The NSA Actually Intercepted Packages to put Backdoors in Electronics

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SPIEGEL published two pieces this morning about the NSA’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) division, aka premier hacking ninja squad. According to Snowden documents, TAO has a catalog of all the commercial equipment that carries NSA backdoors. And it’s a who’s who of a list. Storage products from Western Digital, Seagate, Maxtor and Samsung have backdoors in their firmware, firewalls from Juniper Networks have been compromised, plus networking equipment from Cisco and Huawei, and even unspecified products from Dell. TAO actually intercepts online orders of these and other electronics to bug them.

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True, however, women’s value is often reduced to her attractiveness, whereas men’s value is tied with what he does. For example, Barbie is a fashion doll. He-Man is a protagonist with tons of adventures, and even the dolls are considered “action figures” because they DO something. One is passive, one is dynamic. Also, one’s strength is their value to others. The other’s strength is actual strength.  Both are designed for the male gaze.

Woman hits Salvation Army kettle bell ringer who said 'Happy Holidays' instead of 'Merry Christmas'

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"The lady looked at me,” said Vindiola. “I thought she was going to put money in the kettle. She came up to me and said, 'Do you believe in God?' And she says, ‘You're supposed to say Merry Christmas,' and that's when she hit me."
Totally Christian, yo.  Also followed up by a completely journalistic approach of polling random people over "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays."

Mr. and Mrs. Perkins Go Gift Shopping 2013

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Really Craigslist?

BP Fires top Exec for Ethnic Attire

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BP fired a top executive after warning her that braiding her hair and wearing dashikis made her colleagues "uncomfortable," and that she should do so only "during 'culture day' [or] black history month," the former West Coast CFO claims in court.
This can only be appropriate if it was otherwise unprofessional (for example, unkempt dreads).  And even that is a slippery slope because what is considered professional for women is typically designed to keep them in a strictly defined gender box.

Unarmed Man Is Charged With Wounding Bystanders Shot by Police Near Times Square

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The Manhattan district attorney’s office says the man was responsible for the wounds two women suffered when the police shot at him.
Even as a little kid, my mom taught me that the only person responsible for my actions is me.  Apparently the police in this case never learned that lesson.

Men and Women! They Talk Like People!

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Screenshot_1Robot Hugs

Fallin halts all spouse benefit applications at state-owned National Guard facilities

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"Oklahoma will stop processing all military spouse benefit applications at state-owned National Guard facilities rather than begin accepting the applications from same-sex spouses, Gov. Mary Fallin said Wednesday."

Fake Geek Girl Shirt

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I NEED THIS SHIRT!Fake Geek Girl Shirt
TopatoCo: Fake Geek Girl Shirt

George Zimmerman arrested on domestic violence charges

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"The disturbance was at a residence on Topfield Court in unincorporated Apopka, although authorities haven't said what exactly happened."

Why Are We So Ashamed of Our Women Heroes?

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"If a young woman in middle school or high school hangs up a poster of Barack Obama in her room, this is seen as acceptable. It's fine for women to admire men and want to be like them.

If a young man (the same age) hangs up a poster of Hillary Clinton in his room, this is seen as odd (maybe even troubling, is he gay? Oh no!).

Society tells us young men can't think of women as role models, unless they're a family member, whereas young women can admire and seek to emulate anyone, regardless of gender.

If you're a young man, and if you have a poster on your wall with a woman, she had better be half-naked in a bikini, even if the Ronald Reagan or Gen. Patton poster next to it obviously features the man fully-clothed."
Charles Clymer

What is Desert Bus for Hope?

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Catholic Hospital Refuses To Allow Woman To Visit Her Same-Sex Partner

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Because the partner's mother doesn't approve of their relationship.  >.<

Pastor claims sex with boys gave them "sexual purity in the eyes

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And he won't do any jail time.

Dad Calls Cops to Teach Son a Lesson, Police Shoot Teen Dead

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“He took off with my truck. I call the police, and they kill him,” Mr. Comstock told the newspaper on Tuesday. “It was over a damn pack of cigarettes. I wouldn’t buy him none. And I lose my son for that.”
Ames Police Officer Adam McPherson “pursued [Tyler] Comstock into the heart of ISU's campus. During the chase, Comstock rammed McPherson’s car. The truck eventually stopped, but Comstock revved the engine and refused orders to turn it off,” the Register reported.
Mr. McPherson fired off six rounds into the truck, striking the teen twice, according to the Iowa state medical examiner’s office.
Washington Times

Rolling High: Attacks of Opportunity

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ASK A SLAVE Ep 5: Two Sides to Every Coin

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ASK A SLAVE Ep 4: New Leaf, Same Page

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How to Love Someone With Depression

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Try to imagine that depression is like being in a dark tunnel. The person with depression can’t see a thing, because everything is surrounded by darkness. Every sound is amplified, every fear is magnified. All they want to do is get out of the tunnel, but they can’t see where to go, they don’t know what to do. Your natural reaction is to lead them out of this dark tunnel, back to the light.

This is the WRONG approach.
Many men are “fixers,” and my husband is.  He is gradually learning that he can’t “fix” my depression, it’s an ongoing process that will never have a strictly linear progression.

No Hunger Games- A Gaming Convention for Charity

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"…No Hunger Games will be donating all proceeds of the admission and the silent auction to!   It is…..drum roll please….
our place logo
www.ourplacesociety.com/"

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"Well that tears a hole in the fabric of the Material plane so... I'm just going to go ahead and roll a random encounter for the Astral plane!"

Alchemy for everyone!

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Holds up a bomb.  "Does a 21 hit your AC?  Yes?  Bombs away!"  Retrieves the unexploded bomb.  "Next time, this will be lit."  After another player hit on Sheila Heidmarch rather crudely

Things my players make me say

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"No, just because you’re on a ship does not mean your fighter can eat a can of spinach and sing the Popeye song.  Why not?  A) Canned food doesn’t exist in Golarion B) Popeye doesn’t exist in Golarion and C) You’re in combat."  ~Me when my friend was GM’ing for the first time and could only facepalm in response

Things my players make me say

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"No, you can’t have white phosphorous."

"Medieval Chaos" Episode 1 - Shaw TV Duncan

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TO THE PAIN!!!

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Stupid fucking flesh on minis. >.< *Sets her minis and paint supplies on fire.* /ragequit

Today is Embrace Your Geekness Day

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I will be celebrating by LARP'ing all day

You’re Allowed To Carry A Gun Into The Texas Senate Gallery, But Not A Tampon

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"On Friday afternoon, the Texas Senate will vote on a package of abortion restrictions that Republican lawmakers have been attempting to push through a special session."

