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September 11, 2014 - Image 5

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-09-11

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The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Thursday, September 11, 2014 -- 5A

The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom Thursday, September 11, 2014 - 5A

Brad Whipple:
Look up and shut
down the display

It was one o'clock last Thursday
when the harsh reality hit me.
As I walked into my economics
of 20 students, most, if not all, of
whom were on their phones. They
may have been texting their friends,
updating their Twitter or aimlessly
scrolling through Facebook, like
a social media zombie
that's hungry for photos
and statuses.
I took a seat in my
chair, whipped out my
iPhone and conformed
to the trend of my
As humans, we tend BRAD WI
to search for comfort Weekend
and belonging, but too Edit
often do we go about
it the wrong way. When we're pre-
sented with an opportunity to say
"Hello" or even introduce ourselves
to someone, such as in an elevator,
we fear to take that next step.
Instead, we look at our smart-
phones, forgoing the opportunity
to possibly make a new friend. This
is the new reality: Face-to-face
contact is becoming increasingly
difficult in an age dependent on
Snapchat and text messaging.
It's becoming more of a challenge
to find students who simply take in
the sights and sounds of campus.
Instead, we fall victim to popping
in our headphones and checking
the text messages we missed during
lecture. We miss squirrels chasing
each other, we miss the sound of
laughter and conversation, and
we may even miss the beauty of
summer turning to fall.
Technology is becoming less
of a commodity and more of a tool
used to isolate humans from their
Back in April, I was inspired
to make a change in my life after
watching a video called "Look Up,"
which has more than 46 million
views on YouTube.
The premise of the video, written
and directed by Gary'Tuirk,' is thif
we search for ways to connect
with each other, but instead end
up spending more time alone as
we cling to technology. Rather
than enjoying the sunset, we must

Instagram it; while we're physically
with two friends, we're virtually
with 600.
Turk then tells a love story,
in which a man finds and asks a
woman for directions. The confron-
tation initiates a friendship, which
then leads to a first date, marriage
later on and ultimately a life togeth-
er with children and
grandchildren. It's love
at first sight, but Turk
reintroduces the situa-
tion with the man using
an app on his phone to
find his destination. As
a result, the two would-
RIPPLE be lovers never glance at
Roundup each other.
or The moral of the story
isn't "Don't use your
phone or you'll never find true love."
Rather, it's an example of how the
butterfly effect - how small chang-
es have larger implications - may
affect our path in life. Turk's solu-
tion to counteracting this effect:
"Look up from your phone, and shut
down the display. Take in your sur-
roundings, make the most of today."
It's an important takeaway
that people can easily forget, and
something we should try our best
to be mindful of on a day-to-day
basis. So as I became fixated on my
iPhone in economics last Thursday,
I thought back to Turk's video and
promptly hit the lock button..
This isn't meant to be a cynical
view about the dangers technology
poses to basic human interaction.
We're at the point in society where
technology is a necessary tool, but
we must learn which times call for
its absolute necessity.
College is said to be the best
time of your life. It's where you can
find a passion and stick to it; where
you'll make friends you'll have for
the rest of your life; where you'll
have a professor who changes your
perspective on life; and where you
grow as an individual.
Why waste that time on a
cellphone nra laptop?
As Ferris Bueller said, "Life
moves pretty fast. If you don't stop
and look around once in a while,you
could miss it."
So remember to look up.


Weekend Roundup Editor
Impending Polar Vortex
getting you down? Then soak
up the sun while you can. If you
want to take advantage of the
roughly two remaining weeks of
summer warmth, here are a few
things to do before students are
stuck in coats for the rest of the
school year.
The Diag is one of the most
beautiful spots on campus when
it's in full bloom. There will be
many opportunities this winter
to hole up in the UGLi, so instead
spend some time between class
laying out in the shade and catch

location for group meetings.
This is your last (and quite
possibly only) chance to show
off your bathing suit while on
campus. Find some friends,
a tarp and a hose to create a
makeshift slip 'n slide. This may
be the most fun thing you could
do with a large piece of plastic.
The beginning of the school
year is a great time to kayak in
the Huron River. Many groups,
like Outdoor Adventures, have
kayaking trips available to
students. You could also grab
some friends and rent your own
kayaks. Argo Canoe Livery and
'ln^"i U- " - rn -n-^^ ixmr ^nf ^-

do whi le
s still warm
river trips down the Huron River.
Before Palmer Field is covered
in snow, it's a great location for
any outdoor activity. Students
can play soccer or Frisbee on the
field, lounge on the hill or utilize
the tennis courts before the nets
are taken down.
While this is not something
youstop doingwhenitgetscolder,
warm weather is ice cream's best
companion. There are many ice
cream and frozen yogurt places
near campus including Ben and
Jerry's, Stucchi's and Amer's.
Choose your favorite place and
enjoy one of the last few warm

