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Thursday, December 25, 2008

Urban Survivalists is live

Hey everyone!

Our new blog is live.

It will focus on creating a sustainable way if life in an urban environment.

Go check it out!

UrbanSurvivalists

We will be posting new additions every week, and you will be able to watch us complete projects. The projects are going to consist of simple things that you can do to make your home urbanly sustainable.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Intimidated by Intelligence

The title says it all today.

I think that the United States has a problem with it's educational system. The first thing is that learning is not portrayed as fun or even useful to many students in class rooms. I know this, and I have been there. Having just passed through the high school and college level of education, I can say that the experience is less than hopeful. The life lead by intelligent students who want to excel is not only miserable but dauntingly hopeless. This is because intelligent students are ridiculed for being smart.

When I went to high school, I was teased for getting the highest grade in the class not only by other students but by the teachers as well! My English teacher used to call on me because not a single person wanted to answer a question and she knew that I had the correct answer in my beedy little brain. All that attention not only effectively singled me out, but made the other students hostile against me. I started to seclude myself and blatantly lie to the professors. When they asked me a question, I would tell them that I didn't know the answer because they were causing too much negative attention for me. The other kids in the class never wanted to talk to me because I was intimidating to them. Having a teacher set your place in the high school pecking order was, at one time, hard to handle.

I was very disappointed to see this trend continue to the college level. I was hopeful an naive to think that people willing to fork over money for an education must value intelligence, but I was wrong, many of them didn't. Again, the students looked down on me for getting the highest test score. It seemed that the only one that understood the idea that "i like to learn" was another student who happened to earn, on occasion, a higher test score than me. The highest score...A title that caused grief and pride simultaneously.

I can honestly say that this is not how education should be viewed. People in general are scared shitless of intelligent people whether its conscious or not. This is because people compare themselves to others almost instantly and constantly. Its the same kind of lowering of self esteem that happens when young girls look and beautiful photo shopped models and wonder why they don't look like that. Education should be viewed as something with high value, a form of achievement, and definitely not something that others look down on. This country will never be smarter, more advanced, and more equipped to handle the situations we are putting ourselves into until we get over our fear of intelligent minds.

There are many smart humans who want to help the world....if only the world would let them. Because despite being picked on, most nerds like helping. Most smart people see the value in making a difference. They are motivated and want to make good changes.

Next time you see a smart person...congratulate them for their accomplishments because I know they are probably getting a lot of crap from their class mates for "trying to hard"...and "making everyone look bad"


Did You Know? from Amybeth on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

dumb drivers!

Something that I find funny is when people comment about stupid drivers. Ever notice that everyone complains about stupid drivers? Some of us are lying. We all can't be good the drivers because there are numerous witnesses to the contrary. Seriously, we need at least 10% of the population to fess up to being the bad drivers! Here's a tip, if more than one person has inflicted road rage against you by flipping you off or otherwise threatening to assault your person....you might be a bad driver.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A license to have kids

Why not? Let's start with a few facts:

http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=6272&page=23

It has been proven through statistics that educated people have smaller families, that intelligent women have fewer children and have them later in life, and earth only has so many resources.



With these ideas I soon came to the conclusion that less intelligent women were giving birth more frequently than educated women. This means that an uneducated women may become pregnant in her teens and become a grandma in her 30's (children tend to follow parental examples). An educated woman may become pregnant in her 20's and become a grandma in her 40's. This means that uneducated people are reproducing at a faster rate than educated people.

Although, I would like to state that the availability of the internet seems to be raising the average IQ...YAY for the internet. I don't think it makes up for apathetic underage teens becoming pregnant though.

So what do I gather? The uneducated people are taking over! They are reproducing themselves at a faster rate than educated people. This I find highly disturbing since eventually the educated people will call all the shots and situations like ENRON can happen again. It would be nice if the entire population was able to at least research and come to their own intelligent decisions. This way manipulation of the less fortunate is less likely to happen.

There are also some issues with longer life that I want to talk about. We are approaching medical breakthroughs that lengthen the average life span drastically. If you life longer...then you have a longer chance to reproduce. The planet is already over populated and I think its safe to say that given longer life spans and no regulation about child birth, that the planet would run out of resources quickly.



How do we fix this? We require a license to produce children that would include requirements like these to be met:

1. There must be proof that at least one parent has the minimum of a bachelors degree.

2. Proof that both parents have budgeted and planned to have a child and take care of it.

3. Require both possible parents to pass a child raising class similar to driver's education to teach the basics.

4. Both parents should be required to pass first aid and CPR.

5. Neither of the parents can be on welfare.

6. Parents are required to keep up their education with at least on extra class every two years.

7. Both parents must be free of sexually transmitted diseases.

8. Birth control would be dispensed free of charge to any one of any age. Especially to the teens...cause they are the ones having spurious births in the first place.







Of course this raises some issues:

1. Gay rights enemies will be upset because there may be two parents of the same sex. But that is really not the concern as long as the child does not suffer psychological trauma from the parent's relationship.

