Has there ever been a communist state?

By: Grace Helmke

The world is seemingly convinced that communism is the devil. It’s branded as “killer of man,” attempting to dissuade any potential from leaning into the fiery grasp of leftism. We have allowed dictatorial characteristics to become the poster child of communism; for that is all people know. Stalin. Lenin. Mao Zedong. Fidel Castro. All dictators. All members of the communist party. And yet, not one was the leader of a communist state. And that is for one reason only: there has never been a true communist state. 

I think it’s important to first discuss what communism really is. It seems that in today’s political climate, the ideology is often misrepresented and defined incorrectly. There are various overlapping political and economic ideologies which can be defined as communism.

However, the basis of a communist system lies in the idea of anti-capitalism. The means of production are collectively owned and operated, instead of privatised.

Under a capitalist system, money begins to accumulate in a small percentage of citizens: the bugeouise. This means that socioeconomic classes within a state would be abolished. The bourgeois would have the same access to resources that a member of the proletariat would. The formerly rich would have to labor, or work, just as the formerly poor did. Everyone contributes to society according to their ability, and receives back based on their need. The theory of communism revolves around the idea of abolishing all that oppresses the proletariat and all that benefits the bourgeoisie.

The USSR is often represented as being far more radically left than they actually were. We often immediately think of communism when we hear the names Vladmir Lenin and Joseph Stalin.

But the reality is that the USSR was a state capitalist society. They imposed a layer of state managers to operate the industry in the name of the people.

Like discussed before, under a true communist state, workers control production. The only time Russia was close to a communist system was right after the Bolshevik Revolution when land was redistributed to the peasants, and the farmers agreed upon how their products would be used. But, of course, the leaders were set on the idea of a state capitalist society which was far closer to a dictatorial socialist state.

Lenin did believe in Marxist theory. Karl Marx claimed that in order for a state to become fully communist, it had to go through various stages. They first would have to be a capitalist society. Capitalism would then fail, and socialism would take reign. Eventually, the communist utopia would be implemented. One could not claim to be a communist state without having been socialist first.

It could also be argued that communism never existed because the abolition of all forms of class was never administered. A social hierarchy within Russia still existed, and many believe that was due to the fact that capitalism still existed though in a different form. Amongst communists, it’s widely believed that racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia, and much more cannot be combated until capitalism falls. 

China, as it currently exists today, although ruled by the communist party, is not a communist nation. It is most closely related to socialism, but even then it strays from what we in modern day society consider socialism. There still exists a private sector of the Chinese economy which is responsible for a larger portion of the GDP than the state sector. The state enterprises coexist with the private sector of society.

But before modern China was switched over to a mixture of private and state operated institutions, the communist party that ruled the nation was led by Mao Zedong. Upon establishing rule, the communist party wished to first implement a socialist state (like many other nations). Many leaders actually sought to follow the line of the Soviet Union, including placing restrictions upon labor in the same manner that the USSR did. They desired some control over industrial and capital society. Leaders envisioned a mixed economy of privately owned capitalist firms, state-owned capitalist firms, communist collectives, and other diverse types of enterprises. This was called market socialism.

The myth that China was communist under Mao Zedong can be further dispelled when reading an essay called “On the People’s Democratic Dictatorship,” in which Mao established socialism as the foundation for the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). Mao stated that their mission was to implement socialism and then, long into the future, establish communism. But he admitted that it would take a significant portion of time to even commit to socialism.

There never existed a time where workers controlled their own production and surplus. They simply redistributed the wealth, and then re-established state-feudalism. This allowed them to implement communes, providing the illusion of collectivisation which gives the illusion of communism. The workers did not control anything regarding labor and surplus. They were obligated to work by commune management appointed by the government. The surplus was also under control over the government.

China was never communist, it only appeared that way due to the fact that many people don’t really understand what it means to be communist. 

Again, in Cuba, under the rule of Fidel Castro, the nation was a socialist republic not a communist state. Castro publicly admitted that communism would not work in Cuban society after an economic crisis emerged.

Cuba today is a socialist country, and does not claim to be communist. This is a common pattern in many countries with a history of communist party rule. It is believed they are communist because that’s what the leaders claim to be. But that does not mean the economic or political system actually mirrors the beliefs of the leaders. What needs to be looked at more closely is the relationship between the working class, their surplus, and their involvement in the operations of production when indicating whether or not a nation is or was communist. 

