Archive for the ‘Current Events’ Category

Alaskan(s) of the Week

Filed under: Current Events,POTW — Amy @ 8:51 pm
Wagon Truck

Alaska couple converts pickup into Radio Flyer car

Fred Keller and Judy Foster worked on the vehicle for 11 months, using the base of a 1976 Mazda B1600 pickup truck.

Ever miss your childhood days riding around in a red wagon?

A Wasilla, Alaska, couple has the answer: A full-sized pickup that has been converted into a giant red Radio Flyer.

I suppose there are worse ways to relive your childhood.

Just a Coincidence, I’m Sure

Filed under: Current Events — Amy @ 3:07 pm

“Gee, one of our biggest demographics is really into this book series about vampires and werewolves that live in the woods.  The first film made $70 million in 3 days and the second movie is due out next month.  Hmmm… I bet if we put our heads together, we can figure out a way to cash in on this franchise.”

image

Big Food vs. Big Insurance

Filed under: Current Events,Politics — Amy @ 6:14 pm

This is an excellent article, relating the current health care debate issue to the current American food supply and farm policies.

For instance, the government currently subsidizes the corn industry (at the tune of $37.3 billion between 1995 and 2003).  In fact, because of said subsidies, it’s so profitable to be a corn farmer that many farmers have forsaken all other grains and vegetables to jump into the corn industry.  This causes a surplus in the amount of corn produced in this country. 

Rather than cutting back to balance the economics of it, the corn industry is continually coming up with new ways that people can consume more corn.  So now while we sit on the couch listening to pipe dream reports about replacing gasoline with ethanol (made from corn), we can drink our sodas and eat our snack foods that are heavily laden with high-fructose corn syrup.

There’s a similar problem with the dairy industry, ever since the advent of pumping cows full of hormones to make them produce twice as much milk.  They need to sell all that extra milk so they can pay to replace their hormone-loaded cows, who have this annoying habit of dying every 5 years (a cow’s normal lifespan is 20-25 years).  So how do you sell the public more milk than they need?  Convince them that they need more milk.  Hence the $23 million per year spent on the “Got Milk?” campaign.

The point I’m trying to make, and which the article addresses, is that the cost of health care in America is a result of Americans’ bad health.  Our bad health and plagues of preventable diseases are largely the result of the way we eat – the “American diet.”  And the American diet can be directly linked to the economics and structure of our food supply.

Do not even get me started on school lunches. 

Just read the article.

Man Burned at Burning Man Assumed Risk of Being Burned by Burning Man, Says Court

Filed under: Current Events — Amy @ 7:54 am

I’m glad to see there’s still SOME sense left in our legal system…

On June 30, the California Court of Appeal held that a man who was burned by the huge bonfire that ends the Burning Man festival each year could not sue the festival organizers.  Anthony Beninati admitted he had intentionally walked into the fire, and that he had previously known fire was hot.  But he argued, basically, that the organizers were negligent because they should not have let him approach the fire so closely.

He did not win.

From Lowering the Bar

Inauguration

Filed under: Current Events,Politics — Amy @ 9:54 am

A nice quote from Congressman John Campbell:

It is easy to recognize the impact this event will have on American History. Since the founding of our great Republic, Americans have always relished our most sacred of traditions…freedom. This is yet another display which will be viewed all across the globe, and allows us, as Americans, to display our commitment to our founding virtues.

I encourage all Americans to welcome our new Commander-in-Chief and President, Barack Obama. We may not always agree on policy, but we are united by our American tradition, culture, and patriotism.

May God Bless this President and May God Bless America.

President Obama, I do not envy you your job.  As someone I respect said recently, I’m sure the thought why did I think this was a good idea? will cross your mind during your first 100 days of your presidency.  But I wish you the best and hope to see you meet the expectations you have set for yourself and the rest of the country.  I hope you can weather the stresses and remain true to yourself and the people who put you here.  And may the hope you inspire in people push us to better ourselves and our country as befits this one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Nonsense

Filed under: Current Events,Parenting — Amy @ 9:29 am

I’m sorry, but THIS:

On Tuesday of this week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that it found the toxic chemical melamine in … formula made by the three biggest U.S. manufacturers: Abbot Labs, maker of Similac; Mead Johnson, maker of Enfamil; and Nestle, maker of Good Start.

really just pisses me off.

Particularly this:

FDA officials insist the levels are so low they don’t pose a health threat…

followed by this (emphasis added):

Last month the FDA said any melamine exposure level is unsafe for infants.

Can someone please tell me what melamine (or a “chemical by-product of melamine”) is doing in American-made baby formula?  And why the FDA seems to be changing their stance on melamine now that it’s an issue here?  And why it took a “secret test” to determine that there were harmful chemicals in the formula, despite the assurances of the manufacturers?

Aggghhhh…

Plan B: Prevention or Termination?

