July 13, 2012

I liked Pinterest before…

After conducting this search (note the search box in the upper left hand corner of the image)… I kinda love Pinterest…

I’m going to keep my comments simple…

  • Anorexia nervosa has the highest premature fatality rate of any mental illness.
  • For females between fifteen to twenty-four years old who suffer from anorexia nervosa, the mortality rate associated with the illness is twelve times higher than the death rate of ALL other causes of death.
  • Research dollars spent on anorexia averaged $.70 per affected individual, compared to over $159.00 per affected individual for schizophrenia.

Eating disorders are no joke and taking them seriously is no small thing. Kudos to you Pinterest, good form.

ps… I checked a couple of other sites, specifically two of the largest search engines on the web… lets just say they could learn a thing or two from Pinterest…

July 12, 2012

Freedom of cowardice??? I say no!!!

Filed under: Observations — Tags: , , , , , — sbj @ 11:25 pm

Make no mistake, I am a fan of (equally distributed) freedoms, civil rights, etc. So it may come as a surprise to those that know me that I agree completely with an Idaho court ruling ordering a newspaper to help identify someone who had commented anonymously on their web site. I’m into freedom, even freedom of speech…but not freedom of cowardice.

bill of rights

I would defend, to my last breath, a newspapers right to protect their sources or an individual’s right to speak freely (and have other people respond to them equally freely, cause, yep… it works both ways) about that which vexes (or pleases) them. However, when you hide behind a screen name and lob hate bombs at someone else you get no quarter from me.

You are not a source for the newspaper; you are a coward, and I’m sorry to say, that’s just not a protected right. You are also not speaking freely, so guess, what… freedom of speech does not apply to you.

What do you typically see when you read a comment section in a newspaper, a blog, or anywhere else? How often does it improve your reading experience? I am actually only half-rhetorically asking this question because for the most part I have stopped reading them. Comments (typically) are a cesspool of hatred and discontent, and, while I’m happy (I guess) people have a non-physical venue in which to let off some steam… I seldom see any value there for me.

If you want to argue (usually about one of 4 or 5 issues that keep coming up no matter what the topic of the piece is) this is the place for you. But, if you are looking for some open, insightful dialog about the topic, you might as well head to the local strip-club (no offense to the workers there, I’m sure many of them are quite intelligent, but the patrons are rarely lively conversationalists… at least while they are there).

Commenters are not adding value (read: sources) nor are they speaking freely (rather hiding behind a screen name) and as such I couldn’t be happier that a court has ruled that they are not only unprotected, but that the newspaper much cooperate in identifying them.

With any luck (I’m not holding my breath) this will have a trickle down effect on comment sections all over the net. It has no bearing on freedom of speech…but could strike a major blow against the perceived right to freedom of cowardice… and that would be fantastic.

Girls, Girls, Girls!!! (Part 1)

Filed under: Just life,Observations — Tags: , , , — sbj @ 5:09 pm

I have two things I want to write about on this topic, and I can’t decide which to do, so I’m just going to do them both separately, in no particular order.

This one is shorter, so it goes first.

I saw this picture today on Pinterest:

It had the caption “Fact: Bella Swan is not a role model for girls.”

Now, based on my limited exposure to the Twilight saga, I kind of agree with the caption. However, given the context of the picture, I do not think I agree or support what they are trying to say.

First of all, while I have nothing MORE against a woman leading an army, fighting a dark lord, or starting a rebellion than I do a guy doing these things, I do question whether any of them (or any male counterparts out there) are really the kind of role models I want my children to emulate. These are things that a person, in the wrong place at the wrong time, might do out of necessity; but there’s nothing there that I would want for my children in a peaceful, civilized world.

Perhaps if they had chosen Elizabeth Blackwell, Harriet Tubman, or Marie Curie (I could go on, but you get the idea, real women that did real things in the face or real adversity) I’d be more inspired.

My bigger point, though, is that there is nothing wrong with getting married… in fact its quite cool. It’s cool for men, it’s cool for women, its cool for everyone (if you’re into that sort of thing… if not, being single is just as cool for you). There is absolutely nothing wrong with “winding up married.”