Our nation has placed an emphasis on hostility towards communists, and leftist in general, due to the false belief that communism is to blame for the totalitarian, oppressive forces of many dictators throughout history. But the truth is that communism has never existed on our planet, and therefore no one can claim that it is a theory bound to fail. There is no evidence to prove this. It’s entirely possible that one day we will be a stateless, moneyless, classless society if the belief in the superiority of capitalism falls. 

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What is haram?

By: Mohamed Ahmed

What is considered haram, or forbidden, in Islam? Well, that is what this article is about.

Let’s start from the roots. Islam is the fastest growing, and second most practiced, religion in the world. It is estimated to have almost two billion followers. To put that into perspective one in every four to five people in this world are Muslim. Islam has five pillars and rulings about what is and is not acceptable in their holy book the Quaran and the words of their prophet the Hadith.

Halal 

Before we get to what is forbidden, let’s look at what is allowed. Halal is the term used for when something is permissible for a Muslim.

Permissible sometimes has a negative connotation, but it’s more like what’s normal for Muslims. This includes anything that isn’t haram, or looked down upon (there’s no easy English translation). Everything from the way you react when a member of your family is killed to when you are able to do certain things, is dictated by this branch of Islam, but the part most people want to know about is what not do. 

Haram 

Murder: In Islam, murder is strictly prohibited. There is a clear line between self defense and murder. There are no circumstances where your life is not in danger and it’s OK for you kill someone.

There are rulings for compensating families impacted by killings and executions, but if you are not careful you could be breaking one of the largest taboos in Islam. 

Suicide: Suicide is one of the more clear cut taboos in Islam. You are not allowed to commit suicide in any situation. There is nothing in my research that pointed to there being a debatable point in which suicide was an option. 

Tatoos: Changing the body in a permanent way strictly for beutificational reasons is haram. This not only includes tattoos but plastic surgery, implants, and other such changes. Surgeries that are fixing something, like skin grafts, along with nose surgeries, are permissible to an extent, but not past a certain point. 

Domestic abuse: The Prophet said in a Hadith “The best of you are those who are the best to their wives.” It was also stated that you should try to get as close to your spouse as possible, akin to your best friend. 

Interest and gambling: Interest is taboo in Islam just for the fact that it makes the poor more poor. Charging or taking interest loans is haram. Gambling can make a rich man poor, a poor man rich, but most of the time a poor man poorer.

Adultery: Having pre-marital sex, or sexual relations is strictly forbidden in Islam. While you are married, you also cannot have relations with a mistress.

Alcohol and drugs: Alcohol is forbidden in Islam because it causes you to act irrationally and do things that you wouldn’t even think of doing before being intoxicated or high. Medicine in moderate doses does not count as drugs. 

Slaughtering animals the wrong way: The wrong way is haram. Excessive pain, along with not saying the name of God, while slaughtering is also haram. Muslims are not allowed to eat meat that was slaughtered incorrectly. 

Eating pork: Eating pork is haram. The only exception is if you are starving and have no intention of sinning you can eat pork. 

Portraits of Allah and prophets: You are not allowed to draw or depict the prophets in any kind of drawing; no exception.

Shirk is the worst sin of all: It is forbidden to put others with Allah (monotheism), or to reject his existence.

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Josephine Baker: A biography

By: Reagan Welch

Josephine Baker is a name you’ve probably never heard, but it should be. Baker was a performer, mother, civil rights activist, and spy for the Allies during World War II.

Intrigued yet? I thought so.

Let’s start with her childhood. Freda Josephine MacDonald was born on June 3rd, 1906 to a single mother in St. Louis, Missouri. She grew up very poor, and had to drop out of school at age 8, becoming a servant for a white family.

She was very passionate about dancing, so she performed on street corners for extra money. There, she caught the attention of a theatre troupe, who hired her. She gained her fame by performing in the Broadway show ‘Chocolate Dandies’.

While living in New York, she married a man named Willie Baker, whom she later divorced, but kept his last name, therefore becoming Josephine Baker.

In 1925, she moved to Paris and became a star there, where she was known for her flamboyance. In one of her most famous performances, she wore a skirt made of bananas. She also owned a pet cheetah named Chiquita, and went on to star in French films.

When World War II began, Baker enlisted as a spy for the French military. She kept performing, and was invited to many parties. She would flirt with generals of the Axis powers to coax information out of them. After that, she would write the information in invisible ink on her sheet music. If she found crucial photos, she would pin them to her underclothes, depending on her stardom to keep from being strip-searched.

After the war ended, Baker returned to the United States for a tour. She faced lots of racism, with as many as 36 hotels forbidding her to perform. Eventually, she sat down on stage and refused to leave until the hotel’s manager finally gave in.

