thelonelyscarecrow:

castiels-time-traveler:

nintendocanada:

mapsontheweb:

Map of the World by Natural Skin Color

i’m really dumbfounded that i never realized skin colour is literally just caused by being closer to or farther from the equator and the resulting sun exposure and skin darkening

actually, its an adaptation. natural selection. people with darker skin are selected for in areas near the equator, where the melanin that causes the darker color protects them from radiation and protects them from skin cancer and other health defects, and because they are healthier they can pass on that trait more. people near the poles have lighter skin because it allows them absorb more of the limited sunlight to convert to vitamin d. 

THIS IS THE THING SOME PEOPLE HATE OTHER PEOPLE OVER.Evolution of melanin levels based on geographical location.

If you live where it’s cloudy and cold, you have to be pale so your body can produce enough vitamin D, which requires sunlight.
If you live where it’s hot and sunny, you need additional resistance to damage from the sun but you’re fine for vitamin D.
People like to think survival of the fittest means bigger, meaner, stronger or smarter. It doesn’t. It just means whatever is helpful in the environment is going to do better in the long term and the frequency of those traits will increase by process of selection until the environment changes. Teamwork, compassion and empathy are major advantages for a social species. Which we are.
It is just sad to think that a pair of traits that can be equalized with a Centrum and a tube of sunscreen have been used as an excuse for so much brutality and hate. 

thelonelyscarecrow:

castiels-time-traveler:

nintendocanada:

mapsontheweb:

Map of the World by Natural Skin Color

i’m really dumbfounded that i never realized skin colour is literally just caused by being closer to or farther from the equator and the resulting sun exposure and skin darkening

actually, its an adaptation. natural selection. people with darker skin are selected for in areas near the equator, where the melanin that causes the darker color protects them from radiation and protects them from skin cancer and other health defects, and because they are healthier they can pass on that trait more. people near the poles have lighter skin because it allows them absorb more of the limited sunlight to convert to vitamin d. 

THIS IS THE THING SOME PEOPLE HATE OTHER PEOPLE OVER.

Evolution of melanin levels based on geographical location.

If you live where it’s cloudy and cold, you have to be pale so your body can produce enough vitamin D, which requires sunlight.

If you live where it’s hot and sunny, you need additional resistance to damage from the sun but you’re fine for vitamin D.

People like to think survival of the fittest means bigger, meaner, stronger or smarter. It doesn’t. It just means whatever is helpful in the environment is going to do better in the long term and the frequency of those traits will increase by process of selection until the environment changes. Teamwork, compassion and empathy are major advantages for a social species. Which we are.

It is just sad to think that a pair of traits that can be equalized with a Centrum and a tube of sunscreen have been used as an excuse for so much brutality and hate. 

The New York Times reports on a new study from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that really drives home how sleazy the banking industry has gotten, and how much they’ve come to view customers are the enemy:

The problem, described in a report released Tuesday by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, arises from a little-noticed provision in private loan contracts: If the co-signer dies or files for bankruptcy, the loan holder can demand complete repayment, even if the borrower’s record is spotless. If the loan is not repaid, it is declared to be in default, doing damage to a borrower’s credit record that can take years to repair. The bureau said that after a co-signer’s death or bankruptcy, some borrowers are placed in default without ever receiving a demand for repayment. The agency did not accuse loan companies of doing anything illegal.

As the CFPB notes, demanding immediate repayment in full the second a parent co-signer passes away seems, by all measures, to be bad for business. After all, the borrower probably doesn’t have all the money right on hand, so instead of just continuing as-is and getting regular payments, the bank is now putting the loan into collections for no discernible reason. That this seems stupid as fuck doesn’t seem to be deterring banks from indulging this practice:

Rohit Chopra, the bureau’s student loan ombudsman, said that he did not know how common the practice was, but that a steady stream of consumer complaints indicated it was becoming more frequent. He also said companies appeared to be doing it more or less automatically, combing public records of deaths and bankruptcies, comparing them to loan records and generating repayment demands and default notices.