2. People believe that their body is there own, and that they can have kids if they want to without government approval. I have a problem with this because your life affects the world and this train of thought neglects "social responsibility". That is, we have the responsibility to keep the planet going. We have the responsibility to make sure that under educated people are not consuming all resources with out being mentally capable to give back. Besides, no one should give you the right to have as many babies as you want if they aren't going to be taken care of anyways!


3. Many rights activists who are radical will revolt to this notion because they will legally be no longer under the control of their own body. Let me ask you this...Can you take a shit on the public sidewalk? Nope! i bet you get thrown in jail or cited. But because people will be mad, there will be a baby boom. This will cause many children to be born outside of the guidelines as a result. However, the requirements can be an effective hindrance to help lower the over all population.

4. Accidents happen. People misuse condoms and forget to take birth control pills. But as before, the requirements are a hindrance.

5. Enforcement, what is to be done with those who break the regulations? Mass murder of innocent people born in an ignorant household is unacceptable. Jail time for the parents and adoption for the children is feasible. Although...requiring the parents to comply with the regulations in a set amount if time is best.

6. Low income people will claim the inability to obtain an education due to lack of finances. To them, I say, community college...If you can't afford it then why are you having kids in the first place?

7. Educational debt may sky rocket in the country and tuition may increase. But the outcome will be a more educated work force and specialized labor and people able to obtain higher paying jobs. This is because people take extra classes that interest them, or benefit them the most. If the entire populations IQ increases, then there are literally more people who are capable of creating higher paying jobs for others.



Think about it…
Anybody who wants a healthy child is most likely already doing these things. It might seem a bit Hitlerish now, but wait till we have longer life spans and a bunch of bumbling idiots, who don't give back to society, that the planet has to feed.

Friday, November 21, 2008

How to spend less

Times are getting tough as many of you know. So here are some tips to help save money. I know that saving money is often not fun, so I am going to give some advice on how to keep having fun for less.

1. Watch the grocery bill. Look for deals, buy in bulk, and make a list in which you only buy things on that list when you go to the store. There are also sites such as:
http://www.thegrocerygame.com/ that specialize in getting you great deals.

2. Drive less. Commute only to and from work. If you have a need to go anywhere else, take public transportation, bike or walk. If this is not possible, make all your trips in a logical fashion. Try to go to local places so you don't have to drive out so far to get the same products. Map it OUT! I can't tell you how many times we thought we were going somewhere to find ourselves circling the block 10 times. A map would have saved us many hours of driving and frustration.

3. Everybody says this, but turn of the lights and change them the more efficient fluorescent bulbs. These bulbs last longer anyways. Unplug appliances from the wall that you don't use all the time, especially TV's and DVD players. Hell, even try turning your computer off at night ;)

4. Buy a reusable water bottle and fill it up at home.

5. Use water saving shower heads. They are easy to replace.

6. Make walking a fun pastime. If you live in the city there is probably a park near you, so take a walk and relax. It's better than driving somewhere that will cost you money in activities.

7. Balance your budget, so you know how much you can spend. There is a great site called: https://www.wesabe.com that allows you to input all your transactions and see exactly where your money is going on a month to month basis. Now that you know where your money goes, live within your means.

8. Do a search of where you can go for free. We live in Portland and there are numerous places that people can go to do things for free, you just have to spend some effort in finding them. This way you can still have fun and it won't cost you anything except for transportation.

9. Start doing things for yourself! start replacing things that you would normally buy with things that you made yourself. For instance, make homemade soap and cook your own meals. You can also learn to sew in order to make things like curtains, blankets and towels.

10. Don't use a credit card. Do you really want to pay interest on yesterdays Subway lunch?

11. Take all those plastic bags you get from stores and use them for trash bags.

12. Buy cloth grocery bags. Did you know most grocery stores charge you 3cents to have each one of those plastic bags?

13. Buy a thermostat for electric heat users. Turn the heat down when you aren't home.

14. If you are having trouble finding free entertainment in your town, try some free streaming movie and TV sites. You can watch a movie from your computer as it streams as a form of entertainment at no cost.



Well these are all the tips that I am currently implementing, so if you have any additions or comments feel free to add!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Degrading Pornography can be Unhealthy

I came across an article today that discussed whether or not pornography should be considered adultery. http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/200810/adultery-porn

From what I gather, the main message of the article is that pornography is often used as a deterrence for other more harmful acts. In other words, the male counter part would be 'better off' watching pornography than actually having sex with someone in person. I can safely assume male here because only 3% of women watch pornography regularly compared to 80% of males that have at least watched some porn if not regularly. It also highlights that women should not be offended by their partners use of pornography because all men will watch it regardless.

I might be coined a feminist here, but I don't agree that watching porn is a harmless activity when a male is in a relationship unless his partner is not offended. These are my reasons, and I will begin by stating a quote by Tyron Edwards “Thoughts lead on to purpose, purpose leads on to actions, actions form habits, habits decide character, and character fixes our destiny”.

