The Heat Vs. Us

The proof is in the pudding or, in this case, in the heat and graveyards, the article Earth is overheating. Millions are already feeling the pain. (Links to an external site.)   reveals that people of the poorer class are suffering from the consequences of humanity, specifically the heat. This is not just an issue identified to one country in particular but worldwide. This article also brings in another matter that those with less money have suffered from more than those of wealth, and that is Covid. This article shows us that those with less money are pushed aside in many respects, which is just as big a problem as the environment itself.

The evidence that is provided varies. Through data and a wide range of interviews, one can conclude that this is true. The reader is immersed into the lives of 6 individuals where photography and discussion reveal that extreme heat is not a problem for the future but a problem of the past and very much the present.  Not only for the planet but also those with less protection from the heat, as this quote explains, “Episodes of extreme humid heat at levels the human body cannot tolerate for many hours at a time have more than doubled in frequency since 1979, according to a recent scientific paper. South Asia and the Gulf Coast of the United States are among the places hardest hit. Sweat can’t evaporate as fast. The body can’t cool down.”

It is hard to ignore the turmoil glazed through each and every photo intertwined throughout this piece. Most people need a visual to understand the emotion behind the words. The photographers did a great job capturing the essence of what this means for those experiencing extreme heat and poverty. The images provide depth, evidence, understanding, and a truth that is indelible for those living it.

When your eyes leave the page one question begs to be answered- can humans that are not suffering firsthand from these environmental woes empathize enough to change their ways for the betterment of others and the planet? Furthermore, has Covid-19 and the media’s silence on this crisis shown us that empathy has been lost? Some might argue that these people choose to live this way or that it is not because of fossil fuels that Earth is overheating. This way of thinking is how we got to this point. There is no other argument besides opinion, and while opinions are respected, opinions are not facts.


  • What’s the nut graf? essentially addressing why this story is important

After learning how often people of different cultures are not taught to appreciate their culture, language, heritage and race all together I wanted to document how this can be helped. The Spanish Immersion Montessori School offers total language immersion as well as multicultural Montessori education. With teachers who speak many different languages from all over the world, this environment offers children from 15 months to 5 years old the opportunity to learn in a way that many other schools don’t embrace.

  • Profiles of the main person or people in the story

SIMS Founder/Director, Jouveth Shortell.

Possibly a student’s parent –> why this school is important to them/why they chose to send their child there.

  • The event or situation
  • Any process or how something works
  • Pros and cons

Pros: awareness of the benefits of Montessori learning and early learning of different languages

Cons: parents not wanting their children filmed

  • The history of the event or situation

Explain in the beginning of the video how Montessori schools came to be/why they are beneficial to some kids learning styles

  • Other related issues raised by the story

Covid., racism leading to parents not teaching their children their language, America not valuing other languages as much as other countries

  • What are the links to the other sections of the story?
  • What’s the menu or navigation for accessing those sections?

Camera angles will be very much as if you are one with the school. Perspective will be focused on seeing through the eyes of the student/fly on the wall.

  • What multimedia elements do you want to include?

Mainly video with audio


SIMS storyboard drawing


Top 5 Fashion Thoughts For the First Week of November

  1. What We’re Loving: Gucci’s Love Parade Show 

The new collection by Alessandro Michele was presented live in a grand outdoor catwalk on Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Nov. 2. 

The Creative Director’s second collection in the centenary year of the House was star-studded, giving us bright, bold, and luxurious fashion moments for the ages at the brand’s pre-fall 2022 show. 

This collection emphasized velvet suits, houndstooth tailoring, elaborate camp floor-sweeping boas, and bags to perfectly complement the hand of the person wearing it. Get out your fur, silk, velvet, sunnies, revamped lace, costume gloves, and glitzy accessories because in 2022, that’s what you need in your closet

2. What’s Stealing The Show: Lady Gaga’s purple dress and Bimini Bon Boulash at the House of Gucci Premiere in London

Lady Gaga proved that only one can dramatically fashion the way she does at the House of Gucci Premiere in London. Wearing a valorous tulle Gucci dress on the red carpet, she strutted with a queenly purple wave of sheer fabric trailing behind. Accessorized with mesh-knit fishnet thigh-high tights and platform black edgy boots, she set the bar for red carpet fashion, and the bar is as high as the platform boots she wore.

However, Bimini Bon Boulash seemingly met Gaga on the fashion front wearing a high fashion number resembling the Matrix if the Matrix were created by Gucci. The one-shoulder black velvet dress, along with bulky black leather gloves and sky-high boots, reminded us that simplicity and drama can go hand-in-hand if done well. 

