26th Annual MetroTech Tree Lighting Ceremony

The holiday season came alive at Jay street MetroTech on Monday, November 30th when brooklynites celebrated the 26th annual tree lighting. The night featured performances  by the GRAMMY awardwinning Brooklyn Youth Chorus, stunts by the Big Apple Circus, dance routines by  Dancewave, and last but not least, Santa Claus and his live reindeer. The event was free and open to the public for enjoyment. Myself being a basketball fan, Brooklyn Nets players Thaddeus Young and Chris McCollough were also in attendance.


Nets Players Thaddeus Young and Chris McCollough

I work around the area and passing by, I had to stop and really notice how beautiful it was to be with all kinds of races, and genders. Although it took 2 hours to celebrate the tree lighting, which affected my tardiness for work, it was well worth it. While I was standing there with my phone taking pictures, I couldn’t help but eavesdrop on a couple that had a young child I was standing next to. They basically were talking about how every year, the ceremony gets better and better. I couldn’t help but ask them how long they’ve been attending the MetroTech tree lighting. “10 wonderful years and it gets better every year”. The young couple said they found the tree by accident.

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One day, they wanted to see each other and when that happened,  they had no plans. So they were walking around downtown Brooklyn killing time and enjoying each other’s company. One thing led to another and they ended up at the MetroTech tree lighting. Aside from that, I think this event was wonderful for the Brooklyn residents because it eliminated real issues that were going on at that moment such as the threat of Isis with the holliday season approaching. The tree lighting allowed people to come together and enjoy each other’s company with no drama and tension between one another. In short, I definitely look forward to next years tree lighting to see what guest appearances will be present, the live performances , and who knows, maybe a bigger tree filled with colorful lights and ornaments.


Edward Snowden joins Twitter

“Whistleblower Edward Snowden joined Twitter Tuesday with the handle @Snowden. His profile bio reads “I used to work for the government. Now I work for the public”. A rather loud yet simple statement by Mr. Snowden in his twitter bio. Ironically, in ratio to his followers to followings, he has 1.69 million followers and is only following 1 in return. Take a wild guess who it is, the National Security Agency. His first tweet was “Can you hear me now?” This tweet can be read in many ways and have many different interpretations. However, my opinion, I took that tweet as will you be honest with the American people.

Edward Snowden who formerly worked with the government intelligence agency had intentions to fight terrorism. But in the process, he leaked top secret information that the government wasn’t too happy about. In return, he had to get away from the government and protect himself which in the process, had to get away with close people like his family and his girlfriend.

Snowden quickly gained support with the likes of Jesse Ventura, Glenn Greenwald who broke the story and surprisingly Jack Dorsey who is the co finder of twitter. So it’s evident that Snowden has gained tremendous popularity and fame with his pursuit in righteousness.

Aaron Swartz & Access

Internet’s Own Boy follows Aaron Swartz as a little kid growing up in Brooklyn until ultimately when he was grown and had a full mindset and knowledge about how the internet can be used. Growing up in Brooklyn as a little kid with his 2 brothers, he was often shown on the film as being the motivator for his brothers. When I say this, I mean it as he often took it upon his hands to teach his brothers everything he possibly learned at a young age. For example in the film it showed Aaron stating “Let me teach you algebra”. Ideally, that’s not something a little kid learns until maybe grade school but for Aaron, nothing seemed intimidating for him.

Aaron can be named various things such as a Software developer, writer, just to name a few. But in my opinion, I think the name that suits him best is Internet activist.

The title of the documentary “The Internet’s Own Boy”, it tells the viewers Swartz was an expert and understood the web at an unbelievable pace that few others could relate to. He started in his early teens with his involvement in the creation of the RSS feed, the social news site Reddit, and several other hubs for leftist activism and information sharing.

With such knowledge for the internet and how it works, it made him a target by the government. His intentions with the web was to make it a better, fairer place for users to feel safe on and know that everything is in the open and not hidden. One thing led to another and he was later arrested. After that, he was sentenced to 35 years with a $1 million fine if he was convicted. As a result, he committed suicide. This film highlights all his achievements and features numerous people close to Aaron with their stories about him and what he believed in.