Scientifically speaking

Thar be thingies here.

More than you needed to know, likely.

The Curious Parallels of Guns and Abortion
Scientifically speaking
At first glance, the topics of gun control and abortion seem to only share being incredibly polarizing topics. And if someone has an opinion on either, it tends to be very strong. Living in the intermountain west, I see discussions on both, and realize there's far more commonality than one would think.

For starters, "It's an instrument of death" will crop up in either topic, with a grain of truth. Even though people shoot for recreation, guns are at their core a weapon. They are designed to hit something, whether lethally or not. Abortion ends a potential for life (or life itself if you believe that starts at conception). However, I haven't heard of anyone aborting for fun- whether medical or surgical it's hardly a picnic, and it's absurd for people to think that some women use it as birth control- way too expensive cost and timewise compared to alternatives.

Considering the above, a huge amount of responsibility must be considered before purchasing a gun or making a decision on an unwanted pregnancy. The gun owner should consider who in their household will have access to it, to leave it unloaded or not (and if loaded, what kind of precautions to take to prevent accidents), where to store them, etc. What are the circumstances- is this for hunting, for recreation? An unwanted pregnancy may be faced with even more questions because every circumstance is different- is raising a child financially viable, can the woman set aside nine months of her life or will she need to work, is the father in the picture, etc. etc. Anyone who assumes a solution (whether it be abortion, adoption, or parenting) is chosen flippantly has never walked in those shoes.

More fundamentally, blanket restrictions are bad for both. As Republican legislators love to point out, criminals disregard laws and will obtain guns anyway so why keep them away from law-abiding citizens? This is awfully similar to something I've noted- that women who choose to abort will try and find a solution anyway, whether it be via the internet, herbal remedies, or suicide. Historically speaking, restrictions seem to do the opposite as seen with the Prohibition and the war on drugs. In fact, sales may have risen in December 2012 after the mere suggestion of considering gun control laws. Many anti-choicers have been pressing on the Kermit Gosnell case as to why abortion should be banned, except this is a case where poor women couldn't afford safer, better care that might've saved their lives. The horrors mentioned now that the gag order is over are reminiscent of the pre-Roe era.

That's not to say all bans are bad. Certainly, late-term abortions are riskier than those in the first trimester. Some guns are more lethal than others (not my area of expertise, so I can't go more in depth, but I'd consider a BB gun safer than an assault rifle, generally speaking). But rather than a ban, more scrutiny in these cases should likely be taken- are there medical conditions that threaten the life of the mother or the fetus? Is an assault weapon necessary for hunting or an artifact from a family member's service time (again, not a gun owner, and searching for whether or not they're alright for hunting seems to be rather unclear)?

Ultimately, the solution to safer gun usage and lower abortion rates is education We require drivers' education for obtaining drivers licenses; why not require gun safety courses before purchasing guns? It diminishes the number of people who don't fully know what they're doing and the possibility of accidents. Educating on types of guns and their usage would also decrease the confusion over whether we should examine assault weapons/assault rifles/handguns/etc. Likewise, comprehensive sex education arms teenagers with the tools they need to make informed decisions- if they decide to have sex (whether now or later after marriage), what are ways they can prevent pregnancy? Or how to plan a family- timing, preparation, fertility, etc.? Knowledge is power, and absolutely the key to resolution.

squid, russian blue
I am a lobster, under the sea. 
Waves and things constantly beating on me. 
My carapace helps me survive the flow
Not sure what I'd do if it suddenly let go. 

I am a lobster, under the waves. 
Naked, fleshy, soft, hidden in caves. 
So many fishermen, predators, clawing about,
I lurk, wondering if I should dare go out. 

I am a lobster, deep in the ocean.
Just a crustacean, full of thoughts and emotion. 
Telomeres ensure that I will live forever,
So please, don't boil me red for dinner. 

Writer's Block: You’ve Got Mail!
Scientifically speaking
I am a tab hoarder, and also tend to keep my windows open as long as possible. My school email is my first permatab, followed by the related calendar & things that come with the Gmail suite. Then comes my personal email. So it's not a question of how many times a day... it just is. 

Facebook used to be a permatab, but then that got distracting and StayFocused hated it, so it's banished to my incognito window of things to cheat stayfocused on... with reddit and livejournal. 
How many times a day do you access your email account?

Writer's Block: B.Y.O.B. Holidays
Scientifically speaking
The Nightmare Before Christmas. 