3. Ariana Grande’s The Voice Looks

Ariana Grande’s fashion has been as impressionable as her voice on the hit show, The Voice. Week after week, she shows off not one but many different styles influenced by fashion moments in history, lavish beading, fashion icons, and now the movie Thirteen Going on 30. Wearing the dress inspired by the character  “Jenna Rink” played by Jennifer Garner in the 2000’s classic 13 Going on 30, Grande made the designer Donatella Versace proud as she flaunted the multi-colored dress with ease while judging at her first live show of The Voice

4. CFDA highlights 

Emily Blunt hosted the 2021 Council of Fashion Designers or CFDA fashion awards. Fashion highlights included Anya Taylor-Joy, winner of the CFDA Awards, Zendaya, Kid Cudi, Karrueche Tran, Dove Cameron, Aubrey Plaza, Drew Berrymore, and of course, Vera Wang. Over the top, sexy, playful, or sweet- the eyes were entertained at CFDA this year thanks to these fashion risk-takers.

5. Theme of 2021 Winter Fashion: Mood Booster 

After the chaotic Covid depressing last two years, it’s no wonder designers are setting the tone for 2021 fashion trends with an emphasis on happiness. Each garment coming out has been sewn, beaded, lace, dyed, with every detail being an over-the-top shock to your serotonin levels. Recent runways have given us a glimpse into this winter’s closet, and it reveals nothing but optimism. Dress for the mood you want, not the mood you have this winter, and get inspired by 2021’s winter fashion. 

Should We Cancel Cancel Culture?

Hello, it is I – the voice of reason, clarity, sanity, and all things divine. Just kidding, it’s me- the opposite of all of that. However, in insanity, there is oftentimes truth. Thus, I may be the perfect person to answer a question we should all be asking in the year 2020, which is “Should We Cancel Cancel Culture?”

What is cancel culture? 

Let’s start off by descending into the meaning of what “cancel culture” really is by definition. As Google defines it, “Cancel culture (or call-out culture) is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles- either online on social media, in the real world or both.”  It is parallel to a canceled contract, an ending of a relationship that once connected someone to the opposing party. As Jonah Enel Bromwich wrote in the New York Times, “the word echoes the trend of on-demand subscriptions of content, from which a user can opt-out just as easily as they opt-in.”

Ironically, there is a performative point in canceling someone. To broadcast (via social media or in a large group setting) the cancelation of another by bringing attention to them in order to cease them gaining notoriety is irony at its best. Nonetheless, Cancel culture has gained momentum throughout the years at an honorary pace.

The Climb of Cancel Culture 

We branded this practice of ostracization as “cancel culture” in 2017 after the cyber world went on a tirade of canceling people (mainly celebrities and public figures) as a way of demanding them to do and be better. Despite the term growing in 2016 and in 2017, notably on Black Twitter, the term really heightened online after Merriam-Webster, the American publisher of dictionaries and thesauruses, connected cancel culture with the #MeToo movement hashtag on Twitter, where it trended, in 2017.

While “canceling” someone, something, or a company has been widely exhibited on Twitter in addition to other public social media sites before 2017, it was never fully linked to the phrase “cancel culture” before then. In fact, Insider identified fewer than 100 tweets or threads, including the phrase “cancel culture” before 2018. Google Trends data shows that search interest in the phrase was not great until late 2018 and early 2019. By 2019, “cancel culture” was stitched into the blanket of society’s mainstream vernacular.

As of 2020, the term remains resistant to removal as it began trending once again on multiple social media platforms, amid the escalating opposition to racial injustice led by the protests motivated by the (in my opinion, wrongful) killing of George Floyd.

Pros of Cancel Culture 

Albeit cancel culture can seem like an unfair, harsh, and unjust punishment gifted to those unlucky souls by one person who soon metamorphizes into 1000s of people, it can be birthed with a positive purpose in mind. For example, when the #MeToo movement struck pop-culture with a force so great that it shattered the images of many prominent Hollywood big shots like American film producer  Harvey Weinstein, the cancelation of powerful people taking advantage of their superior positions was thrown into the spotlight like never before.

Though the #MeToo movement did not blatantly tell people “cancel this person” or “cancel doing this,” the intention was evident. Not only was it evident, but it was wildly successful.  Because of cancel culture, Weinstein is no longer celebrated but is deservingly berated for his numerous acts of sexual abuse. One can even go as far as to argue that it is because of cancel culture that he was imprisoned.

Cancel culture grants access to seeing other people’s points of view. It allows people who find out about injustices to unite and dismember societal norms they find to be problematic for the betterment of the people. By voicing their disdain for someone’s actions on a platform where those in agreeance have the ability to band together, cancel culture demands retribution. This public scrutiny instrumentally influences these individuals to come face to face with their wrongdoing and respond accordingly. Cancel culture broke barriers by encouraging the public to speak openly about their opinions and to take control of what they would like the outcome to be. It provides a way for people to change the popular narrative.