And in case you don't believe this, please take a look at this short article: http://www.flyingsolo.com.au/p269212782_How-positive-thoughts-cause-positive-actions.html.

It is about how positive thoughts lead to positive actions. It has been proven by psychologists that our thoughts "self talk" are very influential to the sole determiner in our actions.

So my beef with pornography is that it usually exploits women. By exploit and degrade I am talking about the pornography's main purpose is to humiliate the woman. Or in some way treat her as she has no choice in having sex, and must therefore submit to the men. I don't want to be in a relationship with a man who would watch non degrading porn, but I am particularly worried about the notion that watching a women be degraded is not only ok but should be accepted as normal. Non degrading porn is far less threatening on this point.

When males watch women become exploited and degraded it creates thoughts. These thoughts lead to actions. The actions expressed by the male are going to be a want to degrade a female. Now many people will say that watching porn doesn't necessarily leads to these actions. This is true, not all males that watch porn are going to exploit or degrade a woman, but with psychological research the chances of this want to degrade are high. Not to mention, it's not healthy for men to have thoughts of degrading other humans. Would it be healthy to have thoughts about murdering other people continuously? NO. So why is it considered ok to have thoughts about mistreating females?

I personally don't think its ok to promote or watch females being exploited. If i did, I would be a hypocrite on the same level that an animal rights endorser would watch dogs fight to the death.

Unfortunately, many of the women who are in pornography have been sexually abused previous in their life. Sadly, when a child's first sexual experience is abuse, that child is usually not turned on by anything but abuse. This destroys the child's chance for a healthy sexual relationship for many years to come. Worse yet, is that many children block the abuse out and have no idea why they are different.

People who have had sex offender treatment are said to have a sex addiction. An addiction to pornography is just as unhealthy as any sex addiction, and is very hard to break.

I also have a problem with the article eluding to monogamy as having too harsh of fidelity requirements. I don't think that being faithful to one person is all that hard, it does, however; require self restraint. No I'm not Christian, or religious for that matter. I find cheating to be a very disrespectful and hurtful thing to do to someone that you are in a relationship with, not because God says it's bad. Seriously, if you want to have sex with more than one partner, break up and find another one. Don't just go on and hurt the one you have!

So basically, I am not for pornography. I don't think it is a healthy outlet for sexual tension in a relationship. If the male has that much of an addiction, it may be completely unhealthy and has the possibility of leading to infidelity. This is because thoughts lead to actions. It's proven. This is how they fix people with low self esteem and it can be how you ruin your relationship.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm not violent you idiotic whore!

Normally, when I surf the internet, I have a tendency to ignore the comments. However, out of curiosity to the human nature of things, I started to read them. In doing so, my eyes were accosted with phrases and words your grandmother would be ashamed existed in the language of humans. Internet violence is an old topic, but it does make me ponder the psychological tendencies of human beings.

Out of all the comments that I read, I would say that over half of them were negative in content. The negative content ranged from a different opinion accompanied by the "your a moron", or similar phrase, to aggravated assault with the keyboard....in the parlor. Since it's not as easy as the game of Clue to name the assailant, because the murderer is always Professor Plum, it seems that many people are ok with letting loose. After all, the fear of repercussion or even punishment is nil.

So, under the premise that people will do bad things if they can get away with it, I began to ponder even more. Is violence truly the human condition? If that was true, then we would surely all be dead. It made me wonder why some people are nice just to be nice. There is no reward for it. There is no fear of being punished if they are not nice.

To be honest with you, I think I am bringing up this issue because I am one of the nice people. I think that verbal aggression online can be just as hurtful as if it was said in person. In many cases, the verbal aggression is unnecessary to make ones point, which leads me to believe that some people just like being aggressive with others. It seems that the ability to empathize with other humans has been cut off because of the anonymity of the internet.

I do have hope that this will change though. As people spend more of their lives "connected", the development of relationships on a more personal level over the internet will increase. While "comment rage”, as I will deem it, is mostly unaccepted in concept it is also little enforced. I believe that outbursts in comments will become less accepted as the time spent connected to other people increases. It is a proven fact that the overall violence of the world is slowly decreasing.

I also wonder if people take the violent comments seriously anymore. It is my hope that people ignore or chastise the violent person for being so over reactive. Even ignoring these comments sends a message that is is unacceptable. There is a person behind every screen name, and its not necessary to be that way. Nor is violence generally helpful. Putting people in a defensive train of thought prior to asking what you want or trying to persuade them is a sure way to failure.

As my boyfriend put it, just be happy that people aren't as ready to punch someone on the street as they are ready to write a nasty comment. There was once a time where this kind of physical violence was conducted, but it has phased out of public acceptance due to repercussions of this behavior. Hopefully, internet violence will phase out also in this way. Internet security can be improved by better monitoring and peer to peer pressure to stop being overly violent.

Later.... Mother Fuckers! lol