Me? Procrastinating?

Of course not! It's not like I'm trying to avoid facing college apps, a math test or a gold award project by blogging or anything...

Yeah, I've been out, but not slacking. Just out of my mind, and rather busy too. However, I do have something to say (!): Rebecca Watson (one of my biggest hero[ines]), has won the Public Radio Talent Quest! She's been participating in the competition for quite some time, and has been selected to put out a pilot of a show of her choosing. She's a regular panelist on The Skeptic's Guide to the Universe, and the owner of a fantastic blog, Skepchick. Can you guess what her show is going to be about?
She's done a fantastic job at bringing the voice of a young woman to the skeptical community; she's got pizazz, and a real chance to be heard nation-wide! She's smart, cool, and can even play the trumpet. That last one buys major points in my book!


I'm Back(sort of)

I am finally back on the Internet and am able to look up science articles, but I have to use my school's computers,so any blog will be short and I may get banned from the computer because of it,not sure on that. For those of you who want to know why I've been off for awhile three things happened one after another,first I moved (awesome new house),my computer broke and the Internet at my house crashed so I cant use my sisters. I should be back on 24/7 in a few weeks at the most. Thanks to Viccro for keeping up the site for me.


Facebook et al

There's a new study that's come up with a lot of theories about social networking sites that seem pretty common sense-y. I'm a big fan of facebook, due mainly to the idea of photo sharing in such a convenient manner, and I take advantage of the wall feature quite a bit. I send out notes asking for volunteers via the site, talking to kids that I tutor, and I even asked my english teacher (a grad student) if she'd write my teacher recommendations for college applications through the messaging system. The last may have been toeing the line as to social etiquette, but I'm always amazed at how well the younger generation adapt to new sites.

I've got to say, I never really liked myspace, as the only really useful feature when I looked at it a year and a half ago was really the wall space; everything else was pretty superfluous and distracting, though it was clearly the freedom of having "your own space" online to decorate, write junk on, etc that drew most people to the site. Once facebook opened its doors to non college students, the first to sign up were the ex-myspace junkies. These people ran around collecting all of the people they'd ever passed in the halls as friends, and started "keeping in touch" with live (or more accurately freuqently updated) status lines that describe moods, location, activities, etc for all to see. These people aren't really good friends with 500 people that they've hooked up with; most of them probably wouldn't wave on the street. But there's a major politeness issue concerning turning a friend request down, especially if one day the rejected party might need to work with you. There's also an extremely casual way to say "hey!" as though in passing, with scarcely more than a what's-up/not-much sort of exchange. This is an extremely efficient way to shirk your duties of friend-making-time, which the study identifies as a vital step in gaining friendships. However, there's also the set of people that you may need to contact for a group project, that you hooked up with at a summer job, or any other trivial acquaintence that you won't mind checking up with here and there. There's the issue of people who travel, who use facebook to keep in touch with friends and family across the world. (I actually go to school out of town, so this is a big plus for me!)

The ones that I talk with most on facebook, however, are really not my best friends. My best friends live in my dorm, and to a large degree this amount of connectivity eliminates the need for such a medium of communication. The most meaningful parts of my day, as the study points out, are not going to take place on a website, but in my personal interactions with the people I know.

I think I rambled sufficiently. Facebook is fun! It helps people keep in contact in an extremely casual manner, but is really not the method of choice for communicating with people you have close access to (such as those in your dorm...)!

PS: The site also mentions the need for honest communications, which is eased by face-to-face contact. When I'm chatting with friends I have a big issue with being overly sarcastic: it gets to the point where they attempt to force me to italicize my text if I'm intending sarcasm, because it just doesn't transfer properly, and much confusion results. Even phones allow for more transference of contextual information than the text contained in a wall post.


The Chupacabra That Wasn't

There's been a recent discovery! Some lady near San Antonio (pretty much my backyard) found a chupacabra! Well...it's either a "Texas tasmanian devil" or a mangy coyote/dog. Either way it's roadkill, and the woman in question is really selling the story. Canion claims that she's been losing chickens and goats to the creature in question, which is clearly identifiable due to its MO: it
sucks the blood of its victims, draining them while leaving the meat wholly intact.

Frankly it seems to me like a good way to cleanly prepare meat according to kosher standards.

The scientists that have been sent DNA samples aren't enthused, and it's probably due to the fact that no matter what they decide, many Southern Texans will claim that this is the beast that has acted in such a way that enables us to continue to describe it as a chupacabra: real live (or roadkilled, if you like) proof. For the masses following this story, science is just not going to win.


Crucifixion to be recognized as illegal punishment for blasphemy

Quick note about this story: There's a legal argument going on concerning the legality of the crucifixion of Jesus. First of all, what makes Jesus example better than any other? It's not that likely that all of the other "criminals" that were put to death around that time had solid cases against them. It's true that blasphemy should not be punishable by death in any part of the world (especially as it's always very vaguely defined), but couldn't they have picked a more recent example? How about the Muslim call for the death of Salman Rushdie? And what exactly do these Friends of Jesus want to be dealt out as punishment? Let's go and get those Romans, and show them the wrongfulness of their ways!!

That's not even taking into account the fact that the death of Jesus is supposed to have been prophesied, and required as repentance for the sins of all men. What exactly would have been the result of him not dying? Let's go ask some Christians in the US...I can bet that they'd be against this case as much as the rest of us.