Travel Blog: Kyoto, Japan

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Ever since I can remember, I have wanted to travel somewhere over in Asia. Though I originally dreamed of visiting Hong Kong, or anywhere else in China, I have since decided that I would rather visit a scenic city in Japan instead. So, I searched for scenic cities, and finally decided upon Kyoto, mostly for it’s scenery and historical buildings. I was then able to find a helpful blog by Dariece Swift which explains the ins and outs for traveling to this beautiful city.

I chose this blog because of the details and tips which she gives to those who wish to travel to the historical city of Kyoto. I liked this blog for the honest feedback she gave about each place she had visited as well as the pictures she included which helped me know what to expect for the food and scenery. This blog also included several helpful links for learning more about the area, other places to travel in Japan, and even a hotel where she prefers to stay.

Hopefully, one day, I will be able to plan a trip to this beautiful ancient city, and I will most definitely be using the information in this blog to help me navigate my way around.


Feeling S.A.D.

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Many of us, whether we know it or not, suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD at some varying degree.

SAD, is a sort of temporary depression which, according to the article, affects about one to two percent of the population, with most of them being women and children. Roughly 10-20 percent of most people only experience a few of these symptoms, which is commonly known as the “winter blues” rather than just full on seasonal depression. Surprisingly, according to this report, there are also a few people who feel SAD during the summer, which is said to be caused mainly by the heat and humidity.

For anyone feeling tired or a little down during this time of the year, just know that it is not just you. This article does a wonderful job of explaining why you feel tired, which is largely due to the decreasing daylight hours, and what you can do to help combat this yearly mental drain, such as taking care to get more sunshine in the bleak winter months. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog, and have a pleasant day.

A Sampling of My Life

Me holding my beautiful niece, Wren, a week after she was born.

Hello, all you beautiful people! My name is Maggie May Morgan, I am 21 years old, I live in Mammoth Spring, Ark and I am currently a Junior Liberal Arts Major at Williams Baptist University.

If you notice, my middle name is May, and there’s a reason why. I was born in May, the very last day to be precise. My parents, Tami and Charles Morgan, often joke that I was almost ‘Maggie June’ because my Mom had me late at night (around 11:00) which, I like to think, is why I prefer late nights over early mornings. 😀

I have two older siblings, Charlie, who is 10 years older than me, and Hannah, who is four years older than I am. For about six years,
I was the baby of the family, when my Mom decided to have my little brother, Angus; needless to say, I was not amused. Sure, he was cute enough,but I soon felt like he was taking everything away from me and getting more attention. One day, I was hit with a glorious revelation; I was no longer the baby, and I had no idea how to deal with that. Eventually, I (kind of) got over the fact that the ‘youngest child’ title was no longer mine, and accepted my inevitable fate as the awkward middle child. Now, I wouldn’t change any of that for the world, I love my little brother, even if he does get on my nerves. ❤

Angus, my little brother, sleeping on a car ride (he doesn’t like this picture).

My siblings are very important, but not nearly as important as my little niece, Evangeline Wren (I like to call her Wrenny-boo), who is the sweetest baby you have ever laid your eyes on! My brother Charlie and his wife, Becca, welcomed this bundle of joy into the world on October 7, 2018, a day after my Dad’s birthday. She is perfect and chunky and I would do anything to make her happy, which is why I like to crochet her blankets and toys!

My niece, Wren, laying next to a cat toy I crocheted for her.

I’ve been crocheting for, about eight years now and have made several gifts for my family and friends. Knitting is another hobby I do, but it takes longer and is easier to mess up, so I normally just stick with crocheting. Another hobby that I have is writing, which I’ve been doing since I was a little kid. Writing to me, is freeing and allows me to express what I can’t quite say, or feelings which I don’t understand. This probably explains why I love writing these blogs! I get to speak and share my story with all of you wonderful people, which is the best thing I could ever ask for (besides cuddles from my Wrenny-boo)!

Local kids ‘Shop With a Cop’

I think that this is an important event that is especially needed in such a time when police brutality has become such a large problem. Seeing news such as this helps to remind people that not all people in the law enforcement are terrible. I know, from watching my local news, that some of the communities I live around have seen positive feedback for doing the “Shop with a Cop” program.
Children are able to have a great Christmas, and police are able to serve their community, which helps to build wonderful memories for years to come.

Abbey Marshall

A third-grade elementary student spent an afternoon shopping for Christmas toys with State Patrolman Zack Tackett. (Photo by Abbey Marshall)

In the face of tough circumstances, Jennifer Peterson feared that her children might not have the Christmas she wished for them this year.