Shit my Players Make Me Say

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"Jonah Loud-Verb the Decibel strips off his obnoxious green, yellow, and red performer’s outfit and warns his party members not to look.  Those who fail their will save stare at the halfling as if mesmerized, unable to turn away.  Every strand of body hair matches that on his head: dreadlocks.  His foot hair, his back hair, and yes, even that resembles a more horrific version of Cthulhu."

New York Mets Cancel Native American Heritage Night So They Didn’t Offend The Atlanta Braves

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Not the Onion.

Male Feminists

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The litmus test of a male feminist is not just how he treats women, but how willing he is to challenge other men on their words and attitudes
– Hugo Schwyzer

How Levar Burton Tries To Avoid Police Mistreatment For Driving While Black

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Even an African American famous for promoting child literacy fears mistreatment by the cops because he is black. In a discussion on CNN’s Erin Burnett OutFront about use of the “N Word” in America, former Reading Rainbow host Levar Burton explains his protocol for handling a police stop to avoid violence...

Why I will not Watch World War Z

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The book was written documentary style as a series of oral interviews of survivors a decade after the end of the war.  The result is a rich tapestry of people from all over the world, all different lifestyles, and different stories to tell.  Ultimately, this presents a critique on the flaws of our society and government today, with a vision of how things could be, even after apocalyptic conditions.  For example, conflict in the Middle East is resolved in light of the greater threat, the US forgoes its imperialism, and international bureaucracy and politics are virtually non-existent.
The movie, on the other hand, is reduced to the narrative of one person: Gerry Lane, a former UN investigator.  The horrors and experiences of an entire world are condensed in the body of a white, heterosexual, cis male.  We go from having vivid snapshots of individuals from around the world with names like General Raj-Singh, Dr. Kwang Jinshu, Nury Televaldi, Fernando Oliveira, Saladin Kadar, and Father Sergei Ryzhkov to Thierry Umutoni, Jurgen Warmbrunn (played by a white actor), Segen, and Tommy as the few named characters who are not white.
In the movie, the "least-white" area that our hero visits is South Korea.  (Don't even get me started on how the origin of outbreak was moved from China to Russia for fear of offending someone).  The other stops on his world tour?  Philadelphia, New York, Jerusalem, Cardiff, and Nova Scotia.  So not only are the stories of others written out of the plot, but evidently so is the entire rest of the non-white, non-US allied world.  Kind of hard to call it World War Z, eh?
What it really boils down to is that they gutted a wonderful social commentary in order to create a cookie-cutter action film wank-fest for dude-bros.  The trailers make it rather hard to see the zombies around the close-ups of Brad Pitt.  It's sad that they took zombie culture, really a criticism of society itself, in order to sterilize, package, and market it for what Hollywood thought would "best" and least offensive.  It's the undead eating the living.  It's meant to be offensive.

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Am I nuts enough to attempt to design and create a cosplay for my PFS character at PaizoCon in less than a week?  Yes, I am.

Man Chalks Pro-Health Care Message On Sidewalk, Gets Arrested For Writing ‘Derogatory Remark’

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"A health care activist in Pennsylvania was arrested Wednesday night for writing a message in sidewalk chalk protesting the governor’s decision to block health care for 700,000 residents in the state. Like many Republican governors around the country, Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA) has opposed expanding Medicaid in Pennsylvania..."
There is no such thing as free speech anymore.

GMO Sugar Beets Destroyed in Oregon

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"Federal investigators are asking the public to help solve middle-of-the-night crimes that left ruined fields of genetically engineered sugar beets in rural Jackson County.
The crop destruction took place over the course of two separate nights in early June, when an unknown individual or group destroyed about 6,500 sugar beet plants genetically engineered to stand up to the herbicide Roundup on a pair of privately-owned plots of land leased and managed by Syngenta."

The Badpiper Thunderstruck

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Worker Sues Employer For The Death Of Her Baby

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"Reyna Garcia, a 30-year-old woman who works for the California grocery chain Albertsons, has filed a lawsuit claiming that the company refused to accommodate her pregnancy, which led to the death of her baby, the Huffington Post reports. In her complaint, she says “that she presented her superiors with three separate doctor’s notes explaining her high-risk pregnancy and asking that her job duties be restricted,” the Huffington Post’s Dave Jamieson reports. Her role as merchandise manager involves loading and unloading pallets of heavy goods, climbing ladders, and moving pallet jacks carrying hundreds of pounds of product. She told her store manager that she has a history of pre-term delivery, but her requests to be shifted to lighter duty at the deli counter or in customer service were denied, her complaint states. She kept working because she couldn’t afford to lose the income and health insurance."
Since I moved to Canada, I have to come to realize more than ever before that the US treats human life as an expendable commodity.

The Five Craziest Reactions To The Marriage Equality Rulings

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Including beastiality, polygyny, and the Christian apocalypse.

How The Supreme Court Stomped On Workers’ Rights Today

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"Monday was a great day for sexual harassers and for bosses who retaliate against workers claiming discrimination. The rest of us did not fare so well in the Supreme Court."

Prepping for Summer LARPing

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While summer may have already hit some parts of the continent, the northern Pacific coast is still taking it's sweet time, as usual.  Here are some ideas on how to get you prepared.
1.  Water
     When in doubt, drink more water.  My gnome wizard carries a leather water bottle on her belt, and I cannot tell you how much I love that thing.  My healer has a knitted cozy for hers.  I also make all my potions out of mini water bottles to make sure that people get water and because some people in my group can't have energy drinks, are diabetic, etc.
2.  Sunscreen
     There's no reason not to us it.  Use a stronger SPF than you think you need as it might get sweated/washed off or you might not have a chance to reapply.  I use Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch because I hate greasy lotions and makeup/prosthetics can be applied over it.
3.  Bugspray
     Mosquitoes were so bad this last weekend, that I killed at least 20 of them that were trying to eat one of my friends through his t-shirt.  I use all-natural, citronella based bugspray, and got away with only two bites where I forgot to apply it.  Being the only one who thought to use it, I'm tempted to start selling it on-site by the spray or by the bottle.

