News Round Up, Monday, June 3, 2013

Random thought of the day: I just bought Pikmin 2 for the Wii this weekend, and it’s so much fun! I love silly puzzle games, almost as much as I love RPGs. I want to get more Wii games over time, maybe a FPS so I can use the remotes to their full potential. At the moment, my Mario games largely use the remotes like traditional controllers.

Random question of the day: How bad do you need to want something before you go for it? I’ve been wanting to learn to code (making apps would be cool!), but I haven’t found myself wanting to do it bad enough to find resources to learn.

Note to self: These two sites [1] and [2] are both for teaching kids to code. Try them, maybe?

Report: How GOP lost young voters

I like this article on the GOP-based internal report covering the youth vote. I might spend a lot of time being annoyed or downright angry with some of the bigger Republican mouthpieces, but I do believe they can be an acceptable party. I think another issue they failed to cover is allowing media mouthpieces (like Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck) be associated with their party; honestly, they need to cut their ties, toss them to the Tea Party, and run. And the Tea Party should be ousted, made into a third party that can be extreme while running on its own dime and time. I’m probably too socially liberal to ever vote Republican, but I’d like to see them rebuild into something less laughable and more politically affective.

Use the Nuke, Harry, Use the Nuke

Presidential appointments should be treated like a balancing game. Congress should minimally approve enough positions [a] to keep everything running smoothly and [b] keep the parties on (mostly) equal footing. Allowing government and federal offices to be filled and, therefore, to keep working properly should be a key responsibility of our representatives in government. We don’t elect people to play chicken with our economy, to posture and strut, or to cockblock any actual work from getting done. If I were a manager for Congress, I think I’d fire 90% of both houses (from both parties, I might add) and rehire a smarter brood; clearly, old blood just carries old gripes.

Mens’ Sweat Pheromone, Androstadienone, Influences Cooperation In Other Men

I love evolution! Males of our species developed a pheromone to cause cooperation when times get tough and everyone starts sweating (a sign of hard work). It might also explain why even testosterone-heavy men can often manage to work with a team during team sports play. I imagine, one day, that we’ll start using pheromones to control or influence everyday reactions; you’ll walk past an ad that not only looks like it’s using sex to sell, but it’ll subconsciously smell like sex and lust, too.

Qassim Al-Rimi, Commander Of Al Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula, Warns Americans On Security

Oh sweet Jesus, I agree with al-Qaida?!?!?? *looks around suspiciously*

The two quotes in this article come from a commander of al-Qaida. “Your security is not achieved by despoiling other nations’ security or by attacking and oppressing them. Leave us with our religion, land and nations and mind your own internal affairs.”

I really do believe we need to stop. Stop trying to police the Middle East, a place so dysfunctional that Jesus/Muhammad/Buddha couldn’t fix it. Stop trying to make everyone else’s lives better by forcing the “American dream” and government style into their countries, as they often reject it violently. Stop taking out our “enemies” (i.e. terrorists) with targeted strikes and drones, as this just inflames the local recruitment (not to mention that most of the key “enemies” we had from 9/11, our original attack reasoning, are dead).

Case Western’s Peer Educators Take Different Approach To Sex Education In Cleveland

Now that’s some innovative sex ed! They’ve trained a few select high schoolers to teach their peers about sex, discussing everything from contraception to STIs and STDs. The fact that they use a peer is very smart, because students already talk about sex to each other. Allowing this is a guided environment provides a place to discuss those questions they didn’t know they had, as well as covering non-traditional topics like dental dams (which I hadn’t heard of until adulthood, after five sex ed classes!). Well done, Cleveland!

Marsha Blackburn: Women ‘Don’t Want’ Equal Pay Laws

Trying to be fair, I will admit that I want to be hired and paid based on the quality of who I am, not on the fact that I’m a woman. That said, we need fairness laws. Racism and segregation didn’t go away on their own; laws enforcing affirmative action and equality pushed change forward even as those opposed tried to drag their heels. The same efforts are needed for women’s equality, as change isn’t happening on its own. Realistically (and unfortunately), I expect racism and sexism to continue to exist for at least a hundred years beyond any measure of equality. The old guard has to die out and have their spawn reject their lessons on race and sex before those attitudes can fade from society. There’s no way I’ll see it in my lifetime.

Supreme Court: DNA Samples Can Be Taken From Arrestees Without Warrant

Don’t get creeped out, but I’m actually for a nation-wide DNA and/or fingerprint database. I think that records of everyone’s individual-specific data would assist in murders (when the body is too mangled or decomposed to ID), in rapes (instant attacker ID unless he’s illegal), in accidents (when the person has no ID and is unconscious in a hospital), and in crimes. You could narrow down unnecessary arrests by having a way to ID suspects (other than eye witnesses, who aren’t always reliable). And when people are afraid to talk, the evidence could talk for you.

I know many people are afraid of that kind of information being collected and used maliciously. But I don’t see that as an issue, unless we develop a new Hitler who uses DNA to pull out all of the non-Arians from our society. (And that’s highly unlikely, as Americans would probably off the guy the second he started to get power… because we don’t play those games.) I don’t believe our society, regardless of who’s in charge, is on the path to dystopia.

Keep in mind, I grew up Army. My prints are in the DOD system, even though I’m no longer a dependent. Also, they take your print at the DMV when you get a license (at least in Texas). Your SSN is stealable, but your fingerprints and DNA are unique and harder to take-and-fake.