She became heavily involved in the civil rights movement. She was the only woman to speak in the March on Washington. When Martin Luther King Jr. died, she was asked by his wife to lead the movement. Baker declined, as she had 12 adopted children at home. She called them her “rainbow tribe,” as they were from all different ethnic backgrounds. The NAACP named her Woman of the Year, and a parade was held in her honor.

In 1975, Josephine Baker performed in her last show. Three days after opening night, she died of a cranial hemorrhage. She was buried in France with a 21-gun-salute, and over 200,000 people came to her funeral.

Though she may have passed away, her legacy lives on. The NAACP declared May 20th “Josephine Baker Day”. Beyoncé has said in an interview that Baker is an inspiration to her.

Josephine Baker accomplished many wonderful things in her life, and should be talked about more often.

If you’d like to learn more, PBS released a documentary about her life titled ‘Josephine Baker: The Story Of An Awakening’

Yoga in the United States

By: Grace Helmke

Yoga was once a practice that involved great spirituality and mindfulness. It was a way of life which no individual had taken lightly. However, after its introduction in Western society, yoga became a factory which Americans have simply thrown money at. The culture of Hindus, Buddhists, and Janeists have become a multi-million dollar industry marketed towards white women. 

The origins of yoga date back thousands of years. It was first mentioned in the ‘Rig Veda’, which are ancient Sanskrit texts from India, however, yoga was practiced by yogis long before there was written record of it. The ‘Rig Veda’ is one of the most important texts in the tradition of Hinduism. It is a collection of hymns and mantras divided into ten mandalas (books).

Over time, yogis passed down the discipline to their students. Schools of yoga had begun to expand across India, and started to spread through Eastern Asia as well. 

Yoga is one of the six schools of philosophy in Hinduism, and is a major part of the traditions of Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism as well. It is a practice which combines aspects of physicality, spirituality, and mental well being through breathing techniques, poses, and meditation.

Yoga is most commonly known in the Western world as being an exercise that involves poses, but in reality, physicality is not as significant in the traditional practices in India. Instead of being a fitness routine, yoga was focused on spiritual growth and mental improvement. The word yoga in Sanskrit means “union” and is meant to be a way to connect the mind, body, and soul.

According to a research study done by the University of Connecticut, yoga practitioners in the United States are generally white, middle aged, women, of a higher socioeconomic status. Therefore, the American yoga industry markets towards this demographic. Products such as yoga mats and blocks are so overpriced that they have become inaccessible to individuals of lower socioeconomic status. Yoga studios are generally built in areas of greater wealth. This might have something to do with the $90 yoga pants they sell, or the $20 per class fee they charge. Yoga practitioners in the U.S. spend more than $10 billion a year on classes, clothing, and accessories. The upscale white woman is the face of yoga, because that’s who Western yoga (white yoga) is marketed towards. 

One of the most significant symbols of the commercialization of yoga is the mat. Many consider this a vital piece in the practice. A top of the line mat can cost you around $100. However, mats have not always been a staple to the practice of yoga. The first mat which was intentionally produced for the purpose of yoga, was created in the 1990s. Before that, yoga was practiced on grass, rugs, and even just on the bare floor. Today some argue that the use of mats interferes with the practice, claiming it distracts the practitioner away from the true aims of yoga, and towards that accumulation of commodities.

The result of the commercialization of yoga could potentially be dangerous. Unqualified teachers can cause physical harm to students. According to an article by the ‘New York Times’, it is all too common for students and teachers alike to injure themselves from lack of experience in yoga. Glenn Black, an incredibly experienced and famous yogi, claims that the majority of people in practice, shouldn’t be.

Commercialization has driven yoga to become more of an exercise which involves harsh posing, causing injury to be common. It’s rarely known that certain poses can cause serious issues such as strokes, wounding of vertebral arteries, and blood clots. These poses are not meant for the inflexible white urbanite. The poses were extensions of positions ancient Indians used to sit and stand in every day. Their bodies were built to be able to bend this way.

The failure to discuss the idea that yoga can cause blinding pain is done on purpose. What’s pumped out into the media is the idea that yoga is a miracle cure for anxiety, depression, back aches, high blood pressure, and so much more. This furthers its already growing popularity and contributes to the rising trust in its abilities. The industry creates such an incredible profit that they would do nothing to endanger it. Therefore its potential harm is not mentioned.

