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Thank you

March 5, 2011

The Talking Twenties would like to thank all our readers, contributors and everyone else who participated in our blogzine experiment.  Though we are now officially closed, we appreciate all of the page views we’ve received over time, and the hard work by our article-writers.

Best of luck to our contributors and readers alike!

Welcome to the Summer 2010 issue

June 21, 2010

The Talking Twenties is planning to start off summer with a big focus on music!  We hope to see you back here in a few days.  Be sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter to find out when we update!

Cover by the Editor

Mother’s Day and culture shifts

May 14, 2010

Written by Julienne

We celebrate it at the same time every year.  It is the quasi-holiday where we honor those who gave us life, and those who teach us to live it.  Each May, we reluctantly stand amidst the masses, in the lobby of any number of local restaurants, waiting for a table.  What is this day, the veritable bane of my existence? Mother’s Day.

Don’t get me wrong — I love my mother.  She’s funny; she’s caring; she’s accomplished.  She, along with my grandmother and aunts, deserve to be recognized for the positive impact they have on my life.  But they’re not the reason that May seems to come sooner each year.  It’s the florists.

No offense, but I’ve never met a florist I haven’t hated.  It’s just that, on Mother’s Day, it is inevitable that I find myself in some precarious situation — surrounded by posies, petunias, and pruning shears.

I’m not a bad person.  I manage to purchase gifts for birthdays, Christmases, and any number of generic holidays.  Father’s Day 2009?  Check.  (Kayaking lessons.)  Wedding shower for my only sibling?  Check.  (I made all 80 favors by hand.)  It’s just this interaction with florists — the porters of the plant life, the bosses of the blossoms — that I don’t have down yet. Read more…

Announcement: TT is going quarterly

May 14, 2010

After a brief hiatus, we’ve decided to change our content format to quarterly issues (namely Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter).  We loved our theme-issue and wish we had the capacity to do more, but in our current incarnation we feel the best way to emphasize the content we have is to take a more relaxed approach.

So what does this mean?  You’ll still be seeing our blog-based style of publication, in which articles are published as they are prepared, rather than one large release at the beginning of the month.  And you’ll be seeing 4 Letters from the Editor and blogzine “covers” a year.  Less pomp, more circumstantial posts!

We hope to see you back here as we continue to develop and find smarter ways of showcasing our material.  And don’t forget, your submissions are always welcome!

From the Editor: How the internet helps Millenials go green

April 1, 2010

APRIL

Cover art by the Editor

The need for green

“Toxic air pollutants, or air toxics, are those pollutants known or suspected of causing cancer or other serious health problems, such as birth defects,” reads the EPA site.

Through the EPA’s zip code search and mortality comparisons, I was able to learn that the area around my Northeastern hometown has an infant mortality rate significantly higher than the national average, and that the risk of getting cancer from air pollution there is about 40 in a million.”

This month is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, a day set aside to examine the long-term environmental sustainability of our current practices and lifestyles and consider the problems pollution is already posing to us.  Earth Day is about more than recycling—it’s also about being informed, and thanks to internet, there are much more than at-home green solutions and recycling tips available to anyone wishing to show their concern for the environment.

According to the Earth Day website (www.earthday.net), over a billion people across the world participate in Earth Day campaigns each year.  The Earth Day Network (EDN), which began with the first Earth Day in 1970, has been empowered by the internet, contributing to outreach in 174 countries, the creation of an EDN blog and multiple related networks.  The online organization network and registry, for example, helps individuals find green events near them or to organize one of their own, while their Educators’ Network gives teachers resources and standard lessons to teach students about environmental preservation and how to green up their classrooms.

Despite increasing awareness of environmental problems over the past several years, however, pollutants such as benzene and carbon tetrachloride—both of which can cause organ damage and death in too high amounts—remain all too prevalent in the air around many communities.  The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) offers an online zip code search feature that shows Read more…

Photo essay: Simi Valley, California

March 31, 2010

Photo Essay: Simi Valley, CA, by Julienne

Petition with us for fair textbook pricing

March 31, 2010

When we decided to create a theme issue on Higher Education, we wanted not only to address the concerns of twenty-somethings in college but to try to help with those problems.  Part of this has been the creation of an online petition that would state students’ resolve to take action in protest of overpriced textbooks.

The action we are advocating is the use of students’ power as consumers to create change: the goal of this petition is to support informed consumerism, spread the word on alternatives to the artificially high price at which many textbooks are sold, and to encourage students to avoid purchasing overpriced texts when more affordable solutions are available.

Though the internet it the biggest bulletin board in the world, anybody who signs and wishes to take some initiative of their own is welcome to print out the petition and post it on a bulletin board at their school (if allowed).

For more information, you may wish to read about The College Textbook Affordability Act of 2007, which did not become law.  This petition was also inspired by Julienne’s August 2009 article, Textbook mark-ups threaten wallets, the first of a 2-part textbook exposé.

Please read the following petition and visit PetitionSpot.com to sign.

Petition for Fair Textbook Pricing

We, the undersigned, recognize that on-campus bookstores are a valuable asset to students and a source of on-campus jobs in the United States, but we reject the idea that a 22.7% difference* between what college bookstores pay the manufacturer and the price at which they sell textbooks to students is acceptable.  Though new textbooks are available at lower prices elsewhere, colleges and universities have created systems in which the student is unable to obtain these better-priced textbooks before they are needed for class due to short notice from professors, or they are discouraged from doing so by professors demanding the latest (and often only slightly altered) editions; the requirement of latest textbook edition usage, in turn, can prevent students from selling their books back to the college stores at the end of the semester when editions have changed, contributing to unfair buyback policies that raise the overall cost of higher education to needlessly high levels.

Until on-campus stores begin charging fair prices for new textbooks and enact fair buyback policies, we, the undersigned,

pledge to purchase our textbooks from online retailers or buy used textbooks whenever possible,

vow to purchase new textbooks from campus stores that engage in inflationary practices only as a last resort, and, furthermore,

respectfully request that college and university professors give students advanced notice so that textbooks and other resources may be ordered online, and avoid adopting the latest editions of textbooks unless the differences between editions would have a serious effect on the quality of education that could not be compensated for by the professor him or herself.

To sign, please visit our online PetitionSpot.com petition at www.petitionspot.com/petitions/fairtextbookprices.

*According to the National Association of College Stores’ 2008 College Store Industry Financial Report

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