I’d be a “house husband” in a New York minute, and be damn proud of what I did day in and day out. I cannot imagine anything more important than crafting members of the next generation. Frankly, I think if more people prioritized that and stopped imagining themselves leading fictional rebellions the world would be a better place.

I agree that a world where women are relegated to marriage, child rearing, etc. alone is an affront to women, a massive disservice to humanity, and a backsliding continuation of a horrifically misguided past; and I absolutely love seeing (at least parts of) humanity (all to slowly) moving toward more a more balanced society with women as CEO’s, legitimate Presidential candidates, and occupying any other role previously thought of a mans position. However, a future culture that disparages marriage and cast a pall of failure on someone (of either gender) simply because the (very early) return on their life’s effort is a wedding is, in my opinion, a culture that has failed.

There is little in the world that I respect or admire more than a couple celebrating 40, 50, or 60 years of marriage. In fact, if you put two 80 year old people in front of me and one said “I was CEO of a fortune 500 company for 50 years” and the other said “I have been happily married for 50 fantastic years” I wouldn’t waste a minute calling the second person the greater success.

There is no shame in marriage, some of my greatest personal role models are people who have been doing it for decades… I’d be willing to bet some of yours have as well.

July 10, 2012

Blatant solicitation for input :)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — sbj @ 7:30 pm

This will be short and sweet. I am working on a non-profit project and have recently “designed” (you’ll understand the quotes when you look at it) a logo for it. What I’m looking for now is feedback, I’ve never really designed a logo before… any input would be great.

It’s prominantly (as in… its the only thing there :) ) posted here: Project1021.com

Thanks much!!!


July 6, 2012

My Mom Broke Me…

Filed under: Just life,Observations — Tags: , , , , — sbj @ 8:36 pm

When I was about 11 years old (sixth grade), in the dead of a Ft Collins, Colorado winter our heat was shut off because of our inability to pay the bill (we were not what you would call affluent). One night, around 2:00am, bundled in blankets but still cold, I wandered into my mothers room to complain.

Her response was simple, “if you’re already cold, we might as well go make snow angels!” … and make them (and laugh, and cavort, and forget our troubles) we did.

snow angel

When I was 14 (and a day… we had celebrated my 14th birthday on the train from Alice Springs the previous day) we arrived in Canberra, Australia in the evening with no place to stay (the youth hostel where we were planning on staying was full when we got there). Five minutes later we had a reservation at the YMCA, announced to us by, you guessed it, a full choral rendition of the song… arm motions and all… right in the middle of Australian equivalent to Grand Central Station.

I started thinking about these stories (and many more) when this song hit my radar this morning:

I have often heard this song (which I’m pretty sure is being sung to a parental unit of one gender or another) and thought, if I just flipped the words it would sort of reflect my relationship with my mother. take:

Because of you I’ll never stray to far from the sidewalk

and change it to:

Because of you I’m only vaguely aware that there are sidewalks…

You get the idea…

My mom was indomitable. Not only was no problem to big to handle, but there was no situation that couldn’t be laughed about and enjoyed along the way. Penny “if-your-walking-on-thin-ice-you-might-as-well-dance” Fuerst just didn’t have a “safe mode.”

As anyone I have dated (or has otherwise known me well) over the years can attest, adopting this mindset has been both my blessing and my curse. I have never really accepted the idea of disaster as reality.

Mind you, this does not mean I haven’t made a disaster or two of things during my life. In fact, I have done more than my fair share of that. Further, it doesn’t mean I don’t worry about things either, because I do. However, what I don’t do, pretty much ever, is accept the worst case scenario as a viable option in any situation.

There is always, ALWAYS a silver lining. There is good in every situation and a far worse situation that, thankfully, I do not need to face. For every sold out youth hostel, there is a jubilant, rousing chorus of YMCA, and a cause for celebration. So no matter what I might face… I never actually think, or even consider the possibility, that things are going to go horribly wrong…

…and if they did… there are always snow angels to be made :)

Thanks mom :)

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