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Posts Tagged ‘XKCD’

My sister is getting married later today, and while getting ready, I’ve been watching the History Channel, something I haven’t done in quite a while.  I know, no Food Channel or Travel Channel?  It’s not like I’m straying that far.  But I’m hit with the realisation that SCIENCE IS AWESOME!  Sure, I hit this every time I read an xkcd comic or read news articles about medical break-throughs, but sometimes it hits me just how much we now know  because of simple scientific advancements and achievements.

For instance, we now know without much doubt that the dinosaurs were indeed killed off by a giant meteor 65 million years ago.  How?  Because we stumbled upon a layer in rock beds from 65 million years ago that’s chalk full of iridium, and then we found the actual crater in the Gulf of Mexico using satellite imaging.  COOL!

(On a similar, dinosaur note, we now know that dinosaurs had feathers and that multiple species were actually just the same species at different ages.  Too bad, Jurassic Park.)

Or there’s the whole thing where, through fMRI and other brain imaging techniques, we’ve found biological differences in brain structure for those who are gay or transgender.  The fact that we can find these biological differences means it’s more difficult for people to claim that it’s “just a choice”.  When a three year-old male is showing the brain structures of a three year-old female in a brain scan and claims that he is in fact a she, we can no longer deny a biological reason behind their behaviour.  Once again, science is awesome!

Science teaches us why anti-bacterial soaps harm our immune-system and why driving west on Highway 70 gives you worse gas-mileage than going east.  It warns us about our carbon emissions and why we need enough plants to balance out our planet’s oxygen levels.  We have learned so much in the past one hundred fifty years, and it simply amazes me!  I hope it amazes you, too, since we all use science every day.  Whether you use the internet or take medicine for you high blood-pressure or turn on the television or eat a piece of fruit that wasn’t grown in your area, you’re totally using technology and science.

AWESOME!

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Once again, I’ve nearly made it through an entire year.  As such (and to continue the tradition from last year), here are the accomplishments, triumphs, failures, and events that marked my past year.  Feel free to make your own to share!

  • I made it through my first year of university at Truman, finishing off with a decent GPA and tons of friends to boot.
  • Three and a half inch heels and four inch heels–I made them my bitch.
  • I went on an aeroplane by  myself for the first time to visit my dad in Florida for two weeks, where I tried Sashimi for the first time (practically raw tuna with wasabi and pickled ginger), visited Key West and some other nifty beaches, and got massively sunburnt.
  • If you caught that part about Sashimi, you’ve probably figured out that I became a pescetarian over the summer.  Half of my just didn’t care any more about avoiding fish while the other half just kept nagging about all of the great omega-3 oils and brain-helping nutrients.  This has allowed me to become pretty damn obsessed with sushi, by the way.
  • I started a pretty shitty fashion blog about Midwest fashion.  Now that I have a new camera, I plan on taking more pictures for it, though.
  • Which brings me to a creeper moment for this year: I definitely worked up the courage to ask random people to be models for my fashion blog since they were wearing cool outfits.  I’m actually pretty proud of myself for having the guts.
  • For a failure, I definitely had a big falling out with someone who had been my friend, leaving us in some kind of acquaintance limbo.  And I’m not too proud about playing dirty and being really bitchy about it, but my life had gotten to a major point where I had to either step up or drop into obscurity, meek and silent as I get walked upon.  You all know I’m not really the type to allow the latter.
  • I got a sewing machine!
  • And I’ve sewed all kinds of really crappy things; mostly for work.
  • Oh!  So, I got a volunteer job down on Main Street, Saint Charles at the First State Capitol State Historic Site in June.  I get to dress up in 1820s clothing, teach people history, give tours, work with kids, all kinds of fun stuff.  After a month and a half of volunteering, I managed to get a position with the Missouri State Youth Corps so that I could get paid for my volunteer work.  It’s been an absolutely amazing experience, and if all goes as planned, I will be working there next summer as well.
  • Over October, my dog, Teddy, passed away after a year and a half of massive heart problems.  I had spent the entire summer preparing for him to pass away, which helped me when it actually did happen, but that doesn’t make it any less sad.  You probably already know that he meant a lot to me, but I don’t feel very burdened.  So that’s a start.
  • My grandparents are still somehow making it.  My grandma was diagnosed with cancer last year, and she’s finally made the decision to quit treatment and just last these months out.  My grandpa, meanwhile, had a quadruple bypass that didn’t go as well as it could have, though he’s recovering now.
  • The rest of the family is decently healthy (or at least in comparison to my grandparents), though there was a lot of tension when my brother was kicked out for his misconducts that he’d been warned for years to cease.  He now lives with my dad in Florida, which seems to be working out better for him.
  • This past year, I’ve been building up a second family up in Kirksville (or at least it feels like that).  I signed the lease for a house for next school year with Jess and Noah, which is pretty damn exciting.  And we’re right next door to Ann, Ginny, and James, which means we’ll share a big side yard and have dinner parties.  Huzzah!
  • This implies that I’m still friends with everyone up at uni, as well as some new folks.  I also finished up my first semester of sophomore year and started my new studio art minor.  It’s been really neat to see my artwork improve over the semester, and we’ll see how much better it gets by the end of next year.
  • I went to Iowa for the first time.  No worries, it was as mundane as the sentence seems to convey.

