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Current Topic: Society

The State | 03/09/2005 | Bankruptcy bill another blow to safety net
Topic: Society 6:19 pm EST, Mar 14, 2005

] The bill would make it much harder for families in
] distress to write off their debts and make a fresh start.
] Instead, many debtors would find themselves on an endless
] treadmill of payments.
] The credit card companies say this is needed because
] people have been abusing the bankruptcy law, borrowing
] irresponsibly and walking away from debts. The facts say
] otherwise.
] A vast majority of personal bankruptcies in the United
] States are the result of severe misfortune.
One recent
] study found that more than half of bankruptcies are the
] result of medical emergencies. The rest are
] overwhelmingly the result either of job loss or of
] divorce.

Paul Krugman was on the daily show railing about this bankruptcy bill, which we feels has not received adequate press coverage.

The State | 03/09/2005 | Bankruptcy bill another blow to safety net

The Librarian of Basra - A True Story From Iraq
Topic: Society 11:53 pm EST, Mar  9, 2005

I highly reccomend this children's book. It really helped my young son draw some connections between what he hears and a real person that is living in the midst of it all.

"The book was inspired by a July 2003, article in The New York Times about Alia Muhammad Baker, the chief librarian of Basra's Central Library, who was determined to protect the library's holdings when US troops entered Iraq and fighting and looting broke out.

When her own government refused to help, Ms. Baker began spiriting the collection to safety herself, book by book. She carried the books to her home and to a neighboring restaurant, managing with the help of friends to preserve 70 percent of the collection before the historic building burned to the ground nine days later.

In the article, Baker remarked "In the Koran, the first thing God said to Muhammad was 'Read.' " Winter, who has written biographies for children, was hooked. "What Alia realized was that without books, you lose history, culture, the rich exchange of ideas," she says.

Some Basra residents, however, thought Baker's endeavor was simply looting and questioned why she didn't steal something more valuable than books. "I got a kick out of reading about that," says Winter. "There really is nothing more valuable.""

The Librarian of Basra - A True Story From Iraq

Woz donates to Apple leak lawsuit target
Topic: Society 6:02 pm EST, Feb 23, 2005

The Woz speaks on the Tiger leak lawsuits

"I was shocked reading the interview. Everything fits into place that this is an unintentional oversight and the interviewed student appears to be one of the most honest people on this planet. I have to question who is most right in this case. I wish that Apple could find some way to drop the matter. In my opinion, more than appropriate punishment has already been dealt out. In this age of professional spammers and telemarketers making fortunes, we're misusing our energies to pursue these types of small time wrongdoers. I will personally donate $1,000 to the Canadian student's defense."

Woz donates to Apple leak lawsuit target

Homeschool group says police used excessive force
Topic: Society 8:03 am EST, Feb 20, 2005

A little more insanity...

Homeschool group says police used excessive force

Computer | Index
Topic: Society 6:32 pm EST, Feb 17, 2005

] Occasionally people run across fairly funny Engrish on
] their own computers.

This cracks me up.

Computer | Index

What determines who is 'Evil'
Topic: Society 8:03 am EST, Feb  9, 2005

] As part of an extensive, in-depth interview, a trained
] examiner rates the offender on a 20-item personality
] test. The items include glibness and superficial charm,
] grandiose self-worth, pathological lying, proneness to
] boredom and emotional vacuity. The subjects earn zero
] points if the description is not applicable, two points
] if it is highly applicable, and one if it is somewhat or
] sometimes true.

] The psychologist who devised the checklist, Dr. Robert
] Hare, a professor emeritus at the University of British
] Columbia in Vancouver, said that average total scores
] varied from below five in the general population to the
] low 20's in prison populations, to a range of 30 to 40 -
] highly psychopathic - in predatory killers. In a series
] of studies, criminologists have found that people who
] score in the high range are two to four times as likely
] as other prisoners to commit another crime when released.
] More than 90 percent of the men and a few women at the
] top of Dr. Stone's hierarchy qualify as psychopaths.

] In recent years, neuroscientists have found evidence that
] psychopathy scores reflect physical differences in brain
] function. Last April, Canadian and American researchers
] reported in a brain-imaging study that psychopaths
] processed certain abstract words - grace, future, power,
] for example - differently from nonpsychopaths.

] In addition, preliminary findings from new imaging
] research have revealed apparent oddities in the way
] psychopaths mentally process certain photographs, like
] graphic depictions of accident scenes.

] No one knows how significant these differences are, or
] whether they are a result of genetic or social factors.
] Broken homes and childhood trauma are common among brutal
] killers; so is malignant narcissism, a personality type
] characterized not only by grandiosity but by fantasies of
] unlimited power and success, a deep sense of entitlement,
] and a need for excessive admiration.

] "There is a group we call lethal predators, who are
] psychopathic, sadistic, and sane, and people have said
] this is approaching a measure of evil, and with good
] reason," Dr. Hare said. "What I would say is that there
] are some people for whom evil acts - what we would
] consider evil acts - are no big deal. And I agree with
] Michael Stone that the circumstances and context are less
] important than who they are."

This is only a piece of a three page article discussing the issue of what determines if someone is evil.

What determines who is 'Evil'

Celebrating the Body Beautiful
Topic: Society 5:00 pm EST, Feb  5, 2005

] One woman, curvy and statuesque in her nude shot, looks
] dumpy in an oversized T-shirt tucked into baggy cargo
] pants. Naked, she's as feminine and sexy as a woman can
] be. Clothed, she downplays breasts and hips and hides her
] waist. Eric muses that she deliberately uses clothing to
] neutralize her gender; I think she just thinks she's fat
] and hasn't watched What Not to Wear.

Celebrating the Body Beautiful

RE: Test your knowledge - US geography
Topic: Society 6:00 pm EST, Jan 14, 2005

] What's your score?

94% with 12 miles error. I was lucky enough to get some border states first so I got 47 perfect. This would be somthing neat to let my kids at school try.

RE: Test your knowledge - US geography

LiveJournal announces sale to Six Apart
Topic: Society 9:03 am EST, Jan  6, 2005

] It's official. LiveJournal founder Brad Fitzpatrick says:

] Why is Six Apart buying LiveJournal? Lots of reasons:

] * Our companies are more alike than different.

] * We both use Perl.

] * Together we form super robot that's stronger than
] the sum of its parts.

] * Super robots can fight super companies.

] * They respect us, we respect them.

] * We have a number of features they don't.

] * We have experience with making "inward-facing"
] community sites, whereas their sites/products tend to be
] "outward-facing". They want some of that inward-facing
] action.

] * Because we're awesome.

] What does this mean for LiveJournal? Nothing
] earth-shattering. LiveJournal development and support
] will continue, and will probably even accelerate, as we
] grow the team. We'll continue to work on speed,
] reliability, and new features. LiveJournal won't become
] paid-user-only or anything crazy like that. We're not
] going to raise prices. We're not going to cancel
] permanent accounts, etc, etc. And we're not going to spam
] or sell your information. You own your journals, not us.
] Really you shouldn't see any negative changes. The most
] immediate changes will be that we'll start to get
] prettier... more styles, themes, etc. Six Apart is really
] good at that and we're not.

LiveJournal announces sale to Six Apart

Multiple Intelligence Test
Topic: Society 2:13 pm EDT, Aug 31, 2004

This is the adult version of a test we give children in school to figure out how they learn best thus telling us how to be more effective teachers. So if you are interested take the test and see what it has to say about your learning style. This is all based on Gardner and his theory of multiple intellegences. (he recently added 1 that deals with technology)

Multiple Intelligence Test

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