Welcome back to Pop the Bubble! After too short of a summer full of interning, reading, relaxing, tanning, traveling, or making a to-do list of those things and never successfully crossing any of them off because your aunt just got Netflix and your cousin shared his password, it’s time to start poppin’ bubbles again.

Syllabus week may have left you as a hollow shell of a person, but it’s time to open your agenda, write in it, go to class and get back in the loop of what’s going on in the world. If your summer was an extended pregame for syllabus week, PTB has provided you with a list of (arguably) the most important events of the summer! Here’s to relating your readings to current events to impress your professors in class or just generally being able to have an opinion about anything other than our new basketball conference.

In no particular order:

1. Trayvon Martin and Zimmerman trial. If you didn’t hear about this you surely will this year. The varying reactions among different states, ethnic races and cultures in the U.S. will have people speculating about this trial for awhile.

2. Egypt/Syria/whoa. This necessitates an entire post at a later date, but just know that Syria is in a civil war, Egypt appears to be on the cusp of it, and the U.S. is ambiguously involved in this complicated situation. If there’s one thing on this list you should keep an eye out for in the coming fall, it’s this.

3. When Facebook stock became public, Nasdaq couldn’t handle it and shut down their computer systems with no immediate explanation. Luckily Facebook is recovering okay. Nasdaq, however, experienced another crash in late August that sent people into another momentary panic and added yet another blemish to the exchange’s reputation.

4. A-Rod and his ’roids. the MLB’s Biogenesis investigation has led to many suspensions, but the NY Yankees stud Alex Rodriguez is among the most notable for the “longest non-lifetime suspension in history today”, according to Yahoo. You’d think athletes would realize by now that medical technology has advanced enough to play au naturel.

5. By George, it’s a boy! I hate myself for that intro, too. It’s not so much that his birth is news, but rather the news coverage on his birth is news. I didn’t necessarily follow Prince George of Cambridge happenings, but regardless the cutie pie was thrown in my face enough I could probably pick him out of a crowd based on dimples alone.

6. Edward Snowden. Snowden and his whereabouts have been monopolizing news stations all summer. In case you haven’t heard, he leaked top-secret mass surveillance programs from the U.S. and British governments to the press, resulting in an uproar and warranted questions about privacy and safety.

7. Bradley/Chelsea Manning trial. Manning leaked classified information to Wikileaks while working in Iraq as an intelligence analyst and is now facing a 35-year sentence, but is currently asking for a presidential pardon. Why is there so much news about whistle blowers? Manning’s case is particularly important because Manning identifies as a woman, prefers to be called Chelsea, and is being sentenced to spend 35 years in a male prison despite being transgender.

8. Federal rights for gay couples. this summer a leap was made forward in the Gay Rights Movement. The Surpreme Court “struck down a provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act [DOMA] that has prevented gay couples from receiving a range of benefits”.  While it only applies to gay couples in states where same-sex marriage is legal, it’s a huge national victory for the movement.

9. Re-interpretation of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. This might not seem like a big deal because it mostly applied to Southern states, but it has many racial implications that divided the Supreme Court in a 5-4 vote. “The majority held that the coverage formula in Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, originally passed in 1965 and most recently updated by Congress in 1975, was unconstitutional. The section determined which states must receive clearance from the Justice Department or a federal court in Washington before they made minor changes to voting procedures, like moving a polling place, or major ones, like redrawing electoral districts.”

10. Immigration reform passed through Senate. This would forge a path to U.S. citizenship for unauthorized immigrants living here once it gets through Congress, however, due to complications in Syria, Congress is postponing consideration.

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