Filed under: Current Events,Politics — Amy @ 8:14 pm

Katie Couric recently asked Sarah Palin about her position on Plan B, the controversial pill often referred to as the “Morning-After Pill,” or in some circles, an “Abortion Pill.”  Palin’s answer, though shrouded in her trademark non-specifity, indicated that she does not condone the pill because of her pro-life position – though she is supportive of contraception.

I was curious about the actual effects of this pill, so I did some research.  Emergency Contraception is branded as a form of pregnancy prevention that can be taken up to 5 days AFTER intercourse.  For many non-biology majors, that doesn’t really compute unless it implies that the pill terminates a pregnancy that has already had the opportunity to begin.

Here is what I found…

Plan B prevents ovulation.  So, if you have any lingering … um … “gentlemen callers” in your system after the fact, taking the pill will prevent a new egg from coming out to meet them, thereby preventing fertilization.

Plan B does NOT dislodge a fertilized egg from the uterus – so unlike RU-486, it does NOT cause an abortion in this way.  So if you’re already pregnant when you take it, it won’t help you.  It basically won’t have any effect.

ECPs do not interrupt an established pregnancy, defined by medical authorities such as the United States Food and Drug Administration/National Institutes of Health and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as beginning with implantation.*

But there’s a missing link in the chain.  Eggs that have not been released won’t be.  Eggs that have been released, fertilized and have made their way into the uterus to attach to the lining are not at risk from the pill.  But what about an egg that has already been released, gets fertilized, and is still on its way toward the uterus (a process that takes about a week) when the pill takes effect?

The jury is still out on whether the pill prevents implantation of a fertilized egg.  Many scientists don’t think it affects implantation, but admit they don’t know for sure.

The reduced efficacy with a delay in treatment, even when use is adjusted for cycle day of unprotected intercourse, suggests that interference with implantation is likely not an inevitable effect of ECPs. If ECPs did prevent all implantations, then delays in use should not reduce their efficacy as long as they are used before implantation.*

Clinical associate professor in the University of Washington’s Department of Pharmacy, Don Downing, promotes the theory that Plan B does not interfere with implantation.  When he is questioned on the assurance of his data, his response is typically, “Do you have 100 percent proof there’s a God?  Or that the lunch you ate yesterday or the Tylenol you took this morning didn’t interfere with implantation?” 

I know.  Not the most convincing answer.

At any rate, the clinical definition of pregnancy begins with implantation, so in scientific terms Plan B never causes an “abortion” even if it does interfere with implantation.  Incidentally, implantation is also the medical definition of “conception.”

So the real question for any anti-abortionist forming a position on Plan B, is when you believe life actually begins.  Many conservative pro-lifers believe life begins at conception, and that true definition of “conception” is fertilization.  This has been the traditional viewpoint since science first shed light on the egg-sperm process.  If a fertilized egg is a human life, then anything that interrupts the implantation of that egg effectively terminates that life.

However, it is somewhat difficult to assert the significance of a fertilized egg as a human life, when the human body naturally discards up to half of all fertilized eggs.  Most of these implant-failures go completely unnoticed.

It may seem like splitting hairs to debate the exact moment that human life begins, but the issue is critical to the millions of Americans who see a sacred value in that life.  At some point, you have to be able to say, “This counts, but this doesn’t.”

So what do you think?

*”Emergency Contraception” by James Trussell, PhD and Elizabeth G. Raymond, MD, MPH, September 2008

Argh

Filed under: Current Events,Politics — Amy @ 9:26 pm

I’m re-posting this because a server blip seems to have eaten it the first time around.

Economics is one of those things that just doesn’t compute to me.  I think because so much of it is intangible.  I get mortgages but once you get into buying mortgages, securities, all this stuff that doesn’t equate to an actual product, I get a little lost.

Regardless, I’m trying really hard to wrap my mind around this $700 billion Bail Out Plan (or Rescue Plan, depending on your persuasion).

But no matter how much I hear and read about it, it still sounds like when your credit card company sends you blank checks so you can pay off your other credit cards.  Transferring unmanageable debt from one lender to another.  Not an actual solution to the problem – just a way to buy a little more time.  But that time always comes with a price.

So … if I’m hearing this right, the way to get out of a debt-caused crisis is to acquire more debt?

But the bill is having a hard time making it through Congress.

So the way to pass a bill that increases the government’s debt by $700 billion is to add on a bunch of “sweeteners” (pork barrel projects) so that the bill now totals $850 billion?

I just don’t get it…

Quote of the Day

Filed under: Current Events — Amy @ 12:47 pm

In other [Daniel] Radcliffe news, the actor will soon make his body-baring Broadway debut in “Equus,” and producers are apparently determined to make sure no one pounces on the opportunity to photograph his magic wand.

From MSN

Quote of the Day

Filed under: Current Events — Amy @ 10:47 am

From MSN:

In other [Daniel] Radcliffe news, the actor will soon make his body-baring Broadway debut in “Equus,” and producers are apparently determined to make sure no one pounces on the opportunity to photograph his magic wand.

