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Friday, March 29, 2013

ENTERTAINMENT - Was The Death Star's destruction an inside job?

An examination of some questionable events and circumstances leading up to the destruction of the Death Star, through the eyes of an amateur investigative journalist within the Star Wars galaxy. The focus is mainly on the connections between the people who created and operated the Death Star and those responsible for destroying it.

HUMOR - A journal of the monthly cycle of a female, in pictures


HUMOR - Funniest Gay Marriage Signs and Memes

Clever Signs, Quotes and Cartoons Supporting Marriage Equality and Gay Rights


CULTURE/SOCIETY - How gay marriage won

No matter what the court decides, marriage equality is going to happen! The question is just how long will it take! And how long we will make the people wait! - OMGeek


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

POLITICS - There is no "too much, too soon"!

From Etoile Frank on Facebook -

With the Supreme Court currently hearing arguments on two major marriage equality cases, we all keep hearing the media and their talking heads going on about the worry that the the court could do "too much, too soon" to advance gay rights. There's apparently fear that giving too broad and sweeping of a judgement in favor of gay rights will cause a culture war that will put the furor over Roe v Wade to shame. I have news: that war has been going on for those of us with skin in the game for a very, very long time.

I, and people like me, have been second class citizens in this country since it's creation. We're members of a minority group that has historically been persecuted, prosecuted, murdered, mutilated, and tortured since civilization began.

There was a time, not so long ago, when the punishment for being gay in this very country was death. Then we got a reprive, homosexuality moved from mortal sin to mental illness in the early part of last century. And up until around 1973, gay men and women were treated for said disease with castration, lobotomies, pudic nerve surgery, and electroshock therapy.

It took until 1983 for the first state in the union to decriminalize homosexuality. And until 2003 for all states to finally make it so gay men and women couldn't be arrested in their own homes for the crime of sharing a bed and their lives. And that only happened because of a Supreme Court decision.

In 1993, brave gay men and women fighting for the freedom of their fellow countrymen were finally acknowledged...by being told they could serve, if they never let it be known that they were part of a lesser class of people. It took until 2011 for them to finally be able to die for their country without hiding their sexual orientation.

And so we get to the point of marriage equality. The question of whether or not gay men and women everywhere deserve the right to equal protection under the law. To things like hospital visitation rights, not being subject to thousands of dollars in estate taxes on property they share with their partner should they die (which their straight, married counterparts never have to worry about), to having their employer provide their family with health insurance, and about a thousand other rights and responsibilities that come with marriage.

And to add insult to injury, we gay folks work hard and pay our share of taxes for representation in the government that has, until relatively recently, used us as pawns in a political game. Our right to marry used a scare tactic to drum up arch conservative throwback voters. We serve our country in a time of war, and still get trotted out as the circus freak show to bring out the worst and most divisive in the general population come election time.

And people whose own lives will not be changed by the decision over marriage have the audacity to ask if it's too soon.

That question is beyond insulting, it's ignorant. Ignorant of the struggle gay men and women have had through history. Ignorant of the inexcusable treatment we've received for thousands of years. Yes, we've come a long way in this country, but that's no excuse to rest on our laurels and say that second class citizenship is "good enough" because some people may not be ready to let go of their prejudice and preconceived notions. The real question isn't if it is too soon... It's what took us so long to get to this point? Gay people being treated like people is long overdue.

ENTERTAINMENT - Redshirts for marriage equality!


CULTURE/SOCIETY - The Trader Joe's Lesson: How to Pay a Living Wage and Still Make Money in Retail

Many employers believe that one of the best ways to raise their profit margin is to cut labor costs. But companies like QuikTrip, the grocery-store chain Trader Joe's, and Costco Wholesale are proving that the decision to offer low wages is a choice, not an economic necessity. All three are low-cost retailers, a sector that is traditionally known for relying on part-time, low-paid employees. Yet these companies have all found that the act of valuing workers can pay off in the form of increased sales and productivity.


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

ENTERTAINMENT - Mister Rogers: An Appreciation

Fred Rogers was one of the most recognizable and reassuring TV personalities ever. NPR's Scott Simon remembers the life and work of Mr. Rogers, who died Thursday at age 74 in his hometown of Pittsburgh.


