Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Somehow I ended up here, in the midst of completing my Social Theory Paper - yet all I can think about are the Twits (a new "pet name" for Twitter users... seriously, why???) and how communication in America has fallen to a new low... I was IMing with a guy from that site I'm on... We were just talking about who-knows-what, when he brings up meeting IRL (they all do... I wasn't too surprised about that...) It got me thinking -the idea of intentionally meeting someone who is (essentially) a complete stranger- or are they? How well can you know someone you meet online? Is the internet just a way to schedule a future liaison? Do we truly communicate over the internet? I took a Sociology of Cyberspace class my freshman year of college. I should know better than to question these things now... Yes, we can communicate quite well over the internet... At least, we used to. While browsing through the site, I noticed several patterns. I would get annoyed if a person did not post a picture, or only had 1 not-so-great one. I rely so heavily on body language, that I simply could not get a feel for their personality without a picture. How are they standing, what are they wearing, how are they wearing it, where are they looking, what are they doing, who are they with-- Words can't be trusted alone. Even in the age of webcams - who are you when the camera's on, when it's your face on the screen? Who are you when you're alone? Is this the same person you present to the world?

If I met you in person, would I stop to say hi, or just pass you by? Would our conversation really begin with "hi, how are you today?" If I converse with you online, for months, would I ever really know the real you? I used to think it was possible. Now, I'm not so sure.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I wonder if this blog simply makes me sound arrogant...

Happy 21.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Single Greatest Invention of the 21st Century

This has to be the single greatest invention of the 21st century. (Seriously, it puts everything we've done so far to shame- literally.)

The Slingshot

Need I say more? No, but you know I will anyway. Just a little. While here in the U.S. our biggest dilemma is generally "bottled or tap?," there are countries where clean, drinkable water is a scarce commodity. WHO and the UN estimate there to be 1.1 billion people in the world without access to safe drinking water.

Each year, 1.62 million children under 5 die from diarrhea caused by unsafe water*; 1.17 million children under 5 die from malaria.
2/3 of these children are in Asia.

And just how many children in the U.S. die from diarrhea? Googled it, since no one really seems to know-- because it's practically unheard of. Let me put it this way: I found the stats on some random medical website; they were "Not Applicable." The most recent one they had for the U.S. was 3,100 people in 1985**. And WHOSIS (WHO Statistical Information System) doesn't even have an option for it in the U.S.

Help contribute to sustainable water projects! Support WaterPartnersInternational and World Water Day 2010! Also, WHOSIS is interesting to mess around with. Take a look for yourself.

P.S. - Tap water in America is generally better than bottled water- it must pass higher standards. Buy a filter and a reusable bottle. It's considerably cheaper in the long run.

* WHO Facts and Figures Updated November 2004 - These figures above were figured out by me! (It's basic math. 90% of total. Just letting you know.)
** Wrong Diagnosis. Best I could find - and that's really saying something... There were a few journal articles, but they stop at 1987.

Friday, September 11, 2009


Those "Things to Ponder" on the side of this blog have thoroughly distracted me from whatever I was about to say...

Other things going through my mind:
Why are all of my favorite songs so sneakily religious? How can an atheist love so much Christian rock? (Is it because I was brainwashed in catholic school??? Is my subconscious still deluded??? I want to think for myself!!!)

Why are the Roanoke settlers still considered missing if someone found their boats on another island and noticed that the Native American population on that island looked oddly European?
(Am I the only one noticing the patterns there?)

Is there anything more insulting to a senior in college than making them take science and math classes a 3rd grader would ace??? (Seriously, I think I lose brain cells every time I attend. I haven't been there since. Maybe I'll show up for the test.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

(not the same article I originally read, but the same exact story)

Ok, for the first time in a while, I really don't know how I feel about this. Well, that's not entirely true. I'm horrified, disgusted, and appalled. Either way, the article did its job. I am very uncomfortable right now, and I didn't even get past the first minute of the video.

Even "cage-free" and organic eggs contribute to this massacre- possibly even small, private farms as well. I've been leaning towards going vegan, but this article (& the subsequent research, with more reliable sources...) is definitely a good push. Do what you want, but I'm grossed out (again!). So for anyone else interested in making a few changes in their life, some helpful tips for cooking:

Egg-Free Baking Tips
- Vinegar and Baking Soda: For a rising or lightening effect in cakes, cupcakes and breads, combine 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 tablespoon of vinegar.

- Ground Flaxseed: Rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids, 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed whisked with 3 tablespoons of water in a blender or food processor will replace one egg. Flaxseed works best in nutty, grainy items like pancakes, waffles, bran muffins and oatmeal cookies.

- Bananas: For its binding abilities, half of a potassium and magnesium rich mashed or pureed banana will generally replace one or two eggs in breads, muffins, cakes and pancakes.

- Applesauce: Full of fiber and vitamin C, unsweetened applesauce offers the binding and moisture needed in baked goods. 1/4 cup equals one egg. Applesauce works best when you want the results to be moist, as in brownies.

- Silken Tofu: Rich in protein and fiber, but without the cholesterol and little, if any, saturated fat, this soy-based ingredient works best in dense, moist cakes and brownies. One egg can be replaced with 1/4 cup of tofu whipped in a blender or food processor.

- ENER-G Egg Replacer: Available in a handy box in most food stores, this nonperishable powdered product works well in baking, but is best in cookies.

Adapted by Rhode Island Vegan Awareness from The Joy of Vegan Baking: The Compassionate Cooks’ Traditional Treats and Sinful Sweets, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, 2007.


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Finally, The Bill Itself

Ok, to put all of this healthcare stuff in perspective - I finally found a proper copy of one of the bills (HR 3200. So hard to find amongst the news articles and conservative "no way!" bullshit...) so I will be posting a link to the pdf copy here, as well as a general summary/comments for those who actually wish to understand what it says (though so far, it's pretty straightforward). Summary will be as impartial as I can get it, but of course, my comments are my own. Also, I just want to point out that I am neither a Republican or a Democrat. I am independent - people and actual situations matter more than outdated, irrelevant political ideologies. So yes, I will be pointing out the good AND the bad. It's a 1017 page bill, so this may take a while...

Seriously, I kind of liked McCain-- until he picked a VP that even a brain-dead, female-chauvinist monkey wouldn't hire. (You know he only chose her because she's a woman, right? A very stupid one, at that... Makes us all look stupid... ugh...) I just know better than to use my religion (or lack thereof) as an excuse to make decisions for other people's lives. They have a right to believe whatever they want too, you know...