‘Blackfish’ Documentary | My Personal Thoughts + UTA Students Weigh In

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If you haven’t seen Blackfish yet, you need to check it out. The documentary about SeaWorld has been making waves, and not just among animal activist groups. I got to interview some UT Arlington students about the film for work.

An excerpt from my article, originally published on The Shorthorn, UT Arlington’s student news website, on October 23, 2013:

A killer whale named Tilikum killed Dawn Brancheau, one of the most experienced trainers at SeaWorld in Orlando, Fla., on Feb. 24, 2010. This was the third time the whale was involved in an incident resulting in a human death.

“Why is SeaWorld surprised that a wild animal did this?” university studies senior Tania Rodriguez said. “You isolate them from their natural environment and put them in a tub, and then you wonder why this happened?”

Rodriguez, who is a member of the Mavs Marine Biology club, says she recently viewed an online trailer for the documentary Blackfish. It spiked her interest, because she recalled Brancheau’s incident from 2010.

The film made its premiere at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival in January and has been well received by critics, receiving a 98 percent “Certified Fresh” rating from Rotten Tomatoes. It has also made an impact on pop culture — after seeing the documentary, the directors of Finding Dory made the decision to modify their animated movie’s depiction of a marine animal park. CNN will broadcast Blackfish 8 p.m. Thursday.

Continue reading

4th Annual Texas Veggie Fair | A Yummy Roundup

I despise and try to avoid crowds most of the time, but you can bet I always make an exception for the Texas Veggie Fair. I would choose this one-day event over the regular Texas State Fair any day, and that’s not just because admission to the veggie fair is free. I go for the awesome food, and to support the wonderful vegan community of activists, businesses, educators, and more.The event organizers do an awesome job.

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I’m always amazed at how crowded it gets, and it seems to just keep getting bigger every year. The lines are INSANE (especially the line for the vegan corn dogs), but it’s very exciting to see how many people are interested in the veggie trend, especially in a place like Texas. This year’s event was said to be the biggest yet, with over 7,000 attendees. That’s wonderful news to me! Continue reading

My Weekend | Geocaching + The Texas State Fair

This weekend, I went to a geocaching event and the Texas State Fair (for the first time)!

I first went geocaching a couple of months ago when I was assigned a story about it for The Shorthorn.

Geocaching is a global activity that can take place anywhere at any time. Participants of this outdoor hobby follow GPS coordinates to find destinations that hold geocaches, also known as caches, which are found all over the world.

Geocaching is a unique adventure because it often directs the searcher to places they would not have known about otherwise. Students who want to know the campus better can go on a geocache hunt to find out what they could be missing.

Originally published on The Shorthorn, UT Arlington’s student news website, on October 16, 2013. 

This Saturday, I had the chance to go geocaching again, while helping the environment. A few Environmental Society members and I volunteered with the Southwest Arlington Geocachers group at their “Cache In, Trash Out” event. Participants of event cleaned up litter along two miles of Cooper street, with geocaching as a bonus activity.

My friends and I did some geocaching, while being attacked by giant mosquitoes, but we were more focused on picking up trash. After the event, my friend Jenny and I went thrifting and relaxed with lunch at Loving Hut. They brought back the nachos from their old menu! I’m so excited. They’re actually bringing back a lot of old menu items lately.

The Cache In, Trash Out event was productive, and The Environmental Society is definitely considering volunteering more at these kinds of activities in the future. Join their Facebook to stay updated!

VEGAN STATE FAIR FOOD (6)On Sunday, I went to the Texas State Fair with my friend Camille and her dad. Normally I wouldn’t go to the State Fair, but we wanted to check out the vegan options–we were pleasantly surprised, to say the least. I tried a corn dog and a burger, among other things. I’m working on a more detailed blog post about that, so come back on Tuesday to read more about it!

What did you do this weekend? Vegans, would you go to the State Fair if you knew there were good quality vegan options?

This week is going to be busy for me, with work, projects and a midterm. I hope it all
goes by quickly so we can get to the weekend–I’m particularly excited about going to the Veggie State Fair! The Vegan Club is carpooling to the event, so if any UTA students are interested in joining us, please contact us on Facebook.

Hope everyone has a great week!