Monday, March 18, 2013

ENTERTAINMENT: 15 Reasons Mister Rogers Was the Best Neighbor Ever

Back when I was in 7th grade I stood up in front of my English class and delivered a tongue-in-cheek, poorly researched presentation on why I thought Mister Rogers should be the next President. I ate up the first few minutes zipping up my cardigan, and putting on some sneakers, and then I proceeded to mock him roundly. It was a riotous success. Fourteen years later, I'm using this post to repent. The following are 15 things everyone should know about Fred Rogers:


ENTERTAINMENT: 5 Moments That Prove Mr. Rogers Was the Greatest American

Once in a while, a publication asks who the greatest American of our lifetime is. And while Cracked would never presume to answer that question, we absolutely can. Is it Zombie Teddy Roosevelt? The puppeteer who made Ronald Reagan come alive? Former San Antonio Spurs center David Robinson?

You have to admit he's a frontrunner.
Strong contenders, all, but no. Sit down, neighbor, and hear of a man who did not conquer the world, but did it one better; he reminded us that the world needs unity rather than conquest. He walked among us as a man, although he was a hand-to-God saint. They say the difference between a saint and a psychopath is empathy, and Mr. Fred Rogers had an ocean of it, which makes him either the sanest man in history or the craziest hero we ever had.


CULTURE/SOCIETY: Paddy, Not Patty!

Each and every year millions of Irish, Irish-ish and amateur alcoholics are needlessly distracted from their Holy Tradition of drinking themselves into a stupor in the name of Saint Patrick, a Roman Briton slave holding the dubious honour of bringing Christianity to an island that would use it as another convenient excuse to blatter the hell out of each other for centuries.

The source of this terrible distraction?

An onslaught of half-hearted, dyed-green references to St. Patrick’s Day as St. Patty’s Day.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY - Scientists can't explain everything!


MY LIFE: So true! Even worse when you're 50!


March 14, 2011, also known as pi day, is almost upon us. It is called pi day because if you write it out in numbers it is 3.14, which is the commonly used abbreviation for pi (Π). So in honor of pi day I thought I would do 50 fun facts about pi (this is also my homework for Ms.Miskelly, but I only need 1 fact for that so yeah. Do I get extra credit?) so here they are:


SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY: Bill the Lizard: A Brief History of Pi

The date March 14th, or 3/14, is Pi Day in the U.S., so I thought I'd commemorate by sharing a brief history of one of the most important and frequently occurring numbers in mathematics.



Everybody knows the value of pi is 3.14…er, something, but how many people know where the ratio came from?

Actually, the ratio came from nature—it’s the ratio between the circumference of a circle and its diameter, and it was always there, just waiting to be discovered. But who discovered it? In honor of Pi Day, here’s a semi-brief history of how pi came to be known as 3.14(1592653589793238462643383279502884197169…and so on).


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

ENTERTAINMENT: What Goes Around Comes Around: Vinyl Records Are Back

I spent many hours during my youth watching my father deep-clean his albums and tinker with turntables, needles and amps. He’d move his speakers a few inches, replay a piece and see if we could detect distinctions in the sound. “Did you catch that? Hear the difference?” he’d ask. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t, but I definitely learned to listen intently and, today, I count the time we spent together appreciating the world’s greatest musical artists and their recordings among my most cherished memories.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

ENTERTAINMENT: Trials and tribulations of being a female DJ in Des Moines!

Calvert jumped into one of the most male-dominated scenes around last year, and you can now catch her at various downtown clubs, where she spins as DJ Rack City. It wasn’t an easy transition. The society can be insular, equipment’s expensive, and it’s not an easy art form to perfect. But Calvert was dogged.


Tuesday, March 05, 2013

ENTERTAINMENT: 52 Weeks Of Star Wars

Star Wars done as other movies as well as albums, paintings, and famous photographs...


CULTURE/SOCIETY: We Found Our Son in the Subway

The story of how Danny and I were married last July in a Manhattan courtroom, with our son, Kevin, beside us, began 12 years earlier, in a dark, damp subway station.

Danny called me that day, frantic. “I found a baby!” he shouted. “I called 911, but I don’t think they believed me. No one’s coming. I don’t want to leave the baby alone. Get down here and flag down a police car or something.” By nature Danny is a remarkably calm person, so when I felt his heart pounding through the phone line, I knew I had to run.


HUMOR: Ronald McDonald's tragic back story...

HUMOR: Greatest snowman ever?

SPIRITUALITY/RELIGION: Which is worst for you? Religion or porn?

Monday, March 04, 2013

SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY: What Did People Use Before Toilet Paper?

Using the bathroom has come a long way from when ancient Greeks used stones and pieces of clay for personal hygiene. Toilet paper is one of those things that often gets taken for granted in modern times, except for places Charmin has yet to infiltrate. This is definitely one of those unavoidable things in life, so through many centuries and in many cultures, everyone had their own method of staying clean. Be warned: We’re going to get specific.

Read the full text here:

CULTURE/SOCIETY: The 50 Most Romantic Things That Ever Happened

This is what love looks like.


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