Monday, November 17, 2014

Palmetto Islands County Park

The Charleston area has several places to enjoy the outdoors. One of the best places it has to offer is Palmetto Islands County Park. Only a 20 minute trip over the bridge to Mount Pleasant and costing only a dollar per person, this location provides the perfect opportunity for folks of all ages to have good outdoor fun. There are several attractions within the park itself. It has six nature trails, a playground for the kids, boat rentals, a fishing area, and a water park to name a few. Check out this slideshow I made and see for yourself how great Palmetto Islands County Park is!

So pick a sunny day and head on over to Palmetto Islands! It is one of the most affordable things to do in Charleston. If you are a frequenter of local parks, you might also want to consider purchasing a season membership, which gives you access and parking to all of the Charleston County Parks, including beach parking at Isle of Palms. Don’t be a couch potato, get out to Palmetto Islands County Park and experience all the fun it has to offer!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Apple CEO Tim Cook Comes Out as Gay, Good Implications for the LGBTQ Community

Tim Cook, Apple CEO

Same-sex marriage in the United States has been the subject of controversy more recently than ever. The U.S. Supreme Court’s early October ruling- or lack thereof- has set in motion the legalization of same-sex marriage in several states, including South Carolina. Going along with this progressive movement, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced  in a Businessweek article on Oct. 30 that he is gay.

This action has had a great impact on the Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender-Queer community and its push for civil rights. As the head of one of the world’s wealthiest and well-known companies, Cook has made himself a powerful role model for the community. Isabel Williams, president of the CofC Gay-Straight Alliance, says that, “[Activists like Cook] strengthen the demands of LGBTQ people for equity, and many even unlikely allies can relate to them for their work and their bravery.”

Apple has long been a supporter of human rights. Cook hopes that revealing his sexual orientation will help to further inspire others in the LGBTQ community and potential allies. “If hearing that the CEO of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy,” Cook said.

But was Cook’s statement purely for the benefit of the LGBTQ community? Apple has come under fire in the last several years for allegations claiming that the company has violated human rights in their Chinese factories. These include accusations of unsafe working conditions, discriminatory hiring, and forced unpaid overtime.

 “Cook has been known for his stringent lock on his private life, and the sudden decision to come out was a political calculation to mitigate the looming bad press,” said CofC alumni Jeremy Morgan, who now works as a software developer for Apple. “I get a little suspicious when someone normally so private opens up suddenly.”

Despite Cook’s motivation for coming out, he has certainly benefitted the LGBTQ community. And like Cook said, he did it at the great cost of his own privacy. “He didn’t have to out himself as a gay male, so I commend him on his bravery and courage,” said CofC senior Kyran Davis. More states are anticipated to make decisions on same-sex marriage in coming months, Cook hopes to have an impact on the play of events.