New Music for this Year (or at least music I was exposed to this year):

  • Kate Havnevik’s Melankton
  • Emilíana Torrini’s Love in the Time of Science and Fisherman’s Woman
  • Kingdom of Heaven Soundtrack
  • Loreena McKennitt’s The Book of Secrets and The Visit
  • ALL CAPS’ Bmin/E
  • Amy MacDonald’s This is the Life
  • Arcade Fire’s The Suburbs
  • Broken Bells’ Broken Bells
  • Coldplay’s Parachutes
  • Florence + the Machine’s Lungs
  • Fiona Apple’s Extraordinary Machine
  • Imogen Heap’s Ellipse
  • Joanna Newsom’s Have One on Me
  • Joe Purdy’s This American
  • Kate Miller-Heidke’s Curioser
  • KT Tunstall’s Eye to the Telescope
  • Modest Mouse’s Good News for People Who Love Bad News
  • Natacha Atlas’s Halim
  • Patrick O’Hearn’s Glaciation
  • Sigur Ros’s Takk…
  • Vampire Weekend’s Contra
  • White Lies’ To Lose My Life
  • Yael Naim’s Yael Naim

New Books:

  • Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Science of Social Influence
  • Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451
  • Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations
  • Dude, I can’t remember the last time I read a new book for pleasure.  Aside from text book reading, I’ve been chilling with the old favourites: Dan Brown’s Digital Fortress, Memoirs of a Geisha, Dragon’s Bait, et cetera.
  • But, I’ve gotten into some web comics: Questionable Content and xkcd.

New Films:

  • HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS
  • Love and Death (a quirky Woody Allen film)
  • Troy
  • Darjeeling Limited
  • The Losers

I really haven’t done all that much this year aside from lots of music listening (shit son, way more than I thought after making that list), working my butt off, chilling with friends every chance I get, and finding some new hobbies (such as interior design/décor, art art art art art, reading webcomics, et cetera).  I’ve learned to love libraries and sushi and appreciate some of the people around me a lot more.  I hope that you all have had an interesting year with lots of learning and events.  Hope to see you all next year!

Missi

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And now I’m right back at school and with so many interesting, challenging, fun things to do before now and when I go back home in two and a half weeks.  Wow.  Such a short amount of time before I’m heading right back, yet everyone makes it out to be such a long time.  But really, that’s two weeks of classes (and, oh you know, five exams), six chapters of psych to read, one stats assignment, three art projects, and Mrs Dalloway to finish up.  And then four/five finals!  I can do it, I can do it!

This weekend, I’m taking two days out on Friday and Saturday in order to make a (spoilers) for my mum for her joint birthday and Christmas present.  I’ll tell you what it is after I give her the gift, and I’ll be sure to put up pictures (with my new Nikon Coolpix that needs to be removed from its box).  Rest assured that it is something both artsy and never previously done by me.  My art professor is giving a class to a few of us about how to make unsaid object, so it will be pretty exciting to learn a new skill (even if I will be probably horrible at it).  I’ll give you a hint if you promise not to tell my mum, though.