Latrines and the LARPer

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If you're in town, answering nature's call isn't that big of a deal.  But say you're in the back end of 40 acres and have to hold your position and bladder, what do you do?  A couple of people (of both genders) I know hold it all day long, which is unhealthy and not an option for some.  Luckily for you, I spent a couple years on trail crew and experienced in no-trace camping where the closest flush-toilet was eight hours away.  (We would even swap stories around the campfire of what was the best natural alternative to toilet paper, and the most comfortable positions to assume).  With a couple supplies, and some knowledge, you can mark your territory with ease.
1.  Hand sanitizer
     While on-site, I carry this on me at all times.  The 2 oz. bottle is discreet, and can be easily palmed in order to prevent breaking character.  (Bonus: I get the larger sizes because they're cheaper, and refill my little bottle).
2.  Tissues
    Even if you don't plan on needing to find a bush, sometimes the latrines are out of toilet paper or someone is simply having an allergy attack.  Keep a handful in a pouch or a closeable pocket to prevent wetting or soiling before you intend to wet or soil them.
Once you have an attempt at the trappings of civilization, familiarize yourself with poison oak/ivy/sumac (depending on your region) and stinging nettle.  Even if you do not react to urushiol, you and your gear can spread the oil to others, which can be dangerous.  For example, every time that I'm exposed to it, I end up on steroids because my eyes and airways swell shut.  So be careful.
Now to pick a tree or bush free of poison ivy/oak/sumac, stinging nettle, and brambles that is a sensible distance away from bodies of water and the trail.  (Nobody wants to step in your mess, nor have the swimming hole contaminated).  With a sturdy stick, dig a "cathole" deep enough to suit your needs.  If it's #1, only a few inches is necessary.  For #2, six inches is ideal.  Set your stick aside as you will use it to push the soil back over your nightsoil.
Before you can assume the position, ensure that all your pouches, weapons, clothing, and other dangly bits are tucked away out of the line of fire.  Since both of my characters wear skirts/robes, I pull the bottommost hem (usually my chemise) up around my waist and draw the excess to the front.  In this process my overskirt, pouches, and weapons are safely enveloped in my skirts.  When it comes to pants you might be better off just removing your belt.
Get comfortable.  I typically just squat in a wide stance, ensuring that the topography won't funnel anything back onto my shoes.  The bulk of my skirts are sandwiched between my torso and my thighs.  If it's a big job, then you may wish to grab the backs of your ankles or, if the land slopes steeply enough, you can put your hands uphill behind you to support yourself.
When your deposit's been made, use as little tissue possible.  (Animals can dig it up and eat it, making them sick).  If you're feeling particularly adventurous and recognize poison ivy/oak/sumac, experiment with plants.  My days on trail crew gave me an appreciation for young sage leaves, soft and sweet-smelling.  A second close is pine needles, taking care to use them with the grain, not against.  If you're careful, rounded river rocks work well for #2.  Just do not use sandstone, as one of my old crewmates learned the hard way.
Sort out your clothing and squirt some hand sanitizer.  Take the stick you set aside before and use it to scrape the displaced earth back into the hole.  If you were unable to dig very deep, place a big rock over it.
This sounds like a lot of work, but it's mostly thinking about what you're doing when it comes to both yourself and your surroundings.  But if you happen to use a she-wee, let me know what you think.

12-Year-Old Girl Kicked Off Football Team Because Boys Had ‘Impure Thoughts’ About Her

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A private school outside Atlanta recently informed 12-year-old Madison Baxter that she would not be welcome at tryouts for the 7th-grade football team, even though she started on the sixth-grade team and has been playing football since second grade. The reason she won’t be allowed on the field? Because her male teammates are beginning to have "impure thoughts" about her.

11 Ways to be a Better Roleplayer

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In some people’s eyes, I break #7 by knitting.  Not intricate lace or anything, basically TV knitting.  But it helps me deal with anxiety, and I have no problem telling people to kindly fuck off.

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Today, I was compared to a roll-your-own cigarette: filter-less.

Let's Support Life by Selling Machines Designed to Kill!

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Anti-Abortion Group In Ohio Is Fundraising By Selling Assault Rifles

Maine Governor Blacklists Newspapers for Exposing Scandal

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Maine Governor Blacklists Newspapers After They Expose Administration’s Anti-Environment Commissioner

Don't forget to always check the teeth before buying!

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This commercial has been playing constantly for the past few months, and it drives me up a wall.
1. She ignores her friends with whom she’s having coffee to preen for a stranger.
     Woman: “That’s a nice argument for deficit spending, but…  Ooh, man!  Drop everything!”
     Woman’s Friend: “But what about your career?”
     Woman: “BLASPHEMER!”
2.  Her solution for getting his attention is by having blindingly white teeth,  instead of, oh I dunno, perhaps saying, “Hello”?
    Woman’s Friend: “Why don’t you offer to buy him a coffee?”
    Woman: “Because he might think I’m a slattern who can fend for herself?  Who would want to marry someone like that?”
3.  Who would want to date, let alone marry, someone who’s so shallow that they judge you based on the colour of your bone structure?
      Man’s friend: “Why don’t you go say ‘hi’?”
      Man: “Ew, no.  Have you seen the colour of her teeth?  I bet you don’t check the teeth before buying a horse, either.”
4.  Call me crazy, but someone who fantasizes about getting married and having children before even knowing my name would result in a perfect cut-out silhouette of my body in the nearest wall, leaving only a puff of smoke behind me.
     Woman’s Friend: “Why don’t you try seeing if you anything in common first?  Like maybe attraction to the opposite gender?”
     Woman: “Nonsense.  My teeth shine brightly enough to turn anyone straight!”

Medieval leprosy genomes shed light on disease's history

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Leprosy, a devastating chronic disease caused by the bacterial pathogen Mycobacterium leprae, was prevalent in Europe until the late Middle Ages. Today, the disease is found in 91 countries worldwide with about 200,000 new infections reported annually.

The First Vikings

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Two remarkable ships may show that the Viking storm was brewing long before their assault on England and the continent

Pennsylvania Judge Sentenced For 28 Years For Selling Kids to the Prison System

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Pennsylvania Judge Sentenced For 28 Years For Selling Kids to the Prison System

Illinois illegally seizes bees resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup; Kills remaining Queens

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Illinois illegally seizes bees resistant to Monsanto’s Roundup; Kills remaining Queens

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I will be in Edmonton for the next few weeks without internet.

How the US Turned Three Pacifists into Violent Terrorists | Common Dreams

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How the US Turned Three Pacifists into Violent Terrorists | Common Dreams

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Anyone who tells me that the only period appropriate materials for an outer garment are wool and silk can expect a verbal bitchslap, complete with documentation.  Not to mention the fact that the northern Pacific coast is NOT IN THE MIDDLE OF A MINI ICE AGE!  It's ridiculous to expect anyone to wear wool layered over linen and undergarments in the middle of summer.  And no, that doesn't mean that I should just give up and make a "modern" cotton bliaut.  It can still be period if made in linen.  And linen isn't that expensive if you hit fabrics-store.com's weekly sales, happy hour, and/or their discount code (ilovelinen).
Don't mind me, I got a little worked up over an authenticity nut.