Right now, the CFPB has no idea why banks are doing this, but one theory is that there’s some accounting shenanigans involving, you guessed it, the securities trade. As with mortgages before, student loans are being bundled up and sold on the securities market, and “good” loans that are being steadily repaid are bundled in with high-risk loans.

Do You Have Student Loans? Banks May Exploit Your Parent’s Death To Push You Into Default. | The Raw Story (via sarkos)

The agency did not accuse loan companies of doing anything illegal. 

This is the problem with our financial system. It is so thoroughly debase and corrupt that, short of exiling everyone involved to an island just to be safe, the only solution isn’t to make these shenannigans illegal. 

The only real answer I can see is to define, clearly and free of ambiguity, what banks are allowed to do. Anything outside of those guidelines would have to be treated as a crime. Every “innovation” these bastards come up with has been a means to screw over everyone else to their own benefit.

The financial sector is run by sociopaths. Never forget this.

A lascivious woman in her extremity
Will become a nun.
A hot-blooded man in his exasperation,
Will enter the Buddhist Way.
Thus the gates to purity and ablution,
Are forever the haunts and lairs of the licentious and
lewd.
Master of the Three Ways, Hung Ying-ming (via tectusregis)
The first thing I noticed on my first day on the job is that in retail no one sits. Ever. It didn’t matter if it was at the beginning of my shift, if the store was empty, or if my knees, back, and feet ached from hours of standing. Park your behind while on the clock, went the unspoken rule, and you might find it on a park bench scanning the want-ads for a new job. Another quick observation: Working in retail takes more skill than just selling stuff. Besides the mindless tasks one expects—folding, stacking, sorting, fetching things for customers—I frequently had to tackle a series of housekeeping chores that Stretch never mentioned in our welcome-aboard chat. Performed during the late shift, those chores usually meant I’d have to stay well past the scheduled 9 p.m. quitting time. Mop the floors in the bathroom, replace the toilet paper and scrub the toilets if necessary. Vacuum. Empty the garbage. Wipe down the glass front doors, every night, even if they don’t really need it. It was all part of the job, done after your shift has ended but without overtime pay.

My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish, and Poor (via azspot)

It’s the fine print that comes with jobs like this that often make them burdens. Ballooning expectations for as minimal pay as possible.

(via invisiblelad)

Everyone should work retail, a retail Christmas preferably, once in their lives. It makes you a better customer.

(via mommapolitico)

^^^^ At least once in their lifetime. $1 tax credit for life with proof of compliance.

(via bilt2tumble)

Retail can be fucking brutal physically and mentally.  But because it never, ever lets up, I eventually got so used to it that I didn’t fully realize just how much of a toll my retail job had taken on me until I had to quit and suddenly I just felt SO MUCH BETTER ALL OF THE TIME.

(via slipstreamborne)

Anyone who ever disrespects anyone in retail/food service is not someone I want to hang out with. Having worked both, let me tell you, that shit is ROUGH.

(via geardrops)

My current retail job keeps promoting me. Here’s the catch: I currently do what used to be the work of three different people. For less than ten bucks an hour, for 35-38 hours a week (still “part-time”).

You do not sit. In many places (mine included but it isn’t enforced) you aren’t allowed to have a water bottle on the sales floor. You don’t stop moving, can’t have water, and are written up for being anything less than cheerful. 

Not to mention the disrespect. In addition to the garbage from customers and bosses, there’s the belief that it isn’t a ‘real job’. Trying to get hired out of retail is incredibly difficult, because it isn’t seen as ‘real work.’ Somehow devoting all those hours to all those standards—it’s invalid.