In addition to the dangers commercialization of yoga can cause to Americans, the dilution and corruption of yoga in the Western world does harm Hindu people and culture, as well as other traditions that practice yoga. The way that yoga is practiced in Western society is cultural appropriation. It has erased the true traditions of yoga through the failure to practice in the correct manner. This creates obstacles for Hindu people attempting to access their own culture, and prevents the passing down of tradition.

Practicing yoga without acknowledging its background is also very problematic because of its history with British colonial rule. Hindus were persecuted by the British, and prevented from practicing yoga in their own land. Their culture was almost erased.

Hindus today still face discrimination for practicing yoga, while white people practice it without consequences and without ackknowledging the culture and people behind it. 

Western commercialization has created a culture of appropriation. We have turned hallowed traditions and spiritual practices into workout routines for the wealthy. Our lack of awareness and acknowledgement harms cultures around the world. The practice of yoga is not a weekly stretch, but in fact is a way of life.

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Women’s History Month: Mary Kenner

By: Hayat Osman

Mary Beatrice Davidson Kenner is an African American inventor who was born on May 17, 1912, in Monroe, North Carolina. Her father, Sidney Davidson, was an inventor and she had one sister, Millred Davidson.

In her childhood, Mary Kenner was filled with many ideas. Mary wanted to invent tools to help make people’s lives more convenient.

In 1924, she explored the U.S. Patent and Trademark office and became familiar with the building and patent process.

Later, Mary Kenner graduated Dunbar High School and attended Howard University but had to stop attending due to financial reasons.

Although Mary didn’t finish her formal education she still used her spare time to invent. In 1957, Mary created her first patent of the sanitary belt (a sanitary belt was an early model for the type of pads women would wear during their periods). Originally, Mary had Invented it earlier in the 1920s, but could not afford a patent. As the years progressed Mary continued to improve her version of the sanitary belt.

Mary’s first patent of the sanitary belt was an elastic band that held napkins in place. Maxi pads were not invented until much later. But Mary’s invention was revolutionary and prevented way more leaks than the rags women used at the time.

One company approached Mary’s idea and was interested in marketing her patented invention, but when a representative learned she was black, the company backed away. Because of the racism and prejudice against women at the time, Mary’s invention was declined until 30 years after Mary invented it.

Despite the racism Mary faced as a black inventor, she continued inventing and filed five patents in her lifetime. Leaving behind a legacy worthy of celebration.

Happy women’s history month!

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Substance abuse

By: Olivia Kendle

First off, substance abuse is when a person uses too much of that drug, or substance. Substance abuse is different from addiction because addiction is when you can’t stop even though you might be getting hurt in the process. Most people with substance abuse are actually able to change or quit their bad habits.

The first example of substance abuse is drugs. Drugs have certain chemicals in them that affect how your mind and body would usually work. Most people use these drugs to feel “high” to cancel out any stress or anxiety in their lives to relax themselves. But drugs can cause large amounts of damage to mind and body, such as lung cancer, insomnia, etc.

A commonly used drug is cocaine, which is made from leaves from a cocoa tree that are found in South America. The side effects are insomnia, dilated pupils, nausea, headaches, heart problems, etc.

Another commonly used drug is marijuana, also known as “weed” or “pot”. Marijuana is made from the hemp plant and has side effects such as slowness in reflexes, issue with balance and movement, euphoria, etc. A similar drug to marijuana is LSD which has a lot of the same side effects.

The next example of substance abuse is alcohol. Although drinking alcohol has different effects for everyone, drinking too much, and getting drunk, increases the chances of getting into an accident of some sort. Not only that, but it is unhealthy and can cause health problems such as liver failure and cancer in the breasts, colon, mouth, throat, esophagus, and liver. Studies show that alcohol can also increase the chances of you starting on drugs as well.

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A brief overview of philosophical ideologies

By: Annika Getz

There’s a great many philosophical ideas and beliefs. Today I will be explaining some of them, specifically: nihilism, determinism, solipsism, and utilitarianism.

Nihilism can be placed in two branches of philosophy, depending on who you ask, metaphysical (which tries to define the meaning of existence) or ethical. It is the belief that life is meaningless, and therefore trying to do whatever is ethically right is pointless. Nihilists reject all moral and religious beliefs or principles, under the belief that it doesn’t matter anyways.

The word “nihilism” stems from the Latin word ​nihil​, which means “nothing.” The concept of nihilism came up in 19th century Russia. The word was used by Friedrich Nietzche. It has since then of course, expanded from Russia, and is now a fairly well-known concept.