A Day in the Life of Kasima the Gypsy

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During my NPC shift yesterday, I was Kasima the Gypsy, complete in bellydance finery.  She thought that the townsfolk needed a lesson in respecting gypsies and not judging a book by its cover.  So she proceeded to poison as many drinks, potions, and cookies as she could get her hands on.  (Logic is not Kasima’s strongsuit as she’s a bit temperamental).  She stole whatever she could get her hands on for her sisters to sell at their shop, and named one of the town guard “TinCan.”  Then, to top it all off, she offered to sell the Queen’s newborn son on the black market with a “60/20” split of the profits.  Once someone told Kasima that selling children was technically illegal, she stole a necklace from the Wantadoobie pygmies and gave it to the Queen in recompense for the offense.

Mood Disorders

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Mood disorders are more than a "bad day," and telling someone who suffers from them to "just snap out of it" or to "just be happy" does not help.  Would you tell someone with a broken leg that they're just "faking it for attention"?  No.  So why do we treat someone with depression any differently?  People with mood disorders lack the internal control that most people do in order to avoid extreme highs and lows, whether it's from abuse or a chemical imbalance.
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Life Care Charged With Medicare Fraud

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A Tennessee-based nursing-care company systematically defrauded Medicare of millions of dollars by pressuring therapists to perform expensive, unnecessary treatments, according to a recently unsealed federal complaint.
I worked there, and I am not at all surprised.

Hyperbole and a Half is Back: Depression Part Two

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Yeah, it's like that

Myths and Facts About Mental Illness

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Myth: Young people and children don’t suffer from mental illness.
Fact: It is estimated that more than 18% of young people (ages 15 – 24) in Canada may suffer from a mental health disorder that severely disrupts their ability to function at home, in school, or in their community. Suicide accounts for 24% of all deaths among 15 - 24 year olds and 16% among 25 - 44 year olds. Ninety percent of people who commit suicide have a diagnosable mental illness. The mortality rate due to suicide among men is four times the rate among women.
Fun fact: my own depression presented between 12 and 13 years of age.

Myth: Mentally ill persons are dangerous.
Fact: The vast majority of people with mental illnesses are not violent. In fact, they are more often victims of violence rather than perpetrators of violence. In the cases where violence does occur, the incidence typically results from the same reasons as with the general public such as feeling threatened or excessive use of alcohol and/or drugs.

Myth: People with mental illness can work low-level jobs but aren’t suited for really important or responsible positions.
Fact: People with mental illness, like everyone else, have the potential to work at any level depending on their own abilities, experience and motivation.

Myth: A person who has had a mental illness can never be “normal.”
Fact: People with mental illnesses can and do recover and resume normal activities. The vast majority recover.

Types of Mental Illness

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Mood disorders – involve changes and disruptions in a person’s mood and emotions. Depression and bipolar disorder are examples of mood disorders.

Anxiety disorders – are the most common type of mental disorder. They cause people to be overly anxious and afraid of situations or events that most people consider normal. Panic disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder are anxiety disorders.

Schizophrenia – involves people losing the ability to know what’s real and what isn’t (this feature is called psychosis). Schizophrenia also makes it difficult for people to think, speak and interact in an organized way. Psychosis is not just a part of schizophrenia, but may also be seen on its own, or with other disorders like mood disorders.

Eating disorders – involve a distorted body image along with serious behaviours to manage food and weight, making it difficult to nourish oneself properly. Eating disorders can be life-threatening. Examples of eating disorders include anorexia and bulimia.

Personality disorders – affect the way a person acts, feels and gets along with other people. They can also cause people to be more impulsive.  Borderline personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder are examples of personality disorder.

Substance use disorders (commonly called addictions) – occur when a person becomes dependent on a substance such as alcohol, tobacco or other drugs.

Dementia – involves the loss of brain cells and results in loss of memory, judgment and reasoning, along with changes in mood, behaviour and communication abilities (beyond what might be seen in normal aging).  Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.

Attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder (ADD or ADHD) – can be diagnosed in adults but is usually found in children and youth and affects their ability to focus their attention. This condition may also include hyperactivity, which is when a person becomes easily over-excited.

Mental Health Fact Sheet

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Here are some holistic ways of managing your mental health.  Some of these are simply common sense.  Some of them I have tried to incorporate into my own lifestyle, and I do struggle with some of these (such as negative thoughts).

Learn ways to cope with negative thoughts
Negative thoughts can be insistent and loud. Learn to interrupt them.  Don’t try to block them (that never works), but don’t let them take over. Try distracting yourself or comforting yourself, if you can’t solve the problem right away. You might want to try focusing on an issue in a more balanced way (e.g. - try looking at all sides of an issue rather than from just one point of view).


Do one thing at a time
For example, when you are out for a walk or spending time with friends, turn off your cell phone and stop making that mental “to do” list. Take in all the sights, sounds and smells you encounter.

Exercise
Regular physical activity improves psychological well-being and can reduce depression and anxiety. Joining an exercise group or a gym can also reduce loneliness, since it connects you with a new set of people sharing a common goal.

Enjoy hobbies
Taking up a hobby brings balance to your life by allowing you to do something you enjoy because you want to do it, free of the pressure of everyday tasks. It also keeps your brain active.

“Collect” positive emotional moments
Make it a point to recall times when you have experienced pleasure, comfort, tenderness, confidence, or other positive emotions.

Set personal goals
Goals don’t have to be ambitious.  You might decide to finish that book you started three years ago; to take a walk around the block every day; to learn to knit or play bridge; to call your friends instead of waiting for the phone to ring. Whatever goal you set, reaching it will build confidence and a sense of satisfaction. Writing the goal down, giving yourself a timeline, and telling others about your goals can all increase your chances of success.

Do new things/challenge yourself
Challenging yourself can help to increase your motivation and to set personal goals.
Keep a journal (or talk regularly to loved ones!)

Expressing yourself after a stressful day can help you gain perspective, release tension and even boost your body’s resistance to illness.

Share humour
Life often gets too serious, so when you hear or see something that makes you smile or laugh, share it with someone you know. A little humour can go a long way to keeping us mentally fit!

Volunteer
Volunteering is called the “win-win” activity because helping others makes us feel good about ourselves. At the same time, it widens our social network, provides us with new learning experiences and can bring balance to our lives.

Treat yourself well
Cook yourself a good meal. Have a bubble bath. See a movie. Call a friend or relative you haven’t talked to in ages. Sit on a park bench and breathe in the fragrance of flowers and grass. Whatever it is, do it just for you.

