Photographer’s notebook | The unfolding crisis in Ukraine


It was supposed to be a short assignment. After all, European countries in the 21st century may sometimes be gripped by protests, and some protests may even turn violent. But they don’t usually descend into open warfare.

Since my trip to Kiev, Ukraine, in November 2013 to cover protests against then-President Viktor Yanukovich, the Ukraine story has swept me along in deaths and near misses; tales of sacrifice, sadness and bravery.

On Feb. 20, protesters burned tires and threw firebombs at police, who fought back with clubs and shields, and then live ammunition. Unable to put down the protests, Yanukovich fled the capital.

The next day, the Los Angeles Times carried my front-page image of one protester’s father standing in the morgue, holding the bloodied helmet his son had painted blue in hopes it would look like U.N. gear.

From there, events moved quickly. Russia annexed the Crimean peninsula and…

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Is Tobacco Ebola’s Cure?

Image From: NBC News
Image From: NBC News

Tobacco, an unlikely ingredient with a bad reputation, is changing the way pharmacists and health experts view their approach to fighting Ebola. Before the death of Ebola patient Thomas Duncan, scientists began looking for methods to cure this deadly disease and stop it from spreading any further.

But why tobacco? Continue reading “Is Tobacco Ebola’s Cure?”

Being the Youngest Doesn’t Have it’s Perks

There are always these false accusations of the youngest being spoiled, the youngest being a brat, the youngest getting all the attention. Not everyone is the baby of the family. Only those who know the feeling can tell you the true meaning behind “last born.”

Having older sisters or brothers has its perks. They can take you out late at night and treat you when they can. Whenever you need support or assistance on an important project, they can lend their skills to achieve the highest grade possible. My sisters are nine years and eleven years older than myself. I’ve enjoyed it, most of the time.

Besides the benefits of staying up late and having help with your homework the fun and games have to come to an end.

There comes to a point where the sibling relationship is lost and is replaced with judgmental and paternal attitudes. Depending on their age, older siblings take on the responsibility of looking out for us when under their care. New rules are set and new boundaries are placed.

With older siblings come the hours and hours of lectures. Parents’ tend to be lenient on the youngest, but not the oldest, so they take on the responsibility themselves to tell us when we’re wrong when our parents are fine. Oh, the irony.

Not only is the sister-to-sister, brother-to-brother, or sister-to-brother relationship different, but it is very difficult to become a “young adult” in your parents’ eyes. I know, I’ve tried.

According to psychologist Dr. Rachel Andrews, parents would make more of an effort to create a happy lifestyle for their youngest child then their oldest, leading to all the assumptions and accusations of the “youngest getting the attention.”

However “this can lead to them subconsciously wanting to keep their child ‘little’ by doing everything for them,” says Dr. Andrews. “A cycle can start where the youngest takes on the role of ‘the baby’…”

The baby. The one name that the youngest detests to hear. Whether you are sixteen or forty-five, you’re not allowed to date or stay up late with friends according to “mommy or daddy.”

The youngest isn’t spoil, just taken care of. The youngest isn’t a brat, just “a baby.” The youngest doesn’t get all the attention, just taken cared for to the extreme. It’s hard to express yourself and show the family that their little one is maturing and needs to spread their wings, making mistakes from time to time. Without them, how would we learn?

Love Remains

When love is gone, so what remains?

The memories
Lasting an eternity?

Or holes so burned in the core
Of my soul?

The happiness
Shared between the laughs and bliss?

Or tortured emotions stay—

Will it pain me when said me?
All curled up, hugging past joy—
Waiting for a retreat?

Or so it seems so
Through my wond’ring mind.

Or will—it—remain?

Crossroads with Death

Tattooed male walks before me pale as snow
Under the moonlight, shadows cloak the frail
And weak man. Clear as night and dark as day,
So faintly covered by contrasting despair.

A stream of sweat is dripping off the point-
-ed Goblin features underneath the black
Hoodie, unfitting for the fragile body.
Appearing through the lifeless membrane, you

Can detail bright, inflamed, veins on the still face
About to burst from constant disposal
Of blood. Now with the falling hair along
His neck, it moved with his slow pace towards

Me. Shockingly, my feet refused to move.
Staring down the bloodshot eyes of hopeless,
As he was breathing heavily, he said
“To where is the nearest grave located?”

Hermione for Gender Equality

The Harbinger

By Cesar Zafra

Widely known for her role as a Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series, Emma Watson delivered an inspirational speech representing the United Nations in New York to launch the HeForShe campaign. The campaign aims to urge one billion men and boys to become advocates for the inequalities that females face every day.

Watson formally invited not only women, but also specifically men to join the ambition of combining two genders onto the same gamut.  By involving both genders, Watson hopes to get rid of the “men vs. women” mentality in which men and women are viewed as two opposing parties and not as a single race.

In her speech, Watson clarified that feminism is not synonymous with man hating. For that reason, she is also trying to push back against other campaigns like ‘Women against Feminism.’

“How can we affect change in the world when only…

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