Onto determinism. Determinism falls into the ethical branch of philosophy (though, like Nihilism, it could be argued that it belongs in the metaphysical branch). It is the belief that all choices and events are predetermined (though what it’s determined by has been argued, some say it’s previously existing events and causes, while others argue that it’s some all powerful being, such as God), therefore there is no such thing as free-will.

I unfortunately couldn’t find when and where the concept determinism was first posed, as many sources had conflicting information, some saying it was Ancient Greece, others saying it was closer to the 18th century.

Next is Solipsism. Solipsism is the belief that you are the only thing which truly exists, everything else is either a simulation, or a projection of your subconscious. Some even believe that they are in comas, and that everything that’s happening is a projection from their decaying brain. The problem with this theory is that it’s impossible to disprove, as everything that happens simple reaffirms your belief.

Solipsism stems from the philosopher René Descartes, who lived from 1596-1650. He didn’t actually use the word “solipsism” however. He introduced “methodological doubt” which sort of serves as a backdrop for solipsism.

Now onto utilitarianism. Utilitarianism is the belief that any action is acceptable as long as it benefits the majority. Simply speaking, we should all base all of our decisions based on what is best for everyone else. This seems somewhat harmless on the surface, however, there is an issue with it. One could justify murder, abuse, or any number of bad things, as long as more people benefit from it than are hurt.

One thought experiment regarding utilitarianism is as follows: “You are a doctor, you can save five people, but you must harvest the organs from one healthy, innocent person.” Utilitarians would believe that killing the one person is morally right, since you can save five people.

There are of course, many more philosophical ideologies, but it would take forever to go over all of them. So there you have it, 4 basic philosophical beliefs.

How did Joe Biden get into politics

By: Caden Ligman

On January 20th, Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States. Before running for president in 2016, and 2020, Joe Biden served two terms as vice president behind Barack Obama, who was president for 8 years, beginning in 2008.

Biden has had a long career in politics, capitalizing on it by becoming the oldest president ever at 78 years old.

Joe Biden was born on November 20th, 1942. He grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and his parents were both blue collar workers.

Growing up, Joe struggled with a stutter and was made fun of at school. To get over his stutter he would practice for hours at a time, reciting poems in the mirror.

After graduating high school in 1961, Joe began his college studies at the University of Delaware where he studied history and political science. During his first few years in college, Joe developed a strong interest in politics. This was the beginning of his interest in politics and the spark that would ignite his political career.

After graduating from college and law school in 1968, he moved to Wilmington, Delaware and began practicing law. Joe quickly became an active member of the Democratic Party in 1970, when he was elected as a councilman in New Castle County, Delaware.

Joe’s first big political break came just two year later when he ran for a seat in the United States Senate in 1972. Biden and his family worked tirelessly on his campaign and he won his seat in an upset victory over J. Caleb Boggs. Biden served in the U.S senate from 1972-2009.

Biden’s presidential ambition started in 1987 when he ran for president. He ended up dropping out of the Democratic primary after there were reports that he had plagiarized part of his speech.

This was only the beginning of his presidential hopes. In 2007, Biden ran again for president but dropped out early in the race after receiving a low number of votes during the early caucuses. A few months later however, Biden was chosen by Barack Obama to be his vice president.

The rest is history, Biden served alongside Obama for two terms and ran for president once again in 2020, defeating Donald Trump and becoming the 46th president of the United States. ​

“True bravery is when there is very little chance of winning, but you keep fighting.”

― ​Joe Biden, ​Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose

The 10 Most Unusual Jobs in the World 

By: Grace Helmke

Our younger selves often dreamt of becoming firefighters, veterinarians, and doctors. But not all of us have followed these conventional career paths like we once thought. Some people have opted for a more unusual work day. Here are the top 10 weirdest jobs in the world.  


1. Professional sleeper

A professional sleeper is someone who gets paid to sleep. Generally, individuals with this job are participating in some form of sleep study. There are a few varieties of these sleep studies. They are as follows: Sleep apnea testing, CPAP Titration, multiple sleep latency test, and polysomnography testing.

Most professional sleepers make around $10 an hour, and an average of $15,000 per study.

Another way people make money off sleeping is through testing mattresses and bedding. They can make anywhere from $30,000 to $45,000 per year. 

2. Netflix viewer 

Netflix has begun to hire people to watch movies and TV shows. The title of this job under Netflix’s website is “Tagger.” They watch Netflix content, and place them under genre categories. They also place them under categories like “movies with a strong female lead,” or “LGBTQ+ TV shows.”