Anyway, Thanksgiving holidays went well, though I saw less of my friends than I had anticipated.  I had two delicious meals with my mum’s side of the family and also with my dad’s/sister’s, was able to visit my work and chat with the managers, went to a bonfire with friends, and I even went Black Friday shopping to get money off of some boots I had bought a few days before ($100 off of the original price is incentive enough for me to brave the hordes of shoppers).  Somehow, Noah and I found a spot at the very, very front of where we wanted to be at the mall.  And thank God, because otherwise, it meant parking at least a half mile away, which would require us to cross seven lanes of very busy traffic.

But I spent a lot of time reading comics (such as Questionable Content and xkcd) and watching old episodes of Cowboy Bebop, which sort of felt like me from eighth grade coming to punch me in the face.  After six years of travelling, it’s built up some momentum.  My brother also gave me all of Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law before he set out to move in with my dad, which, yes, happened on Sunday.  Hopefully he will be getting along a lot better down in Florida than here in Missouri where it’s just constant bickering.

The rain is coming in now, though, with chilly winds and so little light that it should be criminal.  I’ll set off to listen to more Natacha Atlas songs on Youtube so that I can decide which of her albums to buy today since I have a coupon from Amazon.  Oh, decisions, decisions.  Halim or Gedida?  Both are awesome albums of Egyptian/Arabic/French songs blended with electronic, hip hop beats.  She’s like listening to a young generation from the Gaza Strip.  So I’ll leave you to go decide on an album, though there’s really no wrong choice; both that I’ve previewed are amazing.

PS: If there were any more links in this post, I’m pretty sure WordPress would explode.  I just thought it would be fun to give some examples and references to you folks for all of the crazy things I chat about.

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More and more articles are coming out about the 2012 presidential elections, most of which are chalk-full of Sarah Palin interviews about a possible presidential run.  Aside from the fact that she’s now a Fox News analyst and has a reality show that are taking up significant amounts of time, I’m not sure if she would be able to win the primaries because of her rather strong views.  So, I’m not really sure if she’ll get the nod from the GOP to begin with because they may realise that, though you need to be highly conservative to first win the nomination, becoming more moderate afterwards may be a difficulty.  But you know what I want to see for the Republican nominations?  Mitt Romney or TRON PAUL!

Oh, I’m sorry.  That’s Ron Paul.

And you know what?  I’d be pretty happy seeing that kind of race against Obama (who, let’s not kid ourselves, will most likely get the Democratic nomination).

You may question why I’d like to see that race, so let’s just put down the basics on each of these guys:

Obama: Well, come on, he’s signed a ton of great legislation into effect during his time thus far, and I’m not even talking about the health bill which is literally the only reason that I can now get insurance once I’m off of my parent’s policy (because of pre-existing conditions, may I add).  He’s signed in bills to help recreate jobs in environmental sectors that not only help our economy but also help install more efficient forms of energy across the country.  He’s boosted scientific research, shut down Gitmo, and cut taxes for small businesses.  All of which I’m fond.

(T)Ron Paul:  I know that the odds are small that the will even run because of his age, and they’re even smaller that he would get the Republican nod even though he is what a true Republican is, but I still have hope as a Libertarian!  One of the cool new things he’s working on is creating a bill that makes it illegal for Federal employees to hide behind their immunity if they’ve totally fucked things up (so, basically holding people accountable).  He also strongly believes that what we do to other countries can often piss them off and cause more problems, which is a strong thing to admit, and he’s up for putting America first when it comes to our military rather than just stretching our troops across the globe.  Plus, ending subsidies for oil companies sounds like a good plan.  It may not work, but even the idea is a start.

Mitt Romney: I’ll fully admit that he’s not one of my very favourites, but out of the major Republicans up for the nomination, he’s one of my faves.  I like his position on the second amendment.  He’s in favour but also supports a waiting time and limit on assault weapons.  There’s a difference between owning a hunting rifle and an AK-47, and he understands this.  I also appreciate that, though he’s pro-life, he is also in favour of allowing states to decide legislation for themselves.  I also like that he supports diplomacy with Iraq and Afghanistan rather than a purely military approach.

None of these candidates are perfect.  Obama can be a bit closed-minded to conservatives, Ron Paul’s education plans are a little frightening, and Mitt Romney has a bit of a problem with separating church and state.  But you know what?  If I’m going to be reasonable with who may get to be nominated, then I’m going to be reasonable with picking these three guys as my favourites.

So, tell me what you think.  Who would you like to see in the 2012 race?  Who do you not want to see?  Tell me why; I’d love to hear it!

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