to global warming. Over the past century the temperature of the Earth has increased by 1.4° Fahrenheit. This may not seem like a lot but it is a dramatic increase than the natural heating of the Earth after an ice age period. This heating has been enough to melt ice caps in the arctic which has lead to the ocean rising 8 inches in the past 100 years. Much of the heat is absorbed into the oceans which has caused the water to be warmer than ever before in recorded history. “The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layer of the oceans is increasing by about 2 billion tons per year,” says C. L. Sabine in his book The Oceanic Sink for Anthropogenic CO2. This has lead to the acidification of our oceans which is disastrous for marine habitats.

The warmth of the water is one of the key factors in the new found intensity of storms forming over the oceans. Hurricanes and Typhoons get stronger over warm water. Storms that were already big have become even bigger. With the rise in sea level, storm surge and flooding have gotten worse and worse. Hurricane Harvey dumped an estimated 15 trillion gallons of rainwater on one city: Houston Texas. It is because of the warming temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico that Harvey caused so much freshwater flooding. Large quantities of water was evaporated from the warm ocean which increased the amount of rainfall the storm had.

In other parts of the world the problem is a complete lack of rainfall. With the earth getting warmer, water has evaporated from the soil creating droughts. Droughts have become a significant issue in the Middle East, Africa, and even in the Western United States. Due to lack of rain it has become impossible for farmers to adequately grow their crops in parts of the world. This has led to people fleeing their countries to escape the extreme heat and famine that kills millions each year. If nothing is done to help change the climate these extreme weather patterns will only become more frequent and devastating.

The United States hasn’t done much to combat climate change. This past June, President Donald Trump removed the United States from the Paris Climate Accord that was agreed on at a climate convention in late 2015. One hundred and ninety five countries came together with plans to reduce the global input of fossil fuels and to keep the planet from increasing in temperature. The United States pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord is just another step backwards in the global attempt to reduce fossil fuel emissions. “I don’t think global warming is a problem but we should worry about the pollution we make.” Sophomore, Chris Bennett, commented on his views of climate change. It is true that many people around the world don’t believe in climate change. “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” President Trump stated back in 2012. It is clear that the president does not think climate change is a relevant issue.  despite 97% of scientist stating that humans are responsible for the changing climate. This could be disastrous if we continue to deny the facts that are right in front of us.

If we continue to deny the fact that climate change is a relevant problem, there will be more and more devastating weather related events. The future of the Earth is in our hands and we can work together to stop climate change. If we switch to renewable sources such as solar or wind power than we can cut down on global emissions and help save the environment. “We need to all work on this together, it’s our planet. We breath the same air. It’s all of us as human beings and we need to care for eachother. We need to care for the future,” Sophomore, Allie Akers comments on climate change. Climate change is real and relevant and Iif we work to reduce our carbon footprints, than we can halt climate changet it and save the planet from a potentially disastrous future.

Climate change evidence: How do we know? (2017, August 10). Retrieved September 15, 2017, from https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

Climate Change Indicators: Greenhouse Gases. (2017, February 22). Retrieved September 15, 2017, from https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/greenhouse-gases

Andrews, R. (2017, September 13). This Is How Much Water Hurricane Harvey Is Dumping On Houston. Retrieved September 18, 2017, from http://www.iflscience.com/environment/how-much-water-hurricane-harvey-dumping-houston/