Take Two #131: Are those REAL?

By Kyra-lin Hom

There’s a new rising trend spreading outward from Chicago-land, and it’s causing quite a stir. Michelle Lytle and Robyn Graves are the Chicago-based creators of a new and controversial “TaTa Top.” This fashion/social statement is a pale skin-colored bikini top (other skin tones available soon) with cartoonish pink nipples. So that when someone wears one, from a distance they look legitimately topless. I simply can’t imagine why this would be such a volatile issue – oh wait…

Lytle and Graves aren’t just making (and selling in abundance – with $5 from every sale going to benefit the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation for breast cancer) this top for the laughs, though those are plenty.

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Take Two #128: Media Consumption and Us

By Kyra-lin Hom

Most of us have heard the argument that consuming violent media generates a violent mindset if not violent behavior. Meh, the evidence is inconclusive. But while the jury has so far declared a mistrial on the specific pros and cons, it is known that observing and interacting with violent media does stimulate the same areas of the brain as real physical violence. This same phenomenon is why watching professionals or performing visualization exercises does actually improve performance. Why then hasn't this principle been applied to other social elements? With the rate of media consumption per American predicted to rise to 15.5 hours a day by 2015, isn't this an important question?

(And for those who are wondering, it is considered possible to consume more than 24 hours of media a day because of simultaneous data streams such as watching Youtube during muted commercial breaks of a TV program.)

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Take Two #129: Horses, Rocket Ships & Cell Phone Privacy

By Kyra-lin Hom

About a month and a half ago, I wrote a column on the legalities of warrantless cell phone searches. Specifically, I mentioned the case of Riley v. California that was waiting on a Supreme Court decision at that time. To quote myself, here's a brief reminder of the case:

“...the defendant was pulled over for driving with expired license registration tags. Prior to impounding a vehicle, police are required to inventory its contents to avoid a future lawsuit. While performing this search, police found two guns and subsequently arrested Riley for illegal possession of firearms. This then allowed the police [to] search Riley's person incident to arrest whereupon they found a cell phone in his pocket. Later [while at the police station], police went through the contents of the phone (without a warrant) and discovered evidence linking Riley to a gang...shooting. Ballistic tests matched Riley's guns to the shooting and he was arrested and convicted of 'shooting at an occupied vehicle, attempted murder, and assault with a semi-automatic firearm.' Riley is appealing on 4th Amendment grounds.”

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