Ask for help
Learning to set boundaries and say no is a very important skill for mental health as is asking for help. In addition to help from family and friends and mental health services, you may find that some of your problems can be solved with help from community agencies. Sometimes, practical help such as home nursing care, Meals On Wheels or subsidized door-to-door transportation for people unable to walk, will greatly reduce the stress in your life.

How You Can Learn More
Many communities have information centres that produce lists of available services, which you can view at social service agencies or public libraries. Other possible sources of information include:
• books about your problems, available at your public library or local bookstore
• films, videos and audio tapes
• courses and workshops offered through community centres, secondary schools, colleges and universities
• other people you admire for their ability to find balance
Learn more by visiting www.MentalHealthWeek.ca

LARP for the Physically Borked

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I have several physical issues, and while I would love nothing more than to play a badass Amazon, my body tells me, “No way in hell.” Normally this would not be as big of a deal if my local group didn’t bill itself as HARP: Heavy Action Role-Play. Just yesterday one of the member was waxing nostalgic over when they didn’t pad their weapons and bragged about how he chipped a tooth during some warm-up fights just before this weekend’s mission. That’s all fine and dandy for him, but what about those of us where being tackled almost always ends in a trip to the hospital? My group, Medieval Chaos, gives people the option of being non-combatant. The non-com wears a neon orange stripe of duct tape somewhere it can easily be seen. The person is not to be hit under any circumstances, however, this means that if a combatant comes within striking distance and yells at them, they’re dead. My first session out, I tried to go non-combatant. Then when my arcane apprentice was talked into drawing from the Deck of Many Things and subsequently became dim-witted (aka unable to read and therefore cannot cast arcane spells), I had the choice of sitting sober and bored in the tavern or ripping off the badge and picking up a weapon. I went with the latter and charged towards combat, yet when faced with actual melee, I role-played being paralyzed with fear. Both in and out of character I had little to no experience with two-handed maces (the weapons that happened to be discarded), so I held them in front of me as if to hide behind them. During a siege on the fort, I turned to one of the few healers and asked if she needed an apprentice. The weapon was traded for potions of resurrect and I gained some basic abilities and spells. Despite my chosen class and physical issues, I still go to our practice nights a few times a week, but have had to hold myself back from trying to keep up with the teenagers, the people who weight 100 lbs less, and/or are more physically capable of keeping up with our ex-military leader. The difficult part is getting it through my head that I don’t have anything to prove to anyone but myself. The first time out for practice, I didn’t have my inhaler and tried to keep up with everyone else. 20 minutes in the asthma kicked in.  I realized that I had two choices: go all out, end up in pain, and unable to breathe after a very short time or go at my own pace, stopping when I need to, have a good time, and still be able to function later. Now I moderate myself and when the asthma starts up while sparring, I step back to let it calm down. I still apologize profusely, but no one has a problem with it. After all, where’s the sport if your opponent is gasping for breath? 
When signing in at gate, we are asked to leave as much of our gear in our cars/tents as possible in order to make the experience real. Inhalers and other necessary items are kept in a pouch or pocket, and are listed on our membership paperwork. I go one step further and ensure that most of my friends know where I keep my inhaler, where the first aid kit is in my car, and that I have medical training. 
Before and after every mission, MC has meetings that we call “conch.” Someone blows a conch shell and we all gather in town. Before the mission, the NPC’s step forward so we’ll recognize them (as opposed to their characters), non-combatants announce themselves, and we can all generally get an idea of how the day is going to go. After the mission, we can all share something that we enjoyed/appreciated and constructive criticism. For example, last weekend I thanked people for the most part recognizing that I can’t be hit very hard (one solid blow and the resulting flinch/startled reaction could re-injure my back). Most people will hit you as hard as you hit them. That being said, you can’t say, “Please don’t hit me hard!” and then turn around and wail on them. Nor can you not acknowledge a hit. Because I don’t wear armour, I will take even the lightest of hits for both realism and honesty.
Most of the time when on site, I use a sturdy, carved walking stick and when in melee, I hold it behind my back in order to avoid the instinct of whacking my opponent with it. Once I have the money, I’m going to invest in a staff in order to avoid anyone getting hurt accidentally. Only once or twice has the bar’s bouncer tried to make me leave it outside, at which point I break character to inform him that do need it. Enough people have seen me fall flat on my ass when one of my ankles decides to go out and I’m stubbornly avoiding using it that it’s barely even noticed anymore. Although it was both entertaining and humiliating when this happened as an NPC zombie (i.e. no stick, and I thought that the limp added to the authenticity) I was “invisibly” on my way to the outhouse and everyone broke character to see if I was all right. I even took the crippled trait in order to at least get some in-character benefit from my issues. In short, work within your limits, have fun with it both in and out of character, remember to laugh, and stand up for yourself and your needs when necessary.

Mental Health Week May 6-12

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image
Mental Health Week is a designated week created by The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) to talk, reflect, engage and celebrate mental health for all. The theme of Mental Health For All represents the right of every Canadian to enjoy and have the best possible mental health. It’s this attitude that represents ways in which all Canadians can actively protect and preserve their mental health at home, work and in their own community.

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Ex-CNN Reporter: I Received Orders To Manipulate News On Syria And Iran

Outrage of the Day: Rape Threats at Dartmouth

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Dartmouth College Cancels Classes After Sexual Assault Protesters Receive Rape Threats:
"Some Dartmouth College students have received rape and death threats following their public protest against the school’s attitude toward sexual assault, racism, and homophobia. Dartmouth on Wednesday canceled its scheduled classes to address the growing crisis."

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CISPA Blackout

What is CISPA?

Under the guise of cyber-security, CISPA (the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act) is a bill that would grant corporations the power to share our emails, Facebook messages, and other sensitive online data with the government - all without a warrant.

CISPA would kill online privacy as we know it - nullifying the laws that require big corporations to keep our information private from government agencies like the National Security Agency. Those corporations wouldn't have to notify you that they have done this and you wouldn't be able to take legal action against them if they made a mistake when sharing your information.

While strong information security is critical to privacy and civil liberties, CISPA does almost nothing to prevent this. All it does is give the government access to your information.

We beat CISPA last year when hundreds of thousands of Americans signed online petitions to let lawmakers know that our online privacy rights are not negotiable. But this bill is back and politicians who want the government to be able to read your emails and see what you purchase online are hoping you won’t speak out this time.

Together we can beat CISPA again!

Call Your Senator!

Call Congress

One call to your senator is worth 100 signatures on a petition.

Sign the Petition!

Petition

Make your voice heard, let the senate know how you feel about CISPA.