(via lesbianlegbreaker)

I’d comment on what I think should happen to companies that exploit their workers like this, especially in the area of unpaid work. I would wind up on a watch list. Suffice to say that it is horrible enough that no one would do it again for fear of it.

nazerine:

heremywords:

missyay:

nazerine:

excessivecompulsive:

nazerine:

the anti vaccination movement basically consists of random people with no knowledge of medicine going “I can medicine better than doctors” and it would be hilarious if it wasn’t literally killing people

you dont need vaccines, I havent had any and Im still doing great

wow, what a compelling argument. you’ve got me

in other news, i am still alive therefore death must be a myth

How much research have you done on these toxins you’re putting in your body? Also all the kids that have died from getting the measles or polio are the kids that got vaccinated.

this just in, everybody: the tens thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands of disabilities caused by polio between its identification in 1908 and the introduction of vaccines in the early 1950s were, in fact, caused retroactively by those very vaccines

Oooo, toxins! Big meaningless scare-words. And a complete ignorance of herd immunity from the second poster in the chain! It must be a day ending in Y. 

The principles behind vaccines are basic human immunology. It’s very simple: when your body fights off a viral disease it produces antibodies that stay in the system, allowing for resistance or immunity to that disease strain (and some similar ones, depending on how different the virus’s shell is from its relatives). Unfortunately, many viruses can cripple, disfigure or kill on a first infection. 

A vaccine contains a dead or weakened virus that will still trigger the immune response (this is why you may get some minor symptoms shortly after a vaccination, a lot of what we consider ‘disease’ symptoms are actually the activity of our immune system.) and prepare the body for the real thing. 

Some of the compounds used in vaccines to keep the samples fresh or to kill the viral component are, technically, toxic. However, poison is in the dose. If vaccines truly were causing harm we’d see pandemic levels of effect. Instead we have anecdotal evidence by paranoid people ignorant of the science and a single medical shyster working with a sample size so small you could literally fit it in a loft apartment.

Lets talk the elephant in the room: Autism. The reason autism rates “have been going up” is not due to any change in the rate of autism. It is a change in the rate of diagnosis caused by the expansion of autism from a narrowly defined condition covering only its most extreme cases to a spectrum that recognizes a wider range of effect. What the DSM calls autism now was not what it called autism in the 1950s. What we now realizes is a neurological condition was once written off in the mild cases as shyness, antisocial behavior, introversion or ‘just being weird.’

And let’s not forget shame and ego. Autism appears to be a largely genetic phenomenon, caused either by mutations of specific genes or through combinations of various genetic factors. Some parents are clearly incapable of accepting that the condition came from them. The vaccine, which is introduced around the time you’d expect autism symptoms to occur, is a handy scapegoat. 

Nevermind that there is no understandable motive for the conspiracy proposed by anti-vaxers. It isn’t money. Vaccines are difficult to produce, require continuous revision and are sold at narrow profit margins compared to other drugs. If the drug companies wanted to ride the profit motive here, they’d ignore the vaccines and go for the symptom-alleviating drugs and antivirals. The only thing left is the idea that somehow, the vast majority of doctors, medical researchers, drug researchers and manufacturers, and government agencies worldwide are all complicit in a massive scheme to poison children going back to Salk, with no whistle-blowing, and no independent verification. All of this with the intent of sowing economically-draining-but-not-fatal illness to… and again we hit the motive wall. 

We’ve grown up comfortable. Pandemic disease doesn’t terrify us the way it once did. Watch the old Rabbit Fever Bugs Bunny cartoon, at one time government-enforced quarantine of sick persons was enough of a thing that it was a joke in a cartoon. Read up on what the Spanish Flu did to the world populace. Read up on exactly what polio was like. Learn how viruses work and how the immune system does as well. 

Then tell me what’s more likely, that vaccines are a plot to do something sinister to humanity for reasons, or that scared parents and money-grubbing shysters can whip up a conspiracy woven from ignorance, guilt and fear.