Why? Because it's seasonally appropriate at least twice a year (you could sort of make the case for the other holiday world entrances briefly seen). It's a good halloween movie with scares and thrills (Oogie Boogie's collapse was terrifying as a child, but I really dig his musical number), along with delightful scenes of claymation characters running through hills of sugar snow that you expect in your Christmas holiday classics. 
What is your must-see holiday movie? One random answer will win a $50 Amazon gift card. [Details here]

Writer's Block: Shhh… Don’t tell
squid, russian blue
Do you keep your LiveJournal a secret from someone?
Bahah, I've gradually shifted to a mostly friends-only journal, with even some filtering in that. 

I still have a couple public posts though, for more general, not private thoughts. I don't advertise my blags (unless I post something I'm ridiculously proud of, or something I want people's opinions on). My parents are aware of my web tendencies, and though they'd rather I just not post anything at all, they just prefer I do so tactfully. 

Which I do, the majority of the time. 

Regarding the secrecy part of this Writer's Block, yes, I do hide some things from some people. Because the world, or even a small segment of my acquaintances do not need to know details of my personal life. 

Writer's Block: Study break
Scientifically speaking
What are you studying or did you study in school? Is it related to what you want to do for your career?

Genetics! For science, of course. 

In high school I really hadn't a clue what I wanted to do. Or rather, I did know I wanted to do something with the life sciences, but not what. Luckily, I had a good counselor who helped me focus on molecular biology/genetics. Why? Because it's life's alphabet- everything from a toadstool to a banana to a giant squid is encoded by DNA. Genetics is a more specific subject than "I want to study biology!", but on the other hand it has many broad applications- evolutionary biology, medicine, archaeology, etc. 

Gradually, I've figured out it's not entirely what I want to do. While extremely fascinating, I'm not sure I want to follow specific chemical pathways and see that x secretes y- I want to know if that pathway will yield a distinctive physiological change in the organism for a particular reason. Forest and not the trees, I guess. While I jokingly tell people "Imma gonna do SCIENCE" when asked what I want for a future career, I think I'd much prefer working on the organismal, physiological side of things. I want to do research, which is a very broad, very grey unknown area but that's the fun part. If I had to choose a specificity, I'd probably want to investigate deep sea communities for unique behaviors and structures that are a) weird and b) potentially useful for human use. 

So, yes, I think I'd need to know genetics to figure out what makes a tubeworm be able to live in very acidic, very hot water full of metal particles. 

A case of privileged bigotry:
Scientifically speaking
 So this is a post by a relative's friend (not personally friends with this guy otherwise I'd be comment-walling this shit). Actually wasn't sure whether I wanted to lock this or not given LJ crossposts to facebook but WHATEVER. Tempered call out with appropriately blanked names and display pics:

Derpy McDerpypants

  Pink girl is kinda my hero. 

Relative isn't going to comment because in their opinion, Blue isn't going to change his mind and no amount of commenting will fix that. If Blue said it in person, though, that'd be a different story. Personally? If I knew this person, I'd call them out on their privilege politely but firmly. Since I don't actually know Blue though, I'm feeling a bit more vitriolic. 

Firstly, if you end the first part of your sentence with "...but," that usually invalidates it. 

"I'm not racist, but..."
"I'm nonjudgmental, but..."
"I have plenty of gay friends! But..."

Especially if the second part is contrary. That first part? A flimsy cushion to try and make it better, related to the comment sandwich of "Liked this-criticism-other good thing". Which is also a bit silly in my opinion- if there's a valid criticism, just say it rather than sugar coat it. Sibling says that's how you lose friends. I can agree with that to some extent, especially if it's a valued friend. Blunt honesty is one of my closely held values though. 

Of course, there is the phrase "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all." Perfect for polite company, or people you don't know very well. 

On the other hand, being silent can viewed as an implicit endorsement- by not saying something against, you may be silently agreeing for all we know. This is why, in my opinion, apathy is a bad thing- you have a right to an opinion, why not express it?

Anyway, to the original post- the other problem with this is the serious amount of privilege. Other posts previously and more recently from Blue indicate that they're offended by pride parades, and are frustrated they're castigated as 'the bad guy' for being offended AND offending others. 

In other words, "How DARE these people exist, and celebrate their existence? And I don't get why people get mad at me for thinking this?"

I have serious problems with this mode of thinking- I mean, every Viagra and jewelry commercial is essentially a straight-person celebration when you think about it- "WOO, OLD GUYS BONING LADIES" "OMG HE WENT TO JARED". Actually going through with a straight pride parade would be an insult to the GLBT community, especially in Blue's state where a rather famous case of homophobic violence took place. 

Also, I'm not seeing how Blue feels offended- Blue's right to marry the opposite gender isn't being legislated against, nor will Blue be violently targeted by bigots for who they love. Burnt Orange sums it up "Yeah, let's do this because of straight discrimination! Oh wait..." 