Delivering that sad news broke her heart, but after her husband lost his job she felt like they had no other options to afford Christmas presents.

That’s when she received a call that was her saving grace. Peterson was informed last week that her two children were selected by the Athens City School District as participants in this year’s “Shop with a Cop.”

Fifty children in the Athens City School system and about 40 law enforcement officers and firefighters from neighboring areas gathered at Walmart on Sunday afternoon for the annual event. Each child was given a $100 gift card, funded jointly by the Walmart Foundation as…

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Trending Animation

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A recent news article from Penn Today titled “Ten trends in American animation” discussed recent and past trends of animation with
Linda Simensky, a professor of cinema studies and the current vice president of children’s programming at PBS.

Overall, the article was interesting, because, Simensky talked not only about the current trends of the animation world (mainly that of Disney), but she also discussed some of the past animation styles. Simensky’s comment on hand drawn animation was very interesting and hearkened to the fear that many people have at the loss of this timeless art. “A lot of people who worked with Disney agonized over the fact they’d spent their whole life training to be a classical, hand-drawn animator” said Simensky ,” They really had to stand in front of a mirror of truth and say, ‘OK, is this still meaningful?”

While the topic of losing movies and shows to 3-D rather than 2-D animation was discussed briefly, Simensky also praised the animation industry and computer graphic industry for coming so far as to create “movies that couldn’t have existed 10 years ago because they were too hard to make.” Movies such as Avatar and the upcoming Lion King reboot rely heavily on computer animation, and would have been impossible to create in the early years of computer animation.

The only critique which this article deserves is the fact that stop motion and claymation were never mentioned. Though they are not always a large part of the media consumed, both are still forms of animation that have provided television specials such as Santa Clause is Coming to Town and beloved classics such as the “Wallace and Gromit” franchise.

This article was written by Brandon Baker and distributed by Penn Today on December 11, 2018. Link to the article is provided below.


Online Journalist

Abbey Marshall is an online freelancer journalist as well as a student at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio majoring in Journalism through E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She received a Wood Cutler Scholarship award which allowed extra opportunities for her, such as outdoor leadership, service internship, international experience and professional internship.

Marshall has interned with Columbus Dispatch, where she covered different issues and news stories within Ohio’s capital, as well as interning with nonprofit organization, Magic Bus India, where she spent most of her time speaking with and sharing stories of young girls who were benefiting from the organization.

Currently, Marshall is working as a freelancer for Athens newspaper, The Athens Messenger and co-hosting and producing a podcast for Scripps College of Communication, where she also serves as the Scripps College Ambassador.

I ultimately chose her as my online journalist for a few reasons. The first reason is that I felt a sort of connection with her as we are both pursuing journalism as a career. Secondly, her experience and work impressed me; to realize that a person could do so much, even while in school, was remarkable. The final reason is that I liked the stories that I was on her blog; they were locally based and had heart to them. I look forward to seeing what else Marshall will report on.

Why Murder-Suicide is on the Rise Among the Elderly

So, I ran across this article thinking that I would just glance at it and not comment on it, but, as I began to read it, I could not help but to become engrossed in its story. The issue presented also caused me to stop and consider how I feel on the complicated moral controversy of “mercy killings”. Personally, I believe life is precious and should not be taken by ones own hand or by any else,no matter the circumstance. However, I do, recognize how someone might be able justify such an action; because they see it as a way to alleviate a heavy pain which no medicine can cure.
This article did bring up the fact that many of these “mercy killings” are often results of loneliness, often caused by separation from spouse due to health issues, as well as poor care from medical facilities. Thus, the issue appears to have a fairly easy solution; provide better, and kinder, medical care to the elderly , and keep spouses together, rather than having them separated. While this solution seems obvious, the reality is that health care is not always reliable, or affordable, and people, even those who are deeply in love, can not always be together for a varying number of reasons.
I recommend this article for anyone who is interested in moral issues and other such things.


After a bout with cancer and several strokes that eliminated her quality of life, Becky Benight had had enough. She wanted to die on her own terms. Confessing her wishes to her husband Philip, he sprung her from nursing home hell in a bid for freedom; they made a pact to end their own lives to stop their chronic suffering. Everything went along according to plan until Philip woke up from his coma to discover that not only had Becky died, he’d been charged with her murder.

In this piece at Harper’s Magazine, Ann Neumann reports that mercy killings and murder-suicides are becoming more and more common in an aging society where getting old means ill health and industrial “care” in drab, expensive, privacy-free, for-profit nursing facilities that warehouse the elderly until they expire, all while collecting hefty fees for the service.

When Philip Benight awoke on January 26…

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