Brad Taylor And Dylan Meehan, The ‘Cutest Couple’ This High School Didn’t Expect

Awww!!! The cutest couple in this high school happened to be two boys. This gives me a warm feeling in my tummy! I don’t really belong in the acronym LGBT (there’s no P for poly, after all), but I always get extremely excited for any moves toward equality. I just want love to be accepted as love.

After GMO Wheat Seeds Found, EU Recommends Testing U.S. Shipments

Is it bad that my first thought was of the recent horsemeat scandal? I’m not surprised they’ve decided that testing our wheat is necessary. I’m keeping an eye on this whole situation, waiting to see if it’s the tipping point on GMO labeling.

Did you know Europeans are pickier about additives and preservatives, too? I have an app that includes the E-number for each additive (which everyone but the US uses to identify non-food ingredients). They exert larger controls on what goes into their food supply. It makes me jealous sometimes, and I miss Germany all over again.

In Europe, Monsanto Backing Away From GMO Crops

Monsanto is giving up on trying to sell GMO crops in Europe, because Europeans aren’t into it. And they’d love to see more to South America, but the people receiving crops from that region (i.e. Asia) don’t like GMOs either. How is it that Americans end up being the main accepters of crap? We accept and try out more additives, GMOs, unlicensed “dietary aids”, and medicines than any other country. We’re turning our own society into a giant guinea pig while everyone else watches and waits.

Foraging Tips: Do’s And Don’ts When Sourcing Your Own Food

This is going to make me sound like an uber hippie, but I happen to love dandelion greens. My roommate messed up and poisoned my “crop” that covers most of our backyard, just before I could harvest. The plants are still growing, but they’re no longer organic or even safe to eat (due to herbicides thrown on their area and the rain that followed). I love the idea of planting self-care plants that don’t require my help, especially since my thumb is anything but green lately. I’m pretty sure I couldn’t kill a dandelion even if I tried. I’ll have to research other local edibles once we move later this year, so I can try to cultivate a wild garden.

Tumblr Ups Its Ads, Users Freak Out On Cue

LOL! I don’t use Tumblr, but my roommate does. I saw this coming from a mile away. When Facebook added ads in our News Feed (rather than just in the right-hand sidebar), everyone was frustrated. Now, I just hide them (and report as Spam, when available). At least there’s a four-per-day limit for Tumblr; I don’t know if Facebook has any such limit, but it doesn’t seem to. I love WordPress (though I miss out on the groovy GIF culture of Tumblr) for blogging, and it’ll probably stay that way.

Public Atheist Monument Going Up Near Courthouse In Starke, Florida, Is Country’s First

Step one, try to get a Christian monument removed from a courthouse space as a failure to separate church and state. Step two, if unsuccessful in previous step, erect an atheist monument to smart representative of atheism. Step three, roll your eyes.

I want a pagan group to follow this up by applying to add their own monument. I’m sure they could argue reasons to allow another, non-traditional religion to display pride and remembrance. Plus, I think it’d bother Christians more than an atheist monument (and I like bothering holier-than-thou people).

I Get to Define My Own Family

That’s exactly how I feel! We get to define our own family, outside of traditional boxes. I don’t have to become a wife to become a mother, nor do I have to be monogamous. I don’t have to accept negativity from blood relatives, and my family can consist of my non-blood sister as well as her parents. (I’ve been adopted as a secondary daughter by her parents, especially after my own father rejected me for being poly). When it comes down to it, family is the group of humans you live with, find support in, and love in this life.

Vinegar cancer test saves lives, India study finds

It’s amazing what vinegar can do. This test can allow third world countries and others with large poor populations to provide a basic health service without shelling out major money. (Is it bad I consider India a third world country? Violence against women plus high poverty plus low health rates… I can’t help it.)

Nursing wounded wildlife back to health

This woman (and her husband) are heroes. I used to consider becoming a wildlife rehab person, or a foster parent for animals via a local shelter. However, until I own a home I recognize my lack of stability and legal ability to help foster any animals. I don’t know that I could do what Mona Rutger does, but I salute her.

Chemist Hopes ‘Artificial Leaf’ Can Power Civilization Using Photosynthesis

I just imagined driving a car that looks like a flowering bush (the flowers being decorative, of course). I love the idea of using nature to design science, and I’d love to see artificial trees used in place of traditional coal or gas generators of electricity. Also, you could live off the grid while still have electricity if you had access to a power-generating tree.

Pressure Grows to Create Drugs for ‘Superbugs’

“I heard your illness is antibiotic resistant. Here’s a new antibiotic!” I really wish we’d get our overuse of antibiotics under control, take them out of the food supply and make them the third option in medicine (after healthy choices and other medicines fail). The fact that are feed our livestock antibiotics to fatten them [http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/meat/safe/overview.html] should’ve alarmed scientists long before superbugs started popping up in hospitals.

Warning: I’m extremely biased. I’d gladly watch meat prices soar and see people turning to vegetarian-ish diets out of necessity. I’m a flexitarian, so I’d be fine with eating meat once a week instead of every day (as most Americans do). All of that aside, I really do worry about the use of antibiotics for every little thing; you shouldn’t have to worry about dying of infection in the hospital unless you showed up there with one in the first place.

Scorned lady writes best breakup letter ever

Oh, I love this lady! Instead of breaking all of her cheating lover’s things, she boxes them up and places them in locations related to their (now over) relationship. I don’t have that kind of patience! I’m also not one to immediately assume the worst with a Facebook message; people talk all the time without actively cheating. Heck, I “flirt” with all my friends, both male and female. However, if I were to be cheated on, I’m not sure I’d pack up his stuff; I’d be far more likely to take all of my stuff and leave without a word.

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