 

cracked:

Gladstone and Stephen Colbert know who Jonathan Swift is, but not everyone else has caught up.
3 Modern Satirists Screwed by People Who Didn’t Get the Joke

#3. Stephen Colbert Gets Attacked by a Hashtag Activist Who’s Wrong About Everything
In [an interview, Suey Park] describes how she “saw the hashtag as a way to critique white liberals who use forms of racial humor to mock more blatant forms of racism.” I read the interview several times, reading all the poorly chosen, unconvincing words. And maybe I’m wrong, but, quite simply, despite the loads of verbiage, I’m pretty sure Park simply feels that there are certain no-no words, bad words that can never be used to prove any point or be justified by any context.
I reject that out of hand, as should anyone with an active mind. Park’s lack of faith is not with Colbert, of whom she claims to be a fan, but the rest of society. She does not believe people can hear uncomfortable or provocative jokes in any context that would justify their use without adding fuel to the fire of racism.

Read More

Read the whole article, it is very enlightening.

cracked:

Gladstone and Stephen Colbert know who Jonathan Swift is, but not everyone else has caught up.

3 Modern Satirists Screwed by People Who Didn’t Get the Joke

#3. Stephen Colbert Gets Attacked by a Hashtag Activist Who’s Wrong About Everything

In [an interview, Suey Park] describes how she “saw the hashtag as a way to critique white liberals who use forms of racial humor to mock more blatant forms of racism.” I read the interview several times, reading all the poorly chosen, unconvincing words. And maybe I’m wrong, but, quite simply, despite the loads of verbiage, I’m pretty sure Park simply feels that there are certain no-no words, bad words that can never be used to prove any point or be justified by any context.

I reject that out of hand, as should anyone with an active mind. Park’s lack of faith is not with Colbert, of whom she claims to be a fan, but the rest of society. She does not believe people can hear uncomfortable or provocative jokes in any context that would justify their use without adding fuel to the fire of racism.

Read More

Read the whole article, it is very enlightening.

An Honest Question For ProChoice People

blue-author:

anaccountofmylife:

I know there are heated debates and people have been wronged on both sides of the arguments. However, I want to ask one question to pro choice people that will help you understand where pro life comes from.

Put aside your beliefs/biases/experiences please for this question and answer honestly.

"If you honestly believed that a fetus is a human life, wouldn’t you do anything to save it from being killed?"

Because pro life people truly believe, based on science, religion, or personal experience, that every fetus is a human child. Therefore we feel we must do everything in our power to save that life. We don’t always get it right, and there are some people who are cruel and heartless, but at the crux of our argument is that life deserves to be saved.

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that if I truly believed that abortion killed a person, I wouldn’t do anything like what 99% of anti-abortion agitators do.

You put pennies in a box.

You make signs.

You scream misogynistic and violent insults at women who are seeking unspecified health care services at health care facilities, some of which don’t even provide abortions to begin with.

You push laws that target the abortions that are most often life-saving, most often applied to non-viable fetuses.

None of these things really scream “I AM SERIOUSLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE LIVES OF ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS THAT I GENUINELY BELIEVE ARE IN JEOPARDY!” to me, you know?

What they instead speak of is an intense desire to project oneself into a life-or-death conflict, but one without any actual stakes and one that does not require much more than symbolic gestures on behalf of the “believers”. 

As a bonus, you get to feel better than a bunch people just normal people like you. You get to feel like you’re a crusader for truth and justice in a world full of people so evil, they’d kill babies for fun and profit.

And when you’re out on the picket line, you can engage in the deepest, most shameful impulses that a human being can wrestle with as you shout vile things at the people trying to enter the clinic. Actual people, who are often actually at the most vulnerable part of their grown lives, possibly people who are wrestling with health problems, possibly people who are dealing with the devastating reality of finding out that a fervently desired pregnancy is not safe or non-viable… and you can reduce them to tears. Such power! You and your friends can mob up (strength in numbers) and shout whatever you want this person. You can completely dehumanize an actual human being standing right in front of you.

And it’s okay.