Taggers can get paid upwards of $60,000 per year. 

3. Scuba Diving pizza delivery 

In Key Largo, Florida, a hotel named Jules’ Undersea Lodge has hired an underwater pizza deliverer. Jules’ Lodge is located 21 feet underwater, and scuba diving is the only way to get to it.

In addition to being a pizza deliverer, duties of this individual would be similar to a bellboy. An underwater attendant that serves via scuba diving. 

4. Waterslide tester 

Possibly, the most exciting career a person can have is testing water slides. The job of these testers are to ensure that waterslides are safe in addition to being fun. Most likely, a person in this field would work for a chain of water parks or hotels. They would spend most of their time traveling across the nation to different locations.

Generally speaking, water slide testers make around $30,000 to $34,000 per year. 

5. Golf ball diver 

Country clubs and golf courses around the world pay people to scuba dive in the waters within golf courses. Most of the time, they pay $1 per ball. That may seem like a small amount, but in places with warmer climates, this is a great way to make a decent living.

People in this field make anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000 per year, and a man named Glenn Berger, a Florida resident, has even claimed to have made $15 million in this field. 

6. Paper towel sniffer 

Paper towel companies work extremely hard to make sure there is no distinct scent on their product. Companies hire people with extra impressive senses of smell to do a sniff test to make sure that they smell okay.

People in this profession can make upwards of $50,000 a year. 

7. Professional slacker

An airline and vacation agency in Sweden, called TUI, has hired four individuals to be “professional slackers.” The job requirements are extremely laid back, as one might’ve guessed. All they asked is that you listen to some of your favorite music, do a little light reading, put your feet in the sand at the beach, and have a long nap.

These lucky slackers would be paid hourly, at a sum most likely too high for the amount of work they’re actually doing. 

8. Panda nanny

In China, the Giant Panda Protection and Research Center hires people to take care of pandas. A nanny must be 22 years old, or older, and have basic knowledge of pandas, but otherwise there are no requirements.

Panda nannies make around $32,000 a year and are provided with adequate living conditions and meals. 

9. Snake Milker

This job involves extraction of snake venom. Individuals in this field milk snakes of their venom for the benefit of hospitals. Snake venom can help to create new treatments for existing conditions, as well as be used to create antivenom.

Income made from this profession varies to an enormous degree. Snake milkers generally make around $30,000 per year, or $2,500 per month. However, certain types of venom are more rare and valuable than others. One gram of some venoms can sell for over $2,000. 

10. Dog Food tester 

This is not, in fact, the job of one of our trusty canine friends. This is a job for humans. Most people in this field are highly skilled, and often have a doctoral degree from some important institution.

Dog food testers smell, and taste the dog food to make sure that it still tastes good, while also refraining from stinking up an owner’s house. Thankfully, in the end, they spit it out again. 

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A look into the world’s most prolific serial killer: Dr. Death

By: Olivia Knafla

Image taken from: Twelve of the 215+ victims of Harold Shipman. Image provided by the Coventry Telegraph.

Let’s say that you’re about to leave your hospital room to go into surgery. You may feel nervous, you may feel calm, and you more than likely are able to understand that the outcome of this surgery will rely on the work of a doctor or surgeon.

Do you trust this person? Surely you do, taking into account the years upon years of medical training one must experience to work at such a level. Luckily, most of the time, this person is worthy of your trust, being a competent healthcare professional who will do their best to perform a safe and efficient operation.

However, historically, this has not always been the case.

Meet Harold Shipman (also known as Fred Shipman), otherwise known as “Dr. Death”. What sets him apart from other doctors, who have misused their power, is his repulsively high victim count. Throughout his career of roughly 30 years, he managed to kill at least 215 people, possibly reaching up to 400.

Because of this fact, Shipman is believed to be the most prolific serial killer of all time to date. He killed his victims in his place of work – the operating room. He killed his victims by injecting them with dangerously high doses of diamorphine, and evaded capture throughout his career, which lasted roughly 30 years.

A question that many, myself included, may find themselves asking is: how was he caught? How, after getting away with so many crimes for so long, how was he finally locked up?

It wasn’t until the year 1988 that a doctor, by the name of Linda Reynolds, spoke with John Pollard, a coroner in the South Manchester District (in the United Kingdom), about her concerns regarding the alarmingly high death rate among Shipman’s patients. However, after a short investigation that lasted roughly a month, the case was closed due to lack of evidence. Some blame inexperienced officers handling the case, however, it is unclear as to whether or not that can be confirmed.

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