Yeah, I know. This is the internet, hate happens all the time, arguing online is akin to the special olympics- you may win but everyone's still retarded (old phrase, though ableist), etc. etc. Still irritates me that people can think like this, though. ESPECIALLY when it's other minorities who don't care, but that's a different story and a different post. 


TL;DR, calling someone out on their whine and waxing philosophical about why it's wrong

Er, I guess I should've wrapped this up last week.
squid, russian blue
Day 26: A childhood memory.
Day 27: A physical feature you love.
Day 28: A scar you have and its story.
Day 29: Hopes, dreams and plans you have for the next 365 days.
Day 30: A motto or philosophy

Day 26: A childhood memory
1st grade, ~7 yrs. I had a coloring book on shells, but the cool thing was it was different types and species and whatnot. Also during that year, my dad gave computer classes to the teachers at my elementary school. I smugly knew where things were on those old Macintosh Performas- when it was time to make a list for Santa, I typed mine and used bold and italics in places for emphasis... 
Day 27: A physical feature you love.
The high iron content in my blood. Means I can (and should) donate blood more often. 

Day 28: A scar you have and its story
A half-inch tubular 'bump' on my right hand. I was making cookies for a Kappa Kappa Psi thing for the first time, and I was pulling a sheet out... and accidentally touched the rack. 

Day 29: Hopes, dreams, and plans you have for the next 365 days
Mm, today's not the best day to ask me this. Or maybe it is, because expectations are pretty low at the moment. Considering this span of time includes the bulk of my senior year...
  • Actually get involved with research in a lab of some kind
  • Actually put stuff in and finish my ePortfolio
  • Revive and be more active on the science blog
  • Take the GRE
  • Apply, get accepted, and get paid for grad school (last one is unlikely, middle... I have anxiety about)
  • Reread the Wheel of Time before the next book comes out
Day 30: A motto or philosophy.
"Plan for the worst, hope for the best." 

Day 24: A movie no one would expect you to love.
Day 25: A recipe. 

Day 24: A movie no one would expect you to love
Music and Lyrics, maybe, since it's a cheesy romcom with only a little bit actually related to songwriting and composing. Actually, you could insert any chick flicks that I actually do enjoy here. Feminist ≠ manhating destroyer of all fluff. Though some fluff is too cheesy. IDK, we can talk about it on a case by case basis. 

Day 25: A recipe
I don't really cook... and I'm not at home so I can't look up stuff. Actually, I take that back. I do baked tilapia or salmon sometimes. More often it's tilapia because it's cheaper. so... this is off the top of my head, so no exact numbers. 

Take your fillet of fish or whatever cut (chunks, even. I don't know what they cut fish into), and season it with appropriate amounts of salt and pepper. Other seasonings can go in at this point too. Dad encourages liberal sprinkling of seasoning of choice. Coat with olive oil (all sides). Alternatively skip the olive oil and cover top of fish with mayo and top that layer with crushed potato chips- it's better than it sounds. Kind of like when people give fish an almond coating. 

Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 15-30 minutes until cooked. I haven't done this in a while, so I might be underestimating time, but use common sense- if it looks uncooked leave it in. 

Tada, baked fish. Serve with pasta for homemade Italianness. 

TRIO... of meme
Scientifically speaking
Day 21: Something you know you do differently than most people.
Day 22: A website.
Day 23: A way in which you want to be remembered.

Day 21: Something you know you do differently than most people.
When I get comfy at my desk, I'll tuck my feet under me and sit on 'em. This doesn't turn out well since they eventually fall asleep, but I guess I never learn. Just sitting crosslegged on chairs/sofas/whatever in general I guess. If that's even remotely unique, which is doubtful.

Day 22: A website.
Mm. Was going to self-plug the blogspot, but seeing as I still haven't put up a new post (the last one is over a year old)... meh. You can still see it at, intended to be a more science focused blag (also to declutter my facebook by reducing nerdy linkspam).

For something more interesting, Say goodbye to your day... but yeah. I've gotten to the point where tropes creep into my vocabulary and I'll have to pause and explain or facepalm at being that... tropey.

Day 23: A way in which you want to be remembered.
I want to be remembered for being brutally honest, for keeping my integrity intact. Not the piano playing or the science enthusiasm? Well, maybe... but it's more important to me to be truthful.

Though if this is asking for what medium I'd want to be remembered by, I'd totally be flattered if someone named a species after me. Dunno how that would go, though. L. tomis? daumarius? (L for Loligo, though other teuthids would work)


Log in

No account? Create an account