Because you’ve got this fig leaf for your conscience where—when it’s convenient to do so, when it suits your agenda and your plans—you convince yourself there are these other actual human beings that you are standing up for.

You’re desecrating the everloving carp out of the human life standing in front of you, but it’s okay, because life is sacred. When it’s convenient. When it’s your alibi. When it’s your sword and shield.

But when it’s not convenient? Forget about it. Oh, man… if you truly believed that millions of tiny precious babies were being systematically murdered, would you be blogging about it? I’m not daring you to go out and prove your convictions by committing violence yourself, but even restricting yourself to non-violent means, don’t you think you would be doing something more than posters and pennies and posts if you really thought that “an American holocaust” (as so many anti-choice folks have crassly put it) was happening?

Man, I’m glad you asked me what we would do if we sincerely believed that there were all these lives at stake, because it really exposes how hollow the “pro-life” movement is.

Though of course, its hollowness hardly needs to be pointed out. It’s weird how many protestant Christian denominations suddenly did a 180 on abortion and the belief that a fetus was a person with a soul when it suddenly became a viable political wedge issue. Did you know that? As recently as 1979, you could have gone to a lot of the most pro-life protestant churches in the country and asked their leaders if fetuses had souls and abortion was murder, and they would have told you no, that’s some Catholic dogma that’s completely against the Bible. And they’d point to passages that suggest that no, God does not see a fetus as being equivalent to a person and send you on your way.

But then, somehow, suddenly… the inerrant word of God changed. Almost overnight. Why? Because the preachers had allied themselves with rightwing politicians, and between them, they saw a goldmine.

Because they understand the real question isn’t: what would people do if they honestly believed that babies’ lives were on the line, wouldn’t a lot of people vote for a politician who takes a bold stance against baby killing, since that demands nothing from the person casting the vote but lets them feel like they’ve done a huge good deed?

So they did that.

And a lot of people fell for it.

You give your votes, you give your money, you give your time to the cause. Not much from each individual, but it adds up. It all adds up.

And you will always do this.

Because baby killing will always be wrong, and it’s not like anyone’s asking you to fight a war, right?

That’s what politicians call a permanent wedge issue. The people who “vote life” can be relied on to vote against their interests, to vote against their neighbors, to vote against politicians who would improve the circumstances that lead people to require abortions.

Abortions go up when social safety nets are cut. Abortions go up when wages go down. Abortions go up when health care costs rise. Abortions go up when sex ed is inadequate.

But “pro-life” voters vote for politicians who are in favor of all of these circumstances that lead to abortions.

Isn’t that weird?

But you’ll effectively vote for everything that leads to abortions, because all you care about is that you get to register your vote against baby-killin’. 

The pro-life stance is about convenience and feeling good. 

Leaving all that good retort for a bit of my own.

Because pro life people truly believe, based on science, religion, or personal experience, that every fetus is a human child. Therefore we feel we must do everything in our power to save that life. We don’t always get it right, and there are some people who are cruel and heartless, but at the crux of our argument is that life deserves to be saved.

Of those three things, only one of them is a valid means of making this kind of decision: Science. Until you can PROVE your religion is true, then you have no place enforcing its edicts on nonbelievers. There are thousands of religions on Earth, each with its own rules, and these are frequently contradictory, frivolous or monstrous to outside observation. If the whole ‘word of god’ thing was the real guiding force, then these people would be just as fervent about dietary law, ritual cleanliness, the death penalty for adulterers, rebellious children and people who work on the Sabbath, and so forth. 

And personal experience tells people there are UFOs, that rabbits’ feet are lucky, that fluoride makes you impotent and that FEMA is setting up death camps. Human senses are flawed and most people act from a place of unchecked ignorance. Personal experience is a non-starter.

That leaves science. With science, the major answers are already answered. The morning after pill IS NOT AN ABORTION METHOD, it prevents ovulation, meaning that the egg and sperm never meet. If you’ve already ovulated it doesn’t work. Yet anti-choice propaganda makes it out to be an abortion method.  