American Circus

So it looks like Anti-Sanjaya Girl will have to endure another week of starvation. So far, it looks like she’s up for it – which, frankly, surprises me. I was thinking she’d give in this week.

If I ever decide to starve myself for a cause, I will make sure that:

  1. My goal can possibly be reached in increments of DAYS, not WEEKS. I can’t imagine the thought at 8:29pm every Wednesday night that you have to endure another ENTIRE WEEK before the next possibility of relief comes.
  2. It will not have anything to do with a reality TV show.

Although, I will say that I disagree with the people who are mad at her for hunger striking over such a minor issue because they think her priorities are screwed up when there are SO MANY MORE IMPORTANT THINGS TO STARVE YOURSELF FOR.

Frankly, anyone who goes on a hunger strike for World Peace, or Save the Rain Forests, or Stop the Genocide, or whatever, is resigning themselves to a death sentence. There is simply no way that any major issue like that can get resolved in the time it takes to die from lack of food, no matter how many people are trying to help you.

If you’re going on a hunger strike, it SHOULD be over something trivial, so that at least there is the possibility of succeeding – the possibility that SOMEBODY who matters will think that your life is more important than X and will conceded to your demands.

I’ve been keeping up with her blog, not so much from an overwhelming compulsion to see what happens to her, but more because it’s entertaining to read the comments she gets. Some people just have this compulsive need to hear themselves type, even if what they have to say takes a sudden left swing into the Valley of Irrelevance.

For instance, this was in response to a post she made about having lost 10 lbs:

wait, wait, let me get this straight…you are supposed to have LOST 10 lbs? Man, no offense, because I don’t know how tall you are and everything, but .I am like 5’7 and weigh 115 (if that)… and whereas you are supposedly 23 and from what I can gather you are living with your parents and they have so much concern, I just turned 21 and am in college, and we lost the house that my family was living in in Maryland because my mother made my 19 year old sister, 22 year old autistic brother, and I abandon the house and move with her and her crazy gf to Troy, NY the night after she made my father leave the house and go live with his mother, and my mother drove me back to Maryland in August 2006 since I am in college, and her friend came along for the drive and threatened to kill me and cursed my mother’s parent’s out and my mother did absolutely NOTHING, so now my father has to come get me and I have to stay at his senile mother’s house with no computer or internet during breaks from college. Otherwise I am pretty much on my own. I don’t even have a bf or anything because I am afraid to trust anyone, and it seems like everyone at my college is black, but I don’t want to feel like I have to be comitted to a black person.

So you mean you weighed like 165 before? How tall are you anyway?

Somebody needs a therapist to get all that angst out to. And then there are the AI wanna-be’s, waiting to be discovered:

THIS KID SUCKS… I would take him on in a second in a sing off, been singing all my life, so all these ppl saying they would like to see you or anyone else sing better than him, I will do it and this is not a joke, my dad taught me to sing when I was like 4 and he was a great singer I have a CD I made for him, just from him singing to music, anyone have any questions on that, I will be glad to send u a sound file!!!!!!! Just add me as a friend and you will hear it on myspace… I have sung in front of thousands of people, I know the nerves and was able to overcome them, it was AWESOME!!!! And you know what, would do it again in a second……My nephew was 4 years old when he first started singing thanx to my dad and his first song was BABE and he was on every note and every lyrics, So I guess what I am trying to say is all u ppl should think before u put your foot in your mouth………Sorry if this sounds harsh but I can’t stand u ppl putting J down for what she is doing, I worry bout her, but I understand her stand on this……………Oh and P.S. can u hypocrytes sing better than Shejaya, I think not…………..

Careful, y’all – she’ll “do it and this is not a joke.” I guess for some people, everything really is all about THEM.

Blown Away

Filed under: Are You Kidding Me?,Current Events,Such is Life — Amy @ 4:52 pm

The wind is so strong here today that it’s blowing the birds right out of the trees. There are shingles in the alleyway from various people’s houses and the sky/air outside is this weird yellowish color because so much sand/dust has been blown up into the air that when you go check the mail, you can feel the grit of it in your teeth. I don’t recall opening my mouth when I checked the mail, and yet I have sand in my teeth.

All the trash/recycling bins have toppled over and our backyard chairs have been blown up against the house. The closed umbrella is now prostrate on the ground. Every time there’s a breeze, the window in our master bath whistles. Today it sounds like there’s a train going through there.

Whatever this is blowing in, I wish it would just get here already.

And in other news, the salon where Britney shaved off her hair is selling the locks for $1,000 per strand. It strikes me as sad when celebrities reach such a superhuman status that people become willing and eager to make a profit on a person’s display of emotional instability.

About Me

Hi. I'm Amy. I started this website in 2005 as a place to deposit my journal and photos. It has gone through a few incarnations and masquerades as a family site, but since I'm the only one who contributes to it, it's really all about ME, ME, ME.

Latest Photos