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Opinions Written by Journalism Students in Editorial Writing Class
It's Harry Potter Time
by Nicole Lord
Nov. 10, 2005

It's that time of year again. Not the holidays, but Harry Potter time.

The next movie, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" hits the big screen November 18.

So, once again with tongue in cheek, we must take a stand against this evil boy and his witchcraft.

Because the movie is due out in a week, we should help all of the anti-Harry Potter fans by banning some other children's books with any shape or form of witchcraft in them.

First on the list, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe." The title of the book has the word witch in it, which suggests foul play. It shouldn't even be opened.

Another book that should be banned is "The Witches" by Ronald Dahl. It also has the word witch in the title. It shouldn't even be opened.

"Matilda" may seem like a story of a sweet young girl, but we think otherwise. Again, this is a story by Ronald Dahl, whom we also are thinking of banning.

Anyway, Matilda learns to move things with her mind. Her actions suggest witchcraft. Our children don't need to be influenced by her mind games.

Another popular children's story that should be stripped from libraries across America is "The Wizard of Oz." The title of the book has the word wizard in it. It shouldn't be opened.

But, if for some reason a child makes it past the cover, they encounter not one, but two witches, the wicked witch of the west and the good witch from the east. People who live on the west coast should be terrified. The wicked witch could own property anywhere.

As we compiled this list, we couldn't help but wonder: what were these authors thinking?

They certainly weren't trying to entertain young children and stimulate youthful imagination. There's no way.

Harry Potter books couldn't be just children's books; they're bursting with evil and witchcraft.

So, there's our stand against Harry Potter and all his evil witch friends. For the next Harry Potter film we will be banning adult movies and books involved with witchcraft. Some bans to look for: "Bewitched," "The Lord of the Rings," "I Dream of Genie," and "Mary Poppins."

Science Museums
by Erin Berry
Nov. 10, 2005

The North Carolina Museum of Life in Science (NCMLS), at Durham, not only prides itself on its new state of the art facility, but on its gleaming strobe lights that cast shapes of animals, science tools and phrases like "Science is Fun" on the wall.

The NCMLS staff enjoys the fact that the museum incorporates "fun" into each and every aspect of its science programming.

But, as happens, critics can make a negative out of a positive. One negative statement has it that the NCMLS is losing touch with science as it replaces everything with fun and entertainment.

The museum has been a diverse learning and teaching ground for 50 years. Now, with new renovations and a staff of new and old members, NCMLS has incorporated a more urban and trendy appeal to its programs and exhibits.

A great example is the series of traveling exhibits the museum receives for three months at a time. The most recent is the "Chemistry is Cool" exhibit, which encourages children ages five and older to test chemical theories through simple experiments that also can be carried out at home.

The Birth Control Patch:
Convenient yet Deadly?

by Kelly Freeman
Nov. 10, 2005

On your body. Off your mind. That is the slogan of Ortho-Evra, the fastest growing hormonal contraceptive on the market since its debut in 2002.

How convenient for a woman to not have to worry about taking her birth control daily and worry about it only three times a month.

Ortho-Evra is 99 percent effective when used correctly. This patch is thin and flexible, not to mention durable. It can be worn in activities in all types of environments including while showering, swimming and working out.

Worn on the buttock, abdomen, upper outer arm or upper torso, the patch has become a part of thousands of women's lives.

Side effects are lower on the patch compared to the pill. Some effects are headache, nausea, rash or irritation under the patch, and spotting.

As every birth control method other than abstinence, the patch does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases. The simplicity of the patch – only having to think about it once a week, three times a month – is a miracle for women who forget to take the pill daily.

Does this seem like the birth control method for you?

Unfortunately, people are overlooking the dangers of birth control:

  • For instance, raw data from 2004 show a dozen young women – as young as 18 – died from blood clots after using Ortho-Evra.

  • Dozens of other women had strokes and other clot conditions after using the patch, but survived.

    Most women at risk for blood clots are over 35. Ironically, the dozen women who died after using the patch were in their teens and early 20's. They should have been at low risk for blood clots.

    The National Women's Health Network wrote to the FDA following news about possible increased Ortho-Evra risks. They urged the agency to study the risk of blood clots and the connection with the patch.

    What works for an individual varies from person to person. Some helpful hints to women who are currently on this medication:

  • Research the different forms of birth control and don't just take your doctor's advice.
  • It is best to look into all the side effects to evaluate for yourself how to handle those effects if you decide to use Ortho-Evra.

    For more information, check out the Ortho-Evra website.

  • These topics and opinions have been chosen and expressed by the individual students who wrote them in the Editorial Writing (JRN-309) course in the Department of Mass Communications at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Their views are not endorsed by the professor, the department, the university, or possibly anyone else.
    Dr. Anthony R. Curtis, Professor   Professor's home page  »   Professor's other courses  »