If you want to decrease the number of abortions, then comprehensive sex education, availability of birth control and a functional social safety net are proven to do so. The abortion rates are highest in the red states. Why is that, I wonder? 

The law in most places already forbids abortions in late stages when the fetus has the capacity to feel pain or be viable on on its own, except in cases to protect the mother’s life. The anti-choice propaganda machine likes to put pictures of newborn and premature babies out as propaganda, but their accounts almost never conform to the scientific account. 

This is a propaganda engine put into place to politicize religion and use it to unite disparate Christian factions against an imaginary enemy. Shouts and screams that millions of imaginary precious babies are being slaughtered used to keep the various factions from worrying about policy issues. Or from noticing that they’re surrounded, on all sides, by heretics who do not share their religious beliefs. And remember, there is a maximum of one correct religion. So if you think it is yours, then by definition everyone else is deceived or a deceiver. That I think you’re all full of crap is beside the point. You are a heretic to them and they are heretics to you. As soon as the more overt other is overthrown the movement will turn on the next most distant belief system, over and over again. If you don’t believe that your faith only grants you the right to govern yourself by that faith, you open yourself up to be ground under someone else’s belief system.

Jesus never said anything about abortion, but he sure as hell talked a lot about caring for the poor, the sick, the widowed and the orphaned. Where is the Evangelical zeal for a universal health care system that would keep young children healthy without bankrupting their parents? Where are the Christians when CEOs are allowed to slash worker pay to keep stock prices up while giving themselves obscene bonuses? Where are the followers of the Prince of Peace when our tax dollars are used to kill real, fully developed, aware, living human beings in foreign nations instead of building schools, hospitals, bridges and roads? Where is are those who profess to admire the man who walked with tax collectors and prostitutes when the poor and minorities are locked out of society by an unjust criminal justice system that treats petty theft and marijuana possession as greater crimes than the looting of the entire economy?

The conservative Christians cheer when food aid to poor families is slashed. They love the gun and hate food stamps. They cheer on war are despise the social safety net. 

They will fight tooth and claw to let you be born so they can abandon you the moment it happens.

I could bring up the numerous ways that the biblical opinion on abortion differs from the anti-choice position, but why do that when others have already. 

itswalky:

the recipe song

Recipe. Take a still beating heart, pour into it your faith, your joy and your love, all boiling, and serve it unto your sovereign.

Nothing creepy there.

I’ve never been female. But I have been black my whole life. I can perhaps offer some insight from that perspective. There are many similar social issues related to access to equal opportunity that we find in the black community, as well as the community of women in a white male dominate society…

When I look at — throughout my life — I’ve known that I wanted to do astrophysics since I was 9 years old…I got to see how the world around me reacted to my expressions of these ambitions. All I can say is, the fact that I wanted to be a scientist, an astrophysicist was hands down the path of most resistance through the forces of society.

Anytime I expressed this interest, teachers would say, ‘Oh, don’t you wanna be an athlete?’ I want to become someone that was outside of the paradigm of expectations of the people in power. Fortunately, my depth of interest of the universe was so deep and so fuel enriched that everyone of these curve balls that I was thrown, and fences built in front of me, and hills that I had to climb, I just reach for more fuel, and I just kept going.

Now, here I am, one of the most visible scientists in the land, and I wanna look behind me and say, ‘Where are the others who might have been this,’ and they’re not there! …I happened to survive and others did not simply because of forces of society that prevented it at every turn. At every turn.

…My life experience tells me that when you don’t find blacks, when you don’t find women in the sciences, I know that these forces are real, and I had to survive them in order to get where I am today.

So before we start talking about genetic differences, you gotta come up with a system where there’s equal opportunity, then we can have that conversation.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson in response to a question posed by Lawrence Summers, former Treasury Security and Harvard University President

"What’s up with chicks and science?"

Are there genetic differences between men and women, explain why more men are in science.

(via magnius159)