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Police: Mom told kids to fire BB gun at parked cars as she drove

CISPA Internet Blackout

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Witchy Woman will be going dark on Monday April 22, 2013 for CISPA Internet Blackout.

SCA vs. LARP

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A lot of people in the LARP community have nothing but bile and hatred for the Society for Creative Anachronism.  A lot of people in the SCA have little to no respect for Live Action Roleplayers.  To both groups I have one thing to say: Get over yourselves.
You know what our biggest difference is?  Nothing.  In the grand scheme of things we are merely geeks running around the woods in funny clothing and beating each with sticks.
Yes, there are pompous, arrogant windbags in the SCA who for some reason only the Gods know like to eviscerate newcomers for why their garb is wrong and why they’re an idiot for even trying.  Yes, some LARPers love to enumerate all the reasons why a newbie cannot do x, y, or z and why they’re an idiot for even asking.
I have been in TAG, 4H, softball, ABC, basketball, PPFB, VB, track, JSA, FBLA, FFA, LDS, X-C, CCF, RHA, theatre, CUUPS, BTW, BDSM, HRC, CNA, SCA, and LARP.  And you know what I’ve found?  No matter where you go, there are asshats and politics.  You know why?  People are flawed.
You are not better than anyone else.  Your group is not better than any other.  There are pros and cons to everyone and every group.  The minute you start pointing fingers, you become a moron.

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Day 8 since I have been infected. Thus far my symptoms include a shuffling gait, groaning instead of speech, significant decrease in neural activity leading to a search for the cerebrum of others, and green substances that are not for the faint of heart. Should this disease progress any further, we may have to resort to extreme measures.

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NYPD Officer Told Innocent 13-Year-Old To ‘Stop Crying Like A Little Girl’ During Stop And Frisk: During the second week of testimony on New York City’s controversial stop-and-frisk program, an officer admitted to detaining and then mocking a 13-year-old boy when he started crying. Though the boy was innocent, he was still cuffed and brought to the station...

Foamy the Squirrel on Gay Marriage

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GAY MARRIAGE

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Shutting down for Earth Hour.

Mississippi school under fire for alleged bullying of LGBT students by staff

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“[The teacher] told me since she didn’t know what I was, I should be on a team of my own,” said Holmes at an SPLC press conference.
Holmes, now home-schooled, said she faced routine harassment from students and teachers. When she tried to report this to the school’s principal, she says she was told: “I don’t want a dyke in this school.”
The SPLC launched an investigation of the school after receiving Holmes’ letter, and said they had found widespread evidence of anti-LGBT bullying by staff and pupils. Some students reported that when they told school officials they were being bullied, they were told “Suck it up.”
pettaway
"I don't want a dyke in this school."

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New York City Cop Testifies That He Was Told To Target Young Black Men
As hearings are under way to investigate New York City’s stop and frisk policy, one police officer is testifying that he was told by superiors to target young black men between the ages of 14 and 21.

Women in Healthcare Suffer Abuse Inside and Outside the Home

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Women in Healthcare Suffer Abuse Inside and Outside the Home
I remember when I was a CNA, I would report to the nurse when I was hit or even throttled by residents at the nursing home I worked at.  Most were sympathetic and allowed me to take an unscheduled break if I needed it.  One in particular told me I shouldn't have gotten that close to an unruly resident, even though the person in question desperately needed personal care.

It's a man's world

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Men are far more likely to admit to committing rape than victims are to report it.

Health Insurers Threaten To Increase Premiums, Even As Profits Soar

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Some of the nation’s largest health insurance companies are warning investors that they’ll raise insurance premiums by as much as 116 percent next year, as the coverage expansion provisions in the Affordable Care Act go into effect and millions of uninsured Americans begin purchasing coverage.

Inmate Abuse in Portland, ME

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Over the weekend the Portland Press Herald reported on and released a video of Capt. Shawn Welch at the Maine Correction Center pepper-spraying a restrained inmate in the face and leaving him in distress for more than twenty minutes while he repeatedly pleaded that he could not breath. The inmate was reportedly recovering from a self-inflicted wound and on several medications for bipolar disorder and depression at the time when officers in protective gear placed him in a restraining chair for medical personnel to examine his wounds.
After he was physically restrained in the chair, he struggled as guards pinned his head under an arm, at which point Welch used a pepper spray canister intended for multiple subjects at a 18 to 20 feet range to spray the inmate in the face at close range. Welch was initially fired by the institution’s supervisor, but reinstated with a 30-day suspension by Maine Corrections Commissioner Joseph Ponte.
ThinkProgress
It gets worse.  The concern of officials is more on how the video got out, than of the treatment of a wounded, mentally ill inmate.
"Your possession of that indicates a breach of security on our part and we absolutely do need to look into that," said Associate Commissioner Jody Breton. "We certainly will be tightening up security -- where (information) is stored, who has access."
According to them, their concern isn't because it shows the callous treatment, but rather because it reveals sensitive information about the inmate.  Ok, I get that the inmate deserves privacy, but since the inquiry did not resolve nor punish those responsible, I think that the citizens deserve to know and to act upon this knowledge. 

SFW

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India Rape Law Passes Parliament

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India Rape Law
The new law, which still requires the president’s signature before it becomes official, makes stalking, voyeurism and sexual harassment a crime. It also provides for the death penalty for repeat offenders or for rape attacks that lead to the victim’s death. The law also makes it a crime for police officers to refuse to open cases when they receive complaints of sexual attacks.

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London police officers pressured rape victims to retract to improve statistics

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The Metropolitan Police Sapphire team in Southwark, South London, had an active policy of “encouraging” victims to retract sex assault claims, allowing it to say no crime had occurred and raise its detection rates from 10 per cent to 31 per cent.
The scandal came to light after one man who the police refused to investigate for rape went on to murder his two children.
Jean Say

Esquire editor says women are "ornamental"

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http://images2.layoutsparks.com/1/99690/car-woman-bikini-speed.jpg 
The women we feature in the magazine are ornamental,” he said, speaking on a panel at the Advertising Week Europe conference in London on Tuesday. “I could lie to you if you want and say we are interested in their brains as well. We are not. They are objectified.”

Utah Schoolchildren Asked To Celebrate Fossil Fuels And Mining On Earth Day

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Earth Day is April 22, and today is the last day children in Utah can send in their submissions for the state-sponsored Earth Day poster contest lauding fossil fuel production. This year’s theme is “Where Would WE Be Without Oil, Gas and Mining?” Last year’s theme was “How Do YOU Use Oil, Gas, and Mining?"
 Winning Art from 2012 Earth Day Poster Contest

Blessed Ostara!