Cons of cancel culture

As history tells us time and time again, in most cases, power brings forth turbulence just as much as it brings forth change. Nowadays, we hold the power to cancel someone or something in our hands. This power can go from progressive to regressive in a matter of hours.

When you grow up, it seems like you hear the phrase “all you can do is learn from your mistakes” repeatedly. It is when you have grown up that that perspective seems to vanish. But should it? Should our forgiveness of people and their mistakes be hinged upon that person’s age? I guess it all depends on the mistake made, their willingness to own up to that mistake, and their effort to change for the better, right? That’s a viewpoint you would think we could all get behind, but in a period where we are endlessly drenched in the conflicting viewpoints of others and immersed in a dense digital forest where canceling one another is more common than not, you might be surprised.

There is absolutely no excuse for racial, discriminatory, sexist, homophobic, or discriminatory behavior. Those who do expend such negativity out into the world should be corrected and, in some cases like Weinstein or R. Kelly, yes, canceled. The issue is that people have become so comfortable canceling one another that they have lost sight as to why they are canceling them. Are you canceling someone because you disagree with them even though they meant no ill will towards you, or are you canceling them because they actually are a deserving candidate?

The difference between 2017 and 2020 is that we as a society have diluted the good in canceling people. We no longer are just calling out people that have done bad things with no willingness to change. Now, in 2020, cancel culture has reached its climax. Every day, people will cancel anyone or anything they deem suitable for this popular punishment with little to no remorse.

Take Harold Uhlif,  a previous University of Chicago professor and since resigned as the head of the Journal of Political Economy, as an example. Uhlif tweeted that Black Lives Matter “torpedoed itself, with its full-fledged support of #defundthepolice.” He carried on to suggest that instead of defunding the police, those in charge should “train them better.”  In my opinion, nothing in this tweet was written with malice, yet hundreds of people signed a petition demanding him to resign from both of his jobs. A renowned economist, Paul Krugman, even spoke on the topic stating, “another privileged white man who evidently cannot control his urge to belittle concerns of those less fortunate.” Uhlif never belittled anyone less fortunate. He stated his opinion, and others disagreed with it. This does not make him racist nor apathetic to those less fortunate. As senior editor of Reason magazine, Robby Soave, said, “There was nothing racist or discriminatory in how he said it, but because he has some different views from the protesters, he must be a racist.”. It’s in these instances that we should be concerned with cancel culture. It’s in these instances that cancel culture does not act as an aide to breed justice but rather, toxicity.

Then again, there are people that have made mistakes warranting backlash. A prime example of this is Kevin Hart. Kevin Hart, a stand-up comic who rose to fame after his 2011 comedic tour Laugh at My Pain and progressed from comedian to actor soon after, fell victim to the violence of cancel culture in 2018 shortly after he was announced as the host of the next Emmy awards ceremony. Someone invited the world to read past tweets that divulged him using homophobic language. There was no misconstruing it. He had been offensive. Even if it was for a laugh, people did not find it funny. He made a mistake, and it came back to bite him- hard.

Fellow comedian Billy Eichner stood by him and other comedians who got called out for similar mistakes by tweeting, “people sometimes rush to judgment. I’m not into people being permanently ‘canceled’ over something like this…” Followed by  “To me, ‘cancellation’ is childish. I’m into conversation, not cancellation. I’m into owning up to past mistakes, acknowledging blindspots and hurtful remarks, talking through it, discussing it, learning, moving past it, and making progress together”. In all honesty, I agree with him.

When people leap to conclusions without giving the person on the receiving end a chance to explain what they meant (Harold Uhlif ) or when people immediately judge someone on their past (Kevin Hart) with such intense hatred, closed ears, and opened mouths, it diminishes their chance of growth.


The Verdict

It is my belief that cancel culture can be used for good, but that is only if we allow it. We hold the power to teach just as much as we hold the power to hate. The two rarely work together for a reason. You can’t teach someone with hate just as much as you can’t expect someone to not slip up from time to time. I am not saying the R. Kelly’s and Kevin Spacey’s of the world should be given a second chance. No, they proved time and time again that their actions were not mistakes but choices. There is a monumental difference between a mistake and a choice. What I am saying is this: When we scrutinize someone for a mistake they’ve made and give them no chance to recover or grow from that mistake, then you’re not helping the situation; you’re hindering it. When you ruin people’s reputations, opportunities, hope, and lives because you disagree with something they said, you’re not being a hero. You’re being a hater.




Hi, there! My name is Leila Smith. I’m a multimedia journalist currently based in Boston, Massachusetts. I am an enthusiast of all forms of storytelling, I have experience in print, online, radio, on-air, and video production. I’ve reported on a wide variety of topics but have a special interest in reporting on entertainment.