Women's Soccer vs.
8 p.m.
UM Soccer Stadium
Men's Soccer vs.
5 p.m.
UM Soccer Stadium
Michigan Football vs.
Miami (Ohio)
3:30 p.m.
The Big House
Beethoven Festival with
Andr4 Watts
8 p.m.
Hill Auditorium
Welcome to Michigan:
Concert on the Diag
The Diag
J y
Poets & Patriots Recital
4-6 p.m.
Hatcher Library

Obama orders first airstrikes
in Syria to combat ISIS

President to
dispatch nearly 500
personnel to advise
Iraqi armed forces
a new military front in the Middle
East, President Barack Obama
authorized U.S. airstrikes inside
Syria for the first time Wednesday
night, along with expanded strikes
in Iraq as part of "a steady, relent-
less effort" to root out Islamic State
extremists and their spreading
reign of terror.
"We will hunt down terrorists
who threaten our country, wher-
ever they are," Obama declared in
a prime-time address to the nation
from the White House. "This is a
core principle of my presidency: If
you threaten America, you will find
no safe haven."
Obama announced that he was
dispatching nearly 500 more U.S.
troops to advise and assist Iraqi
security forces, as well as conduct
intelligence and reconnaissance
flights, bringing the total num-
ber of American forces sent there
this summer to more than 1,500.
He also urged Congress anew to
authorize a program to train and
arm Syrian rebels who are fight-
ing both the Islamic State mili-
tants and Syrian President Bashar
Obama's plans amounted to a
striking shift for a president who
rose to political prominence in part
because of his early opposition to
the Iraq war. While in office, he has
steadfastly sought to wind down
American military campaigns in
the Middle East and avoid new wars
- particularly in Syria, a country
where the chaos of an intractable
civilwarhasgiventheIslamic State
space to thrive and move freely
across the border with Iraq.

Speaking on the eve of the
anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001,
attacks, Obama's planswere also an
admission that years of American-
led war in the Middle East have not
quelled the terror threat emanating
from the region.
Obama insisted that his plan to
"degrade and ultimately destroy"
the Islamic State militants would
not involve returning U.S. combat
troops to the Middle East. Even so,
he acknowledged that "any time we
take military action, there are risks
involved, especially to the service-
men and women who carry out
these missions."
"But Iwant the American people
to understand how this effort will
be different from the wars in Iraq
and Afghanistan. It will not involve
American combat troops fighting
on foreign soil," he added.
The president's speech, which
lasted about 15 minutes, followed
a summer of deliberation at the
White House over how to respond
to the violent Islamic State mili-
tants. While administration offi-
cials have said they are not aware
of a credible threat of a potential
attack by the militants in the U.S.,
they say the group poses risks to
Americans and interests across
the Middle East. Officials are also
concerned about the prospect that
Westerners, including Americans,
who have joined the militantgroup
could return to their home coun-
tries to launch attacks.
In recent weeks, the militants
have released videos depicting the
beheading of two American jour-
nalists in Syria. The violent images
appear to have had an impact on a
formerly war-weary public, with
multiple polls in recent days show-
ing that the majority of Americans
support airstrikes in both Iraq and
The U.S. began launching lim-
ited airstrikes against Islamic State
targets in Iraq earlier this summer

at the request of that country's for-
mer prime minister. But Obama
vowed that he would not com-
mit the U.S. to a deeper military
campaign until Iraq formed a new
government that allowed greater
participation from all sects, a step
Iraqi leaders took Tuesday.
Officials said Obama plans to
proceed with both the broader air-
strikes in Iraq and the strikes in
Syria without seeking new authori-
zation from Congress. Instead, he is
to act under a use-of-force authori-
zation Congress passed in the days
after 9/11 to give President George
W. Bush the ability to go after those
who perpetrated the terror attacks.
Obama has previously called for
that authorization to be repealed,
but he has also used it as support
for strikes against terror targets in
Yemen and Somalia.
Obama said his approach in
Syria is modeled after those long-
running U.S. counterterrorism
campaigns. But it is different in
important ways, starting with the
fact that it marksthe first time since
9/11 that a U.S. president has autho-
rized the bombing of terror targets
in another nation without seeking
permission or at least notifying it in
House Speaker John Boehner,
R-Ohio, praised Obama for
acknowledging the "grave and
growing threat" 'that Islamic
extremists pose, but he said Obama
was coming to that conclusion far
too late.
"He has finally begun to make
the case the nation has needed him
to make for quite some time: that
destroying this terrorist threat
requires decisive action and must
be the highest priority for the Unit-
ed States and other nations of the
free world," Boehner said.
As if to answer the criticism that
he has been too cautious, Obama
declared of his plan: "This is Ameri-
can leadership at its best."

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