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My husband and I can't observe tonight due to our busy schedule, so we're celebrating tomorrow.  Until then I am cleaning the house in preparation.  Our feast will include these:









strawberry cream cheese cobbler
Strawberry Cream Cheese Cobbler


Herbes de Provence-Crusted Lamb Chops Recipe
Herbes de Provence-Crusted Lamb Chops

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Another Football Player Accused Of Rape, Another Community Blaming The Victim:
Two football player high school students in Connecticut are charged with the second-degree sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl. The allegations come amid other complaints of hazing at the school, but Torrington High School officials insist that these are individual instances and not a part of a larger cultural problem.

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Being White in Philly | Philadelphia magazine

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White Privilege: 10 Ways to be an Ally: As I have gotten deeper into anti-oppression work I find that I discover more and more subtleties and complexities than I ever considered. L...

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Samsung Puts Women in Their Place During Galaxy S IV Launch - Rebecca Greenfield - The Atlantic Wire

Denim Day 2013

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Denim Day in LA & USA is April 24, 2013.
Denim Day

13th Century Knight Found Under Scottish Parking Lot

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The knight — or possibly nobleman — was uncovered during construction work, according to The Scotsman. Also found was an intricately carved sandstone slab, several other human burial plots and a variety of artifacts researchers believe are from the 13th-century Blackfriars Monastery.
medieval knight found parking lot

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"She had a paranoia about rape."
~Agent Mulder, X-Files "Blood"
That's not paranoia, that's a reality when 1 of every 5 women is a victim of rape.

Where is Your Sense of Nationalism, Women?!

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Why Women Aren’t Being ‘Selfish’ When They Wait Longer To Have Kids
"Yet another article has been published bemoaning the declining birthrate in the United States. Perhaps as a result of treating anecdotal evidence gathered from four people at a hookah bar as if it were actual research, this latest piece gets a number of things wrong."

History of the NAACP

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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was founded today in 1909, a century after the birth of Abraham Lincoln.  A group of white liberals horrified by the violence against blacks, particularly after a race riot the previous year in Springfield, IL, issued a call for a meeting to discuss civil rights.  60 people answered the call, including Ida Wells-Barnett and W.E.B. Du Bois.
They began a campaign against lynching, promoted voting rights, and economic parity.  Thirty years later, the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund was established as the legal branch to challenge segregation in both schools and public transit.  Over the years, the goals of the NAACP have expanded to encompass the growth and needs of African Americans as disparity continues in employment, housing, health care, education, voting, and the legal system.
To learn more or to get involved, visit the http://www.naacp.org/.

The Problem With Raising 'Good Girls'

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"Every time I praise my daughter for being a "good girl," I cringe inside. It falls out of my mouth without thinking, as if it’s the highest praise that can be bestowed upon a girl.
But it’s not. It’s a curse and it has the potential to follow her throughout her life.
Good girls live by the unwritten expectation that they must be compliant and self-sacrificing to be of value—especially if they’re not hot enough to provide the world with eye candy."
Role/Reboot

To turn it around, what comes to mind when you hear "Good boy"?  Most people automatically think dog, not male child.

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Fugitive alleged LAPD-killer is first drone target on U.S. soil

National Journal Warns The Economic Price Of Climate Change Is Already Here, And Growing

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National Journal Warns The Economic Price Of Climate Change Is Already Here, And Growing:
Coral Davenport has written a wide-ranging new piece laying out the myriad ways climate change, driven by human carbon emissions, is threatening the American economy. The point is backed up by myriad scientific reports...

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Born to Breed: An Interview With Quiverfull Walkaway Vyckie Garrison | RH Reality Check

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WHO | International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation

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Afghan Woman Forced to Marry Her Rapist

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Ten Things to End Rape Culture | The Nation

Woman Accused of Witchcraft, Burned Alive

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A young mother was burned alive in Papua New Guinea this week after townspeople accused her of being a witch.
According to multiple reports, Kepari Leniata, 20, was tortured and killed in front of a mob of hundreds in the town of Mount Hagen. The woman, stripped naked and covered in gasoline, was burned alive on a pile of trash by relatives of a young boy who had died earlier in the week. The relatives had accused Leniata of killing him with sorcery.

Report: Border Patrol Shot 16-Year-Old 11 Times In The Back

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Report: Border Patrol Shot 16-Year-Old 11 Times In The Back: pOn October 10, a U.S. Border Patrol agent shot and killed 16-year-old Jose Antonio Elena Rodriguez at the border of Mexico and Arizona. According to details in a new autopsy report, Elena Rodgriguez may have been shot as many as 11 times, all but one bullet hitting the teen from behind. The details are still [...]/p

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Why Mental Health Concerns Everyone

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Most of us have heard the terms mental illness or mental disorder or psychiatric condition. These terms are used to describe a wide range of different conditions but what they have in common is that they all affect a person’s emotions, thoughts and behaviours — how they see themselves, see the world around them, and how they interact in that world.  The key difference from “having a bad day or week” is both the duration and magnitude of the impacts on your life.

There are many different kinds of mental disorders.  One in five Canadians, over the course of their lives, will experience a mental illness and what that ultimately means is that every single family in Canada will in some way be affected. There is nobody in Canada who can stand up and say, “Not my family, not my aunts or uncles or cousins or grandparents, children, siblings, spouse or self.”

And yet the reluctance to talk about mental illness, to acknowledge it openly, to treat it as a form of human suffering like any other illness, relates in part to how threatening this set of illnesses is to our sense of who we are. Mental illness cuts across all age, racial, religious, or socio-economic categories.

The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that by the year 2020 depression will become the No. 2 cause worldwide of years lost due to disability. That’s a profound impact.

The number of suicides in Canada is almost 4,000 people a year. For people aged 15 to 24 in Canada, suicide is the No. 2 cause of death.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) mental illness is the number one leading cause of disability in the world and five of the 10 leading causes of disability are related to mental disorders.

Mental illness costs the Canadian economy a staggering $51-billion a year, and each day 500,000 people will miss work due to mental health problems.

Each year employers and insurers spend a whopping $8.5 billion on long-term disability claims related to mental illness.

Mental illness is the number one cause of disability in Canada, accounting for nearly 30% of disability claims and 70% of total costs. Mental health disorders in the workplace cost Canadian companies nearly 14% of their net annual profits and up to $16 billion annually.

The unemployment rate among people with serious mental illness is 70 - 90%. There is a 60% drop in family income when a breadwinner is diagnosed with mental illness.

Ten ways to create a mentally healthy workplace

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Maintaining a healthy office environment involves more than simply providing benefits and fitness programs. The emotional well-being of your employees is just as important. Here are ten suggestions to help create a mentally healthy workplace:
1.  Be Proactive
Don’t sit back and wait for problems to come to you. Consider all the things that make your workplace what it is. Examine culture, norms, policies and expectations to find out what you can change to create an environment that’s conducive to promoting mental health.

2. Make it a priority
Mental health is an issue that is often overlooked by employers but it is a very real concern, as a growing number of employees find themselves overwhelmed by the pressures of their jobs, families and finances.  In fact, mental disorders are the leading cause of disability in the U.S. and Canada for people between the ages of 15 to 44. Studies have also shown definitively that mental health disorders – including depression, anxiety, burnout, substance abuse - cost Canadian companies billions of dollars annually.

3. Be accessible
Be sure that any wellness program can be extended to all employees within your organization, regardless of location or work hours. With advancements in technology, resources such as an on-demand video training modules can provide employees and their family members with 24/7 access to expertise whenever and wherever they need it whether they are at work, at home or on the go on their mobile device.

4. Offer resources
Provide employees with credible sources of information on mental health topics. Easy-to-understand guidance can go long ways towards helping people cope. Sometimes even a five-minute audio or video segment can be enough to help employees.

5. Take a holistic view of mental health
Mental health is not just about diagnosed illnesses. It can also be about many factors that improve a person’s well being. Nutrition, fitness, and good sleep habits for example can play a key role in mental health and happiness.

6. Look beyond the workplace
Personal finances, work-life balance, parenting and elder care are all things employees need to cope with in their daily lives. When developing a wellness program, be sure to look at what resources you can offer to help them meet their personal as well as workplace challenges.

7. Break down the barriers
An employer can play an important role in reducing the stigma associated with mental illness. There are plenty of educational resources available to help employers foster a more supportive and collaborative workplace.

8. Be front and centre
Make sure management is actively involved with your mental health messaging. Let employees know you recognize and understand the challenges they face, and that your management is there to support them.  Where relevant, share personal experiences within an organization. Be sure to train all levels of management on mental health matters.

9. Watch and listen
Foster an environment where people are comfortable discussing wellness concerns; and listen to their feedback on the programs you’ve introduced. Their input is invaluable in ensuring that the supports you provide are effective.

10. Stay current
Workplace issues can shift from year to year. Make sure that any programs you develop are revisited at least annually so the content stays relevant.

Originally published in the Globe and Mail on November 7, 2011
Aimee Israel and Michael Held are the co-founders of LifeSpeak.com, a company that is dedicated to delivering information from acclaimed North American experts to workplaces to assist employees in better managing the demands of both their personal and professional lives. Visit LifeSpeak.com for more information on promoting wellness in the workplace.

Black History Month

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Morgan Freeman perhaps said it best when he said,
Unfortunately, what little history I did have in public school was largely whitewashed.  This month, I will post about black history in an attempt to educate myself.  Please bear with me, as I am a white woman from redneckville and moved to an area where other Caucasians ask me, "So what's it like having black people as a significant minority?"  That's not hyperbole. 
It is not possible for me encompass the whole experience of black, let alone an integrated American, history in one month.  I will make some mistakes, and possibly offend.  Please note that it is not my intent to do so.  I have a fairly steep learning curve on this one.

Let's Talk Day

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Bell is hosting it's third annual Let's Talk Day.  On February 12, Bell will donate 5¢ more to mental health initiatives across Canada for every:
  • Text message sent
  • Long distance call made
  • Facebook share of our Bell Let's Talk image
Almost makes me wish I was on the Bell network.  However, I will be sharing resources and articles in order to promote mental health awareness over the next few weeks.

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How will you continue your efforts to raise awareness about stalking throughout the year?


I will admit, I am not quite certain how to go about this.  While I try to focus on current events, serious issues deserve more than a cursory treatment before my squirrel moments take me on to something else.  The first step for me is to stop joking about looking up friends on social networking sites as "stalking."
Visit http://bit.ly/srcnsam for more info.

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Stalking: Know it. Name it. Stop it.
Visit stalkingawarenessmonth.org for more info.

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It is important to consider how victims may be harmed by stalkers’ use of technology.
Visit http://bit.ly/srcnsam for more info.

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Victims of stalking are encouraged to keep a log of all stalking behaviors including emails, text & phone messages.

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Stalkers often access information about victims that is available online. Do you know what information about you is online?
This is why I try to be careful and never use my real name online, as well as not posting my address nor phone number.  Even though most victims know their stalker, I prefer not to take any chances.

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Most alarmingly, stalking also can be lethal.
Visit stalkingawarenessmonth.org for more info.

New Mexico Bill Would Imprison Rape Victims Who Receive Abortions

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New Mexico Bill Would Imprison Rape Victims Who Receive Abortions: pShould a recently introduced bill in New Mexico become law, rape victims will be required to carry their pregnancies to term during their sexual assault trials or face charges of “tampering with evidence.” Under HB 206, if a woman ended her pregnancy after being raped, both she and her doctor would be charged with a [...]/p

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Stalking can affect a victim’s emotional, physical, and economic well-being.
Visit stalkingawarenessmonth.org for more info.

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Behaviors that may seem benign to you or me may be terrorizing to a stalking victim.

Nevada Assemblyman Arrested With Loaded Gun After Threatening Speaker

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Nevada Assemblyman Arrested With Loaded Gun After Threatening Speaker: pNevada Assemblyman Steven Brooks (D) was arrested on Sunday after he threatened to assassinate newly elected Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick (D). Brooks was driving with a loaded gun when police took him into custody. The day before, he had told other lawmakers that Kirkpatrick’s “first day as speaker would be her last.” According to his colleagues, [...]/p

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Stalkers often reoffend; recidivism rates are as high as 60%.

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Phones, computers, GPS, and cameras are some of the common forms of technology used by stalkers.

NASA-Led Study Finds Warming-Driven Megadroughts Jeopardizing Amazon Forest

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NASA-Led Study Finds Warming-Driven Megadroughts Jeopardizing Amazon Forest: pAn area of the Amazon rainforest twice the size of California continues to suffer from the effects of a megadrought that began in 2005, finds a new NASA-led study. These results, together with observed recurrences of droughts every few years and associated damage to the forests in southern and western Amazonia in the past decade, [...]/p

Teenager Accidentally Kills Brother While Playing With Mother’s Gun

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Teenager Accidentally Kills Brother While Playing With Mother’s Gun: pA 14-year-old in Henry County, Georgia unintentionally shot and killed his 15-year-old brother early Saturday morning while playing with his mother’s gun, according to police. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that charges may be brought against the teenager and his mother, who have not yet been named. Though the mother left the handgun unloaded, the [...]/p